Monday, 13 December 2010

Mondays. Grrr.


Monday morning.
The house looks like an deserted Airport Terminal.
Stuff everywhere, in the wrong place. Post weekend.
The odd sock, dangling, from the bannister.
Bits of Electronic Stuff left around for me to trip over.
Sitting room has an air of Devastation. Curtains still half drawn, cushions scattered and the children's teddy bears sitting expectanctly, on the sofa. Waiting for some Daytime Television perhaps.
Every bedroom is messy, with unmade beds and pants/socks/pyjamas/toothpaste on the floor.
Our two cats tip toe delicately through the scattered outdoor wear by the front door. Left by children as they dashed off to school.
Yet I have a grin on my face and lightness in my step.
Not working today!!
For once, I can drift about the Carnage, picking up the tenth pair of Wellington Boots, slowly replacing the turf, as it were, until the house looks ready for the children to come home again.
I can prepare a lovely fire in the sitting room, ready for a cosy evening.
I can dust and sweep and hoover until the place is sparkling.
I can shop for Delectable Things to eat.
And I can bring my home to order and tranquillity.
But Bollocks to all that.
I'm going to blog a while, make a nice cup of tea and ring a friend.
The house can chuffing well wait.
I am SO enjoying this moment!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Memories are Made of This

I made a memory this week. A really good one. Stomach hurting laughter with a friend of FORTY YEARS!!
Can't really beat that in my book.
On Wednesday, with reluctance in my very bones, owing to 'end of term'itis' I traipsed up to London to join a group of 'Old Girl's' (makes us sound like Enid Blyton caricatures) to sing in a Carol Service in Chelsea.
Practised our songs (a rather jolly Benjamin Britton piece that had us quaking with fear at first, but boy, we nailed the bugger and sang it like angels)
Anyway.
That church was so cold that we turned shades of deepest blue right through to dark, attractive purple.
Trying valiantly to stop shivering in the Extreme Old Church Temperatures.
Minus 3 outside.
Minus 3 inside.
And so it was, that during our Free Time between 5 o'clock and 6.30 that my friend and I tipped off to Peter Jones to find Hot Chocolate and Warm Underwear. In that order.
Gratefully shoved Hot Chocolate down our throats, chatting nineteen to the dozen, joined by my sister, who had come to watch us rehearse, wearing a very sensible and enormous Fur Hat. We were all rather envious.
Anyway, drinks done, my Sis departed off out to celebrate her Eldest Boy's birthday, and Henrietta and I made a beeline for the Lingerie Department.
May I just say that I bumped into no less than 7 friends, all having tea in Peter Jones. Couldn't blinking believe it. Lots of numbers exchanged and hugs galore amongst the genteel Tea Drinkers of Chelsea.
Anyway.
Lingerie.
Found, to our delight, a garment named Hide All The Disgusting Flab (or something) which was dangling delectably, all ready for us to Purchase. We grabbed a couple, plus some thermals, and legged it to the changing room.
'Sod it, let's share,' said Henrietta.
So we did, stripping off down to bra and pants, and whipping on our new Flabless Tops.
Bloody hell.
Got stuck.
Well and truly.
Henrietta had to stop putting hers on, to help me squidge myself, red in the face from exertion, into the Impossibly Tight Top.
'Good Grief, there is absolutely No Room for my bosoms,' I gasped.
Couldn't breathe.
Henrietta, by now into hers, was howling with mirth at my figure which now looked as if I had about eight breasts. Bosom was so squashed it had flattened my considerable Boobs into every Nook and Cranny of this Extraordinary Top.
With her help, we managed, between the howls, to rearrange my bosoms into their rightful places.
I turned sideways.
I appeared to be totally flat chested.
Crikey, I said.
But shoved on my White Linen Top, to go with Black Linen Trousers, de rigeur for any choir member.
Ripped off the price label of new purchase, and happened to look at it.
Chuffing Hell. £54.00!!
For a scrap of Python Strength White Lycra.
We looked at each other in disbelief.
Firstly, for the price, and secondly for the fact that we would have to Remove The Sodding Buggers. No way were we spending £54 on THAT.
'Right. You first,' ordered Henrietta.
I obediently took off my White Linen Top and tried to remove the Python Top.
Couldn't get it past my navel.
Stuck.
Completely.
Oh, Christ.
Henrietta had to have a moment to recover, as she was by this time totally beside herself in mirth. (May I just say that she does laugh Quite Loudly. As do I. A little concerned at this point about being overheard by other Matrons of Chelsea.)
But I was so deep in midst of giggle-fits that wouldn't have given a damn if the Queen herself was trying on a Spandex Lycra Bustier in the next cubicle.
I put my arms up in the air, and Henrietta pulled and pulled, with helpful comments like,
'Lean against the wall, and let me yank it off,'
and
'Christ, one of your boobs has got stuck in the hem-line,' sort of thing.
(There were rather a lot of people Lurking as we emerged. I think that perhaps they were an Audience of sorts.)
She got it off. It took several minutes, as we kept having to stop to get our breath back, owing to being completely out of control Laughter Wise.
And then I had to get hers off.
Easier, owing to less in the Bosom Department.
But still quite Tricky when weak with laughter.
All done.
We shoved on our Thermals (bliss) and got dressed all over again.
I think we carried on laughing for about an hour.
No sooner than one of us had stopped, the other started.
And we told everyone back at the Ice Church what we had been up to.
Funnily enough, no one found it particularly funny.
They were all too busy lifting up our shirts and the hem of our trousers to check out the Thermals.
Boy, they were green with envy.
Which went awfully well with Purple with Cold.
Poor bastards.
Us?
We were Just Fine, thanks!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010





Oh, dear. My life has reached depths I hadn't thought possible.
Was cleaning out my Horlicks Jar. Oh, COME ON, we ALL clean out our Horlicks Jar.
Don't we?
Oh.
Bollocks.
Anyway.
Discovered that jar was jam packed with extremely Hard Horlicks. Rock springs to mind. Had a little think about EITHER doing the sensible thing like chucking jar away and buying a new jar, OR breaking up said Rocks of Horlicks into small manageable pieces and putting said pieces into the Magimix, making them into powder,and carefully transporting said powder back into newly cleaned jar.
Well.
I did the clearly Thick Arse thing. With the Magimix.
Armed myself with a 16 lb hammer, a chisel and a screw driver.
Why?
Why not??
And brought them into the kitchen where I placed them carefully on the kitchen table.
Instruments were then used to kick the arse out of the Rock'ard Horlicks, chipping bits of Horlicks off the main block of Horlicks, causing shrapnel to ricochet around the room, war zone style.

<---- Rock of Horlicks









After several minutes of this, there were enough smaller chunks that I could take OUT of the jar and place INTO the Magimix.
Still with me?
Lovely!
Now. I'm not sure if you have ever put chunks of Horlicks into a Magimix before... No? Really? How odd...
But it's rather Noisy.
I actually couldn't hear myself speak.
Because I had a go at speaking just to see if I COULD hear myself.
And decidedly couldn't. Tried shouting REALLY loudly to see if I could hear that.
Nope.
The poor Magimix leapt about like a mad thing, whizzing away at the Horlicks, and I had to stay nearby in case the thing fell off the counter.
At this point there was a knock on the door.
You will understand that I didn't HEAR the knock at the door owing to Said Noise.
So all the person at the door could hear was the sound of a Magimix killing something, and me shouting to see if I could hear myself.
At this point, a third person arrived at the door, in hot pursuit of the former person. They had a little natter at my door, not really liking to interrupt such proceedings when all at once.... QUIET.
Which is when I heard the door bell for the first time.
Trotted off to answer it, and there were two friends, looking somewhat Expectantly Puzzled, if ever there was such a combination.
Come in, come in! I cried. I'm....
And I stopped.
Because Breaking up Horlicks with hammers and chisels might not appeal to everyone.
Indeed, they might just think that I have lost my marbles and have arrived in Happy Farm for Nutters.
Bollocks to it, I thought. And showed them my work.
OK, so it DID look a little messy.
Showers of Horlicks littered every surface. I'd used rather a lot of containers as I kept having to keep the Powdered Horlicks from the Rock Horlicks. It was, quite frankly, a Fiasco.
Needless to say my friends fell about laughing and almost had to hold each other up in mirth.
I kept my end up by laughing heartily too.
Although somewhat Tightly. We don't, after all, like our Efforts to Economise mocked, do we now?
However, I did have a jar of Horlicks that was definitely powder, and I was looking forward to a nice cup of the bloody stuff later, by the fire.
(I thought it might be a good service in the community... to offer to smash up Horlicks for people and charge a small fee.)
There is, however, an 'However....' to the story.
When looking at my jar of Horlicks with some smugness later on that day, on opening the jar to have a good look at the powder (did I tell you I was getting a life for Christmas??) I was somewhat disgruntled to see that the Horlicks had ALREADY STARTED TO HARDEN.
Bastard.
It seems that Horlicks have a brilliant Unique Selling Point.
The bloody stuff only stays powder like till you open the jar.
It then becomes so rock-like that you buy a new one.
Infinitum.
But oh! Not me!
I have my mate the 16lb hammer.
And I will continue to rip the shit out of the Horlicks as and when necessary.
I tell you, there's no flies on me.
Just an awful lot of Horlicks dust.
So attractive.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

So this is Christmas





NOT.






