Dad V Alf Garnett

Golf club prank on my dad

A quick note
There are some profanities throughout this post, if swearing offends you, then do not read further, sorry.

My dad can go from calm to angry in the blink of an eye. He will do anything for you, but the second people cross him, BOOM he’s like a tornado, something to stay clear of.

Anyone who knows my dad on a personal level knows that he’s always had a short temper and won’t take any nonsense, he’s also the most impatient person I know.


But he’s my dad, would fight anyone if they hurt me and would give you the shirt off his back… I wouldn’t be without him.

Quite a few years ago now, My mum and I decided he would be the perfect person to prank
(Mum if you are reading this, You know how this story goes….Does it still make you giggle?)

We had a few ups and downs with him a couple of nightS previous, he wasn’t very happy about us talking loudly while he was trying to sleep and started stuffing plastic bags (you know those plastic bags that we all keep, just in case, like 500 of them stuffed into each other.. lol) underneath the door to the room we were in, hoping it would drown out the noise. What he managed to achieve was barricading us in, we couldn’t open the door and mum was not too happy, although we did eventually find it hilarious, you had to with the dad was.

We decided payback was in order.

The perfect opportunity arose when a friend from work told me she had a prank telephone number, it was an automated voice that responded to anything you said in a realistic timely manner, so you would honestly believe you were talking to a real person on the phone and it just so happened to be Alf garnets voice.


Alf garnet is a fictional character from the British sitcom Til death us do part in case you weren’t aware. His character was played by Warren Mitchell who sadly passed away in 2015.
His character is described as a loud mouthed bigot (he doesn’t agree with anyone who doesn’t support his views and he’s very vocal about that) he swears frequently is obnoxious and doesn’t give a damn if he offends others he’s not afraid to tell people what he thinks of them and can be quite brutal with his words.

Let’s set the scene…

Dad returned from work one evening and he’d previously spoke about buying some golf clubs, so we told him to call this number, as we knew a elderly gentleman who was selling a set he no longer needed, as due to his age, was no longer able to play.

My dad was quite excited and dialed the number. My mum and I walked into the kitchen dining area of our house, which was just down a small hallway from the telephone, (It was a corded landline phone, the rotary ones that seemed to take ages to dial a number) where we were in a prime location to hear the conversation go down.

I forgot to add, we had called the number earlier and listened to the pre-recording, so we knew it word for word.

We were giggling like kids, quietly of course, albeit nervously as we had no idea how he was going to react, but somehow knowing at some point in the conversation, my dad was going to lose his shit big time.

Here’s how it went:

Dad: “Hello”


Alf Garnet: “What do you want”?


Dad: “I’m calling about the golf clubs you’re selling”


Alf Garnet: “Speak up, I cant hear you”.

Dad: “IM CALLING ABOUT THE GOLF CLUBS YOU’RE SELLING”

Alf Garnet: “What?”

Dad : “GOLF CLUBS”

Alf Garnett: “Bloody speak up I can’t hear you”.

Dad: “Golf clubs for christ sake” (he’s already gearing up for a fight now)

Alf Garnet: “Hold on a minute, I need
to get my hearing aid”.

Dad; “ok” then huffs


Now my mum and I looked at each other and said in unison, “he’s getting his hearing aid” and burst into silent laughter”

Alf Garnet: “Right, What do you bloody want”?

Dad: “Don’t get funny with me mate, my daughter said you have golf clubs for sale and I’m interested”.

Alf Garnet: “Hold on I can’t hear you, let me turn the tv down”.

Dad: “Bloody hell” was muttered under his breath.

By now it was getting hard to keep our laughter in, with tears in our eyes we continued listening


Alf Garnet: “Right, are you still there?


Dad: “Yeah”


Alf Garnet: Well what do you bloody want? I’m getting fed up with you, why are you calling my number, stop calling my bloody number, now piss off”

Dad: “Don’t tell me to piss off, YOU piss off, I’m not taking this shit”.

Alf Garnet: “Don’t you start having a go at me, get off the bloody phone now and don’t call me back or I’m calling the police”.

