Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Where to start?

At the beginning I suppose! Saturday didn’t start off quite as expected…

As you can see, the tube was closed. And then it started to rain…so being housewives let loose for the weekend, we got lazy, and instead of just getting on with the walk, we hailed a black cab.

But being that the cab had windows, and seeing that we wanted to hit Primark sometime over the weekend, we yelled ‘Stop!’ when we passed a store on Oxford Street, figuring that we’d only be delayed on our journey to the British History Museum by an hour or so…

At three that afternoon Cass and I agreed the museum was out the window, so we finished with a drink in the late sunshine (milkshake in my case).

Of course it began to rain the minute we decided to get up again. And what’s a girl to do when carrying half a dozen shopping bags? Hail a black cab of course!

By 7 that evening we were in the Hotel bar to meet Cass’s friend, Janet. But it duly started chucking down, and as we didn’t want frizzy hair, we ate in the bar.

At 10 the rain had stopped and Janet and Cass agreed to go on to another bar, this time in Soho. But I wasn’t so sure and tried to beg off. Fortunately for me this wasn’t so easy, as Cass said she wouldn’t go without me. And this was her weekend, so I agreed, for an hour.

But an hour isn’t so long, and we’d only just sat down with our drinks. Five minutes later Janet’s boyfriend, Paul, turned up and announced we were meeting his cousin and his girlfriend in a club up the road (saying ‘we’ is pushing it – it was Paul and Janet who were going, but Janet wanted us to tag along, and Cass said she’d go home with me if I left, so we went with them).

At first it was too noisy, and I was greatly tempted to have a drink, but I worried over how drunk I might get (as lost in London, drunk, on a Saturday night, wouldn’t have been the brightest thing for this middle-aged housewife to do). Then we got a table. Then it was kicking out time. And 3 in the morning.

Piccadilly is a surreal place at 4 on a Sunday morning. People and cars everywhere (though no black cabs) but all the shops are closed, office windows are dark, the Tubes still, and the only noise are the car horns and peoples’ voices. Twenty years ago, when I lived there, it felt like the middle of the night, but not this time. I suppose I could put it down to what a great night I’d had, or maybe it really was different.

Cass was then hungry – and I’ll make mention here of Cass’s appetite, as I’m still stunned! She a size 8 (in US sizes, I think that’s a 4), but she eats loads! Actually, NOT loads, but I mean compared to me. Every few hours she’s hungry, can’t start the day without breakfast, and eats in bed. Life’s a bitch and I’m fat.

But back to Cass being hungry, we tried to get room service, I even went down to reception, but it wasn’t to be. So Cass had to make do with her box of Pringles, and I called it a day night as the sun came up.

I’m being a tad optimistic and sun is overstating it. It rained most of Sunday, which is how I got Cass to the British Museum for midday. Poor thing had a hangover, and I dragged her around Egyptian sarcophaguses, and Roman sculptures.

It wasn’t that she wasn’t interested, she was. Just a tad weary.

Next up was changing some of the clothes from the previous day’s shopping (just one item each) but Cass and I were overpowered by the lure of clothing only a third of the price they are here…

Several bags of shopping later, Cass announced she had to have food. Preferably grease.

Good grief I’m glad I don’t drink, as I blame alcohol for making Cass think she wanted to eat at BurgerKing. Thank god we couldn’t find one. And I steadfastly refused to eat at KFC. That left McDonalds, and sadly there was one within sight.

Actually it wasn’t so bad, and at least we were sitting down at last.

We had to dash back to the hotel to prepare for the festival (and of course we had shopping bags again, and it was raining again, so we had to hail…).

We left for the festival at 5, just as the heavens really let loose.

In the words of that singer chap from Aerosmith, ‘God cried because we rocked!’ At least I think that’s what he said.

How to describe the festival? Busy. Wet. Bloody noisy. Muddy. Chilly. And it’s the first time I’ve seen a queue for the toilets a couple of HUNDRED people long.

You have no idea how glad I am that I didn’t need the loo that night (not once!!!. Of course I did deny myself liquids from 3.

And it was fun.

I can say that now, though I do seem to recall thinking a few other things when there, but by the time we were walking home I had realised all the irritations are what’s helped make the memory so fun.

