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Showing posts from September, 2016

There goes a tenner...

So I had rather an interesting day yesterday.  It started quite normally, but ended with me in my pyjamas being filmed in my bedroom by two lovely ladies.  Now before you start thinking that I am giving Binland the heave-ho having branched out into adult entertainment, let me reassure you that this was part two of the filming for the programme I'm contributing to on the menopause.  I can't give away any clues as to what we were doing (that lovely lady from the television will kill me otherwise) but needless to say it was interesting, funny and educational.

The husband found me in this state of undress, and was slightly bewildered.  There was no dinner, the dogs were un-walked and un-fed and I was ready for bed at 7.12pm.  He didn't hang around long.  Perhaps he was afraid that they'd get him to roam around the house in his night attire at an unacceptable time of the day. So instead of making dinner and walking the dogs, he grabbed his Lycra (hidden by me at the back of…

Milk and alcohol...

I haven't yet received a reply to my carefully worded letter to the over zealous traffic warden.  I picture him sitting at his desk surrounded by begging letters, tapping each one to the tune of Eeenie Meenie Minie Mo with his chewed biro, before deciding which one will be let off.  I'm not holding out much hope to be honest with you.

Son number two finally surfaced yesterday, calling me just as I was thinking of texting him the words all mums send to their kids every now and again....'Are you still alive?'  Well it turns out he's having a wonderful time (drinking), has met some great people (while drinking) and is loving his housemates (who all go drinking with him).  He's loving the 30 minute walk to his university as it gives him time to sober up.  Well that's encouraging I suppose, at least he's stopping drinking long enough to learn some new stuff. 

He's coming home this weekend for The Siblings' Big Night Out.  I think he's looking at…

Lovely Rita...

Well I've had better days.....

Yesterday limped into action with me locking myself out of the house.  Eager to get to work early, I had grabbed my keys (or something which looked remarkably like them) and slammed the front door after me.  As the door shut with a very reassuring click, I glanced down at the keys in my hand.  They weren't mine, but one of the kids.  No problem, I thought, they'll have a door key on there somewhere.  Trawling through the various keys, and trying every one to see if it fitted Cinderella style, there were none which fitted my door. 

I then headed round the back to see if any of those doors were open.  Now on a normal day, at least one would be open, as the husband is very lackadaisical about security (this is because he is from the North).  Many a night has been spent with the garage doors wide open, and to date nothing has been pinched.  I put this down to the burglar's fear of the piles of valuable things (crap) which the husband and var…

Boys and girls come out to play...

Son number two has been gone for 48 hours now.  I still haven't plucked up the courage to go in his room, and as time goes on, I am only putting off the inevitable.  I am not talking about the emotional upset of going in there.  Please don't picture me face down on his bed, inhaling the smell of him while my tears soak his pillow. No, it's more the level of mould on the old mugs of tea which are bound to be residing on his windowsill.  A quick headcount of the mugs has revealed that I am two short.  Perhaps tomorrow....

He has only phoned me once so far.  This was to ask for money and happened about four hours after we left him.  I've heard nothing since.  I know he's still alive, as I can see when he has been on facebook last.  I remember doing this with daughter number one when she first went off to the fleshpots of Crew some years ago.  Why is it that we think that something is going to happen to our children as soon as they are out of earshot?  Thankfully, I ha…

The good, the bad and the ugly...

Waking up in a very quiet house yesterday was slightly unnerving.  The dogs were still asleep, and daughter number one hadn't come home after a Big Night Out.  And of course, there was no TV babble coming from the bedroom of son number two.

Having now come to terms with the fact that my ironing pile will be drastically smaller than it has been in previous weeks, I realised that there are some negatives with not having a teenager in the house.

1.  I'll have to call him if I need to watch something on Netflix.

2. No one here knows what that lead connected to the television is for.  It's just hanging out the back and mocking me, with its 'Come on, take a guess' attitude.

3. I have no excuse whatsoever to buy Rolo puddings - I always blamed the speed they disappeared on son number two, so they will remain off my shopping list for the time being.

4. The husband hasn't got anyone to ask the dreaded question which he often asks when sitting in front of his PC.  'I…

Goodbye kiss...

