scribbles tagged ‘soppy’


Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 | tags: , ,  |

power thingiesPower adapter thingies who’s devices have long since escaped.

Dad’s study is full of boxes of things he’s kept that might one day come in handy. Neatly organised. It’s difficult for me to value them beyond the stories they tell of his own values, which make me smile. Deconstructing dad’s study is full of pain and smiles. Mum follows me in and I talk to her about what to do with things. She’s thrilled when I find one box that holds an inbound book dated 1896, a present she bought for dad that she had thought lost.

Dad teased, irritated, and fascinated me. I loved him, he knew it. I’m so glad he’s left lots of puzzles and surprises to unravel and left us all knowing he was deeply loved.

2 votes rating 5

1 wonderful musing »

kilt virtues

Saturday, December 1st, 2012 | tags: , , , ,  |

The Farringdon GapAfter several months of wearing a genuine kilt, purchased in Edinburgh (online), I’ve leaned about many of it’s more subtle virtues, it:

  • water repellent:  flicks the rain off the surface layer as you walk – never soaks up water because of the movement designed in. Rather like the water coming off a dog when it shakes itself. This effect is stronger for pure wool kilts (which mine isn’t). It’s suitable for rainy climates.
  • toasty!: is very warm because the pleats make it 3 folds of material thick at most point. Again, this effect if emphasised for a wool kilt. It’s more suitable for cold climates.
  • curvy: demonstrates the comely turn of my calves – whatever it’s made from.
  • adjustable sizes: the wrap-around style means the kilt can fit you as you put-on, or loose, weight. This gives the kilt longevity as a wardrobe item. Excellent! As I approach my 50’s I’m anticipating the onset of a little plumpness and the kilt will stay with me unlike other clothes that might need replacing.
  • swing-tastic: with just a normal walk the back of the kilt swings in a playful way. With a flick of the hips it’s even more fun, and spinning around? Well! It’s a must-do activity in a kilt.

Friends have commented that very few people can ‘pull-off’ wearing a kilt, but I am one of them. I can pull it off while keeping it on. I think everyone should have a kilt, it should be a standard part of everyone’s wardrobe because it is quite simply –


kilt virtues
3 votes rating 5

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magic kilt

Saturday, November 17th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

Walking along a crowded platform on Paddington station, suddenly an arm wrapped around a shoulder and a Scottish accent welcomed me. My friend had seen my Royal Stewart tartan through the crowds and recognised my gait. How lovely that the kilt could help bring us together in this otherwise unfriendly milieu.

Later, standing on a tube train, a stranger smiled at me and invited me to take an empty seat they had rights to by proximity. This has never happened before during my London commutes. Later again, a young man invited me to pass in front of him to leave the train rather than taking my natural place in the rambling crush.

I love all 9 yards of my kilt, it helps people see me.

It inspires kindness from strangers.

It’s magic.

magic kilt
2 votes rating 5

6 bits of fabulous banter »

fate all at tea

Sunday, November 11th, 2012 | tags: , , ,  |

FatalityTrains are running 30 minutes late due to a fatality on the line.

The other commuters hasten their weaving around each other as-if the delay urgencifies their platform dash.

As a nation we give 2 minutes still, silence,  to the people who lost their lives in wars. Fatalities, deaths. Like this one they have an unattributed cause – Suicide or accident?

Was this fatality a person who’s life was

  • so very painful that the thought of being smashed-into by a speeding train was a release from the pain of their life.  Suicide.
  • ended unexpectedly. did they slip and fall? Accident.

I watch the faces of the commuters pushing me aside in their platform rush. Coats rustling and mumbling.

I’m alone in my stillness.  Taking a moments silence to mourn the fatality, person’s death,  is not part of the behavioural script ‘what we do’ for commuters and station staff.

It seems like it should be a time when we should be hugging each other, wiping away each others tears, expressing our helplessness and then slowly moving on. I hug myself, wipe away a tear and turn towards the platforms.

