Monday, 30 May 2011

But Bumble Bees Don't Wear Thongs....

It's 5pm on a Friday afternoon and whereas in a far distant parallel Universe called 'When I Had a Normal(ish) Life' I would have been hitting the pub for a few post work Strongbows, I'm now trying to shovel as Asda Smartprice Pizza into the oven with one hand whilst talking to the 'relationship counsellor' on my mobile with the other.

Small children are running in an out (not all of them mine), some of them carrying kittens (not all of them mine) and it's all a bit surreal even for my liking.

Relate lady: 'Well I think you should feel immensely proud Stickhead (she doesn't really call me Stickhead, that would be 'odd'), the way you have managed to process and handle these very powerful emotions and move forward in such a positive way in the mere 48 hours since you left that desperate and crazed sounding message on our answermachine (OK she didn't quite put it like that but I'm quite used to cutting through the fluff and figuring out what counsellors really mean. I've had enough practice at it. My favourite ever was the Community Psychiatic Nurse who became obsessed with the fact I seemed to have a lot of black jumpers. She seemed to think this was linked to some kind of obsessive compulsion for buying idential black jumpers and would ask cryptic questions about my 'needs' and 'desires'. What it actually linked to was having a small baby and living in one jumper and one pair of jeans for longer than would normally be appropriate.....but as she never asked me direct questions I kept her guessing for weeks)'.

Me: 'Yeah, I guess, PUT THE CAT DOWN!'.

Relate lady: 'Sorry?'.

Me: 'Sorry I'm trying to stop the kids killing anything. Can I just put the phone down a minute, I can't get the wrapper off the pizza?'.

(Small kerfuffle)

Relate lady: 'So how are you feeling right now?' (I'm thinking 'is this the bit where they have to tick a box to say that I wasn't sounding like I was about to have 48 paracetomal and a bottle of vodka for tea?).

Me: 'Err, hungry? Yeah fine really. Like I could do with a bottle of wine and a week in a sleepbag (brittle laugh). Just another week in paradise and all that......'

Relate lady: 'And you're coping? With everything?' (This is the bit where they're ticking a box to say that they checked I wasn't about to tell the kids they were the Sons of God before building a large crucifix out of Lego and nailing them to it).

Me: 'Well yeah, that's what you do isn't it? Just get on with it? TOUCH THOSE BAMBOO CANES AGAIN AND YOU'LL REGRET IT. THEY'RE TO STAY IN THE GRO-BAGS GOT IT!'

Relate lady: 'So you are really OK? I think we need to focus in our next session on next steps, moving this forward....'.

Me: 'Yeah so do I. PUT THE STICKS DOOOOOWWWWNNNN!' (and with that the gas in the oven finally lights with an almighty BOOM and I emit a small squeal), 'Look,I think I'd better go but thank you so much for your time, I didn't really know what to do you see, I thought if I didn't talk to someone I might do something a bit, errrr, 'unhelpful to future positive relations' so that's why I left that message but 48 hours is a long time in my life and I feel differently now. Sometimes, when you're getting sucked down the rabbit hole you've just got to fight it and rise above it. Act with dignity and all that. But I really appreciate you calling me but I've really got to go. They're doing something with cat biscuits. And it doesn't involve actual cats'.

Relate lady: 'Ok but I think you should feel proud of yourself'.

Put phone down.

Put pizza in.

Phone rings.

Fear it's Relate lady with another question she needs to ask in order to tick another box. Maybe this one's to do with the safety of pets?

But no.


'Oh, hello Badger Girl!'

'3 foot hair extensions? Spray tans? Shop that sells clothes to people on drugs or for sex acts or both?'.


'Yes. Ah'.


'Yes. Eeeee'.

'You found my blog then?'.

'Well my shop assistant found it. I found him with tears of hysterical laughter rolling down his face. I thought he was having a fit but it turns out he was reading about Badger Girl'.

