Reasons why tomorrow I will be avoiding butterflies, washing up, Robert Carlyle and daytime TV

I learned some lessons today.  Here is some advice for you.  Learn from my mistakes, peoples.

1.  When you are sitting in the garden having your morning coffee in the sunshine, do not get complacent just because you are not alarmed by the sight of a bumble bee so big that it would substitute for a chicken on a Sunday and feed a family of four.  Do not pride yourself on thinking, 'Some might be afraid of bees.  Not me.  I know they will do me no harm.'  Why?  Because the bee may not bother you, no, but you are soon going to look very stupid indeed during your 'I am not afraid of nature' moment as an innocent yellow butterfly suddenly flutters into your face and makes you squeal and spill hot coffee on your legs.

'I'll just sit on this leaf here while she's congratulating herself on her  lack of bee-fear,
then I'll divebomb her face.  Mwa ha ha.'

2. When you are sitting in front of your laptop after your morning coffee thinking, 'I'll just catch up on a film, perhaps,' think hard about whether you need to be a) cheered up or b) hurled into the murky depths of lost hope for the world.  This is because watching a film in which the following things feature can only do the latter.  a) A man cares for his wheelchair bound, cirrhosis-riddled friend. b) It is the man's fault his friend is wheelchair bound, and most probably his fault that he is cirrhosis-riddled too. c) The film is set in a poverty-stricken Scottish town. d) A swearword which rhymes with duck makes up 90 per cent of the script, and is only occasionally interspersed with normal conversation.  e) Drunkenness and vomit are major plot points.

Robert Carlyle as the main character, thinking, 'What OTHER words ARE there in the English language?  Oh yes, there's
also BASTARD!'

3. When you are watching a depressing film, and decide to wash up the breakfast things half-way through just to give yourself a break from thoughts of hopelessness, be careful when washing the delicate glass bowls.  Subconsciously, you are probably now wishing you could just slit your wrists and get it all over with, and this is why you are doomed to hit the glass bowl against the tap, slice your finger in two places, and bleed all over the kitchen floor.   You will also have to watch the rest of the film while clutching a piece of bloody kitchen roll in order to stop the bleeding, and this is not going to add much to your enjoyment of the film, though it will indeed add a hint of irony.

A very inoffensive picture, and the result of Fran finding that typing 'cut finger' into
Google Images wasn't something to repeat too often

4. When you have finished watching a depressing film, during which you have wounded yourself in a Freudian way, what you need is a nice cheese sandwich and a piece of fruit - something healthy and life-affirming.  Eating last night's leftover rice pudding straight from the plastic bowl and following up with three Rocky Roads and a cup of tea is not the best option.  You will add your 'oh-I'm-so-unhealthy' despair to 'what-a-horrid-world-this-is' despair as well as to your 'I'm-even-scared-of-butterflies' despair, and you will find that the three combined, encountered even before 2 in the afternoon, will plunge you into a Slough of Despond that John Bunyan would be proud of.

Fran flicked through the beachwear catalogue, realising too late that a diet of rice pudding
and Rocky Roads was going to make her beach holiday that year an uncomfortable experience,

5.  After a morning like that, it really won't be a good idea to visit your gran and watch afternoon TV with her.  This is because, on top of the three types of despair outlined above, you are about to add a fourth kind by watching programmes about rich people who a) can afford to buy antiques like Edwardian vases and medieval bedwarming pans ; b) can afford to move to a gigantic house in the country with a paddock for ninety thoroughbreds and a pine kitchen table the size of Australasia ; c) weren't rich before they went on quiz shows but are now suddenly very very wealthy indeed and are just about to go on ten cruises and buy all their relatives Cartier jewellery.

Fran found that watching 'Escape to the Country' actually made her want to escape more often
to the fridge.  She would have to make another rice pudding.

How was your day?  As good as mine?


  1. I have a genuine phobia of moths and butterflies. Your post has not helped my aversion therapy one itoa.

  2. giggling with the butterfly. Once when Henry was a teenaged kitten, he came to see what I was up to in the bath. I - was drowsing peacefully, when suddenly two pointy ears popped up next to my eye. Half the water ended up on the floor. Henry retreated in disgust.

  3. That was one of the FUNNIEST posts I've ever read! (Maybe because I could identify with it.) I think the reason they say "s#%t" & "f@&k" so much in movies is because in a 2 hour movie they only have to add 10-15 minutes of additional dialogue.

  4. My day was pretty good, thanks. By the way, why does everyone who appears in Escape to the Country, insist that suicide is the better option if the kitchen doesn't have an island? And who are these people who can't enter a room without declaring, "nice size" in a dreamy/drugged sort of way?

  5. Steve - sorry about that. I understand the phobia quite well. I was attacked by a herd of moths in a toilet cubicle once when I was in hospital after having my first baby. That didn't help with the butterfly incident this morning ...

    Elephant's Eye - I swear the animal kingdom plots against us.

    fishducky - loving your use of percentages and hashes.