Afterall, I now know that dreadlocks smell something chronic when wet. And I now know what’s in those cups you see people throwing up in the air at these things (use your imagination with the loo queues so long!). I know that crowds don’t like people who bring a brolly to these things (BTW, I didn’t, I was in a delightful blue pac-a-mac, cringing whenever the cameras swung around for fear I looked like a giant coloured condom in amongst a sea of black clad rockers).

Sadly I only recognised two songs from the three acts we saw over the six hours. But at least I can say I’ve seen Jet, Chris Connell (Connelly? Either way, he was the cleanest cutest looking man there)

and Aerosmith in concert.

And like I said, it was fun!

In fact the weekend as a whole, was sheer bloody brilliant!

Tomorrow I might tell you about the outrageous conversations of Saturday evening, the weirdo who hugged me at the concert, or how the BH and I missed each other.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Here I am!

I’m in London, and having a great time! So far we haven’t done much, as we didn’t even make it to the hotel until 10 last night. But we had fun navigating the tubes with suitcases and have decided it would be best to get a taxi back to Victoria on Monday.

Being London, dinner cost a ridiculous amount, but it was nice to be fed without having to lift a finger. The hotel itself is nice, though we were given a double room with a very small double bed, but after explaining we were friends – but not that gooder friends, they managed to move us to a twin room.

So here we are, taking life easy, Cass is getting ready, and soon we’ll be heading out into the big bad world!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Oh yeah! I’m off to London

That’s my attempt at excitement.

Actually that’s not fair, I am kind of excited, it’s just manifesting itself as dread. Mostly of the planes, tubes, crowds, shops, noise, smell, and uncomfortable hotel beds which tend to come with ridiculously bouncy pillows.

Plus, this is my life, and as if on cue my period started this morning, bringing with it spots and cramps. The dog ate the book I wanted to take, and Amazon haven’t delivered the other respectable book I wanted to take (respectable as in, not fluffy romance). Heavy showers are predicted in London on Sunday, which should be fun when we’re standing in Hyde Park being deafened. Oh, and S has been ill the last 3 days.

Had to beg my mother’s help to watch S whilst I went to work this morning, but I’m now home eating my lunch and thinking about packing. I leave at 4, which is about 10 minutes after I get in from the school run. Just enough time for a cuppa and cigarette, thank goodness! Which reminds me of a bonus, England isn’t going smoke free until the 1st of July, so we’ll be able to smoke in the pubs and cafes! I’ve missed that.

On the upside I’m going with Cass, and we can talk till the cows come home, so I figure she’ll be a better travel partner than the girl I went across America with. And she’s also on a budget so the shopping won’t be extensive, and we’re both interested in museums so I’m sure I will enjoy the weekend.

Just nervous. After all take the BH and kids away, and who am I?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Double quick post!

I meant to post last Tuesday, I can even prove it as I took pictures in anticipation:

Unfortunately the week ran away from me, and here we are another week gone!

Generally I get Tuesdays and Thursdays off, but between the long dog walk I have to guarantee Kobi each Tuesday morning, and then the tidying up, Tuesdays don’t really exist. And then last Thursday, it was a bake day as I had a cake order for Friday evening.

Here it is:

My eldest, R, claimed it was the best cake yet – but he says this every time, though I have to admit, I find this habit rather cute.

The weekend whizzed by, with a swimming party on Friday evening where I had agreed to stay and play lifeguard (damn lucky too, as one mom left her darling there un-chaperoned and without armbands – suffice to say the little dear didn’t do as she was told and stay in the shallow end, and it was thanks to another ‘lifeguard’ asking me if the girl was drowning, that we ran to the rescue and pulled the soggy mess out before it was too late!)

Saturday was a blur with torrential rain, a kids party outside, swimming, ballet, and cycle proficiency (also outside). Can’t even remember Sunday, except I know it was raining hard and we had ballet.

The boss did mention on Monday that he nearly called me to invite my family out to lunch on Sunday – but he didn’t, as his wife had said I wouldn’t go. Umm, I think we would have actually.

Yesterday held a treat. I had to pop into town to get the boys some dance tops for their tap recital on Wednesday. But (there’s ALWAYS a but!) our only dance shop is closed at the moment, so we trudged around the sports shops in hope of finding tops suitable. No such luck, and in the end I bought P a 4 years olds t-shirt (the tops have to be tight). Not yet sure if he realises he’s wearing a t-shirt made for someone half his age, but even he was so fed up with the endless search he didn’t argue when I said I thought it would do.

