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Showing posts from June, 2018

Hot dog...

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Percy and Reg in the Heatwave
Percy: 'I say Reg', what do you think about the weather at the moment?  I have to confess to feeling slightly warmer than usual this week'.  
(Note: Percy is of another generation, probably born into a time when rationing was still around).
Reg: 'You're tellin' me Perce, me old mucka'.
(Note: Reg likes to pretend he is from Chigwell instead of the upmarket Bath where he was actually born).
Reg: 'I'm sweatin' like a bleedin' turkey in December 'ere'.
Percy: 'Now look, young Reg.  Sweating is not the most pleasant of words.  Try using 'perspiring' instead'.
Reg: 'Yeah, whatever Perce.  Alright.  I'm PERSPIRIN' like a bleedin' turkey at Christmas'.
Percy raises eyes to ceiling.
Percy: 'I do miss our walks with our lovely fur mum, Reg.  She looks really fed up not being able to take us out'.
Reg: 'Yeah, right.  Jus' look at 'er.  Stretched out in the bleedin'…

Tick-tock...

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Following on from Wednesday's drivel, I'd like to be able to say that yesterday I made a concerted effort to sort the various bedrooms in readiness for the onslaught of the adult ankle biters...
However, as the sun shone down, and the warm breeze picked up, I had a serious case of CBA for the afternoon, choosing instead to slather myself in Factor Whatever is Left After Daughter Number One Has Been Here, and lay out on my deckchair.  I am wondering if there is anything such as being too tanned, as I am now starting to resemble an old railway sleeper.  But hey, you have to take it while it's there don't you.
The other reason that I couldn't face clearing the rooms was because I had spent the whole morning being very, very angry.
Several weeks ago, my lovely watch died after five years of faithful service.  This watch had never left my wrist, accompanying me in the bath, under the shower and in the pool, and kept great time even though it was submerged for some of its l…

Move it...

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'Are you ready then?' the husband asked me yesterday morning as I peeled my eyes open for another day.
'What for?' I asked with a hint of menace in my voice.  I should confess that I had already mentally checked off that it wasn't his birthday, Father's Day or the middle of a weekend away, so I was naturally intrigued as to what he was referring to at 6.00 in the morning.
'The kids are all coming back', he said with a smile as wide as the Joker's. 
If ever there was a way to put a damper on a sunny Tuesday morning, it was by reminding me that in approximately ten days, 75% of my children and 100% of their partners will be descending on my house.  And what would their reason be, I hear you ask?
The reason is that our home is nearest to Henley, and as the Regatta is looming on the horizon, they use our home as a doss house to get to and from Henley.  So basically, they stay here to keep the taxi fares down (assuming they can't nag me or the husband to…

The good, the bad and the dirty...

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Yesterday didn't start too well for me.  Just as I was leaving home, several men decked out like highlighter pens pulled into my drive with the aim of 'droppin' the scaffoldin' love'.  This was very good news, as my hanging baskets had become sitting tenants, as they languished on the garden bench waiting for the big reveal after the painting was finished (still some to do, but enough completed to see that a good job's been done).  
So this was good.  However, they blocked my car in with their lorry, so I had to resort to driving across the lawn to get to work this morning.  I'm blaming this on the fact that I made them all a coffee before leaving, and was therefore labelled as a 'pushover'.  My lawn is now the proud owner of four tyre tracks.  I didn't take the most direct route across the grass either, as I was keen to avoid my bulbs which I planted this year, so it now looks like a 1970's Spirograph drawing.
So this was bad, and my journey …

The winner takes it all...

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Oh my goodness, I am just in heaven.  If this weather lasts till the end of September, I'll be as happy as Victoria Beckham at a royal wedding (small attempt at sarcasm there).  Mind you, I have noticed that there is a race on at the moment as to who gets brownest first.  Me or the back lawn. This has turned the colour of salt and vinegar crisps over the last few days, and I can almost hear it snapping underfoot as I trot out to the deckchair.
The other good thing about the weather is that it gives me somewhere else to be other than in front of the television watching various overpaid divas kicking a ball about.  Yesterday, as you probably all know, whether you're interested or not, England were playing the mighty force which is Panama.  Daughter number two, who was here for deckchair and food, headed into the lounge at 1.00 on the dot to join in with the husband's shouts of support, derision, disgust and joy (depending on which part of the game was being watched at that pa…

Wobbles...

