Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wobbly plates

The workmen arrived with a skip at 9 o'clock this morning. They left it right at the end of the drive. It's a long drive which can easily accommodate 5 cars. I'll have to park mine on the grass verge. There are 2 of them demolishing the Shed and the gym. They are very good at drinking tea. I left them to make it themselves as I was in too much of a rush to get to the vets.

Darius had been missing for a couple of days. He came back last night. Only his tail didn't.

The stump is being amputated right now. I keep crying. He's going to be alright.

I've got to hide my inch long roots before my best friend's wedding tomorrow. I've got a card, a tie and a pair of stockings to buy. A piece of coving fell down last night, narrowly missing Jack's skull. And my computer has blown up.

I'm at work. I've got a diary full of appointments and a couple of hysterical clients.

I'm not coping at all well.
I'll be fine though. It's just a minor crisis.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Beep! Beep!

" I'm a natural." His little face beamed at me, eyes shining brightly, crooked grin reaching from ear to cauliflower ear.

" I changed gear perfectly and he only had to correct my steering once..." he skirted past the fact that this point happened right on Roxby Bends, the most notorious stretch of road in the county, the very road I have tried to drum into him is a killer and must be avoided at all costs, even if it means a 10 mile detour. Now I learn his instructor is actively encouraging, nay praising his early sallies along it.

I smiled as I heard all about his first driving lesson. I remembered the thrill and excitement of my own. I'd had a very similar experience, taking to driving almost as naturally as I learnt to read, instinctively knowing what to do and when to be doing it, only a little bit faster and for longer than anyone else. It was only a matter of weeks before my instructor, a sour Catholic woman called Maura who disapproved of me being on the Pill and probably just wanted to get such a vile creature out of her car as quickly as possible, put me in for my test.

Despite this innate flair, I still managed to crash into a lamppost on my driving test. It has taken 19 years to be able to relate that story without crying. Don't expect any further details.

There are some friends, who having secretly laughed about it for years, are finally under the impression that's it's ok to discuss it with me. It is, just don't ever ask me for a lift.

I am sure Jack won't suffer the same fate. It was all the sun's fault and it doesn't look like we'll be seeing any of that for some time to come.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Lake Flaccid

What do you do on a Sunday morning when you've come home earlier than expected from a weekend in the Lakes but no-one knows you are back?

a) Catch up on the ironing?

b) Clean out the Shed and Gym in readiness for the restoration blokes?

c) Call up a single friend and drag her along while you nosey about 26 or so of your fellow villagers' Open Gardens?

Consequently, I have nothing to wear and must remove 3 and half tons of cobwebs, spilt cat biscuits, 4 sofas, 3 bookcases, a multi-gym, an exercise bike, a cross-trainer and an assortment of weight benches ( in almost new condition) this evening. On my own. I shall have nowhere to sneak a crafty fag!

The restoration company are called 'Munters'. Jack's hoping to scrounge a company tee-shirt.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mia O'Wower

What do you get your best friend for a wedding present? A best friend who has lived with her husband to be for almost 14 years, a best friend who has an immaculate house and everything she wants, and nothing at all that she doesn't want? The parents of your 11-year old Godson and the people you are most likely to run to when you've been dumped, or disappointed, again, by another Mr Wasn'tright?

You get a set of baking trays or a Flan Dish from the Debenhams guest list if you have any common sense about you.

If you're me?

You write the Best Man's Speech and make sure your Godson gets all the credit for it.

And you bring them a new baby.

Or TOPMARX Mia Farrow to give her her posh name.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Long Summer Holidays - Update

He's signed on with a recruitment agency. He can start nappy-packing next week. The night shift.

He also has an interview with O2.

He has still not done any washing up. He is practicing sleeping all day. He is very successful at it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Long Summer Holidays

Jack's gone to Spain for the weekend. He flew yesterday morning and he's coming back on Monday.

2 weeks later he's going to Newquay for 7 days of surfing mayhem with his mates and then straight to London, house and cat-sitting for his auntie before flying out to Spain again for the last half of August.

