Monday, October 30, 2006

It's a moral maze out there.

It's a fine line being a modern mother. Mr realdoc and I often argue about the sort of stuff the kids should see, read and listen to. He feels the horrors of the modern world should be kept away from them as long as possible. My default position is to be against censorship but I accept that there are some things which they are not yet emotionally mature enough to cope with.

The kids are 9 and 12 and hide behind the cushions for certain episodes of Doctor Who*. The things that upset them most on telly, are, however, the real life stories. Those films of little African children searching for scraps in fly-infested dumps, you know the sort of thing.

I don't really censor the 12 year-old's reading but try to point her towards things she can understand, so, Jacqueline Wilson, Phillip Pullman, Mallory Blackman...OK, Melvyn Burgess...not quite yet.

We had a friend staying and he said he would be quite happy for his 12 year old to watch films with violent or sexual content as long as it wasn't 'gratuitous'. On closer questioning he meant arthouse movies or those with a liberal or anti-war message. 'Apocalypse Now' and 'Schindler's List' were mentioned. Mmmmm, not sure about that one.

Music is another thing entirely. I find Westlife and their ilk offensive on so many levels but some parents find this sort of thing acceptable.

We do have a bit of a problem with the watershed. It seems as soon as Big Ben has boinged they can show full on penetrative sex, copious swearing and graphic violence. Now I like the odd swear as much as the next fucker, but, they should ease us into it....

9 to 9.30 - 'bloody', 'crap', a bit of snogging and the odd slap
9.30 to 10 - 'shit', 'arse', some semi-clad groping and a bit of a punch up
after 10 - anything goes

So should the 12 year old be allowed to see 'The Catherine Tate Show', ("Everyone in school watches it except me, you boring, old cow."), or not?

*'Are you my mummy?' enough to send them screaming from the room.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Shit day

It has been a day of downs and further downs. Having failed completely, and rather publicly, to post a link on a comment box. I have also discovered that I have lived in both of the top 2 least desirable places to live in the U.K., here and here.

In fact when, as a student I lived in the worst bit of the worst place to live in the UK.........

Murder Mile, Hackney

I didn't get murdered but a strange man did approach me at a bus stop once and asked for a fag but didn't say please.

In fact when I lived in the worst bit of the worst part of the UK I lived in a house which, as the result of a bizarre building accident*, had no toilet for 2 months. This necessitated frequent visits to the pub and the pinching of catheter bags from work.

I was an object of derision in the neighbourhood for being over 21 and not yet having had a baby but other than that and the perilous state of our plumbing it wasn't a bad place and had the bonus of being on the route of the Number 38 bus, one of the superior bus routes in my opinion.

* The landlord, a mate of mine met a guy in the pub who said he could fix the bathroom cheap. He fixed it but unfortunately after he left the upstairs loo fell through the floor and landed, by coincidence on the downstairs loo, smashing it to bits.

So, how shit was your day?

*UPDATE* All blogger links from here appear to be down I hope that wasn't me.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Mad, middle-aged women on wheels.

Biggest little realdoc, (she's not little at all any more, she can look me in the eye now and bloody hell, that's disconcerting) has got a pair of these for her birthday. As her feet are now as big as mine I was 'persuaded' to have a go and..............
Let's just say she has probably filmed the whole episode on her phone and posted it on youtube and if I do discover that this is the case, no I bloody well won't give you the link.
* * *
PS Whales' blog is back, hurrah. But he isn't allowing comments, boo. Anyway whales if you're reading this get yourself over to Wyndham's where there is a tricky physics problem that needs your expert input.

Friday, October 20, 2006

'What will become of the myotonic goats?'

I have been thinking recently of one of my old profs. Professor Pat Merton was a distinguished physiologist and a pioneer of cybernetics. He was also a very funny man. When I arrived at Cambridge Pat Merton was one of those who made the strange new place feel like home.

He had a novel interview technique. One rather pompous and over-confident public school boy was shocked when in his entrance interview for medicine, Prof. Merton, noticing he had mentioned playing the cello on his CV (at the very bottom, he'd had 1 or 2 lessons) passed him a cello and asked for a tune. He did not get in.

