Better late

Day 13

So yesterday, when I said I would double post today and fill in on the events of yesterday properly… well, I have slept since then and I have lost all the little details and my brain has reordered little more than was in the placeholder so, I shall leave to all to wonder for ever more. If you want to, you don’t have to or anything, feel free to never think of it again. As you were.

Onto today, the last day of a long, long year that seems to have only begun a week or so ago, it is a wonderful paradox that we all know so well. A year can be so full of so much both good and bad yet over in a flash. This is the way our brains save us from ourselves. I really hope it is most people and not just me otherwise you, my reader, are going to find me even more odd than you do all ready and I am going to have to admit that my life is a never ending chain of denial. I beg of you to just humour me.

First job of the day was to be very grateful for the friend who gave me and the children a lift to go and pick up my keys and Bob from the impromptu cinema sleep (park?) over. When we arrived at Bob we had some news for him. Within the flurry of slightly desperate text messages tinged with shame that followed the realisation of lost keys that enquired if a spare key for Bob was something that was in this realm of existence came the news that our fostering of Bob had been approved for a move to permanence, Bob shall be officially adopted into the family within the next few weeks. This approval may have simply been away to avoid having slightly crazed texts from a mad woman wittering on about keys and a mix up due to the odd reference to orphan Annie. Who knows, who cares, Bob is home.

Today was also the day of my Christmas dinner. I didn’t get one on Christmas day as the Christmas ready meals for one where all sold out and although I had a lovely roast dinner with the Bitch and Progeny on Boxing day a Christmas meal with the Boy and Girl was something the three of us wanted to share. Well they begged for ‘A Mummy roast’ and who could turn down that kind of charm (it is also possible that they asked to roast Mummy, I will just gloss over that possibility). So a week late but who is counting, the three of us sat down to eat far too much food on one plate and watch the Christmas Dr Who special. We had a cracking argument about crackers while our food sat cooling on plates in front of us so it was defiantly and without doubt a Christmas dinner. We scared the life out of daft cat by pulling said crackers and he retaliated by jumping into the Christmas tree and then setting upon LooBoo the Furby (Furby and cat have been engaged in a stand off worthy of a weston movie since the Furby landed on Christmas morning). Defiantly Christmas. The children then made it their life work to give me a headache bigger than my laundry pile until I sent them to bed at the first possibly opportunity. Defiantly Christmas.

So now I have the children tucked in upstairs, daft cat is just about ready to start talks on the level of compensation he requires for his trauma and I am ready to face the new year (or go to bed because I am old, broken and very sleepy). I don’t do new years resolutions. They often seem so definitive and rigid that it is only a matter of time until they are broken. In place of resolutions I do new years promises.

They are often broad and open to interpretation (got to love a good get out plan). I can not know where this next year may lead me or what kind of obstacles I may face so I like to give myself some options and hope for the best. This time last year for example I would not have predicted that by the end of the year I would be a single parent facing a very different type of future and if I have made a new years resolution to stop smoking you can be sure I never would have done so (because I am a contrary cow and happy to fight myself tooth and nail) but my not putting that kind of pressure upon myself I stopped smoking cigarettes in June (surprising myself more than anyone else I think).

So for 2015, what are my new years promises? I hope to remember to think of myself more, to remember that I matter. That I need things for myself and in doing so I am better for my children. I have been building this year on year for some time now and I am really starting to see results in the way I feel about myself and the way I am viewing my life as a separate yet harmonious entity from the lives of my children. I promise to work very, very hard at building my business, to gently push at my physical capabilities in order to earn the best living I can for my children and myself (I haven’t forgotten about the promise of a more detailed post on this subject). I promise to try and be just a little more social, to say yes a little more and use my new found ‘childfree’ evenings to best effect. Finally I promise to continue to champion my children’s needs. To make sure the boy is getting every bit of help and support he requires to allow him to access his education and the wider world to the same level as any other child of his age. To nurture the girls interests and talents, to find every way I can to help her get over her own hurdles. To help her find her way as she leaves young childhood and starts on the difficult road to puberty and all that brings. I guess it comes down to me simply promising to be the best Mum I can be to each of them on any given day. I am far from perfect and I will get it wrong but I hope we can learn from those times and above all have fun and love each other.

Urgh. That was entirely to soppy and ‘lifestyle’ Mummy. I promise I won’t be so vomit inducing for another year, hows that?

