Monday, December 31, 2012 arse!

Firstly, Merry Christmas. I hope you've all had a jolly time over the festive season.

Secondly, apologies for the absence of blogage, but leaving work was actually the most stressful thing ever and the last 3 weeks really sucked the life out of me.

Thirdly, arse!

And so to the board game Risk, which the title would trick you into thinking meant you had to make risks. There's no risk. There's no skill and whilst you might need a strategy, or even have a strategy, let's face it; it's the luck of the dice throw. (You've all done probability.) And man, some people really take it seriously.

It was my first time playing risk, in Italy with A's family and over there it's actually called Riskio. He he. Playing a board game for the first time in a language you don't speak is interesting at best. But what is funny is that the dynamics are pretty much the same. The men think they know everything and really get into it (not including A who gave less of a shit than I did). And the women don't really care but sort of pretend to. A's Auntie was trying to be ruthless, but the dice were against her. A's sister was out pretty quickly prompting many arguments with her husband (one of the know it all men who took it very seriously) and I just found it all hilarious. I mean, it's little plastic tanks and aspirations of world domination. It's hardly realisitic or something I would ever dream of, especially when my political notions go as far as: I wish everyone would just get along.

After a bit of watching and misunderstanding  I eventually understood what the hell was going on, but with A as a partner (who couldn't give a crap) we had no strategy and kept stuffing it up. Our objective was to gain 24 (out of 48) countries and the most we managed was 14. Ha!

When they told me the game went on for hours, I didn't realise just how long. This was quickly bordering on Monopoly territory, in terms of length. (Of course, Monopoly is well better is all other ways! Especially the Wigan version which I incidentally left at my old flat and never got back. Urgh.) So after around 4 and a half/5 hours the rest of the family revolted to watch a 3D film and the game was left. Though the men couldn't help taking a sneaky peek when the lights were off to check for possible ways to change the inevitable outcome of the game.

And when the film finished they went straight back to the table, hoping to resume. (I bet they were just thinking about it all through the film. Ha ha.)

I basically said, "Let's just say you've won. You've got the most countries and the most tanks." Plus who really cares????
Eventually we persuaded him to admit he'd won (by compromise, he grumbled). Really he wanted to destroy everyone in order to win. Maybe we should be slightly worried that the Mathematician wants to take over the World. We'd all be subjected to useless, number related board games and complex theories and equations. Argh! The World would never be the same again.

He he. And let's face it, Risk was aimed at men: Armies, strategies and the desire to destroy everyone else. Not that I'm saying women can't have those aspirations, it's just that mostly they can't be bothered and those aspirations would probably be interrupted by a nice pair of shoes or a pretty bag or cocktail night with the girls. None of these things particularly conducive to taking over the World.

And so, I begin my freelance writer-dom in a matter of days (2nd Jan to be precise) and I already have a plan for the 2nd -4th Jan, which is several pages in my notebook. Whoop! Am very excited about it all. Just having the time to work through everything with a fresh mind instead of looking at things after hours and hours of poo and screaming and shouting and wee and frustration and annoying people. I'm hoping not having to filter out the stress of the day will give me much more constructive time to work through the re-edit of book 1, the beginnings of some picture books for smaller children and maybe even some non-fiction books around music and early years.

Still, It's all well and good having a plan, but I still have to stick to it, and avoid Netflix and the three box sets I got for Christmas. Ha ha. I will have to be strong! But I know I can be and a sneaky episode of something here and there could help, especially if I get stuck or need an incentive. You know? If you complete a chapter of the re-edit you can watch an episode of Friends (22 mins), but if you write 1500 words in one sitting then you earn a Buffy episode (45 mins). Ha ha.  

Anyhoo, I think The Sarcy Traveller will be taking over in January, as I begin my very belated holiday blogs from each of our destinations. Expect pictures and suggestions on the best places to go, eat, shop, sleep etc. And a lot of them aren't even in guides. They are smaller places, some not even named in guides or on maps, but I feel I not only owe it to those places, but also to the people from those places that made our stays ridiculously good! So watch out for that.

And all that is left to say is: Have an amazing New Year full of interesting trips and adventures. Follow your own direction and don't let others sway you from it. If you're making a tough decision, make it for the right reasons and make the best decision for you! Sometimes you do actually have to be selfish in this life. I've realised that (it only took 29 years) and whilst it can be hard, it is also your life and you should be the one taking control of it!

Okay, enough of the New Year lecture. Enjoy your night, whatever you may be doing, or wherever you may be. I hope you're with loved ones and basically eating and drinking the night away. I think A's mum's lasagne is on the menu tonight, which makes me a very happy bunny! All the best for 2013 and keep reading! A blog ain't the same without an audience.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Display despair and uber wedgies.

So now it's no secret I can announce it via blog.......I handed my notice in 4 weeks ago, and have only 2 weeks left of ass wiping (except of course, my own); snot wiping (except of course, my own) and general grey haired induced stress.

I will be keeping on with my music lessons, but that will be my only form of employment, or self employment. Yes, it's official! I'm going to be a bum. A poor writer, a tortured artist but presumably a happier person and who knows, maybe the grey hairs will back off.

So in true fashion, shit is hitting the fan at regular intervals at work, roughly every five minutes or so. Management are no where to be seen and I'm having to deal with it, making my last few weeks and the run up to Christmas: Well to put it bluntly....fucking shite!

Not only is our newest member of staff a complete knob and at times a liability, but all the rest of the staff are taking holidays and sick days and just generally leaving me in the crap. There should an actual law against holidays in December, especially when I have to write, rehearse and organise the Christmas Show (for 18 months to 4 year olds); put the decorations up, make decorations to put up (as ours all got wet in the shed and I had to chuck a whole bag of tinsel), and make all the props for the show. And still do all my other jobs and work and paperwork and reports and parent teacher meetings and.......Yes, my head is about to explode which isn't helped by the 7 extra hours I've done in the last 4 days and the lack of sleep.

Apologies, I don't mean to whinge but I've had four and a half years of this and it was obviously too much to think my last 6 weeks could actually be enjoyable. Silly of me really.

And now for the worst thing of the week, which to others would seem like the smallest thing but for me just induced a mega rage the likes have never been seen at Flat 19. Poor A who had to put up with the aftermath, which continued all night, as my rage took a long time to subside. Sorry love!

Anyhoo. So I'd done some nice printing with the children using shaped sponges and we decorated them with pom poms and snowflakes and I was excited to hang them up on the washing line, like a banner. Now I'd mentioned this a few times in the day and I had them out waiting to dry.

Strangely I'd actually had a good afternoon doing singing and music time with the children, so I was feeling in a good mood. I was actually ready to leave at 6.05 and it was refreshing to finish on a high note. Until, I emerged from the bathroom with all my bags (we don't have a staff room, just a staff toilet) and I see my favourite member of staff (the knob) putting the - not dry yet - pictures on the window, ruining my display that was already on there. Now I do realise that I sound like a crazy person. But it was my activity so she had no need to interfere. I like to follow things through to a conclusion and this made me mad.

And what's more, she didn't even put them on nicely, she just slobbed them on.

The horror on my face must have shown as our cook/cleaner noticed my pained expression and shook her head. I was so close to screaming at her. But I did realise how unreasonable that was, so I refrained. Instead, I bit my fist, screamed inside and left.

But it really grated on me all the way home, so much so that I couldn't read my book. I was livid, all tense and teeth clenched.

Then I poured it all out to A and all night (we were at the awesome Willie Mason gig), at random intervals I would shout, "But she didn't even put them on nicely!"

Luckily, I was also laughing every time, though dying a little inside.

And guess what the first thing I did on Thursday morning was? Yes, you guessed it, I took them down and did what I originally wanted to do with them. Ha. In your face rubbish display destroying monster.

Argh! Running out of time (on lunch break) so I think I will finish with that most uncomfortable uber wedgie that I had last night on the way home. I tried a sneaky grab on the escalator but it was right tucked in.

Anyhoo, after a cheeky pull on the platform I released the most uber of wedgies and again could travel home in comfort....well ish, it is the tube.

After today, ten more working days. Whoop! Bring on the least for a short time.

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Public Transport and People. Worse combination imaginable!

My hatred of buses (or Buzes as we say in Wigan) began many years ago, around the high school age.
It never helps when you have no one to catch the bus with, you're large, bookish and unpopular, but the staring, giggling, sometimes even pointing and the fact that I would always have to stand up, made me miserable.

I've always much rather walked. So that's what I did after a few particularly uncomfortable journeys. Come rain or shine I would walk the 45 minutes to school and 45 minutes back.
But then college struck and we didn't have a choice but to take the bus. Luckily it was a bus reserved strictly for our college so I knew most of the people on there and I did have the opportunity to sit with friends etc.
Not too bad, though I know there was still sniggering and whispering. I guess there always will be. People are pretty hideous at times.

For my commute to Uni, I had to use bus and train and actually it was often the train that caused issues. Crazy people tended to get on the train. I experienced a lot of odd things, like stopping at a station and a group of youths throwing glass bottles into the carriage, smashing everywhere. There was once a cow on the track and I've also experienced lots of fights, both verbal and physical. And this one time there was even a really creepy guy who pretty much stared at me the whole journey and then afterwards the train manager came out and asked if I was alright. Apparently he was prone to staring at young girls.

Well thanks for the heads up.  There's nothing like feeling safe on public transport. Ha!

So to be honest I've had a lot of issues with trains and buses.

But the icing on the cake - as it were - was when I worked in Didsbury and I commuted by bus. I was approached by lots of older men that wanted my number and stuff. Creepy as hell. And there was of course the tramp that got on and pooed on the seat at the side of me. That was my singularly most painful memory of public transport. I stripped off as soon as I got home as all I could smell was shit.