That evening I tried to find out about the 2 people who’d died in train fatalities that day. The news reported the delays to the trains, the things that affected most people’s everyday lives. Nothing about the people who died, not even a name. Sending condolences to strangers isn’t a part of the what we do nowadays. Kay’s recent blog post had a quote from John Donne which seemed most apt:

No man is an iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee….”

fate all at tea
4 votes rating 4.75

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out of Theatre

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

6pm (ish)  18th August *

Hospital WalkwayI can’t be sure of the time when I came round. I wasn’t screaming. A nurse noticed me gain consciousness, she was prepared with my request for a pain killer

This is the equivalent of drinking a bottle of Vodka, but it doesn’t taste as nice

A porter wheeled me back to the ward where I greeted my fellow patients and happily climbed back into bed 26. As I started to snuggledown ready for a drug-enhanced dreamy sleep

Stout Agency Nurse walked over with a big smile:

You can go home now

Instant tears. She pulled the curtain around my bed as I spouted all the reasons that I felt that I couldnt go home now:

  • I wasn’t stable –  I could hardly stand up!
  • I would have to use public transport which the patient guide recommended that I should not do (no lift arranged until tomorrow)
  • there is noone at home to look after me for the critical 24hrs after the surgery.

She told me that I had misunderstood. Naughty me misunderstanding while I’m drugged-up. She wasn’t sending me home right now. I asked her to leave me alone, which thankfully she did.

Then I climbed out of bed, opened the curtains to my neighbouring patients who were all real sweeties gently teasing me about this and that.

out of Theatre
2 votes rating 4

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quite serious

Sunday, September 16th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

12.30pm 16th August

colourful fingersAfter the X-Rays I retrurned to my normal status of main corridor fire hazard. A nurse came out from the back rooms, moved a child off a chair and sat me down in that chair.

The consultant has seen your X-Ray’s, he thinks they are quite serious and you need an operation. He’s called our hand and wrist specialist who agrees. So please wait here.

As she leaves I start crying.  I’m not sure if it’s because:

  • of the relief that RBH have actually considered my injury.
  • a nurse has been nice to me – rather than treat me as an inconvenient object.
  • reaffirmation that my injury is quite serious – I’m scared of surgery.
  • I’m developing a bad habit – cry way too easily.

Luckily this time I’ve been accompanied by two large monogrammed white (mens) Hankeys that can handle the waterfall

quite serious
1 vote rating 5

5 bits of fabulous banter »

you’re not on OUR lists

Monday, September 10th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , , , ,  |

Transferring "PID"4pm 15th August: RBH are not expecting me.

I wandered to the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) to

  • find out where I needed to go.
  • personally doublecheck tomorrows appointment time.
  • hand-over my Worthing Hospital CD of notes and X-rays.

The Royal Berkshire Fracture Clinic weren’t expecting me.  They had no appointment booked and no record of a phonecall about me. They didn’t want my CD to check my notes in advance of the non-existent appointment. I felt betrayed by Worthing hospital not having clearly established the appointment with RBH.

The RBH Fracture clinic reception staff were not happy at my turning-up, unannounced. They tutted and huffed at the inconvenience. I quietly cried. They ignored my tears making it easier to let those tears flow.

They double-booked me into the a clinic on the morning of the 16th.

you’re not on OUR lists
1 vote rating 3

5 bits of fabulous banter »

getting a bed

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012 | tags: , , , , , , , ,  |

A&E entrancemidnight 13th/14th August

By midnight I’m tired, in pain, lonely, nowhere to go, no book to read and with the prospect of 10 more hours of this.

Barely holding back the tears of temporary, pure, sadness.

I’ll feel better after a good sleep. I’m a talented sleeper. I can sleep almost anywhere. I lay my jacket on the floor against the wall in a quieter part of A&E, then gently lay myself on top of it and started drifting into much needed sleep.

This action removed my invisibility-to-hospital-staff cloak. Staff started waking me up to ask me what was happening.

I don’t know….

mumbled between my tears

Within 10 minutes they’d moved me to a ward and a bed.

getting a bed
2 votes rating 5

4 bits of fabulous banter »

Australian surgeon pulls my arm

Friday, August 31st, 2012 | tags: , , , , , , , ,  |

8pm 13th August

The unnamed Australian is about to go off shift.

