The Parrot

In today’s terribly politically correct world it is not good to be an –ist.

Any sort of –ist.

We’re very conscious of not judging people based on race, language, hair colour, sex – you name it.

The thing is though, that no matter how PC we try to be, every one has some sort of personal judgment criteria we use when deciding whether to like someone or not.

Darth VaderThe Husband uses the Star Wars criterion.

How many Star Wars movies are there?

The correct answer is 3 and those ‘other sci-fi movies’.

If your answer is any more than 3 you are dead to him.

polls_poll_xlargeMy father-in-law uses the age-old Beatles vs. Elvis criterion.

You can tell a lot about a person by their answer.

MontyPythonsFlyingCircusREB73MMy personal criterion is Monty Python.

If you do not know about the Trojan Rabbit or Flying Sheep you fall considerably in my esteem.

I acknowledge that these criteria are unfair and prejudiced, but so far one cannot be prosecuted for being Monty Pythonist.

No doubt that will change.

A week or so ago the Office Balcony Bunch were discussing this system of classification.

Yesterday, one of my colleagues admitted that he did not in fact know who or what Monty Python was and had to go home and Google it.

Myself and another MP classifier looked at him in horror.

Straight thereafter he proceeded to tell us that one of his pair of parrots has died.

This rendered myself and my fellow MP fan into hysterics – because – the Parrot Sketch!

“Was he pining for the fjords?” I gasped.1e5c104c2b9c95e0a9ec9318f86f4de0

“Maybe he was just stunned?” interjected the MP fan.

By now, we were weeping.

Another colleague looked at us in shock and sternly admonished us, “Isn’t it sad? It is terribly sad!”

“Oh yes,” I stumbled, hiding my mouth, “It’s very very sad.”

“What do you think he should do?” she demanded.

I racked my brain.

“Perhaps, he should get a mirror so the other one doesn’t feel lonely,” I answered.

“Don’t be fatuous,” was the reply.

“Um…” I thought harder, “Maybe he should get the dead one taxidermied and tie it to on the perch?”

Well, I thought that was a quite reasonable solution.

Apparently not.

Apparently, that was an inappropriate reaction in the face of all-consuming grief.

Except that the ex-parrot owner seemed to consider it and said, “I could’ve done that. Pity, I already threw the body in the trash.”

“The trash!” squeaked the admonisher, “You didn’t even give it a proper funeral?”

It’s my birthday!

Birthday

37 years ago today the world was gifted with me.

How terribly conceited is that?

As I get older my birthdays get better.

Gone is the stomach churning terror no-one would come to my midwinter birthday party.

Gone is the mid-twenties depression that saw me hiding under the duvet waiting for the day to pass.

Now I just enjoy them.

I like being serenaded.

I like getting pancakes in bed made by eager little children.

Tiger of Sweden Freya

I like that my husband remembers my birthday meal – roast lamb, roast potatoes and butternut.


I received a joint birthday and wedding anniversary gift of an exquisite full length jacket from
Tiger of Sweden from the Husband.

Brilliant man – be brought it back from his last trip to Stockholm and managed to hide it from me and three would-be 007s.

IMAG014My mother took me to lunch at Chez Girard where Girard made me a crème brulee exactly as he did for my 21st birthday.

He used to be the chef at the Inanda Club during its heyday. As a small child I used to check out his desserts before choosing anything to eat.

The trick was to get to the desserts first or they’d disappear in about 0.2 of a second.

 

20120409_An-Evening-with-John-Cleese-orgMy belly full of good food we spent the rest of the day at An Evening with John Cleese at MonteCasino.

I did not know his name is really Cheese. Apparently his dad changed it when signing up to go to war. Not a bad thing.

 

He was truly brilliant and it was incredible to have this man whose work has been so much a part of my life and my yardstick for judging other people, right in front of me.

If you can’t pick up a Monty Python reference you are dead to me. I went home and watched Fawlty Towers, Clockwise and a Fish Called Wanda.

For all its faults, social networking and FaceBook have made my birthday a truly wonderful day with messages from people far and wide.

I also have a sparkly new laptop. She is as yet unnamed, I shall have to think about her moniker.

Now, all I need to make this day perfect is for my court date to be issued against The Man Who Won’t Pay Me.

4378197206_dd6765fb09Now I am going to finish my very large slice of chocolate fudge cake that my lovely colleagues bought for me this morning. Even better – they’ve given me the day off!

Thank Mom and Dad for having me, for being the best parents any child could have hoped for. For showing me the world and giving me a sense of humour with which to view the world.

Most of all thanks for putting up with me for 37 years!

 

Feeling the love… Best Moments Ever

best-moment-award-11

Shaun from Scotland (as opposed to Shaun the Sheep) sent me this very cool “Best Moments Award”. Should I ever win an Academy Award Shaun can help me write my acceptance speech as he seems to be training me for this eventuality.

I’m sending this award on to some people to have given me a good laugh, a moment’s pause, a shock to the system or just a really good tea break.

So thanks Shaun @ http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com

More rules… Again with the rules Shaun?

  1. Display the award logo on your blog. And do an acceptance speech
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. Answer 7 questions.
  4. Nominate (no limit of nominations) other bloggers for this award and link back to them.
  5. Notify those bloggers of the award requirements.

Question and answer time…

If you could create your own planet what would it look like?

Harrods? Pink? Empty. A blank canvass for me to wave my hands about and say stuff like, “Let there be light!” in a big booming voice. Either that or my bed.

If you could visit one nation you have never visited before, what nation in the world would that be?

Not Egypt. I’ve been there. The pyramids were stinky. I’d like to go Argentina and see the waterfalls.

Have you ever taken a long distance train trip?

