Monday, 31 July 2017

My brave face...

Some of you are probably aware by now of the delightful arthritis which took up residence in my left foot several years ago.  This has been the reason why my bank manager no longer looks me in the eye if I happen to go into my local branch, as much money has been spent on various treatments, shoes, orthotics, gadgets, physio...the list is endless... over the last three years in particular.  Last year, I headed off to hospital for the day while they stuck a few injections of cortisone into my foot.  This was done under general anesthetic, because my consultant told me in no uncertain terms that 'it would bloody hurt'.

So I had 52 glorious days of pain free trotting about before it came back.  Finally getting back to see my consultant, he suggested that I have it done again, but this time under ultrasound guidance.  He said, and I quote, 'The pain is about the same as when you give blood'.  Well, that would be ok.  As a blood donor, I know that it can be a little uncomfortable, but it's never bad enough to stop me going back for more blood letting a few months later.

So it was with this very positive approach that the husband and I headed off to the hospital on Sunday.  (Yes, on a Sunday - very impressive).  We stopped for a big old fry up on the way and drove into a deserted carpark.  Any of you who know the John Radcliffe hospitals in Oxford will understand why this fact needs mentioning.  I have celebrated birthdays and watched seasons change looking for a parking space on occasions.

So walking into the waiting room, there were two other couples waiting. One couple had walked in ahead of us, and I had commented to the husband about how much pain the poor man must be in. But it was the wife of the other couple who started up the conversation.

'You 'ere for an injection love?'

'Yes', I replied, 'into my foot.  I'm a little nervous'.

'Yeah, you should be.  It's bloody 'orrible.  I've 'ad three and none of 'em 'ave worked.  Bloody waste of time if you ask me'.

Well I hadn't, but as I'm not one to antagonise, I said, 'My consultant said that the level of pain is similar to when you give blood'.

She cackled like a witch with a 50 a day smoking habit.  'You carry on thinking that love, if it 'elps'.

Oh great.  My confidence took a nose dive off the highest cliff in the world and my mouth dried up, making speech almost impossible.  The husband started talking to the other couple who had come in with us, and they had a much more sensible conversation about electric bikes and swimming, and just as they started talking about cycling shorts, my name was called.

I almost expected the Harbinger of Doom to start shouting 'Dead Man Walking', as I followed the nurse down the corridor, and as she ushered me into the side ward, I was blabbering like a fool about how I was terrified of what was about to happen.  Before I knew it, she'd whipped my sock off and had me laid out on the bed with a couple of comfy pillows chatting away about stuff and nonsense.

And then the man with the stethoscope came in.  I repeated to him about the story of how much it would hurt, and asked whether this was a true reflection of the pain.  'I couldn't possibly say', he said.  'Some feel no pain, while there are others I have to scrape off the ceiling'.  This was said with a rather false laugh, and I got the impression that this comment was repeated on a daily basis.  

So I waited for the pain, and do you know what, apart from a nano-second of 'ouch' it was exactly how my consultant had predicted.  

'It would appear that you have a lot more courage than you thought', the doctor said, patting me on the ankle.  'We're all done'.

As I walked back to the waiting room, Mrs Pessimistic was still going on about how dreadful it all was, and the cycling/swimming chap's face had paled significantly.  So I said to him, as the husband got his act together (he'd expected me to be longer so had decided to spring clean his wallet) that it hadn't hurt, and he really wasn't to worry at all about the injection he was about to have.

The look that woman gave me said it all.  

'Never let the truth ruin a good story'...

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Love is in the air...

Did any of you watch Love Island?  Having three males in the house, there wasn't much choice as to whether I watched it or not, but having got over the repulsion of the perfect bodies on show, I quite enjoyed it in a very shallow kind of way.  Over the first few episodes, I would look at the girls and dream about when I once looked like that.  

Actually, I have never looked like that.  Even at my peak, I probably would have looked more like Marilyn Manson than Marilyn Monroe.  The thing is, the girls these days have a lot more 'aids' which they can call on to perfect their beauty.  We never had boob jobs, padded bras, fake fans, teeth whitening or permanent make-up (although there have been a couple of mascaras I've used over the years which were a little reluctant to shift).  What you saw was what you got back then.  These days, I'm sure that the Trade Descriptions Act could be quoted on many an occasion.   I can just picture some poor bloke saying, 'Well, I wasn't expecting that', as the girl lifts her vest revealing underwear which McAlpine may have had something to do with.

But I'd quite like the TV company in charge to do a Love Island for older people.  I can just picture myself in a skimpy string bikini laid out by the pool.  The top would struggle to stay decent as I have nothing to keep it in its place, but the bottom would be completely the opposite.  I'd have a wonderful muffin top and my buttocks would be clamped down on the rear triangle, each one competing for maximum coverage.  

There would be none of those risque games which the younger folk play.  I'm picturing Gin Rummy and perhaps chess for the more educated adults, and there might be a chance of Twister for the more lithe villa occupants (these would be the ones who have religiously taken their Sanatogen all their lives).  There would then be time for a little siesta in the afternoon, a lovely dinner washed down with a fruity red, a re-run of Pretty Woman and then all into bed (separately) by 10.00 having taken our Rennies and any other medications needed.

