Saturday, 14 May 2011

Rant of the day: not sponsored by o2

Apparently o2’s new ad campaign demonstrates that customers are its priority. That makes my laugh: as an o2 customer I feel the exact opposite. Their customer service folks are well trained and polite. Which is lovely, but spectacularly useless in resolving much.

I’ve had the same mobile number for more than a decade, so am really rather keen to keep it. A couple of year’s ago the queer fella bought me an iphone as a peace offering. Iphone’s can do many things, but sadly it didn’t prove to be up to saving our marriage.

Anyways I should have my own mobile account in my own name. Kindly, the queer fella rang o2 and asked them to transfer the account to me. They couldn’t. They suggested he gave notice and ported the number to my new account.

I thought about moving back to Orange, as in my experience their customer care is better than any other phone company I’ve been with (and I’ve been with a few). However, the absence of any Orange service in my home is a teeny bit of a turn off. So, I stuck with o2. I thought it’d make the changeover easier. Especially as customers are their priority ‘n all.

The changeover failed to happen. I made a large number of calls to o2. As did the the queer fella. Some of the calls dropped off just when I thought things would be fixed. To their irritation, I am sure, I kept calling back and gave the whole sorry story from scratch to a fair few of their reps. Which was only half as irritating as their ‘hold’ musak. Their best suggestion was for the queer fella and I to be in the same room and phone them together, then they MAY be able to sort it out. We are separated. We live in different cities. That was their best suggestion.

After a week of this farce, the queer fella got hold of someone at o2 with a bit of sense who broke the rules and phoned me whilst talking to him on another line. Simples people. Within 24 hours my old number ported through and miraculously worked. All was forgiven.

That was last month.

This morning, my new shiny iphone had no service. I did all the usual on/off stuff. Still nada. The phone shop in the high street repeated the on/off stuff and directed me to the o2 shop, a short drive away. They did the same stuff, without resolution. They offered a new sim card if I confirmed to customer service that I am who I am. Which is, a customer: their priority.

Inexplicably customer service said the sim card had been disconnected and my phone number was being ported elsewhere. But I pay by direct debit I say, like that makes any kind of any difference! So customers are a priority except when they want to use their phones.

Where has it been ported to? It wasn’t entirely clear. Who requested the port? And when? And why would someone do this?. They didn’t know but, they did say: there appears to have been some confusion with your account. Demonstrating once again my priority status.

I was inside an o2 shop so I didn’t get cut off and after less than half an hour of hold ‘musak’ they got me up and running again. Although the customer service guy wasn’t entirely sure how that happened and was as surprised as me when one last on/off thing worked.

Feel better now. My rant is over, but if you’re looking to port a number I’d suggest avoiding o2.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Pain in the bum

I missed the first 30 seconds of Sunday’s Rugby tournament. So I missed Teengirl hitting the deck. The ambulance arrived before me so I was greeted by a bit of party and an entonox high in the back of the van. Sadly, for every giggle there was a bit of a scream.

The next five hours were spent, mainly waiting, in Watford General Hospital: a couple of hours in a corridor, a painful body board slide and a very silly incident with a high girl and a bedpan. In the absence of any other amusement I ate all the packed food. Well, she was nil by mouth and I was bored. There’s only so much amusement to be had from laughter mixed with tears. And there was quite a large quantity of food, designed for a long day of high energy on a rugby pitch. Don’t think sitting in an NHS chair counts, but what can I say? Time goes slower in a hospital than anywhere else on earth.

It wasn’t all dull though, we had Gollum in the next bay to keep us amused. I don’t suppose it was actually Gollum, but the ancient creature both looked and sounded like the real thing. In hindsight, it doesn’t take much to amuse a Teengirl mainlining laughing gas or a bored woman. And it wasn’t all time wasted: she revised for biology by applying her knowledge to blood pressure. Am hoping in the real exam the intermittent hysteria will be missing. Like Queen Victoria, the attending nurse looked the opposite to amused. Think the whole of Watford breathed a sigh of relief when proper pain relief was finally given and Teengirl shut up and fell asleep.

