Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Hackney Scrawler

This morning I awoke to my son’s smiling face. He was caressing my cheek and saying gently “Mummy, wake up, I’m hungry”

As I opened my eyes I noticed he had three eighteenth century beauty spots on his face. My mind wandered as to how they could have got there and then suddenly

“Oh no! God no! Shit!” (it just slipped out I couldn’t help it….) I leapt out of bed, that feeling of child-dread and terror rising within me as I suddenly realised that the size and shape of those beauty spots corresponded exactly to the size and shape of the nib of my PERMANENT MARKER that I might just accidentally have left out last night.

I pictured my defaced passport (also on the table), my walls, my sofa (which I had just fucking finished paying for) the clean washing, the laminated floor - all covered in unintelligible scribbles.

I stood in the doorway, half-naked while my eyes scanned the living room and immediately I saw that the telephone had become a victim to the Hackney Scrawler. OK, I thought – I could live with that. I continued to search for more scribbles but no, nothing. I heaved a huge sigh of relief.

I went back into the bedroom and said to Bushman. “It’s OK, he just got the phone.”

Bushman’s eyes directed me to our crisp white bedsheets that I had just sprung from -  turns out they weren’t so lucky.

There’s a whole heap of things going on here right now. I don’t think I’ve even mentioned that my son has started Nursery two days a week and cries every time I leave, that I’m about to go back to jail*, or that I had a letter from my doctor telling me that I was a bad mother.

Apparently because I’ve been too busy blogging, striking, attending the ballet, doing ten tons of laundry a day and eating too much chocolate, it seems my daughter is 28 weeks old and has only had her six week injections. That makes me about 3 sets of injections behind. Ok, so the letter didn’t exactly call me a bad mother but it was certainly implied. What about parents who choose not to immunise their children?
I got Bushman to take her to the clinic and when he came back they had written “28 WEEKS” in bold writing over the bit that says “8 weeks” in my little red book just so everybody else at the surgery knows I am a mother with questionable standards too. Of course Bushman blamed it all on me when he got to the receptionist’s desk, although I clearly remember the conversation where I handed over all immunisation responsibility to him.

And while we’re on the subject of getting all judgy on parents I’m going to direct you to an article that a friend of a friend wrote recently. I often (as I’m sure you do – unless you are one!) fantasise about being a ‘real writer’, trying my hand at freelance writing, finishing one of the billion writing projects I once started etc. etc. but after reading this post I was struck by the fact that the internet has opened up a whole journalist-reader conversation. Gone are the days when you just wrote stuff and never knew what your readers were thinking.

So anyway, a woman called Pip Jones wrote a humorous article about how she doesn’t have any time to herself (and I hear you all concurring!) but some of the comments she got were so judgemental. Who the fuck are these people spending valuable minutes of their day electronically insulting others so that they can feel superior; saying stuff that they would never say so bluntly to your face if they met you in person? I suppose that by blogging I am essentially doing the same thing but I am always amazed at how nice other bloggers/readers seem to be. Take my last commenter for example. Just as I was feeling guilty about not blogging and lacking in inspiration I get this kind of comment.

“I always think there is no way you can top (ie make me laugh really hard) your last post, but you did it again. You are so funny. I wished you lived in my neighborhood because you would shake things up (in a good way).

I thought the drinking age in the UK is 16? At least it was when I lived there. Or maybe I never went to a pub/store that had someone who actually checked ID.

Keep writing because your posts put a smile on my face.

Oh, and you are right about the whole women vs. women thing. We are our own worst enemy against ourselves and other women. Until we realize and understand AND change that way of thinking, we will never be equal.”

I mean, how fucking lovely is that to say to someone? So, thanks Wendy. Except that I was only able to bask in my glory for a second before I started thinking. “Fucking hell – how am I going to make the next post even funnier? That bloody woman has put me under pressure now!”

Anyway, I have so much stuff so say and so little time to say it. I had planned to tell you about my Royal Wedding Plans and how to host your own ‘Porn and Prawn’ party (not I might add as a way of celebrating the Royal Wedding, but hey come to think of it, why not?!) but I guess that will just have to wait until next time mainly because the chocolate biscuits have just run out, the wine glass is empty and the sink is still full……Oh FUCK and I still haven't sent out the porn yet!!!! Self-flagellating as we speak..... BAD TROUTIE.

