Sunday, December 31, 2006

O Mouldy Year, Give Up Your Cheer

The only way to spend New Year's Eve is either quietly with friends or in a brothel. Otherwise when the evening ends and people pair off, someone is bound to be left in tears. *

So that's where I've been going wrong.

*Auden, W. H.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Party's Over

It's taken KJ & I a week to clear up after the party. It's amazing where you can find M&Ms. Admittedly, we kept stopping for tea, biscuits and a good chinwag, occasional cheroot, and lots of fiery brussel sprout biriani which made the spacehopper racing in the long gallery go with extra umpff.

We found a number of items which weren't there before the guests arrived. I would return them to their rightful owners personally but in many cases I simply cannot imagine to whom they belong. I have piled them all up beside the pool. Please pop in and collect anything you may recognise. Take a mince pie. Frankly, I'm sick of the sight of them, even with the extra thick Courvoisier cream. I'll understand if you choose to pop in under the cover of darkness but would be delighted to share a mid-festive mulled wine in the 12-seater hot tub while we try to remember just who it was that built a perfect replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the garden with nothing more than some empty beer cans and silly string. I've had it varnished, sprinkled it with icing sugar and will be using a picture of Jack, Darius the Cat and I smiling beside it on next year's Christmas Card.

Lost Items:

The complete Beano collection 1967-1984; a glass eye; 3 partial sets of dentures ( they don't match), a surgical back brace Size 44; one beautiful open-toed gold sequinned stilletto shoe Size 14; nose-clippers; an evening bag containing nothing more than a Dior lipstick and pair of lacy knickers ( actually, I think that might be mine); a child's dummy, smelling of creme de menthe; laboratory safety goggles; the ubiquitous stick-on bra; a gentleman's catheter bag, unused ( there were a couple of used ones too but I disposed of them appropriately - my gazanias look fabulous); a monogrammed whip ( To HP from your faithful servant T); a half-knitted ra-ra skirt; a box of chalk; an ice-hockey mask; a set of printed instructions ( How To Make Your Member Be Remembered - Organically); a monkey wrench; an HSBC Membership Card ( Horny Sperm Bank Contributor); a dog-collar ( inscribed My Other One's A Cravat) and car keys ( the fob says VS).

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Cherry Missed Mass

but she rather enjoyed playing with her new rubber toy.

NB. I couldn't work out how to straighten up this video but it's only a few seconds long so you shouldn't hurt your neck in that time.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ding-Dong-a-Long Night

It's Christmas party time at 9 Blogworld Road. Everyone is invited. Help yourself to canapes. There are sloe gin and champagne cocktails, vodka jellies and I've had the pool drained, filled with crushed ice and thrown in some bottles of Hobgoblin just for Seany and Del. There are freshly squeezed fruit juices and mineral water for those that prefer to keep a clear head to blackmail the rest of us in the morning.

The DJ has strict instructions to play only funky tunes with absolutely no sleigh bells, Slade or Sade with a heavy emphasis on Blondie, Bowie and Bananarama. He's happy to take your requests but remember he works for me so will report anybody requesting Celine Dion, Black Lace or G4 who will be promptly but politely asked to leave.

There are presents under the tree for everyone. Melora, your's is the family favourite Mousetrap game. Mark, I got you a lovely Wash & Go gift set. Joyce ( you look divine, darling, and you made it yourself from some old curtains and a packet of M&Ms?) & Brian, have you guessed what it is yet? Casters for your sofa, of course. Jocelyn, I'm sure you'll appreciate the Party Feet gel pads so you can dance til dawn in your magical Tarty sandals ( you must tell me where you got those before you go). Give my love to your brother, won't you?

Cream, will you stop trying to peak into the kitchen to see which caterers I brought in, please? I've made it all myself ( ok, so I bought the dainty little pastry cases from Sainsbury's, bargain 12 for 99p, but it was me that filled them with smoked salmon, caviar and prawns) Here, go enjoy your box of Alpini.

