Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The new things

Apparently experiences are all set to be the new things - once all the houses, and all the washing machines, and all the gardens and all the under the xmas trees are full to capacity, (and all the trees have been cut down, and all landfills full), people are going to get greedy over experiences.

No, this isn't just the idea of experiences, like the vouchers for flying we all bought each other in the 90's that no one ever got around to using... more real live experiences, meeting famous people, having them to dinner, making flowers out of butter, learning how to spin silk from spider's webs... it's thanks to the web/ apps/ whatevermebobs, which allows us to boast our experiences live.

Like sales of anything though - eventually it comes down to convenience - like i'd love to canoe down Niagara some day, but just the time and hassle of getting in and out of a wet suit, having to brush my hair afterwards etc etc, pure mayhem - so how to get the lovely belly warming experience without the inconvenience of having to go out and do?

 Story telling has always been a form of sold experience, deepened, and painted by the teller, focussed on certain aspects, drawing you along, inviting you to partake in the creation - in the written form especially your own experiences during reading will colour the product (as I found when reading kafka's "the Trial" while enjoying a 5 hour airport wait - it was perfect).  As experiences become the new things however - I'm not sure reading is quite going to explode, or indeed sitting and listening to storytellers (though again happily the web makes this easier by the day - anyone watching Moth stories out there?)
Poetry is experience in concentrated form -  like the coffee capsule things that look like spaceships - it can be surprisingly shiny and powerful...
Film is experience applied to your face, appealingly sometimes in a group setting, simple and magnetic - you get to splash around in it with others, soak it in...  But will there be megastores - that's what I want to know, when all the furniture shops and garages, and garden centres close, will they be replaced with centres of discovery - people going to the COD (you heard it here first folks) to discover, try new things big and small - maybe I could go around with a little stall teaching people how to make blades of grass whistle by placing between your two thumbs.

What experiences will you enable in this bold new world?  What will you save up just for yourself?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Benefits of Wrappers

I’ve been reading about the benefits of using Banana peel and Orange peel – not just for football related jokes – but for real practical purposes, such as reducing wrinkles (just flatten them right across your brow) and cleaning mirrors (yes, just take the stringy bits off and it’ll have the mirror shining like never before)

But – have you heard about the benefits of used sweet wrappers?  They are amazing.  In fact 99% of the fibre present in a typical sweet is in the wrapper, as well as 20% of your RDA of vitamins and minerals.  If you haven’t had a bath with a rainbow of sweet wrappers floating around you, you won’t know what I mean.  They are super for exfoliation, they are non detrimental to the bubble level – (unlike pesky sponges) and it’s so environmentally friendly – you need never throw out a wrapper again!!

Why not collect the plastic from around your old loaves of bread and stuff a pillow case with them to create a super comfy and waterproof resting cushion for your windowseat?  No Windowseat?  No problem!  Gather all the lollipop sticks you can, pile them altogether, cover them over with card from your various food and consumable items, (turned inside out to show off the rustic “raw card” look), finish it off with the last of a few jars of mayonnaise, and leave to dry gloriously in the sunshine. 

Cut out the ingredients, or nutritional sections of your favourite foods, make an album, so you can show visitors what you’ve been into.

Fun for all the family.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The world is forcing chocolate on me!!!

