Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ecole de Paris

You know those really cute first day of school pictures that adorned your Facebook feeds a few weeks ago?


They were so cute weren't they?  All those little people dressed up in their gorgeous little clothes becoming so big and serious - awwww.


Well, we didn't really get any good "first day of school" shots of Paris - because the Paris picture approaching the first day of school can be stylistically interpreted as:

http://www.colornimbus.com/wp-content/uploads/userworks/The-Twin-Comedy-and-Tragedy-Mask-on-Mardi-Gras-Coloring-Page-by-Taffy-years-old-Hurtful.jpg
She survived - and she did do some cute filmmaking post the first day that pulled it out of the fire, but it was a long first week - and then she discovered that, due to a public holiday, that was actually a short week.

She. Was. Livid.
 

Paris is not yet in love with the whole concept of school.  She enjoyed one day of it last year for orientation, but cannot see the value of it being FIVE days EVERY week.  She did not sign that treaty, white man.  

I can see her point.

She is becoming resigned to it being a fact, however.

The battle to get through the:
  • get dressed in uniform
  • put hair up
  • put shoes on
  • eat breakfast 
  • do teeth
  • get out of the door
  • drive to school 
  • walk to the classroom 
  • be stoic in the face of losing your parent for the whole day
  •  in a classroomful of strangers and bossy but very nice ladies with a bell

  • eat what you are told when you are told

  • explore and play in a confined space with twice as many strangers
  • sit quietly in the heat 
  • get picked up by old friends
  • wait for your parent to take you home
  • bathe
  • eat
  • bed 
routine is gradually getting a little easier.  

She is more keen about the experience in the rear view mirror than in anticipation.

But at least she isn't hating it.


She quite likes the concept of reading.
    


 She gets to do music.  And PE.  Look at me do a handstand on the couch Mum!  Science - she got to look through a microscope.  Library was good.  When will I get to go on a big bus?  Homework (we ALL get to do that - last week it was a family portrait!)  Every day there is a new friend - well, not really a friend, just someone new with a nice name and the potential of maybe getting her down the track.  She immediately names a doll a similar name and they play schools where Daddy is the principal and the good kids get to sit on silk bow thrones.


 I don't know how to break it to her that there is another 12 years of it after this one, though.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Nah, I don't suffer from jetlag (part one of no doubt a million shattered fragments of my mind)

however I have discovered that I may have been doused heavily in a miasma that has only been slightly lifted by a therapy known as "mowing the lawn".

This is but one of the tremours we have experienced - little land-wobbles that have covered a full gamut of emotions in the last few days - but it was the first one, and it was a doozy.


You may need a coffee.  (I know we did...)  You may need a stiff drink.  (Its possible I did)  You may need drugs by the end.  (No judgement from me)

...

We are back in Australia.  Check.  Returned to Paradise.  Check.  Attained all encompassing wisdom and bobbing on the fountain of benign happiness of all blessings?  Maybe by Monday next...

Its funny (in hindsight - at that particular moment in time, possibly not) but it was the re-entry to our shores that initially prismed my innate calm and good nature.

Prefacing this by saying how wonderful the Virgin crew were throughout all other steps of our journey.  It was therefore with some surprise upon landing to find that the wheelchair arrangements* had seemingly fallen on fallow ground, and an offhand "well, I suppose you can take that one" after some discussion (that had not been needed at any other juncture of the whole journey) was our complete set of instructions when we got some assistance for V.

* V doesn't require full-time usage of a wheelchair, but requirements for him standing or walking for any length of time (let alone after 13 hours in a tin can - or even worserer with an Canadian Gridiron player less than 8 inches in front  of the joint) are impossible for his knees to work without maniacal internal physical protest, thus wheelchair is the request that I make well before any such endeavours.

Compare that to the lovely Camilla (which may have been her name - it started with C and she was friendly enough yet polite and incredibly efficient) who chauffeured him from the plane through the whole chain of Customs requirements at LAX, and the relay team of well-organised officials on our departure. 

Its quite benign, isn't it?  "Well, I suppose you can take that one" actually sounds quite promising compared to the opposite of "you can't"  - but it opens the doorways - a chink - to the trials of hell that awaited us that could have been alleviated slightly with the Standard Operating Procedures adopted on foreign shores.

