Saturday, 31 October 2009

Behind the Scenes at the Museum

Well Half-Term has been pretty ropey to say the least.

The veritable pinnacle was getting my toilet fixed.

The rest was, erm, crap.

All the stress about the house move, various other stuff that's occurred, living out of boxes with no proper food, not having any plans or places to go as we thought we'd be gone by now - and THEN on Thursday I woke with the most splitting headache imaginable and spent the day under a duvet being sick.

I think it was actually my body/mind saying 'this is it - enough - I'm SO over this'.

Anyway I decided enough was enough and my kids needed ONE happy memory of the holiday (I don't think watching mummy vomit and listening to her shout at estate agents is really stuff for the scrapbook?) so I asked the eldest what he really really wanted to do on Friday and he said 'go into London on the train'.


So I decided to go to the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green (I couldn't quite face the tourist spots of Central London alone with both of them - taking the toddler out is a bit like being accompanied by slightly wild unbroken colt. That can cry).

Anyway as I look back on the day I wonder what my children will make of their childhood and growing up with me as a mother.

Will they just accept the, erm, 'strangeness' of some days as the norm or will they think 'mother? What a case she was.......'.

The day went something like this:

Negotiating rail system into East End with 2 kids and buggy - no problem.

Negotiating roads/streets to find museum - no problem.

Day in very crowded museum - no problem (Ok I won't tell you how many times I lostthe toddler but he's still here so, as I said, no problem!).

Number of times I had to drag the toddler away from the glass display cases containing toys he couldn't play with, which he was trying to bust open by means of giving them a good kicking - too many to count but again, no problem!

Lunch in crowded cafe with 2 kids, no help, hot drinks a go go - no problem.

And then we (tried) to leave.

Before leaving we took a toilet trip. The toilets are in the basement area and they were RAMMED. I haven't seen that many people in a toilet since I was skirting puddles of vomit in the Leeds branch of Ritzy's Nightclub.

I managed to squeeze us all into one cubical and just as I was standing up from the toilet to pull my pants up (waaaaaaayyyy too much information there but you are probably used to it by now) the toddler decided to ram the bolt back across the door and throw it wide wide open.......

And opposite the toilets are a room long length of sink to ceiling mirrors........

There was me and my foof - reflected and refracted around the room in all our glory, several dozen times over......

We left.


On leaving I couldn't be doing with tackling the stairs (again - and this time with people who had just seen my pubic hair watching......) and there was a huge queue for the lift so, seeing a small door to my right with daylight on the otherside, I hurriedly opened it and we left.

Or we tried to leave.

To cut a long story short we ended up, quite literally, behind the scenes in the museum.

We had entered an outdoor area around the side of the museum only meant for staff and there was NO WAY OUT. Up and down we went, weaving along the sides of the building, inspecting the staff car park, looking at the cargo lift, skirting over grating, pushing through bushes........ and as my eldest stated 'mummy - you have got this ALL wrong'.

Sometime later I began to fear we'd be there all night so I had no choice but to go and knock on one of the building windows, behind which sat the slightly bemused back office staff.

'Help!' I mouthed.

'How did you get out here?' the lady asked.

'Erm, I opened a door' I replied.

'The WRONG door' added my son.

The wrong door indeed.

Oh well - if you're going to have a day out, you may as well make an adventure of it......

RIP Earl

Ho hum.

Well first of all - no we haven't totally sorted the house move yet. I hope it is inching closer though.

Secondly, I swear someone is sticking vodoo pins in my life or I've offended a gypsy or something because I went out to feed my rabbit yesterday (the same rabbit that wrote about here: the annoying rabbit I really loved ) and, erm, he's dropped dead.

Personally I blame the fireworks.

Either that or it is a conspiracy/my life is doomed.

Either way we will miss him greatly. He's been part of our life for years - he was sat in a flowerpot giving me the evil eye when I was in labour with my second son and god knows what we are going to do with the spare time in the evenings when we used to be chasing him round the lawn.

Don't ask what we're going to do with his body - we haven't worked it out yet.

R.I.P Earl - you rocked.

Edited to add: Just in case anyone is concerned, in the photo above he is alive, just sleeping. I might be slightly eccentric but I draw the line at going round photographing corpses of dead pets posing in flower pots.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

On the postive side....

....amongst all the doom and gloom and chaos something wonderful happened today.

I went to the toilet and (wait for it).......


