Friday, 28 October 2011

Present buying disasters

Unfortunately my friends and family long suffered at the hands of my present buying.  It’s not that I don’t try; it’s just sometimes my idea of a great present is a little different to most peoples. In the run up to Christmas I feel it my duty to share with everyone the following sharky incidents.

1) The dilemma of what you get your dad. They are always the trickiest to buy for.  One year I was in a quirky shop when I saw this beautiful orange sequin chicken.  I got the idea into my head that I should buy this for my dad because he once worked for a chicken magazine. I thought I was onto a winner.  Finally! Something that wasn’t liquorish allsorts or socks.   So I buy it and take it home.  I was so proud of myself.  I had a little spring in my step.  I get home, show my housemates, only to be informed that the chicken was in fact a pin cushion, for a female sewer and definitely not suitable for my dad, or any dad, or any male, or to be honest, anyone.  

Result: The chicken lives in my spare room and my dad got socks.

2) I’m sure you can all relate to that awful moment when you’re on your way to a birthday party and you realise forgot to buy a card and present.  So what do you do? You stop at a service station and buy the what ever you can find that looks like you haven’t just bought it from a service station.

Result: You turn up with a tatty card and a car sponge.
3) Weddings.  Now you would think that this should be easy, you simply pick off a list.  But what if you’ve left it to the last minute and all the presents from the John Lewis list you can afford have been snapped up by those annoyingly organised people.  This happened to me, and there was this inner panic.  What should have been an easy task had suddenly been turned upside down. 

Result: You go to Lush and Lakeland…nothing says ‘congratulations on your wedding’ more than a plastic cow shaped bowl and spoon set and a travel shampoo after all.

4) My brother.  Now the problem here was not that he is difficult to buy for, but more my interpretation of a good present.  One year I was so chuffed with myself I’d gone shopping one afternoon and brought what I thought was a fun and somewhat educational present for my brother in the form of a ‘Mr Wonderful’ doll.  This was no ordinary doll he would speak saying all the things you wish men would say.  I thought great I give it to my brother so he knows how to be a good boyfriend.  I get home.  Show my friends and they delight in informing me that it is actually a present for a girl to give her the perfect man.

Result: Mr wonderful sits on my shelf accompanied by a Mrs wonderful key ring.  My brother got chocolate and a game.

Friday, 12 August 2011

A picture paints a thousand words?!

Never far from my mind, forever in my heart. 
Miss you more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

How not to behave when been chased by police...

Some of you may not know that I am in fact a criminal after an unfortunate brush with the law a while back.

I was on my way to visit my good friend Catrinder Wiffendorinian and I was running late.  Very late.  I was singing along to a CD, which, in the interest of retaining some degree of self respect shall not be named, trying my best to make up a bit of time.  So I put my foot down and off I go on the motorway.  There I am happily minding my own business enjoying my singsong when I see some blue lights behind me.  I then noticed the blue lights are in fact a police car.  I couldn’t understand why they didn’t over take me, they had their lights flashing, clearly in pursuit of someone, or something, why waste their time behind my Corsa?

Some time later I noticed the police car was really close behind me and the police man was gesturing at me pointing at the hard shoulder.  It was then, and only then, that I realised he was after me.  Little old me in my sharkmobile was been chased by the police.  But I’m late, this is going to make me more late, so I keep going a bit more thinking I’ll soon be at my destination we can sort it out there. 

Mr Police man started to look mad, really mad.  So, I pull over to be greeted by an angry police man, who informed me he was about to call the helicopters for back up!  He shouted.  I put on the best posh sensible voice I could manage, and somehow talked my way out of a prosecution for driving without due car and attention and settled with a speeding fine and 3 points.

If I had gone that little bit further I could have been a star of the next ‘police, camera action’ or ‘high speed police chase’.  

Luckily, I manged to avoid  prison sentence, which would have been pointless anyway because as you can see from the picture below, you can't keep a shark locked up in a cage or cell for long anyway...

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Money Tree

During a meeting at work my boss brought me a money tree and explained how they are 'virtually impossible to kill' I was thrilled at the idea of watching my little money tree grow big and strong.  It started off so well, it even produced money.  I kid you not there was 47p in my money tree's pot.  I watered it, I fed it plant food and orange squash and the odd haribo.  I stroked its leaves.  I gave it so much love.  Maybe too much because I turned up to work the other day to find my little money tree had literally rotted away.  All that is left is a few rotting leaves and a pot of soil.

I was sad.  I'd never had to grieve a plant before.  It was a tough few days.   I was counting on that tree to make me rich, now I have to buy a bloody lottery ticket. The pain was made easier by a new plant appearing on my desk with a postit note "I am easy to care for water me once a week and love me" well, within a day I'd knocked the little plant on the floor and spilt the rocks and mud in a colleagues bag!