Son number two has done an Elvis and left the building.  The husband and I had decided to get to his seaside hovel some time before he did yesterday morning.  There were a couple of reasons for this.  Firstly I was desperate to do mum stuff, like deciding what went where, making the bed and hanging the curtains (you'll be pleased to know that an appropriate pair were finally located - more of these later).  Son number two had told me that he didn't want me doing any of this.  Sod that...I'm a mum.  It's in my job description, sandwiched in between washing socks and driving lessons.  So getting there early, I got the chance to do all of the above and more. 

Secondly, getting there early meant that when the other parents started tipping up around lunchtime, we were almost finished, and could make a relatively quiet getaway.

But enough of that, let's get back to the curtains.  These were delivered on Friday, staying in the packaging until the great unveiling on the &…

Gap...

Over the course of Friday, I noticed that gaps were beginning to appear around my house.  First thing to go was the large television which was in daughter number two's bedroom/dogs' bedroom/daughter number one's bedroom.  In its place was something so small that daughter number one will be wanting a telescope for Christmas.  Either that or she can borrow the husband's new wonder-glasses for evening viewing.

Next to go were my towels.  I had suggested that son number two take three towels of different colours so that he could work out a rota of which one needed to be in the wash at any particular time.  But he is obviously far more discerning that I give him credit for.  He insisted on having three towels which were all the same colour.  Now I can see exactly where this is leading.  No towel will be washed for three weeks.  When they start standing up by themselves, he will put all three into the washing machine, forget about them for a few days and then put them throug…

My boy...

So it was son number two's birthday yesterday.  It was quite odd, as coupled with the expected celebrations, there was an all pervading feeling of excitement (him) and sadness (me of course).  It's odd feeling sad around his birthday, but with Saturday looming, I feel time is running out.  I am asking myself whether I have prepared him for this new chapter in his life.  Does he know how to use the washing machine, has he bought pens, where will his socks go?  He said to me last night that although he expected me to worry about these things, I shouldn't, as to him, they are not important.  Quite right really, but I still don't like the idea of his socks littering the carpet and him shrinking his best jumper on a boil wash.

So he was up at 6.00am, not wanting to miss seeing the husband before he left for work.  Well, that's what he said.  Naturally, as with all teenagers (even those up the higher end of the spectrum) I actually think he was more interested in opening…

Yes, I'm changing...

Yesterday was not a good day.  I seem to be at that stage in my life when I don't really know whether I am coming or going.  You may think that this is because of son number two's pending departure, but you'd be wrong, as I seem to have that covered.  He still hasn't got any bloody curtains, but hey ho, the mornings are dark and as he'll be running his life on the student clock, by the time he gets up in the morning, the lady in the house opposite will have done a morning's work, so won't be there to be shocked at the sight of him in semi-undress.  She looks like she's been there some years actually, so I expect she has seen just about everything that could possibly go on in the den of iniquity over the road.

So back to my bad day.  You'll know from previous ramblings that the jolly old menopause has been riding shotgun with me over the last few months.  I realised yesterday as I was staggering around Reading looking for birthday presents for son nu…

Don't want to leave you...

I took son number two out for lunch yesterday.  This was for several reasons.  The first was that I was starving, having been dieting for over 25 hours (that's a record, in case you're wondering).  Secondly, it's his birthday on Thursday.  Thirdly, I wanted some time with him which didn't involve anything university based.  And lastly, but most importantly, the shop next door to the restaurant I suggested sold curtains.  So I thought I would ply him with risotto and chocolate fudge cake, and then steer him towards the curtains.

Well the lunch was lovely.  There was even some gratuitous flirting on the manager's part which son number two found excruciating.  I did too, but smiled through it as befitting a grateful old bag with a Space Hopper overhang (muffin-top days are just a distant memory).  So suitably stuffed (with excellent seafood risotto before you start thinking that I was swayed by the flirting) I steered him into the curtain shop.  It was a quick visit I…

It's so easy...

So it was back to work yesterday - four hours amidst the bins of South Oxfordshire.  A place where strangely, I feel very much at home.  It was lovely to see my friends again, and to see that my mug had been hidden in my drawer by the boys I work with, so that it wouldn't go astray while I was in Devon.  They know what's important in the sales office of Binland. 

