Wednesday 26 December 2007

Happy Christmas

A very happy Christmas was had by all. I hope you had a good one too.
With lots of love from your auntiegwen and her emo kids.

Thursday 20 December 2007

I'm home

Drove home to The Mother Country today to stay with The Beautiful Parents. I do love my family, they're as mad as a box of frogs but I love them.

We had a very good journey home, the M6 was not a car park as is it's usual state. We had a very cheery Christmas CD on and there was minimal fighting, all good or as Eldest Beautiful Daughter says, it's all gravy.

The Beautiful Parents have excelled themselves on the spending money front once again, the lounge has been fully redecorated and furnished, just like last Christmas ! My gadget mad dad has invested in a nintendo ds, a wii and an all singing all dancing sky telly, phone and broadband package. Fully complemented by a very fancy new computer and wireless router (despite the fact they have no need of a router as they only have 1 computer) and I have tried to explain this but as I am extremely technophobic and they are pensioners with a penchant for gadgets they don't fully know how to operate, I just gave up.

Life is so good at home, awaiting my arrival was my choice of pornography, the GSPC ( this is a guide to houses for sale in Glasgow) I am an absolute property porn addict, a family size tin of roses and my beloved Empire Biscuits.
As my children have full access to all home technology comforts and then some ( plasma screen tellies and a full sky package, not to mention the brain training that has kept them quiet for the last hour) and a fridge full of crap that they love but don't get at home, I am asking myself...

Why don't I just stay ? Please Mum, this time I'll even keep my room tidy, and I'll always be in bed by 11, I promise !

Tuesday 18 December 2007

Spoke too feckin soon

I am so fed up and pissed off I am frightening people. You know that sign that says " I have pmt and a gun, any more questions ?" that pretty much sums up how I look at the moment.

Me and my big fat useless Scottish gob. I've brought it on myself. Remember that smug and happy tone of the last post ? Well, it's come back to bite me big time.

I have had to go back into work to do some cover.

My students have resubmitted their marked work for an upgrade therefore I have to remark.

My children are being truly and unbelievably horrible to each other and so so selfish, I am ashamed of them, where did I go wrong ? they were not brought up like that.

I have in no way, shape or form even made a dent in my xmas shopping. I had started but Amazon sent me the wrong stuff and now I have to go buy it and go to the post office to return the wrong stuff. I still have to do the big xmas food shop and that will have to be done on xmas eve and that just makes me want to cry.

I have no time between now and coming home to write and post cards so for the 2nd year running I am not sending any.

My long awaited night alone with himself so did not go to plan, it's fair to say that we both had a horrible weekend.

Christmas, you can keep it

Ho feckin ho

Friday 14 December 2007

Reasons to be cheerful part 1

I am now officially finished teaching for the Christmas Break

I am finished marking Glory Be To God

My Christmas tree is up and I have my Crabtree and Evelyn Noel Xmas candle, lamp oil and room spray in use, that smell means Xmas to me and mine

I am coming home to The Mother Country to see The Beautiful Parents

My Beautiful Children have taken a small break from the undercover work of Satan and have temporarily stopped trying to drive each other mental

I am going to see The Beautiful Man today

The Beautiful Man and I have no, I repeat, NO children to look after tonight and up until tea time tomorrow

The Beautiful Man and I will be in his house completely alone for the first time in 2 months

Again, The Beautiful Man and I will be completely alone tonight

My life is soooooooooooooooooo good

Wednesday 5 December 2007

Cynicism, thy name is Gwen

I've had a busy old week, what with work, weans and just general life really. And that's without mentioning the C word.

A few things have made me laugh this week, as follows

Seen written in dirt on the back of a transit van in Birmingham - " This van is called Mohammed"

Written in magnetic words on my kitchen door - " Teachers are pooey brown butt wipes " nice to be insulted in your own kitchen by your own offspring isn't it ?

and finally the pick of the bunch, taken from The Sunday Times

The Madness of King Alex

It has cost THOUSANDS of pounds and months of hard work, but at last Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, has unveiled a new tourism slogan to replace the old "Best small country in the world" tag line.
The new catchphrase has been variously described as "stunning", "astonishing" and "showing what a modern, vibrant and successful country Scotland is". The slogan?
" Welcome to Scotland"

Well feck me, they obviously had the keenest minds and brightest talents on double time to produce that one, eh? How did they come up with that ? No wonder the English think we'll never manage without them in the glorious post Devolution Caledonia that has Salmon salivating.

Is it just me or does the Scottish "waste of tax payers feckin money" Parliament fiasco spring into anyone elses mind ?

Monday 26 November 2007

Five Glass Friday

On Friday night himself and I went to his triathlon club's annual black tie award dinner. This involved a dinner suit for him and 3 coats of mascara and a posh frock for me. It would be an understatement to say I wasn't looking forward to it.

There were more than a few reasons for this,
I don't like getting out of my jeans unless I'm getting into my jammies,
I hate being a plus 1, in the past this has meant me being left to fend for myself whilst the people who know each other have a great time,
I tend to be a bit nervous around people I don't know so I have a few glasses of the red stuff and then think I'm dead funny, everyone else just thinks I'm pissed and possibly obnoxious, not much chance of them being pissed and not noticing as they're all athletes
It being an athletic club, I thought I might be the lardiest one there
We were leaving 3 of the collective beautiful children together without us being there for the first time ( don't worry, the eldest is a very sensible 15 and the others 12) I really wasn't sure how they'd get on. So lots of little niggles before we even got there.

What was I worried about ? I don't think anyone was sober, I saw quite a lot of peoples pants, both himself and I were hit on, I didn't take the 2 kilted men to task for not having any right to wear a kilt ( both admitted they do it just to pull women!!!),and the kids got on brilliantly.

The Beautiful Man looked really yummy and looked after me like I've never been looked after before and he doesn't dance like a dad. Not too shabby is it ?

Friday 16 November 2007

Mr Angry of Leith

Himself sent me this funny email today and I had to share it. Coming from Glasgow, I always think that the West Coast humour is a wee bit funnier but I did live in Auld Reekie for 13 years, and I did love it there too, so here's a wee bit of East Coast humour for you.

Here's a thought for all the Edinburgh dwellers on the service your boys in blue / black / yellow provide. True email sent to the force, lengthy but absolutely brilliantly written....
Anonymous correspondence from a member of the public

Dear Sir/madam/automated telephone answering service.
Having spent the past twenty minutes waiting for someone at Leith police station to pick up a telephone I have decided to abandon the idea and try e-mailing you instead. Perhaps you would be so kind as to pass this message on to your colleagues in Leith by means of smoke signal, carrier pigeon or ouji board.
As I'm writing this e-mail there are eleven failed medical experiments (I think you call them youths) in West Cromwell Street which is just off Commercial Street in Leith. Six of them seem happy enough to play a game which involves kicking a football against an iron gate with the force of a meteorite. This causes an earth shattering CLANG! which rings throughout the entire building.
This game is now in it's third week and as I am unsure how the scoring system works, I have no idea if it will end any time soon.The remaining five walking abortions are happily rummaging through several bags of rubbish and items of furniture that someone has so thoughtfully dumped beside the wheelie bins. One of them has found a saw and is setting about a discarded chair like a beaver on speed. I fear that it's only a matter of time before they turn their limited attention to the bottle of calor gas that is lying on it's side between the two bins. If they could be relied on to only blow their own arms and legs off then I would happily leave them to it. I would even go so far as to lend them the matches. Unfortunately they are far more likely to blow up half the street with them and I've just finished decorating the kitchen.
What I suggest is this. after replying to this e-mail with worthless assurances that the matter is being looked into and will be dealt with, why not leave it until the one night of the year (probably bath night) when there are no mutants around then drive up the street in a panda car before doing a three point turn and disappearing again. This will of course serve no other purpose than to remind us what policemen actually look like.I trust that when I take a clawhammer to the skull of one of these throwbacks you'll do me the same courtesy of giving me a four month head start before coming to arrest me.

