London: We will never be defeated

I am at a loss for words as to what is going on in the world today.  Really am.

I accept that atrocities happen on a daily basis across the world at the moment, but nothing really hits home until it happens in your own country.  Everything that happens is unacceptable and must, somehow, be stopped.

I don’t know or even pretend to understand the reasons behind why these people are doing what they are doing to people around the world.  I’ve read what they have said but still can’t fully understand why.  That may just be me, I am somewhat detached from the world of religion as I follow none, but when the battle turns to ordinary, everyday people; it must be stopped.

We’ve had Manchester, we’ve had two attacks on London bridges and now we have Finsbury Park.

Why?  Can anyone tell me the answer?

What are a group of individuals coming out from their prayers at midnight on a Sunday – what exactly were they going to do, what was their threat?  I just don’t understand.

All I know is, like so many others, I am deeply saddened by it all.  So many families and friends have lost loved ones due to these mindless attacks.  I am hugely proud to be English and I think the reaction and support given by an entire nation is astounding.  We will not ever be divided and we will stand by any country in solidarity and support against these cowards.

Winston Churchill:

“This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

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Another Deadline…

Well, Monday was the cut off for the next stage of applying for a job.  I made it, just.

I know it doesn’t put me in good stead but I hate deadlines.  Really, hate them.  I must admit when it comes to work, I’ve never ever missed one.  Well, not in the last nine years anyway.

But, those deadlines are usually ones that are for the job I’m doing, so are fairly interesting.  The other one isn’t.  All the other one is, is making sure I fill in a form where I have tobig myself up, so that my name is considered for a job I don’t want.  Hardly an incentive.

Alas, needs must.  Admittedly I’ve left it to the last minute, which is mainly due to the fact that I am so busy doing the job that they don’t think they need anymore (breathe….) but it was done.  Begrudgingly.

So what now? 

Now I wait.  Wait to hear if I have been selected for interview, again for a job I don’t want.  Is it just me, or would you struggle to find enthusiasm too?!

Anyway, just thought I would update anybody that was interested, and would urge you all to keep your fingers crossed for me.  Using well wishing alone, maybe you can help me get a job!

Positive thoughts……….GO!

deadline

OMG. The Pig is back!

I have voiced my concerns before on this subject.  You may recall.

I have aired my concerns over a certain animated pig and how evil and disruptive I think it is.  I still believe that the message being sent out by one Peppa Pig and her sidekick George, has dastardly intentions set on making other people’s lives a misery.

I still have stains on my carpet due to the incessant nagging of the pig family to jump in muddy puddles.  I have not forgotten.

However, I thought that I had managed to outlive the pig as now the daughter is three, she has moved on to other disruptive influences.  A child that believes she’s a doctor leading me to think that one day I’m going to return home to a living room full of stuffing and dismembered limbs.  Yes, you Doc McStuffins.

Or this boy Jake and his pirates.  Is it really a good message to give young children that a stick is a sword?  Really?  You’ve obviously never been beaten with one.

Don’t get me started on the monkey that lives in the apartment…. jeez…

Anyway, as I say, the pig is back onto my TV screen.  It turns out that the appeal of said pork by-product reaches young boys too.  Yep, my little boy is now watching the dreaded thing.  I only put it on because it gives me five minutes peace.  If it was only five minutes…..  Why do they insist on putting 27 episodes on in one go?  Maybe it’s their break too….

But you know what’s even worse?!  Can you guess?  No?  Well…

What makes it worse is that it is the same episodes as before!  Yes, the years worth of Peppa Pig episodes I had to endure the first time, are back but this time I know what’s coming!  I tell you, if I had hair I’d be ripping it out!!

I’ve got to get him interested in something else.  Too young for Postman Pat, don’t like Fireman Sam and Thomas the Tank Engine will not be on in my house…. Ever.

It's Back!  Peppa Pig

Rapunzel: Why didn’t you stay in the tower?!

As a rule with most things Disney, I can tolerate the product for a certain amount of time, with most of the DVD’s nowadays laced with jokes and innuendo suited for the adult audience.  And whilst this film is quite funny, it doesn’t half lose its appeal after so many viewings.

Tangled.

Another classic story given the animation makeover.  The story of Rapunzel had escaped me in my own childhood but thanks to this film, I now understand the repeated references I missed over the years.  It is not the story that irks me.  It’s Disney.

Yes, marketing is a big issue in business and you have to make your items attractive to all ages at all times.  But not that much, surely?

It’s a drug.  No, really.  Addicted to watching, sore eyes, inane laughter, wanting to dress up?!  Come on, it’s worse than coffee or LSD!

And for a three year old you can triple the addiction factor.  I have been made to watch that film for what feels like every day for the past year.  As i said, it was funny in places, and that chameleon still makes me smile when I’m off guard, but enough is enough.  Disney has a duty to stop making films so………… needy.  Apparently my daughter has to watch it.

And this has side effects.  We recently had a party at home for the girl’s third birthday.  Can you guess the theme?