In LAX, Camilla took V in her chair and walked - briskly - through empty corridors to lifts that took us straight to the correct line for processing by the first scary guy, through another couple of miles** to the correct line for processing by the next scary lady and down the alley to the third more friendly but still quite scary bloke, along another few miles of corridor to the collection of baggage, where a trolley was able to be used to help him walk.

** I may exaggerate.  I  am allowed to do that in Imperial Measurement.

One the way back, a lady was called who took V from one terminal to the next, where a wheelchair swap was orchestrated for a gent who took us down empty corridors to lifts that took us directly to the xrays and take your shoes off department, and then down empty corridors to lifts that took us directly to a junction where a little motorised train (I kid you not) was waiting to take any clients in the same predicament (and their family) directly to the gate of their need.

So you see, the "well, I suppose you can take that one" smacks of dropping the ball (or wheelchair).  We then went down increasingly crowded corridors*** to a bottleneck.
*** I may never know if 7:30am on a Tuesday morning was what is termed "Peak Hour" at BNE, or if efficiency measures put in place in Australia were the culprits - I only know that when next this experiment of hurtling around the world takes place again, 7:30am on a Tuesday morning will be the time least likely to be booked.

The bottleneck was funneled through one be-vested Official of the lady persuasion **** which required merging with 7 lanes of foot traffic - a wheelchair, a teenager, a five year old and myself being held together by sheer bluster and the possibility of bruised shins and elbows to the face ****.
**** and as my grandmother would have said, "I am being polite in calling her a lady"

***** okay, that bit only happened in my mind, but man did it happen in my mind after a long yield to the masses of humanity.  Don't judge me, okay?

"Wheelchairs to the outside" she barked at us, like we were cretins to not have sucked that particular piece of information out of the ether.  So again, the trek across the 7 lanes of humanity to a line that said "Crew" (which is a clue as to why I might have been clueless that I didn't know innately that Wheelchairs were, indeed, to the outside), to be immediately surrounded by willowy women and men with their matching luggage and a certain disdain for those on the inside - and indeed, uncrew on the outside.

Click.  They went through.  Click.  They went through.  They were so down pat with the process that it was like watching ballet.  Chatter and laughter about the glitz and glamour of the high air-pressurised lifestyle interspersed with a preen, then a duckface freeze - in time - at the masses on the inside, with a slow-motion pirouetted resting bitch face towards the uncrew on the outside.  Click.  They went through.

And then us.  
A bark of "don't put the wheelchair there".  
"Where are the forms?"  Forms and passports handed over. 
"Not with the passports." Take the passports back. 
"Now the passports." Hand the passports over. 
"Where are the other forms?"  Blank from us.

That is right folks, I expletive-delete (but my goodness it was bold and uppercase in my mind)-ed up.  Those bits of paper that said "Ebola Information Sheet" were in fact not Information Sheets (that I had put to one side in case we needed to know anything about Ebola) but actually forms that I should have filled out - four times.

"Off to the side".

I found out that there was indeed a harsher, colder place than being on the outside amongst the crew at the BNE airport, and that was off to the side of the outside line, sitting on the floor with a wheelchair, a teenager and a five-year old, filling out expletive-delete (really, really extra-large bold uppercase and possibly said really loudly once or twice not quite under my breath)-ing forms that asked for EXACTLY THE SAME expletive-delete(see above)-ing information that was requested on the first, fully-completed form ******.  Four expletive-delete(and again)-ing times.
****** Fully completed because it looked like a form and told me it was a form - see, proof I am not a complete idiot!!!

Then we had to push back in to that line, because there was no way to get back to the end as the procession of willowy women and men with their matching luggage and a certain disdain went click, click on by...

Welcome back to Australia.

Thank goodness we have looks (or rather sunshine and nature), hey, because we certainly aren't offering our stellar personalities at the front doors!

'Salina had bounded ahead, as is the wont of a teenage girl, forcing us to break into line in front of a particularly vocal cluster of willowy women and men with their matching luggage and a certain disdain.  