'Well you've got nothing to moan about. Firstly I've made you world famous and secondly it's all true'.

'I'm not speaking to you anymore because you'll probably just making a note of it to put it on the internet'.

'Errr. Yeah. Probably'.

'But don't worry I'm going to get my revenge. I've got a job for you (this comment is followed by wicked peels of laughter)'.

'Errr what job? I've got enough jobs thanks'.

'We're running the cloakroom at a rave in July'.

'Errr exactly how many people wear a coat to a rave in July?'.

'Well not many but we're selling stuff too. Like fluffies and glo-sticks'.


'Yeah and you have to wear whatever I put you in - for 'promotional purposes' (que more hysterical wicked laughter)'.


'We might have a Bumble Bee outfit for you'.

'I've seen the size of your fancy dress outfits. They wouldn't fit round my thigh. Do they do a special 'curvaceous bumble bee range'?'.

'No (more cackling laughter) and whatsmore you'll have to wear a thong'.

'A thong? I have a never seen a Bumble Bee in a thong. Ever. Or anything even approaching a thong'.

'Yes. A thong. And we're going to write 'House of Fashion' across your bum cheeks in glitter paint'.

'House of Fashion? More like House of Horror......'.

The only image that flashes before me is of the sad girl from the Blind Melon 'No Rain' video:

I click the phone off, go to retrieve my bamboo canes from being used as cat torture devices, and ponder quite what the Relate Lady would make of all this and whether or not this counts as 'moving forward with dignity'?

It's a question I can't really answer but, for the record, whatever I wear, it won't be a thong....

Thursday, 26 May 2011

You Gotta Roll with It....

Wow - sorry about the rather large blogging gap there people. Don't worry I haven't been to rehab (yet), sectioned (yet) or in fact even had my hernia fixed. No I was busy picking up the crumbs of my disintegrating marriage and feeding them to the birds. It's kind of all encompassing taking apart 15 years and putting it back together in a different way. And sad (very sad) and funny (in a bittersweet 'aren't human beings odd' kind of way) and heartbreaking and mundane and tragic and crazy and boring and exhilarating and unreal and real and, yes, it needs a book all of it's own.

Hey at this rate, by the time I get round to even writing the first book I'm going to have the complete box set waiting in the wings.

But anyway, lets not look at the bigger picture, or all our heads might explode.

Lets just look at the last 24 hours. Just so you know, you get a bit of the picture.....

5pm - finish work, race out the door...

5.20pm - whilst walking home see a familiar figure crossing the road. Automatic thought - yipee it's my husband! He's off to catch the train to London, how lucky I caught him! Slam. About turn. Damn. It's my (ex) husband. He's off to London and I didn't want to see him go..... (there then ensues a brief slightly awkward conversation basically saying 'hello, goodbye, ho ho ho' but drowned out by traffic noise and the stench of pigeon shit coming from the road bridge. Brief Encounter it ain't....).

5.30pm - get into house and rapidly pack for a night at my mum's house. Take off work shoes and wonder how I ever wore such things 5 days a week without going permanently lame. Stuff various Iggle Piggles, socks and toothbrushes in a bag and get in car.

5.40pm - swing round corner on Dual Carriageway only to find a barefooted man who looks like ZZ Topp walking towards me swinging a bamboo cane. Narrowly miss squashing him flat. Briefly marvel at the diversity of life.

5.50pm - get to my mums to be greeted by ecstatic children. Well no actually. One is on the lap top watching freight trains on You Tube and barely acknowledges me. The other is lying underneath a coffee table covered in tomato ketchup making a small groaning noise.

6pm - accept a glass of wine and announce the children are going in the bath.

6.15pm - accept another glass of wine and announce the children are going in the bath.

6.30pm - accept another glass of wine and announce the children are going in the bath....

7pm - get children in bath. Watch a fight break out over a Pyrex Jug and the insides of a food processor. Get another glass of wine.

