Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Football and death.

I am not in a good mood. Firstly the football is on and it is showing on my television in my living room where I am currently residing on my sofa and two, I have staffing issues.

The manny was 'sick' yesterday. I have had to use inverted commas because he actually had a cold and took to his bed to recover. It wasn't exactly pneumonia (I only have serious illnesses as I take our one-up-manship competition on illness very seriously) with which he let me look after the children for two and a half days before stepping in to help. Anyway, it turns out the children are actually hard work and I found yesterday exhausting. Mercifully I had to leave early to help weigh people in at a wibblies meeting. I put Ted to bed at 6.30 just to get rid of him and get out of the sodding house. The manny had magically recovered upon my return which I could NEVER have predicted and today he shows no signs of illness whatsoever. He also appears to have partly gone on strike which is irksome in the extreme. I can't help liken it to the same feeling you get when you first have a cleaner - in the beginning you are so grateful that there is someone helping you out with the housework and making the house clean and tidy without you having to do it that you don't really care how they're going about it and are delighted to hand over the cash, but after a few weeks and then months you become ridiculously picky about what they have and haven't managed to do in the allotted (and crucially paid for) time and start muttering about what you could be spending the dosh on - the same is true for the K being a manny. He seems to pick and choose the housework he is prepared to do and then ignores the rest as if it isn't part of his job description. I think very soon I will sadly have to let him go. It's not just his lack of professionalism on the job, it is the financial implications too.

Still, there has been much 'blog' excitement today. (I still don't like the word which is why I have separated it from the rest of the sentence, not because I intend to invest the word with any irony.) I am on two websites! Thrillingos (eng: thrilling). I'm not sure it has done anything exciting in the real world but psychologically it feels like a move forward and crucially makes me feel less like I'm just writing to myself in the living room in front of the football. It was also interesting to read posts from other 'bloggers' (same rules). I am totally and utterly fascinated by who the hell is reading all these blogs. There are thousands of them. Clearly I understand why you are reading this - as my sister kindly pointed out there are only a few of you and 99% of that number are friends and family - but who, who, who, jolly well who, has time to read about how a stranger cleaned the loo that day and even worse and more unthinkable than that, how they played with their child?? YE GODS. The law of Jinx will now curse me obviously but it really is a mystery. The loo cleaner spent quite a few paragraphs explaining how good she was at her previous high-flying career. Surely the need to validate herself as a bona fide person in the 'real world' was negated by her top tips for loo cleaning in the here and now? I must stop before jinx catches up but I could go on and on and on. (Don't get me started on the woman, the playmobil and her daughter).

My news is that Ted has now developed a worrying addiction to Medised. This morning he grappled me for the bottle and then he started tapping it with the dispensing spoon repeatedly before becoming more insistent and fighting with the childproof cap. The screams when I took it off him and hid it will stay with me forever. He is also trying to get more and more spoonfuls before bed. At some point I will have to start a ten step programme, but only after his sleeping is greatly improved. However I have shown some parenting prowess today but finally taking him for his third set of jabs. I believe I am only a year behind on them and when he gets his 12 month jabs in four weeks I shall be a mere 6 months behind the official 'programme' of jabbing. I feel brownie points are owed. Ted was actually far braver than I had imagined, I tend to put off taking them for their jabs because I hate them rather than fear for their pain.  But it does feel somewhat barbaric holding them down so a stranger can pierce them with a needle three times and it makes me feel sick so I tend to find any excuse not to go. I did it with George too. That nurse was horrid and shouted at me. It's not like I don't feel bad, when George kept getting hideous coughs as a baby I was convinced my procrastination on injecting him had helped bring back whooping cough and George was going to be the first child to die from it in 50 years.

Although my obsession with illnesses is not limited to un-injected infants, I am usually convinced my entire family is heading for imminent demise. I think the usual parental concern has been exacerbated by my father's sudden death when I was 9 months pregnant with Bea. Ever since then I have assumed that death is just around the corner. It isn't helped by my love of American hospital drama - House and Grey's Anatomy have helped to convince me that I have skin cancer, alzheimers, breast cancer and MS (that's just the ones I'm telling you about, I'm also quite sure I have very complicated heart issues and the start of alopecia totalis which I keep to myself). K is going to have a heart attack if lung and throat cancer don't catch up with him first and if the children stay asleep too long then it's SIDS and/or Medised overdose where I imagine the court case and my subsequent imprisonment, breaking up of family etc etc. I do have more rational days though, where I worry less and realise we are far more likely to go in a house fire before the illnesses can finish us off. The other day I discovered that my hair straighteners had been on all night, every night, sandwiched between papers and magazines in the basket next to my bed, for weeks and potentially months. I was too frightened by my discovery to allow my brain to think back to when I last used them. Also the Alzheimers doesn't really allow it.

The football is still on. Regardless of the alternative entertainment I shall have to stop lest I become tempted to give you my top tips on using the Toilet Duck.

They think it's all over - it is now.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Mostly Sunday

By definition, you are doing something the wrong way if you are not doing it the way that I do it. I think that is fairly obvious. It's not like I'm perfect, obviously, it's just that if I thought I was doing something the wrong way I would change my methods.

I only say that because having a manny about the house in the form of K, although helpful, means that a lot of things are being done 'the wrong way'. Washing is being put in with minimal consideration for colour running, the dishwasher is being stacked incorrectly, food is being put into the fridge ridiculously wrongly (potatoes on top of tomatoes in the wrong drawer, raw meat on top of open packets of cooked meat etc etc) and things are being put away in all the wrong places so that I can't find anything. I am not OCD - as discussed earlier it is too much hard work - but I have been used to being the head of my house for such a long time that I have become very bad at sharing. Ironically I have moaned at him for years and years to help me more with all the housework and childcare and now that he is, I am moaning about him doing it differently to me. Which means only one thing too hideous to even comprehend - I AM my mother. There is now no denying it. Any minute now I'll be telling Bea not to eat so much she's getting fat whilst feeding the boys chocolate in front of her.

I have made a concerted effort not to moan too much this weekend though, as I am genuinely loving having him at home. Life is so much nicer as a full time, two parent family. I can totally understand why the long term unemployed stay that way. K is so relaxed and far happier away from the stresses of work and I am relaxed and less tired having all this help - it's like a holiday without all the hard work and hassle of holidays (we went camping in rainy England last year with a crawling Ted who slept less than he does now - it was an endurance test NOT a holiday). I am now seriously investigating how many children and exactly how bad K's back would have to be before we can get enough benefits to afford for K to never go back to work. If I could manage to have quads soon I think that would seriously strengthen our case. Although it might also strengthen K's resolve to get back to work and then leave me at home with all seven and in need of prozac.

