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Pretty Girls Make Gravy
Wednesday July 29, 09
I've just been to the pet shop and brought our two pet rabbits Lottie and Lily some dried corn-on-the-cob.
They seem pleased.
As well as providing a "tasty and nutritious snack" it says on the packet that said corn-on-the-cob "relieves boredom."
Love Alma xxx
Thursday April 23, 09
Dreaming The Impossible Dream!
Or...the one where Alma FINALLY get's her man...
Hope to see some of you in the merry month of May at the Royal Albert Hall...Salisbury...or Brixton!
Love Alma xxx
Monday October 13, 08
"Living Doll" Cliff Richard (1959)
I am in trepidatious mood this morning!
After all we have shared here over recent years the prospect of coming alive before your very eyes this evening on the silver screen (Eggheads BBC2 6pm) is more than a little SCARY!
"Got myself a crying, talking, sleeping, walking, living doll!"
I hope you will all be able to tune in!...at least I THINK I hope you can!
Hope you enjoy it...and that you will be kind to me and my gallant team-mates in the aftermath!...hell we gave it our best shot!
"Oh, give us a drink
*HIDES BEHIND THE SOFA*
Love Alma xxx
Saturday October 04, 08
"Alive and Kicking" Simple Minds (1985)
Has it really been six whole months since I last popped in to say hello? My how time flies!
All is well here at Chez Alma...the children are thriving (but growing up WAY too fast!)...I am still enjoying my little adventures working at school and the MANY challenges of motherhood!...the Sarge is beavering away cracking crime at every turn...same old same old!
Nothing much to add except to say that I hope this little toe-dipping exercise finds you all well and enjoying life!
I shall leave you with a little piccy taken in our garden that really sums up my Summer and will hopefully warm the cockles of your hearts as Autumn takes hold...the leaves begin to fall...and the wind begins to bite!
And here's little old me on the beach in Dorset...proving that the trend for over-sized sunnies really does hide a MULTITUDE of sins for us 40-somethings!
Love Alma xxx
Wednesday April 16, 08
The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores
"I am hated for loving
I'm sorry to say that I have decided to stop posting my journal here...or anywhere else probably!
Having been victim of some rather nasty posts on the forum I am afraid I have decided that my work here is done! I wish I had a thicker skin....but I don't....
I made a promise to myself at the very beginning of my Solo journey that if I was ever upset personally by anything or anyone here I would pack up my old kit bag and go...I have...so I will.
Sorry to leave "under a cloud" so to speak...I hope you will understand and forgive me for my over sensitive nature and rather spineless attitude to life! But as the saying goes "if you can't stand the heat...get out of the kitchen!"
It's been a blast however...and I have enjoyed my time here very much indeed. I have made some amazing friends here in the journal section (you know who you are surely?) and I will continue to read and enjoy your journals and post comments too. I just don't feel like I want to share my life and my kitchen sink drama's anymore. I must sound like a terrible old drama queen!...I hope that isn't how I shall be remembered?!
Anyway...I didn't want to just vanish without saying goodbye...and THANK YOU...to all of you!
Love Alma xxx
Sunday April 06, 08
'ang on a minute!
Snow?...in APRIL....that can't be right!...can it?
Dan's mini snowman....
and the children's ice sculptures...a snow-chicken...a snow-rabbit...and a snow-duck!
Which one's which?...you tell me!
What did I do whilst the children were out throwing snowballs and freezing their arses off?...why I did what any self-respecting Mummy should do....I watched from the window!
Love Alma xxx
Thursday March 20, 08
3.30pm this afternoon marked the start of the long Easter weekend here at Chez Alma...school was out!
You know they do say that "a picture paints a thousand words" or some such marlarky so rather than try to explain the scene in kitchen's up and down the country at 3.45pm on a wet spring afternoon I thought I'd show you....welcome to MY world!
And a very HAPPY EASTER to you all!
Love Alma xxx
Sunday March 16, 08
A Very Grim(m) Tale
Once upon a time in a land far far away there lived a King and his Queen in a small but comfortable castle on the top of a hill. They were happy and content together and before too long they filled their castle with children…well two children to be exact…it was only a very small castle afterall.
The Queen loved her little Prince and her little Princess very much…so much so that she worried day and night about the best way to make them happy. She asked many people thoughout the kingdom for advice on how best to raise her children but she didn’t like what she heard….she didn’t like it one bit! It seemed to her that throughout the land children were sad because for every little wrong-doing they were punished with shrieks of distain and bellows of despair. This would never do!
