Some women claim to feel utterly fulfilled in their role as a housewife and mother. It makes me feel inadequate because I think it's the most boring, tedious thing I've ever had to do in my life, and it went on for over twenty years. Boring. As. Shit.
SHANGHAI'ED INTO THE MOST EXPENSIVE NAILS IN THE UNIVERSE
You know what it's like... you're a bit bored and you have a thought, and you think yeah, why not? and you don't really think about how much it's going to cost until it's too late. Well, bugger me sideways. I've heard all sorts of high praise for these oriental nailbars that have popped up everywhere but I'd never been to one. Nobody in them speaks Engrish, but they do a fabulous job apparently. On a recent sojourn to Nottingham, I walked past one and saw that it was very popular, and I decided to treat myself, so in I went. The pretty lady who did my nails said something like "Nalla?" which I eventually deduced meant "Nail art?" so I said okay, why not? and picked out a diamonte design which I thought would go rather well with my personality. An hour or so later, I got to the till, and the pretty Oriental lady demanded enough money to repay the national debt. You WHAT? There was a samurai sword hanging behind the counter so I thought best not to do a runner. After half an hour of international negotiations, she said she'd settle for fifty quid cash. Almost as shocking as my pink nails which, I have to admit, looked brilliant.
ANOTHER BLISTERING ENGLISH SUMMER
the middle of July, and it's been raining for, oh, about two months, and
I'm having a serious sense of humour failure. If I had some money I'd
be hitting the eject buttom and getting myself straight down to the
airport, preferably heading to the French riviera. Alas, je suis
completely skint. J'ai not so much as two pennies to rub together. C'est
a bloody tragedy. By the time this weather lets up, it''ll be
game over and we'll all be heading towards that hideous moment when you
turn on the tellybox in September and those bastards at Tesco have
started up with the Christmas ads already. I'm trying not to feel really
depressed about the whole thing. The one silver lining in that
particular cloud is the Peruvian nativity set I bought in a Christian
mission in Santa Barbara a couple of months ago. It's bloody hilarious.
This is my friend, Rabid. We like to sit around getting drunk and saying horrible things about people. We have a mutual pal, The Photographer, who is a bit mental. She rang me a while ago and said, "I don't suppose you could look after a bar for me for a while?" It's not a question one gets asked very often, so the answer's got to be a yes. (I could never say no to any sentence that contains the word 'bar' anyway.) So this thing eventually turns up with a man in a van, and it's the bloody best thing we've EVER had in the house. A proper bar, with little shelves and sliding glass doors on the back and everything! She bought it on eBay for 12 quid. Brilliant! A few weeks later, it was gone, and the house is bereft. I am now scouring around for a replacement, and I want one of those pineapple ice buckets too.
LA LA LAND IN ALL ITS HIDEOUS GLORY
I recently spent a couple of weeks in California where I spotted various things that you may find interesting. Like this man, for example, seen celebrating the unveiling of Scarlett Johansson's star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame by eating out of a bin. It seems that lots of people in America eat out of bins. Perhaps it's the Californian version of 'recycling'.
LIZ TAYLOR'S JEWELLERY... I WAS ROBBED.
With Liz Taylor having gone to the great jewellery shop in the sky, it's only reasonable that The Husband should have bought me a little bauble from her collection, seeing as I was so upset and all. But did he come up with the goods? Of course not. Instead I just get a load of old whining about how he has to pay bills and support three women who think his sole purpose in life is to work himself into an early grave while we sit around eating mini cheddars while watching The Kardashians on the tellybox.
If I had a casket-load of jewels like that, I'd wear all of them, all the time, and clank around Morrisons in a crown.
Drawing on your friends can be quite good fun, particularly if you're drawing
on their back and they can't see what you're doing. And they're gay. Then you
can take photographs of them too and post them up on various gay websites,
giving full details of their address and phone number. He thought it was a nice
traditional design and was quite happy to wander around showing it off until
some spoilsport told him what it said. I thought the little heart-shaped arrow pointing to his boticelli was a nice touch.
I would advise that you use a washable pen rather than an indelible
marker if your friend is staying over that night, otherwise the ink
might come off all over your nice clean white sheets and you'll be very
angry in the morning and have to take it out on your husband.
HAVE A BREAK: HAVE A YOUTUBE MOMENT: One good thing about knowing lots of students is that they spend hours trawling the internet for pointless and amusing oddities. Current favourite romping home at number one is Marcel The Shell With Shoes On. "Oh God... I can smell his face..."
BURN BABY, BURN.
