Tag Archives: Sarcasm

glass cracked – water splashed


You cannot possibly know just how far one and a half litres of boiling water can actually stray.

I do.

I acquired this knowledge just this morning.

I am in the process of listening to my body and it told me, that after an eternity of feeling sluggish, what I could probably do with, is some kind of detox.

Now, my mind told me that it could not possibly face the starvation kind.

So I ransacked Pinterest and found a delicious looking recipe for a fat-flushing, kidney-resuscitating kind of drink.

I went to the local supermarket and purchased something for dinner and fat-flushing water additives.

Unfortunately, I’d raided Pinterest somewhat excessively, and I hadn’t actually bothered to write the necessary ingredients for my fat-flushing beverage down. So I got confused and bought a mixture of completely wrong, as in not-fitting-together, fat-flushers. Like ginger instead of mint and mandarins instead of grapefruit – that sort of thing. And I really, really wanted to do it by-the-Pin, because I’m new to the game.

So I found myself scrutinising Pinterest again, with the ingredients that I actually had to hand – I’m not setting foot outside the house again today, unless someone’s life depends on it: the ground is a mixture of ice and snow. I discovered an interesting recipe entitled ‘Ginger Orange Detox Water’. I also found an old orange in the fruit bowl.  Perfect!

I set to work in the kitchen, peeling knobbly ginger. Did I need to peel it? I just assumed so – it didn’t say in the recipe.  And I scrubbed the not-yet-mouldy orange. All good. Then I approached the jug issue.

I took two large glass jugs from the cupboard and tried to remember which one was the 1.5 litre jug and which one was the 1 litre jug. They both have completely different shapes, but I suspected that the one with the handle could hold more liquid than the other one.

I cleverly tested out my theory by filling the handled jug with cold water and pouring it into the other jug. Smugly, I proved myself right.

I then realised that I had a surplus of cold water in the bottom of the handled jug, and the recipe clearly stated to pour boiling water over my ginger. I don’t like to waste water, so I decided to tip the excess into a pot plant in the living room. In my haste, I more splashed than poured, which splattered a good splattering of soil up the living room wall. The dog was useless. She didn’t come anywhere near in an attempt to lick up the mess for me, like she regularly does with spilt coffee or squirted apple juice. No, she just lay in her cosy bed and looked on. And I had to wipe the wall down all by myself.

I raced back to the kitchen, to my peeled ginger and ready-to-be-sliced not-yet-mouldy orange and popped the kettle on.

I did notice that the jug really was quite cold. But I felt, you know, somewhat confident.

I did think, for a brief moment, cold glass jug, mega-hot water, good idea? And I think, that might be why, in hindsight, when I poured the water into the jug, directly after it boiled, I stepped back, hesitantly, from the worktop.

The glass cracked and the water overwhelmed the work surface.

The dog sprinted to my side.

Water cascaded from the counter to the floor. An immense puddle formed and I swathed the whole room in kitchen towel.

You may think that 1.5 litres isn’t much volume, when it’s sitting there all calm and collected, minding its own business, in a glass jug. But when you set it free, be warned, it will take over your kitchen.

It will drip down rapidly filling your drawers. And you will wish, that you had never invested in all that Tupperware. All those pesky lids and lunch boxes, all those freezer tubs that are never stacked, just thrown into the drawer, causing all kinds of calamities: space loss, drawer jams and never being able to find the right lid for the right base at any given time. It will drench your cutlery and you will be forced to completely empty the drawer that you’ve been meaning to ‘clean out’ for yonks. You’ll discover that you have an odd number of chopsticks and 10 medicine spoons when you really only need one. The McDonald’s straw that you kept, pristinely wrapped in it’s paper packet will be soggy and you won’t know what to do with the wrapper because the paper recycling people clearly stated ‘No wet paper’.

You may well make the mistake of wiping the floor first. Unwinding realms of shop’s own kitchen roll that you’d stockpiled during a special offer period, and hurling it at the floor. It may seem like the right thing to do, because the dog is there, looking for a random lick. And you’re not sure there aren’t any tiny pieces of glass lurking in the liquid. And you don’t want to splash through a puddle just to get to the work surface and then traipse moist footprints across the room each time you walk to the bin and back.

Intermittently you might take a desperate shot at the drawers. Ramming in wads of save-the-kitchen roll.

But it will all be pointless. As you’ll realise when you come face to face with the onslaught on the tabletop.

A thin layer of water covers everything.  You’ll end up yelling at your cheap-buy kitchen roll because it has no soaking power whatsoever. The lake on the tabletop will remain steady and sure.

The water will have swamped everything. Except for, that is, the plant in need of water on the windowsill. You will have to dry the kettle base out for the upcoming year to make absolutely sure there are absolutely no dangers of electric shocks in the near future.

You will swish and swash the water towards the bread and away from the bread in a desperate attempt to mop the surface. It won’t make any difference. And when you finally pick up the bread, you’ll discover yet another puddle underneath.

Then you’ll be horrified to spot medication. Floating in the pond. You’ll let out a shriek and start to pray that your daughter’s brand new inhaler is still fully functioning and not now a muggy, chemical clog.

