Thursday, 22 December 2011

The C-Word

It's getting closer.

It's in the trees! It's coming!!

Should I go shopping?

Or just shove a note up the chimney on C-word Eve?

Yeah that'll do ....

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Wot Goes Around.....

....comes around.... like germs in a house with four blinkin' children. Having said, Minx manages to avoid most lurgy by staying in her bedroom away from flying snot, coming out only at night to feed.

I should try that.

Have decided that I'm not going to make any New Y's Ressies this year as I broke almost all of my last year's 48 or so within the first week. No - this year I'm not going to set myself up for grand failure - just keep pootling on with my low-level failures without remorse.

I'm not even going to promise myself to get back into blogging properly. It's like giving myself a big red button to not press. If I don't put it there, I can't sabotage myself. So I'm wishing for a non-achievey kind of new year, where fat, sugar and caffeine are still on the menu and growing up is still not a concept for discussion.

In terms of family life I shall remain as ever just the chauffeur with the car that doesn't work. That is my position in life and I am ever-moulding my lardy arse in the dent of complacency. Join me if you will. It's a delightfully undemanding place to view the world.

So I'll not raise my glass to the New Year particularly - that might momentarily halt the development of my bingo wings for badness's sake. I'll just keep on not keeping on in my own sweet and slightly insanitary way and wish you all a very whatever...

It's been real....

It's been an honour...

It's been....yeah...

Rock on mediocrity... I loves ya!

Friday, 16 December 2011


Madame has been reunited with her washboard.

And is getting ideas.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Friday, 4 November 2011

I'm sorry I appear to be repeating myself myself...

Yes - turning into my mother. Like we all do. Won't bother quoting Oscar Wilde - you know the script.

Just kind of apologising for the last post - going over all this 'I'm crap but happy' malarkey again. But at least it got me rebooted. Not that this may be desirable.

But what of the next generation and our duty to inspire them to greater heights than we ever reached? What kind of motherly idol should I be trying to emulate? (Sorry - cliche alert!! Deduct three points...)

Should I have urged my 'good at' football Cheetah Boy to switch teams - to leave behind the boys who are never going to impress anyone and go with his disenchanted coach and the cherry-picked boys he's devotedly played with for five years to form the basis of a new improved squad elsewhere? It would mean sticking with the newer boys he thinks are rubbish, but remaining loyal to his best mate, not cherry-picked by the old coach. C Boy had no doubts at all - he's staying put. Even if it means losing the whole of his beloved team bar this special chum. It does show a certain strength of character (I know - cliche - I KNOW). Friendship over ambition. Surely a quality of which any parent should be glowing.

Mind you..... he ain't the most positive coach in the world. And despite the dramas and rumours of the past week - it probably won't even happen - but C Boy has hoisted his flag.

And I have saluted it.

And as for Minxie-babes.... She's back on the ice - and stronger than ever. And along come the Kent Opens - our 'home' competition. But due to a printer with a headache and a mother with blancmange for brains, we didn't (OK - I didn't) get her entry in on time. Her class was full. I got told off a bit - but then she moved on and is happy practising her funky moves for the Xmas show instead. Then all of a dirty great sudden I get a text saying someone has dropped out of her class and she can have the space. She looks a little startled and pouts 'No I haven't been working on my routine now.' Lulu-Cheese chirrups in with 'Oooh you'd get all nervous for nothing - it's not worth it.' 'No mum I just want to watch this year.' my gal reiterates. This is fair enough considering the summer break. But I'm all stewy. Can't help thinking she's just thrown away an opportunity. Is this how I've brought her up? Where's HER ambition? Or am I trying to live my life thro' her? Oh what are you supposed to do? I would save me £25....

I saluted her flag.

I ain't no Mama Rose but should we chuck in the occasional prod? Just to remind them we exist maybe? A grown-up and thoughtful hand on the shoulder.......?

SO not ever going to happen in this house. I may be turning into my mother in the 'take your jumper off inside or you won't feel the benefit' bracket but I don't ever remember her screaming 'Oh for fuck's sakes do I have to do fucking evderything!!!' at me aged five for taking my time to put a seat-belt on. (Bad example that - they didn't exist when I was five. Deviation.) Wankendom.... I ain't no Ma Walton neiva. I seem to swing from screeching 'I didn't bloody wake up the whole bloody household before bloody dawn and bloody drive at break-bloody-neck for an hour and a bloody half with the howling bloody banshee bloody brothers for you to mope a-bloody-bout for ten bloody minutes whining about your bloody blisters so get back out bloody there and bloody practice you ungrateful bloody brat!!!' to hopeless shrugging when one of them's bleeding volcanically from the head down.

But you know wot - they're all still alive and contentedly busy my lot. Despite sibling slaughterhouse activities they're all pretty damn happy. I may be scooped out, slumped in fetid slime and demonically warped like a pumpkin that's been left in the fireplace for six days - but am also pretty damn happy. But should I share my 'Crap is Good - Good is Crap' philosophy, or do I have this duty thing to be inspirational and gaspilicious?

Cheetah Boy's current team have been playing much better than usual lately and he's been scoring and making goals and making his normally horribly honest father all gushy and hair-ruffley. His natural golf swing is apparently much better than poor Roving Blade's life-longily-blood-sweating one. And he still doesn't give a knackers about reading and writing. Why should he when he can plainly hit the right button for Nat Geo Wild? Carefree and free-range.

Minxie and some other Home Ed chums (including our lovely nutty Lulu-Cheese) have been swept up by their enthusiastic Youth Theatre chappie to do an Arts Award thingie, and not only can she do ice skating as part of it (how jammy is that?) but the Trinity Theatre have been asked to have some involvement with the temporary ice rink in Calverley Park this December.... guess who's filling in that blank? Their latest play went screamingly well last Monday - a disturbing and scary show, mentioning Macbeth alot, featuring lots of fake blood, performed in a church (albeit deconsecrated, on Halloween - rock 'n' roll reckless! Was also in the School of Shock horror film-making gang. Teen Group's going strong - she organised the food for their Halloween party herself. She's even got the bus back to our vampired neck of the woods from Tunbridge Wells all by herself without falling asleep and ending up in Brighton. I'd say she's doin' alright!!

Little Rock Godling started at the Trin Youth Theatre too - and landed 'the lead role' (well... first name on the cast list) within two weeks. Learned his lines without any trouble, (causing suspicion that he may actually be able to read.... but obviously won't admit it in case I get over-excited and MAKE him read stuff), and was such a natural star in his show that I couldn't speak. And thankfully couldn't whoop. All in a day's work for him it was. (OK - cliche-addiction is hard to crack - oh doh!!!) He even managed one morning's football training without pretending to be a rogue robot dinosaur alien in jelly-flavoured quicksand. We're forging ahea.... No we are marching ever onwa- dammit - the boy dun good.

I might not mention Thuglet just now. An ex karate teacher I know was seriously impressed with his kicking action this evening. His brother's left knee was not so enamoured. I'm losing my voice, patience, marbles yelling at the child to cut it out. His hit rate is 100%. Maybe it's something to boast about. It's all I got!

Anyway - like I dun said - they're all busy and happy so wot's the grief dude?

I've even booted Old Mother Hubbard up the jacksie with forward planning by stocking up with inhuman quantities of chicken burgers and oven chips just in case it really does snow. Wot wiv his lordship larking about in America for a couple of weeks, I'm not venturing forth for to catch a mammoth if the land doth be coveredeth in that bastard white shit.

I'd say we're all doin' alright.

Unfortunately, so are the mice.

Mr Roving Blade when are you coming back to be all manly? Or at least put your buttercup pinny on and sweep up the floor for me? I'm so busy being Chauffeur of the Year I'm too bleedin' exhausted to be the sweet parlour maid too. It's becoming a bit of a thing.... My maternal qualifications are proving to be heinously fabricated.

Bollocks. Unmasked.

Hey... I reckon I've finally discovered my mumsy role model! .....Just popping upstairs to sit in the window....



Thursday, 3 November 2011

Born Again Twat

Just decided as I'm still breathing that I would attempt another posty type thing - obviously not a real post. Still not back in the saddle. Bottom seems to have got too big for that anyway. Back in the bloody saddle indeed! As if I even know what that means. Just a stupid stream of words. My fingers tap this shit out without my brain even noticing. For a while everything I did was being simultaneously translated in my head into Blog Post Speak - which is really sad. Even that phrase I've just thrown in 'simultaneously translated' now rankles. Cliches. This stuff just rolls out when I start trying to communicate. I hate the way I prattle on - but hate more the stuff that seems coherent. Like I'm just spouting uniform phrases for easy consumption. So prattling on it shall be - even if just to avoid being anywhere near slick. Easy consumption! There goes another one! Thing is I will never be slick so floating into cliches is just lazy and naff. So just in case anyone thought my absence was due to completing a cool creative writing course or summink - get a hold of yourself. So, point one: I hate the way I write.

Now for point two: I hate the way I draw.

I've whinged on before about how I once thought I was 'good at art' but more recently realised I was always crap. Well - here's some more... A couple of weeks ago a few of us had a session with Shadric Toop - Brighton artist. Six kids (two of mine) and three adults in all. The previous week I'd finally gone through my big old portfolio - and chucked away tons of drawings and paintings etc - things that in my head had been good ('good') but were SO not in real life! It was fun dumping alot of the old schooly things that were still polluting my stash. And I just decided that of the 60 or so remaining sheets of life drawing from years back I would get it down to 20 and that was that. And I did. Got rid of some that even I thought were quite good ('good' - ????) - but I just loved clearing out anyway. Funny how there's about 3 bits from my Foundation course - and nothing at all from my degree course. And very very little of anything since then. But in my head I was Mrs Art's-my-Thing. Now my rank old A1 black portfolio is out in the rain waiting to be bound up and binned - and I've got everything I've reprieved wedged into my ancient sticker-stained A2 maroon cardboard folder. I've probably kept more things from up to the age of 10 than from after. But it feels right. (For now - will probably thin it out more in another couple of years!) It was the first time my paper recycling bin was ever full. Such a glow from hurling this ballast away. ANYWAY - back to the drawing session with Shadders - surrounded by others who either weren't sure of their abilities or were pretty certain they've never been able to draw - there was me wondering if I was gonna be a star or a plank. The others were very kind - lots of 'ooh it looks just like him' etc but when I protested and redrew things in a 'worse' quicker way - a less drawingy way and said 'I prefer that' to the others' perplexion (I just made that word up I think - I like it) - Shads understood my pain. He quietly said 'I know what you mean' - and so I've had another Damascus moment.... You can be good at something and totally crap at the same thing at the same time. Being 'good at' something is limiting in itself. Being 'good at art' has been a cage for years. It's coloured my opinion (oops another cliche) on other 'art' for years - instead of just thinking if I like something my brain tries to determine if it is 'good' first. And it totally stuffs up your own creative attempts. If you do something crap (like pretty much everything I now feel) it stops you doing anything again. If I tried to shoot an arrow and missed the target I'd still be thrilled I'd even let it fly. If I try and draw something and miss the target I kick the door in.

