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December 23, 2006

Dads, toilets; effects of.

NOTE: apologies for the inevitably rather personal toilety nature of this. If you don't like poo, skip it.

Something Salvadore was saying made me think about my childhood and perhaps some reason why I used to be a bit weird.

The fact is this: my father, bless him, does not admit to going to the toilet. At all. He will not talk about it to anyone other than my mother. And if he is on the toilet, he will pretend he isn't.

I lost count of the number of times I would wander the house as a small child calling "Dad! Dad? Where are you?" I would call out right outside the toilet door, and he would remain stoically silent. Doing his own scatalogical version of "La la la I can't hear you". He is paranoid too about toilet noises. He will cough and harrumph and try and ensure that no-one is nearby before sneaking away to the loo. I inherited this to an extent. I mean, I wouldn't pretend not to be there, but in public I still didn't like making noises. I learned to time an, ah, noise perfectly with another toilet flushing, or the hand-dryer going. Which is a bit weird. But understandable, given the inheritance.

When I got together with the LOML she was my first live-together partner. Her family are absolutely the opposite. Whereas all bathroom and toilet doors in my house were resolutely locked as a matter of course, hers didn't even have locks. In our first flat, she would sit there with the door open, chatting to me while wiping her arse. At the time, I was shocked by this, but, being (a) English, (b) a chap and (c) trying hard to be a good boyfriend/flatmate, tried not to show it.

Being a self analytical sort of bloke, I hope, I recognised that when we had children hers was probably a more healthy way of approaching matters than the rigid repression of the issue that my family displayed. It took a while, but I got used to it, and my children now have the uninhibited approach of the LOML. Which I generally think is a Good Thing.

I still can't watch any of them wiping their arse though. That's disgusting.

December 22, 2006

Oh, just jumping from subject to subject again

I got up feeling pretty good today.

That's probably one of the biggest turn off lines for the beginning of a blog entry, isn't it? It would usually be followed by " ... but then I went to class and jamelia is like she heard that brad has been saying things behind my back about how he likes britney better and he is just so fake and so i said so i care why? and she said you so do and i said i so do not but really i do because i think i love him he is just so gorgeous and now i dont know what to do ..."

Phew. Glad it's not a blog like that then.

Instead, it's the sort of blog that WHAM!, out of nowhere, suddenly asks: "whatever happened to powdered coffee?"

And come to that, gravy powder?

I can remember a time when instant coffee was powder. Then, some bright spark invented granules, and for a while you could buy both, except I think the granules were a teeny bit more expensive. And I've now realised that in the mainstream supermarkets* you can't buy powder any more, and I suspect that you haven't been able to for a long time.

The thing that I can't quite get: what is so much more appetising about a granule than a powder? I mean, I'm sure a granule is actually just powder in flocculated lumps - which means they've had to make the powder first, and then treat it to granule it up. Which makes it, logically, even more processed? (I suppose it could be the other way round: they used to grind up granules to make powder, but I don't think so).

Is it that coffee powder looks a bit, well, chemically? Nature doesn't make food in powders, I suppose, so granular food maybe looks a bit more appetising. And a slightly darker colour, less, well, shit-coloured. But you really wouldn't have thought that this was enough to do away with powder altogether, would you? I mean, you can't get curry granules (this is now my idea and you can't nick it and I may make my fortune in curry granules so there) or custard granules (ditto) or instant soup granules (ditto), can you?

Consumers are strange.

Aren't we?

In other news, the LOML voted for Mark Ramprakash on Strictly Come Dancing last week. I fear for her.

Talking of which, Matt Dawson is becoming a right meeja whore, isn't he? I mean, respect for the William Webb Ellis trophy and all that, but the insidious rise into the rarified heights of famous-for-being-famousness is noticeable. It started reasonably enough - Question of Sport is a solid, sensible sort of place for a successful rugby ex. One Jordan out of ten, say. Slightly weird move up to win Sleb Master Chef, mmm, maybe three Jordans, and then all of sudden prancing round in sparkly kecks and unfeasibly shiny shoes for Brucey and Vernon Kay's missus. A full eight Jordans out of ten. Any guesses on where he's going next? Jeez. I wish I had his bank balance, though, huh. He might be desperate for the money, I suppose. Maybe he's got a ferocious crack habit or a massive gambling debt with the Triads.**

Merry stuff to you and yours, anyhow. See you soon.

*I'm far too middly classy to go to Aldi or Lidl. I'm sure you understand.
**I said 'maybe'. This is therefore not an allegation of any sort, I don't think. So don't sue. Please.

December 20, 2006

School, Christmas, What?

Child Two came home with a note in her lunchbag yesterday, informing us that they are having a Christmas-themed lunch today and could they bring in Christmas-themed food, please. You know, chipolatas (huh?), Christmas-tree shaped sandwiches, and so on.