Next to it you’ll spot a packet of fallen-from-the-shelf travel sickness tablets and you’ll pop them, merrily, on the hot radiator. In full-on rescue mode. You will regret this later. When you double check the instructions which read: “Do not store over 25°C.” And you will have to throw them away.

The Italian biscuits you’ve been savouring since Christmas, as a treat for your coffee, will bathe themselves in water and you’ll wish you’d pursued the match-the-Tupperware-parts test instead of clipping the packet haphazardly closed.

You may choose to rescue your freshly peeled ginger, and without too much consideration, pop it into a random glass in the glass cupboard. This moment will come back to haunt you. While you’re still deliberating if the ginger is a safe-to-consume, glass-splinter-free zone, and thus forgetting leaving the ginger in the said glass, in the said cupboard, you will face a barrage of questions in the  ‘Why is there ginger in a glass in the cupboard, mum?’ test later on. Questions such as:

  • Does it keep flies away?
  • Are you trying to make the glass taste of ginger?
  • Does the flavour intensify when it’s sitting out?

The Fairy liquid bottle, will, by this time, be spawning its own bubbles and as you see them grow; you may have a flashback to that time you first tried to utilise a twin tub.

You left the twin tub on, all alone and on returning found the room completely filled with bubbles. You had to call your flatmate’s mother to come and assist you to de-bubble the room.

You’ll wipe the tabletop and mop your brow and then notice your already cleaned floor is totally wet again.

You’ll realise at this point that you are very much in need of reinforcements. Coffee and a biscuit. So you’ll open the cutlery drawer, automatically, and discover, that the bloody thing is full of saturated kitchen roll and even more water. You’ll end up dismantling the built in cutlery tray and finding an overflow of water underneath. Which is snaking its way into the plastic crap drawer below. You will be forced, by water, to empty out each bit of not-so-fantastic plastic, and wish, that’s what you’d just have done earlier. You’ll have to wash and dry: all of the lids, all of the lunch boxes, the snack cups, the water bottles, the tumblers, the not-stacked stackable freezer boxes and the picnic plates.

Then you’ll have to re-mop the floor.

There is only one happy moment in this sad story: the moment you’ll realise that 1.5l of water could not stray as far as the carousel cupboard. With all it’s flour and sugar and teabags. 

You’ll sigh a relieved sigh, salvage your Italian biscuits and listen to your body – which says: gorge.

 

They bloody lied to me, life does not begin at forty!


So this is my present state of play. Just in case you should want to know it.

Starting from my scalp:

My scalp is somewhat tight because in an effort to keep my hair away from my neck (you’ll learn more about that later), I have bundled my crows nest fake auburn tresses upon the top of my head. My saving grace, in that department, is that I have a bright, shiny, new scrunchy, which really is something to get excited about when you have four kids and are a little more than forty years old.

I look a little like a scarecrow.

With extra straw.

Following downwards my brain is stuffed. Not with the lovely brains and wisdom of my fully spent youth. But with good old fashioned snot. Lots of it. I’ve tried blowing it out. I’ve tested setting it free with a nasal spray. I’ve attempted to shower it out with a nasal irrigation device, but at best, I only dripped. I’ve even done my utmost to pump it into oblivion with a special sinus attachment for my nebuliser; but to no avail.

So my head? It hurts. Somewhat.

My eyes are actually fine. Well, with the exception that I need to take my glasses off in order to see something that’s right there in front of my face.

I’ve discovered, on kissing my husband goodnight, that he is indeed quite a handsome fellow.

My nose is very dry. And bright red.

I have recently heard the name Rudolph being brandished about…

My skin is peeling, especially on my face. It seems to be some kind of wicked side effect to my immune suppressants. I’ve plateaued at a kind of flaky-old-lady with a chaffed look niveau.

I have attempted to replenish the skin with various lotions and potions but my now immune suppressed body reacts with a fiery, burning wrath rash when I do so. So, I’ve resolved to stay flaky and remember back to yesteryear when it seemed, somehow, like being called flaky was some kind of compliment.

My neck. Ah yes my neck.

Yesterday, it was fine. Although my shoulder was attempting to be a little troublesome…

Then this morning, it complained (a lot) that I had slept wrongly in my bed.

I gently turned it this way and that. I told it, that we were finally out of bed and that, really, it doth protest too much. I promised it a nice warm scarf and a massage.

Then I sneezed.

One almighty sneeze.

And ever since that moment, I have looked like someone shoved a plank up my back as I can now only manoeuver with my whole body when turning to my right.

Hence then my crows nest; it’s the only possible way to stand a chance of the heat patch glue actually staying glued to my neck. That and the quadruple insulation scarf I have wrapped seventeen times around it.

My shoulders are now okay. Ish.

But my lungs? Well, er, let’s keep it short and just say they are competing on the whole mucus front thing.

Glad tidings from my throat though, considering how much I’ve been coughing, my throat is feeling fine. I suspect that’s down to the incredible volume of onion juice and honey I’ve been knocking back.

A little point of interest: my boobs are south facing. South facing!! How did that happen?

Fuck!

Anyway, my hips, ah yes, my left hip twinges. You got it: Twinges.