Mike, I really thought long and hard about your gift. It strikes me you have everything you need and want for nothing so go over there, onto the decking. See that Fender Stratocaster, the 1965 Sunburst. If you can play a tune on it that the rest of us can dance to, it's yours.

Pete, you've already bought yourself everything I could think of and I knew you wouldn't thank me for depriving you of weeks spent researching, comparing and considering your next toy ( although Diane might) so will you and your parents just go through that curtain. You'll step straight into South America, your Dad won't need to stay up all night worrying about the journey, your Mum won't have to make any awful Travel Insurance declarations and the sun will do you all good. Hurry. Natasha Kaplinsky is waiting to tango with you.

Digi, do come through for dinner. I made lamb shanks especially.

Isn't the mural that Andrea painted on the ballroom wall wonderful, everybody? She did it in half a day. She's a genius. My friends at the Royal Academy agree and have asked me to pass on this Fellowship to her. Do take it, dear.

CeCe, still dancing and almost 9 months gone. Here, let me mind your daughter while you and Armondo sneak into my 'playroom' for a bit. I think you'll like the swing. Tom and Pamela might still be in there so it's best to knock. No, Vicus, that bowl is for Ces. Please put your keys back in your pocket. It's not that type of party. There are children present. Relax. The Special Branch are outside and I made sure the plans were kept from Charles and Camilla so you won't be disturbed. It's much warmer here than in draughty old Windsor anyway.

Richard, it's lovely to see you. Yes, Sharon's here already. I managed to rescue the chocolate liquers before she ate the whole tray, you know how they can affect her. Boo, let me help you with that box. I can't wait to let the hedgehogs go in the walled garden.

HE, I'm coming to dance just as soon as I've given Kate her Dragon voice-recognition software. Her poor fingers must ache so, especially after her little accident a few weeks ago, she's so prolific. Has anyone seen St. Jude? She moved in the summer and hasn't been seen since. I do hope she makes it. I was going to introduce her to Krusty, only I'm not sure if he's got here yet? The other Cheeky Girl will be disappointed if he doesn't turn up.

CJ, there's chance for everybody in the playroom, don't fret.

Aah. Fronty. Guess what I found. A box of the complete Humbrol colour palette. The Receivers were going to throw it out with the garbage but I managed to rescue it for you. Oh, stop gushing. It was nothing, really.

Beki. Now I know anchovy paste and nipple tassels does seem to be an odd combination for a present but choose an evening when you know you won't be disturbed, draw the drapes and I promise you and your kittens will have the time of your lives, just don't let the older cats with the really sharp claws in the room unless you've got a packet of sticking plasters handy.

Anna, I found these old choral scores while I was clearing out my old music stool. Are they any good to you? Carmentza, meet WW. He's lovely and now he's got the complete home shelving organiser kit from Betterware, you'll be able to get through his front door without tripping.

Keshi, I know it just looks like a big stick, but I think you're going to need it to beat off all the boys I saw following you down the road. KJ, you divine thing. Pull a chair up by the fire and I'll be over once I've introduced Seany's Lovely Little Sis to the Other Cherry's husband. He's a Headmaster, you know.

The dartboard is for you, Kyk. I customised it with a picture of all the lawyers you've ever known. Go, enjoy. Mise will play with you. Ziggi, would you mind helping me in the study for a moment? Right, now I've got you on your own, you're going to have to help me lace up these boots. I can get up to the back of my knee on my own but I fear I'll put a disc out if I try to get any further. Oh, and would you mind doing the same with the corset. Oooosh! My! That feels tight. Fabulous. Now I can take this smock off and really start to enjoy the party.

Yoo Hoo! Alice. Over here. What a clever outfit. Who would have thought it was just knit one, purl together. Do say 'hello' to Ian. He's a cartoonist from Down Under. He's very handsome, isn't he. Ian, feel free to use the downstairs cloakroom to wash the chalk off your hands before you sit on the cream furniture.

