Wednesday 28 March 2007

Cigarettes and Alcohol

Thought I'd mention, as am supposed to be blogging about being a non-smoker, that it's been a bloody long time since I had a fag. Today I really wanted one. But not enough to have one. Just wish my clothes didn't hurt - what with carrying all that extra weight. Alcohol am not doing so well on - although managing to keep it to weekends and only appear to be drinking fizzy stuff - a good thing me thinks!

The Roman Way

When looking for lost items what I mainly find is dirt, the odd bit of dust, and lots of hair ties. Made the mistake of attending domestic chores. Avoided breaking my neck bringing down dusty roman blind. Undoing knots is not in my skill-set so after 20 mins hacked off the strings with newly re-found sharp scissors. Pity I then used too hot a wash. Put blind back up hoping the crumpled shrunken edges wouldn’t notice. It notices. Will have to buy a new one. Surely it’d be cheaper and easier to employ a cleaner again? (That for the particular benefit of He-who-must-be-adored should he ever bother to read my blog).

Another weekend another costume drama. Despite providing Gorgeous Boy with white Roman costume ages ago, on Friday the school provided a red one. But School’s don’t cater for handsomely tall chaps like my Gorgeous Boy. Eventually discovered the cause of his bad mood on Friday evening was the thought of wearing a long red dress. Can’t have that, so spent Sunday afternoon running up a red Roman Soldier’s Tunic. Great he said. What about the grey bit? 4pm on Sunday is not a good time to discover the need for a grey bit. Somehow managed to find some silver fabric that I fashioned into Roman armour as drawn by 9-year-old boy. It wasn’t a masterpiece, and could have benefited from a tape measure being found (rather than all that guess work). But he was happy he no longer had to wear a dress. Drama over.

Should be at the junior school right now, enjoying gorgeous boy in An Evening of Roman Entertainment. Except they only allow 2 tickets per family. We are more than 2. And no, as I have said many times, my mother can’t help. What’s with the assumption that mothers are alive and prepared to baby-sit? Sometimes feel only families with one child and grandparents are catered for. Bitter and twisted? Moi?

So, rearranged work to watch the Roman Entertainment this afternoon and had to wipe away a tear of pride and joy at my boy’s solo singing. The voice of an angel. The little one was also allowed to watch during school time. She loved it so much she insisted on having the tweenager’s ticket for the evening performance. Now that’s dedication.

In truth was rather pleased at having to leave work early. Am getting distressed with Captain Chaos latest game. It’s something he and The Smiler have been doing since early childhood. But why am I suddenly included in their boy games? The shock of being jumped out on is no fun when your over 21 and despite your heart banging in your chest you pretend you knew they were hiding all along. Pretence being the most important aspect of the game. Of course. Just like the pretence that giving up your career (in a fashionable glass box in the city ) in exchange for being jumped out on by your brother (in a portacabin in the northest part of North London) is all you ever wanted. Bitter and twisted?

Doubly distressed to find a Maureen Lipman book on my shelf. Not that there's anything wrong with Maureen, just I have no recollection of buying, borrowing, nor reading the thing. Distress increases with quick read of page 2: “I have alas reached the stage when I can read a book until ¾ of the way through before realising I’ve already read it”. Now isn’t that something to look forward to?

Wednesday 21 March 2007

All the small things

Twenty-eight days without smoking and one day without losing anything, including any weight! Not that I’m trying. Unless replacing crumpets with croissants count.

One person’s gain is another’s loss. Bestmumchum lost her car keys and with them the ability to demobilise the demobiliser. Calls to mechanics run anything but smoothly - if she could bring the car in she’d hardly need their services. In frustration she’s resorted to wearing trainers and running between appointments. And all this after being woken at 4am by the large cock next door - her neighbour has a rooster! If bestmumchum could mobilise her car she’d have bought an airgun by now. This seems out of character yet strangely not - since that chilling incident with the Truant Police.

