Monday, 30 March 2009

Boychild and the frazzled mother

I was really excited about boychild coming home, yay for boychild etc, etc. That was 48 hours ago.
Reality has kicked in.
(Please remember while reading this post that I was a perfect teenager/student and caused my parents no grief whatsoever)
OK, first up - seven loads of washing
By Sunday evening 7 pint glasses had disappeared into his room but not returned (this did not stop complaints that there were no clean, large glasses - it did result in me having a dead leg, but
that is just too complicated to explain other than it wasn't his fault)
Monday morning - I had a long conversation with boychild about the importance of him attending his dental appointment at "2pm, yes, that is two-o-clock, yes, this afternoon, today.... " It wasn't a complete surprise to me when I got a phone call this afternoon, at ten past two, asking me what time his appointment was. When I remonstrated with him I was told that when I spoke to him this morning he was actually asleep ?? WTF ?
There is no blood on the carpet but I am counting
the days............

So, how wet can you get ?

Finally the weather was warm enough to bath the dog. After an increasingly frowsy winter it was time to degrub the beast. It is not fun. No fun at all. Well not for those of us with opposable thumbs anyway.

This is the penalty you have to pay for having a dog too big to fit in the bath, and even if he did, too big to be allowed upstairs whilst wet.

First you fill an old tin bath with hot water

Then you find towels you don't care about

Then you argue with each other about whose turn it is to wash the nether regions

Then you find the dog

Then you convince the dog he wants a bath

Then you convince the dog he wants to come outside with you. (This is one of the times opposable thumbs begin to show a purpose)

Dog, outside, suitably haltered, glares and moans.

(This is when I remember I should have changed into jeans and found my wellies)

Throw a lot of water about in a fairly random way (Hope some gets the dog)

Get soapy

Get dog soapy (trying to accept the fact you got the D's B's)


Rinse more

Rinse ad nauseum

Then you run - a long way, a long, long way before the dog shakes himself, and if sensible you run into the house closing the door behind you, before the dog decides to come and sit on your lap and tell you all about it.

Personally I would prefer the tin bath to look like this

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Just call me Jessica......

I need this dress, if I am very good I might let myself buy it - the trouble is, I suspect when wearing it I will be tempted to be very bad. (Or, if alcohol is involved, wear bunny ears )

The bliss of an empty mind

My usual Wednesday includes meeting lots of my friends for "catch up" and can even involve two lunches, and certainly far too much coffee, by the end of the day I am often as bug eyed and twitchy as a meerkat.

Today I had deliberately kept my diary empty. The decision was made, a lie-in was in order, lolling in my pit with Kate Atkinson (not actually K.A. I hasten to add, before I get involved in litigation, just her latest paperback) A blissful shower during which no one turned on any taps or flushed loos so I escaped the "invigorating" temperature change . I did give the kitchen a cursory tidy, enough to feel lightly virtuous, and then to Sainsburys where I hardly forgot anything, certainly not enough to warrant a second trip ! The joys, the joys.

This afternoon I lazed on the sofa watching 2 rom-coms back to back and Mistresses. I read and caught up with bloggery. Sadly there were not bronzed youths fanning me with ostrich feathers and feeding me with Turkish Delight, but even so it has been a pretty fine day.

I love my friends dearly but sometimes it is so wonderful to be silent and unsociable.......... next week back to harum scarum.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

They're very quiet up there.......

"An 18-year-old has secretly painted a 60ft drawing of a phallus on the roof of his parents' £1million mansion in Berkshire. It was there for a year before his parents found out. They say he'll have to scrub it off when he gets back from travelling."
(they never had stories like this on Newsround when I was a gel)

And let that be a warning to you. Never let your children on the roof !

Monday, 23 March 2009

Libby's back

go on then - that'll sort the sheep from the goats !

Be warned though, admitting you know what this is about may be considered a matter of deep shame, hinting at a need for cultural rehabilitation.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Simple Pleasures

Painted toenails, hot chocolate and rubbish, yet entertaining, Sunday evening television. The cerebral and celibate character of Hathaway (Laurence Fox) is strangely attractive.

Shame it's Monday tomorrow.