A couple of exams and x-rays later they said: 'Nothing broken. Take these pills and crutches and bugger off. It’s just a pain in the bum'. No really, it is a pain in the bum. Also known as Ischiogluteal something. A soft tissue injury – right where the hamstring joins the pelvis. That’s the bit that’s used when bending the knee, straightening the hip or when sitting. Sitting is a painful problem. Next week Teengirl has AS exams. Where a certain amount of sitting will, no doubt, be required.

So to the Physio today to speed up the heal. It was painful for Teengirl, and for me to watch her do a few simple exercises. In the absence of food in my bag I chewed my nails.

We’re back again on Friday for more torture. And a bit of hope that soon she’ll be able to sit.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

A Sporting Chance

Parenting is not an olympic sport. It can require olympic sized skill and stamina so perhaps it should be. Or does that stink a little too much of martydom? Which I’m avoiding this week. Like the sofa as a) I never get hold of the tv controls, b) the drone of either dustbin telly or teen drama does my head in and c) I tend to fall asleep as soon as I get the chance to sit down.

Sticking with the Olympics, apparently one in six mums failed to apply for the London Olympic ticket ballot because they were too busy looking after their children. That’s according to the P&G eggheads anyway. I didn’t apply either. Booking tickets was on my todo list for a while which probably puts it in the 50% of the list that should be crossed off as soon as written because about that proportion will never ever be achieved.

So I didn’t apply, partly because I'm a bit busy and partly because once my day was done on the very last booking day twitter and facebook told me not to bother. You’d think the geeks behind the website would know the last hours of the last day were going to be busy. And you’d think they’d know how annoying ticket websites are in general. They are geeks after all. I’ve only just recovered from the Take That ticket fandango and the last thing I want to do at the end of a long day is press refresh. Refresh. Refresh.

I’d like to go to the London Olympics. It’s a chance in a lifetime. And, they are only a stone’s throw from where we live. We’ve put up with the roadwork improvements long enough (only another year to go). Ok so the first night they went on sale none of the dustbin lids could agree on what they’d like to watch, but I don’t care. I’d happily watch any of it. Especially that curling business. That looks great. And I love a bit of ribbon twirling as much as the next one. Am resigned to the fact that the opening and closing ceremonies will probably look better on the telly. Except for the crowds. There’s a limit to how many we can fit on the sofa at any one time.

So find myself slightly cheered that P&G is giving away tickets to demonstrate its commitment to supporting mums and families. All you have to do is buy one of their brands for a chance to win tickets.

I’m not a hugely brand loyal type. And I don't know what products are P&G. I think they make Olay. That's one of those old fashioned face creams that is a must have for all beauty regimes, but frankly it’s too strongly associated with Granny for my liking. As opposed to knitting which is totally OK, granny is allowed to start some trends, but I don’t take my beauty hints from the over 80s. Yet.

I think P&G make lots of laundry product, but I’m not really prepared to muck about with those since I had to rewash our entire family’s holiday wardrobe less than 24 hours before departure due to an alergic reaction to my last change of powder. I’ve stuck with the same product for the past decade.

So all you have to do is buy a product. But I bet you then have to tear off a label, without tearing off the teeny tiny print on where you have to send the smallest bit of paper. Which will be thrown in the bottom of the bucketsized handbag where it will languish until after the next Olympic deadline. Should task the littleun. She is the most consciencous in our house. Whosoever fills out the form, gets to choose the event. Or do you get what you’re given when your hoping to get them free with the soap?

I should say despite the mentions, this blog is not actually sponsored by P&G. If it were I would say so. As bloggers do it with integrity. I’m not against being sponsored as clearly I’m not against payment. Have been thinking of signing up for that sort of thing but it probably requires form filling and a fair ole bit of refresh refresh refresh. And today, I’ve too much laundry.

Hey ho.

Monday, 2 May 2011

The long weekend

The garden is as dry as dust. Shall climb down from my cross and spend more time watering. Am bored of martyrdom now anyway. And the alliums are out - they always make me want to spend more time in the garden.

With the dustbin lids away for a couple of days I indulged in a little Royal Wedding coverage. Or rather a lot. I love a posh frock and a big hat. Though Posh’s own ensemble left me a little cold. The bride looked beautiful, the groom looked bald, and everyone was chirpy. So chirpy infact, Twitter crashed.