Did I mention we almost burned the
house down recently? No? It wasn't particularly dramatic, apart from the
obvious near-death connotations, because the fire had quietly taken
hold where no one could see it, in the chimney. So there we all were,
slobbing around watching tellybox one cosy winter evening with The
Husband's business partner, Fit Bird, who had come over to wear
pyjamas in a non-exec manner, when flames started coming out of the
front of the mantlepiece. It was quite a confusing sight to behold,
partially because we were all drunk, but mainly because it was such a
weird thing to see. Sideways flames. Coming out of somewhere they
shouldn't be coming out of. "That's a bit odd," we all said, not
thinking for a moment that the house was on fire.
After a brief
board meeting, a motion was carried that we ought to try and put it out,
but it's not easy trying to douse a blaze when it's (a) coming at you
sideways and (b) hidden behind a bloody great oak fireplace. Which
brings me onto the other complication. The whole fireplace was made of
wood. Nice, dry combustible wood. Solution? Squirty bottles of course,
like the ones you used to need to make things on Blue Peter, like Dougal
off the Magic Roundabout. We also tried getting at it by shaking up
bottles of fizzy drinks and aiming the ensuing coke explosion at the
rapidly expanding firey hole opening up in the wall. It wasn't until a
few weeks later that I remembered we keep a fire extinguisher in the
kitchen. I think there might be one upstairs in the airing cupboard as
CRASH TEST MUMMY SPENDS AN HOUR ON ANTONY GORMLEY'S PLINTH...
that was one weird experience. (Don't get me wrong, I like weird
experiences.) The crowd in Trafalgar Square were exceptionally normal
and polite, so I didn't need to take the riot shield up with me after
all. Big thanks to everyone who came along in support, and an extra big
injunction against the strange man who kept taking photographs of me
and hoping to catch my eye. Pervert.
Crash Test Mummy takes to the Plinth and tries to look artistic while daubing a canvas with vile comments about other people.
original plan was to take an air rifle up there and pick off any
passing pigeons. Sadly, my firearm was confiscated, as was the
home-made, butane-powered flame thrower. Of particular interest in this
picture is the woman in the foreground on her mobile phone, who appears
to be wearing a sari, possibly in the hope of making herself appear
more interesting. With glasses like that, love, I wouldn't bother.
EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION
Thanks to her brilliant mother, Teenager No.1 is now capable of producing a very decent cup of turbo-coffee. She no longer fears the brandy bottle, and competently puts a huge slug in my mid-morning pick-you-up like an old pro. 'There you go, mother,' she says, balancing the thing on a tray before it burns its way through like alien blood. You gotta catch kids young these days and teach them the things that really matter. I'm so proud of myself that I think I may need to go and have a little lie down.
My sister is bloody brilliant. For her birthday, she demanded a pair of tickets from her husband for The Police, lead by famous front man, Stink, who are playing their last ever gig in the UK this coming Sunday in Hyde Park. Being the kind of bloke who knows better than to deviate from his wife's instructions, she duly received the said tickets. Her husband stood around smiling in a self-congratulatory manner, then made the mistake of assuming he would be the bearer of the second ticket. Well, just whoa there, nelly. Of course he isn't. It's meeeeee!!!! We wouldn't dream of going anywhere exciting without each other, preferably without the husbands. Using the fabulous excuse of public transport, we have insisted on building a day in at either side of the event, which means that we'll be deserting our posts at cock-crow on Saturday and not coming home until Monday night. Our packed itinerary includes lunchiepoos, drinkiepoos, snackiepoos, lying around doing absolutely nothing, raiding the shops, and, finally, getting off with the band.
OH GOD... IT'S STARTED
I have no idea where I left my brain this morning. Still in bed, I reckon. For some bizarre reason I found myself more than an hour early for a lunch appointment, wondering why they were washing floors in the restaurant. On realizing my mistake, I shuffled out and headed towards the shops, where I absent-mindedly migrated towards a preposterously expensive kitchenalia shop. So help me, I became hysterically excited over a pack of cake-tin liners, made from fluted silicone paper, and splashed out five month's housekeeping money on a potato ricer. Oh, dear God, is this the beginning of the end? Somebody please shoot me.
TRICKS OF THE TRADE
I am currently waiting for a plumber, and have been since about midday. It's now gone 5. Just so that we all know where we stand, I would like to say to all plumbers out there that it's totally okay to be five hours late, or not to turn up at all (which is looking like a distinct possibility) because people like me don't have lives, do we? So yes - be as late as you like, and why bother to use that mobile phone thing that you call sextext services on and download photos of womens' breasts? I have REALLY ENJOYED sitting around clock watching all effing afternoon and I have ABSOLUTELY NO LIFE of my own and nothing to do, so hey! Why not waste my time like I'm worthless? I'm going to make him a nice cup of tea when he eventually gets here. Give it 3 hours to work, by which time he'll be long gone, and I shall have my own back. As they say - revenge is a dish best served with biscuits.
