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The Adventures of Stoic Man And Impulse Girl

7 Mar

Today’s post is brought to you by my good bloggy friend, The Byronic Man. Some say he wears his underwear over his trousers and saves the world one ironic phrase at a time, but no one really knows…. I hope you enjoy.

Belle xx

My wife was flipping through one of those “How To Survive Dangerous Situations” books that are so popular right now, and came across “How to survive an encounter with a burglar.” First thing it said was, “Absolutely under no circumstances confront or try to apprehend the burglar.”

This is the story of the night that we didn’t do that.

My mother-in-law was out-of-town for a few days, and we’ve been taking care of her house – feeding the pets, picking up mail, feeding more pets, making sure even more animals have food, that kind of thing. We get there the other night and see we left some lights on the night before. Oops. Then we see more lights on – lights in rooms we didn’t even go in. And then we realize her house has been broken in to. We realize her house has been burglarized.

And that the burglar is still there.


We pulled up to the house down the long driveway and then I saw someone inside. Middle-aged guy – not clean-cut, but also not wearing burglar clothes, which was pretty disappointing. No skullcap. No striped turtleneck. No big sack with a dollar sign on it. Pathetic.

He came to the front door and asked who we were, which is a pretty smart move, if you think about it. We were not expecting that, and so for a moment thought maybe this was a neighbor who’d come over because he… I don’t know, saw something was wrong. I don’t know what exactly you’d see that would lead you to break in. The house filling up with water? The cats having a knife fight? Anyway, he came to the door. He didn’t run, didn’t attack; he was, actually, extremely calm.

I tend to assess things. My wife tends to charge. If we’re, say, hiking, and see a really difficult rock outcropping, I’ll evaluate and ascertain and theorize various outcomes and then probably not climb it because it looks too sketchy, and miss out. She’ll see it and scramble to the top and then not be able to get down (even if – and yes this literal scenario has happened – I’m standing there shouting, “Do not climb that. You won’t be able to get down. You will not be able to get down!” and we then spend half an hour with me talking her down).

Anyway, I was reading the situation, looking at options, etc, and generally being very stoic. I do that. She, however, immediately pins him down with questions. “No, who are you? You’re not supposed to be here. Tell me what you’re doing here. You’re a ‘friend’ of the owner? What’s your ‘friend’s’ name?”

You might be thinking that questioning an intruder mid-intrude is, oh, dangerous.

But you’re forgetting that my wife teaches, and that there is possibly nothing more powerful or paralyzing than a woman using her Teacher Voice and demanding to know just What You Think You’re Doing, Mister.

So, he’s on the front stoop, and my wife is in the driveway. There’s a railing and some steps to the side separating them. I go inside to call 911 while she’s questioning him (we didn’t have a cell phone with us). As I’m going in, my brain is still assessing – are there more people in here? What will I do if there are? What if he runs? What if he doesn’t? How quickly can I get to him if he starts towards my wife? Am I really, definitely sure that this is actually happening?

Now is the part of the story that I get frustrated with. The sequence here was pretty logical, if we had to split up, but then at the end of the sequence, as I’m on the phone (it’s an older phone with a cord), about twelve feet away from the burglar, all I can think is, “Wait a second. Now I’m the one on the phone and my wife is keeping the burglar at bay. How the hell did this happen?” So, you know… not my most satisfying moment.

Fortunately the burglar came back in the house to where I was. Apparently he decided it was time to leave, and he didn’t have his shoes. As he came in I was noticing several things:

1. There was food and beer cans all over and the TV was on. Looks like he’d been pretty confident that no one was coming home.

2. My mother-in-law’s drawers were open and things were lying all over.

3. My mother-in-law’s dog was sitting on the carpet, smiling and wagging happily.

Of course he was. You see, the thing is, he wasn’t always my mother-in-law’s dog. He used to be our dog, but he was incredibly high strung, and would snap at everything – the other pets, the refrigerator, us. One day while bathing him he bit me in the throat. I have this super-cool scar right on the jugular vein, but you can barely see it because the stupid jerk doctor did too good a job of sewing it up. So we moved him to her house because she has pastures where he can run around and be outside. Now he’s much happier. Much more relaxed. A little too relaxed, apparently, because now it’s Me: neck scar. Burglar: New Best Buddy.