Point three: talent is pointless. Talent is transitional. Fleeting. Nice but dull. Fervour, enthusiasm, diligence, passion, bravery, naivety, fun - all way more important.

And success? (This might be point four but I'm being so prattley that I've really lost all sense of cohesion and don't give a fuck....) Success is for losers.

There you go....

I'm now happy to be crap at writing and drawing. Two things I always wanted to be good at. I've never cared less about being good at cooking or making curtains but I've done both and got away with it. I'm hopeless at knitting and love it. Split the eardrums of my children with my horrendous singing and laughed at their agony. So now I'm gonna carry on splurting out ungrammatical and futile blog posts and start drawing again - like I've just landed from the Planet Dickhead and have never heard of Winsor and Newton.


Didn't Picasso say something about it taking him 80 years to learn to draw like an eight year old? Ohhhh... ish.... So I'm the new Picasso me I am! Look me in the eyes and tell me I'm not!!

PS - Trying to find another word for 'dickhead' which I love so much.... No thesaurus matches found. Tried 'twat'. No matches. 'Cretin' - disappointing results... Just banged in 'idiot' and got this:

Notes: an idiot is a stupid person with a mental age below three years, while a moron is a stupid person with a mental age of between seven to twelve years

See even a total flaphead like me can learn summink every day. Feels GOOD being rubbish.

Monday, 24 October 2011

This is just a lie!

I haven't really got a new post! I just had a spare 2 minutes and decided to announce that despite a major season of despondency surrounding my continued questioning of my own futility, I AM going to get my blogesque head back on and DO SOMETHING soon. I am also going to write and illustrate 2 series of very different books, knit an entire landscape, reshape my undulating curves (flab), learn how to download photos, ...- oh I was just about to list alot of very ambitious things including sprouting wings but then guess what - I got talked to again. I didn't have to inspect every single Match Attax album entry this time (so 5 minutes ago) or settle a finger-clicking dispute (2 mins ago but a regular headache) or thumbs-up/thumbs-down the devouring of a chocolate croissant despite a lacklustre attempt at dinner (1 min ago - twice...yawn) but I had to look sympathetic in the face of a nearly-teen with a funny tummy.... All I need now is Lord Whassisname - oh Roving Blade I think he was called - to come down and demand to know why the washing-up is still yet to be achieved, is the kettle on and why do those children still exist.... And anyway I need a wee which is my usual brake when things start to get interesting. If I sit here any longer I might start enjoying myself... or wet myself - whichever comes first. So I'm off - but I'm still on this earth dear people really I am. Just drowning in my own filth and stymied by my own dementia. One day I'll sprout those golden wings and take flight - or is it take those minging sprouts and catch a cold.... oh something.... If I do something - anything at all - it would be a bloody miracle....

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Eerie Radio Silence...

Been very quiet ain't I?

Not even had time to read any blogs of late and feel totally cut off from my beloved cyber world. Missing my therapy!!!

Wondering how to make time again to come back - tried clicking my heels three times - needed a plaster.

So.... plotting......

Fantasizing about brewing up some sleeping potions for members of my family so that I can find time again. Any friendly witches out there with some good recipes?

Hopefully will cook up a useable plan soon - even if just for the reading.

.... hmmmmmnnn....

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Summer's Here and the Time is Right....

....for bunting in the streets.

Maybe not.

Today was my first venturing out into the outside world since coming back from our camping misdemeanors. I wasn't ready. And Mr Roving Blade was worried that we might come into contact with violent faceless hoodies causing a ruckus.

We were heading over to a church hall in Tunbridge Wells. The Teen Group thing. I wasn't worried about louts. We herd our louts - hooded, lilac be-wigged or pink-tinged-bedly-do'd - into the bean-bag room upstairs while we slurp tea beneath the reassuring life-size crucifix downstairs, dodgeing missiles from the mini-yobs, the most likely to be in hoodies in fact.

I was way more worried about opening my mouth and family-only gobbledegook splurting out. It's been a long time since I'd mixed with 'others'.

But I was not the only one to come back from Hesfes and take two weeks to recover. Another of my kind was looking wobbly. She had nearly turned back the car halfway there.

It's just too soon.

I'm still wondering whether to post up my experiences of life on an East Anglian airfield, flat, featureless and unsheltered, surrounded by a faded-fortuned industrial estate. Following the scrawled signs from civilized roads to the designated wasteland, we were still hopeful. Down to 15 mph through ever-more depressing out-of-business units and we were beginning to fret. 5 mph. Up a gravelly (not like stately home gravelly, shit gravelly) lane that was to surely lead to two-toed slack-jawed Deliverance-land we were on the verge of splitting the tyres in a sharp u-turn when we spotted cheerful bunting. We perked up. Bunting! It's all alright. And lots of people with pink hair. Our people. We entered.

Three weeks later, I'm still not sure we made the right decision. I kept getting asked how we were enjoying it. Mr RB had a great reply: 'I'm still processing.' I really still am.

I need another lie down now. I've been 'up' long enough. Since dinner. I got up for dinner after a lie down when I got home. It's been a big day - a church hall and sitting in a park wondering where all my children were and not being able to tell cos the park is full of OTHER kids. Bloody summer holidays! And bed-time for boys beckons. You wanna talk about rioters? I'll need another lie down after that.

If I re-emerge tonight I'll prob just switch on the telly and see what satellite town without its police force is burning bright. See who's raided the local Poundsaver as I heard today. I'm not sure these are disaffected youth.... Poundsaver!? That's middleaged put-upons surely looking to slip a six-pack of Imperial Leather into their Asda maxis. Every little helps. Or wha'eva. But, we pondered in the park today, surely now the whole of the country will follow Bluewater's lead and ban the wearing of hooded tops in public. Fire Dad argued that this problem had been fought for years, by the likes of The Sheriff of Nottingham - and Robin Hoodie! But it does lead to... what of urban cyclists masking their faces with scarves? 'What about cowboy hats?' interjected Fish Dad? Mmnn... this could escalate to sporting sinister-sized sombreros. Not too much of this in Tunbridge Wells as yet. But what indeed of the burka? The French banned it but the police are not allowed to touch the face coverings - the women turn up at court for wearing it and are turned away when they refuse to remove it for the hearing. Wot a laugh! We could have such fun with this. I'm surprised there isn't a mass movement of burka-wearing just for the sheer spectacle. Can't be too hard to source I reckoned. 'Go to Burka King!' exploded Fire Dad. But on a serious note kids.... he did make a very good point about youngsters stuck in towns with no wilderness. No contact with the 'real'. Not even stars. No sky at night to strike awe. I think he has a very sound point.

Drawing me back to the windswept flatness of the Suffolk airfield.... On the first night I had to concede that despite the lack of pretty landscape, there was indeed a 'big sky'. The evening campfire stargazing was the highlight of each shivering day. 'Shooting star!' 'That's an aeroploane.' 'Shooting star!' 'Nah that's one of those paper lanterns powered by a tea-light. Heading straight for that field of dry corn.' 'Shooting -' 'Satellite.' ..... And as we all know it's wrong to wish on space hardware..... But it's one of those things you do when you're on holiday like watching the sunset, going for an evening walk, capturing someone else's wayward lantern and torturing it over the campfire and letting it go and retrieving it several times until it finally finds the will to escape... that you never do when you're back home. The other evening I was feeling particularly tired and tearful and Mr Roving Blade dragged me by the hand chirruping 'I've got something to show you! Come on! We said we were gonna do this...' And outside he pointed above and declared 'Look at that! See how insignificant you are!'

He was trying to help.

Do you think it would help the socially oppressed looting hooligans of the inner cities?

They're already quite good at getting a fire started. It's just another technique. We foraged for wood and kindling for our evening's flare. They have their own methods. We had the continuous sound of distant (and not so distant) bongoes, they have the pummelling of batons on a riot shield....

Perhaps it is an inevitable explosion born of frustration. The chasm between the Haves and the Have Nots. Although I'm not sure checking your Blackberry for the latest rioting hotspot are the last-ditch desperate actions of a Have Not. Blackberries don't grow on trees you know. Maybe if they looked up instead of down at their little beeping boxes? 'Shooting star!' 'Run you moron that's my molotov cocktail.' But it's social interaction of a sort.

Is it the sort that people worry Home Educated kids don't get?

Can't wait for the first Home Edder to be arrested - all of a sudden that would be the answer to the whole riddle. We would be the scapegoat to be hounded out of existence for sure. Call me cynical but hey.... just try and take a child to A & E and tell them you Home Educate! The horror and suspicion on the uniformed faces.... You're lucky to be allowed to bring them home again. Stepping outside society's 'norm' - we lay ourselves open to be viewed as the cause of all society's ills. Luckily not everyone reads The Daily Mail. Have we retreated or struck out on a new path? Escape or adventure? Deserters or pioneers?

Escape...? Retreat...? Aren't they supposed to be 'holiday' words? Why are 'holidays' so damned exhausting? And what is it that I seem to keep ending up in East Anglia by strange twists of fate. I do not know why. When I got home after a week of unremitting wind and flatness, I staggered upstairs and gorged on the view from my bedroom window. Trees, undulating curves, colours.... Dennis Potter's phrase 'blue remembered hills' always floats into my mind. And we have a perfectly wonderful sky here too. It was blue the day I left, and blue when I came back. I think East Anglia only does grey. I live in a little secret pocket of wonder. If I can't hack Rougham Industrial Estate could I ever turn back to the smoking decay of old London town? Can I possibly place my mind into a hood and understand what the mad 'uns are thinking?

When I lived in Sarf Lahndan all those years ago I sometimes thought I heard the sound of the uprising. I'd be convinced my street would be suddenly aflame with torches throwing the shadows of the imagined pitchforks (or car bumpers..) appear as giant city-eating monsters. Was probably just a few Henrys falling into dogshit on the common. It was Clapham after all. I really don't want to be there now either way.

It's making Hesfes seem like a pleasant alternative.

