After the deliciously perfect excuse of ‘It’s Christmas’ is now out of the way, one can no longer utter the immortal phrase ‘i’ll start after Christmas’ until the next November comes trundling round.
In my opinion, there are two types of delivery driver.
Unfortunately for the people populating the glamorous world of delivering parcels, they seem to be at entirely opposite ends of the Delivery Driver Spectrum. (This is of course a perfectly acceptable term for measuring delivery drivers, ask anyone you know).
The first type is a real treat, but is generally few and far between (as all the best treats seem to be)…Think winning anything more than a tenner on the lottery, or finding a fiver and a book of stamps in an old purse. Or gleefully discovering an old twix (other yummy chocolate is available) stuffed down next to the crusty old box of boring cereal that is only there for when The Parent comes to stay, then finding out it’s still in date and only slightly crushed and mangled!
What is this real treat? Well, of course it’s a delivery man so good looking that it’s positively criminal to keep him locked up in a van entertaining only the motorways of Britain for the majority of his day. A guy who’s courteous and smiles when he hands over your parcel, and says thank you when you’ve signed. A guy who has to scrabble about in a dusty, grubby van hauling boxes about yet still manages to look artfully dishevelled and pulls off that perfect amount of ‘griminess’ before he reaches downright scruffbuckets dirtbag status where you wouldn’t touch him with a bargepole! Mmmmm, a real licky-neck type of guy!
Now I was lucky enough to know one such specimen in my old job…We had a beautiful man pop in every week or so and bestow upon us said smiles in joyful abundance. He even used to place the boxes exactly where we asked for them…..This is hugely rare, I can assure you-they would normally get dumped in the doorway creating a HealthAndSafetyNightmare! (Quel Horreur) We even knew his name, which again is a big thing in the delivery man game, as it means that they’ve managed not to piss off the shop owners enough to have polite chats and receive a christmas card every, er, well…Christmas!
So yes, we loved Dave muchly. (Names have been changed just in case he ever randomly and entirely manages to side-step all known laws of probability and read this post….I wouldn’t want him to be embarrassed if he found himself having to deliver anything to me again!)
What was even more spiffing is that I got to keep Dave when I started working from home! He would knock on my door at silly-o-clock (early for me…I’d rather start at 10am and go on to 6pm. I had to clarify this as all of The Friends would be in uproar if they thought I was telling you all that I was up and working by 7.30!)
Anyway, he’d knock on my door at 7.45 and I’d clumsily stumble down the stairs in random mismatched pjs and ‘bed head’ so fierce any innocent passer-by would think I’d just been tasered. I’d then proceed to mumble through the usual greetings: ‘Hi, how are you?’ Fine thanks, you?’ (By the way, this might just be the most pointless thing to ever utter out loud….No one listens, and if you ever stray from the accepted script with something like ’Actually I’m a bit ropey and my bunion is throbbing like a mo fo’ then the other person looks as though they’ve just been slapped in the face with a stinky haddock, and proceed to scurry off in the other direction whilst trying not to catch anything!)
I digress. Dave. (Bless him!) Anyway, I felt sorry for Dave having to be consistently subjected to my only-just-awake gorgeousness all the time, so I began anticipating which days he would deliver me my sparkly goodies. Cue me bounding down the stairs in full regalia having gone to bed early at what The Parent calls ‘A Reasonable Time’ the night before!
I even managed to make sure I didn’t have last night’s smudged mascara doing warpaint impressions, and spent the last five minutes before he rang the door bell chattering to myself so I could avoid that ‘I haven’t spoken today yet’ lurchy throat groan that always managed to rear its ugly head in the most inopportune of moments!
So Dave’s one of the extremely rare good ones. He has, in the last few months stopped delivering stuff to me, and I miss him! Yes, I know it is very silly of me to get attached to a man I barely know, but he cheered up my day with his alluring grubbiness and cheeky smile!
And so to the other sort. Of which I have had the dubious pleasure of experiencing this very week. This grouchy monosyllabic fiend can be found worldwide, and grows even when you don’t leave him in direct sunlight. He is a weed and impossible to work with. And as that’s probably one gardening metaphor too many I’ll stop there.
