Thursday, 26 May 2011

Muchos Excitingos

I write this from my death bed. I have a severe cold and sore throat which is probably terminal. However I felt I had to write about the most ridiculously exciting events from today.

Bank Balance: £1.88 (V. Bad)

Gas Meter: £0.00 and no emergency credit (V. Bad)

WW propoints: 13 (out of possible 29 VVVV good)

Number of employed adults in the household: 2!!!!!

Oh yes people, two whole employed adults in our little impoverished household. This has not been the case since August 2004. But today, I passed my final assessment and am now officially a Weight Watchers leader. It sounds a bit lame to the uninitiated but to me it is the end of a very long process and therefore is hugely important. I did obviously manage to stuff it up as I only I can. It is hard to explain to anyone not involved with wibblies but basically I spent a long time talking about something I had fundamentally wrong which is a very basic fact most new members would know and I, being the supposed expert, should have known. It was a shame the Area Manager (from now on known as 'my boss') was the one who had to tell me afterwards. It made me look particularly stupid. Still, she passed me anyway and now I am part of a company, with a boss and a salary (soon-ish) and a discount at Fitness First (useless to me). However that is not the most exciting part of my day. Hold your breath.......

I lost another 2.5 pounds this week and.............................................................. I am NO LONGER OBESE! According to the NHS website calculator my BMI now begins with a 2 and ends in a 9 so for all future medical purposes I am simply overweight. I have dreamt of this moment for many years. I don't know how much I weighed at my wedding but I'm pretty sure I wasn't technically obese then, but I have most definitely been ever since the honeymoon outbound in flight meals, the McDonalds I had at the stopover in Dubai and then all the thousands of calories I ingested whilst we sat on our arses for two weeks in the Maldives. (K did not gain weight annoyingly - as we couldn't both afford to eat lunch he very gallantly said that I could and he also didn't seem to understand 'stocking' up on the 'free' buffet breakfast included in the deal or indeed the beauty of sampling all six desserts on offer at the beach BBQ to achieve maximum value for money - FOOL). So, it has been over eight years since I can boast of being merely overweight. The NHS website didn't quite share my enthusiasm though, through my tears of excitement I read 'You are overweight which increases the risk of becoming ill with problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer'. Way to piss on my parade. 

Is there any serious illness they won't attribute to  being overweight/obese? Why can't they just say - bum, you are overweight/obese and therefore people assume you are lazy and greedy and it's hard to buy nice clothes/look good in a bikini?  But no, they have to spend millions of pounds on research to find out that you're going to get cancer, you're going to have a heart attack/stroke, dementia, diabetes, dvt, depression, in fact anything you can bloody think of, they have attributed to weight. I say enough. I say spend your money researching more interesting and useful things like curing a cold and a very sore throat. No one aspires to be overweight so it's unlikely all their dire warnings are going to make people think 'perhaps this year I won't put on three stone'. Idiots. I should run this country. I would be amazingly good at it and let's face it, people would be happier.

I shall go, I am a very importantly employed and non-obese person so I have many important and merely overweight things to do. I also have a duty to spend the rest of my life in very good health so the ridiculous anti-fat Nazis can't attribute any of my serious illnesses to my overweight status and bolster their fanciful research. I will have to increase my ketchup intake. 

Untilus weus meetus againus. (Latin - if you need a translation let me know)

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

More of the new era

For some reason as yet unknown, half of yesterday's post went missing when I published it so I am back to fill you in on what you missed out on. It was utterly scintillating obviously so I would hate to deprive you. I can't remember what I wrote verbatim but I will summarise:

I know you will all have worried about the September spelling issue. Bright and early on Monday morning I produced the spelling test and queried the teacher on what exactly was wrong with 'September'. She was both apologetic and accusatory. On the one hand she was so sorry as there was obviously nothing wrong with it and on the other she was quite convinced that when she gave the marked test back for the children to draw pictures on, Bea must have corrected hers. It was slightly uncomfortable as we both apologised to each other for a few minutes before agreeing on nothing and departing. I fear I may have come across as a pushy mother which is horrid as I am very much not that type. Not that I think there is anything wrong with helping your child achieve their academic best, it's just that I am more of a coasting type of parent. I am under no illusion that my children are anything but average and I am most happy for them to coast along academically somewhere comfortably in the middle. Anyway, that afternoon I asked Bea if she thought that maybe she had corrected it (something she previously denied) and after a few moments thought, she agreed that that is exactly what had happened. I felt particularly foolish. Although not as mortified as I did later on, when she breezily informed me that she had told the teacher who runs the school choir that I had forbidden her from taking part in singing Mary Mary's 'Shackles' as I deemed it inappropriate. I was mortified. What had actually happened was that she had brought the lyrics home to learn and I had laughed and wondered (to myself, I thought) how appropriate it was for an infant choir as there is quite a lot of slang and lost consonants in the song which might confuse small people. I can only imagine the teacher's thoughts when Bea made this ridiculous announcement.  I must now make a huge effort to appear as a very laid back lefty loving gospel singing mum over the next half term. I would hate to be known in the staffroom as the pushy prude mum.

