Sunday, December 25, 2011

I've never been licked so much in my life........Vintage wine and shit jokes.

Well, I warn you now, this will be a long one as I am well overdue a blog. The past few weeks have been a nightmare. What with the tap in the kitchen leaking, the toilet flush breaking and the TV going on the blink. Then to top it all off we had to call out a plumber to sort out a leak we have coming from the bathroom taps that is leaking under the floor and leaving puddles in the living room.

So it's all going well!

Clearly these new builds are only built to last three years and then everything breaks at the same time. "Eee, they don't mek 'em like they used to."

And of course on top of that was preparations for my show with the kids at work. Pants, pants and more pants and present finishing, and wrapping and running out of sellotape and having to use Christmas stickers and masking tape (classy).


I was pretty much sick to death of Christmas by the 19th. Once I'd finished the show, I was in the mind set that it was all over for another year and I deserved at least two weeks off. Ha ha. As if.
Well, as usual I couldn't attend my works Christmas party but I managed to gate crash A's. He he. Free bar, free bar, la la la la la la. It would not've been free bar at my works do, that's for sure. And it would not have been as much fun. There's no boys in childcare. Ha ha.

Anyhoo, I managed to meet some lovely people and all in creative and media jobs, which was lovely. And I think it was the first time I'd actually introduced myself as a writer, to total strangers. (Of course I still told everyone I was a pre-school teacher and drunkenly discussed my Panta Clause show but I also plucked up the courage to discuss my books and stuff.) There were some fellow writers there, of magazines, reviews, music and songs and it was just genuinely thrilling to discuss creative matters with people on the same wave length and people with a bit more experience than I have. It almost made me feel like a real writer.

It was only after I stumbled home and ate pizza and watched Grey's Anatomy at like 1.00am that I realised I hadn't mentioned my blog. I think I am going to get a business card. Me. Helen. With a business card. Ha! But seriously I think I'm gonna do it. It would be so much easier to pass them out to people I meet and maybe I could even meet someone who could help me on my way, or at least give me some sort of advice. It's a plan!

Now, I'd been struggling to concentrate on anything un-work-related over the past three weeks thus the lack of blogs, lack of writing and speed of reading (it took me about 3 weeks to read The Emerald Atlas). But then, bam! With the show and pants related stress out of the way I suddenly had all this space to absorb. Oh, and absorb I did.

Cassandra Clare's latest offering in The Infernal Devices series: The Clockwork Prince.  Oh dear Lord. She is a cruel, cruel woman. She draws me in, hook line and sinker. I ravished through it in about 48hours, with 24hours of work and a few hours of sleep in between. She really puts you through the ringer and leaves you hanging by a thread. And I just LOVE IT! I just hate having to wait for the next instalment. Patience in literature is not my forte.

Weird thing happened on my way to work the other morning. It was about 7.00am, pitch black dark and this 70ish year old man walked past me. He had white hair and a cool black leather jacket on. I had my Ipod on and wasn't really paying attention and as he walked past me he said, "Good Morning Beautiful!" In a real sleazy way. I was like, WHAT? And then Eww! I'm telling you, never a dull moment in Kentish Town.

And then we come to Christmas number 1, which happened on Thursday 22nd. I had to rush home from work and then cook a full Christmas dinner including Yorkshire puddings, stuffing and sausages with bacon wrapped round. Eek. Got a little stressed due to fitting it all in the oven and A coming home earlier than usual and then getting waylaid setting the table. But it was all fine in the end and there were empty plates by the end of it and extremely full bellies. He he. (That is the general rule at our house, as any of guests will clarify.)

I got a most amazing red leather satchel! It is ridiculously beautiful. I've always loved satchels and there's one in my book and now I have one of my own. He he. I also got more Fair to Midland albums and a live DVD which A asked them to sign as well. Am turning into slightly geeky superfan, but they are just completely on my wave length. Their lyrics speak to me and they fit so beautifully with the world in my head. I also got an arcade Sonic the Hedgehog thing that plugs into the TV and allows you to play sonic and other games. WICKED!

Had an interesting road trip back with C and A. Ha ha. Not the clothing outlet, which only exists on the continent and is especially big in Germany and Belgium. But alas, no, I mean Claire and Anna my wonderful Northern friends who also live in the South. And after a glass of cavaCarlisle singing us home, the further north we got, the more rain exploded on us and the more the wind picked up. We hit a little bit of traffic around Birmingham but made steady progress and was home at 10.30. We all got very excited when Chris Rea's Driving Home for Christmas came on.......It's the little things......

And so to Christmas Eve shenanigans.....And there were many..........

The usual pub lunch and annual catch up of life was scheduled for 1pm. Dr Ch, K and C were all present and it didn't take us long to dissolve into frequent flows of conversation. I love our annual tradition of alcohol and food in The Brocket. It's been a good ten year tradition and long may it continue. The wine was flowing and the tone was lowered and giggles were compulsory. And eventually after C twisting my arm for pudding (really hard she twisted. Ha ha) we exchanged presents, with the usual protests from Dr Ch, but she should know now she never wins.

