Sunday, June 29, 2008

Aiming high

In case you think the family is in training for a guest appearance on the Jeremy Kyle show I've decided to write a more uplifting post today.

This week has been a busy one for the family. We had Sports Day and a tennis tournament for the Terminator and a local race, 6 miles for Danny Boy and me and 3 miles for The Terminator. Lurch also had a lad's weekend in Lisbon. All of this activity prompted a family discussion about medals. Would you rather win an Olympic Gold (choose any discipline you want), a Pulitzer prize or the Nobel Prize? Lurch said his choice was easy, he hates sport and the Nobel prize has the biggest prize fund so that was that. All down to cash. Danny Boy chose the Nobel too but wanted to win it for finding an eternal solution to war. The Terminator said he'd read a book about Marie and Pierre Puree (up there with T-Hairy Henri, the gifted french footballer and the coop, the feel-good supermarket) and he'd like to win the Nobel prize for finding a new element or a cure for Aids. I went for an Olympic gold in the downhill slalom at the Winter Olympics but I also felt that one of the best feelings in the world must be to be on stage singing 'Love Shack' to a big crowd with the B52's.

Lurch is currently on the Lad's tour with three of his old school friends. He's phoned a couple of times, mainly to talk about peri-peri chicken, leather handbags and the sweltering heat. I asked him if he'd finally bought some swimshorts. No way was he getting his fish-white belly out for anybody except me, was his response. I am truly the special one. How far removed from the days when the lads used to tear up the King's Road, swaggering their slim young bodies.

The Terminator's house won Sports Day and he won the tennis tournament. The 6 mile race was unspeakably difficult. Danny Boy had not done any training and to my horror the start line was full of uber-fit looking club runners. The race itself included a 2 mile hill, what a nightmare! DB and I managed to drag ourselves round and DB was 42nd and I was 51st out of 75. Luckily there were some 70 year olds running, although a couple of them beat us. The Terminator excelled himself and was 31st out of 165 and got a trophy for being the first cub home. He told me he had tried so hard he was sick in the public toilets afterwards! We went home and I was so shattered I fell asleep in the afternoon. Today DB and I can hardly move but we've all vowed to give it another go next year, it has really lifted our spirits and motivated us. Keep on running!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ifs and butts

God help me! Just as I was scoffing down my All Bran at top speed, preparing to take Danny Boy to school, getting his athletics stuff ready and finding him a snack and a drink he came up to me, looked me straight in the eye and asked 'Mum, what is a butt plug?' Like lightening I replied 'it does exactly what it says on the tin..'. 'Have you ever used one?' he asked. 'No, now go and get in the car or you'll be late for school'. If I'd sent him to public school instead of a state school the size of a small town would he have asked me that question?

The prank on my poor nephew backfired - his mother said he is an 8 year old trapped in an 18 year old's body. He forgot to put his new address on facebook so only 7 people went to his party - he was also waiting eagerly for us to arrive. I felt such a mean old Aunty Blogthatmama, sent him a loving apology e:mail,

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Time marches on

It's been a fairly quiet weekend here. The Terminator has been on a mini-break to Scarborough with his friend who's an only child. He's had an absolutely brilliant time, told me that he hadn't had a single one of his 'five a day' just plenty of this...

He slept for two nights in this...

Danny Boy wanted to go on another date on Saturday - it was a double date to the cinema। Love's young dream continues...

Naturally I had to drive him to the cinema and pay for it. The novelty is rapidly wearing off and I'm no longer sentimental as I realised it's going to cost us a fortune in time and money. I made him promise that he would weed my vegetable patch in return for the cash. Must stick to it so that his new Paris Hilton lifestyle doesn't ruin him.

Had a chat with sister-in-law, Wendy. She's still not starting her chemo for another two weeks and they've asked her to go on a drugs trial. I think she's fed up. Wendy and Pete have 18 year old twin boys, Johnny and Mark, as well as a 14 year old daughter. Mark has been working in Canada for a gap year but when he heard about Wendy he flew home. I asked how he was and Wendy said he looked terrible, I started saying he must be upset but she said he looked terrible because two days earlier he'd had giant chinese writing tattooed on his lower arm, supposedly saying 'family first'. It seems like yesterday when they were pageboys for me and Lurch, dressed in cream shirts with Peter Pan collars and cornflower blue shot silk shorts. Johnny has had his ears pierced and is wearing blingtastic diamonds. Wendy says they both look awful but what can you do? I'm dreading it. One of my friend's 18 year old nephew has just got engaged and celebrated with a tattoo of a golden eagle on the whole of his back. Johnny's at University now and was having a housewarming party, he'd put an open invitation on Facebook. For a joke I told Wendy I would accept so I wrote on Johnny's wall 'Thanks for the invite, Uncle Lurch, Danny Boy, The Terminator and I will be down and able to go for a couple of hours. See you at 8pm Lots of love Aunty Blogthatmamaxx' Wendy was laughing her head off cos he phoned her 5 minutes after my wall post to say we were going. Ha, ha!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

