Monday, 22 December 2008

A different Christmas...

Well. The kids went to their dads on Friday. Being grown-ups and very mature...ahem, we split the holidays in two. One week with dad and one with me. Last year I had the kids for Christmas day, and he had them for new year. This year, its me for new years and him for Christmas. On the face of it, this is a sensible way to ensure that the kids get a share of both parents, fairly and without feeling torn. Intellectually, I get it. Emotionally I am a wreck on Christmas eve and into Christmas day. I miss my children terribly. I feel lost and unanchored, cut adrift. A mother, without a child to mother. I will see them for a couple of hours on Christmas day - my ex lives a short drive away and like me, shares his time with the children without complaint.

I am blessed in so many ways - health and a heavily mortgaged roof over my head. My kids are fit and well and, so far, well balanced. But there is an ache in my heart when I wake up without them. I cannot imagine what it must be like to loose a child.

So as I wander round my house on Thursday I will give myself a stern talking to and say a prayer for the McCanns and all those other parents who are without their children this year. I will jump in the car, whizz over to the ex's house and rejoice in the knowledge that my children are safe, happy and well. I'll bury my face in my son's mop of blonde curls and smell his wonderful, 9 year old smell - a mix of baby shampoo and newly discovered hair gel.... and I'll embrace my beautiful 15 year old daughter and marvel that this beautiful creature was once part of me, and at some angles, looks just like me, albeit taller, better groomed ....and far more sophisticated at 15 than I ever was.

I will raise a glass with my ex, our eyes will meet and we will silently rejoice in our children and thank god for their existence. The pain and anguish of the divorce is forgotten in that moment as we celebrate these two amazing creatures that we created. Then I'll jump back in to the car, and roar off to the pub, where I'll share a festive glass or 3 with the man I love, who rescued me after my divorce, and head home to doze with him in front of the telly and indulge in , not turkey and all the trimmings...but olives, dark chocolate and chilled fizz ....heaven!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Ok. The Halloween disco didn't happen for all sorts of reasons....mostly me, being the chair, not organising the bloody thing in time. So we are 2 months into the school year and around £500 down on our cash raising target. God, Catholic schools...no wonder the Church is a global force...hmm. On a positive note, I've finally given up the chairs position....someone actually volunteered to take on the mantle! Hillarious - I gave in gracefully and mentally legged it out the door. However,I have, against my better judgement, agreed to stay on as a year 5 parent rep. The new chair is quite mad and desperate to (and I quote...) "TRAILBLAZE NEW FUNDING AVENUES!!" Her capitalisation, my exclaimation marks.....ooh, lots of future blog posts here I feel....!

We had our first committee meeting tonight. How can 6 adults spend over an hour arguing over charging £2.50 or (HORRORS!!! )£3 for a visit to Santa and a free photo? We finally agreed on £2.50. Sheesh!

I have volunteered to be a little helper for the grotto. Bouncer more like as it's the junior disco - morbidly obese 10 year old boys grappling with our Santa over the present barrel (yes this did happen last year, ended when the local copper who had come to judge the disco stepped in and threatened to arrest us all, including Santa....). Hey ho!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Baby P - Shame on you Haringey

It's happened again. Another child has lost it life in a cruel and horrible way. We've had the usual handwringing from the top brass in the borough - shame on you Harringey, how could you let this happen again?

Being a fairly normal person, I assumed that most people will behave decently and those who do not, will have their behaviour curtailed by society. How wrong I was! How can it be that we allow a 17 month old child to die in the most awful circumstances, despite being on the child protection register? How can a doctor not spot a broken spine? How can hightly educated professionals not spot that the child's bruses disappeared when he was apart from his mum for a month, but, hey presto, reappeared when he was returned home? How can 3 adults be so sadistic as to allow this child to be bitten by a dog or to swallow its own tooth or have its top lip torn away from its 17 month old face? Where were the neighbours, the decent local coppers, the health visitors, the staff at social services, the other adults in this childs life when he needed them most?