I ask you to picture the scene: It’s tipping it down. I’ve just got back home from a jewellery party and I do my usual trick of trampling dribbly footprints all over the post. When I’ve picked it up and discarded all of the rubbish that gets shoved through my door, I come to a ‘Sorry I’ve missed you’ parcel card:
All this pathetic excuse for a human being could be bothered to write was ‘By gate’. I then proceed to grumble about in the rain checking ‘by the gate’ for a parcel. Nothing. Nada. By this point I’m getting soggy hair and the flip flops I’d stupidly shoved on whilst still wearing socks (I know, it’s a hot look!) were doing wonderful yet cold impressions of surf boards in high tide waves. (I’m not even exaggerating-it was that day this week when the heavens opened and we all wished we had Steve Carell playing Evan Almighty as our benevolent, ark-building uncle)
Anyway, to cut a long story not very much shorter, the stupid oaf had flung, yes FLUNG my parcel OVER the gate and into my back garden where it landed with an unceremonious thud on some paving slabs. In the rain.
To make matters worse, it was a glass photo frame I’d ordered with one of my birthday vouchers. Yey, glass! The substance that positively yearns to be manhandled and used as a basketball in a fence-post slam dunk.
To quote The Grandparent: We are NOT amused!
Cue a strongly worded email that will no doubt never be answered and a tense phone call to replace the would-be gorgeous sparkly frame….
After all, I need it to go on my ‘feature wall’ (Lawrence Lewellyn-Bowen eat your heart out!)
(I don’t have a bunion, in case you were wondering!)
Fatty Blob Head
Now I know there’s entirely no excuse for my absolute tardiness and inability to write a post since January. It’s disgraceful and I am filled with horrendous amounts of scalding shame……
So what has affected my ability to put pen to paper these past months? (Not that it’s actually pen to paper any more, but finger to key just doesn’t have the same romantic-type writer-ish ring to it, now does it?)
I’d like to say that it was because I was kidnapped by an insanely scary yet pure-at- heart band of ruffians who put me to work in a sock factory making well, er, socks. (obviously). They’ve only just let me out for good behaviour and because I reached my own personal goal of twenty finished socks! Woo hoo!
Twenty finished socks? I hear you say…that is an absolutely pathetic number of socks, seeing as you’ve been AWOL for 5 months! Ah, but you don’t know what the socks were made from do you? They were created with the silk from a very rare and scary spider. As I have no doubt mentioned before, spiders are not my most favourite thing on earth, so milking them for their silk, (or ‘Silky Milking’ as we in the trade call it) was a harsh and acutely terrifying experience for me!
But that of course, isn’t what happened… You, dear reader, are slightly silly for even believing that story even a little bit…I know I paint such a rich and interesting picture that you’re saying to yourself…’This must indeed, be true!’ but come on; milking silk for socks? He he! I bet you feel just a tad bit foolish for being so gullible!
I am now the proud owner of a business! Yeah baby! As before (when I was writing blogs willy nilly) my laptop has been permanently attached to my knee, but I have had to employ the willpower of a god (someone really strong like Thor or Odin rather than one of the less impressive ones obviously) to keep my recalcitrant fingers from wandering on to wordpress…I have my very own website and everything! Feel free to pop along and have a gander..I’d love to know what you think:
I had some stunningly-marvellous-websitey-genius-people helping me obviously, but I am rather chuffed at what I have managed to cobble together! It was all done with a generous helping of very little sleep, lots of cake (mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, cake!), some healthy yet probably slightly childish tantrums at The Brother when I couldn’t possibly understand why I needed to acquaint myself with SEO keywords and Cookies (I assure you-not the chocolate chip filled, interesting kind!)
So that’s my excuse (the real, non spider story one too) and I’m sticking to it! After a ridiculously long bout of hard work and inforced reclusiveness, I am back in the world, and don’t feel such debilitating guilt for taking an hour off on a sunday to catch you all up on FBH news….
Of course, the random occurences and embarrassing happenings haven’t just stopped because I haven’t been writing about them, oh no! They continue their at inevitable and alarming pace….And so to the title of this particular blog:
As I may have mentioned in the past, I am a person who is 5ft 9in. Now, this in itself is not a bad thing. I am able to reach up high in supermarket shelves to help little old ladies to the high up cake (who have been known to bark at me rather than just ask, how rude!), I can also see above most crowds, and make a rather impressive lamp-post with my arm in the air brandishing my illuminated phone for The Titchy Friends along dark alleyways when we’ve had one or two glasses of pink fizz!
