Monday, 28 May 2007

That was the week that was

Supersis shouldn’t have left the country. No sooner had she gone than the worst happened. Her father-in-law was admitted to hospital. Then discharged. The same day he was back in. More shockingly, sadly, he didn’t make it through to morning.

He was the closest my kids had to a grandfather and that’s where we are always welcomed at family holiday times. It was a sad sad day. So boy was I glad to see Supersis on Monday, even if it was for some grim tasks. The best you can hope for a funeral is that it all goes smoothly. Thankfully that was achieved on Thursday. I saw many familiar faces, yet they all looked more wrinkly than I remember.

Yet that was not the worst of my week: I complained to the hospital, about my lack of appointment. Monday I got a pre-op appointment. I rang to say I am having a ‘simple procedure’ not an ‘op’, so I have no need for a ‘pre-op’. After no call back I rang again on Wednesday and was told I was booked in for Friday. Had I not telephoned, I’m not certain how I was supposed to know this. I wonder what I am booked in for, but don't want to push my luck with the scary appointments woman. As an afterthought I ask is there anything I should know? ‘Have a hearty breakfast and don’t drive.’

So Friday, I breakfast and bestmumchum drops me off. Unusually I was straight in. But the Consultant asked, why had it taken me 6 weeks to come in for the procedure? He answered his own question by noting my notes had been lost. Oh doesn’t this just fill you with confidence.

This guy works so fast I didn’t have much time to consider the fact that this hospital has the worst super bug death rate in the country. So the next minute I find myself in a chair with no edge, my legs in stirrups and the chair pumped up to almost ceiling height so my most private naked parts are hanging in the air at eye level. And this was just the warm up! Momentarily my indignity was replaced by intrigue as the hysteroscopy showed the inside of my womb via a screen. I prayed it wasn’t being recorded and sent to the Internet.

And then it hit me. Like a wave. Luckily the consultant looked up in time to order oxygen to stop me vomiting and passing out. He said my blood pressure must have dropped because of the injection. I started to come back round again to feel the sawing action, inside. The cramping pain made me block out everything else. I took in lots of oxygen. I hummed. I clenched my fists and toes. I wish I’d opted for the pre-op and the op. This was not my idea of a simple procedure. I wished the nurse would stop banging on about holiday destinations. She was clearly confused and thought she was a hairdresser. Finally he stopped interfering with my innards.

After some weak painkillers and the obligatory NHS cuppa in recovery, Supersis came and took me home to bed. Where I spent most of the weekend. She had my children and sent me the most beautiful bouquet. She is a star.

He-who-must-be-adored was bemused by my upset about him going to work. My joke about him being kinder to a dog was lost. He did finally take Saturday evening off from saving London but was back at work today. I can’t be too hard on him. He’s a man.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Some might say

Some might say I do my green credentials no good: my family of five plus all that rain recently has seen my dependency upon the tumble dryer grow. Due to overuse, said dryer now protests with a head splitting squeak with only the odd respite of a crunching sound. Usually He-who-must-be-adored can fix anything. Despite dragging it out from its hidey-hole in the Nativity Room, tinkering with tools aplenty, hovering its innards and adding a large dose of WD40, the noises continue – somehow louder. Am checking the weather forecast obsessively often as frankly there is a limit to the amount of torture by laundry a woman can take.

To drown it out I plug myself in to Paul McK on the ipod. A first for me – daytime listening. Heard a whole host of utterances that previously passed my snoring brain, but that is usually the only time I have for self-help. Takes multi-tasking to a whole new level: sleeping and brainwashing, almost as good as talking and walking. Am not certain how my battle with the bulge is this week: I may be fatter than I'd rather be, but I feel fabulous.

Still fighting to get fit, the MBTs get the thumbs up. Not because I am the proud owner of a toned sleek body. I am not that deluded. Yet. But they have deleted the lower backache. After only one day of no bouncing I woke with the old backache. I couldn’t wear them yesterday as even I – creature comfort extremist – drew the line at orthopaedic-looking trainers and floral skirt combo. Not until I've tried it out at home a few times first.

To Barnet yesterday: for the Smiler’s son’s first holy communion. Gorgeous he looked too. It was a marvellous gathering of the clans for adults and lids alike. No amount of Mr McK’s brain re-programming could help with a buffet table heaving with sweet creamy delights. The Tweenager proved to be a girl after my own heart: after turning up lip glossed in a little black dress, she bemoaned not bringing her trainers. There the differences ended: her attire didn’t stop her playing footie with the rest of the dustbin lids. I say I have three lids. She says two lids and one young adult.

Family news: Inspector Gadget’s latest obsession is price watching watches. But not just ordinary timepieces, he’s watching watches that give altitude. After a recent walking holiday he’s in gadget heaven with the discovery of a whole new gadget orbit. Although yet to purchase one, he’s eyeing some that also contain a compass. If this hill-walking lark takes off I may suggest he gets a defibrillator thrown in.

