Sunday, 24 March 2013

Small People V Sleep

 'When are you getting a baby?' my 6 year old niece asked recently. (I suspect she may be in training to be a nosey b@$t@rd…) But she's a little young to hear about the horrors of pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing, so I used a trusty 'I don’t know' in response. If it was as easy as getting a baby, from the shop, like you would a pint of milk or a nice new handbag, I might consider it, but I know too much. FAR too much. Thank you friends, family and far-too-intimate TV for sharing.
Don’t get me wrong. It's not that I don’t like small and miniature people, they can be great fun altogether when you know you can hand them back to their sleep-deprived parents at the end of the afternoon and skip off to the pub.
Therein lies the rub. I like children, but I like some other things more. These things include, but are not exclusive to, sleep, the occasional 5 minutes of quiet and TV that does not feature Barbie and/or Barney and/or 'bonkers' presenters (you know them - the 'I'm mad me!' types). And there are other things I do not need to experience directly to know I would not like one little bit. These things include, but are not exclusive to, cracked nipples, tearing (down there!) and projectile vomiting.   
'But it's all worth it!' they tell me, at the end of another story about getting covered in poo, with a smile that doesn't extend to their hollow, exhausted eyes. I'm not really sure if it's me they're trying to convince or themselves.
I know I risk sounding like a self-centred cow, but rest assured it's not purely selfish reasons that keep me from boarding the broody express; I am also thinking of the children. ('Will no-one think of the children?!' I cry…) Sleep deprivation and copious amounts of hormones would not a loving, nurturing ginger make.
Me + hormones - sleep = THIS.
 A womb, an egg and a few good swimmers may be all it takes to make a baby*, but it takes a hell of a lot more to make a mother (as the girls on 16 and pregnant so ably demonstrate).

*According to some of the nuns at my old school simply sitting on a boys lap is enough to get you 'in the family way'. Unless, of course, you place a telephone directory on said boy's lap first; if, for instance, you have to sit on his lap for a play or suchlike. Sound contraceptive advice from the Catholic Church there. And there are more pearls of wisdom where that came from... Ladies please take note - this is important - you should exercise extreme caution when wearing patent shoes with a skirt. Boys can and will see your knickers in the shine. You have been warned.
Sage advice AND stylish head wear. Is there no end to their talents?

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Milk, Milk, Lemonade...

 I was watching Father Ted recently (I'm Irish, so I have to watch it at least once a week. It's the law.) and as Pat Mustard was putting his enormous tool in Mrs Doyle's box, it made me wonder - what are all the milkmen doing now?
Popular myth would have us believe that they used to shag all round the neighbourhood, so now that having milk delivered is largely a thing of the past they must be gagging for it. Have they transitioned into the adult film industry maybe?
When I was growing up not only did we have a milkman (yes, he was ginger, but my family preferred the 'you came from the knackers' story) we also had D'egg Woman. She was so named, bless her, for her fine dis-dat-dese-and-dose Cork accent and she provided us many happy moments of amusement, as well as d'eggs, when she regularly exclaimed 'Jesus, Mary, Joseph and de dunkey!'
We had a seafood guy too, but we kept our distance - there was something fishy about him. BA-BOOM, TISH! Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week, try the horse…
Speaking of meat and entertainment, my Nana used visit Billy Farrell, her local butcher, practically every day. I'm not saying she stalked him, but she definitely had strong feelings for Billy and I'm not sure if it was his meat or his witty repartee she was more interested in. That came out all wrong. Oh god... Nanas and innuendo should not mix. Moving swiftly on…
Nowadays it seems local fresh produce (and its associated friendly producer) is confined to Farmer's Markets, which carry a much higher than average risk of rubbing shoulders with Barbour-clad types called Crispin and Tarquin, because they 'simply have to try the olives!', or dreadlocked tree-huggers in search of all-natural fair-trade organic wheat germ soap infused with the essence of bee tears.
Not only have the big bad supermarkets been killing ponies, they've wiped out our local shopkeepers and delivery folk. Damn you Tesco /Sainsburys /Waitrose /Asda / Dunnes/ Super Valu/ Aldi /Lidl /Morrisons /Farmfoods /Iceland <Delete according to income level / likelihood of appearance on Jeremy Kyle> Damn you to hell!

