Friday, 30 December 2011

Wild horses

A lot of people already know this story. In fact it's almost legendary. Or legendarily embarrassing, which is why I'm going to share it with you all.

Any respect you had for me is highly likely to disappear after hearing this.  At best you'll feel sorry for me. At worst you'll unfollow me/delete me.

I'm going to explain where we live at first. It'll probably help you understand the logistics of my woeful tale.

Our house is right at the top of a 'lane' which is essentially a really long cul de sac.  You can only get out of the top of the street on foot, through a gate onto a huge field.  This field is part of a walk called 'the black path'  If you keep walking (as most dog walkers in the area do) along the black path you come to a gypsy camp.  Its a well established camp, and has been there for decades.  It's so well established that it featured on 'big fat gypsy wedding'.  Remember this camp, and the fact it's near to where we walk the dog, its an important feature of this story.

Half way around the black path there's a field with long grass. We inventively call it 'the long grass field'  The dog loves it. She goes wild, bouncing and rolling in the long grass. Anyway for a while there had been 3 or 4 horses grazing in the field.  They were big horses, with those leg warmer, legs (yes I am a horse expert) and my husband had explained they were shire horses, or something similar.  Anyway they were lovely big horses and I'd been taking an interest in them for a while.

Having spoken to other dog walkers (as you do)

  • Lovely Day
  • Looks like rain
  • No sign of rain
  • This is set in (raining)
  • Its just a cloud burst (raining)
  • Its a bit blowy (windy)
  • There's snow in that sky
  • Mind the black ice
.......Yes we truly are an interesting bunch....

Anyway, so having spoken to other dog walkers it would seem the horses on the long grass field were from the gypsy camp.

This is where my story really starts.

I'll set the scene.  It was nice summer evening, around 7 o'clock and we had just about reached the long grass field.  We're strolling at this point, the evening sort of demands strolling (oooh I went all 'waltons mountain then) I might be wrong but I think me and Phil might even have been holding hands.  The dog was running and rolling, Syd was kicking his football (Joe was probably at home on his laptop trying to chat up a 19 year old girl) but it was a lovely summer evening.

As we walked onto the field I noticed the horses were galloping towards a man.  He had with him a couple of buckets and he was throwing food to the horses.  I shouted Syd to come and have a look, and the three of us stood on the bridge over the pond and watched the man feed the horses. 

I was pointing at them when Syd started to chase Mica, so I shouted him back. 'Syd' I shouted, in my delicate voice, 'come and watch the horses'.....he came back but I must have caught the mans attention.

He started to walk towards us (in hindsight he may have just been walking towards the path that lead to the camp).

'Hello' I heard him say


'How are you doing' he said,


No reply. I presumed he hadn't heard me so I decided to shout louder,


'Ok', he said

Encouraged I continued with the shouting,


'I know' he said


The horse man was quite close to us now, so I was about to shout to him again. When Phil grabbed my hand. He was still standing beside me, and without turning to look at me, said something, which to this day still fills me with shame.

'You do realise he's on the phone'

Then, like someone, who wasn't very well 'mentally' he put his arm around my shoulder and lead my away from the field.

No one spoke on the walk home.

Needless to say I've never been back to that field again. The shame would kill me.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Moneys too tight to mention

I'm sure I have already but I'm going to describe my hair to you.  Its just past my shoulders and naturally curly.  I'm quite lucky really because I have good natural curls, almost ringlets, not that frizzy kind of curly hair that has the texture and look of candy floss.  On the whole I'm quite pleased with my hair.  I'm not however overly impressed with the colour of my hair.  Its definitely blonde, or fair if you like,  however it isn't gleaming, film star blonde, in fact it could be described as mucky Labrador blonde (that's a good name for a hair dye, I might email L'oreal)

  • Labrador             (golden blonde)
  • Scampi sunset     (rich gold)
  • Beaver                (dirty brown)
  • Fudgepot             (nutty brown)
  • Crispy pancake    (warm copper)
Anyway back to my story.  I am feeling particularly uninspired by the colour of my hair so I have made the monumental decision to dye it a different colour.  I am not one of these types who's hair is a different colour every week.  I do not 'experiment'. Where my hair is concerned I am not 'wacky'.  I am very cautious so this is a big deal for me.  If I do get highlights I get a similar colour to my own hair.  Which makes me wonder why I find myself in Superdrug buying what is essentially orange hair dye. 

