Thursday, 25 November 2010

My Socks is on Fire

I have previously likened sleeping at my mum's house to the Japanese game show 'Endurance' (the modern equivalent of which is, I suppose, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here).

I stand by that claim.

Some of you will probably struggle with this concept so let me go back to basics here and run you through my morning:

1am - still trying to sleep but my mum is still up watching god knows what downstairs and the sub-bass is making the bedroom floor shake ('if your chest ain't rattling, then the bass ain't happening) so I give up and move into the double bed in the other room with my Original Son.

2 am - maybe get to sleep.

4am - so sick of Original Son thrashing around like a conger eel I get up believing and hoping it might be morning. It's 4am. Hmmm.

5am - have got back to sleep but now re awoken by a blinding light and inhuman noise.

It is of course my younger child (a.k.a The Beast).

The Beast is standing at the end of my bed, sweeping it's range with a torch (not just any torch but a proper farmer's flashlight with something like 10 million 'candlepower' - basically enough to blind a fox or scorch a child's eyes from its head), emitting a noise like an air-raid siren and screeching 'wooooo woooo I'm a ghost, I'm a ghost'.

Now there are, possibly, a couple of people on the entire planet who I wouldn't object to standing at the end of my bed at 5am, holding a flashlight and emitting a piercing a wail, but let me just clarify right now - he is NOT one of them.

A kind of hushed tussle ensues with me trying to shout at him in an authoritarian manner - but only in a whisper so we don't disturb his poor exhausted brother.

My whispered attempts fail. Brother arises. A full battle ensues involving a miniature toaster which originated in a second-hand dolls house which I played with during my childhood. Apparently very very tiny toast is 'the' thing to have these days amongst young chaps.

An hour later I give up lying in the middle of a ruck and pretending I am 'somehow' acheiving rest and drag the pair of them downstairs.

It is still pitch black and it's freezing, freezing cold.

I'm wearing a pair of pyjamas two sizes too big which don't stay up and don't' stay done up.

I get to the base of the stairs and flick the lights on.

The lights fuse.

So I'm still standing in the dark with my trousers round my calves and my knockers hanging out and by this point everyone, bar me, is shouting orders.

I only have two children but all at once, apparently, I need to:

- turn the lights on.
- get the TV on.
- make sure they don't miss Octonauts (which isn't even on for HOURS - it's 6am for god's sake).
- get them drinks
- get them some food because they are so hungry they are DYING.
- get rid of the dogs.
- open the curtains.
- find the golf balls my mum STUPIDLY gave them to play with the night before (and I have hidden).
- fit the wheels back on a car which has been stamped on.
- carry them into the kitchen.


- and make porridge.

At the same time the dogs are barking to get let out and all I can smell is the hideous assault of 'ancient dying dog urine'.

This means that, somewhere, in the dark, there lies a pool of dark fetid dog piss. And I need to get the dogs out now but I can't see where it is and I can't flaming breath due to the acrid, bile churning, stench.

And the kids howl on.

At this point I can't contain my frustration any longer and holler 'I CAN'T DO EVERYTHING AT ONCE, THESE DOGS NEED TO DIE! I CAN'T COPE ANY MORE!', pull my trouser up and tuck my knockers back behind the buttons of my 'sleep jacket'.

This is not, I repeat NOT, a good example to set your children but, as I often hear myself singing these days, 'I am not a robot'.

What I really really hope is that my mum will get up and help but she's still sparko after 3 bottles of Blossom Hill and sitting up til 2am with Snoop Dog, P-Diddy and Gay Rabbit Chat.


Some time later (I've 'lost' the next 10 minutes - and I don't want to find it) I try to help my children get dressed. Small (well quite big) problem - one of The Beast's socks is missing. I only bring one pair of socks with me when we go to my mums (basically there are more important things in life than having a spare pair of socks - well so I thought) so a missing sock is not good.

Especially when it's snowing.

I eventually locate the lost sock.

It's floating - like a corpse - in last night's bath.

Last night's bath is 'still in' because the chain has snapped off the plug and thus no one can drain it.

So I have a very wet sock and a child with one cold bare foot throwing a fit.

Well what would you do?

I fried it.

Let me explain.

My mum has an Aga stove thing and she often puts clothes on top of it to warm up/get totally dry.

