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Showing posts from October, 2017

I put a spell on you...

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Today is my birthday.
Fifty four years old.  At least I think I am.  You do get to an age where it just doesn't matter any more unless it has a zero on the end.  These birthdays are always good times to celebrate that you are still going strong and serve well as reminders that birthday cards are still welcome and appropriate.
In my family, I am Queen of the Birthday Plans.  By this, I mean my immediate family, as anything beyond my children and the husband is taken up by Miss R, whose organisational skills make mine look almost infantile.  So when it comes to my birthday, I have to temporarily hand the mantle of Birthday Planner to the husband.
But I can't really leave it all to him...
I have prompted him that a meal out might be lovely with whichever children are in the vicinity, and family members who are happy to be awake past 10.00pm.  (This is difficult because my birthday is always very close to that damn daylight saving nonsense).  I have also suggested where I would like t…

Back in time...

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I don't like the way the clock goes back at 2.00 in the morning.  What is the point of having an extra hour if you are asleep.  I think we should all put our clocks back at around 4.00pm, and just do something wonderful in those free 60 minutes.  I sort of tried this yesterday afternoon, and stuck my favourite film on.  West Side Story...... it was mildly spoiled by the husband's rendition of Maria whilst eating a packet of the Aldi equivalent to Pickled Onion Monster Munch, but as I haven't seen him for nine days, I did a Frozen, and let it go.
We managed to have the day I imagined yesterday.  No lay in naturally, as the husband, having only returned from France on Saturday, was two hours behind, so was up and at 'em at 7.00, out on the drive with his mucky bike and the pressure washer.  Once that was done, we decided to walk to a pub a couple of miles away, have a roast and then walk back.  When I asked the husband how long the walk would take, he replied 'between…

Pay it back...

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So my hunter gatherer returned home yesterday.  Looking like RoboCop coming home after a long night of crime fighting on the streets of Detroit, I attempted to hug him once he was off the bike. 'It's been bloody freezing today', he said.  
I can't tell you how relieved I was to hear that beneath the armoured jacket, he was wearing several more layers.  I had started thinking that perhaps the European beer and food had taken its toll when I couldn't get my hug to reach further than his shoulder blades.
He'd had a wonderful time, and regaled me with tales of derring-do.  Of steep hills and wet leaves, of mud and suspect pasta.  I did try and feign interest, but I was in the middle of watching the Strictly Halloween Special when he tipped up, and we all know that this is something not to be distracted from, don't we, ladies.  Anyway, he and the other MAMWSKB (Middle Aged Men Who Should Know Better) are already planning their next jolly which might involve Morocc…

Tea party...

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I can't wait for the husband to come back later today.  I will finally manage to get a night's sleep once his reassuring little bod is back under the duvet with me.  I've decided this past week that I am not cut out for this whole living on your own lark, and I've tried to over compensate by inviting many friends around.  This has been the highlight of my week, spending time with lovely chums who I see far too little of, so it's not all been bad.

It all kicked off on Thursday night.  The invite to the girls in Binland, was for 'an early supper'. I figured that this was a good idea as it was a school night, and we all had work on Friday.  The girls turned up bearing gifts, and one brought a bottle of homemade wine.  We made short work of this, then moving onto more red wine.  Finishing dinner around 9.30, I reminded the girls that I'd prepared the meal early as we all had work in the morning.

'Not me,' said one of them.  'I've got tomorro…

Cleaning out my closet...

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I am writing this yesterday.

The reason being, that if I don't to it right now, then there's little chance of you having any early morning entertainment tomorrow....or today..?

Having made the confession of 'My name is Mrs Bird, and I'm a lazy cow' on Tuesday, I was galvanised into action on Wednesday afternoon, and having had only one sit down between 2.00 and 5.45 (and that was a comfort break, so probably doesn't count anyway) the old legs were feeling a bit sorry for themselves.  So here I am, writing this at 5.55pm...which gives me exactly 35 minutes before I have to leave home to go and say farewell to my god-daughter who is off travelling for several months. (I'm coming back to this later).

So today, I have achieved wonderful things.  Only one of the jobs was on my To Do List, but nevertheless, I am still pretty chuffed.  This one job was cleaning out the kitchen cupboard.  The one which contains every thing from sea salt to jelly and cornflour to mu…

Lazy bones...

