Friday 27 June 2008

Old PCs - where memories live (some of which should stay hidden forever)

My husband was just looking for the AOL cd for his new computer. He was hunting in 'the box of all things' (a must for every house) and discovered our old laptop. In contrast to current models, it looks and feels like a rather large paving slab. Husband wanted to throw it out. Not that I'm a hoarder or anything, but I said: 'No! It might have important information on it and besides the kids can play with it or we could sell it on eBay or get it recycled for charity or something else that will require a lot more effort from us than simply putting it in the bin.'

So I plugged it in and turned it on. Little did I know that the old pc was actually a time travel device that sucks you into a vortex to your past.

A few documents I have just found on the old machine are:
  • my birth plan for our first son. Oh how the tears rolled down my face while I read it. What a complete and utter pile of poo. Like the birth was anything remotely close to what I wrote down. And as if the midwives even looked at it. Ha ha.

  • the email I sent to friends just after giving birth to first son. Why, oh why, did I think it was acceptable to tell EVERYONE about the exact bodily fluids that came out of me during the birthing process? I now know that all women need to 'process the birth' but I think that the experts who say that, don't necessarily mean for you to share it with your entire email address list.

  • Half-written business plans for the following businesses: One PR company (not my current one); Swaddleme (a company making swaddling blankets for babies. I recall at the time I even went out and bought a £15.99 sewing machine - only the best quality for me - and reams of fabric to make these blankets having never sewn anything in my entire life before or since); Nosh4nippers (a company that was going to make baby food only I got bored of pureeing my own children's carrots so why I'd do it for the rest of the planet I have no idea). I was just so desperately keen to run my own business (for that read: escape the monotony of looking after a small baby who just puked on me all day) that I came up with any number of crazy ideas spurred partly by sleep deprivation.

  • The opening paragraphs or initial chapters of the following books I had begun to write: 'Help! My baby hasn't read the book!'; 'Princess Lulubelle and the Magic Rainbow'; 'Diary of a new mother'; 'The Startling Reality of Being Ordinary'. None got further than two pages in - probably interrupted by the need to feed a small child. But again, showing my brain's inability to accept being nothing else other than a person who wipes small bottoms for a living. And reinforcing the fact that I am a starter, rather than a finisher.

  • A powerpoint presentation from my days of doing the PR for the IBM Storage account in the USA. It was a BBL (an acronym for a Brown Bag Lunch - an American term for giving your colleagues a short, snappy educational overview on something you're working on but which they will find very dull and would prefer to be having their lunch somewhere in a deli). It was cleverly called 'Stor Wars' and had the theme music and graphics from Star Wars. It had lots of corny references to 'The force being strong' and 'the mothership of all storage devices'. I obviously thought I was really hilarious back in my geek storage PR days.

  • Emails from my bridezilla months when I was trying to organise THE MOST PERFECT WEDDING EVER, except that I wasn't living on the same continent as any of the guests or the wedding venue (which incidentally was in a remote part of South Africa and utterly incapable of keeping up with my New York City standards).

  • Photographs of my husband and I from days before we were married and well before we had children. We look so young, so unwrinkled, so thin, so completely unaware of how a few short years would change us into haggard old farts without social lives.

It's time I stop looking at the old pc now because I don't think it's good for my self esteem. But one day when I'm bolstered by a glass of wine or two, I might revisit it. And possibly even finish some of those books. Or perhaps add just a line or two more.

Thursday 26 June 2008

To do lists

Today my to do list started out with 22 items on it. It's now almost the end of the day and it's down to...20. That's just 2 things I've managed to put a happy little tick next to. And that wasn't for lack of effort. I just have so many awfully enormous things I have to do.

Which means that this evening, instead of watching trash on TV while guzzling some wine, I have to work. This is part of the deep, deep joy of working from home and for yourself. There is no off button. (It's not helped by the fact that I have to cut short my working day at 2.30 to fetch children, play in the park, remove peed on pants, go to swimming lessons, remove clinging child from leg, race starving children home, make supper, clean up and bath kids - none of that was on my to do list.)

I'm coming to the realisation that there are some things on my list that will never get ticked off. They simply get pushed further and further down until they start to become abbreviated and abridged and shortened unitl I can barely understand what the original task was so decide, 'sod it'. The next time I write a new to do list, it gets left off. Never crossed out. Because somewhere in my insane brain I think that I might one day go back to that original to do list and actually do the thing. sigh.

What's more, I NEVER throw away my old notebooks with centuries worth of to do lists in them because I might one day need them. I also tend to have a very erratic way of working (which really annoys me) so instead of writing important things down in a suitable place, I scrawl them on the corners of pages or upside down or in the middle of a doodle. It's usually something incredibly important, like the telephone number of the most important BBC journalist ever, but still, instead of typing it into my contacts database (which itself is in a fairly dismal state), I somehow think that the back of an coffee stained envelope will be better. You'd think I'd then lose this envelope (which sometimes I do) but usually, I just shove the envelope in between to do lists. And despite always having to hunt through reams of old note books to retrieve the telephone number on several occassions, I still fail to add it to my contacts list.

I should probably add 'type important number into contacts database' to my to do list ... and come to think of it 'sort out contacts database'. But both would definitely become those items that get abridged and shortened etc until they falls off the list. So really, it's an exercise in futility. I might as well just accept my shortcomings and inability to complete to do lists.

But I guess if I'm going to get even close to ticking off a few more things on today's epic list, I'd better sign off. Wish me luck.

Wednesday 25 June 2008

Firemen and their hoses

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for firemen. It might be because my family suffered a major fire tragedy when I was a young girl. It might be because they are heroic and brave. But I think it's mainly because firemen just look so darn fine in their uniforms.

Phwoar! is what I think quietly in my head (at least I hope I don't say it out loud) when a fireman strolls past. And seeing a fire truck is probably the one occassion that both my sons and I get genuinely excited about the same thing.

So the announcement that a fire engine (with real firemen) was going to be on display at the children's pre-school today, meant I paid slightly more attention than normal to my attire. I brushed my hair, put on a bit of lippy and wore something clean.

If I'm honest, I actually did have a hand in getting the fire truck there. I happened to mention it to the committee secretary that it was Child Safety Week this week and wouldn't it be a good publicity opportunity for the pre-school if we got a fire engine there (oh and by the way, we'd get to look at some firemen up close and personal). You see there are perks to being on the pre-school committee.

