Wednesday, 28 December 2011

A wee present from your auntie

Have you had a good Christmas? Are you now feeling a wee bit low and full of food and all shopped out?

Fear not, auntie is here with a little bit of post festive cheer. Courtesy of Hot Boy




Now you're feeling a lot more cheery aren't you?

You're welcome.

Monday, 19 December 2011

My sentiments exactly



Pinched shamelessly from my friend Shirley's facebook page

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

In which The Beautiful Children sulk

Well, to be accurate only the 2 that live with me are sulking, the quiet in the house is lovely. The one who doesn't live with me is still at university and still loves me. Maybe that's the reason.

Do you need a HUGE MIDDLE AGED WOMAN ALERT. A RANTIE AUNTIE WARNING?

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin. Or if you want to, you can click away now and come back when normal vaguely bemused auntie service resumes, I'll still love you.

Like many of us, I have a job and children and household chores to do, I have grocery shopping (not nice lady things shopping) and laundry, I have children to drive to many lovely clubs and activities and social engagements, funded by me (of course), I have Christmas presents to buy and wrap, I have cards to write and post, I have a tree to put up and decorate, I am a busy auntie at all times of year, at this time of year I take busy to the max.

Usually, I do this with a side order of low level grumbling that is ignored or the children will pat me and say "poor Mummy" and then go back to ignoring me.

This week however, I am less grumbly and more cross.

I am as cross as I can be.

I have taken agin the children's selfishness. Both children. Especially on the subject of household chores. They think that if it is a chore then it's my job to do it.

I have taken agin The Beautiful Son's smart arse remarks on Twitter.

I have taken agin Beautiful Baby Daughter's back chatting and always having to be right.

I have taken agin their bedrooms, they should be rolled in foam and dealt with by the Royal engineers. Scientists would be queuing up to take samples, they are truly hideous.

I have taken agin The Beautiful Son's wandering in at whatever time he pleases and bringing people with him.

I have taken agin Beautiful Baby daughter's tone and eye rolling when conversing with me.

I have taken agin The Beautiful Son's can't be arsed attitude to school, voluntary work for D of E and anything that doesn't involve mates and alcohol.

I have taken agin most things except gin and cake. Gin and cake remain more than acceptable.


So, I have shouted and stropped and I have made them tidy their bedroom, they have to be Mummy tidy (this scares them, I can be ferociously houseproud when I'm on one)

I have explained that if they are living under my roof then things have to go my way. I am in charge. This is non negotiable. They have to attempt to be regular humans, pitch in with chores, don't backchat me, work harder at school and party less.

They have been grounded for a week.

The Beautiful Son's Crackberry, IPOD touch, laptop and XBox controllers are in the boot of my car. The internet router plug is living in my handbag. If I had room for the TV it would be removed as well.

I am not doing any laundry or chores at all, if they need something doing they will need to do it ALL BY THEIR OWN SELVES.

I am not being a human alarm clock, they are having to get themselves up for their paper rounds and when they oversleep thay are having to explain why to their bosses and get told off for it.

When asked at the last minute for lunch money, instead of driving to the cashpoint, as would be my wont, I say "sorry, I didn't go to the cashpoint, you'll have to take sandwiches from home"

In short, I am doing what my Dad advised me to do, go on strike.

The ex mrauntigwen is looking after them (very kindly, he rearranged his life to let me have a night off at very short notice) so I am off here today, to Kilworth House Hotel for a lovely Christmas dinner and sleep in a posh hotel with 5 lovely friends who are becoming my family. I will use the gym, have an afternoon nap, read my book, have a treatment in the salon. I am having a rest.

I may even spend their lunch money on a bottle of champagne.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Things that have confused your auntie this week...

To be fair, I could have been doing this every single week for the 5 years I've had this blog, I am, far too often, perplexed by life. But this week has been particularly bemusing to me. In no particular order, I give you

I have lost 1 pair of navy trousers, the top that goes with them and a very nice Dimity So bra.

I found a mince pie wrapped in a napkin in the front pocket of my handbag.

This morning The Beautiful Son's phone alarm went off at 6am, how come my children can sleep through an alarm that is inches from their ear when I can hear it from another room?

How come my children can only get up if only the human alarm clock that is their mummy comes in and wakes them?

How come my son was not in his bed but asleep on the sofa under the duvet he'd taken off his bed and wearing a ladies Primark zebra print onesie?

How come when I woke up a bit later and proceeded downstairs for the Sunday Times and the first of the coffees that would fortify my day, I met The Beautiful Son's ex girlfriend dressed in a fur coat (are they back in vogue?) and leaving very quietly?

How come I didn't notice there were 2 bodies under the duvet 2 hours earlier?

Miss Marple isn't too worried about me stealing her job, is she?

Friday, 9 December 2011

In which the Beautiful Baby Daughter makes her point

The Beautiful Baby Daughter had a maths test yesterday.

She was not best pleased. Not about the test, she is a well prepared child, unlike the other 2 work shy articles I've reared.

In fact, she was so displeased she wrote this at the end of her test paper

Dear Mr Badmathsteacher

I am writing this note to tell you that I am cross with you. In this maths test, there have been 19 out of 57 available marks that I have not been able to achieve.

This is because you have not taught me how to get these 19 marks. As you are a maths teacher you will know that this amounts to over a third of the total paper.

This will reflect badly on me as a student but it should reflect badly on you as you as a teacher as you have failed to do what you are paid to do. If you spent more time teaching us and less time in the maths staff room we would not be having to have this conversation.

Yours sincerely

Beautiful Baby Daughter

I wonder if I should warn Mr Badmathsteacher that you upset the BBD at your peril, I mean before he knows it, she'll be the head of that school and she'll be using him to put her feet up on after he's made her a cup of coffee and cleaned her car.

Monday, 5 December 2011

In which I make a holy show of myself in Debenhams

Yesterday the family von auntiegwen had to go into town. Now, en masse this is not such a good idea, if we go in two's it seems to work better and we have a remote chance of getting done what we set out to do. So, I get The Beautiful Son (because no one else will have him) and off we go. This is our list

Christmas jumper - Jack
Chino's 30 waist 34 leg (hard to get, it appears every man in Leicester is short) - Jack
New shoes - clown size - Jack
John Bishop DVD - Lucy
Flat boots - me

We whizz round in record time, that is the joy of shopping with a boy, he will accept any clothes that fit him in the first shop you find. Whilst we are in Debenhams I see a Virgin travel agency so I think while we are waiting for the others we will go and get a quote for our Easter trip to Florida. I haven't used a travel agent since 1998, I source flights and accomodation myself but I think I'll just get a quote, they may be able to get me a better deal.

Whilst we are waiting I ask TBS what he thinks it will cost for us to go, at the moment there are 3 adults, 2 teens and a child so if you want to come with us, let me know quick before I get booked. TBS reckons it will cost £2,500, I so wished he would be right, I didn't laugh outright then, it's unkind to crush a young man's dreams.

The nice Virgin lady takes all the details, I have my dates, I know how many people, I am so careful that we will be back for April 15th when BBD gets to see McFly, not only does she get to the concert she gets to meet them too, this is thrillingly exciting for her, a bit problematic re dates for me, and a real ball ache for her brother who thinks we should just book whenever we please, after all he had to miss MGMT because it clashed with a flight.

The nice Virgin lady tells me they have no villas left for rent, no 3, 4 or 5 bed villas. I ask for a quote for flights.

She can't get me back on an economy flight, TBS tells her not to worry, just book premium economy, it's only money says he, he's quite enamoured of the free champagne and the food served on real plates, I tell her to change the dates. As his paper round won't even cover the airport parking.

So, I get a quote for 6 flights, going for 11 days instead of 14. Guess how much?


Scroll down, get a bit of anticipation going




£7,937


again £7937

for economy flights. No villa, no car, just flights.

I did actually laugh, for quite a long time and my pelvic floor's not what it was (apologies for the TMI)

The nice Virgin lady explains that it's because they have sold the first allocation of seats, so they charge more for the next ones. In the brochure, they give you a guide price of £575 per villa per week, £969 fly drive per adult, £799 per child and £899 per teen, total cost £6654 which is still a huge amount for a holiday. Now when it says that in the brochure I think give or take a few hundred that's what it should cost, I'd be mighty miffed if I was buying a skirt in Marks and Spencer and it said £40 on the price ticket and when I got to the check out they said "oh it's gone up to £100 as that's the second batch we've ordered as it's so popular"

And also it's because I am going in peak season school holidays, that old favourite, get me taking kids to Disneyland in the school holidays, what a weirdo.

She advised me to go and try Virgin Atlantic directly as it'd be cheaper.

So I'm in a travel agents and they advise me to do it myself, marvellous.

PS - I found (on t'internets, all by my very own self) the flights she couldn't get me back on so the full 14 days, an executive (ooh get us, how very posh) 4 bed villa with private pool and games room, a 7 seater people carrier plus insurance and the grand total was £6930, a grand cheaper than I was quoted just for flights.

I can't think why travel agents are having such a hard time, can you?

PPS - I have refrained from tweeting #PRrequest about this (apparently bloggers can actually ask for stuff to review, although how I'd get it back to them would be the tricky part) but if any travel company would like the considered opinions of my good self and the beautiful children, please get in touch soonest, I will blog all the live long day about this trip, and I'd only be too happy, nae delighticated to tell the lovely readers about your kindest of kind offers.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

I should have known

When you are setting an alarm that begins with the digits 05, you kinda think it's not going to be your best of days.

