Hola lovely blog readers, how are you on this fine Tuesday? (Just so you know, Tuesdays are always fine as it is magazine day - new issues of Closer, Heat and Now, SWEEEEET!)
I had a lovely Bank Holiday weekend - did you?
I drank champagne, saw friends and, on Sunday, enjoyed Hull City's stay upableness in the Premier League. I tell you, it was muchos stressful. Even Mr Fat Man (who now winks at me following the previous incident) was jigging about with the tension - still it will probably be good for him.
All of this would have been fine if they still sold Yorkshire Wraps in the stadium concourse... but alas these delicious snacks of roast beef and gravy wrapped in a Yorkshire pudding mix wrap are no more. I should know, I spent 15 minutes at the head of an angry queue of football fans trying in vain to explain to the foreign sales person what they were and that no, I did not want a chicken tikka pie instead.
Anyway, while we lost the match (against Manchester United's youth team....) we did manage to remain in the Premier League thanks to some poor Newcastle United player's own goal. Bless him, I am considering sending him a thank you card.
After the game we went to a special party at the Stadium which was wonderful for two major reasons:
1) It was a free bar with a special wine station - literally a table lined with full wine glasses. And, as many of you know, tell Livy it is free and she will try and consume as much as humanely possible. Thank goodness the important people left within the first hour. All this free wine made me (yes, it forced me) to leave my mobli in the taxi on the way home and then pay for its own taxi journey back to me. At least the mobli got a taste of independence and drunken Hull, ensuring that it will never dare leave me again.
2) A lovely drunk lady told me that I must be honoured to go out with S. I looked puzzled (I mean, he's nice and all but honoured? I think not) and made one of those nondescript noises that means you hope the person will expand (not literally of course although I would LOVE it if there was a specialist noise that you could make that would literally expand the person you were talking to). Anyhoo, she went on to say that he was a hero, so talented and gorgeous and an inspiration to the people of Hull. It was at this point that I realised that she had mistaken him for the Hull City goalie, BoazMyhill.
The weekend was cemented as one of the best ever when we popped to Maccy D's yesterday afternoon and ordered one cheeseburger and one hamburger and were given instead three cheeseburgers and one hamburger. Oh wonderful goodness. See, it is times like this that I realise that there is a God.
I am going to get buff. I am; it's my goal, it's what I live for.
Well, no, it's not what I live for. But it is my goal. I decided that as S studied fitness and other such crap when he was younger that he would become my trainer. We started a while ago but only last week in earnest. He basically forced me on pain of death to do more squats than I wanted to do (I wanted to do one, he wanted me to do thirty-six; we compromised with twenty-two).
The thing is, all anyone has to do is call me a wuss - in this case, S said "stop crying like a wuss" - and I'll immediately do everything in my power to look manly. So I, who have not done anywhere near squats in over two years, did twenty-two. Oh, and after the squats, my personal trainer went off to play football and left me to my own devices. Loser.
Anyhoo, my legs hurt INSTANTLY, and they have ever since. I woke up this morning and knew immediately that I'd be lucky to walk all the way from the bedroom to the kitchen. I made it to the kitchen, crouched to get a new bin bag out from under the sink, and had to yell for S to come pull me out of the crouch position.
I made it to work. Someone asked me to 'nip upstairs and pick up a folder', I quietly calculated the number of stairs I'd have to navigate to do this. Twenty up and twenty down, OK, I can do that, but no more. It will take all the willpower and manpower (womanpower, whatever) and everything else I have to do those stairs, but I can do it. Forty stairs. The end.
Unfortunately I then needed to return the file. I cringed, which hurt my bum, so I uncringed. I cried a little. Come on. Forty stairs again. I visualized S's face and imagined his mouth forming the words "don't be such a wuss".
I did it. And I didn't even limp. And I'm going back to do more squats tomorrow.
One of my favourite things come summer is reading. To be fair it is also one of my favourite things in winter and spring and autumn.
Anyway, I digress. In summer, when we go on holiday I read a lot, you will always find me under a tree or umbrella, reading a book in a massive sun hat. Yes I am that loser.
