Deleted MHAM Posts From the Cutting Room Floor

Some of the photos and posts that I wanted to write for My Housemate’s a Mermaid, but didn’t quite have enough material (pictorial and verbal) to fill.

Deleted MHAM Posts From the Cutting Room Floor

  1. The time how, at the start of the pandemic, Mumma B spent hours cutting squares of old fabric to make laundry bags for NHS key workers

2. When I stayed up so late that I ended up watching a much younger Nicky Campbell presenting a Top of the Pops episode from 1990

Some people had more fun than others.

I continued to watch it, even when this was played from the UK top twenty for the week.

3. How very surreal my office was when I went back to empty my locker

4. My sister’s attempts with one of those packet face masks from South Korea

It ripped off a load of skin, but not a lot else.

5. Squeak, the cat, being rebellious

6. The time I saw my old/favourite History lecturer from University on the BBC and I absolutely lost my cool

I mean, WITH LUCY WORSLEY!!

7. The time I found this in a shop and it perked up my mood

(But not enough that I bought it.)

8. The generous gin measures down the local pub

9. The generous measures of lunch portions while living with family

10. The thinking behind this at the Travel Lodge Hotel in York

It was in the foyer for several days…

11. A post detailing the contents of my bookshelf

12. Everything about this account that started following me on Twitter

How did it take you to spot that’s a semi naked woman?

13. A post on me rekindling my creative mojo during the pandemic

14. The importance of good friends who call-out when you have really bad body odour

15. The ‘what the fudge-ness’ of this targeted advert

Yes, I did tap the link and yes, I am still getting adverts for werewolf fan-fiction as a result.

16. Lockdown birthdays

17. The large number of self-published books with Covid themes

18. The other strange things being self-published

Although I am still a bit in love with the title of this book.

19. My attempts to have a massive clear-out

…which were ultimately foiled by a mixture of procrastination / charity shops being closed / Bubble the cat.

So there you go, a snippet of how much gets filtered before making it onto this website. What can I say? You get what you pay for.

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God Dammit, The Jehovah’s Found Me

If you guys know me, you’ll know I like to write a letter or two, or three…mostly after an unhealthy amount of tea.

So I was going through a mountain of post and, in amongst all the junk, there was this:

Call me intrigued. Also semi expecting it to be Neil (I think his name was Neil), from the Petemoor community football club asking me for money again, because “Tom” hadn’t paid his annual subscription fees. Addressing a hand-written note to “the householder”, that is such a Neil thing to do. He knows “Tom” doesn’t live here, I’ve told him twice already. He’s playing a very, VERY long game to try to get to me.

Telephone calls go like this, “Neil, Tom doesn’t live here. I’m not Tom. Uh-huh, thanks.” End scene. (almost five years and this is the extent of our flirty chat.)

Yeah…the letter wasn’t from Neil. It was this:

It reads:

Dear neighbour,

Jehovah’s Witnesses are busy at the moment discussing the Kingdom we pray for (Matt 6:9,10), by writing to our neighbours. We would like you to know that God’s kingdom will undo all the harm that millenious (sp?) of human rule have done. It will provide perfect health, peace and security, meaningfull (sp?) work and a clean environment.

Hopefully, you will want to know more, in which case please get in touch with the above address or visit Jehovah’s Witnesses official website http://www.JW.org.

We hope this letter finds you well.

Yours sincerely,

Daphne(?)

(I’ve ‘?’ and ‘sp?’ the words I’m not 100% sure on/fairly convinced they’re written with typos.)

There are many questions I have about this letter from the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW).

Has Daphne been writing letters to everyone in the area, on the street, or just me? How long did Daphne wait on my porch for me to answer the door? Did Daphne scribble this note, hoping that at any moment I’d throw the door wide and yell “come on in, Daphne! I have cake!”? Does Daphne keep a stash of notelet paper on her for times like these?

EDIT (seconds after writing the above), just remembered there was a stamp on the envelope. NOW THERE ARE ONLY MORE QUESTIONS!! How have the JW got my address AND WHY?!

…I don’t think this was the kind of response the JW’s were expecting, or hoping for.

