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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

28 February 2005
The flight back today was just as challenging as Thursday’s flight, but in a very different manner. Firstly, there was the getting up at SEVEN IN THE MORNING which is really still the night before, only disguised as the next day in order to confuse you. I’ve not done SEVEN IN THE MORNING from this side for a long time - I’ve stayed up until then, and then had a lovely day’s sleep to make up for it, but having grabbed only a few hours back from Sunday night, SEVEN IN THE MORNING is a terrifying prospect, not just for me but for anyone unfortunate enough to be around me.

Secondly, there was dragging a suitcase through rush hour on the London Underground Tube Railway System Sweatbox Push and Shove A Rama. I’ve done this before with a backpack, trying to get to Kings Cross, and I imagined that Liverpool Street to Paddington would be just as horrible, with the men in suits and women in high heels all yawning and falling on each other and reading their free papers and ignoring me while I’m pinned in between the closing doors and in serious danger of being dragged along the walls of the underground system generating sparks. Happily, though, the tube was surprisingly empty for that time of day and all was dandy with the suitcase and the dragging.

Thirdly, there was the sheer getting from one place to another, in terms of trains and buses and walking and not getting lost and finding ticket stations and other trains and getting to the airport and checking in that made me want to go back to bed more than anything else, because organisation is one of my strong points, but carrying plans through is not. I’ll sit and make lists all day - it gives me comfort and structure - but I’ll then sit and watch as each item of the list is lost, stepped over, ignored or wanders past its best before. So the getting this train to here, then changing lines to the RED line and GO NORTH NOT SOUTH and it’s called Notting Hill GATE not just Notting Hill like in the film, and all that, alongside SEVEN IN THE MORNING still echoing in my ears made me think I might not be capable and could end up in all innocence in Glasgow or worse. I didn’t though. I muddled through, because I’m not a child, I’m a more than capable 20-something year old sleep deprived lady.

Fourthly, of course, was the flying itself. I’m now used to Standstill airport and Ryanair people smacking you across the face disdainfully for choosing the fly with them, changing flight times and bookings with gay abandon and then being made to race for seats, with the last person boarding being strapped to the wing and holding on for dear life. Aer Lingus is confusing, because they seem grateful for your custom, and give you an allocated seat, free coffee, keep you informed about your flights and apologise - APOLOGISE! - for being 10 minutes behind schedule. It’s lovely. The downside of Aer Lingus is Heathrow Airport because (1) it has no Starbucks, my one guilty pleasure before flying and (2) when you’re taxi-ing to take off, you join a queue and from my allocated window seat I could see the five planes in front of us racing down the runway and taking off at only 30 second intervals. I know about flying and crashing statistics, I’ve inadvisably watched the Discovery Channel documentaries and I know this is the best possible time to crash. I’ve not been so nervous on a plane for months. It was rotten.

And do you know what? If I could have done, I’d’ve touched down in Dublin airport and leapt straight back on to the next plane to London, just cos finding someone more than happy to hold your hand all day and night isn’t something that’s easily left behind.

(Shut up. I’m jet lagged, okay? I’m allowed to soppy, just once.)

27 February 2005
Damn Mrs Bishop and her ridiculous ways for teaching me the rules of rugby and making it possible for me to sit in a pub in North London surrounded almost entirely by English men, and sit screaming at bulky men in green jumpers to RUN FOR FUCK’S SAKE, PASS IT, PASS IT! COME ON! like a goon. I couldn’t breathe for the last ten minutes of the Ireland/England game, when our lead could so easily have been taken off us and the whole Six Nations dream go up in smoke to our - in sporting terms at least - worst enemies. But it didn’t, and we won, and I clapped and screamed and cheered, and then remembered where I was and who I was surrounded by, and instead sent many a bleary message to Mrs Bishop and her crazy rugby brain.

Shouting at men in shorts while they run around on television is just a brilliant way to pass a day. Doubly so if your chosen team win, obviously.

26 February 2005
London town and all of it’s scarlet temptations were out in force yesterday as JC dragged me kicking and sometimes actually screaming around all the shops built by the devil to tempt me to sin - HMV and Virgin in Megastore form, shops that sell books and cartoons about vampires, places with plastic toys of utter pointlessness that beg me through the display cases to buy them just because… it all gets too much sometimes.

I’m very pleased to say that I managed not to crack at any point, and made just one purchase, which in actual fact is for Moo on the occasion of her birthday, because she’s a nice lady and deserves to be gifted with gifts.

