Sunday, 13 June 2010

World Cup 2010

Well, it's finally here.......the World Cup in South Africa. The tension in the Nunhead Mum household has been, well, tense. Once David and Mac had got "Wembley out of the way" their attention turned from Millwall's Lions to the Three Lions. We've now got a 42" television in the living room which caused a bit of a stir in Cafe Nero when I informed Charlie that Curry's had just delivered. "How big? 42 INCHES?" she yelled which pretty much brought the whole place to an open mouthed standstill.

Finger food abounds in the fridge, freezer and cupboards. It's too much, apparently, to ask my boys to eat proper food with a knife and fork - why eat a roast dinner when they can graze on chicken drumsticks, mini quiches, celery sticks and crisps? Still, it's only for a couple of weeks, I'll ram them full of proper meals over the rest of the summer.

Mac has been learning all about all the countries featuring in the World Cup since he got back to school after half term and we all have lively interesting discussions. Go on, ask me anything about South Korea. Go on, ask me!

David has wangled the afternoon of the 23rd off (along with half of the country I suspect) and is working out the quickest way to get Mac home from school in time for the 3pm England kick off. Not the safest, I might add, just the quickest. Besides, I don't know anyone with a motorbike, let alone anyone who will be happy with a five year old clinging on behind them.

Frank and Marjorie have gone a bit off track.....they've decided not to support England but both picked a team out of a hat to support. Frank is therefore rooting for Australia and Marjorie has got Nigeria and was dressed yesterday in a brightly coloured kaftan.

Janey is "not watching the world cup, bloody stupid, Eastenders has been buggered about with" but is spending every match indulging in some sort of pampering routine. I rang her yesterday during the England game only to be told by Darren that she's "sitting upstairs in the bathroom, waxing her minnie". I didn't need to know that.

And as for me, well, I'm doing what any sane woman would do. Ogling the players. I'm not so much musing their passing abilities or nifty footwork but that's what David and Mac are thinking anyway. Charlie's coming round tomorrow night for the Italy game. Now, they've got a lot of, erm, skill.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Dick Camegg

The Unholy (?) Alliance. Two smarmy men in matching suits with matching Jags. I'm just miffed that they took Eastenders and Holby off air. I know it's a monumentous day and all that but.....David Cameron and Nick Clegg. Put them together and what have you got?

Dick Camegg.......David (staunch Tory) is unhappy that I am "ridiculing" what is an "important day in British politics, mutter, mutter, mumble chunter". He watched the unfolding drama in an agog fashion and there was even talk of getting Mac out of bed to watch it.

Following a (text) discussion with my family and friends I'm off to copyright Dick Camegg (c) before the papers get hold of it!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

A post from Bea

Hello darlings! Bea here, Joanna's sister. Well, I must say, it's nice to be here. I'd have posted earlier but I've been reading this darling little "blog" and finding out all kinds of things that I'd really, rather not know about my sister and her life. However, this "post" is my favourite.....sigh!

Anyway. I've had a little wander round (permission granted by Joanna of course, I would never stick my nose in where it was not wanted. I've changed the layout, all that lace and frilliness.....eurgh. She doesn't know that yet but she won't mind. It was the balance of her mind you see, disturbed. That's right, disturbed. She hasn't been right, poor lovely girl that she is.

But, she's okay now. She's had counselling, I've taken her to Champneys for a couple of days (the treatments there are to die for!) and she's back at work. David felt it for the best, to get her out of the house and, as he put it, not to "worry about her surfaces". His mother (awful old bat she is, that Amelia, marriage hasn't changed her) thinks otherwise but we've been keeping them apart and I suspect we will for a while longer yet.

They're in East Sussex this weekend, Joanna, David, Mackenzie (sweet, sweet child) and the dogs, staying at Andy's beach house. I don't know about you but, the phrase beach house does not indicate a windswept abode. To me, it's not a beach house unless it's in a country where the heat is hot and the serving staff subservient. Anyway......where was I?

Oh yes, Joanna.....she's fine, happy and will be raring to go after her weekend of wind, rain and Galaxy chocolate bars. She had a whole bag, just for them. I suspect that she will need to join the keep fit classes run at the hospital if she carries on like this.