There'd be none of the bickering and mouthing off which the youngsters seemed to be so fond of.  Us oldies would simply thrash out any disagreements over a nice cup of tea and a slice of Battenburg cake.   I doubt we'd go in the pool as much either, unless it was heated to simmering.  The same would go for the hot tub.   But I think this would be more down to the fact that as adults, we all know that hot tubs are carriers of diseases and therefore should be avoided at all costs.  Unless you can go in with a full wet suit..that might be ok.

Of course, the TV people will never do anything like this.  Who wants to see a lifetime of wrinkles, stretchmarks and operation scars paraded in swimwear which has seen better days (if not years).   I suppose that as we get older, beauty decreases as fast as wisdom increases (in theory) so at least now we are wise enough to know something very important.

What you see, isn't always what you get.  

Sometimes it's a whole lot better...

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Out on the tiles...

Picture the scene if you will.  I am sitting in my lounge with my feet both tucked into my electronic foot massager (the latest gadget for my arthritic feet).  Reg has his head on my laptop, so I'm fine as long as I don't need to type any numbers.  My jeans are damp from the knee down having walked the dogs in the rain, finally ending up at the allotment to evict some weeds, which has left me with dirty fingernails.  My hair, never at its best when damp, has given up all hope of lying flat and looks like I have been plugged into the mains for an hour.

Thank goodness I was alone.

The husband never asks me what I have been doing in the afternoon when I finish work. He assumes that I come home, walk the dogs, do some pink jobs like ironing or getting a scorch mark out of a pair of white jeans (these belong to son number one and are rapidly becoming life's biggest challenge) and then flop down on the sofa with a cup of tea to write my blog.  He's not far wrong actually, but there are the occasional days when I live in fear of him coming home.

These would be the ones when I decide that a facepack is needed, or that my eyebrows need plucking, or (and this is my personal favourite) my upper lip and chin need waxing. There have been several occasions when someone has knocked on my front door while I have been looking like this, and I have had to duck down behind the window in case anyone looked up and saw me looking like either The Phantom of the Opera or Uncle Albert from Only Fools and Horses, depending on which area of my face was getting the attention that day.

But a couple of weeks ago, I was doing something quite different one afternoon.  If the husband had come home early and caught me, I would have been in so much trouble, but it was a risk I was prepared to take.

I grouted the bathroom.

Now I am sure that there are many of you out there whose husbands do all the DIY around the house, working their way slowly through a list of 'things to be done' over the weekends.  The husband is not like that.  I will mention something (like the bathroom needing  grouting) and he will tell me that he'll 'get round to it'.  What this phrase actually means is that he'll never get round to it as he has far more important things to do, most of which involve two wheels.  

So having waited the best part of two years, and watched bits of grouting sail down the plughole in the shower, I took it upon myself to do it myself.  Armed with a tube of ready mixed grout, I whacked it in and smoothed it off.  The trouble was, that the floor tiles grout looked rather tatty then, so I did all that too.  If I say so myself, I did an adequate job.

The husband failed to notice what I'd done for three days.  When he finally did, he looked at me with that cute little mush of his, lower lip thrust out, and whimpered, 'You know I would have done that'.  

Well yes, maybe I do.  

But my patience will wear only so thin my love...

Friday, 28 July 2017


I took the husband to see Dunkirk on Wednesday night.  I have been waiting a solid week before finally getting round to see this, and to be honest, to say that I was excited is like saying that Lee Evans feels the warmth a little.

The husband was thrilled, as it meant that yet again, he could indulge his desire for a rum and raisin milkshake.  We parked the car and walked into the cinema.  Now I'm more than happy to walk through the main cinema doors, but the husband always has to go through the small side door which leads straight into the ice cream parlour.  It's almost like he can't cope with the extra ten metres and twelve seconds which he would lose by taking the longer route.

Anyway, through the side door he trotted, dragging yours truly behind him.  'Off you go to the loo then', he said gesturing to the Ladies in the foyer.

'Not sure I need to go', I said.

'Yes you do.  You had a cup of tea at 7.00, so if you don't go now, you'll need to go in the film, and that will hack everyone off'.

Mulling it over, I decided he had a point, and I dutifully headed off to the loo leaving him at the counter, hopping from foot to foot and playing with the loose change in his pocket. Just as I turned the corner, he shouted out to me, 'What do you want?  The usual?'  

'Surprise me...' I said.

Well surprise me he did.  Waiting at the table was a glass the size of a small vase, filled with chocolate brownies, mint choc chip ice cream, squirty cream and perched on top was a rather large maraschino cherry. I have to confess that I sat there and ate the whole lot while he drank his milkshake, a dazed look in his eyes.  

'Oh God that was lovely', he sighed.  'I'm going to have to buy another one.  Do you want another sundae?'  As I scooped up the last mouthfuls of brownie, I raised an eyebrow.

'In approximately four weeks and three days, I have to wear a bikini in public.  What do you think?'

