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.

Friday, 15 April 2011

New Regime..... Reclaim the Goddess, or is that Gothess?

Mr Roving Blade and I have made a pact. We both want to lose weight and get all sexy again. He made me weigh myself - in front of him!!! How's THAT for trust in one's marriage? Horrified to discover I am the heaviest I've EVER EVER been. A stone and a half heavier than a couple of years ago - the last time I weighed myself. Knew I'd been wearing black alot. It's a tedious cliche but I desperately want to get back into my favourite jeans which I tried on again 2 days ago. Not even past my hips. You'd never know they were mine. Apart from the knee holes and biro. It's TIME.....

One might think that a stone and a half ain't that much but I am a midget. A stone and a half is SUCH MUCH. I want to go along to the next set of streetdance classes and not cry at my reflection. I want my thighs to start living independent lives and not melt into each other. And I want to trot after an escaping football without turning purple.

I refuse to list what I eat (or what I've not eaten) or catalogue my miserable scales visits. I will not count calories or moan when I see thin people eat ice-cream. I am going to be very grown-up about this and not bore everyone around me. Apart from this post obviously. I just want to believe I'm already gorgeous and sexy and hope reality catches up with me.

But - some action is called for unfortunately. I used to do about an hour of stretching every day - up to a couple of years ago, when we rearranged the living room. A bit like the impossible task of trying to go to sleep diagonally on someone's floor in the old days, suddenly doing my stretches on a different part of the carpet and facing the other way was all it took to for all excercise to cease immediately. And I stopped breast-feeding. And Mr RB and I started getting along better than we had, meaning my stomach-knots relaxed somewhat. Followed by my stomach folds. And Xmas hit.... and seemingly never stopped. All in all - I am now a blimp. Half an hour on the pedalo yesterday with the boys just woke up muscles long since retired. Need to get them back to work - or I may as well give up to blobdom forever. Black blobdom.

So - after the weigh-in we did a couple of stretches, dodgeing the mobile phone cameras held aloft by Minx and her sleepover chum who'd just come-to on the settees - bloody cheek. Then we squidged into the trainers, set the timer for 10 mins and set off on our cross country run, round the garden. Quick thinking changed the plan to 10 laps instead of 10 mins. My arse is wobblier than blancmange on a trampoline. Kept remembering that line from an ex-flatmate's Callanetics video: 'You too can have a perfect peach!' Couple of trifles maybe. After 3 torturous laps round the garden we decided that 5 would be plenty. Slipped in a quick golf swing lesson for me. Another lost ball. Still, felt all rejuvenated and did a couple more laps. Twisted my ankle down a rabbit hole but felt all smug. Even threw a couple more stretchy shapes. 10 mins pinged. Time for breakfast. Bugger - still have to eat and all we have is crap. Porridge - I am just SO glowing and 10lbs lighter already so I am. May even reward myself with a day off tomorrow. Only joking. Think peach.

All hail the sex goddess that shall be ME ME MEEEEE.....

Hmmmmmmnnnnn....... Later I came back from a Mad Science, park, football boots shopping, girls drop off, diesel run and general runaround (make that a general drive-around) and ........... reached straight for the vitamins and headache pills. No sign of renewed energy yet. Mr RB's gone for fish & chips and I need a good lie down.

Think I'll just dye all my clothes black.

Monday, 11 April 2011

'Ere Pete, I can see your 'ouse from 'ere!

So we're packin' up, headin' out an' makin' a fresh start ......... 800 yards down the road.

Been allowed after all. Quite remarkable seein' as how we rang up again today demanding they come and fix our boiler AGAIN........ But hey.

It's not exciting. We'll be a bedroom short. There's a damp wall which I guarantee will never be fixed. There will be farm workers wandering about around our hedgey borders all day and a butcher's shop 4 paces from the back door (until that moves off to the next village at some time unspecified). It's still bleedin' oil fired heating. I'll have to work out how an aga works - if at all. And I'm not sure if there's a shower - despite there being 2 bathrooms. Odd that. One pink and one avocado. Ooh - bagsy the avocado one! And we'll drive past our old house everytime we go anywhere - which'll be weird.


..... like tonight, the monsters can rampage about as late as they like outside and noone will be tutting over the fence about bedtimes and school-in-the-morning etc. And that lack of tutting in my book is worth a million sets of nice curtains.

Now all we've got to do is work out how to get down there with all our crap.

