Saturday, 24 January 2009

Url's a Singer...

We had a 'modern technology' session at Uni this week. It was all about urls, embedding videos, and rss feeds. What can I say? The only 'feeds' I'm familiar with, are oven-bake pizzas.

The youngsters in the group had no problems, of course; they were just born knowing how to self-scan groceries in ASDA or set-up a web link to Mars. Us oldies had a few more problems...

"Twitter? Isn't that just the noise a sparrow makes when he's horny? Why d'we want that on our blogs?"

"Twitter's a form of social networking."

"Cool! Will it organise a speed-dating evening?"

"We'll link it to your blog to help your readers keep up-to-date with your news."

"What's the point of that? I'm the only one who ever reads the bloody thing."

By the end of the session, our lovely lecturer had beads of perspiration across his upper lip, and a persistent tic beneath his right eye. Well, it can't be easy teaching technology to a group of Special Needs students...

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Car Saga: Part Four..

Yesterday, I was stranded in ASDA car park as the newly fixed car refused, once more, to start. (Yes, I know I spent far too much time in supermarkets; I keep telling the kids not to eat, but do they listen?) My local garage mechanic said, in a broad Cornish accent,

"Starter motors can be sticky for a week or two, my lover. Try it for a few more days and see how you go, bird."

Go? That's the bleddy problem; I can't go anywhere if the piggin' car won't start!

But, next morning, of course, I turned the ignition key and she vroomed into life. Just as well, because eldest son had missed the college bus and needed a lift into Truro.

The journey in was fine - quite pleasurable in fact, once I'd persuaded my eyes to fully open. Going home was slightly more problematic... yep, the engine cut out on a mini roundabout in the grounds of Truro College, and adamantly refused to start again - make no mistake: this big momma was vroomimg nowhere. It was just about nine o'clock and the place was heaving with buses, cars and delivery vans. And I was stuck on the roundabout. Marvellous.

To cut a long and tedious story short, I was rescued by a breakdown truck at around midday after spending the morning mouthing, "Sorry. Female," at approximately seventy-three male drivers as they tried to navigate their large vehicles around my voluptuous rear end. I was also cornered by the local copper, who suggested I switch on my hazard lights as a warning to other drivers. Now why didn't I think of that? I probably assumed they could already see the Ford Escort parked in the middle of the roundabout, and if not, maybe, the chaos of delivery vans and buses jamming up the exits might have given them a clue.

"Sorry," I smiled. "Female."

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Love Thy Neighbour...

...or stab her through the eye with a rusty pitchfork, scoop out the gloop, feed it to the cat, and then stick a five foot metal pole up her arse, and make her spin. No, actually, scrap that last one; she'd probably enjoy it too much...

All my life, I've only ever known lovely, decent neighbours, so I guess by the Law of Averages, I was due some crappy ones, but by Christ! I must have been an evil cow in a former life to deserve this lot next door.

They moved in just over two years ago, and within a month, I had to call the police, because the eighteen year-old son had been beaten-up, and chased out of the house by his mum's new boyfriend. It was two o'clock in the morning: the kid was bruised, dripping blood, and on my doorstep. The boyfriend was drunk, wielding a kitchen knife and coming up my path. Gulp.

Things just degenerated from there, really; I'm treated to arguments, swearing, loud music and doors slamming. It normally kicks-off at around 11pm, just as I'm snuggling into the duvet (or, more recently, slumping at the laptop, trying to finish the current writing assignment...) and can end anywhere between two and five o'clock in the morning.

It's not exactly warm sands and the gentle lapping of the Caribbean sea in the background, now is it?

I've asked, I've pleaded, I've shouted, I've sworn. I've thumped on the walls, made complaints and screamed abusive phrases. I've been sending 'incident diaries' to our housing association for TWO years, they send next door a slapped-wrist letter, next door behaves for a week, I sleep in twenty-three hour bursts, and it all kicks-off again.

Last night was dire: the most horrendous yet - I quake in my fluffy bunny slippers just thinking about it. From eleven until half past two, they blasted my leaf-green walls with...with...Girls Aloud! There! I've said it. Can you imagine the pain it caused? The anguish? The trauma?

My body adopted the foetal position - thumb in mouth, quilt over head, limbs a-tremble - and quietly slipped into my subconcious...

Actually, that was even more traumatic.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For...

I often wish I could be somebody else for the day. Well, you've had a taster of my life, wouldn't you want a break from it now and again?

Today, my wish came true...