And my stomach, well, it feels a little nauseous, but, to be honest I’m putting that down to the incredible volume of onion juice and honey I’ve been knocking back.

My lovely Crohn’s bowel? It loves immune suppressants (in stark contrast to every other body part I own) so it’s absolutely fine and dandy.

Though, (and this information I only normally give out on a need to know basis), my bottom cheeks are continuously clenched together, nowadays, in an attempt to maintain a grip on my bloody grapevine otherwise known as my piles.

My left knee is trying to convince doctors that I was some kind of heroic sportswoman, with a pretty array of meniscus tears. But I’ve told them, quite emphatically, I generally stuck to gentle walking. Albeit I did tend to cover large distances, seeing as I am a woman and not a feminist one at that. Therefore, I can freely admit that I cannot park. Not to save myself. Which in turn means that I have always had to abandon my vehicle in the largest possible space I could find. Of course, that then has always happened to be the space that is furthest away from my desired destination. And I also have a tendency to forget where I parked my car, in that good old flaky spirit of mine, so that has, on many occasions led to some gentle strolling too. Not gentle on the nerves, mind you. There was, at times, quite a lot of shouting. And some swearing too. But I doubt that either of those things would have affected my left knee.

And while I’m bearing my soul; my right knee is sympathizing.

Which I don’t need.

I’m quite capable of feeling sorry for my left knee all by myself.

Don’t be thinking that I’m body-sidist, but what on earth is going on with my left foot?

It has some strange lump on it that doctors insist on poking, with an unnecessary fury and injecting concoctions into which has not improved matters in the least.

But the good news is: we live in modern times.

I joked with my daughter, the other day, “By the time you bury me I’ll be half plastic.”

My husband, who apparently still loves me, despite my decrepit frame, retorted, “Titanium, you’ll be made of titanium, it lasts longer.”

After I recovered from his unusual interlude of romanticism, my first thought was, “Wow, I’ll be the one setting off all the alarms at the airport!”

Then I had a little premonition. I realised, long before my own death, exactly what song will play out at my funeral:

Titanium!

“I am titanium……”

I’ve made the decision, now it’s just the sticking to it


Friday, really was a truly hilarious day.

One of those days in fact, when you just think: It doesn’t get better than this.

It went along something like this:

I thought I had it covered. I had a list and everything.

Really. I started off in a nice relaxed mood this morning, as my husband took my son to the clinic for me, in order to have him weighed and pick up his new prescription. He’s not a baby. He’s 12. But apparently he needs to be popped on the scales so we can be given the drugs that stop him climbing out of windows and unhanging doors and unscrewing toilet seats and stashing empty, moulding milk cartons in his wardrobe and hiding homework in random bushes. My son has severe ADHD, you see.

It wasn’t enough to be popped on the scales in 19 days at his next actual appointment. The receptionist said that he needs to come in today.

I have a deep fondness for receptionists.

Anyway, I felt confident this morning. And very excited. Though somewhat nervous. Especially given that I have four children and I regularly spend oodles of time with receptionists.

You see, I have finally come to my decision, I have signed up to NaNoWriMo.

The whole signing up caused me so much giddiness this morning that I began the day by pouring milk into the sugar bowl, instead of onto my cereal.

No matter. I rinsed it out and giggled gleefully.

I checked off my updated list ‘rinse milk out of sugar bowl’ and called the eye doctor.

You guessed right. I wanted to grab an earful have a chat with another receptionist. I’ve been collecting styes again. Thanks to my immune suppressants.

Unfortunately, she refused to reply so I had to settle with ‘attempt to buy shoes for two children’.

I bundled an array of legs and elbows into the car and proceeded to drive right past the shoe shop. Toward the eye doctor, in fact.

I turned the car around and chuckled to alarmed used-to-it legs and elbow owners (I did try to blame it on the book) and managed to buy gym shoes for one child.

My list had included a plan to purchase ingredients for and prepare in advance a few healthy meals, to ease my duties in November.

On tasting I discovered, however, that I’d forgotten to put the beans in the minestrone and I’d left the carrot and orange soup stockless.

Then my helpful teenager chopped the tomatoes but left them on the tabletop instead of popping them into the pasta sauce with the rest of the ingredients.

It bubbled away for its full 45 minutes before I actually managed to notice.

But still, determined, I ploughed on making a lovely tomato tart except the pastry refused to be separated from the buttered flan dish so I found myself forced into chilling it for tomorrow instead of freezing it for next month.

Meanwhile my generous five-year old shovelled out the chilli.

I attempted again to call the eye doctor but as it turns out he’s off on holiday for just over a week. Not enamoured at the thought of yet another pusy eye I decided to contact my GP. Well you know what I mean. His receptionist.

I got through but for the life of me I couldn’t remember the name of my stye prescription so she insisted I call the chemist where I regularly pick up my eye drops.

Naturally, I called the wrong chemist who had no idea whatsoever what I was blabbering on about.

But at least she kindly gave me the number for my actual pharmacist.

As it turns out I still don’t know my German letters properly (even though I have lived here for a full eight years) so I had to ask a couple of times, then wrote down z’s and f’s and y’s where there were absolutely none.