So all in all, I have grown used to how tall I am, and the relative pit falls that are associated with what feels like giving the Empire State building a run for its money! One of these afore-mentioned pit falls happens to be how often I unsuspectingly bang my head (Ah ha! Now the title becomes clear, heh?) and a few recent instances come to mind:
Instance 1 (Also known as Handbag Head Horreurs!)
A new handbag always has me clutching it protectively to my side, so imagine me in the cinema loo: No hook. There’s no way on this great earth of ours that I am putting it down on any manky surface. Ever. What to do? It will fall off and become a nuisance if I leave it on my shoulder…..Hang it around my neck: Huzzah! A nifty and rather clever solution, if I don’t say so myself! Everything is going swimmingly until it comes to pulling up my jeans (yes I know this might be ‘too much of the informations’ for all of you sensitive creatures out there, but bear with!)
I lean forward, and in that small pocket of time, stupidly forget about the sheer volume and weight of said handbag (I am one of those people who will be able to produce whatever you need: paracetamol, nail file, plasters, cake, safety pins, lip balm, mints, chocolate, washing line, kitchen sink…) As you can probably guess, I lose the battle with my now evil and cackling handbag, and crash my poor head into the stall door in front of me.
Now this is a popular cinema, with anything up to 30-ish female patrons making use of the facilities at any one time: Once they’ve got over the fact that there seems to be some sort of crazed monster trying unsuccessfully to escape the stall, there ensues a deathly silence only punctuated by a nervous giggle from one small girl. The next painful dilemma for me then is: Do I stay in there and quietly die of shame and embarrassment, or do I walk out of there, head held high as though nothing strange whatsoever has occurred? Much as I’d have liked to do the former, the latter won-just! (I think Ryan Reynolds was in the film I was about to watch, and the prospect of watching him gorgeously smoulder on the big screen for two hours would probably have got me out of that loo even if I’d managed to lose all my clothes and grow a tail!)
And now we come to yesterday’s delightful occurence, and the reason that prompted me to pull FBH out of semi-retirement:
Instance 2 (Also known as The Cake Made Me Do It)
Cake. (mmmm, cake) Yes It would be about cake wouldn’t it?!
Picture the scene: In a coffee shop with The Parents, The Brother and New And Lovely Sweetie Of The Brother (Catchy title, I know!) and New And Lovely Sweetie Of The Brother asks me if I’m having cake. (She’s new, she’ll learn that is a most redundant question!) So anyway, I look towards the cake. I can’t see what the inside of the toffee cake looks like, so I lean in to get a closer look. What my cake-distracted brain hasn’t quite managed to compute in enough time, is this:
As with any sensible coffee/cake establishment, there is a highly polished (almost invisible – honest) pane of glass in between me and the cake. Sensible, otherwise they’d be forever having to quell cake-induced riots I’m sure…
A most almighty crash occurs, with my head being the main protagonist in a very excruciating and mortifying scene where, thankfully the glass remains whole, and where New And Lovely Sweetie Of The Brother and I are able to laugh our way up the queue, and hopefully dispel anyone else’s view of me being mentally unhinged by our ability to see the funny side!
I also crashed my head in exactly the same place on The Parent’s car boot later on, but as this was simply painful and not funny, we shall gloss over my obvious misfortune and go straight on to the fact that:
I managed to achieve a personal best by mentioning the word ‘cake’ 16 times in one blog post. Hurrah!
I hope this finds you all well, and in less pain than me, as no doubt you are all sensible people and manage not to be taken in by cake (woo, 17 times!) on such a regular basis!
Fatty Blob Head
Now I know I have been beyond rubbish when it comes to actually doing any blogs for the last few months, and for this I apologise most profusely! (Setting up your own business takes time, energy and a lot of biscuits!) But of course I couldn’t let the Christmas season slink on by in a flutter of glitter and cake (Mmmm, cake!) without a few words on the subject….