Then the Queen remembered her own childhood…a happy time when her own Mother never once raised her voice in anger and was her friend. So that is what she decided to do….she made up her mind that her voice would be quiet and gentle like that of her own Mother whom she had loved so dearly and who had long since passed. She would never, ever shout at the little Prince or the little Princess.
The Queen was blessed with good children but they were by no means perfect and her patience was often tested. But when she felt cross or angry with them she remembered the promise she had made to herself and never once did she raise her voice to the little Prince and the little Princess…not once.
One day the Princess asked the Queen if she could have her favourite supper…a tasty home-made lasagne. The Queen agreed and all day the Princess thought excitedly about the lasagne. Infact she was unable to speak of anything but lasagne for the entire day. For the little Princess the day past by very slowly indeed, such was her anticipation at the feast that was to come. As supper time approached her stomach rumbled so loudly the walls of the castle shook!
Later that same day the Queen fell ill. She really had no strength at all and the thought of making lasagne for the Princess fill her with dread. The Queen asked the Princess whether maybe they could have something else for supper and have the lasagne another day when she was feeling better. The Princess was a good girl and agreed but her eyes were filled with disappointment and sadness and the Queens heart ached.
“I promised you a lasagne my dear Princess…and a lasagne is just what you shall have!”
The Queen retired to the kitchen where he fried and stirred and whisked and grated and blended and chopped and crushed until she had made the biggest and best lasagne the Kingdom had ever seen. The smells wafting from the castle kitchen were met with groans of anticipation from the little Princess who couldn’t wait until it was time to tuck into her delicious supper. The Queen put the lasagne in the oven and set about preparing the table for the feast.
Such was the little Princesses excitement the Queen decided that rather than dine in the castle kitchen they would take supper in the grand dining room. She lovingly laid the table and put out her best tablecloth and favourite china that usually only saw the light of day when they were entertaining passing dignitaries from lands far away.
Eventually the lasagne was ready and the Queen mopped her fevered brow and proudly brought the magnificent dish to the table before the King and little Prince and the little Princess. Although she still felt terribly unwell she took solace in the fact that her family were all together at the table and would share happily in the fruits of her labour.
The Queen served the lasagne and the King and the little Prince and the little Princess licked their lips and began devouring their meal and all seemed well in the castle.
Presently the Queen noticed that the little Princess was playing with her food…pushing the lasagne that she has toiled so hard to make around her plate.
“Whatever is the matter Princess?… is there something wrong with your lasagne?”
“No Mother…I just don’t really feel very hungry afterall!”
At this moment the Queen forgot her vow to never raise her voice in anger at her beloved children. It was as if she had been momentarily gripped by an evil spell. She summoned every ounce of strength she could muster and yelled so loudly that the very ground she stood on shook and shuddered….
“HOW DARE YOU!...YOU KNOW THAT I AM UNWELL…I HAVE TOILED FOR HOURS AND HOURS TO MAKE YOU THAT SUPPER…THE SUPPER THAT YOU WANTED…. AND NOW YOU WON’T BLOODY EAT IT!...I AM VERY CROSS INDEED!”
All around the table fell into a stunned silence. Neither the King nor the little Prince nor the little Princess had EVER heard the Queen shout before or seen her so very cross (not to mention heard her using the B word!) For the little Princess it was as if her world was about to end and she was gripped with terror.
At this moment the Princesses face turned a horrid shade of green and she gulped a huge gulp. Then there erupted from her mouth an explosion of vomit that covered the table, herself and the lasagne like flames from the mouth of an angry dragon. She began to shake and cry uncontrollably and was filled with sorrow and regret and fear at the wrath of the Queen. The Queen began to shriek and cry too and ran to her chamber in floods of tears leaving the King to clear up the mess she had made. The Queen was angry with the little Princess…but she was also angry with herself for breaking the vow she had made all those years ago.
So nobody in the castle ate lasagne that night…infact nobody ate anything at all as the sight of the vomit covered table had quite ruined their appetite….but the Queen NEVER shouted at her children EVER again…and they all lived happily ever after.
Love Alma xxx
Wednesday March 12, 08
Every Shopping Basket Tells A Story....
We were short-staffed at school the other day as one of the dinner-ladies had to take her son for an emergency visit to the dentist following a rather nasty bicycle accident that saw his two front teeth meet an untimely end on the pavement. I FOOLISHLY volunteered to take over her role in the dinner hall for the day…NEVER again!