"Where are the forms."  Forms handed over without the passports. 
 "I need the passports with them" an octave higher.  Passports handed over. 
"MOVE THAT WHEELCHAIR BACK" in a very high-pitched screech, which sent Paris and her social-anxieties over the edge and she made a break for it to her big sister who wasn't being yelled at.
"GET THAT CHILD BACK HERE RIGHT NOW!!!!" *******
******* a suggestion that an additional paragraph be offered in the "how to be a customs officer" manual along the lines of "an emotionally drained five-year old who has just hurtled around the world and suffers from extreme shyness is not coaxed by screaming at them and their family".  Please?

"MAKE HER LOOK INTO THE CAMERA" repeated, then interspersed with, into the radio, "send me a female officer" and to a chorus of rolling eyes and thought bubbles popping regarding being off-duty and not having to listen to screaming children by the willowy women and men with their matching luggage and a certain disdain.
General Public Announcement.  A saying that my father is known to use often, that should be in all good policies on certain animals that have certain flight zones.  "Work 'em wide".  Screaming "make her look into the camera" is an example of NOT employing this method.

I was then requested to FORCIBLY make her look into the camera so that he could ensure that the child on the passport was the child screaming into the neck of the woman who is documented (confirmed through their camera on her own passport) AND electronically linked as being the child's mother.

Because, you know, terrorism.  ********

 ******** because there is indeed terrorism worse than that inflicted by a five year old with extreme shyness being taken completely out of her comfort zone and then tortured by her social anxieties peaking at being screamed at.  Apparently.

Then it was to collect luggage.  From the carousel at the farthest end.  Carousel 7 *********.

********* To give them their due, the airport was great is having the correct carousel being on display for our flight in a very timely manner.  In fact, the whole way through that previous adventure we could see the well displayed number.  Go Team Australia!  Gotta love a small victory!!  We are adequate!!!  Yay!!!!

As we had access to a luggage trolley able to be used to help V walk, I endeavoured to return the wheelchair to the airline.  

The only officials from the airline were in the Luggage Enquiries office, so I went up there to see where I should do so.  The initial offhand "well, I suppose you can take that one" was bookended perfectly with the "just put it over there" - an excellent example of the "Just Don't Give Two Expletive-Deleted (but probably required)-ing Hoots" policy that we pride ourselves on here in Australia.

Huzzah!!  We got our luggage (very sneakily tagged by glittery pink Christmas ribbon) and piled it all aboard our trolleys.  We could smell - something.  It might have been freedom.  Yeah - but no.

We then had to find the end of the line, which was RIGHT AROUND the OTHER side of Carousel 7.  There appeared to be a few eddies of new lines forming as we made our way back, but we were RIGHTEOUS in our going to the end and staking our place.  We took turns in toilet breaks and removing layers and feeling like we could almost see the light at the end of the tunnel...

Federal Budgets are funny things, aren't they?  It seems that they can spend a lot of money on forms that don't look like forms and pretend to be Information Sheets by cleverly labelling themselves thus that need EXACTLY the same information as the form that looks like a form and says it is a form but you can't enter the expletive-deleted(no explanation required, by this point - my children know now that mummy swears, and they learned it at the BNE airport)-ing country of freedom and promises of less red tape BUT you can actually save money if you sack a few workers who get the people from the expletive-deleted (there may have even been specific politicians mentioned here)-ing luggage collection point to breathing clear air (or sucking on a cancer stick for those in the audience who have not reformed from bad habits) and contemplating a future free of airport stress. **********
********** The good news is, standing in such a line for such a long time with such little glimpses of getting out does enable you to "get ready" for freedom.  "Get ready" involves a panic that the paperwork for the security parking for the car isn't at hand - but the ninja skills of an artful packer means that precision is attained when the first-chosen case of the seven suitcase stack offers up paperwork that looks like the paperwork for the security parking for the car.  Sure, it isn't what is required, but it will expletive-deleting well DO, okay?

To put that into laymen terms, our line started at the other side of Carousel 7, the carousel at the farthest end, and went up and around and back down this side of Carousel 7 to once up through the middle between Carousel 7 and Carousel 6 and up and around and back down Carousel 6 to once up through the middle between Carousel 6 and Carousel 5 and up and around Carousel 5 to MERGE with a line that had the same pattern in reverse from Carousels 3 upwards which then formed a line across the WHOLE luggage collection section ***********.

