Becky says things about … hobbies

As, splendid Listener, I have just turned 30, WHICH WE SHALL QUICKLY GLOSS OVER WITH THE SPEED AND STEALTH OF A RABBIT TRAINED IN NINJA SKILLS, I feel I should mark the beginning of a decade by taking up a new hobby.

I’ve never been very good at hobbies. I have always admired and/or detested those folk who answer a ‘What are you doing this weekend?’ question with ‘Oh, I’m going rally car racing then I’m foraging for fossilised mountain goat horns. It’s my hobby, you know.’ That sounds so impressive.

Back in the day when you had to put your hobbies on your CV (or resume for my American buddies), I had to reel off sad banalities like ‘going to the cinema’ or ‘reading’ or ‘socialising’; I was never able to write ‘alpine belly sliding’ or ‘taxidermy’, which was a shame.

hobbies1

I tried photography for a bit in my teens, which was pleasant, but once I’d filled an entire photo album with slightly blurred pictures of sunsets and close-ups of flowers, there wasn’t much else to do apart from occasionally look at them and wish I knew what an aperture was.

I once played badminton two Tuesdays in a row, so that was nearly a hobby.

As a very small child, I collected stamps with one of those magazine subscription offers that try to get kids interested in wholesome pastimes instead of plummeting into a life of drug abuse and prostitution. I got a stamp book, some tweezers and a magnifying glass (which I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with, as I could see the stamps perfectly well using my normal eyes), and I quite enjoyed myself; but then I saw my friend’s rock and precious stone collection from National Geographic magazine, and my stamps became a vicious symbol of my inability to judge the excitement levels of a hobby.

hobbies2

Then I thought I’d take up ice skating. My aunt took me on my first trip to an ice rink, and I, filled with confidence at the simplicity of figure skating because I had watched Torvil and Dean in the 1994 Winter Olympics, decided I would take it up as a hobby and become brilliant and move to Switzerland and compete in skating tournaments. Then I put on a pair of ice skates, spent 15 minutes clutching for dear life onto the side of the rink, and quietly crossed off this diabolical recreation and cursed my physical ineptitude.

hobbies3

I am currently sitting in front of a list of hobbies on Wikipedia, so let’s see if I can draw some inspiration for my new hobby.

Electronics. Well, I turned on the bathroom light earlier, then about four minutes later I turned it off again, and I’m currently using electrical gadgetry to use my laptop and cook my cod fillet – hell, I’m already doing electronics as a hobby and I didn’t even realise it!

Jigsaw puzzles. Now, I love a jigsaw. My Funnybones puzzle gave me many hours of pleasure as a child. But surely you can’t do a jigsaw puzzle every night. I’m certain that after a while it would affect your day-to-day life.

hobbies4

World-building. According to Wikipedia, world-building is ‘the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe’. If that is the case, then I spent most of my childhood engaged in this hobby every time I opened my BIG RED BOX OF LEGO DREAMS.

hobbies5

Hula-hooping. I cause enough damage to objects and people around me when I’m standing still, let alone when I’ve got a giant wheel of death spinning round my torso at 3,000 miles an hour.

hobbies6

Wood-carving. I do not have the urge to see a particular object represented in wood. More to the point, I can’t peel a carrot without slicing off five layers of skin, so hacking away at a block of oak means certain amputation.

Soap-making. I buy soap in the shops. They sell it in shops.

Archery. Listen, unless you are Robin Hood, or at least live in Nottingham and regularly get into scrapes with the local Sheriff, you shouldn’t be anywhere near a bow and arrow.

hobbies7

LARPing (live action role playing). I think I’m already doing this hobby: I quite often pretend I’m being chased so that I’ll walk faster and thus get home quicker. Also, when I’m listening to music, I almost always pretend I’m in a film (the genre of which depends on the type of music, it goes without saying). So, one hobby I can tick off the list!

Rock-balancing. Rock balancing. It’s an actual thing. And I’ve just spent nine minutes looking at pictures of it on Google images. It’s like an extreme yet almost meditative outdoor Jenga. I like the sound of it. I’m going to take it up right now. In the absence of any rocks in my bedroom, I’m going to balance my favourite mug on top of a lipstick on top of a glass of Merlot on top of a picture of my grandmother.

hobbies8

It’s a stupid hobby and I don’t want to do it anymore.

