Thursday, 17 December 2009

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

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Hot and Mothered

My dad has gone away.
This is a rare occurrence, he's as attached to his tweed arm chair and over head projector slides as Husband is to his balls (due to be removed soon har har). He's gone to a potato convention. That's right, a potato convention. He found the advert in the back of a seed catalogue and hasn't been so excited about anything since Barry from next door entered a dodgy cauliflower in the Best Cauliflower competition:
He hasn't got a chance the silly bugger, he strained to me from the corner of his mouth, breathing heavily in an attempt to supress his excitement,
the fool's deluded, I mean, look at it, it's almost as bad as his tomatoes. The silly buggery fool. You get the gist.
Anyway, Dad being away means Trouble (you note the capital T), because My Mother loses all focus, actually she loses every bit of focus she has: My Dad. No focus means a whirling dervish with nothing to whirl around. Who if not my dad will listen to the tirades about Shirley-The-Competition and her latest attempts to out wit My Mother in the Church league? Who tastes the sauces and exclaims with practised ease delicious dear, I don't know how you do it. Who acknowledges the hourly missives regarding paired socks (pin each pair together before washing to prevent loss), eating over cooked cheese (worse than death apparently, I have a feeling she's got a shock coming one of these days), saving empty butter wrap in the fridge for no apparent reason at all, hand washing clothes and then putting them in the washing machine (it's not thorough enough) and wiping the dog's bottom because he's practically human? My dad, that's who, I have a lot to thank him for.
But not this week because he's gone to this bloody potato convention. He set off with several examples of the potatoes he grows wrapped in bubble wrap and placed delicately in a briefcase. He looked like MI5 were developing a top secret potato based listening device and he had been bestowed the honour of providing Just The Right Potato. He even took his own spade because you can't buy them like this nowadays, i.e. with a long handle and a square spade on the end.
Anyway, where was I? Aha, yes, My Mother, I remember now because she's standing behind me, fiddling for her glasses and squinting at the screen. I haven't seen her, but I can feel the criticism cloud building as I type. Best type fast then.
As you have probably guessed, the whirling dervish has landed squarely on my doorstep. Approximately 32 minutes after my dad left for the station, My Mother let herself in to my house with a key that I have never given her (How? How? How did she do it?).
Hello Darling she trilled excitedly as she surveyed all the criticism potential hovering in the hallway, it looks like I've come just in time, pass me a duster would you and we're definitely going to need some bleach for the light shades.
She's here. To stay. And won't go away until my dad comes home which is in forty eight hours (2880 minutes/172800 seconds). She's washed all the curtains (full of bacteria), swept the ceilings (a hive of bacteria), bathed the dog (a bacteria factory), scrubbed the bath down (full of dog bacteria) and cleaned out the cheese tray (cheese is mouldy and therefore bacteria filled).
Last night I woke up to find her cleaning out under my eyelids with a toothpick before giving Husband a quick go down with the disinfectant.
Ok, so I can cope with a clean house, and I am nicely pleased with my clean Husband, but she has got to go. I'm going to get the Potato Convention to page my dad and say I've spotted blight. On his potatoes. Give me two minutes.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Things I Have Said To My Husband Today

  • Hmmm
  • What is it?
  • Well let me have a look then
  • Hold still
  • Don't complain all day and not let me look
  • Pull them down a bit more
  • Ok
  • Hmmmm
  • Er
  • Well it looks like a rash
  • Has it been chaffing?
  • Well it looks like it has
  • I'm well aware that it's itchy
  • Nobody could have escaped the fact that it's itching
  • Please don't scratch while I'm down here
  • It's been a week now I think
  • Judging from when the itching started
  • Why don't you put some cream on?
  • We have
  • In the cabinet
  • If it works for nappy rash it'll work for this
  • It's not bum cream it's for rashes
  • No I don't think you need something extra strength from the doctor
  • Because it's just a rash
  • Well I think it's just from sweat
  • No, I don't think you're ill
  • Or that it's life threatening
  • Have you ever heard of death by rash?
  • What do you mean Pokey, Stu and Bucket Head say it could happen?
  • You let them look at your bum rash?
  • Why?
  • Why would they have any insight?
  • Are they medically trained?
  • Specialists in rashes?
  • Have any knowledge at all of rash related deaths?
  • Pokey had one?
  • One like this?
  • Oh
  • Well what did the doctor say?
  • His pants?
  • Well how often did he change them?
  • Do you only change your pants once a week?
  • Oh good
  • But every few days isn't good enough
  • Every day
  • Yes, every day
  • Most people do
  • It's not obsessive
  • Or girly
  • Most normal people change everyday
  • Pokey, Stu and Bucket Head are not normal
  • Because they're forty four and live together
  • And only eat bacon
  • And still have a wok in their garden
  • That Bucket Head used as a toilet
  • That's not normal.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Oh Glory Be

Ok, so I covered myself in glory on Saturday night. Glory I tell you. Award winning glory, glory worthy of Husband tutting and shaking his head. When Husband tuts and shakes his head at your inebriated state you know you're in trouble, and any sensible person would hot foot it to the taxi rank, pour themselves into a cab and attempt to get themselves home.
But no. I'm not sure why or how, but for some reason after a small barrel of wine my brain doesn't begin to shut down and home in on water and ways to get home to bed sharpish, oh no, my brain takes on a whole new personality and begins to think it's Madonna. Forget my two left feet, forget the three inch heels, forget the poise, the elegance, the stomach-in-shoulders-back stance I have been studiously practising all evening, I am Madonna. Forget also the good impressions I had been cultivating, the attempt at witty repartee, intelligent head nods and discreet laughter, fielding tricky questions with a light hand and clever twist. I am Madonna. I can dance (in three inch stilettos), I can sing, I am sexy and above all everybody (everybody.) wants to see me perform.
This is the point where I become Material Girl and move seamlessly from try-hard dinner companion to all singing all dancing queen of the evening, and there is absolutely nothing anybody can do about it. Not only that, but Material Girl is not shy, not a wallflower bone in her body and Material Girl absolutely and utterly has to have a stage. Any stage will do, but even better if it's up with the band, because Material Girl deserves a stage, needs a stage and knows that her performance will be the highlight of the evening.
Material Girl also thinks she is sexy, very sexy indeed, and that every dance move she makes with her forgotten two left feet is sexy too. And she thinks that mouthing all the words to the songs impresses everybody, and that suddenly three inch stilettos are easy peasy to dance in and refuses to remove them because it's not professional. She also thinks that every other person on the dance floor is watching her in impressed awe wishing beyond words that they could perform with such effortless sexiness while simultaneously holding a bottle of wine aloft and mouthing all the words to Hi Ho Silver Lining. I mean, how does she do it? they're all thinking, brains, long lyric remembering skills and sexy, we might as well give up and just watch her. Material Girl knows this and dances even more sexily and requests encores of the songs she knows best. Material Girl fights hard not to be dragged off the stage by Husband and instead shows him exactly why he was so lucky to marry her in the first place.
Except last Saturday night.
You see there was a wire, one teeny little wire attached to the guitar stolen from the lead guitarist that Material Girl was playing with incredible skill and dexterity, as well as managing to sing the entire bridge of Show Me The Way To Amarillo (such talent). But as I said, there was a wire, a wire that wrapped her feet and snaked slowly to her ankles before tightening suddenly and upending Material Girl, gashing her shin with the sharp sticky out bits.
Alas, Material Girl was no more, she was taken sheepishly and gingerly to casualty and sat as the doctors sniggered as Husband explained in what can only be described as intense detail exactly how the injury had been sustained.
Poor Material Girl I hear you all thinking, and you'd be right. Thankyou for your compassion as I sit here tapping away, leg swathed in bandage, brain ticking away trying to think of an entirely un-alcohol related reason for the injury to recount to my parents. Thankyou for what I know will be only kind and understanding comments in the comments section as my unshaveable leg grows hairier than next door's dog. And thankyou also for paying tribute to the last ever performance of Material Girl.
I hope you're proud of me.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


So, the more observant among you will notice that this blog has had a facelift, those who didn't pick up on the subtle changes IF YOU CAN'T READ THIS GET SOMEONE TO READ IT TO YOU AND THEN BOOK AN APPOINTMENT AT THE OPTICIANS. I say this because there is nothing subtle about the changes. No siree.
It is, in a nutshell a complete and utter face lift. Not for me the discreet trip to Switzerland to visit family for a month to return visibly refreshed in an indescribable way, scars hidden behind the comments section and under the blog archive, a little nip of the font, a tuck of the colour scheme. I didn't even bother to pretend to be away anywhere. In true blogger dedication I continued to post while the changes were underway. That's how dedicated I am to you all. The phone company should take note and perhaps book me for a seminar. I'm reassuringly expensive.
And I did think that it was about time I had a photo of myself up there, and this is exactly how I look, every day. I always think it important to wear pearls and an alice band whatever the weather, and this photo proves me right. There I was minding my own business the other day, taking a perfectly baked cherry pie out of the oven, when a photographer came to the door complete with a blue background and snapped me unawares. I mean, how often does that happen? Rarely, I tell you, which is why it's important to accessorise even when alone in the house baking.
Can you imagine what would have happened if I hadn't had such exacting standards? It just doesn't bear thinking about. Imagine a morning of screaming children, slippers, poached egg covered dressing gown, last night's eyeliner, bed hair, bored dog humping your leg and a photographer at the door with a blue background. Then what would I have done about a blog photo, probably picked wildly and ended up with some stupid laughing horse, or something.
Anyway, I'm glad you get to see me as I really am, and let this be a sage lesson to you. You never know when a photographer is going to come to your door, best have the good china out just in case. You have been warned.

ps I don't usually do tags, mainly because I am incapable but Husband has promised to help. The design was done by Jennisa, who was just fab and deserves a (working) tag here.

pps If it doesn't work, Husband did it.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Things I Have Said To My Husband Today

