Harry Potter and the Dumbledouble* scandal

Ok, starting with a hands up that I ain’t read any of the HP books or seen any of the films. I am surrounded by people who have and have (Richy Rich excluded).  Anyway this (for me) very topical post came about because during a big lunchtime discussion about HP yesterday, I mentioned that one of the Hometowny ‘burb characters (see Chicken bone man) was in the first HP film. Rosie had met him ten years ago when he opened their new primary school building.

This caused some considerable disbelief around the table and led to one person, in particular, lets call him Adam, questioning the veracity of the tales I tell more generally. I’ll let a section of the long facebook discussion that followed fill in the next bit of the story;

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21st birthday bundle

A few years ago, we were all invited to Danny’s 21st party. It was being held in a  big old pub in Hometowny and the party was in full swing when Richy Rich and I arrived with all the kids. As we walked through the lobby, a strapping young guy leapt on top of Richy and wrestled him to the ground in an arm lock. Me and the kids stepped over the pair of them and made our way to the bar.

“A pint of Carlsberg, pint of London Pride, four cokes and an orange juice, please”, I asked the girl serving behind the bar.

“I think he liked me”, said Richy, tucking his shirt back into his jeans, as he joined us at the bar. We made our way to a table near the disco.

Credits: Thanks to Mary (and Danny) for a great evening.  A sneaky ‘big up’ to My life My Choice..

Chicken bone man

We live in an area with a lot of very colourful characters.  Hegel Bagel, for example, is probably the world’s greatest Hegellian scholar but hasn’t managed to work out the rules of ‘conventional’ studying, so has his academic discussions in the aisles of the Co-op, on street corners or occasionally our kitchen.  Another guy does an amazing line in make-up which looks great with his long, white hair.  There is a couple whose relationships seem to be based on regular, public, spectacular arguments, and our neighbour, Roger, who walks round to the Co-op, every day, very, very slowly, dressed in a very smart suit, to buy a pasty to eat at 10.15am. Continue reading

The sperm and the flotation tank

Right. I’m going to heavily anonymise this one (for obvious reasons).  I LOVE flotation tanks. Now a number of years ago, I went to a local flotation tank place on a Sunday afternoon and had a blissful, relaxing float.  The next day, I went to where I was working temporarily and bumped into Richy Rich who was chatting to some geezer, (Prof) Neville Bunting.  He was raving about his weekend which had included his first experience of a flotation tank. 

“Wow, what a coincidence”, I said, so excited to find someone who liked flotation tanks. “I had a float at Hometowny Float Palace yesterday afternoon”.  “No way!”, he replied, “When were you there?”  “Five o’clock…”, I said. “That’s funny, we must have been in just before you”, he continued.  Er. Back up a minute. We?  “We?” I said.  “Well yes, you know, I gave the receptionist a bit of the old charm and she let my girlfriend go in with me and…”, he said, smirking, “let’s just say, we certainly floated”.

EEEEUUGHH.  That was the last float I had.

A few months later I was pregnant and heard that Neville and his partner were having a baby too. Aaawww.  Bless.  Nine months after the float I gave birth to a lovely bonny baby. Looking out of the window of the maternity ward, I saw Neville walking across the car park with a set of balloons and a cuddly toy.

All true.

First class from Birmingham

Earlier this year I went straight from a meeting in London to an overnight work gig in Birmingham. It was all a bit surreal (involving Alan Bryman and Angry Birds impressions). The following lunchtime after an intense focus group workshoppy thing, I rushed off to catch the train back home. In the short walk from the hotel to Birmingham New Street, I thought I was in Manchester.  That really threw me when I got into the station and couldn’t find the ticket machines, and the trains/platforms had all disappeared.   Continue reading

The mystery of the couple and the baby

Another totally random happening. I’ve reconstructed it using soft toys, because again I didn’t think to take a picture at the time.  Mind you, they might have got a bit angry if I did.

It was a lovely sunny afternoon and I was at home with all the windows open.  I noticed a car pull up on the pavement in front of our house. A couple got out with a baby and came into our front garden.  I went to open the door thinking they were calling round for some reason.  Instead of coming to knock on the door, they sat down on the grass. “Oh”, I said. “Er, sorry, did you want something?” “Oh, no”, he replied.  “Ok, I just wondered what you were doing?” I said, totally puzzled.  “We just came off the motorway and my wife needs to feed the baby”, he replied.    Continue reading

Early days

I used to like making soft toys from kits. I was pretty rubbish at it but I like to think it was an early indication of my interest in disability. Luckily I captured them all in a photo shoot in the back garden so here’s the gang;

(From the top going clockwise); Red felt buffalo, Patchwork cat, Pixie (lurking), Knitted mauve teddy, Soft brown dog, Brown panda, Pooh (lurking), Felt owl, Cute little cow guy. I think there may be one in between Knitted Mauve teddy and Brown panda – a sort of brown soft thing – but I can’t remember it. Maybe it’s just some mud.

Michelle Obama and me

Today I nearly saw Michelle Obama twice. Richy Rich texted to say she’d just driven past our road into town and she’d probably head out our way later going back to London. Laughing Boy came back from school too late to keep an eye out for her so I wandered round to the Co-op a decent time later hoping to catch a glimpse. Unfortunately, according to a stunned woman in the Co-op car park, I’d just missed her but she saw her hand. Shame. I wanted to tell her about my new blog.

The Co-op, where I nearly saw Michelle Obama