Well, maybe I won’t take up a new hobby. Oh no wait… people watching! That’s a hobby? You mean all the hours I’ve spent staring at strangers and silently making up personalities and histories for them and eavesdropping on their private conversations, is actually a hobby??? Hurrah! I’ll just keep doing that, then. I wonder if I’ve still got that magnifying glass from my stamp collecting days…

hobbies9

 

 

Becky says things about … Brits abroad

Greetings! Guten Tag! Bonjour! And other such variants of a universal salutatory expression!

As the summer holidays are now officially dead, gone, ended and over, it seems appropriate to rejoice in some sweeping stereotypical generalisations about us Brits on holiday, because it’s sweeping stereotypical generalisations that make the world go round.

We just love our holibobs. We like booking them in January, when the weather is at its most vile, as it gives us something to look forward to in the grey wastelands of our wintery lives. We then forget about them until around June, when we panic and obsessively make lists of the essential items we need to purchase (3,000 gallons of factor 170 suncream, 15 bikinis, new beach towel because the Seaworld Florida one never really recovered from last summer’s fortnight in Torremolinos), and make lists of friends and neighbours entrusted to feed the cat and water the begonias.

abroad2

When it comes to the day of departure, we cannot wait to get into our holiday garb. It’s minus four degrees and raining at home, but will that stop us from adorning our linen trousers and our t-shirts? Perhaps even daring to sport an impish straw hat? No! We’re flip-flopped to the hilt, our cardigans are casually draped over our shoulders, and yes we may contract hypothermia in the polar blast of the plane air conditioning, but who cares! WE’RE GOING TO SOMEWHERE WHERE THE SUN WILL DEFINITELY BE SHINING AND WE SHALL FORGET WHAT IT IS TO BE COLD.

abroad3

Now, dear Listener, you may think that holidays are a time to relax; to do away with piddling stresses and woes, and to float along the soft tide of quietude. WRONG. By the time we get to our hotel, we will have complained about the heat, the delayed transfer from the airport, foreign drivers’ irresponsible disregard for road safety, and once we are in our hotel we will immediately complain about the hard beds and the faint discolouration of the bathroom tiles.

abroad4

But all that is by the by, because something paramount must take place within two hours of our pale, pasty feet touching foreign soil: we must have a beer.

The first sip of a cold beer at a poolside bar is perhaps the happiest moment of a Brit’s life. Yes, we’ve drunk beer before – hell, we had a few cheeky ones last night to help us get to sleep at 8pm for our 3am rise – but every Brit knows that when a glass of Carlsberg is consumed whilst sitting in a plastic chair at a sticky table, overlooking a kidney-shaped pool and PALM TREES, amidst an angelic cacophony of Euro-trance, it is akin to Christ himself pulling up the chair next to us and saying ‘You have won First Prize in the ‘Who is the Best Human?’ competition, and this is your reward’.

abroad5

That first beer is just the beginning, Listener. A particular thrill on holiday – and one that Brits are exceptionally fond of – is consuming distasteful amounts of alcohol. In normal home and work life it would be deemed inappropriate – worrying, even – to crack open a can of beer at half ten in the morning, but in the sweaty luxury of a poolside sunbed, it is a must. Why read your Danielle Steel or your Dan Brown in solemn sobriety when you can paddle in the wooziness of midday boozing! To hell with social convention, you’re on holiday! Seize the day! Or, alternatively, let it slip by in a nauseas fug of alcohol-induced heatstroke.

abroad1

And daytime drinking is just the start. Night-time drinking on holiday is like winning the lottery. Why? Because we can sit outside without wearing a coat. This. Is. The. Best.

