Sunday, 28 December 2008
Four quid a week we pay those cowboys to rent this thing. Am I going to let them have it! And as for bloody Laurel and Hardy who plumbed it in ("we didn't bring an instruction mannual") - to think i offered them a cup of tea!
My bad tempered state is nothing to do with me biting a hot mince pie and getting severe toothache . It really isn't. Or the stinking cold i woke up with today. Its quite irrelevent, it really is.
Christmas was super actually. Despite my gloomy disposition. The kids got fantastic presents, WE got fantastic presents, even the Cat got a good one! What i've always secretly wanted tho' is -
a) 200 fags
c) Ferro Rocher
I know these are not impossible things but i never get them somehow. Is it so very wrong to hope?
This is a funny time, these in-between days at the last lag of December. The Christmas tree looks a little dusty now and your stomach hangs over your belt from all those chocolates. And your Husband gets on your nerves! He goes to work tomorrow - hooray! I expect he's cheering too in the next room.
On Saturday, took Daughter to the Harrods Sale. Don't ask me why. I don't know what possessed me to go. And the ground floor was brimming with people clutching moutains of boxes that looked a bit dodgy health and safety wise. but we went one floor up to the most unpopular department of all - the Ladies Plus Size bit. Didn't find what i wanted and i got bullied by this glamorous looking girl into buying these Caroline Charles trousers reduced to 50 quid. Why did i get them? This always happens to me in sales. I never get anything i remotely want.
Well, they're a nice colour but when i take them home, i find they are 100% silk. Well, thats no good to me. I can't slob about in Tescos or anywhere in bloody silk trousers can I ! I also have nothing to go with them. Will post a photo of them.
Today, to overcome my washing machine "issues" we went to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. (There I am again! In bloody Central London! Why do I keep coming here!). It was a nice German market thing, if a little expensive. But I have to say, the ice rink was really big and impressive. The kids and Husband skated, I didn't. Had a coffee and a fag.
So £43 later , we came out and I went home to bed. I mean really, between Caroline Charles and those bullying Germans, I was cleaned out. That reminds me, i've got work tomorrow - after i've let the washing machine people have it of course. Bastards.
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
When He was a child, Husband told me, He got one present and a selection box. Well, thats a surprise, I told him, with a tight-arsed family like yours! How he laughed.
The trouble is, I didn't. I got everything as a kid at Christmas. Sindy dolls, crying dolls, scooters - the lot! We must have been the poorest family on our council estate but at Christmas we went mad! But I think thats a really working class thing. Not restrained like Husband's penny-pinching, comfortable middle class family. But they were good toys then. None of that technical shit like Nintendos or anything. I've still got most of my Sindy stuff today.
I remember that terrible Tellytubby war when Daughter was a toddler. People would apparently stand around in Argos until the Tellytubby arrival was announced. And then it was one per customer. But I wasn't savvy enough about all that then. Luckily my mate stepped in and brought her the squeaky ones. We still have them today too. They saved that Christmas of 1997,
And I sneered at the parents waiting in the Beany Baby queues. And as for those bloody scooters the other year........
But now here i am suffering heartbreak over some little machine i don't like very much. But the trouble is , my kids do.....
Saturday, 13 December 2008
Yesterday i acheived one of my ambitions. I saw Olive from On the Buses live on stage. Went with mate to the Millfield Theatre in Enfield and saw Anna Karen in the pantomime Cinderella. Sod the kids, i left them with my mum.
My heart thudded when She came on stage dressed as the wicked step mother. I hadn't felt this way since I'd seen Sooty "in the flesh". I wanted to burst into rapturous applause - it was Olive for Gods sake, did n't these people understand this? Well of course they didnt'. They were nearly all under 3 ft. But the worse thing was some of those parents wouldn't know On The Buses either. There were lots of gags about Eastenders where she played Peggy Mitchell's sister but the real core of her allure - eg Stan and Jack - was bypassed.
She looked beautiful actually. Didn't remotely resemble that down trodden wife who was married to Arthur and related to Stan. But to me she will always be Olive.
Cinderella was boring and Dandini and the Prince were camper than the ugly sisters. I thought girls played the prinicpal boys. In fact i'm sure they do. Buttons was quite good, if not a bit fat. Me and mate booed everyone (quietly) except for Olive.
In the interval outside in the pouring rain havin a fag, a theatrical looking lady asked me for a light. I advised her to take it from the end of my fag as she would never get a lighter to work in this wind. I apologised for this common way of lighting up. She smiled with blood red lips - This is panto, darling - she said. I didn't really get it.
My mate was there. His brother was playing one of the ugly sisters. He scrounged an ice-cream off me, the greedy git. Then he went back to his group of mates. When this mate was a professional actor, his pals were really nice people. Even the bitchy screaming old queens were quite sweet. But since he'd turn Semi-pro, his group of amateur chums are really unfriendly and only talk to you if you're "important". Whenever i meet a nice mate of his i instantly know they're professional. Interesting!
Supposed to be going to church today. don't know whether to or not. will think about it. Desperate to ask "olive" what she felt about Reg Varney's recent departure.
Friday, 12 December 2008
All I wanted was a golfing umbrella. The first floor some silly cow told me. The ground floor, some other boffin said. Opposite the jewellery section, someone dressed in black said. Opposite the gloves some other funeral clad lackey assured me. You hear about the straw that broke the camel's back? I handled it in a mature way. I threw son's football that i was going to purchase down to the basement floor of Waitrose and indicated that why couldn't THEY close down and not Woolworths? And no wonder people shop online! (or was that Waterstones I said that to?) Better not go in there for a while.
Honestly, the shit service you get in there. And don't even start me on their drapery department!