I tried to call the receptionist back, but she’d intermittently had the cheek to take another call, so the line, naturally was engaged. I hung around, with all the time in the world, recooking sauces and burning my tongue off in the chilli comparison test.

A few minutes later she answered my call and I listed out z’s and f’s and y’s where there absolutely were none and she refused to give me any medicine. With hindsight I’m pleased. What if it had been the name of a real medication for vaginal warts or something and I’d have glooped it into my eye?

I apologised profoundly for being an idiot foreigner and I called the chemist all over again.

I explained, you know, that I’m an idiot foreigner and that although this is now my home country I can’t even get the alphabet right and she took mercy on me and offered to spell out the name again.

Cleverly I had intercepted my own stupidity and I had asked the internet what possible medications could be offered to me by my friendly chemist.

The internet had given me a multiple choice of answers but with the help of the lovely lady and one non-pusy eye I managed to work out which medication I should take.

I called the engaged receptionist.

Finally, I spoke to her. I thanked her for her patience and lack of dispensation of vaginal wart cream and she sympathetically offered to have the prescription ready in half an hour.

I told her that although I couldn’t wait for our next meeting, I actually could because I needed to find beans for the minestrone and pick up my sons ADHD medication.

When I finally returned home, I opened my sons pills to see they had only given us enough to last us for 12.5 days. Even though our next appointment isn’t for 19 days.

Better still, we must order the tablets four whole days before we need them.

I started to clean and prepare for tomorrow’s lesson with my new student. I looked forward to making ‘novel notes’.

Then the phone rang.

Head lice alert.

I spent the following two hours dragging a bloody nit comb through conditioned hair.

I’m happy to report those two wasted hours that thorough search revealed not a single louse in the house.

I live the high life, I tell you.

The Health Notice


In recent years I’ve been diagnosed as ‘possible Crohn’s’ to ‘probable Crohn’s’ to ‘perhaps Crohn’s’ to ‘positively Crohn’s’.

It’s been a somewhat winding road and, I think, in some ways that hasn’t been a bad thing. At first, I was just relieved that I wasn’t suffering from ‘probable or positive bowel cancer’ (up there with best Christmas presents of all time). Then, quite quickly,  I shifted right over into denial, which, truth be told could have challenged the behaviour of any unruly teen (NO! I DO NOT HAVE CROHN’S! I REFUSE TO HAVE CROHN’S! SOD OFF WITH YOU!!!) Slowly, I wandered toward acceptance. OK, with the odd, ‘I think I’ve magically recovered’ moment.

Now I have a new doctor, and a full diagnosis, and although I wouldn’t exactly describe myself as delighted, I am OK with the diagnosis.

But then I started having issues with my joints. Particularly in my fingers.

It’s made typing difficult and that’s one of the reasons I’m hardly writing at the moment.

The great news is that the good doc is filling me up with medicine which should tell my immune system to take a break and stop attacking my bowel and my joints.

As you can imagine I squealed, “Yippee!” And handed over the arm that already looks like a pin cushion to test and retest and retest (many times again) my blood. Note to world: if you need an extra to play the role of a junkie in your next film/TV show/play – I’m your girl.

It will take three months or so before I’ll know if it’s working but so far I can report that: my five-year old has stopped asking if I’m pregnant (as my tummy only looks empty or full and not as if someone rammed a punch balloon in through my belly button), and the instances of a numb bum and the consequential funny walk that could impress John Cleese, have been significantly reduced by curtailed toilet sitting.

But my fingers are still rebelling against me.

I’ve informed them though: this is 2012, if the drugs don’t work, I can always resort to dictation software!

P.S. Please don’t worry about me getting bored. Immune suppressants really do what they say on the box. They wreck suppress your immune system. I am constantly being entertained. Todays new illness: a stye. (Can you hear me whooping?)

Cast your vote!


Sweden, my favourite, flew through the finish line and won last night’s Eurovision Song Contest.

I loved her song, her dancing, her look and her braveness to stay honest and speak up for human rights issues.

The contest, despite being another political hotbed, entertained us with magnificent illuminations and as always, interesting dance routines.

We sat down, as a family, with our score sheets and pens, some of us on pillows on the floor (there are too many of us, we can’t all fit on the sofa, it was OK when their bums were smaller, but they keep on eating, and thus growing). We agreed to: 3 if we loved them, 2 if they were quite good, 1 if the performance reached a mere OK and 0 if it was bloody awful.

It seemed like quite an easy-to-grasp score system to me.

But this house is full of rebels and when I quizzed around about how many points they’d allocated after each performance, minus numbers and decimal places started to creep in. Then during Macedonia’s entry the five-year old abandoned scoring altogether and attempted to write ‘evil’ in the total score section.