Sundays are a totally different ball game these days. Back in the bad old days of work, K regularly had to work Saturdays which meant Sundays became hideously high pressured with us both trying to cram in getting our weekly 'rest' plus time as a family, socialising and not forgetting any DIY. Now it's just another day to fill as we please and today was filled with lots of sleep (hoorah!), time in the garden, a trip to the local park and a roast chicken - perfick. I may change my tune in another week but for now, everyone seems to be far happier with the new set up. I suppose the change in weather does also help. Being couped up in the house together for seven days a week would have produced a very different outcome.

I am beginning to sound smug. Totally revolting. I shall ensure that something crap happens this week which sends me back to my more cynical self. I can't stand people who are happy all the time, it is a most unnatural state and quite unnerves me. Oooh actually I am just about to tell K he is in charge of filling in our census. That should help. I am also pretty excitable this evening because I have high hopes for sleep tonight, not only because of all the fresh air and the clocks leaping heroically forward for me but because Ted discovered a taste for Medised at bedtime and has definitely ingested more than is intended for someone six times his size. I shall check he is breathing regularly before I go to bed - fear not. I am going to have a glass of wine in anticipation of all my sleep. Double hoorah!

Chin chin and down the hatch x

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Saturday night thrills

It's Saturday night folks! So obviously I have to be quick - I need to get up and out and off to a happening club with throbbing music and lots of people in the loos doing coke. Or, I'm sitting here in my pjs having put down my knitting and awaiting K to bring me supper I shall eat on my lap whilst we flick endlessly through the 100s of sky channels we have to pay for only to find that yet again there is nothing to watch.

Quite strangely I am awaiting the arrival of monk fish wrapped in parma ham with mash, asparagus and sugar snap peas. K chose it from my weight watchers cookbook. These two things have never ever, ever happened before. I mean he has cooked for me before obviously, we have been together nearly eleven years, but fish AND weight watchers. It is a revolution. He is a simple Essex man who likes meat, carbs and as few vegetables as possible and I have been at wibblies for almost a year now and although he has been incredibly supportive (apart from the odd ill advised takeaway decisions), he has never before cooked me a meal with my diet in mind - so it is as exciting as a Saturday night gets around here.

Usually I like to spend early Saturday evening doing the supermarket shop. Being SE23 we have an amazing Sainsbury's - it is a giant hypermarket sized one with everything you could ever need and I can quite happily spend two hours there without getting bored. In fact, my most epic visit was when I was nine months pregnant with George. I was extremely keen to get him out and I needed a long walk to help him on his way, so when Bea had her weekly nursery visit, I spent a whole morning wandering around each and every aisle and if I remember correctly I spent nearly £400.  My now regular Saturday night visit began when K was working. He has to work most Saturdays, so by the time he gets back at 5 o'clock, I am absolutely desperate to leave all childcare responsibilities behind and get out of the house (although crucially without any feelings of guilt - hence the supermarket which is a necessary evil). It also means I can go shopping for clothes on my own and if I stay for long enough, I can totally miss doing bath and bed with the children. Luckily I am not a snob over clothing, actually if anything, Sainsbury's clothing seems slightly luxurious in comparison to my usual shops of choice - Asda and Primark.

By eight o'clock K is usually unpacking the shop, asking me why it took so long to buy so little and wondering why it cost so much. To be honest I'm with him on that one - it always costs loads and today's trip was not helped by the monk fish. I don't care what people say, eating healthily costs a bloody fortune, a pack of doughnuts is exceedingly cheap and would fill me up for far longer. The cost is so unpredictable each week that I have had to set up a special system for unpacking my trolley. First I unload essentials onto the conveyor belt and then separate them from the unnecessary stuff like clothing, wine, toys etc with the loo roll. Then I ask the ever patient checkout assistant to give me a subtotal after the loo roll and before the luxuries are scanned so that I can work out which ones I can keep and what I have to put back depending on my budget. Today marks the third week in a row that I have put the same top for George back. I am determined to get it for him next week.

I am lost as to why I am telling you any of this. It is excessively dull just living it, but to read about it seems slightly torturous. I am hoping that it will be read on Sunday morning with a hideous hangover which will then seem very worth it, safe in the knowledge that you weren't at home sitting on the sofa on Saturday night wondering why you are watching Mike Tyson talk about and racing pigeons. Although to be truthful if I do have a rare night out planned for a Saturday, I spend most of the week dreading it and bitching about how inconvenient it will be and how tired I am. I am very difficult to please.

(Interlude for supper)

Delicious! Definitely not a kumquat and white lightning episode. Maybe there is something to be said for following a recipe? I feel full and virtuous and have now found a Jonathan Creek to watch. I can only imagine how jealous you all are. Must get back to the knitting, this is all too exciting for a Saturday night and I need to calm down. Cocoa anyone?

Friday, 25 March 2011

Mostly Food

Hello! I am back. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

BB - 1.37
GM - 6.45 of emergency credit (can't be arsed to go to the shop - I am LOVING the emergency credit system)
WW - too many to count after a child's birthday breakfast (with cake) and a meal out last night
EAH - 0

I am a little hungover today so you must forgive any glaring grammatical errors. Ted is asleep and G is enjoying the educational benefits of Big Cook and Little Cook in the playroom so I don't have long and my hungover brain does not work well at speed. I hasten to add that I am not a big drinker  - I certainly do not do it every day - hence the hangover. Since the third child arrived I am totally unable to consume more than a few units before being totally 'under the influence'. Sister with four children assured me it would happen and I obviously assumed she was being ridiculous, but here I am, the morning after four glasses of wine and I am nursing a sizeable hangover. The cummulative effects of six and a half years of sleep deprivation combined with almost total abstinence for weeks on end (too many points for wibblies, can't afford it and I fall asleep after two glasses) means that I am no longer able to hold my drink. Plus the miniscule portions served up at lightning speed last night meant that there was no bread or indeed much of anything else to soak up the alcohol, leaving it to wander freely around my system.

I feel I ought to write about food. I did a quick surf of other very popular blogs and they all seem to feature beautiful pictures and an awful lot of writing about food. It would seem that there are an awful lot of 'food porn' readers out there. It does pose something of a problem for me though, as I am not a naturally brilliant cook. It is annoying as it is something I would have loved to have inherited from my mother (along with her height and inability to feel pain) but instead I got her big feet, love of eating, conservative attitude and big mouth (not literally Angelina style, I mean vocally - she has an opinion on EVERYTHING). I do have limited success with some casseroles, spaghetti bolognese, risotto and a good roast although production of an edible yorkshire pudding still eludes me. Earlier in the week I decided to be terribly grown up and use the kumquats that had been delivered to me via my organic fruit bag (we get one a week through Bea's school). I loftily defrosted a pork tenderloin mum had given me (I never really buy meat - I'm not really sure what I'm looking for and the meat aisle is freezing so I grab the lamb mince for spag bol and bolt), chopped up various veg of which K approves (the man eats very little of anything containing vitamins so he is quite tricky to cook for) and ordered him to go to the shop and purchase a can of cider. Five hours later and the kumquat, white lightning, pork and winter veg 'surprise' was ready for the taste test. I felt terribly grown up and like a younger, prettier and bubblier Delia Smith. K was thrilled to have an evening meal cooked for him (another important thing to put on my 'to do' list before I can qualify as a true 'grown up' is to cook regularly for K) and he valiantly cleared his plate. In the excitement I got myself a small portion and realised he had in fact been excessively kind or starving hungry, as miserably it tasted like runny marmalade with pork. I had, in my naieve exuberance, added every single one of the twenty or so kumquats and they had rather overpowered everything else. I didn't even get a 'whoosh' of white lightning. K was sick the following morning, I have tried not to take it personally. He has also asked me to remove the bowl of leftover casserole from the fridge. I have refused.

