2020…you couldn’t make it up!

Firstly apologies, I’ve not been here for a looong time. I have no excuse. I mean it’s not as if I’ve been locked in the house (slightly dramatic!) since March.

So how are we all doing? Has Covid treated you well? I hope you’ve all managed to avoid it with the old Hands, Face, Space malarkey and singing birthday greetings to yourself as you lather ferociously…twice.

Gorgeous Festive Fireworks - Happy Birthday Card | Birthday & Greeting  Cards by Davia

I have a few questions about it all. answers on a postcard please.

  1. Does anyone know the actual guy who ate the bat in Wuhan cos I’d like a word with him?
  2. Did the civil servant who came up with the slogan “Hands, Space, Face” win a prize in the suggestion scheme for that?
  3. Why are there no cases reported in North Korea or Samoa? What have they got that we haven’t?
  4. Where does all the money come from that has magically appeared in aid payments when usually we are being told the country is in debt? Why couldn’t Boris just have paid off the debt with this magic pot of dosh?

Anyway, enough with the politics. I genuinely hope you’ve been untouched by the virus and your physical and mental health is intact. I remember Corona the first time round. Back then it came in 10 flavours and was delivered in a van by the pop man. Nowadays, it’s 1 flavour, free of charge but not quite as pleasant.

I’ve worked from home since March, cancelled numerous holidays and made more cakes than Mary Berry on an acid trip. I’ve batch cooked, tiled the porch, decorated bits of the house, celebrated VE day with the neighbours (SD of course) and put on weight at a scary pace.

We did manage to cram in a few days in North Wales (should have been Barci but Spain wouldn’t let us in). It was lovely to be fair. Portmeirion is my new happy place. Everything was beginning to close though and panic buying spread past Snowdonia…no pasta in sight.

I’ve queued British-styly to get into the supermarkets to be one the many that walked down the toilet roll aisle tutting furiously whilst scanning the empty shelves. The only things left were Tena for Men, super absorbent, and the really expensive wet toilet wipes that I refuse to pay £3.00 for a packet of 15. I love my arse but I was prepared to make do with the Sun newspaper like everyone else. It’s all it’s good for to be fair!

Coronavirus fears trigger grocery shopper scramble | Supermarket News

As you know I do like to stockpile for a snowy day and even a Brexit negotiation and I had already got supplies in for the first lock-down. Needless to say we ate a lot of pasta, which pissed my blue one off big time as he hates the stuff. Not even the Farfalle could tempt him! He’s a meat and potato kind of guy and nothing will change that, not even cute pasta bows.

I have started to fill my shelves again as we are getting close to winter and another Brexit conundrum. Come January 1st, there could be no pasta, Italian herbs or tomato puree anywhere in Britain because Boris hasn’t agreed with Italy that they can send in the goods yet. We’ll all have to eat British…you know…beef, potatoes, cabbages, Hovis, chicken tikka massala with half and half, kebab and chips (no salad) etc.

Any way I digress. I promised myself I would be the one that went for a walk every day for my hour’s release from prison. I did start but it got a bit silly avoiding people coming in your direction. Do you find you really over emphasise it and end up walking down the middle of the road, in an attempt to leave a 2 meter gap between you and them? I ended up using my satellite navigational system (“sat nav” to you young and trendies out there!) to plan an alternative route each time someone approached me!

I’ve tried to find a past time and the only thing I could do with any element of success was painting by numbers! I’m not artistically skilled ok! I’m not knocking it though, I did create an impressive lion which is now hanging in the man cave! Just don’t look to close as I can’t promise I stayed in the lines.

That’s something else I did in lock-down. Well I didn’t do it, hubby did it actually. He made his man cave. The sad thing is it has the ironing board and the chest freezer in it…oh and my artwork! He’s not too happy…bless him!

What else have I done? I sorted through my wardrobe. That was a massive task but so worth it. Then I refilled it with new dresses, none of which I’ve worn as I’m working from home and not allowed out much socially thanks to “the virus”.

I’ve binge watched numerous TV series, that passed a fair few hours. In the end we used to make a game out of fast forwarding through the adverts and the winner was the one who hit play at exactly the right moment. It’s amazing what you will resort to in the name of entertainment.

When lock-down was announced I got all maternal and old fashioned and got all the board games out, dusted them off and placed them provocatively in the living room. No one even looked at them so that was the end of that. Who doesn’t love a bit of Ludo!

I did make a vertical chess board. I’ve always wanted to have the kind of house where there is a drop dead expensively gorgeous chess board out on the coffee table but it never happened. One because I have kids and two because I don’t have a coffee table. So I thought I’d make one, give me something to do and all that.

It turned out really well but there is a problem. I’m the only one in the house that plays (badly). When I start a game, I take my turn, leave it 3 days so I forgot what my thinking was behind my move, then make my next move for the opponent! It works I promise, because being a woman of a certain age (read menopausal) I forget everything. The only problem is each game lasts about 2 months.

I’m on the verge of asking the postman if he plays then he can take his turn each morning but he might think that’s a bit odd.

Finally I think I have used up the entire populations’ allowance of data on my phone as FB has been a blessing during this time. I mean where else can you go for all the facts about corona, spouted out by “experts” who analyse everything for you and tell you what you should be doing. I jest….it has provided hours of entertainment though, allowed me to share banal and slightly humerous pics and let me play Words with Friends (other games are available). Hubby is happy too as Candy Crush is still going too…he’s on level 3 trillion now. As you can imagine, our evenings are filled with never ending conversation 🙂

Anyway I think the best thing about lock-down 2020 has been learning that my pink one is gonna be a mum. Due in February the child is going to be an Aquarius like his nan (me!) so we’re gonna get on just fine. I’m really hoping that her partner can go in with her to the delivery, otherwise who else is she going to swear, declare she hates and promise to leave afterwards! I remember my labour vividly and my poor hubby got it in the neck and I swear my pink one is wayyyy more feisty than me! I’m praying her nesting instinct kicks in soon too as she’s a messy bugger though! Heaven help her afterwards!

Shes at the stage where she’s buying all the bits, folding them nicely and arranging them in little cute baskets. I told her it won’t last and once the bubba has arrived, she’ll be lucky too find a vest without leftover milk dribble and poo stains, that no amount of Fairy Non-Biological can shift. And they certainly won’t be folded nicely in the baskets (Kondo style) once she’s had the baby, no sleep for 4 days and has lived on toast and cold coffee, broken up by the odd meal made for her by a visiting family member/friend!

Dad is so looking forward to being a bampie (but has been renamed “Grinch” by his cricket pals), big brother has planned to be the coolest uncle and I’ve decided I’m going to be nanny…nanny McV (geddit!) and we cannot blinking wait now.

I’ll leave it there for now, just wanted to say “hi”, share my good news and hopefully make you smile. Remember to look after yourselves and others in these shitty times. Stay safe, stay in, stay pissed if you must and most importantly stay positive.

2021 is going to be sooo much better I promise, even if it is just from me flooding your social media with baby pics! xx

The menopausal years by Vanessa Bailey aged 51¼!

Dec 25th 2017. Dear diary.

Deck the halls with towels and tampons…. fa la la la la la la la laaaa.

Mother Nature made me come on…. fa la la la la la laaa

Why today… today of all days…..fa la la la la la la la laaa

Bloody good job I’ve stockpiled Always! ….. fa la la la la la la la laaa

Lucky me – I’ve had  lots of lush presents including this lovely diary (that I’m going to write in every day with a full encounter of my day) and a pigging period on Christmas Day. As if I’m not busy enough as it is. I’m up to my eyes in sprouts and 2 types of stuffing because my pink one choses to be gluten free today, and could really do without this.

Pass the wine….

Dec 26th 2017. Dear diary. I’ve changed my mind. My days are going to be pretty repetitive – got up, went to work, had breakfast, worked, yada yada yada. I’m not going to bore you with it so I’m just going to write about my mid life drama’s as and when they happen….much more interesting…..and shorter!

Feb 14th 2018. Dear diary. Happy Valentine’s day to me. Not had Mother Nature visit for a few weeks. Enjoying this while it lasts.

