Friday, 5 November 2010

Puppy Diary 5

I thought I had this awful detention place sorted, I thought I had the staff here trained. Things like, for example, they give me a circus-type clown performance if I give them the command – the command for the clowns is “piddle on floor” and then they fall over themselves, making loud noises and baring their teeth. It’s very amusing, and they seem to enjoy it, so I do it frequently for them, bless them.

I’ve even got the kibble coming several times a day now, and I have reached so-far… which is a comfy place to sleep and not a command centre as I initially thought.

They did keep on trying to put that “lead” on my shackles, but I have worked out that I can leave the prison with the lead on and we go to an all-you-can-eat restaurant, which is great. They call it the “park” and they don’t actually let me eat the buffet there so I have to sneak it while they aren’t looking. Conkers, yummy…. Then they grab me, pin me down and wrestle me and put their fingers in my mouth. This seems to be another clown performance, so again I encourage it by grabbing at any passing rubbish to nom nom nom on.

However. They surpassed themselves in evil genius this week. I’m not sure I can forgive them. I was taken – shackled and on the lead – to a new torture place with lots of other prisoners. I got into hot water there. Actual, for real hot water. Ugh. I wriggled and tried to escape but they put slippery-stuff on me so I couldn’t get out and splashed that water around until the slippery stuff was gone. Which makes no sense but who can fathom these weird humans? Then... I can hardly tell you. Then… they took a machine and passed it over my body and… and… when I looked… sorry, this is making me very emotional. When I looked… my fur… my fur was just GONE. Not all gone, luckily, I wasn’t left naked. But it was SHORT. How am I supposed to get the mud from the buffet place attached to me (for snacking on later) now??? What a very cruel and unusual punishment this is.

pup-14w                   Me… No fur… grrrr!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Haircut, age 4

Recently Babe has been doing a pretty good impression of some sort of abominable monster. We’ve affectionately called her Cousin It. Here.. this is actually pretty tame, imagine this swirling around the place, picking up dust and encouraging the puppy to jump and bite it…

cousin-itIt got a bit long, huh? So we had to visit the “hair cutter”. And she lost around… ok, lost exactly because I just measured it… EIGHT INCHES OF HAIR!!! OMG. That’s a huge amount. Anyway, here’s The Babe, age 4, post-haircut.


Hey look, we did this post before!

Friday, 15 October 2010

The Universe Is Against Me


This is a (bad) representation of my shower control. When I get in the shower, it’s pointing at 6. That’s too hot for me, so I adjust to 5. 5 is freezing OMG jump out of the way quick. Adjust to 5.5. That’s also freezing. Sigh. Adjust to 6. Also freezing. Huh? 6.5. Freezing. 7. Freezing. WTF?? 8. Cold. Grrr. Fine, whatever, I’ll have a cold shower. Cold is better than freezing. Wet hair. Apply shampoo. Lather. Water boils. There is no in-between, it goes from cold to Holy Crap I could make tea with this. Screech. Jump out of the way with scalded.. uh… outer extremities.

This shower doesn’t like me. I have shampoo dripping into my eyes. It burns. Eeek. Turn down water to 7. Boiling. Waft shower over toes to see if it’ll cool down if I give it a chance. No. To 6. Ha no, boil sucker. The steam is wafting into the shampoo dripping down my forehead turning it into some sort of sloppy goo that can get into eyelids that are squeezed shut.

5. That was freezing before, right? Yeah… not anymore.

Whack it down to 3. Still too hot, but not burning so I quickly rinse the shampoo and tears of pain.

Still hot. Reach for the shower gel…. Nudge shower control without moving it… suddenly the water temperature drops to zero and ice cubes drop on my head. Ouch. But also hah, I didn’t move you so I just proved that you are a sentient, malevolent, nasty… uh… machine. And I am bloody cold.

Turn shower right up to 9 because boiling has gotta be better than hailstones in the bathroom, right?

Ah ee ah ee ah aeee… sod it, that’ll do, DONE.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

In Which I swear. A LOT.