Was loving the fact that I had full control of the tv, with no interruptions. Bestmumchum popped over to avoid all the chat at her house. She talked over the wedding but I let her off as she came with a cup of hot frothy coffee. Noone does pomp like London. It was all bloody marvellous. If I was left with one lasting impression it is, without a doubt, that The Duchess, like me, has a supersis.

I didn’t waste the whole weekend stalking the royals: I met up with my forensic mate. We haven’t shopped together for years. I worried her taste was deteriorating as she pointed out some summer sandals. They looked like something Granny might wear. I need worry no more as she said she was actually looking for Granny.

The little-un started as an austringer's apprentice with Uncle Dolittle training her in the dark art of Falconry. I marvel at her calmness and practicality when in close proximity to a bird with large eyes and talons, and dead meat. Squeemish she ain't. I on the other hand, feet ill just looking at the kit. To my mind it ticks too many boxes on the potential serial killer list. Or is that just me?

The house clearance continues - in preparation for finding a buyer and moving. As a former hoarder, even I find it unbelievable just how much has accumulated under this roof. The charity shop has done well, as will the dump, when I get there.

Best of all: the ebay holiday fund is coming along nicely.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Widsom of the week

As I get older, I just prefer to knit.
Tracey Ullman

Monday, 25 April 2011

Jokes, jollity and juvenile jinks

A Scotsman walks into a bar. Meets a couple of friends, who hail from the wilds of Wales (a bit like the wild west only a tad damper) and a London Irish (not the rugby teams, just cultural heritage). They share a drink. Or maybe two. Later a bite to eat. And one for the road perhaps. The United Kingdom represented in one bar: except this being London, none in the bar were actually English.

An intro to a tacky joke? No just my usual, yet rare, night out with a couple of old mates. After a few giggles, and a lorra laughs we have another one for the road. Who knows when we’ll meet again. Except, with all the predictability of a bad bar joke, whenever the three of us are together, overexcitement tends to take over. We do have a little previous for throwing off the shackles of middle age and behaving as we once did, when we first met, a long long time ago. Which is totally becoming for our age and stature. Obviously.

Now on the wrong side of 40 I’m trying to wise up and avoid seeing them too soon after breakfast. Well that Scot clearly has hollow legs and we clearly do not. Especially when wearing killer heels (clearly not the Scotsman). I was overjoyed to find the late train home easy enough. All without a hint of Eurostar or any whispers of wandering towards Paris. And it wasn’t even the very last late train. I’d also powdered my nose before boarding. A clever trick, after having so many for the road. A fun night out, and a comfortable journey home, without crossed legs, eyes or fingers for a safe passage, with no mishaps, on the right line, and heels in tact too.

Like Cinderella, all my recent martyrdom has left me out of practice on how to stay out after midnight. Absentmindedly I wonder who’s having the house party down our way? The heaving music and loud laughter made me miss my youth when I may have tried my luck at getting into a do after the witching hour, instead of hearing my bed calling my name. Loudly and clearly. Alongwith an overwhelming desire to get those bleeding heels off.

Accepting I’m way past all that late night party malarkey I fumble for a key I hadn’t remembered to take out with me. I knock on my own front door and a stranger lets me in.

Guess that’s what you get for leaving Teengirl home alone for a whole evening. Thoughts of Facebook fuelled trash-fests swam round my head, or was that just the wine?

Rather regretted that last one for the road as a strange sensation took over my feet and I feared losing the use of them. Both. At the same time. Relieved to at least have made it home before realising my feet were broken. Just had to make it past all the teenagers before taking the heels off. Shoes off and I realise my mistake. It's the floors that are wrong. Teenagers are clearly not able to keep sticky drinks in their hands and prefer instead to throw them about the floors making it virtually impossible to pick one foot up after putting it down. The following day I discover vertical surfaces are included in the sticky drink target practice, but luckily when the house was full I wasn’t climbing the walls so didn’t notice. I saved that treat for Teengirl the following day.

I hobbled into the garden and found Teengirl. ‘Good party?’.

Sternly, she said ‘it’s not a party’. Apparently less than twenty people doesn’t count.

A little tired and emotional I may have been but I realise they aren't a bad bunch. Turning the music down a tad and engaging in a little washing up quickly did the trick in the teen clearing scheme of things.