Dread and apprehension bounced and lurched through my stomach as I awaited my appointment in our local hospital's eye casualty. Eventually, my name was called by an Asian doctor. The fact that she has an Asian accent is imperative to the telling of this tale:

"Mrs Carney?"

"Yes, that's me," I cried, leaping off the hard plastic chair.

"I remember you."

"Yes, you treated me three weeks ago. Different problem Other eye..."

"Okay. Please take seat and put chin on metal bar and we begin laser treatment."

Huh? Laser? But, naturally, I did as I was told.

"Okay. We start laser treatment for cataract."

Double huh? What cataract? I came in with optham - opthal - eye shingles...

"Huh? You not Mrs Carly?"

"No, I Mrs CARNEY."

"Oh, thought you look too young for cataract..."

Now, I know the NHS receives a barrow load of aggravation for its waiting times, but it comes to something when you're left so long, you develop cataracts in the bloody waiting room.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Eye Can't Take Anymore...

And yet another fun-filled week in the Carney household. After suffering severe facial pain, nerve tingling and blisters popping up on my left eye-lid, I took my sorry arse to the doctors and was diagnosed with shingles. Oh, joy.

Now, when you catch chicken-pox, the virus stays in your body forever. Bouts of stress, other illness or even rays of strong sunlight can re-activate the virus in your system. Instead of dickering your whole body with spots, it runs along one nerve. And it is EXTREMELY painful...

If you can imagine some miserable git scraping a boiling-hot darning needle across your scalp, through your eye and into your gums every thirty seconds, you've got some idea how it feels. All of Santa's elves are suddenly resident in my head, where they bang and bash and hammer together wood and metal for next year's toys.It makes my whole head go into spasm, and one eyeball judders and bounces in its socket. And it is EXTREMELY painful...

The fuck-up fairy was obviously enjoying this spectacle sooo much, she decided to blow some magic shingle - dust into my eye. Oh, double joy. My eyeball is now scarlet, half-closed, swollen, itchy and weeping gunk. Every thirty seconds, it judders and bounces and rolls around in its socket as another spasm strikes. And it's EXTREMELY bloody painful.

Tomorrow, I must attend the hospital, where they'll prod, poke and drip noxious drops into my poor, vulnerable eyes, to check there is no corneal ulceration.

Oh, and did I mention that shingles is EXTREMELY bloody painful?

Monday, 12 January 2009

A Novel Death...

When I drop dead in mysterious circumstances sometime between now and September, let it be known it was the Novel that finished me off.

Our 'holiday' homework was to plot a novel and write the first thirty pages. Yep, you read that correctly - thirty pages. Ok, the damn typeface refuses to come out of italics mode; I've now got to spend the next hour emphasising every bloody word!

Now, as you know, if you've read previous posts, I'm a bit of a Chick-lit girl . Some of my contemporaries are seriously credible writers, so I decided, in my half-arsed wisdom, to attempt something more I planned and plotted and came up with a workable novel idea. Trouble was, it was as dreary as Auntie Mildred in her crocheted beret discussing her corns. With less than a week to Deadline-Day, I scrapped the original and forged ahead with a new idea full of bed-hopping and double entendre (that bit should be read in italics).

On the positive side, I'm learning bundles about the writing and editing process (posh writerly term for scrapping the idea or deleting the text...). The disadvantage, however, is that I've only written eight pages, and DD is - *she checks the calender* - tomorrow - gulp!

And this is just week one...

I know, with the certainty of a Roman soothsayer, that this module is going to kill me.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Ground Control to Cyberspace...

Helloooo! Is there anybody out there?

Leave me a comment, and I'll write a new (fun-filled) post. You know you want to!!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Car Saga: Part Three...

Can you believe that labour and VAT costs more than the price of a new starter motor? Nope, me neither, but I think I'll knock this writing lark on the head and train to be a mechanic...

With shocked, shaky fingers, I parted with the dosh and went to retrieve the car. Hmm, I thought, that windscreen wiper looks askew, I'll just take a closer look...and it came away in my hand.


I made it home without incident: no near collisions, no getting stuck, and no bits dropping off and bouncing round the countryside. The future was looking bright.

Until I rang the Ford garage in search of the radio key-code: "Yes, Madam, we can supply that information - for a small fee..."

Well, I'm sorry, but I think three minutes spent on a computer looking up a four digit code should be part of customer services and I bloody well refuse to pay for it! I shall be radio-less by principle, and just sing badly instead. After all, look what happened last time I listened to Radio One in the car: the friggin' exhaust fell off!