So, I’m talking to 911, and there’s a police car right up the street. He was there within 90 seconds, before I’d even finished giving all the information. My wife runs out and flags the officer down and he comes in to the house where he sees me, standing in the middle of the room on the phone, and the burglar sitting in a chair putting on shoes. My wife shouts, “Arrest him!”

The officer then looked at (who would turn out to be) the degenerate, drug-addicted, career criminal and at me and then said, “Which one?”

Nice. Thanks.

I suppose I had just come from the gym, and, yes, I am overdue for a haircut, but seriously? If this thing goes to trial I intend to make this the centerpiece of my testimony (“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is it not painfully clear that the accused is unshaven and unkempt whereas I have ‘sexy stubble’?”).

Once that got sorted out, the officer cuffed him. He didn’t resist and continued to insist that we were the intruders. He would continue to do so throughout the night, even after he was searched and my mother-in-law’s watches and coin collection were removed from his jacket.

From there the evening was police taking pictures, us trying to catalogue what was missing as best we could, trying to find the cats – who were so freaked that I assumed headed to Mexico by that point – and deciding whether or not we should stay the night in case he had accomplices (and if so, should we arm ourselves with flame-throwers, or would machine guns suffice).

It’s pretty astonishing it went as well as it did, if it had to happen. Obviously, we were dimly aware of ways it could go wrong while it happened, but only on the periphery. It was about 4:00am that my brain woke me up with a jolt, saying “Hi, so, we’ve finished cataloging and enumerating the literally hundreds of ways that could have gone nightmarishly bad, and thought now would be a good time to run through them. Sound good? Great. Number 1…”

Oddly, in the weeks that passed, despite the fact that we’re now, clearly, America’s Greatest Heroes, Christopher Nolan and Bryan Singer don’t seem to be fist-fighting over the movie rights to our story. Maybe they’re playing coy (Well, it won’t work, Nolan!).

Obviously I’m not condoning confronting burglars. It’s dangerous and foolish. The book says never do it. And I suppose that’s true for most people. The civilians. Those exist in the light. But my wife and I? We’re out there, on the edge, facing the darkness. We’re the heroes this city deserves, but not the heroes it needs right now. We’re silent guardians. Watchful protectors. We are Stoic Man & Impulse Girl.

Guest Post – The Old Christmas Ruse

7 Dec

There are some days when I feel like offering you guys a chance to read something that’s not my ranting for a change (and not, as Rob points out, that I ‘cant be arsed’!), and today I wanted to offer you lovely readers the chance to get festive with the writer of I’m On The Bandwagon. He is an amazing writer, and someone who brings much hilarity to my life, so over to him!


Tink can’t be arsed to write her own post, so I am here to save her neglected blog while she is knee-deep in dough and shit (What he so eloquently means is while we are Tinkering in the Kitchen!).

 Okay then, it’s nearly Christmas time so I thought I would just take a look at certain aspects of it that we don’t really think about.

When you were little, Christmas was a bit like watching ‘Lost’. You stuck with it because you wanted to believe that it was real, you were massively confused on how it all worked and thought it was going somewhere, maybe even lying to yourself in the process, but in the end it all turned out to be rubbish.  Well when we were little, Santa Claus was real. We could wait for Christmas because we knew Santa would be coming to visit, via chimney or front door, to deliver presents. We know this because it’s what our parents told us and we believed it. I may just be speaking for myself but I never questioned it, because I loved the idea of it. My parents did their best for as long as possible to keep the pack of lies, which was Santa Claus, going. But as the years went by, I started seeing cracks in their fibs.

