Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Bit of a rambling one...

This summer has been an odd one for me. I've been back at work - the last summer I was there I was waddling around with my daughter in my belly. Brings it all back to me... and finally it kind of dawned on me that I'll never have that time again. I'll never carry another child, I'll never wonder about the sex, I'll never watch my boobs take over the planet and eclipse the sun. I'm ok with that - after all I haven't exactly relished pregnancy - but it's just weird when you suddenly accept that you have no more little people to meet; I wondered aloud to Husband what no3 would have looked like, or no 4. If I'd had another girl, I think I would have called her Hope. A boy? Maybe Gem. Or Eli. I love Jonah too... ahh all the babies I will never know.

I'm blessed beyond my wildest dreams with the two that I have - I feel uber lucky to have a son and a daughter - and that I fulfilled my desire of not having an only child. ( I was one and didn't rate it - only because my parents were divorced and I often wished I had a sibling to say 'aren't our folks nutters' to; I longed for a partner, a playmate, someone to talk to. I think that's why I crave company so much. I remember all the days of creating entertainment for myself: I used to play tennis against my house wall making up problems and then answering them (I fancied myself as an agony aunt. Actually I would LOVE to be an agony aunt - but that's a different story entirely). Rainy Saturdays were spent in front the tv watching black and white movies that were on BBC2 (BBC1 and ITV only showing sport - in those days we didn't even have channel 4). I can feel that acute loneliness even now... so when I watch my kids giggling together in the bath, or clambering over each other on the sofa, I feel all at peace - one box in my life, I was utterly determined to tick.


Husband reminded me tonight that his new fav show is on - The Great British Bake Off. It is amazing. Who knew the intricacies of cake making are so detailed - or that you can you tell if an oven was too hot or too cold, just by tasting a bit of sponge? So many pitfalls, so many opportunities to make a mistake. But you can never have too many soggy bottom jokes, or gratuitous shots of icing. This is triple X food porn. I'm delighted to discover I'm still addicted to it - even though HOT Rob is no longer a contestant. I miss him dropping his puddings on the floor, his lopsided fringe sticking to his sweaty brow, and his chipped tooth grin. Rob could have buttered my muffins any day... But Rob, schmob, as long I've got Mary Berry and a host of stressed out bakers praying for things to keep rising - that's all I need.


Autumn is just around the corner. So while folks start the inevitable hideous count down to Xmas (my god this year has gone quicker than any other. I swear. Like on Sky plus x 30...) I too am counting down. Until my big four zero. Oh yes - party venue booked, theme picked, food still debating over and Prince Tribute band wished for (but at £1200 sadly Purple Rain may not be rocking us all out that evening). I've drafted up a list of about 100 folk to invite and Husband had to physically stop me from designing invitations - seeing as it is 8 months away. But you know, these things take time and planning! I wish y'all could come. It'll be memorable... If you have any tips from a fab party you've been to - please holler! I could yak on about the decorations etc for another 10 pages, but I've gotta dash - those bakers are about to weild their utensils...  

Sunday, 12 August 2012

In a bit of a K-Stew

Consider for a second that you are a movie star - and A list movie star, whose every move is stalked by a hounding slobbering group of paparazzi, and you are dating your equally famous co-star. Shunning the limelight, you've managed to keep your on-set relationship a secret for a long long time - until the odd snap of you holding hands has surfaced: blurred, out of focus and taken on a phone. Eventually, after the 2nd movie in this $$$$$ making franchise has been released, you concede that yes you are in a relationship - the 'secret' is out but you want privacy. Hoards of die hard fans swarm to the next movie - elated that the love they see on screen is in fact real.

Cut to this year, when you decide to go for a drive and a walk, in daylight with your new 'lover.' You do all the things that you never did in your long term relationship outdoors, for fear of being seen. You canoodle, you gesticulate wildly, you lean into each other - and he even looks directly down the camera lens. Not for you an affair behind closed doors of a sprawling rental home, hotel or getaway. Nope you go for it outside for all to see. In bright crystal clear sunshine. Kissing inside the car - but maybe that isn't going to be clear... how about a walk! Yes, a walk to look out over... erm, the roads and hills and stuff, where you can canoodle some more. Yes, great plan. But whoops! There's a photographer hiding in the bushes! No, really? I never knew!!! How could that happen??? Little old me being followed? Well I never...

