Monday 31 January 2011

Siamese cats, builders, pantries and tax returns...

A relaxed siamese cat before teh builders arrived...
It’s Monday 31st January 2011, I have only a few hours in which to complete my self-inflicted tax return for last year, there is dust everywhere and there are strange noises coming from the vicinity of the Kitchen.
I am ordered to produce two white, one with one and the other with two, a black and a white coffee and a glass of water before the dust settles; also please could I remove the dogs and what do I want to do with the Agatha the siamese cat?
I hope that question is not because she’s died of a heart attack with all the noise that has rudely intruded on her domain. I think she was busy in her cat litter tray that was against the wall which is due to be removed and they did some exploratory drilling. I think I too may have had a heart attack at that!
Apparently she is now sitting on top of the Alpha Cooker (a kind of Aga) hissing at everyone and not allowing them near her; I don’t blame her.
I am trying to do the same incarcerated in my office but without the baring of teeth and spitting accompanied by mad swings with my claws, the builders don’t seem to be showing me the same respect.
The dogs just roll their eyes and flop in their baskets as if this is an everyday occurrence, I admire their sang froid.
So I distract myself to keep myself calm as more banging thumping and crashing from downstairs ensues and comfort myself that at the end of it all I’ll have a utility room where I don’t have to strangle myself on electric wires as I load and unload; a downstairs loo and a pantry, a real live pantry! Heaven!

Saturday 29 January 2011


Do I think it a good idea to shop on a Saturday? No I do not. In fact I think that those who do not HAVE to shop on a Saturday shouldn't - BY LAW.
I know I am getting a bit draconian in my old age but I am beginning to feel very strongly about this. First there are the OAPs who shop on a Saturday. Now lovelies I know it is difficult to change the habit of a lifetime but Saturday shopping is  a no no for you guys because you can shop ANY day of the week so stop clogging the aisles  and the car park and go for a nice Pub lunch or trip to the Seaside leave the supermarkets to those who need to shop because this is the ONLY day they can shop owing to having to work ALL week. This would reduce the incidences of trolley rage considerably and lead to a much calmer society.
Then there are the stay at home Mums/Dads with toddlers again you can actually shop ANYday of the week so don't put yourself or your offspring through the Saturday shop; please!
This also pertains to hairdressers. I don't know about you but when you work and you really need to get a hair cut it is rather galling to know that you can't get a slot because Mrs Thomas ( aged 74) has her regular Blue Rinse on a Saturday...ladies if you don't have to please please don't it is SO unfair!
I know of course there are exceptions but a little thought for your harrassed Saturday shoppers who would really rather be doing something much nicer...

Thursday 27 January 2011

Who does what in your home?

I have a feeling that although I complain a lot about my other half NOT doing anything round the house; I might have been exaggerating a bit. Why should I confess that? Well I have been watching the wonderful Who Does What? programme on BBC2 this evening as you do when you are waiting for Emmerdale to get going again after its dun dun dun break when it then tells you it will be back in half an hour.
Most sane people of course would be getting on with the laundry or else cooking their other half a three course cordon bleu feast. Not me I laze back in my chair pretend I haven’t seen the dog do by the fire in the other room and grab another glass of the good old Vino Plonko to accompany my mindless foray into mid-evening TV: the bit after the soaps but before the real drama of the night.
So there I am mindlessly zapping when I see it: A woman sitting on her bed laughingly with gritted teeth shrugging off the fact that HE seems to be enjoying chopping wood to keep the house heated at a balmy 13.5 degrees while she has to do everything else. And it struck a chord so I stopped zapping.
There he was pootling about in blissful ignorance of the fact that is long suffering wife was miserable and so would I be if I was kept that cold and had to do all the crappy jobs. Then it dawned on me, as it did on him, that if you land up doing all the crappy jobs in a marriage then you ain’t going to be that happy about it and may be a tad resentful.
Mostly I land up doing the boring crappy jobs because if I didn’t then they would never get done. So I do all the washing, cleaning, tidying up, letter writing, organisation, finance and weeding while he gets to play bonfires, driving the ride on mower, cooking and doing all the cool thing with eh boys like tennis, swimming, computer games and the like…
Not good.
One of the pundits on the show blamed this on further education for women which meant they were less likely to aspire to keeping their homes tidy. I put it down to the fact that blokes are better at ignoring everything they don’t like doing knowing that females will crack long before they do.
Before I got married Dear Charlie was a very house-proud man, he was also a very good ironer. When we got back from our honeymoon something changed and he became incapable of functioning on this level. He woke one mooring to ask me where his shirts were, I said I had no idea. He said where had I put his clean ones?
Me: “What clean ones?”
Him: “The ones you washed?”
Me, disliking his accusatory tone: “I haven’t washed any of your shirts, Darling
Him, glaring: “What do you mean you haven’t washed my shirts?”
“Well,” says I getting just a tad annoyed, “why should I wash your clothes? I send mine to the dry cleaners*….”
I think it was something we should have discussed before we got married.
Since that little fracas things have changed due to financial circumstances and the fact that there isn’t a decent pick up and return laundry and dry cleaning service in the outer reaches of East Anglia so I do all the laundry and farm out the ironing to the redoubtable Therese, I mean there is only so far I will go on this course of enforced drudgery. For the fact is although he does help out HE always gets to do what he likes while I do all the stuff I don’t like a bit like the couple in the programme.
I had to turn over before the end of the programme to carryon watching Emmerdale but it got me thinking perhaps if I cut down on the stuff I don’t like and delegated some of it perhaps I may get to do some things I do like and perhaps life would be a little more enjoyable?
Do you think you do all the crap jobs at home or are they more evenly divided?