    Martin - yes, you're RIGHT about the island thing! What's that about? I had three obstacles sitting in the middle of my kitchen floor once, and was jolly glad when they all left home. Why would i BUY one?

  6. You and Steve can crouch behind the rest of us when a moth is detected on the radar .
    I'll hide behind you all if a centipede appears and my colleague will faint when spiders are mentioned .
    We all have our little phobias . Husband's is Robert Carlyle .

  7. Anonymous1/8/11 20:41

    I hate those encounters with nature! Right now our garden is brimming with grasshoppers...perhaps it's a plague?

    Jann aka #1 Nana It's not just nature conspiring against me, blogger is also in on the plot. I still can't post unless I'm anonymous. On the other hand, perhaps I'll visit the blogs of right wingers and leave nasty comments with my new anonymous identity.

    Have a good week!

  8. Scarily we have hornets in the garden, which nest in the surrounding trees and can only be described at The Thugs of the insect world.

    They could've made a film called Lock Stock and Two Smoking Stings!

    I have to confess that at the merest sound of the intimidating drone I dash back inside, draw the curtains and bolt the door!

    Robert Carlyle...once watched an awful film with him as a Highwayman, in which they hung people by pulling them up from the ground rather than by dropping them from a height.

    Rice pudding? Hopelessly addicted to the extent that I cook them and eat the first skin (liberally doused in nutmeg and golden syrup) and then put back in the oven to "skin-up" a second time.

    How could ANYONE not like rice pudding skin?

  9. I enjoyed this, Fran. At least, I think I did. When I got to the end, all I could remember was the bit about rice pudding.

    Is this normal?

  10. You're just taunting me about sitting in the garden in the sunshine. There ain't no sunshine in Edinburgh.

    I love "Escape to the Country". I love the way they go into a perfectly nice house, immaculate in every way though possibly not redecorated all over within the last five years or so, and sneer, "There would be a lot of work needed to bring it up to standard." And I think: I've got those kitchen cupboards/that sofa/that carpet and I was quite pleased with them until a minute ago.

    What you need to cheer you up is a Toffee Truffle Bombe. If nothing else, it might bring on a heart attack and end your sorrows (though I hope not, because you're really funny. And it would be a shame to waste your holidays).

  11. SmitandSon - I love the way Robert Carlyle is lumped in there with phobias about moths and centipedes.

    Nana - I don't like grasshoppers either. It's the suddenness. Sorry you don't seem to be able to comment other than as Anon. Is it just my blog, or others?

    ted and bunny - having read your description of what you do with the first rice pudding skin, I feel instantly better about my addiction.

    Martin - I guess it might be normal for a milkman - to zone in on the dairy aspects of a post.

    Isabelle - don't worry. We're off to the Lake District next week in search of cool and rain. We're not sun people at all, so Edinburgh would be fine for me. I get upset if I have to take my cardi off. Are you going to the festival? I've never been. One day ..

  12. Sorry about your bad day, Fran, but at least it entertained the rest of us! And enjoy the Lake district. We're only just back, but already I miss those amazing views.

  13. I too am now fixating about rice pudding, but mine definitely isn't up to the skin standards described... What else was I s'posed to comment on?

  14. THAT's what's wrong! Escape to the Country is really is depressing for those of us that haven't won any game shows. (btw, Isabelle's EttC comment made me laugh-- she's right!)

  15. Frances - I'm not going for the views. I'm going for the Grasmere gingerbread.

    hausfrau - no, I think we have to bow to tedandbunny for rice pudding skin stories.

    hostage - I've only watched it about twice. I dread to think how depressed one could get watching it regularly.

  16. I always think of you as a modern day Aesop : that first story is worthy of the chap himself. Now there's a summer challenge for you : instead of watching daytime TV and dreaming of your gold-plated public sector pension : re-write Aesop's Fables for the 21st Century.

  17. I've been bracing myself to watch the film of 'The Road', but the book made my knees knock in broad daylight. Reading about your experience, it'll probably be a lot better for my health if I choose a comforting film instead. 'Pulp Fiction' it is then.

  18. You've never been to the Festival? If you want rain, then that's the time to come to Edinburgh...

    You should come. We could meet up for coffee. You could go and see Daughter 2's fiance (imagine the accent) in his company that do (amazingly good, and popular, but not profitable) improvised musicals. Showstopper, the company's called. (Advert. Sorry.)

  19. Yikes! I'm scrambling to find a Disney film and a bag of carrots as we speak!

  20. I'm not a fan of moths. They are evil.

    Or bees. Also either.

    In Oklahoma, I have to deal with sinister crickets. *Shudders*

  21. A most entertaining post - for me, at least. Maybe not for you? I love the bee the size of a chicken bit.

  22. Alan - Ha, no pressure then!

    Chris - yes, very comforting!

    I'm Crayon - presumably not in the same place. Or maybe your cupboards are as chaotic as ours.

    WhisperingWriter - SINISTER crickets?

    Sue J - Thank you! No, it wasn't entertaining for me. How did you tell?!!


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