Blog of the Day: Shank You Very Much

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Meet Heather!

Heather is the creator of Shank You Very Much. I like her About page (and the adorable picture of her dog!).

I am a person filled with sarcasm and it makes its appearance at the most inopportune times. I’ve been likened to a Seinfeld character, which is unsurprising since that show literally shaped my childhood. Every Thursday through the late eighties and early nineties, you knew where to find me. Continue reading

Bridezilla

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I’m not going to even start looking at anything until the summer holidays.’

This was what I said about a week ago when one of my friends asked me whether The Bloke and I had set a date.

What a load of nonsense – if I could go back and slap myself, I would. I blame Pinterest – I created a secret board five days ago when I had a sleepless night and I’ve already got about 150 pins of ideas that I like.

It’s only been eight days since The Bloke popped the question, and I’ve got the whole thing planned. For me, I’ve always wanted a small, inexpensive wedding day, with the important part being the ceremony itself, followed by an amazing honeymoon to remember, which we know we can ask for help with from our guests instead of setting up a registry. I’m not one of those brides who has dreamed of walking down the aisle in a designer gown, particularly when it’s only going to be worn once and then shoved in a box in the wardrobe. I’m not bothered about tradition or pomp and circumstance. It’s about us.

Despite this, I know where and when it will happen (I’ve already spoken to the venue to check that they are available and will cater for what we want) the dress I’ll be wearing, invitations, colour scheme, flowers, bridesmaids dresses (I’ve asked my sisters – which is amazing because this is not something I would have done two years ago), favors, cake… Money is going to be tight, and we’re paying for it ourselves, so I’ve already found ways to save on the cost by mentally calling in some favours with some creative and crafty friends. Continue reading

Penis Balloons

I’m slightly concerned about the search engine terms I’ll receive after this, but I couldn’t resist…

I have two house cats that are getting quite old. One of them has Type 1 diabetes, and needs twice daily insulin injections to make sure that her blood sugars are regulated. Consequently, whenever I go away, I need someone to administer her medication, as putting her in a cattery would be too stressful. Luckily, I have a wonderful friend who looks after them for me, and she very kindly agreed to be on cat-sitting duty while The Bloke and I went to Scotland for a week.

All week, she’s been sending me pics via Facebook messenger to ease my worry on how they were. As we were driving back, she sent me a message to ask what time we would arrive home. It was an exhausting trip, and The Bloke and I were incredibly relieved to be back.

We opened the front door and walked in to this… Continue reading

‘What I Shoped’ – Unusual (and Baffling) Search Engine Terms

imageSEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is a big thing in the blogging world, and I’ve read a number of posts about how to use it to increase traffic to the blog. Over the last few years I have started to get a large amount of referrals from search engines, and I love seeing the sorts of things that people have typed in and stumbled across my blog as a result.

Some, I can explain, because I know that a few of my posts are on the first page of Google. For my post ‘23 Things You Should Do Before You’re 23,‘ which still remains as one of my most popular, I often receive things like ‘things to do before 23,’ or ‘What should I do before my 23rd?’. For ‘Nine Things That We Don’t Owe Anyone,’ I get terms like ‘I don’t owe you,’ or ‘things I shouldn’t owe people.’ Recently, with the ‘Trigglypuff‘ saga taking the internet by storm, I have received lots of terms with Trigglypuff mentioned.

However, it’s becoming more frequent that I am finding sentences that make me wonder what on earth I have been writing over the last three years. I’ve always considered this blog to be at a PG rating, with only one or two references made to adult content. However, it’s clear that a large amount of my search terms are focused on these references, so at this point I’d like to warn you that the content of the rest of this post may get a little rude… You may wish to read some of it peeking out through your fingers. Or avoid eating…
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Things I Wish I Had Learned in School

imageA while ago, I created a list all the useless things that I learned during my school years. This prompted a number of conversations with friends about what we felt we should actually have learned all those years ago that would be relevant to our present lives. Of course, financial insights into mortgages, loans and interest rates were at the top of our lists, but after a while the inevitable silliness took over. Here are some of the best:

1. How to work my bedroom blinds. I made the wrong decision at university – instead of a music degree my time would have been better spent learning how to pull my blinds up without them being uneven or falling back down again. They’re the bane of my life.

2. How to stop spending my money on useless crap. Even now, despite attempting to be much more frugal with my earnings, I can still leave the house with £30 in my purse and return with no money, nothing to show for it and no knowledge of how I have spent it.

3. How to fix a photocopier. The photocopier at work is the most complicated piece of machinery I have ever used. It contains so many components and parts I suspect that it was secretly designed by NASA, and it clearly has a grudge against me. I could be watching it for several minutes while the person before me does 50 copies, but the minute I put my paper in it shuts down and has a tantrum. I follow the instructions carefully to locate where the paper jam is, only to discover that there is no paper anywhere to be seen. I’ve heard of dog and horse whisperers, does this mean there are photocopier whisperers? Continue reading

I Went, I Shopped, I Bought Stuff…

imageAfter yesterday’s nonsense I decided that the only thing for it was to take myself off into town and have a shop. I’m going to a wedding on Saturday and needed a dress. At least, that’s what I was telling myself.

