Saturday, 19 February 2011

Pam Ayres with Stubble

I've just had a haircut

...and for the first time in ages I look fairly normal and presentable as someone who wouldn't be pointed and laughed at in the street. It won't last.

My hair has always been a constant source of embarrassment for me. It is 'Uninteresting Brown' and straight and thick and dull and I've never been able to do anything remotely good or interesting or stylish with it. I am a 70s child and it hasn't really changed much from the pudding bowl haircut I sported when I was 5. I don't have any photographs of me as a child but imagine a bucktoothed, flared-nostrilled little geek with a pathetic, sad eyed expression, a Beatles haircut, a Scooby Doo T-shirt, grey school trousers and inexplicably, a pair of ladies fluffy slippers.

By the time of Secondary school when other children had become fashion-conscious, I tried to change my appearance by giving myself a centre parting. It was proper overgrown 80s hair and I was dubbed 'Heart-Head' Not the worst insult ever, thankfully, because everyone at my school was as thick as shit.

Over the years I have tended to think of my hairstyle as:

The 'Dougal' Look. (from The Magic Roundabout)
Two haystacks trying to mate.
Geoffrey from Rainbow's irritating little brother.
OR - Sticking my head into a Cloud of Shit.

The alternative- me having close-cropped 'Skinhead' hair is far too hideous to contemplate and it would probably only draw attention to my moon face, pig snout, deep set Neanderthal eyes and freakishly long forehead.

Hair is horrible, hideous, embarrassing stuff. Not just head hair, of course. At school I was an an early developer and the double whammy of being crap at PE coupled with having to wear tiny flimsy white shorts which showed off my hairy 'Gorilla Legs' marked me down as being an outsider from the start.

I hated it - it was taking over my body and I wanted it to stop. I would trim my armpit hair, pubic hair and take a disposable razor and wet-shave the hairs growing everywhere else. The itchiness of my arse-hair regrowing back- thicker and hairier than before is something I'll never forget. And so the hair carried on, spreading like an unstoppable deadly fungus from a B-Movie.... up across my stomach, sprouting out from my chest... creeping over the shoulders... (Mercifully so far stopping short of taking over my back, thank goodness).

I fucking hate having to shave. I'm sure I would sooner have periods. I am VERY VERY stubbly, with thick black chin hair like cables. I could grow a 5 o clock shadow by about noon. It hurts, even with an electric shaver. Especially around the neck. Many a time I've had a Half Shave- worn out by the pain of trying the shave my face that I've had to stop- and I've left the neck hair for an hour or so like some Hair Scarf. If Hair Scarves ever caught on, I could grow a pretty thick one in about 3 days. I blame it on having far too much testicleosterone or whatever it's called.

Why can't your body get the message that just like yesterday and the day before that and the day before that and the day before that... I DON'T WANT A HAIRY FACE! STOP IT! MAKE IT GO AWAY! Make some more muscle or blood cells or a penis extension or something more useful FFS. I'd like to point out that I don't want any nose hair or ear hair or whacking great eyebrows, either, before it gets any ideas.

And now, since last year, I have a whole New Hair Embarrassment. It all started when I had my chest shaved as part of a series of tests before I had a foot operation. The nurse shaved a big crop circle on my chest- which looked silly enough whilst it was bare flesh- but then it began to grow back WHITE . 'Oh great' I thought 'I'm turning into a Polar Bear' ... but now the white hair has began to spread....

...and I now have white hair from my shoulders to my nipples and black hair all the way down from there. Naked, I looking like a fucking Pint of Guinness. : (

Friday, 18 February 2011

The Man Behind the Duck.

For those of you wanting to know a little more about me, my old f... someone I know, Tim Youster has been hard at w... spent a few minutes writing my Who's Who entry (Not really - he wrote this on Facebook and I've shamelessly nicked it - but I do think it gives a bit of an insight into The Man Behind the Duck and might answer a few of your questions).

'Karl is a 68 year old, one armed Armenian. His hobbies include scaling electrical pylons with his tongue and white water rafting inside hollowed out Republicans. His favourite colour is Pubic Orange and he lives just beyond the rainbow in a derelict Woolworths, where he wallows away his time by crafting faux-antique My Little Ponies and giving them all ludicrous life stories.'

Er. Thanks Tim. Might need a little tweaking and a couple of facts putting in here and there but it's a good start. Oh, and my favourite colour is 'Whore's Foundation Orange' and has been for AGES. FFS.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

New Dad Burblings


I was up till 5.00am again yesterday.

Tell somebody that and they instantly think you've been out drinking and partying but no . I have a tiny person to deal with(that's a baby, BTW, I'm not looking after a dwarf ). Despite having his jabs today he seemed as full of life and smiles and pee and puke as ever. I hope that tonight will be the more usual 2.30 or 3 O'clock bedtime. I need to be quicker with the nappy changing - last night's Piss Fountain was pretty impressive. The nappies where it looks like he's sitting in a pool of Piccalilli always seem to happen on my shift, too.

