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Showing posts from November, 2016

Breadline...

After work yesterday, I headed off into town to do 'jobs'.  Now as we ladies know, this can cover anything from popping into the supermarket through to stocking up on lipstick.  In my case, I had three things to do:

Drop long boots into the menders for re-heeling
Cancel hair appointment
Buy bread

Now the boots are a sore point.  At the end of April, when they are normally packed away, I vow that next year, I will have them re-heeled by the time I want to start wearing them again at the end of September (or August if it's been a bad summer).  Every single year in the seven I have owned them, I have finally got round to having them re-heeled in December.  This would be after I have performed several pirouettes on wet pavements courtesy of the lack of rubber (ever the safety girl). So now I am without my boots for at least three days.  It would have been less, but the mender (I can't use the word cobbler) is closed today.  My town must be the only one in the UK which stil…

Free bird...

Yesterday, I took the two furballs out for a walk with their friend Neville, who is a stunning Rottweiler puppy.  His owner, Mrs P, and I are also good chums, so a pleasant time was on the cards.  Now Neville and Reg are just the best of friends, but they are also the most incongruous couple. Reg can pretty much walk without ducking below Neville's undercarriage, something  which may change as Neville reaches puberty, but he's not too worried as yet.  Reg spends most of the walk either in or on the outskirts of Neville's mouth, so after about half an hour in each other's company, Reg's coat is very damp, and it always looks like a cheap Kevin Keegan perm by the time we get back home.

Today, we were able to walk a little further than usual, so I took Mrs P round one of my favourite walks in the wood.  As we briefly came out of the wood, we were walking along the lane when a gentleman in some sort of farm vehicle stopped next to us. He looked at my two, and asked, &#…

Bus stop...

This weekend has been a game of two halves.

On Saturday, after the obligatory sausage sandwich and several cappuccinos, the shout came up to go into town to do a tiny bit of shopping.  Mrs Jangles suggested that we should take the bus, which Miss R, the Mother and I thought a fine idea.  Here's the thing though.  The bus stop of choice is very close to my Nanny Joyce's flat.  Those of you who have been with me on this carousel of nonsense since the beginning of the year will know that she finally decided to abandon us in January, leaving a huge void in all of our lives.  A couple of weeks ago, her flat was sold to a lovely chap called Julian, and Mrs Jangles decided that henceforth, 'Nanny's Flat' should be known as 'Julian's Flat', with a swear box being started for any use of the 'N' word when talking about the flat.  By the time we reached the bus stop, the virtual swear box had at least two pounds in it, and I reckon that by next Friday we s…

Five colours in her hair...

I seem to spend a disproportionate amount of my life in various hair dressing salons around the Home Counties, and yesterday morning found me in my fast becoming favourite one. As I sat there watching the comings and goings of this extremely busy salon, it dawned on me that there is a hierarchy of staff; something I hadn't really thought of before.  I think it goes like this...

Grade 1:
Saturday Girl/Boy
These can be easily recognised, as they always wear black (the salon's attempt to make them invisible).  They are normally spotty, but with perfectly groomed hair and very thick artificial eyebrows.  They also seem to stand around quite a lot, waiting for direction from the stylists, as to when to sweep, when to make coffee and when to get gowns or coats.   They normally look bored, and probably wish that they had applied for that job in Top Shop instead.

Grade 2
Hair washers
These are Grade 1's who have been working at the salon for at least six months, thus earning their…

She's electric...

There are many things which run in my family.  I said to my nephew's girlfriend last week, that when the good Lord looked at Miss R and me, he gave her difficult hair (which has since been beaten into submission) and I got everything else in the Medical Encyclopaedia.  Of these, the one which hacks me off most is the arthritis, which moved into my right knee about eight years ago.  Seeing how well it was doing there, several of its close relatives decided to move into my hips, ankles and two of my toes.  There is another relative who is currently considering relocating into my right hand knuckles, but I've stopped baking bread and putting the coffee on, so maybe this one will just keep looking.

I've tried various lotions and potions without much success, even resorting to the dreadful cortisone injection, which worked beautifully.....for about fifty eight days.  Talking to a colleague yesterday about this, she announced that her mother had been the same, and that I would p…

One for the cutters...

