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

Monday, 22 April 2019

Easter holidays that go on for decades and elasticated waisted trousers...

Shit me- how long have the Easter holidays gone on for? 

This feels about three weeks longer than normal. I have mainly survived it through sporadic heavy drinking, eating and replacing the kids Easter eggs about twenty times and going on the occasional very slow run.

It has been a roller coaster of emotions. From loving waking up with the kids, having no pressure days ahead of us and not having to bollock them into putting their shoes on and brushing their teeth, to driving each other crackers.

I hadn’t realised how many questions my kids ask me. 

About everything. 

They have a question about literally everything.

‘How can you see through windows?’

‘Why is pizza called pizza?’

‘When you’re dead can you still hear things?’

‘Can I sit in the front seat and drive the car?’

‘Can I sit in the front seat and drive the car when I’m eight?’

‘Nine?’

‘Ten?’

And repeat until seventeen.

And repeat but asking about getting married.

And getting their ears pierced.

And owning a mobile phone.

I’ve also had days like this...


When my son just wants to lie on my, watch back-to-back episodes of The Little Princess and tells me I’m his best friend. I literally want to eat him like a corn on the cob.

I do, however, need some structure. Some normality. Some routine. 

I have a lot riding on the kids going back to school tomorrow. And me going back to work.

I’m going to run everyday. 

Make my own pack lunches for work consisting of mainly raw juice and almond milk. 

I’m going to cut out sugar. 

And alcohol. 

And fun. 

I’m going to be the most fucking productive person on the planet.

But first I’m going to polish off the rest of the mini eggs* and find a pair of trousers with an elasticated waist to wear tomorrow.


* My husband just came in and told me I smelt of mini eggs. That’s only got to be a good thing, right?

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/1409185982
And if you like it- please review it! xx

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

The three words that turn parents to booze...

There are three words that turn any parent to drink.

World. Book. Day.

Oh my fucking god.

This is more stressful than being stopped by customs at the airport or trying to time contractions.

I like books. I love books. I’m writing one for fuck’s sake.

But this is tough.

I thought we had a box full of dressing up clothes, but it turns out both kids have grown out of everything apart from the Christmas elf costumes.

YOU CAN’T GO TO SCHOOL IN MARCH DRESSED AS A FUCKING ELF.

Mildred from The Worst Witch. That’s got to be easy.

Just a witch’s hat and a school uniform.

No actually. IT'S NOT.

It turns out she has stripy tights and tie, and those accessories are ESSENTIAL to a seven year old, or no-one will know who she is.

So I turn to Amazon.

Yep. Found them. High five me- parenting the shit out of this.

But no. Hang on, they can’t deliver until Friday.

Friday? FRIDAY? ARE YOU SHITTING ME? That’s no good to anyone.

World Book Day is on Thursday. Why would I want to dress as a witch over the weekend. For a laugh?

I don’t think so.

So I send my husband to Asda. Jeez, they saw us coming.

Sixteen quid for a ruddy Harry Potter outfit?

But no stripy tights. Obviously.

So I’ve got 24 hours and no time to not make my seven year old think she looks a dick at school.

Ideal.

What happened to just dressing them in a sheet with a couple of holes cut out and being a ghost?


Thursday, 14 February 2019

Washing, wasting time and wondering how Richard Gere is getting on...

Hello being a writer. A proper writer. Two days a week to write my book. My new book, that’s going to be funny, and clever, and thought-provoking without being worthy. It’s going to be great. It’s going to be brilliant. It’s going to be…

FUUUUUUUUUUUCK.

Brain.

Shut up.

I wish I had an off button so I could shut it down, or at least put it on mute for a bit.

It’s not like I’m thinking important stuff, or clever things.

It’s just noise.

And working in the house?

Forget it.

Who knew I liked cleaning so much? And emptying the dishwasher. And washing everyone’s clothes. And virtually anything other than sitting down in from of the computer and writing.

This is the dream, right?

I’m living the fucking dream.

If the dream involved being cleaning obsessed, all over social media and an expert on the challenges Meghan Markle is having with her family. (Seriously? Her dad needs to get a grip.)

I imagined I’d be all, sitting in cafes, looking a bit UrbanOutfitters, bashing out another amazing chapter before having a swim because that’s just what I do these days.

Instead I haven’t bothered to have a shower, as its not like I’m going to see anyone and I’m panicking my face off that I’m just going to write the shit sequel.

The Mannequin 2 of the book world.

Right, OK. Here we go.

Quick check of Yahoo news. Facebook. Emails. Junk mails.

Hang on, Holly Willoughby’s poorly?


I will just get to the end of the Internet and then, THEN I’ll get started.

* Any procrastination busting tips would be much appreciated
** Asking for a friend
** Obviously asking for me.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Hoola-anuary is officially over...

Well, one week into the New Year, and I‘ve lost a stone, sorted out my finances, and have organised play dates for the kids from now until forever.

Said no-one.

None of my clothes fit.

Not in an, ‘oooh that’s a bit snug after too many mince pies’, kind of way. I’m talking eye-wateringly tight jeans and tops that give you a mono-boob and stop the circulation to your lower arms.

When talking about getting fit this year, I’d happened to mentioned to my husband that I was good at hoola hooping.

Well, what I actually said, after several glasses of fizz, was that I was ‘fucking incredible’ at hoola hooping.

It was one of the skills I acquired in my early 20’s, along with twat wrapping (the art of wrapping embroidery thread around a tight plait in someone’s hair and charging a quid an inch) and fire eating.

These are all clearly life-skills that we’re essential in the 90s.

Anyway, fast-forward a few days from my show off conversation and the postman delivers this.




I wish I’d said I was fucking incredible at wearing Dior, or going out for posh dinners, but there you go.

I guess it’s good to be heard sometimes in a house full of loud children, even if it is to request a bloody hoola hoop.

It turns up, and there’s a picture of a girl two-thirds my age on the box. Give me a few weeks and I’m going to look just like her.

So I slot it together. It’s weighted. Like actually heavy. But if that pre-teen on the box can do it, I, a woman who has birthed two children, should be more than capable.

I give it a go.

Now. I have never been repeatedly hit in the stomach, but if I had, this is how I imagine it would feel.

The weights twatted me in the gut every time the hoop swung around.

Undeterred, I kept focus. Managing to keep it going for ten rotations. Then twenty. Finally ending up in a knackered heap after getting the bloody thing to swing round thirty times.

The next morning I woke up feeling like I’d taken on Mike Tyson, and on further inspection I realised I was covered in bruises.

Actual hoola hooping injuries.


This was meant to be an easy way to lose two stone without having to leave the house or turning off Coronation Street.

And I’m walking around like I’ve had a hip replacement. I’m sure this didn’t happen when I was hoola hooping at raves in 1998.

And to make matters worse, it turns out hoola hooping only really makes a difference if you do it everyday for a minimum of half an hour. HALF AN HOUR? Are you shitting me?

It only burns off 7 calories a minute, and I’ve been doing it for an average of three minutes a day.

21 calories.

That’s not even a cup of tea.

I give up.

Hoola-anuary is officially over.