Tuesday, 28 June 2011

On the Razz

This is my 51st post. How time flies. It has also been a week since my 50th post - apologies if you were expecting one sooner. It does seem a shame to ruin such a nice round number but perhaps it will lead on to 100 which is an even nicer number. Maybe then I will retire....

But for now, I am finally having a night in so I can regale you with my thrilling exploits. Brace yourself Betty.

I shall start back at the beginning - Tuesday morning was the fabulous school sports day. I wasn't particularly looking forward to it as a. I was convinced it would rain b. it means a morning holding onto Ted and stopping him joining in any of the races and c. as K and I are very non-sporty I had assumed my children would be similarly challenged so there would be nothing to celebrate. Oh and d. last year it was held in the school playground which was very grey and dreary, and although obviously it was nice to see Bea running up and down with bean bags and the such, it didn't really 'get me'. This year was a whole different ball game. (ha ha) It was held in the adjacent sports ground which was lovely and green and from the very start, gave the impression that this year was going to be a 'proper' sports day. There was a proper running race, tug of war, obstacle course, skipping race and then the less impressive throwing and catching but all in all terribly enjoyable. There was even a mums and dads race. (No of course I didn't win but I did at least take part for the Nursery one). I was all raced out by the time it came to the mums and dads race for the rest of the school. The two hours preceding it saw me running repeatedly from one side of the field to the other whilst pushing Ted in the buggy and holding on to my diet coke as I tried to split myself in two so that I could be there when George caught a ball or Bea skipped brilliantly. More by luck than judgement I managed to see, clap and cheer on Bea as she was awarded her medal and then George his. Hooray! Not everyone got a medal this year so it was BIG NEWS. Although sadly by the end of the morning Bea was in tears from the over excitement and energy she'd put in to attaining her medal. Still, I was euphoric. The sun shone for the duration, Ted was manageable until he finally fell asleep for the last half hour and I had a jolly good go at the Mums vs Dads Tug of War (Mums won twice all down to me obviously) and both of my suddenly sporty children went home with a medal. I have not been that happy for a long time.

Did I go out on Tuesday night? Oh no - I was meant to be going to Zumba wasn't I?  Well, the buzz of sports day spurred me on to do an awful lot of housework and be extra specially chipper all afternoon so that by the time it got to 6pm I had hit a considerable wall. I texted my neighbour who wanted me to go on a power walk with her at 8, to say that I was exhausted. She very sweetly replied, 'Fat doesn't sleep'.  So, after I put the children to bed, I felt compelled to put on my trainers and tracksuit bottoms before I collapsed on the sofa.  She lives opposite me so she has a clear view into my living room and I wanted to make it look as if I was ready for the off at a moment's notice.  Ingeniously I also secretly texted K to tell him not to hurry back and thank goodness he took me at my word and didn't get home til 9 by which time we both agreed it was too late. Hoorah! K was very surprised to see me so happy by his late return.

Wednesday saw a visit to the Docs for Ted who I wanted to be checked over for his breathing which still wasn't good. I mention this mundane aspect of the week because I am so incredibly pissed off with the Doctor who saw us. A well known idiot, he really did surpass himself this time. Ted, clearly mentally scarred by his recent trip to Lewisham's Children's ward, took exception to the Doctor trying to take off his top and listen to him breathe so tried to run away and then cried quite loudly. In an effort to pacify Ted I offered him his milk, to which the idiot told me not to reward bad behaviour and when he was being out of order 'like this' I should ignore him and carry on regardless and try to distract him. Obviously I didn't enter into a debate or shout at him as I needed his help but mentally I said a big FUCK OFF. Wednesday night made up for any stupid Doctor in the morning though, the Weight Watchers social was cancelled at the last minute (double hoorah) so I managed to make the Private View at my friend's gallery in Covent Garden - a nicer prospect indeed. It was Fabulous. I got all dressed up, met lots of people I didn't know and had a lot of wine (for me, not generally - half a bottle of wine and two glasses of champagne isn't a lot but I was trollied by the time I rolled in at midnight - on a school night - I am soooo cool). It was particularly nice to socialise with the artists at the pub afterwards - they are even poorer than me. No talks of swanky holidays, house moves and nannies with them - it's more handouts, supermarket deals and taking your own beer into a pub. A revelation. Also they thought I was in my 20s so quite frankly they are top of my socialising list from this point forward. The only down side was my cheap Sainsbury's wedges broke - mid walk. According to one dashing young artist, the limp I had to affect from then on gave me the illusion of a South East London swagger. I think it made me look like I had a gammy hip.

