Friday, 14 December 2012

Things that make me a bit tetchy part 1

This could be a very rich seam of blog fodder as I am only a Per Una cardie away from proper grumpy old womanhood. I expect I'll get my badge after Christmas. You don't need a middle aged woman alert/rantie auntie warning do you? Proceed then, dearest readers to the next paragraph, at your own middle aged pace.

This is a refrain really, as I expect I have blogged upon this topic several times before but as, like your good auntie, you are getting on a bit and occasionally (okay, all the time, in my case) forget, I shall revisit this particular topic.

My 2 younger children cannot get up in the morning. I am a human alarm clock in a middle aged mummy form. My children have numerous devices all of which can wake me from 3 doors away but do not make a dent in their teenage slumber. Every morning I hear their alarm, get up, knock politely on each door and tell them it's time to get up. The Beautiful Son will actually get up then, this is a huge improvement on before.
I will go off and do what I please, sometimes I go back to bed, sometimes I make coffee, sometimes I go and log on and start work. The Beautiful Baby Daughter, however, is another story, she has been eaten by a very grumpy and hard done by creature. The Beautiful Baby Daughter was no slouch in the grumpy department herself but the ante has been upped. This auntie is displeased, mightily.

Whatever I am doing, I have to back at 5 minute intervals to reawaken Sleeping Beauty, and every 5 minutes, I am thanked ever so politely for continuing to ensure that she isn't put back on report for being late. Not.

If I don't go back at 5 minute intervals, she doesn't get up, she gets put on report, the school get cross with her, she gets cross with me and then the school get cross with me too, as sometimes I have to work outside of the house and I can't stand there at 5 minute intervals until she gets up. I expect if I didn't, she would remain there forever, a Miss Haversham type figure in owl pyjamas with last night's mascara smeared all over.

So sometimes, I'm in a hurry so I will say politely "C'mon Luce, get up, I can't hear you moving" to which she will thrash her arms and legs around the bed. But that doesn't fool me, oh no siree Bob, I have been a waking up Mummy for a very long time. I don't go into her room as the level of squalor/chaos/health hazards scare me so I remain very firmly on the clean side. We continue this at 5 minute intervals until she actually manages to get out of her pit, sorry typo, bed.

I have now added a festive twist, I now sing "Deck the Halls" with the full accompaniment of fa la lah's. I then go on to my repetoire of Christmas songs, I have many, I used to teach 4 year olds. Today I got to "When Santa got stuck up the chimney"

I expect Childline will be getting an official complaint about me soon because she wasn't very happy with me this morning. My favourite bit was "... and you're not even singing nicely to me, that was just shouty and mean"

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

University Challenge

Once again, the time has come to pass, that your auntie has a wean who has to choose where to spend the next 3 years and several thousand pounds of your auntie's hard earned cash. Decision making is not a skill that is in abundance chez auntiegwen, we tend to be of the "aye, that'll do" sort so these kind of things tend to be a wee bit trickier for us. Than for regular humans, obviously.

This time it is the turn of The Beautiful Son, who is further challenged in this area by the fact that he doesn't really know what he wants to do when he gets there, except the usual studenty pursuits of drinking and partaying. So we try the "what kind of a career do you want?" type approach but that's not helped by the fact that my bold boy only wants to earn bucket loads of cash and boss people around. And no, it's not helpful hearing that it's because he lives with a bossy kind of mummy and 2 ferociously bossy sisters that that's his life dream.

So writing the personal statement was a bit of a stretch for him as he hasn't a peg to hook his coat onto, so to speak. And I didn't much care to be told, by his teacher, at parent's day, WHEN IT WAS TOO LATE TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT (sorry about the lack of a rantie auntie middle aged woman warning) that she had red penned about 80% of it as he hadn't explained why he wanted to do management and the lack of any kind of relevant A levels. To make me reach further for the gin, himself tells her that he had sent off his statement anyway because he felt anyone helping him write it was kind of cheating. That's his view on revision also, it's about what he knows on the day, he's always been the same, drives me up the wall.

So, he writes the statement, failing to mention why he wants to be in management. For the love of God, my son a management consultant, the bitter irony of it, he'll probably drive a BMW as well (if you are new here, I have had a very chequered romantic history with either IT or management consultants who drive BMW's and are Virgo's or Gemini's.) He also has to boast a bit about why they should take his cash over his friend Craig's cash. This is hard, as Craig impressed our local MP on his visit to their A level politics class, that Craig got to spend a week as an intern at the Houses of Parliament. When Craig was there, my son was lying in bed, in his pants watching Rab C Nesbitt on youtube.

He then has to choose 5 universities, and to be fair to him, he visited 2 of the 5 and could locate on a map the other 3. And only 1 of them were chosen because they had a 2 week freshers.