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I had planned to do lots of stuff while the husband was away.  These included repainting the bathroom ceiling, clearing out all my kitchen cupboards, spring cleaning the husband's office (no mean feat, I can tell you - I prefer to go in with a chair and a whip such is my fear of what I may discover under all that paperwork on his desk), losing half a stone (excuse me while I just wipe the tears of laughter away), sorting out the husband's wardrobe, sorting out my wardrobe, clearing three of the four children's bedrooms and tidying the airing cupboard (if I could get through the door).
In my wilder dreams, I was also going to paint the front of the house (says the woman who hates heights and eyes every ladder warily), find a piece of carpet to repair the destroyed carpet on the stairs and clean all the windows on the inside.  For some reason, when alone, I believe I am capable of laying carpet - not too sure why I should that, as the nearest I've ever got to laying carpe…

Too many people...

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Let me tell you about the roast dinner which scuppered yesterday's blog writing activity.
You'll remember that the husband has left me for three blokes, and together they are rampaging over the Pyrenees?  Well I thought it would be a nice idea to invite daughters number one and two over for a late Sunday lunch.  I had a small piece of beef in the freezer which had been in there that long, it could well have been mammoth, so I pulled that out on Saturday morning and left it to defrost.  I'd been shopping on the Friday, and was adding a small cauliflower cheese, swede, broccoli and roasties so all in all, I was sorted.
At Saturday breakfast, I invited my dad and his partner over.  This now made five which meant that the small beef joint probably wouldn't be enough. Into the freezer I went again, pulling out a much needed chicken.  While in there, I found a bag of home grown runner beans, so I added these to the menu.  
And then it was Sunday.  The first inkling I had that t…

Windy city...

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Well, I've officially started talking to myself.  I fully accept that this is an occupational hazard when you're on your own, but having a two way conversation with your dogs, all the time answering for them (in a different voice so you don't get confused as to who's who) is probably cause for concern.  Not to worry, I'll start getting really worried when I start talking to inanimate objects such as the sofa or the dishwasher (this has shown no sign of life for three days now).
The husband has been kind enough to call me a couple of times since riding off into the sunset, and I was relieved to hear that Storm Brian is no longer causing havoc over there.  Walking the fuzzballs yesterday morning, I thought that the stiff wind wasn't really destructive enough to be called a storm.  
Why do I think this?  
Well, all my fence panels are intact, and I haven't found a rogue trampoline or plastic picnic table in my garden.  I decided that maybe Storm Brian and been ov…

All by myself....

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Well he finally left yesterday morning.  Mr Bird (that name is so going to stick) flew the coop in a spray of gravel, looking like Robocop without the stature, ready to scale the Pyrenees on two wheels with several other man-children.
He was meant to do the first leg of the journey on a ferry, but unfortunately Storm Brian had other plans and the trip was cancelled.  Obviously the man who made this decision to cancel the ferry crossings was from the South, as no self respecting Northern man would cancel anything based on a stiff wind.  Anyway, a change of plan, a tunnel and a train, and he emerged into la Belle France and the real trip could begin.
Yours truly had a quieter day.  I had been thinking that my first night alone would involve bath, pyjamas, Corrie and bed, but my lovely friend at Binland, Mrs S, had other plans.
'Want to come to the cinema with us?'  
Well of course I did. What wasn't there to like about a trip to the cinema on a Friday night.  Disaster film, Gera…

Let the children play...

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I'm feeling a bit left out.
The boys who I work with in the sales office at Binland are all away on a jolly.  Sorry, I mean they're away for a couple of days which will be spent listening to informative and educational lectures.  This might just be feasible if they weren't doing it in a holiday camp by the seaside.  I hadn't really thought too much about it until one of my male colleagues asked me why I hadn't gone with them.  After all,  so-and-so and so-and-so had gone, and they aren't as much involved in sales as I am.  
Well, this set me thinking.  Firstly, the whole Sales Conference Jolly has really passed me by - I only heard about it last Friday, and Master P and Master H played it down as being a bit of a chore which they could do without.  As this week has trolleyed on, they have asked each other things like, 'Are you taking your swimming shorts with you?' (Master J was loathe to reveal his semi naked torso to his work colleagues.  Knowing some o…

Rip it up...