The concept of sitting at a table that is outside, at night, in weather that is still warm, is alien to us. It is electrifying. It doesn’t matter where that table is, as long as it’s outside. In the warm, un-rainy air.

abroad7

At this outside table (outside!!!!) we will get drunk. We will imbibe everything. We will make ambitious and wholly unrealistic plans to move to Thailand and set up a peace-loving commune and sleep on beds of hibiscus. We will get out the obligatory pack of pornographic playing cards we bought from the poolside shop and we will try to remember the rules of Rummy. We will strike up a slurring conversation with the German couple next to us and gush over how their country’s reputation for cleanliness fully counteracts anything dodgy they may have done historically. We will order bowl upon bowl of nuts. We will insist on calling the waiter Pedro, even though his name is actually Colin. We will eventually rise from our outside table and stumble to our room, where we will hit our heads on the French doors, fall over the edge of the very hard bed, and pass out in our flip flops. And this will have been the most successful day of our lives.

abroad8

By day four, we will have mild alcohol poisoning, we won’t have had a bowel movement since Heathrow, and we will be sporting some asymmetrical strips of sunburn; namely on our shoulders, back, shins, nose, and chest. We cannot apply suncream, Listener. We haven’t had enough practice. There’s not much call for it on our isles.

abroad6

And we will start to yearn for food from home. The Boy Scouts among us will have a small cellophane bag of Tetley’s teabags in the zippy compartment of our suitcases (be prepared!), with which we have made blissful cups of tea (only after boiling the water seven times – you can never be too careful with that questionable foreign water) – but we miss our home comforts. So we go to the supermarket. And, dear Listener, there is nothing quite so exciting than finding a jar of real live Branston Pickle in a Greek supermarket.

abroad9

We will spend eighteen euros on a jar of Branston Pickle and a packet of Jacob’s Crackers and we will scoff them on our balcony overlooking the Ionian Sea (whilst doing The Sun crossword (six euros)), and we will be overcome by such a deep sense of contentment that it will bring a tear to our eye, for we have married the soothing comforts of home with the exotic novelty of abroad. We are winners.

abroad 10

And when we return home to our bleak, grey island, we will curse the mundanity of Branston Pickle, Jacob’s Crackers, The Sun and Carlsberg, and yearn for the vibrant goodness of vine tomatoes, olives, fresh fruit and feta cheese (despite the fact that on the last day of our holiday we declared that if we ever saw another piece of feta cheese again we’d strangle our own mothers), and wistfully search the internetweb for next year’s holiday.

And as long as we exist, and foreign isles with warmer climes exist, this whole scenario will go on and on and on until the end of time, or at least until people stop making sweeping stereotypical generalisations about the whole thing.

Becky says things about … music

Excellent Listeners, you did not let me down: I asked for ideas on what to say, and I was rewarded with a veritable bombardment of majestic suggestions, from the perils of wearing high heels to work, to being a superhero, to bees and calligraphy. A superb spectrum of proposals, I’m sure you’ll agree.

And then the excellent Pieter suggested I say things about music. And that’s what I’m going to do, right this second.

Onward.

Classical

music

I was brought up on a musical diet of Beethoven, Mozart, Elgar, Chopin, Handel, and all the other excellent dead old dudes; but, like heroin or watching your friends fail, I had to pretend I didn’t enjoy it.

You see, classical music was not cool. Whilst my school chums were singing Take That or Boyzone, or arguing over what the hell Michael Jackson was actually saying in anything he ever wrote, I was quietly listening to The Nutcracker on my Sony Walkman.

music4

This was not cool.

But as I got older, and being cool became less important, I gave in to the wondrous absorbing brilliance of an orchestra bashing their way through the 1812 Overture, or gently sighing through The Lark Ascending, or snapping their strings with the sheer heartbreak of Elgar’s Cello Concerto, or being deliciously creepy in The Rite of Springand what’s more, I realised that classical music was cooler than Colin Cool the Penguin cooling himself down with a chilled beverage on an iceberg in the middle of a particularly cold Antarctic winter.

music13

Because what’s not to love about a genre of music that not only allows but expects you to poke out the eyes of everyone near you with a Union Jack and belt out EXCELLENTLY LOUD AND GLORIOUS WORDS THAT NO ONE CAN EVER REMEMBER BUT IT’S OKAY BECAUSE WE’VE GOT A HANDY SONG SHEET, revel in a bit of pomp and circumstance and gradually get LOUDER AND SLOOWWEERRR

AS

THE PIECE

NNEEARRSS

IIIIIIIIIIIIITS

EEEEENNNNND?

music3

Phenomenal.