*Please note at the time we both had full time jobs

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Bringing up Boys: It was only a dream!

“I’m not telling! Arrrrgggghhhhhh!”
I sprang out of bed and was down the stairs to The Boy’s room before I even knew I was awake.
Flinging the door open and flicking on the light half expecting to see a stranger in the room, I bellowed out to The Boy.
He was sitting up in bed: “Mummy I had a bad dream!”
Too right my son I thought you could have woken everyone in the village with that yell! “Are you alright love? Do you need to go to the loo?” I say. Those commonplace phrases one uses when words would otherwise fail you, in your relief that nothing is exactly wrong.
He gets up and pads to the loo where he is met by his Dad and as I go to join them after checking that the room is clear of bogey men and other night time terrors, I hear all about the dream.
“Mummy was murdering the dogs!”
I stop on the landing. And wait…what other awful things am I supposed to have done I wonder? I am shocked. I don’t want to be the baddie in my sons’ dreams.
I step forward into the bathroom and The Boy realises I have overheard by the look on my face.
“It’s alright Mummy,” he says, reaching out to hold my hand. “It was only a dream!”

Monday 24 January 2011

Depression: Ten things I LOVE about Depression

  1. Everyone thinks you are either deaf, stupid or both and they tend to speak to you REALLY LOUDLY! Or .Slowly. So. You. Can. Understand…
  2. With depression you either gain or lose weight but never the one you want.
  3. The Medical profession either want to hug you to death or poison you.
  4. Everyone thinks they can cure you “if you will only pull your socks up!”
  5. The pills you take to make you better could make you commit suicide.
  6. People are always surprised when you tell them you work “just like an ordinary person!”
  7. Everyone thinks you’ll want to hear all about their troubles.
  8. On hearing you have depression your boyfriend/ girlfriend thinks you’ll do a Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction)/ Jack Nicholson (The Shining) on him/her.
  9. Everyone is surprised that your children are normal
  10. Nobody thinks depression will ever happen to THEM.

Saturday 22 January 2011

Depression: Today I kicked a hole in the wall…

Sometimes I just cannot cope at all and I want it all to stop. I can’t cope with the enormity of everything I have to do and the fact that however much I do do it will never end. And it is pathetic but at these moments I want my Mum. I want my Mum because I want to be a child again with no more responsibilities. I need to know that someone else will take on the burden so I don’t have to carry it for a while.
However, I fear that if someone did take it on I would never want it back for I don’t find being the responsible one all that rewarding. And it doesn’t help when I am reminded that I am not that good at being the responsible either.
This week I have had three reminders from school about my irresponsibility: firstly I have yet to pay the fees; secondly I must remember to make sure I write in The Boy’s reading book when he has done his reading and finally I need to ensure that my eldest spends at least 10 minutes a night doing his Education City.
All of these are reasonable requests which any parent should find simple enough to do but I don’t and it makes me feel even more inadequate for my son also needs to do his other homework and of course his piano practise. I am a bad parent for not being organised enough to shoe horn all this in.
And then I look around my home which is in utter chaos with carpenters, odd job men and landscape gardeners everywhere and it is not as if I had originally meant them to be here at the same time. What with the big freeze and the snow and could I possibly help out by bringing forward a few odd jobs because work had fallen through on a job elsewhere and the rent still has to be paid and I land up with ten folk round my place and I can’t even sit down for a cup of tea without someone needing direction or clarification and in amongst all this I still have deadlines to meet. So is it any wonder that by the end of the week I kick back? Problem is when I kicked I thought the wall was made of brick, how was I to know it was made of plaster board with a stonking great hollow behind it.
Now I have to call in the plasterer to get it fixed!

Go on you know you want to...


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