A small thing to most people but please bear in mind that it's been something like 7 weeks since I haven't had to fill the toilet cistern using a small jug and then put my hand to the bottom of it to pump a rod up and down (now now, no rude thoughts) and form a vacuum to make it flush. It get kind of tiresome after the 99th time.

This morning (unsurprisingly) I finally lost the plot and called a plumber. In fact by 9.30am I had called a plumber, the solicitor (twice), an estate agent, the removal company, my mother, a friend, another plumber, my mother (again) and my husband (just for good measure).

I didn't mange to get the house move off the ground (and breathe) but I did mange to get the toilet fixed.

Now I don't have a good track record with tradesmen and small children (anyone remember the poo on the carpet in front of the Virgin Engineer?) but I was hoping my luck had turned.

It hadn't.

The plumber arrived. He was about 22 and 'trendy'. I felt about 109 and decidedly un-trendy as I helped him wend his way through the Lego and discarded socks up to the filthy bathroom, littered with bath toys and constipation medication (not mine I hasten to add).

No sooner had I started giving him the Brief History of the Toilet in My House (a somewhat troubled history) then my eldest appeared and declared.........


Where is that constipation when you need it?

The toddler is standing next to him. Crying.

The plumber is standing next to the toddler and looking, erm 'awkward'.

I didn't quite know what to do so I panicked and bellowed 'WHERE THE HELL IS YOUR PIG SEAT?' (if you haven't got small kids then a 'pig seat' is a sort of little padded seat that goes on the big toilet and stops small children falling down the big hole and drowning. The cheap one from Tescos is decorated with pigs - god knows why - thus 'the pig seat').

Pig seat was found (in the bath) and placed on the toilet. Pants were pulled down. Poos were dealt with. The toddler howled. The eldest described how the poo consisted of '3 nuggets' and therefore wasn't a 'big clearout'. The plumber stood in the doorway, facing outwards and trying to pretend he wasn't there. I faced the wall and closed my eyes and tried to pretend I wasn't there And then? Well then (for some god only knows reason) I turned to the plumber and said 'could I get you a cup of tea?'.

Funnily enough, he declined.

Sometime later when he came downstairs and asked to be paid the toddler hit him in the eye with the horsewhip (the horsewhip is now their second favourite toy, after the placenta). I blushed and said 'I don't know WHERE they got that from!'. Oh well - maybe he won't think it's all boring in suburbia.........

Anyway - another day done - another day with no good news on the house. Another day of excruciating embarrassment.

And my abiding thought?



I'm off to flush the toilet. Small things keep you happy.

Pass the Placenta

Ok so here we are - Half Term. Half of my nails have fallen off so at least I can blog again without too much problem (I'm not sure where the nails have gone, I'm not sure whether I want to know. I live in fear that someone will bite into a sandwich and scream).

Slight problem - we were pretty much 100% certain we would have moved house by now so I have nothing planned, nowhere to go and my house resembles the insides of Pickford's warehouse. Only with less floor space. A LOT less floor space.

So I wasn't in the best of moods.

And then I got up.

Obviously what with the clocks changing I got up at something ridiculous like 5am.

Mood lowered.

Then I found out the tele wasn't working - all I had was a sign saying 'Pace' and no picture. Pace? PACE!?! What as in 'start pacing the living room floor and praying?').

Mood lowered significantly further.

Finally (after what seems like an entire day) the clock hits 9am and I can phone the solicitors about the house move (or lack of).

The solicitors' phone lines aren't working - an automated announcement informs me there is a fault they are trying to repair (I have since found out that someone had dug through them - by this stage the word 'conspiracy' is coming to mind, coupled with 'against me').

Mood hits rock bottom - breakdown imminent.

The children however are doing a good job amusing themselves. I can hear them playing happily n the hallway. They are squealing 'argh argh the blood is spilling out! Quick run away from the blood!'. As they are both laughing I presume it's not their blood but (eventually) have to poke my head round the corner to find out just how vivid their imaginations are.

What do I find?

Well I find that they have liberated the model placenta and umbilical cord from my teaching set (god knows where the poor baby is) and the eldest one is swinging the placenta round by its cord (rather like a Hammer thrower at a Track and Field event - only I've haven't seen placentas as an Olympic sport - yet) and his toddler brother is squealing in horror as the 'blood' brushes against him.

My first thought is 'oh well, at least I can blog about this'.

