Thursday, 25 December 2008

Happy Birthday

Today is not just Jesus's birthday, it is also SuperCathyFragileMystic's birthday.
I've known her since I was very little and it was hard then to imagine only having one day a year of presents and not being able to have a party on your birthday because everyone was already busy.

Now however, I think it's quite cool because once you're a grown up, lots of people tend to forget your birthday and you stop getting so many presents... but if it's on a nice memorable day, you stand much more chance of people remembering.

I am sat writing this with a beautiful view of snowy mountains, sunshine streaming through the window and snowflakes gently floating through the air. It really is quite idylic. And, do you know something else? It's totally quiet.

I can't hear the tap tapping of the keyboard, but if I could I am sure that would be the only sound. It will be a shock to return to the bustle of London in January...

but at least that really is next year!!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Happy Christmas Eve

Well, there's much hustle and bustle in our flat this evening as we are going out for dinner as it's Christmas Eve. Make-up is being put on, hair is being done and my Pa is snoring in his chair finding the experience of being surrounded by four preening girls a bit overwhelming.

This dinner tonight is something of a family tradition. We used to come here when I was a kid and every Christmas Eve we'd go to the same pizzaria in the village and the grown ups would get sozzled and Big Bro and I would eat lots of pizza and laugh at them...

that is the job of London Cousin 1 and 2 this year as I am now old enough to get sozzled! hurrah!

So, I had a great lesson with Fabian again today. He is still in complete denial that I am deaf but that's ok as I am getting used to his accent and lip pattern... and permenant pout! He keeps telling me to keep my hupper body movement flu-eeed while moving on zee ard snow.

And that's really it... so I won't keep you any longer.

The Writer can get back to her eggnog, Shakira Shakira can get on with the busy business of flying to Istanbul, NikNak can snuggle up with Country Boy 1 and Fab Friend with Country Boy 2. Clever Katie is in Devon snuggled up with her family, Friend Who Knows Big Words is in a French farmhouse a few 100 miles away and Climbing Boy has gone northwards. And spare a thought for Gingerbread Man who's working... awwwwww.

Big Bro we miss you and your Clogs very much and the French crew - looking forward to seeing you this week.

And in the words of Tiny Tim:

God Bless You, God bless you everyone

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

sunshine and crashes

Phew, a man called Fabien has tired me out!

And no, not like that...

he's my instructor and I was his first English pupil of the season so he got very excited and made me ski down lots of things that were very hard. He taught me lots though and there as are more suprises in store tomorrow apparently.

When I first met Fabien I told him that I couldn't hear and he did what every foreign person does when I tell them that, he ignored me completely! On the lift up to the first run, I told him again and he smiled at me and said, Sure...

I said, in English, and dodgy French, that I needed to see his lips when he spoke and so he pouted at me. Great! And that's one of the reasons I am so worn out - in order to hear him, I had to ski as fast as him so that when he spoke I could whizz round and see his pouting lips... it was bonkers but it worked.

I sometimes wonder why so many of the foreign people I meet have so much trouble understanding my deafness... surely there are deaf people in France... although to be fair, I have never seen one in the flesh.

Anyway, the weather is still completely fabulous here so we've been making the most of it. This afternoon London Aunt and Cousins 1 & 2, Ma and I all went up to the top of the mountain overlooking Courchevel and skied about a bit.

Then we had a nice cup of tea and a sit down and I caught the bubble back down with Ma as Fabien had caused my leg muscles to die.

On arriving at the bottom we were greeted by London Cousin 2 and her very bloody nose. She'd done the most incredible wipe out that involved her nose making high-speed contact with the snow. It was very impressive, but London Cousin 2 was less impressed.

She's now chomping on jam tart and recovering and I am writing this.

Time for a beer I think...

Monday, 22 December 2008

cows and snow, cows and snow

Deafinitely Girly is in the snow this week and what a week it is turning out to be. I am having the most amazing time swishing down the mountainside, admiring the view that's complimented by the crystal clear blue sky...

But Deafinitely Girly has been yawning today, and here's the reason why...

The sleeping arrangment in our bijoux flat means that London Aunt and I share the living room. Perfect I thought when informed of this arrangment. We can have a nice glass of wine and a chat in the evening after everyone else has gone to bed.

And last night, that was what we did.

And then we bid each other goodnight and turned the light off...

and then

Moooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo-oooooooooooooooo

Eh?

Mooooooooooooooooooooooooo-ooooooooooooooooooooooooo

all of a sudden it really did sound like a mountain cow was in the flat.

Hmmmm not trusting my hearing very well, I lay still for a moment and tried to work out what on earth I could be hearing.

Moooooooooooooooooooooo-ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

there it went again...

And then I realised it was London Aunt, snoring!

And so it went on, MOO, and on, MOO, and on

and I started to wonder if I was ever going to get any flipping sleep..

So I did the decent thing and woke up Ma and Pa to ask them what I should do

They were not impressed.

And so we all tried to work out what to do about mooing London Aunt...

But concluded that we were all to afraid to wake the mooing one...

so I went to sleep listening to my MP3 player loudly. It was a song I know the opening line to, If I Were A Boy by Beyonce and it sounded like this:

If I were a Moooooo-ooooooooooooooooo

Wonder why Beyonce's original didn't sound like that?

Friday, 19 December 2008

Happy Birthday Shakira Shakira

Mon dieu!

It’s Thankful Friday again and I think if I listed all the things I was thankful for today, we’d be here for a very looooooooooo-oooooong time!

So are you sitting comfortably?

Let’s have a go…

Firstly, I am thankful for Shakira Shakira’s ma and pa falling in love as it means that today is her birthday – she’s 28 to be exact and to celebrate her fabulousness we are going a meal.

Happy Birthday Shakira Shakira!

Phew!

Next, I am thankful for holidays! I am soon to be going on one. It involves lots of swishing and hopefully no crashing and I can’t wait.

I am also thankful for London Aunt who organised the said Swishing Holiday!

However, it is in the middle of all this thankfulness that I must break some bad news… the swishing may well hamper Deafinitely Girly’s posting so you might not hear from her for a bit…

*Sniff

Moving on, I am very thankful for text messages. Shakira Shakira might not be thankful for these however, as in my excitement I texted her birthday wishes at 6am this morning!

It’s amazing how much you can fit into a text, and they make me smile. They also allow me access to a world of conversation where I hear everything – although that doesn’t mean to say there aren’t some misunderstandings sometimes. And do you know what I discovered…

…as well as being crap at lying in real life, I am crap at lying by text, too!

*Blush

Finally, I am thankful for the gym – it has enabled me to eat chocolate for breakfast every single day this week and still be able to do up my jeans. Today however, I broke the habit…

…and had a mince pie instead.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Rambling on

In today’s post, Deafinitely Girly would like to clarify to anyone who read her blog before noon yesterday that she really doesn’t agree with violence…

I really should know better than to leave vital words like ‘doesn’t’ out of my blog when I am a word person by trade. That said, while we’re on the subject of violence, I do think that wounding by wok is quite amusing. Apparently, Uni-Mate-Nik once had a go at a particularly menacing housemate with one and the results were very satisfactory.

Today, I am feeling strangely emotional – perhaps it’s because Christmas is nearing or because I get to see Big Bro and French Aunt and Cousin 1,2, and 3 in less than one week – at least I hope I do! French Cousin 2 is a regular reader so I guess I can ask her right here!

Big Bro is journeying over from Clogland to see us for a very brief pre-Christmas visit – it’s going to be hard for him to leave Maxi Clog and Mini Clog behind for a few days, particularly as a new Clog is on the way now, too.

Mini Clog was 2 on Saturday and celebrated with a Bob The Builder cake. I tried to be the trendy aunt and sent him a Quicksilver Hoody – now I just have to hope he doesn’t get banned from any shopping centres for wearing it.

He really is marvellous and The Rents were raving about the genius capabilities of him after their recent visit to Clogland. Apparently he knows his alphabet and colours in both English and Dutch. Very clever indeed. What’s even cleverer is that his speech is so clear that even his deaf aunt, Deafinitely Aunty Girly, can understand him.

Last time I saw him he showed me a tractor and pointed out the big wheel, little wheel and 'earing wheel.

Eh?

How clever is that? A tractor with an 'earing wheel…

Anyway, enough of the nostalgic ramblings…
It’s Thankful Friday tomorrow, so call back then

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

On the fence

Yesterday I read a sign on the front fence of someone’s house and this is what it said:

No trespassing.

Violators will be shot…

…survivors will be shot again.

It made me laugh out loud and then immediately feel guilty at finding the notion of violence amusing.

Don’t get me wrong I dont! think that violence is right. In fact, just the other weekend when I was in the Wild Um… West Country visiting Super-Cathy-Fragile-Mystic, another sign caught my eye and it said:

‘If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.’ And, apparently John Lennon said that.

I guess the owner of the first sign probably put it up to protect his television set as much as to make passers-by like me laugh so perhaps there’s some truth in the latter statement.

But, Wise Friend once noted how I often sit on the fence about things rather than forming a firm opinion on either side. And, I think this is one of those occasions. I think peace is a fabulous notion and would love to see an end to gun and knife crime.

But just sometimes I think that a trespasser should have been shot…

It would have made my world a better place.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Fire, fire!

Today Deafinitely Girly is feeling rotten! My face is full of mucus and my throat feels like I accidentally swallowed a block of knives.

How delightful!

Anyway, I don't know about you, but I always find I am much more accident prone and hear a lot less too, when I am poorly.

Take this morning when I awoke at 5.30am thinking about work – I was dreaming about something I had sorted last week and woke up panicking that I hadn’t done it.

I decided to break the cycle of panic and went to the bathroom. Then, CRASH! I fell down the stairs. To me it sounded like the du-du-dud of the drums after someone cracks a joke. To New Housemate and Very New Neighbours Below, it probably sounded like one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse had come a cropper!

But that's not what I am here to tell you about. Oh no…

The news today is that yesterday discovered I can hear the fire alarm in my flat... very well in fact. It's quite unlike anything I've ever heard before and when it went off, I nearly had a heart attack. There I was watching Star Wars…

*yawn – sorry Gingerbread Man, I am still not converted!