Amazing how a new turn of events can put things into perspective. I'm now not so much shuddering at the memories of sub-zero tent survivalism as fondly recalling bashing bits of copper water tank with a hammer long enough so it curls into a submissive shining bowl, watching (through my fingers) Minx and Lu-Lu Cheeeese on stage in the cabaret re-enacting meerkat ads and murdering Justin Bieber in all my best wigs, constructing a rocket-stove from catering tins I'd made other people raid for me from the rubbish skips and managing to get it alight - for a whole minute, feigning interest in children's creative activities but in the face of circus skills fleeing like a rioter into the rag-weaving marquee and not only getting to sit down and make a ...rag-woven... thing.. but manage to find myself next to the Mighty Grit and meeting the gorgeous triplets! Oh there was more! Actually there wasn't. That was it for the good stuff. But in the face of having my habitat burn down around me by the concrete jungle's guerillas, a fieldful of lurky teens in ripped tights and day-glo wands with their earnest elders clad in dog blankets is almost inoffensive.


Until I remember the toilets....

How I'd long for night to fall so I could just dodge in between mine and Mr RB's cars and find sweet wild relief.

On the flip-side, I did smell of my own wee for a week. I think it was my own.

That Mr Bragg kept getting in my head out there....

I was a weaver
I was a stove-builder
I was black weesmith betweeeeeen the cars
Beat our the copper bowl
Foraged for wood and coal
Back for another wee between the-e cars....

I clung to the outskirts of human acceptance until about Tuesday. From then on I quickly degenerated into a squatting grotesque caricature of womankind, grasping amongst sticks and roots, no longer inclined to wash, staring fearfully at the fire, pointing and grunting at raw cup-a-soup and last seen beating my chest and disappearing into the outer scrubs of the grinding industrial badlands, heading south, with a bit of gaffa tape stuck my hairy clawed foot.

Thankfully, something like The Incredible Journey, I made it back to the fruit-filled arms of home. But it has taken two weeks to dare to step back into the world of humanoids again. And what has civilization to offer me?

It's not just Babylon a-burning baby. It's not just Tottenham, Birmingham and Manchester. It's the likes of Maidstone, Chatham, Croydon.... Tunbridge Wells next on the list surely!

Come on Rougham! Raise your hoods. Just one more tea-light lantern!! You can do it!!!

But I expect you've got more pressing things to do. Like watching the skies. Much better idea.

'Shooting star!!!'

I'll get me blanket....

Friday, 22 July 2011

Think Of Me...

'Twas the night before Hesfes and all was.... a bit too damn quiet. Cos I'm the only idiot still up. Not quite packed...

5 pairs of wellies between 6 of us.

3 pairs of complete crocs - 1 of which are an undesirable colour (white) for a boy (hand-me-downs from big sis who's nicked mine). Possibly have the makings of another 2 pairs.... if I had the gene that DID things instead of THOUGHT about doing things...

5 sleeping bags.

1 properly strung and undamaged guitar. Forgot to get my old one done up. Mr RB's old one seriously battered. Will be fighting over our one decent one. Mr RB will win. I'll stick with me shaky eggs and washboard - if I can be bothered to find it tonight. I won't remember in the morning. Not sure where me thimbles are..... (teaspoons aggravate my arthritis.)

1 spare wheel still in boot as Kwik Fit didn't put it back properly about 3 months ago - and I haven't got that gene.... It's buried under layers and layers (sedimentary, metamorphic, igneous.....) of filth and crisp wrappers. Will need special tools to unearth it.

Taking 4 bikes. Bike rack carries 3. Not being good at maths I said yes.

Hoping just 3 pairs of pants will be plenty for Little Rock Godling. He'll probably just stick with/to the 1 pair anyway. Think all his others may have disintegrated.... possibly whilst still on him...

Maybe another 2 sessions of reading and I'll have finished my book. Do I take it anyway, plus a replacement - or just a new one and finish the other when I get back - or take it and hope someone else will do the same with theirs and swap....? Hmmmmn - Minx might be near the end of hers.... Will she want to read all about Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe's trials and tribs? Double hmmmnn.... I am waiting to get my mits on her Caitlin Moran book - it might just work...

Really should be in bed. Kids all excited and couldn't sleep - did 'the sooner you go to sleep, the sooner you'll wake up and it'll be...' old pat. Maybe that's why I'm not in bed yet. Just prolonging the agony... My optimistic half is quite buoyant about the whole tents-in-the-rain camaraderie stuff. I'm sure the monkeys are gonna have a ball. I've got my tribal members around me. It's just that other side of my face that is looking like a lemon's just stuck its tongue down my throat.... If my Mr Roving Blade is proved right with his bad weather and badder tofu forecasts.... I may as well just stick my head in the fold-out camping stove right now. He's unbearable when he's right!!!

But, as Trish @ Mum's Gone to... would be delighted to hear, I've packed the duck tape so I'm sure I can handle any dodgy situation that presents itself. Thinking up plenty of ways to use the sticky silver wonderstuff already. 'What's that kids? Muffled noises? Where's Daddy? Oh.... he's a bit tied up at the moment...'

Feeling quite ready for bed now.

(Poor Mr RB.... He's a sensitive little soul. Misunderstood. Doesn't deserve such a dreadful family. Musta dun sumfing reeeeaallllly eeevil in a former life.)

Did something pretty bad in this one - married me.

Think of us kindly when we are gone.....

Saturday, 16 July 2011

High Jinks to Low Camp

My lot have been having a right old time of late. Dog Boy's been taken to Goodwood Festival of Speed by a pal and his dad the other weekend, and went to The Open yesterday with his dear golf-crazed pa. Although not as well organised as ..whatever that other championship at Wentworth a few weeks ago where they got full-on Lee Westwood and Luke Donald action, they did see Bubba tee off and got a blast of Phil Mickelson. And even if they didn't waste much energy on conversation, it was Father/Son stuff.

Last weekend was Thuglet's fifth birthday. We had larks in the park after an illustration workshop with Alex Milway (of Mousehunter and The Mythical 9th Division world) with cake and the fastest ever 'HappyBirthdayToYouHappyBirthdayToYouHappyBirthdayDearThuglethappyBirthdayToYou NOW BLOOOW!!!' rendition ever due to gale forces, followed by golf with Dad in the morning, endless loops of Despicable Me on DVD, more cake and no pants on the actual day and THEN the family (or half a family as I didn't ask my half) on the Sunday for over-soaped (over-soaped! my kids!! that's funny!!!) water-slide antics down the slopey bit in our garden. I filmed the motley slippy contortionist sibs and cousins being cinematically exuberant for over 20 minutes (that's some sentence - sorry - couldn't have put it better - I mean I am incapable of putting it better cos I'm tired and need a wee) - and then deleted it instantly. Didn't get the World's Bestest Mum Award. More cake?

Minx has been loving the Trinity Youth Theatre's latest stage fighting and puppet-making activities and has now thrown herself into their new fanzine. On Thursday she and a couple of other bouncy chirrupers got the gig to interview Phill Jupitus before his set and then her bounciest chum (the lovely bonkers Lu-Lu of a previous post) even managed to wangle a couple of free tickets to the show afterwards thanks to their wink-wink connections. Not only that but their wink-wink connection-in-chief lifted some crisps from the bar and organised a reserved table with their drinks on for the interval! Alright for some eh? When they came out Lu-Lu Cheeeeese (her full title) babbled 'OMG it was soooooo funny he said the 'c' word about 30 times!' I took her firmly by the shoulders and looked deep into her eyes 'Do not tell your mother!' We were locked in collusion. And then we both told her mother.

Just trying to think of Little Rock Godling's special somethings lately.... Poor love does get overlooked. But he enjoyed the illustration thing. Gods I really must pay my little mad professor more attention.... Well he has been very busy making small strange robots to keep Daddy company when I'm upstairs asleep. Maybe I should cobble together a robot mummy that actually knows he DOESN'T LIKE SWEETCORN....

Ah well. We've been Out & About more than In & Chillin' for so long I've forgotten how to work the washing machine. But there is no time for contemplation....


All the glitter and sparkle of our lives starts to take on a sinister glint.

In case you're not au fait.... it's camping. With other Home Educating types. For a week.

In an airfiled.

Somewhere not exotic.

Or near a beach.

Mr Roving Blade is squirming in horror at the mention. He's already expressed the torture of 'having to spend a whole week with THOSE people'.

'Why did you agree to come then?'
'I didn't.... I wasn't thinking.... splooglebrmmptingmush...eeek... '
'Just think, once we're there, the kids'll disappear and we won't have to entertain them at all! It'll be fine!'
'....ingmimbingmomblblblsprnggglshshhhh... be chained to the gas stove all day.... what will Dog Boy eat???? ...bimblebimlbbpffffflnggg...sob...'
'It'll be fine! Bring your golf clubs. Look up local courses. Bugger off every day and come back with chips.'
'....ahuahuahuahuah... tofu.... sandles.... teepees... bastards..... uhhhhhmmmmnnnnnggrmbl....! '
'Come on.... It'll be fine. We'll grab the guitars... you can take lots of pictures... make fires!! Now we're going round to J's on Monday for tent erection lessons and we've got a week to see what we can nick from everyone else. We just need lots of blankets and quilts and crisps. It'll be fine!'
'....oooooooooooooooooggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...uhuuuhhhh ....uhuuuuggggghhhhh...'
'It'll... be... fi...ohhhhhhhggggghhhhhh sob sob sob.............

His wild-eyed terrified anticipation has finally dented my hair gel. I'm not worried about being scummy or not sleeping. That's a normal state of being. It's not the four savage monkeys despite the eating/other people seeing what we're eating I fear. It's not even the erection dramas to come. It's having this old woman and stroppy teenager rolled into one large loud problem of a personage....... And it not being Mr RB...... It may just be me.

It's gonna be fucking awful isn't it?

We're getting into practice. I've not fed the kids all day, it's pissing down and all the boys are out in it just in pants, I really need a wee but can't face dealing with the slimy mud-splattered floor of the downstairs toilet and Mr RB has indeed buggered off. OK he's working but I don't think he was entirely displeased with driving away from the house.

Come on!!! Scruff of neck time. It has been another mental week/month/purgatorial stretch so maybe looking ahead to a week of not driving around late for something screaming at my watch, heroically averting small people entering shops burbling about their (already half-inched) birthday money (well what do you expect? He's only five and I'm skint) and having every straight-from-the-freezer dinner accompanied by The Simpsons on full blast could be considered a meditational retreat.

Even if there might be bongoes and cous-cous.... We can DO this thing!

