Fallen Madonna

Poor Madonna’s bottom. 2015’s not exactly being kind. Not only was it exposed to the elements at the Grammys, but now it’s literally gone arse over tit at the Brits.


It doesn’t seem fair. For a 56-year-old bottom it’s treated her well and all she seems to do is abuse it.

Ok, her tumble off stage last night wasn’t intentional (possibly)…even if it came well-timed with the lyrics ‘I let down my guard, I fell into your arms’. Whoops. But combining a cape-malfunction with vertiginous stacked heels and stairs wasn’t going to end well.


Still, I’d bet her arse isn’t even feeling as sore as the dancer who yanked too hard on all that Armani fabric or the dresser who had maybe watched Fifty Shades of Grey a little too closely and had got a little over-enthusiastic with their knots. Either way, I’m betting they had their arses whipped last night too.

That’s the backing dancer sorted, now to see to that wardrobe assistant.

Still, I feel it would only be appropriate for the star to give her tush a little TLC. Envelope it in a pair of comfy big knickers perhaps, rather than cheese-grater g-strings; let it have a little rest rather flashing it to the paps at every opportunity.

Oh, and maybe next time, take advice from
The Incredibles’ Edna Mode:

Wise words indeed.


Teflon Man had a lightbulb moment earlier, after yet another game of call centre tennis. In a move to cut off the TalkTalk muppets he decided to sign up to BT instead. Hopefully a wise move. BT said he needed a code. TalkTalk said they had no record of him so couldn’t give one to him. I feared we’d never have Internet again. BT said the code they needed seemed to be held by AOL (who we switched from to TalkTalk). They did indeed have our code. Hoorah! We should have it within five days! (I swear Peter Jackson has made trilogies out of less!)

And then it struck Teflon Man! If AOL have our code they also have our account and it must still be active! One old router dug out and BINGO!

Possibly the happiest the Gluestick family has been en masse ever!

I anticipate the handover will ultimately go disastrously wrong and we could be cut off again at any time.

But at least it means we can stop having to participate in family fun, such as…

…invading castles…


…taking chilly walks out to sea…


…jumping up and down in muddy puddles…


…and Gruffalo hunting.

Which is probably just as well because Noodles managed to trash every single pair of footwear he owned!

Now we can do it on our terms. Well, at least until BT messes up too.


I don’t go to the cinema much. Not because I don’t want to, but y’know, when there are bedtime routines to be dealt with it doesn’t seem fair to bail out in order to sit in a dark room. (Unless you’re Teflon Man. Teflon Man has no such qualms and gets upset if he doesn’t rack up 52 cinema visits a year. Equality is not a word applied to the Gluestick family.) Besides, stick me in a dark room and chances are I’ll fall asleep. It IS bedtime after all.

So, I wait for things to come out on DVD. But, because Blockbuster no longer rules, it’s either the case that I forget about checking for any films I can download or I see something sat on the shelves in Sainsbury’s, but buying a film I may not need to watch again seems like a big commitment. So I don’t bother.

Of recent years I am a cinematically uncultured Luddite.


I LOVE the Oscars. (And the BAFTAS, even though they’re a bit shit compared with the Oscars.) Except, I don’t have the capacity to watch them any more (and I have tried – computer says no). Sitting up through the night to sit through online/Twitter news feeds isn’t the same as wrapping up in a blanket and snoozing through the more boring categories. So instead I shall sleep. But, damn I wish I was watching.

In the spirit of the ceremony though, I shall make my predictions to see whether not seeing the movies involved hinders my guesses in anyway.


Tough call. If only because I have no clue. Too many bio-pics rule each other out. The Hurt Locker won in 2009, so I’m ruling out American Sniper because they’ve been there, done that, so I’m expecting Birdman to take it. Obviously I’m likely to be wrong.


They like to give this to an older bloke, don’t they? Or was that just with Little Miss Sunshine? Anyway, I’m expecting JK Simmons to get it. If only because he’s older, but also because the clips I’ve seen have been of him being suitably tense and shouty.


I’ve actually seen Into the Woods. At the cinema! I liked it, but I couldn’t look at Meryl Streep’s Witch without thinking of Margaret Thatcher. So,no. Besides, she has plenty already.

