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People say life is the thing, but I prefer reading*

I guess this means this is a mommy blog now?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Soo, blog. How the hell are ya? Feeling a tad neglected perhaps?

It's been nearly five years since I had a public breakdown over 52p in Sainsbury's. I've been keeping myself busy.

We moved house. Then we moved house again.

We had a baby. Then we had another baby.

I've spent the last three years changing nappies, watching CBeebies, shovelling food into the mouths of small children and desperately seeking opportunities for naps.

But now the fog of sleep deprivation is lifting, and I thought I'd try and do something to prevent my brain from completely turning to mush. So back to my little old blog I come, to see if I can still string a sentence together. If I manage to increase my posting frequency to more than once every five years, I might consider reinventing myself with a new, themed, blog.

It's going ok so far, but it's 9.40pm and, as I'm incapable of staying awake past 10pm these days, the old grey matter is starting to struggle a bit now if I'm honest.

Let's see, shall we?

[signs off for another 5 years]

How To Use Sainsburys Self Service Check-out

Monday, December 14, 2009

Step 1

Assess the queue at the main till, and weigh this against the number of items in your basket (3).

Step 2

Decide that scanning three items at the Self Service check-out can't possibly take longer than waiting in that queue and, with a frisson of trepidation, make your way to the Self-Service lane.

Step 3

Press Start.

Step 4

Remember the last time you used Self Service (when you were charged 5p for a bag to put one Fudge bar in). Select 'I am using my own bags'.

Step 5

Place your purple spotty shopping bag in the bagging area, as directed, so that the machine can 'verify your bag'.

Step 6

Become confused when machine cannot verify your bag. Wonder if perhaps the bag is an existential oddity, that appears only to you because you want it to be there.

Step 7

Decide to ponder this question at a later date.

Step 8

Push some buttons to try and force the machine to verify your bag. It's purple and spotty, how can it not be verified?

Step 9

Take a great sigh of relief when the machine appears to give up on verifying your bag, and allows you to continue.

Step 10

Realise that it's probably charging you 5p for a bright orange Sainsburys turtle-killer. Realise that you no longer care about the turtles.*

Step 11

Scan first item.

Step 12

Place item in your bag.

Step 13

Heave another sigh of relief, and allow yourself to start believing it's going to work this time.

Step 14

Scan second item.

Step 15

Cry, as the machine bellows 'unexpected item in bagging area', attracting the attention of everyone in the small, city-centre shop.

Step 16

Wait for member of staff to come over and press a button.

Step 17

Place second item in bag.

Step 18

Scan third and final item.

Step 19

Place third item in bag. Suppress rising hope that perhaps this will soon be over.

Step 20

Press 'Finish and Pay'

Step 21

Count out the required amount (£1.52 in this case).

Step 22

Put £1 coin in machine.

Step 23

Put a 50p then a 2p coin into machine.

Step 24

Wait for machine to recognise the 52p just introduced to machine.

Step 25

After 5 minutes, accept that machine is not going to recognise your 52p.

Step 26

Cry some more.

Step 27

Consider paying an extra 52p just to end the horror of it all, and go home.

Step 28

Decide that that's what the machine wants and press the Help button

Step 29

Realise that the queue at the Real Person Check-out is now composed entirely of people that came into the shop after you. And that every one of them is watching you fuck this up as they wait to be served by a Real Person.

Step 30

Explain your plight to the very helpful and understanding Sainsburys man, who looks at you pityingly.

Step 31

Wait for Sainsburys man to get the keys for the machine.

Step 32

Watch as Sainsburys man opens the machine, unlocks the cash box, extracts 52p, locks the cash box, and closes machine.

Step 33

Inform Sainsburys man that you would pay an extra 52p just to make it stop. (He looks uncomfortable and says 'there's no need for that, miss'.)

Step 34

Re-introduce the 52p to the machine, successfully. Thank Sainsburys man for his help. ('Can I help you with anything else Miss?')