Chillout

music1

There’s a lot of enjoyment to be gained from some swishy synthesized strings with a mellow beat and the occasional stoned guitar player having a casual twiddle. I do most of my writing to chillout music, on account of its ….. laid back…. non-offensiveness…. and …… atmospheric…. ammmbbiiieeeennncceeee…

music6

But chillout music doesn’t always chill me out. Occasionally, after I’ve trawled YouTube for playlists with ambitious and grammatically-indifferent titles like ‘Chillout Euphoric Relaxation Beach Sunset’ or ‘Ambient Solar Liquid Grooves’ or ‘Atmospheric Relaxing Peaceful oh my gosh you are going to be so relaxed you will lose control over your colon’, and settled down to do some writing, I shall have the holy Moses scared out of me by sudden incredibly loud whispering bursting forth from the music and telling me to do things like ‘EMBRACCCCE YOUR SOUL AND BREEEEEEATHE’ or offering useful information such as ‘A NEW DAWN IS RISING’ and ‘THE QUEST FOR HAPPINESSS BEGINSS IN YOUR HEEAARRRT’.

music2

This is not relaxing. This is terrifying and ………. infuuuuuriaaaating.

Garage

music5

So while I was desperately trying to listen to Mozart’s Requiem on my Sony Walkman at school, I was also desperately trying to understand what the bloody hell garage music was all about. As far as I was concerned, the genre consisted of flippy beats that sounded like a load of mice in tap shoes scuttling down a gutter, accompanied by random bleeps, quite often an incongruous guitar, and a singer that took their time over most of the lyrics but then suddenlystartedsingingreallyquickly

liketheyrealisedtheyhadtofinishsoontogopee

costheydranktoomuchliquidoverlunchwiththeirhomie

andtheywishedtheyhadn’teatenthatwholebowlofmacaroni

nowthey’ll

andthey’ll

andthey’llleaveirritatinggapswherethereshouldbewords

butinsteadthere’llbeanoiselikeaTWANGoraPHHHP

coseverybodyknowsthatwordsareforlosers

and then they’ll relax and calm down and continue singing normally like nothing ever happened and they didn’t just have the musical equivalent of an epileptic fit.

music15

But now, at the ripe old age of 29, guess what? The music I once sneered and jeered at has been painted with the brush at which you can neither sneer nor jeer: the nostalgia brush. Yes, Craig David, the Artful Dodger, So Solid Crew, can all propel me back to my school days (sorry, ‘skool dayz’, to quote my garage homies), and I’ll happily admit that I can get misty-eyed over Shanks and Bigfoot. Why? Because Sweet Like Chocolate is a choon.

music7

Jazz

music8

Ohhhhhhh smoooooooooooooooothhhh jaaaaaaaaaaaazzz. You make me want to have sex with myself. You make me want to drink melted chocolate. You make me want to lie naked in a night-time field and smother myself with dew. You make me want to don a red dress covered in sparkles, smoke through a cigarette holder and drape myself over an old man in dark glasses. You make me want to drink gin cocktails in a bath of Chanel.

music9

There are few things more delicious than a saxophone slinking and oozing its way over a double bass and a piano. As a teenager, I would spend my hard-earned cash in HMV on jazz CDs, from Nina Simone, to Louis Armstrong, to Easy Listening ‘Smooth Jazz’ and ‘Midnight Jazz’ and ‘Smooth Jazz at Midnight’ and ‘Jazzy Midnight Smoothy Smooth’, and I would play them on loops in my bedroom and lie on my desk and pretend I was a lounge singer on a piano in a New York basement jazz club (I’ve said too much).

music14

Jazz made me gutsy. Jazz made me sassy. Jazz gave me the confidence to wear my zebra skin coat to school on mufti days. Jazz inspired me to adorn myself with all the jewellery I owned at every available occasion, and strut through my teens looking like the love child of Barbara Cartland and Judy Garland when she went all crazy and drug-addled. And for that, I thank you, Jazz. You smooth, sexy, naughty beast.

Musicals

music10

Have no fear, sweet, patient Listener. I have saved the best for last.

