Saturday, 28 July 2007

I'm Enery the Eighth I am.....

We went to Hampton Court on Thursday – me, Mackenzie, Charlie and Charlie’s mum Eleanor. An interesting blend of people to say the least – me weighed down with the worries of a close friend, Mackenzie who was hoping to see “people with their heads off”, Charlie who was having a major crisis about her relationship with New Rich Boyfriend Jonathan (he’s started avoiding her calls, ignoring her texts and not contacting her at all) and Eleanor who, despite having brought up Charlie and her sister Catherine, doesn’t really like children but wanted to buy some historical books and some Mead. Charlie’s mum is rather grand and rolled up in twin set and pearls which threw the rest of us slightly – all in jeans and comfy shoes. By quarter to nine (an early start was deemed important by Eleanor so we got there before “all of the students”) it became patently clear that we were lost. I for once wasn’t driving and Charlie wasn’t paying attention, she kept checking her phone to see if Jonathan had texted or called. Unfamiliar bits of London kept flashing past me (Barnes featured quite heavily) and we went round a roundabout three times.

We arrived at Hampton Court (a journey that should take about an hour or so) two hours and ten minutes after we had picked Eleanor up in leafy Sydenham. Mac was grizzly and demanding something to eat, a headache was niggling nicely in my cranium, Charlie was tearful and Eleanor was rigid with disapproval. We parked up and decided on a refreshing cup of tea. The Privy Kitchen Coffee Shop was heaving with foreign exchange students but Eleanor managed to secure us a table between the French and Italian contingent. “Where are the heads mummy?” my all-things-gruesome son kept asking me which prompted Eleanor to tell him all about beheading. And how it was done at the Tower of London. Not Hampton Court.

His face puckered up and I knew we were in for at least a Force Five rant. Charlie diverted the certain explosion by offering to take him to the kitchen where they “chopped things up and cooked whole pigs in a fire”. Which left me with Eleanor who was daintily picking at a cherry muffin. The French students were getting quite boisterous by now and were making jokes (I presume) about Henry VIII’s, erm, girth. Cue lots of gesturing and funny walks. Eleanor shot them a look that has surely set Anglo-French relations back by about twenty years. I suggested we join the others in the kitchen.

Mac was quite happily playing with some bellows when we found them. Eleanor wanted to move on to somewhere that wasn’t Below Stairs. We headed off to Anne Boleyn’s Courtyard where we happened upon some people dressed in Tudor costumes. Mac was tiring of wandering around, Charlie was building herself up into a good old rage and muttering “why hasn’t he called?” and Eleanor was swatting foreign students away as if they were flies. I was beginning to think that it was nearly 50 quid wasted. “Oooh, let’s go to the maze!” someone squealed theatrically. The looks on the faces of my companions led me to believe that it was me that had uttered those fateful words.

Apparently, it’s “the most famous maze in the history of the world”. Naturally, we got lost. An hour and a half we were in that sodding thing. It may be the most famous maze in the history of the world but I’m not going back in there ever again. Eleanor spent the entire time wondering what “foliage this is?”.

We left at ten to four after a hugely expensive late lunch at the Tiltyard CafĂ© – very nice but hugely expensive although Eleanor took it in her stride and didn’t even bat an eyelid when she got about £3.25 change from a twenty pound note. We’d visited all four shops – Barrack Block, Base Court, Garden and Tudor kitchens and came away with enough books, cushions depicting Henry and his wives, terracotta pots, pewter and copper kitchenware to open up our own extension of the Palace. Mac was happy with his sword and singlet and pretended to be a knight all the way home.

I rang David as we were negotiating our way out of the palace gates (they open up onto a main road, it’s very weird – but am guessing all were fields during the Palace’s heyday) to give him a rough estimate of when we’d be home. An hour later I rang him again to ask him how to get out of Barnes. It’s very nice there though.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Aw shucks....!

Thank you Kelly for your wonderful nomination! This has cheered me up - I'm having an emotional day today (a combination of impending Mother in Law visit this weekend, PMT, a friends sadness and a headache that started at 9am yesterday morning when we got lost on the way to Hampton Court - post to follow) so you may detect a bit of a wobble from me here!

I'd like to bestow this award to

Landcroft House for never failing to provide me with a "oh this, it's nothing, I just threw it together" recipe whenever I need one!
Seriously you guys, you deserve a lot of credit for "my" cooking!
Drunk Mummy for providing the wine!
Dulwich Mum for blogging even when on a body board in Cornwall
Mutterings and Meanderings for making me smile and nod along in recognition

So everyone, visit here to pick up your award and maybe do some nominating of your own!

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Lookie Likies

Saskia rang me this morning and asked me which famous person I thought she most looked like. What a dilemma: if I chose someone she deemed as “ugly” I’d never hear the end of it. So instead I asked why the hell she wanted to know. She’s joined a head hunting agency – to be hunted, not to do the hunting. She’s fed up with working for the well known high street store and wants to spread her wings. She’s got a 12 page questionnaire from the agency full of questions including “if you were a fruit, what would you be” and “if you were a superhero, who would you be and what would be your powers?”. And of course the question that has caused all the consternation: “Which famous person do you most resemble?”

Saskia is petite, dark haired and extremely pretty but for some strange reason all I could think about was how much she resembled my hairdresser Amanda who is, sadly, not famous. “Some people have said Courtney Cox Arquette” she said hopefully. I could hear her trying to coerce me into agreeing with her. I didn’t. She has a Cox Arquette vibe but not entirely. “Nigella Lawson?” I ventured. The sucking-in-of-air told me she was not best pleased. “In what way?” she screeched. I admitted it was mainly the hair. To soothe ruffled egos I agreed that Ms Cox-Arquette was probably the closest match. She hung up quite happily.

Then David rang to see how I was. I asked him the same question. “A sexier Kate Winslet” he said without hesitation. There are many reasons why I love this man, this is just one of them. Lydia thought that I had a whole “Liza Tarbuck think going on” and that she herself most resembles “that woman off the BT ad”. Ruby Over The Road thought for a while and said “a bigger Felicity Kendall” and was convinced she’d be a very good double for Gail from Corrie. I asked Charlie the fateful question when she rang to confirm our plans for tomorrow. She groaned and asked if I’d been talking to Saskia. Charlie had apparently told Saskia that she looked most like Lesley Joseph "as she is now" and had the phone slammed down on her before Charlie could tell her “when I was in John Lewis the other day, some guy swore blind I was Abi Titmus”.