Well, I'm off to have a more in-depth look round, I hope you're all well and are ready for me to visit your "blogs"!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Mithering Sunday

I realised, as I dropped off my Mothers Day present round at Dad's house this morning, that I'd bought my poor mummy what was essentially a large pot of earth with a few bulbs thrown in. Obviously, once the bulbs flower in June/July time she'll be able to pop out onto her cloud, look down (a la Google Earth) and say "Oh look freesias and anemones! I love those!"

Right now, she's probably looking down and saying "Gee thanks, you shouldn't have bothered!"

I'm sincerely hoping that now we've gone past the 12th of March the mood which has enveloped me since the end of December will push off and allow me to be myself again. Friday was the third anniversary of mum's funeral and this is the first year (apart from the actual year it happened) that I have been affected this way. The rest of my family have either talked about it, or pretended it wasn't happening or dealt with it internally. Me, I seem to have had a mini meltdown. Well, you know me, I don't do anything by halves.

My Mothers Day presents included flowers, chocolates, wine gums, a cushion (from Mac who bought it whilst out shopping with his father in post-match euphoria), a one cup/tea pot combo from my grandson (only on special occasions do I remember I'm technically a granny) and a book token from Matthew. Lydia phoned and apologised for the "boring" present but I was out, spending it.

On the way home from Surrey Quays I pulled up at a set of traffic lights, put my handbrake on and found my hand at earlobe level. It was obviously broken. Barely three weeks after my exhaust fell off. I need a new car. And, you see, the thing is my current car knows this and is getting its own back. Little does it realise that all it's doing is speeding up the arrival of the new car.

When we got home, Mac breezed into the house and said "Mummy's brakes have gone!" which propelled David out into the hallway in a panic, vegetable peeler in one hand and a carrot in the other.

My brakes have gone.....that sums up the feeling of the past three months perfectly

Sunday, 7 March 2010

The Lock

Charlie, who is now ensconced in her new flat, invited me round on Friday night for a "catch up". David, keen for me to "get back on the social merry-go-round" as it will "take me out of myself" (he's been watching too much Rikki Lake methinks) agreed to babysit both Mac and Freddie at Matt and Lydia's whilst the latter pair headed out cinema-wards.

I drove to Charlie's new abode in fashionable SE3 and manouvered my way around the complicated landscaping until I found her "house" - she quite likes the whole institutional feel of the complex as it reminds of her of her boarding school and her "house" there - although she couldn't have liked it that much as she tried to set fire to it twice. But that's another story.

"I'm so looking forward to this evening!" Charlie said as she tossed salad with gay abandon, put some sesame seeds into the oven for toasting and cracked open a bottle of Elderflower wine. It was actually nice to see Charlie without a) weeping on her shoulder or b) being inundated with "helpful" leaflets from the Top London Hospitals Psych Department. "Let me just go and get the cake in from the car" I said, opening the flat door and heading out into the expensively scented communal hallway only to find myself in pitch darkness. "The light switch is helpfully at the door end of the corridor...." said a voice immediately behind me. I paced forward and found the switch and flipped it just in time to hear the door to Charlie's flat go "click". She looked at me, I looked at her. "Oh fuck!" we both said in unison.

A quick summing up concluded that

  • we were locked out
  • with no keys
  • and no mobile phones
  • with no windows open
  • and the oven was on, toasting sesame seeds
  • with candles flickering merrily on the mantlepiece, table centre and window ledge
  • Charlie had no shoes on and was wearing a fetching apron

Okay, said I, keep calm. Charlie gazed at me in wonderment and said "How can I keep calm? We are LOCKED out, with NO keys, and no MOBILES and my NEW FLAT is about to be burned down by CANDLES and the OVEN!!!!!" "It'll be fine" I said, stroking her arm as if she were a nervy thoroughbred.

"Who's got your spare keys?" I asked, feeling momentarily smug that had she given me her spare set as I think I suggested when she moved in, we would be out of this mess in around half an hour - the time it would take me to drive home and back. There was no point in ringing anyone - especially David who would panic and never let either of us forget it if he had to come and "rescue" us.