Well it isn't actually orange, its called rich copper gold and its really nice.  So I buy it (two boxes, don't want it to be patchy) and take it home to do.

As I say I'm not an experienced dyer of hair so I make sure I read the instructions properly (I skim read them paying more attention to the pictures than the words) and get on with it.

After mixing the bottles together I shut myself in the bathroom and start squirting the mixture onto my hair.


Its too late to stop now, I have to keep going.  To add insult to injury, I can barely breath something is burning my throat and my eyes, as I open the bathroom window and gulp in lungfuls of air I decide I have a new found respect for hairdressers. So on I go squirting and then rubbing it in.  Its burning my hands a bit and they've gone a funny orange colour, you think they'd provide you with gloves. (Yes. I know now that they do. I saw the little plastic packets but just didn't open them. Having hands that resemble chicken tikka for 3 days has taught me a valuable lesson about reading instructions).

I decide to read the instructions regarding the timing as I've been caught out with an oven ready chicken before.  Right.  I need to give it 30 minutes.  Well that's no bloody help.........

  • From when I started applying the dye
  • From when I finished applying the dye - in which case - because of the burning chicken tikka hand incident - one part of my hair will have been on 40 minutes and the other half 30 minutes.  I will have a two tone head.
  • From when I finished reading the instructions.
I decide to set my alarm for 30 minutes from the point I stopped wondering.  I wrap a towel around my neck and wrap tin foil around my head.  I obviously have an above average sized head as the amount of foil I need to use would do 3 turkeys and line a barbecue.

I sit down and wait for the 30 minutes to pass.  A few minutes before its due to come off I chance a little peak under the foil and am horrified to discover my hair appears to be a weird peach colour.  I'm about to rush into the bathroom and wash it off when i decide that the final 2 minutes might be the time that the colour fully develops, in the manner of a swan.  My hair is currently the 'ugly/peach duckling' and will soon be the 'beautiful/bronze swan'.   The fumes have clearly got to me as while I've been rambling on about swans the dye has been on for nearly 40 minutes.

I head to the bathroom and remove the foil.  The peach foam is still present, it hasn't as I'd anticipated transformed into a rich bronze.  I dig the instructions out of the bin and check what I'm supposed to do at this point. (Note to self:  never, ever be such a bloody halfwit again, and should one decide to dye ones hair again lose the cocky attitude and read the instructions PROPERLY)

So it would seem that I need to rinse off the dye, wash my hair, and then apply the miracle conditioner that will lock in the colour until the next millennium.

I do all of the above, pluck up my courage and then look in the mirror.

It's really quite nice. In fact it's lovely. I decide however the thing to do is dry and style it and then make a decision.

Okay. So here we are. Hair dried and styled and it looks nice.  It really is a warm bronze gold. I'm quite chuffed and inwardly laugh at those idiots who have previously dyed their hair demented colours at home. I'm actually smug (like Davina)

I get up for work the following morning, shower, wash my hair, re-use the magical conditioner and do my hair.....Not only do I have amazing ringlets I now have the loveliest rich copper blonde hair.

I drive to work admiring my hair in the mirror all the way. I inadvertently knock over 2 pensioners, a lollipop lady and a fox (not the animal just a sexy girl) on the way, I should probably go back and assist them but I'm completely mesmerised my by stunning hair, so I don't bother.

I arrive at work, park up and head into the office, flipping my rich ringlets as I go.  I walk towards my team and they look at me. I may be wrong but I think I see a combination of admiration and desire in their eyes.

I toss my head around a bit more.  I am utterly fabulous. Admired by many. In fact my hair is clearly reminding people of Cheryl Cole.

Then I notice my team are all humming/singing under their breath. I'm completely thrilled, my teams morale is clearly through the roof. I sit down and notice the humming/singing is getting louder

Even at this point I haven't clicked as to what they're doing.  I'm still convinced they're just happy at their work, so I wander around them saying good morning.

Me: Hi Dan, how's things, good weekend?
Dan:  Yes, I spent it at the fairground

Me: Morning Dorothy, you OK.
Dorothy: Yes, I was just talking about my new eye cream. I suppose I'm just holding back the years.....


Me: Hiya Tone, how's it going
Tony: Good! We were just talking to Michael, he was telling us he had a new flame.

At this point I'm still cheerfully tossing my newly dyed hair around when it suddenly falls into place.


