Sunday, April 05, 2009

Musical sunday

The adrenaline junkie and junior making sweet music

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Easter Bonnet

Sorry I've been away for a while, work really caught up with me. I'll try to share more I promise. Here's an early Easter treat, my four year old testing out her new creation. Thank heavens for glue guns and pompoms.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Turbulent Week

Sorry for ignoring you, but between the demise of my car and the death of my dear friend I haven't much felt like sharing.

Funeral went as well as they can, car replaced, week off over, back at the grindstone.

I've been advertising for a new band, with little success. It seems the colour of my hair is quite important, though how will never quite be clear to me.

'Hello, I saw your advert, heard your music, you sound great, just what we're looking for'
'oh thank you, is there anything else you want to know?'
'Um, yea, do you still have red hair?'
'No, it's blue'
'Oh well, we have a few more people to phone, we'll get back to you...'

It's quite possible they have a fear of blue - takes all sorts.

I also had a supervision today, it appears my boss is so pleased with me that she spent most of the time telling me all sorts of establishment gossip and talked about her own circumstances. My 'supervision' was limited to one sentence - 'you're doing really well, no problems, no complaints'.

I was hoping for a little more feedback, you know, a little ego rubbing, but I guess I should count my lucky stars, certainly after hearing what another member of staff was told. Let's just say no news is very good news.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Huge Sadness

They say bad things come in threes, so I'm totally dreading my third thing.

On Tuesday I managed to send my little car to the great car park in the sky. To say I was a bit gutted would be an understatement. I woke up the following day with a pain in my shoulder, which is just starting to ease.

Friday morning I was looking forward to getting a long weekend with my children and was concentrating hard on my work when my phone vibrated. My phone never rings at work, mostly because people know they'll get ignored. I like to concentrate. I turned it over and looked at the message. Five minutes later I found myself in my boss's office staring into space with tears running down my cheeks. My dear dear friend Suzie had died. Her poor daughter had texted me to let me know. I've known Suzie and her family for 9 or 10 years and for 8 of those years she has bravely battled against a form of cancer which aggressively came out, receded to the point of remission and then came out in an entirely different place. She lost her breast, had cancer of the nasal cavity, bone cancer, cancer of the lining of the brain, a huge benign lump on her vocal chords, and finally lung cancer which was a secondary. She has left her lovely family, young teens and a bewildered husband, and all of her friends and we are the poorer for her passing. I am heartbroken.

Having left my work, which I like to do well and never take time off and sobbed silently on the bus going home. I pulled myself together last night and thought about Suzie and her beliefs. She was a spiritualist and as such has not left us, she has simply got on with the rest of her adventure. She would love the drama of us sobbing but would hate it too because she was so full of love for us all. I sat in the hairdressers today, having my hair dyed blue and purple and imagined her sitting next to me guffawing at me, while rolling her eyes and calling me a 'bloody nutter', as she was known to do. I distinctly heard her say, 'I 'ope you're gettin' ready to sing at me fun'ral rubes' (she called me ruby, for reasons that only she and I know or care about).

She will love it. I'm going to put my thickest eyeliner on, my heaviest boots and my blackest clothes and my bluest hair and sing the song she asked me to perform when we discussed her funeral way some time last year. As I say, she loved a bit of drama.

I'm going to miss this girl so much.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


If I seem a bit frantic, well, it's because I have good reason. I'm bouncing. I've avoided driving for a week because of all the snow and ice. Today, being the first day where the roads are safe, I took my daughter to her karate dojo, popped to the gym with the hard negotiated permission to get fit from my doctor (I still think it's one of the most ridiculous situations I've EVER encountered), and then home for an hour of hardcore gossiping with my old friends, organising a weekend away.

I got back to pick my daughter up at just after 10 and tootled towards home. About 3/4 mile from home, but on a major road I drew up to the traffic lights, but when they turned to green I put my foot on the clutch and it just snapped and fell to the floor. I coasted to the side of the road and weighed up my situation (freezing cold, 14 year old in car with a woman, 10.30pm, main road, hmm, freezing cold, ooh and i needed a pee) and phoned the AA. They said that 'as a priority' they'd be at least an hour. Good job we were coming back from a karate dojo eh and not a couple of wimpy women in a car on their own in the dark, needing a pee.

