Thursday, 28 October 2010

Last Nights Apprentice ep 4

Firstly let me apologise for not adorning your screens with a round-up last week.  I was incredibly shaken by the departure of Shibby.  A week of silence has helped the healing process, and I am happy to say that I'm back.  I have been told Shibby has gone to the farm where all the wrongly fired Apprentice contestants go.  Here they get to pitch successfully all day long and their order books are always full.  Knowing this I have peace. So onwards!

This week our Apprenti were trying to peddle innovation items.  As much as the sight of a woman holding a very hot looking hair dryer next to a very real looking baby doll disturbs me I'm just glad there wasn't any food involved.  I had fears this series was rapidly turning into ApprenticeChef. 

Jaime took the reigns of team Synergy after Melissa "that will be £1.82 for a bread roll" Cohen and her "skill set" was unanimously voted off the role.  Melissa, Melissa, Melissa.  What an irritable little ghetto pigeon she is. I don't think there was a scene in this episode where she wasn't rolling her eyes or doing that infuriating "err duh" face. 

I always get worried when a constantent says something I know I would have said. Something that leads them to being in the boardroom and nearly fired. I was right there with Stuart when he asked the Babyglow pitcher about how white the romper suit would have to go before a parent would need to raise an alarm.  OK so I might not have mentioned dead babies, but knowing how white is too white is surely quite important?  But bringing up infant mortality proved to be a clanger and the designer chose Apollo to take her product to trade.  Along with the babyglow Apollo picked the t-shirt that promised to suck in a man's gut, a bit like a Bruce Willis girdle while poor old Synergy were left with a high pressure money saving shower head and wait for it....a double headed spade. Sexy.

If you needed a double headed spade and a high pressure shower to wash off all the soil you have been turning over, where would you immediately head to?  Id go somewhere famed for it's wedding list service and mid-priced high street fashion.  Which is why I don't find it odd that Melissa was completely unwavering in her bulldog pitch to Debenhams.  I mean, what losers, why say no to two products that would sell massive amounts of units next to The Principles concession and in the perfume aisle?  Idiots.  Let down by a dodgy demo shower, even a DIY supplier didn't give no pitch love to Melissa.  Geez. Stewart's “calculator” face from ep 1 has been replaced in my hate brain by the vision of him biting into that shower head in a desperate attempt to weld the thing together with his fillings. I'm just glad he wasn’t pitching that weird porn Pilate's machine – an image for Halloween if ever there was one. 

Three girls that could have done with a high pressure shower were Apollo's Laura, Paloma and Sandeesh who were one huff away from having a brawl outside a shop in Soho. Personally I hope these three are forever trapped with one another just so I can witness a three-way hand slap fest in the boardroom and hear another rousing speech from Karren about how they are letting down humanity.  How can three grown up and successful women behave like this?  I'm sure that just over Laura's shoulder I could see the shop keeper creeping over to shut the door behind her, turning the key whilst silently flipping over the "closed" sign. 

In-fighting aside Apollo won, or more accurately Liz "the sane female taking part" won.  Her careful and understated pitching secured a bazillion orders and quite possibly saved a number of future babies from dangerous temperature increases.  Liz and those other people she hung about with for a day were sent off to a spa to sniff piles of fire and get covered in mud.  Synergy on the other hand (though clearly not the same day) sat in the boardroom for a bit and waited for the inevitable....

The axe fell on Mellissa for her annoying, repetitive and bizarre pitching "skills".  And though I will miss her incredible use of the English language, anyone who defends them self with the line “What has my ability to pitch got to do with how well the pitch went?” deserves to go.  Her refusal to shake Jamie's hand and accusations that he and Stewart "ganged up" on her only heaped more embarrassing female behaviour to the already rotting pile that has been exhibited in this series. Threatening another woman to stop shouting "because if we are going to shout, I can shout louder" is tacky and painful. Thank goodness for Liz, Stella and of course the wonderful Karren, who appeared to have taken inspiration for her boardroom outfit from a 1980's Avon catalogue.

