Thursday 18 November 2010

Lessons, life n laundry

Not usually one to air my dirty laundry in public, I feel I’ve gotta come clean and admit I’ve done what I should not. Well, according to the theartofbeinghuman anyways. I don't want this to turn into a full blown therapy sess but I’m not proud of the fact that I've broken the rules and built up ...a backlog…of laundry. It’s good to know I’m not the only laundry blogger, but I’m unsurprised as ‘twas the art’s author that suggested colour coding socks. Just because it’s never worked in this house, does not mean it’s not a good trick.

But you can’t teach an old dog new tricks which is probably why Lady Gaga has failed to learn where to put the dirty laundry, though she’s working hard on a Houdini one and constantly tries removal of the protective lampshade. Yip Yip as she has finally stopped the moult, finally lightening the load. I can now cut out the time taken with the industrial dog de-hairer on each and every item worn or washed or just passing through our home. Am keeping my fingers crossed as we’ve so far been spared puke patrol and all its attendant laundry as the dreaded vomit bug is doing the rounds. Again.

I’m pleased to say I don’t need to practice my times tables, but the littleun’s teacher says she does. Meaning there’ll be much more number shout outs and less crapalite TV in our house. For a couple of days anyways. Tis not all bad: today she discombobulated her teacher by describing something as ‘discombobulating’. What can I say? I have no idea where I got her from.

But I’m impressed all the same.

Monday 15 November 2010

Stronger than dirt

Love her as he does, apparently Barrack accused Michelle of being bitter and twisted when she flew the domestic flag whilst he was busy, working hard, climbing the greasy pole. Mmm … as far as I know hard work and a bit o’ moving and shaking never killed anyone.

However, laundry might just do the trick.

Saturday 13 November 2010

Beware the Doctor

Where some uppers may have done the trick my GP, in her wisdom, sent me on a downer: to the hospital. There, the junior doctor thought me interesting. I wished she hadn’t. After reading this, you might agree.

Moments after meeting Little Miss Keen, and her boss, in the Hospital bottom department, both their faces were in closer proximity to my rear end than I was strictly comfortable with. But that wasn’t the low point. It went so much lower. Like when they realised the camera exploring my innards wasn’t working and Little Miss Keen says, in all seriousness, ‘it did that earlier, just wiggle the top to get it going again’. They wiggled. It didn’t respond. For once, words failed me.

“I’ll put a sheet over you while we grab some working equipment” said the boss. Except what with all the cuts and everything NHS housekeeping now only extends to pillowcases. While he was off in search of working kit, and with a pillowcase in place of dignity, and a horrible feeling that I might fall off the trolley at any moment, I tried to be my own advocate: I firmly believed there was nothing much wrong with me, that a sheet and a quick exit wouldn’t fix. They were having none of it. Fear crept in with a machine sounding like an industrial leaf blower, which they assured me, would soon sort me out. It’s a sorry fact that they don’t have a machine to remove embarrassment. I’d pay extra for that.

I quick trawl of t’net is a dangerous thang: I bypassed the You Tube video of the next treat they had in store for me. I saw a line about occult blood and the vampire nightmare made sense. But that’s what a restricted diet does to a girl.

Day 1 of what the doctor ordered left a bad taste in my mouth and I was definitely out of sorts without my morning oats. I had terrible cravings for bananas and nuts. Captain Chaos spent an age peeling a fresh juicy orange and eating it at my desk. I had 57 varieties of tea, jazzed up with a coffee, some fizzy pop, and daring of daring do, Bovril (not one I’d recommend). Lashings of salt did nowt to improve the flavour of the rubber on cardboard supper. In hindsight girl’s night was a mistake as it doesn't take much hooch to see a near starved woman off her face.

Day 2: Plain white rice with Bovril is tasty. Who knew? Not that I would ever choose it again. A little irritation creeps in.

Day 3: No solids. Some special sachets from the evil doctors. Full blown grumpiness. I become Bovril’s top fan.

Day 4: Today, a real charmer administers a drug similar to the one used in date rape whilst, four to five feet of my empty innards are inflated, examined, and my biggest fear, recorded, (hopefully not to be seen on You Tube any time soon). Apparently chatting throughout, I, thankfully, have no recollection of the following half hour. Discover what economists are on about when they say inflation can go up as well as down.