The little one is under the weather after freezing on our wet Sunday out. Still we send her to school. A day at home is a waste when all she wants is to apply stickers. This is one of the few parenting issues we agree over – the irritating difficultly of removing stickers from household appliances, along with the embarrassment of not noticing them about your person. The lure of the school trip to the post office swung it for school.

Incapable of keeping a surprise we had to ring Supersis to warn her of impending mail. She asked was it true that I am all of a fluster at work? Captain Chaos’ hobby of ribbing me has gone too far.

True the majority of our customers would win, hands-down, any kind of ugly competition anywhere in the world. The exception is endearingly referred to as ze Charming French Bloke. The name gives some small hint of his special appeal. But no, his presence does not leave me flustered; nor do I flush red at mention of his name; nor have I been taking so much more care over my work appearance since his appearance. True he provides some light relief in an otherwise deadly dull place. But that’s all folks.

Tuesday 20 March 2007

Breakfast in Bed

Yesterday Mother’s Day started brilliantly. Breakfast, handmade cards and Sunday papers all served in bed. Pity from then on a downward trend appeared.

For four years we’ve talked about the London St Patrick’s Day Parade. Mother’s Day was the perfect opportunity to do the deed. Despite being invited for lunch by Supersis we set off on the train.

Surfacing in town we were struck by the uncomfortable combination of freezing heavy winds and sheets of sheer ice sleeting upon us. A marathon trek finally landed us in a coffee shop with enough standing room to enter. We were lucky and found three seats for the five of us. Miserably sipping hot chocolate while defrosting the dustbin lids, He-who-must-be-adored asked whether it was worth seeing if the lunch invite still stood.

By the time the sun came out we’d managed to miss the big parade. Determined to enjoy the whole paddy experience we let the lids be conned out of their pocket money (and some more) in exchange for green and tacky memorabilia.

Covent Garden was a disappointment. Hearing the droning tones of Ken Livingstone in Trafalgar Square nearly finished us off. And comments from He-who-must-be-adored on the number of ‘traveller-types’ was not, apparently, an attempt to denigrate my cultural heritage.

The Irish dancing in Leicester square was the highlight of the day for me. Gorgeous boy, the Tweenager and the little one were horrified to see me joining in. Well if I can’t sing and prance about on Mother’s Day when can I?

The freak weather conditions took a turn for the worse again, and faced with three miserable children and a non-speaking partner I decided Hamleys was just the ticket. It did the trick, temporarily.

Homeward bound He made us run from the tube to our train. But then he’s not the one with little legs or a weakened bladder. Or both. I was hugely relieved to make it onto the train without anyone (including myself) either getting lost or wetting themselves.

Exhausted and chilled to the bone He asked whether I’d taken any meat out of the freezer for supper? Silly me. I had presumed that on Mother’s Day I would be absolved from any kind of catering responsibility.

He saw the writing on the wall and did what he does: chucked alcohol at the situation. He knows me well, as after two glasses of chilled champagne, I thought what could be more perfect and special as a Mother’s Day meal than kebab and chips?

Hung over this morning, me not working and him working lates, thought we might have a relaxing morning together. But the hunt for the missing item continued. We were searching for a necklace of mine, purchased by He after great effort in tracking down a supplier in London from a small picture in a magazine. The Tweenager borrowed it for a party and swears blind it came back into the black hole that is this house. All cupboards and hiding places have been emptied, sorted and searched.

The good news is I found my long lost bangle, wedding ring and the sharp scissors. No sign of any necklace though. The hunt continues.

Sunday 18 March 2007

Don't stop me now

Yesterday was one of those days where the plan changed and changed again. I planned to walk to and from the Gym in a 5k circuit, do a Pilates class then attack the domestic mountain of chores. Dull I know, but the work out was needed to address the expanding girth and on the domestic front a 3 week leave of absence is starting to show. The plan changed at 9.05 after speaking to the Forensic Examiner whose day had already gone wrong. If hers had then mine would too.