Luckily for Old Tubby, he doesn't have to wear a bikini, and will be able to tuck any extra milkshake induced stomach into his large swim shorts.  Such is the joy of being a menopausal woman.

Changing the subject slightly, I was telling Master P, the young boy I share an office with, that I went to see Dunkirk.

'What's that about then?'  he asked

'Dunkirk'.  I said, stating the bloody obvious.

'Yes', he insisted, 'but what's the film about?'

I was tempted to say that it was the new Star Trek film in which Captain Kirk gets killed, but to be honest, what those men and women did for us doesn't warrant flippancy on any level.  So he had a quick history lesson from yours truly.

I'm sure his life will be the richer for it...

Thursday, 27 July 2017


Yesterday afternoon was spent with my great friend Mrs P and her beautiful Rottweiler, Neville.  Our dogs are good friends and when my two realise where we are heading, there is a mass free for all on the back seat as they vie for the first sighting of their big friend.

My two tend to look like a pair of those novelty slippers which do the rounds at Christmas when compared to the regal Neville.  You know the ones I mean.  The ones which last till about New Year, as by then you've fallen down the stairs twice and an ear/antler/nose/claw/eyeball has been chewed off by the dog.  As far as I am concerned, they are right up there with lavender scented padded hangers as far as Christmas presents go.

Anyway, we had a great walk, even though it was drizzling.  Both Mrs P and I agreed that it was that kind of rain where you felt like you weren't getting wet.  Until you stopped of course, at which point you felt like you'd been in a monsoon. But as I said to her, we're not biscuits, so rain shouldn't worry us really.  Mind you, after an hour's schlep through a very damp and muddy wood (my first for almost three weeks) I did look a bit like a custard which has been held in the tea too long and which then just gives up, slowly sinking to the bottom of the cup.

Unfortunately, I couldn't just crash on the sofa when I got home, as the two dogs resembled a couple of Victorian chimney sweeps and were in dire need of a bath.  My two hate water, and they go and hide as soon as I get their bath towels out.  Percy, who is quite sensible as far as furballs go, chooses to hide behind the sofa.  He's not that clever though as he always picks the same one to hide behind, so he always gets done first.  While he's in the bath, Reg stands next to the bath taking the Mickey out of him while I froth up the shampoo.

'Haha!  You look like a pouffy poodle with all that shampoo.  Shall I call you Fifi from now on?'

Percy looks at Reg with such disdain while I am bathing him.  As I finally rinse him off, Reg is still there at the side of the bath, still ribbing Percy.

'Ha!  Look at you now!  You look like Ratty Rat, the rattiest rat in Ratland!'

As I get Percy out and start towelling him off, Reg starts reversing towards the bathroom door, as he knows he's next. Our eyes meet across the tiles, and just as I let Percy go, Reg pegs it, running down the stairs two at a time doing a passable impression of a short legged Roadrunner.

The stand off eventually ends in the garden, where after ten minutes of chasing him around the deckchairs, I finally corner him against the the passionflower and grab him.  Carrying him screaming up to the bath, I plonk him in and give him the once over with the sponge and bubbles.

Percy likes to watch from the doorway, smugly chewing on the chew he's been rewarded with.  I know exactly what he's thinking...

'Well, you're not laughing now, my friend'...

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Keepin' it real...

I have been taken over by the male of the species in the house.  Both sons are now here, and coupled with the husband, who although very much in touch with his feminine side is most definitely male, and the two dogs, I am living in a blue world.

I have recently noticed that the tumble dryer seems to go on at inopportune times.  The boys have taken on board my request that it should not be used over the summer as it is so expensive, so choose instead to leave it running for an hour or two while I am at work, thinking that I'll never find out.  Stupid boys.  I'm a mum, and it's my job to know everything, even the things I rather I didn't.

They always make a schoolboy error because they leave their clothes in the tumble dryer, heated to temperatures of Amazonian extremes, the elastic on their pants almost liquid and their socks small enough to fit the dogs.  There's also the matter of the tropical rain storm which has hit the inside of the utility room window.  Dead giveaway.

But my favourite?  It's when they hang their wet washing (the stuff which can't go anywhere near the tumble drier as it cost them more than a tenner) on top of my almost dry clothes.  I've got one of those  inside laundry airers, and yesterday I came home to find it groaning in pain, such was the weight of wet joggers and sweatshirts draped over my almost dry work trousers. As I untied the rope, and gently lowered the dryer, I'm sure that it shed a tear.  Mind you, that was probably condensation from the tumble dryer...

The other thing which puzzles me is how the fridge can be so bereft of food when I have spent double my normal weekly bill at the supermarket.  I've put this down to the two boys opening a small stall at the end of the road, selling our food to various passers-by so that they have some money to spend on beer.  This is what happens when you're a student/between jobs/unemployed (call it what you will).  All that education and you resort to selling anything which isn't bolted down or chained up to make a quick buck.  I'm counting on son number one's bedroom being empty by the end of the month as times get more desperate.

But enough of complaining...

Somebody asked me yesterday why I do 'that blogging thing'.  It was on the tip of my tongue to tell her that 'thing' was right up there with all the other loves in my life (halibut, sunshine, raspberries, my children, new knickers and of course, the poor husband) but I showed a little restraint, saying that I did it just for pleasure.

