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Don’t know what to call this post so I shall just name it Dave. Everyone knows a Dave right?

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At the weekend the Childerbeast and I went to an open day at Leeds Music College. Just for a look around, so the girls could get an idea of what courses are out there and get a glimpse at what Uni might be like.  Obviously, we only saw the good stuff. The music rooms, the academic bits. Not the aftermath of Freshers Week or a ‘left to the last minute’ dissertation, a month’s worth of washing etc. 

Not that I would know anything about those things of course. Not having ever been to Uni because I’m too daft.  Closest I got was doing my HLTA at Leeds Trinity a few years ago and that wasn’t even on campus and it only took 10 weeks.  

Eldest child doesn’t want to go to college in Leeds of course. She wants to put some distance between her and her embarrassing parents. And why shouldn’t she?
Youngest says she does want to stay in Leeds and live at home, but give her a couple more years and I bet she’ll change her mind.

The best part of the day out for me was finally visiting a Vietnamese Street Food place on Leeds Market. It’s run by a couple I know from school, who now send their children to my swim classes.  Can highly recommend it. Check it out Banh & Mee it’s called.

The downside of the day out was that it served to make me feel like I’ve wasted my life. That I am too thick to ever have gone to Uni. That my children are about to leave me, yet it doesn’t seem two minutes since I was changing their (eco-friendly) nappies and blending veggies for their lunch.  My best bet now at accomplishing anything of any use is to make sure they do go to Uni and escape, even if it means I am left alone with Bman and just Netflix for company.  I came over all melancholy on the bus journey home, looking in through people’s windows wondering what their lives were like. Did they feel that their lives had been successful? Did they have enough money for Christmas? What if all of this was a total nothing? What if we were all like those people who live in the head of a dandelion seed or whatever it is in ‘Horton Hears a Who’?

horton

We’re on there somewhere

Or those tiny dudes who live in a locker at the train station on ‘Men in Black’ worshipping a watch

mib

All hail K!

I know that in the grand scheme of things everything is bollocks, but what if it actually really is utter, total meaningless bollocks and we’re all just plodding along on the head of a cosmic dandelion seed waiting for death and that everything we have ever done and will ever do, is completely pointless?

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Meanwhile, while people frequent food banks and girls miss school due to not being able to afford sanitary products, the skies this weekend are ablast with fireworks ‘celebrating’ the fact that over 400 years ago a bunch of dudes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament.  Crikey, if we celebrated every time there had been a failed attempt at a terrorist attack at the heart of society, we’d be lighting fireworks 4 times a bloody week!

On that note, I’ll leave you so I can ponder how the hell I can afford to pay for Christmas – another celebration – this time of the birth of a man who may or may not have existed at all.

Don’t overthink things y’all. That shit will keep you up at night. I blame the thin veil at this time of year – don’t let the demons in man.

something-to-ponder-on_o_523068

Xx

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Who’s that knocking on your door?

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Our quest to check out the world of alternative worship continued earlier this week.

A midweek visit to the a local Spiritual Church.  What could go wrong?  Well… funny story.

My friend had been to these services before so warned me what to expect.  I was fully primed to hear a lot of vagueness along the lines of, “Does anyone here know someone called John?” or “Today is a good day to buy a green headscarf” – that type of thing.  But we had to get there first.

Saltaire spiritual church.  Off we went. Parked up. Crossed the road (looking both ways of course). Door ajar and in we went.  Mister on the very clinical looking Reception was on the phone. I was impressed at how smart it all looked in there.  However it was not to be. Mister told us the Spiritual Church hadn’t been at that address for about 2 years! No wonder it looked like a clinic. It probably was a clinic. There is a vasectomy clinic in Saltaire as it goes. I think that might have been it!

D’oh!

Bit of googling later and we found an alternative venue a few miles away, so off we went, hoping for the best.  The signs were all good, particularly when we passed this inspirational bush en route.

