Flaming June

Another month gone. Jeez!

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Davros Teddy got to grips with his Bumbo seat. ..

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…from where he’s been rather entranced with Wimbledon. Good boy.

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It’s been a hard life for Husband. And that was before his trip to Brazil.

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Salad has been dinner of choice.

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Off to catch the bus. Again. Which would be ok if we didn’t have to walk out of town and then pay to get back home.

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Hand-jiving – on stage! Eeek! – with the jazz classes. Thank God I was put at the back!

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Be careful what you type in when searching ‘Removing nail varnish from leather.’ Thanks for jumping the gun there, Google. Definitely NOT what I was after!

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Boo really wasn’t impressed with her new school uniform. And that’s with us still to tackle the issue of having to wear a tie!

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Afternoon shadow on the sand.

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Well, if it means I don’t have to endure the sodding World Cup myself, then yes. Go!

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I lost my glasses. I think Noodles may have had something to do with it after reading some Calvin and Hobbes.

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But it was a good excuse to buy some new ones.

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Boo’s pics get edited at her No Added Sugar shoot. It’ll be nearly a year til we see the results though!

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Her red plimsoles wait for a moment in the spotlight.

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Cool diner on site. But the shoot was so well catered we didn’t need any more feeding.

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Wise words.

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Cutie pie.

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Favourite pin this month.

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Teddy envies Noddles’ abundant locks, so tries to fashion his own.

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Noodles’ temperature on Friday night. Half an hour later he was bouncing around like Tigger again. Thanks, Calpol!

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I don’t know where Indy found a goat to sacrifice, but the traffic on Saturday couldn’t have been better.

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I’m still not sure how we got everything in my car though. Let alone how we managed it by 9.45am!

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Still, the early start was worth it to see these two dance. I conclude that Flavia Cacae is made purely of helium and rubber.

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Wimbledon fortnight and Glastonbury weekend. But of course it was going to rain. And, boy, did it rain!

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Husband’s luggage finally made it home, complete with cute t-shirt for Noodles…

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…and Havaianas flip-flops for me. Sometimes he doesn’t get it wrong. Sometimes. 😉

Further Arguments for a Duplication Machine

What’s that, George? You’re upset that my last post was about Dance til Dawn, not From Dusk til Dawn.

Ok, any excuse to post a picture of you.

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And, of course, if I really DID have a duplication machine, you, George, would be one of the first to go in it. There could never be such a thing as too much Clooney.

In which case, lets have another pic:

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Mmmmm.

Seriously, scientists, can you PLEASE get on with cloning!!! Surely I’ve made my case well enough today. A help with chores and limitless George. Or maybe combine the two and have limitless George Clooneys who can do the chores? (He already knows how to make coffee after all.)

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Come on, science guys. The world would be an infinitely better place.

Oh, For a Duplication Machine

I blame cartoons. So often a duplication machine would be more than handy. For those days where you have to be in more than one place at once, where the fun stuff has to be missed for the sake of the mundane-yet-necessary. Or you spread yourself too thin in the hope of appeasing everyone, but end up disappointing them all instead.

How could even a temporary duplication machine not be helpful in such circumstances? Why aren’t scientists on it?

Because they’ve been put off by the ramifications in cartoons. In the same way crossing a rope bridge always feels trepidatious, even when there’s not actually a gorge filled with crocodiles underneath and you’re not being pursued by a Scooby Doo ghoul (just a bunch of meddling kids, but aren’t you too old to be playing on the kids’ equipment in the playground?) or why anything with ‘Acme’ in it’s name is going to be treated with suspicion. Scientists must be under the illusion that duplication will only lead to bad things. But I don’t think they’ve fully thought it through.

Personally, I’m willing to overcome any concern as to the back-firing of a duplication machine (as long as it’s not produced by Acme) for the benefit of an extra pair of hands.

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The trouble with duplication in cartoons is that it’s always been done by lazy males who want to give their clones all the hard work, leading to a rebellion. But for busy mums with kids that outnumber willing helpers in the quest to juggle everything it would be a boon. We’d know first hand that it sucks to always get the rough end of the stick, so would be more willing to still pick up the horrible jobs in an equal way. Possibly.

Having a couple of clones would have definitely been a help yesterday.
It would have meant that I wouldn’t have had to get up at 5.00am to collect Indy and her stuff from university. Especially after sitting up til late waiting for Husband to get home, when actually he was stuck in Portugal…where apparently they DON’T HAVE PHONES, but DO HAVE FACEBOOK. Only I’m not a Facebook addict, so I fretted all night that he was a) dead or b) had read my post about him and hadn’t taken it well.

Actually, though, maybe a Tardis would have been a better option for the uni run.

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Not only would there have been no issues regarding traffic congestion, but we wouldn’t have had to have played packing box Jenga in the car. Or had to have worried about to where to store everything back at home. How did she manage to accumulate SO MUCH stuff over 8 months anyway?!?! Is she actually doing a BA(Hons) in Shopping?! If only. She’d be a dead cert for a first class pass.

