Thursday, 25 February 2010

Reasons to be cheerful

It's all a bit blahhhh this week. Weather: grey, bleughhh. Not even proper thrashing soaked-to-the-skin rain, or crisp frosty air or foggy murky dense mist swirling around. Just pissy damp drizzly hair-frizzing never ending bleak misery. Work: post exciting 25th anniversary party and 16.6 million viewers digging an amazing live ep -a bit well... blahh. A groundhog day of a week. Home life: Sproglet has been recovering from a mild-ish dose of chickenpox - he is in fine fettle and didn't even break a sweat when the spots had previously bubbled to the surface and formed angry blisters - but his school seemed to think he was miserable and I some she-devil Mother who shoved her kid back to school riddled with the plague in order to save on childcare - and promptly sent him home again. A mini war ensued. I won. I warned Sproglet to bounce into school the next day like he was on happy pills. He obliged in return for some gummy bears. Good deal.

So in the spirit of cheering myself up I'm gonna list a few unexpected joys in my blahh existence:

1. Damages is back on our screens. Yay for Patty and all her evil plotting and the fact nothing will make sense until episode 13. 12 more weeks of head scratching. Bliss.

2. Arrived at work on Monday to see an enormous cake for 500 people. 30 of us managed to polish it off in 2 days. I even scavenged the crumbs left behind on the silver tray for any bits of stray frosting on day 3.

3. Drawing on a huge rubber with a biro. Smooth. Almost relaxing - try it.

4. Off to York this weekend to see my gorgeous new nephew (my cousin - more like a sister to me - endured 4th degree tears. Now do you see why I don't do birth??) And poke around the Mulberry seconds shop. Obviously the baby excites me more. Honest.

5. Husband's bar is hosting Johnny Depp's private party post premiere tonight. Hopefully Johnny will be as fabulous a tipper as ever. Last time he paid for our holiday. Gawd bless him.

6. A dear work buddy has sorted my leaving party at a venue called 'Gallery Rendezvous.' Isn't the name spectacular? It looks a complete dive (think fake orchids and pink neon) and for £8 you get 3 hours of karaoke AND chinese food nibbles. Not sure the prawn toast will have come within a mile of an actual prawn, but what the hell. Bound to be brilliant. What to sing???

7. Sproglet loves The Simpsons and calls it 'Sim-Sons.' Much better than The Night Garden as our shared pre-bedtime viewing.

8. I'm getting to the movies on Sat night. Alone. Husband is going too - to another screening. He'll check out something boyish and filled with guns, so we'll part at the popcorn stand. I'm off to 'The Lovely Bones.' Loved the book, heard the movie pants. But still, I get to go to the movies. Alone. Hurrah!

9. Bored of my list now. That's enough cheer. Frankly I don't have the energy for more. In this blahhh zone my energy levels aren't exactly peaking.

Still Spring is around the corner, so is the Oscars, Easter (ergo lots of chocolate), my birthday, and then we'll all be frisky as lambs.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Home from home

So the event created purely for Hallmark to make an extra buck or two between Xmas and Easter has thankfully passed and we can happily stroll into M&S without tacky velvet hearts swooning down upon us for another year. Flicking through the Sunday supplements yesterday that were full to the brim with all things to do with luuurve, I found an article celebrating love in all its forms, not just romantic slushy kind: love of our children, gay love, friendship love etc.

It got me thinkin'. You see last week I got a bit of a lump in my throat on route to work, thinking about the fact that very shortly I won't be making this drive any more. Not that the drive excites me - hell, the M25 on a Friday is enough to make me want to open a vein - but the folk at the destination do. The job, well, I've loved it, but after two years on a soap I feel I've lived every story almost possible - and am ready for something new to get my grey matter ticking over. It is the folk that I work with - my home away from home, that I'll miss the most. Working in a creative and sometimes stressful environment means we all have survived tears, tantrums and traumas, and usually before we've even had the first cuppa in the morning. There is one lone metrosexual male in a sea of hormonal women - he is lucky to get through a day without one of us venting/abusing/weeping on his shoulder. Or he on ours.

Its the little things I'm gonna miss: curry Thursdays, Nandos (the only decent restaurant in the area - yes, we are scraping barrels, we know) for birthdays or just because it is Friday, bouncing around the office on an orange space hopper to celebrate the publishing of scripts, harassing the only male scheduler to get me chocolate on pain of death, gossiping about X factor over the zillionth cup of tea (two bags and leave them in thanks), playing 'shag marry or push' or other various 'would you rather' games that involve questions such as 'would you give a gorilla a BJ for a million quid? Why not?You don't have to swallow?'

I've always been of the opinion that it aint about the job, it's about the people. If you enjoy those that you have to rub up with at work, then you're onto a winner. Manys a morning after Sproglet has frayed my nerves into tiny pieces and the weight of full-time-working-Motherhood guilt has threatened to break my shoulders in half, I have showed up to work, had a good cry, vented to the assembled group, and felt a million times better. Through my marital meltdown to discovering a good friend was ill, to hearing my job must end, my fellow eds unwavering support has been nothing short of amazing. When the chips are down, they're there for me, and for each other. Don't get me wrong, we could all have happily strangled each other at various points as well - most of us have fine tempers - but things always blow over the next day, or someone in the office has a birthday and we bond of over a sickly tray of melted chocolate icing.

In all my years in telly, having survived pervy bosses, bitchy jealous female execs, arrogant co-presenters, ego driven directors and falser than Jordan's nails co-workers, it has been a blast to work with such a great bunch. Whilst I'm excited about my book and at last having the luxury of time in my life, my heart feels a little heavy knowing I won't be around for the daily catch ups, the inane little moments that add up into a friendship. And never again will someone ask me 'would you swop your life for the most successful life you could ever dream of living, with a wonderful family, great house/job/money etc - but you had to be a dwarf?'

