Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The perils of proactivity

Friday was my lieu day. Lieu days don’t come often so I always feel like I have to make the most of them. The thought of wasting them fills me with dread yet often I do exactly that, waste them completely, watching day time TV, playing candy crush and snoozing.

So anyway Friday was not going to end up being wasted like all the other lieu days past. I was up by 7.30am, and once Syd was safely dispatched to school I realised I was actually feeling quite tired.

I decided to have a glass of juice and a sit down on the sofa to watch a bit of Jeremy Kyle, but I would only watch one ‘story’. Today I would only find out if Darren (takes crack, been to prison for inappropriate behaviour with a jack Russell) had pinched the child benefit off his girlfriend Courtney (shoplifts, sniffs cilit bang) before sleeping with Courtney’s sister, Donna-Marie (dependent on night nurse and tempazam, touches herself in public)

Anyway I must have reclined further than I intended because next thing I know its half past eleven and I’m being woken by my mother who has brought me some eggs (She is always buying me eggs that I didn't ask for. Do I look like the kind of woman who is incapable of buying her own eggs? Am I likely to pop out for a dozen eggs, find the task too confusing and return with a tin of emulsion and a sausage roll?).

The lecture that followed took up the best part of an hour, during which I regressed to childhood, tutting and biting my nails, I even put in a couple of well placed yawns. I won’t go into all the details however the main points were


      Days off are for cleaning/cooking/ironing/re-grouting your tiles not lying on the sofa looking at the ceiling/sleeping

      She had washed the windows, ironed two baskets of laundry (mine, whoops), prepared and stuffed a chicken and peeled 16 stone of potatoes before 7am this morning

      Despite what I think, you CAN tell my clothes are pyjamas, and I should get dressed as soon as I get up.

      I need to stop alternating between between being lethargic and hysterical because I’m reminding her too much of poor Andy (‘poor Andy’ was my parents neurotic toy poodle who was either sound asleep or weeing himself and biting people – they had him put down in 1978 – I need to be careful)

      My skirting boards are dusty, so are the tops of my picture frames (how upsetting for all my 7ft visitors)

      If I don’t ‘buck up my ideas’ Phil is almost certainly going to leave me for someone who hoovers her curtains once a week.

She only leaves once I promise to wash my paintwork down and repoint the garage.

Actually though, you know what, she does make a valid point. I have already wasted my morning by ‘being asleep’ when I was definitely meant to be ‘being awake’.

I should explain at this point I don’t live in a hovel. My house is clean, I hoover every day, the floors are washed every night, I clean my hob every day, bedding is changed every Saturday etc. However I could probably be a bit more proactive. Thinking about being proactive has given me a headache so I decide to take some paracetamol before I wash the paintwork down.

The ‘medical’ basket in my house is a thing of legend. People speak of it in whispered tones. It is, quite honestly, creaking with boxes and bottles of capsules and caplets. I decide that as my first job as a proactive person I will quickly sort it out before getting on with my other ‘useful’ jobs.

Two hours later and I’m sat on the living room floor and it actually looks like Glaxo has exploded. I started on the dining room table but it was too small (seats 8 comfortably – can only assume furniture ‘village’ is inhabited by smaller than average pixies) so I’ve moved to the living room. Now anyone who knows me and has read my blog knows that when it comes to flaws one of mine is that I’m slightly accident prone. A side effect of having an accident is that it brings with it pain. When you’re in pain they give you drugs. I have a LOT of accidents ergo I have even more drugs.

I have managed to sort them into 6 categories:

·         Painkillers

·         Sleeping tablets

·         Cold/flu/stomach

·         Anti-biotics

·         Miscellaneous

·         Possibly illegal/worth a lot of money

I really think with my medical box I could treat any combination of malady easily and successfully.  I briefly consider becoming some kind of modern day Florence Nightingale and taking to the streets to heal sick and needy.  I would obviously require some kind of ‘scrubs’ as pinafores/bust darts are only flattering if you’re size 10 or Doris Day (I am quite clearly neither)


·         Gout ridden insomniac’s

·         Premenstrual hay fever victims

·         Arthritis sufferers with a fear of gravy

·         Paranoid Schizophrenics with trapped wind

·         Sunburnt narcoleptics

·         Dogs

About the last one. My dog hasn’t been ill, well ill enough to require a visit to the vets in 5 years (relax dog police, she gets her jabs) because I have been treating any illnesses she has had myself from the medical box.  I’ve measured my success by the fact that she isn’t dead!

So the medical box is tidy and I’ve had a tramadol and some benylin just to cheer me up before I carry on being proactive.

I decide the next job that needs doing is cleaning the grout on the bathroom floor tiles. Being proactive I decide that I will not use ‘traditional’ cleaning products I will instead take a leaf out of Aggie and Kim’s book and use ‘store cupboard staples’ to clean the floor.  I google a few recipes while catching another ‘story’ on Jezza. I get temporarily distracted by it. Klayden (silly made up name, snorts vim) has tattooed his face with a compass and indian ink, a week before his wedding to Chantelle (recently arresting for weeing in new look changing rooms, eats her own hair) so she is refusing to marry him and instead threatening to enter into a ‘relationship’ with Chantalle (similar name, puts diazepam up her arse). Jeremy is livid with this lot. Saying ‘Madam’ a lot and demanding people look at whose name is actually on the wall. Anyway back to being busy and practical.

