The dead rewrite Christmas songs now.

Okay.

So maybe I was dead after all. Seems plausible.

That’s settled then.

Until such time I want to torture you my dear (possibly imaginary) reader with my ‘woe is me’ pity party of the last *mumble* months my excuse is that I was dead.

Moving on swiftly before my excuse is thought about by anyone who has a degree in philosophy thus causing them to enter an inescapable reasoning loop for the rest of eternity (I risk losing a good third of my imaginary readership to this wretched trap).

The thing that has sparked me back to life like The Frankenstein’s monster’s ugly Stepsister is the direct result of the bulging lid I had been trying to keep on this whole ‘Christmas’ thing finally exploding off launching the children into Christmas song. The song was ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ and we spent a good while in the car trying to remember all the words. This led to some artistic licence and in turn led to me writing up a new set of lyrics. I left out the Boys offering of ‘On the fourth day of Christmas my truelove gave to me, four Apricots.’ but I hope you like what I came up with.

*Note to any non UK imaginary readers, A and E is the Emergency room and Lurgy is general grotty illness normally sourced from snotty children*

 

 On the first day of Christmas my children gave to me

A trip to A and E


 On the second day of Christmas my children gave to me

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the third day of Christmas my children gave to me

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the forth day of Christmas my children gave to me

Four bad excuses

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the fifth day of Christmas my children gave to me

Five sleepless nights

Four bad excuses

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the sixth day of Christmas my children gave to me

Six boys a bashing

Five sleepless nights

Four bad excuses

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the Seventh day of Christmas my children gave to me

Seven girls a screeching

Six boys a bashing

Five sleepless nights

Four bad excuses

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the Eighth day of Christmas my children gave to me

Eight doors a slamming

Seven girls a screeching

Six boys a bashing

Five sleepless nights

Four bad excuses

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the ninth day of Christmas my children gave to me

Nine teachers letters

Eight doors a slamming

Seven girls a screeching

Six boys a bashing

Five sleepless nights

Four bad excuses

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the tenth day of Christmas my children gave to me

Ten headaches humming

Nine teachers letters

Eight doors a slamming

Seven girls a screeching

Six boys a bashing

Five sleepless nights

Four bad excuses

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the eleventh day of Christmas my children gave to me

Eleven toys a maiming

Ten headaches humming

Nine teachers letters

Eight doors a slamming

Seven girls a screeching

Six boys a bashing

Five sleepless nights

Four bad excuses

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the twelfth day of Christmas my children gave to me

Twelve bottoms burping

Eleven toys a maiming

Ten headaches humming

Nine teachers letters

Eight doors a slamming

Seven girls a screeching

Six boys a bashing

Five sleepless nights

Four bad excuses

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E

Emergency exit

Oh dear.

How quickly resolves crumble in January.

Unfortunately although my life has had a run of fun and games in the back half of this last week and I would love to write about I can not due to that pesky rule of mine. One day I will be able to and it will blow your mind. One day.

As an alternative and as I have neglected my writing duty I shall give you this.

Let us go back through the mist, 3 years ago this coming week

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Pictured: The mists of time… probably

It was as normal a day as I am ever likely to achieve. The children had gone back to school and pre-school the week before after the Christmas break. I was feeling free as I headed to the riding school to have some horse time before going to my final appointment with my exacerbated councillor who had unfortunately for me sussed out my mastery of avoidance.

After a normal mornings work I hopped onto a horse called Whisper who my brain insisted was called Flicker and would not see reason on the matter. I was trotting around, like you do, completely absorbed in the argument I was having with the Flicker/Whisper beast about the merits of rear wheel drive over front wheel drive when he suddenly morphed into a bunny rabbit crab beast and leapt violently upwards and sideways.

The world went into slow motion and I had time to contemplate that I could either try and hang on for dear life but probably fall off anyway in an even more embarrassing manor or I could just go with the flow and fall off without bothering to do the hanging upside down under the horses neck like a pig on a spit. I went for the second option and that proved to be a rather costly mistake.