April 20th 2018. Dear diary. Still no sign of the crimson tide. Saw the doc today to confirm I was pre-M. Told him I’ve had the odd mini flush but if this was the worst it got I could deal with this.

He was happy when I convinced him that I was doing exercise (admitttedly my body doesn’t look like it has seen a gym in 20 years, but I have boxing gloves to prove it!). We both parted on good terms. I’ve got this!

May 8th 2018. Dear diary. Spoke too soon. Mother Nature has visited with plenty of luggage. Gonna keep Proctor & Gamble in profit this month (other surf boards are available!!

I lost my keys today. I found them in the fridge. I’ve not told the family, they don’t need to know!

June 27th 2018. Dear diary. God, have a word please – I really don’t want a period every 2 weeks. I have stuff to do…and I still like sex!

August 30th 2018. Dear diary. I’ve just emptied the shelves in Tesco of their Always number 4 variety! Had a hot flush last night too. Slid off the bed I was that sweaty! Currently washing the bedding.

September 8th 2018. Dear diary. I’m so tired. I can’t remember the last time I slept right through. Hubby goes to bed at 10 and I wait and I wait and I wait etc, for tiredness to hit. It never does so I go up anyway because it seems the sensible thing to do cos I’m old and have work the next day. I then lie there and try everything. I tried counting sheep but I could never round them all up so gave up with that.

I tried being mindful and concentrating on my breathing but I’m pretty much a mouth-breather and it’s not a nice sound!

I tried the relaxation thing when you squeeze your muscles really tight, starting from your feet and working up to your head. Trouble was hubby kept feeling the bed move when I clenched and thought I was rubbing one out so had to stop!

I did eventually drift off, through manic bouts of restless leg where I fidget and kick out uncontrollably. The poor cat is used to being flung off the bed several times a night when my left leg has a life of it’s own.

October 31st 2018. Dear diary. Happy Hallowe’en bitches. Feeling decidedly evil today…god help the trick or treaters. Saying that me and hubby are in a caravan in Burnham on Sea having a kid free break, eating copious amounts of food off those stylish Wetherspoon-blue plates while on our little Sun Holiday bargain.

We’re avoiding the bingo in the main room like the plague. I can’t see the appeal of a man shouting random numbers, with sexual nuances, out to a room full of people who are armed with dabbers, who get excited when they get to call “line” or “house” (or “me, I won, I won” if they don’t know the rules) and win 20p for their efforts.

November 17th 2018. Dear diary. Who am I?

December 31st 2018. Dear diary. New Year’s Eve and not feeling the love right now. My face leaked several times today simply because it’s the end of the year. I’m going to have a chat with myself.

January 5th 2019. Dear diary. I think I’m broken.

Feb 15th 2019. Dear diary. Happy birthday to me. I’m 51 years young! Just had the mother of all periods but had a good day. Everyone was nice to me and 100+ people on FB wished me happy birthday. Surely this means I’m a goddess!

Feb 28th 2019. Not felt so good the last few days. Had a good moan to my friend over 2 coffees and an ice-cream…..and chicken nuggets … and chips….and mozzarella dippers!

March 5th 2019. Dear diary. Pancake day today. My first pancake was shit! Does this happen to everybody because it happens to me every bloody year? My first one looks like a pile of wanky diarrhoea, but the others are perfect…and homemade I might add. None of this shaking bottle shit in my house!

I’ve also broken out in spots on either side of my chin, looks like a baby’s dribble rash. I am not prepared to slap Sudocreem on my face though….everyone will have to take me as I am even though I do look infectious! My friend had great pleasure commenting on my spot situation but did reassure me it is hormonal!

April 19th 2019. Dear diary. Good Friday. Don’t know what is so effing good about it. I’m glad to be off work though as I’m ready to kill someone! Is it just me that gets really pissed off at the slightest thing? I think I need a miracle this weekend. If Jesus can have one, so can I.

My periods have disappeared again too…weird, but in a good way.

April 21st 2019. Dear diary. Nobody bought me an Easter egg so I’m nicking the kids. NEED CHOCOLATE !

May 2nd 2019. Dear diary. Think I’m on the verge of being arrested. Everything makes me mad. Talk about road rage, I have life rage. I’m poised to seriously hurt the next person who talks too loudly, cuts me up driving, is rude to me, looks at me the wrong way, looks at me full stop!

May 14th 2019. Dear diary. Finally gave in and went to see the doc. My boss sent me home early yesterday after I cried….awks!

I was fine until she said, “Are you ok?” at which point I said “Yes” then I said “No” then my face crumpled up! I am not the most attractive lady especially when I cry so tried to reign it in and look dignified!  Epic fail.

Told the doc I’m running the risk of inflicting pain on someone! She was soooo nice and put me on the good old HRT. It took her a while to find one in stock mind, due to Brexit.

Whose bloody idea was Brexit and who’s idea was it to call it Brexit. Bet they won £10 for putting that idea in the suggestion box. I’m not going to Google it as I may scare myself….HRT, not Brexit!

Finally managed to leave the docs with printed paper in hand. Went straight to the chemist but because of good old Brexit again, the chemist is only allowed so many boxes in a month – can you believe it!

Came home hot and happy but empty handed.

May 16th 2019. Dear diary. The chemist delivered – I have my little paper bag in my hand as I write! I’m like a child at Christmas.

May 17th 2019. Dear diary. Going on holiday today, very excited. Wasn’t going to take my cure with me just in case I had an odd reaction or something. Don’t really know what I am expecting!

I’ve packed it though…we’ll see.

May 22nd 2019. Dear diary. So, I’m on holiday in Zante – very nice I might add. I’m very chilled and without a care in the world after seeing the adorable turtles yesterday, so thought I’d crack open the HRT. Took my 1st little white tablet hidden under the Wednesday window this morning.

No murderous tendencies or desires to throw myself under the nearest Greek sewerage lorry today but that could be because I’ve had a few cocktails – courtesy of Happy Hour!

May 25th 2019. Dear diary. Home from holidays – had a fab time. No 3rd tit has appeared as I expected due to the hormonal increase. I also don’t have a beard, well any more than usual…it’s all good!

May 31st 2019. Dear diary. Had an extra week off work too as suggested by my boss (who am I to argue) so am feeling very chilled right now.

June 3rd 2019. Dear diary. Back to work – I AM ON FIRE! (with no brain fuzz I mean, not a hot flush!)

June 5th 2019. Dear diary. Feeling very good indeed. I’ve done my 2 weeks of little white oestrogen-filled babies and am now on the green spinach-looking progesterone ones.

June 6th 2019. Dear diary. Came on! FFS

June 14th 2019. Dear diary. I’m still checked in to the Red Roof Inn! My hubby thinks I’m pulling a fast one! I’m not. I’m genuinely still on and in need of a good seeing to but I have standards!

On the plus side though I am feeling brave enough to go back to my fitness classes. I need to find my core muscles as my stomach has somehow expanded beyond belief in all directions. My core muscles are currently in hibernation behind my kidneys, fully aware that they are just not up to the job of holding in my belly! There used to be a hint of a womanly shape on my abdominal region, albeit a few inches wider than it should be but now it’s all bleurgh. I look like humpty dumpty even after a big poo.

June 19th 2019 Dear diary. Just finished my 1st pack and Aunt Flo is STILL here. On the up side though I’m feeling very happy and smiley and not at all wall-flowery. I don’t want to hurt anyone and more importantly, I feel intelligent!

June 21st 2019. Dear diary. Day 2 of my second packet and my period his finally finishing. This stay in the Red Roof Inn lasted 16 days and cost me a bleeding fortune, excuse the pun! I think this is a record for me. Now I’m asking my self whether HRT is worth it. I’ve decided to write down the goods and bads to weigh it all up

There … the pros have it, so I need to persevere!

22nd June 2019. Dear diary. Shit fuck bollocks poo wank piss….had a shitty day today! The kids tested every single nerve I possess today. You know those days when you rage clean? This was me today. But finding the positives, my house smells nice!