I'm still grieving for Woolworths - thats the trouble. Even tho' they're not quite closed yet. I still haven't got over C&A! Do you remember Woolworths' christmas adverts? They used to be a minute long with REAL stars like Fiona Fullerton and Leslie Crowther. You really felt the thrill of Christmas then.
And what's Twickenham High Street going to do now? Woolworths was the last place you could buy toys and games now all the toy shops have closed. And I mustn't give way to my childhood memories of that institution or my eyes will mist up again.
Staying in today. Sod the golf umbrella. Husband can have a box of Ferro Rocher from the local garage.
Thursday, 11 December 2008
I was still laying out cheeses and crackers wearing my driving shoes and glasses when the first guest arrived. Luckily it was a close pal. In the end, it all got too overwhelming with serviettes and whatnot and olives that She took over while i went out for a fag with her husband. And that seemed to be the most I talked to someone.
Mates from Ireland and Berlin turned up especially for the event. Which was a little pointless as I spoke to them as much I did to the woman from down the road. Neither did I get my mitts on any cheeese - especially that Yorkshire Blue I'd got from the Waitrose Deli counter.
I seemed to be constantly outside greeting people and smoking. Keeping half an eye out for any new arrivals. The next thing I knew it was 3 o'clock and Husband was making a speech and step mother in law was cutting the cake. (The speech I made him do that is.) Where did that time go? I had barely been in that beautiful room.
My brother was over the other side of the room effing and blinding amongst the posh in-laws. He was trying to embarass me. But I had one valuable weapon - I was too pissed to care.
Going to the Ladies with my Mum, father in law appeared desperately searching for glasses to put away. I gave him a sweet look which said Sod Off You Old Fool. Ungrateful I know. There are natural taker-overs at parties - sometimes they're welcome, sometimes they're not.
By the time the out-laws had thrown away the last plate and packed up the wine (10 bottles left) I said to the remaining stragglers (my mates) that I was going to sit in this lovely window seat in this room of my dreams and actually relax. The moment I sat down I saw it was five to four! I panicked. If you stay over 4 o'clock you get charged another £150! We all legged it out of there. It was a cross between Cinderella and the Big brother House. But there was no Davina McCall to greet us - only a disgruntled father in law and hyperactive children.
Got home and unpacked the remains of the cheese and cake - whatever was i going to do with it all. My head spun from daytime drinking and my mouth tasted of sand. Two pound down because of 2 missing glasses, not to mention the best part of a Bag of Sand. But I wouldn't have changed it for the world.
Friday, 5 December 2008
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Mind you, the £275 wine bill gave me a sharp reminder. And so did the £250 deposit against damages. And the fee for the room itself, a mere £ 384. And then there is the food, cheese and wine - oh, and the soft drinks and stuff for the kids. (They're getting a cheese football each!)
Three things I have learned in life. Never live your life through your children, never ever kiss a baby with gastro interitous and never, and i mean never book something you can't really afford.
Thank God for the Supermarket. I know its a sweatshop but thank god it gave me a home. And thank god its not Woolworths. Thank God for my pathetic paypacket every month. And for the childminding i do once a week. And the Child allowance.. Oh Lordy ! i'll be glad when its all over!
And in bed I toss and turn. Suppose no-one turns up! Suppose one of the kids breaks something!
Suppose I get bored! I have that room from 12 till 4, I'm bound to get a bit bored. And I can't keep going out for a fag! ( I ought to get a discount for that inconvenience). And when am i supposed to buy that cheese? I know nothing about bloody cheese, why did i put cheese and wine on the invitations? I only know Tesco value cheddar!
Tomorrow going to see Annie Lebowitz's exhibition God Knows where with Husband. It won't remotely take my mind off things but never mind. Would rather be going round a supermarket looking at cheese.
Friday, 21 November 2008
It was a little known play that appeared in the West End in 1980 for a short run. And it was good. A bit nastier than you anticipate. But maybe thats a sign of a truly clever writer.
But the real subtext of violence and nastiness happened at the interval. There was a coachload of old people there - and i mean really old. Walking sticks and everything. Gosh, one old boy with a stick pushed people right out of the way. And so did some old girl. She was more violent than my late Gran after a few whiskies, and thats' saying something. I mean I do appreciate these old theatres are incredibly impractical especially when there's a full house like last night. And now with the smoking ban, it really is a cut-throat thing to make it outside. But really. I felt i was in the middle of a rugby scrum - and without a mouth guard!
Bloody blue-rinse brigade! I hope i don't get like that. Or perhaps i'm like that already. One thing is for sure , have been desperately trying to get Alan Bennett on the phone. I virtually have his next play written for him!
Bruised and battered this morning. That whole coachload have gone right on my bastard list. Under the Nits of course.
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Those things never normally come near me. They bite my poor daughter to death but they usually leave me alone. Apparently there's a terrible infestation this year. They must be pretty bloody desperate to live on MY head. I've had my hair full of chemicals and peroxide virtually since i was born. They have gone straight to number one on my bastard list, i tell you.
I stink of Neem shampoo and tea tree oil, people were giving me funny looks at the supermarket. £18 I spent up at the chemists on oils and shit. I tell you, if you want to start your own business in this dodgy economic climate, set up your own nit busting company, you'll rake it in!! No credit crunch will stand in the way of driving out nits!
My neck is itchy from where the sods have been biting it. Hate them so much. Feel so dirty and infested. Bloody fed up!
Sunday, 16 November 2008
Being a high street girl, i am far from virtuous about shopping. I'm as "Had to Have" and "but it was a bargain!" as the next one. But I have never been driven to actually make a day of it and visit somewhere like Bluewater or Lakeside. Where you're literally in it for the day. I like shopping centres you can walk away from. And Westfield being next to Shepherds Bush tube seemed ideal.