P.S. Did anyone else recognise the guy pitching the face lift welding mask? Has he been on Dragons Den?

Bookworms get your purses ready!

I almost didn't want to tell anyone about this website, it's that awesome.  The kind of awesome you want to keep secret.  I was planning on buying everything from it and nonchalantly brushing off any enquires of "where did you get that amazingly awesome item?" with "oh just this place...you won't know it".  But Christmas is coming and everyone needs ideas of what to get me close relatives and extra special friends.

If those close relatives and extra special friends like books then you need to take your debit (or credit) card along to The Literary Gift Company.  This website is a gem and you will be sure to find something for the bookworm in your life.

For example, does your bookworm like cooking?  Well why not get them a retro Ladybird cake tin? Bargainously brilliant at just £5.95, this was one of my first purchases.


Does your bookworm like to adorn themself in a tie whilst projecting a well-read air? They do?! Well what about this:


Do they, like me, have an unhealthy addiction to tote bags? Well The Literary Gift Company offers many glorious examples of the eco carrier.  I am currently dusting down my shoulder in anticipation of this one


Perfect, for those moments on the early bus when reading alone isn't enough to stop the troublesome person next to you from nattering away. 

But the items I am probably most in anxious need of are the book cover posters.  I have the To Kill a Mockingbird one (and another one is awaiting to spread Christmas joy onto one lucky soul's wall) and they make a refreshing change from the familiar icons we all tack up to show what we like and that.  Band and film prints are just so last year


Oh....and once you have bought me someone special something, you will probably need some cool parcel tape to wrap it up with. Welllllll, those good chaps at The LGC have just gone ahead and thought of everything:

 Genius!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Death, Love and Cliches.

365.282 - it gets better
Picture by Nettsu

Four years ago tonight my dad died.  This is a fact. It is "something about me". It is a "defining moment" in my life.  It is something I think about everyday. It is what makes and breaks me.

The night it happened was the worst night imaginable.  The pain that coursed through our family was immense. It came like a tsunami and it drowned us.  For days and days and days we bobbed about in the aftermath in absolute danger of turning into ghosts ourselves.  This huge character that bound us together, that was absurd and brilliant, a pain and a know-it-all had simply vanished.  One minute he was there, the next he wasn't. Simple as that.

But I am not the only person to have ever lost someone and do not want to claim bereavement as "my thing". I will be eternally grateful for my friends at that time, the ones who knew when and how to talk about it.  The friends who stopped me with all their might from becoming "The Girl Whose Dad Just Died".  They resuscitated me with coffee, odd days out and blissful silences.  But when you lose someone you love throughout your soul you have to become an expert on how to cope otherwise that soul is in danger of shrivelling up.  It is a lesson you learn whether you know it or not.  Death, like love, is hounded by cliches, but I'm not ashamed to tell you that time does heal.

And the best medicine to aid the healing process? Oh yes, it's laughter. 

This was a hard lesson to learn and one I resisted as long as possible.  I don't think I even spoke coherent sentences for a while and as for laughing, it was something I was sure could never happen again.  My wonderful sister had other ideas.  At first I couldn't understand how she could buzz about still smiling, being charming to people.  She didn't seem to be feeling what I was.  But of course she was.  She was hit by the same waves and hurt in the same way.  But she understood my dad and knew that she needed to be like him.  I witnessed my dad loose his mother and brother.  He allowed himself one day on both occasions to sit mutely in his chair.  The next morning he came back.  He realised life was about the living and that we needed him to give the ok to the light and laughter.  My sister knew this too and I bow to her wisdom and thank her for calling out to us as we floundered in the shallows.