Well - I'm planning on bringing my washboard and thimbles - and plenty of Kellogg's variety. We'll BORE them all into submission yeah! We may not be home-grown. We may not be articulate. We may not know how to do a boating knot. We may not have African drums hanging from our nipples but we can sing all the words to Spongebob, shoot the washing off the line with Nerf guns and wear stupid baseball caps.

Has anyone ever been ejected from Hesfes for 'normal' behaviour?

Surely bringing a washboard is normal?

Friday, 8 July 2011

Who? What? When? Why?


Never heard of ice-skating.

......... or ballet, or tap, or modern, or latin/ballroom, or streetdance, or horseriding, or pottery, or any of the previous gymnastics classes, or previous drama classes, or previous anything..... Nope. Everything's fine. I'm wearing a tight leopard-print top. I've bought a new mascara. I have a bag of neon balloons to blow up. And nothing's gonna get in my way....

I'm now just looking forward to a less manic summer with less time on the road shouting at bored boys and skipping the less funky Lady GaGa tracks on the one CD that's currently going round and round and round and round on my car stereo and making less stops at garages and being less pestered for softmints and fruit pastels at every fill-up and maybe having more coins in my battered purse at the end of it all.

Maybe after the summer I may idly suggest an evening's patch session and see what I get.

Probably a pair of blunt rusted blades on a pair of too-small boots held aloft.

Til then I'm simply swanning around in total denial wearing lots of mascara and leopard-print. Yay me!

And yay another recycled email to my ever-positive pal.

Yay laziness........


Yay the soft buzzing of zoning out altogether.............


Join in if you know the words....... mmmmmmmmmmmmmmnnnnnnnnn.....

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Teenage Unengage

I'm being a lame slut and recycling a series of emails I've been sending to a chum about my latest crisis. Well - I say crisis - such a drama queen. The Thing is.... my Minx has SUDDENLY decided to give up ice-skating.

There - CLANG!!! - are you all in tears? No? Oh. Just me then.

Told you I was a drama queen. I was inconsolable all yesterday. And still knotty today.

So here's a mish-mosh of my rants to my chum who, poor thing, happened to be there yesterday morning when I was being all pink and sobby, and who has been sending me all sorts of wonderful positive replies. I just thought I needed to rant a bit more and inflict it on blogworld instead of on some poor soul who has to actually put up with me in 'real' time. But when it came to 'composing' (ha ha) - I thought 'pffffffff' I'll cut and paste me rants I've already done. See? Lame slut. I did try and change the names to blogworld names - so look... effort made alright?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I'm probably feeling extra guilty cos we've been really going on about money lately - and altho' I've never said anything about the skating itself I have had to say we can't all eat in the cafe on Thursdays in future (cutting out all cafes is my latest attempt at saving some cash) - and she was coming out with the sort of things we have said (albeit about other subjects) in the past about money, appreciating things etc etc - and the 'stopping for 6 months' thing sounds like something I would say - and have in the past about things (like bloody horse-riding) but have NEVER said about ice skating!!! Ah well..... I'm sure none of that last 'sentence' makes any sense but hey....

Hopefully it is just a blip. I hate thinking that all that effort over the last 3 years or so is 'for nothing' cos she's enjoyed every second of it, but I can't help thinking that it will just turn into a vague memory if she doesn't pick it up again, and that she'll probably regret it in later years and wish I'd pushed her!! Does that make sense either?? But as Mr RB and I were saying just last night, the reason we don't send our kids to school is because we don't want them to be wasting their time and energy being made to do something they really don't want to be doing - so by the same token I don't feel I should 'push' her into carrying on just now.

She's finding her way with this new 'teen' group which is lovely - but I'm wondering if it's having a knock-on effect of 'conforming' somehow - although none of these kids are especially conformist themselves! I think the biggest thing that got me going today was the wish that I was really good at something and had the opportunity to pursue it! (Cue the violins....) But my lack of a true talent that makes me so envious of someone who DOES have something - and then throws it away!!!! - eeeeek!!!!! (So - I think I've just realised that all my dramatics this morning is basically me being a princess about me me me - as usual eh?)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It's funny you should say that cos I don't think I DO know what's right for her.... I just think it's very odd to SUDDENLY decide to stop something you've been so passionate about for so long. If she'd been waning for a while I would have had a clue but it was a real BANG! We thought it was just cos she was overtired the other night (Tues night) after a silly sleepover-y weekend. I was expecting her to be grumpy and tired on Wed morning but she wasn't grumpy - just quiet so I thought once she got back on the ice she'd be ok again - but she seemed consciously resolute in her decision.

I now think it's unlikely to be the other teens opinions as they're a good bunch all with their own interests. I'm now wondering more if it's 'getting in the way' of her and Lu-Lu being totally joined at the hip. The other day she mentioned starting ballet again (ie with Lu-Lu at her ballet school) and I said NO. She's stopped and started with ballet etc (and many other dance things) so many times - and let's face it - gorgeous as she is - she's not built to be a ballet dancer! She's athletic - not a neat precious little stick thing!! And I know all this stuff the kids do is supposed to be for their enjoyment etc and we're not supposed to be getting too serious about it BUT - ballet????? I really thought I was done with all that poncey stuff!!!! No nail varnish.... perfect neat hair in a perfect bun..... not a stitch out of place.... AAAAARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!! Please no!!!!! Now does that sound like Minx to you? I just can't bear the idea!!!

Ballet rant over now. Sorry!

Actually no it's not - going back to the money thing.... ballet uniform, shoes, tights, lesson fees - and for what? She'll give it up again within a term. And her Dad says it'll just bugger up her feet anyway!

Ok I'll step away from the ballet bollocks now for good.

I know at this age friends really do come first - and she's got great friends. And we love Lu-Lu to bits. BUT - what IS this obsession with all being locked together wearing the same clothes saying the same words laughing the same liking all the same things....... They may as well BE at bloody school wearing a bloody uniform!!!! I want her to be HERSELF. And this is the problem - do they know who they are at that age? They do when they're younger it seems - and then something happens at this age and they go all cliquey and seeking acceptance or something. Then we spend the next 35 years trying to work out who we bloody well are again!

I'd love to have a perfect answer to this 'difficult age' thing. To be able to allow your children to be themselves all the way through would really be something - but it appears we're up against a too-strong urge to fit in with their peers. Fight it and you're evil. Let it go and you watch your fantastic little firecracker turn into a wet blanket!


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Yeah I hope so!!!! She was even saying stuff like this herself - the needing to 'miss' it a bit. And she is permanently tired at the moment. Permanently eating, permanently tired, resolutely not going to bed at nighttime - and then totally inert in the mornings.

She's just like her bloody mother!

But I'm only growing outwards - she's still growing in all ways! Even Shark Boy this last week has kept complaining about being tired and suddenly 'not well' - and then just as suddenly running around the garden again - and then 'not well' and floppy and complaining about aching legs. My mum says that 'they' say there's no such thing as growing PAINS but I know a friend who as an adult felt so exhausted and unwell without any actual illness, and after 2 weeks of lurking in bed she discovered she'd grown a couple of inches. I can't remember all this growing lark at all (but I stopped growing at 11 so not a great example) - but it must take it out of you if it happens in spurts surely? And gods knows being a 12 - 15 year old girl is simply hideous!!!! So I think a little slack is called for.

But it's just that little nagging voice that wonders if being 'nice' is also being 'lame'. In the long run - will she turn round and say 'why didn't you MAKE me??'

And then, obviously, I shall be forced to slap her.

And guess what - it's nearly 1.00am and she's just come downstairs again after a bad dream!! I've told her to do some puzzles to switch her mind around. Doesn't this girl ever SLEEEEP???? (apart from the mornings.... )

She was like this as a baby/toddler tho'. Still going strong at 2.30am every night. Think I may as well just teach her how to pull a pint so she can just work in nightclubs for a living. There - problem solved!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

So - there's a new post slapped up on-line with no editorial standards applied. (Like spot the difference.... ) Now I just need to work out what to bloody do next.

If anything?

Anybody out there? Did you give up stuff that you loved as a kid and now wish you'd kept up with? Were you left to your decision or berated? Do you wish somebody else had intervened with sage advice? Would you have taken it if they had? Blah blah blah blah blah.....


Oh and sorry if I've offended any ballet-lovers out there but.... pfffffff..... I'll go and watch a big proper one but don't make me do kids' ones! Once they get past about 8 years old they have to be really really tiny and be really really good at it or else it's all a bit bovine.

Sorry but.....

Just saying.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Smells Like....

What the hell is a teenager?

Is it strictly a thing from the age of 13 to 19?

Don't they kind of start at about 10 these days?

Are you really still a teenager at 19?

Can you be a teenager AND an adult - is that allowed?

In this higgledy-piggeldy world of Home Ed where we pride ourselves on having kids of all ages mixing it up and getting along, where do we stand on 12 year old 'teens-ishes' hanging out with 18 year olds offering lifts?

As it was correctly pointed out by a 15 year old - 'Technically an 18 year old has more right to be in the Teen Group than a 12 year old.'

Yeeeeeeaaaahhhhhbut... Uhh....

But it was also this 15 year old who invited the 12 year old into the Teen Group, cos they are also friends.

And they are.

And it's fabulous.

And the 12 year old is going for a mass-sleepover tonight with this 15 year old, and other 13 to 16 year olds.

Should the mother of this 12 year old be happy she'll be in good company - or panicking that allsorts could happen?

Don't think the 17 and 18 year olds are going to be there.

Does that mean 'oh dear, no 'adult' supervision' or 'thank fuck for that gods knows what they've got in their funky rucksacks.'



OK. I'm pretty happy about my 12 year old at the sleepover tonight. Her 15 year old friend is fantastic. And all the other teens I know going are all lovely. And Minx seems pretty relaxed about it all. And they're in some log-cabin thing in the hostess girl's parents' garden so hey....

And I am glad the older ones aren't going if I'm honest.

But..... I remember what I was like at about 15 or 16.

I remember a weekend away with my same-age friends - and older 'teen' friends - ostensibly on a 'retreat' in a little house thing on the grounds of some monastery. Monks and priests about but not in our house. Now who were the ones with the bottles of Martini and Piat D'Or in their duffels?

Of course it was. Us 15/16 year olds.

Maybe it was even just me.


I don't like this boot being on the other foot business. Not cos I've gone all hypocritical and old. But because I was such a pain in the arse when I was young. But I still think that maybe I was such a pain in the arse when I was young cos my parents were so untrusting and uncool so I had to assert my rebelliousness just because! What if they had been really cool and I had nothing to rebel against? Would I still have been a drunken fuckwit in a monastery?