Now in London, I avoid buses like the plague as there really are a lot of nutter that take the bus, more so than the tube, as the tube is way more expensive and there is a lot more staff at stations, even at night.
Some of the 24 hour buses can be pretty scary with some rather unsavory characters around. And when you get one by yourself, you tend to be on tender hooks the whole journey. Because whilst there may be a driver on board, that's one against a bus load, but if something's kicking off it's not nice!

Well, I'll try and get to the point. Last Saturday, I was meeting the girls from work for a meal and this had to be the one time the Northern Line is closed all weekend. So I weigh up the options and realise that a quick 214 to St Pancras and then a hop on the Piccadilly line would be best. Except my quick 10 mins to St Pancras became 25 minutes of hell. Here are my notes from the journey:

Feeling particularly claustrophobic on this 214. And there is a very grumpy driver who is refusing to go anywhere because someone got on at the back and didn't swipe. People are shouting and it's all very disconcerting. Did I mention I hate buses?

There's a lot of traumatised people on the 214 tonight. The driver had crammed that many people on that every time the doors opened he trapped this woman's foot in the door. He kept closing the back doors before people had managed to get off, including two women with buggies and an elderly couple.
People from the back were shouting. People in front were shouting. Two women were having a fight by the front door as one kept pushing the other. Ahhhhhh, confrontation, right in front of me. You know I can't hack it.

I managed to get a seat but that meant that I was cornered and had peoples' legs pushed up against mine and a sea of bodies that I couldn't see through or over.

Nasty stuff!

Every stop I was willing to be St Pancras, but 25 minutes later I managed to disentangle myself from the rest of the people and get out.
And to top it all off. Not only am I pissed off and angry by this point, but it's also raining and it's the first time in probably 5 months since I straightened my hair, so it would actually look nice.

Not anymore!

Fuckin' buses.

Fuckin people!

What the fuck?

Oh, and another thing. I know I don't know anything about fashion, but fuckin' patterned leggings, shorts, socks and t-bar shoes.........What the fuck????

Argh! Lunch break almost over. Final installment of Twilight tonight with the ladies. L, T, C and S. Whoop!

And just in case the sentiment wasn't clear.....I freakin' hate buses. They are evil contraptions and I will avoid them as much as I can, for as long as I can. People can also be quite evil, but avoiding them might make me a bit of a recluse. Hmmmmm. Will contemplate that one for a while.

Happy Wednesday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rants are like sweetcorn????

Eeee, it's been a while. Though I hadn't realised it was almost a month. Jeez. That's a long while in the life of Helen and her ranting. I wonder if they've all been building up inside and I'll puke them all over you right now. Rants are awfully difficult to keep down, especially this long. They're a little like sweetcorn, you know, you're incapable of digesting them, so they just come out in your poo. Ha. Okay, I do realise what I've just written and yes, I am a loon!

And so, it's been a month of excitement and discovery due to a mega holiday in the states. Now I will hopefully be turning into Travel Blog Helen at some point to give a thorough haul through the wonder of the holiday and some of the amazing places we visited. But for now you should know, we managed seven states in 16 days; drove over 3,500 miles (well A did); avoided superstorm Sandy (much to the delight of my mother) and even won some money in Vegas. We visited 4 state houses (I'm a geek for this stuff); saw two of the most amazing natural wonders on Earth and experienced two holidays (as in celebration holidays), one ridiculously early.

Intrigued? I hope so. Watch this space for The Sarcy Traveller, coming soon from my living room.

Am currently multi tasking to the extreme. I have my travel journal at the side of me, with New England guide open, finishing off the final two days of the trip, as we were that busy I got completely behind. And in between that I'm writing this and checking mail and running through the ridiculous list of stuff I've got to do and thinking about food (tummy rumbling) and watching Alias season 3. Oh yes!

Does anyone ever have the urge to physically push someone off their bike?
Is it just me?

I'm not a naturally violent person, but I am northern so it's down there somewhere festering (only kidding, I don't for a minute believe that northerners are any more violent than southerners or midlanders. I'm sure we're all equally violent minded.). But today as I was crossing on the green light and he was clearly on red as all the cars had stopped, this cyclist drove through the light ridiculously fast and there were other people on the crossing. What a dick! I was so tempted to run and frickin' clothes line him or something, or dive on him, or just push him really really hard.

There could have been elderly people or kids or any combination of people on that crossing and he was going so fast that he would have had no chance. It really does take dick head cyclists to draw out that inner violence in me, though of course my stupid sensible side beat the crap out of the violent side and I didn't do anything but curse under my breath. Urgh! I have ranted about this many times cyclists, but if you are going to be a road vehicle which in fact you are, then could you please fucking follow the pissin' rules of the bloody road.

It's not a tall request. A very simple one actually, because next time my sensible side may falter and I could come flying at you and knock you off your bike, you complete knob!

And breathe! Oh, I may go and pop the oven on to preheat, the stomach is definitely ready for some nourishment, especially as I'm currently excreting rants. Ha ha. You have to replace.

And continuing with the annoying transport related issues, I am getting right royally fucked off about the walk to the Northern line platform at Kings Cross/St Pancras. It's a lovely wide corridor, more than ample space for two way traffic, obviously with no need for massive signs or a barrier, just that lovely skill that a ridiculous amount of people, are without: common sense. So today I have to squirm and push and shove my way through a wall of six abreast, all desperate to get out, leaving no room for the rest of us trying to get in. Then they look at you with disgust as though you've inconvenienced them. Sometimes I just want to shout, "It's two way traffic, move over you twats!" But again, those damn manners I was taught as a kid, they stick with you and instead, I curse under my breath (a common recurrence it appears) and shake my head and radiate anger.

It does actually say on the walls at various points, keep left, but then most people are too focused on getting where they're going to actually look up and take a hint. But really, it's not hard to just move across when you see oncoming people and you're taking up the entire space. Just sort it out okay?

Oh, I haven't experienced cold feet from writing, in ages. I may have to go and get my slippers. I think it's probably because I'm drawing all my power, wisdom and thoughts into writing and somehow that pulls warmth away from my toes. Hmmmm, yeah, I'm sure that's in a medical journal somewhere, along with an article about bollocks.

Actually, I've just realised my fingers are freezing too, and they're doing the typing....hmmmmm. Maybe my theory doesn't hold out. Damn. There goes my PhD Thesus.

I came back to work last Monday, literally straight off the plane and into work, with roughly 45 minutes sleep on the plane home, so that was fun. But what really got my goat was when I walk through the door to the usual hellos and what not, then I say, "I'll just freshen up abit." And I go into the staff toilet and there is no light. So not only can I not change clothes and freshen up, but I also have to pee in the dark for the next three days. Welcome back Helen!!!! Aren't you glad you came back?

And, twenty minutes after I returned, I ask, "Where's D?(one of our staff, due in at 10 and this is 10.05 and no sign of her and I'm thinking if I can make it from Boston US then you can make it from wherever the hell you live in London). And this is when they choose to reveal that said member of staff did a runner when I was on holiday. (This is not a one off. This has happened at least 3 times out of the 5 times I've been on a mega holiday during my time there. It's becoming almost expected.) Great! So not only am I tired, smelly, grumpy and other dwarf names, but I have to deal with a new member of staff and be on shift with her. Urgh! I do not like these types of surprises, though when it was S that started working with us after US trip 2010, that was actually a good thing!

The worst part was the fact that I couldn't pronounce or remember her name the whole day and had to keep saying things like, "your new teacher" or just pointing at her and smiling. And it doesn't help that her name is remarkably like Golem and every time I go to say it I have to stop myself from saying Golem. He he. Still, it's fun to say it in my head. (Yes, I do realise how cruel this is but I'm getting better and now I hardly ever think Golem before I say it and I can remember and pronounce it.)

Oh, today she was doing my head in though. We were understaffed (or under-competently- staffed) and I actually had to have a mini go at her. Yeah, I moving up in the World. We had 17 kids, two of whom are under 2 and 8 of whom are under 3. Yes, a nightmare in itself. Each of the three teachers have a group at their table and the odd wanderer that just floats around knocking things off and refusing to do anything. And then part way through, while ignoring everyone on her table she came with one of my kids and sat down at my table. Now, let's consider the common sense here. There are 6 kids on her table messing around, needing help and she sits on my table where I am already sat.


So I say, "Can you just go back to your table."
"But, he wants to work with this."
"Okay, but I can do that. Your table needs you."
"But he wants to work with this now."
"Yes but I can do that and he can learn to wait a minute. There are a lot of children."
"But what about the activity?"
"It's more about crowd control now."

Eventually, she got the fucking message and went back to her table, tutting and murmuring to herself. Stuck up Montessorian. She basically asked me yesterday if I was Montessori trained and I said no, so obviously she thinks I can't present a piece of work. Oh my god, it is number beads not freakin' rocket science, silly cow. And I'm more concerned with the kids hanging off the light fittings, running out of the classroom or strangling each other, not an impatient older child who won't wait for me to help him.

Okay, that was fun.

I feel I could write all night, it's like ranting diarrhoea. Ha ha. I said it could all come flooding out.
Still, I'll hold some back, otherwise there might not be another blog for ages.

Slippers for my cold feet and the left over roast dinner that I'm about to pop in the oven are definitely calling to me. Thanks for reading and I hope this has made up for the almost month absence, or at least gone a short way towards forgiveness. I would appreciate it.

It's the middle of the week slump for me, I just hope the beginnings of this cold are gonna piss off. My throat is sore, not great when you are employed to talk all day, with intermittent shouting when the unruly kids break your patience level. (Mine is particularly low at the moment, so.....a very sore throat.)

Okay, I really am going now.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Not the only Wiganer in the room.........the 100th

Now to clarify, there were only two Wiganers, not 100, but it is my 100th Blog and has been a long time coming.