After no persuasion I settled for just the walk. Half-way through my face was puce and my legs were like jello. Twas all I could do but turn round and head home. Thank god for the upbeat tempo on my ipod or I would never have made it. So very pleased heart attack sensations were relieved once home and sports bra (purchased when stone lighter) was removed.

Once recovered I set off to meet the Forensic Examiner at the designer’s house. Unfortunately the designer didn’t get the text saying we were visiting. After tracking her down in the Highstreet I wondered if being out was a deliberate act.

The designer baby was abed so couldn’t admire him. The forensic twins are beautiful, gorgeous and lovely. But twin babes are hardly conducive to a girly chat over coffee. The Designer saw the writing on the wall and headed off to an appointment, probably fictitious. After a 15 minute nap both twins woke screaming. Now I know why we haven’t met up during the day for over a year. The Forensic Examiner is right. What’s the point? Taking them out of their routine is a mistake. Also mistaken was the man asking for directions. Clearly blind and deaf he didn’t see us both struggling with kicking twins or hear their screams that they did not want to be put in a buggy under any circumstances.

Though the Designer was out it didn’t stop us banging on her door and demanding the lovely au-pair let us in to restore good humour to the babes. I made my escape soon after.

En route on the daily banana hunt I realised how completely over the whole babe thing I am. Then why, I ask myself, have I agreed to a summer holiday with my family, the Designer, the Forensic Examiner and all their families and babies? Pool looked good?

The Irish Rover

St Patrick’s Day. To be sure, there have been times in my past, when St Paddy’s night was spent jigging about with a belly full of the black stuff. Not so now.

He-who-must-be-adored spent the morning in grumpy git mode lecturing us about lost property, before heading off to save London. Just as well. Had he stayed a moment longer he would have needed saving himself.

My little one has promised to try really hard to not pick her nose all day tomorrow. Well it is Mother’s Day. Ah the joys of motherhood.

Thursday 15 March 2007

Those were the days of our lives

National no smoking day today. It’s enough to make you want to smoke. Or is that just me?

My little one had her first school assembly this morning. A proud moment. Even if she did have but three words to say. I like to think they were meaningful. And important.

He-who-must-be-adored took a day off from saving London to attend. And the school’s open afternoon. I’ve attended them for the last five years so thought it only fair that he should have a turn. Except I forgot he has a bit of problem with the whole school environment. In general. And the school our dustbin lids attend in particular. For some reason he keeps getting told off. And he doesn’t take kindly to that. I am there every day and never get told off. He got told off four times today. So then he comes home grumping that its like, its like, well like being back at school again. That’s because it is a school I say.

Off He harrumphs. For a cigarette. Behind the shed. So much for no smoking day.

Wednesday 14 March 2007


A sad day. Last year, on a beautifully glorious sunny spring day like today, I would have been in some green space with my little one. With some friends, with picnics and flasks, with bikes, trikes, buggies and gossip. Lots of gossip. Now my little one is institutionalised. She spends her days inside. As do I. Not even venturing out for a smoke. Twenty-one days is an awful long time. Three weeks and not one single little puff has passed my lips. Roll me a fag and call me a liar. But I still wouldn’t smoke it. Not now.

Have given up the patches as well and am missing the stimulating nature of nicotine. I liked the fact I used to be able to stay awake past 9pm. Have made deliberate effort tonight to not live the life of a slug – double dose of coffee helped.

So pleased one of my new year’s resolutions is finally holding. Even though I didn’t quite get into the swing of it til February.

Another reso was to finish the hallway. We’re on the home straight having made it down to the ground floor. It’s a kinda slow old business, what with life, the kids, He-who-must-be-adored saving London so much, etc etc. When I’m not sleeping I could pick up a brush. But have learnt after numerous demonstrations and lectures that my brushstrokes do not meet the high standards of He who normally wields the brush. Is three years to decorate a hallway excessive?