Thursday night K didn't come home til 10 so miserably Zumba was shelved yet again. (NB it's on Tuesday night as well and I am here writing this so you are my excuse today). Friday night was another great night out with my lovely girly school pals (not artists miserably but they are nice all the same) and then Saturday night was Glee! I'll admit that by 4pm on Saturday I wanted to cancel as I didn't think I would make the journey, such was my tiredness, but mercifully I pushed on through and made it to the O2 via our extremely efficient East London line (it's been a while since I harped on about it so I thought you might have forgotten). I am very, very grateful that I did and also to my beautiful friend for thinking of me when the spare ticket came up as I had an amazingly good time. HOWEVER, I have to mention the fact that up until last year I had another friend who worked at the O2 and she was exceedingly kind in organising tickets for me so that whenever I went to see anything there I would get to go up in the nice VIP lift and sit in the lovely boxes with a dedicated waiter to serve us drinks. But the best part was that at no point did I have to mingle with the General Public. They are an odd breed. A lot of them were incredibly indecently dressed - in particular the girl who was wearing shorts so small I could see her considerable thighs rub together when she walked. Others were plain rude - the teenagers in front of us to our right, insisted on standing up (we were very high up so it was quite scary and no one else dared so it meant that a considerable number of people couldn't see) and when they were repeatedly asked to stay seated they were less than polite. Not that that wasn't fun and amusing, and of course it added to the overall experience, but obviously I am more than a little annoyed at my so called 'friend' for heartlessly and without any thought for my future comfort at entertainment venues, leaving her job to go and work for a very dull company who can give me nothing. How very dare she.

The last two nights I've been working, which is dull so I won't go into it. Suffice to say I'm shattered and enjoying a night in but it is now late again and I need to get in to bed. The heat yesterday totally took it out of me - as it did everyone. I love the fact that after weeks of rain we all enjoyed a thoroughly good moan about the heat for 48 hours. It was quite the topic of conversation at last night's meeting. More of that later.  I have to go and conserve my energy so that I can start the process of finding new friends - from now on they can only be poor and artistic or well connected to a major London entertainment venue.  Please forward any relevant CVs.

Toodlepippikins. x

Monday, 20 June 2011

Banding and bonding

Thank the Lord you cannot see me. I am revolting. I am having a total weight loss disaster. The ins and outs of which are impossible to keep up with but basically I am teetering on the brink of obesity yet again. I just don't understand it. I am now ten pounds from goal. It is ridiculous - I just can't get 'in the zone' anymore. When I stand sideways, on my tippy toes, breathe in unnaturally hard and look in the mirror I can just about see the thinner person I am clearly meant to be and I feel inspired. THEN I get downstairs and open the fridge/cupboard/biscuit tin/discarded packed lunch box or pack of chocolate raisins and the over eater within becomes overwhelming and forces me to eat something I shouldn't as she knows it will taste so GOD DAMN GOOD. I think it has got to the point where I will have to drop all my other various ailments and potential cancer threats and go to see the Doctor about my split personality disorder. The over eater I share my body with really, really wants to buy packets of biscuits, eat the kids leftovers and order takeaway every single day - she is very disruptive. I need her exorcised otherwise I will get the sack and always look vaguely pregnant. 

To add insult to injury I see that just as I lose (nearly) five stone so that I don't look like Dawn French, Dawn loses five stone so that she might look like me. So now even after all my hard work I still look like Dawn French. A part of me is convinced she has had a gastric band. The gastric band has totally ruined dieting. I think a lot of people assume that if you've lost a lot of weight then you must have had a band fitted. I know I thought my Auntie had. I was convinced. No one loses a stone a month consistently for ten months with will power alone. I am assured by my mother that it is most definitely not the case but I will remain unconvinced until proved otherwise. I think there are some who thought I might have gone under the knife as fellow fatties are always very keen to know how I did it - I have been accosted in the playground and in shops by people I know only by sight - and sometimes not even that - to find out how it happened. Almost without fail they are disappointed to know it was just Weight Watchers. I know that when I used to ask people who had lost weight how they had done it, it was in the hope that they turned around and said - why it was a magic pill - I paid £100 for it, took it yesterday and today I woke up thin and with no desire to over eat ever again!  It NEVER happened. People either said gastric band/bypass, mad milkshake/meal replacement or diet and exercise. Next time I'm asked I might try the magic pill thing and see what happens.