Now, while I can easily spend hours browsing through make-up and beauty products, I’m not exactly a patient person when it comes to shopping for clothes for a number of reasons:

1. Over the last five years I’ve put on quite a large amount of weight, which means that I now have a big ass to go with the large hips that all the women in my family have inherited from my grandmother, so finding something that a/ is in my size and b/ is flattering to my pear shape is quite difficult.

2. If I do actually find something, it’s inevitable that I can’t afford it.

3. I don’t particularly make an effort to look my best when I’m trudging around, so it’s a frequent occurrence that shop assistants are rude and unhelpful (make-up assistants at a very well known brand are particularly awful in my experience) and it’s not uncommon for me to be followed by some sort of security guard who has clearly made the assumption that I’m going to steal something and is waiting to pounce on me. Continue reading

Rabbiting Numpties on the Train

imageI sometimes think that my mindset hasn’t changed since I was eighteen. I certainly don’t feel any different than I did back then – my body is slightly larger than it was and I have more responsibilities, but I don’t feel out of place or older in any way…

That is, until I sit on a train and have to listen to a group of twenty year-old boys talk about their weekend.

It’s Mother’s Day here in the UK, so I’m currently travelling up north to go and spend the day with mum and the family. We left it a bit late to book a restaurant, so my sister and I are cooking at her flat, which works out perfectly because she has a four month-old pug puppy, Dougal, who can’t be left on his own for very long. Continue reading

Acts That Would Be a Better Entry for Eurovision 2016

I love Eurovision. It’s one of the highlights of my year, behind Christmas and the start of the summer holidays, and The Bloke and I make a big deal of getting in the snacky treats and alcohol and generally having a laugh at the nonsense that is spewed out each year.

Tonight we watched the #EurovisionYouDecide, the contest in which the UK votes for their favourite to represent us in the competition. The winners were ‘Joe and Jake,’ former contestants from vocal talent show ‘The Voice,’ who, while they seemed like nice people, the song wasn’t offensive (and nothing could be more offensive that the god-awful sh*t show we put forward last year) and they could sing in tune, they were lacking in what my mother refers to as ‘oomph’ – that power and presence that makes people want to stand up and yell YEEEEAAAAH when the song has finished. It was vanilla ice-cream, without the vanilla. And they were the best of a ‘meh’ bunch.

For me, Eurovision has not been a rewarding experience over the last nineteen years. We’ve tried everything, including the boyband (Blue), the world famous crooner (Englebert Humperdink), we’ve even shoved Bonnie Tyler on stage in a desperate attempt to get back into Europe’s favour. Continue reading

Why I Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Speak in Public

imageAs a teacher I can quite happily talk in front of large groups of children without feeling fazed at all, but the mere thought of having to speak in front of adults makes me shudder. Quite simply, I genuinely don’t care what the kids think of me, but I’m very intimidated by the judgements of people of my own age.

As a result, my experiences of public presentations are littered with embarrassments. There was the time when I asked a group of parents to ‘feel free to take a sh*t’ instead of ‘seat,’ the time I forgot where the fire escapes were at the beginning of a concert and effectively pointed to a large window during my audience welcome, and let’s not forget the time I was asked to give some flowers to a prominent conductor on behalf of the orchestra I was playing in, only to drop them off the side of the stage on my way up to hand them to him. This meant I had to walk all the way round to the bottom in front of the audience and give them to him from the floor. Continue reading

Quick and Easy Nutella Brownie Cake

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Those of you who follow me on Pinterest may have noticed the amount of things I regularly re-pin on my ‘Desserts’ board. In fact, I can quite easily spend hours salivating over beautiful recipes, making a promise to myself that one day, I would actually bother to try them.

Unfortunately, I’m no Nigella, and while I can cook the basics, baking has never been something I have been particularly successful with. The Bloke, however, thoroughly enjoys it and our cupboards are filled with various trays and things that I have no idea what they do…

That is, until I discovered a recipe for brownies that used only three ingredients – a jar of Nutella (which I can eat just with a spoon), eggs and flour. Bargain. However, as I was following the recipe I found that my own attempts looked nothing like the pictures, so I added my own additional ingredient.

Thirty minutes later, I discovered that my ‘brownies’ had in fact turned into the most beautiful sponge I had ever made. Light, fluffy, gorgeous… Even The Bloke was impressed when I proudly presented him with a large piece, smothered in more Nutella and topped with mini-marshmallows and chopped hazelnuts.

I’ve since tried it twice more, and each time I get the same result, so I thought I’d share it with you. Continue reading