It did get me thinking though, whilst I was chopping up my winter veg and being a general domestic goddess, that cooking and childcare are basically the same. They are both experiments. I am not a big fan of recipes as I never seem to have the right ingredients or equipment needed so I tend to make it up as I go with what I have got and the same goes for raising the children. I am really not a fan of 'parenting guides' or self help books telling you how to bring up your children and am much happier conducting my own experiment and not someone else's idea of how to create the perfect child.  In fact I have yet to meet a perfect adult so I have long given up on trying to rasie my children 'perfectly'. Even if I did manage this Herculean feat it would set them apart from the rest of the human race and therefore make them a target for ridicule, scorn and bullying.

I think there is far too much pressure on women to be the 'perfect' mother these days anyway. Quite frankly life is too long to try and be perfect every single flipping day. I really don't see the point. I don't hand crush organic home grown veg into pulp to wean my babies on to solid food, I buy jars or pouches or mash up a non organic banana. I let them watch far too much TV because I don't for one minute think their eyes will go square or their brains turn to mush. I often talk on the phone or look at facebook and totally ignore them without guilt and I quite often tell them they can't make a mess because quite frankly I can't be arsed to clear up after them. I am perfectly happy to be imperfect - in fact - it is quite a relief.

Bum, Ted is now awake so I must away and shove him in front of the telly with G. My hangover is getting worse and I need a cup of tea and a biscuit. Ouch.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

A bit more.

I'm feeling all Bridget Jones. Only I don't count calories (wibblies points only) and I don't really drink alcohol on a Bridget level and I am obviously not on the hunt for a boyfriend. So, I shall begin with bank balance, gas meter, Weight watchers points and employed adults in the household.
BB - Child Benefit - yippee!
GM - £6.31
WW - 27 (possible daily 29)
EAH - 0

I hope this sets the scene. The tax rebate has been and gone. I find that once money is in the bank it usually dives out pretty damn quickly. Especially when I managed to get to Primark on Sunday sans children. Oh yes. Such excitement does not happen often. Even the bored girl behind the checkout looked mildly interested in the amount I had managed to spend in such an amazingly cheap shop. I find it is the 'Ikea' effect. Ikea and Primark have an uncanny knack of befuddling my brain so that when I add up all the excitingly cheap, mass produced products as I walk around, it is at least half what they make the amount owed when I reach the checkout. Although to be fair to Primark I'm pretty sure Ikea wins hands down in that department.

Now that I have spent all our money K is feeling the pressure to find a more profitable employment than being my manny.  We hope he is quite close already, although I must keep shtum (sp?) for now obviously, I believe heartily in 'jinxing' things. I'm pretty sure it must actually be a science, because it is so accurate. If you even think about how nice a time you are having whilst your baby is asleep then they will awake. When out for a meal if the babysitter says they are all fine and not to worry, there will shortly follow a problem. If I think I have lost loads of weight, I will have put on half a pound. If I think, oooh isn't it nice the neighbours haven't heard K and I argue in ages, we will have the mother of all arguments and the neighbours will most certainly be at home. In Australian soap operas if they say, nothing can go wrong, everything most certainly will. Et voila - I rest my case.

Whilst I was happily shopping on Sunday K took the boys (Bea was at a friend's) to Essex to see his family and, thanks to an agricultural college open day in Writtle, we are now equipped with a small arsenal of weaponry. I am not entirely sure how the two correlate as I wasn't with the boys at the time but K insists he had nothing to do with the choices and that it was entirely down to the boys which toys they acquired so, we now have an AK-47, a hand gun and a bow and arrow.  For those one or two readers who might not know me, I can reassure you that whilst my views on toy weapons are not conservative, I prefer brightly coloured noisy things that are more Disney than Rwanda. These ones are very black and realistic and when Ted runs at you firing the AK-47 which makes a shooting noise, it is unnerving. He keeps shooting until you 'die' upon which he cackles with laughter and then comes over to offload one or two more at point blank range before offering his victim a pistol whip to the head to make sure the job is done. I am more than a little concerned. He is unlikely to have seen such violence from Auntie Mabel or Iggle Piggle. Although for some reason when the TV in the playroom is switched on, it does automatically turn on to ITV3 which shows a lot of crime programmes during the day, but he would normally shout and hand me the remote rather than watch and take notes. My mind boggles.

It is weigh in tomorrow morning and once again I am dreading it. Since I signed up for the Leader training I am feeling a huge amount of pressure which just makes me want to eat more.  I spoke to my leader today and she is very keen for me to shift the last stone and get 'ordained' (my word, not theirs) as a leader and has suggested we go jogging together (dramatic pause). The mere thought of being forced into running is enough to make me hand back the confirmation of my weekend away and order a takeaway. I do not really do physical exercise (I flirted with Zumba for a while but had to give up due to a broken toe). Principally because exercise is actually so jolly bad for you. I think it will eventually be the cigarette health scare of the future - all this running and jumping around - it is quite obviously not good for your bones and in the next 30 years or so all exercise obsessives will be crippled and bedridden by their painful joints and bones and only the lazy will survive to launch lucrative lawsuits against the gyms and Government for peddling their filthy lies.

Whilst I'm on my soapbox, it would seem that every silver lining has its cloud. Along with the first ice cream on the way home from school, the sudden warmer weather seems to have also heralded a sharp rise in dog mess on the pavements. Perhaps all irresponsible dog owners have crept out from under their rocks and let the dogs loose. Literally. (There are exceptionally few things wrong with Honor Oak Park but I think we may lead the Country in the number of stupid dog owners per sq mile of pavement.) As pretty as the crapping dogs stenciled on to the pavements are, they do not seem to be acting as an efficient deterrent to dog owners (although the children are most keen on them) and it would also appear that people are not generally brave enough to approach an owner of an unleashed pit bull and ask them to shovel their dog's shit, SO here's my big idea. A defecation station. It's genius. Every street would have regularly spaced, built in litter boxes for dog defecation, which would be emptied and refilled by the street cleaners on their rounds. The cost involved is minimal. Admittedly the defecation stations would be a health hazard for children, but then they would also be slightly easier to avoid than the random poo patterns that litter the pavements at the moment. I am thinking of taking it to dragon's den and then offering it to all London Boroughs. I may get an OBE.