It seems, however, that I'm not alone in my firemen fantasies as there was a spectacular turn out of mums at the pre-school by the time we got there, all looking just a smidge more glam than usual. When the fire truck turned up, all the mummies ran to the windows with squeals of: 'Ooh, look kids, it's the firemen', pathetically attempting to convince everyone that we were really only excited for our children's sakes.

The firemen were a jolly bunch and asked everyone to get in a line before climbing aboard the truck. Small children were trampled and pushed aside as mums ran to the front of the queue. (Ok, we didn't really, but mentally, we were all doing it).

As per usual, my children wouldn't play ball. Having nagged all morning to go see the fire engine, when the grand moment actually arrived, they were too terrified to climb on the truck or wear the fireman's hat. Obviously that meant I didn't have a good excuse to stand close to the nice fireman and ask him about his hose. Bloody children.

Anyway, they did finally pluck up enough courage to have a go spraying the aforementioned hose and I did get a few smiles and conspiratorial winks from a few of the firemen who were glad they could finally get my kids involved. So everyone was happy in the end.

At last it was time for the firemen to leave. The children by this time had grown board. The mums hadn't. Afterwards over a nice cup of tea, we all agreed that they really had been 'a jolly good bunch of chaps' and 'weren't they great with the kids'. Surprisingly, no-one said: 'And did you see the butt cheeks on the blonde one'. We didn't need to. We all knew that's what we were really thinking after all.

Monday 23 June 2008

Village fetes

Every summer there's a plethora of village fetes, each organiser hopeful that the sun will shine on their big day (it barely ever does). And every year I get genuinely excited about going to these fetes. For some peculiar reason I seem to think they will be fun. I think the children will enjoy it. I think it'll be a great day out.

They aren't. They don't. And it's not.

In fact, fetes are a lot like childbirth. You don't really remember the pain of it. Your memories are dulled by time so that each year they come around again, you think: It can't be that bad, can it?

Well yes it can.

Let's see, where to begin.

Splat the rat, Welly Whanging, Coconut Shy, Tug of War, lobbing a sodden sponge at a vicar clamped in irons - all of these things might sound super fun in principle and certainly seem like great games for the kids. But in the hard, cold light of day, they are actually just cringingly embarrassing. Surely throwing a ball at a coconut can't be that hard? Actually it is. And trying to whack a rat that flies out of a tube at a million miles an hour is simply designed to make you flail a stick around like an idiot without a hope in hell of ever splatting the rat. And as for soaking the vicar - well unless you know the vicar and genuinely have it in for the bloke (perhaps revenge at too many early Sunday morning services?) it is incredibly awkward to throw a wet sponge at a person you barely know. It all becomes terribly British. 'Awfully sorry. Ooh, didn't mean to quite get you on the noggin.'

You don't actually do these games for your enjoyment. You pay the pound so that your children can have a go. Only they don't want to. They want to cling to your leg and nag for candy floss. So you (or rather your husband) has to do it instead. And believe me, husbands don't like having to compete with 10 year old boys at knocking coconuts off a stick. They certainly don't like to lose. What we would do with a coconut should we ever win one is another question in itself.

There's the cake stalls where you get to buy someone else's victoria sponge that didn't rise. There's the BBQ stand which always smells good and has a mile long queue but actually sells sausages of questionable origin and which will probably kill you because they are still raw in the middle. There's the sweets and candyfloss and ice cream and toffee apples, all loitering at every turn causing your children to start nagging even louder until you give in and then regret it for the rest of the afternoon as they charge around in a sugar high. The only redeeming food/drink stalls are a) the beer tent but if you have a hang over (which you will obviously have if you're going to a fete) it's not really an option and b) the stall selling home made preserves. Can't beat a bit of curry chutney or pepper jelly although once you start sampling the produce, you are legally bound to buy something even if it tastes gipping.

There is always a bounty of different raffles, prize draws and silent auctions. You've already spent a month's worth of grocery money in buying tickets for all these things before the fete has even started, but you still get cornered into buying more. And then you get to see the prizes you're so desperately keen on winning - usually a basket of goodies someone has rummaged from their attic, two tickets to a senior citizens bowling day or a large fluffy bunny stuffed with more sweets (just what the children need).

And let's not forget the ever-popular tombola. A fete wouldn't be a fete without a tombola. Where for just a pound you get to draw three tickets for the chance to win a tin of spam, a chipped hideously ugly porcelein dog, or a bottle of some sickly sweet alco-pop. The amazing thing is, that although you should breathe a sigh of relief when your tickets don't win you anything, you don't. You feel cheated. You put your hand in your pocket and pay another pound in a desperate attempt to win the tin of spam.

While all of this is going on, your children are hanging on your clothes pointing to the merry-go-round or bouncy castle. So you give in and pay the pound for them to hop aboard, except now that they up close to the object of excitement, they don't want to go on because it's too scary. So you have everyone on the merry-go-round stare at you impatiently as your child makes up their mind as to whether to climb aboard or not. Until you're forced to get on to and enjoy five minutes of going round and round and round and round and round and round all the while thinking that the night before's several bottles of wine wasn't that clever an idea.

Eventually you leave, about £30 lighter in cash but carrying an assortment of plastic crap, squashed cakes, tins of spam and two sticky little boys who are too tired to walk. And you vow to never do it again, except that there's another one this weekend coming and it would be wrong not to support it. Pass the wine, we're going to need it.

Saturday 21 June 2008

Morning has broken

My children have inherited their father's delightful tendency to wake up before the birds do. After 4 and a bit years, 5am starts are getting a little tired. However, I can't really complain because my husband has been the one getting up with them most mornings given he's normally awake anyway. In contrast, I am a growling, surly, thoroughly unpleasant creature who isn't likely to start smiling until the first cup of coffee is down the hatch.

This morning though, husband appears to want to sleep in. Youngest beastie was in our bed at 5am doing his extraordinarily annoying rolling-like-a-crocodile manoeuvre (think David Attenborough documentary on a crocodile grabbing its prey and then rolling over and over and over until the poor creature is thoroughly drowned - that's what this child does with the sheets, until we're all in an incredible tangle and are thoroughly bruised from elbow jabs.)

So succumbing to the inevitable, I got up telling the child that he will be given milk, the telly will be put on and then I'll be returning to bed. Except I forgot. We didn't have any milk. Obviously. So with a wailing child in the background, I pulled some clothes on and staggered out into the rain in search of something dairy-related.