I rush to the toilet and look in the mirror.

Oh Sweet Jesus I do.

Roll on pay day when I can afford to get it coloured properly.

After all.....


Sunday, 11 December 2011

A nice chianti and some fava beans

Well as you know yesterday I got caught up saluting magpies to give the damaged fence my full attention, so I decided to try again today.

 Its half past ten, I'm in the garden and the fence is probably a bit worse than I originally thought. We basically now share a garden with the people behind us.  I'm planning on walking round to their house to talk to them about it when I notice someone moving in their kitchen, so I  wave at them.

They don't notice so I up my effort and wave both my arms and point at the fence laid on the floor at my feet. I do this for a couple of minutes. I'm feeling completely ridiculous when the person, who is washing up notices me, but strangely she just politely waves back and carries on washing up.I've never seen her before, they must be the new people.  This doesn't stop me from feeling a bit confused by her casual wave, if I was in that situation there are some questions that I would be asking myself.

  • Why has my garden doubled in size.
  • Who is that strange woman in pyjama's and dressing gown standing in my garden waving her arms.
  • Where has the house at the end of my garden come from, I don't remember that being there before
  • Didn't I used to have a fence
I'm getting a bit cross now. Its cold, I feel stupid and damp is getting into my little knitted slippers.  She looks up, so I do what is internationally recognised as the sign for 'come here' and I beckon her towards me using big, windmilling gestures.  I can't make out her facial expression, but I have a hunch she's probably quite scared at this point. 

I hear a door opening and a man with a ponytail pokes his head out of their side door.  Coincidentally he looks scared too.  I suppose it is entirely possible that I look like an escaped mental patient.  I was only really coming out for a look, my hair isn't ready for a meeting with the new neighbours. I reach up and feel it, its completely flat on one side while the other side has escaped from my bobble and seems to have formed itself into a nest like structure (I could house magpies in fact). He's still looking but hasn't moved.  Its like a Mexican stand-off. I will have to speak.

I shout, 'Hello. I'm sorry for appearing in your garden on a Sunday morning'.  He looks confused.  Why doesn't he move.  I'm losing patience.

I shout again, much louder. He jumps. But he moves.  He runs actually. Oh god he's going to rugby tackle me to the floor and sit on me til the woman in marigolds summons the men in white coats.

Obviously he doesn't. In fact he's quite nice. He has a pony tail and and cutting edge red or dead glasses, and he's quite posh.  Perhaps he is the secret millionaire looking for needy people to bestow his millions upon.  I'm actually quite pleased I'm in a dressing gown with mad hair now, he's bound to feel sorry for me. I toy with developing a twitch for the duration of the conversation just to strengthen my case for his money, but I decide against it, it's already odd enough that I'm stood on a collapsed fence in his garden in my night clothes.

Anyway it transpires that he's called Tom. He's just bought the house with 'Sarah' or Marigold as I've decided to call her, and they only moved in yesterday and hadn't noticed  the fence had fallen down. I almost suggest that his lovely red or dead glasses could do with a good clean but I don't.

Marigold comes out and we exchange pleasantries, but I feel distinctly at a disadvantage here, they are both young (mid twenties) and dressed which instantly gives them extra points. I talk about my husband and children but get the feeling that they don't quite believe me and might have idea's of their own.

  • The wind didn't pull their fence down. I did.
  • I have just escaped from the local mental hospital.
  • I don't have a husband or children. I invented them. I have cats. Or I did till the people with tranquilisers took them away from me.
I realise if I can produce said husband and children (well child, Joe is half boy, half mattress til at least 2pm) l might not look like I'm completely barmy, so I shout them.  Syd appears first, and unusually is quite normal. He says hello and busies himself sweeping leaves up. I should Phil again, but nothing.

'He won't be dragged away from his breakfast' I joke. (Yes I truly am the queen of small talk)

We all politely laugh.  We still need to decide what we're doing with the fence.  Marigold is starting to look anxious again so I shout Phil, louder this time.

'Once he's gets started he really won't be dragged away from his breakfast' I persist.  Then I hear Phil coming through the house.

'Here he is, the master of the house' I shrill.

I have never, ever called Phil 'the master of the house', why on earth have I started now.

