Monday, 30 March 2009

7 Random Things

  • Today as I was driving home from work I was approaching a busy roundabout when I noticed something in the distance. I realised it was a meandering line of ducks waddling across the road near the roundabout so I slowed down to let them past. It was so charming to see them, and also really satisfying to see all of the other approaching cars spontaneously slowing down to allow the ducks to get onto a safe area.

  • Smallest Daughter was cuddling up to me in bed, our faces close together. SD says "Mum, why have you got hair under your nose?" "Have I really?" I splutter, feigning surprise. "Yes, you have. Is it a Mumtache?" "Err, yes I think it is" say I, making a mental note to buy some facial hair remover....
  • On Friday school closes for the two-week Easter break and I am really ready for it. I have a ton of things to do and two weeks to do it in. Most of it involved tidying the garden which is beginning to look like Steptoes' Yard with various old pieces of garden furniture, an old swing, old fence panels, two discarded wooden cupboards and a dozen or so plant pots. The house is even worse. It looks like we've been burgled. In fact I think a burglar would tidy up before they took anything, it's that bad. I have Big Plans to turn the currently underused 'family room/junk room/study' into a dining room. It's a lovely room overlooking the (untidy) garden....maybe that's why we don't use it?.....but needs to be decluttered, new flooring fitted and the dining table moved in.
  • I'm also due to attend a two-day conference next week in Liverpool. I had been invited to stay in a very nice hotel for the two days, but will have to return home each evening to look after my offspring. Shame.
  • The Teenager-in-waiting's class had a science test to check their knowledge of recently covered subjects.
TiW: "Mum, what is a male bee called?"
Me: "Hmm, is it a drone?"
TiW: "Oh, I got that one wrong then. I thought it was called an Angry Bee."
  • I am currently coveting a pair of Fly London shoes. I saw them on Amazon and fell deeply in love, but now have to justify spending £52.40 which is a hefty chunk of my monthly budget for clothes/hair/toiletries/ stuff. What do you think my blogging friends? Should I buy these lovelies?

  • I had my test results back from the doctor who said everything looked normal. I now have to wear a 24 hour recorder to check what is happening to my heart over a day.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

The reason why the world is in financial turmoil

President Lula da Silva of Brazil has declared that the current world financial crisis has been caused by 'white and blue eyed people'. He was speaking at a meeting prior to the G20 Summit next week.

As a white, brown eyed person I'd like to say to all of you white, blue eyed people: How could you?

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Tequila!

Last night I went to see the Teenager-in-waiting perform in a dance show at the local theatre. She was, as you would expect, extremely good and I genuinely enjoyed the show.

During the interval I had a look at the programme and looked through the names of the children. Rebecca... Lauren... Chloe...Hannah...Tequila. Tequila?

I can only imagine this was her mum's favourite drink, but should you be naming your kids after your favourite tipple? Based on that idea I've decided to rename my two daughters. From now on they will be known as Colombard and Shiraz.


Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Matters of the Heart

Sorry to disappoint if you came here hoping to read about a new romance, but it's about my old ticker.

Last week I had a funny episode (peculiar, not ha ha). I could feel my heart beating incredibly fast - I've been having palpitations on and off for quite a while now - but then, unusually, I felt a sudden griping pain in my chest. It did momentarily cross my mind that this might be what it feels like to have a heart attack, only it would be much worse. But it did concern me enough to make an appointment to see my doctor.

I had my appointment with the doctor yesterday, and it unsettled me a little bit. It became a bit of a farce with him asking me to tap out the beat of my heart on the desk, then him tapping out another rhythm to compare. We then both spontaneously started tapping out a tune and saying "I'll name that tune in one". Well, you had to be there.
Anyhow, I had expected him to tell me it was nothing at all to worry about and to put my mind at rest, but he didn't exactly do that. He said he thought it might be something called Supraventrical Tachycardia or SVT which I vaguely understood (I knew all those years of watching ER would come in useful in the end) and he sent me to the hospital to have some blood tests and an ECG. Blooming 'eck!

I must admit that I felt like a bit of a fraud, because the chest pain hadn't been that bad. And yet here I was lying virtually naked on a bed with several electrodes attached to my various bits and pieces that were connected to a machine making beeping noises. And what's more I hadn't even shaved my legs! Oh, the shame.


It'll be a week or so before I get the results from the tests, but I've been told I might have to wear a heart monitor for 24 hours. This will give them a better picture of what is happening with my heart beat. By all accounts SVT is not life threatening, but until I get the test results I've been told to 'take it easy'. Easier said than done when you have so many different commitments, so I am thinking about making some realistic life changes.
Watch this space.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Dear Mr Pizza Hut

A few months ago I wrote to you to tell you about our visit to one of your 'restaurants'. You very kindly sent us a £15 voucher for to go towards our next visit, which was OK.

Well, call me stupid but against my better judgement we have just been back again. Now I can see that you're clever. When people - in this case me, my youngest daughter and her friend - come out of the cinema and they're hungry and they can see a Pizza Hut right next door then it'll take a very strong person to physically wrench the children away from the door handle to your place. So in we went.

