Archive for the ‘I am not an idiot’ Category

I am finally on the road (ha!) to completing one of my lifelong ambitions. I am learning to ride a motorbike. It’s taken me a while to get to it but I am determined pass. Then I intend to get on the road on a large(ish) machine. I will be the girl biker I always dreamed I would be. Err, ok, in my head I’ll be a girl, course, in reality I’m an old biddy on a bike but at least I’ll have achieved my dream some 35 years on.

I went out with a fair few bikers in my youth and hung around rocker pubs, headbanging the night away, drinking snakebite, snogging men with longer hair than me, who wreaked of patchouli oil. Those were the days! haha. I imagined myself rolling up at The Bull in Hornchurch (a great rocker pub) on my bike and removing my helmet and swishing my hair around Jaclyn Smith styley from Charlies Angels. Instead, my dad convinced me to get an Escort 1100. Pftttt not quite the same.

So, I did ride pillion a bit over the years but never took that step to get my own licence. I don’t really know why. About 15 years ago I tried to pass my CBT. I failed. The training centre I went to were horrible. The instructors were so full of their own self importance and ego, that they put me off for a long time.

Then, Mr Scubafee, decides he’d like to get another bike. He’s missing his Ducati. Well,  have you seen the pillion position on those things? No way, Jose! Only one thing for it, get me on mota-cicle! Mr Scubafee likes to push me to do things he knows I want to do but am too scared to.

So, here I am. I have passed my CBT and am now riding a 700 (admittedly restricted) so I can pass my full test and get myself a bike to roar around the country lanes of Essex on. Here’s me on the 700.  This is the most awesomest thing ever, and it makes me feel EPIC! Everyone should do it.

Me on the Yamaha 700

Me on the Yamaha 700

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I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok

When a plastic knife just won’t do

…. of a plastsic knife? It certainly isn’t to cut food up let me tell you! I’m currently trying to cut a jacket potato in a polystyrene box to no avail. I feel like a lumberjack contestant in the world’s longest tree sawing content. I’ve given up and an gnawing on it like a lump of coal.

Me aged 5

Me aged 5! I had big hair back then too!

I’m 50 today (I’m still only about 25 in my head mind you). It’s not really a big deal. I thought I would wake up and feel different, or have some sort of epiphany but it was not to be.  I was going to write something about how 50 is the new 40 or how I’m embracing my age blah blah blah blah or how I have learnt to love me (puke) but I just can’t be bothered. So instead, I’m going to give you my view on two things that are definitely age related.

Wrinkles

They are everywhere and there seem to be a plethora of adverts promising that THEIR CREAM will definitely definitely reduce the appearance of wrinkes using some made up rubbishy science word. Truth is, you can’t stop them appearing. In fact, as each year passes the process seems to speed up. They appear in the most unusual places too. The one place that surprised me the most was my in-steps! Strangely, I quite like having wrinkly in-steps. Here are my tips for a care-free attitude to wrinkles:

  • Wherever possible only look at yourself in flattering lighting and learn how to apply make-up (I never have , mainly because I’ve been unable to overcome my fear of those scary cosmetic women in department stores).
  • Spending time examining them in the mirror only leads to spotting even more. It’s like when you look at stars in the night sky. You see a few at first, then all of a sudden you can’t see anything but stars.
  • Put olive oil on them but don’t go near the dog afterwards or they want to lick your face. Oh important safety tip here: don’t put olive oil on them if you’re going out in the sun.
  • Avoid the sun when you’re young and wear factor 200 (or a balaclava). Although, don’t bother now if, like me, you spent your childhood and teenage years either basting yourself in tanning oil, or using tinfoil to get a brown face.
  • Distract attention from your wrinkles by the clever use of hats, scarves, necklaces, large glasses (a la Eric Morecambe styley).
  • Don’t bother with botox. It’s makes your face look really weird. (No, I haven’t had it done but I know some people who have and they are very scary when they try to smile.

Oh and while we’re on the subject – hand cream? Hand cream doesn’t do anything to stop your hands being wrinkly. Anyone remember that Atrixo advert with the leaf demonstration? Rubbish! Yes, your hansd will be soft, but they’ll be softly wrinkled ‘;).