Rapunzel.  Those big Disney eyes plastered on posters, banners, table cloths, cups, etc.  Everywhere.

It’s true its not just Disney, but that was the thing on the TV when I popped home for my lunch.  Drives me mad.

If you’d stayed in your tower, they couldn’t have made a bloody film about you!!

Rapunzel: Tangled

Dear Diary: What a week it has been…

The past week has been a write off.  Are you ready for a sob story?

It all started last Thursday evening.  A cold night with the threat of severe snow showers and freezing temperatures.  Of course this would be the perfect night for the heating to stop working!

I live in the sticks and use oil for my heating system.  It’s also rented accommodation so the whole thing is outdated anyway.  This means that if anything goes wrong or needs repairing I can’t just fix it myself (to a certain degree) or phone up someone to come and fix it.  No, I have to phone up the authorities who then send out their approved contractors.  Great.

First off I checked my tank gauge, half full.  Checked that the bloody thing was actually turned on, yes it is.  What the hell is then?  Phoned my boss who lives round the corner for some advice.  He suggests that the pilot could of gone out.

‘That’s nice, I wonder if it’s gone anywhere nice’ I replied.

A moments pause.  Press the big red button on the side of the tank.  Done.  Fires up, happy days.

Two minutes later, I’m still cold.  Go out to the boiler.  It’s not on.  Press the button again, fires up.  Stops. Bollocks.

Phones the authorities, luckily there’s a chap around and he’ll be sent.  Bloody good job, I say.  He has a quick look around, walks up to the tank and knocks on it.

‘It’s empty’ he says.

‘Fuck off is it’ I reply.

I have a look.  By fuck, it is.  No oil, yet the gauge says it’s half full.  I spy a problem.  Is it getting warmer in here, no, that was my blood boiling.  It was him and his mates that had been round and ‘fixed’ the gauge on two separate occasions.  Methinks he didn’t do it properly.

After about ten minutes of my shouting, he was allowed to leave.  Now what?  I have a two year old, a six week old and a wife that is moaning (normal) because she’s cold.  I have to make a drastic decision.

A few phone calls later and the path is clear.  Work will have to make do without me for a few days, I’m going to house where it’s warm.  Luckily my mother was willing to put us up, probably reluctantly going on past experiences, and just wait for oil to be delivered.

But wait, didn’t you say that snow was on the way and it was really cold?!

Yes I did.  It would appear that quite a few other people needed oil and the subsequent problems the snow caused on the roads meant that it was Tuesday before we got any delivered.  Great, now we could go home and I could go back to work.  Hurray!

You may not have any interest in my tale of woe and frustration, but if I hadn’t told anybody I would’ve just let this bug me for weeks.  People, if you are in a position, buy a house and don’t rent.  I hate having to rely on other people to get stuff done.  We were lucky this time that it wasn’t drawn out for hours as it has done before.

Oh well, it’s done.  It’s the weekend time to relax.

What did you say?  There’s more snow coming?

Fuck.  Check the tank…

Snow. A Pain

Where did THAT come from?!

Now I knew before I started that parenting had it’s own special difficulties.

Teaching a child not to pee on the curtains.  Teaching a child that the Xbox is not a toy but a serious adult machine.  Teaching a child that cat biscuits are not sweeties.  Teaching a child that the family cat is not a glove puppet. 

All these are common hurdles in which to get over during the parenting journey.  All fairly harm less and not too costly to repair.  I can handle these but, there are other instances that are just to gross to comprehend.

Yes, I am talking about illness.  When a man has a cold, as we all know, the world must stop and look after him by supplying the remote control and plenty of reassuring words.  The woman can either flake out on the sofa watching endless repeats of crappy reality TV or they can play the world’s saviour and carry on doing the housework whilst dripping snot all over the carpet.

Children on the other hand can not really tell you what’s going on.  It just kind of happens.  And always at times when you’re not expecting it.

As you know, I have a daughter that will be three in a month or so.  Last night she erupted.  Spontaneously and without warning.

I was awoken by crying at approx. 1.30am.  I unsuspectingly arose from the bed and went into the daughters bedroom.  The sight that greeted me was, just, eeeewww.  In fact the smell hit me first.  Rancid.

She was sitting up, in bed, with her hand over her mouth.  Why she was doing this with her hand I could not say, I mean, she had already just covered her bed with puke.  I can’t see how grabbing a handful and playing with it was any help at all.  Especially as I didn’t know it was there when I carried her to the bathroom.  Maybe she was scared of not finding her way back to the room so she wanted to leave a trail?  I don’t know.

I know this isn’t a pleasant story to tell, but I am merely highlighting a part of the manual that never got printed.  At no point did I read that, ‘…at some stage during your child’s development, you will be called upon to clean up after the ‘sick sprinkler’.  The huge talent in all children where they seem to have the natural instinct to be sick through their fingers.  I think, deep down, this is a present for the parents.  To give them something nice to look at when they are cleaning.’

I think the one positive I can take from this situation is that while Mummy and Daddy were cleaning up after daughter, for like three hours, the prodigal son remained asleep and did not flinch at all the screaming and crying noises.

