We all have one of these lists. No matter how much yoga you do and how much inner peace you think you’ve obtained, there will always be things that will get you ranting and raving. If you read the Daily Mail, you could probably fill a whole shelf worth of books on the things that get your goat.
If you’re vaguely observant, you’ll have noticed that the title of this blog ends with (part one). This is because there are a LOT of things that I would like to banish from planet earth. I can guarantee that another post like this one, will follow shortly.
I’d like to say this list will be full of things like war and hunger, and aged male TV presenters being paired up with younger, blonder females, but I feel I ought to stick within the realms of possibility. I’m sure many of you will disagree with at least some of the items on this list, but I guess you’ll see the error of your ways eventually.
1. Chuggers! Also known as Charity Muggers. These are people who loiter on our high streets, or appear at our doors, when we’re least expecting it. Yes, they’re collecting for charity but as most of them are working on commission and part of your donation will have to go towards paying that commission, I’m not exactly feeling charitable towards them. You should be able to tell them apart from actual lovely, volunteer type people by that vaguely bored expression, they all wear. When they talk, it sounds like they’re reading from a script they were given ten minutes previously. Chuggers make it to the top of my list, because a particularly bored looking, male example, rang my door bell and hammered on my door two nights ago. My children were asleep upstairs and I was eating dinner. When I mentioned the dinner eating activity to this man (pizza, seeing as how you ask), he just kept on talking. I eventually got rid of him but not before the temperature of my pizza had plummeted several degrees.
2. Fireworks! Never a popular thing to admit, but yes, I do hate fireworks. Standing out in the cold and getting a crick in my neck from staring up at the sky, is not my idea of fun.
3. Hen nights/weekends! When exactly did hen nights become hen weekends or hen ‘four days in Magaluf so the bridesmaids can pick up a nice case of genital warts before the wedding’? The quest to spend more and more money, and to travel further and further afield, seems to be a relatively modern phenomenon, and one which I’m at a complete loss to understand. I can proudly say I didn’t have a hen night. I am perfectly capable of finding the pub the other 364 days a year so I didn’t feel the need to make a special case for it, just because I was about to get hitched. I wouldn’t like to say all hen do’s are awful (as otherwise certain friends would no longer be friends) but on the whole, I’d have to say about 87% are a complete waste of time. I was reminded of my distaste for the tradition, when I was in Edinburgh last month. Walking through the city centre at three in the afternoon, a gathering of hens was spotted. Grandma hen, wearing a maxi dress and tan pop socks was straddling an ornamental cow outside the Caledonian Hotel. Bride hen was asking a complete stranger for money. How they were getting on by midnight, I didn’t dare to think.
4. Wildlife programmes! This is another one that people struggle to understand, but I really don’t like wildlife programmes. I have nothing against wildlife exactly (except for things that bite or sting) but some poor baby monkey or penguin, is always getting eaten, or killed, or left behind and that’s just not entertaining, is it? I know these things happen, I just don’t want to watch them happening.
5. Computer games! I don’t hate all computer games, but I’m basically bad at 97% of them. I will NOT persevere, so just fall at the first hurdle and then give up. Even Sonic the Hedgehog whipped my butt. The last computer game I ever felt comfortable with was ‘Fruit Machine’ for the Commodore 64 and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
6. Techonology! This closely follows on from the last point. The last time I had any kind of understanding of technology was 1988. Commodore 64 with that big tape recorder attached? Cool. Landline telephone? I could certainly dial one. Cassette tape Walkman? Yup. Anything else since then? Nope. Firstly, I’ve been late for every single technological breakthrough there’s been in the last twenty years. Didn’t get a mobile phone until 2000. Got my first CD player in 1997. First MP3 player in 2005. Secondly, I’m just rubbish at using them. I still prefer buying CD’s, because downloading music brings me out in a cold sweat. Downloading films? Never ever happened. Even getting this blog up and running had me diving for the vodka bottle. I don’t think it’s because I’m stupid. I have two degrees and a reasonably decent IQ, but I obviously just don’t have that technology button in my brain. If anybody else ever invented a time machine and then painstakingly explained to me how to use it, then I’d definitely head back to the 19th century and stay there.
7. People who say “I’m not racist but…”! First of all, you are racist. Second of all, you are racist.
8. Celebrity writers! People getting publishing deals because they are famous, rather than because they have a talent for writing, makes me want to throw large porcelain objects against a wall. Especially when so many good, non famous, writers can’t get published. Just think that if it weren’t for Bloomsbury, then J.K.Rowling may never have got a book deal. How many publishers rejected her work, because they wouldn’t take the time or effort to see how good she was? About a year ago I was listening to a celebrity talk about how he had been asked by a publisher to write a novel. He didn’t have an idea or anything, they just wanted to publish a novel with his name on it. For someone who loves books, this makes me very sad.
9. Commas! I’m rubbish at them. Why can’t I afford to pay some small, quiet person, to follow me along, inserting commas in my wake? Life would be so much more pleasant. (Laura, that one was for you.)
10. Long Goodbyes!