Monthly Archives: May 2013

Wet Sleeves

Is anyone else really annoyed by wet sleeves? I always try to pull sleeves up when doing messy jobs but occasionally water slops when you didn’t expect it and you get the sleeves of your top wet. I think it is one of the most uncomfortable feelings. The water may have started off as pleasantly warm but before long it cools and you are left with a cold, wet sleeve sticking to your arm. Try as you might to rub it with a towel to remove excess moisture, it seems to take hours to dry. If possible, I change into dry clothing but sometimes this is not practical so you are stuck with ‘WSS’ (wet sleeve syndrome) until the moisture finally disperses. Wet trousers (no, I’m not incontinent yet), wet feet, wet head – these I can cope with. But wet sleeves? No, no, no.



Isn’t spitting a truly disgusting habit? Nobody can convince me that it is in any way necessary. When I was little, we had double decker buses with signs on them saying ‘no spitting’. This, of course, was a time of mining in the north east and many men had coal dust in their lungs and coughing and spitting was pretty commonplace. Still not good though, even though there was probably a medical reason why they did it.

In many schools I worked in, boys thought it was generally OK to spit – after all, their grandfathers had done it and their fathers had done it. No amount of explanation or chastisement could stop them. I remember litter-picking with some children once and reaching down to pick something up to discover that some little tyke had spit in the same place and I ended up with it on my hands. I also once went to a cashpoint in Chester-le-Street to find that someone had ‘hockled’ all over the keypad. Two nearby tittering brats watched as I bravely keyed in my number and got my cash regardless. I also gave them a good ticking off about their disgusting habits despite their protestations of innocence.

One of the most irritating examples is in football. Men have assured me that spitting is ‘necessary’ when playing football. I dispute this. YOU CAN SWALLOW. We do not want to see the camera zoom in as the footballer produces the ‘gob of the day’. Even if we accept that spitting is essential for footballers, what excuse is there for the Manager, sitting on the sidelines, to do it too? It is a habit. A dirty, filthy habit. And thoroughly bad manners.

So there!


Oh dear, oh dear……people who wear Crocs. These have to be the most hideous shoes ever created. There is no excuse for wearing them. Not when camping. Not when hanging around the house and garden. Definitely not when out in public. 

Is there anything worse that wearing Crocs though? Oh yes, there is. Crocs with socks. Unbelievable, I know, but even important people have done it. See this item in the Huffington Post:

Crocs with socks. The ultimate sign of someone whose mind has gone off the beaten track.


What is it with writing ‘the’ as ‘da’? I can’t stand it! The word is THE, T-H-E, not da. Add to that ‘de’ and ‘dey’ and it is enough to make me scream.

This is not evolution of the English language. This is destruction of the English language.



I got inspiration for this today in the town centre at the traffic lights. I was approaching the lights as they changed to amber. I slowed and stopped. However, the car to the right of me sailed on through and so did the one behind him – when the lights were definitely on red. I see this all the time. Some people don’t seem to think that the red light applies to them and that they will get lucky and get through before the other traffic moves on their green light. 

We are all in such a rush these days. But are we in so much of a hurry that we are not only prepared to be a ‘riskit’ but also prepared to cause harm to others rather than just waiting 60 seconds?


This one is inspired by Little Miss Stubborn…..

Have you been to the gym lately and watched some of the people who go there? You should all know by now that I can’t stand the ‘look at me’ mentality you see on Twitter. Well the gym equivalent is the person who exercises, does weight training or uses the instruments of torture in front of a nice big mirror. Each flex of the muscles is checked out to make sure that physical perfection is being achieved. Every movement is followed by an admiring glance at oneself, loving the body, begging others to look and admire and wish theirs were half as good.

Well, gym bunnies, I have news for you. We are not admiring you. We are smirking at your vanity, watching as you grow to love yourself even more and dying to get home to tweet about how silly you are.


I hate anyone confiding in me and asking me to keep something secret. It sits inside of me, begging to be let out. It makes me feel unsettled and irritable. It is like a little worm, wriggling away around about my diaphragm, reminding me that I know this information but can’t tell anyone else. I have one of those little worms inside me right now. It has been there for six months now and I still can’t talk about it. It is quite a serious secret with legal implications. It will either explode with possibly national coverage or it will fizzle out and be brushed under some grubby carpet. Until then, the worm will wriggle from time to time, reminding me that it is still there.