  • It's salmon
  • Salmon
  • Fish
  • You do like fish
  • You do
  • Well you like it from the fish and chip shop
  • That is fish
  • Cod is fish
  • Well why do they call it a fish and chip shop?
  • It's not just an old fashioned name
  • It's called fish and chips because that's what they serve
  • So you believe me?
  • That cod is a fish?
  • So you like fish
  • Well then you like salmon
  • What's wrong with pink fish?
  • It's not a bit girly
  • Pretend it's cod dyed pink
  • Thankyou, now eat it up
  • If you play with it it'll get cold
  • And I can see you hiding it under the cabbage
  • And behind the broccoli
  • I'm not stupid
  • Or blind
  • Look just try one mouthful and if you don't like it leave it
  • Great
  • Pretending to gag is so mature
  • Please stop gagging
  • And holding your throat
  • And gesturing to the toilet
  • And attempting to dial 999

Things I Have Said To The 999 Operator Today

  • Oh hello
  • I'm so so sorry
  • It was a mistake
  • No not the children
  • Or the dog
  • Well, my Husband
  • He doesn't like his fish
  • Salmon
  • I'm glad you sympathise
  • Oh, with him, I see
  • No he's not ill
  • Err
  • Well I suppose he is gagging
  • But he's pretending
  • Yes I'm sure
  • Because he does this every time I give him peas
  • And porridge
  • And sometimes if my Mother comes over
  • Yes he is quite dramatic
  • Yes I suppose he could go on the stage
  • Oh sorry
  • Is that better?
  • I just had to leave the room
  • All the gagging was stopping me hearing you
  • No he's in the toilet
  • Gagging and pretending to throw up
  • Yes he will stop in a bit
  • When I give him some ice cream
  • I'd better get it hadn't I
  • Sorry again for wasting your time
  • Yes, I agree no more salmon

Monday, 12 October 2009

Rub A Dub Dub

Can someone please explain to me the rules regarding using a communal jacuzzi? I don't mean one of those hot tubs that people place thoughtlessly in the supposedly hidden area of their gardens. The ones which once night has fallen envelopes the users with such a misguided degree of privacy that they run from the house, giggling, dressed only in a towel to wallow the night away in champagne. The ones where the champagne takes over and amorous pursuits become, well amorous, and they forget momentarily that since the hot tub was installed the neighbour has invested in a night vision telescope. If only they would google their address they would find a virtual diary of their fondling on Youtube. Sorry if that scares you hot tub owners, but still, you pays your money you takes your clothes off.
No, I mean the ones at spas and gyms, the ones large enough to house thirty wallowers dressed in nothing but glorified underwear, thirty wallowers all pretending to be the Only Wallower and studiously ignoring the other twenty nine. Thirty wallowers pretending to have absolutely no idea that another twenty nine semi naked people are sharing their bath.
I mean, it doesn't make sense does it? If a big fat hairy man walked into your bathroom and sat down in a bubble bath with you wearing nothing but his underpants you'd at least say hello wouldn't you? Or ask him if he'd like a little more warm water? Anything to be polite really and show him you're au fait with sharing a bath with him, despite thinking you may have seen him on crimewatch but you can't be sure when he's wearing just his pants.
You may even attempt a polite conversation about his underpants or efficient chest hair removal creams (come on, it's all he's giving you). I mean, he's in your bath, he must be comfortable with himself, or perhaps you're a bit of a people pleaser and find yourself offering the non tap end and a bit of a go with the loofa. Either way you'd have a stab at something wouldn't you.
But no, not in a communal jacuzzi. You just sit there like a large potato enjoying the pleasant bubble sensation maybe, but otherwise staring at the ceiling, looking anywhere (anywhere!) other than at the other bathers. Nobody speaks and nobody (shudder) touches. Why bother? Why not just go home and take a bath with your electric whisk? Same pleasant bubbly thing, lots more places to look at than the ceiling. Everybody wins (although explaining the electric whisk thing to Husband could be tricky, especially if he thinks it's a Large Hint and next time you're in bed produces a spatula and a chef's hat with a large flourish. This never happened)
It's not only that you have to convince yourself and the others that they don't exist, but (and here comes the difficult bit) you then have to extricate yourself from your bath without arrousing the suspicions of the Other Wallowers that you have indeed been taking a bath with them. You've been lying back thinking that you look like you're contemplating dreamily the finer points of Brecht's non illusory theatre, but really you're plotting how to remove yourself with decorum, which is tricky. I mean, there's the whole gauntlet to be run without touching anyone at all in any way, there's the lifting yourself out, complete with nonchalant air about being seen in all your cellulite glory, the studied walk to your towel as you will yourself to un wobble and flex any muscle that may be in a position to, well flex. Oh the shame that the only firm one is attached to your wine drinking arm, everything else screams sofa, Sunday night drama, chinese takeaway, pizza, sex in one position and fungal toe.
Is there some sadistic genetic thing that regular jacuzzi users have that I've been born without? I really don't know, but I'm going to find out. I'm going to the gym spa every day this week, I'm going to ask every user if they have a sadisitc tendency, I'm sure they won't mind, they like bathing together after all. Wish me luck.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Cricket: A Lesson In Being British*

For the last seven years I have been a cricket widow. Read it and weep ladies and gentlemen, seven years, that's longer than I've been married, but about as long as I've been with Husband, you do the math Sherlock (he was a mathematician wasn't he?). I should be to all intents and purposes an expert, well versed in the art of the game, attune to the subtle sound of leather on willow (a weeping one in my case) able to discern with a sweeping glance the chances of one team over another, to discuss at length the relative merits of one player over another over polite drinks. I should, but I can't. Because the entire game is one long tea party, and a true lesson in being British.
So, for the benefits of my non-British readers I shall attempt to explain this tally-ho game, and for my British readers, listen carefully, it's you I'm talking about.
Firstly it is played in an enormous field, a massive one, bigger than most football fields (although probably not Manchester United's, they need a lot of Porche parking space). This field is well kept, watered even during a hosepipe ban, aerated by hand by a little old man retained through retirement simply to perform this job, and it is green. Greener than England's pleasant land, greener than Husband's face when he gets my credit card bill. Except of course for the little bit in the middle where they actually play this game called cricket. This bit is brown, dead, left under a specially made triangular thing to make sure it is dead enough, if in doubt they beat it with a large club before each game just to make sure. I think it's the little old man who keeps this bit dead, mainly to show off how beautifully green he keeps the rest of it.
The game is played by eleven men per team, they all wear white, absolutely nothing to discern which team is which, because that would be unsporting. They toss a coin before each match to decide which team fields and which team bats first. If it is a hot day, the coin tossing winning team tends to pick to bat first. This is because only two of them actually go out to play, the rest stay in the pavilion drinking tea and reading papers, pausing only to cheer politely any activity at all on the pitch. Which in infrequent. Not much happens in cricket. Someone bowls a red ball, someone else tries to hit it and if they do they run between two posts to try and get as many runs as possible. The second guy playing for the batting team also runs, in case the batter gets tired and wants an extra run. Obviously, if the batter hits the ball quite far then he doesn't need to run, he just gets given six runs automatically. It doesn't matter that he might be able to run more than six times between the post, the main thing is that he doesn't get tired.
This activity goes on for a while, for as long as the batter can run a couple of times between two posts or until someone catches the ball or hits three sticks with the ball. Catching the ball or hitting three little sticks that aren't glued together is a bad thing in cricket. It means the batter and his wing man have to go and get a cup of tea and their breath back while someone else has a go. You'd think, wouldn't you that the conclusion to this game would come either from death-by-boredom of anyone within a mile radius or by catching the whole team out one by one (this includes surprising them by hitting out at three innocent sticks).
But no. And here comes the oh so British thing about cricket. If the first team is doing surprisingly well, if perchance the batter hasn't been out until 4am drinking Red Bull or a few people come to bat and total up a rather decent score, then they have a little chat. The upshot of this being that they've done well enough old boy and time to let the other team have a go. Did you hear me at the back? They're doing really well, so they decide that rather than be rude and do too well they let the other team have a try until they catch up or overtake. I mean, it would be just terrible to win in one fair swoop wouldn't it? Forget going for gold and striving against all odds, let's have a cup of tea in the pavilion and see if the other team can catch us up. Which they usually do because they stopped to let them have a go.
I'm sure by now you'd like me to stop. Stop! Stop! You're saying, let us be free of this drivel, let us watch football where it's over in ninety minutes and someone actually wins. Let's watch Rugby that's over in eighty minutes and somebody actually wins.
Sorry, but I'm trying to give you a taste of my life. You see this game is not only inactive, but it stops for bad light. That's dusk to you and me, forget flood lights or some little invention called electricity, if one team fancies an early night in with the wife (they may all share one I'm not sure), everyone agrees to end for the day and go home. Regardless of the score. There's always tomorrow. And tomorrow. And tomorrow. No one ever points out that if they just got on with the game and stopped letting each other have a go to catch up it may be over in a day with a discernible winner.
But, ladies and gentlemen, this game goes on for a week (except for 20-20 cricket which is a modern interpretation that they play in two hours. It was easy to create, they just removed the biscuits from the pavilion). It goes on for so long, and so little happens that the radio commentators are not known for their snappy up to the second delivery, their skill at preempting the next move, oh no, the highest paid commentators are those known for filling the gaps in an entertaining manner. Husband's favourite Henry Blowfeld regularly talks about the pigeons on the pitch and their amusing head nodding. I once accidentally tuned in during a long car drive and dear old Henry was commenting on the number ten bus that had just driven past the grounds for the eleventh time. Husband guffawed at the image, inactivity does that to you.
Not only does this game go on for a week, but it can still end up in a draw. Days and days of resting, tea drinking, laughing at a pigeon until it's rejected for playing for laughs, occasional catching and batting only to end up shaking hands and nodding pleasantly at each other at such a sporting game, and what a shame no one got the cup again this year.
Sometimes, just to keep it interesting you understand, there's not even a cup to be won. Take The Ashes for example. A hotly contested annual game between England and Australia. One (possibly drunken) night, a long time ago, an Englishman set fire to a cricket bat and was so remorseful the morning after that he scraped up the ashes and put them in a little wooden box. He then held it up to the Australians and asked if they wanted it. They did, and decided to play cricket for it. Cue millennia of squabbling over The Ashes, although if the Australians ever do win they're not allowed to take them home. They have to have a replica. A testimony to the cack handed nature of Australian cricket players or the propensity of the English to hold onto anything of historical value, no matter who it really belongs to? You decide.
And that's it. That's cricket. Never ending, tournaments all year, endless commentary on every radio station known to man, and a wife. A wife sitting at home, growing cobwebs and wondering whether Husband will make the number ten bus home.

