February 24, 2006

I am in Paris!

I've had a great time today (see my Flickr for pictures).

I've only had 4 hours sleep, yay! I've been to the hypermarket (got told off for taking photos), the Louvre (stared at the Venus de Milo's arse) and drunk most of a bottle of Sancerre on my own.

It's great!

Tomorrow I'm going up the Arch (de Triomphe), to the Bois (woods) and then going out to dinner in the evening. After that we are going up the Champs Elysees to look at the lights. I've climbed on a sink to "Ooooh" at the Eiffel tower, found a gorgeous print to have framed (like our house needs more pictures) and astonished a variety of people with my godawful French.

Goodnight! More soon. xxx

P.S. Double expresso is the tech.

Surreal conversation

February 07, 2006

Izzy and I are driving along in the car. Isabel suddenly pipes up, apropos of nothing.

Izzy: The white spoons are sleeping!
Me: (mystified) What white spoons?
Me: (repeats) Izzy, what white spoons?
Izzy: (crossly) I didn't say anything about white spoons!
Me: You did. You said the white spoons were sleeping.
Izzy: Oh, no Mummy! The wine screen are sleeping.
Me: Wine screen... (thinking) WINDSCREEN!
Izzy: Yes.
Me: (puts windscreen wipers on to see if that provokes a reaction)

Lottery madness

February 05, 2006

I read on Friday that the Euromillions jackpot was £125 million, and I was passing a lottery kiosk so I absentmindedly bought a ticket.

Later that night, I started thinking about what I'd do with £125 million. That's insane money. We could pay off our mortgage, then we could pay off our family's mortgages, then we could pay off all our friends mortgages. We'd buy a new house. We could have whatever car/bike we wanted. We could go on holiday, whenever and wherever we wanted. I could buy a pair of Jimmy Choos. Ten pairs, if I wanted.

I'd have to give up my job. I've always said I'd carry on working if I won a lot of money - say £5 million - because it would help keep my feet on the ground. But there is no way you could have £125 million and expect your life to ever be the same again. I work for a small business as their office manager/bookkeeper. I couldn't just quit - it would cause havoc! It would be totally irresponsible.

What about Isabel? How could I refuse to buy her Disney Princess magazine when we'd got £125 million in the bank? Or for that matter, a dog, a horse, a princess castle, where does it end? I suppose we'd have to think about sending her to private school, even though I'm totally against it. How could we possibly avoid spoiling her? Her lifestyle would be changed overnight, forever. In a bad way.

All my time would be taken up making arrangements. I would have to get a PA. I would have to get an accountant, a solicitor, a cleaner, a personal trainer. For months I would spend half my life on the phone, trying to get things arranged. I would be absolutely terrified. Remember, I fear change!

I sat on my bed and thought, "Oh shit".

I suddenly realised, I don't want the money. I don't even want the responsibility of giving it all to charity - who am I to say who deserves it? I don't want my life to change that radically. I'm actually quite happy with things the way they are, thanks.

I was actually physically trembling. I thought, "I shouldn't have bought the ticket. Oh god. Oh please don't let me have won, please don't, oh holy shit what have I done?"

With great trepidation I checked the numbers.

We only matched one. Thank fuck for that.

Cock jokes are still funny

February 02, 2006

Mattgreen: Hey, did you know World's Largest Penis was on TV tonight?
Alicey: (laughing)
Mattgreen: I wonder how they get people to volunteer for that?
Alicey: Oh, they probably just put an ad in the back of the Radio Times.
Mattgreen: (laughing) Yeah, cos all those sort of guys read that publication.
Alicey: Seriously, that's how they get volunteers for programmes! It probably said something like, 'Program makers seek men willing to expose themselves. Monsters wanted'.
Mattgreen: 'Unfeasable genitalia required, no timewasters'.
Alice: (snorting with laughter)
Mattgreen: We can pretend to be middle-class, but it's still the knob gags that make us laugh.

Veganism - the post mortem

February 01, 2006

So, January is over and so is my veganism. Here's what I thought:

Health: Felt outrageously good all month. Being vegan, you really can't avoid eating healthily. Within a few days I felt great and it carried on all month.

Interest: It started off OK, but went downhill after a few weeks. Whilst I tried to be creative and did find a few really nice vegan recipes (Pasta with vegan pesto, Brazil nut and Ratatouille Bake, Vegetable tagine with harissa, Vegan Teabread), there is a limit to how creative you can be. Some things, like toad-in-the-hole and omelette and cheesecake just can't be replicated successfully. Eating out is difficult. Sandwiches get really boring when all you can have is herb pate, houmous or jam.

Practicality: It's a lot easier than it used to be to be vegan. There's more choice and more foods available in supermarkets. However, you still have to be super-organised. You can't just pop down the Spar for a snacky treat at lunchtime. I couldn't drink tea at work because I didn't have any soya milk and couldn't be bothered to bring it in every day. It's frustrating turning down things you really want (like the office Christmas cake) because you know/suspect it contains something you can't have. And it's bloody difficult to eat out.

Downsides: The OUTRAGEOUS and DISGUSTING farting. Un-fucking-believable. My husband threatened to divorce me if I turned vegan for life. All day, every day, the noxious fumes burst forth. Embarrassing in the office and the gym, I'm not sure I would ever get used to it.

Any slip-ups? A few:- a bowl of Special K without reading the packet (contains skimmed milk powder), vegetable stock powder (contains lactose), Lee-Anne's birthday curry (probably had egg in it somewhere) and a couple of Quality Street I scoffed in secret at the office. Oops.

Weight loss: I lost 2kg this month without any effort whatsoever, whilst still eating loads of nice food including lots of stuff that would be banned on conventional diets: nuts, avocados and tons of dark chocolate.

Conclusion: Successful for weight loss purposes, great for health, but not practical as a lifestyle due to the farting and farting around. Would be much easier if the whole family were vegan.

For February, I'm giving up alcohol. I'll let you know if that's easier or harder than being vegan. At least it's a short month, right?

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