Ah ha! I thought. What I need to do is that but only TO THE MAX. So I'll lift up the hatch thing and put it on the hot plate. That way it will get really dry really quick!

Errr, yes it will. And then it will go brown, combust and start to burn.

As The Beast himself said 'Mummy, mummy, my socks is on fire!'.

At this point (of course) my mum appeared.

'Darling, what ARE you frying' (she says peering at the hotplate but seeing nothing but smoke and a vague outline of an Argyle pattern).

'A sock mum. Could I have a cup of tea and could you get the dogs humanely euthanised?'.

And then the sun (finally) came up.

And my day began.

I've said it once. I've said it twice. And I will keep on saying it. If I didn't laugh I'd spend my whole life crying!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Tea Towels, Tea Urns and Twitching

So, amidst all the heartache, soul searching and general chaos, my balls came back out.

As we have quite a few new followers to this blog (hello and welcome people, sign up and enjoy the ride. I can assure you, it will never be dull) I probably need to explain what my balls actually are.

Well, they are predominately blue, although one is pink, and they average around 65cm in diameter, although one currently has a puncture so is somewhat smaller. They make driving quite difficult as they tend to bang against my gear stick at inopportune moments and they have a habit of being rather wayward. The most prime example of which was when one was actually liberated by a young 'fan' and tossed into the middle of an electricity sub-station.

I take my balls to halls around the country and get people to bounce on them, lie across them or do whatever they fancy with them - often in a dimly lit room whilst being massaged by a partner.

No - I'm not a sex therapist (although who knows, it could provide a promising second income and I've done weirder sh1t) - I'm an antenatal teacher and bouncing around on giant balls is really great at helping babies get into the best position to be born and can also be jolly handy at getting women in really good positions to cope with contractions and get the baby out during labour.

Failing that - you can stick a few out in the garden once the baby reaches 'toddler-hood' and voila - hours of free childcare whilst they body-surf from ball to ball. Obviously this come with a reasonably high risk of injury but personally I've found the benefits far out-weigh the risks.

Anyway - my balls were back out for the first time in a while and I was entering a new and previously uncharted sphere (no pun intended) - that of the 'well kept village hall'.

My word.

The politics!!

The rules!!

The red tape!!

It was as if I had been given begruded permission to enter a Pharaoh's tomb - only with more tea towels and unruly tea urns.

Having been briefed (at length - great, great length) by the 'key holder' on everything from the fuse in the stair lift (hopefully not needed but you never quite know!) to 'Colin with the Hat - you must know him? Always wears a hat?' (errr no, I don't, is he actually a celebrity? Or only if you live within 3 streets of the village hall?), I was finally left alone in the building to prepare my equipment and pump up my balls. But not without a warning.

A warning about the 'Line Dancers'.

Apparently they would be 'coming through my group to use the kitchen' and I'd know because they would 'sort of stomp'.

Sure enough, whilst holding aloft of an A1 laminated poster of a woman's 'mons pubis' complete with cervix and rotating baby, three elderly women stomped on through muttering something about incorrect tea towel folding.

And then, a few minutes later, whilst examining cervical dilation, they stomped on back, each carrying a steaming glass of a hot yellow liquid which was either a hot toddy or their own urine.

The group looked bemused.

I was bemused.

We were all mutually bemused because the lot of them could barely stand erect, let alone do a few speedy turns to 'Achy Break Heart'.

There was only one thing that could be done. I needed to follow them. And so, during the coffee break, I traced them to the 'Reading Rooms' where they undertook their sinister arts.

Sure enough - they were having a stomp.

I can't call it Line Dancing.

The music was a sort of dirge played on the accordion and they weren't' really dancing - more having a bit of a twitch.

And what was even more thrilling - there was a raffle.

The prizes were lined up on a table at the head of the room and the tickets lay somewhat forlornly at the base of a wicker basket. All 5 of them.

And top prize in the raffle - a 6 pack of Orange Club biscuits.

Can I just say here and now - however bad my life gets, if I ever reach the point where a 'grand night out' constitutes some mild twitching with a man who can barely stand up, topped off with the lure of winning an orange laced biscuit - you have permission to shoot me.


I'll leave the bit about the gas leak, the alarm and the left behind birthday cake that wasn't really left behind until next time...

