Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Pups and paint

I've had the painters in for almost three weeks now. By the way, I mean it in a good way, these are actual painters applying gloss to my lovely new built-in shelves and cupboards. I don't think I'd be cheefully blogging if it was the other painters. Well, i might but I think the keys would have been rammed through to the desk by now :-)

Now, *someone* had to have an incident with some paint didn't they. I assumed it would be Pickle McWhirlwind who will fail to see the 'wet paint' sign and touch the luxurious, glossy surface with his grubby palm *before* asking 'Is this paint wet?' But no, it was the dog. Paw-plant straight in the roller tray, footprints all across the oak floor.

Thankfully the sharp-eyed painter caught her and cleaned her up. But later that evening she appeared in the lounge sporting two white patches down her back, clearly having taken the corner too fast and brushed up against a wet bit. Maybe she wanted go-faster stripes to prove the arthritis isn't slowing her down.

She certainly moved like lightning the other day when I was transferring the guinea pigs from their indoor cage to their outdoor cage. I thought little Eddie's number was up as she lunged towards him while I was coaxing Bobby to shift his butt (he gets very comfy does Bob and won't move till he's good and ready.) Luckily my Ninja training kicked in and blocked the wee fluffy snack from her slavering jaws. I'm not sure these animals are ever going to get on.

Tiggy seems to be showing a rebellious side at the moment. Maybe she's just following the general trend exhibited by my lovely offspring, the eldest of whom had a right cob on this morning, bless her. She said 'Mum, I don't know why I'm in a bad mood, I just am.' *Alarm bells* could this be hormones? Already?! Yikes-amundo she's only just out of nappies, in my Mumsy eyes.

So maybe the dog is picking up on the fact that they both do what they want despite me telling them otherwise and that is why she helps herself to my sofa every night when I've gone to bed. I wouldn't mind but I just took delivery of a new three piece suite and now the dog has languished on it longer than I have. The nerve.

Anyway, the painter is about to return so I've armed myself with dust sheets in case for an encore my four-legged teenager decides to step in the paint and then sample some sofa... ooh, I get cramps just joking about that one. Tiggy... outside!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Peeing into the wind

Eating beetroot makes your pee pink.

I didn't know this before, having always been a confirmed beet-hater, however my new weekly organic veg delivery box included 4 beetroots last week and I felt duty bound to discover something to do with them. We ended up with a gratin of sorts with lots of cream and garlic but it wasn't until bedtime I found out the full physiological effects.

It was the laugh I needed though to get over the crazy day I'd had. I'm not really sure who threw a gremlin at me as I got up but someone had it in for me.

First my brand new Next designer butter dish spontaneously broke in my hand, cutting my finger. I managed to glue it back together - the dish that is, the cut had to make do with a plaster which I managed not to glue onto it as well, which has happened in the past, but it will never be quite the same.

Shortly afterwards as I was leaving the Great Park with a tired and muddy dog in the boot of the car I found the exit completely blocked by a jewson Jewson lorry unloading sacks of sand with its crane. (No, that's not a typo, I vote 'jewson' becomes the next swear word. I'll have the kids spread it about a bit, it'll soon catch on. Pickle told me this morning my idea of pizza for tea was 'sick' which apparently is a term of approval, so I reckon anything goes these days.)

Mr Crane man was having a right laugh holding up all the dog walkers and joggers trying to drive into the car park. I suppose if he was contemplating how we all congregate there for exercise though don't feel the need to do that little bit more and actually walk there then his chuckling was probably justified. If he was just thinking up rude repostes if anyone dared ask him why the jewson he couldn't have parked his jewson lorry at the side instead of the middle of the road then I think we had grounds to set the dogs on him.

Another revelation: my dog can make my whole car rock from side to side just by panting hard lying in the boot.

So I thought I'd pop into the not-too-busy-looking Total garage and fill up on my way to an appointment, which naturally I was running late for. Popped 20 litres in, holstered the nozzle, scurried into the shop to be greeted by a queue three people deep and the one at the front couldn't pay. Poor cow I did feel for her, it wasn't her fault her credit card was having a 'computer says no' day but I did really wish I'd driven the extra mile to BP where they have more than one person serving.

And yet I doubt that would have made a difference yesterday. Ironically the self same thing happened later in in Tesco when I had my pick of a dozen different cashiers: the little old lady in front of me had her card refused. Luckily this one had something very strange in her bag, small squares of paper called 'cash' which apparently lets you buy things too. Very strange, must find out where to get me some of that.

