Thursday, 29 October 2009

halloween spirit

I've tried to get into the Halloween Spirit here, but I have to admit, it's pretty tough when you live in a country who basically IGNORES it. I went into town last weekend to buy some pumpkin and ghost cookie cutters, but all I could find were angels and hearts. WTF? Christmas is EVERYWHERE here and it isn't even November. Folks, this is why you need Halloween and Thanksgiving: to stop Christmas overkill (this coming from someone who (kinda) joked about getting a Christmas themed sleeve...).

So, throughout the month, R and I decided to try and watch some scary movies. We haven't been super successful, but definitely more than we would normally watched. So, in chronological order, our Hallween movie fest!

When Leashie was down for my birthday, we decided to get our first Halloween film. Not really Halloweeny, actually, but still fun. Well, Leashie sang along to every song and R fell asleep. But I had fun! But after this, R put his foot down, and we had to start watching scary movies. So next we moved on to:

I haven't seen this since I was about 14! Just as funny (and slightly spooky) as I remember. Definitely plenty of opportunities to shout at the characters for their sheer stupidity. ED 2 and Army of Darkness will be watched soon (I hope). By the way, did I ever mention how much I love Bruce Campbell? A LOT.

In keeping with our 70s retro theme, the next film on our list was:

I was surprised at how not scary this was. Normally, creepy kid = scary as hell (The Ring, anyone?) Definitely some spooky bits (the birthday party in particular), but pretty tame. I'd be curious to see the newer one.

After a wee break, we got back into our film watching, and our latest movie has been:

I have to admit, I've been a bit of a baby about this one. We showed it at the Cameo when I was working there, and I heard it was freaky as hell. I had no desire whatsoever to watch it. So when R suggested it (nay, selected it), I was not best pleased. In fact, it took over a week before I could watch it. I actually think the freakiest parts where the cave bits, rather than scary humanoid bits. Watching girls grapple with and stab flesh-eating monsters just isn't that scary. Getting trapped in a tightening tunnel with no means of escape? FREAKY DEAKY. So I'm glad I conquered my fears and watched it, because really, it was pretty tame.

Which leads me to...

Doesn't look too scary, does it? Well, how about this:

Remember what I said about scary children? Jeebus, it gives me the willies just looking at it. so we haven't actually seen this yet, because I'm too chicken. Maybe Friday night...

To distract R from super scary, we bought this last week:

I haven't seen it in years, and Gary Oldman is sexy as hell in it. Fingers crossed R will let me know wuss out and watch this tomorrow night instead...

We've also put up a few decorations, and plan on carving our pumpkins tonight. Pictures tomorrow!!!

What are you dressing up as for Saturday night?

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Mama needs a new pair of shoes

Last week, we had R's parents stay with us for a few nights. They do this every year, on their way home from France to Northern Ireland. They take the ferry over, stay with R's sister in the Isle of Wight, then with us in Brighton, then with his brother in London, and then make their way home. It's a nice little tradition.

On the Wednesday night, I made delicious leek and tattie soup, with homemade bread. YUM YUM YUM! I've really gotten into the habit of making soup from scratch and it's amazing. I followed up with chicken and bean soup on Friday when R was sick, too.

On Thursday, the parentals were super keen to do a pub quiz.

The one we normally do is on a Wednesday, at Zuma, so I went a-huntin' for a quiz on Thursday night. Hmmm, turns out there aren't many in Brighton. Luckily, I managed to find one in town, at a slightly shady looking pub, called the Chequers. We went for some greek food at a lovely restaurant called Estia, and then headed over about quarter to nine. Boy, has it heaving. We had to stand in the dark corner! It was actually really nice to branch out a bit and try a new quiz, just for a bit of change. We started off really well, with a perfect round, and kept doing good on each round. As he would mark about 2-3 rounds a time, you didn't actually know how well you were doing for big chunks at a time. We finally handed in our last 3 rounds, and were several points ahead at this point. But it was getting late, close to midnight, so we were tempted to head off. But the jackpot for the night was pretty big, as they do a roll over each week if it isn't won. So we decided to wait and see how we did.