First Love, Big Fights

Danny Boy is now well and truly in the throes of first love. He tried to follow my advice and remain cool but, as we all predicted, he fell fast and furiously. Daisy phoned him and asked him to meet her at the village fete at the weekend. His first date! He was very quiet on D-Day morning when Lurch drove him to meet her. Lurch came back, looked at me and said 'my poor little cub! my poor little cub!'. Apparently he was a bag of nerves. I went to pick him up four hours later and he'd calmed down considerably, had a lovely day with Daisy and they were standing grinning at each other. He chatted about her in the car and said he just really enjoyed feeling a deep, close bond with Daisy and that it wasn't physical!? I repeated my mantra of 'you're very young...' whilst remembering Lurch and I calling him the stealth missile because, as a baby, he used to climb out of his cot at night, in his sleepsuit, and elbow his way up our bed so that when we woke up he was always the first thing we saw, cuddled up to us.

Of course, it nearly didn't happen that way because guess who got in on the act? The Terminator, with his nose for trouble, managed to find out that one of the dinner ladies at his school is a friend of Daisy's mum and knows Daisy. He told the dinner lady that he'd found out about her private life and that she went shopping with Daisy. 'How do you know that?' she asked 'because she's my brother's girlfriend, mind you she's been out with the whole of the football team already!'. At cricket that night DB got a call from Daisy. I answered and she asked him to ring back. Panic-stricken he said 'shall I text her and ask her if she wants to dump me?' I told him not to and when he spoke to her Daisy told him that her mother was furious about the football remark and was thinking of sending her to an all girl school! The War of the Worlds has been narrowly averted for the time being.

I also have a brand new crush, as of last week. Move over Didier Drogba! His name is Lord Karan Bilimoria and I spotted him on the final 'You're Fired' of The Apprentice. What a gorgeous man; suave, sophisticated, educated, empathetic, handsome, successful - you name it, he's got it. I'm none too pleased with Lurch at the moment. I think I've been spending too much time blogging and not enough reading the paper. He's been sniggering since I referred to the UN Secretary General as Banky - he informed me that he was not actually a relation of Nana or Alfie but that his name was Ban Kee-Moon. Anyway I'm finishing this blog on a high, with a picture of the lovely Lord KB, just in case you haven't seen him before.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Monsoon Metamorphosis

Last week I went shopping for a new dress for my friend's 40th birthday party, it was a pink party in aid of breast cancer. I strolled into Monsoon, they had some of the most beautiful, feminine clothes I'd seen in a long time so I gathered loads of pink things up and headed off into the changing rooms. Pulling the first dress over my head I thought 'that's a big snug' and then tried to do the zip up - wouldn't go near my heaving bosom! 'Must be the cut' I thought and then tried another, same thing. I looked at myself in the full-length mirror and realised that a Kafkaesque transformation had occurred over the winter months. I had turned into this!!

Aargh! My arms and legs were fine but my abdomen and all the bits on it had swollen to epic proportions. 'Maybe I'm about to give birth, like that woman dressed as a bumble bee on a hen night' I thought to myself in terror, but then realised that Percy Pig and his sugary Pals and Signor Pinot Grigio were the true parents of this horrific offspring. I had always been this shape, but never this bad.

I went home and squeezed myself into an old pink shirt, had a blast at the party and then decided enough was enough on Sunday। So, this week I feel like one of those Florida pensioners waking up from a coma (except that I'm not wearing a peach velour tracksuit). Those flabby, shabby unattractive days are behind me now. I have had no sweets or alcohol for five days, All Bran instead of lashings of buttery toast for breakfast and I went on an 8 mile run yesterday. Result? Four pounds lost this week. I certainly don't intend to become a diet bore but I really feel much better. I have also got off my backside and had two business meetings. One with the mum, Miss Dynamite, which was great and really fired me up and another with a fantastic lady else who wants to set up a marketing training course with me. Time to up my ante!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The best and worst features

One of my favourite articles in the Sunday papers is 'The best of times, the worst of times' because the author often refers to a period in their life that is simultaneously good and bad. Most of the time people seem to think that you have a good time or a bad time and never the twain shall meet.

