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The original, award-winning Crash Test Mummy blog... voted Top Ten website by those nice people at Easily - started summer 2006 and temporarily abandoned Spring 2007 when my Dad got carted off to hospital and subsequently handed in his lunch pail. The blog has now moved to The Daily Grind page, and picks up from June 2007. Here is the original column...

21.4 07 Banging My Head On A Wall: I don't mean to be alarmist, but if you live in my area and are aged over 70, try not to get sick and go to hospital. So stunned am I by the shocking treatment my old man is currently (not) receiving, that I am now considering taking out another mortgage to get him out of there and into a private hospital where he might actually get some attention. I shall say no more. If I start, I doubt I'll ever stop.

16.4.07 Cardio Creche: Some of you have noticed my absence lately, which I now explain with word that my dad hasn't been well. I have spent the last 3 weeks battling with the health service, taken him to 3 doctors, and finally (after holding a gun to his GP's head) had to get him into hospital on Friday. What the GP had said was indigestion/low blood sugar/too many Werther's Originals, actually turned out to be heart failure. Easy mistake to make, huh? Unsurprisingly, we arrived for his 'emergency admission' and were told 'no beds - go and wait in A&E with the drunk people'. To cut a long story short, we're talking 36 hours before he made it to the cardio ward. He'll  be in for a minimum of 6 weeks, which should be plenty of time for him to contract a couple of superbugs, or die from the grotesque so-called food they present him with. More about this on the Grannies page...

10.4.07 Losing the will to live: I look like an Easter egg, the freeloaders are off school for another whole week, and we have a mouse infestation. They are currently building an extension behind the kitchen units.

4.4.07 Inertia: I've been awake less than an hour and I can't be bothered to do anything today. Can't be arsed. I am truly inert. Am going back to bed to watch Philip and Fattie on the tellybox.

21.3.07: Spring Has Sprung: First day of spring today, although you could have fooled me. It's about minus 40 outside and my body is still trying to hibernate. I'm so fat now that I've taken to wearing my husband's clothes. Keep forgetting I'm on a diet and accidentally eating biscuits and buns, then thinking, damn... I knew there was something I was supposed to remember.

Mothers Day Aftermath: I'm not entirely sure what happened, but I have the mother of all hangovers today. Awake at 5am, lying there trying not to honk, and now have to endure the school run. I'm probably still over the limit. Oh well. I suppose I could go and shuffle around Asda for an hour and try to sober up. Looking at the people in there always makes me feel a bit better about myself. Saw the fattest man in the world coming out of the doors last week - it was truly disgusting, like Jabba the Hut in a shell suit. Talking of which, I'm starting my latest diet today. When I sit down I can feel my side flab against my arms. Nice.

14.3.07: World Bank: I don't know why I bother going to the cashpoint. Saturday morning and the teenagers have stripped my purse and gone off on the bus to the nearest confluence of grunting, spotty friends. I've lost count of the times I've tried to buy a packet of fags and a bottle of meths up the shop only to find I can't pay for them. They know my pin number too and now my card details are registered with every online retailer in the universe. Just wait til they grow up. I'm going to move in with them and wee on their sofas.

5.3.07: The Reluctant Gardener: My husband has been put on 'gardening leave'. I'll say no more. He, of course, is pretty thrilled that he's got some time off before starting his new job. I, on the other hand, am now mercilessly marooned with a husband who, frankly, is not supposed to be here during the day. Now I have to pretend that I use my time in a constructive manner. Gone now is Biscuit Hour With Trailer Trash TV, and the eons I spend lying around going blah blah blah on the telephone. I'm having to eat something trim and quick for lunch instead of preparing my usual gourmet treat for the day and having a good old muncheroonie with a massive glass of wine. It's due to go on for some weeks, so I may have to contract cholera and check myself into an isolation ward.

Happy Birthday To Me: Yes, it's that most important of days. Having been married for five billion years, I know to give my husband a list with very specific instructions with regard to my gifts. Confident that I couldn't go wrong, I received the carrier bag with glee, only to find that it contained entirely the wrong thing. How the fuck can you confuse a bottle of perfume with a bloody candle? I wrote it down in black and white but, oh no, much too confusing. 'What's this?' I demanded. 'A candle,' he smiled nervously. 'I wanted perfume,' I yelled. He went white. The rest of the conversation I can leave to your imagination, including the part when I demanded he show me the list I gave him and read it out loud. It's all right. I'm not too upset about it. He's going back to the shop today (I have kept the candle as a consolation prize) and I fully intend to get my own back when his birthday comes around. I'll be buying him a dress.

19.2.07: Lazy B***ards: So. Half term is over and I wake up this morning rubbing my hands together only to find that today is a so-called Teacher Training Day. This roughly translates to 'extra day off' for those poor over-worked teaching staff. Excuse me? Well I'm sorry, but I think they are a bunch of lazy taking-the-Mick public service spongers. Our schools here were closed for 2 days when we had that pathetic flurry of snow. Was there a single flake of it on the roads near the schools? Take a wild guess. I am very tempted to get in my car this morning anyway with a couple of cans of spray paint and graffitti exactly what I think of the lot of them right across the main entrance.

