Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The Day I Missed My Train For a Sandwich

Have you ever been in a situation when you've had a long day or you're just plain tired and by the time you get to the train station or bus stop, you're really hungry? Then you spy a place to get a snack or a drink or just something to eat on the train/bus home. You look at the time your train/bus is due, calculate if you have enough time to go get your snack and be back in time, hesitate, waste time deciding then just go for it. You pick what you want but then the queue is longer than expected but its still ok, you have enough time if you run. You're happy you've got the snack, you run down the station/across the street and get to the platform/stop but then you look at the time and you've just missed it by 1 minute.

This is incredibly annoying.

It happened to me today. Usually I only got get a drink or a sandwich if I have at least 20 mins until my train departs and I haven't eaten for 7 hours. Otherwise I ALWAYS miss the train or bus. Though today I had been looking forward to this particular sandwich from M&S and had included time in my journey just so I could go get it. I had to get up at 5:30 today so naturally I had breakfast very early indeed and by the time I got to Waterloo at 13:00 I was very hungry. I had 15 mins before my train departed and it was the slow train so I really did need food for this. I got to M&S and searched high and low for this amazing sandwich but couldn't find it. (Every time I mention the sandwich I feel I sound like Liz Lemon, but really you have no idea how amazing this sandwich is. It has pear, cheese, salad, some kind of chutney in it and the least amount of mayo, so good.) Anyway I couldn't find it and I was very disappointed so I just picked up the next best thing, Ploughman's. The queue wasn't too long and then walked quickly back to the platform only to watch my train leave.

When I eventually got on a train (again a slow train, most annoying) I ate the sandwich I bought and it was the worst. This was mostly because it was moist and way TOO MUCH frickin mayo. I hate mayo in sandwiches it ruins it. I've even been known to be very sick after eating a simple sandwich with too much mayo inside. I hate it. And all this happened after I had had a pretty good morning.

So if you do find yourself in the situation, always think, is this sandwich worth it . . .

Monday, 28 November 2011

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea


Friday afternoon I went to see The Deep Blue Sea and like every time I go to the cinema, there is a problem, incident or annoyance. It was the latter this time.

I thought I had struck gold when I found out the film was showing at Richmond Curzon, it meant I didn't have to trek up to London to see a film and it also meant I didn't have to rush anywhere. I got there just on time (or so I thought). Not many people were there and so I could settle in anywhere I fancied. Three in from the end of a row, I set my coat out, put my things down, ate my raspberry muffin and sipped my eggnog latte and felt ready to watch the film. Only bad part of it was I kept sneezing (I had a cold coming on) and my eyes kept watering. But it didn't matter I was settled. THEN. Literally as the film was starting, these two idiots came in, looked around at the empty rows in front of me and decided to sit in my frakin row. They didn't say anything they just looked me and gestured for me to let them pass. I said out loud "Really?" then quickly tried to pick up all my stuff but this wasn't quick enough for them, they just fumbled around and then sat right next to me. I looked at them again with my stuff in my arms and tutted at them and slumped back in my seat. Then I remembered how annoyed I got when I saw Drive so I moved all my things along, grabbed my coat and dumped it on the floor and moved up a seat. I made my point when I mumbled under my breath 'for god's sake'. I did my best to settled down again and only then could I watch the film, in peace.

It was worth all the fuss. The film was beautifully filmed, it looked like 1950's film. Everything felt and looked like it had been made in the 1950's (apart from the quality, so good). Rachel Weisz was brilliant. As were Tom Hiddleston and Simon Russel Beale (even thought he was hardly in it). The story is about Hester (Weisz) who is married to Lord Collyer (Beale) when she meets RAF Pilot Freddie (Hiddleston) and falls in love with him. But like her marriage where she cannot love her husband in the way he loves her, Freddie can't love her the way she loves him.

I was pleasantly surprised by the story, it was depressing like all the articles said, it was sad. Hester was an extremely sad character and she was looking for something that know one could give her. For me, there was very little to the story, originally a play, and I could see that, but it didn't matter, the long silences, looks and music were the most affective parts to the film. I favourite scene was were everyone in the pub are singing 'You Belong To Me' and just after this, it is just Hester and Freddie dancing to the actual song. Its just such a beautiful moment just because a really sad scene and you can tell its coming after the dancing part. So go see this film, its not depressing its about unrequited love.