P.S. Don’t worry……this secret is not about me!

Social Media Panic

Following the Sally Bercow incident, many anti-twitter people will be waving their little flags and jumping up and down about the evils of social networking. (At this point, insert a huge, heartfelt sigh).

I’m going to keep this short……

In social media, remember that nothing can be deleted – it still exists somewhere. Remember that anyone can access your accounts (no matter what privacy settings you have created). Remember that you should look at your media and wonder what an outsider would judge you as based on your photos, tweets and updates. Remember that you should NEVER say something on social media that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.

If you remember all those things, then social media can bring you information, education, friendship, advice, a shoulder to cry on and great joy. It is not evil per se. Just some people who use it unwisely make it so occasionally.

TV News

I’m sure that everyone was appalled by the events in Woolwich yesterday. One man’s life was ended in an abominable way and my heart goes out to his loved ones. The death itself was atrocious but the subsequent TV coverage really got me angry. If this man’s family happened to be watching the news as they hadn’t been informed yet, or if they are to see it at a later date, I can’t imagine how that would compound their suffering.

We live in a time of great technology. This means that almost all of us carry a device which can capture images and videos as well as phone people and send them messages. This also means that horrific photos and videos can be transmitted and made public in a split second. In yesterday’s event, the two attackers seemed to crave attention, openly asking people around to video them. They didn’t run from the scene but waited until police arrived. One or two amazingly courageous people (women, I might add) challenged them and tried to talk them down. Others stood at a distance and filmed the goings-on. Within minutes, those images were transmitted worldwide. 

What really got me hot under the collar was the news at 6 o’ clock. They did warn the people at home that there were distressing images but my argument is that some things should not be shown at that time of the evening  when young children are around (or any time, actually). I found it really upsetting as an adult and would have been mortified if my grandchildren had seen that. But there was worse.

The commentator reporting from the scene committed the ultimate sin as far as I’m concerned. He said that the two attackers were of ‘Muslim appearance’. Comments like this add fuel to the fire of those of limited intelligence who brand an entire group of people based on a minuscule number of insane fanatics. It is estimated that there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world – one quarter of the world’s population. Islam is a peaceful religion and almost all Muslims in the world would be as appalled as you and I about what happened yesterday.

When Anders Breivik killed 77 people in 2011, did reporters comment that the man’looked like a Christian’? I don’t think so. The BBC reporter was very unwise and unprofessional to come out with such a comment. The TV reporting and video from the skies was unnecessary and bloodthirsty. At times, the Press needs reminding that these events are not to be sensationalised and that somewhere there is a family who loved that victim and will suffer until the day they die having seen those images and heard sensational reporting of what happened to him.


At one time, when you bought furniture, you went to the store, had a look around, saw something you liked and then bought it. It was then loaded into a lorry and delivered intact, placed exactly where you wanted it.

Not now.

Now, you go to the store, look around, find something you like and make a note of the aisle and shelf where it is stored. You then get a huge trolley and manhandle a box (or series of boxes) on to said trolley, push it to the checkout and pay for it, manhandle the bulky items to the car park and then try every possible arrangement of seating in your car in order to fit the boxes in there. Once home, you extricate the boxes from the car, get them into the house and clear a large floor space. You then have to get a series of tools from the garage in order that you might create this amazing table / wardrobe / bookshelf.

This is where men and women discover their differences. Mr Whinge would just take a cursory glance at the instruction booklet, fail to make any sense of it and just plough ahead with the three-dimensional jigsaw (usually ending up with something which would have one panel upside down and have to be dismantled again. I, however, being ever so slightly OCD, would lay all the pieces out and count them to ensure they were all present (and therein lies another story) and correct, then meticulously assemble the item, taking three times longer than Mr. Whinge, getting stuck on the floor because of arthritis, sweating, cursing and sighing in frustration at the pieces that won’t go together ‘properly’.

I think the older I get, the more I realise that flat-pack furniture is not some huge puzzle for adults and ‘fun’. In future, I think I will pay about three times more and have something of higher quality and ready assembled.