I was talking with a friend today. She needs a pseudonym… uhhh… Sandy. She’s Sandy. Actually Sandy is like the worst name ever because Sandy is the uptight virgin from Grease while this woman is more at home sprawled back, fag in hand, vodka in the other, cackling with me about penis sizes. Anyway. We’ll call her Sandy with an ironic wink, eh?
Sandy said there was nothing worse than having a reallyreallyreally bad day and you go to your husband/partner/whatever for a comforting hug. And they use the opportunity to grope your ass or boobs. You’re like “What the FUCK???!” And he’s like “What?????” As if he did nothing wrong and you are some over-sensitive uptight shrew.
Yeah. That’s bad.
I wish I’d remembered, though, what Himself does to me….
So I had a bad day. Thing One has morphed from this gorgeous bundle of love into a mouth with an attitude. She was doing her usual being mean thing, this time at Babe. So I literally screamed at her that Babe had spent 8 hours in hospital this week alone, she was in pain and tired and why couldn’t Thing One just be CIVIL for God’s sake.
And then I went into the kitchen, turned the Ipod up LOUD and burst into tears.
Himself came in and asked me what was wrong…. “She’s just a child but she won’t be a child much longer, she could leave home in as little as two years and I do nothing but YELL at her because she’s so horrible but I have so little time left with her and I hate all this…..waaaaaaahhhhhhhhh.” Sobs I.
“Awww.” he says. He puts his arms around me. And then he says it. The thing that is worse than groping your crying wife.
“Is your period due then?”
And okay I wasn’t exactly coherent but... I’d rather be fucking GROPED than fucking PATRONIZED. YOU TWAT.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Well *I* didn’t break my baby this time

She did it all by herself. Fell down the stairs, flomp. Bang. SCREAM. Quick trip to A&E when she couldn’t put her foot down. Quick = 3 hours. X-ray of ankle clear. Go home. Next day, ankle bruised, swollen, still not weight bearing. ‘Nother quick trip to A&E. 2 hours. X-rayed from hip to toe. Nada. She’s bruised her bones (I used to think that was a made up illness, like cooties). Back at hospital tomorrow. In the meantime, she can’t walk at all and we’re having to carry her literally everywhere. She sits on the sofa, bored out of her mind, whining. “Mummy can I have…. uuuuhhhh…..”

Wanna bet how long my patience will last? (Hint; bet SMALL, people, SMALL!).

Road Rage

1) If I stop on a busy narrow street to allow you to drive first, don’t say thank you to the car BEHIND ME, you tosspot!

2) If you are on a bike and I am in a car and we come to some traffic lights don’t swing around me to come past me on my right to fly across the lights as if magical-forcefield-of-omgitsabike will protect you from the cross traffic. You scared the crap out of me when you sailed past my window. Tosspot.

3) Probably most important. If you are in a car park and I am happily driving past you don’t just reverse out of your space straight into the passenger side of my car. Pretty please? TOSSPOT.

(OK. Maybe those first two aren’t really rage worthy. But it was a quick five minute trip to the train station to drop someone off, and they all happened in the same journey….)

Monday, 4 October 2010

Puppy Diary 4

Kibble is fast becoming one of the biggest benefits of this incarceration. I even get some at mealtimes now, which is a vast improvement on the mush they used to serve.

They took me back to the kibble place this week, but the nasty torturer this time didn’t give me kibble when she nipped my neck so I cried a little. Then they gave me a BIG nip on my neck but that time they must have felt guilty and gave me kibble so it was alright. They said the BIG nip was a “chip”, but I’ve seen chips on the smaller jailers’ food and there’s no way they stuck one of those huge things in me. I had a good sniff and scratch just in case. If they stuck food in my neck I wanted it out! It might be good, like kibble!

They did get new shackles. They made jokes about getting a pink sparkly shackle but luckily they decided to be sensible. Or so I thought. They attached a long “lead” to my neck shackle, which is not at all sensible! So I bit it and worried at it. Then they took it off.

I have deciphered quite a few of their bird noises now, but I shall pretend to remain ignorant so that they can’t tell me to do things. They keep making silly noises like “no” – often followed by the word “biting”. They do this when I investigate things like wicker baskets and fingers. I shall ignore them.

I have had some success with training the littlest one to understand a proper language. She now knows that “cry” or “head on side” means feed me. She isn’t very intelligent because she also thinks that “sleeping”, “exercising”, “researching escape routes” all mean feed me. I don’t think I shall tell her any different because it’s one way to get extra kibble.

Note to self; crying makes them feel bad and they give me kibble.
Note to self; bite the “lead” to make them rescue it and leave me alone.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Puppy Diary 3

There have been developments. I have been allowed to leave, under strict supervision. Some sort of day release programme, I assumed at first. However it turned out to be some sort of very strange torture. I was taken to a building that appeared to contain several other prisoners. One by one we were taken into a special room, and some strange cries and squeals emerged. I was taken in, and made to stand on a high metal table while the Chief Torturer poked and prodded me and held various instruments over me. Then I was given kibble which was actually very tasty. While I was eating there was a sharp nip on my neck but the kibble was good so I ate it. I’m not sure why the other prisoners cried. The kibble was yummy!