It would appear that another deep sleeping, snorer has been recruited to the family.

The Exorcist (Dawn French)

Defiance

Oh yes, the time has arrived.

Evolution dictates that this day would inevitably come.

The time when the child, my daughter in this case, unequivocally mutates from a baby or toddler into a ‘mini adult’.  

All part of the process of growing up I hear you say?  Meh.

Do you know how I can tell that this milestone in her childhood has indeed bounded through the front door of my own house?

She’s now got to the stage where she can verbalise perfectly enough to engage in conflict.  Yes, she has started arguing with Daddy.

 

……………………………………..

 

Is this a woman thing, can I ask?  Are you really programmed to learn to argue before you are fully toilet trained and trusted to walk through a town centre unattached?

I’m baffled.  I don’t quite know how to handle this situation either.  If it is human, sorry, woman nature, then there’s no way that I control or even reduce the need to ‘backchat’.

Do I just admit defeat from the beginning?

Fair enough, every argument she tries to engage in or start is quickly dissolved, because daddy has a louder voice.

But she’s two.

She won’t be two forever.

Oh, Jesus.

I’m doomed.

Justin Fletcher: Evil Genius

Right, before you say anything, this is not borne out of envy or jealousy.  Yes, it would be nice to have his gazillions of pounds or roubles or whatever, but that’s not the point.

I’m sure I’m not the only one to have a problem with this ‘entertainer’, am I?  I know he certainly has his fans, mainly bored, depressed housewives, but I just can’t see the attraction.

As far as I know (I maybe wrong) he started off doing voiceover work for kids shows, the Tweenies being the first one that I know, which was fine.  Using his whiney voice to make a whiney character work is fine.  I notice he wasn’t actually in the suit prancing around though.  This is just about acceptable, I mean, there were at least four other characters to dissipate the noise.

Then my experiences moved on with Something Special.  God.  That Mr Tumble has a lot to answer for.

Before you say, yes I do believe that this programme is important, where it highlights sign language and gets children used to seeing differently able individuals.  It’s a good programme, it is, even the characters on it are watchable and beneficial to the programme.  It’s just a shame I have to cram the nearest two toys in my ears when it is on.  Side note: be careful when grabbing the closest things, I nearly had to have an Iggle Piggle surgically removed.

Then it moves up a gear, he takes to the stage.  Justin’s House.  Not too bad, because the shouting and screaming of the kids in the audience means that you don’t always hear everything.  Good.  I will admit though that Robert Robot is a good character and deserves his own show.

Time moves on and more voice overs appear.  The most recent being the White Van or something, I don’t know ‘coz I have never watched it, but I am told it has the same overtones as everything else.  I mean, to be a voiceover artist like the greats from the cinema and off the TV, you have to have vocal range and an appealing voice to grab the viewer and make them take notice.  As far as I can see it, Justin has the same tone and excitement level with everything, whilst at the same time almost always adding in his nose press and funny noise.  Hilarious.

But what takes the biscuit for me was his next step.  I have not heard it but I don’t want to.  He has released an album.

Yes. An album.

I don’t know if he is starting a new career as a proper singer or, in time honoured tradition, is putting on a modern twist to  nursery rhymes and the such.  That, I feel is irrelevant.

It just makes you long for the return of people like Steps, 2Unlimited and Englebert Humperdinck.  Only new albums from these people could compete….

Is this a personal attack on Justin?  No.
Is this an unprovoked attack by Justin?  No.

It’s just driving me crazy.

Why I don’t like Peppa Pig….

No, hang on, this is serious.

Yes, I know it’s a cartoon character, and yes, I know it’s for children but parents have to watch it as well.  And I’m sorry, but it has a lot to answer for.

Okay, she is polite to her and elders and has never really given her little brother any problems (which in itself pitches an unrealistic level of niceness.  What sibling pairing can go that long without a huge row, or an ‘accidental’ juice spillage into the la…… just me? Really?  Move on….) but the tings she gets up to are classed as acceptable in the real world.

I’m sorry, I don’t want to be a party pooper or anything, but it’s just not on.

Ok, you have kids and have watched Peppa, or you are at least aware of Peppa Pig.  Right, ready?  What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I ask you about what she does?

Got it?

Yes.  Muddy friggin’ Puddles.

That’s it right there.  What parents life has not been terrorised by muddy puddles and the exploits of this seemingly passive pig?  Not one puddle can be walked past, whether out in town or just in the garden, without the incessant need to ‘jump’.

Think you can tell them it’s a naughty thing to do??

“Well, Peppa jumps in muddy puddles!”

Stock answer.  And no matter how much you try and explain that despite what that pig does on the TV, it does not equate to real life and the rules are different.  Does not compute.

I send my heartfelt sympathy to all who has to deal with this.  Just keep scrubbing the clothes clean and laugh it off.

Just wait until they finish school one day, meet them at the gate and in front of all their friends, jump in a muddy puddle.  Only then can you truly say, ‘I understand’.

Cue embarrased child.

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