Well, what a load of old rubbish. The "village" - what village? - half the shops hadn't opened yet. And its all "poncy stuff" as a local was quoted as saying. I have to say its a long way from Oil Drum lane. I can't see Harold Steptoe and his horse coming down here. (The extent of my knowledge of Shepherds Bush).
I mean, I know none of that designer stuff comes near me anyway. A size 12 is obese to them. But why does it have to look so stark? And i couldnt' find anything. There was no map of all the stores or anything. I just had to keep walking.
And actually, I eventually found out, they had every shop except the one i wanted. John Lewis. Began to forgive them slightly when i went in the huge M&S and even tho' their stock was horrendously squashed up, they had a huge square deli bar. Now i'm the first to slag off American things but this was an exception. All my heroes have sat at a deli drinking their coffee and eating American things. Columbo, Gene Hackman, Roy Schneider, Irene Carr. So I struggled up on that high stool and ordered the cooked breakfast that they serve before 12 noon. I mean, my poor lazy bowel , but I don't care.
Running out after paying the bill to have a fag - incidentally, that particular paved area was the busiest of the whole shopping centre - I walk back dejectedly to the tube. This time i go to Shepherds Bush market station a bit further along so i can get to Hammersmith. But whats this? What do i find as I walk by?? Shepherds Bush Market. A mirage in a cold desert. The voices are calling me. the stalls look so bright. I have to go in there.
What a fantastic place! I bought a long skirt, two metres of material, sweets, clemintines, the lot! Everyone so lovely and friendly. So I spent all my money after all. But whats better? To piss it away in a cold shopping centre or a lively humming market that supports the locals?
Husbands coming with me next time. He wants Foyles and the deli bar in Westfield and I want the market again!
I went home happy after all.
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
But a light through the dark cloud has broken through. Son was the only year 5 picked to play for the school football team . The rest are year 6's. They played a match yesterday and although they got slaughtered - 5-1 - Son scored their only goal. What a football boy!
Why would he remotely care that he's in the second maths group now? And he acknowledges that there are better footballers than him. So i don't even have to go through that! We have all learnt this painful lesson that there is always someone better than us. I'm just glad he 's learnt it young.
but what i don't get is, is he genuinely good? or is it just sheer lack of competition? all footballers look like Pele or George best to me. they kick a football don't they?
Life's so strange, how it deals out sadness and joy.
Monday, 10 November 2008
Why oh why does life give with one hand and take away with the other???
Vet seemed surprised Rose had changed for the better and wants me to bring her in on wednesday. He's a good bloke actually because he's not normally there on wednesday mornings but has rearranged things so he can still treat Rose. This has all become very urgent too quickly. Hate vets normally. This is because of Allastair, the vet on the Archers, he is such a miserable spineless bastard. And somehow this irrational and unprovoked hate has spread to real vets. Not fair really. But then its not fair about my cat either.
What in Gods name am i going to tell the kids? They know she's ill. But what good would it do to let them know how much? My poor rabbit George had a terrible tumour and despite the best vet care possible, he still suffered. Don't want Rosie to go through that.
Have told Husband in secret. He loves Rose passionately. And the kids heard me on the phone to the Vet apparently so Husband told them it was a stomach infection. Didn't want to lie but......
Sunday, 9 November 2008
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Son was 10 in October. So this Sunday we had a swimming party at the local pool. This seemed the best idea, an hour in the pool would exhaust any boy so I planned out the sitdown meal up in the party room with confidence. You didn't think i was going to get in the water, did you???
Exhausted, my right eye! They were up for more action the minute they'd changed. And trying to get the little buggers to sit down to cheese footballs and limp sandwiches, i tell you! It was 5C all over again but without Bernard Hedges and Potter. Although even Doris Ewell would be hard put to keep this little lot in order! The naughtiest boy suggested a food fight immediately. Husband put a complete stop to that one! Although, confidentially, if He hadn't been there, i would have let it go ahead. It would keep them occupied . And I would clean it up afterwards of course.
The way these kids speak to you! Honestly! Some kid yelled at me, I want more sausage rolls now! Pardon??? I blared at the little sod. Er - please, he mumbled. And another kid spoke to me like dirt and i shouted right at the little git. The annoying thing is they know how to behave really. I know there are some kids who have been dragged up and really don't know how to speak to people. But not these over-privilleged little bastards. But i mean really, would you have spoken to an adult like that? I mean i don't want my own childhood back, where i had to be seen but not heard, but kids are encouraged far too much to mouth off these days.
This is a disaster! Son pipes up as they fall on each other all around the room. But personally i didn't think it was. They seemed to be having the time of their lives!
And now for a really sad moment. Rose my cat. She's a beautiful creature and has given us joy for the last two and a half years. But lately she's been growling at us and she scratched me so badly today. And she's been hissing a lot too. We're almost frightened of her and we can't be under siege in our own home. Will take her to the vet on friday morning and see what she says. We don't want to lose her, she's a part of us. But we can't go on like this.
I know its wicked. But i would rather she was put down. I can't bear the thought of dumping her in some RSPCA centre and walking away from her. She would never get another home. RSPCA would be obliged to tell people why she's there.
Mustn't think about it anymore. Will wait to see what the vet says.
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Last night at work, i wouldn't go in the toilets in case a zombie was waiting for me. And i was too afraid to go to the loo in the middle of the night because of the same thing. Honestly, i'm looking at 50! I am not that little girl who hid behind the sofa when Dr Who was on! I suppose Darleks are quite similar tho'. They are imperishable. But at my age???
I remember going to see Shawn of the Dead because i thought it would be a comedy like "Spaced" or something. And that terrified me for months! It took me a long time to look through some french doors! Is it me? Or do we never grow up really?
Can't take a shower without thinking of Anthony Perkins! There's a small subway up the road that i can never go through without thinking of Clockwork Orange! And i always think twice before looking in my warderobe in case someone puts a polythene bag over me (Black Christmas 1974 version).
