Ways to abuse authority, part 34

December 28, 2010

Tonight, on the M25. It is wet and foggy and we are driving home. A vehicle on the hard shoulder suddenly starts flashing the lights on its roof and indicating to re-join the carriageway.

Mattgreen: It's the police! Let them in.
Alicey: It's not the police. It's just the traffic officers, look. I'm not letting them in.
Mattgreen: Oh yeah.
Alicey: If I was them, I'd take great pleasure in driving up behind people in flashy cars really fast, then turning on my flashing lights and driving up their bums until they pulled over, and then driving off really fast going "Ha ha ha"!
Mattgreen: That's why you're not a traffic officer darling.

Guinea pig games

December 26, 2010

On Christmas Eve, we were visiting my parents and we drove through a little town where we lived when Izzy was a baby. There was a game shop there that Mattgreen used to frequent, which I called "Guinea Pig Games" because it had previously been a pet shop and they'd never quite managed to get rid of the smell.

Mattgreen had mentioned this to some of his gaming chums and they'd all started calling it Guinea Pig Games as well, to my great amusement.

Anyway - we drove past it on Christmas Eve and Matt noticed, with some sadness, that it had been turned into a tattoo parlour.

I said, "Do you want me to stop? You could pop in and get a tattoo of a guinea pig".

I want another dog

December 22, 2010

As everyone knows, we already have a rare giant breed flock-guardian dog:

There's another rare giant breed flock-guardian dog I've had my eye on for quite a while. It's called a Komondor. Because they're heavy and strong, I don't think I can wait until we retire to get one because I may not have the strength to control it.

So the only option is to get it now, then it will live alongside Ludo, and when they have both passed away I can go back to work. Makes sense, right?

In the last couple of days I've made some serious enquiries. I spent a long time today talking to a lady from the breed club. I've put us down on the waiting list for a puppy, and started thinking about how to finance it.

Here's what a Komondor looks like:

You may also recognise it from the cover of Beck's album, Odelay:

They are completely amazing, unique looking dogs and I love them!
Now all I have to do is convince Mattgreen...

Christmas adventure

December 19, 2010

Last night Team Green went to the Royal Albert Hall to see Carols by Candlelight. We were meant to be going by coach, but it was cancelled due to the snow. We could change our tickets, but then it clashed with something else, so we decided to risk it and drive.

I was a bit very nervous about the drive. I googled "emergency car snow kit" and loaded the car with blankets, changes of clothes, flask of hot water, tea bags (Earl Grey because we wouldn't have any milk), food, torches, bits of cardboard to put under the wheels in case of wheel spin, a shovel, first aid kit, miniature of whisky (!), magazines, my crochet and the DS in case we got bored, and God knows what else.
Mattgreen rolled his eyes. A lot.

In fact, the journey wasn't too bad. A bit hairy in a few places, but not as scary as my 'should've been 45 mins but actually took 3 hours' journey home from Surrey on Friday.

We arrived, we got settled in our seats, and Mattgreen sat back in his seat and sighed. "What an enormous organ," he said, with a perfectly straight face. "It certainly is," I reply, grinning. Mattgreen continues, "That's the second biggest organ Mummy has ever seen", a smile creeping across his face. Isabel immediately said, "What's the first biggest Mummy?"

Mattgreen doubles over in his seat, choking with laughter, leaving me to come up with some implausible excuse and change the subject.

Losing my religion

December 17, 2010

Tonight I went to the little carol service in the street garden just down the road from us. I've been walking past the sign every day for the last fortnight and I thought it would be nice to go. I like singing, I like carols, what could go wrong?

When I arrived and they gave me a glow stick with "Jesus is the Light of the World" written on it, I was slightly dubious. But it was great! Afterwards I talked to a lady who obviously saw I was on my own and came to convert me.

