Wednesday 28 November 2012

University Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday 9 November 2012

In which I am temporarily deranged

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 1 November 2012

End of Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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