Lesson learnt: I'm probably not quite ready for kids.

Some of you may remember my interview advice post, and I confirmed that I am employed.  Here are two pictures of a typical day in the office when the sharks about....

After getting through 24 frankfurter hotdog sausages in little over a week, I have gone cold turkey.  It's been 9 days's getting tough but this addiction must be stopped.  It starts with hotdogs it ends in heroin.

Friday, 27 May 2011

The one with the Cleaner and the Chicken Fillet

After an unexpected admission to hospital last June I sent mummy shark home to pack some bags for me.  Unfortunately I had just been on Holiday so all my favourite things were still dirty in my suitcase, but as I was in hospital looking good wasn’t high on my list of priorities.  Mummy shark came back with a bag full of the important things, pj’s, towels, toothbrush, clothes etc.  Trouble was she’d picked up my new Primark bra with air based chicken fillets in it. I removed the air fillets and put them in the bag.  I was a bit scared of wearing them and one boob suddenly going pop, and knowing my track record of embarrassing situations I’m sure if it was going to happen to anyone it would be me.  But still, I thought I’d keep them.  There is a lake at the end of our road and if someone drowns I can throw them a fillet as a buoyancy aid!  Or if I wanted to play catch in a room with lots of valuables the air fillet could be handy. You do never know when they might come in useful.  I would advise all readers to have a few ‘just in case’.  Anyway few days later the cleaner was cleaning my floor with a funny looking mop thing when she stopped and stared at the floor looking a bit bemused.  That was when I noticed one of my fillets had fallen out of my bag and was been swept around the floor!  I then had to explain that it was actually a chicken fillet from a bra and yes I do want to keep it.  Not embarrassing at all…

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Words and Phrases

Am I the only one that gets their words and phrases confused?  I am constantly getting myself in a muddle, sometimes people correct you and other times they say nothing but look at you a little oddly, a little like the time at school when I sucked the wrong end of my pen and got a blue mouth.

The other week at work I was chatting with some colleagues about ways she can find another job, I then suggested she elope to a sunny place as I’m sure there’s lots of work going there, I got a really odd look back, turned out I meant emigrate.

While working as a conference assistant I got confused with the coffee jargon…
Conference delegate “Could I have a white coffee please?’’
Me “I’m really sorry but we only have the normal brown coffee or you could have it black?”
Conference delegate “You don’t do white coffee?”
Me “Well I can ask my manager but I really don’t think we do, we have herbal teas if you would prefer?”
Conference delegate “you don’t have milk?”
Me “yes milks just over there, you can help u can help yourself”
Conference delegate “so I can have a white coffee”
Me “I’m really sorry I don’t understand what you want, all our coffee is brown”
Conference delegate “coffee with milk”
Me *penny drops* “I understand now, sorry I don’t drink tea or coffee I don’t understand the lingo, I’ll just get one now for you”

The below happened during a recent hospital stay:
Nurse type bloke “ have you spent a penny today?”
Me “have I spent a what now?”
Nurse type bloke “a penny”
Me “A penny, no I’ve not spent anything today I don’t understand”
Nurse type bloke “ok have you been for a wee”
Me “Ahhhh yes, yes I have thank you”

During a recent conversation with a friend (whose name has been slightly altered to maintain her privacy) I took a question slightly too literally…
Me “I’m writing my blog but I’m getting a bit of writers block!”
Sammy Gangster “what you writing it on?”
Me “Well I write it in word then upload it to the blog”
Sammy Gangster “what hair colour are you?” “are you still brunette?”
Me “i am!”
Sammy Gangster “cause when I asked what you were writing it on, I meant the topic HAHAHA so you should really be blonde ;);)
Me “HAHAHAH!!!!! I’m laughing, god I’m so stupid sometimes”
Sammy Gangster “I did literally laugh when you wrote that, I was like, O dear!!”
Me “LOL I think some people think seriously can she be that bad, but clearly I am, and in answer to your question I’m writing it on misunderstandings of words ironically!”

I have also been known to tell someone that a friend is going to pop her clogs when turned out the phrase I was looking for was bun in the oven!  Don’t even get me started on ‘sending people to Coventry’ mum once told me to send my brother to coventry when he was annoying me, i was like how on earth am I going to get him there?! How are people supposed to understand these bizarre sayings? Is there some sort of book people read that no one has told me about?

I will leave you with a video if I can upload it.  Its just the result of what happens when I’m let lose at cultural places.

My next blog will be some more car incidents along with some very useful advice including what NOT to do when been chased down the motorway by the police…

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Interview Advice

Since the job market is considerably more competitive I thought I would offer some interview advice.  I think it would be safe to say I’ve had my fair share of interview nightmares.  The following are a few handy do’s and don’ts which should prevent the following awkward situations:

1) Always make sure you know what your entrance and exit routes are, especially in caf├ęs and restaurants that might not show you out.  Failure to do so, can, and has resulted in me thinking I’m going through the door that leads to the stairs but actually ended up in the kitchen, I promptly realise my mistake leave the kitchen then turn to go through the other door which incidentally leads to the toilets. Third time lucky I finally get the door to the stairs, while the bloke that interviewed me has remained in the restaurant and watched the entire thing.