So I'm trying to be Cool Parent and trust in my offspring to not be a total fuckwit.

Am I having a laugh?

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Nice Cup of Tea and a Bubble Bath?

I'm so easy to please. Simple pleasures.

And extra special when someone else makes you the tea and someone else runs you the bath.

........ Aren't they?

Ooh I'm in two minds..... I like my tea Just So. Coffee is good, (very good), but I can pretty much take it as it comes. As long as it's black. And I'll eat pretty much anything as long as I didn't cook it.... except meat.... and stew. I'm easy to please.

But tea, although I seemingly, unflinchingly, take it as it comes, is a much more delicate operation. This is because I like it delicate. I say 'black tea please' but I really mean very light barely brown tea please. I should say that shouldn't I? (That's my problem - saying exactly what I mean.) But I invariably gush 'oh that's lovely thank you' when I'm presented with something that would strip paint from the vapour alone. I then persist in drinking it, cos I don't want to be a bother, but using my sensory shut-down skills - by-passing the tastebuds and getting it straight down my throat without allowing any stewed aroma to hit the nasals. Then breathe. It's a strange talent to list but I'm very short of talents so......

And as for the bath - it has to be too hot, too bubbly and too full or it's such a massive disappointment I want to cry but obviously I don't complain. Not audibly. Barely audible. (No I just take a few steps back on my self-worth-o-meter because you should be grateful and if you're not then you're evidently a failure as a human being and anyway you've probably been solely responsible for the arctic meltdown by this meagre temperature alone you smacked-arse-faced princess.) And if I haven't personally scrubbed the bath out beforehand myself then ohhhhhhhh....... Am I really getting clean in here or is it too heavily contaminated by boy-ness? Or man-ness?? Shudder. Yeah but like you know I mean..... how many times is my bath the leftovers of Mr Roving Blade's post-golf soak? But I'll jump in just the same. Happy to get one at all. I'll just add a bit of hot. Won't wash my face in it. And have a very quick shower afterwards. (There goes another baby seal you heinous witch.) Oh and it has to be uninterrupted............. !!!!!!

High maintenance? Me? Nahhh - I'm so easy to please me I am I'll take it all as it comes. (And so you bloody well should.) How can that be high maintenance for anybody? I ask you!! (Such a diva.)

Now my little heart's just skipped a beat as Minx came in here with a cup of tea for me. I'm the luckiest mummy on the planet I am. I said thank you all coo-ily and refused to mind the Little Voice that noted it was in the stripey cup and not the spotty one and questioned whether she'd used just the one tea bag for both of us and was mine the first dip as the second seems to spurt brownness quicker and had the kettle freshly boiled....? I just smiled. I am so proud of myself.

And it was lovely. Maybe a little stronger than perfect but it was a bloody good stab. I'm getting better at this life-is-what-it-is-and-be-happy lark I think. Yes I is.

And now.... it's Saturday afternoon. I don't have to take anyone anywhere - (for a major bleedin' change). I've been in the kitchen all day so far clearing up yesterday, dealing with today, 'helping' Dog Boy make fairy cakes cos none of them got more than one at our Sports Day last Thursday apparently (the concept of sharing still not quite grasped in this house) which effectively means MAKING fairy cakes (out of guilt most likely and brewing up more guilt for using too many ingredients again) and clearing that up too and then immediately being asked what's for lunch.... And despite it being in the afternoon and I should be finishing the folding...... I have already cleaned out the bath and heated the water and have bloody well fed everyone so I have.

So..... I'll make myself another tea, perfectly, despite my imminent pelvic floor collapse. And then I am going to indulge myself in some perfectly-produced too hot too deep too foamy luxury in a perfect sparkling tub. Fully aware that I will be yelling 'yes but don't eat them all!!' and 'in the cupboard by the larder in the tin! Under the battery tin! On the HIGHER shelf!' and 'why can't you ever take turns nicely!!!' and 'just give me five fucking minutes for christ's sake!!!!!!' every 45 seconds but hey..... Focusing on the perfect right now I am. I AM........ And then I know I'll have to spend another 25 minutes lying on the bed in the wet towel thinking cool thoughts to calm my pounding over-heated internal organs..... And then I'll need another cup of tea to summon up the energy to re-tackle the folding. And then they'll want dinner. And then I'll start feeling guilty. And then I'll get cross. And then I'll shout at someone that the folding's in the way. And then I'll cry. But it'll all be worth it - won't it?

Simple pleasures....

Take 'em while you can. When you can. However you can.

Don't listen to The Voice....

.....(do you mean the one that is now telling you that you have spent so much time on the 'pooter that you cannot possibly justify the running of the aforementioned bath?).....

Yes that one.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

NOW can we go????????

I did it folks. I lasted nearly FOUR hours at the football club's Family Fun Day. In the place of many-crossed ley lines and much home-woven tofu knickers. FOUR BLEEDIN' HOURS!!!!

'Don't forget the prize giving ceremony starts at 12.00' said the text.

'Under 10s - 3.30pm' said the list stuck to the wet marquee.

'Stop swearing.' said the kids.

£1 for five minutes on the bouncy castle. Each. OK. Choose your next two options very carefully. 50p for seven shots at wobbly coconuts. A much better idea. Let's do it again. Still have three hours and 20 minutes left to kill. 50p for four balls aimed at paddling pools.... oh you get sweets even if you miss. Sweets??? YESSS!!! Two please. That's lunch then. Right - let's put the coconuts in the car......

Ooh it's nice and warm in here.... SLAM!

Just three hours to go. And that's with my new phone not connecting to the internet as promised in the sales pitch a month ago. That little (paid for) perk lasted about two hours after I left the shop. I just had some paper and a biro to amuse myself. That would've been just dandy if it wasn't for small boys who wanted a running commentary on what I was doing.

'You're BOYS! Go and PLAY!'

'Girls play too. I want to stay with you.'

Some might consider that sweet.

I'm not some.

Just think of all those things you could do in three hours....... If you were at home.... Or anywhere ELSE......... Just think of all those grumpy chinny wrinkles you'd not have if you were ANYWHERE ELSE in the damned world.......

Get a grip. At least I don't look as old as HER! Ha! God she looks rough. And OLD!!!! Euughhhh!!!!! Ha ha haa!!!!

Yes you guessed it - I had dressed as a leopard-printed, fringed-shorted, jaunty-capped retard from the Planet Mutton. And yes I did have nearly up-to-the-brow shimmery green eye-shadow. I had to. It's my job to piss off the good people of Brownsville and I take my duties very seriously.

When we did eventually manage to drive away - (I tried my best not to screech the tyres - wouldn't want to attract attention now would I?) - we were down £10, an unearthed packet of squashed prawn cocktail crisps and several points on my soul but we were up 4 coconuts and a trophy for the football star. Thank the gods. If he hadn't come away with a trophy after being stuck for that long in the village of supersmugosity I'd've been forced to trample my baby blue brand-name trainer in someone's organic mung-bean cake.

This is perhaps a little unfair - there are only a few of these types in amongst the football crowd but it just seeps in this stuff. I know it would have only been a matter of time before I would have heard complaints about the gingerbread men on sale not being multi-racial or having to be re-labelled gingerbread persons and have the correct quota in wheelchairs.

But it's done for another year! Breathe out slowly.....

And my little dynamo Dog Boy got The Manager's Cup - for being fast, strong, having an excellent attitude and being brilliant, particularly in the last six months. That's what the man said.


The funniest bit was the trophy for top goal-scorer. It all went a bit quiet. I'd overheard another team's award-winner clasping his cup for scoring 49 goals - and it being quite a close run thing. Our team's top scorer had piled up a staggering.... six. Ah well.... There's always next season eh?

Somebody bring me a tissue...... and some eight inch patent red stilettos.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

With Our Luck....

The Bad News: bloody parking fine in the customer's car park of the shop in which I was a customer. Can't be bothered with the details but they ain't gettin' no money off me!

The Good News: got a bike! Free! Off my mum. Been in her garage for a few years.

The Bad News: cost over £50 to get new wheels and inner tubes and someone to do it for me 'cos I'm a lazy trollopp.

The Good News: got the year's Bike Care Plan ('cos I'm a lazy trollopp) for half price as I was too slovenly to pick it up when I should've and they had a special offer on the day I finally showed up.

The Bad News: it's still in the garden being rained on as I'm a lazy ..... and not going out in the rain to get it.

The Good News: my boys (big and small) who'd been off camping in France for that interminable footie tournament thing are back alive and ....alive.

The Bad News: I have to do the Fathers Day Family Fun Prize-Giving Hell instead on Sunday (as per bloody usual). Mr Roving Blade has done his footie duty he thinks. He also reckons that as it's Fathers Day he can do what he likes. Unreasonable.

The Good News: my Minx won The Ice Bowl Trophy (Level Two) at the End of Seasons Competition up at the rink last Sunday - yay Minxie!!! She looked so beautiful!!!

The Bad News: no room on the cup for her name. Have to give it back to get an extra plinth stuck on.

The Good News: she then went on to win the last monthly Spin Spiral Jump Competition they do at Skate Club which meant she also won the over-all SSJ Champion of the year. Another cup! And we get to keep this one. (Note the use of the word 'we'.)

The Bad News: another parking fine for having my back wheels over onto a long and empty taxi rank outside another branch of the same bloody shop as the last parking fine. Have decided that close association with Iceland is bad luck and will avoid them now forever.

The Good News: free kids meal deal at rink this week. Not that they ate it.

The Bad News: rain stopped play for this weekend's planned 'Pre-Solstice' rampage on Bexhill's beach today. Did I mention the gale force winds....

The Good News: I get a longed-for day in. (Apart from having to pick up Minx from ....somewhere later.... I must text her..)

The Bad News: I really need to change the beds and now I have no excuse.

And to finish - The Good News: will step away from the 'pooter now and give you all a break from my tediums.

Go and watch The Supremes on YouTube instead.


We all need more of The Supremes in our lives.

Just saying.

Life is so short put the present time at hand
And if you're young at heart rise up and take your stand

Gonna slink into me gold sequinned batwings and get back on YouTube......

Don't you feel the wind blowin'?

Saturday, 11 June 2011


Yup. I'm still on my arse.  It's lunchtime and I'm still on my arse. I've drunk all the coffee and eaten all the biscuits. This is my arse day. Should read 'birthday' but 'arseday' is more descriptive.