When it is all done and dusted (hardly likely) I’ve decided the long narrow space needs some reflection. Not the sort that questions life – just mirrors. And not just to widen the hallway and get rid of that Alice in Wonderland feeling. I have another motive: the strictly strategic reason of me saving face.

One morning, a while ago, in my former, smoking life, I was carefully beautifying myself with precision application of expensive cosmetics (ie 2 minute slap attack) when I was called away on a peace-keeping mission. Some time later (much later) that very same day I happened to briefly catch my reflection. All was not well in the face department. It took a few moments to work out. My averagely freakish appearance is usually enhanced with the magic of a mascara wand. This was a tad more tragic. I’d only got as far as applying mascara to one eye. Freaky one eye was disappearing into the back of my head whilst the other was swollen wide with long lashes. Worse was mentally counting all the bastards I’d bumped into during day who’d not mentioned it. What’s worse – them thinking that’s normal for me or just not noticing?

So far I have one small mirror hung quite near the front door. The recent sunshine – much as it is welcome and lovely – is not kind on the reflection of faces like mine, past the first flush of youth. Despite the position of new mirror, am still failing to remember to check my appearance before leaving. Plan to line the entire length of hallway with mirrors of all shapes and sizes in the hope that one will catch my unmascara-ed beady little eye.

I now wonder – those references to my being pale last week - could I have got disturbed when I’d only got as far as the base coat? Too grim to contemplate.

My bed beckons.

Sunday 11 March 2007

I Try

Major miracle alert. Made it through to the third Sunday of Lent without smoking. Feeling ever so slightly smug.

Haven't blogged for a few days. Would love to say due to wild partying and general galavanting. Sadly, spent past three evenings sofa snoozing. The tabs for 'general well being' have generally left me being not quite so well. According to the great teller of medical truths, the Internet, when you take iron at the same time as thyroxine, as I have been, they cancel each other out. General tiredness therefore rules OK. Heigh ho, all bad things must come to an end. At least no more morning horse tabs for me.

My resolve to get out more – if only for the sake of the blog – took me to the west end on Friday. Arranged to meet my old pal, The Producer, to run round a gallery. How very cultural (and unlike me). But the sun was shining and after such a long dull winter, who can resist that feeling of warm sun on your face? So we had frothy alfresco instead. So pleased that after knowing each other for nearly 20 years age has not withered us – well not our tongues anyway. Did animated yackety yacking non-stop for more than three hours. Came away wondering why it's been so long. Oh yeah I remember. The small matter of my life not being my own.

Paid the price for an interesting Friday, by spending Saturday in Tescos. That was after I'd not resolved the issue of the mislaid bank card. I know it is in that big box of lost items in Morrisons. That's where it always is when not in my purse. Not that I have much previous for this. I haven't been anywhere else. Except the post office, and have already checked their box (surprisingly large number of spectacles this week). Despite this being a regular routine, and despite being married for a decade and a half, do try to keep this aspect of me behind the back of He-who-must-be-adored. For some reason I forgot this time. Lucikly I had Barclays lost and stolen pre-recorded option list to shush his lecture on how many years He has held a bank card, without loss.

Supersis came to the rescue, as ever, inviting us over for Saturday night supper. Delighted we accepted. When she called back half an hour later saying, she couldn't actually be bothered to cook, and had booked a table halfway between me and she, He couldn't get to grips with what sort of invitation was that? Perhaps it's because we're related but I couldn't see the prob. Great overindulgent time had by all. Think He-who-must-be-adored and Mr Pacing-with-fag/fone enjoyed themselves. It is not easy to determine as they spent most of the evening outside. Smoking.

Oh the smugness of me.