The other running theme to this weekend that’s emerging so far is the “Shazzle forgets to eat” and the “Let’s all have another drink”. Combining these two factors together on a daily basis has led to a somewhat disoriented Shazzle first thing in the morning, so it’s fortunate that first thing in the morning is replaced by first thing in the afternoon, getting up wise. I’m not a morning person, at all, in any manner, and many people can testify to the scarring experience, both physical and emotional, of being around me first thing. Fortunately, He Who Only… has learnt to stay clear and approach with great caution, waving white flags and cups of tea in order to soothe the raging inner beast. I’m so not used to being forced to get up for anything anymore in my life - RNJ meaning that I don’t have any particular getting up time at all - that when I have to answer the call of the alarm clock it’s having a worse effect than ever before. Bears with sore heads stare at me and mutter to each other that someone needs to take a chill pill.

Still. Tomorrow. Late start, rugby and footie in pub in afternoon. What can possible go wrong?

25 February 2005
This flying thing really has it’s ups and downs, dunnit? And I don’t just mean the take offs and landings, or the turbulence, or even the prescription drugs I take to get through it all - I mean, the weird relationship I’m building up with flying seems to have taken a tumble for the worse, and I’m not sure what went wrong, whose fault it was, and how it can be fixed.

See, yesterday afternoon I was all chipper with flying. I thought me and flying were getting on well. I was planning to meet flying’s parents, in a manner of speaking, and flying had already met my friends and garnered rave reviews. Me and flying, in short, were hand in hand and the world was our oyster.

But then, flying took a mood. Flying decided that I was getting too comfortable with our relationship, and I think wanted to test my loyalty. Flying therefore threw me a curveball - ice on the runway.

Ice. On the runway. Ice. As if taking off and landing isn’t dangerous and foolhardy enough, flying decided that skidding to and from airports would be fun to try. I’ve flown a great deal recently, a lot of it through some quite inclement weatherings, and hadn’t really given any of it any thought, because I’m more concerned with the mechanics of the plane, scoping out any possible terrorists that might be lurking, and occasionally wondering if the pilot was going through a difficult time and planning to plant the plane nose deep in the side of a mountain. Weather I didn’t give two hoots about. Until yesterday.

I heard about this Ice and Runway interface thanks to a particularly unpleasant check in girl in Dublin Airport. She imparted these words of wisdom while staring at my right ear. “Your flight’s been delayed. Do you want to get an earlier one? Leaves in half an hour.” All delivered staring to the side of my face. I moved position so that she wouldn’t have to change her gaze, but would be able to meet mine, but she persisted in questioning my ear. My ear replied that an earlier flight would be fine. “There’s ice on the runway, you see, they don’t want many planes taking off or landing.” My ear wasn’t immediately thrilled to hear the news. “I wish you hadn’t said that,” I mumbled, as she asked my ear if it had packed the bags itself or been given anything to carry on by a stranger.

In the event, of course, everything was fine, dandy, rosy and more or less on the button. Bit of ice on the runway never hurt anyone.

24 February 2005
London time again. I may blog a bit later on, but just in case, here are my flight details, so that I'll be kept safe and well by the power of Blogger. Many thanks.

From Dublin(DUB) to London Stansted(STN)
Thu, 24Feb05 Flight FR298 Depart DUB at 21:45 and arrive STN at 22:55

22 February 2005
Last night Johnny came back to town, and what better way to celebrate his presence than to go out and drink an unintentionally large amount of beer, smoke far too much too quickly and end up in some weird after hours bar surrounded by children.

Smoking outside is losing its novelty. Particularly at the moment, when it's snowing. There is nothing more ridiculous than standing in the street, teeth chattering and body shivering so much it actually looks like you're dancing, desperately trying to sew Marlboro lights into the lining of your lungs just so you can get back inside to the warmth. And yet. We kept doing it. Over and over again. All four of us, in fact. It's quite monumentally idiotic. I've said it before, I'll say it again - I have to, and will, stop smoking. If the cancer doesn't get me, the pneumonia will.

I spent most of the day yesterday telling myself and anyone else who'd listen that I'd be home on the last bus, because to stay out last night would be a kind of madness even I'm not able for. I had neither the money nor the energy nor frankly the inclination for staying out last night plus and also there's the small matter of having to do my OU essay before Thursday's trip to London, and then there's the snow which is cold and therefore it's better to be in bed all tucked up watching your new Angel Season 5 DVD than to be wandering around town like a foole trying to contract the killer lurgy that's going about.

So naturally it was a surprise to no one when I found myself at one in the morning standing upstairs in a bar, still wearing the clothes I went to work in (there's nothing worse than getting drunk in work clothes). We chose that particular bar from three choices because (1) it's not a wanky members club, (2) it's not Spy Bar and (3) it was close and we were cold. That's the only justification I can give for the pure horror of us four ladies (Johnny had by that time taken Option 1, the wanky members club, and was probably dribbling on Girls Aloud's alouds by then) standing and letcherously staring at all the young, young boys.