Back to today. I am full of nervous energy over my big final meeting tomorrow. I can think of little else which is why I am doing this to take my mind off it (my notes and all prep are all ready to go - provided no child is hideously ill or my childcare for tomorrow falls through, it should all go well). K's job is going well as far as I know. He is being monosyllabic for the most part so it's difficult to tell. The good news is that he will no longer be working Saturdays! I cannot tell you how utterly thrilling and life changing that news is. The most we have ever had before is him working every other Saturday which seemed quite indulgent but now to have every single weekend with K is beyond my wildest dreams. I know there must be many out there who have suffered similarly but Saturdays are incredibly lonely when you are on your own. It seems as if the rest of the world are cosying up as families or doing exciting day trips when I am muddling through, taking and getting Bea from ballet and whatever party she has on and then cramming in a park trip before watching the clock from 5 o' clock onwards waiting for the front door to open so I can escape/go to bed/handover. Now the weekends will be ours! I shall make sure we go to the park as a family and flaunt our new found weekend familyness in front of everyone.

I better go. I can't focus. I'm too nervous. I'll have a bath and try and sleep. Wish me luck x

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

New era

Hello people of the new era. We are 48 hours in and it turns out that being a single parent again is jolly hard work. I had become far too used to being able to run out of the house at a moment's notice, organise things without worrying about childcare and far too reliant on yelling 'k' when things got tricky with the children. I had also forgotten how much forward planning is needed when you are alone. My first day back on the job, I  was cooking sausages for the children's supper and to my horror, I realised we had no ketchup. My children have not been raised particularly well and therefore there are very few foods they will eat without the red stuff to enhance the taste. G once even insisted on having it with his sliced apple. That grossed me out and I am a huge ketchup fan. I am not ashamed of it though - it is for health reasons. As a former smoker for many years I am medically in need of the anti-lung cancer lycopene which ketchup contains (look it up but I totally believe it). Anyway, sausages cooking and extra child picked up, I was left with my three, no ketchup and no helpful neighbours to borrow ketchup from. So, I did the unthinkable. I put Ted in the buggy and left the others in two different rooms in front of two different telly programmes, and ran up to the shop at the end of our very short road. I had briefed Bea not to move from her chair and hadn't bothered telling G anything. I was out of the house for about four minutes and when I got home Bea was shocked as she assumed I hadn't yet left and G hadn't noticed anything at all. I did feel huge guilt, naturally, and it didn't help that Bea's eyes widened considerably when she asked if the police would take me to prison if they ever found out what I'd done, but quite frankly I have spent longer away from them whilst having a shower upstairs without consequence. I knew that my absence from the house wouldn't cause them to spontaneously combust or anything ludicrous but I did worry an opportunist child snatcher who might have been monitoring our house for weeks could have used my absence to swoop in and get them to answer the door by offering them sweets or something, so I did feel relieved to find them both exactly where they were when I left. It was risky but there is no need to ring the NSPCC, I shan't be doing it again. I will get back into the swing of things again soon and make sure I have ketchup in stock at all times. I should have learnt my lesson on the ketchup front last year when, in a similar situation, I sent Bea over the road to ask our 90yr old neighbour to borrow his bottle, but as he opened the door to her, he fell over and couldn't get up again so poor Bea was stuck at the front door slightly ajar with a very tall and very old man stuck behind it. Luckily I came to our door to see what was taking so long and we quickly swapped places. More luckily, the relatively sprightly 80yr old neighbours to the 90yr old arrived home and took over the situation so that I could go back to the children around the table refusing to eat. After a few minutes of shutting the front door, the unfazed 80yr old knocked on our door very concerned that her 'babies' weren't eating and proffered a napkin, inside which were about twenty sachets of ketchup collected by her over the years from various pubs. We were terribly grateful at the time and quickly ripped off the pesky corners and squeezed them on to plates, but as I was throwing the sachets away I noticed that some of them had expiry dates which caused alarm. Most of them were at their best many years before Bea was conceived. Still, they didn't appear to cause any harm and the 90yr old got back up and drank his tea. All's well that ends well.

Oh God it's 10 o'clock already. I haven't even got to the point I wanted to make. I shall have to try and remember it for another time. It won't be tomorrow night as I'll be busy writing the final talk for my Weight Watchers training (I can no longer refer to it as wibblies as I used the term in front of my trainer and almost in front of a group last thursday). It will no doubt be Thursday when I shall write to you as an official WW leader. I'm not sure I shall be excited so much as bloody relieved the whole process is over.  Roll on Thursday night and a bottle of wine.

See you there. x

Friday, 20 May 2011

End of an era

Well folks, today was a sad/happy oxymoron kind of day as it was the last official day of work for the manny. As of 0900 hrs on Monday morning he will return to the world of official work and I shall once again be in charge of up to four children a day (I take in an extra one in the afternoon during term time). Obviously we are thrilled to have an income source but the children will miss him terribly and I am slightly scared of doing it all on my own and not having 'on tap' childcare. I made the most of my last day though, I left the boys at home and spent three hours in the Big Shop spending my entire monthly bills budget on the contents of my trolley. I got ever so slightly carried away with the idea of K being employed again and bought enough food to feed the five thousand (plus a few things from the clothing department). The checkout lady looked relieved when she reached the pinata stick I had bought for a friend and said 'ohhh you're having a party, now I understand'. I did correct her but she said it again towards the end, 'I know you're having a party'. She clearly thought I was trying to conceal a party from her. I'm not sure why, as it is highly unlikely I would ever invite a checkout assistant to any party I might have, merely as a thank you for processing my shopping so I would be more than happy to have told her the truth if I were having one. Worryingly, I put at least £30 of stuff back. It boggles my mind how the total came to twice as much as my usual shop. In fairness to me, the freezer, fridge and cupboards are now full to bursting and I have a rather special pair of cream wedges and three pairs of firm control Bridget Jones pants which will double the number of clothes I can wear, therefore saving us money. It is a difficult kind of logic but do try and keep up.

