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Mrs Lister’s Q & A

Happy Friday!  It’s a beautiful sunny day outside so I’m off to clean out the chickens: Lucy, my original Wyandotte (the only one who turned out to be female) and our new chook, Lily, who was a replacement for all the boys and who, incidentally, has started producing eggs finally! YAY!

In other news, my lovely friend Kerry reckons that you can tell whether someone’s either a knob or someone you could have a pint with from this simple Q&A session based on the questions in the Grauniad’s Weekend Magazine.  I do hope I don’t come out in the ‘knob’ category..

Which living person do you most admire, and why?

My sister in law, Laura.  She is kind, gentle, genuine, easy to talk to and has the most wickedly naughty sense of humour. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t love her to bits.  She manages to find the filthiest birthday cards of anyone I’ve ever met, too.

When were you happiest

Lying by the pool in Mexico watching my children messing in the pool, Mojito in hand and my hubby snoozing on the next sunbed.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

I used to work in a police control room.  I once farted on the night shift when everything was deadly quiet.  Mortified.

Aside from property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?

A Raymond Weil watch for my husband’s 40th (the family chipped in, but it was still the most expensive thing I’ve ever handed over money for).

What is your most treasured possession?

My children, if I’m allowed to call them possessions?  They are funny, independent, feisty, exasperating and wonderful, all at once.  Other than that, my engagement ring, which belonged to my husband’s grandmother.

Where would you like to live?

Wherever my family are, but given recent events, my ideal location would be the home counties.

What’s your favourite smell?

Just one? Never.  Lilies, fresh bread, green grass, chocolate cake, hot sand, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter, Johnson’s baby talc, Gorse and Bounty bars.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

You’d have to ask Liz.  There’s some actress that she reckons looks exactly like me. Can’t think of her name though…  Elizabeth someone?

What is your favourite book?

Changes all the time.  At the moment, I’d go… cookbook: ‘Cakes’ by Pam Corbin is sublime. Normal book?  Probably  ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ by Frances Mayes.

What is your most unappealing habit?

I’m rather shouty and excitable, I’m told.  When I was little, I began to wonder if my name was actually ‘shush’.

What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?

I have a choice? Good. I’ll stay at home. I hate parties.

What is your earliest memory?

Wearing a red dress with cherries embroidered on it

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Gin. In all its forms, but ultimately Sipsmith, with Schweppes slimline tonic, lots of ice and a slice of lemon.

What do you owe your parents?

I owe them everything: from my ability to spell and understand basic grammar, to my absolute lack of any kind of financial understanding to writing thank you letters and saying please and thank you.  Everything that make me, well, me.  Plus several thousand quid in loaned dosh over the years that I never paid back.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?

I’ve said my sorries (sorrys?) as I went along, but to my Mum, for being the most revolting teenager. To my Dad for answering back to practically everything he’s ever said to me.  To my husband for scratching the car then saying it wasn’t me.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My husband.

What does love feel like?

Warm sun on a Mexican poolside.

What was the best kiss of your life?

I don’t know about the best, but the most memorable was the kiss at our wedding blessing on our 15th anniversary. Surrounded by our family and friends – everyone clapped and cheered.  I felt like my heart was going to burst out of my chest, I was that happy.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

‘Ooh’.  I’m a terrible ‘ooh’er.  And ‘shit’.  I’ve an appalling potty mouth, too.

What is the worst job you’ve done?

How much time have you got?  I’ve been a secretary, an apprentice hairdresser (for about a week), worked in a shop, cooked in a pub, temped in about a million places…  Probably for sheer subject matter, and occasional horror, the worst was the police.  However, it was also the most exciting and fulfilling too.  Go figure.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?

My first marriage.  Idiotically young and criminally expensive for my poor parents. It didn’t last a year.

What is the closest you’ve come to death?

As far as I know I’ve always been very lucky – never even broken a bone.  Of course, I could have unwittingly just stepped aside as a fridge fell from a tall building behind me, or bent to pick up a coin just as a stray bullet whistled past my head… but I guess I’ll ever know.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Apart from having my children, which was hardly an ‘achievement’, I’d say this blog.  It has taken me to amazing places, brought me incredible opportunities and created life long friendships.  I’m very proud of it.

When did you last cry, and why?

Reading an email from my Mum when she said ‘no-one has ever, or ever will, criticise you while I stand!!  Go with your heart‘.  I blubbed like a girl.

How do you relax?

There’s generally gin involved… and cake.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

Having all my family in one place.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Don’t write it down.  If you’re angry or upset, don’t write it.  Talk to the person face to face.  The written word can come back to haunt you.

