8 articles Articles posted in Listography

Listography – Top 5 80’s and 90’s Game Shows

I’m feeling very honoured to be hosting Listography for Kate this week and I’ve chosen a topic which is very close to my heart. It’s no secret that I’m a massive nerd, but my geekery has been present even since my earliest days and as a child, I was never happier than when I was watching some sort of quiz show on the TV, testing my mental boundaries and picking up plenty of useless general knowledge along the way. So, in honour of a lifetime of game show watching, I give you my Top 5 80’s and 90’s Game Shows:



Watching BlockBusters is one of my earliest ever memories – I was definitely under the age of 5 when I used to watch this as I still lived with my Dad at the time, and I remember sitting in the kitchen, watching it on my Mum’s little portable TV. It used to frustrate the hell out of me if people chose illogical ways to get across the board and I remember thinking that if I ever got to go on BlockBusters when I was older, that I’d be really good on The Hot Spot. Bob Holness was my hero when I was little, like a kindly Grandad who fed me knowledge and I still miss that show, to this day.

Krypton Factor

Krypton FactorAh, Krypton Factor – the ultimate combination of brains and brawn! When I was little, my ambition was to join The Royal Air Force and become a pilot, and I genuinely think it stemmed from watching people use the flight simulator on The Krypton Factor. I loves the assault course round of the show too, it was always so exciting watching them swing across muddy pools on ropes – I vaguely remember feeling a real sense of peril watching them do that, although looking back now it was probably all very safe!

The Crystal Maze

The Crystal Maze

The Crystal Maze was always on TV around the time that I was supposed to be going to bed, so I used to put it on the TV in my bedroom as quietly as I could, and then sit with my hand on the button so that I could turn it off if I heard my parents coming. I was absolutely blown away by the set designs, which seemed so sophisticated to me when I was a kid (even though I’ve seen it again as an adult and they don’t look anywhere near as slick as I remembered) – my favourite ‘zone’ was either Aztec or Futuristic and I used to get SO cross that no-one seemed to do very well in the dome at the end. I also spent many years coveting one of those uniforms (obviously, I’d get the pink one…) and I far preferred it when Richard O’Brien presented it – Ed Tudor Pole just never did it for me.

Whose Line is it Anyway?

Whose Line is it Anyway? started as a radio programme before it came to British TV in 1988 and I think it’s where my love of comedy started – to this day, I adore so many of the comedians who starred on the show – Greg Proops, Stephen Fry, Tony Slattery, Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie – they’re all geniuses as far as I’m concerned. I also loved Josie Lawrence and found it so refreshing to see a woman on a show like this (see, I was a feminist at the age of 5!) – I was far too young to have been watching it, but I was allowed to watch TV late on a Friday night, which is when this was usually on. I was absolutely in awe  of their ability to ad-lib and be funny on-demand, and although it’s not a ‘points win prizes’ traditional quiz, it’s still one of my faves and has firmly paved the way for shows like 8 out of 10 cats that are so popular today.


Bullseye Jim Bowen

Bullseye ran from 1981 to 1995 and I remember watching it like it was yesterday. Jim Bowen was an awesome host, low-key but always there with a sarky comment when it was needed, and the premise of the game was so simple that it used to amaze me how people could be so crap at it! The prizes seemed out of this world to me (I caught a repeat on Challenge a few weeks ago and they gave away a caravan!), althought what I always coveted was a Bully statue and set of personalised Bullseye darts. It baffles me that someone managed to make a gameshow out of a game of darts, but it obviously worked as it ran for 14 years, and I bloody loved it!

There are so many more shows I could have mentioned (Catchphrase, anyone?) but I have to stop somewhere, so now it’s your turn. What game shows from the past do you love? Do you wish Bob would give you a ‘P’? Was Michael Barrymore more your cup of tea? Did Family Fortunes float your boat? Write your list and link up below.

Thanks again to Kate for allowing me to host Listography this week.