That is not the most exciting part of the day though - there are two major excitements to report. 1. Way back in October, I spent the day eating and drinking champagne at a party for a friend and on the walk home I managed to lose my purse somewhere between the friend's house, school run, another friend's house and our house. I spent many days making people search under their sofas and K under the seats of his car and all over the house. In turn, I spent many fruitless hours searching under our sofas and in the buggy and bags etc. After five days I declared it officially lost and moved on slightly sadder. Obviously being me, there was no money in it and the only thing of value it held was my driving licence and my boots points card, but the purse itself was valuable as it was a third anniversary present from K and that particular April we happened to have some money so to celebrate the 'leather' anniversary he had splashed out on a Mulberry one. My elder sister stepped in for my Bday in November and gave me her old mulberry purse and life continued as before. That was until today - in a rash moment I started emptying the pit of crap which is our under stairs cupboard where I happened upon our broken hoover and my old buggy bag. I thought the bag might be worth something on ebay so I began emptying it - baby socks, a contact lens and then something harder, concealed somehow in the plastic lining. YES, it was the very Mulberry wallet I had lost seven months ago. That kind of excitement has not been witnessed within these four walls for many, many years. (Since we got a mortgage with a high street lender actually. THAT was ridiculously exciting for us as we are terribly un-credit worthy. Hilariously enough the banking crash followed shortly after and people with adverse credit were particularly vilified so we kept our heads firmly down and tutted and murmured along with the rest of the chattering middle classes). 2. More excitement followed with K ringing me at the checkout to let me listen to the sweet, sweet sound of a working hoover. He had come over all manly and taken the back panel off our broken one, found the loose wire and fixed it. Amazing. I rushed immediately to the lottery counter and bought two tickets for tonight and two for tomorrow. I feel quite sure we will be millionaires in the next 24 hours. We are on a roll.

Bea is not. Her teacher has mis-marked her spelling test. I am outraged at the injustice. They marked her spelling of September as wrong. I am at a loss as to why as all the letters are formed correctly and were carefully placed in the proper order. I have looked and re-looked but can't find a problem. If I ever work out how, I may even upload a photo of it to prove the point. Anyhoo, I have put the test back in her book bag already so that I can return on Monday morning and thrust the offending test in the teacher's face and demand a re-mark. Thankfully Bea came out much better off from my Sainsbury's shop than anyone else as the Barbie DVDs were buy one get one free and she isn't as worried about spelling test injustices as I am so she actually didn't care at all. We also decided to mark the last day of the Manny by treating everyone to a Mr Whippy ice cream on the way home and I decided to do a stint as a 'perfect mother/childminder' so they all made strawberry tarts with squirty cream when we got home. It was chaos but definitely worth it. I had totally forgotten the excitement of discovering squirty cream when I was young. It is incredibly fun. Ted is a huge fan. I also made spaghetti and meatballs for tea which I have never made before. I'm not sure why as it is incredibly simple. Suffice to say I am now relaxing, feeling smug and self satisfied at my wondrous self. And K is in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove on my supper. And Ted is asleep in his new,very cute Gruffalo pyjamas. Things are good again.

I fear the bubbles in my drink have gone straight to my head. I think I should stop. I was planning a Manny evaluation/reference but I don't think I can manage it. I'm not sure much of this makes sense already. I am a total lightweight. I shall just quickly say that from here on in the character formerly known as 'Manny' will now be referred to as simply, 'K'. It is the end of an era. We shall miss him.

See you in the new era. Sob. Smile. Sob. xxx Smile.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Happy Mondays

Yippppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! K has officially tendered his resignation as Manny. His last day is yet to be decided as the package for his new job doesn't come in until tomorrow but, after an afternoon's 'trial' in the office today they sealed the deal with a lot of drinks in the local wine bar (the children were full of admiration for 'fun' daddy upon his arrival home at bedtime and I walked down the stairs to peels of laughter having left him in charge). Anyway, we should finally know everything tomorrow.

I don't know much about what went on except that The Employers like to holiday in Southwold, Suffolk which is our main holiday destination and one I have been frequenting since I was knee high to a grasshopper. That went down well with them. (Not my childhood holidays, the fact that K knew and frequented such a place). I don't know an awful lot about anything else as K has spent most of the evening chatting to his Exceptionally Friendly recruitment consultant on the phone. They are now friends on facebook and yes, I have done some facebook spying and checked out her photo and yes, she is very thin with good sized boobs. I fear this is totally inappropriate and have let K know my feelings on the subject. He heartily disagrees. He would. Anyway, I mustn't focus on the negatives, like my mother, and so instead I shall celebrate the positives. Clever K has got a good job within ten minutes of home where the houses are all worth millions. (I was wrong in my last post - I woefully undervalued Dulwich property. KER-CHING.)

Now that that's dealt with we can move on. Enough about him and on to the main event. ME. So, I have had a fabulously great morning with the old biddies of Beckenham again. I am officially in love with that Wibblies meeting (I was there last Monday for those who can't keep up - where I took the meeting and was generally ace.) There is something ridiculously soothing about old ladies yabbering away. I have no idea why I find it so, but their calm and unhurried nature makes me feel peaceful. They are never rushed, they are very rarely stressed, they seem to have all the time in the world to chat and most of the ladies I spoke to today had a very sunny disposition (I have most definitely encountered old biddies who do not but they are mercifully few and far between). These qualities rub off on me and bring about a sense of calm and well being that I don't find anywhere else and so it is that I find myself pining for the old ladies of Beckenham and wondering when I can get there again. My next scheduled meeting is in Charlton - a VERY different kettle of fish. I don't want to be rude so I won't say anything at all.