They survived I might add although my blue one probably can’t remember a thing as he went out. He can’t remember passing out in town whilst wrapped around a concrete bin. He can’t remember PC Dave driving round with me to pick him up. He can’t remember PC Dave pouring him into my car with his jeans around his knees and his Spiderman boxers on show to the world. He can’t remember the long walk to my house from the car with me trying to hold him and his trousers upright. He can’t remember collapsing on my sofa. He can’t remember me pulling him around trying to cover my sofa with towels as no one barfs on my furniture! He can’t remember me sleeping downstairs with him and flying up every time he ralphed to catch the spewage. He can’t remember apologising to me a million times. He can’t remember telling me that he loves his friend sooo much! I so wish I took a photo so I could share with you!

23rd June 2019. Dear diary. I admit I’m impressed. My boy got up at 10.30, got to work for 11 and lasted all day. He looked normal when he came in too.  Ate a full roast dinner and then showered and went to bobos.

If I have a few too many, and by that I mean 5 drinks as I’m a lightweight, it takes me 3 days to recover….jammy b*****d.

29th June 2019. Dear diary. Quiet weekend, no real news. I’m on HRT pack 2 so no doubt I’ll be on another mammoth period soon but luckily me and hubby squeezed in a quickie! 😊

It’s payday weekend so Chinese takeaway all round, hubby won his cricket match, blue one stayed in tonight, pink one is loved up with her fella, gonna be all domesticated tomorrow and make quiche, house is clean, life’s good….for now!

It’s pronounced Chilivi… apparently

So I’ve been on my holidays to Greece, Zante, Tsilivi Beach Hotel to be precise… Other vacations are available. I apologise for any dodgy links to the a certain film!

I was tempted to do a Shirley Valentine but couldn’t for several reasons… 
I didn’t win the holiday,
I’m happily married,
Hubby and kids came with me,
I didn’t go to Mykonos,
My name is not Shirley!

Anyway I had such a lovely week, I named each day…..

Find your feet Friday
Sun burn Saturday
Sore leg Sunday
Manicure and market Monday
Turtle cruise Tuesday
Wed…couldn’t think of any thing that wasn’t rude! 
Too much to drink Thursday
Fly home Friday

I wanted to share a few of my moments with you and if I write them down I can always re-read it to remember because you can guarantee I’ll forget!

We arrived late evening and waited patiently at reception while the receptionist argued with a group of seven 50/60 something ladies trying to book into their rooms.

The problem was they had 3 rooms and we all know that means that there should be 2 and a bit people to each room.

There were a few heated moments I can tell you, while they decided who should be dissected to make it work!

I’m reckon they would be tempted to do a Shirley Valentine. One had a face like she was sucking lemons though. Pretty sure  no one was going to press her olives!

So we get to our rooms, which were huuuge. Hubby was very tired so we had an early night. He went into the bathroom to do his ablutions and I nearly had a heart attack when he came out frothing at the mouth. I thought he had had a bloody stroke.

I was just about to make him smile, raise an arm or two and stick his tongue out when he told me real reason why he looked rabid.

He tried to do his teeth with my Travel Wash! Oh how we laughed as we danced gayly around the room bursting the sweet smelling bubbles that eminated from his face.

We were both knackered after that and fell into bed exhausted but oh so clean!

During the holiday the kids traits came out.  My blue one likes to do his own thing and this was his plan. His life usually revolves around football, eat, work, sleep, repeat.

It was kind of like this on holiday too although there was another shady activity taking place too. I only know this as he pulled his wallet out of his pocket and out fell a lighter!

He knows my feelings on the subject so there was a very awkward 3 seconds, some dodgy glances and then he legged it up the road!

He came back shortly afterwards. It hasn’t been mentioned since!

Now my pink one has a new boyfriend so I was preparing myself for tears and tantrums. I don’t often say this but thank god for social media. It meant that the two love birds could face time each other 17 times a day.

Her mood is dictated by how many texts her bf sends her in an hour.

Any thing over 500 is fab, she’s well happy. Between 200 and 499 and she’s a bit stroppy. Between 100 and 199 she has a face like a ripped dap. Under 100 and god help anyone in a 10 metre radius. She is out for blood and wants to go home.

I’ve learnt not to make conversation during this period and avoid eye contact for 5 minutes. Ten dings later, numerous clicks on her part and it’s drama over, she is back in the room all loved up again. Bless.. We’ve all been there!

She got through the week fairly unscathed in the lurve department but she did give me one cause for concern.

The pavements are so high and my pink one isn’t, we needed 3 Greek locals and a safety winch to get her down each time we needed to cross the road. Hubby then had to have an Ouzo for medicinal purposes only of course.

Now I learnt a few things about my hubby this week too. The boys had a table tennis competition…Hubby insisted on trying to prove his alpha male status, even making out he was world ping pong champion in 1974. The blue one wasn’t impressed.

Hubby’s competitive side came out again during round 2 of the general knowledge quiz, the film and TV section. The pink one was writing the answers. I’ve never seen two people argue so vehemently over a red felt tip pen before!

I’ve also discovered he has a weird fetish to turtles, likening them to sexy bond girls when they come walking out of the water. I spent the rest of the week trying to walk like sexy turtle to turn him on… Not easy!

Not many people know this about me but I used to have a recurring dream about a turtle that would walk around. Perfectly within the bounds of normality I hear you say but this turtle had the face of the grandma from Waltons.

Yes I still have them occasionally and no I haven’t had therapy!

Now I do love Shirley Valentine, what a woman, but not wanting to do a SV in its entirety I thought I’d reenact some of it… Do what makes you happy I say.

I tried to find a little cove with a parasol so I could find my own greek rock to talk to. Problem was I wasn’t prepared to pay 8 euros for the parasol, despite it coming with two sun loungers, so I sat by the pool and talked to an ashtray. I called him Derek. He didn’t say much but then why would he… We had nothing in common.

On Turtle cruise Tuesday guess what we did?  We saw lots of the little beasts and each time we saw one there were 150 brits all going “look, over there!” and scaring the little reptilian cuties away. I had a lush time bobbing around in a sea the colour you can only dream of…and not a turd in sight.

I had a mini Titanic moment in that I sat with my legs wrapped round the flag pole at the front bit of the boat (don’t know what it is called).

I did try to create the epic scene by stretching my arms out and waving my hair around in a carefree Winslet manner but pink one was feeling a bit sea sick so I had to stop, mainly because I didn’t want blue (she’d had a slush puppy) vomit down my cossie.

I don’t think the boat was called Noah but I do know the tour guide was called Trevor from the holiday company that rhymes with screwy … And a fine job he did too.

And I can assure you nobody kissed my stretch marks. It would have taken far too long to kiss them all, plus the fact I would have punched their lights out anyway.

It’s been a good week all told. I’ve eaten my body weight in feta cheese and drunk way too much.

Now Shirley wanted to drink a glass of wine in the country where the grape is grown but I’ve had sex on the beach, sex in the sea, sex behind the bar, sex in the bedroom, sex on the bus… I’ll leave you to decide which were alcohol based!

I’ve tried to work my way through the cocktail menu in the happy hour with help from the pink one. At 4 euros each you can’t blame us for trying!

So now I’m writing my blog on the plane, while I can remember everything I wanted to tell you and trying to block out the baby screaming two seats behind me, and I have just realised that I forgot to tell you the most important bit of news ever….

I started my HRT this week too. I’ve been a truly mardy cow lately so went to docs who gave me the cure. It took her ages to find one mind as all her usual ones were unavailable due to Brexit!

It really isn’t a good idea to deny emotionally challenged, feisty women of their miracle drugs purely because a bunch of idiots can’t agree on a few points in a big building in London. I truly hope Mrs M isn’t menopausal and if she is, kudos to that woman.

Any way Doc Hughes found a magic potion to help me, I ran to the chemist excitedly only to be told that the chemist could only order so many packs a month (again due to Brexit) so I waited till the next day along with the other stressed ladies, to pick up my little paper bag and I took it on hols with me.

I didn’t want to start it straight away in case there were awful side effects like I grew a third tit or something but by Wednesday I couldn’t contain myself any longer.

I took 1 and waited…. and waited… and waited. Its day 4 and although I did feel a bit sexy on Thursday (probably due to the number of cocktails drunk), I am still waiting to feel like a new woman like people say I will.

