Monday, 24 October 2011

Time Out

So we wanted a weekend away – having fun and forgetting about our responsibilities.

So we went to Birmingham.

Don’t ask – I don’t even really know why.  We started out looking at cheap Travelodge deals and settled on Manchester, then decided we couldn’t afford the petrol. So we decided on Brighton but of course Brighton takes about 30 years to get to from Somerset.  So we decided on Bournemouth but then, and I don’t really know how, booked Birmingham.

That well known destination for people for looking rest, relaxation and getting away from it all.

Basically what happened in Birmingham, stays in Birmingham and there was exceedingly appalling and embarrassing behaviour (I think) but we took in the kind of sights and sounds all good holiday makers should….  The inside of a Travelodge (by night and day in my case as on the Sunday I was unable to get dressed until 5pm), the inside of a minicab or two, a very very dubious ‘night club’, a kebab shop, a Chinese ‘all you can eat buffet’ (which appeared to be inside a village hall), several layers of a multi-story car park several times, Primark, Wetherspoons, a pub which Facebook informed us was ‘for lesbians ‘ (but was actually filled only with old men – maybe hoping for lesbians?) and a tattoo parlour. 

Oh yeah – I missed out Tesco Express.  But we didn’t buy anything so does it count?

My biggest error was claiming on the Saturday night that I didn’t feel like drinking much…Yeah that old chestnut.  They catch you when your guard is low.

All I had consumed in the entire day was 2 migraine tablets and a prawn wrap.  At something like 7pm I poured a cider.  Just the first of the two I intended to have.   2 litres as it turned out. Then I started on the vodka.  Later I let a young man (and I mean young) who claimed to have ‘many much money and house in Dubai’ and was very angry at his (ex) girlfiend who ‘invested many years in but was a cheating bitch’ buy me tequila slammers. I think most of them went down my dress but I bitterly remember swallowing way too much lemon. 

To be frank it was downhill from there.  We had to flee a dubious ‘nite spot’ and I promptly fell over a crash barrier and got shouted at (yes shouted at) by the police.  On trying to pick the crash barrier up I fell on top of it and couldn’t get up.  Somewhere on the street was a camera crew so if you are watching  Police Interpectors sometime in the coming weeks and see a 30 something mother of two face down on a crash barrier with her bottom in the air and knickers on show whilst the narrator gives a somber speech about the demise of society you can at least impress your friends by ‘knowing’ me.  In a vague kind of relieved your life hasn’t turned out like that way.

On getting back to the hotel I struck up a conversation with a highly camp man standing outside his bedroom.  Having given him a dose of my rapier wit he came back with……

‘OH MY GOD – honey? WHAT is THAT all over your face?’.

On closer inspection it was lipstick.

I’d gone out wearing bright crimson lipstick.  It was now covering the entire lower half and some of the upper parts of my face.   I looked like a 5 year old clown who’d gone wild with the Crayola.  A drunk 5 year old clown at that.  

Cutting a stylish dash as ever.

I then passed out in the double bed next to my friend (there were no twin rooms available) and, having made a big scene about personal space and pillow barricades, woke up with my leg wrapped round my friend’s torso, holding her tightly to my bosom. 

I then decided I needed breakfast and for reasons I can only put down to ‘still being drunk’ entered the dining hall wearing my pyjamas (which didn’t even match and the bottoms had shrunk on an accidental boil wash and were wafting around half way up my legs – though frankly that was the least of the onlookers concerns) and a pair of leopard print high heels.  I promptly proceeded to miscalculate the amount of leverage needed to spoon scrambled egg from the buffet serving platter on to my plate and with one deft move, transferred the entire congealed eggy mass from the platter, through the air and onto the shoes of the man stood next to me. 

Time stopped.

We both stared at his shoes (what we could see of them through the egg).

I said ‘oh’.

I lamely attempted to kick some of the egg away from his shoes, managing to simply kick him in the ankle.

Through all of this he remained utterly still and utterly silent –  presumably fearing I was a deranged crack addict who had escaped from the local secure accommodation in search of scrambled eggs and  half a tomato.   In leopard print heels.

I then went back to bed and remained there until 5pm.  My friend managed to go out but had to take the electronic swipe card with her so of course I had no power and spent several sweaty hours lying in a semi dark room with no clock, no tv, no kettle and no idea really what the hell was going on or where I was.  On the plus side – at least I was only in Birmingham and it wasn’t as if I was missing out on a day next to the azure blue ocean or trip to swim with dolphins. 

I’d like to claim none of it was my fault and my drink was clearly spiked but frankly, it was entirely my fault and I shall aim not to repeat the experience.  Again.