The game soon takes on a further dimension with the placenta being dangled between the struts of the banisters and swung back and forth as the toddler runs to and fro trying to avoid it. If the placenta hits him his brother squeals 'the bloods got you!' and they both collapse in hysterical laughter.


I note that the eldest one's half-term homework is 'draw something you did this holiday'.

Could be interesting. Hopefully we will move before he has to go back..

Eventually the joy of 'placenta bashing' wears thin and they move on to the next game which, rather enchantingly, is their own version of 'Come Dine with Me' (for those that don't know it's a cult TV show where slightly delusional and eccentric strangers hold dinner parties for eachother in the form of a contest - I advise you to take a look).

Anyway they've clearly taken quite a lot of Come Dine with Me in over the last few years as they had it down to a tee. There was bickering, things being (pretend) burnt, snide comments, meals served late and a row over 'seasoning'. There was also a lot of dry pasta eating by the toddler and a scene involving a bottle of ketchup but we won't dwell on that. I am presuming raw pasta isn't actually toxic? Just, erm, 'hard to pass'?

At 2.30pm the solicitor's phone lines were re-connected and have we exchanged?


We haven't.

Don't even ask. It's ridiculous. BEYOND ridiculous. But here I am - still in limbo - sitting amongst my boxes whilst people throw (pretend) placentas at me and children struggle to digest raw pasta.

Ce la vie.

Sunday, 25 October 2009


You will be relieved to here that (as of now) I am still here and the prophecy of my imminent demise is yet to be realised.


There was a small panic circa 7 am this morning when I noticed an alarming bright brown/orange mark on the white underside of my left arm. Having rapidly flicked through a mental list of possible (and, of course fatal) causes (e.g. rare and untreatable skin cancer, internal bleeding, disintegration of my epidermal layer - you get the idea), I came upon the realisation that I'd fallen asleep on a blob of fake tan.

So, thank heavens for that.

Now my greatest worry is that I can barely type because I've managed handicap myself with a set of talon like nail.

You see the stress of the move has taken it's toll in several ways, one of which is that I've chewed my nails away to nothing and left a right sorry mess behind. I was having my photograph taken today so in an effort to cover up the disaster zone I went to Boots and invested in a set of plastic glue-on falsies. I've never done this before so was something of a novice in this field. And judging by the fake tan acccident I should have known better.....

I deliberately chose the ones entitled NATURAL LOOK quickly followed by the word SHORT.

Well let me tell you now - they is nothing natural or short about them - they are proper Footballers Wives jobbies. Huge great clacking claws with big white square ends. I could do a lot of damage in a fight I tell thee.

Oh and don't even ask me about the application process.......

Simple? Simple my arse.

I ended up with several of my right hand fingers glued to the tops of my left hand nails and the glue itself is clearly from the same chemical-stable as super glue.

It looked like I was going to spend the next 7 days in a state of involuntary prayer but after a lot of tugging (and swearing) I manged to yank the right hand free.

I have left a layer of skin behind on top of the lefthand nails but if you don't look to closely it's not too noticeable. I can live with the pain and loss of my fingerprints.....

Anyway now they are on and they are a nightmare but I can't get them off because you need to soak them in acetone nail varnish remover and I've just discovered mine's in one of the 70 packing boxes filling my house......


So I'm stuck with them (literally) and I'm scrabbling around like a demented kitten. I kept waking in the night with bits of them digging into bits of me and my typing speed has dropped from 70 wpm to somewhere around 7....... Opening a can of Coke takes several minutes and they scare small children (although I will confess to using this to my advantage).

You're going to have to excuse any typos and until they drop off I'm going to have to find something else to chew.......

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Please don't let this be a prophecy....

My OH came home from work the other day and told me that one of his colleagues, a young good hearted woman, had taken him aside and said some very kind things about how the company was there to support him and really understood his needs blah blah blah.


I was really truly touched.

It's not often people in the corporate world take time to say things like that and seem to really mean it. It gave me a warm happy glow and re-newed my hope in the world.

And then?

Erm, well today his boss took him aside and informed him that there appeared to be some kind of strange, rather mis-informed rumour going round the company and certain people were under the belief that......

(brace yourself)

I was about to die.


Excuse my language but WHAT. THE. F'CK.

So the woman that beckoned him into the office and said the nice things was actually talking about my imminent demise.