He explains that I need an operation to ‘pin’ the arm. It’s a tricky operation and he wants a good night’s sleep before doing it. They’ll be keeping me in over night for “Obs”, but there are no beds available so I’ll have to stay in the A&E waiting room.

Broken arm. Dead cell-phone. I wonder what more the night holds.

The surgeon injected some drug into the fracture before pulling my arm to ‘reduce’ the misalignment of the broken pieces.

It hurt a lot.

I screamed a bit.

He gave me a lovely hug, just like a parent with a hurt child. That moment of thoughtful kindness was wonderful and helped keep my spirits from crashing dramatically across the next 4 hours. Instead they slowly spiralled downwards

Australian surgeon pulls my arm
1 vote rating 4

7 bits of fabulous banter »

Triage: 2 paracetamol and one ibuprofen orally

Monday, August 27th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , , , ,  |

4.30pm 13th August

After two and a half hours waiting – Triage was disappointingly short. The nurse asked exactly the same questions as the paramedic. Both people wrote copious notes on everything I said. This felt reassuring, more scribblers!

2 hours after triage a young female in one of the many hospital uniforms asked me to tell her what had happened. She also took notes and aked familiar questions.

I started crying.

Are you in pain?

Just normal broken arm pain, I’m crying because I’m upset and don’t know what’s happening.

Do you want some pain killers?

No, I just had some at 4.30pm, thanks, I’d like to know what’s happening (blub)

Everyones’ notes were on paper, on different clip boards. The notes never seemed to get collated, read, or used. I was beginning to get the impression that different specialists weren’t sharing inormation terribly well.

Triage: 2 paracetamol and one ibuprofen orally
1 vote rating 5

5 bits of fabulous banter »

future perfect tense

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Will you have forgotten me? Our first kiss was a surprise, not in the script or rehearsals. You’d planned it without knowing how I would’ve reacted. Your move wasn’t blocked, your instincts were right. A perfect, if tense, moment.

We didn’t know then, that I would’ve stayed with you forever. After you’d left, I expected to find someone else, or that someone else would’ve found me. Decades later, my spontaneous phonecall bought four hours of laughter. Briefly, centre stage again before returning to my place in the wings.

My future will have been littered with walk-on parts, as an optional-extra.

This 100 word post was darned hard to write, more drafts than an Irish castle! I’m normally too lazy to think about using tenses and suspect I’ve used the future perfect, imperfectly. The effort was inspired by the efforts, and an outstanding 100 word post, of Happy Frog and I
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classical conditioning

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 | tags: , , , ,  |

Bathroom floorAs a pre-school child one of my absolute favourite games was Wednesday’s washing the bathroom floor. Mumsie would fill up a beach-bucket with warm foamy water, give me a smallhand-size brush and leave me in the bathroom. I was allowed to slop the hot foamy water all over the floor. What FUN! When I’d finished I told mum and she’d come in and finish off the details with her own BIG bucket of soapy water and a towel. I’d help with the towel

During my first week at school, when I got home on Wednesday I asked for my bucket to help wash the bathroom floor, but mum had already done it. I cried

Psychologists call this ‘Classical‘, as oppose to ‘Operant’ conditioning, where a person (originally tested with dogs) learns to associate the co-occurence of an event (bell ringing) with a rewarding experience (enjoyment of food) such that when the event contiunes without the reward the dog behaives as-if the reward is coming.

For me this was associating ‘fun’ with washing the floor, the association still exists to this day. As soon as the hot soapy water hits the bathroom floor, I’m thinking ‘YAY Bubbles, SWISH!

Thanks to mumzie for having the insight to let this happy association happen

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Sampo’s arrival in 2003

Saturday, November 27th, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

Warning <long soppy story>

Brother and sister kitties exploringI rescued Matrix and Nexus from mad cat woman in Southsea, she told me that I had to give them a home, that they’d always lived together. They joined the Wendy House in June of 1995.

They were rarely more than a few feet apart, they slept, played and hunted together. Ying and Yang.  Three years later I noticed that Nexus was loosing weight and strength. A trip to the vet diagnosed him with feline Lukemia, he was dying slowly with no hope of a cure. It cost me £1.26 to have him euthenaised and the liklihood that Matrix was also ill, was high. It cost me £70 to find out that she was not infected.