…and wrapping presents when I was suddenly aware of a din so loud that even the dead could have heard it. Heck, even the deaf dead could have heard it!

Having not heard any sort of fire alarm for a good long while, I did what you should do in these situations... I panicked.

I grabbed my handbag, favourite coat, and London Aunt's Christmas present, as I think she's going to love it and didn't want it to perish if there really were flames licking at my door, and then, I legged it and found Very New Neighbour 2 in the lobby frantically stabbing at the buttons of our fire alarm control panel, frilly apron around her waist, wooden spoon in hand, looking quite mortified.

But the main thing was the building wasn't burning, even if her dinner was!

But knowing that I can now rescue myself from my building in the event of a fire is not the best thing that happened yesterday. No, that would be that even though I was feeling really poorly and needed my bed and some tlc, the adrenalin from the fire alarm episode kept me going until 9pm, which was crucial as Top Gear was on late… and it was great.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Back to deaf

There was no blog yesterday because Deafinitely Girly decided, unintentionally, to work undercover as a hearing person and, I was a bit rubbish to tell you the truth.

My day began with my alarm going off as a beeper instead of shaking me awake. It probably woke up New Housemate

*blush

But I continued to snooze on through it before waking in a panic and jumping out of bed with so much velocity that I stood on my hairbrush, knocked over a glass of water and went flying face down on to my carpet.

And I am normally such a morning person…

Then, the BBC saw to it that I watched breakfast news without decent subtitles, giving me a current affairs knowledge of zero, and the subtitles on my bus were wonky so I travelled blind... so to speak.

At work, I participated in office chit chat which probably came across as me shouting things randomly across the room that were of no relevance to the actual conversation, and at the gym after work, I laughed at things I hadn't heard instead of saying pardon!

Why?

I have absolutely no idea. But that's not the most shocking thing.

No, that was when I realised how much my day resembled how I used to live every day until about two years ago. And, do you know what? I can't believe I managed it. It was absolutely exhausting and downright embarrassing on several occasions. Doing it again yesterday made me appreciate how much better my life is when I allow my hearing, or rather lack of it, to be a part of me.

So today I'm going back to asking Lovely Freelancer for a translation on office gossip, reading the BBC news website and not laughing at anything unless I know what the joke is.

There is just one other thing I need a bit of help with. The auto speller on Pinkberry has gone a bit doolally. It won't recognise the word ‘to’ and keeps typing out ‘yo’ for me! This is very annoying as I like to text quickly and all the ‘yos’ are holding me back. But if I don't edit my texts, then I sound like I am talking in some sort of street language innit.

If anyone knows how to change this, please get in touch – it’s driving me CRAZY!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

The kiss of deaf

I have some bad news – kissing makes you deaf!

Well, it does in the case of some woman from China whose boyfriend’s passionate kiss ruptured her eardrum!

Eh?

Yuppity yup, it must be true as I read it in a tabloid. You see apparently the kiss reduced pressure in her mouth and pulled the eardrum out,

Ouch!

The lucky lady has been reassured her hearing will return to normal in about two months. However, it has left me pondering on exactly how they were kissing. I mean to reduce air pressure in the mouth to the extent of rupturing an eardrum, they really must have been taking the expression ‘sucking face’ literally.

Yuck!

And on that note, I think I will save my lunch for later and perhaps pack my mistletoe away this year.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Monday Moan-day

It's Monday, it's sunny and Deafinitely Girly is ready for the almost deafinitely tumultuous week ahead.

But that’s OK – in the run up to Christmas it’s always a bit like this. People coming and going, moving to Sweden, falling in love, falling out of love, falling over…

The list is endless.

But what of Deafinitely Girly?

Well, I am doing none of the above – not even the falling over as I have run out of gin – but I have been baking.

YUM!

You see, in November, I am making NikNak’s wedding cake, so need all the practice I can get. So yesterday, I made peanut butter cookies and fairy cakes and both – my colleagues tell me – are delicious.

The fairy cakes are the most important thing, as this is what NikNak envisages as munching on during her big day and seeing as my oven has the baking capabilities of a Barbie Dreamhouse one, they can be somewhat hit and miss.

But yesterday’s batch turned out perfectly. Not too brown, not too pale, not too risen, not too flat, not too sweet and deafinitely not too salty…

Good grief, I know I sound like Goldilocks at the moment, but they really were just right.

If only everything else was…

Friday, 5 December 2008

Phew! It's Friday

Well, today is Thankful Friday and, well I guess I am thankful that I made it through the week, because what a week it’s been.

However, this weekend should be fun – London Cousin 1 is celebrating her 9th birthday and having a party, which I am helping out at. Apart from climbing at a climbing wall, there will be a birthday tea and games.

Last night, London Cousin 2 practised her one-legged musical statues, which looks set to be the most competitive, heated game of the whole party. I was in charge of the music during this practice session – it was David Gray, which was hard to dance to, so I did his nodding dog impression, which London Cousin 2 – being only 7 – didn’t get.

I can hardly believe that London Cousin 1 is now 9. It seems like only yesterday that I was looking after her when she was just a few weeks old. I went to help London Aunt and Uncle, and it was great fun – I would hold London Cousin 1 while she did cute things like sleep, and then London Aunt would take over for the less pleasant duties like waking up and feeding and nappies. It was quite a privilege to play a part in such an early bit of London Cousin 1’s life – and, it was through her that I learnt I can’t hear babies cry!

HURRAH!

Sometimes, now I am nearly a grown-up, I wonder about what will happen if and when I ever have one of my own. Will I hear it crying? I know there are fancy monitors that vibrate when your baby is crying so I will probably get one of those. Then I will be able to say to people, ‘Ooohh hang on, my baby is vibrating, back in a tic.’ and then they will have me sectioned.

Crap

Thursday, 4 December 2008

ARRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH

Certain people – Climbing Boy – will be aware of just the kind of day that Deafinitely Girly is having today.

In short, it’s the kind of day that makes you want to run to the edge of a cliff…

And no, not jump off – but let out a massive bellow!

Work computer has had a meltdown and is in emergency surgery, which is making my job very difficult and every time I try and do some work, I am reminded of this. It’s frustrating to say the least. I am currently working “remotely”, which isn’t remotely fun!

But it’s reminded me of a society that I formed at school when I was about 13 – did I mention that I was an uber-geek? It was called the Silent Screaming Society and whenever things got tough, we used to scream, silently. And, even hearing people can lipread a scream so we’d be sat there in double maths (2 hours – ARGH) silently screaming at each other, and the maths teacher probably thought we were just exercising our jaws or something.

Anyway, it was kind of nice to be reminded of this – not just because it has given me something to think about while my computer is being resuscitated – but because I have taken it up again… and it’s very therapeutic.

So instead of getting frustrated and breaking something, I am silently screaming – it really is the most fantastic way to release tension.

So next time the world all just gets a bit too much, give silent screaming a go – ignore the weird stares from people if you are in public and just let rip.

Oh, and be careful not to open your jaw too wide, in case it doesn’t close again – according to Google, this actually does happen – OUCH!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

I am not deaf enough

And this is why…

Mariah Carey keeps coming on the radio screeching something about wanting me for Christmas and I can hear her!

ARGH!

It’s not Christmas yet – I haven’t finished my shopping or had a mince pie and the only evidence of me accepting its imminent arrival is my wonderful advent calendar from Ma, which has a surprise in a box every day.

Yesterday is was a green glitter glue pen! I love my Ma.

Anyway, back to my point, which is – I don’t want to be hearing no Christmas songs on the radio until Christmas Eve – and even then only carols are acceptable.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas – but I like Christmas on the 24th and 25th of December – and perhaps the week before. When did it become acceptable to start advertising Christmas in September when the shops should be full of back-to-school paraphernalia?

The whole world’s gone mad!

Now, you’re told to buy school things in June before the summer term has ended, Halloween stuff in August while enjoying BBQs and sunshine, and Christmas cards in September – heck why don’t we just change the calendar and be done with it? School will then begin in June, my birthday (Halloween) will be in the summer so I can finally have an outdoor party that doesn’t involve umbrellas and Christmas will occur when the evenings are still light.

When I am Queen/Prime Minister or just generally in charge, expect things to change…

Now, just imagine that – me in charge…

What would I do first, I wonder.

Well, for a start I would make it compulsory to have one screen in every cinema in the land showing a subtitled movie every hour that it was open.

I would sort out the iPlayer at the BBC and I would make techy people invent telephones with ultra low rings, ensure that every deaf person in the land got a free fire alert system installed in their house, and find a way to speed up subtitled radio.

I would also create a subtitled announcement system on planes so the captain announcing the altitude and speed didn’t induce a ‘We’re going to crash’ hysteria within me – although perhaps a strong gin and tonic would do that, too.

And, after all that, I would go back to my palace and declare a permanent 3-day weekend.

Let me know if you’d vote for me!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Everybody say aaaaaah

Well, a quick scan of today’s deaf news threw up the cutest story about a deaf dalmatian called Zoe, who, thanks to some sign language classes, has been given a new lease of life.

After her previous owner was forced to give her up because of her behaviour, she has now been taught the signs for sit, lie down, stay, dance, paw, kiss and 'good girl' and she’s ready for a new home…

Hmmmm is my flat big enough?

The answer is an outright no, but if I did have a country pad and the time to walk her, I would home her in an instant and we could be deaf together.

However, on second thoughts, a deaf dog and owner could be quite a catastrophic combination. Let’s think…

Big red fire engine, Deafinitely Girly and Dalmatian walking along the road oblivious to the screeching siren.

CRASH

Dog and DG gone…

On a more positive note, do you know that when I was younger I used to raise money for a charity called Hearing Dogs for the Deaf? Ma used to call it Deaf Dogs for the Blind – logical huh?

It’s a great charity and from the case studies on the website, a hearing dog really can change the life of a deaf person. And, as I get deafer, I often wonder about whether I too, could get a hearing dog one day.

