Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Fred Meets The Queen! 

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That's "Sir Fred", to you.

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And What Did You Sing at School Today? 

If anyone knows a hymn that sounds like, "Jesus was born a minute ago", I'd love to hear from you!

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Monday, March 28, 2005

An American Blog Gnome in London 

Here's Fred selling Ice Cream to tourists at $25 dollars per cone.

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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Hold the Easter Eggs! Soap and Water Needed. 

Blogsister Tammi, of Road Warrior Survival has been sharing memories of Easter.

I didn't have one that really stood out.

Until today.

We were all sitting round the dinner table. My Mum, Dad, Alex, Tara, Sis, her husband and Gorgeous Baby Nephew. I'd finished, and was spoonfeeding GBN when Tara announced that she had a "joke". I prepared myself for the surrealism that would surely follow, and to fake a smile and a laugh:

Tara: What did the zebra say to the other zebra?

My Dad: I don't know, Darling. What did the zebra say to the other zebra?

Tara: It said..."P**S OFF!"

It wasn't so much the calmly and innocently delivered obscenity, but the look on my Dad's face, before he went red, and started to choke. The rest of the company hadn't heard the "joke" itself, only the punchline, and were explaining that "P**S OFF", is not a nice thing to say, and asking her where she'd heard the expression.

I literally collapsed laughing behind GBN's highchair, sending my sister into fits of giggles as she witnessed me having to crawl into the kitchen, tears and mascara rolling down my face, without Tara seeing me.

No. I'm not gonna forget this Easter in a hurry...

UPDATE: Here's Gorgeous Baby Nephew clearly enjoying the hilarity. I'm behind the chair, and my Sis is blocking the light :-P

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The Aftermath:

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Saturday, March 26, 2005

Chuck's Gnome Arrives in U.K 

I had to smuggle him through Customs, as he doesn't have a passport or visa. Plus, he's armed.

This gives him several things in common with 80% of the population of London. So I guess he'll want to go there to get a cash-in-hand job and/or embark on a life of crime until he saves up enough money to bring all his relatives over.

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Repeat after me, Fred:

I’ve just sent off my provisional driving licence to the DVLA, so I haven’t got one at the moment.

Oh, and he says "Hi" to Nick.

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Friday, March 25, 2005

The Greatest Story Ever Told: A Guest post by Tara 

Yesterday, the Easter Bunny left footprints all over my school, and gave me chocolate!

I brought home all the things I'd made, including my special Easter Story book. My teacher had us copy sentences off the board. It was hard work, but worth it, as my parents were visibly moved to tears when they read it. Daddy even had to leave the room to compose himself at one point. I think it might have been these pages:

Jesus shared dread and wine.

Jesus fried on the Cross.

I drew a beautiful picture of Our Lord rising into Heaven with pins in His hands, too.

What I don't understand, is why, after all this effort, my Mummy said that she wanted me to stay aged four forever!

Do you?

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Thursday, March 24, 2005


After a nasty hour-long battle with my template, my beloved Alex has installed Haloscan comments!

You'd think, that after a long, tough working day, he'd want to put his feet up, relax, and watch the traffic roll in on his blog, but no. The man is a Saint. He's spent most of his day off today sorting other things out.

My links now open in new windows, and you can also chat in the message board top right. (Not real time, so hit refresh to see the next message). I've also got your names coming up if you hover over your blog name. The piece of code which made it impossible to leave a break at the end of a post has also been fixed, to my eternal gratitude.

In the words of an email VW sent me once, somebody deserves a nice meal ;-)

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Unexpected Surprise 

I nearly fell off my chair this morning when I saw my husband's blog linked at I.M.A.O!

Thank you Harvey, sarahk, and Tim, for pointing us to Uncyclopedia in the first place.

If you feel like making stuff up there adding to it, please let me know. I'd love to read it!

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Sunday, March 20, 2005

Throwing Things At Children Improves Literacy 

One of the most popular indoor sports in the Capricious household is the bath time ritual of throwing things at our daughter. Amongst her bath toys are a set of foam alphabet/word/picture interlocking squares. We stand in the doorway while she's in the tub, and take turns to sling them at her. She loves it, and it's about the only thing we can do with her that doesn't result in her bruising. It makes us all giggle like mad.

When all the pieces are in the bath, we leave her to subject them to her Unholy Will. This usually involves matching the letters with the word/picture, sorting by colour, or sometimes, simply chewing them and sticking them to the tiles in an order known only to her. We just let her play.

Today, I was going over the set of sounds she was most secure in, and asking her to write words using s,a,t,i,p and n. She was fine with "pin", "sit", "tin", probably because nouns and verbs are less abstract than other words. When I asked her to write, "at", she looked confused, so I gave it her in a sentence: "We were AT the zoo".