First of all, we stood by the 'Please wait to be seated' sign for about 5 minutes, while the staff worked hard at avoiding our eye contact. I can't say I blamed them though as the place was heaving and I could only spot 5 waiting staff. Not enough. So, we decided to find our own seats, where we sat for another 10 minutes before being asked who was serving us. That would be no-one then? By this time the children were threatening to gnaw their own arms off so leaving wasn't an option.

Finally our order was taken. Incorrect order arrived. Drinks order didn't arrive. Incorrect drinks arrived. Correct food arrived but missing a couple of items. Correct drinks arrived. Our request for parmesan cheese was met by a look of exasperation and the comment "I've been looking for it all day but haven't seen it." I imagine a small feral parmesan scurrying between tables to avoid capture.

We start playing a game called Who Can Catch the Eye of the Waitress? which was hard because we were dealing with experts here. I mean these guys are so busy that making eye contact with customers must be the kiss of death, because it means they have been acknowledged and expect attention.

Eventually, after what seemed like decades the ice-cream arrived for the girls. But not the spoons. Of course not, that would be too obvious. Smallest daughter had to run and accost one of the waiting staff for spoons, which still resulted in a 5 minute wait.

I know I said last time that we wouldn't be going into one of your Huts again, but this time I really, really mean it. I was going to complain to you again, but after paying the bill and going home I looked at the receipt and suddenly felt better. I had been given our bill but it was missing a couple of items.

Yours,
A Former Customer

Those Dreams Again...

Uh oh. I've been having Those Dreams Again and it's making me feel quite unsettled.

And, if anything they're getting more...erm.... realistic.

I've only been awake for half an hour so last night's dream is still swirling around my head.....but trying to make sense of it is difficult.

I fairly confident that I don't want a relationship just now, life is just too busy for one. And anyway, how would I meet a man when the only places I go to are work and the supermarket? Last time I looked primary schools are full of women, and supermarkets don't have men stacked up in the Special Offers aisle.

No, there is something else going on with these dreams but I sure as hell can't figure it out.

Image from here.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Two years ago today

No flags at half mast
No silent minutes of respect for her
No tributes or sombre tones on radio or TV news
Or dedicated column inches about her happy life

Two years ago today
She left us quietly
the way she had lived.
No fuss

but leaving a gaping hole that nothing can repair
nor time can heal

My lovely, laughing Mum.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Reasons to be cheerful


It's getting warmer. Today I wore a lighter coat because my winter one was far too heavy. Even the lighter coat was taken off after a while.

  • The first signs of spring are showing. I have a beautiful azalea bush outside the window next to my desk. I can see dozens of tightly closed buds on the branches. In May they will bloom into the most fantastic show of brilliant orange flowers.
  • The lighter evenings mean we can walk more often instead of getting in the car for short journeys, just because it's dark.
  • I've started cleaning the house. Every spring I feel the need to go through every room, decluttering and cleaning every surface. I've already taken quite a lot of rubbish to the tip (a lot from the girls' bedrooms...) and have advertised some unwanted items on Freecycle.
  • I've written out of list of projects that I need to do around the house and in our large and unruly garden. It'll give me real satisfaction to cross off the jobs as they are completed.
  • I feel a new sense of optimism and renewal.
  • Life is pretty damn good right now.
  • I'm happy with my lot.
Do you feel the same once the first signs of spring appear?

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Slipping Through My Fingers

The Smallest Daughter has had a landmark weekend. She is a shy, very affectionate little girl and hasn't really liked the idea of going to stay at friends' houses for sleepovers. In fact she only had her first sleepover at our house last month, when she invited a school friend to stay. Just before her friend arrived for the sleepover SD asked me "What am I supposed to do at a sleepover?" Bless.

Anyway, by co-incidence she was invited to sleepovers by two different friends this weekend - one on Friday night and then the other on Saturday - and she surprised me by saying she would like to go to them both.

When I dropped her off on Friday I made sure to tell the friend's Mum that this was SD's first ever sleepover, and if there were any problems she was to call me straightaway. The sleepover went well and she was tired but happy when I went to pick her up the next morning.

Last night she went on the second sleepover - again I spoke to the Mum and explained the situation. "Yes, SD might want to come home as she's not used to being away from home, etc." SD overheard this and turned to me, put her hand on my arm and said "Mum, you're going to have to let me go sooner or later." Aarrrgggghhhhhhhh! She's only 9 years old - I don't want to even think about that yet! She's my baby.....how can this be happening?

In fact she dealt with the two nights away from home without any problems. It was me who had the difficulties. In that moment when she said I would have to let her go it was as if I had a flash forward moment of the future when both of my beautiful, smart girls will have their own lives and I won't be needed as much. And it's difficult to deal with because of course, this is what I'm preparing them for. The future. Why is this so hard?

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

What's the capital of Sweden?


The Teenager-in-Waiting was doing geography homework.

T-i-W: Mum, can you test me on the capital cities of different countries?
Me: OK, what's the capital city of France?
T-i-W: Paris.

Me: That's right. What's the capital city of Italy?
T-i-W: That's easy, it's Rome.

Me: OK, what about the Republic of Ireland?
T-i-W: Dublin.

Me: What's the capital of Sweden?
T-i-W: Ikea.