It is not a suprise to me then, that when I eventually did reach the shore I sought out the one person I knew would have me laughing for the rest of my life.  The one person I can be completely myself around.  I can be irrational, over the top, pathetic and embarrassing and this person takes it all in his stride. He sees through everything I would otherwise hide.  He keeps me afloat each day by filling my life with nonsense and comedy.  He does this unflinchingly and no matter how hard I try and plunge into a depression he just won't let me.  He may be miserable himself, he may be tired but making me happy is at the top of his to-do list. This is as close to unconditional love as you will find outside a bloodline and I adore it.  Hope and survival doesn't just rely on you finding someone like this, but it helps.  I cannot underplay how much this person's role in my life has enabled me to get up in the mornings, to get on with things and to bloody well allow myself happiness.

The one thing I will always regret is that my dad never got to meet Martin, but I won't dwell on it.  I know that the pair of them would have been firm friends and my dad would be full of thanks.  This is a fact.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

A message from Hannah about your sponsers


 The other night I noticed that I had spent a substantial amount of time getting frantically angry about the adverts barging their way through the programmes I was relaxing to.  I have a strange relationship with adverts, they have a sensational effect on me.  Part of me loves them, understands them, so much so it was suggested at school I go "into it". I loved the recent Hovis advert where one young northern lad legs it home to his mum with said loaf stuck under his arm.  His journey took him through defining moments in British history and swelled my pride more than The Last Night of The Proms. Grans must have loved it.  I also love the Natural Confectionery Company adverts, I have a soft chewy spot for genius, simple humour.



But most of the time I despise them and could list the ones that offend me until I die.

I hate having those drainingly unamusing 118 men jogging onto every film that has the insult of being shown on ITV .  Ghostbusters is my favorite film in the whole world, but those adverts are seriously close to obliterating the joy of that soundtrack along with any perfectly pitched  tension some genius film director spent years sweating and weeping over.  I don't take part in fun runs, not because I'm unfit (I am) but because I fear the sight of participants dressed as the 118 people will ignite some feral urge to attack. Going to prison for maiming a charity fundraisers is just not cool.

I also roll my eyes until they ache at any advert that attempts to update nice and lovely things from the past into something knowing, hip and happening.  I will be turning off my TV and leaving the room each time this bastard of an ad comes on:



Who does Argos think it is? I'm not Bing Crosby's number one fan or anything, but there are some things that you just don't demean like this.  I'm sure Argos would tell me "We contacted Bing's people and Bing's People told us he would have loved it" Well I don't, the advert is classless and awful and I didn't think I needed anymore reasons not to shop there. But I mainly hate it because I know my mum will hate it.

But not even having a massive poo on Bing Crosby's grave incenses me more than the amount of hateable inclination one voiceover woman manages to squeeze into one word.  This advert encapsulates everything wrong with our "I WANT! I WANT! I'M SPECIAL! GIVE! GIVE! ME! ME!" society.  I am tired of advertising that tries to make me want to be an arsehole, so it's apt then that the most detestable word in TV advertising at the moment is "Yawn".



 Listen to the way she says it and tell me you haven't just punched yourself.  Personally I have bitten my fist down to the bone on accidentally hearing this advert.  It is utter bile vomit.

I won't start on the Halifax ads.  There just isn't enough breath. I need to calm down, but can I ask you something? Is Tim Lovejoy playing "Tim Lovejoy" in those incredibly uncomfortable pasta adverts or is he acting?

Your thoughts please.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Last Night's Apprentice 2

It's Apprentice time again *rubs hands together. Oh how I love it!

In this week's episode our band of ex bankers and "entrepreneurs" were tasked with coming up with a beach accessory. Shaking things up a bit L'Sugar put Stella "possible winner" English into the boy's team and from the point she nestled the PM cap on, Team Synergy became "Stella and Her Boys". A rather more apt name I think.  Team Apollo was headed up by Laura "I hate books and reading and books" Moore who goes from pretty to scary depending on whether she is standing inside or out.  