What is most shaming is that it appears that all the work done since the terrible death of Victoria Climbie has not prevented this latest death. How must her parents be feeling?

I hope that Haringey will not squirm out of this one and that heads will roll. Otherwise what will be the legacy of this particular childs death, except corporate handwringing and a few formal warnings?

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Sunday Blues!

I hate Sunday evenings. Particularly November ones. I love Friday afternoons...hmm...what does this tell me? I need to get my work life balance right....My problem is that I give my all to the job and I then have very little left for me, or to my shame, the children. Another wasted weekend when I could've sorted out the house ! Hence the feeling of failure and wasted opportunities on Sunday night! Another week of household chaos!

When I started this blog it was to get me going and keep me focussed on having more fun in my life. Well, passing my driving test helped enormously - have been driving on my own - the most scary, liberating thing I have ever done! The job I do is interesting, challenging and great fun....but I've not yet found a way to keep a bit of me separate if you know what I mean. The house is a tip, the fridge a health hazard and I can't even beging to tackle upstairs...never mind the pile of ironing that keeps growing. Any suggestions? How do all of you bloggers keep on top of your life? Do you? I am a great procrastinator, always have been, why not put off to next year what you could do today...hmm. So I'm writing this instead of tidying up or getting the kids supper. Help!!

Monday, 20 October 2008

I passed!!!!

I have passed my driving test. I have actually passed. I HAVE PASSED MY DRIVING TEST!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot tell you how happy I am. I squeaked with happiness and hugged the examiner with joy!

I never expected to be a 'proper driver' ever. I spent the last 15 years avoiding any conversations around motorway routes, cars, driving in general as I was so ashamed of not being a driver. I have had years of guilt about what my kids have missed out on, all the non visits to the parks, all the non trips to my family in the shires... never mind all the missed IKEA opportunities. However, it has become fashionable not to drive, being the green thing to do, so things did get slightly easier, as, thanks to the modern curriculum, my son regards driving and the car next to mortal sin and the devil ( Catholic education).

Oh the guilt!! How did I allow myself to get to 43 and NOT BE ABLE TO DRIVE?? Can I really blame my lack of a licence on crap instructors, lack of funds, lack of confidence, a low tedium threshold and fear. Not really...just didn't get my arse in gear until now...

So this morning I was very nervous. Up at 7am for a lesson and then the test at 8.10. Several squirts of rescue remedy (would it send me over the limit ?) However, my lovely instructor told me not to worry," it was only (!) £60 and who cares what a wanker in a yellow jacket thinks"...!
" I DO" I wailed!

Well, the test itself went without a hitch. I did the one and only perfect parallel park I will ever do, and the 3 point turn in 5. Relief, engines off and well done.

Now, instead of spending all my time on property auction sites I am now trawling fish4cars, looking for my dream car for under £500...

Sunday, 5 October 2008

A child called Rampton....

Just been to Aldi (Waitrose is but a dim memory..) and heard the funniest thing. An obviously stressed young mum was at the checkout with her son who was about 4 or so....he was getting fractious and he ran off. Without looking left or right, she screeched 'RAMPTON COME BACK'. Now, as used to stupid childrens' names as I am, working where I do, Rampton has taken the biscuit. Rampton, I thought was a high security mental hospital., NOT a name for a small child. Maybe, like Brooklyn Beckham, his parents wanted to celebrate where he was conceived.. Lets hope not. Yikes!

Saturday, 4 October 2008

ASBOs and Botox....a heady mix...