Just staring, mind. No touching. I'm sure in some states of America, that kind of age gap is illegal. With the full awareness that I'm now starting to sound like my Granny, aren't all policemen and college students young these days? I don't remember looking that young. I don't remember the people around me looking that young. I'm sure at least one boy in my year used to shave on a semi-regular basis, and that we'd all at least started puberty. These children were galloping around looking like they'd just woken up from their afternoon naps and been congratulated by their mother's for having a dry day for a change. It was surreal.

The greatest entertainment about it, for all four of us, was the fact that now we're in our mid-to-late-20s we don't have the hang ups these poor children do about their appearance. We all have the confidence that comes from the realisation that we no longer give a damn what the rest of the room is thinking, and we all know there are bigger issues in life than worrying about the size of your arse. And we also know that confidence is an aphrodisiac, particularly to those younger boys whose only experience of women to that point come from those emails the rest of us delete from our spam folders. We spent the time there quite happily pointing out to each other that if we wanted, we could have any single boy in that room.

The funniest part of the night was when Little Sister Edel's friend decided to prove the point to us, and stood herself up from the stool and started casting her gaze brassily round the room. Within FIVE SECONDS - that was timed on a watch, and so is a scientific FACT - she had a boy almost literally drooling at her feet. It took her five seconds to pull. And all of us with hair pulled back, wearing the clothes we were in all day, shod in runners and not a scrap of makeup between us. I wish to God I'd known we had that power while in university.

(NB - it's important to note the time that this has been written and posted. I may well still be a bit drunk.)

17 February 2005
Things I didn't say today, that I really truly wanted to:

1. To the girl in the green jacket -
"Just because you're on the phone doesn't mean you need to stop dead in the middle of the street. It's a MOBILE phone. You can continue to be MOBILE. Get out of my fucking way."

2. To the girl in the long white coat -
"Even though you've managed to successfully cross the road, there are still some other people crossing behind you. So stopping right on the edge of the path so that we all have to pile up on top of each other to get past is very inconsiderate. Get out of my fucking way."

3. To the bloke getting on the bus with the oddly cut black hair -
"We've all been stood here for the last five minutes in the freezing cold. You only just turned up. Why do you think you deserve to get on the bus first? And for fuck's sake, if you're going to skip the queue, you can at least have the right change ready instead of holding up the whole fucking queue. Get out of my fucking way."

4. To the girl in the queue at the bank link on Grafton Street -
"I can see you staring at me in the reflection of the window. What the fuck are you looking at? Get out of my fucking way."

5. To everyone in Temple Bar, both before and after work -
"Get out of my fucking way."

My internal dialogue is very sweary.

16 February 2005
This is the first and last time I'm going to mention this. Everyone near and dear to me is bored to tears about this. Dee starts shaking and asking me to change the subject. Little Sister Edel immediately begins to cry and walks out of the room. Even my mother, who is the living embodiment of encouragement in relation to everything I do, has started to glaze over in the manner of a Stepford wife thinking about cleaning products. They're all, in short, sick to the back teeth, but it's finally over. I've finally won.

Since the beginning of September, I've been on something of a diet. Now, I'd be the last person to admit this to anyone, but since no one actually reads this (all the comments are left by me, in various guises - no one mentioned or featured here actually exists. Even I'm a figment of my imagination) it's safe to go on about it, at least for one entry. Last July, when my evil witchy physiotherapist (who, by the way, I would now lay my life down for, I love her *that* much) said that I had to lose weight, I immediately punched her in the stomach and ran gibbering from the room. I would not diet. I would not. No one could make me, how dare they suggest it, what the fuck was her problem, etc. I was very very angry. I went home and ate some crisps.

But then I gots to thinking - if you've got a bad back, of course carrying about heavy things aren't going to help. And so the logic of maybe losing an inch here or there started to dawn on me and I thought I'd give the whole heave-hoe a go, for a bit at least.

The first Weight Watchers meeting I went to was *exactly* like the Fat Fighters sketches in Little Britain. EXACTLY like it. The SAME PRECISELY. In my head at least. The indignity of queuing up in a line to be weighed by a stranger, and to have your weight written down and discussed by a stranger. To watch these world weary ladies, each of us slightly portlier than the last, all shuffling forward nervously doing our utmost not to look at each other, staring around at feet and shoes and fussing with coats and bags. To be handed a card with a computer chip in it, that would keep track of your precise weight changes, up as well as down, right down to the last ounce. It was all too much to take in, and I hated it. I would never go back. This was a daft idea, it'd never work, this lot were mental.