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I hope you like today's picture.  This is what greeted me yesterday when I got home from Binland.  Despite asking all family members whether it's important, I am still no wiser as to a) who it belonged to and b) what it is (or was).  Not to worry, it's gone the way that all things go when Reg gets bored - straight into the recycling bin. 
I don't know why he feels he has to shred something when he runs out of the toys/chews/my slippers/yesterday's tights/balls/Kong activity toys and flower pots which are readily available in the dogs' toybox.  There have been many times when I have been bored.  These have usually involved watching some sport or another, but at no time have I thought to myself, 'Blimey this game is boring, I think I'll go and shred my trousers'.  It's a dog thing I suppose.

Preparations for the husband's road trip are gathering pace, and yesterday I was given the task of getting his medicines for the trip.  I'd like to remi…

Motorbikin'...

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The husband is preparing for a few days away without me.  Having dedicated himself to our children since what feels like 1872, I persuaded him that it was time to do some of the stuff he loves doing.  
His first jolly is ten days away on his new motorbike, cruising over the Pyrenees with three other men who have never really grown up either.  Over the last two months, once the bike appeared, there has followed a long stream of helmets, boots, trousers etc etc etc.  Desperate to get the right layering in case it's cold/wet/scorching hot he could look like anything from the Michelin Man (on a bad day) or someone who's borrowed clothes off a much larger friend.  I've been subjected to fashion shows where he looks like RoboCop, and had my opinion asked as to whether red suits him or not.
The next issue was what he was going to carry his clothes in.  Choices have ranged from rucksacks, a top box and panniers through to one of his mate's sons following them in a car with all o…

Hocus pocus...

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Well, I am almost recovered from the epic Schnauzerfest walk around West Wittering which I did on Sunday.  You know how I often talk about Reg and how he should be slapped with the canine version of an ASBO?  After Sunday, I reckon that transportation to the colonies would be too good for him.  
It started well.  The husband and I met up with Miss R, who had been cycling up and down the coast, desperately searching for the fish and chip shop where we were waiting for her.  I'll be honest with you, I was almost at the point where a scabby donkey would have looked attractive with chips, but she finally turned up.  As she'd been cycling, she was a tad concerned about what she looked like in her garb.  'Don't worry', I said, 'With your white jacket on, you look like you've just come off the golf course'.
Fish and chips were eaten on a rather shabby bench, situated between the Pound Shop and a rowdy looking Sports Bar, and it was then down to West Wittering be…

Walkin' back to happiness...

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Yesterday was the first of my Schnauzerfest walks.  This one was up The Clumps (there's no easier way to say this, I'm afraid...)  Now I have done this walk four times.  And every time, the same thing has happened.  Percy does the whole hour and a half walk with his nose pressed firmly to the derriere of a particularly beautiful older lady called Ruby (before you think he has a penchant for pensioners, Ruby is a 12 year old miniature schnauzer).  She is always very patient with Percy's attempts at ardour and he only received a couple of warning nips from her for his over exuberance.  This is very handy for me, because I know where he is at all times.  But Reg?  Now he's something else altogether.
He started well, socialising with all the other schnauzers and coming back every now and again to check I hadn't run away.  And then, half way round, it started to heat up a little.  There were a small gang of schnauzers with names which brought to mind a 1960's East Lo…

Leaving...

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Fifty per cent of my children were at home yesterday.  Son number two has schlepped down from the north for a thirty six hour whistle stop visit.  He has calculated that this is enough time to get his washing done, buy enough food to last a week (more on this later) and sleep.  Between these requirements, he's managed to bore the socks off me with Contract Law and details of legal cases circa 1758.  Such is the life of a Law student.  
Still, it's a vast improvement on pensions and ISAs, which is daughter number two's topics of choice.  Between them, they have the ability to make my eyes glaze over within fourteen seconds.  She is back to catch up with son number two and when their conversation turned to the financial and legal implications of Brexit, I beat a hasty retreat to the lounge where I could lose myself in the uncomplicated banality of Tipping Point.
So back to the shopping.  Son number two is highly skilled in pulling on my heart strings, and when he told me that …

Sit down...