Why don't i ever learn!!! My first ever X film was Theatre of Blood with Vincent Price. And it took me a long time to sleep next to another bed in case there was a severed head on it like Arthur Lowe's!
Are these just signs of great films? that they stay with you always? or that I should know better by now!!!
Monday, 27 October 2008
I have to say I can understand Prince Charles' beef about these complex of buildings on the South Bank. Going up the windy concrete stairs to the gallery, i am reminded of the worst and grimest of council estates. The very uncared for ones. Now i am loyal to council estates because i was brought up on one. And i know some of them can be really nice with spacious gardens and houses but this concrete jungle can make you forget such a thing.
I used to have a crush on Andy Warhol when i was 12 and wanted to run off to New York and marry him,. Luckily we grow out of these things.....I think. I don't know why i felt that about him at that particular age. I wouldn't even be allowed in to see his films then... I think he was just an enigma.
The exhibition was a bit messy. Some works by him, some by others. And there was a TV documentary on his Factory that was playing which made me glad i didn't bring my son in with me. This was the one that had been banned from being shown on the BBC in 1971 (when i was 12 incidentally) and i have to say, i saw their point! Polaroids of naked blokes, girls painting with their tits. Good grief! Now i know why i was infactuated with him. And there is a part of me that still is. am so sad i'll never be able to meet him.
Told Pals' mum about her ex-husbands' appalling assumption yesterday. She was furious. She hates the Bastard anyway and she said it was because he was small Down There. I didn't really want to know that - i mean Bless her, but i'd rather she'd kept that to herself. Anyway she told me not to listen to the stupid git. Feel bad about stirring it but pleased he's going to get a flea in his ear on his return!
Wonder what Andy Warhol would have done.
Saturday, 25 October 2008
We get talking over a cup of tea and we mull over our girl's secondary schools. He is not happy with Pal's. And then it gets to that invetible subject of the Grammar School both our kids tried for and failed to get in. My wounds have healed over this - I think. And it happened nearly two years ago. But His wounds are obviously still sore, there is still sadness in his eyes. But he has been talking himself out of it as he said That the Grammar school get the creme of the creme of the bright ones. And that our two girls would have struggled there. I glared at him. Bloody cheek of the Man! He can slag off his own daughter - not mine!
Daughter's exam went very badly for her, its true. But that doesn't mean nosy interfering single dad's can stick their beak in and comment on their progress! Oh, he went straight on my Bastard list I can tell you! I wanted to tell him that Daughter got invited to join the Talented and Gifted in Maths but didn't want to hurt my Daughter's mate. Its not her fault she has a pushy and competitive Dad. I mean really! In my own house too!
Have given out all my invitations now for my birthday party. I phoned one of my old pals the other night for a chat and to see if he was coming. He said he would be sending me an answer as to whether he could come or not shortly. This obviously means No but I felt I would have respected him more if he'd had told me over the phone. Not be all pompous like that. He declined to meet for lunch one Sunday as he had no money and couldn't find a job. I mean i understand that but was a bit hurt. He could just come over or we could just meet up and walk round London or something.
He is wavering around the Bastard List but is not actually on it - yet.
Going to spend the evening sulking and making cushions.
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Told them today i can only work till 3. Pretended I had childcare "issues". I couldn't do the normal 10 tll 6. I'll go mad! And the other week there was some right old cow there who kept bossing us all around. Snarled at her in the end but you do get these little Hitlers who think they're an executive or something. But they're only casual like me who have kids and don't normally work. I don't know why they have to be weird about these things.
Went to see my mum this week. Felt a bit sheepish after our row on the phone. But i had 200 Benson and Hedges with me to soothe the wounds. She's a cheap type like me, can be so easily bought. Personally i think they're the best sort to know.
She gave me money to get a gift credit card thing for my two grown up nephews at Costa Coffee. Now you'd think this would be easy to do. But no. One Costa in Kingston drew a complete blank, one told me to go on-line - i told him to go somewhere else! - Would M&S or WH Smith ever tell you to go on-line instead of taking the bloody money and giving over the gift card??? - and some other Costa kept telling me that I can top it up and gave me a form to fill in! I just came out and said it by that point "you don't know what i'm talking about, do you?" - and left quickly.
So I was reduced to Starbucks - which i hate. But say what you like about them, they took my mums' money and gave me two credit cards with 25 pound each on them. They did not piss about,. I also got a voucher for a free coffee next time i came in. But I don't like you, I wanted to say. But didn't. Will give it to Husband, he likes all that rubbish.
I go to a little cafe for my takeaway coffee. i won't go to those big chains unless i have to. And their coffee always tastes like they've poured boiled water over a jar of Nescafe. it blows my head off !
Well, time for a fag and then work - wah!
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
What a frustrating morning in the local high street. I'm the vice chair of the PTA and all i really have to do is get the licence to serve alcohol for the school events and that. I go to get the license laminated at KallKwick or whatever its called - they tell me to come back in half an hour while they get the laminated machine warmed up! For Gods sake, they're a professional printers, surely their machine would be turned on! I may as well get it done at school. I mean i try to avoid that as the school secretary flaps around - funny cow she is - but at least she wouldn't take half an hour about it!
And then when i go and collect it after pissing around in M&Co. trying to kill time, i come across the worse combination in front of me. A mum with a double buggy talking on a mobile phone! This must surely be the deadliest combination. That means she yacks loudly on the phone while her toddler can get up to all sorts 'cos mum's not concentrating! The little cow kept pushing the buggy against my legs. I shoved the bloody thing back. I tell you, about a year ago, i nearly ran a little boy over because the mum was talking on her phone and wasn't watching him. Slag!
