Tuesday, 24 November 2009


Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Isn’t it weird what triggers childhood memories? Lots of mine are linked to music, which will be no great shock to any of you, dear readers... but recently I blew several layers of brain dust (TO MY VERY MORTAL TERROR) from a memory which -- for bloody good reason as well -- my school-age self had very tidily repressed; shoved waaaay deep into the wooliest bits of the ol’ grey matter, as far down as could possibly be pushed.

When I was very little my Dad had a Nancy Sinatra record... you all know who she is, right? Boots of the sauntering variety? Bouncy hair, enviable thighs? Famous Daddy? Yeah, her. Anyway – Dad had a Greatest Hits LP and one of my earliest memories is a strange fascination with the cover of the record. Here it is, for your viewing pleasure:

Even the zombies in the Thriller video aren't scary enough for these mofos.

As well as your usual ‘These Boots Are Made for Walking’ malarkey, there was also a track called ‘Lightning’s Girl’ which used to scare the pants off me. Pay particular attention around about the 1min 30s mark – and switch the lights on just in case you’re at the computer in the dark right now. Sorry for the shitty ‘high school media project’-ishness of this video, but it was the best YouTube had to offer. Are you ready? And... go:

Now, I’ll bet it’s been at least 25 years since I heard that track, but I’ll tell you – I was instantly back to our house in 1982. The 6 year old me is playing innocently playing Yahtzee on the mustard yellow carpet of the living room floor, and the minute that record comes on I’m seeing spooky shapes in the effing spider plants which hang from macramé plant holders in front of the bay window.  Christ knows what is underneath the dining room table and I'm terrified.

I’m not kidding; abso-freakin’-lutely shiteypants terrified. Like... can't-turn-my-back-to-exit-the-room-I'll-go-out-backwards-instead terrified. Not-going-into-the-kitchen-by-myself-in-the-middle-of-the-day terrified.  Don't-linger-at-the-foot-of-the-bed-it'll-grab-your-ankles-and-pull-you-under terrified.  Not-even-admitting-to-my-Dad-until-28-years-later-on-my-blog-I'll-just-hide-under-the-covers-whimpering-instead terrified.

Terr.  Riff.  Eyed!  Is it just me?!

What kind of unearthly creature wears boots like that, I ask you? One who TOTALLY EATS PEOPLE, for sure. Eats little blonde girls, its grotesque figure stomping up driveways knocking banana seat bikes off their kickstands JUST BECAUSE. Thumping closer and closer to MY FRONT DOOR to the exact beat of that song. No cautionary “FEE, FI, FO, FUM’s” offered here, no siree... and don’t even think about trying to hide; that chintzy sofa ain’t gonna protect you now, kiddo, no matter how many 4-of-a-kinds you rolled that afternoon.

GAH! I'm a nervous wreck! And seriously considering sleeping in the cupboard under the stairs tonight.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

My Baby is 5

Sunday, 15 November 2009
What a day.  Busy, busy, busy.  Took 9 of Ben's friends bowling this afternoon.  Am I mad?!  He had a wonderful birthday which I will write more about at length, later.  Right now I am going to slip happily into a coma.

Just thought I'd share this little tidbit -- here is Ben showing his Granda what he got for his birthday, and Granda showing Ben how to play it.  Could this be any more wonderful?

Friday, 13 November 2009

Fortissimo Fridays: Hunters and Collectors

Friday, 13 November 2009

Another oldie.  Sorry I haven't blogged all week, and sorry again for not blogging more right now... but there is a Subway Veggie Delight downstairs with EXTRA PICKLES with my name on it, and the kids are both in bed.  Another oldie... but I'm sure you will concede -- what a beautiful way to say, "Let's just have a one night stand." 

Who wouldn't fall for that?

"Throw Your Arms Around Me" - Hunters and Collectors

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Fortissimo Fridays: Inspiral Carpets

Saturday, 7 November 2009

An oldie but a goodie -- just back from Cas Vegas with t'little 'uns and AH Lisa, AH Babs, AH Katie and AH David. 

Totally love this tune; particularly the harmonies in the chorus -- simple but eyesrollbackinheadingly effective.  Is it just me?  Goosebumptactular.

Now then -- a bit of explaining:  some of my favourite, favourite, FAVOURITE music can all be related back to the reason why I like the harmonies in the chorus of this Inspiral Carpets track.  It's all about tension and resolution.  Do you know what I mean?  Being a practicing heathen, I'll likely get struck down for getting all church-o-rama, but bear with me while I endeavour to explain:  you'd probably need to hark (pun intended) back to hymnbooks for me to verbally illustrate what I mean -- whenever you sing the word 'Amen' in church, the 'ah' is the 'tension' (ie -- you know it's not the end, and the chords are going somewhere, for lack of a better term.  The 'resolution' is the 'men', wherein the chords settle themselves into the place where they were destined to finish.