Man have I been stressing about this one. It has to be amazing. It has to be spontaneous, not planned, but it's impossible for me to blog as things are happening. So I resigned myself to the fact that if I wanted this to be epic then it would take some assemblage on my behalf, much like my stories. Luckily that's something I'm fairly good at.

And to clarify, the two Wiganers were in our office at work today. (Me being one of them of course.) I was having an area SENCo meeting and the woman taking it clearly had a northern accent. So I asked where she was from and she said, "Manchester." So I said, "Oh I used to live in Manchester but I'm from Wigan." And then she said, "I'm from Wigan too. I just say Manchester 'cause most people don't know where it is." Ha. So there you go. Two Wiganers together in our tiny office in Russell Square. Bizzaro!

And now down to business. Over the last few weeks I've been recording my rants in order to create the most epic blog ever. So here goes nothing.

Soiled nappy. Always a good one to start with and actually nothing to do with work. This was my first entry to blog. I came down one Monday morning to take the rubbish and there on the floor outside the bin store was.....yep you've guessed it, a soiled nappy, complete with wipe. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. What a bunch of disgusting buggers that live in our neighbourhood. I mean, it wasn't even in a nappy bag. Who would ever just dump a dirty nappy?

And don't get me started on the morons that go to the trouble of opening the bin store doors but then leave the rubbish in the doorway instead of putting it into the bins. It's not freakin' rocket science you scummy beggars.

Crotch moment in the lift. Fairly self explanatory but nasty all the same. This guy got in the lift and turned round so he was facing me but my hands were holding my bag and it sort of coincided with his crotch area. Ewww. Why couldn't he just face the same way as every one else? Maybe that's how he gets his kicks.
But even worse than that was the fact that he was then breathing in my face. Argh! And no he didn't have minty fresh breath. Skank!

If one more person asks me about marriage................ (Don't think we need to elaborate there.)

The late 20's almost 30 crisis. Okay, so why does no one warn you about this? We've all heard about the midlife crisis, men in their 50's buying ridiculous sports cars and thinking they can date supermodels, but no one ever warns you about the crisis you have before turning 30. And practically everyone I know is having it simultaneously. If it's not a job/career crisis, then it's relationship crisis or a rush to get married, or a panic that we're not where we wanted to be, or dreamed we would be. Is anyone?

It's exhausting and in my case, bad for your health.

My particular crisis is in the form of lack of career and I know the longer I stay where I am the worse it gets, but how do you just quit not knowing if you'll have anything to go to? How do you overcome the fear? (I'm reminded of the Friends episode in which Chandler persuades Rachel to quit her job at the coffee house. She doesn't want to be 30 and still working at the Coffee House. Well I most definitely do not want to be working at the same place when I'm 30. It may just obliterate my remaining sanity and I'm down to critical levels as it is. So, it's all about plans and stress and depression at the moment.

Anyhoo, if you weren't aware of the almost 30 crisis, well you are now. So prepare. Plan ahead and try not to get bogged down with shitty jobs or crap relationships (I know, easier said than done).

Cultural differences. This was hilarious! One of our little boys is picked up every day by his grandma who is Chinese and speaks no English. Just recently he's been peeing his pants quite a lot. This particular day she came in the classroom, screaming at him in Chinese, which quite often sounds severe anyway, but when shes bellowing at the top of her lungs, Jesus. I was scared.

She burst in, didn't even say hello to the child and just started shouting at him, presumably about the bag of wet clothes on his peg. The poor kid was petrified. She then noticed he'd had to borrow nursery clothes and she stripped him, right there on the carpet in the classroom, trousers and pants together.

Meanwhile, me and the other member of staff were torn between laughing and crying. It was evil. Any British parent would think it bordered on child abuse. Any childcare worker would think of the implications of a child being stripped in front of the window. But of course, she just continued to shout at him, discard our clothes and redress him in clothes she'd brought with her.

Another thing which made the moment even more bizarre/spectacular was the fact that whilst all this was going on, all but one of the children had stopped to listen and wonder what the hell was going on. But not JM. No no. He was sat in the corner singing and pretending his hands were the Olympic flame. He he. What a bunch of cranks!

The students are back. Argos must be fresh out of value pillows and duvets, the amount I've seen walking around. They're just so young and giggly and care free. Makes you want to hurl really, but then I guess I was like that once.

I'm leaving. Oh no I'm not. Parents messing with my head. I am told a child is leaving so therefore I have certain documents to fill out and files and reports to complete. So I waste my time at home doing this and then come in the next day and find out he's not actually leaving. He's staying to do two afternoons a week. Well thanks for the heads up. It's not like I gave up my precious few hours of free time to do all this extra work for him. And what's worse, even though he'll be at another nursery five mornings a week, I still have to do files, portfolios and all that jazz for him. So he'll have two lots of stuff and let's guess which one will actually have any weight with big school. Hmmmmm. Not mine. Freakin' waste of time!

The fuck tally. No, it's nothing dirty. And it's kind of lost it's meaning now. But the fuck tally is nothing to do with the bedroom, it was simply about how many times I said the word fuck over breakfast that day. Yes, I was particularly pissed off and it was only breakfast time. Shockingly, I didn't manage to tally up, but it was a lot!

The shower time warp. Do you ever have the feeling that you've been in the shower for ages but when you come out it's only been like five minutes? I feel there's some sort of shower time warp, in that time stands still a little when under the flow of a nice hot shower. It's just a theory but especially when I've washed and conditioned my hair, or shaved my legs or something, you get a guilty pang of, shit how much water did I just use, I must have been in there for at least half an hour. But then again you realise it's been about 12 minutes. It's like my perception of time is skewed by the steam and overall wet goodness of the shower experience.
Weird but true!

Extreme Scrapbooking. Been making the scrapbook from last year's Japan trip (better late than never), as I wanted to get it done before this year's very imminent trip to the states. But it's epic and exhausting. I filled one entire massive scrapbook with just five days in Tokyo. Eek. I'm now over half way through the second scrapbook and have five more days of the holiday to do. EXTREME!

I'm going through pritt stick like no body's business. And they cost a pissin' fortune. £2.19  for a bloody pritt stick. It's a good job there was an offer on a triple pack. Bankrupting myself for a bloody scrapbook.

The Miss Trunchbull Syndrome. Defined as: The actual desire to fling a child out of a window or swing them around by their pigtails and let go. .............Oh yes. I definitely have it!

Irritating woman on the tube. You can tap your fingers as much as you like love, but I ain't getting on the tube until the people have got off, so quit it!

Little Madams. New children with zero manners. Bearing in mind this child is two. I asked her to keep her voice down because the other children were sleeping. She turned to me, threw me this look of disgust and said, "I'm not talking to you. I'm talking to her." I said. I know you weren't talking to me but I was asking you to be quiet. To which she replied (and louder this time). "I said, I'm not talking to you!"

Ooooo. This definitely called for a Miss Trunchbull moment and what was even funnier is that the child's name is the same as the book from which the character Miss Trunchbull comes from.

My kids are all insane. If they're not twating each other with sea creatures, they're throwing themselves on the floor and having screaming fits. Little buggers.

And almost sackage. I won't go into this in too much detail but basically helping people is not all it cracked up to be. I did a favour for a friend, sort of going against a policy and I ridiculously unluckily got found out. Ooooo, my manager was pissed, but what was funny was the fact that upper management and the owners didn't give a shit. Still I'm getting a bit of attitude from my manager but honestly, I won't be helping anyone else in this way, so please, no one ask me.

Did this happen to the good Samaritan? Or did he die? Hmmmmmm. Can't quite remember, though I do remember playing the part of the good Samaritan in assembly at primary school. Ha. I digress.

Feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. Not ugly, just not right. Like someone is pulling the the rug out from underneath me, leaving that weird underlay underlay areeba areeba stuff. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Deciding on a fancy dress costume for our Salem Halloween Ball has been tricky, but I think I'm there. Obviously I want to look uber creepy and at least stand a chance at the fancy dress prize. He he. But watch this space. I have no doubt there will be a lengthy Halloween Ball Blog after the big night.

Well, It's been a week since I completed my charity half marathon. 13.1 miles of pain. I went way too fast in the first 6 miles and suffered in the remaining 7. For me it was a battle and not of fitness or distance, but a battle of wills. Me versus me. Evil negative me, versus,  positive me. And evil won out a lot, thus all the pain. I swear the full marathon two years ago was way easier. They say it's psychological and it is! Shame my psychology is fracked!

Anyhoo, I raised £460.00. No mean feat. And I finally got to meet a few members of the Nordoff Robbins fundraising team whom I'd been liaising with for over two years. Lovely. Oh and the little thing of beating my PB. Yes, I almost forgot to mention that. New PB is 2hours 15minutes and 52seconds. And I will beat day. Or maybe in my mind. Ha!

I told you this would be epic. Man this is long. Anyhoo. I hope it was ranty enough and fulfilling for the 100th. I thank you for reading. As always it's nice to have someone to hear my randomness.

Here's to a 100 more????????

Well I've got 8 minutes before Vampire Diaries Season 4 airs on ITV2, so I'd better go and prepare. Giddy!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Walkers in Regents Park!

Two facts:

1. Old people at the theatre are fun!

They speak really loud at quiet points in the show. They say things like: "Oh, so that's his son?", again really loudly. And they sneak off for a cheeky vodka and coke at the interval. Love it!

2. Young people at the theatre are not so fun.
They talk all the way through. Kick the back of your chair and go around in packs intimidating people.
Also they have no sense of personal space. The girl behind me in the queue for the loo practically had her bag up my arse. I was this close to telling her to get her fucking bag out of my fucking arse but I thought abusing teenagers was a little beneath me.

