Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Dw'in mynd i Abertawe!! [Apologies for the spelling guys!!]

It's half term - hurrah!! And I'm off on a jolly - hurrah! To Wales - hurrah! And I thought I'd leave you with a little about it/my jolly .... to read whilst I'm gone!!

So I'm Welsh - a dragon? Ask my husband!

Welsh flag

I'm Swansea, born and bred and have been know to drink the "mile" occaisionally - would I have the stamina now? ...... probably!

The Mumbles mile from the air

Whilst in Wales, I shall be going to the beach - my favourites are Three Cliffs

Three Cliffs Bay, Gower

and of course Llangenith!

The beach at Llangennith

And I shall try to walk the worm if I have time!

Worm's Head from above Llangennith

More than anything - I shall relax, talk to my sister-in-law, play with my nephews, see friends and trade insults with my brother - who said family life wasn't fun!! Or as the WTB says "There's Wales for you!" See you all soon - Jo xx

Monday, May 30, 2005

The Genesis Code - finished!

The Genesis Code

And now a "Jo-esque" review of it! Liked it. It was good. [Started it yesterday at 2.40pm ..... finished it this morning! Couldn't put it down. I can now give my time over properly to Scaredy Cat by Mark Billingham.] If you liked The Da Vinci Code - you'll probably like this but it's less complicated! The plot was easier to follow .... probably why I could finish it so quickly! Right ...... where's my book?

Sunday, May 29, 2005

5 things I hate to eat!

If you want to invite me to dinner - I'd love to come!! I'm very social (get your minds out of the gutter!) and I have good nay, excellent table manners - mainly beaten into me verbally by my grandfather!! But I can't / won't eat the following -

  1. Tripe - yes, I have tried it, yes it is foul!! I like kidneys, heart, liver & even Riz-de-Veau (Simon is already heaving - but if you want a recipe I have a really good one) but I just can't eat tripe!! [I know I am offending 100s of 1000s of people with this statement - tough titties!!]
  2. Lychees - I think that if I was to peel "any bloke's bollocks" this is what I would find!!
  3. Marzipan - don't know why myself!! Especially as I love almonds & Bakewell tart (as a noun not an instruction!!)
  4. Kumquats - *boke* *hurl* :o(
  5. Aniseed - more a drinking thing - Pastis, the life blood of the French aperitif circuit - bleugh!! [Mum and Simon like Ricard]

If I have invited you to dinner / am thinking of inviting you (just assume I am, I did say I was very social) .... what won't/don't you eat?

The book group

Tagged by Katya - here goes!!

Total number of books owned - I have no idea, hundreds, ... spread throughout England, Wales and France. I hate to give books away - not even to 2nd hand / charity shops - unless I really hate them. I read constantly (my mother has been known to take the ketchup bottle away from me in a greasy spoon), re-read favourites (see 5 books that mean a lot to you), buy books every week - come to think of it I spend too much money on books! At Ottakar's the guys know me by my first name!! And don't get me started on Waterstones/Borders - a coffee shop and comfy armchairs in a book shop, fabulous marketing darling!!

The last book I bought - well I went for a contact lens fitting today (Simon says I look so different, younger! Yes ladies & gentleman ... Specsavers for your fountain of youth!) and Specsavers is just across from Ottakar's. So ...... today I bought a couple (7!!) of books - there was a 3 for 2 deal going on in there!! I bought (in no particular order)

I'll let you know what I thought of them when I'm done!!

The last book I read - Seeing as I am currently mid read(s), the last book I read and finished would have to be Love Rules by Freya North. Her books aren't "brain surgery" or "crap chick fodder" - there's usually lots of humour as well as a believable plot. I didn't enjoy Love Rules as much as the previous ones .... but I think I'll take it on holiday in July and give it another chance - maybe sun, sea and relaxation will make a difference :o)

Five books that mean a lot to me - wow! Only 5? [Beginning to sound like a broken record!!] Ok ...*thinking*

  • The Eight - Katherine Neville, the complexity of this storyline is mind blowing. I don't know how the author managed to keep it all straight in her head and how she weaved wove it all together. If you have a space in your reading schedule - I would highly recommend it! *brief synopsis* - chess, Algeria, clues, nuns, Napoleon, Charlemagne and his chess set, sex, falcons, oil/OPEC, French Revolution - wow!!
  • The Belgariad - David Eddings; you're going to see a "fantasy" thread appearing, since I was a child. The Belgariad is yet another "edge of seat" set of 5 books - dragons, wizards, kings, secrets and "the will and the word"! [SPOILER WARNING - don't follow link if you don't want to know what happens!!]
  • Tales of the City - Armistead Maupin, Mary Ann's life in Barbary Lane.
  • Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt, cried, laughed, cried some more. Even enjoyed the film - I don't normally watch films if I've enjoyed books (e.g. anything by Colleen McCullough, The Flame Trees of Thika, The Bone Collector)
  • The Sun Bird - Wilbur Smith, actually anything by Wilbur Smith is on my list it's just that the Sun Bird is so gripping. Reincarnation, in the African desert!!

Two major books when I was a kid that I kept on me all the time - when I was 7 or 8 my parents changed the light bulb in my bedroom to a red one!! From the outside our house looked like a seedy brothel but it stopped me reading until 1am. I still love children's literature and am lucky enough to still be allowed to read it everyday - and get paid for it!! So ... 2 books would have to be -

Five people I want to tag - so many people will have already done this, so I will instead say ... if you want it, it's yours!! I am only sorry this man (see below) doesn't have a blog - because he can read for Wales & France!!

Ready lads I'm going in

Saturday, May 28, 2005

From my mouth to god's ear? No! Surely not?

Ok the whole "It's Friday I'm melting" wasn't really a rant - just an observation on life! So I wake this morning to grey skies and howling wind (and I haven't even got to Simon's rear end yet!!) If you're listening oh great "weather monkey in the sky" - you can bring the sun back - I was only joshing with you!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Friday .... and I'm melting!

