Well fancy seeing you here...

Hello and welcome to the rambling rollercoaster of useless ponderings, strung together in what the internet calls a "blog," and the voices call a waste of everyone elses time.

Please check your sanity at the door (along with your dignity, logic, principles, good taste and prejudices against daftness.)

"I am here to seduce you into a love of life; to help you to become a little more poetic; to help you die to the mundane and to the ordinary so that the extraordinary explodes in your life." -Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Sooty, Sweep, and Hamster Aeronautics

I was watching Himalayas with Michael Palin tonight, and on his trek through Bhutan they paused to water the horses. The guides had fashioned watertight nosebags out of old footballs, by cutting them in half and attaching a strap to the hollowed out section. It looked remarkably peculiar to see horses in the middle of the Himalayas drinking out of multi-coloured footballs.

Maybe it was especially jarring because I'm not at all sporty. I'm not accustomed to seeing either horses or footballs. The most I've ever had to do with sporting equipment was getting put in charge of the PE Cupboard at my Infants School. I got sacked because I kept letting people have the skipping ropes and footballs in exchange for Tazo's. I was on the girls' football team in Junior School...but, absurdly unsporting as I am, it didn't last long. I only joined because it meant trips to the park. I didn't really contemplate the 'playing football' bit until Mrs Cooper had to try and teach me the correct way to kick a ball. We were a rubbish team in those early days. I distinctly recall being shouted at by an exasperated teacher because I stopped to tuck my hair behind my ears before I took a free kick. Apparently there's "no room for vanity" in soccer. Tell that to David Beckham.

I think I left the team after one or two practice sessions - because the weather got colder and it wasn't so much fun going to the park after school in the rain. One of the girls from that team went on to play for Portsmouth Women's Team. Most of them went on to work in New Look.

Sean and Sarah were in the local paper yesterday. Sean and Sarah Smith, for those who don't know, are a brother-and-sister pop group called Same Difference, who got through to the final three of last years' X-Factor. Sean and I were in the same year at school, and there is a rather terrible reception-class photograph of us somewhere here on Facebook. I remember my sister telling me she'd uploaded it and having to point out that I was the one with the fringe. Says something about how old I'm getting if my only sibling can't even remember back far enough to pick the 4yr old me out of a class line-up! Anyway, I read the article about them today and it says they've signed a record deal with Pete Waterman, and their debut album is out soon.

It's nice that people I went to school with are on the TV and in the newspapers - and rather a novelty that this time it's not Crimestoppers or the court pages.

The highlight of their career for me was when Ricky Gervais referenced them in the last ever Extra's. It was a Christmas episode and he took the piss out of the fact that Same Difference dolls wouldn't sell. I don't care - he knew who they were. Ricky Gervais knew enough about Same Difference to warrant putting them down in Extra's! They are a little creepy though. I think the main problem is that they are both to nice. I remember Sean being a prankster at school - but I don't think either of them are capable of spite, or loathing. I find genuine sweetness an incomprehensible trait. I don't think I even know how to be that nice. I don't think I'd want to be. I quite enjoy the option of taking solace in being moody and sarcastic. At the height of their X-Factor popularity I was chatting to a friend about their carefree, happy demeanour and she mentioned the time Simon Cowell told them to go and watch the news, and stop being so damned bubbly and innocent. I said I wanted to grab them by their lapels and tell them that Sooty was a mute because he damaged his vocal chords deep-throating sweep. I could've gone with something simple like "there's not really a Santa Clause," but they irritated me into far cruder thoughts. I think I felt the need to be ultra-evil to counteract their saccharine glossiness. Defiling the memory of a beloved children's show is maybe a step too far, but certainly reasserted the knowledge that I really am not that nice!

I really can't believe they get on so well. It's completely unnatural. Speaking as someone who has a younger sister, I can quite truthfully say that nothing in the world could persuade me to work with her. Imagine being trapped in a tour bus with your little sister - fighting over the DVD player as she wants to switch Black Books off in favour of the Gareth Gates comeback special on T4? Horrendous idea. There's a particular name for various familial homicides, isn't there? 'Infanticide' is killing your child, 'patricide' and 'matricide' are the killing of father and mother. I also know the name for sibling-murder: 'Understandable.'

What? She used to bite me if I put my fingers into her playpen! That's why I've never wanted a hamster. I think that's why only-children have hamsters. They don't know what it's like to have something that you have been told you will like, and have been instructed to care for that repays your affection by biting you whenever it feels like it. Difference is, hamsters only live for a few years. She was much older that that before she stopped sinking her teeth into me.

I would have preferred a hamster.

Linking the two stories together tonight (because I have a head full of hamsters and footballs) - Stephen Fry tells a cute anecdote about a time he was visiting some friends. He was in their hall, and casually kicked a football out of the house into the garden. Turned out it wasn't a football - it was one of those things you can get for hamsters to crawl around in. Zorbing for rodents. He says the hamster was fine...just a touch dazed. How mad must that have looked to the hamster? A huge foot coming at it, and then flying through the air at high speed! It must have been like something out of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. It reached such high speeds that it turned into a ball of wool and an apple tart in between connecting with Fry's foot and coming to a stand-still on the lawn.

*yawn* I've even bored myself tonight. My brain isn't working at all. I think I exhausted it thinking about mouse-flavoured cat-food yesterday. Which, incidentally, I have since been reliably informed is NOT a good idea. 'Not a good idea' probably doesn't do justice to the in-depth explanation I received as to exactly why mouse-flavoured cat-food is impractical, but that's pretty much the gist of it. I will still wonder every time I see that Cobra advert though.

...Don't Cobra eat mice, anyway? I'd better leave that, or I'll be up the rest of the night contemplating whether or not it's fair to use mice in advertisments for a beverage that is named after one of their main predators.

Poor mice. They get a bloody get a rough deal.

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