Monthly Archives: May 2014

The dangers of letting my inner teenager out of the box

In the last thirty six hours I’ve discovered just how easy it is to unleash the inner teenager in me. Apparently it only takes three simple things –

The first was the release yesterday of a new live album I had pre-ordered. It was an online release so it was a long impatient wait with multiple email check-ins. Finally, around seven o’clock last night, my patience was rewarded and the link to download the new Todd Kerns Live in Vegas album came through from Pledge Music. It was promptly downloaded, synced to my iPod and blasted round the kitchen, accompanied by grumblings about the noise from the Big Green Gummi Bear.

The second thing was a UK tour announcement. Breakfast time this morning was flung into more chaos than normal by the news that Slash is touring later this year. Finally, all things going to plan, I’ll get to see the great man play live with the added bonus that Messrs Kennedy and Kerns will share the same stage.

The third and final thing was news of the release date of the new Slash album. I discovered this via social media at lunchtime. Perfect timing as the silly grin that had been on my face all morning following the tour news was starting to fade. Realising I could also pre-order this long awaited musical treasure ensured the silly grin remained in place all afternoon. (Apologies to my colleagues who had to put up with me all day.)

Who says women are hard to please!

I appreciate that these are silly trivial things in the grand scheme of life. With the doom and gloom that fills the news on a daily basis it’s refreshing to find simple things that add an element of fun to the day. Life without a bit of fun would be very boring indeed.

So what next?

Well the inner teenager has been squeezed back into her box (the lid may still be open a fraction) and it’s time to re-connect with the semi-sensible adult self and patiently wait on three things.

The first of these is the relatively short wait for the concert tickets to go on sale at the end of the week. (OK – confession – yes, I have already scoured the internet for pre-sale options and double checked my passwords for the various ticket sites. Can’t do the adult thing for too long)

The second is to watch for the postman arriving with the album that has now been pre-ordered. It’s only a few short months……checks the number of weeks on calendar….

And assuming that the first one falls into place, the third thing is the concert itself.

Wonder how early we’d need to arrive to get a space on the barrier……… CRASH goes the box lid!

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A Post-It note saves the day

Ever get the feeling that you can’t get out of your own road? Sound familiar? Well that’s me this week BIG time.

Usually I am a pretty well organised person both at the “salt mine” and at home. However, over the last few days, I can’t seem to get everything done that needs doing when I come home from work- including writing this blog entry! It’s been on the mental To Do list since Sunday morning and as I write it’s 7.35 on Wednesday night.

I’ve not been doing nothing. I can’t do nothing. I have accomplished a fair amount writing wise over the last few days that I am extremely proud of.( That story may fill a future blog but, to briefly fill you in, a few weeks ago I got involved in writing music reviews for a friend’s website. To date I’ve completed five for her – two of these in the last week.) Seeing my work online for all to see is giving me a buzz; seeing musicians that I admire subsequently “like” what I’ve said about their work has blown me away.

It’s blown me right off course! Hence the current state of disorganised chaos that is freaking me out.

Realising this had to stop immediately I made a list on a Post-It note before I left the “salt mine” tonight. These tasks must be put to bed before I’m allowed to snuggle under the duvet tonight!

OK – so a quick rundown of the last two and a half hours-

5:00pm    –   left work to drive home via my parents’ house to collect Boy Child.

6:00 pm   –   arrive home, having been a good mummy and stopped at the foot of   the hill to pick up Girl Child to give her a lift the rest of the way home. That hilll’s a killer! Rounded up the various furry members of the household who were loitering in the driveway and fed them.

6:30pm    –    Pizza’s in the oven for the kids’ dinner; the laundry has been rounded  up and has made it as far as the floor in front of the washing machine ; the towels that were in the drier have been returned to the bathroom; mail for the day has been opened. Two tasks have to be urgently      added to my magic Post-It list – new CD to iPod and complete cat’s               insurance form.

7:00 pm   –   I  have attempted the phone call that I needed to make but no one’s home. Left a message so can tick it off the list. While I’m eating dinner    I’m adding the new cd to my iTunes so that I can sync my precious                      iPod, I’m filling in the insurance form and pondering for the hundredth             time “what can I write in this blog entry?”.

Unplanned and irresistible distraction alert – it’s sunny outside and still warm enough to sit outdoors. I love the sun!

7:30pm    –     iPod updated, dinner eaten, washing under way in the machine,   Insurance form completed, road tax for the car sorted out for the next          twelve months.

Sun is now screaming on me!

7.35pm  –     I surrendered and am now sitting in the sun writing, this blog        listening to the new cd on my iPod and enjoying a sneaky mid-week                    Chardonnay.

The Post- it note is now all ticked off. Mission accomplished!

Here’s hoping normal organised chaos levels resume before I run out of Post –It notes

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A day out with the Big Green Gummi Bear, Dragons and a Bearded Lady

It’s an all too rare occurrence but the Big Green Gummi Bear and I went out for the day last Saturday. We’re really not very good at this “going out together thing” -you’d think after over twenty five years together we’d have got the hang of it!