Everyone’s saying Patricia Arquette’s got it in the bag, so she can have my guess too. Knocks that BAFTA right off the mantelpiece.


Now, of all the categories, this is the one I should know what I’m talking about. Except, Teflon Man has taken over chaperoning the kids to the cinema too of late (how desperate to hit your target can you be? But, as they’ll happily fleece every penny out of you on chocolate buttons and popcorn at the tills, he’s welcome to it). The only film I saw with them last year was the table football tale The Unbeatables. I’m not surprised it’s not on the list – it should have been named The Unbearables. There’s a couple of hours of my life I’m never getting back. I feel robbed.

Big Hero 6 was very good apparently. Boo’s adopted the fist bump and taught it to Noodles and Teflon Man came home raving about all the references to other films (yawn). So maybe. But Boo also loved the Box Trolls. The animation freaked my out a bit on that one though, but maybe that will work in its favour. So, I’ll go with The BoxTrolls.

(PS Personally I’m glad The Lego Movie wasn’t up there. I’d happily never seen that film again. Unfortunately it’s one of Noodles’ favourites. Everything in my world is NOT awesome.)


Here I have even less of an idea. But please don’t let it be Everything is Awesome. That ear worm has lost me sleep! Nothing that loses me sleep deserves a shiny gong.

Instead, stick a pin in it: Gloryfrom Selma. I imagine it’s stirring stuff.


For committing 12 years to making a story it’s surely got to be Richard Linklater, hasn’t it?


Again, too many bio-pics that would have to cancel each other out. Eddie Redmayne playing a scientist tortured by his genius and physical disability vs Benedict Cumberbatch playing a scientist tortured by his genius and sexuality.

But Michael Keaton is essentially playing himself. Which is meant to be harder isn’t it? For the novelty of it I’m predicting him.


Well done to Reece Witherspoon for creating a production company to create strong female characters…and then giving herself the lead! Still, walking and crying doesn’t really float my boat, so I won’t be giving the award to her.

Again, amazingly, I got to see Gone Girl. Rosamund Pike was chilling. But she also killed Neil Patrick Harris, which is just a rude thing to do to the Oscar host. Snub.

I can’t imagine them awarding it to a film they’ve had to sit through subtitles for (sorry, Marion) and I hate the way one British win has our press hailing the invasion of the Brits the next morning, so I’m hoping it’s not Felicity Jones. My tick’s going to Julieanne Moore.

And the other categories are the ones I sleep through anyway, even when I did used to be able to watch.

Now let’s see just how wrong I am…


I’m writing this on the hoof, utilising the free internet in McDonalds. There ARE better ways to spend a Sunday morning.

But you know how I said we’d dodged the no-Internet bullet? Turns out we didn’t. After a month of usage they a) failed to set up a direct debit and b) also failed to change our phone number. So they then cut us off.

I am, of course, blaming Teflon Man for using a company of complete incompetents. And TalkTalk for being a company full of incompetents. Talking monkeys would make better employees.

I WILL be back. But it could take up to 14 days! That’s if Teflon Man doesn’t just lose the will to live whilst trying to sort it out. I can see him giving up and deciding we can live without it.

Take care, y’all. Can’t wait to catch up soon!!!

Why the Mart Makes Me Smart*

*And by ‘smart’ I don’t mean ‘clever’.

Whump. Whump. Whump. Whump. Whump.

Just in case Valentine’s Day isn’t horrific enough, in the town where I live you can enter yet another level of Hell that day as the local fair inflicts itself upon us.

Apparently it was all Henry VIII’s fault as he granted the Charter for the Valentine’s Day fair. As if beheading wives and eating all the pies wasn’t bad enough!

Whump. Whump. Whump. Whump. Whump.

And, worse, it’s not just a Valentine’s Day ‘treat’. A place to make your loved one vomit from frenzied spinning and excessive candy floss. No. This monstrosity last for a fortnight!

Right in the middle of town. Which, is to say, RIGHT OUTSIDE THE DOOR TO THE OFFICE WHERE I WORK.