*Husband would like me to point out here that I know nothing at all about cricket. I don't. But surely that makes me the more dinner party worthy of the two of us. Enough said.

Monday, 28 September 2009

The Real Story Behind Those Film Titles

1. The Constant Gardener This film is about my dad. It involves a shed, a lot of pottering, possibly some tweed trousers and a fool proof plan for watering the lawn during a hosepipe ban. The Action centres around dummy runs of the Hosepipe Ban Plan where you cling to the edge of your seat as he attempts to outwit the hosepipe police (whom you never see, but the local news always assures you are there). There’s a hilariously tragic scene where the cat gets red paint in his ear fooling everyone into thinking he has a brain tumour that has burst. I kid you not.

2. Twenty Eight Days Later My Mother stars here as Neurotic Woman #1, it is set in the eighties with appropriate costumes, although My Mother still wears blue eye shadow and flares and uses words like groovy, it was the only time she was hip and she’s staying there. I am in my teens and the title of the film refers to the calendar she kept on the fridge door to remind her when to start worrying about a late period. Mine not hers.

3. Pride and Prejudice My sister returns to Africa to fight for lion’s rights.

4. Dumbo I marry my Husband, let my dad give me away unsupervised and without a map, ask my sisters to be bridesmaids and allow them to choose their own dresses; one is full length Barbie style pink designed to show cleavage and snag the Best Man, the other Hollywood red carpet in preparation for the real thing. My Mother is allowed to attend ungagged.

5. Forrest Gump A camping trip goes horribly wrong, two year old is being potty trained and sleeps with us in the tent. We rename the film Forrest Dump.

6. Rambo Husband’s chance to shine. Shot entirely in front of the bathroom mirror when he thinks nobody is looking. Straddles the comedy/horror genres.

7. Herbie Goes Bananas My brother takes to the weed, My Mother finds one of his Special Cookies and eats it. The police attend. The cleaner attends. There is an interesting scene with a broom handle and a jay cloth. No one ever mentions it again. Ever.

8. Jaws: My sister gets braces. My brother invests in industrial magnets. She spends a week stuck to the boot of his car. He cleaned her for free.

9. Dirty Dancing: Centres around the end of any wedding attended by my parents. A little too much sherry is imbibed, inhibitions are shed, as are clothes and they raunch around the dance floor convinced they are Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. The image haunts you for months and causes intermittent blindness.

10. It’s A Wonderful Life It is, really, and I wouldn’t have them any other way

Monday, 14 September 2009

Things I Have Said To My Mother Today

  • Hello?
  • Hi mum
  • Mum?
  • Is everything OK?
  • Calm down
  • Calm down and take a deep breath
  • in, out, in, out
  • That's it
  • Tell me what it is
  • Dad?
  • What about Dad?
  • Is he OK?
  • He's lost what?
  • His paint stirring stick
  • Is that it?
  • Well yes of course it's serious
  • No, really
  • I thought something had happened to him
  • But this is much more disastrous of course
  • I am taking it seriously
  • I am
  • Well has he looked where he keeps it?
  • On the shelf in the shed
  • Next to the seed planting stick
  • Could he not just use the seed planting stick?
  • Oh yes sorry how silly of me
  • Completely different kind of stick
  • Have you searched the shed?
  • Yes of course you have
  • No, I'm sure Barry hasn't taken it
  • Why would the neighbour take dad's stick
  • I don't think he's always been jealous of it
  • Because it's a stick
  • Sorry, sorry, it's not just any stick
  • I really don't think Barry's jealous of Dad
  • Yes I suppose Dad winning Best Tomato was a dark day for him
  • Not the same since, yes
  • Yes stick stealing would seem to be the act of a desperate man
  • Well stress does change people
  • But I think that refers to serious life stress
  • Not Best Tomato Winning stress
  • Why don't you ask Barry if he's seen it?
  • Not talking?
  • Why?
  • The leek episode?
  • Are you sure he stole them?
  • Yes I'm sure it's Barry who needs the psychiatric help
  • I'm thinking of booking in myself
  • Sorry, just a joke
  • Why doesn't Dad suggest getting psychiatric help to Barry?
  • Might get them talking again.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Things I Have Said To My Two Year Old Today

  • Ooh lovely sweetheart
  • Yes very nice
  • Yes but we're choosing a card for Daddy
  • Because it's his birthday
  • Here what about this one?
  • No not that one
  • No
  • Put it back please
  • No, put it back
  • I don't think Daddy wants a Spiderman card
  • No darling he doesn't
  • Because it's got Spiderman on it
  • And it says to a wonderful grandson

  • Come back here please
  • I said come here
  • How many times have I told you not to chase the postman?
  • Because he doesn't like it
  • No he's not Daddy
  • Please stop calling the postman Daddy

Things I have said to the Postman today

  • Ha ha ha ha ha
  • Oh how funny
  • Yes it's a great joke Jack chasing you
  • And calling you Daddy, yes
  • ha ha ha ha
  • Well he thinks you're his daddy
  • No, no, no he does know his daddy
  • Ha, yes I suppose he does make it sound like a guess
  • Ha ha ha
  • I agree
  • Yes I'll try to stop him chasing you
  • And shouting kissy kissy kissy
  • I'm sorry the neighbours look at you strangely
  • No I don't think we need to get him checked out
  • It's just a phase
  • Well, a chasing and kissing one
  • That he'll grow out of
  • He's already starting to progress
  • He's started chasing the neighbour
  • Well I call it progress

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Brit Out Of Water

OK, so I'm in LA, LA baby! I'm just going to write that again so you all heard me correctly - LA Baby! Fabulous! Honestly it's dead different over here, for a start American people all speak American all the time! Yes! Even the kids. It's not something they put on for the TV or anything, oh no, they actually speak it to each other. It's brilliant.
I've tried to copy it a bit, just so I don't stand out as a tourist or anything but rather woundingly I tend to be met with blank stares. I've bought some kind of translation book thing but I'm non the wiser about how to blend in (any help here from my American readers greatly appreciated, you sound so English when you write in the comments box).
And you know how everybody says you can't get a carb in LA? Not true!You can get loads, more carbs than you can shake a french fry at (that chips to us Brits, I must have assimilated more than I realised). You can get any kind of food delivered any time of day. And whatever you want too, penne pasta with newts eye sauce hold the avocado? Done. You want extra cheese with that? Err, yes why not? (except if you're over here don't say the why not? bit or they give you a lecture about cholesterol and fat and look meaningfully at your thighs, only my right one though, my left is surprisingly slender).
The other thing over here is that there is somebody to do absolutely anything for you. Don't fancy washing up? Well, there are numerous options available to you, ma'am. This company right here will come and do them for you (dial 0800 brokenweddingchina), this other company to your left will collect your plates, refurnish you with new ones and return the old ones clean (dial 0800 wedontstealhonestguv), and this one right here ma'am will simply bring you new ones every time and burn the old ones (0800 carbonneutral).
Yes ma'am, the only thing we ask is that you don't dial 911 again, (that's 999 to Brits, see, everything's different!)
I'm thinking of setting up a similar company in the UK, just to perform jobs you don't want to do. It's called We'll Do It All For You And There's No Minimum Wage. Excellent.
The best thing about being a Brit in LA? You can be absolutely, utterly uncool about anything and they just think you're charming. I mean, I am cool, really. In our little village in Warwickshire I was the first to get skinny jeans, they started arriving at the village store about a month ago, and I camped outside just to be sure to get the first pair. And compared to Husband I am definitely super hip, I am the ....... (insert cool person's name here, one escapes me) of Warwickshire.
But over here I am not. I can gush and exclaim and generally declare well we're definitely not in Kansas anymore to my heart's content. I mean, I know you're meant to be all aloof and don't careish about the whole movie thing but I just can't.
I've had a walk on part at Warner Studios in The Mentalist, which is possibly my Most Exciting Thing Yet. Although if you ever do it, I suggest not taking your own clapper board and shouting 'action' just to see what happens. It's not pretty and they get quite cross. It was a day of awesomeness ( just a little cool word I've picked up, but it's been ruined by Husband using it over the phone about his new slippers). And I just couldn't hold back, the gushing and general level of being grateful reached gargantuan proportions. I gushed for Britain, and proved to all my Country Bumpkin status (although I was wearing skinny jeans so that should have offset most of it).
I was, in a nutshell, an uncool, gushy Brit, and it was fantastic. A kinder more generous people I have yet to meet (apart from you, mum, sorry). And I want to come back soon. Which I will do obviously, I was assured by the crew of The Mentalist that I would most definitely receive an Emmy Nomination for Walking, Shuffling Papers and Subtlety In Background Acting. So I'll be back in the Spring. To pick up my award.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Flying Without Wings

