Friday, 25 February 2011

It's deafinitely a Thankful Friday

Well, my silence on Deafinitely Girly demonstrates that I've been a little busy in the real world this week.

One of the main things to suffer because of all this chaos, is my flat. It's a little in need of a clean. In fact, I think if it were a child, social services would have taken it away by now.

And so this morning, after waking up to my fluff covered carpet, I decided I was going to do a spot of cleaning before I left for work.

I did a load of washing, I dusted a few surfaces and I got my giant Dyson out, which to be fair is where it all started to go a bit wrong.

You see, my Dyson is large, and I am clumsy, and my flat is small, and all three together are, as you can imagine, a recipe for disaster.

First, I knocked a collection of necklaces of a table and, quick as a flash, I was soon looking at them through the glass cylinder of my greedy vacuum. The survivors were to be found clinging to the brush underneath.

Next, I tackled the ladybird corpses by my bedside cabinet. Where do the little blighters come from London peeps?

And while I was doing this, I knocked over a lamp, which knocked over my bottle of Champney's Pillow Mist, which took out my treasured glass Guardian Angel that Ma bought me years ago.

Scrabbling around I found my angel, halo-less, and immediately abandoned cleaning and headed for the kitchen, where I keep the superglue.

The surgery did not go well. I am sad to say, my angel is still halo-less, but at one point my thumb was not. I managed to superglue her halo to it and it wouldn't come off. And in the process of trying to get the halo off, I stuck three of my fingers to the glass chopping board on the kitchen worktop.

Great morning so far, yeah?

So there I was, superglued to a big glass plate with a halo on my thumb and a broken guardian angel... trying not to wonder if the three were connected.

But now, my flat is clean, my left hand has no fingerprints, my guardian angel has no halo and I am in the perpetual traffic jam that is my journey to work.

But I don't care and today is still most definitely a Thankful Friday because I am seeing The Rents later, and I am very very thankful for that!

Monday, 21 February 2011

When I'm in charge…

My iPhone, it seems, likes Mondays even less than me, as it keeps crashing when I attempt to write today's blog.

This week is going to be a busy one. The Boss is away skiing which means I'm the erm… Boss, so I get to make lots of decisions and stuff.

What fun?

Luckily I don't have the power aspirations of a dictator, which is just as well right now, because across the world, they don't seem to be doing very well at staying in charge.

I think I'd make a crap dictator to be honest, because I'd never know what was going on. My entire secret service could have conversations out of eyeshot and I'd be none the wiser of their forthcoming coup.

Worse still, I'm not good at confrontation, and if someone is more bossy than me, I usually bow out… but not always gracefully.

A democratic leader however, I think I could be, because when I listen to people, I really listen.

People wouldn't get promoted because I went to university with their second cousin's mother, they'd get promoted because the knew stuff.

What's more, I'd do my level best to make sure that the people who worked hard to save all their lives and made responsible choices with their money did not end up the worse off. I would set aside money to help those people who have never claimed benefits, had no debt because they chose not to buy the flat screen TV on credit but perhaps didn't choose the most salary-driven job, and I’d make sure their nursing home fees that could be paid without their equally diligent children having to sell their own houses to pay for it.

There would also be a penalty clause for people who chose not to plan for the future. If they were not willing to be responsible, then why should they be bailed out?

Yes, if I was in charge, I'd have ‘Manage Your Money Lessons’ put on the curriculum, ban store cards and limit credit purchases to one a year.

I’d also make the following things compulsory: regular subtitled film screenings, all TV programs and channels and DVDs to have subtitles, cheap broadband-only packages for deaf people where the incentive was NOT to have a phoneline, too, and finally a three-day weekend.

Monday would be banned, and as The Doll Says (@thedollsays) – one of my favourite Twitter peeps – tweeted yesterday, ‘Monday should be called Sunday, the Sequel.’
She’d definitely have a place in my Government. Go and check her out on Twitter and you’ll see just why…

Friday, 18 February 2011

I am thankful... honest

Today is Thankful Friday.