Since Thursday, our view of the market square (well, it sounds better than ‘car park’) has been obscured by the back of various great lumbering stalls, offering the chance for you to have your cash exchanged for attempts to win knock-off versions of minions. (Although, back in my day as a kid, if you were lucky you’d get a goldfish; if you were unlucky and incredibly cheap fluffy toy with wonky stick-on eyes that was invariably stuffed with a cardboard tube. Tsk. Kids don’t know how good they’ve got it these days.)

But the view has only been the tip of the iceberg.

Whump. Whump. Whump. Whump. Whump.

Today has been ‘Children’s Day’.

Whump. Whump. Whump. Whump. Whump.

That is to say, they only rip you off half of your money compared with normal. Except for the big ticket rides. And the side stalls. And the sweets and candy floss and hot dogs. And I swear they only give you half as long on the rides.

They also open early on Children’s Day. From lunchtime onwards we had the joy of perpetual drum n bass, mercifully muffled when the door was shut, but still a constant whump, whump, whump, whump.

And every time the door opened the sound of shrieking. People being flung in the air, teenage girls screaming to get the attention of the traveller boys who posture on the waltzers, kids whirling on their mini rides, or just screaming because it’s all too much (I’m with you there, kids).



And then the announcements of the ‘scream if you want to go faster’ guy. His patter enough to make my ears bleed.

And not just the sound but the smells. The odour of old frying oil mixed with the teeth-rotting sweetness of the candy floss. The heavy drag of wet weather** and excessive people.

**Because it always rains. By 5.30 today it was coming down in torrents. But still they kept on coming. Because it’s not the Mart unless you go home with a soggy arse to your jeans.

And, oh, the people. So many of them. So much acrylic. God, please, get me out of here!


Or, maybe I’m being harsh. There are good things about the Mart. It gave the world the Galloping Horses. I love the Galloping Horses.

(Following a lunchtime recce this afternoon it seems they’re not here this year. Shame on you, Showman’s Guild.)

And nougat. (Which you have to pronounce as ‘nugget’.) In the words of a colleague today: ‘I like white nougat, I like pink nougat. I like all fucking nougat.’ Except it MUST be Rocky Thompson’s nougat, which, actually, if you’re doing it right is only pink and white and which will only be purchased in those two weeks of the Mart. (Just don’t consider that it could very well be last year’s stock you’re eating!)


And the kids love it. You don’t want to go. You don’t want to spend so much money on cheap crap. You don’t want to risk needing a tetanus shot just for going on the fun house.

Because nothing says ‘fun’ like 3 floors of hard, unpadded metal, spinning floors and gaffa tape!


You don’t want to spend £2.50 for a 30-second go on hook a duck/penguin/Nemo/Elsa only to exchange your catch for a toy that makes Poundland’s merchandise look classy and expensive. Worse, handing your money over to a kid no older than 10 with a baby in a Silver Cross pram next to him, who gives you a look that says ‘I know I’m ripping you off here, but what’cha gonna do about it?!’


You don’t want to have to endure the relentless fucking Whump. Whump. Whump. Whump.

But the kids really really do!

Better make it an extra large bag of nougat! I’m going to need it!

Worst. Valentine’s. Ever.

So, how’s your Valentine’s Day going? Surrounded by roses and chocolates? Breakfast in bed? Dinner plans and the kids staying at Grandma’s?

Or do you just want to punch all the gooey-eyed couples out there in the mouth with all their hand-holding and canoodling and general getting-in-the-way-ness?

Can you guess which side of the fence the Gluestick family falls on?

Put it this way: football is more important than togetherness (even with Boo away at her first Brownie sleepover) and thus Teflon Man is currently watching his home team lose at Bolton. And I’m guessing my sister’s managed to not get a Valentine’s Day proposal again as her boyfriend is with Teflon Man.

I really should get today’s paper to check out romance’s obituary.

But this is not the worst Valentine’s Day ever. Not even close. Nor were the ones where I felt like the only person not to get a card. Or the one where I did but my secret admirer was truly grim.

Nope the worst Valentine’s took place 20 years ago. I’d had the twins the day before. I was facing life as a single mum.