Ah to be young again.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Worry of the day

I worry that martyrdom is taking over my days

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Nothing has no sides

My little-un knows and loves her mathematical onions. And sometimes, she can be more rigid in her stubbornness than a goat getting stubborn mule-slash-terrier-dog with a bone. Often this is charming and delightful. It can also be irritating and embarrassing. I have known this for a long time.

Her Student Teacher is on a steep learning curve. During a lesson on shapes the little-un said he was mistaken. I question her arguing with a teacher, but question more a teacher ‘Asking Jeeves’ to settle an argument. With a 9 year old. But I digress. Arguments, like shapes, have at least one side.

Another day, another lesson, another shape, another family meal dominated by maths talk. Before worrying about what kind of geek freaks I’m raising: maths doesn’t usually feature round our table, so prominently, nor for so long.

But we all agreed: nothing has no sides. A circle is not a nothing. Therefore it cannot have no sides. Both circles and rectangles feature in some 3D shapes, especially cylinders. Mr Student Teacher made a mistake. His more serious error, in the little-un’s book, was to argue, unconvincingly, otherwise.

Teachers have a tough job: it’s not all short days and long holidays. Teaching is an art. It’s not easy, and it's not for everyone, but done well it is beautiful and inspiring. The little-un knows a beautiful and inspiring teacher when she sees one.

She sees Mr Student Teacher and his math skills differently. Knowing her, I think he may just have a little bitty inkling about this. A quick chat and our usual uber-competent teacher is on the case. She talks the little-un out of losing her love of maths. But the little-un's mistrust grows and is starting to resemble a strong dislike.

Mr Student still teaches. Little-un still moans. I thought he redeemed himself by awarding her ‘star of the week’. Her reponse: ‘he knows I’m better at maths than him’. Hmmm.

It’s the holidays, so I’m the teacher now. This week a little tolerance might be on the cards.

As well as the ole chestnut that is the times tables.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Family Reading

My Teengirl is currently reading ‘How to survive family life: they f*** you up’. Am bracing myself for the fallout of her newfound understanding of my parenting shortcomings. But, frankly, family life isn’t always easy. Dustbin lids don’t come with an instruction manual. Though one might prove useful, I’d probably ignore it.

This week I read reviews of 'Shattered: Modern Motherhood and the Illusion of Equality' by Rebecca Asher, a new mother. She’s angry about the inequality parenthood brings. Go figure sister: welcome to the real world. Life’s not fair. Equality may work at work, but the arrival of dustbin lids changes things indoors. For ever. She’s clearly not yet used to the sleep deprivation that comes with being a parent: it takes at least a decade. She suggests the government forces fathers into equality. I think she’s wasting her precious time and energy. She is yet to learn that just as tiredness can cause anger, motherhood can cause martyrdom.

Family life can be full of drudge. And mess. And poop. And laundry. Always laundry. And tears. And challenges. And joy. Deep joy. And laughter. Lots of laughter. Inequality starts in the earliest days of pregnancy: as the smell of his morning coffee makes you want to puke. The paths of motherhood and fatherhood are different, and in places uneven. With this realisation, the puke reflex returns.

Sadly, there wasn’t much mention of the lids in the reviews. I haven't read the book so I don't know where their perspective fits in. I lay no claims at being a perfect mother. Who'd want to be one of those? They seem smug and irritating. I don’t always get it right. And, what works for me, won’t work for my sister. But I know I’ve been blessed with children. They are a gift. To be treasured. And we don’t want to f*** them up any more than we were by our parents.

Do we?

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my mom’s birthday. I’m not at liberty to say exactly how old she would have been because she never ever admitted to being of any age at all. Shortly before she died she told me not to be getting any ideas about organising any kind of a surprise 70th Birthday party, because she knew what I was like, and she was not going to be 70, no matter what Dad, or anyone else said.

She was right. As ever. Because she never got to 70 and we were indeed thinking of a birthday party. We have a bit of form for surprises: because if you told her of party plans she’d try to cancel them. Although she loved to roar with laugher, she didn’t like a big fuss. We managed to pull off a surprise 40th Wedding Anniversary party for her and Dad. It was great. Mom loved it, because she didn’t have time to worry beforehand. But I think it may have been a tad embarrassing for her, especially in front of her newer friends.