I am thankful that it is Friday and that I finish work in just under two hours.
This weekend should be wonderful as I get to see lots of my favourite people: Uni Housemate, The Cyclist, Onion Soup Mate and G. We're getting together for a wedding brainstorm and this will involve decisions about the kind of cakes I am making for Uni Housemate and The Cyclist’s big day. I can’t wait to show them some of my ideas and see what they think.

Recently I’ve been in a really bad mood. I can’t quite put my finger on what’s troubling me, but I think it’s partly because there’s so much unfinished business in my life right now. I’ve drawn hypothetical lines under things, but they’ve yet to be traced over in permanent pen. I feel in a bit of a limbo.

Silly really, eh?

Anyway, there’s lots to look forward to, starting with this weekend. So I’m just going to push all the other stuff to one side and look on the bright side of life. Denial is a wonderful place and for now, that’s where I’m going to stay.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

I 'hear' when I read

I'm a chick lit girl.

I love reading books by the lovely Freya North, Katie Fforde, Jenny Colgan and Lisa Jewell. They provide fabulous stories to escape into, and usually restore my faith in love and all that jazz.
What I also love about these books is that I ‘hear’ everything in them. Little asides and whispers are not out of reach as in real life. I get to hear the secrets – something that NEVER happens to me. Honestly, do you know, I used to think the point of the game, Chinese Whispers was to pretend to hear and then make something up!
Anyway, recently I’ve been taking a break from my usual favourites to read a book that Friend Who Knows Big Words gave me for my 30th birthday.

It is: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, and it is wonderful.

But it's not wonderful in an escapist, oh-isn't-everything-fabulous kind of way. Indeed, I spend most of my time wincing in my seat on the bus as each character develops in a thoroughly disagreeable manner.
But what is wonderful is that Oscar Wilde gives you everything you need to know, and often through body language – which is something that I rely heavily on in real life to work out what’s going on – so I feel as though I’m completely immersed in this story. I’m not on the edge of it, as I often feel in real life, I’m right there, hearing, seeing and experiencing everything each character does.

What makes it uncomfortable however, is that with chick lit, you always feel as though the author has the characters best interests at heart, but with Oscar Wilde, I get the feeling that he, like Lord Henry in the book, enjoys toying with their emotions, sending them down unsavoury paths and displaying their foolishness.

It's wonderful in the same way a Swedish massage is wonderful. It’s not all that pleasant at the time but afterwards you're glad you had one.

I get the feeling I will always be happy that I read Dorian Gray, that I stepped out of my Happy Ever After addiction, because after all, life doesn't always give you one of those, does it?

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

A very productive phone call

One of the most exciting events this year is that First Ever Friend is getting married.

I've known her since we were 4 and even though she lives in Switzerland now, we're still in regular contact, particularly as I am her witness for the wedding.

I'm rather excited about this role, although if I'm required at any point to speak Swiss German, it may be interesting.

I booked all my flights for her wedding the other week and texted Ma to suggest she did hers too, so that we were all on the same flight home. But knowing how much Ma detests online booking systems, and with Pa still quite hop-along from his hip, I offered to do it for her.

Cue laptop set up and phone number being dialled.

Now, Ma is one of the people I can hear best on the phone. Perhaps because I've heard her voice all my life, I know the way she says things, so am able to guess quite a lot what is going on.

This was going very well until the credit card number bit... And the mobile number bit... Actually, pretty much any bit where I needed to hear numbers full stop, as they all sound the same to me. This meant that she would recite them and I'd recite them back. But because she’s also a little bit deaf, this was a little challenging as neither of us could hear what the other was saying, and so we were in fits of giggles.

Eventually however, we got there, and all that was left was the booking code, which I read out in my own variation of the phonetic alphabet, with Ma-appropriate swear words – this turned what should have been an extremely stressful situation for us both into a very productive phone call.

Which just goes to show, there really is a first time for everything.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

DG's erm... lovely morning

Oh boy, what a morning it's been!

So far today, in the two hours I've been up, I have put my foot down the toilet, fallen out of the shower, seen my car get blocked in on a yellow line by four gigantic wheely bins and had to move the said wheely bins across the road and back again before I could leave for work.