There were the usual brainstorming sessions where the cupboards at the back of people's head let forth with all kinds of wonders.  Shibby Robati and his childlike delivery of The Big Hand Sun Tan Lotion Applier was just so touching I found myself placing orders in the thousands whilst the girl's fumbled about trying to reinvent the sock.  Foot-Glove anyone?  Though they may not have taken The Big Hand to market, Stella and Her Boys came up with the Cuuli (coolie), a unique towel/pillow/icebox device perfect for keeping those drinks cool and storing your life saving insulin. The girls meanwhile bickered and pulled each other's hair a bit.  Joanna Riley being the only person to come up with anything that wasn't totally rubbish- a book stand.   A perfectly reasonable idea I thought, OK you can already buy book stands, but there really wasn't anything else coming from anyone. The way Laura reacted to this idea made me worry for her. Such strange, out and out refusal to go with it.  I can only imagine that some horror has befallen her in the past.  Some massive book shaped terror that shakes her from her sleep at night.  But, they went for it and after hours of sniping they were left with just 10 minutes to design something.  What they designed seemed to be a tiny tent. 

Back with Stella and Her Boys, the latter desperately trying to turn the former into an FHM fantasy by encouraging her to get down and sandy by modelling their towel.  The horror that befell Stella's face is the same look that is usually exhibited by any women confronted by a boys idea of a photo shoot involving swimwear that they describe as "not slutty".  But it was her or Alex Epstien, so I for one am glad she laid down any feminist sensibilities and "took one for the team" COOOOORR!

Once both products were produced it was time to pitch.  I take a sickening pleasure in watching other people pitch things.  There is nothing I would dread doing more, and I drink in every moment of knowing that someone else is having to do it and I'm not. Melissa Cohen was in charge of pitching for the girls and actually said the following words:

  • Applicability
  • Comfortability
  • Built into your end user
Don't know about you, but she can leave my end user well alone.  Stella and Her Boys did well, after Chris Bates recovered from his little tantrum about being overlooked for the pitch role in favour of Jaime Lester.  But their pitch lacked something, what was it? Oh yes! A massive ugly cardboard box filled with sand! Good one girls! Those heals and that box of sand, should have earned the girls applause for coming away with a full set of functioning ankles. But it was in front of (the really really scary, who knew?!) women from Boot's that Laura and her utter hatred of books and resulting self destructive tendencies took over  and she blew it by refusing exclusivity to the largest flipping chemist in the world ever. There are TWO Boot's on my road alone.  But thankfully Melissa was there to break the stunned silence with another one of   those words:


  • Fabulous
Well done Melissa, think you saved it.

She hadn't.  Come the boardroom and L'Sugar broke the news that Apollo had broken Apprentice records by securing no orders (yes Stewart, on a calculator that's 0).  Stella and Her Boys shifted a measly 100 which is probably why they were punished with a round of golf.  Left bereft the Apollo girls screamed and shouted at each other and as Karren "Margaret" Brady rather rousingly put it, let down a generation of aspiring business women by behaving like school ground bitches.  And we all know the prey of the school ground bitch is the quiet girl, and here that quiet girl was Joy Stefanicki.  I will always stick up for the quiet girl in the room, but Joy bless her was so silent throughout that in some scenes she appeared almost see-through. When she did speak it was just to say "sorry", every utterance of the word making my heart break for her.  Joy wasn't built for this Room of Board and I'm glad L'Sugar's finger dispatched her quickly.  It was the kindest thing to do.

Last night's episode was an altogether less interesting affair than the first.  Mainly because the most irritating from episode 1 were either fired or muted.  I for one will miss Dan Harris, we can only imagine what cringing and awful substances may have flowed from him.  But, where was Stewart "The Brand" Baggs? Oh Stewart, that horrid little face you pulled in the board room last week has haunted my dreams for a week.  Unfortunately I think the calculator moment will become an infamous scene this series and will be repeated and repeated much to my eyes dismay. Even his profile picture on The Apprentice website is like a school photo of a bully:

Tough guy huh? Prove it, be more awful next week!

Right, I'm off to make a Big Hand Sun Cream Applier....where's the fish slice?