So what does Christmas and New Year mean to me? Well, pretty much what it means to everyone else: The insane panic of the forgotten presents, random family members popping up when you least expect them, chocolate, pink fizz, and the same films and tv programs every year……
Now this may seem tedious and slightly boring to say we watch the same programs every year, but Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without at least one episode of the Vicar of Dibley (Think an abundance of Christmas dinners and Dawn French squeeeezing that last mangy looking sprout in between her teeth!)
We even have a Home Alone night every year where I, The Brother and The Parents sit down to watch Home Alone 1 and 2 (Not 3-No Macaulay Culkin? How rude!) and laugh in exactly the same places as last year! Over the years as The Parent has got a bit older, he grumbles if we make him watch a film in the evening; yet with The Home Alones he chuckles along with the rest of us, and it is now a firm Family Tradition!
Other Family Traditions include stockings in the bed on Christmas morning (Yes I know The Brother and I add up to nearly sixty, but we will do this til one of us ambles off to have a family of our own!) Over the years this Family Tradition has improved considerably; it now includes a snazzy bottle of fizz usually balanced precariously in the duvet, to go with the stocking stalwarts of:
Chocolate coins (get scoffed as soon at they get pulled out of said stocking!)
A Toothbrush (Father Christmas always gets the specific make wrong but hey, he tries!)
A scratch card (I’ve won a small amount once in 13 years)
A chocolate FC (I bite his head off first, oops never mind!)
An apple and an orange (I think FC picked this one up from when The Parents were young whippersnappers….a nod to healthy eating at Christmas!? They never get eaten, and The Brother once left his in his stocking for a whole year….Mouldy wasn’t a descriptive enough word for what was left!)
There is of course different little pressies every year too.
About 5 years ago I noticed that Father Christmas was doing a wonderful job with everybody’s stocking, including his own…
SPOILER ALERT: IF YOU ARE YOUNG ENOUGH TO BE UPSET BY THE ACTUAL ORIGIN OF FC BEING MY MOTHER, LOOK AWAY NOW!
What? That’s not how a spoiler works? Eh? Oh! I’m supposed to give a warning THEN tell them the news! Oh well…..Ooops.
So I took over her stocking so she didn’t have to open presents she’d wrapped a mere 7 hours beforehand and look excited! Now she really is excited with the small random bits I collect for her, and everybody’s happy! (Especially after the fizz at 8am, whoop!)
Inevitably, the actual job of filling our stockings fell to me. I am always the last one awake on Christmas Eve, so I get to actually be FC! I am sorry to say there’s no mince pies, sherry or costumes involved, yet I am stupidly excited as though I was a little girl-so this makes up for the lack in traditional dress and nosh!
Now the naughty person that is The Brother encouraged me to the last glass of Fizz in the bottle before heading to his bed, so let’s just say I was a tiny bit Merry Christmas at this point! Rustling bags whilst giggling and muttering HO HO HO under my breath, I filled each stocking with goodies, sprinkling a liberal quantity of monetary chocolate: the real currency of the world!
That’s what I thought I was doing anyway…..!
What was really happening was the following: I was ambling about shoving pressies in willy nilly, managed to let my stocking fall through the banisters and knock into a photo frame that resides on a ledge on the stairs and send it crashing to it’s noisy demise at the bottom!
Stealthy wasn’t quite the word!
And so to the title of this particular blog: Almost Midnight Pancakes!
A new yet hopefully annual tradition that popped up on New Year’s Eve this year! It was all down to The Parent planning one pudding but not quite making it with the right ingredients, pancakes being the next best (and available) alternative!
Have you ever tried making (and flipping in a slightly drunken yet very hilarious manner) pancakes at almost midnight on NYE? No? Well I thoroughly recommend it!
So the recurring theme throughout Christmas just might have been fizz in various forms and quantities…I think I’m off to do some sort of detox thing…..Orange squash and Macaroons I think!
I hope you all had a cracking festive season, and if anyone has any annoying friends who are counting down to next Christmas as I have…Tell them to put a sock in it! (Or should that be a mouldy fruit stocking!?!)
Fatty Blob Head
‘Research tells us that 14 out of any 10 individuals like chocolate.’ Sandra Boynton
Chocolate…. It even sounds tasty typing it!
