Tuesday, 9 November 2010

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Mother in possession of two children in school must be in want of a life. One that isn't virtual that is.
So dear readers it is with some regret that I close this blog and attempt to find some kind of existence beyond the four walls of my kitchen, one hopefully with more padding than this kitchen chair I've been sitting on for the last three years.
It's been wonderful knowing you all, I've made some great virtual and some non virtual friends, followed your adventures and laughed and cried with a lot of you.
Rest assured I will still be haunting your blogs, I'll just comment anonymously, just to keep you all guessing...
You'll forgive an old gal some indulgence won't you if I repost my four favourite ever posts? Call it nostalgia, call it blatant hooting about the glory years, call it plagiarism from the past. Whatever, just indulge me, there's a love.
So long,
MH xxxxxx

Things I have said To My Parents Today

  • Ooh thankyou
  • Happy early Christmas to you too
  • I like the wrapping
  • Shall I guess?
  • Ok
  • Err
  • Well it doesn't rattle
  • It's squareish
  • It's quite light
  • I'm guessing a book
  • Shall I open it?
  • Excellent
  • I wonder what it is
  • Yes I was right, a book
  • Sex As You Age?
  • Sex As You Age?
  • What do you mean I'm quite welcome?
  • It may well have got you through some tough times
  • But I'm in my thirties
  • My Thirties
  • I'm not aging
  • Or in need of an elderly person's sex manual
  • Oh crikey
  • There's notes in the margin
  • Especially for me?
  • Was this your book?
  • Dad please don't say Ours like that
  • While putting your arm round mum
  • Because I'm holding your sex manual
  • And sitting next to you
  • And trying desperately to think of something pleasant
  • And Christmassy
  • And not look at the chapter entitled Arthritis Of The Knee And You
  • Dad
  • Stop winking at mum
  • Put your hands where I can see them
  • Both of you
  • I'm taking away the sherry
  • No you can't have it back at bedtime
  • Because we're in the room next to you
  • And I can see you've put your knee bandage on
  • Yes of course safety comes first
  • But so does your daughter's mental health
  • I'm sure you do have a book on that too
  • But really
  • No more books OK
  • Because my nerves can't take it
  • No thanks
  • I don't want my other present
  • Because it looks suspiciosly like a pot of chocolate
  • And a box of knee bandages

Things I Have Said To My Husband Today

  • Ooh, yes I'd love a night out tonight
  • What do you mean just you?
  • But I do like them
  • I love Pokey, Stu and Bucket Head
  • Oh
  • Right
  • Of course I want you to have a good night
  • I know Pokey, Stu and Bucket Head don't have girlfriends
  • Apart from each other
  • Nothing, sorry
  • I didn't say anything I just coughed
  • Will you be coming home after?
  • Are you sure you don't want to stay at Pokey, Stu and Bucket Head's
  • Yes of course I want you to come home
  • Well you only have to sleep in the spare room if you snore
  • I know you snore when you're drunk
  • So you're guaranteeing that you're going to snore?
  • Well then it'll have to be the spare room
  • Because I have to get up with the children
  • What do you mean where will Pokey, Stu and Bucket Head sleep?
  • Invited them here?
  • After a night in the pub?
  • Hmm
  • Well OK then
  • Could you just make sure you all throw up in the toilet?
  • I know there was a queue but the wok's just never been the same
  • OK I'll put buckets out
  • Send my love to Pokey, Stu and Bucket Head

Husband Flu

This post was going to be entitled 'man flu', not very original I know but could we really get through the Winter without reporting on this annual epidemic of such grave proportions that it results in so many near death encounters? Indeed it would be scandalous to ignore it, heartless even when we consider just how much our men folk have been through.

Luckily none of them, despite predictions, assurances (promises even) and some evidence to the contrary, have passed away. We emerge once again unscathed by such suffering (them), and a little scathed by such ministering (us) and of course the worry.

Husband's flu started about the time he first needed to blow his nose. It was a scary moment obviously, something was wrong with him, he might even feel poorly or, heaven's above need to go to the doctor's. In fact if a visit to The Scary Man was nigh the best thing to do, of course, was to take himself to bed and nurse himself until he was completely better to avoid such an encounter.