SAD, IN A CILLA BLACK SORT OF WAY
With my Dad having gotten so sick, my sister and I made a snap decision and sent a ticket to our wayward brother who lives in the cultural wilderness of Australia. He has made a career out of drinking beer and hasn't been to visit since Teenager No.1 was 6 months old, which means I hadn't seen him for 15 and a half years. He and me were always close when we were young. If he only had enough money for one pint of beer, he would automatically buy two halves and give one to me. I took him to Heathrow on Sunday afternoon, two days after watching Dad go into the ground. We were fine until I got him to the departure gate. Ah, you don't wanna hear about this kind of stuff.
Right: Sometimes the only thing to do after a funeral is get the whisky out and fire up the air guitars to a bit of AC/DC.
I am seriously unimpressed with the way my mothers day went. The husband, having decided to take a firm stance and refuse to assist either of the freeloaders with the getting of cards/gifts/flowers, announced that it was 'nothing to do with him'. Naturally, the effort made by the teenagers was what you might expect from the youth of today's generation. A t-shirt from Top Shop that No.2 obviously wanted for herself, and a packet of 'calming tea' from No.1 because she says I'm 'stressy'. I was remarkably zen about the whole thing, glared at my husband who made a very rapid exit, and made a mental note. Right, you bastard. Just you wait until father's day comes around. I have amost 3 months to plot my dastardly revenge.
THE MORAL MAZE
This is a tricky one. Ruth The Housekeeper is very grumpy, which means that she wants a pay rise. The trouble with having a housekeeper for years and years, and being the kind of person who caves in at her outrageous requests because I'd die without her, is that they may well end up on a higher salary than Bill Gates. It's true... Ruth has more holidays than me, more jewellery, and a far more exciting social life. And she's sixty-bloody-four. She also takes as much time off as she wants and sometimes spends the whole morning sitting around drinking coffee and nattering. I may have to sell the house to keep her on.
Sitting on the train yesterday with the teenagers after being dragged around the Hellfridges sale all day, I reminded the elder one that I'm not here for a fortnight as from next week. 'What?' she screeched. 'Oh,' I said. 'Did I not mention it?' Oh dear, I must be getting forgetful. Strange really, seeing as I have remembered to get my visa renewed and booked a hire car for Ruth The Housekeeper and all the other billions of things that I have to do if I want to escape. That's the trick, you see. Don't ask the husband for any help, just hire people to do it for you. That way they can't really do anything about it. They can sulk all they want to, but as from next Friday, you won't see me for dust.
Sometimes, just sometimes, I am overwhelmed by the urge to kill everyone in my family. Last night I had a red mist after suffering an hour of gold medal-winning bickering from the teenagers. I don't remember what I shouted, only that my larynx nearly exploded and I smashed several small household items. It was either that or brain the pair of them. It's not often I go bananas, and it's not a pretty sight. That's not a euphemism either, I look ugly as hell when my blood pressure's up. Two hours later, as Vesuvius settled, Teenager Number One took it upon herself to tell me that my behaviour was unacceptable. Whatever my face started doing, she turned on her heels and ran. Smart move.
I saw myself, buck naked, in a hotel bathroom mirror yesterday. (The one in my room, not the Ladies' downstairs by the bar.) For a minute I honestly thought that some fat old bag had infiltrated my hostelry, then I realised with all the subtlety of being stabbed in the eyes with a bayonet that it was yours truly. There is no denying that my denial cannot go on any longer. Trouble is, I only did the shopping on Tuesday and there's still several tons of cakes, biscuits and ice-cream in the house. Well, I can hardly throw it all in the bin, can I? Don't you realise there are people starving in this world?
I am bitterly disappointed with Vanity Fair this month. The front cover shamelessly promises naked pictures of Brad Pitt, then miserably fails to deliver with just one predictably rain-soaked portrait. I blame that Angelina - ever since she came along things just haven't been the same. I've written to Brad several times to warn him off, but she's obviously been intercepting my letters.
It's like being stuck in the middle groove of a broken record. The house looks like a bomb's gone off, so I suppose I'll spend the entire day pointlessly moving things from one place to another and hoovering up mess. It will all miraculously reappear while I sleep tonight. If our troops continue to have trouble in Afghanistan, I'll suggest they drop my teenagers on the war zone and wait for an early surrender.