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Well it looks like this fabulous weather is going to last quite a bit longer if the weather man is to be believed.  This is great news for me as it means that my shorts and flip flops will not be retiring after their short sojourn to La Belle France.  It also means that my suntan might last a little longer than Donald Trump's combover in a stiff wind which is also good news.  Of course, if history teaches us anything, the minute I get the tent up at a Binland event I'm helping out at in August, the heavens will open and I'll have trench foot for the next few weeks and will be sporting a permanent scowl.
Anyway, I shall enjoy the weather while it's here.  We were at a dear friend's birthday party on Friday evening, and were still dancing well into the night WITH NO COATS ON. We Brits are so used to preparing for every eventuality, but on Friday night, there was no evidence of a single sock, welly, cardigan or wrap.  No one was asking for a warming coffee or cup of te…

Under pressure...

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Coming back home on Wednesday night after my week away with Miss R, I started fretting as to what condition my house would be in, having left it in the 'care' of two adults of the male species.  As a precaution, I had already booked Lady H (she with an eye for a Dust Bunny) in for the Wednesday morning to try and bring some semblance of sanity to the kitchen, but would it be enough?
Walking through the front door just before midnight, I was greeted by a beautifully tidy hall.  The same could be said for the kitchen and the lounge which all smelt lovely.  The cushions were still plumped up on the sofa, there were fresh flowers on the kitchen table, and a large heart had been drawn on the chalkboard, welcoming me home.  I did wonder whether I'd walked into the wrong house, as further inspection revealed an empty airer in the laundry along with an empty ironing basket.  This was incredible, and I promised that I would be effusive in my thanks when the husband woke up in the mo…

Burning up...

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It was back to good old Blighty on Wednesday night.  Miss R and I had decided that as it was our last day, Wednesday should be the day we 'went for it' in the suntan stakes.  Now I tan fairly easily (this is an understatement - first whiff of a bit of sun and I resemble a walnut) so had been using some sun oil (with protection before you gasp in horror) on Tuesday with some dramatic effects.  My skin had gone a lovely bronze colour and there was a definite line where my cozzie had been.
Miss R, on the other hand, does not tan so easily, and has to invest in expensive creams and a lot of time to reach the colour I get from opening the curtains on a  sunny June morning.  But because she has already been abroad this year, she reckoned that she now had a 'good enough base tan to use the oil'. 
And so it came to pass that Miss R and I slapped the oil all over on Wednesday, and lay back on our sun loungers alternating our time with snoozes, drinks, dips in the sea and food.  W…

Words...

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If Miss R didn't make such a passable cup of tea every morning, I may have resorted to pushing her out to sea on her sunbed yesterday afternoon.  Over the last week, as well as talking to each other so much that we've made each other's ears bleed, we have played every card game known to man (along with an invented family favourite of ten card rummy).  Yesterday, the two of us, having drunk enough beer to raise concerns for the organisers of the 2018 Berliner BierFestival, turned to our phones to listen to music.
Now Miss R and I have many things in common, but music is definitely not one of them.  Her tastes tend to veer towards Michael McDonald, Barry Manilow and Tom Jones (when she's after some more modern stuff) whereas I am a frustrated rock chick, pounding out the Arctic Monkeys, Fall Out Boy and a whole lot of Eminem when applicable.  One of our favourite holiday games is to sing the words of a song, and see how long it takes for the other one to 'Name That Tu…

Move over darling...