  • The master of the house
  • Him indoors
  • He who must be obeyed
  • Our lad
  • Schnukums
  • My man
'Hello' says Phil, cheerily sauntering over.'Pleased to meet you' he says smiling.  I look at him and I am completely and utterly horrified.  I quickly look at the new neighbours and realised horrified doesn't even do justice to how they're feeling right now.

At this time every year Phil gets really dry lips. Sometimes they start to crack and sometimes he's picks the skin off them.  This makes them sore so I get him a lip salve every year to keep in his coat pocket. He has misplaced this years lip salve. Bear in mind the new neighbours don't know this!

So, where were we, oh yes, I'm looking at Phil in horror.  Evidently he has picked a bit of that dry skin, because there, smeared around his mouth, is blood, lots of blood, even worse, the blood has completely coated his teeth.  He is smiling at our new neighbours and he looks like Hannibal Lecter, in that charming scene where he bites the other chap's tongue out.

I really don't know what to do.  Marigold has moved behind Tom. The poor woman is genuinely frightened. I mutter to Phil, loudly actually, 'Phil, your mouth, there's blood' and instead of asking what I mean Phil does the worst thing possible.


Oh my God! He might has well have opened a nice bottle of chianti there and then.  They think I am married to Hannibal Sodding Lecter.

Suddenly they remember somewhere they need to be urgently, but not before they tell us that the fence will be repaired within a day or two.

What's the betting it's 12 foot and electrified.

Touching wood

When I was checking the blown down fence in the garden this morning. I saw at least 8 magpies.  I didn't get much done in terms of looking at the fence, I was too busy saluting the magpies, wishing them a good day and enquiring as to the health of their wives and families.  No I'm not insane, well maybe a bit, but I am ridiculously superstitious.

When Stevie Wonder sang that he was very superstitious, I don't think he was singing about love I think he was singing about putting new shoes on a table.

When I was young, my mother was always dragging me away from ladders or touching wood and seeing as how the apple never falls far from the tree, I've not only taken up the superstitious mantle, but added another set of superstitions that I live my life by.

I'm sure you're all EXACTLY the same as me so I'm going to list my superstitions, or as many as I can come up with, just so everyone can go 'oh look at that, I'm perfectly normal too, there is NOTHING odd about how much these bloody, exhausting superstitions have taken over my life'.  Yes, I would imagine that is exactly what you will say.  EXACTLY.

I have always saluted magpies. The routine, the full routine, should go:
  • Spot Magpie (the bird obviously not  Newcastle fans, to go around randomly saluting them would be demented. Saluting a bird is obviously acceptable)
  • Salute said Magpie
  • Say to Magpie 'Good day Mr Magpie, how's your wife and family'  The Magpie does not have to hear this, so there is no need to park your car and run after the Magpie shouting your salutation.  It's the sentiment that counts. (and you are highly like to get arrested/committed to a secure mental health unit) 
  • Go about your business satisfied that you have averted disaster and bad luck for another day.
However the above routine is fine if you encounter 1-2 magpies. I like them to be in view while I pay my tribute to them, but what if you encounter more.  What if you encounter a gaggle of magpies?

1)  Are a group of magpies 'a gaggle'?  Or a bunch?  A 'bunch of magpies?  No that's not right.  OK, hang on I'm googling this.....It's a 'tiding' of magpies!  A tiding!  I'd never have got that in a million years.
2) What constitutes a gaggle (or a tiding).  3? 10? 155?  Strangely google didn't have the answer to that one.

So what if you do encounter a full 'tiding of magpies', and you're driving.  Well guess what reader, I know because its happened to me!

For some reason industrial estates are always full of magpies.  I was driving along merrily when I spotted a magpie and then another (ooh smashing, one for sorrow, two for joy - went all steps there didn't I). So I quickly did two right handed salutes, and two quick 'good morning Mr Magpie's etc....

Then within seconds another six appeared. Now bearing in mind that I was almost past them at this point I had no choice but to start saluting with both hands. This involved me letting go of the steering wheel and frantically saluting with both hands, while shouting 'Good day Mr Magpie etc etc' over and over while getting louder and louder...Mounting the kerb and stopping just short of a fence brought me to my senses.  I'm uncertain whether my actions prevented the accident being much worse than it was (there could have been a stray pensioner on the pavement) or if the entire thing was caused by my insane obsession with saluting magpies.  I'm going with the former.

Growing up we were never allowed to cross on the stairs.  I'm not sure what would have happened had we crossed on the stairs, it never happened.  We politely waited at the top or bottom. Them were the rules and we stuck to them.