I did enjoy this letter, and I really would love to get more hand written letters. In the interest of open mindedness, I decided to do some additional research before jumping to conclusions.

I browsed multiple videos to refresh me on the fundamentals of JW (most of which I viewed at well-gone midnight, on several glasses of wine, but let’s not dwell heavily on that).

(FYI I struggled to find videos without derogatory titles. I really did try.)

After viewing some clips I’m going to have to say it’s not for me. At the age of 28, I’m still far too attached to my 1990s collection of Beanie Babies to start believing they “make Jehovah sad”. You read the delightful little poems inside the name tags and tell me they make anyone sad. Jehovah must have a heart of stone is all I can say.

Forget about the not celebrating birthdays/Christmas part, the Beanie Babies are a non-negotiable for me. And if you honestly think I’m joking, then my darling friend you really are mistaken.

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For Anyone Questioning The Quality of My Work

Remember the post I did, titled Very Cotswold Problems, #3001? It turns out Mr Maverick Lawn Mowing services (catchy name) liked the video upload, and they liked it a lot.

24 seconds of top-notch video footage of my Mumma B and her lawn mower shed antics and the dude has both liked and subscribed to my YouTube channel (still working on getting them to like the actual blog content).

If that doesn’t scream quality comedy, I don’t know what does.

Hang on…have they liked this just because of my Mum?

Seesh. Anyway, moving on…

UPDATE: Maverick has taken down their comment. Rats.

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My Face, On Your Tissues

There is more to the humble spam folder than missed opportunities and utter junk. Exactly, there’s missed junk opportunities!

Ladies and gentleman, may I kindly introduce to you this email…

I admit, it’s not the easiest to read on the photo. Let me detail it below:

HiAeb
I am glad to know your demand for the tissue market.
We have specialized in providing customized tissues for more than 8 years, and have provided sources of supply for many domestic companies.
We are eager to expand channels and we are eager to cooperate with you.
Samples will be sent to you for evaluation.
Thanks, and best wishes

Ms Luo (General Manager)
Chengdu Dixuan Trading Company

I know! Cutomized tissue paper?! Where have these opportunities been in my life? In my spam folder, that’s where!

Oh my, I think I’m getting giddy with all the possibilities. “Expanding my channels” – I can see it now, my face in toilet cubicles up and down the country. No, not the country, THE WORLD!!

I’ll be quite honest with you, I can’t think of anything much better.

Or, I could do as my email provider recommends and just delete the email, or, do nothing and let my email provider automatically delete it for me. (I’ll let you guess which I ended up doing.)

And people say I excited over nothing…oh hey, a shiny bit of foil blowing down the street!

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Very Cotswold Problems, #3001

You know that incredibly annoying feeling when your automated electric lawnmower gets trapped in it’s wooden protective hutch after charging and eventually pulls the whole construction clean away while it carries on mowing the lawn? (*Deep breath*)

No? Okay, well here’s a video to clear up the scale of the problem.

Also, before you go telling me I should have stopped filming to help Mumma B out, she was the one yelling at me to hurry up and get my camera. So, you know…

UPDATE: Check out For Anyone Questioning The Quality of My Work to see what happened next!

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British Politics, as Told Through the Medium of Eurovision Songs

Having been cooped up for what feels like a lifetime, I was overjoyed to hear that Eurovision is going ahead again this year.

In celebration of this wonderfully cheesy event, here are a selection of songs which could describe the stages of British reactions to Covid (anything to make this a bit more topical).

British Politics, as Told Through the Medium of Eurovision Songs

Before Covid, everything was wonderfully normal and all we had to worry about was accidentally winding up on a date with someone you think is famous, but is actually the Bruno Mars tribute act playing at your best mate’s wedding

That, or the effects of drinking river water contaminated by the chicken farm upstream.

And then Covid kicked off, and suddenly it was like we were being plunged into a world were being happy wasn’t allowed.

(Not that I’m comparing a global pandemic to the 1944 genocide of the Crimean Peninsular, both are/were terrible.)

Stuck at home, everyone took to bombarding social media with photos of their baking and back-garden boozing (often at the same time).