Dad: Don’t tell people you are selling golf clubs and get pissed off when people call, you stupid man, so you know what? Fuck off”.

The phone was slammed down.

My mum had now turned a deep shade of red from all the held in laughter and collapsed in fits of laughter. I wasn’t fairing much better, my jaw was aching, stomach cramping, I thought I was about to pee.

Walking into the kitchen diner, my dad has never looked so furious…and I’ve seen him furious before. my mum said “What was that all about, didn’t you get the gold clubs”?
“No, I don’t know what his problem is, stupid old man. I told him I don’t want the bloody golf clubs, the bloke needs a good hiding” Who gave you his number?

We finally let out our laughter and told him it was a prank….. that really didn’t go down too well, he gave us a look of pure evil, if looks could kill… screwed up his mouth and walked out of the room, swearing may I add.


Dad refused to talk to us for the rest of the night.


We stuffed our own plastic bags under the door, sat there replaying the call, still laughing… well at least he couldn’t hear us 👍

Everything is funny, as long as it’s happening to someone else.

‘LOTSA DOLLAR’

Just a short one today, but relevant.

First day back at school it was for the little darlings this week and already, two days in, we’ve lost a p.e top.

A few months before she broke up for summer it was a p.e kit including Nike trainers, coat and pencil case.

The month before that was a p.e kit, including Nike trainers. (Yes I bought another set)

So today as I’m ranting and raving over another lost p.e top, I’ve decided to play clever.

I told her that she would be going to Student Services on Monday, thats the lost property part of her school and will be coming home with her p.e top. She answered with a “Yeah chill yourself out, its no big deal”. Well it is a big bloody deal to me, she’s only been at senior school for a year and two p.e kits including trainers and one tie has been lost in the first year. Second year seems to be going in the same direction.

She told me that her school shoes, shirts, skirts and trainers for p.e were all too tight for her when she broke up for summer break, so I knew I wasnt going to see my wages this month and she asked if I could buy her some Kickers. I looked online before I replied (yeah dont judge me, she’s 12 and I wanted to make sure I could afford them). £45-55, yeah I could afford that and told her so.

She is a size 7… like when did that happen? What 12 year old is a size 7? … Right lets get these Kickers bought.

I’m still in shock 5 days later, those bloody Kickers that I agreed to buy are still £45-55 depending on where you buy them, UNTIL you reach a size 7. A size 7 is an adult size and the price for a size f%@king 7 (yes i’m swearing now) is £80. £80 for a pair of shoes for a 12 year old, who no doubt will trip over those big feet and scuff the shit out of them. £80 for a scuffed pair of shit by week 2.

Well i’ve told her i’m strapping up her feet and she will have to stay strapped until she is 18, because those feet are not getting any bigger.

Anyway, back to the rant about the p.e top…

My little darling has a money box in her bedroom with lotsa dollar in (it’s what she calls that paper stuff that is no longer in my bank)

She was told today by yours truly that her ‘lotsa dollar’ will be no longer. 

If she doesn’t find that lost p.e top, the ‘lotsa dollar’ will be going towards a new one and anything else she so carelessly loses.  Win for me and lost dollar for her. 

Did the trick, she’s going to student services on Monday, apparently she’s getting a p.e top from them regardless of what name is in the label, she’ll worry about the consequences of that when the time happens.

I can guarantee you, those new £55 pair of Nike trainers will be forever in her p.e bag from now on.  Not too sure about the scuffed shoes though, she’s a bit clumsy and will have to accept that. I’ve finally stood my ground and won the battle.

Learn as much as you can while you are young, as life becomes too busy later.

10 things that may help you through the menopause.



These are the 10 things that have helped me so far through the Menopause. Some of these I no longer need as my HRT is dealing with them, but a lot of women can’t use HRT, for lots of different reasons, so I thought I would share this with you. Skin care is always a must regardless of HRT.