Happy new year!

Place holder

Day 12

Short and sweet today, I am against the clock!

I will spill all the details tomorrow (I hope) but today both my charger for laptop died so I am on the very, very, very limited borrowed time of the charge remaining until the new charger I have had to fork out for arrives tomorrow sometime and then after that I managed to loose my car keys at the cinema so our outing came to a stressful end that has left Bob marooned in a car park rather too many miles away to walk to. Thankfully my misery at taking the kids to see Annie had company and with some impressive Tetris skills we did manage to get home. Still have to figure out the getting the car back and thankfully the keys have now been located at the cinema.

Tomorrow (tomorrow, there’s always tomorrow… sorry, couldn’t resist) will be a double posting day so I can tell the sorry tale in proper form as well as what ever day 12 may bring.

Now on the red, so no more from me until Amazon Prime does it’s thing!

The Holiday (Part 1)

Day 11

My babies are back and today we enjoyed each other company, the girl did lots of drawing and the boy played on his computer games. Very boring, very lovely but totally un-blog worthy so today you get fiction. The is another serial, sorry!

Part 1 – Conception and Planning


I had made such wonderful plans in my head. When I planned it out while in bed waiting for sleep it was all sunshine and laughter. We were going to have to most amazing time, I was going to be the most amazing Mum ever and do all the things amazing Mums are supposed to do. My children would remember it forever and tell their own children and Grandchildren about the summer holiday they took with their Mother. Well. As it turned out the children will definitely remember it. They will definitely tell their Children and Grandchildren about it but not at all in the way my sleepy brain had envisioned.

The sun bleached haze of the holiday that had taken place in my head continued as I began the first stages of planning. I ruled out holiday centres like Butlins and Centre Parks because we didn’t need all that planned and prescribed fun, oh no, we would be free of that! We didn’t need all those facilities on our doorstep, that kind of thing didn’t exist in the Famous Five books that were the backbone of my imaginings and they wouldn’t exist in our holiday! I would rent a little cottage in a quiet non touristy spot of undiscovered Cornwall. We would go for long walks along the coast and take picnics! We would frolic on empty sandy beaches and befriend a local farmer! We would pay a quick visit or two to the local town, not one of those really busy tourist hotspots, no, one with some tourists that I could look at and pity before going back to our little cottage to fly kites and drink ginger ale.

I know. You can stop laughing now. It didn’t take too many google searches for me to discover that every single inch of Cornwall was well and truly discovered and during the summer holidays every inch is inhabited by tourists most wanting what I wanted and most being stressed as they try and claim a square meter of beach space to call their own. The whole mornings search and discovery only left me to marvel that the whole peninsula didn’t just break off on August due to the stampede. I was either going to have to compromise and risk joining the legion of stressed Motherhood or I was going to have to rethink the whole thing.

That night as I laid in bed and I let my mind wander to the summer holiday question I had an epiphany. I was looking completely in the wrong direction. If I wanted isolation and freedom from the masses I needed to head north. I remembered being a small girl and spending what I remembered as a glorious summer holiday in the Outer Hebrides. I remembered camping just behind a sand dune on the island of Barra and discovering that the beach on the other side was in fact the airport. Heading up to the north of Scotland might mean that the chances of glorious sunshine took a bit of a hit but, I reasoned, everybody has to be willing to make a compromise somewhere. I sighed happily as I drifted off to sleep, my fantasy of our amazing holiday where I could be an amazing Mum and my children could make amazing memories was once again intact.

The small detail that had been skimmed over in the fantasy started to make itself known as I googled anew the following morning. Barra Island is 550 miles away. Google maps told me that it was a an 11 hour drive. It told me the route involved toll road and if I wanted to avoid this toll the drive would be nearer 12 hours. What google maps didn’t say but what I realised as I pondered the definition of ‘island’ there would also be the need for a boat.

The deflated and disappointed feelings that I had experienced the day before as my Cornwall dreams fell down around me faster than the model of a saxon village my had daughter made at school last year was not something I was willing to allow to happen again. I was going to take my children on holiday to a remote island and have a splendid time that would be remembered for not just my lifetime but for all the future generations to come. We where going to have wholesome fun, pink cheeks and ginger ale even if it killed me (and I did have at least some appreciation for the fact that it just might). I completely blocked out like it was an undesirable on Facebook the small voice in my head that was telling me that maybe, just maybe, I was putting a little bit too much into my dreams for this holiday and it was all going to end in tears and possibly a nervous breakdown before we had even left the county.

