Archive of ‘Laughing at Life’ category
Warning: this post contains scenes of nudity (sadly only mental ones in my head) and saucy language. Only joking. It’s a bit rude. A lot. Not really. Ok it is. Sort of. There’s a mild amount of innuendo. By mild, I mean in every paragraph. If you’re a family member, don’t read it. And if you’re a friend, don’t look at me like that. #YoureAllAdults (NB Clearly, there are many Valentine’s gifts women want that I could have written about but these 13 ain’t bad.)
in which a bunch of famous über attractive men were the butt (pun fully intended) of the joke. It was just an excuse to be a bit silly, a lot naughty and laugh muchly. I’m glad to say people got it and chuckled along with me. By people I mean women (men were a bit taken aback but that’s just the whole ‘double standard’ thing kicking into gear if you ask me). Anyway, moving along swiftly before I start a gender riot…
Love it or hate it, Valentine’s is around the corner.
So I got to thinking about things women really want, you know:
- what they’d really love to have if they actually could have it
- things that don’t exist in the shops
- things that would be a tad illegal (and probably unaffordable) if you could buy them in a shop
- things you can’t stick a bow on (well actually come to think of it…)
Yes, by ‘things’ I mean men. [Oh no, she’s objectifying men. #SorryNotSorry] So here’s my gift to you: a wee piece of fun about yet more famous good looking men.
The ultimate list of naughty but nice Valentine’s gifts women want.
Ok, it is probably a huge assumption saying women want all these as we have different tastes. I’m no survey expert; just a married woman of
too long 15 years with a sense of humour And before you ask, no Channing Tatum – bleugh he makes my stomach turn and after seeing him in a certain film where he single-handedly saves America/the world armed with nothing but one gun and a string vest, double bleugh – is NOT in this. Nor is David Beckham (I’ll always love him but I never did get used to the voice)…despite the unanimous outcry over them not being included in the Housewife Confessions post. My blog, my men. I mean rules.
In order of hotness – oopsy daisy – surname:
1. Adam Canto
This guy has grown on me. Not like that! Stop it. I’m really trying not to start laughing already. I mean I like him a bit more with every Designated Survivor episode I watch. Chiselled jaw, dark eyes etc etc. I’ve not seen him in anything else but oh my…Adam Canto? I say Adam Can Oh… Valentine’s gift list? I should co co.
2. Josh Duhamel
Josh who? I was going to ask what happened to him after seeing him in just about every film in the late noughties but according to IMDB he’s still working in film and TV. WHO CARES? The main thing is there are still pictures of him on the interweb! Josh may not be posh but oh gosh…
3. Michael Fassbender
So not laughing at the last bit of his name, promise. This guy always strikes me as the thinking woman’s male hottie. Definitely more on the sophisticated side rather than the shirtless beefcake type (she said trying. very. hard. not to make vulgar beef-related jokes). A romantic dinner with this chap? Yes please. Just don’t order any beef dishes cos I’ll laugh.
4. Ioann Gruffud
I’m not even going to mention how long it took to track this guy down. You know why? Because I could not for the life of me remember his name and couldn’t exactly google ‘seriously hot Welsh Guy with the impossible name’. Frankly, I still can’t pronounce it (and I’m Indian for God’s sake, we invented difficult names!) Valentine’s gifts women want? Out of all the yumsters on here, THIS guy gets my vote…er and Richard…and Chris… Foursome anyone? Sadly I shall have to marry him in my dreams because 1) I’m already hitched 2) I couldn’t bear the utter frigging hell of spelling out an Indian first name and Welsh surname in real life.
5. Bear Grylls
I know. Not your typical pin up but there is something so wholesome? Real? Alright most ‘real’ people don’t go hanging off the side of a cliff or eating an unthinkable diet of insects. Rugged? Hmm that usually makes me think of the cowboy hat brigade rather than Bear’s rather public school self. Let’s go with ‘down to earth’. He has a certain charm. And let’s face it, when a man says “It’s x degrees fahrenheit, I’ve not eaten in days, I’m shivering because my sweat has frozen in the night air and I need to drink my urine to avoid dehydration” you know AT THE VERY LEAST this man is going to be more interesting company than cowboy hat man (even if the conversation occasionally makes you throw up in your own mouth).
6. Tom Hardy
Brooding, sexy, good looking – if not in the classic sense – and rather intimidating. Deserves a place on this list because…well basically he scares me and if I ever become a famous blogger, he may hunt me down and pin me to a wall (yes please) and demand to know why he wasn’t included. I have it on good authority that Mr Hardy is one of the Valentine’s gifts women want, really really want.
7. Hugh Jackman
Or Huge. Ackman. as he is known in our house. Inside joke. Well, more a joke made in the hit film Night at the Museum and heard by millions of viewers. Go on, I challenge you not to say it like that from now on. Ever since hearing it, I’ve laughed at the sight/mention of this actor. I’m well aware laughter is not the normal reaction most ladies have seeing him but an entirely different reaction altogether. Which is why he’s made the list. (Well that and the fact that if he walked into the room, I’d lose myself totally.) Valentine’s gifts women want rating? 8.
8. Jon Bon Jovi
I admit I’ve slipped him in here – if you’ll pardon the expression – even though alphabetically, he probably should have gone first. But I was a bit nervous about starting the post with someone who’s no spring chicken. There again, neither am I. Total coincidence that he’s next to another middle aged chappie. But man has this guy aged well or what?! ‘Chicks dig him.’ So do I. (Even though I admitted I’m no chick anymore. Now I’m just confused.)
9. Rob Lowe
Eeeww why is she putting another oldie in here? Firstly, careful, he’s only four years older than me, I’ll have you know (and I’ve just found out he’s a fellow Pisces yay!). Secondly, ‘oldie’ he may be but gorgeous he still is. I have no clue why I’m suddenly talking like Yoda. But I do know the other reason I’ve included him is (apart from the fact that he was probably THE best looking guy of the 80’s and STILL looks incredible) I just want to say ‘How Lowe can Rob can go?’ ba ha HAAA.