I'm the only one in this house who abides by this.  This really upsets me.  I can be half way down the stairs with armfuls of washing and one of the kids starts charging up the stairs towards me. I yell 'HALT, GO BACK' (really I do!) and they completely ignore me.

1) Turn round and return to the top. This would be fine if I wasn't carrying 2.5 tonnes of washing, there are sheets wrapped around my legs, so the only way to get back to the top of the stairs is to walk backwards up the stairs. This is begging for disaster.
2) Untangle one of my legs and kick whichever child is walking towards me back down the stairs.

I've never been comfortable walking backwards.

I was never allowed to come in from a shopping expedition exhausted and plonk my bags down on the dining room table.  Within seconds my mother would be raking through them and should she find a pair of shoes, she'd make the sound a vampire makes on being stabbed through the heart with a stake and throw the shoes on the floor.

She'd then wail.....'NEWWWWWW SHOOOOOOOOOES ON THE TAAAAAABBBBBLE......NOOOOOOOH', then she'd she'd dissolve like the wicked witch in the wizard of Oz.

OK, so I exaggerate (so unlike me) but she would go a bit mad.  So as a result I have a massive problem with not only new shoes on a table, but any shoes on a table like surface. Shoes need to stay on the floor. Should I find a carrier bag with football boots/wellies on the butchers block in the utility room I find the perp and smash their pretty face in with the footwear.

This year on my birthday Phil and me had been married for 7 years.  I never, ever know what to buy Phil but this year I'd done my homework and realised his crocs were on their last legs (I mean shoes, not elderly reptiles).  He wears them for walking the dog when its dry cos he can wash them under the tap in the drive (Yes I know I'm justifying a 48year old wearing crocs). So I managed to get him a size 12 pair of black crocs (no mean feat, believe me).  My mam collected them for me and wrapped them for me, therefore knew what the present I was giving him was.

Sunday lunch was over. It was time to exchange pressies.  As it was my birthday, I got to open my presents first. Then I went to give Phil his present.  Now bear in mind that Phil has been around for ten years so he knows all of the lovable little foibles of me and my mildly eccentric mother.  So I passed him his present. He was finishing his cake so he made the mistake of putting the package down on the table.  As if someone had tazered her, my mother shot out of her chair, and in seemingly slow motion leapt across the table, and grabbed the present while shouting.....''NEWWWWWW SHOOOOOOOOOES ON THE TAAAAAABBBBBLE......NOOOOOOO' Phil was startled and stood up, for a moment I thought he might punch her, but he's a bit scared of my Mam so he just sat back down like the good boy he is. Coming to her senses, she  handed the gift back. Phil calmly accepted it and said 'Shoe's then is it Marie?'

Its unlikely I will ever give shoes as a gift near that woman again!

There's only two points to make here, both I stick to religiously and both come from my mother

1) Wherever possible avoid walking under a ladder
2) If you have no option but to walk under the ladder then you must spit as doing so.

I have developed this, because unlikely as it may seem I'm a bit on the superstitious side. 

  • Ladders (see above)
  • Scaffolding (sometimes there is no choice, its that or falling down the massive hole that's dug up beside the scaffold)
  • Signs (the ones that your child insists on running under, normally say 'Newcastle 32miles' In another vein I can't allow any of my family to walk either side of a tree, we all have to walk on the same side, a complete bloody nightmare when walking in the forrest'
  • Car park entrances/exits (have to open the window to spit)
  • Subways/Underpasses (generally the smell of pee is enough to make you spit at least) 
The irony of this one is my mother would murder me if she knew I was wandering around town randomly spitting. That woman's got a lot to answer for. (Much respect here for my Dad who just tolerates it!)


Basically crossing knives means tears.  Be careful when piling up the washing up, knives should be completely separated on the plate, touching is OK, but if they touch there's a danger they'll cross.  And unless you want to fall out with all your family and friends you'll take a moment to consider your knife management.

Oh, and should they happen to cross, you need to pick up said knives and throw them on the floor. This breaks the spell (yes SPELL, this is serious business).  However when tossing the knives on the floor, ensure that your feet are clear. If necessary throw them wide of you, just make sure there isn't a bare footed child isn't in the vicinity.  Social Services seem to think that chucking knives about is somehow dangerous and irresponsible. If anything explaining the 'crossed knife theory' seems to upset them more.