Can I just state here and now that whoever the smug GIT was who decided it was a good idea to put fromage frais into SQUEEZY tubes is a complete and utter BASTARD! (bound to have been a man) It seems that every child at school (all 400 of the little whipper-snappers) loves squeezy fromage frais…and all 400 of ‘em can’t open the little suckers without a fromage frais EXPLOSION taking place! It rained fromage frais for an entire hour and I was covered in the stuff …strawberry in the main…a few blobs of raspberry…and a liberal shower of apricot too! Add to this leaky drink cups and soft cheese in impossible to open foil containers and I was, quite frankly, a BLOODY mess!
After work I popped into the supermarket for a few “essentials”…clumps of fromage frais splattered generously in my hair and all over my shoes and trousers…my school whistle hanging by its cord around my neck….my regulation tabard peeking out from my handbag….oh the glamour of it all! I did smell quite nice though I guess…like a veritable fruit cocktail!
I grabbed the “essentials” I needed and headed for the “5 items or less” check-out reasoning I’d be in and out in a trice and could get home, de-fromage frais myself and have a much needed sit down and a nice cup of tea before the children got home from school.
There were four people in the line at the “5 items or less” check-out and I found myself gazing, trance-like, into their shopping baskets…..
The first man didn’t actually have a basket at all as he only had one item. He was dressed in business attire minus the jacket and seemed in such a hurry I am guessing he had left his engine running outside, with no regard whatsoever for his carbon-footprint, planning a hasty get-away. He was buying a large bunch of flowers in pretty shades of cream and pink. I found myself wondering who they were for? Maybe he had forgotten a birthday and they were SORRY flowers? Or maybe somebody in the office was leaving and it was a GOODBYE bouquet? Maybe he was on his way to hospital to visit a sick relative?…his Mum maybe?…and they were a GET WELL SOON wish? Maybe he had had a monsterous fight with his wife and they were a TAIL BETWEEN HIS LEGS offering? He paid TILL-LADY with a credit card.…£9.99…and duly legged-it…flowers in hand….and flushed with retail success!
Behind FLORAL-GESTURE-MAN stood a rather shabby gentleman in his early sixties I guess. He also had just one item…a cheap bottle of supermarket brand whisky. I looked up at him after I spied the bottle and sure enough he had the ruddy purple complexion of a man who likes more than the occasional “tipple” not to mention a huge bulbous nose like that guy from The Streets Of San Francisco! Much to the mans embarrassment TILL-LADY couldn’t, try as she might, remove the security tag from the bottle and rang her little “I need assistance” bell for all she was worth! I am sure the mans face must have reddened....hard to tell beneath his alcoholic purple tinge. As TILL-LADY wrestled with the little plastic disc he shuffled on his feet nervously and had the look of a rabbit caught in the headlights of a speeding car. Why was he buying whiskey at 1.30 in the afternoon I wondered? Was he drinking to forget? Had one event…one horrible twist of fate…led him here? Was he on a downward spiral of disaster? Was he all alone in the world? He paid cash for his bottle and left in a hurry feeling the shame of his purchase. I don’t know what the other people in the queue made of him but I just felt sad and thought “there but for the grace of God go I”
Behind STREETS-OF-SAN-FRANCISCO-MAN was a young and rather handsome man in his twenties. His basket contained two salmon fillets….some “steam in the bag” vegetables…a bottle of white wine…a chocolate cheesecake and some fresh raspberries. The contents of his basket said just one thing to me…LOVE! Was he planning a night of seduction? Did he have a budding new relationship in the offing? Was he hopeful that the PING of the microwave steaming his veg would be duly followed by the PING of knicker-elastic? I decided that he had done well with his chosen menu of seduction….especially the cheesecake….and that his luck could certainly be in tonight…and judging by his gentle grim I think he agreed! He paid with his “flexible friend” and fair skipped out of the supermarket towards his date with destiny!
After HOPEFUL-OF-A-SHAG-MAN it was the turn of the woman directly in front of me to approach TILL-LADY. She was a busy working Mummy too I guess from her office attire and the contents of her basket. She had a few staples…bread…milk…orange juice and the like. She also had some school packed-lunch fare…a packet of ham…crisps…individually wrapped mini jaffa cakes. And there…lurking under her white sliced loaf I spied them….SQUEEZY FROMAGE FRAIS! I was just about to issue her with a warning about their propensity to EXPLODE in a shower of gloop when the alarm bells sounded in my head! The cow had…one…two…three….SIX items in her basket! SIX! This was the “five items or less” check-out! Busy Mummy or not she had shown a blatant disregard for supermarket etiquette and quite frankly she deserved all she got SQUEEZY-FROMAGE-FRAIS wise…she was on her own! I could have warned her…shown some Mummy solidarity…but I didn’t…”Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself?”