Step 35

Muster all the dignity you can, and leave the shop with your head held high, clutching your precious cargo to your chest.

Step 36

Realise that in the time you've been in there, darkness has fallen, the leaves have fallen from the trees and Christmas is just round the corner. Vow to never ever again attempt to use the Self Service Check-out facility in any shop. Ever.

*This was but a momentary blip - I do care about turtles! Don't buy turtle-killing plastic bags!

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Cheery Bus Man

Monday, November 16, 2009

Written 15th February 2007

This morning I was driven to work by what may be the Cheeriest Bus Driver Ever In The World, Ever. I got on, and he trumpeted 'Good Morning Dear!' in a loud carrying voice, with a big happy smile on his face. I was a bit startled, as Lothian bus drivers tend to just grunt at you before 9am (which I completely understand, and do not blame them for), but I said good morning back, and proceeded upstairs to hide behind my Metro.

Some of the fancier Lothian Buses have new fangled PA systems, which the driver can use to tell the passengers things. For example, that the bus is approaching a particular stop, or that the bus has broken down and we should all get on the one behind, or that whoever is dinging the bell should stop this minute or they're getting chucked off the bus. You get the idea. The driver this morning had his speaker switched on, and he treated us all to regular updates about the next stop, and what shops and services we could expect to find in the vicinity. For example, 'next stop is Haymarket Station, where you can get on a train to Fife, Glasgow or Stirling. You'll also find a bank, coffee shops, restaurants and some bars, although it's a bit early for me! Next stop, Haymarket.'

I don't know if this was some kind of experiment Lothian Buses were doing, combining commuter transport with guided tours, or if this man was just eager to help. Either way, I liked it. But I'm glad he doesn't do that route every day.


Domestic, um, Harmony?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Written 15th July 2007

The Boy and I have been a picture of domestic bliss today. We got up early and had coffee and croissants outside in the sunshine, then while I washed the dishes he went to Homebase to buy a edge trimmer. When he came back he mowed the lawn, while I did some weeding and raked up the leaves from the tree in our garden that thinks autumn lasts from October to August.

Then I did some housework while the Boy watched the golf. All very nice and civilised.

However, underneath this veneer of happy industriousness, runs an undercurrent of brooding menace. because at various points throughout the day I have been sorely tempted to use the Boy's new toy to surgically remove both his hands. I figure he would be tidier that way. I mean, if he was limited to only picking things up with his teeth, he couldn't leave ALL HIS WORDLY POSSESSIONS on the kitchen table. I wouldn't say I was houseproud but I like things to be in their place and I get a warm fuzzy glow from a clean, tidy surface, free from clutter.

Examples of things that have irritated me today:
  1. I cleaned and tidied the kitchen (which is where all the clutter in our house seems to end up eventually) from top to bottom. The Boy comes in from the garden to unpack his strimmer. There are various plastic bags, some pieces of string, an instruction manual, some polystyrene, and a big cardboard box. He puts all this stuff onto the freshly cleaned kitchen table. AND LEAVES IT THERE. All day. I have to nag him to tidy it away, which he finally does about five hours after putting it there.
  2. After finishing the kitchen, I go outside to start my weeding, and trip over the strimmer cable (narrowly avoiding breaking my nose in the process), which has been left strewn over the back step while the Boy has a fag break.
  3. I find three fag ends while weeding. House Rule Number 3 states that all cigarette butts should be disposed of in a BIN.
  4. I cleaned the kitchen worktops for the second time, and 10 minutes later the Boy spilled his coffee on them, and didn't clean it up.
  5. I dusted the coffee table only to come in five minutes later to find a certain Boy with his BARE FEET (ew) up on said table, and a half-eaten chocolate digestive biscuit balanced on the edge, liberally dispensing crumbs.*
  6. I moved a whole pile of random crap from the hall table, and put it all away neatly. Random crap now sitting on the hall table: a wallet, a small pile of 2 pences, a pair of sunglasses, a lighter and an ipod cable.
  7. After vacuuming and mopping the floors, I catch the Boy tramping through the house with his grass-covered shoes on, leaving a trail of grass cuttings from the back door to the front.
I sometimes wonder if he does it deliberately. I constantly find things that need put away or tidied up, and I do it without even thinking. But the Boy? He doesn't seem to notice that he can only sit at one end of the sofa because there's a pile of stuff at the other end. He can ignore a dust bunny for days. Weeks even. He somehow managed to get chilli sauce all over one of the kitchen cupboards last night, and he didn't notice (I mean it was all over the door, at head height. HOW?). I cleaned it off this morning, and I said to him 'how on earth did you manage to get chilli on the cupboard', and he said 'oh, did I?'


