Thursday, 3 December 2009

25 Random Things About Jo

Here goes...

1. I'm from High Harrington in Cumbria. I can see the sea and Scotland out of my old bedroom window and some sheep and 3 cows out of the bathroom window. I especially like it when chickens come into the garden. It's right by Workington which became famous when the Sky News chopper flashed it on every tv in the land as the Norths biggest swimming pool. The clean up will take months.

2. I am scared of clowns, they are just wrong. Because of this I can't watch more than 20 minutes of Stephen Kings IT. I stood on a clowns foot at a circus when he tried to give me a balloon.

3. I have done a number 1 and number 2 off one of the 7 great Wonders of the World. But it isnt my fault as they haven't built Toliets into the great Wall of China.

4. I drink so much red wine Lisa has named me Jo Merlot. I drink White when wearing light colours as I have a tendancy to spill or when drinking with Lysha as she prefers it and Ste as he is allergic to red - which is both tradgic and weird.

5. I have a fur coat, he is so furry he needed a name so I called him Henry. He is real but vintage. While I realise this is not politically correct hes too warm to abandon.

6. I can drive a Bobcat fork lift and use an industrial cleaning buffer, I learnt how to do both of these things in prison. The first time I used the buffer I fell on my arse and put a dent in one of the prisoners lockers... it is still there today.

7. I have been to 4 prisons in my life, two paid me, one was for free and one cost me $6 to get in, it was discounted with my ISIC card. Only one had its own gift shop, I bought a post card and an orange pencil.

8. I have a huge crush on Gordon Ramsey, depsite him having a Potty Mouth. I would liked to be spanked by a sauce ladle on a very clean work surface and swore at. He makes me want to shout Woof. I only hope he will make me dinner afterwards, something light like a salmon with green beans and garlic herb potatoes.

9. I wish I lived on the Disc World and worked for Sargent Vimes in the Watch. I would love to think that the world is happily sat on 4 elephants a giant turtle.

10. I've very allergic to peanuts, my throat swells until I stop breathing so I have to carry an epi pen with me where ever I go. So please don't feed me anything with nuts in or eat peanuts in bars near me and yes that does mean I can't eat Crunch Nut cornflakes

11. I'm scared of flying I need 6 gin & tonics and 2 vallium to get on a plane. Despite this I have been to 17 countries and have done a fixed line sky dive, I plan to do another if anyone wants to join me.

12. I actually like my appendix scare, its been there since I was 13 so I would miss it if it vanished. Also if I can see it above my jeans it means my jeans are too low and its very likely you could park a bike in my bum crack

13. I run a club night called Playtime with the boys. Dex has on occasion taken his shirt off and ran round like a pilock and Joel has taken his brain off and ran round like a hamster on speed. We have on bands and DJ's, its been running for 5 years and I happen to believe it is the most awesome night in Chorlton.

14. I don't like public displays of affection, especially by teenagers on buses. I cough and shout "Get A Room". I realise one day this might get me stabbed, especially on the 192 bus as I am convinced most people on that bus are on crack.

15. When I go bowling I can get zero even with lane bumpers. I think this make me special in my own unique way. I do have a knack for bowling on the wii though.

16. I used to work as a photographer at night and a waitress in a diner during the day in Maryland USA, my brother currently works in a children's hospital in Memphis Tennessee. I have no plans to move back over the pond, but he has no plans to return to Blighty

17. I think Dr Zeuss who wrote the Cat in the hat was a genius. I do not like Green Egg and ham, not in a house or with a mouse.

18. I love both Lysha and Lisa equally, so there is no need to fight over me :-)

19. Chocolate milk shakes make up at least 37% of my diet. I have been barred from the Sandbar for drinking them at the bar and once started a petition when the college I used to work at stopped selling them in the canteen. My favourite is Chocolate Brownie Fiji. Mint chocolate is also very impressive, you get minty free breath and calcium goodness.

20. Caffine sends me out of my tree so I only began drinking tea at the age of 27. I like it weak with lots of milk with 3 sugars if you're offering.

21. I am always cold. I have been told its like sleeping with an popiscal. My hands are feet are also an average of 7 degrees colder than my bum

22. Despite the fact I swear like sailor I like to tell the teenagers I teach to "Stop Effing and Geoffing" I sometimes feel guilty as I don't know anyone called Geoff, apart from ali's car which doesn't speak so I don't know if Geoff uses foul language or not, I think he uses Disel.

23. When I was younger I was on a game show, it was embarrasing so I won't tell you which one, but I suppose its not as bad as being a Pampers baby

24. I am additced to humus and pita, especially the red pepper kind from Asda. Carrot sticks are also a popular choice and I'm getting one of my reccomended 5 a day

25. I once went to a fancy dress party as Penelope Pittstop, I think I was my finest moment. Lysha surpassed me in the fancy dress department when she dressed up a rubix cube.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Reasons to be cheerful… one, two, three

Confessions of a geek: Viva Ikea and happy hour is here

In 1979 Ian Dury released the song “Reason’s to be Cheerful” in honour of this I attempting to write a column based on me trying not to be a moaning mini.