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

STEF NEEDS YOU! (pointy finger)


 Hands up if you like gorgeous girls!

Hands up if you like retro glamour!

Hands up if you like a red head!

Wow, that's alot of hands! Well why not take those hands, and more precisely your finger (any one), and vote for my friend Stef in the Pinuplifestyle.com calender competition.


You may remember Stef from a previous blog post, she was one of the reasons why I had had a particularly nice day. Now it's time to return the favor and let her have a nice day too! So please take two seconds to vote (you don't need to sign up to anything) and make a gorgeous red head (and a strangely washed out ginger one) very happy  :)

Here are some things you might like to know about Stef before making your vote:


Films she likes: Gilda, Some Like it Hot, Ghostbusters and Clint Eastwood ones



Music she likes: The Beatles, Muse, Michael Jackson, The Postal Service

She likes sundry things such as: High heels, seamed stockings, corsets and Simon's face

 GET VOTING!!


Photos by Ian Malone

Saturday, 9 October 2010

And the winner is......

Well my CSN Stores giveaway has come to an end, thanks so much to those that entered!

Some of you had trouble making your entry, I took this into consideration when the names went into the hat as Blogger and my blog had little issues, so thanks for bringing these to my attention.

Right....down to business.  Any good draw needs a hat full of names:

a drum roll.....

drumdrumdrumdrumdrumrollrollrollrollroll...

and....a WINNER!!!!

Congratulations Kevin!

Please drop me an email at: Hannah_RenowdenATYahoo.co.uk and I will send you your voucher! Let us know what you spend your money on!

Thanks again to those that entered, there may well be more giveaways leading up to Christmas so watch this space!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Customers are mainly always wrong

Customer Service A2
sittinginafield


In one form or another I have always worked in Customer Service. I know, what a lucky person I am.  How fantastically pleased am I that I spent five years in further education? The only thing I needed to be taught,  is that contrary to popular opinion, customers are usually always wrong.

I think most people at some time or other has worked in customer service, whether that's behind a bar, a shop counter or a cinema box office.  We have all had the pleasure of the odd, the rude and the down right daft.

This week I have already had a couple insisting to me that there was a vegetarian cook book available about cooking corn.  This was one of those enquiries that the moment it hit my ears I knew would draw a big, massive blank.  I mean, what the hell can you do with corn apart from boil or barbecue it?! I could have written that down on a post-it for them, saved them £12.99.  But no matter how much I "ummmed" and "errrred" they weren't budging, so I humoured them, typing "corn" into the system for the first, and hopefully, last time.  Nothing came up.  Deep breath:

"No, like I say, nothing has come up.  I think it will be a case of looking through the vegetarian books to see if there is a section on corn, but there aren't any books JUST ABOUT CORN YOU FREAKING LOOP HOLES!"

Then came the words every Bookseller dreads, "but I've seen one":

"My friend's got a copy, she was showing me it the other day...had a packet of corn on the cover and everything"

Then the penny dropped.  Dear oh dear did the penny drop.

"Do you mean Quorn?"

I would love to say that this situation ended in a freeze frame of us all bent backwards tearing the sky open with our laughter.  I'd love to tell you that we all bonded immediately, that we are now all firm friends, that I'm joining them in Kent for the summer. But the truth is, nonsense like this happens almost every day.  Moments of crashing, fist biting stupidity that leave you fearing for the future of our species. It's just not that funny anymore.

What makes it worse?  The customers' reactions.  Most customers will not laugh a mistake off or apologise.  Embarrassment will force them into a corner where they will not even admit they are wrong.  The response I got to my Quorn question was a very haughty: "Oh is that what it's called, it's not for me...I'm not a vegetarian" the last word spat out like a soggy piece of soya. I don't know what it is that happens to people when they pass through the doors of a shop.  I'm beginning to wonder if our alarm barriers emit invisible, personality altering waves which, upon passing through them, turn decent human beings into terrors.