***********  I would actually have taken a photo of this line to give you full view of this phenomena, but apparently you can't take photos here.  If the official lady hadn't told me - in a manner that made me believe that it was a requirement of all officials welcoming those who had travelled from Outside Australia into Australia to be LOUD and DEMANDING and RUDE - I would have learned it once the queue reached its third-last turn - but that was another 25 minutes into my future at that point in time.  
Note to the Australian Welcoming Committee:  I am expletive-deleted (I had, by this stage, developed my own cadence at this particular expletive)-ing really good at reading signs, and would prefer my information to be delivered thus.  (I am generally really good at reading and filling out forms, too - far better at it when they tell me they are forms rather than masquerading as Information Sheets, but that is by the by).  Therefore I suggest (really quite strongly - almost expletive-deleted-ing strongly) that you put up more signs and employ less people in the shouting roles.  (Maybe move them to the bit at the end of the line where people actually escape this level of hell).

Then the line went past a woman who asked each and every person "do you have an express card?"  Every person answered in the negative, to which she replied "oh well, it doesn't matter.  Just have the first form ready if you didn't give it to the last checkpoint.  If you did that, thats okay."  Finally, some laid-back attitude.  Didn't make any expletive-deleted (with a resigned air)-ing sense, and raised the very pertinent query in everyone's mind of "what the expletive-deleted was an express card and how do you get one - and if it doesn't matter, then why have the system that nobody knows about and doesn't expletive-deleted (confusingly)-ing matter" - in their mind's but NOT said out loud, because after the queuing that has already been undertaken thus far, the fact that there are only six visible turns left in the line in front of you - all visible, right there before you - and two people gloriously JUST THERE, only six turns away, who have the procesing power to set you free, and there is NOTHING at that point in the journey that is going to be spoken out loud to jeopardise reaching those two people as soon as expletive-deleted (mouthed)-ing possible.

Dead silence from all participants from that point forward.  Turn one. 

Notice a guy a few turns ahead of you was in front of you when you first joined the line.  Try to find mirth in that.  Can't.  Turn two. 

Meltdown by Paris imminent - realise heck, form meltdown by Mummy (or maybe photo meltdown by Mummy or Welcome to Australia meltdown by Mummy or even where is the paperwork for the security parking for the car meltdown by Mummy) may not have been the best policy, but it sure shows that nature and nurture each have their roles, because darn, she takes after Mummy in the meltdown department and she is learning some of the techniques (okay, a horrific yet pervasively proud Mummy moment at how quick and well she learns).  Turn three. 

Read a sign about photos.  Meltdown averted by promises - may have also been interpreted as bribery or deception, I have no idea,  My logical mind just had a background track of "need coffee and to get out of here" tune on, and whatever was said worked.  Turn four.

Glide forward ex-crut-i-a-ting-ly slowly without one freaking-hair-daring-to-go-out-of-place type silence blasting in the background.  Turn five.

Met by a very friendly official called Pete Smith (maybe - bloddy good bloke though) with a lovely "Welcome to Australia - party of four?  Why don't we just fast-track you through this newly-opened lane?"

Pete expletive-deleted (but in a very jovial, affectionate manner)-ing Smith, you are a LEGEND!!!  The man deserves the Order of Australia, and totally redeemed the Country.

Pete, mate, you did you country PROUD!!!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

The other side of the world...

We are here - and about 2/3 of the way through, so I thought it might be time to appraise you in how the other side of the world has viewed us - and we them.
 
Firstly, did you know that they do things a bit differently here?
 
  I mean, I knew about the whole date thing, and the side of the road bit, and even the light switch issue (how bizarre is THAT!?) but I was completely unprepared for their stove dials to be anti-clockwise or the supermarkets...
 
 
On the upside, they have borek - well, I assume its borek, haven't tested, will let it be so in my imagination...  May have invested in some if they had spinach or cherry, though.
 
 
They also have my favourite Sweet Chilli Sauce, so it can't all be bad, can it?
 