I couldn't have posted today it's too bloody hot!! Don't get me wrong I love warm sunny weather but today was horrendous. My candles in the garden melted, I saw too much sunburn in the supermarket - caught out with no protection, there are people everywhere wearing clothes they so should not be wearing!

And tonight the BBC News / Weather reports - "temperatures in London today were the hottest since August 16th 2003!"

I remember that Summer - I spent nearly 6 weeks in France where my parents live. They live on a "causse" - a limestone ridge/plateau between the Lot and Dordogne valleys. Whilst I was there, we experienced Autumn in June/July/August - not because it was cold but because there was no rain for weeks! The leaves turned golden and dropped just like in Autumn.

As we usually do, Simon and I went out for lunch on my birthday (middle of August), we followed the river Lot from Cahors west and stopped for lunch at Villeneuve sur Lot. We sat beside the river to eat crêpes et drink cool Normandy cidre - it would have been idllyic excpet it was 48 °C degrees in the shade! The waitress gave us bottle after bottle of chilled water and as we drank it, it popped straight out of our skin again!

The whole of France/Europe was affected. Hundreds of old people died in Paris, and they had to use refrigeration lorries to store the bodies as the morgues were full! There were terrible forest fires through France, Spain and Italy. In the UK, August began cloudy with rain and drizzle, but by the 3rd, temperatures were on the rise bringing prolonged sunshine to most areas. Temperatures topped 30°C somewhere in the UK for 10 days in a row from the 4th. Brogdale, near Faversham, Kent reached 38.5°C (101.3°F) on the 10th - a new UK highest temperature record!

I think I'll go to Iceland this year just in case! :o)

Thursday, May 26, 2005


Passed the "drum stick" by Katya - A musical meme (I'm not going into the whole French spelling thing again!)

Total volume of music on my computer: 667mb, is that a lot? I don't think so. It's alphabetical from Abba & Atomic Kitten to Wynona & ZZ Top through Reba, Counting Crows, Lynyrd Skynard, Nirvana, Tom Petty, Barenaked Ladies, The Pogues, Catatonia, Scissor Sisters, Hot House Flowers, Madonna etc.

The last CD I bought was: Hayseed Dixie's Kiss My Grass - A Hillbilly Tribute To Kiss

Song playing right now: Trisha Yearwood "She's in love with the boy!" I'm having a "country" afternoon!

Five songs I listen to a lot or that mean a lot to me:

Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynard) - first song Simon and I danced to in person. Millenium Eve, the living room of his flat in the Isle of Man. Danced/floated (I remember there being Champagne cocktails involved) round the living room as we watched the fireworks over Douglas Bay! Magical!

This will be, an Everlasting love (Natalie Cole) - played at our wedding as we signed the register. The first lines are beautiful and she has such an amazing voice and I know she's a huge star but people still think of her as Nat King Cole's daughter and she is amazing in her own right!

Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves (Cher) - I think it's a bit of a C&W thing happening, eventhough it isn't really, but there's a whole story in the words and I do like a song with clever words/ a story! 1973 I think - year my brother was born!

Relax (Frankie goes to Hollywood) - the summer I went out with my first boyfriend and this song was causing such a "row" in the UK, banned by the BBC and everywhere were people wearing Frankie says "Relax!" t-shirts! And I thought I was so cool, the bees knees ... because we knew what our t-shirts were saying. A generation thing!

Summer of '69 (Bryan Adams) - wow! All the best things happened in the Summer of '69!

I didn't want to stop at 5, there were loads more ..... growing up I had parents who loved music and encouraged us to listen to anything we wanted to! (Ok, Mum much more than Dad!!) So if I had more space I'd add - Show me the way to Amarillo (wouldn't let my brother sing it when he was little I Said "it's my song!) I'm the son of Hickory Holler's Tramp, Ode to Billy Joe, Coward of the County (I love C&W because we listened to loads of that around Dad!!) Don't go (and anything by Hot House Flowers) Life in the fast lane & Take it easy (clever words again, love the Eagles & Don Henley solo.) Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell 1st and then the Counting Crows) The Number of the Beast (don't know why I like Iron Maiden.) You can't hurry love (Phil Collins). Let the river run (Carly Simon) - such a mixed bag, no rhyme nor reason!! I'm stopping now - you all now think I'm really odd and in need of medical help and things will only get worse if I continue!! At least this stopped me singing "Ice, ice baby!"

*singing* Son Of Hickory Holler's Tramp
Well the corn was dry the weeds were high when daddy took to drinking
Then him and Lucy Walker they took up and they ran away
Mama cried a tear and then she promised fourteen children
I swear you'll never see a hungry day
Chorus - Oh the path was deep and wide from footsteps leading to our cabin
Above the door there burned a scarlet lamp
And late at night a hand would knock and there would stand a stranger
Yes I'm the son of Hickory Holler's tramp
When mama sacrificed her pride the neighbors started talkin'
But I was much too young to understand the things they said
Well the things that mattered most of all was mama's chicken dumplings
And the goodnight kiss before we went to bed
When daddy left then destitution came upon our family
Not one neighbor volunteered to lend us a helping hand
So just let them gossip all they want she loved us and she raised us
The proof is standing here in this full grown man
Last summer mama passed away and left the ones who loved her
Each and every one is more than grateful for their birth
Each Sunday she receives a big bouquet of fourteen roses
And the card that reads the greatest mom on earth

Snack time! Or, how to drink a cup of tea through a penguin!

All of you who are now reading this post because you think it might contain some pervy "bestiality bits" (drinking a cup of tea through a penguin) turn away now, I mean a

biscuit and not a penguin

So, now the perverts have left (yeh right!) and only the seriously sweet-toothed remain, if you have 5 minutes and fancy a "tasty treat" try this "how to!"

