Tuesday 30 March 2010

Normal Service Will Resume Shortly!

The Old Weasle has been in survival mode for a few weeks now. I'm fine and coping but as part of that coping I am also going to write about it. You know, that old old chestnut "Me and My Depression". Just so's I can get a handle on it and maybe share a few humourous anecdotes because  even a depressive cannot take life too seriously...(laugh it's meant to be funny!)
I feel a little scared about dedicating a whole blog to depression and my life with it. But perhaps with your indulgence and hopefully curiosity a few may get a better understanding of what depression can be like from one who knows and a few others will note that perhaps they aren't as odd as they think they are!
I will warn I have no intention of holding back in it, at times it will be graphic, obnoxious and hopefully wil also make you laugh - for laughter really is the best medicine!
So here it is pop a long to Cage without A Key

Wednesday 17 March 2010

'Scuse me Anglo Saxon...

I think I am related to Hagar the Horrible, well I am afraid my language is; it is definitley Anglo Saxon (although Hagar is of course a Viking but where my language and Hagar are similar is in the fact that both are basically dirty!). Someone once told me that swearing indicated a lack of imagination - but when I swear I promise my language is highly imaginative. The cadence of my voice, the rhythm of my speaking, the feeling I put into those four letter words - I need no others.
But perhaps I really should moderate my language...it's not as if I have not been warned!
A few years ago my Mother and I went shopping to Norwich to buy The Boy some shoes. He was about three or four at the time. It was a glorious sunny spring day prbably teh first for many weeks a bit like now. We parked the other end of Pottergate and walked in past teh market and to the Royal Arcade looking for children's shoe shops. Everywhere we went we saw people eating ice creams.
The Boy: Mummy can I have an icecream?
Me: No darling we are going to buy shoes...
After traipsing about some more we found the perfect place for shoes and bought a pair of beautiful red trainers which met the approval of my mother, my approbation and of course, most importantly, they got the nod from the Boy.
Passing waterstones on the way to Habitat, The Boy saw some more people eating ice creams.
The Boy: Mummy I want and ice cream!
me: I want never gets, now come on Boy we have more shopping to do.
And so we did, wandering around Habitat and  detouring into Jarrolds. Finally after what must have seemed like ages and feelign just a tad hot and bothered we started to make our way back to the car up Pottergate.
We passed and ice cream vendor.
The Boy: Mummy I want an ice cream...
I ignored him.
The Boy: Granny I want an icecream.
My Mother ignored him
The Boy: I NEED an ice cream
We both ignored him as we strode purposefully on up the hill with him dawdling a little behind.
Finally the longing got too much for him and just as we all strode into a small square full of studentsd laying around on the grass and smart ladies loitering in front of smart shop windows a carrying voice was heard..
Much as I wanted to charge after my mother, who by now was practically racing away in her attempt to distance herself from us both figurativley as well as physically, I was in no position to pretend he wasn't mine mostly because with that demand he also decided to have a sit down strike...
A few years down the line and I find that I don't like hearing my children swear, while it may be funny in a four year old on the odd occasion it is no good in a seven year old especially when other children are about who are quick tattle tale to their parents.
We now have a swearing box and my purse is definitley getting lighter and as for his swearing - I have hardly heard a bad word...!
Picture shows: Hagar The Horrible by Dik Browne

Thursday 11 March 2010


“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.” Walt Streightiff

Seven Continents
Seven Wonders
Seven Dwarves
Seven days of the Week
The Secret Seven
The Magnificent Seven (Seven Samurai)
Blake's Seven
The Seven Summits
Seven Deadly Sins
Seven Sisters
Seven Seas
Seven Dials
The Seven Year Itch
Seven Colours of the Rainbow
Seven Chakras
There are seven fundamental types of catastrophe
Seven Spot Ladybird
Seven cervical vertebrae
Seven types of virus (according to the Baltimore classification)
Seven is the neutral pH value between acidity and alkalinity
Seven is the atomic number of nitrogen
There are seven stellar objects in the solar system visible to the naked eye from Earth
There are seven stars in the constellations of the Big Dipper and Orion.
Seven Emperors
Seven hills of Rome
Seven Liberal Arts
Seven Sages
Seven years of plenty and seven years of famine in Pharaoh's dream
Seven days of the feast of Passover
Seven Pillars of Wisdom 
Seven Vestal Virgins
Seven Virtues
Seven fires of hell.
Seven blessings
Seven Archangels
The Seven Lucky Gods (Japanese mythology)
Seven notes in the traditional Western Major Scale
Seven inches; The original diameter in inches of the 45rpm format gramophone record.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
The Seventh Seal
Seven Years in Tibet
Seven Cities of Gold 
Today The Boy is SEVEN!!!!!!!