Everything about looking after babies is wet and messy and/or painful - from plunging your hands into the freezing cold bleach tank that is the sterilisation unit ( to rinse the bottles) to squirting boiling hot milk over your wrists to test the temperature. His little fingernails are now razor sharp when they dig into your arm- I'm just glad I'm not breastfeeding and he's not clawing at my tits! He likes trying to stand up-on my lap. This results in him trampling on my bollocks as though they were grapes (I do let out a bit of a 'whine ').

It's incredible how happy and animated he can be at Cunt O'clock in the morning. Staring, smiling, gurgling & dribbling can all go on for HOURS. The little rubber plant on the mantelpiece is endlessly fascinating to him. He does fall asleep eventually of course, but try to stick him down in a cot (rather than asleep on somebody) and his eyes flick open immediately and he's as alert as a mini ninja assassin. I am not 'Dad' yet, but I am definitely 'Bed'. I have that dishevelled, unshaven New Dad look down pat - even the shoulders of all my tops & T-shirts have the tell-tale milky stains (make your own jokes).

But I wouldn't change it for the world.... after losing a son, it is nice to finally be holding a living breathing baby boy again... even if he IS fecking nocturnal.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Shit Supermarket of the Year Award

This year's 'Shit Supermarket of the Year Award' is a bit of a surprise result.

Asda, the previous winners of the title for the last 10 years are out of the running as there sadly isn't one on the island. A shame, and I quite miss them, especially their 'Smart Price' food range which is like normal food, but with all the quality, taste and joy removed beforehand. I really don't know how they manage it, time after time, making similar goods to all other stores ... but nowhere near as nice. It never ceases to amaze me.

Prior to that, Kwik Save had been the main recipient of the title, due to their poor spelling and the fact that they were neither 'kwik', nor much of a saving. There was a particularly grim store near where I lived that was permanently grey with grime and the shelving looked as if it had been made from Mecchano. Still, you did get cardboard boxes to take your shopping home in, which was a bonus.

So who wins the prestigious title this year then?

No, it's not Sainsburys- despite living next door to one and being woken up early in the morning each day by delivery vans- and their Self Service tills which can't seem to complete a transaction without having a mad bleeping fit about the 'Item Not Placed In Bag'. It's a tiny fucking sachet, you metal tit! It weighs about as much as a feather. You couldn't possibly know if it was placed on the scales or not, you electronic piece of fuckwittery!

The winner by a mile is.... *drum roll* ... Tescos.

And not just for Tesco Mary from X Factor either, a singer so dull she makes Susan Boyle sound 'edgy' and 'contemporary'. No, Tesco win hands down for their Customer-Unfriendly, Impossible- to - Navigate home delivery shopping site. Want some shopping delivered? Well good luck to you, because it will take you the entire day to find the shopping you want. I have wasted entire weeks of my life scrolling up and down trying to find a particular bottle of squash or packet of cereal. Don't even bother trying to find particular CD or book on there- you will be trying for months.

And when you finally think you have done your shopping- oh, no you haven't! Because when it arrives - and a grumpy bloke in a van turns up late moaning about not being able to find you - there will be loads of items wrapped up in little blue bags. This means- 'Fuck You. We couldn't be arsed to find what you actually wanted so we're fobbing you off with this heap of random shit replacement things instead'.

So , you couldn't find a carton of apple juice in the whole of Tescos, could you? All ran out, had you? All you had left was a carton of Breakfast Juice, was it? FFS! I ordered a pack of 6 pork faggots because I needed 6 pork faggots. Why the fucking fuck did you decide to replace them with TWO packs of 2 Pork faggots? By my calculations that makes 4. So what happened there then? Were these the last 4 pork faggots in existence? Is that all there is?Have they stopped making them now? Or is t that you can't you do the basic maths? And the two packs of 4 Beef Quarter pounders- why did you put in one pack... and then another pack of Quarter Pounders with Chilli? I don't want Quarter Pounders with Chilli. Did you not read the label properly? Or do you only have one of each item? Are you getting your stuff from a tiny freezer in a corner shop somewhere? Christ, - you are the biggest supermarket in the UK, you ballbags. So why does it feel like you're giving me wartime rations?

And NEVER EVER EVER buy any meat or dairy things from Tesco online - because they will all run out of date about two days after they arrive! Half the things I've brought from them I ended up having to replace or buy extra portions from somewhere else - so I spent nearly twice as much on shopping as I intended to.

Also, Tesco, I think it would be a good idea if you gave away magnifying glasses with every order so that your own brand stuff appears normal sized. Has everything been shrunk? Your chickens are little more than runty pigeons and your Mega- Giganto-Collosso-Family-Bargain Buckets are like everyone else's 'Set Meals for One'.