Especially the bit with the scrambled egg……

On returning to work my boss enquired what I got up to on my mini-break.
A bit of a shopping I said.

And lets just leave it at that. 

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Here Cometh the Silence

I have a bit of a blog block.  I barely seem able to get on the lap top these days and I can only blog from the lap top (I do have access to computers in two of my three jobs but there is no way on this earth I could blog from them - one is in a hospital and I don't have time to urinate most shifts, let alone blog, and the other is lets just say 'carefully monitored') so on rare occasions like this where I get to a real life keyboard with free internet access I feel a bit confuddled about where to start.

I mean seriously where do you start? There is so much stuff and it's all just mashing about in my head.  Birthday cake catastrophes, accidently writing to people under the name of Bucky, wardrobe disasters x 2, a trip to Birmingham etc etc etc.  It's all in there fighting to come out.

Not to mention this weekend is the anniversary of the weekend last year where my marriage exploded. I was of course, in the style of all great Soap Operas, at my mother in laws house (also knows as the Tropical Biome - long time fans may recall it as the one with those really special ornaments. Like the Banjo Playing Bunny and the Satanic Shepard Boy).

About this time on the Sunday I was shaking like a leaf, throwing up down a toilet, packing my bags and children into a hire car (my car had of course been hit by a 4x4 that week and was broken) and heading off into the wilderness... single.  I seem to recall the journey took 7.5 hours but this included 4 stops:

1. Grantham train station - I think I took the children there to make them happy and once again try and cover up the fact I was loopy.  Something like that.  I remember we couldn't get on the platform without a ticket so I stood at the barriers looking wild and desperate and shouting something like 'here comes a GNER!' with false mania - even though GNERs no longer exist (can you tell just how much You Tube footage of the railway era I have sat through?).  It felt somehow suitable dramatic.

2. Being sick in a lay-by off a dual carriageway somewhere near Melton Mowbray. This felt rather less dramatic. More desperate.  And then I needed a wee. The children peered out of the window in bemused horror.

3. A service station where I bought (and I still don't know why) a loaf of seeded bread for the children. I think I deemed actual pre-prepared food as too complicated and too expensive.  I threw it in the back - the whole sliced loaf - as if they were pigeons or ducks on a pond - and left them to it. When I 'came to' about a week later I realised the back of my brand new coupe hire car was entirely coated with stale bread crumbs. You could have deep fried the upholstery and served it a turkey escalopes.  When I handed it back to the hire firm they asked if I'd had rats in the vehicle......

4. An empty Asda car park in Burnham on Sea where I ended up because the motorway was jammed and I got lost and confused.  I think drove around in circles for a while whilst simultaneous texting my friends, playing the Prodigy at full volume and shouting at the children.  I think I then stopped the car and cried.  Large numbers of local skater boys who were using the car park for stunts stared on somewhat bewildered.

It would have made great documentary footage. In fact maybe I should just sellotape a camera to my forehead and stream my life life in the web? That might solve a few of my problems.

So anyway after that everyone said things could only get better.  They lied.

But I'm still here and I'm Ok and so are my children and that's the main thing.

The children are sat here now.  The eldest one (who appears to have messed up my lap top with his Trainz Railway Simulator CD-ROM which a very kind blog follower actually sent him! How's that for kind!) is watching a DVD entitled 'Dave's Railway Films - Freight Trains Around Crewe'.  This is a somewhat amateur yet entirely genuine production.   It makes the previous favourite 'Florida Freight Trains' look like an Oscar winner, yet I must confess I prefer it to 'A Lineside Look at Model Railways' which features an enthusiast crafting the spokes for a miniature bicycle with...... HIS OWN HAIR.   We also have a new, yet to be watched, DVD called 'A Busy Day at Watford Junction, 2011'.   This sounds like it could potentially be a seedy 1970's documentary about a Watford massage parlour but no.... It is an hour of footage of trains arriving and've guessed it...... Watford Junction.


The younger child is basically that Crazy Frog ('Very Annoying Thing') that was around a few years ago with that horrendous, repetitive, loud loud noise coming out of his mouth.