I find an old Tupperware in the kitchen and add some bleach, baking powder and an entire jiff lemon (We’re all organic round here!)  I’m very impressed by the fizzing, something that fizzes that much must be excellent at cleaning. I have an experimental sniff and for all its bleachy and lemony, it doesn’t smell like it might actually ‘ZAP’ dirt. I need an extra ingredient. I have a good scout about and find a full bottle of white wine vinegar give it a mix and have a good sniff...AND GO BLIND!

I can’t breathe! I’m choking! I think the Tupperware is melting. I might have already killed the dog.  I try to run but I can’t see and run into the fridge.  I finally make it through the living room into the street. I’m not sure but I don’t think there is skin on my face anymore. I have just basically waged chemical warfare on myself.

That is absolutely the last time I am being proactive.


Thursday, 6 June 2013

Re-light my fire!

Lately I have started to become aware of a new phenomenon.  As new phenomenon go, I find this one a bit creepy.  A bit like dressing animals up in human clothes or naming your genitals ‘Big Roger can’t wait to see Priscilla!’

This latest craze is something that seems to be happening everywhere, between couples who have been together since Madonna was still a woman.



That’s right!  Date night.  Going on a ‘date’ with your other half.  A date!  Imagine that!  Leaving the house, to go somewhere that isn’t work/the supermarket/the school run.  All alone. Without children, or dogs or children’s friends or random family members. 

As a lot of people I know seem to be jumping on the date night bandwagon I decided to do a bit of research into it.  The first thing I notice are the pictures of the couples accompanying the ‘date night’ articles.  These people are sitting on picnic rugs, and gazing into each others eyes, or leaning into each other in candlelit restaurant in a gesture that implies intimacy.   The last time Phil gazed into my eyes was to see if the stye I had was turning septic.


If what I’m reading is to be believed ‘date night’ will ‘rekindle all the romance we felt in the early days’.  The woman who wrote this article has clearly never met Phil.  The first time I invited him round for supper he brought me 8 cans of Stella and a pirate copy of reservoir dogs which had the backs of people’s heads getting up to go to the toilet every 2 minutes. Then he proceeded to pick every kidney bean out of the chilli I'd made before trying to shove his hand up my top.


However I’m obviously in a highly suggestible mood (I blame the cilit bang, I’ve noticed the fumes make me hallucinate) because the more I read the more I start to believe the hype.  I start to realise that I simply have to try a ‘date night’


I start to plan the date night (I have not told Phil about the date night.  I might not actually! I can’t find anywhere that actually says that you have to take your own husband on date night) 


I notice that there seems to be a certain format you have to follow if you want to have a successful date night.  If I follow the simple instructions I’ll be putting the ‘cherry on the top of the date night sundae’.  Somebody actually wrote that, they used those words. I consider explaining it to Phil in those exact words but I know he’d probably set the dog on me or leave me on the M1.


Laying the groundwork.

Apparently there is a lot to arrange, but first I need to invite my husband on said date night. I find him in front of the telly.  I sidle up to him in a way I believe to be seductive and he flinches.

When I ask him why he flinched he tells me he thought I was going to hit him.  HIT HIM! He thought I was intending to attack him!! Bash in his brains like Tracey Barlow! My first attempt at seduction and he behaves as if I have just come at him brandishing a lead pipe.

I decide he doesn’t deserve my subtle seduction skills and brusquely tell him that on Friday night we are going on a DATE and it will be ROMANTIC and he will ENJOY himself.  I take advantage of the fact that only seconds ago he was scared and use enough menace in my voice so he can’t refuse.

What to do on ‘date night’

Again I turn to the internet for suggestions.  Apparently the date itself doesn’t need to be a ‘date’ in the traditional sense (meal/too much wine/violent recriminations about the time he looked at your friend for 3 seconds too long) nor does it need to break the bank. I am encouraged to be creative and look for something fun and different.


The second website I find makes me laugh. I find each suggestion more hysterically funny than the last. I am literally hyperventilating with mirth and wishing I was only half as funny as the author of this article when suddenly I realise.


Jesus! It really is! It’s serious, and it’s suggesting that once a week (prescribed frequency of date night) myself and my husband set some time apart and do one of the following:


  • Throw a slumber party and have dinner in bed. ‘Have each other for desert’ (have visions of Phil in tiny silver underpants, holding two glasses of ‘fizz’ and calling me ‘bee-yooo-ti-ful lay-deeeee)
  • Attend a concert. Dance together and sing out loud to each other. (Oh goody, I’ll get us Lindisfarne tickets shall I?)

  • Sit face to face and draw sketches of each other, really study each others’ features. (I’ve played Pictionary with Phil. I already have a low enough self esteem without spending the days after he reveals my sketch believing myself to look like a shoe with eyes)


Another article tells me to ‘surprise him ‘as this might lead to ‘sexy results’.  There is clearly something seriously wrong with me because when I hear the words ‘sexy results’ I think of Frank Bough reading the pools naked.  Anyway....

I am urged to:

·         Slam him against a wall and give him a ‘deep French kiss’ -This is out of the question as I know he has a lose filling which I’m bound to end up swallowing.

·         Send him a rude text – Is ‘sometimes on a morning your breath smells like a drain’ rude enough?

  • Leave your bra off and give him a sexy glimpse of breast.  If I leave my bra off he’ll get a ‘sexy’ glimpse of nipple – from out of the bottom of my top. 

In the end I decide to do what the most sensible website I find suggests and go for food and do an activity.  Within minutes we are promised to be giggling like romantic teenagers unable to keep our hands off each other.


So on Friday we’re having mackerel sandwiches in Morrison’s Car Park before going cow pushing.