In other milk-based ponderings, I remembered a popular little ditty from my childhood:
Milk, Milk *point to boobs*
Lemonade *point to front 'area' *
Round the corner *point to back 'area' *
Chocolate's made!

I think I'd better leave it there.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

I'm blind!

No, you mucky pups, not because of that (and it doesn't actually make you go blind, or there would be FAR more guide dogs around). I've been blinded by science. Or so the marketeers would like to believe. (Marketeers; like musketeers, but their weapon of choice is not the mighty sword, but magnificent swathes of bullshite).
I give you - bifidus actiregularis. Seriously?! 'Ooooh!' we all exclaim, 'that yogurt will have my bifidus digestivum all regularis in no time…' Or not. Because it is made up.
The beauty industry is even better. Our dedication to harnessing the secret weapon of the bold and the beautiful ('luminosity') knows no bounds, and the spin goes right down to the list of ingredients. The main ingredient in most shampoos, moisturisers, lotions and potions is 'aqua'. Also known as 'water'. They even highlight their bastardisation of chemistry in ads, with their oh-so-patronising 'here comes the science bit... Concentrate!' Makes me want to concentrate the attentions of my foot on their posteriors.
Doesn't stop me buying said lotions and potions of course, as my hundreds of Boots advantage card points will attest. I am a slave to product (I need all the help I can get to look vaguely presentable). But I do get tired of the tomfoolery.
I like a bit of honesty or, better still, a smidgen of humour. The marketing minds at Soap & Glory do a good job of sticking a tongue in the rouged cheek of the beauty industry and gently sticking two fingers up at ridiculous litigation gone mad, from their product titles ('Glow Job' …titter) to their disclaimers ('Soap & Glory formula's are not tested on animals, only very picky people.’) On 'The Breakfast Scrub' they proclaim; ‘We are legally obliged to tell you that THIS IS NOT FOOD.’
Let's face it; the beauty bods don't really need to try very hard to peddle their wares. There is a lot of competition, but they have a vast army of devotees, ready and willing, credit cards aloft, to buy and try the next 'amazing' 'miracle' solution to all their problems. For some, sadly, looking good is all that matters and there are no limits. Prime example: Botox. People are injecting poison into their faces. Actual, honest-to-god, poison. And to what end? A fixed expression, ever ready if a surprise party should be thrown at them, but sadly unable to show any other emotion; positive or negative. You might was well just hang a 'vacant' sign around your neck.
Because you're worth it.
Just look at those luscious locks...

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Curiosity may kill this Cat

Some people never tire of prying into your private life. I refer to them as 'nosy b@stards'. Not a blindingly original title, but fit-for-purpose. Don't get me wrong. I am fairly liberal with relatively intimate details with those close to me (sometimes a little too liberal after a refreshing beverage or two) but this particular brand of individual generally has no business making your business their business, if you get my drift. The Aunt you see once a year and don’t particularly like; that individual at work with too much time on their hands (who often inspires the question 'what do they actually do…?’); the friend of a friend, of a friend, of a friend whose name you've forgotten. Them.
When you're single they're obsessed with you 'meeting someone special', and specialise in patronising pseudo-excited grins and reassurances you neither need nor want. I think we should start issuing medals / small trophies to honour unattached comrades who refrain from punching these types in the tit (stereotyping, I know, but this behaviour does tend towards the female of the species). No, violence is not the answer, but 'Feck off you interfering old <insert expletive of choice>' is a possibility. Best to nip them in the bud because I have bad news for you single people; It does not stop when you meet someone you're willing to share the remote, deserts and your naked self with. They are never satisfied.
They simply move on, scarcely pausing to draw breath, to 'when are you getting engaged…?' (I was going out with my now husband three months when the questions started. Three months!) And if you do decide to enter the circus-world of insanity that is The Wedding, you open yourself up to some of the dullest conversations known to man. Flautists, flowers and favours my arse. These snoopy types are, of course, in their element. And will expect an invite. (Stand firm! Do not give in!) Then, before you've even cut the ridiculously overpriced cake*, the next line of questioning begins.
'Any news…?' They ask expectantly, dancing around the subject with all the subtlety of a baby elephant, staring at your belly, trying to decide if it's full of baby or biscuits.
It's biscuits, I assure you. Now feck off.

*Ridiculously overpriced, unless you have a talented mother like mine, who made our cake and my dress. 
She rocks.