Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Willies and Plastic Legs

I am the only person in this house without a willy. Well, actually, I'm not 100% sure about the sexual appendages of the Giant Land Snails but apparently they are hermaphrodites so I guess they have some kind of penile appendage, whereas I don't.

Anyway - my lack of a willy is of great fascination to my 4 year old son. According to him I have a 'no-willy' (as in 'I wee out of my willy, ladies wee out of their no-willies'. Yes Ok, fine, I'm not going to correct him quite yet and have him start shouting 'vagina' in public toilets all over the land).

We went to M&S yesterday (this was to return the minuscule vest I had accidentally purchased and subsequently got stuck over my head...) and while standing in the returns queue, with lots of respectable older ladies and one young man, my son decided now was the perfect time to, very suddenly, hoist the front of my dress up - thus revealing my too small tights and ancient pants to the entire queue.

I let out a sudden 'ARGGGGGGGGGGEEEEK' type yelp and slamming my dress back down again shouted 'WHAT are you doing!?' only for him to answer 'I just wanted to see if you still had a no-willy!'.

Oh. Dear. God.

I then had to stand in the queue for the next 5 minutes but when I did left, I left at speed (funnily enough) - marching out of the store with such shame-faced fury that I managed to take a mannequin's leg clean off with the front of the trolley. I probably would have got away with it if old Foghorn Leghorn Son No 1 hadn't yelled 'MUMMMEE! YOU HAVE KNOCKED THAT LADY'S LEG OFF!' and then burst into tears - at which point the whole store turned round to look.

Well to be fair, what does M&S expect if it positions mannequins close to the door with their legs crossed and one foot provocatively poised across the walkway?

I would guess they were hoping she would give out the message 'stop me and buy one', not 'hit me and take a limb off while you're at it' but all the same - what an idiotic set up. If it hadn't have been me, it would have been somebody else (grumble grumble), but of course it HAD to be me didnt' it? Knowing my bloody luck it was probably caught on CCTV and will be coming to a screen near you soon courtesy of 'You've Been Framed!'. Well as long as they send me the £200 I don't care. I can spend it on vests that actually fit. Oh and dark glasses and a wig....

Still - it was something of a shock to see a pop-sock clad foot flying through the air. I'm just glad it didn't hit anyone.......

Monday, 26 January 2009

Monday Afternoons

OK so my morning wasn't great (see previous post) but my afternoon was worse. Much worse.

I took son no. 1 to school nursery and he moaned every step of the way - I was walking too fast, I was walking too slow, I was walking with a footfall not identical to his, I was walking on his shadow, I wasn't walking on his shadow etc etc (in the way that I'm sure all 4 year olds can) until I reached the point of thinking it was a good job I wasn't carrying an umbrella because I would have probably used it - inappropriately....

Anyway I got back home to find that son no.2 had fallen asleep in his buggy so I had to transfer him to his cot still in his snowsuit - the snowsuit he HATES - and open his window so he didn't boil in the bag.

Downstairs I heated up my lunch (vegetable curry) only for it to explode in the microwave. I never knew butternut squash possessed such volatile tendencies. It actually went KABOOM. So that was fun.

Son No. 2 then woke up and finding himself cocooned in the snowsuit that he really really hates he went, to be frank, nucking futs.

So he came downstairs and I went out in the garden to catch the (bloody) rabbit. More on the rabbit another day. I haven't the energy now. I pursued the rabbit round and round the garden whilst muttering about boiling water and casserole pots (no doubt the neighbours were laughing - again) - and all the while Son No. 2 stood sobbing hot tears at the door begging me to come back in so he could wipe his snot on me. Again.

Eventually we made our way back to the nursery to collect Son No. 1 who was not at all happy to hear that he couldn't go and play at his friend's house because we had to come back here and wait for the Virgin engineer (that is Virgin as in the cable company - not virgin as in 'unused'. I wouldn't know anything about his sexual history) who would hopefully restore our telephone services.

So we walked all the way home - once again with whinging accompanying every step ('I'm too cold, I'm too hot, my legs ache, my head is hot, my eyebrow is aching - I kid you not - his EYEBROW...) and we got home and we waited for the engineer. And we waited.