One of the conversations I had with Bernie (the lady with whom I was carrying out the admin part of my training) was about the alarming drop in education levels exhibited by the 'youth' of today. On Sunday, K and I took the children to a new play park which they totally loved. After five minutes G announced, 'This place is totally Wocking' (he still can't say 'r' properly which I love - especially when he tells me he wants to go in my room. Get it?) Anyway, I went to purchase some snacks from the obligatory over-priced coffee kiosk where the pretty woman/girl (indeterminate age - I have reached an age where I can no longer tell the age of people unless they are obviously 'young' or 'old'. If you are under 12 or over 50 I am on pretty safe ground. In between those ages are ridiculously confusing to me) in charge of sales failed to add up £1.20 and 75p. She attempted to accomplish this tricky feat three times on her trusty calculator before deciding that she would just 'trust me' and my protestations that it was a simple sum and the total was rather obviously £1.95. I replied that she didn't need to trust me, she could just look at the two numbers and realise I needed 5p change from the £2 I had proffered. She said that she was actually good at maths, having achieved an A for it. I was so shocked I couldn't bring myself to ask whether it was GCSE or A Level and walked away with my 5p. So Bernie and I had a great chinwag about the appalling level of education in this country and I now truly believe my calling in life is to be an old lady. I am going to totally 'wock' being old. I already love knitting, Weight Watchers, chatting, eating, watching TV, tutting and complaining about the youth of today. What else is there to learn?

That's if I make old bones (not sure if that is a common phrase or a Suffolk thing, but clearly it means to get old) - I will just have to keep my fingers crossed on that one. I am, however, relieved to discover that other people have the same severe hypochondria I suffer from. Last week a woman I weighed in assumed she was also harbouring some life-threateningly-sized tumour which was stalling her weight loss. It is nice to know I am not the only one. Although I'm pretty sure that along with Bea's alopecia, my imagined version of the more serious disease, Alopecia Totalis, has also disappeared. Phew. And I've now downgraded my stomach tumour - I don't know if I've mentioned it before but now I'm definitely sure - I am instead having a secret pregnancy. There is no other reasonable explanation for the persistently large size of my stomach. I even think I can feel the phantom baby kicking. One day soon I shall feel ill, go to the loo and emerge with a baby. Of course the more reasonable side of my brain acknowledges the fact that I have an almost 100% effective birth control contraption in place so the chances are infinitesimally small but I cannot understand why else my tummy would remain so petulantly enlarged when the rest of me is shrinking. I'm looking forward to it actually - I can emerge victorious from the bathroom a lot thinner than when I went in and with a baby I haven't planned and therefore cannot be told off for having, in my arms. Exciting! (I am totally the old woman who lived in a shoe - I would carry on having babies until my uterus fell out - but luckily I also like buying things which means I'll have to stop way before that happens.)

K has now fallen asleep on the sofa as the side effects of the alcohol have worn off. I'm slightly concerned by the drinking culture already established by The Employer. We are not big drinkers and I am incredibly cross with K for getting in a car after a few glasses of wine. I think a considerable portion of our future income will be spent on taxis between here and Dulwich. Anyhoo, that is not something I shall worry about now. Instead I can dig out all the catalogues I have hidden away and start creating a considerably sized list of all the things I want. (Worryingly my underwear catalogue is in the playroom as G has taken a keen interest in its content. I found him sitting on the loo looking at it. He is 4 - is this normal?) Anyway, I shall start the list with an ipad 2 and work down from there. All of the scary red bills can be shoved under the sofa and forgotten until my happiness levels are back up to normal. At least if I have an ipad 2 I will have something to offer the bailiffs when they arrive.

I have to go, all the excitement has exhausted me. I need a hot bath and to go to sleep. It's not long before I'm an old lady and I'll naturally wake up at 6 and I need to get my sleep in now.

Excited night time tidings peeps. x

Friday, 13 May 2011

Semi glad tidings

Stupid website was down all evening so I couldn’t publish my post.  I know you must have been desperately disappointed by that. If you haven’t read yesterday’s yet, read that first or this might not make sense (my ramblings are ridiculously complicated to comprehend if read out of order, natch).  On the plus side you now get a two for one deal. Lucky, Lucky You.

I am reverting to my Bridget Jones prologue once more for dramatic effect (mental drum roll if you please):

Bank Balance: £-27.50 (no overdraft agreed so factor in charges and no child benefit until Tues eeeek )

WW points: 22 (out of 29 daily allowance)

Gas Meter : 3.29 Emergency Credit (Thank the lord once more for the emergency credit system)

Number of Employed Adults in the Household: Almost 1.5!!!

I know! I couldn’t wait to share the good news with you all. I know there must have been many tens of you losing sleep over the future financial security of my little patch of heaven in SE23. SO, turns out the horrid couple (henceforth known as The Employers) have informed the recruitment consultant that the other bloke who was up against K for the job has definitely NOT got it and that they would like to go ahead with hiring K – HOWEVER – they are not confirming anything until Monday. (See they are a little horrid to keep me on such tenterhooks).  But with any luck a package for the Branch Manager of the Dulwich Village agency will be sorted on Monday and we can FINALLY crack open the very, very chilled bottle of sparkling I have kept in the fridge for weeks (I fear I should actually use months it has been so many weeks) on end.