Let’s just say they had better work soon as otherwise my hubby might do his own version of SV and move abroad alone! He’s always dreamed of owning olive trees.

He can press his own then….!

Anyway, I’m home now, with lots of happy memories and no 3rd boob in sight. I can finally flush the paper down the toilet and can’t wait for chips and egg…

The perfect wife, my arse!

So, I read this article the other day on good old honest Facebook. It was about how the 50’s wifey should treat their hubby. It got me thinking about how the 50’s man would survive in the 21st century. I’ve rewritten the rules for the modern woman of today.

1.) Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs.

Right, so of course I’m concerned about my man, but he gets what he’s given. If you can cook and have the time, go for it. If you can’t or don’t, have a quick rummage in the freezer, grab something that doesn’t look too ice damaged and plonk it in the oven. If you really can’t cook get down the Happy Shopper and get a ready meal and when you serve it up, remember to hide the rubbish in the bin (if you recycle this could be tricky and will require planning on your part as to where you can hide the dish) and ponce up your plate with a nicely sliced tomato and a bit of parsley.

If the dinner looks a bit dry, add a jus. If you know what a jus is, crack on but if not get some ketchup and Worcester sauce, or maybe mayo and chilli dip. Mix them together and serve with the dinner. To look extra posh put it in a little dish on the side.

If you don’t have any suitable crockery to do this, use either a coffee jar lid or one of the little sauce tubs you’ve nicked from McDonalds last time you were there sneakily without the kids, stuffing chicken selects in your face and trading in your Monopoly winning sticker for a free cheeseburger.

2.) Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

See above. As for his favourite meal, if you train him right, is favourite meal will be a really easy one to put together for him or will be number 72 with half and half and a carton of curry sauce on the Lucky Dragon takeaway menu….Free delivery on orders over £15 so make it worthwhile.

3.) Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

With this one, when you know he is due in, get upstairs and wipe your fanny and armpits with a wet wipe. Check your face for chocolate smudges and your cleavage for crisp crumbs. Spray a bit of the perfume you got for Christmas but don’t really like that much but at least this way you are saving your good stuff.  

Think about whether you have the time or the energy to push out a poo otherwise you may end up farting all evening from the chocolate and crisp snack combination you have shoved down your gob while sat watching Jeremy Kyle. Last but not least, check your hair doesn’t need another blast of dry shampoo and if you have a ribbon, feel free to put it in your hair. You’re gonna look fucking ridiculous if you are over the age of 18 but if that floats your boat who am I to stop you?!

4.) Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

Find something interesting to talk about if you do get the urge to communicate. Do not go straight in with the kids and their dramas though. If you have nothing good to say, don’t worry, he probably doesn’t want to talk to you either! Silence is golden apparently.

Certainly don’t talk about the three Jeremy Kyle programmes you have just watched back to back. He is not interested in Patricia’s love triangle with her cousin and her drug counsellor nor does he want to know that Ronald did in fact impregnate Trish from number 40 whilst staying at her house whilst on a break from his wife, a break that the wife didn’t know about but it’s ok because she slept with Dirk and his friend Clive the night before and now wants to go live in a hippy commune in Brighton and wants a divorce from Ronald if he fails the lie detector test.  He failed but at least he had all his teeth.

5.) Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. and then run a dust cloth over the tables.

Now as far as I’m concerned houses are to be lived in and if you leave clutter out, it becomes invisible eventually. If you were to tidy up clutter with no warning I guarantee he’ll notice and this will cause drama I can assure you. Be safe…don’t tidy up.

I would say though, make sure you turn the tv over to a good channel, so he doesn’t know that you have spent the afternoon watching daytime tv. The news channel is always a winner. It makes you look intelligent.

Finally spray a bit of Febreze around. It’ll give the impression that you have spring cleaned and will buy you another day of laziness.

6.) Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

If he comes in and complains he’s cold, tell him to man up and get a jumper on. If the windows are open because you are having a full on hot flush, tell him to suck it up as a hot menopausal woman is not to be messed with. If you are not in this shit stage of your life, count your blessings and make up your own excuse…who am I, your mother!!!?

7.) Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes.

Shout at the kids to wipe the bean juice from tea from their faces and throw a tea towel in their general direction. Again for boogers, the tea towel will do if you have nothing else to hand or as a last result the sleeve of dad’s jacket that he left on the back of the chair. He won’t notice I promise, not that I’ve done this of course.

8.) Children are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.

This is the time to chuck the kids back upstairs, not that they wouldn’t have legged it already after their super healthy dinner of turkey dinosaurs, potato waffles and beans. You know they’ll be safe in their rooms killing people on Fortnite or building odd-shaped walls with Minecraft and you won’t see them till the morning but make sure you shout upstairs, just in case anyone outside is listening, to remember to have a break every 30 minutes from the screen and not to play on the Xbox for more than 2 hours and to read their library book before bed.

9.) Be happy to see him. Free him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him. Listen to him.

As stated before, silence is golden but feel free to show how happy you are to see him by maybe singing to yourself as you go about your chores. I don’t recommend that you sing “Are you gonna bingo?” constantly but choose a song that is light and soothing and something hubby would enjoy…..the National Anthem maybe!

10.) You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first — remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

Make sure he bends your ear first about how shit his day was and how he hates his job before you even open your mouth. The fact that you have the worst job ever and am paid minimum wage for the banal crap you have to do on a daily basis is obviously way more important, but you aren’t going to get a word in edgeways, so you might as well wait your turn.

Whatever you do, do not talk politics and especially Brexit. If it’s like our house, one voted to leave and one voted to remain and it’s been carnage ever since. If you are holding out for sex later, definitely do not talk Brexit!

11.) Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.

Never complain if he comes home late, just go out yourself! Make sure the kids are fed first though, ask the neighbour to watch them and you fuck off to a place of entertainment too. Even if you have nowhere to go, or no one to go with, go somewhere…even if it is back to McDonalds for those chicken selects. After all you need some more sauce cups!

12.) Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquillity where you husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

Let’s be honest the only time the house is a place of peace and tranquillity is when the whole family is on holiday in Bude, Benidorm or Bahamas (other destinations are available) so don’t even try. As for hubby needing to renew himself in body or spirit, the only ones getting anything renewed are us women and by this I mean, new eyebrows, new hair dye, new Botox, new shoes etc.

13.) Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.

Keep these complaints till later. He’ll be in a much better place to sit there and ignore you when he has a full stomach and is vegging in front of the tv. This is the time to complain about your lack of clothes and if you do this well, he’ll agree to giving you money without even knowing it.

This is also the time to get him to sign important documents, like the second mortgage application that needs his signature, as you have run up debt playing Jackpot Joy bingo whilst watching Jeremy Kyle and now you are receiving some nasty looking visitors that don’t want to talk about Jesus or ask how you are going to vote at the next election (heaven help us all!)

14.) Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

If he’s late fair enough I guess but if stays out all night, please don’t rant and rave when he eventually turns up. Just deck the fucker……

15.) Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

He probably won’t want to lie down in the bedroom as he’ll want to watch tv first. By all means let him get comfy as long as he doesn’t sit in your seat or gets between you and your phone charger. Getting him a drink may prove tricky depending on what he likes. The gin bottle that you have slowly been working your way through each afternoon, as you know, has been topped up with water so he may be able to tell. Probably best to get him to drink coffee or tea until you have finished the gin bottle and replaced it with a new one. Whisky and dark rum works the same way but in this case I’d use cold tea, without the milk obviously!

Some men like fine wine and there is nothing wrong with opening a bottle of Chateau Neuf du Pape as recommended by Jilly Goolden or if your man is a simple guy, make sure you have a slab of Fosters in ready.

16.) Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

Now, if he has promised you money or signed the second mortgage application, now is the time to put the ribbon in your hair and settle yourself down in front of him and give him a BJ. He’ll love you forever.

17.) Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment of integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

This statement is obviously wrong as everyone knows that the woman is always right. Let him believe that he is master of all he surveys. Let him wear the trousers but make sure you choose which pair!

18.) A good wife always knows her place.

See number 16…….!