I spoke with the far more experienced driver that is the Adrenaline Junkie and he suggested that I could go slowly in first gear and get home. I decided to give it a go. Trouble is you've got to start in first (ie lurch forward) and when you have to stop you immediately lurch and stall, before having to lurch forward and start again. I got through the first set of traffic lights like this, crawled up the high street and at the second set struggled to get it to turn over, but gladly it did. 5mph all the way home I got to the house and turned on to my forecourt and took the foot of the accelerator to brake. It gave one almighty lurch and shot forward (no foot on accelerator) rammed into the parked trailer which jumped in the air smashing the front porch sill, scratching the neighbours bumper and...totally writing off my little car!!

I almost laughed and then I remembered - I'm only third party. Now, I know... no one was hurt...but it's not true, my little car is terminal. It's so sad, my first car and I've totalled it after a week of avoiding dangerous driving. I totalled it at less than 10mph. I've done the bumper, the lights, the bonnet and not forgetting that fabulously broken clutch I'm calculating it won't be worth fixing and I can't afford to replace it either. I'm really dread to use the credit card but don't know how to manage the family piano lessons, karate, etc without a car for when the Adrenaline Junkie is at work.

I wrecked my car, did I mention that to you? I crashed it into my house. Poor car. Poor house. Poor me.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Ooh I do love a good gig. We went out last night to see our friend play and both came home feeling really itchy and in need of a project. The Adrenaline Junkie has been playing guitar all day and I've spent most of the day thinking about accordian players. I told him that if I get a promotion he can switch to working part time and get out there. How good am I? I'd love it if someone said that to me but truthfully I don't think I have sufficient aggression to push myself to the front of the creativity queue.

I've finally decided I can no longer fight my European designer addiction. I feel a Rundholz moment coming on, followed swiftly by a Hebbeding moment. Actually, perhaps he better carry on working full time.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ski Tuesday

Well while those fluffy types down south are sitting at home quivering with fear about getting erm, cold, the rest of us have been going to work today. Well, the rest of us apart from all those fluffy types in my own city who also stayed at home. My sprogs used socks that were not quite as fluffy as these people to snuggle up their feet before charging off to make snowmen this afternoon. Meanwhile I didn't look out the office window all day. I arrived at work at 8.45 and the next time I checked it was 5.25. I'd spent the entire day protecting the world from the bad guys one rubber band at at time. I'd used 15 rubber bands and drunk four cups of coffee. If you only knew how exciting my life was you'd develop narcolepsy.

I admit to getting all southern and opting out of driving the car this evening. I didn't take my eldest girl to karate, nor did I get any dog food. Instead I found my local weight loss club on t'internet and then ate a packet of jaffa cakes (well you can never be too careful, if I'd left them lying around I might have been tempted to eat them once my diet started - I was doing myself a favour).

Tomorrow I will be getting my ski hat out again and accessorising my little black dress with a pair of hiking boots, a lime green coat and a pair of over sized pink gloves. It's a good look. I expect a few people will blag an extra day off, particularly as the next day is forecast to snow heavily again. I mean, it'll be Friday after that: not much point in coming in to for one day is there? Ohh don't give me any power whatever you do. I'd be a right Pol Pot.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Snow (noun) White powder used by British workers to avoid actually working.

I donned my walking boots, daft hat and utterly unflattering bad weather jacket and braved the great outdoors. My bus took exactly three minutes longer than normal to get to work and yet 40% of our staff failed to arrive. Even if half or two-thirds of those were parents dealing with school closure there is still a significant number who opened the curtains, grinned and swiftly jumped back into bed for a duvet day. Goddamnit, I wish I'd thought of doing that.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