It’s not all bad, I’ve been dopey most of the day and I’ve been given the all clear.

And, food never tasted so good.

Friday 12 November 2010

Put a sock in it

Once I was in a play called ‘The Laundry Girls’. As you might imagine, it was about a group of girls who worked in a laundry. Albeit a Victorian one. Fastforward to my life today and laundry features more than I should like. Without the girly chat. So, call me demented and send me to hell but I want to stand up and say ‘my name is mothergoat and my life is powerless to the demented demon of never ending laundry’. But it’s the socks wot really get me.

Obsessed? No! Possessed? Perhaps. I don't like to count the number of socks though I know without fail there's always at least 7 x 4 pairs of socks, each and every week. That’s 56 individuals at the lowest. Add to that a smattering of sports socks, (when Teenboy hasn’t fired the filthy things to rarely explored spaces), and evenings out, plus tights, leggings and other smalls and we’re way closer to a ton than is decent.

I've decided life is simply too short to sort socks. Luckily my dustbin lids like wearing odd socks. Teengirl wears the first socks she finds. Teenboy is size 9. The littleun a teensie size 1. Yet swap and share and make do is what they have to do. I throw clean socks in a drawer in the nativity room. Then it’s everyman for himself. I used to care, because I used to care whether my parenting skills were judged on the state of my children’s socks. I care no more.

Way back when I had only one cute little baby, family socks were easy and obvious to sort, kindly aided by hired help. Those were the days when I worked with a guy who happily joined a ready-made family. I thought him a tad dictatorial as he demanded a designated sock colour for each family member. Now I think he was on to something.

Throw into the mix the moulting mutt. She likes to retrieve the odd sock, carry it about for a while, bury a few in the garden, tear some apart in her bed, or tend to others as if they were babies, all the while sprinkling them in her shedding coat.

I have tried to train the dog to retrieve and deposit sock missiles in the laundry bin.

I’m ever hopeful.

Thursday 11 November 2010

Today we remember them

Things I wish I remembered today:
  • Yesterday’s consumption of less calories than usual and more booze than normal makes for a poor start to the day.
  • To put the dog’s lamp shade back on her bonce before letting her out, unsupervised, where she had a good go at her gammy leg, sending the healing process back to the start.
  • To always check my appearance before opening the door. It’s the dog’s fault, if only I hadn't had to chase her up the garden with the lamp shade. But, whatever way you look at it, cowboy boots, dressing gown and bed head a good look do not make. But they do make the delivery chap look at you. In a questioning sanity type way.
  • The pin code number for the TV’s parental control lock. Asking the littleun, who remembers everything, shows how seriously I take parental controls.
  • The password.
  • To press the ‘on’ button on the dishwasher.
  • And, that laundry does not dry, on its own, in the washing machine

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Teengirl's revenge

Sharing my nightmare with the dustbin lids was my second mistake. The first was using them as blog-fodder. Within moments of my enthusiastic recount of the realism, and my fear, of having vampires for children in a dream, Teengirl took her revenge in posting a prĂ©cis on facebook. Then my casual observations about Teenboy’s penalty shot-taking style saw her hammering away at her little keyboard again. I didn’t like it. But for good reasons…

Because, like my vivid and frightening dream (the teeth and eyes were the worse) this scares me. Because I can talk. And I do talk. Quite a bit. And because a fair ole load of what I say could possibly, sometimes, be interpreted as stuff and nonsense, especially when taken out of context. But mainly because neither t’net nor me are ready for Teengirl’s interpretation of ‘what my mom said’ to hit t’net.

Not without a gloss and edit anyways.

Monday 8 November 2010

Chills, they're multiplying

The chill wind worsened the icy driving rain, requiring a costume change between morning school run and work: from damp scrummy to florist’s winter-wear delight. It’s a layers thang. Working in a breezy portacabin at this time of year, in a wet get up, almost guarantees hypothermia by lunch. The Giggler got a warm reception when he arrived with hot steaming soup, just before Inspector Gadget and Captain Chaos arrived for their tea break. Then I counted my blessings for the rare treat of being in the company of three of my brothers …with no teasing at all.