Supersis is on the move. For a girlie weekend in warmer climes. Jealous? Moi? Massively so. But it is her birthday I suppose. I just don’t like her leaving the country. In fact I hate it when we’re not in the same county. Then again, I don’t begrudge her the break – just the shopping.

Virgin on the ridiculous I have two emails from Virgin Media in response to my one e-form. I am now the proud owner of two reference numbers and a promise that I’ll be responded to within 48 hours. That was five days ago.

Thursday, 10 May 2007


Am getting a bit worried now. Praying I have only joined the green ink brigade on a temporary basis. Find myself getting hugely frustrated (though obviously not as much as the Michael Douglas character in that film). Is it because I don’t smoke?

Much as I love technology, automated phone systems are crap. Would like to change my comms supplier, but am scarred by the business of changing energy supplier. For dull complicated reasons I have two gas and two electricity meters. ‘The computer says no’ said Npower – their computer kept deleting my second account. After 48 hours on the phone and numerous emails, it was finally resolved a mere three and a half months later.

Have been trying to speak to Virgin Media for a very long time. Tonight I found a form on their website and typed…

“Are there any real virgin people?

Am hugely frustrated and v fed up with the number of attempts I've made to speak to a real virgin person for more than a month now.

In general I don't have more than half hour at a time to spend in a telephone queue during your working hours. My husband found some new route round your automated telephone system last night and managed to leave a call back request. Today the sales team called - and gave me another number to ring. Tried to get through tonight for 20 mins but then my time ran out (without boring you, as well as hanging about in 'phone queues I work plus have three beautiful kids to taxi about, feed, entertain, bath, and put to bed. One of these days I'll fit my own life in somewhere).

Am fed up with kids bending my ears about their disappointment re loss of sky1 and husband same re skynews. Now I am disappointed to discover how much cheaper SKY services seem to be.

Would now like to disconnect from you but this form says I need a password to do that. I don't have one. This form says if I don't have one; just contact the customer care team on 0845... Am losing the will to live. Help! Please?”

But when I pressed ‘send’ Step 2 came up asking for my password again. A box below that suggested I ring…. I ignored all that and gave them every other bit of info they requested, just stopping short of my bra size.

Am just so v tired by it all. All day wearing of MBT trainers hardly helps. My legs are especially tired. Why it’s as if I’ve done a work out or something. It may just be the extra bulk I’m carrying on the edge of my feet. Ankle weights would have been the cheaper option and less likely to give blisters. But have made the investment now so will be wearing them ‘til either they fall off me or I fall off them.

Supersis’s boss now ‘needs’ a pair too. She reckons within a month of wearing them her body will be transformed. Although she’s a bit worried she’ll look like an alien embryo with elongated over-developed legs. Mmm attractive.

Captain Chaos didn’t think much of the new shoes and certainly doesn’t buy into the marketing hype of what they do for the figure. When I told him to watch the arses of Supersis and myself as they become more defined he quipped he’d keep a close eye on the back of our knees. Bastard.

Went to bed with Paul again last night. Not sure whether you are supposed to nod off as soon as the McKenna starts muttering in the ears. Woke with a start at 3am as the ipod dropped to the floor. So obviously didn’t hear the bit about opening eyes and feeling refreshed etc. Some of it is working: I got up and glanced in the mirror this morning and instead of thinking how round my face is, I thought ‘hello gorgeous’. When I explained this to the Forensic Examiner she questioned whether my feelings of inner loveliness would remain when in a bikini on a beach this summer?

Tad harsh me thinks!

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

The Pain of the Gain

The non-smoking podge is getting out of hand. As was the weighing obsession. Weighed myself at Supersis’s as a test of whether my scales were as out as much as He-who-must-be-adored reckons. Hers weighed me 41lb heavier than at home. Could I put that down to the munch moment I’d had on the way round? Probably not. Sadly, since giving up the fags I now weigh over 20lb more. So you can see where the obsessive bit has come in. I mean it’s just not possible for your entire wardrobe to shrink is it? Comments from Captain Chaos about my ‘rounded’ face don’t help either.

So, persuaded He-who-must-be-adored to kindly hide the damn scales. I never used to weigh myself so often, but then I never used to weigh so much so I didn’t need to. Thought it might all be having a detrimental effect on my daughter’s attitudes to the self-image, but realised as they both have perfect bodies I’m the only one with a mental affect.