As you know, I don't get paid for doing what I do, nor do I put adverts on my blog, because the last thing I want while you're reading is for you to be distracted by an ad for incontinence knickers. This is the problem with adverts; they are geared towards you and your audience.  Mind you, this says as much about you as it does me!

So this set me thinking.  Why do I do it?  I suppose that I have always had a mahoosive love affair with words, and being able to string a few together with the view to making total strangers giggle really appeals to me.  

But in my perfect world, an editor of a woman's magazine, having chortled at my blog for a few weeks, will email me one day asking me to do a weekly column, and WILL PAY ME.

But until that day, while you're still giggling, I'll keep doing 'that blogging thing'...

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Sleeping in...

The husband is in the doghouse yet again.

Let me explain.  Several years ago there was some discussion as to whose side of the bed the radio alarm should go on.  Historically it had always sat on my side as I was able to change the time on the alarm without searching half an hour for a pair of glasses,or resorting to looking like Jackie Chan as squinting was required if the glasses remained unfound.  

He suggested that it might be an idea to have it on his bedside table because I had a lamp, a kindle, my phone and various inhalers scattered across it.  (I am asthmatic, so they can never be more than an arm stretch away).  The husband's bedside table was bare, except for a tin which claimed to be 'Dad's Saving Up Fund for Tools'.  To date this remains empty except for several euros, three washers and a large bolt which I was too nervous to throw away in case it was important.  Anyway, he felt that he was quite capable of having the radio alarm on his side, so one Saturday the poor DAB did the long walk across the bed.

At the time, I did state quite forcefully that he couldn't be trusted with it, but he wasn't having any of it, and he moved the radio this way and that till he was satisfied that it was in the right place.

There have been a couple of occasions where we have overslept since he took over time-keeping duties, mainly because he has a penchant for stretching over just as the radio comes on, and turning it off.  He says that he thinks he's pressing the snooze button, but I'm sure that this is just an excuse.  Without his glasses on, he wouldn't be able to tell whether he was looking at the front or the back of the radio, so my response to his excuse is 'Snooze, shmooze, you were just after a lay in'.

So yesterday morning we overslept.  I had told the husband that I needed to leave the house early to make up for the hours lost to Milton Keynes Hospital and daughter number two, and he agreed that he also needed to get a wriggle on.  Now normally, our alarm goes off at 5.30.  This gives us both time to blog, walk dogs, put make up on, have breakfast, make lunch etc etc.  Stirring this morning, at what I thought was round about getting up time, I asked the husband whether he'd switched the alarm off again. 'Of course not', he said in rather a curmudgeonly manner.

So I went back to sleep.

Reg started scratching at the door some time later, so I got up and headed downstairs. Sitting down with a cup of tea, I happened to glance at the clock.  It was bloody 7.00.

It transpired that the husband took advantage of my enforced absence and changed the alarm time on the radio from 5.30 to 7.00.

And so it came to pass, yet again, that I was right.

I told you he's not to be trusted...

Monday, 24 July 2017

Our house...

Saturday dawned with me being in my own bed rather than camping at daughter number two's bijoux flat.  

Now this should have been a moment for rejoicing, and would have been if the husband hadn't spent the last two nights having the complete bed to himself.  Waking up nose-to-nose with him, I realised that violence may be on the agenda if I wanted to coax him back over to his side of the bed.  Slowly bringing my left leg back, I gave him a swift kick on the shin.  I am assuming it was the shin, as the resulting yelp was quieter than it would have been had I aimed a little higher I think.

So, quickly feigning sleep, he grunted and grumbled and hoisted himself over to the left hand side of the bed, and went straight back to sleep.  I stretched out and dropped off too, but woke up again with the birds singing, and the husband snoring in my face.

'Oh dear God', I said, rather too loudly as it had the desired effect of getting him back over to his side, and giving a sigh, I threw in the towel and got up. Wandering around the house, it became apparent than in my absence, the husband and various offspring had had a fine old time without a grown up on the premises.  Washing remained undone, floors were littered with everything from bits of sweetcorn to dog food, and a vase of dead flowers stood in isolated splendour on the kitchen table.

Now this was a puzzle.  Lady H (she of the pneumatic duster and a bottle of multi surface cleaner) had been due to come in on Thursday.  I had even left the money on the microwave in anticipation  of her wondrous works.  Looking to the top of the microwave, I worked my way through the keys, empty envelopes, sunglasses and a half eaten bag of crisps.  Well, there was no money there, so either she had been, or one of the offspring had pilfered the money and spent it on beer.

Sitting in the lounge in the afternoon, while 75% of my children recovered from alcoholic poisoning and 25% from a nasty infection, I asked the husband whether Lady H had cancelled.  Had she been ill?  Had she got a better offer?  

Well it turned out that she had been and had done a sterling job on the house in my absence.  I had been gone for a mere 48 hours.  What they achieved in that time undoing all her good work was incredible.  Thank goodness daughter number two had made a rapid recovery.

Any longer and I doubt the house would have still been standing...