I got bored of waiting and decided to try and fix a necklace which had lost some jewels (it was £2 from Primark and I haven't even worn it yet - I got it home and within minutes of lying on the kitchen table, the jewels fell off. Bodes well for the future doesn't it?). So I got the superglue out and started trying to get the lid off (you know what's coming don't you?). I couldn't get the lid off because, funnily enough, the superglue had glued it on - very very tightly. As I pulled and squeezed and swore I suddenly realised that some glue was coming out - out of the sides of the tube and all over my fingers..... I frantically started dabbing the glue onto the necklace only to get the necklace glued to my fingers.... Oh flipping great I'm thinking - I'm now going to have to greet the engineer and put the kids to bed with a whopping great Primark necklace glued to my right hand..... Just the ticket! Eventually (after a lot of internal panic) I got it off (obviously, or I wouldn't be typing this - I'd be in hospital having a skin graft or something) but still the Virgin man didn't come.

I started to get a bit paranoid and wondered if, in fact, our address was 'black listed' and the engineer was delaying his visit on purpose. You see, the last time I had a Virgin man out things were a tad, erm, embarrassing.

First of all, I left him fiddling with the cables out in the conservatory only to walk in and find that Son No. 1 (who was being potty trained at the time) had gone in there and done a poo on the floor. Next to him. Yes - you read that right. He went and sat next to the engineer and did a poo. The engineer was a trendy young lad of about 19 - NOT somebody who was likely to be au fait with the crapping habits of toddlers. I was so ashamed that I just walked in, did a double take, gulped hard, did a huge over-bright smile and said 'SOOO do you fancy a cup of tea!?' whilst simultaneously throwing a coat over the poo. Funnily enough he said no.....

I wish I could say it ended there - but it didn't. Later the engineer told me he was going out to the van (which was parked quite some distance away) and while he was out, I went for a wee. Now I always wee with the door open (well at home anyway) so it was to my utter horror that, a few seconds after he went out, the engineer bounded straight back in, having realised he'd forgotten something and came STRAIGHT up the stairs - only to be confronted by the sight of me on the toilet, pants round ankles, mouth gaping wide, silent scream trapped in my throat....

I am cringing writing this and I seriously dread to think what he told his mates in the pub that night. 'Yeah I got called out to this old bird's house (I'm sure anyone over 25 was old in his eyes) and first of all she had her kid shitting on the floor and didn't even clear it up and the next thing I know, she's got her pants round her ankles and is pissing in front of me. I tell you - I was OUTTA there....). So it's no wonder the engineer waited until 7.15pm, when he knew my OH would be home, before turning up.

On the plus side though - my phone is fixed. If anyone wants to call me after that little revelation....

Monday Mornings

Well it is barely 10am on Monday morning and already I have discovered that:

The new thermal vest (yes, my life is one long parade of sexy lingerie and silk sheets) I bought in M&S will barely even go over my head. When I did get it over my head I found both arms stuck in the arm holes and the rest of the vest wedged amidst my bosoms. When I eventually wrestled myself out of it, further investigations revealed that this would be because I have somehow bought a size 8. A size EIGHT. Clearly my eyesight is worse than I suspected. Oh what a laugh I had......

The next thing I discovered was that I'd lost the receipt. In a desperate bid to find it I searched through the kitchen big bag. A bin bag containing (amongst other things) nappies, mackerel, old curry and old yoghurt. I quickly decided that no receipt was worth that much torture and went to phone M&S to check their refund policy only remember that OF COURSE I don't have a phone because the lovely workmen outside have dug up my phone cable. This is shortly before they start a series of 'nightworks' right outside my house, where they will be using heavy machinery of a very loud nature between 6.30pm and 5am every night to widen the road........I'm looking forward to that - A LOT!

Giving it up as a bad lot I decided to tidy up and hereby an unfortunate incident occured involving a very nice, reasonably expensive, cream top I own. It was hanging up to to dry when I walked past with a load for the dishwasher. At precisely the wrong moment I wobbled and a large spatula covered in curry flew through the air and landed on the (once) lovely cream top...... A moment I wish I could reverse.

I began trying to remove the curry stain, only to return to the kitchen to discover that my children had, apparently, been recreating 'bonfire night' using every toy in the house. These had been launched through the air as 'fireworks' and the mess defies belief. I say defies because it is still there - and the children are shut in the front room with toast and Cbeebies while I scream into cyberspace........ They are currently arguing over whether the level crossing gates on the model railway should be open or shut and who gets to push the bus over.... At this rate the only person pushing the bus will be me - and I'll be pushing it straight out the front door and into the dustbin.