The best thing about me, thought Husband, is that I make absolutely no fuss, in fact no one will even know I'm here. Unless I get really ill you understand. Yup, I understood. He sat in bed like a small boy in an Enid Blyton story, special striped pyjamas on (kept from his childhood and saved for the really serious cases), knees drawn up and duvet up to his chin. There was a weak smile as I entered the sick room with a cup of tea which he bravely sipped while quite hot. I had blown on it like he'd asked, but still, it was brave. I placed a box of tissues on the bedside table and a bucket as requested just in case. Then I duly went downstairs for the forgotten items (hot water bottle, Lemsip, cough drops and a newspaper in case his head felt up to reading). Yes, he was a little trouper, no one but me knew he was ill, and he was nursing himself through it in his own way. Of course he was too ill to get up and actually nurse himself, so I had to do it but the thought was there, he whispered weakly.

It was a long afternoon for him, tea made his nose runnier so warm honey was duly administered, the hot water bottle was tricky to keep at just the right temperature despite him checking it on his thermometer, and the TV just wasn't up to scratch. He got through it somehow and struggled to bedtime managing a bowl of soup and chocolate pudding before checking the water bottle temperature and falling asleep next to me, exhausted.

In bed that night he proceeded to groan as loudly as possible and thrash about wildly as he tried to deal with his flu. Every nose blowing event was performed accompanied by an expletive and a comment on how much he wasn't sleeping and how long to go until I had to get up. If I had managed to go to sleep between these events then I was sure to be awoken by loud retching noises away from the bucket as a demonstration of what might possibly happen were he to feel sick and I had missed the warning signs.

By 2am I had had enough, he'd only used up one tissue all day and the 'sweat' patches were really spilled Lemsip. Risking a lifetime of references to my uncaring nature and pub near-death stories that I had no authority to refute so he could embellish at will, I moved to the spare room. I did explain to him why, but all he could reply was that he could see a bright light and should he go towards it?

The dread of a cold bed and having to clean the guest sheets tomorrow were no deterrent to the thought of a decent few hours before getting up with the children. It was bliss, heaven, worth the lifetime's condemnation. For a while. He missed me you see, it may be his last night of sleeping next to me and wouldn't it be lovely to savour the moment? I felt the bed springs sink as he dragged himself into bed beside me. The groanings were louder this time although giving him the warm bit of the bed went some way to soothing them. The retching continued until the bucket was brought from our room and then almost ceased. We watched dawn rise together thankful that he'd survived the night.

I sent him to the doctors the next day, tail between his legs, deaf to his protestations that all he needed was a few more days of TLC. He emerged from the surgery triumphant and euphoric. The doctor had sympathised, hadn't asked him to remove any clothing and best of all given him a prescription for Strepsils.

One Day

One day I will have a small car again. One that only fits me and the occasional passenger and is clean, shiny and hand print free at all times.

One day I will go with my husband on a second honeymoon (for two), wake with the sun high in the sky, get ridiculously and dizzyingly drunk at lunch time and go straight to bed until the next morning.

One day my house will stay the way I left it, not mysteriously mess up the minute I turn my back.

One day I will pop out to the shops - and I mean pop - and be finished in five minutes. I may even treat myself to a basket rather than a trolley-for-three and queue up giddily in the baskets only aisle.

One day I will go to all the shops in my village and buy elegant things for dinner, stopping to chat or for a coffee at leisure. I will be able to fit myself (because there is only myself and no pram) into every tiny specialist shop, smug and happy that I'm 'buying locally'.

One day I will have a cup of tea during nap time without the tension that someone may wake at any minute and ruin the moment. In fact I may even have a set cup-of-tea-time that I adhere to religiously just because I can.

One day my children will refer to me as That Mad Old Bat or The Parental Guidance rather than Mummy Can I Have and I will be pleased at my eccentricities and lack of responsibility.

One day I will actually go on a 'date night' (ha ha ha, did anyone really believe they would ever get to do that?) with my husband without the little knot of tension that everything's alright at home.

One day my kitchen will be my own, the high chair, mini chair-and-table set and play mat will be gone and I will dance a waltz with my husband around our own elegant dining table in all the space.

One day my day will end when I want it to, possibly as late as 11pm, rather than at 3pm when I start thinking about school pick up and tea.

One day evenings will be for relaxing, possibly a glass of wine or even the cinema, not getting-ready-for-the-morning, ironing, sandwiches and signing notes.