Pat had an individual teaching style. In those days a lot of the teaching was carried out in small tutorial groups. I arrived early for one such tutorial and Prof. Merton issued a challenge that we both try to drink as many glasses of sherry as we could during the tutorial without the other students noticing. After surreptitiously finishing off 6 glasses of sherry in under an hour Prof asked me to read out my rather second rate essay. After I had, rather painfully, slurred through it he pronounced it rubbish. 'But I used all of your old papers Prof', I opined. 'I have changed my mind', he said, decisively.
Once I went to him worried that I had not done enough work for the forthcoming exams. 'You are here to be educated, not to pass exams', was his reply.

Always fiercely intellectual and resolutely eccentric, his lectures were a delight. His lecture on the balance organs of the ear involved the use of a live duck. If you got up early enough you could see him running around on the river bank trying to catch one.
His reaction to the news that the Cambridge vet school farm was to close was unique, 'but,what will become of the myotonic goats?'

They don't make them like that anymore.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Lost the knack..

The drummer from the Knack has died apparently.
'My Sharona', that was one of their songs.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Another in an extremely long line of 'list' posts.

In our house over the years a number of film and TV quotes seemed to have wormed their way into our everyday speech. We're not quite as bad as those lost souls who recite Monty Python sketches to each other in the pub. No, actually, we're worse than that. We don't have conversations, we have quote-offs. Thus, in our house you may hear the following:

1. When finding something we have lost - 'stop your grinnin' and drop your linen, found them'

2. When anyone sings - 'not raga'

3. When happy -'I'm as happy as a Frenchman whose just invented a pair of self-removing trousers'.

4. When a meal is slow in coming in a restaurant - 'I'm a doctor and I want my sausages.'

5. When going to see my family - 'My mother-in-law's so fat, etc, etc, etc'

6. When we are going out for the evening - 'we're on a mission from God.'

7. When Mr. Realdoc wins at scrabble he will leap to his feet and shout 'and how can this be? For he is the Kwisack Haderach'(sp????).

Obviously we're a very sad household. Are we the only ones? Extra marks if you can identify any of the quotes above.

Crap, intertextual crap, but crap nonetheless

My head is so full of crap at the moment, eg
Is my blog better than my bosom(s?) or viceversa? (see billy* comments)
Who's biography features a reference to Wyndham? (see Wyndham*)
Why has patroclus morphed into a bunch of scantily clad women? (see patroclus*, it's fixed now boys no links to that sort of thing on my blog, oh no)
Should I have written a diary type thing today for some very important project? (see Mr Swipe*)
How would I address Mr Alan Sugar if I met him?** (see bluecat*)

Are we living in one of millions of parallel universes? If so is there one in which I have a stupendous bosom and a much visited and award-winning blog and feature in a biography and write my diary whilst scantily- clad and carressing Sir Alan? .......No, thought not.

* I'm bloody well linking now, I'm on a linking roll, me.

**This is unlikely unless he got sick, in which case he would probably consult someone much more eminent and expensive than me. I'm free (see Romo* comments), not a quasi-realdoc at all. (see Tim*).

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Cultural overload

I think I am suffering from some sort of cultural overload at the moment. When I was young, back in the days when everyone wore brown and pasta was an unusual ethnic cuisine, it was pretty easy to keep up.
Music - You listened to John Peel under the bedclothes (no duvets then, oh no).
Cinema - All the cinemas in Belfast had been blown up so it was just a case of reading the TV listings in the Christmas Radio Times to see which Bond was on.
Fashion - this was the seventies, there was no fashion just what your mum let you buy from C&A.
Books - You went to the library to see which of the 3 interesting books were available that week.
TV - most homes, mine included had one TV so you watched what your parents watched. Luckily my dad liked Monty Python, unluckily he also liked variety shows featuring old men in jumpers singing.

I don't know when things changed but the amount of stuff a reasonably well -informed person should know about has increased to a degree that is difficult to keep up with without giving up the everyday tasks of earning a living and bringing up your children.
I don't want to give up trying yet. I feel that would be the beginning of a process which would end with me listening to Nana Mouskouri (sp?), reading nothing but the latest biographies and wearing clothes from those old lady catalogues I have started to receive.

So, how can I find a middle ground? Or do I just accept that wisdom is knowing how much you don't know? Help!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Who is your favourite physicist?