Tag you’re it!

I’d like to pass these questions on to my lovely cousin, Moon and the most gorgeous Eriiiica seeing as she tagged me recently and I didn’t do it *cough*.

Kreativ blogger award: Seven things you didn’t know about me

How thoughtful.  I just got this lovely award from both the lovely Rosie ‘I shook hands with Eric Clapton’ Scribble and Linda ‘I want to sit on Shane Richie’ Jones from You’ve Got Your Hands Full. In return I have to share seven lesser-known facts about myself for your delectation.

Obviously, because I’ve been blogging since the dawn of creation, and have a terribly bad habit of ‘oversharing’ my most toe-curlingly personal information, there’s probably very little you don’t know about me already.  But I’ll try to come up with something original.  Here goes:

  1. I am, very occasionally, prone to bouts of hysteria. These are generally prompted by my getting really cross (a very rare occurrence in itself) or a dangerous cocktail of hormones and a sudden realisation of The Unfairness Of It All. My hysterics are, by and large, kitchen-based. My men-folk, who are well used to my little outbursts by now, sit patiently, flicking ‘here she goes again’ glances at each other while I rant and rave and slam things about, and afterwards dish out tea/wine and sympathetic hugs.  The only person outside my family ever to witness one of my meltdowns is my bestest friend in the whole wide world, Jen, but it’s okay because I’m sure she never does impressions of me mid-rant *cough*.
  2. I was once sacked from my job as a letting agent for crashing my company car into a brick wall when I was supposed to be off sick in bed with the flu. As penance, I had to lie prone on my stomach for what seemed like hours as my poor, doting Hubby picked small shards of glass out of the backs of my legs with a pair of tweezers (I’d been wearing shorts and the windscreen had shattered).  Disclaimer: if you’re the owner of that wall, none of this is true.
  3. As a borderline social-phobic, I definitely have the potential to be one of life’s mad cat ladies. Had I not married and brought forth De Brevren, I could well have ended up drinking myself into a stupor in a stinky council house in Hemel Hempstead with a sticky kitchen floor, one armchair and a ‘family’ of seventeen moth-eaten moggies.
  4. I read really, really fast. I’m not sure if it’s skim-reading or what, but I can easily do a novel in one bathtime and an early night. My family are aware of this and keep me constantly in paperbacks, lest I run out of reading material and descend into hysteria (see point 1.)  After about three weeks, however, I have little or no recall of the plot which is quite handy as it means I can occasionally recycle my reading material.
  5. I have an enormous, unsightly and somewhat slug-like scar on my arm, the result of three or four really painful bouts of plastic surgery. All this pain and torment was self-inflicted to remove an ill-advised teenage tattoo that, with hindsight, probably wasn’t that bad in the first place. This was in the 1990s, prior to the discovery of today’s easy peasy ‘whip it off by laser’ techniques. My mother has so far resisted the urge to utter ‘I told you so’. It must be killing her.
  6. When I was at school in the fashion black hole that was the 1980s, I used to bleach my fringe white. My Disreputable Dad used to refer to it as ‘that blob of custard on your head’.
  7. I swear.  A lot.  And although this disgustingly bad habit is probably one of my less attractive traits, it’s a win/win situation for the kids as they probably get away with it more than most early-teens.  Well, I can hardly tell them off, can I?  ‘Stop f*cking swearing all the f*cking time you little sh*t’ kind of defeats the object.  My one rule is that they never, ever swear in company or in general conversation.  But the occasional ‘oh bollocks’ if they drop something on their foot tends to go overlooked.  Call me bohemian if you will.

And that’s it.  As I clutter up my fellow bloggers’ websites enough already, I shan’t be passing this tag/meme/challenge thing on, but should you wish to divulge something fascinating and/or shocking in the comments, it would be ridiculously entertaining.  Over to you, then.

Memory Monday: fabulous foodie memories

The lovely Jennifer, Lifestyle Editor of the Times Online and writer of The TimesOnline’s fabulous blog AlphaMummy has challenged me to reveal a deep, dark memory from my past.

Ooer.