These were the high/lowlights for us:

  • The female presenters took the opportunity to show us the entire contents of their wardrobes. While the man advertised his ability to take on as his next job a toothpaste commercial: he grinned constantly from ear to ear.
  • What on earth are we British thinking? The Hump? Someone on the selection committee needs to be fired. Scrap that. The whole committee needs to go! There are so many brilliant artists in the UK. Shame on you!!
  • Albania entertained us with a shrieker who had one of her dreadlocks glued to her chest like some kind of serpent. She was my husbands favourite?!?
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina had the five-year old in a tizzy, I quote, “To me, her dress is stunning!”
  • The Russian grannies were brilliant.
  • Italy provided a pretty good singer but her downfall may have been that she dressed up as Amy Winehouse.
  • We were highly entertained by Greece’s chorus, “You make me dance, dance like a maniac. You make me want your aphrodisiac.” (We don’t get out much).
  • The Turkish group impressed us with their ability to make boats from capes.
  • Spain said they couldn’t afford to win then taunted us with a stunning voice of Pastora Soler. They should really have taken tips from Ireland. I so hope that is the very last we see of catastrophe known as Jedward.
  • I suspect that Ukraine’s ecstatic dancers had a wild time with Denmark’s euphoric drummer at the after show party.

Were you one of the 125 million viewers? Did you enjoy the show? Which county were in receipt of your “douze points”? What were your high/lowlights?

Bandaged from the shower


Now, I’m not completely repulsive. Please bear that in mind when you read the next line.

Today, I finally managed to have a shower.

I’d bathed on Sunday in an attempt to curb the swelling.

That had not worked.

Then I was bandaged up by the emergency doctor.

My bandages were changed three times a day by people with varying bandaging techniques.

And on each change, no one mentioned the elephant in the room. The distinct odour hovering around my body parts.

As I said,  I’m not a complete minger. (Scots to English translation: totally disgusting person, sorry, I just couldn’t find a better word). I had scraped around with the flannel at every opportunity. I had doused myself in deodorant. Seriously. There were children choking. But neither can compare with a hot shower pounding against your skin.

No one refers to it. When you’re being bandaged up. The doctors don’t tell you how to climb in the bath without the use of your feet. Neither do they blow the whistle on how you conjure up super-powers, and stand up long enough to take a shower, when you can hardly stagger from the sofa to the loo.

In plain simple English: you are left to stink.

So, my wound being closed now (although I still have to adorn my legs with bright yellow antiseptic three times daily until Sunday, and I’m still going around with mummy legs), and my ability to stand up having immensely improved, I stepped into the most delicious shower and attempted to soap myself with my ‘new’ Naomi Campbell body lotion.

I say new, the bottle was in truth, part of a gift given to me for my birthday two years ago, by my son. He’d charmed the shop assistant while buying the perfume and had been given it for free.

I know all of this because he was so pleased with himself, he’d felt the need to give a full and frank account of the whole shopping experience.

I will admit that part of his character does come from my side.

I do exactly the same to my husband.

“I got you this present! And it’s especially cool because I got it for half price!”

I’m always more impressed in a gift that’s been a right old bargain. But my husband? He seems, somehow, less dazzled?!?

It took me some time to start using the Naomi Campbell body lotion because I’m often given shower and bath commodities as presents. I assure myself it’s because I have quite a lot of these bandaged up incidents. On top of that, if I’m honest, I’m not Naomi Campbell’s biggest fan.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think she’s pretty. In actual fact, I would say she’s one of the prettiest models I know of. Not that I know of many, as I’m not particularly interested in models. Quite probably because I have a serious deficit in the facial recognition area of my brain. I once watched the best part of a film, completely confused because I couldn’t tell Leo Dicaprio apart from Jason Bourne. I thought that only one of them was in it and the plot, thus, made no sense whatsoever.

But his bloody name isn’t Jason Bourne is it? *off to check Wikipedia* Matt Damon, that’s it.

Where was I? Ah, yes. Naomi.

In all truth, I went off her when she found herself unable to decide between wearing and not wearing fur. And her subsequent behaviour hasn’t helped her case.

So, should I have been the purchaser, I would have wandered off to another shelf and not even taken a whiff of the perfume that had her name sprawled all over it.

But the perfume was bought by my son. At a reduced price, he’d excitedly informed me. And then to top that, this tube of body lotion happened to be thrown in for free.

*Truth be told, the perfume actually smells quite nice and my son’s always pleased when I wear ‘his’ scent.*

This morning during my delicious shower I washed and conditioned my hair. Then squeezed some of the content of the Naomi Campbell tube onto my normally very effective bath lily and attempted to lather it up.

My first thought was, “This is one really crap shower gel!”

My second thought was, “It’s more like a body lotion than a shower gel.”

Then some kind of bell clanged in my head.

I removed the bottle from the shelf, held it two centimeters from my nose, as is needed without the use of artificial lenses, and deciphered B O D Y  L O T I O N.

Luckily my face couldn’t turn any pinker and even if it could have, no one could have seen it through all the steam anyway.

A Monster Challenge


I have to make this update short. For two reasons.

The first is this beautiful bamboo:

Isn’t it gorgeous?

NOT!

Well OK, it was until yesterday. Until yesterday, we were so proud of something growing so beautifully in our garden. So proud, for once, that our black fingers had turned green…

Then yesterday, after a colleague had planted a niggling suspicion in my husband’s mind, we went to the garden center to find out exactly what type of bamboo it is.

The colleague had told my husband scary stories of bamboo taking over the garden and the neighbour’s garden. Of it murdering other plants in gardens of those with green fingers. And of it requiring a digger to come to separate it from the earth it had now taken over.