SQUEEZY-FROMAGE-FRAIS-VIRGIN-WOMAN paid and left in blissful ignorance of the foolishness of her purchase and finally…FINALLY…it was my turn to approach TILL-LADY…pay for my “essentials” and get home for my cuppa…shopping basket amateur psychology over for the day!
So…what was in my basket?
I had purchased 40 tampons (super absorbency to cope with a “heavy flow”)….a family-size bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate (which may have been made to share…but I sure as hell weren’t gonna)…a packet of 20 paracetamol-plus pain relief capsules (of the “easy swallow” variety)….and a bottle of dry white wine!
Every shopping basket tells a story?...Well go ahead...Analyse THAT!
Love Alma xxx
Thursday February 28, 08
As it’s Mother’s Day this Sunday I thought I’d tell you a tale from my childhood….a tale about what it was like with my Mum.
It was a blisteringly hot summer’s day and I was about six or seven years old (1973...74) and out playing in the garden. At this point in my life I was an only child. My siblings didn’t come along until much later…a reason why I don’t think I was ever that close to my brother and sister. They were a little “gang”...the two of them...still are...and I was always on the outside looking in.
My Dad was inside cleaning the house and making it all “nice” for a very special visit. You see as usual my Mum was “away”…resident in a victorian mental instituation miles away. It was a horrible place with padded rooms…screaming…and people walking backwards! Needless to say my Dad didn’t take me to visit my Mum there very often…it was a terrifying place to a “grown-up”…to a child it was the stuff of nightmares.
On this day my Mum had been deemed well enough to come for a ”home visit” after weeks of Electric Shock Treatment…a delivery of volts to her brain that would jolt her back to mental well-being. As we didn’t have a car my Uncle Des had gone to collect her in his old Ford Cortina. I was desperately excited…I hadn’t seen my Mum for almost a month.
As I played outside I heard the chimes of the ice-cream van coming down our road and ran inside to ask Dad for some money for an ice-cream. He came outside with me to the van and I chose a lolly. It was called a BIG CHIEF as it had pictures of red indians on the packet. It was a strawberry lolly covered with nobbly multi-coloured hundreds and thousands. I was delighted with my BIG CHIEF and hastily ripped off the paper and started licking away on it like my life depended on it sat on a deck chair in the garden. Life seemed pretty BLOODY good at that moment I can tell you….I had a lolly…and my Mum was coming home (albeit just for the day)
After a while I got to thinking that my Mum might like to try a bit of my BIG CHIEF! I went inside and told my Dad I wanted to save a bit of the lolly for my Mum. I put it carefully in the little ice-box at the top of our fridge next to the fish fingers and went back outside in the garden to play and to wait for the back gate to open and Mum and Uncle Des to come walking up the garden path towards the house. I wanted to be there to greet her and run into her arms the very moment she arrived. I watched that gate like a hawk I did the entire morning!
That lolly was on my mind though. I was boiling hot and that lolly was so cold and tasty. I went back inside and told my Dad I might just take a few more licks. And that’s what I did! I licked and licked until it was about half gone and then put it back in the ice-box for Mum. I was sure she would love the BIG CHIEF as much as I did.
Inevitably after a while the lolly called to me again from the ice-box….”eat me…eat me…eat me….come on…just one more lick!” I was drawn to that lolly like bees to a flower in the sunshine of the morning!
The BIG CHIEF was just a tiny blob of strawberry goo looking all sad on it’s little wooden stick…hardly worth saving now…so I popped the final bit in my mouth just as Dad came into the kitchen with the mop….
“Oh!...it’s all gone…I thought you were saving a bit of your BIG CHIEF for your Mummy?”
“It’s alright Dad…she can smell my breath!”
My Dad laughed and ruffled up my hair…
“Go and wait in the garden then…I’m sure she’ll want to smell your breath the minute she get’s here!”
So I went back out into the garden to wait…grinning from ear to ear I was...and sure enough after a while the back gate opened…but Uncle Des was on his own…my Mummy hadn’t wanted to come.
Love Alma xxx