The emotional cost was immeasurable. The effect on me, on you, on Matrix. Nexus was put out of his pain. No long lingering death, no fading away gradually. The end of Nexus’s pain was the start of Matrix’s. She constantly looked and called for Nexus, she cried for months. Cudding didn’t help, you wouldn’t let her sleep with us so I started sleeping downstairs on the sofa with Matrix, it helped her, and me, to sleep.

I asked the vet if getting her a companion would help. The vet said Matrix would associate the arrival of a companion with the departure of Nexus so they would not get on well. I had to wait until Matrix had finished grieving. When Matrix stopped grieving she seemed happy enough chasing the local birds and brawling with the local cats. But when I moved to Seattle the coyotes and cat-on-alead-condo-rules reduced Matrix’s ability to entertain herself. With my long days at work, she needed entertainment. A companion.

Cats at christmasI visited all the local cat rescue centres. There were so many. The cats were stacked in rows and rows of individual cages. It was heartbreaking. I wanted to take them all home. In the Bellevue rescue centre they had a large room where the cats could socialise and roam around. I sat in the room watching them. Sampo was wondering from cat to cat, licking each of them. She was elegant and affectionate to other cats.

It took the Bellevue staff two hours to catch her, she was elegant, affectionate to cats, slippery and very people-shy. The Bellevue adoption papers included the condition that I arrange to have her neutered.  The vet said she was about 3 years old and had already had at least one litter of kittens ‘she’ll be prone to putting on weight’

Over the years I’ve systematically tried to overcome Sampo’s fear of people with some success

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Monday, September 6th, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

The rain it never stops and I’ve no particular place to go…   …for me this song captures profound sadness so beautifully. 

Japan sang Ghosts

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said chattels herein

Monday, August 23rd, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

said chattels hereinA paper printed sign in the groundfloor window of a small redbrick terraced house who’s door opens directly onto the street. The house has probably beeen reposessed, the people who lived there evicted. The notice probably fulfills a legal requirement. 

The notice says that there are things in the house that will be chucked out if their owners don’t pick them up within 7 days of the date on the notice.   It says this in a language that is no longer spoken by lay people in England – using words like chattels and herein. If I suspect that the people evicted from this house have a literacy level below average then the wording is difficult, if not impossible, to understand. Almost as if the ‘Agent’ doesn’t care whether the person who’s belonging are in the house understands that they need to promptly pick-up their stuff.


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van show

Saturday, December 12th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

Vin ChaudWhen  a large glass of  warm red wine laced with honey  steams in my hand as I sit infront of a flickering open fire listening to the gentle dreaming of my kitties

When I can pay the heating bills and buy food –

Winter is wonderful

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the cost of dreams

Sunday, October 18th, 2009 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

The imaginarium of Dr Parnassus    is a wonderful modern faerie tale.   It  mixes classic structures and characters (Old Nick) with modern settings, language, and characters.  

🙂 🙂 🙂


review ratings explained

Plot:    Very good.   A classic style of storytelling,   a new story.   A bet with the devil.   Souls to be won or lost.   The classic framework provides the structure that makes the plot easy to follow.   Easy to follow but not overly  predictable.    Cunning plans and twists.   There is  uncertainty about the virtue and honesty of some characters.   Who is working with, for,  Nick?   The film holds  a cheeky mirror to modern values as it portrays our dreams.      

Gilliam does not write his  female characterisations  in as much depth as his male characters.  There is only one noteable  female character in the film.    Her contribution is central to the plot while the role is  hardly touched and seems superficial.    Lets call her a token women.   A pretty girl that needs rescuing.  Sigh.  A blot on an otherwise wonderful film.  

A related disappointment was the pedestrian ending to the main storyline.    The final scenes  felt a bit anemic.    The scenes  tied-up the damsel’s storyline quickly and neatly.   This felt forced and out-of-keeping with the plucky playing in the other, mainly male,  storylines.   There are many wonderful ways that Terry could have ended the film.   I suspect Gilliam’s creative freedom was somehow compromised.  