When you're are driving 90 odd miles north to Skegness at the end of November, you have a notion it's not going to be your best of days.

When someone hits your borrowed car from behind, you officially know

When your neck aches and bizarrely your tooth really hurts and you still have to drive another 80 miles, you are really getting the message

When you spend 2 hours on the phone to insurance companies and brokers and accident repair people and the people who's car you have borrowed, you have got the point loud and clear thank you very much.

When you receive not just 1 but 2 calls from personal injury people, wanting you to sue the poor person who bumped you, you get a tad tetchy

When you have to cancel your trip to see "Wicked" at the theatre because it's taken all too long to sort out and you just don't feel in a going out sort of mood, you feel crap, because you know you are disappointing your Beautiful Baby Daughter, who was really looking forward to a trip to London and a show and some mummy time

When it is time to kiss the day goodbye, you are so very, very glad that it's over

Monday, 28 November 2011

Really, my guilty pleasure

I have been watching a startling amount of television recently. This is a new thing for me, I used to be out running, going to gigs and flirting with strange men in bars, I had no time to waste on TV, truth be told, I was a little bit showy offy about not watching it.

Not now, oh no siree bob, I have embraced the telly like I would David Tennant. Nothing makes you auntie happier that her arse on the sofa and full charge of the remote control. I even have a special blanket now, not quite the one with arms that have a special name I've forgotten but a nice snuggly blanket to add to my viewing pleasure. Throw in a bag of maltesers and the aunties wee cup of happiness overfloweth. In twitterati #iknowhowtopaartaay.

I also have to say, the more crap the programme, the more I like it, I am mocked on a daily basis for my programme choices but I care not a jot, I lie there, mouth crammed with maltesers and tissues at the ready, a lot of my telly porn involves cheap emotion, sobbing is my chief exercise at the moment. The more mawkish the emotion, the better, channel 20 is ace for this, Sometimes you can watch "Extreme makeover - House edition", " Don't tell the bride" and "Bridezillas" on the same day - just frickin awesome.

For crap telly virgins EMHE is American, they come and build a house in a week for people who have had the most awful times, death/fire/major health problems etc, sometimes even in the same family. The house is always amazing and huge and free, they don't do aunties new kitchens apparently. Oh that's a regular 2 hanky job.

DTTB - is British, they give a groom and his best man £12,000 and they get to plan a wedding in 3 weeks and the bride just turns up, the best man has to be quite odd for best effects. This always usually turns out well and is a wee discreet tear "aawh don't they look lovely" job

Bridezillas is mental - very stressed, cross, shouty, screaming women who are quite clearly unhinged and in need of a good slap who make everyone unhappy. They're American, I'm sure you could film British ones though. This doesn't make me cry but I scream at the telly a bit and slobber malteser goo down myself though.

Add in X Factor (God, that Janet bored me to death, I know she was reallly young and I'm sure she's a lovely wean but I was getting right fed up with her), Living with the Amish (what nice, no one is going to punch your son in the face trying to steal his Crackberry on a Saturday night, yep, did happen but The Beautiful son is fine and still has his phone) and the Trinny and Susannah thing in Australia (lots of women who've been very busy being wives and mummies and quite often being ill as well to be all dressed up and glamorous every day to boot)

So, there you have it, I've fessed it up, my name is auntiegwen and I'm addicted to crap telly, am I on my own? what do you watch that you're secretly ashamed of? Not that I'm looking for ideas of more telly to watch because I'm middle aged and have no life, not at all, merely offering you the chance to feel oh so much better about your own life.

Selfless to my very core.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Ah, that explains it

I love my children, truly I do, despite offering to send them to live with other bloggers regularly, clearly I only do that so I can share their wonderfullness with the world.

Ahem.

I have been a Mummy for a very long time and I think I have a fair opinion of my offspring (I did type fruit of my loins but I had to delete it, it grossed even me out) I am not one of the showy offy type mummies, I do not regale others of my childs academic achievements overly much, I don't make you listen to their musical offerings or insist you peruse their artistic endeavours. I am much more likely to share their WTF moments. I am most definitely not the parent who thinks their child is the new Messiah, I am fairly realistic of their good and bad points.

Last night was parents evening at Beautiful Baby Daughter's school, this is the same school I used to teach at, so when they are talking to me, I know exactly what they are trying to say, there is no point in putting high heels and lipstick on it, I get told straight. This is not a big worry really as BBD has not inherited the "can't be arsed" gene, she has always been the sort that pushes herself and gets involved in everything, she's not naughty and she goes every day so parents evening throws up few surprises usually.

Her form tutor went through her interim report, subject by subject, explained her FFT predicted grades and then offered points for improvement.

For those of you who know the BBD, swallow anything you have in your mouth, do not put anything back in until you've finished reading this post, I do not want to be sent the bill for laptop repairs because you've spat all over your computer, I am skint and I've several weans and a Hot Boy to take to Florida, more specifically Harry Potter land at Easter. Consider yourself warned.

BBD's form tutor feels that the only thing that could be improved is if she spoke more in form, contibuted and shared her opinions more. Yep, that's right, my child, the one who talks at me till my ears bleed, the one who barristers practice their debating skills with, the one we call Chatty Annie or less kindly, Little Miss Last Word.

After I'd made a holy show of myself by laughing, I explained that she's only been quiet for about 15 minutes of her 15 years, he looked totally perplexed, apparently she never says a word, he didn't realise she was Scottish because he'd never heard her say more than "here" when he does the register.

And the reason for this, dear readers, explained with uncharacteristic succinctness by BBD

" For goodness sake Mummy, of course I don't say anything, I'm not awake yet in form time"

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Too good to be true

Remember the last post where I was hoping that Beautiful Baby Daughter would be my only regular human child? Well, that's not working out too well, truth be told.

On return from school today Beautiful baby daughter informed me in a proud and happy voice that she'd learned a new word.

From her English teacher.

So far so good.

So, as is a good mummy's wont, I enquired as to the new word.

Would you like to know too?

Promiscuous.

Splendid, so no hope for me then.

As you were.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Help me

You know your kids aren't quite the same as others when...

Your elder daughter rings you and says " Mummy, I've just been to Asda and they had no pesto and when I came out there was a man weeing just outside the shop. What kind of a place doesn't sell pesto?"

And in another supermarket, in another town, your son says in a proud and happpy voice "Oh God that's brilliant, a free glass with the Budweiser, that means me and Johnny have the same glass, how good is that?"

So I have a daughter who doesn't gee her ginger at men weeing in the street and a son in the throes of a bromance.

Help me, Lucy Abigail, you're my only hope.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Things that made your auntie cheery today

I love Fridays, truly I do, best day of the week for me usually. But today, oh my mercies, aunties wee cup of happiness overfloeth.

My morning got off to the best start as when I woke up it was sheeting down with rain and I didn't have to get up and go out. Indeed I snuggled back down with a humungous mug of coffee and some of my preferred porn, aka The White Company Christmas brochure, they have 20% off dresses and tunics this week, so it'd be rude not to really - auntie has ordered THIS

I proceeded downstairs still fully jammied up and topped up the caffiene levels and proceeded to source flights for an upcoming secret jolly. So far so good.

Then my lovely, lovely friend LOOKING FOR BLUE SKY sent me this



Now I defy you to watch this and not be cheery too. Incidentally, is it wrong that I now fancy John Barrowman as well? What is it with me and camp men? I started off with Alan Cumming, progressed to DT who is not the machoest (if it wasn't a word before when it gets typed in the blog of auntie it becomes one)and now John Barrowman.

Gawdonlyknows who it'll be next.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

10 things that could only happen in my life

You know the 1 step forward and 2 steps back analogy?, that could have been written for your auntie. For me if a good thing happens then a not so good thing comes along to even up the score. A more Pollyannaish auntie would say that if a bad thing happens a better thing comes along and I do try and reframe stuff to that end but for the purposes of slight comedy value we will go with the 1 forward and 2 back.

Since the dawn of time I have been trying and failing to lose weight This is my lifelong battle as I am an auntie who loves cake with a passion. I am losing badly. Imagine my surprise and delight when I got thinner. Yaay, happy middle aged woman dance of joy.

The down side - it was my wrist and my hands that got thinner. My watch and ring are now hanging off me. Turn away now if you don't want to read swearing, what the actual fuckity fuck fuck?

Both The Beautiful Son and the Beautiful Baby Daughter were out at parties and sleepovers on Friday night. I had looked forward to this unexpected free night with an expectation usually only experienced by kiss and tell girls when they finally realise they are going to shag the footballer of their grubby little dreams.

Then Eldest Beautiful Daughter arrived home from university and that meant all my plans had to be accommodated to include her as she needs constant feeding and entertainment.

I spent a whole day making a presentation so that I didn't scare lay people about a disease. I normally only train doctors and nurses so I can talk about symptoms and side effects and no one turns green or cries.

Then the chairman of the support group showed up and spoke at great length and with astonishingly graphic detail about the scary bits and the side effects that I had been so keen to avoid.

I got a letter from the Inland revenue to say I had overpaid tax and they were sending me five hundred and something pounds.

The next day I got a letter saying I owed them four hundred and something pounds in unpaid NI contributions.