Along with food, drink, shelter, and oxygen, musicals are an integral part of staying alive. What would happen, dearest Listener, if, whilst alone in your bedroom of a Monday night, with only the howling wind outside for company, you were not able to break into a spontaneous rendition of Food, Glorious Food or Oklahoma! or Big Spender? What would happen if, on a night in with the girls, you were not able to shriek ‘LET’S SING MUSICALS!!!’ and spend the next four hours delighting your neighbours with songs from The Sound of Music, or Singin’ in the Rain or Sister Act (1 or 2, I don’t mind – they are equally monumental)?

I’ll tell you what would happen. This would happen:

music11

Wouldn’t it be loverly to dance all night to your favourite things? Oh, what a beautiful morning it would be to consider yourself over the rainbow with a spoonful of sugar, to climb every mountain on some enchanted evening, to forget your hard knock life and give them the old razzle dazzle, because you’re going to live forever as long as you remember that anything goes and there’s no business like sitting alone in your bedroom and belting out a show tune.

music12

And if I haven’t made you want to have dinner with your homie Debussy whilst chilling out to some funky ass beats in a smoky candle-lit basement following a matinee performance of Showboat, then I just don’t understand who you are.

Becky says things about … fear of flying

Yasas from a remote cove somewhere in Greece, most precious and distant Listener. I hope you are in fine health and jovial spirits.

I am thoroughly enjoying my holiday in Greece, thank you. I thoroughly enjoy being in any place where I can sit and stare at a 90 year-old fisherman’s bottom poking out of his shorts as he bends over to tend to his boat for an hour. Who wouldn’t?

HOWEVER.

What I don’t enjoy, my loveliest listeners, is the mode of transport I must utilise in order to get here.

Let me tell you how much I dislike flying: I would rather lie naked under a rhinoceros with unpredictable bowels than get on a plane.

flying1

In my fearful little brain, me boarding a plane and me approaching an ill-humoured bull, calling it a smelly idiot, punching it in the face, then donning a red shell suit and standing in front of it, will have the same result: I will definitely die.

flying2

If, by some miraculous good fortune, the plane’s wheels don’t burst on a piece of debris that fell off the plane in front and we career off the runway in a blazing ball of flames and body parts, then one of the following Death Events will certainly occur: Death by birds sucked into engines, Death by plane wings falling off, Death by power failure, Death by lack of oxygen, Death by random explosion, or, perhaps the most unfortunate of aviation deaths, Death by choking on a forkful of quivering, gelatinous scrambled egg on an otherwise safe and uneventful flight.

flying3

An irrational fear? A rational fear? I don’t care what it is; the simple fact is that my brain does not currently have the ability to comprehend how a huge metal tube can fly me and many, many other people to my destination without something going horrendously and irreversibly wrong.

flying4

I’ve learnt to cope with this fear over the years – inasmuch as curling up into the foetal position, stuffing my fingers in my ears and crying constitutes “coping” with anything – and fortunately the fear loses against my determination to continue to travel.

However, as well as having to cope with this chronic and traumatic fear of instant and pulverising death, one must also contend with those Things That Happen on a Plane That in No Way Help to Alleviate Your Fears or Calm Your Nerves But Instead Make You Want to Commit Aviation Genocide and Scream:

1. Noises.   

You KNOW in your heart that that whirring sound you hear when you first board the plane is just the air conditioning or general harmless mechanical noises, but your fear-addled brain tells you it is SOMETHING GOING DRAMATICALLY WRONG WITH THE PLANE AND THERE IS A FLURRY OF PEOPLE UNDERNEATH YOU DESPERATELY TRYING TO FIX THIS PROBLEM BEFORE IT KILLS YOU ALL. 

flying5

And you KNOW that that hideous cranking noise just after take-off that sounds exactly like a major piece of the aircraft falling off and hurtling to the ground, is simply the wheels tucking themselves neatly back into their compartment – but unfortunately, your fear-consumed brain tells you that A MAJOR PIECE OF THE AIRCRAFT HAS JUST FALLEN OFF AND HURTLED TO THE GROUND AND WE WILL DIE AS A CONSEQUENCE. Because that is precisely what it sounds like.