Those of you who follow my blog will know that I have been participating in a programme on the menopause over the last few months.  This was basically because the lovely lady from the TV had read one of my blogs about hotties and palpitations (this wasn't about the husband by the way, whatever he claims) and thought that I would be a good participant.  Last night the programme was broadcast, and the husband and I settled down in front of the television to squirm at our personal life being put out there for all to see. 

As the programme progressed, it started to become obvious that we weren't going to appear in the programme.  Now the husband was greatly relieved, as he had said some things on film that perhaps he may have regretted later on, and I knew that television would add at least half a stone to my already 'Wide Load', so it wasn't all that bad really.  However, what they did do, is post up a short film of me testing the products and making my bed in four s…

Working man...

There were men in my house when I got home from work yesterday afternoon.  Armed with ladders, and wearing those natty leather belts which workmen (and many women) love.  You know the ones, they have deep pockets for the things necessary to do their jobs:

One pocket is for Ketchup (or HP if you are that way inclined) just in case the lady of the house offers a bacon sandwich

Another is deep enough to hold a large mug for the obligatory tea breaks at 8.30/10.30/12.30/2.30 (the last one is just before they pack up and go home)

One is needed for the mobile phone.  This is interchangeable with the sauce pocket depending on which iPhone they have, but is also available for a pocket radio for the more senior workman.

Screws - these will be at least seven different sizes, none of which will be applicable to the job on that particular day, but much rummaging will take place just on the off chance that a Number 6 Self-Tapping Screw will be lurking in the dusty folds of the pocket.

So back to m…

Bad...

A good friend asked me yesterday how son number two's first day at work had gone. 'Well he went back for the second day, so it can't be all that bad', was my reply.   All joking apart, he had a fantastic day, with much banter and male bonding.  By the sounds of it, his office (which shall remain anonymous in case I ruin his chances of future success) is like a rugby team, but instead of muddy shorts and boots, they are wearing slick suits and ties.  He'll fit in perfectly with his very unique style of dress which he has perfected over the last few years...I happened to mention in yesterday's meanderings that the husband and I have started watching Breaking Bad.  I know that there are many of you reading this thinking 'Well, there's another one who arrived late to the party', but I have to confess, once I got over my initial disbelief that anything even remotely similar could take place, I have found myself addicted to it.  Not in a crystal-meth (or …

Just walkin' in the rain...

As we watched the weather forecast on Sunday evening between the marshmallow toasting and three more episodes of Breaking Bad (I'll speak about this at another time) my heart sank.  Heavy rain and strong winds were due to make an appearance on Sunday night, and would be hanging around until at least Monday night. 

Oh goody.

Now that son number two is in gainful employment, there was no chance I could delegate the early morning walk to him yesterday, and the husband was due at Mrs S's house to sort her plumbing out, which just left me to do it.  Having straight hair, which really likes to be frizzy, I try and avoid moisture wherever possible.  When I started straightening my hair, I did try and tell everyone that I was no longer able to use the steam iron or do the washing up, such was my hair's sensitivity to any sort of damp, and even fog may keep me in doors.  The husband, ever thoughtful as to my vanity, will often walk the fuzzballs if it's raining, just not yeste…

Party queen...

So let's do the checklist for the perfect party, shall we?

Birthday Boy - Very excited about bagged presents on specially assigned table. 
Venue - Beautifully presented.  Cold when we arrived, husband turned all radiators on, temperature perfect for seventeen minutes after which room took on the feel of standing at the front door of hell.  Husband sallied forth to turn all radiators off, and much time was spent on the balcony cooling down
Speech - Funny, emotional and short (as requested), even though Miss R decided to ad lib somewhat
Cake - A feat of magical design which tasted as good as it looked
Disco - Not so brilliant as on a volume restrictor. Interesting choice of vibes (1970's glam rock)
Karaoke - Veered between astonishing and excruciating.  Could've done with volume restrictor (see Disco)
Drink - Too much, too often, too free.
Dancing - Frantic with an element of 80's throwback (Miss R), Tiger Feet (also Miss R) and lap dancer (yes, you guessed, her again).

So a su…

That's what friends are for...