 

 We had time to kill, even after turning around to drive back past the Jesus bush so we could take this picture, so we had a toddle round Aldi and bought some chocolate.

My friend can’t eat nuts in the house due to her daughter’s allergy, so we sat in the car shovelling Whole Nut chocolate and staking out the Spiritual ‘church’ –  AKA a small cottage in the middle of Royston Vasey until it was time to go in.  We pretended to be Cagney & Lacey and then became convinced we were being watched while we were watching, (now they know that we know, that they know that we know). Like something from the Truman Show.  

They’re heeeeere!

We had a plan to try trip up the Mediums by sowing the seed of misinformation before the ‘open circle’ of messages from the beyond began, just to see if this affected any messages we may or may not receive.

whoopie

Meanwhile we were distracted by a van delivering props to the local Stage School. All kinds of backdrops and baskets of mysterious items.  I have to say they were lucky nothing went AWOL as they kept leaving the back of the van open as they trooped various props and whatnot across the road in front of us. I had my eye on a large backdrop of a stained glass window but I didn’t think it would fit in the car discreetly.

The time came for when this ‘open circle’ was meant to begin, so off we popped across the road to the house we’d been staking out. It all looked a little quiet but my friend rattled the door handle while I peered in through the window saying “It just looks like someone’s house”.  “It’s locked” says my friend. “Do you think it’s actually on tonight?”  It was at this point that we realised that it looked like someone’s house because it WAS someone’s house. So off we scuttled, laughing away down the road like the oldest players of Knockadoor Run ever, before the poor owner answered the door – disturbed from watching Corrie!

FFS!

We then decided to go into the local pub to see if they could help us.  That was a tumbleweed moment in itself.  Strangers in town and all that. We asked the whereabouts of the local Spiritual Church.  The barmaid referred us to Tony in the corner, who might know.  He did indeed and pointed us in the right direction, as his cohorts eyed us with a mixture of mistrust and derision. We didn’t help ourselves when we were in such a hurry to leave that we both got stuck in the doorframe together – bouncing off one another in our haste to escape.

Can I get another FFS please?

So we found the right place. We’d been parked on the wrong street. So now we were late.  Too late to put our plan into action because the show had already started.  We crept upstairs, hunched over trying to slink in unnoticed, Bit tricky as the stairs led right to the front of the open circle, right in front of this veranda thing where the Mediums were all seated as they waited their turn to ask out for anyone who might know a John.

Poker faces on, we took a seat and pretended like we’d been there the whole time.

Then it all went a bit Shirley Ghostman then when the youngest looking Medium sought out a lady on the front row and told her that her son was a growing lad and needed his own private time. He should therefore be left alone in his room to crack on with whatever it was he was doing in there that teenage boys liked to do so much.

(me whispering:) “Did she just tell that woman her dead mother watches her teenage son wanking?”

She then moved on to another lady who she said had recently had an operation. The lady agreed. Yes she had.  “You keep looking at them in the mirror  don’t you love?”  “Well let me tell you that they’re not as bad to look at as you think” (as she made cupping gestures towards her own chest).
WTF?
I maintained a straight face as I felt like I was on that episode of Phoenix Nights with Clinton Baptiste.

 

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Marjory?  Mary?  Miriam?  Mavis?  Maureen?

 

I’m not convinced that I was convinced by any of the vague messages from the eternal other side.  They were all a little vague for me. Even though some of them seemed to make sense to the recipients. Something about cats and walking though leaves.  The usual guff about a missing watch or a move.  A less than impressive “I’m getting told that your mother has recently passed?” to a woman with a tattoo reading MUM RIP 2016 on her shoulder.  Well done Derek Acorah – I could’ve told you that!

Despite sending out all the right vibes, I was not lucky enough to receive a vague message about a cat or a rabbit or that my cousin’s uncle’s mum’s budgie was now in a better place.

Maybe next time.  It was very entertaining so I’d definitely go again but perhaps get there on time.