I managed to keep my serenity and fantasy going throughout the process of finding the perfect little holiday let, it was just as I had imagined my undiscovered Cornwall would be just with more rocks, less sun and more wind. I excitedly decided that being the perfect Mum on the perfect holiday we would make the journey part of the experience, I booked two campsites along the way giving us plenty of time to see some bits of England and Scotland we may never have visited otherwise. I even contacted the Sunday Times to see if they would be interested in buying my story as a lifestyle piece for the colour supplement. They never got back to me though and I was too busy with the most pretentious holiday planning that ever was to chase it up. That was one thing I ended up being glad about.

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Pictured: What could go wrong?

Hair today

Day 10

After 2 days of not having to set an alarm or get up early I was savagely betrayed by my body this morning. I have no memory of my alarm going off at 7am this morning but I know it must have, I checked it before going to bed last night so my vindictive subconscious must have done away with it with malicious intent as it was the ringing phone that woke me. The phone that was ringing due to the fact I was to be in work at the community shop at 9am. It was 9.05am. Crap.

An impressive but not record beating 7 minutes later I opened my front door, thankful to the heavens for Bob and promptly switched from thanking to cursing. For the second year on the trot it has been the poorest effort of a winter but this morning Mother Nature had decided to pull a hard frost out the bag and every one of poor Bob’s windows was solid with frost.

Two more precious minutes and a lukewarm kettle later and I was finally off. I still had to wake up but that task had been deferred until further notice.

After a mornings work and a trip to Tesco to stock up for the return of the children later on in the afternoon what passes for my brain was just starting to come to and wonder what the rush was all about. Possibly due to this I returned from the shops with not only a weeks worth of food but also a box of hair dye and a terrible idea.

After deciding that dying the cat probably wouldn’t be as easy as I first thought I shifted my attention to my own neglected birds nest of a head. Nothing but brush and wash had been done to my hair since October 2011. The long gap between bouts of attention are not unusual for my neglected head, this is how I can remember when the last time it had been cut and coloured was but this interval had been unusually long even for me and had resulted in my hair becoming, well, unusually long.

I decided that if I was going to stick some colour on my hair there needed to be considerably less of it. I remembered back a day to a conversation along the lines of home hair cuts I had with the Bitch on boxing day so before I could gain any sense or perspective on the matter I contacted her and got her to guide my scissor hand via text message. It turns out that cutting my own hair is not all that dissimilar to cutting a horses hair and I do that allot. I wouldn’t like to try pulling my mane though so tried hard not to confuse myself.

With around 40cm of length removed from my hair I set about the job of dying it. The children arrived home to what looked like their Mother finishing the job of clearing up the murder she had committed while they where with their Father.

‘It looks like you killed someone Mummy!’ Were the boys first words to me as he arrived in the bathroom and peered into the bath. My concern is with just how exited he was at this prospect.

The biggest problem I have with my new hair is that due to plagiarising the home cutting technique from the Bitch I now have the same hair style as her. I can’t quite get used to that. Every time I pass a mirror I think the Bitch is stalking me.

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Pictured: Different

I have told the boy he can put the playstation on right after breakfast tomorrow since he hasn’t be able to play on his new games yet, this has nothing to do with me trying to make my morning getting used to having small people about again easier at all, non at all I tell you. The rest of the day shall either be spent playing games (computer and traditional), getting crafty with the crochet set the boy gave me and finding homes for all the lovely new things they have managed to gain over Christmas. We may break the day up with a trip to the cinema but that may be saved for Tuesday as I have found another adult to come with and share my pain but we have yet to pin down exactly when we will martyr ourselves for our children.

The road to B.O.B

Day 9

It has been brought to my attention that not only have I failed to introduce the new member of our little clan I have also failed to note the significance of this addition.

I am naturally talking about the little car. A name for this hunk of metal has not yet been chosen as it is not yet been formally adopted and is just now in a fostering situation until final decisions have been made so for now we shall refer to it Bob (More accurately B.O.B – Borrow Or Buy).

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Pictured: Bob in his best light

I little background to start us off. I have been the holder of a driving licence for almost 20 years however for a medley of boring reasons I found myself around 6 years ago in a situation where I didn’t have easy access to a car and my need to drive was low. This ended up with me forgetting to renew my driving licence when the photo expired.