In a fit of unexpected efficiency I ordered 200 stamps from Royal Mail online. I get through stamps on an industrial basis and I am forever running out and then I have to drive to the village, find a parking space and wait behind the pensioners who hide around the corner and appear in a flash mob just before I join the queue. I smugly congratulated myself on such a time saving ruse.

I arrived home from work and find a Royal Mail card saying they had a package that they needed a signature for. I drive to the collecting office, have to pay for parking as it's conveniently situated outside of the village but just inside the city centre and tucked away behind the railway station. I wait in a very long queue and retrieve a very flat envelope. Which contained 200 stamps.

As I always say, my life is massively entertaining if you're not living it.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

10 things my children are quite cross with me about

I have spectacularly failed to be a millionaire and keep them in ponies and Jack Wills all the live long day.

Eldest Beautiful Daughter is cross that she is going to have to get a part time job. This is because she didn't get a job in the summer and save some cash for term time. She is extremely cross that I am not financing her drinking oops sorry studies this year. Her life would be so much easier if I just kept giving her £60 a week for food oops sorry supernoodles and alcohol, wouldn't it?

She is cross that she didn't get to come to Turkey with us last week and missed out on a free holiday. This is due to uni students not having a half term break. The point that it's the university that sets the timetable and not me has escaped her.

EBD is also cross that she isn't allowed to keep her bigger bedroom now that she doesn't live here, when she comes back in the holidays she will have to sleep in BBD's smaller room.

I will not let Beautiful Baby Daughter die her gorgeous titian tresses jet black. She is properly cross with me about this but I will not have it. Yes, I am aware that at 15 I dyed my hair jet black and at 15 her elder sister dyed her hair jet black, I just can't bear the thought of my baby dying her hair.

BBD is cross that I expect her to live in 1 bedroom, she has now spread her crap over her old bedroom and into the bedroom grudgingly vacated by EBD. That means there are 2 bedrooms that look like Beirut on a bad day.

BBD is annoyed that she always has her birthday on holiday, she sometimes has to wait for big presents until we return, she has to delay her party as most of her friends are away tooand she feels it's not as good as when you have a birthday at your own house. My conception of her was very poorly timed, in her opinion.

The Beautiful Son is cross that I won't leave him home alone overnight, especially now he is 16. EBD was at uni before she spent a night alone. I don't like to leave him alone for an evening.

TBS is cross that I impose an 11pm curfew during the school week, he thinks if he can get up for his paper round and school then he should be able to come in at anytime that takes his fancy.

TBS is cross if I go anywhere without him that isn't work or the supermarket. He gets very tetchy if I go out for a meal or God forbid, a gig or a weekend away. I so can't wait till he has a girlfriend and I'll whinge and whine to be taken with them. Everywhere.

Monday, 24 October 2011

10 quirks my family has

I have lived in England for the last 11 years and I don't see my family often as it's a 700 mile round trip. Having spent the last week on holiday with my parents I am slightly more aware of their little quirks than usual. You know the things your family does and some of it is quite endearing, some of it is puzzling and some of it makes you reach for the gin. I wouldn't say it was stressful or anything but my jaw is beginning to unclench now.

My dad prefers to keep his holiday money in a cushion cover, that's as safe as houses for him.

My dad doesn't think the evening has ended until he's bought some more hooky dvd's. He was buying 10 a night, he has more films than blockbusters.

They both seem to be ambrosia to mosquito's, their anti mosquito protection going to bed routine takes quite some time. They have the plug in deterrents, they spray the room, they wipe stuff they buy from the chemist on any exposed skin, they wear full length pyjamas, they both sleep inside a net they bought in Ikea and they tuck themselves oh so carefully in and still they are bitten to death. I did nothing, not a thing and I wasn't bitten at all. This made my mother a tad tetchy.

My mother looked like a mafia widow most evenings, she has a tiny bite on her face which meant huge black sunglasses had to be put on when we went out. She said she was scared someone would think my dad had hit her. In my head, every evening went the refrain of "only the lonely" but her glasses weren't as nice as Roy's.

When I was in a bikini, they were in jeans and jumpers, my mum even had her tights on under the jeans, she does wear her sunhat though, as it was in the 80's, that is her concession to the temperature.

My mother can't speak to waiters at all, she would tell us what she wanted and when the waiter asked her for her order, she would look frantically at us and mouth what she wanted.

My mother never, ever enjoys what she gets in restaurants. No matter how good the food is, there is always something not quite right with it, if she enjoyed the fish, the potatoes were not right, too lumpy, too seasoned, too hot, too cold, too something. She would always leave most of her dinner uneaten and then we would have to have the conversation with the waiter, obviously she wouldn't complain about anything but she would make us explain that the food was lovely but she's just not a big eater, that's what she likes us to say. I just wanted to say sorry, she's a bit mental and fussy and she hates seasoning and any kind of taste in food at all, she only wants things to taste like porridge.

Silence is a big no no for them, they like to have conversation at all times, especially if you're trying to watch a film, most especially then.

They do insist upon telling you everything 3 times over, it's difficult to appear interested when it actually didn't really matter in the first place

As they are both tee total, they just don't understand why anyone would want to drink, at all. This means my holiday becomes much more sober. At a time where I need alcohol just so much more.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

10 things I have learned about my youngest daughter


Today Beautiful Baby Daughter is 15. I have no idea how that happened, as clearly I'm only 29, ahem. The BBD is the most complex of the offspring and from the get go she required a more flexible approach to parenting. I wonder if this is true of other youngest children?

She is always right, even when she is clearly wrong, she will argue her point until you agree or your ears bleed, whichever comes first

She is startlingly and astonishingly messy, like no other child I've ever met and yet she is so fastidious about her work and her appearance

She is a brilliant young leader at Girls Brigade, she is adored by the little ones

She has a deep seated faith and a genuine belief that God will look after us

She is appalled by racism and truly astonished when she comes across it

She loves heinz tomato soup and would eat it every day

She thinks mayonnaise is the work of Satan

She has a frankly too high capacity for crap telly, Hollyoaks, Big Brother, Eastenders et al

She gave up her cheerleading place when she realised that she was holding her group back. That decision showed real maturity and thought for others, a fine example of team spirit.

She will rule the world one day, but only if she wants to. If she prefers she will stay in her jammies, drinking Heinz tomato soup from a mug and watching crap telly.

Lucy Abigail, your middle name is Hebrew for my fathers delight, which you are but as always, you are mo chridhe, my heart and every day I am thankful you are mine.

Monday, 17 October 2011

10 reasons you should go to Turkey



I'm lucky enough to go there a few times a year, my house is on the outskirts of a fair sized village and really close to the beautiful Olu Deniz beach. Everywhere I look I can see the most amazing scenery. Let me persuade you to visit

It really is beautiful, the seas are crystal clear and the sand white

The mountains look so incredible, you don't have to look far for a great view

The people are so friendly and helpful

Nothing is too much trouble and people genuinely want you to have the best time

You can rent my house, it's lovely, honest

The local food is amaaaaazing - it's agriculturally self suffiecient and the fruit and veg have real proper flavour, you eat what's in season and it tastes all the better for it

The local cheeses, nuts, olives and oils are fabulous

Eating and drinking are very reasonably priced, it's not in the euro so it's a very affordable holiday

You will be given free bread and olives in 90% of restaurants before your meal at no charge. The bread is lush. You will nearly always be offered free coffee and sometimes a free liqour as well after dinner

Did I mention the sunshine? it's very sunny there.

Friday, 14 October 2011

10 Things I miss

Apart from my sanity and youth, that is... More along the lines of things you can't buy anymore, this list appears to be food and drink related.

Cadbury creme bears - like creme eggs but you got them at Christmas. They came in a box made to look like a shop window, I loved them but very few people remember them, they were real, honest

Cremola foam - crystals that you mixed with water and it made a fizzy drink, gawdonlyknows what it did to my teeth and insides but as a child I loved them

Fry's five centres chocolate - milk chocolate with fruit flavoured cream centres, the fruit all mixed together, it never corresponded that 1 segment would have 1 flavour, just a bit mushed. We were easier pleased in the 70's.

Fruit toffos - lovely rot your teeth fruit flavoured toffees

Tudor crisps - so much better than Golden wonder which retailed at 2 and 1/2p per packet. Tudor were only 2p bargain and they had a great advert with paperboys and a strap line of "a canny bag of Tudor"

Tennants lager with ladies on the back - not to drink, I used to look at them in shops and pick my favourite girl, yep I was a strange child

Lucozade - when you were a poorly girl or boy you got Lucozade. It was only sold in chemists and the bottle was covered in orange cellophane. It seemed magic to me and always made me feel better.

Kraft macaroni cheese - came in a box, you cooked the macaroni and made the sauce from a powder in a shade of orange visible from space and in my house was always served up with chips and peas. That was my favourite tea when I was young.

Swiss nougat - I only had this when the Ideal Home Show came to the Kelvin Hall. We went every year and this was a strawberry flavoured non sticky version, the texture of fudge but less sweet. It was what I always spent my money on.

MB bars - chocolate with a cream filling but surprisingly firm in texture, a bit like a Frys chocolate cream bar but nicer.

So then, what foods do you miss from your formative years?