Why me? Why always me? I have one big phobia in life, one, flying, and the fear is real, palpable and manifests in increasing bouts of panic accompanied by moments of insanity. I once, midway across the Atlantic shouted (loudly) does anybody else smell smoke. That's how scared I am of flying, it induces madness.
The fear however is inversely proportional to the size of the plane, the bigger it is the better I feel. I'm not sure why I think it's something to do with suspension of reality. In a really really big plane I can sit in the middle, far from the windows and pretend none of this is happening. They also have sections so you can only see a select few people, which looks much more reassuring than a whole plane full of expectant holiday makers preparing to meet their doom.
So it was looking dodgy before I even boarded flight 1844 to Majorca. For a start it was a prop plane. A prop plane! I swear they follow me around the country, in fact there may just be one, old prop plane in service that the powers above pull out just for me whenever I book a holiday. Prop planes shudder and shake and (most frighteningly) display far too much of their inner workings than I care to see. One is never completely reassured when the brightest minds in aeronautical engineering decide that two ceiling fans are just what's needed to keep this plane on the correct trajectory.
At least when the fans are hidden you can kid yourself that chains and cogs and other man made stuff are not responsible for keeping the plane up. Instead a host of fairies and heavenly bodies are beating their wings furiously (but most importantly magically), and holding the vehicle aloft in flight. No relying on Barry The Engineer coming to work with a hangover and servicing my plane with half an eye on a chip buttie, oh no, angels and fairies are responsible for my flight, and they don't make mistakes (or drink).
So I got on the plane with a huge sense of foreboding, sat down and clutched the arm rests looking all around me like some scary eyed lemming. The captain came over the tannoy welcoming us to flight 1844 and wishing us well, which was good, he sounded optimistic and soothed my nerves a little. I mean if the captain thinks we've got a chance of making it then we may well do, excellent.
But then he made his fatal error, one that removed any thought that he may be able to make an accurate prediction as to our survival chances. He made a joke.
Noooooooooooo. Husband shifted uncomfortably in his seat, he knew, he knew. I did not, under any circumstances want a Captain who would rather be a comedian. Forget aspirations of fame and fortune and trying out your material on your passengers. I mean focus on the job man. The important one of steering the plane to Spain. I mean, we wouldn't even be a good measure of the joke's success anyway would we? We were bound to laugh, he was the only one who knew how to fly the plane.
I didn't want some jolly sounding captain who delivered the weather report in a jocular fashion. I wanted a serious captain, one who delivered the weather report with a deep voice, slightly strained from the years at Cambridge studying the finer points of plane flying. One who had emerged after ten years graft, blinking in the sun clutching a first class honours in Averting Disaster, and a special interest thesis in Keeping The Little Seatbelt Light On To Stop Passengers Getting Up And Possibly Rocking The Plane. But no, instead we got Ko Ko the Kaptin, who probably steers the plane with his knees while working on material for his next gig. Whoop di do.
So it was up to me, I had to be the eyes and ears of the plane. The pilot wasn't up to it obviously, he was jocular with unfulfilled dreams. It was me or my maker, and I wasn't ready for that yet. I dutifully reported every rattle, every air pocket and every hum to the air stewards, I checked the wings every two minutes for signs of leakage, fire or falling offness and reported back solemnly. I was a help I tell you, a help, take that Ko Ko, ha!
I'm not sure about what happened next it all went a bit hazy, because this was the point at which the free wine started arriving, as much as I liked smiled the air steward, did he know how much that would be? Apparently they'd never done this before, but they were making a special allowance just for little old me. Probably as a thankyou for all my hard work or something.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Things I Have Said To My Husband Today

  • No you can't go out tomorrow night

  • Because we're having a dinner party

  • Oh good I'm glad you remembered

  • I'm so looking forward to a nice civilised dinner party

  • I've worked really hard at the food

  • Nice food

  • Nice as in I followed a recipe and I'm going to present it nicely

  • Lamb

  • No not spaghetti bolognese

  • I know it's your favourite

  • But it's not really a dinner party dish

  • Well just for once you can try something new

  • I'm not doing spaghetti bolognese

  • No you can't have something separate

  • Spaghetti bolognese is not a good side dish with lamb

  • And please don't go off and eat in front of the TV this time

  • Because it's rude

  • And people want to talk to you

  • No you will not make yourself as boring as possible

  • Because our friends are coming and you like them

  • Three other couples

  • That makes eight of us

  • No not eleven,

  • Three couples plus us is eight

  • Where did you get eleven

  • You invited Pokey, Stu and Bucket Head?

  • Why?

  • We don't always invite them

  • Maybe to a barbecue but not to a civilised dinner party

  • Because they're the least civilised people I know

  • Well you shouldn't have invited them

  • They're not coming

  • There's no room and I've bought the lamb

  • No they can't just eat in front of the TV

  • Well you shouldn't have promised them I'd do spaghetti bolognese

  • So in a nutshell you invited Pokey, Stu and Bucket Head to watch the game tomorrow night while I cooked and served Spaghetti Bolognese?

  • In case you found the dinner party boring

  • Well you'll just have to phone them and cancel

  • They have their own flat to watch TV in

  • Why haven't they got any electricity?

  • Well if they'd paid their bill they would have

  • So basically they're coming to eat our food and enjoy free electricity?

  • Excellent

  • Well I suppose they can

  • But we'll have to shut the door so we can't hear the TV in the kitchen

  • And you're sitting at the table

  • There's no we'll see

  • No matter how boring you make yourself

  • Yes even if you pretend to fall asleep

  • Good that's settled

  • Lamb for eight and spaghetti bolognese for three

  • No not four

  • I'm glad you agree

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Say Cheese! (part two)

Ok, so the whole Sage Cheese Alternative Meal (SCAM) thingy really got everybody riled up - if only I'd known sooner I'd just have blogged about cheese every week, forget Husbands and dogs, cheese seems to be where it's at. So I thought I'd give you a quick update.
Despite never ever starting a diet (except for doing the food shopping bit) I decided to at least attempt this one, purely out of a sense of devotion to you all you understand, that's how much I love you (sorry for the mushiness I'm high on sage). It was, as I said, a simple mixing of ingredients, quick and easy. Even my diet buddy Taff (he supplies the cream puffs) thought he could manage it which is saying something. Taff once looked for instructions on a cabbage, on finding none he proceeded to boil the entire thing, whole, in one pan. He then attempted to mash a large, over boiled cabbage for no apparent reason except he thought cabbage should be mashed ( I SWEAR this happened). He's a great diet buddy, everything he produces is inedible. I once went on holiday with him and lost ten pounds, despite drinking my body weight in Chardonnay.
Anyway, you all saw it coming, the sage cheese was nothing of the sort. It tasted of olive water, sage and garlic, but not at all of cheese. This was cheese at its worst, non cheese if you like. Crikey even the Americans wouldn't eat this one (sorry dear beloved American Readers*, I do love you all but cheese is your thing isn't it? You do all sorts of weird and wonderful things just to get more cheese in your diet. Cheese-in-a-can anyone? I didn't know whether to squirt it on my toast or decorate the Christmas tree with it).
So I have abandoned the vegan all raw food thing in favour of the aisle six diet. It is far preferable and there's no false advertising, all I have to do for this one is consume food solely from aisle six of the supermarket. I devised the diet myself and picked the number at random. Pleasingly aisle six is the biscuit aisle and the manager has promised to try to place some wine and chocolate there too, I think she's expecting a bumper month. And she'd be right. I'm really going to stick at this one, wish me luck.

*You can sue me by clicking here

Monday, 27 July 2009

Say Cheese!

Another day another fad diet. I know, I know, the clue is in the title: these things are fads, they're not meant to work long term and exist only to fuel the market that is the desire to take up less space in the World. La, la, la, I do get it you know. Except, except, I have found one that doesn't look to be a fad, it looks healthy, well balanced and above all promises big results in a matter of days. All I have to do is send £15 to the website, tap in my details so they can help me keep track of my progress, give up dairy, wheat, meat, caffeine and sugar, follow their simple and nutritious recipes and watch as the fat melts away (this seems to be the best thing about this diet, the fat melts, brilliant!).
So you can see why I'm going to follow it, there are none of the usual meal replacement thingys or chocolate snacks (although I wouldn't say no) that hail the beginning of a new fad. Oh no, this one's full of vegetables, and fruit, and water, and come to think of it not much else. Still, I can eat as much as I like three times a day, the website promised and even put it in italics just to reassure me. As much as I like! Do they know how much that is? A lot I assure you, and I can eat it all, finally a diet I can work with.
So, today was the first day, the new beginning if you like. I got to do the best bit about any new diet: go shopping for all the lovely nutritious food I was going to live on for the next month. It felt good, I tell you. Look at all this glorious, gorgeous, nutritious food. I'll be a goddess by next week at this rate, I even splashed out on a six pack of Evian, I'll be saving so much money on wine I can afford a two litre a day habit now. Wow, diets benefit every area of your life, I am reborn.
I am however going to start it tomorrow, it was everso tiring doing the shopping and putting it all away that I had to have a bit of toast and honey to bolster me up a bit. That coupled with the cream puff I had for breakfast, didn't hail the best diet day. Still never mind, I've got it all to look forward to. I've just been scanning the menu for tomorrow and lunch is a power salad with sage cheese.
Hang on I hear you all ask, index finger pointing upwards in an expression of intrigue mixed with disbelief. I thought you had to give up dairy? Ha! Oh dear readers, but I do, no cheese of any sort. But (and it's a big butt), herein lies the true value in paying my £15: Apparently you can make cheese from vegetables, Yes! I had to read it twice too. All I have to do is mix two garlic cloves, a handful of sage a dash of olive oil and three tablespoons of olive water and voila sage cheese. Isn't that fantastic? How on Earth did the nutritionists come up with this one. Not only do I get to eat a raw leek and chicory power salad, but I get to sweeten the deal with cheese. Perfect, I'm going to stick to this one, I can just feel it.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Things I Have Said To My Husband Today

  • No thanks
  • No really it's ok
  • I'm sure you have played a blinder this time
  • I just don't want to smell it
  • Honestly I believe you
  • I don't need to come into the bathrooom to smell it
  • Well it's making it's way over here
  • Yes, well done
  • It is the worst so far
  • You must be very proud
  • Yes of course I'm proud too
  • It's quite an acheivement considering you set the bar quite high
  • I'm not being sarcastic
  • I know it's a man thing but I do get it
  • No please don't phone your brother
  • I asked you not to phone him
  • What do you mean he doesn't believe you
  • Well he'll have to take your word for it
  • No
  • No don't put me on to him
  • I'm not speaking

