Tuesday 27 March 2007


I'm wondering whether to post a photo of me on here or whether that might put people off. There's something wonderfully mysterious about remaining anonymous. I like the fact that griffitti supremo Banksy has never had a photo of himself published in order to protect his anonymity and therefore his ability to get away with what he does. Suppose I could always find a photo of a younger slimmer me , a bit like the passport photo I used to use for things like Rail Cards until I got stopped boarding a train coz my photo didn't look like the overweight middle-aged person I'd become. Everything has a price.

Saturday 24 March 2007

Bullying is something that happens to other people just like car accidents. But no, it's alive and well and thriving in todays schools, my son's school in particular. When your 12 year old comes downstiars after bedtime and tells you that there's somthing important he wants to tell you, it's time to listen. When he tells you that the boys in the year above call himnames, take things out of his bag, deride the games he plays nad the musis he listens to, it's tome to act. One email and a phonecall to the school later and I'm re-assuringly told that the boys in question have been identified and spoken to and thta I should expect there to be no further abuse on the bus ride home. It remains to be seen as to whether this has any effect. Bullying of your children brings out the worst in you. It makes you want to step on that bus and box the culprits ears. Funny how instinct kicks in when your young are threatend. We may be incapable of changing channels on out TV without the aid of a remote device but when it comes to threatening beahaviour towards our offspring, suddenly some primeval reflex rears it's head and we're ready to kill. Strangely re-assuring in a perverse way.

Wednesday 21 March 2007

Hate it when you wake up in the morning with a fantastic idea for your blog then forget it by the evening when you come to write it up. That'll teach me not to write things down immediately. In my twenties I could remember tons of stuff in my head. In my thirties I could still remember tons of stuff and knew more about what to do with it. By my forties I could remember about half of what I used to be able to remember but was too sleep deprived to be able to do anything with it and by my fifties I guess my memory will have shrivelled up to about the size of a pea. Use it or lose it. That's why I bought Brain Trainer. A sort of mental aerobics workout that keeps score on a daily basis of how much stupider I'm getting every day as if I needed reminding and who cares how fast I can answer 100 simple sums. Obviously I do , which is why I slam it's little lid shut if I can't beat my personal best of 1 minute 56 seconds. I may have no memory left but at least I haven't lost my competitive streak.

Friday 16 March 2007

I can think of better things to do on a beautiful Spring like morning than sit and talk to a pensions advisor but I chose to be sensible today. Of course the first thing I wanted to ask was 'How soon can I get my hands on my cash and when can I retire?'
Felt a little bit like the people on Antiques Roadshow who bring along a family heirloom on the pretence that they simply want to establish what it is when really all they want to know is how much it's worth. There's a delicate game to be played here, decency v. personal greed and timing is critical. When asked if they plan to keep or sell , whilst they coyly confirm that it's been in the family for years and that they wouldn't dream of parting with it, you know that it'll be popping up on ebay before you can say Michael Aspel.

So here I am with a medium sized pot of cash that I can get my mits on, or at least 25% of it apparently, in 2 years time when I'm 50 . Being a pessimist I firmly subscribe to the bird in the hand school of thought. Who knows what lies around the corner.

Did anyone know it was World Maths Day on Wednesday ? I volunteered to help out at my son's school where a 9 year old smart arse asked me if I knew the difference between a trapezium and a trapezoid. In a sudden panic that I'd been outsmarted by some little upstart I told him that he didn't need to worry about that. For those who are curious, there is no difference. A trapezoid is what they call a trepezium in America - as if maths isn't confusing enough for children, why think up a whole alternative vocabulary ? What would they call a square ? A quadroid maybe ?

Wednesday 7 March 2007

Friday 2 March 2007

Chucking Stuff Out

Whay is it so difficult to do ? I'm not alone. Browse any bookshop these days and you'll see a selection of books showing you how to do it properly, I should know, I've bought a few in my time. I even filled in the questionnaires that rate how good you are at getting rid of the junk in your life. Can't remember now how I rated but like most of those multiple choice quizzes, I became aware half way through that I was answering with what I thought they wanted to hear and not what I actually do.

Apparently the value in throwing away an object that you no longer have any use for is far greater that the monetary value of what it originally cost you. Which means that as most of my newly acquired 'stuff' which has , by necessity, been cheap to buy, probably falls off the bottom of the scale in terms of value compared to what it's worth if I just got rid of it.

There are some pretty tough emotional strings tying me to a lot of the childrens stuff though. It's as if the act of chucking it out is a blatant ackowldgement of their passing childhood and who wants their babies to grow into disaffected teenagers ? It's bad enough that boys turn into men but I'm not ready to accept that my darling firstborn has not only outgrown his pram, sped through toddlerhood, started school and is now half way through his education and will be gone from the nest in less than 7 years. So if that means that the tattered box of My First Scrabble has to take up a few square inches of cupboard space for a few years more then so be it.

I am however, prepared to part with the dog-eared copies of ' How to De-Junk Your Life' and Life laundry' which clearly were of fleeting interest and left no lasting impression on me whatsoever.

Thursday 1 March 2007

It's rather daunting clicking on a button that say ' New Post ' and finding a blank screen in front of you just waiting to be filled with pearls of wisdom. The very words suggest that it should be fresh, enlivening, full of promise like an unexpected parcel dropping onto your doormat. Instead I'm having to trawl through my mind to think of anything noteworthy that's happened to me in the last 24 hours. Don't think 'putting another wash on' will quite cut the mustard.

I'm treating these first few posts as my learning curve which at the moment resembles a vertical brick wall. Someone just asked me for my blog address and I didn't know what it was or how to give it ti them. And as for adding a photo ... well that will just have to wait until someone takes a decent photo of me. Very telling though that I have thousands of my family and friends but only 3 of me , none of which are acceptable. If digital photography had been around 20 years ago I might have got away with using one from my younger days and seeing if anyone noticed. I tried that trick on an old British Rail card (see - that dates me already) until I got stopped at a barrier and accused of fraudulently using someone else's card.

Two really nice things have happened to me today, so I'm sitting back and waiting for the hatrick but nervous that the 'no pleasure without pain' principle will kick in at any minute.