But a duplication machine would have meant I wouldn’t have had to have left a croupy Noodles in the hands of Grandy at 5.30am, with a full 30 minutes before CBeebies even offered a numbing distraction for a far-too-alert-for-this-time-of-the-morning toddler. (Why does Calpol only seem to come in ‘perky’ rather than ‘drowsy’?)

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It would have meant Boo would have got to dancing all groomed, rather than looking like she’d gone backwards through a hedge. Or I would have been at home to greet Husband home, when he eventually made it back (although his luggage is still in Portugal).

It would have meant that I could have sat and watched Dance til Dawn guilt-free*, instead of worrying about how everyone was doing at home or about having to leave Indy to wander the shops streets of Norwich alone.

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*Actually the guilt didn’t last long. Not when there was Vincent Simone in handcuffs alongside dancing policemen (one of whom who looked A LOT like Robbie Williams)…

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…especially sitting in the front row, where I kept catching the Robbie-a-like’s eye and we had Vincent’s kiss directed at us at the end…

…AND got a lovely cuddle with Vincent at the Stage Door afterwards. (Stalker status is official as he not only recognised us, but remembered a conversation we had 5 years earlier!)

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Nothing as sad as the middle-aged Groupie. Oh well, I can live with it.

Actually, maybe a Time Turner would have been even better.

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I could have simultaneously done all of my chores without the grotesque start AND kept repeating my Dance til Dawn experience. I could have watched the show a hundred times over. Vincent and Flavia and their team really know how to inject theatricality into their shows and they’ve upped the ante even more this time. In the words of Craig Revel Horwood: A-MA-ZING!!!

Then all I would have needed would have been a pair of Ruby Slippers to get me home.

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There IS no place like home (although not necessarily in a good way, not when compared with snuggling up to a cheeky little Italian dancer). Plus, they’re ruby slippers. That alone is enough. But if they’d have saved me from a depressing, comedown drive home in the rain after a very long day then all the better.

But science has failed me. Has failed ALL of us. Remember that next time you have to sacrifice something fun – or even just sleep – for mundanity. A temporary duplication machine in the hands of the right people (ie women!) would be a VERY GOOD THING. A Tardis, a Time Turner and Ruby Slippers should surely also be an integral part of a busy mum’s arsenal. Shame on you, scientists. Ok, in fiction, these things aren’t without flaws, but in the reality things couldn’t get any more complicated. Surely it’s worth a try?

Reasons to be Grateful

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Dear Husband,

As I write, you should be touching back down in the country after your trip to Brazil. I’d love to say I’m glad you’ve had such an amazing trip, but from three scant emails in 2 weeks I really don’t know if you have. All I know is that (unless your plane has crashed, and tbh I haven’t heard so) you’re alive, which wasn’t necessarily a given when you left. But I’m sure you’ll bore us fill us in on all the details over the coming days/weeks/months, regaling friends and neighbours with your adventures whilst I nod along, having heard it all a hundred times. The food you’ve eaten, the things you’ve seen, the places you’ve been, the music, the people, the escapades. Yes, how exciting it must have been! ‘Wouldn’t it have been GREAT to have been out there?’ *Forced smile to keep things civilised.* Note how the smile doesn’t reach my eyes.

Have I missed you? Can I be honest? No. Things haven’t been any more difficult without you. But then you normally just sit plugged into your music and sitting on Facebook anyway. We’ve got through all the normal stuff – work, school, kids’ stuff, cooking, cleaning – without you. Plus we had the police at our door, a modelling trip for Boo and a hospital visit and croup with Noodles. It didn’t seem any harder without you.

Plus I had the bed to myself. (Bliss.) Or, often me and Noodles. But it still made for a better sleep than being crushed in a toddler bed.

And no nagging. Ah, the lack of the stream of questions about things I’ve bought has been heavenly. I’ve been more relaxed. Unless I start shop-lifting things cost. Get used to it.

Boo has been in a better mood too. You’ve not been there to ignore her, so she’s been upset less frequently. It’s been nice. Please don’t change that balance just by being you, expecting everything to revolve around you and only you.

There have been some changes, you’ll find. I dug through the junk in the bottom of my side of the wardrobe for a start. Could you please do something with what turned out to be mostly your stuff. We do not – and I suspect will never – need an electronic typewriter. Please get rid of it.

The house is still a mess, mind you. It’s not been as bad as normal as your papers haven’t been strewn all over the sofa. But toys still don’t put themselves in the toy box and teenagers don’t tidy up after themselves. The ironing pile is still huge (mostly mine and the kids’, but it’s tricky when there’s a clingy toddler hanging off your legs) but the washing mountain has been significantly less without you here. At least until today, when your holiday washing will come back with you (worst luck).