"My brother" she said, eyes huge in her face. "Your brother that lives in Esher or your brother that lives in Sittingbourne?" "Matthew!" Bugger, the one that lives in Sittingbourne. Not that either were five minutes away. "Have you left a set with a neighbour?" I demanded. "No, I don't know them." came the small reply as she threw herself at the front door. "What are you doing?" I snapped. "Listening for flames" she whimpered. I suggested, in withering tones, that I go outside and take a look through the window.

"We need an emergency locksmith" I said, pacing the expensively scented corridor and wondering why the hell, if The Management could provide pot pourri for the hallways, they couldn't provide a light switch closer to the flat doors. I banged on the door opposite whilst Charlie hopped from foot to foot. To be fair, her immediate neighbour wasn't remotely fazed to have a snivelling woman beg for access to his Broadband and a phone while some bolshy cow prowled round outside the House in search of open windows to Charlie's flat. When I returned from my prowl (firstly checking on the candle situation) Charlie had a glass of wine in her hand and was sitting on the stairs.

An hour and sixy five quid later, we were back in the flat, on the sofa with Charlie vowing never to leave the flat ever again. She'd had some good advice from her neighbour ("always flick the catch up and/or take your keys with you") and from the locksmith ("always make sure you have a spare set of keys somewhere close") and was frantically stuffing freshly cooked pizza into her face.

"How were you so.....calm?" she demanded of me, as she clutched her aching head.

I'm always calm when other people have a crisis - I'm a complete fruit loop when it comes to my own and would have been climbing the walls had I been Charlie tonight. But I tell you did take me out of myself and I've been feeling so much better since.

And Charlie dropped her spare set of keys off this afternoon, along with a request that I tell no-one what happened. Now....would I?!

Sunday, 28 February 2010


It's been a trying time for me. I've not been well. It's been well documented (not on here, obviously, as this is the first day for ages that I've felt able to sit at the computer/laptop without recourse to self diagnosis on the NHS Direct website.....I have all of the illnesses listed under A, D, F, K and S. Or at least I think I do.)

Well documented in that all of my family, friends and neighbours have an opinion on what ails me, what could cure me and what I should steer clear of. My GP, bless him, has diagnosed "stress". Well, give that man a bloody orange. Stress!!!!! Why didn't I think of that?

I laughed when he told me what he'd concluded. I even underlined his diagnosis by having a rant, followed by a little sob, followed by Lovely Loretta (receptionist extraordinaire) having to carry me out to the waiting area and feed me tea and ginger nuts until I was calm enough to walk in a straight line.

Stress. Now I wonder how that came about?

Amelia (chief cause of stress) wanted to come and "look after me" the week before last. I clutched David warmly by the lapels and said "If she comes within fifty foot of me you, matey, will suffer as only I can make you suffer". He went green, phoned his mother back and....guess what? She hasn't darkened my doorstep. Result. Bea's reflexologist went away, almost in tears after I failed to relax under her ministrations. Apparently I'm the first failure she's had since she started officially as a freelancer. The stress counsellor I visited (at Bea's insistence) made me want to hit him which did wonders for my stress levels but, according to my darling sister, he found me "interesting" and "wanted to dig more".

Seriously though. I am better than I was. My blood pressure has returned almost to normal, I can now watch programmes without sobbing into a cushion when Bradley Branning dies/a lion cub loses her mother/Del Boy's granddad dies/Manuel's pet rat has to leave Fawlty Towers/there is a sell out of an item I really want on QVC. And David can now utter the words "oh, we're out of milk" without me beating my chest and wailing "woe is me" - I'm over exaggerating. Slightly.

I was (surprisingly) calm and relaxed on the anniversary of my mum's passing. However, the day after was spent either in tears or ramming Haribo into my mouth. It's been a trying month to say the least. But I'm back. A few pounds lighter, along with my hair which I've had blonded as a "treat" and ready to take on my bit of the world again.
I just need to get my bearings and visit you all for catch ups.....please bear with me!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Who gives a toss?

I do apparently. I have to, as David "can't quite get the wrist action right for tossing stuff". There's no real answer to that, is there?

This was the excuse he gave Mac just now when his youngest son asked for "pancakes daddy, with lemon 'n' sugar". I had to retrieve myself from my sick bed (okay, the sofa) where I have been residing since the Wedding That Never Was with mother-in-law induced stress. More to follow on that subject.

