Sunday, 20 December 2009

The Most Important Thing

Today was a Tad Nippy.
Told Youngest to put something warm on before going outside.
'Because the most important thing,' I said, gravely, 'The most important thing is to keep warm.'
Husband nodded wisely over his cup of coffee.
Youngest disappeared out of the room to find his coat.
'Actually,' he said, coming back into the room. 'Being warm is not the most important thing.'
'Oh?' I asked, somewhat Testily. 'What is the most important thing then?'
'Well,' said Youngest. Thinking hard. And then he finds the words.
'Loveness,' he announced. 'Loveness is the most important thing.'
And he smiled his Glowing Wide Sparkling smile.
'And then keeping warm,' he added, before disappearing out of the front door.
What can I add?
Nothing. He said it all.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Some Like It Hot

Children had sausage rolls for their tea tonight.
Heated them up in the oven.
Placed them lovingly on plates with mashed potatoes and vegetables. To make up for the fact I was giving my children food Out Of A Packet.
Lit the Advent Candles.
Filled their glasses with water.
Checked the brownies baking in the oven.
Did a couple more Unbelievably Good Mother things.
Youngest checked out his plate.
'Don't really like hot sausage rolls, Mummy,' he announced.
'Oh,' said I, with Some Sarcasm, 'Well, unless I put them in the freezer, they will just have to stay hot.'
And I carried on with my washing up. A Woman's Work is Never Done. Etc.
Turned round to see that Youngest had eaten half his sausage rolls.
Didn't say anything. Just did a quiet YES in my head. As you do.
As I turned back to the washing up, could see Youngest in the reflection of the window. Nipping across the room and doing something.
Involving sausage rolls.
And the freezer.
Carried on watching.
Observed Youngest opening Freezer and taking out a handful of mini sausage rolls and returning to his seat.
And eating with Great Relish.
You have to acknowledge the Logic of the boy.
Don't like Hot.
Put it somewhere Cold.
Take out and Eat.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Fly Like An Eagle

OK. So what would YOU do? You're sitting on the loo. Busy. Half way through you hear the distinct and unpleasant sound of Buzzing. From Beneath. Sort of Vibrating in the bowl. Under Your Bottom. The buzzing seems to Eminate from a cross and possibly quite damp fly.

Do you:

1) Ignore it. It will go away.
2) Look between legs and hope that it will go away.
3) Worry about where might Fly might go if pushed to Shove, as it were.
4) Get up and remove Fly, thereby interrupting the Flow.
5) Lift one buttock to see if fly will fly out from space between buttock and loo seat.

I did Number 4.
Should have done Number 1. WHY didn't I do Number 1? Or Number 2,3,or 5?
Not a Wise Move.
Having Empathy for large Buzzy bluebottle flies under bottom is verging on the Ridiculous. No, not Verging.
Next time will forget the Saving Wildlife thing and do what is best for me and my Flow.
I put the brakes on so hard, as it were, that have probably pulled muscle in Pelvic Floor. Distorted Entire Area.
99% success. If you see what I mean. Which is damned good considering four children. Natural births. And all that Malarkey.
But wait!
Have saved the fly!
The little bastard flew out, after a little coaxing with wads of loo paper and a spot of Persuasion with the Loo Brush, and was last seen heading out of the window.
Problem is that it is most likely to be the same bloody fly I tried to Wallop this morning as it hovered above the butter on kitchen table.
You just can't win.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Mystery Solved!

Awful smell in our kitchen the other day. Hot Sewage type odour. Inexplicable. Sniffed everywhere and cleaned each and every surface. Twice.
Husband came home and sniffed too. We pulled out panels from under cupboards to see if Cat has crapped under there. Hadn't.
Balanced precariously on top of kitchen counter, stretching up and craning neck against ceiling to see if Cat has crapped ceremoniously up there. Hadn't.
Cleared out each and every cupboard. Drawer. Book case.
No crap anywhere.
And today Roy, Middle Son's guitar teacher came.
Passing the time of day, as you do, when I opened fridge and Out Came Smell.
'There it is!' I yelled excitedly. 'Here, Roy, smell the fridge!'
He obligingly stuck his nose in there and inhaled deeply.
'Cheese,' he said.
'Dammit,' I said, somewhat despairingly. 'Not poo then?'
Give him his due, he didn't look at all phased at this query. He probably knows me well enough to realise that there is More To The Story.
In some despair I stuck my nose between the fridge and the cupboard next to it. A tiny crack about one centimetre wide.
'Oh My God That Is The Smell!!!!' The excitement. Roy kindly put his nose there too and recoiled in Disgust.
It was Truly Disgusting. Wafting out gently from between fridge and cupboard.
'Must be something dead down there.' I said. 'Cup of tea?'
Roy, looking a little weak at the thought of dead things lurking, nodded.
I bustled him and Middle Son out of kitchen and off they went for the lesson.
Husband came home not long after Roy had gone.
'Smell Mystery Solved!' I told him. Jubilantly.
And shoved him and his nose in the Crack. As it were.
He breathed in deeply.
'Yup,' he said, turning an ivy green. 'Definitely there. Will sort that this weekend.'
Now, bearing in mind that it was only Tuesday was not particularly thrilled by the suggestion.
'Let's do it now!' I said.
'Let's not!' said Husband.
'No, let's!' I said.
And so it Began.
Carefully pulled out fridge.
'Think we should empty it, actually,' said Husband, being a tad Male and Bossy.
'Nonsense!' said I. 'Let's just get bloody on with it,' being a tad Female and Bossy.
Carefully eased out the fridge. Which is one of those weird ones that looks like a door, but isn't. Because behind the door, stuck to the back of it, is a Fridge.
Nice to look at when in kitchen.
But Hell to take out to investigate Smells.
On pulling out fridge One More Fraction, there came from within Bowels of Fridge an almighty CRASH as Something Fell Down In It.
'Oh, dear,' I said. A little Perturbed.
At this point, the entire Fridge decided to fall on Husband.
Who landed on floor, holding fridge up with Left Foot and Determination.
I yelled. Loudly. Grabbing Fridge with right hand and left foot.
Thought about giggling but was too busy getting Enormous Beast of a Fridge off Husband, now lying with Green Tomato Chutney running down his leg and what looked like Raspberry Jam and Red Currant Jelly in his shoe.
Hysterics rising fast, yelled at Husband to get up and push.
From a Lying Down Position, Husband managed to cram Fridge back in from one side, while I heaved and pushed on the other.
Fridge slid back with satisfying clunk.
Husband got up.
Not a Pretty Sight.
Cream, chutney, wine, milk, jam, jelly and apple crumble were in a Glorious Muddle all over his leg, the floor and the entire front of the fridge.
'Um.' I said. Helpfully.
'Should have emptied it.'
Husband gave me one of those Looks.
Not a Long, Lingering, Hot Honeymoon Look.
Just a Short One. Devoid of Affection.
We then proceeded to take Every Last Item out of Fridge, cleaned the Bastard out, pulled it out again, this time with no Disastrous Consequences.
And Found The Origin of Smell.
Won't go into the rather Dull Details.
(Has anyone got this far in the post? You have? Well done!!)
Suffice it to say, took rather a Long Time to clear it all away.
Cleaned every surface. Again.
Husband had rather dull time on Internet looking up How to rid your Fridge of Smells. Which apparently 576,956 other people had also looked up.
Cleaned and cleaned.
And after about an hour or so, the kitchen looked sort of how it had looked about an hour or so before.
So that was good then!
Must remember to Listen to Husband's Suggestions.
Would save an awful lot of trouble.
And mess.
And time.
Trouble is, wouldn't be half so much fun.
I mean, what on earth would I blog about?! ;)

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Time Out

I thought, mistakenly, that when my children were all at school, that I would have more Time.
I reckoned that I would be able to catch up on all those things that I hadn't been able to do for years. You know. Wipe bottom without audience. Finish a cup of tea. Finish a sentence. Eat.
Have light hearted cups of coffee with medley of friends, all with shiny hair and nice clothes.
Go shopping. Alone.
Let's see.
By the time I have cleared house of all Crap from day before and it is back to looking like it did the day before that, it is time to Do Something.
Doing Something is my favourite pastime.
But I never get to Do it because I have to do Other Bastard Things First before I can Do the Something that I Want To Do.
And when I finally reach that Mecca, that Mountain Peak of Possibility, when I can Actually Do Something for Myself... what happens?
Don't know what to do.
Totally Sad.
I start thinking things like should I actually clean out that drawer, the one with all the Chuffing Bits in it that Family dump there on daily basis. The drawer that is so full that I can hear distinct Sounds of Breakage when drawer is forced Shut.
Or Re-organise Daughter's Knickers Drawer.
Quite Dull things.
How often do I go out and Do Something that has absolutely no purpose other than pleasing myself?
Don't do that, really.
So. Will plant a seed inside my head to have a go at doing this Exciting Thing, even if is has No Point At All and is a Complete Waste of Time. If it floats my boat and makes me laugh, giggle, gasp or gape, I'll do it.
And perhaps then I won't get so damned Tetchy about doing all the other Bollocks that life throws in my direction.
Right. Must just clean out the lavatories before I... hey, wait!
Nope! Not today! Today the loos can fester and grow bacteria the size of large furry mice!
Because I'm going out.
Have Not A Clue what I will do.
Might ride a horse.
Climb a hill.
Go to beach and sniff the Ozone.
Eat. Alone. With Book. Heaven.
Choices, choices.
See you later!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

In Bed With My Husband

Oh Dear Lord.
Bed and Husband.
No, no, no, no! Not in That Way!
One Track Minds. The lot of you.
No, the problem is that am getting a Bit Fed Up with the Snoring.
It's really getting Rather Loud.
It seems Husband has three methods of snoring.
First there is the Whistly One. The entrance to Husband's nostrils appears to be partially blocked, leaving a very small hole for the air to get through. This results in a high pitched whistle through Said Nostrils. Quite Annoying Really, especially when he puts his nose very-close-indeed-to-my-ear. While asleep.
Following this is the Throat Scraper. Somehow the dear man manages to get the two sides of his throat to meet companionably in the middle and have a Scrape. Together. Again and again. Scraaaaaaapppppppppe. Pause. Scraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaape.
And finally there is the Nose Rattler. Something happens to the Entrance at back of Nose. It Constricts. Or Contracts. Or Something. Nose appears to Vibrate. On watching more closely, notice his mouth also resonates. Unbelievable Noise.
Tend to Hit Husband quite severely over the head.
That works and is most satisfactory. For a while.
Until he starts again.
So, soon it will be bedtime. Better get ready.
Cotton wool to place in ears.
Large pillow to place over my head.
Large and pointed wooden implement to hit Husband with.
Book to read when it all goes horribly wrong and I can't get to sleep.
Another book to read when it all goes horribly wrong and I've finished the first book and need something else to read.
Thermos of something nice and warm to drink when it goes horribly wrong and I've finished both books and need something else to do to distract me from snoring.
Vast vat of whisky to drink when it all goes horribly wrong and have read the books and drank all the contents of thermos and need something else to distract me from the throat scraping.