So I sit admist a mountain of trashed toys vest-less, top-less (I do have a dressing gown on - I don't blog in the nude, god forbid), phone-less and wondering what the rest of the day has to offer.

Is it too early for a gin?

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Father to Son

As I watched my OH cuddling his baby son, a warm glow grew inside me. To see them so happy and contented together, just 'being', just enjoying each other in that familiar, easy way.

My OH buried his face deep in the baby's hair and nuzzled him, only to turn and utter the sweet and meaningful words....

....'oohh he smells like a charity shop'.

A CHARITY SHOP! Not, I have to say, what I was expecting.

Men! More trouble than my balls.... well almost.

Friday, 23 January 2009

My balls are still causing me trouble

After last week's debacle, I took my balls out fully pumped this week. I crushed them into the car and set off on my long and dangerous journey to my final destination..... a destination which is all of 200 yard away but requires negotiating a level crossing.

I'll give you a tip - if you are crossing a railway line, along which very fast trains regularly thunder, DO NOT under any circumstances, let your balls interfere with your gear stick. There was a somewhat tricky moment. A moment where time (very briefly) stopped and I battled against the balls and (thankfully) won.

As I (with more than a relieved sigh) got back into gear and cleared the level crossing, it suddenly hit me that had everything ended in a horrible crunch of metal, I probably would have had a few problems filling in the insurance forms (that is of course presuming that I'd managed to open the car door and flee the scene).

I can imagine it now:

Man at Esure: 'So could you explain madam, just why you stalled whilst abreast the railway?'
Me: 'Well it was my balls....'
Man at Esure: 'Sorry?'
Me: 'My balls, they interfered with everything'.
Man at Esure: 'Interfered with what?'
Me: 'I didn't realise how much room they took up. I underestimated. When it came to it I just couldn't get my gearstick back in the right slot'.
Man at Esure: 'Could you just confirm your name again? And your address....'.
Me: 'I kept trying to slam it in but they just kept bouncing of it.....'

OK OK I'll stop there. I'm supposed to be writing a blog, not a script for 'Carry on at the Crossing', but needless to say, I am slightly nervous about taking them out again. Suggestion on a postcard please. I'm currently toying with the idea of netting them and tying them to the roof. Or stabbing them....with a very sharp knife.....

Monday, 19 January 2009

Dave (Return to the Source)

Further to my previous post on the prevalence of Daves, I've just been over 'Dave's' shop for a Monday night fix of a 4 pack of Strongbow. What is it about Monday nights? Give me credit though - I'm only going to drink 2 cans and I'm turning them in to shandys (WOOO HOOO - such a paragon of healthy living aren't I!?).

Anyway Dave was, as usual, smoking in his back room and singing badly to 80's rock songs. He came out and, on seeing me, immediately rang the price of a 4 pack of Strongbow through before my hand even fell upon the fridge door..... I would have blushed but shame is beyond me after the last few years (you have to remember that this man has seen me naked on a stretcher wearing nothing but blood and an NHS blanket, and has also had an interesting 'debate' with me about whether or not my lottery ticket was a winning one, but the less said about that episode the better. The naked bloodbath was more dignified).

So I put my 4-pack on the counter with my very virtous DIET lemonade.

£5.35 said Dave.

Oh I said (glancing down at the £5 I was holding with no access to any further funds).

Dave raised an eyebrow.

There was a time he would have told me to bring in the 35p tomorrow but he's been wary since the lottery ticket fight, sorry 'debate'.

He speaks.

'There's nothing wrong with the Happy Shopper' - and points to the back of the shop.

So I take the 'walk of shame' and exhange my White's lemonade for the Happy Shopper one.

Dave has spoken and his word is law.

And the shandy is fine.

Especially when it's 90% Strongbow.....

Sunday, 18 January 2009


Birth balls to be precise.

You know - the big bouncy exercise balls that people are supposed to either 'stabilise their core muscles' on, or bounce about on in early labour. I have a feeling 98% of these balls lie, forgotten and unloved, in the back of people's wardrobes. The other 2% reside in my house where they get in every body's way and are used by small boys to replicate boulder avalanches and bowl over small babies.......

Anyway I took my balls on an outing on Thursday night and I learnt a thing or two about taking balls out (just in case you ever fancy it as an activity - you know rather than what normal people do on a Thursday night, like watch Eastenders or go to the pub).

1. Inflate them before you go. Seriously - do. Pumping them up is hard work and very undignified. You really don't want anybody (especially anybody meeting you for the first time) to walk in and find you bent over and sweaty, pumping your right hand up and down very fast while you grunt slightly and mutter 'come on, just come on'......

