Saturday, 26 October 2013


It's my Grandma's birthday today so I went straight round to see her on my way home from work.

My bro's just gone out and bought a Lotus Elise () and he was already there when I arrived, showing my grandparents the motor.

We all go inside and have a chat and end up talking about the car and where it's safe to park it and things.

My Grandpa turns to me and asks if I heard about the taxi driver. I said I hadn't. Apparently, a taxi driver in our town was attacked and left for dead. A few weeks ago now, a girl was murdered and her car set alight with her body inside. This led my Grandpa to say that the town is, and I'll censor it, 'sh*t.' He clarified, 'well, it's always been sh*t but it was good sh*t and now it's bad sh*t.'

I agree.

He said, 'you know what I mean though, it used to just be things like scrumping.'

In case anybody doesn't know, 'scrumping' is when you go nicking fruit. Mostly apples.

My Grandma pipes up with a story about how my uncle and his mates went scrumping and she ended up with the owner of the fruit farm knocking on her door and accusing her son of nicking apples. She said she first of all tried to deny that it was my uncle, while he was hiding behind the sofa, and then went on to say she hadn't seen any apples, but she was very sorry.

She finished the story by telling us it was too late anyway, cos the apples were already in a pie in the oven.

I wish the town was good sh*t again.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The Hairdresser's (Of Doom)

I hate going to the hairdresser. I hate it more than going to the doctor or the dentist and I hate those things a lot.

Because of this, I only go about once a year. (Also, it's expensive).

Yesterday evening I had my yearly haircut. Now, I'm not keen on people touching me. I say 'not keen,' I mean 'venomously dislike.' I especially don't like people touching my head, so this is why hairdressers are a problem for me. In my salon, they offer a complimentary head massage. This is like torture. I always, always say no, but sometimes they don't give you the option, they just do it and you sit there, cringing, your skin crawling, beads of sweat popping on your forehead, while some woman is probing your scalp. Unpleasant.

Anyway, luckily, this time I was asked so I said NO BLEEDING WAY, MATE. Or words to that effect.

I never say yes to the free tea either. And I love tea and I love free stuff but I can't say yes to this. How do you drink it? How can you reach for your tea, when there's someone with scissors very close to your eyeball? Also, I don't like hairy tea.

I dislike other people washing my hair. Firstly, why do they wash your hair? My hair's clean, I cleaned it myself, but they wash it anyway. They could use a squirty bottle and spray it if they need it wet for cutting but nope, they like to torment you. They must think that we're dirty. So your head gets wrenched over the sink - which is made of rock and blades - and you sever the nerves in your neck. I read a story about a woman who had her hair washed at a hair salon, then died because they damaged her neck. I can't help but think of that every time. Plus they get water in your ears and I can't be doing with water in my ears.

So, I go into the salon and there's a young lad there and I'm weirdly put off even more just by the fact he's male and I really don't want him touching my head. I mean, what's that about? My doctor's male.

Anyway, apart from causing mass amounts of immense pain to my neck, the lad was actually all right and I had an actual conversation with him (which I never do with the girls cos they talk nonsense). We're chatting away about tattoos and rollerblades and free food, my brain's telling me that any second my neck's gonna snap and my head's gonna roll around in the sink, and I suddenly realise that he's managed not to get water in my ears. Awesome.

So I then go over to sit in front of the giant mirror and I'm left there, staring at my own reflection which again, I dislike very much. Both my reflection and the fact I'm plonked in front of it.

Then the hairdresser comes over and she asks what I want done and I say just cut a couple of inches off. She asks me how I want it styled.

She sees my confusion and asks if I want it blow dried and straightened and when I hesitate, she says 'go on, you're at a hairdresser's' so I agree.

She then starts cutting my hair and I'm sitting there trying not to stare at my own face or think about what she might be seeing on my head. I'm self-conscious, I suppose. I always think they'll be disgusted by my head, even though I haven't actually got a gross head or anything. She's talking about hair and styles and holidays and 'How long have you had your fringe?' Me: 'I was born with it.' (All right, my real answer was: 'Forever.') And she asks me how I style it and I say I do nothing to it, and she asks if I straighten it and again I say I do nothing and she asks if I put it up and by now, because I'm starting to feel like a Neanderthal, I just say 'oh yeah, I pin it back.' (Which is lies, all lies.)

Hairdressers are all so much prettier and female than me, I dread to think what they must think of me. I go in there like a yeti. I am unable to talk about babies and boobies and boyfriends.

Do you want a serum on your hair?

Um. I guess.

What is the condition of your hair?

Erm... sort of... hair like.

How would you like the layers done?

Ooh uh... like a cake?

How shall I cut your fringe?

With scissors, please.

Pure torture. They always give you a loyalty card so you can get £10 off every few visits. I took out my loyalty card and she threw it away because it was dated 2011.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

M vs Grill

I don't cook. Me + household appliances = no. I don't have the patience or the concentration levels required for cooking. Things end up either raw or burnt.

Yesterday, I came home from work and discovered teacakes in the bread bin. If I see teacakes, I'm going to want teacakes. So I put the grill on.

The cooker's built-in in this new house and the grill isn't separate, it's sort of inside the oven. I've not used it before but how hard can it be to grill something, right?

Smoke starts spewing out of the oven. I don't know what that's about but it doesn't smell good and the dog's sneezing. So I discover there's a grill plus fan option. Great, I put that on and slowly the smoke gets sucked in and goes away.

Awesome. I'm gonna toast me some teacakes. I put the teacakes under the grill and wait.

Did I mention I was impatient? Nothing seems to be happening. I fiddle with some knobs (one breaks off so I shove it back on) and then have a brainwave.

I'll simply move the shelf, and the teacakes, closer to the grill.

You would think this would be a simple thing. But no, the shelf slips out of my grasp and gets stuck on the grill, the teacakes have fallen down the back of the oven, and I'm cursing like a sailor.

The dog's standing there watching me with his mouth open. Probably stunned at my bad language.

I'm now trying to force the shelf out of the grill.

In the meantime, the tea towel is on fire. I realise this when the smoke re-appears and my hand seems to be getting rather hot.

I extinguish the tea towel, curse, and resume trying to force the shelf out of the grill.

I manage to set the tea towel alight again and decide to give up with the oven.

I really want toasted teacakes. But I'm not touching those at the back of the oven - they've touched greasy stuff. Yuck. So I leave the shelf, and the teacakes, inside the oven, turn the thing off and slam the door to let it know exactly what I think of it.

I turn to the toaster. Our toaster doesn't work properly. The button you press to make the toast pop up does nothing. At the old house, we'd simply turn the toaster off at the mains.

I get a new teacake, slice it in half (trying to make it thin because I'm going to be ramming this thing into the toaster) and pop it into the toaster.

It takes about two seconds before there's smoke coming out of the toaster. I go to turn it off, but the button doesn't work and, in this house, the main plug is behind the microwave.

I get the knife. (I know, I know, don't stick knives into toasters). I rescue one half of a nicely browned teacake.

I go to open the door to let some of the smoke out, come back and the toaster has finished doing its thing and popped up. But the other half is stuck inside it (it's brown. There are burnt currants). Using the knife, I manage to gouge the bloody thing free.

I slather both slices in butter and scoff the lot. Yummiest thing I've had in ages.