So my dear friends, who do you think you most look like?

Monday, 23 July 2007

Pace of life

Being out of London for the weekend was such a treat, it’s a whole other world. By the time we hit the A21 we were surrounded by courteous drivers and, for half an hour, followed an old dear (and I mean that nicely) in her Metro as she did 24 miles per hour through to Lamberhurst. David was quite happy to poodle along behind her until we got to the bypass whereas I would have been gnashing my teeth. We’re chalk and cheese David and I you know. The hare and the tortoise, in fact.

While David, Mac and the dogs explored the house and went onto the beach, I headed to Sainsburys in Hastings for some more last minute items. Honestly, most of my shopping is “last minute”. I picked up some magazines, a pineapple, some steak, a disposable barbecue, some crisps, some Yop they had on a BOGOF deal and a bottle of wine for later. I did all this in record time, just as I do in London, rushing and racing, skidding round corners, harrumphing loudly if people get in my way. I was seemingly oblivious to the stares of the other shoppers (although I did catch one man standing opened mouthed as I raced down the wine aisle and plucked a bottle from the shelf without stopping – I must have looked desperate). Plonking the whole lot on the conveyor belt I found myself breathing heavily and being stared at by the locals. Five minutes later the conveyor belt had moved about four inches. The woman in front of me (trolley piled high with organic apples) seemed to know the Woman on the Till as they talked about somebody called Rose. Rose, it seems, had a knee replacement done on Tuesday and is desperate for an organic apple. By now I was tapping my foot and flexing my fingers in an agitated fashion. By now, if I were in London, I’d be back in the car.

The last item from Rose’s friends shopping was beeped through and then Rose’s friend began searching in her cavernous bag for her purse. I was practically growling at this point. I had my purse all ready and I still hadn’t had the divider removed from the start of my shopping. The woman on the till caught sight of “John and Barb” who were unloading their shopping behind me and enquired casually about “their Sophie and her university choice”. Rose’s friend found her purse and pulled out a credit card. Woman on Till uttered those immortal words “Nectar card?” which provoked more rummaging. Why not keep your Nectar card in your purse? I rang David while Barb ran through most of the universities in the country and said “I’m still in Sainsbury’s, it’s taking ages” and started emitting a low yowling noise. My laid back husband said it was alright and to take my time.

Rose’s friend hefted off with her trolley and Woman on Till (her name badge proclaimed her as Bridget) asked if I needed help with packing. I declined graciously, a fixed smile on my face.

Beep went the pineapple. Beep went my Hello. Beep went Mac’s Fimbles comic. There was a delay in the beeping as Bridget became engrossed in cover of Heat magazine. By now I was twitching. Beep went Heat. A space while Bridget wiped her nose on tissue. Okay, I’ll let her have that. Beep went steak. “Are these nice?” Bridget asked as she held aloft my onion rings. I assured her they were and waited for them to be beeped through, clutching my carrier. She was reading the product information. Barb piped up “they’re good for dipping in houmous”. Bridget expressed amazement and beeped them through. Beep went barbecue and beep went bottle of wine. I stood waiting, cards aloft while she blew her nose and searched for a mentholated sweet in her pocket. “Have you got a cold?” Barb asked. Bridget nodded pitifully and asked for payment. Swipe went my Nectar card. Any slower and she’d be going backwards.

I jabbed in my pin number so fast the machine didn’t register it. Bridget then started clucking in an alarmed fashion and rang for a supervisor. I was now hopping from leg to leg and was in serious danger of having a seizure. Supervisor popped over and did something with the key pad. I re-entered my pin number, as slow as I could considering everything in my body was racing. I toyed with the idea of popping onto the “Let Me Measure Your Heart Rate” machine but didn’t want to break it. Clutching my shopping I legged it back to the car and had to sit there for a full three minutes as everything (blood flow, heart rate, blood pressure and pulse) returned to a normal pace.

Why can't I slow down?

Friday, 20 July 2007

Rain rain go away.....

I've packed for sun, cold, wind and rain. Having just got soaked doing a last minute shop at Sainsbury's, I've upped the waterproof gear. All three dogs are in the car already and are steaming up the windows, David is going round checking all the windows are locked, Mac is trying to find Blue Dinosaur (without whom we cannot leave despite the fact that Blue Dinosaur has been more or less ignored since Green Frog arrived) and I'm wondering if we'll actually be driving or floating to East Sussex. My aunt (who lives in Ashford, about three quarters of an hour or so from Pett Level) is "under three inches of water and my back passage is soaked".

I hope that you're all okay where you are and that you have a fab weekend!

Thursday, 19 July 2007

How clean is your house?

I've just watched possibly the worst ever episode of this excellent Channel 4 series - this guy in Wareham had fifteen years of crapola in his house, about a gazillion house and fruit flies, a cheesy toilet, enough crumbs in his bed to feed an army and every strain of bacteria known to man.

I now feel totally okay about having a slightly stained worktop that no amount of scrubbing will get rid of and dust bunnies under my bed. It does, however, make me worry about the dirt and germs that you can't see. This guy (who is incidently now looking for lurve now) shared his bed with lots of bacteria - they showed him what it looked like magnified like a million times. I could have sworn that I saw a bed bug in there (the size of a small horse under magnification) but David said that I was letting my imagination run riot again. Still. Tomorrow I'm going to Dyson all the mattresses, sterilise my entire kitchen and bathroom and de-flea the dogs.....even though they don't need it.

Question: how dirty does a house have to be to warrant a visit by Kim and Aggie?

Something for the Weekend

David enjoyed his “surprise” birthday party last night – even Amelia was moved to say “it was alright I suppose”. The food was lovely, including the barbecued rump (yum, I can still taste it!) and a good time was had by all. The presents were slightly, erm, random but that’s all part of the fun isn’t it? Amelia gave her pride and joy a cheque that made his eyes gleam and Ginny presented him with an aged bottle of scotch that was immediately locked in his bureau! The cake went down well, even though Amelia had “disguised” it somewhat with the use of strategically placed candles.

Saskia’s new boyfriend Mark is an anaesthetist at the hospital where she works – trust me, he doesn’t need drugs to send his patients to sleep. Within five minutes of his arrival he told me how “meat marination works” and listed the “cuts” of the cow in a monotonous voice. Saskia, however, had secured the jug of Pimms and was deep in conversation with Charlie Lydia and was paying him no attention.