The next time we went out I assumed we were going for more kibble and was disappointed to find that this new place was kibble free. I did meet another prisoner who was very big. He didn’t have any kibble either. He let me sleep on his bed, but then when I tried to use his ball to exercise he growled at me. He was alright, though I’d rather have had kibble.

The captors appear to be shrinking over time. It’s very strange. I used to climb one and sleep on her shoulders but now her shoulders are too small and I can’t get comfy. I nibble her ears and she makes me get down. So mean. They’ve also taken off my shackles because it was very tight on my neck but I think I shall get a new one soon because the Big Prisoner had one on.

I’m beginning to understand the bird noises. “Goo’ Bay-Lee” is some sort of praise, I think. I hear it a lot. I think “Bay-Lee” is their name for food, because if they say it and I run over I get kibble. I like kibble.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Puppy Diary 2

Day Four: I have met some fellow inmates. They are unnecessarily hostile and repel all my friendly overtures with hisses and slaps. I am beginning to think they are Stool Pigeons, since I have seen them cosy up to the Captors in a very friendly manner, purring and getting extra rations in exchange.

Day Five: I have been attempting to access some of the higher places in the prison, namely the Captors seating area. They tend to congregate there while viewing the box-with-lights-and-sounds (some sort of communication device?). However the high places are just too high and even taking a running start and jumping as high as I could, I still bumped my head on it. The high place (seems to be called a “so-far” in their bird-noises) remains out of reach for now….

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Puppy Diary

Day One: My Captors appear quite terrifyingly huge. I show no fear. There is a cage cell with a bed and water in it, but it seems that I am allowed to roam in the prison freely and cell times are erratic. I cannot trust these captors who seem so capricious. As night falls I manage to pin one down and I fall asleep on their chest, refusing to use the bed in the cell.

Day Two: My frustrations at this confinement are hard to bear. Sometimes I yell at my captors. When I do this they punish me by carting me to an outside area with giant hundred foot high walls. No chance of escape. I show my displeasure by squatting and pooping on their land. The captors respond with wild whoops, bashing their massive paws together and chanting in high pitched voices. The noises they make are hard to understand... it sounds like “Goo’ Bay-lee!” Some sort of incantation I suppose.

Day Three: One of the captors is much smaller than the others, and doesn’t make as many weird bird-like noises. It is possible I could teach this one to communicate. This one appears to spend a great deal of time on the floor, manipulating plastic objects, so I am able to climb onto its legs and look at its face. When I do, it also repeats the incantation from yesterday… “Goo’ Bay-lee…”. I’m not sure what this means.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010



O hai ebberybodee!

This has to be the cutest guinea pig puppy! Want to smoosh him? He nuzzles up under your chin and snuffles you. He’s so cute, yes he is, yes he is, who’sa cute boy… squeee!

Normal service will be resumed once Pup gets past the omg-awwwww stage!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Is it Autumn??

I seem to spend half my life thinking “where did the time go???” (And the other half thinking “God I’m bored, can’t wait until…”. Irony, wot?) The thing is, I’m pretty sure life does go by reallyreallyreally fast as you get older, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised when I realise things like Christmas is only 4 paydays away (aaarrgghh).

Plus, of course, these summer holidays were actually only 5 weeks long, not 7 weeks like last year, so they did zip by really fast!

I dread the end of term… the idea of the kids being at home 24/7, of entertaining them, of having to deal with the fights and the bickering, the expense of the ”Canihaves” and the ”I’mboreds”. The thing is, by this end of the holidays I also dread them going back!

I get so used to the lazy mornings… sleeping in until 9am…. staying in pjs until 11… the kids playing out… dozing in the garden in the sun… (ok maybe that last bit was just wishful thinking. Damn British weather).

This post was just interrupted by me glancing at the clock, realising the time, jumping up in an adrenaline rush because oh crap! I’ve got an hour to get Babe to nursery and she hasn’t eaten or gotten dressed yet eek!

See? And THAT is what I miss about the lazy summer days. No adrenaline, no rush, no “have to”, no clock-watching just laid back and relaxed.

(Plus… and I realise this is breaking the Mother Honour Code… plus... I kind of miss my kids too. Hey, I actually LIKE my kids* and like spending time with them… stop looking at me like that… stop judging meeeeeeee!!!)

*Sometimes. Just saying.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
John Wooden

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.
John Wooden

Never mistake activity for achievement.
John Wooden

It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.
John Wooden

If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?
John Wooden

Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.
John Wooden

Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.
John Wooden

Wooden was a well known basketball coach in the USA. However what inspired me when I learned of him a few years ago was his utter loyalty and devotion. He met his wife, Nellie, when he was fifteen, and they were together almost sixty years. Nellie died in 1985 and John continued to visit her grave and write love letters to her every month. As he finished each letter, he would add it to the pile of others which he kept on her pillow. He did this every month for twenty five years. He died this summer, loving Nellie always.