Memory

It seems as if everyone is getting Alzheimer’s or will be getting it. Experts (we never know who these experts are I notice) say that your memory deteriorates as you get older. Very true but I thought they meant older older! Now I’m trying to work out whether I just have a crap memory or early onset Alzheimer’s. Who knows? No-one that’s who.

I prefer to think of it as my brain dumping a load of rubbish in it’s internal waste basket that it thinks I don’t need only to find that I wanted to access it but it’s already emptied the basket (you can tell I work in IT) so has to get it back from the delete folder. So, you will, at some point, experience some of these:

  • You will forget why you went into a room.
  • You will forget where you left stuff.
  • You will forget your name when someone asks you. I have a back-up name in case. It’s Gwendoline De Pugh.
  • You will go into the supermarket for bread and toilet roll (chanting that in your head so you don’t forget) and come out with a bakewell tart and a jar of olives.
  • Putting your car keys in the fridge is ok as long as you remember that you did at some point.
  • You will wake up in the middle of the night convinced you left the grill on or forgot to lock the door. You stumble downstairs only to find that you DID lock the door, you DID turn off the grill. You just forgot that you did.
Me last night, still 49!

Me last night, still 49! In my new galabeya

Hold it! Stop stop stop. You know what? I think it’s time I had a word with myself. Why am I even bothering with all this? So what if I have wrinkles? So what if my memory ain’t what it used to be? What do you care if I am a little bit OCD. I like making sure my “R” headphone is in my right ear and my “L” headphone is in my left. What’s it to ya?

The important thing for me is that I did what I promised myself I would do. I promised myself I wouldn’t be a 50-year old fat smoker and I’m not. I’m fitter and healthier than I’ve ever been.

Fat Wendy 2003

On board Atlantis 2003

That’s me on the left last night wearing my newest bellydance outfit. A lovely galabeya from Egypt. And that’s me on the right when we moved onto Atlantis in 2003. Not a pretty sight!

All I really want is to continue to take care of the good things in my life and ignore the irritating stuff as much as I can.  As long you are healthy (mind, body and spirit) and happy that’s all that matters. And if you’re not, do what you can to change it so that you are.

When I was younger in my darkest days I used to listen incessantly to Depeche Mode and The The. Their sons spoke to me and seemed to relate to the things going on my life. One The The song that seemed to epitomise my life back then was I’ve Been Waiting For Tomorrow.  If you want to know why, ask me sometime. Listening to it this morning I realised how much I’ve changed and in some ways how I haven’t changed one bit.

I hope you enjoy it.

SF out!
xx

My first regular wage came from my awesomely awesome Saturday/three evenings a week job in a sweet shop in Elm Park – Hollicks if memory serves me. It was awesomely awesome for four reasons:-

  • I could nick loads of fags and not get caught (or so I thought until I got sacked)
  • I could eat endless sweets and not get caught (ahhhhh ….. /facepalm/)
  • The overall (blue, zip up nylon with large pockets for …. well pocketing things, which in my case, was mainly Mars Bars, 1/4 of rhubard and custards or chocolate chewing nuts
  • I could read all my favourite magazines without having to buy them – faves were: Jackie, Bunty, Smash Hits.

Apart from that, the perks and promotion opportunities were limited!

Doll Toilet Roll Cover

oh the inhumanity!

That job allowed me to save up tons of cash a few quid to spend on mum and dad at Xmas rather than the usual; mum buying the presents and giving them to me to wrap up. These were usually

  • mum – peg bag/amusing apron/tights or a new knitted doll thing that you put over toilet rolls
  • dad – bath salts/monogrammed hankies/cossack hair spray or possibly Brut/Old Spice aftershave

Hey, come on! It was the 70’s!

Anyhooooo …. I decided to ask what they wanted so I could get each of them something meaningful and from the heart.

Me (to mum): What do you think dad would like for Christmas?
Mum: I don’t know dear. Why don’t you get him some hankies?
Me: No I don’t want to get hankies, I want to get him something special, something he really wants
Mum: Oh, all right dear, whatever you think is best
Me: So, what about tickets to a concert in London (dad was a huge classical music fan)?
Mum: Well, probably not dear. Why don’t you get him some cigarettes?
Me: /stomps off/

Me (to dad): What do you think mum would like for Christmas?
Dad: Hankies?
Me: No I don’t want to get hankies, I want to get hersomething special, something she really wants
Dad: Monogrammed hankies?
Me: She wants monogrammed hankies? I was thinking of getting her tickets to see an opera (mum loved opera, in particularly Puccini)
Dad: I doubt it. Why don’t you get her some cigarettes?
Me: /stomps off take 2/

So, I got dad tickets to see John Lill play Beethoven’s 9th at The Royal Festival Hall. I got mum tickets to see Madame Butterfly.