Charlie’s Super Rich New Boyfriend is, as I first thought, an arrogant, erm, well, it rhymes with “banker”. He arrived in a screech of brakes clutching a bottle of champers (which he calls shampoo) and announced “Hi, ten minutes from the City to here in my brand new and rather snazzy Maserati” by way of introduction. Charlie wound herself round him and kissed him in a way that I wasn’t comfortable with Mac watching and cooed and simpered at him. He calls her “baby doll” and she calls him “horny boy”. Frank and Marjorie’s radar must have been working overtime. Their enthusiastic greeting spoke volumes.

Bea and Stephen arrived with some “simply divine nibbles darling” and the news that Enormous Au Pair had just been left in front of a DVD of The Office and a KFC Family Feast bucket. Their present of a super duper new golf club (it’s so good it almost goes and finds your lost balls for you) went down extremely well with both David and Matt who has already asked to borrow it for a tournament he’s in at the weekend.

Andy’s present, however, caused the most excitement – he and his “life partner” Adam have just (well, a couple of weeks ago) completed buying a house at Pett Level in East Sussex and it’s gorgeous. Right on the beach and with a pub not 2 minutes up the road, both Andy and Adam plan to decamp there for the whole of August and September and we were offered the chance to stay for the weekend. We’re going down after lunch on Friday with all three dogs who, at the mere mention of the word “beach”, went absolutely mad with excitement. As did Mac this morning who wants me to get the “big plastic ball out of the gridge mummy and check it for holes”.

We’ve started packing already!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Birthday BBQ

It’s David’s birthday today – he’s currently on a golf course with Matthew and Mackenzie (such a little sportsman!). This morning we had cards and presents and balloons and a nice relaxed family breakfast. David had said, at the weekend, “I don’t want a fuss on my birthday, just a few drinks with the family in the evening”. Well, I listened to what said, agreed with him and then waited until he had gone out with Frank Stewart for a Sunday lunchtime pint before I got on the phone. As a result, the guest list is exclusive but it’s somewhat larger than I – and certainly David – expected.

Charlie and Saskia are coming over (Charlie with Super New Rich Boyfriend Jonathan and Saskia with “some bloke I’m sort of seeing”). David’s sister Ginny has just arrived with Amelia (ggrr, am trying to be nice) and my wonderful sister has agreed to put them up for the night in her multi-bedroomed abode. Which is good really as Ginny has discovered the Jack Daniels and is on her third already.

Lydia has been marinating meat since David left at 11.30am and is receiving update texts from Matt (“we r doin 18 holes. Slowly as M keeps stopping to pick daisies”). A couple of days ago I read a recipe posted by Silvana at Landcroft House that I thought was very apt - David's Barbecued Rump - so we're doing that too! The kitchen smells heavenly.

Marjorie Stewart has made the most amazing birthday cake – slightly disturbing – but amazing all the same. I’d suggested a basic, royally iced fruit cake. What I’ve got is a fruit cake but made and iced to look like a pair of boobs wearing nothing but a whipped sugar covering. It looks amazing but Amelia is frosty and disapproving. I’ve asked her to start slicing lemons for the punch. Fitting, I thought.

Stephen, my wonderful brother in law, has just dropped off several bottles of champagne to be shoved into the ice filled bath and Frank is out in the garden setting up the barbecues (plural because we have enough food to feed the entire Avenue and he’s in practice for the Street Party – more about that in a later post). Jack Next Door has provided the tomatoes for the salad and the corn on the cob for grilling and is washing the garden furniture watched by all three dogs (who keep stealing the hose) and Becks the rabbit.

The honeymooners will be “dropping in but we won’t be stopping, we’ve got a do to go to”. Darren fell asleep in the sun on his first full day on honeymoon – his right side is bright red and Janey keeps having to “slap Nivea on it”.

Bea had offered us Enormous Au Pair (the poor girl has discovered kebabs now) to help with the salads but I feared she’d eat more than she’d chop. Jane Opposite offered to help and is currently panic buying watercress in Sainsburys. Eliza is coming too, freed from the shackles of child rearing for the evening “you go out and have a good time” Simon her husband said. She thinks that Jack is teething and so gratefully jumped at the chance of a childfree evening. Andy is heading over too (“I’ve got the most amazing present for David”) and is bringing his medium friend Alex so no doubt we’ll have a few guests from the spirit world too.

So, we’re all set!

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Summer Planning

David, Mac and I have just got back from Mountsfield Park and Lewisham People's Day - we've had a lovely time. We had organic hot chocolate whilst listening to an accordion player in the Comfy Sofa Caberet, I had Gracie Spoon read my palm (she was very good!) and was nearly stung by a malevolent wasp as I perused the heavenly herb stall - I came away with enough varieties of basil to send an Italian mama delirious with happiness....Spag Bol tonight! I've also got some pineapple mint, some blackcurrant mint and a lemon balm that I can still smell even though it's now in the garden and I'm not. Mac was fascinated by the many flags that were fluttering in the refreshing breeze and got a balloon from a passing clown and a teddy bear after David had successfully hooked a duck. I've had a henna bracelet done and I found David in the beer tent holding a frothy pint and chatting to a man on stilts.

Just the usual Saturday!

It's hard to believe that this event is in its twenty third year - it grows and grows and is a wonderful way of bringing different companies and voluntary groups together. A real sense of community and a lovely way to spend a few hours.

On the way home we had a discussion about the different things we can do this summer - we've got a week in Southampton at the end of August but Mac wants to do "everything daddy" before that. Legoland, Chessington and Digger Land were mentioned more than once in the half an hour car ride. And not by either myself or David.

As we travelled home, we had a call from Saskia - she said that she's quite happy to join us at Chessington and suggested a day at the beach too. I didn't find out why she rang in the first place.

Matthew and Lydia have just arrived for dinner - Mac immediately started gabbling on about what he'll be doing over the summer. Lydia looked shellshocked but Matt selflessly agreed to come to Digger Land with his baby brother.

Something tells me we're going to have a busy summer!

Friday, 13 July 2007

Cyber pals

I've noticed, whilst reading other blogs and pondering what to reveal on my very own, that there are lovely friendships developing. Wonderful Mutterings and Meanderings always makes me laugh out loud. The fab Crystal Jigsaw is a very spiritual lady and I've recently been encouraged to develop my own spirituality by happenings in own house. The lovely Kelly never fails to make me smile and always seems to provide me with a recipe when I'm looking for something to make for tea! And then there are those cyber pals who I haven't even mentioned but you can see who they are on my Blog List!

