Well, not toxic, exactly... maybe just a little bit rank. But in a nice way. With a garnish.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

heavens above!

It is my birthday!

Imp and I go for a walk in the park.

We have been having a bit of trouble working out basic things like how to get on a tram or how to pay Van Scrabble due to our not being Dutch, so a walk in the park should be erm… well, a walk in the park.

It is a foreign park that has a very long name, but luckily (due to my superior navigation skills) we manage to find our way around without having to buy a loaf of bread or asking to book a non-smoking table for a family of four.

We have been here for about 4 days now so naturally we are now both practically fluent in Dutch but speaking it would be a whole different matter.
If, for example, we were attacked by a rabid dog then we would have to rely on Mel Gibson-type doggy-growly-communication rather than commanding it in a stern voice to Sit! and then go immediately to see a vet.

I check for rabid dogs.

There are none that I can see.

I realise that I don’t really know what a rabid dog looks like so I carry on being on my guard.
It would be just my luck if I make it to my 34th birthday only to be nibbled on as an aperitif for a disease-ridden Dutch dog. Although I think it sounds like the kind of thing Tom Waits might have sung about so maybe in a weird kind of way it would be an honour.


The best thing about having a birthday at the end of August is that it usually falls somewhere near the bank holiday (which means I don’t have to go to work) and that it’s guaranteed to be sunny.

It begins to rain. A lot.

In fact, it is the kind of rain known as Comedy Rain.

Comedy Rain is the wettest rain known to man. It is the kind of rain that soaks you right through to your internal organs in less time than it takes to wish you had a coat on.
In fact, Comedy Rain is the kind of rain that is used in biblical floods or more recent natural disasters, although then the word ‘Comedy’ has to be removed.

We don’t care about getting wet in one squillionth of a second..

Well, Imp minds a bit because she now has to walk like a bandy-legged robot in the way that people who are fully clothed and very wet, do.

But anyway. The rabid dogs will have imploded.

We walk like bandy-legged robots to find some beer (via a museum because we are tourists).

Sunday, August 27, 2006

say again?

We are in Amsterdam!

Imp and I have bundled the kids into a children’s home and legged it across the channel and now we are abroad, where nobody knows us and we can hold hands.

In Wales, you have to worry about being shouted at by a fat, ugly, drunk bloke in a string vest with a spider tattoo on his neck and beer stains down his chin, being egged on by his fat, drunk mates. (It is not always the same bloke, but it is always a bloke).
That is the price we pay for being in a same-sex relationship.

Here, we are not the weirdest people and that is saying something.

We stand by the Central Station and squint at the map that we have acquired from the hotel lobby.

All the streets are called things like ‘Eerstehelmerstraat’ and ‘Gillis Van Lendenberghstraat’ and ‘Floogn-Loogn Schnitzel Danduff Van Earwaxn Straat’.

It is a scientifically proven fact that places are much harder to navigate when place names are a random jumble of consonants with an even randomer jumble of vowels thrown in. Carol Vorderman would be appalled.

I make a mental note to report the Dutch to the authorities.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


We have walked for 5 minutes and TinyDog® is in a mood with me.

I am armed with my OS map, rucksack and dog-on-lead and I am walking a 13-mile section of the Pembrokeshire coastal path.
Imp has had a better idea and is sitting on a beach (wrapped up warm in a jumper and coat) with LittleImpA and LittleImpB. We remain in contact by text.
I am puzzled by her apparent disinterest in joining me in this jaunt along the cliffs.

My enthusiasm however, is catchy. I’m sure that the dog will really enjoy this opportunity to see some of the most beautiful landscape (and seascapes) in the country.
Strangely, the dog has her eyes screwed up in the wind and her tail is resolutely down. I could swear she is sneering. I think she has just realised that there are another 12 ½ miles to go.

I drag her along and announce what a beautiful day (apart from the wind) it is. TinyDog® remains unimpressed.

We clamber down a small section of cliff and I glance sideways at the dog (who is trying to go back the way we came). I think she is muttering under her breath.

Consulting my map I confirm loudly that there is, indeed, another 12 ½ miles of magnificent countryside to go. We are so lucky.

TinyDog® continues shuffling stroppily along behind me and we carry on in this manner, woman towing dog.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

the law

We are staying in a caravan!

In my younger days I would have roughed it in a tent, up a mountain, beside a swamp, swarming with Horse Flies, backing onto a moor with escaped criminals and murderers hiding in it.

But now that I am in my thirties and Imp has children to look after, we are striking a compromise and have doors that lock but we are not using the heating, even though it seems to have forgotten to be August and it’s pretending to be February.

