Sunday, 8 February 2009

100 TODAY!!!

Gosh! Today is my 100th blog post. Where's my telegram from the Queen? Does she still do telegrams? Or has she been sucked in by technology and now sends congratulatory e-mail-a-grams??

Anyway, I have a confession to make. As I celebrate my 100th blog entry, a whiff of deceit hangs in the air. Can you smell it? It's a bit like cheese-on-toast with a dollop of barbacue sauce, which, on the face of it is really very appealing, thus making the air of deceit quite, quite delicious. And even harder to resist. Who was it that said 'I can resist anything but temptation?' Oscar Wilde? Mae West? Me?? (Tybalt says it was him but he's still on a cat-nip bubble buzz so I don't think he's fully in charge of his reasoning capabilities at the moment.)

The deceit hangs on something I mentioned a while ago concerning my membership of the Puffin Club. And the fact that you have to be aged 16 or under in order to join the Puffin Club. But was I going to let age stand in the way of me revisiting a favourite childhood memory and a beany puffin toy and badge? No, I was not. So I invented a new identity. She is called Phoebe and she was born in 1993. Yes, I know we have a cat called Phoebe. I wasn't feeling very inventive on the name front that day. I panicked, okay? But it gained me membership to the inner sanctum and I am now a Puffineer. Only now it's coming back to bite me on the bum.

You see, I have received an e-mail from the Puffin Club. It said that I hadn't claimed my free book. I had. I claimed my free book a month ago via a postcard attached to the first issue of the Puffin Post Magazine. Clearly the postcard has not arrived on Puffin Island. So my only other option is to claim it on-line. Which means I have to 'activate my membership' as Phoebe aged 15. I try to do this. Puffin Island says, 'You can't use that e-mail address because it's already being used by someone else.' YES I KNOW IT IS! IT'S BEING USED BY ME, THE PERSON WHO PAID FOR THE MEMBERSHIP IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!

You see my dilemma?

Andy says, 'Use one of my e-mail accounts.' One of his e-mail accounts? How many e-mail accounts does he have, for the love of sausages? I have no choice. I want my free book. My free children's book. (It's research okay? I write children's books therefore I need to read children's books in order to stay ahead of the zeitgeist.)

So I get out my 'Phoebe aged 15' file. Yes, I have to keep a file on my alter ego because Puffin Island require information about her/me and I'll/she'll never remember it in her/my brain unless I/she writes it down - you know what teenagers are like. Although I was never like it as a teenager. I don't think. ('I thought I was your alter ego?' says Matilda. 'You are,' I say, 'but you are too old for the purpose of the Puffin Club. Please don't get narky).

So I use one of Andy's e-mail addresses. I add this e-mail address to 'Phoebe aged 15's' details. I activate my membership! And...

...Puffin Island tells me I do not have a free book to claim. Phoebe throws a hissy fit. I tell her to calm down because, look, in the small print it says, 'If you have only just activated your account it may take a while to have the correct information on your Puffin Page. Try again in half an hour. (Or some such twaddle.)


'Who is Dwayne?' I ask, sternly.
'No-one,' sulks Phoebe.
'Well, if he's 'no-one', 'I say, doing that scribing-apostrophes-in-the-air-with-my-fingers thing because I know it really annoys her, 'then you can stay here and get my free book for me.' I make a note that Phoebe has an imaginary friend called 'Dwayne.'

'I NEVER WANTED TO JOIN THE STUPID PUFFIN CLUB ANYWAY!' Phoebe yells, stomping up the stairs. 'IT'S FOR SADDOES AND LOSERS!' And she slams her bedroom door.

I'm wondering if she has a point. And then I worry that I might never get my free book.

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