Y is for Yoghurt. Or Yogurt.

…for our American readers.

Yoghurt is defined as, ‘A semi-solid sourish food prepared from milk fermented by added bacteria.’  Mmmm, tasty.  As well as being a fine fodder, it also has many other uses:

Bad joke alert!!!

Two cups of yogurt walk into a bar.  The bartender says, “We don’t serve your kind in here.”

One cup of yogurt says, “Why not? We’re cultured individuals.”

tumblr_n28vniSVtv1sl3jhqo1_1280

#atozchallenge #yoghurt #yogurt #Brooklyn 99

 

 

X is for Xenodochial etc

Today’s #atozchallenge explores the wonderful world of one of my favourite groups of people.

Xenodochial: Hospitable; kindly to strangers

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 08.50.21

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 08.52.47

Xanthippe: Ill-tempered woman

prunella-scales-2

Xenoglossia: Person’s knowledge of a language never studied

cf285340aabe84403fb184a67f45db62

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Xanthocomic: Yellow-haired

polly quote

Xenodochium: Building for the reception of strangers

blog-featureimage-flowerytwats

#Fawlty Towers All x-rated words from phrontistery.info

W is for Willies

Today’s #atozchallenge was going to be W is for Work. I started writing an amusing, yet insightful, post about work and all its difficulties – the stupid targets, ridiculous appraisals, having to deal with people who are total dicks, the wasted time when I could be doing something more productive, like writing blog posts or watching reruns of Castle – but then it became so whiny, weary and woeful that I had to stop for fear of losing those hardy readers that haven’t been scared off by the A-Z Challenge.

So instead you’ve got a bunch of Willies.  Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V is for Victoria Wood as Seen by Me

3600

I felt genuinely upset by the death of Victoria Wood last week. Other recent celebrity deaths, such as David Bowie or Ronnie Corbett, have also saddened me but Victoria’s shocked me. I think it’s because of how young she was and that she was regularly in my living room (via the TV, sadly not actually sitting on my sofa – or settee, as she would probably have said) growing up and so I felt like I knew her. Or at least I connected with her humour, her intelligence and her on-screen personality – and the fact that she wasn’t a skinny minny. I probably knew her better, or saw more of her, than many of my distant relatives, so when she died, it almost felt like a member of my extended family dying.

When someone we know, be it in person or a celebrity, dies, not only do we grieve for them, it reminds us of our own mortality. It makes us question our lives: ‘What am I doing? Have I achieved everything I want to? Or am I wasting my time?’

This really hit me when Prince also died last week. I wasn’t a huge Prince fan, although I liked all his 80s music, but I adored 1999. It was a huge song at parties when I was a teenager, when we’d scream out the lyrics, thinking how far away 1999 was and how successful and happy we’d be then. And now 1999 is 17 years in the past and life is moving so quickly and where does all the time go and WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!! (Sorry, yesterday’s post is still with me…)  I confess to shedding a little tear when 1999 came on the radio the day after Prince’s death.

We’ve gone through a boom time in the last twenty or thirty years, when TV, movies and music (and internet) have exploded, resulting in a lot more celebrities than in our parents’ or grandparents’ eras. But as we get older, we don’t tend to follow young music or know the names of young actors or Youtubers, so our body of celebrities that we know and love will keep getting smaller and smaller. And our outpouring of grief will probably continue to grow larger and larger as we feel the need to share our grief with others on social media.

For many people, this sharing of grief can help them deal with their own feelings; they want to feel that others are going through the same thing. Personally, I don’t need to read what other celebrities have said in 140 characters or less to know how I feel about someone’s death. In fact, it does sometimes feel like a race for celebs to get their vacuous and repetitive, ‘Wow, what a legend. The world is a poorer place today!’ tweets out there as quickly as possible for fear that the Daily Mail will run an article on how unfeeling they are.

360544_770_preview

Anyway, less of lesser celebs – back to Victoria.