With Boy Child and Girl Child left at home with pizzas to cook for their dinner and a cat nominated as the person in charge, we headed off to Glasgow to see Cirque du Soleil at the SSE Hydro. After some debate about where to park the car, we finally chose the science centre car park (my suggestion so I got to pay the parking costs). It was a beautiful spring afternoon and, as we walked across the footbridge over the River Clyde, I stole a moment or two to take a few photos. (I could hear the Big Green Gummi Bear growling under his breath). Note to self – it’s not a good idea to wear metal tipped stiletto heels when trotting across a steel bridge! I’m sure my “dainty” footsteps could be heard for miles!

The Hydro is a fabulous venue but, despite my enthusing at great length about it to the Big Green Gummi Bear for the last six months, he didn’t get to experience the sheer size of it due to the subtle lighting ( or lack of light) when we entered the “bowl” to take our seats for the show.

Large Chinese lanterns hung down from the roof creating a tranquil atmosphere. It felt like sitting inside a temple from the Ming Dynasty. Cirque do Soleil’s Dralion was a fantastically colourful show. The programme explained the theme as being a “cultural fusion where Nature and Man become one in a quest for harmony. With the Dragon (Dralion) symbolising the 3000 year old tradition of Chinese acrobatic arts. In this magical world the four elements governing the natural order take on human form to defy the laws of gravity.” And defy the laws of gravity they did!

We were treated to a two hour extravaganza of acrobats, aerial pas de deux, single handed balancing, aerial hoop, juggling and the incredible crossed wheel. There’s so much going on out on the stage that at times it’s hard to know where to look. I could have watched the trampolinists all day – they really did defy gravity! The Dralions, Chinese Dragons each made up of two acrobats, were incredible but I’d have liked to have seen more of them. Like every “circus” show Cirque du Soleil has its clowns. I’m not meaning silly wigs, red noses and big shoe type clowns but more traditional clowning more akin to “Mr Bean” in some respects. The four clowns’ impeccable comic timing and forays into the audience added just the right element of humour.

We emerged from our Chinese temple back out into the early evening sunshine. Cue more loud “trotting” back across the bridge. On the way home we stopped off for a delicious meal and a very welcome glass of wine at a small restaurant overlooking Dumbarton Rock, a volcanic basalt plug on the banks of the River Clyde, and Dumbarton Castle.

All in all it was perfect day out – so how do you round off such a magical day? (Put that naughty thought away!)

We came home to Boy Child and Girl Child, opened a bottle of wine, sprawled out on the couch and watched the Eurovision Song Contest. Cheesy trashy pop music for over two hours – what more can I say! Quite appropriate though, that after our day at the circus, it should be won by the Bearded Lady.

Irreconcilable Socks and the Solidarity of Shirts

There’s one thing that never ceases to amaze me on a weekly basis and that’s the amount of clothes we go through in this house. I’m sure someone sneaks in here and deposits their laundry in my basket. It used to be a weekly ironing pile I faced on a Sunday – now it’s a veritable mountain with an accompanying mountain range of bedcovers, towels, socks and knickers!

How can four people generate so much laundry in one week?

I’m convinced that once it’s placed in the laundry basket in the cupboard in the utility room that it breeds in the dark.

Shirts! They are like magnets and attract other shirts – usually tangling themselves in each other’s sleeves as an act of solidarity in the washing machine. Between Monday and Friday the three shirt-wearing inhabitants manage to dirty fifteen of them! Grrrr

Socks are another nuisance. Pesky wee things! I’m sure they are playing games with me. At the end of last week I had three “odd” dark socks. What the Hell I thought and threw them back into the laundry basket in the hope that they would be magically reconciled with their partners. It worked! However three other pairs got “divorced” and I still have three “odd” socks!

You’d think, logically, that Girl Child would be the worst offender for generating excessive amounts of washing. True, she does that teenage girl thing – wears it once or sometimes even just tries it on and decides not to wear it – and throws it in the general direction of the washing basket.

Wrong!

The Big Green Gummi Bear is the culprit. His love of water sports and daily trips to the gym are to blame. At the weekend he can work his way through three or four sets of t-shirts, socks and underwear per day. If left unattended for more than twenty four hours this sweaty wet pile exacts its revenge and begins to emit the most foul odour of Eau d’River Clyde. (The washing that is not the Big Green Gummi Bear…well maybe occasionally)

Ironing also has its own magic powers. My rule of thumb is that “if it doesn’t get ironed on Sunday then it has to wait until next week”. I’m a bit OCD about getting it all done on a Sunday (watching MotoGP or Formula 1 does help to get through it quicker). I’ll sort it into two piles- shirts and stuff that requires a cooler iron. By the time I’ve set up the ironing board and the iron, there’s invariably a cat, Frankenstein, sound asleep in the middle of it – on top of something black of course.

I surrender! I’m away to investigate the pros and cons of joining a nudist colony.

Only joking- I’m actually away to hang out the washing!