That should do it for now.
Time for Bed!
Night Night. x

(PS May I just say that it isn't actually my bed time yet. Just in case you were wondering. I mean, why on earth would I take to my bed at eight minutes past seven? I would very much like it to be bed-time but have to bath several children first, feed a Husband and do a small mountain of ironing. Simple tasks about the home, as they say. But will be looking forward to bed around the 10.30 pm mark... so think of me as I climb those stairs... armed with my weapons of mass destruction... anything to get some sleep, eh.)

Monday, 23 November 2009

It's That Time Of Year Again.

Long chats about the Christmas Play in our house recently.
'Hooray!' said Youngest the other morning, skipping into school. 'I don't fink I have to be a dancing tree!'
'Hooray!' I said, encouragingly.
'Well,' said Middle Son, 'Don't get too excited. 'You get Crap Parts until Year 6.'
'Sure do,' says Daughter. 'I've always had Rubbish parts.'
And off they went.
At end of school that day, out came Youngest.
'It's Not Good, Mummy,' he said sadly.
Head down.
'What's not good, darling?' I asked with great concern.
Had he hurt himself?
Was someone bullying him?
Had he lost something precious?
Up raced Daughter.
'Hi, Mummy! Guess what, Youngest is a Conker in the play.' And with her devastating news she danced off down the playground for her flute lesson.
A Conker.
'Wow, a conker!' I said with enormous Enthusiasm.
He hung his head again.
'Not a conker?'
'No.' He gazed up at me. Huge eyes.
'I am an Acorn.'
Hollywood, here we come.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Things that go Thump on the Petrol Forecourt

Bloody hate Insurance Companies.
A Lorry very thoroughly reversed, at high speed, into my Golf last week.
Had stopped at Petrol Station for some water. For the car. Not me.
At the time of Impact wasn't in car. Was staring into the boot of the car, trying to work out what I could clean my hands on, having twisted off Filthy Water Cap in front of car.
The choice was not good.
Youngest's clean trousers, or Pristine White Shirt about to go to charity shop.
Had decided on bit of rather unpleasant carpet lurking around in boot when suddenly heard Almighty Crash.
My car.
Thumped into by Vast Lorry.
On emerging from boot and Quandry about dirty hands, was astonished to see Huge Lorry disappearing out of petrol station at High Speed.
Was naturally somewhat Cross. So legged it after Said Lorry and shouted some really rather rude words at the driver. Who stopped.
Uh, oh, I thought. Road Rage and all that.
Man opened the door of lorry cab and asked me politely what the matter was.
Stuttering and Red with Rage (road?? not sure, more like Concrete Forecourt of Petrol Station Rage) I told him what had happened.
Words like Sodding, Bloody, and even, yes, even the F word were used. I hang my head in shame.
Kind driver leaped out and inspected damage. Which was quite a lot really.
Bashed in lights and bits of car. Suspicious looking liquid making its way merrily across the concrete.
'Oh,' he said. 'Sorry.'
Some time later, having exchanged numbers, details and all that sort of what not, limped home in poor little car, feeling Considerable Irritation at all the extra work this was going to mean.
Extra work?
Have spent HOURS AND HOURS telling people on the phone what happened. Why. When. How. Who. What. Whither. Etc. (Also told Family, friends, people in shop, people in hairdresser, people queuing in post office, school run friends and man who came to sweep the chimney)
FINALLY car was taken to garage. Done. Sorted.
Car remained in garage for a few days. On holiday? Short break? Bargain vacation?
Just doing Nothing.
Rang Garage. Rang Insurance Company.
Rang Garage. Rang Insurance Company.
Rang Garage. Rang Insurance Company.
Rang Garage. Rang Insurance Company.
Talked to lots of different people and told them all exactly the same thing. Four times.
Was told that car would 'receive an estimate in the next 24 hours.' That I couldn't have a courtesy car as car wasn't actually 'Being Repaired Yet'.
Finally Flipped.
On being told that car would be in garage for another seven to ten days... told nice lady at end of phone to Please Find Your Supervisor as I am Most Displeased with the Service I was Most Decidedly Not Getting.
'Sure,' said Lady, quite Curtly I thought, while I listened to yet more Calming Down Those Bastard Customers Music.
You know, tinkly sort of Soothing Sounds. Which are Really Irritating.
Supervisor came on and Soothed. For a while.
In a Supervisory sort of way. After several minutes of Inane Soothing said goodbye.
When got Phone Call.
The other Insurance Company, called Zurich, rang to give me the very welcome news that Said Lorry admitted to being at fault and would Give us the Lolly. As it were.
And then they said... would you like a Courtesy Car? (Courteously)
Yes! I said.
When! they asked.
Monday! I said.
Sure! they said.
Thanks! I said.
No problem! they said.
Bye! I said.
Bye! they said.
Well. You could have knocked me down with a feather. And within ten minutes another kind man had rang, from a Car Hire Company, to say my car would be with me on Monday morning.
Love other people's Insurance Companies!
Have decided that will create Superb Music Listening CD especially for my Insurance Company. To listen to when they need to ring Me.
Will say hello to them. And then will politely ask them to Hold, and then switch on Mind Numbingly Dull Tune. Which they will have to listen to while I make a cup of tea and go to the Lavatory.
Will then return, apologise for the wait, and make them hold Just Once More while I de-flea the cat.
That should do it.
Oh, and will then say that I can't do it. Whatever it is that they want me to do.
And hang up.

Can then sell CD on Itunes and make a fortune.
Call it The Waiting Game.
Anyone want one?

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Awards R Us

I really am a lazy scum bag.
Have received these lovely awards from Alix at Casa Hice , Working Mum on the Verge and London City Mum. Have dragged them all home, (the awards, not the poor sods that gave them to me in the first place) dusted them down, and put them proudly in my Saved As Picture place, somewhere in the Bowels of my photo pile.
And left them. Poor little things. Gathering cosmic dust.
Now it's time to Do Something About Them.
So I must gird my loins and Pass Them On.
One of requires seven things about myself. That you don't know.
But you all know EVERYTHING.
How long I wee for.
How I exfoliate.
How I shout at my children and pretend that I don't.
Where I go, what I do, how I do it.
What in tarnation can I add that you don't already have deep and abiding knowledge of?
And, honestly, do you care?
Why don't I skip all that and just get to the good bit. You know, when I pass the awards on and say lovely things. Agreed?
Right then.
The first award I am going to send on to .....
Oh, and before I do that, you need to know this stuff about the Zombie Chicken Award.
Am somewhat worried about these Bastard Zombie Chicken Dudes. Raving packs and all.
Oh, well, we must suffer for our art.
"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken – excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all."

So. Award for Zombie Chicken Award goes to...
geraldgee GG, as I call him, is a star, very funny, an amazing artist and a bloody good commenter!
Neas Nuttiness What can I say... this woman makes me laugh out loud. AND she makes me feel better. Thanks, NN!
Strawberry Jam Anne Anne is a darling. Her comments are always warm and utterly understanding of the post. Thanks, Anne!
Tatersmama Tatersmama's comments are just wonderful... they almost take off there is so much animation in them! I always smile when I see one from her.
Thanks, you four, for making me chuckle, giggle and laugh. Mwah.
And your blogs rock. Of course.

Now. Onto the Kreative Blog award...
This goes to
London City Mum
Granny on the Web
My life lived my way

Why? Well. London City Mum makes me laugh. A lot. Her stories of city work and home life are wonderful. Granny's jokes put a smile on my face whenever I visit her blog. I then try to repeat them and get into an awful muddle. And Jeff? Awesome. That's what he is. Makes me laugh. Cry. Think. The lot really.

Now, the last award. The One Lovely Blog Award.
This goes to...
Tattie Weasle whose blog I just love visiting. As soon as she posts, I'm there!
And to my lovely blogger friend Troy who has been visiting me right from the start, and who makes me laugh and leaves comments JUST SO it looks like I am more popular than I am.
And finally to my lovely friend Robynn's Ravings. Robynn's comments always look as I imagine she sounds... full of EXCLAMATION MARKS AND CAPITAL LETTERS!!
As for all the rest of you darlings who come by my blog and say such lovely things. Thank you ALL.
You all rock.
There. Done.
Not a Lazy Scum Bag anymore.
Phew. x


Thursday, 5 November 2009

On Imposing Discipline

It is, I have discovered, quite impossible to Impose Discipline while sitting on the Lavatory. Weeing.
Whilst 'going' this morning noted that Youngest was singing really quite loudly in his room, which would wake up Daughter. Who would be in Foul Mood as she does not like being woken up.
So cleared throat, and called out in what I hoped were Stern Tones.
Singing continued. Louder.
Wriggled bottom on lavatory and shifted feet so as to get more in the Authoratitive Position, and shouted out in a Whispery sort of fashion. Instructing Youngest to Be Quiet Immediately.
The cat, sitting by the basin in the bathroom, got up and left.
Youngest paid no attention at all. And Daughter emerged from room and went downstairs, seemingly unaffected by the singing in the first place.
Sat gloomily on loo, contemplating total lack of control (not bladder, just discipline).
It is Utterly Guaranteed that children will Misbehave when I am Going. Just when they know that I can't physically roar into the room and put an end to whatever nonsense is taking place, they let rip with a totally unsuitable game of Throw the Sofa About, or Let's Run Screaming Through the House. The plaintive calls of their mother from the bowels (pardon the pun) of the downstairs loo has Absolutely No Effect whatsoever.
Alternatively, one of them will be Horribly Hurt and scream the very house down, just at a Peak Moment. As it were. There is a moment of blind panic. Wipe my bottom? Leave it and run to child, with trousers round ankles? Pull up trousers and wipe later? What to do? What THE HELL to do?
In future will restrict mothering skills to when am not attached to lavatory bowl.
Will not mind that Bladder is Bursting. If necessary will use bucket under a very long coat.
Mothering. It makes you devious, you know.
And insane.
But you knew that already, eh?

Monday, 2 November 2009

Climbing Everest

I bloody hate washing.
It is, I swear, an organic matter, growing faster than a hedge of leylandii, over which I will never, ever, win.
No matter how much I tend to it, and clear, wash, dry, iron, and put it away, there is always EVEN MORE.
But today I have played a Really Fun Game. To eleviate the Monotony, as it were.
I have counted how much of our latest washing pile belongs to me.
Here is the list.
Three pair of pants. (knickers to those who say knickers. Pants to the rest of you)
Three pair of socks.
Two t-shirts.
One pair of jeans.
Not too bad really, after nearly five days away. Had managed a wash half way through week.
Now. Husband's.
Eleven shirts.
Twelve pairs of boxer shorts.
Eight pairs of socks.
Five pairs of trousers.
A woolly jumper.
One large roll neck shirt.
Nine handkerchiefs.
(Yes, handkerchiefs. Large spotted things that he blows his nose on, over and over.)
And did I mention the children's clothes?
Imagine Everest. Pants and shirts and trousers and jumpers and socks and pyjamas and the odd coat. Piled high. Sod the Himalayas. Ranulph Fiennes should just come here to West Sussex and climb my chuffing Washing Pile. We could get News Night to cover it.
(By the way, did you know that Ranulph Fiennes' real name is Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wickham-Fiennes! What a fab name. I want one like that...)
Washing that lot will take an Age.
Think of me. Welded to that horrible iron thing, flattening the equivalent of several acres of clothes.
Should just get Steam Roller and be done with it. Put all the bastard clothes on the floor and drive all over them.
Much more Fun.
But No. Must keep Up the Standards. Will Fold, surreptitiously, all the clothes that can be folded without anyone noticing. And put them away quickly into drawers. And will then iron the tops of anything that can just be ironed on the top, without anyone noticing. And will then be seen to be ironing all the rest Extremely Well. So that I look like Model Housewife, when am in fact a Slut.
See you when I'm done!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

What the Dickens?

It doesn't get much Chuffing Worse.
Found something small and nasty looking in Youngest's bed.
Didn't have a colour or anything so was Quite Difficult to work out its Origins.
Picked offending thing up. Delicately, between finger and thumb. The size of a sultana. Or something.
Sniffed it. Held it up to the light.
Not a Poo. Definitely not.
Looked at it again. Had it held right to end of nose in efforts to see the damned thing.
Smelled it again.
Peered closely.
What the Bloody Hell was this Thing in child's bed that looked Organic, like it may once have been Alive?
Light switched on in head. Finally.
It's a Bogey.
Old. Crusty. Nasty.
Threw it in horror onto floor. Watched it bounce across the floor before coming to final resting place under chest of drawers.
Reminded me of time I had picked up pair of Middle Son's pants when he was about three. Clean ones. Sweet little blue pants. Put them against my nose and tenderly breathed in the smell of clean, Persil-like 'outdoor hanging on the line' scent.
Were Day old Pants.
Overpowering scent of Wee. Clung to nose for hours afterwards.
Will. Never. Ever. Sniff. Pants. Again.
And I'll add picking up old Bogeys to that.
It's a glamorous life I live.

Monday, 19 October 2009

I'm Not Dead Yet

On Friday was away the whole day.
Arrived home at 7.00pm.
In time to bath Youngest.
Wrapping him in towel afterwards I cuddled him tight and Made Much, as they say.
'Well,' he began, importantly. Enjoying the cuddle and the warmth.
Little face enveloped in huge soft blue towel. And then he said it.
'I FORT you wasn't dead! I just knew it!' he announced proudly. And Baffingly.
'You knew that I wasn't dead?' I repeated, a little Unnerved by the dialogue we were getting into.
Face creased into huge smile.
'Yes! I fort, Mummy is Not Dead.'
And he wriggled a little closer.

What on Earth goes through these little minds of theirs?
Was once again in awe of how much we are needed and loved. And how much I need just to Be There.
Hugged that little body tight. Helped him on with his pyjamas. Oversaw the Teeth Brushing. Tucked him in and read, for the Hundreth Time, 'Where's that Bastard Wally.' (Not real title. But bloody well should be. Sneaky little sod can't be found and bedtime reading takes BLOODY AGES. Much nicer to read a lovely book which we both enjoy. But No. So it's Wally. Again.)
Said 'Are Farder'together.
Kissed him Goodnight.
His eyes kept shutting with tiredness.
But he still kept the conversation going in order that I might stay a little longer.
As I tiptoed out I prayed hard that Youngest's awful worry, lurking at the back of his mind, doesn't happen for a long time yet.
And down the stairs I went to cuddle Middle Son and Daughter.
Just in case they thought I was dead. Or something.
They didn't.
'OK, Mum?' they ask. Not taking eyes away from screen of telly.
'Yup, thanks,' I answer, dropping kisses on heads before settling down in comfy chair. Opposite lovely fire crackling away.
And I watch the telly. And my children.
And I give thanks.
Lucky old me.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Meet Mrs Jeckyll. Or Mrs Hyde. Take Your Pick.

Meet Jeckyll. Oh, and Hyde.
Because that's Me. Both of the bastards.
For Example.
Me: (roaring) Who the hell has wee'd on the seat and why the bloody hell is there a cushion in the downstairs loo? I now have wee all over my legs and I think there's some on the cushion. Yippidybloodydoodah.
Children: (meekly) Wasn't meeeeee. (chorus)
Me: Well, it wasn't me, because I tend to sit down and wee NEATLY and not DOWN THE SIDES AND ON THE SEAT or on any cushions, which for some EXTRAORDINARY REASON are on the floor of the Downstairs Loo when they SHOULD BE WHERE THEY BELONG.... ON THE BLOODY SOFA.'
Am really shouting Quite Loudly at this point.
Door rings.
I go to door.
It is Total Stranger. Smiling. Slightly strained smile. Has heard me shouting about wee. Oh, crap.
I crank my face into a smile. Nail it firmly into place.
HIYA! I say, cheerily. Looking twinkly and jolly.
Total Sea Change.
Children come to door and watch the exchange in interest.
Stranger: Oh, hello, could you tell me where I can find Church Lane?
Me: Yes! Of Course! Let me show you!
Am speaking with loads of Exclamation Marks and smiley Facial Expressions.
Over Compensating for all the shouting. Convincing this poor woman that I am, really, an Awfully Nice Person.
I show her where Church Lane is, with wild gestures of arms and girly sort of directions, like, Just after the Apple Tree, and Just before you get to the Big Hole in the road.
Total Stranger leaves, to friendly waves, and 'Say goodbye's' from me to children.
Close door.
Notice cushion in downstairs loo.
Open mouth to shout orders to children about leaving cushions in loos and wet loo seats. But refrain.
And ask one of them to Remove the Cushion and Wipe the Seat.
Which they do. After some grumbling and Why-Should-I-It's-Always-Me type thing.
And I go to kettle and perform the gentle and calming act of making a cup of tea.
Before thinking to self what Total Arse I can be. So nice to strangers to whom I owe nothing. And so bloody horrible to my wonderful children. To whom I owe Everything.

Even Wee on my upper leg.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Trying to Remember Not to Forget

Have Simply Awful Dread that I am going to forget something.
As a result need to have Note to Self which is backed up with Handy Reminder in Diary.
Accompanied by note on kitchen cupboard.
Oh, and another little reminder by the phone.
And by my bed.
And in the car.
And in handy little techno jobby in my phone, called, inspiringly, Reminders.
Do Not Like that awful lurch.
You know, the one when you realise you have forgotton the Smoked Salmon for 250 people. And someone is asking you in Bright Expectant Voice, Where is the Smoked Salmon for 250 people?
Not good either, when you have forgotton the bread to go Under the Smoked Salmon. For 250 people. Not Good. Not Good At All.
Don't really want to do That again.
I remind myself continually.
With my Handy Reminders.
What makes me Really Cross, though, is that while I can NEVER forget how awful it was to forget the smoked salmon for 250 people, or indeed the bread to go Under the Smoked Salmon for 250 people, I CAN forget just about Everything Else.

Just Maddening.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Colours of Day

Had to go and get some paint for a little cupboard we are painting.
Crikey, it was difficult.
Thought I would waft into shop, ask for blue paint and waft out again. Job done.
'Blue you want?' asked the man.
'Yes, please,' I said.
'Right you are,' he said. And showed me a Book of Blues.
Book? Of Blues?
I flicked through the Book.
Hundreds of the Bastard Blues. Some were admittedly quite Grey, and some were positively Night Like, but they were all arguably Blue.
Hells Teeth. This could be tricky.
'What you paintin'?' he asked. Trying to be Very Helpful, I am sure, but I was getting quite Hoppity by now, as wanted the Blue Paint Now. Did not want to look in Book for paint.
'Wedgewood Blue,' I said, with sudden Inspiration. Now the man would know exactly what I wanted.
'Oh, right. Look in this bit then.' And he pointed to bit of book. Looked in that bit. Blow me down, if there weren't a Hundred Wedgewood'ish Blues.
Called Lost Lake.
Blue Babe.
First Dawn.
Azure Fusion.
Sort of Bollocks.

Gave up. Bought Blue Babe.
Painted Cupboard.
Job done.
Then thought up a few bloomin' names myself. For the hell of it. See if you can tell what colour they are...
Oh. And do feel free to add to them.

Knicker Grey
Toe Nail Yellow
Goose Shit Green
Gorilla Arse Red

And another selection...

Very Black
Very White
Quite Blue
Sort of Yellow

There. Deserve to be in a Paint Book, I think. Will call it, 'Paint What Does What It Says On The Tin.'
I'm still seeing red about it.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Neanderthal Woman

It is Simply Not Fair.
Husband goes around with hairy armpits.
Hairy legs. Arms. Chest. Face.
(I am Exaggerating just a Tad here. But, worryingly, only a Little.)
Have Tennis lessons every Wednesday now. Lovely!
Have tennis skirt. This means.... summer legs Even in the Winter. Ker-ist.
So, what to do?
I can rip them out, shave 'em off, or use laser beams. However, therein lies the Problem. The darned old stuff Grows Back. Again.
And Again.
And Again.
Isn't this telling me something?
Like... it's supposed to be there?
Let's see, I have been shaving these legs of mine for over 30 years. Apart from that time in 1993 when I didn't have a boyfriend for two blissful years.
Hurray! I thought. No waxing! No shaving! I can sprout like an Afghan Hound. Weave plaits. As it were.
Heaven! Spent two whole winters with legs like Highland Cow. Marvellous, it was. Even had Hairy Toes.
Then, got Boyfriend.
Removed Each and Every Single Follicle from body. A Painful Purge.
Maintained Strict Epilation each week/day/month according to Hair Growth Speed.
Trimmed and plucked and tweezed and shaved and ripped.
For Pity's Sake.
Six months later was Dumped by Boyfriend.
Apparently he felt that it Wasn't Going Anywhere.
Within three days was like New Forest Growth. Everywhere.
Stubble Galore. Would have had Beard if could.
Then got another boyfriend.
Frenzied Epilation.
Excessive Hair Growth Followed.
A Definite Pattern here, methinks.
Am now Married with Husband who really doesn't care less about hairy legs or armpits. Seems to notice when hair is Removed. But no complaints about not being able to find me through the Forestry that surrounds the more Intimate Places.
Well, he knows the way by now, doesn't he? No need for sign posts yet.
I think I have a Plan.
Which is.
To wear Even More Clothes.
Huge, voluminous, fleecy, tracky bottoms.
Will Steer Clear of tights. Unless legs are Hair Free, the long bits come through, don't they, girls? Maddening. Not Attractive, when sitting with legs neatly together and Hairy Growths are seen Lurking under the Beige Tan of your Panty Hose Hold Ups.
Will simply wear socks up to the Armpits.
Until next Spring.
When the Neanderthal Man Things that are my legs will once more be Epilated.

So Marvellous to get these things sorted.

Monday, 5 October 2009

An Unexpectedly Good Time

Had enormous fun with Middle Son today.
No School. Inset Day.
Off we went to buy televisions.
Yup. More than one.
Husband blew one up while watching TV in bed the other night.
And the kitchen one had a picture like a blurry mist of grey this morning.
Actually, it had no picture to speak of. Or look at.
Thought to self. Time for New Tellies.
We went. Middle Son and I.
Off to Huge Shop with Strip Lighting and Vast Floors filled with Electrical Goods.
Wandered down to the far end to look at the Tellies.
Wanted the smallest ones.
With Abandon, we bought two. Sleek, silver, and as thin as... well, Jolly Thin.
And light! Thought perhaps that we were buying Cardboard Box. With nothing in it.
Kind man insisted that there was a telly. In each Box.
In celebration we went next door into Unspeakably Ghastly Sofa Shop.
Middle Son was longing to 'Look at them, Mummy.'
So we did.
Only we didn't just Look at them.
We lay.
We reclined.
We relaxed.
We were asked a hundred times if we wanted anything In Particular.
'Just a cup of tea with one sugar, please!' I would answer in happy tones.
Middle Son thought I was Most Amusing.
We laughed until we cried on one particular sofa. It had, confusingly, buttons to press. Odd, really. Thought you just sort of sat about on sofas. But no!
These buttons could make us both Immediately Horizontal. And then, Immediately Vertical.
Pressed that button loads. Just as funny each time.
Finally dried our faces on our sleeves and left.
Talk about Free Entertainment. Marvellous!
We'd thoroughly recommend it.
Just make sure you don't look Directly at the Bright Orange Leatherette Sofa. It hurts.
Worth it, though, for all the Fun!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

A Sad Day

A Very Sad thing happened yesterday.
Katie, our big brown clucking Dear Old Thing of a hen, was put to sleep.
Saw her out in our hen garden, looking all fluffed up and sorry for herself. Picked her up to check her out and she felt hot, and her tummy seemed huge.
With laden heart took her to vet.
In a box.
(Which said on the side... McChicken Nuggets.
Vet had a quick look at her and told me without fuss or preamble that he thought it was kinder to put her down straight away.
Somehow it is fine to have a weep when you take in your dog or your cat, or even your child's rabbit. But taking a chicken to the vet is just ever so Slightly Silly. And I was damned if I was going to cry. Which I wanted to do. A Lot.
Especially while he did the deed to darling Katie.
Keeping my mouth tightly wedged together so that I wouldn't do a Big Girly Weep, I held Katie while he put a needle into the tiniest vein under her wing.
Kept the tears at bay while I watched her flail about in my hands, held firmly against her poor sore side. Watched her talons stretch out, over and over, while the strange spasms seemed to go on and on.
Managed to wash my hands briskly while asking the vet if I could take Katie home to bury her.
'Course you can,' he said. So kindly. Busying himself with needles and paraphernalia.
Placed Katie and her McNuggets Box by my side as I drove her home for the last time.
And Sobbed. Loudly. Wept. Snotty, racking sobs all the way home.
Bathing Youngest later on, I knelt down by the bath. Asked him gently and tenderly how he was about Katie.
'Oh, fine,' he said. 'It's only a chicken, Mummy.'
And washed between his toes.
She wasn't to me.
And so.
Today we buried her.
In the McNuggets Box.
Husband, Me, Middle Son, Daughter and Youngest.
'Are Farder,' we all said.
The other chickens watched and scratched about as we did so. Toby the cat came and had a look. Wee'd in a hole nearby, as you do at funerals.
Milly the rabbit peered through the fence.
Chewing like a Cowboy.
And in the midst of all the earth heaped up ready to put back into the Burial Hole, we found a Bright Sparkly Crystal. Huge. Just there. I picked it up and cleaned it on my jersey. And passed it to Tearful Daughter.
'Look,' I said. 'A Jewel!'
And it sparkled like her eyes.
And Cheered us all.

Here she is. Our Katie.
One Big Brown egg every day.
And a cluck as comforting as Warm Socks in winter.
Bless you, old girl.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

One Year of Blogging is finally UP!

One year, folks.
One year of me hitting these keys.
One year of me desperately trying to remember something that happened yesterday that was REALLY REALLY funny. To post. Like you do.
One year of Husband glumly noting that I am 'Blogging again.'
One year of children glumly noting that I am 'Blogging again.'
One year of surfing around other people's lives; reading, laughing, giggling, crying over them in turn.
One year of Blogging.
One year of friends asking me, 'Do you still have your Blog?'
Like it was Vaginal Warts.

Said I'd stop at a year.
That would be Plenty, I'd thought, back in Those Days.
How can I possibly stop when there is even more to say now?
Look Out.
More stories of Dubious Content will be forthcoming.
Storing up those memories for me to look at when these Children of Mine grow up and Away.

Brilliant. Blogging is.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Youngest and the Lord's Prayer

Youngest's version of the Lord's Prayer.
Said with eyes Tightly Shut and hands together.
Just before he goes to sleep.
At his request.

Are Farder,
Who are Tin Hevvin
Hallo be die mane.
Die King Domcome!
Die Will Bedunne!
On urf as it is in Hen.
Give Usiffday our dairy bread
And for give usustespresses.
As we give doze tespes genstus.
For dine is Dekinden.
De pa and de glor.
Eefor ever an' ever.

Hope God is listening.
Because Youngest means Every Word.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Comment Tart

Right. You are all obviously Psychic.
After the last couple of posts, got rather Fed Up with the lack of comments.
Thought that I might give up this malarkey.
Decided that was spending Far Too Much Time on the computer and not enough doing House Work.
Decided to Stop Blogging.
But, for the hell of it, posted about the Naughty Grass.
Gloomily watched No Comments coming in.
Turned the computer off and Gardened. House worked. Did Wifely things and Motherly things and even went to a Fete.
I think that you all knew. You must have done.
Because when I turned on the computer today I had lots of lovely comments.
Love Blogging!
Must write another post!
What fun!
What post shall I publish today!
Isn't blogging the Best!
You can see that am Very Shallow Person indeed.
Hopelessly needy and such a sucker for a Comment.
Nearly my first year of blogging is up. You would think I would be a Mature Blogger by now and Simply Not Care about Comments and Followers.
But Am Not.
Am Comment Tart.
Am Follower Flirt.
Blogger Bait.
Right. Better go and do some more Wifely and Motherly things.
Life doesn't half get in the way, eh?!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Fetch the Naughty Chair!

It seems that Super Nanny has really got to Husband.
Her and her Naughty Step.
At weekend Youngest was a Tad Naughty with Husband getting really rather Cross.
Youngest was issued with Warnings but continued, somewhat unwisely, with the Naughtiness.
Warnings,therefore, were all used up.
Now, what would Super Nanny do?
Yup. You said it. Go to the Naughty Step...! and all that jazz.
Husband followed her lead.
'Go to the Naughty Step!' Husband roars at Youngest. We all looked round for a Step. There wasn't one.
He re-thinks Situation.
'Go to the Naughty Grass!' he yells, with some Force.
We all looked around for some grass.
It was bloody Everywhere.
We were in a Field. A Grassy Sort of Field. Grass Galore, as it were. As far as the eyes could see.
Youngest couldn't make it to the Naughty Grass.
Two reasons.
One was he wasn't sure which bit he was supposed to sit on, it being rather a Large Area.
And two.
He was laughing too hard.
Middle Son, Daughter and I all hard pressed Not To Giggle.
Husband remained Not Amused.

Which made it all the funnier.
Poor Man.
The joys of Family Life.

Monday, 21 September 2009

In Which We Make A New Friend

Met a very nice mother today. Freshly moved from London. Needs to meet some local people.
Five of us met at J's house for Coffee. Like Grown ups.
We were all on our Best Behaviour. Had lovely coffee and Carrot Cake. (The best mixture in the world, those two. A marriage made in Cake Heaven.)
Made polite conversation, told her about butchers and garages and shops and such.
Exchanged numbers.
All Very Nice.
Rounded off morning by all getting into our cars.
'Good Grief, woman, what's in your car?' my friend J. asked me. Looking in some astonishment through the back window. Large pieces of my garden appeared to be loaded in the back, and on the seats. Grass, old bits of bike, and trampoline parts all crammed into small space.
'Just going to the dump,' I said, airily.
Our New Friend nodded wisely.
'Yes,' she said, 'There's nothing like a good dump.'
For a moment we all stared, open mouthed. And then, together as one, laughed our Socks Off. Bellowed. For a minute or two.
Before attempting to contain ourselves and Go Home.
The Fast Track to Friendship.
You just Can't Beat It.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

The Last Straw

Youngest comes racing up the stairs for his bath this evening.
'Mummy!' he pants, as he bursts into the bathroom, 'You know the cat?'
I tell him briskly that I know the cat Very Well Indeed.
'Well, I fink I put my finger in his bottom.'
Dropped shower head into bath and whipped round to face him.
'WHY!?' I ask. Not Unreasonably.
'Oh' he says, in Relaxed Fashion, 'By mistake, I fink.'
And sticks the same finger up his nose.
Oh, God.
I miss the Glamour.

A Post Script
Mystery solved. Youngest informs us at breakfast this morning that he had tried to remove Debris from Cat Bottom.
Others Horrified.
'Yeeuurrcchh. You put your finger in his bottom?!' Roars of Laughter and Disgust.
In equal measure.
Husband and I pour another coffee.
Welcome to the Nut House.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Spellings for Beginners

Youngest enormously proud of his spelling achievements this week.
Actually has a List of Spellings to learn. Like a Big Boy.
Last one on the list is, inexplicably, SHAMPOO.
He learns it.
Off by heart.
At breakfast this morning we Test Him on his Spellings
Like a Big Boy.
'How do you spell SHAMPOO?' we ask.
'SHER-AAA-MER-PER-O-O,' he says with a Pink Look of Pride.
'Hooray!' we all call out, and clap, loudly.
Daughter claps too.
'Right,' she says briskly, 'Now spell CONDITIONER.'
Youngest Visibly Deflates.
'Oh, alright then,' says Daughter, brightly, 'Try ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM.'
Poor Youngest. Crushed, he was.
Aren't Siblings just the best?

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The Joys of Sex. Not.

Following on from the 'Choosing Desire' post of yesterday, thought I would share with you a little Snapshot of our life of Passion. With No Locks. And Children.
Was once, in a frisky and long distance past, having a Nice Time, as it were, with Husband, when in came child. Husband was most definitely at the Wrong End.
'What are you doing?' asked Child.
Husband says, in rather muffled tones, as he emerges from bed clothes.
'Oh, I am just checking Mummy's label on her pyjamas.'
I wasn't wearing any.
'Thank you, darling,' I said, brightly to Husband. 'Is it still there?'
'Yes!' he answered, equally Bright. 'Still there!'
'Oh, Goody!' said I.
Pink cheeked, we were.
My toes still Curl Right Up and Over when I think of it.

Monday, 14 September 2009

No Sex, Please, We'd Rather Read Our Books

Golly. Just when I was about to press the button to Publish Post, I see out of the corner of my eye an article entitled 'No sex please, we're parents. Can a modern marriage survive without it?' Sitting on my kitchen table. Left there, I think, by Husband as a Big Hint.
I look again at the post I am about to send into the Blogosphere.
'No sex, please, we'd Rather Read Our Books.'
Bugger Me.
Well, don't. Actually. Yuck.
But isn't that Most Peculiar?
So didn't send post but read article from cover to cover.
Apparently, some of us lie about how much we Do it. And the rest of us lie about how much we Don't Do it.
It's not often that I Have Something to Say, but when I do, I try to make sure that a National Paper of some Calibre writes something similar.
Ho hum.
Here goes.
My post, entitled,

No Sex, Please, We'd Rather Read Our Books

Was sitting in bed with cup of tea and Husband one morning. Lovely lie-in and arrival of tea was heaven.
We sat and chatted about all sorts. And then we talked about Sex.
No, it's OK! Don't run off! Not going to put nasty, sticky details down here. We were just TALKING about it.
I was saying to Husband that while I and Four children had been in Total Pits of Hell-Hole Indoor Bastard Play Area the other day, had come across a magazine lying on one of the tea-soaked tables. Had leaped on it and grabbed the thing before any other mother could do so.
Magazine was surprisingly good. No ghastly Celebrities to read about. Just lots of good, intelligent articles.
Amongst the screaming of excited and hot children I read and read. One particular article was all about Refusing Sex.
Like we do.
Bed. Book. Sleep.
Do not want Leery Husband getting frisky.
Just want to close eyes and go to sleep. Thank you very much indeed.
Well, magazine says No.
Magazine says, and I quote,
Desire is a Decision.
Oo'er, I thought.
There was me waiting for Desire to come knocking on the door again.
Thinking fondly that somewhere down the line I would be as Frisky as a teenager, once the Children Were Older. Vamping my way into the sitting room with a Slinky Black Number and leaping on Husband with Abandon.
Gazing down at my Pyjama Clad body, and sheepskin slippered feet, I was somewhat doubtful that this would be Soon.
It seems that I was wrong.
Very wrong.
Desire wasn't going to come up and hit me on the face.
I had to choose it.
Golly, I thought.
So I shared this with Husband.
He was, as you can imagine, rather Gung-ho about it all, as it might just get Some Results, as it were.
I told him that I would give it a go.
So I did.
Well, not right there and then. Child tends to yell, from bathroom,
And such.
Not Awfully good for the Libido.
But a day of two later...
I'm not going to Brag. Puff out my chest and tell Huge Porkies about how often we get down to it now.
Suffice it to say, it's More.
More than Before.
And that's Good.
Still want to read my book.
Still want to wear pyjamas.
Still think to myself on occasion, 'Oh, no, please Not Now.'
But give Desire a go too.
Husband is thrilled to bits.
And I must say that I am rather pleased too.
There is nothing worse than the loss of intimacy.
And nothing better than finding it. Now and then.
Go on, girls. Give it a go.
Desire isn't a feeling. It's a Big Girlie Decision.
You can always read your book tomorrow.
Or Afterwards.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

In Which Youngest Is Proud of his Willy

We went blackberrying today.
Rays of gold shafting through hedges laden with hawthorns, sloes, elderberries and blackberries. Lazy flies hovering over the horses in the fields, and dancing over us as we make our way down the track.
Under mighty oaks we go, flanked by rabbit flattened grass and late buttercups.
Youngest and Daughter are on their bicycles.
Suddenly, through the stillness of the afternoon, Youngest yells out in joy,
'Mummy! Take a look at my willy! It's Amazing!' He is obviously Deeply Impressed with himself.
In horror I take a furtive look. What in hell's name is he doing now?
He is on his bike, front wheel up, scrunching to a dusty and triumphant halt.
'There! Did you see it, Mummy? Did you see my willy?'
With Great Relief I tell him that indeed I have seen it. And that it was as Amazing as he thought it was.
A Wheelie.


Wednesday, 9 September 2009

In which Youngest Becomes a Monster

Youngest ate an entire Chocolate Bunny at the weekend.
Behind the sofa.
Chocolate and Youngest are not Good Playmates. At All. He becomes a Small but Volatile Monster. For an hour or so. Before returning to his normal lovely self.
Was somewhat surprised by his Extraordinarily Naughty Behaviour on Saturday morning.
For an hour or so. Little devil, he was.
And then found an Empty Chocolate Bunny Wrapper.
Behind the sofa.
'Did you eat this?' I asked Youngest sternly.
He put on his Stricken Face.
Think Bubbles working hard.
'Yes,' he said, looking totally forlorn and wretched.
'No more sweeties until next week now,' I say.
He nods, tears welling in his eyes.
'The fing is, Mummy, that I fort that if I ate ALL the chocolate today, then I wouldn't be Naughty tomorrow.'
Had to leave room Quickly as could not keep up the Stern Face.
But not before I had dropped a kiss on his head.

Friday, 4 September 2009

The Iron (Bladder) Lady

Well. Have 'shared' my Iron Bladder Tendencies. It has released a flow, if I may be so bold, of Personal Stories about Bladders and Urinal Challenges around the Globe.
I have learned about people's Pelvic Floors, those who can read an 'entire tome' on the loo before the last drop is Squeezed Out. Another who wees One Drop at a Time.
Another who was wondering if I had 'Finished Yet', when he left his comment at 09.15.(Yes, I had, thank you very much for asking. Was building up for the Next One)
I had a Very Impressed Blogger who was amazed at the strength of my Bladder after four children. (Me too, friend, me too!)
In addition I have received sound advice about padlocks and the need for Privacy and Dignity. I have learned that my Bladder is strong and that incontinency is far away.
I am a little Clearer about the boundaries needed between me and my children when taking my morning Ablutions. I have had some Helpful Hints about wee'ing earlier in the morning, and avoiding Audiences.
In short, I am now Fully Informed. Terrific!
Must share lots more Details of an Intimate Nature. Might learn More!
Could Gain More Insight in one day than have done in Entire Life.
What shall I blog about next? Don't have anything much to tell about my Rectum. Long Poos have never really been my thing. Unless you count the one on the boat in the Outer Hebrides. You want to hear about that one? Not on your Nelly. That Poo will remain where it's supposed to be. Long Gone. (We were all stunned by its length. How had it created itself? And where did it hide? Why did I 'share' this with family members? No idea.)

Extraordinary thing is that you bloggers just love Lavatorial Humour. I write a Deeply Sweet and Personal Post on the holidays beginning and get a Paltry and quite frankly Feeble twelve comments. I write about wee wees and get thirty five. Hmmmmm.
Not that I am Counting Comments. We all know that I Never Do That.
Do I Stick with Lavatories and say Pfffff to Sweet and Poignant?
Or leave the Toilet Humour behind and keep to Winsome and Off-handed?
Decisions, decisions.

I'll keep you Posted.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

In Which My Children Find Me Most Amusing. Again.

It seems I have the propensity to do Long Wees.
Not as in 'Off a Cliff' sort of wees. Or from a Very High Tree. We are not talking Height here.
Just Length, as in Time.
Had an audience this morning.
Staggered from warm and cosy bed to bathroom. Sat on loo, hair tousled and upward standing.
Youngest arrives. Sits on edge of bath.
Waits awhile.
'Yup?' Am quite Curt in the morning until Cup of Tea is made and sipped at.
'You do Very Long Wees.' He is looking quite concerned. Listening with his head on one side.
'Oh,' mutter I. Not much to add to that really.
In comes Daughter and Middle Son. Sit on the edge of the bath.
'Listen to Mummy's wee! It goes on and on!' informs Youngest.
'I know,' says Daughter, smugly. 'I've heard her before.'
They start to giggle, as I am still 'Going'.
Start feeling a Tad Cross at lack of peace in my morning rituals.
Carry on, trying to keep up my Dignity.
Giggles start to Crescendo as Wee goes On and On.
Every now and then they think I have Stopped.
When I start again.
Gales of laughter.
Never thought I could be that funny so early.
Finally the entertainmnent comes to an End.
The children wipe the tears of laughter off their faces and go downstairs.
I hear them saying,'
'Let's do that tomorrow!'
Mortar Locks and Bolts spring to mind.

This So Wasn't in the Parents Manual.

Monday, 31 August 2009

New Man, New Pan

Husband yesterday. Decided to make pastry for pudding.
Which is lovely and All.
Flour to the Armpits.
Every surface Filled to Bursting with Detritus.
Quite a Lot of Bowls used.
And, inexplicably, a great deal of Cutlery.
'Now I can understand why they have Sous-chefs!' he announced cheerfully, as he tipped Another Set of Washing Up into the sink.
'Yes,' muttered Me. 'So can I.'
Plunging my arms into soapy water.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Knock, Knock, Who's There?

Wiping Youngest's bottom today.
'Mummy?' His voice muffled as somewhere near the floor.
'Knock, Knock.'
(Oh, God. A joke.)
'Who's there?' I say, busily wiping.
'Joke, Joke.' Says Youngest.
'What?' I say, somewhat puzzled. Even by his standards, this joke Stinks. Unlike his bottom which is now Pristine.
'Joke, Joke, Who?' asks Youngest. Returning to upright position.
I stall. Isn't it me who has to say the 'who' bit at the end?
'Joke, Joke, Who, Who?' I say.
Totally confused now.
'Dog,' says Youngest.
I laugh uproariously. At Some Length.
(Am Good At Appreciating Crap Jokes. Years of experience.)
Youngest stunned by obvious Success of Joke.
'Mummy, it's not that funny,' he says. Concerned.
'Well, I thought it was,' I say. Washing hands briskly and asking him to do the same.

Honestly. Sometimes you just can't win.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Big Pants Galore

Oh My God.
The timing of the thing.
It is Simply Not Fair.
An Elderly Relation is staying with us for two nights, on the way home after a trip to U.S.A. The poor woman's suitcase has been carefully mislaid by the airline and is languishing somewhere in O'Hare Airport. She was a Bit Cross about it. And also had to wash some of her clothes so she could wear something tomorrow... I offered her my thongs and tassles but she wasn't interested. Honestly, some people are so ungrateful.
Anyway... once the Washing had been Completed (by hand) it was hung out on the line.
Vast Flesh Coloured Knickers. Pegged the right way up, as if the line were wearing them. Likewise Bra. Jauntily pegged up by the straps with the wind positively echoing around the cups. Next to them were brown linen trousers that looked Simply Enormous, taking up at least eight feet of the line. Wide. And a blouse sort of thing. All pegged the right way up. In a neat, lengthy line.
You couldn't miss the bastards if you tried.
I hoped against hope that no-one would arrive. Or that a rather Gorgeous Delivery Man wouldn't suddenly turn up with Interesting Wares.
Cue, Gorgeous Delivery Man with Interesting Wares. Obviously.
Up he trundled in his white van. Wandered up to the front door.
We opened said door to Vision.
Simply Heavenly. Tall and dark. Liquid brown eyes. Wonderfully Handsome. With, wait for this... an Italian Accent!! Thrilled I was. Especially as my children crowded around me in a very Italian sort of way when I answered the door.
'You like'a look at ma fish?' asked Adonis, smiling broadly, and stroking Youngest's hair.
I simpered back and followed him out. Followed his gaze.
Oh, no.
His eyes had wandered to the Washing Line. And there, waving gently in the breeze, were those Bastard Knickers. That Bra. His head whipped round as he took in the undergarments, and incredulously checked out my size.
I swear I could see a light dying in his eyes.
Didn't do much for my simpering, either.
Bastard Timing. They say it's the secret of Good Comedy. And the blinkin' secret of Good Tragedy too, I reckon.

Why, oh, why, wasn't this on the line?

No such bloomin' luck. He had to see this Sort of Thing.

Kind of Serves me Right, though.
Husband will find this Most Amusing when I tell him later on.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Home Again Again!

Home again! Lovely.
The only thing is that everything looks so damned Straggly and Long. Grass. Hedges. Cats. Legs.
Cheered and Whooped as we made our way up the drive on getting home last night. Then looked at Garden.
'Crikey,' said Middle Son. 'It looks a bit Manky.'
We have been staying at my sister's house in Essex. Vast Garden. Twinkling Swimming Pool. Neat. Pristine. Edges cut with Nail Scissors, type of thing. Pots of glorious flowers. Gorgeous views across golden fields. Everything in its place.
Not Like Here.
Scruffy lawn with huge daisies and buttercups everywhere. Mole hills. Dead Plants in pots.
Think I have Orderly Garden Envy.
My mind is all Straggly and Untidy too, with 'Must do This and Must do That' all running Full Pelt. (Is there Half Pelt? And does it have something to do with hair? And is it less Straggly than Full Pelt?)
Am Yearning for Order. Everywhere there is dust or cat hair. Huge piles of Stuff to be moved. Letters to be answered. Bills.
So had better turn this thing off and get started. Do you Make Order? Or Create Order? Or just Order Order?
Quite fancy the last one.
Could Order Order from Huge Deckchair whilst reclining with Vast Cafetiere of Coffee. Reading the papers. Shouting at people to do things. Heaven.
Better Get On.
Lawns to mow. Things to move endlessly about until they end up in the same place. Washing to put out to dry. Washing to bring in and iron. Washing to be put away.
Getting home is lovely but there does seem an Awful Lot To Do.
Mind you, wouldn't have it any other way.
(Except, perhaps, to have Staff.
Now that would be Very Good Indeed.)

Met a Blogger!! Absolutely Marvellous it was. He took us out in his speed boat, me and all my family (minus Eldest) plus friend and her little one. Beautiful day. Speeding about in places I haven't seen for years. And I got to drive too! (do you drive boats??) What a saint. It was rather like meeting up with family friend, except we had never met. Had such a nice time.
Thanks Hugely, Troy!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Essex Girl for a Week

Christ, we're off again.
Car once more neat and pristine. Washing all done and in little piles in each child's room. Suitcases ready to be filled. Cats sorted. Chickens sorted. Rabbit sorted. Fish sorted.
Middle Son cut his thumb yesterday which resulted in long boring visit to A & E. Two tetanus injections later and a large bandage on his thumb, we were finally released. Youngest had Enormous Fun going to the loo every few minutes, to enjoy the new Towel Dispensers. You pressed a little button and 'zzzzoooooommmmmmmmm'...out came the paper towel. Terrific fun.
Oh, and the Drinks Dispenser. I put 50p into Simply Vast Machine which coughed and gurgled.
Panic attack when we realised that hadn't placed a cup anywhere. But all was well, as cup placed Very Kindly by Vast Machine. We all watched in fascination as one minute later out came a Perfect Cup of Coffee.
Cor, said Youngest.
But, Gosh, can't hospitals be Dull Places.
Sat on Hard Chairs. Watched as cleaner went v-e-r-y- s-l-o-w-l-y- round the room with a duster. Then a huge machine came by that Polished the Floor. I know that because we asked the nice man who was pushing it. Youngest wants one.
Kept being called into small Extremely Small Airless Room to be asked some questions. You know, the ones we had just answered half an hour ago. Then were asked to wait again. Youngest almost eating his feet with boredom by the end. Kept hauling himself into my lap, painfully stepping on toes each time.
All's well that Ends Well, though. Middle Son coped Brilliantly with two horrid injections, eyes shining with tears but gritting his teeth and breathing hard, as instructed, by his mother.
'Breathe DEEEEEEEEP breaths... just like in child birth.' Made him smile, anyway.
So, nearly time to go. A morning of frenzy and furious activity. Children to tidy their rooms and get animals all ready for kind people looking after them. Husband and I to have lazy coffee before getting Extremely Cross about how the car should be packed.
And then?
Just swimming, tennis, family and Fun. Messing about in Boats. Maybe, and really exciting, maybe, meet a Fellow Blogger. How about that!!
See you in a week. No computer At All where we're going.

PS Just a little thing that happened on the way to the Hospital....

As you know, Poor darling Middle Son cut his thumb badly and we had to race to A & E.
On the way, poor child was heartily sick, just making it to the grass verge.
Daughter and Youngest in car with Kind Friend of Middle Son. Who had to be taken to A & E with us. Poor chap.
'Uuuuurrrrrrggggghhhhh,' went Middle Son, throwing up into grass.
Youngest cranes neck to watch. So does Daughter and Friend.
'What colour is it?' asks Youngest.
'Um, can't see,' reports back Daughter and Friend, also battling to watch the event with Great Interest.
'Is it yellow?' asks Youngest. Apparently Sick should be Yellow.
'Nope. It's white with bits in it,' Friend reports back.
'Damn,' says Youngest. ' I really fort it would be Yellow.'
And with that he slumps back in his car seat.
The Wonder of Brotherly Love.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

In Which Youngest is Very Proud and I am Stumped

'Have you sawn wot I dunned?' asks Youngest.
'No,' I reply. But I know he's going to show me.
Sure enough, he leads me by the hand to his room. Up the stairs. Round the corner. His little face all lit up with Expectation.
We walk in to his room.
Nothing. Just the same.
'Well, Mummy, can you see it?' he asks, excitement brewing.
I absolutely can't see anything at all.
'Course I can!' I answer cheerily. 'You clever boy!' I kiss the top of his head, scanning the room desperately for clues. I mustn't ask. It will deflate him like a balloon.
His cup overflows. His smile is from ear to ear.
'Fanks, Mum,' he says, all bashful. 'I knowed you'd like it.'
Down we come.
'What did he do?' asks Middle Son.
For a moment I am stumped.
'Go and see for yourself.'
Up Middle Son goes.
We hear him yell from the top of the stairs,
'What has he done? I can't see anything.'
Youngest and I exchange long suffering look.
Youngest yells up after him,
'I dunned it without being asken!'
I realise.
He has made his bed. Without being Asken.
I hug him tight.
These days are Good. So good.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

100th Post! Well, not, as it happens...

Well, bugger me if I didn't go and do my 100th post and didn't realise!
And my 101st.
And my 102nd.
So this is my 103rd.
Just so you know. And that.
Started this blog back in October of last year. No comments for the first few posts. Then the joy of the first comment. I gave out a huge whoop of thrilled delight. Husband not quite sure what a Comment was.
'Is that good?' he asked, somewhat nervously.
And now?
Have found a voice in me that was buried for years.
(I think, perhaps, that Husband would quite like to bury it again.)
I, however, am chuffed to bits that I can write Stuff and that people can have a giggle. Spill coffee over their keys, type of thing.
Friends ask, from time to time, How is the Blogging going? (They say 'Blogging' as if it were some Odd Culty Thing. Which you might argue it is.)
I always say, 'Oh, it's brilliant, thanks!' Bright smile. It's no good telling them how much fun it is. What friends you find. What you get to say. Where you get to go.
They just look at One rather oddly.
Because it's more than fun. It's a New World. I love it!
Thanks, every last one of you, for comments and kindness.
Blogoshpere Rocks.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Home Again

Home! How marvellous it is to get back and wander round the garden, admiring rosy tomatoes in the green house and clucking over the state of the lawn.
Journey home very long indeed.
As we approached the last half hour (out of 5) children's conversation took a Plummeting.
How would you rather die? asked Middle Son to his younger siblings. 'In a lake of snot, or jump off a cliff?'
Youngest seemed to take this into careful consideration.
'Would we be naked?' asked Daughter.
'What, jumping off the cliff or in the lake of snot?' asked Middle Son in All Seriousness.
'In the snot,' chimed out Daughter and Youngest.
Middle Son gave this some more Serious Pondering.
'No,' he said at last. 'Fully clothed.'
Both Daughter and Youngest heaved sigh of relief.
'Lake of snot,' they chorused together.
Husband and I Exchange Looks.
When will this Bloody Journey Ever End.
As the children begin the next sentence with, 'How would you rather be murdered...' I interject with a cheery, 'Let's Count Trees!'
The children pause for a moment and stare out of the windows at the Huge Wood we are travelling through.
Back they go to the 'Would you rather be pushed off a cliff and get a wedgie or ...' conversation. We leave them to it.
Devon was lovely. Beaches and barbecues, tennis and golf. Walks and whiskies. Maybe not all in that order, but packed in there somehow.
Dial Up Computer, possessed by Grandmother, huge and grey (computer, not grandmother) caused Great Hilarity amongst the children. They could Not Believe the length of time it took to get connected.
What's that noise, they asked incredulously, to the Brrrrrriiiiiinnnngggggeeeeeeeooooooorrrrrrrrggggghhhhhhhhhchchchchchchchchchchc... noise, that dial up engenders.
'Welcome to the Nineties,' I said, somewhat sarcastically, as the ninth minute rolled on by.
The children looked Enchanted by the Old Ways of last century. Middle son at breakfast this morning pretended to do Dial Up, to the hilarity of his youngest brother and sister, who thought him Most Amusing. Actually, so did I. He was hugely funny.
So, here we are. Mountains of washing. Lawns to mow. Weeds to pull up. Cats to cuddle and hens to feed. And just under a week to do it all before we push off to Essex for another week.
I love the Summer Holidays.

Friday, 31 July 2009

In Which Daughter Takes to High Fashion at Breakfast

Daughter appeared to wear cocktail dress for breakfast this morning. Chosen from bag of clothes kindly given by fifteen year old babysitter.
I could see Middle Son looking Aghast at her outfit. I managed to choke back unkind laughter as she entered the room, looking all pleased with herself.
Head to toe, white with huge black swirly patterns, with shorter skirty bit floating round her knees. Tiny little black sparkly top over her shoulders. Hair loose.
'Gosh.' said Husband.
Daughter sat down and with pleased expression shook cereal into bowl and sat back. Beamed at us all.
We all stared back.
'Why are you wearing that silly dress?' asked Youngest, always Mr Tactful.
'Because I felt like it,' returned Daughter, eating cereal with spoon and little finger extended, just so.
'Well, you look like a silly lady,' announced Youngest.
Daughter appeared not to mind in the slightest.
And she continued to wear the Cocktail Dress throughout the day, while we went shopping, spent some time at a friend's house, and bought some more sawdust for the rabbit cage. People stared. Quite a lot. Daughter totally unfazed by Attention.
For someone aged nine, she possesses the confidence of a Hollywood Starlet.
Too bad it's not appreciated by her brothers.

Off to Devon in the morning for a week. There is No Computer in Devon. Gulp. Well, actually there is one, but it is Grey, Huge and has Dial Up. Get the picture? By the time you get internet it's time to have lunch. The Next Day.
Have a good week, one and all.
I am Remaining Optimistic about the weather.
Ho hum.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Crows Feet

Golly. Mice. Again. In Attic.
However, these were not Normal Mice.
They appeared to do Housework. Or perhaps that might be Mousework.
Moving furniture type of Housework. You know, getting behind the piano to hoover. Sort of thing.
Lay in bed in the early hours the other morning. Crashing. Scraping. Banging. For God's Sake, what were these mice bloody doing?
Spoke to Husband about it later as we sipped our cup of tea in bed.
'Why are those mice so bloody noisy?' I asked, plaintively. 'Could hardly sleep with all that noise.'
'Because they are Crows,' Husband explained kindly. 'On the roof. About twenty of them. Jumping about.'
Oh. Jumping? On the roof? Crows?
Had Absolutely No Faith in Husband. Course they're not Crows. They are Mice. Any Fool would know that.
This morning heard the Noises again. Lay and listened to scratching and rustling.
Thought to self, That is Not A Crow. That is a mouse or even, gulp, a Rat.
Listened a bit more.
Decided to open window because a bit hot.
Crept to window so as not to wake Husband. Opened window. Twenty Big Black Crows who were jumping about on the roof flew off and into the dawn.
That'll be it, then.
Husband is right. Again.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

In which Youngest Displays Admirable Cunning

Recently we acquired a Box of Chocolates.
Youngest delves in box yesterday. Peering closely at Hazelnut Surprise and Strawberry Delight. Rummages about a bit more.
He takes out the biggest.
'What's this?' he asks.
'Truffle Heaven,' I say.
'Oh,' he says, shoving it into his mouth.
Some minutes later the front door opens and Youngest disappears out.
Comes back in again. Asks for another chocolate.
'Your second?' I ask.
He nods. (They can have two sweets after lunch. Sometimes. And That Is That.)
He shovels another one in.
Again the front door opens and he disappears out.
Filled with curiosity I follow him.
Youngest is leaning into flower bed.
'What are you doing?' I ask.
He looks stricken. You can see the Think Bubbles working.
'Well?' I ask. Interestedly.
'I'm looking at the flowers,' he says.
A large piece of chocolate hangs on to the corner of his mouth and then falls. Flop. Onto the path.
'Are you spitting out the chocolates?' I ask him sternly.
Wide eyed he looks back at me. With Guilt written all over him.
We both look down into the flower bed. There, on the newly turned earth, are two Freshly Chewed Chocolates.
We look back at each other.
'Were they revolting?' I ask him in Friendly Tones.
'Yeurch.' he says.
'Come on then, let's get one more. And no more spitting in flower beds. OK?'
He grins at me. Slips his hand into mine. And together we peruse the contents of the box until we find a Caramel Supreme.

Monday, 27 July 2009

In Which Youngest Displays Worrying Teenage Traits

Went to cafe in nearby village today.
Youngest ordered huge hot chocolate and croissant.
Promptly spilled hot chocolate all over croissant.
I clear it up, in seconds. Two decades of spillages has made me deft and speedy.
Find cloth, new plate, new knife, new spoon, plonk old croissant on new plate, hot chocolate on new saucer, wipe around table, check Youngest for detritus. Sit back and sip coffee. Get admiring looks from New Mother over the way. I acknowledge her admiration with a friendly nod. Youngest still looking Cross and Grumpy.
Oh, not again, think I.
What?' I ask, somewhat impatiently. 'I've mopped you all up. Eat your croissant and drink your chocolate.'
'Can I have sugar in my chocolate?' he asks, hopefully.
And I Mean No.
'Why not?'
'Because there is already half a ton of it in there,' I explain.
'I won't finish my drink,' he threatens, menacingly. For a five year old.
Finally he twigs. As he always does.
She Means It.
Puts his face in his arms.
In Tragic Tones, deep from the depths of his sleeve,
'Mummy,' he moans,
'You just Don't Understand Me.'

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Mouse Alert

On going out to supper last night a Mouse was Spotted. Amidst the screaming and scraping back of chairs as nervous adults peered under the table, was reminded of Fun Time With Mouse when living in Suffolk a few years ago.
Imagine. Lovely farm house. Cosy kitchen with beams and an Aga. And a rather curious little room, solely for Telephone. Just off the kitchen. With Glass Door that Slid.
House was rented or we would have hurled ourselves at Glass Door and destroyed it. But we didn't, and so there it remained.
Was on phone one evening talking to friend. Feet got a little chilly so felt about on floor for my slippers. Huge, sheepskin, fluffy Nonsenses of Slippers. But damned warm and cosy. Found them with my foot, and slipped them on. One was a little bit smaller than normal.
Strange I thought.
Carried on talking to friend.
Some minutes later, puzzled by smallness of slipper, which normally has Roomy Dimensions, took it off.
Blow me down, if a large brown mouse didn't jump out and start running round the Small Room Housing the Telephone.
I think friend's Ear has Damage for Life.
Screams reached the Far Posts of County. Eldest came tearing in.
What?What?What?What? he screamed. Looking through Glass Door. Eyes like saucers.
By this time I was Screaming Very Loudly Indeed and Trying to Gain Height, away from Floor and Mouse. Trouble was, there was one chair and quite a low roof.
Hit head Quite Severely on Roof in bid for Escape.
Somewhere at end of telephone line I could hear friend going
Panted and yelled and screamed into phone.
No words. Just Big Noisy Sounds.
Friend extremely worried.
Managed to slide back door with aid of Eldest and Make My Escape into Kitchen. Eldest meanwhile opened Back Door and managed to get the Bastard Mouse of All Times Out.
Took about ten minutes, Literally, to stop Hysterical and Unattractive Laughter.
Another five to stop Shaking like unset jelly.
And another five to ring back Poor Friend to Explain.
Bugger Me, friend said.
Thought you'd been Murdered.
Sorreee, I said. Giggling.
Kept giggling for days.
Reaction, you know.
Post Traumatic Mouse Disorder.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Pretty Please

Youngest at breakfast today. Very Cross. Seemed to have woken up in Very Bad Mood.
'Not Hungry,' he said, gruffly. 'Not Eating Anyfing.'
Oh, said I. Starving. Tucking into Four Weetabix.
Youngest sits for a while. Arms crossed. Mouth jutting out and Scowling.
'Get me a plate,' he orders his sister, sitting handily next to the plate cupboard.
Daughter ignores him and carries on eating her Cornflakes.
'Get me a bloody plate.' says Youngest.
We all stare at Youngest in Horror.
'What Do You Say?' asks Daughter, haughtily.
'Get Me A Bloody Plate. Please,' says Youngest.
And it's only Day 2 of the holidays.
Roll on, September.

Thursday, 23 July 2009


Hooray! The Summer Holidays are here at last! Lie ins! Stretchy moments in bed! Long Leisurely Breakfasts!
And then...
Long days with Children.
The typical conversation has already taken place with the 'Organised Mothers' who say things like,
'Well, the children are booked on a Week's Sailing Course in the Lakes followed by a Fortnight Enrichment Course In Maths, English and the Sciences. Oh, and they so love Comunity Work that they have another week in the local library to help with the Summer Reading Week.'
Bollocks to all that. Mine aren't booked onto anything. We are going to Devon to stay with Mother in Law. Then to Essex to house sit for my sister. Otherwise we are Here.
Summer holidays are a bit like Last Minute Dot Com. We do everything at the last minute.
Let's go to the Beach!
Let's go swimming!
Let's go for a picnic!
Let's go and play tennis!
Let's do Bugger All!
Life has been so horrendously busy the last few weeks that have probably missed all the deadlines for tennis and sailing and golf and summer camps and Life Skills in Cookery.
Why am I so Bloody Useless at Organising the Holidays?
Husband comes home at end of day on Typical Summer Holidays Day.
'Did you go to the beach?' he will ask Brightly.
'Nope,' we all reply. Slumped in front of telly.
'Play tennis?'
'Play golf?'
'Go out?'
'What did you do?'
We all look at each other.
'Had lunch,' says someone.
'Yes, and fed the chickens.'
Husband looks grieved and goes out into vegetable garden.
What we did actually do was fun. We probably had a friend over. Cleaned out the chickens. Made lunch together. Went for a walk. Made a castle out of cereal boxes for the rabbit. That Sort Of Thing.
Been Together.
I find that the more I organize for my children the more they want things organised for them. So we just do the odd organised thing. Like that sailing course last year. The rest of the time is theirs and mine. We fill it with inconsequential things. We rest. We play. We go to the beach. We find a tennis court and play, all four of us, on one court. Middle Son loves his tennis so I cram him, last minute style onto any tennis camp I can find.
We go to Pizza Express, the children's Mecca of Restaurants. I bully them to make their sodding beds and clean out their rooms. We wash up together and make the meals together. Feed the chickens and water the pots.
Sometimes we have lovely days. Sometimes they are Crap. Usually they are OK.
Ordinary days of an ordinary life.
And when you look at the news on a typical day, Ordinary seems very good indeed.
Right. Must see when that Tennis Camp starts. Middle son champing to do it. And Daughter wants to have a sleep over or two with her friends. And Youngest wants to go swimming.
So. We'll do that then.
As for the rest of the holidays... let's just see How It Goes.
One day at a time.
St-r-e-t-ch. This Is The Life.
More coffee anyone?

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Pelt Up

Oh God. Middle son has just watched Veet Advert on telly. Woman with legs up to armpits taking Non-Existent Hairs off Hairless Leg.

Middle Son notices that woman only does her legs up to knees.
'Why doesn't she do all of her leg?' he asks no one in particular.
'It'll look way better.'
I look at him over my cup of tea.
'Why will it look better?' I ask, worriedly.
'Because otherwise it'll be Hairy. Derrr.'
The poor boy thinks every woman under ninety is as Hairy as his Mother. On a Bad Hair Day.
Oh, well. Will be lovely surprise one day. Girl friend with hairless, smooth, brown legs. Like the Veet Lady.
'Wow! Look at your legs!' Middle Son will say.
'What?' New Girl Friend will ask, somewhat confused.
'No hair!' Middle Son will say, merrily. 'You should see My Mother's.'
Girl Friend will look at my legs from time to time, encased by then in Thick Beige Nylon Hold Ups.
Next life am coming back as Highland Cow.
Have its legs now anyway.

(P.S. Am concerned that readers will think that have thick pelt on legs all year. Not true.
Just the Winter Months.
So that's OK then.)

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Flushed With Success

Well. The moment you have all been waiting for.
The Results of the Flower and Produce Show 2009!
Drum Roll.
Curtains up.
Da Daaaaaaaa!
Husband. Won. The. Cup.
Won The Sodding Cup. The Challenge Cup. For the highest total in the Vegetable Produce Category.
All those evenings of Looking At Vegetables and doing the Felicity Kendall Encouragement Thing has paid off! Oh, and Husband's vegetables. And all his hard work. Of course.
Wait for it.
Third Prize for the Sodding Bloody Bicyle!!!! (not literally, of course) Oh, dear. We did laugh.
Third prize for Wild Life. Snore. Only because photo was very dull one of newt. On Husband's hand. (Robin one was rejected on grounds of Too Much Tit.)
And then, for photo put in at last moment... FIRST PRIZE! Toby the cat as a Garden Pest. 'I love the light, the cat fills the frame and is nice and sharp,' said the Judge. Oh. Whatever.
Oh, and the person who took 200 photos of mole hills? Lost. Quiet Smirk.
As did we. Because, wait for it... we didn't have Mole Hills. We only had a single Mole Hill. Grrr.
But was vastly cheered by having second prize in Decoration in a Tankard. Apparently my Contrast was Weak. Yer wot? Just shoved some bloody flowers in a tankard and sloshed it along to the village hall. Contrast? Eh?
OH. AND. Third prize in Riot of Colour Category!! 'Lovely arrangement' said Judge.
Really? Grabbed a host of wonderfully colourful flowers out of garden and stuck them all into one of those green oasis things and then crammed that into the right size vase. Done. Lovely arrangement, eh?!
So. The village settles down for the next year. A new set of names on all the cups given out. Children dashing off with their book tokens, prizes for the best Garden on a Plate, Picture of a Pet, and Best Handwritten Joke. (Daughter raked up a Second with her Joke).
Gardens can be just Gardens again. No more peering over fences, trying to see how the neighbour's broccolli is doing.
Had very large Whisky and Soda last night. Looking out of window at our glorious view of the Downs. Children cheery in spite of being beaten on every single category. (bar the joke)
I will leave you with the Handwritten Joke by Youngest. No prize, but we loved it. Writing on a slant and picture of duck at the bottom. Heaven.

What time does a duck wake up?
At the Quack of Dawn.

And Daughter's...

Man walks into a pub with a newt on his shoulder.
What's that! asks the Bartender.
That's Tiny, said the man.
Why do you call it that? asks the Bartender.
Man replies, 'Because he's My Newt.'

Boom Boom!

Oh, and the Prize Certificates...

Most satisfactory.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The Show Must Go On

The The Village Flower and Produce Show 2009 continues to get nearer and nearer. Namely Saturday. Raspberries are looking good. Runner beans are running. And carrots, peas, lettuces, tomatoes and potatoes are all looking Not Bad At All.
Photographs, however, are proving difficult to produce. Basically because we are Crap at Taking Them.
Husband spent several hot minutes on the lawn at weekend trying to capture me racing by on bike and going over Very Small Plank of Wood so that I would 'take off'. Ho Hum. This is for the Bicycle Category in the Photography Section.
He missed. Twelve times. I would pound up, legs working like a piston, aim for plank, race up, pull up handles on bike for Optimum Lift Off, and then come to a Panting Halt. Each time Husband would check excitedly for Result.
Blank picture.
No Bicycle.
Due to Excessive Heat did not feel like going over plank a Thirteenth Time.
So we moved on to Mole Hills.
Aren't any. So sod that for a game of soldiers.
We could try the Garden Pest category, spoke Husband.
We looked at each other. Blank.
Absolutely No Inspiration there.
Gave up and went back in house for Large G & T as Reward.
Husband quietly rather proud of his Wild Life photograph. Went to restaurant in rather Grand Garden the other day. Perched on the fence surrounding the outside area of the restaurant was a robin.
Quick! we whispered noisely to each other.
Get the Camera!
Forgot to turn camera on.
Pressed Video Button by mistake.
Robin Scarpered.
Back he came a few minutes later.
He's back! I hissed. Get the camera!
Once again we were too late because by the time we'd turned the blasted camera on and turned it towards said Robin, said Robin had buggered off again.
Anyway, while I was inside choosing the Biggest Bastard of a Pudding you've ever seen (raspberry meringue roulade... simply Vast and with Lots of Cream) Husband had been Happy Snapping at Robin. Showed me his Work. All I could see were Statues and Bosoms. Peered harder at photo and could see Very Small Robin. Just.
After all this effort we gave up.

As a result our Photography Offerings look a bit like this...

Bicycle Category

Wild Life Category

Yup. Bollocks.
We'll keep you posted.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Run, Rabbit, Run

Am Absolutely Not saving any more rabbits.
As much as I love them. And all. Fluffy little bunnies.
But am not going to run round the garden in my T-shirt and knickers, leaping like a mad woman through the Broad Beans in the vegetable garden, in order to save a small baby bunny from our cat, Toby.
Let me explain...
Was brushing my hair the other morning. Looking fondly out of the window at Daughter feeding chickens in her nightie. Rubbed some fake tan ( an absolute must for those with Pale Skin) into my now rather Brown Legs, and was looking admiringly at the back of the calves, when heard Blood Curdling Screams. Emanating from the Vegetable Garden.
In Blind Panic threw window open and yelled out at Daughter,
Daughter was then seen, running full pelt, past the greenhouse and appeared to have thrown herself under the hedge. Throughout her run, she Screamed,'TOBEEEEEEE. NO!!!!!!!'
I yelled again.
Daughter answered, rather muffled, from the Depths of the hedge,
'He's got another rabbit... NNOOOOOO, TOBEEEEEE!'
At this point was leaning so far out of window that became a little anxious that I might fall out, so made the Sensible Decision to go down and Save The Rabbit. Again.
Toby, our cat, has had an awful lot of fun with the Bunnies in our garden, particularly with the Baby Ones. Which seems awfully mean of him. But then again, he is a Cat. And that's what they Do.
Heave open Back Door, always quite a Feat, as is old and warped.
Daughter still under hedge, and still shouting.
Suddenly she emerges. Shouting momentarily stopped.
In her arms is a small, badly frightened and injured baby rabbit.
Daughter is in tears.
'Poor little thing,' she says. 'Bad Toby.'
At this point I am aware that I am wearing a small, light-blue T-shirt and a pair of rather racy knickers.
May I say that this is Highly Unusual.
For some Very Strange Reason, I had run out of the normal M & S knickers normally worn on an Ordinary sort of day. They had all Disappeared off the Face of the Earth. Not in drawer. Not in wash. Not on line. Not in Hot Cupboard. Not Bloody Anywhere. Had someone Eaten them?
So. Had to find Alternative Arrangements. It was Racy Lacy or Very Large Black Pants. Very large ones were tortuously tight and hot. Had rejected those in favour of something cooler.
Hence the Lacy Racy Pair I was Adorning.
Pulling T-shirt down and hoping the post man wouldn't make his appearance any minute, I made Sympathetic Noises re. the rabbit and suggested we put it somewhere quiet.
Gently lifted it from Daughter and carried it over the lawn.
Blood all over the T-Shirt. Hands. Daughter. Rather keen not to get it on Pants.
Rabbit then promply died.
Poor little thing.
Daughter cried.
Youngest and Middle Son came out to inspect the damage. Mildly astonished at my Attire.
'Mummy, why are you wearing no trousers?' sort of questions.
Replied rather tersely that had had no time to find trousers when Saving Rabbits.
We all helped lay rabbit under the beech hedge that surrounds the garden.
Poor little rabbit. It looked so tiny.
All felt rather sad.
Then we all trooped in to the house.
Toby was on the window sill in the kitchen, cleaning his paws and looking adorable.
Grrrrrr, we all said.
Phone rang.
Husband already at work.
'We've just saved a bunny but it died,' I told him.
Marvellous, he said.
Honestly. Husbands. Didn't bother telling him about the Racy Lacy knickers. Would have put him off his work and raised his blood pressure.
Washed head to toe...again... and made breakfast for everyone.
Where's Toby? asked Daughter.
Oh, Christ.
Out we all dash again... TOBEEEE,NOOOOOOO!

Can't wait for the Bloody Winter.

(Toby Himself...on top of the hedge, under which he inevitably finds his Rabbit Victims. )