My week gets weirder. Just before going into a meeting on Thursday about an ASBO with the police I popped to the loo. I can no longer leave it more than 45 minutes between each visit, even less if I've had a cup of tea... Anyhoo, the loo was the usual local authority model, slightly grubby, a bit whiffy with a couple of wavy mirrors and a 500 watt bulb. All combining to make you look like Grayson Perry on a bad day. As I applied some lippy, a blond woman came out of the cubicle and started to wash her hands. We started chatting as you do and within 30 seconds she had confessed to using botox, having an eye lift and getting her boobs done. Too much information! She also confessed to being in her late 40's (!). I must've looked aghast as she then said that the botox hadn't agreed with her and had only lasted 3 weeks. I didn't ask about the boobs or her eyes as to be honest she looked completely mad. Her hair on closer inspection was bleached and resembled candy floss and her hands were, well, like claws. She asked if I'd had anything done (bloody cheek) and I said that I coloured my hair and waxed my eyebrows. She then said that I really should think about it as it had transformed her life! Eeeek! What the heck had she looked like before? I was rescued by my PC friend hollering 'ASBO!' throught the door.

So into the meeting. The discussion was centered on a very troubled teen who has just about stretched everyones patience to the limit. Usual story , troubled family, broken home etc etc. She had been arrested for several incidences of criminal damage, assault, racist taunting and general all round pain in the arseness. She can be lovely. She has a bright future in sport as she is a talented runner. She is a great cook. She is also a bloody nightmare and has absolutely no respect for authority, or empathy for any of the victims of her behaviour. So, time to act. This girl has had hours and hours of my time, never mind all the other agencies involved with her. A waste of time? Maybe. But you cannot allow a teenager to hold a community to ransom with her behaviour or continue to act in a way that will end in prison for her, at best. So hence the ASBO. Lets see what happens....

Hmm, botox? Had a closer look at myself in that mirror and thought yes, something needs to be done.! Went home and slathered on that cream from Boots and booked an eyebrow wax....

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

How very odd...

Had a very odd encounter this evening. I was preparing supper, credit crunch sausage and mash, when there was an almight banging on the front door. Now where we live in the 'burbs of west london, almost no-one calls without telephoning first..so I knew that it was either the emergency services, police raid on the shifty lad next door or some other n'er do well. Upon opening the door, with the kids tucked behind me, I was confronted by a young Gomez Addams. 'Sorry missus' he lisped (yes he actually had a lisp). 'Me 'n me mum need to get to Chertsey Ospital as me girlfriend, who lives at number 37 (vaguely waving in the wrong direction) was taken in quick an we 'ave no money to get there'. 'Excuse me?' I said, to which he repeated his need for funds to get to to the aformentioned hospital. 'Just three quid each for me 'n me mum for a bus pass, as it's better value (!)'. ' I've asked him next door, as he knows me, and he's got no change'. At this point I had come out onto the front step and he started to back away. I must've adopted my 'don't mess with me, I've heard it all before you scamming bastard' face that got me through several years in the Personal Issue Giro section of several inner London benefit offices. I said 'I don't believe you? Where is your mother?' He then ran off. Bizarre. I contemplated phoning the Safer Neighbourhood Team, but what could I say? That I was almost scammed by a young Gomez Addams? That I refused help to a thrifty lad who needed to see his girlfriend? That I imagined it due to sausage 'n mash overload? Hey ho. And the kids didn't bat an eyelid between them. London life eh.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Someone stop that woman...

I have done it again. Or rather not done it. Resign. Resign as chair of the PTA. I promised myself whilst wrestling a coconut from the sticky hands of a small child (thus preventing coconut GBH ) at the fete that I WOULD RESIGN or at the very least not stand for re-election. But her I am up to my armpits in preparations for not just the AGM, but a sodding fancy dress disco. Not a Halloween party, but a fancy dress....ghosts and ghoulies being frowned upon by the head, it being a catholic school 'n all...Although, I can guarantee at least half a dozen Freddie Krugers and that 'Scream' character just from the infants alone...! I will be going as my usual - a witch. It's the only time of the year that a pointy chin and long nose come into their own...!

The only consolation is that the two horrible REAL witches who made my life a misery last year have moved on ...to terrorise the senior school PTA no doubt. They were two of the most spectacularly stupid women I've had the ,erm, pleasure to meet. Bullies really. And, EVERYONE felt the same, except that they were too afraid to say..incredible!

