Saturday, 13 August 2011

Friday March 4th – Holiday!

Bliss beyond utter bliss. My first day off since the big-return-to work game started again full-time at the beginning of the year. I’ve made three whole months!
On the cloudy side, I am at least a stone heavier and am shedding clumps of hair daily. In fact, if I was daft enough to linger by the mirror, I would be faced with a very pasty, rather patchy, great, big, porky tarantula. Oh well, I suppose we all feel a bit straggly at the end of a dreary winter.
The silver lining is that I have a whole day to play and be stupidly happy!
Having said that, today there is simply not a cloud in the sky as far as I am concerned. I do wonder, though, if the really horrendous, thunder- roaring monsters have platinum tummies? I mean fair’s fair.

We had lots of fun here at the Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden.
Perhaps The Little Perfect One is a bit young for Roald Dahl or, in fact, for any book of more than about a hundred words.  I am now usually allowed to read through three whole pages of the Gruffalo, before the book is suddenly transformed by TLPO into a hat, a frisbee or a boat.
On this quiet, wintery afternoon, we had the place pretty much to ourselves and for TLPO the museum offered at least two marvellous medicines: space and giant plastic seaweed (I have no idea what it is actually called) in the doorways.
The only issue is that the entrance to one of the rooms is flagged by two 6ft6in slabs of chocolate. This seems to have caused TLPO some confusion. He is now adamant that in one of his favourite books, ‘Colours’, the brown page is adorned with some eggs, a puppy, an owl and a chunky milk chocolate ‘door’!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Thursday March 3rd – I made it!

Elation! Elation! Elation! That’s the big fluffy buzz keeping me warm this evening.
It’s so intoxicating and deliciously sweet that a mad voice in my head hisses ‘You should do more hideous journeys if this is the trade off, baby!’
Vroom! Vroom!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Wednesday March 2nd – Road trip...well, it takes all Sorts!

I am just dreading the bad journey tomorrow. I am sure it was very clever of some bod to invent the car, but it wasn’t terribly thoughtful. Oh God how I hate driving. It’s an absolute mystery to me that anyone could actually do it for fun.
Still, I suppose some people actually enjoy window shopping. That is something I will never understand.
How does it even happen?
‘Hey, I’ve got a great idea! Let’s spend an hour in traffic to wander around the town gawping and pointing at things we’d like to buy, but either can’t or won’t. What do you think?’
I have to assume at this point that any rational person would say:
‘No, that’s a completely rubbish idea and as your sanity has gone AWOL we are going to lock you in the shed until we can decide what to do with you.’
 I’ve wrestled with this for years and I think that there can be only three reasons why an individual of relatively sane mind would consent to this lunacy.
1.      They are just being nice to, are madly in love with or desperately need to impress the requestor.
2.      They just view it all as a big commercial Museum of modern nonsense, which is really quite pretty in places.
3.      They are big, fat liars and what they are actually agreeing to is to pretend that they are not going to buy anything, but will inevitably return with a finger-numbing collection of bags.
Yet, I have been a huge opponent of this inane activity for quite a while and I’ve studied enough of the users to discover that a lot of them really do just love it. This group have become known as the ‘One line short of a readable barcode’ brigade. Shockingly, our streets are littered with them.
Going somewhere to look at things you want but can’t have? It would be like wine-tasting when you were pregnant or worse still when you’d stupidly agreed to drive.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Tuesday March 1st – Genuine Customer Service – How Nice!

Not only did they send a man to retrieve the orchard windfalls, but they refunded me for 81 and refused to charge me for the eight I actually wanted.
They tried to explain that it would just be too complicated to sort it out. Well, at least that’s what I think he said. It was difficult to separate the words from the giggles.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Monday February 28th – More Speed, Less Apples.

Oh Tree! What a wonderful weekend. It’s that mixed up Monday feeling, as the warmth from the afterglow fades and the beautiful flashbacks steadily give way to an inbox full of issues. I am missing the boys terribly today. Bernard and I are muddling along together, but we are both wishing the tall one and the one with new shoes were here to muddle with us.
Still, as much as I have enjoyed myself over the last couple of days, I wasn’t necessarily that switched on. I did the online food shop yesterday and it arrived this afternoon all present and correct.
Well, except for the fact that I had been a bit trigger happy with the quantities...
I thought I'd ordered eight apples, but 81 Pink Ladies have turned up.
Mmm... Oh well! Fruity times ahead!
The really annoying thing is that I didn’t even notice until the driver had gone. I was in a mad rush to get the fridge and freezer bits away before charging back to my desk, but seriously how could you not see that many apples?

