Showing posts from October, 2010

A response to a complaint from a reader which I hope will satisfy

Isabelle left a comment to say she's fed up of looking at my mould and vomit pictures on the last post and would I get on with writing about something nice, such as flowers?  Some people have no taste, that's all I can say.  Here I am, trying to entertain you, and all I get are complaints. I'll try, Isabelle, but I'm warning you.  I am to Nature what Arsenic in your Tea is to Abundant Health.  Ask anyone who knows me, 'What does Fran know about flowers?' and all you will get is uncontrollable laughter, them doubled over, and a request for a tissue so they can wipe away their tears (or worse, depending on their bladders ... No, it's OKAY.  I'll stop there, as I was trying so hard to avoid body fluids). Perhaps Isabelle is right, though.  It's time I tried to improve my attitude towards Nature.  So, I thought I would try and educate myself by tapping 'Flowers' into Google Images, seeing what pictures came up, and trying to learn to appreci

Evidence that restaurant owners should choose the name of their establishment carefully ....

Have just had a leaflet through the door from a restaurant offering a takeaway service. It's called ' Been  Restaurant'. It's not just me, is it?  Would this worry anyone else?  It reminds me of an old joke in which a man goes into a restaurant and orders soup.  It's vile.  He calls the waiter over. Man: 'What's this I'm eating?  It's disgusting!' Waiter: 'It's bean soup, sir.' Man: 'I don't care about its past.  It's what it's like now that worries me.' Lame, I know.  But it gives me an excuse to go playing the Google Images game, my favourite. bean soup Has bean soup Could well have bean soup

More evidense that peeple should wotch there speeling

Sorry - don't normally post twice in one hour (can you tell there's marking and planning to be done ...) but couldn't resist posting this BBC news story which is a result of a very unfortunate misspelling ..... New ideas for entertaining oneself inside one's own intestines Watch the little video, and look carefully at what it says at the very top of the poster.  It makes it even worse ...

Evidence that Jane Austen had very little to do with 'Sense and Sensibility' as we know it

So, it turns out that Jane Austen's editor - most likely a bloke called William Gifford - had a bit more to do with her final manuscripts than was originally thought, perhaps thinking that Austen might reward him for his efforts by naming a character after him, say, Gifford, rather than Darcy. I'm glad she didn't.  Just imagine the problems it would have caused.   ' I seriouthly think Elizabeth Gifford has thet off to purchathe a new dreth in Bath ' would have been a mouthful for people to say at polite functions, especially while eating and trying to look eligible at the same time.  And spitting gobfuls of Cook's 'vanilla shape' all over the new blue silk with a lace collar worn by your conversational partner isn't really what people expect from the average Austen plot-line. Anyway, here's the story from the Telegraph, if you hadn't seen it. Evidence that the best of us fall fowl of spelling and punctuation at time's It's all

Why I am such a disappointment to my country

I'm SO sorry, Mr Osborne-Chancellor-of-the-Exchequer-and-I'm-sure-a-very-interesting-man-to-your-loved-ones.  I was doing my bit as a citizen, watching live coverage on the BBC news website of  your austerity measure announcements, and feeling very virtuous for sharing with my country in hearing the news as it happened.  I was even just about to hang out my Union Jack from a bedroom window. But my eyes kept sliding over to the right of the screen at the other headlines. ' Sperm donors deserve greater recognition'  did not tempt me.  I like to ask people what they do, when I'm at parties, and get answers like, 'I work for an accountancy firm' or 'I am a teacher' or 'At the moment, I'm currently unemployed, but have an interview tomorrow'.  If someone said, 'I'm a sperm donor, and proud to admit it', to be honest, I wouldn't know where to take the conversation next. Another headline was, ' Do you have a Wayne Roone

How to dress your baby and save money - another not-a-Mommy-blogger post

I saw a baby dressed in designer jeans and posh trainers today.  It was about an hour old.  In fact, I swear I could see the umbilical cord poking out from under its Stella McCartney shirt, still purple and throbbing. Either I'm well out of date on the way foetuses develop in the womb these days (like, fully dressed for partying, Jimmy Choo shoes included, and definitely about to make its mummy need a metre-long episiotomy) or that baby was put into grown-up clothes and taught to say 'Mwah, mwah, dahling you look MARvellous' and sip Chardonnay and eat canapes with one hand before it had its first breastfeed or chance to fill a nappy with a tarry substance sufficient to surface the M25. Here is a picture of what my babies used to wear when I was a mummy/mommy way back. After all, covering a baby up is really just about keeping them warm, for heaven's sake.  No need for FUSS. We had things in perspective in the 1980s.  And, without so much kitchen tec