I blame the lovely Fern Britten for all this disbelief. Her lying about the band she had fitted has thrown suspicion onto everyone. Although I think her and Anne Diamond were the only ones who were forced to confess due to the press outing them, I am totally and utterly convinced there are many more celebrities out there who have had secret gastric bands whose secret has stayed that way. Take Sophie Dahl for example, plus size model and at least a size 20 and then seemingly overnight she was a normal size 6 skinny model. Nicole Richie's another one - she didn't even gain weight when pregnant which is deeply suspicious. Any former fat girl who doesn't over eat whilst pregnant is only doing so because she physically cannot - I refuse to believe will power alone can get you through that (I am DEEPLY suspicious of will power - can you tell?).  Hilariously the one person who was open and honest about her band operation from the start was of course, the still fat, Vanessa Feltz - life can be so unfair.

Enough of all this. On to the weekend that has been and gone. Saturday was not particularly exciting but of course, Sunday was Father's Day. It wasn't the headline of this post as it's quite obviously not a headline sort of day. I mean really, Father's Day? EVERY DAY IS FATHER'S DAY. I think having a special day devoted to them is over the top. Even the cards available acknowledge its lack of importance. Instead of all the gushing sycophantic rubbish of Mother's Day cards, they are far more succinct and jokey. It took me two seconds to find a suitable card for Bea, it simply said, 'My Dad Rules OK'. Enough said. We are a traditional sort of family now that the Manny has gone which means that I do all the hard work whilst K merely goes to work. I am, of course, extremely grateful to K for going to work every week day and earning the money (even more so since the big R) however I also know that he would have to go to work whether I had done him the massive honour of making him a father or not. He wouldn't be sitting at home watching Jeremy Kyle with a rumbly tummy just because he wasn't a father. I think the problem is that there's a double edged sword to being a father - on the one hand they are able to up sticks and walk away at any point, safe in the knowledge that the woman they leave behind will invariably pick up the pieces and care for the children but on the other, they can't ever change the fact that it's the mother who has carried the baby (except for adoption obviously) and they are therefore slightly less important. To be fair to K, as I am a 'stay at home' mother I am naturally more resentful than most. You see if I want to leave for a night out it has to be pre-arranged quite some way in advance, I need to have it approved, K has to get home from work on time (invariably doesn't happen), I usually have to put the kids to bed first and only then can I get myself ready to even leave the bloody house so that by the time I eventually get out, I am shattered from the long day and fully aware that every hour I spend out is another hour of sleep lost. Because as nice as it is to be out and seeing friends I know that I will be the one that wakes up in the night to any crying child and the one that gets up in the morning at 6 when they wake up for good. In order for K to go out, he picks up the phone and tells me he will be going out straight from work. He then gets home from his night out and sleeps until he needs to be up for work the following morning at about 8am. ENOUGH SAID.

Of course there is also the potential that I am slightly resentful of Father's Day as my father is no longer around for me to congratulate for not buggering off, for going to work every day for decades without moaning, for paying for every stupid little thing I ever wanted and for loving me and all my lovely sisters from the day we were born right up until the day he woke up and had a massive and fatal heart attack. But, life moves on and all the things my dad did for me, K is now doing for our beautiful children. So, when Sunday rolled around I did actually celebrate Father's Day (up until about 10am) because as Fathers go, he is pretty damn good. The children made and wrote some beautiful cards and in very high spirits they wrapped three presents in half a roll of sellotape and most of a roll of wrapping paper. When I looked at Bea's card she had written 'To daddy, I wel love you for evue, you no it, you no it, you you you no it. Love from Bea. Cos you tac me out.' (The 'wel' was for will, not well - just to clarify.) Enough said.

This has gone on for far too long so I shall leave you to get on with your lives. I may be a while - I am intending to undertake TWO Zumba classes this week (I can't eat less so I am attempting to do more - you never know 'they' might have a point), I'm out for drinks with fellow WW leaders on Weds and out to dinner on Friday night. OOOH and on Saturday - I can scarcely believe I haven't opened with this momentous news - I am going to see GLEE - LIVE!!!!! I would like to apologise to anyone who sits near me at the O2 - I shall be singing VERY loudly and screaming like a banshee at Puck. I am not usually the type to display such public vulgarity but seeing Puck in the flesh is a once in a lifetime sort of event.

Thankfully the audience is in the dark so Puck can't see me in all my obesity teetering hideousness. Phew.

