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Monday, 30 July 2012

Team GB...

Well it transpires that there are some people in this world that don't like purple suede DM's.

I know; you are shocked, but alas it is true. There are some people who can not see the excitement that could, would and should possibly occur upon owning said boots.

I know, I should name and shame - but they know who they are, and when the boot revolution arrives where will you be? Eh? In shoes that will not be able to compete with the quality that is, and always be... Doctor Martin's.

Anyway, we shall leave it there and let them hang their heads in shame and disgrace.

In honour of the Olympics I have been swimming tonight. I thought it was only appropriate to join in on this wondrous occasion that we are celebrating here in the UK, go Team GB!

Leaving my Twix and kebab in my handbag for a snack on the journey home and tucked safely in my locker, I proceeded to earn gold and race a few fellow swimmers on the home run.

However, there is always someone who thinks they own the bloody pool. People who should know better. They deliberately hold you up in the fast lane, or go the wrong way round when the arrows point this way round...Grrr.

We all pay 3 quid love; you don't own it even though your arse takes up four metres of chlorine infused water.

Needlessly to say, I deliberately swam close to her and coerced her to swim faster...Team GB me. Take that!

Other fellow swimmers were far more courteous and I managed to win in heat one, against a blue rinser and a small child of about 6 - go me!! I am invincible.

Other than that my day has been quiet, apart from pushing a broken down car for an old lady and then will fully abandoning her when she told me her AA had expired. My car was blocking the traffic so I had no choice...but she did make puppy eyes at me as I ran off. Sheesh, what more do people want, I pushed her car 600 yards!!

Oh, and I also saw a shooting star last night and wished that some people appreciated purple DM's the way they are supposed to be appreciated... with a-dor-a-tion.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, 29 July 2012

New boots...

What a day...

After a lively start to my morning, I managed to debrief and relax with my amazing friend B once she was finally awake, over tea and blurry eyes. How she copes with me I will never be able to fully explain, but she does and probably deserves an Olympic Gold for all her efforts.

Leaving her to go on a bike ride with her scrumptiously delicious boys, who are now in charge of replacement boy cuddles while my hobbits are away, I looked at my list of jobs to do with new focus and keen determination...
Then another friend invited me to go to shopping...hmm what is a girl supposed to do?

This particular friend is very special.
When I was at my lowest she brought me chicken soup, wine and humour. She told me that life would get better, and she was right.  Her and her husband helped me move furniture, laughed at my painting abilities when I needed to cleanse the house and were there for me whenever I needed them....and still are to this day.

Understanding my inexplicable (ahem) adrenalin rush, they appreciated that I needed to get out and just do something. So, they took me to Brighton. I have had a very enjoyable afternoon shopping for a bloke...well I wasn't going to spend any money, but was more than happy to choose clothes for my friends husband and spend his money.

Shopping is tiring, so what better way to finish it off than with Pimms.

Drinking afternoon Pimms in The Lanes, watching the world go by is now one of my top things to do on a sunday...or to be honest, on any day.

So nicely subdued with Pimms I turn the computer on and to discover to my extreme excitement that my purple DM's ARE ON SALE.... I feel the need to put this in capitals to genuinely emphasise my feelings about this.  Followers of my blog will know that when I looked at these boots before they were in the region of 90 quid...cough cough.. however they are now on sale.

Beautiful boots...

I have ordered them....she says sheepishly...

I even rang my Dad to ask for permission, because I am a bit sad like that with any purchase over £20!

So, a few things off my list in just two weeks...the boots are on the way, I have driven a sports car, and I smelt a nice man.... I am fit to burst!!!

Life just gets better every day - my friend with the chicken soup was bang on!

Morning world...anyone there?

It's an early blog today.

There may even be two today depending on what occurs later on...but for now I have to write as I have been awake since 5.30am and I am pacing.

I feel like an expectant father awaiting an imminent delivery, or a drug addict waiting for a knock at the door.

I have no idea why I am awake so early, and why I seem to have so much excess energy. So for the moment I am pacing with tea.

I have already been to the local shop...luckily they know me well enough not to mention my extremely early rise, or chavtastic hairstyle at 6 in the morning. I went to buy milk just to get out of the house even though I still had three pints in the fridge.

I could go for a run...but the only people who are out and about on a Sunday morning this early are burglars returning home from a nights work, or fine upstanding youths returning from a rave; and as much as I like a man in uniform, getting pulled by the police for being a suspicious loiterer would not go down well with my employer.

I could wash the car or go cut the grass, all jobs that I had planned to do today. I even considered getting the Wii sing out and belting out 'Ring my bell' by Anita Ward, that should burn off this energy overflow...but this will more than likely disturb my neighbours, and I can not sing 'Ring My Bell' quietly...or indeed at all.

I feel like a tiger trapped in a cage; I have walked around the garden and considered cutting the grass with scissors so not to disturb anyone. I have run up and down the stairs three times just to relieve some tension - thank god I don't live in a bungalow!

Hence the reason that I am blogging...random rubbish, just to keep myself busy.

When I finish I could carry on pacing, clean the house, order my CD's alphabetically, sort out my knicker drawer for days of the week - anything just to keep me occupied.

Being awake this early is agony without the hobbits. Where are they when I need them? At least with them I would have something to do...

So for now I blog, and when I have finished I will wander around the house waiting for the rest of the world to wake up so I have someone to talk to...hmm, what time is it in New Zealand?

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Talking b*ll*cks...

You know it's not only alcohol that can leave you with the incapacity of speech and frequent trips to the ladies.

Sometimes, nerves can get the better of you as well - and for some strange reason today, I experienced an inability to eat or indeed speak.

I know that these things will be strange to hear for friends who know me well, and I confess it doesn't happen very often. I can normally hold my own in any conversation, but when it's a conversation with a member of the opposite sex who is attractive and actually smells quite nice, I find myself unable to string a decent sentence together.

What is it about these scenarios that make you feel like you're an eighteen year old all over again?

There isn't a great deal that I can say on here without giving too much away, but needless to say I have had the pleasure of a friends company this evening, who teased me mercilessly and made me laugh. 

This friend was the reason I couldn't eat all day.

I confess that nerves got the better of me, and I managed to talk crap for most of the evening, which he thankfully forgave me for.

However, I am now at home eating toast and marmite (because I can now) and tea in my favourite mug, (thank you Mrs Mck.)

I hope it won't be too long before I hear from him again, life is after all, too short to wait. But for now, I will reflect on the evening and recoil at my embarrassing moments, but also remember the best bit of the evening - a snog and a cuddle... *insert smiley face here*

Until tomorrow xx

Bob, wine and pasta shapes...

Tonight is a drunk post - so I apologise for any spelling errors, general rumblings and utter bullshit.

It is also a very late post, as it has taken some time for me to sober up, in order to actually see the keyboard.

Tonight has been a night of copious amount of alcohol...and interesting conversations.

It has been a very long time since I actually got drunk and my lovely, special, wonderful friend B has joined me in demolishing three bottles of wine washed down with some Baileys.

We have scared the living daylights out of the neighbours with Bob Marley and embarrassingly awful dancing; Which just has to be done with a side order of pasta and wine.

She finally gave in about midnight and was last seen staggering home trying to mount next doors motorbike, and talking to a bush. I love her!

I on the other hand was left to clear up the wine and not wanting to waste any, I downed most of it believing that my next step was placing my head on the pillow so I was hardly going to embarrass myself to anyone.

However, things didn't go quite to plan.

Taking a quick peek at the dating website, I had received a message asking if I was up for a chat? And not, I hasten to add from anyone called Steve.

To be honest I wasn't totally sure that I could string letters together, let alone a sentence...did I really want to try and hold a conversation with someone who could be my potential Knight in Shining armour?

He persisted, and maybe it was the wine talking so I gave in...and shared numbers.

Two hours later, we have just hung up on each other. It has to have been one of the easiest conversations I have had in a long time. He was warm, funny and with just the right amount of teasing involved.

It is testament to how much I enjoyed talking to him, by how reluctant I was to saying goodbye to him.

Whether or not if it's the real deal I simply don't know, as these things can change so easily when you meet in real life.

However, whatever happens....thank you, you know who you are...for finishing off my evening so well and for starting my early Saturday morning with a smile.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Scotty's plea...

Ok I just can't take it anymore.

Dating websites were hard enough when I wasn't getting any messages, but now I get half a conversation and it irritates the living daylights out of me.

I can't do the dating game. I can't wait for people to decide when they want to chat. It's like playing chess with someone on a different time zone to you.
Pawn to bishop...
twelve hours later...
knight takes pawn...
and so on...

It is agony!!!