The photos are published. You issue a forlorn statement repetitively saying how much you love your co-star. How wrong you have been with this stupid indiscretion. The world is outraged! Papers are sold in the dull summer months... Mad fans cry on line and beg you to come to your senses. Die hard fans wait with baited breath to see if you and your vampire lover will be united again - just in time for the final instalment of this lame ass series - to complete the fantasy story. You star ascends higher; the 'relationship' you have has even more currency - although if it ends, so be it - the PR job on the movies has been done. The man you are caught with is suddenly a known director and his wife, a model past model-day prime - now is well known enough to carve out an acting career. Everyone's a winner!


The biggest idiots in this whole charade are those that believe it, who buy into the PR bullshit we are spun to make $$$. Apart from the fact this actress has only one facial expression and couldn't act her way out of a paper bag (likewise her 'handsome' posh co-star). Isn't it time our role models were the likes of Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah - talented determined athletes who train religiously and have earned their stripes? Isn't it time we walked away from all the media manipulation and said 'who gives a shit? Those movies sucked anyway!'

Just a thought.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Weathering all storms

The weather this summer just can't make up its mind. One minute the sun shines, the next the rain pours and some hail joins in for a laugh. We all throw on our optimistic footwear: open toed sandals, espadrilles, flip flops etc and then the rain lashes and we stumble through puddle after puddle. Woe betide anyone who forgets to carry and umbrella. And sunscreen. And shades. And a cardigan. And a rain mac. And a lighter top. And shorts, and jeans... etc.

I'm actually ok with all these indecisive clouds - I kinda feel a bit like that myself... One minute I'm really happy - things will get better, oozing positivity... all Team GB Olympics! And can we afford a pimms? And I'm having a laugh at work about potholes (don't ask) and dodgy dates and Fifty shades. And a good tune comes on the radio and I sing along over the air con - my own single cats chorus...

Then the other I'm all 'are we ever getting out of this rut?' Will I ever afford to buy myself clothes again? Or even a treat - like getting waxed? Will we ever fix up our beaten up car - currently sporting two broken wing mirrors with no backs, 7 dents and a massive scrape along the side (from that bollard love waaay back in Spring). How are we going to pay that bill - and that one? I get so bored in the money mire - it is so fucking tedious to be counting pennies, day in, day out.

In some ways it has been great: Husband says he will never again take for granted how hard it is to be doing the lions share of the childcare. He swears we will never go back to the dark marriage days of 2009 when I did a full time job and he worked weekends and I was left holding the toddler. A single mother by all accounts. So he gets it. Understands in a way he never did - and is determined that his next job will allow him more family time. But the issue is, in his industry show me a job that allows family time? Particularly one that will pay him as good a salary as he earned before.

I look around my house at the broken cupboard held up by masking tape in the kitchen, and the broken glass in the front door and all the little niggly things I need to get done - but haven't the money to do. They grind away at me - imploring me - like I can't take my eyes off them. Then again - Husband has taken up DIY for the first time in our 11 year relationship. He is sanding window frames and staining decking and fixing things all over the place. He cares more about our home, now that he is here long enough to notice all the things that he never did before.

I'm loving working; missing my children. Feeling grateful for a job I enjoy that stimulates me, worried that I am taking another career step sideways. Happy to get home for bath time; wondering when I'll ever get any me time. Loving all the family time with Husband, worried that it comes at a price - when he gets work, how will it all work?

I've just gotta take one day at a time I guess. So some are cloudy with a good chance of rain and then others, well in those glorious moments - the sun splits the sky....

Monday, 6 August 2012

The day I stayed in.... Oh My!

