Friday, 26 February 2010

Barcelona calling

Today is Thankful Friday.

It’s pay day, which I am most thankful for as home-owning is expensive business don’t you know.

This week hasn’t been a great one for blogging. Work has been very busy and even lunch breaks were quite a rarity as we fought to get everything done for deadline day.

That has now come and gone and as if by way of celebration the sun has come out.

This weekend I am finally claiming my prize that I won by becoming the Superdrug Ultimate Summer Insider – yes, it’s taken me a while I know – and I’m off to Barcelona with London Aunt.

We have a 5* hotel booked and it’s all paid for, so all we need to worry about it which tapas to choose to go with our beer, and which Gaudi exhibition to visit first.

Yay!

And, before anyone gets any ideas about me giving away my location this weekend – I have people house sitting for me!!!!

It is quite scary though, reading about all this ‘I’m away – come burgle me’ in the news. I follow various people on Twitter who are forever giving away their location – be it on holiday, on business or just which restaurant they in for the evening, and while I am not a crazy person or a burglar, you have to wonder if there are people out there who literally scan the social networking sites looking for burgling opportunities.

Anyway, so where was I? Ah yes, Barcelona!

I first had the privilege of wandering this fabulous city last April with Miss K – we had a fabulous time and she gave me a wonderful guided tour that will hopefully come in handy this weekend when trying to find various favourite haunts – namely the absinthe bar – otherwise known as Bar Marsella!

Friend Who Knows Big Words also told me about a bar owned by Manu Chao – El Marachi… The Guardian called it a clandestine drinking den – guess we’ve got to check that out, too then.

CORRECTION: FHKBW has just informed me the bar is actually called Sin Copa – guess it would be rude not to check out both!

And that concludes Thankful Friday.

I have a half day so I must be getting on!

Have a good one peeps

DG

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

No time to write

Phew! Today is so busy, I couldn't even write my daily blog in my lunch hour, as I didn't get one.

What I did get time to do though, was eat an entire pack of Percy Piglets from Marks & Spencer – in one mouthful.

I would highly recommend Percy Piglets if you fancy a sweet treat – but I wouldn't recommend eating an entire packet in one go.

I

FEEL

SICK!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Things that go crash in the night

Phew, sometimes it really is possible to feel like you've had the whole day before the sun is even properly up.

Take this morning for example, when I woke up at 5.30am.

‘Brilliant,’ I thought to myself. ‘I've still got another hour at least of sleep.’

I flung the covers over my head.

Crash!!!!!

Even with my limited hearing, that did not sound good.

My first task was to locate my glasses, so I patted my bedside table gingerly. There was water and no glasses.

Next my thoughts turned to my iPhone, so I patted the floor, desperately hoping it had been thrown out of harms way in the drama.

I found my glasses!

The next step was to face the music and turn on the light.

Carnage greeted me!

Somehow, I had managed to catapult an entire glass of water over my bedside table and into my open handbag. The bag was wet, the table was wet, a gang socket was wet, my iPhone had gone flying through the air and was dry as a bone several feet under my bed. My brand new carpet was soaking.

Needless to say, I spent the next half an hour sorting out 2 seconds of clumsiness, and on finishing knew, that if I returned to bed, I'd never want to get up again!

*yawn

So anyway, this morning I was forced to watch the drivel that is GMTV because BBC breakfast was completely without subtitles! Nothing! Nada! Not even a haphazardly constructed sentence of spelling mistakes!

I don't like GMTV. It's like those terrible real-life story magazines you can buy with headlines such as, ‘I married my brother’ or ‘He liquidised my cat, but I still love him’.

I mean, this morning there was a whole host of important news to report. A car bomb in Northern Ireland, the Gordon Brown bullying fiasco, and sure, while they touched on those things, do you know where one of their roving reporters was?

A house in Liverpool that had been trashed by a Facebook party.

Not only are Facebook parties old news, so people really should know better than to put a public invitation on the biggest social networking site in the world, but honestly? Who cares? Who cares in the grand scheme of things about red paint on dirty washing, of a bathroom GMTV deemed too shocking to show viewers?