You are lulled into a false sense of happiness.

You get over the initial hurdle of 'hi, how you doing today?'; feel a little bit exuberant that someone wants to engage with words and then nothing...for maybe a day or two. Then another two lines of boring bollocks.

In the immortal words of Scotty, "She cannae take it any more Captain!"

Seriously, what ever happened to the art of conversation?

I am clearly an impatient bugger. I want to talk, chat, shoot the breeze or some other conversational metaphor with someone. I don't want to see three lines that are littered with illiteracy, and an incompetence in the English language.

I want to chat!!! I am here, right now - someone tell me something that remotely resembles a description about yourself, and give me something to respond to.

A good friend suggested that I try yoga,in order to quell my anxiety and impatience. The trouble is yoga is too f**king slow!!!!! I need speed yoga. Yoga that requires the attention span of a fish. I can't hold a pose for more than a few seconds let alone holding the grasshopper position for a minute and a half.

Does this suggest something detrimental about my personality?
Certainly getting things done quickly is inherent in how I behave (...alas,I sincerely hope that my knight in shining armour is not as speedy as me when he finally does say more than hi.)

I am a frustrated Formula 1 driver; I can multi-task as good as the next woman and I would rather do the housework in five minutes than 15...

I am considering that this is maybe because of how the hobbits have changed me. I have to be prepared to answer three calls for drinks, requests for ketchup, cutlery and turn over a TV channel in a blink of an eye, so maybe this accounts for my insatiable impatience.

However this doesn't really resolve my original question and frustration.

Why bother to sign up to a chat website and not actually chat? Or just respond with a one liner?

And furthermore how do I resolve it? Do I play the same stupid games? Ignore messages for 48 hours before replying? Or do I simply just move on?

This was supposed to be fun. Not stressful...like yoga.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The house is sulking...

The house is too quiet.

It's not really talking to me these days, and I can tell it's sulking.

It's beginning to get on my nerves.

When I am on my own I spend my evening wandering around, trying to think of things to do and as I go round I am turning the radio and TV on just to fill the emptiness.

I think the house is missing the hobbits as much as I am.

When I come home after work you can just tell it's lonely.
"Just you and the wine then?" It asks me judgementally.
"I could turn the radio up, if it'll help house?" I suggest, trying to make friends.
The house shrugs, "Don't do me any favours..."

My friends are doing a stellar job of keeping me busy. They invite me over for dinner and make sure I've not been out to home base to buy rope. I have even had to say no to a couple of them as I have already made arrangements...something that has never happened in my lifetime.

But it is the quiet time alone that is the hardest.

I know I need the break and the rest, as life with hobbits is a full time job, I just didn't need this length of a break from my superheroes.

It is strange to get used to your own company again. It's been eleven years since I didn't share my house with someone, and although the hamster is a bit of a dude, I might give him whiplash if I cuddle him like I do the hobbits. Try explaining that to spiderman when he returns; 'Sorry, Jay had a neck accident so I've made him a neck brace out of pipe cleaners and cotton wool.'

He also appears to have made his own entertainment, and is clearly much more at peace with how things are than House and I are.

Someone naughty suggested I found a friend with benefits to help me through my hobbit dry spell. The trouble with that is even five weeks is a short space of time to find a willing friend to do the benefits with, so if no one turns up soon it may be too late.

I suppose I could also be very brave and finally open the drawer that contains the portal of power, however sadly it's not that cuddly...and I fear that once I get started I may not have enough batteries.

So it's just me and the house.

Back to annoying each other until the hobbits return.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Spiralling out of control...

I found another grey eyebrow this morning.

This is not the first time that I have found a grey eyebrow. Or, alas any grey hairs on my head. However this one this morning was lying right next to its twin.

Can you sense my distress?

To be honest, I feel like I am currently plucking my eyebrows far more regularly than I ever used to. My previously styled eyebrows are turning into hairy caterpillars quicker than bloody miracle grow changes my lawn.

I think something happened when I turned 40.
As the clock ticked over to 12.01 things started to happen to my body and it's untamed hair, like an internal timer over the years.
Ping...baby making hormones.
Ping...hair growth.
Ping...the menopause?

Wow, it's all bloody downhill now isn't it?

Hair appears to be appearing at a rapid pace, and after a conversation with a friend who is not much older than me, it is apparent that it is only going to get worse.

"Hair on your chin is next." She informs me while my eyes widen in shock, and I suddenly have visions of myself waking up one morning with a little Santa Claus beard, and wheeling my granny trolley around the supermarket.
"What else?" I enquire nervously.
"Hmm..." She ponders, " Hair on your lip maybe?"

Oh my god?
What happens to women when they reach a certain age? Why does hair suddenly go all awry like it's lost all sense of direction?: 'Tell you what mate, I'll grow out of here, you stop growing and you turn a nice shade of grey'.

"Bald patches?" I ask nervously.
My friend looked at me with careful consideration, knowing that the following news was going to be hard to take.
"Yes," She said gently then waited to deliver her punchline, "...and not always on your head."

It took me a moment to digest this horrifying tibit.
What? Is she serious? Am I going to lose all of my lady garden? Am I turning into one of those monkeys with bald arses and a hairy head?

I feel dizzy at what she is telling me.
"So can I implant what I'm gaining in one area, to another more specific area?" I ask her, "You know like vajazzle for the elderly woman?"
She thinks this over, and I interrupt her before she can respond.
 " Oh no," I say as if there is a perfectly plausible reason why that can't happen "but then my lady garden would be grey." I quickly add.
"Oh that can happen as well," she says nonchalantly, "More tea?"

Tea? I can't drink tea! I need whiskey, the shock is too much to handle; the hair on my body is spiralling out of control and you are offering me tea? I take deep breathes of air while staying very still in case any more fall out.

Needless to say since seeing my friend I have inspected each hair on my body.

I spent some time saying goodbye to them. They have seen me through some long years; watched me go from girl to woman, and have been with me when I gave birth; the brave little blighters.

So it is to my hair that I declare; Some of you will have to go in the sacrifice that is old age; some of you will remain and gain momentum, and others of you will lose pigmentation - but I will remember you all.

Thank you hair for keeping me warm; thank you for not getting caught in a zipper, and finally thank you for simply being you and stoically doing your job.

The year of Steve...

I have discovered a new dating site.

It was recommended to me by a friend in the know about these things and seems to be one with people who actually act when looking at my profile...so not such an ugly old bag after all!

The only trouble is that they are for some reason, all called Steve...

Now I am sure that is not really the case and is just my luck. Or maybe it is that some men feel that Steve is a good pseudonym for online dating, as there does seem to be an abundance of them out there.

I have had five different Steve's in the last 24 hours all message me which startled me, however I was also quite relieved not to get a message or a wink from Norbert....really? What was his mother thinking?

Maybe there was a year of Steve being the most popular name. A baby boom of Steve's...what would you call a collection of Steve's? A gaggle? Alas I digress....

However for me it does make for a very confusing evening...whilst I wistfully look at possible messages or email notifications that Steve has been in touch.

So is that a new message from Steve, or another message from a new Steve, and which Steve is winking at me?

At least if I ever get to be in throes of passion with a Steve, then I won't get the name wrong.

Unfortunately I also haven't quite managed to get the social etiquette balance quite right either when replying to said Steve's.

How do you get over the initial hurdle of; so what do you do for a living or, how do you spend your free time without it sounding like you are the most boring person in the world, or sounding like Joey from Friends?

I seem to have scared most of the Steve's off by the time the evening has drawn to a close, either through my incredible wit and intelligence (ahem, or lack of it) or by simply being a boring old cow.

I am quite unsure of how to pitch my...errr...pitch.

Should I be fun and flirty?
Should I be a wistful, Jane Eyre type...considering my long walk over rainy hills, whilst writing poetry on a slate?
Or should I be a little bit more serious, looking for a deep and meaningful relationship with a man who does DIY?

God this feels like hard work.

What I have also noticed about all my Steve's, is that they think it's ok to ask for your number, where you live, or sign off with a kiss quite early on... I am not quite ready to give out that information, and you wouldn't do that it normal life.

When meeting someone for the first time you wouldn't say;
"So? Come here often, kiss kiss?"
"Actually, no, not really."
"Well, it's a nice pub, can I have your email, kiss kiss?"
No, you are more likely to go running for the hills than pass over such private information, so why is it ok to ask or say that in a message?

In the dating world this seems like an appropriate thing to ask someone...nevertheless the good news is that there is one Steve, who is attractive, hasn't asked for my email or inside leg measurement yet, or god forbid signed off his message with a kiss...so perhaps he has potential.

