30 August 2006


I have stumbled across a miracle for the modern age. It is not of biblical proportions granted, but fairly miraculous nonetheless. It is of the male variety and goes by the name of 'Bean'.

(Of course if I do smuggle him into a cage type enclosure to parade around for paying spectators, in a scenario reminiscent of the all but extinct 'freak shows' - a derogotory phrase if ever I heard one, one person's freak is another person's treasure after all- which I fully intend to do in order to boost the old finances, I would perhaps need to come up with something a little more catchy for marketing purposes.)

This 'Bean' (and yes, the quotation marks are obligatory) is so named due to the fact that the only thing on this bountiful planet that this medical phenomenon consumes is beans. As in those that are baked.

Oh, and bread. Beans, bread, beer, and cake. With the odd tin of tomato soup thrown in for the necessary portion of fruit (or is it a veg?). No exaggeration. It has been so since he was weaned and will continue to be so for the rest of his days no doubt, especially as he is about to embark on the student way of life, which will only serve to encourage this miraculous diet. For him it will be as cheap as chips. Or should I say as cheap as a tin of beans.

This is no contained case either. There was the infamous boy who graced a few newspaper pages a year or two ago who had only ever eaten white processed bread and strawberry jam, yet was as fit as a fiddle. In your face Jamie Oliver. And of course, there is my own dear father who positively thrives on a diet of only Tunnocks caramel wafers (for, as he reminds us almost daily, they only make 4 million a week. I think this is supposed to justify the sheer amount consumed somehow). Who needs those five fictitious food groups when there is evidence that far fewer will suffice. It's surely a media created, neuroses causing, marketing ploy.

Far be it for me to comment, I am no one to cast judgement on the eating habits of others - anyone who has watched me devouring a Tunnocks tea cake (evidently it is the Kirks who keep Tunnocks in business) in my own unique way will agree that it is a marvel to behold - but surely not ever deviating from such supermarket staples is bizarre, monotonous, and frankly boring. I blame the addictive additives and e numbers, slowly mutating our genes so that the human race will eventually become entirely dependant on only one food type. At least the methane gas resulting from this pure diet of beans would solve the fuel crisis. We could just run everything on this limitless natural gas, also putting an end to feuds and wars over oil. Beans therefore could lead to world peace. Now that really would be a miracle.

22 August 2006

Update on the doooom situation

There is nothing like spending one's days in an enclosed space with a troop of nutcases and eccentrics (not of the mild persuasion) to lift one's spirits I always say. Therefore I am back on form, once again able to fight crime, rid the world of dastardly deeds, and eradicate evil. Though I'm less partial to the shirt ripping, kiss-curl, lycra fiasco that always seems to go hand in hand with superhero status. I am merely content with being referred to as the Sensational Saviour, using my perfectionist powers, ability to sense when cushions are not straight and radar for when glasses are not on coasters to right the world of its multitude of wrongs. Yes, Anna the Astonishing is well and truly returned.

20 August 2006


What a dismal day. Reasons for feeling all warm and happy inside: 1, that am immersing myself in a new book which is actually good for the entire day. Reasons for wanting to disappear into aforementioned book for entire day: numerous.
Oh yuk. It is raining. Raining in August. Raining on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of the summer holidays. Sunday afternoon being before Monday morning. Monday mornings being yuk.
Weekend which should have been fun not being fun. S mucked about with by Stupid Male Specimen of no brain (or heart for that matter) and unceremoniously disposed of. P treated very badly by Another Stupid Male Specimen causing her (and her supporters) to be very angry then her being very merciful and succumbing to tears, anguish, and disturbingly reminiscent pain. Me being A Crap Person and not being very good at the helping thing and feeling entirely surplus to requirements. The one all girl band playing at event where these scenes tragically played out being cringeworthy and an embarrassment, therefore rather depressing for the Hexham feminist movement. Finding out that (despite me resisting all competitive elements of exam results and actively despising all that carry on) the one person I really wanted to 'beat' did better than me. Realising that somebody doing better than me in a silly academic gauging of knowledge made me feel so wretched.
Knowing that things are changing and can't be like they used to be, i.e always solved with mugs of tea, cookies, and episodes of Friends.
Not a big fan of late August.
And so back to my book. Ever the escapist.

16 August 2006

Every Little Helps

Sipping green tea from mismatched mugs, perched on floral-cushioned wooden chairs of varying heights, this weeks post meditation session was being guided by the softly-spoken, chucklesome irishman Alan, intent on discovering our deepest fears and dreams over hobknobs.

As is customary, one by one we laid the burning issues and thoughts of the past week on the table (though being a Buddhist group this is played out with large, meaningful, significant pauses between each one, with nothing hurried, and endless thumb twiddling): still not being able to sell the house, increasingly uncomfortable backpain, a weekend trip to Scotland, waiting for the dreaded AS results (though that is another story, shudder), the usual day to day trivialities.

