Sunday, 30 September 2007

More rugby stuff

The Beautiful Son returned home from his school trip to France yesterday. I do miss him when he's not here. He has been befriended by a matey girl who has got a hold of his mobile and put in her mobile no, her home no, her email address and her birthday. She's even put a photo of her dog as his screen saver. She's been texting him all day today, I think my days of being his best girl are numbered !!!

Watched the rugby last night mainly behind The Beautiful Son's back. What a shocking display of nothingness from the Scots with the exception of Chris Patterson our kicker extraordinaire. However we did beat Italy and we are on our way to the quarter finals where we will face either Argentina or France.

Beautiful Baby Daughter has grounded me again, she's not happy that I am going away next weekend. Now I know I am a lucky girl, I am a very lucky girl and The Beautiful Man is taking me to Paris next weekend, where we will go and see rugby, how good is that !!! and he doesn't even like rugby, he's a massive football fan and he's ( don't tell anyone this, I'll say it really, really quietly he's not even Scottish, I can hardly bear to tell you this but I have to fess up that he's English ) but how good is he to take me when we follow different games and support different teams ?

Beautiful Baby Daughter gave me the full 3 verses and the disco chorus of how neglectful a mummy I am. If I ever blogged what lengths himself and I go to to meet everyone elses needs, all the children, work, family and even the ex partners, you would realise that we as a couple come right down at the bottom of the pecking order. So I have stood my ground and to Paris we shall go, despite protestations about me leaving her in her birthday month ( it's not till the 20th !!!) and a stern telling off about my carbon footprint as I had been to Italy in August with him. She will so end up running the country that one.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

As others see us

Last Friday I was teaching my year 11's about stereotypes and prejudice. I turned up for the lesson dressed in Eldest Beautiful Daughters black emo/gothy type clothes, very short black funny looking sticky out skirt (over my black trousers) and a vans black t shirt with a huge pink skull on the front. Resplendant in lashings of black eye liner , skull and cross bones belt and the piece de resistance of her prized coffin necklace ( complete with skeleton inside) I began to teach in my normal way.

We had a really good discussion about how unsettled they were to see me looking different. We then discussed how en masse others who are not like us can scare us and how we like to belong to groups, that old saying of birds of a feather flock together type stuff. We really do like to belong, don't we ? most of us like to fit in.

Then at the weekend I read about The Scottish Tourist Board spending millions of pounds to raise awareness in America so all the lovely American tourists can come and spend their dollars over here. I will say now that I love America, the American people that I personally know are charming and well educated people. When I have been on holiday there I met very polite and helpful citizens all over, I know that I am extremely nasty about Italian people and that is irrational prejudice on my behalf based on a few unpleasant experiences I have had. This prejudice does not extend to Americans. I know I have some readers from the States, I sincerely hope that you will still read on, I still love you guys.

In this survey, many Americans could not name a single Scottish city, they didn't know where we were in relation to other European counties. Some students were unsure if Scotland had the internet and others didn't think we as a country had computers or microwaves. The person who most typified the Scots for them was Willie, the Scottish gamekeeper from the cartoon series The Simpsons.

I wonder does that say more about the Americans than it does about us ?

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Let me enjoy it

The rugby world cup is making me very happy at the moment. Scotland have won both their games despite not always playing tremendously well. Chris Patterson is kicking beautifully. Dan Parks is simply simply gorgeous. Rory Lamont is also not too shabby. England got humped by South Africa, all good. Please let me enjoy our little victories.

On Sunday I will be back to reality when we face the mighty All Blacks. There is a part of me that wants Frank Hadden to play his best team and for us to really really try and Inshallah, beat them, the old Scotland the Brave type stuff. I know there has been some talk of sending out a squad that doesn't include our best players. Then reality sets in and I want the best team to be facing Italy as I really hate the Italians and I know it's not very pc of me to say it but nothing would give me greater pleasure than to beat the Italians, well, maybe beating England would be on a par with it.