Of course I have definitely helped in the whole thing. My years of correcting K when he drops any number of consonants from a word and general helpful hints over pronunciation and correct meanings of the incorrect words he uses, must have helped no end.  Not to mention our little ‘sting’ operation we carried out after the first interview. Once we knew K was going back for a second interview he rang up and asked for some additional information and glossy brochures and then said his wife was having lunch in the area and would pop in to pick them up. I was clearly not lunching in Dulwich Village (it being expensive and the women in Dulwich Village most definitely not being my cup of tea), but it set us up for the ruse.  You see the male of the couple is a raving snob and made it clear from the outset that he viewed K with a little disdain. He mentioned he was concerned that K would struggle with the more ‘discerning’ Dulwich clientele and wondered how he would ‘cope’ with the high prices of the property for sale (for those who have no idea about Dulwich Village – I refer to it as the Hampstead of south London.  It is, as it sounds, a most wonderfully pretty village type of place with expensive shops and eateries and where houses surrounding the considerable park will go for nearly a million – and those are the family sized ones – larger more substantial properties on the main strip will go for easily double that and the inhabitants are ridiculously elitist due to this and the three very expensive and ridiculously elitist private schools that surround the village). So we fought fire with fire; enter stage left the blonde, well spoken, privately educated and vaguely attractive wife. I waltzed in wearing my prettiest dress, most expensive handbag and used my best attempt at perfect received pronunciation and washed it all down with a side order of elitist arrogance and upon his enquiry over my well being and whether he could be of any assistance to me, I revealed myself as K’s wife. I think it worked a treat – along with K’s undoubtedly excellent interview skills. All in all we are quite proud of ourselves.  Although naturally I shall spend the weekend fretting just in case they change their mind or something disastrous. It is amazing what I am prepared for K to put up with on a daily basis in order for us to earn some hard cash. Yesterday’s fear for his mental wellbeing whilst working for these supercilious sods has totally dissipated with the thought of a pay check in a few weeks. Love only goes so far. The Beatles had that very wrong.

Not that the website is currently working, but if it were, you would know that I am writing this in the afternoon! A very rare thing on a weekday. That is because the Manny is almost officially on notice so is trying to prove himself invaluable. I am going along with that ruse too. I left the house at ten to nine this morning and returned over three hours later to discover he had managed to clean most of the kitchen. The rest of the house remained untouched. It is particularly amusing as he has often declared past cleaners to be ‘taking the piss’ for the amount of work they achieve in their allotted three hours. I have derived a huge amount of satisfaction that he has only managed half a kitchen in that time and not the whole house as a ‘professional’ would.  His defence is that he ‘had’ to spend a lot of time talking to the recruitment consultant (a person with whom he has become far too familiar with in my opinion – I am beginning to feel decidedly hostile towards their very friendly conversations at all hours of the day and night. She never appears to go home?) Anyway, any cleaning is a bonus and more than I had intended to do. He is tidying around me feet as I type. Most enjoyable.

Oooh the half person – that is of course me. I am so tantalisingly close to being employed I have included it as a statistic. I am almost 99.9% sure I will get a contract to sign in ten days’ time. Unless of course I manage do something ridiculously wrong in front of the area manager. That is always a possibility. Hence the 0.01%.

Right I must get off and check the blog is back on line; it isn’t. This is ridiculous. Well, by the time you get to read this there may well be a week’s worth to catch up on. You never know WHAT might happen in that time.  I shall carry on writing regardless. Never fear.  As if you would.

Back in a while mis amigos. Xxx

(The website is back. Less than 24 hours after I noticed it wasn’t working. I may have over reacted slightly.)

Quick catch up

Howdy partner. I'm starting late tonight so I can't stay long. K went for a half an hour lie down two hours ago so I've been catching up on my American dramas. I am still slightly traumatised from Grey's Anatomy but I'll push on through and try not to get overly emotional on you.

I feel I need to catch up with everything. So to get you up to speed I am doing a summary post.


Bea's hair has grown back which has made me so incredibly happy it is unbelievable. She was suffering from alopecia areata which meant she had unsightly bald patches around her ears, at the nape of her neck and on her crown. The hair has grown back everywhere but most importantly on the top of her head so no one else can see. Big whoop for steroid lotion. G is now able to walk into nursery and say goodbye to me without screaming and kicking the place down so massive progress on his part, the only down side is his insistence on it being his birthday soon. It is still six months away so I am finding the daily questions and tearful realisation that it is not his birthday quite exhausting. Ted is still the devil incarnate with a side serving of angel. He looks like 'butter wouldn't melt' and has a beautiful smile but he has a heart full of darkness. On Tuesday he was being so hideous at playgroup a woman removed her child from next to him in front of me.


Still being a manny although he is desperately trying to leave. He had a second interview today which we will find out about tomorrow, although oddly enough we are worried about him getting it as well as not getting it. The couple that own the estate agency in question are snooty and by all accounts, mean. I'm not happy about him working for horrid people but we are not in a position to be choosy so should we get an offer tomorrow it will be good and bad news.