It was a fairly stressful day yesterday what with son number two getting ready to leave the building on Saturday.  The two of us headed off in the rain yesterday afternoon to buy all the things we hadn't thought of before the last big shop of stuff.  He offered to drive, as he knows I am a soft touch at the petrol pump and by the time we had been away from my front door for two hours, I was around £150 lighter in pocket. 

Boys are strange creatures.  When daughter number two headed off to university, it was all fairy lights, scatter cushions and matching throws.  There were pretty towels and bath mats, flowery s…

Movin' on...

So after Saturday's 'Spot The Cock-Up' on the flat-pack furniture assembly, it was a quieter day for us yesterday.  Well I say quieter, but that was shattered when Mrs S (she of the new home) turned up just as we were finishing a particularly good roast dinner, courtesy of moi.  I know it was good as there was silence around the table - always a good sign.

So back to Mrs S.  She has a delightful habit of handing over a bag of goodies to mini adults heading off to university for the first time.  Let me take you through what was in the bag...

A fancy dress banana suit - Son number two was made to try this on immediately.  I mean, no one wants to see a too tight banana now do they?
Pro-Plus - For those mornings which seem to morph into the night before
Red Bull - See Pro-Plus
Two emergency packet meals - For when the money runs out a week before payday
A Hawaiian fancy dress - Always useful when you have nothing clean to wear
A sewing kit, with different coloured threads conv…

Right, said Fred...

It was a big day for us yesterday.  It was part one of the house move for son number two, the last of our offspring to head off to university.  He is going to Brighton to study strange looking people who wear too many patterned clothes at once, along with some tree huggers and lefty liberals if the locals are anything to go by.

He had pre-warned the husband and me about the state of his new home.  To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised.  The house has six bedrooms, two bathrooms and a kitchen...so far so good.  However, the floor planning came to a grinding halt when it came to the lounge.  The three seated sofa (I would imagine a seating rota will be introduced for the six of them) simply sits in a larger than usual passage, sharing the floor with a rather dilapidated Henry Hoover.  I would imagine that Henry has been living in the house for many years, and could tell tales of unspeakable things he has seen.

So the reason the husband and I had gone down, was to put together various…

Lucy in the sky with diamonds..

So waking up yesterday after the biblical storm on Thursday night, it was time to pluck up courage to do a rather unpleasant job.  I am rather good at steering clear of the task in question, preferring to do anything else to avoid it.  So between doing the dreaded task, I managed to walk the two dogs, do a Tesco shop, and clean son number one's bedroom.  That was an education, I can tell you.  I then managed to wash and iron all of our holiday clothes in record time. 

So with nothing left to do, I had no excuse not to do the dreaded job, however hard I tried.

Dragging my feet, I headed up to the bathroom, where the most hated apparatus resided.  The scales.  It was time to face the music after a week of cider, fish and chips, cream teas and cornets.

Stripping down as far as I dare, I exhaled fully, whilst sucking in my stomach (has to help, doesn't it?) Earrings were removed, along with my watch and a hair scrunchy.  Stepping very gingerly onto the scales, I braced myself for…

Good times, cheap wine...

The last night of our week away in the shed went off with a bang. The dogs had given up all hope of ever being able to walk again, so the husband had to cycle to the pub with the dogs being towed behind in their dog wagon.  And that is where they stayed for the next two hours.  The shout came up for a bottle of wine, rather than the customary couple of glasses for me and the mother, and this is where it went slightly wrong for me. 

The bottle ordered  was 14% apparently. Now this means absolutely nothing to me.  It's a bit like tog values for duvets - I have no idea if a 10.5 if for summer or winter.  Perhaps if I knew how high the tog could go, I would then be able to work it out for myself.  So 14%?  Is this low, or so high it would render you comatose within ten minutes?  Well, from my point of view, it would appear to be the latter.  Halfway through the main course (delicious, thank you Masons Arms) the effects of the 14% started working through my body, starting at my feet a…

The tide is high...

