Posted in comedy, Dating & Relationships, humour, women

I Love Big Knickers because…

I Love Big Knickers Because….

Oh come on, who doesn’t? I love them because they are comfortable. The ones you can pull all the way up to your boobs. No, not the incredibly uncomfortable spandex ones that just push the fat up underneath your armpits so you have an extra pair of boobs. The nice, soft, cotton ones that don’t roll down beneath your tummy apron; that constant reminder that you were probably the last person to have an operation before they invented keyhole surgery.

Visible panty line is a thing of the past when you’ve got your big knickers on, no tight hems highlighting all your lumps and bumps, digging in half way through your love handles accentuating your Michelin man physique. No silly triangles riding up your front and back bottom all day, flossing your lady’s chamber with every step you take. I lose concentration quite easily at my age, if I’m not in my biggest knickers I will be adjusting them every five minutes whatever company I’m in.

My favourite days of the week are the ones just after I’ve done my laundry. I don’t have a whole week’s worth of the best big knickers, just four pairs, four days of bliss. I’ll approach that clothes airer with a spring in my step as I take the biggest pair and smile, safe in the knowledge everything will be in the right place that day.

My only real disappointment with my big knickers is that they started life as white knickers. I’m too lazy to separate my whites and coloureds, well I don’t really have many white clothes. So I have big grey knickers. Totes embarrassing on the two occasions I found myself in A&E and had to strip off; coupled with the fact I was also wearing my white/grey bra!

I’ve heard women saying that they feel sexy if they’re wearing lacy, ill fitting, pants and matching bra. I wouldn’t feel sexy on a date if I was constantly shuffling from one bum cheek to another, trying to free the G String from its strangle hold on my trapped pubes. Far from it.  I certainly wouldn’t feel sexy undressing to reveal my tummy apron in its black lace hammock, or my boobs spilling out over the top of my push up bra (picture melons housed in two eye patches sewn together, on second thoughts…don’t!)

OK, being honest here… in my younger days, before babies, the menopause, an under-active thyroid and a penchant for beer and cheese… I did browse, and purchase, some delicate little frillies. They were reserved for the bedroom though, so I didn’t need to suffer the torment of having to dress to suit my underwear. But, one of the MANY things I love about being fifty is not giving a damn (or pretending not to give a damn). Forget learning to feel comfortable in your own skin, I want, and do, feel comfortable in my clothes, especially my big knickers!

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Posted in comedy, social media

The Treadmill That Is Social Media – Can’t live With It, Can’t Live Without It.

I don’t just feel like I’m running on a treadmill that won’t turn off, or trying to juggle too many balls in the air; I feel like I’m trying to do both.

As someone who uses social media to try and get work, and promote myself, I don’t feel like I can try the, ‘My Week Without Social Media’ experiment. Besides, everyone is doing it and it gets boring to read after a while. We all know that hyperventilation kicks in after an hour, and then by day three they discover how rich their lives have become as they reintegrate back into normal life. I reckon it’s like dieting, once they start back into it they spend more hours on the computer than before they deprived themselves. Gain a week, lose a month.

You think you’re getting a handle on managing your excessive number of social media accounts, then they start making extra demands of your time. Come on, do the quiz that your mate only got nine out of ten correct answers, it’s the hardest quiz, like ever. Then you don’t publish your results because you only got three correct, you have a degree and they don’t know the difference between, ‘your’, ‘you’re’, ‘there’ and ‘their’. You do realise you can do it a second time and publish your revised answers don’t you? But just get one wrong to make it look believable.

Of course I’m intrigued to see which famous celebrity I look like, who wouldn’t be. I’ve never published any of those results either. I scrub up well on a Saturday night but I’m not so delusional that I think I look like Mila Kunis, besides I’m blonde and fifty, and haven’t had plastic surgery recently. I do enjoy the ‘who were you in a past life?’ Usually turns out to be someone who was still alive in my lifetime, so not sure how that works. And what about the career I should have had if I hadn’t been a stay at home mum? Yes! That is exactly what I would have been, an astronaut, suits claustrophobics down to the ground that one.