I did enjoy Billy Elliot but there were a few disappointments for me:
1. Accents all over the place. I do appreciate the Geordie accent is a tough one, but then I'm not an actor.
2. We don't actually sing northern. Northerners can sing nicely in tune and without their lovely northern accents. And to be honest I go to the theatre to hear amazing voices as well as see fantastic acting and dancing, but the singing was pretty terrible. And I know people will say it was all atmospheric and dark and stuff, but that doesn't take away the fact that you can do dark and atmospheric but you can also do it in tune. Sorry. Musical snob I know.
3. So much about the mine when all I wanted was more and more dancing and more and more cross dressing kids. he he. He was a hoot.

Anyhoo, we had a lovely time on the way home giggling and we made a creepy friend on the tube. This guy was just staring and when we made eye contact he didn't look away and even seconds later was still staring. Something on my face? I couldn't stop laughing, especially as he continued the four stops to Euston. Creepy!

On a slight tangent, I do have some weirdo kids at the moment and one of them has his tenses all wrong. He comes in and says: "You want to go and play with your friends." But he means, "I want to go and play with my friends." Odd.
At snack time he'd finished his drink, held his cup out to me and said, "Do you want some more?"
"No." I replied.
You should have seen his face.
"Oh." He said, looking distressed.
Don't worry I modelled the correct way of saying it and he ended up with his second cup of oat milk.
Oat milk. Urgh. What the hell is that? How the feck do you get milk from oats? And don't get me started on soya milk.

Anyhoo, anyone give a crap that the new Iphone is out? I only knew because of A. Of course he has it. I've touched it once and I think that's me done now. I just don't care!

He also showed me this 3D rendition of a city that you can get on the Ipad. Well I can go one better, you actually go to the city and you walk around and experience it 4d with smells and sounds and things you can touch and taste. You can't get much more dimensional than that.

Oh, this morning I was out on a run and it was really deserted. As I looked out across one of the fields of Regents Park I could see one person walking and I thought.......Ahhhhhh, It's a walker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And not just someone out walking, but Walking Dead style walkers, the zombie kind. This other guy came up behind me breathing so loud and disgustingly that he could have easily been an extra on series 3. Ha ha. Zombie jogging.

Pissed off at myself for not reading the letter for my training course today, turning up at the wrong location and then eventually getting there 20 minutes late. This is a first for me. I am not late. I hate being late! So of course I then felt guilty and stupid and completely disorganised and I was this close to calling them and telling them I was sick. Yeah, sick of embarrassment, but I thought that was slightly melodramatic. Though I am a complete knob!

As previously observed at training courses, adults are ridiculously rude. They talk over the top of the trainer. Oh god, I wanted to punch a few of them. Rude bitches and bloke. Yes, there was one token bloke who actually spoke more than the women, talk about chatty man, he could give Alan Carr a run for his money. Though he did have teeth like the guy from the Pogues.

Urgh. Am so angry and disjointed at the moment. I just feel in a sort of limbo don't need to hear about my stresses.

The cake in the oven I just made smells very good. I have a wonderful 30th/Housewarming party to attend tomorrow in Nottingham and very much looking forward to it. I am of course taking more than one dessert and A has made something tasty too. Am not disclosing too much as I want it to be a surprise J. He he.

Have a great weekend and I hope your weeks were better than mine. Wrap up warm it could be a chilly one.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Insanity in two acts

Act One

Written in the sky. Messages. Indiscernible to most but speaking to me through the medium of clouds, and quite specific clouds too.

It's all about the ice ice baby.

Cirrus clouds and contrails definitely form the most legible notes. Cross that T, dot that I. Do it with an ice cloud.

They are the most calligraphic of the cloud types. Add a flourish and a flick, it's easy with the wind speed up there.

It's a shame the messages aren't as clear as saying 'this is what you should do with your life' but they're definitely giving me something to think about.

Any jobs going as cloud ciphers? That would be amazing!

Do you have what it takes to break that code? Decipher the hidden messages: Spend your days looking skywards.

Can you say, dream job?!!!!

Ahhhh, another day dream. Get your head out of the clouds Helen.

Act two
The inconvenience of passive smoking.

I find it such a hideous thing. At uni I'd sit in a room full of friends smoking and it wouldn't bother me too much. It was just that horrible thing that other people did and let's face it we were all musicians too. But this was in the days when you could still smoke in pubs, clubs and restaurants, so you were just constantly surrounded by the stuff.

Now I barely come in to contact with it at all, which is great, but then when I do it just becomes the biggest inconvenience to me. And when there's someone in front of me  and the smoke gets blown in my face......Oh it does get my goat up. Urgh! There were two of them this morning polluting my air. Yuk!

The End-ish

And if you're wondering about my sanity levels, yes they are dangling nervously over complete insanity. But it's always fun to share.

Mini burgers and salad tonight, followed by apple crumble and custard. Am I good or am I good???? Ha ha. I have a limited collection of recipes but they seem to keep A happy, especially my very lengthy dessert rosta.

Time to do the washing up.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Weetabix, Autumn and Retail Therapy

And it's Weetabix to start:

New easy open paper packet.


Half the fun of Weetabix is opening that really annoying packet which would dramatically split down the side spilling Weetabix dust/guts everywhere.

But no. Now we have this lovely paper packet that opens really easily. I didn't spill anything. Boo. I was tempted to just tip it upside down and spill on purpose. (Yes I know I'm a weirdo.)

The problem is people no longer relish a challenge. They want everything made easy or preferably done for them. Boring. Come on everyone where are your problem solving skills? Where is your desire to take the hard road once in a while.

We teach kids to problem solve but most adults just have a gadget that does it for them. No wonder I shun technology or do things the hard way. It's way more fun.

Like when I'm baking. I still hand beat all my mixtures. None of this Nigella, pop it in the uber expensive mixer thing and then go to my fake party where I can mingle with the most ethnically diverse bunch of young people (way too young to be friends of hers) and then come back twenty minutes later and it's done. I give myself blisters. Hard graft. It's probably why they taste so good. Ha ha. (Just going off my guests/consumers comments - and no they weren't held at cake slice point.)

Or when I'm writing. I cart around various notebooks and pens, jotting down things as I go along but even my blogs are quite often jotted out first before being typed up. Sometimes I just need to see it actually written. Feel something real. You know.

But as usual I digress. Boo to your easy open packets Weetabix, you've just halved your appeal. Ha ha.

It is officially the start of Autumn. Well, my official start to Autumn, as it was that cold this morning, I had three layers on and a scarf. Yay! I bloody love Autumn. My favourite season and favourite time of year. Which is quite ironic, being known as the season of change and me hating change. Well, what do you know?

I love being all wrapped up and am now thinking......knitwear!!!!! I'd love a new woolly hat too, one of those over sized ones. Yes. Yes. (Am I the only one that gets excited about cold weather??? I just love being cosy.)

Anyhoo, London is being stripped bare, all the London 2012 banners, posters, lamp post signs and floor stickers are being removed. I think I actually saw a guy with a job worse than mine. He was sat on the floor scraping those big coloured stickers off a cobbled floor. Nice!

Beneath all the hype and colours , there it is, the grim grey reality: London Town. And boy do I love it, with or without the Olympics.

Whoever said retail therapy doesn't work clearly had a penis because oh my god, I feel better now. The little forties style blue and white polka dot dress I bought (that was on sale....winner!) definitely made my life/career crisis that much easier to stomach. Also I bought loads of little bits and accessories and presents for my friends birthday. And buying things for other people always makes me feel better.

I still have that career or lack of career crisis, but who doesn't? At least I have a nice dress to show for it and an awesome present for Heva. Shame Fopp had run out of cheap headphones though as one side of mine have gone again. Ah well, you can't have everything in life.

I got my runners pack for The Royal Parks Half Marathon today. Only just over 3 weeks to go. Thankfully my mystery illness of the last week has almost gone so I should be well up for a long run at the weekend and then should be able to push myself back into the training for the last hard slog. Radioactive snot aside, I am feeling half human again so that's something.

He he. Funniest thing that happened this week at work is that I received an 'I'm sorry for having a tantrum' card. Ha ha. This particular child has been very difficult lately and kept having mega twenty minute scream-a-thons. Bless her though, she did a bit of the writing and drew a person complete with eyes, nose, mouth, hair, arms and legs. Lovely.

And so to depart and look at my pretty dress and forget about my various crisis', for a little while at least.

Friday tomorrow. Yay.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Boobs and crotches and radioactive snot. Yummy.

Here are some interesting facts:

Fact 1: It is almost impossible to swish your mouth wash around when you can't breathe through you nose. (I found that out the hard way.)

Fact 2: Soup really is the best remedy when you feel like shite. (whether it is home made chicken and noddle or store bought tomato and basil. It's all good.)

Fact 3: Having someone to look after you when you're ill is priceless!

As you may have guessed by today's facts, I've been ill for the last four days. Aching limbs (Thursday night I could barely move. )Sore throat. Banging head. Radioactive snotty nose. General feeling like shit.

So it's been a lovely time. I still went to work on Friday, despite the growing symptoms and shock horror, I'm in work right now writing this blog. Still I do feel better than I did at the weekend. Saturday was in no way fun. I spent most of it on the couch in my p.j's cuddling a cushion, watching various things on netflix.

What I found most difficult to deal with was the temperature fluctuations. Most of the morning I was cold, to the extent that while most of London was outside enjoying the glorious day probably wearing shorts and t-shirt; I was wrapped up in a blanket hugging my pillow with my full length p.j's on. But from no where I then got the sweats and not only couldn't deal with the blanket, but the top had to go as well. At one point I was sat doing absolutely nothing, watching tv in my bra and there were beads of sweat trickling down my head. What?

That carried on most of the day. Top on, top off. Blanket on, blanket off. Sweaty bitch!

A really saved the day though. He went out and bought loads of stuff, keeping not only the fridge well stocked but me well fed. The chicken, noodle soup was particularly yummy, along with the lamb stew and cous cous.