Shaun!  Get on a train and go across the channel there’s a challenge for you.  Yes, I have, I took a train across Europe and my friend chewed liquorice bark from Italy to France. The smell…

What is something you would collectively change about humanity?

Inhumanity.

What is your favourite song?

Today… I really liked singing along to Lightening Seeds “Life of Riley”

If you could meet one person who is still alive who would you choose to meet?

Shaun! How can you say Paul McCartney? Last week you assured me he was DEAD. And I started to believe you.

I would like to meet John Cleese and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (because he has a wicked sense of humour for a priest)

If you could choose one symbol to represent you, what would that symbol be and why?

A snake, because it represents balance and rebirth (not because of the whole Garden of Eden devil thing)

Some of my best moments are thanks to these people:

The Mighty Ndlovu @ http://anelephantcant.me/

The Dilettante @ http://helenahannbasquiat.wordpress.com/

The Slacker @ http://cravesadventure.wordpress.com/

The Jenn with 2 ns @ http://thatsajennstory.com/

I don’t mind if you don’t want to schlep with the whole interview nomination thing. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve appreciated you reading me and I’ve enjoyed reading you.

Sunshine. You are my sunshine… Sung tunelessly in the dark.

sunshine-award

It has been a crazy few days and I have neglected my blog shamelessly. I apologise. It never occurred to me when I started anyone would actually read it.

I have also been suffering the curse of the onset of winter so this award from Shaun at Praying for One Day answered my prayers and bought some sunshine into my cold dark study with The Sunshine Award.

Of course there are rules *sigh*.

If I were Gwyneth, the world’s most hated celebrity, I would shed a tear on my podium. Why is she so hated by the way? It’s like hating vanilla ice-cream.  I digress.

The rules

  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your Blog (I still have to follow Shaun instructions for the last one, so keep your fingers crossed)
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10 Bloggers
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their Blogs, letting them know they have been nominated
  • Link the person who nominated you

Ten questions about myself. Good heavens! I am stumped so I will follow Shaun’s example and answer the ones he did. Well most of them. I found creativity on the way.

  1. Favorite colour: Purple
  2. Favorite animal: Cheetah
  3. Favorite number: Seven
  4. Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Chocolate milkshakes and tea (that’s a necessity and my stranded on a desert island must have)
  5. Favourite chocolate: Lindt.
  6. My passion(s):  Finding the humour in the everyday stuff and of course the three hellions I’m doing my best to raise to adulthood in spite of their attempts otherwise
  7. Favourite movie:Clockwise with John Cleese. It never fails to reduce me to tears and hysterical laughter.
  8. Favourite holiday:19 September. International Talk like a Pirate Day. Yo ho me hearties! You can send me Johnny Depp for my birthday if you like.
  9. If I had 15 minutes to do whatever I wanted:I’d have a cup of tea and 15 minute neck massage. I’m that easy.
  10. If I could live anywhere in the world: The Scottish Highlands or Tahiti – can I commute?

 My 10 Sunshine Bloggers

 Who are you? Let’s check the Reader shall we?

  1. Mommy Man – Adventures of a Gay Superdad
  2. Madame Weebles – Fear No Weebles
  3. Leanne – The Ironic Mom
  4. Heidi – The Happy Freelancer
  5. Cat Frame – The Girl in the Cat Frame Glasses
  6. My Parents are Crazier than Yours – l had to follow this one, because my parents qualify and now I do too.
  7. Jamie – Blowing off Steam and Other Cooking Adventures
  8. The Crazy Bunny – Crazy Bunny 66
  9. Alice – Alice at Wonderland
  10. Russell – The World’s Top Ten of Anything and Everything

Of course, there are many more deserving of some sunshine, so go there and give it to them.

The Parrot and the Laptop

My little pink laptop had sent her last email, blogged her last breath. On informing my husband of this fact I was assured he could administer CPR and once more raise her Lazarus-like from the great beyond.

Around this point I found myself channelling Monty Python.

“It’s passed on!” I squawked at him. “This laptop is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to the great Windows in the sky. It’s a stiff. Bereft of life. It rests in peace. If it were a parrot it’d be pushing up the daisies! Its little hard drive is now history. It’s kicked the bucket. Shuffled off its mortal coil and joined the bleeding choir invisible. The only email it will now receive will be from the Great God Almighty. It is an ex-laptop.”

“Oh well”, sighed husband, “I suppose we’d better replace it.”

I would like to blame the demise of the laptop on the fact that my primary consideration when purchasing it was that it be pink.

She wasn’t a bad laptop. My little Sony Vaio served me well over the years. She’d been suffering from a bit of dementia and when her batteries packed up I knew she was on her last legs. Even her little hinges were suffering arthritic pangs.

Still, her death on the day I had to dig myself out of an avalanche of deadlines was untimely to say the least.

Husband, sweet man that he is, came to my rescue waving a tiny HP Mini on loan courtesy of his IT department. It turns out there is a reason no-one was using it. It speaks Swedish. According to the sticker on the bottom of the screen her name is Helga. A name that describes well her ornery personality.

Her keyboard is filled with umlauts and A’s with little o’s on top. She translates websites into Swedish and underlines all my English words with angry red warnings. It took me day to find a way around her convoluted reasoning.

Yes, you can change her language filters. Only it helps if you speak enough Swedish to find out where the hell they are. On the first evening, long suffering husband sat down and conned her into thinking she had an English keyboard.

He finally turned and uttered the words I longed to hear, “Maybe you should get a Mac Book Air or a Samsung Ultra.”

Oh yes please.

Can I get one in pink?

It just smarts that the money I was going to use to pay a surprise birthday visit to my Dad will now have to be spent on this essential tool for my livelihood. On the bright side, at least I have the cash.