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Sunday February 27th – My Big Fat Confession.

It’s official...

I have failed to get with the programme, I have misplaced the plot and I have eaten all the sandwiches. My picnic is not short of one small element; it has no fruit, cakes, wine or sunny afternoons. It’s like setting down your basket on the cold muddy bank and then oops! My old friend Mr ‘You Haven’t Thought This One Through, At All Have You Madam?’ Blunders in looking for a bit of quiche.

Well, it’s not the disaster of the century, but it’s one that could have so easily been avoided.

You see, according to my second chance New Year’s resolutions, February was supposed to flow like a cathartic river across the page. It didn’t. It didn’t even trickle. It cracked, in the way that only frozen water can.

Well now I do have a confession for February and that is... that without exception there is not a single day of the last 27 that was actually written in February. A couple were penned in March and a lot more a whole lot later than that...

I know that I made some notes in February, but I just didn’t manage to mould them into concrete sentences. The thing is that this second month thing was actually a bit of a wash out. It started off ok, full of New Year bubbles and energy, but it quickly descended into an icy sludge of tissues and gloom.


Well maybe, but the really stupid thing is how it all began. There are hundreds of ‘how to blog’ sites, posts, books and articles out there and I haven’t read any of them, as in my picnic- empty head - that would be cheating.

However, what I am pretty sure that they don’t say is this:

Be sure to know nothing about anything and then start taking daily pictures weeks and weeks before you start writing the posts to sit beneath them. That way you’ll be behind from the start and you can just stay that way until you eventually give up.

The thing is my draft posts are a bit moth eaten; there are huge holes, but some were actually written when they should have been.

Today is today, well it started off that way and now it’s an entirely different much warmer today. But last Wednesday’s might not get written until a week on Friday. That’s just how it’s been, well, not working.

No, it’s not a winning formula and neither are the strings of motivational mantras that have been stumbling from my lips. I sound like some dribbling fool who has been locked away and tortured by sportswear advertisers.

But what if you just can’t do it?

I don’t care it can’t isn’t a word. What kind of tripe is that anyway? It reminds me of something a dodgy supplier teacher would say.

Anyway, the point is that sometimes ‘kick on’ just isn’t going to be enough.

I am going to have to face it. I am going to have to make a pact with the dreaded Monster known only as Compromise.

Yes, me and the Dream-Crusher have made a deal.

If this is ever going to function as a blog then it needs an injection of reality. Of cold hard practical can-be-dones. Daily isn’t going to happen... well for the Tree it can, but not for me, if that makes sense.

So there’ll be a lot of the lovely Tree and some of me here and there...

Monday, 1 August 2011

Saturday February 26th – New Shoes!

Now, despite my enormous feet, I am rather partial to a shiny new pair of shoes. There’s nothing quite like bringing home a boxed set of lovelies and gently sliding them into the wall of heels, so as to avoid a Jenga avalanche at the back of the wardrobe.

Shoe shopping is indeed a beautiful thing, but today’s excursion was almost other-worldly in its deliciousness. The shoes were not for me, but for The Little Perfect One.

I am struggling with the idea that his first pair of scrummy brown big-boy walking shoes are not actually edible. Five G? That can’t be a size. It must be a grade of chocolate.

I realise that I am being ridiculous. I do know that almost being reduced to tears by tiny boats of leather and Velcro is a little nutty.

However, I am not alone...

Hoobiz is right there with me and the shop assistant smiles kindly as if she’s seen it a thousand times before.

Very few people, it seems, can walk past a pair of teeny trainers or baby boots without saying ahhh!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Friday February 25th – Splat!

Feeding TLPO and Yoghurt-Art has reached new heights. Quite literally...the ceiling!

I’m practically floating up there anyway. The promise of a ‘Well Weekend’ is absolutely delicious!

Thursday February 24th – The Restoration.