And then an incredible thing happened. I remembered how much I love being up before the rest of the world. It's not something you'll ever appreciate if you stay inside. But the minute you open the door on a new day before anyone else has, you feel as though you have the planet to yourself. So despite getting soaked and having to drive all the way to the service station to get the sodding milk, it was lovely. I was there so early that the newspapers hadn't even arrived yet. And the M&S Food place which is always open was shut. My dreams of hot croissants for breakfast disappeared fast. Lack of croissants and newspapers would ordinarily have annoyed me. But at least I'd secured some milk. And I'd stolen a march on the rest of the world. I was the first customer of the day. For some crazy reason, this made me feel a bit victorious. Perhaps I just needed some coffee.

Anyway, I feel doubly smug at my early start because today is the longest day of the year and I feel as though I'm going to be getting my money's worth and see all of it. Hoorah! Now if only we could actually see the sun, all would be right with the world.

P.S. While typing this I failed to have eyes in the back of my head so didn't see the aforementioned child sucking on a painted pet rock. The paint apparently isn't very good at staying on the rock. So he now has paint all over his face, his PJs and his tummy. I don't really want to go into the room where this incident took place because I have a sneaking suspicion that my positive outlook will rapidly evaporate when I find paint all over the sofa. sigh. Bloody artwork.

Friday 20 June 2008

Children's artwork

My children go to nursery twice a week and pre-school twice a week. And there are two of them. So that's a minimum of 8 pieces of artwork that they bring home every week. If I was a good mother, I would put them on display and save at least some of them for their keepsake boxes. But I'm obviously not a good mother because I do neither.

It's not that I don't appreciate my children's artistic endeavours. I do. And I'm sure that macaroni stuck onto a toilet roll could probably feature in a modern art gallery somewhere with nobby people talking about the artist's inner angst. However, I personally find most of it rubbish. There, I said it. I am officially a bad mother.

Besides not being particularly good art (I can't tell you how many times I've risked life and limb by saying: ooh, what a lovely space ship, only to be told in no uncertain terms that it's not a spaceship, it's a horse) it's almost invariably very messy art.

Yesterday for example, son number 2 came home with a toilet roll covered in glue and glittery stickers and two pieces of art covered in pine needles (one was a hedgehog, the other was 'Jamie's own creation' as labelled by the teacher). Merely looking at the pieces of paper made the pine needles fall off. So as my son proudly carried his artwork through the house, he left behind him a trail of pine needles waiting idly to prick people in the feet. The pine needles soon got stuck to the floor as the glittery stickers joined them.

Luckily, older son came home with his 'art' which was someone's old sock that apparently had a face drawn on it (I still can't see it) and it was his sock puppet. He informs me that it's a dog. I'll take his word for it.

What usually happens with their art is that I place it 'carefully' on the front seat of the car so 'that it won't get ruined'. I then usually say that I'll come back for the art once I've carried everthing else into the house. Except I don't. So the front seat of the car starts to look like an explosion in a glitter factory crossed with a macaroni and pipe cleaner display. (You can always spot a mother's car - it full of shit).

Eventually, when I just can't stand it anymore (and once the children aren't there) I clear the lot out and shove it all in the bin. I'm beginning to think that children's artwork has a bigger impact on the environment than disposable nappies. Then again most of it is made out of recycled cereal boxes and discarded ice cream tubs so it's not entirely eco-unfriendly.

The only problem with doing this is that as certain as the sun will rise tomorrow, in a few weeks time I'll hear: 'Mum, where's my sock puppet? I need it.' And so the lying starts.

Tuesday 17 June 2008

Big school - part 2


It all started so well. He left pre-school without complaint. He spoke confidently about going to big school. He remained calm the whole way home. He took the clever decision to have a wee before we set off. He marched assuredly up the road. I was filled with pride as my little star seemed to be taking this big school visit in his stride. I mentally scolded myself for thinking the worst of him. It was going to be a breeze.

And then he saw the school building, the children playing outside, the gate we had to walk through. In an instant, the facade crumbled and the banshee boy we all know and love emerged. I DON'T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL. I'M NOT GOING IN. I'M NOT. I WANT TO GO HOME. SCHOOL IS STUPID.

Sigh. At the exact same time an angelic looking little girl with long blond ringlets walked calmly past us, holding her mother's hand. I gave the mum a friendly smile, hoping to get a 'hang in there' type of smile in return. I didn't. It was more of a grimmace. She was either one of those been-there-done-that-put-five-kids-through-school-so-far type of mums who quite frankly wasn't interested in making friends or dealing with tantruming children. Or she was a first timer too and was just as anxious to create a good impression and didn't want my son scaring the bejesus out of her child. Or she was just a cow.

Reinforcements arrived in the form of a mum and child we knew. It didn't help sway the screamer though. Then another child arrived and calmly walked in. Meanwhile, my child was still clinging to the fence outside, getting his hands covered in rust as he wailed: I'M NOT GOING IN!

After a huge amount of coaxing and physical manhandling - including two bouts of the headmistress trying to say hello and then promptly saying: 'I'll leave you for a while shall I', I managed to get him indoors. It took the head teacher and I playing with a plastic pirate ship and ringing the doorbell on a toy house before he'd dain to enter the classroom. Meanwhile, the other children were all sitting perfectly still on the carpet on their chalked on names, looking at books. How proud their mums must have been.

The other parents left. Still my child clung. I tried to wear my 'ultra calm, fully in control' expression while cajoling him into sitting with the others. Not a chance. The head teacher, obviously bored of playing pirates by this stage, decided to leave. When I tried to follow suit, more wailing ensued and she instructed me to stay until he settled.

What she doesn't know is that as long as I stay, he will not settle. Ever. I have learnt that the only approach is to be brutal. Dump and go.

So I sat on a tiny chair way too small for my arse and listened to the Ten Tiny Tadpoles. I watched as the children were divided into groups with a range of exciting activities for them to do like trains, waterplay, drawing and traffic management (I assume this was with a pretend car and stop sign rather than directing the actual traffic on the street). It really was time for me to leave as my name wasn't on the board, I hadn't been assigned a group or a fun activity.

I attempted to leave. Cue screaming. I promptly told the teacher that he would continue to do this until he turned 18 and left for uni so we might as well just get cracking and cut the apron strings. It took two teachers to peel him off me and as I strode out of the room, he was being restrained by both of them while he held his arms out saying: 'I WANT A LAST CUDDLE WITH MY MUMMY.'

I ignored and left. Am sure they think I'm a cold bitch. But it's a choice between being that or a soft touch and am never sure which teachers appreciate more.