"I know how to write that!", she declared. (It's true! Kids only ever hear the last part of what you say)

Despite the fact that she hasn't covered "z", or the diagraph, "oo", at home or at school, to my utter amazement, she proceeded to write "zoo" perfectly!

"Zoo" is one of the words on the bath time toys.

Now tell me children don't learn best by play...

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Friday, March 18, 2005

Dude, Where's My Post?! 

Let's see if The Blogger Ass Kick Nudge works again...

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Post-St Patrick's Day Fun for the Shamelessly Hungover 

Even Ozzy Osbourne could cope with these games:

Michael Jackson Baby Drop

Whack Michael

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Joke for St Patrick's Day 

One fine day in Ireland, a guy is out golfing and gets up to the 16th hole. He tees up and cranks one. Unfortunately, it goes into the woods on the side of the fairway.

He goes looking for his ball and comes across this little guy with this huge knot on his head, and the golf ball lying right beside him. 'Goodness,' says the golfer, and proceeds to revive the poor little guy.

Upon awaking, the little guy says, 'Well, you caught me fair and square. I am a leprechaun. I will grant you three wishes.'

The man says, 'I can't take anything from you, I'm just glad I didn't hurt you too badly,' and walks away.

Watching the golfer depart, the leprechaun thinks, 'Well, he was a nice enough guy, and he did catch me, so I have to do something for him. I'll give him the three things that I would want. I'll give him unlimited money, a great golf game, and a great sex life.'

Well, a year goes past (as they often do in jokes like this) and the same golfer is out golfing on the same course at the 16th hole. He gets up and hits one into the same woods and goes off looking for his ball. When he finds the ball he sees the same little guy and asks how he is doing.

The leprechaun says, 'I'm fine, and might I ask how your golf game is?'

The golfer says, 'It's great! I hit under par every time.'

The leprechaun says, 'I did that for you. And might I ask how your money is holding out?'

The golfer says, 'Well, now that you mention it, every time I put my hand in my pocket, I pull out a ten pound note.'

The leprechaun smiles and says, 'I did that for you. And might I ask how your sex life is?'

The golfer looks at him a little shyly and says, 'Well, maybe once or twice a week.'

The leprechaun is floored and stammers, 'Once or twice a week?!'

The golfer, a little embarrassed, looks at him and says, 'Well, that's not too bad for a Catholic priest in a small parish.'

Let the drunk blogging commence!

Apologies in advance.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Mars and Venus Scrub the Toilet 

"I don't know who does the bathroom. She must do it, cause I don't"

Response to Bittman and Pixley, 1997

According to Wifework, in a recent large-scale study of household labour, "six husbands claimed the family possessed a twin tub washing machine or clothes dryer that their wives denied any knowledge of".

It gets better:

"one of them even went so far as to claim that these phantom appliances were used mostly by himself!"

It can't have been my man. I've time to read and blog after all!

[Drunk with power that Blogger is working]

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If your Blogger dashboard assures you that your last post has been published, but it's still not up twenty four hours later, is it time to delete and re-write it?

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

People Who Help Us 

I've been reading The Blackboard Jungle for a while. It's a hilarious look at life in the inner-city classroom, and a life I have every sympathy with.

A lot of teaching is acting. Like parenting. In my case, I acted most of the time, because usually, I found the Little Angels quite amusing. As does this lady.

This story had me giggling into my coffee. Here's quote:

Teachers shouldn't be allowed to send our souls to the fires. It's just not right!


Another good "Work" blog is "The Policeman's Blog". The comparisons between U.K and U.S law enforcement are interesting, and informative. But it's the ruthless insight into the British Underclass that I find most entertaining. Here's an exerpt from September regarding economic migrants:

Regular readers will know that I have a soft spot for most of them, and it’s really rewarding to see them over they years acquire English working class customs: big plasma TV, cable, a love of chips and bastard offspring. Just as quickly they learn the patois of the slum, words like “assault”, “my rights” and “I’ve just sent off my provisional driving licence to the DVLA, so I haven’t got one at the moment.”… Eh?

Yes, I’ve been stopping Iraqi males and asking them to produce their documents. In the UK if a police officer wants to see your driving documents you MUST be able to produce them immediately. However, the officer will probably give you a slip of paper (called a “producer”) that you have to present at a police station of your choice within seven days, along with your documents (driving licence, insurance and certificate of road-worthiness for the vehicle), failure to do this is an offence. If you cannot be sure of the identity of the person you have stopped (and they have committed an offence of some kind, like not having their documents with them) you can arrest them under s25 of PACE.