I have 2.5 days holiday left between now and Christmas.

I'm not bitter or jealous. I just have these simple words of advice for my child.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

It's Gonna be HUGE!

I've always had a bit of an overactive imagination, prone to giddy flights of fancy, blowing the tiniest of ideas out of all proportion. Why do things by halves if you can do them ten times bigger or better or more complicated than everyone else.

We got to discussing Dad's 60th birthday over a Carvery lunch. Kathryn suggested hiring the village hall and asking her favourite band to play for Dad and his 100 or so closest relatives. I took a sip of my Diet Coke, contemplated my half-eaten stuffing ball and unleashed a monster.
Half an hour and a number of roast taties later, VicFest had been conceived. The venue has become a friendly farmer's field and adjacent barn. The line-up ranging from his mates' Irish folk band, Tony Blair and the MP4s, to Travis ( with Scouting For Girls headlining, of course) with the chill-out zone presided over by the Royal Philharmonic ( it's quite remarkable when you consider the talent 2 30-something sisters have let slip through their fingers in the guise of past boyfriends). There will be tents, stilt walkers, face-painting, a hog roast, fortune-teller, fancy dress competition, float parade, It's-A-Knockout competition and cream teas. Maybe even a prize for the biggest onions.

It will be an exclusive ticket-only event for the entire village and anyone with any vague connection to Dad or the Leaning clan ever, no matter how remote.

We'll have banners, posters, T-shirts and a website.

My first job is to find a sponsor. I'm thinking perhaps a reading-glasses manufacturer, seeing as Dad has to have a pair in every room in the house and still manages to lose them every 5 minutes.

He thinks we're joking. We've got some serious work to do between now and next May ( it's too cold in March so the celebrations will be postponed) if he's not to be disappointed with another pair of socks.

Friday, July 06, 2007






Thursday, July 05, 2007

Baby You Can Drive My Car

I woke up this morning and this is what I saw staring back at me in the mirror.

When did I get so old as to have a 17 year old son?

Happy Birthday, Jack xxx ( back row, first left)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Crass Consciousness

I had a personal invitation to a sneak preview event last night at a new Bar & Grill soon to be opening just outside Hull and promising to 'revolutionise the concept of dining' in the area. I thought this sounded a bit pretentious but they were offering free cocktails and samples from their menu and as I'll turn up to the opening of an envelope if someone asks me, I decided to pop along.

I picked Sophie up and we drove over shortly after 8 o'clock. It was a beautiful evening and the sun was streaming down. We soon found The Weir and recognised the venue from the huge numbers of people congregating outside, apparently soaking up the precious rays but more likely forced out of doors following the introduction of the smoking ban a few days ago.

I panicked. A brief glimpse at the clientele suggested them to be predominantly of the West Hull breed, loud, trendy, smothered in fake tan and so over-dressed they'd make any WaG look shabby. There was no way I was putting myself and my work attire beside them. I know that probably says more about me than them.

There were only 3 other diners in the Akash 20 minutes later. Sophie & I had a lovely evening.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Market Divorces

Barton-upon-Humber is a small market town on the banks of the eponymous river. Growing up in the nearest village, I've been familiar with it all my life. There's nothing very remarkable about it, save for the unique Saxon church tower and baptistry at the English Heritage-owned St Peter's. It's hardly a crowd-puller. It took me until today to visit it for a start.
There's a great Art Centre where they also serve large slabs of cake and my local Nature Reserve of which I am the newest ( and by far, the youngest) volunteer.

The Desperate Dan cartoonist lives there and Robert Kleason, the man they based the Texas Chainsaw Massacre upon, made it home for him and his frighteningly large collection of guns from 1990 to his death.

I'm not doing a very good job of selling it well. The same could not be said of Mr George Wray, who in 1847 was the last man in England to successfully sell his wife by public auction. He led her, haltered around the waist into Barton marketplace. She was purchased by William Harwood. He paid 1s 3 1/2 d.

Property is still relatively cheap.