Yesterday saw the holiday in the shed draw to its obvious conclusion.  As befitting a last day, we trolleyed up to the Sea Shanty at the end of the cobbled road and ordered breakfast.  Full English for the husband again (he'll be sorry when he puts those work trousers back on).  Here's how the conversation went:

Me: A Full English breakfast please, a bacon, sausage and egg bap and three toasted teacakes.
SS: We've got no eggs so we're only doing baps.
Me: OK.  One bacon and sausage bap, three toasted teacakes and a Full English without the eggs
SS: As I said, we're only doing baps, so can't do the Full English
Me: (Jokingly) Can't you get some eggs from the shop next door?
SS: They've got no eggs either.  That's why we we're only doing baps.
Me: (Now realising that the Sea Shanty have a non-humour clause when employing staff)
OK.  I'll have two sausage and bacon baps and three toasted teacakes.
SS: Fine.

All of this and three hot drinks amo…

Lightning bolt...

A new café opened up yesterday which was just a few steps away from our shed.  There was a generous full English breakfast for the husband and a crammed bacon sandwich for me.  The added bonus was that it was all free.  How can this be, I hear you ask.  Well, it was Open House at the mother's shed this morning, and she offered us breakfast.

This was a welcome break from the 'Eat as Much as You Like' breakfasts which we have been eating.  I always have to remind the husband that this isn't a challenge and that there are no prizes for the most sausages eaten in one session.  But the mother's breakfast was perfect, and we followed this with thirty minutes of Homes under the Hammer.  This was a new one on me, but I went with it.  I mean, you don't want to appear rude in someone else's shed, do you?  By the look of this programme, there are thousands of people buying old wrecks of houses and spending a fortune doing them up.  A smarmy old estate agent then come…

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside...

Now that the mother and Step Daddy Dick (SDD) are in the shed down the road, all heavy exercise has been suspended for the time being. I could almost weep with relief...

We headed out to Sidmouth yesterday, home of the pastel cardigan and small dog in matching jacket to owners.  You can almost smell the formaldehyde as you coast down the hill into Sidmouth.  It's a pretty town, but the shops are purely for those of advanced years with limited vision, hearing and mobility.  Actually, thinking about this, between the four of us we have every base covered, with the mother and SDD being slightly hard of hearing, the husband with his varifocals and me with my legs.  These seem to have lost the ability to bend overnight, and every time we sat down for some kind of food, it was taking me longer and longer to get them moving in some kind of co-ordinated rhythm. 

Food seemed to have been the overwhelming topic yesterday.  A full English was the first post of call, followed  by visits to t…

Over the hills and far away...

It was decided that we would walk to Beer this morning.  Note I say 'to' and not 'for' in case you think I am turning into some cider fuelled lush.  This walk entailed half a mile of sheer hell.  Imagine hills steep enough that the grass grows horizontally and where there is not a sheep brave enough to graze...well that's the first bit.  And then, just as you take your ease on the bench dedicated to PLOB (Ancient Devonish for F**k me, that was steep') you look behind you to see ninety steps, carved into the hillside.  At this point, I should mention that I had already taken my asthma inhaler four times, drunk half a bottle of water and possibly wept a little. The steps are apparently used in some testosterone competition, which are very popular with men of a certain age just now.  I wasn't to be beaten though, and forced my legs to do their job and get me to the top.

Once there, it was downhill all the way.  The sun was shining, the breeze was warm, and all…

Free wheelin...

It would appear that contrary to all I have believed in up till now, I am in fact able to drink from a pint glass without my world caving in.  I have now demonstrated this on several occasions in the last 24 hours, but still find myself unconverted with regard to a pint glass.  My excuse for preferring a smaller glass is the fact that my cider went warm in the pint glass.  At least, that's the reason I am sticking to.  It has nothing to do with my desperate need to be thought of us a 'lady'.....

So let's talk about yesterday shall we.  This was a day with some serious laughter in it.  We started off Desperately Seeking Breakfast, taking about two hours before we found the right place.  We hit The Cosy Teapot in Budleigh Salterton in a big way, with two birds, two dogs and our chauffeur eating them out of house and home.  We managed three meals in one sitting, with the husband having a full English fry-up, Miss R had a sensible crab sandwich, and I settled for two toast…

Jammin'...