Now I’m not just on about the obvious ones, like flying Reindeer and delivering presents to every child in one night, no, it was little things that didn’t add up. Firstly I couldn’t understand why my mum and dad weren’t blown away by the whole idea of it, as I was! I mean I would marvel at the idea of Santa’s operation and my dad would say “Yeah….good isn’t he!”……..good!? GOOD!? You have to give the bloke a bit more credit! Every Christmas morning I would wake up and think “He’s only gone and done it AGAIN!” But my parents were not bothered. AND I thought, my rough-looking mate, Tim, wasn’t allowed in the house, but a bloke they have never met is given licence to break in and roam around our house!? Santa’s Dad could have been banged up too, Mum!

Another factor was that I wasn’t allowed to send off my own Christmas list. Why? I know where he lives, what’s the problem? Nope, I had to give it to my Mum and Dad. One year I put something on that list that I KNEW my parents wouldn’t let me have. They would say it was ‘Not suitable’, so I thought I would bypass them, cut out the middleman and send the letter to the fat man myself. That way, Santa wouldn’t know any better. When the time came around to giving the list to my Mum I thought “Pfft no chance, I’m not a mug! This is going straight to the North Pole!” I never got that unsuitable present…..which was a goat for an Africa family if they are reading this.

Eventually I came to the realisation that it was a web of lies. Everyone does. And you get on with it like adults, which means, almost despising it. With Christmas songs being played in NOVEMBER! Snow and shopping for presents, it just takes years off your life.

Secret Santa is a weird one. Not if you do it with your mates, but if you have to take part in it at work, you always have to end up buying presents for someone you have probably spoke to twice. Nobody wants this. Where did this idea even come from anyway? I don’t want to point fingers but….Santa’s name IS in the title.

SANTA: Right! I have rounded everyone up! It’s that time of year again! SECRET ME! (Smiles and nudges an elf).  So who wants to go first?

RUDOLF: I will! I love this! Such a great idea!

COMET: (Out the side of his mouth to Prancer) doesn’t help himself does he? Up his arse!

For the record, I don’t completely hate Christmas now. As a result of all this, I Just will make sure my children are lied too as well. I’m going to take it out on them because the only bit of magic I can shatter for my parents is revealing how Sky Plus works. Rubbish.

Guest Post ~ Negative Nancy

21 Nov

Brooke and McKenzie have written todays guest post on friends and how different personalities have an impact on us. Read it and then head over to their blog because its jam-packed with fantastic posts about their mission to find Mr Right and the hijinks they get up to in the process.

I heart them, and I’m sure you will too.

Happy Monday 🙂

‘Belle xx

We are very excited to write a guest post for Tinkerbelle and although our blog is mainly about our dating and relationship mishaps, we are going to steer away from the opposite gender in this post and talk about platonic relationships. More specifically we want to share how important we think it is to maintain a positive attitude in life. After all, life is too short to waste it being miserable and trying to make others around you miserable as well, and the best memories we have are the good ones.

The Negative Nancy…

1.       Someone who commonly whines, complains, or looks at the bad side of things.

We have a friend who shall be nicknamed “Negative Nancy.” She has earned this nickname because by all definition of the word; she is a pessimist and views the glass as half empty all the time. There isn’t one day that goes by where we don’t hear from her whining or complaining about how every single thing in her life is unfair. She writes to ask how our day is but we feel that she does not even care for what answer we give because once she has your attention, she selfishly complains non-stop. She complains about everything from how much she hated her co-workers at her old job and how unhappy she is with her new job. She complains about any boyfriend she has had, her family and even daily routines like the coffee she is having and how she’s not enjoying it and how unhappy she is with her outfit choices. Because of her constant complaining, it has started to affect her daily life. Her constant Negative Nancy attitude has pushed away all of her friends and ruined her relationships. It seems that even when you try to show her some positivity she gets frustrated as if she’s happier being gloomy and wants you to sulk with her.

We had a girl’s vacation for a week to an all-inclusive resort with great food, beautiful weather, unlimited drinks at a 24 hour bar, one of which was a swim-up bar. What more could we want. The four of us were celebrating 10 years of friendship. Before going on the trip, 3 of us discussed how we were going to try to ignore Negative Nancy as much as we possibly could because by knowing her for 10 years we realized that a week with her was bound to create some issues.