1. Bamboo Sheets


Bamboo sheets are becoming increasingly popular with menopausal women– They are sustainable, softer than cotton and linen, naturally antimicrobial, and moisture absorbing (definitely welcoming with the hot flushes) I found I was waking up far less saturated that before.
They also keep you cool in summer and warm in winter, win win

2. Black Cohosh


 Black cohosh root also seems to have some effects similar to the female hormone, oestrogen. In some parts of the body, black cohosh might increase the effects of oestrogen.

I tried this, but it had little to no effect on me, but who am I to say that it won’t benefit other women,
It is known to have some side effects and this is what I learned Black cohosh can cause some mild side effects such as

 stomach upset,

 cramping,

 headache

rash

 A feeling of heaviness

 vaginal spotting or bleeding, and weight gain

. There is also some concern that black cohosh may be associated with liver damage. It is not known for sure if black cohosh actually causes liver damage. (Because of all these possible side effects, I decided against it… remember always seek your GP for their safe advice before trying any of these.


3.  Sage tablets


Sage has high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It has a long history as a folk remedy for many conditions, but it hasn’t been studied extensively for menopause. People use sage for several menopausal symptoms including nigh flushes and mood Although I found they helped a little with the hot flush, the biggest benefit for me was hair growth. Many women find their hair thins as they go through the menopause, unlike mine when I was taking sage tablets (rapunzel eat your heart out) As previously mentioned, they may might not work for everyone and it’s always best to check with your GP prior to taking them.

4. A good quality menopausal Face Cream

I use day and night cream with an SPF of 30 at least., Always look for cream with added benefits to nourash the skin.

5.  Hyaluronic acid


Hyaluronic acid penetrates deep into the skin’s layers to deliver long-lasting moisture that smooths and plumps your skin.

It certainly helps your skin look more radiant, helps to retain moisture and helps uneven skin tone

6.  Pixie Glow Tonic,

 Is a mix of glycolic acid, ginseng, witch hazel and Aloe Vera. It was created to exfoliate and soothe the skin while also revitalising and combatting dullness for a healthy glow.
Does exactly what it says, over time I’ve noticed my pores become smaller and skin less saggy
Since glycolic can make skin more susceptible to sun damage I follow with an SPF cream and only use it at night during the summer months.

7 . Vitamin C serum
The antioxidant protects skin from UV damage, stimulates collagen production, and lifts away dark spots revealing bright and glowing skin.

8. Retinol Serum
.

Retinol might sound scary but adding a retinol cream or serum to your skincare routine has been proven to not only reduce fine lines and wrinkles, but also to help prevent them forming. As well as their wrinkle-busting promises, retinol can help with uneven skin tone, texture and pore size.


After menopause, your skin gets drier because oil glands aren’t as active. You will notice is become crepey which can sometimes make it incredibly itchy Try to give skin more moisture with a heavier cream. Skip long, hot showers and put on moisturiser while your skin is still damp. That helps boost hydration.
O’Keeffe’s skin repair, relief from very dry itchy skin or garner intense 7-day Shea butter for dry skin are my go to’s


9. Restless legs


Magnesium spray, within 10 minutes I’m sound asleep.
While Restless Leg Syndrome may not be directly caused by menopause, it’s certainly a common complaint among women in menopause and trust me, it’s frustrating and annoying.

10.. Added extra
We are also led to believe that we should try to cut out alcohol, but let’s face it… Why? aren’t we suffering enough…
I find that a good old G&T did me no harm at all and limiting it to one a day will certainly help as alcohol is known to dilate blood vessels which could trigger a hot flush.
Sugary drinks tended to trigger a hot flush so out with the wine and non-slimline mixers and in with a spirit with a slimline mixer.
Cutting out spicy foods definitely helped me too before my HRT
And just as an added benefit, drinking enough water helps me to hydrate at all times, so hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Feel free to share the products that have helped or are still helping you through the menopause and I can do an update.

UPDATE:

A comment from one of my viewers
writes that she has had success with starflower oil, that it eases her hot flushes, she also states that it’s not always going to be suitable for everyone but a few of her friends are finding it works really well for them. I’ve looked into it and this is what I’ve found:
Starflower oil, commonly called Borage oil is a leafy green herb commonly found in Mediterranean and cooler climates. The leaves can be eaten on their own, in a salad, or as a cucumberlike flavour for foods. The seed extract is sold in capsules or liquid form.
The oil from its seeds has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. Used topically, it’s said to treat acne and similar minor bacterial eruptions, as well as more long-term skin conditions like dermatitis and psoriasis.