If I did, I would be able to answer the door when the buzzer went, leave a burning building when the fire alarm was ringing and always know when a fire engine/police car/ambulance was coming my way. How cool would that be?

But just to be difficult, I think I’d rather have Zoe, the deaf dalmatian.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Just another manic monday

*Harumph

Well, if Friday was Thankful Friday, then today is deafinitely Manic Monday! What a morning I have had. My computer has crashed no less than four times for absolutely no reason and Word is playing silly buggers with me to the extent that I am beginning to wonder if it has a personal vendetta against me.

*sniff

The weekend, which incidentally was brilliant, seems a long time ago now. I don’t know if I mentioned it or not but I saw Friend-From-Penthouse-Flat, who is now a very yummy mummy of two, and First-Uni-Housemate – who is in the throes of organising her wedding, which I am invited to! Hurrah!

We ate and drank far too much and had a very merry and somewhat early Christmas, which saw me winning Yahtzee – and perhaps drunkenly accusing Penthouse Husband of cheating! It would seem that my competitive side emerges when it comes to Yahtzee…

…oops

But anyway, something has happened that’s made my Manic Monday much easier! Work got instant messenger – for the whole company! It's like MSN only better, and it now means I can contact people with the same speed and efficiency as my colleagues without having to pick up the phone!

It's kind of hard to quantify how this is going to change things for me at work – but I know it will. Most Hearing Peeps love MSN Messenger so I reckon they will be happy to use the work version. And, because it pops up on the screen, it’s not as easy to ignore as an email so I should get instant replies.

Just sometimes, it really is the little things that put the biggest smile on my face.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Bootful of woe

Hahahaha

*ahem

Sorry, but I have just discovered that my legs are outsize!

You see, I was hankering after some nice winter boots but I can’t get any to zip up around my calves – I am told they don’t look fat, but as Shakira says, the zips don’t lie… or that’s what I heard anyway.

Now, I measured my calf circumference and whacked it into Google, alongside the word ‘boots’ and do you know what came up (apart from quite a lot of porn sites – how rude!)?

A disability boot to fit over a plaster cast!

So that means that my leg is the circumference of a normal person’s leg with plaster cast over the top.

*blush

Now, the laws of common sense tell me that there’s not a lot I can do about this – one particularly dubious internet site suggested I stopped eating and let my body consume the muscle instead – but I don’t think that’s a plan. And another even more dubious site claimed to cure big calves with a tablet, twice a day.

Hmmmmmmm!

Now, I know there are various places that offer circumference-fit boots for larger legs – but these all cost so much! Why can’t I get a pair of bog-standard boots for my larger legs, except Evans (I don’t like any there)?

I also have one more concern – I am going skiing this winter and what happens if I break my leg? How am I going to find a disability boot to fit round my width-of-a-plaster-cast leg that now has a plaster cast on?

Suggestions on a postcard please!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

I like Imogen Cooper

Last night I went to a concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank and it was brilliant. It was a piano recital by Imogen Cooper (one of Pa’s favouritest pianists) and she was playing Schubert.

Now, I like Schubert, not as much as stompingly fabulous Beethoven however, but his music is lilting and entertaining, easy to listen to, and a visual feast if you are lucky to be seated on the keyboard side of a concert hall.

Now, what I didn’t know was that Schubert died at just 31, apparently from the complications of syphilis, but by this time he had written 600 lieder, nine symphonies – including the famous "Unfinished Symphony, liturgical music, operas, and a large quantity of chamber and solo piano music.

Phew – what a busy man he must have been – in all areas of his life!

*Ahem

Now, as I was saying, my Pa is a big fan of Imogen Cooper and he was meant to come yesterday too, but was feeling poorly so he sent Ma instead.

Being a music boff, Pa had booked excellent seats, with a clear view of the keyboard, so I was able to finger read the high bits that I had no hope of hearing in the reflection of the shiny-shiny Steinway & Sons piano. It was fascinating watching Cooper’s fingers fly over the keyboard with an enviable lightness and accuracy, and I found myself enveloped with sound.

How marvellous!

It’s at times like these that all my tantrums about being deaf seem totally trivial – after all, who cares about birds when you can have the left hand and a good deal of the right of a Schubert Sonata. And, aren’t I lucky to have a unique perception of how this music actually sounds? Seeing as I can only hear one octave above middle C I’m guessing it wasn’t as bass heavy as I thought, but still it sounded beautiful.

There is however one piece of music I draw the line at enjoying though, and that is Lakmé’s Flower Duet. It’s unbelieeeeeeeeeeeevably high and was once responsible for me nearly being kicked out of a concert.

To be fair, it was probably my fault, as the decision to go to the ‘Hand-bell ringing and soprano-singing’ concert was not one of my finest. After sitting listening to silence during the hand-bell ringing – all out of my frequency – these rather voluptuous ladies took to the stage and began to warble. The higher they sang, the higher their eyebrows got and the less I heard, so all I saw was these wobbling Miss Piggy look-alikes with eyebrows higher than their hairline.

Needless to say, I soon started to see the funny side of this and a chortle became a snort and even the sleeve of my jumper stuffed in my mouth failed to conceal the laughter literally splitting from my sides.

Hmmm, and this is where I should probably mention that I was unknowingly sat beside the sister of one of the mentioned warblers – who failed to see the funny side.

A few stern words were uttered and all I could do was nod at her, as it would have been too much effort to remove what was now nearly my whole jumper stuffed in my mouth.

As I was only about 15, it was horrible being told off by a random lady and I have never forgotten it. So now, if I am at a concert and I get the urge to burst out laughing/fall asleep/proclaim my disgust or all of the above – I leave. But luckily last night, I didn't!

Please come back later today...

a post will be up this afternoon – I promise!
love
DG

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Last night I had the strangest dream

I was travelling on the Tube with a group of random people, going this way and that, and up and down in lifts to places like Goodge Street. Every now and again, I would remember that I should be freaking out, but then forget again – and so the journey continued.

Bizarrely, the Olympic committee were on the Central Line platform at Notting Hill Gate and I stuck my tongue out at someone who looked suspiciously like Seb Coe!

On returning home, in my dream, I poured a cup of tea over the microwave as that was where the sink used to be, and realised that New Housemate had remodelled the kitchen!

It had brown swirly wallpaper, dark Formica cupboards and random bits of 70's paraphernalia attached to the orange tiles with suction cups.

It was most odd and being of retro taste, I should have loved it. But spoiling it was this tall blonde woman screaming like a banshee and vacuuming up Lego, which allegedly belonged to New Housemate and me!

Hard as you may find it to believe, all this was not the oddest part of my dream...

No, that would be the part where I wasn't deaf! The part where I could eavesdrop on conversations through doors, hear someone from another room, and most weirdly, hear the fire alarm, which went off after I blew up the microwave by pouring tea over it!

When I woke up at 6am I found that I was willing myself to go back to sleep, to get back to the strange retro kitchen and shrill blonde woman and world of hearing.

But I couldn't!

And then just one hour later I realised why it would have been a bad idea.

Waiting for the bus, a harassed mother arrived with two children one of whom was screaming and shouting and generally having a massive tantrum! Up close, I could hear bits of this, such as the choking breaths between wails and the long sobs of 'Mu-u-u-ummy'

And so I joined the rest of the bus queue in praying she wouldn't be going in our direction.

She was…

But then HA! I discovered that on the top deck, with the screaming child safely downstairs, the low hum of the bus drowned her out – even the choking sobs disappeared!


Hurrah!

I know she was still wailing like the world was going to end as there were lots of irate-looking people, visibly huffing and puffing, and the top deck was much more full than the lower one.

As I sat there enjoying the peace, suddenly my reality felt pretty darn good!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Hi honey, I'm back!

In the words of Zippy, ‘Hello Everybody!’

After Deafinitely Girly’s longest break ever, it’s time for Monday’s post and it would be criminal not to write about what a fantastic weekend I had with DMK – who, after several rums (ho-hum) was renamed as SuperCathyFragileMystic (SCFM), for reasons that seemed brilliant at the time but in the cold light of day we were struggling to remember. However, that now means she holds the record for the quickest ever blog-name change in DG.

Anyway, back to the weekend. It really was excellent and involved SCFM and me eating constantly. In fact, on Saturday we woke up, ate breakfast, chatted, had elevenses consisting of chocolate crispy cakes and Scotch pancakes, chatted and then had lunch, which was a deliciously fabulous selection of cheese and crackers.

In addition to this, we went for a particularly scrummy afternoon tea in Castle Combe (half an hour after eating McDonalds) before feasting on yet more Scotch pancakes on the way home.

Deeelicious.

On Friday night, SCFM and I went out for drinks with her newly-engaged friends Stevie Wonder…

Eh?

They’re actually called Steve and Wandia (say it quickly and you’ll see where I am coming from). This mishearing was the first in what proved to be a long night of them, which included me thinking that tennis was the second-most important quality that women looked for in a man…

…that would be tenderness

and that the owners of a new shopping centre in the city centre flew a horse around inside it once a month to keep the pigeons out…

…and that would be a hawk!

Perhaps the Wild West Country Air was affecting my hearing…

It’s not affecting SCFM’s hearing that’s for sure, as demonstrated in a particular out-of-town shop. While perusing the clothes, SCFM suddenly burst out laughing and asked me between chokes and wheezes if I had just heard the voice speaking over the tannoy.

‘Um, no’ I replied, somewhat incredulously!

It turned out that this shop was advertising free hearing tests using the PA system, which meant that those who didn’t need them, heard it, and those who did, were blissfully unaware they needed one.

How utterly dumb is that!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Wednesday is the new Friday

For today at least…

Deafinitely Girly is off again for another jaunt! And, even though I’m taking Pink Top on my travels (Climbing Boy convinced me she won’t break this time), I can’t guarantee that I won’t be having so much fun that blogging slips my mind.

You see, I’m off to the Wild West Country to see Doctor-Mate-Kate. She works in a hospital saving lives and dealing with icky situations such as boils on bums… and worse.