Of course, most of my earliest memories are food-related: baking with my Mum in our shiny, lime green melamine kitchen (it’s probably come back into fashion now!): pushing the buttons on the Kenwood Chef, butterfly fairy cakes with fluffy buttercream icing, bubbly honeycomb (fabulous, fizzy magic!), real custard, the ginger biscuit and cream cake, whisking thick creamy batter for toad in the hole, fabulous frittata stuffed with sliced potatoes, crispy bacon and topped with golden, bubbling cheese…

I also remember spending happy hours helping her with the cricket teas: spreading butter (real butter, mind, none of that margarine stuff) on malt loaf and mashing up boiled eggs with salad cream for egg and cress sandwiches - being picked to take the orange squash out to the players on a hot day (what an honour!)….

It looks like I loved the kitchen so much I didn’t ever want to leave:

Sink girl

Happily, all my memories are pretty good.  So sorry, Jennifer, I haven’t got any really deep dark ones.  Unless, of course,  you count…

*That* jumpsuit

Working that handbag, though, girl.

A few of my favourite things…

So I finally got tagged in Tara Cain’s ‘favourite photo meme’.  I was beginning to feel  like Norma-no-mates as blogger after blogger got tagged (no, Tara, I’m not bitter…).  Finally, though, the fabulous, 51% Linda from Got Your Hands Full and the lovely Zoe over at Diary of a Surprise Mum took pity on me and  challenged me to publish my favourite photo…

And actually, I’ve cheated a bit as there are two.  The first is a picture of my firstborn, the wondrous Mad Professor, giving his beloved Grandad a piece of his mind, as usual.  I love the look on his face (it’s obviously a good story), and you can see that my Dad’s smiling as he’s listens to his Grandson waffling on.  Magical.

#1 and DD

Second up is my favourite photo of The Death Wish Child.  He’s on a very windy beach in Lanzarote.  I’m not sure why I love it so much, but I love his scrunched up little smile and his funky denim hat: 

#2 baby

And lastly, here’s my absolute favourite song.  Hubby has it on his laptop, my rockin’, Slipknot loving #1 has this on his phone, as does funky, Chipmunk loving son #2.  It’s a proper family favourite:

So now, I tag the lovely Liz at Living with Kids, and let’s open it up a little farther shall we?  To Coastal Aussie in the land of Vegemite.  Off you go, then…

Six unimportant things…

So this is a good one.  I got tagged by Jane at Foodzilla over in Michigan (I know!  I’m feeling all international and cosmopolitan now) to tell her six unimportant things that I love.  Actually, this is more difficult than it seems as every time I thought of something it occurred to me that it really was quite important after all.  Still, I managed, so here goes:

1.  My doggit.  Yeh, okay, so he’s just a dog.  Most Irish people think we’re mental for a) having a ‘working’ dog as a pet and b) having him living in the house!  But he’s the softest, silliest, and most adoring fella you could ask for.  He’s immaculately clean in the house (even after a marathon 8 hour shopping trip to the north – bladder of an elephant, that one), incredibly gentle and sweet natured and he just loves us all to bits (slightly annoying having a lanky, furry lesion attached to your leg at all times but hey).  Okay so retired greyhounds are ten a penny, but still, we love him.

Bertie

2.  My garden hearts: Hubby’s a man of few words, but he does occasionally surprise me with a nice little gesture when he’s mowing one of the lawns.  I love looking out of a window and finding this:

Heart

Sometimes it’s not all about words.

3.  Great ingredients.  I love using  real butter, free-range eggs and lovely fresh, Irish produce.  There’s a great fruit & veg wholesaler local to us and I’ll often be found there picking up tons of great quality fresh stuff (they do local duck eggs too) and planning menus in my head.  The great butcher at Sheelin has a little white-board up where he writes ‘this week’s lambs came from…’ and the name of the local producer.  His meat is amazing.  Unimportant, but it makes me happy.

4.  Forward planning.  I’m a bit obsessive about stuff, and nothing makes me happier than having something to look forward to.  Obviously our forthcoming wedding blessing is occupying a lot of my time at the moment, and a swift search of English Towers will see me ensconsed with my notebook and a couple of magazines, daydreaming and planning about table flowers, menus, dresses… you name it.

5.  My garden.  I’m a novice gardener and kill as many things as I nurture, but I’m really enjoying learning all about it and our dinner yesterday featured home-grown new potatoes and baby carrots, which I served up with a certain amount of pride.

Fennel, chives and thyme

6.  Our little community.  It’s only when I hear people talk about ‘school runs’ and Tesco delivery that I realise quite how rural we really are.  There is no school gate ‘Mommy mafia’ at the little school here, as the children that aren’t within walking distance are all picked up and dropped off by bus, such is the huge rural catchment.  Tesco probably hasn’t even heard of us, let alone decided to deliver here to the arse end of nowhere, and shopping is a half-day challenge.  Still, bimbling down the boat road with Bert yesterday, the scent of the honeysuckle so heavy you feel it could pick you up and float you away, and stopping and chatting to the lovely lady with the new baby, I couldn’t have been happier. 