Also here part of that scene I love:

Thursday, 24 November 2011

How to Talk to People on the Telephone

Waited all morning for a Tintin competition prize to arrive and nothing. My mum waited all afternoon, after I went into a rage and decided to go out, and still, nothing. Very annoyed with you Dego for saying DHL would deliver today and they didn't!

While waiting in the morning there was a phone call. I stupidly thought, ooh maybe its DHL calling, why the hell would they call? It turned out to be some guy from UK Accident Helpline.

-Hello I'm calling from UK Accident Helpline-
-What? Sorry, who did you say you were?
-UK Accident Helpline
-Oh. Er . . . right er, I've got nothing to do with this . . . er bye.
And then i put the phone down.

I couldn't think what to say so I said that. I heard the guy sighing before I put the phone down but I was too busy thinking how suspicious and weird I sounded.

Another strange reply/blunt reply I've given on the telephone was yesterday. I was annoyed that the phone kept ringing in the middle of a TV show. Usually someone else will get the phone first but this time it was me. When I answered, they asked if they were speaking to Mrs Hogan (my mum) and I just bluntly said 'No, you're not.' Then there was silence. My mum walked past at that point, so I just yelled 'MUM, someone on the phone for you.' She asked who and I said "A man." Handed the phone to her and walked off. I suppose this is a bad habit of mine, I (usually) never ask who is calling. But when ever I call someone else I always ask for a person and then say its me calling.

I think one of the best phone calls I've had though was when I was working at a Pharmacy. An obviously elderly woman called and I ended up arguing with her on the phone for about 15 mins and in busy pharmacy time that's a long time.

-Hello good afternoon Minal Pharmacy-
-Is that the Pharmacy?
-Yes, Minal-
-Do you have loyalty cards?
- Yes we do-
-Are you a Lloyds Pharmacy?
-No this is Minal Pharmacy-
-Then why do your cards say Lloyds?
-They don't-
-I tried to get points with my card at Lloyds but it wasn't working.
-But we're not a Lloyds Pharmacy-
-Then why does your loyalty card say Lloyds?
- (Pause) I don't know. I don't know why.
-Well that's not good is it?
-Well all I can say is that we are MINAL Pharmacy, you must have a different card or another phar-
-But it says Lloyds on your card.

And I think you can get the idea of kind of person I was dealing with. Eventually I just said yes to whatever she said and told her I was busy and had to go, I almost put the phone down on her. I should have. Learn from this, if the person on the other end of the phone is wrong, just make a dull tone sound then actually put the phone down.

Monday, 21 November 2011

The Graduation

Since June I think everyone (everyone on my course that is) had been waiting for that day. And after registering for tickets, ordering photos and robes the day arrived.

It was a 5am wake up call and a 6am leaving time. Got to the Butterfly House car park (don't ask) and waited another half hour for the bus. Journey was quick but then we had to wait outside the Arena in St Albans where we got our robes and things for another 20 minutes. Wouldn't have been that bad if it wasn't freezing cold!

No matter though, once instead everything ran smoothly-ish. Got my robes and hat (can't remember the technical term) both were too big then I went off to have a my photo done. I have to say, it looked terrible. I had three choices, they all looked the same and I looked bad. Could have been better but isn't that always the way.

After everyone was sorted and I had drank half my latte, we all walked through St Albans to the cathedral. At first it was strange walking around town in our gowns, it looked like a mass migration, a sea of black and grey. But since I wasn't alone it didn't seem so strange.

The Cathedral was packed with family and friends and since all the graduates were on the sides and couldn't see the front/stage we all enjoyed watching the ceremonies on TVs. Jan Harlan gave a speech as he was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts. Then the agonisingly long part pf the ceremony took place. You must know the drill, each graduate's name is called out, you shake hands with the Vice-Chancellor, get handed a piece of paper and then you have to walk through the middle of everyone watching. It over in a second. Now I am a graduate.