I was thinking today about the best and the worst (yes, probably when I should have been working) and naturally my thoughts came round to me. What were my best features and my worst? I kicked off with the worst - my teeth, they are crooked and yellow, or 'dark' as the dentist tactfully puts it. I say my smile could be mistaken for a banana. I try not to blame my sainted parents for my mostly great childhood but really they should have insisted on a brace at the minimum.

How would my life have been different if I'd had straight white teeth? I think for a start people interviewing me would not have taken me for a bulldog sucking on a lemon so much ('she's very serious, isn't she!')and I would have appeared less like this at parties...

Lurch also has terrible teeth. Although they look a lot better than mine they are actually rotten to the core. Interestingly, his mother attributes it to his rejection of her from approximately two weeks old and his insistence on nothing but the finest carnation milk for the following two years.

My best feature is probably my legs, although they mostly remain modestly hidden under the confines of my tracky bottoms. As a girl I never had to worry about wearing shorts in summer, or mini skirts and that probably meant that I came across as a bit of a goer in those days, once you got over the grim expression, of course.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Family round up

Phew! We've got guests staying so have been unable to blog for a while, but I've just got out of a shopping trip, it's me and Danny Boy at home now.

We went Down South last week to stay at a friend's for a few days. Lurch told me that his parents were moving into a warden controlled retirement flat in a fortnight so the boys and I went to visit them and their new home. They are the only people in the whole of the UK to have sold their house in three weeks, unbelievable! We have had no calls and no viewings. Still.

We arranged to meet outside the 20ft high electronic gates. This was not a maximum security twilight home for the bewildered; there were no wardens there, only millionaires, there were no red strings and flashing emergency lights next to the loo, only discreet buttons to turn the shower and underfloor heating on. They have scrimped and saved all of their lives and have never had much money, it's brilliant that they've downsized, bought a luxury appartment and can begin to enjoy themselves with a bit of cash. Lurch's Dad is Scottish, never had a pair of underpants until he was 12 and joined the army when he was 14. He pulled himself up by his bootstrings and put everything into his kids' education. Lurch's Mum is quite posh and says the biggest mistake she's made is to spend their money on public schools.

We then went to see Wendy and Pete. Wendy has had a lumpectomy and found out the prognosis the day before we visited. The cancer has not spread but it is Grade 3, very aggressive. She's having six months of chemo and then radiotherapy so has an extremely tough time ahead. My friend had warned me that one of the most difficult things about cancer is how everybody falls apart before you. I managed not to cry, although Pete looked dreadful. Wendy seemed to be coping pretty well. She said that the worst part was waiting for the results but now she knows what she's dealing with she can come to terms with it. El Vel rang when I got home that night and we both burst into tears. I cannot believe she's got cancer.

The Terminator was banned from watching The Apprentice due to an incident in the village relating to primitive, Aborigine-style mud daubings on neighbours' cars with his friend, denials, written and verbal apologies and a bucket of hot soapy water and a sponge. He is in deep do-do, particularly for lying to me. The final hangs in the balance.

Danny Boy came home from school on Wednesday punching the air with his fist, beaming all over his freckly face। The girl of his dreams (the one who's been out with most of the football team) had dumped the other defender and DB's friend had advised him to rush over to her, fall to his knees and ask her out. She said yes. Danny Boy then showed me a poem he'd written about her that day with references to her eyes as diamonds (owing quite a lot to Sean, Sean the Leprechaun's Green Velvet tape of Irish songs, I think) and soft, rosy skin. 'What do you think?' he asked me 'Have you given the poem to her yet?' I responded. He said no. I suggested gently that it might be a good idea to hang back a little bit and see how things went before he got too involved. His smile faded. I felt terrible but told him that girls don't really like to be overwhelmed at the beginning of a relationship. He looked devastated, I could almost see the purple bruising and scar tissue forming on his poor tender young heart.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

We've been discussing our forthcoming holiday in Zambia at dinner tonight. We are huge Africa fans but the children and I haven't been to Zambia before, Lurch has. We're going to stay in something like this because 1)it's exciting and 2)more importantly it's much cheaper than a hotel:

We've stayed in one before - I was petrified of lions getting the children in the night but once it was set up I realised my fears were pretty groundless. So, I was feeling quite chilled about it all until Lurch pointed out to Danny Boy that the last time he went to the place we're booked in at there had been two or three hippos wandering round in the middle of the night. Now I don't know much about hippos but I do know they're the most dangerous animals in Africa.

The other fact I do know, for sure, is that my post childbirth, peri-menopausal bladder will not last the whole night without a trip to the loo. I pointed this out to Lurch who suggested that I get a bottle sorted out for the roof tent. In turn, I advised him that I wasn't a professional 16 year old Bangkok showgirl and that even Avent wouldn't be suitable for my needs. I will have to think of a solution to avoid certain death.