Time dutifully returned to standard speed as I hit the ground, on my feet, given in youth I had experienced a similar unplanned exit with cat landing and managed to loose half the bone in my right ankle for the trouble my helpful brain instinctively protected this vulnerability by allowing all of my weight and motion to go through my left leg. Second costly mistake brain.

As all of us unhinged enough to think climbing onto an flight animals back know the first thing you do after an unfortunate parting of directions is jump up, dust yourself off and demand to get back up. I did that but unfortunately went down again the moment I tried to take a step. Still convinced it was just a flesh wound I attempted to rub the tingling that was running up both my legs away and tried again, no dice, couldn’t even get up this time. Dam.

I was still in denial when my good friend (who is so not the manager or head instructor) suggested we remove my boot. It took the two of us some time and a great deal of pulling and wriggling to remove my boot from foot and when it finally came off I knew I was in trouble when I had to catch my foot. I seemed to remember that traditionally the foot is supposed to be connected to the leg in someway and shouldn’t behave like a broken baguette in a bag.

I was still reeling out ideas of how I could hop to the car or maybe hitch a ride in a wheelbarrow while friend phoned for an ambulance. The pain hadn’t really hit me at that point so my biggest concern was that my councillor was never going to believe my excuse and just think I was displaying an exacerbation in my avoidance behaviour. I remember phoning a friend and asking her to call the surgery to let them know I wouldn’t be there and asking her to make sure she left the councillor a message to say it really wasn’t on purpose and I had actually acted on what we had been talking about. Honest. I don’t know if that message was actually ever left or got through as I never saw the councillor again. Not that I was avoiding her or anything…

Anyway. After a short wait a shiny and as it turned out, brand new ambulance on it’s first ever run arrived at the stables and pulled round through all the mud to where I sat in the dent in which I had landed. I liked the ambulance crew as they brought me gas and air and that stuff rocks, they where less keen due to all the mud and muck I brought to the shiny new ambulance.

After leaving the riding school a farce naturally ensued that involved them first driving my 5 miles west to the minor injuries unit in Witney as for some reason they thought that even if something was broken it was all where it should be. On arrival at the unit I waited with my old friend entornox close at hand for a medical professional to come out and see if they would have me. When somebody arrived (far too high to remember a job title at this point) they took one look and said no chance.

We then had to drive the 10 odd miles back east to the Accident and Emergency unit over in Oxford passing the riding school on the way with benny hill music playing in my head I was thankful that I was just about high enough to not swear with great abandon or be able to string enough words together coherently to give an accurate insight into my opinion about every single bump in the road and the outrageous pain it brought. I tried with limited successes not to resent the fact I had now traveled over half of them once already needlessly. Even in a fairly rural location like this you don’t really expect to be in the back of an ambulance for over an hour even if it is a brand new one on it’s inaugural patient journey.

It was mid afternoon when I finally arrived at the big hospital with it’s hard drugs and x-ray machines. A few hours later I had been x-rayed and had the news

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Pictured: Is it meant to look like that?

Not only had I managed to break my ‘good’ leg I had gone for the maximum impact of breaking it in three places. I was plaster casted from thigh to toe (twice as they got it wrong the first time) and removed after midnight to the ward to await surgery the following day.

I left hospital a week later with a large amount of metal work, little memory of the week that had passed due to all the lovely, lovely, drugs and in a wheelchair as due to all my pre existing physical silliness using crutches was considered suicidal.

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Pictured: Cankle

Recovery was long, slow, painful and only mitigated by the fact I could not only scare children but medical professionals when my dressing where changed.

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And about that recovery bit, three years down the line and I am as recovered as I am ever going to be. I can do almost everything I could do before but less well and with more pain. Combined with my pre exiting condition it has been a tiny bit disastrous and hastened progression but considering there was a time when they thought I would lose the leg and I was completely okay with that due to the pain, I am not really in a position to complain.