So. Although David had been helpful enough to mix up the batter, it was I standing outside getting the pan at the right temperature and pouring in enough batter (but not too much - thick pancakes are "yucky" apparently) and flipping said half cooked batter with gay abandon.

As all the tossing and typing has worn me out enough for me to doze on the sofa until Eastenders starts, I've left David with the washing up. And scraping half cooked pancake off of my cooker hood.

Bea is coming to see me tomorrow with her homeopath and reflexologist - wish me luck!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Wedding Day Blues

Disaster has struck the House of Mitchell and the House of Jack Next Door. Well, maybe not disaster. Just a HUGE mistake narrowly averted (according to Amelia), thousands of pounds wasted and jet lag. Shall I go on?

On Thursday, two days before The Wedding of Amelia and Jack Next Door as announced at our Christmas lunch Amelia arrived on my doorstep with collywobbles the size of Australia. "What if Frank doesn't want me to get married again?" she said as she hoisted herself and her bags through my front door. Frank was her (now deceased) first husband and was the sweetest, kindest man in the world. "I'm sure he's okay about it" I pointed out, flinching as the phone rang in case it was the caterers with yet another crisis. Why, when we were paying them to manage this wedding, were they on the phone every half an hour with a query?

After a cup of tea and a dunked digestive she headed off to Jack Next Door's house to help him prepare the house for the arrival of his only daughter from Mexico and to finish his packing for his move to the residential home. I saw him in the garden on Tuesday morning seemingly saying farewell to the stumpy stumps of his rose trees.

Friday morning dawned and the flowers arrived for what had become a discreet family only wedding. After the ceremony at the registry office we were heading to Bea's palatial house for the reception before the happy couple headed off to the Lakes for a freezing week in a lakeside cottage. Amelia disappeared next door again, not looking herself and wearing a "sucking lemons" face.

At half past two, Jack's daughter Fiona knocked on our door to introduce herself and to inform us that the happy couple requested some "time alone". "I dread to think what they're getting up to!" she said as she bounced round the house, proclaimed the dogs "cool" and revealed that she was a geologist. And what that entailed. In mind numbing detail. I almost kissed Amelia when she reappeared. "We have an announcement" she said, glancing at Jack "but we're going to wait until David and Virginia are here".

Three hours later (I picked Mac up from school in a daze and didn't even go near Ayres) and David and Ginny arrived home. For the three hours we waited, the happy couple sat at the kitchen table holding hands and ignoring our pleas to be told what was happening. Fiona asked me how on earth I put up with Amelia. I snorted my response and then had a coughing fit. I was imagining all sorts of things - "at least she's not up the duff!" Fiona boomed - and, from the gaunt look on Jack's face, my money was, morbidly, on a terminal illness.

"We've decided not to get married after all" Amelia said once we were all seated in the living room. "What?" spluttered David at the same time as Ginny let out a bark of laughter "Why?" Fiona said, looking stunned (and jet lagged).

"Because Amelia.....I......we.....felt that at our time of life it was a ridiculous proposition" Jack said, squeezing Amelia's hand. "I flew all this way only for you to cancel the wedding?" Fiona said in a chilling voice "Do you have any idea what I had to do to get out of the field trip I had planned?" she went on. Ginny mouthed "What?" at me. "We felt it was ridiculous and unnecessary" Amelia added, throwing in "But we are going to co-habit" as an after thought. "Will the home allow that?" David asked, shooting me a look. I knew why, I moved into David's house a fortnight before we got married and was labelled a whore, a harlot and a fallen woman for doing so and he feared I was about to exact some revenge.

"Of course darling, we're not in the Dark Ages!" she laughed. Laughed! I was still struggling with the news and waste of money. But, having told us all, the still happy couple had relaxed and looked fifteen years younger and suggested we cracked open one of the many (many) bottles of sparkling wine we had "hanging around".

So. Can you imagine how I spent my Saturday morning? Placating a fuming Fiona (who hogged the computer trying - and failing - to change her flight back to Mexico), cancelling the Registry Office (who told me "no monies would be returned"), giving away buttonholes and table centre pieces, explaining to the caterers that, whilst we would pay them naturally, we no longer had any need for any of the food (apart from a selection of the choicest nibbles) and giving Bea a few suggestions on how to explain to Stephen that the house needed re-decorating anyway.