So this control freak of a mummy has left him to his own devices pretty much, man, how that kills me and he now has offers from 4 of the 5, we have yet to hear from the last 1 but keep your fingers crossed as it's the one he really wants. And it's at home, if he gets in my boy will be going back to The Mother Country.

Little update - Edinburgh said yes, so 5 from 5, my boy will be going home

Friday, 9 November 2012

In which I am temporarily deranged

Last week I was complaining about my mother and then almost to illustrate the point that I am turning into her, I completely lose the plot. Do you need a middle aged woman alert? thought not, that's what you expect now really.

I could cite you several examples of my losing what few marbles I have, I could regale you of how I am so unenamoured of my new smart phone (cue hoots of derisory and slightly maniacal laughter from your auntie) and how my handbag (Cath Kidston large canvas tote, greyey bluey with polka dots, what? I know some of you were wondering) seems to keep accessing the interwebs upon it, resulting in 02 texting me to tell me I have used up all my data allowance. This has resulting in me keeping my phone switched off and I now switch it on once a day to check if anyone has texted or rang me. So, to recap I have a fancy phone that I chose so I could tweet and bookface and blog and email and chat and text etc etc all the time, so I could be part of the digital revolution and I now keep it switched off and check once per day. It is driving the beautiful children wild, all that technology going to waste. I am only feeling slightly superior to my mother in that I can actually text on it, albeit at arms length and with very wild spelling (the keys are very small and it's a qwerty keyboard, c'mon it's dead easy to hit the key next to the one you were aiming for.)Plus, I do keep it with me at all times just in case I need it, it's not in the kitchen drawer with the tea towels like my mother's.

I could recount the middle aged lady noises I made when I received a work email and in the signature at the bottom, not only was there the person's name and job title, there was also a photograph. A sultry pouty pose peering over one shoulder with a startling heavy blusher application to confirm that indeed the 12 year old child sending me the email was indeed a (and I quote) human resources executive.

We will brush over the fact that in the middle of the new James Bond film, I got overly excited and at a moment of much action upon the screen (I think the lady with the curly hair was kicking someone/something - I had eaten myself into a sugar coma at this stage) I exclaimed, in a not as quiet as it should have been, voice "Those are the Jimmy Choo's I want, they're called Lace" I don't think all the James Bond fans who were appreciating the film needed my fashion interjection.

And finally, in a shamefaced, fess it all up fashion. I completely lost the plot and spent £210 on madly expensive goop for my face. And as if we needed any more proof of how mental/old I am, I couldn't even read the damned instructions on how to apply it (even at arm's length), for all I know it could say " Ha ha ha, we have your money old woman, you are old and now £210 poorer, you don't need instructions, you will still be old even with the £210 cream, it matters not a jot in what order you apply them, in what way, use liberally and come back and buy more, sucker"

I still feel queasy when I think of what that money would buy, I have tried all the justification maths but I can't justify spending it at all, in any way, shape or form. This is nice lady things gone mad. I could give you my top 3 excuses as to why I succumbed to the hype

I am old, I would say I am middle aged but unless I live to 92 I would be lying

My skin tone would be scary to the general public if I went out with a naked face

My daughters are in that lovely youthful bloom stage and I just look awful by comparison (maybe I should make friends with some 80 year olds? then I would look better)

I just want to look like the best version of me I can, I am getting older, I don't look as good as I did 5 years ago and I'm doing all the right stuff, I run, I drink water, I eat healthily, I don't drink much now at all, I sleep well and usually 8 hours a night but I still look old. I have to accept the inevitibilty of ageing but I don't want to yet.

Thank God I don't have the money for plastic surgery, you wouldn't recognise me.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

End of Story

Shall we start with the nice bit? If you're in need of a cheer up, just read the next paragraph and look at the picture of the cute baby and then click away, after that it's fairly rantie auntie, you have been warned...

I have been home, my new nephew is beautiful and teeny tiny and was a bit yellow but grand now, look how weeny he is compared to my big heffalump of a boy

Okay, that's the good bit, from now on in, it's fairly grim, on your own head be it

I am so trying and failing to enjoy my visits home now, I could give you a list of my main reasons why but I just sound like a grumpy teenager and the world so doesn't need another one of them, my beautiful baby daughter is, in fact, the world's grumpiest teenager and I have no wish for you to see where she could have got that from.

I really struggled with my mother this visit, her need to have her own way at any cost and her refusal to compromise annoys the bejaysus out of me. Her anxieties and stresses about any tiny change in her routine of watching telly and watching telly exasperate me beyond words. This combined with her life long habit of not listening and not remembering make for a bumpy time.

My mother's memory is worsening. A few days of groundhog day conversations made me say that I was worried. Her vehement denial and her refusals to visit her GP over the last 6 months (for her usual BP checks etc) makes me think she knows her memory is worsening too. She is remaining in denial land, no matter how many times we tell her that things have improved hugely since her mother's dementia demise, she remains resolute. There is no problem, she is absolutely fine. End of story, those 3 words are my mothers final and much repeated end to any argument. I must have heard them hundreds of times in my life.

