Saturday, September 06, 2008

Nutter in Fforestfach Tescos, Swansea...

Funny little incident that made me look like the local nutter walking round Tescos this afternoon...

I was sauntering up the rice and pasta aisle, and a family were wandering down in the opposite direction. Dad was at the front, towing a 3 year old girl along, and mum was pushing the trolley about 5 or so feet behind them, gazing at the shelves. As I passed them, the man said back to his wife, enthusiastically, "Oh, d'ya know...the BOXING is on telly tonight!!!" I glanced at the wife as he said this, and her face said it all:


But of course her beloved couldn't see this, and she actually replied, trying to sound keen (but I knew better...!) "Oh right. What side?"

(Wasn't she nice!)

I laughed all the way up that aisle, and all the way back down the next one.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mamma mia! Here I go again...

Chick flick, chick flick, chiiiiiiick fliiiiiiick...and so if you're a guy and reading this, the chances are you won't agree with my chicky opinion. What-EV-A.

Mamma Mia has definitely been my film of Summer 2008. The first excursion to see it was with Michelle, my 2nd counsellor in the Primary presidency. Our fatal flaw? We didn't book. When we got to the cinema on Port Talbot seafront (yes, it DOES have a seafront...beware of the foam in the sea though...) it was completely and utterly sold out, with lots of middle-aged women out on the razz, milling around the foyer. Pff! So we dashed over to Bridgend, and it was sold out there too. We ended up dejectedly sitting on a bench, eating our munchies (the cinema ones are just TOO expensive to buy donchafink?), yapping and gazing at the ocean and the sunset over Swansea Bay and Mumbles lighthouse.

The tide was almost in to the tippy top of the beach when we suddenly became aware of a man who had walked down the steps onto the sand and was paddling out to sea. Were we witnessing a suicidal cry for help (for anyone who actually touches the sea in Port Talbot certainly has a death wish in my opinion)? No no.

He then...straddled.

"Gah! That's disGUSting!" snorts Michelle. We couldn't physically SEE the wee, but we knew it was there (putting ALL gospel analogies firmly to the side on that one). Then, can you believe it, literally 3 minutes later another bloke descends the steps and starts to paddle out to sea as well. men just see the sea and think "Ooo, a great big toilet!"?? As he came up the steps and past our bench, I remarked, "Did you flush?" He laughed.

So, instead of watching Mamma Mia, we got to watch men pee in the sea instead. Lucky, lucky us.

I've spent the last two-and-a-half weeks back in Reading, housesitting for my friends, the Pines, (who were on holiday in Nevada/Utah/NY)and also working, because I can actually get work there. More about that in a sec. Because I was around, I spent time with some friends I rarely get to see, and Mamma Mia featured heavily on the list of things to do. Trip number 2 to see the movie was with my mate Christina who desperately wanted to go "cos Andy will NEVER go with me to see THAT!" Well, what a HOOT. We both just LOVED this movie and it was all we could do to sit still in our seats during 'Dancing Queen'...major furtive singing going on in row E I'm telling you. We later found out that the following week they were having a 'Mamma Mia Singalong' showing, where we could have indulged our bridled passions...but Christina was going on holiday that weekend.

However, the following week another friend returned from holiday and so we trotted off to the singalong performance last Saturday night. I was a tad concerned that it would be us and then maybe two other women in the whole theatre, singing at the tops of our lungs, making right prannies of ourselves, but it turned out well in the end. I can honestly say I've never sung and danced (yes, danced) in a cinema theatre before...until now...!

I returned to Wales a couple of days ago and got talking about the film with my friend Ann who hadn't seen it. Spontaneously later, we were in the Swansea Vue with her sister too, singing away. There was plenty of dancing going on at the end again too...the ushers always look mighty amused! LOL

So...viewing number 3 and I think I can say I am now officially a FAN.

The things I love about this film? Well, the music of course. I loved ABBA then and I love them now. What great songs! Dancing Queen has to be the highlight fun song of the whole movie, but the song Donna (Meryl Streep) sings about her daughter growing up is sooooooo moving, and then 'The Winner Takes it All' just has me in proper proper tears (it's a bit close to home...). Her acting is outstanding in that scene. I also looooooove the scenery. Just makes me want to leap on a plane and go to Greece again. Gorgeous. And I particularly love the stag night scene, when all of Sky's friends are in snorkel masks and flippers on the jetty...I guffaw with laughter every time.