All day long I think the gremlin was perched on my nose - you know that feeling you get when either you've bashed yourself and forgotten all about it and shortly that particular place will come out with a bright green and yellow bruise, or you're about to have Mount Vesuvius erupt through your skin and make you the scorn of every spotty teenager you meet.

Well, no spot emerged and I haven't turned purple yet, just the pink wee wees for now, but this morning my eye was swollen and glued shut with something nasty. Perhaps my hand slipped with that superglue after all?? Anyway, I think it's not worth getting up tomorrow if life continues in this vein.

It always seems to happen when Nobby buggers off on business as well. This evening not only did I have to play bouncer at the school disco which was so loud my ears are still ringing 2 hours later, but I then had to bring two sugared-up monkeys home and try to crowbar them into bed single handed so they're not cranky for school in the morning. It's somewhat like trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube. I wonder if I can make them faint to sleep if I show em my beetroot pee??

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Body parts going cheap, slight wear and tear

My dog just tried to catch a Lurcher. You have to admire her optimism seeing as she's a medium mongrel with a gammy leg who couldn't catch a hamster if it decided to run.

The result was fairly predictable: Tiggy was Wile E. Coyote to the lurcher's Road Runner. She's now sitting, defeated, in her basket now, perusing the latest Acme catalogue.

Poor dog hasn't had many walks this week with Pickle being sick off school. He is also sick *of* school but by the end of day two when he was jumping all over his sister instead of climbing into bed I was sick of him.
'I thought you were supposed to be really ill?' I demanded as he squealed at the top of his voice.
'I am ill, ' he insisted, putting on a none-too-convincing croak and doing those Puss In Boots eyes.

He went back to school the next day.

As he left, in moved the contractors and I was on full tea and coffee alert for the day. One chap was painting the front door in lovely black gloss: 'Now, that should dry in about 5 or 6 hours,' he told me as he washed his brushes at 5pm, 'so leave the door open for as long as possible or it'll stick'. 'Yeah, cool,' I replied. And it bloody was. Our evening's TV viewing consisted of 'Cold Feet' and 'A Touch of Frost' from under a large blanket.

Another guy was fitting shelving units in the hall and lounge, monstrously huge things they are too, which will pay back the painter nicely as they all need glossing, ha. However he's putting beading on using a nail gun so the dog and I look like we've both got tourettes, jumping and twitching helplessly each time he fires it.

A couple of blokes who have clearly each had a sense-of-smell bypass came to unblock the drains. We knew they were blocked because the downstairs loo decided to fill-and-stir rather than empty-and-flush last week, just before we had visitors for the weekend. Nice timing. I was treated to an intimate tour of my drains and sewers by the power of cctv and a suspiciously brown long cable and so saw for myself how next door's ivy is not only trying to knock down my fence but is also trying to crawl up my u-bends. The solution was fairly straightforward and the smell of the chemicals nicely masked the smell of the doodies and as a clever feature it also drained my bank account of all remaining new-house decorating-budget to pay for it!

Finally two landscaping experts rocked up to assess the muddy bog which is my back lawn thanks to some dodgy lawn-levelling by a former occupant. Somehow they managed to re-slope the sloping garden backwards so that with a bit more excavation we'd have a nice natural swimming pool to laze beside. Alternatively we could sell our kidneys to fund the five tonnes of top soil these chaps reckon we need to level it properly. Pass me the JCB someone.

So it was a bit like Picadilly Circus here, all to the strains of Radio 2 from the painter's little transistor and the occasional woof from the drain guy's Boxer dog. Today I am putting all my worldly goods on eBay to try to re-fill the coffers and I'm also going to attempt to claim the drain repair money back on the house insurance. I am not optimistic, given my recent luck I've more chance of catching a Lurcher.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Listening - that thing you do while you're waiting for your turn to speak

I don't think my kids are listening too well in school.

Yesterday Poppet's barnet was going crazy and she moaned 'My hair's full of plastic electricity!'

Pickle then told us how his science teacher was talking about how its possible to wiggle your pelvis and asked if anyone would like to demonstrate. Pickle expressed his total shock saying 'I didn't want anyone to see my willy!'

Uh, that's penis, my love, not pelvis.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Why I need to master online shopping

Shopping. A necessary evil unless you want to starve or walk around stark naked and something most normal women will attack with enthusiasm and relish. I, on the other hand, would rather eat my own eyeball than go shopping.