10. Richard Madden
I. Can’t. Breathe. It’s fitting he’s number 10 because I really would give him a 10. I’d give him something else too but this is a family show (so they tell me), so I’ll keep it clean. (Ish.) There is a lot I could say about Richard. A LOT. I could crack jokes about a certain nickname D**k. I could say how the very sight of him is too much to handle and is quite madden-ing. Get it? I could pretend I included this gif out of admiration for the craftsmanship that went into his outfit. #YoureNotLookingAtHisTopHalfEither But I won’t. I’ll simply leave you with the image, not the actual image (because no blogger wants to annoy Google) but the mental one of THAT bum in Game of Thrones, Red Wedding. Have you seen this man’s backside? Frankly that alone earns him a place in a list of great Valentine’s gifts women want. Two years later…I’m still a mess.
11. Chris Pine
One of the Valentine’s gifts women want. Or don’t… I reckon this guy polarises woman. You must have misheard me. I said polarises. No it’s not a ‘position’. I reckon women either think he’s the most handsome man ever or well…he just doesn’t do it for them. I’d have a hard time choosing between him and Ioann to be honest as I’m a huge Pine fan. Again stop making up your own jokes. The more films I see him in, the more I luuurrvve him and pine after him #WorstJokeEver
12. Ryan Reynolds
Now as you may recall, I mentioned Monsieur Reynolds’ namesake, Monsieur Gosling, in the Housewife Confessions post. To be honest, I hummed and hawed about including this particular Ryan. I’m in two minds about him because sometimes I think he’s a hottie and sometimes a nottie. He’s probably a bit too squeaky clean for some but I know he has a huge following among the ladeeees so he definitely needs to be listed as a Valentine’s gift. You know, one that you won’t be receiving. Sorry about that.
13. Chris Hemsworth
No I haven’t had a sudden alphabetical breakdown after listing everyone by surname. There’s a reason for leaving him til last. If you’re a regular Absolutely Prabulous follower, you may have already worked it out. Personally, I didn’t notice le Hemsworth for ages beyond hearing about him and his brother as a sort of joint package. I know, I really shouldn’t use the word ‘package’ in a post about attractive men. Then suddenly there he was in every film, shirtless, ripped muscles, cheeky smile etc. He’s constantly on those sexiest men lists, is easy on the eye and…
is famous for playing a character whose name sounds like the way you’d feel after going just one round with him:
My work here is done. (Mainly because I now need my blood pressure tablets.)
Update since publishing:
Ok, inevitably people who’ve read the post have pointed out some criminal oversights. I can’t believe – considering I only just watched his amazing speech for Tina Fey and the fact he stars in one of the loveliest films (Million Dollar Arm) – that I actually forgot the rugged what-you-see-is-what-you-get utter hunk that is Jon Hamm. Surely one of THE Valentine’s gifts women want? And no I wasn’t going to crack any smutty jokes about his name sounding like pork. (Because it’s not the right spelling. Phew.)
PS The mystery man name question has been answered thanks to Mum Muddling Through and of course this is none other than the yumster from Game of Thrones and The Other Woman, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Why on earth am I saying ‘of course’ like his name is as easy John Smith? What a blooming mouthful. I mean his name. His NAME is a mouthful! You lot are incorrigible. I give up.
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My family have known their fair share of Christmas disasters to be frank with you.
I think it’s just a given that most families actually do. I’m talking high drama and major meltdowns. Luckily, recent years have seen smoother festivities (which sadly I’ve missed due to celebrating Christmas here in Malta most of the time). The worst fiasco has been mince pie fails and over competitiveness at Christmas family game night.
So I got to thinking about pulling together a post featuring other people’s Christmas disasters, a sort of festive version of my #OopsFiles series.
The result, thanks to the bloggers who offered up their stories, is the following!
Last year we did a Christmas Eve box for the first time. During the day, my girls helped to build and decorate a gingerbread house. We saved it until the evening so we could show their Dad when he got home from work. When it came to settling down as a family that evening we got the Gingerbread house out and began to nibble. It wasn’t long before my youngest let out an almighty shriek and began to cry, holding her nose. In a flash, I realised what she had done – she had stuck a sugar ball decoration up her nose. Speaking to 111 at 6pm on Christmas Eve explaining that ‘my daughter has just put a sugar ball off the gingerbread house up her nose’ was such a surreal conversation. We were sent off to A&E, a 45 minute drive away, to get the little ball free. By the time we were seen the little ball had started to dissolve so we were sent home. It was so far from the cosy Christmas Eve box experience that we had imagined, and I don’t think we will be building gingerbread houses ever again!
One Christmas a couple of years ago, I bought my Grandmother a little gift set containing some homemade smellies; bath bombs, bath confetti, body moisturiser, that kind of thing. I also purchased her a pretty cupcake shaped soap, complete with soap textured icing and a little gingerbread man topper. Christmas Day arrived and I handed my Gran her gifts. I noticed the soapy icing had started to melt a bit so told my gran to be careful. S then proceeded to scoop up the melted ‘icing’ with her finger and proceeded to lick it off! My family were all in hoots of laughter as I shouted “You can’t eat it, it’s soap!” I understand the soap looked realistic but she’s never lived it down!
As a parent I tell many many lies to keep the magic of the big man in red alive. I want my kids to believe for as long as possible and shall be giving any children in the playground who deny father Christmas’s existence my best evil eye. I myself found out the truth on Christmas morning whilst unwrapping the gifts in my stocking. And it was my Mum that gave it away. My Dad kept nodding off and my Mum kept nudging him awake. Obviously irritated she snapped at him “I don’t know why you’re so tired, I did the stockings last night”. My mum vehemently denies this now, but little ears people. They hear everything!
My husband thinks he’s good at drawing. And in fairness when he is copying an image he’s pretty good. He’s been known to really impress the kids with a picture of Lightening McQueen. However without anything to copy and when under time pressure, he’s well, not so good. In fact he’s shit! The proof of this is easily seen in a festive family game of Pictionary. His drawing of what was supposed to be an airplane was so bad that his Grandma quite literally peed herself laughing. I’ve never seen her move so fast to get to the bathroom! It was a memorable game.
No one makes Roast potatoes as amazing as my Mum. We love to mimic her catch phrase at every Sunday dinner ‘Are those the best roast potatoes you’ve ever had? Do they make you say Mmmm?!’. Yes Mum.