My Mate Tom

Tom, or Tom Tom as you might know him, is one of my bestest buddies. He has given me a hitherto unknown sense of freedom. Although he never sends me on the route I know he is very good at recognising that I'm a stubborn mule. I imagine that inside that little box he is huffing and puffing and flicking through an atlas for a direction that involves the road I've just flippantly decided to take. I merrily tootle along ignoring him, that is until I realise I'm utterly lost and at this stage he pipes up with 'so...are you ready to listen to me now?' (well he would say that if he could but usually it sounds more like a very very forceful 'turn left in 20 yards'). Bloody knowitall.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Will Swop Dogs for Sherbert DibDabs

Bloody dog. One of my bloody dogs piddled on the living room carpet yesterday. Gad I can't abide it. I do love my mutts but such piddling is enough to make a woman lose it. We sat at the dinner table discussing our weak-bladdered companion. After much waving of hands and shaking of heads the Adrenaline Junkie said to our four year old,

'I know, let's sell him. We can use the money to buy sweeties'
'Ooooh yes, that's a good idea' says Junkie Junior.
'Is it? Shall we sell the other dog as well?'
'Yes, we could buy even more sweets then couldn't we?' (well there's no arguing with that, is there?)
Her fourteen year old sister rolled her eyes and joined in with a disapproving, 'Awww'.
Junkie Junior turned, patted her big sister on the arm and said,
'Don't worry, we won't sell you.'

Well that's all right then.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sorry, You're Too Unfit to Get Healthy

Not one for New Year's Resolutions me. However, I did recognise over Christmas, partially due to the excess of the season, that if I didn't do something about my weight and health, I'd be unlikely to receive my full quota of future turkey dinners.

Two weeks ago I checked my local authority website and discovered I needed to order a Leisure Card before registering with my local council gym. About a week later I get news that my card was ready so I phoned the gym to book an induction only to be told that I had to turn up in person to do that.

Today I popped to the gym, got my card and was handed a form to fill out in order to book an induction. I ticked the boxes for yes where it said do you have back problems and handed it back.

'Oh, you'll have to get this other form signed by your doctor to register with us, it's just to cover you'
(I think he meant 'it's just to cover us')

Despite the fact that two weeks had now passed since I decided to change my lifestyle and knowing that other's may well have given up by this point, I tootled along to the surgery and cheerfully ask if they'd get my doctor to sign the form.

'Our doctors won't sign these forms'
'Our doctors won't sign these forms, they think it's a waste of time'
'But without the form I can't use the gym'
'Sorry, the doctor won't sign the form, I can ask the practice manager...'
'So what you're saying is, if I'm unfit and need a doctor to say it's safe for me to go to the gym I won't be allowed to go to the gym because my doctor won't say I can go, even if it IS safe, because taking the time to say this is a waste of his time?'
'Um, yes'
'So, who exactly can go to the gym then? Just fit people?'

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'd Lyin' if I Said I Didn't Like to Lie In

I used to work at home which is like flexi-time plus. I could get out of bed late, after watching sponge bob with my youngest, play or bake for a bit, get her off to school, clean, etc and then work when she'd gone to bed at night. Excellent for the family, terrible for my social skills. 'Um' became my most used word when talking to adults.

Now I'm working in the city and in a huge organisation and in a huge building, the biggest of its kind in Europe in fact, and I am having my skills tested constantly and on a daily basis. I decided positivity was the only way forward and that, at an age where I do know better, I have decided to keep my gob shut when other people tell me what my opinion should be in the hope that they think I'm actually agreeing with them, while safe in the knowledge that I'm doing no such thing.

I don't mind hoicking my rump into work because I can do my job well, I feel valued and I can make a difference. I dislike waking up at 6.15 intensely and the clients are, um, lacking in social skills. Aw well, you can't have it all. Can you?

You can't have it all. I once said that to a millionaire and he just grinned at me. Yeah yeah, so he had a luxury car, a number of houses, handmade shoes etc, but he didn't have... um. OK. so you can have it all.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Why is it SO HARD...? communicate by telephone?