This man is my favourite. Read all about him here.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Tired of London, Tired of Life and all that.

Anyway, here I am back from my travels. So this is what we did...
We went to Brick Lane for a curry. Bloody hell Brick Lane has changed! Food was good though.

We went back to our old local and met a lot of the old regulars who amazingly have not died in the interim. (If you want to go to a proper old East End boozer with the best landlord and landlady I have ever come across I heartily recommend The Palm Tree in Bow by the way.)

We saw the Leonardo exhibition at the V&A which was interesting, if lacking in exhibits. The Queen seems to own everything on display which tempted Mr. R. to storm the palace in a fit of republican indignation.

We went to the Science Museum (again) and saw the first CT scanner (again) and bought a model aeroplane (again).

We went for tapas in this place which was yummers.

We went to The Borderline to meet the bloggers but were too late and they had all gone. This disappointed me more than it should have, perhaps, but served to remind us both of every student union bar we have ever got drunk in. Don't know if that's a good thing or not.

We went to Spitalfields market which is OK I suppose. Only difference* between it and a car boot sale in Ballykissarse is that the tat on sale has been deemed 'trendy' using a set of rules I no longer understand.

All in all it was a good weekend, however, travelling through the hellhole that is Stanstead airport, brought us back to earth with a bump. (Do you see what I did there?).

Do I miss London? Yes, very much but I realised that the longer you're away from it the more difficult it would be to live there again. This made me sad.

* This is obviously not true as in Ballykissarse, unlike Spitalfields the people are mostly ugly, badly dressed and fat.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Realdocs hit the big city!!!!!

Anyway, Mr Realdoc has not bought me an ironing board cover as predicted but has stumped up for a weekend in the big smoke. This is good as I will be missing the annual 'team-building' beano at work which apparently requires 'stout walking shoes' and which will no doubt end in tears and recriminations.
So all you hip young gunslingers I need some recommendations for what to do whilst we're there.

Under consideration so far, in no particular order..
1. The Leonardo exhibition at the V&A.
2. A look at the newly restored Hawksmoor church.
3. The Holbein exhibition.
4. Tapas, curry and any number of other types of ethnic cuisine unavailable in the environs of Ballykissarse.
5. Science museum (natch)
6. A raaawwwkkking night out with fellow bloggers. I have to say Mr Realdoc is very anxious about this one as he fears no-one will talk to him. (He also fears me getting rat-arsed and making a tit of myself to be honest. Also he thinks you may all be grooming me.*)
7. Shhhhhhhooooooooppppppppinnnnnggggggg. Hurrah!
8. All manner of unmentionable activity in a luxury hotel (where Madonna had her birthday party apparently).

So my little Docettes** what should we do?

*How do you groom an old bint by the way? Pluck out her grey hairs and trim her gnarled toenails perhaps.

**Docettes sounds very wrong, like some sort of feminine hygiene product.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

For M

So, anyway it's my wedding anniversary this week. 15 years, how did that happen?
My other half is a rather curmudgeonly radiologist who loves wine, physics and books about Nelson's navy. So why have I lasted this long?

1. He makes me laugh. The other day whilst watching telly a video by the Verve came on, 'some people think that Richard Ashcroft's a musical genius, but he's just a surly cunt', he says causing me to give myself a sinus washout with Chilean pinot (not recommended).

2.Watching England win the Ashes made him cry.

3. He gets offended by Dr. Statham off Green Wing on behalf of his profession.

4. He has read 'A Brief History of Time' all the way through and understood it.

5. He is an honourable man.

6. He plays the piano when he is happy.

7. He hasn't a sexist bone in his body.

8. Whenever we go to the Science Museum, which is more often than I would like, he always goes to look at the first CT scanner and always buys a model aeroplane which he flies over the fence the first time he tries it out.

9. Whenever we go to Tate Modern, which is not as often as I would like, he follows me around dutifully and tries to bite his lip but always says, 'this is all bollocks, isn't it?' at some stage.

10. He knows I blog and can't understand why, but has never asked to read it.

So anyway readers what will I get him for an anniversary present? He will, no doubt, get me a new ironing-board cover but we all have our cross to bear.