So I followed the herd. Yes indeedy. It was a Saturday, a few weeks ago - nothin' special. A lazy day - well as lazy as the day can get with 2 kids. We promised Sproglet a new book - a treat for getting such a good report. He mentioned it once or twice. Or ten thousand times, until we jumped in the car and parked on a double yellow, in our haste to silence him. He picked 2 Where's Wally books (as our recent evening past time has been to search the fecker out for a good few hours... Him and the bloody wizard and girl Wally and all their cameras and keys and shit. My god Wally - why not just give up carrying all that unnecessary stuff and make my finding hours that bit easier???)

Sproglette decided it was present time for her too. She absolutely went batshit crazy when I tried to prise a cuddly Peppa pig from her little fists  - so I gave up, gave in and bought her the damn toy. It was then I decided that CM needed a little treat too and much to Husband's displeasure (You are SAD he proclaimed) I bought Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker.... Well it was 'buy one, get the other half price).

I set the book to one side after having a cursory flick through. I actually didn't know that much about the book, apart from it gets mentioned everywhere I look/read and folk at work said it was badly written and very saucy.

This weekend, it rained as usual and as my Mother was staying, I had two minutes to myself. I stepped away from the endless Olympic coverage and immersed myself. I am ashamed to say that once I picked it up I simply couldn't put it down (in a very Riders/ any Jackie Collins book kind of way).

It is badly written. If I had to read one more freakin' time about the narrator biting her lip or how when she looked at Grey, she felt it you know down there, I was going to scream. Oh My. I also laughed like a drain when I read how she had a vaginal orgasm the first time she had penetrative sex - REALLY???? Come on. I can buy you being a 22 year old virgin who tempts a trillionaire, but an orgasm as you lose your virginity? Don't buy it for a minute. Think back. Did the earth move for you the first time you hit 5th base? Me neither. (Sorry Ben).

Thing is, the author EL James has apparently said she wrote it for fun, she isn't claiming to be a Bronte sister or the like. She is now laughing in 50 million ways of yay to the bank. I applaud her. No 1 she has got people reading again and no 2 - it is about time we all got a little less het up about sex. And bondage. And all that jazz. I actually think (and I am no dominatrix I assure you) that it isn't all that wild. It isn't like he fists her with a baseball glove while showering in her in the blood of 50 virgins by moonlight. It is just a bit of, what does he call it? Kinky fuckery. I love that phrase. I only wish my life involved me using it more.

So, is it memorable. Well no. Is it exciting? A bit. Is it repetitive? You bet. Oh my. But it is fun. Who wouldn't wanted to be trussed up and brought to earth-shattering orgasm several times in as many minutes by some charismatic charming sexy millionaire? If it is reminding women that we are sexual creatures underneath our motherhood masks and daily grind uniforms, then hurrah!

I'm on to Fifty Shades darker now and it is even more ridiculous. I won't spoil anything by saying that Mr Grey says one thing and does another (which is what women are meant to do, no?).  I will finish it hopefully this week - as soon as I can tear myself away.... from Where's Wally book 4 - Hollywood.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

The Night I Got Out

So a week or so ago I got out. I mean out, into London, with an old friend, to a swanky wanky do at the posho Ivy club - yes, the club above The Ivy restaurant. For what it is worth, in my hey day I went to the Ivy a few times and the food was a bit meh. A lot of hype, celeb packed - everyone looking over their shoulder - and great mash for about a million quid. The best time I ever had there was a lunch with my mucker Dax - when Prince Edward sat next to us and we were politely asked to leave when it looked like we had bedded in for the dinner menu as well.

I digress - unlike me I know. Anyway, life has been a bit tough money wise in these here parts since about 1982. Well, since I sprogged the Diva anyway. But since Husband has been looking for work - 3 months now - it has been harder. So when my mate Max said 'do you fancy a free drink?' I was there faster than it took to pour one.

Now when you arrive at the The Ivy club (which we almost didn't - we took the wrong door and the woman who told us where to go did so with a slight sympathetic look on her face - like we were homeless) you are greeted by a suited man who holds open the glass door to a room filled with blooms in round glass vases and a mirrored lift - a life so bright and shiny and lit up and mirrored - it feels like you are actually ascending to heaven and at the top St Peter will be there - clipboard in hand. It was even a shame to push the buttons - dare we leave a finger print behind. I waited to hear angels singing - but we were whizzed up to the first floor in no time. Where more people told us where to go - fourth floor, just past the magazine rack on the left.