In the meantime, I will keep searching in the vain hope that the real Steve might stand up.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Stretched to the limit...

Well it has finally dawned on. The realisation is hard, but the truth generally is.

When your favourtite items of clothing are jogging bottoms and a hoodie, at some point you just have to face the reality that the reason you like said items is because of the elastic in the waistband.

Everything is expanding, except sadly my jeans and my bank balance, so it is time to do something about it.

If I have any chance of meeting someone new, then the muffin top needs to go. Wonder Woman does not look good fat - however if you Google it, you'd be surprised how much of a fan base there is out there for Fat Wonder Woman. Go figure?!

I discussed this at length with my lovely friend B...she understands my pain as she has been there herself. Nevertheless she is blooming gorgeous (don't deny it girlfriend), whereas I am a bit of a plain Jane in comparison.

So this evening we discussed the issues of exercise and diet - whilst eating cheese, chocolate and wine; well, we hadn't quite put the plan into action at this point.

While the hobbits are away I have no excuse not to go swimming a couple of times a week, except the fact that my Twix will get wet in the pool. So, with reckless abandonment I am saying from Monday to Friday I will be a good girl.

There will be no wine, no chocolate, no bread, no cheese - gone are the chips, pizza's and kebabs (yeah, I really am that healthy) - and in their place will arrive salads, fruit, earlier meals and...exercise.

Initially I suspect my attempts will be pathetic; laughable even - but I shall burn through the pain; I shall not be shamed by my beetroot face and lung capacity of a gnat... I will stop using the exercise bike as a clothes horse and dust off my trainers. I can do this.

Well...until Saturday that is....

Saturday, 21 July 2012

The old man...

A weekend without the hobbits at home is not much fun at all. It tends to be too quiet to concentrate or too tidy to do any housework.

So, with this in mind I have invited myself over to my Dad's house, knowing that not only he would be pleased to see me but also I might just get a free dinner if I behave myself.

Spending quality time with my old man has become very important to me. He looks a little bit like Santa Claus, (the hobbits inform me), has a great sense of humor with a slice of cheekiness inserted; loves Ogri from bike magazine and is a bit of an old eccentric.

The hobbits love to come to Grandpa's house as he has robots and dragons. Everywhere. The robots dance; light up, they can walk and talk; and he even makes robots out of things he collects from skips or stuff people have thrown out. The dragons are normally made out of wood, tin - or poking out of a clock.  He should have been an inventor or designer of toys, because whatever he makes or gathers the hobbits love, and whenever we visit he has to ensure that he has a rather large supply of batteries to ensure all the robots do what the hobbits tell them!

However, this weekend is a chance for me to have some quality time alone with him.  The reason that this is as important as it is, is because my dad and I have some lost time to make up for. Up until the early part of 2011, my dad and I hadn't spoken for over 10 years and hadn't seen each other for a heck of a lot longer.

I am sure we both had our reasons at the time. Nothing is ever one person, and both my dad and I are stubborn old buggers. I think to be honest it all came down to a lack of communication, and we both let things slide.

Anyway, rather than dwelling what was, I can tell readers of my blog that I now have a very wonderful, easy going relationship with my old man. His wife and he always make me and the hobbits feel welcome, they love spending time with us and us them; I am able to talk to him about any subject and we both have a lot to learn from each other.

Just for you Dad...your tank!
I love his eccentricity; the fact that he sends me emails posting me links to dating groups he has heard of, he sends me recipes for bread pudding and he is an avid reader of my blog.

Since I separated with my husband, he along with so many great friends, has been amazingly supportive. He never judged, he didn't scold me - he let me work through my decision in the right way and he has never told me that I am wrong.

So I am now blogging from his very smart computer, as alas mine wouldn't work (get the WiFi sorted dad) - and I think I may just be about to go out for my free dinner...well, a girl's gotta eat.

However, before I go - my dad has the most amazing motorbike with a custom painting on the tank. It is his pride and joy and he looks after it well...so with that in mind,
'Dad, you know I wanted to go 130 on a bike? Mind if I borrow the keys?'

Shit off a shovel...

I am sorry to inform you all that I almost inadvertently soiled myself this evening.

There is no excuse, I am a grown woman.

Alas, there are occasions that you simply have no control over what your body does.

The evening had started quietly. Caught up with some paperwork for work, popped round to see my neighbour and spoke to the hobbits through the beauty of technology that is known as Skype.

Readers of my blog will be pleased to hear that the hobbits are having a fantastic holiday. They are relaxing at the beach, shopping, eating and sleeping...sounds like my kind of holiday.

At five to seven I received a text message from a very good friend... 'Your car is waiting outside.' Then a knock on the door.

All very Mission Impossible, but thankfully it wasn't Tom Cruise at the door, but my friend's husband...with keys.

These keys unlocked something far more interesting than his chastity belt and he led me to my friend's very nice, silver Mercedes SLK.

My friend is a bit of a superstar allowing me to borrow her car like this. It's her baby and it is slightly less important than her son, and slightly more important than her husband. Clearly this was the reason that why he was now in the passengers seat and she wasn't.

Turning on the engine and pulling onto the main road, I felt like a new driver all over again. This was, after all, my friends very new sports car and although she loves me dearly I am fairly sure that crashing it would not increase her love for me.

I have never driven an automatic before, but my friend's husband assured me that I would get used to it fairly quickly.

After nipping round a few roundabouts, I managed to get the car up to a very disappointing 60mph. You could almost hear my friend's husband scoffing at my attempt.

I protest that it had been raining, it was a different car to anything I had driven - but he was right my attempts were pretty pathetic.

We pulled over and swap seats...'Now shall I actually show you what this car can do?' he asks slyly.
I shrug nonchalantly, 'Ok'.

However, as I turn around to strap my seatbelt in, he asks 'Not a nervous passenger are you?'

He never actually got to hear my answer, as it disappeared back where my stomach was about half a mile back.

I wasn't actually aware of the speed we were doing, until we stopped at my friend's house, and he proudly informed me that we had hit 130mph as he peeled my face off the windscreen.

I don't think I have ever been in a position where every bodily function wants to leave every orifice - and at one point I didn't know whether to puke or pee... I actually remember distinctly wishing that we had agreed a safeword before starting on the journey.

I stepped out of the car with legs like jelly and an urgent need to attend to myself in the bathroom.

My friend's husband had a wicked smile that suggested that he was rather proud of scaring the living beejesus out of her mate.

However, it was bloody amazing, and a big major thank you goes to my friend and her husband who are about the best people anyone could know. Yeah, it was scary but bloody exhilarating at the same time and I wanna do it again.

But next time, can I do all the driving...?

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Super Women...

Tonight I got home from work at 5.15.

By 5.18 I was in my pyjamas.

Tonight is officially slobbing out night. International flights and other shenanigans over the last few days have taken their toll and I am exhausted.

When I arrived home the house was eerily quiet. A hobbit free house. I have now been home over an hour and the house and the kitchen are still tidy. A different state of affairs from last night.

At 7.30pm precisely, 6 sober woman arrived at the house, and just before midnight 5 very drunk women walked out - one was driving.

Super Mum's!!

These were the mums from the school that the hobbits
go to and every so often we meet up to let our hair down.

By day these women are home makers; chauffeurs; personal
assistants; writers and general life jugglers. By night, and
after a bottle of wine each, they become themselves.

As the evening wore on the music became louder, the singing more slurred and the gossip more intense. These lovely women came round to ensure that my first night home alone was not so lonely - and what an admirable job they did too.

Each of them arrived with a bottle and hug; all understanding how saying 'TTFN' to hobbits was one of the hardest thing I have ever done. They did a fine job of cheering me up and keeping me busy with washing up!

No holds barred conversations; weirdest crushes; top five men; the impact of 50 Shades on their own sex lives; is anyone noticing a theme?

My recycling bin is filled with empty bottles, and I discovered cigarette butts in with my growing carrots this morning - a sure sign that a good night was had.

It was a fantastic evening, thank you ladies for your excellent company we must do it again soon - however this morning I notice that my neighbours have a For Sale sign outside their house...can't imagine why...

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Ginger and Fred...

I have to confess after what seemed like an eternity spent in an airport yesterday, my return flight to the UK was far more adventurous.

I pretty much twiddled my thumbs waiting for my flight home, and even managed to watch a whole film while sitting in the not-so comfortable chairs at Barcelona Airport.

However the flight home was a blast.

I met a great couple who had been celebrating her birthday in Barcelona, who were more than happy to sit and chat for the whole flight home. I'm not sure whether they took pity on me for my lack of a speedy boarding card; however they saved me a nice exit seat and we managed to find something to talk about for about 2 and a half hours after a long wait on the tarmac before take off.