Yup, the Christmas Countdown has begun. Or actually, for some, it's just finished.
(Grumpy Old Woman knows just what I mean in her post Christmas Bullies.... check it out!) Because for those of us who are just beginning to buy the odd present, seeing as it's only 38 days till Christmas, there are other TOTAL BUGGERS who have done the lot.
Yup.
The bloody Lot.
I only say this because while waiting for children yesterday in the FREEZING cold, tapping our feet, and jumping up and down as the icy wind blew directly from the North Pole, I got into a sort of jumping up and down conversation with a couple of mothers, one of whom HAD DONE ALL HER CHRISTMAS SHOPPING....AND.... wait for this, it's Ugly, really Ugly,
She had Booked A Christmas Delivery Slot for Waitrose.
Gulp.
I mean, really.
It was only the bloody 16th November!!
So what did I do?
Laugh maniacally in her face?
Cry?
Tell her I had done all mine in January?
Nope.
I went back home, and booked a slot for Waitrose.
Only, wait for this... THERE ARE NO SODDING SLOTS LEFT.
Because Blinking Mothers like that have already nicked them.
NICKED THEM.
And because I am not a 'Delivery Pass member' on Ocado, I don't get a slot unless I wait until the beginning of December and sit at my computer until Midnight. Probably.
?????
Oh Very Dear.
And this happens every year, doesn't it. This madness, this crazy GOT TO GET IT ON TIME mentality.
It's only a DAY.
When we eat a lot, and give each other a few pressies. And drink too much cooking sherry, champagne, wine and port. (oh is that just me??)
But Christmas, while clearly quite a lot of work, is NOT Nuclear War, or Flooding or Earthquakes, or a Global Disaster.
It's Christmas.
And incidently, a Birthday at that.
Rather an important Birthday too.
And all our focus is on getting it all done on time, and being Organised and beating other mothers to all the Christmas Delivery Slots.
To hell with all that.
Providing that I remember the bog rolls and Who The Buggery has remembered to pick up the Turkey, it should be rather good fun.
Everyone can get their own sodding presents. I am NOT going to go around the shops, picking up 36 presents, and then telling everyone who is giving what to who.
Yup. Done that. Mad, eh?
Am going to Waft about getting the odd Gift, and take them home and wrap them in rich glossy paper and leave them under the tree. And then joyfully send cards to dear friends.
Sod it. Need to buy tree.
And rich glossy paper.
And cards.
Bloody Christmas.
Bloody Friends.
Bloody Nightmare.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

I'm Just A Girl Who Can't Say No

Oh, dear.
Keep saying NO to poor Husband.
Things like...
1) 'No, I don't want to drive Daughter to Bloody Rabbit Rescue Centre on a ninety miles trip there and back, in order to fetch the new rabbits we have purchased at Vast Expense from Said Rescue Centre, following on from a Rabbit Expert coming to Inspect our garden to check it is suitable for rabbits when we already have about 158 wild rabbits who think it is perfectly suitable, thank you very much, instead of going to the local Pet Store and buying Said Rabbits for Normal Rabbit Prices like Normal People sodding well do.
And...
2) 'No, I don't want to explain why I am NOT going to shave my legs. I simply cannot be Arsed to get the razor out and de-hair such Man-Hair legs when all I want to do is get into bed and Read My Book.' (We all know that Read My Book means, 'Get-your-hands-off-my-breast/buttock/rude bits-I-am-not-in-the-mood.')
And...
3) 'No, I don't want to answer the phone, just as I put the first mouthful of Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding into my mouth, all mixed up with a little bit of the BEST GRAVY EVER, just because some BUGGER decides to RING AT SUNDAY LUNCHTIME and no, I am NOT NEAREST to the phone. YOU ARE.'
And...
4) 'No, I DON'T WANT to have a glass of wine because I CAN'T DRINK EVEN ONE GLASS without a headache. Do you remember when I said that before? Um... oh yes, YESTERDAY.'
And...
5) 'No, I don't want to Have Sex.
Oh, God. Did I say that out loud?
I seem to have found my Married Voice.
The one that says 'No' a lot.
You know, the one that you use in your head for about a week after being married, and then start saying Out Loud to your new Husband.
Like, instead of, 'Golly! Someone didn't flush!' now you say,
'Oh, for God's sake, who has left a poo the size of a nuclear bomb down the bloody loo?'
Or, in the old days, when you said 'Mmmph,' this is nowadays tranlated as 'Christ, who farted?'
My married voice took a while coming.
It's just that I am one of those irritatingly annoying wives that Don't Say Anything when they are Really Pissed Off.
Only I have started to say things now.
Finally.
Oh, yes!
It's taken nearly fourteen years.
Poor Husband. He really seems quite taken aback. His Can Be Moody, miserable old cow of a wife is now Mrs Shouty.
I must say, it's simply marvellous being up my end.
All Yelling and Cross and Communicative.
But it must be hell at the other.
And so I think I'll tone it down a little.
Say Yes, here and there.
Not be quite so cross when his mother asks herself to stay just when my darling friend will be there at the same time, involving Deeply Complicated things with moving beds, having children in different rooms, and turfing True Friend out onto sofa in sitting room. Which Husband had Not Communicated would be Happening.
And to be Bright and Twinkling when he comes home. Not scowling and hurrumping like Eeyore.
New resolutions. So easy to make, and so damned difficult to maintain.
However, have made good start.
Husband rang not many days ago to say would I like him to bring home some Stiff Drink for Bonfire Night, which was happening later that day.
Yes! I said. Immediately. You see? So Compliant.
Oh. Didn't tell you. Am raging Drinker as well.
Golly. Miserable old Cow AND Alchoholic.
Nice.
Hope we see through to next Wedding Anniversary.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Strike while the Iron is Hot

Yes, I know. New Scary Picture of self, but was rather fed up with the Summer Scene and gently wafting flowers in old picture, when am back in my furry boots and thermals, while thinking seriously about whether to get out the Furry Hat.
Anyway.
To more Important Topics. Like Husbands.
Because sometimes Husbands can be a right pain in the neck.
No, really!
('snigger')
Was helping Middle Son with homework on Sunday evening. It was rather a dull task, with him finishing off a project about the Second World War, and me getting bossy about Fonts and Layout and Polishing It Up. Middle Son wanted to print the bugger out and go and watch X Factor. I wanted Posh Fonts, Smart Layout and Polishing It Up. As you do.
After quite a lot of Sulking and stuff, Middle Son was doing things with Fonts and Layout and Polishing It Up, when all the Bastard Lights went off in the house and we were plunged into darkness.
Out of this blackness came Husband's voice.
'Oh.' he said.
I said some Choice Words which contained the word Iron and Sodding and You Silly Bugger.
This was because Husband had decided to do some ironing and always fills up the water bit to the very top which means he blows the electricity Every Bloody Time He Irons. Almost. Am very slightly Exaggerating here but needs must and all that.
Anyway.
(It might be said at this point that am very lucky to have Husband to do ANY flipping ironing at all, and I would say, also at this point, that I agree. It's just then when one has been helping Middle Son with his chuffing homework ALL DAY and the electricity goes out JUST as it's almost done, removing the work that has been recently added, it is a Little Vexing.)
Anyway.
After some moments of fiddling around inside ink black cupboard trying to locate the one switch out of about 120, to get the electricity on again, and having GOT the electriciy on, and having seen that not ALL the work had been deleted in the process, Middle Son said to Husband,
'Daddy, WHY are you doing the ironing when you KNOW I am on the computer?'
Husband says, really quite Huffily,
'Well, if I didn't do it, it wouldn't get done.'
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
???????????????
**************ck.
Well.
Talk about Strops.
Big Stomping Strop.
Mega.
Me.
I did.
I went into a Major Top Quality Female Stratopheric Stroppy Strop.
Because while we KNOW that what he said was probably completely true, THAT IS NOT THE POINT. The point is that I must keep up the pretence of doing the ironing every day. Never must it be said that the ironing gets done ONLY because if it wasn't, no-one would have anything to wear. (Husband only steps in when pile reaches catastrophic heights.)
But this is not how it is in my head, OK? In my head, I iron every day. Snowy white napiery. Sheets. Shirts. Piles and piles of the sodding stuff.
So I stropped.
Marvellous, it was.
It stopped everyone in their tracks.
Even the cats.
I left the computer and Middle Son, and headed for the kettle. Which I put on. Very Loudly and with lots of Crashing.
Then I Laid the Table.
Smash, Crash, Bang. Nothing broken, you understand. Just Noise. Lovely, lovely Noise.
Then I fed the cats.
Boy, did I punish that tin. Crashed it down on the sink and threw the food sort of at the bowl. The cats didn't mind.
Then what? Oh, yes. I put the jam on the table. Well, sort of threw it and threw it again when it landed on its side. Picked it up and SLAMMED it down.
By now, a small, intent audience of four were watching. Husband, a little alarmed. Children, wondering what on earth Mum could be in such a strop about.
Middle Son sort of mentioned Ironing to them, but they were none the wiser.
At this point,Husband approached, and asked in milky, sweet tones, would I like some help.
I think I snarled at him. Showed all my teeth. Hissed with all the Spit I could muster that I Did Not Need Any Help At All, Thank You Very Much. Type of thing.
He backed off and sort of got on with Other Things in the kitchen.
Looking around nervously as things got moved about with some Vigour.
I continued my Strop with renewed Force.
Although was getting a little tired. Strops can be knackering, eh, girls?
Anyway.
Tea was finally made.
Scones! Jam! Pot of tea! Lovely!
And a boot faced, snarly old hag of a mother, scowling round the table at her nervous family.
Well.
At some point after my second sip of good hot tea, felt a little bit of a giggle coming on.
Looked Askance at Husband. Just as he was looking at me, in the same sort of way.
Snorted out some tea.
Wiped the worst of it off the freshly baked scones.
Sort of smiled at each other.
'Am really sorry,' said Husband.
'Yes, but you MEANT IT,' said I, regaining a tiny momentum of Strop again.
'But am really sorry,' said Husband.
'Yes, but you really MEANT it,' said I, regaining a little bit more Strop.
'Oh, MUMMY, Daddy has said he is SORRY and that means it's OVER,' quotes Youngest, in world-weary tones. The quote is from his Mother. Who is so wise about other people's arguments and such a child over her own.
'But...' I start. And stop.
'Am really cross still,' I mutter from side of mouth.
'Know you are,' mutters Husband from the side of his.
And we share a cheesy smile.
Ironing.
It's the cause of such Disharmony. It really should be Banned.
Trouble is, Husband would then do it, and then SEE how bad I'll look.
Oh, buggery bollocks.
He'll just have to do it like the guy below.
Might even enjoy himself in the meantime.