This child will ensure that, even if I had the time and lack of chaos to enable it, no man will EVER immerse himself in my life again.  I mean I have a lot to offer but not enough to compensate for being dragged from bed at 6am on a Sunday morning by a small child bellowing 'Hello BIG FAT BOBBY HEAD' out the bedroom window (hopefully at our cat - not at, god forbid, a man with a big fat head) followed by the lovely song 'ogi ogi ogi OG OG OG' followed by the 'stomp stomp STOMP' dinosaur song with actions (i.e. stamping so hard the floorboards reverberate through the entire terrace). This is of course all punctuated by me shouting 'stop it! STOP IT, STOP IT NOOOOOWWWWW!!'.  I look at internet dating profiles (purely for comedy reasons) and see 'successful 30/40 somethings' talk about how they are SO successful that they would now like to meet a woman for travelling, romantic walks on the beach, meals out and maybe one day a family.  None of them say they want to meet a women so they can get out of bed at 6am every single day, be deafened by a hideous noise being emitted by a small person wearing no clothes but possibly clutching a flea ridden cat, peel congealed banana and melted chocolate of their smart phone and have to wait at least a decade for a romantic walk.

Now if I could just find a partially deaf railway enthusiast I 'might' be on to a winner but maybe we best not go there.

I love him more than life itself but my god he is LOUD.  As his brother said to him earlier 'could you just try and be a bit less irritating? Please?'.

His answer was..... NO I CAN'T STOP THIS.

But never mind - their dad is taking them away for the first part of half term - back to the Tropical Biome/House of the Banjo Bunny.

What am I going to so with all this SILENCE!?!

Friday, 7 October 2011


So my life continues to fall apart around my ears. Yawn yawn yawn.  You don't need to hear all this (although it is all actually quite fascinating from a bystanders point of view).

But the good thing is that the kids are oblivious to it all - I think they are so used to the constant chaos by now that it's basically business as usual.

In fact my eldest, on the afternoon where he saw fit to fire EVERY SINGLE piece of small Lego he owns (that would be something like 3,000 pieces) around the ENTIRE downstairs of the house, on a day where I'd been pushed to the edge and was already quietly crying (after the Lego Incident I was loudly howling) explained to me very patiently 'mummy - you really don't need to sit in the toilet and cry - that's crazy! Just do it in the front room like we do. A toilet isn't for crying into'.  

Good point son. Good point.

By the way - the Lego? 2 hours of 3 of us picking it up and I'm still picking miniature policeman's helmets out of my bum cheeks every time I sit down in my nightie.  Either them or those teeny weeny clear plastic bits that represent headlights.  Love beads they ain't.......

Anyway so the kids are alright.  Or at least I hope they are.

And their constant, deadpan, innocent humour is like a tonic to my soul.  So this post is dedicated to them - Original Son (OS) and Last Every Son (LES) - this one's for you.... For all the times you make me think and smile in 24 hours...

Last night: 

OS: 'Mummy?'
Me: 'Yes?'
OS: 'There's something I've got to tell you...'
Me: 'Err what?'.
OS: 'It's about your phone....'
Me: 'WHAT?!' (prickles of fear creeping up my spine).
OS: 'It's really bad'.
Me: 'Tell me, tell me NOW!' (having palpitations about what I'll do if it's gone down the toilet pan and I need to Google chutney recipes/expensive frocks I have nowhere to wear/directions to somewhere I don't need to go at 2am because I'm awake and don't want to think about reality).
OS: 'Weeeeeellll mummy, that man, the one who put the apple in it? I'm afraid to tell you - he's dead'.

This morning: 

LES: 'Grandma? Who is ACTUALLY in charge of the whole world? Jesus or my teacher?
Grandma: 'Ask your mother!'.

At bath time: 

OS: 'Mummy? Have you ever had leprosy?'.
Me: 'Err no.  No, leprosy - like earthquakes, tsunamis, killer bees, volcanoes, alien abduction and all that, isn't a particularly big problem in England'.
OS: 'Oh OK. Well you need to send money in to save a leper and today we did Street Dance and saved one leper and I thought it might be you - from before we were born'.
Me: ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? (hurries to mirror to check complexion).

At bed time: 

Reading the incredibly moving book 'Cold Paws Warm Heart' where a little girl reaches out to an icy cold polar bear that everyone else has shut out and gradually warms him up before finally warming his heart with a hug.....I'm sniffing back tears of emotion as I gaze upon the beautiful illustrations and moving prose....I finish and pause - allowing a moment for the true meaning of the story to sink in.....

LES: 'So the polar bear is dead now, yes?'.
Me: 'NO! He's sleeping, all happy and warmed by love!'.
LES: 'Did the little girl shoot him? BANG!'.
Me: 'Sigh'.
OS: 'Can we have that poem with bumfit in it....'

Endless peels of laughter...... (this is actually a real poem - it comes from a book given out by the Government in the Bookstart programme. It's something to do with counting sheep in Cumbrian and also includes the words dick and whore. Actually no - I don't think there's any whores in it. Just dicks and bumfits. So that's OK).

Bless their crazy souls.....