After the ceremony we all went out and took photos and yes we got to throw our hats in the air! Lunch with our parents and then drinks in the pub, not forgetting shots. I had dreaded this day but it turned out to be awesome. And yes, I want to frame my piece of paper.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Cake and Death: Part 2

Once Upon a Time there was this Baker who liked to poison his cakes.

He was a tall quiet man who the colour green almost everyday. He didn’t have many hobbies or many friends. He worked everyday alone in his bakery mostly because he preferred to be on his own and also to avoid hiding secrets from potential employees.

He liked to poison various pastry products and certain cakes and sponges. Not too much that it would kill someone, at least not all the time. Not too little that it had any effect on someone, so that it was obvious that something was wrong. In every 12th baked product he would pour arsenic either as a filling or icing.

The effect the poison made on someone would only take effect on someone several hours after consuming the food. This made it impossible to pinpoint where the poison came from and the baker was never suspected.

One particularly rainy day the Baker made a batch of cupcakes, each with a fruity filling, Strawberry, banana, peach, raspberry, plum and pear. Each flavour had its own colour coordinating icing, all were bright eye catching colours which made each customer that came in notice them and instantly want to try one.
The twelfth customer on this rainy morning was a woman with red hair and her two children, a boy and a girl. She was a regular customer who always bought a loaf of bread and sometimes a few cinnamon swirls. On this day though, the children noticed the inviting cupcakes and pleaded with their mother to buy some. After to being assured by the Baker that there was fruit inside she agreed to get them one each. The boy ate the pear flavoured cupcake and the girl chose the bright yellow banana one. The woman thanked the Baker and went back outside into the rain.

The Baker went about his business. He started to wonder which cupcake had the poison and hoped that the children hadn’t eaten that particular one. Because even some bakers whose randomly poison their products feel guilty about poisoning children. Then he suddenly remembered which cake had the poison.

Meanwhile, the woman with the red hair was in her kitchen making lunch. The children were in the living room eating their cakes. The boy eating his pear flavoured cake, the girl eating her banana cake.

The next thing that happened, the boy ran into the kitchen looking worried. When his Mother asked what was wrong all he said was “I think she’s sick”.

In the living room, the girl lay on the floor, coughing and spluttering, the half eaten cake in her hand.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

A Guilty Pleasure From Childhood

I don't know why but when I was younger I absolutely loved the 1954 musical 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers'. But when I look back at it now, I don't think "what the hell was I thinking?" I wonder "why did a child enjoy this film so much, the story is insane and there is only two good songs in it".

 I think what attracted to me to the musical was the brightly coloured shirts and the amazing dance sequences, especially the barn building scene. And maybe because I'm fan of Russ Tamblyn, he was great in The Adventures of Tom Thumb. But when you look at the story its basically about a man who wants a wife to do all his cooking, cleaning and taking care of his six younger brothers. So he goes into town, meets a pretty woman, says he loves her, marries her then takes her into the mountains to his cabin/farm where he and all his brothers live. But oh the dream is shattered, he's an arsehole and his brothers are dirty and a tad disgusting. She cleans them up and they all go into town (in their bright shirts) and meet nice girls, dance with then then are convinced (by the older brother) to kidnap them and make them marry them. Fool. But with musicals, there is usually a happy ending and some great songs on the way so I won't say anymore about that. It is worth seeing at least once if not for the ludicrous story but for the songs and dances. Oh and the shirts. You really have to watch it to understand how amazing the shirts are.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is definitely one of my guilty pleasures and there aren't that many, as  I don't feel guilty about liking things.

I actually haven't seen it all the way through since I got it on VHS for Christmas in 2006. I loved that VHS tape. I still want it on DVD but I'm picking my moment. And I finally buy it, I will relish the childhood memories.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

TV Show Conundrums and Roller Derby Update

Last night I not only thought up a new story (Cake and Death) but I also realised that I still hadn't finished Six Feet Under season 2. Is this a bad thing? I really enjoyed the first season then became less bothered with the story in the second season. I enjoyed it but there was less need for me to know what happened unlike how I am with Pan Am and Boardwalk Empire. I still have it sitting on my self hiding behind my earring tree and every now and then I think, 'Maybe I should watch this because if  I don't, I know I'll sell it if I need money'. I bought season 3 at the same time thinking I'll get hooked like I always do but now I'm starting to think I'm better off just selling it and reading the story online . . .