Don't you just love cyberspace?

Thank you sweet Silvana for nominating me to wear this badge (and for the lemon curd recommendation - yum!). I will wear the badge with pride and will eat the tarts with relish! I now nominate my amazing cyber sister Dulwich Mum to be the next to wear the badge of honour.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Bloody Sunday

We woke on Sunday morning to a rousing chorus of “Oh what a beautiful morning” followed by the roar of my Dyson outside the bedroom door. It was half past six. Amelia was obviously tackling the “mess this house has sunk into” as I heard her telling David last night. As well as commenting on the state of the house, she queried my ironing abilities, commented on the state of the fridge and “don’t even get me started” on the bathroom. Such a joy to have her here.

I was sticking to my truculent teenager role which included sulkily picking at the breakfast she made (everything was fried, including the bread) – David of course cleared his plate - and answering all of her questions in a sing-song voice. I don’t think she noticed, she was too busy pandering to her son and grandson and cleaning up my hovel.

Mid morning, I came into the living room halfway through a conversation. David was wearing his resigned expression and Amelia her triumphant one. It seems we were going to see “Giles and the family”. Giles runs a farm on the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells that supplies “quality meat and cheaper than the butchers” and Amelia visits him once or twice a year to fill her freezer up with pig, cow and sheep. I’ve never been before but David always gets roped into driving her out there. Then David suggested that it might be better if just he and Amelia went – I was about to agree when I saw the smug look on her face and the obstreperous teenager in me came racing to the fore and said “no, Mac and I will come with you”. David looked wary (as well he might) and Amelia looked like she had severe indigestion.

The drive was pleasant enough. Amelia pointed out cows and sheep and horses in fields to Mac as we drove through windy lanes. As we got closer to Giles’ farm, Mac started asking questions about what “aminals” he was going to see. “lots of cows and sheep and pigs and chickens and geese” came the response. Indeed, we were passing fields full of chomping sheep to our left and oinking pigs to our right and, on arrival in the courtyard, nearly took out half a dozen chickens who were roaming free. Idyllic. Until you caught the smell of blood.

It hung over the place like a cloud. Mac didn’t seem to notice it but my nose was twitching the minute I set foot outside the car. Giles, a ruddy faced man wearing a blood smeared apron, embraced Amelia and shook David’s hand. “The wife and son I’m guessing” he said, gesturing to Mac and I. “Take feller-me-lad over to the pig pen while I sort Amelia out” Giles said, pointing to a distant part of the courtyard. A blood soaked youth loped passed us as we headed pig-wards. Honestly, it was like something out of Deliverance – I was waiting for the banjos to start.

The pigs were sweet enough but they all seemed to have days of the week written on their backs. “Mummy what is the writing?” came the inquisitive voice at my side. I assured him they were their names. “Nah, they’re not” said the blood soaked youth who was now at least looking less gory. “They be the days they be due for slaughter. Gotta tell kids the truth these days” said this youth, with an admonishing wag of his finger. He looked about twelve and I didn’t like the way he was fingering his steely blade and looking at the pigs. I daren’t check to see if there were any marked “Sunday”. I took my son and headed back to the car, avoiding the clearly marked Slaughterhouse. We watched the chickens for a bit, Mac tried to catch a couple “for dinner mummy”. Oh, out of the mouths of babes! David was backwards and forwards to the boot of the car. “She’s bought half a pig and a quarter of a cow!” he said, almost jovially “come and have a look at the lamb chops, fresh in!”. Oh the blood lust!

We joined Amelia and Giles in the shop part of the butchery, me feeling slightly queasy and Mac beginning to look worried. I clutched his hand and eyed the admittedly lovely looking lamb chops. “They were runnin’ round yon field yesterday!” Giles boomed as he beamed proudly over the massacre in front of him. Out of the side window you could just see lambs happily strolling around. Out of the field and into the chilled cabinet. I decided against the chops. “A few chickens and then we’ll be off” Amelia said as she led the way back to the courtyard. Mac took up where he left off and started trying to catch a feathered fowl. “Is this normal?” I asked David, peering from left to right lest blood soaked youth appeared. “It’s the countryside!” David said, ruffling my hair and heading over to Giles and Amelia.

“You’ll never catch ‘em like that laddy!” Giles boomed, bringing out a huge net and bringing it down on the heads of a couple of chickens who were minding their own business in the corner of the yard. “Can I stroke it?” Mac asked in wonder. Pennies were dropping all over the show and my voice, when it finally erupted from my mouth, was croaky. “No Mac, come and sit in the car!” David bodily removed him as Giles cracked first one, then the second neck. Too late, Mac heard the strangled squawks and the crushing of neck bones and started sobbing “the poor chicken, the poor chicken”.

Half an hour later, plucked and paid for, we were off home, our gruesome cargo in the boot. Mac was inconsolable and I had to sit in the back with him which didn’t help my car sickness. What with that, the smell of freshly deceased farmyard animals and my imagination running riot about what other delights that gruesome little plot held, it was not a good journey. I made David stop in Hither Green – I had to get out and have a good wander round. When I got back to the car, Amelia was talking about cooking one of the chickens for dinner.

Home and Mac went up to his room for a sleep and I prayed he didn’t have nightmares. Amelia was busy shoving the dead carcasses into my freezer “Mrs Myers son is picking me up tomorrow, he’s visiting her for the day” she said as she left one of the chickens out. It still had its head and claws. I took one look at it and compared it to my neatly packed supermarket chickens and felt quite faint. I was accused of being hypocritical – “you eat meat don’t you?” – but my meat comes neatly cleaned and packaged and looking nothing like the animal it once was. I’ve got the rear leg of a pig in my chest freezer, complete with trotter.

David and Amelia sat down to nicely roasted chicken whilst Mac and I shared a vegetable lasagne I found at the back of the freezer. Hypocritical I may be but I just couldn't face eating a chicken I'd seen not four hours since being chased around by Mackenzie.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007


I'm extremely tired. Mother-in-law induced exhaustiveness coupled with the inability to sleep for longer than an hour at a time. The whole house creaks and groans and shifts during the night - I lay awake on Sunday night listening, convinced that the cast of Michael Jackson's Thriller were about to burst into the room and start shaking their funky stuff in front of my fitted wardrobes. Amelia left on Monday morning following an horrific Sunday (post to follow) and I celebrated this by going to Ayres and buying a fresh fruit cream gateau and eating half of it myself. I felt so appalled by this gluttony that I didn't eat for the rest of the day.