Needless to say, her perfect Christmas dinners are on another level. The year the roast potatoes were cremated as she served Baileys to more unexpected guests, it just wasn’t going to do. My stepdad was sent to the garage for potatoes at 3pm on Christmas Day and we were told to have some cheese footballs while dinner was pushed back 2 hours. As we finally sat down to eat the feast and somewhat underdone potatoes, the prosecco was popped and we reassured Mum it looked incredible. As she reached for the pickled onions, her arm knocked the fizz over, soaking the table and flooding the dish of spuds.
Despite all giving nuveau cuisine a go, I can’t recommend prosecco potatoes. The cold burnt ones were retrieved from the kitchen and doused in hot gravy; Christmas was saved. To this day we remember ‘The Christmas with the potatoes’; always offering a drop of bubbly with the potatoes, which, yes Mum, are best I’ve ever had. Mmmmm.
1. A “certain someone” went out for Christmas drinks. He came home in the early hours and was completely drunk. He stumbled up the stairs and fell asleep, at the top of the stairs. His feet were dangling over the top step and his top half was on the top landing. I told him to get up and that he can’t sleep in our bed as the baby had woken up and was sleeping in our bed (didn’t want alcohol fumes over the newborn!). I wanted him to sleep downstairs. But, he must have forgotten that my mother was also staying over because he then got up and proceeded to go to the spare room (where my mum was sleeping) and he got into her bed, next to her! My mother jumped out of bed and then had to sleep on the sofa downstairs!
2. A “certain someone” I know, went out for a Christmas party on the 23rd December (the day before Christmas Eve). He came home in the early hours of Christmas Eve morning and proceeded to stumble around. He went to the bathroom to go to the toilet. He had a full bottle of whiskey in his hand (which he had received as a gift). Instead of putting the bottle down, he decided to put it in his pocket whilst going to the toilet. The bottle fell out of his pocket smashed through the toilet cistern and broke the toilet. Christmas Eve was then spent in a DIY shop buying a replacement toilet and frantically fitting it before everyone came for Christmas lunch! The bottle of whiskey was totally fine, not even a slight scratch!
Back in 2009 I’d not long moved to Gloucestershire and was looking forward to another ‘quick’ journey up the road to Scotland for Christmas. The weather was set to change the next day, but I’d be there for dinner with my parents. Hubby (then boyfriend) was flying up on Boxing Day so I was on my own. Singing along to Christmas tunes I didn’t care there were a few hold ups before the border. The weather was good. Then the snow hit. When I say hit, it came from no-where, blue sky, then, white snow bombarding me. I slowed a bit, expecting it to pass. Then, as quickly as it initially hit, I actually couldn’t see, I gradually slowed so I didn’t skid. Lorries had jack-knifed, cars had skidded: the M74 was shut. I sat in the car alone, just able to see other cars. All stuck, all snowed in until just after midnight. After over 6 hours, we started crawling. There were more close calls with cars skidding towards me, but I arrived at 1.30am. I was exhausted and relieved. Most of all, I didn’t need the toilet! So, my oops moment is trusting the the weather forecast. What idiot actually does that?!
So our Christmas disaster comes at a time pre-children, back when we could drink with merry abandonment, which is probably where it all went wrong! I’m a vegetarian and my husband isn’t. I always have a lovely mushroom strudel, and this year, as it was just him eating meat, he got a pheasant. All fine so far. He wanted to wrap it in bacon, but it wouldn’t stay on and we had no cocktail sticks so he reached for the next best thing; some corn on the cob holders. With sweet little plastic corns on the ends. Can you see where this is going? Bacon firmly skewered in, he popped it in the oven in a lidded pan to cook. When it was done, he lifted the lid to see long strings of bright yellow plastic. Yep, those cute little corns had totally melted!! His dinner was ruined and being Christmas Day nowhere was open. So I shared my strudel with him, but believe me, he was the saddest figure in a paper crown that day!! I’m still not sure he can see the funny side 10 years on!
Last Christmas was going to be magical. A Christmas at home, just the four of us. The kiddies had their usual pre-Christmas bugs which had cleared by the 23rd. I was super organised and by the evening of Christmas Eve utterly confident that the next day would go without a hitch… until about 9pm when I started to feel like I had been hit by truck. Cold, achy bones, headache. I took myself off to bed with some paracetamol hoping that when I woke I would feel better. No such luck. I made it through the opening of the presents in the morning, and even managed to put the turkey in the oven while hubs did the rest of the food prep. He had also started to feel a bit poorly at this point. When I took the turkey out of the oven I looked at it and burst into tears saying “I feel so ill, I just can’t face dinner” – hubs then admitted that neither could he too. But, the kiddies needed to eat, so between the two of us we managed to rustle up some ever so festive Fishfinger sandwiches. My son announced “This is the BEST Christmas dinner EVER!” and I cried some more.
One Christmas Eve, I thought I’d be a little ambitious and bake my very first Yule Log, based on a recipe from a Nigella Lawson book. It was the first Christmas at my in laws so I wanted to make a good impression. I spent a small fortune on posh ingredients and got to work. I went to assemble the super soft sponge and heavy icing concoction..and it all fell apart! Disheartened, I put it in the bin and spent another two hours mixing and baking. When the moment of truth arrived, the same thing happened again! My poor fiancé found me crying in the kitchen at midnight in a huge sulk. I haven’t attempted a Nigella recipe since and still feel sour when I see her on TV!
Several years ago before my brother and his wife were married, we spent Christmas at their house. And by ‘we’, I mean my whole family: siblings, partners, kids – and my mum…
On Christmas Eve we were enjoying a few drinks in the evening (kids in bed, obvs), and we decided to play Cranium – one of those board games where you have to act out a title/term/saying, etc. My poor sister-in-law was blessed/cursed (you decide) with an ‘action’ card and the words ‘sperm whale’. Do I have to spell the rest out for you?
Suffice to say, my intensely shy and ‘proper’ SIL did herself and our family proud – she secured her place as my brother’s wife during that momentous performance. Even my mum guessed the answer, because really, how could any of us fail to understand her very convincing gestures? It’s a rather special moment which has gone down in family history.
So how about you? What was your worst festive disaster?
So I recently launched the guest series #OopsFiles where bloggers share their embarrassing stories.
Several people have asked me if I’d share my own Oops moment. Crap! Only one? How I laughed. A single oops file? I mean, have they met me? So I got to thinking maybe I should do ten of the worst epic fails in my life. Then I realised some are so bad, I’d best not. So here are just four (which are bad enough!).