Again, sleeping hasn't been easy what with my recurring strip routine, paracetamol wearing off and general ickiness. I've been literally every four hours with the paracetamol or ibuprofen and on top of that vitamins and fruit and throat losengers. It's really all about the drugs.

And so thankfully, Sunday I felt slightly more human and less achy. I even managed a shower and a walk to pick up my beautiful prescription sunglasses. It was worth the slight exhaustion. They really are fabulous! What was more annoying was that I missed my training. I should have been on a 15kms run this weekend and to be honest an extremely slow walk to Camden market (ten mins from the house) was more than enough. Still, I managed to get a few bits and bobs done for work on Sunday afternoon which was good. I hadn't had the patience or brain power to do anything since Wednesday. No writing, no nothing. I know, it's terrible! I'm ashamed.

At least when I woke up this morning I didn't need to immediately take pain killers and I hadn't been up in the night which for me is huge progress. Though I have to say I'm pretty glad I'm on the earlies today. I'll be more than glad to go home at 4pm. Am exhausted already. Ha ha.

Oh, I realised this morning that I change my reading speed according to the song on my Ipod. I've never noticed it before. Does any one else do that? I know I do it with my walking speed, old habits from my marching band days. I have to be in time (in step as it were) with the music, no matter how fast or slow. Although if it's really slow I'll just do double time. Ha ha. Music/band geek.

Normally I don't really notice the music but today I suddenly started to devour the paragraphs and I noticed the song change and genre change and suddenly thought, ah ha, I change my reading speed. How strange.

You see, its always the little things in life that amuse us or fascinate us.

And to finish as it's very nearly time for another losenger I want to tell you another classic tale from the classroom. You really can't make this stuff up.

My planning last week was the utterly boring topic of 'The classroom rules' which for the record I've done for the past three years. BORING! But anyhoo, the children and I were having a discussion about the rules  and one in particular; gentle hands. I asked them what you could do with your gentle hands:

"Stroke people." Was one of my favourites, along with "hold things. You can hold everything actually, except the sky." Another great one was, "You can hold the clouds because they're light."

Yes, my kids are genius'.

More tales of the classroom include the departure of yet more children to that evil place named 'big school'. They take away our lovely kids that we've worked so hard with and we never see them again. Evil. Anyhoo, one of the children whom I have quoted many a time in my blogs, some of you may remember playdoughisms...classic!

This particular child pointed at the boobs of one of the staff, He said, "I like to touch those but mummy doesn't like me to." They really do start young.

And one of the other kids shoved his hands in a staff members crotch, in front of a parent. Lovely. They really are little darlings aren't they.

He he.

So, I must go as lunch is almost over. How does an hour go so fast? Let's hope the dreaded lurgy pisses off soon, I could do without the headaches and snot making me more grumpy than usual. At least the aching has stopped so I can move again. So that's nice.

Oh and just a small note about how great the Paralympics and Olympics in London 2012 have been. It's gutting it's all over. I've enjoyed just being able to come home and watch amazing athletes competing just down the road. It's been utterly fabulous and Team GB and Ireland have done tremendously well.

Yes I am patriotic and proud. So go ahead and sue me.

Happy Mondays. Though not the band, just have a happy Monday.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Feck, Frack, Frick and other F words.

1. Fucking red towels. What the feck to they make them out of? I'd completely forgotten it was lurking in the pile of clothes and just packed it all in the washer, zapped it and it was only as I brought everything out that I realised my mistake.

My lovely Team GB wristband was now pink and various shades of blue and my stripey knickers were blue and pink sripes. And if you haven't guessed already, I'm not exactly a fan of pink. In fact I go out of my way to avoid it at all costs. I hate it!

I wouldn't mind if it was a first wash. I'd hold my hands up and take the blame, but it's been washed so many times it's ridiculous, thus why all our bedding is tinged pink. Although that's also partly due to the red pillow cushions. Urgh!

I swear there's an evil towel maker somewhere that adds extra dye just to piss everyone off. Either that or red towel makers are also pink fanatics. 

2. Fucking phone calls at 6.00am. I shit myself.

Someone's dead. Oh God. Someone's dead.Wait a minute, I don't recognise that number. 

Somehow that made it worse. Anyhoo, it was a work colleague calling in sick which subsequently has made this the worst day ever! I have honestly never been this close to resigning. I still can't guarantee it won't happen. Manager off on holiday, one staff off sick, regional manager fun fun. And to top it all off I have to say goodbye to my favourite child of all time (very closely tied with Jessy who left 2 years ago). I will be a wreck!

3. Fucking wrapping paper that won't stick with sellotape. What the....

Surely that's the only thing it has to do, other than cover the present. I was wrapping a child's present this morning and it was just refusing to stick down. Needless to say the morning was filled with the sound of swearing and mostly the F word. It's just the only word that will do sometimes.

4. Finally they've chopped the hedge on Holmes road that took up half the pavement and was opposite a lamp post which took up even more of the walkway. Greedy feckers. About time. Otherwise you had to go in the road if someone wanted to pass. Or you had to do the round the lamp post dance.

5. It was also way too cold this morning to set out in a vest but I was carrying so much that I couldn't easily achieve cardigan status.

6. And what's more, I still haven't heard from the glasses place about my vintage prescription sunglasses. They'd better hurry up, I've paid for the damn things and they weren't cheap.

And to finish........

6. I went to the Paralympics on Monday at Excel. I paid £5 and got to see four matches of table tennis (all medal matches) and a game of sitting volleyball. Truly awesome and I was just disappointed at how empty the place was. I urge everyone to get on the internet and see if they can get anything because while the aquatics centre and Olympic stadium are full to capacity, other venues aren't and they need the support. Truly inspiring stuff and for £5. Amazing!!!!!

I've been addicted to the Paralympics coverage and at first hated the amateurish feel of it. The BBC was super professional and did a great job of the Olympics. But now I've seen a lot and got used to the presenters (most of which were nabbed from the BBC anyway) I kinda like it. It feels like the way I would make a TV programme, slightly haphazard but done with a smile and a sense of humour. Love it.

Hoping this day will end soon though I know it won't as I'm doing 8-6 and then going straight out (Skunk Anansie Gig in Shoreditch). E well. Instead, let's hope the sellotape stays stuck until he rips it open and let's hope the afternoon is nicer than the morning. Because if not..........

Thanks for reading. I realise I didn't even say Hi, today. I just ranted. Feel slightly better now. Slightly.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Extra ranty goodness.

It has been brought to my attention that I have become less ranty of late. For this I apologise. I'll try not to let that happen again.......

Okay so that stupid woman who kept trying to shove past me to get on the tube despite the others not having got off yet......urgh! She kept bashing the back of my legs with her bag. I wouldn't mind but the tube was practically empty and in no danger of leaving without her. But some people just have this blind ambition to get a seat and they can't think of anything else. They have their sights set on a particular seat and that's it. So they ignore the poor people waiting patiently in front of them. Stupid woman.

Not sure who this scent belongs to but I'm literally suffocating. I think it's supposed to be cologne but quite frankly it smells like hospital. Ewwwwww. Why does everyone have to be subjected to your dire taste in perfume. My nostrils have been violated!

Thankfully it was only one stop. Jesus. Whoever made that stink pot must have a hospital fetish. Nasty. It's probably Gaga or something.

The old thighs are dying today. Did 12.4kms yesterday. Felt the time. But dear lord. Most of last night I could barely move and now my legs are laughing at me as I have to be active all day with my kids and they know I can't be. Bastards.

Bending down/ crouching is a tough one, but I was completely fine after my 10kms last week. Maybe that's my threshold and then after that my body breaks. It also seems to be my threshold for other things too such as sports bra chafing. Oooo that's a right nasty business.

Continued after work...........

Dig me using my Ipod (Frank) to take notes about my blog. It's mainly due to the fact that I forgot to pack a book in my morning haste. As usual for me technology is a last resort rather than a first. But still I guess it's progress into that blasted 21st Century.

This is my last working week without a uniform. So after four years and three months they are forcing me to change my habits and wear a nursery branded t-shirt. The horror! (Did you notice the bad word in this sentence? Change. Not one of my favourite words, especially when applied to me.)

From next week we'll all be the same, wearing a boring t-shirt completely losing our identity. (Melodramatic.)
I don't want to wear a freakin' shitty t-shirt. (Having a paddy now.) Besides it limits me to only two possible pairs of jeans as my other two pairs need me to wear something long over the top, preferably a dress due to the clinginess of thigh.

I'm sure they're only doing it because we've got Ofsted anytime soon. Like they give a stuff if we're wearing matching t-shirts. All they care about is  paperwork and policies and safeguarding and the bloody new EYFS. I asked if we could have dress down Fridays as we are only given two t-shirts  and whilst it may be feasible to wear each one twice, three times is not an option. Tube heat plus Helen equals one sweaty bitch. Which means I'm going to be constantly washing bloody t-shirts. Urgh! Though at least they're not making us wear the red ones. But my manager said she didn't think the boss would like it if he came round and saw us out of uniform. He comes round about three times a year and probably wouldn't notice considering our branch has never had a uniform in at least five years if not longer. Tight buggers. Anyhow I'll probably end up with paint on it within one day.

Another year older. Was my birthday at the weekend. 29 now. And really feeling that down hill slide towards 30. I also feel an insane desire to write a list. You know, the list of things I want to do before I'm 30, though the one thing I want more than anything is unlikely to happen before I'm forty, which is even more depressing than the fact I'm going to be 30 in the first place. When did time start slipping away? When did my sentences become so long? (I feel I need to clarify the thing I want more than anything, which is to become a published writer.)