I come from a predictably large Irish family and Mom was a bit coy about admitting exactly how many children she had: stereotypical responses are, afterall, predictable and annoying. But stereotypes exist and persist for a reason. It doesn’t fuss me but then having lots of siblings is different to having lots of children.

I love being part of a huge family, even if they are terrible teasers. But as one of my elder brothers said at the 40th Party: ‘You’re lucky, at least she admits you exist!’

Happy eighty-something Mom!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Whimsy Momma

My horoscope said engaging in a little whimsy will do me good. It’s a sign: spend less time in the Nativity Room - where all laundry related business is contained, with 57 varieties of sports kit, made do and mend supplies, arts and crafts materials, the room of a thousand unfinished projects, and every other piece of homeless crap ever invented. Despite the extraordinary amount of time I'm in there, I know the likes of Mrs Beeton would have kittens if they saw the state of it.

Instead of hours failing with a needle and my forty-eye-tus, I ordered an Ancient Greek costume off t’net. A costume that is, not a threaded needle, although I can see the market potential for the sale of pre-threaded needles. Except as can so often be the way with purchases off t’net – a Roman one arrived. To my mind they’re pretty similar, both being white and all, but the little-un can read. And she read, very loudly and very clearly, repeatedly: ‘Roman’, ‘Roman’, ‘RO- MAN costume’, in the tone of voice usually reserved for the company of half-deaf-half-dead-half-silly old folks. I wasn’t about to give in with the needle-threading as I’m after a little whimsy afterall, so I resorted to my tried and tested trick for handling unbecoming behaviour in little-uns: I ignored it.

As my arms are no longer long enough to cope with the growing short sightedness, I realise the first flush of youth is now just a distant memory and flushes of another variety loom large on the horizon. So I invested in some reading glasses. They’re great… for reading, but otherwise disappointing as they smell of middle-agedness.

I needed a change so off to the hairdressers I went(remembering to go the long way round to avoid that salon that gave me that haircut that screamed so loudly of being so very way past the yoof-style-stakes-post – think Delia Smith in her pudding-bowl hey day). Feeling more bold than old, I asked for something different. It looked alright when it had been primped and preened, and dried and waxed and teased. By the following morning it looked like I’d hacked at it myself in some sort of emo statement, perhaps in sympathy with our poor demented dog. It’s short. It’s sharp. Yet not a hint of Delia in sight.

Can’t wait for the next bit of whimsy.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

The house that rocked

Big John may have been onto something when he gave his kids lessons in how to close a door quietly. In this house there are more multiple entrances and exits than a half decent French farce.

I however, appear to be alone in my ability to come and go without rocking the whole house.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Festival Fever

The 2011 Palmers Green Festival is on the 3rd July. It’s great-fun-for-all-the-family. Put it in your diary. I’m helping out with it and it’s for charidee. Before domestic bliss took over I worked in PR, way back when social networking was but a tiny twinkle in the eye of some geek. I therefore lay no claim as any sort of social media expert. But I did put the Festival on Facebook and emailed other volunteers. Here’s what I’m working with:
- I haven’t responded on Facebook as I don’t know how! Can you show me how? I have a few friends.
- What’s facebook?
- You can’t do facebooktube? I’ve progressed to mugmag, so much better, it’s for older people.
- I’ve never heard of Facebooktube or mugmag (which sounds like something us muggles would use)
- I think I have 3 friends on fartbook and one of them is an axe murderer in America who has the same name as a friend of mine.
- Help! Someone wants to be my friend.

And all so soon after this exchange:
- Trying to get facebook on my phone. How do I do it?
- Try putting a phonebook on your face. It’s easier.

Woo hoo for the wonders of the modern world.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Annoying Repeats

Repeating what someone is saying to you is as irritating to one party as amusing to the other.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Doggy Doldrums Disaster

Recently, the dog went to Supersis whilst we holidayed. The dog was not happy, for there she is treated like a dog. Whereas here, we allow behaviour befitting of royal lineage. We left instructions: the Lady Gaga collar, to prevent self harming, was to be removed under supervision. But Supersis is not known as Supersis for no reason. And, she has years on me on the dog experience front. ‘Tis an actual fact, despite her self-styled introductions as my younger sister, that Supersis has more years on me full stop.