Sunday, 23 July 2017

The hospital song...Part 2...

So, going on from yesterday, the trouble with doing my unexpected Florence Nightingale on daughter number two, was that I had come unprepared.  I had been expecting to be coming home on Wednesday evening having tucked her up into bed with a cup of tea. What I wasn't anticipating was that on Wednesday evening I would be washing my knickers in the sink and wondering whether daughter number two had anything suitable in her wardrobe which I could borrow to wear the next day.  

I came up with the grand idea of stretching my drawers across a clippy hanger and hanging them up at the bathroom window to dry overnight.  Goodness knows what my daughter's neighbours must have thought seeing the vast drawers flapping in the breeze. At my age, dental floss type knickers are no longer an option, and I'm more of a Harvest Festival Knicker wearer (all is safely gathered in).  So these glorious drawers flapped all night at the window, and obscured the streetlight so I didn't need to pull the blind down.  

So getting up the next morning, the knickers were dry, but there was nothing suitable in the wardrobe for me to wear to the hospital.  Throwing on yesterday's clothes, I headed to the nearest Sainsbury's and bought jeans, a top and a new pair of knickers.  As it was so early, there was only one lady on the till, and I explained my predicament about why I had no clothes.  She wished daughter number two a speedy recovery, and I changed in the loo and felt human again.

Fast forward twenty four hours and I'm back at Sainsbury's again, buying another top and another pair of knickers. Unfortunately, the same lady was on the till, and eyeing up the pair of knickers, she said, 'I bet you wished you'd bought a multipack of them now'.  Well yes, I did, but how was I to know that my daughter would refuse to co-operate with the medicines, choosing instead to take a freefall into cardboard hats and plastic sheeting?

By Friday, she had improved somewhat and in my boredom, I suggested we put a couple of bets on the horses.  Her hands had swollen up for some reason, and looking through Friday's runners, I spotted the perfect horse.  

'That's the one we're betting on', I said, brandishing the Daily Express Racing section.
'Sausage Fingers'.

Well, she wasn't amused (neither was I when it limped it seventh), but luckily, I had picked another horse which romped home at 20-1.  

'That's brilliant!' I said, 'I doubled my money!'  

'Great', said the invalid.  'You and go and buy yourself some more knickers now'.

Not funny...

Saturday, 22 July 2017

The hospital song....Part 1

Just as you're pottering along quite nicely, thankful that the stitched head, decapitated thumb and torn calf muscle are behind you, life throws you a curveball.  Not so much a curveball actually, more a cannon ball fired from ten metres by a sniper renowned for his 100% accuracy record.

This was the call I got from daughter number two on Wednesday afternoon.  I was on my way to see her after finding out that she'd spend several hours in A & E the night before. I was only going up to make sure that she was eating properly as it sounded like the treatment she' received at the hands of the NHS was more than adequate.

And then the mobile called in the car as I was halfway there.  Poor daughter number two. She was sobbing her heart out, and between the tears and the bouts of vomiting, I got the gist of what she was saying.

'I'm on my way sweetie', I said, putting my foot to the floor.  'Mummy's coming! Hold on!'

Well, I'm not the fastest of drivers as the boys will confirm.  But dropping down a couple of gears, I almost reached 52mph at least three times.  Scooping her up, I took her down to the hospital where we waited for her to be admitted.  Now daughter number two is single, and one of my favourite pastimes when I am with her is suggesting various chaps as positive suitors.  The first doctor to give her the medical once over was an absolute looker, and I was really disappointed for her, as it's hard to see the best side of someone when they are chucking up into a cardboard hat.  

Finally getting onto the ward, we were surrounded by various other poor souls, and I decided that I would crash at daughter number two's flat for the night.  Falling into her bed on Wednesday night, I realised that this was the bed which she had been poorly in, and it wasn't that special. Tomorrow I would look for another set of bedlinen so that when she came home, she would have a lovely clean bed.

Little did I know...

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Mirror, mirror...

You'll remember from yesterday that I have been asked to try these gorgeous face creams courtesy of a friend.  Now I am not expecting any miracles.  I'm sensible enough to know that the days of looking twenty five are way behind me (around twenty eight years behind me to be precise) so what I am looking for is to be able to look in the mirror, and say each morning, 'Well love, you look the best you can'.

So yesterday morning I tried the Carrot and Mango Cleansing Butter...
It smelt delicious, and for a moment, I did ponder what it would be like on a lightly toasted bagel, but wisdom got the better of me, and I popped some on my raddled old mush and massaged it in.  Well I felt like a queen (a regal one, and not the Lily Savage kind).  Reluctantly wiping it off, it left my skin feeling really smooth (vastly different from the acid laden face wipes which strip several layers off my face each night - if I keep using these, I imagine that I'm going to resemble Skeletor in the not so distant future). 

Anyway, I am going to gradually build up with the products, so I can get a good feel of which ones I like best. This one is a winner though (literally - see the picture) and when my sample is finished, I will definitely be heading over to to buy some.  In fact, if you choose to do the same and quote Words from a Bird, you'll get 15% off. How great is that! 