Tonight, the little-un showed me how to divide, with remainders. I’m brewing a plan to convince her that sorting our sock mountain is a useful extension to the math’s homework.

The Daily tech tip from Teenboy showed me facebook writ large across the TV whilst loading football on the new gaming kit. A useful lesson, should I ever reincarnate as a Teenboy.

For the long-post-exam-holiday this year Teengirl planned to master moonwalking whilst watching each and every Pokemon episode. Fine ambitions indeed! Needless to say, a short while later she tired of it. Don't place any bets on whether her latest enthusiasm for teach-yourself-harmonica will see past Twinkle Twinkle?

Harmonica and trumpet beginners, and the dog’s late-night fox-watch, makes us truly popular with the neighbours.

Gaga, (the dog’s new mantle) is being pampered and treated like only a real Diva should. Helmet headed, she continues to crash into us, begging with her puppy eyes, for some dignity, and the removal of the protective lampshade. I remind my dustbin lids, daily, that she is a dog. She’ll get over it.

We all do.

Sunday 7 November 2010

Boys, bonfires and bad parking

Despite looking like one for years, today my boy became a teenager. Bless his little cotton socks (it’s his birthday so gloss over the filthy sports socks). Like most 13 year old boys, sports, gaming and avoiding embarrassments are his thang. Unintentionally, I cause embarrassments just by being. Alongwith my apparently unreasonable insistence that birthday’s must be celebrated. Despite this, and his grumps with the little-un for her insistence on balloons, he managed to turn the coolometer down long enough to enjoy his birthday bash.

Oooohing and aaaahing at fireworks however are a sparkle too far for him so he abstained. Bonfire night, at the golf club, does not involve sitting in the warm club house, sipping mulled wine whilst watching fireworks from the safe position of behind glass. Because that really would be my kinda night: no fear of injury from falling debris or bitter cold. Instead myself, the little-un and my fave niece went well prepared with boots, torches and many many many layers. We know much tramping about in the mud is all part of the fun, as is laughing at my nervous disposition around large bangs. And, thanks to Inspector Gadget’s little trip into the bunker last year we now know which parts of the course to avoid. Although my fave nephew has had a change of heart about a military career, trench foot still threatens: next year I’m sure he’ll bring some big boots.

Harsh? Perhaps. Satisfying? Oh Yes! I left it a full 12 hours before ringing the tow-truck, to complain about the car blocking my driveway. My satisfaction came six hours after the offending vehicle was removed when a not particularly polite young man knocked on my door. I like to think I may have helped him park more considerately in the future.

Friday 5 November 2010

My dog's life

Almost every night, at roughly the same time, the moulting mutt huffs and puffs, growls and headbutts the back door until I let her out. Her urgency has less to do with territorial defence than a strong desire to retrieve her treasure de-jour: be it sock, tea-towel, bone, dwarf or ball. If we don’t let her out, the Far-from-fantastic Mr Fox leaves a delightful little gift for us, on the back step. I love it when that happens because I don’t usually have any crap to deal with.

I like to keep the dog happy, so I let her out, hoping I find the keys and negotiate the locks before the fox does its thang. I worry about the dog. But not in a crazy dog-loving-folk way. I haven't started worrying about her getting wrinkles or anything, like they do in Essex. It's just that recently she’s been displaying some slight emo tendencies. What started as a small scratch has been worried away at and now she’s looking a little more like a self-harmer than is comfortable. I worry that at this rate she might just gnaw the whole leg off and though there are many thangs on my wish list, a three legged dog is not one of them.

To stop the worrying, tonight the dog is sporting one of those nifty little collars. As you can imagine, she is taking a little time adjusting to life with a huge lampshade on her head. Her spacial awareness has gone up the spout. She spent the afternoon knocking into things, mostly me, as she follows my every step, giving me the pleading puppy eyes. But also every door, doorway, furniture and step in the house.

Which is all hugely charming and amusing and did not make me question at all why a three legged dog is not at the top of my wish list.