Her: Do you go to church?
Me: Errrrrr well no. I'm not really the religious type.
Her: Well it's lovely to see you here.
Me: Well, I got involved with Cubs and one part of that is exploring your spirituality so I thought I might look into some different religions.
Her: That's lovely! Christianity is wonderful! My life was changed completely when the spirit lit up within me!
Me: (desperately trying to avoid thinking of euphemisms) Mmm.
Her: So what religion were you thinking of trying? Anglican, Baptist..?
Me: Or one of the others... Islam... Buddhism maybe...
Her: (visibly recoiling) But... their religions are based on hate! Ours is based on love! All you have to do is repent and Jesus will do the rest!
Me: I wonder what people from other religions would have to say about that. Anyway, it's getting chilly, best go home. See you later!
(exit stage left)

Kibble a la tortilla

December 12, 2010

Tonight, we had spicy beef mince tortillas for dinner. As I was getting the tortillas out, I dropped one on the floor. Ludo sniffed it, so I picked it up and handed it to Mattgreen while I got on with the dinner.

Alicey: Add that to Ludo's bowl, would you?
Mattgreen: (smirking) Sure.
Alicey: Just rip it up into pieces and chuck it on top of her kibble.
Mattgreen: But that wouldn't be any fun, would it?

Tonight, Ludo received her kibble completely encased in a flour tortilla, with a tiny hole poked in the top so that she could see it was worth eating. The look on her face when we put her dinner down was priceless.

Poor dog. It is a trial living in this household and no mistake :)

Oh dear...

December 11, 2010

How to get a monstrous hangover

1. Go to Christmas lunch with people from work
2. When someone says, "Can I buy you a drink?" answer, "Yes please!"
3. Repeat step 2
4. When you pick up Izzy from her friend's house, accept their offer of a drink. Decide not to have tea despite it only being 4pm, and have a glass of wine.
5. When friend's husband tops up your wine, do not object.
6. When you and friend finish off the bottle, start on the cocktails.
7. I can't remember anything beyond the apple martinis, but apparently I tripped over the dog, sang along to My Sharona, demanded cigarettes (then decided I didn't want them after all), tried to get Mattgreen to carry me home, and then fell up the stairs and refused to get up before stumbling into bed.

How to recover from a monstrous hangover

1. Wake up at 2am. Stagger downstairs for a glass of water. Drink water.
2. Try to recollect events of the evening. Fail.
3. Give an oral sacrifice at the altar of the porcelain god.
4. Go back to sleep. Wake up again at 4am and drink more water.
5. Get up at 8am. Go downstairs and have an Alka Seltzer, bought for last New Year's Eve but unused until now.
6. Discover I cannot face operating the coffee machine. It must be bad. Put Labyrinth on and lie on the sofa.
7. When Izzy goes off to Bushcraft, go to Cote for coffee and croque madame with Mattgreen. Start to feel slightly better.

8. Swear never to drink again.

Sophie Dahl & Kate Nash

December 09, 2010

On the way to work on the train today, I was reading an old copy of Waitrose Food Illustrated.
I found an absolutely brilliant article by Sophie Dahl. It's a truly wonderful piece of writing that really draws you in and it's written in such a personal, intimate style. Love it.

It makes me want to rush out and buy her book. In fact it's been on my wishlist for months already.

I took a photo of the article when I got home, but sadly I don't think Blogger will let you enlarge it enough to read it, so try clicking on this link instead. Hopefully that'll work (click on the enlarge button on the top right of the picture). I have a story of my own to match her last paragraph, but I'll save that for another day.

The perfect background song to this article is the Kate Nash song, Nicest Thing. I love Kate Nash, and even if you don't usually like her cockney style, Nicest Thing is an amazing story of unrequited love and loss. With cellos.

"Basically I wish that you loved me/I wish that you needed me/
I wish that you knew that when I said, 'two sugars', actually I meant three"

The pumpkin soup recipe looks delicious too.

Serious post about Wiki Leaks

December 08, 2010

I've just had a conversation with Mattgreen about the whole Wiki Leaks news story. He doesn't have a problem with Wiki Leaks, he reckons that the people who said stuff that got leaked are the ones responsible and they should just man up and face the music.