Ginger and Fred (not their real names) were living in London. Ginger was bubbly, warm and gregarious where Fred had a bit of a hippy quality, attached to an incredibly chilled attitude to the world and was from the good old US of A.

No sooner had we sat down and started gossipping about our lives when 50 Shades of Grey came into the conversation; it came about from a brief discussion with the flight attendant about whether there were any MOB's on the flight, (Millionaire's on board) as Ginger was intending to try and set me up with one with a spare seat and a silk tie.

"Oh," said Caroline the flight attendant overhearing, "I have heard about this book."
"Just finishing the first one," says another.
"Is it any good?"
"See for yourself." I suggest fishing out the third one in the series out of my bag.
We then managed to attract a buzz around of us of men and women alike who had either heard about the book or read about. I appeared to be the only one who had actually read the whole trilogy, (or at least the only one admitting to having read it) so it only seemed appropriate to enlighten the ones who hadn't. I found them a decent paragraph to read, and about 6 other passengers took their turn in reading it.
You could actually feel the atmosphere in the cabin change. Everyone suddenly became a little bit flirty, a little bit silly - it was fascinating to watch. There was even some discussion that it seemed unfair that the rest of the plane was missing out, and perhaps Caroline the flight attendant could read it over the in flight microphone with a passenger of her choosing.

Alas, that was more than her job was worth - but a shame nonetheless.

The whole crew on the flight were warm and up for a laugh. I don't know if every late night flight from Spain is like this, but it was a stark contrast to the more serious flight I had come in on earlier that day. It was so nice to chat to strangers who were all so open and friendly.

Ginger and I sat there drinking wine from mini bottles, chatting about everything and bonding over the possibility we may have inadvertently killed someone by accidentally introducing an opened packet of peanuts, that I had purchased earlier, into the cabin atmosphere.

We had already been warned by the flight attendant at the beginning of the flight that someone on board had a nut allergy, therefore no nuts were to be served on the flight. I conspiratorially informed Ginger that I had an almost empty packet in my duty free bag. Whats should I do? Report it to the attendant and delay the flight further by having myself and the nut packet removed from the craft.
"No," Ginger reasoned, "it's fine, it's safely in the bag, don't worry."

However twenty minutes into the flight the bag was tipped upside down and life threatening peanut particles were thrust into the air. Like any good mum who knows how to clean a food covered seat, I hurriedly brushed said nuts onto the floor, and we spent the rest of the flight worried that someone in row 32 was currently swelling up from nut dust in the air.

Saying our goodbye's at the end of the flight, we swapped numbers, emails and agreed to meet in London for Cocktails before the year was out. They really made a sad day into something better, so thank you Ginger, Fred, Caroline (real name) the flight attendant on the Easyjet flight from Barcelona for making me feel so much better - and for reminding me that good things are always just around the corner.

Flying with hobbits...

I am sitting in T2 at Barcelona Airport waiting for my return flight to the UK.

It has been a very long and emotional day and to be honest I didn't think I was going to blog this evening. However, I have just rediscovered why expresso is so good here in Spain and am writing with renewed enthusiasm, (and ABBA on the iPod).

I confess to a very wobbly start this morning.

I knew it wasn't going to be easy, and at one point I really felt that I couldn't go through with it. I actually considered ringing and faking snow on the ground - or making a security alert so that our plane was cancelled. 

However, I wasn't going to be the one who let the hobbits down now after all we had been through - so after a few drops of rescue remedy we were ready to go.

Now I am not a nervous flyer, but there is something that makes me anxious until I am on the plane. I always feel a little out of sorts until my bum is firmly seated on the plane ready for take off. So excited hobbits arriving at the airport terminal and one mum who is a little bit anxious about the trip, the whole trip and nothing but the trip you'd think would not make a good mix.

Nevertheless hobbits were amazingly well behaved in the terminal and on the plane. I was rather proud of the level of god given fear I had successfully installed in them before leaving the house;
Don't run off...
Don't fight...
Don't scare the other passengers...
and don't put yourself through the baggage security check for a laugh

I had already completed online check-in a few days ago so we were good to go,  no need to hang about, liquids in clear bag; easy - passport  check; easy ...
However going through security was slightly more fun...(insert sarcastic tone here).

All four bags, one pair of boots, one tube of gravy in a clear bag (spiderman's), a laptop and three belts to be positioned in blue boxes to go through security.  To be fair the guys were very nice and helpful, but it did feel like a real effort taking off three belts and putting them back on again; and when the hobbits saw that I'd taken my boots off, they all wanted to do the same - so thank you to the security man who entertained them briefly showing them their shoes under the x-ray while I got dressed again.

Herding small hobbit sheep through the terminal is a tough job, but something I am well trained for.  It causes for some serious multi-tasking skills; eyes in the back of the head, alternating levels of speed and good lungs.

They were of course...starving, having only had breakfast an hour and a half before. However far from the usual McDonalds cry...they all chose a very healthy pot of fruit and water. Clearly Mother Nature found a way.

I was also very impressed by their behaviour on the plane. Now I am the first to get exasperated by hobbit arguments, but they were excellent. Really and truly.  At one point I did ask them who they were as I couldn't believe they hadn't been cloned. 

They shared games, played nicely, didn't argue (!), loved taking off and landing...but asked for more food as soon as the seatbelt light went out.

I had previously imagined myself arriving in Spain, slightly stressed after a flight with them and almost thought that the hobbit exchange with their dad would see me skipping off gleefully back to England as a coping mechanism - but alas they behaved beautifully thus making me feel even more reluctant to say goodbye.

Saying adios is probably one of the hardest things I have ever done besides the break up of my marriage. I feel bereft and lost without them, but I also acknowledge that this is my time to recharge my batteries and think of more great things to do when they come home in six weeks time.

So with their final instructions I hugged my little hobbits as much as they would allow it.
Please don't fight...
Please don't argue...
Please look after each other...
and most importantly.....Please don't forget I love you.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Little Mr Sunshines...

I have been packing tonight.
The hobbits are off on their summer holidays tomorrow. They are going to stay with their dad for six weeks, and they are going to have an amazing time.
Readers of my blog will probably be aware by now that their father is Spanish and he lives on the mainland now since we separated just over three months now.

I work full time so consequently summer holidays can make childcare either very complicated or very expensive when you are raising hobbits on your own. So it made more sense that they go to stay with their dad, who has his immediate family around to help.

They will love this time with their dad; they will probably get spoilt rotten, they will be loved by lots of extended latino family and learn lots of Spanish by the time they come home in late August.

They are really excited and have been counting down the sleeps until tomorrow arrives.

As for me, I am not so excited, but I don't share that with them.

I am worried that they won't miss me, think of me, want to talk to me when I call them - and the worst fear is that they won't want to come home to their mum.

I can not compete with all the attention that they will receive over there. There are many of them to one of me, and I am internally terrified that they will be happier over there.

My hobbits are my world, and everything I do is achieved with them in mind. I know I am not perfect; sometimes I lose my patience, get exasperated by the tenth request for 'Purple Milk' (strawberry nesquick to the uneducated), feel the effects of tiredness after having a small hobbit foot in my face all night after they have been awoken by a fellow hobbits snoring - but I am going to miss them more than I can say out loud.

They are my babies. I never ever imagined that as young as they are, that they would be away from me for such a long length of time. This is not my choice. I never thought that when their father and I separated that he would choose to return to Spain.

However he did and I have to suck it up and let them go.

So we have prepared lots of things to do on the plane; drawings to give to daddy at the airport and a scrap book so that they can record in it the places they visit.  They will have an amazing time.

But I hope they miss me just enough to want to come home again; because they are my sunshines.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

The health benefits of a good cuppa...

I have just sat down to the best cup of tea ever.

You know the one that really hits the spot. Hot. Full of caffeine, with just the right amount of milk, in a very large mug.

I am a massive lover of tea.

Friends of mine who know me well will testify to this. In fact, as a very young baby I unfortunately had to spend a couple of weeks in hospital. When I was finally allowed to drink by mouth I refused everything the nurses offered, until my mother suggested warm milk with a dash of tea.
Down in one!

Although Sunday's are supposed to be officially a day of rest, no-one really rests in my house except the hamster. Hence the wonderful sensation of finally sitting down and having a really well deserved cuppa.

Pure nectar.

The world is always made right again with a cup of tea. Emotional women swear by it; labourers build their day around it; midwifes offer it after every childbirth to the exhausted mother; even hobbits love a cup of tea to dunk their chocolate biscuits in.