Cast: Excellent.    Performances that had the kind of depth that comes from allowing talented actors to develop, improvise and extend their characters.   Apparently Heath Ledger’s last line  before he died was  ‘Don’t shoot the Messenger’ and Jonny Depp improvised the same line when playing Ledger’s character in the imaginarium.   Ledenhall Market

Sets. Excellent.   Physical locations included some of my favourite places,  such as  Ledenhall market in London and the Public Library in Vancouver BC.   The contrast between the architecture in these two locations was used well as a visual clue to different tones, temperaments, stages  of the plot.

The animated sets were breath taking.   Apparantly breathtaking animated sets are the norm for widely distributed films by famous directors with excellent casts.   Jolly good.  Thoroughly enjoyable.   Lots of ooOOOooooze and aaAAARRRRSSSssse.

Within the imaginarium these fantasy sets had the beauty, unpredictability and the  ominousness of real dreams.    

Audience:   one thing that  interferred with my  total immersion in this fabulous film  was the audience.   Specifically,   the lady sat next to me.    She insisted on sniffing loudly at 1spm (1 sniff per minute).   Every  few minutes there was a cough, sneeze, or other substantial air movement in her facial regions.   She did have some props for this activity, tissues, but  the noise and potential infection kept drawing me out of  the film into an unpleasant reality.   Ick.  

I will be watching this film again.

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doorbell fix

Monday, September 21st, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

The Wendy House has a novel coil-spring doorbell circa 1960’s. For some reason  it isn’t working.   WD-40 and a bit of fiddling hasn’t yet fixed it.  I do enjoy a personally relevant, memorable, chorus delivered with passion.   Ring my bell!

White Stripes sang Doorbell

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early captive

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 | tags: , , , , , , , ,  |

My parents took the family on a day trip to London, to the Tate gallery.   At 7 yrs I was not well equipped to appreciate the treasures on display.   Mum and Dad seemed to spend ages looking at dull boring pictures of clouds (Turner).   I asked permission to explore the galleries at my own pace and was allowed to wander off.   I walked briskly,   errr ran,  around the building capturing impressions browsing for literally seconds at vaguely interesting paintings that I’ve long since forgotten.  

Then.   I turned the corner of a gallery to be confronted by the death of Chatterton.  

His vibrant orange hair glowing,   his purple velvet breaches full of warm lively texture in the daylight.   The torn paper on the floor.   His face white as marble.   Clearly dead.   I was captivated,   I stood studying the painting for what seemed, to a 7 year old, like eons.   I fell intrigued.   Who was this beautiful man?   Why was anyone that beautiful, dead before being old and wrinkly?  

He became my first love.   He was a local Bristol boy,   I was a local Bristol girl.   Later I read Peter Ackroyd’s book ‘Chatterton’ and wondered whether his death was an accident or deliberate. I visit St. Mary’s Redcliffe  occassionally,   the place where Chatterton reportedly discovered the manuscripts on which he forged his texts.   He has remained young, beautful, and with my thoughts.  

From AElla

O! Synge untoe mie roundelaie,
O! droppe the brynie teare wythe mee,
Daunce ne moe atte hallie daie,
Lycke a reynynge ryver bee;

Mie love ys dedde,
Gon to hys death-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.

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restricted access

Thursday, June 18th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

A couple of friends are in the process of selling one and purchasing another gorgeous home in downtown Reading, near the Wendy House.  

There’s one slight hitch in the plan

In 1998 the local council placed an access  restriction on the to-be-purchased property.   Pedestrians and vehicles cannot access the house from …     …the public highway.   There is no other obvious route to the house.   The current resident ignores this restriction.    How can my friends get from the roadway to the house without breaking the law?   Without:

  • using a Vehicle:   A device or structure for transporting persons or things; a conveyance?
  • being a Pedestrian: A person traveling on foot; a walker?
  • accessing   the property from the  Road?
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bussing solutions

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Wedding specialFor all your wedding-guest transportation from church to reception veunue needs.    A red London bus wedding special.   As you can imagine,   this was the highlight of the wedding for me.

The reception venue in a cricket pavilion, while a match was in progress,  was also so wonderfully English that soppiness abounded.