If I had done that as a kid, my dad wouldn't have gone on GMTV to discuss it, he and my mother would have stood over me until ever last bit of their house had been put back together and then sent me to boarding school for the rest of my life – without leave!!

So inevitably after listening to five minutes of this drivel, I turned back to the BBC and thankfully the subtitles had retuned... just in time to tell me about a Henry Moore exhibition at the Tate that I really want to go and see.

That's more like it! Proper, interesting news! Fingers crossed tomorrow, the Beeb will be on the subtitling ball, so there's no danger of me being subjected to a GMTV bulletin of a break-dancing granny from Kent, a rollerblading parrot or a follow-up human-interest story of the house party in Liverpool!

Here's hoping!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Bafta flashing

Monday!

Eurgh!

Can’t take this rain anymore – I hate getting so soggy on my morning commute to work…

*sniff

Anyway, a splendid weekend was had by me – highlights including speaking French on a tube platform at stoopid o’clock on Friday evening – I had no idea I could speak French, so think Joey from Friends standard, rather than Amelie sweet nothings.

And then on Sunday, we went to The Dorchester for London Aunt’s birthday.

It was brilliant, and the food was quite amazing. The understated glamour was so fabulous that I forgot where I was after a while – until we stumbled out into a pre-Bafta’s mêlée that is!

It was bonkers! People everywhere, cameras everywhere, Lancome make-up artists everywhere, egos everywhere, but not a star in sight!!!!!

It was then I chose the moment to stand on the back of a lady’s dress, which was strapless, as she was bending down to greet a child – camera opportunity no doubt – and so causing a potentially embarrassing flesh exposure on her part, with me completely oblivious to the whole thing.

Indeed, if there is any footage of this event, all you will see is me striding off purposefully through the throng of photographers, and Ma in the background cracking up at the lady’s misfortune.

London Cousins 1 and 2 thought it was the best thing ever however – they felt like movie stars as they negotiated the cameras and glamorous nobodies, and were bouncing up and down and grinning from ear to ear as we walked down Park Lane to try and get a taxi.

For me? Well I think it afforded me a glimpse of what it must be like to be almost famous – all those people thinking they were somebody, posing left, right and centre, only to have some clumsy blonde stand on the back of their rented frock…

Nope! Much rather be just me, I reckon!

Friday, 19 February 2010

Hurrah, it's Thankful Friday

Whoa this morning’s walk to the bus stop was most odd.

Firstly a drunken man stopped dead in the street and started shouting at me. I don't know what he said but I'm guessing it wasn't all that savoury. He was waggling his finger at me, and drooling into his beard.

Deeeeeee-lightful!

And then… just when I had recovered from that, a bird flew into my head!

Right into it! Witnesses would have seen me running around like a mad woman, arms flailing everywhere, hair wild, handbag swinging alarmingly on my arm as I had an extremely delayed reaction to the bird, which had now come to rest in a tree above me.

Anyway moving on, today is Thankful Friday, and I am thankful for the arrival of Friend Who Knows Big Words and French boy. Last night I went and collected them from the tube, and out of the lift came these tanned gorgeous people who looked like they’d spent an awful lot of time lying on beaches in Vietnam.

*Harumph!

But I couldn’t stay envious for long as it was just simply so marvellous to see them.

I've left them in my flat this morning, jet lagged and peering sadly out of the window at the weather. I've told FWKBW she can borrow a coat, but I have a feeling when I see her in the pub later she'll be wearing three coats…

But enough about that…

I am also thankful that I get to see Jenny M for lunch, which reminds me, I’m late.

Have a good weekend peeps.

DG
x

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Phone call success!

Whoop!

Today's the day that Friend Who Knows Big Words and French boy get back from HCMC, and I'm so excited.

This morning I went to number 41 and popped a sheepish letter through the door to say, have you got French Boy's parcel of clothes?

It's a very nice house, number 41 – I'm sure FWKBW and French boy would probably rather stay there for a few days than my place!

Anyway the weekend is almost here, which means it's London Aunt's birthday take two... at The Dorchester.