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

10 steps to getting through

I made a mistake and it is consuming my every waking moment. If I am not in tears or shaking with worry I am apologizing for my mistake. It is inconvenient and expensive and causes a whole lot of people a whole lot of extra work but fixable. I am usually okay ish at life but when I am coming out from a whole load of stress I realise what pressure I have been under. In no means am I unusual in this, I have a busy job, I have children, I have a house, I am tired all the live long day, I am sure most of you will understand that feeling, that strength sapping sense of having total responsibility. At this moment though I have reached my wall, I cannot go on like this any longer. However I know this feeling will pass, I know that I will be okay and quicker than I know I will feel happy again. Tomorrow is definitely another day.

Here are the 10 things that are getting me through

My mistake is being sorted, I am taking steps to ensure it never happens again, no one is giving me a hard time about this except myself

My son and daughter are not being horrible to each other too much as they can see I'm fragile

I know I will be able to cope again

I am going to drastically cut down on my work load

No one expects me to be superwoman/supermum/superworker except me, I am going to cut myself some slack

I am going to go and see my GP, I think there is an underlying reason for how I am feeling

This week is halfway over

I fly out to The Beautiful House on Friday for a week of rest

My parents will be joining me and I will actually be able to rest, that rest will help me carry on

The support and love that my nearest and dearest and colleagues have given me has been immense. The fact that they all have their own stuff to deal with but still have found space to help me has been hugely appreciated, again I am so incredibly grateful that I am so lucky. Please say a good thing to someone you know today, the world can only be a better place if we are kind to each other.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

10 last free bloggy thing I've turned down

I get asked to review stuff, give away stuff as competitions, promote stuff fairly regularly. Now I accept that you probably have to work your way up with reviews etc before you get a go of the good stuff like free holidays and shoes. I'm an instant gratification girl, I want the good free stuff first. I am more than happy to sell my bloggy soul (and possibly a child) for free holidays and shoes.

These were the last things I have been offered

A £500 baby hamper as a comp prize - not likely to set my heart a flutter as my youngest will be 15 in less than a fortnight

To be an adjudicator at a Guiness world record attempt - there was no mention of cake

Pregnancy vitamins launch day - oh I'm not going back down that road, thankyouverymuch

Free £100 voucher to promote a shopping site.

Book blog site - oh I read and I blog but would others want to read about what I'm reading?

Theatre trip - I was on holiday

Experience days - I'm not madly keen on experiences, when someone says "well, that was an experience" I tend to think that is nice lady speak for "well that was crap"

Another theatre trip - a family one, show more suited to younger children than mine, although their behaviour might suggest otherwise

A day out at a science museum - again been there when they were much younger

Diet and fitness app - stop bloody laughing

Free washing powder - I want more exciting stuff than that.

Now once again, please offer me squillions of free stuff to review and promote, especially free stuff that I like, eg cake, weekends away especially trips to Barcelona as Kellogsville and I have a cunning plan, holidays, plastic surgery, clothes, make up and other nice lady things. I will do it properly, honest.

Friday, 7 October 2011

10 Worst Presents

Leopard print snood - birthday this year, I am not really an animal print kind of girl and I didn't even do snoods in the 80's

Black and white glass bowl - all fluted and swirly from the Colin and Justin range, Xmas present last year, I love my sis in law dearly but that was just hideous. It may have been an emergency present.

A ceramic lemon with a pot scourer inside - from my ex mother in law when I was still married as a birthday present, enough said.

A set of eyeshadows instead of an Easter Egg - I might have been 14 but c'mon, actually my mum still buys me an Easter egg now, she must be scared to stop in case I did another "you've really upset me" teenage strop.

Red lace g string and suspender belt - bought by my brother in law, the minister in an attempt to be "hey I might be a minister but I still know people have sex" It was the Christmas after I got married, I was only 22, and mortified.

Cream fake fur body warmer - the ex mr auntiegwen one Christmas, I looked like a small chubby polar bear

Candle shaped like a wedge of chocolate gateau - looked bad and smelled worse, from my sister

A trip to a Lake District hotel for my 29th birthday - the sentiment was great, the ex mr auntiegwen bought be a Joanna Trollope novel, a box of chocs and a night in a hotel by myself. Jack was 8 weeks old and as I couldn't leave my bosoms at home would have starved. The ex mr auntiegwen didn't think of that. Still I enjoyed the book and the chocolates.

The biggest box of chocolates Thornton's do - I could have had a frock and shoes for the money, (it cost £50 around 15 years ago) but oh no I had to eat them all and get fat (ter).

My 40th birthday trip to Barcelona - I love the city and had been before with friends but the ex mr ag took me and when I was there I/we realised that it was all over. I hope to go back under happier circumstances.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

10 Best Presents


In October I like to do do 10 posts about 10 things, last year I was a bit tardy and had to do 11 posts of 11 things in November. This year I'm trying to get back on track. In no particular order

My teddy, given to me the day I was born by my auntie Gloria, he's called Michael and over the years he's gone from yellow to pale cream but it's the one of the few things I still have from my childhood.

My dolls house, with sliding glass doors and a roof that was hinged to lift up, made for me by my grampa who was a joiner, I was gutted when it rotted out in the shed and gadget mad dad threw it out. I was about 30 at the time. I'm still a bit gutted to be honest.

My bike, I had a Raliegh chopper, I was 9 and thought I was so cool, I think I was the only girl to have one, mine was purple.

My Kindle - God how I love it, wasn't sure if I would but I do.

My ipod shuffle, it's a tiny wee pink clip on one, and I can't run without it.

My childhood photos, taken from slides and made into prints, given to me as a gift when I had my first daughter so I could see if we were alike, we were/are.

My mothers day poems - written by my son and younger daughter and loved all the more for the spelling within.

My wooden hearts - each child wrote their message on their heart and gave it to me for my 40th birthday. They sit in a bowl on my windowsill that my niece Cat brought me back from her trip to Malawi.

My "Windows in the West" print by Avril Paton, hangs on my bedroom wall and is the first thing I see when I wake up.

My engagement ring - I looked at gazillions of rings and tried on a fair few. I kept saying I'd know mine when I put it on. I was right, it fitted perfectly and despite the cost, he knew it was mine and gave me it. I will cherish the ring and the memory of the love I felt at that moment for the rest of my life.

I'm a bit gutted I didn't have room for my sat nav, as it's been one of the most useful presents I've ever had, maybe I should have waited and did this in November. You see, even when I'm being efficient it goes agin me.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Home alone

Last night we delivered Eldest Beautiful Daughter to the student house she will live in till next year. Mummy no likey, mummy really no likey. It's awful, really grim and it smells funny. It's a 3 bed terrace with a skanky bathroom and nasty old furniture but I expect White Company and Cath Kidston would be a waste of the grand a month rent the landlady's getting, wouldn't it?

I so should have gone into student housing, that would have made my fortune, low cost house stuffed with cheap nasty tat, and spend the rent money on my own house, it would have the White Company coming out the wazoo. Another fail on my part.

There has been intense and protracted negotiations re EBD's bedroom at this house, it's the biggest and the newliest decorated, EBD was really not keen to let it go but BBD is quite forceful and as she says, EBD doesn't live here anymore, just in the holidays. Let's just say it's been tricky, and I, as always have resisted making a decision. However by the time I got back, Beautiful Baby Daughter had moved all her stuff into Eldest Beautiful Daughters bedroom, had a bath and was wearing EBD's dressing gown (which EBD was gutted to have forgotten) and was having a hot chocolate out of EBD's mug (also forgotten) If EBD finds out she'll kill her and I won't have to decide who gets the bigger bedroom.

So today, for the first time in 3 months, I am completely home alone, no EBD floating around demanding to be entertained, TBS and BBD at school and just me. What will I do with myself all day? I wonder...

Monday, 26 September 2011

Downsizing

I am in a decluttering frame of mind. I am paring down my possessions, downsizing, freeing up, clearing.

Last weekend I took over 500 books to Oxfam. My book collection was getting completely out of control and had spilled into every room. I have only kept what fitted into the 3 bookcases I have in the office and the lounge. Any new boooks will only be bought for my Kindle and one day I will replace the books I couldn't bear to part with as an e version and be actual book free and virtual book heavy.

I have asked for an Ipod for Christmas and I will then get rid of every CD and LP I own.

And then I'm onto children...

Only joking, EBD is going back to uni into a shared house (because as I predicted way back here in JANUARY she hasn't learned to drive and I can't/won't do a 60 mile uni run) but TBS and BBD don't show any signs of moving out.

Yet.

But I live in hope.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Mummy fail

Picture the scene, a kitchen with 2 daughters and my best friend. I am pottering around doing chores and they are making dough for pizzas. A lovely contented, peaceful picture, could even be used as an advert. My daughters are reminiscing about all the things I used to do with them, they recall baking sessions, cooking sessions, craft sessions and so forth.

The next time I enter the room, I get this

Eldest beautiful daughter - " God, Mummy - you never do anything like that with us anymore, you're so boring now"

auntiegwen - "that's because you are nearly FECKIN TWENTY, I am in flitters with entertaining you. I have had almost 2 decades of finding stuff to do with you, again, NEARLY 2 DECADES.

I know you don't need the capitals for emphasis, sure you're probably the same yourself. I think after all the top notch mothering they have received I should be allowed a bit of time off for good behaviour. I mean all I want is a bit of peace, the ability to water my plants unmocked and not have my clothes ridiculed. Oh and an end to war, a cure for all diseases and thinner thighs, obviously.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

It had to happen

It was only a matter of time, I mean me with my White Company addiction and my fondness for Cath Kidston fripperies.