Wellness still evades me, but on the home straight now... Or if not then I am moving to a new place, just down the way from there.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Wednesday February 23rd – Well I’m Waiting...

Wellness still evades me, but on the home straight now... Or if not then I am moving to a new place, just down the way from there.


And grimmer.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Tuesday February 22nd – Yip To The Future Yippee.

Could it be that the Devil-cold is finally retreating?
Is it possible? I hear the timid whispers of wellness in the distance.
Oh please! That’s absolutely the best thing about ill, well temporarily unwell at least, knowing that soon everything is going to be so flipping fantastic. Nothing makes you appreciate feeling normal like a quick stint in the Sicksville Slammer.
Get back stinking mucus-bearer! Your days are numbered!
You will be vanquished quietly by the Saintly Manuka honey!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Monday February 21st –Tell Me Why?

Funnily enough, I don’t hate Monday’s as a rule. It can be such a positive day, full of good intentions and fresh potential.
Unfortunately, I have spent another weekend doing very little other than be ill and I am at best feeling slightly betrayed. This is not the deal and I wish to complain.
Dear Monday,
I feel I must write to advise you that your presence is somewhat unexpected and most unwelcome.
To be frank, Monday, I can’t believe that you have the nerve to come crashing in now and slap me with such a stinging back hander at the beginning of the week.
I thought we had an understanding, but it seems that things have changed. I now know that you are just a spiteful bitch. You have obviously spent far too long hanging around with that miserable old cow Tuesday.
Yours feverishly,

Monday, 4 July 2011

Sunday February 20th –Lovely Loathing.

Well, I’m hooked now. I just can’t stop thinking of everything that infuriates me, of every piddling trifle that I just can’t handle.
Here are a few more of my irkish delights:  
Bicycles, cars, driving, breaking it gently and wheels.
They look impressive, powering along in the Tour de France and quite charming being peddled through the streets of Oxford, but it’s all an illusion. Bikes have wheels and are therefore evil.
I love my exercise bike, he is a thing of beauty, part stallion and part expensive clothes horse, but then my trusted stationary steed doesn’t actually have any wheels.
I genuinely love the idea of cycling through leafy lanes on a sunny afternoon. All that fresh air and swishing hair is such a romantic notion. However, the truth is that I am one of only two people in the known universe who failed the cycling proficiency test.
‘It’s like riding a bike.’ Well absolutely, of course I can remember how to do it and I’m still just as wobbly and ridiculous.
Those humiliating words still make me wriggle, suddenly I feel about 9, but it’s as if my clothes are too tight and I’ve got nowhere to hide.
‘Well one of the group was absolutely amazing at all of the Highway Code questions – well done Marcella! You really know the rules of the road...’
He spoke loudly and deliberately in that nauseating tone, which should, for the sake of all humanity, be made illegal. The ‘A for effort’ drawl is far worse than the direct quick fire punch of a clean failure.
‘Unfortunately, you are just not quite there yet with your riding. I think you need a wee bit more practice.’
Breaking things gently just tends to leave splinters and doing it publically suggests that you might just need a wee bit more practice with people.
Anyway, it wasn’t really a problem, as I think even at that age I had come to terms with the fact that wheels weren’t going to be my bag.  No, bags would be my bag, it’s simple I love them and we are very good together...
Lethal weapons and puff-ball skirts aside, one of the most horrific inventions ever to escape into the real world must be that of the bag on wheels. Honestly, what is that about? Even as a small child I was terrified by those savage tartan contraptions and I still haven’t worked out why some of them had a big spike sticking out of their bottoms. Perhaps it was to scare the wheels into behaving properly.
I know that big luggage generally has wheels, but I still feel safer when I am carrying mine. It’s best all round when you consider that airports are basically a race track without lines, marshals, rules or limits. I once saw an old lady mown down by a speeding security guard on one those motorised po-go sticks. Those things are just not right. Wheels can’t be avoided, but don’t invent machines that are driven standing up! Anyway, surely it’s about time these sorts of people had jet-packs?
I can hardly believe that we don’t have hover-cars yet. As a little girl I hadn’t ever expected I’d have to drive one of the cumbersome road-bound engines. In fact, I don’t think anyone who knew me ever thought that I would. My first driving instructor certainly didn’t. He gave my mother a box of chocolates the first time she took me out on the road.
‘Oh, you are brave.’ He gushed. ‘Really, she ought to be a natural like her brother. What with your husband’s Rally driving, I’d expected some sort...well... and you are such a nice little driver.’
Simona forced a smile and ushered him out of the door ‘Have a nice evening Jerry.’
Off he reversed, quite oblivious to the fact that he had very narrowly escaped wearing a box of Cadbury’s Roses on his head. His poor small muddled head. I think it must have been due to the fact that he spent so much time on the road. That’s just not natural.
How could it be that hard? Some people seem to get the hang of it in a few minutes. It took me 3 instructors and more than 6 years to pass the dreaded driving test. Perhaps I should be embarrassed, but in fairness I am still congratulating myself. Sometimes, just reminding myself that I can (legally) drive can lift me out of a monumental slump.
The problem is that just because I (technically) can, doesn’t mean I’m happy about doing it. The mechanics of it all just terrify me and every mile I trundle along I know that they are underneath me spinning towards rebellion.
You might think that I am going on about this and it’s true that wheels have enabled us to.... well...cover a lot of ground, but they’ve been around for a rather long time and I’m just suggesting that they are not fault free. Look at trolleys, what sane person actually likes trolleys? Most people seem to think it’s personal, as if somehow they have inherited the curse of the wonky supermarket staple. ‘I always get the dodgy one.’ Well of course, we all do, because they are all out to get us. They are just very skinny Daleks and they might not have the power to exterminate directly, but they infuriate daily.
Please, next time you’ve got some hours to kill don’t try and reinvent the wheel. No, come up with something altogether new and entirely superior.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Saturday February 19th – The Hate Game.