Monday 8 March 2010

A Visit from the Black Dog...

"My Mum’s got the black dog!" Bog Boy announced as he trotted into Nursery this morning
Lorna, the nursery assistant looked a bit baffled and tentatively peered outside to see if there was a large black dog tied up there. I contemplated my next move; I did have a black dog and for the moment it was tied up – figuratively.
"It’s our way of explaining my depression," I told her blithley, I mean how else would you describe it?
Bog Boy seemed totally unfazed and prattled on about his smoothie and wanting to have honey on toast for hsi second breakfast - he has as sunny a nature as any Hobbit. For him my depression is a statement of fact, the ordinary, the normality of his life, no big deal.
Would that I could think of it so prosaically.
This morning I told the boys that Daddy would not be home until tomorrow and that it was very important to try and be good and not wind me up. Now this is a difficult thing for children, let alone boys, to do – it’s in their very natures; it’s not deliberate but when I am in an episode, when the black dog is visiting, it is difficult for me to remember how very little they are. I cannot deal with anything out of the ordinary. All focus is on the Black Dog.
I have known it was coming for what seems like weeks and up until recently have been able to keep it at bay. But a series of sleepless nights with ill children and various other worries has meant that this time the Black Dog will not just wait outside.
All the systems are in place, phone calls have been made, and plans are being followed. We are on Defcon 1. I am under attack and all my energies are focussed on containing the problem. There can be no collateral damage.
I know what I have to do, the things I need to get done, for the bills come in and the work deadlines have to be met over and above the day to day minutiae of my life, however crap I feel. There is no emotional slack for the unexpected, even the smallest of problems can spin me out of control; the car not starting, the boiler going blink, there not being enough cat litter, running out of milk…
Unfortunately, boys not doing what they are told, or complaining they don’t like what they are given to eat etc can equally set me off and that is something I have to be prepared for and so do they.
So on the way to school and Nursery, very matter of factly, I tell them what to expect from me for the day ahead. I dare not contemplate how long it really will last so I just brief them day to day. I tell them that the Black Dog is with me and that they have to help me battle it to send it away again. I tell them how much I need them to help me. I use imagery they can understand along the lines of knights in shining armour and beautiful queens with strange enchantments. It is easier this way and hopefully not so scary - at least for now.
I know that I will have friends over at tea and that Dear Charlie will be telephoning during the evening to see how we are getting on, that my evening with the children, before I put them to bed, is all mapped out and all bases are covered. It feels like a major military operation. I do not look forward to it.
Now, I write this when I would be preferring to talk about chocolate or how well my eldest son, The Boy, is doing at not wetting his bed and how he is looking forward to his first ever sleep over and of course his 7th Birthday. I just hope that the Black Dog will be under control by then and things will be back to normal – whatever that is.
Picture show: Cave Canem from the House of the Tragic Poet, Petronius in Pompeii, Italy

Friday 5 March 2010

Operation Stuffing

I ate my cockerel. And very nice he was too. Usually I have a dilemma every year about my cockerels and the fact I have too many of them but this year we resorted to eating one and perhaps we'll continue.
It seems rather extreme and I totally understand but lets look at it from my hens point of view...
There you are, the sun is shining, you are minding your own business pecking away, scuffling up a bit of dirt and you spot a big fat juciy slug and them BAM!
You get up slightly dazed and shake your head a bit, the bugger who just did this to you really hurt when he grabbed the back of your neck with his beak. You chortle your disgust and give him the eye and then as you turn away to compose youself - BAM! It happens again with a different cockerel.
You let out an almighty squawk and make a dash for the barn where you join the rest of the disgruntled sisterhood. From then on in it is a case of slinking along the sides of buildings and peering around corners to see if you can make it to the hen hut where you can lay and egg in relative peace. You long for the grass and the weeds to grow long so you can hide more effectivley. You are desperate to lay an egg but you don't want any attention thank you very much from anymore lecherous young cocks strutting their stuff in the yard.
You plot the buggers downfall. You remember your youth when cockerels actually did more than just mount you. The days when they courted you and helped you find the juciest morsels, the time when they looked out for you. Now you just want them all to die and to leave you alone. Berlimey you can hardly eat without one or another trying to do his stuff without a by your leave! So much for long summer nights huh!
So you get the picture? Too many cockerels equals too many unhappy and exhausted hens. Solution: Operation Stuffing. I used to get someone else in and they would take the boys away now I am a little less squeamish and in the dead of night when all is calm and the chickens cannot see I slink down to the hen hut with deadly intent. Silently I open the door shine a flashlight in to identify my prey then bouff they are out and the deed done with hardly a squawk. The operation is carried out a few more times and tehn I leave. No evidence that the boys have ever existed.
The next day my hens are happy with the chosen few cockerels to stand guard, to treat them as they should be treated....
Top picture shows: 'Quasimodo' the Silkie Cockerel: a born gentleman despite his looks!