It was a breeze.

Friday, 29 January 2010


I was stopped dead, literally in my tracks earlier today. Stunned. Gobsmacked. Shocked even. And I'd like to think I'm fairly unshockable.

David has been at home this week, using up his annual leave before the end of March (his mother wants to know why he didn't take the week off after The Wedding so he could help Jack Next Door move into her residential home - I think you know the reason why) and has spent most of the week at Borough Market which is roughly, ooh, ten minutes walk from his office. Why? I haven't the foggiest.

Anyway, he was out in the kitchen, unloading today's booty (ham, green things with dirt on them) and Mac was watching him, fascinated by seeing things not coming out of plastic bags with Sainsbury's written on them. "Ham!" he bellowed as, presumably, ham entered the fridge. I was in the living room at this point, trying to work out whether or not I could get away with ordering the ridiculously expensive Emu boots from QVC without David noticing but was smiling at my boys enthusiasm for all things edible. "Brockley!" he bellowed as, again broccoli was no doubt released from the confines of David's hessian bag.

"Mummy, daddy said I can't have any ham!" came a voice from the doorway, bottom lip wobbling precariously five minutes later. Note he wasn't bewailing the lack of broccoli coming his way. "Well, you can't, not on it's own. Wait and have some for tea" said I, quickly turning QVC off (am even now hiding my shopping channel addiction from my son). "Oh God!" he sighed.

Now, this is something that's worrying me. He wasn't saying "God" as in how I would say it, like "Oh God, what have I trodden in?" or "Oh My God, look at the price of that!" but "Oh God" as in they've started doing Religion at school and he's merely "expressing his wish to communicate with the Heavenly Father". According to his form teacher, Mrs W.

But it sounds like he's saying "Oh God......" and then revving up for a moan. Which threw Bea on Wednesday and had Amelia clutching her throat yesterday. "You're raising a blasphemer!" she insisted. I must admit I have my doubts and am hoping that he'll get out of the habit of chatting to Him other than in his nightly prayers (which, incidentally start with Dear Lord) which is what I say on a daily basis but for the other reason.

Are you following me?

So, he wasn't moaning because of the lack of ham, he was communicating with Jesus' dad. Right.

So, onto what completely discombobulated me earlier. Not two minutes after the Ham Incident I heard David mumble something and then Mac yell "Jesus!" at the top of this voice.

I shot off the sofa, leapt over Senior Dog who was having a snooze in the middle of the room and skidded into the kitchen. "MACKENZIE!" I bellowed, shaky of knee "Don't you ever, EVER, ever.........."

I trailed off when I focussed on David holding aloft a bag of cheeses and my once again wobbly lipped son happily chomping on an an illicit bit of cheddar.

Cheeses. Indeed.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010


Everyone, it seems, is in a bad mood at the moment. Charlie is threatening all kinds of violence towards the outgoing family who are in "her" new flat and who are unable to move because their removals firm had double booked and can't "provide any vans until the "twenty fird love". She's also threatening violence to the incoming couple who are moving into her "old" flat as they're raring to go and she's still got her life in packing cases all over the flat. I questioned this sheer level of aggression as she moved the "essentials" into our spare room on Sunday. Quietly, lest she flare up again. She's okay at the moment though, she's glued to the football with David - if she asks him once more to explain the offside rule I suspect he may get a tidge on edge.

Frank and Marjorie Stewart are in an equally bad mood - they requested (from Lydia, their landlady) that they be able to build a conservatory - "only a small one, we're not ostentatious, just big enough to house the hot tub" - and she's refused. According to Marjorie "my friend" doesn't want what is effectively a greenhouse tacked onto the back of her house. I've pointed out to Lyds that if it shields the poor unsuspecting neighbours from any hot tub shenanigans it's got to be worth it but she is adamant. She's just as adamant that Freddie has his five a day every day - each time I see that child he's got a carrot stick in one hand and grape in the other. Three times on Sunday I extracted the former from his left nostril.

