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?