Today has been full. Awake at 6.15 Asleep by 6.16. Awake (and panicking) by 6.45. Got up to find that the Adrenaline Junkie had yet again failed in his milk and bread duties and for breakfast four of us we were to fight over four crumpets and half a pint of milk. Guess who got the tinned prunes? Thanks Junkie! Grumpy but with no time to waste I threw kisses at the anklebiters and almost made it to the door when the au pair realised she didn't remember where the paracetamol was. Hmm, breathe deeply, be pleasant. 'ohh they're here in the cupboard' (translates internally to 'I'm FRICKIN' LATE DIDN'T I FRICKIN TELL YOU ALREADY?'). I managed to get on the bus in time to sample 15 different colognes and perfumes and some other stuff we won't talk about when Grandma is present.

Work was ok. Work over. I've found a bus stop that allows me a seat on the bus before the hoards of exhausted people and that irritating cow with the phone get on and heeeeerrreeee we go

Got home to find the fabulous casserole I'd lovingly prepared last night (instead of eating biscuits) had been put in the oven 30 minutes late and I was hungry enough to eat a scabby horse. Grumble about food, eat food, kiss kids.

Phone call from Adrenaline Junkie to say that 'we' have to do a very important letter for someone. The 'we' means that he harasses me when I'm knackered and I do it. Feel grumpy. Dash out to Doctors to find out why my head keeps feeling like it's going to burst. My bet is my blood pressure. He bet 'stress' Of course.
'Mrs Mrs is your job stressful?'
'Do you have a lot of responsibility at home or at work'
'I think you're suffering from stress'

Oh really? Well done. I just TOLD YOU I HAVE STRESS, NOW WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY BLOOD PRESSURE MORON. Like I say, stress. Anyway my blood pressure is not super high but much higher than normal and I feel ok tonight, not like my head's going to explode. So that's me buying a blood pressure monitor so I can obsess for a month or two.

Oh I forgot to say. I had a headache since 12pm. Now how is that right? I never moan about headaches at work. I try never to moan at work full stop. I hate moaning at work. My answer to moaning people at work is to buy cakes and make coffee. I can't help it, I'm a mum.

Straight from the quack and the Adrenaline Junkie is back on the phone. 'How did you get on?...oh good, well you have a quick relax eh and we'll do that letter'. OH MY GOOD GRIEF if he was not at the other end of the phone I do believe I may have kicked him very very very hard.

So it's now 7.35pm and I haven't stopped, haven't relaxed but that's ok cos I have a printout from my doctor about stress. It lists lots of symptoms of stress. I note that the symptom I went to the Doctor with is not amongst the list of symptoms. I get ANOTHER call from the Adrenaline Junkie who is obviously high on his own anxiety and unable to contain himself. I put the phone down on him and sit quietly. This lasts about five minutes before my innate guilt kicks in and I open the letter and start typing. 10.25 pm and I finish, have a sob and have a very grumpy phone call with the Adrenaline Junkie who is now relaxed because I've done the letter. Relaxed? I'm glad someone is.

Ohh I'm so glad I've shared. Did you have a nice day?

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Sometimes I don't want to be mum.

Tonight I want to stay up late, be irresponsible, not set the breakfast table or make the packed lunches. I don't want to put the dogs out or polish the shoes. I want to eat chocolate biscuits and watch a rubbishy movie. Unfortunately, regardless of what I do or don't do I still have to get up at 6.15am sort the kids out and get my chunky ass out of the house in time to pay for the privilege of sniffing someone's sweaty armpit whilst listing to their delightful tinny version of 'ooh lapa looma blanca' on the bus of doom. I occasionally take revenge by carrying my mug of coffee to work and dripping its contents surreptitiously onto the offender's shoes. It's my little bit of yang.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I started this blog a long time ago. It's true I tell you, despite the lack of entries that you see here. I am one of those irritating people who start a blog, get readers and then, for some inexplicable reason, fade away. Actually I just got busy. The blog ran about 5 years ago and then I got myself up the duff and found that running a house with four kids in it was a bit like hard work. Odd that.

For this terrible desertion I would apologise. I would, however I'm sure no one will remember me. So here I am 5ish years later deleted and rebooted.

Somewhere in all of this other people thought that being caffeine driven was the way to go too. I mean, apart from me and thousands of tech-heads worldwide. There are at least a couple of other caffeine drivens around. I might go for a spin and read them. Perhaps you should too. They aren't me though, I know this because they've been writing and I haven't.

