Friday 29 July 2011

God! I need a holiday just to go on holiday!

ARRRGGGHHHHH I am trying to go on holiday and I am going to, if not already in the middle of blowing a fuse! Talk about stressful! God I need a holiday just to go on holiday!
First I have to get hold of all the paper work. Where is the Euro Tunnel paper that I MUST have with my boarding details and times? It’s somewhere among the piles of detritus on my desk. Buried under research and newspapers and stone cold cups of tea. I knew it was a bad idea to leave it on my desk but at least if it is there it’s not on the floor. But I had a deadline to meet and well I only finished that article at 9am this morning. Then there are the passports and the insurance documents, the wee triangle thingy is in here too I am sure. The boys were playing with it and I confiscated it. All things that get confiscated land up in my office….it gets crowded.
I think the spare bulb is in the kitchen, the bulb for the car headlights which you have to have when travelling in France.
You have to have a lot of things when you travel in France.
I swear I put the bulb in the Jug on the sideboard so I wouldn’t lose it the last time I mucked out the car but there again I could have put it in the tool shed with all the other odds and sods belonging to the car in a fit of being organised.
I mustn’t forget my Day-Glo cat sick coloured reflective vest so that when I do break down or my bulb goes people can see where I am – probably the wrong side of the road.
Oh god yes breakdown cover! Have I enough time to ring the RAC to see if I am covered abroad? Please let them say yes! And does O2 do abroad as well? Or will I come back to a bill the size of the US deficit? Do you think they’d let me default?
Do I know where I am going? I did look on Google but I got lost when I tried to make it bigger so I could see better. Basically I am heading for Le Mans on Saturday, tomorrow. Hope it’s not like Paris; I landed up on the peripherique for hours then got bored and did an impromptu  tour  at 3 in the morning only realising where I was when  I saw the Notre Dame. It would have been far more helpful if they had just left the lights on the Eiffel Tower, but I suppose they needed to save electricity. It was actually quite cool driving round the city when no one else was there I even got to drive through the Arc du Triomphe and down the Champs Elysee, not sure if that was entirely legal though…
I shouldn’t be going anywhere near Paris this time if I manage to read the map right A28 all the way from Calais then Abbeville, Rouen, Le Mans, Saumur and that’s it…it may take me a while as I am driving on my own with no trusty map reader beside me, no one to do the tolls and no one to swap the CDs for me.
And there will be two tetchy boys in the back….
Is it any wonder I am a tad stressed and that’s just at the thought of the journey!
Heck I haven’t packed either never mind documents and other palaver.
Why am I doing this to myself?
Because my family will be there, that’s why. This is meant to be a lovely happy family holiday….you know that just by writing those words I am putting a curse on the whole thing….
Should I just take the valium now?

Thursday 28 July 2011

Get Some Passion In Your Lives!

Do you get passionate? Do you have a passion for something, anything no matter what? If you are passionate life is SO much easier.
Look at the great artists, writers, educators, entrepreneurs, politicians, designers, footballers, in fact look at anyone who is really successful and you will find a passionate being.
Problem is how did they get so passionate? What sparked them? Does it matter if you are young? Or if you consider yourself too old?
You can do great things with passion even if it is just for yourself.
But how do I inspire passion? How do I get my boys to be passionate about anything rather than just watching TV? Or maybe that is the point. I need to switch off the TV and make them do things, anything to get them moving and inquiring and busy.
Maybe that is what I need to do for myself…

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Nits is the word....

Gosh, no me?
No, it took me by surprise too!
Yes really!
I’m just so, well so moved.
No Really!
Thank you.
I would just like to say that I couldn’t have done it without my son.
And his friends.
Without them, none of this could have happened to me.
I know, I know, it is thrilling.
It is something that has never happened to me before.
I am almost struck dumb with the emotion of it all.
Really you are all too kind. It should have happened to me when I was much younger.
I am now the proud possessor of ….NITS!
My joys is boundless, I couldn’t be happier – NIT!
OOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH it’s horrible! I can’t stop itching even though I’ve done the Lyclear and the Tea-Tree oil shampoo. I just know they’re still there creeping and crawling in my hair. Living and breathing and excreting and sucking and eeeuuuugggghhhhh doing stuff.
I have managed to go 45 years give or take with nary a nit to speak of and now I feel like I have been infested and I feel horribly dirty and yucky and all because I will cuddle my boy and let him sleep in my bed despite knowing we have had over the past few months a nit problem. I know it was all a matter of time with me living so dangerously but I really thought I’d got on top of them. Now everything is in the laundry and all the hair brushes and combs are being disinfected. Some I fear will just have to be burnt.
I have well and truly learned my lesson and never again will I get complacent about nits. As a family we will all be checked and my trusty nit comb will never be far away as soon as I see my boys fingers reach up to scratch their heads out will come the Lyclear. One can never be too careful you know.
I shall stock pile Tea Tree Oil shampoo and conditioner and no I don’t care if my boys tell me it will make them smell girly…this is war folks and the nits will NOT win!

