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!


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!


Shine on you crazy diamonds

shine on award

Thanks Shaun from for this lovely award and for late night insomniac chats.

The Rules

I feel ambivalent about rules. I tend to make things up as I go along. To quote one of my favourite pirates, Barbossa, they’re “more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules.”

  1. If-you-have-good-thoughts-they-will-shine-out-of-your-face-like-sunbeans-and-you-will-always-look-lovely.Roald-Dahl-quotesDisplay the award logo on your blog – Thanks Shaun for sending me instructions on how to actually do this.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you that would be
  3. State 7 things about yourself
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
  5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award requirements.

Doc who 1Seven things about me:

  1. I was Cleopatra in a previous life. No I wasn’t. According to some fairground psychic I was camel merchant. My mom got to be a nun in a silent order. The psychic did not find it funny when she and I started chortling.
  2. I have the unusual gift of picking up from the vibes in the atmosphere exactly the wrong and most in appropriate thing to say and running with like Oscar Pistorius.
  3. I have brought three people into this world, in my living room, in a pool. Every single time I only thought about surrogacy too late, as in once labour started. And I didn’t do it because I am a fan of Tom Cruise in Top Gun, I did it because I have a mortal fear of hospitals.
  4. TV series wise its Doctor Who and Big Bang Theory. I love the latter because I know these people, they aren’t stereotypes – I actually know people just like them – thing is I can’t figure out if that typecasts me as Penny the dumb waitress or not.
  5. I judge people poorly if they don’t know about Monty Python especially the Flying Sheep and the Dead Parrot. I assume these sad individuals have had deprived childhoods.
  6. I wish I could say I was listening to some über obscure indie band, but sadly I had my daughter (aged 7) riding shotgun in the car this afternoon playing the CD from that girl from Wizards of Waverly Place, the one who dated Justin Bieber.  Selena Gomez.
  7. I sneak downstairs when everyone is asleep and I eat chocolate Nutella spread out of the jar.

This is where I bend the rules, like that friend of Michael Jackson’s and the spoons.

shine_detI’m not going to nominate 15 people, but I am going to nominate five blogs I found today that I read with all the enthusiasm of a five-year old unwrapping something new and shiny. Some are funny, some are interesting, some are courageous and all deserve this.


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.