In addition to this, I kneed a working guide dog in the face and smacked a fellow commuter around the head with my Pukka Tea bag for life.

My catastrophic cacophony of events began in the shower, when I reached to put my shampoo down, slipped on the gradient of my bath and fell in a flailing force of velocity onto my bathroom floor.

Dusting myself off and a little bit shocked, I got dressed and checked out of my bedroom window for available parking spaces to move my car to from the yellow line on which it was currently residing. There was one right outside my flat.

Next, I re-entered the bathroom to shut the window, missed the part where I needed to put the loo seat down to reach the window lock and put my entire foot in the loo, socks, skinny jeans, the lot.

Cold and soggy, I let out a yelp, threw the offending items in the washing machine – minus the loo – and checked the state of the road again.

Now, last night, when I moved my car, I parked it in the only available space, half in a space and half on a yellow line. This involved backing up very very closely to a rather shiny Lotus Elise. The success of this great plan rested on the hope that nothing got put in front of my car. And so, on my second glance out of the window I discovered four gigantic tubular silver wheely bins, practically resting on my bumper and just 15 minutes to get my car off the yellow line before the traffic wardens turned up. A little bit peeved, I rolled up my sleeves and moved the bins, one by one, heaving and and ho-ing them across to the other side of the street while trying to remain in control of them so I didn't accidentally wheel them into a parked car.

And so my car was free. But I had unintentionally blocked my neighbour's gate, as I discovered when he angrily stormed out of his gate and gesticulated wildly at the bins. And so, I moved them each one by one, all the way back to the other side of the road towards the awfully shiny Lotus Elise, aware by this point that I was now in fact so late for work that it almost warranted a half day.

And that was my morning. In my haste for the bus, a poor guide dog sat in the aisle got my knee in his nose and then an idiot girl who had an empty seat by her but wouldn't stand up to move out the way got clonked on the head by my bag as I shuffled into the seat by the window.

And now? Well, I am sitting as still as possible on this bus, well aware that in my currently run of luck, anything could happen.

This morning it would seem, bad things come in dozens... Bakers' dozens!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Deaf Girl y's Thankful Friday

Today is Thankful Friday and I am thankful that I have a fun weekend ahead of seeing London Aunt and the Singing Swede.

It’s been a week of birthdays, too. It was Big Bro’s, London Aunt’s and Web Whizz’s yesterday and tomorrow, it’ll be Gingerbreadman’s turn to blow out the candles. Hurrah!

I am also thankful that London Cousin 1 has got into her first choice of secondary school – she worked her little socks off for the exams and it’s definitely paid off. It’s strange to think that in September she will be in Year 7. It seems no time ago since I used to help look after her in the early months when London Aunt was still getting used to life with a newborn.

Anyway, I spoke to Big Bro on Skype last night and we were reminiscing about the birthdays we had spent together. On one of his birthdays he had a ski jump cake complete with a Playmobil man hurtling down it, and he also seemed to spend most of his birthdays sick. There was chicken pox, mumps, and various other catching ailments. If I remember correctly, this tended to dictate who was present at his parties. If they’d had it, they could come, if they hadn’t, they couldn’t!

But back to thankfulness… ah yes, where was I?

Well, I am thankful for true love – because without it, I wouldn’t have the three weddings to go to this year that I do.

I booked flights for one of them today – First Ever Friend’s – and I am now feeling super excited about the whole thing.

The first wedding is for Uni Housemate and Cycling Boy. This should be a fabulous affair, and I am making the wedding cake.

Then finally, there’s GBman and the Singing Swede. They’re marrying in July in the far end of the Wild West erm… Country… and I can’t wait.

And while we’re on the theme of love, it’s Valentine’s Day on Monday.


I hope I get a card…

Then I can have a thankful Monday, too!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

From peace and quiet to mayhem

The reason I have been so quiet this week is that I've visiting SuperCathyFragile Mystic in her little cottage in the Wild West erm... Country. The Photographer was there, too.