Listography – Top 5 Life Lessons

I’m totes excited to say that the wonderful Kate (and I’m not just saying that, she really is a super-duper top gal) at Kate Takes 5 has decided to bring back Listography, which is probably my favourite linky of all time. She may have been ever-so-slightly badgered into it by me and Carolin from Mummy Alarm, but I like to think of it as a case of active encouragement, rather than actual internet bullying *ahem*…

If you’ve never seen Listography before, there’s a great explanation of it all here, but without further ado, here are my Top 5 Life Lessons:

 Speak Your Mind or You’ll Never Be Happy

I grew up in a family of terminal subtexters – if there was a direct latin translation for “Never Say What Can Be Hinted At Instead”, that would be our family motto. It’s taken many, many years for me to realise that life is far fecking easier when people just say what they mean, instead of saying a passive-aggressive, close approximation of what they mean, coupled with some facial expressions, and hoping people understand what it is that they want. I’m still guilty of it at times, as my poor, beleaguered Husband will attest, but I am trying to be less internal with my communication and my life has improved for it, because if you never say what you want, you’ll never bloody get it.

Housework Will Always Be There

As you’ll probably know, I’m a self-proclaimed domestic failure. I have bugger-all interest in the majority of household tasks and I have to be prodded to get off of my butt and do things all the time. However, my main reasoning for that is that there are SO MANY more interesting and important things that I can spend my time doing. I don’t want to be one of those Mums who says “Yes, Sausage, we can go swimming, but just wait until Mummy’s steam-cleaned all the skirting boards and re-grouted the bathroom tiles” – I want to be the Mum who’s already got one arse-cheek into her cossie before Sausage has even finished asking, because the washing up will still be there but my chance to make Sausage’s childhood fun might not be.

Stop Eating When You’re Full

This one is quite personal, and again, if you’re a regular reader you’ll know that if food were a person with a Facebook page, my relationship with it would read ‘It’s Complicated’. However, if I could give ONE tip to anyone who’s struggled with their appetite, it’s that you need to stop eating when you’re full. I know that may seem like a no-brainer to a lot of people, but it’s not always the case if you’re a person who has food issues. In fact, if I could go one step further I’d say stop slightly before you feel full, because you probably are full, but your brain and belly haven’t quite synced up yet. I wish someone had told me this years ago and I could have saved a lot of issues with gastric reflux, saved myself a lot of money on Gaviscon and ultimately not had to have had so many cameras shoved into so many different orifices (dont ask…)


And by lots, I don’t mean Tolstoy, Hemingway and Shakespeare, I mean bloody anything. I’ve always loved reading but I don’t just read the books that people say you’re supposed to read and my brain and soul are all the richer for it. When I was a kid, I’d read literally anything I could get my hands on (which at times has even extended to sitting in the bath and reading the backs of every bottle in the bathroom) and now, as an adult, I love the escapism that a good book can provide. Obviously, the internet is full of awesome stuff to read; Husband recently introduced me to Reddit and if you can get past some of the odder subReddits, it’s a brilliant source of knowledge, humour and general fun-ness. I’ve been known to just sit and read random Wikipedia pages too, and it should go without saying that I love reading other people’s blogs. Yes, that might make me a bit of a nerd but knowledge is empowering and reading is the best way to absorb knowledge, even if it’s Mills and Boon.

Be Polite

This may be a case of me secretly trying to indoctrinate my readers, because rudeness is probably my single biggest bugbear, but the old saying that manners cost nothing is so true. You could be the most awesome person in the world, but if you lack basic manners, you’ll always give a bad account of yourself. Saying please and thank you is like a reflex to me; if I’m out in the car and I think that someone is parked, then drive on before realising that they were actually giving way, I feel bad all day – I’ve genuinely contemplated driving around the block just so I can thank someone properly! However, if you always remember to be polite, say your pleases and thank yous, be considerate, hold doors open, you may not always get the same amount of politeness in return but YOU will always come across well and you may just improve someones’ day by being the first person who’s shown them any human decency all week.

So, those are my Top 5 Life Lessons. What would yours be? Leave me a comment below and also head over to Kate’s blog to read the other entries.