And, like the song, it quickly became very old.

But while we all stayed at home and kept our distance, our front line workers in industry and health care continued to press on tirelessly, whilst scientists around the world battled to find solutions to this global pandemic.

And, for the most part, the UK government was like this:

And self-employed / small businesses were lobbying for the easing of restrictions, like…

And young people with buggered-up A-Levels and university studies were like…

But as far as Boris Johnson’s public ratings were concerned…

(Coupled with a bit of…)

It wasn’t all doom and gloom. Initially, we were allowed to go out more than once a day and countryside walks were back on. Mind, the British summer though…

Then the pubs started opening up again, shops welcoming customers. For a (short) period even international travel was back on. Happy days!

And then we c**ped it up again.

Nil-points. Ah well, back to restrictions and excessive handwashing it is.

Still, they couldn’t stop us dreaming of a world free of limitations.

Even if some of those dreams were a tad surreal.

And others more nightmarish.

But with vaccine rollouts now taking place in many countries around the world, and shows like Eurovision being staged, it serves as an important reminder that we will get through this hardship. The show must go on!

Reminds me, I better dust off some of my unworn dresses from the back of the wardrobe.

But most importantly. BRING ME MY FRIENDS, BRING ME THE CHEESE AND BRING. ME. THE. PARTY!!

TUNE!!!

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Fancy Chinese Footwear

So here’s a bit of background for you, on the jazzy socks featured in Why Alice is *Still* Single…Probably.

Back when I was living in London I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Tate Modern’s critically appraised exhibition Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy. It ran between 8th March – 9th September 2018.

I didn’t attend “1932…” until late on, days before it was due to close. Why? Because I’ll be honest, Picasso had never really been my bag. I appreciated his reputation and there’s no denying Guernica is a masterpiece of political demonstration, but otherwise I just saw the man as someone who took a lot of credit for not a lot.

Don’t shoot me.

In the end, it was a little voice inside my head that urged me to go, that I’d only regret it if I didn’t. (Also, because at the time I could get in for £5. Minor detail.)

I’m so very glad I went. For one, turns out the man is just as trigger happy on the paint brushes as I am on my blog. In one year he produced over 100 works of art (mostly of his mistress). Secondly, some of his work isn’t too shabby.

Don’t get me wrong, I still had questions. Most of my secondary school art projects were on par with Yellow Belt.

And yet God knows, you never saw my Art teacher praising me as the Second Coming. I took a snapshot and sent it to my Mum, she still insisted I keep the day job.

So what has all this got to do with socks? Well, sometime after the exhibition I was browsing the wonderful world of Far Eastern shopping when I came across some socks printed with the iconic painting The Dream.

I’ll spare you my cobble-dash description on this painting but yep, the way he painted the face is intentional (classic playboy Picasso). More information here.

Short story, shorter, I found a pair of socks online depicting this masterpiece (or, as the sellers called them, “style #3 sleeping lady”). Don’t ask how or why, it’ll be easier for us both. Neither did I enquire as to the copyright, given the same people were also selling “magic man” socks of Jesus.

12 million months later my socks arrived, looking something like this:

First observation – no way in hell were these made for a ladies foot-size 5 (EU 38). Definitely men’s socks. But still, the print detailing was alright and the image had been flipped. Without disclosing the price, (*cough* 99p), you get what you pay for.

I couldn’t wait to try them on.

Then I looked down…

Because the socks were bigger in size than expected, I’d had to pull them up higher, and because my calves are the size of tree trunks, the print was stretched-out even more.

Far from looking mellowed after a bit of artist lovin’, Marie looks genuinely pained from having her face stretched to that of a horse. And let’s not even go there with where that places Picasso’s perceived manhood.

Oh well.

I’m still gonna wear them though. I mean, Picasso socks! How cool is that?!

…What? What’s wrong?

Thanks Col, babe. xx

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Alice, On…

Let’s start off with some backing music:

1998 this song was released, 19-flipping-98. Still a belter but golly, are we all getting old. And please, don’t come back to me saying you have no memory of this track or, worse, you weren’t even alive then. I-I just can’t.

Any who.