One day I will sleep all night long without nightmares/coughs/toilets/monsters to wake me.


One day the house will be ever so quiet, I will be able to whisper to myself and hear the echo.

One day strangers won't smile at me on the street, pause and say; isn't she/he lovely, envious of my status, my life, my treasures.

One day I won't get up to two smiling faces, ever so pleased that I'm awake and ready to play.

One day the worry will be further away and thus more scary and less controllable.

One day my tea break will be interrupted by the phone ringing, and it will be one of the children and I shall be very very glad.

One day my heart won't burst with pride every morning just for the existence of another human being.

One day the feeling of a tiny hand slipping into mine, skipping and pulling at it while I go, will be a distant, precious memory hard to grasp and pin down.

One day tiny clothes and underwear that are so cute your heart skips will be missing from my washing line, my ironing pile.

One day I will wish for little cold feet and snuffly noses to creep into bed with me. I may even wake in the night thinking they have only to find it was a dream.

One day I won't be a hero, a queen, the focus and meaning in my children's lives. Just an ordinary person living invisibly.

One day life will be for filling, but not necessarily fulfilling, not in the same way anyway.

Until grandchildren.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Position Of The Month

These were my resolutions this week: Be Useful, Get A Job, Make A Difference. It's now Friday and I've just finished all the facebooking I needed to do and eaten the Halloween sweets that I hid from the kids so I really ought to get down to some work. Thank God it's the weekend tomorrow, I'm bushed.
Talking of bushed, I did come across something the other day that may solve all three problems in one, fancy that! And with very little effort (my favourite kind of job).
I was flicking through one of my (pre teen) cousin's magazines and there, in full blazing glory was a column entitled 'Position Of The Month.' This is not, dear puritan readers, an illustration of a likely position in order to prevent backache during long exams, or even, oh naive one, of a useful career position, one that includes the word doctor or lawyer. Of no, this was as in sex position, you know, like the one Playboy runs, they must have stolen the idea the swines. Note to Mr Heffner: please sue pre teen magazines before they steal any more of your ideas, (also personal note: please buy longer dressing robe type thing, I can see your willy every time you wear it, many thanks).
Obviously I'm not shocked, of course I wasn't, I'm a woman of the world, a pre teen me read Bunty and Twinkle, well, now they've grown up. I did think though, that therein I may not only find my new career, but also a way to be useful. You see, these pictures were of real life couples in certain ahem, positions. Well, I could do that! Easily. Just watch (or not, there's no test at the end of this).
I could pitch to the magazine a brand new column, one entitled 'Labour Positions Of The Month', this dear readers would not only earn me a bit of money and find a use for my now defunct vagina, but it would also contribute significantly to the lowering of the teenage pregnancy rate. The thought of stuffing a doll up there, even if it was good for the nation, puts me off a little but still, you've got to take the rough with the smooth (as I shall wisely tell the nation's teenage girls).
Think about it - it's genius (and please forget all the other genius things I've proposed on this blog, this is the Real Deal, I'm in the zone!), money and usefulness for me, less babies for the under thirteens! It's brilliant! It's marvellous! It's something I may have to persuade Husband about.
But still, I'm sure he'll come round, especially when I tell him about the awards I've been given, one's for services to humanity and all that. They could even put my labour pictures on milk cartons and things like they do with missing kids in America, that'll put them off their coco pops/copulation/dolls.
It is indeed an idea for Humanity, one that may yet get me the knighthood I feel I so deserve. In fact if any of you feel the need, nay, the urge to nomintae me next time you see the queen please do, be sure to mention the milk carton idea.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Thirty Nine Reasons Not To Get A Cat