So yesterday I thought we were getting there, I thought I was making progress, I got a different person serving me at the garage, and when I told them I was off “the chocolate” and that I would happily take an apple instead – they said “sure take an apple instead”  I was delighted.  It was a real breakthrough.
Today, back again, delighted to see the same person working, surely they’d tell me to take an apple again, maybe they’d even have the apple ready for me, all polished with the annoying little sticker removed… but alas and alack – the server looked as if they’d never seen me before in my life, making no sign of remembering our golden moment of only 24 hours thence, and even went so far as to put the bar of chocolate on top of my hot beverage cup, “why don’t you have a nicely softened with the heat of your coffee chocolately snack” he almost said to me.  “Get behind me chocolate”  I almost said in return, but instead I said “I don’t want it” a small part of me still hoping he might remember yesterday (when all our troubles seemed so far away) but no, he simply said “I’ll give it to someone else so”  I said “Fine”  “Have a nice day” he said with a hint of cruelty.
In the car – driving along, chocolateless – what comes on the radio “Eating two bars of chocolate a day is shown to reduce the risk of heart failure” or something.  Well I know why – it’s because if you eat lots of chocolate like an obedient mind slave you will not face the stress and embarrassment of having to refuse chocolate at every turn….
In the meantime, half of the readership of this blog (hi Mammy and Daddy!)  have taken this to be a poor advertising campaign, saying “We’d love to go to that place but you never told us the name of it?  What kind of chocolate do they give out? Oh it sounds great value!”  however the other half will know this is a serious thread, about serious issues, it’s about freedom, community relations, health, and kafka-esque complications of the modern world preventing us from fully living to our dreamed potential,,, not saying my parents don’t get that too, they just also see it as an ad. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Trust Shop

Clean shaven-ness, I think that’s one of the key things,
- he smiles,
and good hair – as close to a Ken doll as you can get. 

Enda raises a glass and settles back into the leather seat.  

John leans forward,
that’s all very well, but like how come you always seem to know just what to say? 

A wry chuckle from the other side of the table,
Well that is indeed an interesting secret. 

There are no secrets between us,
- John opens his football muck covered hands in a gesture of open-ness, while Enda raises his perfectly manicured steepled lámha to his lips, in a shushing gesture.  They look around them,  they are alone in the office, as they were ten minutes before.  John leans in a little more, Enda can almost smell the sweat. 

- he says softly
here’s the thing, you’ve got to study American Presidential films, Harrison Ford, Samuel L, George Lee, anyone you can get hold of, watch them religiously – this is what I’m really doing when I say I’m going for my 3 hours transcendental medication.  I see you’re creasing your eyebrows John, I know you’d rather watch Italia 90, but you asked the question.  Can you not Handle the Truth? 
He looks around again, to reassure himself the office hasn’t heard his raised voice, the excitement having taken over for a second, he readjusts his tie.

John is astonished.  
It’s surely not as simple as just looking at them?  I mean you must take notes?  How often do you watch them? 

Alright John, here’s the thing, one a day.   Even when you’re sleepy –
- he holds up a finger to hold John back from his spluttering protest, -
Even during the world cup, when you’ve been up all night to watch Penos.  The key thing is never let a day go by without watching an American Film of some sort, and you’ll always have something respectable and wise to say. 

And then they’ll believe me? 
John asks, 
About the 5 million?  And.. and… that I’m doing a great job? 

They both laugh at hearing that out loud, 

Lookit, they’ll believe anything, they want the happy news, they want to think that someone in charge knows what they’re doing.  It’s easy – just make believe.  Like my good friend willy wonky says… It’s a world of Pure Imagination. 
- allowing his voice to lilt into the music a little.  They both hold their breaths a little in the ensuing silence.

You just did it to me there didn’t you? 
Says John, 

glasses clink and both men smile in satisfaction

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Redefining our relationship

So, I’m back with the old garage, for now.  I know, I know, they force chocolate and news on people, but their coffee is so good, ahhh dictive in fact.  It makes it very hard to walk away, when they are one of only 2 places that can serve a decent cup at the right temperature, and the second place is down the middle of the town, so If I want to get to work on time (and I do), I have literally no choice but to go back for more.  So I go… but on my terms.  I refused to take the chocolate this morning.
Well, my astute reading public, what do you think happened next?  Did the garage offer me an apple instead?  A round of applause in admiration for my one woman stand against sugar? A wry smile of recognition for my dogged determination?  With a friendly reminder that the chocolate would be there again for when I needed it?  Or perhaps they honestly expressed surprise and hurt that I would turn down such generosity?
No, my friends.  None of the above.  In fact – the girl scanned the bar of chocolate anyway, waving it in front of me (yes waving, talk about taunting), and saying “I’ll have that for a well earned treat later!” 

