Saturday, March 26, 2005

Bob Johnson

Ah, Bob... This is a little oasis of calm in my blog which is devoted to the wonders of Bob Johnson.

When I lived in Yorkshire, Bob Johnson kept us all entertained with his two minute weather slot at the end of the news on Tyne Tees Television (which, by the way, has to be pronounced with a northern accent even in your head).

Bob is the epitome of everything you'd want in a favourite uncle and more. He's got that kindly, northern thing going on and uses words that I swear nobody's used for at least a hundred years. Southerners might have thunderstorms, but in Tyne Tees land they're "thunderplumps". The region also apparently suffers from "skitey bits" although we never managed to work out what they were.

So hats off to Bob, the thing I miss most now I live dahn Sahf.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


So... illegal travellers' sites. There's one I haven't touched on yet.

Michael Howard says his wish to crack down on illegal sites is about common sense and fairness. But surely common sense would lead to more legal sites for travellers? I don't want to state the obvious or anything, but you can't blame gypsies and travellers for illegally settling on private land if there isn't enough public land available. Do people really think that a community that's been itinerant for generations is going to turn up at a site, notice the 'Private Property' sign and say "oh, okay then, sod this caravaning malarky, let's settle down in a nice semi-detached".

This is simply a case of the settled community trying to marginalise and criminalise travellers. It is good that travellers exist. It's good that there are people who challenge the accepted way of living and offer alternatives. Various communities and races have lived in this way for generations and the resulting cultures are rich and exciting. How are they going to continue to thrive and develop if the Tories lock everyone up?

Saturday, March 19, 2005


I would like to register a complaint. For our Christmas do at work we made little placecards with a picture of a famous looky-likey for each person. Yesterday one of my friends left work so we made her a t-shirt with all the pictures on aswell.

My complaint is as follows:

Why, when the other girls in the office got Uma Thurman, Madonna, Liv Tyler and Gwyneth Paltrow, did I get the little girl in Miracle on something something Street and Matilda? I'm a grown up!! I'm twenty five years old!!

Okay, so some of the others weren't best pleased with being Sharon from Eastenders or Narinda from Big Brother, but at least they're all voting age!

This is a serious blow to my credibility at work (previously, people called me by my surname and bowed to me in the corridor). I've had to put up with people telling me how cute I am and saying "are you really Thanta Clauth?". It's not funny. Not at all.

Monday, March 14, 2005


I always used to be sceptical of people who claimed to suffer from migraines. I thought it was just a pretentious way of saying you have a headache. I assumed they were the sort of people who take a day off for 'the flu' (yeah, right, you had influenza and it lasted a day...) or go to A&E because they've got a bruise.

But in my late teens I started having these really weird headaches that made me go dizzy and throw up. My doctor was infinitely helpful: "It's probably stress. Take some vitamin tablets." "But I do take vitamin tablets", "Well, there you go then!" and it was a couple of years before I was prescribed any medication. After several years of swallowing a whole range of gargantuan multi-coloured pills, I eventually found ones that work and have never looked back. I call them my happy pills, and they really do put me in such a good mood. It's a bit like when you're pissed and you get all silly and giggly. Believe me, if I wasn't an infinitely sensible human being, I'd be taking them every day. I have another set of pills that stop me being sick and, although they sometimes make me faint in a rather embarassing way on the tube, make me feel a million times better.

Recently, the migraines been getting further and further apart and I'm hoping that my hormones have finally realised that I'm not a spotty teenager anymore and are sorting themselves out. It would be great to turn a corner and stop getting them, but I'll really miss my happy pills!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

He who is tired of London...

I'm sure my esteemed colleague at Sincerely Bored of London (see link on the right) will disagree with me, but I love living in London.

I've lived here my whole life (just the right side of the border with Essex, thank god) and there's still so much of it I haven't seen. London is huge and it encompases so much. I love the fact that some parts of London feel like a huge metropolis and others like sweet little mead-swigging, morris dancing villages. We've got forests, parks, pretty riverside walks and all the restaurants / clubs / theatres / museums you can eat.

Okay, so it's got more than it's fair share of knife-wielding maniacs, the pollution of a sixty-a-day smoker and exorbitant prices, but I think its pros outweigh its cons. Infact, a recent study said that Londoners are actually healthier than other people because we tend to walk and use public transport rather than drive, which is a relief really because I don't want to know what's going on in my lungs.

The biggest plus point has got to be the mixture of people who live here. There's always someone weird and wonderful to stare at on the tube, and someone who'll stop you during your shopping trip to remind you that Jesus Loves You. And we do talk to each other sometimes, especially when you get a comedy tube driver who tries to make you laugh over the intercom.

I love being near to everything. I'm currently in walking distance of landmarks that some people come halfway across the world to see.

What's strange is that London seems to be such an easy target for people to insult. It's like a big, rich bully that's picked on kids for so long that it's time for everyone to get their own back. But my London's not like that. I don't like London to the detriment of other places. I've done my time living oop North and even abroad, and I've loved every second of it. London's right for me, but it's not for everyone and that's fair enough. I think that insulting someone's home town is a bit like insulting their sister - you can insult your own sister but god help anyone else who does.

Eventually I'll have to act like a proper grown up and buy a house, and London houses are somewhat out of my price range. But wherever it is I end up, I'm sure it'll only be a short train ride away in order for me to keep my sanity.