That’s The Way

There was a meme floating around a while back, that I was tagged for a couple of times. I am unvaryingly crap at responding to that sort of thing, with the net result that I can no longer even remember whom I was tagged by. Thank you, whoever!

The meme was 7 things that you like.  Which has been a toughie for me, as I find it immeasurably easier to rant about things that I don’t like; in fact, you will have to permit me a yang post to this ying at some point, and tell you about some of the stuff that regularly turns me into a female Basil Fawlty (I have a dim feeling someone has told me I am related to John Cleese in some fashion; I certainly share the family surname (mother’s), moustache, and Basil’s car-thrashing temperament).

1) Food. Yes, I know it’s an unimaginative cop-out. But who are these mythical types that don’t notice what they eat? You have to understand: I did not reach my impressive tonnage purely by a packet of crisps here and a pack of sweets there. No! I have worked at the job solidly for the past 30 years (before which, inexplicably, I was a young wraith). I have a besetting sweet tooth that I struggle mightily saying a firm No to, and would be highly unlikely to survive a tour of the chocolate factory without being sucked up a chocolate pipe, turned into a blueberry or coated thoroughly in crap. I am, however, an equal-opportunities glutton, and am just as likely to get in my own weight-loss way by decimating the cheese board than by succumbing to the siren call of the purple.


2) Weddings. I have – by someone with intuition – been called a wedding fetishist. And it’s true: I can’t get enough of ’em. Dresses, churches, shoes, tiaras, cars, bridesmaids, name places, venues, menus, honeymoon, speeches, flowers, cake, vows, rings, tableplans, photographers: you name it, I am happy to have a lengthy conversation about it. Even if I don’t know you from Adam. If I DO know you, prepare for lengthy emails. Desultory plans between a friend and I to set up a wedding planning business did not go beyond the pub, and I suspect the stress would have ultimately finished me off in any case.

3) Singing. Dancing. Music.  (And I’m wondering if I could stretch this to include my iPod, without which the gym would be an insurmountable misery too far, as opposed to a mere limb-flailing torment). Give me a tune and a dance-floor, and, despite being neither a singer nor much of a dancer: I’m a happy girl. Give me good friends (ideally the musical ones in this case) a guitar, a warm night and a big drink, and I’m a damn happy girl, although the average aural satisfaction levels of those around me may drop. I own a ridiculous number of musical instruments, and despite being unable to play any of them properly, I am a delighted little bunny whenever I have time to actually sit down and bash out a tune.

Regular readers will evince no surprise at learning that I am off to Ukulele night school later in the year. (They are incidentally, touring Canada, the US and New Zealand very soon. Go and see them! Here’s a nice little clip to encourage you, (as I won’t rest until you’re all converted) 

with a significant added bonus: an unexpected glimpse of the truly marvellous phenomenon that is Antonia in her ‘tashes at 0.44.) 

I would dearly love to recommence the dance class that we gave up when I was scary-bleeding-pregnant, but John, despite enjoying his tango and quickstep as much as the next farmer, has retrospectively decided that I was too grumpy and self-critical a partner, and has flatly declined to accompany me anymore. My bottom lip has quivered a little over this, but he seems immovable.

4) Mechanical Process Films. This is an odd yet terrible fascination, and one that I share with my mother, so I shall blame her entirely. It tends to put you off processed food for life, but there is something indescribably hypnotic about the process of making sweetspeanut-butter, jelly beanspretzels, condoms, marshmallow cookies, toilet roll, and my particular carthartic favourite, crayons. I could happily sit, mesmerised, and watch this lot all night, if for no other reason than the delicious 1970s-ness of the films. In fact… *checks watch* … no, I’m only on number 4. Onwards!

5) Hard Pillow, Hard Mattress. I am a fussy soul about my bed. I never enjoy holidays as much as I could, because I am always profoundly troubled, on quite a visceral level, by the bed. I am only as picky regarding cleanliness and tiny livestock as the average woman, but I am implacable and problematic to please in terms of bed furnishings.  

Purchasing our mattress was an exhausting process, consisting as it did of visiting every bed store within a 25m radius, and lying on every single bloody mattress they had hopefully labelled ‘firm’. Like a particularly discerning preyshus princess, I immediately eschewed all of them, as their definition of ‘firm’ and mine did not co-incide. Eventually, when hope was fading, I lay on… THE mattress. The mattress of my dreams. It wasn’t cheap, because stuffing a big cotton bag with springs and housebricks is a tricky manoeuvre, but home it came.

My pillows are also idiosyncratic, as they closely resemble a breeze block wrapped in a handkerchief. The sensation of sinking my ear into a foamy soft pillow and feeling it rise up around my nose is… well, it’s a close cousin to panic, is what it is. On holiday, I usually sleep fairly contentedly on tightly folded bath towels.

6) The cBeebies Summer Song. I don’t care about the cheese factor; this cheers me right up. I don’t notice her stump anymore, either, although it initially clamoured for my attention for untold months. I find I’m nearly always considerably better pleased with life while it’s playing. Sensations such as these are not to be sneezed at in this life – howsoever they come – which is why am I undergoing the indignity of exhorting you to consider lyrics that include a chorus of ‘Summer, summer sun come shine, But come the rain I still don’t mind, When sometimes, summer skies are grey, Blue summer skies aren’t far away,’ because I usually have a slightly higher insult-your-readers threshold than that.