Through the maze of money and fine dining we arrived and in typical CM who drinks fashion - I started drinking. I raced to the bar and necked champagne - with Max reminding me sweetly that the party was due to run until one pm, maybe the rush to consume alcohol could be tempered.

Max is a smoker. He is rarely without something burning his fingertips, so we went outside to the smoking area - a small terrace, decorated with bushes up the walls and fancy stone sculptures that actually are cigarette butt bins/ six foot ash trays. we squeezed amongst the glitterati - as this was a party for The Huffington Post, celebrating its first birthday.

Once we had discussed our respective nightmare lives at the moment - it was time to star bother. First up I hassled Cherry Healey - lady who presents that show about the big questions us Mothers have in life - like can we do drugs again, is it better to be married or single, are we addicts, body issues and all stuff that we fret over in these self absorbed times. She was like a sprightly pixie - all fun and sincerity - and we bonded for most of the evening. That was of course, when I wasn't racing to the bar and indulging myself in yet another cocktail. Max, rooted to the fagging area - was hob nobbing between folk he knew, and when I couldn't find him, I decided the easiest thing was to drink both cocktails I was holding. Be a shame to waste them. Did I mention they were lethal? More alcohol than juice - in pretty old champagne style glasses - all sticky and sweet and three gulps and they were gone. So what was the harm in having another one? And maybe another, as I am thirsty, and then oh what the hell, I am out, so what's the big deal? i have only had 3, or was it four, and the champagne, and maybe it was five and..... oh dear.

I bumped into an old presenter chum who married Vanessa Feltz, although when she talked to me - as pleasant as she was, her face wore the expression as if someone in the group had farted and she was trying not to smell it. Her Husband (my old presenting mate) was lovely - all blingy diamond earrings and winning smile. Then I charged over to a woman I recognised from when I first moved to London and it turns out she is the blogging editor of the huff post - she used to write for the NME. Now, I know we talked at length - but I cannot remember I single word - but I vaguely recall setting empty cocktail glasses on top of the bushy things lining the wall - the poor plants drowning in smoke.

As you can tell, I never get out. My painting London red white and blue days are long gone - so perhaps I charged at this event with a bit too much enthusiasm. I suddenly realised it was 11pm and time to go home. So I waved goodbye to Max and staggered out the door - not before I had swept an entire table worth of wrapped iced biscuits into my bag for my work buddies the next day.

Then, well... I don't really remember. I know I got the tube and have a flashback memory of going in the wrong direction. I recall getting on the train to go home - a miracle I even got to the platform - and then thinking - that is it - I am going to be sick. I am pretty positive I made it to the train toilets, and after that it is a blur. A kind woman stroked my hair and promised she would get me home - I remember saying my address over and over again - like I was Dorothy and this would get me home. I had to keep moving seats as I felt so ill and also I was afraid I would fall asleep and wake up in Birmingham or the like.

I jumped into a waiting cab - all the street lamps go off at midnight so it was pitch dark - but somehow I got in my house, shed my clothes the way a snake sheds its skin and curled into bed, hoping not to vom again. Classy to a T.

Next morning.... urhrhrhrhhrhrhhhggghhhhhhh. Not lookin' good. I made Husband drive me to work as I feared I was still over the limit. All my biscuit gifts were smashed to smithereens in my bag - but I handed them out anyway - proof that I had indeed GOT OUT.  I looked horrific. Max texted to say he had had a ball and I left 'abruptly' looking a little worse for the wear.

All in all, a good evening. I think. It might be another year before I GET OUT again. but thankfully a friend found this on line and sent it to me - so I can actually see that I was there - before the cocktails took hold. Folk say there is no such thing as a free bar (or is it lunch?) but in this case, it was. Why on earth I thought I had to drink it dry, is beyond me.