Monday, 28 March 2011

Welcome to the house of fun

Chez auntiegwen - a flavour if you please, a little taster of what my life can be like.

I get home to be greeted by TBS and BBD so excited they could burst. They proffer a tin of cat food and try to lead me to the conservatory where they tell me is the new pet cat Hot Boy has bought them. I am feart of cats, cats would be my last choice of pet - no harm to any readers who have cats, I'm sure yours are lovely, I'm just scared of them.

This followed a conversation that we've had many, many times over the years where the kids ask for a cat/dog/guinea pig/hamster/bunny rabbit/pony and I say no. The animal changes the answer doesn't. Hot Boy asked if he and EBD could get a cat, I say no (waste not your time wondering why Hot Boy wants a cat at my house, he thinks he lives here, he thinks he's one of us, he's even asked if he and EBD split up if I'll convert the garage for him as sleeping in the same bed with her would be awkward, he's only half joking) Hot Boy tells me he'll just get one anyway. I tell Hot Boy on no account is there a cat to be bought and brought to my house.

Hot Boy is the most difficult to manage of them all, he is the one I have least control over. He is the most impulsive of them all, he also has cash to fund this impulsiveness. He is less scared of me than the others as when I get to full fat cross shouty shreikeyness as he can leave and go to his own flat. He also has his own Mummy, he doesn't need me the way the others do. This is a deadly combination.

So as we go towards the conservatory, I am ready to kill Hot Boy, I am searching in my phone for his number and I am ready to do full fat cross shouty shreikeyness down the phone. It's not the same but it'll have to do.

We get to the conservatory and I make the others go in first to collect the cat, who I'm now worried that it'll have gone mad being cooped up in there and will have scratched the furniture to bits and shit all over my cream sofas. I'm hiding in the dining room scared to go much further and I'm now trying to work out what to do with this feckin cat.

Then TBS and BBD crack and nearly piddle their frillies, total wind up from them all, even to the extent of buying the cat food.

Bar stewards the lot of them.

This was on top of EBD fake pregnancy frape on FaceBook, which nearly caused my mother to have another stroke and more than a few people called and texted me to find out if it was actually true.

And TBS Facebook posting of a picture of chopped up polo mints, shaped into a line with a rolled up fiver beside it entitled "How to scare the living shit out of your Mum"

My life is so much funnier when you're only reading about it.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Take 2

If you've been reading a wee whiley, you may remember an attempted Primal Scream gig. I say attempted, as that night, the band in a very not rock n roll style finished their gig around half past nine.

This is very poor, even by my standards, which consist of jammies on and bed at the earliest possible opportunity.

Anyhoo, take 2 found me at the 02 place in where I do live, which is the arse end of nowhere, middle Engerland.

So, this time I arrived really really early, so early I had to amuse myself by throwing ice cubes down peoples T shirts for fun. I was there an hour and a half before before the band, to be on the safe side, it'd be pants to miss them twice.

So, 20 years on they play Screamadelica in it's entirety. I missed the 90's music completely being up to my arse in weans and nappies, Postman Pat and the wheels on the bus were the soundtrack to my life then. I now realise that Screamadelica is for the stoned, Mani kept the band's end of the bargain up beautifully, sadly I was drinking diet coke, not a euphanism.

The encore was, again, the best part of the gig. But, as always, being with your best mate and live music is an unbeatable combination.

Thursday, 24 March 2011


I'm sure the lovely weather has had a massive impact on my cheeryometer but I am ridiculously happy at the moment. It's like the universe has turned it's random acts of kindness beam in my direction. I have been the recipient of several nice things recently and all of these are contributing to my warm fuzzy glow.

Things that have made your auntie happy, in no particular order

The sunshine

My lovely friend Libby send me an Edward Monkton book on shoes and a Scottish tea towel to make me laugh. Thank you Libby, much as I love the book it's the thought that you saw it and you thought of me that I love, I am blessed with great friends.

Alienne very very kindly offered to send me her copy of the Hardeep Singh Kohli book, and she did. Last Saturday I read it, sat in the garden in the sunshine, how good is that? So many thanks to you, Alienne.