If I want to be a bit soppy and fluffy I can say how I don’t know how I would have got through it if it hadn’t been for my great friends, fab Mum and wonderful village who all came together to make sure I had everything I needed to get back on my feet again (literally and figuratively).

One pair of friends summed the whole thing up beautifully with a lovely picture they sent me (and is still up in my living room today) as they couldn’t travel to see me.

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Pictured: Yes. just yes.

Jinx!

I really just need to shut up sometimes and not make flippant jokes.

Had fun at the eye hospital today.

Remember how I made jokes about soldering irons to the eyes? Well about that…

Turns out that while my body lets me down daily every way it can think of (I realise I should probably write about this given many wont know how broken I am!) and in the most original, rare and imaginative ways but when it comes to tear ducts I am blooming Wolverine. Very typical, very me and utterly unsurprising at this point.

Even without the X-man magic leading to my previously cauterised lower tear ducts reopening I was once more headed toward the hellish regions of more eye surgery. We only found out about my powers of healing (but only when healing is the one thing not desired) while poking around in my eyes to put teeny tiny plastic bath plugs in my upper tear ducts as an interim measure while I waited to have those cauterised. So the plans changed. He stuck the bath plugs in my ‘reopened under new management’ lower tear ducts instead, taking great delight in informing me that not only had they reopened but they where now bigger than they had been previously, he then proved his point by squirting saline solution down the back of my throat via my eye an experience I am sad to report is not a new one but one I will never, ever, get used to. So now I wait for a date for round two of soldering the lower ducts closed and my upper ones can be a special gift for Christmas 2015. I also have a whole new collection of eye drops, one of which I was gleefully informed is ‘even more gooey’.

Fabulous.

Last time I sported my two black eyes for three weeks so by quickly utilising my astounding A level maths skills that will be 6 wonderful weeks or 11.4% of this year spent looking like an aged balding panda and it also means that I will have to keep still while a soldering iron is pressed into my eye at least 4 times, possibly (like last time) by somebody who has never done it before. I will also be reminded what burning flesh smells like (spoiler: unpleasant) on two separate occasions. I have so very much to look forward to this year. My year. My year.

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Pictured: My year as a cautionary tale.

I’m not finished whining yet about todays tails of woe and karmic red letters pointing out the folly of making light of things.

The next hit was in the form of text message while I sorted the children out for bed. Yes, bed. THE beds. The ones we weren’t talking about, most defiantly weren’t thinking about and had foolishly bargained to at least have one week of term before I had to deal with. I should have known really. When I had to turn the pre christmas delivery down they only let me in on their exiting plans the day before so why on earth I was surprised to get a text this evening informing me that the beds would be delivered tomorrow afternoon is beyond me. I can’t tell them not to deliver again but I am also no nearer being ready so I am going to have to deal with living in a flat pack warehouse as I somehow manage to dispose of a set of bunk beds, a metal frame double bed, a huge wardrobe thing (the open type thankfully, small mercies and all that, no doors.), a chest of draws, one single mattress and one double mattress. In a 3 door Corsa called Bob. Can he do it? Don’t be bloody daft.

To complete the holy trinity of things I have written about and clearly jinxed myself about for ever more the girl has swimming in the morning and if you think I am as organised enough to have her swim kit all in one place post Christmas holidays then you haven’t been reading.

I did today while at the hospital however happen to hear one of the best names I have ever had the pleasure of coming across. Congratulations to Penelope Gotobed. You win big… although I appreciate that childhood was most likely painful and you are probably on the brink of jail time if one more person makes one more joke…

Don’t call the doctor

The Doctor failed to come through on the lone of the Tardis. Selfish git.

I decided in fine fashion that if I was not going get everything done I would instead get next to nothing done and promptly gave myself the day off. I said ‘ahhhh’ and skipped home from the school drop off feeling light as a feather. Walking away from school on the first day of term is quite a glorious feeling and the rejuvenating properties of this experience should not be overlooked. Unfortunately they get very tetchy if you fail to return at 3.15pm to pick the little blighters up but I recommend that rather than dwelling on this you should rather focus on the fact you get to drop them off again the next morning.

