Sunday, 12 January 2020

Hello Sunday nights...

Sunday used to involve a gentle session at the pub, a roast and a few pints. Maybe a walk, nothing too strenuous.

More of a stroll.

A womble.

Followed by shit telly, beige food and bed, ready to start the week with a moderate hangover and no-one to worry about other than myself.

WELCOME TO SUNDAY NIGHTS NOW.



That’s two loads.

Two more to go.

I have no idea how we generate so much fucking washing as a family.

There are four of us, and the youngest is half my height and refuses to wear anything other than a grey tracksuit which makes him look like a mini version of Rocky, so it’s not him.

My life is now one long washing cycle, pairing odd socks and trying not to shrink school uniforms in the tumble dryer.

Oh- the tumble dryer. My second love after the kids.

The only luxury item I bought when I was given the advance on my book

Not a Vivienne Westwood dress. Nope.

Or a snazzy new radical hair cut. Not for me.

Or a reinvent yourself tattoo of some motivational quote. I don’t think so.

A FRICKING TUMBLE DRYER.

So if you’d excuse me, I now have a date with a series about a psycho serial killer and approximately four hundred pairs of individual socks to match up.

Hello Sunday nights of the future...


Sunday, 5 January 2020

Happy Xmas (War is Over) vs Agadoo...

Things I’ve learnt over the Christmas holidays...

A revolving disco lightbulb is fun for about 30 seconds. Not two weeks. Definitely not forever. The kids refuse to take it down in their bedroom and its like going into the Ministry of Sound circa 1997 every time I walk in with a load of clean washing.

One child owning a Mi-mic, which not only amplifies their voice, but gives it a B movie horror film effect is annoying. Both kids having them is fucking ridiculous. Luckily they have to be charged up. And I’ve hidden the adapters.

A Christmas CD is just for Christmas. Maybe New Year at a push. But no-one needs to wake up to the sounds of Happy Xmas (War is Over) at 7am on 5th Jan. I thought the Black Lace CD was bad, but I’m now missing listening to Agadoo on repeat. I never thought I’d say that.

There are a finite number of episodes of Lego Friends on Netflix. I know. I’ve watched them all at least four times. Seeing a new one fills me with the same excitement as watching an unfamiliar episode of Friends.

The period after New Year should be one of winding down and routine. Of getting back to normal. Of finding places to store presents and discreetly taking old toys to the charity shop. Booking in to have a loft conversion done two weeks into January MAY seem like a good idea at the time, but having to then pack up a lifetimes worth of shit including GCSE books, boxes of letter from long-forgotten French exchange students, DVDs when you have no DVD player, videos when NO-ONE has a VHS player, is never going to be relaxing.

Indoor guinea pigs are noisy. And smelly. And when they have to be relocated into the front room to make way for all the other shit that has to come down from the loft, this will involve watching the telly with the constant disruption of squeaking and rustling. The floor is covered in sawdust and the sofa is littered with tiny hard pellet poos from where the children have been sitting watching Lego Friends with them on their laps, feeding them the green parts of their lunches.
Not to mention the smell. Did I mention the smell? I’M LIVING IN AN INDOOR FARM.


INSET days on the last Monday of the school holidays are just cruel.

Dry January is a myth.

So Happy New Year lovely people. May it be filled with lie ins. Hangover free wine. And children who repeatedly tell you how eternally grateful they are to have you as their parents.

PS I realise the last time I wrote the blog was when I was whinging about how long summer holidays were. 

PPS I vow to write it more often.

PPPS and not just complaining about holidays. Although Easter can be a bit of a ball ache, now I come to think about it...




Saturday, 10 August 2019

School holidays go on for HOW LONG??

School holidays.

We’ve been hanging out for them for weeks.

Looking forward to not bollocking the kids to school.

Not having to remind someone to put their shoes on, brush their teeth, find their book bag, look for their coat.

Bliss.

It’s going to be one long sunny walk in the park, filled with laughter and sharing stories, finding out what’s going on inside their little heads, making memories, walking in the park. 

Did I say walking in the park?

Hang on, what’s this?

The house is a tip?

Everyone’s losing their shit because we ran out of Cocopops on day two?

How’s about the cinema. Everyone loves the cinema. I was only allowed to go there on special occasions and birthdays when I was growing up. Nope? Not interested in that any more? And when did I start to list shit I was ‘only allowed to go to on special occasions and birthdays’?

The sunny park that we’ve always loved is now boring? It’s boring now is it? Is it possible that we're all actually driving each other fucking mental after week one?

Is it? 

IS THAT WHAT'S GOING ON?

How did I forget this from last year? It must be like childbirth. The moment it’s over, your brain cancels out the trauma or you’d never do it again.

So, deep breath. Five weeks to go. A lot of that in a tent. That’s going to be fine. Fantastic even. Gulp.


Here goes…

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

If you love a band so much, why WOULDN'T you turn up a week early to see them?

Get your children pets, they say. It will teach them about empathy and death, they say.

So here I am walking across Brighton with the MOTHER of all hangovers, carrying a guinea pig with a gammy eye, chatting to the inside of a plastic IKEA box cooing ‘its going to be OK, you’re going to be OK,’ on the way to the vets. Unaware that to the untrained eye, I actually look like a mental who’s wearing last nights clothes, doing the walk of shame and chatting away to a plastic box.





BUT LET'S BACK UP A MOMENT…

24 hours previously…

I’m off out with my sister. We’re not just any old off out. We're going to see Take That. We’ve seen them last year at O2. It was fun. We had shit seats where you couldn’t even see the screens, let alone the three remaining artistes, and we’re not sure if they are down to just two this year, but FUCK IT we’re out.