Nightily night. x

Friday, 17 June 2011

Drama and martyr

Well now. I am at home in the comfort of my own living room once again after a midnight dash to the hospital with Ted on Wednesday night. He had a cold in the day and then, never one to do anything mundane, it spread to his lungs and before I knew it, he was wheezing and struggling to breathe. I didn't do anything at first, I wanted to sleep and he has had a horrid chest a number of times before so I just put more Vicks vapour rub on. Then at about 2.30 am it became very obvious that his struggle to breathe was serious so I awoke K who wanted to do nothing else but go back to sleep so kept assuring me he was perfectly fine, that wheezing and 'clicking' were all normal aspects of breathing and that as he could cry when we picked him up he was 'fine'. K grew more agitated as I lost my temper with the idiot on reception at the emergency doctors and was 'helping' no end by telling me to just 'relax'. In the end I gave up and put down the phone to the stupid emergency receptionist man who was a blatant liar - there was no doctor ringing me back immediately - told K if he told me to relax one more time I would kill him and ran out of the door to A and E to K's total bemusement.

Mercifully Lewisham's Children's A and E department was a joy to behold and was also totally empty so I had a dedicated doctor and two nurses. I say 'I' but obviously I mean poor old Ted. Who was actually loving the entire drama and the only thing he objected to was them putting the mask on him to get the medication into his lungs. Unfortunately they had to do it every half an hour which kept interrupting him watching Happy Feet. Every cubicle had its own TV and DVD which I was very impressed with. If only they made the adult department as nice I would go far more often. Anyway, long story short, I was right (naturally), K was wrong and poor Ted was getting fixed. I was thrown by the amount of time we had to spend in there though, I was assuming it was a quick turnaround kind of illness but his oxygen levels weren't great and his breathing was really not great so we were admitted to the ward. (After a mad run to the car that I had left on a bus lane, move to a car park and then mad run half a mile [slight exaggeration for dramatic effect] back holding up my jeans and down my boobs - I was still wearing my pyjama top and K's hoody on top - to get to a screaming and very angry Ted who assumed I had left him there with a smiley bubble blowing nurse and a nurse who kept holding him down to put a smoking mask over his face).  But worse was to come as before we were moved up to the ward they had to take some blood and put a cannula into his hand in case an IV drip was needed. That was horrid. To be woken up at 2.30am and driven into Lewisham to watch Happy Feet and see some bubbles is one thing, but to be stabbed repeatedly is entirely another and Ted was exceptionally angry and remained so for some time.

On the ward it quickly became clear we were not going home any time soon so we settled in and made the most of the playroom and the 'play specialists'. I am not saying that there is not a need for happy souls who go around the ward asking irritating questions and trying to befriend children who think they are akin to Voldermort - however I do question the need for three years training to learn how to do so. One 'Play Specialist' took great pleasure in telling our nurse that she had not gone to college for three years for nothing. I would hasten to disagree. I believe I could be a play specialist without any training at all. That said she was very helpful at accommodating Ted's play and even helped me sort out a VHS player so that we could watch the Toy Story VHS I had found lying around and jumped on in excitement. I can't remember if I have bored you with Ted's latest obsession yet, but it is with 'bun, bun and at'. Buzz lightyear, Woody and his hat. He couldn't understand why I didn't have them with me and was running around the ward yelling 'bun' as if they might magically appear, when I happened upon the VHS so I almost kissed the play specialist when she said she had sorted the player we could watch it on. The drugs Ted was on made him totally hyper active for about an hour where he would almost fly with energy so having something for the 'come down' afterwards was amazing. We watched it five times. The little boy opposite was pleased for the first go around and then I think all other children and adults were totally over it.

I walked around the ward endlessly trying to get him to sleep at various points throughout the day so I got to know the place very well. There was lots to read for 'parent's and carer's' and many cards of 'thank's' to the staff. So sad there was no one there to laugh at them with me. There were also lots of very sick children which made me bloody thankful for a relatively well child and two healthy ones at home. I quickly became institutionalised and was fearful of leaving the main double doors. Eventually I plucked up the courage to run over to the cafeteria and it was a revelation. (Ted was left strapped into a buggy in front of Toy Story with a nurse aware of my absence - fear not). Finally there were some people worthy of Grey's Anatomy. There had been a total dearth of good looking doctors and 'extras' up to that point and I was beginning to think my favourite show might not actually be an accurate depiction of real life when I happened upon some very pretty people who would have fitted in nicely to Mercy West Hospital - phew. That was secondary to my relief over the food choice - I was desperate for food at that point and I pounced upon the fruit - sorry to be dull but pre-cut fruit is usually so expensive and it was jolly exciting to find big bowls of fruit for £1 -  I bought five. I may have over done it. But Ted and I couldn't cope with the food situation. The food on offer in the children's ward was horrideous. Jamie Oliver clearly hadn't been anywhere near. The woman was shocked when I said no to vegetables - she kept trying to get me to give him some as if I was one of 'those' mothers. I didn't want to argue and explain that there were no vitamins left in the tinned and over boiled crap she was trying to peddle so there was little point in trying to get Ted to eat any. Although she has something of a point. I realised that the children ate a lot healthier before I lost the weight. Before, I was very good at making sure the children ate loads of fruit and veg and and that I ate all the crap in the house to save them from obesity. Now I ensure they eat all the crap so that I don't get tempted and I eat all the fruit and veg to save me from obesity and I quite often forget to make sure they've had any of their five a day.