So along with my full time job, addiction to the blogosphere, kids, darling daughter's GCSE prep,managing ex-hub and trying to keep my relationship on the straight and narrow with my lovely boyfriend, I have a whole new committee year to look forward to....Yay! Bring it on!! hmmmm.....

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

summer fun....

Well, I have been very busy of late. Too busy to blog, but not too busy to have a good old nosey around the 'blogosphere' or whatever 18 year old spotty googly tycoon calls it...lots of fab stuff out there, really inspirational..!

Anyhoo, apart from trench foot and the remnants of a fake tan, I have very little to show for this summer...I didn't go away or take any time off. I am bloody knackered. I spent the summer working on the estate delivering 'summer activities' to a largely disinterested group of people. Apart from 2 notable exceptions (worthy of a posting all to themselves) the families just didn't engage..I've come to the conclusion that there was just too much on offer and this meant that decisions had to be made and these families cannot cope with this - they are used to someone else making the decision for them, so remain passive and inactive....plus the weather didn't help.

One particular day is worth reporting. We took a group of 12 kids to a local prison as part of a crime diversion programme. Facinating. They had broken a seatbelt before we had even left the estate. One (almost tootless) 15 yearold spent the entire journey chomping through tube after tube of chewits. The noise level in the bus was almost unbearable and broke several EU directives on decibel limits I'm sure. Their behaviour was atrocious. Once inside the prison, they became even more excitable. All saw the trip an opportunity to show how tough and unafraid they were...until we met the prisioners who were our 'hosts' for the day.

All were male, middle aged and very sad. Two were lifers, one was just 25 and all had kids on the outside. The were nice blokes, literate, articulate, someone you would not think was involved in criminality in any way if you met them in the street. They went to great lengths to tell their stories to these kids. They explained that there was no such thing as petty crime - crime was crime. They told of their daily feeling of loss and loneliness and how prison had affected their families. They were ashamed and were remourseful. They were inspirational and I wish I could take every youngster who carries a knife or runs drugs or commits criminal damage to see just what happens to kids who get caught up in crime.

Did the visit have an impact on the kids from the estate? Three older boys were very affected and visibly moved. You could see the penny dropping right there in that room. The rest of the kids? I couldn't really say - except that we had to stop the mini bus three times on the way back to deal with their behaviour including throwing out the broken seatbelt thorough the window at 50 miles and hour. Some kids just don't get it.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Strange day. Drinking wine and eating crisps as I write this and consider my day. Radio 4 on, Bob Crow burbling on about oli company profits...

So, my day. Started off well with lovely boyfriend, buttery toast and lots of TLC...decided to work from home as I'd left the bike at his. Drank lots of vino last night so was feeling a bit fragile. Not having the kids with me leaves me slightly adrift and a bit of a social gadfly hence the increased booze intake. Spent the morning sorting out a referral to the local anti social behaviour group for a young boy who is terrorising the estate I'm working on. He is 12. I've know him 2 years and he just gets angrier and angrier. He is a big lad. He smokes. He rides a pimped up BMX. He walks as if he has a sawn off shotgun down the leg of his trousers. He is a charmer and at primary school, loved to dance and play rugby. He managed 4 months in secondary school before he was permenantly excluded. He has been arrested for criminal danage and GBH in the last 2 weeks alone. I decided last week that enough was enough. Zero tolerance time. This boy is out of control. His parents are not doing their job. He is almost as big as me and definitely stronger. He is potential nightmare, hence the referral...ASBO on the horizion I think....

Had a hillarious conversation with the arresting officer, a 50 something female PC with wry sense of humour. She is due to police the Notting Hill carnival on Monday and being a lady of a certain age (her words) would wear a Tena pad, to allow for lack of toilet facilities...too much information, but nice to think a small part of my council tax goes on incontinence pads for coppers...