  1. Prepare your hot beverage of choice. (Mine - white tea, 1 sugar)
  2. Nibble the chocolate layer off the top (short end of the rectangle) of your penguin biscuit. Repeat for the bottom of your biscuit!
  3. Place the bottom of said penguin in your hot beverage of choice and top in your mouth.
  4. Suck!
  5. Harder!
  6. Eventually (..... unfortunately I cannot give a timescale as it depends on the individuals ability to "start motor bikes" .... just call me Fifi) the hot beverage of choice will travel up through your biscuit and arrive tasting slightly of chocolate in your mouth!
  7. The best bit - the finalé - by the end of your cup/mug of hot beverage the biscuit is molten inside and dissolves on your tongue into a gooey mess of chocolate, biscuit and chocolate cream filling!
  8. Go on! Go on! Go on!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Another 100 things about me! Shit this is hard A work in progress :o)

Katya and AEWIAML managed another 100 it's become a challenge of a sort!! I may be a while with this! Shit - it's Katya's 3rd 100 ..... I'm struggling on #12 of this [and am updating weeks later and now REALLY struggling at #25]!! Might have to print off the previous 100 so I don't repeat myself!!

  1. I have a double-jointed thumb!
  2. I like to crack my knuckles - other people don't like hate this!!
  3. My brother, dad and one of my nephews have webbed toes - taking after the Atlantean branch fin of the family.
  4. My brother and I, like my dad have an abnormally large skull - this ruined my "adoption" fantasies as a teenager!
  5. My favourite colour is lilac.
  6. I like myself in lilac, I look awful in anything yellow/orange/citrus!!
  7. I'm from Wales, but I've never been to North Wales.
  8. I have been as far north as Machynlleth (pron. Ma-ch-un-thl-eth ... ch in Welsh is not a like a choo-choo train but more of a "I have catarrh and need to clear my throat ch) and it rained!
  9. Oh hang on and we went to the village where they filmed the Prisoner - which is more like Italy than Wales but it rained there too!
  10. My favourite icecream flavour is chocolate, but it has to be good icecream - not the stuff that the supermarkets excpect us to give to kids!
  11. I had my first real boyfriend at 14/15.
  12. I was totally in love with him.
  13. I went to the cinema with him to watch Purple Rain.
  14. The cinema had double seats perfect for a cwtch (you'd have to be Welsh!) - fab!
  15. I still regret the end of the relationship!
  16. He was 6 months older than me and 12 months after we finished he had a son! With Lisa! I was still a virgin at that time!!!!! Said "baby" is 20 this year!! He is on Friends Reunited and says he is married to a woman 12 yrs older than him! (Not Lisa .... the mother of his son!)
  17. I am married to Simon - 12 yrs older than me. Bizarre!
  18. I have been to Asia, Africa, North America and Europe.
  19. I have no interest in South America - did you see Lenny Henry in the Amazon with the spiders?
  20. Actually that reminds me .... my favourite boardgame is Cluedo!
  21. I will go to Australasia one day, but probably NZ not Oz!
  22. I would like to live in South Africa!
  23. I have been to Zimbabwe, Zambia, SA, Namibia and Botswana in Southern Africa.
  24. I don't have a favourite out of the above!
  25. I entered Namibia illegally, at night, across country, on a "game drive" with lads we met at a bar in South Africa!! We we're moving north from Bokspits to Ghanzi via Kang and crossed over whilst following "pumbas" near Ghanzi ..... sand everywhere!
  26. I found out the hard way that Victoria Falls is it's very own wet t-shirt competition!!
  27. I have travelled 3rd class on Southern African railways and it is worse than it sounds!
  28. I have 9 "O" levels and just the one "A" level.
  29. I "discovered" men during upper 6th year in school! [Can you tell?]
  30. I own 4 original pieces of art - I didn't pay for any of them!
  31. I became a vegetarian after being parked next to a lorry full of calves on a cross channel ferry to France.
  32. I was a vegetarian for 5 years.
  33. I stopped being a vegetarian after a heavy night at the "Mayfair" in Swansea - we went home via "Steak by Night!"
  34. I don't read horoscopes.
  35. I listen to Xavier Mousepractice's horoscopes on TW's Radio 2 breakfast show religiously each week.
  36. I buy a lottery ticket each week.
  37. I am in a lottery syndicate in work.
  38. I use the same numbers on both tickets (5 8 14 18 30 43) - so if we win in work I'll get more than the others!
  39. I love spicy food.
  40. When we first met Simon and I played "chicken" with pickled chillies!
  41. I like my peanut butter crunchy.
  42. I like seedless jam (i.e. bramble jelly!)
  43. I like shredless marmalade.
  44. I collect choptsticks - I have 28 pairs. Including Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, wooden, porcelain, metal, enamel etc
  45. If I eat in an oriental restaurant I cannot bring myself to use a fork!
  46. I love to travel (flying, trains etc) alone. I find it very liberating and wonderful not to have the responsibility for someone else!
  47. My most often travelled plane route is London Stanstead to Rodez.
  48. Whilst living in France I worked in a tourist office. [I apologise for the dodgy tune - nothing to do with me!!]
  49. When people came in and asked did I speak English I would say [use heavy Allo Allo-esque French accent to read this] "Yes, I speek a leetle Eengleesh! 'Ow can I 'elp you? Ees there somethink you woould like to see nearrrrby?"
  50. I had to keep this up for 48 hours after meeting a lad from Burton-upon-Trent and agreeing to go out for a drink with him!!
  51. If I have a job to do and the deadline for return is 2 weeks Monday - don't expect to get things given to you until 2 weeks Monday!
  52. I will have been awake since 3am on that Monday to get the work to you!!
  53. As a child I had 50p pocket money a week from my Nana.

Do you get the idea I am struggling with this?

**STOP PRESS/INTERNET/WHOEVER** Katya's done another 100 and another - that's number 4 and 5 - my gast is officially flabbered! *wanders away whimpering whilst still singing "ice, ice baby"*

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Sniff, sniff, sneeze!

