Saturday, 19 January 2013


Bonjourno! A good day/evening to one and all on this cold January day.

I have no idea what it is about January but it brings out the dog poo in droves. I'm not quite sure why bad dog owners feel the need to let loose (boom boom) in January just to make the month feel even more depressing but there is currently a poo-demic on our local streets. Seeing as my defecation stations never took off I have decided to put forward a new idea. ALL dog food sold in the UK MUST have a non-absorbent coloured dye added to it. Simple. It would mean that all dog poo would come out dyed a brilliant, bright colour - there could be all different colours depending on flavours/brand of food etc but I like the idea of a fluorescent dye if at all possible. This could mean that not only would our pavements be littered with interesting brightly coloured piles and smears of poo but it would also mean that the piles/smears would be easier to avoid. The problem at the moment is that the poos are hard to spot - sometimes leaves have been wrongly identified as poo and the other way round with more disastrous consequences. If you live in an affluent area of the world with uniform, light coloured pavement slabs this may sound a bit strange but our pavements are much like the area itself - a huge mix of old, new, posh, scummy, light, dark etc. No two pavements are the same and the darker ones make it particularly difficult to spot poo at a distance when travelling at speed on a scooter or pushing a buggy. (We sometimes even run when very late for school). Hence my new ingenious idea for colourful poo. It cannot be too hard to instigate, is harmless, fun and brilliant. Fluorescent excrement. I seriously have no idea why no one has thought of this before.

Luckily the snow has covered all the little pavement piles for a short while. One of the many benefits of the cold - for a few days all of London's streets are prettified by a dusting of the white stuff. Even non-uniform paving is at its prettiest. I love the look of the white stuff. I'm not so keen on anything else about it. I think snow is a bit of a waste unless you are either skiing or sledging. I used to love skiing. I mean the holiday. Not the actual act of skiing. I used to go away on a skiing holiday every year - (I used to think this was 'standard' behaviour) - but it wasn't for the sport, I just liked the pretty ski resorts, hot chocolates, wine and cheese. I mean I like swishing down the gentle baby slopes, wind gently rushing past my sun blushed, ruddy cheeks but I never liked to push myself on the skiing front. I didn't really understand the attraction of fearing for one's life. On one ski trip which was largely about skiing to a place we could stop and have a hot chocolate and a fag, the Magician Godmother decided she would prove that we could manage something more advanced. She took us (me and one other Uni friend) to the top of what can only be described as a 'near vertical' slope with a million big bumps (potentially refered to as 'moguls'?) on it. HOW anyone could have got down it in anything approaching a pleasurable fashion is impossible to imagine, so I, quite rightly, sat on my bottom and demanded she call for the rescue helicopter. She is a belligerent sort so refused. After a lenghty stand off I conceded the point and just slid from one bump to another slowly on my bottom until we reached the end and certain safety.  Ideally, if I were to ever go again (unlikely for another decade at least) I want a resort which entirely consists of gentle slopes and paths that all lead to a restaurant or a chair lift. I have never understood the need to pit oneself against the elements. I am very happy for the elements to reign supreme. Actually, and this is a true story, in my Junior school I made my parents pay for me to go on the school ski trip three times. Not because I used to like skiing as a child - no, it was for a. the fact that it was organised by the boys school (mine was all girls in case you are new) and therefore girls were in the minority b. we were allowed to take pocket money and it was to Austria where they sold Milka chocolate (you couldn't get it/my mother would never buy it for me in England) and c. the breakfasts were AMAZING - proper hot chocolate, amazing fresh white bread, delicious butter and jam - I can still remember the way it tasted now. I used to eat so much at breakfast it made skiing even harder work as ideally, I needed a jolly good lie down not a trek through the snow with my skis to the bloody ski lift. The ski lifts were good too. A chance to sit down. I seem to remember singing a lot of Jason Donovan as we sat there, enjoying the brief respite between leg aching runs.  "Too may broken hearts in the world" and leaving our wet towels out on the balcony to freeze - ahhhhh - such fun.

