Saturday, January 28, 2006

The other day when Kamyar and I were walking to town, our conversation went from bricks, to me delivering a long monolog about these little mud huts that my cousins and I used to make in our Grandparents’ place in the north of Iran. We each used four bricks, two to go on either side of each hut and then put sticks on the top and covered the whole thing with mud. Mesothelioma
They were originally built as homes for the little Fisher Price men that we had at the time, but later all the plastic people were evacuated out of their homes as the three mud huts were turned into emergency hospitals for the poor, half dead, rat-poison-eaten mice that we were finding around the house. First the poorly mice were placed inside the mud huts to shelter them from the hot sun and then the treatment would start. Mesothelioma
We brought out cheese and tried putting tiny pieces of it into their half open mouths. Soon we discovered that a rat-poison-eaten mouse is not exactly in the mood for cheese, or any other solid foods for that matter (we had also tried feeding them Maadar biscuits, the boxes of which their beds were made of).
Mesothelioma treatment
We borrowed two empty little Otrivine nose drops bottles from our granddad (Babajoon), one for milk and one for water and took turns dropping liquids into our patients’ mouths, in a race against time to rehydrate their little bodies. Mesothelioma treatment
Sometimes Babajoon would stand behind us in his chequered shorts, white vest, socks and sandals that were tied tightly around his feet and ankles with different colour pieces of string, and would pretend to examine the diseased little orange trees in front of the mud huts when in reality he quietly watched us in our manic race to save the lives of a bunch of mice that were without a doubt beyond saving.
A bit later he would be on his way to the beach, where with his nifty choice of footwear, he would very coolly walk straight into the sea and be seen as the biggest genius of our times in the eyes of every misinformed tourist in that area who was destined to do an involuntary dance (made even more fun to watch by the crazy facial movements they made, in an attempt to hide their pain) as their poor helpless bare feet were first subjected to the blistering hot sands of the beach and then to the sharp rocks and the remains of old villas (destroyed by the waves of the Caspian) popping up here and there on the seabed.
Aligholi Saramad aka Babajoon aka Professor Baltazar
Civil engineer, Poet, Inventor, Lover of dogs
Was born in a year, way back, when hunting dogs rode on horses (well at least one dog did according to him),
and was gone in the winter of 1997 when dogs had long since stopped riding horses and the Labour government was trying to put them completely out of business by banning them from hunting altogether.

At times the sheer volume of casualties meant that we even had to put some patients on rooftops, where they laid motionless on big magnolia leaves with their limp tails hanging from the side of the roof and its end dangling about half way down the building’s side, waiting for another wasp to come and nudge it (on its way to his home right above our head, under the roof of the house) and make it swing one more time. Mesothelioma
Oh how I prayed for those mice to get better and how happy I got every time one of them looked as though it had swallowed a drop of milk or water. But sadly none ever survived and so every day we had to have more funerals and wrap the stiff body of yet another small mouse in toilet paper and bury it in the little cemetery behind the house.
Here lies Chubby the Mouse
Muncher of cheese and Mamanjoon’s straw hats
Also had a soft spot for rat poison
Died in the hot summer of 1984

Mesothelioma treatment
‘This was the height of human confusion when you think about it’ I said to Kamyar, ‘We certainly didn’t want these mice to be running around the house, chewing our clothes and eating our food and carrying on with their slalom races between the tea cups, and we would never object to Babajoon putting out rat poison, yet when we saw them lying about the place, on their last breaths, we so desperately tried to revive them, not thinking for one second that we were the ones who had caused their suffering in the first place.’
‘It’s a bit like the Iraq war, isn’t it?’ replied Kamyar. ‘Yeah it is a bit’ I said, thinking about the similarities. ‘Maybe you could write something about it.’ he said and I said ‘yeah maybe I will.’
But then I thought, well that’s not really saying much because if you really wanted to, you could probably draw parallels between the Iraq war and any idiotic kind of behaviour.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