Today, half mangled by lack of sleep, I've walked into doors, tripped up stairs, fallen over dogs - I'm black and blue and am sure that Marjorie Stewart (collecting for Help the Aged "have you got anything old you don't want any more dear?" - I was half tempted to say "my mother in law") is convinced I'm a battered wife. "That looks sore dear" she said as she appraised by already-turning-yellow bruise on my upper arm. I sensed she was about to call for Frank (retired policeman just itching to uncover a crime on The Avenue - more about the neighbourhood watch in another post) so I hastened inside the house and flopped onto the stairs, neatly catching my left elbow on the bannister rail. My expletives woke the dogs up. I'm at that tired stage where tears are always hovering close by. Mac refused to eat his shepherd's pie this evening (all will become clear later) and instead of negotiating calmly and sensibly as I would normally do I had to call David in to deal with "his son" while I snivelled and crashed around the kitchen feeling unloved and melancholy.

But now that I've got that lot off my chest, I'm off to bed. David promised me, as I logged on ten minutes agoe, that he had a sure fire way to help me fall asleep. This was accompanied by a lewd wink and a suggestive hip waggle. As I can hear him snoring from down here I'm guessing I shall be wrestling with my night demons alone again.

Saturday, 7 July 2007


I've put a leg of lamb in the oven, my raised hackles are hanging out to dry and my white flag is fluttering nicely. I would like it recorded, that today I have given up. I've given up being remotely pleasant to my mother-in-law and for the rest of her stay this weekend will be openly and happily hostile. Think Catherine Tate's Lauren and you'll be on the right track.

The day started so positively too - Mac started bouncing around the house from half seven because he was sooooooo excited about getting another rabbit today and joined me with the dogs on Peckham Rye Common. All three whisked around lifting legs and wearing each other out and Mac and I had an interesting discussion about why grass is green. We returned home to sizzling bacon and freshly brewed coffee at 8.30, secure in the knowledge that I had at least 50 minutes before Amelia were due to arrive. Wrong. A tantivy of banging and bell ringing heralded her arrival at just gone 9am "I got an earlier train!" she puffed as she fell into the kitchen, drew her finger along a work surface and peered through into the utility room at my ironing pile all at the same time.

Off to the stables where she spent five minutes sniffling into her hanky that "Mackenzie is such a big boy now, how handsome he looks, just like his grandfather." Very touching thought I, mellowing just a little as I proudly watched my little man on Rufus, a cute little white pony. "Is he going to be able to carry your weight?" she foghorned as my beloved Blue was led out of the stable to greet me. Bless him, he whickered happily and bodysearched me for polos. David shushed her but, as she hadn't got a reaction from me, she cranked up the volume and nastiness "Surely that horse won't be able to carry her weight?" she asked four complete strangers and a stable lad. I know I'm hardly waiflike but come on! I tried not to think mean thoughts but the phrase "bitter old malicious bag" kept going round and round in my mind.

From the stables we went to Pets At Home in Blackheath. Mac made a beeline for the rabbit hutch while I wandered round picking up a few things for the dogs: rawhide bones, some charcoal biscuits and a ball each. This was met with disdain. "Why are you buying yet more things for those dogs? They chew their bones and it marks the carpet, they don't eat the biscuits and you find them months later and yet more balls for me to trip over?" I resisted the temptation to fling my basket at her and turned my attention to my boy who didn't look happy. I asked him what was wrong - there was a surplus of cute little bunnies all gagging for a good home. "I want a chilli, granny said I could but daddy said no." he sulked, hanging over the rabbit hutch, pouting just like I do when I realise I'm all out of Maltesers. Daddy was not looking happy and was shooting his mother what Saskia would call "some serious evils".

He meant, of course, chinchillas. Those cute little, erm, things that pine when they're alone so you have to have two and they do nothing but sleep and occasionally take a chunk out of your finger. Granny had promised him one of those instead of a rabbit. The woman herself was now trying to dig herself out of a hole by enthusing wildly about all the rabbits and how lovely they all were. "Look darling, that one is looking at you!" You had to give her seven out of ten for effort.

Eventually, he chose a rabbit, grey with long floppy ears. There were no staff to be seen so Amelia went into her "in-my-day-the-customer-was-always-right-and-there-were-always-two-shop-staff-to-each-customer" routine until a beleagured youth appeared and hoiked out our rabbit of choice. We then received a lecture on bunny care and I asked one or two leading questions like "How old is the rabbit" meaning "I don't want it carking it in a months time" and "Do rabbits suffer from any congenital illnesses that we should know about?" meaning "Is this bunny likely to suffer with heart disease because I don't want it carking it in a months time". The rabbit was a spring chicken and healthy at its last check up by their own vet.

Along with some treats for the as yet unnamed rabbit, we bought some more straw (I threw out the last lot obviously) and a treat that you put in the freezer for your pet to suck on in hot weather - a bunny lolly, if you like. This set her off again, on and on she went about "faddy things" to take money from "gullible stupid people" (this with a pointed look at me). Just to really pee her off I picked up three bottles of isotonic drink for the dogs at the till and bunged them in my basket.

We then had an argument over who was going to buy the rabbit. David insisted that as she paid for the last one, he'd pay for this one. Leaving them to it, I paid for my shopping and huffed out to the car. David followed with the straw and the rabbit in its carry case. "They're looking at the fish" he said wearily and I suddenly felt awful. Poor David, torn between his mother and his wife. We had a little hug in the car park and got tooted at by a van load of builders who were all jeering and wolf whistling.

Ten minutes later Mac appeared carrying a garish looking box. We had been sitting in the car, relishing the peace and talking to the rabbit. "What has he got now?" David asked, peering into the rearview mirror. "Probably some sort of rabbit assault course that I'll fall arse over tit over when I'm putting the washing out" I said, settling the new addition onto the back seat. "I didn't think it would do any harm" I heard Amelia say as I straightened up. Mac was carrying a "Goldfish Starter Kit! Goldfish not included!". Amelia had the goldfish in a plastic bag. We got home after a frosty journey, Mac alternately talking to Becks the rabbit (sorry, Mr Beckham) and Goldie the goldfish (an "A" for originality).