So, what happens with Iraqis? It usually goes something like this:
“What’s your name?”
“Ali Kameer”
“Is this your vehicle?”
“Do you have a driving licence ?”
“I’ve just sent off my provisional driving licence to the DVLA, so I haven’t got one at the moment.”
“Do you have any insurance?”
“I no understand.”
“Can you remember ever having passed a driving test?”
“No understand.”
“Your English appears to have deserted you sir, have one of these.” So I give them a producer, (because they always have their Home Office identity cards with them I cannot arrest them) safe in the knowledge that that I’ll never see them again.

Great stuff.

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Sunday, March 13, 2005

Book Meme: A Guest Post from Tara 

My Daddy was being a Jedi on the other machine, and Mummy was reading. What's the point of having a laptop just sitting there? I decided to see what this "internet" business was all about, logged on, and found out I had a message! Cool! Scrolling down I saw it was from this cutie. And he lives in Florida! Does it get much better than that when you're four years old? I like the internet!

Here goes, Handsome!

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451. Which book do you want to be?

(Wasn't that a film? My Mummy said it was bollocks. Oops! Where's the delete key?) I'd like to be "Sleeping Beauty".

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

The Prince, obviously, but I'm over that now #1 Son.

The last book you bought is?

A book about butterflies. I'm learning all about butterflies in school. (I wonder if I can impress #1 Son with my knowledge of Dinosaurs from last term?)

The last book you read?

Princesses are Not Quitters. From the library.

What are you currently reading?

Well, I'm reading these at school, but my Mummy doesn't like them. Don't get her started on all that.

Five books I would take to a desert island:

SAS Survival Guide

Mummy's precious Ladybird collection.

A Bible. Hey, if I've gone anywhere near those Ladybird books, I'm going to be praying a lot.

My Panini Disney Princess Sticker Album.

Does a laptop count as a book? I don't think I can live without this Internet thingy now.

Who am I going to pass this onto?

My Daddy

I don't kn... WOW! More Eye Candy! I wonder if he has time?

Oh God. Gotta run. Mummy's finished her book and I'm not supposed to touch this.

Night All!

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Saturday, March 12, 2005


I was awoken this morning by my dearly adored husband waving an envelope in my face.

"I'm a bit worried about this", he said.

I'm a total optimist. Whenever the mail comes through the letterbox, there's always a part of me that thinks, "Maybe some Billionaire has sent us a cheque".

This particular letter / envelope was scrawled all over with red crayon, and had my daughter's name and our address on it.


It wasn't until I was fully awake, that I realised The Royal Mail had redirected a letter she'd written to Santa at school. The handwriting on the envelope was her teacher's. It said, "Santa Claus, Lapland."

You'd think the postal service would just bin letters addressed to Santa! They're redirecting them now. The Royal Mail will disavow all knowledge of Father Christmas, at the expense of the taxpayer.

It's the sort of thing Evil Glenn would do. Sending little girl's Christmas letters to Santa back.

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Friday, March 11, 2005

"I'll watch the kids for you, Harvey" 

I see Michael Jackson's pyjamas have knocked the testimony of his accuser right off the front page.


You wait. He'll be blogging next.

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Is that a pencil case in your pocket? 

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for banning pencil cases in Primary schools. In the course of my career, hours of teaching and learning time have been wasted by young children messing, needlessly with their stuff.

Well, girls do. They obsess over it. Boys could have multiple pencils stuck in their eyes, and would still claim that they didn't have anything to write with. That's why I prefer to hand out equipment at the beginning of a lesson, and collect it after. It does tend to prevent the inevitable fights that break out over the real and alleged theft of erasers and such.

But to ban them because they may conceal sharp objects?

I guess pockets, coats, desks and pencils will be next.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I Hate California Nazis 

Last night's DVD was "American History X".

Not, perhaps, the most relaxing of movies to snuggle up in bed to watch with your beloved, but it worked for us.

Plenty of discussion.

We like discussion in this house.

Alex will be sharing our intelligent thoughts on it shortly, but there's one thing I'll mention here:

The "bite the kerb" scene? Even if I had a gun pointed at me, I wouldn't do it. Hey, I'm going to be killed one way or another, so I'll go out straight away, thank you.

Alex knows I'm sensitive to things like this, so I didn't see the kick, or stomp to the guys head, and the resulting image.

Still... I couldn't help wondering all this morning what that would feel like. What, exactly, would that do? Where would your teeth end up? Would your jaw break? In which places? Are paramedics allowed to be kind enough to shoot you with so much morphine on encountering such an injury, that they put you out of your misery?

Hmmm....Time to put on the C.D of "Favourite Things that I stole borrowed from T1G methinks.

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens..."

Which movie moments do you wish you hadn't seen?

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Something for Everyone 

Yesterday I tried to claim that my obsession with Ladybird books wasn't strange because I found someone on the internet who loves them too.

I guess this is Evil Glenn's excuse...