Tomorrows joy shall be blighted slightly by having to haul myself up to the hospital in the morning for the biannual ritual of having doctors look deeply into my eyes, shake their heads and suck air through their teeth just like a plumber about to give a quote. Again I look on the bright side, a good couple of hours to sit and read my rather neglected book guilt free, as long as they don’t decide they need to dilate my eyes and spoil my fun. It is remarkably hard to read with pupils that resemble daft cat when he gets into one of ‘those’ moods and any movement at all triggers a flying ginger ball of claws and teeth that attaches it’s self to any uncovered flesh and is only sated once it has tasted blood. Caution should be used however about being too forthright about this wanton sabotage of reading time.

eyes

Pictured: Eye hospital complaints procedure

I hope to get onto delivering the next and overdue part of the ‘Mothering the Apocalypse’ series over the next day or so eye sight and laziness permitting. I think there is a good 2 – 4 more parts in that one left to tell. Then there is also my reckless decision to kick off a new fiction series that I must address, there are 2 more parts of ‘The Holiday’ and they will come along as soon as my crippling procrastination allows.

My hope is to get the blog on something resembling a schedule with one fiction piece coming out on a set day each week. Even though the daily posting of the holiday diary has at times been exhausting I have found that overall I quite enjoyed knowing I needed to produce something every day and this evening I sat down thinking ‘At least I don’t have to blog’ but it didn’t take long before the fingers started to twitch and for better or worse here we are. So I am setting myself a loose goal to be getting something up 6 days as week.

Please let me know what you think in regard to the posting frequency and content, it can be quite nerve wracking working in a vacuum and trying to judge the balance between fiction and horror life. I am as always keen to hear what you think, what you like and what you would like to change. You are also welcome to tell me that I am hopelessly deluded and self centred (unless you are the bitch), all feedback is good (unless you are the bitch)!

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?

A day off…

Day 4

The children have completely failed me today in their one task to be interesting so I can write about them. Typical. We have to be fair had a day off having to be someplace else and it was bliss.

We would have stayed in our pyjamas all day had it not got to lunch time when I discovered we had no bread in, well thats not quite true, I had a total of 4 slices of bread and two of them where crusts. Getting everyone washed, dressed and out to the shop was preferable to brokering a deal on that one, my part time role as hostage negotiator and US (United Sibling) peace keeper has gone way over hours and getting overtime paid is impossible in the current climate.

Our next job of the day was to try and tidy up the house ready to try and cut down the risk of Father Christmas filing another claim for workers compensation. I sent the children up to tidy their rooms while I dove into the mountain range of dirty laundry but they hadn’t been gone more than a few minutes before the girl was calling down with pleas for rescue from all the clothes that had fallen on her when she opened her wardrobe and the boy was howling on the stairs about the girl doing something or other to him, it wasn’t clear, it is hard enough to understand him through his speech disorder at the best of times but when the emotional dam has been breached a lexicon of linguists couldn’t draw head nor tale from him. In cases such as this I can’t really do anything as the girls only crime may have been existing while in his line of sight so I was left with the distraction method of ‘Look boy! Clean clothes for you to sort!’ always a winner.

Once I had rescued the girl from her avalanche I changed all the sheets, always an interesting task with the boy, he keeps everything he finds and considers precious in his bed with him so sheet changes can bring fascinating archaeological finds from rocks and twigs to collectors edition book collections to large wooden cat statues. This time was slightly disappointing and only yielded two Minecraft books, a small collection of lego bricks and one slipper that belonged to the girl three years ago that hasn’t been seen since… until today anyway.