Amelia is also not backwards in coming forwards on the bolshy front (when is she ever?) and is insisting that Mac wear a proper three piece suit to her wedding. He refused to try the waistcoat on on Saturday and received a lecture from his Granny about "children being seen, not heard and doing what they're told to do!" - he rolled his eyes and slouched over to the television, muttering ominously.

Me? I'm all sweetness and light at the moment, the dreaded headaches from caffeine withdrawals are slowly abating and, although I would once kill for a latte, I'm not actually actively missing coffee on a day to day basis. Cut to Bea who, this morning, thoughtfully rang me up and asked me if I wanted to meet her in Sainsbury's Starbucks for a "skinny latte".

"I'm not drinking coffee" I pointed out. Sharp intake of air from my darling sister "Darling. Are you sure? Is that wise? I couldn't get through the day without a latte and an expresso first thing in the morning". I advised her, for the nth time that I am not her and that I was managing just fine without it. I left her puzzling this and she rang off. Two hours later she biked round some alternative "hot beverages darling" in a hamper for me to try. I love my sister.

Anyway, must dash. Our house guest is working up a good old head of steam - an estate agents advert has just flashed up on the round-the-pitch hoardings - and she's bubbling over. She'll be okay if I steer her in the direction of the biscuit tin and Bea's hamper.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Gone a bit......

I’m a bit disheartened. Discouraged, even. There’s been no change in my body weight/shape since New Years Eve. I’d decided that, along with my Healthy Eating Malarky, I wouldn’t weigh myself as I’d become obsessed with the dial and its position and use the Jeans Method instead. That is, fitting into a pair of jeans that, as at 31 December 2009, I couldn’t do up without bulging and being unable to breathe.

I’d cosseted the jeans, prepared them lovingly. They’re clean as I washed them before I put them on my Can’t Wear THOSE Any More shelf in my wardrobe a few years ago. But as we all know, washed jeans are tighter than normal and need wearing in a bit before we can define whether or not they actually fit. So, just before Christmas I put them on along with a long line top to hide the bulges and wore them about the house to “stretch” them. After wearing them for two days (and having them leave an imprint around my waist that actually hurt) they had stretched considerably. I’m not kidding myself, I’m never going to wear a pair of skinny jeans but I do at least want to fit into my Pre-Mackenzie pair.

So, having got them ready to accept my current body shape, and having spent the previous two weeks eating healthy foods (with the odd lapse), walking to and from school in the morning, taking the dogs twice round Dulwich Park on Saturdays and Sundays and clenching whilst cooking, I had high hopes of this morning’s little experiment.

I got them on but struggled to pull them up. I could do them up (like before, lying flat and then attempting to stand up straight without bending) but the bulge was worse, they were twisted on my legs and the pockets were sticking out alarmingly. In short they were worse than on New Years Eve.

I walked around a bit to check their flexibility but only succeeded in catching sight of myself in the mirror and emitting a small sob of…..I’m not sure what. Horror? Frustration? Mourning for all of the food I COULD have eaten?

I got out of them as quickly as I could (not easy when they were clinging to my flesh like leeches), threw them on the floor of the wardrobe in a heap and flopped onto my bed. Five minutes – and a good wallow – later I dragged myself downstairs and kicked the exercise bike.

That was at half past eleven. You’ll be pleased to hear that I didn’t delve into the biscuit tin, nor did I hunt out the last of the Quality Street that David has hidden from me. Instead I made myself a Cup A Soup and rang Charlie who is having monstrous problems with her new flat (as in, she’s ready to move into it but the current occupiers aren’t ready to leave it yet) for a good bitching session. We’ve concluded that two weeks isn’t enough time for anything to happen and that I should carry on as I have been and not worry too much about it. She’s going to pop round later with a small bar of Green and Blacks as a treat but I’ve got to promise not to eat it until the weekend as a “test of my willpower”.

Sometimes I wonder if she knows me AT all!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


Well, I have my penguin Pandora charm but David won't let me have it as I cycled without witnesses (you can't count the dogs, apparently) on Monday. So now I have to "go again" as they say in certain circles while David watches. I fear that as my Pussy Cat Dolls DVD has yet to arrive (damn snow) he is getting his thrills elsewhere. Excuse me, but I'm just about to push some Buttons.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Can you feel it?