And in 30 minutes time, I have to go back there and reclaim him. And then we get to repeat this process again next week and the week after that. Then we'll have a nice long summer holiday for him to forget all about it so that come September, he'll be ready to start the screamfest from scratch.

Sigh. I think I shall have a whiskey tonight. On the bright side, at least I won my bet and I get to keep the chocolate cake.

Big school

In a bit of a mad rush today as I have to compact all my work into a few short hours before fetching eldest son early from pre-school. Today he has his first trial session at big school. I am terrified. There's something about going back to school that instantly makes me feel as though I'm doing something wrong. Maybe it's the way all the teachers insist on being called Mrs X or Miss Y, rather than say Ruth or Emily.

And they have so many rules. Good grief. Even for the short one hour and fifteen minute session he'll be having today, we've been instructed to ensure that the children have a drink and a hat. Further on in the letter they specifically say NOT TO BRING ANY DRINKS OTHER THAN WATER. So I guess that applies to today as well. I have a sippy cup or a spiderman cup that I can put the water in. Are there rules about what the water is allowed to be in? Will my son be ostracised if I get it wrong? Will he immediately labelled as uncool?

And then there's the what they should wear bit. My son is in shorts and his pre-school t-shirt. And he'll have a hat (please, please let me not forget that). But is that what they're supposed to wear? Am I supposed to have already bought a uniform? Will my child be the only one that doesn't fit in?

Then there's the small issue of my son himself. He doesn't 'do' new situations well. He doesn't like being looked at. He doesn't like to let go of my leg (he still clings to me like a hermit crab everytime I drop him at pre-school and he's been going there for years). And when he doesn't like something, he's not particularly good at keeping his emotions in check. In fact, if they had Tantrum Olympics, he would be the proud owner of several gold medals.

This morning before we headed off for pre-school we'd already had: 'Yay, I'm going to big school. And you're not.' (said tauntingly to younger brother). This was swiftly followed by: 'I don't want to go to big school. It's stupid. And boring. And I already know how to read.' (he doesn't). This then promptly changed to: 'Because I'm going to big school mummy, does that mean I can sit in the front seat of the car?' (no you can't). So then we had: 'Well if I don't want to go to school I don't have to.' (er, actually you do).

So I am expecting that when I fetch him in 45 minutes time we will have excitement, followed by tears, then more excitement, then more tears etc until we get there (and that will just be me). Upon arrival he will have a complete and utter meltdown due to the complete flood of emotions. I will be the mother that the others all look at sympathetically (meanwhile smirking inside) while their darling children jauntily wave goodbye without a care in the world.

What my son doesn't realise is that this isn't just about the first impression he has to make, it's about the impression I have to make. All of my pareting skills, all of the time I've invested in the last 4 and a bit years, all of the time outs, teaching of manners, sitting on naughty steps, praising, rule-making, reward boarding, it all comes to a head this afternoon. Today my child leaves the safe confines of home, and his behaviour - and by proxy my parenting skills - will be on display for all to see. And I'm willing to bet a large slice of chocolate cake that we're not going to come away with top marks.

But he might prove me wrong. He might be an angel. He and I might be eminently cool. I might be the mum that all the other mums think: Gosh, she's got it in control and what a well-behaved young man.

Chances are slim.

I really think that someone needs to set up 'Going to big school preparation classes' - not for the children you understand, for the adults. They could cover things like what to pack in a lunch box, what types of cakes are appropriate for a bake sale, what is appropriate school gate behaviour, how to help your child to fit in and what are parent/teacher evenings.

Because they give ante-natal classses and personally, I'm finding this going to school lark far more intimidating than giving birth.

Must dash. Will report back.

Monday 16 June 2008

My list of vile foods just got longer.

Some watercress seems to have found it's way into my bag of rocket and spinach salad. I've never realised before just how much I dislike watercress. It's tastes like swamp water. It's also long and awkwardly shaped so just about impossible to get into your mouth without tickling your nostrils or smearing salad dressing across your chin. It's just plain wrong and should not be a food stuff. From hereonin, no watercress shall enter this house.

While I'm on vile foods, here are a few more:

  • Coriander. Spawn of the devil. The express train to gag central. Horrible, horrible herb.
  • Sweetbreads or offal. Why does anyone think these things are for eating?
  • Crustacea. I am allergic (thank god) and getting a swollen head is never appealing, but even without the anaphylactic shock, why would anyone want to eat things that closely resemble underwater bugs?
  • Cauliflower. An albino broccoli, only broccoli tastes fab, cauliflower is just smelly.
  • Anything that is 'frothed' that shouldn't be. For example, a cauliflower froth. I think this has become de rigeur at posh restaurants (I know this only from perusing online menus because we never actually go anywhere posh, partly because we have screaming beasties and partly because I don't like going somewhere that requires a food dictionary or that serves froth.)
  • Marzipan. Vile, beastly, horrific stuff that ruins thoroughly decent Christmas cakes every year. I really ought to set up a lobby group to have it banned.
  • Goat's cheese. If I wanted the lingering taste of vomit in my mouth, I would simply eat all of the above and wait for the consequences instead of eating goats cheese, which has the exact same effect.
  • Black pudding and haggis. Seriously people. C'mon.
  • Game birds. I'm never convinced that food should shimmer green you know.
  • It goes without saying that frog's legs, snails, mopane worms, rabbits or pigeon aren't going to be served in my house anytime soon either.

It's just occurred to me that I might be a fussy eater. Perhaps that's why we don't get many dinner party invitations?

The art of resting. Or not.

If you'd told me that I could have a whole weekend to sit on my butt and do absolutely nothing I would have thought it was a dream come true. I NEVER get to sit and do nothing.

However, just because I had an ankle the size of Britain that really should have been kept up in the air, didn't excuse me from my maternal duties. I mean, what are you going to do when your 2 year old yells: 'I need to pee mummy!' while doing his little wiggly bottom dance which means pee is imminent? Husband was mowing the lawn as our newly recruited teenage lawn mower decided that after doing it once he really couldn't be arsed to return. So of course I had to get up and hobble to the loo (about 60 times). And then there were all the fights induced by boredom, which needed to be broken up all while trying to keep my ankle out of the fray.

There was the lack of anything to eat due to no grocery shopping getting done, so at some point I resigned myself to baking a cake just so that the children could have something to look forward to/stick in their gobs to keep quiet for a few moments. Only, I didn't quite think that through, so once the chocolate and sugar kicked in, the fights and bouncing and general mayhem increased ten-fold. Never has bedtime been so appealing.