I dot a dold in my dose! And even doe it's only 4.30 its woken me up and I dan't breeve properly! I deed somefink to dake to make me feel better or a jet wash to swill out my dostrils .... Acchhoo!

I fink I'm just going to drink honey and hot lemon, dake drugs and go back to the pit to die! Goodbye druel world! *Normal service will resume when I stop feeling sorry for myself*

Better now - I love Lemsip ..... and as is always the case with kids "SHOW NO WEAKNESS!" - Thanks! xx

Monday, May 23, 2005

A movie meme/mémé/même/mèmè (sp?)!

How is it spelt? Who cares ..... a bloke in France once asked if I came from Avignon or Marseille ... I'm Welsh and for a change off the subject!! Passed to me by the wonderfully entertaining and now gorgeously purple [my favourite colour] Fi - a movie meme/mémé/même/mèmè etc!

Total number of movies I own on DVD/video: sheesh ...... I would say 50, have loads of old ones on video.

Last movie I bought: National Treasure - Nicolas Cage, very enjoyable in a "Indiana Jones" kind of way - see below!

Last movie I watched: Ella Enchanted, borrowed from a friend's daughter, quite funny in a "Princess Bride" kind of way - wouldn't buy it but I liked the music.

Five movies that mean a lot to me (in no particular order): Only 5? That's hard!

The Shawshank Redemption - oh wow! I don't know quite what to say? I think this is probably my favourite film, my desert island discs film, I don't particularly like Tim Robbins, I love Morgan Freeman - it's just that this film is mind-blowing! I cry when the institutionalized ex-convict hangs himself, I cry when Andy is raped, I cry when they meet on the beach - fantastic!


Anything with an "Indiana Jones &/or Harrison Ford" feel - e.g. Raiders of the Ark, I.J. and the last Crusade, Patriot Games, Star Wars (IV, V or VI) etc etc


Sliding doors - huge fan of John Hannah, not a big fan of Gwyneth - but this is a "on the edge of my seat film!" A "what might have been" movie! What if I hadn't ............ makes me shiver!


Dirty Dancing - first film I saw with a boyfriend! We tried out the whole Dirty Dancing thing it was fab! Shit I just realised this wasn't the first film I went to see with a boyfriend - I went to see Purple Rain with my first boyfriend. Dirty Dancing was the first film I went to see with a boyfriend who I .... never mind my mother might read this!


Seven Brides for Seven Brothers - love(d) it, favourite film when I was a kid growing up. My brother loves it [one of my nephews is called Caleb after one of the characters] .... and you thought the British army was full of big, burly, butch men - nah [you should here a whole bar full of them singing Kenny Rogers' "coward of the county."] I can sing all the songs and generally have this thing for older musicals going on. If I was allowed more than 5 I would add - Fiddler on the roof, Calamity Jane, Oklahoma (mind the new stage version with Hugh Jackman - ding dong!!), Kiss me Kate, Blue Hawaii, Singin' in the Rain, Gigi, Easter Parade etc, etc, etc


Tag three people: oh no, they've all done it - if you want to have a go .... help yourself, I did this for me!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Pinched/nicked/stolen of course!

My uncle: I dont have any - both of my parents are only children but I have plent of honoraries, so ...... My uncle: Dil has a wonderful garden and always smells like vanilla pipe tobacco!!
Never in my life: have I shoplifted, ok I know - nothing to be proud of but there was a list of things that I thought "normal people haven't done" in my head and I suddenly realised I'd done lots of them - you probably don't need to hear anymore it being Sunday and I all, but just as a teaser ............ when I spoke to Frank Zapper in Kev's bathroom I/the drugs really did think he was there and coming soon ..... "The day I accidently nearly hung myself on my house key!"
When I was five: I was probably already too gobby for life and remember being made to sit in the library corner for "ages" because I'd chosen to go there without asking permission from the class teacher! Probably partly the reason that I am the teacher I am today & one of the reasons that the closest my class ever get to a threat of punishment - is "Stop! Or I'll paint you yellow and hang you in a tree like a banana!"
High School was: over in 1987 and a long distant memory, except for 6 form when they "nicked" our geography teacher's Skoda and parked it in the middle of the lawn ..... well who drove a Skoda then?
I will never forget: walking downstairs and turning the television on to hear that Diana had died in Paris. My mum always said she remembered exactly what she was doing and where she was when she heard that JFK had been shot and I didn't understand that until then! I remember being so upset I couldn't speak to tell them (my parents) what was wrong on the TV.
I once met: Michael Barrymore outside the theatre in Bristol - tosser!
There's this girl I know who: is lovely, but needs to remember we like her for who she is - she doesn't need to be someone else!!
Once, at a bar: I won a "best lips to kiss competition" - the heats were fun & fiercly fought!!
By noon I'm usually: enjoying an hour away from teaching!
Last night: I stayed at Simone and Steve's and shared a curry/bottle with 'Mone as steve is away in Manchester and that's what friends are for!
If I only had: left school at 16 and trained as a chef instead of doing "A" levels!
Next time I go to church: will be when someone else is baptised/married/buried!
What worries me most: "twats with too much power, writing cheques their ego/intellects can't cash" ...... are you listening George/Tony?
When I turn my head left, I see: the window, a towel, Jemima (a doll my parents bought me for my first Christmas) and a bottle of nail varnish remover.
When I turn my head right, I see: metal containers on the wall holding pens, a soapstone elephant, my address book and a tube of germolene.
What I miss most about the eighties: Duran Duran and Frankie .... what do you mean Frankie who?
If I was a character written by Shakespeare, I'd be: Kate in Kiss me Kate/ Katerina from 10 things I hate about you or rather, if you want to be pedantic - Katherine from "The taming of the shrew!"
By this time next year: I'd like to have secured a deputy headship somewhere!
I have a hard time understanding: racism! Why? Colour/creed/nationality - we're all the same under our skin!
If I ever go back to school: it'll be tomorrow morning - but I still find joy in learning and teaching children new and exciting things!
You know I like you if: I'm slightly cheeky/saucy/sarky with you!! If I'm polite - I hate your guts!!
My ideal breakfast is: after 10.30am and consists of fried tomatoes, pig & cow, eggs and carbs - swimming in German tomato sauce!!
A song I love, but do not have is: one by Carole King .... I'm off to find it on Amazon, I'll be back!!
If you visit my hometown, I suggest: the beaches of the Gower, laverbread and cockles, Joe's ice-cream (go on ask a local!) and staying at Fairyhill - because about 5 generations ago it belonged to us and now the food is to die for!!
If you spend the night at my house: you're on the sofa bed in the spare room but you'll be welcomed with friendship & good food/plentiful wine & fab conversation .... and of course it'll be blogged!!
I'd stop my wedding for: I didn't because I love him - and whilst he doesn't deserve me (chortle!) he might one day if he improves!!
The world could do without: George & Tony - yes! And I don't mean these guys because their food is fab!!
My favorite blonde is: Marilyn - need I say more?
If I do anything well, it's: je parle Français et l'année dernière quelqu'un m'a demandé si j'étais de Marseille ou Avignon!! Et je suis Galloise! Est-ce que c'est bon ?
And by the way: my thumbs are double jointed!
My 10 favorite TV shows and favorite characters from them (not in order): I don't think I can come up with 10 but .... I love(d) Edmund and Baldrick (particularly) in Blackadder II, Geraldine and Alice (and come to think of it everyone) in Vicar of Dibley, Grisham in C.S.I., Phoebe in Charmed, Father Ted in Father Ted, Sgt. Phil Esterhaus in Hill Street Blues.
The last book you bought is: Love Rules by Freya North
The last book you read: Girl Meets Ape by Chris Manby - pinched from my mother, perfectly enjoyable!
Five books you would take to a deserted island: Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt, The Eight - Kathryn, anything by David (& Leigh) Eddings, ditto Wilbur Smith - it's the whole African thing!