1) THE INDIAN GIRL, THE FRENCH GUY AND THE LANGUAGE BARRIER.
I spent my third year of unIversity in a small town in the French Alps. My grant took ages to arrive so I survived the first couple of months mainly on bread, cheap chocolate paste and milk powder. One day, I was salivating over the fruit and veg stall on a cobbled street when I spotted kiwi fruit. I hadn’t eaten one in years. A guy saw me staring at the high price tag and asked me if I liked kiwis; at this point in my life, my experience was limited to the fruit and didn’t include the people (I’m here all week folks). I said yes and he then kindly – oh Prabs, bless, it wasn’t kindness – told me that he had kiwi fruit in his apartment and asked if I’d like to come up and eat it. Stop it. I can HEAR what you’re thinking.
I happily said yes. And off I went. You know, with a total stranger. What a lovely generous guy; those nasty things everyone says about the French just aren’t true... I thought. It beggars belief really. For someone who grew up watching a lot of crime dramas, I sure hadn’t learned much. But then it wasn’t yet the era of Criminal Minds with its ‘young girls going missing’ (more Murder She Wrote with someone having their library card stolen era). Imagine my surprise when we got to his place and he didn’t whip out his fruits for me immediately, no pun intended (well just a little bit). Imagine his surprise when he realised I really did want kiwi fruit.
I’m actually cringing and praying my mum’s computer freezes if she tries to read this post. Heaven help me, if one of my daughters did this…I can’t even finish the sentence but the words cupboard and key spring to mind. In my defence, the academic French I’d learned for years was nothing like the real living language I was now immersed in. Yep, basically, I’m blaming my going off with a stranger to eat his ball-shaped fruits (told you I knew what you were thinking earlier) on a linguistic misunderstanding. By the way, to this day, I don’t buy them. I know they’re super healthy and all but..can’t…even.
P.S. The kiwis were delicious. Best I’ve ever had. (And I ran like hell after I’d had them.)
2) THAT’S MY NAME. DON’T WEAR IT OUT. (JUST SPELL IT RIGHT)
My parents gave me a traditional Indian name just like parents of their generation did. I guess Pam just wasn’t an option. (Anyway, the jury’s out on how short a name needs to be for people to pronounce it correctly: my kids all have four letter names…apparently they’re the wrong four letters.) Some of the variations on mine have included Project, Budgie, Fashgit, Trabjit, Crapshit and Pramkit. Spectacularly, our best (worst?) man even got it wrong on our wedding table plan. But the humdinger of them all (although what can be worse than that?) has to be…wait for it…Patrick. Now I know I used to be hairy when I was younger (as you’re about to find out) but come on, PATRICK? Are you kidding me?!
So I’ve spent my life spelling my name. Which brings me onto what happened when I was applying for university. It was the good old pre-Internet days so I was requesting brochures by phone. I was giving my name to yet another receptionist and was met with the usual “Oh dear, how do you write that?”. So I started spelling my name for the umpteenth time that day:
“Yes, P like Poland, R like Russia, A like Africa…” (I’m hopeless with the Alpha Bravo Charlie thing)”.
She couldn’t get her head round it. I tried another way:
“P like Pam, R like Robert, A like Andrew…” Still no joy. She was either having genuine difficulty or was hoping it would miraculously change to Pam if she held out long enough. By now, I was frustrated and finally resorted to basic vocabulary:
“Okay, P for pop, R for rip, A for act…”
A week later an envelope came through the letter box. As it dropped onto the door mat, I stared in disbelief. Yep…
It was addressed to Miss Pop.
3) THE TIME I TRIED TO MAKE
OUT FRIENDS WITH THE COLLEGE JOCK.
During my university years I was usually expected to go home on the weekends. One rare weekend, I stayed but typically all my good friends went home so I was at a loose end. So, I took a deep breath (like I am typing this) and plucked up the ‘now or never’ courage to go over to the room of the guy I really liked, (intimidating sporty type whom I’ll call Hot Guy) to see what he and his mates were up to (translation: see what Hot Guy was up to). Except when I got there, I was met with a What the hell is she doing here? death stare from his mate, who wouldn’t leave the room and appointed himself as spokesman whose main job was to get rid of me. He wasn’t the only one wondering what I was doing there; the second he spoke, even I thought What on earth am I doing?!
And what did Hot Guy do? Oh he just looked down the whole time and fumbled with his trainers, or whatever they were, in a desperate attempt to look like he wasn’t there (and probably imagine I wasn’t there either) hence the need for a spokesman. Not so hot. He would not look up and I was just frozen on the spot, barely able to think. I literally shuffled out of there, my tail between my legs. It was a long walk back to my room, my cheeks hot with humiliation, my pride dented and my already meagre self confidence in absolute tatters. I took years to get over the embarrassment; it is a genuine wonder I ever spoke to another man. No hilarious punchline here by the way. I guess the only punch is the one I wanted to give myself (and Hot Guy in hindsight) in the face. Ugh.
Last but mortifyingly not least:
4) THAT TIME A GIRL SHAMED ME (aka That’s NOT Where You Use a Razor!)
I’m sat at my school desk trying to concentrate on the fascinating explanation of the life cycle of an amoeba [sarcasm] when my friend starts throwing me sideways glances. For several minutes. I try to avoid making eye contact as I just know trouble is in store if I do.
“You haven’t have you?” she says.
“Haven’t what?” I reply.
“You did, didn’t you?”
Oh God, here we go…
“Oh no you idiot, man” (We might go to school in Harrow but we’re Wembley girls…everything ends in ‘man’ or ‘wicked’. Because. Classy.)
“Ha haaaaa! Oh my God you DID!”
Busted…don’t know how but I’m busted…it’s okay…keep calm…DENY EVERYTHING.
I’m wriggling uncomfortably with rising panic. I don’t actually know what’s coming but I know it’ll be bad because this damned girl just won’t let up with her knowing grin.
“You shaved it didn’t you?”
“Shaved what?!” I ask with a thin high-pitched voice as my eyes dart nervously.
“Your tash! YOU SHAVED IT!!”
Whole effing class turns round. What is WRONG with these girls? Can’t they just focus on the riveting amoeba explanation? I sheepishly admit that I indeed tried ‘handling’ the facial hair thing (thank you gods of puberty) with none other than a razor. Turns out, I’m the only female alive who has never heard of Jolen. Three students almost have to be carried out on stretchers, they’re catatonic with laughter.
