Sunday, September 23, 2007

Isobel's Big Spree

Isobel went to Loki's Absinthe Distillery in Babbage to sample their wares. Then she flew back to Holyrood Park and proceeded to over-indulge a bit.
Disgraceful behaviour, but no less than one expects from students - even E-Learning ones.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Seething about sunflowers

I'm beginning to wonder if there's anything on this bloody planet that doesn't make me angry. I found myself getting a bittie wound up just by random interweb browsing, so thought, 'OK Cattie, before your jaw settles into that clenched rictus from too much exposure to irritating twats, off you go and have a nice relaxing bath.' Mistake.

Firstly, I overfilled the bath a tad, due to becoming distracted for a few minutes by a yelling ginger tomcat, and only caught the rising water level just before the bathroom flooded. Somewhat agitated and annoyed at my own incompetence in bath-running, I sat on the pot for a while with my head in my hands trying to calm down. Then of course I had to postpone actually getting in the bath for what seemed an age, while letting some of the water run away to get to a manageable bathing depth. I soon realised that the plughole obviously needs some attention with a plunger, as I've seen six feet of snow disappear quicker than my bathwater.

Then there was another wee delay while I had the difficult decision of which product to use. In the end I plumped for one of those expensive fizzy things, full of stress-banishing essential oils, charmingly called 'Still Life'. This was unwise. I'm at a loss to comprehend why I purchased this particular ballistic in the first place. I normally avoid the ones which spew out bits of vegetation and turn your bath into an unappetising broth. (Still, they're better than the glittery varieties. Who needs green sparkles attaching themselves to one's pubic region and refusing to budge?) I can only surmise that I must've been particularly stressed when compiling my order and never noticed the words 'sunflower petals' in the description. More to beat myself up with: I'm normally so careful, what the feck is happening to me?!

Anyway, 'Still Life' went in and fizzed around happily, hurling out bits of dead flowers which, to my myopic eyes, looked suspiciously like dessicated spiders - aye, BIG dessicated spiders at that - and although off-putting, I gingerly entered. The good thing about the overfilling of the bath was that I could pick off the floating spidery flower heads without having to stretch too much. This was just a minor consolation though. I built a little sculpture of the detritus on a sponge. It looked like something you'd see at a city bus-stop on a Sunday morning.

I didn't stay long in the bath. What was the point? Even if you did manage to begin to feel the benefits of the relaxing oils, aromas and nice hot water, it would all evaporate immediately when you got out and were forced to spend the next half hour picking flowery bits out of the plughole, and madly Cif-ing the whole tub to get rid of the yellow and brown petals that stick to the sides of the tub. What's the bloody point? I can only assume that Lush customers are expected to have servants to clean up after themselves. This is probably not far from the truth, as the customer base (at least if the Lush forum is at all representative) seems to consist of 13 year old girls. Presumably their mums clean up all the petals and glitter they leave in their wake.

Sunflowers? Bah. I understand why Van Gogh cut his ear off.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Wishing that you had a gun

If this University's student community is at all typical of UK undergraduates in general, it will only be a few years before the country grinds to a shuddering halt. (Unless, when they finally get their degrees, they also miraculously overnight achieve a semblance of articulacy, alertness and general intelligence.)

It's instructive but depressing to stand outside on campus while having a cigarette, hearing the 'conversations' that take place among the student body. The majority of male undergrads sound suspiciously like Beavis and Butthead, and communicate merely through a series of grunts and inane 'heh, heh, heh' sounds. The females invariably have adopted the question intonation style for every utterance, and break each sentence at least twice with the phatic 'It was just soooo, like...'
I am finding it more and more difficult not to scream, and may even consider stopping smoking so I don't have to hear their relentless idiocy. I stand there desperately puffing on my Regal, trying to banish all fantasies of mowing them all down with a Kalashnikov.

They also seem to have little or no spatial awareness. They stand around dumbly in groups, inevitably blocking entrances and the length and breadth of corridors, completely unaware of people trying to get past. Desperate for something to shift them, I was delighted to find a cattle prod on eBay for $41. I hope it's not delayed by customs.

Basic literacy is absent. Recently we attempted to get them to register for classes via a web form. It was extremely simple, but being a belt and braces kinda gal, I thought it'd be safer to give some basic instructions, just incase. The instructions were in language which I'd estimate someone with a reading age of 8 could easily comprehend. O dear. Judging by the registration data which came through, a large percentage of these 1st and 2nd year undergraduates don't seem to have the reading abilities of a 5 year old. One of the lecturers confirmed this fact, having been the unfortunate recipient of a number of e-mails from members of his class. Those that weren't written completely in txtspk were so appallingly illiterate, he was unable to decipher exactly what it was they were asking about.

In a few years time, they will be out in the world looking for graduate jobs. Snort. It's not surprising the country's in such a mess.

Friday, March 17, 2006


When stress and anxiety manifest from time to time in my life, I've found that I can alleviate the worst of the symptoms by embarking on some kind of distracting activity and indulging in it to excess. In my younger days, this used to take the form of imbibing substantial quantities of intoxicating liquors, but in the past ten years I have replaced this with less expensive pastimes, such as the compulsive playing of games on the PC. None of your whistles-and-bells high-tech stuff, you understand; no 'Grand Theft Auto: The Broch' stuff; my games of choice are the simple (some might say dull) things of life like Yahtzee, Freecell, and old DOS classics such as Commander Keen and Scorched Earth. Lately though, I've moved on to solitaire Scrabble. 'Cat' will play 'Weasel' over and over again throughout the evening, until I can even see the outline of wee tiles with my eyes shut.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Time is against me now

Aye, it’s been a while, but I thought it best to avoid blogging for a few months, since it would have made such depressing reading that even the greatest Scottish Literature aficionado, and maybe even the makers of The Haar, would have found it too bleak.