  1. Because you already have a dog
  2. A mental one
  3. With a possible eating disorder
  4. Who still hasn't forgiven you for removing his balls
  5. Or calling him Twizzle
  6. They eat food that smells like a toilet
  7. They have a toilet in your kitchen
  8. Even the dog isn't allowed a toilet in the kitchen
  9. Even Husband isn't allowed a toilet in the kitchen
  10. Despite what he thinks
  11. You are expected to clean up their toilet
  12. Never ever Husband
  13. They sleep on your feet peacefully
  14. Until you are asleep
  15. Then they eat your head
  16. Never ever Husband's head
  17. Who insists you are paranoid
  18. They need their gonads removing
  19. They have spent the night locked in the kitchen with the dog
  20. Who has had his gonads removed
  21. And told them the whole sorry tail
  22. And pointed out that animals are the only males in the household to have their gonads removed
  23. Husband still has to get his done
  24. Despite what he may think
  25. They attempt to mate each other
  26. They are brothers
  27. They attempt to mate the dog
  28. Which is ill advised
  29. Just ask next door's cat
  30. Once his head brace is removed
  31. They never ever come when you call them
  32. They do what suits them
  33. They look at you with contempt
  34. They eat all your food
  35. And never thank you
  36. They resemble the rest of the family
  37. Because you would have liked a parakeet
  38. One that said thankyou
  39. And maybe came with gonads pre removed

Friday, 8 October 2010

Things I Have Said To My Husband Today

  • Uuggghhhhhh
  • Huh?
  • Oh
  • Hi darling
  • Did you have a good night?
  • A very good night from the looks of it
  • Ummmm
  • Darling
  • It's 2am
  • I'm asleep
  • Night
  • Errr
  • Sweetheart
  • Can you move the kebab off my pillow?
  • That one
  • That kebab
  • The one spilling ketchup everywhere
  • Oh
  • Right
  • That's really kind of you
  • Thankyou
  • Yes I love my kebab
  • It's really kind of you
  • I do appreciate it
  • It's just that it's 2am
  • Can't I eat it in the morning?
  • I do love you
  • Yes I really do feel how much you love me
  • I do want the kebab
  • I love you and I love the kebab
  • I do hear how much you love me
  • Yes I really really love you too
  • I do mean it
  • I do appreciate the kebab
  • Ok just one bite
  • because I love you
  • See?
  • I love you
  • Because I'm sitting up at 2am eating a cold kebab
  • Did you have a great night?
  • How were Pokey, Stu and Bucket Head?
  • Oh good
  • Any sign of a girlfriend?
  • Or a shower?
  • Oh
  • Never mind
  • Did you hear that noise?
  • That noise
  • That scraping sound
  • It's what?
  • What?
  • Here?
  • Pokey, Stu and Bucket Head
  • Well where have you put them
  • Outside our door?
  • On the floor
  • So they can hear everything

Things I Have Said To Pokey, Stu And Bucket Head Tonight

  • Errr
  • Hi Guys
  • Good night?
  • Excellent
  • Excellent
  • Oh thanks
  • Yes lovely
  • I'm really glad you thought to bring me a kebab
  • Yummy
  • I am eating it
  • Yes I love my kebab
  • And I love you all
  • Yes I can feel how much you all love me
  • Yes I love you too
  • Even you Bucket Head, yes
  • Um
  • Well
  • It's just
  • Could I ask that you all put some clothes on?
  • Left them where?
  • Well yes,
  • It was very thoughtful
  • No I wouldn't have liked muddy clothes walking through the house
  • Leaving them outside was a good idea, yes
  • It's just
  • Well
  • Maybe you could have remembered to take your shoes off too
  • And left your pants on

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Thirty Two Ways To Get Your Boot Camp Instructor To Give You Ten Press Ups

  1. Pretend not to hear when he yells through his loud speaker
  2. Call a taxi mid session
  3. Offer everyone free Starbucks if they stage a sit in with you
  4. Complain
  5. About Anything
  6. Even lack of refreshments
  7. Especially about lack of refreshments
  8. Refuse to 'wake your butt' by slapping it vigorously and with passion
  9. Enquire about the need for passion when slapping butt
  10. Refuse to slap your butt in front of three teenage boys
  11. Joke about slapping other people's butts
  12. Slapping other people's butts
  13. Making up what you ate last night
  14. Arguing that chocolate is raw and therefore counts
  15. Agreeing to work hard and smirking
  16. Smirking
  17. Laughing when doing the plank
  18. Talking when doing the plank
  19. Telling jokes when doing the plank
  20. Not concentrating when doing the plank
  21. Not taking the plank seriously
  22. Doing the plank badly
  23. Failing in plank performing
  24. Bringing gin to a session
  25. Swapping instructors Evian for gin
  26. Laughing at gin spitting
  27. Producing tonic water
  28. And an ice bucket
  29. Taking a picture of instructor swigging gin
  30. Refusing to hand over your camera
  31. Posting gin swigging on facebook
  32. Writing expose stylee blog posts