I remain sir, your obedient servant?????????

Mr ??????,
I have read your e-mail and understand you frustration at the problems caused by youth playing in the area and the problems you have encountered in trying to contact the police.As the Community Beat Officer for your street I would like to extend an offer of discussing the matter fully with you.Should you wish to discuss the matter, please provide contact details (address / telephone number) and when may be suitable.
RegardsPC ????????????????Community Beat Officer

Dear PC ?????First of all I would like to thank you for the speedy response to my original e-mail. 16 hours and 38 minutes must be a personal record for Leith Police station and rest assured that I will forward these details to Norris McWhirter for inclusion in his next book.Secondly I was delighted to hear that our street has it's own community beat officer. May I be the first to congratulate you on your covert skills. In the five or so years I have lived in West Cromwell Street, I have never seen you. Do you hide up a tree or have you gone deep undercover and infiltrated the gang itself? Are you the one with the acne and the moustache on his forehead or the one with a chin like a wash hand basin? It's surely only a matter of time before you are headhunted by MI5.Whilst I realise that there may be far more serious crimes taking place in Leith such as smoking in a public place or being Muslim without due care and attention, is it too much to ask for a policeman to explain (using words of no more than two syllables at a time) to these twats that they might want to play their strange football game elsewhere. The pitch behind the Citadel or the one at DKs are both within spitting distance as is the bottom of the Albert Dock.Should you wish to discuss these matters further you should feel free to contact me on ??? ????. If after 25 minutes I have still failed to answer, I'll buy you a large one in the Compass Bar.

P.S If you think that this is sarcasm, think yourself lucky that you don't work for the cleansing department.

Now you see, if the police weren't so busy arresting and putting men on the sex offenders register for shagging their bikes they'd be there like a shot....

Monday 12 November 2007

My Mondays

Now some of you may know that I work from home on Mondays. This is the day when I attempt to clean my house, do shed loads of laundry, run ( ha ha ha, I put them in to save you the trouble of laughing for yourself), do a supermarket shop, plan lessons for the week, go to the bank, post office, dry cleaners etc etc etc. Monday is the day when I try and do a weeks worth of stuff in a day. This is what I plan to do, every Sunday night and every Monday morning, I tell myself that this will be the day I do it. In my head the plan sounds great, achievable even. This is the plan.

This is the actuality

Every Monday, I get up, go straight to Beautiful Baby Daughters room and get into her bed for 10 minutes where I kiss and cuddle her, then I go to The Beautiful Son's bedroom where I get into his bed and kiss and cuddle him for precisely 10 minutes, they actually time it to ensure neither of them gets a peko second more of my attention. I then knock on the door of the Bride of Darkness aka Eldest Beautiful Daughter and get a grunt in return from under the duvet, I would be happy to kiss and cuddle her to but I am more likely to get a belt in the mouth for my trouble, like me, she's not a morning person.

I then proceed downstairs to the kitchen, I put on my first load of laundry for the day, empty the dishwasher, make packed lunches, call the beautiful children at least 4 times to come and eat the feckin breakfast, dispense money, find lost kit, homework, school books etc etc.

I then return to my bed with the first of several large mugs of coffee, I watch channel 4 on the telly whilst eating my lightly toasted cinnamon and raisin bagel, occasionally I can persuade EBD to make me another coffee and I stay there contentedly till I've seen Will and Grace.

I then get up and empty the washing machine and put on yet another load of laundry. I sit at the pc and log on, I read my horoscopes, forums and anything that catches my eye on the home page, I then go to blogger and read all my lovely regular round of blogs and then I think I should blog myself.

So it is now 11 am, I am still not showered or dressed, the washing is still not pegged out and I have achieved nothing of my plan but before you deride me for wasting my time, have a little look at what I've found out, today I give you something I found on the tiscali home page, it is a list of laws that have never been repealled, and I 've included the foreign ones so you can see that people really are nuts the world over.

Strange but True Laws

1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.

2. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside-down.

3. In Liverpool, it is illegal for a woman to be topless except as a clerk in a tropical fish shop.

4. Mince pies cannot be eaten on Christmas Day.

5. In Scotland, if someone knocks on your door and requires the use of your toilet, you must let them enter.

6. In the UK, a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including a policeman's helmet.

7. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the King and the tail goes to the Queen.

8. It's illegal not to tell a tax official anything you don't want them to know but legal not to tell them information you don't mind them knowing.

9. It's illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament in a suit of armour.

10. In the city of York it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the city walls but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow.

And for our fruit loops abroad...

1. In Ohio it is illegal to get a fish drunk.

2. In Indonesia, the penalty for masturbation is decapitation.

3. In Bahrain, a male doctor can only examine the genitals of a woman in the reflection of a mirror.

4. In Switzerland a man cannot relieve himself standing up after 10pm.

5. In Alabama it's illegal to be blindfolded while driving a vehicle.

6. In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on a Sunday could be jailed.

7. In Vermont, women must get written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.

8. In Milan it's a legal requirement to smile at all times except at funerals or hospital visits.

9. In Japan, there is no age of consent.

10. In France, it's illegal to name a pig Napoleon.

Time well spent, I'm sure you'll agree

Wednesday 7 November 2007

I want to ride my bicycle

This is a word for word quote from November 4th s edition of The Sunday Times

Cyclist of the week

A hotel guest has been put on the sex offenders register after attempting intercourse with his bicycle. Two cleaners interrupted the man at a hotel in Ayr after they knocked on the door and heard no reply.
" The accused was holding the bike and moving his hips back and forth as if to stimulate sex" Ayr sherrif court heard. He will be sentenced later this month after admitting a sexual breach of the peace.

Well, lordy, lordy it takes all sorts doesn't it ? What a shocking waste of tax payers money to prosecute him. I do feel slightly sorry for this man though, I personally wouldn't get my jollies with a bike but I do know grown men who get excited on buses. I kinda feel that if it's an inanimate object and it's in private then it's no bother to your auntie, whatever lights your candle.

Does the hotel have to take some kind of responsibility for this? I mean, why did they decide to call the police ? Hotels make shed loads of money from showing adult movies to lonely sales reps. I mean, if it's a rainy Tuesday night in Ayr and they're showing the Porn De France on pay per view, what do they expect?

Saturday 3 November 2007

All you need to know

On Thursday, as I was teaching my trainee nursery nurses, I was giving them the statistics around just how much learning takes place in the child's early years. Which incidentally is a lot. Last night I came across this poem and I think it summed it up beautifully. The foreword was

All I needed to know about how to live and what to do and how to be wasn't learned in Graduate school but in Kindergarten

The Lessons of Kindergarten

Share everything

Play fair

Don't hit people

Put things back where you found them

Clean up your own mess

Don't take things that aren't yours

Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody

Wash your hands before you eat


Warm cookies and milk are good for you

Live a balanced life - learn some, think some, and draw, paint, sing and dance, play and work some every day

Take a nap every afternoon

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together

Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup, the roots go down and the plant goes up, we are all like that

And remember the Dick and Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.