I was at my best friend's house on Friday night for a Fish'n'Fizz night.  Mrs S, as you know, has recently moved into her new house (the one which saw me on lying on my stomach painting skirting boards, as well as my left boob, one pair of glasses and daughter number two's brand new Converse trainers) and she invited me and several other long term pals who live in her village, to spend the evening at her's, to celebrate. 

The husband, out for a meal with daughter number one, as neither of them had a better offer, had suggested that he dropped me down there so that I could partake of some of the Fizz.  As daughter number one was driving, this meant that the three of us getting into her miniscule car.  I bagsied the front seat, so the husband was in the back, his little nose pressed up against the rear window, and his legs in a position which wouldn't have looked amiss in a yoga class.  Luckily, it was a very short journey to Mrs S's house, and the husband w…

A perfect match...

So the party preparations are in full swing for tonight's celebration.  Presents have been bought and wrapped and cards have been written.  I eventually found the only suitable card in the shop, once I had steered myself away from the rude ones.  It would appear that it's bad form to be rude about someone's age once they are past 70.  I was tempted though.  There was one particular card which made me laugh so loudly, that I had to turn it into a coughing fit, causing the shop assistant who was refilling the drawers beside me, to leap up and pat me, not insubstantially, on the back.  But not to worry. Miss R has ordered a couple of two foot tall balloons for the birthday boy's table.  As he is rather short in stature, I may bring a booster seat for him, so that he can see over the constant, shiny reminder that he is now 75.  So an age-related insult of a card wasn't necessary in the end, as the latex says it all...

Miss R has also arranged a fantastic birthday cake …

You can keep your hat on...

Daughter number two returns home to the bosom of her family later today.

In preparation of her long anticipated return, before heading off to Binland yesterday, I schlepped up to her bedroom (previously the dogs' bedroom, more recently daughter number one's when the dogs fancy a bit of company) and changed the bed linen.  I also put clean towels in and gave her bathroom a quick once over.  I checked the freezer to make sure we had that revolting gluten free bread which she insists on (except when she'd had too much to drink, as she will eat anything at that point, gluten free or not) and I made space on the dressing table for all the electrical paraphernalia she uses for her hair.  So to be honest, short of preparing a fattened calf, everything was in place for her return.  All this before leaving for work at 8.00. No wonder I always look like I've been run over...

It's strange having adult children coming back to the house.  Part of you wants to treat them as if …

Don't speak...

I had a quick count up of the advent calendars yesterday.  I seem to still have a full complement of them which is surprising, as son number two and ELL have been knocking about over the last few days.  I have to keep buying them bars of chocolate to stop them from searching the house for the brown stuff such is their addiction.

With ELL now looking for a job son number two, who is four days away from starting his new job in recruitment, seems to think that he knows it all, and is handing out advice a plenty as to her interview technique.  This is like me borrowing a book from the library about a hairdresser, and then approaching someone on the way home, nail scissors in hand, and offering them a short back and sides.  It's just not going to happen.  I think son number two needs to complete at least a week of gainful employment before handing out advice to anyone who is in his vicinity clutching a P45.

Miss R and I are spending a lot of time on the phone this week as we have to do…

You wear it well...

We're having a big family do next weekend, and now that my industrial strength knickers have arrived (don't you just love Amazon Prime) there is a slightly higher than average chance of me getting into my dress of choice.  Looking at the knickers, they are so small that I may have to resort to a tab of Vaseline and a couple of shoehorns to get them on.  I'll worry about getting them off again at the end of the party, but hopefully, the alcohol will numb the pain as the elastic removes several layers of skin and a kneecap as I drag them down over my legs...

So the invite said 'Smart Casual', which always sends me into a frantic downward spiral, resulting in every piece of clothing I possess being tried on and discarded onto one of two piles.  There is the Definitely Not Pile (always the smaller of the two) and then there is the Does This Pass As Smart Casual As I Really Don't Have A Bloody Clue What That Means Pile (this usually takes up most of my bedroom floor…

Day by day...