The dogs converged on me and robbed me of bones, biscuits and balls and disappeared. Becks was introduced to his new home and spent some time hopping around the garden. He certainly seems more lively than Jessica, even before she died. There was a photoshoot at which Becks, like his name-sake, excelled. Goldie was brought out onto the patio and we three sat out there for a while - Amelia set to making a cup of tea "as no-one else is bothering". Mac is going to teach both his new pets tricks he said confidently as we watched Goldie do what goldfish do and Becks posture and pose on the patio. Amelia joined us with tea and those god-awful cakes she insists on making and bringing with her.

Five minutes of silence and then: "you spoil that lad" she said accusingly as Mac and Becks got to know each other on the lawn. I was temporarily speechless and gazed at her like a bemused haddock. "You'll ruin him. All this money he's had spent on him today and does he appreciate it? He'll never understand the value of money if you keep giving into him" and off she went on a rant about the folly of children and how, if I wasn't careful, he'd end up mugging old ladies just to buy a can of cider before he "were much older."

Before I could speak in her pause for breath she glanced at her watch and plonked down her tea cup with a clatter you could hear in Kent. "I suppose I'd better start dinner as you don't seem to be interested in doing it. I've got to eat regularly with my colon." and up she got and into the kitchen where she started assaulting the leg of lamb and demanding to know where my rosemary was. "Call this a herb rack?" she bellowed out of the open window "I've seen more herbs in a Post Office. When did you last really scrub this baking tray, look, there's burnt bits on it."

David groaned at my side and stuffed a whole rock cake into his mouth. I watched Becks lope into his hutch and felt like crawling in after him.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Oh no!

"That would be lovely Granny, thank you!" I heard these words as I joined my boys in the living room having left dinner sizzling nicely in the oven. I looked at David who had the good grace to look sheepish. "Granny's coming for the weekend and she's going to buy me a new rabbit" Mac chirruped as he bounced around on the sofa. Apparently, Granny was very upset to hear about Jessica's demise and wanted to know "why mummy didn't ring to tell me". I might have known it'd be my fault. No doubt she's sitting in Sevenoaks wondering what I did to Jessica to make her fall off her perch. Ah well, I'll find out on Saturday.

RIP Jessica Rabbit

I had a surreal day yesterday. I had a dead rabbit in my kitchen first thing in the morning, held in the arms of a distraught little boy. Horrified, I wrenched the carcass from Mac’s arms and checked for signs of fox attack. Nothing. But she was cold. “Why mummy?” he wailed, wrestling the rabbit from me. Mac found her when he took her her morning carrot “lying on her bed all stiff”. It seems that Jessica Rabbit carked it of natural causes. My boy was inconsolable and demanded that he report the sad news to his father immediately. Still clutching the deceased bunny he waited as I dialled David’s mobile and jutted his chin out manfully as he waited for his father to answer.

David told me, in a later conversation, that it was extremely hard to discuss Jessica’s demise and subsequent funeral (my boy wants to give her full honours) on a packed train full of pinstriped City gents who were all wittering about the FTSE and “staying at Barky Thompson’s for the weekend, what?”.

There was no question of my boy going to nursery – he was sobbing and clutching onto Jessica. He’s never experienced death before – I’ve sheltered him from family deaths on the grounds that he was either too young or it’ll be too upsetting - and another “he’s growing up” moment began. I explained that sometimes animals die for no reason, other than it’s simply their time to die. Really, David is better at these kind of conversations.

He seemed to accept this and asked me to find a box to put her in. “We’ll have the fooynerawl this afternoon” he said bravely as he laid her gently in a box and added a blanket “in case she gets cold”, a carrot “because she hasn’t had breakfast” and her ball “to keep her company”. All this with a rigid back and a determined expression. I started welling up and had to stick my head in a cupboard until the tears dispersed.

He then set about drawing a picture, the dead rabbit in a box at his side. The dogs started taking an interest in the contents of the box which worried me somewhat. Charlie rang for a chat and Mac commandeered the phone and told her all about it. He invited her to the funeral which was to be 5pm in our garden. As ever, Charlie stunned me by accepting the invitation as if this sort of thing were something she were used to. Saskia did the same when I told her, almost embarrassed about the morbid task ahead of us. She said she’d be there. “I love Auntie Charlie and Auntie Saskie” Mac said as he dropped the picture of Jessica as an angel into the box. His Godmothers had come up trumps – as always.

Fearful of the dogs getting hold of the gruesome cargo I convinced Mac that Jessica should be put back into her hutch, in the box, almost like a Chapel of Rest. Once I had explained what a Chapel of Rest was, he embraced this idea wholeheartedly and we had a mini ceremony. Jack Next Door was mowing the lawn and took the news of Jessica’s demise in his stride. “She’s gone to a better place lad” he said reverentially, taking his cap off as a gesture of respect. As Mac went back into the house, Jack told me he’d make a “proper wooden box – don’t want the foxes getting her” and offered his services as grave digger. Lydia arrived at lunch time (I’d completely forgotten she was coming) and helped Mac put together a framed montage of pictures of Jessica after phoning Matthew who promised to be here at 5pm.

The whole thing was spiralling. There would be 8 people at this funeral. What’s the protocol? Should I be buttering bread for sandwiches? When I was a child I had four pets – a goldfish, a budgie, a dog and a cat. One followed the other as the other died. When Goldie died she was flushed down the loo and I had nightmares for a week. When Pepe the budgie died (a tragic accident, he flew into a window believing it to be open and plummeted to the ground like a lead balloon) he was wrapped in newspaper and put out for the bin men. Whiskey the dog was left at the vets and Cindy the cat went away to die. I’ve not handled a pet funeral before and was beginning to feel woefully inept and not up to the task. I rang the girls and asked them to bring food. “Will you say a prayer mummy?” he asked me as he pushed pasta around his plate. “and can we sing a song?”.

At half past four Jack arrived with a sturdy box and we decanted Jessica and her keepsakes into it. Charlie and Saskia arrived together with a selection of M&S nibbles, carrots and humous and sandwiches along with a bottle of non alcoholic pink fizz “to toast Jessica’s life” Saskia said as she hugged Mac to her. Matthew had agreed to pick David up from work “a family emergency” David had said as he shot out of the office at 4pm. “Bloody hell” he said now as he took in the scene before him.