12.2.07: Half Term Week: Oh joy. The teenagers are off school for a whole week which means I get to listen to them screaming at each other during the day aswell. I have decided to take an entirely zen approach from now on, which means sticking my fingers in my ears and saying la-la-la-la I Can't Hear You. By reducing my own standards of behaviour, communication becomes much easier. They look at me uneasily and even offer to make me a cup of tea now and again. Meanwhile I stare at the wall in a comatose manner and speak to inanimate objects. Seems to be working a treat.

15.1.07: Things Are Looking Up: Yes, my friends, not only have I escaped, but I have also had a very intellesting week. All these years of biding my time are finally beginning to pay off. While I am away, I shall be plotting Phase II of my exit-from-responsibilities plan. The way the years shoot by, I reckon those kids will be off my hands before I know it. Cool.

Happy New Year: although why I should be rejoicing at the prospect of another twelve months of misery, God only knows. I am currently suffering from concussion after my nephew decided to dislodge a piece of furniture and aim it at his auntie's head. Maybe it'll knock some sense into me. Anyway - here's to 2007... may it bring you health, happiness and good fortune, and if none of that is forthcoming, may I suggest you set fire to your house and everyone in it.

21.12.06: Breakdown, anyone?: My 'to do' list today is longer than the Amazon and most of it involves being dragged around the shops by the heaving crowds. Having finally got my shit together and jumped in the car, it has of course refused to start. So I ring the AA (again) and am told that I can't book a call out because my husband is already broken down and freezing his nuts off on the hard shoulder of the M40. So, there is a God....

8.12.06: Thank God It's Friday: I don't think I could have taken much more this week. Teenager number 2 is breaking up for Christmas in about, oh, an hour. The Valium I ordered from Drugs-R-Us online still hasn't arrived. Does nothing work in this country?

5.12.06 Worrying News: Ruth The Housekeeper didn't turn up for work this morning. In all these years, that's a first. She usually gets her husband to ring up with a lame excuse, rather like a parent might ring the school with a lurgie report. I'll be keeping an eye on the local news bulletin tonight to check she hasn't been caught trying to shin over the wall of her local Co-op and escape. Further worrying news... there's something seriously wrong with my bathroom scales. The digital display flashes 'XFB' within moments of my mounting them. They must be broken, as were the three previous sets. I am seriously thinking of writing to Trading Standards.

1.12.06: Flinglish: I feel really ill. Just had a massive fried breakfast. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

28.11.06: Invasion of House Bugs: Being the generous kind of person that I am, my doors will be thrown open to the Travelling Wilburies who have been backpacking around the world and are now in serious need of a bath. I am pretending to my husband that it's all a massive inconvenience, while secretly rubbing my hands together and planning various complicated sorties with the guest wife. This week, there are four of us long-suffering women ganging up on Thursday to go 'Christmas Shopping'. Yeah right. Roughly translated, that means we'll turn up at a restaurant somewhere around midday, have civilised pre-lunch drinkies, then fall out of the door around 4.30pm when the staff finally refuse to serve us.

16.11.06: With my husband away, I have put my 'me time' to good use and booked a great big tropical holiday for myself in January. By the time he gets back tomorrow, there won't be a thing he can do about it. Clever, eh? I have been in cahoots with Ruth The Housekeeper to take over the daily grind of the school run/shopping/feeding/shouting and the kids. All I have to do is pack a back and sneak out before he gets home from work on my departure day. I am feeling very pleased with myself indeed.

6.11.06: Following the amateur fireworks display orchestrated by Danger-Husband on Sunday, our lawn now looks like Arthur Scargill's hair.

19.10.06: I had a real bath this morning. With real water and real soap. No idea how to turn the new heating system off so I am now dying of tropical heat exhaustion. Update: So I called Darren and pleaded 'how do you turn the bloody heating off?' Lots of plumbese followed. He made me ring him back with a mobile in hand, standing in front of the new boiler, (because it was that complicated). 'See that switch in front of you?' He asked, to which I replied, 'What? The one that says on and off?' 'That's it,' he said. 'Turn it to the off position.'

18.10.06 : I'm stressed. Plumbers arrived yesterday and started ripping out the central heating and hot water system. Being men, they are making as much mess as they possibly can. Being a woman, I am viewed as the tea-making machine, and I am not to make any comments about the damage they have caused (foot through a ceiling yesterday, flooding caused by someone leaving a pipe disconnected), because women don't understand these things. It's okay, I can bide my time. They'll make a start on the biscuits soon, having no idea what I've done to them. I can hear them laughing upstairs. Yeah, go ahead suckers.