The Christmas theme continued yesterday with Sunday's roast dinner leftovers being turned into a most excellent Bubble and Squeak.  The husband has strange ideas about Bubble and Squeak.  He wanted to put the gravy and cauliflower cheese into the frying pan with the other leftovers, but one look from me was enough to ensure that these were reheated separately.  It's how they do it in the North apparently, but I reminded him that as an adopted Southern softy, he was to leave all these fanciful ideas behind.  He'll be sticking chips in a sandwich next....

So it's about now that I start thinking that I have a lot more time till Christmas than I actually have.  This manifests itself in a way that I feel Christmassy enough, but without the panic which closes in on me the nearer we get to the 25th.  I'm not cooking Christmas lunch this year, as it is Miss R's turn, so that is one thing I don't have to worry about, but every year, I have a virtual back burner whic…

Rockin' around the Christmas tree...

It was a big day for the husband yesterday.  Not because he had his first roast lunch of the season, nor because he found a can of forgotten custard in the cupboard.  No, this was far more momentous. 

For the first time in the ten years we have lived in our current home, the husband pre-ordered the Christmas tree.  This may seem a bit weird to some of you, but there have been several Christmases which have been ruined by the 'wrong' tree being picked at the last minute.  The tree traditionally stands in the hall, where it has free rein to climb up to the upstairs ceiling, a height of around twenty feet.  Over the years, the husband has shown levels of restraint interspersed with complete insanity where the height of the tree is concerned and I would like to share with you some of the problems I have been forced to address, over years.

Christmas 2011
The tree was 19' tall.  What the husband failed to realise was that the taller it is at the top, the wider it is at the bott…

It's good news week...

You should all know by now about my family's Saturday ritual.  Yesterday's was slightly different.

For a start son number two and ELL were there.  I had just got used to them both being away, when all of a sudden, within two weeks, they are both back again.  You all know how much that boy can eat, and I mentally tallied up how much money breakfast was going to cost.  Daughter number one turned up too, just as the lovely waitress was taking the food order, so I knew that deep in the dark depths of my handbag, my purse was weeping.

So we all had breakfast and caught up on each other's weeks.  The big news was as follows:

Mrs Jangles had overslept one day this week by two hours.  I did suggest that she had put the clock forward instead of back, but apparently it was her cleaner's fault for turning the alarm volume down while doing some vigorous dusting.

The mother was off to see some Spanish horses dancing about Wembley Arena.  I am anticipating a Paso or a Salsa, but am …

Life is a lemon, and I want my money back...

You'll be pleased to know that despite four sleeping policemen, one mini roundabout and copious potholes, my cake arrived at Binland in one piece, with even the large body part remaining firmly attached.  Once handed over to my friend, I was free of any responsibility, and when my friend asked me what to do if it fell off on her journey home, I went all Madagascan penguin on her and said 'Spit and stick my friend, spit and stick'.  I'm looking forward to seeing the birthday boy next week after his surprise party...he hasn't got a clue....

So ELL (son number two's glorious girlfriend) returned home yesterday after much soul-searching.  She's very similar to him in that she loves home and family more than university life.  To see them together yesterday afternoon was like turning the clock back.  There was a lot of ribbing and laughing, but more importantly, as Reg Presley of the Troggs would say (Marti Pellow of Wet, Wet, Wet if you're younger than 35) &…

What's new pussycat...

On Wednesday, the best friend and I headed off to the cinema to see 'A Street Cat Named Bob'.  Now I'm not really a cat lover.  I'm not too sure whether Mrs S is, but as she keeps no animals, let's assume she isn't.  Why was it then, two hours later, we were both just a little bit in love with Bob?  The story, if you don't know it, is about a homeless busker, who, once Bob comes into his life, finds happiness and success.  If only every pet were the same...

Since Reg has come into my life, all I have known is poverty (the pet shop have bled me dry with their expensive suggestions of what to buy next to curb the chewing) and heartbreak (my slippers, my rug, my door stop and my toy schnauzer).  I was thinking yesterday what a film about Reg would be like, and then I suddenly remembered.  They've already made a couple of films with a similar storyline.  Jaws springs to mind,  but Piranha (the original, not the remake) and Grizzly would also fit the bill.

A…

Life for rent...