What would you do?  I’m thinking about suggesting we go to counselling, they need to know that they are only undermining any trust we ever had between us when they do things like this – a well earned treat indeed.  Well earned by over-charging for their (admittedly orgasmic) coffee?!!  I feel like quoting dora the explorer “Swiper, no swiping!” or “Scoibthaí ná Scoib!”  Jiminy Meepers Like!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Did anyone else’s mother ever say Siúcra or Sugar when they really wanted to say a bad word?  How about Fruitcake!?  I find “Jiminy Meepers” is my go to phrase for expressing frustration or shock…. It’s so effective I’ve started using it when in an adult context away from little ears…
Anyway back to the sugar – It’s just occurred to me that at least part of why that word was used for something bad is because it is something bad.  I’ve been reading a bit more lately on Sugar, and how it’s the new salt.. (black is the new black) in terms of health.  Some even believe it is a poison  http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/aug/24/robert-lustig-sugar-poison
So I’ve taken charge of my life and decided to see how difficult it is to avoid… Here’s how it’s been going so far.  Sunday – no sugar on my wheetabix, (plenty of lime though if you must know), no chocolate when the kids went to bed, or at any other time of the day… The only little bit of sugar that snuck in was in the peanut butter I had with a  cracker at one stage… So Monday happens, I go to work, someone’s back from holidays and has brought cookies, it’d be rude not to, so I have two, to be doubly sure not to be rude… Yesterday – at work, I am informed that I must taste our range of sugar v’s a new supplier’s sugar… yes – Demerara, soft brown dark, soft brown light, icing, caster and granulated… all of it…!! Do you think it was a sign?  followed by my birthday – cake followed by more cake…
Back on the wagon today.  Sugar free me…!!!!!!!


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Shoplifting and other writing methods

A new sign has appeared at the Premier Gas Station, (or an old sign has been newly noticed), it says “Shoplifters will be prosecuted and published”.  This fits nicely with a call out from Triona (Domestic Oubliette) to let everyone in on our writing methods.  I have never tried shoplifting personally as a route to publication, so I cannot vouch for how well it works.  I presume you would really need to be a genuine shoplifter before you would be considered for publication, it wouldn’t just be a case of walking in and picking up a bag of Monster Munch – otherwise we’d all be published… no, I’m guessing this would require a more dedicated life of crime type of career, and the book in question would have to be your autobiography, most likely written behind bars.  There must be a huge world trend towards reading these types of books, (I know I’ve read my share of them) if the printers have resorted to advertising for writers at garages…
As for my writing methods?  It depends what I want to write – I will use a different method depending on the character, scene, emotion I want to evoke.  If writing about a difficult experience for a character I will try and write it will entertaining the four year old while the 1 year old naps, (and will also try and keep the 1 year old napping).  Sometimes I’ll walk out into the middle of a meadow in Autumn, if I want to write about bounty and reaping, or I might write on the odd occasion while lying down inside said 4 year olds spider man tent, if I want to write about hiding, seeking peace and quiet.  I will sometimes listen to music – Bob Marley for a really tense scene (to gain balance), or classical music when I write about pop (see “loop” my short story a few  posts ago – about pop”ish” music with a twist).  Or I write at night, or during the day.  That mostly covers all my methods… what are yours?
Oh and yes, I must have blue m&ms when writing, that is the one constant throughout.

Monday, June 8, 2015

50 ways to clean your covers

Apologies cleaning enthusiasts – this post is not what was advertised….

The problem is all inside your bed, he said to me, The answer is easy if you take it logically, I'd like to help you in your struggle to be clean, There must be fifty ways to clean your covers

He said it's really not my habit to intrude furthermore, I hope my cleaning won't be lost or misconstrued, But I'll repeat myself at the risk of being crude, There must be fifty ways to clean your covers, Fifty ways to clean your covers

You Just give them a steep, Creep, Use a new can (of powder), Stan, You don't need to be coy, Roy, Just listen to me, gotta soap with no fuss, Gus, You don’t need it to suds much, just drop it in Ghee*, Lee, and get your sheets clean.