It’s not that I really want to have a baby right now or anything like that; it’s more like I have this feeling that I must. Yes you guessed it; I’m ovulating again and those weird hormones are trying to trick my brain into thinking that what my body really needs right now is to have another person growing inside it. drug addiction treatment
But my brain being way more logical than my ovaries, refuses to accept this and points out that this is in fact the ovaries worst idea to date, followed very closely by their monthly attempts to convince the brain that we must wipe out the human race since they all seem to have been put on this earth for the sole reason to get on our nerves. The ovaries insist that this statement is in fact true and that they will stand by it. They don’t say it in so many words though as the ovaries don’t have a very large vocabulary. However they seem to have no trouble at all getting their point across. I still haven’t worked out if it’s because the ovaries are too dumb or too clever but usually what they do is to take something like ‘People bad, Baby good’ and repeat it over and over again. This can really get to poor Brain as you can imagine. addiction treatment
‘But why do we need that?’ asks Brain, ‘Are we not happy just the way we are; coming and going as we please, having a computer room instead of a baby room, being able to sleep at nights without something screaming in our ears every ten minutes?’
‘Must have baby’ shout out Ovaries. drug addiction treatment
‘No shouting please.’ says Brain trying to sound authoritative, ‘Lets discuss this like civilized beings. At the moment I don’t think your argument is convincing enough dear ovaries, so do you think you could give us any other reasons as to why you so strongly believe that we must have a baby?'
‘Must have baby’ drug treatment
‘Enough already’ Brain says impatiently
‘We make eggs, must have baby now’
‘Ok yes’ says Brain trying its best to sound sympathetic, ‘I understand. It must be very hard for you to make those eggs every month and see them go to waste like that. But haven’t you thought about how having another person in here will affect the rest of us? Take the poor breasts for example, they will have to go from the A cup, no bra wearing, free spirits that they are, to these huge growths that resemble a cow's udders and have to be strapped to the poor Back at all times because they can no longer support themselves…’
Back: ‘I aint havin’ that, no. That’s not on, no that’s just not on.’
Brain: ‘Yes thank you my friend. Don’t worry; everything’s under control. What about you breasts? Do you have anything to say about this?’
‘Well you know’ says Right Breast, ‘I’d always wondered how I’d look if I’d been a bit bigger. Maybe not that…’
‘What are doing?’ asks a mortified Brain, ‘You’re not helping. Can you just be quite and let me deal with this please?’
Right Breast replies, sounding a bit offended, ‘Well I was only saying because you asked me…’drug addiction
‘Don’t worry about that one Brain’ yells out Left Breast, ‘She gets a bit tetchy about her size because I’ve always been the bigger one.’
‘Hey this has nothing to do with that; I was just wondering…’
‘Has too.’
‘Has not.’
‘Has too, has too.’
‘Must have baby.’ drug addiction treatment
‘I’ve said it before and I say it again: I aint havin’ that. So if yous think you can just get as big as you like and dump all that weight on me, you have another thing comin’. You best think of something like hangin’ yoursefs from the sealin’ or somethin’ cause I aint dealin’ with that.’
‘Has not, has not, has not’
‘Has too, has too, has too.’
‘Must have baby’
‘Please everybody just Calm The Hell Down.’ Cries out Brain.
They all go quite for a few moments.
drug addiction treatment
‘I’m hungry. Wonder if there’s any cheese cake left.’
drug addiction treatment

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Filling the registration form at our local dentist yesterday, I very nearly put down Blogger as my occupation. Just for a laugh you know. But then I wrote down Illustrator instead which can incidentally be just as funny to some people. ‘Illustrator?’ they ask. ‘Yes’ I reply. ‘But that’s not a job.’ They say, sounding very pleased with themselves, as if I have just tried tell them the biggest lie of all time and they’ve caught me out.
‘Well not all of us are lucky enough to have landed a glamorous job at a call centre for NTL.’ I think to myself, but I don’t say it out loud because one, I’m not one for rubbing people’s noses in it and two, she might not appreciate sarcasm and cut my phone line off and what will I do then? Guess what she looks like from her voice and draw her picture?!