2. When you leave your venue (and decide you will leave your balls inflated to avoid the chance of being caught in a potentially compromising position ever again) DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT prise all the balls into the Disabled lift and then cram yourself in next to them. You will then ride the lift down to lowest floor (one of those ones where you have to hold the button down to make it move) and find that the door that opens once you reach your destination is actually the one on the other side of the lift and you need to push it, hard, to open it. And you can't even reach it, let alone push it, because you are jammed into the lift with a load of inflatable balls - a bit like a toy in one of those grabby-arm machines you get at the seaside. You call for assistance but there is nobody in reception..... In the end in, out of sheer desperation, you put a LOT of pressure on your balls and they suddenly burst forth from the lift, rolling around like a load of out of control giant ball bearings and the sudden release of pressure sends you crashing to floor. This of course will be right at the moment that the receptionist comes back to her post.......

Bloody balls.

p.s. I was trying to find a suitable image to go with this post but gave up after googling 'squashed balls'.....

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Stuffing Babies

Following on from the nipples debacle (see previous post) we completed our shopping in Tescos.

One of the items I needed was something very cheap and heavy that I could use to stuff babies. Not real babies - but as I've explained previously - dolls that I have to make as realistic as possible so that expectant parents can practice changing nappies and stuff on them (they don't get to practice dealing with having your nipples discussed in Tescos but hey ho - I can't prepare them for everything).

Anyway, whilst perusing the 'ethnic food' area I came across a large sack of 'Mung Beans'. Very very cheap. Ideal!

So off we go to the till.

The lady on the check out - who looked a bit like Cilla Black (so we'll call her Cilla) - perused the sack with interest.

Cilla: 'Mung Beans? I ain't never had them before (erm, no, for some reason that doesn't suprise me) . What they like?'.

Me: 'erm, I don't actually know, I've never eaten them'.

Cilla: 'Never seen 'em through the till before. How do you cook 'em?'.

Me: 'erm, I don't know, I'm not going to eat them (on why oh why I didn't stop there I will never now). I'm going to put them inside things. To make them heavier. To weight them'.

Cilla: 'Inside what?'

Me: 'Babies'.

Cilla: says nothing but physically pulls back and looks at me as if my very presence has tainted her forever.

Me: 'oh not real babies! Dolls! Dolls that I pretend are babies!'.

Cilla: still beyond speech. Glances nervously at my children. Perhaps to check that they are in fact real, and not replicas stuffed with Mung Beans.

Me: Ohh it's for my work!

: smiles nervously. Makes no further conversation.

I'm half expecting the police to turn up. Or the psychiatric services (again).

From the mouths of babes...

Picture the scene.

The packed fruit and veg aisle in the very big Tesco here.

2 delightful young boys stuffed in the front seats of the trolley.

The older boy (the one who can say more than 'Dave') says 'mummy, why are you wearing Daddy's chain?' (I was wearing a long silver chain, tucked down my top).

I say 'ohhh no, that's not Daddy's, it's mine. Look it's got a silver leaf on the end' and pull it out.

Eldest son says, very very loudly, 'oh yes mummy, I see, it was just............... TANGLED UP IN YOUR NIPPLES'.

Arrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhh. Where do they get these ideas from? And, for the record, no - it wasn't!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Baby Dave

In the town where I live a LOT of the males are called Dave. Probably around 85.5% (well maybe).

My neighbour's son is called Dave.

The man who cuts my other neighbour's lawn is called Dave.

The pub landlord is called Dave.

The man who runs the corner shop is called Dave.

The man in the street always seems to be shouting at Dave.

So it shouldn't have surprised me when my eldest son ran into my bedroom shouting 'Mummy, mummy! The baby is talking!! He can save DAVE!'.

And sure enough - it would appear that my baby's 4th word (after 'mamma', 'dadda' and 'car') is indeed DAVE. He crawls around saying 'Dave! Dave! Dave!' which makes his brother roar with laughter, so he says it some more.

Should I brace myself for the next one being 'Chas'? (Altogether now 'Down to Margate......').

Why can't I be one of those girls with a lovely pencil case?