The wheels on the bus go round and round!

For Beth x

I’m the first to admit that I’m a bit of a saddo in life. I mean who else do you know took the IQ test for her 40th birthday? I didn’t go out and get hammered. I didn’t have a mid life crisis where I bought a sports car and drove around recklessly, I didn’t dye my hair pink and have piercings in places the sun don’t shine…no I sat a bleeding exam! 

I did try to improve my self image after by getting a small tattoo to try to make myself look a bit cooler though. I don’t…but I do have a nice butterfly on my wrist!

I’ve been a bit sad all through my working life. Probably all through my school years too; I’ll have to check with my friend Cheryl, who put up with me through those grammar school years and get her honest opinion but for now we’ll go with it. I am a nerd!

I love a good training session, course, hour, day, two days, you name it so when the opportunity came up at work to do an apprenticeship I took it. Yes I know you think apprenticeships are for 16 year olds but they’re not. I checked the criteria –

  • Can you read?
  • Can you write?
  • Do you work here?
  • Are you prepared to give up 2 years of your life to this?
  • Will your manager be ok with you disappearing once a fortnight, bending his ear about how much work you have to do and why did you ever bother?

That was basically it. No mention of 

  • Are you old enough to be a granny?
  • Are you old school in that you still own a VCR?
  • Can you find the wifi switch on a laptop?
  • What do you think “bluetooth” means?
    • Drinking too much bubblegum pop
    • Connecting one device wirelessly to another
    • An x rated dental fantasy starring Tom Hardy as the ruggedly good looking new dentist in town putting a bright smile on all the women he services, looks after! ….Other adult movies are available 🙂

So I applied, was accepted and then spent 3 hours of my life filling in forms that Welsh Government needed to be able to pay for my place. This was fine but they did have really strict guidelines on sticking to this course and not dropping out but one of the forms did take the biscuit when it said that if I was to die, I had to notify them the same day! Now I consider myself quite good at time management…..but I’m not that good!

Any way, jump forward a few weeks and the fun begins. I have to go to the metropolis that is Cardiff every fortnight for the next two years to train at this company where all the staff know everything there is to know about computers and have the best bosses ever as they have a beer fridge…. A BEER FRIDGE…. for the staff. Saying that, I can’t knock our breaks there as they have every flavour of tea imaginable so you can sit there trying to map and reduce using Hadoop or learning about named nodes while drinking lapsang souchong.

My friend, Beth, had also signed up for this. Now Beth is lovely but is a bit of an enigma. She has a fashion sense of her very own which usually involves several layers of khaki and camouflage and her jackets have more compartments than a British Airways refreshment trolley.

What ever life throws at you she will have something in her pockets or rucksack or on her person to help you. If you need a coffee, she’ll pull out a fully filled-in Mcdonalds coffee card. If you have a stray chin hair, she’ll pull out her pliers (not tweezers, pliers!). If you are stuck on a snow-covered mountain, she’ll pull out a fire starting kit, 3 foil blankets and enough freeze-dried spaghetti bolognese to feed you for a week as well as knowing how to filter her pee into proper drinking water through 2 socks and a Tena lady. Heaven help the mugger if you happen to be attacked whist with Beth!

We made plans to catch the number 30 bus to the big city. Now Beth likes to look after people so when she gets on the bus she texts me to tell me what colour it is and what seat she’s sat in so I don’t look stupid trying to see her without my glasses on and end up sitting next to one of the strange ones who likes to get buses!


Any way I get on the bus, wobble my way precariously up the stairs to the top deck because we like to have a good view, find her and plonk my arse in the seat.


This is where our fun begins. We’ve made this journey loads of times and have seen some right sights on the way. I’ve précised our journeys into one for you…

We start off leaving Newport. We drive past Tredegar House caravan site and discuss why anyone in their right mind would come to stay in Newport? It’s ok if you like coffee or charity shopping or being mugged by 16 year olds in broad daylight but we can’t think of much else to entice you there tbh.

We drive through the next village. This is a posh one and on our travels we have seen a dog lying in the windowsill perfectly still. It took us till the return journey to see that he hadn’t died and been stuffed by his sad owners but was in fact alive and well and just plain lazy! We worried about that damn poodle all day!

The next house we like to look at has the most OCD garden you can imagine. Whoever lives there has serious issues. They have a zillion pots that are either white or blue and they are laid out meticulously in rows so they are symmetrical. Someone took hours doing that and I’d love to sneak in and switch two just to see how long it would be before they noticed!

During our journey we both try to look as if we are healthy and talk about whether we should take up running again. I could barely manage 5k but Beth used to run marathons but we are now both over 40 (just!) and running now brings it’s own risks!

We discuss our weight. I think it’s a known fact that if you get on the scales, look at the numbers and get off before it beeps then it never really happened. That’s how it works, I’m sure! According to us we are both weightless!

By now we are heading near town. We like to look in the Sue Ryder charity window because they always have a nice bit of furniture to look at! St David’s charity shop on the other side of the road always impresses us as it is mahoosive and I often wonder how bad it smells. Then we come to Iceland Food Warehouse and dream of the day when one of brings the car so we can go in and have a look!

We get off the bus in town and then we become one of the commuters walking about with their snooty air and their Costa Cocomochoskinnycappumachiato made with organic Nicaraguan Arabica beans that have been crushed between the arse cheeks of the native goats at the nearby farm….with a drizzle of honey!

The one time we saw a girl walking in town and I swear she was either doing the walk of shame or had forgotten how to get dressed because all she had on was a jumper. Head held high, coffee in hand and long white legs mincing her way through town.

The highlight of some of our journey is a game we like to call “Gotcha you bitch” or “Are you real you numbskull”… let me explain. Now Beth is a law abiding citizen, as am I. The most criminal activity I’ve done is to drive at five past seven instead of ten to two. Beth used to be a copper, I just played with handcuffs!, so her pet hate is seeing people driving and using their mobile phones at the same time. We see this girl the other day looking down at her phone propped on her steering wheel, not realising that we had both clocked her. Beth whipped out her phone from one of her pockets. It took her 3 attempts to find it mind but she did in the end. She takes a photo and then the girl sees us. …..

It’s like slow motion. She drops the phone casually and grabs the wheel like it’s about to fall off. We then lose her as she drives past the bus but we soon catch up with her and we are there staring at her with Beth ready to get off the bus to confront her. The girl just keeps holding that wheel and looks straight ahead totally avoiding our gaze but inside she is squirming ….dying inside. She is sweating thinking that she now has to wait for the postman to deliver the brown envelope that tells you you have been naughty and have earned yourself 3 points and now have £60 less to spend on lippy. It’s a cheap thrill for us though!

We also see a lot of nose pickers. The worst has been this man sat in the traffic opposite, certainly old enough to know that you don’t risk rhino-mining in public. We watched him insert the finger, have a good root about digging for gold then came back out and went back in the other nostril drilling away looking for boogers. This went on for ages, meanwhile we were on the bus crying. I’m sure he would have ate it too but luckily the traffic moved.

You’ve all seen the video on Facebook where a man gets on the tube and starts chuckling to himself and in the end, the whole carriage has dissolved into raucous laughter and everyone loves everyone? Believe me, it doesn’t work like this in real life. When we laughed, people stared and then the ones in a 4 seat radius moved nearer to the driver as we snorted and cried with laughter. Never trust Facebook – it lies!

Finally I think our best way of passing time on the bus is to play I spy. The game goes something like this…

I spy with my little eye, something beginning with A.

I don’t know.

Think about it.

I can’t guess.

Do you give up?

Yes

Air

Wtf!

What? It’s there you just can’t see it!

Ok bitch, my go. I spy with my little eye, something beginning with C.

Clouds?

No.

Cars?

No.

Seagulls?

No, dull tart.

I give up.

Cones.

Cones? Where?

About 2 mile back.

Ffs, let me have a go. I spy da da da da da da something beginning with O.

O?

Yup

Outside

No, but that’s a good answer!

Ordnance survey map?

What the….No! Where did you see that?

On my sat nav, on my phone…the other day.

Stupid bint…keep guessing.

I can’t I’m stuck.

Shall I tell you?