But the husband struggles with me doing girly stuff like this.  As far as he is concerned, when I leave the house, I look exactly the same as when I woke up.  He lives in ignorance of the cheek buffing, chin plucking, pimple picking and facial disguising (make up) which I do every morning.  If he could see me squinting into my x10 mirror with a pair of tweezers poised for action, it would be a complete shock to him.  When he tells me that I am 'lovely as I am', what he actually means is that I am 'lovely when all the remedial work has been completed' when there is no chance of him getting a shaving rash should he head in for a cheeky smooch.

There is such pressure on us girls to look younger than we are.  You see all these celebrities with their smooth, emotion-free, empty faces, but surely it's better to have face which tells a story?

With my Rose Tree products, perhaps that story will have a happy ending...

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

We go together...

Apologies for going on the missing list  yesterday.  This is what happens when the husband plies me with cider over a length of time.  Six hours to be precise.  By the time I got home, I was bang in the middle of the hangover I should have had on Monday morning, so as you can imagine, humour had taken a back seat.

Anyway, life (and my head) have returned to normal, so it's time to catch up.

Exciting news for me actually.  I have been approached by a lovely local girl, and asked to try out some gorgeous face creams, potions and lotions, with a view to telling you all how I feel about them. Now as we all know, I am a sucker for anything which promises miracles in the wrinkle department, and short of laying myself on the ironing board, I have tried just about everything to halt the wrinkles, jowls and lines which seem to be squatting on my face. (Definitely squatting, as they weren't invited that's for sure).

So over the next couple of weeks, I'll let you know how I'm getting on.  

Going back to the barbecue which we were at on Sunday, this just happened to be taking place at the same time as a vintage car show, and the venue backed on to our friends' garden.  This meant that the husband could drag me (slowly as I'm now crutchless) around a field filled with classic cars, next to which stood various gentlemen who had probably not seen their wives and children for twenty years, such was the commitment to the cars. Some of them probably haven't seen their feet for a while either, but that's a whole different problem.

So having limped around the field, asking the appropriate questions, 

'How old is that?' 
'What's that worth now?' 
'Do you drive it often?'
'Do you have a life?'

the husband then suggested it was time to go to the barbecue.  And that's where it all went wrong I'm afraid.

One cider turned into two, and two into three.  I was playing the 'I have a bad leg and can't walk' card which seemed to be working very well, and the husband kept me in cider and sausages for the afternoon.  As it got nearer to 6.00, the husband got out of his chair, suggesting that it was time to make a move.  He had a load of paperwork to do, so needed to get back.

The trouble was, I really couldn't walk by then.  'Yeah yeah', laughed the husband.  'Come on, up you get'.

He hoisted me out of the wicker chair which had been my home for five hours (ladies, I hope you are impressed with my stamina), and half walked/half carried me back to the car.  Once home, I crashed onto the sofa and started watching Grease.  This is an all time favourite film which I watched nine times when I was 15.  I did go a tenth time, but spent the whole film snogging Gareth Millington, so I suppose that doesn't count.  Seeing the Pink Ladies, the husband sat down, and said, 'Just ten minutes, then I'll go and do that paperwork'.

Well he slept through Grease.
He slept through Wild Alaska.
He slept through Countryfile.

He woke up just as Poldark started, and asked whether 'he'd been asleep long'.

Long enough for me to have two cups of tea and a mini cup-cake, put the washing on, empty the dishwasher and take up my ironing.  I also managed to feed the dogs and get my clothes ready for work.

Bloody lightweight wasn't even drinking...

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Back together...

Me and the crutches have fallen out.

It's not been the best of relationships to be honest.  Over the past week, although they have been quite supportive, they have also given me blisters on both hands, and several nasty bruises around my upper arms where my skin has been pinched.  Actually, my arms look like I've had one of those tribal tattoos done, so there'll be no spaghetti straps for me for the next few days (just as well summer seems to have taken a well earned break, as I can get my cardies out again).

Yesterday was judgement day.  As you know, I was whittled down to one crutch last week, with instructions from the physio to 'put all my bodyweight onto the crutch rather than my foot'.  Easy for her to say.  I seem to have developed an interesting gait since Wednesday, leaning over to the left at a 45 degree angle and looking like I've had one too many sherberts if you know what I mean.  

So yesterday I was on my own in the house for the afternoon.  The males in this house have tried very hard to keep it running as smoothly as possible while I've been incapacitated, but to be honest, their sporadic attempts at washing, ironing and tidying have been inadequate to keep my 'bubbling under the surface' OCD at bay.  Clutching a couple of bin liners yesterday, I hopped up the stairs, with a view to one bag being filled with any rubbish I could find, and the other was for all the hangers so I could do the ironing (this was risking becoming wedged between the shelf and the ceiling such was the amount of of clothing which needed flattening).

Hobbling back down the stairs half an hour later, with two full bags and one crutch, I dumped the hangers, and carried on outside with the rubbish to stick it into the bin.

It had been raining.