Once I was afraid of dying.
Terrified of ever-lying.
Petrified of leaving family, home and friends.
Thoughts of absence from my dear ones,
Drew a melancholy tear once.
And a lonely, dreadful fear of when life ends.

But those days are long behind me;
Fear of leaving does not bind me.
And departure does not host a single care.
Peace does comfort as I ponder,
A reunion in the Yonder,
With my dearest who is waiting for me there.
                                           Swen Nater, inspired by John and Nellie

Friday, 6 August 2010

Wee Willy Winky

Me, in my old ratty pjs, running up the street peering in my neighbours windows at 3am. Not a great image, eh?

I have this teeny tiny phobia about fire. And moths, I hate moths. My eldest tells me that I must have died in a fire in a previous life, probably tied to a stake (probably at night, with the moths attracted to the flames... hah take that Freud!). I think it far more likely that my phobia springs from my father accidentally setting the house alight when I was a toddler, but whatever floats your boat.

So, asleep in bed. 3am. I get a whiff.. a tiny sniff.. oh my god, a fire! I am so much better than any smoke alarm, and I am out of bed, running into the children’s rooms before my brain catches up. Wait, I can smell fire but there’s no smoke. And my smoke alarms, so sensitive they pingpingpingpingping if a spider crosses the ceiling, are quiet. Hmm. Not my house then. (I still check every single room and electric socket).

So… it must be a neighbours house! I run into the street and check the windows for flickering light. Because you know that is obviously how I’d know. Tcch.

Himself finally catches up with me. He leans out the front door. “For pity’s sake, it’s the bloody tyre yard across town, the wind must have changed!”


I scurry quickly back into the house, and sheepishly slope back to bed (although with that adrenaline rush the chances of sleep are now nil). I may be a total idiot but secretly I am still impressed at my super sensitive sense of smell. Me 1: Fire 0.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Entitled Old People

You know those entitled old feckers? The ones who push in the lines at post-offices “because you need to learn to respect your elders!”; the ones who call you a child abuser if you smack your toddler or tut about how useless you are if you try and reason with them; the ones who get to the till, watch the cashier scan their groceries, refuse to bag them so the poor cashier has to do it, then – and only then – get out their little change purses and offer to pay in pennies counted individually; you know those ones? We’ve all met them, I’m sure. Well yesterday, I met their king.

I was outside my friend’s house, waving her mother off after a 3 day visit. You know how that goes, you end up stepping onto the road a little as your enthusiasm takes over. I was perhaps 8 inches from the kerb and I’d been there approximately 3 seconds when Entitled Old Fart drove up and decided he wanted THAT SPACE! THE ONE I WAS STANDING IN! AND NONE OF THE OTHERS VISIBLE ON THIS STREET ALONE! YOU BRAT SHOW SOME RESPECT FOR YOUR ELDERS!

So, naturally he would have pulled up, beeped his horn, rolled down his window and shouted at me to get out of his way, what did I think I was doing standing slightly the road waving like a loon anyway?

Except no. He looked me in the eye and quite deliberately and with malice RAN ME DOWN. He obviously thought he could bully me with his car until I moved, and I did step back onto one foot in shock, but that is all I had time to do when he hit me.

He was going slowly, I didn’t get hurt really, and his face when he realised his bully boy tactics had failed was a picture, but still. HE HIT ME WITH HIS FECKING CAR! Unbelievable.

Bet you can’t top that!

DISCLAIMER: I have no prejudice against Entitled Old People in general. In fact I fully intend to be one, one day. I shall pinch the cheeks of overly groomed teenagers and tell them they are wearing too much makeup and pinch the bum cheeks of the lads and then cackle madly. I’m quite looking forward to it…

Thursday, 8 July 2010

UTI again

A postscript to this, which was itself a postscript to that. She’s getting them again. She had one at the end of June and another this week, a real humdinger this time, to the point of uncontrollable fever, vomiting and rigors. Unbelievable. We’re off to the doc to see about reinstating the prophylactic antibiotics because this is seriously just no fun at all.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010


And, in other news, worthy of a stand-alone post because this is Big News Indeed.

Thing Two has been chosen as Star Pupil.

