Sunday 28 February 2010

A tale of 2 weekends

On Friday night I did a supermarket shop on my way home from work. I then came home, made tea and was in bed by 9.30pm exhausted.

On Saturday I did some laundry, cleaned the kitchen, watched the rugby (how bad can we be? gutted doesn't begin to cover how I feel about our 6 nations), went for a run and was in my jammies by 6pm and stayed up late (ie after 10pm), as there was a Taggart on ITV3.

Today I will be doing my usual walk down for the Sunday Times, making food, cleaning up and as it's Sunday, I will have the giddy delights of the ironing. You wish you were me now, don't you?

My Eldest Beautiful Daughter was collected by Hot Boy on Friday night, taken out for the evening clubbing and as I live in mummy denial land I believe that she had to stay at his place, in his spare room, as they had an early start on Saturday morning. Let's leave it there.

My daughter spent her Saturday shopping in Birmingham, she had lunch out and drank 2 glasses of champagne in Selfridges. She then got glammed up and went to a party on Saturday evening. She returned at feck it's early or feck it's late depending on your age.

Her Sunday will be spent in bed reading the Sunday Times I have collected and being brought cups of tea and Ibuprofen.

And she will still look luminous and fresh faced and beautiful even with the hangover and the no sleep and despite me having more sleep in a night than she has in a weekend, she'll be raring to go and I'll be ready for my jammies at 6pm again.

Friday 26 February 2010


Do not say that your auntie never gives you anything. Week after week, month after month, year after year, your auntie is here providing witty banter, wee funnies and guides on what not to do (all lessons learned)
Today, I can offer you a real tangible thing. To celebrate the release of Motherhood on DVD on March 8th I have been given leave to dispense 5 copies of this dvd to my lovely readers. Finally someone thinks of me as a mummy blogger.

Celebrate ‘Mother’s Day Eve’ and Win 1 of 5 Motherhood DVDs – out on DVD 8th March

To promote the release of MOTHERHOOD, starring Uma Thurman and Minnie Driver – ASDA, MUMS.NET and METRODOME DISTRIBUTION will launch a special new date in the calendar – ‘MOTHER’S DAY EVE’ - which will fall on the Saturday night 13th March before Mothering Sunday, 14th March 2010. New comedy ‘MOTHERHOOD’ follows Uma Thurman as mother and wife racing against the clock to prepare for her daughter's sixth birthday party in the face of chaos.

From writer/director Katherine Dieckmann, the acclaimed filmmaker of DIGGERS and A GOOD BABY, comes MOTHERHOOD, starring Uma Thurman, Anthony Edwards and Minnie Driver. Shot entirely on location in New York’s West Village, this bittersweet comedy distils the dilemmas of the maternal state (marriage, work, self, and not necessarily in that order) into the trials and tribulations of one pivotal day. MOTHERHOOD forms a genre of one – no other movie has dedicated itself in quite this way to probing exactly what it takes to be a mother, with both wry humour and an acute sense of authenticity.

Eliza Welch (Thurman) is a former fiction writer-turned-mom-blogger with her own site, “The Bjorn Identity.” Putting her deeper creative ambitions on hold to raise her two children, Eliza lives and works in two rent-stabilized apartments in a walk-up tenement building smack in the middle of an otherwise upscale Greenwich Village. Eliza’s good-natured but absent-minded husband (Edwards) seems tuned out to his wife’s conflicts, not to mention basic domestic reality, while her best friend Sheila (Minnie Driver) understands this – and Eliza -- all too well.

MOTHERHOOD is a hymn to the joys and sorrows of raising children, and the necessity of not losing yourself in the process.

The DVD is available from 8th March 2010.

Log onto for more competitions to be won and details about the film!

So should you wish a free copy of this dvd, please comment and tell me so, if there are more than 5 of you, I'll put names in a hat and get a naked celebrity to draw the lucky 5. I might have lied a bit about the naked celebrity, it will most probably be me, just thought I'd liven your Friday up a wee bitty.

Thursday 25 February 2010

In which I am hoist by my own petard.