Yeah go on.

Orange cone.

Where?

Don’t know, there’s one out there somewhere.

Brief interlude to wipe the tears away…

My go.

Go on then.

I spy, with my ickle eye, something beginning with Y.

Yellow cone.

Clever bitch! How did you guess?

Duh! My go. Bla bla something beginning with P.

Posts?

Nope.

Pigeon?

No.

Ummm, poster?

Nah, you stuck?

No, I’ll get it….. Peugeot?

No.

I give up. What was it?

No idea….couldn’t think of anything!

And we’re off again crying with laughter. It’s the best bus ride ever. Let me know if you sign up for the apprenticeship I ‘m on. I’ll keep you a seat……

Is that a thing?

So I’m sat here thinking about life and stuff and how we are all very different. I mean we’ve got men, we’ve got women and we’ve got every shade in between. And while we are all very very different I can guarantee the we all have one thing in common…. We are all afraid of something!

Now I’m sure there are some well ard ones amongst us who deny this but believe me we all have our weaknesses!

Have you ever thought how many fears and phobias are out there, thousands I bet.

You’ve got your common or garden variety phobias; spiders, heights, small spaces, or for those of us wanting to impress, arachnophobia, acrophobia and claustrophobia but there are a massive number of more kooky ones out there. And I have to admit, besides the usual fear of spiders, I suffer with one of them kooky ones.

Imagine this…. Child’s new partner comes to visit for the first time. Now we all know there are certain key questions that this poor victim, I mean visitor has to answer with a suitability good response to be able to pass the test and become “one of the family”.

My welcome chat (read interrogation) would go something like this…

Hi…… (insert victims name)

So, where do you live? …. (allow time to answer!)

Do you work?

What’s your gross salary?

What’s your chances of promotion?

What is your credit rating?

Do you still live at home?

Do you have a criminal record?

Note you may notice these are quite blunt but I would be interjecting these with nice flowery questions and snippets of humour.

You could also bring it the baby photos to give the interrogee a breather if you see they are breaking out in a sweat. Perfect time for a brew and a hob nob too.

So I’d carry on..

What are your hobbies?

Are you a member of any dodgy organisation?

Leaver /remainer? (got to add a bit of political interest)

Do your family live close?

Do they earn lots of money? (thinking about the wedding)

Do you like cats? (now this is important to me but feel free to substitute any pet here or if you don’t have a pet you can ask about any animal you like in general I guess… Just don’t come across as weird)

So the questions continue to we get to the crux of the visit…

Do you love my son /daughter? (delete as applicable)

Will you always look after them?

Are you planning a long life together?

Do you own a cardigan?

Do you think you can spend the rest of your life never wearing one…. ever?

There you have it. I have a complete and utter fear of the c- word things and the b-words (whispers button). I even hate typing the words. They make me feel physically sick and I must wash my hands if I touch one.

I don’t know how it started but my mum tells me I managed to “lose” every one she made me as a child.

I study people close to me and on tele to see if they have them on and I cannot focus on anything else till they have gone. Sounds stupid I know but it has been with me as long as I can remember.

I can’t understand how people can put them on (find an alternative damn you, there are some lovely jumpers and jackets or there) and it beggars belief how many there are out there in the world. If I ruled the world, they would be banned big style!

And why do people buy clothes that have buttons all over them for heavens sake. Have you seen the Tesco clothes range this winter… They’re f***ing every where!

Embrace zips peeps… They’re the way forward!

I have managed my entire life to avoid owning them and my poor family haven’t either. My hubby knows it’s more that his life’s worth to get one and my kids haven’t had one other than my son wanted one years ago when he discovered fashion and owned one briefly until I accidentally ruined it in the wash!

Also my pink one had one but only as she accused me of being cruel and I didn’t want to have to explain to Social Services the reasons why!

“Mrs Bailey, we have had a phone call from your daughter and she says you are being nasty. Can you explain?”

Me “Ummmm”

She finally put her foot down after years of wearing a school sweatshirt and insisting on having one as all her friends did. I had to give in to that but luckily she was old enough to put it on herself. We didn’t cuddle much that year!

This phobia has a name so that must mean there are others out there with the same affliction, saying that my nephew has an issue with this too… I’ve trained him well! It’s called Koumpouniphobia for what it’s worth.

This is a weird one I admit but I’ve looked into other phobias lately and there are some well – wacky ones around.

Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. Now I don’t like peanut butter so can’t relate to this but I do get a bit scared when I get a tangy cheese dorito wedged in there so kind of get the idea.

Oikophobia is a fear of kitchen goods. I really don’t get this one as I can’t think of any thing more exciting that getting a new white good in my kitchen, unwrapping it, putting the shelves where you want them, getting a huge whiff of that new plastic smell.

And then if you have bought a new fridge, you get to arrange your cheese, your eggs (that you know shouldn’t really be stored in the fridge but you have a new egg rack which means it must be legal), your Utterly Butterly, and your half drunk bottle of Zinfandel. This is your opportunity to clear out the salad drawer too, scrape off the dried cucumber from the bottom of the drawer and throw out the strawberries that used to be red and lovely but are now growing a new strain of penicillin that could kill all viruses known to man!

Any way back to the phobias…

Anatidaephobia is the fear of somewhere, somehow a duck watching you. Can’t quite figure this one out. I know they say you are always within 5 feet of a rat but what’s the chances of a duck being close by when you are walking through town on your way to Greggs to get your vegan sausage roll. I think this is a part time phobia, invented by a weirdo, or just for the people who live near water.

And finally, triskaidekaphobia which is an irrational fear of the number 13. How would a sufferer manage when they turn 13.

How old are you?

Guess?

15?

Lower….

14?

Lower….

12?

Higher….

This is the perfect way to lose friends so now this poor child is a triskaidekaphobic, autophobic with an unnatural fixation for Play Your Cards Right!

This list is endless. Google it, I bet you find some phobias you can relate to and you can add them to your CV.

Feel free to call in to chat about your new found phobias. Just do me a favour, wear a jumper……..

It’s just not cricket!

Following on from my previous blog about hobbies, I just remembered that my life is pretty damn full of another past time….I just forgot about it being old and all that!

Every summer from April to September I take on a magical role, a very important role (to some!) A role I have always wanted to do ….. I do tea and I’m proud!

Let me explain. My son has played cricket for many years now and if I say so myself, is a cracking bowler. Apparently he is a left hand spin bowler (for you cricket buffs out there) but to me he just chucks hard swervy balls at men (usually). So after a fair few years of his dad watching and encouraging him and trying to train him, (an impossible task as “Dad doesn’t know anything” but as soon as the coach says the same thing, it’s gospel!), dad decided to join him. Father and son combination – perfect I hear you say,…mmmm, that’s another story!

Anyhow my hubby, let’s call him Kevin cos that’s his name, used to play cricket in his younger years and was pretty good by all accounts. So he was dead chuffed to be back in the whites, which are now a bit grey as my washing machine says it has a whites cycle…it says so on the drawer thingy… but it doesn’t. It has a wool, silk, quick wash, tumble dry, colour, eat your sock and grey cycle but no white cycle that produces the results you see on tele where the presenter stands there holding up the whitest of t-shirts with a smug smile on her face. I have every conceivable whitening product in my cupboard too and they all lie to me. Or it could be that I am just s**t at laundry.

Sorry I’m wandering again. So he was like in a kid in a sweet shop now that he was playing again and soon got a bit too carried away. He wanted to aim for the heady heights of the cricketing world and decided he wanted to captain one of the teams at the cricket club they play at.

He put out some feelers, bribed those who could be bribed and blackmailed those who couldn’t! Hey presto, someone on the committee found it in their heart to nominate him and someone seconded the nomination so it was all above board, agreed, pucker and legal: he became the captain of the 4th’s team.

The 4th’s are a stalwart bunch of men/boys who love a social (and I use the word loosely) game of cricket on a Saturday afternoon. For anyone that thinks that cricket is a gentleman’s game, think on. I have been introduced to the world of sledging, which if happened outside your local nightclub at 3am would result in you having 7 kinds of s**t being kicked out of you but as it is during the game, it’s apparently all just banter!