As if my unintentionally entertaining the masses hasn’t been enough, the teacher asks the inevitable “Is there anything you’d like to share with the rest of the class, Prabs?”
“Sure, I was just saying how being 15, and Indian, are the gifts that keep on giving”
…was not the answer I gave.
WHAT ARE YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING OOPS MOMENTS?!
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IT’S NEVER THE DEATHS WE THINK WILL AFFECT US THAT ACTUALLY DO.
It’s not every day you decide to write a piece on blogging and find yourself writing something about a legendary rock star instead (slight deviation then). An icon, a genius, a musical giant, a reinventor, an idol, a megastar, a legend; a man who should have lived for absolutely ever.
I remember Jackson dying. Although I felt terribly sad because I was a huge fan and he was such a force, I wasn’t shocked; I think with him, you just knew his life would end too soon. In fact the only superstar’s death that really marked me was that of Elvis. (I found out he’d died whilst sweeping the floor of my parents’ shop as a kid, when I overheard a conversation between my mum and a customer. I was so upset she had not told me but in hindsight, if one of Musical M’s idols died after one too many burgers and a drugs-induced heart attack, I’d probably keep quiet too.) There are so many who have passed in recent years: Winehouse, Houston, Summers, Cash, Cocker, Kilmister (Lemmy) and more. Some of them no surprise, as they were tortured souls really. Others more of a shock, lost to illness after decades of greatness…but a shock that was assimilated quickly.
But Bowie…man…I thought he’d go on an on. Was sort of counting on him to outlive us all actually.
Last night, Nirvana’s version of the Man Who Sold The World was on…and I thought how ironic it was that Kurt Cobain died so young yet the man whose song he’d covered still lived on. And then…the morning of Jan 11th…oh gosh. He is/was one of those artists who dies and the whole world goes “You’re kidding…what are we supposed to do now?!”
I DIDN’T REALISE I FELT THAT WAY TIL I SAW MY SISTER’S TEXT RE HIS DEATH.
I was in the middle of a ridiculously busy day, up to my eyeballs in even more laundry than usual with a dozen other urgent jobs all vying for my attention, now the kids had finally gone back to school after the longest Christmas break ever. The message on my family’s Whatsapp group just floored me. I literally stood there immobile for a good few minutes (before the cloud of sadness descended and the shock set in), laundry detergent bottle in hand, almost unable to comprehend how Bowie was dead. Not the actual physical how of cancer but the abstract how. He was BOWIE! I thought he was invincible, immortal…he was just meant to live forever dammit. Then…the cloud of sadness and shock.
AND IN FACT SOME OF THAT SHOCK WAS OVER HOW SHOCKED I FELT.
Because, truth be told, I’ve not been wild about the music he turned out in recent years (I know #philistine); I was much keener on his earlier work (as you’ll see in a second). Plus it’s not like he’s been in my daily consciousness. But there is a hole now. I just thought, daft as it sounds, he’d always be there. As my friend Sabrina said
His face and voice [were] so familiar in every decade of my life that he seemed like a constant
I’ve actually been fighting back tears watching all the news footage. All the icons from my childhood…they’re slowly disappearing…and what an icon he was!
HE WAS AN ICON WHO INSPIRED his 70’s glam rock peers, young punks and the 80’s New Romantics (I may be talking out of my bottom…it’s been known to happen after all…but I can’t see Le Bon, Hadley and the rest having the guts to don those ‘frilly blouses’ and bandanas if Bowie hadn’t rocked a frock ten years before). An icon without whom one wonders if the Lennoxes, Madonnas, Pinks, Gagas or even Kanye (according to his tweet) would exist.
HE WAS THE GENIUS WHO TRANSFIXED me every time Sound and Vision came on the radio. I have a memory of a day trip down to Bognor I think it was; that classic on the radio and the smell of mum’s samosa’s taunting me from the picnic box beside me on the back seat. Aged seven I freakin’ loved that stonking intro; aged 27 (sssh I know the maths doesn’t work) I still do. I remember sitting on the beach eating those samosas, Sound and Vision on loop my head, while my parents’ Hindi film music blared out from a transister radio.
HE WAS THE MUSICAL GIANT WHO SURELY came out with one of the greatest songs ever (and my personal Bowie fave), Heroes. Amazingly, after today’s chores, I went power walking to clear my head and process the sadness (no that’s not the amazing bit). I hit shuffle on my iPod playlist and what came on first? Yep… Tune, man. One of my all time best memories is watching him (albeit on TV) perform it at Live Aid in1985; Hubster got to see the real thing.
HE WAS THE REINVENTOR WHO IS INEXTRICABLY LINKED with the first time my father was severely ill. Every time I hear Ashes to Ashes, I’m transported back to the floor of my parents’ lounge, looking after my sisters while Top of the Pops was on. I will forever associate the video with Dad being in hospital.
HE WAS THE IDOL WHO BLEW my mind with the unbelievable sound that was Let’s Dance. Yep, don’t care…die hard Bowie fans laugh away…I’m sure you were horrified but this was one of the sounds of 1983. And the drums in the intro? Aaaarrrrgggh TOOOOO good.
HE WAS THE LEGEND WHO HAD ME gawping and shrieking with delight at the video of Dancing in the Street which was aired for the first time around the world the day of Live Aid. To this day, Jagger has me doubled up at his crazy dancing but Bowie…it was the way he had his hands in his pockets while he danced for his entrance scene. Love love.
HE WAS A MEGASTAR who didn’t behave like a megastar (unlike some stars with half the fame) whom you kind of felt you knew though he actually lived a very private life.
He was the man who should have lived for absolutely ever. Because a world without Bowie…don’t even know how to finish that sentence.
Goodbye Mr David R Jones.
Yours truly gutted.
Featured image courtesy of Laura Hickman
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So a while ago, I came up with a Cocktail Menu specifically for mothers.
People related so much that I got to thinking it’s only logical I do something similar with regards to wines. Then recently, I saw an article by Life As a Rambling Redhead on a friend’s wall, joking about pairing real wines with our child’s behaviour. It seems that Mummy wine (well wines for parents cos dads have been known to drink too, although mummy wine has a ring to it) are becoming a parents’ survival mechanism. I mean, you can barely go a week on social media without ‘bumping into’ a wine meme such as this now legendary one:
So I reckon there is a real demand for wines made specially with parents in mind!