2) When asked why you have a few gaps in your CV do not respond with “Oh sorry,  have I?  I must have pressed the space bar too much, I did try and get it on two pages” What they actually mean is that there are a few areas which your experience is a little hazy and you haven’t demonstrated all your work experience particularly well.

3) If they call you up and say “we would like to see you for an informal chat about the job” this does not mean its ok to turn up in your jeans and casual jumper with a New Look shopping bag and some Pick n Mix.  What they really mean is, were not sending you an official interview letter, but it is an interview all the same, and the chap before you will be suited and booted with a brief case!

4) When asked about what you know about the company always do thorough research and not just what you see in the information book in the reception, failure to do adequate research will result in the following:
Interviewers: “So Clare, what do you know about the Abode Hotel?”
Me: (Feeling chuffed I know the answer to this one…) “I know you’re owned my Michael Cain”
Interviewers: “Yes that’s right we are, and do you know who Michael Cain is?”
Me: “Yes, Yes I do…he’s an actor, he’s quite famous!”
Interviewers: “What’s he in then?”
Me: “Erm, well, erm, films? Yeah he’s in films, he’s a filmstar. He’s in erm…..*desperately trying to think of a film…any film*…jaws?
Interviewers: (laughing) Yes we are owned by Michael Cain, and Yes Michael Cain is an actor, but no, we are not owned by the Hollywood actor Michael Cain but Michael Cain the professional Chef…and no Actor Michael Cain is not in jaws”
Me: *Nodding* That does make sense, I did wonder what Michael Cain would want with a hotel.

5) If you get asked the question “where do you see yourself in 5 years time” they are looking for evidence that you are ambitious and would like to develop within the company. Replying with “well actually, you know what, I’d love to be sky diving, I’ve always wanted to do one, so yeah I’d like to be on a beach sky diving in 5 years that would be great”  isn’t the best idea.  They will smile, nod, raise their eyebrows and respond with… “okkkaaaaay moving on….”

6) When asked a question “Are you good with geography” responding with “well actually I was at the pub quiz on Sunday and I correctly matched all the post codes to the areas, so yeah I think I am” may not be the best answer to the question, they will proceed to fire random post codes at you to name the city, and yes, you will get every single one of them wrong!

Unfortunately all of the above really did happen, but I can confirm that I am in employment and have *almost* learnt from my mistakes.  

Coinciding with all this wedding talk happening at the moment, I will leave you with a picture which I hope will remind all bridesmaids that even when you think your not been photographed, you probably are, and therefore, any embarrassing face you pull will be picked up on the official photos…………

Monday, 25 April 2011

Why I love the milk float ...

Well well well, it HAS been a long time since I updated.  I am going to share a storey with you about my near death experience that happened whilst living in Canterbury. 

My life was saved by a milk float.  That’s right people I owe my life to a milkman and his rickety old milk float. 

Let me set the scene…. It’s 3.30am I am wondering home with Maria McGilesinian.  We are lost.  So lost. We’ve recently moved house and we’ve not too familiar with the roads especially in the dark.  It’s late.  It’s cold.  It’s a dangerous world out there.  Especially for a shark like myself.  People often do not understand that I am a shark with a heart.  When I’m on dry land I cannot rely on my mermaids to protect me.  I thought I would never get home, we tried everything; rubbing a street lamp in the hope a genie might appear, clicking our shoes together chanting “there’s no place like home”, I dropped a penny on the floor in the hope it would bring me good luck, I even raided the bins for a chicken foot.  And then, just as I was about to engrave my will onto my fin and admit defeat, a milk float approached, it slowed down, the driver looked at us, smiled and asked if we were ok.  We explained how we were lost, very lost.  We gave our address and he chuckled to himself and said get on. I dread to think what would have happened had that milk float not appeared.  A world without McCruickshark just doesn’t bare thinking about.   So on we hopped to this nice milk float, he then drives…literally just round the corner….and there before us was our lovely new home with the nice black door.  A little embarrassed at how close we were, but still managed to nab ourselves two free bottles of milk.  We get inside, relieved to be in the warmth and rest our tired little feet, and I go to put the milk in the fridge… CRASH BANG WALLOP… that’s right I’d forgotten about that step into the kitchen and fallen flat on my face covered in milk.

From that day onwards whenever we went out we left a trail of bread crumbs just like Hansel and Gretel.  Worse case if the trail doesn’t lead us to our house least I get a house made of cakes and sweets.