Now this has the effect of turning my patio into an ice ring, so I planted my crutch very slowly and carefully making my way to the wheelie bin.  As I turned the corner, I had the misfortune to plant my crutch onto a particularly slippery paving slab (as it's on the corner, it doesn't get the same food tread as the others so is like glass).  You all know what happened next...  

The crutch went.
I went.
The bag of rubbish went.

Luckily, the wheelie bin stopped me from completely lacerating myself on the gravel which surrounded it, and I slowly heaved myself up.

'Bloody crutch', I muttered under my breath. 'I've had enough'.

So this morning, the two crutches have been reunited and are languishing behind the wardrobe in the spare room once again.  I know the physio was adamant that I should use the crutch till Wednesday, but the rate I'm going, I'll do myself more damage than good. I'm sure she'll be fine about my decision, but just in case, I might take the crutch out of retirement for my next appointment with her.

She doesn't scare me, but she does have access to that machine which puts electric shocks through my calf to help with the healing, so I don't want to upset her too much.

So today, I will mainly be doing a watered down goose step around a field of vintage cars. This is the husband's idea of a 'good day out'.

I beg to differ...

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Baby driver...

On Wednesday, I suggested to the husband that we might go to the cinema at the weekend.

He gave me that look.  The one which asks:

Has it got foreign subtitles?
Is it a slushy romance which might involve a heaving bosom?
Does a dog get lost/get hurt/die in it?
Will you be crying all the way through it?
Does it involve two gay cowboys? (He's never recovered from Brokeback Mountain)

Well I surprised him with the trailer for Baby Driver, and he agreed that it looked like something he might enjoy at a push. Despicable Me 3 was his last choice, so you can see what I am dealing with here.  Barry Norman he isn't.

Now we are fairly spoilt around here, with a relative smorgasbord of cinemas to choose from. However, since going to see Despicable Me 3 a couple of weeks ago, all cinemas bar one have been scrapped as far as he is concerned. Why is this?  Well firstly this particular cinema does his favourite rum and raisin ice cream, so when we went to order, the girl behind the counter asked whether he wanted 'two scoops, three scoops or seven in a milkshake'.  Well the husband's eyebrows almost disappeared over the horizon of his bald pate, and wide-eyed he nodded.  'Seven please'.

So I booked the tickets for this cinema (based on a milkshake), and last night we went to see Baby Driver.  We'd decided last minute that we both needed to eat, so the husband suggested that we 'stop at the first pub we see'. Well it turned out that the pub we went to had staff who had all graduated from the Jack Dee School of Charm.  The waitress looked like she'd rather steal your handbag than fetch you some real butter (Flora on a jacket potato just isn't right) and the landlord looked like Droopy he was so bloody miserable. Having said that that the food was lovely (I have to say that that in case the waitress reads this - I bet she has connections) but it took quite some time to get to us, so by the time we actually got out of the pub, we had approximately seven minutes to get to the cinema, park up, get the tickets and buy the ice cream.  Something was going to have to be sacrificed...

The husband screeched to a halt as close to the cinema as he could, and pushed me out of the car, saying rapidly, 'You get the tickets, I'll go and park.  And don't run on that crutch'. Doing my best one legged trot, I went and got the tickets.  Just as I was heading to the ice cream area, the husband tore into the cinema, red faced. 'I'll get go to the loo, quick, before it starts'.  

There was a massive queue for ice cream (this is normal as the girls there are not built for speed if you know what I mean).  Coming back from my well needed comfort break, he steered me towards the cinema.  'Go and get the seats, I'll catch you up with the ice creams'. 

Handing over the tickets to the boy on the door, I told him that my husband would be coming through with no ticket, so could they let him in.  They asked me what he looked like so that they could wave him through.

'Oh you can't miss him', I said.  'He's the red faced chap with a mile wide smile, carrying a bucket of milkshake'.

We just made the opening credits. And the film?

Daft.  Brilliant, but daft...

Friday, 14 July 2017

Tumble and fall...

So it was back to the physiotherapist yesterday to see whether all the sitting around I'd done had worked.

Now my physio operates out of a small prefab at the top of a hill, and there are three parking spaces there.  This wasn't an issue when son number two drove me there on Monday, as he merely slowed the car down to a crawl and pushed me out of the passenger door.  However, yesterday I drove myself there, and on getting to the carpark, it was obvious that there were no spaces, even for my Mini. Reversing back out onto the road, I drove down the hill into town, where I drove around two car parks before finding a space where I could leave myself enough room for me and the crutches to get out.  

I now had to climb the steep hill to get to the physio.  On crutches.  Now I have navigated this hill on many occasions, usually with a squiffy husband or sister in tow, but doing it on crutches took it to another level. Gravity was not on my side, and I had to throw everything forward to propel myself up the 1:4.  By the time I reached the physio's, the torn calf muscle was the least of my worries, and as I walked into the waiting room, I could see the receptionist struggling to decide whether to offer me a seat, a drink or a session with the defibulators.

Waiting for my appointment, something dawned on me.  I had to walk back down that bloody hill on crutches in about half an hour's time.  All I could imagine were those daft toys you used to throw at the window which then tip down the glass, over and over (well they did until their hands and feet got covered in fluff where they'd landed on the carpet too many times). Window Tumblers I think? Well that would be me.  A crumpled heap of limbs (real and substitute) gently sobbing outside the Town Hall (the Window Tumbler equivalent of the window sill).