Also, sitting on your bum all weekend is vastly over-rated. It might not have been had I been able to watch things on tv that I was interested in instead of Cbeebies. Or if I'd been able to read a book or magazine in peace. Or even had I been allowed to surf the interweb on my laptop without clamours for 'my spelling game' (which for any parents out there is a cunning website called that is entirely free and teaches children to read albeit with an American accent).

But obviously none of those things happened. So sitting on my bum actually sucked. What's more, it's pretty boring which meant I ate lots of the aforementioned chocolate cake. And not being able to move and burn off any calories means that my arse and thighs have doubled in size, much like my ankle.

This morning I had to attempt to drive a car with my poorly foot so that I could get the boys to nursery. It wasn't good. Pushing the accelerator down was fine. Lifting it back up again wasn't great. So changing gears involved a lot of unnecessary revving. And then there was the swivelling of my foot sideways to get to the break pedal. Not good. Luckily the children aren't yet old enough to commentate on my driving skills although there were several chirps from the back along the lines of 'Go faster mummy. This is boring'. Not from where I was sitting it wasn't.

Anyway, must attempt to get back into work mode although the peace and tranquility of the empty house is strongly suggesting that perhaps I should do what I should have done all weekend. Put my feet up and rest.

Saturday 14 June 2008

Well it was Friday the 13th. I should have expected it.

Late afternoon yesterday, I was bringing my two extremely overtired children home from nursery. It was about to pour and I really needed to get them, all their kit and me into the house before it did so. I hitched the sobbing two year old onto my already dicky hip, slung their two incredibly heavy nursery bags (filled with peed in pants) over my shoulder and attempted to carry the two new recycling boxes that had been left in our drive, all while chivvying along the 4 year old.

One minute I was upright. The next I had collapsed in a small heap with the two year old firmly planted in a bush, and moving swiftly from sobbing to hysteria. I had gone over my ankle. The pain was so bad, I couldn't even whisper the numerous four letter words that were trying to escape from my mouth.

Initially finding it quite amusing, the 4 year old quickly started to realise something wasn't quite right when mummy had tears streaming down her face. So he started to cry too. So that was the three of us blubbing. If only the neighbours could have seen us.

'Get up mummy, get up,' he pleaded. So trying to be a good mother, I attempted to stand up but immediately realised that it was a thoroughly stupid idea so sat right back down again. Cue even more crying from the now bewildered and very frightened little boys. And even more crying from a bewildered and frightened mummy who couldn't quite see how this situation was going to work itself out.

What a bloody nightmare. So I attempted to scooch along on my arse toward the front door. Not an insignificant length journey that also includes three steps down and one up. I begged son number one to bring the bags in so that they wouldn't get wet in the rain. But bless his sweet soul, he didn't want to put down the presents he'd made for his daddy for Father's Day in case they got dirty. So he passed them to me, which I clenched in my teeth while doing my bum scooch leaving him free to drag the bags along, all with tears streaming down his little face. A contender for top place in the list of 'thoroughly crap parenting moments'.

I finally got inside and tried to cajole the 4 year old to go fetch his hysterical younger brother, who at this stage had completely peed his pants and was refusing to move from the top step despite the rain. At long last we were all in doors. I then had to instruct a very distraught 4 year old to find the phone (could have been anywhere) and bring it to me so that I could call for help. Husband was well over an hour a way in London. Luckily I managed to reach a friend and our childminder who both raced over. Before they got there though, my little star 4 year old had even managed to get a bag of frozen peas out of the freezer, wrapped it in a towel and helped me apply it to my ankle. Bless.

We then had an interesting hop around the local minor injuries unit where I was exposed to a woman who was patently in the wrong career. The delightful woman - who I assume was a nurse - told me to follow her. She disappeared leaving me to lean on my friend while I hopped, each hop jarring my now hugely swollen ankle. Not an especially pleasant trip. When we finally got to the nurse, she had the gall to say: 'Take your time why don't you'. It was a good thing they hadn't offered me crutches or else she might have been walloped round the head with them.

Turns out, after the most cursory of examinations, that I had a serious ankle sprain. At least it wasn't a break although that sounds more dramatic and would give me a cast that my children could colour in. My instructions were to keep the foot elevated, put some ice on it and rest.

So that I what I am now attempting to do. Only, I have two small bored boys who think mummy hopping about is a great lark and keep nagging for me to do more of it. They also seem to find the gap beneath my raised leg and the sofa a great place to build a den, fully equipped with noisy plastic toys. Meanwhile, it being Father's Day weekend should have seen my husband sitting on his bum doing nothing. Instead he's quickly coming to terms with what it means to be a mother. And I don't think he'll be applying for a full time position any time soon.

Must go. Apparently son number 2 had emptied the contents of a kitchen drawer on the floor, son number 1 'CAN'T FIND A PUDDING YOGURT!!!' and husband is cursing both of them. Happy father's day dear.

Friday 13 June 2008

Where do old emails go to die?

My deleted items folder in Outlook currently has 6921 items in it. They really do need to be permanently deleted (although the minute I do that I will need something incredibly important that no longer exists). But then I got to thinking: where do all those permanently deleted items go?

I mean one minute they're there, the next they're not. Is there an email heaven? And if so, surely there must be also be an email hell because there's no way emails with subject lines like: 'Want a bigger penis?'. Or 'Turn her into a pleasure machine' are ever going to make it into heaven.

Do you think deleted emails sit there chatting amongst themselves wondering when the Big Moment will arise when they'll be permanently deleted? Do you think they have counsellors to chat through their 'issues', or possibly feelings of depression at having been deleted in the first place? Do you think they're really envious of the other emails that made it into an important folder - like say one called 'Clients' or 'Jokes'. And do you think they laugh at those same important emails when they too finally get turfed into the deleted folder (which in my case is a very rare occurence) or perhaps they commiserate?

And what about the collective knowledge that those deleted emails contain? Wouldn't it be great if there was some way of siphoning off the cumulative intelligence (obviously dimished by some not very clever emails like the aforementioned viagra spam) which could be used to add extra virtual memory to your pc?

Sorry. I'll stop. My husband will no doubt think that this train of thought is on a par with my musings abour whether the last pea on a plate or chip in a bowl suffers from feelings of rejection or an inferiority complex.

But you know, I just wondered that's all.

Thursday 12 June 2008

Juggling it

Yesterday was Wednesday. Hence the lack of a blog post. As I might have mentioned before, Wednesdays are not good days. It is the one day in the week that I have no childcare. It's my day for spending with my children. It's my day for going to toddler groups and seeing friends, playing snakes and ladders and bouncing on the trampoline. It should be a good thing. But it also just happens to be the busiest day of the working week.