I hope there aren’t too many people who adhere to that old adage of ‘if you can’t think of anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.’
How dull and inanely maddening is that? I am twitchingly cross at the very thought of it and strangely being a bit angry has lifted my poorly spirits far more than Pollyanna’s glad game.
I actually think I might have hit upon something here. I am not talking about tragedy, injustice or dreadful wrongs, but the little things that make you wince and shake with fury.
Perhaps even the things you ought to like but can’t stand, like salmon or Forest Gump.
Or those vile, bitty snippets that can strike the day like a paper-cut at the base of your thumb. Oh! Polystyrene! How I love to hate you!
A positive mental attitude is a beautiful thing, but right now I’m enjoying a good old rant. My head is alive with the sound of monsters.
Here are a few of my least favourite things:
1.      The phrase ‘Smile it might never happen’. This is grammatically hideous and far more annoying than the more directly irksome, ‘Now, you didn’t want to do that.’ It’s a logic that I just can’t follow, if I tried to, I would find myself shouting a strangers in the middle of winter, ‘Get your woollies off! It might not be that cold.’

2.      Goat’s cheese. I just haven’t ever been able to enjoy eating a leathery arm-pit. I absolutely love goats and one day even hope to own a few, but my Good-Life fantasy won’t stretch to milking them. In fact, it is one of Bat’s favourite games, that even the mere mention of ‘Curry Goat’ will result in my uncontrollable retching. It sounds harsh, but apparently it’s hilarious.

3.      Washing lines. I wish I could be in love with line-dried linens, but I’m not. I long to be green and wholesome, but battering towels about in the tumble drier renders them fluffy and delicious. When I hang them out to dry, they return like stale biscuits -adorned with flies, spiders or bird poo.

This is working, you know. I am feeling distinctly warmer and more human.
Perhaps, sometimes a little of what you don’t fancy does you the world of good!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Wednesday February 16th –Sick of This Now.

I’m losing the strength to moan. It’s true. I really don’t have the energy to whinge anymore.
Hoobiz might tell it differently. Still, that could be because the doors of his perception have got dirty windows in them, so it’s best not to listen to him about this sort of business.
Anyway, Tree, I am glad to see you again today. You do look lovely!

Tuesday February 15th –Is Anybody There?

Today happened and that’s all I really know.
It sounded like a series of beeps, followed by a few hours listening to Charlie Brown’s teacher and then more beeps before a long loud whirring noise that wouldn’t leave me alone.
I wouldn’t like to do it again and I wouldn’t recommend it to a friend.
I think that the picture says it all: sort of there, but only just.