The interesting thing is that I have had these occupational problems all my life. Well maybe not all my life but I’ve definitely had a few from when I started school anyway. Father’s occupation bit on my registration form had been left blank and this was really upsetting our head teacher. Every time she saw me in the corridors or the school yard, she would shout, ‘Saramad, Saramad (this is my old surname by the way and not that she had some sort of speech impediment or anything like that)’ until I either managed to pretend that I hadn’t heard her and ran and hid somewhere, or went to her and was told that she still needed to know what my father’s occupation was. Every time, I would tell her that my father didn’t work but that just made her mad. ‘Everyone works’ she would say irritably ‘you just don’t know what he does. Go and ask your mother and come and tell me tomorrow.’
The more she asked me this, the more worried I got about the whole thing. I kept thinking maybe not working was a crime in the Islamic Republic and my dad was going to be taken to prison or something (well a lot of weird things were happening in the country then). Later I realised that I needed not to have worried about that at all since the only reason that woman was so interested in my father’s occupation was that she wanted to know how much money she was able to scrounge off my family at the next teacher parent meeting.
Anyway I finally, as the head teacher had instructed, asked my mum what my dad did.

A few days later at school, we were in the middle of a lesson in our classroom when the head teacher suddenly barged in and after exchanging polite nods and smiles with our teacher, became serious once more saying, ‘Saramad, I’m really at the end of my tether with you. What is your father’s occupation?’ I could tell she meant business. It must have been coming up to a teacher parent meeting or something.
Whatever the reason, by coming to our classroom like that, she had scared the hell out of me. So in a sort of weird fright trance, I repeated what my mum had told me to say word for word, ‘Up until a few months ago my father had been reading a few things and now he is writing a few things of his own.’
‘Aah’ grunted the frustrated head teacher, ‘what does that mean?’ she said, raising her voice a little, ‘Look at this.’ She said pointing at my registration form that she had in her hand, ‘even if what you just said made any sense, how could I ever fit all that in this little space on here. Father’s occupations are usually just one word like Doctor, Dentist, Surgeon.’ (the poor woman had high hopes for my family as well) She paused to see what I had to say for myself. But I just kept staring ahead, not knowing what else to do. Finally she got bored and stormed out of our classroom.

Some years past. That head teacher left our school and another one took her place. This one was also curious about my father’s occupation since it was still left blank on the form. So she asked me about it. By then my father was officially a writer and his first book was either coming out or had already come out. And so very proudly I replied, ‘My Father is a writer Miss.’
‘Ok’ she said, sounding a bit annoyed, ‘But what does he do for a living?’

Now many years later, history repeats itself and I get asked this exact same question myself. And now I finally know what my answer to it should be, ‘To tell you the truth, I’m really a Blogger that moonlights as an illustrator.’ That should confuse them good and proper.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

So yesterday I go on my first bargain hunting trip to Oxford in the January sales. There’s this skirt in this shop, Whistles, reduced from £105 to £46 and I’m toying with the idea of buying it. So I go in to try it on just to see if it’s any good or not and I see that it has been reduced even further and it’s now only 24 pounds! So I think, brilliant, I’ve cheated Whistles out of twenty two big ones. But my happiness is short-lived as I realise that there aren’t any size 10s left. So I get all down about this because I really love this skirt (on account of it having multicoloured buttons randomly sewed onto it for no apparent reason). I’m about to go but there is one in size eight there and I can’t resist trying that on just to see what a great thing I’m missing and all that.
So I go into the changing room and I try it on and miracle of all miracles; it fits me perfectly! If anything, it’s even a bit loose on me. So I’m getting all ecstatic about having found this bargain skirt in my size but even more so about the fact that I have apparently gone through Christmas with all that eating and all that not moving that I’ve done, and instead of going up a size or two, I have gone the other way! But to be honest more than anything I’m excited about getting back home and writing to Gazankhan and trying to persuade him to pack up and come to LA with me where I’m certain with his genius new Anger Management course idea (burying people up to their lower lip in runny, human excrement) and my All eating Non moving diet, we are to start a couple of new trendy fads and bag ourselves a good few million dollars to put towards our pension.
I’m getting so excited about my new size and my new millions that the skirt with multicoloured buttons sewed onto it no longer looks like the great catch that I had thought it was earlier. So I say ‘come on my lovely size eight body, let’s go buy you some real clothes with our millions.’
I get dressed in my own clothes again, humming a happy little tune to myself, listening to the conversation a posh couple are having in the cubicle next to me ( -‘What do you think of this?’ -‘It’s marvellous darling. You must buy it. Only I don’t know what you are going to do about the bosoms.’ –‘Oh you don’t need to worry about that darling.’ –‘In that case, as I said, you must buy it. I’m still worried about the bosoms a little but if you are certain you can do something about them, then I guess there is nothing to worry about.’)
Next I go into East and I see these really lovely skirts. But unfortunately they are all out of any sizes under 12. So I pick up a size 12. Just so I can try it on and see it fall down and go, ‘Haaa haa you’re far too big for my skinny body.’ But I don’t get the chance to do that because the skirt does not fall! It sits there quite snugly even if you ask me.
I’m a bit confused at this point as you can imagine. All evidence point to the fact that whilst walking from Whistles to East, which are only about two minutes from each other, I have somehow gone up two dress sizes. Very strange, I know, but then again maybe not that strange compared to say, spontaneous human combustion.
Next I go to Miss Selfridge's. Turns out in this shop, I’m a non-mover at 10!