After the questionable success of my previous post, My Sister, On…, here is the “me” version of that. Don’t worry if you haven’t read said post, you’ll get the hang of this very quickly.

Alice, On…

Alice, on…Responsible drinking

Alice, On…Effective conflict resolution

(For context – I picked a fight with a pavement.)

Alice, On…Tropicana on a budget

Alice, On…Workplace integration

Alice, On…All-nighters

Alice, On…Open bars

Alice, On…Bathroom fittings

Alice, On…Haircare

Alice, On…Summer

“Alice, why are you taking so long to rub the sun cream in?”

“No reason!”

“Well then, can I get up?”

“DON’T YOU DARE GET UP YET!!”

Alice, On…”Does my bum look out-of-proportionately big in this?”

Alice, On…Any kind of headwear

And finally (for now), Alice, On…Basic photography skills

Oh, trust me, you’re welcome

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Cotswold Man Versus Pheasant

So, I’m minding my own business the other day, working from home (as per usual), when I go into the kitchen to grab a coffee and spot this in the garden.

Having a spare minute or two between meetings, I pop outside to take a better look.

Just as surreal an explanation as expected. But still.

I went back to my work laptop and assumed that would be the end of that, that nothing would come of this Robinson Crusoe pheasant trap.

Half an hour (max.) later…

And a little time later still…

Unbelievable.

Shaking my head with disbelief, I bring myself back to my laptop to try and actually get some work done.

“Alice, come with me to drop off this pheasant,’ Papa B says.

“But I’ve got my next meeting in 15 minutes.”

“Well then, hurry up and get your shoes on.”

(Classic family reaction to anything of the sort. Cotswold drama > work.)

He loads the car up with the wheelie bin:

And off we go to calmly release the bird into a wooded spot up the hill.

And now, for the big finish.

We drive back down and I get back into the house just in time to join my work meeting, nobody any the wiser of the craziness that has just gone down.

What can I say? Lockdown just got weirder.

(Important disclaimer – no animals were harmed during this process. The pheasant was humanely released into the wild, flying away without injury. We stayed for a short while after the release to be certain of the animal’s welfare. He was long gone, in fact a week later the peasant actually came back. So there you go, what a success that turned out to be.)

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Time to Clear Out the Cookies

Minding my own business on emails (aka clearing out my junk folder, because, you know, what else is there to do right now?)

Anyway, I was doing that when something on the side bar caught my eye. This, the side bar which is always filled by random advertisements. For example, I’ve been invited to take out over 50s life insurance for far too long…a product of my enjoyment of Classic FM perhaps; other times it’s linked to the websites I’ve been loitering on.

Amazon, eBay, that Scientology website I once browsed at stupid o’clock. Even if the targeted adverts are sometimes questionable, it’s rare I look at these and go “where the Hell did that come from?” I’ve yet to take out the insurance, and last time I checked I hadn’t joined a cult…I think…

Right, so, what’s the point of all this preamble, you say? Well, despite all of the above, one day I got this in the side bar:

No, that’s it. Nothing more below, save the rest of the boot-shoe.

I mean…what?

First off, how are any of these items linked? Hosiery/half a mannequin (I’ll be honest, I don’t know which it is), a balaclava and two types of shoe? It’s honestly the most mixed-up selection of clothing items one could buy, let alone for a lockdown fatkins like me.

Secondly, and probably the bigger question I should be asking, WHY AM I GETTING THIS?

I’m a lazy sod who hasn’t had a need for football boots since I played hockey for the school team in 2009. Plus, I couldn’t give a rat’s patootie what my rat’s patootie looks like. (I’ve just revisited that image, it looks like shapewear in the first thumbnail.)

Ain’t no shapewear containing this level of awesome!

Alright Kim…

So, the million cent question, did I click on the link to learn more, or possibly even purchase some of these dazzling products?

No.

Am I however now racing to go back through all my browsing history and clearing out the tracking cookies. It has lead me to wonder though, have I been hacked by the Scientologists?

I mean, it would certainly explain the randomness of items (can you understand a word he’s saying?)

Also, Tom Cruise.

(I think I’m going to like inserting this sound effect into my work very much.)

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