I'm determined to actually eat this meal and not spend the entire duration throwing up. Although I'm sure if you're going to throw up anywhere, then The Dorchester bathrooms would be a good place.

But enough about vomiting, I want to talk about... well actually I don't want to talk about anything except what a great thing it is the FWKBW and French boy are almost home! Should be a splendid evening all round, I think!

NEWS FLASH!
Number 41 called and left an unintelligible phone message for me – the parcel had been returned to the depot…

ARGH!

With a heavy heart I rang the depot – and got the clearest speaking lady in the whole world. She tolerated the fact I was deaf, didn’t have a tracking number, didn’t know who sent it, and didn’t know when it arrived and managed to locate the parcel – amazing!

And I’m very pleased with myself for being brave enough to try calling them, too!

Anyway, it’s being delivered tomorrow, so French Boy won’t have to freeze after all!

Phew!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

I heard it on the phone from Vietnam!

Dear Marks & Spencer,
What has happened to your fashion ranges this season?

Now, if I was a fashion blogger, this is exactly how today’s post would begin after a lunch time of window shopping almost had me running screaming out of what I normally consider to be a provider of wardrobe staples!

Seriously, just the other day I was telling someone how many things in my wardrobe are from the Limited Collection range and that while I might not be the most fashionable person on the block, M&S suited me just fine when it came to shoes and nice frocks…

Today however, I was wishing I could take it all back. It’s vomtastically bad.

But enough about that as I am not a fashion blogger, I am just a blogger – with an occasional bit of beauty blogging for the fabulous peeps at Superdrugloves.com…

Anyway, this morning while waiting for my bus, my phone rang – it was a VERY long number and the only person I thought it could be was Friend Who Knows Big Words, from Vietnam, so I answered!

It was her!

Whoop!

And she was calling to check that everything was still OK for her and French Boy to come and stay tomorrow on arrival back from HCMC.

Of course, I squealed before she finally said, ‘so we’ll see you tomorrow at number 41…’

‘Erm…’ I thought to myself, ‘did I hear that right?’

‘Number 49,’ I said. ‘I live at number 49’

SILENCE

‘But you told me you lived at number 41,’ said Friend Who Knows Big Words, with a panic in her voice that even little deaf old me could hear. ‘And so I had a box of winter clothes for French Boy sent there so he doesn’t freeze to death on arrival.’

SILENCE

‘Crap!’ I said, loudly, causing all the passengers on the bus I had since boarded, to stare at me.

So tonight, after dinner with the Photographer and the Fashionista, I am going to number 41, to show them my hair colour and ask them for French Boy’s clothes…

I can only hope they’ve got them there while they try to work out why a random parcel of clothes was delivered to their address…

If not, I may be taking French Boy on an emergency shopping trip – and it won’t be to Marks & Spencer!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Not hearing bus announcements

Today is lots of things! It's pancake day, it's rainy and cold, and it's London Uncle's birthday.

*sits quietly for a moment

Tonight I am going round to London Aunt's house for dinner. She's being great at the moment as she's always making sure the food she gives me is not going to make me ill – cue delicious salmon fishcakes in the place of delicious steak pie.

At least someone is being vigilant in this whole thing.

Anyway, this morning I've been playing musical buses, in the rain, which is always fun.

The bus came, I got on it, the bus stopped, something screechy occurred through the microphone, and I did the deaf thing of watching my fellow passengers to try and gauge what was going on.

Nobody panicked and nobody moved, so I assumed there was no problem. Except there was and sure enough bus man came upstairs as kicked us off, just as the replacement bus was pulling away...

Cue lots of huffing and passenger puffing and me realizing that even people with hearing don't seem to know what's going on with public transport announcements!

Then, along came another bus, and surrounded by a swarm of people, which prevented the use of umbrellas, we waited to board. And then, person number one in that queue decided that was the perfect time to vent his frustration to the bus driver about the situation, leaving me and 20 others outside, getting soaked.

If I'd known this was going to happen I wouldn't have spent 15 minutes drying my hair this morning, I would have spent it having some much-needed sleep!