So Well done Tesco - you have made shopping much more difficult, stressful, expensive, pointless and disappointing than it ever should be. Every Little helps? Well,thanks for nothing. I think you've been Very Little Help.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Last Night I was in Ancient Rome.

There was an Open Evening at the local High School last night. I had to sit through a whole load of tiresome waffle from the head teacher and the architects about plans for a new build. They might be able to create amazing new futuristic buildings but they couldn't understand the simple principle of holding a microphone to their lips in order to be heard clearly. Instead they stood and mumbled away like a pair of old grannies outside a fruit & veg shop. They could have been moaning about 'oh, he's too good for her' or 'it's not like the old days, is it' for all I could make out.

However I did enjoy the student choir's renditions of songs by Lady Gaga, Mika and the Cranberries. Although I did wonder what message was being conveyed about to the standard of education on offer as they belted out ' what's in your he-ead? In your he-e-e-ead? Zo-om-bie!... '

But best of all imho was .. The Classroom of the Future!!!! Yes, in future classrooms you can't sit on anything that looks remotely like a chair or sit at anything that looks remotely like a table. Soft, brightly coloured weird shapes will be the order of the day. If it looks like something from out of Teletubbies or In the Night Garden then so much the better. And there were Voting Eggs- litle oval things with keypads full of buttons to press your answer in a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire type way.

The best thing though was a giant 3D screen. I put on my big Bono glasses and watched in amazement as biological dissections and geometric shapes flew all around me. This was the way to learn things properly - looking like a rock star twat and dodging a whole load of expensive flying graphics. There was also a programme which made it look as if you were moving through the empty computer game streets of Ancient Rome on a sort of conveyorbelt. It was utterly stunning - I was bloody loving all this I can tell you. Unfortunately my wife was completely hating it and she was wondering where all the books and proper classrooms were. Spoilsport. I want the school to really embrace future thinking and for my daughter to wear a shiny silver spacesuit for a school uniform, travel to school by jetpack, be taught by robots and eat roast dinners out of tubes.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

A Bug's Death

You'll probably think I'm totally wet for saying this... but today I cried over a daddy long legs.

I had just taken my youngest daughter to school and we were waiting in the porch of the main doors of the school. There was a cranefly in the corner of the window and I was telling her about how harmless they were when a nasty little boy arrived and went completely beserk, yelling 'Kill it! Kill it Mr. Git!' and instantly started whacking it. I was shocked and upset by this aggressive display of playground bloodlust and I told him to stop but he pulled its legs off and smashed it with a football.

I took the poor thing away but it was too late. I watched it twitch in my hand for a moment and then it died. I informed the school secretary but there was not much that could be done as I didn't know the boy's name. I don't really think that was true and I think it would be nice if the school saw teaching children to respect living things as important.

I am not usually such a wuss (OK I cry at Disney films, what of it?) and I'm certainly no hippie-dippy treehugger (I like baths too much). I couldn't live without meat (Can you be Vegephobic? I think I must be.) and I have, in my time, squished countless flies, ants and wasps. I even lobbed a book at a mouse once. But these were all intruders into my home and whenever I can help a bug escape by opening a window I will. I've never felt this way about a cranefly before. Maybe it's to do with my time spent in the children's hospital (and hearing about far too many kids dying) that seeing such an unnecessary death, even of an insect, now cuts deep. :' (

Excuse me, I'll go back to watching Alien Quadrilogy now....

Monday, 23 August 2010


When my OH isn't destroying islands by digging them up to search for unlikely Aztec artefacts on Bejeweled Blitz she makes friends with other mums who have lost children to cancer. As a result of this she has made online friends with a family from Nottingham who have a 9-month-old daughter called Tegan who was born with an inoperable brain tumor. Tegan’s doctors don’t know how long she has left, and she lives day to day. The chances of Tegan making it to her first birthday are slim as she stops breathing so regularly.

So she wrote to the Island's newspaper and appealed to readers to help the family, saying that it was really important the family had wonderful memories and special times with their little girl before she died. She wrote :

'I would like to appeal to anyone who has a caravan, chalet or holiday home they can use free for a week to give this family, who can’t afford a holiday, the opportunity enjoy a holiday and for Tegan to experience the seaside. The family can come at any time, however they would need a couple of weeks to arrange for oxygen and other medical equipment that currently helps keep Tegan alive. I am desperate to help Tegan and her family as I lost my son when he was nearly five months old, after he, too, had been born with cancer. My son’s only experience of life was a hospital room, I would like to help create memories for Tegan’s family as I know how important it is.'

The article was featured prominently under the headline 'Can anyone help little Tegan?' and the readers' response was incredible, the parents were moved to tears by the kindness of complete strangers who had offered their homes so they could enjoy a week’s holiday on the Island. The generosity of people was amazing - it's the kind of thing that puts a warm glow in your heart.