On that note, I shall leave you to ponder all things defecation as I settle down to catch up on Grey's Anatomy. K is out so the remote is ALL MINE.

Adieu, to you and you and you, as they say in Austrian families with lots of singing children in. x

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Time and other myths

In only one week's time, time leaps forward an hour. I distantly remember when this was not a positive thing as it meant an hour less in bed, but in this present a 23 hour day is pure bliss. It not only signals the start of lighter and less clothing which I can now appreciate slightly more as I am slightly less, it also means less paraphenalia to bedeck the children with whilst shouting at them to get out of the house in the morning and most importantly and bestest of all it means that for one Sunday in the year I shall have one less hour trying to placate and generally keep quiet three hyperactive children in our bedrooms because it is socially (and personally) unacceptable to be downstairs and eating breakfast at 6am.

That time pre-dawn during the winter months is almost sole destroyingly lonely. K NEVER wakes voluntarily before at least 8 if he is working and later if not, so it is just me and the TV trying to keep them from playing recorder or jumping off their beds or hurting each other until gone 7 (if K is letting me have a lie in the agony lasts longer but the reward is greater). I have to keep them quiet because we live in a mid-terraced house and neither of my next door neighbours have children. On one side there are two flats (so twice as many possibilities to piss off) and on the other are two very miserable and upper-middle aged people who I assume at one time must have loved each other but now clearly hate not only one another but all small people. I know this for many reasons which I shall no doubt regale you with on another occasion but most obviously because they gave us a note to tell me that the children wake them up regularly and they would very much like it to cease.

The problem is that my children have never been these mythical creatures who have to be woken up or indeed sleep reliably until 7am every morning. They have always been a fan of waking at 6 and then for some inexplicable reason there are little pockets of time when they will wake before that. I mention this particularly because Ted woke up at 4.30am this morning with his hacking cough (the boy is totally and utterly incapable of being in good health), then again at 5.30 where he assumed the milk I was giving him was poisoned and so kept screaming and chucking the bottle back at me. By 6am both other children were awake, as was our lovely guest who was attempting to sleep downstairs so I gave up shouting reassurances at him, brought him in my bed and he suddenly realised the milk wasn't as bad as he had previously thought and lay back to drink the lot.

It has always amused me that whilst cooing over my newborns people often ask if they are a 'good' baby. Even Ted is unlikely to have been born inherently evil and it would have been jolly difficult to tell at a few weeks even if he were, so of course one tends to answer 'yes' to such a bizarre question. Clearly what they mean is whether or not they sleep through the night. As soon as you answer no, the world and his wife are able to cite numerous babies who were 'sleeping through' at a day or three or at the most six weeks and it is most usually their own sleep-abled children to which they refer. They are of course lying. Everyone does.

K is a big fan of myths. He is often picking them up from people (usually men) he meets during the day. He has mercifully stopped now but for a long time he was able to find people whose children slept til eight and never woke during the night EVER. He would then come home to a tired and irritable me and tell me of their brilliance and suggest that, like these people, I should just put the children down at ever later times of the night. If that actually worked then EVERYONE would do it and then there would never be any tired parents and the divorce rate would drop significantly. (For the record I have tried to put them to bed later but they actually wake earlier just to spite me and then spend the day being so exasperatingly irritating that I find I no longer love them by six and have to put them to bed an hour earlier.) K does not believe me so just shrugs his shoulders and says 'I'm just saying'. Helpful. The other stories he brings back are of the 'mythical wives'. I am extremely fond of these. As is he, although he truly believes they exist. These women NEVER nag, never moan, iron shirts, cook hot meals every evening, make their children sleep until a reasonable time of the morning and most importantly like to have sex every day without fail. I am very much not a mythical wife.

But then again K is not a mythical husband. But that is totally different because they actually do exist. I see them in the park and at school and generally everywhere. I know that there are millions of women all over the land having amazing weekends and being all smug and happy with their amazing children and husbands. Maybe it's because he is married to a mythical wife. These mythical couples never argue about sleep or housework or lack of both, in fact they never argue full stop. They raise the children almost effortlessly in their happy smiley world both agreeing on the best course of discipline or encouragement needed at exactly the right moment. They do equal amounts of housework and never tut or sigh or say 'fine' to each other in a passive aggressive manner when asked how they are and at the end of their perfect days of joint parenting and housework they sit down and drink wine together whilst never getting drunk or suffering from hangovers the next day (therefore making anything child-related that much harder). And they always, always have fun and action packed weekends with their happy, smiley and well-slept children. I imagine them having all their fun whilst I stack the dishwasher yet again, picking up escaped cheerios on my bare feet along the way and I listen to K offering the children a trip to Homebase/the park/Big Plate Cafe to break up yet another fight/screaming match/general hyperactivity that seems to form the basis or all of our weekends.

I met one man a few weeks ago who had taken his wife and one of his two children (a girl, 6) to see La Boheme at the Royal Albert Hall of a Saturday afternoon. That is the myth. The reality is that after spending what I imagine would probably be a small fortune on her ticket she played with his iphone for most of it. That is the problem with myths. I'm pretty sure they're not real.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Leaving the borough

The advantages of my lazy gene are numerous. The reason we ended up in the picture perfect SE23 is due to my lazy gene (I must be clear here, SE23 to me is the fabulous Honor Oak not the Forest Hill part with which we share a postcode - totally different).  I couldn't be bothered to take too much time over it so we looked at two places in East Dulwich which were small and rubbish and then an estate agent suggested Honor Oak, we saw one flat and bought it. DONE. I never even tried on a wedding dress for the same reason. It seemed an unnecessary effort to take numerous dresses on and off and get all hot and sweaty. Same goes for marrying K. You see, people tend to see being lazy as a negative. They could not be more wrong.