Listography – Mugs

I have to say, when I saw this week’s Listography topic, I wasn’t too sure about it. Then I bothered to do the washing up looked in the cupboard and realised that we’re a family of hot drink drinkers (Husband likes anything herbal, Sausage has a penchant for Tick Tock Rooibos tea and I love a decaf instant or a macchiato from my beloved Tassimo machine). So, without futher ago, here’s the Mum’s the Word World of Mugs:

This mug may have been a freebie, but it reminds me of the fab time that I had at Cybermummy, meeting women who'd become my friends, learning from some fabulous speakers and getting bundles of lovely loot to take home with me!
This mug was bought for me by Husband, I like to think that he thinks of me as Wonder Woman (yeah...right...!) and it's a perfect size and thickness for drinking a nice cup of monkey tea from!
I bought this mug for Husband after I broke the previous version. It's artwork comes from the graphic novel 'Death Note', and luckily for me he liked this even more that the last one!
Sausage does love a cuppa and she bought this out of her birthday money when we took her to Colchester Zoo for her third birthday. It's a gorgeous mug but a total bugger to wash as it's all bumpy on the inside and the nooks and crannies get stained very easily.
I bought these mugs when I realised that we didn't have any decent ones to offer a hot drink to a guest. I got them from Wilkinsons and I think they're super cute. They only cost a pound each too, which is a bargain!

Hop over to Kate’s blog to see the rest of the entries.

Listography – Top Five Randoms

I’ve not done a Listography for a while, but this is one that I can definitely get on board with – top five random things that you like…the weirder the better. So, here’s a little snapshot that is the weirdness of me:

  1. When I eat a roast dinner, I like to eat it in ‘order’. I’ve done it my whole life, but I eat it based on what I like the least, first. So it usually goes: Brussels sprouts/cabbage, all other veg, Yorkshires, stuffing, meat. I genuinely don’t enjoy my meal unless I eat it in that order.
  2. Falling asleep on the sofa. I’ve always done it and my Mum used to nag me to go and get in bed (a job which Husband now fulfils) but for some reason I just love sleeping on the sofa. I sleep soundly there, especially if someone else is still awake and watching telly.
  3. Hearing Sausage swear. I’m sure this makes me a terrible mother, but on the very odd occasion that she’s tested the water and used a profane word, I find it properly hilarious. Plus, I think it shows great mental acuity when she uses them in context. (Don’t get me wrong, she always gets told not to say bad words, in fact it’s usually her saying “Mummy, don’t use that WORD!”)
  4. Accidentally on purpose wearing a similar outfit to Sausage. It used to happen by accident, but I must admit I do sometimes co-ordinate our outfits deliberately. I know, bat-shit crazy, right?
  5. Having my hair washed at the hairdressers. There’s just something so relaxing about someone else washing your hair for you.
So there you have it. Head over to Kate Takes 5 for more link ups.


Listography – My Pet Hates

As most of you know, I’ve been trying to wean myself off of memes lately, but the problem is, people keep coming up with some bloody good ones! This week, Kate Takes 5 asks us about our pet hates, and seeing as I’m one of those people who is a veritable bristling ball of peeves, so this one was too good to miss!

1. People Who Claim to Not Like a Food Without Having Tried it

To a certain extent I realise, especially with kids, that the first bite is with the eye, and if you genuinely can’t get over the look of something, it’s going to be hard to actually eat it. But when people, GROWN UP PEOPLE, say “I don’t like (insert food stuff here)” and you ask them if they’ve tried it and they SAY NO….HOW THE FUCK DO YOU KNOW IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT IF YOU’VE NEVER TRIED IT?!?!?! Idiocy. And ignorance.

2. People Who Invade My Personal Space

I am a very cuddly and tactile person, with my friends and family, and when you have a toddler and the worlds’ biggest lap dog, you tend to give up any standards you may once have had about maintaining personal space. But when it comes to other people, I want to constantly quote Johnny Castle; “This (……) is my dance space…”. Why do people feel the need to stand two inches away when there’s plenty of space around them? It’s not that I don’t like closeness, it more to do with the fact that standing next to an unknown can be like an olfactory assault. I don’t want to smell your aftershave/perfume/B.O./breath etc. Nor do I want to inspect your pores, feel the flecks of spit that come out when you talk, or be able to deduce what you have for lunch and brand of fucking pipe tobacco you use. This was all made so much worse when I was pregnant and had hideous morning sickness. A bloke I worked with had extremely poor personal hygiene, about three mouldy teeth in his head and smoked a pipe. He is the first person to ever make me actually properly vomit, just by being there.