But it was good news!  The physio felt that I had done so well over the last few days, that she took one of my crutches away, so now I had to learn a new Crutch Technique which involved me walking up and down the corridor, humming Jake The Peg under my breath whilst trying to get my co-ordination right.  

So going down the hill back to my car was much better than I anticipated.  At least I made it all the way down, remaining vertical with my dignity intact.  

The trouble is, that when you only have one crutch, you lose all your symmetry.  I found that I was listing over to the left to avoid putting weight on the right leg, and all of a sudden I realised who I looked like.  

Mrs Overall from Acorn Antiques, that's who...

Macaroon anyone?

Thursday, 13 July 2017

In my secret life...

I'm starting to like my crutches.  Here's what I achieved yesterday...

Tea in bed (I can't carry my mug further than the microwave, and even that involves an element of sliding it across the work top in a 'Set 'em up Joe', sort of way.

Dogs walked by the husband - in the pouring rain while I was drinking my tea.  This was excellent, as it meant that I wouldn't have to do a rescue job on my hair before work.  

Ironing board and iron were set up, hangers retrieved from bedrooms and hanging rail brought in to kitchen.  Son number two also put the bar stool there so I could sit and iron. Perched on it like a slightly overweight budgie, I managed to do at least half of the ironing.  And the best bit?  I left it all there for one of the males in the house to put away later.

At Binland, I had my mug washed and filled with glorious tea at least three times, by colleagues who have so many more important things to do than pander to my every need.  
I then came home and got son number one to vacuum the lounge and walk and feed the dogs.

Ironing was taken up and put away by him also, and the ironing board and iron put back by son number two.

The husband made and served dinner.  Son number one loaded the dishwasher, and the husband brought me yet another cup of tea as I watched Corrie.

All in all, there are a lot of positives about being so bloody useless.  Tuesday evening, I was mourning the loss of life as I knew it, and moaning to everyone about how I wanted to throw my damned crutches as far as my chicken-winged arms could manage.  Fast forward to this morning, and I am thinking about asking the physio when I go later today whether I can keep them.  

Even if she says I can lose them, I may not tell the husband and the boys, but simply keep hobbling around the house while they do all the jobs I would normally do.  Of course, while no one is in the house it will be business as usual, with yours truly hurtling up and down the stairs like Usain Bolt attempting a world record.

I wonder how long I could keep this up before they started asking questions...

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Walking back to happiness...

So 48 hours into crutch use, several things have become apparent.

Firstly my tea consumption has been slaughtered by around 90%.  This is because I can't make my own tea and carry it to my final destination.  Either I drink it by the kettle, which is not very relaxing, or I wait until some kind person utters those wonderful words, 'Fancy a cup of tea?'  Luckily, I am surrounded by kindly souls at work in Binland,who made me several cups of tea yesterday morning. Of course, it helps that my office door has to be passed en route to the kitchen, so I have taken to leaving the door open and doing a passable Darth Vader impersonation every time I hear footsteps heading my way.  There were many references to Peg Leg, Stumpy and Long John yesterday, but keep the tea coming, and I forgive them anything.

Coming home to an empty house yesterday afternoon, I was gasping for a cup of tea, and had to wait till the Bookkeeping Queen, Mrs B-T appeared.  Coming through the front door with a schnauzer hanging off each of her trouser legs, the first thing she did was make me a cup of tea.  She knows me too well I feel.

But as we know, everything has a price, and I have started to restrict the number of treks I take to the downstairs loo.  It's such a bloody palaver, and our loo is quite small, so a fight normally ensues as I'm getting comfortable, with the crutches, which I like to lean up against the sink, making a bid for freedom, and usually ending up on the floor, possibly swiping me a blow across my left ear on the way down.

Of course, the tea doesn't help with this, but it's a small price to pay I suppose. 

The other thing I've learned is how often I stop for snacks. (This sounds like a confession by the way).  Yesterday, I literally went to work, and then came straight home again. There was no stopping for morning cappuccinos, no snacks bought from the vending machine in the canteen, and no home time Magnum (Still trying to track down the new Double Raspberry, but have successfully worked through the entire Magnum range over the last few weeks). Coupled with the fact that the husband has taken on cooking duties for the next few days, I would imagine that the weight will fall off me.  Every cloud, and all that I suppose.

I can't do the ironing either, unless I can persuade the husband to set it all up for me. He's loathe to help me do anything which will slow down my healing, so I can't see him doing that.  Mind you, I'd have to sit on my office chair to do it and as it doesn't have any kind of brakes, this is open to all manner of disasters.  Most of which would involve me circumnavigating the ironing board at a rate of knots, clutching a crumpled shirt and the iron.

But I am doing as I am told (this is what is frequently known as a 'first' according to the husband) in the hope that by next week I'll be back to normal.  

However.  If the husband decided to employ someone to do the ironing, I may eke the healing out just a little longer.

Now this is what is frequently known as 'milking it'...