Friday, 24 April 2009

The magical kingdom

I was wandering idly through my inbox the other day when a message caught my eye: 'random question, but would you like to go to Disneyland Florida?' What, as opposed to sitting here in Dulwich, watching smoochy couples wander hand-in-hand through the pink cherry-blossom in the park (so like confetti, sigh!) while Mr X has my children, leaving me with only repeats of ER for company?

Is there a smaller quantity of time than a nanosecond that I could pretend to think for?

The result is that I am off, as of Tuesday, for a five day fact-finding mission to the mother of all theme parks, in the company of a select group of (probably equally surprised) fellow blogstresses, all of us sans children.

We have an extremely packed itinerary and I, for one, have absolutely no intention of installing myself in the newly opened spa and refusing to move. It's true that I am uniquely qualified to test scary rides, being phobic about almost everything, having no head for heights and being blessed with the sort of inner courage that makes Shaggy of Scooby-Doo fame look like St George himself.

Besides, didn't I hear somewhere that Mickey Mouse is single? Sure, yes, Minnie does hang out with him - but has anyone actually seen a marriage certificate? Mmm, of interminate age, wearing horrid spotty shorts, tendency to grin like a loon, owner of a multi-million dollar movie empire ... sounds like just my kind of guy!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Glass half full ...

I am indebted to my lovely friend S for finally finding a glass which is just about the right size for my tiny nightly tipple of extra-strong screwcap Chardonnay .....well, nearly the right size anyway, thanks so much for trying, dear S xx. Ooopsie, just spilt a little!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Puppy love?

I talked to my lovely friend Slippers about my recent contretemps with TL, though I admit I slightly glossed over the part where I hit him 20 times after finding out he had had a rendez-vous with a former love, and concentrated more on the fact that he'd abandoned me to 'think' again. There is a connection, I can see it now the red mist has faded somewhat, between people finding a sudden urge to think deeply on their own, and being whacked repeatedly by someone shouting like a fishwife. Mind you, men, if you don't want GBH, don't go sneaking off to see former loves, no matter how justifiable you believe the circumstances are. If he'd told me what he was doing, I might have been .....slightly less annoyed. And I definitely would only have hit him ten or eleven times. No, the question is not really why TL is thinking, but why on earth I have not been.

The answer is both too simple and much too complicated, so I'll turn again to my dear Slippers. Her solution, to the 'lite' version of the tangled tale, was that I should go out and get myself a puppy.

'You can't think about anything when you've got a new puppy, you have to spend all day clearing up widdle,' she enthused. Hmmm, tempting.

We do have pets already - the divine Mme Bovary, who is currently very cross with me as we were away after Easter and her dainty little pink nose is out of joint, and Jumbo the rabbit. Jumbo, I'm ashamed to admit, is getting me down He sits all day in the corner of his cage, in a monumental sulk, with short outbursts of anger when he stomps around attacking his bedding with great fury, sometimes fixing me with a malevolent brown gaze (his cage is in the study where I write). He is never, never, never nice. He bites the children. He would no doubt bite me if I went anywhere near him. Frankly, he gives me the willies. And talking of willies ...people say he will be a lot better if we have him 'done'. But, oh, the responsibility, the guilt ...the vet fees ...

I thought about Slippers' puppy idea for about 30 seconds. Then I decided we'd get the next best thing - an iPhone.

For years, my mobile phones have been a joke. My first was second-hand, my second was the only one in the world without a camera, my current one was popular with a lot of Child Two's class two years ago but they've moved on to better things long since. A large part of me resists all this phone fashion nonsense. But then, another part is fed up with getting lost in the car. The connection? The iPhone has a built-in GPS tracker. So I wouldn't have to buy a Sat Nav. Yay!

I was still mulling all this when Child Two dragged me to the bright lights of Bromley to buy much-needed pedal pushers. She only has crops, clam diggers and capri pants and obviously needed pedal pushers from Zahra. On the way to Zahra was an o2 shop. And, before I knew it, I had a gleaming white iPhone complete with fancy red leather case.

There we were in the changing room at Zahra, playing with the lovely phone. In it went to its gorgeous new case. Out it came ....oh no, it didn't. What? It was stuck? I yanked at it, Child Two yanked at it ...but it was firmly embedded in the case, showing no signs of wanting to come out. Ever.

What kind of a phone case is this, I wondered? Hardly useful if you get an important call, then have to spend ages wrestling the phone out of its case to take it. Finally, with more huffing and puffing than it took Child Two to get into her skintight pedal pushers ('Yes, they are the right size, Mummy, and no, I don't need room to grow,') I managed to extract the phone. Phew.