It's my fault of course; I've got a jinx hanging around my neck like a diamond-studded necklace. Now can you see why I'm single: after an hour with me I'd kill your engines and your bits'd be dropping off in my hands...

Monday, 5 January 2009

Car Saga: Part Two...

As you know, the exhaust dropped off my car last week: it's sitting outside my house looking all forlorn, and whimpering, "please fix me!" Not a hope in hell; the clutch needs replacing, the brakes need doing, the tyres are thinning on top and those are just the bits I can see. It's going to the big scrap-heap in the sky, I'm afraid. And if it's affronted, it should've held onto its bloody bits, shouldn't it?

Well, a friend (I shall call her J) offered me a car for free - free! She'd been given a new one by friends and wanted to pass this one onto a good home. Well, homes don't come better than this one; just ask the dog. Fan-bloody-tastic! was my hearty response along with thank-you, thank-you, thank-you.

I went to collect the new car today. It wouldn't start. We rocked and jiggled it, we pushed and pulled it, we swore and cajoled it, and it started. (It knew there was a swift kick coming its way if it didn't play ball.) I stopped at TESCO on the way home for essentials - milk, bread and chocolate. Yep, you guessed it: the bloody thing wouldn't start again, even with a good kicking... Two hours and several cups of coffee later, we bump-started it into action. Yippee!

I dropped it into our local garage on the way home (after narrowly avoiding a head-on collision in the lanes - no way was I even slowing down, let alone stopping, I can tell you!)

Watch this space for Car Saga update...

Saturday, 3 January 2009

May God bless Friends Reunited...

I've recently made contact with an old friend, Sue. We lost touch after leaving college twent - I mean, a couple of years ago...

Well, of course, we played the, 'do you remember when...' game. There was this huge ampi-theatre in the grounds and we used to take blokes there after the student bar had shut and force them to stumble all the way to the bottom and back up to the top again. If they managed this successfully, we'd consider going out with them. I wonder what happened to those guys who didn't make it back up again...

One February night, we 'borrowed' a boat from the terribly exclusive private school next door, and sailed it round our swimming-pool. And yes, of course I fell in. I went down clutching a cider bottle, gurgled back up and waved to shore. I went under, gasped back up and waved again. This jolly routine continued until finally, a guy called Pete cottoned-on, realised I was actually drowning and leapt to the rescue.

I emerged shivering, coughing-up green pond-scum, embarrassed but victorious; even as my life flashed before my eyes (several times), I'd kept a firm grip on the cider bottle.

Was I rushed to hospital? Did I need my stomach pumped? Nah, we got changed and carried on the party in Sue's room.

Friday, 2 January 2009

The World is Mine...

My mouth was dry and my fingers were trembling as I collected my new glasses today. Metallic-red, narrow-framed and just as sexy as I'd remembered. I slid them on, and surveyed myself in the mirror: Marilyn Monroe pouted right back. I licked my lips, tousled my hair and sashayed onto Falmouth High Street.

I pouted and preened and perfected my Wiggle. I swaggered. I flirted. I fluttered my lashes. I peeked and peeped and tossed back my hair. Thirty-seven young men panted in my wake. (Look - this is my fantasy: I'll self-delude if I want to, okay?)

The World was mine 'till my swagger turned to stagger and I swayed and I wobbled. I went blurry at the edges and lunch began to bubble at the back of my throat.

"I'm ill!" I cried, head tilted and the back of my hand firmly placed upon my strangely cool brow. "Those shops are zooming into focus and fading back out. Into focus and fading ... and ohmygod! Woolworths has completely disappeared ..."

I lurched back to Specsavers: "These glasses are making me sick!"

"Your prescription has changed, Madam. Give your eyes a few days to get used to the new lenses."

I knew it was too good to be true. Instead of 'sex-kitten', I'm more 'amputated leg, been shot in one eye, addicted to vodka' kitten.

I can feel another tantrum coming on...

Thursday, 1 January 2009

First decision of the year...

Okay, the decision is made: I have taken expert advice, drunk a little Jack Daniels and shredded lots of tissues. I'm going for - is there a drum-roll button on this site? - Novel and Features.
It's done; the angst is over - until the start of term at least...
And I do have two weeks' of Sex with Derrek to look forward to... I'll let you ponder that one for a while.

I wish you all a Happy New Year! For those of you on my course, forget happy; just concentrate on survival!