Her clever and sublime way with words was easily on a par with Alan Bennett, beautifully observed and down to earth. I probably quote her at least once a month – I just have to hear the words Grouting, Woman’s Weekly or Hostess Trolley to burst into song, and I can’t say the name Kimberley unless it’s in a strong Northern accent. (I also do a pretty good Mrs Overall impersonation when drunk, which is improving with each passing year…) My husband still won’t eat prawns, thanks to Victoria, “Don’t have the prawns, they hang around sewage outlet pipes treading water with their mouths open.”

Quotes and songs have been all over the internet but here are some of my picks:

“I once went to one of those parties where everyone throws their car keys into the middle of the room. I don’t know who got my moped, but I drove that Peugeot for years.”

“People think I hate sex. I don’t. I just don’t like things that stop you seeing the television properly.”

“Jogging is for people who aren’t intelligent enough to watch television.”

“All my friends started getting boyfriends, but I didn’t want a boyfriend, I wanted a thirteen-colour biro.

She wrote some fabulous characters, such as Kitty, played by Patricia Routledge. Northern and proud of it, she speaks as she finds: “My three rules for a long life are regular exercise, hobbies and a complete avoidance of midget gems. I’m not one for dance classes, feeling if God had wanted us to wear leotards he would have painted us purple.”

But I think my favourite line was Victoria talking about the Pencil Test:

“They said that if you could hold a pencil under your boob, you needed a bra. Me, I could hold a whole branch of W.H. Smiths.”

I could relate to that, just as I could relate to Victoria’s warmth, wit and intellect, all of which seemed attainable for us ordinary folks.

wood

It seems appropriate to finish with a song.  Obviously it’s going to be Let’s Do It, but first, to say goodbye to Victoria, here are the poignant lyrics she wrote to the Dinnerladies theme tune.   Oh dear, this is going to set me off again…

Getting up, getting out, getting on, getting going,
Wears away at the dreams that you hold in your heart,
All the scared little choices you make without knowing,
Take away from the thing that you had at the start.

Day by day, drops of water wear the stone away,
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday…

All the dreams that you had when it all lay before you,
All the plans that you made, all the things you would do,
All the schemes that you knew time would bring to fruition,
Did they happen? Not so far, at least not to you.

Day by day, drops of water wear the stone away,
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday…

 

This is today’s post for the #atozchallenge.  Four to go…

U is for Urn

What’s a Greek urn?

About 1000 euros a month…

Yes, I know the picture is the yet another type of ‘Urn’, but it makes me laugh almost as much as when Top of the Pops showed a backdrop of darts champ Jocky Wilson to Dexy’s Midnight Runners song, ‘Jackie Wilson Said’.

I particularly like this sort of urn.

5-2L-ELECTRIC-TEA-URN-CATERING-URN-BAR-BOILER

I don’t like this sort of urn.

mth-551-a

And this sort of urn would just freak me out.

rings-of-time-hourglass-keepsake-urn-b81

The website says, “The Rings of Time Hourglass Keepsake Urn is a wonderful way to reflect on the sands of time and the time that you and your loved one shared.  The hourglass is the ultimate symbol of the passage of time.”

No shit, Sherlock.  Imagine using your loved ones to time your boiled eggs in the morning.  I’d just be thinking, ‘Mmm, soft boiled eggs…ready in two minutes…time is going so fast…where does the time go…I feel so old…WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!!’ before needing to go back to bed for a lie down.

Let’s return to this type of urn from those naughty Greeks to get all thoughts of death out of our heads.

slide_325098_3110946_free

S is for Scraping the Barrel – Photos from the Italian Lakes

I’ve put this post under S but, quite frankly, it could just as easily gone under R for Random or Running out of Ideas.  Anyway, photos from a fabulous trip to the Italian Lakes a couple of years ago.  Mainly Lake Garda and Lake Como – they’ve sort of merged into one in my mind now.  But it was all very beautiful and totally worth visiting.  #atozchallenge

View from Menaggio Promenade
Menaggio Promenade
Menaggio Promenade
Riva Del Garda
Riva Del Garda
Castle at Sirmione

 

Sirmione Harbour
Sirmione Harbour
Varenna
Garda Promenade
Duck