I'm in PR. For some reason, Wednesday is the day that media decide that they need stuff. Now. This minute. Immediately. That's what I love about the press. They can hang onto a story for months and months doing nothing with it while clients want to know where their coverage is. And then, bam. They decide that they have to run it and need a whole bunch of supporting information nano-seconds before going to print.

So here's a summary of yesterday:

We started out with the normal fights about toast, had a reasonably successful track record of keeping underpants dry until mid morning and managed to get laundry folded. We then headed off to the post office to return the unsuccessful anniversary present I'd bought for lovely husband (see Sunday's post).

The post office one village over has shut (village gossip says it's because the post master was crooking the lotto machine or something - how I love twitchy curtain syndrome). So we drove several villages over to the next closest PO. Except they had a technical fault and were shut too. So we drove half way across Britain and finally found a post office that was open. Sadly it was run by someone who'd obviously never worked in a post office before and who wasn't quite sure what a stamp was, much less a large package.

All of this incredible lack of speed left me feeling a little fraught as I had left the children in the car outside. I know it's not a clever thing to do but I had a choice - leave them in the car where they are highly unlikely to be abducted in teeny tiny local village OR bring them into the shop where they could destroy every display, scream for sweets/comics/other and have a tantrum when we left with nothing. So I opted for the former. But I would have preferred to get in and out with a dash of speed.

Anyway, after finally managing to get rid of the obnoxious clock gift, we trundled back across the country to toddler group. For anyone who has never been to a toddler group, let me explain what it is. Take one dusty village hall. Add about 20 children who all seem to have been injected with red bull. Put in an array of fairly tired plastic toys which become of the objects of greatest desire so that a lot of fighting ensues about who's going to carry the cow with no head. Scatter a handful of knackered looking mothers who sip on cups of tea but would far rather be drinking neat gin. Throw in some nursery rhyme singing to the ear-splitting sounds of musical instruments being 'played' and you start to realise the relaxing atmosphere.

And through all of this, I am tapping away on my handheld palm thingy responding to emails from a range of journalists wanting things NOW and clients asking where things are. And because I can never get the shift or control key to work on the blasted thing, my replies always look like this: iLll respond soon>

I'm sure all the other mothers think I'm an unfriendly cow who ignores her children and them while tapping away.

We then raced to a friend's house for lunch and an afternoon of play. Which might have been fun had my email inbox not kept filling up with ultra urgent requests.

We finally got home and I resorted to the tried and trusted bad mother's buying-some-time-technique of video and chocolate. I estimated I had about 30 minutes to catch up on a full day's work before the video got boring and the sugar had kicked in fuelling violent fights.

I then had to race downstairs to feed the starving beasties, raced back up to complete more work, raced back down to frog march beasties off into the bath, raced around their bedroom remaking peed on bed from night before, tidying up toy explosion and piles of dirty clothes, all the while child number 2 emptied the bath of its contents by pouring cupful after cupful of water on the floor. He was instructed to either wipe it up, say sorry or not get a bedtime story. Obviously he chose the latter which meant a full blown tantrum come story time - which resulted in a stint in the spare bedroom while I read story to child number 1. When I retrieved screaming beastie, I was so busy trying to avoid getting my ear drum burst that I failed to notice the low hanging beam in the passage and smacked my head. Hard.

The rest of bedtime wasn't particularly pleasant.

Then had to rush to finish last bits of work before planting a quick kiss on husband's cheek as he walked in the door, before rushing off to the pre-school committee meeting. Which meant I missed the final episode of The Apprentice.

And that was Wednesday. Am hoping Thursday is slightly less fraught.

Tuesday 10 June 2008

I hate birds

I really, really, really hate birds. For a start, they poo all over my car. Secondly, they peck at our raspberries. Thirdly, they wake up even earlier than my bloody children and make even more noise. But mainly, it's because they just give me the heebie jeebies.

There's something about their fluttery little wings, the way their eyes and heads move too fast and the fact that they're just plain dumb. As I type this, I have a bird of unknown variety in my kitchen. My fault - I left the door and window open as it's a particularly hot day. It is sitting there tweeting and pecking at a piece of bread that the boys left out.

Any normal person would stealthily go up behind it and throw a towel over it and take it outside. But that would involve me a) looking at it b) attempting not to startle it (and let's be clear here - I don't care if it is startled, I just don't want the demented thing flying around and bashing into windows) and c) I'd have to feel it's horrible little bony body. Eugh.

So instead of being able to go downstairs and enjoy some dinner or watch TV, I am sitting upstairs in my small office typing this, hoping that the silly creature will finally realise where the door is. My one brave expedition into the kitchen scared the bejesus out of it and me and I am not sure who shat themselves more (another pleasant task I'll be dealing with later no doubt).

This is the second time I've been held hostage in my house by a sodding bird. Earlier this year we had a hawk catch a blackbird outside our front door. It proceeded to strangle the thing - and then revive it - and strangle it - and revive it (not quite mouth to mouth you understand, but a gentle easing of the claw off its neck). The bird being strangled made the most blood curdling shriek that went on for hours. I was literally green by the end of it. I even had to call dear husband home to resolve the situation, which of course he didn't laugh about. Much. Obviously the charming creatures decided to take flight (both of them) the minute he walked through the door. So all I could show for my afternoon of hell was a patch of poo on the front step. It didn't exactly win me brownie points.

I fear this latest bird incident might be just as long lasting. I've already sent a text to husband insisting that he cut his meeting short because we have a bird situation. But somehow I don't think he's going to be rushing back. Why on earth did we decide to live in the country when I am quite patently not cut out for it?

Telling lies to little children

Some people think you shouldn't lie to your children. Ever. I just want put on record that I think that idea is just plain bollocks.

Let's start with some of the big lies we all tell our children. For example, there's that fat old man in the north pole who happens to deliver a bazillion presents every Christmas Eve with the help of just a few reindeers. And it's not just one lie. There are all the little lies we have to add to somehow make the story plausible. But there are those sad people who believe it's wrong to lie to children and who completely take the magic of Christmas from their child. Bah humbug to that.

However, there are other day-to-day lies that parents tell. My favourite is: Look! A purple dinosaur just ran past the window (in a bid to distract a yelling child who is refusing to get into their car seat). Or in a similar vein: Wow! I just saw a hawk catch a bird (there's a story behind this which I will share one day) or: Is that a fairy?!

