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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Watch Out Nigella

Ah, the reading content here at the Palace has been a little heavy of late so I thought I'd brighten it up a bit with a wee story about Dirt Bird:

One night, after a bottle of cider or 3, Dirt Bird and I went back to her parent's house. As soon as we got there Dirt Bird declared she was hungered and set about making a fry for herself.

As she was cooking it I told her about the frying pan fire I'd had earlier that week when cooking chicken. No sooner had I said this than her own frying pan went up in flames. Cue much screaming and running around in blind panic. The fire went out by itself.

We calmed down, allowed our hearts to go back down our throats and nervously giggled about what a coincidence Dirt Bird should have experienced a frying pan fire so soon after me telling her about mine. But we had no time to relax before the damn pan went up in flames again! More panic, screaming and general flusteredness. The fire went out again. Dirt Bird concluded her food was well fried and switched off the pan.

The reason I find this so funny though is because she actually sat down and attempted to eat her fry even though it was burnt to a crisp and she couldn't get her fork to stick in anything without it scooting off the plate.

Another cooking disaster involved tuna and my mate Jo. We wanted tuna and mayo sandwiches. We put everything in a big bowl and mixed it together. It wasn't until we were eating the amazingly runny sandwiches that we realised we'd forgotten to drain the tuna of it's brine!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Don't Hassle The Han

Mum and I took a wee scoot into town today to do a little pre-party shopping and so I could hand a few applications in. On the drive in we were talking about the actual converstaion I had with my boss before I walked out. The whole thing was over in a matter of minutes really. But I was saying to mum that he probably wasn't expecting me to react the way that I did. For one, why would he really want to get rid of a cheap employee at a time when he's immensely busy and already behind? So mum asked what I thought he wanted to achieve by starting on me.

I told her I thought he wanted to 'put me in my box'. He was so used to the meek, mild wee girl who wouldn't say boo to a mouse. He saw me, for the first time, showing annoyance and he didn't like it so he thought he'd assert some authority. He tried to put me in my box but, as mum pointed out, he didn't count on the box not having a bottom. He put me in and I just fell on straight through. We laughed at this and mum said: Don't hassle the Han!

Our pre-party shopping expedition went pretty well. Bert's now the proud owner of his first ever pair of Converse. Mum has her Halloween/Mexican day of the Dead costume sorted out. She's going as Scary Hairy Mary! Tomorrow night Z and I will have a massive spooky bun-making session and on Friday I have an interview. It's just retail but a job's a job and it buys me time. Yeeeooowww!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hot Head Hannah vs The Toxic Boss

If anyone knows of any potential employers that would like to take on a 26 year old hard-working, punctual, eager to please, keen to learn, computer literate lassie please let me know. I need to find work, quickly, due to me telling my former boss that he could stick his job up his arse. But you have to realise that this is not generally the way I conduct myself around employers. In fact, I learnt the phrase 'ye can stick it up your arse' from my (ex) boss.

I have been unhappy there for a while now. Any job I do I like to feel that I'm doing it well. I couldn't do this job as well as I'd have liked to because there was too much expected off me and too little time. My boss gave me bare minimum information to work with. When one of his customers had a query that I couldn't answer I'd often ask my boss what I should tell them. His answer was usually: Tell her to go fuck herself. I grew sick of his unhelpful, arrogant manner of dealing with things. I got sick of people making demands that I just didn't have the time to meet. I'm sick of lying and covering up for my boss. I'm sick of him being a total cunt to people who have done good honest days' work for him but still have to beg for their cheques. I'm also sick of doing all this and being paid minimum wage. The last straw was today.

The boss could see I was getting a bit stressed out and so he asked me if I was unhappy with my job because if I wasn't happy I didn't have to work for him. I asked him if he was in my situation would he be happy. He didn't answer but said if I couldn't hack the pressure I could leave. So I did, because it felt like he was taunting me and I was already feeling like I didn't get paid enough to take shit without taking that shit too.

It was rash and impulsive and not exactly well thought out but it's done now and there's no point regretting it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thai Tales

When I was in Thailand I taught older kids between the ages of 11-15. If I'd had a choice I would've worked with younger kids but any experience is a good experience and because the older kids sometimes (I stress sometimes) had quite good English and you could teach them more. But when the shit hit the fan with the Secondary school I had a chance to teach at a Primary school, covering for someone for 2 weeks. The other night I found this in a notebook. I'd always meant to post it but when I came back it was a bit too difficult writing about Thailand. It's almost a year since I've been back now and it's about time I got round to sharing it:

I did my last day of teaching today. Obviously I'm happy because it was a chore getting up in the mornings but I also feel sad that it's all over.