Things I Have Said To Husband's Brother Today

  • Hi
  • Yes it was bad
  • Worst one yet
  • I really don't want to discuss it
  • No I didn't actually go into the bathroom to smell it
  • It does count, I could smell it from the bedroom
  • I'm telling you it was bad
  • I don't think you could beat it
  • I am not having this conversation
  • The one where I'm discussing my Husband's wind with his brother
  • It is not the best conversation we've ever had
  • Well thankyou for the compliment but I'll go now

Things I Have Said To My Husband Today

  • You're right he didn't believe you
  • Never mind
  • I'm sure you can do it again
  • A what?
  • Invent a what?
  • A fartometer?
  • What's one of those?
  • Well I suppose it would be useful to have an exact measurment
  • Yes then I suppose he'd have to believe you
  • Yes you'd better get to it right away
  • Yes it is your best idea to date
  • Well done

Monday, 13 July 2009

Man Oh Man

So, sorry if I sound a little muffled, I'm hiding under the duvet, way under the duvet, with absolutely no plans to come out until Jack turns three, which is in about a year so perhaps you should get used to this being my voice from now on, Husband always said I could do with a muffler.
Pre duvet-hiding I went to Sainsbury's to pick up the weekly shop and cry a little in the chocolate aisle, and a lot in the cake aisle, I then stopped crying in the Chardonnay aisle and bought myself a bottle, with a straw. Why oh why don't they sell wine in those handy cardboard cartons with an attached straw and convenient silver bit that hides a hole? If they can do it for juice surely they can do it with wine, it's not just kids that need pacifying during the weekly shop you know. I'm nothing if not resilient though, not to mention innovative, so until someone comes up with wine-to-go I make do with a bottle and a straw. The management don't seem to mind, by the time I get to the till I'm a sucker for an impulse buy so they make more money I suppose.
Anyway, it was a normal day, Jack was sitting prettily in the trolley stuffing biscuits down his face and generally signalling to everybody that I had no control over my child so I had to feed him rubbish to get a chance round the shops. Then again, the wine bottle and straw number may, just may, have detracted from this glaring bout of bad parenting. Who cares about a biscuit stuffing toddler when mummy+straw+bottle= glaringly obvious gap in the market for mini wine cartons, get to it someone, please.
Where was I? (you see, this is where a bottle of wine ruins things, imagine how much more succinct and focused I'd be if I'd only had a carton). Ok, Jack in the trolley, yes, and at this point I should remind you that he's now two and talking well. I don't mention him often, mainly because between Husband and Twizzle I have enough material for an entire psychiatric conference, let alone a weekly blog post, so he tends to fall by the wayside.
Jack, in a nutshell, loves men. He wants to do men's work, dig, lift, carry, scratch, drip on the loo seat, you name it if Jack sees a man doing it, he wants to copy. Not only does he want to copy but he has also decided that Every Man In The Known Universe must be pointed out and confirmed in his gender with a loud shout of Man! which is fun as you can imagine. He approaches every new situation with assumed bionic eyes and assures each male present that he has been seen and noted, I am looked at suspiciously as the mother of this gender reassuring service provider, as if I am using him as some kind of cheap but effective dating service (which I'm not, but if I was I'd take him somewhere far more expensive than Sainsburys).
The only problem with this little hobby, and it was a problem that was about to rear its short back and sides head, is that Jack isn't too hot at discerning a man from a woman with short hair. Imagine then the scene, Jack replete with biscuits, Mummy humming gently sipping her bottle of wine, slight tear stains from the inner fight in the cake and chocolate aisles, and a woman with short hair examining cornflakes in the cereal aisle. Round the corner we come, Jack on red alert for any man type activity taking place, only to spy one, one with cornflakes in his hand, one that's wearing a skirt. Lord above, she was trying her best, she may have had rather short and manly hair (and features if I'm honest), but she was giving it her all by signalling her femininity using that bastion of womanhood, the skirt.
Oh please Jack, I thought, please notice the skirt, please just this once. But no, Man! he yells, pointing sturdily at the woman, Man mummy Man! Mummy at this point ducks her head in shame over the Chardonnay and mutters something about having seen a man in the previous aisle and would she like a sip of wine? No? A makeover perhaps? (come on I was half a bottle down).
Oh the shame, the pain on her face, imagine standing in the supermarket, innocently examining a cornflake packet, only to have your gender woefully misinterpreted and loudly proclaimed by a toddler with a pointy arm. Oh dear.
But then, Jack did a strange thing, something he had never done before and which forever more I'd wish that he'd done just ten seconds previously instead of now. He noticed the skirt. I noticed, he pointed, I gripped the trolley and ran round into the ice cream aisle, just as the loud refrain of why man wear a skirt Mummy? drifted thickly over the cereal. I peered round at the devastation that we had left behind, and quietly rolled a bottle of Chardonnay towards her trolley. With a straw.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Things I Have Said To My Husband Today

  • Darling?
  • Sweetheart?
  • Husband
  • No, no nothing's wrong
  • It's just you're all over my side of the bed
  • You are
  • Wake up and have a look
  • Yes you may be predominantly in the middle
  • But your feet are over mine
  • And your head's on my pillow
  • It is my pillow
  • Well if you move over you'll see yours over your side of the bed
  • Go on
  • Just roll over that's all it'll take
  • Roll
  • Not that far
  • Yes I know you're clinging on with one arse cheek
  • That doesn't mean you weren't over on my side
  • You just rolled too far
  • What do you mean it must be nice over the big side of the bed?
  • Just leave it it's 4am
  • Night
  • Darling?
  • It's 4am
  • Well stop it
  • I'm well aware we're awake being one of the awake ones
  • Go to sleep
  • I'm sorry you can't sleep now
  • No there's no quickie on offer
  • I said no quickies
  • Or slow ones
  • It's two hours until the alarm goes off
  • I don't care that it'll only take two minutes
  • I didn't wake you for sex you were just on my side of the bed
  • Yes I suppose I have learned my lesson
  • Yes I won't disturb you in future
  • Night
  • Darling?
  • Get that thing out of my back
  • Or I'll tell your Mother
  • Thanks
  • Night

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Well Done Google

Now I know I've written about it before, so it will come as no surprise to any of you that I have a stat counter on this blog. Before you all gasp in middle class horror and nod knowingly to each other that you always knew that I was the type, I know a lot of you have them too. You do, there are ways you see of telling, not least because most of us can't resist putting the live feed box onto our blogs. Ha! Got you, so no more smirking at the back please and you can remove yourself from Judgement Corner before I do it myself with force and a threat of no pudding after tea (dessert after dinner to my American readers, I'm harsh but fair).
Anyway, as most of you know, this little stat counter can tell you all sorts of things, the most intriguing, and downright entertaining being the google search words that people put into the search engine and thereby find your blog. As I recounted in A Rose By Any Other Name many of these are downright inappropriate and excitingly pornographic, and again I can only extend my heart felt apologies to anyone coming to this blog (sorry) via such searches as housewife tied to stool with dog or housewife beating milkman with bamboo for the banality you are faced with (you are facing the computer aren't you? There's no panting sound track with this blog, yet another disappointment, I suppose I could record the dog after a run if this would help?).
The thing is, after a while you get a bit immune to these searches, even a little bored. There's only so many times you can snigger at sex-with-a-housewife requests before you begin to tune out and hum a little tune at the ordinariness of it all. Surely, surely someone can come up with something better? Something to brighten my day a little? Something a little more imaginative than plain old sex?
Well, they did. Today, just now in fact. And for reasons that will become clear, I am a little concerned. Scanning down the Google searches in a quiet moment at my laptop, looking for the pathways of readers (only out of interest you understand, although Nunhead Mum of One I notice you've been absent for a while, twenty lines please: I must read Millennium Housewife every week, everyone else, take note), there it stood, in italics:

I Shot Myself.

I shot myself? Who? What? The cliches are running out of my mouth before I can stop them (although this image may please some of the porn searchers out there). Who on earth thinks: oops I just shot myself, I'll just boot up the computer and check the symptoms on Google before calling an ambulance? It's obvious isn't it? I'm not mad am I? It is you not me isn't it? You don't need to google the symptoms, the diagnosis is right there in front of you. You shot yourself. Therefore you have a giant piece of pointy metal somewhere in your body. The clue as to where could be the great gaping hole spurting blood, the one that looks a little worse for wear. In fact if you're feeling a little dizzy, this may be another clue and I'd dial the hospital quite quickly.
What did they expect? Did google answer with a concise and neat link to Or perhaps bring up a lesson in self bandaging and bullet removal? No. Of course it didn't, because Google would then be sued for allowing someone stupid enough to shoot themselves to find a website that stupidly advises on self-removal of a bullet in a stupid manner. And Google isn't stupid.
Instead, of course it sent them to me. So, err, sorry about that person-who-shot-themselves. Sorry if you've just read all the way down to this bit while bleeding, possibly to death, only to find I'm not going to advise you on bullet removal. I'm also sorry about the calling you stupid bit, especially if this is the last thing you ever read. I feel a bit bad about that. Still, if you survive, you could always sue Google for not providing you with the life saving website you were looking for, that might be fun. If you're still able to read at the moment try calling 999 if you live in the UK, or 911 in America, I'm afraid I don't know any other emergency numbers for other countries, even though I live in Europe. But that's a debate for another day.
So, as you can see, this is why I'm concerned, what happened to the person who shot themselves, no one that stupid could possibly survive could they? (again sorry if it's you and you're still reading, I'm presuming you're on the floor right now). And what about me? Was that the highlight of my google searches? Am I doomed forever more to dog and housewife couplings, never again to be enthralled, delighted and disturbed in equal measure at the horror of the story unfolding on my stat counter. I hope not. Poor me (and poor you if you're the shot-one, and well done for bothering to read the post, there's lots more if you care to scroll down).

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Things I Have Said To My Husband Today

  • Hi darling, how was your day?

  • Oh good

  • What's that?