I must be their target demographic but I have never succumbed for myself, when the children were smaller I did dabble and I was bought something once. But I held firm nothing for me thanks.

They wrote to me, told me I was a hard nut to crack, offered me all sorts of enticements. I ignored them. They emailed and whispered promises of all kinds of middle class loveliness. I caved.

It had to happen eventually.

So I will fess it up.

My name is auntiegwen and I...

sorry, I can hardly bring myself to type the confession

My name is auntiegwen and I bought a Boden raincoat.

The cliche of the middle class mummy.

Feck

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

More teenage boy stuff

Just because your boy has grown to 6 foot 2 doesn't mean he's grown up in anything other than a physical sense.

The Beautiful Son had a sore throat, it was so painful that we had biscuits and crisps in our house that survived more than a day, which was unheard of. I told him to go down to the doctors and make an appointment. Our surgery insists you present yourself in person (or a representative if you are too ill to leave home) at their reception desk at 8am to make an appointment. They won't do it by phone, I am sure there were communist bread queues shorter than we have at our surgery.

TBS insists he can't go by himself, so off we go and make his appointment. We get one for 9.10 am, so we go back home for an hour. He insists I have to back with him too. I enquire would he still want me there if it was for a sore bum, he assures me I'd still have to show up for that. As he put it "you're my mum, of course you'd have to come, I can't deal with doctors on my own" I just pray he never gets an STD.

The doctor diagnoses tonsillitis, prescribes antibiotics and says if things don't improve in 48 hours to return for a blood test to rule out glandular fever. He also remarks on TBS being an infrequent attender. TBS felt slightly put out, a bit like he'd been shirking.

Of course TBS can't go to the chemist by himself, I have to take him there too. I tell him he can't take alcohol whilst on them. I elaborate by telling him that mixing alcohol with antibiotics causes diarrhoea, and it's so fast acting most people don't get to the loo on time. I wonder if I can still get away with him believing everything I say if I use my mummy's never wrong tone, will it still work? I see no signs either way.

Later I overheard him tell his friend Johnny "nah, I'm not drinking at Rachel's party, no chance I want to cack myself"

The last word goes to me, we all know how I like the last word. Scuse me whilst I throw my head back and laugh like a muscateer.

Monday, 12 September 2011

In real life

When you have a blog you can present a view of yourself that's quite flattering, selecting carefully which bits of your world you want to share with t'internets. You can project an image of a perfect life if you so choose. I could tell you that I live in a gorgeous house with beautiful children and my life is chock full of joy all the live long day. I could tell you I am thin, unwrinkled and without a grey hair upon my head, I could claim great wisdom, good dress sense and a serene inner calm and be thin, did I mention that? I am seven stone and 5 foot 10 and have no boobs. I can also cook, sew and sing and I once ran a sub 4 hour marathon. I also have my dream kitchen. In my head.

I wish I'd thought of that, instead I regale you with tales of domestic incompetence, technical ineptitude, drunken teenagers and fatness. It's too late to tell you my life is perfect, some of you have been reading for years and some of you actually know me in real life.

I have a million faults, I wish I didn't. Some of them I've known about for years, some of them I've tried to address and some of them I've just not been ready to see.

In my head I am laid back and almost impossible to stress out, I'm a "go with the flow" nothing fazes me type. In real life I can get to full fat cross shouty shreikery more quickly than a Ferrari gets to 90.

In my head I am a proper traveller, turn up with a passport, credit card and a spare pair of knickers and see where I end up. In real life, I book flights and transfers and live with a low level degree of anxiety that something will go wrong. I am terrified of missing flights and don't relax until I actually arrive.

In my head I am great at sharing, I am a "what's mine is yours" help yourself nice person. In real life if it's mine I like it to stay mine and if I lend you it especially books I want it back, even if I know I'm never going to read it again, it's mine so give it back.

In my head I can't bear the sort of people who at shared dinners whip out their calculators and demand we all pay for what we have eaten, in my head I am one of the people who say oh there's 6 of us, lets just divide by 6. In real life I am secretly glad that they do as I am fed up subsidising someone elses's 3 course and a bottle of wine feast when I've had a plate of pasta and a sparkling water and paid £30 for the privilege.

In my head I am not a control freak and an insistor on getting my own way but in real life my way isn't just the best way but the only way. And I insist upon things being my way and say such caring and loving gems such as "you don't have to live here"

I am just coming to terms with how much control I have and seem to need, I always thought I was really flexible and open to other peoples point of view and wants and needs. I always thought that the kids set the agenda and I just facilitated things. I am sometimes okay with things if it suits me, that's the key right there. I suppose that being the only adult in the house for the last 5 years has given me the last word. I like the last word. I like to be the boss.

In my head I never wanted to be a bossy kind of girl. In real life I have become the bossiest of bossy girls, but I am trying to be less bossy and more open to other peoples wants and needs. I am trying to be better at sharing. I am trying to be less stressy and anxious.

But I still want the last word.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Dads

Over the last few days Dad's have been on my mind. Probably because of this I keep finding and reading blogs about dads and what they mean to people.

I tried to write about mine but I can't yet.

I read Looking for blue sky and that really touched me

And then I read Adventures in Reality and that completely reduced me to floods of tears.

So to both of these bloggy friends, from the bottom of my heart I send my love and prayers and thoughts to you and your families. I hope I can manage to face my dads illness with a fraction of your grace.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Sleepless in suburbia

I am a woman of few talents, I can't cook knit or sew, my house isn't filled with things I've made (excepting offspring and mess) and the only thing I can play is the lottery. Oh please don't feel sorry for me, I am decidedly happy with my humble lot.

I have been utterly blessed in what I feel is my best talent. I am ace at sleeping, if there were sleep Olympics I would be up there with the gold and the "God save the Queen" The only time I have had sleepless nights have been when the children were babies and truth be told I was a teeny tiny bit cranky then. Then I sleep trained them and all was well in the world. I am not too shabby at sleep training either, 100% success rate at teaching babies to sleep through. Nothing makes me happier than getting into my jammies and going to bed. My metier is sleep.

In fact, I am sooo good, no matter what is going on in my life, death, divorce, teenagers or lack of gin - I will take myself off to bed, usually accompanied by a humungous mug of fully caffeinated coffee and pop myself between the White Company's finest and nod off. Sometimes just before I drift off I remember the mug of fully caffeinated and rouse myself enough to gulp it down like a student with a Jaegerbomb and then snuggle down for a full 8 hours. I am not showing off here, I'm just explaining. I never feel too hot or cold, or uncomfortable or restless, strange beds or having someone with me do not gee my ginger. I am grand. Nothing wakes me up either, I could sleep through anything, I expect I have slept through all of the childrens parties and there are several photos of assorted weido friends of the children on my good silk throw accessorised with beer bottles and pointy foam fingers. I set my children curfews but I have no clue if they keep to them as I am always asleep.

Which is just as well as I am crap without sleep, really really useless, so God in his infinite wisdom has given me the gift of sleeping, so I don't hurt people on a daily basis.

Except something has gone wrong, my forte has fecked off.

I am not a happy auntie, on Friday I just couldn't get comfortable, I wriggled and jiggled, I changed my jammies before removing them completely (sorry for the TMI - I'm just trying to give you the full picture, well not the full picture, that's on a pay per click at nakedauntiegwen.com, shut up I've got to pay for a new kitchen somehow)
Where was I? oh yeah Friday, I fidgeted and agitated and then I eventually fell asleep. Only to be woken by The Beautiful Son coming in at 2am dressed in a ladies Primark black and white zebra striped onesie. yes I agree, it is slightly peculiar but I didn't want to waste brain power trying to figure it out as I was tired.

Readers, the rest of the night didn't go well and I was working on Saturday so suffice to say I wasn't the cheeriest of aunties yesterday, until around 9pm when I realised I could put my jammies on and go back to bed. That was a moment of mere bliss in my day. So armed with the coffee I go to my happy place And I go to sleep.

To be woken up by someone else's sons at 4.30 am, giving me the full benefit of their alcohol fuelled opinions on the world. And that was it for the night, sure I had a doze on and off but that's a bit like being on a diet, you don't want carrot sticks you want cake, thank you very much. When you've had the good stuff you don't want to go back.

So, I am now rantie auntie, I have been robbed of 2 good nights sleep and I get a teeny tiny bit cranky without it. I might have mentioned that. I imagine that's why everyone is giving me a wide berth today.


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

And that, my friends, was August

My August went something like this

work, laundry, shopping (of the supermarket variety, not the nice ladies things variety), try to stop kids from killing each other, try not to kill the kids myself, eat ever such a lot less but still not lose weight, be very very tired, repeat to fade.

And in other news...

I gave up ironing, doing everyone's ironing on a Sunday night made me feel like I did when I was a kid, doing my homework at the last minute, so I gave up, we are embracing the casually dishevelled look. The beautiful children are not best pleased, they're not arsed enough to do it themselves but they are great big glowering and sulking masses of crumpled Jack Willsness.