Speaking of sleep... How many hours is it until I can next have some of that?

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Friday, 12 February 2010

Attack of the Crohn's

Attack of the Crohn's!

Sounds like a 70's sci-fi movie, huh?

It isn't, unfortunately – but it has been the reason I've been a little bit quiet this week on DeafinitelyGirly.com.

You see, after forgetting to edit my diet, and indulging in all the wrong things at a Pot Luck Day at work, I ended up losing 3 days of eating and 3 days of sleep, too.

I knew things were bad when I had to go and have a sleep in a cupboard at work. I lay down in a corner and slept for a full hour... on the floor!

Delightful life I'm leading.

What upset me the most is how many fun things I have missed out on this week – a late night at the National Portrait Gallery, a Superdrug VIP night, and London Aunt's birthday party.

I was actually at the latter, but wasn't really the life and soul... and watched three courses of delicious food pass under my nose without being able to eat a morsel!

So when it came to being Thankful this Friday, I was kinda stuck for ideas – I mean, should I be thankful that I keep missing fun social events, that I got 2 hours sleep on Wednesday night, or...

And then I stopped and thought about all the things that made my life bearable over the last few days and have decided to be thankful for them. They are:

London Aunt! whoop!
Blanco and Mrs Blanco
My new sofa and Orla Kiely blanket
Ma and Pa's fantastic advice
Crap TV recorded on my digibox
Texts from lovely friends

I am thankful for all of the above and more – without them, I would have gone stir crazy.

So, it really is a very thankful Friday after all.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Being deaf aware

Today, is a very important day! It's Big Bro's and London Aunt's birthday!

Whoop!

The former lives far away in Clogland so this morning I texted him birthday wishes. I expect his birthday will involve a lot of cake. That's what birthdays seem to be about over there... cake!

The latter, lives just up the road from me, and she's having a party tonight, which probably won't involve much cake and deafinitely will involve wine!!!!

It's a special birthday for London Aunt, even though she's perpetually 21, and my gift to her is a weekend in Barcelona – actually that bit of the gift was my prize for winning the Superdrug competition, so my proper gift to her is a visit to a Gaudi-something attraction followed by tapas and bubbles!

Can't wait!

Anyway, another day has passed with me as an iPhone owner and every day I like it more and more! Sure I'm panicking about the fact I left my charger at home today, but apart from that, it's deafinitely growing on me!

I even used it to make an essential phone call yesterday to my insurance company to insure it. And for the 5 minutes I spent saying pardon, before handing the phone over to a helpful colleague, it was great. And had the prepubescent boy at the other end the phone slowed down when I told him I was deaf rather than speeding up, I might have fared a lot better.

This seems to be a common knee-jerk reaction though when I tell people I am deaf. They either start to witter in a panic, look down in embarrassment or in some cases start shouting so their voices are distorted anyway. The guy on the phone yesterday did two out of those three things, he may well have been doing the third, too but I couldn't see him!

But I know in all honesty I'd be no better – and even I cover my mouth when talking to Fab Friend Who Actually Wears Her Hearing Aids, and expect her to hear me when she can't see my lips...

Hmmmm time to book a place on a deaf awareness course perhaps.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

A helping hand in IKEA

Regular readers will know that I've recently just bought my first flat and, although I am incredibly biased, I have to say, it is absolutely gorgeous!

At the moment I have two household missions:

To get my bedroom sorted to accommodate my – ahem – minimalist tendencies, and to get my spare room sorted so it's a peaceful haven for guests, not an extension of the erm... blatant minimalism in my bedroom.

So, this means storage, which of course means IKEA!

And so, I measured and hunted around in my dog-eared IKEA catalogue until I found something that was affordable and in stock at my local store, and set off for the big blue and yellow shop.

The trip was a success! Of course I filled my yellow carrier bag with things I never knew I needed on the way round, before coming to my senses, putting it all back and heading to the warehouse bit.

There, I found my chest of drawers. It had a warning sign about needing two people to lift all 43kg of it, but as there was no one around, I had a go. Well I could lift half of it, but the other 21.5kg was staying firmly put.