Robert Fulghum - All I really needed to know I learned in Kindergarten

So there you are, all you need to know about life, simple really isn't it ?

Tuesday 23 October 2007

Never again

It has taken me longer to recover from the Beautiful Baby Daughters birthday sleepover than it did to recover from the 4 glass Friday escapade of Jo's birthday !!

I met one of my students the day after and she was extremely puzzled as to why I looked so different - this is what a night of no sleep and 5 little girls intermittently fighting and crying does for you. Touche eclat and Beauty Flash Balm don't even make a feckin dent in it.

We had the full gamut of emotions, missing mummies, so and so doesn't like me, I want my own way itis, scary storytelling followed by a severe dose of the frights, 2 headaches needing calpol and a nose bleed !!! helped along by fizzy pop, truckloads of e numbers disguised as sweeties and a slight sprinkling of mischief as they weren't in their own houses.

Eldest Beautiful Daughter disappeared at the crack of sparrows in case she was asked to help in any way, shape or form, The Beautiful Son hightailed it to his mates to watch the Rugby Cup Final where he endeared himself to the parents by cheering on the Springboks (you can take the boy out of Scotland but you can't take Scotland out of the boy) and this left me...ALL ON MY OWN

Pre pubescent girls can be feral like creatures and this lot weren't too far off the spitting and snarling at each other. There's always 1 wee scone who is liked less than the others and there's nothing like a group of girls to find your achilles heel and put the boot in.

As a mummy who has already had birthday sleepovers for her other daughter I knew this would happen and I kept telling BBD that these sleepovers were better in the planning and the anticipation than in the actuality, that they would all fall out and somebody would want their mum and it really would be a disappointment. She was having none of it, her friends were different, they were all really nice to each other and way more mature the EBD s mates were at that age. As I've blogged before the BBD is always right, top barristers have to practice their debating skills with her, it's an integral part of their training. So the damn thing was arranged for the night of her birthday or Black Saturday as it's now known.

It really was hellish, and I'm an old hand at this and it was still hellish. I had to take 5 little girls out in their pyjamas and dressing gowns to collect TBS after the rugby as they were too scared to be left alone for 5 mins, I had to phone 3 separate mummies for permission for calpol, a reassuring chat with their daughter and to tell them of the fairly spectacular nose bleed repectively. 1 girl was sick and we had another who locked themselves in the loo. All this in between eating, drinking fizzy pop, singing very loudly to that feckin awful umberella song which has wedged itself into my addled brain. At no point was there much of the sleeping.

The next day when they's all gone home I asked BBD if she'd really enjoyed it and as she can never ever be wrong, she was very enthusiaistic about how it had been great. As I can be the bigger person, at no point did I let dab about the text she'd sent to The Beautiful Man which he then forwarded to me

Sleepover not going 2 well but i an co ping

Sunday 21 October 2007

Mo Chridhe

Yesterday was Beautiful Baby Daughters 11th birthday. As I held her in my arms for the first time I loved her so intently and with a tiny tinge of sadness, knowing that she was the last baby I would ever have.

She has grown into the most complex of my children, a creature of extremes - at times as wild as the heather mixed with the most gentle and tender of hearts. Sometimes seemingly so grown up but remaining as much of a baby as she ever was. I feel she is the most like me, both physically and emotionally. I see all my faults glaring back at me and this can make for fireworks between us but it in no way diminishes the deep and profound love I have for her.

She is incredibly enthusiastic about things and has the biggest heart. She is always telling people how much she loves them and will often write little love letters to us or give us certificates praising us for our good points. Her generosity of spirit is fabulous. She is definitely the most creative of us all and life with her in it is never boring.

I still sneak in and look at her when she is sleeping and as I see the glorious mop of titian curls slightly damp from the bath covering the still babyish curve of her cheek and the thumb remaining very firmly in her mouth, I can still see the baby in the cot.

I love her so very much and she is still now, and always will be, her mummys darling baby girl, and my heart, mo chridhe

Monday 15 October 2007

Procrastination, thy name is Gwen

As I sit here, fiddling away at the computer and eating hobnobs (which incidentally aren't as nice as I thought) I know I really should be running. It's really cold outside though and I have to catch up on all my lovely bloggy friends weekends etc, etc.

I know I should be running, when I get out I do really enjoy it but it's just the getting out that's the problem, I am becoming shockingly lazy and consequently lardy. I am really content at the moment so I'm not off my food, I have started eating chocolate again, which I had given up for nearly 2 years. On Saturday I ate a whole portion of profiteroles, a whole portion, me who hasn't cleaned her plate in years - ask the Edge ( my best male matey boy) he only eats with me because he gets to eat all his pizza and then at least half of mine. I am just completely unmotivated to run.

I thought that being with The Beautiful Man would make me more inclined to exercise as he is very sporty and competes in triathalons. Himself is incredibly focused and trains as much as time allows him to and there's nothing like having to get your kit off for a man who has not 1 spare ounce of flesh on him to make the vain part of me want to stay in reasonable shape.

But still I procrastinate, I have a gym membership and like all normal people I never go. I was bought a little pink ipod for my birthday so I can be entertained, still can't be arsed. I have now bought good proper running shoes, they're not even dirty. I didn't run at all last week and as I sit here on the only day of the week that I don't have to officially go to work ( I am meant to be working from home, which really means sitting here in my jammies eating hobnobs and messing about on the computer) and I don't have to take care of any children I am still not out there running.

I started off with, I'll just check my emails till the washings done and I can peg it out, then I read my regular round of blogs, then the washing still wasn't done, so I did this and now the washing's finished so I have to peg it out and then go.

Glory be, there is a God, it's just starting to rain and everyone knows I wouldn't lace my trainers up if there's a spit of rain around, aw well back to the hobnobs.

Wednesday 10 October 2007


Well, I did come back, I didn't really want to but I did. I absolutely love Paris. Highlights of this trip were many but I really enjoyed using the metro, which I didn't do last time and I loved Abbesses metro station , it's only one of 2 original Guimard Art Noveau metro s that remain so I was really pleased to see it.
I enjoyed wandering round Montmartre, I went to pray in Sacre Couer (lapsed Catholic that I am) and although the Church is really impressive, inside I was left feeling slightly uneasy at the juxtaposition of the sanctity of the church with the requests for money at every turn. Signs reminding you to respect the church by not taking photos and not talking ( which I completely understand) vying for position with signs asking you to donate 10 euros to light a candle and 2 euros for a tealight, donations of 15 euros for masses said and the uneasy spectacle of a gift shop within the church itself, just off the right aisle. I understand that it costs to upkeep the church, but isn't the Catholic Church the richest institution in the world ?
I loved the old style Paris with the beautiful traditional architecture and I was surprised at how much I liked the very modern style at La Defense in west Paris. I could quite happily live there.
So I'm home now and back with a bump, got up at 5 to fly back in time to teach my year 13 s. Went straight to work where a visit from EBD food tech teacher to discuss her lack of progress in handing in course work was awaiting me. After school, lesson prep for tomorrow then home, where I had to take TBS to his electric guitar lesson, assemble a costume for BBD 's book character day and then cook tea and deliver TBS and his maddest mate to rugby training. In between the normal cleaning, laundry, mummy type stuff I do.
Was it only last night The Beautiful Man and I were strolling hand in hand along the Champs -Elysees ?