Right until our leader started speaking. Yes, they're called Leaders. And She was Our Leader. And I love her even more than I love my physiotherapist (and that's saying something. I've got a lot of love for these ladies in me, if you know what I'm saying. And I think you might). Our Leader is called Mary and she's a miracle worker. Mary Our Leader, you see, talks sense. She says things like if you eat too much, you're not going to lose weight. She says other things like if you exercise more, you'll lose weight quicker. She occasionally says things in rhyming couplets, but we ignore when that happens. And every week, she finds different ways to say the same thing, and manages to be inspiration each and every time.

If you stick with the programme long enough - and it's a programme supported by websites and leaflets and handbooks and trackers and points and point finders and a monthly magazine and all sorts of things you couldn't begin to imagine (WW is something of an entire sub-culture in itself) you do start to develop a form of Stockholm syndrome. Every week, the weigh-in becomes something that you both dread and look forward. Mary Our Leader is a wonder at the weigh-ins. She grabs your card, has a quick look at your name, and then looks you in the eye and greets you like a long-lost friend, as if she knew your name all along and was just double checking the spelling. She hugs you - HUGS YOU! - if you lose more than 2 lbs in a week, and gives you a supportive smile if you gain weight. A hug from Mary Our Leader is definitely better than the weight that you've lost. Mary Our Leader is a wonder of a woman.

The second week I attended one of the smug & skinny girls I was furiously giving evils to (because WHAT THE HELL ARE SKINNY GIRLS DOING THERE?!) was awarded with her Gold Membership, because she'd reached her Goal Weight. Goal Weight is the weight you decided on with Your Leader when you joined WW, the weight that's right for your height and weight, the healthiest for your BMI. The Golden Ticket, the Great Beyond, the more than likely Unattainable Ambition. Smug & skinny girl, I found out that week, had lost FOUR STONE. Go smug & skinny girl. You carry on being smug and skinny. Mary Our Leader asked her all sorts of questions, as a kind of inspirational talk for the rest of us, about what she'd done and how she'd done it and how long it had taken her, and smug & skinny girl talked of giving up bread and walking everywhere and watching portions and eating vegetables. I thought to myself two things: (1) That sounds boring and (2) I'm never going to do it.

Today, Ladies, Gents, Moo - I was the smug girl in my class. I'm not claiming skinny by any means, but here I am at my Goal Weight. Unfortunately I can't make the classes run by Mary Our Leader any more thanks to Ridiculous New Job's ridiculous working hours, but I'm attending Assumpta, and she's almost (but not quite) as good (Assumpta doesn't hug, y'see). I got a round of applause, and had to announce my total weight loss (which I'm not putting here, but it's not far off smug & skinny's), and they even made me stand up, which was embarrassing beyond imagination. And then Assumpta My Leader asked what I'd done and how I'd done it and how long it had taken me, and I found myself talking of giving up bread and walking everywhere and watching portions and eating vegetables. I didn't mention taking up smoking again as a means to battle food cravings, because although it's acknowledged among us long-termers at WW (a long-termer is simply someone who comes to more than three meetings) as a recognised diet supplement, it's very frowned upon.

But yay me, and go the Shazzle. I've not been harping on about it here because it isn't a weight-loss blog (and there are loads of brilliant ones out there, for example dietchick) and I thought it'd be embarrassing to start on about it and then stop when I (as I assumed I would) inevitably failed (like one other, kinda famous English actress blogger did, whose name shall begin with Emma and end Kennedy).

I got my prize. And the prize for reaching Goal Weight? A big box of chocolates.

Only kidding. It's a naff keyring. *So* not worth the effort.

15 February 2005
Walking home from work last night, I've never seen so many couples in one place before in my life. Seriously, people who are probably barely speaking for the rest of the year seem to find it obligatory to go outside in to the public arena and walking around SLOWLY holding hands and gazing up at each other on Valentines Day. Girls carrying single red roses, and boys with their hands in lady's back pockets (that's not a euphemism, by the way. Dirty). I think I may well have been the only person walking unattended through Temple Bar, the only one not paired up and by God those people annoyed me. What's with the need for PDAs? Public displays of affection are tasteless and tactless and inappropriate and frankly disgusting. If you feel affection for someone, and want to show it to them, do it behind closed, locked and bolted doors. There's no need to go parading your shame around town. No one needs to see kissing or hand holding or hugging or cuddling or any other kind of show of love. It's just bad taste.

