Sunday, 20 November 2011

I`ll be the Judge of that!

I have no talent for singing / dancing or acting, yet i sit in judgement watching various TV shows, passing comment, with absolutely zero sense of irony, on the contestants performances. Despite not being able to sing a note i find it perfectly acceptable to criticise harmonies that weren't to my liking, critique dance moves that i found to be lacklustre and occasionally spout my completely fictitious expert opinion on peoples acting skills, all to the amusement of boyfriend, who half listens to my rants with the minimum amount of interest.

Its not that i have an inflated opinion of myself, its TV culture. Talent shows, programmes about property, home building and entrepreneurship, cookery competitions and home comparison shows all encourage our inner judge, and has made each of us Cheif Arbiter of all subjects. I defy anyone who has sat and watched an episode of Dragons Den/The Apprentice to honestly say they haven't given their opinion on the equity accepted, the quality of the pitch and the tactics used ?

The list of subjects on which you can be the couch bound adjudicator on is endless, not to mention the list of "expert presenters" popping up everywhere, my particular bugbear is (predictably) self styled fashion virtuosos, now i am not expecting to see proof of a doctorate, but a few credentials wouldn't go amiss, in my opinion belting everything and sticking people in control knickers does not make you the authority, but this coming from me, who picks holes in the vocal performances of professionals , regardless of being tone deaf, is a bit rich.

Child rearing is an area i notice there is very little focus on in the world of TV experts, is this because none of them feel they are getting it right, or perhaps because the tread on this subject would always be on thin ice?? There is a huge divide when it comes to whose opinion should be taken as Gospel when it comes to babies. There are the obvious camps in the form of the Gina Ford Devotees, Disciples of the Baby Whisperer and of course the Contented little babies, i veered off kilter on the recommendation of a convert and opted to go with Tizzy Hall`s Save our Sleep, but its very much personal choice, despite being a "sofa-expert" in all other fields (singing/dancing/acting/entrepreneurship/building/cookery) motherhood was entirely new to me and i made valiant attempts to follow a routine, but Tilly doesn't seem to be quite up to speed, i think perhaps she may be skipping pages of the book???

Joking aside, i think its important to hone your craft and earn your stripes before proclaiming to be an expert, so whilst i keep my baby books close at hand for comfort and confirmation, yet again it was the experts i call the mummy council i turned to when honest and understanding advice about Tilly`s latest cough & cold was what what i needed, this group consists of my mum, sister, sister in laws and friends who are all able to sit behind the judges desk when it comes to babies, having been there and bought the T-shirt,. The membership fee to the mummy council is free, meetings are at random and wine drinking during Q & A sessions is optional. Its a yes from me, one million percent.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Very Superstitious

I was bitterly disappointed with Halloween this year, having stocked up on treatsize sweeties for my prospective Trick or Treaters i was left waist high in Maltesers when only one paltry gaggle of witches & ghouls made the pilgrimage to my door. I love opening the door and being given a hairdryer chorus of "Trick orrrrrrrrr treeeeeeeeat" In the past there have been the odd silences on opening the door, i deal with this by grinning at them, clutching my bowl of prizes like a goon until they buckle, cruel? perhaps, but its tradition, you've got to work for your rewards!
I also like my Trick or Treaters to have made an effort, civilian clothes topped off with a scream mask doesn't cut the mustard for me, i am not suggesting parents hire their offspring costumes for the occasion, merely put their back into it, a cape can easily be fashioned from a bin bag, i also prefer a painted face as opposed to a mask , preferably green and eyeliner warts are a must have.
I am very excited for future Halloweens with Tilly, i intend to bake traditional family Halloween recipes such as bats wing (Roughly chopped Mars bar) Vampire Blood (Ribena) and intestines (Strawberry laces) and play duck apple, although in our house we were partial to what i believe is known as snap apple, hanging an apple from a length of string and attempting to eat it with your arms tied behind your back, this is a competitive sport may i add, there needs to be more than one player, or its just eating an apple, hanging from a string, with your arms behind your back.

I shared my dismal T or T story and have now been filled in on the modern etiquette of Trick or Treating, apparently its necessary to leave your gurning carved pumpkin either in the porch/path or window. A visible pumpkin denotes you are a Halloween believer, which to me seems a shame, kids don't know what they are missing, being chased by miserable Halloween haters was the scariest part of the night! Ive also been made aware of an excellent new game, Musical Monsters, the rules are that of Musical Statues, but the players must be dressed in scary costumes, amazing!

For someone scared of their own shadow, who hates scary movies i am a huge fan of Halloween, its fills a festive gap between the summer nights and Christmas, I am also a big fan of fancy dress, and the two go hand in hand perfectly, i also enjoy how inevitably the odd news paper or daytime television programme feature a white witch, one particular season nut job and her Black Cat got me thinking about Superstitions, and how i have managed to rack up more than your average person. Mine however don't involve Black Cats or ladders, they are more of a hybrid of superstition and old wives tales. they include the obvious one, Friday 13th, and then the list spans out of control, these are my top 5

  • Never put new shoes on the table, as family quarrels will surely follow
  • Don't cross on the stairs, or you will never marry
  • If you spill salt, throw some over your left shoulder, to hit evil spirits in the face
  • Never put an umbrella up indoors
  • Smash a mirror and receive 7 years bad luck
I am yet to pick up on what seems to be a common favourite, Saluting Magpies, but i cant be far off