As is her want, Supersis monitored the dog. Closely. And she researched. A lot. So now she’s bragging another feather in her cap: that of dog psychologist. Caesar Milan beware! I knew it wasn’t doggy eczema and I know that dog care moved, somewhat, further down the daily to do list in recent months. According to Supersis, aided by her vast animal care library and Dr t’net, the dog is displaying signs of an obsessive compulsive disorder. Separation anxiety is one known cause. ‘Tis also a fact that the problem worsened just as my relationship status changed to single. In conclusion we can safely add, again, to the queer fella’s fault list: destroyer of dog psyche.

Supersis has a stategy and a plan. She dispensed with the Lady Gaga collar, for the dog was obsessively licking that. And it was very annoying when it got you on the back of the legs, or when you were wearing a skirt. Supersis is on prototype number 9 of the leg shields, whilst rehabilitating the dog into a different behaviour pattern: no mention of the legs, lots more stimulation, more mixing with the other dogs, and discouraging the aloof princess trick. The self harmer actually prefers the company of the cat (the one that thinks it’s a dog, not the psycho screecher ). Supersis’s strategy is largely working, in that the dog will now only get at her legs when she can hide. As life has proved to me again and again, ‘tis impossible to hide much from Supersis for any real length of time. On the up the dog is now grooming herself again, even if she did pick that one up from the cat. And she no longer stares at the radiator, well not much anyways. She’s not a stupid dog. When Supersis is about the dog is a dog.

So now I have a dog with a mental disorder. Which is just what was missing from my life. We are all on a guilt trip. But at least we have visitation rights. I miss the dog. My waist line misses the exercise. I’m not missing clearing up dog shit, or moult, but wonder will we ever get her back?

More worryingly, if that’s the impact on the dog, what hope for the lids?

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

I've got a feeling

Feels like spring: this week the sun shone for more than a minute, on more than two days; the biting cold is in retreat; the garden is budding and, I’ve been writing. All good stuff. Not like that long cold winter that lasted for ever: like the devilish detail of the divorce process.

The best thing about being nearly single is making your own rules. Not that I didn’t before, but now I have the joy of not arguing with anyone about my latest fad. I’ve a strong desire to suggest a weekly fancy dress dinner to the dustbin lids but know it’ll be met with those rolling eyes and tutting that the teenagers have off to perfection. After watching the world’s strictest parents, am thinking dictatorial might be next week’s preferred parenting style. Can you dictate fancy dress?

We’ve expanded. The sensible ‘one in, one out’ malarkey is not for us. Firstly, with one, then two, small furry creatures. Not by my choice: an all night mouse-watch and the rat-trapped-in-the-chimney shenanigans are too vivid in my memory to choose anything involving small creatures. My first error of judgement was leaving the little-un with the uncle with more animals than sense. The second was to let Teengirl’s pet envy get the better of her. So now two little furry rodent ladies, of the not terribly sociable persuasion, live in separate cages in the dining room (sensible, really, when you think about it, the separate bit not the dining room). And, don’t the two ugly smelly cages fit in, oh so well, with this year’s de-cluttering resolution.

Yet, despite my natural mistrust, fear and hatred of small furry things, as far as rodents go, hamsters aren’t that bad. I almost warmed to their cute little face washing thing. Until they got comfortable. And their nocturnal habits kicked in. I knew hamsters liked to run. But through the night? Every night? On torturously squeaky wheels? Neither WD40 nor soap helps. Ear plugs seem to do the trick.

With two sisters and three female pets, Teenboy bemoaned this all female house. Luckily my favourite nephew is staying whilst finding his Londoner feet. Having another lad in the house adds to the interest, if also to the amount of footy found on the box and the volume of food consumed.

As for the sad case of the self-harming dog, Supersis is, thankfully, on the case.

On the laundry front, I’m the owner of another new washing machine, as I’m yet to find one that copes with our laundry past the warranty period. Boo hoo.

Woo hoo for the end is nigh for the ever-lasting mobile contract (‘tis easier to exit a marriage than such things) meaning the very latest whiz-bang of a small shiny feat of design and cool technology is soon to be within my grasp.

Spring is sprung. The sun has shone. Life's grand really.

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.