Monday February 14th –Office Chic.

I’m not well, I can’t stand driving and I need to go into the office tomorrow.
Dull as these facts might be, they are not getting any prettier. I now have the new delights of a hacking cough and a blooming cold sore.
So much for wowing my old colleagues with my new yummy-mummy status!  I’ll be chuffed if they think I’m still allowed to walk among the living.
Oh well! At least I can look slim-ish. That’ll be the upside. I’ll pick out something snappy from my ‘not completely massive’ wardrobe and that will give me an enormous lift.
The only problem is that the 2 jackets that ought to fit me don’t, my elegant skirt makes me look shrink-wrapped and my classic shirts simply don’t do up.
Damn Christmas! Damn desk job! Damn utter lack of self-restraint and total inability to stick at anything!
Big-fat-fatty trousers and a saggy jumper it is!

Sunday February 13th - A lesson in the perils of procrastination.

Hope is a beautiful thing, but sometimes it’s also pretty daft.
I spent most of the night wrapped in four blankets, shaking and chattering beneath the duvet. I just kept telling myself that with a little bit of sleep I would feel so much better in the morning.
I wasn’t necessarily expecting 100%, but I really hoped to feel anything but worse.
It’s raining, it’s miserable, I’ve got to drive on the M4 and I haven’t yet mastered sitting up.
Yuck upon a double yuck!
Bursting with all the drugs that breastfeeding will allow, and with steady words from Hoobiz I somehow make it all the way to Goliath HQ. It wasn’t faultless: I got beeped at twice, once for being in the wrong lane and once for going too slowly, I went around one roundabout 3 times in a row and didn’t often leave 3rd gear, but I made it.
Under normal circumstances I’d be elated, but it seems that that would require too much energy. It’s strange then, that I’ve just enough oomph to torture myself with terrifying visions of the actual journey on Tuesday.
What an absolute twit! That was the whole point of this exercise. I needed to do a dry run so that I would able to do the real thing. Now I’m in a complete sweaty panic. Part fever and part rage at the fact that cars were ever invented.
The niggly voice in my head that I can’t pass off as whispers of delirium is the one that keeps sneering,
‘But you were perfectly well last week and you chose not to bother.’
(Demonic laughter)
‘That was a bit silly wasn’t it? Honestly, when will you learn?’
(More demonic laughter)
‘Procrastination never pays. Just dilly-dally all your days.’
Shut- up!  It’s not ideal, but even if there’s not a reason for everything, then I’m sure one can be found.
Who knows, me and my little red car might have been of some use to someone. Perhaps somewhere there’s a bog post inspired by my limping down the motorway – ‘Ban on Sunday drivers’

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Saturday February 12th – All grown up.

No! It’s can’t be. This is horrific, unjust and just plain rude of the universe to go doing this to me now.
I have woken up with that dreadful dull twisted feeling that can only mean one thing: some nasty stinking virus has violated me. Of course the only other thing that feels like this is the stingy beginnings of a hideous 48 hour hang-over, but I’m all grown up now and that just wouldn’t happen.
It’s official. I have a family-size cold and can barely keep my head upright. It’s as if I’ve been beaten up, forced to drink buckets of sand, had loo-roll shoved-up my nose then abandoned in a spinning strobe-lit sauna.
Hoobiz is working today, so I’m stumbling after a highly charged Little Perfect One in what seems like a sort of crushing slow motion.
Happy days!
I think the dummy run will have to wait until tomorrow...

Friday February 11th – Where do you go to my lovely?

Missing sock sends rude postcard home.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Wednesday February 9th - You Gotta Have Faith: A Love Story.