The treat part came when I called the BH at 5pm to say he’d be home before us, and could he put the dinner on – but he came up another suggestion – why not meet in town and have dinner out? I know it’s only a little thing, but it’s the first time we’ve ever done that on the spur of the moment! Cost a bloody fortune feeding six of us, but heck, who cares?! (I took my happy pill yesterday, and today ;o))

Today’s vanished. But at least I’ve cleaned the bathroom. I’m soon off to help a friend order some stuff off of the internet (you’d be amazed how many people can’t find their way around the net!)

And I’m not getting my Thursday this week as we have ballet exams that morning. To make life more interesting, I’m not just juggling my own darling’s school times, I’m also doing her best friend as her mom is working – wouldn’t be so bad if they were at the same time, but no, that would be too simple, instead they’re an hour apart.

I’ve also had an offer. My friend Cass is supposed to be going to London Friday evening for the weekend, so that she can see Aerosmith in concert on Sunday – but the woman who was supposed to be going with her is nursing her father, as sadly he’s not long for this world, and unfortunately he won’t have anyone else care for him. So I’ve been invited to take her place, and all I’d have to pay for is the hotel.

I’ve said that Cass CANNOT cancel this trip as she’s been looking forward to it for months, but at the same time this trip is kind of wasted on me, as I’m not into Aerosmith, or any of the other bands playing at the festival. Or even festivals at all. Will find on Friday morning if the other woman had talked her dad into allowing hospice care for three days – if not, guess I’m in London this weekend!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Someone should have told me! (Or maybe I should have been paying attention!!)

Do you realise what the date is? We’re nearly half way through June! JUNE!! Crap, where did the year go?

From this point on, for the rest of the year life is like getting fired out of a rocket. Then again maybe I should be glad, as it means January will be around in no time at all!

So I thought I should get my diary up to date, especially as I think we’ve missed a party, but still haven’t found the invitation so can’t be sure, don’t even know who it was from, so I can’t call the mom and claim my kids dog ate it.

Though I seriously doubt we could fit another party in anyway, as we’re booked up until mid-July. Bloody hate kids parties too, and worse still, both P and S are asking if they can have parties.

I think I’m going to tell P no, as he had one two years ago, which isn’t really that long ago, is it? And anyway I don’t much like his friends, so it kinds of sticks in my throat that I have to pay all this money to entertain them. And anyway, both the Saturdays around his birthday are committed already.

Not sure what to do about S. She’s going to lots of parties this year, and I think if I agree to a party then I’ll have to invite the entire class. Blah. Just the thought of it wears me out.

If I knew the moms better I’d invite some here, but as I haven’t made the slightest effort to talk to this group, I don’t know them at all. You know, I don’t know a single mother’s name from S’s class. That’s appalling, and I’m actually feeling ashamed.

Oh, oh, but I have just had a thought about another mom!! Today when we got to school I noticed one of the moms was wearing bands on her wrists. It was only the look on her face, as she noticed my face, that stopped me laughing out loud!

She’s 7 weeks pregnant, but it’s a secret. Figure I can tell you though, as it’s not like you’re going to show up and look for the mom wearing sea-sickness bands in the playground! She said I was the first person who’d noticed the bands and knew why she might be wearing them. Ha, after four pregnancies I know most of the tricks!

But back to birthdays, I suppose I should start by buying some gifts, damn, this is how I end up so broke!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Leaps and bounds!

No, it’s not me leaping, or bounding. As if. In fact, knowing me I’d yawn at the wrong moment and fall flat on my face (though I could actually catch forty winks whilst down there!).

I’m talking about P. He’s had a heck of a week. Of course it’s all relative, because if we were talking about R I wouldn’t be shouting this with the level of pride I feel, as everything appears to come easy to R.

Is that wrong? To admit you treat your children differently? Well if it is, I guess it just makes me a bad mum, but keep that quiet as I don’t think the kids have figured it out yet!