Stolen, without permission ("That's what stole means Jo!" *blushing* Oh yes!) from Sara - feel free to help yourself!! :o)

Saturday, May 21, 2005


If you haven't seen it - you should! Fantastic, loved it! It's one I will watch again and again and again!! Will go down on my list whenever I am going to have girlie flick night! A real feel good film ..... and a British man wins the Wimbledon title - so it's a fantasy film too!!


And ..... whilst we're at it, I wouldn't kick Paul Bettany or Nikolaj Waldau or Sam Neill (ok, so you all don't get that one .... but my bell tinkles!!) out of bed for farting either!!

Counting down!

I'm tried (in fact so tired, I can't spell tired) today - school has been hard this week! I have 17 boys (and only 10 girls) in class this year and suddenly 2 weeks ago a surge of testosterone came out of nowhere! These are suddenly 5/6/7 yr olds with attitude!!

They're fighting, arguing, telling tales, punching, pinching, poking & generally pissing me off!! I'm not normally narky (yeh I know I was ranting about silver haired stalker yesterday!) I try to "manage the behaviour in class" with humour and fun! In fact my teaching/classroom management is not the issue - these lads are "surging" as soon as they leave the room!! Anyway our amazing "behavioural expert" is coming in next week full of sage advice, humour and ideas! And if even she fails the good news is ...... only 2 months until they move on to the next class!!

p.s. the majority of my class are complete sweethearts - full of fun, kind thoughts, helpfulness & good ideas - they can stay next year if they like :o)

Friday, May 20, 2005

Things that annoy me #2 - don't say it if you don't mean it!

I parked the car last night, down the road and around the corner ...... there's the pipes outside the house still - but I figure the excercise is probably doing me some good!! So I parallel park the car - muscles like Arnie [diesel with no power-steering!] and notice a coat has been dropped on the floor in front of the car. 2 older ladies [read silver haired!] are standing outside the house I'm parked in front of so I politely say ....

Me - excuse me, does this coat belong to you?

Lady #1 - oh no! [Picks up jacket] I noticed it when you parked there last week, it was under your car then. Because you park there everyday now don't you? [Lays jacket down on the verge outside the house] I'll just leave it here!

This silver-haired stalker is noting my parking habits!!! F#*k!!

Me - well not everyday!

Lady #1 - oh yes! I'll think you'll find you were there on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights. Last night and the night before you were further down the road!

Me - I'm sorry about that! I can't park outside my house because of the pipes!

Lady #1 - yes, I know that. I didn't mean anything by it! [Turns away] Sorry Irene, where were we before the interruption?

These days I often hear older people say "young people these days are so rude!" I count myself as young-ish and I have to say - we're not! Old people, like here are rude, they say what the fuck they like and don't give a shag about the consequences! I always try to be polite unless rudeness is absolutely required - I say please and thank you, I hold doors, I try not to be judgemental for any reason!!

Dear Silver-haired, car watching stalker around the corner,

If you don't want me to park my car outside your house - hard cheese!! I pay my car tax .... not always on time - but no more that 3 days late ever - so I can park anywhere and whilst we are at it - if you don't mean anything by it ...... DON'T SAY IT!

love & kisses

In order!

I have a system in the mornings - I get up, pee [yes, you're getting all the detail!], make a drink and sit down in front of my computer to catch up on the blogs I read. Some of them are listed in the side bar of my blog (it grows/changes every day!) but I usually go through the favourites on my browser and do different orders depending on how I feel. So for all of you this was this morning's trip!