Saturday 6 October 2007

Things you should never say

Me to my group of trainee nursery nurses

I'll mark and return all of your 2000 word assignments to you in 1 week

Me to Eldest Beautiful Daughter

Yeah, I'll drive you to David's on Fri night ( I ended up doing 2 trips as I couldn't fit all The Matey Boys in the car and spent from 6pm till 7.40 pm in my car)

The Beautiful Man to me, when looking at old photographs of me

God, you used to be a big old bird, didn't you ? Did Gordon have to open the double doors for you ?

The Beautiful Mans mother to me

It's not that it's not lovely to meet you Gwen, but it's just so strange that you're not Caroline

Beautiful Baby Daughter to me, in the car with all 3 beautiful children and The Beautiful Man driving at speed

If you get married again, can I be your bridesmaid ?

To his credit, he didn't crash

Sunday 30 September 2007

More rugby stuff

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

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

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

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

Tuesday 25 September 2007

As others see us

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday 19 September 2007

Let me enjoy it

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

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

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

Sunday 16 September 2007

Four glass Friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday 9 September 2007

His First Gig

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 6 September 2007

How others see you

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

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

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

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

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

I love my Btech group.

Monday 3 September 2007

My Wish List

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

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

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

My Fantasy New Man

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 30 August 2007

What a difference a year makes

This last year has been the most difficult and challenging of my life. Last summer my 18 year long marriage and my 21 year relationship ended very abruptly with very little discussion and no real attempt to fix what had gone wrong. My beautiful children were stunned by their dad's decision and sudden departure, he told them and left on the same day and I thought I would die from the sheer pain of it all. My poor babies became very clingy and they were terrified that I would leave them too. It was an incredibly difficult situation and as he had left I had to try and support them whilst trying to make sense of it all myself. He couldn't explain why, he knew he loved me but just wasn't happy with our family life together. To this day he still tells me he loves me on a regular basis and I still don't know the definitive reason our relationship ended. If he knows himself I doubt he will ever be brave enough to tell me.

Our last year has been a mess of trying to untangle a life together, we are a financial disaster and the debts are rising. My children will not stay overnight with him or even visit him at his new house so he visits them at what was the family home, which is extremely difficult for both of us. Eldest Beautiful daughter will barely speak to him, The Beautiful Son is very wary of him and Beautiful Baby Daughter blows hot and cold with him.

It has been so difficult for us to know how to treat each other, we only know how to be married to each other, all our adult lives we have been together, all our memories and all our milestones have been together, I don't know how to be his ex wife.

The wider family circle has been ripped apart too, family weddings and even my parents in laws golden wedding were held with my children missing because they wouldn't go alone with their dad. My family blaming him for leaving us and his family blaming me for keeping the children away from him and them. No one really understanding the full picture.

I truly regret the pain and confusion we have caused our children. Their sense of security has been shattered and their happy childhood ended. We didn't know how to handle things and I'm sure we have made many mistakes which have caused untold damage and hurt. All 3 have struggled at school, both with their work and in discipline issues and have often been unable to cope with things that the previous year they would have taken in their stride.They have become much harder to get along with and have bickered what seems like almost constantly. They all have had friendship problems and have at times been inconsolable with grief.

My beautiful baby daughter has screamed, shouted and stropped and it has been so, so hard for her to not have her dad there and so hard on both her siblings to have the house in chaos as she tried to work through her pain. My son has found it really difficult to be honest with his dad as he is scared his dad will stop loving him and just tries to accept and make the best of the situation. My eldest beautiful daughter has tried not to show how much she was hurting as she didn't want to upset me and has had such an unhappy year. Just as this was happening she had to start a new school, start GCSE coursework, the hormone fairy visited big time and she had a big fall out with her best friend, so it would have been a horribly challenging time for her anyway without all the crap that came with her parents separating. I am so ashamed that I didn't always see her pain and that I wasn't there to support her. She knew much more of what was going on as she was older and realised something was wrong as he kept spending time away from us both mentally and physically as he was preparing to leave us. She asked him outright if he was going to leave and he swore to her he wouldn't. She has really found it difficult to cope and things came to a head yesterday when she broke down.

Last night I made her sit down with her dad and I to tell us how she felt. All the things she's kept bottled up for a year came out. How she felt betrayed and abandoned by him, as he had promised her that no matter what he'd never leave her and then 2 weeks later walked away, how she felt she couldn't add to my pain, how he had caused all this pain and the decimation of our family life and then just walked away to his new life, returning to play happy families when he felt like it. She feels he acts like we're still a family when we're not and she feels he doesn't care about us or the pain as he tries to put a brave face on for them. All of this came out and all 3 of us sat crying. I have always told her that it isn't a case of taking sides and that her dad loves her and we did tell her that again last night.

I want all my children to have the best relationship possible with their dad, he's not a bad man, he was unhappy and made decisions which had ramifications he couldn't forsee. He had turned 40, was having huge problems at work and for a man who's sense of self comes mainly from his job found that difficult to cope with, he spent a significant proportion of his day commuting, going to a very hostile workplace and coming home to a family he felt didn't appreciate him. He is not a bad man, he's not the most self aware of men but he loves his children dearly.I am sorry I could not be the wife he wanted me to be and that he was so unhappy with us.

Last night I also managed to talk to him a little bit about my new life and how happy I am and although I know some of it was difficult for him to hear, he was gracious enough to be happy for me and to wish me well. He also managed to tell me a little of his new life and I hope he can be happy too.

This morning my beautiful baby daughter started middle school and I hope that this new school year will give her a fresh start. Please bring her enough but not too many challenges, enough to tire her out a bit please God !!! She is excited and optimistic as she should be, good luck to my wee sweetie scone. My baby, whom I love very, very much.

This morning my beautiful son got kissed awake just as he likes and the smile he gives me every time and the way he just hugs me fills my heart with joy. He's gone off to school with a brand new uniform and bed hair sticking up all roads and he looks like scruff of the year but I love him.

This morning my beautiful eldest daughter got up and said she felt happy for the first time in ages and much better that she'd told us how she felt. She feels now that because I am happy she can be honest about how she feels knowing that I will be able to support her. That's how it should be and again I'm sorry I wasn't there when you needed me. Anyone who knows us knows how close we are and I love her so much.

On my 40th birthday last year, I realised that sad as it was, I had nothing left to say to the man who I had loved for all my adult life and that it was all over bar the shouting.

In the last year I have been on a really painful but ultimately worthwhile journey. I will always regret that my children have had to shed a single tear of the oceans they have wept and I regret all the hurtful things I have said and the actions and decisions I have made which have hurt the people around me. I have learned so much about myself and the woman I am at 41 bears little or no resemblance to the girl I once was and then the wife I became. I really do like the me now, I was a real mrs cardigan before, really beige. I was very unsure of myself, had very little confidence and only defined myself as a wife and mother, I have managed to do so many things for myself in the last year. Let me share some of my highlights with you

I am closer to my children than I ever have been.

I have written my blog.

I have realised how much I mean to my friends and how much they mean to me.

I have managed to drive all the way up to Scotland by myself.

I have taught some fantastic students.

I have made so many new friends both on blogger and in my regular life.