Thursday 8 March 2007


Have gone off email. Something's wrong when the junk outweighs the interest by 20 to 1. And, as if I don't waste enough of my life on the great banana hunt, the Supermarkets can get at me via email. Today Sainsburys told me to 'treat you mother'. John Lewis said 'spoil your mum this mother's day. It's a special day, so whatever kind of mum she is; new, embarassing, best friend, super - make sure you treat her…'. Nowhere did it make reference to mothers like mine – long ago dead and buried. Unlike the camp florist who says everyone has a mother, alive or dead. And they all love flowers. Kerching.

John Lewis slightly redeemed themselves by stating 'If you're having problems with this message click here'. Thought click to reincarnate sounded rather catchy.

Tweenager is dropping big hints on what I might like for mother's day, even though it's still some way off. I thought a day off from peace-keeping missions and general dogsbody duties. She thought 'the slummy mummy handbook'.

Felt like a bad mother at swimming tonight. And it wasn't just my ipod head bopping (how can you resist ABBA?). I marveled, through steamed up glasses, at how well my little one was doing. 'Til I noticed there was more than one little one in a blue swimsuit.

Can take heart from the fact I am not as bad as bestmumchum. Usually she wins the best mum contest hands down. (My hands being permanently up in the 'surrender' position). Where she can generally put us mere mommy mortals to shame I can have the last laugh this week. Yup, shock horror, bestmumchum got 'done' as they say, by the Truant Police. But what's to do when bowl patrol is over, and their institutions won't have them back 'til they've not upchucked for 24 hours. Shopping for sports wear may not have been the best choice.

Wednesday 7 March 2007


Congratulations to me. (Well, if I don’t say it no other bugger will.) Two weeks sans cigs. The idea of cigarettes still pops into my mind. Frequently. But it’s getting easier to dismiss. Less easy to dismiss is the state of my stomach. In addition to the increasing girth and the fluff-enhanced sticky residue left by nicotine patches, I now have some squares filled in with an eczema-like rash. Hmm attractive. Presume using out-of-date patches found at back of drawer from previous giving-up attempts wasn’t one of my better ideas.

He-who-must-be-adored has turned into a yo-yo smoker. One day he does one day he doesn’t. So long as he doesn’t do it anywhere near me what does it matter? It’s not as if I ever see him these days anyway.

Congratulations to the NHS on their latest ruse to reduce waiting lists. I finally remembered to chase within designated hours. Low and behold after much to-ing and holding I hear I will see a consultant before the end of April. Can’t give me an exact date. Can’t give me an exact explanation. My theory is if they write to me they’ll put me on a computer. If I’m on a computer I’m on a list. If I’m on a list it must be a waiting list. Despite not being on an NHS waiting list I continue to wait.

Congratulations to me again on getting another complaint about my blog. My brother, Inspector Gadget, doesn’t think he’s been fairly portrayed. Let’s see: whose new clipper gadget gave him tyre-like tracks on the back of his head? Who wasted a whole weekend playing with a mobile phone hands free gadget? Ah the magic of magnets. And, exactly what kind of gadget caused the removal of a strip of his forearm hair?

And congratulations to Godper (boyfriend of my niece, the Capitalist) for knocking the Geek off the top spot in potential son-in-law rankings. The rock chick thinks buying your girlfriend’s father books is a sad attempt at getting in the good books. Jealous me thinks as her Ready-to-rock-star beau is too cool to compete.

Hey even more congratulations to me on surviving two Mary Poppin’s moments this week. I helped in Class 1 for a whole afternoon and retained a smile. What’s not to like about lots of little ones? Snot perhaps? Lots! Believe any one who survives a day in that environment without shouting must be super human. Perhaps should add DNA to new teacher checks to ensure they’re not all aliens. Had a rare night off from taxi-ing last night so I thought it’d be good idea for lids to have some friends over. With hindsight what was I thinking with seven? But they had a ball. In the kitchen. And the hallway. And the playroom. And every other space in the house.

Isn’t a bit of sunshine a marvellous thing?

Monday 5 March 2007

Don't know why

I don't know why, but my bad mood blogs seem to have caused some confusion. To put the matter straight: I really love my family, especially the dustbin-lids.