Taking in borage seed oil in food or as a supplement may help treat the following conditions:


• arthritis
• rheumatoid arthritis
• gingivitis
• heart conditions
• adrenal gland problems

It says that borage oil has anti-inflammatory properties and may be able to reduce discomfort related to menopause and premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as:

• breast tenderness
• mood swings
• hot flashes

As any woman going through the menopause knows, anything and everything is worth a try to help rid them of these horrible related symptoms and what works for one, won’t necessarily work for another. But as advised previously, always speak to your GP before using these products and thanks Sharon for your input.

Helping one person might not change the world, but it can change the world for one person

TOXIC PEOPLE

Why Toxic People Have A Hold On Us

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

Why do we allow toxic people into our lives?

Toxic people are smart, but they have the emotional intelligence of a blade of grass. It’s no accident that they choose those who are open-hearted, generous and willing to work at a relationship. When toxic behaviour is in the equation, its only a matter of time before that generous, open-hearted person becomes a broken person.

We believe being the kind hearted people that we are, everyone else must be the same. The thought that some people aren’t is quite horrifying to us as we only see good in others around us.

Toxic people pretent they have your best interests at heart, they wow you with their kindness and generosity and make you feel incredibly good about yourself, they also promise you the world.

The second you are invested in them and they have your trust, the manipluation starts.

Manipulators use under-handed methods to secretly influence someone, with indirect, deceptive, or abusive tactics. Manipulation may seem friendly or flattering, but in reality, the ulterior motive is always ready to rear its ugly head at any moment,

A few examples of a toxic person include:

THE CONTROLLER

Oh I know a few of these, they advise you on what to wear, who you spend time with and how to behave. They want you to conform to their way of thinking and if you don’t, they will critise you, put you down and make you feel worthless, then will make you feel bad for not conforming.

The way you do ‘YOU’ is your decision, Nobody runs your life as good as you do.

THE ABSENT

These toxic ones will only be available when it suits them, they let you down at a moments notice, tell you they are with family or friends who are in need, that someone desperately needed their help time and time again, leaving you questioning what is really going on, when in reality they are probably out living the good life and just dont want you around. When they need you, you will be there, but don’t think it works both ways, it don’t.

No relationship can withstand this much guesswork.

THE MANIPULATOR

Manipulators will tell half-truths or straight out lies.

They find your weakness and then they will be the saviour. ‘Don’t worry. I’m here for you.’ They will listen, comfort, and tell you what you want to hear. Then they will ruin you by using your weakness against you.

They change facts of a situation, take things out of context and use your words against you. They twist everything until you start believing them…… DONT!

They will do this until you crack, then they will belittle you for cracking. They tell your secrets, then make you believe it was someone else who did it.

There’s just no way around a manipulator, so dont even try, there will be no resolution and no happy ever after. You will end up in a very dark place.

Kick their useless butts to the kerb.

THE BULLSHITTER

They always have a reason for not doing what they say. They will outright lie or  give you versions of the truth – not a lie, not the truth, just that feeling in your gut that something is off.

You can’t believe a word they say.

They lie to cover a lie.

There’s no honesty, which means there’s no relationship.

THE ABUSER

The signs might be subtle at first but they will be there.  Soon, there will be a cycle of abuse, but you may or may not recognise it for what it is but this is what it looks like:

 There will be rising tension. You’ll feel it. You’ll tread carefully and you’ll be scared of saying or doing the wrong thing. 

They will say its stress whats causing it, bad day at work, things not going their way and you will believe it, because they are always the victim and will happily blame everyone else for their problems, mainly you.

Eventually, there will be an explosion, you said or did something they didnt like and there will be physical or emotional abuse and it will be terrifying.

At first you’ll make excuses – ‘I shouldn’t have said that/ did that/ gone out/ had an opinion/ said no.