There is a type of girl (or should I now say 'woman') out there who is always so 'together' and a symbol of her togetherness would be her pencil case. See she is the girl at school who ALWAYS had the beautiful ultra-organised pencil case. A lovely shiny tin with an interesting pattern, sharp pencils in a range of shades and hardness's, a lovely fresh looking rubber, a cool pencil sharpener with a bit to catch the shaving - blah blah blah. She would even find room for extra little cool 'bits' - like a nice lip balm and something scented. Perhaps there would be a little love note folded up in the bottom corner.

I wanted to be this girl. I wanted to be her SO much - but it seems to be against my genetic make-up.

Every term I would start with the best of intentions - with my new shiny pencil case. However (and I sure it won't surprise you to hear this) within weeks (or in a bad year, days...) my pencil case would have been transformed. It would be dented. There would be scratches all over it. I think one even lost it's lid completely. People would have drawn on it with (banned) Tipex and gouged out the names of bands and boys and CND symbols. The pencils would be missing and/or blunt. The rubber would be filthy and have 'bits' hanging of it. The pencil sharpener would be lost (thus all the blunt pencils) but annoyingly the bottom of the pencil tin would be full of pencil shavings. Oh and there would certainly be no love note.

Every now and again and I would clear it out and make myself promise that from NOW ON I would be a girl with a very nice pencil case.

But I never was.

I don't have a pencil case anymore but I think this phenomenon has been replaced by handbags and diets. Whilst others parade around with bags filled with miniature Tupperware boxes, purposeful pouches and wallets - mine is a sea of loose change, random plastic cards (some for stores which no longer exist), damp things and a million crushed mini-Cheddars/rice-cakes/fruit bars/whatever the kids have been eating which have set like some kind of crumble topping in the bottom of the bag. I even found a pint of milk in there the other day (thankfully still in the bottle but, alas, rather warm).

When it comes to diets, I (like most other women it appears) always seem to think that 'from tomorrow' I will be able to live on a diet of only organic mung beans and water and, within weeks, be transformed into a svelte icon of Hollywood proportions. This lasts until I feel stressed and send my OH over to the corner shop for a 4 pack of Strongbow and some chips from the Chinese......

So there we are. I am me and I can't see me changing so I've just had to learn to embrace the chaos the crumbs and the curves. You can't fight nature....

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Back to school...

...or not as the case may be.

I have truly excelled myself today in the field of Ultra Organised Motherhood.

For some inexplicable reason I decided to have my own private party last night (me, 4 cans of Strongbow, the front room...well it's nice to bring that Friday feeling into a Monday once in a while! Otherwise it's just so boring) and boy did I regret it this morning. So I was pretty relieved that it was the day A was going back to nursery after the Christmas holidays.

I got him all dressed up in his uniform. I made his lunch. I got him there in good time....very good fact early. THREE DAYS EARLY.

As we were walking across the (very quiet and empty) playground his teachers got out of a car and shouted 'yoooo hooo, where are you going!?'. It appears that this week is 'visit week' where the staff go round in a car visiting the new children who will be starting this term. Thus there is no actual nursery until Friday. It appears everyone else knew this but me. And now the teachers know that I didn't know.... And they saw me in my 'it's bloody freezing' winter attire of a large Pat Butcher style fur coat teamed with a knitted tea cosy style hat, furry boots and a long trailing scarf. They're probably thinking 'hmmm, well his mother is clearly a little vague and not quite operating on the same frequency as the rest of the town'.

So we went home again.

Later we went to the shops and as I drove away I decided to do a u-turn and go back down the road I'd driven along, passing our parking spot. This was highly fortuitous because I noticed a red pushchair at the side of the road which somebody has appeared to have abandoned. 'Ohhh I've got that pushchair!' I thought ! Quickly followed by 'that IS my pushchair!'. Put it in the boot and, once again, went home.

In light of the fact I had nothing more exciting that needed doing I then spent an utterly thrilling afternoon trying to pretend that A was actually at nursery and unpicking the stitching from doll's backs, pulling out most of their stuffing (and boy do they have a LOT of stuffing) and then filling them with lentils/rice/whatever else was in my cupboards and not being eaten (although I drew the line at tins of mackerel or the sachets of 'Slim a Soup'). There was stuffing, lentils, rice, blood (mine - from the needles, nobody else was hurt during the stuffing) and a lot of other things everywhere. I think my son was slightly traumatised by the 'operations' I needed to do on all these 'babies' (he loves them, he wants them all in proper cots and wearing warm clothes).