These people are the limit. And cyclists. One knocked on my car window the other day telling me to move over while waiting at the lights. And then the bastard jumped the lights himself! Git.
Well, thats my little rant. Sad day tomorrow, it will be a year since Dad died. Will probably go shopping - he would have wanted it that way.
Sunday, 19 October 2008
Portobello market is magical, it really is but I would really warn people about the crowds. It was only 11 am and I could not make the few yards up the road to meet them. It was like a solid wall of people. When I finally met Mate and Dad and we went to all the antique stalls, I was reminded of why I agreed to join them. He knew nearly every antique dealer there. He had a stall here himself 20 years ago and a lot of people still remembered him! He's a bit like that - very vibrant. And it was kind of magical watching him talk intimately with these people - or at least being part of the crowd. Being included. And to see him haggling over nice pieces that he would make into jewellery back home.
I myself bought two roasting pans, 3 Oyster card holders and a bangle. Only the roasting pans were for my benefit, the other things were for kids and Husband. In the old days - well, late '80s - I would buy armfuls of those vintage dresses. None of them go near me now. It was alright when I was a mere size 14, as an 18 I can't even put them over my head. What did big women do then?
Bought some Thai Noodles off a stall and buggered off back home. Husband sulky because he hadn't had any time to himself (diddums) and kids screechy and brittle - jet lag and sugar no doubt.
Today, had a goodbye lunch with Mate, her Mum and her Dad, he was off to Mexico in the morning. Made him a cushion. He wasn't very enamoured with it - the ungrateful git! Was stuffing that thing at 11 o'clock last night! And I used my best Kath Kidson fabric, the one with the cowboys on it. I don't think he likes it if anyone else is creative. Mates' Boyfriend (an artist too) is a bit like that.
Came back to making kids' tea, changing Son's bed (there was blood on the sheets), doing a wash, sweeping the floor and will shortly be washing Daughter's hair (those bloody nits!!). It seems you have one lunch out, you pay for it dearly in blood.
Going to my Mum's tomorrow. We made it up after the row. Or rather I apologised, even if She was in the wrong - which she was. But now ironically i'd rather stay here and clean the house.
Oh well, chicken kievs for supper!
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
Taking a jet-lagged burnt out Son to school today and he is in floods of tears. Apparently we hate him because he's not as clever as his Sister (where did that one come from?). He's been moved into the second maths group thats easy and boring and he's not popular, or at least the most popular.
Now I'm with it enough to know that a lot of this is tiredness talking. But I can't help feeling a crushing disappointment that he's in the second group. Especially as last term he was doing extra curricular maths with the top group. I wish that school would stop pissing him about. Either put him in one group or another. He says his friends in the top group show off what they're learning which is work he's not given. I assure him they're not all That really and they're big headed little sods who no-one will eventually like. This is about as good as a chocolate ashtray to him.
He is anxious to know if it looks as if he's been crying when we reach school. I assure him it doesn't, even though his eyes are redder than a post box. What else can I say? But I leave him there wanting to throw myself off Richmond Bridge.
Then I get so depressed I phone in sick to work. I can't let Son go to a childminder in the miserable state he's in. It didn't seem fair. But then I get guilty, i know they're short-staffed at the Supermarket. Anyway I meet him from school. Does he appreciate it? Does he Hell? I should have just let him get picked up!
Then later my Mum phones. She has to cancel me going on Friday for some reason or another. Then she asks if i'm free tomorrow. I agree readily. Then she realises that my brother's taking her to the shops. Asks me if i can come later. Well, of course, i can't come later! I have two kids coming home from school. Why can't my brother come later? I ask. The one who lives down the road from her and that she can see anytime. Oh No, she says she didn't want to have to put him off.
I haven't seen my Mum for nearly two weeks. I've been in America. And I can't go at the weekend. I've got two hundred Bensons for her and some present or another. But no, She can't put Brother off and she can't ask him to come later but she can ask me who lives the other side of the M25 if I can.
I put the phone down with a curt goodbye. This is not good. Its nearly a year since my Dad died. This is not the right time to do this. But i'm so pissed off with her.
To cap it all, both kids have got nits. So the house stinks of Tee Tree oil and Neem shampoo. Oh God, we've taken them to America with us and everything. I tell you I am going to bed and never getting up again!!
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
It was the first time the kids had flown. Its strange how they're a minority now among their peers. When I was their age America and flying were just impossible dreams. You had to make do with The Munsters and Mary Tyler Moore to learn about America. Its funny how people now take this travelling business for granted.
When Husband was little, he and his family went to Majorca on holiday. Only comfortable and well-to-do people did that sort of thing then, and that holiday was the equivalent of a villa in Tuscany now. How different that sort of thing is now.
I myself hadn't flown for years so it was sort of the first time for me again. After a 7 hour flight and a one hour wait at immigration - why do they remotely presume i'd want to live in their stupid country - I could finally have a fag outside. God, did i go dizzy! Son panicked. I assured him it was only the fag. And the heat. Why was it so bloody hot! It was October for Gods sake and I only had winter clothes with me!
Felt like I was about to fall over with tiredness so I washed my hair and sat outside the Marriott hotel for a fag. Overheard these two black guys talking. They were talking just the way they did on Larry David or one of Daughter's Disney comedies that she constantly watches. They said things like Man and chillin' and Jive. That was the most exciting bit for me. Something that was just like on the telly.
Bit disappointed with the cars. They were mostly those big 4 wheel drive things that we have here. Expected a few cadiliacs and mustangs. Still the last time I saw an American car was on Bewitched.
We drove to Devon in Pennsylvania the next day. A beautiful and pretty town. But you don't get shops like the newsagent or a Happy Shopper. Its all drive-in things. But their houses were beautiful. White wooden things with endless storeys. And the church where Husbands' mate got married (for the second time) was like out of a picture. And what a carasmatic minister! He looked like a film star! Better than our poor down-at-heel vicar.