And as long as Gary’s still there, who my sis has fancied since way back, when he wasn’t cool and looked more like Pat Sharp, then we're laughing.




So we rock up to the O2. All full of gin in a tins, and decide to go for dinner first.

Pizza Express and Prosecco obvs. Cos we’re posh.

And then cocktails- naturally. Cos we’re proper posh.

When we’re sure that All Saints or whoever have definitely finished their ‘come back tour cos we’re skint’ warm up act, we head to the arena.

Have our tickets scanned by security.

And scanned again.

And again.

A big red ‘these guys are scammers or pose a threat’ light flashes ominously over our heads.

‘Where did you get the tickets?’ the security guard asks me.

‘They’re legit,’ I reply, two bottles of prosecco in, sounding like a middle class Delboy.

She tries again, and again the crimmy red light flashes.

Her boss comes over and looks at the ticket, and says, ‘you know these are for next Thursday not today?’ And walks off shaking his head at us like we’re proper dickheads.

You have to be fucking joking.

I booked these months ago, wrote Thursday down in my diary but, as it transpired, the WRONG FUCKING THURSDAY.

What were we meant to do?

What would you do?

Well we obviously got absolutely slaughtered on the roof bar at the O2 with the plan, the absolute plan, to leave before the Take That fans who’ve got the right day filter out.

As me and my sis are discussing the possibility of buying a barn to convert that we’re almost definitely never going to do in France, we look down to see a swarm of ants which are the TT fans heading for the tube that we’ll never make.

So. I stay in London after a brief, but unhappy, text exchange with my husband, as now I’ve missed the last train home due to the FUCKING TAKE THAT FANS.

I wake up the next morning at my sister's, remembering that the guinea pig has a gammy eye.

It’s not just gammy, it looked fucking dreadful when I left her in the evening.

I quickly borrow some of my sister's make up, it's like polishing a turd but I can't look any worse that I already do. 

OR CAN I?

The powder isn't powder, it's bronzer. I only notice how tanned I am as I stop at the garage on route for an emergency can of Coke and see my reflection. I look like Richard Madeley. Jesus Fucking Christ.




So I attempt to wipe the worst of it off on my sleeve as I google guinea pig poorly eye on my phone, and am met with a barrage of grim pictures which all scream, ‘take them to the vets immediately.’

I ring the nearest vets to me as I slope off to get on the train that stops at ever station on the way back to Brighton, naturally.

A quick teeth brush and I realise I have ten minutes to hot foot it across town for the appointment. No time for me to change, and no way of transporting a guinea pig other than emptying a box of Lego and carrying her in that, as my husband has the car.

And off I go. Hangover rattling around in my brain and a freaked out guinea pig with a suspected eye ulcer trying desperately to climb out of a shallow box.

‘Calm down,’ I say.

‘It’s going to be OK,’ I say.

As I pass all the dog walkers and old people out for a potter who think I'm chatting to myself, I wonder, ‘Shit me. Can today get any worse?’

YES.

YES IT ACTUALLY CAN.

So I turn up at the vets and sit in the waiting room.

I’m 100% regretting not bringing a bottle of water, and the only thing remotely drinkable in the room is a dog drinking bowl. It looks overwhelmingly enticing. 

Then someone shouts, ‘Snuffles. Snuffles.’

What kind of a fucking name is that? I think.

On third shout I realise that’s the name of my guinea pig, and l shuffle into the surgery.

I place her on the table and am asked a series of questions I can’t answer.  

How old is she?

I dunno.

Is she eating well?

I don’t know either. We have five guinea pigs. I don’t know who eats what.

'OK, return to the waiting room.'

'With Snuffles?' I ask.

He mumbles.

'Shall I take her with me?' I ask again.

I don’t know how these things work. They’ve already said it will cost forty-six quid to see her. Surely that involves more than just mumbling at me for that price.

I go to leave her on the table.

‘TAKE SNUFFLES WITH YOU,’ the Vet shouts after me.

Yep. Heard that, thanks.

So I wait in the waiting room and then am finally called to the reception desk.

‘She’s adorable,’ the receptionist sighs, ‘I just love guinea pigs. We’d pay anything to look after our dear pets,’ she smiles, as she passes me the bill.

 Eighty-six fucking quid.

‘How much?!’ I exclaim.

‘Well, we’d pay anything to look after our animals, wouldn't we?' she repeats.

‘But that is four times the price I paid for the actual guinea pig!’ I scoff in total horror.

The receptionist looks at me pityingly and shakes her head in dismay at the woman next to me with the dog wearing a lampshade.

So, the moral of this story is a) check the dates before you head off to a concert cos no-one gives you a prize for turning up a week early.

b) there is no such thing as a cheap pet. Before you know it, your relatively simple life has been resorted to squirting drops in a tiny guinea pig's eye six times a day, because-

c) your kids only like their pets when their mates come around. For the other 97% of the time, it’s you looking after these creatures, hangover or not.

HAPPY UPDATE PART 1
Steve from Lowestoft bought the Take That tickets from me off Gumtree and his wife is OVER THE MOON.

HAPPY UPDATE PART 2
Snuffles' eye is nearly better. I never have to squirt what looks like PVA glue in her eye again. Ever.

Hopefully. 



PS.. If you like my blog, please do have a look at my novel of the same name. It's currently out as an e-book on Amazon and is getting some fabbo reviews... https://www.amazon.co.uk/You-Can-Take-Her-Home/dp/1409185982And if you like it- please review it! xx