Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Meme: My first kiss, and other scarring first moments...

Me, sporting some fabulous beads, and my mum, Lyndy, who passed away when I was 25
I was recently tagged by gorgeous mummy blogger and fellow tweeter, poshbird to complete my first ever meme.  Funnily enough, the questions are all about some of the other firsts I have experienced in my life.    

So, like Johnny Ball, I will reveal all...

First Boyfriend

My first boyfriend – if you can call the boy who I exchanged Snoopy Valentine’s Day cards and hung out with at the monkey bars during break time, ‘a boyfriend’ – was called James Hunt.  

James was in my class at primary school, a teeny, weeny school in the teeny weeny village of Frieth.  

The son of a farmer, I recall going to James’ house for a birthday party, where the only entertainment laid on was to ‘pet his ferret’.  

That’s not a euphemism.

First person I kissed?

James and I were little more than friends who swapped novelty rubbers now and again, so the hot stuff only started when I started at secondary school. 

I remember being invited to a girl’s party where we played spin the bottle.  I had to kiss a boy from the neighbouring boy’s grammar school, called Mark.  He had a receding chin (quite a difficult thing to achieve at 13) and wore a cricket jumper.  

I was horrified as he tried to make the kiss more exotic by putting his tongue in my mouth.  I squealed. 

First job?

After graduating from Leeds university with my degree in English Literature and Theatre Studies (I quickly ditched the theatre studies part after my first successful audition was to win a part on a topless stone age darts programme) I returned to my lovely home town of High Wycombe.

The first job I took was at one of those hideous telephone research centres for minimum slave, no sorry, minimum wage, where you call people at home to take part in market research interviews.

I was shown to my booth (also known as ‘a trap’) which contained a telephone, a script, a knackered old computer system and some pornography.  I don't think the pornography was meant to be there but clearly the last trap occupant had had some time to kill between calls.  

Naturally the job was hell (‘Piss off will you love, Countdown’s started’) but my fellow trap occupants were wonderful.  

An enclave for post graduates (not to mention some of the human race's finest broken biscuits who also needed to buy cigarettes and provide their mum’s some rent), it is to date, one of the funniest places I have ever worked.

What did you buy with your first pay packet?

Gosh, something sophisticated like 600 Marlboro lights and a bottle of Pol Remy. 

First album you remember buying?

It was an album by eighties dazzling pop duo, Dollar.  My 11-year old self was utterly smitten with David Van Day.  The toad.

First holiday abroad?

My parents were quite young and rock and roll so we used to pile into a jeep and go camping in the South of France.  I loved it, as being an only child, we used to go with another couple (‘Bryan and Sylvie’) and their three daughters.   

Our parents drank like fish for two weeks whilst we lived like feral children, playing in the dirt and eating sunflower seeds. Holidays like this would end up in the Daily Mail now.

How old were you when you left home?

I never left.  Sadly, my mum passed away when I was 25, so I inherited home.  I also inherited mum’s 170 year old shih tzu, Mr Toad. 

Both Mr Toad and the house were a weight around my neck in my mid twenties but I came to love them both dearly. 

Mr Toad died a few years ago (he’s fertilising a white standard rose in the back garden) but the house is now home to me, my partner Matt, a filmmaker, and our two-year old daughter.  

So now i get to foist my meme baton on to another two bloggers. 

This can be time consuming, especially the remembering part, so no pressure if you don't have the time or the will to take part. However, if you can find time in your child-addled lives, mother.wife.me and Shouty Dad I am sure you will find this an enriching exercise.  But mostly I'd like you to do it so I can have a squiz at your answers.  

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Snowmaggedon – I don’t think snow

I was as ‘snow giddy’ as the next person when nine inches of snow started to settle on south Bucks last Saturday. 

Rushing from window to window, mewing with delight as the white stuff grew from a dusting, to a frosting, to a thick cheese cake layer.  Interrupting our film to watch the latest weather forecast and squealing with delight as twitter updates talked of ‘blocked roads’ and ‘worsening conditions’.   It looked as though The Chilterns was the eye of the perfect snow storm.

Primed for a week long snow-a-thon, when I shivered awake on Sunday, the reality of our snowfall was, well, a bit disappointing.

In sharp contrast to our last two winters, where a full blown ‘snowpocalypse’ caused  school closures, flight cancellations and road chaos, this was more like ‘travel snow’ – small, compact and manageable.  Like a game of ‘Pass the Pigs’; there to entertain you if you wanted it, easily ignored if you didn’t. 

I think the worst incident that happened involved a SMART car ‘falling over’ in High Wycombe. 

A self-confessed Snowzilla, in the build up to this year’s one day snow fest, I did notice a number of snow-induced phenomena amongst myself and my fellow men.

For example, do you recognise any of the following behaviours?   

Stockpiling - one sniff of a snow sprinkle and we’re off to the supermarket to stockpile soup, milk and matches.  You may have just bought your weekly shop but, no, must...fill...shelves...more.   

It even looked as though they were running low on those dodgy cans of ‘Nurishment’ drink in Morrisson’s on Friday.      

Rubbernecking – not content with watching the snow fall on our own patch, curiosity about ‘other people’s snow’ is overwhelming.  On foot, or by car, snow brings with it a need to know what is going on in other parts of your neighbourhood.   A mere rumour of someone ‘putting their 4x4 in a hedge off of Tancred Road’ and we’re there.  With camera phones.

Force-feeding the birds – for many of us, feeding the birds is not our greatest priority in life. We might scrape the bread board of crumbs outside from time to time, or lob the end of an old Battenburg in their direction but that is about it.  However, when the snow arrives, it’s all about hanging as many fat balls from your Forsythia as you can.      

Snow  watching –  when snow falls we suddenly become obsessed with every minutia of snow related information released from the Met Office.  How long is it here for?  When’s it coming back? Is it going to snow at the weekend? Where is it deepest?  How many flakes fell last night? Why is it white? Can I eat it? Tell me, Michael Fish, tell me.

Anti-snowsocial behaviour – according to the Lincolnite, the local Police had to deal with 198 ‘snow related incidents’ at the weekend.  This ranged from piling snow against residents’ doors to throwing snowballs at houses, pedestrians and motorists. 

Yes, with the snow, comes a certain amount of anti-social behaviour.   

However, explaining to my two year old that children hopping about like crazy mud bugs in the street because they are excited is one thing, trying to explain why there is a large snow penis on our neighbour’s car is another.    

Did I miss anything?  What did you think of the snow? 

Do you know what a 'snow penis' is?