Finally, we got our paper back, and we hadn't done that well. Made some silly mistakes. Oh well, we thought, it was a fun night. He started doing the scores, from lowest to highest, and turns out....we tied for first place! Holy moly!

So we had to do a tie breaker - the question was "In 1970, how many children in Britain were members of the Tufty club?"


R and I just looked at each other and said WTF. But! R's parents are teachers! So J leaned over and said, "In 1970, EVERY child in Britain was a member of the Tufty club - your school was automatically registered. Put 3 million." Hmmm, sounds a bit off to me, but what do I know?

So we handed over our answer, and waited to see....and the answer was 2 million, with the other team guessing only 300,000! WOOOOT WOOOOOT!

thanks Tufty

But it doesn't end there. Once you finally win, you still have to go through the gauntlet of...the draw. So I stepped up, and looked at the three straws - one for a bottle of wine, one for a case of beer and one for the jackpot - which hadn't been won in a month. I decided to go with the left one, for our 2 lefties (R and his mom). Everyone around me was chanting WINE WINE WINE WINE. I looked and.....

we won the friggin money! £132! Yippee! I haven't won that much money....ever? Brilliant! R (too?) generously put £20 behind the bar for the quiz master and bar staff, and off we went. We've decided to put the money aside for Christmas funds this year, which is such a relief.

Zuma just doesn't seem as exciting now....

Thursday, 8 October 2009

WTF post office?

Last week was my birthday, yippee! The big 25! So how excited was I when I came home on Friday afternoon and saw the postman had been by, and had a package for me! Even though it was addressed to K M----- rather than K S-----! As a recently married lady, I'm used to people assuming I've changed my name and using my husband's last name rather than mine. And I've changed my name in my head, anyway, just not on any important documents (can you tell where this is going?)

So on Monday, I grabbed my little red card, my ID, and a bill with mine and R's names on it, and went to work. At lunch, it was bucketing it down, but I was so excited for my birthday pressie, I trekked the mile to the depot to pick it up. I handed the man the aforementioned red card, ID and bill and said 'Can I please pick up my package?' The man looked very confused.

'This says K M----- but your ID says K S-----.'

'Ah yes, sir, I thought that might be a problem, as I'm recently married and often receive post in my husband's name. Luckily, I remembered to bring a bill with his name and our address!'

'But this says K M----- and your ID says K S-----.'

'Yes. I understand this. I am recently married and I haven't changed my name. But see this bill that shows a K S----- and a R M----- living at the same address, which matches the address on the package?'

'Don't you have ID that says K M-----?'

'No. Because my NAME is K S------.'

'I need ID that matches the package.'

'Yes, of course you do, BUT THAT'S NOT MY NAME SO I DON'T HAVE ID THAT SAYS IT. Please see, again, this bill, with a K and an M----- on it, at the same address.'

'Why don't you have ID with K M----?'

OH MY GOD. This went on for ages and ages. This old man could not fathom that a recently married woman might receive mail with a different last name, and REFUSED to hand over my birthday pressie. You see, they don't accept 'letter head' (funny, it looks like a BILL FOR MONEY to me), and as my ID didn't match the package, I was not getting nothing. A bill is good enough to open a bank account, but apparently isn't good enough for Royal Mail. Apparently, his job is to 'protect people's post', and insisted on redelivering the package.

'But I work. And won't be home. And will receive ANOTHER red card with K M----- on it. And I will have to come back to this depot to pick it up. And we will have this SAME IDIOTIC conversation again.'

So, he settled on sending it to my work address. Yes, you heard this right. He wouldn't GIVE me the package (to a possible thief) but he was willing to send it to a random address I gave him. So if I really had gone through this massive charade to pretend to be K M----- and steal her post, but luckily had this OBSTINATE man to protect it, I still would have succeeded in stealing her post.


The next day I hear Royal Mail is going on a pre-Christmas strike (way to get the people on your side!) and has lost their second largest customer, Amazon, in a £25mil contract. Are we starting the countdown to their demise? With service like this, I am not surprised. Again, WTF post office?