You just Give them a soak Folks, in some diluted bleach teach, Put em in the machine, Dean, You could even try steam Dean, Just drop off the bag, Mags, get the launderette to clean

He said it grieves me, To see you struggle with such stains, I wish there was something I could do to make them shine again I said I appreciate that And would you please explain About the fifty ways

You Just give them a rinse, Vince, Make a new plan, Stan, You don't need to be dirty, Bertie, Just listen to me, Put em out on the line, Ryan, You know today’s fine for drying, Just give them a rinse, Vince, and get your sheets clean
* Ghee is a class of clarified butter that originated in ancient India and is commonly used in KurdishIranianAfghaniPakistaniIndianBangladeshiNepali and Sri Lankan cuisine, traditional medicine and religious rituals.  (not necessarily used for cleaning covers – however since animal fats have been known to use in soap it does make sense to me)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Climbing and other busy things

She pushes yellow plastic chairs around, and climbs them to reach the surface of the blanket box, falls off clutching the mosaic’ed paper dinosaur.  Half way up the stairs before you know it, she stands waiting to hold your hand while she half walks half flies down.  If the coffee table is in her path she won’t go around it like a normal human being, over or under if she wants something in particular, using all her skill not to bump her oversized head.  In Granny’s house and visits to our friends, she almost makes it to the windowsill, she craves the outdoors.   Shouts at the back door of the doctors office, looking to make her escape, out where the wheelie bins stand and summer leafed trees beckon from a distance.  She joins her brother jumping on the bed, bouncing herself kneeling up and shouting.  She is busy – with boxes, or anything that’ll hold anything else, she walks around looking important with it, focussed on her task and proud of her achievement.  She tries to fit into any box or container like a cat.  I hope the joy she daily finds in ordinary things sticks to her like honey, their sweetness always finding purchase in her heart.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Is that a banana in your purse?

So we have a security protocol/ system whatever you call it in my place of work, whereby we scan ourselves in with a badge (not a chip in the back of our neck – though I think that’s probably a better way forward, make all employees completely trackable, it’ll surely lead to soaring [I nearly typed souring there] productivity), and so we swipe in when we arrive – the swipe is our door opener, without it you have to stand at the door like a confused neighbourhood moggy that doesn’t have the right collar to open the cat flap.  Anyway – recently I was on my way into work, as I so often do, and I was planning to use the door.  However there was a visitor standing beside it, awaiting entrance.  I look all business on my way into work, I’ll have you understand and so he stood back, ready to be impressed by my door opening abilities.  I nodded graciously, understanding perfectly that he didn’t have the required clearance to “get in”, so like the VIP that I am, I began to check my jacket pockets for my pass.  It wasn’t there however.  No.  It was buried deep in ….. “the bag”. 
Normally this is traumatic enough – ie having to search… “the bag” for anything is always a chore.  However with MIS (Man in suit) watching – this was soon a nightmare.  I wanted to find that swipe quick, but I didn’t want him to see the half eaten banana that my children had declined to finish on the way to the childminder, but which I had decided to keep for my breakfast.  So I routed, carefully, between the wet bananas, Micheal Harding book, Brand new big swipe ribbon that I never attached the swipe card to, malfunctioning spiderman game which is there ready to hand back next time I pass the garage I bought it in (not that garage, another one)…. Etc etc.  I’m almost sure he saw the half eaten banana.
I’m hoping he saw it for what it was – a sign that I would waste nothing, that I am ruthlessly efficient, and that even though I have two wonderful children I have chosen to leave them with someone else while I toil on behalf of someone else for the joy of the challenge and the love of progress, I nourish them well on their 7.40 am commute, I manage not to be COVERED in banana slime…. How would you have viewed it internet career consultants?