I have known Doctor-Mate-Kate since I was 6 years old – she was in my class at school until she got promoted to the year above on account of her cleverness. She also lived across the common from me in the middle of nowhere and we used to meet up quite a lot for ice cream at the local ice-cream factory.

What hardships I had to endure as a child.

One summer holiday, when we were about 13, we spent three weeks camping in my Rents’ back garden, eating our way through funsize Mars Bars and talking non-stop. Eventually her Pa came round and packed up the tent when we weren’t looking and demanded DMK go home.

DMK and I have also been to Scotland together quite a lot. We usually go for a week, hire a car, buy a box of Tesco Value biscuits, drink gallons of tea, and drive as far north as we can get and even further on one occasion, when we took a boat to Orkney.

The first time we went, we chatted in the car, in the farmhouse where we stayed, on walks up the various hills, on the beach, in the garden, in museums, in the distillery where we went for breakfast – hell, I think we even spoke in our sleep – or at least I did – not sure if DMK responded though.

The people are so wonderful up there – they make you gin and tonics that are strong enough to give you double vision after one sip, they make porridge that would give a corpse enough energy to get through the day, and they sure as hell know how to throw a party.

The length of our friendship means that DMK has seen my hearing fade over the years and knows instinctively when I need a helping hand – which in Scotland was often as the accent foiled me completely. She does a sterling job at being my ears and on one occasion while sat overlooking the harbour in Brora she taught me the words to an entire song as we munched on custard creams.

Hmmmm custard creams and tea – I can’t wait to see DMK.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Wild um... Westfield

Yesterday, I met Gingerbread Man at Westfield... or Westlife as London Aunt calls it.

For out-of-towners, Westfield is a massive shopping centre in a strange location with very little parking spaces and questionable transport links.

For in-towners, or me at least, it's bizarre.

Now, don't get me wrong, it had an impact on me. In fact, Gingerbread Man found me wandering around mouth agape like a feeding whale...

It's vast!

It also has mini sitting rooms dotted about with comfy retro sofas and armchairs, where men were sat reading newspapers while, presumably, their other halves shopped, got lost or used the circular layout for track running.

But all this, in Zone 2, just felt weird! London is about the hustle and bustle of the streets, the belching buses, the facades of buildings that once housed tailors and snuff box shops becoming enveloped with the bright lights of Tesco Express. It's about rain, tourists holding gigantic maps, and Evening Standard sellers.

To me, Westfield could have been anywhere in the UK and I actually had to force my brain to accept that outside the clinically white walls of this gigantic building really was the bus-belching London with all it’s variety and everchangingness (not a word, I know).

But perhaps this will make Westfield a success – after all, it kind of removes the boundaries of who can go where. In London, Bond Street is littered with posh, rich beautiful people and a fair few ugly ones. But, as an ordinary person, it would never occur to me to do anything other than window shop there – I would feel like an imposing impostor! And, I am sure I am not alone in this. Those shops are so intimidating – the staff seem to check you out to see if you really are capable of spending money.

But in Westfield, Miu Miu and Mulberry all rub shoulders with H&M and New Look, and it’s easy to wander into any of them. Which means people will, and before they know it, they'll own a £600 handbag not a £6 one!

In these credit-crunch times, it’s easy to avoid Prada and favour Primark – you just go to Oxford Street instead of Bond Street but in Westfield there’s no getting away from it, so unless you have steely strong willpower the money will be spent – I think I am going to avoid Westfield altogether.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Monday Moanday... ba-da-ba-da-da-da

Where to start? Well it wasn't hard to pick the subject of today's rant, and if I was a cheerleader, I would be giving you a B, a B, and a C,

and perhaps a V... sign.

Now, let's see... why could I possibly be mad at the BBC? Could it be anything to do with their subtitles?

If you look out of the window in a south-westerly direction right now, and see steam rising into the air, there's a very good chance that it's mine, and it's coming from my very cross ears.

So, let me set the scene for you... there I was, last night, settling down with anticipation for the third episode in the new series of Top Gear. Did I mention that it's my favourite TV program in the whole world?

Last week, as you will remember, the subtitles ran out during the Will Young interview and all I gleaned from it was a lot of flirting. This week, in the exact same place, the subtitles when bonkers! Mark Whalberg was the star in the reasonably-priced car and suddenly nothing made sense - the subtitles were about 2 minutes ahead of the program.

This meant that I got to read about how his lap was going before he'd even got in a car and then...

*gasp

His lap time was revealed when the picture was still showing him doing it!

Argh! Not content with ruining this for myself, I also ruined it by texting it to another Top Gear fan... who quite possibly still hasn't forgiven me!

But, what I want to know is, why does this always happen in Top Gear? This is now the third time that the subtitles have gone doolally in this programme alone.

Is it that it's so good that the person typing the subtitles gets distracted and simply watches the TV instead of typing? Does the amount of swearing that the stars in the reasonably priced car do disrupt the subtitles as there are so many blanks? Or does the BBC think that deaf people don't watch Top Gear... or the iPlayer... or...

Oh, don't get me started.

I think, possibly, that the BBC have a blog search function that they click on every now and again, as whenever I mention them, I get a few hits from the Beebers themselves, so let's give something a try...

'If you work for the BEEB - one person excluded, he knows who he is - then please, in the name of all that is Holy, STOP COCKING UP TOP GEAR!'

Phew, after all that, I am off for a nice cup of tea and a sit down.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Friday fun

Did someone fast forward this week?

I can’t believe that I am writing yet another Thankful Friday post – how can it be? It seems like only yesterday that I was jabbering on about Lovely Turkish Man and his suicidal, psychopathic cat, Jessie.

Anyway, today I am thankful for my half day. Friend-Who-Knows-Big-Words rightfully pointed out that I rarely seem to work a full week at the moment, and she’s right. Between having to use up holiday and work events, the three- or four-day week is becoming something of the norm!

Hurrah to that, I say!

Last night I went climbing with Flo – it was great fun even though I was a bit rusty after a rather long break from it. Gingerbread Man was meant to be coming too, but he’s sick – something to do with a dodgy carbonara I do believe. So spare a thought for him as I don’t think he’s having a Thankful Friday, more seeing Thursday in reverse.

Poor Gingerbread Man…

I guess I should be thankful that he didn’t invite me around for carbonara, too.

So yah, today’s post – well there’s not much to report, except I misheard the bus as saying Halal Brompton Hospital instead of Royal Brompton Hospital, which made my mind boggle.

And so it is on this note that I leave you with some nice and pointless facts about vomiting (in honour of Gingerbread Man):

Whales vomit regularly as a means of the ordinary digestive process, to expel inedible things they have swallowed – and apparently if you find whale puke, you’re in the money.

Emetophobia is a fear of vomiting – luckily Gingerbread Man doesn’t seem to have this.

Ta-ta

Thursday, 13 November 2008

I've been edited…

Deafinitely Girly has her own sub editor don’t you know.

Lovely Freelancer, who’s a keen reader of DG, also keeps any eye on things when I get things wrong, and yesterday she pointed out that I hadn’t really explained the real origin of the word malapropism and had put completely the wrong Shakespeare character in the wrong play.

*blush

So, the latter corrected, here’s the proper origin:

Malapropism actually comes from a character called Mrs Malaprop in a Restoration play in 1775 by Richard Sheridan called The Rivals. It comes from the French: mal à propos, literally meaning ‘ill-suited’. The character deliberately misspoke words for comic effect.

Phew – glad we got that out of the way. One thing intrigues me though – what was it called before, when Shakespeare was writing? Or did it not have a name then? If I am being blonde about this, Lovely Freelancer, please write and tell me!

Anyway, that’s all far too much for me to think about on a Thursday, so I am not going to.

Instead, I am going to tell you how much I love London Underground.

Eh?

Hmmm, yes. I never thought love and underground would come together in a sentence written by me, but today I really was impressed. Not by the delays on the Piccadilly Line or bizarre facts about London Aunt’s tube stop on the board where service information should be.

But by the subtitles…

Now, as you know, I really don’t travel on the Tube very much. Since I got squished in my Mini, being stuck in confined spaces at high speeds really isn’t my cup of tea. However, needs must and when I HAVE to, I will catch it.

And, such an occasion arose this morning as I was running late. With London Aunt for company we hurled ourselves through the closing doors with moments to spare and quickly realised there was no room. This got worse at the next two stations as people on the platform surged forward, determined to make room.

*Gasp, wheeze

I didn’t like it very much and liked it even less when we stopped, in a tunnel.

Silence

And then,

‘Pwahtgdfh, adfhkjfghkjh sdjhgkj g!’

Hmmmm

*panic, panic

And then in scrolling red words across the central door of the carriage came the magical words…

‘We are experiencing a delay due to congestion at the next station’

*phew

Isn’t that amazing!? I can hear on the tube again!

Am I completely converted?

Absolutely not! Why would I want to get on a hot, cramped, unreliable tube train every day when I can sit on the top deck of a bus, no armpit in my face, no broadsheet tickling the back of my neck, no garbled messages about why we are stuck in a tunnel. Buses a much more civilised way to travel – as The Writer will tell you.

But, from now on the Tube will be my ICE transport…

In Case of Emergency

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Innocence is bliss!

*Teehee

That’s what NikNak said to me this morning when she was describing her food-labelling denial system.

‘Eh?’ I thought to myself wondering if I had misread her or missed some clever twist in this common statement.

And then it twigged that she actually meant ignorance not innocence…

I do this a lot, too – I regularly describe people as being ‘off their tree’ instead of ‘out of their tree’ or ‘off their rockers’ – it’s very embarrassing and recently I have taken to calling everyone ‘bonkers’ instead, to save the inevitable blushing that follows being corrected.

This is actually called a malapropism you know and Google tells me that this is defined as the substitution of an incorrect word for a word with a similar sound, usually to comic effect. It’s very common in Shakespeare, which is where I first came across it – Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream regularly spouted them.

It did however lead me to do some more Googling and I came across what is possibly the most embarrassing case I have ever heard of – and here it is, courtesy of Yahoo Answers:

When I was at a college New Years Eve party in Boston, this chick sitting next to me had on a really low-cut shirt. She looked down and announced, ‘Oh, my goodness! My clitoris is showing!’