Only today I am reminded of its brilliance. Bea had her appointment with the specialist 'in town' which required us to leave the safety of SE23 and venture north. Luckily she was there to hold my hand as I feel sick with nerves just approaching the station (Leaving SE23 is statistically unsafe - FACT). Even more lucky was that the hospital was off Baker Street which is on the Jubilee line which, also terribly luckily, is easily accessible from the wonderful Honor Oak Station with its new East London Overground line.  I know I am boring but we have lived here for eight years and for the last seven and a half we have had to put up with the unreliable train service to London Bridge so this new revelation in transportation has blown my mind. (Bond Street in 40 mins door to door - it's a whole new world people). Anyhoo, the point is that although this new service is there I rarely use it - cost for one thing (ticket price has tripled since I commuted and I have turned into a hideously middle aged person who tuts and comments on the price of the ticket when they tell me how much it is), secondly I get scared, thirdly I have 3 children 6 and under and only so much patience and arms and legs and lastly I can't be arsed. So all in all trips to anywhere in London are usually done by car or on my own. Therefore Bea's excitement over the train trip was akin to a trip to Legoland. She was awestruck by the train journey, the underground, Baker St and Oxford St (the Disney Store and McDonalds part of it, the rest was just an inconvenience). She didn't even know we were going to the Disney store, she was desperately over excited just by the prospect of a trip on a train to visit a specialist who I had told her was probably going to inject her in the head (she didn't - we're using a cream, phew). I hope that people can therefore learn from my faulty gene and here is the lesson; parenthood is a marathon, not a sprint, do as little as possible for as long as possible so that when you're forced to do anything the children are bowled over by the excitement of it all (don't get me started on the escalator revelation), et voila - a happy childhood. Only as a teenager will she realise there was an awful lot more out there I could have done with her and then I can tell her to get a sodding job and earn the money to do it herself. I am a genius.

Should you still be with me after the boring transport info I feel I should tell you that I am being quite fraudulent this week - I have help. I am not doing this alone. K came home last week from his regular Friday afternoon meeting redundant. It would appear that being an estate agent isn't that great a profession in a bad economy. However I'm not one to dwell and the positives are that he is an awesome manny and housekeeper. I have always, always dreamt of having a housekeeper. K and I often debate what we would do if we won the lottery and me having a housekeeper and not a nanny (I want to have the fun bits and then have someone to swoop in afterwards and tidy up) is top of the list. Now I feel like I have both - I get the kids up and out for the school run and he swoops in like an SAS swat team to clear up any evidence we were ever there. I can leave the house unaccompanied at a moment's notice. I can sit down. I can get someone else to change Ted's yucky nappies and prepare boring meals. It is an amazing eye opener into how the other half live and I can conclusively say that the other half are ridiculously spoilt. It's a piece of piss. Should I ever meet anyone for that side I shall inform them.

Ted remains in good health and although having lost weight (a genius thing as he has now gone down a nappy size which makes them cheaper - so sweet of him to help us out) and his brain is now audibly whirring into action with the mischief he can concoct for the weekend. Oh and the tax rebate has arrived in another joyous envelope from HMRC - I am thinking of sending a Thank You card. Food and nappies aplenty this weekend yipppeee! As my mum is very fond of saying 'these are the good times'.

Have a great weekend lovely people - I am very merry after a large glass of red right now so I love everyone. I may even wink at K.

Night night.


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Mostly good

Managed to put on weight this week. Am most distressed. Went to Weight Watchers weigh in this morning all hopeful and wearing light clothing (it is an old trick but a good one) and was most affronted by the evil scales and their verdict. (Only half a pound but it's a gain and not a loss so it's all devastating).

Looking back on my posts from the last week it does seem that the evil scales might have had a point though. I think I may finally have to concede that food eaten whilst standing up and food you don't want to count, does in actual fact, count towards your overall weight. I am very aggrieved. I also rely heavily on the previous people's weigh in results to determine how I will get on when it's my turn. I have often watched a succession of people lose great amounts and then been annoyed when the scales let me down. It really does seem that none of my systems are working for me anymore. I am seriously feeling the pressure for the countdown to my training weekend. I am still five pounds away from being able to attend and there are only four more weigh in opportunities.  I am going to have to be good and actually follow the diet this week. From tomorrow obviously. There is another curly wurly in the fridge.

My desperation to attend the Leader training weekend is now at an all time peak.  They sent me an email with the details for the venue and it is being held at a 4* hotel and SPA. A Spa. I just keep saying it. A spa...... I know that it won't be Babbington House or anything but there is a pool and people offering beauty treatments and none of my children. It all adds up to a fabulous thing. Miserably the weekend starts at 9.30am on Friday so I will just have to stay an extra night. So that is 3 nights away. On my own. It is Christmas and Birthday all rolled into one. Of course I must consider the possibility that the training will be hard work but I am prepared to bet money I don't have that learning how to teach people about how to lose weight will be a hundred times easier than three days with the children and the hours will be far more sociable.

Talking of which there has been a breakthrough with Ted. He has spent 24 hours sick free. A Hallelujah moment. I have just put the last 'sick' load in to the washing machine. He is even back on milk which has improved his temperament immeasurably. His illness was clearly sent to me as a lesson, it is indeed true that you don't know what you've got until it's gone. It was a total joy to finally see him back to his old self and everything I thought was quite annoying last Wednesday was all a cause for celebration today. His bottom half is still suffering though and we are now dangerously low on nappies.

BUT in another amazing turn of happy events K has received news of another tax rebate winging its way to us. (Last one came just after New Year). The timing could not be more perfect. By the end of next week we should once again be solvent. In a massive about turn I am now excited whenever anything comes through the door from HM Revenue and Customs. They are truly some lovely people. Ted shall have nappies aplenty and I can pay my phone bill. Things are most definitely on the way up.

Not to be greedy but now all I want is some sunny weather, great weight loss and a small lottery win.  You just never know.... For now I shall just be happy with the curly wurly.

Yum x

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Mostly tired

I now have -0.87p in my account and no overdraft facility. All hail next Tuesday when my child benefit will rescue me. Back in the days when child benefit was guaranteed til the child was 18, it was well worth having an extra child for the £50 a month it provided.

Now only Bea seems worth hanging on to. As she was the first baby she is worth more in child benefit terms and now she remains the only child in good health. When I had pneumonia both boys had successive days at the Doctor for penicillin and now a mere 3 weeks on George is back on the hard stuff for yet another double ear infection. Ted remains loyal to his sick bug which is viral so can't be cured by anything more hardcore than time which means the washing machine and tumble dryer are having to work triple shifts. Sunday night's excitement and subsequent glasses of wine were a massive mistake - heady from the thrill of it all, I went to sleep at gone 11. The children then took it in turns from 12 to 6 to wake me every hour. Last night fared no better as Ted is incredibly angry at the milk ban and can scream louder than I had previously assumed lungs allowed and George had fallen asleep post Doctors at 4pm yesterday so awoke at 3.50am fully refreshed and feeling miles better. Mercifully he is a very easy going child and was happy to drink milk, sing to himself and play with the iPhone with only occasional need for attention. During one of Ted's more furious screaming episodes I could clearly hear G singing Frere Jacques word perfect from my bed with the 'ping' of the labyrinth app as accompaniment. Another surreal 5.30am moment.