I digress, by 3pm there was hope that if Ted could make it to 7 without needing an inhaler we could leave. But by 6 it was clear he wasn't going to make it and we were there for the night. At first I was mightily disappointed but after K had brought my moisturiser, spare pants and phone charger in I made up the bed next to Ted's cot and as it turned out to be quite comfy I realised it might well be the easier option. By 9.30 Ted had finally calmed down and gone to sleep, I followed shortly after and the nurse came in and out through the night to give him the inhaler and take his vitals and by 6.20am he was deemed fit enough to leave and we did, very quickly. In fact Ted wouldn't sit down for a moment whilst I packed up in case I changed my mind. He stood there in his pjs, socks and dressing gown clinging on to Bun and substitute bun (Jessie - K couldn't find Woody as Ted had hidden it in the understairs cupboard) and shouting 'go' at me until I did. I realised I was being quite pathetic as there are people who have to spend weeks and months in that ward but 24 hours was plenty enough for me and it felt like a massive relief to be able to walk out of the doors for good.

When we got home everyone was still in bed and G was even asleep. Ted had no interest in seeing anyone but Buzz on the tv so he plonked himself in front of Toy Story 2 and I washed, dressed, tested Bea on her spellings - she did well - fingers crossed people, made packed lunch, fed the children, sorted out suitable items for show and tell, loaded the washing machine, put away dirty plates left out from yesterday (thanks K) and then did the school run. I know no one likes a martyr but I think I might be one. At the very least I am a superhero. Obviously I'm sitting on my arse ignoring G now as Ted sleeps but let's gloss over that. I have cut out some holes in a cardboard box for G so he's happy for a few hours and doesn't seem to need me. The delivery I had been dreading last Friday arrived today - hence the box. My hallway is now filled with 30 cardboard boxes and only one of them has G in it so I am not keen on investigating the rest. I am going to get K to move them to the car tonight. Out of sight, out of mind. Oh and it's the school disco this evening - the children have one each which means a lot of fiddling about at a time I could do with them sitting on their arses glued to the TV. Anyway - I mustn't grumble - actually I must otherwise you wouldn't know I was a martyr and all martyrs grumble so that you know that they are one. That is the very point of martyrdom isn't it.

Have to go and do the school run in the rain. I know, I know - I'm a saint.
Good bye and good health to you all xxxx

Monday, 13 June 2011

The week that was

Sorry. The lazy gene has kicked in. I really couldn't be arsed with anything much last week so I made the brave decision to save you from my moaning and keep out of your way. I even stayed out of the house all day on Friday so that I didn't have to accept my Weight Watchers delivery.  I was terrified of a man knocking at the door with 30 plus boxes that I couldn't possibly have managed to sort out and put away with my lacklustre spirit. I am sure they must be coming this Friday but I am mentally more prepared and might well let him in if I'm here.

The week was just incredibly tiring. K got his car - nice and luxurious but not a sports car or anything terribly exciting (that wasn't hard work obviously but I wanted to fill you in). I put on weight as predicted - two pounds if you count the last official weigh in and three and half pounds if you go by the unofficial weigh in I carried out myself (naturally I am going by the official one.) Even though I was expecting it, having weight gain confirmed is never a good feeling and I was resentful. The rest of Wednesday was uneventful until nearly five o'clock when one half of the elderly couple over the road knocked on the door to get the children - a not uncommon event - but it transpired today was unusual as I had forgotten their 60th Wedding Anniversary party. I didn't realise I had forgotten until I got over there in my wellies having left the front door open and the supper on the hob. The children were dutifully brilliant and ate their fruit cake quickly and G even had a conversation with one of the guests, but I was on edge knowing that not only was the spaghetti bolognese half cooked on the hob, the front door was open and Bea needed to be fed, dressed and ready for pick up and biking to Beavers by 5.45. Obviously I managed it all and I even got Bea to do a card after she finished eating and before pick up so she could deliver it the following day but it was stressful nonetheless.