Obviously, she meant to say cleavage… and I am so glad I am not her!

The other one Google gave me was the tale of an instructor for a children's law course described statutory rape as ‘When an adult has sex with a statue.’

I would love to continue writing but I have to leave my desk to go and laugh my head of in the loo at work as if I carry on sitting here crying tears of laughter, people are going to think I am off my tree!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Little white lie

It is with a tear in her eye that Deafinitely Girly writes today's post.

The reason for this is actually fabulous – yesterday I saw Niknak in a wedding dress! Not surprisingly, she looked absolutely amazing and, as I sipped my complimentary champagne, I couldn’t fail to keep the emotions at bay!

Obviously, being a superstitious kinda gal, details on any of the dresses NikNak tries on must be kept secret from Country Boy 1, Niknak’s fiancé. However, if he is reading this, the dress is fuchsia pink with blue spots and hemmed with fairy lights. There's also a built-in firework display in the veil!

*hehe

Did you know that I am making Niknak's wedding cake? It's quite an honour to be given this task and requires lots of practise. So in the coming months I will need some stand-in cake and icing testers for when Niknak and Country Boy 1 are not available.

Any takers?

Perhaps by the time it comes to making it, I will have my dream kitchen, or at best, my dream oven...

…anything would be better than the one I have now, which regularly induces Gordon Ramsay-style tantrums.

Anyway, onto today's post! This morning I lied! Now, I hate lying. It's never as easy to conceal the truth as you think it's going to be, which can get you into all sorts of bother. But this morning, I made an exception.

There I was, trundling along on the bus when the driver suddenly stopped and shouted down his microphone. The girl beside me was reading a French book and jumped up looking very scared, before asking me what was going on. Rather than explain that I couldn't hear and panic her more, I told her the driver was just asking people to get off the stairs!

Actually, I had no idea what was going on, but a swift look around showed 50 non-plussed faces, so I figured my explanation would suffice. She believed me, stopped looking like she might vomit with fright all over me, and sat back down.

*Phew

But she reminded me of me. Usually when I can't hear, I get a rising panic and the overwhelming urge to run screaming from the situation. But today, I stayed calm and helped that girl in the same way that a particularly gorgeous curly-haired guy helped me on the platform of Bank DLR last week when I got utterly overwhelmed by having to listen while underground.

Hey, I never said I was normal! But it was a nice feeling to be on that side of the tracks today. Even if I was just pretending!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Bus trouble

I became the most hated person on my bus today – quite by accident.

*sniff

There I was, playing the highly-addictive Brickbreaker on my Pinkberry, when I suddenly realised the woman beside me kept giving me murderous looks. Then I realised the people in the adjacent seats were, too.

A quick check of my reflection revealed that I wasn’t covered in oozing sores and that all my clothes were on, so the logical bit of my brain decided to check the sound setting on the game. And, ARGH!!!!!!, I found that it was on.

‘I can’t hear,’ I wanted to say to the people who all hated me. ‘Don’t judge me until you know all the facts.’

But of course they did.

However, it got me thinking about how quickly we are to judge people and if I was hearing and someone was playing a computer game on the bus at top volume, I would be annoyed, too.

And I would be mortified if the person then told me they were deaf. Which is also why I kept schtum. I didn’t think they needed an early-Monday-morning mortification episode.

But does this mean I am running out of sticking-up-for-myself steam?

What I really need is something to get fired up about – I am sure that will give me back my fighting spirit. It nearly happened last night. There I was, watching Top Gear, when the subtitles stopped for at least 1 whole minute. Given the level of my Top Gear fanaticism, this was a serious problem. I missed a whole bit of the interview with Will Young and so to me it just looked as though Jeremy Clarkson was flirting with him.

But I relaxed pretty quickly once they came back on, and actually lost the urge to write to the BBC and complain. That means that this lunchtime, I must venture out in the rain and find something that is crap for deaf people and needs complaining about.

Failing that, I will get mad about the iPlayer, again, as despite following several lines of complaint and being promised that there would be soon be more subtitled programmes, there are none. So I still can’t find out what Jeremy Clarkson was really doing.

Disgraceful!

Aah, that worked!

Friday, 7 November 2008

Friday is here!

Right, after yesterday’s outburst, it’s time for Thankful Friday.

Today, I am thankful for weekends! I love that feeling of falling asleep on a Friday night knowing you don’t have to get up at Stupid o’clock. I also love that feeling of waking up on a Saturday morning knowing that there’s no work and I can have that extra time to sleep. Although being a morning person I usually still can’t resist the impulse to bounce out of bed and try to cram as much into the weekend as possible.

Yup, all in all, I have no complaints about weekends.

This weekend should be good. Lovely Turkish Man is over from Istanbul so Shakira Shakira has planned various jaunts that I will join them on.

Lovely Turkish Man is, um, well lovely! He lives in a brilliant part of Istanbul and last time I visited him, he had a psychopathic cat called Jessie. She was cute to look at but had the personality of an angry tiger, with toothache, on a bad acid trip.

Except with him.

Never have I seen a cat so in love with someone as Jessie was with Lovely Turkish Man. Last I heard, she’d moved to the country as she kept jumping out of his fifth-floor window… Yup, suicidal AND psychopathic, all in all she made a delightful pet!

Anyway, I also have Sunday lunch with London Aunt at what was one of the best-kept secrets in London, but now is full of Yah-Yah people with three-wheeled all-terrain buggies.

However, the food is deeelicious and so we ignore the Yah-Yah people and enjoy our gigantic servings of roast beef and Yorkshire pud.

My stomach is rumbling already…

Is it lunchtime yet?

Thursday, 6 November 2008

I want doesn't get…

Yesterday I remembered I was deaf.

It’s not like I ever really forget but sometimes, just sometimes, I do forget that there is stuff going on that I simply don’t hear. And yesterday, I was reminded that phones really do ring when my colleagues were running all over the place trying to pick them up, and playing ‘which phone is ringing this time?’, which, to be, honest I don’t think they enjoy very much.

But, for the split second that I felt left out, it kind of made me sad. Here’s this amazing piece of technology, which admittedly was invented by an Italian man called Meucci who couldn’t afford the patent and not by Alexander Graham Bell, and I can’t enjoy it.

To tell you the truth, I am a bit disturbed by my recent longing to hear a telephone ring – is it a lapse in my sanity or just that natural urge that all humans have of hankering after the things they can’t have?

People do that a lot I find. You get people wanting to be famous but having nothing to be famous for, so instead they don’t wear pants and fall out of clubs drunk a lot in the hope that a desperate paparazzi who didn’t get any other pictures that night will snap them. You get people who want the perfect body but forget that the public’s perception of what this is changes with such alarming regularity that in order to keep up they end up looking like an artist’s impression of themselves.

And then, there’s um me, who wants to hear phones ring.

I am sure that if you dig a little deeper into this it will probably emerge that what I really want is to not be deaf full stop. But b*ll*cks to that I say, deafness is a part of me and I don't want to change who I am.

But how about you just give me the phones…just for today

…and maybe the TV without subtitles

…and perhaps cats meowing

…ooh and the oven timer

…and alarm clocks

Oh sod it, you know what, at this exact moment, I just want my hearing back.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Walk this way…

Last night I somnambulated. (Is that even a word?)

Anyway, basically it means I went for a walk in my sleep, which for me is quite a common occurrence. I know I went walkabout last night because a drawer and door were open that weren’t when I went to sleep. Spooky!

When I lived with Shakira Shakira, she was always worried that she would come across me on my travels, eyes glassy, looking possessed. And I was always terrified that she would clonk me on the head with something heavy out of sheer terror.

Thankfully we never met up under these circumstances, but in our time of living together, I found myself in the bathroom, looking in the fridge and halfway out my front door. It’s a most, most odd feeling – waking up, not in bed, no clue how you got there.

One time, when I was a child, we were staying with friends and I somnambulated out of the spare room in the direction that our bathroom would have been at home. Only it wasn’t the bathroom, it was their daughter’s bedroom. And then, I vomited on her head!

I don’t remember doing it, but I do remember her waking me up, whimpering and covered in sick! What a delightful child I must have been.

Thankfully, that seems to be have been a one off, although at uni I tried to climb out of a third-floor window as I thought there was a fire. I woke up in time not to break my neck, ankle and everything else.

Some studies say that sleepwalkers don’t remember anything the next morning – and this is partly true, but I quite often wake up in the middle of something, go back to bed and then remember it clearly the next day.

On one occasion I woke up to find shoeboxes all over my bedroom floor and a big bruise on my leg. I was working in Clarks at the time and the only explanation I could think of was that I got work and home confused and had gone into my cupboard and got all my shoes out and then not navigated the mess and fallen over!

How bizarre!

One thing I am most intrigued about though, is how well I hear when I am sleepwalking. If someone spoke to me, would I hear them? Could I lipread? I guess it’s an answer I won’t get until I meet someone on my night-time travels who isn’t so afraid of me that they clonk me on the head with something heavy.

Perhaps I should warn New Housemate about this…

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Hit me ostrich one more time…

Avid and dedicated readers (I know who you are) will remember a post I wrote about my Ma teaching her class the song: An Austrian Went Yodelling and them mishearing her and thinking it was an ostrich doing the yodelling… as one does.

Anyway, this single post has generated more hits through Google on my blog than any other post and I find it quite amazing. Most hits are from the US and so I too had a go at Googling An Ostrich Went Yodelling and sure enough there was my blog, listed amongst questions from people wanting the lyrics for it.

Now, is this a genuine case of lots of people mishearing or is there a spoof underground version of what is fast becoming a classic song? I was intrigued to know and I am hoping that the next American to hit on Deafinitely Girly will let me know why they were searching for the yodelling ostrich!

However, never one to give up on a mystery, I also decided to dig a little deeper into the depths of Google and discovered there is a CD called If An Ostrich Can Yodel by a lady called Leslie Zak and what do you know – she’s on there singing the song with the Ostrich yodelling. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself at http://cdbaby.com/cd/lesliezak2.