*Don't worry about the jail thing newcomers - it's just my workplace.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

The Slap / Notes on Beauty


A few weeks ago I went for a photoshoot. This involved tons of 'slap' as we call it here in Blighty: layer upon layer of polyfilla style make up. This slang term is said to have come from 19th century actors who crudely applied make up to their faces and thus 'slapped it on'.

It happens to be my sister's 30th birthday on the day we go for our shoot and afterwards, still covered in slap, we go to buy booze from her local supermarket which smells like a open sewer.

I pick up a bottle of rum and some doughnuts while she grabs three bottles of wine. When I get to the till the woman asks for I.D.

Initially I laugh although I am not flattered. I think she is joking and I tell her so. I inform her that I do not drive, nor do I carry around my passport. I tell her that I am thirty-four. I also tell her that I have two children. I continue to ask her if she is joking.

But she is not joking. This palaver continues for a few more minutes until I start to get really pissed off.

"Look at my face!" I scream leaning over the checkout. "Look at the lines on my face!! I'm thirty-four!!" Momentarily I think about pulling up my shirt to show her the stretch marks on my stomach. (Although how this identifies me as being over twenty-five and thus old enough to buy booze did not cross my mind at the time.)

My sister cuts in.

"Well I don't have any I.D either" she says pointing to her stash of Pinot Grigio.

The small Chinese checkout lady looks my sister up and down.

"You are O.K" she says.

My sister's eyes widen momentarily. Things are going from bad to worse. Not only does it look like I am leaving this stinking hell hole without rum but now this woman has added insult to injury and affronted my sister on a particularly challenging birthday.

"But she's my younger sister!!!" I start screaming at the woman.

All of this is to no avail and eventually we leave with nothing. The bitch won't even let my sister buy the booze for me. I tell her to keep her doughnuts and walk off complaining loudly.

"I'm wearing a full length Jaeger camel cape! How many fucking underage drinkers wear JAEGER CAMEL CAPES FOR FUCKS SAKE!!!!

It's fair to say that alcohol is important to me. I don't want to be flattered. I want a drink.

My make-up continued to rule my day. Not only did the slap knocked TEN years off my real age but it also almost got me married off to a twenty-five year old Turkish hairdresser with his own business (all thanks to the Turkish gentleman's Dad whom I met in a supermarket.) When I told him that I was happily co-habiting with a man and our two children he exclaimed "Unbelievable! Unbelievable!"

The moral of this story is: Beauty will get you everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.

Beauty has been a continuing theme of recent weeks. When I first started blogging I wrote a post called The MILF and I had cause to regret it recently.

I made it a Troutie rule when I started blogging that I wouldn't slag anyone off. Maybe I should qualify that statement by saying that I would never slag anyone off that I knew. But when my best friend Cupcake held her daughter's second birthday party, I was introduced to the woman I had dubbed 'Vanity Fair'. This left me with an awkward feeling because I had unwittingly broken my Troutie rule. I now knew the woman who I had dedicated an entire blog post to.

'Vanity Fair' was indeed a slim, dark-haired, beauty queen with fistfuls of dollars but she was also a shy, somewhat socially awkward creature, teetering on her heels and playing nervously with her hair.

I found myself studying every inch of her face and noting every flaw. I studied the way she spoke, I carefully looked over her clothing, the way she walked, what she ate, how she interacted with others and weighed it all up against my expectations and imaginings.

Afterwards I hated myself for it.  During the debrief after the party Cupcake and I discussed her at length.

"I felt sorry for her" I said to Cupcake "it must be really hard being rich and beautiful."

I wasn't being flippant. Afterwards I spent a long time thinking about beauty and ended with this thought.

One of the hardest things about being a feminist is not the battles we have with men; but resisting the battles we think we have with other women.

The moral of this story is: There is no competition.

And talking of competitions some of you winners, not mentioning any names, (Cathy B and Motherhood the Final Frontier) have failed to give me your details so that I can send you your prizes! I'm giving it until  Thursday 24th for you to come forward otherwise I have picked two more lucky ladies to honour instead. I'll be posting the porn out across the globe next Friday.