  1. There's a new header and explanantions at Happy and Blue 2 - love the writing!
  2. Lost, here and beyond - pipes causing troubles for Walker's Mum's garden. Always amazing writing - makes me cry/sigh/laugh!!
  3. Web Divas - I want one ...... I will have one, I'm thinking about a design!! [I'm going along the lines of some voluptuous blonde, reclining in a bath with a view eating Cabanas whilst admiring the boxes of new shoes alongside her!!]
  4. The story of a recovering alcoholic at Roots Radical - Recovery Road .... one day at a time! Supporting him/all of them all the way!
  5. ms.mac's meanderings - If you haven't been there, go NOW and while you're at it wish her a "very happy 12th 23rd birthday!" :o)
  6. The wonderful Katya Coldheart - what can I say?
  7. Kiwi Fruit - Sliced, diced, blended and blogged! Wonderful blog written by a Kiwi married to an Englishman living in NZ.
  8. Random Acts of Reality - medical tales from South London without the blood and guts!
  9. Steve's nude Memphis Blog - the maestro!! ROTFLMFAO!!
  10. An extraordinary woman in a mediocre life - Shoes and Swansea in the same blog, sounds like me but younger and with a crush on Superman!
  11. Dooce - love it! Chuck, Leta, Jon and Heather (who does the writing) in Utah - fab-u-licious!
  12. Faggoty-Ass-Faggot - just for the quote, "easier than shooting queens at the Mac counter!"
  13. Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans? - recently found and really enjoyed a slice of Texan/American life, washed down with cuervo!! :o)
  14. Bubblehead - the ex-submariner fishing husband of Mommy Matters! Read her too!

Shit got to go to work!! Back later to finish list/links/sentences etc!! Done, ready to read tomorrow morning!!

Thursday, May 19, 2005


For all my life my name has been Joanne Collins ..... not "remarkable" ..... not "unusual" and yet not "amazingly different!" Since I was very little I've been Jo - to everyone, except my brother ("alright sis?"), my grandparents (Joan ..... and after all, it went so well with Colllins!) and my mother when I am in trouble ("Jo-anne!!")

Last Saturday I changed my name to Jo(anne) Langthorne - why did I?

Monday - Mrs Longthong, can you help me?
[Me - do you know what a thong is?
Child - no!
Me - they're like very small knickers!
A different child - oh yes, my mummy wears them on Friday nights.
Me - !!!!!!! Have you finished your maths??]

Tuesday - In the story there are red hawthorn berries, and thorn is in your name too!!

Yesterday - Good afternoon Mrs L........ Mrs what?

Today - Hello Mrs Lambone!!

I'm looking for a good "I don't want to get divorced, but I'd like to change my name again" lawyer! Know anyone?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Happy birthday to you!

Today is Simon's birthday - so for the first time ever

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
A happy birthday to my husband!
Happy Birthday to you!!

All my love
Jo xx
p.s. Don't panic I won't tell them how old you are today!!

Back down to earth!

It's been an odd week so far and it's already "hump day Wednesday!" - you know, halfway through the week ... on the slippery slope to another weekend! And the jobs are piling up.

Loads to do in school - marking, planning, 2 displays to finish, trips to organise, SATs writing, marking and moderation, the start of the annual data collection, gap analysisis you know - bleugh!

Loads to do at home - pile of laundry growing by the minute, home office looks like a tornado passed through after the bomb struck, bathroom needs cleaning, wedding presents to plant, thankyou cards to print & write!!

Even if I had anything at all interesting to write about, I don't have the time to blog!!

Monday, May 16, 2005

5 reasons my wedding was the best ever!

What a fantastic day we had yesterday - I had such a great time, I expected the day to be ... more of a rush! But in fact it was brilliant, we got time to chat and catch up with just about everyone!

1. The registry office ceremony was lovely - I was expecting a little clinical and cold .... I didn't think that performing so many marriages each day that they could inject warmth into them all but it was lovely. The 3 ladies were fantastic, they even made a point of calling me Jo during all of the "non official" bits - thank you!! [I only get called Joanne if I am in major trouble with my mother!!]

This is it!

2. Confetti - I love it! And they threw it!

Confetti time!

3. Having the party at home, whilst a little stressful before hand ["don't you dare dirty this kitchen now that it's been cleaned" said Mum!!!!] was great because it was so chilled. There was no-one hurrying us along


4. The food & cocktails [Charlie's Angels ..... recipe below!] were incredible [- thanks Kevan], so were the desserts [- thanks Su] & so was the cake [- thanks Mrs Stableford!] I have already done recipe swaps for loads of people and shall be putting a couple of the recipes in 1000 recipes - when the book arrives!

My other favourite ginger person

5. I got to marry the man I love! He's not perfect [I could give you a list of reasons] but he loves me, makes me laugh, protects me, makes great curry and he's mine!! Now, he just needs to remember my new name and I need to go and practice the bloody signature!!

Simon and me

The trouble this week is going to be coming back down to earth, with without a bang!

Kevan's Charlie's Angels
Put a sugar cube in the bottom of your champage flute - la perrouche work well. Cover the cube with peach liquer [& in the official recipe apricot brandy!] top up with cold champagne, 2 drops of Angostura bitters. Decorate with peach slices. Enjoy .... I had 1 or 2 myself!!

p.s. Did I mention the "diamonds for me" and the full Monty ..... thanks guys!!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Cake anyone?

So I'm awake ...... and the sky is very grey/gray!! But as long as it doesn't rain - it'll be fine! However, BBC weather doesn't look promising :o(

Seeing as I'm awake thought I'd show you some pictures I took yesterday morning ... but a little explanation first!! Simon and I met in September 1999 in Yahoo chat. I had a brand new computer and it was my first night in a chat room! Simon lived on the Isle of Man and I was in Kent. We spoke for a week online and then he asked for my phone number and we talked constantly! My phone bill for that quarter was in excess of £200 and would have been more except that my BT calls were only 1p a minute after 6pm!! Then in the October he came over for a long weekend and at Christmas I went to Douglas - the Isle of Man was/is beautiful BUT there was next to no chance of me getting a teaching job there - I don't speak Manx and the government makes a point of giving jobs to Manx people first! So in April 2000, Simon moved over here and ...... here we are!!

Anyway, my friend Mandy had told me about the fab cakes her Mum makes and disliking fruit cake as I do ..... I felt a bit of chocolate or carrot cake would be appropriate!! I also thought I would surprise Simon with a special cake for the wedding ...... so, here it is!!