Then the abuser can be overwhelmingly kind and loving when they need to be, but only when they need to be. You’ll be so desperate for things to get better that you’ll believe the apologies, the kindness, the declarations of love, the promises, because you want everything to be right again.

The tension will start to rise again. and over time, the cycle will get shorter and it will happen more often and the explosions will be bigger.

When you’ve finally had enough and they realise they’ve pushed you too far, it will become a challenge to them, they will do absolutely anything in their power to keep you in their grips.

At first they will bombard you with love, they will shower you with compliments, buy you gifts, arrange trips that you’ll love and make you feel extra special. You will feel so grateful by then that you’ll will stay.

That wont last for long, because once that toxic person has you back, the emotional rollercoaster starts again.

But eventually you will start realising a few things:

  1. You realise that you dont actually care for them anymore.
  2. You’ve decided that you want to be happy and that happiness is never going to be with them for the long term
  3. That you are worth being treated like a human being.

It may take a while and you will go back and forth quite a few times and I believe its because its been all you’ve known for such a long time and its scary out there on your own. But remember, you are not on your own, surround yourself with as many people as you can.

When it happens, you will start to remember who you are, the ”YOU’ before someone stole from you and tried to tell you who or what you were.

You will start to believe in yourself and you will never have to question anything again.

You will start to love yourself for the beautiful person that you are.

You will grieve for a while, but you will love again (that may take a while as trust takes a very long time after everything you have been through) But you will love.

And eventually, little by little you will smile more, you will have your own opinions and grow as a person. You will never have to justify yourself to anybody and one day, you will simply live again.

Remember… YOU WILL BE FREE.

The scars you cant see are the hardest to heal.

Daughter V Eating Disorder

Image by Christian Dorn from Pixabay

You were born such a healthy weight and such a beautiful baby, with perfect olive skin, a mop of beautiful brown hair and a rosebud mouth. I loved you just the way you were.


As you grew into a toddler, your beauty increased and so did your happiness and love for food, you ate everything I put on your plate, you weren’t a fussy eater at all. I still loved you just the way you were.


Age 10-14 years, your beauty increased, you had so much personality and your eyes were so bright, you loved life, loved your friends, loved going out for dinner, especially the deserts. We used to talk for hours, we laughed so much our bellies hurt, We would dance around the room singing ‘Ain’t no mountain’, by Marvin Gaye, that was our song and like I always sang to you, there ain’t no mountain high, enough to keep me from getting to you. I loved those years and I still loved you just the way you were.


Age 15 was when I noticed a change, a slight change at first, but a change all the same. your eyes weren’t as bright and your appetite was lost. You didn’t want to go out and eat and our days of fun and laughter turned into quiet nights for me, wondering what I had done wrong, but I still loved you just the way you were.


Another year passed, you were 16 and I noticed your clothes were falling off you and I asked you what was happening, but all I got from you were grunts and dirty looks, no normal conversation.

I would make you dinner and you would hardly touch it, you stopped seeing your friends, things weren’t the same between us, I so desperately wanted to belly laugh with you again, but I had to accept that wasn’t going to happen, but you know what? I still loved you just the way you were.


Age 17 and in 6th form college was the worse year of them all, you were studying for your A levels and your weight had dropped increasingly and I knew then that I couldn’t ignore it anymore. You were eating an apple a day, that was it. I tried so hard to make you eat, I saw your body go from very slim to emaciated and it was so painful to watch. I prayed every night for a miracle and I cried so hard, I cried for the amazing daughter I had lost.

Your friends had decided that it was too hard to be around you, in a way I didn’t blame them, you made it so difficult for them, but you were left on your own, I cried a lot during that time.


We finally made an appointment at the doctors where you were weighed and the scales barely touched 5 stone. The doctors told you that you were anorexic, but still you didn’t believe it.

You were referred to an eating disorder clinic who were so worried about you, that you had to be weighed weekly and the plan was for you to gain just half an ounce a week.


