My salad dressing days

Do not underestimate the therapeutic quality
April 30, 2006, 1:25 pm
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of dancing in your living room to music which reminds you of your youth.

There I was in my skin-tight striped jeans, batwing jumper, legwarmers and pixie boots with my layered fringe swept off to one side dreaming of spandex leotards and dancing around fountains with some of my classmates at the New York School for the Performing Arts.

And, of course, I am now bringing the music to a whole new generation: after strutting her stuff to ‘Hi Fidelity’ and ‘Des-da-des-da-des-da-MONA’, Chicklet #1 remarked to me sagely: ‘Good music!’.

The gal is indisputably classy.

Her mother’s daughter, natch.


Worshipping at the shrine of SAAS
April 29, 2006, 12:50 pm
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I’m not supposed to be blogging just now. I’m supposed to be writing lists of all the non-blogging-related things we need to be doing whilst not blogging.

So here I am.

This was the scene that greeted me one morning on our coffee table. When I asked Chicklet #1 what the sheep and horse were doing, she replied dryly: ‘Horsey, horsey, don’t you stop!’.

Well, of course.

But there was no explanation for the distressed-looking elephant to the right of the shot, who seems to have taken a tumble with a young foal whilst the pig tries hard to look the other way.


But in other news, we have a new religion! Yes, one to rival the one where you believe in a lot of gobbledygook written by a nutty sci-fi novelist. Mr Chick announced to some friends yesterday evening that ‘we’ believe in Software As A Service (SAAS) and that we are now Platform Independent.

Obviously this is very exciting and I have been chivvying Mr Chick ever since to point me towards the Holy book on Amazon so I can read up on it all.

Meantimes, I’m just calling Tom and Katie to see if we can get them on board too. (Katie will be heartened to know that there’s none of this silent labour stuff to contend with when it comes to the birth of Suri’s sibling).

Blah blah blah
April 25, 2006, 9:50 pm
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Do you know how late in the day the BBC can change its forecast for tomorrow’s weather? Very, is the answer. Very late in the day. As one who obsessively checks the BBC weather site, I should know. It can be a big fat sun one minute and a cloud with two raindrops the next. Windspeed can drop away and the pollution index can soar from low to high just like that.

Oh, and in Edinburgh on Thursday the night-time low is predicted to be two degrees celsius. That’s right. Three days shy of the first of May, and two degrees above the temperature at which water turns into ice.

Oh, and I remember when it snowed in June in Edinburgh sometime in the 1970s. Eat that, Prince!


Lady Heather Mills McCartney claimed on TV the other night that if Sir Paul was to put a call into the Prime Minister, he’d get a call back in ‘about ten minutes’ or ‘a few hours’ if Tony was ‘out of town’.

Jeez, that’s better treatment than I give Motherhen and the Ol’ Rooster when they call me.

Slebs? Gotta despise ’em.


But a little funny which lifted my mood as a surfed a messageboard where I hang out: “Am I being a pre madonna here?”

I love it. So here she is, Ms Ciccone, pre Madonna, as t’were.

Moral relativism
April 24, 2006, 12:36 pm
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I am in the kitchen loading the dishwasher.

There is a loud wail from the living room.

It is clear that there is something of a brouhaha taking place.

It is clear that I must intervene.

TS is crying and proffers his right hand saying: ‘Bite me! Bite me!’

I turn to TD and ask sternly: ‘Did you bite your brother?’

She replies: ‘No, not bite him – that’s naughty. I pushed him over.’

Spectating as a public service
April 23, 2006, 9:49 pm
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Ordinarily, this woman likes to run past the end of our road about this time each year, but today she was injured (or maybe she was worried about the prospect of being caught short again and captured on camera in the act).

Anyway, Paula or no Paula, we trundled down to the end of our street with the chicklets in the drizzling rain to cheer on the merry masses.

These days most people have a T-shirt with their name on it and a whole new type of public service spectating seems to be emerging: one of picking the person who looks as if they are on the brink of collapse and calling out enthusiatically ‘Go, Susie!’ or ‘Go, Person Dressed As A Rhinoceros!’. (Although I refused to cheer on anyone who was plugged into their iPod or talking into their mobile phone.)

Aside from some momentary excitement whenever they saw someone dressed as a furry animal, the chicklets looked on somewhat bemused, their noses screwed up in a fashion that seemed to ask: ‘What sort of madness is this?’.


Thou shalt not es-double-you-ee-ay-are
April 23, 2006, 2:44 pm
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In common with most parents of young children, TH and I are in the habit of filtering out swear words from our conversations and spelling out certain words (B-I-S-C-U-I-T-S and S-W-E-E-T-S and so on).

Sometimes we even spell out the swear words, because sometimes you just gotta swear.

Me: ‘He can be a little bee-you-gee-gee-ee-are sometimes, can’t he?’

TH: ‘Yes he can!’

Having listened intently to the exchange, TD chipped in: ‘Mummy, I want to gee-gee-ee-are!’

So, I guess we are close to calling time out on the spelling trick.


Nostalgia: 1985
April 20, 2006, 9:25 pm
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A year when…

…the most exciting thing I could think of to buy in an airport duty free shop was a Swatch watch.

…middle sister Monica* and I managed to persuade younger sister Suburban Bantam to exchange ‘those pieces of paper money’ she got for her birthday for ‘lots and lots of shiny coins’. And when we were not nicking tenners from our younger sibling to feed our voracious plastic bangle habit, we were usually trying (and failing miserably) to persuade her to remove her nose from ‘Jilly Rides Again’ to come and join us in ‘playing flats’ which essentially involved sitting around in our bedrooms reading ‘Just Seventeen’ and backcombing and blowdrying each other’s hair in a bid to look like Bonnie Tyler in the video for ‘Total eclipse of the heart’.

…I went abroad for the first time to stay with my (very rich) French penpal’s family and humiliated myself horribly by falling over every three minutes much to the amusement of my seven five-year-old ski school classmates and irritation of our instructor Cathy (‘C’est impossible! C’est impossible!’).

…I enlisted Motherhen’s help in trying to track down a doubtless well-thumbed copy of ‘Forever’ by Judy Blume in our local library to be informed by the librarian (who was cocking her head at Motherhen in a manner which was clearly meant to convey ‘I think you know what this means’) that it had been moved to the ‘Adult’ section.

…my extensive collection of legwarmers had yet to find their way to a charity shop and there was no shame in being word perfect when it came to every song on my ‘Kids from Fame’ album**.

* so-named because of her self-professed obsessive compulsive cleaning tendencies and because she has yet to give herself a moniker on the rare occasions she has left a comment on this blog

** re-released and currently available in Woolies for a stupendous £3.99

Oh yeh, and a whole bunch of other stuff happened in 1985 too.