There is something about those night hours. They change a person. In the warm comforting air of a playgroup with friends laughing and a hot cup of tea in one's hands it is impossible to see how you managed to descend into such madness. And yet when you are in the thick of it and it is 3am and you have been in and out of the bed at least five times already, looking over and seeing a snoring person who agreed to raise these children with you through thick and thin and yet is blissfully ignorant of the hell I am suffering, makes you want to put the pillow over his head and wait until the steady rise and fall of his chest ceases. I have never actually even started the process I hasten to add - I couldn't bare the children to see him in the morning - but the snoring! That is just rubbing salt in the wound.

I have been eating to combat the tiredness. Most of the rest of the roast pork from Sunday's lunch and the pack of open chocolate chips are now slowly digesting in my stomach before it deposits itself in fat cells around my sizeable middle. I still have that post baby jelly belly tummy. I wonder if it will EVER go. It always makes me chuckle when you read 'celebrity' post birth stories. They ask them how they got their figure back so quickly (6 weeks must be the longest you can reasonably leave it as a celebrity and still hold your head up high) and they always say breastfeeding and running around after the baby. I don't know about other mothers but all my babies came out totally unable to walk or in fact move from a fixed spot and really what they most wanted me to do was to sit on my big fat arse and either stick a boob in their mouth or sit motionless whilst they had a lovely warm sleep. At NO point did I find myself darting from room to room in a blind panic of motion endlessly burning calories. And they also never elude to the overwhelming tiredness of those first few months - most people reach for simple high calorie food, not only to help with milk production but to give them a boost to get through the day, especially if it's not your first and there are other demanding children who get very cross if you should close your eyes (even very temporarily) in the middle of the day. So, what they should say is 'actually I only eat berries for breakfast washed down with seaweed as my stylist has told me it burns fat, I eat poached salmon with dry salad for lunch and then by supper I am shouting at my husband and handing the baby over to the nanny with a bottle so I can nip to the gym and burn more calories before my cous cous supper'. Now that would be a reason to buy OK! magazine.

Toodley pip! x

Sunday, 13 March 2011


Friday night was indeed fun when I finally arrived. Ladbroke Grove is a jolly long way away though and they are ridiculously precious about their parking there so I had to walk quite far in the heels I hadn't planned on doing anything in but sit and eat.  Little sis greeted me on arrival and was once again impossibly glamorous and buffed and polished to within an inch of her false lashes after spending the whole day being beautified. I was not and also had the wrong outfit on. Still, the food was absolutely amazing (wisely played it safe with fish not pizza) so I soon forgot about the outfit and even better than the food were her boyfriend's friends who believed me to be the younger sister! I have been happy about that all weekend. I may even adjust all official forms and have a big 30th this year.  (They were NOT just being polite should you have mean thoughts - they told her after I had left so it MUST be true).

Back in the days when we were childless, weekends were a time to rest, recuperate, drink and eat too much and generally get on with things a week's work hadn't allowed. Now quite the reverse is true. I spend quite a chilled five days dropping children off at school for a few hours respite and then with the three school runs the day requires (George is at nursery which ends at midday) there is a structure and activity to the day which takes us up to bedtime quite easily. However at the weekend it is entirely down to me. The two days require full on parenting and organising of activities, breaking up of fights and having a definite 'plan' for how the 48 hours will play out, particularly on the Saturdays K is working. By Sunday night I get that 'Friday night' feeling and start on the wine knowing that the following day will be infinitely easier.
This weekend was no exception. The initial jubilation at not having to get out of bed and out for the first school run by 8.50 quickly wears off as the fighting and mess making begins. Of course this weekend had a sick Ted in it so I spent most of Saturday with him clinging to me whilst trying to carry on normal duties. He is only just on the road to recovery although he is miserably still unable to tolerate milk. I hadn't realised quite how much I relied upon the white stuff to get him to do what I wanted. In desperation to get him to sleep tonight I resorted to watering it down but that hasn't worked and now there is another pile of washing in front of the machine. He is point blank refusing to take juice as a substitute. Unless it is in a pint glass.

Today started badly - Ted woke up covered head to toe in a rash. I immediately assumed he had measles (huge boat loads of guilt for not having taken him for his MMR yet - minus mummy points) and made an emergency Doctor's appointment before my very level headed and sleepy sister (it was 7.30am - who the hell isn't up at that time?) told me to get a grip and that it was far more likely to be a post-viral rash. It would seem she was right as five minutes later he was up at the table eating grapes and tomatoes (his choice not mine) and threatening Bea with a knife and definitely not suffering from a life threatening illness. 

The day improved significantly with the arrival of my friends for a girly lunch. I very, very rarely have people over. I'm not really sure why. I think it's something to do with me feeling not grown up enough to be 'entertaining'.  That is what my mother did, and obviously she did it properly. She is an amazing cook and seems to have learnt the art of entertaining somewhere along the lines that I managed to miss. Luckily most of my good friends are aware they have to bring their own drink and usually pour it themselves.  I even made a new year's resolution to be a grown up last year. It didn't work. It is more than a little ironic that I seem to have spent my entire life wanting to be a 'grown up' - I was quite keen to have children from the age of 8 and tried to persuade boyfriends to marry me from 17 - and yet now that I have the marriage, children and mortgage I craved I am totally incapable of growing up enough to manage my finances, have people over for meals or indeed take children to the Doctors for vital life saving jabs.

I have to go now as I've had two glasses of wine and can't think straight.

A demain x

Friday, 11 March 2011

Mainly sick

I have taken a break from all the sick to nip on the laptop. Ted is very unwell which is horrid, for him mostly, but also for me. There is an awful lot of work involved in sick and we are rapidly running out of things to mop it up as I can't keep up all with the washing. Babies are generally quite stoic when it comes to throwing up but they have no ability to warn you and their aim is rubbish.  Plus they don't like to lie down and recover on their own, they want you to be with them at all times which can be quite problematic.

The sick started yesterday lunchtime and has kept up quite a pace since then. At first it was rather lovely, he felt so ill he couldn't be naughty, he just lay there without moving and watching tv whilst cuddling but very importantly not biting. But then the sick started and watching him all limp and devoid of evil was more heartbreaking than I thought it would be. I then started to feel nauseous in the afternoon and whilst dreading the inevitable childcare whilst being sick stage I was highly excited at the prospect of a helping hand with this week's weight loss. I decided to capitalise on it so started off by eating the kids leftovers (sausage and chips - yummmmmm) then moved on to a supper of chocolate. It was lovely, but I was slightly miserable to be awoken in the night and realise I no longer felt sick. Will never again count on a sickness bug.

Still, there has been some good news today, I managed to see a lovely doctor for Bea this morning who has refered us to a consultant dermatologist and we have an appointment next Thursday - all so quick. Not only do I feel like I have done something terribly pro-active but I am desperately relieved to know that her alopecia that has upset me so much over the last year is a) not due to stress and b) treatable although not necessarily curable. Muchos Excitingos.