7.15pm - try to end bathtime but just end up dripping wet and shouting. Again.

7.20pm - have to get physical. Bathroom now looks like an Ibiza foam party where I'm the only one dressed and not crying.

7.30pm - break up fight over alleged difference in the size of toothbrushes.

7.31pm - allow brief demonstration of what shaving foam looks like if you squirt it down the toilet.

7.32pm - realise shaving foam must have been my dads..... Weird.

7.35pm - read pointless book about trucks. Well I'm sure it's not pointless if you're a small boy but it doesn't really do it for me.

7.40pm - (thankfully it's a very short book) say goodnight. Receive requests for: a drink, a wee, a torch, a stuffed dog and a honey sandwich. There is no honey in bed. Rules is rules.

7.45pm - stave of a dozen concerned questions about the volcanic ash cloud (no it won't make the world go dark, no it's not over our heads, no it's not going in our insides, yes it is over Scotland, no it doesn't affect trains running, only planes.....)

8pm - give up and go downstairs. Both kids in bed but one is off on a rant because apparently his Scooby Doo colouring book doesn't containing any 'rupturing volcanoes' and this omission is entirely my fault and entirely in my control....... just like everything else that's wrong in the world....and the other one is throwing a fit because he wants me to sit with him and study the ENTIRE road map of the British Isles (as in follow every road to every destination) and I'm sat downstairs with a glass of wine trying to tax the car.

8.05pm - both kids still going off on one. Glass empty. Glass refilled.

8.06pm - turns out I can't tax the car as it hasn't got an MOT. Computer says no. Oh. Make this my Facebook status (see, it really is a thrill a minute). My friend whose husband very nearly went to jail over something to do with a dodgy MOT reassures me that if I go down she'll teach me a few Restraint Holds she uses at work so I can defend myself against my cell mates.

8.07pm - kids threatened with something hideous if they don't go to sleep.

8.08pm - my mum is off on one about the joys of the Chelsea Flower Show but too much Alan Titchmarsh sends me into such a pit of despair that I start playing 'post apocalyptic hardcore metal' on the computer in an attempt to balance him out.

8.09pm - my mum and Alan Titchmarsh carry on oblivious.

8.10pm - my mum starts cooing over someone's Alliums. I give up, turn off the din and submiss to Alan, purple flowers and stroking small children's hair until they fall asleep. Sometimes it's best to give up the fight.

9pm - drunk at least a bottle of wine but no food has appeared yet.

9.30pm - ah here comes some aspagarus.

9.35pm...and some carrots....

9.45pm...and something 'Extra Special' from Asda. Bingo!

10pm - say I'm going to bed as I feel that tired.

10.10pm - start on massive rant about what the f'ck has happened to my life, where it's going and what I'm going to do about it.

11.55pm - go to bed.

12am - try to calm down with a gentle book about a couple with teenage kids having a bit of a marriage crisis whilst trying to cope with elderly relatives..... Decide that at least I'll never have to get divorced AND cope with teenage kids all at the same time, and my dad's already dead so when it comes to aging relatives I'm one short of the full load already. See how lucky I am!

12.05am - decide I must sleep.

12.10am - MY.MIND.IS.FLIPPING.OUT. I am having whole conversations with people who aren't even in the room. People who aren't even in the county. In some cases people that aren't even on this planet.

I re-write history and a hundred different futures over the next two hours.

It hasn't been like this for months.

Why now?

Why here?

Why me?

Why us?


Somewhere round 2.15am fall asleep.

Somewhere round 2.30am a child falls out of bed.

Somewhere round 3am fall asleep.

Somewhere round 3.30am aforementioned child starts demanding someone draws him a 'rupturing volcano'... a scene then ensues which, if I was being filmed as part of a Super Nanny type programme, would be used as the 'bait' during advert breaks on Channel 4 to make sure that all the mother's of the nation tuned in to see just how much better they were doing than they through they were....