Take Heed.

That's only scratching the surface on my superstitions.  We've got a lot more to touch on.....Here's a taster.

  • Touching wood (always keep a pencil about your person)
  • Touch your collar, never swallow when you hear an ambulance.  I have added holding my breath into this for good measure. I almost died during a pile up on the A1 once.  I wasn't involved but I held my breath for far longer than was good for me.
  • Never stay in the room with a boiling kettle (this ones mine and mine alone)
More soon.

Night Muckers.....

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Things that have irritated me today

So I wanted to tell you about the things that have irritated me today, so here we go.

Its not often I get the chance to really relax in the bath. I had it all planned today. I would run myself a deep bath with my new ginger bubble bath. N.B It is 'bubble bath', not bath creme, bath soak, cream bath, bath foam or anything else poncey that you fancy calling it. It's similar to calling deodorant 'armpit freshner' or washing up liquid 'delightful dish de-greasener'.

So I run my bath, get my Nigella's Christmas cook book from the utility room and settle down for a good read. As we all do, I like to top the bath up from the hot tap, using my big toe. I also block the overflow thingy with my heel to ensure the bath is rim height. 

So here I am fully relaxed, planning when to make my chili jam and I feel that the bath is cooling.  As far as I'm concerned you should be able to cook a lobster in your bath water, any cooler and the whole thing is pointless.

So I turn on the tap (with my toe) and wait for the heat to hit me. No heat! If anything the bath is cooling down.  I experimentally swish my toe under the tap. I'm dicing with death here, our water is normally hotter than the surface of the sun.  Nothing.  I go back in. Still nothing.  I'm being bold here but I hold my toe under the stream of water and am met with luke warm, at best, water. I turn the tap off and seethe with anger. If I was in a cartoon my boiling anger would heat up the water and steam would pour from my ears.  As this isn't a cartoon I find myself sitting in what is now a tepid bath.  Dear reader.  I'm livid


1)  I never ever have the time for a long soak. I have long, curly hair and my plan was to soak for a while then wash my hair and rinse it with the shower.  There is no hot water because Phil and Joe have both had showers. Phil has a number one all over his ridiculous head and Joe has really short hair. Their showers should have at most taken 3 minutes each tops.  Phil was in the shower for 15 minutes, Joe was in there for 20. That coupled with the fact we have a power shower, they've basically used enough water between them to run 'Wet and Wild' on a busy Sunday!

2) I'm now sat in a tepid bath with unwashed hair. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I either spend the day with unwashed hair but a clean body, or I bite the bullet and wash my hair in icy water. Being that its minus 15 outside (my estimate) I decide to go with greasy hair. I hope it smells like sheep, Phil and Joe deserve it.

I know I'm getting new Ugg's for Christmas but for now I'm wearing last Christmases.  Because it's cold and I have to walk the dog I put on my Uggs.  Imagine my surprise when I notice that instead of being all warm and snug, they are huge and drafty.  Worse still I get halfway to the field when one of them falls off my foot.  I put it back on and within two steps the other one falls off.  To combat this I end up shuffling to the field.  To an innocent bystander I no doubt look like a woman who has/or is about to soil herself. I'm muttering under my breath, cursing my stupid boots. I'm watching my feet and everytime I lift my foot off the ground my boot starts to slip off. I have no choice but to go back to the demented shuffle. It takes me ages to get anywhere so I discover that sliding my feet along is quicker. Although it's quicker, I now look like a lunatic who is pretending to ice skate. That coupled with my unwashed hair and the furious muttering I notice people crossing over the road to avoid me.

When I return home I find Joe in a frenzy. He's bare foot and is clearly looking for something. No sooner have my Uggs fallen off my feet (size 7) he's snatched them up, popped them on his size 11's and gone upstairs.  I follow him and learn that for the last 3 weeks he has been wearing my Uggs as slippers.  Apparently they were 'snug' at first but they seem to have stretched a bit.

I quietly leave the room, find one of my wellies and beat him to a pulp with it.

The boys play a lot of COD. Apparently they're good at it. They can hit a zombie from half a mile away. They're also competitive, neither of them miss the bin when they throw things at it. When they pour themselves drinks they don't spill a drop. So this begs the question.....