Small things, but often they mean just as much as the heavy stuff.  I’m off to visit the folks for a while (and have a speedboat trip booked in London!  Thanks Ma!), but while I’m gone, how about you, then?  Six unimportant things that you love…

It’s all me me me – again!

Pic (c) ScrummyCupcake

I’ve been tagged by two of my fellow Disney 7 girlies: Alice at Dulwich Divorcée and lovely Linda.  And as usual, I can’t fight this compulsion to tell people random stuff about myself, sorry:

1. What are your current obsessions?   Testing things.  I have notebooks everywhere.  I’m currently testing Elave handwash and Fairy Non Bio Gel, as well as about ten different moisturisers and five foundations.  It’s all in the name of consumer research.  Oh, and chickens!  My lovely friend Toria has just adopted two ex-battery hens (shown here with Blueness, the greyhound) which has made me ten times worse.  I’m driving Hubby absolutely mental with my constant badgering (he loves his lawn and thinks Tesco Free Range are a much cheaper option) but I’ll talk him round – watch this space!  Oh,

2. Which item from your wardrobe do you wear most often?  Jeans, jeans and more jeans.  My absolute faves, the Citizens of Humanity skinny jeans that I bought over in the UK last year (obviously shopping while on holiday doesn’t really count) barely get a chance to dry before they’re back on: turned up for (rare) sunny days and with wellies for the boat road and the garden.  I heart them.

3. What was your favourite childhood meal? What, I have to name just one?  My Mum’s party food at Christmas (that amazing cake made from ginger biscuits soaked in booze, then covered in cream – phwoar!), or my Mum’s jam roly poly, or my Mum’s rice pudding, or my Mum’s roast dinners, or my Mum’s anything really.

4. Last thing you bought?  That would have to be 3 Hollister t-shirts, one for each of my fellas, something secret for my Mum, and some pretty pastel spatulas, a Mickey pancake ring and some rather lush Madagascar bourbon vanilla bean paste for me (and a pressie for Jen – don’t tell her).  All in The Mall With No End in Florida.  

5. What are you listening to? Two TVs competing with each other in an empty house at the moment, but I’m ashamed to say I have Katie Perry’s album in my car, and I like it ‘…the taste of her cherry chapstick…’.

6. If you were a god/goddess who would you be? Oh I don’t know.  The goddess of puddings, probably.  Her outfit would be a pink sparkly apron showing lots of cleavage, a chef’s hat, a pink whisk in one hand and a cupcake in the other.

7. Favourite holiday spots? Goa, St Lucia and Walt Disney World, obviously: The Grand Floridian is my spiritual home.

8. Reading right now?  ‘Devil Bones’ by Kathy Reichs.  I’m a sucker for some blood and guts.

9. Four words to describe yourself? Silly, smutty, optimistic and blonde.

10. Guilty pleasure?    How long have you got?  Pink champagne… a snooze in the afternoon… a cuddle… obsessive texting… a tootle down the boat road with Bert when I should be cleaning, oh and chocolate, obviously.

11. Who or what makes you laugh until you’re weak? The kids.  Hubby when he’s being very silly.  Jen – during our two hour ‘what did we actually talk about?’ phone chats, oh and the Disney 7.

12. Favourite thing to do? Lie in a huge bubble bath with a cup of tea and a fresh magazine.  Bliss.

13. Planning to travel to next? I’d love to say back to Disney ‘en famille’ but my bank manager might say different.  Home to visit the folks, probably.

14. Best thing you ate or drank lately? Pomegranate mojitos.  And the amazing food at Citricos at the Grand Floridian (more of this later!)

15. When did you last get tipsy? Saturday night – red wine with Hubby, then moving on to Morgan’s Spiced Rum chasers.  Ohhhhh dear.

16. Favourite ever film? Oh, I have loads.  ‘An Affair to Remember’ is probably my all-time favourite, although you can’t beat Pretty Woman – I’ve seen it a gazillion times, oh and Dirty Dancing… or what about Top Gun?  I’ll stop now.

17. Care to share some wisdom? ”Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city’, George Burns

18. Song you can’t get out of your head? A Whole New World (and not the Katie Price and Peter André version – the proper Disney one).

19. What one object would you save from a housefire? A child or two.  And maybe a lanky greyhound.  Sorry, I can’t choose.