So maybe I will make a list and try and keep it reasonably attainable. The last thing I want to be is 30 and a failure. I mean that can't be good. I can guarantee most of the list will consist of places to visit, which will make it easier to succeed.

For my birthday this year I took full advantage of the bank holiday weekend, though typically on my actual birthday when A had treated me to a coach trip to Stonehenge, it was pissing it down! 2 hours on a coach with a lingering hang over from my bubbly induced drunkenness of the night before.....followed by heavy rain and wind and me stupidly only wearing a thin jumper. Stonehenge is one of those places I've always wanted to visit since I was a kid. (It doesn't have to go on the list now.) But strangely enough they don't tell you it's in the arse end of no where and takes so long to get to but only a fraction of that time to actually see it.

What they also don't tell you as a kid is that no one actually knows anything about it's origins or it's reasons for existence. It's hilarious. You have to listen to a free audio guide which basically consists of two posh Brits speculating about stuff.  Using words such as 'possibly', 'somehow' and our favourite phrase 'the ceremonies that may have taken place here.' They haven't got a bloody clue. No one has. But of course this just added to our perpetual laughter. (Still some alcohol zooming through my veins.)

In all fairness. It was amazing. Beautiful and atmospheric if you discounted the multitude of colourful umbrellas and complaining kids. 'If it's man made, why would anyone want to come and see a man made piece of rock?' To which the mum replied. 'It's not the rock that's man made.' To which the kid answered. 'Well who wants to see something man made anyway.' Little shit! After twenty minutes of pelting rain and mild hypothermia (slight over-exaggeration although my jumper was very thin.) the weather did improve a little. And there became this diagonal band of grey dissecting the henge with rolling white clouds and blue sky on the other side. Very cool.

 And so with a coffee and a hot chocolate to warm ourselves up we headed back to London, with a shit load of photos and a lot of giggles. Another two hours on the couch but the saving grace was A having bought two films on his Ipad so we had a mini frightfest with a horror film on the way there and one on the way back. Love it. 99p films from Itunes store. Winner!

I'm sure there's probably more I need to rant about but I keep distracting myself with Netflix. Sorry. But I'll leave you with this one.

To top it all off. I got a second letter in the last week from my doctor inviting me to come for a cervical screening. I love it how they 'invite' you, like it's a party. Oh yeah, just whip your pants off and we'll poke around. Whoop. But you can always wear this party hat and have a lollipop. Lovely.

I know I should have been having them since I was 25 but I don't like to be rushed and I still don't want to have one now but I guess it's on the list before 30 so if I get it over and done with now then it's done until I'm 32. But it's just so........intrusive. There's only one man I trust to poke around down there and quite frankly no one else should, ever! And so I will of course be requesting a woman. Not that it makes it any better. I don't particularly have any girl on girl fantasies and certainly not using gynecological instruments. Even the word gynecology gives me the creeps and funnily enough makes me cross my legs.

Oh well, it'll still take me a little while to psyche myself up but I do realise that despite being roughly 17 in my head, I'm not. I do realise this. And even if I didn't A likes to point it out. "You think you're younger than you are, don't you?"
Yeah. So what? I hang around with four year olds all day, what do you expect?

Anyhoo. Enough with the complete over share. I hope I have satisfied the rantiness and will continue to do so over the next few blogs. Am excited to get to the 100th! Whoop!

Enjoy the remaining 3 days of the week. (How amazing are bank holidays?) And support the Paralympics!!!!

Oh, one last thing. I went on Amazon looking for some presents for my kids and I found this as a description:
Plastic Music Wind Instrument Musical Flute.

It's a fucking recorder. For god's sake, I know the musical education in this country isn't the best unless you've got a lot to pay. But still. The idea that a flute could be made of plastic, or played vertically, or be £4.00 is just preposterous. It's a recorder you dumb shit! I had a toy flute as a kid but it was still played horizontally and had the mouth piece and everything.

Please teach your kids the proper names for instruments. It really riles me up. Oh and another one is when people put a metal glockenspiel and then call it a xylophone. Whoa whoa! Xylophone's are made of wood not metal. It is a very easy distinction. Argh!

And goodnight!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fucked up dreams and pulling teeth.......

Okay so this is taking the piss now. What the fuck is with the fucking fucked up dreams????????

Aaaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh! I can't sleep. My dreams are right royally messed up and it's driving me demented. And what's worse is the dreams are of people that I haven't seen in years which drags up a lot of history stuff that I don't really want dragging up. And I'm on lates so I don't even need to be up at 5.57am for the last two days running. Pissin' sun waking up so god damn early! Argh!

Subsequently I'm snappy at the kids and can't be arsed at work and just don't want to be there. Yes I'm having a work crisis but to be fair I've been having that on and off for the last four years, so that's not exactly new.

But really, how many new scenarios are there where I can have my teeth fall out on me. (This is one of the recurring dream themes, yet the scenarios are always slightly different.) I realise I have latent teeth trauma issues but really that was over a month ago and it's all healed and I'm fine, well, except for the paranoia and constant feeling that they're all gonna crumble on me.

Not even the strict regime of brushing, flossing and mouth wash seems to be enough anymore. But what the hell else can I do? I know most of it is psychological, but really psychology sucks! Piss off mind. Piss off subconscious thoughts. Just piss off and let me sleep!

And it's not just the new and ingenious ways for all my teeth to leave me, it's random guilt trips and uncomfortable situations. What ever happened to good dreams? What ever happened to waking up and having a whole songs worth of lyrics in my head or a new story idea. Well I guess I could probably knock something together in the way of teeth horror fiction, but I'm not sure how well that would go down.

Anyhoo, sleep grumpiness aside, I now have the added stress (self-induced of course) of a bake sale at work to raise money for my charity half marathon. Mainly because none of the parents have sponsored me yet and I want to bribe them with sweet things. (Works with their kids....)

Would you like a scowl with that cake? 'Cause that's all you're gonna get!

I've just lost the patience to be overly nice anymore. I can't seem to do it. I can't seem to make small talk with the parents anymore. I just don't know what to say. Well today I'll be saying, "Buy a cake, Buy a cake, get down to Helen Richards' bake sale. Buy a cake" (To the tune of Buy a bike - Charnock Richards Cycles jingle. Okay only Northerners specifically from the North West will get this one. Oh and it's no relation.)

They'd better bloody buy something after all the crap I put up with. That's literal and metaphorical crap!
When I told some of them that I was having a bake sale, you'd have thought I'd pissed on their shoes or something. Honestly, It's not like I'm force feeding them sugar. And ideally I would like the parents to eat them anyway. They're much more likely to enjoy and savour a cake or biscuit of mine, rather than shove it in in one go or let half of it fall on the floor. Besides, most of them are sent in with croissants and all kinds of shit in a morning. Nutella on toast, chocolate croissants. The best one was the child who used to come in with an ice cream every morning, because it was the only way they could get her out of the house.......Really? Yet they look at me as though I'm ready with the pliers to just jerk those teeth right out. Which if they had any idea of the dreams I've been having lately, they wouldn't be thinking at all.

(Sigh). And so to the saving grace of yesterday. The verdict is in and I'm apparently not an alien. Here is a conversation between two of my 4 years olds at the tea table:

J      "Helen. Can I have some more soup?"
H     "Yes of course. One second."
Ju    "Helen. I want some more water."
I'm currently pouring out the soup for the other child.
Ju    "Helen I want some more water."
H    "Okay I heard you."
Ju    "I still want some more water."
H    "Ju, you can see I am already doing something. You have to wait. I only have one pair of hands."
Z     "Yeah Ju. She's not an alien."

 So there you have it. Proof that I am of this world, if only for my lack of more than two arms. He he. Made me laugh anyway. 

Well, my final batch of cookies should be ready any minute now and then I have to cart four lots of cake tins and boxes with me to work. That'll put me in a fabulous mood!

Anyhoo. Fingers crossed for generous parents and pleasant dreams!

Happy Wednesday. At least it's the middle of the week. Getting closer to that all important bank holiday Monday. Whoop!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

E, it's not easy is it?

Wow! Am back from my longest run since my Marathon back in 2010. (Yes, I know that's terrible but I do have 2 novels to show for it.) I did it. I crossed the 10km mark and didn't do too bad of a time.

10.2km in 1.09.00. My previous best for 10km is 1.03.00 (can't remember the seconds) which was back in May 2009 when I was three years younger and way more sprightly. So I'm completely happy with that. Now I have just six weeks to double that and keep my time to 10 minute miles.

And if I can produce that time with scorching heat then hopefully I can keep going longer when it's at least 10 degrees colder in October. 

Forgot to wear my Team GB official Olympic sweat bands though. Mistake. My shoulders and face are glistening with sweat but that could be coupled with the suncream literally melting off me. I wonder if any one else has to go running in suncream or if they just run so fast the sun can't catch them.

It's ridiculous though, I can't even travel light when I run. Phone, keys, tissues (essential), Frank my Ipod (yes I am now running to music. Seems to drown out my inner voice of doubt which usually says I'm tired and need to stop. Evil voice of doubt.) and my hilly filled with Vimto and four mini shaped ice cubes - it's all in the details and vimto is of course, the drink of champions. Ha ha. Maybe of Northern champions?

So, if I can lose a bit of weight and stop taking my life with me when I run that should enable me to run a tad faster. Well it's not really faster I need to run so much as, longer, longer and longer.

I didn't go in the old stretchy pants today as 1, they are black and 2, I need to wear a skirt over the top for obvious reasons. (To hide my ass and thighs.....obviously!) So I opted for sports bra and shorts. But it was still too much clothing. Of course all the posers were out in their teeny shorts and tiny sports bras (mine is full length...). Summer is just a breeding ground for the blonde, tanned, super fit people of the world to descend upon Regents park and make everyone else look bad. Is it wrong I was tempted to barge them, trip them up, general sabotage? Well you've got to entertain yourself when running alone. Though I was lucky enough to be accompanied by Fair to Midland's 3rd album - Fables from A Mayfly. Thanks guys. Pretty good music to run too and awesome music in general!!!!!! Okay so I'm a slight fan, but really they're awesome, check them out!!!!!!