  • That box you're carrying

  • Ooh goody I love surprises

  • All for me? wow

  • I wonder what's inside

  • Ooh what is it?

  • It looks like socks

  • Yup, definitely socks

  • White socks at that

  • Should I stop now or will further delving simply reveal more white socks?

  • Oh I see, more white socks

  • 100?

  • Ooh you really pushed the boat out this time

  • I'm not being sarcastic, it's just that it's a hundred white socks

  • Well what does one say about one hundred white socks?

  • Right

  • Well

  • Errr, thankyou

  • Where did you get them from?

  • If a guy at work is closing down it usually means his products aren't selling

  • Well, I'm saying that if no one in the world wanted to buy his socks, why on earth did you buy them?

  • They were free?

  • So my present is a hundred pairs of white socks that you got for free from a guy closing down a warehouse

  • What do you mean they're a size nine?

  • I'm a six

  • Well you know my bra size

  • Yes I'm sure it's much more fun shopping for bras

  • What do you mean you have your hands to help you remember the size?

  • Please don't tell me that's how you shop for bras

  • The assistant will understand the size, you don't have to cup your hands

  • Well how would you like it if that's how I shopped for your underpants?

  • No I don't think the assistant would fall down in an impressed faint

  • Or ask if you're likely to be single soon

  • Although you may be now I know how you shop for bras

Friday, 19 June 2009

Ten Steps To Becoming A Better Parent

  1. Keeping Mum: If you're worried your two year old is going to grass up your latest gaffe to your Husband and reveal that you let him (two year old not Husband) wee freely on the bedroom carpet, let him chew chewing gum all day. Sticks their mouth together beautifully.
  2. Bribe #1: Use anything you can, sweets/magazines/DVDs/whiskey to evoke good behaviour from your offspring at all times. Whiskey is cheaper.
  3. Bribe #2: A good cake or, in extreme cases Money, can be used to bribe a teacher. 'A' grades are a lot easier to come by than you think.
  4. Santa or equivalent: Use him! You only have a few years with your first and even less with subsequent children due to the snitching impulse. According to you, Santa is available day and night via Skype to report on a child's behaviour. He adjusts his lists accordingly on an hourly basis. He also reserves the right to allow certain behaviours sometimes and ban it completely another. He's a fickle fellow.
  5. The Tooth Fairy: A year round equivalent to Santa. It doesn't even have to be that expensive, tell your child that a 1p piece is a pound coin, cheap for you while sounding reassuringly expensive to friends. Total cost: about 20p
  6. Clothing: Dress your daughter like a Bratz doll until she's ten, she'll love you. And bought love is the best. Don't forget to add the eyeliner, it really stands out in the playground.
  7. Information: Answer your child's every question in great detail. Use power point and a pointy stick if you can. Include as many long and complicated words and expressions as you can. Pause frequently for effect. Take all day if you like, it'll soon put a stop to those pesky questions. That'll show them.
  8. Sleep: Allow your child to sleep anywhere they choose as long as they stay in their room. A laundry basket in the corner makes an exciting alternative bed, this way they stay there. Good for you, exciting for them. Everybody wins.
  9. Budget: Encourage low cost/one ball games. Discourage expensive hobbies. Tell them ponies bite/tennis players go blind/golf is a high death rate sport.
  10. Care: Husband/uncle/grandparent/random stranger can all be roped in to help care for your offspring and give you a break. If fact anyone over sixteen is fair game. Just make sure they understand the above rules and have at least one finger or toe that they can dial 999 with. Under no circumstances give them your own phone number, they will only call it. The police come faster anyway.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Tripping The Light Fantastic

We went to a thirtieth birthday party on Saturday night, the thirtieth birthday party of my best friend's little sister. There is nothing, nothing more ageing or depressing than for people who you only ever saw as much younger than you hitting milestones that you're still in denial about. We were excited to be asked, of course. For a start it meant that we were still young enough to paaarrrtttaayy!-they do say that nowadays don't they? If not I fear I may have made a small gaffe jumping onto a table and yelling it through a bread stick in an attempt to get this paaarrttaayy started. But I was being young, hip, crikey we had an overnight babysitter and could deny all childcare responsibilities for at least fourteen hours. We could join the group of carefree kids tripping the light fantastic who could still claim to have some sort of a grip on the word twenty.
Deciding to deny any relationship with the big three-oh I attempted such cliches as ooh, you can't be thirty, I still think of you as eleven and I still feel sixteen ha ha ha ha ha, although I stopped short of I used to change your nappies before I shot myself (or the birthday girl shot herself at the horror). I could be twenty, or there abouts, just watch me jiiiive.
There was a difference though, it was much more civilised than I remember things. Husband and I left our social life behind at the grand old age of twenty seven, right at the height of every one's partying. Finally every one's salaries were looking up, as was their holiday allowance and consequently pulling potential. And what did we do? Have a baby. Well done. Everybody else flitted to Morocco and hugged orangutans in a forest somewhere (apparently Borneo but I saw the slide shows and it looked suspiciously like Whipsnade Zoo). We swapped Going Out clothes for jeans, trainers and Teflon coated tops, everyone else swapped Work Clothes for flip flops and a backpack. We have, in a nutshell, been absent from any kind of swinging (in the music sense, not in the car keys in the middle of the room sense) social life while we changed nappies, burped babies and negotiated school runs.
But, now we were back! The children finally old enough for an over night babysitter that hadn't had to be bribed with a holiday package and bonuses, here we were, ready to don our dancing shoes and, to be honest, get sloshed again. Whoo hooo!
Though we had you see, failed to get one teeny tiny point: while we were absent everyone else had grown up too. Rather than be greeted by shots of flaming zambucaas and vodka girls sticking alcohol down you mouth and a nipple in your ear, we all had a quiet drink and chats in a bar. We then went to a very civilised Indian Restaurant (rather than a curry house, the only one open at three am, the reason being that only incredibly drunk people would eat the food and not complain to Health and Safety the next morning). It was delightful, we felt neither old nor young, no pretending to be in our twenties and surreptitious glances saw the same creep of age on everyone as on us. Husband even spent a happy half hour chatting to every man there while chancing a quick photo on his phone of the back of their heads. He's had them printed out today and now we have a gallery of every bald spot in the place. Husband compares tolerably well and is strutting about the house like a twenty nine year old. A twenty nine year old that wears pyjamas and slippers. But twenty nine nonetheless.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Ask Millennium Housewife!

Crikey a month goes by quickly. It's that time again folks, dilemmas answered, life sorted, torments thwarted la la la, you get the gist. Here we go:

Maternal Tales asks:
Dear Millennium Housewife, I've just realised this morning that my child has nits, but I sent her to school anyway. Does this make me a bad mother?

Millennium Housewife writes:

Dear MT, It would be far too easy to say, in a nutshell, yes, this makes you a Bad Mother. Who in their right mind would send their little darling to school covered in lice if there wasn't an end of year prize in it for them? Obviously if there is a prospect of a prize then this action makes you a positively stupendous mother; willing to risk your child's ostracisation and subsequent mental health in order to get that trophy up on the specially made trophy shelf (which heretofore has held only the pasta shell trophy you made yourself just to have something to put there/show off to your friends), so well done you.
But let's look at this more closely. What, really, constitutes a Bad Mother? At what point do we slide from slightly slummy, to downright dirty? I mean, to start with you noticed your child had nits, that's brilliant! Close Observation skills are coming along nicely, as is the Identification, but not the Elimination, side of your parenting lessons. Another well done is due here I think, and feel free to make another pasta shell trophy, it will really mean something this time.
However, just before you go rummaging in the dry goods cupboard (you do have one of those don't you, it's not just all stuffed under the sink?), you need to consider the circumstances of the aforementioned Close Observation skills. There may be a point in considering when exactly your child contracted nits, and how long therefore it took you to notice them. Of course, if the nits had reached such gargantuan proportions that you first noticed them as they leaped tall buildings in a giant leap, or that their weight was causing your child neck problems that no neck brace seemed to fix, or indeed that they had been there so long that they had developed their own society complete with currency and language, then I suggest you put down that fussilli and consider your shortcomings.
Or, if you would like a more user friendly, and downright easier suggestion, I always find a great deal of comfort in denial, and removing my contact lenses for five days out of seven. Do that and you can place your child's nit ridden head to your guilt free bosom and claim Good Motherhood.
I know which I'd do.

Mud In The City asks:

Dear Millennium Housewife, my new washing machine is being held hostage by the delivery man. I am very close to running out of clean pants. Please help.

Millennium Housewife says:

Dear Mud, firstly I read your blog, and I know that you're a girl (or else a man with serious gender issues, issues too huge to be dealt with in this blog, so sorry if that's where you wanted me to go with this), and girls wear knickers, not pants. Boys wear pants, they're stretchy and large, often with a Y front and usually sport a little wet spot at the front. They also wear boxer shorts, like loose pants, normally slightly larger but still have that little wet spot. In extreme cases boys also wear comedy boxer shorts, that's right, boxer shorts with funny things on them. To make you laugh (hence the comedy title). I'm not sure of the usefulness of these, they seem to serve little or no purpose except to the wearer, who unless he wears a brand new pair every day, with a brand new joke on them, surely tires of the same old gag morning after morning. So the only reason I can see is to entertain anyone daring to enter the boxer short zone, and, surely, that's not the kind of entertainment he was hoping to provide. He's taken time, chatting, wooing, working all his tricks to get her into bed, probably spent a fair amount of his mortgage and made up the equivalent amount about his life to find himself in the desired position of being allowed to take each other's clothes off. Imagine then his consternation when the object of his desires finally (finally!) gets to the boxer short taking off bit, only to laugh uproariously and loudly when looking down there. Is that going to do anything for a chap's self esteem? In a word, no, unless he is using them as a decoy so that when presented with what's under the boxer shorts she is too laughed out to repeat the gesture. In which case they're a brilliant idea.
Anyway, unless the delivery men are threatening to cut off your washing machine's ear or some such grisly thing, I suggest you let them hang onto it and get yourself to Marks and Spencer for some knickers. They look so much better with bras.