There now (apparently) needs to be some 'very delicate handling' of the situation the rumour is unpicked and people are gently corrected.

My life often takes a rather surreal turn (as you may well have noticed) but NEVER before has anything this, erm, 'odd' occured.

I'm not quite sure what to make of this but one thing is for certain, I won't be popping into the office for lunch next week.....


The whole debacle over selling my house/moving/buying another one rumbles on.

You don't want to know the details but I've come to the conclusion that the world and his wife are waiting for 'the news' and it's rather like going overdue when you are pregnant - i.e driving me mad.

Both my babies have been 'late' (although that definition is open to much debate), the first one by 2 weeks and this was after a midwife told me I'd go early.....

You can imagine the tension.

You can imagine the stress....

No, not my tension or stress. I was quite happy lying around on the sofa watching the Olympics whilst eating Arctic Roll and flicking through Take a Break (I must have had some kind of foresight as to what was to come). No I'm talking about the tension and stress of everyone else who is waiting for THE news.

The worst example was (surprise surprise) my father.

He got to the point of informing me (when the baby was circa 10 days late) that 'everything was ruined now as it had just gone too far'.

Erm, right.

Apparently I (I?!? I!!!! As if I was deliberately keeping my cervix clamped closed just so I could sleep for a few more nights..... actually don't answer that.....) had 'gone on too long' and 'the excitement was over now'.

If anyone out there is reading this and in close proximity to an overly pregnant woman can I just give you a teeny-tiny bit of advice?

Don't say it.

Really. DON'T.

Anyway the baby came out (eventually) and the rest, as they say, is history.

But here we are again - only this time with a house. I'm guessing houses aren't quite as unpredictable - for example you don't tend to 'exchange' at 2am and it doesn't often involve 8 pints of blood and the paramedic flying squad but at this rate, I wouldn't start laying bets on it not.

People keep phoning me pretending that they want to talk about the weather or the state of the nation but, a few moments in, they can't but resist to utter 'so then? ANY NEWS!?' - as if I would have somehow omitted from telling anyone.

Believe me all - as SOON as I know I will simultaneously phone my parents, send 100 texts, update my blog and post about it on Facebook.

OK ;).

In the meantime the chaos continues and the children still eat off the living room carpet.

Tensions over food theft and minor scuffles arising from such incidents have reached such a head that, yesterday, I found my eldest fishing his sausage roll and bagel (yet another wonderfully balanced 'moving house meal') out from beneath a complex contraption involving an upturned freezer basket, several feet of Lego and a riding whip (yeah gods - where did that surface from!?).

When I asked him what on earth he was doing he sobbed that he'd had to build it to keep the toddler off his food. Indeed, it was vaguely reminiscent of those 'anti-squirrel' bird feeders you can buy and to be fair - it worked. Particularly if you deployed the whip.......

Anyway - upwards and out of here (I hope) and can you all cross everything and hope that we have some better news tomorrow!?

Thank you!

Friday, 16 October 2009

Girl, Interrupted

So yesterday I had to go to a 'very important meeting'.

I had to go back to the loony bin (I've been an inpatient, I'm allowed to use derogatory terminology) and speak to some very important government people about my experiences to try and ensure that as many women as possible get access to the best possible care and they don't close the specialist units down in an effort to save money. These units not only save women's lives but give childen and families their mothers back - and you seriously can't put a price on that.

So serious stuff aside it was a very important meeting about something that I feel incredibly strongly about so it was important that I came across well and, above all, not at all mad.

We were able to take our babies with us (presumably to demonstrate that they too had turned out 'normal' and the whole thing was a jolly good bona fide success) so I sat in this meeting with this very important lady and her clipboard and her dictaphone recording the conversation and to start with all was well.

The toddler was directly behind me having fun with the buffet table and they didn't seem to mind in the slightest that he'd worked his way through an entire platter of apples, taking one small bite of each one.

Rather like the hungry caterpillar he then moved on to some pears and then a selection of chocolate cakes.

I did, however, have to intervene when it became apparent that he'd started on the teabags......

Whether or not he starts to spin a cocoon and emerges transformed we have yet to find out. Either that or he'll overheat and start pissing Earl Grey........

Anyway, after some time (it was a long interview) his appetite was finally sated and he came over to join in the fun.

Let's just say that his contribution to the recordings was not welcome.

Important lady: 'So could you talk some more about your admission? Were you taken straight onto the Unit?'.