I had a birthday which made me old and a trip to the Isle of Wight where it appeared to be 1977 in the place I was in, I adored it, I wanted to buy a flat in Sandown but wasn't allowed, meaners. I actually saw the shop windows of my childhood with dresses hung from the ceiling with fishing wire, and cardigans fanned out on the base of the window and a wee note attached saying "Lovely on"

That was the nice bit, oh I got a Kindle too and other nice lady things such as perfume and flowers and some strange assortment of presents which make me think - have they met me?

My son, the 6 foot 2 lump of useless, let his friend Henry try and burn a smiley face onto his arm with a lighter which has still not healed 3 weeks later. You probably heard me, he got full fat cross shouty shreikeyness, stupid stupid boy. This is a child who actually possesses qualifications and now has a hole in his arm, again (in capitals for emphasis) STUPID STUPID BOY AND I DON'T FECKIN CARE HOW MANY FECKIN GCSE'S YOU GOT, YOU ARE A STUPID STUPID BOY. I am still cross about this, I will still be cross at Christmas most probably.

I have spent masses of time in hospitals recently both work and not work and I have turned into the visitor/relative I used to hate. The one who says "I used to be a nurse you know" and follows it up with "in my day" I hate myself for it but I'm not madly impressed. I am not even satisfied.

I have a new car, it is temporary until my company car arrives, it is a Renault Megane, it has an internal sat nav and a strange radio. Both of which defeat me on a daily basis. I am now officially my mother.

And speaking of my mother, she has been on a diet, a very successful one. In truth she is existing on black tea, water and porridge, as my dad says she is the only geriatric anorexic in Glasgow. She has no other conversation except how many pounds she's lost, she tells my sister and I, a lot. A big lot. We are fed up being told how easy it is to lose weight if you just don't eat. We were kind enough not to mention that she's been no stranger to a fish supper for the last few decades so we wish her to stop weighing us with her eyes and shut the feck up.

So if you've read to the bottom I apologise for not putting in a "Middle aged woman ranting" alert, but thanks for reading and a big thanks to those of you who texted, emailed and commented wondering where I'd been.

So, what have you lot been up to?

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

In which I make myself laugh, a lot

I have loads of faults, truly I could do a daily post of what is wrong with me and you'd still be reading at Christmas. One of my less endearing traits is my insistence on thinking I'm funny, genuinely I think I am hysterical. And I laugh at my own jokes, a lot.

On Monday, I was visiting my best friends dad, lovely bloke he is and he's reading a book about World War 2.

"Are you enjoying your book?" I asked him in a very polite tone and his reply of
"I've just started it" quickly followed up with "would you like to borrow it" in a slightly hopeful tone made me think not. And before I could stop myself, I hear these words coming out of my mouth " no thanks, I know how it ends"

and then I collapsed in hoots of laughter, and I'm still laughing about it now.

Aw, you had to be there

Friday, 5 August 2011

Crime and confession

This morning as I waited for the kettle to boil, I noticed that the chopping board was in the wrong place, oh yes Miss Marple has nothing on me, even before coffee. As I moved the board, there was a sheet of paper addressed to me covering this. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you exhibit A - the crime, a very peculiar stain upon my white worktop.



Exhibit B - the confession


The bit you can't read at the end is a list of things they've tried...
fairy liquid, dettol, baking powder, flash, cif, cilit bang and water

I do love Joe, yes, this is the same Joe who had the party in which his mother's and his dead great granny's wedding china got broken but he does dress up as Santa when I need one for my parenting skills group's Christmas party, he must get kudos for that.

And when he refers to the cute note, he means this, exhibit C -



the sorry note (which I kept as he made me hoot with laughter) when he broke my outside light and indeed it was fixed by Joe Cryor.

So, when people tell you children get less messy and break less stuff as they get older, and you're thinking that you, one day, in the fullness of time, can have a lovely home stuffed to the gunnels with White Company and Cath Kidston, don't bank on it before they're 36 or so.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Hi honey, I'm home

Eldest Beautiful Daughter and her friends Poonam and Joe were quite confused when they saw, what they described as "a small Asian woman" walk up the path and let herself in the front door.

I am back and extremely tanned following my trip to Turkey, I am like an Cadbury's creme egg in human form, small, round and brown.

The house and EBD have survived, my Bombay Sapphire has taken quite a hit and you can still see the outline of Joe's vomit on the front doorstep but compared to Joe's mums return and finding the breakage of both her and her beloved deceased grandmas wedding china, I think I've got off quite lightly.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Texting for old people - a guide for the middle aged

My sister sent me this, as I near 45, she obviously feels I need to save as much time as I can

ATD - at the doctors

BFF - best friends funeral

BTW - bring the wheelchair

FWIW - forgot where I was

GHA - got heartburn again

IMHO - is my hearing aid on?

WAITT - who am I talking to?

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Flawless plan



We are away at The Beautiful house leaving Eldest Beautiful Daughter aged 19 and a quarter and Hot Boy with some cash, the above intructions and my house.

What could go wrong?

Monday, 25 July 2011

In which I feel more ancient than usual

I went to a 40th birthday night out. One of these nights that you don't really know anyone except the person who is 40 but I don't get out much and it's nice to because we all know I just sit at home and be mocked.

I wasn't the oldest person there (you may read my sidebar and think I'm 41, I was, once, I am now getting on for 45) but where I was sitting everyone was around the 40 age and they all had 4 and 5 year olds. That's lovely, I looked at people's photos and heard all the funny stories but my 19 year old uni costs and my 16 year olds drunk paper rounds aren't really fair to tell, in case they scare easy. Much better for them to think their children still are genii (I can't be arsed to google how to spell it, correct it by yourself) and will never give them a moments worry. I had my children earlier than most people, not quite documentary early but a good decade before the people at dinner. I did feel a bit out of step with the rest.

Indeed, it's a bit weird when your EBD and Hot Boy pop into the restaurant to wish the birthday gal a good one, and then persuaded some of them to tag along to experience the fun to be had jaegerbombing. I expect it's a bit unsettling for them to think of going out partaying with their child as they are still all in Disney mode. Indeed it's weird for me to see an unwrinked and thin version of myself.

The upside is the next morning, no 5 year old bouncing on the bed, fully revved up and waiting to be entertained. Just a hungover 19 year old who didn't surface till tea time.

Every cloud and all that.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Where I am from - The Teens to early 20 Years

I'm from Anne French cleansing milk in the white and blue bottle and Boots Country Born bright green hair gel

I'm from wash in Harmony hair colours in the triangular boxes

I'm from Miss Selfridge Iron Lady fuschia pink lipstick

I'm from Saturday afternoons buying things in Chelsea Girl and then moving onto Flip and Deja Vu for vintage which my mother hated, she despaired of my "second haun claes"

I'm from Razzy denims and Adidas Kick trainers

I'm from Freemans catalogue and paying for things weekly

I'm most definitely from my first love, Alan Osprey, aka Ospur punk extraordinaire, who shaped me so much when I was 15

I'm from only getting 1 punk song played at school discos and doing my Siouxsie skip and him his pogo while the rest watched the weird punk ballet

I'm from being a student and drinking in Byres Rd, before moving onto Cleopatra's on Gt Western Rd, affectionately known as Clatty Pat's

I'm from thinking I was so sophisticated when we qualified and had money and moved onto to Maxwell Plums, the Devil's Advocate and Warehouse and Panama Jax, not forgetting Bennett's, what a Glasgow institution that was

I'm from drinking malibu and pineapple, then Southern comfort and lemonade, then white wine and soda

I'm from smelling of Estee Lauder Cinnabar, then Calvin Klein Obsession and then YSL Opium, never ever Poison

I'm from tight black dresses and sheer black stockings and very high stilettos ala Robert Palmer "Addicted to Love" video

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Where am I from

I read this post on The Girl behind blog and pinched the idea, shamelessly

I'm from Scotland, the Mother Country, the most patriotic and biggest small nation in the world, but before that, from Ireland before my ancestors moved west

I'm from Glasgow, much mocked by others much loved by us

I'm from the shipbuilders on the Clyde, when Clyde built was the highest accolade

I'm from the dignity of the working man

I'm from where self deprecation is a virtue and blowing your own trumpet the worst sin

I'm from growing up with my grandparents and being out of step for not living with my parents. I'm from the devastation and loss that my grandpa's death caused when I was 9

I'm from alcohol and debt, divorce and despair

I'm from living in a council house but going to a private school because my mum wanted the best education she could for me

I'm from growing up in the 1970's when we did what the grown ups wanted to do and if I enjoyed it, it was a bonus

I'm from the children should be seen and not heard generation

I'm from Twinkle and then Jackie

I'm from when children's TV was 1 hour after school and playing out and reading on rainy days

I'm from Mr Benn and Mary, Mungo and Midge

I'm from Enid Blyton Mallory Towers and St Clare school stories and The Chalet School series by Elinor M Brent-Dyer

I'm from Gregory's Girl and chip shops after school discos

I'm from CND and torchlight parades, demonstrations at Faslane and crying full of teenage angst about the world

I'm from Thatcher's era, reviled over the poll tax but she allowed my mum to buy her council house and become a home owner

I'm from recycling decades before it was fashionable

I'm from The Stranglers and The Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees and the dichotomy of being a good girl and a punk

Monday, 18 July 2011

Beautiful not such a baby anymore daughter

My Beautiful Baby Daughter aged 14 and 3/4's has left middle school. She will join her brother at our 14-19 college in September. I did have a bump of my gums a whiley ago about the idea of a prom, and how much money said prom had cost me. Did I tell you about the £6.50 per head after party as well? My eyebrows are only just coming back down again.