I care very much about all the hideous diseases and cruelty in the world, I really do, but I’m pretty sure typing ‘Amen’ or sharing posts that give me nightmares for weeks, will not make a significant difference, no matter how much you tell me I’m a total, uncaring, unfeeling cow if I don’t. And you’re right, I had no idea who Prince’s dad was. I still don’t. I don’t have time to click through 20 pages that take ninety seconds to load in the dramatic build up to the answer. Google it. That’s what I do now, I just google it.

My favourite headlines usually include, ‘…and you wouldn’t believe what happened next’. I know what happens next, another site with ninety second loading pages. What about all those photos? We seem to have a new generation of Doctors who can diagnose illnesses, and save lives, just from a brief look at a photo… ‘you won’t believe what they saw…’ You’re right, I don’t believe it. What disturbs me the most about ‘sharing’, is the number of people that are happy to click share without doing any research. Some poor bloke is sitting at home enjoying his first cup of tea of the day when the police kick his front door in. Why? Because he pissed someone off recently and they posted his pic telling everyone he beat an old lady over the head with a bicycle pump. ‘Plz sher so we can catch this scum!’

Scroll on by you might say…don’t log in you might say…. But if I didn’t how would I ever see those wonderful quick and tasty recipes for midweek meals? I wouldn’t know what is good or bad for me in my daily diet. I certainly would have no idea what Prosecco is, or that everyone would like to have it on tap in a variety of gadgets (We seem to have bred a society of alcoholics). Most importantly, I wouldn’t know how many hours my son has slept by stalking his green light status, or how many of my friends are online and ignoring my messages!

 

Posted in comedy, Dating & Relationships, humour, women

How I Met My Husband – Whilst I Was On A Blind Date With Another Man

How I met my, now, ex-husband.

Having been on my own with my son for about 9 years I decided I’d give online dating a go. In those days, 2006, it wasn’t like Tinder, find a match and head out the door. Some men were happy to exchange multiple emails, followed up by lengthy phone calls until I decided I had sorted the wheat from the chaff. Some men weren’t, thought I was wasting their valuable dating time, but that helped me pop them onto the ‘wouldn’t touch with a barge pole’ pile.

I met my first date in a public place, in an area I felt happy there were enough people and escape routes should that become necessary. He turned up just putting out a fag, looking scruffier than his profile pic with earrings that there had been no mention of in our lengthy communications. Surprise surprise we dated for about 3 months. Never judge a book by its cover. I overlooked the fact he was in tens of thousands of pounds of debt (although that did strike him from the potential husband list) and that he had a tattoo of his daughter on his left breast. Most disconcerting. It was only when he stayed one weekend and couldn’t leave as he had been struck down with a serious case of man flu that I finally gave him the elbow. This was the result of finding out that he couldn’t go a few (extra) days without his weed!

The second fellow I had a few reservations about, but as I seemed to be hilariously funny in his eyes I couldn’t resist an evening of being that person. I met him in the same place as the last chap ( I wonder if the bouncers of the pub thought I was a lady of the night). I couldn’t have picked a busier environment to meet him as I’d forgotten it was a match day and Highbury was buzzing. I had an ace up my sleeve though, there was a pub that had a small garden/patio to the rear that no-one else seemed to know about.

We had just settled ourselves in the deserted garden when three chaps in football shirts piled in.  To be honest they looked a little old to be wearing football shirts, but as I said don’t judge a book by its cover (well, only in your head, never out loud). One of them was very drunk and they couldn’t have sat any nearer if they tried. Needless to say they joined in the conversation with us and somehow discovered we were on a blind, internet, date ( I say ‘somehow’, that’ll be me and my big mouth). So a jolly evening was had by all, some more than others.

I’m not sure, but I think when I stood up to leave is when it all went horribly wrong (ok, I am very sure).

  1. It is only when you stand up you realise you have been drinking like a football fan on a Saturday night
  2. It isn’t terribly ladylike to down your date’s leftover pint, even if you do try and suggest it’s wasteful and you’re helping the environment (How? I have no idea)
  3. If a man gives you his business card and says, “call me if it doesn’t work out”, when you’re on a date with someone else; DO NOT take it, put it in your bag and laugh all the way to the next pub.