My difficulties locating my Joy of Shopping may have something to do with my advancing years as I find myself too baffled by the amount of choice lately. More often than not I am to be found uttering Victor Meldrew-esque exclamations on finding , for example, that electric toothbrushes not only clean teeth these days but will also put the kettle on, wash the dishes and make a passable lemon meringue.

I'm exaggerating of course but whilst I can just about handle my mobile phone taking photos, I just don't believe it that my sunglasses need to double up as a radio or I could possibly need a bag to put inside my handbag to make it easier to move the contents of my handbag to one of my other handbags. And who in the name of Satan's hairy armpit decided it was a good idea to put flashing lights inside kids shoes? As if I wasn't bombarded enough by the aisles and aisles of variations of small squares of soft paper that will just be wiped on an orifice and chucked away, why must I be subjected to the pleading requests of my advertising-seduced offspring?

But surely I should enjoy a good rummage round the clothes shops when I need something gorgeous for a special occasion? Wrong. I am happy to adhere to the adage of 'buy less, pay more' in order to restrict my wardrobe to quality pieces and minimise the amount of time I actually have to subject myself to the muzak of the high street but last week I desperately needed a 'smart casual' top to wear at a reunion with people I once worked with during my student days, some of whom I haven't seen for twenty years. Clearly the occasion required something suitably fashionable to fit in with the young and trendy crowd at the London bar we were meeting in, grown up enough to show I'm not languishing in the past but not so mumsy so they realise I haven't been out on the town in six years.

I've never been too confident in my ability to choose good clothes, in fact my eleven year old is already far superior in that regard and has perfected that subtle head shake coupled with a badly concealed smirk to indicate that I'm way off bat whenever I get it wrong. Sadly she was at school during my latest trip so I had to make do with Plan B which is to watch what everyone else is picking up and follow suit. Of course this can have damaging psychological repercussions when you watch the twenty-somethings notice a mumsy forty-something clutching an identical sparkly boob tube on their way to the changing room and perform a hasty body swerve to put theirs back on the rack and hurry out of the shop.

One thing I do know to avoid is horizontal stripes, of which there seems to be a lot in the Spring collections springing up at the moment. Whilst I am not averse to the Breton look, easy on the onions and beret, I would require significantly smaller tits to pull it off. Or at least I would need to find my personal holy grail of a bra that lifts and supports each of my mummy-boobs as individuals and doesn't try to squash them together so I look as though I only have the one. In my day the ads were all about 'lift and separate'. Nowadays finding a bra which doesn't contain a couple of silicone chicken fillets to produce the perfect 'plunge' is like finding a Per Una blouse without a gaudy plastic necklace attached.

After wondering aloud what the hell has been happening to Gap while I've been abroad, I am pleased to report I found the very thing in Monsoon, always a rare treat for me since normally I exit disappointed having either balked at the prices or been unable to accommodate my bosoms in a single item in the range.

As for making it through my evening out without spilling anything on myself, well that's another story.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Girl time

I abandoned my hectic schedule of cleaning and shopping to go visit my sister today. She had a day off and was supervising her own workmen at her new house. Ok, we all know that means she was on tea and coffee duty. We live slightly parallel lives at the moment except that she took on a bigger project than me and she has a real job to go to to escape the madness from time to time.

Quick aside, I handed in a job application today. See I am capable of extracting that finger so there.

Both sisters have had new front doors but while I'm already putting up curtains she's knocking walls out, fitting RSJs and posting suggestive status updates on Facebook about all the stripping she's doing. (Wallpaper, mucky brain!)

They've nicknamed the house 'The Money Pit' possibly because when they tackle one seemingly simple job, a couple of extra ones pop up and sky-rocket the bill. Such as when the electrician came in to move a single light switch and discovered that behind the plaster and under the floorboards the whole place was a death trap having been wired by a DIY enthusiast with as much clue about wiring as I have about open heart surgery. Apparently there were live wires just sitting in the open next to pipe work; they were lucky not to get fritzed across the room when they went to turn on the taps.

We had a nice little jaunt to the local cafe to escape the dust and noise before I had to head back to reality and go collect the squids from their Street Dance after-school class. They're pretty good at it now, Pickle is learning how to stand on his head in preparation for some head spinning, once he's stopped falling over. Poppet has a new move which she says is 'like putting your guns in their holsters.' ... Yup, my head was spinning right there without the aid of a crash mat.

So I'm off into town tomorrow to have a word with the officious person at a well known jewelry shop who reckons that the only possible reason my necklace has not made it through its warranty period unscathed - the crystals have been falling out - is because I must be wearing it wrong. Right, we'll see about that. I'll let you know how this pans out.