I squint out at the pouring rain and crack open a beer. Imp flicks through some leaflets looking for a good wet-weather activity.
We could go to a knitting museum but, after a lot of thought and a certain amount of agonising we decide to go to a beach, because it is compulsory to eat ice cream while you are on holiday even if it is raining and, for some reason ice cream vans can only be found next to beaches or in run-down housing estates.

When I become Prime Minister I will make it the law that ice cream vans have to spend at least one day a week in pub car parks and I will also make it the law that pub car parks will have to have lids.


Speeding is part of the joy of being on the road, somehow with my licence still intact.

Obviously I only ever go above the speed limit in extreme emergencies like if I'm being chased by a crazed lunatic or if I have a souffle in the oven that needs flipping or whatever it is you do to souffles.

Anyhow, the government came up trumps 6 years ago with this little beauty. I can't for the life of me understand why it didn't make it. Cutting the fuel supply to your car while you are driving sounds like a really safe and useful idea. Bless them.

In order to top their totally fruitcake crazy-loony-bonkers brainwave that in true Tomorrow's World style, didn't quite make the grade, they've come up with this thing now.
I expect we will all be made to wear this black box thing on our heads and may suffer electric shocks evertime we go over 20mph. Or something. Nothing will surprise me.

Related articles:
Anti-speeding car - girls approve (apparently)
Bloody hell, it's everywhere...

sign the petition

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

drugs are dangerous..

watch and grin :)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

sod's law

I am in Lidl when I feel the urge.

Lidl is a great shop because it sells cheese pasties and Pretend-Baileys and horse blankets (not that I know anyone in the middle of the city who has a horse to put a blanket on, but you never know when you might need one*).

I buy a guide to Amsterdam and some aubergines and clench my buttocks and rush out.

As far as I know, there aren’t public toilets in Lidl, unless you are supposed to ask a member of staff, but I don’t want to because they might announce it over the tannoy and then everyone will know that I need a poo.
I quite like talking about poo, but I don’t want a shop full of strangers to know when I am about to go.

Tesco has customer toilets and so does Asda (although in Asda they are always miles away from the doors) and it seems that Lidl doesn't, but then again, you can't buy horse blankets from Tesco so I suppose you can't have everything.

My face reddens with the strain and I waddle to my car.

I speed off like the stunt driver in Cagney and Lacey, leaping over speed humps and screeching around a roundabout hoping the traffic lights will be green. Obviously they are not.
Hunching over the steering wheel, I wait anxiously. They seem to take a very, very long time.

Murphy’s Law states that if something can go wrong, it will (or something like that).
The myth is that he dropped a whole load of cats with buttered toast strapped to their backs from a great height to see which would come out worst, the cat or the toast.

Clearly that is a load of bollocks, because the RSPCA would have got wind of it and sentenced him to a 2 month suspended sentence or community service.
I suspect he might actually have been stuck on the motorway about ½ mile back from an accident, bowels in spasm and his mother-in-law sat next to him when he became enlightened.

Anyway, the lights change and I get through them without soiling myself.
Murphy was wrong this time; nothing has gone wrong and my house is just ahead AND there is a parking space right outside.
I giggle hysterically and sprint up the stairs to the door to my flat, getting my key ready as I run.

The key goes half way in and gets stuck.

I freeze.

"...#*@??", I say, not very calmly.

My bowels go into labour.

Powered by fear I jiggle the key as hard as I can. I operate my life on the somewhat lazy theory that most things can be fixed with a hammer or by begging. Hammerless, I beg.

It won’t come out.

It won’t come out and it won’t go in.

It won't come out and it won't go in and more importantly, it won't turn.

I check my keys in case I’ve used the wrong one.

I haven’t. It’s the right key but IT DOESN’T BLOODY WORK AND I NEED A POO.

Sweat running down my face, hallucinating slightly, voice and hands shaking, I ring my landlord…

*If I ever need a horse blanket I will report back.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sunday Game

Time to kill?
Do as I do. Throw pickaxes. Grow a beard.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

coming of age

Imp said in her comment on my post 'finger';

As the unicycle was a present from me for fts last birthday, and another is looming, anyone got any good suggestions for this year? All suggestions considered!

This year my birthday will be an important one. It will be the birthday after the birthday after the birthday after the birthday after my 30th.
Clearly some planning is needed. This is your chance to be involved at minimum expense to yourselves.

What should Imp do for FTs birthday?
Sell her possessions to get FT that once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Antarctic.
Keep it simple. Meal and a pint.
She peaked too early with the unicycle. Get FT a pair of socks.
Free polls from

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


This man is called Jock Stirrup.