Bibbety bobbety boo ....... !!!!!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Intelligent Life on Other Planets?

Well...... here on Planet Smokingun it's all a bit of a ping pong match. One day this and the next day that. But hey - one day I'll be a real grown-up I'll make sense of it all.

Meanwhile, what's this purple pile of poo being pushed from one end of my kitchen counter to the other? Oh yes. Bloody census. To be returned by March the what? Phffttt.... I know if I was doing me family tree stuff the old census reports play a part and that but..... do I trust the government, any government with whatever information I might impart? Nope. Do I give a flying fuck if the purple pages get covered in gravy before I get round to opening it? Nope. Could I give it to Little Rock Godling to make paper aeroplanes out of? Hmmmnnnn......

There are other things on my mind. Like have the agency we rent through dropped a clanger? We were told we had first dibs on the house down the road which, although I still can't get excited about, we have tramped through and have said yes to - as long as they fix the damp wall in the dinosaur bedroom. But we are told that there are two other people interested, one very much so. We rang the next day to accept but heard nothing back. Rang the day after and were told we'd know by Monday. So my current address is still: Limbo.

And as for this house. We have pushed the poor old boat to its very limit. Half the downstairs is now a Rubber Boot Only Area. I'm not talking saucy here - I'm talking very unsaucy wellies. I'm talking a lake in the utility room. A lake under the utility room - seepage under the lino and out into the hallway. Under the hallway carpet and into the kitchen. And eventually to the sea.

Am also hanging my head in shame about my car. Or Plan B as it is now known. The very nice people at the garage have solved the mystery of my repeated brake failure episodes: Fuckwitism. Plan B has been such a frequent visitor there lately - no part of its anatomy has been neglected - but they could find no reason for the brakes to 'go all spongey' as I put it. Until Friday. I'd only just driven away from the garage itself - missing my turn and pootling off down a twisty track with just a vain hope that I would eventually link up to the main road later that day. Vain a hope it was as the relevant pages in the AA East Sussex book were missing. Of course. See - I did stop to do grown-up map peek. Decided that it was fun anyway so off we set again. And then...... always on a bend - me brakes went all spongey. Did they? Kept going... Oh yes. Am I sure? Let's just see.... Oh yes definitely. So I spongeily drifted to a stop - just as I approached the nice sign saying I had indeed found the main road. Well that was something. A very nice mechanic from the garage came out to swap the courtesty car for my smokin' heap and we were off again. Ha! I thought. NOW they'll see!

Yes they did.

Conclusion: I've been driving with my hand-brake on. This causes the brakes to overheat, get upset, refuse to work under these conditions and take up smoking.

Poor thing. And I've been kicking its arse, calling its parentage into question and worst of all piling all my stinking children and their dubious wildlife discoveries inside it's belly and deafening it with Now 74-77 til I'm surprised it hasn't driven itself off into the English Channel.

All things eventually lead to the sea. The car, the house, my mind. In fact we all headed down to Hastings on Friday (in the little courtesy car). Never At Home Education Rides Again. Hired out our fave Electric Palace Cinema to watch a film, eat cakes and dance and then bomb down to the beach, scooping up chips and a stranded starfish on the way. We had quite a mariney biological kind of day with all the fishy skeletons and bits of crab they found and the leopard shark that one dad caught. This rather cross little shark curled up and bit him a few times and then he said 'Who'd like to hold it?' I laughed - thinking it was a good joke. But he was serious. It was Alligator Boy himself who carried it back to the sea for a majestic setting free scene. 'Cept he sort of plopped it in the shallow bit upside down as the wave went back out and it flapped about really really cross now. So he picked it up and lobbed it. Ever seen a leopard shark fly? We did. Not as emotional as one might hope this Back Into The Wild stuff. But as I'd already missed the starfish's joyous return to the waters 'cos I was in the chip shop, it had to do. Tried to take a picture. Got wet.