Now I know this means nothing to you so I shall explain. She has been chosen, of all the children in the school, as this week’s Star. Starriest of all the children, or “pupils”. See how that works? Clever, huh? In practical terms, it means she gets to go to lunch early every day with a friend – so is currently very popular with everyone begging to be chosen – and she gets to wear a natty waistcoat that is passed from Star to Star every week, and worn over her uniform.

Well done Thing Two, honey.

*(Is it awful that my first thought was “I hope someone has washed that damn waistcoat”?)

**(And I’m pretty sure Thing Two is most chuffed because Thing One was never chosen, so now Thing Two has one-upped her. Ah, sisterly love…)

Disney Dilemma

Thing One is away in another country again. You may notice my calm poise, especially compared to last year’s hysteria. This is because Thing One is now a teenager and therefore the bane of my life. So, calm. Poised. Mature.



Since she’s coming home tomorrow, she’s just now deciding to buy souvenirs, natch. So she texts me…. wait, sidetrack. Bloody teenagers and their bloody phones. She’s cost me over £60 in overseas charges. Forty seven texts so far today! Bring back the days of no mobiles, eh?… so she texts me.

What does Babe want from Disneyland?


Who is her favourite character?


Choose one!



Fine… so I ask Babe what she wants. She tells me she’d like a Daisy Duck.

There aren’t any. Does she want a Minnie?

No. A Duck.

There aren’t any… choose something else.

A duck.

How about a mouse?


It’s the mouse or nothing.

Fine. I’ll have a Goofy….

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Itchy scratchy

I’ve spent the last few nights ensuring that the dog formerly known as the Nightmare Before Christmas is all clean and bug free. It’s left me a little… itchy. You know how you can’t hear about lice and nits without scratching your head? (Oh, are you itchy? Sorry.) As I was saying, lice and nits. (Heh. I just did it that time for kicks.) Fleas. Fleas make my skin crawl. So I have come home and am about to forgo my lovely hot bubbly bath that helps me sleep for a cool power shower that wakes me up.

Posh: What, no bath?
Me: Well, no. I want to wash the wee imaginary beasties away not sit and give ‘em swimming lessons.
Me: So I shall shower... wash hair... go to bed with wet hair... look like scarecrow in the morning.
Me: Scare small children in the street.
Posh: And have mouldy pillows.
Me: And inhale said mould nightly over time and get lung disease. Marvellous.

I don’t actually have time to re-wash my hair tomorrow morning, since I {sob} have no car so will have to be up and out early to walk everywhere. The car suspension broke today.

Himself: Did you drive over a pot-hole??
Me: Tcccch. No! I’m not that crap a driver. However, say there was a pot-hole… could I sue the council for car repairs?
Himself: No.
Me: Then no, there was no pot-hole. Must be just one of those weird random things, eh?

Himself drove like a maniac around to the garage at 2 miles an hour which is all the suspension would allow, to catch the mechanic before they closed. He barely made it, so he told the guy to just order the parts, cost is immaterial. He said that. To a mechanic. I did wonder why he didn’t just say here, have my credit card, the deeds to my house and my first-born child.

Then I realised that he has no credit-card and no-one in their right mind would want our first-born.

We may have to move, though.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Happy Star Wars Day!

May the Fourth be with you…

Ok. Silly things make me laugh, and I liked that!

We’ve had a cultural invasion. French exchange students arrived today. If I’m not back in a few days, send baguettes and fromage.

Au revoir!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

UTI Result

Just a post-script to this. Babe was scheduled for a DMSA scan in March. We had to be there at 9am, so they could put an anaesthetic cream on, and wait in the playroom while it worked. The play therapist remembered us… this may be because I spent Babe’s hospital visit cutting out and laminating Christmas decorations!

After the cream had numbed her, they injected a small amount of radioactive chemical into her, which was over with in a couple of minutes. Then we were sent off for another hour. Sigh.

The actual scan was simple. It took fifteen minutes of so, while Babe lay very still on the big machine but they put a movie on to distract her and she was fine.

The results took a month to come in and show that her right kidney has been scarred and she has lost almost a fifth of its function. However her left kidney is working harder to compensate and they are going to keep a close eye on her blood pressure for the next few years, so it is nothing to worry too much about.

And, she is now off the prophylactic antibiotics she’s been on since December, so yay!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Bye, Puppy

One of the worst decisions you ever have to make is when to end a life. You never can make the right decision because even when the majority of you knows that it is right, there will always be a piece of you that doubts it. Always.


He was limping so badly, his arthritis pained him so much that he could no longer jump on the furniture or into the car. How sucky is it that you get banned from furniture your whole life and just when you’re finally allowed up out of respect for your old bones that you can’t even jump anymore? He couldn’t do a full circuit of the park on his walks, and certainly no more chasing imaginary rabbits and jumping Beechers Brook. Long gone are the days when he could dislocate your shoulder by a sudden change of direction... Babe could walk him sedately and she’s three years old.

