Before i Forget : Simon Jones's blog

February 2005

Found on the webWednesday, February 9th, 2005, (12:54 pm)

I was sent a link today to a rather interesting little site called ‘PostSecret’ where people write a secret on a postcard (how true they are is unclear) then post that postcard online. It’s a strange little site, but oddly interesting.

It reminds me somewhat of a cool site for Found magazine which posts pictures of odd little notes and stuff people have found.

Found magazine

GeneralMonday, February 7th, 2005, (1:09 am)

IT’S A DISGRACE!!! I tuned in to see bare nipples aplenty and there were none! Not one!! Call this entertainment, I demand an explanation.

When people of good moral fiber like myself tune in with our children to watch a wholesome bit of nipple exposing and what are we faced with – grown men in girly shoulder pads hugging one another on a big grass field.

This kind of outrage could cause us to stumble, our children to grow up warped, to destabilize our entire way of life!

Nipplegate : A legal viewpoint of a rediculous outrage
Much ado about nothing
South Africa laughs at US puritanism
Nipples a bad, extreme violence is okay though.

GeneralSunday, February 6th, 2005, (10:36 am)

So I am back home. The funeral wasn’t that sad. Some old guy who should be driving crunched his BMW into another car at the crematorium, but that was about the height of the drama. Yogi (the nickname of my grandma) arrived in an Ambulance and was accompanied to the wake (which was not called a wake but ‘afternoon tea’) by the Ambulance crew who took her back to hospital later.

We do funerals do differently over here to America. For a start the coffin doesn’t look like a Caddilac, it’s just a simply wooden coffin, nothing grand at all. Then there is that whole British ‘stiff upper lip’ thing. It’s a funeral, but emotions are kept very much under wraps. The Vicar was a nice guy, he said a few words in the way that only English Vicars seem able to speak. Then after a couple of hymns they do this prayer of committal while some big curtain glides in-front of the coffin. I looked at the floor for that whole bit because I didn’t want to see that, and also I think that whole thing is so cheesy.

It was nice seeing relatives, and meeting a few people I’d never met before. We’re not a close family, and living so far from them all I feel more disconnected than most, but that aside it was good to make this momentary reconnection. I rode to the ‘afternoon tea’ with Yogi in the Ambulance. She was surprisingly upbeat and seemed a lot more like her old self compared to the last time I saw her just before Granddad died. I had the feeling she had accepted things, the changes in her life and the fact that Granddad was gone.

My Mom told me that 6 years ago when my Granddad’s brother died of ‘old age’ Yogi cried and cried at his funeral. Mom said that at the time she was surprised at Yogi’s grief, but later she realized that Yogi wasn’t so much crying for George, but for herself. She had known George as long as Granddad (they were married 64 years) and she suddenly realized that death was among them now. That these really were the last days of their lives. I’d never before thought about what it must be like to be old like that. Never thought about how it must feel. The recent weeks have given me a lot to think about and just confirmed to me that life moves fast and we shouldn’t waste a moment.

GeneralWednesday, February 2nd, 2005, (10:15 am)

I’m driving back to Essex today ready for my Granddad’s funeral tomorrow. I think it’s ironic that the word funeral starts with fun, I can’t imagine they’ll be much fun to be had there to be honest.

Mom asked me for some words she could say at the service. She asked my brother and sister to tell her some memories that were fun so she could prepare something. She said she doesn’t want the day to be glum, so hopefully it won’t be bad. I’ve never been to a funeral in the family before so I can’t say I am looking forward to this.

My Grandma, who goes by the strange family nickname of Yogi, may not go. Apparently she feels it would be too much for her to go, both mentally and physically. If she does go then she’ll have to be taken by ambulance. I hope she does because I would have thought it would bring some reality to all of this. She hadn’t seen Granddad for some weeks before he died because she was in hospital isolation and then he was in hospital and the two weren’t allowed to visit with each other because of the spread of germs. That fact alone must make this seems so unreal to her surely? A sad end to a marriage of some 67 years. Mind you I guess I don’t want to go either, so I can’t blame her for that.

The drive to Essex is a very long one in British terms. Some 250 miles which to Americans seems like no distance at all, but on English highways starting at about 4pm, let me tell you that’s not a fun drive. I’ll drive through some pretty countryside though, but it’ll be long since dark by the time I pass by it.