Tuesday, 5 October 2010

If It's Friday It Must Be Croydon

Don't you hate it when someone says, 'Could you just....?'
I don't like 'Could you just...?'.
The 'Just', so innocent and sweet between the 'Could' and the 'You', says it all.
It won't be Just. It will be Very Extremely Unjust.
Mark my words.
And so, when Eldest rings up to say, 'Could you just...?' I very nearly said No.
But as his Mother it seemed a tad churlish, so said Yes.
And that was why I found myself in the Armpit of Croydon, a good fifty miles from where we live, on an extremely Rainy Day, which said Son had announced was the Best Place to Meet.
Hah!
After half an hour of phone calls of
'Where are You?'
'Well, I am driving to Croydon. Where are YOU?'
'I am on a train to Croydon.'
'Where is your train?'
'In London.'
'Yes, but where?'
'Not sure...' sort of thing, was beginning to get a little Irritated.
And so, when I found out through a text, read illegally as I waited at traffic lights, that I was to meet Eldest at East Croydon Station, was not Terribly Amused.
Because there is no such flipping place as East Croydon. There is a train station. Oh, yes, one of those. But when you look up East Croydon in the A-Z, is it bloody there?
NO!
There's North Croydon, and South Croydon and even an obliging West Croydon. But no mention of an East Croydon, which was the only Buggering Croydon I wanted to go to.
Conundrum:
Get out of car and ask someone... Where is East Croydon station?
Or... Continue on driving, hitting the steering wheel in frustration and shouting very loudly, I HATE CROYDON.
Simples.
The latter.
Of course.
And so, continued to drive around Croydon, yelling spasmodically to Self until the next text.
'Where r u?'
Found this text a tricky one to answer as had no bloody idea of where I was, or where I was going.
Anyway.
Ground-breaking moment as I spied 'East Croydon Station' on a sign post.
Hooray!
Yippee!
Hastened towards it and finally, after several tense minutes of one-way systems going the wrong bloody way, found my way in East Croydon Station.
Parked.
Texted in triumphant tones 'AM HERE AT STATION. Where r u?'
Phone call back,
'Oh, I walked off down a road. Can you come and get me?'
If only I could have had a large Axe. Because I might have used it at this point.
'Where did you go?' I asked between gritted teeth.
'Not sure... the road is called.... Nope, can't quite see.'
We spoke for a few minutes. By 'spoke' I mean that I shrieked, and he answered in monosyllables.
He said a few helpful things like,
'Well, the road is black and it's a bit holey.'
Bloody brilliant.
Then he said, 'Oh, there is a tram.'
At this point slammed down the phone and drove off down the road, checking it for holes and trams, and muttering all the while that I would never EVER do him a favour EVER AGAIN.
When, behold, saw a Tram. And a hole in the road. OMG. And Eldest.
Waved and yelled and shouted out of the window. He saw me, and waved and shouted something, just as I disappeared into a One Way Gaping Hole of a Bastard Tunnel, that swallowed me and spewed me out the other end, a good half a mile away from Eldest.
Swearing some of the more Colourful Language I have learned as a mother, I performed a rather clever, if highly illegal, U Turn, and went back down the Underpass.
No Eldest. Searched the bloody road and holes and trams. Gone.
Text from him a minute later.
'Come back. Where r u goin?'
Bugger me. Where was I going????? MOI?
Bloody MAD was where I was going. Performed another teeth-chattering U Turn and searched the streets again. No Flipping Eldest.
Then, at last minute, saw him, open-mouthed and yelling, as I Once Again Disappeared into the Underpass.
Was now becoming Rather Flippant at breaking all the rules of the Highway Code, and for a third time in less than 5 minutes, screeched round to go back the other way.
Missed him.
Again.
By this time was getting to know Croydon rather well, and so had no problem at all in turning around and going back, for the fourth Blinking time.
Missed again.
How I loathed that Tunnel. Those bright twinkly lights seemed to be winking at me in some awful conspiracy.
After my fifth illegal driving manouevre, I pottered along at about ten miles an hour, causing some Irritation behind me, which I paid not even the slightest attention to, and saw, with some relief, a road that veered off the Bastard One I had been on for the last ten minutes.
And there was Eldest!
Hooray!
The Joy!
The Total Prat!
Slowed down, he got in and we sped off.
Was he pleased to see me? Did he thank me for my lengthy and somewhat Stressful detour? Did he smile gratefully?
Nope.
'Bloody hell, Mum, Didn't you SEE me? What sort of an idiot would go past so many times?'
'This sort of idiot,' said I. Quite Curtly. 'And what sort of idiot gets into his mother's car after she has driven for Quite a Long time around Sodding Croydon, and says, What sort of Bloody Idiot would go past so many times?'
He had the grace to look a little Sheepish.
And kept bloody quiet on our journey to Ikea, to get stuff for his new house in Oxford.
And kept quiet as we went round the endless aisles of Ikea, even when we went the completely wrong way, and ended up at the beginning. Like you do.
And then began to go really quiet as we went back to his house to collect his stuff and go on to Oxford.
So I touched his forehead and he was burning hot.
Ill. Fever. Bright red in the face and weak as a kitten.
So.
I brought him home, and made him Better.
Good food, plenty of water, plenty of sleep and Vitamin C.
He's better now and gone back to Oxford. Taken by me, in the pouring rain on the M25 on Friday.
'Could you just drive me back to Oxford?' he'd asked, with that Please Mum look.
'Course I will,' said I. 'But could YOU just....' and I listed a dictionary of requests.
Which he did.
Because while I love doing things for him, I love it when he does them back.
I will steer very clear of Croydon. I didn't really Enjoy the sights much.
And next time Eldest asks, Could you just... I will make double sure that it doesn't involve underpasses in Croydon, one way systems, highly illegal driving, or trams.
Grrrrrr.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Two Years On and Counting

It's my BLOG BIRTHDAY!! Yes, I know, I know. Have just bored the bollocks off you with my 'I am 50 and going to enjoy EVERY MINUTE of my life, etc etc, snore, blah, blah...'
But...
It really is two blinking years. On October 1st. Two years of knowing that ANYTHING on the silly/funny/weird/nonsensical/strange/curious/mad/heart-warming scale can be used IMMEDIATELY, put into words, and kept fresh as a daisy on this blog of mine. And I look back sometimes to see those memories and am hugely thankful, because I just KNOW that so much of what I have written would have been forgotten.
I do feel sorry for you sometimes, dear lovely readers. Another tale of Poo or Vomit can't mix well with that nice cup of coffee you're sipping at, in a peaceful sort of way. At the CyberMummy conference I went to this summer, I attended a little seminar on how to get more readers onto your blog.
Hah!! More readers? I think I need to think of ways to have LESS. Poor POOR folk having to wrestle with lavatories and huge turds. Vomit in handbags. I mean, it's just not NICE. The very kind lady at the conference talked about Key Words and Links and such. I decided there and then to have none of that nonsense. I just want my Blog Mates (and you REALLY ARE!)to come along and read my Bollocks, and then I'll come along and read Yours. If you see what I mean.
So.
Thanks for tolerating such drivel and actually encouraging more of the same.
You mad, mad people.
Hugs. x

Friday, 10 September 2010

Youngest the new Alan Sugar?

Youngest doesn't seem to have the Brightest of Ideas concerning Commerce.
After lots of chat over breakfast about how to make Loadsa Cash, he had a Thought.
'I've an idea for how to make money,' he said, snuggled on my knee after breakfast.
'How?' I asked, with quite Low Expectations, really.
'Well, you buy loads of Playstations 2.'
'Yes...' we all said, getting quite impressed so far.
'And you smash them all up...'
'Yes...' we went, a little Less Certain now.
'And then you mend them and sell them on Ebay!' he finished with Gusto.
And was suitably crushed when we all howled with laughter for ten minutes.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Poor Youngest

There is always a programme about 9/11 this time of year. The sheer sound of the programme has me sweating and panicky.
Was watching one this evening, not wanting to at all, but drawn inevitably to the bloody awfulness of it, and the dreadful knowledge of what is about to happen.
Youngest came into the room. I kept it on, thinking that he would not get it. That he would wander out again. He did neither. At that point in the programme it was all dust and people running about. Nothing to worry his little mind. Or so I thought. After a few minutes, five at the most, I turned the telly off and announced that it was bath time.
Youngest looked downcast.
'What's up?' I asked him.
'Mummy, why did you have to watch that thing?' he asked, tears starting in his eyes.
'What thing?' I was a little puzzled as to which programme, as it hadn't been long since we had turned X-Factor firmly Off.
'THAT thing,' he replied, looking hard at the telly. 'With those people. Now you have made my feelings bad.'
Oh, the poor mite.
'Come over here for a cuddle,' I cajoled, and budged up for him to cuddle up close.
'What bad feeling?'
'I don't know,' he answered.
We went through a few Bad Feelings, and came up trumps with Scared.
Oh, God.
The very last thing I want to create in my darling children is anxiety and fear.
But that bloody programme did the job and instilled that insipid and fearful thing. That Mummy can't make the bad people go away. That awful things happen and we can't stop them.
And he's only six.
What an idiot I was to think that he wouldn't Get It. Of COURSE he will. He gets just about everything else.
Will be ultra diligent now, and watch stuff that he will be utterly safe with. It's a long time being a grown up. And such a short time to be a child.
God love him.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Please, God. Is it the End of the Holidays yet?

Have Crawled my way through to the end of the Summer Holidays.
I look a complete Fright. Hair on end. Don't even MENTION where.
Eyes hollowed out, clothes old and worn, sense of humour long gone.
Added to which I have just celebrated my 50th birthday.
For God's sake.
I'm not fifty!
I am merely seventeen with a few lines and sags here and there. And those wretched hairs in places they just Shouldn't Be.
I lay awake on the night before my birthday, fretting about leaving the haven that was my 40's. The comfort that there was That Big Number which I hadn't yet reached. The knowing that the Saga Age of tweed and cheap weekday pub meals was some way off yet.
But then I woke up, and found that I WAS one of those.
Bugger it.
Husband leaned over when he saw that I was awake.
'Happy birthday!' he said. And gave me the first kiss of the next half century.
Which was nice, and felt quite like it had when I was 49.
So. Fifty. Ker-ist.
I'm not going to get into the Saga Holidays and the Meal Deals at the pub. Or Tweed. (Hate Tweed. Would rather wear Nothing.)
I'm still going to wear the occasional short skirt. I will still behave a little badly at the odd party by dancing till I drop and shouting out the words to 'High Ho Silver Lining'.
I won't be such a bloody Wuss about growing older.
And I will remember that now that I am FIFTY I can be a right old Bossy Cow.
Just like that woman on 'Ladette to Lady'.
You know, the one with all the teeth.
Who says 'Sluttish' quite a lot.
(She actually looks like a caricature of herself. Which is quite an achievement. The only other person to do that was Barbara Cartland. One of the best laughs you could get when she was on telly was to turn up the colour. Brilliant!)
Anyway, I am off to Pot some Roses, or whatever else you do when you are FIFTY.
And better find some reading glasses. And slippers. Oh, and a nice Pac-a-mac.
Oh, sod all of that. Am going to watch the Simpsons with the children and then bounce on the trampoline for a bit.
Have at least ten years to grow up before I am sixty.
So that's OK.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

All Laid On for us

Last night Husband phoned to say he was going to be home late. He sounded tired on the phone. We brought the conversation to an end and into Uber Wife Mode I went, whipping the house back into some semblance of order and briskly yelling at the children to do things. Somewhat randomly, but with some degree of success.
Youngest, caught up in the swing of it all, asked what he could do.
'Lay the table, please!' I asked, a little absently. Thinking to self that it was the easiest thing for a six year old to do. On his own. While I hurled food around and tried to make it look Master Cheffy.
Fifteen minutes later, happened to look at table. Youngest had been scurrying around, looking busy. Carrying things to table. Moving things off it.
And then I looked again. Because this is what he had done.