I have got very drunk, sang out loud in public ( very badly !!!) and snogged the face off the lead singer in a band like the rebellious teenager I once was.

I have sung "For Reasons Unknown" by The Killers,( which is pretty much my theme tune for my new life ) when in the car with my ex husband which was immensly satisfying.

The Beautiful Man phoned me and let me listen to The Killers singing " For Reasons Unknown" live at Glastonbury when he was there

I have fallen in love.

So a great big huge thank you to the following people for being in my life

Laura, Jack, Lucy

My parents, my sister and brother in law and my nieces

Lou, Susan, Sarah , Jo, Sarah R, Christina, Leah, Melanie and my original and best matey boy The Edge

My children's friends, The Matey boys, Rhys Daniel, Izzy and Jo

All my colleagues at my 3 different workplaces

My students old and new

My friends on blogger, all you lovely people who read and comment and all you who email and support me when things get too dark to blog, a huge thank you to you.

Lastly to Gordon, for letting me go and to The Beautiful Man who's waiting for me.

Monday 27 August 2007

The Perfect Weekend

Portofino Coast in Italy
With The Beautiful Man
From Wednesday to Sunday

How good is that ?

Wednesday 22 August 2007

My jolliday

I'm off on a little jolliday today. I will be back on Sunday. If you're good, and wait patiently for me, I'll tell you all about it when I get back.

Monday 20 August 2007

My daft wean

I've had a lovely weekend. I'm a little surprised to say that as The Beautiful Son and Beautiful Baby Daughter have gone to Scotland to stay with their paternal grandparents. I don't usually cope well without my full complement of offspring but I'm managing surprisingly well. Had a lovely day on Saturday with Eldest Beautiful Daughter and then had the perfect Saturday evening with The Beautiful Man.

Then on Sunday, my friend Jo and I went to Leeds. Me likey, the Victorian Quarter was lovely and I've never seen so many designer handbags, it was almost like being in Glasgow ! The Starbucks on the Briggate was lovely and there was a hot emo boy serving, EBD has taught me how to spot them. She rang me while I was out and asked if I'd spotted any and when I told her I had, she asked why I hadn't taken his photo ?

The reason she rang me was to ask should she peg the washing out. Now I know that I always say that she's decorative but not functional but this is a bright child, sitting 10 GCSEs and predicited A and A stars for most of them, and she's asking me when I am a 2 hour drive and 100 miles away, in a different county, should she peg the washing out as it looked like rain !!!

I've had a technologically challenging morning trying to book a hotel and claim my priority points whilst trying to convince them that I'm not Mr Laurie Sansome, using the membership number they've sent me on my e statement. I should have checked if he had more points than me before denying it really. I'm off to Bicester today, where I will meet himself at the Starbucks there, I have now realised that I have been to a Starbucks daily for the last 4 days. Himself is right I should just set up a tab and a direct debit from my bank account.

Saturday 18 August 2007

Thinking you're funny

One of my biggest faults is that I think I'm really funny and I don't always allow for people not understanding my particular style of humour. I think I can be a bit cruel in my humour and can give a right good slaggin but in my defence I love it if someone belts it right back at me.

I feel sometimes that because I'm Scottish, non scots don't always get my sense of humour, I'm a bit parochial. I love the fact that BBC2 are showing Still Game in England and the kids and I tune in on Thursdays at 10pm for our little bit of home grown humour. Also on BBC2 on Friday nights is Grumpy Old Women which the kids and I also watch. There's a real comfort in knowing you're not alone in your little foibles and struggles against the world.

Yesterday himself and I went to Starbucks for lunch, twas very citing for me as I hadn't seen him for 2 weeks and also my lovely, lovely friend Lou had sent me a pre paid Starbucks card for my birthday, how good a present was that for me ? !!!

Again, difficult to buy presents for, me ??? come on.

Anyway, I digress we're at the counter and I ordered himselfs grande full fat latte with 4 shots and my venti coffee light frappucino and paid with the card. then himself says " What do you say to the nice lady? " in a tone you would use on a 5 year old child and I was puzzled because I had been very polite. Now I know as a Mummy out of the holy trinity of Please, Thank You and Sorry I had used the 2 appropriate ones. " Don't get you, sweetie" I murmured and himself says in the same tone as before " Say sorry to the nice Starbucks lady " a bit puzzled I enquired why, to which he replied " Say sorry for going to Cafe Nero with Lara " which 2 weeks ago, I'm sorry to say was true, she had a free voucher and we used it although I didn't like it there honest !!!
Of course at this point I cracked up and now the nice Starbucks lady thinks we're both mad. Later on he told me that in boring meetings, him and his mates sometimes play bullshit bingo which is when someone says management jargon they can cross it off their list. Now I thought that was a gas idea, I know as a teacher I have real wanky phrases and I'm sure all professions have them, so next time I have a staff meeting I'll prepare my list for it. Who would have thought management consultants had such a good sense of humour ?

I now realise that it doesn't matter if most people don't think you're funny, if you find some people who do, then you're good.

Thursday 16 August 2007

You think you know people

Last night The beautiful Friend Christina came round. All good, 2 tubs of low fat pringles, low fat dip and a bottle of Kumala Rose. Snow Patrol and then Texas to listen to and a big gossip, lovely.

During our meandering chats I told her I was going to Borders on Friday to meet himself for lunch as he comes back from his holiday tonight. She asked why we didn t meet in MH as it would be nearer for him. I explained that there was no Starbucks there. She had a puzzled expression and said there were loads of places to get coffee. Yeah, but there's no Starbucks I persisted. Then she said to me - Is it really that good ? I've never been in one.........

I nearly fell off my sofa, how can she have got to the grand old age of 39 (sorry Chris) and never have been to a Starbucks. They are everywhere. Now I accept that I am disproportionately fond of Starbucks and I feel unfaithful if I get coffee from anywhere else, but come on, never, ever been to Starbucks, and she's even been to America. My little brain can't comprehend it.

I waxed on for a bit about about my venti skinny lattes and my caramel light frappucino's and the cinnamon swirls that are my particular vices. The blank expresion remained. I even called in Eldest Beautiful Daughter for validation, she explained about marshmallow twizzles and caramel cream frappucinos and the special mint hot chocolate at Christmas. Still Chris remained unmoved.

While I was explaining how last year I got so excited when they brought out the red christmas cups and the Gingerbread Lattes that I texted the Edge and he had to tell me to control myself as he'd made himself sick of the Toffee Nut lattes the year before, I noticed the expression on her face, she's looking at me in a kind of like never mind, you poor thing that obviously has no life type way. The way I look at people when they tell me their hobby is trainspotting or such like.

How could I have not noticed that she is the only one of my friends I have never been to Starbucks with, why haven't I noticed that ? Even my friend Sarah who doesn't even drink coffee comes with me there. I have favourite branches in different cities, I am actually quite sad. I think it's fair to say that Christina and I are a bit bemused by each other now.

Sunday 12 August 2007

Birthday Blog

Happy Birthday Me - I am 40 feckin 1 today, Happy Birthday to himself who is 40 feckin 4 today and Happy Birthday to Red's Mom who is the baby of us all at 40.

I woke up to lots of giggles from Beautiful Baby Daughter and her 2 little friends Isobel and Joanna who were sleeping over, they made me a beautiful card, which opened back to front and had the world and it's granny stuck onto it, it also said Happy Birthday Mum with lots of love from Lucy, Izzy and Jo. Nice to know I have all these extra children isn't it ? I absolutely love these home made cards with all their excess, none of that less is more type stuff.