We always agreed, as (admittedly very young) teenagers, that PDAs were vile and wrong, and that we'd never indulge. Of course, I remember saying the same thing about (1) smoking, (2) swearing, (3) drinking and (4) pre-marital sex. Shit, that catholic schooling really had the intended effect on me, for sure and no doubt about it. But of that Top Five Things I'll Never Do, I still feel the same way about PDAs. You like someone, fine. Write them a poem or something. No need to dribble all over them in public, is all. Get a tattoo and show it to them in secret. Don't go groping each other's each other every which way.

(Of course, I am the world's biggest hypocrite. But what I and my boyfriend do is different, because... um... Just because. Shut up. You're just jealous.)

14 February 2005
Happy Monday to you all. If you're not all coupled up and wish you were, you can get some alternative valentines cards here. If you're all coupled up and you wish you weren't, there's a brilliant "You're Dumped" option on that site too. The best way to dump someone is on-line, you know. If you're not coupled up, are glad you're not, and are pissed off that the rest of the world feels it necessary to force their loving relationships down your throat, well then shit happens, lady. Nobody made you get out of bed today. Go kick some puppies.

A round of up things to do this week, that you should all be doing on a daily basis (otherwise known as New Links):

1. Ignio. I've mentioned it before, but seriously, this is the best horoscope site in the world. Dee is kind enough to text me my horoscope to my mobile every day, so I know what's going on. Today's reads - "Today nobody even in a slightest degree will doubt that you are the best in every area of human activity. It is possible, that it is really so. At least, everything will to turn out perfectly today." That sounds about right to me. I am indeed the best in every area of human activity.

2. Dee Says. Dee has joined the mentally unstable world of bloggers, and has her own blog right here. You might think that it looks a little familiar, but that's only because my blog gave birth to her blog over the last week. And look! We made a ginger! She now rings me every night to tell me she's done a new post and I haven't, which apparently makes her better than me. Well, she's wrong. I am, of course, the best in every area of human activity.

3. Two more comedians have been stupid enough to start up blogs as well. One Lady Owner is Nick Swift's frankly far-too-good attempt at blogging. It's annoying to find new blogs that are not only readable, but downright funny and well written, because it makes me question why I've been writing this crap for nearly four years now. But then, I remember that I'm the best in every area of human activity. Not Nick fucking Swift. One of the nice Bearded Ladies has also started showing off on the internet, talking about what it's like to work for Channel 4 and write sitcoms and generally just being all smug and self-centered. Not really, of course. I'm not jealous. I'm the best in every area of human activity after all.

4. One more blog recommendation, and then I'm done I swear - Planet Potato kind of snuck up on me, hit me round the back of the head and then ran off giggling. I like his cheek and the cut of his jib, the hop in his step and the twinkle in his eye. Although since I'm the best in every area of human activity, I'm still best than him, or any other blogger, and if you have a problem with that, talk to the hand.

5. I've been invited to play with heard said, a site that collects together things that people have heard, and that they believe to be true. The best thing about the site is the fact that it might not necessarily be true. I've only posted up one thing so far, because that's all the interesting facts I know about anything, but I'll be endeavouring to join in more in the future. But if you have anything interesting you think should be posted on this frankly great idea of a site, do leave comments on MY BLOG and not on theirs, so that I can get the credit.

Many thanks.

11 February 2005
Things I learned today:

1. Starting your day with a funeral is not an ideal way to begin any day, regardless of your relationship with the deceased, or the circumstances of their death.
2. There is no sadder sight in the world than the vicar wiping away tears while delivering the final blessing of the services.
3. It is not a good idea to follow a breakfast of two strong black coffees and a cigarette with a pint of Guinness, no matter how sensible or appealing it appears at the time.
4. Never assume there will be vegetarian food available to sober you up before going in to work. There won't be.
5. No matter how bad a day you're having, never swear out loud in what you assume to be an empty office - there will be a senior solicitor lurking around every corner to hear your profane utterances.
6. The "I don't give a shit" attitude is not a winning one.
7. Muttering "Jesus Fucking Christ" quietly but audibly will not make people get out of your way on a Friday night in Temple Bar.
8. Having a bitch of a day and horribly missing your boyfriend is not a good enough reason to smoke four cigarettes in a row.
9. If you have the habit of empathising too much with the lead characters of novels, stop reading books by the brilliant Patrick Gale. This will lead to no good.
10. Take every opportunity to talk to your elderly relatives while you have the chance, so that you're not left with an empty rage and frustration that you never knew them.