It continued to be forgotten about and then the cumulative side effects of one of my medications combined with the temporary increases of said medication when I so carelessly dismounted a moving horse via the emergency exit came together to cause my corneas to resemble an LP owned by an over enthusiastic yet amateur DJ in the early 80’s. My doctors over at what we call up in Liverpool the ‘Gozzy Hozzie’ where somewhat relieved to find I wasn’t currently driving, they recommended that I keep it that way.

Now, we are a couple of years on from that. I have a strict and continued regime of all the eye drops ever made applied every hour or so of the day combined with having had my lower tear ducts cauterised, one eye was done by my consultant and the other by a student who had never done it before. New pants where required after I had the experience of a young man leaning over me with what amounts to a soldering iron asking his boss which bit of my eye he needed to stick it in while his hand shook with nerves. Thankfully about a year after my brush with the soldering iron I was passed fit to drive (as long as several gallons of goo a day kept my eyes artificially lubricated) and it was just case of sorting out my licence.

Due however to the very long time since I had needed it I had to change what felt like every little detail, my address, my name, my picture and naturally I had no clue where the paper counterpart of expired photo card where located so I was going to have to do the job lot with the DVLA.

We now enter into the long and boring bureaucratic process of banging ones head against a brick wall but suffice to say that in early December I was finally in possession of an up to date photo card driving licence with all the correct details. All I needed was some wheels to go with it. (Minor side note, I completely failed to think though my wardrobe choice for the picture, the orange jumper means it could be mistaken for a prison I.D. I was sad enough as it was at losing the old picture, the still teenaged me looked good in that picture, I have now lost all possible means of pretence.)

Getting mobile again had become a massive, massive deal once I had become a single parent, I live in the village that public transport forgot. My organisation levels did become unheard of for me and the ease of online shopping and supermarket delivery made life at least liveable however for things like doctors, dentists, hospitals and just all those general bits and bobs you take for granted when you have means of transport I was more than a bit stuck. Yes I have lovely friends who will always help out but it is simply not practical or reasonable to ask for help with some things and I really hate to put people out. However generous people are it just isn’t cricket to, for example, ask somebody to drive me to the hospital for an appointment and then either wait around with me for hours or be on call to come back and get me at some unspecified time. The biggest thing though is work. Having transport means being able to get more work in. I shall be talking more about the work thing in a post planned for later in the week but the bottom line is, driving is essential for me to earn my living.

So, we get to Bob, eventually. I have had use of Bob for almost 3 weeks now and apart from all the little runs to shops and things so far Bob has allowed me to take the children on a couple of outings and we have more planned for next week, Bob enabled me to make the most of a difficult Christmas afternoon by allowing me to go and be with horses and help out a friend in the process, there are also things Bob has helped me with that are on the banned topics list so we will skip to the fact that Bob has also just taken me between Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire and back again so I could go and see the biggest bitch in the known galaxy and call her a bitch and a few other names to boot. Bob even got me through Milton Keynes, twice, it is hard to ask more of Bob than that.

Hopefully Bob will become a permanent member of our little madcap family, and if it is not this Bob, it will be another because I am officially mobile again and I fully intend to make the very most of it.

Voyage of discovery

Day 8

Being without children now until Sunday evening I enjoyed my first real sleep in for nearly ten years. This resulted in me sleeping until 11am and waking up in a rather high level of pain given that my morning medications where due at 7am. It took some time for me to pull myself together to face the day I had planned but I did eventually get myself going in the early afternoon. I threw some stuff in a bag, grabbed the plethora of charging cables a modern girl needs and the laptop. I was off, like I often did pre-children, on an adventure!

I asked my next door neighbour if they wouldn’t mind opening my front door and letting the cat out at some point then it was a quick stop on in order to feed and count the legs on the first random horse I could find before hitting the road (it had been very naughty) to Cambridgeshire to spend the night with the biggest bitch in the the galaxy and her eldest, now frighteningly adult, progeny.

After an uneventful drive and brush with Milton Keynes I arrived mid afternoon and took my place on the sofa to begin my 24 hours of blissfully doing as little as possible in somebody else’s house for a change.

At first I didn’t realise what was going on, I was just sitting trading insults with the bitch when out of the corner of my eye the television caught my attention. The character being controlled by the progeny had just been killed by a giant scrotum that had descended upon him. Then I noticed what was going on in the background and my mind shall never be the same, I had the strongest need to bleach my eyeballs and then brain. Welcome to the game ‘South Park, The Stick of Truth’.