A lovely lady emailed me from America to say she's been reading for a year and she enjoys the blog, how cool is that? a lovely non work email. Another lovely man from Portugal did too and I'd love to read your blog back but it's in Portugese.

I am running again, not to real running standards but wobbly and slowly I have my trainers on and am putting one foot in front of the other. It is a joy to be out in the sun.

Kellogsville and Mde Worthington are encouraging my running on twitter. Laura and I are getting excited about the new Cath Kidston shop on twitter.

I am participating in the 30 day song challenge I heard about on facebook, I am loving that.

The people at Innocent sent me free tokens to buy juice with, I love free stuff, Innocent, I love you, there is a game to play too, to win free stuff The White Company, what's keeping you?

At present the children are happy and not trying to poke each other with sharp pointy sticks, even metaphorical sharp pointy sticks. That's got to be a win?

Oh and the sun is shining, did I mention that? Tell your auntie, what's making you cheery?

11.15 am - Happiness update - the postman has just been and delivered a card from my dear friend Libby, sent just because she was thinking of me, how lucky am I to have such a good friend?

Monday, 21 March 2011

3 by 9

When Mrs W asks, Mrs W gets, even in the same week! boy am I impressed with my blogging efficiency

Three names I go by: Mummy, auntiegwen and Wendy

Three places I’ve lived: Glasgow, Edinburgh and Leicestershire

Three places I’ve worked: Hospitals, schools and home (boy do I work at home!)

Three things I love to watch: Sex and the city, Chewin the fat, Take me out (my very guilty and now not so secret pleasure)

Three places I have been & love: what, other than Scotland?

Olu Deniz and surrounding area, Turkey - my other home, Inshallah may it always be so

Paris - my favourite city

New York - it edged Prague and Barcelona and Rome and Portofino, just

Three people that email me regularly: work, work and work although out of work it has to be Libby and I sometimes have people who read the blog email me, I love these emails, I love any non work related emails

Three things I love to eat: cake especially coffee cake, strawberries, pizza

Three things I am looking forward to: my decree absolute and the recognition of the beginning of my new life it brings, summer as I am heartily fed up of lack of sunshine, and getting back into shape and being less of a lardy auntie.

I am supposed to tag 3 readers but I am rubbish at choosing and I know lots of my bloggy friends have already been tagged, I would like to hear from all of you so please consider yourself tagged, I know lots of lady bloggers will as I've read a few already so what about the boys? did anyone tag them, panic not, it's not kiss chase so Steve, Troy, Nota Bene and Andy would you like to play?

Saturday, 19 March 2011

No offense

I rang my daughter yesterday. The eldest one who allegedly has left home. There was no reply. A few minutes later I receive a text message

EBD - I'm in a seminar, what's wrong? x

ag - sweetie I love you and think you're great and all but if there was something wrong, would you really be the best person to ring? xxxxx

EBD - point taken, I'll be home at 2, if you're in we'll go get coffee and cake, our eyebrows waxed and go to waste your money type shops, I got paid xx

It's lovely when you know each other so well.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

In which I nearly spit out gin.

I'm not often lost for words. I know, you're shocked at that revelation aren't you? What can I say?, even I, Queen of the smart arse remark, can, on occassion, be stumped for the correct response.

Anyhoo, I was having a conversation with someone about their upcoming date. This was a first date with a man they had met through t'internets. I wasn't shocked at that. I was, however, surprised that t'internet site was based on rich men taking women out and paying for everything. Well, London has it all, doesn't it?

So, a site where rich men take women out for drinks and dinner and expect nothing in return, just the pleasure of your sparkling chit chat and company.

I nearly spat out my gin and tonic, my £5.35 gin and tonic!!!!!!! (and it wasn't even Bombay Sapphire, just Gordon's)

Aye right. (to be heard in as Glaswegian accent as you can manage)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

auntiegwen's guide of what not to do - decorating for numpties

We are still deep in decorating chez auntiegwen. As always, I started without a clear plan of what I was doing and then made it up as I went along. This is not clever and also frighteningly expensive. As I am public spirited to my very core and I am so fond of you, my lovely readers, read on so you don't weep for you will not make the same mistakes as your auntie.