Who's the angel in the tutu, you ask? That's Jack, my son. Some of his team mates got a bit carried away at the college party last night. It was all just high jinks. The doctor's assured me that regular applications of Sudocrem should have him walking normally again in no time. Thank goodness I opted for the Corsican Pine Christmas tree, such soft needles and no drop otherwise it might have been a different story.

Dave, I'm so glad you made it after the carol service. You didn't bring Mavis? I wore these boots in anticipation of doing the can-can with her later. Still, I hope you like the home lapidary set. Start it going tomorrow and it's guaranteed to turn out a stone that wouldn't look out of place in a Tiffany setting by 28 Dec, not that you'll be needing it so fast but I know how you like to be prepared.

Lee's sent a letter everyone. I've pinned it to the sidebar so you can all take a peek. Who's that sitting in the corner on their own? Andy, why, come join the party. They're all really nice people and they will adore you, I promise. There's no need to be shy.

Carlz and Marjory, don't worry. Sensei might not be available any longer but he's bringing along the rest of his regiment. Us single girls will not be short of eye candy. They may even give us a marshall arts demonstration if we are really lucky. No, Dave, I don't think you ought to join in, not with your back if you are serious about playing cricket again next summer.

And finally, Caroline and Menchie, my new neighbours. I'm sorry I haven't had time to drop an invitation through everyone's post box yet. I'll try to get round them all before the New Year, but if you see any of them in the meantime, would you tell them they are welcome to drop by any time and I'll set a special place up especially for them.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Potentially Prodigal

I realise I have been conspicuous in my absence. I wish I could say that I had also been promiscuous in it but somethings never change. The same karmic energies which ensured that my virtue remained in tact with the aid of a delayed text message a few months ago have subsequently enlisted the support of a seized engine ( his, not mine), two cold sores ( his again) and a cancelled office party ( his wife's).

Confident in the knowledge that an illicit affair is not meant to be, I am having no hesitation in conducting a virtual one, mainly in my own head ( which is where I've had some of my best relationships). I get all the thrills of anticipation and male attention, indulge in profuse preening ( or should that be pruning? I occasionally take advantage of the cold, dark opaque tight-wearing days and let my leg-shaving lapse a bit), lay in luxuriously high weave-count cotton sheets without any of the worry of wet patches. Perfect!

The only downside is that I still have to suffer flipping stomach cramps every month without any relief. Forget paracetamol, feminax, hot water bottles or chocolate. The only effective method of making period pains bearable, maybe even welcome, is the joy of knowing you're not pregnant. After almost 5 years ( not counting Bank Holiday '05 as I'd like to forget it even if I could remember it), the anaesthetic is starting to wear off.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"Strong Winds Slow Down"

The local traffic department may be proud of their congestion-busting management of the major roadworks taking place in and around Hull but the overhead signal flashing above the A63 as I left work this evening suggests they have an unrealistic impression of just how far their influence can reach.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Hedonistic Appetites

I did my bit for diplomatic relations and ventured out with the staff from our Hedon office for their annual night out. I took the precaution of driving so as not to get too carried away on their heady influence. They don't get to see the bright lights of a city ( the rumour that they still have a municipal lamplighter is unfounded - in fact very few streetlamps, gas or otherwise, can be found anywhere within a 5 mile radius, certainly not enough to justify a salaried post) very often and I can only imagine that a similar outing many years ago, subsidised by the company's first credit card is the true root of the modern-day meaning of 'hedonism'.

It was my first visit to a casino, if you discount the time we stumbled into one on Park Lane after dancing at Stringfellows* and extortionate G&Ts in the Ritz rooftop bar to celebrate my 30th birthday where I managed to lose 20 quid on the first spin of the roulette wheel and slept in a corner until the others had emptied their pockets. I'd reluctantly agreed to go upon assurances that the food was good. It was. I wish I could say the same about the service.

