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.

The end (of term) is nigh

Today has been full of last dashes into town without children for all the things I have forgotten but the children are now too old for me to get away with the ‘don’t look’ or ‘this is honestly for somebody else’ tactics of yesteryear. I am unreasonably delighted to have managed to procure Christmas wrapping paper with owls on, something that will make the girl extremely happy, I am just happy that she has picked a must have theme that must be generally popular this year (that or we have a buyer in the area who also has a thing for owls), who knew, all things owl are the must have for Christmas 2014, seems a bit, well, random to me but that’s tweens (who am I kidding, that’s my children) by definition. So I can now relax in the knowledge that all the owl themed ‘stuff’ can be wrapped up in owls, how satisfying.

I also attended my first carol concert of the year. Now if I was really a good Mother I should have attended two concerts today, one for the boy in the morning and the evening one for the girl (roll on next year when they are both in the upper school). However, I just couldn’t quite bring myself to that level of giving for my children and as the girl was doing a reading she was the favoured child while the boy had a taste of attending two concerts in a day for once. He wasn’t amused in the slightest.

Last day of school is tomorrow however it ends rather prematurely at 1.15pm making getting anything done next to impossible. I am though going to make use of having the girl all to myself for the whole afternoon and evening (as it’s the boys day with their Dad), a rare thing indeed. I don’t know what we are going to do yet, she wants to subject me to the Annie remake but the fact that it doesn’t come out until the weekend grants me a reprieve and the knowledge that the boy will have to suffer with me when we do go. I must be thankful that when the time comes I shall not suffer alone. I quite like the idea of us heading over to the outdoor ice rink but the last time me wearing ice skates was on the cards the village took up a petition to stop the madness given my track record and lack of ‘good’ legs.

So the school holiday diary will start tomorrow afternoon with what ever kind of merry hell the girl and I can manage to raise. I really shouldn’t big this up as it will probably end up in tears. My tears. Either when I manage to find an even more creative way to break bones or can’t think of anything witty to say and the children fail to perform anything of interest. I have nightmares.

I intend to do an entry every day of the holidays. On the days that the children are not with me I will try to put some kind of fiction post out there although I think we will be skipping a week with ‘Mothering the Apocalypse’ as the next entry is ‘due’ right on Christmas day and I am unlikely to have time over the next week to get anything I am close the happy with out, I am finding writing a longer arc more, err, interesting and have to admit at this point I am not totally sure what triggered our end of the world so if you think you have an idea I would love to hear it (especially as it is probably better than the options I have in my notes just now!).

Mothering the Apocalypse (part 2)

Dear Diary,

The crunch arrived today, My expected Ocado delivery was a no show. I know there is an apocalypse on but it is so very unlike Ocado not to come, I would expect it from Asda, maybe even Sainsburys but I somehow held onto the hope that James in the Avocado van would brave it all to keep his customers happy. So, cupboards bare of anything I could feed us on without the use of electricity I had to face the prospect of post apocalyptic food shopping.

It took longer than I should really admit to decide that leaving the children in the house while I went out to do whatever a ‘quick shop’ consisted of in this new world we found ourselves in. While finding myself answering hard questions from police and social services was no longer something to worry about my concerns mainly revolved around the many different ways God and Helen could finish off what is left of the human race given the smallest of opportunity.

I contemplated walking for less time than you can say ‘herding cats’ and thankfully the now fully burnt out car on the road outside the house was just far enough along for me to be able to get my Mum tank off the drive. Well almost far enough over but I don’t think I need to worry about insurance claims for the damage caused and maintaining the paint work on my car is so far down the list of priorities it is making itself comfortable along side mowing the lawn and clearing out the loft.

So off we headed through the largely empty suburban streets only seeing a couple of other people out braving this new world and occasionally catching movement of curtains as we passed by homes, you can never put down neighbourhood watch it seems.

I did for the first time start to wonder what had caused this cataclysmic chain of events, I know as well as any parent how quickly things can turn to chaos and violence if you pop upstairs to the loo on your own for a few minutes but given the world had seemed normal on the last day of term two weeks earlier the speed of societies collapse was somewhat suspicious.

My deeper musings were pushed aside once more a short time later as we pulled into the large carpark of the supermarket. The sight before me was a real let down. All the hours of pop culture I had ingested had lead me to expect the opportunity to indulge in some good honest looting. I had been nursing the expectation of grabbing a trolley, sprinting around the store scooping in piles of tins of beans and peas (I can’t really explain why peas, but my fantasy was very precise), I had planned to loot sensibly paying close attention to what would keep the best and be the most versatile, I was going to be the best looter any apocalypse real or fictional had ever seen.

Yet again I had missed it. I had spent too long holding onto the hope of James and his Avocado van. The thing that surprised me wasn’t what you would have expected, empty shelves with everything already stripped out by others was what popular culture had told me would happen but the reality was that a small group of fellow survivors had taken control of the supermarket and were running it like, well, a normal shop.