GeneralTuesday, February 1st, 2005, (10:45 am)

Last night while having a late night soak in the tub I decided to use a suspiciously named bath product that I received as a part of a birthday gift from someone whom I think had an alteria motive in mind.

The products name would have had me diving for cover, buying huge amounts of bottled water and calling the president begging him to raise the threat alert level had I been a flag waving ‘God Bless’ American. Thankfully though I am a ‘liberal lefty European type’ who doesn’t think there is a terrorist around every corner and working the counter of every late night convenience store. That aside though, the name did seem a little ominous, if nothing else.

‘Explosive Shower Power! – Now with extra reactive bubbles!!’

It had gone unused and sat alone in my shower for some time, due mainly to the fact that at home I like to have long relaxing baths and that my shower here is utter rubbish! Showers are reserved for the gym where they have showers that push the water out so fast your skin tingles in a way that a true man would never admit to. And being a ‘true man’ (at least at the gym) I elected to avoid taking the bottle of ‘Explosive Shower Power’ there just in case I ended up in a swathe of bubbles that made me look like a scary fairy.

Now, usually in the privacy of my own home, a bath involves candle light a drink of something refreshing, and some kind of bubble bath. Yes I know it’s not exactly GQ, but this is Simon behind closed doors, so the rules of ‘true man’ can be somewhat relaxed. I settle into the steaming hot bath that has already metamorphasized my little bathroom into something resembling a dodgy looking sauna. I then sit back and just chill, allowing all muscles to breath a long sign of relief. But last night, as I began to run the bath I realised I was out of bubbles! I located an old bottle of shampoo and emptied it into the bath then stood back in satisfaction as a bubble mountain began to form like the first few moments of Genesis. Moments later there was before me and impressive Himalayan like bubbelion landscape reaching dizzying heights never seen before in my bathroom. I was pleased, and considered changing from the usual bubble bath to this cheap brand of shampoo for all future such soakings.

Because the bath is usually too hot to get into for the first few minutes I leave the room and do something else while it cools and fills the air with steam and girly smells that I would never usually admit to having. However on this occasion I returned to find that the mountains had fallen, and where there were once valley’s and hill, there was just water and the occasional island of small bubbles resembling a satellite picture of the earth from space.

With no more bubbles to hand I sank into my bath feeling robbed, like someone had burst my bubble – all of them in fact! But then, from the corner of my eye, I spied the ‘Exploding Shower Power’.

I read the label and nowhere did it mention that it was not suitable for baths so like a child at Christmas I tore off the lid and squeezed some of the reactive bubble goo into my hand… where it remained goo. I was puzzled and re-read the label. It definitely said that there would be bubbles aplenty, so where are my bubbles I thought while looking back at my green goo’ed hand. Maybe more gooage was required so I squished out some more, then some more, then some more after that. Nothing happened, no explosions, no reaction, no bubbles, just lots of goo that didn’t even smell like it would bubble in a hot tub.

Then I wondered maybe it needed some encouragement, so I applied the goo to my upper body like Pamela Anderson night on the Playboy channel. At first nothing happened but then, like the first signs of life, small bubbles started to appear. At first I felt like this seemed a poor reward for such an effort on my part, but within an alarmingly short time I had more bubbles than I cared for. With each passing moment more bubbles appeared turning my relaxing soak in the tub into a uncontrollable and unexpected B.B.I (Bubble Bath Incident).

Pretty quickly I was surrounded by bubbles and having to make little tunnels for air. I read the label again “Apply sparingly” it said, but made no attempt to warn the user it was serious, that anything other than sparingly would turn into despairingly! I stood to my feet thinking my head would rise from the bubbles like Phoenix from the ashes, but the bubbles simply stood with me. I stepped from the bath and grabbed for my robe while trying to shake the bubbles off me in the fashion of someone being attacked by a swarm of bees. For a second I imagined the scene of my landlady discovering my dead naked body under a huge pile of suffocating killer bubbles, and the laughter from people who heard about the man who died after being overcome by soap!

I didn’t venture back into the bathroom until this morning whereupon the scene looked much the same as it does every day. Not a rogue bubble in sight? Just a cold bath and a bottle of ‘Exploding Shower Power’ innocently sitting by the tap waiting too explode like the wrath of a peaceful God. From now on I’ll stick to my usual brand of girly bubble-bath if it’s all the same to you.

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