Then there's the cunning ways to get children to eat: if you eat that broccoli, you'll grow taller than your brother (not necessarily a lie but a bit of a long wait to find out). Or: there's absolutely no onion in the sauce. The shiny bits are transparent carrots, which you love. (actually they're onion but I'm not going to pick them out one by one).

There's the 'I really need to go check my emails but need to pretend I'm not working' lie: I'm just going to put on a load of washing...

There's the standard lie when shopping for groceries and the nagging for sweets starts: 'We'll see'. Which means no. (Incidentally, I've been told by a friend - you know who you are - that my use of the word 'groceries' highlights the fact that I am foreign as a normal British person would simply say food. However, I feel groceries is a more all-encompassing term so shall continue to use it and while I'm at it, will say traffic circles instead of roundabouts).

But yesterday I told my 2 year old a bit of a whopper and I'm now reaping the not-so-clever rewards. He has been out of nappies for almost a year but seems to forget this on a daily basis and pees in his pants constantly. It is driving me insane, not to mention what he's doing to our washing powder consumption.

So in an effort to get him to not pee in his pants, I put him in a pair of underpants that has a little monster on the front with sharp teeth. I told him the monster was called Morris. Morris the marshmallow munching monster. And Morris doesn't like getting wet. And if he peed on Morris, Morris would sink his sharp teeth into his willy and give it a bite (obviously mistaking it for a marshmallow). The child - with fairly large eyes at this point - asked what would happen if he didn't pee on Morris. Not being able to think quickly enough, I said that Morris would give his willy a cuddle instead.

Sigh. You know what's coming next.

'Mummy, I haven't peed in my pants so Morris is cuddling my willy'. And this morning: 'Mummy, I'm not going to let Morris bite my willy today.'

Which is all well and good when it's just the two of us having this conversation, but when he relays it to staff at the nursery it's really not great. I fear I might be getting a letter from them soon suggesting that social services might want to come round.

Monday 9 June 2008


I'm sorry. More on tea sets. But I've been watching a lovely tea set on eBay for 10 days. An hour before the auction was due to end last night - with mine being the only bid - I went off to have a bath. By the time I came back, the auction was over and some sneaky bastard had outbid me. I am devastated. It is after all only a second hand tea set but still, it was meant to be mine. Sniff.


Sniff. Sniff.


Guess I should get on and do some work now. Speaking of which, it is an absolutely gorgeous day, despite my not winning the tea set, and working in the house just seems plain wrong. So I might attempt to put a bikini on and work in the garden. Two downsides of course: A) should the neighbours see me, they might call the police to report that Mr Blobby has taken residence in our garden and appears to be nicking the computer; B) the sunshine prevents me from seeing the computer screen which does somewhat hamper me getting any work done.

But given that the forecasters have said June is the only month that's likely to feel remotely like summer, I'd better make the most of it.

Aaah. I do love home office working (particularly as there are no co-workers to spy on me as I search eBay for more tea sets).

Toodle pip!

Sunday 8 June 2008

When presents go wrong

Today it is our 6th wedding anniversary. Six years ago today we were young, trim, not nearly as wrinkled and we had no idea that we'd be spending our future anniversary erecting a tent in the garden.

You see, I finally got my way. Along with a small teapot obsession, I've also had a bit of a hankering for a tent. I have this romantic notion that we'll go camping somewhere remote and uncrowded but that still has luxury loos and showers. We'll spend the afternoon collecting firewood before heading back to our tent which took mere minutes to erect. We'll then easily manage to get a roaring fire on the go, before grilling some fat sausages and toasting marshmallows. In my perfect camping dream, we'd actually be 'glamping' (a term I recently learned from an article in the Telegraph). There'd be plenty of retro bunting, the tent would be floral and we'd have a pale pink BBQ bucket.

However, apparently 'glamping' is out and 'tramping' is in. It's no longer cool to look good camping. It's all about going back to basics. Which is good, because that's all I was allowed to buy. But I don't care. We are now the proud owners of a tent, inflatable mattresses, sleeping bags, two kids collapsible chairs and a cooking set. I see a night in a field coming up.

But I digress. The tent was not my anniversary gift. That was a present to myself. A 6th wedding anniversary gift should either be iron or sugar according to the experts. My lovely husband, thoughtful as ever, got me the perfect gift (actually gifts). A lovely new pair of floral wellies (the tenuous link to iron here being that Wellington boots are named after the Duke of Wellington who was apparently known as 'The Iron Duke' - so I actually got a free history lesson thrown in too). But he didn't stop there. Recognising my teapot obsession, the dear man went and bought me a teapot, sugar bowl and milk jug - lovely Emma Bridgewater stuff with pink hearts on it. The sugar bowl was the nod to the anniversary tradition. Really, the perfect gift.

And then there was the gift I got for him. Buying gifts for a man is always difficult, particularly for a man on a slimming obsession so getting anything sugar related was out. I spent days hunting out iron-related gifts. I considered a day at a golf driving range (iron clubs) but figured he was over that and didn't need to be reminded that he never gets to use his golf clubs. I considered a CD by Iron Maiden, but again, he's not a fan. Thank God. I did consider entering him into an Iron Man competition given his new penchant for exercise but I don't fancy becoming a widow just yet.

So on deadline and having to make a decision, I relied on faithful old eBay and bought something that looked good in the picture - although it was still a slightly strange gift. It arrived and it was quite simply gipping. But I didn't have time to change it so had to present it this morning. I did warn him. A lot. Let's just say that a faux cast iron outdoor clock/barometer was never going to hit the gift bestseller lists.

His actual gift from me was years worth of dinner party joke-making at my expense. The clock is so bad he actually wants to keep it as a party piece. Sigh. I've emailed the eBay chap to see if he'll have it back, but I think he's going to say no. I mean why would anyone want it back??

Must go. We're playing a game of 'Pant heads' in which we all get to don a pair of the boys new Bob the Builder underpants on our heads. And I have to say, I've been wearing a pair while typing this and I'm getting a bit of a headache.

Friday 6 June 2008

Children - the opposite of botox

I have conducted my own not very scientific study and have come to the conclusion that people with children definitely age far more quickly than those without. And I'm not talking about a gradual decline in grooming standards due to lack of time. I'm talking about young and vibrant one year to wrinkled and haggard the next.