So off I went in search of help, and found it. He also reassured me that help would be at hand in the car park, too. But unfortunately, anyone who worked at Ikea at the exact moment I needed a hand with my heavy box, was involved with trying to diffuse a fight that has erupted inside the revolving door of the entrance to the shop.

It was quite a sight... 8 hoodies, trapped as by then the revolving door had given up trying to revolve, beating the crap out of each other!

So, anyway, this meant I was stuck in the car park with a great big heavy box and no way of getting it in my car. I did try though. First, I levered it onto my knees with a view to sliding it into my boot. Then I tried pushing it from one end, but it kept getting stuck. I looked around for possible men to help me, but they were all holding tightly to a girls hand, and asking a guy to help you while he's doing the IKEA mating ritual with his partner is easier said than done.

Then all of a sudden a shrill voice piped up, 'Can I help you, love?'

I looked up, and there in front of me stood a 40-something lady, peroxided hair, ruby red talons, massive heels and a rather glamorous outfit!

But who was I to turn down an offer of help when I’d spent the last 20 minutes trying to get the box in my car with little success.

And she was brilliant!

She got this amazingly heavy box into my car with me, without batting an eye lash, and I think I was more worried about her breaking a nail than she was!

As she waved me off, I couldn't help but smile about how lovely people can be, and how the most unexpected people step in to help.

I must remember to return the favour if I ever see another like me, in IKEA alone, thinking they can lift 43kg boxes.

Make sure you do the same please!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Blogging from my iPhone

Today's blog comes directly from my new iPhone, which has of course already been customized with a fabulous pink case!

As I type, I'm sat in a first class carriage, zooming back to London after an utterly brlliant weekend. I said "I do" and became Little Frenchie's godmother and had a nice time catching up with The Rents.

Anyway, the iPhone, what do I think? Well, on the surface I love it. It's pretty to look at, sleek, offers a host of utterly useless applications such as Paper Toss - addictive in some ways and annoying in others.

It also offers a wealth of utterly brilliant applications such as Scrabble, Facebook and perhaps the best one, Pocket Lyrics. When I saw this in the app store I couldn't quite believe it, after all these years of Googling song words, here's a program that works through the iPod and brings up the lyrics of the song you are listening to.

Amazing huh?

As a very hard of hearing person who doesn't hear lyrics at all, this is the best thing since sliced bread! No more mumbling along to songs, I'll have the words right there! This means I can also find out if songs are full of swear words or inappropriare content before declaring to my grandma for example, that she simply must listen to my new favourite song.

It's made me wonder what other brilliant applications there are out there on the iPhone for deaf peeps...

So let me know what your favourites are!

And, what of the iPhone cons? Well, as I suspected I miss having real buttons to press as it's much easier to hit the wrong key on here, but mostly what bothers me is the battery life. Just writing this had used up 5%, and you can literally watch it diminish before your very eyes, even with 3G turned off, wireless turned off, location features turned off, everything turned off.

Indeed to have any sort of decent battery life on this phone, it seems you have to turn everything off, or sit by a plug socket at all times. But if you do that, is there any point in having an iPhone? Wouldn't it be better just to get a smartphone, which has a working battery? A Blackberry perhaps?

Even though my lovely old Pinkberry didn't have a virtual bin I could toss paper into, a lyrics application and fast Internet, I trusted it to last the day, I trusted the keys to input the letters I wanted, and I trusted it to be a phone, push me
my emails and surf the web without the battery draining faster than, erm... water down a plug hole.

It shocks me to say this, and I suspect as Snowboarding Boy reads this he'll be thinking 'I told you so' – but i miss Pinkberry.

Will she ever lose her crown of Best Mobile Phone Ever?

Friday, 5 February 2010

Thankful Friday

Phew, today is Thankful Friday!

Thank goodness!

After a week of being rushed off my feet, I am heading up norf to see The Rents and then on Sunday I am going to be a godmother – to Frenchie.