You guessed it, I am guilty of all of the above. When we got outside the pub I could tell my date was none too pleased about what had just happened. The clue was when he said, “do you want me to go back in and have a word?”. I declined and hurried him along to the pub next to the tube station for one last drink (this is the point that if I went out more often I would know it was time to stop). We sat down before ordering drinks and I vaguely remember him almost right up in my face, I also vaguely remember that I may have been letting out a little spit when I was talking back to him. He went to the bar to get the drinks and that was the last I saw of him. I tried calling his mobile and it went straight to voicemail. The time eventually came when I realised he’d done a bunk. I went outside the pub and called the guy who’d given me his card to see if they were still about, he seemed nice, gentle and kind. He was on the train on his way home but we made a date for another time.

And that is how I met my (ex) husband.

Posted in comedy, humour

How Being Funny Saved My Bacon – What It Felt Like To Be An English Immigrant In The United Kingdom

The best thing about turning 50 is the amount of comedy material that generously lands in my lap. I’ve finally found my calling in life. Making people laugh by taking the piss out of myself. All those foibles and idiosyncrasies that Father Nature (Oh come on, it couldn’t possibly be a woman, could it?) hands out by the bucket load.

I’ve been on a bit of a roll writing about the menopause, middle age spread and heightened anxiety. Although something occurred to me the other day, what if I get better? I overcame a challenge with flying colours recently and I thought that that’s one less thing to be funny about. I’ll come to that one another time, but take my word for it, it was momentous.

I know I’m a funny lady because my Mum told me so. And I see the fruits of my labour on the face of the person I’m talking to as it contorts into the kind of expression reserved for private appearances only. That’s when you know you ARE bloody funny.

As a child my family moved around a great deal. This was very hard for my brother and I. Always the new kids on the block. The first day of school was like groundhog day for us. I recall on one occasion praying at night that I would wake up paralysed so that I wouldn’t have to endure being the new girl again.

Northern Ireland (NI) 1978 was a very bad time to be an English resident. Everywhere we went there were slogans screaming ‘Brits Out’, even cut out of the high mounds of snow piled up on the sides of the roads. The people of NI wanted the British Army to leave; bombing was at a peak; cars left unattended were taken away and destroyed in controlled explosions; soldiers with big guns patrolled the streets and we were searched in every shop we entered. If we got lost in the wrong area we were right to be scared with our English Registration plate.

My parents finally changed our car registration when my Mother was the target of makeshift missiles as she drove along the Falls Road in Belfast when Bobby Sands, member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army died on hunger strike in HM Prison Maze in 1981.

So, there I was, Little Miss English thrown into the Lion’s Den. Not the fault of the children, they learned from their parents that we/I was the enemy. I was 13 years of age, I could forgive the children, but not the teachers. It didn’t matter that I was of Irish descent, I was from the country that as far as they were concerned had stolen their land; I was an alien, an unwelcome immigrant.

This is when the humour really started to kick in. Not easy, but a necessity to survive. It’s awfully hard to kick someone’s head in when you are laughing so hard you almost wet your pants. I was talented and skilled at impersonations and accents. I knew the words and songs to every advertisement on the television. I could do all the voices, and Cilla Black was my pièce de résistance. Being funny and smart saved me from years of bullying.

I was saved from being bullied by the children, but not the teachers. I was in a school play just before we were about to make the move back to England. I played a Belfast woman, my accent was spot on. The next day the maths teacher commended me on my performance, the same teacher that would make me answer questions with the number eight in the answer because it sounded SO FUNNY. He said, “it’s a shame you are leaving just as we’re getting used to you”.

I learned how to judge and cater to my audience to save my backside. This is something that will live with me forever. Survival. Even if I am cured, I will always find the funny in everything. Being funny overcomes shyness, anxiety, bullying and insecurities. Laughter really is the best medicine, and nothing feels greater than being the one that makes it all happen.

 

Posted in comedy, humour, women

Making Sunday A Fun Day – When You’re Billy No Mates

I found myself at a bit of a loose end on Sunday; I thought I should do something completely different (usually Sunday afternoon is spent in the pub). I would learn how to survive a Sunday on my own, not just survive but enjoy, without the pub. I pulled on my skin tight jeans, threw on my white blouse and scrunched my hair up into a messy bun (in my dreams, that’s the stuff Jilly Cooper is made of. Two hours of face painting and a comb over before I’m ready to pull on my high waisted jeans and a top long enough to hide my muffin top).

