Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

January 29, 2012

Parent Maths

1 empty egg box + 1 box of crayons + 3 sheets of shiny stickers = 1 happy four year old

1 empty shoe box + 1 box of felt pens + 3 sheets of Ben 10 stickers = 1 happy six year old

1 happy four year old + 1 happy six year old + 1 laptop + 1 cup of freshly brewed coffee = 1 happy mother

1 frazzled mother + 1 bottle of wine + fifteen minutes = 1 empty bottle of wine

1 shoe basket + 12 pairs of shoes = 12 pairs of shoes on the floor next to the shoe basket

2 new winter hats + 2 new pairs of winter gloves + 2 new winter ski jackets + 1 chilly winter afternoon = 2 children playing merrily outside in t.shirts

15 jaffa cakes + 15 jaffa cakes = 10 minutes of biscuit filled joy

12 cups of tea + 1 mother + 2 children = 12 cups of cold tea

3 freshly cleaned toilets + 3 freshly cleaned bathroom floors + 2 boys = 1 depressed mother with a mop and bucket in her hand

2 disobedient children + 3 empty threats to ban TV = 2 obedient children

2 plates of home cooked nutritious dinner + 2 disgruntled children + 20 minutes of patient encouragement = 1 enraged mother and 2 plates of home cooked nutritious dinner on the floor

2 pairs of muddy boots + 3 reminders to remove muddy boots at the door = 2 pairs of muddy boots trampling all over the just washed floor

2 boys + 1 worm = 1 anxious worm

2 boys + 1 muddy puddle = 2 muddy boys

2 boys + 1 whoopee cushion = 2 hysterical boys

2 boys + 1 whoopee cushion + 1 mother = 1 mother with a headache

1 mother with a headache + 2 boys = 3 DVDs

1 pack of Haribo Tropifrutti for the children + 1 sweet-toothed mother = 0 Haribo Tropifrutti for the children

16 children at a birthday party + 1 mother + 1 bottle of gin = 0 gin


January 10, 2012

In which I rage about Easter eggs in January

I know the Mayan Calendar is about to run out and, if you're a believer in the more apocalyptic outlook on life, we ain't got that long to live, but still, there is surely NO EXCUSE for putting Easter chocolate on the supermarket shelves in January.

Aaarrrrggggghhhhhhhhhhh. Rant, rant, rant, stomp, stomp, stomp.

This is surely the height of retailing ludicrous-ness.

First of all, surely, nobody wants to even look at chocolate for at least a month after the Christmas excesses. We're still working our way through the Trick or Treat stash for crying out loud. The selection boxes are backed up against the left over 'Crackers for Cheese' (why, oh why do I buy two boxes every year?) and I'm force feeding the kids chocolate orange so it doesn't go to waste.

There can, surely, be nobody who actually buys Easter eggs now? Is there? Please tell me there isn't. It can't be right, can it, to be stashing chocolate chicks in the cupboards now? Maybe I've missed something, but as far as I can recall there has never been a case of panic-buying of Easter eggs. There has never been a world shortage of Creme Eggs which we must all prevent by stockpiling them and looting the shops for them NOW, NOW, NOW.

It's insania, that's what it is (isn't that right, Mr Andre?) and it makes me feel oh so very, very sad that we live in such a consumer-led world that this seems like a rational, totally normal thing to do by some people gathered in a boardroom (probably sometime last August) planning to start their Easter campaign in January.


Oh, and by the way, if you disagree with me then I don't want to talk to you. On this point, the lady IS NOT for turning.



January 6, 2012

Pleasing things

First of all, Happy New Year as this is, officially, my first post of 2012. And to start the new year, I am in frivolous mood (am probably still a little bit drunk from the New Year's Eve party to be honest) - so I thought I would share a little of my conviviality by considering some of the simpler things in life which give me much happiness on a dark and windy January day. It would be easy to grumble and grouse, but I'm not going to take the obvious route. Not today.

Here's what currently makes me happy.

1. My rose-patterned cake stand. We made buns yesterday. Covered them with nutella and sprinkles and arranged them nicely on the cake stand. Infinitely more pleasing than a boring old plate.
2. My union jack dog which my sister have me for Christmas. I think he is supposed to be a doorstop but he's too nice to stand in a draught. He brings a little bit of English-ness into my very Irish life.
3. My new Jo Malone perfume - it smells divine. I feel divine when I wear it.
4. My new Paperchase 2012 diary. Love, love, love filling those blank pages with exciting plans for the year ahead and, yes, I have written in the front '2012, the year I get published'! Are you listening, universe?
5. The very tiny Daily Prophet newspaper and the stained-glass windows in the Lego Howgarts castle (courtesy of Santa). It is a level of teeny, tiny detail which fills me with untold joy.
6. My new 'cat' pen which miaows and lights up bizarre blue eyes when you press the top of its head. Writing by hand is fun again and smacking its head on the table to produce a 'miaow' is a great stress reliever.
7. Left over chocolate orange - yum.
8. Lying in bed listening to the storm outside - surely there is no other feeling which fills you with such a sense of security and comfort.
9. Caitlin Moran's 'How to be a Woman' which I am completely loving and chuckling along to. She is a very funny lady, if a little bit naughty and rude.
10. The King's Speech - watched it for the first time the other night. How I love, love, love period dramas. Fabulous.
11. Florence and the Machine 'Ceremonials' - uplifting, soaring, beautiful music which, as I tweeted this week, makes me want to own a harp and several floaty dresses. Simply gorgeous.

So, that's a pretty good start to the first week of January is it not. Of course, I will now have to go and shout at the kids for wrecking the Hogwarts castle and will regret scoffing all those buns from the cake stand ('start Monday' as Peter Kay would say), but all in all, all is well with 2012 thus far.

And long may it last.

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