Today I have attempted to clean the house, twice. Completed three loads of washing and put it away. Packed the hobbits cases for their impending trip to Spain. Washed and cleaned out the car with my beautiful assistants...who ended up being more of a hindrance than a help, no matter how much pocket money they were trying to earn.

I was even super organised and had a chicken dinner on the table by 5.30, all eaten greedily...packed lunches for school ready and hobbits bathed by 6.15...I am a success...I am invincible. I am Wonder Woman with an invisible plane and a gold belt!

At 6.30 I couldn't quite believe my organisational skills. However, amazingly the hobbits were still hungry. Their capacity for food amazes me and before I knew it I was preparing bread and butter, cake and biscuits just to sustain them through till breakfast.

Bedtime routine is two books, lots of tickling, cuddling and a sing song. Which takes about thirty minutes to complete.

Then it's back to clearing up, letting the hamster out in his ball for some well deserved freedom and giving the house a chance to relax again; you can almost hear it breath a sigh of relief when all hobbits are asleep.

So time to put my slippered feet up and on occassion it will be a glass of wine; but for me, there are some times when only a cup of tea will do.

... and maybe a digestive biscuit or two - cheers!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Bugs, transvestites and popcorn...

It was a wet saturday here in the UK.

Most of us are getting pretty sick and tired of it, I can tell you. However, my friend B and I were up for a little adventure this weekend and in our madness considered that we would partake in a bit of camping.

Hobbits love camping, and so do hobbit mummies. It means that they can drink and relax while hobbits run the circle of the field, play ninjas and do battle with Batman - all in the name of sleeping well that night.

Unfortunately, best laid plans and all that - the camping was rained off. Nevertheless B and I decided it was still worth wandering around a muddy field, attempting to contain the excitement of five hobbits who at one point found the inside of portaloos more than enough to bear.

We were at the Bentley Wildfowl & Motor Museum, where they were holding the annual VW Bus Stop 2012

Both B and I are great fans of the old VW. She prefers the hippyness and tranquility of the Camper Van, searching for the inevitable long open road, with the wind in her hair, new curtains at the window and a soft mattress in the back; whereas I prefer the sweet sophistication of the VW Beetle, compact, nippy and great for pretending you have a car that talks called Herbie.

It was great to see some wonderfully nurtured old VW's, however, very tempting to get the credit card out when you see a For Sale sign. We wandered around both dreaming of 'one day', while the hobbits wanted to pose next to every car for a photo - shy they are not.

The rain even managed to hold off for a downpour until just after the hobbits had finished their icecreams and we were making a mad dash to the car. Just as we started to drive off, the heavens opened and torrential rain came down - all adds to the excitement of any adventure I think.

After stopping off for some frozen pizzas, garlic bread and microwave popcorn we decided we were gonna enjoy the evening with an impromptu cinema setting. We set the TV and the room so that it was dark, (just needed B to wander up and down the aisle with a small torch) and hobbits managed to sit still for about ten minutes watching a film before the popcorn fighting began.  I think it may have taken us longer to set the scene than they actually sat still for.

The plan was to sit them still long enough for us to enjoy the delight that is The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a film that B hadn't seen.  After a lot of faffing about with downloads, USB cables, disc burning etc we finally put the film on a memory stick and started to sit down with our glasses of wine to enjoy.

Interestingly the hobbits became quite interested in this film - we had even discussed how there really wasnt a film out there that could keep them entertained for more than 10 minutes; well, Frank'nFurter did just that. Perhaps it was his shiny lip gloss?

Unfortunately, as many of you know this really isn't the type of film that we want hobbits to watch for long, so we had to curtail their enjoyment and bid each other goodnight. There was much sorrow and sulking.

But just for you B, here is the Time Warp - thank you so much for a great day, Hobbits and I are completely exhausted.

Just as we planned.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Coffee and a muffin...

I met a friend after work today.

He is a very good friend and needed a bit of cheering up after recent events at work, so I suggested that we meet up and maybe go for something to eat.

There is a little restaurant in a hotel just nearby, of which I suggested we went.

Now it's important for you to know that he reads my blog, so when I suggested the hotel he looked at me rather oddly...
"Erm," he managed, "They don't rent rooms by the hour or anything do they?"
"No," I say and sigh, "you can rest easy. However if you are worried we can just go for a coffee and a muffin."
The look appeared again...god is everything a euphemism for a shag?

Finally we agreed on the little hotel and I left him to order some food while I nipped to the ladies. 

It was a very long walk to the ladies, but wow, when I arrived it was so worth it. I just have to tell you that they had the most amazing toilets. As you go in, the lights come on like you are in a spotlight and loud music comes blaring on.

I felt like I was a superstar...you almost jive across to the toilet and it's really difficult to aim straight when your bum is wiggling on the seat to a bit of Janet Jackson.

This has no genuine purpose to the story but I just had to tell you how excited I was by these services...can you tell I don't get out much?

Anyway, my friend and I started to talk about my blog, and he started to regale me with stories of when he was single and how fondly he remembers that life.

He seems like a man of the world, so it was nice to ask some serious questions on which has become my new quest about...relationships et al.

He confessed to me that he has worn a thong...and now has a complete new respect for all women.
Has done more than his fair share of girls in each port.
When his wife and he separated, she decided to leap a fence and try something new with her girlfriend, and he is as nonplussed about this as I am about having toast for breakfast.

He completely understood my thirst for knowledge and was only too happy to enlighten me...and it was a very enlightening conversation.

In fact it was nice to spend an evening with a male friend who just told me what I wanted to know, without any concerns of worrying about it being a possible love interest.

Nothing was off limits; and, it turns out he thinks my knowledge base is ok. I have passed the assessment and will be able to practice the physical some time in the future.

It was a really nice evening and we didn't manage to scare too many people who were eavesdropping on our conversation; (although we did manage to startle two old ladies at the traffic lights when for some reason I mentioned the word anal in a loud voice.)

I can assure you that we did discuss other things, it wasn't purely carnal knowledge...but there is a part of me that is beginning to think I have lived in a small village for the last ten years. Perhaps a reminder to the younger ones, to just get out there and test the water before you settle down.

I want to reassure people that my new life isn't about looking at every page in the Kama Sutra, but at looking at all things anew.

He mentioned to me that I look more positive, not that I was negative before, but that something has changed in me. He is right. I am not nervous about trying new things, I am willing to look at things differently and I am more excited about my future with the hobbits then I have ever been.

If my friend is reading this, then I would like to tell you that I really enjoyed your company this evening, you are a great friend.

Oh, and thanks for sorting out my printer...not, I hasten to add a euphemism.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Flavoured balloons...

It is coming to the end of the summer term here in the UK and most mums, kids and especially teachers are flagging.

Parents look a bit glazed over, teachers are looking less than fresh as Daisy's and the kids are fraught.

Within the next couple of weeks the children will be on summer (ahem) holidays, so by the time it's all over the children will be happier, the teachers will start their days brighter, fresher and with cleaner skin, but the parents may well be alcoholics having survived six weeks home alone with the kids.

Seems that only the kids and the teachers win here.

With this in mind I thought it was time to organise a bit of a girlie evening. Well, more of a Fifty Shades of Grey evening - so that some of the female friends I know can kick back, drink copious amount of wine and settle back for some unadulterated fun...you know, much like men do at a strip club, but with nibbles and coasters.

So I started to sidle up to a few of my mum friends in the school playground - much like a drug dealer does when trying to score, and I whisper low in their ear;

"Fancy," sniff, "erm, coming to a party?" Fervent look around, while the mum nods.
"Ann Summers. My house. Be there for 7.30". Cough slyly, kick a stone and shuffle off.

This will be the first time I have ever arranged a party like this as my normal repertoire in parties is balloon and cake filled, with hoards of screaming kids so this should ideally be a little bit more interesting, although there may still be balloons.

It's all organised, I just have to get out my official invites to my official invitees, get some serious amount of wine, dips and cheese sticks and go from there.

I am sure there will be a blog about it - but in the meantime, if anyone has any advice on what I should be buying (and I don't mean which cheese) feel free to let me know...

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Early night...

I am absolutely exhausted today.

My target of blogging every day is very exhausting along with all the other numerous things I have to achieve on a daily basis.

Work has been so busy I really haven't had time to make a cuppa today (violins please), and tonight I made dinner for five boys as a favour to my lovely neighbour who is trying to juggle as much as I am, and she needed to fit some time in to revise for her exam tomorrow.

Good luck hun by the way!

The house is a pig sty, with trails of clothing going up the stairs and toys scattered all over the floor - I know I should pick them up, I know I should wash up, I know I should be wonder woman but tonight I is knackered.com

So I have poured myself a large glass of wine and I am going to watch something rubbish on the TV.