20. What is your aim in life? Happiness.  And occasional bouts of laughing until you cry.

Over to you, then: answer one, answer them all.  Just tell me something I don’t know about you.  Go on, then.

Around the world in 80 clicks: Mum bloggers

Shove up, there's tons of room...

So there’s lots of Mum bloggers.  Here at home I’m a Mummy blogger, but to everyone else here in Ireland I’m a Mammy blogger and in the US I suppose I’d be a Mommy blogger.  Titles schmitles, we’re all linked by being some little yoke’s Ma at the end of the day.  So a Mom Blogger in Canada decided that she’d try to link her way around the world via us loons that have offspring and blog about it.  The basic premise is that you talk about five things you love about being a Mum, then pass it on to create a ‘hands across the globe’ type thing of all that’s good about being a Mum.  Irish Mammy tagged K8 the GR8 and K8 tagged me.  I, in turn, will tag someone else and so it will go on, hopefully right back round to Canada.

And yes, I suppose the things I love about being a Mum of kids well into double figures will be completely different than those of a baby mama, but hey, that’s what links us all together: we’re all bonded by the initial puke and insomnia, through to the ‘what?  No, of course you can’t have a tattoo’ stages of parenthood.  We’re all destined to travel the same path.  I love this about parenting.  Whatever stage you’re at and however different you are, there’s always going to be some point when you go ‘oh yeh, been there’.  Here goes then:

  1. Boy hugs.  I’m not completely sure as I don’t have a girl, but I think boy hugs are probably slightly different from girl hugs.  Boy hugs tend to be a bit hard and fierce, a bit ‘half nelson’ rather than soft and snuggly, but still I’m sure they mean as much.  As one’s children get older, you tend to get your affection in different ways.  For instance, I’ll get my hair ruffled while I’m sat at the computer (‘alright Smelly?’) and a child reaches past me to turn his amp on, or I’ll get shown a text that I probably shouldn’t see or told a joke I probably shouldn’t hear.  These little things mean I still belong, and I’m still ‘in the gang’ even though I don’t need to wipe stuff or do up buttons anymore.
     
  2. Mad conversations.  Who else can you have ‘if I was really fat’ conversations with, or chats about what would happen if everyone in the whole country suddenly woke up with Tourette’s (one of my favourites that -although you probably need to have seen ‘Deuce Bigalo, Male Gigolo’ in order to completely understand).  Teenage boys have an unceasing ability to go off on mad random tangents, and dinner time conversations are much richer for it.
     
  3. Pride.  Sometimes it’s the little things that make my heart swell.  Take yesterday when I’d escaped up to my room to do something or other and suddenly heard the most beautiful version of ‘I believe in a thing called love’  twirling whimsically around every step before reaching its tendrils out to me at the top of the stairs.  They might wallop out a mean version of Slipknot’s Psychosocial’ but the odd amazing tune still emanates from those Gibsons or Fender Strats or whatever it is they’re driving.
     
  4. Laughter.  #2 decided to spend some of the vast wads of cash he received from his incredibly generous grandparents (and us, obviously) on some swanky new trainers.  In the shop, he was trying them on and they seemed to fit, but the left toe of one shoe was a bit uncomfortable.  Removing his sock to examine the problem revealed a toe-nail of such epic proportions that Godzilla would have been mighty proud.  Reader, it was like a spade.  I only stopped laughing when I worried I’d maybe wee myself if I carried on.
     
  5. Sofa twister.  Yes, we’ve got lots of places to sit, but when there’s something good on the TV only the sofa dead opposite the telly will do.  That means Hubby and I sharing with two lanky and slightly smelly young men, three cups of tea, one hot chocolate (no, go on, guess), a family pack of Cadbury’s funsize, a large bowl of popcorn, a bag of various flavoured lollipops and a desperate-not-to-be-left-out 90lb greyhound.  It hurts, but it certainly brings a family together.

There you have it.  Now it’s your turn.  What are your favourite (or not so favourite) bits of being a parent? 