New week, new approach. In fact a two pronged approach to my burgeoning figure. One was the purchase of MBTs – a training shoe that acts like a workout. Working your muscles with every step you take. Hooray. As someone who has a slight lack of motivation to exercise plus a penchant for all things calorific this seems like the answer to my prayers. Pity I can’t wear them in bed, now that would be a best seller. Anyway felt slightly nauseous trying them on as you have to get used to the strange rocking sensation. But I wore them for a couple of hours last night and did feel very Tigger like – had a strong desire to bounce. Very odd. Within a couple of months my buttocks will be perfectly worked and formed. Out of respect to the manufacturer I took them off to eat chocolate cake.

The second prong is going to bed with Paul McKenna. Have put his CD on the ipod and am letting him brainwash me into not over-eating. Apparently I have to love myself more and ask am I really hungry? I know I am not but as what I’m really hungry for is a cigarette, calories will have to do. Except they don’t do it for me in the same way as nicotine. Yet I can no longer stand the smell of fags. Yet I eat because I can’t smoke. Yet I don’t want to smoke! Confused? Yes. So Paul to the rescue. He’s going to show me how to love my energetic healthy self. Can’t say it’s working yet, but it is only day 2. Will keep you posted on developments.

An update on the Boots super cream: well I’ve only got the serum and that’s doing wonders for a more youthful face. Although it has to be said, now my face is rounder, so the lines are less obvious. If only I could keep the weight on my face instead of round my middle. But Supersis attempted to accelerate the anti-aging process by using the serum and the cream. The result? Not a pretty sight. Her face, especially her eyes rejected her attempts to turn back time by puffing her face out of all recognition. Poor thing woke believing she had elephantiasis. Luckily it is on the way down now. So she’s also bought some MBTs to alleviate the pain.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

The nature of things

Determined to do my green bit I carry a bag of Mary Poppins proportions, but with less style. A small trip down the High Street with the Little One saw us refuse at least of six plastic bags. With hindsight throwing a half pound of butter into the mix of ‘my life in a big bag’ wasn’t the best idea for a sunny afternoon. Three cheers though for the London bag designer with the slogan “I’m not a smug twat.”

Should move to Modbury where plastic bags have been banned - a local resident – a wildlife camerawoman - shocked shopkeepers with pictures of the effect of bags on Pacific marine life. Can’t imagine having the same success in Palmers Green even though most local trees have at least one plastic bag in them – and why is it always that unfashionable blue hue.

Inspector Gadget complained again last week about his nickname before turning to He-who-must-be-adored to ask did our trees needed trimming. His latest internet-purchased toy is an extendable chain saw type thing. The danger bells were ringing loud as Inspector Gadget reckons we no longer need tree surgeons. But I just know if He-who-must-be-adored has a go at the trees himself they’ll be half destroyed, will never recover their beautiful natural shape and I’ll have to do the driving to A&E.

Class 1’s latest topic is a hot box of fun and the Little One’s stationery obsession pales into insignificance as she hunts the garden for ‘mini-beasts’. I share the enthusiasm by buying a bug box – mainly so the creepy things aren’t crawling round my kitchen. Persuaded her to share her pet snail and other ‘mini-beasts’ with Class 1 as after only one night in the bug box they looked half dead. Let’s hope they fare better in the classroom.

The Little One woke crying about a small personal problem. The following morning I was at the chemist, but obviously not the nearest one as the pharmacist is a mum at the school. I traipsed further afield to discover that particular mother had moved jobs. Is there no privacy in this world? She asked how I’d diagnosed the problem. My response was slightly louder than it needed to be, but she was left in no doubt as to how and the queue behind me visibly retreated. I wonder whether Class 1’s mini-beast display would be improved with the addition of a small collection of threadworms? Anyway, we’ve all taken the worming tablets now and are all clear.

That episode sent me on a rare cleaning frenzy. The playroom especially as I’d forgotten the colour of the carpet and couldn’t remember the last time I cleaned in there. I set about with great gusto, ruthless in my ambition to make it look like a room and not a long-forgotten dumping ground. Now the toys that get played with can be reached, outgrown toys are in a pile to go – somewhere, anywhere, out of here. I threw away all sorts of useless things. As I put bits of tutt in the rubbish I wonder where they all come from, and whether He-who-must-be-adored would later quiz me on their whereabouts, as is His nature. I gave up with the clear up when the wheel fell of the hoover.

Nothing seems to work properly for long in our house. He-who-must-be-adored returned from a Doctors check up to cheerfully inform me our bathroom scales were out by half a stone. I agreed I’d noticed the numbers notching up rather quickly. Sadly, He informed me ours were weighing half a stone LIGHT. The non-smoking podge is even worse than I feared.

The next day He-who-must-be-adored called asking whether I’d seen a wing nut? If only I knew what a wing nut was? It’s like the bike all over again! It’s small, round and metal, he said. And it helps the wheels stay on the hoover. I asked did it have little bits sticking out? Yes he said.

In that case it’s in one of the many rubbish bags