Half an hour, one person, three shops, three skirts, three sizes = One broken woman with shattered dreams and a very big question left unanswered; What exactly was that woman going to do about the bosoms?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

When the first Iraqi bombs were dropped on Tehran, it was so unexpected that I thought I was hearing the sound of thunder and lightning. It wasn’t until Mum came rushing into my room that I realised there was something wrong. But by then the planes had left and all that we could hear was the crack of anti-aircraft fire. The sound of the bombs had been faint and far away, somewhere downtown perhaps.

Dad says there is no need for taking shelter and I am happy because I don’t like to be buried under the rubble. ‘This is nothing’ He says, ‘You know in Second World War, when Nazis bombed London, that was proper bombing. This is nothing compared to that. Two or three flimsy planes dropping four, five or six bombs a night, what is that in a city the size of Tehran? We have a much higher chance of getting run over by a car than being hit by a bomb.’
Hearing my dad say this always makes me happy. It means that there is nothing to worry about, although it does make me feel a little sad too. Those British are better than us in every way it seems; we can’t even get ourselves bombed properly!
At nights, when Dad and I can’t be bothered to get out of bed, Mum runs between their bedroom and mine a few times (not knowing which room to stay in) until the attack is over.
‘You are very lazy,’ she says standing by my bed barefoot and shivering, with her thick shiny hair resting on her shoulders, ‘can’t you just get out of bed for two minutes?’ I invite her into my bed and we tickle each other and giggle until the green alert comes on.
Sometimes I go and sit with her on their bed, with my dad (keeping his eyes firmly shut because he doesn’t want to wake up fully) saying, ‘Don’t be silly you two, go back to bed. It’s just like an injection; finished as soon as it starts.’ I say, ‘Unless it’s a Penicillin injection in which case the pain stays on for two days after.’ And he starts laughing with his eyes still kept shut.
Some nights, I don’t even wake up. I sleep all through the sirens, the bombs and the antiaircraft fire. In the morning Mum says, ‘How on earth can you not wake up with bombs dropping all around you? Did you not hear it at all?’
‘Not a thing.’ I say biting into my fresh bread smeared with ration butter and cheese, ‘Was it a bad one?’
‘No not especially,’ she replies sipping her sweet black tea, wiggling her toes in front of the oil heater, ‘only four bombs maybe. It’s hard to tell with all the noise that the antiaircraft missiles make.’

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A little something to lighten up the mood a bit. This is dedicated to my cousin Shadi, whom I used to share a bed with during our school summer holidays by the Caspian and whom I used to have massive fights with over leaving the light on until the early hours of the morning (as she read Daeejan Napelone and the Chain of Love for the hundredth time) which attracted all the mosquitoes of that area to our bed and who lately has been calling me every night to see if I’m ok which is very sweet, even if she does put me on hold at least once during our conversation.