Don’t agree? How familiar does this sound?
Wouldn’t it be great if they made a mummy wine range, a vino for parents based on what we go through during the many stages of raising our kids?
Just think: entire vintages cultivated for those of us who have endured:
– the newborn sleepless nights phase
– the shock to the system that is breastfeeding
– the torture of toilet training
– the marathon otherwise known as the school years
– and dare I mention the obstacle course of the teenage years.
Alas, there is nothing on the market for those of us in the trenches otherwise known as parenthood. But fear not dear reader:
The Absolutely Prabulous Whinery (see what I did there?…oh the GENIUS) is coming to the rescue of wine-drinking parents everywhere.
Yes, I have been working hard to come up with a range of wines that does just this. Without further ado, I bring you, [trumpet fanfare, drumroll etc] 15 Wines They Should Make For Parents. So bottoms up (and pants down). There again it’s precisely that nonsense that got you into the situation where you need these wines in the first place. So on second thoughts, keep your pants on and just read the post.
The first three up are the New Parent Wines (or those still growing their young family):
Going Nuts, Sleep-Deprived Zombie and Weapons of Mass Distraction are fine choices that will help you survive those early years. Alright, it looks like I’m suggesting breastfeeding mums partake. I don’t know how that happened. I think I fell on the keyboard and accidentally photoshopped that one. Also, I may have embellished when I called them ‘fine’ choices. When you’re so sleep-starved that you could cry at the drop of a hat, can’t remember the last time your boobs didn’t hurt or leak and you’re waaaay past the point of caring if you smell of kiddie wee, Honey, you won’t CARE WHAT THE HELL KIND OF WINE you’re drinking. Vinegar? Sure, fill up my glass.
Next we have a selection suited to parents of toddlers who are at home or those in daycare or pre-school:
Just Shattered, Fraudster and Lost Identity are light-weight fruity wines. These three are perfect for the woman who realises her life has changed f-o-r-e-v-e-r and with it, her ability to drink more than one glass without falling over. Dads are more likely to handle more than one glass (sorry but it’s the truth). The exhausting baby phase might be over but the routine of daycare or preschool is a reality and crawling home at 4am after a night on the tiles is a distant memory. The desire to exercise is there but it never quite happens. And shopping for life’s luxuries such as fancy handbags and must-have cosmetics is no longer a priority and anyway it’s a total mission with little ones in the equation.
The range I spent the most time developing comprises six wines, for parents of school going children; and most closely matches the stage of parenthood I am in myself.
Mum’s Uniform, Parents’ Punishment and Scatty Mama are medium-bodied wines that suit the parent adjusting to a new routine now that their child has entered the school system. These go especially well with supervising homework (may I suggest a discreet plastic cup so that the budding student doesn’t suspect mummy or daddy is a lush), searching for that damned form again which was due in yesterday or simply relaxing (translation: slumping exhausted) on the sofa after kiddie bedtime…in those yoga pants you’ve been wearing all day.
Super Glue, Ugh and School Run are for parents who require something a little heavier. When getting them to school on time, running around the building trying to locate yet another lost pencil case/coat and spending the entire evening on a science presentation (that you’re pretty sure your child was meant to do) just gets a bit much, these go down nicely.
Last but not least, wines for parents of [inhale] preteens and teenagers [exhale].
Need. I. Say. More.
Looking for something with more body (translation: to knock you out)? Then may I suggest Floordrobe, Bankrupt and Denial? Robust and as full-bodied as they come,There again, there are simply not enough wines on earth to help anyone cope with that.
Let me speak to my people at the Absolutely Prabulous W
hinery about that.
Crap, there are no ‘my people’.
There is no Absolutely Prabulous W
These wines don’t exist.
Someone pass the vodka.
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Today was World Coffee Day and I only found out this morning listening to the radio.
So by the time you see this, it will be over but hey, no worries because you know what? Every day is coffee day in my world. Well alright, I try not to drink it every day and I’m not a several cups a day girl any more, unlike the city girl the staff of Coffee Republic and Starbucks got to know rather well at one point in pre children days.
Anyway, back to the topic of that wonderful warm delicious (when it’s made properly) drink coffee that literally makes my day. Now, I freely admit I’m really lucky to live where I do, where a stressy day can be alleviated a bit by by being able to do this:
But life isn’t all endless coffees by the sea and lying on a beach despite what my Instapics might tell you (although flipping heck even I was surprised looking at them because it does look like I actually live in a cafe).
Fact is, life is also never-ending laundry, smelly bins, stacking and unloading that damned dishwasher, broken down toilets that no plumber seems able to fix, flaking paint and a house that needs a serious do-over (or a stick of dynamite and no I didn’t really just put that in writing well alright I did), blocked drains, increasing amounts of homework, a kitchen that just never seems to be done (where’s that dynamite?), a blog to do list that is actually SO long that I’m wondering if I’ll ever get to the bottom of it, bills and bills, non-existent date nights and so much other personal crap, that I can feel my heart sink further as I write each word.
And frankly, through it all, I don’t know where I’d be without my good old faithful friend coffee. So I thought I’d take a moment to actually thank coffee in:
Thank you coffee, for saving me (and well, quite frankly, others) from myself because honestly there are days when this is true:
like today, for example, when I spent fifty minutes hunting for parking because of this:
Yep drivers can actually park in BETWEEN two spaces and not get ticketed!!
Thank you coffee, for saving my first time mother sanity, via get togethers at new mummy friends’ houses, during those first few years. Breast-feeding, weaning, sleepless nights etc…it would all have been so much harder without reassuring chats about our common experiences during coffee mornings.
Thank you coffee, for the phrase ‘coffee morning’! I mean where would we be without it? Sitting in some awful dark joint drinking water or over milky or stewed tea, that’s where.
Thank you coffee, for being there when I need some time alone. You stop me from looking like a Prabsy-no mates as I sit at a cafe, with just you for company. You silently listen, not judging me, (so sweet the way you don’t interrupt by the way) as I mutter and moan about my problems, literally into my coffee cup.