Two plates, very close together, a tomato on each one, the candle right next to us, everything in neat and tidy lines. Flowers picked from the garden. A water jug placed in line with everything else. Full to Brim. Candles sticks. Empty but so what. Heaven. Just looked and looked at it.
'D'you like it, Mummy?' asked Youngest. Looking a little anxious regarding my unusual Quietness.
'Love it, love it!' I said. And scooped him up in a great big hug.


When Husband got home he was shown the Table by a proud Youngest. Husband Ooh'ed and Ah'ed... Youngest looked pink with pleasure. He told Husband at great length how and why and what he had done. And Husband listened hard, well, he did after I kicked his ankle quite hard when it was clear he WASN'T listening. And when we finally got to eat supper, we kept the plates as they were and sat Very Close to each other. (Mind you, did move the candle as a little too close to right breast for comfort)
Until Husband nudged his elbow into my face one too many times, knocking lightly grilled salmon neatly down my bra, from whence I found I was unable to see it, as had gone down and under, if you see what I mean, and had to resort to trying to pick bits out and eat them. Nice.
Moved chairs to sensible distance then and talked about Nonsense till bedtime.
Thank you, Youngest. x

Friday, 30 July 2010

Millie...RIP

Yesterday has to go down in the annals of our history as a Truly Shit Day.
Millie, Daughter's beloved rabbit, escaped from the chicken run, where she resided with 4 chickens and 2 chicks, to explore the wilds of West Sussex. Or the Big Field, next to our garden.
She never came back, and all we could find was a small clump of the softest white fur, near the boundary of our garden.
So unbearably sad for my little girl, who wailed and cried and HURT all of yesterday, and on into the night. And is still hurting today. Her little eyes are red, and I keep spying her sloping off to have a quiet weep on her own.
Just awful.
But that's not the worst.
The worst is that it's my fault.
You see, I left the gate open to the chicken run.
I was responsible.
And it kills me that I have hurt my darling daughter by my carelessness.
The 'quick, quick' mentality that has become my life, because there just isn't enough time.
Bollocks.
There is ALWAYS enough time.
I just didn't spend it properly
And the consequences are horrid.
No happy ending to this post. I feel bleak and sad and bloody stupid.
In the meantime, Daughter needs lots of cuddles and time.
And I am trying hard to do that.
And ensuring that NEVER again do I sacrifice being careful for being hasty.
To hell with Crap Mother World.
Bring on Totally Crap Mother World.

God bless, Millie. I'm SO SORRY.

Monday, 26 July 2010

There's something in my Compost. Sod it, can you think of a catchier title??

Made a nice cup of tea last Friday morning. Scooped tea bag out of steaming cup and hurled it into compost bin, which lurks damply in the cupboard under the sink. I know it is the compost bin because it helpfully says COMPOST BIN on the side.
Anyway.
As I shut cupboard door, could have sworn that I saw something Move in the Compost Bin. Opened door wide again and peered into compost bin.
Buggering Bollocks.
Something WAS moving. Under the tea bag.
Well.
First things first.
Opened mouth wide, and turned throat inside out in Blood Curdling Scream. At top of voice. Through the open window, between Screams, I could hear the sound of Children Playing in the school opposite our house, on the other side of the lane.
It stands to reason that if I could hear them, then they could hear me.
Oops.
Closed mouth and stopped screaming. Began to laugh hard instead. Actually had to clap hands over mouth to stop the hysteria.
Peered in compost again.
Yup.
Something Definitely Alive and Moving.
Mouse?
Rat?
Insects Galore?
None of the above.
Instead I spy a Hamster.
Daughter's Hamster.
Blinking up at me in decidedly unhappy fashion.
What in hell's name was the hamster doing in my compost bin, when it was supposed to be in its cage, asleep?
Poor little mite had the teabag on its head and was not looking Best Pleased with life. Considering the tea bag was Hot. And Steaming.
Lifted Sandy (hamster, not tea bag) out of compost and gently removed tea drops from head and placed said Hamster back in cage where it should have sodding well been anyway.
And wondered how on EARTH it got out, crossed the room without being eaten by two cats, (and trodden on by three gullumping children) opened the cupboard door, climbed UP AND OVER AND INTO the compost bin, and then.... GONE TO SLEEP?????
Words fail me.
Suffice it to say that I did enjoy that cup of tea.
And made bloody sure that the door of Said Cage was kept firmly shut.
At least the poor little blighter didn't get Mouldy Jam on her head.
Or the entire contents of the Cafetiere.
Or looked like this one. On this head. Now that WOULD have been bad.


Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The End of the Road. Again.

Another year over. Twelve little people all ready to go to Big School.
We sang songs this morning to the proud parents and gave out Certificates to show that they had 'graduated' from Pre-school. Presents were given. Thanks were expressed to those who deserved them. (pretty well everyone, really) A Teddy Bear's Picnic held to mark the end of term. Everyone on their picnic blankets out in our garden.
And then we all hugged good bye and wished those little people well as they trod the familiar path to the gate for the last time.
Oh, dear.
It gets me each and every year.
It might not be when the first child walks out of those gates but somewhere along the line, a mother will say goodbye, a little choked by the enormity of her child not being at Pre-school anymore, and I will be Off. Tears will well, mouth will wobble, and throat will constrict with the effort to stop blubbing.
It happened today. The very last child to go. Mother came to give me a hug and I could see that she was struggling, trying to hold back the tears. Her three children have all been with us for the last six years. Ever since we opened the pre-school. We hugged. And I was lost. Tears that had been threatening all morning finally came and I had to wave goodbye to Mother and Child with great big fat tear-drops dripping off my face, while twisting face into the biggest smile I could muster. Not the greatest look in the world.
THEN I had to walk back through the playground, where all the big children were playing, pretending that I was hugely interested in my keys. All the way back to our building.
It is SUCH a big deal, being with these pre-school children each day, and seeing them grow and learn and develop. Such a big deal to help settle the rage over a toy car, hug a sad little boy who misses his mum, read to two little girls who are exhausted from running about outside.
There are countless moments each day when I can REALLY make a difference to someone else. Each and every day. Likewise to all of the Staff. I look around our warm and sunny room, and I see them actively making a difference All Day Long. Astounding!
And when I don't go in, when I am working from home doing all the dull administration, or finally getting down to some sodding hoovering, when I finally DO get to go in, the welcome is loud, warm and loving. Hugs and cuddles demanded from all and sundry. (Mind you, the Staff hold back. Obviously.)
Can you IMAGINE that happening in an office?!
Some days us Staff feel so tired that we don't think we can be of any use to anyone. But as soon as that door opens and in come those expectant little faces, clutching beloved blankets, toys and books, all thoughts of tiredness disappear and we become utterly involved in the lives of these small people. And all the love we give them comes back ten fold. Hundred fold.
I am glad the holidays are here. To recharge some batteries and spend some lengthy time with my beloved family. But I shall miss the banter, the chat and the closeness of pre-school.
I am indeed priveleged to work in such a place. And to actually be responsible for co-running it, is something I am hugely proud of. To know that a difference is being made, because of us, because of our work, is Amazing. Not everyone can say that. But we can say it. Lucky, lucky us.
Now. Time for the holidays.
Late breakfasts. Late lunch. Late suppers.
Forgetting to book children onto tennis courses.
Forgetting to book children onto Any Courses.
God, am Crap Mother. Think will have blog called Crap Mother World.
Will fill it with tales of Rubbish Mothering and bollocks all Organisation on the Home Front.
Who will be my first follower?
You will?! How marvellous! This way then, if you please!

xxxx

Monday, 19 July 2010

Practice makes Perfect

Daughter was practising her flute this morning, crack sparrow.
'Mummy?' asks Youngest, munching on his cornflakes, 'Is Daughter playing that song backwards?'
Doesn't bode well for the Grade 2 exam soon.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

It's All Cisterns Go!

Today I scrubbed out a Students' Bog.
Shudder.
I did. I really did.
I peered into that dark, putrid place that was the Lavatory, shrugged on my Mantel of Courage (marigolds) and got to work.
Nice.
Now, I have cleaned lots of things in my life.
Bums. Noses. Fridges. Baths. Loos. Clothes. Ovens. Houses. The Toaster. (don't ask)
But Never, EVER, have I hucked out the loathsome depths of a Students' House Toilet Bowl.
Bugger me, it was horrible.
Grim. I don't think I could see any of the enamel.
And into that Watery Hell Hole I had to stick my Marigolded Arms and Scrub.
Scrape away at the sides. Brush frantically round the Bend.
I even... (are you still here? how lovely!) cleaned the wall of hand prints where the dear little male students clearly Leaned Heavily when having a Pee.
So Dear! So Appealing!
And then?
Nice cup of tea and a biscuit?
Sod that for a game of marbles.
No. Then I cleaned out the Other One.
Yes. Two of the Bastards.
Why?
What, apart from being Pathetic Fool who lets Eldest Son walk all over her Pinafore'd Frame?
Well, yes. Obviously. Derr.
But ALSO 'actually' because Eldest Son is moving out of his Student House and off to London for a couple of months before returning to Oxford in September. And so I offer(!) to Help.
Ker-ist.
Admittedly, Eldest Son went up and down two flights of stairs all morning, heaving more and more Stuff out to the car and looking increasingly hot and shiny with each journey. I began to be quite Thankful that all I had to do was rid Toilet Bowls of Torrid Filth and then flush Said Filth away.
But, Oh! Blogger Mates, I made those loos Sparkle. The enamel started to show through the grime! It was White!! And when I finally put in the Toilet Duck and Flushed. The Joy! The Achievement! The Relief! The Exclamation Marks!
Had to show Eldest Son, who was most impressed.
Refrained from sticking his head down it and flushing, but managed to convey, without using four letter words, that I Never Ever was going to do that again.
'Really?' he asked, looking quite surprised.
'Really.' I said. Firmly.
'Perhaps you might like to come and clean out my Pants Drawer?' I asked him in all seriousness.
'Mum!' he answered. ' That's gross.'
No, dear heart. 'Gross' is a Student Toilet Bowl.
My pants drawer is the Bloody Garden of Eden.
And with that, I closed the clean, wiped down door, swiped across the recently Freshened Lock and took the liberty of Going in the newly cleaned Toilet Bowl.
And very nice it was too.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Cybermummy