Toddler: 'Poo poo! Poo poo! In there! In there! (and with this he starts lifting up my jumper looking for my mysterious 'poo poo').

Me: 'Erm, my admission, yes, let me think......' (trying to push toddler away with my foot).

Important lady: 'I know this might be hard for you.....'

Toddler: 'Mummy's poo poo! I see! I SEE! (and with this he starts trying to tug the belt off my trousers).

Me: 'I'm just trying to think' (I'm actually just trying not to sink to the floor in shame and wish for the ground to swallow me whole. THIS IS GOING DOWN ON TAPE. Someone, somewhere is going to have to type this up.....).

Toddler: POO POO! IN THERE! I SEE!!!!!!

Important lady: Doesn't even a bat an eyelid. I guess she's used to hearing some pretty odd stuff.

In the end my failure to reveal my 'poo poo' resulted in him getting bored and scuttling off to finger paint with the coleslaw but not before my shame was absolute.

You see he often accompanies me to the toilet and he knows that people do 'poo poo' in the toilet so he seems to have put 2 and 2 together and made 155 and actually thinks that a lady's 'private parts' are called her 'poo poo'. Hopefully he will grow out of this at some point.

Quite why on EARTH he wanted to see such a thing (he's never asked before!) and quite why he wanted to see it there and then and in the middle of a meeting I have no idea. I'm just glad that I hadn't corrected him and taught him the correct terminology. Having a 2 year old shriek 'VAGINA' in the middle of an interview would have been too much, even for me.......

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

I am the Walrus...


When you've got small children you find yourself constantly interrupted.

Making a cup of tea?

Well the kettle will boil about 8am, reboil about 8.30am, boil once more at 9.30am and you will finally pour the tea at 10am. And drink it about 40 minutes later.........

Having a wee?

Don't expect it pass without having a (shouted) conversation with somebody on another level of the house.


'I'm upstairs'.




'I'm doing a wee'.


'I. AM. DOING. A. WEE' (great now not just you know, but the neighbours both sides also know and possibly anybody walking past the house as sound travels rather well through the bathroom airbrick).



(Much grumbling, shuffling, huffing and beration later the child in question turns up at the bathroom door).

'What is it? I hope it's important!'.

'I found a feather!'.


They find approximately 300 feathers a day due to the fact that they are slowly picking my living room cushions apart. And yet the novelty of each new find never fades.........

Anyway - you get interrupted a lot and this leads to 'jobs half done'.

And so it was I found myself interrupted whilst applying concealer to my face the other morning.

Concealer (in case you don't wear make up) is a kind of a skin(ish) coloured paste that basically 'conceals' your imperfections.

Tempting as it is to cover my entire face it's actually just intended to cover spots, red bits, dark circles, holes, mouldy bits and anything else 'less than perfect' (as I was saying - basically my entire face).

Anyway I had red dry patches under my nose that particular morning so I put a nice thick layer of pale coloured paste under each nostril.

And then something happened.

What it was I can't recall - I would guess somebody weed on something. Or possibly fell off something. Or maybe got stuck in something.

Anyway I rushed off - and here lies the catch - I forgot to go back and finish the job.......

Several hours later - having spoken to the postman, a neighbour and walked to the shop and back, I looked in the mirror to find that I was sporting what looked like a mighty fine pair of pale coloured walrus tusks - one sprouting from beneath each nostril and curving up the sides of my nose.

And nobody had said a thing.

Coo Coo Ca Choo.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

"Quality Time"

One of the things I was looking forward to about my eldest starting school, was having 'quality time' with The Toddler and getting the chance to take him to toddler groups and things and then watch proudly as he blossomed into a marvelous example of his species - able to craft woodland creatures out of Play Doh and act out all the moves to Wind the Bobbin Up.

Only it hasn't quite worked out like this.

The chaos of the house move has left very little time for any toddler related activities and, anyway, The Toddler is (as yet) to resistant to such attempts to tame him. My husband has described him as 'A Spirited Child'. I could think of other phrases but I shall hold my tongue (for now).

I recently tried taking him to a local toddler group but it's not the same as the groups I used to take my eldest son to where basically the kids all got high on custard creams and ran around in circles whilst the parents drank tea and gained 2 hours respite. No this is a toddler group held at a Government Sure Start centre and thus needs to have rules and regulations which ensure that it gives toddlers 'Positive Beginnings' and taxpayers money isn't squandered on producing the next generation of Young Offenders (who probably all went to the wrong sorts of toddler groups where they indulged in Malted Milks and ran around with with buckets on their heads......).