Monday 25 July 2011

Needs and wants

Needs and wants frequently get confused. I need a television. No you don’t, you want a television. A television is a luxury even if it is a ubiquitous one. I need new trainers despite the fact the old ones are still perfectly useable. That is a want not a need. You need new trainers when your old ones are worn out. Problem is where do you draw the line on wants and needs?
Children have no clue where to draw the line. Mine don’t.
They need sweets. They need a Nintendo. They need the latest trainers. No they don’t they want them. I try to correct them: “You want it,” I say, “You don’t need it.” I get looked at blankly and I realise that we talk totally different languages.
They have more toys and general stuff than you can imagine or least more than I ever imagined when I was their age and I swear I start sounding old even to myself when I voice those thoughts.
But whose fault is it? Mine.
I am not strong enough to say no, not organised enough to co-ordinate grandparents and godparents and friends and other relations at Birthdays and Christmas so that my boys get things they really need and sometimes even want.
And then I take a closer look at myself. I give into my wants far more than I realised. It has got so bad I didn’t really notice. Me wanting becomes me needing. No wonder my boys looked at me blankly.
The most commonplace want and need confusion happens when I am doing the weekly shopping. It’s OK if I plan my weekly meals in advance, which I was want to do, but now it is almost as if I see something I must have it. I disguise this from myself as a “treat” but how can something be a treat if I buy it week in and week out and in fact on the days in between as well? The boys get crisps virtually every day and almost always get a sweet or something from the shops when I do as well. We don’t need the stuff and it becomes commonplace after a while so the whole “treat” thing loses its savour. And it’s not just food…
Clothes, shoes, bits and pieces for the house, books, CDs, DVDs, it all adds up to a frightening amount over the year.
So how on earth do I start to explain that we need to stop? That the needs and wants malaise is far more widespread than I originally thought?
I almost wish that rationing was still available. I would appreciate my needs more and it would focus me on my wants. Saving up for something would give it that extra specialness that I know I have forgotten and that my children do not even know.

Friday 22 July 2011

Pissy woo - the joys of older cat maintenance

They've nicknamed her Pissy Woo. It is not very respectful to an older cat but really rather accurate. For Pissy Woo will just do it wherever and whenever she feels the need. It is rather awkward to defend her in a houseful of Dog people but as I remind them we will all be old and frail one day and we too may have problems.
My boys look at me in disbelief.
"What you mean we'll pee on the floor?!"
I peered over the top of my glasses at him, one eyebrow raised. "You mean you don't do that in the bathroom already?"
The Boy had the decency to blush. "Only sometimes...."
This is what my life is now; clearing up pee. If it's not on the bathroom floor or  beside the downstairs loo, it's on the kitchen floor. Thank God! I never got rid of the child gates so at least I can curtail the cat in one area; though I no longer have curtains and as for the Persian rug...let's just say it won't be back for some time.
I don't think either of my boys will have cats. Not after Pissy Woo's latest escapade; although I do actually blame it on a visiting puppy. We lost Agatha, or at least thought we had. The puppy had become rather too excited on seeing Miss Agatha Woo and had chased her away. We thought she was outside, a place she rarely goes as she hates the countryside being a town-born cat, but it seemed the only logical place.
I forget sometimes my cat's proclivity for small dark places.
We went out thinking she would come back.
We came back half an hour later and got ready for lunch, not cat.
I opened the dishwasher to get some clean plates and was met with an earsplitting caterwaul and an overriding stench of ammonia. Pissy Woo had done her stuff while shut in the dishwasher, how she got there I have no idea. After yelling at me adn mewling in complaint for five minutes she seemed none the worse for her incarceration, for which I thank god for dementia.
But as for the plates, well I decided we'd better have a picnic and put the dishwasher on again. I can only think that she jumped in there to escape the puppy earlier that morning. Thank heavens I am lazy housekeeper and had not put the clean crockery away, just imagine the scene had I had dirty stuff in there and had been more efficient...! It's tough having a cat with alzheimers or maybe she is just making a point.

Thursday 21 July 2011

Going out....

“But Mum you’re always going out!”
I raised my eyebrows and peered over the top of my glasses. “Really? Since when do I always go out?”
“Well…..” he momentarily looked stumped, “you went to the movies the other day!”
I wracked my brains; his ‘other day’ could mean last week, or it could mean two years ago. My eldest still has no actual concept of time especially when he has a point to prove.
The way he stated the fact that I ‘go out all the time’ one would think that I am a-gallivanting all over the county, flitting from one party to the next, socialising like my life depended on it. I hate to pour water on your fond imaginings but me getting out is a rare thing. It’s almost as rare as my son getting the time right.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes you did. You went to see Pirates of the Caribbean with us.”
“Oh! I went with you!”
“Yes. AND you went to Serbia!”
“With you?!”
“Yes with us! AND you went to Yorkshire!”
“But I didn’t go out on my own did I?”
“But why would you want to be on your own?”
“I don’t.”
“So…then you’d take us?”

Wednesday 20 July 2011

The one where I get nissed again with my best friend…

There is nothing like a glass of wine to take the edge of a difficult day; to relax you, to unwind. Problem is it sort of magnifies itself when you are a nattering to your best friend over the kitchen table. What should be just the one turns out to be well just the one bottle…
I am not good on the old vino, as I have a very low tolerance so a glass or two nay three glasses and well to be quite honest I am any ones. Thank God my best friend has no such intentions or life could become very tricky indeed.
For my best friend is a bloke.
And no, he is not gay.
He is there when I need him to support me in my self-centred diatribes, he nods and says yes but actually never commits himself so that he can always say I told you so should he want to, but never does.
He looks after my children when I go walkabout knowing I will always come back however bad it seems. He takes calls form my husband when he is worried about me yet my best friend never holds up a mirror to what I really am. He is just there for me and I have no idea why – he says he likes me.
I adore him.
But would find being married to him too difficult; he knows me too well. He can see through me far too easily. To my husband I am unchartered waters even after so many years. And I prefer it that way, to be honest.
And yes I have thought what if when it comes to my best friend but we wouldn’t suit, that’s why we are best friends we each need something different from our life partners. We need a separateness, a distance which you cannot get if you live cheek by jowl. We need a sense that we are better than what we really think we are; it’s what all insecure folk need. A Vaseline finish or at least the pretence that there is one.
My husband goes to work he doesn’t see me all day he doesn’t know what I am really like. My best friend does.
And you wouldn’t know but for a bottle of wine either…

Go on you know you want to...


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