3. Old People Who Drive Mobility Carts on the Pavement at about 100mph

One would think that, if it’s illegal to drive a vehicle on the pavement, that the law would extend to mobility scooters, especially when they’re being driven by octogenarians with macular degeneration and the reflexes of a three-toes sloth. But no, these half-blind maniacs are allowed to drive around, unrestricted, forcing unsuspecting pedestrians to have to dive out-of-the-way, while they zoom past without a care in the world. Now, my issue isn’t actually with the scooters or who drive them, per se, my issue is with how fast the poxy things go. If they’re made for use on the pavement, the should be restricted to only go as fast as walking pace. Anything faster turns them into a mechanised weapon. Fact.

4. Children’s Dough.

See previous post.

5. People Who Choose their Vices over their Kids

Let me elaborate. There’s this woman and her kid, who live near me. I used to see them walking to school as I was going to Caterpillar Music with Sausage, and I felt really sorry for them. She dresses in pretty dire clothes, that’s not me being a snob, or a fashion victim, she just looks like everything she wears is uncomfortable, ill-fitting and old. In the same vein, her child has unkempt hair, smells a little unsavoury and has the worst jack-ups going. I didn’t judge, I just thought that life must be tough for them. Then I saw her one day, after school, coming our of the shops with 60 fags and a bottle of cider, while her short-trousered kids scuttled along behind asking why can’t I have sweets? Only for Mummy dearest to shout that she doesn’t have any money….Err, but, you had money for fags and booze, lady? I then did another personal re-adjustment and thought “No, she may be running an errand for someone else, the cigarettes and alcohol may belong to someone else”. Until I came back out and walked past her, sitting in the park, smoking her fags and sharing her cider with her bunch of degenerate mates. (They must be degenerates, right? Four adults, sitting in a kids park, drinking?)

All pity for this woman went right out of the window at this point. Her poor kid was basically being singled out for bullying by his too-short trews and hygiene issues, all the while his selfish bitch of a mother is getting off of her face on cheap booze? Un-fucking-acceptable.

So, now you have a pretty detailed insight into what pushes my buttons, do with it what you will. Though if what you choose to do with it involves standing too close, telling me you don’t like olives, putting Play Doh in my carpet, neglecting your kids and then driving off at high speeds on an OAP chariot, expect a slap.

Hop over to Kate’s to see what grinds everyone else’s gears.


Listograpy: My Top 5 Films.

Okay, so this weeks Listography challenge is to list our top five favourite films, and I have to say that when I first saw this, I was going to give it a miss, as I knew I’d find it UNBELIEVABLY hard. But I gave it a go anyway. I’d just like to add one tiny disclaimer and say that, whilst these are my five favourites at the moment, the list is subject to change, and I would probably find it easier to do a top 100 films list.

True Romance

This is my favourite film, of all time, ever. This film has everything, the coolest leading man, a beautiful, but oh-so-sassy leading lady, one of the most amazing casts, an incredible score, a story line with drama, humour, violence, love, and just about every other twist and turn you could want. Also, I defy any woman to watch this film and not want to be Alabama Worley. If I could look that good in leopard print leggings and a bustier, I would be a seriously happy woman!

It’s All Gone Pete Tong

This film is ay-may-zing. Another one with an outstanding soundtrack, this is the story of Frankie Wilde, a DJ who begins to lose his hearing, and tracks his decent into his own personal hell, and then his rise from the ashes. Definitely an acquired taste, but if you’re into cocaine-induced hallucinations involving a murderous badger, amazing Balearic tunes and lines like “just thought you should know I shagged Twila, but its alright I just made love to her bum”, then you’ll love this one!

Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain

If you’ve never watched a film with subtitles, or have and didn’t enjoy it, I urge you to try again, starting with this film, or indeed any Jean-Pierre Jeunet film. The man turns cinema into something magical. Amelie is one of the quirkiest, sweetest, most immersive films that I have ever watched and is shot in the most striking way, with vivid colours accentuating the beauty of Paris. Watch this film. You will love it.


I never thought a disenfranchised Catholic with a penchant for poo-jokes would seriously challenge my perceptions of faith and religion, but Kevin Smith did, with ‘Dogma’. Another film with an incredible cast and an amazingly well written script, this film has renegade angels, a Golgothan (i.e. ‘shit monster’), Alanis Morissette as God and Alan Rickman in what was, in my opinion, one of his finest ever performances. This film will make you think, even if you don’t realise it!

It’s a Wonderful Life

I’d never seen this film until I met husband, but since he introduced me to it we’ve watched it every year, on Christmas Eve, and it’s become a firm favourite of mine. Jimmy Stewart is probably the best actor I’ve ever seen, and this film will have you laughing and crying, simultaneously, the whole way through. If ever you need a reminder of the goodness in people, watch this film. It will restore your faith in humanity and have you wishing you lived in Bedford Falls.


Listography – Five Kids Shows Which Make Me Want to Stick a Hot Poker in My Eyes and Ears.

It’s no secret that we allow Sausage to watch TV, and there are a few firm favourites which will always get airtime, shows like Peppa Pig, Waybuloo, In the Night Garden, Yo Gabba Gabba, ZingZillas, and best of all, Octonauts, to name but a few. But there are those shows which I find so desperately irritating, that I try to steer Sausage away from watching them, for the sake of my own sanity. Without further ado, here are my Top 5.

5. Dora the Explorer.

If I could meet Dora in real life, I would have just one question for her: “WHY ARE YOU FUCKING SHOUTING?!” Seriously, did nobody teach her about using her indoor voice? And if that wasn’t bad enough, the bi-lingual irritant then starts shouting at me in spanish. Not that I have a problem with spanish, but it’s bad enough when she shouts in a language that I can understand, let alone one I can’t. Do us a favour, Dora, take a fricking chill pill, find your internal volume control and ask your mate, the BackPack, to think of a less irritating song. Ta.

4. Show Me, Show Me.

If there’s one thing that is sure to make me despise a children’s TV show, it’s the wide-eyed patronisation of its viewers, the assumption that most kids are dribbling morons and only understand one-syllable words. Meet Chris and Pui. They fart around with stuffed animals for 30 minutes in their playroom (why do two grown ups have a playroom full of pre-school toys?) and treat your kid like a moron. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Pui was the actor inside Teletubby Po.

3. Mister Maker

Mister Maker is exactly the type of show I would have loved when I was a kid. As an adult, I despite Mister Maker and the whole premise of the show. Some fat cat at the BBC said “I know, let’s make a show which teaches children how to make rubbish, generic ‘art’, based on the assumption that every family has it in their budget to buy £50 of craft materials a week and saves every empty container that ever passes through the house. And to make it even better, we’ll front it with the worlds’ most irritating presenter. It’s sure to be a hit!” The bloke who plays Mister Maker, Phil Gallagher, appears to have gone to the Dustin Diamond school of acting, as his idea of being ‘down with the kids’ is to talk as though his voice is breaking and he has an unfortunate facial palsy.

2. Grandpa in my Pocket.

I can’t even begin to explain how ridiculous the premise of this show is. Basically, Grandpa, (played by James Bolam who, frankly, I thought would know better) lives with his Grandson, and owns a magical shrinking cap which allows him to shrink down and get into all sorts of magical scrapes, because as well as allowing him to shrink, this magical cap also allows him to turn ordinary toys into working vehicles. The other inhabitants of the village are generally involved, including Mr. Liker Biker, played by none other than Mister Maker himself, who acts as though he was dropped on his head as a baby, and an inventor who is clearly senile. It really is the worst kind of crap, and for some inexplicable reason, no one else must know about the shrinking cap, so every single poxy episode revolves around the irritating kids trying to cover up for his granddad.  YAWN.