I felt as though my entire world was about to fall out of my hoo-ha, had a stomach made of blamange…with a damn great black lie down the middle of it (WTF is that about?!)…and a bazillion hormones taking me on the greatest emotional roller coaster of my life. My pyjama bottoms were blood-stained, I’d spilt tea down my only jumper. I looked a hot mess and felt like one too.

Meanwhile, on the communal maternity ward I was surrounded not just by happy couples sharing their loved-up joy, but by happy new über loved-up families. They all gazed at each other with utter adoration. (And, to be honest, fair enough; those first new baby/new family days are precious. And besides, you can bet your arse a few nights later, once the sleep deprivation had kicked in and the parental experience had become all too real a fair share of them would have been squabbling over nappies and crying in the dark.) But on that day, with cubicles of goo-goo parents and red roses on top of baby congratulations flowers, it was your usual Valentine’s hell squared!

Meanwhile, several corridors and two flights of stairs away, the twins lay in the Neonatal unit, with tubes up their teeny tiny noses, connected to breathing monitors that would be set off when they pooed, tiny-size baby nappies that still reached their armpits and with Indy laid out under a UV lamp to help her jaundice. I didn’t even have my babies at hand to a) distract from the happy families and b) help get my head around the life-shift that had just happened to me.

I think I cried a river that day. And I couldn’t even escape to the store for the self-pity indulgence of ice cream and trashy magazines. (Because nothing puts things in perspective more than the failings of the rich, beautiful and famous.) Hospital food and Bounty pack pamphlets on cot death just didn’t cut it the same way.

So, yeah, crappy Valentine’s Days don’t even come close. Give me a day of ‘meh’ any February 14th. Personally I’m looking forward to ordering a pizza to devour entirely by myself later and then reading the last half of my book with no one complaining about the glow from the Kindle at 2am.

The only downside about Teflon Man being away today is that there was no reason to buy him the absolutely MOST PERFECT Valentine’s card for him:

I’m sure he still knows the sentiment.

Can you bring me out of my Valentine fug and share your Day of Love stories? Or does company line misery; do you have a worst Valentine tale you’d like to share?


Despite the various challenges of work/family getting in the way of getting stuff done I only went and did it and baked a cake for the twins. And it wasn’t even a Pinterest fail!


But I didn’t do it last night. Teflon Man made it home at 1.20am – exactly what epics were his cinema club watching?! Or did he end up next-door afterwards for a cheeky episode of Breaking Bad…or two?! There was no way on Earth I was going to drive to the supermarket at that time of night and then bake a cake.

No, I made it this evening. After a full day at work and whilst simultaneously preparing* a party tea. (*Ok, so that mostly involved decanting bits of prosciutto and pre-prepped salad into bowls that weren’t made of plastic, but still I had to the defend the smorgasbord against cat attack when no one came to my aid.)

And then Teflon Man had the audacity to make some snarky comment that made me want to rip his head off and drop-kick it out through the patio doors.

But Eve and Indy seemed to appreciate it. Which is what counts.

Happy Birthday, girls!

I’d feel pretty damn invincible…if only I wasn’t so utterly knackered!

A Cake Debate: To Bake or Not?

Ok, I have a dilemma. It’s late: 10.37pm to be exact. (How the f**k did that happen? Seriously!) Tomorrow is Eve and Indy’s birthday.

Plans for said birthday are a ‘party tea’ (ie nibbly bits and pieces en famille, rather than any actual party) and cake. I was thinking something like this:

Mmm, right? They might be leaving their teen years behind, but are you ever too old for a cake surrounded by KitKats? I think not!

However, I don’t actually have all of the ingredients into make even the cake part (thanks, Eve, for using all the flour for Oscar’s cake at the weekend). So,if I’m to make it tonight I’ve got to drive out of town to the late-night supermarket (ugh!), hope that no one steals my parking space in the street (otherwise double ugh!) and then bake the cake.

A fool’s errand, I know! Who wants to be baking a cake licking a bowl of cake batter at midnight? (Ok, I do – in my world there’s never a wrong time for cake batter; don’t judge me.)


And the thing is, if I don’t do it tonight I’m at work all day tomorrow (just as I have been today). I won’t get in until nearly six, later if I stop off on the way home to buy sausage rolls and prosciutto ham, etc, and I’ll then have to bake the cake, let it cool, decorate it, etc. at that rate we might be lucky to eat it before midnight tomorrow night!