As you can see I have a natural flair for languages. Roughly translated that means 'very exciting'. I'm not sure quite why but my lazy gene took against Spanish. I think it was already overloaded from English and French and Spanish was a bridge too far. To be fair to the school it was my choice of language but out of German, Russian and Italian I had been told Spanish was by far the easiest. I decided very early on not to bother learning anything and managed to stick at it quite well. By the time the mock GCSE came around I knew most of my numbers and how to say what my name was but very little else. The exam was slightly more taxing than I had hoped and when asked to write a paragraph explaining that I had entered a police station to report a lost bag I was totally thrown. In the end I wrote 'Mi losto mi handbago' (for Italian it would have been handbagio - it was a complicated system don't worry if you can't keep up). As it turns out that was not correct. I'm not sure that my highly academic girls' school had ever come across such an acute lazy gene in all their years and my Spanish teacher 'tore me a new one' - one of the many delightful phrases k has taught me over the years.

Luckily i haven't attempted to use any of my language skills for many, many years as I haven't been abroad for 5 years and I don't intend to for many more to come. I am scared of everything now and there are too many things to worry about with overseas travel. I get quite panicky when I leave SE23, especially if there are children at school who need collecting or it might impact on my night's sleep. But yet again my sister is forcing the issue as I shall be forced to attend her 30th Birthday tonight in a posh part of town which is most definitely not in the South East. I always get quite shocked that there is a world outside of SE23 and that people are going around quite oblivious to its very existence. Still, I'm sure I will enjoy it when I get there as soon as I work out what the hell I am to wear. The downside of weight loss and impoverishment is that I can't buy new clothes to celebrate but obviously the positive is that you can't buy food which makes it easier.

Once I make the difficult decision between dress or jeans I can start to ponder the more important issue of the night - should I eat a whole pizza tonight on the off chance that I spend tomorrow being sick... ?

Bon Afternoonos to allos. x
(any spelling erros today are due to a spellcheck meltdown and time constraints. Do not judge)

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Change is afoot

I have a lazy gene. I know because my mother told me and she knows everything. In fact my favourite saying of hers is 'you don't know what you don't know' which is a fabulously ridiculous way of telling me (and other similarly knowledge challenged sisters) that she knows what we don't and we won't find out until we have made the mistake we are about to make which she knows full well to be a mistake but we don't.

This lazy gene affects every aspect of my life - some quite positive - for example I am highly unlikely to ever be bothered enough to develop OCD or anorexia nervosa and I'm quite sure I couldn't be faffed with all the hassle of an affair and I am very easy going about most thing, so in many ways it's a good thing. However on the negative side it does mean I am quite good at giving up on things and if it was up to me I would spend a large proportion of my time on my arse watching tv and eating cake. This aspect makes sticking to any diet (which is obviously needed as my gene naturally gives me a predisposition to fatness) quite tricky.  But against all odds I have managed to lose 4st since the birth of the last offspring thanks to Wibblies and I am proud to say that in the next few weeks I shall no longer be technically obese, I shall finally just be fat. It is the stuff of dreams.

It is even more amazing that with this gene I have now signed up to become a Weight Watchers leader. I was already keen on the earning money aspect but as soon as the recruiter told me there was a training weekend I would HAVE to attend I lost the required weight pretty quickly and here we are, all signed up and counting down the days until 15th April. Three days and two nights, on my own. In a hotel. Who wouldn't lose weight for that?

I haven't worked in paid employment for over six and a half years. When I was pregnant with Bea I knew very well that I would never return to my job from maternity leave. For a start I worked in PR and the people I worked for took it far too seriously, but I also knew I never wanted to hand my baby over to anyone else to look after as I assumed I would be far better at looking after her than anyone else (and not to brag in case it comes back to bite me on the bum but I was bloody right). But, it's six and a half years on and I feel that I ought to have the 'something else' that new mothers keep telling me they are returning to work to benefit from. Admittedly I would only have a few meetings a week and the children will either be at school or in bed but it is most definitely a start and a dip of the toe into a world away from my children. There is however, one small fly in my ointment, which is that I'll have to lose a further 17 pounds in the next few months to get fully qualified, but I will have to do my very best to suppress my lazy gene and get on with it.

Ironically I am a rubbish weight watcher actually. I eat kids leftovers all the time, I take every party bag that the kids bring home and remove the cake telling them it's yucky so I can eat it when they are in bed, I don't count the points from food i don't want to admit to eating and sometimes I assume I will lose weight just because all the people in front of me in the queue to get weighed have had good weight losses. I think the only reason I have got this far is due to Ted's demonic gene. If it wasn't for him running around trying to kill or maim himself and others then I wouldn't have had to get up off my fat lazy gene and chase after him. Which just goes to prove that there really is a silver lining to every cloud.

Sweet dreams x

Monday, 7 March 2011

More life.

There are times in life when everything seems rather wonderful; a little snippet or scene from life that is set out before you which makes you feel that warm glow of happiness and wonderment inside and you feel sorry for anyone who isn't you at that precise moment in time (they aren't that common but they do happen). Then there are times when it is 6.30 am on a Sunday morning and you are picking up cat shit from your baby's cot half an hour after you baby vacated it after an indecently bad night's sleep. At that time I wish with such heart felt conviction that I had waited ten years to have children and I was instead, still fast asleep in my warm bed waiting for the hangover to abate, or even better, on a holiday somewhere warm and luxurious where 6.30 am seems the most ridiculous time of the morning and would only be seen on the most special of occassions. I try not to be lacrimose, it is boring for a start, and secondly as my wonderful mother has so often revelled in informing me, 'it was your choice'. It was indeed. Although as K and I delighted in the idea of a small and desperately cute little version of ourselves coming into the world, it would have been hard to foresee a time when I would feel so tired I felt it it in my bones and our cat (who to be fair, doesn't have a cat flap fitted) would be so desperate for a crap he decided to make a herculean leap into a cot and defacate once safely inside. I was at least grateful for him missing the duvet. From his poo I then moved quickly onto a full nappy change for Ted and a bottom wipe for George. Without wishing to be too obvious, it was something of a crappy morning.

Still, the day recovered, as did I. K rewarded me with a sleep whilst he took them all down for breakfast and then treated me to breakfast in bed when I did eventually wake up to the dulcit tones of Ted having yet another melt down due to excessive tiredness. He seems to have been spending his many wakeful night hours creating an antedote to Medised (the genius medicine that was released many moons ago as a decongestant and more importantly to 'aid restful sleep'). This medicine is so powerful they have in recent years, banned it for children under 6. Although obviously I take little notice of their new warnings and rightfully so - Ted fights off the medicine's effect with ease. I am at a total loss where to go from here in order to save my sanity and get those valuable chunks of sleep back into my life. Although K has inadvertently hit upon one option - last night he got so pissed off with the noise he stormed in and shouted at him to go to sleep. I think Ted was so shocked he threw himself back onto his pillow and promptly shut up and fell asleep. It seems slightly extreme but I might give it a shot.