Thursday evening saw much excitement with the oldies being picked up in a mini bus for their surprise meal out. All three children stood on the window sill watching the spectacle - Dennis in black tie and Gwennis (B called them Gwennis collectively when she was little which was terribly efficient of her but it has now stuck and we can no longer call Gwen anything but Gwennis) in all her finery and sparkly jewellery. Bea kept yelling 'what the dickens is going on here' out of the window - turns out the 'Dickens' was them being whisked off to a fancy celebratory meal at the Oxo tower.

Friday was spent out of the house avoiding delivery until after the school run.  I picked up Bea to find her very sad and feeling sorry for herself as somehow we had managed to get the wrong spellings to practise over the half term which meant she had only got three out of ten in the spelling test and had spent the morning in tears because of it. (I felt hideously guilty and very upset myself - you know how seriously I take her spellings). Mercifully by the time we got home via the sweet shop she had switched from down in the dumps to hyper excited about the dress rehearsal for her ballet show at Catford Theatre that evening.  As she was sitting eating her bland pasta and veg supper (quickest and easiest thing at short notice - I didn't realise the rehearsal started as early as it did) the extra boy's father arrived for pick up which annoyed Ted who got cross and started pushing him (him being 6 but no match for an angry Ted natch). I told Ted to leave the poor boy alone and pick on someone his own size and dispatched him to the playroom. As I shut the door behind the extra boy and his father an ear splitting scream emanated from the playroom. Once G was able to talk through the severe sobbing it turns out that Ted, currently trying to hide behind his hands, had walked in and found a peaceful G lying on the sofa and lifted a heavy battery filled plastic Buzz Lightyear and bought it down on my beautiful boy's head. Hard. As I cradled G in my arms I realised there was blood. All over his face and all over me. It took quite a while for the blood to stop flowing out of the relatively small gash but eventually it did and Bea even managed to finish her supper and step in to care for G so I could get the boy's supper on and Bea's things ready for yet another pick up.  I was less ready to move on. I was so incredibly horrid to Ted for a very long time after the incident. He was sent to the naughty step immediately afterwards obviously. He sat there with his hands over his face for a long time and then tried to seek comfort from his sister. She ignored his pleas and sent him back again. Eventually after Bea left and the boys had eaten I did allow Ted to join us on the sofa where he attempted to apologise. He spent quite a while trying to cuddle me but finally caved in and cuddled G by way of an apology and even went so far as to kiss him. G was happy to reciprocate and for a few moments all was well. However such was Ted's excitement and relief at being forgiven he ran up and down the sofa in happiness and promptly fell over and smashed his head on the radiator. Both boys went to bed with healthy bumps on their heads. By the time K arrived home I was very happy to leave and spend some time alone driving to Victoria to pick up a second hand Henry hoover. Such is the glamour. (The broken hoover K fixed had never really done a great job and was even worse after its surgery so we have given up and gone Henry).

Saturday and Sunday saw us back and forth to Catford for the actual ballet performances. Bea was beyond happy with the whole process, backstage and onstage. I thought she was a very believable cat even if I do say so myself. Although in the show I saw on Saturday night she spent her entire onstage time looking for me through the harsh glare of the theatre lights. She carried out all of her dance moves perfectly and with a beautiful smile, but after each section of the dance she stopped to peer into the darkness beyond to find the familiar shape of her mother. She was obviously unable to see me but once came so precariously close to the edge of the stage I was sick with nerves that her first experience of theatre performance might actually be forever marred by her agonising injuries from a severe fall. Anyway, it was incredibly sweet and she was adorable naturally. Mercifully on Sunday when K was in the audience she just concentrated on the task in hand and was yet again a magnificently balletic cat.

I think that has just about caught you up. Although by filling you in I have tired myself out. Actually it's not all your fault, I stayed up stupidly late last night to watch Definitely Maybe. (Til nearly midnight - I was shocked). I am now totally and utterly in love with Ryan Reynolds. I was half in love with him after the brilliance of The Proposal but this has totally sealed the deal. I might even buy the soundtrack - you just can't beat a good rom com soundtrack. Must dash I have a date with Ryan in my dreams. Literally.