I know that I will be watching on Sunday from behind a cushion, that is unless Frank gives me a call, I reckon I could get a game, The Beautiful Son is all ready and waiting for his call up too.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Four glass Friday

On Friday it was The Beautiful Friend Jo's birthday. She was 43 candles old ( sorry sweetie). In honour of this auspicious occasion , we decided to stir our stumps, leave the conservatory sofas ( where we spend most of our evenings together) and go out - into the real world, with people, to a bar !!!

Off we pop to Dos Hernandos, a niceish, localish bar, where incidentally we went last September, that's how often we go to bars. It was really busy and I endeared myself to all the men in the vicinity as I cheered on South Africa as they humped England at rugby.

During the course of the evening, several men meandered over to talk to us. We find this strange as neither of us are very good at talking to men, Jo because she's been married for 10 years and they stopped speaking in about 1999 and me because I hate people mimicking my accent and that seems to happen a lot in England.

At close of play, I had been offered several drinks, a lift home and 2 offers of dinner. I wasn't even wearing my impulse spray. Now, is that because men are like buses and they all arrive at once or is it because when I told them I wasn't interested because I'm already with someone, they felt the need to chase ?

When I looked round that bar, I noticed all the men my age were talking to girls several years their junior and yep, you've guessed it, everyone who chatted me up was in their 20's , youngest aged just 20 and the oldest aged 26 !!! I've got tea towels older than that.

I did however pay for my night of the 4 glasses as I was sick several times, setting a beautiful example to my 15 year old daughter. The next day I had to dispatch the matey boys to buy me ibuprofen which being the sweeties they are they did. Matt and Alex, cheif matey boys even made me a Happy Hangover card to cheer me up too.

So, I've been out into the big world and it was interesting but I'll stick to the conservatory sofas for the time being, much more me.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

His First Gig

The Beautiful Son went to his first gig on Friday night at the grand old age of 12. He went to see a local band called Freefallfelix, their lead guitarist called Ed teaches TBS to play the electric guitar.

Ed is a very, very hot boy around here and I make loads of teenage girls jealous as I have his mobile no and he will text me from time to time about TBS lessons, you want to hear teenage girls squeal when my phone beeps and I ever so casually say " Oh, it's Ed " Eldest Beautiful Daughter also thinks Ed is pretty ( her expression, not mine) I know what constitutes hot and pretty to them but it's so far removed from what I think would be attractive, as my mother would say " You wouldn't even dust it !!! "

TBS really really wanted to go and see Ed and the band but like I say, he is only 12 and usually these gigs are for 14 plus. EBD, her friend NIki and the matey boys were going, so I knew there would be 7 others there and I said he could go if they promised to mind him and he promised not to be a pain in the arse to them and behave himself.

Off they all went, all promising faithfully to look after him and not to drink till after I'd picked him up, when they were all going on to a party. When they arrived the doorman asked TBS how old he was and TBS replied 12 before they could say 14 for him !! After a bit of pleading he was allowed in and was under strict instructions by the doorman to keep a low profile.

EBD said as soon as the first chords were struck up, he disappeared right into the front of the mosh pit, where he remained until the gig ended, she spent the entire evening in a mix of being worried about what she was going to tell me if they broke him and admiration for him as he moshed his little heart out. She would catch occasional glimpses of him as he crowd surfed like a pro, both with his shirt on and off !!!

The Matey boys were so impressed and they now say they won't go to a gig without him, he is chief mosh boy. He had the time of his life and I'm so glad I let him go.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

How others see you

Last week I started my new job teaching Health and Social Care. I am teaching on the Btech ( with 15 year olds) and the AS level ( 16 and 17 year olds) and A level ( 18 year olds). The way the timetabling is done is that I have each group for a double lesson 1 per week, the rest of the time they have other teachers.