I can't help wondering if her inability to accept any change and her lack of doing anything are because of her mental state. Is it the chicken or the egg? Does she stay at home watching telly and not go out because she can't go wrong? does she not listen to us so she can blame that for not remembering? when did she start having the word finding difficulties?

My dad says he can't remember the last time she cooked a meal, or did some housework or even did the shopping. He has been doing it all. She either tells him things 5 times over ar not at all and then gets completely furious with him when he says she hasn't told him, saying he's the one with the memory problems. He has raised the subject about her memory but the ensuing arguments it caused made him not push the point.

My sister says my mother has stopped visiting, she used to drive the 14 miles a few times a week but she hasn't been for months. My sister has also noticed that mum listens less well and retains less but sees this as an ongoing problem, a gradual worsening, an inevitability.

I am not a good daughter to my mother, our relationship isn't the best or the closest or the easiest, I find it difficult to be with her. The parts of myself I particularly dislike are things I associate with my mother. I put a good face on it, I visit, we speak, I know she would help me if I needed it, I try but it doesn't come naturally to me, I don't have the ease with her I have with others.

I am not kind and patient like I am with others who suffer memory loss. I am not accomodating and cheerful and understanding, I am cross and tetchy and I find it incredibly tedious. I seem to lack genuine compassion for her, if she was your mother I would be much more understanding. And that is a huge shame, she must be so scared, she looked after my gran who had dementia, it must be like facing up to your own personal doom. This is a massive failing on my part, something I will have to really work on.

I don't understand why she won't go to her GP, I have an overwhelming need to know, no matter how bad I need to know what I am dealing with. I am an ex nurse, I believe in getting checked and seeing if any drug or therapy or lifestyle change can help. I believe in having the positive mental attitude, in matters medical I believe that early diagnosis is crucial. I sincerely hope she goes and gets checked out to see if there is anything that can be done to help.

But maybe I'm thinking about physical problems but it's not a physical problem, maybe if it was my mind I was scared of losing, I would be right where she is, in denial.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The return of the auntie...

Well hello there, I can't believe that the computer nazi who hates my blog has popped out and left my blog open, after 9 months of access denied flashed across the screen I was stunned when I logged on as I have done a few times a week, every week for the last 9 months and I wasn't told to feck off. I wonder if anyone is still here, all this time after my last post, jeez, I have made humans quicker than this!

I feel like I should have a note from my mother explaining my absence, like at school, so

Dear readers

I am so sorry that auntiegwen hasn't doen her blog for the last 9 months. She apologises for any inconveneience caused by the lack of tales of the beautiful children, her general failure of life stuff and the ongoing struggle to give up cake. Genuinely this wasn't her fault, as her broadband is paid for by her employers and when they changed provider, Blogger was banned, The Book of Face stayed but no blogger.
She has no idea if she will be allowed back on anytime soon, so make a nice wee cup of tea and sit back and read on.

So where to begin, updates mibbe?

Eldest Beautiful Daughter

Is now in her 3rd year at uni, only 6 months left really as dissertation due in on April twenty something but we don't talk about that as real life still scares her. Finally, Glory be to God in the highest, she has a job, in a pub, and all the barmaids look like her, same size, long dark hair, nope not creeped out by that at all. All good with the EBD. She's still with Hot Boy but we see him so much less now she has a job but he's grand anyway.

The Beautiful Son

Doing his last year of A levels, still talking in his old man Scottish accent, still on the drunk paper rounds, spending most weekends looking at uni's, bit taller, still completely able to annoy his sisters to Olympic standard. New addition is a 1980's Adidas trackie top usually worn with a bobble hat but plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

Beautiful Baby Daughter

Is killing me, Jesus, Mary and Holy St Joseph, she is out teening the world, it's not a blog post long it's an advert for contraception and I've no cake or gin to hand. She is queen of the eye rolling, sighs and disdain. Her hair has been pink, green (that was an accident, t'was meant to be blue), blue, pink again and now black. She looks like a scary member of bananarama. She remains unimpressed with everything connected to her family, no one understands her except her friends and life is just so shit for her. I do understand her, she wants to have her own way in everything and do nothing for anyone blood related to her in return and have NO personal responsibility for anything. If anyone is having that gig, it's me, I've earned it.

The Beautiful Parents

Slightly more dottery than before, dad still gadget mad, mother more forgetful but still with us, Glory be to God.

My sister

Is definitely having a baby, My new nephew will be born on October 24th. Despite having no money, nowhere to put a baby, becoming diabetic and having to have insulin, having such high blood pressure she can't do anything etc etc, my sister after 8 years of trying and several miscarriages is deleriously happy. And so she should be.

and me?