The evening was spent with ex-hub and kids in a noodle bar. Very strange. Ex hub suggested I join them and even paid the bill. He was charming. The kids loved it. My 15 year old has accepted the divorce, but self harmed for a period and had counselling...my 9 year old has never accepted the divorce and simply refuses to accept the we are no longer man and wife despite the fact that we've both moved on and have new partners. What do we do? I'm all for letting sleeping dogs lie - neither me or his father will be scooting up the aisle any time soon unless those pigs finally sprout wings....or Ireland wins gold at the Olympics.

Enough of my ramblings. Another glass of vino and Police, Camera, Action on freeview.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

As you know, I go to the pub with my lovely boyfriend every Wednesday night for a late drink...we usually rendezvous around half tenish and have time of a couple of beers, talk rubbish ...and we observe our fellow drinkers...

We are what I suppose you could call 'regulars' ...having spent most Wednesday nights there for the last 4 years. There are several other regulars too. John, 84, gay, but in denial. Drinks 5 pints of directors in about 90 minutes and staggers out to get the last bus home. Is almost blind, a bit deaf and quite barmy. He hails from Cork, but has lived in the UK for nearly 60 years. Ex merchant navy and was a psychiatric nurse till he retired. He believes in a wizard conspiracy and is convinced that the masons are everywhere. Not a man to get into a conversation with if you are in any way stressed, tired or prone to funny handshakes. He follows the Simon Cowell school of trouser wearing.

Paul in another gay irish man, a generation younger and very different. He had his teeth veneered so that his partners could appreciate it a bit more as he gave them head - a comment he made to my very hetero boyfriend almost resulting in him loosing said veneers...too much information. Paul is a poperty developer with an entire workforce of young east european men. All very heterosexual, but all looking like the guys from The Village People. Shaven heads, masses of facial hair, chest wigs, checked shirts. Strange how the different cultures display their masculinity. Paul comes in at 10.48, orders, I kid you not, 4 double vodkas and redbull, once large bottle of Polish beer and a pint of lager. He drinks the lot and is out the door for another pub by 11.30. How he is not dead I really don't know.

A recent blow-in is a middle aged bloke we call the rhodesian ridgeback for some unfathomable reason. He spends the eveing talking to himself, very discreetly mind, at the bar. Nobody interferes or says a thing. He is allowed to be himself without condemnation or scorn. We are deadly curious about him, but avoid eye contact in case he engages us in conversation. We fear being trapped in a situation we would be too polite to get out of - remember we only have 30 minutes... We let him get on with it.

However, and this is where the pub get interesting...there are a vast number of people who drink there just once and never come back. Odd bods, mad builders, tinker types, very pissed middle aged women and welsh rugby supporters. I long to ask them what their story is and why here, why now, where next?

I love going to this pub. A pub like this is a great leveller. As long as you don't get too pissed or too loud and treat the staff, fellow drinkers and the bar with respect, anything goes. And for £4.09 for a pint and a glass of vino and 30minutes people watching, good value all round.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

I've cheered up somewhat following my rather gloomy posting below....amazing what a bath, clearing a pile of ironing and some icecream and tinned peaches does for the psyche! Am off to the pub soon so will feel even more cheered up by 11pm...although the pub has no late licence we go there as it is the cheapest boozer in town...god bless you Mr Wetherspoon...£4.09 for a glass of merlot and a pint of abbots...bliss! Thank you Scrappy Sue and Emerging Writer....good advice...