Wedding cake
There are more photos here!

Update - Married! Partying hard ... a few photos for you too see, colour ones later!! Thankyou all for your good wishes!! Jo xx

Simon, me and our witnesses


Simon's family

Friday, May 13, 2005


Passed to me by Katya - something I had to ruminate over!

The preceeding verses are ....

Turd in a punch bowl
Gleaming so invitingly
Turd in a punch bowl
No wonder all this shit is free
Turd in a punch bowl
Floating proud like a ship at sea
Turd in a punch bowl
I'll just have water, thank you very kindly.
Turd in a punchbowl
I didn't put it there
Turd in a punchbowl
I'd rather eat a hair
Turd in a punchbowl
Looks like a Baby Ruth
Turd in a punchbowl
Ain't drinkin' till there's proof!
Turd in a punch bowl
Happy as can be
Turd in a punch bowl
Why you all looking at me
And my ponderings .....
Turd in the punchbowl
Floating round at supper time
Turd in the punchbowl
Oh shit …… does this thing have to rhyme?

Turd in the punchbowl
Floating down the alley way
Turd in the punchbowl
Wave to it on it’s way.

Turd in the punchbowl
What to drink at the BBQ!
Turd in the punchbowl
Still there when you flushed the loo?

Turd in the punchbowl
Not too long ‘til the wedding day!
Turd in the punchbowl
You could all come if you weren’t so far away!!!
I am passing to ...... Rainhavoc, (because you didn't do the last one) and ms.mac (because you make me laugh - and in my experience, with 4 men in the house you must know plenty about floating poo!)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

2 days to go

Last week a newsletter came through the door saying that Morrisons - no not the ones who sell groceries - on behalf of Transco would be putting in a new gas main on our road! So I rang the mobile phone number to say ...... will it affect me?

Mr Morrisons - Oh no, it will be further up the road!!

Well see that white house in the middle - that's my house!! And in case you didn't know, I'm getting married on Saturday ..... from that white house!

Thanks Transco in the week of my wedding I really want a new gas main laid outside my house!

And how exactly am I supposed to get in and out the house? And how do I hitch my leg over the pipe?? In a wedding frock ..... and where exactly are we going to park cars when we come back to the house because the bloody reception is at the god-damn house!!

Thanks Transco!

So readers, please join with we in passing on a great big "Thanks" to Transco and Morrisons!! You've really made my day!

A busy week!

It's been a busy week with little/no time to blog!! Wanted to work here at lunchtime yesterday but the Internet is down at school - cheers BT! But I feel I have to share this little gem with you this morning!!

My mother has just told me that on her last visit to Swansea and on the advice/for a neighbour in France she visited her local Boots to purchase some eye cream! [The same neighbour also uses haemorrhoid cream on her eyes - lets not go there Mum!!] She sauntered in to their Llansamlet store, up to the counter and [in her own words] put on her "posh" voice and said

Mother - Excuse-me, do you stock the Boots Bionics range? I'd like some eye cream!
Shop Assistant - Pardon? Madam I think you mean the Botanics range!
My mother has the world's first bionic eyelids..... she can stop speeding bullets, push over palm trees, vault walls and catch arch-criminals with her face!! [I remember Lindsay wagner doing it!]

update - no photos of crepe papered car yet!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Just another Manic Monday .... oh we oh!

Took me over an hour to get to work - accident on the M25/A2 ..... miles and miles of traffic!

Music assembly with hip, cool, lovable (by children and me) deputy head cancelled due to KS2 SATs!

Windy weather = devil children from hell!!

Headteacher has encouraged me to go on a week long trip with 22 little darlings in June. "If you don't want to go, she'll be in charge but I'd like you to go!" A week I always return to school from knackered and a week with no Internet access so NO BLOGGING. No chance to read any of you/yours, no way any chance to add to my own - holy cow!!

Children suddenly realised at 2.10 p.m. that the CACHE student that they have on a Monday and Friday is a fanciable, gorgeous 17 yr old!! And are now drooling / drawing her pictures, giving her cards and loving glances!

What about me guys?

I don't like hate f@*#ing detest Mondays like this one!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Phitar's photos

If you have 5 minutes spare and need a treat - go take a look at Phitar's photos - truly an inspiration! My favourite is Green Eyes!

Sunday ... a day of rest!

And verily the Lord sayeth unto Joanne his faithful servant and precious daughter

"No, you can't have a day of rest. Get of your arse and clean the bloody windows!!"

And she was content for she knew the words came from her heavenly father!

Knackered!! :o(

Saturday, May 07, 2005

1 week

It is Saturday ..... it's 11.30am ..... it's Crackerjack! [Listening intently for everyone to shout Crackerjack!]

Oh I wish it were that simple ... if it's Saturday 7th at 11.30 it must be exactly 1 week to go to the wedding!! 1 week, that's 168 hours or 10080 minutes!! And I think I have task to complete for each of those minutes! And am I excited? Not yet! Maybe a little bit!

Jobs to do

  1. Paint walls in living room - wild primrose
  2. Hang new blinds - actually its the working out how to hang the new blinds that is the problem!Thanks Steve and 'Mone!
  3. Finish grouting tiles in the kitchen.
  4. Tidy!!!!!!!!
  5. Finish putting in the flower bed border (try saying that quickly after 2 glasses of red!)
  6. Plant things in pots in garden!
  7. Cut the lawns (finally stopped chucking it down!)
  8. Did I mention I need to tidy?
  9. Cleaning company booked for Thursday - wahey!
  10. Manicure, pedicure .... can't think of anything alse ending with cure other than "Maple cure!" - Bacon sarnie anyone?
  11. Food shopping & preparation, chef arrives Thursday evening!
  12. Eyebrows - threading needed [monobrow attack imminent - à la Bert from Sesame Street]
  13. And ...... I'm sure that my mother will have another list for me when she arrives from France on Tuesday p.m.