So if you are reading my blog thinking, why is she not talking about sex, toys, hobbits, or fireman (I saw some today so they are still in my subconscious) - then I apologise.

I did buy some sexy knickers the other day though - if that helps.

Laters, baby!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Girl Power...

Well it's been a few days since my blog has had anything to do with any sort of sexual overtone, but seeing as you can't keep a good woman lying down I thought we might address the issue of attraction.

A simple thing one would assume, however during the last few months I have discovered that nothing is ever simple.

Let me set the scene... There is a teacher at the school that the hobbits attend.

This teacher is dynamic, warm, charismatic and empowering. You can see when you talk to them that they completely believe in the children and their achievements, and when any of us get caught in a conversation with them we end up agreeing to support some school project because of the way they sell it.

Some of us mums in the playground have also discussed about how we find this teacher quite attractive, and some have even confessed that they actually quite fancy them.

Nothing unusual really, we all have crushes at some point - all rather healthy, however what is unusual is that this teacher is a woman.

Now before any heterosexual readers start freaking out here none of us are proposing to leave our husbands or, even, jump over the side of the fence to attempt to start a relationship with this woman. Not only are we quite content in the sexual path we have chosen, but also as far as I am aware she has recently married her life long partner and is very very happy.

But is it the fact that she happens to be gay that we find ourselves a little bit attracted to her? Is she so sure about her own sexuality that we actually find that confidence encourages us to be magnetised by her personality?


However, upon further discussion with friends it turns out that a bit of girl on girl action is not as off putting as us hetrosexuals would believe.

I have a very good friend who, with her husband, rather enjoys watching a couple of ladies getting down to some serious baking. They both get something out of the footage, and neither of them feel uncomfortable with the thought of my friend being turned on by the female form.

So what is it about us, essentially hetrosexual women, that can find other women so darn attractive?

It certainly doesn't happen all the time. I don't find myself staring lovingly at the girl in the checkout in Sainsbury's wondering whether or not to ask for her number. Nor do I find myself checking out women in the changing room, I am normally too worried about the size of my own arse to do that.

From my discussions with others it seems that the majority of the time, women we suddenly find ourselves attracted to are, more often than not, gay themselves.

So perhaps it is just pure curiosity.

Maybe there is a part of us that feels we are missing out, or maybe it's because these women are generally formidable
strong women who make us feel good about who we are.

A few of my hetrosexual female friends have kissed another female, mostly during a drunken session rather than chatting the girl up in the supermarket, and whilst some have found it to be no different from kissing a man, there are others who quite enjoyed the experience.

I am also not embarrassed to tell you that I have a very good friend who piques my interest.

She is fun to be with; she has listened to me have an emotional breakdown on the telephone and dealt with it calmly; she accepts my friendship and me for who I am and doesn't expect me to be any different.

She is empowering, warm and kind and she also knows that I find her attractive. She will also be pleased to hear that I am not about to start snogging her in a dark alleyway and wearing dungarees...her girlfriend may have something to say about the snog at least, if not my choice in fashion.

There are quite clear lines of being gay or being straight, but I also think that there is a blurry bit in the middle of people who we just simply find attractive because of who they are, not because they happen to be male or female.

I have no intention of pursuing my friend as a love interest; I confess I do generally prefer a good old fashioned hetrosexual relationship...but hey, if we ever find each other to be single at the same time, with a nice bottle of wine...who knows...I might get to kiss a girl and like it.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Amendment to life list - Part 1

Top hobbit is not happy tonight.

Telling the top hobbit that it's time for bed tends to do that to him.

He has never been a fan of going to bed, clearly a night owl, however there comes a point that whether he accepts it or not he is still my little hobbit and he needs his sleep.

It's a difficult balance to be honest. Being older he understands more about mummy and daddy no longer living together, and he has found it harder than any of them to adjust to the change.

Consequently when the mini hobbits go to bed, he naturally wants to stay with me, keep me company, cuddle on the sofa and as tempting as hobbit cuddles are, he needs to get some beauty sleep like everyone else.

Being a new single mum I find it hard to argue with him about it as he normally produces the "but I miss daddy" card whenever he is reprimanded or god forbid told No, he can't play Skylanders until three in the morning.

This evening wasn't much different.

I try to do everything that the books say and give him the countdown; tell him what is happening and when - but no matter what I do it nearly always ends up in me losing my rag after he has had hysterics.

Once again tonight there are tears before bedtime.

I can not take away the fact that he misses Daddy, so I acknowledge it. We talk it through and talk through all the wonderful things he is going to do when he goes to Spain next week.

I also acknowledge the fact that Daddy also wouldn't like him being naughty about bedtimes and top hobbit agrees with me. Sniffling into my armpit.

It is very exhausting having the same conversation most nights, but from my very tired perspective, the best thing I can do with any of my hobbits to help them through this incredibly difficult time is lots of love and patience and hope that this sees us through.

We always talk about Daddy in a positive way. I encourage them to do drawings for him and keep him involved and alive in their day; even though there may be occasions inside when I am seething mad at something he may have said or done, that is not their business to know. They need to know that their daddy loves them and as the main parent in their life it is important that I tell them that everyday.

I have no control over what is said about me on the other side of the fence. But as long as I try and do the best for my hobbits, (I can't promise I won't fail at all,) then hopefully they will grow up to understand and be confident young men when the time comes.

And happy.

That is my new amendment to my life list - that no matter what they choose to do in life, that the hobbits grow up to be happy.

One of the most important ones, I think you would agree.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Hobbit logic...

The hobbits went to to a fancy dress party today.
They absolutely love dressing up and have numerous alter egos to go change into and as they start getting ready to choose their outfits for the event, Superman calls down the stairs...

"Mum! Do I have to wear pants?"
"Yes," I call back up the stairs.
"Why?" He enquires, as if one needs a reason.
"Because all good superheroes wear pants, Superman wears his on the outside" I explain rather pleased with myself for my quick thinking.
"Ok." He accepts. However just a few minutes later...
"Mum, do I have to wear pants too?" calls Batman.
"Yes." I state again.
"But I'm going as a skeleton, and skeletons don't wear pants."

I stop washing up and reason that he has a valid point that
I can't argue with.

Consequently Batman is going to the fancy dress party commando as a skeleton.
Hobbit logic is triumphant.

It's highly unlikely that the fancy dress party is going to be a place that I find a love interest. I know all of the parents there and even Mr Pumpkin the children's entertainer has a Mrs Pumpkin.

Thankfully it's just a nice place to catch up with other parents who are as like minded as me in allowing the children to run off some steam.

It also turns out that Batman (aka The Skeleton) is not the only one who has chosen to go commando, as one other mum explains that her daughter informed her on the journey to the party that she had forgotten her knickers. After rushing back home the mother tries with admirable fashion to convince her daughter to put some underwear on also.

This gorgeous little girl has a beautiful dress on; nevertheless it is fairly short when she sits down and both of us look across to the group of children sitting on the floor, feeling quite concerned that Mr Pumpkin may get more than he has bargained for as he gets down among the tiny five year olds.

It is quite endearing watching the children with Mr Pumpkin - they say all the right things, make all the right noises and laugh when they're supposed to.
Hobbit logic is simplistic and honest.

I would rather have hobbit logic over some other adult conversations any day. There is nothing false behind it, no pretence, no dishonesty - it is what it is.
"Yes, you have a big bum".
"No, I don't like your hair."
"Eating carrots doesn't help me see in the dark, my eyes do that." and yes, "Skeletons don't wear underwear."

Conversations with adults can be so much harder; social awareness gets in the way, there are different rules for who you talk to; people can play mind games rather than just being honest and as adults we lie far more than hobbits do.

Perhaps this is why much of the time I prefer the company of hobbits.

They at least will always tell me when I look silly or remind me when it's appropriate to wear pants.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

A snog and a snuggle...

I have had a little bit of a flat day today.

Potentially it started out well.

I had a saucy little text message from a friend, which brought a nice smile to my face. It was a little bit cheeky and a little bit suggestive, so anything that makes me feel that someone out there sees me as a potential conquest is always exciting.

Perhaps it was the after effect of the saucy message that made me feel flat. Realising that a message is nice, but is no replacement for a snuggle is a little bit deflating.

Weekends can also be harder as you have constant reminders that you are on your own and normally at the weekend it's family time. Time to do things together after a busy week of school and work.

The hobbits of course are great for company, but they are also fairly good at entertaining themselves so once we had completed a few errands, they kept themselves amused with the Wii, leaving me to watch TV in my own room.