I know as parents you are supposed to be the font of all knowledge. But I am only human and happily admit there's a lot I don't know. I don't know why most of my emails ask me to extend a penis I do not have. I don't know why, when I bother to write a blog my Internet browser will not allow me to view it. I can edit 'til the cows come home. So I must have loaded it. Just can't view it. As if I don't feel nervous enough sending my musings into cyberspace to then not be able to view it only encourages the conspiracy theorist within. On second thoughts, it's probably a good thing. Viewing your own is probably a cringe-maker too far.

I don't know why so many things beep in this house. The super-dooper-supposed-to –do-everything machine does nothing but bleep, like a hungry child. A discarded watch, beeps every hour, on the hour, yet I don't know why the beep doesn't last long enough to aid location and destruction.

I don't know why the boiler does nothing when it should chuck out heat. Nor why it chucks out heat when it should be doing nothing. I don't know why my telephone will not allow me to dial any phone number containing a 3 or a 6. Nor do I have any idea why every number I want to call contains a 3 or a 6? Why does the answerphone tell me that most messages are left in the wee small hours. Is everyone in my life an insomniac? Why does the wireless connection no longer work?

I don't know why when my doctor suggested I see an NHS consultant that 4 months later I still have no word of an appointment. Nor why can I only ring between 9 and 12 to chase the appointment. Or even why do I never remember this until 12.15?

I know not why, no matter how many bananas I buy there's never one left when I want one? And why brown bruised ones that have travelled to and from various schools, forgotten at the bottom of a bag, obviously no longer count as bananas.

And most shocking of all: I don't know why mother nature's evil and twisted twin, the wicked witch of aging, came and stole my glossy locks one night leaving in their place an outsized and past-its-sell-by-date brillo-pad?

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Considered starting smoking again when Friday's foul mood continued for the majority of Saturday. But then He-who-must-be-adored returned from work with a waft of woodbines. He stank. With the benefit of hindsight, it probably was not the best thing to say to a man, just home, after 16 hours at work. On a Saturday. Should have let him take his coat off first.

But his stench put my non-smoking resolve back on track. And I have survived without smoking through to the second Sunday of Lent. Even the truly honest tween says she prefers me shouting to smoking. And the little one likes the fact that I don't keep disappearing.

Last week three people told me I looked pale. Was I feeling OK? I was until three people told me I looked pale. It's my Celtic heritage. I'm always pale. Am so pale I have, on occasion, been mistaken for a corpse. But that's normal. Isn't it? On Friday I had to shop again for bananas (I'd only bought 45 at the beginning of the week and that's clearly not enough for this banana-obsessed family) when my eye was drawn to pills 'for general well-being'. I bought them. Hoping they'll do what they say on the can. In truth I don't hold much hope that one small brown pill of iron and multi-vits can shift my general ill feeling. As I don't think it's anything to do with being ill. Think it's tiredness. And being over 40. And motherhood. And domestic drudgery. And working. And having a husband that works long hours. And not having a live-in nanny. And giving up the fags. And OD'ing on super-strength patches. And sudden withdrawal of patches as I thought they were making me feel odd.

Took the first 'for general well-being' pill yesterday. Slept for 14 hours last night. Hope the two are not related.

Strangely, woke with much improved mood this morning. Slapped on a patch and greeted the day. Wanted to explain to lids that I am just an ordinary mommy and this is just an ordinary house. Not a café nor short order chef in sight. Instead bit my tongue and made four different breakfasts.

What I miss most about smoking is the escape, the break, the chance to re-gather your thoughts. Cig time was no-kid time. Children understand the fag-force-field they are not allowed near. It lasts just long enough for me to reclaim some small semblance of sanity. But being a non-smoker I have no escape. Just keep on going. For them, now every minute is a potential mad-mommy moment.