It’s crisp and delicious out there this morning, tree, like the first sparkling sip of a still purring G&T. Damn! It’s barely cornflakes-time and I’m already talking myself into a bucket of Mother’s Ruin! Not that I would, of course...but the thought is a yummy one.
It’s funny, sometimes just thinking a little about what you fancy is blissful and then there are occasions when it’s pure torture. I’ve won at least 58 titles at Wimbledon and the French Open once or twice, which is marvellous, but there must be a part of me that knows it’s not really going to happen. More to the point, that part of me must be OK with it.
Whereas, I can no longer endure the fantasy about being the youngest person to swim the channel, read English at Oxford or solve the mysteries of life the universe and everything. It’s just too late to start preparing my sparkling debut as an international bright young thing. Perhaps I am OK with that as well and if not then I ought to be.
It’s the little glimpses of those half-buried embers that are so precious and so protected. Yet for me these are the most dangerous. It’s certainly not OK to me that these can’t or won’t happen and that’s why indulging in these ‘real dreams’ can sometimes be a bit a nightmare. 
My teenage ‘pin-up’, as it were, was Stephen Fry. Smash Hits might have been bursting with glossy one hit wonders, but all I really wanted was a poster that said ‘Damn’ or ‘Bah. I wasn’t trying to be different, I just thought he was perfect.
Every book I read, film I saw, place I visited, meal I ate, flower I sniffed, I’d wonder what Mr Fry might have made of them. Perhaps even pretend that after we’d had lunch we’d spend the afternoon laughing together as we strolled beside the Thames.
As with all teenage dreams it becomes increasingly embarrassing...I’ve picked out 2 acceptable moments:
1 - My friend Evie and I watched Peter’s Friends over and over in a somewhat obsessive loop. We’d act out our favourite scenes, whilst scoffing bags of Maltesers and sipping mugs of herbal tea. Evie would play Roger and Mary and I would be everyone else. It was just less awkward that way and Evie was a little bit in love with Hugh Laurie. Or Hubert-Shoobert-Doobert as Evie called him. (If she ever reads this she might just actually kill me!)
It was then we vowed to become stand-up comedians. We told Evie’s father, who having not known us to move from his sofa for months found great hilarity in responding with ‘more like sit-down comedians!’ It seems we had indirectly provided a good giggle to someone.
2– When I was 22, I worked in a designer fabric shop. I was a lovely place, with beautiful material and a marvellous boss. However, as it was completely lacking in the customer department, it was the most delicious spot for an eight hour day dream. It was also right next door to a wonky, but most excellent book shop.
One Tuesday morning when the rubbish was being put out for collection I noticed a giant cardboard cut-out of Stephen Fry propped up against the bin. I hovered by the door for over 40 minutes, spinning and muttering to myself. I just didn’t have the courage to go out there and nab him. More to the point, I couldn’t face asking the book shop if I might take him off their hands – what if they had asked me why?
I was peeking through my fingers as I watched poor ‘Stephen’ being launched into the back of the crusher. A few years earlier I might have made a last minute dash to rescue him. Luckily I’d escaped my teens and with new maturity I didn’t even cry (much) as they carted him off for landfill.
Anyway, it was all a completely harmless crush. Nobody was left crying by the phone or plagued by unwanted attention. It didn’t stop me from doing anything and let’s face it Stephen Fry is never even going to know about it. It’s one of those dreams that is nice to dream and that’s OK.
OK that was, unless you were Alissen Green. I can’t blame her for the silly spelling of her name, but it sort of sums her up. She was a nice enough girl, but utterly convinced that it was her destiny to be the ‘One and Only’.
In a rare break from her fearless self-promotion, 15 year old Alissen wanted to know if I fancied anyone in our French class.
‘Joel is quite nice’, I lied. Well, everyone liked Joel so it was the easy answer.
‘I suppose,’ said Alissen, but he’s nothing like my future husband.’
Alissen’s bag, folder, note book, pencil case, lunch box and quite possibly knickers were all emblazoned with the smiling face of her one true love.
‘Isn’t he gorgeous?’, she said fondling his fluffy hair on her wallet.
‘He’s not bad,’ I replied truthfully. Silly me...
‘Huh! What would you know? Dubber! He wouldn’t look twice at you anyway, you’ve got evil eyes.’ Alissen ranted.
I let it go and tried to get to my back to work.
‘Oy!’ Alissen poked me with her pop-tastic ruler. ‘So who do you think is so special then?’
‘Well, I really like Stephen Fry’. There is was again, that unnecessary honesty.
‘Stephen Fry?’ screeched Alissen, ‘ But he’s a poof! He’s gay, you can’t marry him. How can you be in love with a queer?’ She blurted
I tried to explain that I didn’t see how it mattered in the slightest. I mean, she’d asked me who I liked and not who liked me. She didn’t get it and we spent the rest of the lesson in silence.
I wonder if she gets it now?
Not that I would want to stamp on anyone’s childish dreams, but a few years back I did have a little chuckle to myself. You see, the big-haired hunk beaming from Alissen’s diary was George Michael.
I suppose it’s got a lot do with knowing the difference between what’s actually happening and what you want to be happening. Dare to dream, of course, but don’t lose sleep over the dreams that are just that; delicious fantasy.
The truth is, I loved Stephan Fry and when you think about it that’s about as commonplace as burnt-bread for breakfast. I mean who doesn’t love Stephen Fry?