So to all the Americans who land up here – you can now follow the above link to buy yourself a copy!

I love having hits from far away places – I’ve had a few from Canada, Italy, India and even China, and I always wonder how that person ended up looking at Deafinitely Girly and whether they will visit again.

I hope so!

In the meantime I can’t stop singing the yodelling song – all together now…

Once an Ostrich went yodelling,
On a mountain so high,
When along came a koo-koo bird,
Interrupting his cry.

Yo-de-le-ah ke-kea, yodeleah koo-koo;
Yo-de-le-ah ke-kea, yodeleah koo-koo;
Yo-de-le-ah ke-kea, yodeleah koo-koo;
Yo-de-le-ah ke-kea, ah yo…

Monday, 3 November 2008

Trick or Treat Darlink

Very few things surprise me about London these days... and I like that.

When I first came to London, everything shocked me, from the (un)savoury streets of Soho to the fact it never gets properly dark! I was quite the country mouse and homesick for many months, or dare I say, years.

But now I love London properly. I love that you can walk around your neighbourhood and nobody except the Six Chicks know your name. It's a level of anonymity that allows you to lead a peaceful existence in those much-needed downtime days.

Anyway, as I was saying, not much shocks me now. For example, by my office there's a guy selling odds and sods who's dressed like Nora Batty right down to the wrinkly tights and prim tweed skirt. However, his outfit is finished of with a pair of running shoes and short back and sides.
Seems totally normal doesn't it?

But then sometimes I do find myself hankering after belonging to some sort of community – to have the security of knowing that I have a friendly neighbour to call on in the event of an emergency. Could such a community exist within the North Circular?

Now, on Friday, it was my birthday (did I mention this already?) and after extensive weekday partying I had the entertaining finale of trick or treating with London cousins 1 and 2... And of course, London Aunt and First-Ever-Friend.

London Aunt lives in a still fairly centralish neighbourhood of town where people can say, my other car's a hybrid and the houses are so big I couldn't afford a mortgage on the front porch. But that's not what surprised me; this is London after all!

What surprised me was that trick or treating around this London neighbourhood was like being an extra in Neighbours. Everyone knew everybody else, children were playing in the street, and at every house was a smiling parent holding out a big bowl of candy. It made me want to go home and invite all my neighbours round for a cup of tea and a nice chat. Except I don't even know who they are and they'd probably think I'd gone bonkers!

This warm and fuzzy, and to be frank, quite disturbing, feeling carried me along through freezing temperatures as I admired the competitively-decorated, cobweb-covered, pumpkin-filled front gardens of each and EVERY house, and munched on candy filched from London Cousins' already-heavy goody bags.

But, I couldn’t help wondering where the real London was, the London where you can do a complete supermarket shop at 10.30 on a Sunday night, and where you can fall from the top to the bottom of an underground escalator during rush hour and nobody notices – in fact I did this once when I was 15 and on work experience at Reuters. It was very painful and not one ‘Are you OK?’ was uttered.

And then, like a bolt from the blue, a sign that I really was in London appeared again...

…in the form of the trick-or-treat goody bags.

London Cousins 1 and 2 had cauldron-shaped things with spiders on and, along with their mate, who'd come as a witch, they cut quite an authentic look. Until I saw her trick or treat bag said Cow Shed on it!!!!

Now, her Rents had just come back from Cornwall and were still unpacking when we kidnapped her for the festivities so I wondered if perhaps her cauldron was in not easily accessible. (Her dad, Blanco, is a reader in fact! Hello Blanco!)

But then, I began to observe the other children's loots bags in the neighbourhood...

Chanel paper carrier bag with black rope handles

Armani paper bag from a Harrods make-up counter...

Hell, I swear one of them actually had a Mulberry Roxy bag.

Boom went the Ramsey Street exterior and back came London... For it is only here that a child will have a designer trick-or-treat bag.

But apparently it's not limited to children. This morning on my bus a pristine lady sat down on the bus beside me. Mui Mui bag plonked on her lap like a small dog. Clasped delicately between her leather-glove clad fingers was a Gucci paper bag. ‘Had she been trick or treating at the weekend?’ I absentmindedly wondered. But then I noticed her size -0 figure, and a nosy peak inside revealed a Tupperware of her lunch – probably a 10-calorie salad!

Evidently not!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

What's in a name?

Deafinitely Girly has a disgruntled reader…

The reader, who shall remain anonymous*, is unhappy with his blog name and, in the light of recent news stories, perhaps he has a point. After all, would you want to be associated with two blundering idiots on the radio.

*DISCLAIMER Any assumptions made as to the identity of this person or company are entirely at the responsibility of the reader and Deafinitely Girly bears no liability for this.

So it would seem that the name has to go as he’s not happy, and Deafinitely Girly does not like to make people unhappy. So just as Lovely Housemate became Shakira Shakira, the disgruntled reader is now reborn as Gingerbread Man.

Will he love me any more for this? The jury is still out.

Anyway, let’s get on to today’s post shall we. Once again, Thursday has become Thankful Friday as I am not in work tomorrow. It’s my birthday, don’t you know, and so I thought I’d celebrate with a lie-in!

Today, I am mostly thankful for my friends. Thankful to the Six Chicks, Friend-Who-Knows-Big-Words and Clever Katie for humouring me during pass the parcel and eating my cupcakes yesterday, and for all their wonderful presents, too.

I am also thankful for the inventor of airplanes as it means that First-Ever-Friend, who lives in Switzerland, is able to zoom into London tonight and stay for the whole weekend. How fab is that!?

And there’s one more thing I am thankful for, and that is that my deafness, for all its annoyances and inconveniences, still has the ability to make me burst out laughing. Take this morning, there I was travelling to work on the subtitled bus with the garbled voice when I suddenly heard it say ‘Bad Television Centre’.

Huh? I know the Beeb have had some bother recently but scolding them on the bus? Whatever next!?

I looked around to see if anyone else had heard this strange declaration but no one seemed to share my bemused expression. It then occurred to me to read the subtitles, which said:

South Kensington Station

and that made lots more sense. Forgetting I was in a public place I started chortling away at my random hearing. And so, from now on, South Kensington Station will forever be known as Bad Television Centre. Another, if a little ironic, name change for Deafinitely Girly.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Icing is all around me!

I had a tantrum in my kitchen this morning worth of Gordon Ramsay – but minus the swearing Ma, I promise.

The reason for my diva strop was my kitchen. Firstly, the oven is like something out of a 1950's Barbie Dream House and it makes baking cakes very difficult. It has two elements on each side and is so small that my gratin dish doesn't fit in it. I found this out once after I'd filled it with flapjack mix. I stubbornly decided to cook it with the door open – the flat was toasty warm that day.
Secondly, it’s colder than a polar bear’s nose!

So anyway, this morning I got up at 6am, wrapped myself in about 20 layers and set about icing the cakes I’d made at 6am the day before – I really do enjoy baking and I’d love to be a modern-day Martha Stewart, just without the criminal record.

My icing is a top-secret recipe – it’s a complex mix of butter and icing sugar and involves lots of dancing around with the electric beater… usually!
However, last night I'd left the butter out to soften for the icing but this morning, when I picked it up I nearly got frostbite in my fingers. How can you make melt-in-the-mouth icing with butter that would be more suitable as a house brick?

So I popped the butter on the radiator – New Housemate must think I am quite bonkers – and while waiting for it to thaw I sheepishly apologised to him. You see, when I got in last night after dinner with Climbing Boy, I forgot that there were stairs in my flat and promptly fell down them. And I don’t fall gently – I think I sounded like an epileptic elephant as I tried to stop the fall, arms flailing wildly, bouncing off the walls as I went.

Clumsy me!

Once the butter had softened I started to beat it, but it started to cool down again and before long I was beating a lump of solid butter and icing sugar. It was disasterous and my arm got very tired. I persevered though, I added hot water to the mix, I put the bowl over the kettle and then I had my tantrum.

However, I am pleased to report that the cakes are now iced with somewhat stiff, whipped and peaked icing and decorated with tiny pink sparkly bits. I have fed them to my colleagues and they are all still alive and well – so that’s a good thing.

But it’s left me hankering after a proper oven. I think I would like one more than possibly any other consumer purchase in the world. Even more than a Bugatti Veyron, which to be fair I could never park and would probably crash in the first week. There is actually a pink one in existence – it’s disgusting. Everything but cars can be pink.

There is no point to today’s post as my mind is all over the place. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I had butter icing for breakfast?

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Ice is all around me

Wow, it certainly sure is chilly out this morning. There's ice on my car and the pathetic hot water pressure in my bathroom had me shivering throughout my very quick shower.

I often wonder how much I could talk about the weather given the chance. I certainly never leave the house in the morning without first watching a BBC weather bulletin!

But, is it being British that gives me an innate fascination with the weather or am I just a meteorological freak?

If I was one though, I think I would choose to live somewhere a little more weather diverse than slap bang in the middle of the most temperate bits of the world.

Take Svalbard, an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean north of mainland Europe, about midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, for example. Right now it's temperatures are -10°C with a wind chill of -17°C. That’s so cold that people can't wear mascara as it would freeze, weigh their eyelashes down and then they'd fall out (not sure if this is an urban myth or not). But anyway, seeing as the sun sets in October for quite a considerable amount of time, I guess it doesn’t matter if you have to scrimp on make-up as no one can see you anyway.

Or what about El Azizia in Africa, where on September 13, 1922, the highest temperature in the world was recorded at an eye-watering 58°C? In those kind of temperatures, my English rose complexion would be redder than a London bus before you could say ‘Where's my sunscreen!?’

That said, I really don’t mind extreme heat or extreme cold – so long as I am warm, I am happy! So for the former that means basking under a parasol in factor 50, and for the latter wearing four million layers of thermals under a down jacket.

It's when I get that bit wrong that there's trouble. For example, many years ago, on a beach in Fiji, I cooked myself to within an inch of my sanity. I got sunstroke and went completely gaga! Seriously, I didn't make any sense for at least half a day. I had the concentration of a goldfish – it was shocking.