Anyhoo, this is she



So, the baby has gone, she is growing up. Because I see her every day I get surprised when I see her looking like that, in my head she's still like this



The Beautiful Baby Daughter asked me if I had been invited to the end of term assembly, if your child is getting an award you get asked in to see them. I had to say no but reassured her that neither of her siblings got an award in the 8 years they had been there either, I did the it's all about doing your best and being a good person that counts. She is the only one of my children to be motivated by grades or certificates or awards, validation from other people matters to her in a way it is completely irrelevant to the other 2. Mind you, she is the only 1 of my children who is likely to get any kind of award, unless there is an award for lazy arse of the year, which her brother would scoop annually.

When she returned teary eyed after her last day, she presented me with not 1 but 2 awards, outstanding achievement in art and also pupil of the year.

In BBD's class there is another child with the same initials and the same surname, another L.A MacScottishname. We were amazed to find that out, our name is not the most common Scottish one even in Scotland but in middle England, tres bizarre. So the other Mrs MacScottishname got 2 letters inviting her and I got none.

I'm not going to moan and mump, I wish I could have been there to scream and cheer for her, it's not easy finding your place when your siblings are larger than life characters, I tell her every day, it doesn't matter what they've done, we love you just for being you.

But I'm glad that someone else thinks she's great, because she is, simply amazing.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

They love me really

You would think that my children would be filled with gratitude for the, frankly, top notch mothering that they receive. So much so that they worship and adore their Mummy darling and their every waking moment is dedicated to thanking me for my efforts, they are fulsome in their praise, compliments drip honeyedly from their lips, because they think I'm worth it.

Not so much.

My children have all inherited my smart arse gene and they think they are funny, which they are, not as funny as me obviously, but occasionally they have been known to utter a funny wee one liner.

Eldest Beautiful Daughter, whilst looking at my new Marks and Spencer step tone "eat all you like and still lose 3 stone in a day" flip flops




" Those are hideous, you look like a reject from mermaid school"

The Beautiful Son - "if you get any shorter you can officially be a tall dwarf, the height cut off point for that is 4 foot 11"

Beautiful baby daughter - " when you're old and demented you can live with me, well older and more demented. I mean all I have to do is give you a cup of tea and a plant to water and you'll be dead happy"

At which point they all join in, wandering around on their knees like a cross between Yoda and Dobby the house elf and saying "cup of tea, plant to water, mummy happy" over and over again.

Again, this is what passes for entertainment in my house.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

What's in a name?

For the last 10 years I have taught parenting skills (shut up, my kids are grand) I have supported nigh on 1500 families who have had a new baby and on Tuesday 12Th I held my last group. The Red Cross where we have rented premises for the last decade are changing their family support centre into something else and is dismantling it's amazing multi sensory room so I have nowhere to go. As SureStart have expanded there are so many more activities on offer to mums and babies than there were 10 years ago and I have found that less mums stay at home or they go back to work much quicker. When I started I would have women with me for a whole year until their baby was 1 and now that rarely happens.

I have learned not to raise an eyebrow when people let me know their babies name, I just enquire how I spell it. When I did my midwifery secondment as part of my nurse training a million years ago the rule of thumb was the worse the social circumstances the more outlandish the name, I helped Mercedes McDonald into the world, named entirely because it was the only way her dad could have one. The very middle class mummies had lots of Lucys, Charlottes and Emilys. Now it seems that having a name that people hear and understand that it is actually a name is slightly boring, I blame celebrities, I will not bang on about Buddy Bear Oliver again and WTF is Harper Seven or should that be Harper 7?

My real name is Wendy-Jane, yep I'm fully hyphenated up (I know you're shocked, you thought I'd been christened auntiegwen, it's right up there on your list of disappointments with Santa and the tooth fairy) I'm not keen on it, I think it's a bit of a Tracey, Mandy, Sharon type name, you read it and know I'm in my 40's. My friends at school were Karens and Lindas and Susans. It didn't stand out at school but there were always a few Wendys, there were a few hyphenated names too, I know quite a few Anne-Maries and Carol-Anns. My mum had wanted to call me Suzanne which I would have preferred but my dad said it's be shortened to Suzie which he didn't like, I am extemely glad they didn't go down the route of both grannies names or else I'd have been Margaret-Mary, and I went to school with one of them too. I spent my younger years listening to "hey Wendy, do you live in a house?" and other such witticisms now my holiday home is called The Wendy House and I like that, it must appeal to the inner retro thang I've got going on.

I married a Gordon, which was unfortunate. Ahem, no, really I was talking about the name, it was a difficult name for him, not only did you have to learn how to do the Gay Gordon dance in school but in 1978 when he was 12, Jilted John was blasting out his one hit wonder "Gordon is a moron" and now the Gordons who spring to mind are Messrs Brown and Ramsey who may or may not set your gusset aflame. Not an easy name to pull off.

It's tricky to pick a name isn't it? There may be names you like but are associated with people you don't or you may wish to remember a loved one but just find the name doesn't go with your surname. I wanted to call Eldest Beautiful Daughter Ailidh which is pronounced Aylay but was vetoed, he liked Fiona but was vetoed and we settled on Laura Elizabeth, she's not overly keen on her name.

With the boy I wanted Finlay, nope, he wanted Jack and that's what it is, Jack's low level disgruntled we didn't give him a middle name, he thinks we just couldn't be arsed but we couldn't find one that went.

And with the Beautiful baby daughter she was nameless for 3 days as we just couldn't find one we agreed on, me Abbie or Chloe, him Kirsty or Heather, having been originally put off Lucy by a friends smart arse comment about boobs and juicy Lucy, it was still our favourite so she became Lucy Abigail.

I now wish I had called one of my daughters Grace, which is my mothers name, it would have upset my mother in law, so we didn't. It seems to be a much more popular choice now than it was back in the 1990's when I had my daughters
What about you? like or loathe your name?

Ma wee lad's a sailor



This is the bold boy prior to his ex girlfriends fancy dress birthday party. Those are Hot Boy's white skinny jeans, t shirt and sailor hat, the denim jacket is mine. The pants are his.

I will spare you the photo of what state the clothes came back in but it really was a Daz doorstep challenge. As was the bouncing off the walls arrival home at 2am, followed by the chat with EBD and Hot Boy just outside my bedroom. I wasn't madly keen on the ex girlfriends tearful and very loud phone call either.

At 6 am, The Beautiful Son wasn't leaping out of bed to do his paper round and had to be woken up 3 times, handed clothes to wear and helped to find his luminous yellow paperbag. Which he insisted was his sisters as it had a bike lock key in it. We had to find the identical luminous yellow bag with the identical bike lock key in it. Which we did because it's a luminous yellow bag and they are always in the same place, it was just that the son couldn't quite get his bearings. I can only apologise to the good citizens of auntiegwentown for their missing/wrong/half ripped paper on Saturday. Still it's not everyday you get a hungover/still drunk sailor on a bike attempt to deliver your paper.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Gorgeous John?



Yesterday The Sunday Times published this article about John Redwood, who in addition to not being a vulcan, has turned into George Clooney.

I bet Mrs Redwood is pleased.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Coming home

Yesterday I collected Eldest Beautiful Daughter back from her halls of residence, her 1st year at university is over. It didn't really ever feel like she'd left home as every weekend she would come back here, complete with dirty laundry for me. For all of June she was in a teaching placement in a school close to this house so she's been back at home for ages. But yesterday she officially gave up her keys and back home to Mummy.

She has decided that she rather likes it here, with the laundry, fridge filling, maid and full taxi service and she's not going to live away from home again. Ever. Much to the chagrin of the other 2 who have been dying to move into her room. If she doesn't pass her driving test before October 1st I am going to have a massive school run.

I have this horrible fear that rather than my children grow up and leave home, they will remain in the suspended animation of childhood with me mummying them forever and I will become the old woman who lived in a shoe as they add their partners and their children to the household.

If they do that I'm going back to my Mum and Dad.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Not so failed grown up

Today is my day off and instead of procrastinating as is my wont, nay indeed my trademark, I decided to get on with all the jobs I have been putting off, the ones involving forms and big sums.

By 10 am this morning I had

Paid my M&S bill

Submitted my supporting evidence for EBD's student finance

Filled out my accident report form for the car insurers

Completed the transfer form for my old joint and now my very own overdraft, sorry bank account. How very grown up that makes me sound.

So, now completely surprised by my own dynamic efficiency, I am off to recline on the conservatory sofa with a good book, some coffee and a cherry bakewell.

And when I get dressed later I will be fully entitled to wear my pants outside my tights.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

In which I am a big fail, again

If you looked inside my brain it would be a great big list of stuff to worry/fret/ agitate over like...

I have overbooked the villa by a night. This is not good, you don't go on holiday and then expect to share your bed with a stranger unless there has been a bit flirting and some alcohol involved. You tend not to be amenable to the idea because your landlady is an arse. Your landlady should always check and double check she has selected the correct date from the drop down menu. Your landlady will never have same day turnarounds again, I will work on a strict system of leaving on a Tuesday? next guest can only arrive on a Wednesday. It will be much better for everyone. I am gutted that I have done this and believe me I am trying everything to get it sorted out. I am a technophobic arse who now feels the sweat of doom tricking down her back when she hears or reads 17th August.