(Note to any listeners who make airplanes: PLEASE do something about this. ANYTHING would be better than listening to the wheels-tucking-themselves-back-where-they-belong sound.)

flying6

2.    Children and Babies

I understand that children and babies are not silent creatures. I understand that, despite the efforts of the leathery old sow in front of me who yelled ‘Shut up!’ down the cabin to a crying baby, the baby in question is not going to respond thus:

flying5

However, when one is faced with the certainty of imminent death, the last thing one needs is babies screaming and playful 5 year olds making the following comment on the plane’s noises: ‘What was that sound, Mummy? The plane’s broken! Hahahahahahahahahahahaha the plane’s broken!’

Not funny. Not funny at all.

3.  Difficult Passengers

One wants to relax before Certain Death. One does not need to be riled by the aforementioned leathery old sow making loud demands for gins and tonic (at 8.30am no less), or saying to the person in front of her ‘Excuse me, but I think you’re abominably rude to put your seat so far back into my lap,’ and then proceeding to put her seat so far back into my lap that I was practically eating breakfast off her head.

flying7

Nor do I need to be vexed by a nearby passenger saying this to a stewardess:

flying8

Yes, that really happened. The stewardess deserves the ‘Diplomacy in the Air’ Award for not replying ‘Yes that’s fine. In fact, why don’t we stop off in Munich and get you some strudel?’

We’d all like an omelette or some strudel. None of us enjoyed the food. But your ludicrous demand has only served to increase my stress levels and pique my ire. Stop it.

4.  Turbulence

You know that planes don’t just fall out of the sky. You know that turbulence is just ‘bumpy air’ (what the ruddy hellfire is ‘bumpy air’????). But when you are suddenly thrown from your seat and the woman behind you starts saying the Lord’s Prayer, it does absolutely NOTHING to reduce your conviction that YOUR DEATH IS ON THE VERY IMMEDIATE AGENDA.

flying9

If I can offer you one piece of turbulence-related advice, it is this: do NOT look at the faces of the stewards. Your frantic search for comfort in a calm, smiling face will backfire spectacularly if the steward has

‘OH SHIT’

written all over their face. It happened on a flight from New York. I didn’t enjoy it.

flying10

Other than all that, I love flying.

Becky says things about … saying hello

So. Having had the tremendous good fortune of being Freshly Pressed in the last few days with my confessions at how rubbish I am at exercise, I seem to have gained quite a few more listeners who are willing to hear the things that I say. Therefore, I just wanted to –

fresh1

Stickman, you know full well that that is NOT what being Freshly Pressed entails. I am trying to make a serious and heartfelt gesture to my new listeners, and that’s very difficult to achieve when you insist on mucking about. Will you please just be sensible.

fresh2

And less of the attitude.

Sorry about that, dear Listeners.

What I was going to say before we were interrupted by a stick with an attitude problem, was a big friendly

“HELLO”

and

“HI THERE”

and

“GOODNESS ME, YOU LOOK LOVELY, AND YOUR SKIN IS REALLY GLOWING, HAVE YOU BEEN EATING MORE OILY FISH RECENTLY?”

and other such salutations to my lovely new listeners.

fresh3

And this is my pal Stickman, who hangs around and helps me say things. He’s a great guy, on the whole, but can sometimes be, to put it bluntly, an emotional, mental and physical carcrash, so watch out for him.

fresh4

You can refute all you like, mate, it’s the ruddy truth. You’re mental.

Anyway, that’s what I wanted to say: HELLO TO ALL MY LOVELY NEW LISTENERS (and obviously a high-five to all my existing listeners – you’re great, you guys). I look forward to saying things to you and to checking out your own fabulous blogs when I get back from a holiday to Greece in a couple of weeks. If you fancy joining me, I’ll be in Greece. I’ll be the English girl with the crimson face and the one strip of sunburn on her left shoulder (classic English holiday look).

Until next time, it’s cheerio from me!

fresh5

Oh for God’s sake. Those things will stunt your growth you know. You could’ve been a massive oak tree standing proudly in a park by now if you’d never smoked. Instead you’re just a stick doing stuff on a blog. Life choices, Stickman. Life choices.

Becky says things about … herself

There comes a time, cherished listener, when one should wallow in a spot of self-indulgence. And when someone as lovely as Zen Scribbles bestows on me the most superb ABC Award, which demands that the receiver of said award attributes a fascinating titbit about themselves to each letter of the alphabet, then it would be rude not to.

abc1

Yes, Stickman. Narcissism, egomania, gasconade. Take your pick. What’s a bit of casual narcissism between friends? And anyway I’m not going to say things specifically about me – I’m going to say 26 things on which I may or may not have an opinion or may directly or indirectly relate to me. Okay? Now shut your noise.