My Btech group are doing a module on communication, so because they didn't know me last week it was a good way to teach them about the way you communicate depends on what you think of the person you're communicating with, how you can stereotype people and make assumptions, and how you mentally pigeonhole people quickly to form your first impression. I asked them to have a look at me and to write down what they thought about me, what did they think my life was like ? including things like

was I married
did I have children
where was I from
was English my first language
what hobbies
did I drive
what car
what did I do before teaching
what do I drink

What a laugh we had, most people thought I was married but that my children were young, no one thought I had 3, a few were stunned to find out who's mummy I was ! , lots of the class thought I was Irish and not Scottish, nearly all thought I was sporty and 1 girl thought I played competitive netball. They were nearly all on the money in saying I liked shopping, one boy had me as a reader and another had me as a very keen cook !!! Oh, how my family wish that were true. They all thought I drove, I had a range of Fiats, hatchbacks, a honda jazz and a mini cooper, again if only that were true. Most people thought I had always been a teacher but 2 thought I used to be an estate agent. No one guessed the red wine, lots of white wine and spritzers, a few vodka s and slimline tonics and no one had me as a Starbucks addict.

The best bit of all was the age, the oldest guess I got was 40, most had me early to mid 30 s but the youngest one put me at 28.

I love my Btech group.

Monday, 3 September 2007

My Wish List

After picking myself off the floor post separation, a good few months later, when I was feeling slightly more human, I began to think about a future that included another man.

I'd always enjoyed compiling my celebrity shag lists with my friends and the shag, marry or throw off a cliff game. Compiling my "What do I want in a new man" list kept me entertained for hours, my other single friend Christina and I went over our lists endlessly, updating and adding to them.

My wish list for my fantasy new man had some very stringent criteria, I was extremely fussy, some of what I wanted was ludicrous in the extreme, but the list grew longer and longer. You would have thought that I was some kind of gorgeous supermodel with a mensa type IQ to be asking for what I was asking for, but no, I'm just me. I did actually go out on dates with men who didn't immediately fit the criteria, I didn't dismiss people completely out of hand. But on the date I could feel myself mentally ticking off things on the checklist and very, very rarely did I accept a second date, if I felt that they were too far removed from my fantasy new man. When I think about it now, it is so awful and completely stupid but shows that my head was so not in the right place to think about being with someone else. Let me share with you the list, so you can have a real laugh at how mental I was being.

My Fantasy New Man

Age between 40 and 44
Height - minimum 6 foot pref 6 foot 3
Physique - very toned - no man boobs
Hair - must have a full head of hair, pref blonde this time
Eyes - no real pref on colour , maybe blue this time but must have nice long eyelashes
Clean shaven - at all times

Must be funny
Should be able to talk about how he feels
Be able to be supportive
Be happy to text me numerous times during the day
Previously married and divorced a long time ago
Have had children before ( so he knows what real women's bodies are like post childbirth !!!)
Children to be grown up and living independently ( I know that's a bit of a stretch given the age criteria, but I warned you it was a crazy list)

Must have a regular type job and not be an ambitious career sort
Not be a dominant alpha male
Get home from work at 6pm every night and never have to travel away
Ideally the job would be something like a builder, someone really practical who would be able to fix things for me, like diy or car problems

Must not like football, rugby is fine but no footie fans
Must love shopping
Must be good at sex and never fall asleep before me afterwards
Must go to Starbucks very regularly and NEVER say " Jesus, that coffee cost me £ 3, I could have bought a pint for that"
Must never get drunk and only drink a tiny little bit, pref red wine
Must read avidly
Must not drive a BMW
Must want to travel and explore new places
Be willing to arrange and sort out travel plans, so I just have to turn up

Preferably Scottish ( shared frames of reference, similar humour etc) and prepared to wear his kilt at every opportunity
Prepared to take on and love my crazy and dysfunctional kids and my much madder extended family
Want to go back and live in Scotland with me
Be prepared to stand up to my ex and to say no to him as I found that v difficult

In short I wanted someone to totally take care of me and my every want and whim. How passive am I ?

Now, lucky, lucky me I have managed to meet someone, a man who has made me extremely happy. I don't wan't to wax lyrical about him as I will make you vomit as I can be extremely mushy about him and if it all ended next week I'd look extremely foolish professing undying love for him and all that.

Does The Beautiful Man fulfil all my stringent criteria ? does he fit the important bits ? Some of them he does, some of them are the polar opposite of what I wanted and thought I needed. I have mentally ripped up the list and have allowed myself to take the chance to be happy. That has been the best decision I've made in a very long time.