Do not try and paint your room the same colour as the sky in your Christmas present painting. A trained and talented artist spent years learning to lovingly blend colours to get the irridescence of a winter sky. A wee spotty boy in B and Q with an hours on the job training is unlikely to be able to recreate the tonal effect of said sky, no matter how good the paint machine is. You will feel like a numpty stood there with your painting under your arm. Even the wee spotty B and Q boy with his 1 hours training knows he can only do flat colours.

Ditto in the carpet shop.

Do not think that you and your offspring can paint a room. You can but you will reach cross shouty shreikyness fairly quickly and what you save on a properly trained and experienced painter and decorator you will spend on gin, you pays your money, you take your choice.

If you do manage to get a shade of beigey pinky greyey paint you like, DO NOT (in capitals for emphasis) paint all 4 walls if you only need 3 doing as you are having 1 wall with feature wallpaper. I emphatically did not make a mistake, I knew I only needed 3 but I also knew it may take quite some time to get around to wallpapering said wall and I felt that it would look better meantime to have all walls the same colour.

If you base the whole theme of the room on the 2 rolls of wallpaper on the feature wall, it is then A VERY BAD IDEA to decide that you are not actually a feature wall sort of person and you actually like all 4 walls in the beigey, pinky, greyey paint. Especially if you have driven to no less than 5 branches of B and Q in a 50 mile radius of your house to buy the 2 rolls of wallpaper.

Check that the beigey, pinky greyey silk lightshade that is the perfect shape to match the bedside lamps and that you fall in love with is actually for a ceiling light and not a lamp. There is a difference, who knew?

If you have champagne tastes on a beer income do not even have a sneaky peek at The White Company website or catalogue, it doesn't come with an addiction warning.

When you actually succumb to The White Company do not add up what your bedlinen cost you, because when people ask you in shocked tones what your pure silk bedspread in taupey grey, your 2 sets of grey piped duvet covers and Oxford pillowcases and the extra deep kingsize bed sheets costs you will be truthfully unable to tell them, this is much better for your mental health. Especially when you realise that your pure silk bedspread doesn't actually serve a purpose, it just lies there looking pretty.

Do not buy an extra metre of pelmet covering fabric to make cushion covers and tie backs, yes, you will be fair away with yourself and may fancy yourself as the next Kelly Hoppen thinking your room will look very what swish and co-ordinated but if you have no idea of how to and no means of making these cushion covers and tie backs, it isn't one of your better ideas. Especially when you actually prefer your interim solution of your curtains tied back with the black and cream ribbons you get tied round your Links of London jewellery boxes.

Do not try and outsmart yourself. I have a tendency to live with things unfinished, this time I have tried to overcome this by buying everything for the room at once, new furniture, new carpets, new linen, bedside lamps, light shade, curtains (paid extra to be made up quicker) and fabric plus tonal piping for to cover the window pelmets and to make tie backs and cushion covers for the bed. This was ANOTHER VERY BAD IDEA I have spent more than I earn and I get panicky if I can't clear my credit card bill in full every month. I am now afeared of the big feck off bill shortly due from my credit card.

When your room looks beautiful, it becomes a sanctuary for you. Your calm and serene room awaits you every night, lovingly inviting, not just to you but also for your nearest and dearest. They also wish to spend time in the calm and elegant sanctuary. This unleashes your inner Monica, I now clean and hoover every day, my usual slattern has been replaced by a cross shouty shreiky creature who doesn't want people to walk in her room as it leaves footmarks in the carpet and the thought of people lounging around on my bed makes me ill, I mean their feet might touch my pure silk White Company bedspread! I now want a lock on my door as I know when I am in London for a few days they will roll around and mess my bed up and send me pictures of them doing it, with glee on their faces.

When you have finished it just makes the rest of the house look so shabby so you think I'll have a go at the rest... and so it begins... decorexia.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Happy Birthday EBD

Today my Eldest Beautiful Daughter is 19. For the first time in her life she wakes up on her birthday without us there. No breakfast in bed, no cards or presents or singing (she might actually be glad to skip that!)