Then it came to Peter.

'Well, this week Bernadette and I have been mostly expressing our solidarity with the Archbishop of York in his fasting and praying for those involved in the conflict in the Middle East... We have been doing this by reducing our food intake* and chanting on the hour, every hour, every day. We chant the mantras 108 times, hoping to bring healing. I just can't imagine why more people aren't doing it.'

No Peter, me neither.

*Which seemed to comprise of Bernadette not having one of her usual two cups of tea a day. It is apparantly giving her a bit of a headache, poor love.

14 August 2006

Eulogy for a slug

Today is a day of mourning.

I feel guilt-ridden and wretched, and more than a little repulsed. In what shall be known as a slug of war: man v beast, I have unwittingly emerged the victor. All that remains of my unknowing adversary is a pathetic, moistly flaccid, slime splatter, gently oozing silvery phlegm and orange insides. Any buddhist aspirations go to the grave along with the poor little soul lured in by the damp and cold that is our pantry. Let us hope it will be happy in it's place of rest. Though I don't know how happy the rest of us will be with it hardening accusingly, fusing to the floor, every time we go and get some potatoes.

The least I can do is document it's last moments, immortalised in blog form. I think it would have appreciated that.

As I once again embarked on my tireless quest of consuming late-night confectionary during the advert break of Poirot (thereby giving me 3mins 27 secs to successfully brew up a mug of tea, retrieve box of marshmallowy goodness, and make it back to anna-imprinted sofa comfort before the bulging Belgian revealed all) my blood ran cold. Wetness seeped through sock and my heart sunk. In my haste to return to discover which extravagantly dressed dastardly member of the bourgoisie had plunged the knife into the victim, I myself had committed a murder. Thank goodness I was not barefoot. After having squelched the limp thing enough to cause it trauma and severe pain yet not enough to quite finish it off, it was flung from the underside of my foot in revolted panic, soppily thwacking on the cold, hard floor where it would end it's days. Not hesitating to see if it was alive or dead, the heartless murderess that I am ashamed to be dubbed proceeded to cause a bit of a commotion, mostly comprising of such bewails as 'EEEUUUUWWW!!'
Having got rid of the incriminating evidence (the slimy sock which was ripped from my foot immediately and unceremoniously chucked in washing basket), N came running down to see what drama had played out to cause such uproar. I replied nonchalantly that it was merely that an unfortunate slug had departed this world for the next. Then, once N was rectified and back in bed, I once again advanced on the wailing. Well it was quite unpleasant after all.

After the trauma of this episode I was verging on feeling myself once more when I ventured into the pantry this morning and in the cold light of day the slug corpse looked even more forlorn. The horror of the previous night came flooding back. I foresee this occurring every time supplies are needed from that fateful room. And so it should, the guilt felt being all I can offer that poor little defenceless creature. Which now looks like a congealed snot.

And all because the lady loves Tunnocks teacakes.

6 August 2006

All unpacked and ready to blog

To summarise...

The parents were mercilessly mocked (as ever, they are old and needed naps)
N was fashioned some dreadlocks (a new cause for obsession, but a cool one)
J received quite a shock (as he got his ear pierced, chavtastic)
The boys avoided sharks and crocs (as they surfed those narly waves)
I bought a super frock (with swishy skirt and everything, it's green)
Dad was close to going 'pop!' (due to awe inspiring amounts of cornish clotted cream and pasties)
Mum went all beach-blonde on top (complete with sun burnt parting)
N 'n' J were constantly in head locks (sibling rivalry in full flow)
Insults were thrown, including 'You c*ck!' (as well as things I couldn't possibly repeat)
Mum and I looked at rocks (sculpted by Barbara Hepworth dontcha know)
Ice cream was eaten quite a lot (of varying flavours and quality)
It became ridiculously hot (sunburn, sleep, and - being from the north east - surprise resulted)
A windbraker was bought, to my shock (words cannot express my hatred for them and all they represent)
Mum's face contorted into a knot (everytime the camera was pointed her way)
A multitude of views were shot ( for photos of varying success- some are real beauts though)
We all refused to join the flock (of southern yuppie sorts with their big cars and wholesome family healthiness)
I tried to resist all the shops (in favour of cool hippy-dippy stalls run by dudes)
We explored the legend of Arthur and Launcelot (at the breathtaking Tintagel castle and tacky souvenir shops)
The boys were left to run amock (on sand and sea, inexhaustibly)
All that I left there was a sock (pretty good going if you ask me, considering the amount we took)
Dad and I got stuck in a grid lock (on our return, whilst he explained the situation in Lebanon)

In short Cornwall positively rocked.