I am a bitch, a big fat bitchy bitch. I am also a wussypants bitch. I will seethe and seethe and lose my stomach lining and then bitch on my blog but I seem unable to put the big girl pants on and deal with things. This week I will be bitching mainly about my book group.

I have been in my book group for many years, I actually was still married when it began and that feels like decades ago. I stopped enjoying it probably about a year ago, when we got back from Prague, I liked Prague and the thought of going there kept me going to book group. But me no likey any more. There is a woman there I wouldn't get tired of slapping, I really can't abide her. She talks non stop about her husband and how much he loves her, and their fabulous life and all the things he does and I am flat out bored by it. Please don't think I'm bitter because I normally love a bit of mush and genuinely it doesn't have to be directed at me but I now find I can't be in the same room as her.

Book group trip this year is in June and is to Berlin, it will cost around £500 for the 2 nights and frankly I would rather spend my £500 on something I'd enjoy more. I want to go here There are 2 rooms with 3 in them, pulled names out of a hat and lucky white heather, I got woman I can't stand and the world's most boring woman. Was I a Nazi in my former life? I don't want to spend 2 days listening to Mrs Mushing and trying to make polite conversation with Mrs Per Una.

So, I am grumbling and grousing because I should just say I don't want to go and I'd like to quit book group please but I don't.

Then, unexpectedly I get thrown a lifeline from the ex mr auntiegwen. He has booked a holiday and he'll be away on the weekend of the trip. I have no childcare so I can't go. The date is set in stone as trying to find a weekend that all 6 women didn't have something to do or they weren't required to be a mummy for 48 hours was incredibly hard as we have 15 children between us. So I make my apologies and urge the others to carry on, this happened last year when a different 2 pulled out but 4 of us went.

Home free.

I thought.

Today I've had a flurry of texts and calls. Weekend is cancelled because I can't go, despite my protestations. We are now going to a day spa so I can get home at night and our trip will be resheduled for autumn.

Grandma in Cyprus, look away now, I'm going to use the hard f word.

Fuckity, fuckity, fuck.

Wednesday 24 February 2010

Queen of Strange

This will be a long post, get yourself comfy, maybe a cup of tea, glass of wine, are you ready? This is my disclaimer, I love my child but Eldest Beautiful Daughter is off the scale strange. I've eased you into it starting with the other 2, but obviously she was the practice child.

She has an extreme phobia of feet, she hates naked feet, foots in sockeys are fine but naked is a big no no, even her own. This is manageable at home, we make sure we have socks or slippers, this is less manageable on holiday, she actually sunbathes in socks, I have pictures. She will be the only woman in the world that insists on socks being left on during sex.

Numbers are a trouble to her also, she likes even numbers best. If she is taking stuff out of the oven or microwave early it has to be on an even number preferably a multiple of ten. She wouldn't get out of bed on an uneven number, again a multiple of ten is best. The volume level has to be even but she can cope with a multiple of five on this, so she can cope with a 15 or a 25 but 20 or 30 are best, both even and a multiple of 5 AND 10. In the car the temperature control has to be the same on both sides, both have to be even. Sitting on trains, planes etc has to be on an even row, I always look forward to explaining that at check in with a big queue behind me.

Food also has some quirks. All cheese has to be grated or melted, even if the cheese is going to be melted it has to be grated first. When she is making tea, a certain order and method must prevail, teabag has to be placed on left sugar on right then water stir clockwise then bag out then milk, she will only drink tea she's made herself or if it's been made by someone she knows will make it in her way. When she eats spaghetti hoops they have to be in her special blue bowl and she places 6 hoops on last prong of the fork, before she can eat them, she eats the whole tin like that.

Ascending height order prevails, in cupboards everything is arranged like that and labels have to be facing the front. On her desk everything will be arranged in length order.

If there is a double plug socket both switches have to be facing the same way. She dresses the left hand side of herself first.

I could go on but I wouldn't want to worry you all.

Tuesday 23 February 2010

Let's hear it for the boy.

Following on from yesterday, here goes with the boy. He's not that bad, well compared to his sister, just wait till you read about EBD tomorrow, she is Queen of strange.