It has made me think though, about the best way to deal with bouts of gloominess...being active seems to work, particulary doing something pretty mindless, but tricky if you know what I mean, like ironing. Plus, hearing about the plance crash in Madrid has very neatly put my low mood into sharp perspective....hmmm.
Have not been blogging of late as I've been feeling quite depressed. 'Down in the dumps' my mother would call it. She'd tell me to buck up, count my blessings and have another cup of tea. Pretty good advice generally, but this bout of the dumps has been a bit more of a challenge to get through. Not sure what triggered it off really, possibly something to do with overworking, trying to juggle (non-existant) childcare and having no money. Actually having minus money as I'm overdrawn and morgaged up to my middle aged neck.
How did I get here? When I started this blog I thought having to report on my quest for fun would make me seek out that fun. Well, that hasn't happened. My children are a joy, my ex hub managable and I'm in a relationship. So what's there to feel down about? I suppose that getting to 43 without any major trauma, apart from a divoce, is something to celebrate. Is it about feeling that my best years are behind me? Or that I'll be a morgage slave till I'm knocking 70? Or that I have finally realised that the life my mother lived - didn't work, stayed at home, looked after her family, wasn't such a bad life after all? I earn a reasonable 40k per annum, doing a job I like, with people I like. I think I'm just a bit lonely - all of my current friends are work friends and I've lost touch with lots of my old friends.
I have come to the conclusion that I've been very careless with my friendships. Mostly to do with self confidence and the belief that I'm not a particulary interesting person so why bother keeping in touch with anyone...bonkers, but true. I look at my daughter as she forms her important, life long friendships and I envy her - why didn't I recognise the value of friendship so long ago? Why did I allow my lack of confidence and low self esteem sabotage these friendships? I have always put the men in my life before my friends and this has not served me well. Not surprised they got fed up with me and moved on to other more reciprocal friendships.
Every day I tell my children how beautiful they are and how much they are loved so they will never fell that lack of value or importance that I felt as a young kid. My mother would be horrified if she read this - as far as she, and many from her generation who lived through the war, as long as your children were fed, clean and obedient all was well within the family. No room or need for any fancy stuff like telling your kids they are wonderful..
The impact we as parents have on our children has such a huge impact on the adults they might become - hence the need to tell these future adults how valued they are.

A gloomy post I know, but one that I feel I have to write...however having re-read it, I know that my mother did her best and anyway, we all need to take responsbility for our actions - so I'm telling myself to get a grip, grow up and after that cup of tea, get back on track for my quest - MORE FUN PLEASE!

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

It's 12.53 am. Radio 4 burbles in the background. Darling son fast asleep, all hot and sweaty, gripping onto Ted, his lifejacket in the stormy sea that is sleep...Neither me not Teenage daughter can settle to sleep ... She pondering, I imagine, the reasons for her grounding....(more likely watching BB103)...Me frantically wodnering where it all went wrong..

She's been grounded for 'misuse of IT' (her fathers words). Getting a boy to strip on webcam via MSN (my words). Reader, I was speachless when I stumbled upon this piece of information. She is 14. He not much older. How has it come to this? She goes to the best school in the town (catholic..)..and, well, is 14 BLOODY YEARS OF AGE!! I am horrified at her blase attitude to this 'incident'. She should be MORTIFIED, as I would have been...but as I was a 70's teenager this never would've happened. Telex was about as hight tec as it got...Is it me or has the world gone mad? Sex is EVERYWHERE. There is very little that they know at 14 - I truly didn't know what the initials BJ stood for, let alone imagined doing 'that' eurrrgh!? Tits and arses abound. Even M &S have gone raunchy. I never thought I'd say this, but bring back some kind of decorum please! Put them away love, we really don't want them in our face thanks very much.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

The summer fete has come and gone, and with it the last of my goodwill towards all men...and the mummy mafia. NEVER AGAIN. How did it come to this? Sorting bric a brac (a mountain of china shite) at 8pm on a Saturday night in a school hall ? Grappling with several gazebos at 9am on Sunday morning, all of which had some tiny, but essential, bit missing? Almost coming to blows over a chocolate fountain? Finding out that people actually WON THE COCONUT on the coconut shy. Sending a heavily pregnant friend to the local indian emporium to buy 30 coconuts. Yes, 30 COCONUTS. Sending a small child into a hedge to look for the balls from the coconut shy as we (!) had forgotten to put up the big huge unmissible MDF sheet against said hedge to avoid such a catastrophie. Pissing off 30 people who paid a quid for a tombola ticket in the hope of winning the booze and coming away with a coconut....I could go on, but I won't as I am boring myself, never mind you dear reader.....