Old Lady Car

I passed my driving test last year. Well done me. It only took 23 years and 2 passed written tests, 6 failed practical test and hundreds of hours of lessons. Immediately following my test I was too afraid to drive. After getting over that I was too afraid to drive in places I'd never been before. Now this is great if you live in a place you know but if, like me, you move to the city from the countryside and have road knowledge of about 2 square miles then you're a bit screwed for jolly sunday drives. Now I've mostly gotten over that I'm terrified of motorways, and quite right too - you're all maniacs. The idea of sitting in a little metal box hurtling along the tarmac at 70 miles an hour while everyone else tries to pass me so they can go 80 miles an hour fills me with a dread on par to standing on a cliff edge. I don't do that much either.

Tomorrow I'm travelling back to my home in the country and I've decided to drive. My husband, who from now on shall be known as the Adrenaline Junkie thinks it's very quaint that I'm going to drive my little old Cinquecento and totally avoid the motorway for 90 miles, when I could get into his comfortable modern car with electric seats and leather upholstery and speed along the motorway.

'Just like the olden days, ' says he, chuckling.
'Just like the olden days?'
The Adrenaline Junkie looks at me like I'm a barmy old aunt.
'Yes, you know, the olden days, when you could buy a round of drinks for a fiver.'
'Oh, THOSE olden days, the olden days where men never did the washing up because they were men?'

The Adrenaline Junkie (also known as He Who Avoids Washing Up at All Costs) shuffled out of the room without responding. In my dream where I win the Lottery, the Adrenaline Junkie always washes up, even when it's not his turn. I like this dream. I like it so much I haven't even thought about how much money I want to win.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Have a Dream

I have a dream that I win the lottery (don't we all?) and when I do I buy half a dozen extremely efficient earphones for IPods. I get on the bus in the morning and give them to those generous folks who join me on my daily commute to the city and think that I, and every other person on the bus, want to listen to a tinny version of 'I am the One and Only' by that fabulous chanteur, Chesney Hawkes, or 'Bat out of Hell' by Meatloaf. In fact, we don't, we just want to read The Metro or gaze out of the window with dribble running silently down our chins (that's on the rare occasion that the bus window is clean enough to see out of - often I only know where I am when the bus driver says 'Are you getting off or WHAT?'). In this dream I say to these generous folks, 'Here, have some decent earphones, knock yourself out.' Trouble is, the dream always ends up in one of two ways: either I get carted off to the funny farm for talking to strangers in the city or I get planted on my dribble-covered chin by the meatloaf fan.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Are You Dead Yet?

My mother visited recently. She wears a charming necklace which has dazzled grandchildren for the last 20 years and our youngest is just the latest to be beguiled by its beauty. While having a cuddle on the sofa my daughter looked at my mother carefully and then said,

'Nanny...are you going to die soon?'
'No sweetie, what makes you ask that?'
'Your elbows are wrinkly'
'Oh I think I'll live for a lot longer yet, despite my elbows'
'Oh' (looks disappointed)
'What's the matter?'
'Nanny...when you die, can I have your necklace?'
'Um, yes'

Later, when my daughter was swinging her legs absent-mindedly, I said,

'Did you ask Nanny for her necklace?'
'Do you think that was very polite?'
'I didn't ask for it now, only when she's dead' (rolls her eyes at my stupidity).

Well that's ok then.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Soul Food

As I sat on my office chair today I realised that I'd sold half my soul to the devil that is known as 'Pension'; I'd sold the other half to the arch-fiend known as 'The Bank'; the proceeds had bought a very large cake; I'd eaten the cake and the chair I was sitting on suddenly felt too small.

This is not a good list. This is a list of consequence. I'm forty, fat and have a purse full of fluff. My handbag fairs little better than my purse it has to be said. In there is a half eaten sausage, a feeding bottle for a doll, a security pass and bits of paper with mobiles numbers on but no names. Oh and caffeine tables, obviously.

I bet you're sitting there thinking 'wow, she's a dynamo'. You're not wrong. Last night I stayed up till ten THIRTY.