🙂

 

Praise be

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In the spirit of investigative journalism and channeling our inner Louis Theroux, my ghosthunting pal and I went to church last night.

Not any old church. The Life Church no less.

We wanted to see what the buzz was and whether it smacked of the old Jim Jones Peoples’ Temple.

JJ

We were welcomed into the car park of the aircraft hangar-esque building by a young lass in a Hi-Vis vest waving some kind of glow stick at us, as loud music pumped out of speakers on the building.  It put me in mind of arriving at a festival at gate opening time. 

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We sat in the car a while trying to decide whether to use false names (Regina Falange style) or a suitable backstory if we were interrogated or had to register.  My pal started spluttering with laughter before we’d even got inside and had to pretend to rearrange her car boot in order to compose herself.

We strolled straight in. Could have been anyone packing anything! Socks full of semtex ready to blow the infidels to kingdom come. Not so much as a bag check or divine pat-down.
One of us got a high five from a lanyard-wearing greeter in a baseball cap, who was merrily dancing away in the doorway.  I would not have been surprised to hear a DisneyLand styl
e, “Hi. How many in your party today Maam?”

giphy

Welcome. Welcome. Join us on a FastPass to Jeebus

The foyer area was like a youth club.  Pool tables, people drinking coffee and greeting one another like they’d not seen each other for years.  We went through into the main auditorium . There were probably about 500 seats set out in rows. Each with a prayer form, an envelope for your donation (cash, cheques, direct debit, Standing orders all welcome – you could even pay on the app you could download to your phone or text an amount of your choice!)

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0QXJCOe

 

We took a seat somewhere in the middle. I moved the other side of my pal as I got scared at being too close to the aisle. I feared for being made to participate in some way, like at a pantomime or when the Woman in Black rustles up next to you, or at a performance of Cats when they crawl up the aisle and paw at your trouser leg.  There was a huge LED screen with a countdown to when the service was to begin.  The young musicians and singers took to the stage and the evening commenced, all filmed for live streaming on GodTube or whatever.  Lots of singing. Quality singing to be fair and good musicians (just with ‘jeebus loves you’ lyrics).

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To maintain our cover, we occasionally whooped and put our arms in the air, nodded vigorously and said things like “Awesome!” “Amen” and “That’s right!” (which was what everyone else was doing).
We got slightly alarmed when it came time for the One Minute Mingle and a giant stopwatch appeared on screen and everyone was encouraged to meet someone new.  Speed dating for the Lord as it were.  I panicked when approached by a lady who came down the aisle hugging people and I told her my real name instead of saying Bubbles DeVere or Marjory Daw or whatever.

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Like a rave – but with less class A drugs

FFS!  I was logged into the guest WiFi too so they’ve got me for sure now by the short and curlies.  Probably reading this as we speak and sending a black Sedan or a flatbed truck full of armed, dungaree-clad ‘communards’ to lurk outside my house or go through my bins for my bank statements.

Paranoid much?

We shared a furtive look when it came time for the collection. Armed with black buckets emblazoned with the word LIFE, helpers manned the aisles.  I realised that the auditorium doors were now shut and guarded.  The fire exit was manned and two men who hadn’t been there before had suddenly appeared, sat either side of me and my friend – the one on my side smelled funny and soon fell asleep (or did he? He may have been a stooge sent to listen in to see if our devotion was genuine).

We were penned in and I had no wallet nor any intention of donating even if I had.

Luckily my pal found 85p in her pocket so we maintained our cover a bit longer.

The pastor dude came on and did his bit.  What I took from it was that if your life is shit, it’s God’s will.  If your life is going well then that’s God’s will too.  Whatever happens – it’s the will of the Big Man and his big plan.  You shouldn’t sit with ‘mockers’ and ‘ridiculers’ and that, as we all know, the devil will make work for idle hands.

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The demographic was a lot younger and more diverse than I had imagined – which goes to show (just like the song) that You Never Can Tell.
Young and old were embracing the Lord and shouting Amen and holding their arms aloft and I won’t lie, I could see the appeal… and that’s what scared me the most. 