Planning to sweep lots of crap from my new desk - I mean update the scrapbooks.... obviously. And book-i-fy the collapsing A2 portfolios stuffed with kids' creative masterpieces so I can destroy (or helpfully pass on) those bleedin' folders. Also have a disgusting mouldy A1 portfolio crammed with my old artwork. I recently sorted out my old notebooks/sketchbooks and realised how crap I always was - going thro' the contents of this old beast will probably finish me off BUT I'm sick of it hanging around and a Fresh Start is The Thing. SO - well I'll do it in a minute.

Wish me luck. Delving into one's past isn't always advisable. In fact, this house move has unveiled hibernating personality disorders. According to Mr Roving Blade I have 'tons of crap'. My crap is boxes and folders of 'stuff' I've made over the years - or stuff with which to make new 'stuff'. This is what I've got to show for my time on earth. Cracked boxes. Now Mr RB has lots of photographs of places he's been and the people with whom he was there. He looks at the pictures now and mutters that he doesn't even remember doing any of it. Cracked memories. This is what he has to show for his time on earth.

What's best? Boxes of 'stuff' to trip over? (But it proves I existed! Shows I tried!) Or pictures of things you can't remember? (But it's evidence of adventure! He had a life!)

Should I clear this desk after all....... To half pursue another creative dream...... Fill up another box of STUFF..... to clutter up another corner of my world...... Is there any point?

Looking back at my old 'work' (ha) - I don't really feel great. I'm no Picasso. But should that matter? Should I just give up 'cos I'm not Good Enough? I did that with music.

What if I did that with parenting? Somehow I just keep plodding on with the washing and making toast. The kids are still alive. I don't care if I'm no Fanny Craddock. They don't expect anything better! I've brainwashed them into thinking good housekeeping is a cover for devil worship and not to trust other people's mothers if they have nice houses or tasty dinners.

But being a domestic goddess was never part of my identity anyway. Being 'good at art' was! When I was three. Up to about 17. That was when I went to art college and discovered that I was not special. Surrounded by 'good at art'ers. Idendity crisis. Being a weirdo as a kid was fine if you had your own 'thing' that got you thro' - like being 'good at art'. Now what? All the other art college kids were better at being weirdos too. I started dressing like a secretary to be different.

Ended up working in an office later - and dressed like a tramp. Now I'm a responsible mother thing I dress like a toddler.

Now - I'm just good at arse.

But then what a sudden turnabout - just got a text from my beloved. The back story: In France. Camping with 10 boys from Frog Boy's dopey football team. Entire weekend of football tournament. It took them about 12 hours to drive to the campsite yesterday. I'm the only absent mother. Waved them off yesterday morning after screaming row about taking blankets as well as the sleeping bags. He said he had no room in the car. I asked when was the last time he'd gone camping? I shoved blankets in. We glared. And now - the texts:

Lost the first 2 games... Woeful x

Lost number 3

I try to be helpful and reply: Oh! Have you got decent weather? Anything positive to focus on? Pissing down wildly here! x

Comes the response: Good we need the rain! Weather is lovely, didn't sleep last night, fucking frozen, uncomfortable and guy in next door tent snoring all night. Needed 3 wee's so must have got a chill, no showers and only hole in the ground bog, feeling miserable and tired, you're coming next year!!!! xx

My sensitive answer: Oh no I'm not. I've got life. So .... short of blankets were you? !!!!!!!!! And snoring - awww! Poor thing! Rain's stopped. Think I'll run a bubble bath..... x

God that's cheered me up! I'm gonna do some marmite sandwiches and clear the damn desk! Yay me!!!!

Just got a new text. Unrepeatable. Beside myself with mirth now!!!! Never had 'good wife' as part of my identity either.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Up (to no good) and Out (to lunch): Never At Home Education Part 73

Groaning at the moaning.... I can't just leave it like that can I? Wot an old misog. Maybe I should knock up a list of the wonderful things I've done lately to balance the books:

* Dark spooky arm-clutchings in Chislehurst Caves. Tales of old Druid sacrifices, murders, hauntings and wartime toilets punctuated with lantern confiscation and mad thundering drumming to conjure up a feel for the bombings. Bit of screaming (me).

* 16 Go Mad on a bumpy twisty bike marathon round Tonbridge wild bits. Undecided whether I should've reported the saddle to the police for indecent abuse.

* Collaring a fisherman in Hastings to get an eyeful of his catch and hear about the GLUT (yes GLUT) of cod in the sea they're not allowed to bring ashore cos Brussels says so.

* Punch and Judy festival (and covert photographing) in Covent Garden and random soakings in the fountains outside the Festival Hall. No we didn't bring spare clothes.

* Rebelliousness in the face of parent meetings. Parent meetings? In Home Ed world? Apparently we have to have meetings so everyone can have their say about the problems with the new Teen Group. There are no problems. Three witches (one me) refuse to hold the glow-in-the-dark dinosaur to have the right to uninterrupted speech. But we urgently need a meeting to discuss the matter of the teens having taken something out of a cupboard in the upstairs room two weeks earlier! (One of the witches had already popped upstairs and sorted that out however about 45 minutes ago. Took about four seconds.) But she hadn't even brushed a warty fingertip atop the dinosaur! The outrage!!!! (I had wondered why only one person said hello when I breezed in late. She must have then been therapod'd up. Pfffttt.... Diplomacy by Diplodocus! I ask you....) Still, quite pleased to be given an opportunity to behave 'like children' - as I found out today we'd been tarred. Love it!

* New dramatic routine's first public performance in the inaugural Spring Challenge Cup at Romford Ice Rink by my Minxy-babe. No tumbles but she did forget to do the jump at the end. Duh. Looked gorgeous tho'. Shame about the mother-daughter role-reversal moment: amatuer Mooncup spillage antics in the medieval toilets (me), resigned spare tights supply (very lovely grown-up clever slightly embarrassed fabulous indulgent Minx.)

* Larks inside and out at Penshurst Place. Frequent showers didn't dampen the spirits. Just the french bread.

* A charcoal burn and impromptu (for us) camp out at a friend's woodlands home in wild green Kent. A response to all the 'Forest Schools' postings of late - this was 'Forest Home Ed'. Including making lethal weapons on a sapling and foot-powered pole-lathe and choking in quilts of smoke emanating from the chalk and charcoal graffitti'd kiln. Rounded off with squashing in like dirty sardines (smoked) with the stinky urchins in a borrowed teepee kind of thang in which we created out own weather and got slightly damp around the edges. Yet entertained splendidly by comedy owls.

* 5 Go Mad in a rowing boat at Dunorlan Park (Tun Wells) - round and round in circles until CanWeGetAKitten Boy gets the hang of it. He did - yay - and so we finally caught up with 6 Go Mad in another rowing boat. (4 Stay Ashore and pretend they don't know us.) No sinkings despite the distraction of that old boy I'd accosted last summer and his remote controlled last-warship-out-of-Hong-Kong thing terrorizing the waves. 11 Got Out Alive. No mean feat.

* First bug safari of the summer - lots of traumatised mini-beasts and happy grubby small people. Giant freak (me) setting off a hoppede from the startled big leggies - (but were they grasshoppers or bubble-bath'd froghoppers eh?) from their hopperopolis (or metr-hopolis). Proper frog-catching always gets the girls tho. Bless my Frog Boy.

All interspersed by the usual gatherings, ramblings, frolics, birthday bashings, youth theatre theatricals - with stage fighting and gruesome make-up shenanigans, football tournament penalty shoot-out pain, Mad Science poppings, heroic tiny boy stabilisers dumpings (yay Thuglet!) and cross-country rallyings in our rattling tin can from each totally non-academic adventure to another. Valiant in our filth and ignorance. Like they said in The Commitments: I'm black an' I'm proud. We are. Well the blackness does come off in the bath - if we bothered to run one. It rubs off on the sheets though. Works for me.

In fact in reply to someone's post on our Home Ed emaily thingy yesterday about the lack of dusting activity I quoted old Quentin Crisp: 'After four years the dust doesn't get any worse.' And then I likened this attitude to Home Edding: 'We've been H'Edding for about four years. The boys couldn't read when we started - and still can't. See? No worse!'

Having said all that, Minx came back from the shops last Saturday with two keystage something-or-other workbooks - one in science and the other maths. Like - !!!!!!!! ????????

Where did I go wrong????

But the main achievement has to be Little Rock Godling's new word tonight: Weirdful.

Sums us up.

I'm prouder than ever!

(Ok - don't look at the sheets.)

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Down and In

Madame doesn't appear to have anything to say for herself of late. Despite being very busy she can't think of anything to report. This doesn't usually stop her but she is floundering in a flappy unhappy way in an unremittingly boisterous mosh-pit. Having craved a day IN she is now in need of getting OUT. And will no doubt moan about that too. If she bothered to speak. Lots of fun been had over the last couple of weeks but it seems to have taken its toll on the energy levels so now we're currently cruising at the height of slug. Aspiring to the dizzies of moth she wearily raises her pink peepers a notch but it's all too damned exciting. Time to curl up in the soft folds of her puckered stomach and dribble droopily a tad longer. Hopefully things will perk up soon. She is bored with unperk. Probably just needs those bloody vitamins again. When she can be arsed to rejoin the human race she may just apologise for the lack of gumption displayed but for now...... thbleugghhhh............

Dammit I just spat on the keyboard.


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Up and' At 'Em!

Back on the line.... hello world!

We dunnit - we're all in.

It's chaos but lovely here. Funny how I fought moving to here so fiercely as I wanted to move closer to stuff we do but when I finally got here - I got all cooey. All the boys were still at Nanny and Grandad's, Minx was already banging nails in the wall up in her room and Mr Roving Blade had disappeared to score some chips. I wandered round the garden all peaceful-like (after the day's intensity) and spotted a smoking tree (deep red one) and silver birches and rose bushes and yellow dangly flowered thingies (must look this stuff up) and found I had a little bitty tear in my eye as it all felt wonderful. I even felt a bit guilty that I was being unfaithful to the 'old' house. It may only be 800 yards up the same road but I feel like I'm in a wholly new area. It's so beautiful!

Back to earth..... Priorities keep switching. Things are missing. Things appear in odd places. Things get pulled from a box to be stuffed straight into another charity bag. The panic packing was truly mystifying. Ooh what's in this shoebox? Nothing! Who packed that???!!!

But we are here. We are here. We are here. We are here......

