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.)