Earlier, when I got out of my lukewarm bath I happened to look at the bathroom floor. I cleaned said floor on Wednesday, and properly mind you.  If you see my earlier blog you'll know it was bleached to within an inch of it life. So there I am, looking down and I'm horrified to see yellow stickiness on the floor around the toilet. I'm not one of life's optimists so I instantly rule out the chance that someone has been watching Aggie and Kim and realised that lemon juice is a smashing substitute for bleach.

I'm very well aware that what I'm looking at is urine. I'd call it something else but my parents read this blog so I really don't want to take the piss.  But there you have it, that's what it was. I get the mop and bucket and add lots of bleach and wash the floor then I have a moment of worry.


1) How will either of them be able to lead fully functioning lives if they're incapable of something as basic as hitting the toilet
2) What if their problems with accurately weeing is only the tip of the iceberg.  What if they start pooing on peoples floors. Should I make sure they carry dog poo bags everywhere with them.
3) Will I need to order some male pantie pads so that weeing can be done 'in house' and they won't need to bother with toilets at all

I'll probably just buy more bleach.

No wonder I drink!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

So its apparently the most wonderful time of the year.  Who said that?  Wait! I'm going to google it.......Right I'm not really any further forward, it would seem every tom, dick and harry with a microphone and a combover has had a bash at it, at some point or other, but Andy Williams seems to be most famous for it.  I've checked, and he's still alive, so I've invited said Andy Williams, King of so called Swing to swing by my house to experience our version of 'the most wonderful time of the year'.

OK, so I'm been off today, and because the schools, councils etc are striking both of the boys are off too. I wake full of some kind of pre-December Christmas joy and while I'm changing out of my sleeping jama's and into my cleaning jamas I decide that not only am I going to clean today, I'm going to put the Christmas decorations up.

  • Sleeping jamas - Seasonal. Summer - vest top, cotton trousers.  Winter - tshirt, fleecy bottoms (both interchangeable)
  • Feeling poorly downstairs jama's - may need to accept visitors in these so generally a matching set, preferably from next/M&S. Matching dressing gown desirable but not essential.
  • Christmas jamas - lovely/twee/cosy generally contain either cute picture (reindeer) or vaguely suggestive message 'i've been a naughty girl santa'.  Note if the latter, and unwell at Christmas change into the former, in the name of good taste
  • Entertaining/Sexy jamas - the kind of thing you wore before you threw up/gave birth in front of your other half. Basically don't bother, he's a dead cert.
  • Cleaning jamas - relegated from downstairs jamas, quite tatty and generally covered in bleach or gloss paint.
 I will admit that I wouldn't normally condone even considering putting up the Dec's until December (today is November 30th) however I took a magic sleeping pill last night, so I'm all well rested and possibly still slightly under the effect of the sedative. I must be to even consider the dreaded decoration horror day.

I clean upstairs, as I need to wait for Phil to come home for lunch to get everything out of the attic. Joe is still in bed, allegedly revising, which is highly unlikely unless he's somehow managed to work out how to do it while sound asleep and shouting about corned beef (As far as I'm aware he isn't taking a GCSE in corned beef however they do things very different these days).  I use one and a half bottles of bleach cleaning the bathroom.  Its impossible to enter the room without developing a burning feeling behind your eyes and a streaming nose. I take this as a sign that it's really clean.

Joe gets up at this point attempts to enter the bathroom but is repelled by the fumes. Then Phil comes home and instead of moaning about getting the Dec's out of the attic he positively skips up the ladders. I realise that he is delighted to be missing car crash decoration day.  He even brings all the boxes and bags downstairs. I am in the middle of telling him my plans for this years colour scheme/theme when I hear the front door slam and the car wheel spin out of the drive. Quite rude I think.

In films, or at least the kind I favour, the boys should be desperately excited to decorate the house ready for Santa's impending visit, however in this house there is no one to be seen. I consider the fact that it's because I haven't created a festive enough atmosphere, so I turn the computer on and pop on 'the best Christmas album in the world ever'.  With the haunting (whiny???) voice of Mariah Carey singing about all she wants for Christmas drifting around the house I set off in search of the boys. 

I check everywhere and am left with Joe's room. I go to push open the door but can't, it seems to be stuck.  I try again but nothing. I shout them, 'Joe, Syd, hurry up, its time to put the Dec's up'......nothing.  Again, but louder 'JOE, SYD, WE'RE PUTTING THE DECORATIONS UP.......' Still nothing....I'm getting a bit annoyed now, which isn't part of my plan for today. Today I am a Doris Day style super mummy, I will not lose my temper, throw anything or swear.