Don't worry - this isn't some kind of weird way of working through my 'issues', it's just that I need dolls that handle 'like a real baby' for the work I do with expectant parents and I'm afraid that filling their body cavities with dried foodstuffs is a close as I can get as I doubt anyone is going to lend me a fleet of real life newborns for us to practice on. Especially judging by today's performance.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Brushing your hair with a banana.... NOT a good idea.

But if your 16 months old why, in all honesty, would you give a fig?


Both my kids have curly hair (they've inherited it from their father - a man who, when I met him, could give Brian May a run for his money in terms of the crazy hair stakes) but the youngest one has taken it to a whole new level. It's like a blonde afro but the hair itself is very, very, VERY fine. Fine as in a thin hair shaft. Not fine as 'you is lookin' FINE'. This fineness means that just a tiny bit of friction (as in thrashing around in your cot like a loon at 3am demanding the return of your dummy/mangy rag (sorry 'comfort blanket')/Iggle Piggle/teething gel/drugs/delete as applicable) and his hair goes from 'abundant ringlets of a cherub' to 'carpet' in one easy step.

And when I say 'carpet' - I'm not talking best shagpile. I'm talking nasty old pub carpet. Carpet that people have been sick on. Because as well as rubbing it all up the wrong way, he is also sick on it AND he also tries to brush it with a banana.

He looks like a blonde Russell Brand. Without the eyeliner. Or the indecent-sex-phonecall-windup-Jonathan Ross Scandal-thing.

I've applied large amounts of Herbal Essences to it tonight (please don't tell the 'thou shalt not touch my infant with anything but the organic tears of a virgin goat milked by phosphate free nuns' brigade') and I hope that in the morning he will be restored to his former glory. If not, I've just drunk a 4 pack of Strongbow so, come the morning, I doubt I will care what his carpet, sorry 'hair'- looks like.

He is beautiful though- really...

Sunday, 4 January 2009

So there goes the festivities....bring on 2009!

So here we are. The end of the 'Festive Season'. Well it is here anyway. I had enough of the children chasing each other through the lower branches of the Christmas Tree and using the beads as snakes, so it's all been thrown into the garden ready to be sawn up and put in the green waste bin (the tree that is - the children are in bed). My OH is in charge of the sawing so I expect it will take place in around March....but don't hold your breath. It might just sit there until the forces of nature take hold and turn it into compost. I'm still waiting for the skirting board in the kitchen to be stuck back on - and that fell off in about 2003, and the situation with the shower head, curtain rail, bedroom light and living room lamp got so pressing that I had to actually beg a friend to loan me her husband.

Anyway, I hope everyone liked their presents. It can be so hard to get it right but I do love being able to do nice things for people I care about and I'm very thankful for everything I got. Of course sometimes it can and does go horribly wrong (I won't even mention gifts from my Special Pasta SIL here because she doesn't even try and get them right. Or in fact doesn't even get them, as was the case this year).

I will never forget the Christmas when my Granny opened a present from her (so called) best friend only to find it was a book about Witch Craft and finding your inner witch. Bearing in mind my Granny is a woman of floral pinnies and pastry making and anti-macassars - I don't think it was quite her cup of tea. Still, the rest of us laughed until we cried and then laughed some more.

When I was about 12 the same Granny made my Christmas Day memorable for all the wrong reasons. She decided to buy me a bra. Eeeehhh - I'm cringing typing this. So RIGHT in the middle of the peek of my hormonal shame and awkward phase I sit in front of my mum, dad and brother and tear open a pink bra (which, for some reason, was decorated with boats - perhaps she hoped I'd court a sailor?). I blushed crimson and tried to stuff it down the side of the sofa but oh no, Granny wanted to make sure everybody knew what a (direct quote) 'big girl I was now' and announced to the whole room 'ooohhh look everyone, she's got a BRASSIERE! HOLD IT UP NOW. Ooooh what a BIG girl you are now!'. Gulp.

My mum has a habit of getting me make up - which is lovely because I love make up. It's just a bit 'hmm' that it nearly always has 'not for re-sale' written on the bottom of it and is a free gift with purchase.... God love her. Then there was the year she decided to 'adopt' me a dormouse as some kind of nature conservation scheme. A lovely idea, except I didn't quite 'get' it at the time and on opening the envelope got very confused and said 'mum, what's this? You've given me one of your letters by accident instead of my present. Something about bloody dormice....'. Once again - gulp.

Anyway the Festive Frenzy is over and although it was all lovely, I have to say I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of normal life. Or however normal life can be around here.