Not to be dull but will briefly touch upon the meter saga.  Day Six and the card has still not arrived. I am actually rather enjoying the lovely engineers who come out to load up my gas. They are a total delight and very friendly. In fact as I write I am waiting for another to knock at the door. I shall quite miss them when the card turns up tomorrow. (It is coming via courier - I really do feel special.) And Ted has devised an exciting new game with the meter - slightly strangely he has fallen in love with watching the light on the meter go off. The game therefore entails finding an available adult, pushing them towards the under stairs cupboard door and grunting until it is opened and the light display turned on. He then stands stock still waiting for it to go off before repeating the process. Today he was so taken with it he ran off after I had turned it on, only to return with his thomas the tank engine cup so he could drink whilst watching. Man alive he will be beside himself when he discovers the cinema.

And lastly but not leastly, I actually went out on a Sunday night. It is highly unlike me. In fact I couldn't possibly tell you a time I last did it. But this was a very special occasion - the last of my sisters (there being five of us) and the youngest of the sisters finally got engaged last night. It is even more special as she has a big birthday today, her 30th, so it was lovely to see her so happy and full of excitement and to be part of it all.  I won't moan about getting to bed at 11pm and being woken 3 hours later by you know who and I definitely won't tell her to wait five years until she is scooping shit out of a cot at 6.30am and see how happy she is then, because I am most definitely NOT MY MOTHER.

Bon Nuit. x

Friday, 4 March 2011

Well now, let me think of all the excitement I have experienced in the last 48 hours. Tesco has arrived and provided food (more exciting than you might think as had to feed the kids some very questionable meat on Tuesday and subsequently had to put K on high alert listening out for children being sick all night). The gas card has NOT arrived so I cannot load my enjoyable new meter with money - therefore have spent many, many enjoyable hours speaking to EDF instead. The upshot is that until my card does arrive I have to ring up and get a man out to the house to load it up for me - feels slightly luxurious in an odd way - my own meter loader upper. I cannot imagine many people have such service.
Other than that life continues as per usual with playgroups, school runs and endless food preparation and keeping Ted from killing himself or others. Living with a toddler is very much like living with a strangely beguiling foreign student who only speaks a few words of English. Ted is becoming a master of sign language and grunting to indicate action is duly required on my behalf. There is also a lot of pointing and saying 'yes' when neither party is particularly sure that what has been agreed to has necessarily been understood.
Oooh but the biggest excitement of all is that I finally had 6 hours of pure and uninterrupted sleep last night - I cannot remember the last time that happened.  Thanks to the genius that is Medised Ted managed to make it to 4.30am without bothering me and after a second dose I wasn't bothered again til 7. A minor miracle.
I have given a very 'healthy' dose again tonight so my fingers are crossed....although how I shall sleep with all the excitement I've had I shall never know. x

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

It is never a good sign when two burly men are standing at the front door. It wasn't great timing as I was trying to bake banana cake with George and he was in the middle of mashing. Turns out they weren't here to deliver flowers or inform me of a long lost relative who had died leaving hundreds of thousands to me and my sisters (my secret and dearest wish), they had in fact arrived to tell me that our gas bill was beyond repair. I did try, but a direct debit and the few pounds I had left were not going to cut it. Still, it is amazing how bad fear makes things that aren't that bad. As the lovely lady on the other end of the phone kept reassuring me, I may even come to prefer it. And, thanks to still being tired and emotional  from the pneumonia, I was able to cry proficiently and she agreed to make us pay back the most minimal of payments which means that Ted will be in reception by the time it is paid off. Hoorah! The EDF lady was right though - it has given me a great new game - I can now track how much each activity costs. Cooking supper - 7p. FUN! Have the heat on this evening so cannot wait to see how much it is costing to keep me warm.
I am taking the day out on food. I am eating anything that stands still long enough. It is so ridiculously stupid as the food is not suffering at all at my melancholy, but I will next week at bloody weigh in. I went today to wibblies (my sister's delightful nickname for Weight Watchers - shortened by me from wibbly wobblies which describes the people who attend) and I only lost a sodding pound after all the unsightly sweating and non eating of the first week of the illness. I blame my mother for taking care of me so well in the second week and feeding me up. I will have to perk up tomorrow and take it out on something less damaging - I am 19 pounds from goal and need to hurry the hell up.
The good news of the day is that I have delightful children - it is official. Both their teachers concur with my humble opinion. Even Damian was good at Wibblies, which in itself constitutes a miracle, (my mother has recently renamed him Damian due to his excessively bad behaviour). Oooh and George has drawn a picture. I have waited 4 years and 4 months but I finally have a totally self-drawn picture on the fridge. I was beginning to think he may be a bit 'special' as even Ted can hold a pen but all fears now allayed.
It is late and I am tired. I will have to wake K so I can get into bed. He fell into it post story telling at 7 and I wanted the remote to myself so I have been deliberately quiet, put the heating on and left him to it. Grey's Anatomy, Bones and Four Weddings US are far better without commentary. Even managed to finally order Bea's Beavers uniform 3 weeks after I promised I would. Although in my haste and lack of caring about the task in hand I managed to misunderstand the form and filled in the business part of it too so the package is being sent with my occupation on it too, Alicia, Housewife, Address. It is embarrassing to think people involved in the handling of said package will think I am so proud of my profession I insist on adding it to my address. Actually that reminds me that K once dealt with an idiot who insisted on solicitors using his Dr title in all legal documents concerning the sale of his flat - particularly bizarre as it was a Doctorate not a PHD and his flat could have been sold perfectly well without the prefix. I am sad to think I may now fall into that category of loser.
Goodnight. x

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


So I have a blog. I have thus far been extremely sceptical of anywhere that is so similar to the word blob which, coming from my all girls' school background, is a euphemism for one's monthly cycle and therefore being 'on the blog' takes on a whole new meaning in my mind. Still, I have clearly overcome my teenage silliness and here I am. Now I'm here I realise it is in fact just putting words onto a computer screen and I can't believe I have remained so sceptical for so long.
However, I'm not sure where the hell to begin. I might just launch in with today. Average on a scale of 1 to insane. I am still getting used to and getting back into normal life after the last two weeks of pneumonia hell. I have three children - not in a smug 'I am so fertile and amazing way' you understand, just factually I am responsible for a girl and two boys aged 6,4 and 18 months respectively, so any type of illness is hideously irritating and a long and painful one is particularly irksome. Today was day two of being back at the helm. Managed to shout less and be slightly nicer to the children. And I'm not in bed yet and it's 20 past 9 so I'm doing better than expected. The major low of today was realising husband has £7 left from his monthly pay which plopped into his account yesterday. So, that is just the four weeks left til next payday and five people to feed within it..... Still, Onwards and upwards. X