Bargain Dress

In April I bought a dress from Primark for £5. I hate Primark but went in for a look and couldn’t resist the ‘bargain’. I wear it occasionally because my inner bargain hunter screams ‘it was only a fiver, look what I got for a fiver!’. I don’t even like it. It looks horrendous. I look like that girl from Willy Wonka’s factory who turned into a blueberry. Shape and colour. Useless.

I feel like a puppet on a string drawn to a level of intelligence I don’t find interesting.

BBC NEWS | Tom quits the Big Brother house

What an idiot. I don’t watch BB, only spot some dull headlines on BBC news. Is he serious? Walking out because he thinks people are deluded and stupid. He applied for Big Brother, not a MENSA conference. His statement clearly shows he was planning to walk out all along. How thoroughly banal.

Benefits of Fabric Protection

As wonderful as it is to spend the evening surfing your favourite shop in your pyjamas with a glass (or ten) of wine, nothing beats wandering through a shop touching cushions and bouncing on seats. I would happily spend hours in furniture shops, There’s just one thing that puts me off: the salesman.

I’m still coming to terms with the hellish experience of walking around Reid Furniture, being followed by the most desperate, sweating, twitching man I’ve ever seen. He all but screamed ‘I have to feed my kids!’ as I walked away from an abomination of white leather and crystal.

I found the right sofa at DFS on Friday. Then the salesman appeared. I nearly walked away from the only sofa I liked after four months of searching because some guy, chewing a pen, wandered around the shop with me.

At DFS we had been greeted by a quiet young guy who told us his name and left us to it. Then ‘pen chewer’ arrived, obviously thinking that we hadn’t been bothered enough. He approached things a little differently. He acted casual, sitting in an overpriced armchair with his hands clasped behind his head. His body language may have said ‘I don’t need this sale’ but beads of sweat (and what I think may have been black hair dye) were sliding off his head.

He followed me around, talking crap and chewing on his pen. I fantasised sticking the crippled pen in his eye, just to see if he would carry on with the ‘benefits of fabric protection’ speech.

I grimaced, made a quick exit and came back two days later to purchase the sofa. I gave the sale to the quiet salesman who had spoken to us originally.

Unfortunately, I misjudged the quiet one. When I explained that I didn’t want fabric protection, he changed from quiet and unassuming to all out crazy pusher. He disappeared into the office and returned with a cup of coffee and a bundle of paper to show us the ‘benefits of fabric protection’.

I was asked to feel the paper, tear the paper, dunk the paper in the coffee and bend the paper. It was like Blue Peter, except when the show ends you’re down a thousand quid and you want to smother Konnie Huq with a swatch book of leather fabrics.

I didn’t take the fabric protection, and I’m shopping online from now on.

Underlying Health Problems

This is scarier than swine flu. What do they mean by ‘underlying health problems’? Diabetes? Cancer? A bad cough in 1997? It’s all so vague.

The media coverage of swine flu is terrifying.

One glimpse at the headlines and I’m paranoid. If I took this at face value I wouldn’t leave my house in the morning (not that it takes much for me to stay in bed, I love a good lie in). We’re not getting facts, we’re getting sensationalism. The total number of deaths, presumably from swine flu, is 29.

According to Explaining pandemic flu: A guide from the Chief Medical Officer (October 2005), ‘ordinary’ flu, which occurs during the winter in the UK, affects 10-15% of the UK population and kills around 12,000 every year. We’re not freaking out over that though, are we? There are no masks or hand gel passed around for ordinary flu, even though it infects and kills thousands more than swine flu.

How much money is this mass hysteria costing us? I spent three hours in the waiting room of my doctors surgery because two out of the three GPs were on house calls to patients with suspected swine flu. Every time someone in my office sneezes, another says ‘watch it, you might have swine flu’. Then there’s the panic, the cries of ‘don’t go near them’, then you’re locking them in the cupboard while you search for the matches and lighter fluid.

Ok, maybe it’s not that bad, but the panic is there. People in other offices are being sent home when they show possible symptoms. How much money is that costing the company? Someone has a runny nose? Shut down the department!

In the supermarket I noticed there were cleaning products labelled ‘with added flu protection’. Oh really? Have you added a little something extra to combat the flu virus? Really? Or are you jumping on the infected bandwagon and cashing in on public fears?

There are even calls to shut down schools until they can ‘control the spread’. Ridiculous. Swine flu is out there and most of us will probably catch it at some point. It’s just what happens.

An outbreak of nits at your school? Everyone caught them. Your partner has sickness and diarrhoea? You’ll probably catch it. Someone in your work has a cold? You’re in for it next. We can’t stop moving because there’s a new virus on the go.

Close schools? Close offices? What’s the next step?

A siren in the middle of the night to let us know there’s a suspected swine flu sufferer in the vicinity? We’ll be asked to draw our ‘swine flu protection curtains’, wash our hands in special ‘swine flu approved soap’ and enclose ourselves in a special ‘swine flu protective bodysuit’. Then we’ll be asked to go outside and beat the sufferer to death with a ‘swine flu retardant stick’, just to be sure.

It’s a mild flu. Unfortunately, some people have died from it. And that really is unfortunate and sad, awful even. But it shouldn’t stop us from going about our business. The media are reporting it like it’s the end of days. When will they move on to something else?

I’m Going Slightly Mad

I have an awful imagination. I don’t know if it prepares me for the worst or just makes me paranoid.

I was sitting in my car today outside a doctors surgery, waiting until nearer my appointment before I went in. There’s only so long I can sit in a doctors waiting room before I start to imagine particles of ill health swirling around my head.

I had two pairs of shoes in the car. Black flats, which I was wearing, and a pair of heels which go better with my outfit. I looked outside and the rain was coming down heavy, battering off the car.

I thought, quite normally, that I would slip in the heels on the wet pavement. This is where my imagination kicked in.

I imagined falling on the pavement just outside the surgery, lying on the ground with an awful compound fracture to my right leg. My bag was lying across the road, too far out of reach. I called for help but nobody was around. I tried to drag myself to my bag for my phone buy it was too painful and far away. Suddenly a horrible young man appears, kicks my injured leg and runs away with my bag.

All this to choose a pair of shoes. I’m going crazy. And wearing flats for a while.

Dogsitting

I’m dog sitting a lovely wee gentleman tonight. He’s a lhaso apso called Jack.

I’ve spent the last few hours playing with him in the garden, feeding him, taking him for a walk, giving him treats, drying his feet and coat and generally keeping a eye on him.

I sit down on the sofa with Toni and he curls up at his feet. Typical!