Working Mum On The Verge (I think she means on the verge of a crises, I don't think she's parked permanently on a verge) asks:

Dear Millennium Housewife, How can I eat my five-year-old's Easter eggs without her realising? How come she has some left? And how come she knows exactly what she has left?

Millennium Housewife writes:

Dear Working Mum (and greetings to your verge, if indeed that is where you are sitting). Firstly you've asked three questions, a little greedy quite frankly, but then that is what we are talking about isn't it? Greed. You have already eaten your own Easter eggs, and now your prudent and restrained child is going to have to pay the price by donating hers. I know how you feel, and here's how to do it:
  • Send five year old to granny's/school/friends/her room for the day
  • Take all left over eggs out of packaging
  • Make a mould of all pieces of chocolate by pressing it in playdoh
  • Remove chocolate from mould so you are left with an impression on the chocolate
  • Create a paste from flour and water adding enough gravy browning so that the colour resembles chocolate
  • Place paste into the playdoh moulds and put in airing cupboard for two hours
  • Once two hours are up, carefully remove playdoh from the chocolate paste
  • You are left with an identical set of chocolate pieces as the original chocolate
  • Place fake set back in original wrappers
  • Eat child's chocolate
  • Let child eat fake chocolate
  • Consider it a lesson in healthy eating/being too slow at eating Easter eggs


Send your dilemmas to the comments box or email me at

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

New Balls Please

I would just love to keep you all guessing about who it is exactly that needs the new balls: The Dog or The Husband? You decide (if you want to imagine the last bit in a Big Brother stylee voice you may do, it adds to the ambiance).

But I think to leave you all without an answer would be cruel. More cruel than lopping off a man/dog's balls? It depends on where you're standing, and I'm standing next to the surgeon, on her toes, making sure she does it right. And thoroughly. With an extra scrape just to make sure she got all of it. Ha! take that super sperm, and that! I could be the champion of Sperm Space Invaders zapping all I see with the surgeon's scalpel, ferreting out any malingerers with my supersonic eyesight and lightening reflexes. Ah the joy.

Anyway, just before any of you start cheering and whooping me on, adding up the scores as we contemplate the childbirth v vasectomy debate and thinking that Husband finally succumbed to going Where No Man Should Ever Go (TM) I'm afraid it was the dog who went first. Just so he can try it out and let me know what it's like reasoned Husband. It was a hefty argument, especially when garnished with the fear of never being able to go commando again in case the seams rub the scar. Quite. The thought of never again discovering that Husband had gone commando on a romantic night out/black tie dinner/friend's intimate soiree/business lunch/work day would be enough for me to book the vasectomy, children or no children. But he was adamant: not yet, maybe later, I'm going to use the same phrase as my own contribution to our contraception. I do feel for him though, really I do, enough to book myself a spa weekend and shopping trip to Monaco.

So it was poor old Twizzle's turn, yet again the family experiment (ooh I think a dog would be lovely, lets get one and see), I took him in the car after a last breakfast of his favourite sausages. Husband says getting the dog to eat sausages was cruel and metaphorical but I swear Twizzle didn't decipher any hidden meaning in what was, I swear, his favourite food.
Husband refused to come lest I'd organised a sting operation where the minute he entered the vet's a Big Burly Man would wrest him to the ground and clamp a large white chloroformed hankie to his face. "Surgeon and nurse Stat!" he'd yell as Husband struggled, watery eyed, eventually succumbing to going under but not before attempting to cross his legs in one last, futile attempt at defiance. The final indignity being the nurses carrying him into the surgery, legs akimbo, giggling as they compared him to the Persian cat they did this morning.

Husband waved us off at the door instead with a white hankie, yelling at Twizzle to send him a postcard and reminding me to remind the surgeon not to spare the knife. "It'll soon be over" he yelled cheerfully, glass of Champagne swilling over the drive,  "I can't wait to hear all about it".

Twizzle meanwhile was oblivious to it all, big spaniel tail wagging furiously at the adventure he was going on, mild curiosity as to why the children had been left at My Mother's, but hey ho, it must mean he's really important and special which of course he is. Even more so with out his balls.

So Twizzle as we know him is no more, a couple of pounds lighter and a little more worldly wise than at the beginning of that fateful car journey. He's doing well though and has assured Husband that he's got absolutely nothing to worry about. Not only did it not hurt but Husband won't have to wear the stupid cone he's got round his neck. He thinks it's ruining his chances with the ladies.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Things I have said To My Parents Today

  • I'm fine
  • No I'm just eating a sandwich so I sound a little muffled
  • No really I'm fine
  • I know I shouldn't eat on the phone
  • No don't call me back I'll put the sandwich down
  • Peanut butter
  • I don't have a nut allergy
  • Why would I need an adrenaline pen if I don't have an allergy?
  • But I don't need one
  • Shirley's daughter has one because she's allergic to nuts
  • I'm not allergic to nuts
  • There's no could be about it, I'm not allergic
  • OK I'll go to the doctors tomorrow and ask her for an allergy pen
  • She'll laugh at me you know
  • I know she wouldn't be laughing if I went in dying of a nut allergy
  • No thanks you don't need to come with me
  • Yes everything else is fine
  • How many times do I what?
  • Sorry, I thought you asked how often I was mating
  • You did
  • What kind of question is that?
  • I don't care if Oprah said it was a good indication of the state of a marriage
  • It's just not something you ask
  • I'm not telling you
  • This conversation is not happening
  • la la la la la la la
  • About three times a week
  • Well I'm glad Oprah thinks that's healthy
  • I'm really not interested in how often you and dad mate
  • I said I wasn't interested
  • Please stop discussing dad's mating habits
  • In the shed?
  • I really wish you hadn't told me that
  • No don't put him on I really don't want to know
  • Hi dad
  • I really don't want to know
  • I don't care whether you were alone or not
  • Well Mother gets these weird ideas
  • Just stop her watching Oprah that should do it
  • Yes I'm sure you are missing a good night's sleep
  • It's just a phase it'll be something else next
  • Yes hopefully something to do with growing tomatoes

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Ask Millennium Housewife!

It has come to my attention that a lot of you need help. A lot of you need a lot of help. Due to the credit crunch and the lack therefore of ready cash I am offering a brand new service on this blog called Ask Millennium Housewife! A cheap alternative to the therapy you all so obviously need every month right here.
Now, I don't claim to be qualified in any way, or indeed be more able than you are to solve your problems but having spent years solving my own problems I thought I'd give yours a shot. So how about it? Free advice from someone of thirty odd years of experience? Not to be sniffed at I tell you.
Anyway, in true Blue Peter style a few Facebook friends have been asking advice for a while so I'll start with them. I don't know that they meant their problems to be solved quite so publicly so I'll use initials, you know who you are.

K. from Newcastle writes:
Dear Millennium Housewife, my two year old daughter appears to be more popular than me and it's worrying. Help!

Millennium Housewife writes:
Dear K, you are right to be worried, no one likes being upstaged by a two year old, there's plenty of time for that when she turns eighteen and you realise she's the one everybody is wolf whistling at and you're the haggard old woman reflected in the shop window. However, all toddlers are popular, so I doubt that the problem lies with your daughter being more popular than average. Oh, no, I think the problem may lie with you being less popular than average. It may be time to have a long hard think about things. For instance, when looking in the mirror are you simply relieved to see at least one friend? Do you fore go deodorant? Toothpaste? A daily shower? Do your eyebrows knit in one long loo brush like shape? Do you, perchance, have a penchant for growling while walking, swinging one arm madly while hunching over a pine cone? Think about it, a 'yes' to any of the above may be the answer to your problem.
If you have an 'other half' (a real flesh and blood one, not the one you talk to loudly between growls in the park) you could ask him/her to watch out for any of the signs I've mentioned and try to correct them
When you've established the cause of your unpopularity and taken steps to remedy it, take your toddler to the park and attempt to make friends by smiling and nodding to people. Don't forget to put down your pine cone and tie your arm to your side, you'll look a lot more approachable this way.
When people smile back at you, attempt a light conversation along the lines of the weather or what day it is (make sure you know what day it is or this bit may fail). Smile and nod a lot, but you're going for friendly and approachable remember, not friendless and worried you might be unhinged, even though that appears to be true.
Hope this helps. MH

J from Solihull writes:
Dear Millennium Housewife, I have a friend who runs too fast, what can I do?

Millennium Housewife writes:

Dear J, I know you, and I know the friend you are talking about. You may find that this friend's Husband is dangling a large bottle of Chardonnay in front of her to help her run fast, the old donkey and carrot trick rarely fails. Simply remove the wine from in front of your friend and all should be well. Better still dangle the wine behind her and watch her reverse. Hours of fun. MH

B from Warwick writes:
Dear Millennium Housewife, I am finding myself less and less inclined to go to the gym, but when I don't I end up putting on a lot of weight. Do you have an answer for me?