Now, not EVERYONE leaves me scratching my head in bemusement obviously.  But sadly the normal and the nice tend not to dent my psyche as much as the crashingly bizarre.  I can still remember being completely berated about 4 years ago for approaching a customer with my hands in my cardigan pockets.  They went ballistic at me.  It didn't matter that I had walked up to them all smiles offering them all the help they could need, all they noticed were my nestled hands.  It was almost as if they check the whereabouts of people's hands before deciding whether the person is worth talking to.  They reacted to me like I had gone up to them and smeared poo all over their hair, rubbed it into their scalps and leant over them to take a good hard sniff.  This was the moment I knew this line of work would test me to an inch of my sanity.

This person wouldn't have come up to me in the street to point out how disgusted they were at my hand/pocket ratio.  But once through the doors of a shop, and those demonising barriers - "zap!" the ability to be reasonable left them.

As you are reading this you are obviously lovely, but please remember when shopping that the person serving you is still a human being and deserves to be treated as respectfully as you would expect to be. They will probably have a million other things to do aside from serving you and more than likely will have been on their feet for a stupid amount of time. I will go "that extra mile" for customers who come in and behave in a pleasant, non-mental way.  But the minute an eye is rolled, a chest is puffed, a finger is drummed my heart sinks.  I do not want to see the day where I have to say to someone: "look, calm the hell down, they are only books." That would be rubbish, because books are wonderful.

One more thing....if you are the only person standing in a "queue" at an empty till point,  listening to tills ringing out downstairs, chances are you need to go downstairs.

Monday, 4 October 2010

And then there was....OH DAMNIT!!

Bad Day at Work
"Bad Day at Work" by cptcheerios

This week I have been trying to write a blog post each day.  Things have been going rather well so far, it is, afterall, only Monday. 

However, two things have happened today that have distracted me.  Firstly, I have had an almighty and awful day. I left work today with harsh, horrible words ringing in my ears, words that have upset me more than I probably let on. Words that are preventing me from writing anything here that isn't anything other than a diatribe against that person.  I don't want to do that.

Secondly I forgot to buy electricity and we are sitting in the dark.  I am not sure how long my computer battery will last so I'm just dumping this all down here so I feel a teeny, tiny bit better about how utterly parp this day has been.

Normal service with be resumed tomorrow. 

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Sisters, are they literally doing it for themselves?

Sooki and Anna 02

Have you read Victoria Coren's column yet today? If not, why not? It's not about poker you know.  It's about girl's having the option to do cheerleading at school rather than the football.  She makes a wonderful point about girls' roles in society being, quite literally, sidelined and wonders why it is that girl's WANT to just be the jiggling prize for the boys rather than the decorated sports star.  I, rather more clumsily, was making a similar point about TV presenters in a previous post.  What Coren asks is why aren't women allowed any serious competition with each other (let alone with men)?

With all this inverted girl power knocking about it made me think that women are competitive, just in a different way.

It's true that women are capable of making very firm friends with each other.  Over late nights of bonding and mutual secret revealing, women can quickly progress from acquaintance to friend onto full blown sisterhood in a matter of hours.  I know many men who are quite envious of this.  Some long to be able to open up to their male friends in the same way, to bond over feelings and shared experiences.  But unlike SOME women, men seem to be able to participate in creative activities in a social and mutually respectful way.  Women seem to get jealous of one anothers achievements, and here is where girl competition is rife.

Now, I'm not talking about people's friends here, more precisely, acquaintances.  Those people you know, but don't love enough to be happy for all the time. I know men can be very competitive in the work place, but I'm stepping outside of that.

I have alluded before to a certain situation that happened at the start of my blogging life.  I wrote a rather pessimistic, upset post about feeling unfulfilled.  In it, I referred to someone who represented all the opportunities I had missed and that they had taken.  I TRIED to make the post as anonymous as possible.  I TRIED to choose keywords that only the person involved would pick up on.  I thought that being a first post the likelihood of ANYONE reading it was slim, let alone anyone I may have known in a previous life.  Part of this plan was not to use "he" or "she".  What I found very interesting, and ultimately infuriating, was when someone left me a comment.