My quest for fun,however briefly interruped by the sodding fete, goes on...

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Fun. 'Something that provides mirth or amusement'. ... Fun I have had this week - hmm, not very much. Can you class your ex hub forgetting present for his new girlie (trendy top - had a look in the bag - Muji as it happens..) as fun? Well I had 2 minutes pleasure then 15 minutes fuming at how much he spent on the top, then remembered that it didn't matter and that girlfriend is actually quite nice and felt happy again...
Spent all day yesterday on the housing estate where I work ...hosting the 'Food from around the world' stall at the annual 'fun' day. Fun -it's EVERYWHERE if you choose to look. The residents of this particulr estate get hours of fun from drinking Lambrini, smoking Superkings and generally ignoring their many offspring. All of whom come to school stinking of fags and with a cheese string and a couple of jaffa cakes in their lunchboxes...I kid you not. Spend a chilly (July!) 5 hours watching well meaning staff and local church members tryng to engage local, disinterested people - the kids were great - got stuck in and had a great time with the bouncy boxing and sumo wrestling...while their parents drank the stuff they'd won on the tombola and spent some of their giro money on the horrible burgers....it is like Shameless without the Manc accents or the happy endings. Grinding poverty and boredom relived by a bottle of booze for the price of a raffle ticket. Do I sound judgemental? Yes I bloody do - ask any professional who has spent time amongst the class serviced by the services - police, social, welfare and courts...and they will tell the same story. Poor people having too many kids on too few resources. Free housing, free milk, free anything begats freeloaders. Harsh but true. 'Too late for the parents, but maybe we can save the kids'...this is the basis of the govts child poverty strategy...worthy, but ultimately pointless. It's too late for these kids even before they are concieved.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Ex hub has kids every Wednesdy night at mine. Ex hub is a good father. Ex hub likes routine and an orderly house. On his watch, both kids are fed, washed and in bed by 9pm....which is when he leaves and I get home. He gives me his report on the kids, as if we were nurses going on and off shift...'ate tea at 5, bath at 6 and bowels opened 6.30 etc..' He goes, door clicks shut...and we all wait .... Then both kids spring out of bed, lights, TV, computer go on and I rush to the bathroom to put my face on and off I go to the pub with lovely boyfriend. Ex hub knows nothing of this and goes home a happy contented man, knowing he has done his fatherly duty. Who am I to shatter his self image..!He has never wondered why I make sure he has his tube pass, umbrella etc - He thinks I care...I'm just worried that he'll pop back and find the house hopping and me gone to pub...thus proving what a bad mother I really am and how right he was to divorce me! The quest for fun goes on...unimpeded by ex hub...!!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

So, this PTA thing grinds on. Met with the head and the caretaker today to put, what they thought, were the final touches to the arrangements. In reality, we have one volunteer for the 'smash a plate stand' and two mad facepainters. Hmmmm. Have just drafted yet another 'Greetings from your PTA!!!!" letter to go home by pupil post tomorrow. ( the number of exclaimation marks per letter indicate my level of hysteria) I may as well just chuck 300 pieces of A paper straight into the recycling unread, as that's where they're going anyway. Unread.
Anyhoo, to other matters. My quest for fun goes on, unabashed. I spent a very pleasent aftenoon with two coppers scouting the ward for potential youth venues. Well, what an interesting afternoon! Never let it be said that young people lack things to do. Quite the opposite...if you count having sex in fields, drinking VAST quatitities of blue WKD, smoking, graffiting and riding mini mortobikes.
The police are trying to do their best against pretty impossible odds....PARENTS. There is no such thing as a bad child, just crap parents. Glib it may be, but oh so true. Signing off now...have 2 hour driving lesson, open day at son's school, 8 hours at work and a junior boxing club to run tomorrow. And it's only Wednesday....zzzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, 7 July 2008