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Yesterday was a very long day for this old bird.
Miss R and I had decided to do a Thelma and Louise (without Brad Pitt unfortunately) and hire a car to take us to Le Lavandou, a small town where most of our childhood holidays were spent.  There was no fancy hotel for us back then, just a static caravan, the inside of which could melt a pair of PVC shorts in seven seconds (it was the 1970's before you start worrying about the clothes I wore back then).  
Miss R had hired a Mini convertible, mainly for the reason that it was a car she and I both have experience of, so finding the petrol release wouldn't be difficult (unlike a Triumph Dolomite she used to have) and the roof folded back, perfect for the beautiful weather.  Climbing into the car at 7.45 yesterday morning, I relaxed in my passenger seat, comfortable in the knowledge that Miss R was a competent, safe driver.
This lasted for about fourteen minutes till we got onto the motorway.  She was going so fast that I gave up on w…

Comic strip...

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Yesterday was spent mostly recuperating after Saturday's mini Tour de France which Miss R talked me into. I'll be honest with you, movement had to be kept to an absolute minimum as the cheeks of my derriere were hurling abuse at each other, and my thighs, if left to their own devices, could crack a walnut unaided.
She was most attentive all day, keeping me plied with drinks, pizza and suntan cream; I can only think that guilt got the better of her and she was doing everything she could to get back into her sister's good books.  Naturally, I adore my sister, so she's never out of my good books, but I decided to milk it for all it was worth, even letting her make me a cup of tea when we got back to the room.
We spent yesterday prostrate on a couple of loungers in the Beach Club like two well oiled slugs, flicking the pages of the magazines which Miss R always brings along.  I always have a bit of a problem with Miss R's choice of literature as it errs on the side of cr…

Up, up and away...

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As the years have passed, I have learned that Miss R is not always completely honest with me.
'Want to go on a little bike trip around the coast?' she asked me a few weeks ago.  'It's on electric bikes, so you won't have to do anything'.  On the basis of this, I agreed, gullible fool that I am.
There were twelve of us altogether, and checking out the older ladies, I decided that I would be fine.  I mean, just how hard could it be.  Well ladies, it turned out that the older ladies were all Dutch, and therefore riding a bike before they walked, but I still hoped that I wouldn't lay shame at the front door of the UK as I followed the tour leader.

An hour and a half in, having negotiated cobbled lanes, traffic lights, policemen (don't know what he shouted at me, but it wasn't pleasant) and a steep hill two miles long, I was close to throwing up over the road barrier.  The sweat was pouring down my face, and for one brief moment, I did consider chucking Mis…

Lost in France...

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Looks like I confused all of you by foisting some ramblings on you on Thursday afternoon.  Normal service is resumed this morning.
So, Thursday night.  Having walked the equivalent of the Equator to find a restaurant for lunch earlier in the day, we decided that a taxi into the old town would be a good idea for dinner.  Depositing us in a beautiful square, our taxi driver insisted on getting out of the car and steering us towards what he felt was the best direction for two ladies of advanced years.  
Now, I'm not sure what has happened on the Cote d'Azur over the last thirty years or so, but it would seem that Nice is now the venue of choice for all Friends of Dorothy.... I'm trying to be terribly PC here, but enough to say that Miss R and I were perfectly safe wandering around the market on Thursday evening.  Having eaten at lunchtime, both of us agreed that no more food was necessary.  Fast forward our evening after two Aperols and there we were with a large plate of chips…

Can't speak French...

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Well, we made it.  Despite Miss R and I having to negotiate son number two's whiplash inducing drive to the airport, a flight delay, daylight robbery in the restaurant in Terminal 5, throwing boiling water over another passenger on the plane (don't ask) and turbulence (Miss R nearly stopped all circulation in my right hand for ten minutes) we finally made it to our hotel on Wednesday night on the wrong side of midnight.
We had been expecting a pretty amazing room, and weren't disappointed, except for two things.  Firstly, there were only five hangers in the wardrobe.  Normally, I bring my own hangers, as does Miss R, but after one of our many pre-holiday packing conversations, we decided that the suitcase space would be better spent on yet another pair of shoes, and as we agreed, 'it's a posh hotel, they'll be loads of hangers'.
So having hung up all of our many outfits (enough to last till September without switching the washing machine on), thoughts then tu…

This time tomorrow...