A lovely visit from my friend Jo with really thoughtful birthday gifts and another visit from my friend Christina again with well chosen gifts. Apparently I am really difficult to buy presents for, frankly I think I make it easy for people, I mean come on, I even put it on my blog what I'm after.

Lots of lovely emails and texts from friends near and far, cards, presents, flowers and cake from the people who love me, how good is that ? And do you know what, next year will be even better !!

Thank you to all the people who took time out of their life to celebrate with me. Like I always say I'm a lucky, lucky girl. Okay, a lucky, lucky getting on for middle aged woman - don't want to get caught out by the trades description act !!!

Friday 10 August 2007

Happy Birthday Mum

Arrived back after my visit to The Beautiful Parents. Happy Birthday to The Beautiful Mother who is 63 today, and because I love her, I left before lunch time so she could actually enjoy her birthday without me and mine cluttering up her house ! She usually needs a good rest after my 3 have been, she waits on them hand and foot. She also lets them eat anything they like and I mean anything, ice cream for breakfast - no problem. What my kids don't get is that it wasn't like that for me when I was growing up, they think it was like some Glaswegian Disneyland with all you can eat sweeties and junk food, wall to wall tellies and very liberal parenting. Ok let the Edinbuggers amongst you retort that that's what happens in weegieland anyway.

I had a very nice trip, which included several museums, art galleries, Loch Lomond, Balmaha and Luss and okay some shops and plenty Starbucks

Whilst I was in Scotland I had the extreme misfortune to go and see Hairspray with my sister and my girls. Whatever you do, DO NOT GO AND SEE THAT FECKIN MOVIE. It was truly truly pants, it was also 2 hours of my life wasted that I will never get back and when you're half way to being dead, all your hours count. Everyone else loved it, I thought the best thing about it was the Irn Bru advert, the one where the goths get summer happy, genius, I loved it.

I was lucky enough to receive shed loads of text messages whilst I was away, which I love, but the funniest one was from Rhys Daniel who is The Beautiful Son 's maddest mate. It read " hey wot time u comin home anyway i got a tent for my birthday so come sleep im it tnite " I replied in very correct English that I would be home in 4 hours and thanks for the offer of the sleepover but wouldn't he prefer TBS. He replied that he's texted TBS and he hadn't replied, well fair play. On the drive home I got another 3 texts from him telling me to drive faster. When I got back he was sitting on my front doorstep waiting for us ! I think he missed The Beautiful Son.

Excuse me whilst I go lie down in a darkened room as I will be forty feckin one on Sunday and after the delight of a 6 hour 330 mile drive with 3 ungrateful, overheated, sugar highed children I feel the need for a large glass of the red stuff. Make sure you wake me up at 10 pm for Grumpy Old Women on BBC2, though won't you ?

Monday 6 August 2007


I'm driving home to The Mother Country today to visit The Beautiful Parents. I will be there until Friday, there's only so many biscuits and so much plasma screen telly a girl can watch . Eldest Beautiful Daughter usually makes me a cd for the journey with all my current faves on but we had no blank discs left, so I will have to do without my current favourite song " Plug in baby" by Muse. Never mind, I'll try and get on with Maximo Park.

The Beautiful Car has had a clean bill of health by the lovely man at the garage and even got a wash by Beautiful Baby Daughter, all good.

This morning I phoned up to renew my car insurance and to fess up that I've got 3 points on my license for going through a red light. I was the only one amongst my friends that had a clean license and even at work too so I was a bit sad to get the points. I was even feckin sadder when they told me it would add another £26.40 to my premium and another £10 excess to my windscreen cover and £20 to my theft cover - Porquoi ? Why is my car more likely to be stolen because I have been christened an " ambler gambler " - because the computer said so.

I asked them to take my former spouse off my policy as he no longer drives my car, he actually very rarely did. The advisor told me to take him off ( even with his 6 feckin points for speeding) it would ADD £49.60 to my policy as you get a discount if you have a spouse !!!!!!!

Singletons of the world unite, that really is bang out of order.

Saturday 4 August 2007


Now that my holiday is over, it's back to the real life. This includes my running. I didn't run at all when I was in Turkey because it was just too hot. I am not a real proper runner, like my friends Susan and Melanie, I don't do races or time myself, my running is a form of damage limitation, just trying to keep fitting into my jeans sort of stuff. I try and do 5 miles 3 times per week. I personally feel that I should be getting a medal just for that alone, as I am very nearly 41.

I always start off with a bit of procrastination, I'll do it later, I'll just sort this stuff out, oh look it's raining ( I am a completely fair weather runner, wouldn't lace my trainers up if there was a spot of rain around) eventually I make the decision to go or The Beautiful Children make it for me, by saying "would you just feckin go, you could have been gone and back by now "

I always ask if anyone wants to come with me either running or on their bikes. The Beautiful Son has never come and Eldest Beautiful Daughter did a 4 mile cycle with me once. The real star is Beautiful Baby Daughter, between last Easter and us finishing for the summer hols in July, 3 times per week before school, she would cycle for 2 miles with me and then she'd go to school and I'd finish my 5 miles. I did wonder if I was being slightly cruel making her do a 2 mile cycle before school but I felt it was a fair trade off as she could talk at me, completely uninterupted by a sibling and have my undivided attention and my utter inability to disagree due to me not being able to talk and run at the same time.

This week no one has wanted to come with me but The Beautiful Son offered up his Ipod. It's one of the little shuffle ones, bright blue and it clips on. I've never ran with earphones in but thought I'd give it a go. Well feck me, my son has the most eclectic music taste. His playlist has a lot of The Killers, some Primal Scream, Fun Lovin Criminals, Dandy Warhols, The Undertones all v good for me. Then I had some Linkin Park, which he loves and some My Chemical Romance, Green Day, Muse and Nirvana, very, very him but the thing that utterly utterly confused me was a very random addition of Dolly Parton. No really and truly, Dolly Parton singing 9 to 5, where the hell did that come from ?

I have now decided that I would like a little pink ipod shuffle for my upcoming birthday, please and thank you, so that I can put my own songs on it as it's very hard to jog to Linkin Park !

ps if you're stuck for something else, I covet with covety covetessnous a Tiffany Cross Tag Bracelet, it's like the one I already have but instead of the " return to Tiffany" tag, it has a beautiful cross. Difficult to buy presents for ? me ?!!!!

Wednesday 1 August 2007

The Beautiful Car

I have fessed up several times that I am a tad technophobic, ok I have the technological capabilities of a baby giraffe. I have never fessed up that I have the car knowledge of a baby giraffe also. My nearest and dearest aren't too impressed with my driving either but I have a full no claims discount so I can't be that bad. However I will admit that the only technical thing I can do with regards to my car is put petrol in and change the cd.I am quite girly when it comes to cars, I don't really know much about any kind of cars except that I hate BMW's and I think that their drivers are the worst on the road, I do love my car though, it is a little black A class Mercedes, and I think it is the very best car in the world, it doesn't have a name though, I'm not that girly. It never lets me down, it's high up off the road which makes it easier for me to see as I am only 5 foot 3 and it's easy to park. In short it's perfect.