The monkeys have carved out a bike track already that goes all the way around the house. Thuglet has a wild new vista of places to wee. I have built-in wardrobe and can see AND REACH ALL my clothes - for the first time EVER!!! (Funny sight but hey.... ) The Aga isn't an Aga but is a Stanley and after a couple of scared pokey sessions we are now on grunting terms. I can do part-baked baguettes and jacket potatoes and pizza - hey! I have the biggest ever airing cupboard which is so exciting I can't tell you. And a larder!!!! The perfect place to wedge suitcases. I can see donkeys and horses from my bedroom window. Although I was a bit freaked out the other night when I thought my white garden chairs were moving about - turned out to be them donkeys. Eerie things in moonlight are white donkeys. What else..... ?

Ohhhh - lots of STUFF. You know what it's like. There's still a mountain to climb - I mean that literally - the men came to pick up the boxes last week so we've pulled everything out. So now we have towers of STUFF to find homes for. It's the usual thing - a bigger house but less storage. So you know.... I have a stereo, tool boxes, a sack of percussion and four sleeping bags on the dining table. Stacks of empty baskets in every corner - they must've had things in them in the last place.... And a tub full of 'man' things - bits of dishwasher, knobs off things, assorted big screws and light switches etc. We all know we don't need them, but are too nellified to throw them away. Someone's dad might just know what it all means and think of it as treasure. Well..... we have a shed. However full it may already be with a lawn mower, drum kit, an inherited flowerpot cityscape and someone else's motorised golf trolley blah blah blah.... We've got a queue of half-ful paint pots ready to jump in ahead of all those bikey bits. Think we got a bit over-excited when we saw Sheddy. Think Sheddy's gonna blow......

But it's all fab. Even if we do get the occasional bucket of sausage skins left on the doorstep. 'The shop's shut - so I'll leave them here.' Thanks. That's what you get when you live in the farmhouse of a real actual working farm wiv a real actual farm butchers shop. Shame my kids only eat cheapo Richmond sausages really. They just won't entertain them real actual fat sausages that might just taste of something.

And we even saw people peeking around the old house. 'Did they look scared?' asked Mr RB. They didn't look very happy. Last night I spotted someone's chopped off the yew's big bough that stops big vans getting through the gates - we never thought of that. That's Mr Tree you unsentimental bastards! Poor Mr Tree.

So wot wiv all this work to do I haven't got time to sit here gassin'. Just got all perky when I'd seen Mr RB had built me little table for the 'pooter when I'd got back from a day of crazy bike-riding adventures. (Sitting on a nice padded chair - heaven.... ) He now has a ready-made office here so our time-sucker can be on a proper desk. There's another one in the sun room next to the tumble dryer (still getting used to that) that I imagine I will skip down to every morning and draw pictures on. Obviously when we've got everything straight I will. Obviously. But first things first - I waded through my 479 e-mails last night and announced my return on Facebook. Next job is to embark on the blog world catch up - let sleeping bags lie I say. My people are calling!!!

Deep breath. One blog at a time eh? Now who's first?

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

What Am I?

I'd quite recently come to a peaceful understanding with myself. I had laid to rest the ghost of trying to be clever. The faithful may recall I had my Damascus moment driving through the Ashdown Forest just before my brakes failed. That wonderful revelation. I am NOT clever. And I don't need to be. Despite the subsequent drama in the hedge I felt much happier for it. And yesterday's book purge was a liberating result of it. True freedom.

Today I came to another peaceful understanding. I am not big. I don't mean in the arse department - that's another planet I've no wish to explore. I mean I'm still not quite grown-up or reliable or something approaching just yet. I thought I'd cracked it yesterday - being all smug about my clutter flutter. But then I find myself untying, rummaging, disordering until I again held in my pesky paws my five most rued flings.

Not Plato, not Jung, not Illych, not Shakey Will, not Gombrich, not wisdom, not art, not enlightenment. Nope. They were just in the way. Not a flicker of regret.

Back in the fold came Heidi, What Katy Did, A Taste of Honey, Whip It and No More Sad Refrains. I sighed and hummed and knew I'd done the right thing. I felt like a squirrel who'd found her lost nuts.

So I may not be big or clever, but I'm happy.

And I also realised something else. There's a common link with these five books. They're all naughty little girls. Not naughty as in bad. Naughty as in went their own way despite the expectations.

Came to another peaceful understanding. I like being a naughty little girl. Naughty is so the new good.

I also pulled back out A Hitchhiker's Guide for Mr Roving Blade who'd been wobbling too. He'd only thrown out about three books anyway hadn't he? Ahh but the blindness of the smug..... Mr R B had fooled me into thinking he'd not really bothered to slim down. Found scores of his rejects out there. Humbled!

Happy and humble beats big and clever anyday.

CDs tomorrow.

Just gonna chuck 'em all in the damn box and tape it up so I will. Enough with the thinking already.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Who Am I?

Drew the black sack shrouds of goodbye over my identity today. About 40 years' worth of 'me'.

I 'did' the bookshelf in the bedroom.

I summoned up the courage last night as I was slopped in bed too tired to reach out and flick the light switch. I surveyed my history. The wall of book spines. The tapestry of my journey so far. I dared to wonder what I would cast aside the next day. I realised that I was feeling ready to cut the umbilicals. But would I?

Armed with boxes, packing tape and an OHP pen for the chosen, and the fresh shiny bin liners for the runners up, I set out on my mission. The far right corner for the Definitely No. The near right for the Probably No But I'll Put You Here For Now. The far left for the Definitely Yes. And the near left for the Ooh I Love You But I'm Just Not Sure I Can Cos I've Got To Be All Grown-Up About This And Live My Life.... Oh But We'll Always Have Paris.

It took all day. And I was very brave. Some had to be leafed through over and over before I could make the final decision. Some were straight out. Or straight in to be fair. Have I turned your pages or even peeked at an end-paper in the last year? Even when the answer was 'Yes You Bloody Did!' I still passed some over to the far right corner. I had a little debate with each one.

So hard to see disappear under the shiny blackness were the childhood copies of Heidi and What Katy Did. But their not being on my bookshelf anymore has not altered my childhood, or adulthood. I have still read them. I still 'have' them. I just can't smell them anymore.

Equally emotional were all those big art books that have defined me since youth, through Art Student days, to Frustrated Arty Type Stuck In A Crap Job years, all the way to Someday The Kids Will Need These fantasies. They are beautiful - but weigh alot. This is a major factor in my selection now. I kept a few of the thinner flappy-backed ones. In fact I even pulled the heavy cover off one and just kept the floppy insides.

Novels I've read - see ya. Novels I haven't - I'll get you out the library. Apart from two which slipped in. I kind of know I'll never read Birdsong but.... And ...... OK.

Poetry sashayed in - but only the thinner books with bigger typeface (and shorter verse).

Self-help and 'inspirational' - were flipped through, reminded, thanked and slid onto the farewell mountain. I can't waste too much more time reading stuff that tells me to DO stuff. I get it.

Presents - all very lovely. Oh you shouldn't have etc. Each one buzzing with guilt waves. I don't expect anyone to keep anything I give them just because. I'm just glad I thought of something at the time, managed to wrap it up and didn't get it thrown back at me immediately....

!!! Sorry Mum but I've got a thing about The Complete Works of Shakespeare. A breezeblock of tiny print on tissue-thin paper. And if that's not difficult enough to read, footnotes all over the bloody page. And if that's not heavy enough, it's in a box too. Minx suggested I take it back to her. Nope. That starts a conversation about oh gods all sorts like: everyone needs a Complete Works of Shakespeare, it reminds her of my actor brother now incapable of a live performance of anything bless him, it was a bargain on QVC, won't the children NEED to know this stuff, is Jack Russell Boy reading yet.... Oh no no no. 'And anyway...' I replied 'Nanny doesn't like Shakespeare.' ??? I frowned back down on the tombstone in my lap. Bye bye Will. If I fancy a spot of misidentification in tights, I'll get a little paperback of just the one play. But chances are, I probably won't.

And that compilation of The Darling Buds of May and its sequels.... Sigh.... The Darling Buds is actually my favourite book. I first found it in our bookshelf when I was about six and devoured it then, and several times over since. It was a lightweight book despite being a hardback, it smelt musty, it had a crispy dustjacket with a jolly picture and it felt perfick in my hands. The next one, A Breath of French Air, had the same qualities. I lapped that up too. I sought out the remaining three from libraries. They were enjoyable but didn't 'feel' the same. Then some years ago Mum bought me 'The Pop Larkin Chronicles' - all five in one volume. It annoyed me. I don't need all five at once. I don't like the stupid title. I even had to remove the cover as I hated the brash picture too. And it was probably published on the back of the diabolical telly series that nearly destroyed my soul BUT on a previous clutter clearing session (probably the last time I moved) I did the sensible thing and chucked the two brittle favourites and kept the new thing. Today I flung the charmless block and didn't even waste a breath.

The truly heartbreaking partings were a couple of oddities. A Taste of Honey - still so vibrant, and written by Sheelagh Delaney when she was 18! I've had this copy since I was 18. I only need to glimpse the slim broken spine to get sucked straight back in. And Whip It - re-named from Derby Girl after the film came out. I've only had this a matter of months but it's in my heart. I first read it twice back to back and have indulgently dipped in again whenever I needed a hit. For the road I inhaled the interview at the back with Shauna Cross, savouring the wisdom of the Your Own Voice-ness. I had earlier tossed aside the manual called Creative Writing tutting that I didn't need rules to hold me back. Reading these two Own Voices was the real thing. I soaked up as much of the dialogue of each every time I pondered, put them down, picked them up again.... These were the most inspirational books on the shelf. But in the spirit of the authors, I decided to leave the baggage behind and find my own way.

I tied up at least a dozen sacks today. I piled them all out in the Drum Room. I feel good!

The books aren't my identity - they're just my footsteps.

What hurt much more was putting all Mr Roving Blade's keepers into a dozen boxes. I had only used four. OK five including the two outsized arty ones that made it through but had to wait for a bigger box to sneak into. He only cleared out a handful. He took about three and a half minutes to know his own mind. I know he doesn't collect much else - just some music books and CDs - whereas I have boxes of art materials, things I've made, things for making, things in the making. But I felt purged of sin somehow with my battles of the day. Rather holier than thou in fact. Next week I shall no doubt be sobbing with regret at my foolhardiness while he calmly peruses the shelves for something soothing, but tonight - I feel as light as an old cheap holiday novelette.

Funnily enough I still appear to be me. In fact, maybe more so.

'No More Sad Refrains' - the title of my Sandy Denny biography, after one of her songs. I let that one go too.