My husband had gulped. Sweated a little. And had needed a caffeine hit to calm his sudden nervous disposition.

The little voice echoing around in his head kept telling him that we have black and not green fingers. And despite that, our bamboo had been thickening and growing taller and looking generally well.

Plus there was a strange root growing diagonally out of the vegetable patch which he’d discovered belonged to the bamboo.

We went to the garden center, me full of annoying optimism and my man with his glass half empty.

I encouraged, “Our fingers have turned green!” With no real evidence. The pampas grass has been cut but has no green shoots. The marguerite is brown. Every pot of anything we put on the front step as a ‘welcome’ withers and dies.

And just in case you’re not convinced that we’re completely clueless at gardening: last year I planted wild meadow flowers in the little piece of soil we put beside the front door. I placed a rocking bird there to frighten birds away from eating the seed. The great metal thing kept being carried off it’s stand in the wind and ended up being driven over by a neighbour. As at times happens to real birds. The seeds did grow. I couldn’t, in fact, figure out why they grew so tall. It seemed as if they were making their way up to the kitchen window in an attempt at blocking out all daylight.

But I digress.

Our first trip to the garden center yesterday saw us panicking rather more when the garden-know-it-all informed us that, from our description, it could indeed be that we had the garden suffocating variety.

My husband (generally of good humour) asked if we should dig up the beast and put some kind of plastic don’t-let-your-roots-wander-beyond-this-place device in the hole and replant the pretty green bush into it.

The man looked into our inexperienced souls and cracked up. It turns out we’re hilarious. It turns out we could make a concrete hole and that wouldn’t stop the beast. It turns out, this gentleman has insider knowledge of one monstrous bamboo who burst in right through a family bathroom.

Now at this point, I forgot that I’m an optimist and I joined my husband in a state of complete panic. Because we, garden numpties, had planted the house-wrecker right next to the house. And the terrace for that matter.

See:

We drove home. Slightly erratically. With a running commentary from the back seat by an ADHD boy full of ‘good’ ideas.

We returned to the center a few minutes later with a cutting, as suggested by our possible saviour.

I think, there may have been a slight glint in his eye as he identified the branch and delivered the bad news.

We drove to the DIY store in haste and purchased a pick axe and a wheelbarrow. But we couldn’t start digging it up last night because darkness was already approaching and we need to make sure we get every single last bit of root out, according to our hero.

The second reason I have to hurry with this update is: my ADHD son is on new medication. I’m sure it’s just not in his system properly yet. I had to send him outside to burn off some energy as he was somewhat penetrating.

And I’ve just discovered he’s tied a rope to the bamboo in an attempt to begin the excavation…

So, films watched:

  • The guard: brill.
  • 30 Minutes or less: cool.
  • Flypaper: great.
  • Xmen first class: good.

I’ve also helped at AD’s school with the healthy snack. I had to prepare enough food for 70 kids. Apart from the panic over whether it would be enough food, I really enjoyed it. So much so, I’ve agreed to do it again!

I’ve also been floating which I can only recommend. It’s good for your back and skin and makes you feel very well rested. Afterwards, I felt quite energetic for about two weeks!!

And last night, I left my man sweating the bamboo situation out on his own. I took my eldest, Joni to a rock concert, put on locally by a very good cover band. We had a great evening, boogieing the night away. So much so, (I’m a wild dancer ;-)) that I have aching muscles all over this morning.

And now I need to save the garden save the house save the world dig up a monster.

Please take a moment and welcome four new challengers:

Makes Me Wander

Believe Anyway

whyyyjen (who gets the award for putting her list together in the quickest time!!)

workingberlinmum

Me! Me! Me me me!

She should be fired…


It’s ridiculous!

We really need a new housekeeper around here.

The current one is constantly sidetracked by blogs and stories and challenges and taking the children to feed the ducks.

She doesn’t want to do homework. She keeps forgetting to load the dishwasher and the tabletop is now filling up. She’s given up on ironing completely unless the occasion specifies “wedding” or “christening”. And to be quite honest, the mountain in the washroom is taking its toll on the quantity of fresh underwear available.

She drinks more than her earned share of coffee and now has her eye on a pair of expensive shoes.

The gentleman of the house keeps calm, regardless of her blatant overuse of pizza as a healthy meal substitute. He even politely asks after the possible availability of matching socks in the near future.

She hangs her jacket over the chair despite walking past the coat rack on entering the house.

She locks the car three times then promptly abandons her keys. And then has the cheek to ask all household members to help her look for them. Before she taxis fetches carries drives off into the sunset.

She ‘forgets’ to mow the grass and when she’s reminded she complains about the lawnmower running away from her on that tiny bit of a hill.

She frequently knocks over random dustbins.

She can’t carve a chicken, even though she’s knocking loudly on the door of forty.

And she’s totally, bloody useless when it comes to taking out the bins.

But worst of all, she’s easily bribed into giving the children sweets.

All they have to do is say, “Would you like a Twix, mum?”

A statistical analysis


Tilly and I have been doing our challenges for a whole year!!

How time flies!!

Can you remember that slightly panicky post I wrote? No?