I don't think he has many weird traits, he did use to check the door was locked several times a night but that dissipated. He does wear an X box headset and talk to people on the internets a lot but I believe lots of teenage boys do. He always has his pants on show, again, not pleasant but not unknown. He will quite happily chat away and tell you all, tact wouldn't be his strongest thing but maybe he'll learn that, if there is something you'd rather wasn't mentioned, he'll invariably say it, he seems to lack the embarassment factor.

The Beautiful Son is quite quirky. I think he's screamingly funny and this probably encourages him. The strangest thing about him is that he talks in a very exaggerated Scottish accent and pretends he's an old man, he calls everyone son or laddie, even me. He talks a lot about "in my day" there are a lot of dinnae's and cannae's too, I've said before that he sounds like an unsexy Sean Connery.

He has a very quick wit, I think this may have been inherited along with the can't be arsed gene. He always, always has to go for the funny.

Yesterday he opened the door to hot boy and said in his very old man Scottish voice

"That's a very poofy looking cardigan you're wearing there son. Did you mug Starsky?"

Can Hot Boy survive us?

Monday 22 February 2010

Our strange little ways

If you've popped into your aunties before, you'll probably know that the beautiful children have their own little quirks, some of you have been kind enough to share some of your own little quirks with me, make me feel less weird. We are quite happy in our own little world but we have some fairly weird stuff going on.

We'll start with the Beautiful Baby Daughter, she is the least weird. She thinks she was put on earth to keep the rest of us right. She is competitive and determined. That is the extent of her weirdness, in another family, an alpha type family this behaviour would go unmentioned and it might not even be noticed. She always has an interest on the go and that consumes her, for a while it was Twilight, all the books were read, posters bought, all computer time was spent searching for Twilight stuff. Then she was making lip balms, (vaseline, lipstick and flavouring) Dancing was a phase, where she did the choreography, assembled costumes and put on shows. Make up (which she's still not allowed to wear) was a huge passion, she would apply all different kinds to her face whilst on webcam and then upload it to youtube. There are several videos showing you how to give yourself a fun party face by Beautiful Baby Daughter aged 12 who lives with a remarkably mean make up on small children hating mummy.

No one will play board games with her any more, she is always desperate for someone to play Cluedo with and we just flat out say no, she gives out to you if you don't give it 100% and if your attention wanders she can get quite cross. This is bad, piss off the pusscat (one of her nicer pet names, aka Little Miss Last Word and Little Miss Bossy Knickers) at your peril. If you play with her, tv and music go off, mobiles have to be left switched off in another room and you have to go to the toilet before you start. She knows, you see, that if you wander out to the loo, you'll just check if anyone's called or texted, then you'll reply and then the games a bogie.

She is, by far, the cleverest of my children both in academia and in life, she is the only 1 of the 3 who didn't inherit my can't be arsed gene. On Friday night I was going out so she was being minded by EBD and her hot boy (aka fairy cake.) She waited till I was just about out the door, giving out my instructions, ie don't disappear upstairs and ignore your sister, and then she made her move. In her sweetest little sister voice, she asked EBD and hot boy to play Cluedo, she says she knows they want to be on their own for a bit so how about one game and then she'll go off to bed, now hot boy doesn't know what she's like at board games and EBD can't say no without looking like a total bitch. How to get your own way in one easy lesson.

Determined and resourceful are the words that describe her best. I used to joke that one day my child would be ruling the country, I think now she's going for at least Europe

Wednesday 17 February 2010

My Current Obsession

As the "Tis the season to be jolly" has passed and your auntie spent said season getting mighty jolly with omnipresent Baileys and fruit and nut toblerones, I have to accept that never mind the goose, the auntie has gotten fat.

My last job seemed to find me walking from one end of the school to the other, walking round the classroom, up and down stairs etc, I seemed to be able to eat and still fit into my jeans. As my now not so new job seems to find me sat upon my getting bigger by the nano second derriere upon my executive twirly chair I am quite a wobbly, heavier auntie. Do not even think about my boobs which are bigger again, people would pay money for bosoms this size. This is not good, I am not a happy auntie, I am a chubby auntie.