Cybermuumy was the most extraordinary day. Don't get me wrong. I LOVED it. But there was that non-stop feeling of having to be Engaged in Lively Talk and looking like you're having a Great Time. And that was hard work.
HOWEVER I was amazed, over and over again how Bloody Lovely everyone was!! Really, truly. People, everyone, were like-minded, kind-hearted, interesting, and interested people, all meeting up for a common cause. Namely, to meet all those bloggers that we come across day by day. And to talk about blogging! How bloody marvellous. (Without those Non Bloggers who look at us Weirdly when we speak of such things. We all know one, eh?!)
'What did you DO all day?' my children all asked when I got home.
'Talked,' I answered, through a rather nice home-made scone covered in raspberry jam.
'Yes, but what then?' they persisted.
'Talked some more,' I said, throwing back a cup of tea.
'Sounds really Boring,' said Youngest.
'Wasn't boring,'I told him. 'You see, I made some friends. No, I Met some friends, I knew them already, but now I know what they look like.'
'Oh,' said Youngest. Not having a Clue what I was talking about.
Two years ago I wouldn't have a clue what I was talking about either. Two years ago I didn't know what a Blog was. I had no idea that friendship could emerge from writing about the mundane, daft, and heart-rending things that happen day by day. I didn't know that people would drop by and leave comments that would hearten and sustain me through a dark day. Or make me roar with uncontained laughter. Or make me smile right down to my toes. I would have been totally gobsmacked to hear that Blogging could actually produce some real, Top, Friends.
But it has.
And so, tonight, as I thump away at these familiar keys, it is Different.
Seeing you all round the room, all chatting and giggling and enjoying each other's company, made blogging make complete and total sense.
We may write in isolation, but we Connect.
Connection is at the heart of Blogging.
Yesterday was proof of that.
Hooray for Blogging.
Really, truly, hooray. xxx

Friday, 25 June 2010

Guilt, guilt, guilt.

Ker-ist.
Life is full on at the moment.
I don't think I have sat down today. Or been to the loo. Must have. But can't remember. My poor bladder.
Each hour is chockablock with Things I Need To Do Right Now.
So I do those.
And then there are the things I needed to do Yesterday.
So I do those.
Then the things that I REALLY needed to do last month. So I do those.
Then the things that I REALLY SHOULD HAVE done last year. So bugger those.
And then there are the things I need to do Right Now but can't be bloody arsed.
And then a friend rings.
And I feel guilty as it's about a year since I last rang them.
And then I remember all those friends I haven't rung for about a decade.
And feel worse.
Then I remember that I haven't rung my sister, or brothers, or sister in laws or brother in laws. Or nephews, or nieces. Or godsons. Or goddaughters.
And then I feel REALLY guilty. And then...?
And then I remember all the things I have forgotten to do.
And then I forget all the things I remembered to do.
And then...?
I give up.
And Blog.
And then I realise I have been a bloody useless Blogger as haven't visited, commented or just hopped about from blog to blog enough. Have Neglected the Blogosphere. Attempt occasionally to land, still running, on a blog or two, and leave breathy comment before buggering off again.
Guilt too in Blogland.
Bum it.
Guilt everywhere.
Oh, well. Forgive me for not visiting. Forgive me if I did and left comment about Swedish Hostess Trolleys by mistake. Brain not attached to rest of body at the moment. Is miracle that have got this far in post.
Uh-oh, children demanding bed-time kisses.
Better go.
But WILL be back to normal, just as soon as I can.
In the meantime, I hope I get to see some of you at Cybermummy on 3rd July.
London City Mum, we shall paint the town red! Yippee!! Hooray!! Whoopideedoodah!!
Or have a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake.
Kisses all.
I'll be back.
xxx

Thursday, 24 June 2010

In-ger-land!!

Not sure whether to be glad or not that England is through to the next round. It's such bloody hard work watching that I would almost prefer to be eating my own toenails. In fact WAS eating own toenails.
Youngest asked, in the final five minutes of the England/Slovenia match,
'Mummy, can I say the 'F' word, please?'
His nerves, it would seem, were somewhat tattered.
I told him kindly that he couldn't say the 'F' word but he COULD say Bum, if he felt the need.
He did.
The utter relief of winning was mixed with the awful and real dread regarding the next match. Will we win? Can we? Might we? Really? Oh, god.
Remember those heady Tim Henman days? When we would cheerfully curl up on our sofas
and watch Tim playing his little white socks off.
He might win! we would all exclaim, 'He really, really might win!'
Then, just as we had given voice to that thought, he would start losing. Big Time. And then, just as we had resigned ourself to losing the sodding match, the bugger would go and win. Total Nightmare.
And so it is with England.
Yo-yo'ing between utter elation and downright misery.
Which is Not Good for the nerves.
I need to prepare myself for Sunday.
I will give myself permission to say the 'F' word. Only this time it's F**k. No mucking about with anything less.
I might EVEN say something Ruder.
On the other hand I may be Pleasantly Surprised by an Easy Victory, and then have to endure the next round.
Ker-ist.
I tell you, you just Can't Win.
Let's hope England bloody can.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

What Could It Be?

Youngest woke me up this morning with a hiss.
And prodded me hard.
'What do you want?' I asked, somewhat reasonably, I felt.
Considering the Rude Awakening.
'There is Something In My Bed and it Isn't Good,' he whispered.
Oh, Kerist, I thought. What in hell's name could THAT be.
I racked my sleepy brain for possible answers.
'Wee?' I asked, wearily, rubbing an eye awake.
He shook his head.
I rattled off the various bodily waste that a 'Not Good Thing' might be.
'Poo? Snot? Skin? Sweat?'
'Nope,' he replied to each in turn, getting noticeably more worried as the list went on. And on.
And finally, 'Mummy, it REALLY is Not A Good Thing.'
Said with great urgency and some degree of panic.
I cranked myself up onto one elbow and looked at him blearily.
'Is it something Dead?' I asked with some resignation. That would be 'Not Good'.
'Nope.'
Having exhausted the potential horrors of what it might be, I decided that the only thing was to look for myself.
We entered the dark of his room, and I swished back the curtains. Blinking in the light, and screwing up my short sighted eyes, we looked together at the bed.
A Great Big Pile of Red Gloop wobbled shinily on the whiteness of his sheet.
'What the Bloody Hell is that?' I asked, in an Unedited type of way.
'That is The Not Good Thing in my bed,' answered Youngest, with his Clear Six Year Old Sightedness.
I poked it.
Yup.
Gloop.
Straight out of a new toy recently acquired on his birthday. A hideous toy with an eye that you can squeeze right out of Said Toy's head.
Nice.
Without another word we stripped the bed together, slung the oozing toy into the bin, and walked down the stairs towards the Kettle (for my much needed first cup of tea) and the Washing Machine.
'Sorry, Mummy,' said Youngest, as we pushed the gloopy sheet into the machine and switched it on.
'Don't worry about it,' said I, breezily. 'At least it wasn't Poo.'
And with that bright thought shining in our minds, we had breakfast.



PS. I am very aware of a Tag. Lurking. That I haven't done. Tags frighten me as am Total Crap at them.
But there is one Afoot, as it were, and I will drag it to the light of day just as soon as I have a moment to catch breath...

Monday, 31 May 2010

Summer Lovin'

Summer is here!
Heaven.
We've had breakfast and lunch outside. Twice.
The lawn mower is mended and has done wonderful work with the first Cut of the season. And the second. And the third. Bloody grass.
Oh, and the rabbit is shagging the chickens.
All is fine with our world.
Back to the rabbit? Really?
Well, put quite simply, the rabbit thinks it's a chicken. And shags them. OK?
Or else, puts its fluffy little face right into the chicken's bottom and sniffs. Honestly. It's enough to put you off your cornflakes.
Should explain that rabbit lives with chickens in great harmony. Except for the bottom sniffing.
Rosie, the chicken, is rather Bored with the whole rigmarole, and tends to trot off sideways, rather like a dressage horse. Snatching at the odd insect on the ground. Pretending that a rabbit is NOT sniffing her bottom.
The vet once said to me, regarding Millie, the rabbit, that if she ever displayed behaviour of a sexual nature, she might need to be Done. As in, Bits Off.
I decided, in that moment, not to mention the chicken shagging, as it seemed a little more sexual than he might have meant. Millie might have been carted off to a Bunny Farm and slammed into a Sexual Offenders Section.
Couldn't put her through that. So Millie stays As She Was Made and the chickens have to suffer the occasional Sniffing or Worse.
Daughter and Youngest get Uncontrollable Giggles when Millie gets frisky. And we all run towards the chicken run and shout a lot.
Poor old Millie. Perhaps I should get her bits off. But am damned if am going to vet to pay a fortune for a rabbit NOT to sniff a chicken's bottom. Or Worse.
So will continue to interrupt Millie in her courtships and encourage her to be a little more Ladylike.
In the meantime, am waiting for her next frisky moment to capture it for ever on film.
Watch this space.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Stepford Wife Moment

I have been the most wonderful wife! Let me tell you all about it as it really doesn't happen that often.
Well.
It was about 8 o'clock the other night and I was preparing supper. Old fish with left over vegetables hurled in oven.
When Husband rang. Poor love sounded totally Knackered.
'Just leaving now,' he croaked, barely able to form a sentence in his tiredness.
'Back about 9.00.'
We exchanged very brief Pleasantries before I replaced the phone.
And back I walked into my kitchen, hearing the sounds of children fighting and bath water definitely being splashed with some force.
Thoughtfully I opened the oven.
Yeurrch. Disgusting. And no Husband to eat it for an hour. Steps needed to be made to assist the poor man in his tiredness.
And, quite suddenly, just like that, there was Me. The Perfect Wife!
Never before had I felt quite so purposeful! Powerful, even! Yippee!
Up I went to the carnage of the bathroom. I clapped my hands for silence. That didn't work, so I yelled hard instead. That worked a treat and within moments all was quiet.
Another few minutes on and all children were bathed, pyjamed (?) and ready for bed. Teeth gleaming white, hair brushed, Fifties style, and everyone calling out Goodnight! just like the bloody Waltons.
Wafted down to the kitchen, put on my apron (!) chucked out First Disgusting Supper to the chickens and Prepared the Alternative Supper, a simple but delicious concoction.
Lit a fire in the sitting room as it was so Effing cold.
Polished (!) our gorgeous antique table in the sitting room and tore outside to get some flowers to put on it. Plumped up cushions, checked for Cat Crap, as you do, and raced upstairs to brush my own hair.
Down I came, supper gently cooking, fire blazing, sitting room warm and cosy, and children in bed.
(go on, aren't you DAMNED impressed?)
In came Husband, bent in half with exhaustion.
Did I kiss him home?
Yes, I did.
Did I ask him how he was in gentle concerned tones?
Yes, I did.
Did I take his coat and ask him if he wanted a drink?
Yes, I did.
Did his eyes light up when he saw the fire?
Yes, they did.
Did he turn to me and give me a grateful hug and tell me what a star I was?
Yes, he did.
AM I NOT THE MOST AMAZING WIFE?
Shame about the next evening. Shit supper, shouty children and bugger all patience.
But, Oh! It was damned good while it lasted.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Anyone for Tennis

