Friday, 17 February 2012

Why The English No Longer Have An Empire

Yes I Work With These People

*     *     *

Occasionally at work we would play the A To Z game, where you pick a theme and obviously list things alphabetically. Alcohol and Fruit were popular topics. Less popular was Countries, because someone would usually say Lapland or Hawaii and get me enraged... Here are some recent geographical comments that amuse me.

*     *     *

Girl: "Is Leeds in Leicestershire?"
Me: "No, it's in Yorkshire."
Girl: "What about Leicester?"
Me: "...Yes, that's probably in Leicestershire."
Girl (thinks): "Don't worry about me. I was just being mental."

*     *     *

Note on system: "Client is happy to travel to Derry area (Londonderry is in Derry)"

*     *     *

Girl: "How do you pronounce this place?"
shows slip of paper reading 'Worcs'
Me: "That's short for Worcestershire, as in the county."
Girl: "Oh. I don't think I've heard of that one."
Me: "I think it's quite small, so we don't hear about it a lot. Much like Monmouthshire."
Overhearing Disbeliever: "Monmouthshire?!"
Someone Else to Disbeliever: "Yeah, that is a county."

*     *     *

Board games night with friends -
Quizmaster: "Name one of the Channel Islands."
Contestant: "The Falkland Islands."

*     *     *

Work quizzes-
Quizmaster: "What's the capital of Tibet?"
Contestant: "Rome."

As always, thank you to my office spies.

I have a strange attachment...

I have a strange attachment to...

The Joiners in Southampton. It's the 'biggest' small music venue in this part of the world. A scuzzy, darkened room is where the bands strut their stuff. At the other end is a little bar area with flyers, zines, and posters of the big band who have played here before: Coldplay, Mystery Jets, Oasis. They have some art prints up of the big bands who have played, touchingly including local champions Delays, although I had to explain to some Londoners who they were. There are little stickers everywhere from over-excited street teamers and bands.

My not-so-secret relationship with the Joiners encompasses all these things:

* Going to gigs by myself

* Going to gigs with half a dozen close friends

* To see friends' bands (Dharma)

* To see bands I've never heard of (too many to list) - some awesome discoveries, some I still require smelling salts when I think of them

* To see bands I'm on the guestlist for (lots)

* To see bands I love and have seen more than once around the place (The Pigeon Detectives, Slow Club, Lost Campesinos!, Dananananaykroyd, Pulled Apart By Horses)

* Obtaining autographs after a show (The Pipettes, Kid Carpet)

* I may have even participated in a stage invasion, I've been in a few but can't remember where they all were

* Reviewing bands back in the days when I was 'journalist extraordinaire', (according to my friend Pete Plus One) for and mintsouth, making little notes on my phone

* Interviewing bands (see above) like The Twang, The Mules, Mexicolas

* Buying merch - t shirts (The Long Blondes, for my sister), vinyls (The Strange Death Of Liberal England, Band Of Skulls)

* Eating dinner with bands (Mexicolas... the PR didn't tell them I was coming and it was teatime, so they let me share their pasta)

* Street teaming for The Rifles and The Research. They were all lovely.

* Playing onstage with Dead Rabbits

* Once I lost my phone there :( Thankfully someone handed it in

* Have been into the 'secret' downstairs / backstage area. There is a squishy sofa and some wire netting

* Manning the merch stall... or rather, waiting for the real tour manager / band to take over after their wee break

Sights have included:

* Pulled Apart By Horses jumping off speaker stacks and into the crowd
* Sweet Baboo's saxophonist during Slow Club realising he was minus a piece of important equipment... cue lots of running around during song before being handed the item the last second before the saxy solo started
* People throwing beer at bands
* People trying to start a fist fight during The Holloways
* Flying beer, flying water
* Me and Peter Plus One wearing The Dead 60s stickers all over our faces
* Start of the UK smoking ban... chap lights up a cigarette, takes a puff and stamps it out. Repeat.
* DAMN GOOD bands eg Morning Runner, Band Of Skulls, and many others I love

This week I played onstage again with Dead Rabbits (I am their poor quality drummer and token female). We were meant to be mid-gig somewhere but ended up headlining... whoop!

So basically I have been there as a player, a punter and a volunteer. All I need to do now is man the door or work the sound desk, and I'll have the full set of Joiners Experiences.

I love you Joiners. I'll be back. Try and stop me...

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Bird Talk

Girl From Work: "They asked me to buy some whisky, a bottle of Famous Grouse. I know which one that is. It's the one with the peacock on the front."

Not Very Famous Grouse
Cocky Peacock. I think we reached the limit of my drawing ability some time ago.

There, there *pats head*

Famous Events

Girl from work: "What's the Super Bowl?"

Answer is clearly THIS.

It's bigger than a dinosaur.

I Hear What You're Saying, But...

From my delightful work colleagues:

"I don't really get overdrafts. I don't understand whose money it is, yours or the banks?"

*   *   *

"What does S.O.S stand for?"

*   *   *

"It was so busy, we were running around like headless flies."

*   *   *

"I'm having Cantonese curry tonight. It tastes like Chinese curry."

*   *   *

"Jack White... was he in the White Stripes? Do you think that's where they got the name from? Him and his sister."

My thoughts too, love.

What exactly is a 'smuglytte'?

The address of this blog is Smuglytte. Smuglytte is one of Moomin's Norsk friends. She is pretty and fluffy and scared of trolls. Here is a picture I drew:

Hei! Jeg heter Smuglytte. Hyggelig å hilse på deg!

I completely made that up. Actually 'smuglytte' is Norwegian for 'eavesdrop'. The literal translation appears to be 'secret listen'. (Or it should be. I may have picked the wrong word out the dictionary, but let's hope not). I try and learn Norwegian every five years or so, but never get terribly far due to a strange lack of conversational Scandinavian classes in Hampshire. I will try and post words I like in here though, so everyone can benefit from my newly-acquired wisdom.

My Dad always said to me...

"Engage brain before you engage your mouth!"

He would generally say this with some well-meaning but ill-placed hope, shortly before cuffing me around the head when I next said something useless. I was always being accused of living in 'My Little Pony Land', candyfloss dreams where the mouth used to happily canter away long before the grey matter caught up. Generally my family would assume I was foolish; thoughtless, chatterbox, nonsensical berk. I prefer to use the term 'quick-witted'.

Nowadays I think I have got the better of my brain. I see when it is forming a mischievous plan to make me look ridiculous, often by mispronouncing a word that I have no trouble spelling ('chauffeur' becomes 'shaffer'; 'VANtage' becomes 'van-TAAARGE') and so my lips clamp together in a cracked, nervous grin on a regular basis.

Others, however, have not yet developed control. It is these people this blog primarily sets out to find. The people whose mouths rule their brain, not the other way around. Without them, this site is nothing. People Who Say Things They Shouldn't (And Then Realise They Sound A Bit Daft), this is for you. I love all of you, though I do occasionally get the urge to hit you over the head with something, because you drive me insane.

I will also be posting joyful internet pictures that make me giggle, splendid photographs and maybe waffle on about stuff I like. I hope you enjoy.

Suzanne x