I got to work for a week at a property and construction consultants in Theale, which was a handy location cos it takes less than 15 minutes to get there from Burghfield Common. It's a shame I only completely mastered the backroads route on my last day...! LOL It was a lovely company...very friendly...and I actually got to use my brain a little bit. In fact, I put in place a new system for completing one of the main tasks because I worked out it could be done more quickly and efficiently than the current process. A couple of the surveyors remarked on how organised I was and I was chuffed to mintballs on the last day when the girl at my agency told me that the company were really "impressed" with my work there and "please please please let us know if you're back in Reading again, and need some work!" The irony of it is that the two secretarial jobs I've applied for in Swansea have both told me I don't have enough experience to do the job. What a pile of bigoted poo. I don't have the right accent to do the job more like. Pah.

So now my dilemma is...shall I move back to Reading? Comments welcome.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ginger's Nuts

I'm going to castrate my cat. And that's not a metaphor.

Our cat, named by darling daughter, despite the fact that he's not ginger (although he does have a nut...or two. But not for much longer...)...where was I...our cat, Gingernut is a big bag of heaving testosterone. He is, I am sure, quite the stud muffin on our estate. Long legs, markings to die for, and a good line in chat-up purrs. Grrrrowwwl. However, either (a) other toms in the neighbourhood are green with jealousy or (b) the female felines are having none of 'it'. Whichever it is, he keeps getting into set-tos with them and coming home with various problems.

The first, back in the spring, was a weepy eye full of conjunctivitis. This had me trotting to the animal hospital with him and discovering that our local vet is THE most stunning 6' something Italian with beautiful green eyes and an accent that made me go weak at the knees. And really really lovely too...not smarmy "bella, bella". Truly gorgeous. All the powers of writing I can muster cannot begin to describe the things that man did to me. Mighty mighty fine. I think I booked 3 return appointments (JUST to make sure the eye was definitely alright of course). I nearly developed a serious case of Munchausen's Syndrome by Feline Proxy, trying to work out what on earth I could do to get the cat back to the vet on a regular basis. However, forty odd quid later... and I was cured.

Then Sir Gingernut Catchmouse (if you want his full title) came home with a great big scar above his left ear, which I bathed and kept clean and hoped would heal of its own accord, cos even the Italian couldn't sway me to spend another forty quid that I haven't got. It did go, and the bald patch is now growing fur again, thankfully.

But then he came home with a limpy foot. He'd cut the pad on one of his hind feet and was moving around mostly on three legs. *sigh* This one couldn't be ignored I thought...he could have broken it for all I knew. But we were looking at that £40 again, absolute minimum, so this time I contacted the PDSA who are a veterinary charity that will treat pets for next to nothing, if you're on council tax benefit, which I am.

So, off we went this morning. Well...what an experience.

As I arrived in the car park, there were two women parking and stepping out of their car, both smoking, with a little girl in the car with them. 2 years old...possibly 3. AND one of the women was heavily pregnant as well.

Then as I queued at reception, a dog behind us went for Gingernut's cat-basket, and when I looked round to see what had just pushed me, the man who owned the dog glaaaaaared at me like it was my fault. Eh?!

Then I had to deal with Attila the Hun *read ' receptionist'* who was speaking to everyone like they'd just peed on her children or something.

Then I had the joy of sitting next to a couple whose dog kept farting the stinkiest farts you've ever encountered. They smelt exactly like dog poo...well, they would wouldn't they?

Then that couple went into a consulting room, and another family sat down, and the mum was moaning at the dad quite loudly because the dad wanted to hit their son (a grown up son, but hey...).

And then, to top off this cornucopia of delights (and I would just like to remind everyone that I am a redhead)...the door on the furthest side of this jam-packed waiting room opened, and the vet calls out "Mrs Willicombe - Gingernut?!" And as I stood and walked across the room, there was audible giggling.