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Monday, March 07, 2005

That's "Collector" to you! 

The best part of my childhood was learning to read, and the books I read growing up. I still have the illustrations to nursery rhyme books I had as a toddler in my head. Sadly, un-googleable, but there you go.

However, due to the fact that Ladybird books dominated the UK in the Seventies, I can access a whole lot of memories online.

I learned to read using their "look and say", method. It worked for me. I'm using a synthetic phonics method with my daughter, and that's working for her. But even the sight of the covers of the "Peter and Jane" books thrill me. Peter and Jane were the best friends an English child could have.

Whenever I was in town with my mother, she'd buy me one of these books. Fairy tales, mostly. They were cheap, yes, but the artwork...

I started collecting Ladybird books from my childhood when I first became a teacher.
School inspectors frown on having books in the library that are more than ten years old so, rather than throw them out, I'd take them home.

My husband thought I was mad for keeping them. We've way more books than we have space for as it is.

Recently, we discovered a couple of out of the way old bookshops. Where the books are piled all over in dusty heaps, and they'll buy the books you bought in regular bookshops from you. We took about £30 worth of nearly new books to sell and...

Lo and Behold! A little plastic basket full of old Ladybird books! At least 70 of them!

Only £1 each!

After showing this basket to my husband and declaring that I was not crazy, wanting these things, he let me buy a couple.

I'm not sure that, "See! I'm not the only person to love this" is applicable, on the internet, but that's my excuse.

I have found my

Scroll down to the "Cinderella" post. Where he says, "It's the dresses that most people remember". He doesn't know it, but he's talking about me.

In the books for sale section, that Cinderella is number one.

I covet a copy of "Snow White and Rose Red", since I'm now limiting my collection to the girly princess books of the series.
I have Rapunzel, Goldilocks etc... It's the only one missing.

Which books are memorable to you?

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Hold the Front Page! 

Those disreputable British tabloids have tried to blacken the good name of our beloved Sir Peter Maxwell!


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Photoshop Fun 


Maybe Ogre'll do "Llama baby"!

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Chair-dancing at it's best. 

There's a new Star Wars Kid on the block.


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Friday, March 04, 2005


Thanks to VW, I've been spending all day trying to fool my right foot.

Now here's one for my male readers:

Take The Concentration Test for Men.

Via The Englishman. And not remotely worksafe.

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Evil Glenn's Rehab: A Filthy Lie 

The small hospital room was filled with cigarette smoke. The group sat, horrified, as Evil Glenn came to the end of his long, sad, story:

Evil Glenn: I've hit rock bottom. I'm drinking twenty pints a night, and I know I need help.

Group Leader; Uh, Mr Reynolds? I'm not sure we can help. You see, the purpose of this meeting is to discuss giving blood...

Evil Glenn: Aw crap!

He stalked out, stopping only to steal some fresh AB negative and pour it into his new Pimp Cup.

Things weren't going well for Evil Glenn. In a rare act of charity, he'd opened a private sanatorium for the criminally insane; Lawyers who work for free. And not one of the poor souls had been rehabilitated to the point of working on the Jackson case.

Evil Glenn needed some cheer. So he called me up:

Evil Glenn: How're your Dead Pool results going?

Me: Well I'm not very happy about you opening a drug rehab clinic in Thailand! Pete Doherty wasn't on my list this year, as you well know.

Evil Glenn: As his doctor, I felt he'd made enough progress to spend some time in Bangkok..

Me: Where, of course, he wouldn't be able to get his hands on any drugs. No, not a one.

Evil Glenn:...before flying back to London. Incidentally, did he use a plane, or just fly home himself?

Me: Very funny.

Evil Glenn: I heard Kate Moss dumped him. Pity. A couple of weeks on her diet would've finished him off for good. Mwuhahahaha!

Me: You're such a comedian.

Evil Glenn: That's "counselor" to you!


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Thursday, March 03, 2005

"Creatures Crawl in Search of Blood"... 

...to terrorise Michael's neighbourhood.

What do you think of the trial reconstructions? They're shown twice per day here. Observations so far:

1) The MJ lookalike? Always worth a laugh. Especially in "glaring at Martin Bashir" mode.

2) The actors playing the lawyers. Aren't they having a great time? They're enjoying themselves immensely, and it shows. I don't know about how happy the defense attorney is, though. He must have to be in "hair" at about 3am...

3) The lady journalist presenting this programme is hilarious! I so wish you could hear her saying, in a terribly proper English accent, that the defendant's mother would be portrayed as, a "crack, whore" My husband and I collapsed in giggles hearing this delivery. The phrase isn't common here by all means, although, "your Mum's a slapper" certainly is. For some reason, we spent the next hour falling about laughing over variations of this.

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