It was all very civil and sensible and utterly, utterly disappointing. What good was the collapse of society if you didn’t get to have a little fun with it? Clearly there was a slightly higher risk involved than a normal day as evidenced by the heavily armed guards protecting the building but if there had been any rioting and fighting for control I yet again had missed it completely. I did run up against one major sticking point and that was payment.

Clearly cash had no value but to be fair to me I had braved the outside with the expectation of having to fight off crazed survivors for the last tin of peaches found under the empty shelving units (again, precise fantasy is my thing). I had almost looked forward to the excitement after the entire school holidays and three days of hoping with no company or entertainment other than two small bickering children, I felt I had been robbed of an experience by the civilised nature of the set up, I was very close to getting back into the car to go and find somewhere I could scratch my looting itch.

Thankfully the maternal instinct people always seem to bang on about found a way through eventually and I begrudgingly accepted that maybe going looking for trouble with kids in tow might not be the actions of a completely sane and reasonable human being let alone Mother.

I used my full arsenal of available weapons to get enough food to tide us over for a few more days, I drove a tough bargain and the shopkeeper cracked quickly. Who wouldn’t when presented with two crying children and a snotty and sobbing middle aged woman. I had in fact had to  bribe the children with the promise of a full fifteen minutes of the remaining laptop battery time if they cried about how hungry and scared they were.

So we are safely back at home with our first visit into the outside world over with. I am still none the wiser on the subject of what on earth happened, the people we met at the shops didn’t want to talk about it, in fact the only time I felt at all worried for our safety was when I asked the question. I am starting to wonder if everybody else who has survived also missed it but are as embarrassed as me about this fact and that is why they are so defensive.

Mothering the apocalypse (part 1)

Forward – This is a very rough first draft and is moving out of my comfort zone as it is not a one off but rather intended to be part one of a series. It still needs allot of work but I know me well enough that if I don’t put it out there I wont move forward with it. Thank you all who read for the support! Any ideas for a better title greatly appreciated!

Dear Diary.

I have suffered yet another blow in the process of being eliminated as a person and replaced with the entity known only as Mummy, I have also been cruelly and vindictively denied the first day back at school I had been promised two weeks ago when they broke up for Easter.

It happened sometime yesterday morning while Helen was downstairs watching the Peppa Pig DVD on a loop while I was upstairs trying to get Godwin to complete his holiday homework. I was up stairs for quite some time due to the fact that we had only just that morning opened his book bag to discover there was holiday homework and due to the fact I was not born to be a teacher, whenever God and I sit down with the intent of learning you can guarantee we will both be in tears within ten minutes and I will find myself channeling my teenaged self and recreating my top 10 most epic door slams of puberty.

What I am saying is that the overall noise level in the house was high and dramatic in nature so I guess I can understand up to a point how it happened but it still doesn’t make me any less bitter, make me feel like I have been any less out of the loop of normal adult life. I mean it can’t be normal surely, it could only my house runs on a level of noise and drama that a literal apocalypse goes un noticed for hours.

Yes. The end of the world as we know it happened and I missed it. I missed it because my 10 year old son and I were locked into a battle of wills so loud it drowned out the civil unrest that, judging by the scene outside our windows, bubbled over into outright riots all over the quality of the ‘WOW’ words in his writing homework and my 4 year old daughter had taken the television hostage to the point that I haven’t had a sniff of news about the outside world for the entire duration of the two week school holiday.

I am still completely in the dark as to the reason for this apocalypse as the only reason this unexpected turn of events came to my attention was when mine and Gods homework related wails were drowned out by Helens screeching anguish when the power went out taking Peppa Pig with it. Attempts to pull up an episode on Youtube just to make her stop only served to inform me that the mobile networks had also gone down. So no access to information is to be had, I have no way of finding out what had happened to the world in the space of two weeks.

I have come to the somewhat shaky and flawed conclusion that it doesn’t really matter anyway, after all, how many times a day does God tell me Hel has ruined everything and she is the root of all trouble that falls upon him? I never really know what has gone on, I never really know who is right and who is wrong, I rarely have any clue about how it all started but I mainly manage to bluff my way through it and at least look like I am in some kind of control. Surely I can pull myself and two small children through an apocalypse of unknown origin in the same manor, I mean, how hard can it really be? I have managed to survive several summer holidays with only minor collateral damage to property, children and mental state. I keep telling myself this in the hopes that at some point I might come close to believing it.

So thats it. Doomsday has arrived and I am very, very peeved. Firstly I was due to have the shopping delivered tomorrow and I suspect that is not likely to happen so I am going to have to figure out the whole keeping us fed things soon. Secondly the children are becoming rather difficult to keep entertained, I have managed to play on the novelty factor so far combined with every art and craft project I can think of but God is getting particularly restless and keeps asking awkward questions like ‘Why is that car on fire?’ ‘Where are the firemen?’ and ‘How far away is Pluto?’. Most of all though I am mad as hell that I have nursed myself through two whole weeks of school holiday, I have used up all the plans for ‘a lovely time with the children’ and now I have had the return to school snatched away from me. I did consider taking them up there this morning on the off chance but the car that had prompted God’s questions awakened the slightly less lax Mother in me. I might yet try tomorrow.