Apart from arranging wedding flowers, cars, a buffet and trying to convince Mac that he's not losing a granny, he's gaining a grandad, whilst assuring him that, what with his, current grandad he'll have the grand total of two grandads, I'm trying to sort my life out.

You know me, I do love setting myself these impossible challenges.

I've booked a hair cut next week and plan on asking my hairdresser Amanda for a shag. She won't bat an eyelid, that woman has seen it all and come out the other side smiling. At the moment, any style that doesn't mind being washed and conditioned, straightened to within an inch of its life and then scurfed up into a scrunchie gets my vote. But I've decided that this year is going to be my year, the year that I allow the thin, witty, wonderful, gorgeous, classy woman that I know is inside me somewhere come out.

I just have to convince the chubby, sarcastic, alright-in-small-doses, (very) moderately attractive, Sarf London accented woman to let her out.

I'm doing well on my Health Eating Malarky. I'm not calling it a diet as that's a sure fire way to propel me to the biscuit tin via Ayres and the chip shop. It's not that I'm never ever going to set foot in the hallowed establishment but I shall be perusing the granary bread with maybe just a little wander along to the gingerbread men as a treat. I'm not denying myself anything, I'm just being sensible. I'm not sure if it was in fact sensible to open a bag of cola bottles at ten past ten on Saturday night while I watched Most Haunted Live but hey, I didn't deny myself the ten I had. Had I denied myself, David would not have been able to partake of any on Sunday as they'd have all gone. Therefore, if I want an Ayres doughnut, dripping with raspberry jam and covered in sugar, then I'll bloody well have one. I'll just be careful the day after. Y'see? It's a piece of, erm, cake.

My reward for getting on the exercise bike once a week (for now) for twenty minutes is another Pandora charm for my Pandora bracelet that David bought me for Christmas. My aim is to be on the damn thing every other day for half an hour but the dogs seem extremely keen on my legs as they whizz round and its a bit dangerous. David has faith in me, or so he claims, but his smirk when I showed him the (rather long) list of what I'd like to be rewarded with (at his discretion) seemed more than a little smug. I'll show him.

I've ordered the Pussy Cat Dolls exercise DVD and have started eating Oatso Simple for breakfast - no wonder it fills you up, it has the consistency of glue. I'm exfoliating, cleansing and moisturising and drinking 2 litres of water a day and Janey's popping round tonight with a copy of her pre-wedding diet plan "It wasn't a diet as such, just what foods to eat with what foods and what foods not to eat with, erm, some foods" she rabbited on this morning "Terry at my gym did it for me, and he's had more than one minor celeb on his workmat y'know".

I can but try!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Mop and bucket

I washed my kitchen floor this morning - you're right to be surprised, it doesn't happen that often. I got that weird feeling that you get when you've done something worthwhile and you can see the benefits. I even stood admiring it for a few minutes, inhaling the lemon zestiness from the Flash I had swabbed all over my laminated area, leaning on the mop in a weary fashion.

Cut to ten minutes later, the smell of lemons still in the air and an off-school Mac charged in from the garden bringing with him excess snow on his feet which instantly turned into water. I sighed and reached for the mop to wipe up the drops. I didn't castigate him (but I did castigate the stupid school that couldn't quite work out that snow + cold weather = turn the heating up a bit).

For lunch I made a quick "soup" of left over vegetables which smelt heavenly even if it looked a bit, erm, odd. Still, Mac was quite happy to eat copious amounts of it and, with about six spoonfuls left, asked for some more. I was so delighted that he was actively requesting vegetables that I hastened to fill his bowl and dribbled the best part of a bowlful onto the table and therefore onto the floor. Cue Senior Dog (he gets first dibs on all leftovers/table to floor mishaps) who gobbled up the hot soup and went off panting. Out came the mop again to get rid of the vegetable smears.

More garden frolics for my son (we have a range of varying snow creatures) and the return of snowy feet, this time accompanied by a little "snow hedgehog mummy" that took great exception to being brought into the warm and promptly melted all over my poor beleagured kitchen floor.

More mopping, but was getting bored of it all by then.

Imagine my horror, nay disgust, when the soup that Senior Dog gobbled made a reappearance on the (yes, you've got it) kitchen floor, right by the fridge. More hot Flash-y water and the fifth appearance of the day from my mop. It's never been so well used in its life.

