Wednesday 30 January 2008

Seven random facts...

The wonderful Potty Mummy has hunted me down and tagged me for Seven Random facts: Thank you for rescuing me!
She actually caught me in the middle of a flurry of paperwork as I frantically finished my self-assessment tax return before the deadline. I always promise myself that I will not be caught out again but invariably I am and as deadline approaches things get more desperate. All that paperwork I meant to file in July has to be sorted out and the receipts and bills I stuffed in drawers, files and shoe boxes have to be pout into date order so I can work out what I did spend and try to tally that with the bank account – how I wish sometimes that I made life easier for myself and either a) gave up my job or b) got an accountant or maybe even c) got myself a really efficient secretary….
This year I have been totally swamped and now as I look round my office in the aftermath there is not a single spare surface not covered in piles of paper and there is no point even suggesting I look for the carpet. Suffice to say I do know it’s there…

Seven Random Facts….

I only have 24 teeth….
Now you’re all using your tongue to count how many teeth you have some will have about 28 and others maybe even 32 I think with Wisdom teeth you’re meant to have 32 but although as friends and family will attest I have a perfectly large enough mouth there just wasn’t enough room for all my teeth so the dentist removed some. Problem was no one told me he’d be doing it! It came as an awful shock one school holiday and I am afraid I still haven’t really forgiven my mother….
I am NOT organised….
See above
I have lived and/or visited 11% of the countries of the world
Would I have had it any different growing up and travelling all over the place as a camp follower – I doubt it. What a privileged life I have led! And what places I have lived! From the tiny state of Brunei to the far-flung reaches of the arctic. The only shame of it is I cannot possibly take my boys to all these wonderful places…
As a child I read Dodie Smith’s 101 Dalmatians 41 times
I loved this book quite literally to pieces and even though I must have known the story virtually by heart it was still a new story every time I read it. Even now there are certain books I can just read and read and read. They are not necessarily classics nor are they necessarily high blown literature just books that can help me when I feel down or lonely, sad or just tired. Reading has been my escape and my solace. Heaven would be a library of everything I ever wanted to read and all those books that I would enjoy just at the time I needed them.
I sleep with my whippet in bed (and I always will)
It’s a dreadful habit, quite probably extremely unhealthy but I can’t see myself giving it up. I’m afraid and I will come clean or dirty whichever way you’d like to interpret it but she sleeps under the covers in a little ball either at my feet or even right beside me. Dear Charlie sleeps with my whippet’s daughter - I do so like the corruption of individuals especially those who adamantly say they would never in a million years…even better when they agree it’s rather nice!
I still daydream that one day I when I am a grown up I will be famous but life keeps getting in the way…
Why do I do this I will never know. At 14 or 15 there was everything to play for and now at 40+, well to be honest it ain’t likely to happen now perhaps I do it to pretend I am still young for I don’t feel any older than I did then. And it is far more amusing than sorting out paperwork or doing my tax return!
My narrative is kept in the National archive…
Somewhere in the National Archive is a recording of me done for the Millennium. I believe hundreds, if not thousands, of people from all over the country were asked about their lives and what living in Britain in the 20th century meant to them. I think mine was a load of old rubbish. I was NOT in a good space at the time and very stressed out with preparations for getting married, no job, huge and mounting debts and on a massive come down following my trip to the Magnetic North Pole. Real life was just happening far too fast and not quite in the way I had envisaged….
There we are seven random fact for you delectation!

Wednesday 2 January 2008

I love children but I couldn’t manage a whole one…

When I was younger, child free and lived in London I never noticed children per se - a bit like in movies they just weren’t seen, let alone heard. That is, unless they became the focus of attention.
In London this would be brought painfully to my attention especially if I was late for work. I would find myself caught up in the school run trapped between dark blue Volvos and sleek grey Mercedes as they cruised shark like for the elusive parking spot closest to the school gates slewing from either side of the road as I cycled furiously so as not to be squashed into the kerb.
At other times I would find myslef having to brake and veer wildly as the Mummies opened their car doors oblivious to other road users while they businy hauled out a well scrubbed and matching pair of blonde bobbed juniors to plonk them with a sigh of relief at their corresponding educational establishments.
On other occasions it would be the screaming child at Peter Jones in the glassware department near the spiral staircase right next to the front entrance or horrors in the middle of Sainsbury’s at Nine Elms. How I stared, how I tutted and shook my head or else averted my gaze so as not to embarrass the poor lone mother already heavily weighed down with a paraphernalia of parcels, plastic bags and for good measure another mewling infant on the verge of eruption.
The poor mother would have to cope in ever growing isolation and you’d hear pleadings, sobs, and bribery all in a desperately hushed whisper. Occasionally mother would explode startling children and shoppers alike but it had the desired affect. To be honest I have no idea what is the best policy in those situations. I think in myself satisfied single life - as it was then – I believed that of course I would do it better. Today I was well and truly hoisted by my own petard.
It all started off so well, we found a space to park, we got a trolley, we got into the store and we even started to get shopping but from then on in it was an unmitigated disaster.
The Boy: I’m hungry!
Me: You’ll have to wait darling…
The Boy: I want a banana
Me: I said you’ll have to wait - it won’t be long
The Boy: Look Mummy a pineapple – I want a pineapple!
Me: No love we don’t need one of those
The Boy: Why not?
Me: They’re not ripe yet (and they’re too expensive.)
The Boy: Look Mum! Strawberries!
What strawberries in January? English??!!! Oh from Peru
Me: How lovely Darling but we’re not having those…
The Boy: Why not?
Me: They have come too far love we need to get food that is grown in season
The Boy: But if they’re here they’ve grown haven’t they? So they’re in season…
Can’t fault the logic can you?
It carried on like this wanting things, whining about things because he could not have them until at last frustrated by the fact that for some unknown reason there was no milk I told him to be quiet or there would be no Gingerbread Man treat for him.
The Boy stood there and dissolved into the most heart-rending picture of an angel being told it would never get to heaven. The sobs tore at your very soul right there in the dairy aisle slap bang in the middle of Waitrose on a busy Wednesday afternoon.
I was dumbfounded, out paced and totally out of my depth. I began to wonder if I had been a little too harsh - perhaps I was a little rough when I said the big N.O.
I put my arms around him only for the sobs to get worse and turn to wailing nay keening. The Littlest stared at his brother in awe and catching my eye silently held out his arms for a cuddle pleading for reassurance as the wails got more and more wild and his brother’s shoulders started to quake – it was all getting rather out of hand and the crowd was getting uncomfortably large. I was furious, the little bugger was making a total show I longed to give him a short sharp slap across his behind and everyone was starting to stare and mutter I glared at them all and then back at the source of it all who was now beginning to hiccough uncontrollably. So I started to clap and holler: “Oh well done lovely, marvellous darling – the show’s over now and we’ll collect your Oscar at the checkout!”
I don’t think The Boy quite expected that and I have no idea where it came from but snatching an opportune moment I grabbed his arm and stormed off past the cheese and round the corner into the frozen aisles where it was a little less crowded. Hissing at him I warned him that if he ever tried that on again… but faltered what would I do? Luckily he had been taken by surprise and had gone very quiet. We were given a wide berth, which annoyed me even more.
I marched purposefully around doing the last bits of the shopping trailing a quietly crying child overhearing the occasional snuffle and mutter from him. The Littlest was silent taking it all in clutching his Jelly Cat in one hand and my sleeve with the other.
Dignity just about intact I made it to the cashiers’ desk and out of shop – oh the relief!!!
We were all very quiet on the journey home.

Go on you know you want to...


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