Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Catch up...

So chums, what to tell you?  It has been a busy old time at Crap Cottage so I thought I would offer you a little vignette of the past 10 or so days - the (paltry) highs and the (plentiful) lows.

Let us begin with matters Français.  

Or should that be Française?  Yes, we have had our French Exchange girl to stay for a week.  She was absolutely delightful and very easy to have around but gawd is it hard work having someone else to think about for a whole week?  I mean someone whom you cannot routinely and affectionately hurl abuse at in the way you do with your own husband/kids.  To have to think about providing proper meals at regular heures....meh. the girls were very different.  The visitor was only 16, but had a 20 year old boyfriend which left our daughter agape.  She seemed not to be a party girl but spent hours every evening Skypeing her boyfriend and family.  Happily though, and much like Trish at Mum's Gone To ... when her son entertained "a Frenchie", the entente was pretty cordiale.  One of the other girls on the Exchange who was also 16 apparently had a 25 year old boyfriend which led to me overhearing my daughter saying earnestly, "If I wanted to go out with a 25 year old, my mum would go ballistic!"  How well she knows me.  Maybe this is a cultural thing?  My daughter and her friends viewed it as "practically child abuse" - perhaps my mate Madame Wylye Girl can help explain?

Having one extra was not that hard if I'm to be honest as the house is like a feckin' traveller camp at the best of times with sundry teenagers coming and going at all hours.  When we bought Crap Cottage, one of the overriding factors in choosing it was its central location and proximity to public transport for the kids.  What we didn't factor in was that it is just as central for every other bugger's kids as well.  Nowadays, the Shah and I have just given up and he has learned not to blench as scantily-clad 17 year old girls stroll through the kitchen, casually raiding the fridge as they go, making cups of tea and leaving a trail of tiny scraps of lace underwear, vertiginous heels and makeup wipes all over the house.

In other news, work is reaching the end-of-term crescendo.  You can tell that people are becoming slightly hysterical as we hurtle towards the apocalypse that is the End of Term Assembly.  Here are two examples:  this first one was found pinned to the staff room noticeboard...

For our second example, I offer you the coffee mug I very, very nearly gave to a candidate who had come for interview for a very senior position...

Wouldn't have minded but he looked like the back end of a bus.

Meanwhile in the great outdoors, the Shah has been minded to survey his estate in this good weather and to clear the vegetable patch in the process.  Last Autumn, I planted a whole packet of carrot seeds hoping that they would over-winter nicely and we would have a decent crop come the Spring.  Here is Mother Nature's bounty - photographed with an apple next to them to provide a sense of scale (i.e. paltry)
As the Shah came in, brandishing the fruits of his labours, he met his son who eyed the pathetic, weedy offerings and said "D'you know what Dad?  It's a good job you're not a subsistence farmer in Ethiopia - the whole family would have bloody starved by now."  He may have a point.

Toodle pip!


  1. Those carrots may be small but they are home grown....well done! are you a teacher? I somehow thought you were a matron.....

  2. Lord no - I couldn't teach! And Matron! I love it! I am actually the Head's PA and it is the most mental job (and the most varied) I have ever had. However, I am also a trained nurse - I just gave up nursing some years ago so there is a Matron-type theme there and I do seem to spend quite a lot of time in the medical room bandaging knees etc!!

  3. There's so much to laugh with in this post; I'm doing a lot of head nodding as I understand your increased stress level having someone else in the house, no matter how easygoing they are. Very surprised at the ages of the French girls' boyfriends!

    Carrot soup anyone?

  4. You got 3 more carrots than I got parsnips. I didn't even get a leaf to munch on. The sage went wild though.

    I'm surprised at the ages of the boyfriends too. I must ask my son if that's normal. Glad things went well though with la Frenchie. You never know with Frenchies... my mum's neighbours have some tales to tell that make your hair stand on end.

  5. Trish - carrot soup from that little lot? We surely would starve!

    Sarah - do find out about this boyfriend thing and report back - I'm fascinated! Maybe they are just very mature girls?

  6. I haven't had to worry about boyfriends with any of our foreign visitors thank heaven, and I too would be ballistic! A shortage of flapjack and a lack of evening entertainment were the issues with our Spanishgirl - and the French girls were 12/13 and from the country: lovely smiley YOUNG people!

  7. Hi HF - yes YOUNG is definitely the way to go - avoid rancid teens at all costs! I didn't try our girl with flapjack - mind you she ate evreything else in her path which, I suppose, is better than being picky!

  8. Tell The Shah not to worry too much about the crap arable turnout, we're getting close to barbecue season so there'll be no need for veg until the winter.

  9. Hah Andy - spoken like a true geezer!

  10. God, that's what I miss about England, that people can have mugs that say Top Tottie. Plus are those your nails in the picture - no wonder you have such a fun life! (I was an exchange student in USA for a year when i was 17 and I can't imagine how the family put up with me for so long...)

  11. That's the trouble with America Jody (I can say that to you, what with you being a Kiwi and all). It's just too politically correct. My US cousins were horrified when I took them to my kids' school summer fete and they spotted the beer tent. And the queue outside it. We assured them it was the only thing that made that sort of day bearable! And yes, those are my nails - it's my one nod to self-maintenance and I reckon I'm worth it ( but the shah may disagree!)


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