Then, there was my ice climbing experience in Scotland. The weather was being, um... Scottish, and after two days of being holed up in our Station Bothy because the mountains were closed, with only stew to eat that some bright spark added toothpaste to, we finally got to go and do our training.

Ever single bit of my skin was hidden from the freezing temperatures, bonkers blizzards and 80-mile-an-hour winds, as was everyone else’s including my instructor. We trudged up hill for a good hour or so until we found a bit of snow that looked exactly like the snow at the bottom of the hill and then, our instructor spent the next hour teaching us something. To this day I still have no idea what it was as his mouth was hidden behind several layers of down!

This was in my less proactive deaf years, so instead of alerting him to predicament I decided to just copy everyone else! This involved throwing myself down the mountain headfirst, turning myself around mid slide and ramming an ice axe into the snow! It was great! I loved it! Until I lost everyone and realised I was on a mountain unable to see or hear. I was also freeeeeee-eezing cold as in my panic I had started to take my layers off as I thought I couldn't breathe – something that is apparently quite common according to my instructor.

Bugger...

After much panicking and flailing around (it’s hard to run in giant plastic boots and crampons) I finally found the vivid waterproofs of my group – my instructor then made me sit under a piece of canvas until I had warmed up and this moment of solitude helped me to decide that this really wasn’t for me. The next day, I went snowboarding instead – it really does make sense to take a lift up a mountain, slide down and have a hot chocolate at the bottom.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Yoo-hoo!

I am back from my week’s holiday and, well it’s OK. At least the sky is blue, even if the temperature did have me shivering and walking more briskly to work than usual.

I had a lovely week off and it had the perfect end with the arrival of Best-Friend-And-Head Girl and Friend-Who-Knows-Big-Words at the weekend. Best-Friend bought her son, Northern Boy, who is extremely cute. His accent is a wonderful hybrid that even I can hear. He say Moomay – like a Brummie, cuppo tea – like a Yorkshire farmer, and Ta – like Cilla Black. At nearly 2 years old, there’s plenty of time for him to add to his vocabulary and I am intrigued to know what new accents he will have picked up by the next time I see him.

Big-Word-Friend bought her fiancé, whose blog name I haven’t decided on yet, so for the moment lets call him René – as in ’Allo ’Allo. Best-Friend has never met him before and neither have The Rents, so it was a chance for them to approve – which of course they did.

There was champagne, much toasting and actually a premature birthday celebration for me, which was great fun. I had a cake and completely forgot to share the blowing out of the candles with Northern Boy – I think he was a bit upset and kept saying, ‘Again, again!’

He’s quite a fascinating little character you know, and has the most incredible ability to put away quite a lot of food. After an extensive roast dinner followed by apple pie and custard, there was afternoon tea with cake and millionaires shortbread. No sooner had the plate been put on the table when a little hand shot out and grabbed a bit. The only evidence that it was Northern Boy was the smattering of crumbs round his little face and his inability to say anything for the next 10 minutes as his mouth was so full!

He is also the exact same age as Mini Clog, my nephew, and seeing Northern Boy made me miss Mini Clog and the Dutch branch of my family. I hope to see them soon as there will soon be an Ultra-Mini Clog on the way. It’s very exciting, although becoming an aunt of two is perhaps also another sign that I should start getting a bit more responsible. With my 28th birthday looming it could be about time.

On second thoughts, I think I’d better enjoy being irresponsible for the moment – there’s always next year after all…

Friday, 24 October 2008

Thankful Friday

Wow! How quickly thankful Friday comes along when you are on holiday. I am a bit baffled today and wondering if I am going prematurely senile as there doesn't seem to be a Thursday post for Deafinitely Girly and yet I am sure I wrote one.

Dear Reader,
Please write and reassure me of my sanity...

Today I am thankful for holiday. I really do feel extremely rested - not £35 a night in Champneys rested - but still, it's amazing to spend time at home with Ma and Pa. It's the little things like not having to hurry in the morning, opening the fridge to find lots of delicious food, edible fruit in the fruit bowl rather than the crusty stuff in mine, a TV hard drive full of Poirot and Inspector Morse, conversations filled with reminiscing, and CATS!

I love cats, they have the most amazing ability to cheer you up no matter what. Last night I couldn't sleep, I was worrying about something. I was lying on my front when all of a sudden I felt a big weight on my back - it was Mabel, The Rents' calico cat. She just sat on my back, her purring resonating through my body, keeping me company until I fell asleep.

This morning she was still there, this time lying on my feet, still purring - I could feel the vibrations - and all she wanted in return was an ear tickle and a pouch of Whiskas - not a bad trade for her unwaning loyalty.

The Rents have always had cats and one of them was actually mine. He was a giant long-haired, salmon pink (you didn't think I'd have a normal-coloured cat did you?) alley cat and had an incredibly camp nature about him. He was around in the years that I was growing up and kind of became my hearing cat. If I was alone in the house and the door bell rang, he came and got me. If the phone rang, he bothered me and if the on-the-hob kettle was squealing, he went skitzo.

I am sure that what he really had was a sensitivity to sound and I was the nearest person to alleviate his discomfort. But growing up, it was great knowing that Pink Cat would rescue me if need be.

And so, I would like to rewrite a common phrase about dogs being mans' best friend as it's blatantly wrong - although Beeb Boy would deafinitely disagree - whoever created that saying had obviously never had a cat.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Eye spy...

Exciting news...

I finally decided to replace my glasses for a nice new pair - and I even resisted getting pink ones.

The decision that I needed new glasses was made my by clumsiness yesterday morning when I snapped a bit of my 8-year-old vintage-looking ones off. I hadn't realised the lens had tumbled out at first - in fact, I must confess I actually panicked that I had lost the sight in my right eye as everything disappeared from view - I really am THAT blind!

So it was something of a relief to discover that on hastily pulling on clothes - the gardener incident had something to do with my speed - I had in fact pulled my glasses apart.

These glasses were also something of an emergency purchase when I was at uni. I had gone on a climbing trip and carefully put my usual glasses in the side pocket of the tent after putting my contact lenses in. I had then gone to the bathroom to brush my teeth and on returning found the tent neatly packed into its bag...

the glasses did not survive.

So, it was on another familiar mercy dash that I embarked yesterday. You see, without my glasses I am doubly deaf. It's hard to put into words but basically, if I can't lipread I am screwed. And, while my contact lenses are good for the daytime, I can't leave them in forever...

At the opticians today, the staff did their best to understand my no sight=no hearing predicament. They removed my contact lenses so they could check my eyes, and then in order for me to lip read them, they had to cope with having my face about 10cm from theirs... it was a delightful bonding session and I almost feel as though I could Facebook them all now!

This particular opticians had a promotion, and naturally I hated every single frame that was in the special-offer bracket... I looked completely 1980s NHS in most of them and one pair actually made me look like Principle McGee from Grease - not a look I was going for.

In desperation I moved over to the designer frames section and even the Chanel frames made me look a sandwich short of a picnic. Then, there was the blingy Versace frames - lovely, but my Cat-from-Shrek eyes were so big that they only covered half of them and made me look like I was wearing a badly-fitted Star Trek visor.

Eventually, after wondering if glasses just aren't my thing, I stumbled upon the perfect pair - they were not in the budget section and, as I discovered, neither were the lenses to put in them - unless I wanted them the thickness and size of Wagon Wheels.

And so, my wallet took another kicking.

But I am pleased with the result. So much so that I keep looking in shop windows, mirrors and even people's sunglasses as I pass to admire them. It's not that I am vain - well maybe a bit - but it's mostly that I am relieved that for all that money, I managed to walk out of the opticians not looking like I'd chosen my glasses in the dark, or had one ear higher than the other, which incidentally I do!

However, all this reflection-admiring concerns me because, between that and not looking where I am going when I'm lipreading, I am unsure how long my spectacular spectacles will last for...

Let's just watch this space eh!?

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

tsk tsk

Apologies to my avid readers for my tardiness of late.

Onion-Soup-Mate, your hits have been noted :-)

The reasons for yesterday's non existent post was that I was driving back to the country. It's cold up here and very dark at night, too - it's strange not having light streaming through my curtains 24 hours a day.

Back in London I love the hustle and bustle of the road, the glow of the streetlamps and the flashing lights of the emergency services that constantly fly past. Sometimes I leave my curtains open long after it gets dark so I can watch the world go by.

But recently however, I have been closing my curtains as soon as I get in from work - the days are getting shorter so it is getting dark quite early - but that's not actually the reason.

The reason is my neighbour...

Remember the ugly naked guy in Friends - he was the one who could be seen from Monica and Rachel's apartment and was... well, ugly and naked. Well, I have one of those. To be exact, I have an ugly naked woman.

Now, to be fair I have known of her existence for some time, since the days that Shakira-Shakira lived in my room and I had the one next door. I remember Shakira-Shakira's shrieks quite clearly as she stood transfixed to the spot watching the rather voluptious pasty lady hoovering in her birthday suit. It was grim, especially when bent down to pick up something off the floor...

Too much information? Sorry

From my old bedroom window, the spectacle was not as shocking and so, until recently I had forgotten about our fleshy neighbour.

Until one night last week when she spent most of the evening wandering around, light on, clothes off, inhibitions in Timbuktu.

Now, don't get my wrong, I have no problem with people doing things in the privacy of their own homes, but she needs to be reminded that the keyword in that sentence is privacy.

Sometimes I wonder if she has forgotten that when it's dark outside and you switch the lights on inside, it becomes like live TV for all the passers by. Sometimes I wonder if she just hasn't noticed the stonking great block of flats that has been opposite hers for ooh at least 50 years. And then, sometimes I wonder if perhaps she knows the whole world can see her and she's happy about that. And, when I start wondering that, I close my curtains.

Last night I walked into my old room at The Rents' house to find I had no curtains - it has been decorated recently and they hadn't been put back up. 'That's OK,' I thought to myself. 'My Rents live in the middle of nowhere, who is going to look through my window?'

*HA!

I found out the answer to this question, this morning as I was air drying after my shower...

...my Rents elderly gardener!