With the bedrooms as good as they where going to get we headed down to do something about the living room while I brooded on the fact that the new beds will be here in a matter of weeks and there is a huge amount of work to be done to prepare and old furniture to somehow get rid of. I have pushed that problem into ‘Lala I’m not listening’ land for just now because the whole thing is getting a little too close for comfort now but there is nothing much I can do for the next week or so.

The house is now in a half way reasonable state, enough to ward of Santa’s little personal injury lawyers at any rate and we have made it through another day without any of the gifts already under the tree ‘accidentally’ having the wrapping paper ‘fall off’ so that is good enough for me. I managed to have a sneaky ‘I’m just tidying’ sort out of the lego and checked the Playstation is all up to date and ready to go without giving anything away to the boy. The outfit I bought for the girl has a seal of approval, not an easy thing given her tastes change with the wind and something she begged for on one day is something she wouldn’t be seen dead in the next. The top I had bought did not pass her inspection sadly but she found a plain black t-shirt in her avalanche field to substitute for the lovely bright one I had picked so her Christmas day outfit is rescued. I wish she was an easily pleased as the boy for whom I just got something with a computer game character on and thought no more of it.

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A heard of horses meets a horde of children tomorrow at the riding school Christmas pony day and party. I don’t really need to give any more of a teaser than that really, see you on the other side!

Twas the night before Christmas

Written in homage to my girl, who did just about this to me last Christmas!

It was Christmas Eve. All was far from silent and even if a mouse had braved moving with daft cat about it would have had no chance of being heard above the racket that the children where creating.

The evening I had envisioned, curled up on the sofa, a child snug in new pyjamas on either side watching old Christmas films was I knew, always going to be an unattainable fantasy. It was just never going to happen. Not while the children would still fit inside those new pyjamas. By the time I might gain a little control I would probably be over run with Grandchildren. At least by that point I can at last be smug about it all.

It was taking every second of my eight years of parenting experience just to get the two wildly over exited children to stop bouncing up and down squealing intermittently and asking if they could just open one little thing now. Even with those years of experience I was still failing miserably. Even daft cat had defied me and broken into several gifts under the tree. It was a lost cause and all hope had been abandoned somewhere around lunch. Around the same time daft cat had a silly moment and rolled around on a glitter painting that had been left on the floor. I now had a daft cat that shimmered with a Christmasy red sparkle. Classy.

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Pictured: Daft cat, glitter rat

It took a considerable amount of time, threats and bribery but the children where finally in their beds one and a half hours behind schedule. No lovely traditional Christmas films had been watched, apparently they are all boring while watching Frozen for the 957th time is not, apparently.

I now had to finish off all the wrapping and wait for my little blighters darlings to actually go to sleep. Sounds so wonderfully simple.

I finally finished my Father Christmas wrapping at midnight, the living room was tidy and the breakfast things laid out by one but still every time I snuck upstairs to check that the children where in a deep enough sleep one of them would stir, raise their heads and then quickly pretend that they where asleep all along. By 2am it was only the eldest that was keeping it up. The child had morphed into the lightest sleeper known to man or beast, nothing escaped her notice. By 3am I was considering hitting her on the head with something just so Father Christmas could visit and I could try and get some sleep. I still had just about enough reason in me to realise that a concussion was not really what I wanted to give my first born for Christmas and maybe, just maybe I would regret such action.

At 4am I finally made the connection. The gig was up and the child was playing me. She knew dam well that the bringer of gifts was my own sweet self and she was simply determined to catch me in the act what ever it took. Fair play she was really going for it. I decided in the end to pretend that I didn’t see her pretending not to see me. Rather than risk a full incursion into the children’s room I carefully placed the two stockings in the open doorway and ran like hell into my own room hoping for the best.

Not 10 minutes later, just after I had finally laid down my sweet head I heard it. The sound of a tenacious 8 year old scampering out of bed to claim her prize. A few moments later I heard her wake her younger sister to join her in the spoils of her war. At that point I just gave up completely, closed my eyes and welcomed the hour at most of sleep I was going to get. Merry Christmas indeed.