Thursday 4 November 2010

Smashing pumpkins

Smashing pumpkins, is a band, apparently. It sprung to mind when I saw what my producer friend produced in the way of autumn produce. A mighty harvest indeed. What I wish hadn’t popped into my head was the sight of my boy smashing pumpkins, to smithereens. Fundamentally he is a boy. The first night his hand came off worse, though after he had a good ole go the pumpkin looked well past it’s sell-by-date. If I hadn’t been in close enough proximity to call a halt am certain I’d have been cleaning up pumpkin pulp for the second time in a week. The next night his attempts were more successful, by his reckoning. Last night I had enough and consigned the putrid thangs to recycling.

Today I discover my blog is mainly read in England. Japan, Korea and Lithuania also feature in the stats. I had no idea my family stretched that far.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Whey hey Wednesday

A beautiful bright start to the day called for the filmstar look: dark glasses to hide the lacking make-up, and a flamboyant coat and scarf for any midrift mishaps. (Yesterday’s fashion faux pas put me in the longest top in the world today). And, as any woman worth her salt knows, a little lipstick goes a long way in the feel-good stakes. Continuing the beautiful theme, I took the scenic route to, and from, work to marvel at the autumn colours. As every decent pokemon fan knows you’ve gotta catch ‘em where you can because, like moments of poignancy or intimacy, an ill wind can kill the whole thing off. A more committed blogger might have taken pictures. But I can’t take these things too seriously.

Anyways, I’m miserable cob I’b gob a colb so I’m early a bed.

Night night.

Tuesday 2 November 2010

All Saints Day: Turnover Tuesday

Struggling with a bucket sized handbag, a trumpet, and car keys whilst gassing on the blower, I cursed having only two hands. As that is when I first noticed the vague feeling of coolness. Coolness as in the opposite of cool. Or hip. I think ‘hip’ shows just how low in the cool stakes I go.

The day started well: smugly I thought of another half hour in bed to the 6am chorus of the recycling truck. Teengirl’s shout out at 7.30 knocked the smile off my face. I regained points in the late-start runaround by remembering the Christmas card deadline. We are, afterall, in November. Points lost for forgetting the Trumpet.

Driving was a no-brainer as I eventually parked closer to home than school on the second trip. Struggling with the trumpet et al I felt a little chill. Up to this point the morning was all a bit of a rushed blur but I believe that in throwing on some clothes I hadn’t quite managed to get fully dressed and my top remained further up my torso than it ought. Actually, it just about covered my bra, revealing my midrift in all its glory. In a totally attractive, and obviously befitting of my age, and the weather, type way. More WTF? than MILF me thinks.

Fortunately my day was cheered by that youtube video, despite causing my fave niece some social torture. It also proves that humour, no matter how cruel, should always be applauded when it raises big belly laughs.

A later-than-usual rehearsal for the girls meant time for a delightful dinner with all three dustbin lids. I’m reminding myself of its delight because later on Strictly Mommy warmed up with some unpopular decisions. Especially for Teengirl. Someone please tell my boy that watching ‘the world’s strictest parents’ might not be enough to ward off the full-blown return of Strictly. Anyways, I need to save all my free-range parenting for the far far far away future…of my grandkids.

At the end of the day I realised one thing…the laundry bin is exactly like the magic porridge pot: no matter how many loads you pull out, the bastard continues to overflow.

Monday 1 November 2010

All Souls Day

Monday morning after half term break and the halloween high: my porridge, zinged in the microwave an hour earlier, was particularly pants. Dustbin lids who say they are up, when they are not, should expect an unannounced visit from Strictly Mommy. Or a return to Papa Kevin’s cure for sleeping sickness. And while we're on a roll: Teengirl’s milking of the dodgy knee shouldn’t exclude her from returning the ‘injury’ peas to the freezer.

Three cheers for the man from the league who looked at the scores, saw no draws, no losses, only win win wins, and shunted the boys up to Division 1.

Proceed with caution when holding out for a hero because sisters are doing it for themselves. A young sister with previous for fraping her elders should never, ever, under any circumstances, have recorded herself and her bestie dancing as if no-one were watching. Sadly it was just a matter of time before those mean big sisters took their revenge public in positing the movie on t’net. I loved it. Because the star is my fave niece. For today, anyways.

When life is lacking angst you can always rely on the Book Club.

I’m off to read the Dangerous Book.