Seeya xx

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Lyrical Disharmony

Howdy partners. I am back in sunny SE23 and the children are back at school after the break. My day of reckoning is tomorrow when I shall find out exactly how much weight I have gained over the holidays. I am enjoying one last bottle of wine before I have to get back down to business on that front. From tomorrow on I shall be a dieting superstar as I push on through to goal. My aim is to achieve that before the summer holidays so I can properly indulge over the summer. You are allowed to be up to five pounds plus or minus your goal weight and I intend to take full advantage on the plus side. Thankfully I am not planning to take over any meetings in the near future so no one will be judging me any time soon. With any luck I won't start proper work until September when G starts in Reception which means I am only stuck with one child to offload.

The good news is that K's job is going very well - he seems quite happy and is getting on well with The Employers (much to our surprise). There is much excitement in the household as we await the arrival of his new company car which was purchased today. More on that later, but fingers crossed for a good one. He has even been paid for his efforts so far which was jolly thrilling as it meant the Tesco man arrived fully armed today and the fridge is full once again. It also means that Bea's recorder lessons will be paid in time for her first lesson of the term on Thursday. Who could ask for more? Life is peachy.

Although my bank account is not. My card was declined for the princely sum of 99p today. Mercifully it was in the comfort of my own home as I tried to make a purchase on itunes. Not that I am unaccustomed to it being a public humiliation. I think people are always surprised at how well I take the news of my card being declined but it is far more of a surprise if the transaction is approved. The main issue with this unauthorised transaction was that it was for Justin Bieber's 'Baby' song. Thanks to an older cousin, Bea is now obsessed with bloody Bieber and I have had to listen to her singing 'Baby, baby, baby oh, I thought you'd always be mine' for far too long now so I decided to treat them all to the official version (the boy I look after in the afternoons was also quite excited so I thought it would be a crowd pleaser). Suffice to say it was quite tricky to explain to the four happy faces in front of me that my purchase had not been successful. Although I was actually slightly relieved. Even I can't stand The Bieber. It is a shame Bea has inherited my terrible taste in music (along with my penchant for terribly cliched films) as G seems to have bypassed it entirely. We were driving back from Kent on Sunday and I was desperately searching for a nice easy listening station to help pass the time when G piped up and asked me to get back to the cool guy singing about making someone sweat. (He didn't use those words exactly but I wanted to cut to the chase). So I had to sit through a deeply inappropriate and, in my personal opinion, a particularly lazily penned song about wanting to make some poor woman sweat. It was excruciatingly bad but he really likes all that modern inappropriate stuff. He is a huge fan of the 'lazy song' as well. I fear we shall clash massively when he has money of his own and a music system capable of high volume.

Give me Magic FM or BBC Radio 2 anyday. In University I had quite a reputation for my hideous taste in music. I tended to buy CD soundtracks almost exclusively, not to cool 'of the moment' films (although I did get the Lock Stock one - is that cool?) it was more the Dawson's Creek, City of Angels, Friends, Sleepless in Seattle, Hercules genre. (Annoyingly they always seemed to include a lot of incidental music and I used to point out the music that was on the soundtrack when it was heard on the film so that it became a running joke with my housemates that any 'plinky plonky' background music on a film would be on a soundtrack somewhere in my collection.) I do feel terribly old but I can't stand all this lewd music - especially the one about liking to do 'it' outside. I just don't want my children listening to it. Mind you a lot of it will probably go over their head. When I was a teenager I didn't twig for a very long time that the Shaman's Ebeneezer Goode song was about Ecstasy. Even with the line 'Eezer good, Eezer good'. I am ridiculously innocent. It would never occur to me to think someone was singing about drugs. I hope the Hanson 'Mmmm bop' song wasn't about anything sinister. That would really shake my belief in popular music. I know that I shall have to move with the times and that there is a time and a place for Christina Aguilera and her Dirty song (my hen night was ideal - as was her Beautiful song which I murdered over and over again) but I can't bring myself to let the children's innocence be corrupted so early on in my mothering career. I shall have to try harder to get them interested in the Carpenters and my own personal collection of the Grey's Anatomy soundtrack.

I am so tired I cannot write more. I had a lot of children through the door yesterday (four on top my own) and even though it is only 9pm the wine has now gone to my head. I shall retire gracefully and leave you to the theme song for today from the masters of easy listening, "I'm on the, top of the world looking, (boing) down on creation and the only explanation I can find is the love that I've found ever since you've been around has almost put me on the top of the world". Now isn't that nicer than hearing the word 'sweat' over and over again?

