Tag Archives: Lancaster University

Echoes from the Deep

8 Jun

Less humour, more information today.  Or, if you’re reading this in America, less humor, more information today.  Does my English spelling irritate you?  I confess, American spelling used to make my teeth itch until I took The Open University course U210 about the English language and discovered a) I was a language snob and b) America changed spellings after 1776 as a continuation of the Revolution.  A sort of Declaration Against The Pedants.  That was when I forgave you for dropping the extraneous ‘u’.  Or shold that be extraneos ‘**‘?

I’m losy at softening yo p, aren’t I? 

I want you to pay close attention to the next bit, because it is about my beloved firstborn, Tory Boy, who is hardly ever mentioned these days because he’s too busy living his life to call his mother.  And that’s as it should be, the books say.  Stupid books.  He does at least call when he wants something, so I’m grateful for that.  I’m a mother; I have no pride. 

What he wants – and even asked politely – is for me to tell you about his latest project.  For those who are fairly new here, Tory Boy is a politics student who intends to rule the world one day (teachers be warned: you’re off to Antarctica), but he has been temporarily sidetracked by radio.  Or is it a sidetrack…?  If you want to conquer the world, the airwaves are a good place to start.

Tonight, Tory Boy is producing a live radio play for Bailrigg FM, Lancaster University’s campus radio station, and he would like to attract more than five listeners (students have the irritating habit of going out on Friday nights) so, if your ears are free and you want to prove you are slavishly devoted to me, check it out: http://www.bailriggfm.co.uk/

The play starts at nine p.m. UK time.  You can check how that relates to your time zone by clicking http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/

Here’s the blurb:

Echoes From The Deep: A Bailrigg FM Production.  Written by Tim Mackworth-Praed.  The first radio play to air on Bailrigg FM in over five years. 
Echoes from the Deep is the story of Annie Lensman, a woman attempting to deal with life’s problems as she ages.  Throughout the play she is comforted by the many tales of her Uncle Walter, a benevolent figure who provides continual support. 
Told in two halves, the play focuses on three stories brought to life by Uncle Walter:  one fantastical and poetic tale told when Annie is a little girl;  a caustic and unnerving story told when Annie is a teenager; and a psychological and tragic story told to the now middle-aged Annie. However, Uncle Walter has a sadness of his own to address…


Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?  And as this is a personal favour to me, I will eat a Malteser in honour of every person who tells me they listened.  And another for those who actually did listen.


There you go, son!  Will you visit me now?





We’ve Got Gigs Coming Out Of Our Ears Here

25 Jun

Bailrigg fm festival

Tory Boy phoned last night.  Not to chat to his mother or tell her how much he loves and misses her and he should never have left home to go to university, leaving her bereft and jobless.

No, he called because he wants me to promote a music festival he’s helped organise.  Fair enough: I’m a mother; doing as I’m told by my adult children is part of the job description.

When: TODAY from 12 to 9

Where: Lancaster University and bailriggfm.co.uk, so anyone can listen, anywhere in the world


Price: FREE

The festival has been organised by Bailrigg fm, the student radio station at Lancaster University.  It is the first time they have tried something like this and they are hoping to make it an annual event.  The students have organised everything, including the food (done at the last minute by Tory Boy himself, so you know who to sue).

TB will be doing his DJ sets at 12 – 12.15 and 12.45 – 1, UK time, so please check him out if you happen to be online.  Click here for an international clock.

Then report back to me: I can’t be doing with all that nasty, modern music.

A Radio Star Is Born

25 Feb
Princess Leia, sporting her trademark "ci...

Image via Wikipedia

Sorry to those of you who missed Tory Boy’s radio show.  Not his, exactly: he co-hosted because the usual host was out.  It’s his second time filling in.  It’s just a little campus station but he assures me last night they had as many as thirteen listeners.

Special mention goes to slp’Slip’martin for being the show’s only American listener.  Probably ever.  And to Flo for giving up Monk.

If you missed it, you can catch it on the podcast when it appears online sometime in the next decade.  I’m still waiting for the podcast of his debut a couple of weeks ago.  We only heard about it after the event because he’s, well, Tory Boy and that’s the way it works.

I know how disappointed you must be to have missed him so I have put together Tilly Bud’s DIY Guide To Re-Enacting The Activities Of A Complete Stranger’s Son:

  1. Have a son.
  2. Wait twenty years.
  3. Send him to Lancaster University, eighteen years in.
  4. Wait by the phone for the calls that never come.