But spring was in the air today. The sun was shining. Blossom was on the trees. Green shoots were sprouting. The sound of men-folk playing out with their power tools. Except my man. He's at work. Again.

So I decided what this family needed was a day out. Perhaps a lovely woodland walk. Made four packed lunches (with the obligatory four different contents) whilst begging children to dress in suitable outdoor attire.

Some two and half hours later we were ready to leave. We piled in the car to the pitter patter of tiny raindrops on the windscreen. I ignored them hoping the lids wouldn't notice. Did feel a tad guilty when the pitter patter became huge wet dollops and the gentle kiddy moans grew to a giant crescendo of cries. But I needed to get out.

The tweenager made a call. Frantically. She sourced a family at home. And invited ourselves over.

Despite being technically true, eating our packed lunches round the Smiler family's table is not really a day out. Yet a good day was had by all. And, fresh tea is so much better than the stuff I'd stewed in the flask. And left at home.

Now I've got that Sunday night feeling. Homework not complete, (even though I personally don't have any). And regardless of the fact the washing machine has been on the go all weekend the laundry basket is full. And despite the declaration of war I cried on the domestic mess at the beginning of the weekend, it's still here. I did reclaim the dining room table at one point. But it was a short-lived thing. It's Sunday night and I surrender.

Anyway, have decided to subscribe to the belief that only dull women have clean homes (I must be sooooooooo interesting me).

Saturday 3 March 2007

Always look on the bright side of life

Since moving blog to mothergoat have been unable to log in. Ah the joys and wonders of modern technology.

Yesterday's most foul mood I have put down to experience and lack of patch. Thought I was doing well enough not to bother and the sticky residue was aggravating especially since every bit of fluff known to man was stuck around said sticky stuff.

He-who-must-be-adored was nearly He-who-is-no-longer. Luckily I had social arrangements last night and left him to his own devices. A quiet evening out. Met up with two dear old friends. Separately, they have recently endured more sadness than is fair, bearable or imaginable. Resolved on my way home to live life to the full, enjoy every moment as if it were my last and to celebrate every day.

New outlook slipped somewhat when tried to get into bed and found a child doing a starfish impression in my space. Struggled even further when greeted, at day-break, by a small cowboy looking for her gun. Ignoring this, Tigger returned 10 minutes later looking for her head.

This morning my spam filter asked if I wanted to add motherhood to my blocked list. Tempting....

Could be worse. I could be in his shoes. He-who-must-be-adored had to rise at 4am to work. Touching base via phones we manage a more civilised tone than yesterday (He also thought patches could be dispensed with hence his Cheery Bob routine).

Following my lead from last week, He spent the evening killing two birds with one stone: bought ten fags to satisfy craving and smoked them all, in quick succession, to destroy the evidence. Luckily for the future of our marriage He's at work and back on the patches today.

Friday 2 March 2007

Pump up the volume (not)

Ten whole days since I trashed the ash and only ten pounds heavier. Could be worse.

In addition to looking for the little one’s off switch, there are times when a volume control is desirable.

On yesterday’s quiet walk to school we were greeted by a crowd. The little-one loudly asked if there was a wedding (the last reason our street was crowded). Too late to tell her to pipe down, she spotted a hearse. Shouting, she excitedly told the crowd she’d seen one of those before. It was a cage. To put dead things in. Well more of a wardrobe than a cage because it was made of wood and stuff and did you know you need a very big very special car if you've got a dead wardrobe. And flowers. We came the long way home.

Worked today. To make up time off on bowl patrol. He-who-must-be-adored played phone tag with me for most of the morning. But please don’t be confused by the word ‘played’ and think there was any sense of fun at all. When he eventually got through to lecture me on how many attempts blah blah blah I never did hear what he wanted to speak to me about. Is it because on ‘earlies’ he misses lecturing me in the mornings. You’d think by 40 I wouldn’t have to listen to it, so I didn’t. He cut off my sarky tones. And good riddance too.