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Yesterday I was privy to something which up till now has been a mystery.  You'll remember that the husband had taken his hair into his own hands, with devastating effects around the summit.  Finally taking my advice, he decided that while I was in the dentist (yet again) having a crown repaired (yet again) he would pop over the road to the Turkish barber and have the full works.  This entailed a hair cut (thank goodness), a shave and the removal of tufts of hair from various orifices (before you start thinking that the Turkish barber did 'extras', all these tufts were above the shoulders).  There aren't many times I'm glad I'm not a bloke, but watching the husband having his ears set alight with lighter fluid, I thanked my parents for making me a she and not a he.
Anyway, my dentist works very quickly, so I toddled across the road to the barber and plonked myself down in the waiting area.  The husband was half way through, and was being wet shaved.  As he glance…

Old friends...

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In my humble opinion, there is nothing better than spending a few hours with old friends.  By 'old' I don't mean as in years, as they are all roughly the same age as me, and I definitely am not old.  No, these are friends who have been in my life for around twelve years, and who are the proud owners of sons the same age as son number two.  We have been through so much together with our boys, and although the problems have moved on from getting son number two into the school shower without keeping his pants on, through to the question, 'How much alcohol is too much?' it would appear that there is a common vibe still running through with regard to our sons' lives now.
I was in the cafe for over three hours, during which I managed to polish off a lasagne and chips (my favourite food combo, inherited from the Mother) and a large slab of cake (another favourite, but all my own doing).  I also managed to almost bore eight ladies to death with stories from Binland.  I …

Live and let die...

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Now that I am more Home Alone than Mrs Christmas on December the 24th, I am trying to make sure that my afternoons are busy.  My week of watching Tipping Point and wallowing in my own self pity is over, and three weeks down the line, I can at last see the positives of not having any of our children living at home anymore.  
Last week, a good friend asked me if I'd 'put my garden to bed yet'.  I shook my head, considering this the safer option bearing in mind I didn't have a clue what she was talking about.  Well apparently, around this time of the year, you are meant to do a lot of jobs involving secateurs and a bag of manure.  I have neither, but decided that armed with a pair of kitchen scissors and a bag of compost I found in the garage I might have a go at what she was suggesting.
Now gardener, I am not.  I have this theory that if something is still alive after six months, then it's a keeper.  To be honest it took some time to learn that some things die in the a…

Cheapskates...

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The husband is starting to eye me up very warily.  And why is this?  Well, in the absence of a working beard trimmer to rectify the appalling DIY haircut he performed on Friday, I only did what every woman would do, and offered him the use of my Philips Ladyshave.  Now I'm not saying this is past it's sell by date, but on the occasions when kickstarting it fails, I have to wind the rubber band around for about ten minutes to get enough oomph in it to tear through the forest on my legs. Needless to say, he wasn't impressed.  I then suggested I manually trim his man bun with a pair of nail scissors which also went down like a lead balloon. I think this is partly my fault as my eyesight isn't all it was, and even with the reading glasses, it may be that he loses an eyebrow instead. 
I have one more suggestion, and that is that he goes back to the barber, cap in hand, and asks him to mend that which is broken.  I may go with him on that occasion to reinforce what the barber…

Let's dance...

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So the latest update on the tufted husband is not a good one.  I kindly pointed out to him the spot which the beard trimmer had missed (this involved me sticking my finger on the spot on the back of his head and walking into the bathroom with him three times, before he finally twigged where it was.  Then horror of horrors, the beard trimmer broke before he had a chance to whip off the offending tuft.  So he has spent the weekend cultivating the early stages of a man bun, which at least is quite trendy I suppose.
We continued the theme of our lazy weekend with a lovely hour of Strictly on Saturday night, where over takeaway pizza, we had a most pleasant discussion concerning Jonnie Peacock.
'He's amazing considering he's lost his leg', I said.
'He hasn't lost a leg, you daft woman', responded the husband.  'Just look at him go.  He's incredible'.
Not willing to take his disbelief quietly, I insisted with my argument.  'I don't think you'r…