So my current new obsession is my pedometer. You are meant to take 10,000 steps per day. On my average day where I work, cook (all right, heat up), pop into Sainsbury's for the few bits and bobs I forgot when my middle aged wobbly self did my weekly shop and obviously wandering around aimlessly looking for my keys, I take around 4,500 steps.

Ergo, why I am fat, I have discovered the key points, I need to eat less and move around more.

So, obsessive wee scone that I am, I know now it takes around 1,000 steps to get me up, showered and out to work. 2,000 steps will take me around Sainsbury's. 2,500 is what I do at the office.

I look very fetching with my wee blue pedometer on my hip, I have no shame, I clip it straight onto my jammy bottoms as soon as I get up, I come out of the shower, get dried and clip it straight onto my pants. It is now permanently attached to me. I will not sit down for the evening until I have done my 10,000 steps for the day.

I got completely overgiddy when on a day to a big shopping centre I did 20,000 steps, I have got a wee notebook and every night in bed I record what my step tally for that day is. No, I have no idea why I am still single either !

Now, my FitFlops are kinda key to this too. If I am doing all these steps what could be better than foorwear toning up the thighs and wobbly bottom while I step my way back into my size 8 jeans? I love these, I feel like I'm getting a huge bargain, I hugely approve of getting extra benefit from doing what I normally do anyway.
Remember how I wanted the gorgeous and scrummy fitflop boots? well, I couldn't find them but I am now ubertempted by these FitFlops I could wear them outside as it's still chilly here but when the weather improves I could see me getting my toes out in these beauties

So, I have me pedometer and me FitFlops. I will soon be back in my size 8 jeans and then surely, surely I can find me a man?

Tuesday 16 February 2010

In which I am disconcerted, twice

My Beautiful Baby Daughter has returned home from her ski trip to Switzerland full of tales of her exploits. She was extremely proud of her certificate and twas proffered to me for perusal.

I was more than a little disconcerted when I read the adjective they'd chosen to describe her, a mother never wants her daughter to be thought of as saucy, especially not her 13 year old one. Now, the BBD is not a flighty or even flirty child, if I was choosing words to describe her I would use something like sensible or strident or forthright, her unkind siblings would choose bossy. So I was more than a little surprised to read saucy. On querying this I was reassured it was because she had spilled ketchup all down her cream pashmina, actually MY cream CASHMERE, VERY FECKIN EXPENSIVE, IN CAPITALS FOR EMPHASIS, pashmina which had gone on a wee jolly to Switzerland. Bet it wished it'd stayed at home in it's special wee sleeping bag with me now, that'll learn it, swanning off and getting ruined.

Reading further down, I was again, more than a little disconcerted to read that my 13 year old baby, who has never been on a mountain before, my teeny tiny baby girl who 3 days previously hadn't set eyes on a set of ski's in real life had won the speed test, clocking up a speed of 35 miles per hour. This rendered me momentarily speechless, and that takes some doing. My child, who is a human child, a regular human, managed to go faster than I drive most days. This is neither natural nor desirable.

Fortunately I remained in mummy denial land until she was safely home with her full complement of unbroken limbs and a fully functioning brain. Yes, I know, even after nigh on 18 years of parenting, I remain a horribly over protective mummy.

Saturday 13 February 2010

Book Group Blues

I have been a member of our book group for the last 4 maybe even 5 years. We meet once a month in our local pub and dicuss the book we've read and then choose a new one. I believe it is now the law for all middle aged women to be in a book group although the flightier of the genre also do salsa dancing (no, not me, would you give yourself peace!)

My book group usually meets on a Wednesday but for some reason we met on a Tuesday this week. Which confused me mightily when Sarah appeared at the door with book in hand.