Last year in Mexico I finished six books in ten days. Which would have been fine if I had taken just those six book but unfortunately my Livyness will not allow me to do this. I mean, what if I had read them super quick and had finished them before the end of the holiday! Disaster! What if one day I was just not in the mood for that particular book! Exactly! Which is why I took 13 books. And my diary. And two jotters. And a name book (indeed, I am a loser on many levels).
I inexplicably have to have at least four books on the go to quench my various reading moods. For example, right now I am reading: Kitchen Table Lingo (for fun words, not too heavy), The Workhouse (for actually-my-life-doesn't-suck-that-much mood), The Stuff of Thought (to remind me of my degree and to feel intellectual), My Grammar and Me (so I can correct people all the time with the confidence that I AM RIGHT), A Stranger in the House: Women's Stories of Men Returning from the Second World War (because I like to pretend I am a history geek), Waiter Rant: Behind the Scenes of Eating Out (although I wouldn't recommend this if you feel queasy easily - wow that nearly rhymed), The Importance of Being Trivial: In Search of the Perfect Fact (because it is fab) and The Little Princess (because I am in fact, 6).
Not only this but I always have to have one super depressing book on the go (currently The Workhouse). The function of this book is specific - when I am down it is very important for me to read a book about people whose lives are even worse, a sort of perspective giving tool if you will. This can backfire. For example, once I was very stressed out, I was looking for a job, having parent issues, my fish Googley Pete died and the local shop were out of Toffee Crisps so I pulled out my most popular depressing book - Love You Mean It, The Story of Four 9/11 Widows. Unfortunately, I was in such despair that this just plunged me deeper and I found myself sitting on a bus outside Tesco's, sobbing with panda eyes and chocolate round my mouth.
It is with this in mind that I have decided on my new Summer Reading Rules:
1) Read one book at a time. All the way through. Even if it is RUBBISH. It may get better at the end with an explosion for example. 2) Do not start another book when you are currently reading one. This is silly and means that you will probably get confused between the two like when you thought Harry Potter was Jesus' son in the DaVinci Code. 3) Read more positively - no depressing, whiney, poor me stuff. Panda eyes are never attractive. 4) Choose books carefully - because you like them, not just because everyone else says you will. Because lets face it, your brain is weirder than everyone else's.
So there you go. I have made a good start. Now which book to pick first....
On Wednesday 13th May 2009, my dog died. Toffee Tuppance was 15 years old and very sick and tired. Last night we buried her. S and I went round and helped my Mum. We (well mainly S - turns out I suck at digging actual holes, metaphorical ones, on the other hand, I excel at) dug a very deep hole and buried her.
Despite my hatred of being a wuss, I sobbed. She was my puppy that we got when I was 10 and that I loved so much. And she was so tiny and alone in that huge hole.
So, I thought I would share some Toffee stories.
We got her on Friday 13th January 1995 and she was about 10 months old. I had been begging for a dog for months - literally months and whining and pleading - I had picked out one in a book I had (a fluffy, cute pomerian puppy) and I was desperate but always got a 'No' from my parents. Then one day I got home from school and they told me that we were going to the dog's home and we would 'have a look but not get a dog today'.
So, excitedly we piled in the car. When we got there, my parents decided that my sister and I would wait in the car. So we waited. And waited. And waited. And squabbled about what to call the fluffy puppy we would get.
Suddenly out of the dog's home door came my parents and in front of them this bright orange bundle, bounding towards the car. She leapt in and clambered all over us and licked our faces, going back and forth from my sister and I. She stank and was so excited to see us. My mum later told us that they had considered two dogs but chose her because, after being led out of the room, she stayed sat behind the doors waiting, wagging her tail so it thwacked on the floor in rhythm.
Her name was Trudi. We decided that this wasn't a good name and needed to change it. I don't know who suggested Toffee but it fit. She was toffee-coloured and it fitted with its initial and two syllables.
