Sunday, January 30, 2005

Disconcerting Fact #2

You're supposed to drink two litres of water every day, not one.

Friday, January 28, 2005


Last night Bill and I went anniversarying (for the thirteenth time) and just as we were paying the bill, and nibbling on a little (what I was later to learn is called) sonf, my old school buddy More Toast came up and tapped me on the shoulder. Having not seen nor heard of her since the mid-eighties, it took me all of 3 nanoseconds to go "Oh! More Toast!" and have flashbacks of sitting with her in the park behind my house in the middle of the night wearing only pyjamas and a Mum's-Cognac-infested giggle, reciting Eddie Carrot punch lines. Or is that Jasper Carrot? Oh hang on. Was it actually Kenny Everet? Bugger. See, that's the problem with memories. You think you've got them, then when you focus too closely, they get all vapourish. Anyway, there was definitely cognac (or was it cointreau?). I'm certain of one thing though, Lady M and Ferret were NOT impressed. They were looking after me and Bones while Miffy was in Europe. "How difficult teenagers have become", I'm sure they were thinking. They demanded to know who we'd been with. As in, "Where are the boys?". Sheesh, now that was embarrasing. There were no boys. Like boys would be interested in a couple of tipsy, fluffy-pyjama-clad, park-grovelling squares like us? Actually, now I think about it, the only thing that would stand in the way of THOSE kind of boys would probably be the pyjamas. But never mind. Long time ago. Oh, here's the really spinny thing: More Toast distinctly remembered walking (pissed and pyjama-clad) to school and rampaging (or stumbling) around the grounds like a couple of gits. Well. I certainly have no recollection of that event. Still, who'm I to argue with a dodgy thing like recollectability?

Friday, January 21, 2005

Disconcerting Fact #1

My bathers are the exact same colour as the toilet block.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

After twenty years in the (match)making...

Well whaddayaknow! Miffy's getting married. She and Par Two came around for lunch to celebrate her birthday and there on the appropriate digit was flashing her latest jewelric acquisition... the engagement ring. The three offspring were bafflingly (to my mind) unmoved by the news. Presumably, in their world, maternal grandmothers are always dropping by to announce their engagement to someone or other, and such an event calls for no further comment than "Oh? Oh... Mum can I play The Sims now?"

Now if MY maternal grandmother had swanned in and declared, "Oh look what I got for my birthday. It's an engagement ring", I would have been a little more excited. For one thing, it would be completely out of character. Not to mention contrary to her stated opinion on the prospect of future matrimonial involvement, specifically, "What? Spend the rest of my life washing and darning some old man's underwear? Couldn't think of anything worse." Oh, she's had a few offers, don't you worry. I have it on good authority that that retirement home is a seething mass of desperate but dateless old geezers trying to find some foolhardy woman to stich up their undies til death do'em part, but Lady M wants no part of it. And I don't blame her.

Miffy, on the other hand, has no skill whatsoever in the haberdashery department, so she can be reasonably sure that Par Two's motives are genuine.

And I'm absolutely delighted. Furthermore, even though, by comparison with her previous marriage and his previous two, I've been married the longest (though, admittedly, to only one person) I will not interfere in the slightest with the wedding plans, nor will I offer any unsolicited (though perfectly useful) marriage advice.

Just so long as I get to be flower girl.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Another thing about children

Mayday has been farmed out to Miffy's for the weekend, and Bill has gone south for the opening of the marron season. This leaves only me and Polly at home to entertain the littlest offspring, Noisie. Having done everything I could be bothered doing around the house, I gave in to Noisie's repeated supplications to join her on the trampoline. It's not so bad, once you're up there (provided your pelvic floor exercises are up to date). You can see right over the neighbours' fences, even when jumping while holding the hands of a four year old. (I noticed that all my neighbours have much tidier yards than mine, and the morning sun was so lovely, I didn't even feel bad about it.) Collapsing onto the mat, (making a mental note to do more pelvic floor exercises) I caught Noisie on the way down, who fell on top of me, rubbing her warm face all over mine and nuzzling into my neck. It's funny how, when you used to share your body with someone else, you are never quite separate again. Holding, gazing, kissing and smiling are like coming home.

The others being away also meant that Polly, Noisie and me are the only ones on hand to chat with the passing Jehovah's Witnesses. Noisie contributed very little to this morning's interaction, except to lounge around on my hip while I tried to keep the door politely ajar with my foot. This is OK for short discussions, but if the visiting evangelists haven't thrown their hands up in despair before we get as far as debating the internal logic, or lack thereof, of the Trinity, then I get a cramp in my foot. This morning's was a foot-cramper. I got stuck at the bit about how if I'm in Christ, if I'm a part of his body, then how could it be that we spend eternity living on the New Earth when he's in the New Heaven?

Anyway, I hope they had a nice walk. It's a beautiful morning for it.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

On the Training of Children: Part One

There's absolutely no point in not making a new year's resolution. I tried it last year, and all year I felt that something was missing. I mean, you've got to have a standard to not meet, don't you. You've got to have something to fail at, miserably, ridiculously, totally.

The year before last I was going to Get Fit. This was pointless. Meaningless. A chasing after the wind, if you will. I made a point of not even exercising once, just to show how patently unachievable this goal was. And it was a point well made, I feel. Nevertheless, I tripled my chocolate consumption, just to hammer it home.

Last year, as already noted, I failed to make any meaningful contribution to the concept of New Year's Resolutions (hereafter NYRs, which may also abbreviate Nasty Yeasts Regurgitated, and Not Your Roger, but is not to be confused with NEARS, which stands for Nearly Every Annual Ritual Sucks).

But this year, taking the advice of my very wise and understanding friend, Crusty, I have pledged that I will drink 1 litre of water every day. This has nothing to do with Crusty's name. That is a mere coincidence.

Also, as I do every year, I have sprung cleaned the back room (it was the dining room last year, but this was doomed to fail from the beginning), in which I have set up little craft stations (according to the age and disposition of each offspring) and timetabled and programmed said offspring to keep their station tidy, as well as to sit pleasantly each day after school to attend to their homework. I plan to have them so well trained that I will not have to do any cleaning up after them AT ALL this year (not that I did last year either, but neither did they, so it got very squishy all round).

I have been patrolling Zone 1 (aka the back room) by night and by day, armed only with a vacuum cleaner and a terse expression. Back and forth, I have patrolled, forth and back. No-one yet dares place their little pink toe across the threshold into Zone 1. I hope to have trained them into such form that, by the time school goes back, the children will be able to detect the sound of a pencil shaving falling anywhere within a three-mile radius of The Zone. On hearing that mutinous sound, my little soldiers will bound through the air, stretch their little arms out and clasp that nasty little shaving to their breast, crying "Mummy! Mummy! I've got it!" "Noooo!" the others will cry. "How can we now ever join in the glory of this battle?" Despair will etch their dear little faces. "Never fear, my little ones," I will comfort them, "Be diligent, my darlings. Keep watch! One day, many weeks from now, another pencil shaving may fall toward this immaculate expanse of flooring, and you may catch it!" "Do you think so, Mummy?" they will cry. "Is there any hope?" "Yes, my precious ones," I will say. "Yes, there is."