I had the most wonderful time catching up, shopping, eating drinking and being very merry. On Tuesday we went for a wonderful walk and from the top of the hill overlooking her house, everything was calm and still. And quiet. At least to my ears!

Ah what fabulous memories. Especially as this morning I am sat on the bus with a revolting shouting child who I would quite like to propel out of the window. His father is talking on his mobile completely oblivious to the death stares the entire bus is giving his nose-picking, screeching spawn.

No wonder I didn't want to leave the calmness of SuperCathyFragileMystic's place.

But alas we had to, because Blackberry, the best dog in the world, who we had borrowed for the weekend, had to be delivered back to her rightful owners.

The Photographer and I did this, and enjoyed a marvellous supper with his Rents and then, when it came to dropping him off at the tube on arrival back in London I pointed out a bag in the footwell of my car that I had loaded earlier that day. It was an Asda bag for life and I assumed it was loaded with the wine that's currently cheaper to buy there than a bunch of grapes.

But The Photographer said it wasn't his...

And not only was it not his, but it wasn't mine either. It was SuperCathyFragileMystic's and it was full of wire and leads and TV cables and all the things you seem to have lots of spares of and do eventually need. And this was now 100 miles away from her little cottage in my car.

Naturally this seemed like a very valid excuse for driving all the way back to her place and I almost did. But have you seen the price of petrol recently?!

So this means that instead of waking up in the countryside, I am in London, in the rain, on a bus, in a traffic jam, with a child who is yelling at the top of his voice in a frequency I can actually hear, who is shows no sign of shutting up until his neglectful father gets off his phone and pays him some attention.


I think everyone will agree that perhaps I got out of bed on the wrong side this morning.

Indeed, perhaps I shouldn't have bothered getting out of it at all.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Captioned King Lear

This week shall be renamed Deafinitely Girly’s week of culture I think!

I’ve been very busy seeing and listening to things, and so far, it’s been great fun!

On Monday, I went to see captioned King Lear at Donmar Warehouse with Fab Friend. It was three hours of riveting but exhausting drama, headed up by the formidable yet incredibly endearing Derek Jacobi and included a cast of familiar faces who ceased to be familiar once they stepped into their Shakespearean roles.

Also in attendance was John Major, which added a slightly surreal element to the occasion, and it was noted that during the particularly gory eye-gouging scene, both he and Norma looked away – I know this because I too was looking away, which meant I was looking at them.

Honestly, never before have I cried at Shakespeare, not at Romeo and Juliet, not even when I saw my favourite Shakespeare actor, Kenneth Branagh go slightly mental as Richard III. However, when Jacobi as Lear stepped onto the stage in the final scene, broken at the death of his youngest daughter and the most lucid he’d been throughout his descent into madness, my heart actually broke. Reading the captions to his woe only accentuated the pain Lear was experiencing, and watching the tears fall freely from Jacobi’s face, made it all seem so real.

Embarrassingly, I let out an audible sob, and felt my own fat tears roll down my cheeks.

At the end, both Fab Friend and I admitted to feeling a little bit like we needed a nice cup of tea an a sit down… and just like that, Derek Jacobi was added to my fantasy dinner party list along with Tennessee Williams, Jeremy Clarkson, Jenny Colgan and Katie Fforde.

Then last night, I went to see Junip, a band headed up by Swedish guitar whizz José González. I love José, and this was my third time watching him perform, but first time with his band. He was supported by an emergency act, after the original one didn’t make it and this guy, whose name I have completely forgotten, looked a bit like Linus, sat towering over two of the smallest synthesizer/keyboards I have ever seen. His voice however was rather lovely, sliding about all over melody, with just a drum and two-handed accompaniment. At first SuperCathyFragileMystic and I were baffled by him, and when he murdered a Lenny Kravitz song, we were less than impressed. However his other stuff was lovely.

But this is not the end of my cultured week – in fact, I have two more excursions coming up that I am eagerly awaiting. And in the meantime, I’m just off to peruse Time Out London’s website to see what else I can pack into 2011!