* * * * * * * * * *

Mustn't crumble now! I've already called 'Sense' to come and take it all away. Never a charity so aptly named eh?

You think?

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Cardboard Necktie

I forgot to take a picture of my rampaging devilings in the garden this morning hunting for their bounty from The Easter Bunny, so I took a picture of the old measuring jugful of little coloured choccy eggs in the fridge later on. It's next to a couple of other half-eaten bigger ones and a carton of actual hens' bottoms eggs. And this was about it for the whole fridge's contents. Wot wiv all this packing lark melting our sentient abilities, neither Mr Roving Blade or I had remembered to go shopping for the past few days. So not for us the half a pig or a whole salmon resting on a bed of spring vegetables followed by a selection of chilled naughties like in them ads on telly. Mr R B and Minx set out with bows and arrows to ensnare something for the pot. The garage was open so at least they could grab some toilet roll and more bin liners (essential for moving house).

I'm lucky that Mr R B is jolly clever at rustling up edible things from seemingly bare cupboards and the unpalatable tat one can drag from a garage shelf. Left to me we'd just finish off the chocolate stuff. Well, I had a go.

But to blow my own dented trumpet for a moment, it is a testament to my homely talents that the house has turned to utter shit while I'm busy trying to stuff a 4-bedroom house into a couple of boxes. Not just the usual shit state. It is inhuman. This proves that I must normally keep pathways of access through the filth as, now my attention has focused on the insides of brown cardboard, the rest of the house is trying to swallow us up.

But I'm not doing very well at whittling down our clutter. Well - I've filled umpteen black sacks with STUFF but seem to just uncover MORE STUFF. How does this work? Like trying to dig my way out of a pirate's sand necktie (like I saw on Mythbusters on Discovery earlier today) - not that I was shirking mind. I can flick through a set of A - Z Technology, A - Z Maths.... with one eye and swivel the other onto someone being buried alive for our viewing pleasure without any noticeable halt in my proceedings. In fact I thought I'd cracked this Home Ed book collection lark. Out went Religions of the World. Away went Natures Great Events. Along with half the Usborne Spotters Guides only listing pondlife curiosities Not Found In Britain. But just as I think I've cleared an escape hole, it fills back up again and I am once again immobilised. Up to the choker.

And I haven't even peeked inside the painting, modelling, collaging (what?), drawing, things to make things out of.. baskets yet. Gods help me!

It won't be the dis-engagement of broadband that'll be responsible for weeks of silence. I'm taping myself into a large box with a big sticker on the outside: Do Not Open Until Xmas.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Just leaving a narrow slit for pizza delivery. Don't want to be having any Blue Peter and a stiff tortoise moment. Crack of dawn Easter Bunny-a-lympics dun nearly knock me out as it is. Will sleep well tonight. In my box. Always will revert to my slow-paced shell-clad self eventually. The bunny may bring the sugar rush, but doesn't the sneaky-pants win in the end?

Wake me up in time for The Wizard of Oz.


Apparently the huge beast known as Sky can't just flip yer internet access over to a new address just like that you know. Even if we are even keeping the same postcode. Apparently it takes several light years to de-activate and another ice age to re-activate. Apparently we shall be sans broadband for 4 or 5 weeks. Apparently the modern world doesn't apply to stupid people who move house and upset the system. Apparently.

Think of us cast adrift in the murkies of having to talk to each other instead. We won't even have the telly set up until a week after we've moved in - it's a boy thing. We have a flatscreen thing that requires men. Men with special tools. Apparently. So if Man Utd screw up and Chelsea fly - I'll have to make do with my brother's Facebook commentary. At least I saw Torres score before we are denied my electonic babysitter. (The baby being me.) That was a momentous um moment thing.

So.... no telly, no e-mails, no blogs.... no Wii!!!! (Oh gods I'll be forced to communicate with the Little Rock Godling! Help!!! I don't speak interplanetarywillyspeak.) And everything else that could fill the gap in the entertainment market will be stashed in boxes until we decorate. Suppose we'll have to decorate.

Or I'll just have to get to grips with this stuff on my phone. But with an average of about 50 e-mails a day on the Home Ed lists alone - this is most tiresome. Maybe I should just start running round the garden again and get all 'in the zone'y. Run Forrest Run!!!!!

Promise me you lot wot I read won't do anything exciting until I'm back in the mix? I promise I won't. (That's a bit like me giving up oranges 'for Lent' as a kid. Never liked oranges.) I'll just be floating off with the tides hoping for a nice little island full of coconuts and ready-shelled prawns. And a side order of Sag Aloo.

Best just get back to the packing. I keep trying to box up the chavvies (old meaning thank you) but they always manage to escape. But if I let them roam free they might look inside the charity bags and then I'm in big trubs. Unless I tape them into the charity bags? Now I'm using my noodle.......

Little Rock Goooodliiiiing! I've found some more Easter eggs! They're in this bag.....

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Christ On A Bike

Little Rock Godling on a bike.

What? Ok - Last week I drove another 45 mins up to the football pitches for some footie tournament thing with the brakes a-grindin' and arrived pitch-side to see Jack Russell boy's been subbed, the other team score and then the final whistle blew. Joy. 'You missed my wonder goal' he said. 'They all played really well' enthused his chum's mum. 'Really?' I gurned. What parallel universe are they all living in? Well.... maybe I just missed a miracle. Then they discover they have one more match. Ok, I shall see this amazing transformation of the dopiest team on earth for myself. Just then J R Boy spotted some other little mates on their bikes through a gap in the hedge so we bounded over and they ended up watching the final match with us. Embarrassing. Dopey United play like their usual hopeless selves. The dream is over. But as a consolation we end up spending the rest of the day with this less dopey gang, having adventures round a lake, sharing bikes and kicking a football at geese.

This is no ordinary football by the way. This is THE ball. The object of many discussions. A treasure to be kept in turn for a month by several loonigans. This hallowed orb came from the sea. After the glorious return to the wild of the leopard shark the other day dahn Hastings (pron. 'Astings), we all watched a man in a rowing boat appear from the horizon and slowly approach until he was near enough to bestow upon the first child to reach out, The Ball. And then he rowed away again. The Ball is a 2010 World Cup football. The one that buggered up the whole tournament if I recall correctly. It was too light and too round apparently and everyone played like a spaz but J R Boy has coveted one ever since. He is a connoisseur of footballs. He declared this ball a trophy of the highest order and now - it's a pain in the arse. The other boys' mum spent half the afternoon wading into the lake to retrieve the bloody thing, each time declaring 'It wants to return to the water! I'll burst the damn thing myself soon.' But despite the denial of a miracle of a decent match earlier in the day we did witness one of a different sort: Little Rock Godling finally 'got' riding a bike. Praise Be!!! And now he's off. And a few days later we even have a bike for him thanks to these boys' big sister being too big and their dad and his puncture repair kit. Yay!

On different wheels, the blinkin' car had to go back in to sort the brakes again. And I'm back in the little courtesy go-kart. Suddenly all low down and the gears are down there and the handbrake's the other side and oh.... No wonder the Formula One driver's get obsessed with their set up and don't want to be in the 'spare' car if it was set up for their team-mate. Brain-sieze time. But now I've got my high up ol' bone-rattler back and .... I seem to have got used to the other thing. Keep grabbing Minx's knee instead of gear stick. This makes a funny noise. On the way home the other night we saw another silver Fiat Multipla with hazards on by the side of the road. Minx chirped 'That's normally us!' It was a bit like an out-of-body experience.

But aaaahhhhh..... the Easter holidays! Hmmmnnnnn..... Lovely holiday traffic - obviously everyone deserves a break but do it when I'm not trying to get somewhere. I've had to revert to wiggly road and mind-bending junction hopping routes to avoid sitting for 3 hours just to approach the Dartford crossing. And it's a major army manouevre to find a spot in the park where we can kick a ball without kicking someone's head in. And another thing - (used to call an ex-flatmate Anna Notherthing as she could moan for her country) - you can tell just by the state of the toilets at the ice rink that it's the holidays. Surely when we are en masse we should show extra respect - but mob rule dictates that we become way more scum-like. Moan moan moan...

But we do find our places of relative peace still - places with no rides, no burger joints, no nuffin! Perfect. Where we can just run riot like the outsider filth we are. Dirt, sweat and sunblock - the smell of summer.

Not everyone is so delighted by our behaviour. Our beloved Streetdance teacher has had enough. At the last class over half the time was wasted by the 'princess' element whineing about 'it's too hard' while he was trying to convey the notion of 'trying'. And this week a couple of the kids again decided to come and go as they pleased or sigh or scamper over to the window to god knows what.... and poor Nick finally broke. Our next class will be The Last. I don't really blame him but us 'hardcore' groovers are despondent. Haven't even broken the news to J R Boy yet - he was staying and Nan and Grandad's (yes I know I've reverted to the old incorrect spelling - what are you my mother?) house playing with the Jack Russells and big cousin. Nor sure how he's gonna take it! It does make me wonder about freedom of expression versus some sort of discipline tho'. I can't help thinking that if someone is giving you their time and imparting their knowledge that it's simple respect to listen and try to do what they're showing you. Is that Draconian of me? I don't think so. But hey.... what do I know. I'm OLD!!!!

(SO old. One of Minx's pals ran up the other day laughing 'There's this really old woman in a pink jumper on the rope swing. It's hysterical!' Minx went to see. Said she was about my age.)

No respect this lot. Especially my own lot actually. Re-dyed my barnet at the weekend. Came out a bit orange I'll admit. Minx described me to her 'Teen Group' friends as 'an orange headed freak who swears alot'. Then she called me an Orang-utan in the car as the air blast was making the front bit stick up. Mr Roving Blade declared I looked like a ventriloquist's dummy. Family loyalty. Not a phrase I'm familiar with.

I'll get back to me boxes. Packing up. Moving in a week. Started in the boys' room. Oh yes. I'm hard me. The philosophy is: if it don't fit, it ain't coming. Can I walk the walk?

Would love to free myself from the ballast and soar higher - but the comfort element? How comforting is it to be drowning in crap...... Comfort indeed - following on from an odd discussion the other day about the 'comfort' of having Jesus stuff around the house like when a child. Suppose it is Easter and all that but.... not sure this really washed with me. My line of conversation seemed to lead to Bruce Forsythe - and I can't remember how it did but it did. My mum hates Brucie. I love him - 'cos he's Brucie! My comforts from childhood.

So...... Jesus or Brucie?

Maybe it'll all come down to whoever does the best wheelies.