Hang on a minute; that’s a different guide.  Here you go:

  1. Pretend to be a twenty-year old student male.  Unless you already are one, in which case, pretend to be yourself.
  2. Get a pair of Eighties’ earphones, the great big ones that look like Princess Leia’s hairdo encased in plastic.
  3. Have a huge amount of curly hair and a distinctive laugh.
  4. Talk into a microphone to thirteen of your closest friends and relatives and your Mum’s friends.
  5. Babble a lot about whatever comes to mind (required element).
  6. Play some records (they should be some sort of computer files, not records, I know; but anyone actually acting upon this guide is forty-something with no life and a massive record collection, so why waste it?).
  7. Laugh at every opportunity (good advice in general).

And that’s it.

I thought he did pretty well once he got into it.  I’m proud that he even tried: I like a kid that will grab every opportunity.  I think I’ll keep him.

The highlights for me were when he looked particularly daft (I didn’t get to be the mother I am by not enjoying my sons’ foolish moments to the full).  The other host put on Booker T & The MGs’ Green Onions but didn’t say what it was (quote the source!  Always quote the source.  Don’t they teach you anything at uni?).  I sent a message while it was playing, saying ‘green onions booker t & the mgs’ (I lost the ability to use the Cap button in my excitement).  The song finished; the hosts chatted a little; then Tory Boy said, ‘We’ve had a request for green onions by booker t & the mgs’ (young people never talk in capitals any more), only to be told that that was the song they’d just played.  Co-host was amazed anyone knew what it was called and TB was forced to admit the message was from his mother.  Co-host then co-admitted that the only other person in the world who probably knew the song was his own mother.

The other highlight came when TB read the request from Flo to sing along to a Robbie Williams song (there being some confusion as to whether one or other of the hosts sounded like Robbie Williams and Flo being the only person who agreed with herself that someone did).  All of the people in the studio sang along to a song beginning with ‘F’ (I forget which because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t hear it); not everyone in the studio, however, knew they were live on air.  Tory Boy did, but didn’t care. 

TB is the apple of my pie and I love him dearly but I can safely say without hesitation, repetition or deviation that he will never, ever top the charts, bless him; but his ability to poke fun at himself might win him some new friends.  It works for me.

How Exciting!

24 Feb

Tory Boy is on the radio right now (20:18 UK time) until ten p.m.

If you happen to be visiting me as I post this you can hear him at http://www.bailriggfm.co.uk/live/#

He’s the one with the distinctive laugh and frightening hair (there’s also a webcam feed).

The Laughing Housewife And A Cast Of Minions Proudly Presents: Who-He?

3 Feb
Toilet Paper Roll

Image via Wikipedia

Something that keeps coming up lately is back history: when I’m new to a blog I like to know something about the writer, such as age, family, hair colour, bank details.  The usual stuff.  Many blogs have running gags or themes; many writers have history that it’s necessary to know in order to fully enjoy what I’m reading so, prompted by Cin (not ‘sin’; I’m a good girl, I am.  Cin left a comment the other day about just this thing), here’s the story so far. 

Once done, I’m going to have a bash at making another blog page where this info will be stored.  Wish me luck and if you never hear from me again, know that technology finally killed me and I love you all, each and every one of my dear readers (that’s you, Tory Boy; and Robert).

The Laughing Housewife

That’s me.  In my late forties at the moment (how did that happen?).  Born in the capital of Ireland (Liverpool); grew up in Wallasey and Runcorn.  Emigrated most reluctantly with my family to South Africa at age eighteen.  You can read all about that at my other blog South Africa – A Love/Hate Story.  Don’t expect funny though; I wasn’t a laughing teenager.  It’s mostly poetry and angst and angst-ridden poetry: you think Spiderman was miserable?  Meet me.

I lived there fourteen years and came back to the UK in 1996.  I’ve got a degree in Literature from the Open University.  I’m married to:

The Hub

He’s from the capital of Crimeland (Wythenshawe, Manchester) but spent three years at my school in Runcorn, where we didn’t meet.  He lived in South Africa for eight years; had three years back in the UK; and then went back to South Africa in 1981.  We met in a car park in a tiny dorp in the middle of nowhere.  Ain’t life strange? 

We were engaged after three months and married three years later.  It’s lasted twenty-five years so far but I figure, if the three motif recurs, one of us will be free in eight years’ time.  Or even five, because we will have been together thirty-three years in 2008.  You maths wizards out there might be scratching your pencils right now but factor in that we married in the middle of a year and that you really don’t need to care about this stuff, and just take my word for it.

We fight a lot.  Squabble, really.  All day long.  Who said what to whom about when and why and where.  Stupid stuff, but we are both easily irritated; and irritating.  I hang onto him because he fixes the computer and even does it without moaning if it wasn’t me who broke it.  He moans a lot.  What I really love about him, though, is his ability to put down the toilet seat and replace the toilet roll.  Things like that matter after twenty-eight years.  He is forever leaving love notes for me and being romantic, but I try not to mind.  I must have not minded it at least twice, because we have two children:

Tory Boy

Born in Johannesburg, he is the first fruit of my loins and Conservative Prime Minister-in-Waiting.  Currently in his last year at Lancaster University, where he’s studying Politics & Philosophy.  That’s kind of our fault: the Hub was telling him while he was still in my womb that he was going to university.  The Hub and I are great believers in getting an education and thinking for yourself and all that junk. 