And so I am sat blogging in my own sweat (lovely image) as it's way too hot to jump in the shower yet. I take a good two hours to return to normal colour and temperature levels. So in the mean time I will tell you about my amazing feat of yesterday.

You know when you go to the cinema and it's a lovely day outside but once you've been sat in the air condition for a few minutes you're bloody freezing? Yes. Well we had that exact same problem last week when we went to watch Dark Knight Rises. So yesterday when we went to watch the new Bourne film, you know the one without Matt Damon ("Matt Damon" said in drawling Team America voice.) I went prepared.

Due to the mini London heat wave we seem to be having, I was (shock, horror) wearing a skirt. Now I knew my arms would get cold so I made sure I had a cardigan but I also slipped in a pair of tights. Well, you never know.

So for the first 40mins I was fine, then it was definitely time for the cardigan. Another 20 minutes later and I'm gunning for the tights. Have you ever tried to put tights on in the dark, whilst watching a film, in public, without flashing or drawing too much attention to yourself???? No? You should try it. Ha ha. It's hilarious. Managed to get the feet in fine and got them pulled up to about my thigh area which was fine as the skirt covered it, but it was bloody uncomfortable. So over the next ten minutes leaving gaps in between each attempt, I managed to get the tights pulled up. Ahhhhhh. Now that felt much better. Toasty warm!!!!

I'll definitely be doing that again, now I know it can be done. Or the other option is taking a blanket with you. I'm not kidding it's pissin' freezing in there.

The film was fairly good, following the same Bourne formula as the others just without Matt Damon. Although I kind of like his replacement. He was in Mission Impossible 4 and various other things. He's cute.

Anyhoo, A is going rock climbing with his friend for some male bonding so I will be home alone writing, possibly interspersed with episodes of VD3. No it's not a disease, it's Vampire Diaries Season 3. Yes I am sad and yes I love it and no I don't really care. I love HMV it always sends things out early. This doesn't actually come out till Monday but I got it yesterday. Winner! And yes I've already seen them all on ITV 2 but this is gonna be the entire series in probably a week. That's how a series should be seen. Yes yes yes!!! Bring on the sexual tension. There's so much of the glorious stuff!!!!! Keeps me hooked anyway, even when the plot goes a bit wayward, there's always love triangles and jealousy and all that scrumptious unrequited feelings. Wow, I think it really is an illness. Ha ha.

Well, I appear to be cooling significantly, so it may be almost time to jump in the shower and rid myself of my run. I think I was quite happy to stew in my hard work today, proud of every bead of sweat. I know now I've mastered that 10km barrier that I can do it and hopefully stamp all over that voice of doubt. Though if someone could turn the thermostat down a tad just whilst I'm running, that would be fantabulous!

Happy Sunday everyone. Hope it's a glorious one!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

London Bleached

Gone are the union jacks adorning chests, heads, faces, backs, legs and bags. Gone are the colours of the world. Gone is the pride for country and man. Gone is the sense of community. Gone is conversation with strangers.

London is bleached. Back to it's usual grey suited, black briefcased best. No conversation. No sound only kindles and Ipods to block out the rest of existence. That stiff upper lip at its stiffest. Smiles buried. Pride reigned in. Head's down. Now there is no longer anything to talk about, why bother?

I realised today after walking behind a suity, wearing a grey suit and carrying a black briefcase, that I had no desire to ever have to wear a suit to work. (Not that anywhere requiring a suit would ever employ me.) But it just struck me as ridiculously boring and limiting. How do you express your personality? How do you be yourself? And the briefcase. Oh no. A sexy satchel yes, but a!

Thankfully though, pre-school teachers/writers don't tend to need smart clothing, so that's a relief. And to be honest I'd never get anywhere with a briefcase. I usually have a rucksack and at least one other shoulder bag. Travelling light, not my thing.

My Ipod battery ran out on the way to work on Tuesday and I felt so dejected. I can't remember the last time I didn't have music to drown out the world on a tube journey unless A was there with me. But what surprised me most was the quiet. No one spoke. This is no exaggeration. No one spoke in the whole carriage. No one even made eye contact. It's every man for himself (or herself), absorbed in whatever activity is part of their commuting routine. Be it newspapers, books, writing, kindles, games or puzzles. I did actually see a guy once sat on the floor of the tube writing music on manuscript paper. And of course some of the more seasoned travelling women can apply make-up and do some pretty complex beauty regimes whilst speeding along the London travel network. Boggles my mind.

Anyhoo. Am having a doubt time at the moment, when I second guess everything thought, word and action. Am I on a downward spiral or is it just my mind making me think I am? The mind is a pretty dangerous and influential appendage (not sure if that's quite the right word to use in this circumstance, but it is a good word.).
It can manipulate your thoughts and actions, reduce you to a blubbering wreck or leave you feeling high as a kite.

It can work with you or more often than not against you, dragging your inner most anxieties to the forefront, exposing your worst fears. The mind can be a great tool if it can be controlled. But do we control it, or do it control us? Can you in any way separate yourself from your mind? It is welded into your brain, a part of you that is always on. It stores all those memories and experiences that have happened to us and throws them back at us whenever it decided. And usually the ones we'd rather forget. The ones that make your stomach clench, your teeth grate and your cheeks pink with embarrassment. No other organ or part of your body has that power over you. It is not to be trifled with!

Ahhhhhhh. Apologies for the depressive moment. And the random rambling. It probably doesn't make a lot of sense but sometimes I just have to bash out some nonsense and make some sort of sense of it and then bore you guys with it. He he.

And now I have a boring training session. I finished work at 4 and had to come back at 6 to learn about the new EYFS. Yeah. Change. Oh how I love it!

I've worn a flower all day, a present from one of my kids. You gotta love 'em.

Oh and randomly I had my first comment on blogspot last week from a guy who also saw a cirumzenithal arc in the sky over the Olympics park. How weird. There were two sky nutters out there. Who would have thought?

Have a great Wednesday night.

EYFS awaits....urgh!

Monday, August 13, 2012

The show's not over until Helen blogs.

The closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, typed up from notes I made throughout. I have not altered or changed these in any way, so they are gut instincts, split second decisions on what was happening. This means I will inevitably offend almost everyone......Here goes.

Emeli Sande - Flat throughout. Who the feck are you anyway? Did she even try to sing in tune?

40 members of Stomp on the other hand - Awesome! Choir pretty nice too!

Ahhhh, Julian Lloyd Weber - Scruffy and weird looking but a bloody beautiful cellist.

Peter Pettigrew - I always forget his real name but he was Peter Pettigrew from Harry Potter. Ha ha. Timothy Spall doing a great job as Winston Churchill.

I like the traffic and all the different transport even down to roller blades, though that is sort of funny as you can't roller blade practically anywhere in London. Most parks it is banned and you can't do it on the pavements. Anyhoo. Traffic. Nice. Rush hour conveyed. Just multiply it by a million.

All newspaper coverings. Emphasis on recycling? Or Britains' love of newspapers?

Prince Henry - Did anyone else go, "His name's not Henry, it's Harry?" Confused? He looked pretty confused himself.

Ahhhhh, the National Anthem (again!). Man are we sick of hearing that now.....he he.

Del Boy's car - Legendary Only Fools and Horses. A and I suspect a lot of non Brits would find that one tricky.

Madness - Lovely, though I know they ain't gonna do Baggy Trousers. Crazy kilt guy looks amazing. I love Madness. It doesn't matter how much they age, they've still got it!!

Blur - Park Life/Park Live.....I get it now. They were playing live at Hyde Park.

Guards Marching Band - Lovely slow marching.

Pet Shop Boys - Love the origami cyclist stuff. Lovely cone hats too. Pointy! Bloody weirdos but you gotta love 'em.

What the feck is this? - Argh! Cheesy pop. Little gay boys. Oh, One Direction - Not a cock between them.
How did they get in the closing ceremony? And they're not even singing?

Yeah Stomp - Making noise with bin lids. Whoop! And not forgetting big sticks. Awesome!
They stomp all over One Direction and their tiny pricks.

Chaos and hustle and bustle of London. It's why we love it!

Spelbound - What is this? Crazy acrobatic creepiness? Yeah. I can do that too.

Ray Davis - Waterloo Sunset.....TUNE!

Crazy acrobatics goin' on in the background as well.

It's not fucking her again. She still can't sing. She's pissin' flat again. Piss off. (Emeli Sande) Who's she screwing to get so much air time/face time? I'd like you to sing in tune please. And was it really necessary to costume change especially as you're singing the same song. And even if she wasn't singing the same song, it sounded the same.

Cue emotional interlude which basically consists of clips of everyone crying. Yes. It's depressive Britain at it's best.

(Emeli Sande) She's really no substitute for Adele. She's just a bit shit and irritating. Who made her Queen of the World?

Whoop! All the flag bearers back. Lovely. Though the sequined lady escorts were hideous. Eek.

Elbow getting all sentimental. Come on you Northerners.

I don't think I ever watched an entire closing ceremony before. It's beautiful. Or that could be because it's my games in my city, my country. It means a lot. Very emotional.

All the flags together. Very nice. It's my philosophy in life - 'Why can't everyone just get along?' Well here they are getting along.

Well done Ireland. 5 medals!!!!

It's like a ticker tape parade. You fill up that Union Jack. Full of people from all over the World. An International Island.

Come on Kate Bush, we need you.

I want a blue hat with a light bulb on it. Awesome!

3 new nations won a medal this time, that had never won one before. Love it. That's what it's all about.