The next day I was meant to go to dance class but my mum said if I wanted, I could miss it and we could go and buy all the things we needed for her. We went to the massive pet shop in town and spent all morning choosing toys and bowls and beds. The bed in particular was an issue. We chose a green tartan soft one but couldn't decide on the size. We were worried that it wouldn't be big enough for her and ended up buying the second biggest (labelled 'Dalmatian') and fretting all the way home. I will point out that Toffee was the size of a terrier, slightly bigger than a Jack Russell.
She had a pink squeeky ball that she would bite incessantly.
She would tell tales on my sister and I when we gave up throwing the ball for her in the garden.
She would chew through the mail and bark viciously at the postman until we opened the door when she would then proceed to lick his ankles.
She once ran into a river covered in algae, thinking it was grass and then stood there, knee deep in water, whimpering until one of us waded in to carry her out.
When we bathed her she looked like a little rat.
Once my youngest brother was alone in the living room with her while I made tea in the kitchen when suddenly then was a sharp bark. My brother X then wandered through stating very matter-of-factly, 'Toffee does not like having her ears turned inside out'.
She once saw a cat in the garden and hurtled head first into the French windows trying to get it.
She would have mad 5 minutes when she would tear round the house, up and down stairs, hitting anyone or thing in her way.
She thought she was bigger than she was and, when sniffing around other dogs on a walk, would randomly snap at the biggest Labrador who could have taken her so easily.
She ate her food in a matter of seconds and then would scrounge for more.
She was intelligent and bright. My nana is slightly allergic to dogs and my mum would always remark that Toffee must know as whenever my nana was here she would follow her about. Well no, it was because my nana would constantly feed Toffee bits of food from her bag or under the table.
She cuddled lots. Snuggled up to you and licked away your tears when you were sad.
She was so full of fun and special and I will miss her a huge amount.
A glimpse into the intricate and deeply philosophical inner workings of Livy and S . . .
The other morning, S is showering while I am applying makeup. He asks me what I would wish for, if I had three wishes.
I tell him it will take me some time, and proceed to think out loud for the next ten minutes before coming up with my list.
My wishes: 1. That my parents live comfortably and happily for a long time without ever working again unless they want to. 2. That all the rapists in the world be gathered onto a deserted island with no hope of getting off (this is my attempt at world peace: I can't wish for all the evil people to stop being evil, because lets face it, that is unrealistic. I figure chucking out the rapists will make a serious difference). 3. That S and I and everyone we love be safe, healthy and happy. Forever. (Before I came up with this one, I wanted to be able to see my Grandpa and my Grandma again. S told me the wish leprechaun didn't have the capability to cross the boundary of death. Prior to that statement, I was not aware we were getting our wishes from a leprechaun, so I was made to retracte that wish.)
And S's wishes (contrived in a matter of seconds, the man knows what he wants): 1. To have all of Superman's powers (this is his attempt at world peace. He says he could easily and singlehandedly take care of all world conflict if he were Superman). 2. To have all of Superman's powers and not be vulnerable to Kryptonite (I try to tell him there's no such thing as Kryptonite; he replies that "there's no such thing as Superman either", and what can I say in the face of such logic?). 3. To have a billion pounds (which he will then use to get everyone out of debt, and probably have a little left over, at least enough to play football - a LOT).
The first day: I read a book in the evening. Yes, an entire one. Usually I keep my email open and toggle back and forth while I write. Today, I open a book and prop it up. I "toggle" with my eyes - write a few paragraphs, read a few pages, write a few paragraphs, read a few pages. Four hours later, I have another book to log in my Goodreads.
The second day: Instead of flipping open the laptop, I turn on the morning news while I eat my kiwi and chocolate buttons breakfast. I feel furtive, almost guilty, trying to stay updated on world happenings while shunning the Internet - as if I'm somehow having my cake and eating it too.
The third day: Going crazy because I don't know Kid Rock's real name. Also, I swear I saw a bearded squirrel.
The fourth day: I manage to watch the rerun of a 2-hour Super Sweet Sixteen marathon, make dinner, bake a cake and homemade stew for tomorrow, go food shopping, clean the flat, and model for S the new clothes Bravissimo has delivered.
The fifth day: I begin to horribilise, imagining my political enemies sabotaging my Facebook.