Back to my story……Here began my new role. You see as captain, he is responsible for feeding the players in the middle of the game, in between the innings (that’s the break in the middle for those less-knowledgeable in the language of cricket). See I’m even learning the lingo!

Like I said, he is responsible for feeding the men: he is married to me: therefore any responsibility falls to me. Bit like his wages: he gets paid and he gives them to me …simples!

Anyway I’ve always wanted to do the teas and I finally get my chance to shine. It’s like as a child, I always wanted to work in a library as you get to stamp the books. Guess what, my dream came true. I work a few hours a week at a library where I not only stamp books, I get to scan them as well and wait for it, I get to use a till too. It’s like I work in a shop as well…bleep, bleep, stamp, kerching – could it get any better?

I thought this food-providing role would be a piece of cake (see what I did there?) but oh no, it is so stressful and my thoughts are with those tea ladies around Britain that have been doing this for years. As Spiderman’s uncle Ben once said “With great power comes great responsibility”… How true is this!

Even from day one, it’s caused derision in the ranks. I did a poll with the family – do I do the usual common or garden variety cricket tea of sandwiches and cake or do I take it up a notch and offer ploughmans? It may sound like a small decision to you but this could change the face of cricket fare as we know it!

The results were in – my daughter said traditional sandwiches, my hubby said “whatever” and my son said pizza and chicken nuggets! In the end I agreed with my daughter to try one of each, traditional and ploughman’s and check the feedback with the majority winning.

I lied… I went straight in with the ploughman’s because I pulled rank on my daughter! I have to be honest, it’s a pretty damn good spread, beautifully arranged and labelled. I must mention at this point that I do enlist the help of my pink one or a good friend (remember Heidi from a previous blog) to help where possible. Picture this….

Sliced and buttered Tiger bread, sliced cheese – 3 varieties of, sliced meats – 3 varieties of, crisps – 2 types of, mini hot savouries – 2 types of, pasta, salad – cucumber, celery, tomatoes and fruit – grapes, blueberries, strawberries, melons – 3 types, all beautifully displayed on a platter like a Monet vegetarian work of art, followed by a huge selection of cakes and biscuits.

I even provide a small gluten free option for those of a coeliac nature. Plus I also take requests. Just ask the guy who wanted olives. Guess what appeared in the antipasti section the following week?

Although the result is impressive by cold buffet standards, it all comes with a price. The players from both teams help themselves to the veritable feast, plate after plate and enjoy it (I’m basing this comment on feedback received. Ok I lie …. I loiter close by and listen out for the remarks which are normally about the fact that there is sliced roast beef!), but no one knows the misery and suffering that can go on behind the scenes.

They don’t see my living room from Tuesday onwards where I sit there watching my hubby trying to arrange a team by ringing and texting every bloke he can think of whilst not having time to communicate with me for 3 days!

They don’t see my face on a Friday night after a long day at work arriving at Tesco and struggling to find a £1 coin for the trolley.

They don’t see me wandering around Tesco knowing exactly want I need to buy, as I have meticulously worked out how many packets of everything I need, swiftly moving from one chiller to another gathering my raw ingredients.

They don’t see me having to adopt plan B when Tesco have run out of mini beef pasties and I need to find an alternative meaty product with the same satisfaction value as the pasty… No mean feat I can tell you. A sausage roll won’t cut it, it’s got to be so much more.

They don’t see me praying that I don’t receive The Phone Call.

They don’t see my face with The Phone Call comes in: the phone call of doom I call it. This is the call where my hubby tells me, very very gently, that the game is cancelled because of lack of men or lack of forecast sun.

They don’t see me having to retrace my steps around the shop replacing all the items I had gathered trying my hardest to look like I can afford them really. Do you know how long it takes me to slot 12 long tiger baguettes back into their rack without bending them in the middle…..2 minutes and 23 seconds…..2 of the longest minutes known to man.

They don’t see me having to do the walk of shame out of the shop with an empty trolley, like I’ve just had my bank card declined and I’ve had to leave my wine behind.

On a more positive note, when the game goes ahead and it all goes to plan, I get to prepare the lunch and I love it. I’ll set it all out perfectly in the club house, swat away the certain players that like to loiter over the ready salted Pringles and when the first innings is coming to an end, or the rain arrives, whichever comes first, I whip off the clingfilm and allow food wars to commence!

I think the club are happy with the job I do as I stick within budget (always a good thing) and I think hubby is happy as “wifey done good” and I’m quietly pleased with my work, although I’m sure there are plenty of wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, mothers, aunties and nans who do it a whole lot better.

And finally the most important thing is I think the players go away satiated, still happy in the fact they got to build their own sandwich with 6 slices of roast beef, 2 types of salami, 3 pickle onions and a handful of those oh-so-beautiful Pringles between 2 fat wedges of Tiger bread, followed by 1 piece of cucumber (because after all they are on a diet), 3 chocolate mini rolls and a cherry bakewell.

I’ve only had 1 complaint though during the 2 years I’ve been doing this. I’m not going to let it get me down although it did annoy me for a while but after a glass of red and a good talking to from the hubby, I moved on.

The complaint was that there was no Halal meat available. The complainant was a vegetarian. I’ll just leave that there……!

Another shameless plug. My men play for Newport Cricket Club, a fab group of people. Clubhouse available for hire and new players of all ages always welcome. Feel free to look them up.

Join the 4ths and you can get to try my ploughmans….

Womanhood…. Just my opinion! ❤️

After a random, quite funny comment from my hubby about stubble, where he just managed to survive, I’m sat here just thinking about the highs and lows of being a woman and of getting older….the benefits and pitfalls from ageing. The sad thing is, being a glass half empty kind of gal, all I can see is that the pitfalls far outweigh the benefits but I’m very happy to be proven wrong!

I’ve never been very high maintenance as a girl or as a woman. I keep telling my husband how lucky he is… He’s not falling for it!

I think I spent most of my energy on my hair. I’ve been alive for over 444,000 hours, asleep for about 130,000 of those, worked/schooled for maybe 150,000 of those precious hours which leaves 164,000. I reckon I have easily spent 20,000 hours on my hair.

This only leaves 6,000 days left in my life for everything else. Surely that’s not enough time to fit it all in? I’ve grown up, got married and raised two children in those 6,000 days. God I’m good!

My hair has a personality all of it’s own. If my hair were a person it would be Hagrid on a high…. Hairy and hyperactive!

It’s so wayward, when I was a teenager, my hairdresser (who I think was the only gay in the village) used to straighten my hair for me with a sheet of newspaper and an iron. It worked a treat but we looked very odd and I pity anyone walking past the window looking in and seeing a young girl bending over an ironing board while being smothered by the sport section of the Daily Mail!

My mum carried on this tradition until I left home and eventually bought my own very expensive straighteners. They were like a gift from the Gods. My hair felt so soft and flowy and I could swish it around like a Timotei advert!

I never dyed my hair until the greys started to get me down either. I hit the bottle and never looked back and now I have a fab hairdresser who tops me up on a regular basis. I trust her implicitly and regularly go home with different shades in my hair. I’m currently red and I blinking love it.

That’s about the only thing I do as far as maintenance goes except for the odd trip for eyebrow threading and the even more occasional trip for new nails.

In the last ten years I’ve noticed huge changes in myself, in myself and about myself. I’m gong to be brutally honest and hope that you have suffered the same inconvenience and embarrassment that I have otherwise I have totally just exposed myself as a laughing stock!

So first let’s look at the hair versus hormone situation. Why do men get balder as they get older but women sprout hairs in the most weird places? In the summer, you know, when you need to be beach ready, women of a certain age have more hairs on their chin than down below! On one of my trips to get threaded, the lady involved asked if I wanted my chin done too. When I refused she said “Are you sure?”!….Bitch.

Nowadays it’s all Brazilian’s. My foof is lucky if it sees a Bic razor twice a year…Once when summer begins and then a second time when I realised I had missed a bit! As for vajazzles, there are no diamantés within 50ft of my nether region.