I have lost more weight this week (thank goodness) so am well on my way to goal - only ten pounds left to go. Phew. For my leader training I have one more practise meeting to go and then my final assessment on 25th May when I shall finally be employed (if I pass but I'm pretty sure that's a given without being too big headed). Oddly enough I feel fatter than I did when I was fatter. I was in quite huge denial about my size pre-wibblies. People keep saying I'm unrecognisable which is so odd to me because I think I now look exactly how I thought I looked before I lost the weight, it's just people couldn't see it. I was walking around thinking I was four and half stone lighter than I was so it was quite confusing to me. I couldn't understand why all the size 24 clothes were fitting me - I was convinced the factory workers in China had mixed up their pattern cutters. I would hold the clothes up and laugh at how big they were and then be utterly mystified as to why they were fitting so well. When I saw pictures of myself I blamed camera angles or unflattering clothing and bad lighting. Even when I eventually weighed in at wibblies I managed to see a different weight on the scales than was actually there. When I got home and saw the weight written in my card I rang my sister and laughed with her about how funny it was that the leader had written my weight down incorrectly. I thought how amusing it would be when I went back and I'd instantly lost a stone. But obviously it turns out she had in fact written it down absolutely correctly and although I'd lost 5.5 pounds, I felt crushed. In my mind I'd put on a stone. Also I was rather concerned by my mind's ability to trick me. It is so odd what you can convince yourself of. However now I actually see my size and my weight correctly I am ridiculously self critical and full of self loathing, hence feeling fatter now than before. Although on the plus side there are now far more photos of me that I like and clothes in a far more socially acceptable size now fit - so I do see the benefits of all this effort.

Apart from that I am very blue about the hideous lack of money. I constantly have the Simply Red ‘Money's too tight to mention’ song playing along in the background of my thoughts -. it's now become very annoying. All efforts to win the lottery have proved unsuccessful and although I should be employed in a few weeks I won’t see any income from that employment for a little while. I don't want to harp on but I am feeling ridiculously sorry for myself. And to add insult to injury the hoover has packed up and having originally found the receipt which acts as guarantee and attempting to ring the manufacturers, I have now managed to lose the receipt without sorting a repair so I am left with a broken hoover I can do nothing about. Oh and my GHD straighteners have also bitten the dust. I realise there are people in the world who have suffered more and I should be grateful for our health and the roof over our head but gratefulness doesn't pay Tesco to bring us food.

 And there is always Saturday’s lottery draw to momentarily brighten my outlook. You NEVER know. It would help if you all bought a ticket too and offered to share the winnings. It’s just a thought.

Anyway you are now all caught up. Apologies to those who were not in need of a catch up. I shall revert to normal service from tomorrow.

Seeya. x

Monday, 9 May 2011

Freud and Will

Well the tinned apricoty wibbly sausage concoction was most definitely a pleasant surprise. A little over cooked but very edible nonetheless. The manny has definitely shown excellent career progression over the last few months and not just with the cooking - he even ventured upstairs to carry out housework duties. Although I think he and I would definitely appreciate him handing in his notice here and leaving the homestead for the world of work. Still, there is always tomorrow and one must keep one's upper lip stiff.

On the plus side, my career progression is going from strength to strength after a very pleasing training meeting I ran this morning. Normally I am quite self deprecating and yet even I must say that I totally rocked my wibblies meeting today. (As an hilarious aside I originally wrote self-defecating  - mercifully I mis -spelt it so spell check picked it up - I'm not sure what Freud would make of that; I'm pretty sure nothing as it hardly displays some secret recess of my subconscious but more that I am tired, watching Glee and my left eye appears to be allergic to something as it has swollen terribly so that it is not only obscuring my vision but annoying me sufficiently to hamper my brain function.)  Luckily I didn't say I was self defecating although I did refer to it as wibblies to my trainer which was a mistake. But all in all she said I was fabulous and I came home jubilant and with a strange feeling I haven't felt in a jolly long time. As much as the children are totally splendiforous, they never evaluate my work at the end of a day with helpful, constructive and impartial praise or criticism, and it was ridiculously satisfying to finally be confirmed as being good at something. It's official - I am good at something. I think it is quite possible that I have self esteem issues (Freud would have something to say about that and he would most DEFINITELY point his finger at my mother and then as a secondary factor my over achieving school). Anyway, my self esteem is boosted sufficiently - although I must keep it in check lest I become big headed which would be mortifying.

As for Ted - he hasn't been as perfect as he was that one rare day, although he has had outbreaks of good behaviour amongst the outrageously bad.  On Sunday he ran in the house when we got back from the park and slammed the door behind him. I was on the outside without George and Ted was jubilantly inside running amok with the house keys. Thank the Lord for the lovely elderly neighbours who were in for once and who hold on to our spare keys. I managed to get in before he did anything too worrying. Little did he know I had a back up plan if the neighbours weren't in - I was planning to send G through the living room window which was slightly ajar and get him to open the door. I am always one step ahead of Ted. Mwoah ha ha (evil laugh). Also I have changed his nickname from Damian to Double (From the Macbeth witches - double, double, toil and trouble.)

I can't stay, Glee is too good so you'll have to amuse yourselves. At least I spell checked it myself this time - and luckily so. Until we three meet again.... x

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Foul play

Bonjour! Phew, what a day. Parenting highs and lows. Tried to get Bea to eat a kiwi this morning. She refused without trying it, so being the genius I am, I asked her how she would feel if someone said they hated Hannah Montana without having watched an episode first. She said quite simply that she would say they were silly and then she took a moment, lent back in her chair and said "and I'd say they were a stupid bitch". NICE. Was obviously deeply proud. I took K to one side and advised him to watch his language in the car as he has serious road rage issues. I also took myself to one side and advised me to have all phone conversations in private. My language has also caused Ted to learn the word 'bum'. He is excellent at saying bum now, having delighted in practising it over and over and over again to our elderly neighbours. And finally as I was getting five children out the door for a 'fun' trip to the park this afternoon, I was being a little narky doing up yet another shoe before departure, when I grabbed my phone from George and realised he had taken a picture of me doing up the shoe narkily and was about to text it to a friend with the word 'Ogre' at the top of it. I managed to grab it just before he hit send. How he managed all of that is a total mystery as he isn't the most advanced four year old in the world, in fact quite the reverse - just goes to prove how easy an iphone is to work.