My first reason is Cava, its currently 3 quid in Asda I almost enjoy it as much as I hate that ridiculous Soco (Southern Comfort) advert – the one with the theme tune which makes me wish someone would drip wax in my ears and beat me round the head with a dead badger. The bubbles make me think I’m still 16, don’t have a saggy arse and am likely to find a boy like Sid from Skins in 42’s. I also wish I met a boy like Sid when I was 16, his patheticness is endearing and I believe he has hidden depth. But I think his beanie hat needs to be washed with at least three brands of industrial disinfectant, similar to the strength of deodorant needed by Austrian shot putters as he hasn’t removed it since the start of series one. It also explains my current inability to write longer paragraphs. If I don’t finish writing this before the end of my next glass I will be reduced to bullet points.

Reason two, bless my size 5 polyester socks, is an embarrassing confession to say the least. Ikea makes me happy. They have set up the entire store so that you can blindly follow a trail of shiny white arrows that leads you through Swedish home heaven and straight out the other side where you are met by hotdogs and ice cream. In my opinion this is magnificent as I have always been a girl that cannot decipher maps, I believe the mystifying Manchester A to Z is the work of the devil sent to consume both my intelligence and tolerance as I inevitably always end up lost in areas filled with teenagers that believe tracksuits should be worn with earrings easily large enough to lasso a sombrero wearing donkey. Next time I visit I will take one of those pedometer things that usually come free with breakfast cereal as I must have racked up miles.

And finally last week I was filled with joy due to my blender, it not only crushes ice for highly
tasty but alcoholic sea breeze cocktails, creates smoothies from strawberries and bananas which are a damn sight cheaper than buying Innocent ones, but with two potatoes, a leak and a stock cube, it makes great soup. What a multitalented lump of plastic! After acquiring an infection in my wisdom tooth, which provided me with the wondrous combination of eye watering pain, a face that resembled a smacked arse and an inability to eat solid food I came to the conclusion that womankind cannot survive on chocolate Yazoo milkshake alone. The answer was simple, soup and cocktails. With the right marketing this diet could be on the front of Heat magazine by Christmas.

Ok folks I know its been a while... Ba Bar Rainbow Sheep

The political correctness debate

In childhood we were taught the well known rhyme to stop the tears when the vile spotty kid that lived round the corner was calling us names in the street, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”. While we could hold our heads high and repeat the phrase, we all thought it was bollocks. Words and language are the most powerful tools we possess, they make us ultimately superior to gold fish and hamsters. Political correctness merely means the practice of using speech that conforms to liberal or radical opinion by avoiding language which might cause offence to or disadvantage social minorities. But has it gone too far?

Education has a duty to teach values of equality and respect, but is banning nursery rhymes really the answer? It has been a children's rhyme for hundred’s of years, but 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' has fallen victim to the drive for political correctness. Nursery school children are being taught to sing 'Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep' instead of the traditional rhyme to promote 'equal opportunities'. This has also been extended to Black boards now being referred to as Chalk Boards and White boards reinvented as pen boards. None of these phrases refer to skin colour in any way, they are merely descriptive of the colour these items actually are. Also which is more disturbing, children who grow up repeating Bar Bar Black sheep or children who spend their time making trips to the country searching for rainbow sheep. Achieving this will require large quantities of illicit drugs and years of expensive therapy. I find the thought of six years old singing about three visually impaired rodents or I'm a size challenged teapot, small in stature and generous of girth, ultimately more worrying.

American feminists are leading the drive to substitute Herstory for History – ‘Herstory’ attempts to remove men from ‘HIS story’. Though there are nearly 900,000 Google citations for ‘HERstory, they are all based on a mistaken assumption. When Herodotus, the first writer that we know of (probably really the first) who tried to find out what had happened in the past, wrote the first history book, the word meant simply ‘inquiry’. Also is the removal of men’s part in our history really equal? Following on from the trend to remove sexism from society an “Inclusive Bible” which is supposed to be an example of Christian teaching in a more diverse manner has rewritten prayers to honour women an example being, “Our Mother and Father Who are in Heaven”.

My personal favourite of all of these is Manchester council employees were requested by e-mail to wish fellow members of staff and members of the public “Season’s Greetings” instead of Happy Christmas. Also More than two out of three Manchester city centre companies have banned Christmas decorations from the office because of fears that they will offend people from different religious faiths and alienate minorities. Before you ask, I haven't become a weirdo fundamentalist. This is not a matter of religiosity, I am personally not religious as I disagree with certain fundamental aspects of the faith I was raised in, my protest is about rejecting plans to turn celebrating any religious festival into a crime, including those festivals celebrated by Christians. I would never want to discourage anyone from celebrating Eid or Hanukah so why is Christmas allowed to be vilified. As only one in 15 Britons actually go to church on Sundays, Christians are becoming a minority. Does anyone genuinely find Christmas offensive or was the idea thought up by an office geek with no friends who is bitter as he didn’t receive any cards or get a snog under the mistletoe at the Christmas party.

PS if this debate has in fact bored you so much that you need caffeine to stay awake, be warned: Coffee shops are changing menus from black coffee to a coffee without milk as it has been deemed to racist.