Saturday, September 29, 2007


In my vain struggle to 'combat the signs of ageing', I spent £32 on a 3 for 2 offer of that talked-about Boots face cream - the only one that is supposed to help minimise wrinkles. A BBC science program said so. I'm not sure I believe it. How would you know if it was working? Unless you suddenly and inexplicably looked ten years younger, it's all so nebulous on a day to day basis.

When you see really elderly people - mostly women, I add - you can tell if they've been mostly happy or sad because of the way their wrinkles have set. A friend and I once played Guess the Life Story on the blank faces of people on the tube.

I'd like to have contented wrinkles instead of worry lines. Do I have enough time left to reset the template? It might be like trying to turn an oil tanker...and keep turning it if when gets lost in the currents. Well, I'd better start by getting some sleep. It's gone past 1 am, oh readers young and old, and those who see time as a relative concept, whatever that means.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

James McAvoy talks about...

...having sex with me (or could it be another Ciara, spelled funny with a K?) James, you make me blush. Click here if you want to eavesdrop. I noticed him when he starred in Shameless. His eyes are too twinkley to miss.

His wife looks lovely too. I saw them both once, in my favourite coffee shop having lunch, before he was really famous.


Monday, September 24, 2007

We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successfull...

...said Morrisey, except I'm blimmin' grateful for it myself. What a weekend of random musicality I've had. On Friday night, Nice Man and I went to a nearby community hall to watch our friends and compatriots do Neil Diamond covers. It was surprisingly good. Nice Man's landlord, aka Eugene Kelly (once of The Vaselines) sang Girl, You'll be a Woman Soon with just the right baritone. Stuart put on a bowl-cut Monkees wig and belted out I'm a Believer and everyone was dancing about with stupid grins on. There were loads more talented, pretty girls singing, whose names I don't yet know. With the look and feel of the old hall, you could have thought you'd accidentally fallen into the 60's.

On Sunday night, we got invited to Eddi Reader's house-warming party. More singing people who are effortlessly talented! Where do they come from? They just whipped out their fiddles and acoustic guitars and flew through gorgeous covers of Joni Mitchell, Patsy Cline, Bruce Springsteen and a few speedy jigs.

Most of the room was joining in and I had to mouth my vocals softly, for on several occasions, Nice Man has diagnosed me as being 'atonal' beyond rescue. He is correct, of course. But my enthusiasm - where can that go?! It needs an outlet. Even a whispery, tone-deaf outlet. Before we left for home, I picked up a wee ukulele and strummed along for a few chords. They may not have been the right chords, but as chords go, they were lovely enough.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Mighty Heart

I can't help feeling my last post was totally trivial, now that I'm back from seeing a preview of the film, A Mighty Heart. Angelina Jolie plays the French wife of an American journalist who is kidnapped in Karachi. It's based on a true story and it was wonderfully played and truly gut wrenching. I was unprepared and had to wipe many tears on my scarf, not having thought to bring tissues.

If you thought Angelina J was a bit of an air-head actress, this'll change your mind. Hmm, suddenly just thought about that phrase 'air head'. People don't say it about men. Perhaps it is sexist..?


Where's the UHT milk of human kindness?

Readers! Can I tell you about the wrong milk and how frustrated it made me? Yes? Okay, so I'm doing my wee voluntary shift in the hospital cafe. The clientele are mostly day patients, relatives of patients and, occasionally, thin men in dressing gowns. Today, an an elderly, smiley woman came to the counter and asked for a cup of milk.

The dinky-sized milk cartons in the fridge cabinet had sold out, so I thought I'd improvise and get her a cup of behind-the-counter-milk, used for coffees. I apologized that it wouldn't be chilled: it's UHT from a cupboard (where cartons of it are stacked like bricks in polythene).

Apparently this action was verging on a crime. At very least, it was a spanner in the works of a well oiled machine. Two fingers to order and authority! Everyone started flapping slightly and the supervisor said, we don't serve that milk. That milk is for coffees.

I felt bad for the customer - when I'm a customer myself I hate being made to feel as if I am a problem. Reluctantly the boss poured the wrong milk into a polystyrene cup and handed it over. Someone suggested 30 pence and I rang it through the till under miscellaneous.

I tried to apologise to the boss, but I was still narked, so I'm sure my 'apology' wasn't giving off the best vibes. I asked what I should do in future. She shrugged and said, I suppose you can sell it like that, but it's really for the coffees and we don't want to sell it all like that.

I replied that I was asked for no more than 1 or 2 cups of milk per shift -usually for a child. (I am not selling bathloads of the stuff!) She shrugged. We couldn't look each other in the eye. I bet she was mad at me. I am semi-mad at myself, for taking the blogger's way out rushing home to tell ye all.

I know it's a wee thing. It's not George Bush versus Iraq. I just always want to be one of these people who do their best for the customers, even if it means bending rules. Maybe especially if it means bending rules. I have never been good with authority.

Afterwards the husband of the woman who bought the wrong milk spilled his tea. I got him a new one without a second's hesitation. I told him he deserved it.

Ah well, it's the glamorous, tabard uniform that keeps me in the job. So far.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Blog guilt, Good biscuits, Producer/Directors

On the one hand, I have blog guilt for not updating my blog - on the other hand, I am glad enough, because the dip in posts is due to the fact that I am doing more, out there in the reality land. I know you would be glad for me, people.

Last week, I began a part-time, voluntary post in a small film company. I am starting from scratch, doing research for possible TV documentaries. I pretend to look more competent than I feel. I find myself using words like pre-production and producer/director. I want to learn to be good at it.

The other 3 workers are friendly and there are good biscuits in the small kitchen at the back. A few mid-afternoon pauses at the work station have been aided and abetted by a single McVities, dark chocolate digestive.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

End in sight for laptop saga - I hope?

Ah, the relief of customer service, as customer service should be. On receiving my letter, the manager of the laptop shop phoned me straight away and offered to cut any labour costs and charge me only the minimum for any parts required. £95 was quoted for a new screen. Do-able! Bearable! Once repaired, it will have another year's guarantee. I do not have to spend £450 on a new computer after 14 months, as the other dudes in the shop suggested. Phew, phew Barney McGrew. I shall leave it in tomorrow. Then we can talk about something a bit more interesting on this blog.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Still in PC blackout...

Monday morning and I'm hopping on other people's computers and trying to compose letters about the sales of goods and services act 1979, to see if I have any legal redress for a computer that cost me £440.44 (not a mere £390 as I guessed before!) and went utterly kaput 14 months later....

Thrilling, huh?