Monday, July 31, 2006

A Long ( sorry) Holiday Saga

With August rapidly approaching, thoughts often turn to holidays, mine included. I haven't got any trips planned, even if I had anyone to travel with, but I'm really not very good at holidays.

We went on a gypsy holiday once. It coulda shoulda been a leisurely, tranquil jaunt around Norfolk in an old-fashioned horse-drawn caravan. On the first night, one of the horses died!

When I was 10, we loaded up our car and headed over to Brittany for a camping holiday with my Mum's bestfriend ( she was related too, Matron of Honour at their wedding). We had a great holiday, lots of beaches, crepes, good family fun. On the last night of the holiday, my Mum discovered my Dad's affair with this woman, who was forever to become known as WonderPig and we all travelled back seperately, in silence, broken only by the occasional sob.

My first ( and only) "grown-up" holiday, with a boyfriend was to Ambleside in the Lakes when I was 17. It rained all week, Nigel refused to get out of the car, save for one occasion at the top of a hill where he was immediately chased by a ram, and refused point blank to walk anywhere other than to the chip shop and back for the rest of the miserable week. He wouldn't go out at night either. The bed was one of those strange types that fold down from the wall and I refused to allow any movement on it in case it sprung back and squashed us flat against the wall. We split up after that.

I had my first Mediterranean trip with 2 girls from school in the early 90s. One of them, Psycho Sarah, had earache as soon as we arrived and we all suffered it for the first night. On the second night, fully recovered, she proceeded to live up to her well-deserved nickname ( which I had foolishly overlooked when booking) and succeeded in breaking my nose, giving me two black eyes and smashing one of my front teeth. I flew straight back from Nerja the next morning and sued her.

In 2000,Jack, Mrs. Roger and I headed to Kefalonia for a friend's wedding. Within minutes of reaching our destination ( Lixouri, I thoroughly recommend it), she had trodden on a sea-urchin and I spent the rest of the fortnight trying to prize evil black spines from her throbbing foot.

Undeterred, the three of us headed to Crete the following year. We hired a car as soon as we arrived, with me as the designated driver, my only stipulation being that I would not drive at night - not through fear or apprehension, but rather to avoid Mrs Roger seeking out evermore remote restaurants that she had read about, getting drunk and then demanding the wine bill be split 3 ways.

Our first destination was a beach about half an hour down the road. We sensibly set off back at 7ish, sun still blazing, clad only in a bikini and a sarong, sporting my prescription sunglasses. I chose the scenic route, along the mountainous coast road. As we climbed higher, the sun started to set. Before long we were negotiating hair pin bends picked out in the faint glow from our cheap Fiat Panda. My passengers were remarkably calm as I reassured them that " It's ok. I can make out shapes". We all relaxed as we finally hit the main road, the petrol gauge hovering over the fumes level, only to be detoured back into the mountains at the next junction due to an accident further ahead. It took the rest of the holiday to extract my fingernails from the steering wheel.

On the last night, with hands finally unclenching, we arrived back at the apartment from a day trip to Santorini, where we'd marvelled at the spectacular caldera and the fact that a Greek ferry should be playing the entire Pink Floyd's 'The Wall', to be met with our bags thrown out in reception and a very angry manager demanding compensation. We should have been out that morning. We'd miscalculated. I played the good cop with my limited " Signomi. Den ksero" while Mrs Roger, slightly squiffy from the cheap wine and highly inappropriate flirtation with the cabin stewards, demanded to know what had happened to the cheap bottle of wine we'd left in the fridge. We can laugh about it now. Even the bit where Mrs Roger flew back into a drizzly and cold October Manchester still wearing her bikini and sarong.

Just when you'd think it couldn't get any worse, I found myself in another villa overlooking the Andalucian coast the following year, again with Jack & Mrs Roger, accompanied for part of the time by a relative stranger who I had met on a bike ride some weeks earlier ( I'm a friendly and trusting girl), who promptly managed to lose the car keys in the sea on his first dip, miss dinner whilst watching Sky Sport, walk past wonderful beachside restaurants to get to MacDonalds across the road and generally strain relations to the point where upon his departure an unholy row erupted between Mrs Roger & I, which could easily have signalled the end of our friendship.

Mrs. Roger resorted to meeting and marrying the wonderful Roger and now enjoys accompanying on his gigs to the Far East and much of Europe, Jack elected to travelling to other continents with his mates, and I became a blogger.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

There are some questions better left unanswered.