It wasn't that someone was criticising me that got me down, I was ranting and I sounded daft.  What got to me was that in their comment the person kept referring to my post subject as "she": "she must have done this", "she must be better at that".  Whoever this person was assumed that because I was a girl, the person I was writing about must be a girl too.  WHY?  Because women can only be envious of each other?  Because women can only aspire to the heights of other women? 

Do women really view competition along gender lines?  Sure, in any physical activity there are obvious reasons why Average Joe may not be suited to a heavy lifting duel with Average Josephine, but surely where creativity is concerned everyone is fair game? Say, Blog Wars broke out tomorrow, my blog would be up against ALL the trillions there are in the world, not just the ones written by women.  So why did this person ASSUME I was talking about another girl?

This is something I will definitely be coming back to.  Right now I have to beat some men at some stuff.

And yes, the person who left the comment, she was a girl.

pic: Sooki and Anna 02 by Seneschal of Avalon

Friday, 1 October 2010

Square One

alarm clock
alarm clock by EureekasWindow*

If this blog has taught me anything it's to do things sooner.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I am LOVING my blogging experience right now and I don't want to take anything away from it.  However, I wish I had started it sooner!   How much farther down the blogging road would I be if I had started a year ago?  I suppose I will know in, well, a year.

But blogging isn't the only thing I wish I'd done sooner.  I wish I had taken my driving test at 17.  In fact, I wish I had taken it at all!  Driving is something that has never quite happened for me.  I can drive a car, if ninjas forced me, I could get a car from my house to where ever it may be the ninjas wanted to go.

learner brooch
Learner Brooch by PayneDesign

But I cant do it legally.  My test has always alluded me. I have only booked a test once.  The morning came round and I sat nervously on the edge of my bed waiting for my driving instructor to turn up, snapping: "YES I'M FINE!" to anyone who dared poke their head around my door (I'm not good with stress).  It wasn't long before his little red Corsa pulled up, and with my stomach sitting on my tongue I ventured out into, what I hoped, would be a new world of automotive freedom.

I hadn't even sat down in the front seat by the time my mum came running out with the news:  my examiner had called in sick and my test had been cancelled.  I cannot understate how much this rocked my confidence.  Convinced that that day was the only day I would ever possibly pass my test, I never re-booked.  My lessons fizzled out and two years later I still can't legally drive ninjas anywhere.  Every time I have to sit on a packed bus on miserable, rainy days, I think about that examiner and imagine all the ills that may have befallen him that day.  It is the only thing that gets me through the coughing, the fidgeting, the sneezing and the smell of my fellow passengers.

I also wish I had kept up with my guitar playing.  At secondary school I had the usual classical lessons which I found mouth dryingly tedious. I stretched my little fingers over scale after scale and knew more Russian folk tunes than I knew what to do with. But as tedium turned into a deep depression regarding anything to do with my lessons, I gave up. But, of course, NOW I wish I had carried on.  Now that I have been gifted a wonderful flowery guitar I wish I could play something on it.  But all those scales and all those Russian Folk songs escape me.  I am back at square one.

On my track record I think I will make Square One my new forwarding address. I am the Queen of Putting Things Off which is a rubbish empire to reign over; No-one makes the bed, no-one washes up, no-one plays the guitar and no-one can BLEEDING DRIVE!

Hopefully this time next year my blogging will still be bubbling along nicely.  Chances are I still wont be driving.  But I will endeavour to learn a tune on my guitar.  An actually tune.  One that I like and know all the words to.

Who needs a car anyway?  I'll walk to Square Two.



* This is just the cutest isn't it?  Are you handy with a crochet hook and fancy recreating items like this one?   Visit  the creators Etsy store for patterns HERE.
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