All three dogs had black bows tied around their necks (Lydia’s idea), Saskia was moaning about the oven and cutting the sandwiches, Jack was in the garden digging the hole under the honeysuckle, Charlie was admiring the Jessica Rabbit montage and I was boggling at how surreal it all was.

We trooped out into the garden and Mac lowered the box into the hole and David led us all in the Lords Prayer - Saskia very nearly got the giggles at this point. Matthew seemed to be very affected by this “he did the same when my hamster Bungle died when I was five” he whispered to me. We didn’t sing a song in the end but we all had a moment “to contemate Jessica’s life”. Mac is that age that he picks up words from others – the Funky Vicar had obviously had a big effect on him on Saturday. Heads bowed, we were all lost in thought. I was thinking, rather uncharitably, that I was glad I didn’t have to clean the hutch out any more. Rabbit poo gets everywhere.

Jack refilled the hole and placed a wooden cross he’d made on it. Mac wandered around the garden picking flowers to place on the grave. Saskia got the giggles again and went into the house to check on the nibbles. My brave boy was the star of the wake. He charmed and shone, polishing off the carrots in memory of Jessica. As the last of the guests left, he asked me what we’d do with Jessica’s hutch now she “was deaded”. I told him that after a suitable amount of time, we’d take it out of the garden. “Or mummy,” he said as I tucked him into bed “we could go and get ‘nother rabbit to fill it?”

Something tells me that he’s getting over his loss.

Monday, 2 July 2007


The house has suddenly realised that I'm no longer chasing my own tail and caught me this morning sitting in front of Jeremy Kyle dipping custard creams into my tea. The house (I envisage that it held a conference while we were at the wedding on Saturday) has decided to play up, create mess and generally make itself extremely visible to me.

Where did those dust bunnies in the corner by the TV come from? They weren't there yesterday when we were glued to the TV watching various music stars cavort around the Wembley stage. Why has the bathroom developed a sudden musty smell - the kind that demonstrates that there are a few damp towels wedged somewhere. What the hell is that stuck to the runner along the hallway? The dogs sniff it and shoot off at speed. I investigated it this morning, on my hands and knees, sniffing the carpet. It doesn't smell of anything that I can smell but it looks sticky. Why can't I shut the roundabout cupboard in the kitchen? Nothing is stopping me (misplaced Oxtail soup can and so on) yet it won't close. Why can't I plump up my gorgeous duvet cover any more? It sits in forlorn lumps, taunting me.

Has my house been ignored over the past few months and is now getting its own back? Or has Gladys decided that I've been far too slovenley for far too long and is prompting me spiritually?

Whatever's going on, an immediate clean up job is required. It's not as if I've been shirking my housewifely duties during the run up to The Wedding, but I must admit it's been more or a lick and a promise than full on heavy duty elbow grease.

I started in the kitchen - it's gleaming and sparkling and the cupboard door now shuts, I still don't know what was wrong with it. Then I did the hallway, utility room, dining room and the living room. When David got home at half past seven he found me slumped in front of Coronation Street while Mac polished the ornaments in his PJs. "Daddy, I'm soooooooooo tired!" he yawned. I merely waved from my supine position and gratefully grabbed hold of the bottle of wine David handed me as he whisked the child-labour workforce up to bed.
The house seems happy that it's halfway clean and tidy - perhaps Gladys is relenting a little now that I've set the ball rolling.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Concert for Diana

My one hundreth post which I think is fitting as today is the day of the Concert for Diana. Charlie is one of the lucky ones - she's there as I type, no doubt trying to break into Take That's dressing room!

I'm not claiming to be a great fan of Diana - she was just "there" as I was growing up but I never really took a great lot of notice of her and what she did. I gawped as she walked the landmine strewn field in Angola, I watched her bedazzle in whatever outfit she wore and was overcome as I saw her reach out to those people with AIDS.

I can remember the day she died as clearly as if it were yesterday though. That heavy feeling of disbelief, not leaving the television in case I missed something, my tears as her coffin arrived at the airport. The funeral struck a chord with me too and what did for me was the card on William and Harry's wreath - it simply said "Mummy". Ten years ago this year. What was I doing ten years ago? Where has the time gone?

Her boys have done a fabulous job in organising the whole Concert for Diana extravaganza - it's been amazing to watch and it's not over yet. I'm looking forward to the Andrew Lloyd Webber medley and I loved Duran Duran (not so sure about Orson though, not my thing) and rocked to Joss Stone! David complained about the noise and headed upstairs for a bath.

Nelly Furtado sang two of my favourite songs, this one and this one. I'd have liked this one too but I'm guessing Justin and Timbaland were busy!

And has anyone guessed that I've just worked out how to use YouTube?!?!

The Wedding

Yesterday was truly wonderful - worth all of the hard work, the whinging, the moaning, the incessant demands, the ridiculous Order of Service book, the sponsors clamouring over optimum advertising was a lovely day but I can’t help wishing that we had today’s weather yesterday! Am never happy am I?

By Friday night I was so tired I was seriously contemplating ringing Janey and telling her to get on with it herself. But I didn’t. Come half past eight on Saturday morning I was at the church hall, finishing off and doing a final sweep up. The fun and frolics started at Ivy and Jim’s house at nine with the arrival of Hair and Make-up and Ivy panicking because the bouquet appeared to be “wilting”. Pam the Florist whizzed by on her way to finish off the church and Uncle Jim nearly dropped his bacon sandwich “F*** me, it’s Judi Dench!”

The photographer – Terry – was everywhere. You couldn’t go anywhere or do anything without a camera flash blinding you. If you ask me, the candid album is going to be bigger than the actual wedding one. He got a lovely shot of me, whilst sweeping the floor, shall we say adjusting my underwear. He's promised to delete it. Hm.

Chaotic, that’s the best word to describe the morning of The Wedding: Fractious bridesmaids who were bleating that their hair wasn’t straight enough. Ivy running out of pins for the button holes which necessitated her running down to the corner shop with curlers in her hair and her wedding makeup sliding off her face. Mac was an angel throughout and he and Caitlin spent the morning watching DVDs (I rarely use the TV as a babysitter, don’t tell Bea) and shushing us when we got too rowdy and they couldn’t hear Flushed Away.