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


Things have been pretty eventful at chez Crummymummy recently. We had a guest staying over for a night last week. A VIP guest no less, called 'Kipper.' Yes, Kipper, from the famous 'Kipper' books came home to us from school with Sproglet in a plastic case with a lovely green notebook, in which we had to detail all the exciting things Kipper got up to.

Except it was 6pm on a rainy Thursday evening, I had 3 scripts to read, was starving and was also due to meet a mate for coffee and had a Chinese laundry's worth of clothes to fold and put away. A quick flick through the notebook revealed that Kipper had had a pretty 5 star existence at the other kids' houses: building dens, making organic cookies, sleepovers at Nanna and Papa's houses, bowling, swimming, climbing, parties, bath times - Kipper had the life we all dream of. Oh sweet jesus, the pressure to give that fecking stuffed animal the time of it's life. I would have happily lied but Sproglet can't tell porkies bless him, so would have grassed me up the minute Kipper's diary was read out the following morning... I did consider burying Kipper in the garden and writing in the book that Kipper had given his life kindly, so no other parent had to go through such stress ever again. But Sproglet loved this manky stuffed animal and was so thrilled to claim ownership for the night that I felt obliged to play the game... I also debated writing in Kipper speak 'Sproglet's Mummy had a meltdown and rocked herself to sleep on the sofa with a bottle of Gordon's gin mumbling something about sex with Chuck Bass, but she has lovely sofa cushions' or the like but reasoned that Sproglet would be excluded from the school for life if I did...

So I stared at Husband - who was unusually off work - and pleaded with him to help me make Kipper's life more eventful than a weekend at Lindsay Lohan's, minus the drama. Even though it was freezing and Sproglet had already eaten high tea at nursery, we trudged down the road to a cosy fish restaurant to give Kipper some slap up nosh. After ice cream and chocolate drops for Kipper and two large glasses of vino for us, we staggered home, long after Sproglet's bedtime and still I insisted we all played hide and seek and swung Buzz Lightyear around for a bit. Must give Kipper soooooo much fun! Then we read Kipper books at bedtime while I scrawled some illegible story in the notebook trying to witty but coming across as a somewhat smug Kipper (who knew the endings to his books but didn't give the game away).

I've never been happier to say goodbye to a guest than when I chucked Kipper back into his placcy bag and sent him on his merry way the following morning. I'm hoping that one night was enough for his hairy wee self and he won't be vacationing at chez CM any time soon.

Sproglet meanwhile got bitten by a kid last week on the chest and today for some unknown reason bit his best mate on the nose, drawing blood. Great. My kid has become a vampire overnight. We did the 'no biting' chat tonight and he sobbed his heart out. His mate had apparently warranted losing a chunk of nose for declaring that Sproglet 'is not my best friend any more.' I may be wrong but I'm willing to bet Sproglet picked up this bad habit from last week's house guest. If you lay with dogs you get fleas and all that.

F**king Kipper.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Olympic Pockler at large

If I was ever going to win a gold medal, perhaps even a platinum one - it would be for pockling. There is an art to such great pockling depths: the ability to spend so much time busily bustling away at anything and everything, save that of the one thing one should actually be doing.

Sometimes I amaze myself at my mastery; Husband has caught me on one occasion - when I was late for work several years ago (a job on LIVE television where a primary requirement was to actually turn up on time) - fresh from the shower, rearranging my drawers like my life depended on it. Why was it so important to me at that very moment? I have no idea. Par for the course in my pockling world. I'll decide to steam my pores at midnight; hunt for a lost pair of gloves in summer; scrub the kitchen when guests are due for an-as-yet-to-be-cooked-dinner in ten minutes; blog when I should be finalising my research questions for a book related interview tomorrow... anything but focus on the real job in hand.

Mornings are when I really excel. I'll decide to cook an omelet as Sproglet gets his shoes on ready to walk out the door - or I'll spend twenty minutes deciding I actually have no clothes to wear at all, before selecting my jeans/black top usual daily uniform. A kiwi girl I lived with in Auckland in '95 put it bluntly: 'you fuck around.' Therefore I never have enough time and consequently I am always late. My best bout of pocking came during the writing of my Uni dissertation: our student kitchen gleamed, I ate culinary masterpieces that took me hours to concoct and I spent hours re-ordering my room which was the size of a postage stamp (student life in London aint cheap, I always took the box room to save pennies on rent). I found myself watching daytime TV with an unbridled passion - in the days before cable TV - think 'Crown Court' and 'Murder She Wrote' and some depressing relationship based fodder. The key skill in being a champion pockler is that you can justify every thing you do as being necessary - in fact almost urgent, so the thing you really should be doing can be put into second place.

You can apply this rule to anything - instead of writing Xmas thank you letters you really need to make look after your nails by doing a three hour manicure and hell, why not look after those tootsies while you at at it eh? Instead of doing the online foodshop (yawn) you really need to check out all your options on every item that ASOS has to sell right now... In fact it is imperative that you check out ASOS in case you missed something...

The thought that haunts me, keeps me from sleeping most nights at the minute is the fact that in 8 weeks I am giving up my job (that was ending in April anyway) for me to take 3-4 months to... write my book. Yes, how the fuck am I, genius pockler and time waster, ever gonna write a book? When there is broadband, a whole fridge of cookable goods and Sky+ all within two foot of me?

Answers on a postcard please...