1. The Bopps.

If it’s ageing musicians with no conversation skills your kids are after then tune into The Bopps. These ill-advised fuckwits, who inexplicably cannot talk, but have no trouble with singing (although I say no trouble, it’s no trouble if you like the sound of a bag of cats being swung against a wall) march around, getting themselves into minor scrapes wearing strange multicoloured satin versions of a  Beatles-esque uniform and singing songs which seemingly have no relation to any theme of the show. The female singer, who wears satin pedal pushers *shivers*, has a mouth like a cats bumhole from what has obviously been a long love affair with the fags and the other three look like geography teachers with the shittest hair you’ve ever seen. Even Sausage shouts “OH NO, NOT THE BOPPS” when it comes on telly.


I can’t let this post go without giving an honorable mention to the bedtime song on Nick Jr, The Jimmer Jammers. I won’t go into detail about the hideously off-key singing, the children who look strangely possessed, or the set which wouldn’t look wholely out of place in Beetlejuice, I’ll just let you see for yourself.

So there you have it, that’s my list, now it’s your turn, what makes your blood boil? For the rest of this weeks Listography entries, click on the link below.

Listography – 5 things I wish I could do.

This weeks Listography is being hosted over at Kate Takes 5, and she’s asking us to take a moment to think of all the things we wish we could do. This is a subject I could probably talk about for a fairly long time, as there is so much I still want to accomplish, but for now, here are five things from my list.

1. Write A Book

I thought I’d put the most predictable one first, as I’m sure most other bloggers feel the same, but this is a big one for me. I’ve had this urge to write for years, and though I can blog, I only seem to be able to write factually, for about 600 words at a time. Anything longer, or involving a plot, seems to elude me. I’m hoping for an epiphany one day, and when it hits, I’ll be able to sit at my laptop and let the words spew forth. Until then, I’m a blogger and frustrated author, taking it out on anyone who reads this!

2. Take Sausage To The Maldives

This may seem like an odd one to anyone who doesn’t know me, but Husband and I got married out there, and someone we met actually predicted the birth of our Daughter, to a scarily accurate degree! There’s also the fact that Sausage is absolutely obsessed with marine life, especially manta rays, and there is no better place on earth to see the underwater world than the Maldives.

3. Conquer My Fear Of Swimming Pools

This is a bit of an odd one. See, I have this fear of things that live in the sea, like a massively irrational fear, where if I’m in any body of water for too long, I get the heebeejeebies. So, whilst I enjoy swimming in a pool, and am a pretty good swimmer, I get scared. I also hate pools with any sort of pattern on the floor or sides, or even worse, ones with windows in the sides. But here’s where it gets weird. I’m actually not that scared of swimming in the sea…apart from that one time on holiday where a black tipped reef shark swam past me (okay, it was about 15 feet away) and I ran so fast that husband says I walked on water. But that was a one-off. I want to sort my fear out as swimming is great exercise, Sausage loves it, and a brand new olympic sized pool opened across the road from us, and I haven’t used it yet!

4 – Finish My Degree Before I’m 30

This may seem like an easy one, as I’m 26 now and most degrees take 3 years, but I’m doing distance learning through the Open University, which means that I’m not studying full-time, and am juggling it around, you know, having a life. It’s not the same as if I were at a university and going to classes every day. I’ve completed 2 courses in the last year, which has given me 75 points towards the final 360 needed, but sometimes it just feels as if I’ll never get to the end of it.

5 – Work Out What I Want To Be When I Grow Up.

When I started my degree, I had a really clear idea of what I wanted to do with it. My plan was to graduate, do my post-grad study and then go on to counsel families who’ve suffered a traumatic birth experience, and raise awareness for post-natal PTSD and other mental health conditions which are exacerbated by the feeling of loss of control during labour. These days, I’m not so sure. While I still feel passionate about the cause, and trying to lessen the risks associated with PNPTSD, I don’t know if I’m mentally strong enough to help others. I’ve been considering completing my studies and going into teaching as it will mean that I can have a career that will fit around Sausage when she starts school, but really, my heart isn’t in teaching, and I think it’s one of those professions that you should only go into if you’re passionate about it.

I wonder if there’s such thing as a careers advisor for a 26-year-old?!