He started to lose his mind. I can’t list all the things because it is too painful, but seeing a great dog suddenly change so rapidly… and he was a great dog. Protective and loving and kind… thick as crap but no-one’s perfect.

He was a bit blind, mostly deaf, and didn’t want to eat much of anything.

The vet said there was nothing they could do anymore. And so now he’s not coming back.

It hurts.

We’ll miss you, Merlin.


Tuesday, 13 April 2010


Thing One and Thing Two co-operated beautifully in a game of make-believe yesterday, using props and imagination and knowledge of the world and all those marvellous things that you have to tick off to show normal development.

They were planning a funeral.

From the death, through to the planning, notifications to the bereaved, processionals service, burial right through to the haunting.

They are so well adjusted….

Friday, 2 April 2010

My Kid’s On Facebook….

I’m not actually allowed to talk about Thing One anymore, so naturally I shall ignore her and carry on regardless. She had a birthday that I can’t talk about except that.. she’s now old enough to have a Facebook account. I’m now a “Mom on FB!”.

There are a hundred Internet jokes about mothers on Facebook but I just wanted to point out I WAS THERE FIRST!!! How come there are no ‘net virals about KIDS taking over FB??


Tuesday, 16 March 2010


There’s a reason, you know, that it is always – ALWAYS – best just to get a man in rather than let me loose on anything.


All I did – I swear – was take a tile off. Just one. And the whole lot just collapsed. Yes that is brick wall that you can see.

I think I’ll just get tile paint rather than remove the rest of them.

Monday, 15 March 2010

How not to make my night…

I went out to visit my MIL and SIL last night – Babcia and Silly. We had a very pleasant evening. Dear God, how old am I that my Saturday night special is spent watching TV with my in-laws?? But I did, and I drove home after midnight to find my street swarming with flashing lights – several police cars and a huge van blocking the road. Oh no, I hope everything is alright. I came closer and saw to my horror that they were outside my house. My house. Police. My children are in there…

Heart in mouth, I screeched to a halt and shouted out of the car window to ask what was going on. The police officer asked if I lived there, and told me to park my car. They were in my space so I had to try and parallel park a few houses away. While shaking. I made a hash of it, naturally, and ended up abandoning the car. To be honest, that tends to be my mode of parking anyway, so meh.

Himself stood in the door glaring at the officers in anger… he told me they’d had reports of a domestic and had questioned him quite aggressively even though he had no idea who had called and that they had made a mistake. I quirked an eyebrow and had a quick chat with the officers – who, incidentally, were perfectly lovely to me. We laughed about it, and I wished them a pleasant evening and good luck finding the correct address.

Just a misunderstanding, no harm, no foul. I really hope the poor people who did need them got the help they needed.

Himself, though, is seething. He doesn’t seem to understand that it would be normal for them to get a call, go to the address and find a man protesting innocence and exuding charm. I can totally understand them wanting to come in and check, to demand to know his wife’s whereabouts, to not take one person’s word for it and need to double check. He is furious that they thought he was lying. I think that is the way the world works, and yes it is awful to be a suspect just because of your gender but suck it up, make nice and it is over quicker. He hates it and has been in a strop ever since. Tcchhhh. Get over it.

But… would I be so quick to brush it off if I were male, and it were me?

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Happy Mother’s Day!

My all time favourite gift… Thing One excelled herself. My children can be really sweet, thoughtful and generous. Generally, they are annoying, argumentative and infuriating, so these flashes of niceness are especially sweet.

She bought me jelly sweets. I love jelly sweets. Cola bottles and jelly babies and wine gums… I love them all. So she used an old glass jar, and layered it with jelly sweets. She wrote her own labels and tied a ribbon on top. It was beautiful, and thoughtful and I love it.

Damn shame she used an old pasta sauce jar that still reeked and every single sweet tastes of garlic.


Saturday, 20 February 2010


Himself scares me. I find myself feeling sick. Naturally, I shield my children from the brunt of things, but they have picked up on certain… tensions. I do whatever I can to avoid the wrong circumstances, and yet.... Even the youngest, poor innocent Babe, now looks in fear at her father and says “No Daddy! You not drive! You bad driver! Mummy drive!!”

Out of the mouth of babes, says I.

How has he scared us? Let me count the ways…

1. He tailgates. Stopping distances are for wimps. When I can’t see the license plate of the car in front my foot tends to hit the floor, looking for an imaginary brake. That, apparently, is the same as saying “I don’t trust you.” Well, duh. I don’t. Now back off!