I'm glad I had the chance to teach the younger children. It was a totally different experience from teaching high school kids. For one, they're much better behaved. They are more respectful and sweet and they are more easily pleased.

It was like a breath of fresh air having an assistnat to help me
(I was lucky if the Thai teachers at the high school sat in on my lessons, let alone assisted me). Koong disciplined the children, which is something I've always hated doing. She also translated when the children didn't understand. The kids obviously learn much more in this kind of set-up.

The school I was working at was private so classes were much smaller than Prah Narai. Koong often talked about 'special' children. These kids came to class but never particiapted. In the West these children would live in residential homes and be closely monitored but mental health problems aren't properly recognised in Thailand.

I found these children fascinating. They obviously all suffered from different problems but were all treated the same way. One boy, who was missing half of his left arm, was very quiet but he obviously had a lot going on in his head. He was jittery, chewed on a little piece of plastic wrapping. He was largely ignored by the rest of the class and he ignored them but every once in a while he'd get excited and come over and grab hold of me and fixate on something.

Some of the 'special' students were merely not as intelligent as their peers. They could so the work but not as quickly or to the same ability as everyone else.

One little boy liked to be told fables. Koong would sit at the back with him and tell him traditional Thai stories. He'd fall asleep almost instantly but wake up looking startled if Koong stopped.

There was only one student that Koong told me to be careful around. He'd bitten her a few times and he liked to hit the other children. It didn't help that he was twice, maybe 3 times the size as all the other 6 year olds. He lay down on the ground and wailed and moaned. If he got up all the kids would get up and run away from him. He looked permanently distressed. I felt sorry for him.

The most fascinating children were a little boy and a little girl who shared a table. They obviously hated each other and the other children that shared a table with them were wary. The little girl would move away from the boy, causing the others to shuffle around so they weren't too close to her. But they'd shuffle around 'til another student was too close to the boy then he'd start shuffling round in the opposite direction to get away from him. The little girl and boy would hit each other and yel at each other. Koong left them to it.

The older childen were very inqusitive about me. They wanted me to write my name, age and birthday in their notebooks and they drew pictures of me beside them. They asked me questions about my life at home; did I have pets; siblings; was my house made out of wood or cement. They asked these questions in Thai and Koong translated. But they were still listening to English and therefore learning. Sometimes you could spend a whole lesson with the older students just trying to get them to be quiet.

It ended there but reading it over makes me realise that if I'm ever gonna teach again it'll be the young 'uns because they're not as cocksure as teenagers are. Hmmm...makes me long for a better job and a bit of adventure.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Am Today

You Are Wednesday

Like this day of the week, you are ruled by Mercury.

More than anything, you are unpredictable.

You are witty and wise - but you are also easily bored.

You tend to be flighty and careless. You are unreliable at times.

In some ways, it's perfect that you match up with hump day.

You are always coasting downhill - even when it seems like an uphill battle.

The genearl mood at Nellybert's is very ho hum. We know it will pass though.

Meanwhile, there is a party to plan. It was meant to be a Halloween party but, as we're now having it on the 1st November, it will be a Mexican Day of the Dead party. I feel the need to rush out and buy a big bottle of tequila.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Scritchy Bitchy In Loan Hill Heaven

Originally uploaded by jazzthefunk
It sucks when your dog dies. You console yourself with the fact that they had a good life and lived to a good age but it still just sucks. Because, ultimately, you want them to live forever, like you want everything that you care about to live forever.

But they don't and and you deal with it and I can honestly, truly say that Rosie led a pretty perfect life. She was a total dreamboat that could charm the pants off most. When you know and love an animal, you find their ways so endearing that it breaks your heart you'll never know it again. Like the way she'd eat one hardnut at a time, the way she'd scritch and scratch at the door, incessantly, until you let her in, her obsessive-compulsive need to round up and herd other animals, her happy, excited tail-wagging when she saw a lead coming out, ah, the list goes on and on.

It's funny how the one weekend that I stayed in happened to be the last weekend I'd spend with Rosie. I woke up yesterday morning and she was lying curled up at the bottom of my bed. She lay curled up on mum's knee last night. She slept with Bert last night. She had her innings. But she'll be missed.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


It's amazing the way reading the Sunday papers can inspire life-changing decisions. I always did want to join the circus (as a lion-tamer tamer, the person who tames the lion-tamer) and it seems that maybe it really is my true calling in life. I want to be a wheel gymnast like Achus Emeis. It looks like such good fun. All I need is a big wheel and a leotard. How hard could it be to find a big wheel?

