Thursday 27 November 2008

Bootful of woe



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.


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.


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!


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!

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!


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.


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


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...


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.


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.


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.


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.


And then,

‘Pwahtgdfh, adfhkjfghkjh sdjhgkj g!’


*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’


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!


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!


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.


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.


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.


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

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!

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