Afterwards the reception was at a posh country club with valet parking (why can you not park it yourself?) but it was all a bit tacky. And we felt disloyal to his first wife - also an American girl. This second wife seemed very pushy and bossy - still, so was his first. I think he just likes that sort of thing. But it did seem strange, Husband's old university friend from Humberside being immersed in feeding each other wedding cake and that. Some people just fit into other cultures like an old shoe. I never could.
The next day we went to their house - God Knows Where that bloody place was - but it was just amazing. But I was so tired - I couldn't sleep at that hotel - I wasn't really tuned into anything.
We had to go back on Sunday night and it was Son's 10th birthday on the Monday while we were still going over the Atlantic. I told the staff on British Airways but they didn't really put theirselves out for him. Although a very nice steward - why are they all gay? - explained they didn't take kids into the cockpit anymore. It wasn't allowed and it stays locked now. Yes, I understood but they could have done something for him really. That was the impression I got with British Airways, they couldn't really be arsed. But for the price of flying with them, they could bloody well make an effort.
Heathrow Monday at 9.30 am - could finally have a fag. Oh Boy! Unless they reinstate smoking again I'm not going further than Cumbria, I tell you! What was the point of buying 400 duty free Rothmans when you couldn't bloody smoke 'em?
When I went to Mexico City in 1994 I puffed my way through the 12 hour journey along with this Belgian woman. ( My Kids don't remotely believe me.) Those were the days!
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
The thing about those parties is that you literally can invite the whole world (up to 25 anyway) and can really have a good splash about and a bit of cake afterwards in the room upstairs. So it was with this in mind I am writing out nearly 20 invites.
Gave the first one to his closest friend's mum, who is also Son's childminder on certain days.
"Oh no!", she says, "is that the last Sunday of half term?"
Certainly is, I tell her, knowing whats coming.
And I was right. She is going to be in Devon for that last part of half term.
Me as patient as ever, tells her to forget it. And she exclaims that her Son will never forgive her if he misses out.
Come then, I reply , an edge to my voice.
She will never be able to make that long journey in time.
Forget it then , I say
Oh, she says , But her Son couldn't bear it if he missed it.
I walk away. She's a good woman, her hearts in the right place, she was lovely to me when Dad died (her own sadly succumbed to cancer) but God Forgive Me, she is so unbelievably scatty! You're either coming or you're not. Stop pissing about and umming and ah-ing! But how can I say that to the poor cow. I guess there's just some people in life who make things difficult for themselves.
There was a woman once in my daughter's old year who, when my mate was moving away, was asked by me if she wanted to come with us for a Goodbye drink. Well she told me at least 4 times why she couldn't come. And apparently she told my soon-to-be gone mate 3 times. And she also wanted to know how long we would be there that night in case she DID come. For Gods sake! Say Yes or you say No.
Is it me? My last born is now in year 5 so is my tolerance of scatty mothers running low? Or have they just got scattier!
Went out last night with my mate whose Dad was over from Mexico. Asked me to pick him up from where he was staying in Fulham. Just off the Munster Road she said. Well, that could have been in Carlisle for all that meant to me. Where the hell is Munster Road? She thinks I go and hang out in Fulham at weekends or something? The only time I knew Fulham was when I read Up The Junction and then it was dead rough and no-one would touch it!
Eventually found the place and picked up mate's Dad who've i've always had a semi crush on (he's gay!). Told him straight out I had no idea how to get to this resturant. Well, he directed me straight there. Some people are so good at London! I mean the man lives in Mexico for Gods sake. Although he did spend 20 years here when mate was born. Why is everyone better at London than me! Its not fair.
Had a super time tho'. Gave me a chance to get all dressed up for a change. Although he criticsed me for not wearing stillettos - bless!!
Thursday, 2 October 2008
What have they done to that place??? Its become so garish! I found this with Selfridges a few months ago, its really all in your face! Bright colours, loud music, its not only young people who visit these places!
Couldn't find a store guide for love nor money. Come back, Debenhams, all is forgiven! It was a bit like Thorpe Park, you have to get a leaflet and map from some desk or another. 7 floors! Couldn't remember it being that big. Went to the Ladieswear department. Ignored the designer stuff, even if i could bring myself to fork out thousands of pounds for some flimsey item, they don't go near my size (size 18). Generally anyway.
Went to the "Plus" department. Their decor was a little more subdued but still had the loud disco music. Saw a super jacket thing - £1400! No way! But then there was a nice two piece, Burnt Lime the colour was called, a mere £200 for the set. Which in Harrods seemed to be a bargain. But i wasn't crazy about it enough to spend all that money on it. I would gladly carry out my mums' wishes and buy something a bit posh but i've really got to like the thing to do it.
Ended up buying a butter dish from their china department. One i could have got in a shop near my mum's, never mind, its got the Harrods price label on it, will keep that on there as a souvenier. And some paper plates for my birthday party in december. But they've got a much better choice in nearby Kingston. Just seemed a shame to come away empty-handed.
Couldn't visit Harrods without going to the Food Hall. So bought this rye bread that weighed more than the butter dish and a seasame pretzil. Got ripped off at the Deli counter with this cheese but then i get ripped off at every deli i go to! But i love to look at their crystalised fruits and that. The things that make Harrods unique.
Talking of that, they don't sell their own fags anymore. They used to taste horrible but you could keep the lovely green packet with the building on the front. But they only do cigars now. Why are they acceptable and fags are not? its still smoking.
Came home exhausted. And had to go to work. 3 people had called in sick and one said their car had broken down and will be there when they can. I was going to use that excuse next friday! bloody hell!
Cooked tangy salmon last night with pine nuts and breadcrumbs. It was rubbish.