2. He speeds. Whooshing along at triple the speed of sound, gravity forcing the flesh on my face backwards into my bones, sonic booms entertaining the other poor road users, my foot again goes for that imaginary pedal. Except, I might add, when we are going to visit my mother. For some strange unknown reason we crawl along on the way to visit her. Snails overtake us. Anyone would think he was reluctant to go.

3. He refuses to change lanes. Miles of whooshing along, staring in disgust at the two inner lanes, empty of traffic, yet he will. not. move. in. So frustrating. If, perchance, we come across someone else doing the same thing, the inconsiderate moron, Himself will fly around him, overtaking on the slow lanes in disgust.

4. Those inconsiderate morons included, every other road user is a…badwordhere… He swears, gesticulates, pounds the steering wheel. He is the epitome of road rage.

5. He has damaged the car… many cars… in many accidents. He has driven into ditches, swerved to avoid dogs, ran into the back of other cars, had other cars run into him, written off one car and so on.

6. With my daughter in the car, last month, in all that ice and snow, he did doughnuts in the car park. Hand break turns, you know. With my daughter in the car. On ice.

And yet, I rarely criticize him. I generally just do the driving myself, it is safer. Less chance of a row.

So you’d think, wouldn’t you, that when I had my first accident in twenty years of driving… my first tiny bump, an insignificant scratch, barely worth mentioning really… that he would be more supportive?


He is taking great pleasure in taunting me that he, at least, has never had the children in the car when he crashes. He has printed out “The Idiot’s Guide To What To Do In A Crash” and placed a copy under every seat in the car, and in every car in the entire family. He is enjoying every second of my humiliation.

Stupid moronic other driver getting in my way….

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Day 28 in the Big Messy House

Himself has become a Celebrity Big Brother widower. I’m caught between shame (I rarely watch television* and am kind of amazed that I’ve got caught up in a reality show) and piddling myself laughing. Watching an adult dressed as a chicken being tackled by an adult dressed as a pig was classic television!

I suppose ya’ll need an update or something too. Well… Babe is doing ok at Pre-School. I picked her up today and she nuzzled into my neck and said “Mummy I cried for you!” and broke my heart a little but you know. Sob. She’s enjoying it mostly. I’m not coming home and watching crap TV (OMG have you ever watched Jeremy Kyle**?? That boy was sooo lying, the git) and aimlessly kicking up dust and watching the clock to go get her. Sigh.

Nightmare before Christmas Dog is wonderful. He’s finally healthy enough to come meet our dog, so we introduced them yesterday. Our dog snarled at him. He sniffed our dog’s butt. Our dog sat down so his butt was out of reach. I gave them both a biscuit. Then they had a sniffle of butts again. That’s enough for day one. I’m sure they’ll be great friends.

Kittens are doing great. They have a secret stash of cotton buds somewhere, and keep dragging one out to play with which is driving me insane. No idea what the obsession is. It’s like kitty crack. I have images of Tiz sidling up to a big shady cat with a scar down one ear, sniffing suspiciously and rubbing his nose with his paw, trading catnip for ruddy EARBUDS.

Thing One asked me today if she could go to boarding school. I asked if Borstal counted. At dinner, she decided that she was no longer my daughter. I said she certainly is, I remember pushing her out! Himself added “Yeah. And I remember pushing you out a few months earlier!” Eeew, Honey. Way TMI there.

The Babe was feeding the dog a biscuit yesterday, and dropped it. She bent over to pick it up and he sniffled her hair. “Gerrof! I not food!” (OK, that made me laugh anyway).

Thing Two is planning a gymnastics display for a school assembly next week. The child who broke her arm trick or treating. The child who once tripped and fell into a brick wall. The child who can fall over oxygen atoms in the air. Gymnastics. Huh.

And. Today marks six years. Still missing you every day, sis.

*I’m not a TV snob, I just can’t see it from where the computer is and the Internet wins out every time).

**See? Definitely not a TV snob.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This

Some little ones love to play Doctors. They like to wrap you up in bandages and take your temperature and check your reflexes. The Babe, on the other hand….

{Insert wavy special effects as I take you back in time to see Babe playing with a doll}.

“Rip your head off! Rip! Rip! Rip your head off! Chop your head off. Chop. Chop. Chop your head off. Now you’re DEAD. SCORE!!!!” And she clasps her hands above her head to celebrate.

Blood thirsty child, wot? I suppose she keeps the “doctors” in work.

Is it sick that she does this? Or is it sicker that I can’t help but sing along with Eurythmics tunes in my head?