It didn’t even take more than a day for Negative Nancy’s dark clouds to start looming over us. We were travelling overnight so that we would be there early in the morning an extra day of paradise.  As soon as we got in we enjoyed drinks outside, the ocean and the pools but as dinner rolled around Negative Nancy said she was feeling cranky because she was tired, to not let her gloom ruin our first day she went to bed early as we enjoyed dinner, made many new friends and went out to the clubs outside the resort. The next day when we told her about how eventful our first night was she was very upset that we did this without her. Apparently our world should’ve stopped because she was grumpy.

The negativity continued when we introduced her to the new friends we made as throughout the week she constantly criticized them and was anti-social. Out of the seven days we were there, we all can agree that we had fun with her on one day, the rest were made painful in one way or another.

There was days she was being “grumpy,” days she was being anti-social and days where she was disagreeing with the rest of us just because she was in a bad mood. We started to get more and more agitated with one another and whenever she wasn’t around was the times we were truly enjoying being on vacation. Overall, neither one of us would wish to ever go on a vacation or anything like that with her again.

That day we realized that having such a negative and selfish source in our lives would eventually start to turn us into negative and very anxious people. We then decided that we wanted to give her an intervention but where would we start? What would we say?

An idea I had was to ask her to write or talk about one positive thing a day. Or as a Christmas present I have joked about giving her a jar filled with positive things and what she should be thankful for.  We would love to give her an intervention. Bottling up so much negativity and anger cannot be good for anybody’s health emotionally and physically. As well by acting this way she is pushing away all the people who care about her as she selfishly refuses to get help and gets angry if it is offered.

What do you guys think, is an intervention necessary? What would you do if this was your friend? 

Brooke and Mckenzie

Guest Post ~ Wedding Nightmares

10 Nov

Today’s post is from a dear blogging friend of mine and someone who has been commenting since I first started to write. She and I joke as there are quite a few days where we will post about the same subject, so we think we might be somehow mentally connected! When this popped into my inbox yesterday I had to laugh out loud, as my housemate and I had only been watching the show the night before and commenting on how absurd it was, and how if you were letting your fiancé loose on such a big day, you would have at least discussed dresses, venues, loves and hates etc. either these women are crazy, or their spouses-to-be have developed an amazing knack of being able to switch off, with hilarious consequences.

Read Vix’s take on the whole affair.

‘Belle x


My latest TV obsession is  Don’t Tell the Bride. It’s up there with my other two loves – Keeping up with the Kardashians and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding for sheer trashy entertainment. The premise of the show is a couple get £12,000 to plan their wedding but the groom is in charge and has to do it all by himself (along with his best man) whilst keeping her completely in the dark about the plans. They are apparently not supposed to discuss what they would like beforehand so there’s a big chance the groom will get things totally wrong.

I think you have to be a certain type of person to want to do this show in the first place and you have to accept that it might all go wrong but you do get a free wedding and your 15 minutes of fame along with it. It makes great viewing though as you spend the whole time kind of hoping it will all go wrong and the bride will have a meltdown!

I personally could never trust a man to plan my wedding, I would need control over that especially the wedding dress! But watching other people go through it is hilarious.

Although the grooms usually end up choosing a wedding that doesn’t match their bride’s dreams, they tend to love the day in the end. There’s been some notable exceptions though – one groom decided to go to Vegas but that meant most of the wedding party had to be left alone and it was touch and go whether the bride would actually get onto the plane, and in last week’s show, the groom wanted his bride to get on the rollercoaster they went on their first date in her wedding dress – she was not amused. She spent the whole episode swearing 🙂

In honour of show, here are my Top 5 things that I’d hate to be part of my wedding (I really hope this doesn’t come back to bite me one day!):

1. An Elvis impersonator – there’s just no excuse.
2. A beach – the sand would get everywhere.
3. A theme park – I hate rollercoasters.
4. A themed wedding dress – I want to look elegant, not silly.
5. A fireworks display – I would run away terrified. Not fun.