EBD student finance application - I can't support her application until I find the 2 P60's I lost when doing my tax return for the 2nd time because I am a form filling numpty arse and cocked it up the first time. I also need council tax statemnts, child benefit statements and tax credit letters. I have no idea where I put them to keep them safe . I hate forms with a passion and will procrastinate till the end. This is now the end.

In addition to the lost stuff above I cannot find The Beautiful Son's bankbook, this is annoying him as he wants to pay some birthday money in and take some out to buy a new bike and understandably he wants it now, his exams are finished and he wants to be off with his mates. I am an "I'll put it in a safe place" arse

I bumped into someone's car and I have got to fill in an insurance claim again. I have had 3 bumps in 20 years, 2 of them have been in the last 7 months. I am an arse who can't judge distance.

I should have sent a letter registered post, I didn't and I am now worried it's gone astray. A "should have been more organised" arse.

I can't remember the last time I cooked a meal for my children from scratch.

I seem to spend my life saying to the children "can't you see I'm working?" ever such a lot.

My lovely teaching parenting skills, aka kissing squishing babies work, the group I set up 10 years ago is closing. The place I rent my room from is closing down and I haven't the energy or impetus to find new premises with a multi sensory room attached for the babies. I used to do it 3 times a week, now down to a Tuesday morning only, I would be sad about it if I could find the spare brain space.

This is in addition to the usual worries of

my weight
my wrinkles and grey hair
my "I'm not an expert at work" yet
my "I don't earn enough money to keep them in Jack Wills"
my Dad and my sister's health
my " oh my God, how much have I damaged them with the divorce"

Again I am running on empty, I am utterly exhausted. Thank you for listening

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

TMI

I work on a strictly need to know basis. I can only cope with so much reality at a time. Then I don't have to get myself worked up to either full fat grumpiness or cross shouty shreikyness on a daily basis. Because I have 3 children plus a Hot Boy so you know there are plenty things to get me up to 90 (that probably doesn't translate outside of Scotland/Ireland, it means in a tizzy)

Beautiful Baby Daughter has been going to Girls Brigade for the last 3 years, I have said before I have nothing but gratitude and admiration for people who volunteer in any activity for the benefit of other peoples children.

BBD has come home with a letter which has given me far too much information.

I have found out that 1 of the 19 year old young leaders is pregnant
That she has been in a relationship with the father for nearly a year
That she is not married
That the other leaders and chaplain feel she should stand down as a leader because she hasn't promoted Jesus's guidelines in her own life but she can still attend the group so they can offer her "support and friendship"
That they "do not condone her behaviour" and they accept that "we all make mistakes" and they will allow her to become a young leader again "when her personal life becomes more stable"

I don't like the tone of the letter at all, I can appreciate that it must have been a difficult situation for the Church, they have to promote Christian values but they also have to survive in a world where the majority of people don't abide by the 10 commandments. I just feel it has been very clumsily handled.

The letter wasn't in an envelope just a typed sheet given to the girls to hand on to parents. Does reading that letter make a young girl feel bad about herself because her parents weren't married in the first place? Does reading that letter make a girl feel bad because her parents are divorced? Does reading that letter make a girl feel bad because she might also be having sex (the group has girls aged up to 18 in)?

Now I wonder did I need to know all that? But now I do and it just doesn't sit well with me. My usual default setting is to let it go, it doesn't really affect me but I now have had to think on this, because they wrote to me and I have an opinion now, and as the Church has felt the need to give me all this information I now want to give the Church my take on this.

Dear Church

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

Yours sincerely

auntiegwen

Monday, 20 June 2011

Another fine place we can go back to

Hello my lovely internets, did you have a good weekend?

Now that all our restraining orders have been lifted, the family von strange aka auntiegwen and the weans went out for brunch to celebrate the bold boy being 16. We went to Roodys because Katyboo keeps blogging about how great it was. If you want to look at cake porn click on the word Roodys and the magic bloggy fairy shall take you there.

And it was, we had paninis, we had milkshakes, we had cupcakes, we had pancakes, we had icecream, we had a squidy thing made with curly wurlys. We also had what I call space dust (I'm of an age) you may call it popping candy.

Like Katyboo says, it looks great, the food tastes fab and the service is amazing. Please go if you're around that part of the world, we had a 30 minute drive to get there and we weren't disappointed.

And the best bit?

The best bit of all?

They didn't turn a hair when Hot Boy tried to snort his space dust like cocaine. What? he has an enquiring mind. If you also are curious, let me save you the trouble, nothing happens and you are left with a very sticky nose.

You're welcome.

Friday, 17 June 2011

A chuisle mo chridhe


Tomorrow The Beautiful Son will be 16. I love being his Mummy, although he drives me round the bend with...

his omnipresent moaning about how slow our Internet speeds are
his work shy tendencies
his eat anything and worry about ownership later stuff
his ability to wind both his sisters up to cross, shouty, shreikyness
his complete disinterest in revising for any test or exam
his total obsession with stripping down his bike/Call of Duty/youtube/facebook and twitter

BUT

He still talks to me.
He still kisses me and hugs me at least once a day.
He makes me howl with laughter in a way no one else can.
He knows when I'm upset when no one else notices.
He said on FaceBook (which makes it official) that I was the person in the whole world he was closest to.

I wouldn't change a thing, he makes me happy and I love him. Jack, a chuisle mo chridhe.

Monday, 13 June 2011

You'll pay for that...

Is it just me who thinks that if something nice happens it will inevitable be followed by something not so nice just to redress the balance? I have just had a wee jolliday to the Algarve, I had days of sun lolling around here...


And evenings eating and drinking around here...



And for my penance?

Just as I'm enjoying the last bit of sun I get a text from Beautiful Baby Daughter which reads "It's not a matter of life and death but what time are you getting back as we need to tidy up?" So I immediately think Jesus it must be horrendous if they're thinking they need to tidy, they could quite happily live in a skip normally.

When I was on the plane a text arrived saying "if you want coffee you may want to buy milk" I left 12 pints on Tuesday as I went to Waitrose just before I left. The mahoosive shop I did before I left had been eaten so as soon as I'm home back to Waitrose I go.

The washing basket which was empty when I left had been filled up and had a pile just as high beside it left for me, the washing machine had also had a nice break just like me and the nice days of sunshine which would have dried the washing a treat were a mere memory as yesterday it rained biblically because I had 3 machine loads to do and dry. And iron.

The dishwasher has packed up, it won't drain gawdonlyknows what they've put in it while I've been away.

My lifesize cardboard cutout of David Tennant was missing when I got back, I later found him in the wardrobe. Since then he has been found right outside The Beautiful Son's bedroom door, in my bed and this morning was last seen in the children's shower cubicle. What can I say? this passes for entertainment in my house.

So, I has a nice few days off which were preceded with me doing a weeks worth of work stuff and home stuff before I went and have been followed with a weeks worth of work stuff and home stuff to catch up on.

Remind me again, who had a break?

Monday, 6 June 2011

A game of 2 halfs

Once upon a time this blog was filled with tales of nights out, drinking, flirting and gigs. Now it's filled with tales of kitchen porn and The White Company. It's so hard to keep my reckless middle aged streak at bay.

Readers, in a last ditch attempt to redress the balance, I shall regale you of my Saturday night out.


I went all the way up to Sheffield to see Kasabian. Incidentally the support band Modern Faces were brilliant, another great band singing in their own accents.

One up to the recycled teenager within.

I was right up at the front, 3rd row from the stage, not in the upstairs viewing area with seats, oh no, down with the moshers, close enough to see Tom Meigham's spots and be envious of his ring finger tattoo.

Two nil

I got soaking wet in beer and other peoples sweat

Three nil

I got moshed and bashed around mainly by topless men.

Four nil

I wasn't wearing sensible shoes

Five nil

I didn't leave before the end, I stayed to hear the last song, even though that meant having to pay for an extra 2-4 hours in the car park, yep an extra £4 for 5 minutes. In the clip coming up, I was much nearer the front, just in front of Tom the lead singer.

Six nil.



I went to bed on a different day to when I got up.

Seven nil

Oh yes, I've still got it, middle aged, pah...

I shan't mention the fact that I was cross that it cost extra to book online even though you could only book online, or that it cost £10 to post them even though there was no option to collect in person or that they charged for ticket insurance or some such other nonsense and that the total cost bore no relation to the advertised price. No indeed, for that would make me sound middle aged.

And I shall gloss over the fact that getting covered in sweat and beer made we very wet and quite chilly on the drive home.

We won't go into my feet hurting quite a bit as they weren't in their usual fitflops. In fact they suffered the podiatral equivalent of vertigo.

We shall also make light of my attempts to master the iPhone (yes, eventually I too, have been appletized) and you don't need/want to know that the reason I succumbed to said iPhone was because the buttons and text on the BlackBerry pearl were just too small in the end.

And you are most definitely better off without the knowledge that my best friends mum (who I love dearly but is a pensioner) was giving me tips on using said iPhone and said to me, in the most helpful manner, "if you turn it sideways it makes the keys bigger and easier to type"

Which would have been so much better if it hadn't been preceded with the query to my best friend asking "how can I reply to Wendy if she texts me?"

I think we'll call it a draw, you're not counting any more