I used to watch South Park but haven’t done so for very many years for no other reason than if got a bit old and tired for me personally. I had heard there was a South Park game and it was rather, er, graphic but that was all until today. Every new twist and turn makes my stomach turn and mind boggle but I can’t stop watching the progeny play, it is hypnotic in its horror and I admit I have had a couple of giggles. I want to ask how on earth the writers come up with this stuff, unusually large Nazi zombie rats being one of the delights that awaits players of this game. I want to ask but I don’t because way back when, back when I was not much older than the progeny, this was exactly the sort of stuff my friends and I came up with and laughed all night about. Beaver Hi-Fi anybody?

We have had a brief break from the addictive shock factor of the game to enjoy a lovely meal that completely made up for my lack of a Christmas dinner yesterday. We also watched Coyote Ugly, a film the bitch and I watched obsessively when it was released but clearly I may have aged a little too much for that also, rather then just enjoying the film I found myself commenting that no bar owner would tolerate the amount of wastage shown. I found the idea of being able to buy a round of shorts for $10 very sweet. I also found myself giving the Father in the film a ranting monologue about misogyny and co-dependant personalities.

I have come to the overall conclusion that I have turned into a grumpy old woman who doesn’t understand the youth of today and is insufferable to be around. I have finally achieved one of my greatest goals in life.

Back home tomorrow to find that horse to feed and count its legs again, get back to Daft cat and give him lots of cat crack™ Dreamies to ease my guilt.

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Pictured: Affair?

It won’t be long until Sunday evening and the return of the boy and girl. I can then continue the programme of training them as my personal army that I commenced yesterday morning.

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Pictured: Home protection system.

Tick Tock

Day 6

Okay well I know, it is way past midnight and we are now into day 7.

Merry Christmas.

I woke up the children this morning by blasting Fairytale of New York up the stairs (or if we are being pedantic, yesterday morning. I always get myself in a bit of a muddle post midnight. I maintain that until I have either gone to sleep or the sun has risen we are still considered to be living the same day).

The day was then a pretty standard Christmas Eve, we had that traditional moment when you realise you have thought of everything bar lunch and a last minute trip to the shops for bread, ham, milk etc is required. I think that puts my number of last trips to the shops for forgotten essentials almost into the double figures.

I instigated a new tradition this year, it is our first just the three of us so I thought why not. I found out why not. While organising gifts last week I decided that the new onesie (why do I hate that pretender of a word so much?) sleepwear that had been designated Father Christmas would really be nicer to have to go to bed in on Christmas Eve. I see many of my Facebook friends doing the most lovely ‘Christmas Eve boxes’ so I decided to wrap them up under the tree as ‘Christmas Eve’ gifts to be opened up at 6pm. The boy was just wild with excitement and asked me the time every 30 seconds for the entire day. I started to worry the children would be scarred for life due to crushing disappointment when the allotted time finally arrived for the great unwrapping. Apart from repeat that the gift was most defiantly not a toy with every time check there wasn’t much more I could do. I hope that if I keep this new tradition going that next year wont be quite so insufferable but saying that, they where very exited by fleecy sleepwear, so much so that the boy used his to emulate a bull whip around his head and nearly had the tree down and an early start to my spring cleaning by bringing everything off the shelves.

So here I am, past 2am. I actually had all the wrapping done and the stockings (blooming sacks, sacks!) ready to go at just after midnight however I needed to sneak into the children’s rooms and get the small traditional stocking from the ends of the beds. After last years fiasco that only needed slight dramatisation to turn into my festive fiction offering, this year I changed the rules. Father Christmas now delivers to stockings (sacks!) under the tree while leaving a very small token stocking on the end of the bed (because you just have to have the moment of waking up and finding a full stocking, well in my world you do anyhow!). Unfortunately while I was doing vital Facebooking last moment preparations before bed I heard a bedroom door creak and the patter of little feet into the bathroom. While I am almost certain that this was the girl I am now too frightened to go up and check on the off chance if was in fact the boy and I get rumbled two years in a row. This is only my 10th year doing this parenting thing and I really don’t want to up my failure rate to 20%, statistics like that just don’t look good. So I wait.

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Pictured: A small gift from Santa…

And wait. I heard the girls bed creaking. Dam it!