 
Their deodorant aisle even caters to psychological profiles!
 
 
And why go to any trouble, when you can buy it canned, frozen, pre-created and microwaveable?
 
But its the bits that they DON'T have that has caught me unawares.
 
The baking section has sprinkles in every shape and colour - but no food colouring;
Gluten-free flour, rice flour, masa harina (oh my dream), and spelt flour - as well as shelves full of mixes and pre-mixes - but one lone bread flour in the whole aisle;
Dessicated coconut is non-existant, while you find the angel coconut in the snack section;
(Prepare yourself for this one)
THEY DON'T HAVE FROZEN Shortcrust Pastry!!!
 
All in all we have muddled along.  Next trip I am bringing my vegemite and Dilmah Tea, however.
 
Most of the first week was preparation for Paris' FIFTH BIRTHDAY PARTY - and that involved shopping.  Shops are HUGE and designed to be driven to and between - heck, I am betting that in the next few years, they will be offering bus tours within the shops.  It could just be the suburban stores, but there is very limited public transport and I can only walk so far.
 
The party was marvelous - we met cousins and second cousins and third cousins and aunts and uncles and had a lot of cake and burgers and Frozen fun.
 
 
 
 
 
Half of the second week was Christmas preparation (another shopping opportunity), degustation and recovery - although we did cheat and use Australia's Christmas Day for our celebrations, as on the real Christmas Day we.... 
 
 
booked into this hotel and became so many ants at...
 
 
Disneyland!!!  (and technically California Adventure Park)
 
 
a good time was had by all...
 
 
but this was one five year old's favourite moment...   'Salina's favourite bits I don't have on the computer yet, as they involve her NEW CAMERA (she shouted herself for Christmas) and time at Disney with her new-found teenage cousins.
 
We returned yesterday for a downtime day - just as well, as I (involuntarily) decided to celebrate with a roaring migraine all day...
 
Tomorrow (and our last week) is the Zoo and Library and family and New Year and trying to fit as much time with V's Mum and his family as possible.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Christmas Bonus Super Jeanie Special Edition

Wow - did anyone notice December come in?  Bit of a grand entrance and a whirlwind time of it we have had around here...

~~~

Firstly, the renovations are edging every sturdily towards a process.

In fact, the end is probably just around a bend or two.

We have a bath.

We have two baths.

One is in and at some point will be out.

One is out and yet to have been notched in.  Yeah.   Look at me.  All technical terms and looking like I know what the heck is going on.  It may well be that by the time our house-sitter is in situ, he will have two baths to ponder and the all but final possibility of having also a shower option - with just one tiny little detail missing, that being the tiles.

It seems that my availability for bathroom renovation shopping sprees is akin to argon (oh my, I love that gas!!), while my lazy time may be my third largest available time frame (after frantic scrambling*   and sleep)  it is so infinitesimally small in comparison to my hectic hither, thither and yon - or snoring - state that sourcing suitable fixtures just doesn't blip.

~~~

So yes, the house-sitter does mean that there approaches, at terrifyingly 2014 speed, a departure from Paradise for a short while.

Indeed, a departure to the other side of the world for such a while.

In fact, we are only single digits amounts of sleep away from leaving this country to another - luckily one that speaks the same language, dresses in similar fashion and has a few relatives of my husband contained within, because my brain would probably explode at the moment if I had to factor in having to modify.

~~~

My to do list does exist - amongst the pile of paperwork that I have to sort - it says so on my list!

And indeed I did a fair whack of that old to do today.

~~~

I decided that part of my gift giving this Yule shall be baked.  It should come as no surprise.  I pull that kind of stunt every year.