I was most relieved yesterday morning, to see that the large body part hadn't dropped off my icing man overnight. The spaghetti was holding it all together beautifully.  I still have the writing to do on the cake, but I'm steeling myself up for this afternoon, because as well as the obligatory 'Happy Birthday' it also has some foul language on it.  Not too sure how my delicate nature is going to cope with that later on, but I'll do my best.  I may have to shut my eyes as I write out the words.  Trouble is, it might come out as 'Hippy Bathday' which could be interesting.

Son number two has still not come down from his pink fluffy employment cloud as yet, and is mentally calculating what his first pay check will be.  As we discussed his salary, the question of rent came up.  Now this is a tricky one, as historically, I have never charged any of my children rent.  But this time it's different as he is earning a substantial salary, so more than able to affo…

Long haired lover from Liverpool...

Having moved on from the Machiavellian plans of lounge domination courtesy of the imaginary Spuddy at my side, yesterday was a slightly gentler one.  Of course there was work (always an absolute pleasure as you know) but I then had a bit of a 'throwback' afternoon. 

Once upon a time, before I hit the dizzy heights of sales at Binland, I was a cake maker.  I'm not talking about the odd sponge here and there for family consumption, but more of a seventy hour week of around two hundred drizzles, sponges and scones.  The main part of my work was supplying shops, but every now and again, someone would approach me and ask me to make a special birthday cake.  Over the years I created everything from 1970's Elvis (white cat-suit phase, complete with snarling lip and navel) to a pair of 36DD's encompassed in black lace. 

These were for a man's birthday, and as I am not particularly well endowed in the bosom department, I had to guess what went where.  I remember very cl…

Hand in my pocket...

I realised yesterday that it is only two weeks before I have to don a posh frock for a big family 'do'.  Having come to the conclusion that my Uncle Fester cassock (with or without pillow stomach) will  not suit the occasion, a new eating regime has been introduced for the next two weeks.  This entails cutting out anything I like eating, and will probably mean that the husband will want to stop talking to me round about Wednesday, while I survive on water and lettuce.  It's not that extreme actually, and I'm sure that the odd piece of flapjack will wheedle its way past my pathetic self-control (probably on Fat Friday at work)  but I am determined to lose the few pounds which I seem to have put on since last wearing the dress I have in mind for the 'do'.  I say few pounds, but I think I am erring on the side of downright lies when I say this.  Either way, I'm going to do my best, and with the help of my vacuum knickers, I might just pull it off...

The husban…

Fireworks...part two...

Image
So Part two is where it got messy.

A decision had been made by my family that as there were five of us going to Miss R's late Halloween/Fireworks Party, then we would go as The Adams Family.  The line up was as follows:

Gomez (Dad of the family, spiv) : Son number two
Morticia (mum, vamp, sexy) : ELL (Son number two's girlfriend)
Uncle Fester (Old, bald and fat) : Yours truly
Wednesday (Young girl, solemn, plaited): Daughter number one
Pugsley (Small boy, big stomach) : The husband

Now my character and the husband's both had stomachs larger that those we posses naturally, so pillows were taken from the bed and stuffed up the husband's t-shirt and my cassock.  The husband, playing the part of a small boy, donned a pudding basin wig, and I was sporting a bald head and a face so white that I almost glowed in the dark. 

We all looked great (courtesy of one of my lovely readers, Mrs H) and tipped up at Miss R's at the allotted time.  As we all stood on her doorstep cli…

Fireworks...part one...

There is a very expensive pet shop in Marlow which I do my best to walk past every time I'm there.  It's not an easy task, I can tell you, but to date, I have managed to keep walking, preferring the cheaper independent one further down the road. 

However...

Yesterday morning, we were all sitting around the table in Baroosh, when a lifelong friend of Miss R joined us.  He looked terrible, and under interrogation, finally revealed the reason for his snowy pallor and the heavy, grey bags dragging beneath his eyes.  It turned out that as well as being a complete martyr to a bad back, he was also having problems with a rescue dog which had come to live with him and his mother some months ago.  It turns out that the dog, Penny, has a problem with loud noises.  Friday night, being the first of two when fireworks were being launched, had reached a hiatus with the diminutive Penny cowering under the dining table, shaking like a leaf and barking consistently for two hours.

I suggested …

Who are you...