Anyway back to P and why I’m feeling so proud of him. Regular readers will know, life isn’t a breeze to P. Though I should add, most of his problems are of his own making. The one thing that isn’t his fault is that he’s not very academic. In other words, not a patch on R. But as I keep reminding him, the competition isn’t with R, it’s doing the best he can – for himself.

But regular readers will also know, thanks to a small run-in I had last year with a certain teacher – who’s now headmaster(!!) – P will not be continuing at his present school when he hits the seniors. Which is more than a problem, as the only other school he can attend is very academic, and so for the last year we’ve endlessly stressed the importance of study.

And it’s paying off!

Though bloody hard work (from all of us) he was allowed into a higher maths group this week – but just for the week, to see how he does. And come the weekly test on Friday, he had the second best score out of twenty-four boys!

But that wasn’t the best! The best was he also earned his school year’s merit badge!! And it’s nothing to do with the maths class, this is awarded based on a point system which they earn for anything from homework, presentation, and politeness for things like remembering to open doors for people.

Oh heck, I know this probably doesn’t sound like much, but P’s never won anything. Never even done well before. And I’m so proud of him, largely because it’s a reflection that so many of his ‘issues’ are behind him.

It really is a weight off of my mind to know he’s growing up and starting to see the big picture. In fact a couple of months ago I lost my temper and told him a terrible truth, which was I could die tomorrow and I know my parting thought would be fear over what would become of P. No one loves him like me – which I know is what any mother can say about her children, but all my other children are loved and liked by others too. Whereas P’s never made it easy for others to feel that way about him.

But it’s all changing. One of my friends has even made a bet with me that it will be P who takes life by the horns and conquers all. Bloody hell, I hope so! And if he’s keeps working this hard, he’ll deserve it.

But onto the other horrors. J amazes me. Last night she went for her first sleepover (have to admit, this pissed P off a lot – as he didn’t go on his first sleepover until he was 7, and he just didn’t think it was right that J was allowed at 6!). There was also a school disco to start the evening off with, but it wasn’t her school and she only knew two people there.

I worried, but knew my friend Cass would look after her. J did better than that! After Cass’s daughter came out early saying she’d had enough, they had to wait for J, as she didn’t want to leave as she announced it was the best disco she’s ever been to, and was doing really well in the dancing competition.

Cass and I laughed about it today, as neither of us would have endured in such a situation. But J has such confidence, she was talking to anyone who’d listen and asking to dance with whoever was close.

Amazing. You wouldn’t think she was mine!

Oh and she got through the night with no problems either, which doesn’t surprise me, as unlike P, J doesn’t panic easily.

Onto my eldest, R, or rather ‘The Git’. I guess the teenage hormones are kicking in. The bloody attitude on him is starting to drive me nuts. What’s weird is, he still has wonderful moments! Never mind, only another eight years to go before this phase passes (I hope!)

In fairness to R, this past year has been his most challenging to date. Up until Christmas he was very lonely at his new school, and then a lad who he became friends with, seemed to spend time with R out of school, just so he could take the mickey when in school. The whole thing wasn’t easy for R, but he dealt with it well, and suffice to say R told the lad he wasn’t welcome at our house any longer. Luckily kids, being kids, they have managed to become friends at school again, but R still hasn’t invited him back here.

Not that it matters now, as R is over the moon because a new boy has started. It definitely seems to have taken the pressure off R being the new kid, and wonder of wonders they’re fast becoming best friends.

I had to laugh when R told me how great it was being mates with this boy, apparently he’s excellent at French (and as he sits next to R, this is proving beneficial to R!), and built like a brick shit house so no one picks on him.

It’s good to see R happy again, even if it does only last until we get home, whereupon he resorts to his sulks (this week because I’m making him do a cycle proficiency course on Saturday afternoons! Evil mommy that I am).

And so that leaves S, my funny little one on the end. Not much to say about her, she’s still little, still cute, and still tells me she loves me every five minutes. She’s a sweetheart, and no doubt it’ll all be downhill from here. But at least I’ll be able to read my words in a few years and dimly recall such a time!

Plus… I’m broody. Really broody. I know it would be a medical impossibility, but medicine can do wonderful things these days. Of course the BH isn’t so enamoured. Thinks I’m mad actually. Says he doesn’t want to be a dad at forty-five, that by the time the child’s twenty, it won’t be fair that he’ll be sixty-five.