09 February 2005
Part two of the things that muck up Bus Etiquette: Is that lady pregnant, or is she just plain fat?

Giving up your seat, as already covered, is a difficult mine field in which to venture your precious little paws. As a lady, and as a lady who can climb stairs, I quite often side step these mine fields, because the golden rule of bus travel is if you're sat upstairs you don't need to give up your seat for no one, no how. Once ensconced upstairs, you don't even need to pay attention to your fellow travellers. You don't even need to look up once at the idiotic fool who has plonked themselves beside you. In fact, it's best you don't. In the winter months, they usually have a streaming cold involving all sorts of bodily fluids that, when you're trapped between them and the wall of the bus, might make you spontaneously throw up such is the wretched foulness of their state. I get trapped in the paranoia of catching colds from people on buses, and have to resist the very strong temptation to strap on a gas mask and start pushing away the unclean. In the summer months, it's almost worse, because their exposed flesh is pressed up against your exposed flesh and it's a whole fleshy sweaty thing that makes my skin crawl to think on it. (What I need, I realise now, is a chauffeur.) So it's best not to look at what's sat beside you at any point ever, and on the upper deck that's perfectly allowable, nay actively encouraged.

But yes. The point in hand. When sitting downstairs, it is assumed that when someone who is a little bit more shaky on the legs, or slightly more laden down, or a bit spakky around the head, gets on the bus, you as the able-bodied or younger or less sanity-imbalanced should give up your seat so the special needs can have a nice sit down while enjoying their day out in the community. And that's fine and dandy and quite as it should be - those in need of seats get seats, those who aren't so needful in the seat department can happily hang on for dear life as the driver takes corners on two wheels and tries to tip the bus on it's side. This system works spectacularly well for the most part. The only problem is, I can never decide who is worthy, and who just looks a bit worthy.

See, if a lady is pregnant, she's in dire need of a seat. She will have been made all fat and round by a gentleman's special hug, and there will be a tiny human baby growing inside her tummy. This makes her ankles sore and her legs swell up, and all these ladies want more than anything in the world is a cigarette and a nice sit down. Since you're not allowed to smoke when you're pregnant, the next best thing is the sit down, and ladies with babies on board like nothing more than a long sit down, particularly on a bus. So the immediately decent thing to do when spying a lady with a large prominent tummy is to offer up your seat for the sake of her and her unborn. And thus introduces the constant conundrum when travelling on the bus - Is that lady merely Fat or is she With Child?

Do you offer the seat and risk calling her a loafing heifer right to her face, or do you ignore her plight and possibly damage her vertebrae forever? Do you give up your seat to someone who basically has spent too much quality time with chocolate, or do you snub the wonderful life givers of this world, those who suffer so that our species can continue?

I find it best to ignore everyone, always, ever.

08 February 2005
I woke up this morning and decided that it was Summer. I'm bored waiting for warm weather to arrive, it's taking far too long for my liking, so I've decided to speed it along by acting to all intents and purposes as though it is already here.

Summer's here! School's finished, the grass is long, green, and being constantly mowed by middle aged men wearing ill advised shorts and sock/sandal combinations. Summer's here! There are wasps and bees around every corner, and ice pops are drastically more expensive and at the same time smaller than you remember them being before. Summer's here! Everyone at work is wearing short tops and skirts - including the boys - and you can't remember what shoes you used to wear to work before you bought the boots that are now too hot to wear all day long. Summer's here! You can leave the house without a coat and scarf and gloves and a hat and extra coats and three pairs of socks and you have to remember to start shaving your legs again - including the boys. Summer's here! Sitting and drinking in beer gardens is pleasant once more, and not just a necessary evil so that you can have a smoke with your drink. Summer's here! The fan on your office desk is giving you a permanent wind-swept-Jessica-Simpson-in-a-photo-shoot look to your hair, which is frankly fabulous. Summer's here! Walking in the sea is once again a happy time, and your feet won't turn blue and fall off (unless you're walking in the sea in Dublin, in which case they'll turn black and fall off, but that's not due to the temperature, it's due to pollution). Summer's here! Long late night walks staring up at the stars walking hand in hand with your best girl/guy does not consist of shivering and stomping your feet and crying because your head hurts as it's so cold. Summer's here! You're no longer the palest person in the world, because at the first sight of the summer sun, your skin did handstands and popped out freckles like they were going out of fashion. Summer's here! Freckles are NOT going out of fashion.

It's the Summer!

It's not working, is it? Ten minutes after I made the decision to treat the day like it was summer, it started raining. That special rain that only winter can produce. Not exactly falling from the sky, but more kind of descending and then hanging about, all the better to properly and completely soak you through to the skin. It's already getting dark outside. It's freezing cold. Winter sucks.