 I have raked about in some dark and creepy places in my time (usually with the same mate) 😀 but last night was probably the most afraid I’ve ever been on one of our investigations.
   One day you’re lost and lonely. You find a warm welcome and a new ‘family’ and before you know it you’ve handed over your passport and you’re on a one way ticket to the back of beyond with all the KoolAid you can drink.

I’m sure it’s nothing like as extreme,  and everybody was very friendly and seemed really happy (that’s possibly why I didn’t trust them, me being such a maudlin auld miseryguts).

😀

Doesn’t mean I’m going back.

So we left before we could be persuaded to partake of the free coffee for first timers, but we did have a gander in the gift shop on the way out.  You heard me. A motherfucking gift shop y’all!  Tee shirts, mugs, DVDs of the sermons, keyrings and a very wide selection of books – some of which I found quite alarming if I’m honest.

 

They didn’t sell the LIFE buckets, which was a shame. I would’ve liked one to use as a pisspot for when we go camping. It would appeal to my heretic nature. Because let’s face it, if I’m wrong and there is a heaven and hell, we all know I’m taking the down escalator!

😈😂

 Next stop – a local Spiritual church just to see what goes on there and then who knows?  Mosque, Gurdwara, Synagogue – bring it on in the name of scientific interest – because I have a mind as idle as my hands and we all know that Satan loves a lazy ass slacker.

Ciao Ciao MoFos and remember – Be yourself!

Xx

What I did on my holidays PT1

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I’ve been away from home a week and I’m not sure where to start, so I’ll begin with being mistaken (in hushed tones while being pointed at) as “Her off Eastenders” whilst on the train to Leeds.

My class last year used to call me ‘Janine’ so I’ll take being mistaken for Charlie Brooks….

It's posisble... in a certain light

but privately I’m worried that it was one of the following:-

               

Until a hilarious friend suggested that it could have even been The Hev!

Please let it not have been Heather

I guess I will never know….

Didn’t take long after arrival in the Boro to be greeted by a convincing persuasive argument for compulsory sterilisation at birth and the issue of hair conditioner on the NHS!

         Pramfaced Lonsdale tracky wearing genetic throwbacks, cackling over their Regal Diddies and Effing & Jeffing infront of their kids in the middle of the street.  Quality parenting! 

A long time ago a friend of mine visited the Boro and decreed my hometown as a place  where (& I’m paraphrasing) “people wear knock-off perfumes and aftershaves but are too dumb to know the difference from their Hugo Boss and their Huge Bros“.  I took quite against this sweeping statement at the time in defence of the Motherland, but now I think I must concur.  With the obvious exception of my esteemed friends who still live in the town (and there are some). Personally I believe them to be on a secret mission by M15 to keep the flag of wisdom, common sense and class aloft and do their utmost to bail out the detritus. May the force be with you my friends and good luck in the quest, you’re doing a grand job!

 

I actually made an effort and went out on Friday night and after a while didn’t even feel like the oldest swinger in town when the Silver Fox Posse came into the bar we were in.  Rotary Club night out perhaps, or Crown Green Bowling Annual ‘do’.  We let them have our seats as we were leaving to go to The Merchant.  Fortunately the band had almost finished playing when we got there,  so we didn’t have to listen to the usual U2 medley or everything seeming to morph into the ‘Irish Rover’ after a few bars.  There was an inordinately long version of ‘Hey Jude’ but then it was all over and we could hear ourselves think once more.  Wine helped to dull the senses.

At this point I could insert some wildly libellous tale of what one of my friends got up to when we went back to the original bar, because he can’t remember… so all I shall say is this: “You were fantastic and us 3 ladies and the Crown Green Bowling posse were all mightily impressed with your performance – though I doubt we’ll be allowed back in Mist ever again”.