I said, "But that's not very fair because when they said it, they never expected it to be read by a public audience". Mattgreen said, "Tough! They should've thought of that!" So I said, "What if you were in the pub, and you slagged off some people from work, and somebody taped it in secret and played it at your staff meeting on a Monday morning? Because that's basically what they're doing".

Mattgreen said, "I'd just have to say, 'fair cop, you got me, I meant every word I said,' and then face the fallout".

And the crazy thing about Mattgreen is that he totally would as well. So I said, "What do you do if you're talking to someone and they start being horrible about someone you both know, but you didn't agree?" And he said, "I'd just say I didn't, or start talking about something else instead. I've done that a few times recently".

And I bet he has as well.

I said, "If it was me, I'd start back-tracking frantically, saying "Oh I didn't really mean I think you're all c**ts, I just meant it in a friendly way, I wasn't talking about any of YOU guys!"

And then I thought, actually it's probably better to just not say anything that you wouldn't be willing to stand by. Ever. If you're tempted to be rude, just can it. Instead of joining in with an office bitching session, imagine the person was there and see how much that holds you back. If there's something you're not happy about, follow it up directly with the person involved.

There's a new year's resolution and a half. Not sure I've got what it takes quite frankly! I'll think about it.

Cleverness abounds

December 06, 2010

My lovely husband, Mattgreen, has achieved one of his life goals: http://d13games.com/

He's going to create a game or two or more with Kevan, who's one of my oldest friends. Kevan taught me to play Magic, so without him I would never have met Mattgreen, nor Gordy and Will or Phil, without whom my life would have been completely, unrecognisably different.

Congratulations, Mattgreen and Kevan. How exciting!


December 03, 2010

This evening I decided to go to the gym. It's mega-snowy here and I've got a nasty sledging-related neck injury (caused by jerking my head round when someone shouted "watch out!" and pulling a muscle). So I thought I'd go and have a little run (without moving my head) and then go in the sauna to try and sort myself out.

I put on my gym kit, two pairs of socks, my wellies, my furry bearstalker hat and gloves, the giant green wax jacket, took the strongest ibuprofen I could find and headed off up the hill. It's minus 5 here and insanely icy and there's still loads of snow on the ground. When I got there, the gym was (predictably) quiet. I managed 30 minutes on the treadmill, 20 minutes crosstrainer and then a brutally painful weights session thanks to my neck.

Then I went in the jacuzzi. I had been sat there for at least ten minutes when some guy came bursting out of the sauna, opened the door onto the balcony and went outside. He then LAY DOWN in the SNOW, got up and came back in covered in snow, then bombed it back into the sauna. Now that's dedication for you :) I'm afraid even I'm not that hardcore.

On the way home I walked down the snowy hill, listening to "Come Home Billy Bird" by the Divine Comedy. It was fucking MAJESTIC I tell you. People wonder why I love England and this evening is why.

Sometimes chocolate isn't the answer

December 02, 2010

Yesterday morning, Izzy and I skipped downstairs to open our advent calendars before breakfast. Yesterday evening, when Mattgreen came home from work, I suddenly thought that maybe he was feeling left out. He's always said he's not bothered, but I thought I should check.

Alicey: Mattgreen, are you REALLY okay with not having an advent calendar?
Mattgreen: What, you mean the 24 ulcers of Christmas?
(Mattgreen always gets horrible mouth ulcers when he eats chocolate. Admittedly it's usually a gargatuan chocolate pudding rather than one tiny snowman-shaped chocolate, but...)
Alicey: Oh yeah. (sings) "On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to meeee, an ulcer in a pear tree!"
Mattgreen: (sings) "On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to meeee, two bloody ulcers and an ulcer in a pear tree!"
Alicey: (starts laughing)
Mattgreen: (singing with his tongue in his lips) "Onth tthh ththird day of Christhmas my fthlue loth thent to meeee...."

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