As for sledging - my new year's resolution is to make sure that this time next year all of the children have waterproof trousers, waterproof gloves and matching hats and scarves. Oh and we have a sledge or two in the house. Then the next time it snows I can be very excited and not panic and I can take them all sledging to make the most of it.  At the moment we have one pair of waterproof trousers in a size 3-4, one sledge at mums, two pairs of pink waterproof gloves, many many many odd gloves of the non waterproof variety and random scarves and hats. The same people who have non-twisted car seat straps also have children with matching hats, scarves and gloves and I am always very envious of them as we turn up to the gates with our mismatched gloves and hit and miss hat action.
My other resolution is going well so far. At my first weigh in I discovered the exciting news that I have lost 4 pounds. Hoorah. Finally I am going in the right direction. (I managed to put on 9 after the doctor weighed me at the 6 week check when he told me I needed to start losing weight.) I shan't keep going on about weight loss - it is terrifically dull for anyone but the person who is actually losing it. What I will say about weight loss is this though - it is flipping pricey. Yes, supposedly you are eating less than before but what you are eating is way more expensive. Budget biscuits, crisps and chocolate can be bought with pence not pounds - if you want more than one hit of fruit - you need pounds and lots of them. I noticed this phenomenon very early in life. In fact, as soon as I left home and had to buy my own food. During my year out between school and university - (necessary as I mistakenly thought I wanted to train as a teacher with a music degree - something like that anyway - there was definitely teaching and music in the mix but I forget the finer details - before I came to my senses and pulled out of the process to reapply to do English) - I went to live with a boyfriend in Plymouth. It was there that I embarked upon my first 'proper' job as a receptionist/secretary in a Solicitor's firm and earned the princely sum of around £550 a month. My rent was £145. I was attempting to repay dad £50 a month for some money I'd borrowed for Christmas. That left very little with which to live off.  I learnt a lot in a very short time. I wrote to my parents to inform them of my new found knowledge - my 18 year old self (who you mustn't judge as she didn't know any better) - wrote a letter which began, "I now understand why poor people are fat". Obviously I was generalising as there were an awful lot of 'poor people' thinner than I was at the time, but my point was thus - I could not afford a manicure as a treat but I could afford a bag of doughnuts from Tesco for 99p. It does irritate me. I notice the same now. I could happily and easily afford a big bar of Dairy Milk from the shop at the end of the road in order to cheer me up from the woe of illness and housework drudgery but instead I have to go further afield and spend more to find a mango or bunch of grapes or similar. I don't like to moan but it certainly doesn't help things. There should really be a tax on saturated fat and a subsidy for fruit and veg. It would make things so much easier.

Interestingly during my time living in poverty in Plymouth people would say I should get used to poverty as I was about to be a student. I would quickly correct them. In comparison I would be rich. And I was right. My time as a student were my richest to date. Back then 95% of my income was expendable. Not only was my kind dad giving me money to live on each week and paying my rent for me but I also took FULL advantage of all the 'free' money I was being offered. Student loans, credit cards, overdrafts, store cards etc. I took them all out. I went on loads of holidays and took up shopping as a full time job. Ahhhhhhhh. Those were the days. Such fun.  

Enough of the past and on to the present. In current affairs the news is this:

I have booked Cybil's baptism. Phew. If it is possible to be rude about a priest and not have too much bad luck thrust upon me I would like to say that the booking experience itself was very uncomfortable. I already feel heaps of guilt just being in the presence of a catholic priest (I am not catholic and I do not attend any church so I just automatically feel as if he will know and start telling me off). He was jolly rude about a. how old she is - clearly she should have been there with the placenta still attached - he wasn't thrilled about how long I had already left it and asked if she might have already done her A levels by April....(she will be all of nine months) b. the spelling of her name - when I explained my Syria/Sybil issue he asked me if I felt sad whenever I pass a Sycamore tree and told me she won't thank me for my choice later in life. Idiot. c. Refused to let us have the baptism in a separate ceremony so now we all have to sit through the entire hour long mass. So dull.

And finally. Another Godmother has popped! Ted's GM produced a healthy and beautiful baby girl on Monday morning and I am soo excited. Another new baby to squish and relatively local to boot. That is two GMs down and two to go.  And on the new baby news front I must also break the fabulously exciting news that I am to be Godmother to baby Harry! I know. Clearly I come in to my own later in life. First time as bridesmaid last January and now first time Godparent (outside of my family) this January. I am already godmother to my niece who is now 11 so I've been waiting a long time for the honour to be bestowed again. I am usually the bestower. It made a lovely change to be on the other side. It also makes me feel a little more grown up. Every little helps. 

Right, that's it for now. It's cold and I'm tired. I'm going to warm up in bed. xxxxx

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