I consider shouting again until,

'Mam'. Its Joe, seemingly from right behind the door, 'Go away, we're not coming out'  Then Syd 'Yeah Mam, go away'......They're actually sat behind the door blocking my entry.

I'm quite irritated now. 'This is silly, now come out and help'.....Oh look! It's the organ-grinder Joe again, 'You just do it Mam, then we'll come down and say its nice'.....and here come's the monkey (aka Syd) 'yeah mam, we'll say it's nice'.

I'm annoyed but I still have my trump card, and I'm not above playing it.....'okay', I say, walking a few steps back, 'but I wouldn't want to think Santa found out you refused to put the decorations up'

'Nooooooooooooh' (that was Joe. He knows I've won)

Next comes Syd 'Let me out Joe, let me out, I need to help....JOE'

'She's tricking you' (Joe)
'Let me out' (Syd)
'Santa will still come' (Joe)
'LET ME OUT' (Syd)

The door opens, and much as in a hostage situation, Syd is shoved into the hall, before the door slams again.  As a resourceful mother I'm not above dirty tricks, so I pull out my super duper trump card. I lean into the door and say in a mock whisper.

'Thanks Syd, I thought while we put the tree up, we'd open that tin of celebrations.......' I then grab Syd and roll to safety, as Joe's door almost comes off the hinges....

'What needs doing mam'

So we start by sorting out the baubles. Within 10 seconds of the opening the box the boys are in a full blown bauble fight.  I shout for a bit and realise I'm getting nowhere, in fact I seem to whipping them into a full blown frenzy.  There are baubles bouncing off my head so I do the most responsible thing possible I SCREAM, COVER MY EYE AND FALL ON THE FLOOR.

So here am I, rolling about on the floor. There is still a volley of baubles flying above me, and I realise that they are completely ignoring me.  What I do next is still completely inexplicable to me. I shout:


Stupidly I expect that this will stop them from throwing baubles and rush to my aid, but oh no, they just speed up the volley of baubles so I do the only sensible thing open to me.

  • Stand up, take control and demand that they behave themselves
  • Calmly get up and walk out of the room, leaving them to it
  • Threaten to take away pocket money/xbox time/biscuits
  • Do something completely and frighteningly bizarre
This is me, so I immediately discount the first three and go for number four.  So what I do, is crawl under the ongoing bauble fight into the kitchen. I locate a bottle of red food colouring/cochineal and drip it into my eye.  It stings a bit but I persevere. Checking in the mirror it actually looks like my eyeball is bleeding. Excellent. I consider walking back into the room but believe that crawling may add to the effect, so dropping to my knees, I crawl back towards them.


This has gone too far. I could, should I choose to, return to the kitchen and wash my eye, it is actually stinging quite a lot now too. I probably should do the adult thing and just go in there and kick off a bit and get them to stop chucking baubles about. 

Despite my inner monologue/note to self I decide they deserve a shock so I decide to carry out my plan.  I crawl into the living room and plan to quietly wait for them to notice them. 

They don't. So instead I shout 'HELP, I CAN'T SEE OUT OF MY EYE!!!!!!' (What on earth is wrong with me!).  They both turn to look at me and all hell breaks out.  Syd screams the house down, Joe rushes over, Syd hot on his heels, and grabs my face.

Suddenly my stroppy, sulky 16 year old is Charlie Fairhead from Casualty.  He tells me to keep calm, he sends Syd for kitchen roll, which he wads up and presses to my eye. He then takes his phone out....APPARENTLY TO PHONE AN AMBULANCE.

Oh sweet jesus, I'm in too deep now. I was just playing a little joke on them, for being naughty earlier, now I'm pretending to be blind and apparently bleeding profusely from my blind eye. How do I get out of this.

  • Tell the truth
  • Lie
I decide to do neither, what I do instead is ask Joe to press down on the wadded kitchen roll over my eye, I moan a bit, then say he needs to remove it. Which he does. The kitchen roll is soaked with my blood (I know, I know,  I'm just really getting into this) and I blink like a newborn foal and proclaim that I can see again.....The boys hug me, high five etc.

I then give them a fiver to go to the shop for treats and put the decorations up myself.

Yes, truly the most wonderful time of the year.