Mucho vino, vodka and chin wagging later, and they had to leave, whilst I met up with Hev and Jam, to continue my day of seeing people. We strolled on down to The Tudor (a lovely alternative-ish pub, with awesome real ales and (usually) metal music. Then J and T came to join us and a few others and of course my lovely P! And of course, I'd convinced myself I wasn't going to the final ever Maximes rock night ever! But then, with a few vodkas in me and with all these lovely people surrounding me, well, I could hardly refuse. (I'm easily persuaded) And so I ended up in a place I frequented from about the age of 18 to the age of 22. I have so many awesome memories of this place and the amazing friends I made there and I just found it difficult to revisit that. But actually, it was quite cool.

No actually, It was freezing cold. They clearly couldn't afford to keep the heating on in any way shape or form and so most people kept on their coats. I can hands down say, I've never rocked out with a vest, a t-shirt and two jumpers on. Oh and of course P's beany hat which he lent me for the night. Ha ha. But still, rock out I did, for a couple of songs. I even managed to see someone I hadn't seen in about 5 years. And I was scared to approach him and he actually didn't recognise me at first, but then when he did, it was almost as if no time had passed. Lovely.

Then we left super early so me dad could pick me up and I wouldn't have to pay double fair for a taxi. Altogether, a shit hot night!

And finally its a very Merry Christmas to you all from a ridiculously mild north west of England. This time last year it was snowy and icy and this year you could barely tell it apart from October. But for a bracing wind and a splash or two of rain you would think it was Autumn. Eek. Global warming's gone mental.

And so this year, there was no Gran but we had my Brother and his mega large dog Snoop. He's like a whirlwind of excitement and he kept us all fully entertained. I've never been licked so much in my life. My kids don't lick, thank god, but Snoop does. My hands, my toes, my shoulder, my dress, everywhere.

My dad got one of the best presents ever. It's a book called Sign Language and it's all mistranslated signs from around the world, rude and stupid and darn right ridiculous. We were all wetting ourselves. My dad needed oxygen. Some of my favourites were:

Dick Payne real estate
Cock flavour soup mix
Ars cracks fireworks
And: Viagra fencing-Problems getting it up? Bob can erect it.  He he.

And for Christmas lunch there was of course my mum's legendary roast with all the trimmings. But not forgetting my dad's vintage wine selection, which is basically all the wine that people have brought me mum and dad over the years (and they don't drink). Today we drank a 1998 vintage classic, which was pretty dire but not as bad as last year's bloody sweet dessert wine. My dad the wine connoisseur. He he. Wouldn't have it any other way though.

Had some of the most almighty shit cracker jokes as well. Like shockingly shite. But isn't that why we love them?????

All in all its been a good day. Fairly relaxed (though perhaps not for me mum who had to do all the cooking) and entertaining and full of dog drool and slober. Merry Christmas everyone. And enjoy the time off before it's back to reality.

I hope this rather lengthy blog has made up for sincere lack of recent bloggage.

Peace, love and turkey butties!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Time travel by advent's the future!

Whoa! It's the 8th December........when the hell did that happen? I've only opened 1 and 2 on my advent calendar. I guess I'll have a chocolate fest when I'm in the mood.

I just had an awesome thought. What if you could control time with your advent calendar? Like if I'd only opened 2 doors, then I couldn't actually move on to the 3rd December until I'd opened the next door. And you could also go back in time, by closing the doors again. That would be cool. I'd close them all again and stay at November the 30th for about another month, then I could:
1) Get all my portfolios up to date at work.
2) Get a submission out to at least 2 agents before Christmas.
3) Continue editing book 1 and writing book 2.
4) Have more rehearsals for my Christmas show and more time to make props....and when I say props, I mean PANTS! Ha ha! (If only you knew)
5) And of course finish off the god damn Christmas shopping. URGH!

But alas, the time is slipping away and soon another year will be spent. And we'll all get older and crabbier and if you're me, more bitter and twisted and gnarled (best word ever!).

This time of year always tends to get me riled up, especially with talk of nativity. I babysat for one of my ex little girls and she told me she was playing an angel in the Christmas Nativity at her school. I couldn't help but tense up, the fists balling at my sides. This is where a lot of my bitterness stems from. It's like the original bitterness........ I wanted to be an angel, but I was fat and freckly with long dark hair. Clearly NOT angel material. All the blond girls got the part as they were all so pretty and dainty. URGH! And guess what role I played??????

The narrator, because, and I quote: "You have a loud voice."

Wow! Now did they really think that wasn't gonna affect me for the rest of my life! Implying that you might be ugly and fat, but you have a nice strong voice and you can sing loud too. OOOOO goody. I'm just brimming with happiness! And after 24 years I'm still angry about it. I would have been a shit hot angel! The coolest one! But hey, their loss. And anyway, I'm thin now, which can't be said of all the past angels.......yeah facebook comes in handy for some things. Ha ha! YOU BITCH! (Slap my own wrist)

Anyhoo, I have to cut this short in order to get to work on time. On the early twirly shift this week.Yipee! 
More parent teacher meetings this morning and more pants and more rehearsals and more stress! You gotta love a good stress. My body doesn't though. The skin is literally peeling itself off my hands, leaving me with cuts and sores and dry irritated hands. (Thought I'd leave with a lovely image there......You're welcome.)

Happy Thursday. We're getting to the end of the week. Keep going, you can make it!