Off we went home, and immediately, I tried to insert my old sim card, to get the phone working. Out came the space-age, bendy metal wishbone thing, up popped the sim holder - but how to get it in? Oh well, I just shoved the sim in and hoped for the best. That'll work, right?

Er, wrong. And I had just poked the sim right down into the innards of my lovely new phone, where it had stuck fast, like Winne the Pooh in Rabbit's doorway. Twenty minutes later and I had tested my new Sure Maximum Protection anti-perspirant to the limit, while ramming a hairgrip, tweezers, a needle and a knife into the iPhone and rummaging desperately. Finally, I managed to extract the sim, milimetre by milimetre, no doubt doing huge damage to various vital chips en route, and sat, panting with relief, at the kitchen table.

Child Two looked at me pityingly. 'Maybe you're not quite ready for an iPhone yet, Mummy,' she said, patting my hand sympathetically, as I am sure she and Child One will do when they sign me into the maximum security Home for the Hopeless Elderly next week.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Shopping and dropping

No-one can cheer me up like my impossibly glamorous friend J. This is the story she told me yesterday:

A woman was in town on a shopping trip. She began her day finding the most perfect shoes in the first shop and a beautiful dress on sale in the second. In the third, usually stratospherically expensive shop, everything had just been reduced to a fiver - when her mobile phone rang. It was a female doctor notifying her that her husband had just been in a terrible accident and was in critical condition in hospital. The woman told the doctor to inform her husband where she was and that she'd be there as soon as possible.

As she hung up, she realized she was leaving what was shaping up to be her best day ever in the shops. She decided to get in a couple of more shops before heading to the hospital. She ended up shopping the rest of the morning, finishing her trip with a cup of coffee. She was jubilant. Then she remembered her husband. Feeling guilty, she dashed to the hospital. She saw the doctor in the corridor and asked about her husband's condition.

The lady doctor glared at her and shouted, 'You went ahead and finished your shopping trip didn't you! I hope you're proud of yourself! While you were out for the past four hours enjoying yourself in town, your husband has been languishing in the Intensive Care Unit! It's just as well you went ahead and finished, because it will be more than likely the last shopping trip you ever take! For the rest of his life he will require round the clock care. And you'll now be his full time carer!' The woman was feeling so guilty she broke down and sobbed.

The female doctor then chuckled and said, 'I'm just pulling your leg. He's dead. What did you buy?'

Friday, 10 April 2009

Good Friday

It's uncanny. Here we are, on a Bank Holiday - Good Friday no less - and things are very far from good. TL has gone away again to 'think'. The children are with Mr X. Even the cat, darling Mme Bovary, is a bit offish. The weather is grey and cold in London.

Oh well. At least it's the one time of the year when you can walk out of the supermarket with two carrier bags full of chocolate and not attract any curious looks. Well, not many, anyway.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

What a waist

I was in the changing room at the Boden shop (yes, there is one, it's not just catalogues you know, it's cleverly positioned near the M40 to nab all those Bodenites nipping out to the home counties to see their parents/water the weekend cottage/dream of living in the stockbroker belt, do keep up!) when I realised why the Uptown Jeans I was trying on wouldn't do up. These trousers have a cunningly lowish waist, not so slashed as to allow the wearer to be confused with a teenager, but not high enough for any embarrassing Simon Cowell waist-up-to-armpits moments. But still, mine wouldn't meet in the middle. Because my middle seems to have slipped. Or maybe it's the bosoms. Whatever, there is a great big wodge of flab just about there, which never used to exist before.

Naturally, I started to scream, and my friend popped her head around the gaily patterned, Boden-print changing room curtains. She summed up the problem in a glance. 'Aha,' she said. 'It's that piri thing.'

'Piri? As in piri piri sauce?' I immediately cursed the day I'd ever sloshed some over a chicken. And surely I'd only had five or six portions? How could that have done this? 'That stuff ought to come with a warning on the bottle!'

'No, not piri's peri ...'

'Peregrination? Because there's certainly been a redistribution of wealth here!' I said, surveying the undulating mass in consternation.

'Peri ...menopause - that's it!'

'Oh,' I said, deflated. Perimenopause. That makes a horrible kind of sense. I'm a bit young - well, obviously - but I've had enough shocks of late to turn Snow White's hair, well, white. So it wouldn't be a surprise if other bits of me have been shaken up too. After having a look at the Power Surge website and discovering there are 34 different signs of menopause, let alone perimenopause, I feel a little weak.

Still, at least I have my new Boden jeans to cheer me up. What? Yes, of course I bought them anyway. There have to be some advantages to relocating back from Abroad to the land of the muffintop. Hanging my tummy out with pride is surely one.