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So the countdown has started.  I can now officially start every sentence today with 'This time tomorrow, I will be.....'
Please insert 'Finishing work/getting on the plane/getting off the plane/going to the bar' where appropriate.
The telephone conversations between Miss R and me have ramped up to an all time hysterical high, with last night's debate covering whether we really needed two types of tea bag (she's a posh Twinings drinker, while I'm just a PG girl) and whether our hotel was expensive enough to guarantee fresh milk every day in our fridge.  There was also a minor discussion about who was going to bring the x20 mirror which I seem to now need to do the simplest things.  
It used to be just needed for eyebrow plucking, but in recent months I find myself needing it for mascara and lipstick application.  Mind you, I went to see Mrs H yesterday for my pre-holiday beauty treatments (she wears a hardhat when doing my pedicure as my body is heading south s…

Sweet painted lady...

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It's been 'paintbrushes at dawn' over the last forty eight hours, as the Teacher (the husband) and the Boy (son number two) battle it out as to who is best at decorating.  Of course, neither of them can hold a candle to The Master (yours truly) which became apparent yesterday morning.  

The husband was hacked off because...well, where there is a paintbrush present, he will always be hacked off. Decorating is filed away with clothes shopping, pasta, The Walker Brothers and nail files, so he was just fed up of the threat of another day up the ladder.  Son number two was nursing a hangover of epic proportions which not even one of my famous bacon sandwiches could chase off, and had enough enthusiasm for painting to fill a thimble, so between them, it became apparent that no painting would be done on a Sunday.

Offering my services to do a bit (I love painting) the husband came up with the following reasons as to why I couldn't:

'You'll get in my way'.  
'No I w…

Let's roll...

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Son number two was rather miffed on Friday night, having listened to me reading out a couple of blogs which involved him and the house painting job.  
'You have to tell your readers how brilliant a job I've done', he whinged.  'I bet you couldn't have done it any better'.
Now I have been painting walls since I was fourteen.  I started with my grandad ('never overload your brush' was his favourite advice), moving on to my first flat and subsequent homes.  I have even painted other people's rooms, including the Mother and Mrs S.
He has been painting since last Tuesday.  And yet, in the way of all young adult males, he thinks he knows everything, and won't take any snippets of advice that I throw him.
It all came to a head on Saturday afternoon.  'Mum, Can I use the roller to gloss the wood?'...
Well, I tried to explain that glossing is not a 'slap it all over' kind of painting.  It takes time, patience and a gracefully wielded brush to …

Reminiscing...

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As from this morning, I only have another sixteen hours of Binland before Miss R and I inflict ourselves on the French for a week.  Not another holiday, I hear you say.  Well yes, and after the last few days, it can't really come quickly enough.
We are heading off to Nice for a week of reminiscing and to revisit childhood haunts.  Where we are going is close to where every summer holiday was spent between the ages of ten and seventeen, and we're going back to see how much it's changed.  I'll be honest with you, I'm really only going for the chips which they used to sell on the beach, oh, and the banana ice cream which came out of a Mr Whippy machine like magic.  We also used to hire ten seater bikes with another family, which were great fun until you had to turn back to the hire shop.  It was then a case of all dismounting and shunting the bike around (imagine The Chuckle Brothers, and you'll get the idea).
Of course, hiring a bike for just the two of us is not a…

Magic...

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'So what was the film really like?' asked Mrs S  (the lovely work friend, not to be confused with the other Mrs S who is the lifetime friend).  I was just leaving Binland, and had popped into the kitchen to say goodbye as I knew she'd be having her lunch.
'Well', I replied.  'If you are a woman aged between fifty five and eighty and can answer 'yes' to at least one of the following, then it's right up your alley', I said.  And the questions?
a) Are you fed up of having sex b) Do you want more sex? c) Have you forgotten what sex is like? d) Are you at it like a rabbit?
I think that covers most bases...
So while we were chatting about this, I happened to mention that the trailers were marginally more exciting than Book Club itself.  In fact one of them had caused Mrs S (lifetime friend one) and me to break out in a hot sweat and look at each other rather excitedly.
Does Magic Mike mean anything to you ladies?  Or even Magic Mike XXL?  This is one of the j…