And for the purposes of the ‘around the world in 80 clicks’ experiment, I thought I’d spread it around Ireland a bit by asking Susan in Cavan, Isitjustme in Galway, and Natalie who started in South Africa and ended up in Dublin, then for a baby Mama perspective I’ll tag my new discovery, Little Mummy in Edinburgh and for some international flavour, lovely Cam in Richmond.  Here’s the rules from the originator:  

Here’s how it’s going to work:… I’m going to link to a couple of other mom bloggers here in Canada, and to a couple of mom bloggers from other countries around the world, and they’ll write their posts, sharing 5 things that they love (or maybe what they don’t so much love – this playground doesn’t force conformity) about being a mom, and then they’ll tag a few more bloggers from their own country and from other countries, and so on. And you’re more than welcome to join: just write a post of your own (5 things that you love about being a mom) and find someone to link to and tag – someone from your own country, if you like, but definitely someone from another country (Google is a good resource if you don’t know any; google any country name and ‘mom’ in their blog search function) (be sure to let them know that you’ve tagged them!) – and link back here and leave a comment and we’ll add you to the ‘itinerary,’ ….

The Jelly Monster’s ‘Things I Wish I Thunk Of’ challenge

So naughty Jelly Monster has tagged me with a liddle quizzy thingy, and as usual, out of the goodness of my heart, I’m going to share my highly intelligent answers with you, my loyal readership.

Movie:

Hmm, difficult one this.  Depends if we’re going on sheer monetary gain (and you can’t really count Harry Potter, because the book came first I suppose) or cleverness (Matrix) or whatever.  But I’d have to say I’d choose the classic ‘An Affair to Remember’.  What’s not to love about the whole ‘met the girl, lost the girl, supposed to meet at the top of the Empire State building but then she gets run over by a taxi’ type plot line.  It can’t have been that bad otherwise they wouldn’t have nicked it for Sleepless in Seattle now would they?

Song:

Seeing as we’re doing things that we wish we’d thought of, rather than our favourite ones, I’d have to go for Thriller.  Although I’m not (and never have been) the biggest Michael Jackson fan, especially after the whole kiddy fiddling allegations debacle, who can remember the excitement leading up to the first ever showing of that video, and those bloody amazing dancers too.  Great track.  Even better vid.

Chocolate Bar:

Ah, now you all know the answer to that one.  It’s not exactly a bar but oh, Creme Egg, how I love thee.  How else can you get grown men to stare, jaws dropped in awe, purely by eating a small piece of confectionary?  Chocolate AND entertainment – what’s not to love?

Invention:

Now I suppose I should go techno here – the computer, or the flat screen TV or satellite navigation or something, but hey, I’m a girl and seeing as the Jelly Monster already took GHDs, my invention of choice would have to be make-up.   And boys, before you think this doesn’t apply to you, imagine how horrible millions of women would look all over the world if it weren’t for foundation and a bit of blusher.  Yeh.  Thought so.  

Event:

Well it has to be Live Aid doesn’t it.  Ah, I remember it well – although I didn’t get to go, I was glued to the TV the whole time, sitting in my CHOOSE LIFE t-shirt and my fluorescent legwarmers.  And didn’t you just love Paul Young back then?  *swoon*

Over to you, then, list the movie, song, chocky bar, invention and event you wish you’d thought of first.  Chop chop now…

Oh, and blogger-wise, I tag Baino, Isitjustme and Jay.  Links back to Queen Monster of Jelly please!

Totally, like, random.

So the lovely Kate, over at iRamble has tagged me with a weird challenge.  I’ve got to share seven facts about myself: some random and some weird.  I did something similar to this back in April, but I’m naturally extremely weird, so finding seven more is easy peasy:

  1. I have hands like an old lady: they’re all blotchy and veiny and I have long spindly fingerstoo.  No amount of manicuring or posh hand cream can change them.  The Disreputable one has weird veiny hands too so it must be hereditary – apart from his fingers are like bit fat sausages.
  2. I hate crowds.  My worst nightmare is to be stuck in the middle of a big, jostling and tightly packed group of people.  My even worser nightmare is that these people are drunk.  Just the thought of it makes me shudder.
  3. I am totally, utterly and ridiculously fond of Christmas.  I love everything about it: the tree, the twinkly lights, candles, presents, the roaring fires, the yummy food…  I can’t help it.  I just do.  I used to be a nightmare, searching the house for hidden presents, but now I’ve got better.  This obviously makes me the best person to hide the presents, because I know where I’d look.
  4. I really, really, really want a KitchenAid mixer.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my Kenwood, but oh, for a pink Kitchenaid Artisan mixer I’d sell my soul.  Or at least my greyhound.
  5. My children and husband can make me laugh until I damn near wet myself.  When they all start messing, I laugh so much it actually makes me cry.
  6. I have stupid baby hair.  It’s so soft I can’t even keep a hairclip in.  Pathetic.
  7. I love surprises: both giving and receiving.  I have planned a very special and exciting day for Hubby’s birthday.  Watch this space.  I’ll take my camera – promise.