Somewhere around 4am fall asleep again.


WAAAA indeed.

Next two hours - I'm not really sure. I know I drank a lot of tea and eventually had a shower and at some point my eldest son was forced to read another 4 pages of a 1978 'Ginn Reading' book about a tortoise ( (a 20 odd page book which could have been para-phrased with the sentence 'tortoises are small and like to hide') whilst the youngest one made a freight train out of the recycling my mum seems to endlessly accumulate.

8am - start phoning garages trying to get an MOT.

8.40am - find one that will do it. Cheer.

8.50am - take kids to school. It's raining hard.

9.30am - race into own home to grab car details.

9.40am - drop car off for MOT and walk home in rain.

9.45am - find that I have locked myself out of own home. Oh. The only other person with keys is my ex and he's in London until late Friday night. Before me flashes two more nights sleeping at my mum's....... in dirty knickers......with colouring books that don't feature rupturing volcanoes.....and Alan Titchmarsh......ARGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

9.50pm - sit on back step in rain with only the cats (who hate me anyway ) for company. They stare at me like robots filled with abject disgust.. I try to play with my phone and try not to think about anything but the signal has disappeared. The rain gets harder.

9.55am - I need a wee. Badly.

10am - I need a wee REALLY badly.

10.05am - I have to wee. But my garden backs onto a major railway and busy bridge. Hmm. I will have to go in the shed (the old falling down one, not the nice new fancy one. I wouldn't wee in that!).

10.06am - open shed door. A shed-load (boom boom) of wasps fly out......ARGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Run round the garden screeching whilst flapping at my hair. I'm not a 'girly girl' but when it comes to wasps - WAAAAAAAA......

No way am I weeing in the wasp factory. Sod it - wee on the patio and hope none of the neighbours walk past. My last neighbours got to see it all when I had my second son. This lot (might) just think I'm normal (so far). The last think I want them to witness is me urinating in my own back yard......

10.10am - cold.

10.15am - colder.

10.30am - frozen.

10.40am - go back to garage now envisaging a never-ending sea of sleeplessness, Alan Titchmarsh and having to walk around in my mother's knickers and Doreen bras until I can get back into my own home (I know about the Doreen bras because there was a time, not so long ago, where for complex reasons I had to adorn one. My boobs went like Madonnas. All cone-ified. It was an odd experience. I am sure there is a fetish market out there for women in Doreen bras, after all I once came across a pornographic magazine called 'Fireside Bottoms', but I won't be taking my Doreen experience any further).

10.42am - find I accidentally gave my house keys to one of the mechanics. And the car passed the MOT. Relief all round.

10.45am - sit in car only to realise that I'd left a pair of knickers in the glove box (this was entirely innocent - they fell out a bag when I was coming back from sleeping at my friends). Oh what fun they must have had looking for my log book...... On the brightside - it could have been worse - it could have been a Doreen. Now that WOULD have been embarrassing.

11am - race to my mums and manage to tax the car.

12pm - pick up 'I wanna rupturing volcano' child from pre-school and, for my sins, take him shopping all afternoon. Take him to Badger Girls 'ladieswear' shop where he picks out a PVC fairy outfit for me and demands I put it on. I decline this request. He stamps his feet and roars. I stick him behind the till with my phone, 30 felt tip pens and a Scooby Doo colouring book (still without volcanoes) and drink 4 cups of tea in quick succession in order to try and keep functioning..... Back it all up with 2 Diet Cokes and a pack of Hula Hoops just to make sure and hit the road.

And then off we go with school pick ups, lunch boxes, story time, fights over colouring books (apparently, now, it's all my fault there's no hot air balloons in the picture of the steam train....of course) and I'm sat here now almost nodding off thinking 'oh yipee, tomorrow I get to do it all again'.

But, please this time, with more sleep.

And no Alan Titchmarsh.

Night night.