Well, I'm just grand. Still fond of the cake and the gin. Still bewildered by life most of the time, still trying (and mainly failing) to keep some kind of control of the children, but still here and still happy with my lot. Only new stuff in the last 9 months has been a slight addiction to Emma Bridgewater black toast range and house porn. I have decorated the hall, stairs and landing and the lounge in the same pinky, greyey beigey shade I painted my bedroom, oh don't give out to me, I have no energy for imagination. I am slightly obsessed with Etsy now and finding

a - a shabby chic type shoe cupboard for the hall
b - a shabby chic type very small, narrow bookcase for the landing that I can display things on ala Kettles Yard
c - a pair of nude killer heels for a posh do I'm going to at New year.

I have also managed to keep some orchids alive for some 6 months and I am running again.

If you are still here reading, good girl yourself, you deserve some cake or gin for that and many thanks to the people who emailed, texted, got in touch some other way to ask if I was okay. I was/am.

Hopefully, I'll be back before another 9 months.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Isn't it strange

... how years after your precious baby has learned to sleep through the night, at weekends you are sometimes still kept awake and pacing the floor by them? Or rather you are kept awake by pacing the floor waiting for them to get home. I'm not pacing the floor with a slightly inebriated 6 foot 3 lump of useless upon my shoulder, that would be silly. Not to mention, difficult.

... and how there is a mummy and son phone failure after midnight? O2 and BlackBerry should really get on that. My son never gets any of the texts or calls I make that start around 1am and continue at 15 minute intervals, they all arrive together once he is on his walk home. It really is most peculiar.

... not to mention that my hearing is also impaired on these kind of nights. He is definitely not slurring his words. I am just getting old and deaf.

... that even though it's 3.30am he isn't late, if I don't tell him each time he uses the front door what time his arse is expected back through it, he's not late, he's curfew free. Despite the fact we have these conversations at least fortnightly and the weekend and school holiday curfew always has been, is now and shall remain 1am.

... I am the only Mummy in the world that is concerned about what time their teenager gets home and how much they've had to drink and what effect all this partaaaying has on their health, not to mention their A levels. Apparently no one else's parents care. I am clearly quite deranged through lack of fun in my own life.

...that I worry so much about my child, when he is ALWAYS the most sober one there. He is never as bad as Johnny/Craig/Rachel/Mel and in this instance Imran.

...that I am not proud of my child's public spiritedness and caring nature, clearly he is late home because he is looking after Johnny/Craig/Rachel/Mel and in this case, Imran.

... that genuinely he appears sorry that I am awake but he continues in his mad notion that it is a choice for me to stay awake and worry. Trust me son, I would so much rather be in my warm bed asleep than pacing and worrying. I look like a caricature of a 1970's wife waiting on a husband's return from the pub, I have the dressing gown and sheepskin slippers off to a tee, only the curlers and fag dangling from my lip are missing.

... and now he is fast asleep in bed and I am still awake, and I would lay money on the fact that as soon as I get to sleep, I will be awakened a minute later when his 6am paper round alarm goes off.

... that I still love him. And some days or more factually 3,30 am's that can be slighly more of a challenge.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Things I still don't understand the 2012 remix

Hello my lovely readers, a very happy 2012 to you all. Vaguely bemused and confused auntie service is logging on for 2012, in fact this is my 5th Bloggiversary, auntie has been having her say since 2007!!!!

So much has changed in those 5 years, looking back at the photos I see how much my kids have grown and sadly how much I have too :( I used to be a very thin auntie, now I look like I ate the 2007 auntie.

Still, selfless and public spirited to my very core, here I am again, making you feel better about your own life. Ta da - let me present to you - things that still I don't understand...

Why every Hogmanay (December 31st for those of you who are not the chosen ones) I go mental cleaning my house. It has to be spotlessly clean and tidy by midnight so it stays clean and tidy the whole year. It does work, my house is spotlessly clean and tidy every year, on December 31st. The other 364 days it reverts to it's usual slum conditions.

Why there is no real difference between my son and my best friends 5 year old son except height.

How I was expected to keep a straight face when the lovely 5 year old explained how you tell boy dogs from girl dogs - to whit "they have a chubby bit down below, near the back that swing when they walk"

Why BBD put a dark brown colour in her gorgeous titian hair bacause she was called ginger then decided to dye her hair RED, a RED that could be seen from space, not a RED found in any place other than her hair and a child's paintbox.

How all I ever write about are my children and am I ever thought of as a mummy blogger? am I feck. No one ever sends me lovely free stuff to write about, all together now, poor poor auntie

Thanking you all most kindly for reading, for me it's been a great 5 years, I wonder if I'll be here for another 5? Who knows? please feel free to have some cake, it's most yummy and calorie free, what more could you ask for?