Monday, 11 April 2011

Tuesday February 8th – Get it Together!

I can’t blame Tuesday. I can’t blame anyone. Well, I can blame myself, but I don’t think that’s going to help.
It’s like being late for a train, on a Siberianly cold day, in nose-bleedingly high heels. Oh and they’ve had a burst pipe and your platform is the furthest across the glacial station. You can see where you need to be, but slipping and sliding all over the place you’ve got bugger all chance of getting there.
I want to get fitter, but I seem to be doing less and less exercise. I want to be leaner, but I seem to be ingesting more and more cake. Where more is less and less is more, but absolutely not in a good way, that’s where I am.
Need to turn the corner and get back into the groove without finding myself in a rut. First step is to stop thinking in clichés!

Monday February 7th – The Ghost of the Big Ugly

Well today it feels like the perfect occasion to offer a Big Ugly update.
To be honest, (and that’s what this February is all about), there isn’t one.
Well, at least I don’t have new information from the Big Ugly. They’ve gone all Big Hush.
Seriously, not a peep since the last instalment, nearly a month ago now:
Well, they tried to phone on Monday the 9th, but I was on a call and couldn’t answer. We missed them again when they called in the evening and they tried once more when I was picking up The Little Perfect One on the Tuesday afternoon.
We still had connection, so it didn’t seem in our best interests to ring them back. That’s pretty much how it’s continued. It’s stupidly superstitious, but I feel very shaky about saying it’s all OK now. Jinx! Jinx! Forget asking, this is begging for trouble! It’s like running under a trio of ladders, stepping on all the cracks and bumping into a lone magpie with a broken mirror in his beak!
Yet, I do find it odd. We spent months listening to a choir of bored voices singing the ‘it will be sorted in the morning’ hymn. However, we had basically no internet connection until the tortured Complaints Manager’s rousing solo of ‘There is no permanent fixture.’
 It’s a bit of an uneasy solution, knowing that we were promised it couldn’t last.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Sunday February 6th –– Just Messing About in Quotes.

The elements are being a little less stroppy today, but I’ve decided I’m still not going to brave the dummy run. I have loads of time, after all, and next weekend is looking like a much better option. It’s closer to the real thing for starters and I’ll be more likely to remember the route. I’m not great with sat navs. Besides, I am far too busy.
Good grief, I have even done a bit of scribbling!
We’ve had a glorious day of pottering, sorting, playing, tidying and riffling. I am not sure exactly what has been accomplished, but it’s been wonderful.
In the words of Bertrand Russell:
‘The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.’

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Saturday February 5th – Smug for the sake of it

Oh Tree, I do feel sorry for you out there being shouted at by that bitter wind. This is quite a nasty old tantrum Mr Gusty Pants! Calm down, pull yourself together and behave like the polite little breeze we know you can be.
I love telling the weather off. I am not sure if it’s a particularly British thing, but it’s heaps of fun and absolutely everyone can have a go. If you have not lectured the skies before, I urge you to give it a whirl!
‘Naughty, naughty clouds! Get down from there immediately! I am so disappointed in you. Get out of my sight!’
I should be doing a dummy run today. Yes, the ‘assimilation seminar’ is creeping up on me and I do, quite literally, need to get myself in gear. I don’t think I have driven on the motor way since The Little Perfect One was born and it’s something I could really do without.
Still, the 15th is absolutely ages away really and besides it’s far too ghastly out there today.
‘Honestly rain! How many times do I have to tell you? Just stop it! Stop it now! I am going to count to and a half...’

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Friday February 4th – Start as you mean to go on... My First Confession.