Miss R turned up yesterday with torrid tales of traffic jams and slower than a snail camper vans.  That'll teach her for having that half hour lay in...

As we'd been waiting for Miss R to turn up before heading out anywhere, the husband and I hadn't eaten breakfast (this is purely down to the fact that we had no food in the shed as yet, choosing to eat out at every mealtime thus far).  There was a loaf of brownish bread (what is this 50/50 bread all about?) and some butter, but no jam, and eventually we succumbed to some toast.  I think the real reason neither of us wanted to eat was down to the fact that when Miss R did turn up, we would probably be eating out somewhere, and the toast would have counted as breakfast, meaning that croissants, bacon sandwiches or toasted teacakes were off the menu. 

When she eventually arrived, she brought the rain with her.  We waited, and we waited, and we waited, but gluttony got the best of us all, and Miss R and I coerced the husband …

Step by step...

So it's day one of our week away in the shed.  I say 'shed', but it's really a very posh beach hut on the South coast, with all mod cons.  Thank goodness it has wifi, otherwise I would have to have written this in a pub whilst necking the usual half pints of cider.   (I am a lady, and never drink from a pint glass, unlike others I could mention...you know who you are Miss H..)  I can only begin to imagine what the spelling would have been like.

So we had a trouble free journey down for a change.  There were no traffic jams, no accidents and only a sprinkling of ripe language from the husband as he reprimanded various drivers from the safety of his driver's seat with the windows up and the car door locked.

The shed hadn't changed one bit since last year.  It's a complete haven from our lunatic life at home, and is totally governed by food and drink.  Of course, the husband likes to temper this with something called 'activities'.  Experience tells me …

Staying's worse than leaving...

So yesterday, at around 2.00pm, my holiday started.  To celebrate my nine days of rest, I started with two loads of washing and an hour's ironing, working on the assumption that if I got it out of the way now, I could head down to Devon with a holier than thou conscience.  How naïve of me.  Here are the things which are causing me some angst, as we leave two or three adult kids in the house...

1.   I just used the last dishwasher tablet.  This gives the children the green light to not switch on the dishwasher for the whole week.

2.  There is no bread in the house.

3.  Lady H (she of the bionic mop) is due here today and also on the Thursday we return.  I anticipate her coming into a relatively tidy house today, but next week will be a different matter after a week without me traipsing around after children and the husband with a bin bag and a bottle of anti-bac.  When she opens the front door next week, she may do a double take on the sight which greets her.  I can guarantee that …

You can do magic...

Yesterday was appointment three of five at the dentist to sort out my crazy teeth.  How you can spend so much on having a tooth replaced so it looks prettier than the ones you were born with, and yet, it crumbles at the first sight of a piece of pork crackling I'll never understand.  So tooth number one is complete and functioning again.  Unfortunately, because there was so little of my own tooth left, the remainder of it having gone the same route as the aforementioned crackling, my lovely dentist had to put a metal filling in.  As it's right at the back, no one can see it, but I feel like Jaws (either the baddy from James Bond or the shark with a penchant for late night swimmers...take your pick).  I am expecting to set off every airport security scanner and will also have to allow for the extra 25gm when I weigh myself each week.

So having had this done, with a numb jaw, I had 45 minutes to kill before heading off to the osteopath.  It's been one of those afternoons whe…

Any which way...

In my attempt to be marginally fitter than I am at the moment, the dogs got dragged around the woods again yesterday afternoon.  The husband has invested in a lead splitter for the two of them to make my life easier.  For those of you who don't have two dogs, this is a normal lead which clips onto two short bungee straps, which are then attached to each dog, in the hope that the two of them will trot side by side like a couple of well trained ponies.  Well that's the plan anyway....

So I had cause to use the lead splitter yesterday afternoon.  There were a couple of horses joining us on the path, and Reg, who is easily bewildered, tends to take a sideways swipe at horses, primarily in the hope that one of them might play with him.  This is the technique he has perfected with Percy, and it works very well, often leading to games of tag or chewy beardy face.

But I like to play safe, so I clipped the two dogs onto the lead, and walked slowly towards the horses, and it was now tha…

Like a virgin...