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blue bonnet

Thursday, April 30th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

blue sonnet reflected rapeseedThomas swirls  along roads built to bounce him and give me lots of   steering opportunities, through violently yellow  rapeseed fields, between hedges who’s vaulting arms meet above us.  

Thomas purrs and whirrs

Wendy  curls and twirls

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the bells

Monday, April 13th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

Goth?  1986First love was a roller coaster.

The highs involved lashings of peanut butter sandwiches, outlandish hairstyles and jewellery,   singing and dancing in the streets, railway stations, buses, bedrooms, and on beaches.     We could  harmonise with each other and sing every  track by EBTG.

He had a penchant for spontaneous immitations of  Jack Russel terriers.

My  perfromance fruit was, and still is,    uniquely engaging (and available for appropriate inducements and parties).

Love on a shoestring budget with a wealth of imagination was bright, distracting, and fulfilling  if  haunted by rumours, potential lies and deceipts.

Everything But The Girl (EBTG) sang when alls well

When the grief burst in.   Always a suprise.   Always dramatic.    Tracey, alone with her guitar  sang  New Opened Eyes

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Monday, April 6th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

In 1984 I fell in luuurrrrrrve,   surruptiticously,   with such stealth that I didn’t notice.   For the first six months   I couldn’t understand a word he said with his northern near-Geordie  brogue.   The oscillations of his intonation, arms, facial expressions and dangly earings together told fascianting stories without the need for the precision, or ambiguity, of actual words.   We relied on songs and dancing  to communicate.  During our early courtship he would wrap-up his DJ shifts by  playing this song  for us

Lloyd Cole and the Commotions sang Perfect Skin

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running out of change

Monday, March 16th, 2009 | tags: , , , , ,  |

In the early 1980’s student’s didn’t have mobile phones.  

I lived in downtown Birmingham on the 18th floor of a towerblock full of students.   The towerblock  had one,    ONE,  public phone in the entrance way.   Always a long queue  and no soundproof surround.     I rarely phoned mumsie.   Only when I was near a phone booth that didn’t have half a dozen people queuing  to use it.   Normally this would be  in the early hours of the morning at gig’s.     I would use the change I had saved for the bus home to call mumzie.     She wasn’t always best-pleased by my sense of timing.   The calls went something like

Wendy:   Helllllloooooooo mumsie!

Mumsie: do you know what time it is?

Wendy: It’s TIME to call mumzie!

Mumsie:   Have you been drinking?

Wendy:   could well be!

Mumsie:   Oh Gwendolyn!   Are you eating properly?

Wendy:   Chips and curry sauce fresh, ahem,  from the van,   YUMMY!

Mumsie:   we worry about you darling

Wendy:   ARRRRR!   You’re so sweet,   there’s no need to worry mum,   I’m nearly all grown up but I’m fast running out of change…


Mumsie:   goodnight dear, take care…

One such call happened  after listening to the live version of this little gem…

Spear of Destiny sing They’ll never take me alive

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Monday, March 2nd, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

I remember the early 1980’s

  • the recession.
  • living off root vegetables, tea, and hope that unemployment would reduce.  
  • Being mistaken for a ho when walking home alone…. …any time of day.
  • Mortgages requiring a 10% minimum deposit and being a maximum of 3x your annual income in a job you’d demonstrated committment for  at least a year.

Everthing considered,   I thought The Beat put it quite politely.   An understatement.   I cried everytime Thatcher was re-elected.   It was personal.

The (English) Beat sang ‘Stand down Margaret’

(Warning:   contains Sax)

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do your eyelids sweat before you cry?

Sunday, February 1st, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

Wendy: do your eyelids sweat before you cry?

Wendy: Yes! they do, how did you know?

Wendy: I felt it

Wendy: bizarre

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fantastically ridiculous

Sunday, December 7th, 2008 | tags: , , , , ,  |

DickThe Hexagon Theatre in Reading is running its annual pantomime, Dick Wittington.

Interactive theatre where the audience, predominatly under 4ft tall, get to shout out ‘He’s behind you’, and “BOO!” and hisssssszzzzzz as loud as they want when the clearly marked  baddie comes on the stage.   The baddie in this case was dressed in black leather with a huge fake furry chest,   long tail,   and the name ‘King Rat’.