Shame they just repeated all the songs we'd already heard. They obviously underestimated how long it would take to get all the athletes in. 2 songs from Elbow just won't cut it.

As soon as the drums started, I knew. I started screaming but sadly no Katie Bush. What a tune though! Running up that Hill. I'm glad she was involved and she definitely re-recorded the song. (I know it like the back of my hand and it was different from the original and remixed versions...sad, I know.) I'm almost convinced she was in that pyramid thing though. She is the ultimate recluse.

Marathon medal ceremony = time to get ice cream and cake.

The volunteers - Legends!

Those light things that the audience have are awesome!

Am I the only one who's had enough of Imagine?

Needed cake and ice-cream to get over the lack of Katie.

George - Go George. He was havin' a lovely time. I love how George still thinks he's 30. Still he's growing older way more gracefully than Madonna - Crotch showing Ho!

I don't know the second song of George. I don't think anyone else does either. (Found out it's his new single)
Sorry George but it's terrible! He's got a bit of dad dancing going on.

Have to say, the choir are brilliant!

Kaiser Chiefs? MOD? Pinball Wizard.

Where's Elton? Wasn't in the opening ceremony either. Boo!

Bowie - Only in clips.

Kate moss - Not sure how happy I am that she got in on it. Dirty drug supping ho.

Ahhhh, British fashion. Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell.......Am I supposed to know the others?
Glamorous outfits? Hideous outfits? Yes!

My word this blog will take me a while to write.

Annie Lennox -  A wench on a Pirate ship. Stella! Epic. Always one for drama. She's still got it.
Now that's a performance. Shits all over One Di- pissin'- rection and that stupid Emeli Snade woman.
I want a Pirate ship like that!

Ed Sheeran - Looking cute and ginger as ever. Nothing like a depressing interlude. Now I know he was playing a Floyd song, but it was still depressing.

Oh. Random tight rope walkers, or maybe just one as the other looks like a dummy. And yes, they just set it on fire. Lovely.

Must go and get ready for work now. Will finish Blog on my lunch break. Told you it was a long one. Been typing 45 minutes already and still 7 pages of my notebook to type up.

And I'm on lunch and ready to finish this blog of epic proportions:

Why is Russell Brand murdering a classic tune from Charlie and the Chocolate factory? Come to think of it, why the hell is he here? He's such a tool! Oh look, I'm miming like a completely untalented prick!

Fat Boy Slim - Now that's better. He looks so cute in his little shirt. Awwwww. Random inflatable octopus??? Some tunes though!!! Takes me back.

Fuck off Jessie J and next time put some pissin' clothes on.

Tiny Temper - hmmmmm. Taio Cruz???

Oh, I get it. It's the modern bit. No, you've lost me!

Why has she got white shoes on? Her meagre attempt at clothes are beigey off white. Looks terrible. I know I know nothing about fashion, but even I can colour match (to a certain extent).

They've given up now. They don't know what the hell they're doing. They've reverted to mum and dad dancing. (Jessie J, Taio Cruz, Tiny Temper....still)

And then come the black cabs, doing their ballet? Or so the commentator said. Who else could it be but the Spice Girls. Yeah. You can't help but smile. Oooooo, I love a good medley. It's like no time has passed. He he. Though they were struggling to keep upright on top of those cabs.

Oasis - Nice! Shame Noel's no longer there, he has a much better voice. Still. Tuneage!

Is it wrong that so far Spice Girls and Annie Lennox were the highlights. Oasis were pretty good too.

Man in a cannon......bizarre. Should have known it had something to do with Eric Idle. LEDGE!
Nice touches: Morris dances, beautiful angels, roller blading nuns, roman centurions and Indian dancers. Always look on the bright side of life! Not forgetting the random soprano avec trident. You always need one of those.

And then eventually the guy did shoot out of the canon. Nicely eccentric!
Oh look, it's Mr Bellamy playing his terrible Olympic song in a spangly suit. You sure as hell ain't gonna win with this terrible song. Eeeeshk. You were so good once.

Freddy on the big screen, captivating the entire audience with some vocal warm ups. And then Brian and those grey curls. Killer. And all the guitarists wank together. Ahhhhh. Sweet release!

Oh no, It's Jessie J again. Why? NO? Sacrilege!

Yeah. Boris is here. What do you mean he's not flying in on a zip wire??? Gutted.

Enter Brazil's offering: Tap dancing cleaners; whistles, samba, bright lights and way too many sequins. What's with the random condom heads that light up? Woo. So many sequins. My eyes.

Pele - No way.

Eeeee, it does go on. I need to be up at 6am.

And of course here come Take That. It's just like the bad ending to Stardust all over again.

You gotta love the cauldron: Mr Heatherwick's magical creation. We salute you and I love the epic end. Darcey Bussell arriving as a Phoenix, strutting her stuff and showing some lovely moves. Dra-ma-tic!

Goodbye Olympic Flame!

The Who with their theme tune to one of the CSI programmes. He he.

No literally, will it ever end?

And that is actually where it does end for me. I didn't bore you with all the handing over stuff at the end. Boring. But I did bore you with all this rambling nonsense. Apologies. You know I'm a sucker for an occasion and the closing of the London 2012 Olympics was a pretty emotional, epic end to what was a fantastic two weeks.

To be honest I'm dreading everyone coming back to London. I'll bet the tubes are rammed again. It's been so quiet during the Olympics. He he.

Happy Monday afternoon every one. Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Are you a record breaker??????

Are you? Because I am. He he. The Gold medal Women's Football match on Thursday night was a record crowd for an Olympic Women's football match. 80, 203 people and we were two of them! Awesome!

And boy did we know there were 80,000 people. Oh my word. Writers talk about floods of people but this was phenomenal. Spilling out of Wembley Park station in all directions, but with one destination in mind. I've literally never seen this many people together before.

Ants seem to be a decent analogy. Swarms of ants scurrying around, desperate to pick up tickets, find food and take their seats.

Within the hoards were masses of USA and Japanese fans, as well as a whole host of nations and their colours. We were still undecided on who to support, but it didn't really matter, the atmosphere just getting into the place was electric, never mind what it would be like once it started.

I'd never been in New Wembley. I had the pleasure of once travelling to Old Wembley to watch Wigan Athletic in a play off final from Division 2 I think, against Gillingham. Man that was a long time ago. He he. But really, wow, new Wembley is pretty awesome!

We picked up our tickets and went round to the turnstile to get in, A suddenly excited by the turnstile entrance. Well it is usual for a football stadium. Bless him. He's not well up on ball sports. So after the obligatory body search and bag search we were off to find food and our seats. Now we'd only bought our tickets a week or so ago and we'd got second price tickets so we knew they should be good, but we had no idea just how good until we stepped into the stadium.

Wow! Sometimes it is worth spending a little extra money (plus it was an early birthday present from A, so Woo!) Just look at this:


We were surrounded by both Japanese and Americans and still couldn't decided who to support but I have to say it was nice not to have a personal claim in the outcome because it just made everything exciting. Every chance at goal had your heart thumping, every tackle, every cross, every moment electric!

These Women were playing some amazing football and at that point I just didn't care who won, I wanted some entertainment and we certainly got it! Chants of USA and Japanese fans didn't disappoint and they were equally vocal as the match progressed.

This might sound weird but you almost forgot they were Women. It was just an awesome game of football and gender became irrelevant. I know a lot of people (mainly men) that would argue Women cannot play football or have no right to presume they can, but I'm telling you, this was about passion for a sport they love, skill, hard work and determination. And they could probably put a lot of male footballers to shame.
One thing you did notice was a lack of diving and really milking an injury (or non injury) for all it's worth. The Women don't do that, they just get on with it. There was only one yellow card in the whole match and about two instances of off-side called in the whole match. The Women are much better behaved. Of course!

I think football is about the game not about the gender you are when you play it, but then I know Women have campaigned long and hard to be taken seriously as footballers and I hope that with the exposure it's gotten at the Olympics, maybe it can become better received all around the world. Having a noo-nah instead of a willy should in no way dent your ability to kick a ball well, or in that respect throw a punch (hooray for equality in Women's boxing, not that I'm a huge fan of people punching each other in the face, but it is another step forward for equality for Women.) And I for one would be delighted to support a home nation side in Women's football. Actually I would love the GB Women to take on the GB men. And why not.

Okay I think I've made my thoughts known. Women rock and don't you forget it!

At full time it finished USA 2 Japan 1, though with a late surge I thought Japan might claw back a draw, which would have been awesome for us as we'd get extra time and possibly even penalties. He he. I want my money's worth. But sadly it wasn't to be and Japan finished a worthy second. Well done USA, as much as Japan probably had more chances, at the end of the day if you can't get it in the net you're gonna lose!

I have to say though, at times the football was as frustrating as watching an England men's match. You end up yelling and pointing and losing heart with the whole thing. 'Why are you going backwards?' 'Why is there no one in the box?' 'That was a terrible cross.' See, it really is equality for all. Ha ha.

Anyhoo, I'm rambling. Another amazing Olympic experience and not forgetting the medal ceremony. Canada had beaten France to the Bronze medal so the Canadian team were also there to pick up a medal. Just constructing the podium so it was large enough to house all those ladies took about half an hour. And the presentation itself was quite emotional. It really was a good job GB weren't playing, I would probably have been balling my eyes out.

What I found amusing was the fact that I'd been to all three countries of the medal winners. We sat and mused how we liked all of their countries. Good memories! And after that it was time to join the ants back to the ant hill (Wembley Park station). Took an hour and a half to get back but what a night. Amazing atmosphere, crowds, football, Women, goals and experience. I love Wembley and can't wait to go back!

Now, It's Saturday and it's sunny and I'm taking A for a walk up the O2 today. Whoop!

Have a great weekend. Come on GB, get some more medals. It's almost over.