What I’m saying, I guess, is that you need to count your blessings and not fall back into your old routine. Because it would be easy to think that it’s actually nicer without you and I could do it on a more permanent basis.

May I suggest:

• Rather than planting yourself back at the laptop, consider engaging with us all instead.

• But not just to nag about things you don’t like. (Hypocritical, in light of the nature of this post, but this is MY blog, so suck it up and learn.) Yes, I used our joint account to buy stuff (mostly food). Get used to it. It’s what money’s there for.

• Do things because it’d be a help to me, not just because it’s convenient for you. Work from home so as to do the school run when I have to work, NOT just because you can’t be bothered to catch the bus that day. Cook the dinner (including shopping for it) if you’re home and done for the day before me, NOT just sit there waiting for a barbecue-worthy afternoon. Or give me a night off by stumping up for a take-away occasionally. Cooking for 6 each night, with everyone having different foibles, is hard.

• Do the things you say you will. Get the windows sorted, arrange some family days out to compensate for a lack of a family holiday, take me with you on a trip to the cinema. If you say you’re taking the kids to visit your mum, take the kids to visit your mum.

• Be glad I didn’t just go ahead and arrange all the things that need doing in your absence – including the installation of a new kitchen – having you come home to a pile of invoices. Believe me when I say I was tempted.

• Be glad that it’s just the typewriter, not ALL of your stuff – and YOU – that I want out of the house.

• Realise how lucky you are to go hither and thither at will or the say-so of Sepp Blatter, leaving your family behind. If only the rest of us could justify temporary escape so easily. I don’t mind your absence so much as your sense of entitlement that you can do such things.

• Don’t expect sympathy for your jet lag.

Maybe if you did these things then I would be a better wife. I’d be less tired, feel less as though I’m constantly the person who sorts everything out. The one whose left holding everything together. (Although then I’d have to think of a new tagline. but just sometimes would be nice.) Maybe I’d have some energy left for you, for us. Maybe I’d even be kind to you when your adventures have impacted on your (not as young as it used to be) body.

Finally, for your sake, I hope you’ve brought some good presents back. (Although I doubt it, especially after your efforts for my birthday(s).) At least there won’t be a vuvuzela this year. There are some reasons ALL of should be grateful. The lack of a vuvuzela is definitely one.

Yours,

GSM xx

Too Honest For My Own Fun

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I missed a chance of a lifetime today. Ok, to have followed it through would have possibly – probably – ended in my arrest. But sometimes the little devil that sits on my shoulder whispers in my ear saying ‘Oooh, look at that. Whatcha gonna do about it?’

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Thankfully, when it comes to illegal stuff my angel wins out (the devil’s usually too tired having convinced me to eat bad food, drink Coke and spend too much money on clothes to fight). Probably just as well when I saw this:

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Keys left in the door of a neighbour’s car, that just happens to be an old taxi.

Who wouldn’t fancy taking a black cab for a bit of a joyride? I could sit in front of the partition spouting shallow judgement – a real-life version of my blog! What fun! I was tempted.

But as stolen vehicles go, I’d have been a pretty easy spot. It’s not like we live in London where I could have had a chance of blending in.

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And as the highest speed I’ve experienced in a cab has been about 20mph in the capital I’m not sure if it’d be capable of escaping a police chase. It’d make a different episode of Traffic Cops, mind you.

But the devil on my shoulder lost out. I even considered taking the keys – just for safe-keeping – to stop anyone else from pinching the car, leaving a ransom note on the windscreen. At least I could have found out what it’s like to have a black cab as your family car. But I was going out so wouldn’t have been in if the owner needed his keys. I planned to take the keys (NOT the car) if it was still there, but it was gone by the time I got back.

I really hope it was the owner that took it. I’ll keep my eyes peeled when reading my local paper though, just in case.

Lessons from the Past

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Noodles needs a haircut. Badly. It’s gone from (aspirations towards) cool mini surfer dude to nothing short of unkempt, Cousin Itt in the making. How he doesn’t just walk into things is beyond me.

But I still don’t think I can inflict the whirling dervish of him in Teeny-Sod-has-a-Tantrum mode on even the most professional of professionals. Besides, you know, nits! (If anyone knows how to get the eggs out of hair so very very fine, short of shaving it all off, please let me know. Even the most expensive of combs don’t come close.)

So, Noodles badly needs a haircut. But what he doesn’t need is a BAD haircut. And every time I think of tackling just his fringe I think of this:

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My school photo circa 1980.

All I can think is what did my mum DO to me?! Had it seemed like a good idea at the time?!

Can I really responsible for inflicting similar on Noodles? Would he ever forgive me? Is sight actually necessary, never mind preferable to people pointing and laughing?

I feel the money I save on barber bills will have to be invested for future therapist payments.

All I can say, Noodles, is that even in advance I’m really really sorry.