Wednesday 3 March 2010

Being Nice

You are all geared up for a fight, you want a fight. “Bring it on!” you say. You are prepared. You know exactly what to say and how to react, heck you’ve even got the clothes right for once and then…you get metaphorically blown out of the water not by their superior fighting, their clever one liners or cruel twist of logic but just by them being nice!
It is NOT meant to happen. The person you’ve geared yourself up to have a showdown with is not meant to be nice, not now, not today.
Heck for years you have been longing to give them a piece of your mind and finally, after months of building yourself up to it, they start being nice.
OOOhhhh! How I hate that word N.I.C.E.!
Innate politeness means you cannot possibly be nasty when they are being nice. It is NOT done. So you have to be nice back, really nice back - Super Nice indeed. You know, say it like you mean it sort of thing.
The frustration builds up inside and you keep smiling while muttering over and over to yourself, like Dory in Finding Nemo: “Just keep smiling! Just keep smiling!”
The opportunity for a confrontation, which you have been pushing for like forever, recedes as quickly as a rolling mist in the sun, leaving you twitchy, disappointed and cross with yourself.
And there’s also a lingering slightly unpleasant feeling that quite possibly the person you wanted to give a piece of your mind to has outmanouevered you as easily as an bird would a new born kitten.
All that time and effort gone to waste, nothing to show for it at all but perhaps there is? For the best way to confound your enemies and even your friends could be as simple as being nice.

Monday 1 March 2010

Bringing up Boys: Mummy Monsters need their sleep!

I’m lying in bed exhausted and very, very grumpy. Why is it that whenever I get a free pass to have an afternoon kip my boys decide that it is time they played in their bedrooms – loudly?
I bellow at them from underneath the covers, which of course is pretty useless as the muffling properties of one 13 tog duvet, one 100 year old Eiderdown, a fake fur rug and a large green candlewick bedspread of indeterminate age and ancestry, is going to be hard to break through even with my fog horn of a voice.
My dad says I could stand at Flamborough Head and keep the shipping lanes free so loud and carrying is my voice. He’s also called me an Old Fish Wife and he meant it!
However, despite my bellowing and screeching, there is hardly a lull in their enjoyment. So crossly I haul myself from the double bed and stalk over to the top of the stairs, which acts as the entrance to my attic hideaway, and bellow again.
There is a petrified silence, and grumbling and muttering the Mummy Monster stumbles back to its nest.
Downstairs the bad rabbits unfreeze and start to move about again: hippity hoppity. Quiet at first then growing louder and louder as their game of Narnia starts to get more and more exciting. There are baddies at the door and quick they must charge: “For Narnia and Aslan!!” The door is flung open for the brave knights to advance - and I am standing there. The Mummy Monster is NOT pleased.
It orders them to retreat to the Playroom forthwith or suffer a variety of dire consequences ranging from “No more Telly!” to “NO Nintendo!”, “No Jelly Cat!” and even worse banishment to the green house – FOREVER!!!!!
One pair of very quiet sad rabbits troop away all of five feet before there is a push and a shove and they race down the corridor to the stairs yelling about who will get what when they reach the playroom.
The Mummy Monster glowers after them and returns to her pit to sleep.
It is warm and quiet – blissful.
Bog Boy: “Mummum? Do you want a huggy?”
It’s a question I hear from far away down the bottom of the stairs.
Bog Boy: “Mummy? Do you NEED a huggy?”
I hear the pad pad pad of feet tramping up the stairs and I cannot say no can I?
I emerge from the depths and hold out my arms and get the biggest Hug. And the tears start to roll. There he is all of nearly four years old and he is hugging me, the Mummy Monster. The Boy appears from downstairs, curious.
The Boy: “Why are you crying?”
Me, drying my eyes: “Because…”
Because Bog Boy will be the one who holds me when I am old and alone, he’ll be the one to dry my tears, making it better. You’ll be the one organising everything longing to get closer but not knowing how, scared of rejection, being brave and carryingon.
I open my arms wider to dispel these nonsensical prophecies and we all hug and then the Mummy Monster has a quick tickle and there is a squeal of laughter and much giggling before a romp takes place on the bed with duvets, eiderdowns and fake fur rugs.
The Mummy Monster will just have to get some sleep later or perhaps tomorrow when they are at school and nursery….

Go on you know you want to...


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