The pantomime  hero, the principle boy,  is played by a girl wearing tights, no trousers, and thigh length leather boots  who enjoys repeatedly slapping her outer-thigh with her hand and falling in love with the leading lady who is a lady.   A man in outrageous, colourful  costumes plays an unmarried woman,    the ‘Dame’.    A young chap coordinates audience participation, facilitates the storyline and everyone’s happiness.   I’d quite like one of those.

In Dick Wittington there were doses of singing competitions, where volume supercedes musicality,  between the two halves of the auditorium.   Some songs required rather tricky accompanying hand-actions,  during which  I accidently whacked the  lady sitting next to me and generally got everything all topsy turvy.   There  are also some slow,   soppy,   songs in a pantomime.   Luckily, watching the shorter contingent of the audience wave brightly coloured lit-wands around made the soppy songs  entertaining.

For those who enjoy a heated debate, like myself, there were many opportunities to argue with the cast ‘Oh no he isn’t’….’oh yes he is’….      The occassional slap stick humour, outstandingly bad jokes and the Dames costumes that beggar belief ensured the tone of the event stayed firmly in the realm of the fantastically ridiculous.    At one point the Dame wore a dress in the form of what looked like the Tower of London.

Audience  birthdays on the performance day were announced in the penulitmate scene. I’m thinking of relocating my Brithday to mid December.

Plot spoiler (look below the next paragraph)

The plot invariably ends with the leading man (woman) and lady (woman) getting together,   the baddy being converted (normally by magic), and the dame continuing to be a dame.

Plot spoiler over (start reading here)

It was all jolly good fun.   Happy  holiday season.


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fabulous wedding features

Monday, September 15th, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

<soppiness warning>

Just a few of the too numerous to enumerate highlights:

  • Gift registry:  &
  • The bride wasn’t ‘given away’ like chattles,   bride and groom walked down the isle together.
  • Isle-walk accompanying  music:   You only live twice
  • Readings including multiple references to Pooh in A.A.Milne’s  ‘us two’   (read by AfH)
  • Outstanding vows because they acknowledged each others strenghts and weaknesses and showed love, respect, knowledge of what it takes to make a relationship work and be  fun too.   I particularly liked this one:

I promise to allow myself to be silly around you and to enjoy you being silly around me as well.

  • 7 Henchman subtly and actively coordinating the smooth running of the  event: Oddjob, Mr. Wint, Mr. Kidd, Nick Nack, May Day, Xenia Onatopp, Jaws
  • Red wedding dress
  • No ‘maids’
  • A photobased childrens TV themed Quiz organized by table at the wedding breakfast.
  • Bride’s speech toplining the other speeches.
  • Creatively quirky photographer:
  • Local bands at the reception were friends of the Bride and Groom,   some included the Bride or Groom and all played at least one cover version of Bond theme tune,   compared by AFH.
  • My yellow-red shot silk  hat,    however, the relative lack of hats on other guests  was actually a tad disturbing.

BagpussTables were decorated in childrens TV themes,  with models and soft toys, and each guest  as a character,   I was Soo.   As you can see, even  Bagpuss joined the fun.

<soppiness temporarily suspended>

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familiar strangers

Monday, June 23rd, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

Since moving to Reading I’ve found lots of familiar strangers,   I see them on the bus everyday during my commute,   in the local cooperative store when I’m picking up milk for my tea,   behind the counters in Jacksons,   in the local internet cafe.

During my 1986 final year degree course Environmental Psychology classes I  learned that people are more likely to exhibit altruistic behaviours to familiar strangers (than complete strangers)  when meeting those familiar strangers outside of the normal context.   Each will recognise the other easily but have difficulty placing the source of this familiarity.

This means that when I meet someone who normally rides on the  same  bus as me everyday,   in Jacksons,   I will think I know them and be nicer than I would be to someone totally unrecognisable.


More familiar strangers means more oportunities to be squishy.   Given  my natural  curmudgeonist tendencies this can only be a good thang.

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what do you think of that »