It went well the first couple of weeks, feeding you milkshakes with cream in and making you eat at least one healthy meal a day, I really thought this was the start of your new beginning, I was excited…but that soon stopped. You had started losing weight again.

I had a call from the clinic saying that they needed for you to have an urgent ECG and blood tests as they were concerned that your weight was so low that you could possibly have a heart attack. I was told that you could go to sleep one night and not wake up, it was that bad. But I promised myself that I would always, no matter what, stay strong and keep fighting because I loved you just the way you were.


We were told that due to you not being able to maintain the weight gain, you were being sectioned to an eating disorder clinic for 6 months…. oh how you cried. I had to stay strong, but I was dying inside knowing that my little girl was going to be away from home fighting this battle without me and I was only allowed to visit once a week.

You begged me to talk to them, you promised you would be able to do it this time, so we scheduled a meeting and took both your nans along to fight your case. I fought it so hard because I believed you could do it. They believed us too as you were able to stay at home.


Things improved with your weight, you reached 7 stone, but your mood became worse, you wouldn’t even talk to me after that. You would eat in your bedroom (or so I thought, how naive was I) we couldn’t discuss anything, you looked at me as if I was scum and I started questioning myself… What have I done wrong? Is this my fault? because I had split from your dad around the time it all started. I hated myself, I beat myself up every day, but continued to stay calm, I knew I had to support you and I was going to do that with everything I had. I said good morning and I love you every single day and you just ignored me, I wasn’t able to come into the kitchen when you were making your fruit, because you would scowl at me and ask me if I was spying on you…..I wasn’t.


It got to the point where we wasn’t talking anymore and that hurt, my beautiful perfect funny bright little girl who belly laughed and danced around the room was gone. I resigned myself to the fact that our relationship was over, I knew that you were facing some really bad times and that you were neither strong mentally or physically…. Neither was I, but I was able to fight this battle with you.


You are now 21, you can no longer be sectioned without your agreement and I can no longer discuss your situation with anyone as I’ve had to harden myself to it. If anyone tries to talk about it, I shut them off, because If I start crying, I don’t think I will ever stop.

Darling there’s one more thing I want to say. I will never give up on you, I will continue to fight this disease with you until my dying breath and I pray to god that one day you will beat it, because you are better than that disease and you are strong and brave and have me and I will love you more every day for being just the way you are. Lets kick eating disorders arse!!


And I said to my body, softly: “I want to be your friend”. It took a long breath and replied “I have been waiting my whole life for this”.

Mr chan

Mr Chan needs a cleaner

I’m taking you back to 1989, I had just turned 17 and had left school the year previous. I’d just finished working at an insurance company up in the city of London, because basically I couldn’t do the job. I had blagged it a few months ago by thinking I was smarter than I was, but the position was far above me.

I was good at blagging jobs, I would go into interviews pretending I knew what I was talking about, when in fact I didn’t have a clue, naïve I know, I’ve learned from that mistake now.

My boss at the time was such a wonderful lady, she liked me a lot and told me that I could stay until I had found something more suitable. Six weeks later I decided that temping would probably suit me better to gain some experience.

The job agency that I had signed up to gave me a call one morning and said they had a placement for me, it was a temp to perm position at a Japanese bank up the city, as a secretary, and they wanted to interview me, I was so pleased.

I put on my best clothes and made my way by train to the interview.

It really was quite a nice bank and I was called in to meet the Director, a very large, sweaty, Japanese man, who seemed delighted to meet me.

He had a gold tea set on his desk that was gleaming, he obviously took pride in that, as the rest of his office was covered with folders and paperwork and completely disorganised.

The interview started and I was doing well, my confidence was showing, I smiled and gave eye contact, everything you are told to do, I really wanted this job.

Mr Chan was sweating profusely and every few minutes, he would reach down, pull open a drawer and pull out a rag, which he would wipe his face with, then place the rag back into his drawer. He asked me if I was competent to type letters, answer the telephone, all the usual office assistant/secretary duties, “competent? I’m more than competent to do this job” I said, and I meant it. “I like you” he said, “You can start Monday”.