Here I was the adult, confined to my bedroom while they monopolised the lounge with their games...something not right there really.

So I felt a bit abandoned, with only my dad ringing to see if I was still alive.

Thankfully friends always seem to turn up at the right moment. On hindsight I am always amazed at how many friends seem to instinctively know that now is a good time to drop me an email, a message or turn up with a bottle and Tesco chinese takeaway.

We generally assume that people don't want to hear about us feeling low or down, when actually as a friend myself I would rather my friends picked up the 'phone and told me they felt crap, than sit there alone weeping through a bar of Dairy Milk and watching An Officer and a Gentleman.

Eventually after hearing the hobbits beat each other with cushions for the tenth time, I suggested we went out for a game of football. Someone wise told me that hobbit boys are like puppies...walk at least once an hour and feed regularly - and we were getting to the point that they really needed to burn off some excess energy.

With batman in goal, it was spiderman and superman against me, and like the professional footballer I am, I faked injury most of the time just to get them to run around just that little bit more.

In true hobbit style there was a lot of sulking, and at one point the goalie refused to give up the ball as we were scoring too many goals. He literally sat between his makeshift goal posts hugging the ball, with his bottom lip out.

No amount of cajoling and encouragement was
going to give up his prize, so the three of us
decided on doing our own version of the New
Zealand Haka just to scare him into coughing
up the ball.

It looked more like an aggressive form of patta cake, but we got him to laugh so that the game could resume, and apart from medical attention to a bitten lip the rest of the game went without a hitch.

I have no regrets about my recent decision.
On the whole I feel more positive, more energised...more like the old me. But it's only human nature to feel a little lonely on occasion. Nothing serious...nothing that a little flirt and a snuggle wouldn't put right.

My lovely friend B would agree - having a flirt and a snog keeps the lonely feelings away, and tides you over for a good few weeks. All of us single folk should have our GP prescribe PRN for a snog and a snuggle just for a top up, to keep us positive.

That would work - nothing serious, nothing long term, just warmth.

Now where was that text message again...?

Friday, 6 July 2012

Hobbits! Who'd have 'em...?

I am beginning to run out of steam.

The end of my tether is dangling nervously in front of me with frayed edges and a bottle of wine just within reach.

It has been a fraught week in the house of the hobbits; fraught hobbits equals a fraught hobbit mother, and for some reason this week has seen more bickering between three superheroes than normal.

To be fair in hobbit world, they have a lot to be dealing with at the moment. They have been introduced to their new teacher this week and the summer holidays are nearly here which means their trip to Spain to spend six weeks with their dad is just around the corner.

However I have had enough of the fighting, whinging, complaining, demanding and general unpleasantness. It is impossible for them to do anything this week unless I bribe, cajole or say it forty times.
"Clean your teeth, please"
"Put your school jumpers on, please"
"Eat your breakfast/dinner, please"
"Go to bed, pleeeeeeeeease!"

The excuses this week about going to bed have reached a new level, gone are the usual excuses, but suddenly I am left with guilt filling sentences such as;
"...I haven't done any homework!"
"I'm still hungry"
...and the strangest by a longshot..."my toenails are too long!"

After reassuring Batman that his talons would not grow to the the length of the bed by morning, I left them last night hoping and praying that they would actually stay in their beds and get some sleep.

When I finally went to bed a couple of hours later, the upstairs of the house looked like a student party had run through the bedrooms like a freight train. There were half naked bodies everywhere...all asleep. One in the playroom lying amongst the Lego; one on my bed making starshapes and one on the floor of their bedroom surrounded by colouring pens and drawings.

This is of course, kind of cute in a hobbit behaviour way - but it does remind you about how hard it is to raise a family, or make young hobbits into adult hobbits that Gandalf would be impressed with.

In conversation with work colleagues today I was amazed at how many people feel almost obligated to start procreating. There is still this pressure out there that once you have found a partner, got married or moved in with Bilbo Baggins then it's time to start thinking about having a hobbit baby.

I absolutely love my hobbits. They make me roar with laughter, they make me cry because I am proud to see them as a caterpillar on the stage, and they enrich my life...but it does completely change your life and I wouldn't recommended anyone having children unless you are really prepared for the life changing event it really is.

Try this little test...it may help you decide...

1) Clean all your windows until they are smear free. Then, go to the fridge, take out some margarine and then dipping your fingers in it make wipe marks and kiss marks all over them. Live with that until you can be arsed to do it all over again.

2) Take the biscuit barrel and turn it upside down on your new sofa. (to get the real effect this should be just after you have hoovered and cleaned up)- grind some into the carpet just for effect...again, leave.

3) Put on a old scratched CD, wait for it to get stuck, turn the sound up and make a phone call to a friend - you need the volume up just enough so you can just hear your friend, but not your own brain and thoughts.

4)Pick your nose, wipe it on the wall then forget about it...after some time it should just be hard enough for you to require a knife to scrape it off!

5) Ask your partner to pee on the toilet seat at some point during the day, so that when you go you'll have a cooled ammonia pool to sit in...

If you can do any of these without losing your cool, (or downing a bottle of wine in one go) then you can be a parent my son - but if any of them sound like your worst nightmare (and they are just the tip of the iceberg), then go with your first gut feeling of not having kids.

It's not a crime to not want children, and just because I love mine doesn't mean I don't ever find myself longing for the heady days of not being a mum.

I think one of the reasons I am as fraught as they are is because I am ready for a break. They will be leaving to go to Spain in ten days time, and as my lovely work colleague put it, this part before they go is akin to labour...you know you have to get through the worst bit of giving birth before you get your prize.  So I have to grit my teeth for the next ten days, until I get my respite of peace and quiet.

Which will be heavenly...for a little while.

However I am fairly convinced that within just a few days I will be bored out of mind, and begging for them to come home.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

New and improved...

It has been six months since my last visit, but I have finally made it to the hairdressers this week.

I really was overdue. My hair was beginning to resemble Cousin It on a windy day, and don't even mention the grey strands poking out at the top like one of those static balls that light up.

So, it was definitely time for a restyle and a new colour.

I left my little superheroes in the capable hands of a babysitter, and I left the babysitter with a bottle of wine, a large bar of chocolate and The Gruffalo - essential items to survive an evening with the hobbits. Light entertainment it isn't.

Now I don't know about anyone else, but I have always been a bit initimidated of hairdressers.

Not only are they all gorgeous and young, but there is an element where one feels vulnerable under their glare. The bright lights don't help; showing up every blemish, pale skin and dodgy eyebrow plucking...and then there is the false conversation that always manages to make me feel like I am having my teeth pulled.

Finally, it's the telling off; "Hmm, been cutting your own hair have you?" I always end up feeling like a guilty school girl who has trimmed her own hair with safety scissors.

Nevertheless I bravely walk in to a local salon, and I am very relieved to see that they are friendly and welcoming - they are of course, all still gorgeous, it must be on the acceptance information on a hairdressers course - Ugly people can and will be refused - they offer me a cup of tea and I get introduced to my stylist.

I have to be fair here. She is lovely and normal. She takes me through colours for my new style, and chats to me like my opinion is important. Which of course it is, after all it is my hair and I am paying someone to whip up a miracle and make me look gorgeous.

It's also worth mentioning at this point that I have managed to develop a nasty reaction to hair dye over the years. Nothing is ever simple eh?

The reaction was so bad before that I managed to look like Will Smith out of Hitch after his allergic reaction to fish.

However this time I have been super efficient and already had two testers behind my ears, one which showed no reaction at all! Woohoo, we are back in the game.

The thought of embracing the grey really doesn't gel with me, so slap on the dye and make me look ten years younger...well, one can dream can't they?

Talking through the colours, I am sorely tempted by the purple, alas I feel my employer may judge me even if the hobbits would love it, and aim for something more Mahogany.

Without taking you through all the boring details, I have to say that my new hairdresser was considerate, chatty in a normal kind of way and cut me a damn fine haircut.

I absolutely love it and found myself swishing my hair so often I almost gave myself whiplash...swish, swish, swish, crack...it's the age sadly. I almost felt new, which is what a decent haircut is supposed to make you feel...me, but new and improved.

Unfortunately, by the time I get home my hairline is starting to itch in a tell tale way. It feels like my ears are on fire, and my scalp is beginning to sting. Within an hour I feel like I'm wearing a helmet.

However, this is where a bottle of antihistamine and a straw really do come into their own, and I caught up on some TV with the local chemists equivalent to Lucozade.

Thank god for piriton, a couple of doses later and I am back to new. I suppose I should say that it will never happen again, that I will love the grey as part of who I am...but hey who wants to do that?