I guess when he puts it like that, I can see sense. And it’s not like I’m coping marvellously with the ones I’ve got. But still… I miss babies. And everyone seems to be having babies again, and as S is five, I’d cope better than I did with three under five. But then, where would we put a fifth? And we can’t afford a fifth. And I hated the pregnancies. In fact I know I’m being silly. But still…

I guess if I’m thinking like this, today must have been a good day!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Eaten alive!

Today feels like I’m surrounded by piranha, and each little bugger is taking a bite. None of those bites are very big, but there’re so many of them that it’s starting to hurt.

Not that I know what it’s like to be eaten by piranha.

Do you know what today is? It’s the 2nd anniversary of this place, though I am being a cheeky mare in stating that, as my posts have dwindled to such a pathetic pace.

Not that I care. Seriously I don’t. And I know that’s incredibly rude to those of you who still swing by here, but I don’t mean to be. It’s just that when I started this place, it was for my own benefit – to get things off of my chest (so to speak) – and I think I forgot that for a while. Kinda got worried I was boring you all to death. Which I am. But I’ve come to realise that shouldn’t matter. And right now it doesn’t, so I’ve said it.

Anyways, back to what I came here for, I’m fish food. Thankfully not the literal kind. It just gets real tiring trying to live. I’m sick of being taken for granted, of my time and wants being of no relevance to others. Completely unimportant.

The children are the worst, though plenty of adults have a go too. But I’m going to stop there, (here, whatever!) as I often regret putting some of my less than gracious thoughts down on paper. And it’s probably only because I’m tired that I’m like this anyway. So damn tired.

In fact I KNOW I’m stressed again because my stomach is bad and I was up at five-thirty this morning. Not that I’m complaining, at least my kitchen was tidy for a while this morning, and having such an dicey stomach is probably what has kept the weight off all those years!

Ho-hum, at least tomorrow is another day and I can take some more drugs happy pills. Oh goody.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Bad days and good…

Yesterday was a bad day. I don’t know why, but I awoke in a low mood which didn’t improve as the day progressed. I had forgotten to take my happy pills on Sunday, so maybe it was simply the lack of drugs!

But onto today. Today has been a good day. Today my friend, Anna, turned forty. I’ll say to you what I said to her, how the fuck can I have friends this old?! it would be okay if I was hanging around with older people, but Anna’s just one of many hitting the forties. And soon it will be my turn.

I feel old.

And fat. Which is almost as bad, as it’s not something I’ve had to think about since being a teenager. I know all the other mothers complain about weight issues endlessly, but it’s new to me, and bloody depressing. And depressing is not what I need.

I can’t figure it out. I’ve been able to eat what I like for years, and it used to be no sooner did I wish to lose weight, than I did. But no longer. Now, my jeans just get tighter and tighter.

Don’t think I’m expecting any sympathy. I’m not, doubly so as I’ve been in the minority not having to worry about weight before. But this is my place and I want to grumble. So I’ll grumble.

It’s not bloody fair. I don’t want to get old. And I don’t want to get fat.

Anyway, grumble over, onto happier things. Like birthdays. Except…celebrating age with a fattening cake seems a tad ironic now I stop to think about it…

AHHHHHHH!!!!! Around in circles I go!! What's new??!!

So I was talking about cakes. I really think I could start a business with these cakes. I know some of you have been saying it for a while, but as I’m an insecure (old, and fat) person, it really doesn’t matter what other people say, I have to believe it myself. And at last, I think I do.

I’m becoming almost quick now. The cakes themselves usually only take me a couple of hours. Of course taking a only couple of hours over something is hardly fun, as I might be insecure, but I also enjoy a challenge.

So last week I taught myself how to make two tier cakes,

and this week I decided to move on to making my own Scottish stud Highlander.

I made this cake for Anna. We like the same books, and more often than not, they have a Scottish hunk hero, called Jamie. The BH told me he thought the sword was wrong – that I’d given my hero a broadsword, but I assured him I know a claymore when I see one, and this one is definitely a claymore. When I told him how I know, he gave me a very bemused look! Anna knew it was a claymore too.

Goes to show even fluffy books have a purpose. Damn shame carrying a real claymore around is illegal, and why the hell aren’t kilts more in fashion?

I swear I would be in a good mood every day, if only…