Oh, and added to the issue Teflon Man is out at his precious cinema club (double bill tonight, folks!), so technically I’m the responsible adult. (Although the kids are asleep and Grandy, Eve and her boyfriend are in, so if I did go out you don’t have to call social services.) But still, I’d feel bad. But maybe that’s just the eternal nag of Mum Guilt.

I suppose the other option is to just buy a cake. But that seems like a waste of cash when all I need is flour. Plus, you don’t get to lick cake batter off the spoon with a ready-made cake!

I can’t decide. I’ll go and do the laundry and check that the out-of-town late-night supermarket is still open.

Goddam days only having 24 hours in them though. It’s all time’s fault. Yep, I blame time and commitments. But not The Commitments. God, I loved that film soundtrack. And possibly The Midnight Hour is quite appropriate.


Bringing the Outside In

Lifestyle magazines often talk about the joy of opening up your living and ‘bringing the outside in’

You could, for example, install fold-back patio doors, meaning that on glorious sunny days there’s no distinction between house and garden.


Or, you could have such a desirable outdoor area that inside seems like a poor second choice.


You could make a feature of your view…


…or fill your living area with plants, either real…


…or with a bold feature wall.

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You could even install an indoor/outdoor water feature.


Not in this house you can’t!

No, this is how the Gluestick house brings the outside in, all by itself:

Yep, that’s ivy that’s somehow managed to infiltrate the window resulting in it now growing inside the house. Marvellous! Not.

I don’t think that’s what Pinterest and all the glossy magazines meant.

The scary thing is that we didn’t even notice until I pulled back the curtains the other day. If the Triffids ever attack we’re a gonna!!!

(Of course it might have something to do with our windows being thatdirty. I daren’t clean them though – I fear the grime is the only thing keeping the glass in their increasingly rotten frames. And with no windows I dread to think what evergreen onslaught we’d be in for!)


Pin It On the Pregnant Woman?

Today is Teddy’s first birthday. What better reason to pop a bottle of Prosecco? (Although, to be honest, the day only has to end in ‘y’ for it to be a good idea in my world.)

And there the bottle sat on the table when I clocked the now typical ‘Enjoy Responsibly’ message. Killjoys.

But the little symbol seemed somewhat judgemental and harsh: a picture of a pregnant woman.


Are pregnant women really those most likely to go crazy on fizzy wine, risking the development of their unborn child?

Surely there are other groups more likely to ignore the moderation message? A teensy bit of Googling and the Internet (which is always right, right?) reveals bigger risk factors when it comes to the likelihood of binge-drinking and alcohol abuse reveals a demographic of almost anyone and everyone apart from those up the duff.


The only thing I didn’t find (in my five-minute search) was mention of binge-drinking mums-to-be being a particular issue.

Not even on the drinkaware.co.uk website.

Or maybe it’s acknowledged that pregnant women are an easy target? They’re set towards omnipresent guilt; a guilt that will last at least until their youngest child has children of their own and they can shift to ‘I told you so’ mode. Perhaps they’re the only ones likely to listen? Although, I’d have thought not drinking whilst pregnant is hardly a revelation (even if drinking was largely a factor in getting pregnant in the first place). So, is it not just mean to point the finger at those who are, on any given week told not to eat peanuts or drink coffee or eat soft cheese or pet sheep or use hair dye or don’t NOT eat peanuts and don’t have any fun.

Chances are, those with the baby bump will be the ones sat nursing a Diet Coke (and stressing out about the frickin’ caffeine in that) without a label then suggesting that without its presence they’d have been on a major bender.

How about sticking a picture of a drunk driver on there or a college student? Or even just Justin Bieber? Or you might as well put a picture of a 1-year-old enjoying his birthday on there as Teddy certainly seemed interested in Eve’s glass.


Or maybe they don’t drink prosecco? Maybe there’s a different picture depending on the type of booze?

I may have to investigate further. If you don’t hear from me, you’ll find me in AA. But it’s all right as I’m not pregnant, so I’m exempt from judgement.

But in the meantime, let’s not automatically pin the guilt on the pregnant women, hey?