And just to add a little more to the ordeal, I had to deal with Attila again, who actually, physically dismissed me with a wave of her hand. And I'd just put a donation in their blummin' box 'n' all!!!!

So all of these scrapes he keeps getting into because of his hormones are stopping right now! They're coming off boy, they're coming off.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Holy bin bags Robin! Let's get to the Batmobile and find a hazlenut hot chocolate...and fast!! Kapow!

A couple of times a year the people in charge of the stake primary children (a 'stake' is a group of 'wards' in the church...a ward is a congregation, usually one or possibly two wards to a town...well, in Britain anyway. More like 200 wards per town in Utah! LOL)... where was I? Oh yes...the people in charge of the primary children in a stake organise an activity day and today was the day when Merthyr Stake did theirs, and in Swansea, happily enough (read *I didn't have to travel far*). The remit was for the children to arrive in their favourite super-hero costume.

Now. As I am (a) not exactly flush with wealth at the moment and (b) completely useless at all things sewing, unless you count cross-stitch, and let's face it, no one does...I was a bit panicky about the whole superhero outfit thing. Especially as Celyn wanted to be Bat Girl and that was that. But then my mate Debbie said the immortal words "bin bags" to me. Holy bin juice Robin! That's a fantastic suggestion! So, I gathered all the relevant materials, got Celyn's 'good at such things' daddy in on the act (see...I'm an organiser...this is my forte!) and hey presto, one Bat Girl dress, belt, cape and mask. Cost? Next to nothing. Ha!

Parents milled around yapping and helping out a bit until lunchtime, when we were told, basically, to naff off (the children had a 'secret mission' to complete). So I suggested to the Wigglesworths and Michelle who I'd been chatting to that we all nip off to Starbucks up the road for a lovely hot chocolate. I am, of course, a genius.

Can I just say that I had a ball! We sat around on comfy chairs, drank hazlenut hot chocolate with whipped cream, consumed a cream-cheese frosted cinnamon roll (or two), talked about grown-up stuff and chilled out. Bliss. I have known Matt Wigglesworth for about 12 years and I love him to bits (we used to hang out all the time as students and of course I know his cousins and aunt and uncle from living in Reading). And I'm just getting to know his wife Sara but have to say, he picked a good'un! She's lovely! And am also just getting to know Michelle but like her immensely too.

We chatted so long we were 10 or 15 minutes late back picking up our kids. Ha ha ha ha ha ha...bad parents, bad parents.

Thank you for a lovely day guys xxx

Thursday, June 19, 2008

So, here's something that's been rumbling around in my thoughts...

Who recognises the photo I've attached? No, it wasn't taken on my last holiday to Lanzarote, you silly's from a film. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (and if you didn't know the answer to that, you actually ARE an alien...seriously, where have you been?) Classic Spielberg.

Well, it was on telly last weekend. I happened to catch it as it started and that was that...I thought, "Ooo, good film. Haven't watched this for aaaaaages" and planted myself in a rooted position on the sofa. Proper potato of the couch variety.

And it IS a good film, there's no denying it. The scenes at the end when the big mother spaceship arrives are fantastic (I don't think I have to put a 'spoilers' warning on this post...I mean, the film was made in 1977 for pity's sake). But something that happens in the last scene just tickled me.

Ok. Richard Dreyfuss...he's obsessed by the aliens. He's seen the little flying saucers. He keeps building mountains. He loses the plot. His wife and kids go to her sisters to escape his lunacy. He drives to Oregon. Or was it Washington? Anyway...he drives to find the mountain. Blah blah blah. So also does the woman whose son was taken by them in an earlier scene (can you imagine if that was your child????!!!!!). At the end the aliens arrive in STYLE, return a bunch of people they've taken over the last 30 something years, and then are offered other humans to take with them. Dreyfuss puts himself forward.

See, here he is. He's being taken by the aliens aboard the spaceship. They seem a friendly bunch. No hair or clothes,but hey ho...pretty much like half the people sunbathing on beaches in the Med.

And off he goes. Into the unknown. Cue credits and very well known theme music.