Today, as is my want , I swanned off to Starbucks for lunch. I was extremely happy, quite a good compilation cd that Eldest Beautiful Daughter made me, not my best one but I very foolishly lent it out and in return got the Maximo Park cd, that was a crap swap. Anyway I digress, the sun was shining, I was driving along quite happily, 2nd best cd on till I get to Starbucks. My local is attached to a Borders Bookstore, I was a wee bit early so I browsed around and bought The Beautiful Man the new Ian Rankin thriller as tomorrow he goes away on holiday, see what a nice, kind considerate sort I am, I am so considerate I very carefully chose 1 from the back that hadn't been handled too much, as TBM can't read books anyone else has read before him, even me, he doesn't like pages to have been touched by anyone else and he can't do hardbacks. Even though I have that very book at home that he could borrow, I still bought him his very own untouched copy and then went straight out to the car to put it in the boot, as unsullied as possible.

As I walked towards the car I noticed a puddle underneath it, quite a large puddle. Oh God no, my car's incontinent, I got down on the ground and looked underneath, I have no idea what I 'm looking for or any clue what to do but feel I should look underneath. A bloke comes over and peers underneath and informs me that my radiator is leaking. This sounds expensive to me, probably on the Gucci bag type scale of expense. Not quite as bad as my credit card bill at £2000 - yes that is for 1 feckin month but certainly on a par with TBM phone bill ( which was HORRENDOUS, but he will kill me if I fess that up). I feel slightly panicky, just at that TBM arrives, I show him the puddle and being the company car driver he is and the very successful management consultant ( for that read delegator) and he tells me to phone the garage. I'm extremely pleased to know that I have the number in my phone, so I ring the nice man at the garage and he advises me to open the bonnet, check the water and top it up if necessary. TBM asks what the garage suggests and not wanting to appear too shallow/girly/incompetent as I realise I don't know how to open the bonnet never mind check the fluid level so I tell him I've got to bring the car in. It did cross my mind if the cheapest option would be to catheterise it myself.

After a very long lunch, I drive like a granny to the garage as I'm terrified that the car will overheat and grind to a halt and everyone will get cross with me for holding them up. When I get there the nice man asks me if I topped up the water and I fess up that I don't know how to open the feckin bonnet and he very sweetly explains, in soothing tones you would use on a 6 year old how to open the bonnet and check the water etc. He was just like my dad to me. He did look at me as if I shouldn't be allowed to drive if I can't do something as straight forward as open the bonnet though. He's keeping the beautiful car in for observation tonight and I can visit tomorrow and I sincerely hope that it will be an uneventful recovery from the emergency surgery. ( and not too expensive as well )

PS I want to take this opportunity to add that TBM really is 1 in a million to put up with not only all my nonsense but to also have me fessing up his quirks for my mates to scrutinise. You truly are the business.

Saturday 28 July 2007

The Beautiful Holiday

Auntie Gwen is back from The Beautiful House in Turkey with her full complement of Beautiful Children. This is a testement to Auntie Gwen's strength of character as all of The Beautiful Children were ungrateful little feckers on holiday.

If I hadn't given birth to these children, I would seriously doubt they were mine. I abso bloody lutely love love love the sunshine and I can happily prostrate myself on a sunlounger with a book for hours, okay days. All of my children refuse to sunbathe.
The Beautiful Son and Beautiful Baby Daughter will play in the pool for at least a peko second before arguing and then involving me to referee before one of them will storm off inside in a major huff.
Beautiful Eldest Daughter is maintaining her Bride of Dracula/Princess of Darkness look which so does not involve a tan. She had to be bribed to spend ONE HOUR per day in the sun, yes that is correct ONE HOUR per day. The locals in Turkey had never seen anything quite like her, people were bringing out their grannies to see the weird girl who was so white she was almost luminous.
Every feckin hour someone would complain it was too hot, which fair play it was, very nice for me thank you very much, every day in the high 90 s at least, but too hot for the beautiful children. Who god love them , who were so bored in their own private villa with pool, silly silly me for thinking that the pool complete with lilo's, floats, balls and inflatable dolphins etc and satellite tv and dvd player and books and board games and nintendo ds and game boys would be enough to occupy them and I didn't think it necessary to bring an x box and a laptop and their mates with me, my poor deprived wee souls.

So very lovely to see my friends who live over there, my beautiful neighbours Keith and Heather who have retired from life in Kent and are contemplating buying a quad bike to get around on, you go guys !! again thank you for the 2 glasses of wine in the afternoon which enabled me to sleep and not get out the house till after 10pm and my children had to wait till midnight for their tea. Fortunately BBD doesn't have social services on speed dial over there !!

Syl and Les,again retired from the Uk and now living the retirement I dream of, thanks for taking us to Fethiye's old town Paspartur where we ate in a little restaurant with it's own courtyard fountain and duck pond. Again thank you for laughing like drains when I had to explain to BBD that the lady duck did not want to give the male duck a piggy back and that was why she was screeching.

Thank you to all my Turkish friends who either offer to marry me or BED, fortunately no one has offered for us both, it's nice to go somewhere and be appreciated, but I don't think either of us will be taking you up on your very kind offers.

Biggest thank you of them all to my new friend Janine, god bless her little heart, who had the foresight and down right kindness to leave Sunderland and go and marry a lovely Turkish man called Suraj and open an internet cafe about 10 mins walk from The Beautiful House, a cafe that not only is air conditioned but has full access to msn and my space, and for that reason it made my holiday bearable as the lure and bribe of full virtual connection gave me the only bargaining tool I had.

Yes, that's right I spent a significant part of my holiday in the sun waiting for my children to talk to their friends on msn via a web cam. Next year I'll go by myself and leave them at home with all their clicky finger gadgetry whilst I lie on my lounger drinking the wine I can afford gallons of because I don't have to fork out for their plane tickets. Everybody's happy.

Friday 13 July 2007

Endings and beginnings

The Beautiful Baby Daughter has finished primary school, how old does that make me feel ? Never mind that she's only 10, that's the 3 school system for you. I was 12 when I went to high school and like all old ladies, I think everything was better in my day. In September she will join The Beautiful Son at middle school, and I cannot really convey to you his deep and profound joy at having his "tell mummy everything" little sister being with him, to help him behave in what she deems an appropriate way.

Also you can imagine Beautiful Eldest Daughter's deep and profound joy at being joined at her school by me ! As from September I will be teaching A level Health and Social Care part time at her school, I will get to know quite a lot of what is currently a mystery to me. Now there will be staff bulletins, staff meetings and me just generally being around....... excuse me while I throw back my head and laugh like a muskateer, oh what fun I'm going to have !!! All the " no one really bothers if your course work is late" and the " no one really goes to form time" type stuff is coming to an end.

Today I'm off to The Beautiful House with The Beautiful Children for a 2 week holiday, and I am conscious that next year BED will be 16 and may not want to come on holiday with us. This makes me conscious of how near it is for her to leave home and start her own adult life and of how much I will miss her when she goes. I can't believe how quickly the years have flown. I've no idea what next years summer holiday will bring but I await the next chapter with interest.

So, here's something I never say don't text me please, it costs me 30p to receive them and 48p to reply, I love you all dearly but after 6pm tonight I am officially incommunicado. Of course feel free to bombard me with love messages until 6pm but after that quiet please and I'll be back on the 28th July.