OK, I’m going to ‘reblog’ it and then check out how I’m actually getting on. (This is a discovery process for both you and me).

Originally posted on 22.04.2011:

Not to worry you or anything, but I thought I’d have a breakdown break down the lovely tasks I’ve set myself, into easily manageable numbers and see exactly where I’m at.

The challenge states 101 tasks in 1001 days, and I have 973 days remaining.

I have so far completed 1 task.

I still have to find 25 tasks. But, of the 76 tasks I’ve already set myself, 17 are not singular events.

So, actually, I still need to:

  • Blog 291 times (after this)
  • Maintain the list 31 times
  • Go to the gym 99 times
  • Attend 3 classes at the gym
  • Go swimming 28 times
  • Try 26 new recipes
  • Buy 5 new cookery books
  • Find 5 delicious wines
  • Introduce 3 people to sushi
  • Eat at 10 new restaurants
  • Read 3 German novels
  • Watch 94 films
  • Date my hubby 32 times
  • Do 4 car boots sales with the children
  • Date 2 of my daughters 12 times (so 24)
  • Home therapy with my son 52 times

This adds up to 710 events.

In the remaining 973 days.

Breathe.

OK. No. Wait. Because that only covers 17 of the tasks.

There are also 59 singular tasks.

And then, as I said before, 25 tasks are still to be found.

If I average out those 710 events through the 17 tasks I can round that up to 42 events per task.

Furthermore, if 17 of the 101 tasks are more than singular events, (which equates to around every 6th task), through the law of averages, I would expect that approximately 4 of the remaining 25 tasks to be found, would also be multi-eventers.

And if each of these 4 tasks then, took the previous average of 42 then I would expect to add another 168 events to the challenge.

Pant. Pant. Pant. BREATHE.

Where were we?

Erm… yes, 710 events plus another 168. So 878 events.

What?

No. Sorry… Incorrect.

I have not added on the already selected 59 singular tasks previously mentioned.

878 + 59 = 937

Gulp.

But, oh… Silly me. I still have to allow that 21 of the 25 remaining tasks would also, by the law of averages, be singular challenges.

So: 937 + 21 = 958 8O

ARGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Therefore, I’m faced with 958 events to be completed in 973 days.

If you are considering joining our challenge, please don’t let this deter you, after all I still have 15 wholedays left (if I succeed in 1 event per day) to: find another 33 Facebook fans, achieve another 13 flags on flag counter and another 56 countries, notch up another 42,875 hits on my stats counter and to donate 77,410 grains of rice.

The really good news is: I never did like cleaning. :-D

OK. Let’s see if I can work this out.

I only have to find 7 more tasks. (That’s a good start.) (Can you tell my glass is always half full?)

Today is day 367. That means I’m over a third way through, timewise. So, technically I should have completed more than 33 challenges. I have completed 22 but I don’t think that proves I’m behind schedule, as I’m in the middle of many tasks.

So far I’ve also:

  • blogged 119 times putting me well above my third of 303 times target.
  • maintained the list 13 times, also on target then (13/33).
  • chopped going to the gym and replaced it with 1001km on the cross trainer. I’m definitely behind there because of problems with my knee…
  • swam 30 times? I’ve managed 5 trips to the pool. Who on Earth came up with 30 as a target?
  • dreamt I’ve been swimming, does that count?
  • tested new recipes out on my family. 😀 I am a success. 25 out of 30.
  • bought all 5 of the cookery books. Well, one was given as a present. And I’ve convinced 1 person to go with me to try sushi. It turns out, I have make two new friends who have never tried sushi because apparently, I’d already introduced all of my old friends to sushi before I had started the challenge. I actually need new friends. I’ve annoyed all the old ones by continually asking them if they have tried sushi. None of them pick up the phone any more. I even heard a rumour that some of them have renamed me as ‘The Sushi Nag’ on their handset instead.
  • found 0 delicious new wines. And I have been trying. OK, OK, I admit I have been sneaking back to the old wines…
  • upped the restaurants to 30. Which completely wrecks all of my statistics. But I have so far managed 15 of them.
  • I’m not doing well with the German novels…
  • watched 48 films. Without sleeping on my husband’s shoulder.
  • steadfastly stuck to dating my husband every month. We’re single-handedly keeping our local restaurant open. We’ve been there 12 times and 1 time we went to a Murder Mystery Dinner.
  • not achieved a single boot sale and I’m behind on Joni’s dates (the girl is so busy, she never has any time) so we have a measly 4 there, therefore I’m thinking of starting Lori’s dates before I finish Joni’s.
  • managed 2 therapy sessions with Aden.

Now for the maths.

In the last statistical post I informed you I still had to complete 958 events in 973 days. However, since then I added 20 new restaurants. Taking that total up to 978 events in 973 days.

Gulp.

Hang on, wait a minute!! I ‘chopped’ the gym. That means a reduction of 3 classes and 99 trips to the gym.

So, 978 – 102 = 876 events in total.

And since then I’ve completed a total of *fumbles for calculator*

250 events. Plus 22 tasks. So 272.

Oh no. Just a sec.

Some had already been accounted for in the previous statistics, such as 4 new recipes and 7 watched films. I need to juggle my figures.