I am my Husband's biggest fan. Honestly.
But when it comes to Tennis Gear, I may become a tad disloyal.
We were down in Devon this weekend. Staying with Mother In Law.
Mother in Law had kindly asked me to play tennis with her friends on Bank Holiday Monday.
I kindly refrained. Preferring my nice soft bed and a lengthy breakfast to getting out at high speed to play tennis with some nifty eighty year olds. Who are far better than me.
I have enough humiliation in my life. Who needs more?
So Husband Volunteered.
'I'll play,' he said, somewhat grandly, over his pre-supper whisky and soda.
'Have you any tennis gear?' I asked him. Knowing he didn't. But using that Wifely Concern to back the poor sod into a corner.
'Yup,' he said breezily. 'Got some in a cupboard somewhere.'
My brows furrowed as I conjured up pictures of Green Flash Tennis Shoes, all the rage in 1975, and Fred Perry shorts. Tight enough to damage the balls. As it were.
Well.
The morning came. Breakfast was leisurely enough for me. But Husband had to forgo his second coffee to dash upstairs to Kit Himself Up for the tennis game.
MIL and I poured ourselves another cup of coffee and complained about the children for a few minutes. (One of MIL's favourite topics. Say no more)
When down the stairs came the sound of Husband, two steps at a time. Jaunty.
MIL and I turned round to see what he was wearing
Oh My Lord.
Ouch.
Husband was sporting what on first sight appeared to be Underpants. White. Tight.
MIL and I spat out coffee in an agonised and Prolonged fit of Hysteria.
Husband stood there, waiting for us to finish laughing. He does that a lot.
When the first bout had died down, I looked more closely.
Ker-ist.
Tight Fred Perry shorts were teamed with a pair of brown socks, and BROWN SUEDE SHOES!
OMG. Hysteria won again. And I entered Bout 2 of silent, painful laughter. Tears formed. Stomach hurt. And the wheezing began in earnest. (I wheeze like an old man when I laugh that hard)
MIL was having similar problems on the other side of the table. Her shouts of laughter punctuated my wheezing, so that Husband looked from one of us to the other in a parody of the game he was about to play.
Oh dear.
The children playing outside and sensing the fun, pressed their noses against the window, and mouthed, 'What is Daddy wearing?' Their eyes wide. Astonishment written across each dear face.
I couldn't answer. It was impossible to speak any words at all. My mouth was welded open, showing all my dentistry, and I tried in vain to fight the hysteria.
Husband gave up and went to find his tennis racket.
'Is. It. Wooden?' I asked, forcing out the words. Paralysed again by such wit.
Husband wasn't finding any of this very funny any more.
Which made it all the more funny. Of course.
Out he went, and we could see his legs, every inch of them from his groin down to the brown socks.
We gave up. And howled.
The last thing Husband saw as he went were the gaping mouths of his wife and mother through the windows, slapping the table in mirth.
Poor man.
And can you imagine the Eyes of those women as he emerged from his car at the tennis club? Can you?! Can you?!
If only I could have been a fly on the wall.

I think he thought he looked like this...



Only he looked more like this... in white. Oh, dear, I'm off again...

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Ahhhh!

Talk about sweet.
Youngest was walking home the other day. He had been playing on the cricket field, as we do every fine day after school. Youngest and his best friend were the only ones left after a while, and they had played over by the hedge on the far side of the field for ages, seemingly perfectly happy to be mucking about doing Not Much.
Meanwhile I had been nattering away with best friend's mother. Realising the time, we called the boys over and all set off for home, Youngest and I sauntering back down the road to our house. The others getting into their car.
And as we walked away, Youngest calls back to his mate,
'Bye then! Love you!' Just like I say to him every morning as he goes into school.
'Bye!' comes the call back.
He notices me looking at him Askance, trying hard to keep a straight face.
'What?' he asks, somewhat impatient. 'Why are you looking at me like that?'
And he scuffs the ground with his shoe.
I stuff my laughter right back into my mouth.
And ruffle his hair and smile.
Because he is so right.
We SHOULD tell our friends we love them.
It's just that he is so SMALL to be so wise.


And here he is.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Bottoms up!

Unbelievably frightful programme on telly tonight as we had our rather late tea after mucking about in the garden all day.
Called Embarrassing Bodies.
Right.
So the clue IS in the name, but we didn't know, OK?
'This looks rather fun,' said I, munching a scone dripping with raspberry jam.
And so we watched it, on our tiny kitchen telly, the five of us.
Suddenly, across my consciousness, came the word, Weak Bladder.
'Crikey,' I said, 'I thought that lady said Weak Bladder.'
'That lady DID say Weak Bladder,' said Husband, crunching his way through a ginger biscuit.
We all chewed contentedly for a few seconds. When, all of a sudden, the Lady whipped off her knickers and was showing the Entire World her Bare Arse.
We all, as one, spat out the contents of our mouths.
And screamed. Howled with horror. And then started to laugh in earnest.
Could not contain ourselves.
More Bottoms were shown. Full on bottoms. Youngest's eyes were out on stalks.
Could not get strength in legs to get up and turn off the Carnage.
Huge Breasts came out. A Rectum.
We were Beside Ourselves.
'Ker'ist,' gasped I, 'Think I will have Weak Bladder in a moment.'
And at last the Torment was over and we were able to turn over to The Weather Lady. Never have we been so glad to see anyone, Ever, before.
We wiped our streaming eyes, poured more tea and settled ourselves down.
'Glad we didn't see a Man,' said Youngest, conversationally, 'Or we would have had to look at his Willy.'
Spat out remaining tea and gave up to Hysteria.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Buried another hen on Sunday.
The Burial was not quite as Respectful as the last one owing to Certain Distractions.
As the day turned to dusk, and Husband and I were clearing detritus of gardening from Said Garden, Husband turned to me and said,
'Shall we bury the chicken?'
As you do.
'What chicken?' I asked, looking over to the chicken run, where our four remaining Girls were having their last moments of pecking about before bed. There didn't appear to be a dead one.
Husband reminded me that Dead Chicken was in garage.
'Christ,' I said, remembering. 'She's been dead for about two months.' There had been No Time to bury her when she died, owing to Too Much To Do Syndrome. So I had shoved her into a box and put her in garage. As you do.
'Precisely,' said Husband, in that precise way of his. 'So maybe we should bury her today.'
And so we did.
While Husband was digging a hole near where the potatoes will be sowed next weekend, I busied myself fetching the cardboard box, inside which was Peggy, who had Pegged it at least eight weeks ago.
Rather gingerly, I opened the box, to see that the old girl was looking largely the same, only a tad smellier. And dead, of course.
Spent the next five minutes knocking up a passable cross for the grave (all our pets require such attention) and lugged box and cross over to Husband, where the hole was ready.
Unfortunately, Husband had started an extremely Smoky Fire next to potential Grave.
Thick, yellow smoke swirled about, right where the hole was.
Coughing and spluttering, we hurled poor old Peggy into the hole and staggered back out of the range of smoke.
'Should we get the children?' I asked Husband.
'Naaaaah,' he said, 'Let's just get on with it and then we can have tea.'
'Okeydoke,' said I.
'Shall I say some prayers?' asked Husband.
'Go on, then,' I said, and we held hands and Husband spoke these words.
'Thank you, God, for Peggy, who has probably been in heaven for quite some time now, owing to the fact that my wife has left her to rot in the garage for several weeks.'
We exchanged a Married Look.
He continued.
'Thank you for all her eggs.....' At this point the smoke became so thick and pungent that we couldn't actually see each other, and therefore had to move back some distance, to get into some fresh air.
After some coughing Husband continued once again.
At this point the wind had whipped up a treat and was enveloping us in Hollywood Type Billowing smoke.
Barely able to make out each other's nostril hair, let alone the grave, had to abandon Funeral Arrangements and go inside to make a cup of tea.
And so we did, after hurling earth on top of dear old Peggy, shoving the cross in over the grave, and taking a last look at our newly sown veggie patch. And, for very clear practical reasons, moving the Dish washer from the middle of the lawn, where it had been put after a clear out of one of the sheds. Which made us swear in quite a Rude Sort of Way.
And as I made our cups of tea, I took a look out across the garden to where our Peggy was buried.
And hoped that she didn't mind the Shambles that was her funeral.
R.I.P. old girl.
And thanks for all those eggs.



We have no picture of Peggy, so here's a picture of Another Brown Hen, sort of like Peggy, with Dilly, one of our Silkies, and Milly, the rabbit. Who, incidently, thinks herself to be a chicken. Welcome to my world.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

A Little Note to Lost Followers

Dear Followers who have decided to Scarper this week,

I am aware that I tend towards the Lavatorial side of life. And that I have probably passed the Decency Boundary by describing the passing of a thread through my child's bottom. And the pulling out of Said Thread from Said Bottom. From one end to the other. Not a story for the weak hearted.
But you see, I was just so PLEASED to reach 130 followers. Tickled pink I was.
And then, just as I got used to the dizzy heights of 131 followers, it was snatched from me, like a sweetie from a child's hand.
But.
I mean.
When all is said and done (quite literally, I think, on my blog)... does it matter that you have to read Said Blog with a stiff drink, a sick bag and a good healthy dose of Humour?
It does? Oh, dear. What if I supply the Sick Bags? No?
Righty Ho.
Well.
AM very sorry to have offended you and all that. Hope you come by soon when I write incredibly clever stuff about the General Election. Or what to do with cardboard boxes when they are wet.


Dear Followers who have decided to Stay.