This meant I had to get out of my jammies (navy and pink polka dot fleecy ones, oh yes, sexy is my middle name) I was gutted, I got home from work and as BBD was away skiing I didn't have to drive to and from Girls Brigade and there was a Jo Frost thing and a babies being born thing on the telly, so straight into my jammies, on the sofa, I had a fleecy blanket, full charge of the remote and some cookies. I appear to have bypassed middle aged completely and stormed right into old lady hood, don't feel even a bit sorry for me, I love the idea of sitting around in my jammies and a wee nap if I get tired.

So I got dressed and we went to the pub,
which was heaving,
on a Tuesday night,
in the middle of a recession.
The reason for this became apparent, they were having their regular pub quiz. Now I have never taken part in a pub quiz, that is another of my very last forms of virginity gone now, I've only a few left, I'd better ration them out, don't want to get rid of them all so quickly and with no thought or care.

How hard could it be, we thought.

I'm a whiz at Trivial Pursuit, I thought.

We are quite clever women, we thought.

At our table there were 6 women, 28 years of university level education and 7 degrees between us. Comprising ...

A solicitor
A dentist
A pharmacist
A nursing sister
A teacher
A director (of a big Government agency, with multi million pound projects and big posh do's at The Houses of Parliament)

Readers, we came last.
24 points out of 50.
The shame.

Thursday 11 February 2010

Little Miss Last Word

My Beautiful Baby Daughter is still away in Switzerland on her ski trip. She's been very good at keeping us updated unlike her brother who last year only texted to say he'd arrived.

Phone call Wed am 7.30 am auntiegwen time

ag - "Is this the day you ski into France?"

bbd - "Should have been"

ag - "Oh, are you not going then?"

bbd - "No, I've moved myself down into Emily's group, she has a lady instructor"

ag - "Okay, do they not let lady ski instructors into France?"

bbd - "No, they're going on Thursday"

ag - "Ah, bloody EU regulations"

bbd - "Stop trying to be funny, I'm not prepared to ski into a different country with a male instructor who's idea of teaching is to say "right, follow me"

Nobody will ever steal that weans scone.

Monday 8 February 2010

In my day

You realise how different a childhood your children are having compared to your own when...

They think having 2 foreign holidays, a school trip and a few weekends away per year are the norm.

Your children's friends go on holiday to places like Peru, China, Iceland and Vietnam.

Your 18 year old brings home a school friend who has never eaten a chip butty.

You have friends (in the plural) whose children play the harp, it used to be the cello but that's just ordinary now.

Your children don't even think that not going to university and getting a job is an option.

Your own son says without a hint of irony that he enjoys swimming but he only likes to swim in his own swimming pool.

Saturday 6 February 2010

6 in a row.

This morning at the "Feck me, it's early" hour the family von auntiegwen got up and dropped the Beautiful Baby Daughter off at school for a school skiing trip to Switzerland. This is the 6th year in a row I have entrusted Mr Watson (who we all heart) with one of my beloved offspring, EBD had 2 skiing tips in 2005 and 2006, TBS had 3 snowboarding trips in 2007, 2008 and 2009. This year only BBD remains at that school so this year it's her turn. I don't even want to think of the skiing maths (if I didn't have to fork out for 6 school skiing trips I could have bought) as I know I could have bought a new car with it. But school trips have certainly come on since my day, when we had a day trip to Culzean Castle, bring your own packed lunch to eat by the time the coach has left the playground and a quid for the gift shop, sorry should have put a middle aged woman rant alert in for you there.

So, at the crack of sparrows we are all in the car and the ex mr auntiegwen asks BBD if she has everything, he goes down the "passport, tickets, money" route, BBD answers in a hugely sarcastic fashion that of course being a school trip the passports and health cards have to be handed in at least a week before because people are too stupid to remember them all by their own selves.

He then asks about ipod, DS, phone plus chargers. Then a huge shriek from the back alerts us that "Little Miss Organised and I don't need any help thank you very much, I'm not retarded like the rest of them" has indeed left her mobile at home, so we turn around and go back for the phone.