Of course, we have the time to make fucking Christmas-tree shaped sandwiches. We have nothing at all better to do. But, fearing the approbrium of the teachers and the vilification from her classmates, out came the biscuit cutters (I refuse to call them 'cookie cutters', even if they are), and we now have a whole load of pieces of bread with star-shaped holes in them all over the breadboard. I'm not fucking eating them. So they'll be wasted on the dog. Thanks, school.

We* went as far as wrapping last-night's last remaining sausage in greaseproof paper, like a cracker, and sticking a purple Quality Street wrapper on it. No-one will fucking out-Christmas-themed-dinner-us.

The LOML put in some cherry tomatoes, and told Child Two that they were Rudolph's red noses. And then suggested that if she didn't want all of them, she should just pick at them. I haughtily informed her that it was far too early in the morning for that sort of humour and went to drink coffee in the bathroom.

*All right, the LOML. I watched helpfully, though.

December 18, 2006

More new me stuff

Or, return to the old me stuff. Not sure which.

I have a new hairstyle*. This is, I'll agree, not world-shattering. But it is symptomatic of new good-feely me. You will note that I have not put 'haircut', but 'hairstyle'. I went to the new posh hair and beauty place in the village, and had a proper consultation with the FullOfHimself Hairdresser. Nice chap, but you know, uh, a bit, how can I put it, full of himself. Anyhoo, I've had long hair before (looooong hair, like a Pantene model, with boswelox, etc). But this was 20 years ago. I have had short hair (grade 1 short, like Grant and /or, indeed, Phil, Mitchell. Off that there EastEnders. Except all over my head, not just round the sides with just skin on top, like a bald person. Do not get the impression I am bald, because it would be very very incorrect. And I might get Upset. Because I like Not Being Bald).

Over the last few years I've had the standard Grade 2 up the back and sides and bit longer on top thing. With a bit of gel in. Which is just the same as just about every chap had. And the new me is bored of this. So, as I hadn't been for a cut for a while (too busy licking windows), the old hair had got a bit longer. I thought maybe it had potential.

So, the FullOfHimself Hairdresser messed round with it, and we had that slightly weird talking to each other in the mirror conversation: "what about a quiff?", (er, no), "big hair is in at the moment, surf style, you know, like undeconstructed", (ok), "you've got enough length here to do something with now, it's got potential", (thought so).

So, eighteen quid, a free latte, a smidgen of wax, and half an hour later, I have deconstructed choppy, sticky-uppy surf-style hair. I really like it. It makes me look younger. The kids like it, at least once I had drawn their attention to it, as of course they didn't notice at first. The LOML thinks she likes it, it's all just a bit new at the moment. Because of that and the new jumper I went and bought (it's got grey and brown horizontal stripes, and I went and bought it without spousal sartorial advice. This is a bit of a new me change too. And no, it doesn't make me look fat. Despite any actual physical appearance to the contrary. La la laaa I can't hear you. Denial is a river in Egypt).

What's next for the new me, I wonder? Don't know yet, but you'll be the first** people I share it with.

* I wrote 'haristle' first by mistake. An interesting typo. What would a haristle be? Long and detailed, like an epistle? Or short and attention-grabbing, like a whistle?

**Ahh, second. After the LOML. Uh, and my kids. And my mates, probably. But next after that, definitely. Absolutely.

December 14, 2006

Better? You decide. Aha.

Good mornin'. Hullo.

Triumphantly, I return.

Not just to blogging, aha, but to normal life. Saved, in so many ways, by forty milligrammes a day of Citalopram. Huzzah, hooray [celebratory noises off].

Now, and I am sure you will agree, we soooo do not want this to turn into a mental-health bore blog; let's just take my ascent from, three weeks ago, sitting rocking in the foetal position in a darkened room like a full-blown window-licking mentalist, to my now utterly normal* rugby-playing, hard-working*, cheerful, energetic husband and father of two as read, shall we, and say no more about it?**

I have shit-loads, fuck-loads, of work to catch up on, and the LOML is also in her busiest time of year (she does stuff to do with Christmas, y'see), so do not expect torrents, floods, nay froths of posts in the coming days.

But I just wanted to say thanks, like, for the good wishes. Cheers, guys.

And vote for JonnyB here for a Weblog Award, largely for the huge amusement of the main opposition, a duuuuuuuull EU Referendum blog, giving it loads and loads about how important it was that 'little Norfolk blogs' aren't given awards because theirs is obviously so much more important and interesting (it isn't), while they were winning - and then all mention of the award strangely disappears completely when the JonnyB massive gets its juggernaut rolling and overtakes. I laughed a lot. A lot.

And, shit, while you're at it, why not vote for me here for an Insignificant Award. I nominated my-fucking-self, and why not. Assuming my nomination makes it out of the comments and onto the main page, of course. Fuck, vote for me anyway. Nominate me again. Whatever. See how confident and arrogant I have become? Insufferable, isn't it?

You'll be wanting the window-licker back sooner than you think.

*all right, this may not be entirely true
**this sentence may hold my new record for the greatest number of clauses.