What a wonderous, tasty and life-affirming invention.
When doing some research for this post, (which quite depressingly didn’t involve any eating of chocolate!) I found out many interesting facts and figures about the lovely stuff and it’s uses, which over the years have been numerous and varied. Did you know that chocolate (In its simplest and earliest form) can be dated back to 600BC? No? Well now you do! That’s a darned long time ago, and I’m glad I live in the age where it now has been perfected so it tastes gooooood in many a different form: Bar, fountain or penny to name but three!
In those days it was unsweetened and drunk in a foamy cold mixture….A long way from any of our well-known coffee shops churning out piping hot jobbies that burn your tongue and the roof of your mouth in one fateful sip. What is it about hot chocolate that does that? I know it is almost impossible to leave it sat there in its cosy little cup waiting to get cold…..If you listen closely enough you can just about hear the steam whispering ‘Drink me!! Drink me now!! Come hither and drink up my yumminess!’
The next thing you know you’re cursing the barista who made it for you, as if it’s a terrible crime to make it so hot! I have often wondered if they’re trained in the shadowy art of Secret Barista Martial Arts and Drinks Assembly Secrets (SBMADAS) specifically to create an add-on sale of a bottle of cool mineral water that costs more than a month’s rent!
These SBMADAS are crafty creatures who speak a whole different language so it’s impossible to tell where they’re planning on striking next:
Tall Skinny Latte: That one in the corner…
Mocha Non-Fat Decaf Americano: Sell them extra biscuits and a giant mug that’s too heavy to pick up and use!
Blimey, just for a change I’ve gone off topic! Back to the important history lesson…. (There may be a test tomorrow, just to warn you!)
Chocolate can Kill.
Yes, I know this is a majorly awful idea, but I’d be lying if I said the thought hadn’t crossed my mind that there must be worse ways to go! Seriously though, the two main causes of death-by-chocolate are the following:
22lb, or 40 bars of Dairy Milk, 145,000,000 chocolate buttons or 72,500,000 large buttons (Other lethal death-inducing brands are available!) eaten all at once by the average human would do them in. The scientific name is Theobromine poisoning and it’s a pretty nasty way to pop one’s clogs! Lets not try that one, I’d prefer you all hale and whole please! Interestingly, ‘Theobroma’ means ‘food of the gods’ in ancient Greek!
The other cause is: Being crushed by a ton of creme eggs. Of course this is infinitely easier to achieve if your occupation happened to be a chocolate assassin than the first option (after all, force-feeding someone all those tiny buttons is going to take dedication and commitment!)
Cocoa beans were also used as currency by the Aztecs: A slave was worth 100 beans, whilst a rabbit was worth just 10:
Aztec 1: Welcome to Pets at Home in your Caves, your local one stop shop for goats, rabbits, snakes, jaguars and eagles! How can I help?
Aztec 2: Er, I’d like to buy an eagle please. I hear it’s a sacred animal for us Aztecs!
Aztec 1: Oh, dude, I’m sorry! We just sold the last eagle, can I interest you in this- here fluffy rabbit? Only 10 beans!!
Aztec 2: Oh I suppose so then, do you do interest free credit?
What else? Oh yes. Do NOT feed chocolate to birds, for two reasons. The first is this: One Smartie would be enough to kill a robin or a blackbird. And secondly, it’s a waste! Keep all the chocolate goodness for yourself, the person who is its rightful owner and deserving of its tastybuckets!
So there you have it! Some may say these facts are entirely useless and not worth learning, and they may be right! All I can tell you is what happened in the past….It’s up to us to continue the rich history of the world’s favourite delight. Who knows, in the future we may have whole cities constructed from chocolate and we’d be able to recline in our houses basking in the wonderful aroma of it all!
Obviously as a plan which makes sense, this one’s not got much going for it…We’d costantly be melting the chocolate sofa and the air-conditioning bills would be horrendous, but I’d like to think some clever person out there would at least try it! Maybe start off with a chocolate bed and breakfast then progress on to a hotel? I’d certainly go! Although with everything made from chocolate already, do you think the placement of the obligatory chocolate on the pillow might be a bit too much?
I don’t know, I’d probably still eat it!!
Fatty Blob Head