Now obviously the enormous lack of sleep plays a big part in this. There is a reason it's called beauty sleep after all. While we're on this subject, why does no-one tell you that it's not just the first few months of a child's life that you don't get sleep? This week I have experienced 5 consecutive uninterrupted nights - and it's the first time this has happend in 4.5 years.

Anyway, back to my point. Sleep - or rather the lack of it - plays a crucial role in the aging process. But I think the big killer is the relentless stream of annoyance.

Take this morning for example:
I attempted to have a shower. Foolish I know. Child number 2 wanted to get in with me. I said no. Screaming ensued. I attempted to flood my ears with soapy water to drown out the noise. When it got quiet, I opened my eyes and realised his attention had been diverted. He had taken apart the loo flusher and was trying to see if the pieces would float in the toilet (they didn't). So I had to get out, fish the pieces out, reassemble and then carry on.

Then I tried to clean my teeth. But of course, that meant that both children also wanted to clean their teeth. Which meant me walking around with a mouth full of foam trying to find the toothbrushes which had been used as swords while at the same time trying to yell: Don't thuck de thoothbaste out ob de toobe. Needless to say that once the toothpaste had been applied to the refound toothbrushes, most of it ended up on the floor as they couldn't quite spit into the basin. So I then had to wipe that up. And still I wasn't dressed but was at least air dried by this stage.

Fast forward - past a littany of dressing debacles, fights about what to eat, not wanting to go to nursery etc. We arrive at nursery. 'Come on, we're running late now boys,' I say. 'We want to get out of your door,' they both yell. The smart move would have been to just say: 'Fine'. But for some silly reason I thought to stand my ground and insist that they get out of their door. Ten minutes later I won.

As they got out, me breathing steam out of my ears, child number 2 bent down and pulled the planks marking out the parking spaces in a valiant effort to break one more thing before heading in doors. Why? I mentally scream. Why?? Why can't they just get out of the bloody car and walk to the bloody door? Why must every little tiny thing be something that must be broken, tested, disobeyed, pushed to the limit? I extracted the plank from his hands, steer both inside and proceed to peel them off me before making a hasty retreat.

I think in this one morning - which in the scheme of things was a very normal, quiet, easy going affair - I have aged at least two months.

You see - as my husband likes to point out every time my birthday rolls around - women are like dogs. For every one year of their life, they're actually about 7 years older. That's certainly how I feel. I think that all women should not only be given an eternity ring after the birth of their first child, but an annual gift certificate to a botox clinic because Lord knows they're going to need it.

Tuesday 3 June 2008

It's so peaceful and quiet

The rain is gently falling on our thatched roof. The wind is rustling in the trees. The tumble drier is letting out a comforting whir with the odd click as a button hits the sides. And that's it. There is no other noise - besides me tapping on the keyboard. This is my idea of bliss.

Yes I am officially working. But oh, the sweet joy of simply being alone. The peace, calm, quietness of it all.

In less than three hours all of this loveliness will be replaced with:

'I'm hungry. I need a snack.'
'I want chocolate.'
'I want two chocolates.'
'His chocolate is bigger than my chocolate.'
'I need to pee.'
'That's mine. I had it first.'
'He hit me.'
'Well he hit me first.'
'I want TV.'
'I don't want TV. I want to play dinosaurs.'
'Let's build a cave.'
'But we have to have all the cushions on the floor.'
'No I don't want to pee.'
'But we need get ALL the toys out.'
'No my pants aren't wet.'
'When can we go to Disneyland?'
'Why can't we have a dog?'
'I don't like that supper.'
'I want pudding.'
'I don't want to pick up the toys.'
'I didn't make the mess.'
'But it's not bedtime.'
'He's not giving me enough room in the bath.'
'Wash him first.'
'I don't want to clean my teeth.'
'Not those pyjamas. The ones with a pocket on.'
'That's a stupid story. I didn't want that story.'
'Why does he always get to choose?'
'I don't need to pee again.'
'I need another cuddle.'
'And a song...'
'And another cuddle.'
'Night night'

And then peace and quiet will be restored again. Only 7 more hours to go then.

Monday 2 June 2008

Tea sets are a woman's right

I'm having an affair. A complete and utter love affair. It's obsessive. It's all I can think about. After years of tempering my desire, I've finally decided to embrace it completely. And it has absolutely nothing to do with a latin lover. It's about a tea set. Let me explain...

Is there anything better than a proper English tea? Fine china, cake stands laden with scones, cream cakes and cucumber sandwiches. Floral bunting, pretty frocks and pastel cardigans. It is all just so lovely and old-fashioned. And I want it.

However, despite consistent nagging for many years now, until the very recent past I've not owned a tea set. Or a cake stand. Or even a tea pot. All of which are quite important when holding a tea party.

So much to my husband's bemusement (annoyance?) I have become an eBay addict, bidding on all the little things I need to host a tea party.

So far I have purchased:
- floral bunting (a must have to set the scene)
- a tea set (adorned with little pink roses because this is all about being girly)
- a silver plated tea pot, sugar bowl and milk jug (because a bit of bling is good)
- a three tiered latticed-edge cake stand than makes me want to weep it's so beautiful

That should be enough to see me through. However, I've seen another, even more beautiful tea set which quite frankly, I just have to have. Now, my husband has been fairly long suffering up till this point. However, I have a sneaky suspicion that another tea set might push him over the edge. But that's a risk we're just going to have to take. Because I NEED that tea set. And it's not simply because I'm greedy.

You see, in order to justify buying all this tea paraphernalia, I had to have a reason. Something concrete that a bloke would understand (they simply do not get that women need pretty tea sets and cake stands the same way men need curries on a Friday night). So I've created a reason.

I've discovered that our local hospice holds an annual Tea at 3 in June in which you're encouraged to hold a tea party to raise money for them. So that's exactly what I'm going to do. And obviously, to raise enough money I'm going to need to invite quite a few people which means having quite a few cups. So really, buying a second tea set is fairly critical. It's an entirely selfless act.

I'm just not sure my husband is going to see it that way.

Sunday 1 June 2008

Wine plus children

Why in the name of all things holy do children insist on waking up at 5.30am on a Sunday morning, particularly when the night before involved several rather large glasses of wine? And why must they also choose this exact time to do a poo and yell that they need their bottom wiped? Because quite frankly, stumbling out of bed to face a small boy on all fours with his yet to be cleaned bottom waving in the air - arms presented so to speak - is not quite how I like my Sundays to start.

And if anyone knows how to turn off a remote controlled T-rex that won't stop roaring, please let me know because it's about to become extinct.

God my head. Crawling back to bed now...