I'd like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony... (insert incidental plinky plonky music and fade......) x

Friday, 3 June 2011

Half term

Forgive me readers it has been over a week since my last confession. I have had time off for good behaviour and half term. Also there has been very little to report. We are at mum's for the holidays and our days consist of playing in the garden, getting children in and out of clothes and swimming costumes and managing Ted. I have spent the last week over eating magnificently to celebrate being the lowest weight I've been in a decade and officially qualifying as a WW leader. There are times I worry that I have become totally obsessed with what I eat and losing weight and there is always a slight concern in the back of my mind that I will verge on the anorexic and never be able to enjoy gluttonous episodes ever again; then I arrive in Suffolk and within twenty four hours (less sometimes) all my fears are allayed. (I managed half a family sized Pavlova. PHEW)

On to the week where nothing happened. There was a small excitement with the arrival of the village newsletter (my absolute favourite publication ever). It opened with the Editor talking about the excitement of the royal wedding being over and his need for a good plumber and window cleaner. Then came the monthly report from the WI. This part is actually my favourite. I am paraphrasing now as mother recycled it before I could whisk it away to copy verbatim - but it went something like this - 'The meeting then took a very interesting turn when Jane Smith (not actual name obviously) showed us an ingenious way to fold plastic bags so that they fit neatly into your handbag - very useful! Then Mary Windsor (same) showed us the beautiful Fascinators she had created after last month's talk on Fascinators.' (I am totally convinced that I would love these WI meetings. I am going to try and get invited to one.) There was more about walking groups and the featured decade 'The 1970s' but I can't remember it. Then came news from the local pub who now offer a takeaway service including tea's and coffee's. There is nothing I like more than an unnecessary apostrophe or two. Then onwards with a few paragraphs from a local policeman warning residents of a recent spate of garden thefts - notably bird tables and ornaments (watch out Alan Titchmarsh is clearly on the rampage) and then the Editor reprised with an indepth article on a local plumber who he was, confusingly, heartily recommending. I am planning on emailing him and pointing out that it wasn't a convincing endorsement that he wouldn't use the said plumber himself. (I appreciate that my need to feel superior by deriding this man's effort to keep up community spirit and keep people informed is ugly, but I don't care. It makes me laugh until I cry so in one way the editor is a comic genius and I am in awe of him.)

Other than that I have been laying pretty low. It appears that I am annoying. I know this because the youngest betrothed sister has kindly given me the heads up on this one. It was quite a harsh reality check as the news came in amidst a story of someone she found terribly annoying and has had an ongoing problem with for quite a few months, with the harsh punchline - 'no offence, but she reminds me of you'. Ouch. I love the caveat 'no offence'. It gives you the freedom to say anything to anyone as long as you begin the offensive statement with 'no offence'. No offence, but you are ridiculously fat. No offence, but you are incredibly bossy and self centred. No offence, but you are incredibly rude. You get the idea. I'm sure something similar has happened to you in the past. No offence.

To qualify her offensive statement she explained that I have extreme mood swings and when I am moody I 'go very quiet'. I am now on the look out for a group of people who remain chirpy when 'in a mood' so that I might learn from them. I do my best to maintain a positive outlook most days but what with one thing and another (mainly K and the kids) I do occasionaly find myself slightly annoyed and less than jolly so I keep a low profile until my normal frame of mind returns. So, perhaps you could read this in your head so as not to annoy anyone who might be nearby. Also, according to the elder sister my constant scrabble playing (on iphone - totally addicted I admit) is also very irritating. So to summarise, I am definitely annoying. Mercifully the remaining UK based sister finds me less irritating and I am sitting with her now whilst she delicately ices 1000 cupcakes in preparation for a fair tomorrow. (Just in case you fancy some for yourself it's http://www.queenofcupcakes.co.uk/ I have been eating them on your behalf and the ten I've tried are immensely tasty.) Oooh I also saw the lesser spotted US based sister this week who, having not seen me for six years, was very pleased to spend time with me and it was totally lovely to see her too. I shall console myself with this knowledge. Two out of four ain't bad.

Actually, no offence, but you aren't important enough for me to keep writing so I am going to leave and eat some more cake. I shall return to London tomorrow and commence annoying K. He has had a week off so might have temporarily forgotten how annoying I am and therefore be momentarily pleased to see me. That should give me something interesting to talk about until the next West Suffolk WI meeting. Until then my long suffering friends.

Adios xx