🙂

Got home at a reasonable hour without getting cheesy chips or falling over or losing anything or breaking anything or going on a mission anywhere, so therein lies another sign of getting old….  What happened to the old adage of Life Beginning at 40? 

Had a float around town again on Saturday afternoon without childerbeast, who were busy looking at Octopuses at the Sealife Centre with Grandma.      Didn’t go out Saturday night, but instead stayed home and watched ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ with the MiL and the Childer.   Thankfully this week there was the requisite dancing doggy act, so staying home wasn’t a total loss.  I think BGT are missing a trick though.  What I’m looking for, and I’m sure Her Maj is aswell for her Jubilee Royal Variety… is a cat act. 

I’m thinking a cat in a little Ben Hur style chariot, dressed as Boudica (Boudicat?) pulled by parrots in Roman Centurian helmets and armour…. possibly even on a tightrope? 

I’d pay to see that.  That’s the kind of talent that gets 6,000,000 hits on YouTube my friend.

What we need here Barry is a cat & a couple of Centurian helmets

 

Can I just say that I wasn’t staying in on a Saturday night in the Boro because the Friday had been so bad or that I didn’t have any other friends to play out with.  Oh no.  I was on a mission from God and needed my sleepytime…

       In a senseless moment of something or other I had agreed to join the MiL at her annual ‘Rising of the Son’ Easter Sunday get up at fuckmeoclock in the morning and go down the beach and watch the sunrise whilst listening to the Easter Story, annual shizzle!  “Halleluah! Praise the Lord. Holy Shit. Where’s the Tylenol!”

0440hrs I got out of bed on Sunday morning!  The childerbeast were all up for it until the hour came and then the tears started.  I was already washed & dressed by then so they were doing this shit whether they liked it or not – besides there was promise of a fried breakfast at the end of it.

I have to say that the last time I was on the beach to watch the sunrise I hadn’t had to get up and go and see it.  I was on my way home from a club.  Quite why I was on the seafront, nowhere near the club or the place I was staying is another matter.  Fuctifino!   I do know that amphetemines were part of the equation and that as I sat on the sand smoking a fag and watching the sun rise over the horizon, that the Old Bill pulled up to see what I was up to, so I hastily buried the remains of my substantial bag of billy in the sand. 

I apologise profusely to the parents of whichever child found the bag (because I couldn’t find it again once the Dibble had left!)  Or possibly a Kittiwake or Herring Gull somewhere found it and was last seen circling the castle and Marine Drive at the speed of sound!   

But that was back in 1993.  2012 was a little more sedate.  Hymns were sung (but not by me) and in lieu of tambourines to shake, we were given chocolate, smartie filled rabbits from Aldi.   I shit you not!

Praise Jesus. Shake your bunny

I showed my appreciation for the almighty, thus…

 

Sunrise was poor to be honest.  Drizzle and cloud spoiled it.

 

The sound of the waves drowned out most of the sermon... pity...

 

Cracking veggie fry up afterwards at the former amusingly named Cafe Del Mar (cos Ibiza it aint!)  Now renamed  The Watermark Cafe  and an opportunity to take an iconic photo of a sign which never fails to put a smile on my lips, for reasons also dating back to the early 1990’s

Got home at 0700 in time for childerbeast to do an egg hunt and catch a major haul. 

Ripped to the tits on Creme Eggs they decided that rather than get into bed with me and sleep, they would get into bed with me and watch ‘Mama Mia’ on DVD.   Jesus friggin H Christ indeed!!

It’s a little known fact (the church edited this part out of the bible for legal reasons) that at Golgotha, JC was given the option of either Crucifixion OR having to watch ‘Mama Mia’….   we know what his ultimate choice was in the end, and I have to say that I’d have been right there with him, feverishly hammering nails through my own wrists into the bloody cross and willing myself to die and for the misery to end.   FFS!

 

Next stop Chester and I’ll get to that, tomorrow.  Right now I’m sick of typing and my own bed is calling me…