Before I say these 26 excellent things, I would like to lavish this most glorious award on eight fellow bloggers about whom I would very much like to learn 26 things: Speaker 7, Don’t Quote Lily, The Blog of Funny Names, The Bumble Files, A Clown on Fire, The Evolution of Hatred, Happy Zinny and The Very Single Girl. 

abc2

I can never tell whether you’re being sarcastic or not, Stickman. It’s disconcerting.

And now to it.

26 Things Said By Becky That Relate To Her Either Directly Or Indirectly Or About Which She May Or May Not Have An Opinion

A – ANCHOVIES – The best things since smoked mackerel. Oh, salty, slimy little creatures of joy, please swim around this marinade of olive oil and herbs and then slither onto this chunk of warm ciabatta for I wish to enjoy thee.

B – BREAKFAST – Can’t do without it. Get excited about it. Would happily consume breakfast goods all day long like some manically-depressed student.

abc3

No, actually. You’re being very bumptious today, Stickman. Pipe the heck down.

C – CATS – Evil, smug, rude, antisocial, venomous, spawn-of-Satan idiots. They have nothing to be so offensively arrogant about. When I am Queen of All Things they will be shipped to a tiny island that I shall simply call ‘Cat Doom’ and if anyone really misses their obnoxious, unpleasant company, then they are more than welcome to find their way to Cat Doom and get clawed and haughtily stared-out to death, but I want no part of it.

abc4

Bit much, Stickman, but I appreciate the sentiment.

D – DEATH – It’s going to happen, sweet listeners. Nothing we can do about that. I do have a few stipulations though: 1) It doesn’t happen any time soon; 2) It’s not painful, long-winded, or embarrassing; 3) It doesn’t inconvenience anyone or ruin anyone’s plans i.e. I’m invited to be a guest speaker at an important event and cop it ten minutes beforehand; 4) It doesn’t involve cats.

E – EGGS

ABC5

Hush. An important point needs to be made. I enjoy an egg. I find its runny, sinister embryonic core and the potential for chicks to grow inside me rather unnerving, but I can handle an egg. But if anyone puts an egg on a pizza ever again, I swear I will go spare.

F – FALLING OVER – I do this so regularly I have been advised to patent the concept. See here for all you need to know.

G – GROWN-UP THINGS – There are some things that apparently grown-ups need to know about in order to make them grown-ups. So if you don’t know what the FTSE 100 is, or what dividends are; if you have no understanding of government, life insurance, how to change a baby’s nappy, or soy yoghurt; if you have no intention of spending money on mortgages, window cleaners or winter duvets; or if you shudder at words like ‘capital’ and ‘interest-free credit’ and ‘pension’, then does it all mean you’re not a proper grown-up? If so, then I’m not.

abc6

H – HYPOCHONDRIA – Not so much now, but back in the day, I had it bad, man. The best example with which to illustrate this point is the day I dragged my two friends to A&E on a Tuesday night because I was convinced I was pregnant, and not only that, but that I was having an ectopic pregnancy. It was cystitis,  listener. Cystitis.

 I – IDLENESS – I’m guilty of being a little idle every now and then. Who isn’t? But when I stand for literally five minutes debating with myself whether I can be bothered to put the cup I am holding into the dishwasher that is an arm’s length away from me, and then decide I can’t be bothered, place said cup on the worksurface that is just above the dishwasher, it’s nothing short of ridiculous.

abc13

J – JULIE ANDREWS – Hold on a minute. I need to gather myself. Deep breath. Must put my head between my legs for a couple of minutes.

abc11

Okay. I’m fine.

She is my hero. She is my Queen. Her loveliness, her majesty, her dignity, her elegance, her beauty, her magnificence knows no bounds. I mean, check this out: if you were going to put your faith in one person to sort the entire world’s problems, make everything lovely and ensure that humanity resides indefinitely in happiness and joy, who else would you choose but this person???

Magnificent.