Frenchie is Northern Boy's little brother – he was born in France, by accident, in the summer and it's an honour to be able to have such an important role in his life.

This week sees the retirement of Pinkberry, too. It's the end of a very successful love affair that I wasn't all that happy to end – but with a shonky battery, even shonkier roller ball and general decripidness in every other area, I reckoned it was time for an upgrade.

And for once, I have followed the crowd – which I can guarantee Snowboarding Boy will not be happy about – I have ordered an iPhone!

I have to say, O2 have really improved in the 18 months since I last got an upgrade. You can now upgrade online, clicking buttons and selecting call plans and everything. You don't HAVE to make a single phone call, which from a deaf person's point of view is utterly brilliant. But it does mean the days of excessive haggling are most deafinitely over. But then with the iPhone, I don't think haggling is actually an option anyway!

If I am honest, I do have some reservations already – about the lack of keys, the durability of it in the hands of the world's clumsiest person, and the size of it, and of course that it's my first non-pink phone in quite some time.

But I will give this amazing popular gadget a go and see if I become a convert.

For me, what I look for in a phone these days is good access to text messaging, emails and internet, and on researching it, the iPhone really did seem to offer me all that. When asking AW, who has one, what he felt the cons were the other day, he simply replied that it wasn't very good as a phone. But a phone is the very last thing I need it as, so I guess that's alright.

I can only hope that I can resist from buying every application I come across – although I will almost certainly be buying Scrabble the moment the battery is charged.

The only thing that remains to be seen is how easy it is to blog from...

so I guess you'd better watch this space.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Amazing Amercian Idol subtitles!!!

One of the best things about having a recordable digital box thing is I get to record utter rubbish that I can then watch when I can't sleep.

Now, one of the utter rubbish things I've taken to recording recently is the American Idol audition shows...

It doesn’t require any thinking – just a little laughing, cringing and wondering why these people ever thought they had a chance.

And I'll tell you something else, the subtitles are absolutely brilliant because they describe how each of the contestants is singing. Yesterday I had, ‘With Focussed Power’, ‘Badly But Not As Bad As Last Year’, ‘Weak And Out Of Tune’, and my favourite of the episode... ‘Bellowing!’

To be fair, she really was bellowing – I had to adjust the sound on my TV as I was concerned people in Zone 3 would hear it and unsurprisingly, she got completely rejected by the judges.

But seriously, if the BBC had subtitles like this, my breakfast news viewing would be complete…

…or at least a lot more amusing.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Visiting Nelly Mac

Hurrah! I'm back after my long weekend off, and what a fabulous weekend it was!

Saturday saw a change of plans and presented the opportunity to feed my IKEA addiction, in preparation for my guests, and Saturday evening The Photographer and SuperCathyFragileMystic came over for dinner and we drank all the bubbles in my house...

…and as it's a new house and lots of lovely people have given me bubbles, there was rather a lot to get through.

SuperCathyFragileMystic has just bought a new place too – in fact she moved the very same weekend as me, although her new place is a gorgeous cottage in the Wild West erm... Country.

Speaking of the Wild West erm... Country – that was where I spent the remainder of my weekend with Nelly Mac and her family.

It was brilliant to see my Goddaughter again. She's nearly 4 years old, you know, and is deafinitely the most girly girl I have ever met.

Hurrah to that I say.

Her brother is the most boyish boy I've ever met, too. He likes breaking things, climbing things, and exploring. At nearly 2 years old, Nelly Mac's house is just one big source of adventure to him. Yesterday he tried to flood the kitchen and performed a super hero move from the bookcase!

Unfortunately though, everyone was sick. So the long weekend was cut short on Monday morning to allow Nelly Mac a kip on the sofa with antibiotics, and me time to get back to London and continue with my working on my flat – this home improvement thing is never ending.

And now, on this rainy Tuesday it's back to work, and today we have our office Christmas party.

Odd? Of course!

Fun? Most deafinitely!

Deaf Girly and subitled Mamma Mia: Here we go again

Regular readers and my followers on Twitter will know that recently I've been talking a lot about the lack of subtitled showings availab...