I walked with a jaunty step (still in chick lit mode) feeling determined and liberated. I planned  to pick up the Sunday papers and take myself for brunch. I had it set in my head which paper I would buy, but it appears the early bird catches the worm on Sunday mornings, how was I to know, I’d never taken flight before 2pm.  I was in a  bit of a quandary as I couldn’t possibly give money to the papers that fund hate. I didn’t want the local paper, if I read that I may well never feel safe enough to leave the house again. I chose one that I wasn’t sure if it did or didn’t fund hate. Had a fair idea it didn’t.

Feeling terribly cosmopolitan I pootled along to the cafe, newspaper at the ready. My cosmopolitan, liberated, jaunty mood subsided slightly as all the windows were steamed up. I panicked in case I walked in and there wasn’t a spare table, everyone would be looking at me. I would be awkward and clumsy and no longer the woman I had dreamed of being. I had no idea how important it was to be able to see through windows before entering a premises.

Good fortune shone down on me and I settled myself into a corner table with my back to the wall.  I always sit with my back to the wall if I can. Last Saturday I gave up my ‘back to the wall’ seat so a man who wanted to watch the rugby more than I did could have a better view. I discovered I had the right idea all along, people insist on touching your hair and stuff when you allow yourself to sit within arm’s reach of passers by. As another aside I did say to aforementioned man, “What the hell are you doing on your phone when I gave up my seat so you could get a better view!”.

I digress. I took out the magazine supplement, I thought that was the safest bet as it would be awfully inconvenient to gather up a sprawled out broadsheet when my decaf tea and veggie all day breakfast arrived. I observed the other patrons and made some notes. I was surrounded by young families and couples. I convinced myself that that didn’t make me jealous or lonely as:

  1. You could stay at home eating breakfast and staring at your phones.
  2. I’m an independent woman of age, happy with my own company.
  3. I don’t have to sit trying to make conversation until the food arrives.

Going out for brunch seems to be a ‘thing’ these days. I get embarrassed if I say I’ve been out for brunch. When I say ‘breakfast’ they look at the time and correct me, “don’t you mean brunch?” What is this fascination with joining two words to make a whole other new word. Brexit. Guesstimate. Brangelina. Chillax. The only good thing about it is the word that describes that process. Portmanteau, beautiful word. I was only there for Breakfast Lunch because I didn’t have any food in the fridge and I was too hungry to go shopping and then go home and prepare it.

I’m lucky really, despite my idiosyncrasies*, that I do have the confidence to walk into a bar or cafe on my own. A good job really, if I didn’t I could spend days never seeing or talking to another human being. The moral of my story, if there is one; don’t get stuck in a rut. Even if you do the same thing everyday, try and do it differently. You’d be surprised how something as simple as having a pot of tea instead of a  teabag in the mug can lift your spirits. Carpe Diem!

*a fairly nice way to describe someone who is frankly a bit odd with a bucketful of anxieties.

 

Posted in comedy, women

If Google Translate Took Over Your Online Profile – Dating Over The Age Of 50

Disclaimer

I am writing this for a friend; Any Resemblance to Actual Persons, Living or Dead, is Purely Coincidental

A friend of mine who has recently found herself single after 15 years of marriage is ready to take the next step

For the sake of argument let’s call her, anything other than her real name, Liz. Liz is 51 and filled with a truck load of insecurity; this is what her profile would look like if she was brave enough to be honest. After all, they all find out in the end.

 

You?

I am a recently separated 51 year old mum of 6, almost grown up, children. Yes, I know, I clearly started young; if you really want to know I’ll be a bloody grandma next month.

Physical Characteristics

I have bloodshot green eyes, wiry bleached blonde hair, a saggy tummy and boobs down to my knees, I did a lot of breastfeeding. I’m 5ft 8 inches tall but shrinking a bit now, mainly due to curvature of the spine that in the wrong clothes makes me look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. My wiry hair is starting to come out in handfuls due to my underactive thyroid, but if I do a Trumpian comb over you’d hardly notice.

Greatest Achievements

Getting through the day without having a number 1 or number 2 accident. This is  due to my irritable bowel, and inability to sneeze without letting out a little wee as no-one actually explained what pelvic floor exercises really are. Lying on the floor and raising my legs didn’t cut the mustard. I do have tablets to hold off on the number 2’s but I don’t always remember to take them. I would consider remembering to take my tablets quite an achievement as well, the memory is going a little, I know, too young!