“Chop your head off! (Movin’ On) Rip your head off! (Movin’ on)…

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Up, up and awry

The Babe really needs a new nickname… she is no longer a baby. She has… gulp… started pre-school officially. As in, not just coming into work with me. She started last week, and things are a bit rocky but we’ll get there. She’s still only staying for short sessions, and will soon settle I know, but she is a bit clingy and worried at home.

By clingy, I mean gripping my leg sobbing “Don’t leave me Mummy!” And refusing to sleep the whole night in her own bed, coming in to us in the wee hours, climbing into the middle and wrapping her arms tightly around my neck. Pushing herself up against me, so that I instinctively move back. And back. Until I teeter precariously on the edge of the mattress. At which point she manouvers maneuvers manoeuvres wiggles around until her cold little feet are up against Himself’s neck so he flinches away. Also to the edge of the bed. And then she sighs happily, and goes back to sleep. Widthways.

By worried, I mean stroppy and bad tempered. “I. SAID. I. WANT. XYZ*!!!” Emphatic and slowly drawn out, as if I am a moron who didn’t quite understand her first demand. Foot stamping, arms crossed. Hurrumph! Tossing her hair around and turning her back. The message is quite clear. I am simply not jumping quickly enough. Bad slave Mummy!

Neither attitude is endearing her to me. Sigh. Stop throwing your weight around, just because you finally** have weight to throw. And seriously. Treating me as a traitor because I am offering you the chance to play with clay, and jump in a sandpit, and paint, and glue, and romp in the snow, and cuddle the resident pets. Well. I am obviously pure evil, aren’t I?

Hurry up and settle in, Babe. But, uh, don’t grow up too quickly, hmm?

*Generally food related. Probably the cause of the double starred footnote.
**From 11.3kg in hospital at the start of December to almost 12kg now. OMG. I suppose at least now I’ll have a reason to buy her a new coat.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

In Stasis

I noticed this photo, taken in 2008.


And felt a bit bad, because this is now, 2010….


Yes, that is the same coat. And yes, the same boots. Oops. I think someone forgot to grow…

Saturday, 2 January 2010

The Nightmare Before Christmas

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the town
The snow kept on falling and covered the ground.
The cold kept you home, by the fire burning bright
Because the ice and the snow was a terrible sight.

And out into that terrible weather trotted Thing One and her friend, and naturally they dragged home trouble. Or at least, they dragged me out, to go and get trouble for them. Trouble, it appeared, was a dog. He’d been running around, without collar, all day apparently, and now night was falling and the girls couldn’t just leave him.


It’s dark, there is a blizzard. Cars are sliding around. I picture him running into the road. I wince. I picture him trying to sleep in the snow. I can't just leave him.


We trudge around a bit, asking people if they know him, recognise him. Nothing. The snow beats us back and we return home.

We can’t keep him. We have a dog, an old dog that is troubled with arthritis. We have kittens, one of whom has severe congenital abnormalities and needs special attention. We have a toddler who is at face level of a dog, one who is unknown and may snap. And we have Christmas in FIVE days, with all the upset of routine that brings. And besides. He is somebody’s pet. They will worry about him. They will want him back.

So. I call the dog warden. Who isn’t working. I am directed to the 24 hour warden’s kennels across town. I look at the iced roads and sigh. I pile dog children and Himself in the car. We attempt to cross town to the kennels. It takes us nearly an hour to drive three miles.

The kennels are horrific. Open to the elements, and it is minus six, with ankle deep snow, whipped higher by the winds. I look at Himself. Please, can we keep him. No. He is firm. We leave the poor dog, and we drive away, me weeping silently so the girls don’t see.

At the start of the week, I call the warden. Nobody has come forward for him. He has been sent to a re-homing facility where he must wait for a week.

We have a week. The girls and I start to scheme.

For all the reasons listed, we cannot have another dog. Our family, however, is fair game….

As soon as the week is up, we drive to the re-homing centre, with Silly in tow. Silly isn’t sure, but we work on her carefully. She says yes. Hurrah!

Three days later, in time for the New Year, we are allowed to bring Trouble home again. He is an amazing dog. So polite, so well trained. Just a puppy still, yet walks to heel, and waits to be given food – not even sneaking off with The Babe’s dropped treats. He’s friendly and playful, and tries so hard to please. He’s perfect. I have no idea why anybody would ever abandon a dog… and especially not such a great dog like this.

I’m so glad that Silly has adopted such a lovely dog. He suits her perfectly and she suits him. What a wonderful ending… or rather, what a wonderful beginning for them both.

Happy, happy New Year indeed.