‘Psssd’ I heard ‘are you awake?’
I was but I didn’t answer. Even as an eight year old I liked my asleep and waking up so early in the morning that was still dark outside, during my summer holidays, was not my idea of fun.
‘Hey’ Shadi whispered again, ‘Are you awake?’ and that was followed by her giggling to herself.’
‘What?’ I said irritably; I was not a morning person.
‘Are you awake?’
‘Well I am now, what is it?’
‘I don’t know, I woke up a few minutes ago and then I thought if you’re up as well, we can go on the beach and watch the sunrise.’
I looked out of the window. There was a little bit of pink in the sky but it was still very dark. ‘Are you insane?’ I said turning my back to her. ‘It’s still dark.’
Before closing my eyes I looked at the nail on the wall where I had hung my red, Hatch the Honey Bee bag. My bag was not there.
Shadi was still pleading with me to go out on the beach with her, ‘Come on, it’ll be fun.’
‘Ok where is it?’ I suddenly asked her sitting in my half of the bed and putting my most serious face on.
‘Where is what?'
‘You know what I’m talking about. What have you done with it?’
‘With what?’
‘My Hatch the Honeybee bag. Where is it?’
‘I don’t know’ she said, sitting up in the bed and looking around, ‘I haven’t taken it.’ I looked under the bed where we both kept our suitcases. There was nothing there. I was getting really annoyed with her now and so climbing back to the bed, I pulled the covers over my head saying, ‘Very funny. But you’d better not have put my stuff in the cupboard; I don’t want the mice munching through my clothes.’
‘What?’ She exclaimed jumping off the bed. ‘I haven’t taken your stuff.’ she said, looking around the small living room. I sat up in the bed again to see what was going on when I heard her cry out, ‘Oh no’ and point to the coffee table where her cassette player used to be ‘We’ve been burgled.’
Suddenly I got a real fright as I thought what if he is still around. I jumped and grabbed hold of the stick that we used for the fireplace in the winter. ‘What are you doing?’ Shadi asked.‘What if he is still around?’ I whispered.
Armed with our stick, we tiptoed around the living room, looking in all the dark corners until we came to one of the windows that was wide open. On further inspection we noticed two batteries on the floor on the other side of the window. Shadi recognised them as the batteries that were inside her cassette player.
We are upset about loosing our stuff but we are also very excited. Our grandparents (Mamanjoon and Babajoon) whose place we were staying at, had been burgled many times but it had never happened while we had been there.
We ran towards the one bedroom of the house where our grandparents slept in, passing my other cousin on our way who was fast asleep in his favourite pose: laying on his front with his head tilted to one side, his mouth half open, holding onto his private parts, very tightly with both hands (as if somehow he had known that we were going to be burgled that night).
When we got inside the bedroom (still traumatized from that time when I accidentally woke babajoon up and gave him such a fright that he had to go and pop Nitro-glycerine pills) I stood back and let Shadi deal with the whole waking up process.

‘We’ve been burgled again.’ we blurted out in unison (maybe a bit too eagerly) as Mamanjoon took out her earplugs and Babajoon turned his bedside lamp on.
So turning in their beds and looking a bit miffed (as you would be if you were woken up with that kind of news) and also a bit uninterested (on account of them getting robbed left and right) they mumbled something like, ‘What do you want us to do about it?’ and turning off the light, they said ‘Just go back to bed, we’ll deal with it in the morning.’
As we turned to go, Babajoon suddenly jumped up and turning on the light again, looked under their bed. All that was followed by a, ‘Oh, damn'
‘What is it?’ Mamanjoon asked.
‘My briefcase’ Said Babajoon while pulling up his trousers and putting on his glasses.
The morning breeze was nice and cool. Shadi and I held hands and as our feet got soaked from the morning dew, we skipped faster to try and keep up with Babajoon who charged down the narrow pathway that went to the beach. The raspberry bushes on either side of the path were littered with our belongings. Shirts, shorts, swimming trunks, towels, trousers, sandals, socks, notebooks with secret pirate maps drawn in them and even Babajoon’s briefcase had been discarded by the thief in his haste to find more valuable items.
But Babajoon still wasn’t looking happy. Which meant whatever he had jumped out of the bed for, must have been inside the empty briefcase that we had found.
Suddenly he bent down and picked up a piece of damp paper and then his face lightened up a bit. Then he turned round to us and said, ‘If you see any papers lying around, pick them up.’ So happy to be able to help, we ran around picking up pieces of damp paper from the ground.
After a while, Mamanjoon came to the window and Babajoon waved the papers at her with a smile and a look of relief.
By the time we got to the beach, the sun was coming up. Babajoon sat on the rocks looking through his papers while Shadi and I ran as far as we could towards the sea when the waves went back, and then ran out again as fast as we could, when they came back to get us wet.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