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Get Over Here So I Can Kick Your Ass Personally

OK guys, I've signed up for a Bootcamp. At the risk of being accused of attention seeking (moi?) I'm going to give you another chance to read that sentence in lots of little dramatic sentences: I've. Signed. Up. For. Bootcamp. Did you hear me at the back? Audible gasps please and a change of background scenery if you will, to one befitting GI Jane et al, complete with abs you could mistake as breasts. Because that's going to be me! Me! With breast abs and everything. Just imagine, Husband won't know whether to jump me or milk me (a gross too far? Sorry mum).
I still can't quite believe I've done it. I mean, I am far, far away from the ab thing (I won't mention the breast thing again, a case of over milking the cow don't you think?), about several vats of Chardonnay and hours of Oprah reruns away. If I ever do attempt any sort of exercise, and sitting down and standing up count, I only succeed in making everyone else gasp at their own relative super-fitness as I stagger behind sounding like an asthmatic wombat. I did once (once) drag my sorry soggy arse (Americans that's Ass to you, I put it in the title to help, sometimes I'm all heart) on a 5Km race only for it to take so long that the bin men picked me up on their rounds the next morning. By now you're getting the gist: Me+Exercise=Diseased Wombat+Soggy Arse, not an equation I would like to foist on any adolescent maths class.
So I'm quite pleased with myself really, it really shows determination and forward thinking doesn't it? In fact, I'm positively a forward planner, gasp at my organisational skills! Marvel at my strength of character! Envy my multi tasking endeavors! (you have to move arms and legs together you know). In short, this is a fantastic achievement for me.
Obviously I have yet to start the bootcamp, the first session is on Thursday, but still, it says a lot about how far I've come surely?
And I promise I'm going to do it, every week and everything, not least because I've paid £97 for the privilege. Yup, mouths closed please, £97 of my hard earned cash. £97 for someone to kick my ass, and it's not hard to miss; it's been used in emergencies to hold up dams.
I have paid someone to shout at me, make me run around outside, get me muddy, sweaty, laugh at my nail varnish, and generally abuse me in much the manner of a psycho. I have, in short, rented a psycho, one who I plan to meet alone at 8.30am (this just gets better and better doesn't it) in the park. Reading this back I conclude astutely that this may not have been my brightest moment.
Not only all of the above, but psycho shouting person has furnished me with a welcome pack. Do not be fooled dear reader as I was that this welcome pack includes anything so welcoming as a cheery hello or a lighthearted suggestion that I go shopping post haste for some shiny new exercise gear. Crikey they didn't even throw in a free chocolate bar, surely, surely the cornerstone of any great welcome pack?
But oh no, this welcome pack contained a five page diatribe of all things I have to give up: food, chocolate, alcohol, sex, (joke, Husband, joke) during the next four weeks, and all the things I'm expected to do: exercise, not ask questions, run at the double, cry only when instructed and keep an honest food diary.
Which is my sticking point to be honest, I mean how on earth am I expected to keep an honest food diary without lying? I'm working hard on it obviously in case I starve but really, why include the word honest? It's just more abuse as far as I'm concerned, why can't they just say keep a food diary then I can write whatever I like. In fact I'd keep Paula Radcliffe's diary, that'd impress them, think how much praise I'd get for that; they may even furnish me with a medal, Oprah would have me on her sofa, I'd jump up and down on it vigorously shouting "I love it! I LOVE it! Then everyone would know I had a film to promote and go and see it. I'd then have a baby that looked like Katie Holmes and all would be right with the world. See where lying gets you? A Hollywood career and a pretty baby that's where.
Anyway, I've been working through the night and I think I can wing it; I can call chips potato (which is good for you, baked, no butter), ice cream could be frozen fruit dessert (I will put fruit on the chocolate midnight cookie ice cream), dairylea sandwiches could be savory protein spread on wholemeal bread (I will put some wholemeal flour on the white bread), mayonnaise could be egg and olive oil smoothie, wine could be organic grape juice (I will buy organic wine) and pizza could be finest Italian bread with sieved tomatoes and savory protein.
But chocolate? Cake? I'm all out of ideas.
So here's the competition: the best viable alternative names for chocolate and cake wins a picture of me participating at bootcamp*. It'll be worth it I swear**

*may not be picture of author
**not a guarantee