Millennium Housewife writes:
B, I think you just need to see this in a whole new light. Surely there is a way to eat a lot, not put on weight and not go to the gym? There is, and I'm going to share it with you.
Let us first look at the whale, a large creature admittedly, but perfect in proportion to what a whale should look like. But do you ever see a whale at the gym? Do whales ever congregate in the park for a spot of exercise? Do whales write to Millennium Housewife worrying about such things? In a word no. And why? Because they eat krill. That's right, they eat tiny tiny things all the time and never get fat.
So that's what you've got to do. Eat single celled organisms only and maintain that waist line forever. I suggest you start with amoeba and move on to other organisms as and when you feel your digestion can take it. Start in your neighbour's pond if you haven't got one yourself and swim slowly and gently around with your mouth wide open at all times collecting as much amoeba as you can. Repeat this everyday to prevent hunger pangs and try to keep it up in your sleep too. If whales can do it, you can. Good Luck MH

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Things I Have Said To My Husband Today

  • Yes I know you try, I just thought we could make it a rule
  • You're very good at putting your suit ready for the dry cleaners
  • And checking the pockets, yes
  • It's just that today at the dry cleaners your underpants flew out of your trousers and hit the dry cleaning lady in the face
  • Followed by your socks
  • It was not her lucky day it was really embarrassing
  • Well could you check your clothes for underwear before putting them in the dry cleaning bag?
  • And while we're at it could you put your underwear in the dirty washing basket
  • It's in the laundry
  • Next to the kitchen
  • In the kitchen there's a door, behind it is the laundry
  • I'll show you
  • No I won't take your underwear while I'm at it
  • What do you mean Camilla wouldn't make you pick up your underwear?
  • Camilla's your secretary
  • I know she thinks you're great but that doesn't prove the underwear thing
  • No we're not calling her to ask
  • Put the phone down
  • I said put the phone down

Things I Have said To Camilla Today

  • Hi Camilla
  • Yes I know
  • Sorry he called
  • It wasn't a row I just wanted him to pick his underwear up
  • You would make him if you lived with him I swear

Things I Have Said To My Husband Today

  • That was really embarrassing
  • No not as embarrassing as the pants hitting the dry cleaning lady in the face
  • Yes nearly as embarrassing as you mentioning vibrators in front of My Mother
  • She still asks about that you know
  • About what it is
  • And how one might use one
  • And where one might buy one from
  • And whether my Dad might like one for Christmas
  • I know you said they were fun
  • Well she thinks it's some kind of hand warmer
  • And that maybe Dad could use one at the football in the winter
  • Well yes it does get quite chilly
  • You're missing the point
  • You've opened a whole Pandora's box
  • One where My Mother uses the word vibrator liberally and without restraint
  • Not just at Church
  • At the supermarket in front of the cream cakes
  • Well it put me off cream cakes for a start
  • Maybe you're right
  • OK, get her one for Christmas and let her solve it for herself
  • Just don't let Dad take it to the football

Monday, 6 April 2009

Things I Have Learned When Running Your First Ever 10km Race

  1. You are there to do your best, not win, so run as slowly as you can, in fact walk if you feel like it.
  2. If older/fatter/greyer people finish before you it's because of the drugs.
  3. You can alleviate some of the boredom of long distance running by mentally calculating how many calories you will have burned once you reach the finish line. Don't forget to add an extra 200 onto the tally for luck.
  4. Other people's bottoms wobble, don't laugh and point.
  5. Never, ever announce you're going to do a Paula Radcliffe and pretend to drop your drawers by the side of the road, your running buddies won't find it funny and may run off leaving you behind with half your bottom hanging out and a salvation army man approaching with a Stern Look.
  6. When running past official race photographers remember to watch where you are going rather than trying to angle them your best side, they also don't take kindly to requests for another shot in case you angled that one badly.
  7. The refreshment stand does not serve ice cream.
  8. Race marshalls who shout enthusiastically that you can do it should not be punched in the mouth.
  9. Any questions regarding an alleged punching of a race marshall in the mouth can wait until the end of the race, whatever the policeman says.
  10. If your friend finishes 10 minutes ahead of you ignore her for one week. It's her own fault for doing more training.
  11. At some point if you really feel you're ready to quit, imagine the pain and humiliation of handing Husband the £10 he bet you.
  12. Short cuts will not be tolerated. Nor will attempts to bribe the race marshal.
  13. Organisers will not stop the clock for you if you decide to have a bit of a sit down. Even if you cry.
  14. Do not say beep beep in a condescending way to someone you are overtaking, they will overtake you later and laugh.
  15. Do not be discouraged when being overtaken by a large, vertical armadillo.
  16. On the final 100m it is futile to try to claw back 10 minutes by running really fast.
  17. Never, I repeat, never question the accuracy of the Official Clock, they can take your medal away.
  18. There isn't any chocolate in the goody bag.
  19. A muesli bar does not make up for lack of chocolate.
  20. The medal isn't made of gold. And isn't worth it.
  21. The fish and chips, plus donut, on the way home really, really is.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Things I Have said To my Sat Nav Today

  • Ah, let's see
  • Errr is this the right button?
  • OK I think that's it
  • Take me home you honey
  • I would have gone left there but hey ho
  • Are you sure?
  • Right?
  • I think it's left
  • Right I'm going left
  • Yes yes yes you recalculate away my dear
  • Still recalculating? Ah well
  • Please don't use that tone with me
  • I'm telling you it isn't straight on here
  • I don't care what you say it isn't straight on
  • I saw that look
  • I'm going right
  • You can recalculate as much as you like, it'll pass the time while I'm getting us home
  • Ssh please I'm trying to think
  • That's it I'm turning you off
  • Ahh much better
  • Err, hello again could you have a look at your map and see where we are?
  • Which way now?
  • Well you're the one with the map, you figure it out
  • If you'd just concentrate on where we're going rather than constantly pointing out where I'm going wrong you might get better results
  • You'll be starting on my driving next
  • Don't give me the silent treatment you know it drives me mad
  • Right, you sulk away while I try and get us out of here
  • Which way?
  • Stop sulking
  • Do you want to drive?
  • I said Do. You. Want. To. Drive?
  • Right that's it, you're driving
  • Hurry up I'm not standing here in the cold forever
  • Oh I see, too chicken
  • Perhaps I could have a bit of respect for the rest of the journey
  • Now which way?
  • Right you say? OK, but you'd better be right
  • Ah yes I see where we are now
  • Yes yes well done
  • But you are quite annoying
  • Well done for getting us home
  • Please stop talking now we're here
  • Yes I know we've reached our destination, I'm pretty good at recognising my own home
  • Now you're just rubbing it in

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Boxing Clever

OK, so in order to tell you all about this I'm going to have to mention Unmentionables, those things that perhaps one might perchance enjoy as a way of keeping a relationship alive (a married respectable one you understand). Things that, once children come along are removed hastily from convenient bedside drawer to The Box At The Back Of The Cupboard and dusted off on anniversaries and Christmas, ok then, just anniversaries, sorry anniversary. So if you're easily offended move your eyes downward to the *.
So my friend, we'll call her Claire, and her Husband has such a box of Unmentionables, and it was an anniversary recently to boot, so you could imagine the scene here to be set the morning after the night before. As indeed it was. Sunday morning, bleary eyed, Husband and Claire woke from a slightly drunken sleep grunting and aiming kicks at each other to see who would cave first and go and get the children. Rubbing his shin and mentioning something about her going down to get the tea he lolloped off in her dressing gown to allow the children to get out of bed. And here is where the fatal error was made. He brought the children into the bedroom, failed to reawaken her to demand tea and set off downstairs himself to make it. I mean how selfish? How long would it have taken him to scan the bedroom floor for a hint of Unmentionable action left out from last night before heading down to make her tea? As Her Mother says, staff these days aren't what they used to be.
Anyway, cut to ten minutes later and the family are sitting in bed enjoying Sunday morning, tea in bed, a bit of play before getting up and starting the day. A scene you could have taken from the Waltons had they shown everyone saying good morning to each other rather than goodnight. Except of course I doubt within that scene, Ma and Pa had a live box of Unmentionables on the bedroom floor (now Grandpa on the other hand...). Just as they're finishing the last gulp of tea Five year old daughter decides that Now is a good time to get up and leaps off the bed straight into the path of The Box. Oooh she said, who got this down (Husband, she swears) it's the box from the back of your cupboard isn't it mummy? She paused and stretched her little hand out to open the lid of the box.
Husband and Claire turned almost imperceptibly towards each other, the world stopped for a brief, agonising second, birds muffled silence in the trees, a startled dear lifted her head, curious. The air stayed solid around the scene, no movement allowed in or out as they waited, waited for the Earth to intake a breath, and as she did ravens cawed around the roof, ominous in their calling. It was Parent verses Child: Parent's ability to think quickly and concisely verses a five year old's dexterity fuelled by curiosity. They had milliseconds to act, to formulate a thought, form it into a sentence, wait for it to travel across time and space, enter the ear of a five year old and (here comes the tricky bit) register strongly enough to stop said five year old opening the box and beginning what they could only imagine would be their toughest question and answer session to date. This, unfortunately would probably climax (sorry) at five year old choosing a choice item from the box behind their backs and taking it to school for show and tell.
Claire was just about to yell No! in an authoritative I'm The Mummy And You Do As I Say kind of voice which rarely ceases to fail, when in one second of pure unadulterated panic Husband yelled out No! don't open it, it's got your birthday presents in!
Five year old's hand quivered, then stopped, she turned to them, eyes shining, mouth grinning: really? she squealed, is this where Santa keeps my Christmas presents too? Husband turned to look at Claire, the realisation dawning (slowly) upon him as to what he'd done. The sense of pride and acheivement he had been wearing for the briefest of seconds sloughing off his face like a hot wax mask, only to show the horror and confusion underneath. Claire sat there, unswallowed mouthful of tea sitting on her tongue and began a slow hand clap at the effort. Five year old's eyes were positively dancing with delight as she considered what she thought she had unearthed. Not only was this the Mysterious Box At The Back Of The Cupboard, the one where even on a chair and on tiptoe she could only tickle with her fingers, but this was also a Magical Box, a Mysterious Box, the box which held her presents, the box that Santa Himself used to store her Christmas presents.
They could see her thoughts sparking out of her head, cue circus music: de de de de di di di as laughing, dancing clowns came out juggling Barbies, elephants wearing frilly skirts snorted sweets all around, dancing bears and trapeze artistes whirled about the room, the marvellous, the magical, the invincible Box bore witness to all fantasies a five year old treasures. A Box of Delights.
Claire told me this story behind her hand (knowing full well that I was taking mental notes for this blog). So, dutifully I have blogged it, I hope her Husband recognises himself. Well done Husband, you have just managed the unmanageable; made an innocuous and pretty much invisible cardboard box into The Most Exciting Box In The World. Hurrah. To be fair though, he's right whatever he shouted, it did do the job. Though there'll be a fair fewer of those on offer around there for a while.

*you can start reading from here