07 February 2005
Most of the lovely people I'm glad to call my friends have been good enough to join in my game, and have sent me profiles of their good selves. Not a single member of what I'm forced to call my family are playing along. Therefore, my family will be getting cruel profiles written up and published for the ENTIRE WORLD to see.

First prize goes to Dee, because she was first to join in the game. Her prize comes in the form of a new blog, which will be attached to this one like some kind of weird and wrong Siamese growth. I will link to it when it's fully formed. From there, y'all can read everything that happens in her head. I might put some kind of parental guidance across the top though.

Below are the entries sent in. They're all brilliant. You can find even more information (and PICTURES!!!) in the About Shazzle section.

Many, many thanks.

Dave (aka He Who Only...):
"Born 31/08/78 aged 52 becoming progressively younger with each passing year. 78-84 Served with distinction behind Iron Curtain with BritishSecret Vetinary Dental Service losing leg in process (not his own). 85-87 Govenor General of Bemuda. 87-Present editor of Bandeja-Inoperante! (Lusaphone Comedic Review). Decorated twice by the Queen and once by Changing Rooms. Keen amateur heterosexual."

"JC is a bad ass motherfucker who'll come in your house and wreck it but because he's so cool it'll look even better than it did before and you'll probably win a prize and the value of your house will increase. YEAH! Even if he kicked a baby in it's stary-confused face it would just make it better looking and prettier and it would win a modeling contract and probably the value of your house would increase. YEAH! OOHHH!!! He's so motherfucking cool!!!! And he LOVES Doctor Who cos it's cool and that's cos everything he does is cool. Even plain girls he has kissed have become society darlings and the value of their house has increased. He's got skillz that killz. I love him and so do you."

"I was christened Deirdre but then that evolved through lax pronunciation standards in the late 1980's to Dee which remained pretty much unchanged until Dee was introduced to Shazzle and her influence was to result in the letter "j" being stuck to the end to produce Deej which remains my name's current status at this time of entry.

Who am I? I am 29, I have browny reddy chestnut hair, I'm not the most organised person in the world and some have even called me scatty. I have a beautiful daughter called Rosie who's brill. My dad and I were only talking with her teacher the other day and she told us that Rosie is doing fabulously well in school, especially at spelling, reading, writing, singing and talking (!). In fact I might get her to add her own little entry about herself as she'd probably put it heaps better. So I am also a proud mother!

Shazzle, Mrs Bishop and I made up the Losers Triad in school. I'm still in first position in the league as I haven't got a university degree to follow the Deej bit of my name like the other two members.

What am I? I'm single and looking for lurve that's what I am!"

"Moo comes from a lullaby my inventive mother stumbled upon which had the effect of making me fall asleep within five mins flat. It went like "Maire Moo, MaireMoo, Maire Moo, ma ma moo ma moo" and was repeated like a mantra until I fell asleep. It got to the point I used to scream when I heard it... then snooze. My husband (that is still weird) started calling me Moo quite independently, as did his mother, then the Shazzle, Banky and Weeze and now it has stuck.

Also I am from Norn Iron, living in Dublin and I work with lots of wonderful homeless men. I have two fat furry babies (which are otherwise known as Labradors). One is Mr Charles B Bear, aka Charlie Bear, he loves to eat bras, knickers, socks etc and the other is Derry Doglet, who is old and dignified and a lady. I am currently addicted to cigarettes and blogs, and yes I do enjoy an auld eavesdrop on everyone elses life, better than Eastenders anyday. I used to be queen of innuendos but have let that slip a little, instead I share graphic information on all bodily functions as everyone else's reaction amuses me.

Oh yeah, I felt Noel Fielding's bum at the comedy festival and it was all pert, firm and lovely."

04 February 2005
Last night on the bus on the way home from work, I was suddenly and inexplicably surrounded by old people.

The events happened as follows: I got on the bus (no problems, everyone around me was under 30 and slightly odd looking, all perfectly normal for that time of night); I sat downstairs; I opened my OU book; I pumped up the volume on the discman; I immersed myself in the frankly boring world of child psychology.

Two stops later, we were taking longer to upload passengers than usual, so I tore myself away from the fascinating Bowlby theory of attachment and looked up. And lo, there they were. Old people. Hundreds of them. Doddering and wobbling and grinning from ear to ear like a rubbish out take from Cocoon. Where had they come from? Where were they going to? Why were they travelling en masse? All of these questions occurred in rapid succession, but the most pressing thought was: where the fuck are they all going to sit?