You Are Miss Piggy

A total princess and diva, you're totally in charge - even if people don't know it.You want to be loved, adored, and worshiped. And you won't settle for anything less.You're going to be a total star, and you won't let any of the "little people" get in your way.Just remember, piggy, never eat more than you can lift!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

That Thursday Feeling

I was never a girlie little girl, not one for dolls or that nonsense. My sister, Kathryn made up for the both of us on that score, being the proud owner of the COMPLETE Sindy range, including an ex-display Southfork-sized Sindy house which still takes up one of my Dad's attic rooms. There's probably a sweet tableau being played out there to this day between any ( or all) of Kathryn's 6 Sindy dolls and an Action Man that I'd often sneak in to titivate things up a bit.

I was a very young subscriber to Twinkle magazine though. Twinkle was a children's comic which came out in the 70s. It always had a cut-out doll on the back page which you could dress with little outfits held on by fold-down tabs. Kathryn would carefully cut hers out and paste them onto cardboard covered in sticky-back plastic (yes! we were the envy of all our friends having our very own roll of the much-coveted stuff) whilst I would invariably try to tear them out and end up crying as the whole lot was thrown away.

I soon grew out of Twinkle, or maybe Mum thought it would be less traumatic for Kathryn, who to this day is very neat and arty-crafty, and progressed to a brand new girls' magazine, which I think was called something like " My Girl". I remember the very first issue came with a free lipstick and I thought it was the coolest most grown-up thing I had ever owned.

By early teens, the ONLY thing to be seen reading was Jackie, and later, Just17. They always arrived just before I had to leave to catch the school bus and I'd spend all day eagerly awaiting the time when I could run all the way down Tee Lane, just in time to watch the Colgate Blue Minty Gel commercial which was always shown at 3.50pm, you remember the one to the Baggy Trousers tune, and then spend the rest of the evening reading the problem page, checking my zits, and lusting after the boys in the Blue Minty Gel advert photo stories.

I also had a subscription to Smash Hits magazine for a time, although I think this must have been at Junior School. I can't imagine I'd have been very popular at our Comp if I'd regularly herded up a bunch of kids and instructed them to sign the lyrics from the latest Kajagoogoo song, in the round!

All of these magazines came out on a Thursday. It has always been my favourite day of the week, purely because of this.

Tonight my current subscription magazine arrived at the same time as the RSPB quarterly issue. So I've got a double helping of Thursday Feeling. And it's still only Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Prodigal Peace Piercer

For 3 weeks I have lived a quiet, peaceful existence in a clean, tidy haven of serenity and calm. I've not had to go to Tesco once. Admittedly, this did involve some careful planning to ensure I visited friends likely to offer me supper on the rare nights that I wasn't attending a catered meeting. The laundry basket has been so empty as to barely justify turning on the machine more frequently than once every 10 days, and only then to give me something to do. I have returned home most* nights to find each room as gleamingly tidy and ordered as when I left it. Empty rooms have been unlit.

Today it was all shattered. I now sit amongst a plethora of wet towels festooning every surface save for the towel rail. My washing machine is spinning for the 8th consecutive time and threatens to overheat. I cannot cross a room without tripping over an assortment of trainers, flip-flops, aftershave boxes, kangaroo testicles and pilfered sign boards. Steam billows from the shower room, sticky puddles of gel are already oozing across the mantelpiece, the air heavy with the aroma of Givenchy for Men and transequatorial sweat. The cat is dizzy from being somersaulted around the room. There is barely an item in the fridge that hasn't been half-eaten. 2 cartons of juice lie empty and abandoned where they fell, not quite reaching the bin. My Bebel Gilberto CD has been silenced, drowned out by the strains of Fall Out Boy and AC/DC. The lovingly-pressed, riceflour-scented sheets of the carefully made bed lie twisted and buckled despite only having been sat upon and not yet slept in. A disembowelled hold-all is abandoned in the kitchen where it first came to rest. I can barely set foot outside the door for fear of being hit by a homing boomerang and lights blaze from every window.

And all this devastation in barely 2 hours.

Yep. Jack's back, at least he hung around long enough to create the chaos described above before heading out, in his new aussie shorts and accompanying aussie t-shirt, sporting a beard, bleached hair, the remains of a black eye and a deep caramel tan to catch up with his mates, tell them the unabridged tales of which I'd been treated to edited highlights all the way back from Newark, and share a bag or 2 of crocodile/ emu/ roo jerky.

Happy days are here again!