In addition to working full time, learning to drive, mothering 2 children and running admin side of my lovely boyfriend's small business...I am the chair of the PTA. A major impediment to my plans to have more fun! How the hell I ever got involved in the PTA I will never know. Another of my 'low beam' moments....thwack, see stars and ooops....I've volunteered for yet another thankless task...! I am currently having sleepless nights about the upcoming summer (!) fete. It being a church school, the fete is the jewell in the crown of the school year - and it's biggest moneyspinner. I cannot express how much I hate the rest of the committee! Two women in particular bring me out in spots....how I didn't smack one when she complained that there were "too many words" in the mufti day letter...grrr! Another one, taller, fatter, stupider, complained when her chubby child didn't get a second creme egg even though she had submitted 2 entries for the easter egg colouring competition...God spare me!
I feel completely TRAPPED!! I'm now spending more time doing the bloody PTA work than my own job...and for what?! A set of sponge goal post guards (!). I'D HAVE BOUGHT THEM MYSELF IF I'D KNOWN THE AGONY THAT IS THE PTA!
And I won't start on the caretaker...he hates the committee more than I do...although the 6 tins of stella we gave him at Xmas helped smooth relations a bit.....
A big part of the 'injecting more fun into my life' plan is passing my driving test. I am embarassed to admit that I cannot drive...well, I CAN drive, but not legally. I have spent thousands of pounds, never mind thousands of hours driving round and round in duel control cars with strangers. Some of whom were very strange indeed ...my first instructor had what my dad would call a 'gunner eye'..very off putting when looking straight at me AND the wing mirror at the same time... weird...! After her (lessons abandoned when I was unable to fit behind the wheel being about 15 months pregnant at the time..), came Stuart. He was small, smelly and had the most incredible teeth... they looked as if they were made of wood. Parallel parking in a mini metro was challenging enough without being up close and personal with Les Pattersons younger brother...eurrghh..
Next came a small redheadded man, who was very angry all the time...with me, his wife, the car, the road...everything and anything really that came into his orbit. Two lessons and I was off...hard to drive and fear for your life at the same time, and not feel agrived at paying for the pleasure into the bargain! Then came Ian, a pop eyed balding bloke who guzzled red bull through out each lesson. Scary. Up next was an indian lady who filled the car with students, not wanting to waste time actually dropping any of us home between lessons. I considered taking sandwiches...and it was a micra...
My current instructor is great...a big, bluff Dub who punctuates lessons with shouts of 'Holy Jaysus, what the f*%£k was that!!" and has made it his lifes work (no pressure!)to get me through the test. I am about to book my first for over 5 years in early September...I'll keep you posted...!
ok, here i am, at home sitting in what i can only describe as the back room of a chineese laundry, with pets. i am technically working from home, but have been sidetracked by a) the mounds of clean clothes for ironing; b) the slightly smaller mounds of dirty washing from the kids weekend with dad and piles of work/pta/bank/utility paperwork....

How did I get here? over 40, 2 kids, full time job, one ex husband, one boyfriend, 2 guinea pigs and a three legged cat. Life wasn't supposed to be like this. all this introspection has been prompted by some pics that an old boyfriend sent to me via facebook (I know! Me, facebook! thats a whole other posting..) anyhoo, there I was, 23 or thereabouts, looking like, well, a bit of a mess hair wise as this was 1988 and before st john of frieda came along...but I looked, well, untroubled, optimistic, and as if i was on the cusp of something great... of course at the time I thought i was hideous...

All that energy, wasted on a serious of rubbish jobs, men and frittered away in pints and large measures....never mind the thousands of fags smoked..

hmm, gloomy?! maybe just a bit...! Come and join me while i use this blog to keep me focussed and on track (years of managment have sullied my vocab) in my quest to find that 'old' me and get some fun back into my life....here goes!