Oh and of course, a carton of cigarettes each! Players No 6 was their cigarette of choice.

Smokin’!

SF out
xx

When I was about 15 I went on and on  at my mum and dad to buy me a leather coat. I absolutely had to have a full length leather coat as I was into heavy metal and hanging out with head-bangers down The Bull, a local pub frequented by metal heads (I’d ditched the bay city rollers look).

I wore them down until they reluctantly agreed to pay half of it, as long as I saved up the other half. I’d already taken a Saturday job in the local newsagents (Hollicks) to pay for the odd pack of ciggies, trips to the cinema and my elicit visits to the pub where I was admired (in my view) for my skill at making a 1/2 pint of cider and a bag of salt and vinegar crisps last me all night.

I managed to increase my hours at the newsagent to Saturday, Sunday mornings and two nights in the week and was bringing home a massive £8.50 a week! After deductions:

  • fags = 60p  (Rothmans)
  • cinema = £1 (with Revels)
  • pub excursions = £1-2
  • magazines, makeup, chips (from Wimpy naturally) = £2

I thought I could save around £2.50 a week. The coat was £45 so I had to get £22.50 saved up and it would only take me 9 weeks! Nice one ;). I duly saved the money and mum and dad were true to their word and the leather coat was purchased. It was truly sublime and I couldn’t wait for Friday night and a trip to The Bull so I could swish into the pub in my new coat, make my way to the tiny mosh pit and head-bang to some heavy metal man, yeah.

As I left the house, my dad asked where I was going (to a friends/cinema/wimpy – that’s what I usually said, anyway one of those) and he asked me if it was a good idea to wear my brand new coat. I scoffed at his concern and mumbled how I wasn’t an idiot (he plainly knew that I was). Well, don’t lose it or ruin it because we won’t get you another one he nagged as I stomped out of the house. Oh Pater really – as if :).

Oh …… an hour later ……..

The Bull mosh pit …

very hot, very sticky, too much hair, take off coat …

put coat on chair nearby. Complete headbanging session …

retrieve coat … don coat … huge fag burn right on the front right boob .. can’t miss it

first thought .. dad is going to kill me

second thought .. I can fix this

I got home and made it to my bedroom without a hitch. I’d taken my coat off before going in and hung it over my arm with the burned side hidden. I examined the hole more closely and formulated a plan to fix it. I decided on a Blue Peter approach and wrote a list of all the things I’d need before starting the job:

  • Tracing paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Hiding place

Saturday morning arrived so I offered to go and get the shopping for mum (dad immediately moves to amber alert) so I could buy my list (didn’t want to risk using anything in the house in case they noticed).

I got home then locked myself in the bathroom with the coat and my tools. I traced out the shape, cut it out and then used my template to cut a bit of leather from the inside of the coat hem (so far so good). I then dabbed glue on the edges of the hole and attempted to glue the leather to the hole from the back.

Oh ……. although it was the right size  I was worried it wouldn’t stay in place if I just held it there. I decided to put it on the floor and press down on it until the glue hardened ….

BIG MISTAKE

The glue? Superglue!! I ended up gluing the coat to the bathroom carpet. Nuts!

Ok don’t panic, don’t panic ..  I used the scissors to snip away the coat from the carpet.

I carefully cut the coat away from the carpet and it came free. My repair now had cream fluff on it and the carpet had a hole! Flippin eck this was not going well. What to do? I waited for my brain to come up with a cunning plan …….

……… *whistles*

……………. *study nails*

………………….. *daydreams of owning a guitar and my own camel*

aha!!! Simple – cut some carpet from behind the loo, stick it with the superglue over the hole, then move the bathroom mat to cover said hole.

It all worked perfectly, apart from the fact that my coat now had a badly-patched, slightly fluffy left boob (not terribly rock and roll). Oh, then mum wanted to know why our bathroom carpet had a big hole in it. When she got round to washing the mat, she found it glued down. She’d pulled it so hard it tore a massive hole in the carpet!

Did I get away with it? Did I bollocks! I confessed …. everything.