If I had to choose one famous person in the whole world to have a  cup of tea with, it would be her. Unfortunately I am convinced that I would spoil the meeting by stuttering, wetting myself, being sick and then fainting.

abc12

K – KETCHUP FIENDS – Dear People Who Put Ketchup On Literally Everything Even When It’s Not Appropriate, Like On Roast Chicken Or Rice Or Spaghetti Bolognese Or Chinese Takeaways: Stop it. Love, Becky.

L – LONG-WINDEDNESS – What’s that you say, listener? ‘Becky, don’t be silly, you’re not remotely long-winded. Your posts are always very concise, succinct, and get straight to the point with no fannying around whatsoever. Don’t put yourself down so much.’ Ohh, you are too kind, sweet listener. But you know it’s not true. You know I’m long-winded. Why use one word when you can use ten? Why say ‘It’s a nice day’ when you can say ‘The clemency of this unit of time is pleasing to my visual, aural and nasal receptors’? Being long-winded is fun. 

abc9

M – MEALTIMES – Yes, I know. Food again. But I love mealtimes. My days are structured around them. If my days didn’t look like this:

abc7

then they would look like this:

abc8

and nobody wants that.

N – NOISY EATERS – Oh, listener. Save me from the crunchers, the squelchers, the salivaters, the juicers, the munchers. I would rather spend a year on Cat Doom Island than spend an hour in a room with a load of noisy eaters eating cornflakes and bananas.

O – OBLONGS – I have no opinion on oblongs.

abc10

Nope, nothing.

P – PROCRASTINATING – 

Q – The QUEEN – I am an unashamed, loud and proud lover of the Queen. I just think she’s marvellous. A figurehead of everything that made this country great and that we should grip onto with all our might: stoicism, dignity, wit, fortitude and let’s-just-get-the-ruddy-heck-on-with-it. Unfortunately, I think that if I ever met her, the meeting would very strongly resemble my meeting with Julie Andrews.

abc12

R – RABBITS – These furry fluffy balls of cuteness have scared the living shit out of me since first being exposed to the film Watership Down as a child. I mean, would you show this to a child????

Irresponsible parenting to the max.

S – SUMMER – Don’t talk to me about summer. For the last million years, our summers here in England have looked like this:

abc14

That’s right. A load of black rainclouds beating the crap out of us. For months and months and months. Brilliant.

T – TORTOISES – Urgh urgh urgh. Little reptilian beasts that have been alive for thousands of years and have only just managed to walk from one end of the room to the other. I think what frightens me most is the sheer boredom of being a tortoise and the concept of living forever and achieving literally nothing. 

abc15

U – UMBRELLAS – Hate them. They annoy me so much I dedicated an entire blog post to them.

V – VICES – We’ve all got to have a vice, listener. Whether it’s drinking, smoking, dancing-privately-in-underwear-to-Wham!, peculiar sex, squirrel breeding, ice cream making or needlework, embrace it, do it in public (within reason) and enjoy it. Squirrel breeding’s a bit weird, though.

W – WRITING – I love it, I hate it. It makes me want to laugh, cry, get drunk, punch a hamster in the face. It beguiles me, it enrages me, it amuses me, it bores me. Yet I keep on doing it. Even if sometimes it makes me want to adopt extreme measures to avoid doing it.

abc16

X – X-RAYS – What would we do without them when we got to ‘X’ in any alphabet game ever played?

Y – YULETIDE – Christmas, to those of you who don’t have to think of a word beginning with Y. I love it. It’s sparkly, ridiculous, warm and cosy, and you can get away with stuff you can’t get away with the rest of the year.

abc17

abc18

Z – ZEBIBYTE – I don’t know what this means, but I came across it having just googled ‘Words beginning with Z’. I think it’s something to do with Maths.

abc19

Listen, I felt under a lot of pressure to make the final one really amazing and profound and funny, but I failed, okay? I buckled under the pressure. Leave me alone. You’ve been nothing but rude today.

Anyway, so there you have it. If you managed to listen to that all the way down to the bottom, you have excellent ears, a marvellous constitution, and should perhaps think about taking up a new hobby.

P – PROCRASTINATION – Oh yeah, suppose I should do this one. Er…. so yeah, procrastinating… Um…. Let me just go and make a cup of tea and cook a chicken and I’ll be right back.