So come on, then: random facts, quirks and general weirdness.  Let’s hear them.

Terence McDanger’s Bumper Book of Silly Questions

So naughty old Terence McDanger has set me a little bloody enormous challenge.  I’ve got to answer all these questions in a witty and entertaining manner.  I’ll wake you up when it’s over:

What are your nicknames?  Well most of my nicknames are related in some way to my first name which is obviously HIGHLY confidential.  My Dad used to call me  ‘Titch’ (well, I was the youngest) and Hubby calls me ‘Babe’ when he’s in a good mood and ‘jesus christ, woman’, when he’s not.

What TV gameshow/reality show would you like to be on? None.  I have no interest in reality TV or gameshows.  I have two words to explain my aversion: Jade Goody.

What was the first movie you bought in VHS or DVD? I have absolutely no idea.  We were the first in our road to have a Betamax video player though. 

What is your favourite scent? What, I have to pick just one?  I love Guerlain’s Mitsouko, have a sentimental attachment to YSL’s Rive Gauche and 4711 Cologne, ooh and I love Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely, Chanel no 5 obviously (the Disreputable One would never forgive me if I didn’t say that), and freshly cut grass and tomatoes in the greenhouse on a sunny day, and the top of Bert’s head, and the smell of hot prawn shells under the grill and roast beef, and sizzling bacon… hang on, I’m just going to get a snack…
 
If you had one million dollars to spend only on yourself, what would you spend it on? Do you know what?  I think I’d struggle.  I love our house, so I wouldn’t want another one, although I would add  maybe a swimming pool and some electric gates, and swap my worksurfaces for granite.  Oh and a flash car or seven, a state of the art rehoming centre for greyhounds, a few diamonds, some nice clothes…  I don’t think it would be much fun having all that money if you could only spend it on yourself.  I wouldn’t buy a helicopter.  Can you imagine Hubby’s face?  It’d be like buying Roy the Taxi a new cab and going ‘ta da!’.  He’d probably punch me.
 
One place you’ve visited, can’t forget and want to go back to? Goa.  The most beautiful, gorgeous, wondrous place, with the friendliest, happiest people in the world.  They have hardly anything but they’re all just so happy and content.
 
Do you trust easily? Yep.  I’m a conman’s dream.
 
Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think? Oh I’m definitely an actor and not a thinker.  Rarely a day goes by when I don’t have a ‘oh jesus, did I really do/say that’ moment.

Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days? What a very badly worded question.  Erm yes – the current economic climate and the fact that my diesel gauge reads full even when my tank’s empty.  Oh, and Bert ate my Maltesers.

Do you have a good body image? Yeh, generally.  I can scrub up pretty well when I can be bothered.

What is your favourite fruit?  Mango.  Squeeze a little lime juice over and it’s sublime.

What websites do you visit daily? Daily?  My own, and then at least a couple of my blogroll favourites, but I wouldn’t say I visit any of them every day.  I love DC de Facto, Annie Rhiannon, Little Bird Eats, Head Rambles, Moon, Don’t Bug Me, Coastal Aussie, Beaut.ie, Sleepy Jane, The Depp Effect, iRamble, Thrifty, Baino, Coffee Helps, Parlez-vous Moo?, Queen of Clean, Quickroute, Maxi Kane, K8, Martin Dwyer, Medbh, Eire Rules, and loads more besides.  Basically I’m a total blog addict and I’m always discovering new ones too.

What have you been seriously addicted to lately? Ebay.  And chocolate when Bert doesn’t steal it.

What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is? What, ol’ T McD?  I always imagine him as a bit of a charmer.  One who can sway the laydees with his seductive charm and razor wit.  Could be wrong, though.  He might be a 20 stone, sweaty minger.

What’s the last song that got stuck in your head? ‘I kissed a girl and I liked it, the taste of her cherry chopsticks’

Favourite clothing Jeans.  Always jeans – I love Seven and Citizens of Humanity.  I go for skinny when I’m wearing boots and boyfriend cut with me trainers.

Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy? Er yes I suppose they’re okay.  I’m more of a cinnamon bagel and cup of tea girl, to be honest.

What would you do if you saw $100 lying on the ground? Leave it there.  What would I do with a hundred dollars?  Seriously, if you mean cash in general, I’d hand it in to the Gardai telling them where I found it.  I know, but I’m prime ‘secret camera show’ material.  I’d definitely get caught if I lifted to much as a penny sweet.  I’m just unlucky.