David arrived home from work just after six, moaning about cancelled trains, slippery platforms and the fact that his shoes are "sodden". He left them to get even more sodden - I don't even have to tell you do I? - on the kitchen floor, ironically right beside the mop and bucket. I swear I heard the cleaning implements groan as I approached.

I was planning on giving the loo and bathroom a good old clean tomorrow (using my steam cleaner that Amelia bought me for Christmas "to help you with the housework dear") but I'm a bit worried what I'll invoke!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

New Year Reservations

My body is rebelling. I'm not sure if it's rebelling against

a) my family descending and causing havoc over Christmas - highlights included calling Bea's niece Carella (named after her parents Carson and Ella) Cruella because they didn't "get" the meaning of her name, my mother in law Amelia taking in huge intakes of air every time Mac opened a present and Uncle Jim choking on a a mince pie on Boxing Day and going purple.

b) the fact that I've eaten so much rubbish (chocolate, pies, copious amounts of Pringles) to get over point (a) or

c) the fact that my mother in law is getting married to my next door neighbour and expects me to arrange everything.

Is it any wonder I have a cold, a cold sore the size of Australia and permanently cold feet? I am also sluggish, irritable and "don't want to do anything". I've therefore given my self a swift talking to this afternoon while Mac and David were at football and have a plan

a) ignore my family - they will always be there, will always cause me grief and so it's pointless to get stressed about them. Hah!

b) attempt to eat healthily and drink more water. I think, to be honest, that will have to start tomorrow because I've just polished off sweet and sour chicken and rice, six Roses chocolates and a Baileys. I've also promised that I will stick to my Philosophy skin care regime come hell or high water and there will be no more of this "falling into bed at half ten with a cats lick and promise to my mush" lark. I outlined this aspect of my Plan to Bea this morning and she shrieked down the phone "PROMISE me you'll always exfoliate darling, PROMISE me" in a slightly hysterical fashion.

c) try to get out of arranging the wedding of Amelia and Jack Next Door.

This latter bit may prove to be a bit difficult if I'm honest. It's not helped by the fact that everyone around me is so pleased that "they've found love together at their time of life" that I feel a bit mean not wanting to get involved. When they announced their impending nuptials just after the after dinner mints on Christmas Day you could have heard a pin drop. Then the comments/questions started:

Bea: "How, erm, marvellous!"
David: "Erm, right, okay.......right"
Janey: "Oh lovely, when is it?"
Auntie Ivy: "June's nice for a wedding"
Uncle Jim: "Ere, you haven't got her up the duff have you?"
Me: "Where will you live?"

My question/comment was, I felt, the most valid. My mother-in-law is barely tolerable in deepest darkest Kent: to have her next door would be impossible.

She graciously accepted all the congratulations, squeezed Jack's hand on one side and David's hand on the other and fixed me with a piercing look. "Jack will be moving in with me at the residential home, we've managed to get a double flat"

My relief was extremely visible and I shakily put the mince pie down that I was about to stuff into my mouth.

She later revealed to Ivy, whilst poking around my fridge, that they managed to secure the double flat because "Florrie William's husband John died and they've moved her into a single flat. Poor soul. One minute he was scraping the ice off the birdbath, the next he was face down on the privet". Jack, a lovely man, watched her fondly as she pulled out a wizened old lemon from my fridge and asked me "Do you need this for anything?". Ggrrr, ggrrrrr.

"It'll be odd, leaving my garden, but they've agreed to let me look after their gardens now, what with poor old John not being around any more" Jack revealed as we sat down to coffee. "You'll help out with the arrangements won't you Joanna? You did such a good job with Darren and Janey's wedding" he went on, gesturing for Ameila to join him at his side.

What could I say other than yes? Bea has offered to help (although I think her budget wildly exceeds what Jack and Amelia have in mind) and so has Janey. "I can get the limo we had" she promised, entering the reminder into her newly received Blueberry "When were you thinking of? June?"

"Ah" said Amelia. "We've had a cancellation, we were lucky. So, put the 6th in your diaries."

"Of June?" asked Auntie Ivy

"No, February" said Amelia. And then started writing me a list that will take me until February to read, compute and act on.

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.