Tory Boy spent his whole life listening to his parents argue about politics and issues of the day and who put the toilet roll tube in the wrong recycling box, so I suppose a career in politics was inevitable, given his megalomaniac tendencies: the first thing he’s going to do when he takes over the world is send all the teachers to Antarctica and put the toilet roll tube wherever he feels like.  There should have been a swear word-well in that last sentence [put the toilet roll tube wherever he swear word-well feels like] but he’s scared of his father and respects his mother so there isn’t.  He’s also a good big brother to:

Spud Bud

Like Princess Diana, I, too, have an heir and spare.  He was born in Alberton, South Africa and cost us a fortune because we didn’t have medical aid at that point and it wasn’t a natural birth.  It would have been cheaper to adopt.  Still, we decided to hang on to him.  Well, he’s family.  He worked out as a good deal in the end because he’s on a full bursary at an excellent grammar school here in Stockport, where we now reside.


Features a lot.  As does the Viaduct, the railway station and the Stockport Express.  

Toby & Molly

Our dogs and the cutest Yorkies on the planet.  We have a fish tank and thirteen fish, four shrimp and two butterfly loaches.  Until recently, we also had gerbils.

Also, you will find that a lot of dead pet references tend to appear in this blog.  Pay attention because I may set a test at any time.  We have three cats and seven gerbils buried in our garden (my brother says we are on the RSPCA’s hit list).  We loved them all, but the Hub is daftly ridiculous about animals.


There are only two that I mention with any frequency:

The Boy Nik

An ex-addict who isn’t really a boy but talks and acts like one, and who I first met when he knocked on my door just before one Christmas to ask me to phone the nearest prison so he could visit his mate; and who has never stopped knocking since, for a hammer, a bin bag, a spade…umm, I’ve just made a connection here.  I’ll get back to you on this one.

Next Door

Housewife whose husband works away and who spends all her time hammering nails into our shared wall.  I think she’s building a secret extension in my lounge.

A Few Important Facts

Necessary for comprehension.

  • Maltesers – probably the single-most important influence in my life.  No Maltesers for Christmas sets the tone for the following excruciating (for my family) year.
  • The hub has severe CFS/ME and a host of other ailments which means he spends all his time in pain and a lot of time unable to do stuff; and by ‘stuff’ I mean if he takes a shower then that’s it for his day. 
  • As a result of his illness he hasn’t been able to work for many years.  He became ill when I had a baby and six-year old on my hands.  Before he learned to manage his CFS he would spend weeks in bed, unable to get up, so we ended up on benefits once our money ran out.  It’s one of the reasons I got my degree, so I could go back to work once the boys were old enough.  That plan didn’t work out so well because I graduated at the height of the recession.  Timing is everything.
  • Christmas and Maltesers must be done to excess; everything else is showing off.
  • We live in a council house on a council estate.  Expect a lot of posts about crime.
  • Poetry – I write it.  Deal with it.  Or ignore it, if you like: this is the internet, after all; how would I know whether you read my poems or not?
  • I’m not soppy.  Mush embarrasses me.  What can I say?  I’m British.  I’m so un-soppy that I even have a special category – ‘Feeling Sentimental’ (see right under ‘Category Cloud’) – for days when the hormones take over and a nice thought bursts out.
  • I make up words.  Did you spot the one under ‘Toby & Molly’?  I figure if Shakespeare could do it, so could I.  Pity I don’t have my own theatre in which to try them out, but them’s the breaks. 
  • My motto: you can never have too many Maltesers (the roof of your mouth is raw from eating seven boxes on Christmas Day?  Suck it up, you wimp!)

And Finally…God

I’m a Christian – I know, incredible, isn’t it?  I wouldn’t have believed it if I’d been reading me, either.  I have a strong and enduring faith, but that’s not what this blog is about.  This blog is about poking fun at life: if something funny happens in church, you’ll hear about it; but otherwise, no preaching.

On the strong and enduring faith bit: the Hub reckons if it was that strong I wouldn’t have married what he calls an ‘agnostic’ and I call ‘a rabid atheist’.  The Hub is really annoying sometimes.  We have learned not to argue about religion (much), but everything else is on the table.  Unless he feels like winding me up and we fall out over the monarchy (he’s against it) and I swear I really am killing or leaving him this time.

Happy reading!

%d bloggers like this: