Thursday, 26 February 2009

Tempus Fugit

Rather an extreme between Eldest and Youngest sons at the moment.
Eldest rang today.
Needs £200 for deposit on house for next year.
He is at university, in halls.
'Oh,' I said. 'Do you need it today?'
'Yes,' he said.
'OK. I'll send it.'
'No,' he said. 'I need it today.'
He explained that all the others had paid. Was worrying about not getting the house, blah, blah, blah. Could I transfer money into his account Today.
Can see the scenario... Eldest has procrastinated. His friends are yelling at him for his deposit. He rings home at eleventh hour. Mother must Save the Day.
'Right, I'll ring the bank and get a transfer,' I say.
'Thanks, Mum. Will pay you back.' Can hear relief in his voice.
'No problem.' I say. 'You ok?' Settling down for little chat.
'Starving. Better go. Bye, Mum. Thanks.'
Sit and look at phone for a moment.
Sigh. Get up and on.
Several hours later...
Youngest is Very Naughty Indeed. Shouting Poo and Bogies and even, heart stoppingly, Penis.
Got Very Cross. Daughter had friend for tea who found Youngest hilarious. Which got him increasing his use of Expletives. Bum. Poo. Bogies.
Resorted to Naughty Step. For four minutes.
Youngest muttering to self on step and audible from kitchen. Silly Mummy. I hate Mummy. You are a Poo.
Friend was collected.
Baths all round. Told each and every child that they had been awful during tea and that I had loathed every minute.
Sorry, Mummy.
Sorry, Mummy.
Sorry, Mummy.
Youngest continues to look sad.
'What's up?' I ask.
He looks at the floor.
'What's the matter?'
He looks up, sad face, big eyes.
'Don't want to leave you, Mummy. I want you.'
Heart melts.
'I want you too, darling.'
He continues to look utterly miserable.
'Don't want to leave,' he repeats.
'You don't have to, darling. You can stay with Mummy for as long as you like.' (oh, god)
His little lip starts trembling.
'But, Mummy. I have to.'
'Why, why do you have to leave?'
'When I am Big,' he says, face tragic.
I give him a huge hug. Hold him close.
And think of my Eldest. Nearly twenty. I remember chats like this with him. His dread of leaving me. How he wanted to stay at home for ever. Never go.
Hug Youngest again and help him on with his pyjamas. We clean his teeth. Brush his hair. Read a book. Cuddle close before lights out.
One day I can show him this blog. Jog his memory. Make him see it like it was.
Because one day it will all be different.

Phone rings.
Eldest again.
'Oh, Mum, forgot to say...'
'Yes?' (a little hopeful)
'Can you send me my Gibson guitar book? It's in my room somewhere.'
'Sure. Will do tomorrow. You OK?'
'Yup. Better go, off out.'
'Bye, darling, I love you.'
'Me too.


Glad he's nineteen.
But wish he was four again.
Just for a tiny bit.

How time flies.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

King of the Fire

Am getting a little Fed Up with Position in family.
Seem to be relegated to Second In Command on regular basis.
Take Making Fires.
Am very good at making fires. Always used to watch my father making our fires in sitting room of childhood. Bending down on his knees, coaxing a flame into staying around for the evening and keeping us warm. Adding little bits of wood, making them bigger, and Hey Presto! Lovely cosy fire.
Nowadays, at the time of the evening when the day draws in, and we all start to slop around on sofas, I will start to Make The Fire. Easy bloody peasy.
Fire lighter. Check.
Kindling. Check.
Couple of larger bits of wood. Check.
Put on fire lighter. Set Fire to Fire Lighter. Watch flame. Put kindling on top. Watch it catch. Add more wood. Go away and make tea.
Husband makes fires too.
Here's how he does it.
Gets lots of Twigs. Scrumples up lots of tiny bits of newspaper. Sets fire to Twigs. Blows for several minutes. Flame goes out. Gets more Twigs. Gets more newspaper. Sets fire to Twigs. Blows. Flame nearly goes out. Manages to keep minute flame going while putting more newspaper under twigs. Shouts at child to get kindling.
Kindling is brought forthwith.
Flame is now one inch high and one inch wide.
Husband blows softly for several minutes. Smoke billows into room. We all cough.
Need More Kindling, orders Husband.
More kindling brought.
Husband carefully places kindling onto flame. Blows for several more minutes. No one can see the telly because his bottom is in the way.
Daaaaaad. Can you moooooove.
In a minute, he says.
Blow. Check flame. Blow. Look at flame.
After several more minutes Husband places small pieces of wood on top of burning kindling.
He looks up and around at us all. Big smile.
There. He says. A nice Fire.
Lovely, we all say.
Daughter pipes up.
Mummy is good at making fires, she says.
I Bask in her approval.
But, she adds, Daddy is the King of Fires.
Daddy roars with laughter.
I sulk on sofa.

Post Script
Husband has just read this post, and laughed to the point of tears.
We are both about to have a lovely drink in the sitting room.
Shall I light a fire? he asked. Laughing. Hard.
Oh, dear. This could Back Fire.
As it were...

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Why are Statues Always Naked?

Husband and Middle Son had Bright Idea to dig huge hole on Sunday. In garden. Said it was a Pond.
Oh, said I.
Vast volcanic heap of wet earth to one side of hole.
Said it was a Feature.
Oh, said I.
Laid huge blanket of black shiny rubber into hole. Filled it with water.
Both looking Twinkly and Pleased.
Can we have plants? asked Daughter. She and Youngest Observing Pond Digging.
Could do, I said.
Can we have fish?
Could do, I said.
Can we have a Fountain?
Could do, I said.
Long story cut to the quick...knocked Fountain and Fish requests on the head. Running with Plants Theme.
With that in mind we all went, minus Husband, to Garden Centre yesterday.
Found some. Eight pots of Dead Reed looking things.
'They'll look bootiful in the summer,' said Sales Assistant. 'Attract the Wild Loife.'
We all looked blankly at the eight pots.
Under close scrutiny found very small green bits. Rather hoped that this was New Life. Apparently one was an iris. There was a brown squelchy thing in pot.
'That'll be it,' said Sales Assistant. 'Bootiful in the summer.'
Bloody horrible now.
Bought the eight pots.
On way out Daughter and Youngest were having Youthful Giggles about statues to one side of us, laden with willies and bosoms. Youngest going up to statues and staring, hard, at privates.
Why are Statues always Naked? asked Daughter.
Because their clothes would get dirty and they couldn't put them in the washing machine, said Youngest.
Because it's hard to carve a raincoat, wellington boots and large rain hat, I said briskly, hurrying them past and hissing at Youngest to stop fiddling with the statue's bottom.
Oh, they said.
Took eight plants home. And two bags of Highland Stones.
Why can't we pick up stones from the garden, asked children.
Because I Don't Want To. I said.
Children got bored and played on the trampoline.
Tipped Highland Stones into hole. Plunged arm into Freezing Water and Arranged Bloody Highland Stones.
Arranged dead plants.
Children drifted up. Drifted away again.
Cut awful shiny rubber so that it's not flipping out all over surrounding lawn.
Looked at Pond.
Looked bloody awful. Dead Reed things floating about in brown water. Stones lurking below. Shiny rubbery lining gleaming like an Elvis Presley haircut.
Around pond is sea of mud. Flattened yellowing grass.
Heart sank.
Went in and made cup of tea.
Went out and looked at pond.
Still looked bloody awful.
Will kill Husband for making Pond and Feature right in view of our View.
Still, Sales Assistant said it would look Bootiful in the summer.
We will wait and see.
And will then kill Husband.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Trend Setter?

Trinny and Susannah... I have a challenge for you.
Today it is Absolutely Bloody Freezing.
As a result of these Chilly Weather Conditions I am sporting the following...

One pair of pants.
One Bra.
One t-shirt acting as Vest.
Pair of jeans.
Cashmere roll neck jumper (TK Maxx, where else?)
Bigger Jumper over cashmere roll neck jumper.
Even Bigger Jumper over Jumper over Cashmere Roll Neck Jumper.
Wrapped round waist.
Large Fake Fur Hat.
2 Pairs of socks.
Hot Water Bottle Strapped to inside of coat.

Now then, Girls. Here's the thing.
How on God's Earth am I supposed to look Sexy, Young and Vibrant? I appear to Resemble a Very Large and Padded Stuffed Animal.
I Need Some Help. Obviously.
(The poor postman has just been. I waved merrily through the window, hat, rug and all. He waved back as if in a daze. My beauty? My clothes sense? ....My Arse.)
The other day there was a programme on telly about how to look good when it's Cold.
Hoorah! I thought.
Now I can look good and Be Warm!
What Total Toss that was.
Svelte looking beauties came on to the set wearing a 'Woolly Jumper'. Right. What they actually had on was very small top with strands of wool insinuated into it. And Lots of Cleavage.
Cleavage and Cold are simply Not Playmates.
During the Winter Months I do not Have A Cleavage. Or I do, but its Hidden. Rather like Mountains in the Mist. As it were.
Husband says airily,
Put on some More Layers, darling!
More Layers?
Short of a Woolly Tent, there is nothing here on earth to Fit.

So, Trinny and Susannah.
Tiny tops twinned with a low slung pair of jeans just Won't Do.
Design a Warm and Practical Outfit for me to wear here.
In my Cold House.
And d'you know what...?

I'll eat my Hat.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Bring it on, Florence Nightingale

I am getting just a litte Fed Up with Nursing.
Middle Son has Bad Cold Virus Thing With No Name. Horrid. Poor little Mite.
At the beginning of the week I would tiptoe up to his bedroom, pull his bedding snugly round his shoulders, ask tenderly if he wanted a drink of Hot Lemon and Honey, and then tiptoe gently down again. Once downstairs I would brew a Tisane of Crushed leaves of Wong Logat, while knocking up a Stunning Evening Meal ready for later when Husband would come home quite Grumpy from work.
I ironed Snowy White Napiery. I washed the Front Door Step. (I really did! In an Apron!) I polished tables with Bees Wax. Arranged flowers on the shining wood.
Played a little Chopin Mazurka to cheer him up. Stroked his hair.
I had Vitamins and Manuka Honey lined up ready to pop into Son's mouth. Fresh water taken up on the hour. Chilled Orange Juice. Tiny little Nourishing Snacks.
Every day. For a week.
Bollocks to all that now, I can Tell You.
Now its...
Son yells down for more water.
Son wants the telly turned a little down.
Son wants the telly turned a little up.
Son wants the telly turned off.
Son wants the telly turned on.
Son wants Cornflakes.
Son can't finish Cornflakes but would like some Cheerios.
Son would like a little lunch but not bread.
Son would like a cup of tea but no sugar.
Son limps into kitchen.
'I think I am feeling a Little Better,' he announces.
'Might do me good to have some Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice with my Bacon and Eggs.'

Well. Yippidybloodyhelldoodah.

Finally, tomorrow, I can dispatch Son back to school.
Now that he is better.
For ten minutes this morning I felt quite Euphoric.
No more illness! No more Stuck Indoors! I will be free!

Phone call. Husband.
Not Feeling Very Well. He says.
Think I'd better come home.
Could you get me some Paracetamol.
And would quite like some Hot Lemon with a little Honey.

Right. Super. Marvellous.
So it's on with the Apron again.
Buy more Manuka honey.
Get the Paracetamol.
Plump up the Pillows.

Freedom will have to wait.

I have a Tisane to brew.

Don't really swear at my children. Only on Very Rare Occasions.
This week might have been one of them.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Sloot Lee Right

Sloot Lee. Said Youngest.
We have all been here before. Youngest says something Totally Not Understandable.
I ask him a question about Said Word. He either looks at me Askance and shakes his head, or has a Giggle Fit.
So I won't.
I shall just use Sloot Lee, in a Random Sentence, and see if I Get It Right.
'So, who wants to go to the Shop?'
YEEHHH! They all go, merrily.
Sloot Lee. I say.
Youngest looks at me.
Nods wisely.
'Yes. Sloot Lee.' he says, nodding that dear head of his.
We all nod away.
I am None the Wiser.
'Daddy can Sloot Lee come at the weekend, can't he, Mummy?' he says, sidling up and planting a bottom on my lap.
Light dawns as it always does.
Sloot Lee.
'Because we all love Knee Chuddur,' he announces.
Oh, Bollocks. Another one.
Knee Chuddur?
Is he Having A Laugh?
'We Certainly do.' says Daughter. She gives Youngest a swift kiss.
More light.
Knee Chuddur.

Each other.

Of course.

Silly Me.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

What's My Name?

Names my children call me...
Marmee! Charming little name for when they are out in garden and want to know when tea is.
Mum! called sweetly from bedroom when looking for School Uniform.
Um. Mummy? Diffident tone used when have Broken Something. Only One Child uses this at a time. Others Lurk in Worried Fashion out in hall.
Mum-MEE When I am being particularly Thick about something.
Mummy? Mummy? Mummy? Mummy? Mummy? Used when I am Having A Conversation On The Phone. A highly Repetitive Call designed to Break Me Down. It Works.
MAAAAAAAAAAAMMMEEEEEEEEEE! Shout used when Can't Find Pants (as in 'under' for those of you across the Atlantic) and it is nearly time to go. Conveying Slight Sense of Urgency.
MUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRMMMMMMMMM. Cross. Very Cross. Need Me Now. It usually means that I Am Not Wherever They Are and that Is Not Good Enough. Quite a good one to ignore, really.
MUUAAAAAAAAARRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! Not Good. This means that something Catastrophic has happened, like they can't find the Peanut Butter or Someone has Hidden the Remote Control.

And my calls to them?
Just the one.


Silly Old Me.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Food For Thought

Last Sunday I fed my family our normal Sunday Roast.
Eldest was just back from Skiing Trip and needed Real Proper Food.
Roast Beef. Yorkshire Pudding. Roast Potatoes. French Beans, frozen, from the garden last summer, peas and carrots. Gravy. The most Amazing Tarte Tartin that a friend had taught me to make, and which was, I have to say, the Dog's Bollocks. If you see what I mean. (I prefer Mutt's Nuts. What about you?)
Eldest Ate Everything. A Volcanic Mound of food on his plate. This Heap slanted steeply, precariously, on his plate. The three younger ones stared at it. Huge Eyed.
'Mummy, will he eat all of that?'
Eldest lifted head slightly from plate. Grunted. Carried on shovelling in Huge Mouthfuls. Had seconds.
Pudding. Eldest managed to get Large Slice of Tarte Tartin and a vat of cream onto his plate. Youngest three looked on.
'Mummy, I think he might be sick.'
Eldest grunted. Shovelled more in. Wanted seconds.
We all cleared away. Washed up. Dried up. Put things away. I folded the Drying Up cloth with some relief and popped it back on the rail of the still warm oven to dry.
Read my book.
Went outside. Moved things. Pretended to be Useful in the Garden.
One hour later came back in.
Eldest glaring into Depths of Fridge.
'Is there Any Food,' he asked.
'Is. There. Any. Food? ISTHEREANYFOOD??!!! Could Not Believe It.
Felt like Large Fat Bloke in Oliver Twist.
'Mum!' pleads Eldest. 'I'm Hungry.'
Grrrrrr. Mutter. Grrr. Mutter. Grrr.
I threw him some eggs.
'Make scrambled eggs. See you later.'
Went back outside. Grrr. Grrr.
My three youngest came bounding up.
'Marmeee!!!' they chorused.
'Hello, my darlings.' I grinned down at them, thinking how lucky I was to have such Little darlings, with no unreasonable demands for food.
They speak.
'When's tea? We're Starving.'
Their little faces all lit up with expectation.
'Can we have Pancakes?'

You know what... You Just Can't Win.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

It's Not For Me.

This Feedjit thingymejig. It's a load of bollocks really.
It's that little counter to your right. Innocuous looking thing. But very bad indeed for the Self Esteem.
Live Traffic Feed, it says. Yer wot?
Food for Traffic? Little men with baskets offering Light Refreshments?
Nope. It is the Annihilation of the Human Spirit. That's what it is.
You stare at that little counter and see that London has just arrived. That's you.
Well, you think, I know that I have arrived. Because I am Here.
But then someone from Kentucky arrives.
Ooh! You think...
Kentucky leaves.
In comes Colchester.
And so it goes on. People from all over the damned world arrive.
And leave.
And arrive.
And leave.
Now you all know that I Never Count Comments.
But get this...
Frome, Somerset arrived and left.
Dartford, Kent arrived and left.
Ramsgate, Kent arrived and left.
Bamberg, Bayern arrived and left.
Manchester arrived and left.
Montana, Quebec, Massachusetts, Alabama, Bronx, New York, and my personal favourite, Toowoomba, Queensland, all arrived. And Left.
Oh, yes, and bloody Benidorm.
Think am going to put Feedjit where the Sun don't Shine.
It's rather like going to a Party and seeing lots of people and they all Look Resolutely Ahead rather than come up and say Hiiiii!
(But will quietly keep it there for another day or so.
Just to look at occasionally.
Not that I am looking really.
Or counting.)
Might just have a little peep at Feedjit.
Oh! Shhhh! Somerset is here.
Be Very Very Quiet, and they might leave a Comment. They might become a Follower! They might...
Grrrrrr. Left.
Gone. Without a trace.
Heavy Sigh.
Oh, well. Better get some food on the table. You will be glad to hear that lunch today is not Filthy. Just old and out of Freezer. What my brother calls Recycling.
Its the Snow, you know. Any excuse.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Another Misunderstanding Cleared Up

'Mummy,' announces Youngest. 'I need a Lacks.'
We had just finished a filthy lunch of pasta, very old cheese (grated to look more appealing) some ancient tomato gunk, found in depths of fridge and which I had sniffed for signs of mould, and finished off with about 17 brown looking grapes. 'Eat them up quick!' I instructed hesitant daughter briskly. 'They won't taste so bad.'
'What exactly do you mean by Lacks?' I asked Youngest, recalling Stain Day, and our little conversation.
'Well. I think I need one.'
Lacks. Lax? He didn't look very constipated. He had Gone, as it were, only hours before.
'What exactly do you do with a Lacks?' I enquired. Am getting to be Quite Good at Questioning about Unknown Areas.
Youngest roared with laughter.
No answer.
'Do you eat it?'
Gales of laughter. Great Mirth. Unable to speak for giggles.
Was not That Amused. Wanted to wash up, and get everyone Outside for Snowy Walk.
Right, I said. Everyone outside for Snowy Walk.
Youngest Not Amused any more.
'But Mummy, I must have a Lacks.'
'WHAT IS A LACKS? I shouted (very quietly, you understand.)
Youngest sighed very, very hard.
'Like you and Daddy. After lunch. You need a Lacks too.'
Light dawned.
'YEESSSSSSSSSS!' yelled Youngest, almost blue with frustration.
Got it. Always do in the end.
So we all went in the Sitting Room for a Lacks. And very nice it was too.
Husband rang up as we Lacksed. What are you doing?
Having a Lacks, I said.
Oh, that's nice, he said.
Do you know what a Lacks is? I asked.
No, he said, but do I need to?
Honestly. Husbands.
Finished our Lacks now and about to venture out into Snow.
Then will Lacks for the rest of the day, I reckon. How about you?

(Post Script
Food described in this post Not Really Mouldy. Reality was a nice, de-frosted, homemade pasta sauce with our pasta, with very nice Smoked cheese (grated) with 3 day old grapes, one of which had brown specks on it, so we threw it away.
Reality a little Dull, so prone to Exaggeration. )