I was in the middle of writing a bit of a funny story that happened to me the other day when the phone rang. I knew it was bad news from the moment I heard the voice on the other side. I mean you don’t have to be a rocket scientist, as they say, to know that when people are crying, they are going to give you bad news.
When you’re away from home, anything to do with someone dying is a bit of a lonely affair. One day I get a phone call from one country by someone telling me that someone very close to me by blood, that I haven’t seen for twenty four years, has died in another part of the world that I’ve never even been to. I get sad and I go over the memories that I have of that person and in between I keep checking the time and doing the maths to see if it’s yet a good time to call Canada or Iran or France or Spain.
The first thing I remembered of him was a few of us kids being out in the garden one day and him saying, ‘I know how to make a cigar.’ It was the unfortunate Farsi name of cigar (cigar barg: leaf cigar) that had given him this idea I think. He sent us to go and get the driest leaves we could find from around the garden. Then he ripped out a double page from the middle of his old homework’s notebook (there were a few of us little kids in the garden that day you see and he was making the cigar long enough so everyone could have a drag) he poured the broken, dried leaf pieces in the middle of the paper, rolled it and then used a big piece of cellotape to stick it together. We all sat in a row in the back of the garden so no grownups would find us, coughing and passing this strange, smoking torch up and down the line.
I was six when they left Iran for good. For the first few years when his mum came back to visit, he would send me letters with her with a picture of a big candle on them. Underneath the candle he would write, ‘The flame of our friendship is still burning.’ and ‘The flame of my love for Iran is still burning.’
Next thing I know twenty four years have passed and I have eleven cousins instead of twelve.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Years ago when I was a wee girl back in Tehran, I was totally smitten by pirates and maps and finding treasures and all that. When I was at my friend, Roshanak’s place, along with her two little brothers, we would spend hours burying Star Wars men and plastic soldiers in the ground and then make maps of their whereabouts so we could go and dig them up later.
In my Grandparents’ garden in the north, my cousin Nader and I would become proper explorers armed with sticks and would spend hours and hours fighting our way through raspberry bushes and cobwebs looking for signs and clues that would lead us to a treasure that we were convinced was buried somewhere in that garden by the pirates.

At school that year, we had a great bunch of kids in our class. Our classroom was completely separate from the school building and it had been built in the yard only the year before. Essentially this was half pray-room and half library but it later became half pray-room and half classroom because of shortage of classes and also lack of interest in the library (due to the fact that there were only about ten books in there; The Three Piglets and nine others about Imam Hussein).
Maybe it was the intimate environment of such a small classroom or maybe it was that old thing about a group of people who suffer the same inhumanity (which in this case was having to endure the terrible foot odour of all the girls who came to say their mandatory prayers before their religious studies class everyday) whatever it was, we were all very close that year.
At break times I would tell my classmates about my latest expeditions and treasure hunts but it was hard for them to understand exactly where the thrill of it all was when they had never done anything like that themselves. Some even thought it was silly to just be looking for a treasure when you weren’t absolutely sure that there was a treasure to be found in the first place. The way I saw it though, it didn’t really matter if you found anything or not because for me the exciting part was definitely when you were trying to get to what you were looking for and once you had found it, the adventure part was over.

What annoyed me the most was that after a while, even when they were all getting properly excited about this treasure hunting business and they were even warming to the idea of going after something just for the hell of it, every time I found something that could be seen as a map, they still found faults in it and only saw it as what it really was; an old stained and muddied photocopy of someone’s birth certificate, a big leaf or an old telephone bill. Well a bit of imagination never killed anyone did it? But no, from what I gathered, the only way I could get these girls to go on an adventure was if an authentic pirates’ treasure map, somehow found its way to our little classroom in Charrah Hessabi in Tehran!
At the end I thought I had no other choice but to make the map myself. I knew this wasn’t a nice thing to do but I managed to convince myself that this could very easily have been done by someone else. To lessen my own input in it, I drew most of it with my eyes closed and used my left hand to write things on it. But unfortunately this didn’t work either; for one, everyone knew straight away that the map was done by me, two, I felt horrible because I had to keep lying to my friends and swear to this and that that I hadn’t done it, three, having drawn the whole thing with my eyes shot, we couldn’t make head or tail of it anyway.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

…and so the eating continues.
One thing that I’ve learnt in this season of stuffing one’s face, is that seafood noodle soup and beer really don’t go together. I learnt this the hard way unfortunately but I thought it might be a good idea to share this with you in case you are ever tempted to try it.
Yes so this was how 2005 ended for me; feeling very queasy and having to walk all the way back home from the fear of being sick on the bus driver.