Things I learned while at the theatre listening to pauses

Went to the local theatre last night to see a Pinter play.  To the local - theatre.  To see -  a Pinter play.  A Pinter play - at the local theatre.  Yes - I think - that's right, a Pinter play.  Theatre.  Local.  Pinter Play.  Last night.  Pin - pin - ter. It was 'The Caretaker'.  There were a lot of conversations about shoes.  On and off.  And then there were pauses.  And general awkwardness.  And there was a lot of talk about someone making noises in the night.  On and off.  And then some more pauses.  And more awkwardness.  And there was a fair bit about how to do up a rundown flat.  On and off.  With lots more awkwardness.  And then it finished.  On a pause. But it was good.  I quite like that kind of absurdist, nonsensical, what-the-hell-are-they-on-about? thing.  But you probably won't be surprised to hear that. Anyway, while I was at the theatre, I learned some stuff which I thought I'd pass on. 1. When drying your hands after visiting the ladies toi

Evidence that, should you have lost some rainforest recently, you will find it is being distributed along with chocolate muffins in the West Midlands

So, I'm lying there across two chairs in Costa Coffee, covered with a big white piece of paper. 'Madam, why are you lying down in our cafe tucked up underneath the receipt we gave you for your coffee?' says the manager. 'Just mebbe making a point,' says I, 'about the size of the said receipt, and the size of the receipt you gave me last week, and the week before that, and about the fact that each of them has to be the equivalent of a small rainforest or my name's not Pauline Fran.  Tell me, why is that?  Not exactly eco-warriors in here, eh?' 'Well ...' 'In fact, every week, I swear the receipt has got bigger than the week before.  Either that, or I'm shrinking, in which case my bathroom scales have been misleading me and need servicing.' 'Madam, I'm sorry, but I'm afraid we have to close the shop now.  We can't leave you there all night.' 'No problem,' says I.  'Just chuck me that cushion t

Eight things only motherhood teaches you - another not-a-Mommy-blogger post

Every now and then I look back 350 years to when I was a young mummy/mommy delete as appropriate and bring you the benefit of my frequent and disastrous failures  wisdom and experience. Some things I learned ... 1. Sweetcorn looks the same when it comes out of a baby as when it went in.  However, it doesn't taste the same, so however tempting it is, however poor you are, however short you are on kitchen cupboard ingredients, don't even think about it. 2. The English phrase 'No, don't you dare', in Babyese, means, 'Go ahead.  Do it.'  The opposite is also true. 3. The likelihood that your baby will have explosive broccoli-induced diarrhoea correlates exactly with the likelihood that a) you are at a cocktail party held by your mother-in-law, b) the baby is wearing a cream romper suit given to you by your mother-in-law, c) your mother-in-law is wearing a cream outfit herself AND holding the baby. 4. You can't see the trail of second-hand baked bea

In which Fran considers sacrifices she must make for her glittering future

Now that I know that I am world famous, even to the extent that I have a brand of chocolate named after me in Japan, I have realised that I will have so many requests for international radio and TV interviews and so many invitations onto famous chat shows that I will not have time to maintain two blogs.  Also, I need to be preparing my one woman stage show, as I'm sure I'll be going on tour some time pretty soon. Because of  all this, I have decided not to pursue the other blog I started only a week ago. This decision has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO with having woken in the night twice this week thinking, 'What the heck did I do that for? How am I going to have time to keep two blogs going?  How will I decide which one to update?  When will I eat, drink and breathe?  Why am I such a blithering idiot?  Why didn't I take better heed of Steve's warning that I will no longer have a life?'  WHY AM I AWAKE AT 3 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING?' As I said, absolutel

Why I take it all back. Fran is good. Really good.

I take back everything I said about wanting to be called Pauline and not Fran.  My daughter (who has her own blog here about the year in Japan she has just embarked upon) has just sent me this picture from Japan of a type of chocolate there.  My name is officially linked with chocolate.  I am very, very happy.  Chocolates called Pauline just wouldn't be the same. Now chocolate and Fran were officially linked, she could see no reason why she should limit her consumption.  In time, the doors would need widening, but that was just how it would have to be.

Why I want to be called Pauline

AbsurdOldBird has given me an award, and one of the things you have to do in order to take the award with a good conscience, is to explain what you'd change about your life if you could go back in time. Well, I would have gone back to about a month before my birth, and made my mum change her mind about changing her mind about my name. I was going to be called Pauline and not Fran until just before I was born.  Then she reconsidered. Why  would I rather be called Pauline? 1. My husband is called Paul.  I wanted us to be Paul and Pauline, or Pauline and Paul.  So, whenever people phoned, I could have pretended I didn't understand who they wanted.  And when they asked me, 'Is Paul in?' I could have said, 'Is Pauline what?  What are you trying to say?'  And when they asked Paul, 'Is Pauline in?' he could have said, 'Since when did you develop a stutter?'   I know this all seems very banal, but one is so in need of entertainment when one'

Evidence that ambiguity in a newspaper headline could clear the streets of the vulnerable very quickly

The following was one of the headlines on the BBC news website tonight. 'New PCs will boot in seconds' So now anyone in Britain too old, too poor (and too sensible) to have got used to the world of Personal Computers thinks that there is a new cohort of Police Constables on the streets who will not hesitate to kick anyone who doesn't do what they're told immediately. 'Madam', said PC Smith, who had not kicked anything since scoring an own goal for his school team in 1978 and was now itching to have another go, 'you have precisely 0.4 of a second in which to stop asking me for directions after which I am afraid I will have to implement our new public order procedure.'