Then had to endure boss bemoaning the difficulty of empire building when I’m talking bollocks on the phone. But it wasn't bollocks. Both supersis and the designer have repetitive strain injury from redailing ticket hotlines. Both have struck gold. Although isn’t it unfair that all UK venues believe that if you need a wheelchair space you can’t have any friends. The O2 dome hasn’t actually built the wheelchair spaces yet, so though dosh is debited, you’ll have to wait to find out where your seats are.

Supersis has a ticket. Her daughter has a ticket. The designer has a ticket, on her birthday, no-less. And I have a ticket. Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah. The truth is I never really got over the departure of Robbie, and although it’s never quite been the same since, I CAN’T WAIT to see Take That relight me fire. Oh yes indeedy.

Was brought down from this reliving of youth high by a customer turning up. Yes I could take his money, yes I could give him a receipt. No I cannot forgive Captain Choas for planting, in my drawer, the sound machine. And no I can’t see the funny side of turning my back on a customer to the sound of a woman re-enacting that famous when harry met sally scene.

Thursday 1 March 2007

What's the story, morning glory?

World Book Day today. For reasons best known to themselves the Infant and junior schools celebrated a day early. Wonder what kind of lesson is that?

So costume drama was added to yesterday's morning tasks. The Shoemaker's Elf's sadness at wearing wellies for the rain took longer than the time I'd allocated (none). Also failed to factor in time for making-up sensible q's for the English teacher, praying for the only pair of sharp scissors in the house to reveal their whereabouts, and how much longer it takes to make sandwiches with frozen bread, never mind costume alterations with a blunt instrument. Resisted temptation to do indescribable damage to something, anything, with same.

With no obvious temperatures or paleness I thought the kid's unwell moans were worries. Worries that everyone else will be in uniform because you got the wrong date. Easy to understand when World Book Day wasn't for another 24 hours. En-route we spotted a dinosaur, a cowboy, a fair number of fairies and princesses and more Harry Potter's than we cared to count. Phew. Though tempted to crawl back to bed I half-heartedly attacked the breakfast war zone and went to work.

Accidental turn of mobile to silent meant I missed the call from the junior medical room about my boy. Cardinal Sin No 2: he told them he'd told me. When I eventually called he'd got bored and gone for lunch. Can't have been that ill? Gave a solemn promise to Matron that I'd answer my phone and collect him should he show up in 'medical' again. Two minutes later I answered their call and made a joke about spelling test avoidance. But is was now the little-one was poorly. How many black marks could I get in one morning?

Driving in the driving rain I pondered the positive: we could miss swimming. A relief as the secondary school parent's night meant I had no slot in which to cook and feed the lids. As I tried to move the shoemaker's elf she vomited again. I didn't know I was on bowl patrol so only had my hand to hand. Finding the positive, again, it was a good thing I couldn't find my rings this morning, thereby saving time scrubbing sick out of the stones with a toothbrush.

Felt slightly surreal carrying a vomiting elf to car. Grabbed gorgeous boy as well considering chances of leaving house again any time soon were looking slim.

Much as I moan about the little one's live-wire nature (even Supersis looks for the off-switch), it's horrible to see her silently slumped with a glum face.Thank god He-who-must-be-adored tuned into the tone of my voice and abandoned saving London to save us. Wished he hadn't bothered when he walked in doing his bad Cheery Bob impression.

He still hasn't smoked though. He did parent's evening whilst I did bowl patrol in quarantine. Highly impressed that He took notes. He said he has previous experience of my interrogation techniques. He continued in hero mode whilst I wore the little one round my neck like an accessory. Bowl patrol only lasted eight hours.

Today the little one is on the mend. And the chat is back. Bestmumchum turned up with a take-away frothy knowing I was stuck indoors going stir crazy.

Actually quite busy in-between wearing the little one and reclaiming the ground floor from small plastic objects, stains and bugs. Considering buying shares in disinfectant manufacturer.