Onwards from my disappointing parenting as there is good news! I am not a medical marvel, I have in fact lost weight!! Huzaahhhhhhh. Three and a half pounds to be boastfully precise. Feel like a weight loss heroine. Went to yet another meeting today to be all leadery and official and managed to sit in the wrong hall for half an hour wondering where the hell everyone was and why it was all set up for an old biddies luncheon - complete with plastic blue and red check tablecloths. I rang the leader to start with who said she was stuck in traffic, so I sat and waited some more. Then I was quite terse to the creepy looking caretaker who asked if I had come in to vote (I hadn't, the polling station in the foyer was very clearly sign posted and I am not illiterate) but it turns out he was just wondering what the heck a dolled up 30yr old in wedge heels was doing waiting next to the tea and coffee station of an old biddies luncheon. With ten minutes to go before the meeting started, he walked in with another old man, I asked if the wibblies meeting was in this hall and he looked relieved, laughed and informed me that no, it was in fact down the stairs, turn right and in the hall in the building next door. Realised that actually he wasn't at all creepy he was just intrigued as to why I was so self assuredly sitting in the wrong hall. Didn't have time for embarrassment as I legged it out uttering profuse thank yous. I found the correct venue, weighed in about a million people to the sounds of the leader uttering 'appy dayyys' to those pleased with their weigh in results and 'babe' every other word. HATEFUL. Then I did the talk which went ok, one woman even said I inspired her. My heroine feeling was boosted further.

Came home to a peaceful home and K feeling smug at coping admirably with the five children I had entrusted to his care (two extras as school shut for polling day). He even offered to cook me a wibblies supper. I produced a recipe and he went to Tesco to procure ingredients. It turns out his education is lacking somewhat as he couldn't find any apricots and got the female assistants in Tesco to help him as he thought apricot was another word for peach. They were greatly amused when he produced the wibblies recipe and then informed him that apricots were out of season and out of stock. So he rang his mother, who told him to get tinned ones. Anyway, the point of that story is that I can't be long because the chef is about to serve up my tinned apricots and low fat sausages. YUM.

Oooh - but you shall all be pleased to know that I HAVE voted. I went with No in the end as there were only two voices for the Yeses and they were lefty loving liberals.  And on to further excitement. Ted has had a good day. I can't even believe it but he has been happy all afternoon - hasn't hurt anyone, turned off the tv whilst the others were watching it, screamed, hit me or broken anything. He didn't even run away at the park. I am still in shock. He was charming, adorable, sociable, funny and content. It is beyond my wildest imaginings. I have written it in this so I remember tomorrow when he will no doubt return to his former self.

(stupid thing won't spell check and I can't be arsed so you'll have to do it yourself)

Buenos noches everyoneos.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Brixon Innit

I have just been reminded that I forgot to tell you about the bizarre woman from wibblies I mentioned in the post before last. How rude of me. I was just too tired last night to think of anything, but I had a bonus lie in this morning so all guns are blazing now.

So, it was last Tuesday. (Oooh I should just say that being so ridiculously unprofessional is probably a massive mistake for my fledgling career, plus I should hate to hurt anyone's feelings, but I'm going on the side of statistics with this, and as there are only a relatively few people reading each post I'm thinking that statistically it is extremely unlikely that anyone out of these few are likely to come into contact or indeed mention this to anyone at WW HQ and even less likely, to the woman herself. However, in the extreme unlikelihood that either of these likelihoods should occur then please pretend you have no idea who the hell I am. Thanks.) So, cast your mind back to last Tuesday, post Easter weekend and pre the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. I had to leave K to evening childcare and go forth into the uncharted territory that is Brixton. I have lived in south London for ten years but I have never been in to Brixton, a. as there has never been any need to but mostly, b. I'm a bit of a snob so have never felt compelled to go out of idle curiosity. All of my preconceptions were validated upon entry of the Brixton postcode and I instinctively locked the car doors, (just as my mother used to upon entering anywhere slightly 'urban') thereby conclusively confirming my old lady status. The group itself was being held inside the Brixton Rec Centre. Again, probably the least salubrious place I have ever entered, and rather scary on the approach. I held on tightly to the large orange Wibbly board I was carrying to put outside the venue beckoning people to join. Still having a bit of weight to lose, it is ever so slightly embarrassing walking along holding a large sandwich board advertising Weight Watchers. Still, I did all this with a smile on my face, accompanied as I was, by the lovely leader whose meeting I was watching. Let's call her 'Jane'. So Jane was about 5ft tall, a size 10 (but used to be smaller which you could tell as that was how she dressed), had a deep long term smokers' voice and a complexion which instantly conveyed her love of the sun. The main problem was she was the stereotypical 'old school' wibblies and more than a little reminiscent of the Marjorie Dawes (Little Britain) character, their voices were almost identical although obviously Jane was a lot slimmer. She had lost her weight in 1988 (two stone) and had remained petite ever since which meant she showed no visible empathy to anyone I saw her interact with and was positively rude to the members of her Clapham group who had made the trek over the border (they hadn't had their usual Monday meeting due to the bank holidays). The entire thing was hilarious from beginning to end - the fastidious way she made members sign is as most of them weren't to be trusted, the large West Indian helper who sat and told me all about her theories on high profile celebrity contract killings (Marilyn, Diana, another actress I had never heard of) and then the woman who was 'mental' and 'hilarious' as she kept singing and talking at a high volume and so assumed I must think she was a 'character'. The whole event took place in a long uninspiring room which wasn't laid out or decorated to make anyone feel it was anything else. Even the merchandise had been unceremoniously dumped on a table, what little there was of it.  There was an overwhelming feeling that she didn't give much of a shit about the meeting or any of her members but she assured me they all adored her. Natch. The rest was really protocol issues which will mean nothing to those of you who aren't as meticulously trained as I am (don't blame yourselves) but suffice to say that I left a. slightly mortified that the Clapham women thought I might be aspiring to be 'jane' and b. with pain in my cheeks from smiling so much. It was like living through a comedy sketch.