Next time I shall take piriton beforehand - and go purple, might as well be worth it!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Doing what it says on the tin...

A package arrived today.

I am tempted to leave it that and just say goodnight, however I am reliably informed that followers of my blog would love to know more. So, at the risk of my friends seeing me in a new light - here goes...

Arriving home from work with the hobbits in tow, we discover that the postman has left a note to say there is a parcel waiting for us at the depot. The hobbits were very excited as they have been waiting for their parcel, and begged me to take them to the post office there and then.

We drive at breakneck speed as they were just about to close and as the hobbits became more excited, I was silently praying that it was their parcel and not mine.

Now although the website assures you that the packaging is discreet, it does state on it the company name - and any postie worth his or her salt will have a pretty good idea of what that company represents. I handed over my red ticket and I am convinced that as the postman behind the counter passed me my goods, he winked at me. I shuffled out of the depot in schoolgirl shame.

"Sorry guys," I explain as I get in the car, "It's not your parcel it's mine."
The car fills up with a chorus of "Ohhhhhhh's" Followed by a great deal of sulking.
"But why do you get a toy, and we don't?" Enquires Batman
"It's not a toy it's work." I cough.
"What work?" Asks Spiderman
"...erm, research." I silently mutter keeping my eyes firmly on the road.

It takes some convincing but eventually we get home with some grumpy hobbits and a nervous mum and I take it straight around to my friends house and throw the package on her table as if it's too hot to touch...(hope that's not a design fault.)

She looks at me and we have a brief silent exchange that says we need to open this together. After making strong coffee and shooing the kids out of the room I tentatively open the package and find a very smart box. The mum in me reminds myself to save it in case I ever need a box this size to wrap a Christmas present, when almost as quickly the single woman in me reminds me of what is on the actual cover.
Hmm, yes, can you imagine someone's disappointment?

Anyway, getting back to the matter in hand - which it now is - we both look at it slightly in awe. It's my favourite colour, which is a good thing, so will go with anything I wear; It has a rather cute face just below it's ears, which is a shade disconcerting but as it's a physical impossibility for me to bend that way it's unlikely that I will ever meet it face to face so to speak.

"Put the batteries in," my friend suggests...and I confess, like a couple of giggly schoolgirls we pop the batteries in and let the ears do the talking.

WOW! This thing has some serious power! Clicking on the relevant buttons it notches it up to almost the same speed as light and I can feel myself going cross eyed trying to keep up with it.

Sticking it on my nose, my friend looks at me incredulously. "What are you doing?"
"I read somewhere that this is a good test" I inform her and offer it to her to give a go.
Strangely she refuses...

So, what now?
Do I book a date night?
Do I prepare for a night of solitude with my new friend?
Dress seductively in something comfortable, spray on some perfume and turn the lights down low?

Thankfully, followers of my blog will never know. Unless of course I electrocute myself and the power goes out in the town I live in, you can all live in permanent ignorance. (However, please don't blame me for any future power cuts!)

For now - it goes in the drawer, where I may take a peek on occasion and slowly build up courage to actually get it to do what it says on the tin!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

A quickie and a kebab...

Being back on the market is a scary thing.

Whilst I have no great urge to start dating again, it would be nice (did I just say nice?) to meet someone to chat to when my friends are fed up with me. You know someone to take to the movies, drink a bottle of wine with or chew the fat with...

But where do I meet this great communicator?

I'm too old to hang around outside McDonald's - and this is probably more likely to get me arrested than a new fella. I am rarely seen hanging around a bar, and if you have been in one lately there is far too much competition to allow a mum of three hobbits to get to meet someone.

So, dating websites it is then.

I prepared one evening to sign myself up to a well known dating website with a glass of wine and a half eaten Easter egg for courage. Having taken myself through the log in and registration I discovered the price per month. These sites are big bucks money - and for what? The person registering is doing all the work - seems like easy work to me.

I digress as always, but I left this website with no profile and no photo. No one is going to contact me if I have no photo.


My wonderfully supportive BFF enrolled me onto another website, of which, does have a photo of me and some very interesting blurb about how wonderfully spontaneous and cool I am. I sent a few messages to possible chat interests and waited...nothing.

Now clearly I must be a moose.
I have not even had a snifter from the one with my photo and exciting resume - but the other one without a photo I appear to have at least eight messages from guys wanting to chat, including one from Bigboy1808. The mind boggles...

What is it about free sites that suggest you
are only there for a quickie and a kebab
(if you're lucky!)
Another friend suggested an alternative free site
which literally does offer this service, and I
believe you have to prove that you are in
throwing distance of a local takeaway in order
to qualify.

So sign up for free and get herpes, or pay and get nothing.... Hmm, what is a girl supposed to do?

Why can't there be a reasonably priced dating site so that you don't feel that you are paying the equivalent of a Sky subscription in order to meet someone? Perhaps that should also be on my list of things to do...

Design a dating website that charges a fee that provides the cover of the website...for single mums and dads so that they can join up and make more Brady Bunch families.

Just a thought...

Monday, 2 July 2012

The Portal of Power...

Ok - so I have done it. With a bottle of wine, an excellent curry and a very encouraging pal I have ordered a 'new friend.' Apologies to my Dad if he is reading this - but thankfully he is an understanding man.

It wasn't, as you can probably guess in my world, a simple task.

There was an array of new friends to choose from, and as I like to know that my money is going on a fairly safe bet,  it seemed only appropriate that I should read the reviews on the relevant products;

'Too loud', said one - 'Don't use when you have guests in the house...'
OMG! You must have some really boring friends over for hotpot if halfway through dinner you need to excuse yourself for some 'me time'.

'Fantastic,' said another - 'my boyfriend is jealous that he is unable to reach the heights that this can' - Oh, ok, sounds more promising, I thought.
So apart from the fact that it would have been more beneficial to have a starter pack for the newbie, we (my understanding pal and I), placed items in my shopping cart and went to the check out - suddenly, there were three items in my basket rather than the orginal two (ahem).

'We think you will need these', shouted the headline - and a picture of a pack of triple A batteries along side it. 'Remove if you don't need them' it suggested in bold red writing - well, unless I'm just gonna stare at it for a few weeks it made sense to click yes, I'll have the batteries as well. Quite considerate of them to remember really.

Checking the delivery information I note that they are also considerate enough to ensure that the packaging is discreet - that is unless you are ordering a dancing pole. I suppose that comes in a long box, with DANCING POLE written on the side, THIS WAY UP!!!
Come to think of it, there was a long cardboard box outside my elderly neighbour's house just last week I consider, nice to know that I'm not the only wanton female in the street.

So we click, click away - alas I dont receive a confirmation of my order.  Have I done something wrong? We talk about this for some time and try to call their helpline. Unfortunately they are closed, clearly not as considerate as I had hoped as they are not on hotline 24 hours a day. "Go into the store" my lovely pal suggests. Now, I have just ordered this new friend from the comfort and secrecy of my own laptop, the thought of boldly strolling into a store on a sunday morning asking whether or not they have my order for batteries and more, sends me reeling.

No, no, no, I protest I will wait until Monday and call them.

So on Monday evening a lovely lady called Claire takes my call. I explain that I have had some problems with my order confirmation, so she takes a few details, thankfully, not the details of the actual order.
"I'm not sure why you had problems with the confirmation" she said, "Perhaps it was an unusual order?" She enquires.
"No", I stutter, "Quite a simple one really".
She quickly confirms that my order is on it's way, and perhaps my confirmation email has gone into my Spam box - so I check, and yes there it is, winking at me seductively. I can now relax, can't I?


Now since I placed this order I also placed a seperate order for the hobbits.  Not on the same website you understand, but they had been saving up their pocket money to order new Skylander figures. If you haven't heard of this game, it comes with about 40 characters to collect and you connect to a Portal of Power, which connects to the Wii and you can change your character depending on where you are fighting in the realm - with me so far? Can you see where this is going?
                           Portal of Power and one of the Characters from Skylanders...

The hobbits are very excited that their parcel is coming. They are checking every day to see if the postman has been. I am beginning to envisage them seeing a parcel tucked behind our bin outside our house, and them ripping the contents open in sheer hobbit excitement.

Can you imagine?
"Hey mum, I don't remember ordering this character?"
"It doesn't even fit on the Portal of Power!"
No that would be because it has it's own Portal of Power, that are run by the triple A batteries.
"But I ordered Sonic Boom...it doesn't look like Sonic Boom."
Again, no, but I'm hoping that it will have the same effect.

So I am currently praying.
Praying that Sonic Boom and Stump Smash arrive at least a day before my new friend does. Or I may have a lot of explaining to do!