 I have also missed quite a few films over the past three weeks such as The Ides of March, Anonymous and I have a horrible feeling that I have missed Miranda July's new film, The Future, which I have waited years for. But I will not miss The Deep Blue Sea as I plan on booking a ticket so I can't miss it. So look out for a blog about soon.

Anyway, this Saturday, after missing quite a few games, my sister and I went to Roller Derby for the start of the new season. First was game was the London Brawling team against the Sioux Falls Roller Dollz all the way from South Dakota, USA. After a brutal game the scores were London Brawling 307-19 Sioux Falls Roller Dollz. Then after hiding our smuggled in beer from the security guard, we enjoyed a charity donut and watched our team, Steam Rollers, the defending champions play the Suffra Jets in the first league game of the season. Of course my sister and I were cheering for our favourite players including best jammer, Fox Sake. This season featured quite a few new team members and they were  awesome players. Steam Rollers won the bout 217 -128. It was a great day overall, just hope I can make it to the next bout.

Short post today.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Cake and Death: Part 1

A woman lay on her sofa. She lay perfectly still not even blinking. She stared at the yellow ceiling. She had been staring this ceiling for hours without moving, almost, without breathing.

SMASH! The woman blinked. She looked around then sat up suddenly. A sudden rush of pain went through her head. She could hear someone in the kitchen moving around, broken something being swept away. She got up slowly and walked gingerly to the kitchen, her hand holding her head even though the pain was gradually deteriorating.

In the kitchen was another woman, at least twenty years older than herself, sweeping up glass and coffee from the floor. She looked at her and smiled.

-Are you all right darling?

She took her hand away from her head, the pain completely gone now and sighed.
-Yes Mother, I’m fine. What are you doing here?

Her Mother smiled again and continued sweeping up the glass.
-I wanted to come round and see how you were; I haven’t seen you in while and thought I’d just pop round-
-Yes yes ok Mum.

She sighed again looking at the coffee on the floor.
-Did you have to break my coffee jar? I haven’t got any more.
-Sorry darling, I had wet hands from washing up and it just slipped.
-You washed up?
-Well you weren’t going to were you.
-Wait, how long have you been here?

Her Mother looked at her watch.
-Oh, quite a while now. A couple of hours?
-I came and said hello, but you were dead to the world.
-I didn’t even notice you until you dropped the coffee. How strange. I wasn’t even asleep.
-Well whatever you doing you didn’t acknowledge me. Do you want tea?
-Er, yes, some strawberry please, its over there-
-Ah yes, I see it.

She wondered back to the sofa. She looked up at the ceiling once more. There was a reason why she had stared at it all day, but couldn’t remember why.

-Here you go.
Her Mother handed her the tea sat down next to her. She looked around at the practically empty room. Apart from the sofa the only other objects were the television, a small wooden table and a bookshelf.
-Not thinking of getting more furniture then?
-No Mum.

They sipped their tea in silence for a few minutes then her Mother got up and quickly ran into the kitchen. She came back with a box.

-I made these yesterday. They should ok still, I kept them in the fridge.
She put the box in her lap and sat back on the sofa. In the box were four cupcakes, each with yellow icing on top.

Something clicked. She recalled some vivid images and realised what she had been trying to remember all morning.

-Do you not want one? Pass it here; I’m going have one if you won’t.
-You know Mum; I had the strangest dream last night.
-Oh yeh. What was it about?
-It was about cake . . . and I think murder.
-What? Cake and Murder?
-Well actually it was about a baker, I think he was the murderer. I just remember bits and pieces.

She reached inside the box and took out a cake. She carefully unwrapped it and took a bite. The cake was delicious. As she chewed, the dream started to come back to her.

-So what happened with this baker?
-Well it all started like this:

Once Upon a Time there was this baker who like to poison his cakes . . . .

To Be Continued