And of course, because I am engineered that way, I devised a little spreadsheet system determining what quantities of which biscuits  would be required to feed the known universe fulfil all of my gift-giving requirements still found wanting after the three bacchanalian sprints I have made to provenders of entertainment avenues aplenty - two with a kindy-graduate in tow and once during a lunch half-hour - such spreadsheet system and formulae founded on the above mathematics is a fairly precise art, you can imagine.

~~~

I went afield and bought said goods.  Providing for members of the extended clan that find gluten rather rude - and the untimely financial demise of the local independent grocer - meant that I was forced to forage far and wide for required goods.

I could go into details, but suffice to say mineral water sourced from anywhere other than the evilopoly is nigh on impossible.

Molasses - molasses!!!  For goodness sake, I live in a sugar region and I cannot find molasses on the shelves unless it was on some shelf in the health food store I entered seeking gluten-free flour and the bustle of getting from spying such an item and paying for it before I realised the price.

There were three other stops before I reached Aldi.  **  Would you believe that they have gluten-free flour there also!!!  They also had mineral water.

Apparently there is a technique regarding bottles and the conveyor belts at Aldi - and some people get very touchy when you suggest that the conveyor belt operator should be a little smoother - it must be something to do with the awesome savings - and I didn't do the multiple items trick either, but they accepted me enough to offer me the option of knowing what was in store if I returned next week.

But I didn't take their offerings because I am not going to return next week.

Because next week, I will be going to the other side of the world rather than to Aldi.

~~~

There were two more stops before I finally got home, and saddled up to


The.  Annual.  Great.  Christmas.  Bake. Challenge.

Seven Recipes.  Twenty Six Ingredients.  Three Temperatures.  One Kindy-Graduate Offsider.

Yeah, it was never going to work.  One simply does not begin baking at 4:20pm and achieve such impossible standards.

Luckily, the gluten-free recipe writers of the world are massive under-estimators.

This Gluten Free Chocolate Chip recipe says wistfully "18 portions".  What it doesn't say is apparently there are about four biscuits in every portion, so if you quadruple all quantities (and may I say, one kindy graduate was more than happy to open 6 packs of chocolate chips for this mega-brew) then the term shedloads does indeed apply.

And might I say Bob's Red Mill does an exceptional line in Ginger Spice Cookies.  Enough for an army - or indeed the revised list of gluten friendly and unfriendly recipients.

As we had well and truly overshot dinner time by this point, I decided it would just be a quick  Shortbread *** romp home - after all, I only had a few presents left to wrap, nearly an inch of grey to contemplate in my hair and a to do list for the morrow that includes all organisational aspects of a weekend vacance.

~~~

The scary thing is - This.  Is.  What.  Christmas. Means. For. Me.

I am not your organised three months ahead and cards all written, tags all attached and feet up with Christmas lights and cheer for nearly a month.

