Friday 29 July 2011

Texting for old people - a guide for the middle aged

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

ATD - at the doctors

BFF - best friends funeral

BTW - bring the wheelchair

FWIW - forgot where I was

GHA - got heartburn again

IMHO - is my hearing aid on?

WAITT - who am I talking to?

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Flawless plan

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

What could go wrong?

Monday 25 July 2011

In which I feel more ancient than usual

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

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

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

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

Every cloud and all that.

Friday 22 July 2011

Where I am from - The Teens to early 20 Years

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

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

I'm from Miss Selfridge Iron Lady fuschia pink lipstick

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

I'm from Razzy denims and Adidas Kick trainers

I'm from Freemans catalogue and paying for things weekly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Where am I from

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

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

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

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

I'm from the dignity of the working man

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

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

I'm from alcohol and debt, divorce and despair

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

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

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

I'm from Twinkle and then Jackie

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm from recycling decades before it was fashionable

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

Monday 18 July 2011

Beautiful not such a baby anymore daughter

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

Anyhoo, this is she

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 16 July 2011

They love me really

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

Not so much.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday 13 July 2011

What's in a name?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ma wee lad's a sailor

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

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

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

Monday 11 July 2011

Gorgeous John?

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

I bet Mrs Redwood is pleased.

Friday 8 July 2011

Coming home

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

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

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

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

Friday 1 July 2011

Not so failed grown up

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

By 10 am this morning I had

Paid my M&S bill

Submitted my supporting evidence for EBD's student finance

Filled out my accident report form for the car insurers

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

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

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