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Anyway, stuff it, I'll just go back bloody home.
Well, last night, as you know was a Monday night. This really is the worse night of the week, especially as winter approaches. The first night of the working week and the night you're the most tired. So thought i'd have a relaxing evening with the kids and Husband (No supermarket that night). Well, who was I kidding??? Husband said he'd do supper. He likes to do it so i don't argue. BUT the moment i sat down for some quality time, the washing machine needed emptying. Sit down again, the dishwasher needed emptying. Sat down then realised i hadn't done the washing up! Sat down again and it was time for Daughter's bath. Husband does Son's bath, I do Daughter's.
And then after supper at about 9 pm, i had a pile of sewing to do. At least when I go to the Supermarket, i'm paid for it! Thought i'd put today aside and catch up with some reading, it is now 12.15 and have I read anything????
Going out tomorrow. Don't care where.
Sunday, 28 September 2008
Hasn't been the weekend I hoped it would be. Have been busy so many weekends lately - have been a temporary "customer service" staff in the local stadium sports shop - but this time Saturday was free to spend with my family. Well, Daughter lost it with me, screaming that she wished she was adopted. Teenage rampage creeping in fast! Son argued loudly with Husband (those two are like cat and dog!) and Husband had a cold - enough said.
And this morning before the blokes set off for rugby, there was shouting and banging doors. I am not enjoying my weekends lately!
On Friday night, working at the Supermarket, one customer spoke to me so badly I refused to serve him. I called the manager over, a slip of a young girl, and told her that that man had been so unpleasant to me and I didn't want to serve him. She didn't ask any questions just took over and served him for me. But I was still angry he got away with that.
But I hung around her and took over as soon as she'd finished with him. I didn't want him to think i'd gone for a break or anything. I just wanted him to know I wasn't serving him but would serve everybody else. I don't care, i'm not paid enough to put up with that sort of thing.
But what would have happened if there'd been real trouble? As I say the one remaining supervisor that time of night was only young and unprepared and they now have one security guard at the door. They always used to have security guards buzzing everywhere - now they have all gone. That store's losing money right left and centre. People are fleeing into the arms of Lidell and Aldi. Serves these greedy supermarkets right but now anything could happen and you are so vulnerable.
So I guess that hasn't helped much. Well, Jack Woolley awaits, so does my love Matt Crawford. Life isn't all bad I guess.
Thursday, 25 September 2008
An extraordinary thing happened on Sunday when I went to see my Mum. She gave me a cheque from late Dad's estate, it was a few thousand to "go and buy myself something". So after thanking her of course, I came up with this brilliant idea of getting a laptop for all the family to use and get rid of this dusty old boneshaker in our bedroom. The laptop could be used anywhere in the house and no-one would then troop into my bedroom to use the thing!!! I get fedup with it - how can my chamber be a wonderful love palace when Son and his mates are playing Runescape in it?
Anyway Husband was really offended! Why didn't you tell me you hated our computer, he said hurt. You'd have thought I'd confessed to an affair or something! I thought he'd jump at the chance of someone else footing a bill that would benefit him. The daft sod! And he gets to choose it and everything as I know jack-all about computers. He hasn't mentioned it since. Am tempted to go down PC world myself if i wasn't so out of my depth!
Under Mum's instructions I went to the main shopping centre yesterday to treat myself. In the old days I would have bought up loads of short and low cut dresses and any other toot i could lay my hands on. But being older now i showed great restraint. I bought these beautiful purple trousers with 3 tops to go with it. I then bought some shoes which I wasn't wild about but was fed up with looking (was hungry)
But it doesn't give you much happiness does it really. I wasnt that thrilled with anything. Is it because i'm getting older? Or have I outgrown shopping? Can;'t imagine anyone outgrowing that. I can really see why these rich people are so bloody miserable. Why they go on drugs and that. I have never seen a "drug" in my life - I'm sure i would have done if i'd been rich.
One thing i really did enjoy buying was this lovely fabric with cowboys on it from Kath Kidson. Going to make a "successful" cushion this time. I'll have to at £18 a metre!!
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
The river by the Richmond towpath
The local memorial gardens for my weekly "Think"
A small local cafe for coffee with my pal once a week
and yes, blogland
b) Four people who email me regularly:
My friend Medford
Husband when he's querying a credit card receipt
Ebay with my favourite items
(Boring isn't it)
c) Four of My Favourite Places to Eat:
A local tapas place
The pizza restaurant round the corner
Sam Pan Inn (Great Chinese food)
The Green Spice - a great local tandoori
d) Four Places You'd rather be:
Walking in "Spooky Gardens" - a local beauty spot with scary statues
Walking down the South Bank
My Gran's old house full of happy childhood memories
e) Four TV shows I could watch over and over:
Brookside (sadly missed)
f) Four People I think will respond:
Gosh, I hope thats all okay.
Monday, 22 September 2008
What a monday morning! Sometimes these things start quite innocently. Went into a well known bookshop for a birthday present for one of Son's numerous friends and saw a mum there from school. Her daughter is in the other year 5 class. I know her daughter's class teacher who Son had last year. All i did, i swear, is remark that Son took far more interest in literacy with this teacher than before - he used to think literacy was for girls! - and the cow replied that the previous teacher said her daughter was phenominal at maths. My pal and I couldnt' even pronounce that word!
Now was this my fault? Did i provoke this? I remember when we were in reception and this mother told me that her Daughter wanted to go to Tiffin school - a nearby grammar school where thousands of kids fail to get in - and I said No, YOU want her to go to Tiffin school. Do you think she held a grudge?
I know this is wicked but I really hope this kid doesn't get in. I could not bear the smugness on this woman's face. I mean if it was me, I would be smug too. But please don't let her in.