There is structure and routine and expectations (which don't include eating the Play Doh) and there are NO custard creams and certainly no tea (hot drinks you see - lethal. Actually you can access tea if you are very determined but it has to be served in a kind of lidded thermos mug with a slit the size of a 1p piece in the top of it so that it can't maim anyone - apart from you that is. This means that a) your drink never cools down and remains at boiling point for the entire duration of the session, b) the lava-hot liquid shoot outs of the slot and burns your lips and tongue very badly every time you take a sip, however careful you are and c) all this pain is utterly pointless because the tea just tastes like molten plastic anyway) and there is absolutely, definitely, a 100% NO running around and generally hooning about.

I don't think this is the right group for The Toddler.

For a start, between the hours of 9.30am and 11.30am (the hours the group runs for) he is used to consuming around half his body weight in food and packs 90% of daily calorie intake into that morning slot. So it doesn't really work for him going to a group where the only food or drink you are allowed to bring into the room is water. Yup - just plain old water. This is obviously to stop people waltzing in with half the Happy Shopper in their handbags and poisoning their kids with 'non-government-approved' foods on the premises - but it does kind of suck that he can't even snack on a few organic rice cakes should he so wish.

The do however serve a snack. So that's Ok then......

No. It isn't.

Having got him into a total frenzy by insisting he wash his hands, pull up a chair and sit down at the neatly clothed table with all the other toddlers, they then serve him with something along the lines of......

(brace yourself).


Oh and a glass of water......lets not forget that bit.

Now he loves apple and he's happy to drink water but, after all this hoo-har and what with it being 11am and him being ravenous, he's not exactly sated. In fact he's so un-sated that he starts raiding other kid's plates and generally causing a 'scene'. During this scene the rest of the room adopts the 'total silence and looks of horror' approach. None of this is particularly enjoyable for me so, having stolen some more apple for him, I decide to brave the 'World's Worst Tea in the World's Worst Cup' (I never learn, I keep hoping that one day it will actually taste like tea) and slink off to the kitchen.

I leave him playing with some kind of building blocks.

When I return I'm told by one of the staff that he's been throwing the blocks on the floor.

And laughing.

Whoooooaaaaaa - crime of the century. Next it bewill bricks through old ladies windows whilst torturing kittens I'm sure.....

'Oh' I say, unsure what I should really do now. I mean the moment has passed, he's not throwing them anymore. And he's 2. So in his brain it may as well have happened 2 years ago.
I move him to the other side of the (small) room where he seizes upon a tray of shapes and merrily tips them out.

'Oh he's such a boy isn't he?' says the mum of a little girl who is busy reciting the colours of the rainbow in the correct order. And then spelling them.......

'Pardon?' I say.


Different as opposed to what? A statue? A hibernating tortoise? Do girls seriously not tip bricks onto the floor during their toddler years? Cos I sure as hell know some that do. But yours doesn't. Obviously.

I give her a blank look.

If she thinks tipping shapes out of a tray is 'destructive' then clearly she's got some living to do.

And then it's 'rhyme time'.

All the children sit in a nice circle doing the actions and clapping and smiling while the mummy's smile proudly on.

Except for my child who runs to the door and starts sobbing 'HOME! HOME! DOOR OPEN! HOME!' and so we got our coats (well I got mine, I couldn't actually get him in his) and left.

Such was my sense of failure that I had to buy Take a Break on the way home to remind me that my life isn't so bad after all. I wasn't disappointed. Enid from Greater Manchester has written in to advise us that a metal wine rack can be used to hold 'several small trailing plants'. Alternatively Enid you can put wine in your wine rack and put your plants in their pots. Oh and Doris from Wilmslow passes on the information that if you have mice in your house you can stuff their holes with wire wool pads as they can't chew threw it. Erm, hate to tell love but presumably they can just chew a new hole next door to the one you have just blocked up? Oh well, I'm sure it keeps her entertained - roaming round her house each evening, blocking up the new holes with scouring pads....... As opposed to, ohhhh calling in pest control or buying some traps.

Today I couldn't take anymore self-esteem battering so I avoided the toddler groups and took him to Primark and Argos instead, where nobody can hear your child scream as they're all bloody at it....;)

Friday, 9 October 2009


Where have I been?