I woke up Monday morning, excited, What was it going to be like on my first day? Will I make new friends? Will I learn new things?, This was the start of my career and I was looking forward to it.

I arrived with a few minutes to spare and was greeted by Mr Chans’ PA, tiny woman she was. She led me to my desk, which had nothing on, no computer, no phone,’ NOTHING’, zilch, how the hell am I going to work, I though.  She told me that she was fetching a book which she would like me to read. Ahhhh ok, she wants me to look at my contract, fair enough! , then I’m guessing she will show me to my real desk.

She came back with a very big, thick, black book and placed it on my empty desk and said “read”. Now this didn’t look like a contract, but I opened the first page and Read:

MR CHANS BOOK OF RULES…. I was beginning to feel quite nervous, why would someone put a book of rules in front of me and ask me to read it? What rules did I have to abide by? What kind of place is this? Then I read the following:

1. Mr Chan has a flannel in his top drawer, you must clean this flannel twice a day. (Is this for real? I thought)

2. Mr Chan has a gold Tea Set on his desk, (yes I remembered that, shiny, so shiny) this must be polished every evening before you leave. (What?????? )

3. Mr Chan would like his lunch (to his specification) at approximately 12:30 every day. It must be placed on his gold plate, located in the right side cupboard and brought in on his gold tray. (Fuck right off)

4. Mr Chan has his floor hoovered every day, this is an absolute requirement and cannot be missed. (by now my mouth is wide open with shock) and I’m thinking:

I kept waiting for Jeremy Beadle to appear (for those of you too young to know Jeremy Beadle, he was a host on the show Beadles About, which was a hidden camera show, where people would set each other up in prank situations to capture responses) Watch out Beadles about, watch out Beadles about, you’d better watch out, cause Beadles about!! (I bet you sang that didn’t you?)

This had to be a set up surely? He’s got to show up , this is all going to make sense soon.. Who the hell has set me up?

Unfortunately, Jeremy didn’t turn up and now I was nervous, shaking, sweating and angry . I knew I had to go to his PA and find out what was going on, even though I felt sick and thought I was going to vomit. Here’s how that panned out:

“Hi”, I said, “so I read some of the book, but I’m not reading anymore”. “This position was advertised as a secretary and these rules are not for a secretarial position, I don’t even have a proper desk, Where’s the computer and phone? You need a cleaner, so here’s my timesheet, I suggest you sign off the 2 hours I have been sitting here as I’m not walking out without being paid”

That didn’t go down too well. She stood up, turned a shade of purple and screamed “MR CHAN WANTS YOU IN HIS OFFICE TO CLEAN HIS FLANNEL” fuck.., this little woman was fierce, but I wasn’t going to back down and I had noticed fear in her face. “No” I said, “I’m not”, I can handle this little lady I thought. “You tell him that isn’t going to happen and if you don’t sign my form, I’m going into Mr Chans’ office and (wait for it, I used a line that I had heard on a tv show the evening before, never before in my 17 years had I heard it, but it sounded good and it seemed to have some meat to it. Now take note, I have never set foot in a church, well apart from the time I was in the girl guides, but I used this phrase) May God Be My Witness, I’m going to go in there and tell him where he can shove his flannel”.

“MR CHAN WILL BE VERY ANGRY” she screamed. IM VERY ANGRY” I screamed back. “SIGN MY SHEET NOW OR IM TELLING YOU, I WILL MAKE A SCENE AND I PROMISE YOU THAT”.

I wanted to cry to be perfectly honest, but I’m one of those people who either cry or shout, I can’t do middle ground and stay calm and try to work things out amicably and there was no way she was going to make me cry, I had to be strong, but all I wanted to do was curl up into a ball, close my eyes and wait for this to all disappear.

There was a stand off… she was looking at me and I was looking at her. I kept my poker face on and clenched my fists (my hands were shaking so badly, that’s why…Don’t worry, I wasn’t about to punch a woman smaller than me, I couldn’t punch anyone anyway unless I needed to.

She took my sheet and signed it. She signed it, I wanted to hug her as she had finally given me the get out card.