The poor man was quite innocently cutting back the roses from around my window when he caught a glimpse of quite a different English rose. Thankfully I did the runner not him, as he was halfway up a ladder.

I am still blushing now and in hiding in the front bedroom, which has curtains, praying that he hasn't had a heart attack.

*blush

Monday, 20 October 2008

the latest post ever

Well well, well... It would seem that this is latest post ever for Deafinitely Girly and if I don't type quickly enough on my pinkberry, it may well end up being the earliest post on Deafinitely Girly!! Today has been the first day of my holiday and it's been quite a busy one of pottering, drinking lots of tea and visiting London Aunt. It was lovely to see her and London Cousins 1 and 2... I am going trick or treating with them on Halloween and can't wait! It'll be my first time ever as Ma never let me go when I was little... Partly because most of our neighbours were cows and partly because I was normally full of birthday E numbers as Halloween is also my birthday. I guess you could say I'm a witch... But I'd rather you didn't!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

It's not Friday but…

The sun is shining, the birds are mouthing something unintelligible and for me, it’s Thankful Friday – well technically it’s not Friday at all, but I am working out of the office tomorrow so will not be near a computer for my daily Deafinitely Girly update. And, with Pink Top out of action – there’s no possibility of a remote update either.

I am working all weekend…

*sniff

However, the thought that is holding me together is that I have a whole week off afterwards. It will be fabulously wonderful to relax and not get up at the crack of dawn which, now the winter is here, is getting later and later. I have actually been getting up before the crack of dawn recently, which I think is harder – there’s nothing less motivating than knowing it’s still dark outside.

One of my friends once missed a whole winter term of morning uni lectures because of this. She claimed it wasn’t right getting up when the sun still hadn’t! Hmmmm not sure that would wash in the world of work.

Now, after that long ramble, let’s get on to what I am thankful for and today, I am thankful for those subtitled buses I told you about last month. They really are the best thing since sliced bread and make my journey to and from work so deliciously stress free.

Take this morning – there we were pootling along the loooo-ooong road that connects my flat to central London (it really almost is the same road the whole way you know!) when I suddenly realised we had been at the same bus stop for an awfully long time.

I sat there wondering what was going on when suddenly, the bus read my thoughts and the tinny voice announced something. And, thanks to the subtitles, I could read along. It informed me that the bus was waiting at the stop to regulate the service. OK, so I was still annoyed at being held up, but at least I knew why.

What’s also amazing is that buses now give orders – my favourite being ‘NO STANDING ON THE UPPER DECK OR STAIRS PLEASE’. I catch quite a popular bus and normally have to contend with half the population of the borough blocking the stairwell and generally getting in the way.

There’s also a popular horror story that buses topple over when people stand upstairs but am not sure that’s true. Anyway, this morning a posh woman chose to ignore the announcement and carried on standing upstairs flouncing her hair everywhere and hitting me with her Louis Vuitton handbag.

Four announcements later, the embarrassment finally got to her and she retreated! Leaving me to read in peace without getting a faceful of her faux fur. Hurrah!

As a result of this subtitling boom, I have become something of a transport geek it seems. On every bus I travel on I check out the quality of subtitles and whether I know what’s going on. And on that note, I am off to buy an anorak and some thick-rimmed spectacles so I can be a proper bus-spotting Deafinitely Girly.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Hearing voices…

Hahaha!

*ahem

Sorry, but I am still chuckling about an email that Lovely Freelancer sent me last night.

She, like me, loves theatre and emailed me to ask if I wanted to go to see a play by good ol’ Shakespeare as it was audio described. Great I thought initially, sounds good. Then I started to think about what audio described actually meant, and I'm sure it is a fantastic service, if you're blind!!

We had both got it confused with captions! Now, just imagine me going to an audio-described play – not only would I not be able to hear what was going on, I wouldn't be able to hear the description of what was going on either! Sounds like a recipe for pure torture if you ask me.

Anyway, this reminded me of my last visit to see my Gma. While I was there, and in-between reading her Woman’s Weekly and plundering her dark-chocolate digestive store, I helped sort her digital box out as all the channels were a bit wonky. I then turned on subtitles so I could follow the show we were watching.

However, I forgot to turn them off when I left, so poor Gma had them splashed all over her screen when in fact, she can hear brilliantly! A few days later, Nottnum Uncle, the fabulous actor who really should be in The Bill, came over to try and fix the problem. He had a cup of tea, did The Times sudoku puzzle, which he and Pa usually fight over, and assured Gma there would be no more readalong TV.

The next day Gma switched the TV on and it began to speak to her. 'The man is walking to the sink and washing up' it said. Feeling slightly alarmed, Gma changed the channel and still the TV continued to talk to her. So much so that she couldn't follow what the actor people were actually saying.

Eventually, when she could stand it no more she called up Pa and tried to think of the best way to tell him that the TV was talking to her. And, as my Gma still has all her wits about her, and is probably reading this right now (hello Gma!), Pa decided there had to be a more reasonable explanation than um, insanity! And there was.

In his haste to fix the subtitle problem, Nottnum Uncle had turned on audio description service, so the TV was indeed talking to Gma because it thought she was blind!

Thankfully it was easily fixed and Gma’s fears of bonkers-ness were allayed. I am intrigued by this audio description service though, and would love to hear it for myself. I wonder if they do a subtitled version…

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away

Ooooh I am feeling all warm and fuzzy and nostalgically 1980s today! If I close my eyes, I am almost back there, black Reebok ankle trainers, leggings from C&A, white reversible Mickey Mouse jumper, and a cardboard circle cut out and stuck on my head to try and make me look like Kylie!

The reason for this is because of the fab evening I had with Beeb Boy last night. He came over for lasagne and to make sure I added to my appallingly small film resume… step one – Star Wars IV. Even New Housemate admits that it’s shocking I haven’t seen this movie.

Technically, I should be feeling nostalgic for 1977 as this is when the movie was made, but seeing as I wasn’t even a twinkle in my parents’ eyes then, I can’t. So it is the 80s I must hanker after today.

Beeb Boy rightfully pointed out that there was something quite special about this generation of kids movies… in short they were brilliant. OK, OK, so I am not a total expert on these as I still haven’t seen ET… but I do love how films from this era so effortlessly take you back!

Flight Of The Navigator reminds me of Sunday afternoons in winter, sat on the sofa with Big Bro eating crumpets and being totally enthralled by the adventure of it all! Short Circuit I also liked, although I remember there being quite a few tears.

Then, there was The Goonies, which was my favourite movie for many, many years – I had a massive crush on Mikey, the one with braces. I hate being underground but would quite happily have been stuck down a well with him!

Everything in an 80s movie was an adventure – it was so clear cut who the goodies and baddies were that you could cheer for them right from the beginning. And no important goodies EVER died.

What’s exciting about watching these films nowadays is that they have subtitles. Back in the days when I first saw them, they were fantastical visual feasts with hazy storylines as I didn’t really hear what was going on. Now, I get to read the classic lines my friends were quoting for years in subtitles and get the sound effects in italic writing at the bottom of the screen.

Last night for example, R2D2’s squeaks and peeps came up even though they were far out of my frequency and I was even informed when Jabba the Hut was speaking in a foreign language. How brilliant is that?

I am kind of glad that I didn’t see Star Wars as a kid as I probably wouldn’t have got it! R2D2 would have been this silent robot that didn’t do anything, Jabba the Hut would have been boring and the storyline impossible to follow.

After all, have you ever tried to lip read Darth Vader?

For some random reason, it got me wondering about what if Darth Vader was my father– what a poignant moment that would have been. He drops the bombshell of my life on me and all I say is ‘Pardon, what was that?’
Hmmm anyway, back to reality…

Monday, 13 October 2008

Today…

I have absolutely nothing to say...

that's gotta be a first for me.

Enjoy it while it lasts.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Thanks guys

It's kind of hard to have a thankful Friday when all the news headlines are calling it Freefall Friday and Black Friday due to the current World financial turmoil. I can however thank my lucky stars I don't have an Icelandic bank account – but then the knock-on effects are going to have consequences for everyone – not just readers of Moneysupermarket.com.

I could add it to my list of daily worries but really, what good is that going to do. If I was on a ship in rough seas, I wouldn't try and take over the steering from the captain or jump overboard, I would buy
a G&T and find something to hang on to until the storm passed... and that's exactly my thinking for the current situation. Sure, if the ship actually sinks, I will have to have a rethink but right now, a G&T seems like the best option. I also know, that if I have any worries, I can always ask Shakira-Shakira as she's a financial genius and will give it to me straight, I'm sure.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend as I am off to the Wild West Country to see Jenny M, who is quite a regular feature in this blog. She's in theatre daaa-aaarlink and has her own production company, which puts on plays all year round. Anyway, she's holding a cocktail party and we've been instructed to wear our oldest dresses due to the confined nature at her flat.

Mental note to self – must try and keep the breakdancing under control!

Also there will be Ad Mate – she's a hotshot at an advertising agency in London and she's great!

Do you know, she once read me childrens' stories in a West-Country casualty after I crashed my Mini. She and Jenny M came to my rescue and neither flinched when they saw my horrible deformed face. The crash caused me to punch myself, which resulted in the most fabulous black eye. For weeks after, I had a kind of a one-sided Twiggy look going on, which I tried to convince myself was classy even when small children were pointing at me in Tesco.

That was over three years ago now but we still laugh about that surrealness of that day when we get together.

There was my...
...insane flirting with the firemen – looking like Shrek, I am amazed I thought I stood a chance!
...swearing at the bloke that drove into me – I had him kicked out of my ambulance when he tried to get in to apologise – the naughty man is in jail now.
...belief that my car could be mended – the firemen wanted to fill it with water to stop it exploding and I was worried they'd damage the interior.

So I guess thankful Friday is all about how great ALL my friends have been over the years during the various scrapes, bumps and crisies I have got myself into!
Thanks guys!

Subtitled Cinema: Daydreaming of a better deaf world

Sometimes, just sometimes, I allow myself the chance to daydream about all the things on my deaf wishlist coming true... It's a bit li...