The dilemma of giving up seats while travelling on public transport is one that I frequently am confronted with, and I have quite a good system for dealing with it - I don't give up my seat. And before you start with the evil looks and the tutting and the stamping of feet and the moral highground, I'd like to remind you, in that way I have, of my three - THREE - slipped discs and added complications of a back nature. And if that's not enough for you, I'd add in the fact that I'm quite, quite evil.

No, the way I get around it is I usually sit upstairs. If anyone is sprightly enough to make it up the stairs on a Dublin bus, you're capable of standing downstairs - and you must be considerably sprightly to climb those stairs, as well as slightly acrobatic, because Dublin bus drivers seem to get extra points or a weekly bonus or at least some kind of sexual thrill if they knock you off your feet while ascending or descending the stairs, such is the veracity to which they dedicate themselves to the task. On the days I can climb the stairs, I do. On the days I can't climb the stairs, I need my downstairs seat just as much as the next pensioner, and no state sponging old granny is going to take it away from me.

But last night, there I was, trapped in a sea of blue rinses and false teeth, hips, knees and bladders. Looking around me, I could see that many other passengers were also feeling the horror I was experiencing, as they looked at this swarm of OAPs wrinkling towards us. We did what we had to do. As one, we all stood up and ran up the stairs, thereby achieving two things:

1. We'd given up our seats like good responsible citizens.
2. We'd rubbed their OAP faces in the fact that we can all still run up stairs.

03 February 2005
Ladies, Gents, Moo, I’ve decided it’s time for a quick update for the profiles section of the site. Thing is, though, I’ve been attempting to be discrete for the past few months in relation to certain developments in certain areas of my social and personal affairs. And that’s been one large block in relation to blogging. It’s so difficult to write about when you’re having a gloriously great time, because you’re afraid that by documenting it you’ll ruin the magic, burst the bubble, break the spell. Equally, when you’ve had a massive falling out with someone, it’s difficult to write about that too, because some time down the road y’all might have the chance to make up again, and then where would you be had you written a long spiel about how stinky that person is, and what a cad they can be, and how cruel they are to puppies and small children, and what exactly their criminal record consists of.

So the most interesting times in your life, the times when you’ve got the most to say and want to tell everyone all about it, those are the very times that it’s best to keep schtum and write about scenery and incidentals and new pets and to take photographs of shadows, because otherwise you’re opening yourself up to all sorts of heck and shenanigans.

Same thing goes for writing short and even obviously stupid profiles of people for your website. Some people want their sites linked, some don't. Some want their names used, some don't ever want to be mentioned ever. Some beg for their pets to become involved. It's complicated.

I think I may have come up with a short cut around these bothers though – I’m going to let other people write their profiles themselves, so as to never incriminate myself. It’s a crazy thought, but someone’s got to be crazy round here, and it might as well be me. So, I’ll be sending out invites tonight via the internerd to those already profiled in the "About Me" section, and they must get back to me within three days or I’ll write hideously inaccurate things about them. Consider yourselves warned.

If you’d like to submit your information here, I’d be gratefully pleased to include you in the "About Me" section, purely because it would amuse me to associate with you wonderful people who entertain me endlessly with your comments and (quite recently) links to pornographic sites. Just email dreadful.nonsense@gmail.com, including a link to your site if you’re lucky enough to have one, and if you like you can also include a photograph or image that you feel best reflects your inner essence.

Get to work.

02 February 2005
I had written something today at work that will instead appear here tomorrow, but I've just heard this news and it just seems glib to write about anything else now that I've been sitting here muttering "fucking hell..." over and over for the last ten minutes.

Malcolm Hardee, for anyone who knows anything about the British stand up scene, was a fucking legend. I've only seen him on stage a handful of times, and he was never anything but drunk and overly aggressive, but most people still loved him, and if you didn't love him, you'd still begrudgingly respect the ridiculous nature of his life and career.

We were once lucky enough to be accosted by him in the bar at The Pleasance a couple of years ago during the Festival. It was the night before he walked out of his show in the Gilded Balloon and went back home to London because he couldn't be arsed with it all anymore. I wish I could say that we had a long and revealing chat with him, as he exposed his reasons for doing the things he did - driving tractors through tents while comedy shows were being performed, or painting his genitals fluorescent, or stealing Freddy Mercury's birthday cake, or even just justifying The Greatest Show On Legs. But I can't, because I don't remember the conversation at all. What I do remember is being continually struck by the fact that we were sitting with an actual living breathing legend.

Stewart Lee contributed "I'll Only Go If You Throw Glass" to the Sit Down Comedy book that Malcolm edited, and Malcolm always claimed this was about him. If you've never experienced Hardee's comedy, I think this is the closest you can get in printed form.