I cannot do the experience justice and it seems far less funny when written down - still I hope it paints a picture. The following day I went to my usual weigh in and as I've said, discovered that after a week of not eating a single large Easter Egg (obviously had to eat some mini eggs or it wouldn't have been Easter) I had not lost even half a pound. I can barely speak of it without being upset. If there is not a considerable weight loss this Wednesday I shall be very close to volunteering to undergo thorough medical investigation as I clearly have a problematic thyroid or some hideous tumour which has affected my ability to lose weight. There is even cake in the cupboard from a party the kids went to on Saturday that I STILL haven't eaten. I am keeping it there until Wednesday when I shall eat it if the scales do not sort themselves out. The distinct lack of fat and sugar in my daily food intake is making me a fairly unpleasant person to live with - Bea and George produced a short play on Sunday morning in which 'mummy' was a character. It was fairly hard to watch Bea's expert character assassination although thankfully she had given me some warning by telling me the stage direction for my part was 'moody and grumpy'. Yet again I may have to concede that exercise might possibly be the only option now left to me. It just seems like giving in though, so for now I shall remain on the sofa just looking at the Wii fit board and safe in the knowledge that Zumba is there if I need.

I know this is slightly out of character but the news is on - so Osama Bin Laden is dead? This seems ridiculously shady - firstly, we only have blood on a Persian carpet and America's word for it as proof because they dumped his body in the sea - seriously? And secondly - he was hiding behind one of his wives in a mansion 'down the road' from the US army when they finally found him. It all seems distinctly fishy to me and like something out of a Grisham novel. I shall simply have to get back to Brixton and find out the West Indian woman's verdict on all of this.

Until the next time xxx

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Another Bank holiday weekend.

Sunday. Third day of yet another four day weekend. Quite frankly I think the school ought to take over again soon. I know the teachers must be appreciating the time off but parents outnumber them so they need to suck it up and get back in the classrooms.  Even when Tuesday finally comes, as soon as we get rid of two, they are off again on Thursday for polling day. I am quite annoyed by the whole thing. Especially as we are voting on something that I'm not even sure about. (I have asked a number of people their opinion and I'm going with the most popular. At the moment it's No.) No school on Thursday presents more issue than simply my frazzled patience, I have agreed to look after two more children for the day and I have to do yet more wibbly training in the morning. Cue the Manny earning his keep with five children for the morning.  Should be interesting.

So Friday was THE day.  We had a most memorably spiffing time at a friend's house. There were five couples in all and fifteen children along with a mountain of food and drink. The women (who had organised the whole thing natch) held a planning meeting a few weeks ago to ensure the amount of food, drink and decoration were up to scratch. Which they were. We even ordered our party pack from the Middleton's company for extra authenticity. I have never been so over excited about bunting and paper plates, but they really were very pretty. Not only do they produce ridiculously high achieving daughters, but their party ware is also second to none. As for the wedding itself, I for one was very taken with the whole affair. I thought Kate looked totally fabulous, although obviously her sister was a partial scene stealer. I mean, it's hard to upstage the future Queen of England on her wedding day but I think Pippa came close. Luckily my little sis has little to worry about on that front. Mainly as she hasn't made any of her sisters Maid of Honour, plus it's also unlikely any of us would turn up in a white wedding dress. Still, I thought it was all very sweet and charming and it also had the added advantage of presenting me with an opportunity to wear half of my wedding dress (top), wedding shoes and tiara again. There are relatively few occasions where an off white corset covered in beaded lace is the appropriate attire, particularly coupled with a tiara and diamante shoes. Luckily so as I'd forgotten how uncomfortable it all was. Thank goodness I didn't wear the large skirt complete with train, it was hard enough to keep up with the children in the corset as it's not very easy to bend in. It made me very grateful that I waited to have children until after the wedding. They would have totally rained on my parade.

Still, I'm glad it's all over and we can stop talking about the wedding and move on to speculation over Kate's stomach and whether or not she's pregnant. Hopefully she won't hang around too long on that one - eating as well as reproducing. It didn't look like her or her sister had imbibed anything more substantial than water in many weeks. As soon as she has a bowl of pasta her stomach will protrude slightly and the press will be convinced she is up the duff.  It is unlikely I shall ever be in that situation again - especially after the day K's had today. Ted has been particularly trying for the last 24 hours and K is now adamant he is the last. I am close on his heels - yesterday Ted tried to eat a snail and then threw a poo filled nappy across the room within five minutes of each other - but I will never say never.  It would mean finding another man but every cloud and all that - it would give me another chance to wear the wedding outfit.

I am too tired to be interesting so I must go to bed. I spent the day spring cleaning to burn calories - the pressure of weight watchers is seriously getting to me. I even curtailed my daily curly wurly intake to a mere two, however this kind of dedication to the project has resulted in exhaustion so I am off. Good night. x