Sunday, 14 November 2010


Firstly can I just say a hand on heart thank you for all the messages of support after my rather surprising last blog post. It honestly really does make a huge difference, so thank you. Watch this space and come what may I'll promise to still try and entertain you - because if my life is one thing it is certainly never dull. Or even slightly ordinary.

Anyway - considering my current bed-state (i.e. sleeping with nothing but a rather threadbare stuffed Ted and long may it remain that way. Ahhh the bliss of lying diagonally across an entire double bed. Some people have to go to sleep on a mat on the floor, amidst a pile of blankets. Rather like a dog. But you make your bed and ye shall lie in it. Amen), I was rather surprised to open my eyes last week and be greeted by the sight of an erection.

And not just any erection.

A MIGHTY erection.

And not just any mighty erection, but a mighty erection with a blue band round the middle and a red end.


The erection was actually made entirely of Lego and had been hand crafted by my children (at something like 5am - but I'll forgive for that - this once) and as they gingerly held it aloft my Original Son informed me that it was 'The Tower of Love' and that they'd made it for me.

The Tower of Love (a rather fragile structure if ever I saw one) now stands beside my bed and serves as a reminder of the fact that however fragile love is, the love of your children is ever present and although being a parent is the hardest, most exhausting, most all consuming job you will ever do it is also the greatest privilege you will ever have. And to forget that or take it for granted would be the a very great mistake indeed.

So thank you to my children - for taking me to places I never dreamed or feared of going and carrying me on through it all, regardless, and out the other side. I could and would have never done it all without you and whatever I have lost for you, you have given me far, far more.

Now if you could just stay nice and asleep until the clock reads something more akin to 7 then I'd be just that'll tiny bit extra happy and less prone to shrieking, feeding you nothing but fishfingers and going out with odd shoes on.


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

And then I Opened the Box and the Bomb Went Off

Right well as (approximately) half the nation is waiting with baited breath to find out what happened when I went to my MIL's house a few weeks back, I'd better stop rolling round on the carpet in a deranged state and get on with it.

Please don't fret - I did make it back. If I hadn't I'd probably be a dessicated husk by now, caught between a psychotic looking china rabbit playing a banjo and a drummer boy with more than a passing resemblance to Chucky.

However, for reasons too personal to go into (even I have to draw a line somewhere, wee, poo, insanity and piles are OK, this is a step too far) I came home alone (well I kept the kids, obviously, one more day in the Biome and they'd have needed rehydration therapy).

So Husband-With-A-Sad-Face is no longer actually Husband-with-A-Sad-Face. I'm not actually sure what category his face falls into now (other than 'under the heel of my shoe' - joke - he's a fan of this blog so I'd better now be too harsh now had I?) but whatever his face does, he's no longer actually my husband. Well he is on paper until the divorce comes through but we are now 'separated'. Like eggs. I'm not sure who is the yolk and who is the white but one part always gets left in the fridge and then binned so hopefully that's not me.


I told you the bomb went off didn't I?

There will be people all over the nation (and possibly overseas, and who knows, maybe on a space station somewhere) falling off their chairs right now and having to re-read that bit but yup - that's what happened next.

So in the last 3 years I've:

- given birth
- been extremely very critically ill.
- gone nuts.
- spend 2 months living in a psychiatric unit.
- cared for 2 small children.
- gained useful employment.
- relocated to the other side of the country.
- gone through major building works with both kids in the midst of it.
- watched my dad die of a brain tumour.
- tried to hold my mum together as she falls apart, again and again..
and now for (hopefully) the big FINALE!!!!


Well he's not actually 'left' me - legally this is his home too so he's living in the loft.

And actually, yes, I am still laughing. You can't go through all that and survive vaguely mentally intact without being able to put a bit of a spin on things and trying (really trying) to see some kind of glimmer of hilarity in them all.

So there we are - now you know.

On the plus side, it got me out of staying longer at my MIL's house.........

And even better - I got my balls back out last week and it felt SOOOOOO good. More on that later (it was, of course, eventful. Airing my balls in never a smooth passage of 'pump, bounce and go' - this time it included elderly line dancers, a large ginger Tom and a gas leak).

Now a couple of questions:

1. How much for the film rights? I'm happy to play myself. My whole existence frequently feels like I'm walking through the part of someone in a bad soap opera anyway, so I'm more than qualified.

2. Can you get stretchmark removal on the NHS?