Items you couldn’t go without during the day? My phone, my computer, my dog (does he count?), my glasses as I’m completely blind, my shitty old jeep for the school run.

What should you be doing right now? Nothing.  I’m sitting on the sofa in front of a roaring fire with my kids, ma Hubby, me dawg, MTV on in the background and a large glass of Pinot Grigio.  Life is sweet.

So as usual, I’m going to buck the trend and pass on this little treasure to you, my adoring public.  And I want everybody to answer every question.  No shirking now, cut, paste and fill in.  Off you go, then.

What are your nicknames?

What TV gameshow/reality show would you like to be on? 

What was the first movie you bought in VHS or DVD?

What is your favourite scent? 

If you had one million dollars to spend only on yourself, what would you spend it on? 

One place you’ve visited, can’t forget and want to go back to? 

Do you trust easily?

Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think?

Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?

Do you have a good body image?

What is your favourite fruit?

What websites do you visit daily?

What have you been seriously addicted to lately?

What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?

What’s the last song that got stuck in your head?

Favourite clothing

Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy?

What would you do if you saw $100 lying on the ground?

Items you couldn’t go without during the day?

What should you be doing right now?

Getting your goat

 Can I just apologise for the length of this post?  I do generally abide by the rule that after a couple of paragraphs your readers get bored and wander off, but I got well into this one.  Right, so I got tagged ages ago by the lubly Grandad, and totally forgot about it.  Sorry Grand-père, I’ll get right to it.  I like this one because it’s a grumpy one and it kind of suits my general outlook on life at the moment (yes, I know, I know.  I’m bloody trying).  And, let’s face it, there’s nothing like a bit of irrational hatred to start the day with a bang.

Brace yourself, then:

  1. List two things that irritate you for a reason (and list the reason!), and two things that irritate you for no apparent reason whatsoever!!
  2. Give credit to the person who tagged you.
  3. Link your answers to the original blog, that’s here
  4. Tag four new people to participate.

Right, firstly two things that irritate me for a reason:

My O2 3G Broadband

And why?  Because it HATES me.  I seem to have been blessed with the narkiest, most hormonal internerd connection in christendom.  It lurks about waiting for the optimum moment to conk out so that it can do as much damage as possible and REALLY piss me off.  For example, Isitjustme told me on the blower last night (I know! We chat!) that she’d dedicated a little song to me.  Would O2 let me log on and have a look?  Would it buggery.  Other times it’ll wait until I’ve just replied to loads of comments or typed a really long, complicated post and clicked ‘publish’ before deciding to go and put its feet up or pop to the shops.  Leaving me staring at ‘Internet Explorer Could Not Display This Webpage’. Grrrrrr.

Yappers

Okay, so I’m probably going to alienate some of my dwarf-canine loving readership here, but I just don’t get little yappy dogs.  I mean, why?!  Pointless, vacuous people like Paris Hilton walk around with them in their handbags (don’t they poo in there?) and that in itself should be reason enough, but come on.  Dogs, by their very nature, are Man’s Best Friend.  They’re built for walking, barking, running, chasing things, fetching things (on our evening walk last night, Bert snuffled in the hedge and brought me a very cross hedgehog as a present – how thoughtful) and generally being a big, scary protector-of-humanity.  I’m sorry, but something that is roughly 6″ tall that you could kill if you accidentally sat on is not going to be much help in a robbery, or if you got mugged.  Okay, for truthfulness I have to say here that Bert wouldn’t be much cop at that either, but at least people are scared of him when he tries to kiss them.  I give you yappers then, people: pointless furry tossers.

And now two things that annoy me for no apparent reason:

Toddlers

Nope, I don’t know why.  I just wasn’t built with an ‘aw, aren’t they cute’ reaction to small children.  I’m sure they’re lovely and all that, but I just wanted mine to grow up so they could answer back (oh, how I regret that one), have a chat, share a joke, take themselves to the toilet and not put marmitey toast in the DVD player.  Enough said.

Television

Again, not sure why, but I just can’t sit and stare at an enormous (Hubby’s TV is the size of a small European country) black box surrounded by flashing lights and be entertained.  Yes, I like the odd cookery programme, or Criminal Minds or something, but frankly, I’d rather read a book.  No particular reason – although maybe a low boredom threshold could be to blame.  I always find myself losing interest halfway through a film and wandering into the kitchen to make brownies.

And, because I’m a cantankerous, belligerent, throwing-out-the-rulebook kind of a rebel, I’m not going to tag four more people, because I’m far more interested in knowing what you lot find annoying instead.  Come on, then.  What really, really makes you seethe?