Now to let you into a little background, I like to be early for stuff like this, if I have a plane to catch I will be one of those people who will turn up 3 hours before we leave, when the school trip letter says be at school at 6.30 am I will be there at 6.15am, the ex mr auntiegwen not so much, he has missed several planes and was actually late for his grannies funeral, truly I was mortified. He is of the opinion that if they say 6.30am then it's perfectly acceptable to be there at 6.30 ish. As we're going in his car, we're going on his time frame also.

So, we arrive at the school just 5 minutes late but there is nowhere to park as all the early parents have got the spaces. He drops me and the children off and goes to park. My friend Susan is there already, I love Susan, muchly, even though she is a Daily Mail reader and owns a selection of Per Una cardies, I know I will grow up to be Susan. Em is waiting on the coach for BBD having secured a good seat (Em belongs to Susan, the girls are good mates and very similar in the way Susan and I are)

I say to Susan how annoyed I was at being the last parent there (she gets the not being late thing) usually Susan and I will be there together tut tutting at the unorganised mummies, we're good at raised eyebrows too. I explain about the forgotten phone and she assures me that she was en route when they realised Em didn't have her ski jacket.

Another shreik from BBD, jacket at home on her bedroom floor.

Phone ex mr ag, get him to bring car back and again back home to collect jacket and back to school.

Coach is waiting for us, last disorganised parents, I have to do the Bad Mummy slink of shame onto coach to hand over jacket and receive the slow applause.

6 years in a row, you'd think I'd be getting the hang of it by now.

Friday 5 February 2010

Metrosexual in our midst.

Like all of us, I am a product of my environment. I am from an overwhelmingly female family, the only men I have shared a bathroom with are gadget mad dad, the beautiful son and the ex mr auntiegwen. They are of a similar mind when it comes to grooming, in that, it's for girls. Don't get me wrong, they have perfect hygiene but their grooming routine consists of a shower, wash hair using same stuff used for washing body, spray of deodorant, brush teeth and they're done. Maybe if it was a big night out they'd use aftershave, maybe.

That's what I think men do, I fully expect them to take the time it takes me to fasten my shoes for them to perform their whole routine.

Eldest Beautiful Daughter has a new amour, oh don't worry that I'm telling you tales, I read it on her facebook page, she's in a relationship. This is a big deal, for the last 2 years she's had the Matthew, we were used to the Matthew, you knew where you were with the Matthew. Matthew was of the same mind as the men we are used to.

This new amour is what would be called a Hot Boy. He is 20, drives a car and is in a band. This band plays gigs in real places and they get paid. They are mentioned in newspapers and t'internet as up and coming. He is very used to being admired and getting his own way. He is now besotted by EBD and it is unusual for him to have to do the wooing, he is usually the wooed. He adores her, can't stop contacting her, popping in, leaving little treats for her and general worship. It's very funny for us, we love all of this, he calls her "Treacle", when we try that, she tells us to feck off.

He is exotic to us, we all keep looking at him, he is just so different. Eldest Beautiful Daughter completely rips him apart with her sarcastic sense of humour (no, I've no idea where she gets it from either) She doesn't get the grooming thing either. He takes longer to get ready than she does. He is what my dad would call a "jolly boy"

She made him fess up his grooming routine to me because when she told me I didn't believe her. Now to be fair to him, he looks lovely, he does look like someone you'd see on the telly but it comes with effort.

He sleeps with a hairband in to keep his fringe off his face so he doesn't get spots.
He uses exfoliator, face wash, moisturiser and lip balm, daily.
He uses shampoo and conditioner, he washes his hair with shampoo and conditioner one day and only with conditioner the next, it keeps your hair fluffy apparently.
He uses heat protection spray and then blow dries his hair, before straightening it with GHD's, then he messes it up with wax, then he applies hairspray.

Are you exhausted yet?

He has his hair cut every every few weeks, he has an asymetric fringe and it frames one of his perfectly threaded eyebrows. he actually goes and has his eyebrows threaded.

He looks like Abercrombie and Fitch threw up on him, you may well wonder if you'd seen him in a Jack Wills catalogue. He has a man bag, a personalised number plate and a Paul Smith wallet.

Eldest Beautiful Daughter calls him fairy cake. May the balance of power remain in her favour.