Well it's a LONG story but basically we sold our house.

Do you remember we were trying to sell our house? The whole thing with the bumhole on the table and the crazed potential purchasers? Anyway you may have noticed I haven't mentioned it for a while and there is a reason for this.

Back in August a woman decided she wanted to buy it (this blog had clearly escaped her sphere of influence) and we accepted her offer. We then made a pretty major life changing decision and decided we couldn't do the whole 'bigger house/bigger mortgage' thing and we would move back to Somerset, buy a small house in need of some work and live a very different life (don't worry - whatever type of life I lead, it is always full of incident. This blog will not be short of material - I can assure you). So we bought a house (well I did - my husband hasn't actually seen it yet......) and I made an oath I wouldn't mention it on this blog until it was all signed and sealed, otherwise it would be cursed and all fall through (a decision clearly made based on robust scientific evidence and peer reviewed medical trials.....not).

So I've never mentioned it and, actually, in the last week as completion drew near and my life was thrown into chaos by being told we had to completely pack up and move out by next Friday, I held my blogging breath and decided not to post until it was 'done'. That and the fact I was up to my neck in cardboard boxes, bubble wrap and the joy of tape guns and couldn't actually find the laptop......

And where has all this holding my breath got me?

Absolutely f'cking NOWHERE.

This hasn't been the best week.

It appears we have been lied to, let down and led merrily up the garden path and everything that should have been signed by now hasn't been which means the money won't be in place in time to complete next Friday and the people at the bottom of the chain have a mortgage offer which expires next Friday and (allegedly) can't be extended. If that really is the case then it's Game Over. Thousands of pounds down the drain, hundreds of hours of wasted work and emotions. Gulp.

I am beyond exhausted, run down, worn out, furious, sad, desperate and living in a strange cardboard box limbo land.

Oh well. Nobody's died.


No seriously it does suck but as a friend pointed out earlier, I've been through worse and actually I have. A lot worse. It is bad but it's not up there with 'bleeding to near death on your living room carpet' or 'having to go and live in a mental home WHICH YOU NEVER THINK YOU WILL GET OUT OF', so I need to keep hugging my kids, resisting the urge to open the wine at 8am and hang on in there. Even if 'hanging on in there' involves going for a drive round the M25 playing 'Appetite for Destruction' at full of volume (which is what I found myself doing yesterday - under the premise of 'going to buy a lamp'. Since when the M25 became involved in 'Coping Strategies' I don't know).

All the same, it really is rather trying living like this with small children. I haven't got a table (it's had to be taken down so there is space for the 70 boxes - the 70 boxes full off all my stuff which may well need to be all unpacked again......Do you KNOW how much bubble wrap is around my crockery? I'm sure they'd find it easier breaking into Tutankhamen's tomb than liberating my soup plates) so my children have to eat their tea off the front room carpet (not literally - I do put a cloth inbetween), foraging about and snapping at each other like wild dogs. A couple of hours ago the older one was sobbing 'MUMMY, THAT TODDLER HAS EATEN MY BALLS!' and, yup, he'd snaffled the meatballs of his older brother's plate and eaten the lot.

Because I've run down all my food stocks they are subsisting on strange meals of bits that nobody has felt like eating over the last god-knows-how-long. Tonight's 'well balanced and nutritious meal' was a plate of meatballs accompanied by a bit of sausage roll and some apple flavoured rice cakes. To be fair there was going to be a banana as well but it has turned black and the children cried at the sight of it. See, even the bananas have turned against me.......

When they aren't attacking eachother's balls or eating nutritionally unbalanced meals in front of unbalanced mother, they can mainly be found rolling around amidst 20 meters of bubble wrap or 'helping' me pack (this means throwing random items into boxes I'm about to tape up - namely things that really shouldn't be packed, like my car keys or credit card) and when I'm not telling them to leave the goddam bubble wrap alone or get out of the goddam box, I'm mainly to found shouting down phones or crying in Tesco's toilets (god I spend too much time in Tesco's toilets don't I?).

This weekend we have to clear our loft and shed and make about 2,000 trips to the tip and all for a move which is still, in absolutely no shape or form, guaranteed to happen and all because of other people's incompetence.

Oh well - I don't care if this blog post has 'cursed' it all - it's good to be back ;). And of course, I will let you know what happens.......