So. Magically (just like that) (don’t ask me about my methods, I’m only 31.763% sure they work) I find I have to take 28 already credited events and 1 credited completed task from the previous 272 total. 😦
Thus 272 – 29 = 243

So, since April last year I’ve managed to complete 243 events.

Now for the moment of truth.

Are you sitting comfortably? Do you have a glass of celebratory fizzy wine prepared?

In order to be on track I need to have completed one third of the 876 events.

876 ÷ 3 = (drumroll) (sorry) 292.

Shit.

Vodka anyone?

*I knew I shouldn’t have cleaned the bloody house*

It could even be a snail fail


Akasha, has today, learned a new word: Stau.

Translated into English, that means traffic jam.

We live in a village on the outskirts of town. We’re so near to town, in fact, we can normally hop in the car and be smack bang in the middle of the city centre in 15 minutes.

Yep, that’s right. You read 15 minutes.

I want to make that absolutely clear. I don’t want you to feel confused by the next paragraph. I don’t want you to have to scroll back up to the top of this post and have to start reading it all over again and waste your precious time (because time is precious, you know, normally it rushes by in a flash, a blink of the eye, some 24 hours feel like a mere 24 minutes when I look back over them at the end of the day, unless that is, I’ve been stuck in a bloody traffic jam).

My journey today took 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Now, let’s put that into perspective. My plan had been to take a quick trip into town and pick up a new thumbwheel compass for the chaotic one, who, naturally, had lost hers. She’d also managed to lose the overhead projector film her teacher had given her for her upcoming presentation, so that, too, needed to be replaced. But most importantly, she wanted to borrow a book for the said presentation from her big sisters work place, the central library.

So, three kids and I jumped into the car, blissfully unaware.

I say “blissfully”. But, truth be told, there was no bliss involved.

We didn’t exactly skip into the car.

The boy had to be dragged away from a kick about with the neighbours kids and forced to wear a jacket. The littlest one had to be blackmailed with a re-energising snack after a stressful day of nursery, gymnastics, a long walk to and from gymnastics, playing in the garden and imagining a slug on her foot. The chaotic one had spent the afternoon trying to be unchaotic and had been waiting for ages. Actually, it was ages. The boy-child had been delayed on the way home from school by “having to stand still in the street for some time…”

So, we finally left. In a rush. In rush hour.

Why do we call it that?

No one at all appeared to be in a rush. The children even remarked that the snails were overtaking us.

As a matter of fact, there were several helpful comments throughout the standstill, such as:

“That man’s smoking in that van!!!”

“He’s allowed to smoke. It’s his van.”

“The cars in that lane seem to be going faster!!”

“I’m hungry!!”

“Everywhere will be closed by the time we get there.”

“I could just get out and walk from here.”

“We could just leave getting my book today.”

At this point, I should probably inform you that ALL of the other products could have been easily purchased near my home. Where, I can also tell you: THERE WAS NO TRAFFIC JAM.

*Around that point, the lady driver flipped. She imagined leaving the stationary vehicle, kneeling in the road and weeping with full force. Only the fact that one of her knees no longer folds properly without much complaint, held her back. Instead she started to rant darkly. All of the children apologised for their mere existence and zipped their mouths. Then the smallest one took the opportunity for a power nap.*

Finally, we arrived at our desired car park, launched the book-borrower in the direction of the library, and I rallied myself with the thought that: at least none of the weak-bladdered-club had announced they needed a wee.

I locked the car three times but forgot to look where I parked it, then hot footed it with a rejuvenated five-year old and a babbling boy to the library. There we did a lovely fitness workout, running up and down the stairs between all six floors in an effort to reassemble our family before the building emptied and locked its doors in the remaining fifteen minutes before closing time.

Books were found and stamped. The family was reunited and we had one minute to leave the premises. Then the littlest, sparkliest one of us decided that after all, she needed to pee.

Hygiene issues rectified, we headed to the nearest still-open department store to replace all of the chaotic one’s latest lost items. I rambled on how I still had to go food shopping, cook, iron the little one’s clothes for the photographer coming to nursery tomorrow, put on some washing, and try to work out exactly how much food I would need to prepare for the Healthy Eating campaign I’m taking part in on Friday.

Then the fourth child, who’d now joined us after finishing work, realised that she’d lost the brand new flask I’d bought for her sister YESTERDAY.

*The lady driver re-emerged. She could be described as somewhat hysterical at this point. She threatened to empty the crisp notes she’d just replenished from her regularly bled-dry purse all over the pavement. Her erratic arm movements only subsided when all four children solemnly promised to hand over the money for objects lost within the first year of their purchase. She had another jerky moment and a slightly screechy voice when her son offered, once again, to empty his bank account and hand over all of his cash to alleviate the crisis. She also refused to accept his generosity in the form of going without lunch forever or gifting his own flask to a sibling. Squawks could be heard to the tune of, “Please, just look after your stuff!” Sensing the desperation of the situation, all passers-by reacted by giving the family a very wide berth.*

**Mother has now retired for the evening. She has drunken the best part of a vottle of bodka. The dwess remains unrioned and shopping is schill to be dun.**