Biggest Fears

See Above

Lifestyle

Since my separation, after the initial shock and clothes shredding spree, I have learned to live my life alone. I threw all the razors in the bin, I am a liberated European woman with more hair under my arms and legs than anywhere else on my body. And I mean anywhere. I enjoy going to bed early and not having to put up with my beer bellied, unshaven, whisky breathed hubby pawing me. I’m peri-menopausal so not really interested in a physical relationship right now. Not to mention the enormous amount of effort it takes to clench my buttocks (just in case) and fake an orgasm; my COPD can be exacerbated by that kind of fast breathing. I have two different types of inhaler for that, but it’s just not worth the risk, you know.

Career and Financial Solvency

Thanks to my ‘children’ not being ‘children’ I’m not entitled to any maintenance. My lovely little job I did for pin money has now become my main source of income. I am really poor so DSS need not apply.

Looking For?

I’m looking for a man between 35 and 45 with a busy career that keeps him away from home for long periods of time. Tall, dark and handsome, big heart and even bigger wallet. Someone I can flirt with over the phone and on messenger but not have to see too often, The odd meal out, but home to our own abodes. Generous to a fault. Someone who wants to make sure I live comfortably but wants nothing in return.

Whoever said that 50 is the new 40 was having a laugh

Any Takers?

Posted in comedy

When You Choose To Spend New Year’s Eve Alone – Hit Or Miss?

When, on the last day of 2016, you realise that the biggest decision you have to make each day is whether to use the curling tongs or straighteners you know it’s time for change. I thought I’d already started to implement enough changes when my son left for Uni not to still find myself in this position. I have a notebook full of scribblings, ideas for blog posts, a journal of my 50th birthday holiday week, and funny one liners fed to me by my BF. Not to mention the makings of a piece of flash fiction and my notes for a new radio show. And yet here I am, still flailing at life. I woke up this morning, the first day of 2017, home alone. I decided to spend New Year’s Eve on my own. The son was away for a party and I told the BF in true Greta Garbo fashion “I want to be alone”.

Being on my own was supposed to free me to do whatever I pleased, when I pleased, and without having to please anyone else. Lounge around in my house clothes (I don’t own PJ’s, even though saying that I was lounging in them would have sounded much more romantic) watch chick flicks, drink beer, maybe read some chick lit or be productive, bring some of these scribblings and ideas together. In reality by the time I’d had a couple of beers and my son headed off at 8pm I was already wondering how I would stay awake long enough to do any of these things. I didn’t.

I spent half an hour thinking I was having a twitter conversation with Simon Pegg, not hard to believe he had nothing better to do on New Year’s Eve is it? I did have a twitter conversation with Simon Pegg, but it was the wrong one. Much to my embarrassment after I’d catalogued the chat in status updates on facebook and pm’d my son. I rapidly deleted the Facebook updates and ceased to chat with the 40 year old, lonely imposter. Had he nowhere else to be? Really? Ok, he wasn’t an imposter, I didn’t have my glasses on and the profile pic looked pretty professional in it’s haze. I know, I should have gone to Specsavers.

 

screenshot-2017-01-01-at-13-15-47

 

After catching up on Eastenders, real home alone tv viewing, I went to bed at 11pm with:

  • A beer (had to show willing)
  • The landline (just in case my son or the police needed me in the night)
  • Laptop (just in case the Real Simon Pegg, or any other celebs I have tweeted over the last couple of months, actually had the good manners to reply)
  • Bluetooth Speaker (so I could listen to the 3 hour New year’s Eve party mix on the radio, bed dancing?)

I turned the tv on with the volume down low, tried to find a subtitle button in the dark to no avail, and fell asleep before The Birdie Dance! My BF phoned, waking me, at midnight, to wish me a Happy New Year, tell me I was right that the Mrs Brown’s Boys episode was a repeat of the Christmas Day show, and to invite me to lunch at his Brother’s house on New Year’s Day. I declined the invitation after, yet again, commenting how they leave these things to the last minute in his family. And I told him I wasn’t planning on leaving the house for 2 days as I have so much to do… I will be letting my creativity flow not flail.