Thank you coffee for being so patient, never mocking me, while I evolved over the years:
– In the 70’s it was tea, tea, tea because…well…I is Indian. You want any more details? Call my mum.
– In the mid 80’s it was that instant stuff that I actually thought tasted good. To think I actually fell for those Nescafe adverts because I thought Paul Nicholas was cute and I just wanted him to kiss whats-her-face.
– In the late 80’s, I discovered cafe culture during my study year in France…the joy of asking for a ‘grand café crème’. Sigh of nostalgia. Oui merci.
In the 90’s, moving to Paris opened my eyes and I bought myself a coffee machine for my teeny tiny kitchen in my teeny tiny apartment. I was like a real adult with my coffee machine and paper filters and ground beans in those shiny foil packets (that I’d never even heard of growing up). And of course, hanging out in cafés was a regular thing.
– In the noughties, I went all Coffee Republic, Starbucks, Costa, Caffe Nero etc working in London. Frankly, sometimes during long office days, coffee was actually breakfast, lunch and dinner.
– And here we are in the (whatever they call this decade): I’m a mummy in need of caffeine.
Thank you coffee, for giving me the strength to actually face the day when I just want to hide under the covers and avoiding adulting.
Thank you coffee, for being a shared love with the people in my life. You’ve been a regular feature whenever one of my sisters has come to visit…the phrase ‘latte queens’ doesn’t just invent itself you know!
Thank you coffee, for giving me an excuse not to blog from home. I’ve always drunk tea at home and we don’t have a good coffee machine anyway. If I stay home to work, I end up doing housework. What to do? Get out of the house to a cafe where I can blog and get a coffee at the same time; simples. I’m pretty sure half my posts wouldn’t even get written if it weren’t for coffee-fuelled inspiration. I’d love to claim credit but ’twas the coffee.
The cafe office is a real thing people.
Thank you coffee, for warming me up over the years on many a cold afternoon while I’ve waited for a child to finish a sports activity.
Thank you coffee, for even being yummy when you’re cold…iced coffees save me in the long hot Maltese summer.
Last but not least, thank you coffee, for the laughs.
Now this is where it gets a bit difficult, coffee my old chum.
The thing is, I work on my blog most days and frankly there is only so much of you I can consume and so much time I can spend in cafes. On top of that, I finally got the chance to do something I’ve wanted to do ever since moving to Malta and go out on a boat recently.
Guess who I couldn’t stop thinking about for part of it? YOU, coffee! It was a fab day in fine company with yummy food and wine etc but I ‘lost’ part of it obsessing over the thought of needing you. I realised you’re not just my coping mechanism: I may possibly have a mild addiction to you. While my pals were downing wine, I had one or two glasses and then reeeeeallllyyyyy needed you. Oh, coffee, what have you done to me? I’m ruined.
And to be honest, you’re not exactly good for my health. So maybe I should drink more of this:
Please don’t get upset. We’ll still see each other, just not so regularly alright? And don’t take this the wrong way, but sometimes, I’ll need to drink um, the ‘other’ one…
I know you’ll understand. And seriously coffee, thank you for everything.
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I had a surreal dream the other night.
(impressive because I don’t usually dream) that I’m pretty sure featured some famous actor type in it. Nope I’m not going to share the details because a) having three kids has destroyed my brain and I can’t remember who he was (there are no words to describe how cheated I feel by this…NO words) b) even if I could remember the details, it would be just my luck that my mother or one of my kids’ teachers or that helpful lady at the bank who I probably shouldn’t have mentioned my blog to, would read this post and be slightly stunned by the revelation. Of course, knowing my dumb luck, nothing exciting even happened and he probably just changed my car’s tyre or told me where the washing powder aisle was at the supermarket (because only in dreams do weird things like that happen).
Anyway, my mind wandered a bit and I got to thinking about this motley crew.
Okay, perhaps my mind wandered a bit too far.. I am married after all. Married, in fact, to a man who trumps all of these guys (I have to say this because that nice lady at the bank might miss this post but HE won’t). It turns out, they’re no threat because the more I thought about it, the more I realised it just wouldn’t work out between me or any of them. No, it’s not because one of them’s young enough to be my son and one of them’s old enough be my dad. Or the small fact that they’re all screamingly famous so I wouldn’t stand a chance anyway. Stop coming up with your own theories, thank you very much Now, do you really want to know why? Of course you do!
So here are some confessions…
Warning: get the blood pressure tablets ready.
Oh Bradders. Why so orange? I’ll tell you why: Too much fricking fake tan. Silly boy.
You are THE man. But how can I put this? We’re from physiologically different origins. Basically, you’d hurt me.
Yeah, you’re gorgeous with that yummy accent of yours plus the fact that you’re a fellow Brit helps. But how I can I take you seriously, when you wear your underpants over your clothes, mon cher Henri?
First, you’re gay. Second, even if you weren’t, there’s no way I’m changing my name to Bomer. Because Boner. Sorry mate but I can’t keep a straight face over things that aren’t even half that funny.
Oh Adam ADAM! Of all the men in all the world… YES, YES, YES! I mean I just know you wrote Animals and Sugar for me, you lovely man. (Thanks awfully by the way.) But all those tattoos…I’d just get distracted and stop in the middle of ‘proceedings’ to read you.
Here’s the thing…I would. But you’re all loved up with that Eva. Now, I may be a strong Punjabi woman but man those Latina girls… I’m no match. All fiery temper and hypnotic wiggly hips. Nah. Not worth the headache, mate.
Once upon a time. Yes, defo. You could have been my very own Pirate of the Mediterranean. (See what I did there?). Now? You look like you need a shower JD.
I just have this weird feeling we’d never leave the house. Not because of non stop rabbit-like activity. But because you look so well groomed I don’t think you ever leave the bathroom much less the bedroom. Be a love and move along now.
Hey Jude (I know…me so original). Look I don’t blame you. It’s just that receding hairline. Now I admit my beloved Hubster hath no hair (what can I say…I think the stress of meeting me made it all fall out). But he was like that from early on so no surprises there. But you Jude on the other hand, YOU won me over in the 90’s and noughties with that full head of hair. Alas, now you’ve lived up to your name and it turns out you’re a proper JUDAS for letting it fall out, mate. Okay, so maybe I do blame you.