But tonight she will be home here with us. And Hot Boy.

Happy Birthday to you my dear practice child, I didn't do so badly with you after all, did I?

Lara, mo chridhe, tha gaol akam ort.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

My ladies car

My car is flashing her orange warning light at me again. I care not for the orange warning light. It is like a little harbinger of doom on your dashboard, a little flashing light that smirks evilly at me "I'm going to cost you money" and does the mwah ha ha ha evil laugh.

2 weeks ago I had to replace the brake pads and that cost me at least a pair of LK Bennett peep toe platforms or a White Company Westbourne duvet cover, 4 Oxford pillowcases and a fitted sheet.

Yesterday the evil orange engine malfunction light reappeared. Summoning all my huge and extensive mechanical knowledge it feels like another coil has gone. My flighty car may have already worn her coil out. Is she drving someone else on the side?

I fear my car is me in mechanical form and she is now tired. When she was bought 9 years ago she was never expected to go anywhere further than the shops. She was a ladies car, a Mummy car, she took the children to ballet, rugby, Brownies, music lessons, swimming lessons etc and me to the supermarket. She did little short trips 30 minutes at most. She was indeed A class.

She never had to do early starts, dear me no, she was allowed to wake up gently, we never went anywhere before 9.30am, the children were walked to school, I would return and have coffee and then we would be off, to nice lady places like the gym or the coffee shop.

However life has changed for both of us. I am no longer an executive wife who worked 2 or 3 mornings a week because I liked it. I am someone who has to work to pay for life. I need a car to do it.

Sometimes I have to leave at 6.30 am and drive 90 miles to be training at 9am. This has been a huge shock to both the car and me. For the first 5 years I had my car I only did 5,000 miles a year, I now average 1200 miles per month. My lovely car feels it's just too much for her, she's getting on for 60,000 miles on her clock and it's beginning to show. She wants to protect her lady status, she is absolutely fine on short trips but my long work trips are when she protests.

I didn't want to take the company car and the fuel card I am entitled to as part of my package. I love my car. But I can't afford the garage bills and the soaring fuel costs. I think I will have to reluctantly accept my fate of the company car, I can have an Astra or an Astra and there is no metallic purple option either.

My lovely ladies car will be passed on to Eldest Beautiful Daughter for when she passes her test. Don't hold your breath, she phones me and in tones of great excitement lists what she can do after each lesson, after lesson 6 she actually managed to get into 3rd gear and she can now turn right if there is no oncoming traffic, if there are cars coming, she pretends she hasn't heard the instructor and just carries on to the next right turn that's clear.

So reluctantly I will apply for my company car but I will miss my lovely lady car.

However if Mercedes read this and feel that they need the kudos that having their A classes driven by a middle aged mummy blogger with a penchant for The White Company, they should feel free to replace my lovely A class and I would be happy with any colour, it doesn't have to be metallic purple.

And The White Company? c'mon what's keeping you? would you not like some beautifully written bed porn reviews?

Saturday, 5 March 2011

And when you thought it couldn't get any weirder...

Hot Boy has quit his band. Tis a shame because he worked really hard at it but he wants to do something more heavy. They were a bit electro pop and wore tie die, Hot Boy is currently channeling his inner Metallica, something had to give. Plus the lead singer is a knob.

Anyway, he and Eldest Beautiful Daughter were going to clear out his kit from the practice room last night, he was listing all his bass es and amps and pedals and stuff I don't know what it really is and he delivers the killer line...

"And that bloody dildo is mine, we're taking that as well"

And I just had to ask why. You see, public spirited to my very core, you wouldn't have been able to sleeep until you found out why there was a dildo in the practice room, it's okay, I've got it covered.

Apparently there is a device called an ebow (I even texted him to confirm I had the right technical terminology, oh yes care and attention for you at all times, dear readers) This ebow is like a bow on the guitar strings that works on tiny vibrations.

Real ebows cost upwards of £80. Hot Boy bought a rabbit in Ann Summers and uses that instead. Same principle.

So, to recap he can lick his own nipples and plays his bass with a vibrator.