I, like so many others, have been tricked into thinking that we have to make the first day of the New Year really count for something. The New Year a new me. So at 9am on the first of January 2017 I relieved myself of that last beer I took upstairs and went back to bed and watched Come Dine With Me. That different enough for you? I was quite pleased when I finally got up that I had managed to be so Indie, what next? The world was my Oyster. Twitter flagged up Katie Hopkins on LBC, how better to start the new year than to listen to Katie Hopkins on the radio. Research purposes only of course. I laughed myself silly for 2 hours and then tweeted @KTHopkins, she didn’t even reply to be mean to me. [Insert sad smiley here]

 

screenshot-2017-01-01-at-12-47-26

 

The day is not over, I have absolved myself thus far by at least writing this. I can now curl up on the sofa and watch The Devil Wears Prada feeling moderately satisfied that I have ticked at least one thing off my list; before my son returns and sprawls his 6ft 4 hungover body on the sofa and asks for cuddles and scrambled eggs.

 

Posted in comedy

Christmas Comes But Once A Year – Thank Goodness

So, we finally hit November and that crazy gang who have been counting down the days to Christmas since Boxing day are cranking up their attack on social media. Halloween is over, the memes are circulating, mostly the fairy Godmother telling Cinderella that at the strike of midnight Halloween ends and ‘bam Christmas carols everywhere’.

These people who have filled my newsfeed with Christmas all year long now think they are justified in filling it with MORE festive schmaltz because, as I write, it is ONLY 52 days, 12 hours, 27 minutes and 51 seconds away. And thrill upon thrill by the time you read this it could be minutes, hours and even days closer. Feel free to check any of the online countdown to Christmas clocks with their pretty falling snow animations. When did we last see snow at Christmas? Oh yes, I remember, 2010, the only time I wanted to get a plane out of the bleeding country. Why did I want to do that? Because I was trying so hard to ‘invent’ some Christmas magic for my son with a weekend in Rome.

I have been a single parent, with an only child, and very little extended family for almost the whole of my son’s life. For most of those years we were obliged to have my mother with us, for me that odd number of three was worse than if it had just been the two of us.

I tried so hard to make Christmas magical for my son.We were never going to have one of those huge family Christmases like the ones in those seasonal adverts that bombard our living rooms for 6 weeks (maybe more) in the run up to the big day. Further reinforcement that I could not bring the joy of Christmas into our home unless we had to drag out the ‘small’ table to seat all the extra people that graced us with their presence and presents. Ha! The small table with all the cousins cramped round, and always at least one awkward teen who’d rather be with the grownups sneaking the odd glass of vino, unnoticed by the adults stuffing their faces as the family bore regales them with tales of his/her achievements for the year. Sorry, I digress with a clear bitter resentment for all things ‘family Christmas’.

I eventually decided once my son wasn’t a baby or toddler anymore that Christmas away would be the best thing. We would be surrounded by happy revellers and the true spirit of Christmas would descend upon us, we would live happily ever after knowing that we had had a Christmas that others could only dream of. So off we popped to Butlins, Bognor. My son would have lots of children to play with, there would be entertainment providing much laughter and happiness.

When we finally emerged on Christmas morning (sporting our silly santa hats and reindeer antlers) ready to wave, smile and express our season greetings to one and all we were in for a bit of a shock. On Christmas Eve there had been a ‘Merder’ (best read in a Scottish accent, mimicking a well known detective). The place was crawling with scenes of crime officers, everything was closed, and all those who had travelled there by car had left. It was a ghost town. We, unfortunately had gone by train, and were stuck there for the duration. Thank goodness for Christmas telly.

Beneath all of this frivolity, cynicism and forced humour there is a more serious note. Christmas is hard, and for many reasons for many people. And when the over excited, overgrown kids start ramming it down your throat on the 1st of November, those of us who don’t ‘feel’ the magic have just that bit longer to feel crap about it.

On a lighter note (please) despite my best efforts with my son at Christmas, he went all weirdy ‘I hate Christmas’ a few years ago, which deflated me as I felt that somehow I had failed him. But last year, we probably had one of the best Christmases yet. Just the two of us. We had brunch, went to the pub (he’s 20 btw) , went to another pub, went home and watched films. When we were hungry we bunged a pizza in the oven. I spent no more on food that Christmas than I did any other week. We didn’t feel sorry for ourselves, we actually felt liberated.
Bah-Humbug!

Listen to the audio version here