* I've slept out at least 5 nights

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pot Habit

I fear I'm becoming addicted to pot. I can't get enough of it, and not the cheap, weak stuff, but the proper heavy gear. It's already having a financial effect, 35 quid last night alone - a school night no less, it would have been more had it been a weekend. I know it's slowing me down, chilling me out and believed to be benign by many but the results are certainly going to have a profound effect for the rest of my life.

And it's surely the thin end of the wedge. I'm regularly doing over a dozen lines of cane a night already. Weed doesn't last 5 minutes and don't even get me started on the grass. 2 hours have just flown by on some canna biz.

I can't have a conversation without mentioning it somewhere. I'm constantly checking out what others have got and coveting their stash. I am distracted, my concentration is poor and all I want to do is get home, slip into something comfortable and lose myself in blissful oblivion.

I never thought I'd say this but, " My name is Cherry and I am a Gardener!"

Friday, July 14, 2006


Person to jump off bridge with me. Only genuine applicants need apply.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Why my son will never be a Blogger

Hi mum! i'm having a really gud time, I finally got rested up afta the tournament. I twistd my gud ankle and it was hurtin but now its fine, i had a slightly bruised eye socket lol. I always pick up the odd boot mark and grazed limb. Draculas* was really gud lots of gud song covers, n very cute dancers! I was sat on the table which weren't drinkin lots of booze infact ive only had 2 bottols wile i have been here! But the uva lads got a rite bolocking becoz some of them groped the waitresses lol

...som of the lads haved pickd up a bug, Me being 1 of them, i have a really sore throat and bad chest, findin it hard to tlk! Sydney is rava small compered 2 london! the sydney opera house luks like a piece of architectual genius! lol got extremely wet on the jet boat today aswel! 'interesting andy' is gettin on alot of peoples tits with his unintellegent snide remarks at every opotunity and his sarcasm WELL! I'm still being friendly with him don't worry! I haven't sent a postcard yet but i will go on a quest to find 1 4 u 2mora! can u email me peoples adresses please.
-grandad vic
-lisa kev
- auntie k
and any1 else u can think of.

pass on my love to grandma n grandad,fly, rosie and spesh DARIUS!

love u lots! miss u! xxxxxxxxxxxxx

In hindsight, perhaps that English Correspondence Course - by TXT - 1n't such gud valU afta'll!

By the way, did I mention he was Captain? ( leaves stage right with heaving bosom)

* a themed restaurant where the staff perform song and dance routines at regular intervals

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Summer in Scotland

Sorry, Gordon. I couldn't resist it xx

I thought I'd add an appropriate musical accompaniment, but it all sounded too bloody awful so have some of this classic Steeleye Span instead.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Over the Sea to Skye

I want to set the record straight on a few ethnophaulisms ( my favourite word for the day).

  • It is unfair to say that it always rains in Scotland. Sometimes it snows.

  • The place is not riven with midges. At least not when it is raining or windy. The midges only emerge when the weather improves to the point that you might actually want to spend some time outdoors.

  • Scotland has mile upon mile of beautiful open country, majestic mountains, deep, misty glens, romantic, brooding lochs, stretching as far as the eye can see, and not another person in sight. This is because they are all hiding indoors away from the midges.

  • The Scottish are not constantly moaning and bewailing their fate of 300 years ago. That is the sound of their bagpipes.

  • The Scots are the real masterminds behind global warming. They have correctly identified that their country would be a truly idyllic place if it were a few degrees warmer. They see it, each and every one of them, as their patriotic duty to let off as much hot air as possible about the English at every possible opportunity to hasten the melting of the polar icecaps. They take a very balanced approach to this - chips on both shoulders.

I need not fear offending our Northern cousins. They all have excellent, highly-developed senses of humour. They cost nothing, after all.

Actually, I enjoyed a lovely time with the Wee Quiet One last weekend. He took me on a whistle-stop tour of the most spectacular countryside. It was enough to have me grinning from ear to ear the whole time if it wasn't for the fact that the G-Force effect already had me in a permanent ricture. His beloved Saab isn't so much souped up as perfectly potaged.

The highlight was undoubtedly the 5 minke whales we watched feeding for an hour and half from within 10/15 feet. Awesome.

Gordy did let me take some pictures with his camera ( mine is currently accommpanying Jack Down Under) and had offered to email them onto me, until I took a perfectly composed shot of one of Scotland's most treasured castles. Through the windscreen of his car. The rain spattered windscreen. Well, it was equally as funny as Christiano Ronaldo's penalty to my mind.