Mothers Day and hubris

So, there I was, thinking I wasn't doing too badly as a Mum now - hasten to add I was all time appalling champion of bad motherdom when mine were young, but now - communication takes place, I am allowed out with older offspring and his friends (very occasionally) and even girlchild says thank you sometimes and the disdainful lipcurl is seen less often.
But today, humph... I was given an orchid (to replace the one eaten by her cats), but with no more than a "here, oh, btw, can I have the car later, I'm not going to be in this afternoon now" and no card.................. at all...................... from a creature doing graphics !
Boychild did ring, (not quite spontaneously, as I had marked today on his calendar, when I visited him last week, with a thick black marker pen. I am not known for subtlety). He did then admit that he would appreciate further funding having bought himself sandals (he is disinherited) and some Tommy Hilfigger swimming trunks (he is no longer my son). Mothers Day is full of surprises isn't it ?!

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Spring "not" cleaning

Having made the worrying discovery there are 211 books under my bed, and others have escaped and are re-colonising the staircase only months after a major purge, I felt it was time to do some tidying. This may, or may not, include rehoming the De-icer I found under my bed, (hate to think what Freudian overtones that may have). Socks have been paired, nasty, nasty tangles of hair caught and released back into the wild and shoes lovingly replaced back in their boxes. Please note that nothing of any housewifely worth has been done. I can see out of the windows so they obviously don't need cleaning, there are no horizontal surfaces for dust to collect anyway and I shoved all of the "don't know where to put this" items into the ever useful ottoman.

I did however take a hard stare at the shelf behind my bed - my take on a bedside table - and felt it deserved the itemisation normally given to handbag contents........ go on, make me feel better about my slovenly habits - please.

There is a radio, books I am currently reading and sufficient medications to stock a hypochondriacs pharmacy. There are also my hoard of little books, ones that say its ok to be curved, how to be chic, how to shop, all the useful stuff , bits of jewellery including amazing sparkly stars from the V&A, nail files, ointments, unguents and potions all promising me the world if not eternal life, yummy Paul Smith perfume, yes, you can see a box of Opium talcum powder, how retro is that ?, assorted vials of perfume from The Perfumed Court and my sons ticket from last years Leeds Fest. Sadly, you can also see the coffee splashed up the wall courtesy one of my daughters cats who had decided it, too, needed coffee. When I get breakfast in bed, it is to share ! No, the dog does not sleep on my bed, he doesn't even know about upstairs, and you are not to tell him !

Progress has been made in the garden though; I've been out into it ! It is still there ! I came back in as sunshine in Yorkshire is something of an illusion, it does mean light, it does not necessarily mean warmth, but maybe next week .

And just to prove that sometimes I do tidy up - the dining room, the only book free zone in the house is now cleared. Some weeks ago I listed the items on the table, the rummel that had relegated us to eating off our knees. It has gone, yeehaw, but we are still not going to be eating like civilised human beings as I have plans.... I have scarlet/shot black silk and I feel the need to make a Vivienne Westwood style slightly bustley, certainly rustly skirt, updates will follow but I fear that it will all end up under the spare bed, home to all the other unfinished projects. (And yes, they are Christmas decorations on the light - ready for next year !)

Friday, 13 March 2009

Tagged by Cassandra.........

aka Jacob Wrestling, previously living under the name of Sanders (come on - keep up !) to give five reasons why my life is grand and I am happy with my lot.

Initially I was concerned that I would find it quite hard to think of 5 things but then I realised I would be a singularly crabby and ungrateful individual if that were the case (and that truth must never be made public !) So...

1. There is a man who loves me for who I am, and has forgiven me many, many things

2. My children, who, contrary to all my best efforts, have turned into lovely people

3. Books, each one is a new adventure waiting to be started.

4. My friends, past and present, real and through the ether, who have all given me a different take on life, made me laugh, supported me and generally made my world a better place.

5. Sunshine through a window, a breeze billowing the curtains and a bed made up with white cotton bedding - and outside the window ? Italy.

Now, I do know that I am meant to tag others, so they too can go "me! me!me!" but all those I would catch are already divulging there innermostness, so, sorry, the road stops here.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Mounting Excitement.......

It's the Cheltenham Gold Cup tomorrow

I am very excited.

Horses, speed, mud, fences, uncertainty and men with very firm thighs.

What's not to like ?

Who watches the Watchmen - that'd be me....

Well, what tales to tell ? It has been a good week, the temptation to kill people has been at Defcon 4, which for me is very acceptable, (probably very acceptable to the NHS as well ), a sash window has been removed, reglazed, repaired and replaced all in the space of a single afternoon, albeit the afternoon with horizontal sleet, an day was spent at "Spooons" hanging with my boys (sorry) and a trip to London looks as if it is going to happen.

For those who haven't already lost the will to live, details as follows.