Good on you!
What lovely people you must be to stick around through such Horrendously Visual Stuff and STILL remain cheerful. I salute you all!
Now, as you are all still here, and not recoiling TOO much from Over Descriptive Passages, as it were, will make Huge Effort to write posts that are Thoughtful, Informative and Incisive.
But would you mind awfully if I started that sort of thing next year? Just a few more posts to squeeze out, as it were, about the usual sort of stuff. But will then Turn Over A New Leaf.
I promise.
Well.
Unless something comes up. Or Plops down. Or something.
In the meantime, how kind you are to follow such a load of Nonsense.
I Really, Truly appreciate it.
Thank you!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Messing about on Mountains

We have just had our First Ever skiing holiday en famille.
A holiday we have been saving up for, for what seems like a life time. The children had thought about how to make some dosh, and then sold leeks, flowers, raspberries, and all sorts, at the end of the drive.
Kind locals had bought vast amounts of Complete Rubbish to fund our holiday which was frightfully kind of them. Might have to buy them a drink to make up for it.
The children managed to make about £200 by selling this Stuff. How brilliant is that. Every penny was counted and put into a jar. Which slowly filled up over the summer.
We arranged a savings account. That built up slowly over the months. And filled with the pennies from the Selling At The Gate. And Husband decided that we would use some money he had invested ages ago.
'Because you can't take it with you,' he said, over a large whisky, in front of the fire.
The children got quite sick with excitement as the weeks passed, counting down the days. I became more and more thrilled with the idea that I could show my darling husband and children the skiing venue of my childhood. Lech. In Austria.
It even SOUNDS idyllic, doesn't it.
Well, it is.
And so I took them there, finally, on 21st March.
Flying into the magnificence of Innsbruck, the plane ducking and diving round the considerable mountains, and finally coming to rest on the tarmac. My children gazing out of the tiny windows, seeing the Alps, heavy with snow, for the first time.
We piled onto the coach, with our considerable extended family, my sister and one of her sons, my brother and sister in law, and four of their children. And us. (My parents were staying there too, and had arrived a day or two earlier.)
And then we were nearly there.
I went quiet, looking down the road ahead of us, knowing that at any moment I would see the twinkling lights of Lech as we turned that final corner.
And then we did. And there was Lech. Just the same. A cosy cluster of houses nestled in the most beautiful valley in the world.
Can you imagine the fun I had showing my family the village, the ski slopes, my favourite places for lunch, the church, the school, the people.
IMAGINE how wonderful to ski down the Rufikopf, the loveliest mountain of all, and to look back at the crocodile of children and adults, my family, skiing together. Youngest steaming down like a train. Daughter and Middle Son bent like real skiiers, zooming down like pros. And the white of the snow and the blue of the sky dazzling us all.
And then at lunch. A long table of happy and tired family, chatting and giggling together. Huge glasses of beer and wine, juice and water. Plates filled with hearty, delicious food. The sun beating down. Mountains rearing up on each side, white as white. The sky the deepest blue. And me. Smiles from ear to ear. Happy as bloody Larry, whoever the hell he was.
Quietly and stealthily, Lech worked its magic on all my family. They started to remember the names of mountains and lifts and people. They spoke german when asking for their drinks and food. They swaggered up the main street with their skis slung over their shoulders, just like any hardened skier. They tumbled down the 1.5 km long toboggan run, beside themselves with giggles, all the way down.
They bloody loved it.
Youngest cried as we left. The others were quiet as we made our way back up the windy road out of Lech on that final day.
And Husband, who had never really wanted to come in the first place, turned his sun and windburned face to me, eyes shining, and said, 'We'll come back, I promise.'
I so, so look forward to it.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Just when you reach the bottom...

For those of you with a tender disposition, then turn away at once. This is Not For You.
For those of you with steely internal organs and iron like constitutions, put on your Blog Safety Belts and listen up.
Wiping Youngest's bottom yesterday.
Like you do.
Found what looked like a smallish sort of long thing coming out of his bottom.
No. Not worms.
So pulled it. Gently.
And out it came, more and more and more. Thin, cotton like strand of navy blue. On and on and on. Started to get the giggles.
'What's the matter,' asked Youngest, from his position between his own legs.
'Um,' I said between bouts of laughter. 'Have got something out of your bottom.'
Youngest starts to get the giggles too.
'What is it?' he asks.
'Don't know,' I splurt, eyes watering so hard I can't see what I am doing.
And I continue to pull thread out of bottom.
(Are you still here? Need a sit down? No? Marvellous!)
Finally it comes to an end. Rather disappointingly. Hold it up in front of Youngest. We stare at it spellbound.
It is at least three feet long, dark navy thread.
'How in God's name did that get in there,' I ask.
Youngest too confounded to answer.
We carefully hold it over the loo, and watch it drop into the bowl.
Later the mystery is solved.
Youngest gets out of bath and is wrapped in huge navy towel. And starts to nibble at it.
'AHA!!!' I shout. 'NO BITING!'
And Youngest beams up at me, thrilled that the mystery is solved.
Honestly, this was SO not in the Parents' Manual.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Oooops.

Most satisfactory.
When a Guest you are Not Particularly Partial to, and would rather them Not Be In The House, owing to their continual drip drip of Judgemental Phrases, uses the Parazone Wipes instead of Loo Paper.
And tells you.
Most satisfactory.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Times Up

I could Kill Time.
Oh, hang on, isn't that what we do when we don't like the time we're in?
Certainly used to when the children were tiny and walks took HOURS AND HOURS of Very Slow Walking, followed by walking BACK to where we already had been, to look closely at a piece of Mud. Or when we would drop stones into the stream and watch the splash. And do it again. And again.
But it killed the time between Breakfast and Elevenses. So that was good.
Killing Time.
What a terrible thing to do.
And yet I have killed more time than you've had Hot Dinners. Truly. I am an Artiste Supreme in the sport of Tuer Le Temps. (That's 'Killing Time' in French! Google translator is enormous fun, you can waste HOURS on it).
Bloomin' time.
Give me some time and I used to slaughter it. Blast the poor bastard to death. Bang. Time gone.
And in those long, long days of babyhood, when each hour seemed like a day, killing time seemed like a terribly good idea.
What I didn't know was that it would become a habit.
And I continued to kill time like it was a rather unpleasant insect to be dealt with. Squashed. Finished with.
Day over. Bed. Brilliant.
Until now.
Now is Different.
Time is running away with me like a horse without a rider. And a wasp stuck to its arse. No sooner have I had my breakfast and cleaned my teeth than it's time for bed. I just about have enough hours to feed everyone, and get to Tesco. Then BANG! Time for the next day.
Time has decided to RIP through my days. Never slowing. Treating each moment like a race.
Just when I needed time to slow. Just when I wanted to savour each moment, try something new, go somewhere different. Just when I thought how nice it was to stand and stare. Just when I grew up.
Time decides to GALLOP.
I could Kill time.
But I won't. I'll savour it. If the bugger will stand still for long enough for me to grab it and hold it fast.
Hah! As if.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Entertainment or Torture?

We have a frightfully jolly evening here in our village. Once a year.
In the Village Hall.
Everyone arrives. Has a drink. Tables for eight are spread out around the room.
Gradually everyone settles down around their table and the Entertainment Begins.
Yup.
Entertainment.
The first year Husband and I arrived here, we ambled up the road to the Village Hall, having been invited to this Annual Delight. We were under the mistaken idea that there would be Food, Drink, and the chance to Mingle a little with the people we were going to live amongst.
Wrong.
Arrived a Tad Late.
Sat down at table with Total Strangers.
And watched, in Befuddled and Horrified Fashion, the Entertainment.
Old men with Harmonicas would get up and fiddle about singing something.
Ancient women would recite Poetry. For Quite a Long Time.
Keen Guitarists would Dum-de-dum-de-dum-de-dum for Prolonged Moments.
Once, a girl sang, in quite a different key from her Accompanist, a song of love and loss. We laughed Silently and Agonisingly the whole way through.
Never Again, we thought.
Well.
I don't think we've missed one. There is something strangely Compelling about Local Entertainment. It's just so bad that it's a Must in the social calendar of the year.
But this year it was different.
Husband and I had been Roped In to creating some Entertainment ourselves.
We had thrown together some Husband and Wife material, his and hers stuff, which we thought hilarious. Which was worrying. As it probably was a load of Bollocks. But, what the hell, it was surely better than Harmonicas.
Oh. My. God.
Nearly didn't do it. Nearly baled out, last minute fashion, owing to nerves and lack of bottle.
However, thought What The Hell again and got on with it.
So, with thumping heart and racing pulse, entered the Village Hall.
We were third in Programme.
Had to sit, with stomach churning, all the way through the Cold Meats and Salad Fare, followed by Apple Pie and Cream. Threw back a couple of drinks.
Watched Act 1. Two ancient ladies recite Poems.
Act 2. Man with Harmonica. Sang quite a few songs. Almost nodded off.
Then us.
Gulp.
Dragged our chairs over to where we were Performing.
Husband calm and cheerful.
Me a lump of Nerves and Jitters.
And began.
Well.
Everyone laughed! Guffawed! (May I just say that we WANTED them to laugh... we WERE being amusing, honestly)
Sometimes we had to stop altogether to wait for the laughter to calm down.
They LOVED us.
And I really began to enjoy it.
Sitting there with Husband, saying the words we had practised over and over again, seeing the sea of faces roaring with laughter. Seeing Husband's face, enjoying himself hugely. Grin from ear to ear.
Heaven.
We finished. The applause was prolonged and genuine.
Husband and I had smiles to match.
We gave our last bow and went to sit down.
Hooray. That was done then.
However.
Had to sit through eight more Pieces of Entertainment.
Man with lots of pieces of paper, who read from his pieces of paper. For Ages. Lost one of his bits of paper and had to search, forage even, for it, amongst his considerable wear.
People with stiff faces from trying not to Yawn.
Someone got up to recite some Poetry. Spoke at length about a bicycle. Not sure why.
And then it was time for the Community Singing.
Ker'ist. I thought my smile would actually damage the muscles in my face, the ache was so acute.
Finally, at twenty nine minutes past eleven the Entertainment came to a slow and shuddering end.
The Relief! The Joy!
Husband and I made our way down the hall to the door.
'Lovely act!' someone said.
'You were brilliant!' said another.
'God, you were funny!' said yet another.
We smiled at them and made our Modest Exit. Basking in glory.
Out we went into the cool night air.
Man with pieces of paper was standing there. The one who foraged through his clothes trying to find Page Fourteen of his Amusing Anecdotes.
'Lovely act!' someone said to him.
'You were brilliant!' said another.
'God, you were funny!' said yet another.
Oh.
Right.
Perhaps we'll leave Britain's Got Talent for other acts then.
Quietly, though, I think we did Rather Well. And I know for sure, that both Husband and I loved it.
We'll have another go next year. Maybe with a Harmonica?
See you then!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Out To Dinner