It was time for an impromptu visit to the cinema on Saturday night.  Miss R was put in charge of getting the tickets, which was brave of us after the last time. (All I am going to say is wrong film, wrong seats, wrong cinema, early exit).

Jason Bourne was on the menu, and the husband, daughter number one and I met up with Miss R, her Latin lodger Senhorita Sofia (she is of Portuguese extraction), and Miss R's wonderfully charismatic friend Madam C.  As usual, Miss R and the husband managed to eat the bulk of their pick-a-mix before they had to pay (it's only a matter of time before the Bon-Bon Police track them down) so laden down with all the necessities, ice cream, coffee, stolen sweets and nachos we headed in to the cinema.

Now I have a theory about films which have music playing all the way through them.  I think that they are trying to hide something.  In this case, it was a plot.  Twenty four hours later, I'm still not too sure what the hell it was about, but there w…

Salad days...

Feeling rather organised, I did my supermarket order on Friday night for delivery Saturday lunchtime.  Knowing that daughter number one and son number one were back in residence, I had worked out what I was going to cook for dinner each night for the coming week, taking special care to pick healthy and nutritious meals for us all.  (This wouldn't be my choice, but as daughter number one is a PE teacher, I can't be blamed for her not being able to keep up with the 13 year olds she teaches.  I mean, no one likes a podgy PE teacher shouting 'Wait for me!' do they?)

I headed off for the usual Saturday family breakfast with Miss R, Mrs W and the mother.  Mrs Jangles wasn't there as she'd had a better offer (coffee in bed and some antibiotics I believe) but the chat flowed as usual, and we put the world to rights over tea and toast.  There was a small child breaking the sound barrier on the table next to us, and Miss R who is sensitive to this kind of noise, suggeste…

Tutti frutti...

As the weather looked like it was on the turn again (curse you, September), I decided to haul the dogs around the woods on a six mile hike.  I am in training you see, but there is a slight chance that I may have left this a little too late. 

Next week, the husband is taking me and the dogs on a holiday by the coast.  Last year, I clocked up about sixty miles over the week, most of them uphill if I remember rightly.  Having walked no further than the end of my road for almost nine months, I am worrying that my lack of fitness might hold the husband back.  He takes no prisoners when on a walk, and I vaguely remember having to carry Percy for the last two hundred yards when coming back to the shed (It's actually a posh beach hut, but has been rechristened the shed).  I may have to resort to this next week, throwing myself onto the beach, and pleading with my baby blues for a fireman's lift.  It's either that or I strap Percy and Reg to a skateboard and get taken back by them…

Wrecking ball...

Daughter number one is heading back home for a few months while her bijoux residence is jigged about by the husband.  I'll be honest with you, I'm not too sure who is more excited about the impending building work.  Daughter number one with her pictures of kitchens and fabric swatches, or the husband who keeps muttering under his breath about removable walls.  The plan is to create an extra bedroom from the many cupboards the flat has.  This is good news as far as I am concerned, as once it's finished, the husband and I are planning to have a sleepover, switching the heating on high, turning all the lights on, and then opening the windows as it's too hot.  Payback time beckons at last.

So she sent me a message yesterday, saying that she had started moving her stuff in, but wouldn't be moving in till Sunday.  Now Lady H (she of the dynamic dusters capable of removing a lifetime of dust bunnies) was here yesterday while daughter number one was hefting boxes of stuff …

Follow you, follow me...

I got followed by a film star today....

Now before you start thinking that I am talking about some star of screen or stage tearing after me down the High Street, waving an autograph book under my nose, let me explain.

I have a Twitter account which I generally use to blatantly and shamelessly hawk my blog on.  When I first started doing this a few months ago, I started to see various people and organisations follow me.  For the Twitter virgins amongst you, this means that they get to read my daily twaddle as and when I tweet it.  If you're still unsure, it's a bit like throwing a free ad in the Exchange and Mart - making sense now?

So when I started, my followers were mainly dog loving folk, obviously enjoying the tales/tails of Percy and Reg as they attempted world domination in my house (actually this is still carrying on, with Percy taking more of a back seat as Reg struts round the lounge in jack boots and serge).

As time progressed, and I started tweeting more prolificall…