I drank to the point of stupidity last weekend and vowed never to lip booze again. Of course I was as right as rain by Tuesday but I still had a quiet one this weekend. I was Pearlie-sitting while Mum and Bert spent a night away. Pearlie was no bother but it seems I actually need lessons in how to close hens up for the night.

I thought maybe a weekend of purity might help inspire a little creativity but, alas, no my brain cells must still be recovering from last weekend. The most constructive things I've done this weekend is build fires (I'd have made an excellent caveman) and learn how to cook panada* (is that how ye spell it ma?).

*Panada (or Panade, possibly?) pron. Pan-aid-A

Hannah's Dictionary Def: What you feed the cat when there's no canned meat or hard nuts; what you feed Pearlie when there's no spuds; a rare dish that rare people eat, consisting of a slice o' breed broken up, a wee taste o' warm water and a wee taste o' warmed milk; A culinary delight.

So, yeah, a really constructive weekend. I learnt how to make soggy bread in warm milk.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hannah Hates Holly Cat

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.

I read this little ditty off a calendar at work. Considering my present circumstances at work I thought it was good advice. In fact, it's good advice for every aspect of life. It's too easy to blame your mood on external factors. Of course, to some extent, it can't be helped but I think we are more in control of our emotions than we care to let ourselves believe.

Here are some other proverbs floating round my brain:

If you don't ask, you don't get: How true, but just because you ask doesn't mean you're gonna get.

Don't count your chickens before they hatch: You might have ten eggs but 5 could be rotten.

Look before you leap: I've always struggled with this one. I like being impulsive but it pays to consider all possible outcomes. Sometimes.

Anyway, pet update: Bonnie is so hungry because of her 'roids she's taken to bin-hoking. Thankfully she's off the meds now; Paddy is most definitely gay - ask Jonathan; Rosie has become a member of my Hollycat-hating campaign. Holly makes me wonder why I wasted all that time trying to befriend stray cats.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This is What I Am

You Are a Pig

You are very intelligent, and you enjoy being around people. You can trust others easily.

You have great reasoning skills, and you are quick learner. You are able to adapt to most situations.

You tend to be very territorial and picky. You don't like people messing with your stuff.

You have keen senses and reflexes. You can defend yourself well and quickly sense danger.

Last week I watched a film. I can't recall the name of it but it was a fantasy story where everyone had there demons on the outside and they took the form of an animal. Got me thinking about people I know and what animal would be their demon.

Nelly I thought would be an owl but Bert said: Are owls not meant to be wise?

When I told mum this she said she'd be more like a bison or some big herd animal. I thought Bert would be some kind of reptile, like a big iguana or one of them slow moving critters.

I asked a few people what they thought I would be. Jakers said a lynx. Dirt Bird said a fawn (yes a fawn, not a faun, I checked), Nigel said a Jack Russell, which worried me a bit 'cos it was a little too perceptive for someone who doesn't know me that well. As it turns out, I am a pig. A pig! Class.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Itsy Bitsy Thumbnail Size

I walked in yesterday to hear Bert playing this little gem on the clarinet. Yes, that's right, Bert is learning Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini. I think he was aiming for the Brian Hyland version but it was sounding a bit more like Timmy Mallet to me.

In other news: We have recently discovered that if you think of the most boring, mundane thing that's happened to you Pearlie will consider this to be the most exciting and entertaining news ever! If you tell her about something totally amazing, however, she'll look at you with a blank expression. Oh, and if she does ever eat anything it's only ever a bit the size of a thumbnail (but what kind of thumbnail? A human's? An elephant's?).

Doggy news: The cat is a bastard! Whiny, gurny, miaowing bastard! There is little joy with her. Bonnie has become a cunning food thief. Paddy proves time and time again that he's all brawn and no brains and Rosie is keeping a low profile (which means she's probably planning some kind of big drama).

Work Update: The less said the better. It's Friday, Yaaay!

Monday, October 06, 2008

How Long's A Bitch?

This is the typical kind of text conversation I have with my mate Kerm:


Kerm: I AM OUT






Kerm has little patience for me being vague about what time I come out. As it happened, I went out about ten and I'm not even sure I saw him. When I came down from getting ready mum looked at me and said: I have to laugh at you, it takes you 6 hours to get ready and you look exactly the same as you started.

Now, back to what's really important. Halloween. Mel, Nelly and I need some costume suggestions. Dad, I know you offered some but if I'm going to be drinking a lot it's probably best I don't look like something so horrendous that I'm gonna want to puke when I look at myself. Any ideas, let me know.