God. I am so sick to death of trying to think of something to make for supper. Kids are due back from school any moment soon and the kitchen is bare. I looked at an ugly swede, (the vegetable, not the football manager), pulled a bag of spuds out of the pantry, then thought, I can't face it. I'm bored, bored, BORED of having to deal with food. The first question when they get back will be 'What's for tea?' Well, have I got news for you. Nothing. Nada. Zilcho. That's what's for tea. I'm going for the old-fashioned immersion teaching method, rather like when they used to chuck kids in the river and yell 'Swim, you bastard, swim!' From now on, if they can't make it themselves, they can't have it.
BRING BACK MENTAL INSTITUTIONS
Just had one of my girlfriends on the phone. Says she's no longer living, merely scraping her carcass from one hellish day to the next. She's got kids too, unsurprisingly. She described herself has suffering from complete physical and mental exhaustion and reckons that she'd be in a nut house had the government not shut them all down years ago. We got to thinking - if this is what women like us feel like, surely we could get enough numbers up to demand the reopening of at least one loonie bin. You bring the cakes, we'll bring the wine.
THE GREAT ESCAPE
You're not going to believe this. I am escaping my family and running away for a whole week. I have lied about where I am going, what I intend to be doing, and how much it is costing. I feel a bit guilty about it, but I reckon I'll get over that by tea-time on the first day. I will be packing the bear essentials of travellin' light. You know, screw-cap bottles of wine and multi-pak biscuits. I will be doing a lot of swanning around and pretending that I don't have a family. The excitement is eating me alive. T-minus thirty-six hours and counting....
It's a technical term. Rather like the one I used about the central heating not working, but without the expletives. So this bloke turns up this morning, Darren, does a lot of teeth-sucking has he checks out my boiler, then pulls out a load of new regulations which basically say that every single hot water and heating whatnot in my house is illegal and has to be condemned. I suspect that the cost of putting it all right is going to be more than the house is acually worth.
I particularly enjoyed the way my husband looked so knowledgeable and nodded a lot as this Darren creature was trying to bamboozle me with his fluent Plumbese. Husband even kicked one of the pipes gently at one point and imitated the teeth-sucking noises. Perhaps they were bonding.
BIDING MY TIME
Sometimes I do wonder what happened to my life. I no longer have an identifyable waistline. My children treat me as though I'm some kind of brain-deficient moron. And I've become totally invisible to men. To say that I'm bored out of my mind with my life would be the understatement of the century. It's amazing I've still got a pulse. I find myself increasingly thinking about what I'm going to do with myself once they are old enough for me to leave them alone (permanently) without being reported.
IS KILLING YOUR OWN CHILDREN ALWAYS WRONG?
It's the old 'I'm Bored' routine. Here we are, in the last flush of the summer holidays, and I'm getting it morning noon and night. They sit around on their fat arses watching me doing all the stuff that morons do (folding up laundry, picking up socks, blow-torching bits of sweets off the furniture), and moan that there's nothing to do. Any suggestion I make is met with a derisory sneer. I am having to seriously stifle a very strong urge to commit infanticide. A friend of mine (who is currently swanning around in Bankok) suggested that I should fake my own death. Frankly, from where I'm standing, I'd settle for the real McCoy.
HEY FATTY BOOM BOOM
August 2006 - There's no denying it. Not only have I put on a whole cars worth of weight in the last year, I suspect that it's here to stay. I seem to have the willpower of a gnat, and to make matters worse, our shores have now been infiltrated by those American bastards at Krispy Kreme. They're bloody expensive from a donut point of view, unless you buy them by the dozen.
So, I'm trying to economise, and I switch from Waitrose to Asda for a bit of pocket-slapping change. It makes a big difference, you know. Take the price of coleslaw for instance. We're talking just shy of two quid in Waitrose, and about 50p in Asda. It's a no brainer. I understand one can get a good deal from BUPA for a tastebud removal procedure before you make the said switch.
THREE STRIKES, YOU'RE OUT
I've had a busy day today. My husband is one of those men with selective hearing. This is particularly noticeable when issuing any form of instructional hint, for example, 'I can't look at that bloody wall in that state any longer.' In his defence, he did get around to buying a can of Sandtex exterior paint which has been languishing in the garage ever since. Still, that was only a year ago. Maybe he's building up a head of steam.
I've always had this thing whereby I will ask for something three times, then I'll bloody well do it myself. Otherwise you are branded a nag, and I'm not having that.
I should mention at this point that I am psychic. It's true. My prediction for the day is that, when the handyman turns up to paint the wall (yes, I finally threw in the towel and turned to the Yellow Pages), my husband will say, 'What did you get someone in for? I would have done that!' The statement will be preceded or capped off with, 'Why didn't you say?'