Went out to supper on Saturday night. Drove down the lane, up another one, and there we were. Pouring with rain. So the sight of champagne and a roaring fire did much to cheer us.
Drinks and chat before supper. When my mobile rang.
Dammit. Probably a child Wanting Something.
Sure enough, Youngest was breathing heavily down the phone.
Mummy, he whispered. Hoarsely.
I put on my bright Mummy voice. Raised it up a notch or two.
Hello darling, I twinkled. Guests watching, curious.
Youngest continued to breathe very heavily, while whispering something of Great Urgency. Which I couldn't understand. I hoped, with every fibre of my being, that he didn't want his bottom wiped. That would be dull. But not past all possibilities, that I would have to stomp back down the road, wipe said bottom, and return to party.
Husband will huff and puff. But cannot expect babysitter, or Middle Son, or Daughter, or God forbid, Youngest himself, to do neat job of it. As it were.
Found out that his bottom was perfectly clean. Thank God.
Worked out, with some difficulty, owing to the Whispering, that he was on his way to bed.
Prayers, Mummy, he hissed. Whispering very spittily down the phone.
What??? I asked. Still baffled.
This was repeated at some length, with increasing desperation. And then finally,
Prrrayyeerrrrrrrrrrs, Mummmmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeee, he breathed. In a tortured sort of way.
Got it. Suddenly. As you do.
You want to say your prayers with me on the phone? I asked. Trying hard not to smile fondly, or let smile show in my voice.
Yes.
Came the answer.
Right, I said. Moving to a place in the house where guests would not find it odd to see me reciting the Our Father to a book case.
And we began.
Youngest very quietly saying Amen at the end of each prayer, but not joining in, in case the babysitter thought him rather odd. Or something.
Found myself praying, on Youngest's behalf, for a safe lodging and a holy rest, and thanking Him for a lovely day, And a lovely lunch, added Youngest, quite crossly, as if I had deliberately left it out.
Finished. Checking over my shoulder that no one could hear this somewhat eccentric exchange.
Told Youngest I loved him. Told him to go upstairs to bed.
Asked him to get Daughter on the phone.
On she came... and agreed to kiss Youngest goodnight and tuck him in.
As it seemed he needed it that night.
And back I went to the champagne and Canapes.
Husband raised questioning eyebrow.
No need to wipe bottoms tonight, I said, gaily.
Hooray! he said.
And so we returned to our Grown Up World.
Bliss.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Mixing up the Blog with Real Life

Oh, dear.
It seems that my Blog World and Real World have got mixed up rather.
Causing some Internal Family Eruptions. As it were.
Was slowly simmering a post in my head about Husband and his Morning Routines the other day. Like us Bloggers do.
You see, Husband likes to do the same thing as he gets up each morning.
Slams his hand down on the beep beeping alarm clock. With some force. Occasionally knocks it to the ground and has to find the damned thing. Groans a bit. Whips back the bedclothes, which quite often slap my somewhat sleepy face, and stands up.
There then follows a noisy and prolonged Scratching of his bottom.
Scratch, scratch, scratch. Pause. Scratch, scratch, scratch. Pause. This continues for some time. The scratching sounds strangely hollow, as if there was nothing in his buttocks but cavernous depths. But on closer inspection, I can quite clearly see his pert bottom accepting its morning Attentions.
After this he slumps over to his chest of drawers, and slides out a drawer or two. Then does it again, because he obviously hasn't found what he wanted to find. Pants? Socks? Shirt? This is where they live, but as more than seven or eight drawers are pulled open and then shut (quite noisily really) he must be looking for something else. Or the same thing over and over.
And over.
When this Petite Purgatoire is over, he tries to find the door. As far as I know, it's been in the same place for a very long time. But each morning he fumbles around to see where it is. Presumably because it might have moved in the night. On finding it, he yanks it open, because it has a little stiffness around the hinges, and goes out.
Sometimes I manage a PPPPPPWWWWP sound like a kiss. The only problem is that if he hears this he will come back in and ask all sorts of questions about how I slept and how I am, with instructions to have a lovely day. All punctuated with a kiss.
However.
I don't WANT to wake up yet and have spent the last few minutes desperately trying to STAY ASLEEP. A difficult task under the noisy and prolonged circumstances.
So tend to be a little uncommunicative. Like Silent. But with a sleepy smile which is trying to say GO AWAY AND LEAVE ME ALONE.
Nicely.
Mornings are so Not My Time.

Anyway, later that evening, after my thoughts about the above post, was at a dinner party. The general conversation was of being woken in the night. Etc. So it made total sense to me to tell people about Husband scratching his bottom when he got up.
When Realised that had meandered from Blog World into Real World.
Realised too late that CANNOT tell people face to face about bottom scratching. It's kind of a Blog Thing. You know, when you are sitting at the keyboard, thinking, 'What to post today? Aha! I know! Husband scratching his bottom!'
It makes sense to you. It makes sense to me. But boy, oh, boy, it makes bugger all sense to anyone Out There.
People at dinner party were totally Stunned into hysterical and prolonged laughter. Husband pink in the face and saying things like, 'I can't BELIEVE you just told everyone that,' and, more bizarrely, 'I don't scratch my bottom, I scratch my balls.'
This caused more hysteria. One guest had to mop her eyes dry.
Oh, dear.
Think Blogging might have more to answer for than I had thought. Had no idea that my conversational nature would lead me down such dangerous paths at dinner parties.
Husband still mutters about How Could I.
So.
I must remember to Think Before Speaking when out and about.
Must Sellotape Mouth Shut at next dinner party.
And will make clear boundaries between Blog and Life.
Because it Simply Won't Do to get that muddled up again.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Extras - Ricky Gervais Style

Well.
I have Another Tale to regale you with.
Draw up, fasten your seat belts, and make sure you have a nice cup of tea with you. You may be some time.
So.
Saturday.
Actually, let's go back to Friday.
Friday.
Was seated here at my computer.
Actually, no. Let's go back to sometime before Christmas.
Was seated here at my computer.
Actually, no. Let's go back to the Eighties. Just for a mo.
Was seated here at my computer.
NO! I wasn't! Wasn't here. Didn't possess a computer. Or mobile phone. Just a huge bright red phone in the kitchen which rang so loudly that we'd all drop what we were holding. Boyfriend at the time had huge grey carthorse of a computer with mouse. Mouse! I thought that was funny. And rather eccentric. Would never catch on. Another fad.
Wrong!
Anyway.
Back in the Eighties I always wanted to be a Film or Television Extra. Thought it might be Rather Fun. Pointless. But fun. Fancy meeting all those famous actors! Fancy being on a film set! Fancy!
Anyway.
Before Christmas, just a mere twenty five years later, decided that NOW was the time to be an Extra.
So scanned the Internet for likely solutions to this yen of mine.
And found solution.
Kindly internet site said I could be an Extra!
Super!
Just had to jot down a few details, and Tra-la! I was an Extra!
Trouble was, I hadn't a film or TV series to go and be an Extra in. Which was a bit of a drawback.
Right. Now we can fast forward to Friday.
Still here? Really? Marvellous!
Well. Was sitting here at my computer. Checking emails. When,
LO! There was an email inviting me to get my arse up to London for 7.30 am on Saturday morning. To be part of a shoot for a Pilot for new comedy series for Channel 4.
7.30 ON A SATUDAY MORNING???? ARE THESE PEOPLE MAD????
Well.
Up I went on Saturday morning. Up at 4.30 am. On the train at 5.30. Exhausted looking people asleep with their mouths open. Drunks who hadn't yet been to bed.
Was seated in Reception Area of offices somewhere in the armpits of Kentish Town at 7.29am.
With 6 other extras.
Slightly Stunned at Why the Hell I was There in the first place.
Bit Worried about what I would be asked to do.
And bloody Starving Hungry.
Well.
The 6 other Extras turned out to be Nice.
One had obviously 'Donalotta-Extra-Work'. The rest evidently hadn't. We had to listen to Mr Donalot for an Awfully Long Time as he regaled us with tales of Extra Funny Stories. He found them tremendously amusing and laughed loud and long. With piercing eye contact with one of us, who would be forced to laugh long and loud too.
We began to avoid his face altogether. The alternative was too exhausting.
Every time the rest of us had a talk about something else, he brought the subject back to himself with such skill that I began to enjoy taking the conversation somewhere Far Away to see how he would bring it back. Magic.
Anyway.
After Some Time of waiting, Ricky Gervais style, cups of filthy tea and hard chairs, we were led into the Shoot.
Lights, cameras and rather dishevelled people littered the place.
Watched the dishevelled people walking around doing things like moving chairs and reading clip boards. Watched them really hard. Realised that some of them had Bugger All to do so were pretending to do things.
Finally we were given instructions.
Mine was to Walk Up The Room.
Wow.
So I did.
Many, many times. Up, back. Up, back. Up, back.
The Action seemed to be going on at the near end of the room.
I was to be at the Very Far End of the room.
Righty Ho.
And, when I managed a look at the TV monitors showing what we were doing, I couldn't help noticing that I would Possibly be seen for about 0.36 of a second. Just my bottom. Nothing else. Clothed, of course. Nothing Untoward.
Not a great deal to show for such a colossal effort at being in bloody London SO CHUFFING EARLY ON A SATURDAY MORNING.
Anyway.
It was very funny stuff. Apparently. So damned funny that the actors kept corpsing and having to start all over again.
At first this was Mighty Amusing and we all had a bit of a giggle.
Nonchalant sort of giggles. (It is Very Important in the Playground of Acting that you look Nonchalant)
But after a while (several hours of 'While') it got to be Rather Irritating.
And it was with some relief when we were all Released from the torture and allowed to go home.
No one said Thank you! in bright and grateful tones for us slogging in miles.
No one offered us large fat cheques.
No one even said goodbye.
And so I left, lugging my suitcase with Alternative Costumes (not used) heading home under a grey and unfriendly sky.
Arrived home for lunch. Bright blue skies. Children thrilled to see me. Husband laden under a pile of washing he was putting on the line. Waving cheerily through my pants and bra.
Lunch cooking.
Cats asleep in the sun.
How glad I was to be home.
Shrugged off my Costume (smart casual) and put on my home clothes (old, tattered) and went to pour some drinks for us all. Massive gin and tonics for me and Husband. Lemonade for the children.
And sat with my family, minus Eldest, clinking our glasses together and telling them all about Being An Extra.
And decided that there is Very Little Point being an Extra in pretend life, when real life at home requires such a Starring Role.