Monday, 30 April 2012

How to be a student

With brief thanks to the Almighty, son has returned to Uni. There are some heavy duty exams on the horizon so I spent a long time creating a ton of home cooked food for him to take back and freeze. On the wish list was "Bolognaise and soup".  I bought a heap of leeks and potatoes for that old favourite.  Son looks puzzled.  "Oh just tomato would be great, thanks."  Grr. So, many hours of slaving over a hot stove later, it was all stacked in the fridge ready to go. Then we had a chat along these lines: 

Son: actually mum, I need a bit more stuff. At chance I could borrow your credit card for a Tesco shop? 

Me: er, well okay. But can you make sure you buy own brands not branded goods? It makes a huge difference to the cost.... 

Son: er wot?  Oh yeah, suuure....(looks disinterested) 

Fast forward several hours. Son has trekked to supermarket and made several phone calls in the process among the lines of "where's the bread?" (same aisle as the eggs) and "can I get any beer?" (no).  He returns home, shoves a ton of food into the fridge and leaves the rest in bags by the back door, ready to go.  I take a little look.  Then I take a closer look.  Then I look at the till receipt.

This is son's idea of buying own-brand goods:- 

I attempt to remonstrate with him.  He looks puzzled, then bored.  I give up.

Some time later, we get an email.  He sends us a link to a video which (he says) is a hugely accurate vignette of student life.  Made us laugh - enjoy!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Motherhood Meme

So here I am, lying on my sickbed, dying of the cold from hell whilst wheezing attractively into one of Kleenex's finest and thinking about my blog with no great love. "Bloody blog. Needs more attention than your average newborn. Got no inspiration. Hack, sniff. Wish I'd never given birth to the sodding thing..." when up pops Sarah Hague with an offer of a meme. 

Now there is the distinct possibility that Sarah has a Machiavelllian streak in her and is playing on my conscience because I realise I still owe her a meme on the theme of 'firsts' (I haven't forgotten - I'm hunting for a particularly apt photo to go with it...) but I feel sufficiently guilty to give this one a go. Buckle your seat belts...

Describe motherhood in three words:- Let's go for joy, expense and exhaustion. 

How does your experience differ from your mother's? In a word, convenience. My mother had no pre-prepared baby food, no freezer, no disposable nappies. When I had my son she asked me if I would be using traditional Terry nappies. I felt forced to inform her that the sight of her scraping the contents of my brother's nappies down the loo had scarred me for life. Why would I want to do that when the God of Pampers had been sent to answer my prayers? 

What is the hardest thing about being a mother? Very easy - the lack of sleep. Having babies has ruined my Circadian rhythms and I never seem to have regained a normal sleep pattern. When they were tiny, I was awake, fretting, with them in my arms. Now they are grown, I'm awake, fretting, with them in the King's Arms and wondering what state they will come home in.

How has motherhood changed you? See above. And below. 
20 years later...

CQ pre-children

Nuff said. 

What do you hope for your children? Health, happiness and that they make a good choice of care home for me. 

What do you fear for your children? That they can't afford to pay my care home fees. I hope you're reading this, kids. I'm packing my suitcase and I'm moving in. Huzzah! 

What makes it all worthwhile? Once all the ranting and the threats are done, e.g. "Just wash the sodding cat bowls, or your allowance stops NOW!" it's the little things that count. On day one of the cold from hell when I was languishing at home, son popped out to get me a paper and daughter came home with this....

(my fave - you can keep your 70% cacao stuff - this is the biz). 

The Shah meanwhile, sent a loving, caring text. It read 

"Home late, team mtg + drinks. wots for dinna?"  

Aah bless - all's right with the world.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Bricking it...

Poor little Samantha Brick.  How she has suffered!  For the uninitiated and the disinterested, let me just explain that Samantha Brick is a journalist who, 2 days ago, wrote an article in the Daily Mail bleating stating that her life is a nightmare just because she’s so beautiful.  Before I continue, I feel honour-bound to explain to my non-Brit readers that the Daily Mail is a comic for grown-ups which masquerades as a tabloid newspaper in the UK.

Anyway, let us not divert our eyes from the lovely Samantha a moment longer than necessary because, reader, I feel her pain.

How her life story resonates with mine!  Our daily existence seems to travel along a spookily parallel path because I too am blighted by excessive beauty.  I am beautiful within and without – let me elucidate (you see?  I even use beautiful language!)

Samantha Brick

It started right from childhood when I recall a maiden aunt comparing me to a fine watercolour with the words “she’s no oil painting, is she?”.  I was thrilled!  That was the remark that was to set the tone for the rest of my life.  All through school my utter wonderfulness meant that the other girls couldn't bear to be around me, lest they seemed bland by comparison.  In PE for example, when the sports captains were choosing teams, they would always leave me till the end – saving the best till last you see!  Then they would nobly fight over who got to have me on their team – “you have her!” – “no YOU have her!” they would cry until, at last, the teacher would shout “someone take her for God’s sake, the lesson’s nearly over.”  I was moved by their generosity of spirit.

Queuing up for lunch, the boys behind me would always want to feel the silken touch of my flowing hair.  Sometimes, their enthusiasm would overcome them and they might pull it just a teensy bit in their youthful exuberance.  But hey – no harm done and none intended, I’m sure.  The pain usually wore off after a couple of hours.

As an adult, more praise and worship was to come my way.  At work, I regularly attracted attention.   Sadly, my first boss was terribly clumsy and rather selfish because he frequently dropped things and then asked me to pick them up for him.  When I bent over, he would call to his colleagues, “fuck me, is there an eclipse today?” so blinded was he by my beauty!  Nowadays, I work in a school and the pupils often comment as I sashay down the corridors.  Of course, I am often preoccupied with work matters and am a little distracted.  The students are kind enough to notice this and I hear them whisper “she’s so sad” as I stride by.  How uncommonly perceptive!

Occasionally, people like to have a little joke with me.  Only yesterday, I was at the till in the supermarket, trying to find my purse in my handbag.  Suddenly, I heard the assistant say, “Get on with it, you stupid bitch!” but then I realised that she was talking to the blind man behind me whose Labrador was so busy humping my leg (see – even animals love me!) that it hadn’t guided its hapless owner to the conveyor belt. 

The Shah often calls me “Broad in the Beam” – obviously referring to my exquisite smile!  He also likes to celebrate my allure with a pretty nickname.  Yes, he often refers to me as Misshapen!  I think he means Miss Shapely, but English is not his first language, so I don’t want to make him feel uncomfortable by pointing out his little error.

My children also love to celebrate their pride in my good looks and all-round gorgeousness.  They have dreamt up a series of acronyms which they use as nicknames for me – these are just a small sample:-

MUG – mum’s utterly gorgeous
MOOSE - mum of outstandingly special elegance
LOSER – Lady of strikingly elegant radiance
FUGLY – Fabulous, utterly glamorous, lithe and young

Can you come up with some more, I wonder?

Yours in utter fabulosity,
CQ xx