Monday 9 July 2007

No dial tone

Last Wednesday or Black Wednesday as it will be forever known, we lost our internet connection. When you tried to log on, the message flashed up, no dial tone. I don't think I can convey to you the extreme terror and pain this has caused in our house. Beautiful eldest daughter has suffered the most as she has also no credit left on her phone and cannot text people, her poor fingers don't know what to do with themselves, it's like they're on holiday. I am absolutely sure that some people can withdraw from feckin heroin easier than BED having no virtual connection to people. She really cannot be by herself, she either has the matey boys within a 2 feet radius or she's on msn or texting.

I also have missed it, no emails or blogs but have a lovely morning in front of me now with all my catching up. Whilst I have been offline, I have been tagged by Lisa, the ubertalented over at 40 's singleness and my mission as I have chosen to accept is to provide you with some random facts about me. I also have to post the following rules

1 If you're tagged, you must post the rules

2 You post your 8 random facts

3 At the end of your blog, you tag someone else and they must post their random facts

4 You leave your chosen people a comment telling them they've been tagged

Okay, random facts

I love getting text messages and emails

I don't like pets - my poor children would love a rabbit or a dog, but selfishly I won't get them one

I don't eat meat, fish, poultry or eggs. If it had a mother or a face I avoid eating it.

I cry really easily

I have never been unfaithful

I am a bit obsessive about getting my laundry dried outside and hate using my tumble drier

I would love to go to Glastonbury or any big music festival but know I would struggle with the mud and the toilet facilities

I was a prefect at school despite being a punk

Okay, I will tag



The Beautiful Man

I won't tag the Edge as he hates these ( see what a considerate friend I am ! ) and I can't tag Lisa as she's already done hers. I can't be clever and link you to their blogs but if you look for their comments on mine and click on them, that'll take you to them. I'll let TBM post on mine.

Monday 2 July 2007

Self absorbed, who, my daughters ?

This is a word for word text message I received from Beautiful Eldest Daughter -

" I'm in office ( for Newfie and Lisa , it's the name of a shoe shop), the shoes I can't have make me want to cry, I love you "

Glad to see the state of the economy, global warming, all the poverty, hunger and war in the world aren't troubling you too much then, honey.

Transcript of discussion between Beautiful Baby Daughter and I earlier today

BBD - what's for tea?

AG - pasta

BBD - I hate pasta, you are a remakably mean mummy if you make me eat it

AG - (after laughing uncontrollably for a bit) sweetie, you used to like pasta

BBD - people's tastes change - then a pause where she is thinking of playing the DIVORCE card, (she plays dirty in an argument), then thinks better of it, but looks pointedly at me and I know exactly what she's thinking

AG - pasta's good for you and we all like it except you

BBD - you wouldn't make Lara eat chicken

AG - Lara's a vegetarian, it's not the same thing

BBD - I'm a pastatarian, so you can't make me eat it

AG - I am making pasta for tea and you will eat it

BBD - It's your fault I don't like pasta, you made me, so you made me not like pasta

AG - Don't worry, honey I know everything's my fault

BBD - You're grounded

Not for nothing is she also known as Little Miss Last Word, and she always has to be right, so I can't quite decide whether my BBD will end up either running the country or in jail. It's a close call.
Whilst this argument was in full flow I was emailing someone who I felt would be giving me a little sympathy but all I got was " well done for raising such a determined and influential young lady, I am soooo proud of you " , again darling, thank you for your understanding , just remember you might need my sympathy at some point !!!!

Whilst I've been blogging this, BBD has taken matters into her own hands and has very quietly raided the freezer and has made her own dinner, a true culinary delight of cocktail sausages that were left over from Xmas and oven chips !!!! Game,set and match to her.

Okay, it's official, she'll be running the country by the time she's 12 !!!

Saturday 30 June 2007

New Improved Version

Let me start by saying that I'm really okay with being 40 and soon to be 41, honest I'm really good.However there is nothing like having a 15 year old daughter to bring it back to you how old you really are getting.

The Beautiful eldest daughter really is beautiful, everywhere she goes she is surrounded by a cloud of testosterone and lynx body spray, I no longer have to clean my wooden floors as the drool from the male matey boys who worship her does it for me. She is permanently accompanied by at least 2 of the 4 boys who are her groupies.

Her look of indie/emo/been at the dressing up box/got dressed in the dark/gothy type thing seems to be a modern version of my punk 15 year old self. She listens to what I listened to at 15, is loving discovering old punk bands but also loves what I would call the up to date version of punk. She has the same just got out of bed messed up black hair, black eyeliner, black nailpolish etc that I had too. She is gutted that I didn't keep my clothes from being 15 but she uses my old photos to try and make her own version of my look.

However she has a poise and confidence that took me another 20 years to accomplish ( quite frankly I don't always manage it ! ! ) and seems to take the male adoration as a given. She just treats these boys on a ok, you think I'm great, I'm not going to date any of you, but very happy to have you around me type way. There is no side to her, no flirting or bitchiness and everyone wants to be with her. How the hell did she get to be that self assured ? at this young age ? I know grown up women who still fret over every word spoken to them and analyse every text message for hidden meaning. Her myspace photos have people commenting like crazy.

Jokingly I said to the whole gang that she should get all the boys t shirts that say " Team Lara" and thay all thought that was a fab idea and they're going to get them printed on black t shirts with hot pink "Team Lara" on the front and "I heart lara" on the back !!!!!

There you have it, the new improved version of me

Wednesday 27 June 2007

The Perfect Tuesday

Yesterday I started my day with kisses, actually I start every day with kisses, it is to be thoroughly recommended.

My day continued on it's happy way with some v nice text messages, which I love getting.

My day included kissing and hugging some scrumptious babies at what I laughingly call work.

It proceeded very nicely to Starbucks with the beautiful friend Susan, with cinnamon dolce lattes and the soft seats, score !!! On a slightly down note there were no cinnamon swirls but we made do, no complaints.

I managed to book very cheap flights for the beautiful children and I to go to the beautiful house in Turkey for 2 weeks, I'm so excited as we go in 2 weeks time.

My very beautiful and talented bloggy friend Lisa, gave me an award on her blog, I love Lisa and if I was in anyway as talented and technological as her I would link you to her site but I can't but I love her and thank her.

There were no major tears, tantrums or dramas in the post school period, which is always a distinct possibility.

Dinner went without complaint, partly because as things were going so well, in my inate wisdom I decided not to push my luck - ie in providing food that contains vitamins and can be construed as healthy but instead to provide pizza and garlic doughballs ( from Pizza Express) for the beautiful children as it's one of the few things they will eat collectively without moaning.

I had the most perfect evening, which ended at midnight in the same way my day began.

How good was that ? How lucky am I ? I hope you have a perfect Tuesday or any perfect day of your own soon.

Saturday 23 June 2007

The Beautiful Children

This week my littlest 2 people have been very loving towards me. My Beautiful Baby Daughter wrote me a letter telling me how much she loves me ( which makes a nice change from the full 3 verses and the disco chorus of what a mean mummy I am !!!)

Not to be outdone, The Beautiful Son wrote me a poem, yes, really a poem, telling me how much he loves me.

So as I showed off these treasures very proudly to Beautiful Eldest Daughter, she looked at them with her usual disdain and said " Oh crap, will you be expecting something from me ? "

Oh no darling, I know how busy you are tormenting the local teenage boys with your utter gorgeousness and uber coolness. That's a full time job for you, sweetie.