*Who stops eating a chocolate digestive halfway through anyway? It's not like you need a break before you can face another two mouthfuls of deliciousness.

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Night Owl

Monday, November 02, 2009

Written 20th November 2007

2.07 am on Saturday. Other people might be staggering home from the pub, or getting some action. I have just finished one book and I'm just about to put the light out when I see At Large and At Small: Confessions of a Literary Hedonist on my bedside table. It's a collection of essays on various topics. I think to myself that I'll just have a quick look at the contents page and see what kind of topics these might be.

I'm not going to read any more, it's too late. Time to go to sleep. Hubby is snoring gently beside me, and has been for hours.

One of the essays is titled 'Night Owl'. Hmm, interesting. I'll just have a look at the first page, to see what it's all about.

2.29am. I finish the essay on Night Owls, and begin planning this post. Hubby lets out an almighty trump in his sleep, and I nearly fall out of bed I get such a fright. The squirt of adrenaline wakes me up, and I think to myself: 'I may as well just read one more chapter'...

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Oh dear, I'm not doing very well with the old bloggeroo am I? I did intend to post regularly, but well, I didn't. As you can see.

I've even missed the start of NaBloPoMo. And (if I can just go off on a tangent here), I'm sorry, but that's just the worst name for a thing, ever. SURELY they could've come up with something better - something that makes a tiny smidge of sense, perhaps? Sorry, NaBloPoMo people, it's a good idea, but for anally retentive folk like me, who have to capitalise the N, the B, the P and the M, it's just irritating. I've already had to type it twice and it's annoying me.

Anyhoo, I've got numerous bits and bobs hanging around in my draft folder, but I've been lacking the will to hack them into something publishable (because really - I have some standards) but I might start posting the more polished ones when I remember.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Well, this is new. Ish.

I've not posted anything for a long, long time. For no particular reason, other than that I didn't have anything to say (well, that's not strictly true, I didn't have anything that couldn't be said in 140 characters or less), and frankly I just couldn't be arsed. I still don't really, I just felt like dipping my toe in the water again. It may last, it may not.

For the last week or so, I've been waking up in the middle of the night with this weird thing that feels like a cold. My nose runs, I sneeze and I cough. It lasts for an hour or two (during which time I can't go back to sleep because of the aforementioned runny nose), and then it goes away. It just... goes away. Then, just as I get settled down and sleepy again, the FUCKING alarm clock goes off! Excuse my French, but it's most annoying. I come into the office with eyes like two pee-holes in the snow, and people say 'ooh you look tired' and I have to stop myself from battering them to death with the three-hole-punch.

So, in conclusion, nothing much has changed.

I'm still lazy.

I'm still grumpy before 10am.

I still overuse parentheses. (They're just so handy!)


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Only In Edinburgh

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Nowhere else in the world do you go out for a sandwich at lunchtime and:
  1. Come back with a handful of flyers for shows you'll never go and see.
  2. See a dance troupe performing on a traffic island.
  3. Get flyered by the star of a show.
  4. See a group of people (who are presumably in a show) dressed not only as cats, but as specific kinds of cats (namely Siamese, Persian and Calico).
Edinburgh really is a mad place in August.



*Logan Pearsall Smith

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