Janey looked glorious in her dress and I must admit I shed a few tears. We had some “artistic” shots taken (by this Auntie Ivy thought Terry meant nudity and she thundered up the stairs to find her daughter sitting in the bathroom, a white sheet draped round the shower cubicle as a backdrop, on a chair holding her bouquet, fully clothed). Whilst all this was going on, Janey said some truly lovely things to me and I was awash and had to be touched up by the Make-up Lady who rued not using waterproof mascara in the first place. I escaped to the church before I could cry any more.

The place was jampacked – the Bimbola’s were in full flow, all dressed like gaudy peacocks, each trying to outdo the other. Toria, as Janey’s best friend, could be heard saying loudly “Didn’t want to be a fricking Maid of Honour” and Lisa responding “You ain’t got none of that”. The celebrity from Big Brother (my lips are sealed) arrived with her Z-list celebrity boyfriend and, amazingly enough, a bodyguard. The Chinese whispers started and swept round the guests like wildfire so that, by the time the immediate family arrived (Ivy looking amazing in lemon), she was “that bird off Hollyoaks”.

At twenty to four Darren arrived with his best man, both strutting round manfully and rolling their eyes at the goings on. Darren’s mum Lou (in a retina searing cerise suit and not, for once, her habitual denim) kept pulling at his tie and adjusting his buttonhole. Darren’s dad Roger sat in gloomy silence reading the paper. I was running around, as Serena pointed out to me, like a “blue arsed fly”. I wanted everyone in the church by ten to four, seated and calm. The Funky Vicar was wafting up and down the aisle humming the wedding march and dispensing bonhomie. Clambering into the pulpit, he boomed out “Before the bride arrives I’d like a moment of contemplation please.” which made the baby at the back of the church start crying.

He then asked us all to look at our own lives, at our own marriages and relationships and to contemplate them in silence. All around me, couples clutched hands and snatched kisses, the singletons in the pews looked as if they’d rather be elsewhere. I used to hate going to weddings when I was single. David was sitting next to Bea’s husband Stephen, the space he’d saved for me next to him lovingly protected by a prayerbook and the Order of Service novel. On my fifth run down the aisle to check that the organist had the right music, I leant over and gave him a kiss, aiming for his cheek. Unfortunately, he turned to look at Stephen and I caught his ear. Romantic.

The bridesmaids and Mac were waiting outside the church along with Bea (stunning in emerald green with a huge hat) who was weeping over Caitlin who looked so sweet in her white dress. “How wonderful, suddenly I’m seeing my little girl get married!” she wept. Mac looked alarmed at this “I’m not getting married!” he insisted, sticking his little chin out defiantly. Tatiana and Juliet twiddled with their hair and moaned about the cold wind that was whipping their dresses about.

Then Janey arrived to a chorus of “ooohs and aaahs” from the gathered crowd. Almost always old ladies with shopping trollies aren’t they? Crowds outside churches on wedding days? She looked stunning, her hair artfully arranged and minus her usual chewing gum. Uncle Jim had a few tears in his eyes as he met up with us at the porch and Bea and I turned and legged it to our seats, me giving the pre-arranged sign to the vicar. Janey came down the aisle to “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba”. How apt. Everyone in the congregation were nudging each other at the irony. Bea was keeping a close eye on Caitlin who had linked arms with Mac. The lump in my throat got bigger.

Darren agreed that he did indeed take “Jane Elizabeth Mary Katherine Anne to be his lawful wedded wife”. Janey promised that she would “love, honour and obey” - which caused a few titters from the Bimbolas – “Darren Cyril” to yet more titters. Lou looked most affronted at this and had a face like she were sucking lemons for the rest of the ceremony. They signed the register as we listened an recording of Eva Cassidy sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow and they came back slowly down the aisle to Elvis' Love Me Tender - "so she can milk it for as long as possible" said Maria.

We had five minutes of rain before we could start on the photos which were long and interminable – apparently. I had to scoot over to the church hall where I bumped into Pam the Florist looking regal in a delicate cream suit with a feathered hat who was quite chuffed to have been called Dame Judi by a number of guests. Janey, she told me, had asked her not to reveal that she wasn’t the great actress. Guests, bored with the lengthy photo session, started to wander over and set up camp at the bar where Manuela The Caterer’s brother Juan was bow-tied and gorgeous.

The table plan went to pot until I went round and personally hoiked people out of seats and practically put them in their correct positions. Grumbles – good natured and otherwise – were a small price to play for Janey and her ever critical eye.

The bride and groom arrived and, while the wedding party sat down to chilled melon, roast beef and summer fruit terrine, the guests had to make do with some appetisers – all gorgeous and handed round by Manuela and her heavily pregnant sister Juliana which started many of the elder members of the party asking when Janey would be “getting in the family way”. The speeches were mercifully short and I blushed to the roots of my hair when Janey toasted her "wonderful cousin who arranged all this".

By seven pm the disco was in full swing and buffet had started. Janey and Darren’s first dance was to Something by the Beatles. I had the urge to get up there and join them and the children that were swaying – that was our first dance song too so David asked them to play it again later, just for me. The food was amazing and there were copious jellied eels, prawns in thousand island sauce and whelks with enough vinegar to float several battleships. Manuela was handing out business cards all night and kept shoving food in my direction.

Dave on the disco had a good mix of music all night. The Bimbola’s gave their all to Beyonce, Uncle Jim, Uncle Bill and Cousin Tony got down and funky to the Rolling Stones and the children enjoyed a little bit of Chico-time. I was ready for a sit down but apparently I had to be up and dancing or "it'll ruin my wedding day". Janey was looking radiant and her voice getting louder and louder as more people told her she was gorgeous. The reporter from the Parish Magazine was asked if he wanted a quiet space so he could ask them his questions. He looked a little bewildered at this but gamely followed the bride and groom into the kitchen where they held court for about ten minutes. He left, clutching a sausage roll, in rather a hurry.

The Happy Couple left at eleven, heading off for a night in a hotel before flying off to Mexico on Sunday afternoon. The rest of us stayed until gone 1am, and only stopped when the Funky Vicar appeared on stage in his pyjamas and asked us to "desist, for it is now God's Day".

He was persuaded to stay for a rousing rendition of New York New York and a plate of whelks. We tidied up around him and Uncle Jim as they both enjoyed a spirited debate on whether or not God frowned upon Sunday trading.
An excellent exhausted but it was worth it. Congratulations Janey and Darren and I hope that this post does the day justice!

All about me

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Nunhead, London, United Kingdom
I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.