I’m sorry that it’s such a mucky old day for you out there, my Tree. It’s really not fair, as I am having a cracking time in here. I have delicious flashbacks of yesterday’s listathon to keep me warm and let’s not forget that it’s Friday!
It’s a bit naff, but the best thing about going back to work is rediscovering the dazzling whoosh of that Friday feeling!
Of course, there is also the scramble of a Sunday evening to contend with and that creeping dread of a Monday morning alarm. Yet, today is a whole weekend away from those dreary pests. Indeed, The Cure had it all sewn up with ‘Friday I’m in Love’.
It’s as if, even if just for a moment, nothing else matters. Well, nothing that is, except the facts...
Come on Marcella! Stop stalling! Take a big breath and get those clumsy fingers of yours tapping out the truth for once.
Well it was only a little lie, but back in November, (or December when it was actually posted) I introduced our beloved cat Bernard:

Dern-nod!’ The Little Perfect One squeaks excitedly pointing at the massive Siamese cat bounding into the living room. ‘Dern-nod! Dum! Dum! Dern-nod!’ Bernard has been amazing with The Little Perfect One, but he’s not quite ready to ‘Dum’ when called. Bernard pulls up abruptly, his long gloved legs scrambling hopelessly into a pirouette and he skids bottom-first into the back of the sofa. The Little Perfect One is delighted by this, blowing raspberries and bouncing on his knees. Bernard has now settled indignantly on the sofa and is licking his bits in protest. ‘Idiot cat’ says Hoobiz and our laughing signals a ceasefire in The List Wars for today.
It’s quite ridiculous really, but Bernard is not actually a Chocolate point Siamese, but a Red Burmese cat. This, I would expect, is an irrelevance to most people but, it’s funny where a lie can lead or, in fact, where it stops you going. Bernard is one of the family and his manic antics dictate much of our daily lives. Yet, he has hardly featured in this blog. That is partly because I was uncomfortable with him not being quite my Bernard. Daft, I know. I am not now expecting every post to include Bernard’s point of view, but at least now it won’t be deliberately avoided.
When I was planning this blog, my intention was to be able to write honestly, freely and about absolutely everything. It was essential not to feel constrained by anyone or anything. The only way to do that is to be impossibly bold and strong or take my route and be vaguely anonymous.
Yes, I’ve altered a few names, but not all of them and not greatly. This is often desperately annoying, as the real ones are so perfectly suited. I considered moving The Little Perfect One’s birthday and even toyed with idea of introducing him as a baby girl – I just couldn’t do it.
Some facts, it seems, are hard coded and it would be compromising too far to hide them under a few tweaks. However, it makes me laugh at those minor details which I thought needed to be amended in order to protect my identity.
One was Bernard and the other whopper was the nationality of my in-laws. In I introduced my Helmut and Bridget. I described Helmut, my farther in-law:
 When not claiming to be the world’s first International, Helmut likes to declare himself a German-Australian-turned-Brit. However, if there’s a rugby game or cricket match then it’s Australia all the way. Also, he believes that there is only one way to cook and that’s the Barbie. Today, despite the freezing temperatures, was no exception to the Barbie Rules, well, rule.’
This is utterly true, except for the German or the Australian bit. Helmut, Bridget, Hoobiz, Axle and Fizz are South Africans. Bridget grew up in an Anglo-Irish Catholic family and Helmut was born in the Netherlands, but his first language is Afrikaans. Das Barbie is in fact, the Braai.
It’s strange that I decided it essential to conceal these random specifics. It’s not really a passport and a driving license, but clearly I thought it too revealing to admit to a Burmese cat and a South African husband. Very odd, but in a way it’s not the first time I’ve looked at myself through these slightly tipsy glasses.
Once, I would have been defined by endless buckets of black coffee and log piles of Marlborough reds. That was many years ago now, but I think I continued smoking for a few more years than I wanted to simply because I felt that part me was capped in an orange filter.
There, that’s marvellous. I already feel lighter and more cleansed. This is so much better than those detox plans that involve nothing but 72 hours of spring water and beetroot juice. The first day leaves you with a glass splintering headache, bad breath and a savage desire to bite people.
Sorry for fibbing, I was just being a bit of twit.