At 04:34 this morning, I officially passed into what Jean Brodie would have described as ‘my prime’, and bloody grumpy I am about it too. Still, I suppose, given my misspent youth in Simpsons bar in Schoolhill, I should really give myself a pat on the back for getting to this (st)age at all.

Since it’s the New Year in addition to this milestone as far as aging is concerned, I have been mulling over the potential benefits of trying to become a bit healthier. Weighing up the situation carefully, I’ve made a resolution to increase my daily cigarette consumption by approximately 15%. This will have the well-known health benefit of making me less stressed and miserable, and is significantly more cost-effective than acupuncture sessions for stress and depression, which I will cut back on from once a week, to once a month. In addition, I will invest some resources in creating custom-made CDs to play in the car while commuting. I’ve found recently that I experience up to 75% less road rage during the playing of selected tracks by Goldie Lookin Chain, because it’s somewhat difficult to get uptight at the idiocy of other drivers while hooting with laughter at magical lines like ‘I wanna buy you chips down the Mecca bingo’.

I have also decided not to make any more appointments with the GP, simply on the grounds that she keeps trying to sign me off work and prescribe anti-depressants. I firmly believe that when I see her, I probably do exhibit symptoms requiring such treatment, but this is merely due to my exposure to the array of women’s magazines in the waiting room, with their (inevitably) terracotta or fuchsia fonts advertising such illuminating articles within as ‘Lose two stone in 6 weeks’ or ‘Drop a dress size in a month’. The last time I was there, I thought they actually had four identical copies of one magazine, given the colour scheme and exhortations to lose two inches off your arse in half an hour, until I realised to my horror, on slightly closer inspection (but still at least a good arm's length away), they were in fact completely separate titles of Bella, Chat, Woman, and Best. Who consumes this tat? Jesus wept! Could they be any more vacuous?

Clearly I am not a ‘proper woman’, since the very sight of terracotta and fuchsia brings on acute nausea, and I have absolutely no desire to spend any of my limited leisure time mindlessly consuming moronic nonsense about slimming. (The newspapers are currently full of this crap as well; from the Sunday Telegraph to the News of the Screws, they’re all desperately trying to increase circulation by dishing out Free G I Diet colour supplements). No wonder women haven’t broken through the glass ceiling. They’re all too busy buying Glade air-fresheners incase their dog farts, and reading how-to-drop-a-dress-size-in-four-weeks by simply sitting on their DFS sofa watching Judge John Deed, while munching a packet of Snack-a-Jacks and a Limited Edition Kit Kat.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

This Charming Man

My better half, from time to time, describes himself self-deprecatingly as 'Bad Boyfriend Material'. This is very obviously not my opinion and, in fact, he frequently does lovely things for me far above and beyond the call of duty. Not content with worriedly phoning NHS24 earlier this week, when I was suffering from what the characters in Still Game would call 'pisser problems', today he is off in Aberdeen shopping and volunteered to fetch me a new bra from M&S. I'd have gone with him, but I can't be arsed with all the effort involved in going to real shops, so I buy everything online when at all possible. (If I wasn't such a stingy Aberdonian git, I could've easily purchased the desired bra via the website, but of course I winna pit ma haun in ma pooch for a £3.50 delivery charge).

Anyway, my beloved has just phoned me from the Lingerie department, to ascertain if he has indeed found the correct item. I have tried womanfully to give an accurate picture of this particular piece of underwear, but apparently there are two bras fitting this description. He has even enlisted a young female shop assistant to help with the search, but the best I could come up with to help is a website product code, and a vague 'well it's sort of pinky-beige-ish underneath, with black lace overlays, and there's a couple of wee bows'. (I'm sadly lacking in such feminine skills as explaining underwear features).

Poor man. I can almost guarantee that if they do manage to find the correct one, it'll be sold out in my size, and all his brave efforts will come to naught.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Our Revels now are ended

I've just polished off a small packet of Revels. Was surprised to find a raisin Revel amongst the usual varieties. In all my years of eating Revels I've never before had a raisin one. I wasn't even aware that raisins were part of the Revel family. It surely must be a new addition or a mistake?

I am now examining the empty packet closely and see that, yes indeedy, the raisin is now an official Revel. It seems that the old peanut Revel has been removed and the raisin has replaced it. I suspect that's because of all the fussing that's done nowadays about nut allergies.

Now, you know I'm not one to ever complain unnecessarily, but really, this is a bloody diabolical liberty. They should've left the original line-up of Revels. OK, I'd have accepted raisin as an additional Revel, but not when it comes in as a substitute for one of the key players in the Revel team. If people have nut allergies, they could simply avoid Revels altogether and buy Maltesers instead. It's not like anyone forces them to eat Revels and thus put themselves at risk, is it? Nut allergy sufferers have plenty other sweets to choose from, so they could've easily left the Revels for those of us who like the traditional range, and want to continue eating peanut Revels with impunity. Why penalise the rest of us? First it's folk deciding to ban smoking in all pubs, now it's folk interfering with our classic chocolate treats. Bring back the nuts, I say.