In the meantime, we've got no heating, no hot water, a hole in the ceiling and a sodden carpet upstairs. So there's me this morning, boiling the kettle non-stop from 6.30am, hulking buckets of hot water upstairs while teenager number one does her pieces and threatens to kill herself if she can't wash her hair. God, it's temping sometimes, isn't it?

14.10.06: I got a parking ticket today. Sixty quid. The moron that stuck it on my windshield is obviously completely BLIND as there was a valid ticket on my dashboard. So I rang them up, as you do. The grumpy old bag who I spoke to said I have to write in now, with the ticket, explain why I should not be criminalised, and keep a photocopy of everything in case they lose it because they are soooo incompetent. Give me strength. Since when do I have the time? If it's going to be such a massive inconvenience I may well just drive down there and stick it to her head.

10.10.06 I've crashed my car. Last night. The other car was blue. I know this because there is now an enormous streak of blue paint and dented bodywork down one side of mine which, incidentally, is red. Not a great look. I also have a horrible feeling that the other vehicle involved in the accident may have been a Porsche. The reason I am unsure about the other car, is that it was parked, and I didn't stop. There was some mad woman in front of me playing chicken run and a man behind me who probably ought not to have been at large in the community. I pulled over when I found a space (about eight miles away) and called Camden police to tell them what I had done. I have to go to the cop shop this morning and get a naughty-drivers' form. So, if you happen to live in the Belsize Park area, drive a blue Porsche, and have found your car somewhat rearranged this morning, it was me. Still, that's what you get for driving a wanker's car.

4.10.06: I'm all alone in the house. No kids. No stinking husband. No housekeeper. Do I do the laundry or check that bottle of gin hasn't gone off? Decisions, decisions....

30.9.06: AMAZING STOP PRESS: DEAL OR NO DEAL... Ruth the housekeeper won the phone in bit of Deal Or No Deal! Two thousand of your finest English pounds are winging their way to her as we speak. She has no intention of telling her husband. Way to go, Ruthie!

27.9.06: I'm not very well. Got a dose of the 'well-bad lurgie' (as teenager number 1 calls it). Am now bumbling around the house smashed out of my brain on Night Nurse. I understand they do a non-drowsy Day Nurse version, but where's the fun in that?

20.9.06: The central heating's been on the blink and I just got the quote this morning to sort it out. Five bleedin' grand, plus VAT, plus each radiator has to be fitted with some kind of valve that costs twenty-five quid a pop. There are 28 radiators in the house. I'm rubbish at maths but even I know how many pairs of shoes that equates to. It's enough to make you weep.

11.9.06: Anyone who has had any dealings with Carphone Warehouse/Talk Talk will be thrilled to hear that I (politely) told them where to shove it today. The in-store staff have to pass thick-o-meter tests before they are hired, and I've seen more intelligent things lurking at the bottom of the laundry basket. Delighted to see today's reports that they have been fined half a million quid for rubbish service. My next task is to get all the money back that they have plundered from my bank account.

5.9.06: Hooray! One down, one to go. Elder kid went back to school this morning. Stuck with the other one until the 18th. I feel like opening a bottle of gin. Mind you, with me now reduced to wearing wraparound horse blankets, the diet has to start today. I suppose I could always use slimline tonic and substitute two slices of wholemeal toast with a scraping of low-calorie spread for a cocktail umbrella.

30.8.06: Younger kid is moaning 'I'm Bored'.  I swear, if I hear that one more time, I cannot and will not be held responsible for my actions. The last week of August. Like the final mile of the marathon. I am calendar-watching and clinging on by my fingernails waiting for the big red letter day yelling 'Back To School'. I am completely unable to fit in my secret life alongside the holidays. All internet connections in my house are up the swannee except one, which we are now all fighting over. It is most frustrating.

27.8.06: The piano-tuner turned up this morning. Deaf as a post, he bellowed at me 'MORNING! SORRY I'M LATE!' He is now smashing away at a very out of tune grand in the sitting room. I've opened all the doors so the teenagers get the full effect.

11.8.2006: After the abortive Cornwall sortie, you'd have thought I would have learned my lesson. Yet there I was, stuffing things into bags and about to get on a plane to Portugal, teenage daughters from hell in tow, to spend a few days with a girlfriend who's husband is wedged-up enough to have a rather nice pad out there. He's had to come back to Old Blighty for a few days to take care of some business, so his wife and I have contrived to take advantage of his absence. She has shipped in several cases of vino collapso, so things are looking up.

Teenager number one is doing her pieces upstairs as I've told her 'hand luggage only, lady.' God knows, she needs an aircraft carrier just for her make-up bag. Teenager number two is still in bed at midday. On the upside, I'm leaving the husband behind. Ruth the housekeeper is under instructions to count the empty beer cans by the bin and report back to me on Friday. I may even take a few fuses out of the junction box just to amuse myself.