7) The Electric Swatter

I like to think of myself as a reasonably kind and humanitarian type of girl: fervent opposer of death penalty; social conscience; doer of good deeds; supporter of good causes: all good gravestone stuff. I even rescue soggy insects and dry them out, damnit. However, there’s a strata of emotional granite running through most of us, and wasps and flies encounter mine at an awfully early stage in our acquaintance. My hunter hindbrain leaps excitedly to the fore as I scrabble for the Weapon; I have not a scintilla of a scrap of mercy or compassion in me. I assume the position. My eyes narrow. I turn slowly on the ball of my foot: a demented hybrid of Steffi Graf and Samurai. My thumb closes slowly over the button, and a reassuring hum denotes that the Weapon is Armed. The fat blue spark that rewards a well-timed forehand swipe is pure and unadulterated satisfaction – I would go so far as to say, pleasure; at such times I worry vaguely that in different hands I could have grown up Scary.

As ever, if you fancy a go at this yourself: knock yourself out! And tell me where to find you afterwards.

12 Responses

  1. Ooohhh…electric swatter??? WANT! COVET! NEED!

  2. Love it!
    I wonder if they make an electric spider-zapper that can be used from across the room…? I was quite perturbed that one of the contestants on “Farmer wants a wife” (I watch quality TV, me…) was bitten by a redback spider last night and transported to hospital. i had to perform a thorough spider check before I went to bed last night, despite the fact that we live in inner-city Sydney, and not in the middle of the outback, where said incident occurred…

  3. The Summer CBeebies is ok, but I really liked “Do You Know It’s Springtime”. That was an earwig big time.

    Wonder what their Autumn one will be like – certainly due to this weather it’s due any minute now.

    Also – you must have HATED our beds and pillows here!

  4. I love the summer song! I have been known to dance around the room to it with DS on more then one occassion.

  5. Mechanical Process Films! Yes! Oh! yes! Especially ones with chocolate or sugar involved. So satisfying!

    [Nodding, nodding.]

  6. Mechanical Process Films? Well, I do occasionally find myself sucked into watching hours of How It’s Made on the Discovery Channel. And Modern Marvels on the History Channel. I wouldn’t say I like these things, but I find them oddly fascinating if there is no other bad TV to be watched.

    Re: Love of food…I used to work with a girl who would make the most unpleasant faces at her food while she was eating. It was like the food tasted bad, but since she kept eating it, I can only assume the food was offending her in some other manner. I couldn’t stand to eat with her (it’s hard to eat when you’re busy staring at someone else), because food is a wonderful thing!

  7. 1 – food. Yes. Indeed,

    2 – Weddings! *jumps up and down with her hands clasped under her chin*

    3 – Music! Yes! Dammit, I can’t sing. Or dance. But I pack a hell of a LISTEN.

    4 – I like the one with all the milk-bottles, shining in sync as they sweep around the corners.

    5 – Firmish mattress, firm pillow. Pillow that actually supports head is nice. In-Laws have pillows like a flannel in a bag. Can’t sleep. Am slightly crazy by end of visit. SUPPORT MY HEAD IT’S FULL OF CRAZY.

    6 – Awwwwww.

    7 – The electric swatter scares me, you know.

    And, on general principles, COCFOC. (You’ll be sick of it before you know it).

  8. The siren call of the purple… Best description ever!

    When I was in grad school I worked with a number of postdocs from Europe. Whenever any of them traveled home for a visit I would use them as a pack mule to haul me back a few kilograms of the Purple. With Hazelnuts. Aaaand now I’m drooling.

    Why, oh why, can’t we get those here? The American versions are made with some powdered milk substitute. Blech.

  9. That is a very jolly song. And it’s my park.One day I will re-enact the dancing with my son, but I may need to be a bit high on sunscreen fumes first. Mind you, I was quite disappointed to find out that they don’t do a new song each year.

    You would live Russian pillows. They are huge and very firmly stuffed. B keeps threatening to empty out four of what he feels are the namby pamby British ones and re stitch the featers into one uber bricklike affair. Thank goodness for sheer laziness is what I say.

  10. Loving those how stuff made movies; no wonder jelly beans are so expensive if they take over three days to make. Some of the voice over is classic – all the secrecy about ingredients (which would have to be printed on the box surely?) and the peanut butter “salt and sugar are added…. peanut butter is healthy and contains no preservatives…” wtf are salt and sugar then?

    BTW May can sing and dance (she’s shy about the first and I let her down on the second)

    re pillows – I find myself folding up pillows that are too soft and floppy

  11. […] had obviously read my last post. Well, I had the last laugh, anyway, coz I killed the cheeky bugger. Except… it didn’t […]

  12. It was all I could do not to place that tennis racquet in my handbag on my visit to Hairy Farmer Farm so much enamoured of it’s potential was I. But sadly, Oz of the Rules, would never allow it to cross it’s Uber-Safe borders. I might kill something with it.

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