Will cross things off as I do them - not looking promising right now!!

Friday, May 06, 2005

Good thoughts and best wishes needed

I have a younger brother, a wonderful sister-in-law and 4 amazing nephews - Shawn, Kieran, Caleb and Cain. Sharon is expecting a baby in July - #5, a beautiful baby boy! Things are not as straight forward on this pregnancy as they have been previously!

Baby#5 is experiencing difficulties - he's not producing the amniotic fluid he should be and his mum is going to start on a course of steroids soon to boost his lung capacity so he can be born early - safe and sound! If you have a minute spare this week - my nephew and sister-in-law would appreciate your best wishes! They have ALL of mine!


Me - No Ruth, its called Ikea!

Ruth - Aye (she's from Lanark and is like a feminine version of Billy Connolly but prettier) that's what I said Eureka!

A while ago it was I who with much glee introduced Ruth to the joys of Swedish shopping (in a trance "follow the arrows") - we both love the place! I try to go once a month - just to see the new weird things they have but also to buy little stacking boxes - plastic/cardboard/paper/tin "I love little stacking boxes - the voices in my head tell me to buy them!" (You might want to surf away from the psycho lady's site now!!)

Anyway, thought I'd let you know that last night I bought

10 metal - zinc I think - containers to hang on the balcony to put herbs in (and 5 more to go above the sink in my classroom to put paintbrushes/glue sticks in to dry!)
4 ice cube trays (arrows, + signs, little circles with holes in & stars)
Paper napkins - blue, green and yellow (for the wedding ..... I didn't mention I was getting married, didn't I? - I must be slipping!!)
A lantern for the table on the balcony (see above)
4 vanilla candles
A new light fitting for the living room
Bulbs - 12 (light fitting takes 5 ..... but have you seen the new broadband advert from BT, my tootsies don't need the pain!)
A bendy chopping board - so veggies wont fly across room as I transfer them from board to pan/wok/salad bowl
And Jayne came too and bought us a fantastic picture/canvas for the kitchen wall as a wedding present!

Was Simon impressed? Of course - he didn't have to go did he!!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Thursday's here. Reasons why I won't be voting voted!

Yeh you're all right!! I voted - so up yours Tone, one less vote for you in Medway UA!

If I could be ......

COOL - passed the stick by Katya, I choose 5 of the sentence beginnings below to write about i.e. finish the sentences!! [The kids in my class would remind me that I need capital letters and full stops for sentences .... and if I could use the words "arse" and "shite" in class I'd call them smart-arse gobshites!] I then come up with 5 new beginnings to add to the list and pass it on .... hopefully to someone (well I try to find 3 someones) who hasn't/haven't already had/seen/done it!! So here we go -

If I could be a scientist...
If I could be a farmer...
If I could be a musician... it would be for my own enjoyment. I would just love to play the piano and the flute. I admire people who can make music - it brings people together regardless of language barriers!
If I could be a doctor...
If I could be a painter...
If I could be a gardener...
If I could be a missionary...
If I could be a chef...
If I could be an architect...
If I could be a linguist...
If I could be a psychologist...
If I could be a librarian...
If I could be an athlete...
If I could be a lawyer...

If I could be an innkeeper...
If I could be a professor...
If I could be a writer...
If I could be a llama-rider...
If I could be a bonnie pirate... I'd swashbuckle my way around the Indian Ocean, [dressed appropriately for a "Rubenesque" pirate in floaty skirts, boots and cleavage flashing tops] stopping to sunbathe on tropical islands and trading spices and rum in Zanzibar! I'd try to stay away from tiger sharks around the mouth of the Zambezi but I'd call into ports to fritter away my gold on cocktails and hot loose men!
If I could be a service member...
If I could be a business owner... I'd own a campsite in the south of France near the Atlantic Ocean and sit and listen to the cicada's in the evening and wander around admiring the sunsets, cutting the grass, re-potting geraniums, serving pastis and cooking moules marinieres! Because I would of course have someone else to do the really shitty jobs - like cleaning the loos/showers, serving in the supermarket and cleaning the pool!
If I could be an actor...

If I could be a porn star...
If I could be a taxi driver...
If I could be a rich girl... I would use my money to eradicate suffering by children in Southern Africa (well I'd start there!) I am of course talking really rich - in this fantasy I am the only child of Bill Gates and Donald Trump is my god-father (in a non-Sicilian kind of way). Children in Southern Africa need the money, they need our help! BUMP! Sorry that was me climbing down off the soap box
If I could be a witch...
If I could be a racer...
If I could be an agent...
If I could be a video game designer...
If I could be a comic book artist...
If I coul be a hooker...
If I could be a priest...
If I could be a fighter pilot...
If I could be a homeless person...

If I could be an astronaut...
If I could be a child again...
If I could be invincible...
If I could be a superhero... I'd be "super tasty savoury morsel" Girl! I'd fly around the world dolling out delicious mouthfuls of food that would be so tasty people would stop fighting to moan with pleasure & discuss how good they were. My Thai chicken vol-au-vents would have halted the Gulf War and my asparagus and prosciutto bundles with a balsamic glaze would have made short work of Mogadishu! And of course all of the tasty savoury morsels would have been calorie free in fact weight reducing :o)
If I could be a man/woman for the day...

And my additions are -

If I could be on the cast of Charmed...
If I could be an inventor...
If I could be an ice-cream salesman/woman...
If I could be an animal trainer...
If I could be a wandering minstrel...

And I am passing it on to Havoc, AEWIAML & Kiwi Fruit in the hope they haven't already had it & don't mind getting it & if they don't want to do it they don't feel waves of Catholic guilt &/or hate me for ever!! Have fun ladies!!

p.s. If I could be a hooker... I'd be Fifi LaRouche - I'd be blonde, bosomy (yes, ok I know I'm already in character!) I'd be expensive and I'd be able to suck start a Harley ...... & no, my mother will not be reading this :o)