And he's dating my daughter.

Serendipity or did I do something really bad in a last life? Joking aside, we love him, our life would be much the poorer without his comedy genius.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Middle Class Porn


The older I become, the more I seem to gravitate to the the middle class lifestyle porn that is peddled mercilessly at me, it's in my magazines, on t'internets, I am even sent porn through the post, lovely seductive catalogues that scream, sit and stroke my subtly sexy pages and be immersed in my middle class world where there is no recesssion and everything is lovely. If I buy from them my life will be immeasureably better, I will be thinner, my children will be tow headed poppets, my husband will be lantern jawed handsome. I won't take it too far, we all know what my life and children are really like.

My name is auntiegwen and I am addicted to The White Company (and others but one step at a time) I like soft things. I like very plain things. I like things that last. I don't mind paying for quality things as long as there are no labels and bling and no one can guess they were expensive (the dichotomy thing that runs through my very core) I am The White Company's marketing department's wet dream.

I buy their candles, they do a lot of candles. I love candles and I always have one burning away somewhere.

I have their vases and fairy lights and Christmas pot pourri and wreaths. I have their vase that looks like a big fishbowl filled with their very fancy white lantern fairy lights in my conservatory, it is very what lovely. It screams The White Company.

I wear their clothes, they do a lot of grey, I am strangely drawn to the colour grey.

I have managed to keep my The White Company habit under some financial control. I started small, a candle, a liquid soap. Not all the time - just when I was feeling a bit low and needed a quick pick me up. I worked my way up through the ranks.

Until now.

Now I want more. I have the deep yearning for their bedding. Dear God, protect me from myself.

I so want the CARLYLE bed linen. I love the subtle striped softness and plainess of it.

I covet with covety covetousness the GREY CASHMERE throw and cushions.

I know it would be outrageous and obsecene for me to spend hundreds of pounds on bed linen. But the inner voice says so what if the children don't get to eat for a while. Or they cut my gas off. I will be cushioned from the harsh realities of life.

I won't feel it because I will be in middle class bed heaven, gently slumbering on soft as a whisper 600tc Egyptian cotton sateen (made in Italy, where all the really stylish bed linen gets made, none of your made in China for TWC, no siree Bob)

I will be thin and beautiful and in a grey slip nightie (oh how well they know me, everything in that feckin catalogue is screaming BUY ME) I will have a gentle peaceful life, I probably do yoga as well.

My bedroom is a sanctuary, I have fresh white flowers in an effortlessly stylish vase, my candle is beautifully subtle, I am serene and calm. I read improving books in bed with my soft as a baby's breath cashmere throw around my shoulders. My life is so chic it hurts.

I know it's not right for me to spend that money on bed linen but I still want it. I long for it. It's top quality porn.

My name is auntiegwen and I am addicted to The White Company.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

If I was on Twitter...

It would say

Monday evening - drive to B and Q in Northampton to buy 2 rolls of wallpaper for feature bedroom wall. Returned empty handed as they only had 1. Also v peed off at Waitrose as they had no fig and walnut bread. Oh the deprivation (hear that in Billy Connolly's voice)

Tuesday afternoon - spend gazillion hours trying to source said 2 rolls of feature (in my head now another f word) wallpaper. Find that Coventry B and Q has some. Drive to Coventry with TBS, on leaving the car TBS has pins and needles and waddles into shop looking like a constipated penguin (due to jeans hanging off arse showing feature pants)

Tuesday evening - as TBS had already fulfilled his helpfulness quota that day by sitting beside me in car and misdirecting me, I had to wash down all walls in bedroom ALL BY MY OWN SELF.

Wednesday afternoon - spend far too much time on The White Company website trying to convince myself that £400 for bed linen is a perfectly reasonable amount and I really deserve a cashmere throw. And silky velvety cushions. Some of you may be pleased to know I resisted temptation. For now. That website should have a middle aged lady addiction warning on it.

Wednesday evening - should be painting the bedroom ceiling. Instead am wasting time on here pondering the fact that my son has twitter and my mother has facebook. And I don't even have a cashmere throw. Oh the deprivation.