Come back later this week when I will have been out on strike and when I'll be making preparations for my very own Royal Wedding Extravaganza.

Confession: If this post is a little unusual its because I'M SLIGHTLY DRUNK. (Whoops! Accidental caps lock...) My son has a fever, my daughter has been a pain in the tits and I had to have two brandy and cokes (heavy self-medicating home measures) to get over it all. Thanks. Sorry. Have I ever told you how much I love you? Goodbye.












Friday, 11 March 2011

Winners!!!

If you haven't been here for a while then goddammit you just missed out on some free porn!

For the rest of you, here are the winners of the 'Porn Name' competition, in no particular order.

Puffy Rosenfeld - by Cathy B. Puffy is original. It has hip hop overtones, as in Puff Daddy. Alternatively, if you are extra rude, 'Puffy' as an adjective could make you think of all sorts of things.

Popeye McMeekin - by Countess. This is so ridiculous - I couldn't stop laughing. 'Meekin' also made me think of 'merkin' which, as any cultured individual should know, is a pubic wig.

Pushkin Eliot/Chompy McVag - by MTFF. Chompy Mc Vag is a slightly illegal choice as it is not an official porn name but it appealed to my warped sense of humour and I couldn't resist.

Smokey Brooks - by Dawn. Utterly fabulous. This one deserves a gold star. It is everything you could want from a porn name.

Please send me your chosen address by email (troutiesblogathotmaildotcodotuk) and I shall send your prize discreetly through the post wrapped carefully in padded brown paper envelopes.

I hadn't even considered the fact that the winners may need multi-region DVD players. All I can say is that it gives you an excuse to have a 'Porn and Prawn' party at a friend's house - but more on that next time.

I have a busy weekend ahead of me but I hope to be back very soon to share my musings with you. Some of the subjects on my musings list are 'Porn and Prawn' parties, Potty Parties, Coil Parties and why I feel the need to turn every minor event into a 'party'. I have also made some notes on beauty, since meeting this lady in real life.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Flash, Bang, Wallop


So here are the pictures from my photo shoot. But before I show you the finished product here are a few top tips should any of you lovely people be thinking about it. My photo shoot was with a company called ‘New ID’ and I went to their Oxford Circus branch. I had a similar experience many years ago when I accompanied a friend so I had an inkling of what I was in for. It’s good to be prepared!


Here are my Ten 'Be Prepared' Tips.

1. At the time of booking there is a (refundable) £25 booking fee per person. Check their refund policy carefully. It can take up to 10 days to get a refund.

2. Be prepared for a lot of slap – make up that is. Yes, you really do need it. However; if once they are finished you are really unhappy about anything, you need to sort it out before the look is immortalised forever. (I secretly wiped off the dodgy lipstick they had put on me and replaced it with a much classier red.)

3. Be prepared for a ‘production line’ effect. You are not special, you are just a body in a queue.

4. Take snacks and a fan. You could be there for up to four hours in total getting peckish in the waiting area and hot under the lights during the shoot.

5. Be prepared to feel very uncomfortable during the shoot. Your photographer may ask you to do some weird postures which feel uncomfortable to you but actually look good from the other side of the camera.

6. Be prepared for the hard sell. Once the experience is over and you get into the viewing room they will use all kinds of techniques to get you to spend super bucks. Up until that point they have probably just about broken even with you. They make their money on the additional pictures/frames/products you buy. If you pretend you only want the complimentary print however; you will probably find that they start negotiating with you.

7. If you have a low alcohol threshold then go easy on the ‘Fucks Bizz’ because you will part with your cash much more readily!

8. If you want actual prints posted to you will have to pay for the postage.

9. Don’t let them mess around with your pictures (unless you want serious airbrushing that you can't do yourself). Turning one picture black and white can set you back £10. Get them on a CD and mess with them yourself. Getting them printed yourself is also much cheaper. The smallest photo size at these places can set you back £50.

10. Lastly, take a fucking amazing real fur cape with you. It hides a multitude of sins and although it may make you look laissez-faire about animal welfare, I guarantee that you will look fucking awesome.

If you bear all this in mind then the chances are you won’t feel taken advantage of and can enjoy yourself.

You will probably end up with at least one nice photo that you like, which doesn’t look like you at all. Here are mine.