And I start MUTTERING! Blummin' typical MAN! "Ooo, I feel like abandoning earth and going off with aliens because, coo, that'd be an adventure wouldn't it? And I wanna, I wanna!" Nooooo thought at ALL about his wife, his four (yes, 1, 2, 3, 4) children, not to mention any other family we may not have seen in the film. He wanted to do it, so off he blummin' well went. Absolutely blummin' typical! Selfish to the core! I am telling you, there is not a woman on this earth that would have abandoned her children to get on some spaceship with aliens just for the adventure. It's true, isn't it?

And if there was, we'd all despise her.'s still a great film...and the music's fab *doo dee doo daa daaaaaaa*...but I think Close Encounters II needs to be made when he comes back and sorts out his family life! Ha!

And therein concludes my brain rumblings.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Man on a White Charger...Come Rescue Me!

Well, I have finished marking. 300 papers later and it seems odd every evening NOT to be sitting down to a pile of children's writing. Some great spelling errors in my last batch too...the 'rowman' catholic church, or 'in gou ball' (enjoyable!) or "parrenjrs" (power rangers!) or "it's like doing cat willes" (cartwheels!!!) ...see what I mean about having that seer stone?'s never completely free from things to do (hardly!) but I thought I would blog now that I have some time.

I was very disappointed with the company who gave me the marking though. They had said I would "definitely" get another batch to mark (read *I will earn more money* which I certainly could use right now...oh I so so could). And on Monday when I'd sent my final papers in a day early, I rang to ask when the next lot would arrive and they said that I hadn't been allocated any after all. Big sloppy steaming poo on a big fat stick.

I also applied for another 5 jobs last week (Friday was, as they say, 'mental' trying to get 2 job applications in that hadn't even been started that morning...mental I tell thee). Earlier in the week I'd had to nip over to a school about 15 minutes' drive from my house to pick up 2 application forms for infant and junior teaching positions going begging (for a newly qualified 'cheap' teacher who's male and plays the piano, no doubt...). It took me another whole 15 minutes just to find the school (AA Routefinder sucks) and then their car park consisisted of a narrow piece of land adjacent to their fence, with lots of gravel and then their school field. When I parked down there, I realised that actually it was closer to the school office to park on the road round the other side. So I started up the car and began to back out of my space. The back wheels of the car reversed onto the field a bit, but hey ho, no biggie.

Or so I thought.

What I did not realise was that the first foot or so of the field, where it met the car park, was actually a little ridge...a ridge of exactly the height of the undercarriage of my car. Think see-saw. Think balancing. Think wheels spinning round and the car not moving, neither forwards nor backwards.

I began to wonder what I might do, deary deary me, what a predicament, goodness gracious.

Just as I was about to call Green Flag, a gorgeous man on a white steed came galloping around the corner. Oh...alright then...a man who worked for the council and had a white pickup truck came back to his van for a piece of equipment. "!" I said. He rolled his eyes and said, "I'll come back with my mates...hang on" (probably thinking, "silly mare" as he walked off). The peripatetic French teacher then turned up (just finished her classes for the day in that school and was getting into her car) and admitted that she'd done the self-same thing the week before so that made me feel better...and I got to yap to her in French which was super chouette (she was actually French...we weren't both being pretentious I have to point out...).

And then 3 tanned, muscly, good looking men all turned up to shove me off the ridge, so who's a silly mare NOW then!? Heh! "Helloooo chaps!" is what I was thinking, let me tell you. "Oh dear, I seem to have dropped my hanky as well boys" did also cross my mind. Well, when I walked into the school office I was just giggling all the way. Being rescued had sent me into a girly-girly state of giddy delight! I did mention my dilemma to the school secretaries because I just knew not one person from the school was watching me keeping calm under pressure. Surely that alone was worth an interview? Eh? Eh?

Anyway...those five job applications last week consisted of numbers 33 to 37 in my list of jobs applied for. My friend Mary has bet me a fiver that I will have a job by the middle of September. My response to that was "A FIVER!!!!? A FIVER!!!? That is such a SKANK bet! Come on Mary...make it worth my time!" But no...a fiver is all that's on the table. Ah well...I can spend it on some new ink to print out more applications. Oh wait...A FIVER ISN'T REMOTELY ENOUGH!!! *rolls eyes*