So AMEN to the Inspiral Carpets, for this 4-minute religious experience; as close to heaven as I'm likely to get.  ;-)

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Happy Birthblogoversaryday!

Thursday, 5 November 2009
Well, well, well. This morning I was feeding the baby and realised that it was about this time last year that I wrote my first post on what started out as a pregnancy blog; a quick check revealed it was THIS VERY DAY, 5th November, that I first started blogging. This will be the 51st entry – so I’m averaging about a post a week.

NOT BAD, though I say so myself.

Thank you, dear readers -- all nineteen of you -- for allowing me to force you to poke your nose into my life for a whole year. And because I’m an idiot and let last Friday pass by without giving you a song to read by, let me give you a gift -- oh, isn't the gorgeous Johnette Napolitano JUST LUSH?

Concrete Blonde -- Happy Birthday

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Spinning Plates

Tuesday, 3 November 2009
I’ve just had one of those moments. This morning I washed the cushion covers on my living room furniture, and I’ve dried them and put them back on and they’ve come up looking nearly spanking – brand spanking. I’m so pleased with myself. I even did a little dance. Fortunately, the postman had already been so there was no one to witness the little shake of my boo-tay but the potted plants in the room.

And then I thought to myself, “Excuse me, Self? Uh... exactly when did you become the kind of woman who gets excited by getting baby milk stains out of upholstery?”

If I look at my 33 year old life with the eyes of my 23 year old self, she'd be all: YEAH RIGHT, I’M SO SURE, and would stick her fingers in her ears and LALALALA CAN’T HEAR YOU before promptly bursting into flames.

Back then, I had lofty ambitions of filling up my passport: our first ka-dunk of the stamping machine at Customs brings us to the South of France, anyone care to join me? Bienvenue, cherie -- absolutement. Alors, et maintenant we’re off to Marrakech – let’s sashay about the souks in a kaftan and drink mint tea. Malta? Check. Florence? Si, si, si, bella signora... and the list goes on. I planned to show up with a bag full of dirty laundry at my parents’ place when I was 30 and then start looking to settle down.

But I met my would-be husband on my first port of call and I now live in England. Which is great... but the Cushion-Covers-Washing-Incident is one of my life’s occasional curveballs where I am reminded that at one time, I was having a blast being just 'Girl'... no responsibilities, no limits, no worries. No worries of course, other than, 'What time is that connecting flight?' or 'How much are tickets for that gig?' or 'Where's the corkscrew?' or 'Oops, that was kinda slutty.'

Me, circa 1996.

And now here I am with all these plates in the air: Mammy / Wife / Daughter / Friend / Colleague, etc., etc., etc ad infinitum... and sometimes the spinning gets too tricky and regretfully it’s 'Girl' which gets put down, to make the rotation of the others more manageable. And I’m sad to say that sometimes? It really is a regular struggle to remember where I left her, and to pick her up and dust her off and give her the occasional whirl.

Does anyone else do this? Why do we choose THAT plate – our first one – to set down out of the way? Can’t put down ‘Mammy’; that’s totally out of the question lest I condemn myself to an automatic visit from Social Services. Spiritually bonded to the lovely Jason such as I am, it is imperative that I keep ‘Wife’ up in the air, too; you all know how bonkers I am for him anyway.  There are a DILLION (there’s a “Ben-ism” for ya) reasons why my ‘Girl’ plate is over there in the corner not seeing any twirly-action.

I’m pretty sure it’s a matter of self-preservation. I’m no martyr – it’s not like I’m painting a picture of being pitiful and self-sacrificing; don’t misunderstand me, I don’t have any regrets. I have a fab life with a dreamy husband, I love the bones of my two wee lads and things are good.

Looking a little closer... that dusty plate over there in the corner on the ground isn’t delicate fine bone china, make no mistake. She’s tough, she’s earthenware, her glaze isn’t as shiny as it once was but whoa, nelly – she can handle a chip or two. She is cherished, she is big, she is central... and she is protected over there, out of the way, the heart of the dinner service. She doesn’t jostle for place and insist on heavy rotation like the other plates. Not because she doesn’t really enjoy a good old gyration once in a while, but because she knows that if she is dropped and shattered, then there’s not a hope in hell for the rest of them.

Couldn't put these two down if I tried. 

(I took that whole plate metaphor thing WAY too far, didn’t I?) But you know what I mean.

I take great satisfaction by paying homage to my cool ‘old’ self by refusing to cut my hair short and stomping about the neighbourhood with the pram in my Doc Martens/Chuck Taylors (delete as weather appropriate). I went to see Blur at the end of June this year, 2 weeks before Jude was born! That girl with the pregnant belly with the glow sticks at the back of the arena while Prodigy rave it up on stage? That was me, back in April. I’m still collecting tattoos and wandering around used book stores and record stores.

I’m still (intermittently) the same ol’ Nick – just with baby barf on my shoulder, bags under my eyes and always, ALWAYS a box of snack raisins in my purse for kid-related-snack-emergencies.

I’m all right, me.