As I walked out, I noticed other people working there looking at me and shaking their heads. Oh fuck sake, this is all I need. I did the head thrusting forward move, the Jack Nicolson where’s johnny face, eyes wide, crazy looking and said “What” They didn’t answer.

I ran outside and burst into tears.

Later that evening, after a big hug from my mum 🙂 our home telephone started ringing and my mum picked up. A few seconds later she said “Tara, Mr Chan is on the phone” “What?” I said, “No way”. I was scared, I was close to peeing my pants and if i’m being honest, pebbledashing the porcelain, was a very close second. I didn’t want to talk to him, I started shaking and my mum suggested that maybe he wanted to apologise, so I plucked up the courage to go to the phone and let him talk. “Hello” I said. “This is Mr Chan, you never cleaned my flannel, I’m very angry” he said. OMG I was so angry, how dare this man call my house and say that. “Now listen here YOU” I said, “GO AND GET YOURSELF A CLEANER, BECAUSE I AM NOT A CLEANER AND I DIDN’T APPLY TO BE A CLEANER, HOW DARE YOU CALL MY HOUSE” I screamed. “I have no clean flannel now, where do I wipe my sweat” he said.

Oh, this man was relentless and very much like a hemorrhoid, you know that pain in the arse that wont go away.

I was done with him and was about to hang up the phone, when I heard the laughter and a voice say “Tara, its Len”. Len is my granddad, we weren’t allowed to call him granddad growing up, as that made him feel old. He was the kind of granddad who always made jokes, put on funny voices and was always up for a laugh. My mum had told him earlier about my situation in the bank and he thought it would be such a laugh to pretend to be Mr Chan, Yeah Len, scare your granddaughter to an inch of her life lol.

Moral of the story… always made sure you know the job description before starting any employment, otherwise you will end up in a role you never applied for and may even face your own Mr Chan AND have to change your underwear 😲

Life is too short to get caught up in the things that don’t matter

The Crazy Umbrella Lady

My mum is a little bit like me when it comes to chatting. We have spent many a night talking into the early hours, we talk about anything and everything, we laugh, we joke, we both find that laughing is the greatest medicine and we do love to hear jokes.

My mum finished work for the day and was making her way to the train station with a work colleague, let’s call her Sue for now

They had a 15 minute walk, it was raining (something about rain and my mum, but that’s for another story) and they were chatting the whole way.

With about 2 minutes to go until they reached the station and Sue was about to go to another station, she told my mum a very funny joke. Don’t ask me what the joke was, but my mum told me that it was hilarious, in fact so funny that she was crying with laughter. she told Sue off for telling her the joke, as now she had to go into the station alone and didn’t want to be laughing to herself. So, she took a few breaths and tried to think about something other than the joke to stop her from laughing.

She had a 15 minute wait until the train arrived, so she went to the ticket office to purchase her ticket home, then decided to pop into a little shop in the station, she browsed the shop for 5 minutes and bought some mints and then down the escalator to the train.

The platform was packed by the time she got down there, so she had to wrestle her way through a hoard of people to find a place to stand. The train was showing a delay of 5 minutes, so she knew she had to try harder and not laugh.

With 15 minutes still left until the train was due, she tried to compose herself.

That’s when she noticed a lot of people were looking at her strangely and she started to feel paranoid, she looked down to make sure her skirt wasn’t in her knickers or her tights didn’t have a big hole in them, even looked to make sure she had the correct shoes on (that’s another story) Nope, that was all good. It was only when she heard a couple of ladies grinning and pointing at her that she said “excuse me, but is there a problem?”, “We’ve noticed that you’ve had your umbrella up for a long time and wondered whether you knew?” they said.

She wanted the ground to open up, as she had realised that she was carrying the umbrella, opened, through everything during the wait t

I did ask her one question…. “Did you get on the train when it pulled in?” “No” she said, “I’m not that stupid, I waited for the next one, there was no way I was getting on that train with everyone knowing it was me with the umbrella”. Yep I would have done the same.

lShe was known as the the crazy umbrella lady in our house for quite some time and I’m sure a few commuters went home that night and shared the story.