What would you hate to happen at your wedding?


If you want to read more of what Vix has to offer, head on over to Little Miss Everything. She truly is my sister from another mister 😉 !

Guest Post ~ This Is Relaxing?

27 Sep

Sometimes you come across people whose writing you admire so much you would ACTUALLY POST IT ON YOUR BLOG. Thats love. And one of the people I look forward to reading regularly is Girl On The Contrary, who kindly agreed to write a post especially for me, and, well, you guys! Grab a coffee, sit back and enjoy!

‘Belle xxx

It’s been a bit of a stressful few weeks, with all the parties and concerts and fun I’ve been having, so I decided to go get a massage. I’m not going to lie- I get massages pretty frequently. They feel nice and also while I’m getting them I imagine that while I’m getting my massage, I’m going to come up with the best book idea ever and make a bagillion dollars and then when I’m on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and he asks me where I got the best book idea ever I will get to say “It just came to me while I was getting a massage.” Because I think a lot of people would think I was really cool after that.

The day of my massage they called to confirm my 2 hour (Yeah, that’s how I roll) massage with Nathan. Nathan? Nathan??!! Now, I know that when they asked me if I preferred a man or a woman, I said it didn’t matter. And really, it doesn’t. Men have very strong hands and not once has one ever been inappropriate while giving me a massage, but it changes my entire pre-massage plan. You see, the fact that I didn’t shave my legs that morning would not bother me if I knew a girl was giving me a massage. I would have no problem making a woman suffer my prickly stems in silence, but the moment I found out it was a guy giving me a massage, I had to leave work early so I could go home and shave my legs.

But it didn’t end there.

I also fretted and worried over my toenails. It’s been a while since my last pedicure so before I hopped in the shower to shave my legs, I took off my faded nail polish, clipped my toenails, and made sure the overall effect of my feet was pleasing. Why? I wish above all things I knew the answer to that question but all I can tell you is that when I thought a woman was giving me a massage, I didn’t care in the slightest. And actually, upon further reflection, I realize the room is really really dark and they probably can’t even see that my toenail polish is chipped and faded. Nevertheless, I freaked out about it a little bit.

When I finally got in the shower and pulled out the shaving cream (because obviously, I didn’t want razor burn either) IT EXPLODED IN MY FACE. Yeah. That happened. I had shaving cream all over my face, in my hair, up my nose, and in my ears, but not one little bit of it ended up on my legs. So, even though I hadn’t planned on washing my hair and face, I had to because it was covered in shaving cream, which quite honestly, burned a little too much for something that was supposed to be for sensitive skin. What a world!

My “quick” shower to just shave my legs ended up taking quite a bit longer than anticipated and almost made me late for the massage the entire thing was for in the first place. By the time I finally got there, I was out of breath, still not completely dry from the shower, and stressed out. I just want to emphasize that earlier in the day, before I found out my massage therapist was a guy, I was not in the slightest bit stressed out. My massage stressed me out. Why am I crazy like that? Again, I would trade all the gummy worms in my kingdom to know the answer to that question

So, my massage therapist comes to greet me in the waiting lounge and it’s a woman. Yeah. A WOMAN. Not some guy named Nathan who may or may not turn out to be the love of my life and therefore someone I needed to shave my legs for. Nope. It was a pleasant older woman who I’m 99% sure hasn’t shaved her legs since 1983.

The moral of this story? I am the only person in the world who could make getting a massage stressful. Also, I didn’t think of a brilliant book idea because I was still so wound up from all the pre-massage stress. If I’m not a published author in the next year, I will place the full blame on massages. I think that’s fair.

If I Won £1000

8 Apr

Hi guys,

I wrote a guest post today for Julia at Retro Jules…. feel free to head over and have a read. Its about my strong feelings for orphans in South Africa, and how if I had the money I’d be there in a flash.

Julia runs a “If I Won £1000” feature on a Friday, if you want to participate, just get in touch!!!

Hope you enjoy.

‘Belle xxx