There were dozens of staff, not simply waiting but scurrying about in an organised, well-drilled fashion, smart, attentive and to my trained eye, completely competent. I was horrified then, when I recognised the waitress making her way towards our table as the former manageress of a local eaterie. The one I boycotted after she casually asked, whilst fixing me the wrong sandwich despite the third time of telling, when I was about to pop, compounding the error upon receiving the explanation that I was in fact fat rather than pregnant, not by apologising and citing congenital convex corneas for her gross faux pas, but jovially pointing out that if ( not when, further suggesting the unlikely event that anyone would ever want to sleep with me) I got pregnant, I'd be able to hide it well and there'd be plenty of room for baby.

I gritted my teeth and pretended I hadn't noticed her. I'm not sure I hid it well, as she dropped 2 bread rolls and knocked a fellow diner's cutlery to the floor as she arrived at our table. I rather enjoyed that. She remained silent throughout the service and I had almost forgotten her until it came time to clear the plates. I'd had lamb shank. I'd enjoyed it and had stopped just short of licking the plate clean, a fact which clearly did not go unnoticed.

" Could you not manage the bone, love? Sure, I'll bring you some more gravy if it would help. I can tell you're a woman who likes her food."

I fixed her a steely smile and with a practiced flick of my Braun Stylesmoothed hair, I turned my back to her. She had to reach around my ample girth to collect my plate. I smiled again when she dropped the knife. I didn't leave a tip.

* it was a Charity Do, we were not there through choice

Thursday, December 07, 2006

On the Seventh Day

God rested proving conclusively that God was/is a man. Were it otherwise, God would have been far too busy making sure the firmaments which were above the sea looked good from every angle, tweaking the power of the sun and the moon to create mood lighting, selecting the best of the fish and beasts and preparing them in a tangy marinade of plants yielding seed and fruit from trees for supper, ironing a tablecloth and making a pretty floral centrepiece for the table with some supermarket-bought roses and a couple of sprigs of holly clipped from the neighbour's bush and running the hoover around Africa to pick all the sand that he'd trailed in along with the shopping.

Of course, God wasn't a single parent* at this stage so he didn't have to hold down a second job in order to provide presents for the Christmas table. Christmas had not been invented by this time, but that's beside the point. He didn't have to attend Parents Evening on his own every year, sit through numerous Carol Concerts, wear a silly hat and pretend to enjoy the works' party whilst avoiding Frank from Accounts, or invite his mother and step-father round for drinks before they departed for a month in Spain.

Leg-shaving, eyebrow-plucking, toenail-painting, hair-colouring and lipliner were things he never worried about other than to spend some of his idle resting time thinking up ever more ridiculous characteristics for his nucleic Eve idea.

And if that doesn't convince you that God was a man, who else would have come up with the idea of breasts?

* The CSA might have bought the omnipresent argument but to me, he was an absent father.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

On the Sixth Day

I did what any liberated girl, presented with a complete dearth of gifts from her True Love would do. I bought one for myself. Tickets for a Paolo Nuttini gig.
It was only as the transaction completed did I consider the date. 21 April. The eve of the London Marathon. Now how am I going to tell Darbster I can't run with him after all?
PS. Thanks to Seany for the new clock. I love it x
And just for Menchie

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

On the Fifth Day

I got 5 Cold Calls.

My mobile phone may be an obsolete model but I like its art deco styling, besides I've only just worked out how to use it so I certainly don't want a free upgrade with 450 minutes and 2250 texts, camera, radio, body fat counter and digital tape measure for the knockdown price of Fifty Quid a month. My ten pound top-up voucher lasts me almost 6 weeks.

My house is already fully double-glazed, with a perfectly good fitted kitchen, power shower and conservatory. I could do with some plaster boards for the garage, and perhaps a lorry full of silicone sealant but the gentleman didn't seem keen to offer me that on a buy half, get the rest done free on a buy now, pay later at 33% compound APR basis.

A holiday in Florida would be wonderful but I don't recall ever entering the competition I had purportedly won. It would be nice to have somebody else making all the travel arrangements, as Brad, the Marketing Director, offered to do if I would just give him all my credit card details so he could confirm my flights without having to bother me but I've already used up this year's annual leave entitlement and have to save enough next year to fit in Budapest, Florence and a short break somewhere with an exotic young chap from a neighbouring county.

I subscribe to Gardeners World, BBC History and Delicious magazine, buy a Sunday paper every week that takes me the next 5 days to get through, receive regular publications from the National Trust, English Heritage, the RSPB, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, British Conservancy Trust Volunteers, Cruse, Tesco Food/Wine Club and the Annual Screw-Fix catalogue, actually addressed to the previous occupant and not the least bit as interesting for a single girl who might want to get nailed as the title might at first suggest and have enough books to last me through the next 3 months of long dark nights. I do not need a WatchTower.

My life might well be enhanced by a handy plastic tool that clips easily onto a worksurface without the need for any permanent fixing and de-lints my cooker-hood/brussel sprouts/ tongue with 3 simple twists of the interchangeable colour-coded extendable ends but I already have more than enough crap, thanks largely to Marko who brought me a lovely little terracotta patterned butter mould set to accompany the jam funnel and electric pineapple corer last weekend. The lady from Kleenaware or Bettereze or whatever it's called was lucky to get her unsolicited catalogue of crapola back, surely she couldn't have expected a polite but firm rejection too.

On the Fourth Day...

of the Month I cared not whether my True Love should choose this day to come a-calling, birds or no, but rather headed out to the Comedy Club. One Regular lingered to chat over the interval, both of them, a little longer than necessary. Ordinarily, I'd be flattered and possibly faintly excited. He's single, has one head, of the correct shape, with all the usual bits in all the right places and a rather impressive home in a very desirable location complete with a home cinema with posh external staircase. Unfortunately, I know all this because I am well-acquainted with his ex-wife ( he doesn't realise this) so also have a passing knowledge of his divorce petition.

I came home alone and admired my new feather-trimmed cushion.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

On the Third Day of...

...December! the sun shone brightly, a perfect day to stroll along the windswept dunes, arm in arm with my True Love and about 8500 other folk drawn by the annual spectacle of the seals. Not knowing Who my True Love is, nor where he lives, his phone number etc., I was unable to stalk call him so I rang my Ex-MightHaveBeenLoveButTurnedOutJustToBeHabit to drive over and entertain me instead. ( That's another bad habit that I really ought to think about quitting).

He had a hangover. I didn't. I wanted to do something energetic and outdoorsy. He didn't. We settled on Lincoln which was empty, the entire population having departed for the coast. I can tolerate shopping in those conditions.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

On the Second Day of...

Advent* my True Love, had he bothered to show up, could have admired my new sheets. From the inside.

You could also have admired them from afar if the handy little toolbar at the top of the editing box hadn't chosen this evening to make itself scarce too.

Never ever being able to share my bed, under any circumstances seems to be Fate's idea of a joke.

*The Webmaster is pleased to receive all comments and will modify the content where to do otherwise may cause offence to priests**, pedants or Peter Postlethwaite.

** And I think technically a Priest is Catholic but I liked the alliteration.

On the First Day of Christmas...

... my True Love didn't show up for the blind date but sent along a Pete Postlethwaite lookalike in his stead. He looked and sounded like him, even worked as a miner once but didn't have the charisma, talent or a job. He tried to hold my hand, persuade me to invite him back to mine for wine and whatever, bundle me into his car when I was parked only a few yards away and snog me on the street. I suspect he also attempted to follow me home but I took the precaution of going straight to Darbsters where I remained in the sanctuary of his sofa for the next 2 hours, my mobile phone switched off.
I'm not sure Pretender Pete liked me so much as simply couldn't resist the lure of the new specs.
In other news, my garage ceiling fell in.
This is Cherrypie, in hiding, decidedly Brassed Off.