You know what happens when you have two nights out on the trot planned?  At around 5.00 on the evening of the first night out, you start to worry whether it's a good idea to have two Big Nights Out.  Luckily for us, last night's jaunt was a relatively quiet party for a friend who has finally reached his 50th birthday.  Drinks, curry, parking ticket (that husband of mine wouldn't listen), home to bed, that kind of night.  Saturday night however, looks to be slightly messier....

Miss R is having a belated Halloween Party tonight.  As you know, my birthday falls on Halloween, so I look upon any Halloween party as my own personal event.  I plan my costumes meticulously, and much thought goes into wearing the right outfit.  I have organised the outfits for me, the husband, daughter number one, son number two and ELL.  I can't say what we are going as because I don't want to ruin the fun when Miss R opens her front door around 8.00pm tonight, but I am actually more worri…

Smells like teen spirit...

Something has died in son number two 's bedroom...

Any of you reading this who have a son (or two) will understand that allowances have to be made for their bedrooms.  Unlike daughters, who are fond of scatter cushions, cuddly toys and a fragranced candle, the pervading whiff of a teenage boy's bedroom usually involves sweaty socks, forgotten bed snacks and far too much aftershave.  As the smell in son number two's bedroom seemed to start being more noticeable when he came home from university last Thursday, I had merely put it down to the three damp towels which I found in one of his many bin liners.  But as the days have worn on, and the bags have been emptied, the smell has reached a level that no human should ever have to experience.  It was round about lunchtime yesterday that the penny finally dropped.

You'll remember that I had reason to call on Andrew the Ratman's services a couple of weeks ago, when the scuttlings in the roof started to become so loud, tha…

Hi ho silver lining...

The fall out from Mug-Gate continued yesterday.  I decided not to take my 'I Love my Schnauzer' mug into Binland, purely for the reason that there are some people in my office who would jump to an inappropriate conclusion, not knowing that I was talking about my dogs at home.  Instead I took a mug in guaranteed to cause a bit of a stir (excuse the pun). It was a mug which daughter number two had got after a work experience week at Sita (one of our main rivals at Binland).  I'll be honest with you, I was surprised that it lasted  till lunchtime, and I am expecting it to be in several pieces on my desk when I go into work this morning, pushed off my desk in a fit of pique.

Going back to yesterday, the lovely lady from the television came back in the afternoon to do the last few hours of filming.  I very conveniently had a hottie as she turned up and we chatted about how life was going on in Menopause Mansion while I flapped at my face furiously.  While chatting to her about …

I love the sound of breaking glass...

It's always tough going back to work when you've had a day off, and yesterday was no different.  My new desk had disappeared from sight as it was covered with pink sheets of paper.  You'll remember that these constitute some of Master B and Master P's CBA pile, which they like to save up for me.  As I sat down, I noticed that someone had been sitting in my seat (I'll have to be careful that I don't go all Goldilocks on you here).  Raising it slightly I looked at Master B, Mr W and Mr B who were looking rather sheepish, glancing at each other as if egging the other two to say whatever it was they were wanting me to hear.  As I tidied my desk, sweeping the pink sheets into a manageable pile, it suddenly became apparent what they were all dreading to tell me.

On the back corner of my desk sat what remained of my mug.  When I joined Binland, I got all of us in the sales team special mugs, all rubbish related naturally, with mine reading 'Trashy Trace'.  Thi…

Two out of three ain't bad...

My birthday started extremely well yesterday with a cup of tea in bed courtesy of the husband.   He had excelled himself on the present front, having booked a weekend in Liverpool (somewhere I have never been) and a night in The Cavern.  He's not terribly au fait with musical history however, and I may have to double check that he's not booked us into some leather fetish club for the night.  Mind you, the thought of him calling me 'Sir' for the evening sounds attractive...

The 'not so' Surprise Birthday Lunch went beautifully at The Seven Stars on the Green (check them out at www.sevenstarsonthegreen.co.uk/).  I got flowers, cards, lovely gifts and a wodge of cash from my parents which I had mentally spent already.  The best bit was seeing daughter number two as she had travelled down from Milton Keynes to spend time with her aged mum.  There was an ulterior motive for her visit, as you'll find out later...

I had booked yesterday off work as requested by da…