~~~

Christmas for me means a mad panicked dash through harebrained ideas and grand gestures, all culminating on an hour that is about midnight prior to whatever major Christmas event I am focuses on, collapsing with sticky-tape in hand, the washing up to do and - what the heck, why don't I write a blog post as well...

~~~

Merry Christmas - and not only do I have it all to look forward to next year - due to the fact that I am going to be on the other side of the world for an actual Winter Christmas **** with relatives unused to the ways of Jeanie, well, I am probably going to have to try and do it all again in two weeks for them...



* consisting of working several different but totally - what is a word for opposite but in three directions? - jobs and the pursuit of air conditioning in my car, fixing my daughter's technological hurdles, mothering a teenage year-10 graduate from afar (albeit a very comfortable afar), mothering a kindy graduate from up close, dental dramas, organising all the paperwork surrounding upcoming international travel, meetings, cooking massive amounts of soups, sauces, cookies and disasters, being a wife, being a daughter, being a sister, being a cousin, being a niece, being a neighbour, being a friend - okay, on those last seven (in no particular order) should be way up the list, I know - telepathy would work so much better if the other end would pick up occasional, wouldn't it?), shopping for presents (being a very slack aunt - its my MO, who'd a thunk it) I also have a million or so birthday presents to catch up on) and wrapping.

** Now, I know there is one camp of people who absolutely always shop there and would never hear a bad word said because the savings!  the amazing Wednesday specials!  The incredibly unique flavour of some product found nowhere else in our country!  And then there are those who are all about its German!  once the line has been crossed, you are giving in to the money-focused force fields!  Nothing from Australia!

Now, I know I am not in the former, because I so rarely go there my kindy-graduate views it as a vacation opportunity.  And while I am on nodding terms with the other group, I do not publicly confess to full membership because I am still friends with many in the first group and I actually like them despite this glaring issue - and it isn't one of the flagship two from the evilopoly.

*** Allow me to mention that I fear some of the great savings made at Aldi today were made BY Aldi, because apparently a 500g packet of Gluten-Free Flour only weights 380g...  Luckily my recalculations ensured that there was more than enough Rice Flour to make up the shortfall.  Ahem.

**** (and truth be told, Bing, some of us never actually dreamt of a Christmas that didn't involve swimming pools, watermelon and afternoon naps)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Unblocking the drain...

(WARNING.  THERE IS LANGUAGE IN THIS POST.  BAD LANGUAGE.)

(WELL, BAD GRAMMAR REALLY.)

(And Words that aren't being polite.  

Words that haven't brushed their hair in ages and probably wouldn't know a razor if they fell over one.  

If you are easily offended by words and their potential interactions in an uncontrolled environment, look at the pretty picture of a kitten and click on like.)









oops...  I will try again, shall I?









I was only joking about the click on likes.  But really?  Now is the time to skedaddle...






V and I were arguing over discussing the relative merits of the great word “gotten”.

It feels a little grubby, doesn’t it, rolling this gem around in a sentence scenario, attempting to insert the little bastard of verbal expectorant?  But it is also oh so rich and creamy, and has a versatility that leaves more proper verb families aghast.



I know there is a smattering - perhaps even a veritable smattering - of folk who listen and read amongst us who would love to strangulate any possibility of such scat utterance.  I know because I have been known to don the sheep’s clothing – be it Merino or be it Dorset – and have heard their ear-felt pleas to peers.

But I also know that there are shedloads of instances when it feels like the insertion of a gotten gives the glue that a sentence requires.

 


I said shedloads there, didn’t I?  The auto-correct inside our brains immediately did the M rated translation, the word that she should have used but this is a family blog – you didn’t even have to manoeuvre yourselves through the labyrinth of why, your mind immediately put it there.

But what if I meant “shedloads”?  What if I was being as literal as possible?  What if I had done the maths, and worked out that a shed could hold a much larger amount of instances?   

Where does that leave the shortcut in our prehensile brain – dangling for want of an expletive?

Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to give heed to those who hold grammar in higher regard than those evolutionary theorists that walk the streets, natural preachers of the fluidity of speech.  We’re different is all.  But it’s also naughty and a little bit fun to take rules and flout with words graffitiing the walls of shrines.

 



Shitloads.  Really?  Thought about it?  I mean, what does that mean?   

What is the unit by which this measure is regarded?  Is it volume, density, profundity or potential of expression? 

Come on –unless you have medical issues about which I don’t know (and can only attempt to express the measure of sympathy required without full explanation of the details - I understand that it could get fairly awkward), then it is a pretty sure bet that you have your own load experiences to know what I might be talking about.  

 There is one thing for sure and certain, and that is when all is said (or unsaid) and done, you have an emotional response to that which we are not to discuss.

Is that why we love the word so much in every which way but, well, butt, you know…?




Whereas sheds…  How many here have sheds in their lives right now?  In their pasts?  In their myths about life?  

 So why are we so certain that “shedloads” is in some way even comparable to “shitloads”?


“We will have shedloads of fun”.   

No we won’t!  If our fun is to be measured in shedloads, we have already toned down for mother.  

 Mind you, there are probably some out there to whom the concept of shed equates to fun, be it mechanical or biological in nature, and good luck to you, good folk.  Love your work!



“I’ve got shitloads of housework to do”. 

 Now, that is an altogether different unit of measure we have to contemplate.   Perhaps with a good book, a cup of coffee or a surf on facebook.   

We get it.  Shit.  Loads.  Of.  Housework.

Let it go, I say.  Let all of your expectations about the enormity of the job in front of you float away and consider instead that perhaps this is a mantra, and we can correlate the requirement for cleanliness and its ability to assist in the void of the soul, unclench and regard “shitloads of housework” in terms of project management and finish with a smile on your face as you press the button on “finished”, flushed with success.



So when I reach for an easy “gotten”, I realise that there are worse things.  Far, far worser things I could say or do to get people off side.