Because you’d break my heart. I’ve always known it. And besides, I’d fall asleep waiting for you to get out of that damned red metal suit thing judging by how many times it malfunctioned in Iron Man 3 (seriously man it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r ). Can’t. Deal.
You really do seem like a nice guy and all. But there’s just no room in my life for someone with that amount of hair product. NO ROOM you hear me? Plus I reckon I’m old enough to be your mum. #AintNoCougar
Not it’s not the most recent pic but it’s a good one ha ha. Have to admit I’m tempted because a) I want to relive that Jerry Maguire scene and tell you to show me the money (seriously show me the money right now) b) I’m RIDONKulously excited at the thought of not needing a step stool just to reach you as you’re barely taller than me. But that megawatt smile of yours. Soooo 80’s. Sooo over it.
Mr Neeson…oh Mr Neeson…honestly I’d love to. You’re a man’s man. That gravelly voice. Those brooding eyes. I love that. And that accent. Oh God help me.
But you see I’m… wait for it…
Drops mic. Exits stage left.
P.S. Please note Justin Timberlake and Dave Grohl have been omitted for a reason…I’m still clinging to hope.
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I was going to write a post about how nothing went right this week. I was going to moan about:
– How all my blog plans went out the window after a massive Google Drive file transfer issue and how the week just went from bad to worse as more tech shit hit the fan.
– How I feel down every time I walk into my house with its damp patches, walls that needs replastering / repainting, a storage room whose shelves are coming down, terraces that need doors…it’s a long list.
– My three supermarket trips where I had no coin for the trolley, realised my debit card was in the car after I’d placed the groceries on the conveyor belt, couldn’t return a large item as I didn’t have the receipt
– How coffee plans with a girlfriend went totally awry and I was actually on time for once etc.
Alright, there have been more serious problems this year. 2015 started with someone very close to me suffering severe almost catastrophic ill health, in April I suffered a personal trauma and at the time of writing, my husband and I can barely sleep due to further major stress. But no…I feel pathetic talking about any of that. Because right now, just over a year after I wrote When The Laughter Has to Stop about the Israel Palestine conflict, the kidnapped Nigerian girls and the India gang rapes, still my problems just seem like First. World. Problems.
My computer problems and crumbling house and other more serious issues are trivial at a time when we are witnessing tragedy involving the victims of the Syrian refugee crisis desperately trying to escape atrocities in their war torn home country. My worse-than-PMT-but-I-don’t-want-to-label-it-as-depression ‘syndrome’ pales into insignificance when
I think of that heartbreaking image of Aylan Kurdi washed up on a beach and realise that could have been my son, my daughters, me, my family.
I won’t lie. I hardly watch the news. It depresses me. If there isn’t some nutter gunning innocent people down somewhere, kids going missing all the time, journalists being taken hostage for just for doing their job, people dying in a freak airshow / amusement park accident, beheadings, there are harrowing stories of people having their entire life ripped apart and their families killed due to a war they never even asked for. Honestly? I just find it easier to not watch and blot it all out with a cappuccino in the sun. But the image of the little boy… I know he is not the first child to have died in this conflict but
I think his image is the one that finally made me and many others think ‘enough is enough’.
Abdullah Kurdi is left without a family, his wife and boys gone, the life he knew over forever. It’s unimagineable. And that little boy’s lifeless body… He looked almost peacefully asleep. Yet there is no peace in that image!! There is no peace in any of the images we’ve been seeing for months. Children are dying. Men and women are dying, making horrifically dangerous boat journeys because perilous as they are, they seem like the best option, the ONLY option for a chance of a life. Not necessarily a better life, a more privileged life, just some sort of life, A LIFE.
There have been almost 2,500 deaths in these sea crossings, (the impact felt here in Malta) and every time one of these boats sinks, I thank my lucky stars that by sheer geographical circumstancial luck, my family and I have not had to endure such horror. Finally, the other evening when I saw that picture the growing uneasiness I’ve been feeling for months hit its peak and I knew I had to something. I’ve given clothing, toys, baby equipment etc to organisations here but it feels limited. I started writing this post not sure what I wanted to achieve and the next day came across the #SaveSyriasChildren campaign initiated by some amazing bloggers I know.
How Can You Help the #SaveSyriasChildren campaign?
The #SaveSyriasChildren campaign aims to help raise awareness through a viral social media movement and of course make an actual physical difference through inspiring people to DONATE.
It is easy. Just do the following:
You can also check this list by the Independent on How You Can Help The Syrian Refugee Crisis.
I realise it is not easy for one country to take in thousands or to repatriate millions of people across different countries. I understand the argument involving the strain on resources, the concerns over “who bears the brunt financially”. I’m no economist or politician and I don’t have an answer but I DO KNOW it’s is not right when children are dying like this. Yes, one can’t take a simplistic view and there are usually decades of complex history and myriad layers of political reasons as to what is going on in any country and the war in Syria is no exception. Here is a summary of the situation if you want to know more.
However, I would simply appeal to people’s hearts and say watch this video, make a donation or help in any other way you can think of.
Innocent children are dying! Please don’t turn a blind eye. Help #SaveSyriasChildren
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Dave, Dave, Dave… He is too cool and too wise.
I only just came across these words by him from 2013:
Guy’s got a foo-king good point (sorry, I had to go there), even if his lingo’s a bit salty, no? (As if I needed another reason to love him.) I’m not totally dissing American Idol and all the others but…guy’s got a point.
So, Annie, Jenny, we need to start another Dave G fan club because frankly you can never have enough…because he is too cool and too wise.
I’m thinking rather exclusive membership: currently it’s the three of us but we might be convinced to let in others. Guys? Do we let in guys? Hmmm…what to do?
We’d sit around drinking beer. Well ok, you two on the beer, me on the wine (me and beer…it’s no use…I’m such a freakin’ girl).
We’d sing our Foo faves (please no air guitar tho).
We’d rave about how he is too cool and too wise.
We’d talk about what it would be like if he walked into the room like RIGHT NOW. Phrases such as “I’d be a drooling mess”, “wouldn’t remember my own name”, “I love u Dave”, “do you think he likes girls who drink wine?”, “what do you mean I’m hardly a girl anymore?” would be uttered.
Then we’d remember it’s the music that’s important. And we’d sing some more Foo faves.
Did I mention that he is too cool and too wise?
For Annie and Jenny.
[Thank you to CBGB OMFUG for the pic.]