Dogs/windows and windowcleaners make a lively combination. Digger decided that naughty, rude windowcleaners should not, under any circumstances, be allowed to even look at his windows. Nobody told the windowcleaners this, so dog went through the window to tell them himself. Silent one decided he knew how to mend this destruction, and he did. Unfortunately it is a long, painstaking job, more unfortunately it had to be done when the weather was testing its full Northern repertoire, from damp to f**in' freezin'. This time even lying on the sofa under the newspapers wasn't enough to save me from the chill. I took to my bed.

On Wednesday I went to visit boychild at Uni, and gathered a tribe to go for beer and a burger at Wetherspoons. (yum). Some of his fellow students I knew from school, others are more recently acquired friends, and had apparently requested the opportunity to meet me. Whether this is because I sound utterly fascinating or because they want to meet the woman who made boychild the man he is (saving for therapy as we speak) I don't know, it may even have been the offer of food and beer - "surely not?!" I hear you cry - It would appear that I have agreed to accompany one young lady, who is reading languages, on a train journey across Spain to catch the ferry to Morocco where we will lie on flat roofs, draped in white linen, smoking sheesha pipes and channelling our inner Talitha Getty (Don't worry, I will explain who she was to the young !).

Oh, Oh ! went to see "Watchmen". Loved it, numb bum at 3 hours, but still very good, my only criticism would be the marriage between reproducing the graphic novel, and the morality tale with huge special effects was a little clunky. It has also enabled me to find my new fantasy me, Silhouette, a superhero from the 1940's, gorgeous costume and cheekbones to die for. Actually the only picture I could find makes her look like the bastard lovechild of Adam Ant and Michael Jackson.

but see, we could be sisters ?

Cassandra has tagged me for a Me!Me!, so shortly you will be treated to a list of why I am happy with my lot. Hope I don't have to think too hard, but the Empress is tired, she must leave you now ...........

Until tomorrow

Friday, 6 March 2009


Am I .............

Auditioning to be a carabinieri ?

Indicating I need a further 5 euro ?

Stating the closing time of the Duomo ? - well even God has to get home sometime

Requesting, oh so politely, that a photograph is not taken of me ? (just in case I look sulky)
As you can see, the paparazzi got me on a bad day !

Technology is against me

It may be hard to believe, bearing in mind my propensity to "run on", but there were paragraph breaks in my last post - I just can't get them to stay there. I am quite sure the quantity of wine I have ingested has nothing to do with it.

Real life is a bugger.....

So, long time since last post, but life has been rather fine. Florence was amazing, art, food, wine, shoes, bags, Italian men - oh come on ......... cheesy yes, but so good for the ego. I didn't disgrace myself by sobbing in the Uffizi (caused something of a stir by blubbing in the Prado in front of a Durer some years ago) although there was a slight footstamp as a Uccello was "in restaurio" and the view from my room window ? Now I'm not Helena/Lucy but I reckon this is ok ? Yup, the bestest baggery in the world !
I was also rather pleased with how my Italian seemed to be going, even if I wasn't sure about how to say things (bastard daughter of Miles Kington for those of you who remember Franglais) I understood most of the conversations I had, or rather, were had with me. A small triumph for a woman with few linguistic skills, and fascinating how helpful 1 year of Latin in 1970 could be !
The shopping was kept firmly in check - sadly, but of necessity. Alessandra in Furla worked very hard, by reminding me that altho I already had a cream bag, the one I was lusting after but denying myself, was "chalk", therefore not cream, and so a totally acceptable expenditure in a well ordered wardrobe. Ladies, or metrosexuals, I demand a round of applause.
What else ? Well, on my first evening, on my way to supper I saw a beautiful hat...... mentally noted but then ....never found again. Am I the person who doesn't have the magical adventure ? was it waiting for someone else ? The shop disappeared ! I trailed around every jitty, alley, ginnel, cut, lane, calle, via (suspect we have enough now - ed) and never found it. I began to feel as if I was auditioning for "The Ship that Flew" or an E.Nesbit story.
Now, back in real life, catching up with friends and blogs, plotting my next escape and repairing the disasters wrought in my absence, which include......... kittens crapping in the laundry basket, daughter cutting her own hair and signing up for a major tattoo ( should I be cool and hope the fact she is needle phobic will change her mind or just rant like any sensible mother ? ) and the dog flinging himself through the window at the naughty, dangerous windowcleaners.
Life's a bugger isn't it ? - but remember, it is usually better than the alternative

A special for Jaywalker

Florence is packed with various tortoises, turtles and similar testudines doing useful things, so when I should have been thinking of bags or stroking shoes I found myself in an outpost of Belgium - who'd have thought ?