I think it was the sea's way of saying 'Oi!' as I seemed to spend most of my day facing away from it, engrossed in big conflabs. There has been an outbreak of 'democratic debates' lately and I had stated from the off that if anyone passes me a purple hat or a juggling ball for me to take my turn to speak then they could shove it up their ballot box. I can not hold my tongue and hold up my hand. If I can't interrupt someone who's windbagging with an unnecessary wise-crack then I don't wish to take part at all. The passing of the permission-to-speak-uninterrupted flag is just an opening for people to yabber yabber bollocky bollocks in circles for hours and I haven't got those sort of social skills that can keep me quiet for longer than a hesitant utterance and a half. It may be called Tourette's Syndrome or something...... Fuck it. (I mean if you want to spurt forth into verbal oblivion write a damn blog eh?) But last Friday we had a good old chirpy ding dong - when you blurt out your pennyworth while someone else is still blurting theirs and everyone chimes in with their own bing bongs, finishing each other's sentences - it's way more constructive. Proper talking that is. Got it sorted.

So now what's this other leaflet on my kitchen counter then? The referendum on the voting system! What larks!!! Just reading it exhausted me. Still - seems like a giggle. Anything to get the vote-counters in a flurry. Serves 'em right for being so keen. So we could vote, go to bed instead of sitting up watching swing-o-meters, get up without anybody waving on the telly, set about our usual business - probably for days and days - and eventually get to hear about the result when we've lost interest. Hopefully much less No News to avoid. Got to be a good thing surely? Or would the No News just go on and on and on and on....... Well I never watch, read or listen to the No News anyway. That's why I'm so well informed about everything. And probably why I can't keep my mouth shut. (Or my car running. Or my house in order. Or my children in line.....)

Back to the census thing, Leopard Shark Boy asked me what it was and why was I so grumpy about it. Tried to say the right thing - you know.... family tree, historical interest blah blah but couldn't help myself and babbled on about not trusting this or any government. 'But what about David um...' he's thinking. He's not holding a purple hat. We start prompting 'Cameron?' 'No....' 'Nick Clegg?' 'No...' 'Tony Blair?' 'No... David um.... Beckham?' 'He's not a politician.' 'But what if he was?' 'Well.... as soon as he'd put a suit on I'd not trust him.' 'Why?' 'Well.... as Groucho Marks once stated that he'd not want to be a member of any club that would have him as a member, I'd not trust anyone who even wanted to BE a politician.' (This makes perfect sense to me but I'm faced with a nine year old blinking. Decide to try again in a more sing-song explanatory way.) 'I just think that politicians are all um...-' 'Bastards.' he interjects.

That's my boy.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Sunday, 3 April 2011

You Really Had Better Duck

Another phrase that so cheers me up, especially when used in conjunction with searching for a house:

23. Beggars can't be choosers.

Oh no you di'n't!!!!!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

I May Have To Punch You

Phrases that fill my stomach with stew. I hate stew. Just the word makes me think spew. For that is what I did last time I was made to eat stew. You can call it casserole but that word makes me think asshole. Stew is stew is spew.

Back to the point. I hear these sentences spewed out all too often. I will punch the next mouth that lets them out.

1. The kids'll love it.
2. You can't miss it.
3. Can I just make one tiny comment?
4. Recipes the whole family will love.
5. Ooh you've got your hands full!
6. Just a short hop from .....
7. Easy to follow fully illustrated ..... A child of 4 can do it.
8. Just ringing for a chat.
9. Well I hate to interfere but .....
10. What you want to do is .....
11. Are you busy on Sunday?
12. If, like me, you're one of those people who .....
13. Just tell me what days you're free.
14. That reminds me of a funny story .....
15. Everybody else seems to like it/can do it.
16. Well at this age they will be .....
17. I know what you're thinking .....
18. It's simple .....
19. When I was your age .....
20. Could you be a poppet and just .....
21. Well you know my opinion of Sondheim!

Sorry - that last one kind of slipped out. Family thing. Dear Ma. Still there is one thing that unites us and that is a deep loathing of Mothers Day. So Gawdblesser for that.

I do hate being told what to do. And other 'people' telling my offspring when and what to do in order to bend me into whatever it is I'm expected to be doing. Bloody nonsense. Don't patronise me by pretending I deserve chocolates and flowers one day a year and then try selling toilet cleaner to me for the other 364 days. I will still be picking up pants and wiping bottoms and de-scumming cups tomorrow. Don't be making me feel resentful that the world is still real. And I eat chocolate all year round thank you. Don't need you to tell me when it's permissable.

And if any braindead fuckwit EVER thinks I'm going to enjoy a Michael Buble album in this or any future dribbling lifetime then they'd better run like buggery before I ram it up their fetid casserole.

22. The perfect gift for Mothers Day.

..... is no stoopid Mothers Day. Be nice to me all year round please.