WARNING: THIS IS NOT ME

These photos have been altered. I have played around with the colour/contrast etc. But I have not - I repeat NOT – had them airbrushed. I refused. I have obviously created the ‘anonymous’ look myself.







Yes – I’m sorry several animals were harmed to create this look but they were harmed many years ago when we still thought that smoking was good for you, ate corned beef and the jury was still out on black people having smaller brains.

You have got to admit though that that is one AMAZING COAT.

Please note that I was not paid, bribed or blackmailed into reviewing this experience. It was a Christmas gift.

And if you haven't entered my FREE PORN giveaway yet then check my last post and hop to it!!!!!



Friday, 4 March 2011

Free Porn - by women, for women

You’re probably thinking that this is just a shocking title to get you to read this post and that if you scroll down far enough you’ll discover that it’s a play on words and that there is no free porn to be had. Well, you’d be wrong and also deprived of the chance to get some free porn.

Whenever I get any e-mails as a result of this blog (which is not a lot) I am always dismayed as to how the person claiming to have read my blog is blatantly full of shit.

Consider, if you will these well thought out pitches.

 
“Hi Troutie,

We at Kickers (http://www.kickers.co.uk) have been scouting the internet to find a select few bloggers to work with us in upcoming projects and really love the work you’re doing on your blog!"

Now you see immediately I know that this is a pile of crap because had they genuinely looked at my last post (at that time) they would have seen that I wrote about vaginas. Hello Kickers people!!! Vaginas!!

I know that on an off day I might write a post without the f-word in it and that sometimes I write about nice things, (especially at Christmas when I do something crafty) and you might find references to tapestry and Miss Marple on my blog if you looked really hard; but mostly it’s sex, feminist rants and a list of drunken episodes. Although it pains me to say it, especially since my son has just grown out of gorgeous pair of red Kickers……… Kickers people, I am not the poster girl for your footwear.

This one was my favourite.

It was from someone called ‘you friend’ and the subject heading “any questions about your hair?”

This was the message:

“Any ideas on hair and make upp?

Haircut? lowlights? (PICS)?

Should I dye my hair red again?

How do you take the blonde out of your hair?

What colour should i dye my hair ?

I got my hair permed 2 weeks ago n i cant loosen them up i washed n conditioned them quite often still no use?

What can i use to decrunch my hair?

What should i do if i have damaged hair?

Why does my hair get greasy so fast?

All questions like this you can find answer in that web:

http://www.great-pics.info/

hope this can give you a good idea about you hair.

Thanks

Yours ever”



Well, yours ever, I would LOVE to know how to decrunch my hair but somehow your command of English is making me mistrustful of EVERYTHING YOU SAY.

So, I was left thinking, what kind of products could I actually be associated with? What would I ever be able to give away, or review, on my blog?

The answer is of course: female friendly porn.

Well, I knew exactly where I could get that and so I sent an e-mail to the delightful Anna Span (who I’ve been linking lots lately) and before I knew it, four sealed DVD’s landed in my post box.

And here’s where the idea is so darn brilliant……..because if there is one big, long, silence and zero comments and I lose all of my 72 followers then I get to keep it all!!!!!!

So, for better or worse, here it is: Troutie’s first ever giveaway.

We may be mummybloggers but it’s not all about breastpumps and antibacterial kitchen wipes. We have feelings too – sexual ones and here’s some porn where it’s not all about his pleasure but ours. What a breath of fresh air!

“So what do we do to get our mucky paws on one of your delights, Troutie?” I hear you cry!

Well, it’s simple. Ever played the porn name game?

You take the name of your first pet and your mother’s maiden name and put them together.

So it might be something like ‘Fluffy Dickens’ or ‘Honey Anderson’

Of course there is nothing to stop you making it up but chances are the real thing is weirder than you could ever invent. So, what are you waiting for? Leave your best shot in the comments section or email me. I guess I will just choose the four I think are the funniest. I’m almost hoping that you are all too prudish …..

I’m off for a photoshoot tomorrow and will be back here soon to tell you all about my experience which I fully expect to be a TOTAL NIGHTMARE. Although I'm hoping my sister's Murder Mystery Dinner Party in the evening, will make up for it.

What larks!

** Competition closes midday Friday 11th March**