Not trying for any grammer school with Son. These things lead to heartbreak. Found out this with Daughter who took the Tiffin exam. A regular 95 % in her tutor group and she ploughed the actual exam. And its a comfort that you hear about so many clever kids who don't get in there AND get a terrible score. But that didn't stop my heartbreak.
Son can be clever when he tries but I 'm not sure I could bear to "hothouse" him. I look at him when he comes home from school, lying on the sofa eating sweets and reading his Beano and cannot bear to shove those 3 for 2 WH Smith verbal reasoning books under his nose. Didn't have to with Daughter, she kind of hothoused herself. Son loves his mates and football too much. The comprehensive next door to his present school for him!!!!
Oh well, I suppose I could say he's phenominal at football. If I could pronounce it, that is.
Friday, 19 September 2008
Last night I attempted to make a cushion with this beautiful liberty fabric. I actually finished the job and stuffed it and everything - but it was a disaster! It was supposed to be heart shaped, it came out in the form of a pair of old baggy knickers! Although kids and Husband assured me it was nice, I had gone too far into the depths of despair!
I just can't' cut out material properly. Was going to do a pattern cutting course at the London College of Fashion until I found out it was £300!
I also blame it on Brokeback Mountain that I had on on Film 4 whilst making it. I didn't know they actually fulfilled their relationship! I thought it was a repressed thing - the love that dare not speak its name and that! Well, it was shouting it out! Those two cowboys, honestly! They were either snogging or fighting! Felt like banging their heads together! Anyway it was their fault my cushion was rubbish, especially Heath Ledgers'.
And this morning in Hounslow High Street, in WH Smith to be exact, got chatting in the queue to this friendly Asian lady explaining about the Christmas annuals being Buy One Get Half Price - and she sweetly enquired if they were for my grandchildren! Wanted to jump off a building there and then!
Surely its commonplace for older mothers now! I mean when daughter was a baby I had a few people enquire if that was my first child but not an outright accusation of being a Grandma!! Thats it , a trip to the Hairdressers for me! Get those blonde highlights in. Mind you, even when I have them done, people still comment on my grey hair!
A comforting lunch of lasagne is bubbling away in the oven now. And a promise of the Archers at 2 o'clock.
Thursday, 18 September 2008
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Going to have beans and jacket potato for lunch. Need all the energy I can get. Then will trudge to work for 3.15.
Oh yes, and I got the beds made!
Was going for a walk this morning. Thats all really. But did I?? did i hell?? Am I so unfit and so slothful that I can't go for one solitary walk?? No, don't answer that. Don't feel that well today actually. Don't know whether to phone in sick to The Supermarket or not. Don't want to use a "sick day" if I can help it. Want to save that for emergencies , like if one of the kids are ill or something.
Got this beautiful fabric from some posh shop in Kingston some weeks ago. Was going to make some cushions as Christmas presents. Even got the stuffing from John Lewis. And have I done it? (you know the answer to that). My mind is too distracted somehow.
AND there's housework - again! Why? Oh why?
Might listen to the comedy on Radio 4 and see how I feel after that. Better go.
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
Trying to get on this computer in the first place is an ordeal. Like getting an appointment with your GP! First Grumpy Husband is on it, then Daughter, then Son , then the Cat! Well, I'm exaggerating but you know what I mean. And the thing is stuck in my bedroom which seems to be the meeting centre and base of the whole house. My bed constantly has Daughter's homework on it - and Son's Nintendo games - why are those things so small??? Theres such a thing as being TOO compact.
A laptop next time. Husband talks sense at last. But when will that be I wonder. Meanwhile I have to book a "window".
How about this Autumn term then? School clubs and PTA meetings thrown at you from all directions. Its almost aggressive. Football Club is particularly cut-throat with only 20 places available. I rushed down there this morning and put the fiver and the form in Teacher's hand. Son would be unbearable to live with if he didnt' get in his morning football club.
I don't recall any clubs like this when I was at primary school. There were a few societies at secondary but not as much as there are today. The only options you had were Horseriding (that was too posh for us) and Brownies (a waiting list as long as your arm!). There were none of these chess clubs and art clubs and that. I wonder if it really benefits a child that much. I mean football club actually benefits us as a family as Son is easier to live with afterwards. But otherwise do they really get anything out of it? I know my Son's best friend hates doing Drama club but the mother is thrilled he's doing such an arty type subject. But I don't want to disillusion her.
Daughter, like me at 12, refuses to do anything. No tennis, no English club, nothing. She wants to sit and read or do homework. She hardly wants friends round and is reluctant to go to the youth club. Bless her! I used to be happy in my own little world like that.
Anyway its nearly lunchtime and jacket potato is nearly ready and i'm out of cigarettes. And there is a bundle of housework! Why is this? I only work an 11 hour week, why has it piled up like this? Another of life's little mysteries i suppose.
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
This is a blog by a Mum who is looking at 50 very soon. A new era - so they tell me.
I knew my scribblings would never so sophisticated and theatrical as Simon Grays' The Smoking Diaries so I've made a downmarket version.
I live in a tiny house in West London (well, Middlesex really), with my daughter 12 and my son 9, nearly 10. My Husband who will be known as Grumpy and my controlling cat who will simply be known as Cat. This house is either shrinking or we are outgrowing it. Not sure which.
I work in the local supermarket as a part-time cashier - meaning i'm on the checkouts and er- thats it. My world is very small but (I think) entertaining and is filled with so many things.
And yes, I smoke. Don't know whether to be proud or ashamed. As Oliver James said about his nicotine habit - I'm not proud of smoking but I'm not ashamed of it either. What a man eh?
Well, this is it for now. Am feeling a terrible need to describe my life up to now - maybe thats a 50 thing, I don't know. But I also need to whinge about my kids and schools and friends and that. So watch this space.