I went to have my legs waxed, a few years ago now, and once I got over the initial embarrassment of being told that my leg/hair ratio was one of the worst she had ever seen, I let her start waxing. She started on the lower legs and all was bearable but then she went in at the top end. She plastered the wax on right up to my groin and then, whilst saying “right.. quick tug!” she pulled the strip off. I nearly punched her bl**dy lights out.

I ended up going home with one leg beautifully waxed and smooth and the other still looking like the Amazon rain forest. I finished the job at home and spent the next three weeks shaving the right leg until the hairs on the left leg caught up! I never went back…

Anyway I digress… Another thing I have noticed. We’re so forgetful it’s unreal. I can walk in a room for something and totally forget why I’m there, walk back out, forget why I walked out of the room I was just in, go back in and sit down like nothing happened.

I’ve lost my mobile phone, rang it from the land line three times, found it in the biscuit tin, looked at it and then wondered who’s being trying to ring me!

I’ve booked a holiday flying from Cardiff and booked the airport carpark in Bristol.

I’ve gone to the wrong theatre expecting to see War of the Worlds and got really confused why people were turning up with pink feather boas only to realise they were watching Mamma Mia!

There are so many incidents it’s unreal! My husband despairs.

Body shape is a huge issue for me too. I’ve never been thin and I’m ok ish with that now but my god how can I have changed shape? I used to have a shape, although 6″ too big on either side but now I’m all round in the middle. I put jeans on and look like f**king humpty dumpy!

Some older women can’t cough, or laugh, or sneeze, or run, or jump, or lift, or eat, or walk, or sleep (joking now!) without running the risk of having an oops moment so seeing as it’s not taboo any more (yeah right!), they bring out discreet underwear that makes you feel pretty..apparently!

If I had to wear paper pants, pretty is not a word I would use to describe myself. No amount of bows and butterflies printed on paper grits are going to make me feel pretty!

I’ve also noticed that I now wear flat shoes out of need, not out of choice. I have a huge collection of shoes, some of them with heels to die for and all I can do now is put them on and prance about in front of the wardrobe as there is no way I could negotiate the stairs in them, let alone the front path and the world beyond. I look awesome in them and love my shoes immensely but I am trapped in my bedroom when I wear them!

Now this all may sound like doom and gloom and to be honest, it’s s**t but there are positives to getting older too.

I am way more sassier than I have ever been. I always say I’m two kids braver and will say what’s on my mind rather than keep quiet.

I don’t care what people think about me. Well I do but not as much as I used to. I don’t let it bother me for as long as it would have before. Either that or I forget about it! I know some people don’t like me but that is their loss. I also have issues with a few people out there so fair’s fair I guess!

I am the first to make fun of myself now. I never used to. I used to dread being insulted but I’ve learnt that it’s better to get in there first with the insults rather than have someone tease you and upset you. Get in there first and knock yourself and watch the awkwardness on their face…. Great fun!

As I have gotten older I’ve tried to do something as each decade passes.

For my 30th, I had just had my first born so I was feeling very sore, fat, tired beyond belief and depressed so I think the fact that I got up every day and we all survived is enough for that decade!

For my 40th I took the Mensa test and passed it. I joined Mensa thinking it would change me as a person but despite being apparently very logical, I am thick as s**t. You can’t fix stupid can you!

For my 50th I had some lush photos done. It was a daunting experience and I don’t think I could do it again. Having my hair and make up done and seeing the final prints was fantastic and very empowering but the photographer made me pose in positions I never thought humanly possible. It’s 8 months on and I’m still limping!

Any way I have 9 years to come up with something memorable to do for my 60th. I’ve not thought of anything yet except for the usual parachute jump etc so answers on a postcard please….

Fit to drop!

I’ve often wondered what a fifty-something woman is meant to do for a hobby. What do us older ladies like to get up to? I am definitely not someone who will sit at home and knit or crochet (that’s another blog entirely) and I’m not at all talented in the artistic department, the culinary department, the gardening department or any other section of the Good Hobbies Guide.
I had no hobbies other than my children and wine so as middle age loomed, I joined a gym. I only picked this gym as it has a little teeny weeny room upstairs which they called the Ladies Gym and I was quite happy with that as I was too afraid to mix with the bigger boys! I was very dedicated, even sometimes being brave enough to venture downstairs and use the big boy equipment when no one was looking. I realised pretty quickly that it wasn’t such a big deal as the men spent most of their time staring at themselves in those giant mirrored walls, doing the pose where they look like they have lost the boxes they were carrying and pulling macho grrrr faces whilst repeating the mantra “Look at me, I’m an Adonis”.

The girls that were already brave enough to venture downstairs were the sort that wore incredibly small and expensive bits of Lycra with ticks on them, whereas mine had Tesco Value printed on the arse pocket, and spent their time straddling the benches pulling the duck face pouts that we all know and love! The only exercise that happened was the strenuous task of posting selfies. I was very dedicated for a long time but soon realised that just because I went 3 times a week, sitting on the exercise bike for 45 minutes and covering 5km whilst playing WordBrain and Two Dots wasn’t exactly achieving the goddess-like body I hankered after!

I upped my game a bit and joined a Pilates class which I loved alot and would have kept going to but the instructor decided that Yeovil needed pilates more than we did. Any way it was probably a good thing it came to an end as every session I ran the risk of passing wind every time I did the hundred position. My arse muscles had a cracking work out every Wednesday! It did actually happen in class though, not to me I might add but to this man who came with his good lady. We were all trying to balance on our knees on gym balls. Well he let one rip didn’t he. His poor wife was mortified and couldn’t make eye contact with anyone. He just fell off all his ball and led on the floor in hysterics and we all tried to carry on balancing while pretending that nothing had happened. We failed dismally. There were balls everywhere. It was carnage. Yeovil benefited not long after.

Then, after stalking a friend of mine on Facebook, we’ll call her Liz, I discovered a Poundfit class existed near me. I have always wanted to do Poundfit as I thought this would satisfy the inner rock goddess inside me. I never got a drum set as a child but could listen to a drum solo for a looooong time… It makes my insides go gooey, you know the feeling!

As an aside I’ve always wanted to do Kangoo too but this would involve my bits bouncing up and down and I have yet to find a sports top strong and durable enough to contain my curvy (!) belly and my bad boys! Any way I digress. I signed up for Poundfit and went along to my first class. It was everything I hoped for and more. I was allocated a rubber mat and two drum sticks, or for those in the know, rip stix (get me!). I stood there waiting for the first song full of eagerness and excitement. The music started and the very lovely and very  bendy instructor, we’ll call her Kelly tested her microphone. I started to find my groove and then every one there burst into a fantastically rehearsed routine banging sticks to the left, to the right, up above, down below, double time, and repeat.

Well I tried to keep up, I really did but I know deep down I looked like Steve Martin in The Jerk. I still loved it though and I still go now. I even signed up a good friend, Heidi, to come with me. She has anger issues (personally I think she’s psychopathic but I’m too afraid to ask her!) so now we both stand there, on our allocated mats, pounding our sticks frantically in an attempt to relieve the stresses and strains of the previous day/week/lifetime.

I should add at this point I’m no Jane Fonda and while adrenaline does wondrous things and makes me feel that I look like The Green Goddess (showing my age now!) , I actually look like Mrs Trunchball in lycra but you know what, I actually don’t care! I love Poundfit…. It’s my thang!

I did also try Strong. Bad mistake. I went to my first (and only) class alone, which was very brave of me because I’m actually a very socially awkward person (read wall flower/boring) . The first song came on, I stretched, I jumped, I bounced, I pointed, I planked, I touched the floor, I touched the ceiling, I touched the outer echelons of hell and died a thousand deaths. Then the instructor said, whilst breathing normally, hair immaculate and not even breaking a sweat, “that’s the warm up over ladies”. It was a very long hour but I did win a goody bag which I think was their way of apologising for near – killing me and saying “it’s ok, you don’t have to come back”! I haven’t been back yet….

I had a go at Boxercise too. This was just as  awesome as Poundfit and it was like punching your friend but with permission. Again perfect for those with stressful lives! I can’t listen to a rendition of Jump Around by House of Pain without stopping in my tracks and leaping around like a loony whilst counting 1, 2, 3, 4! I even possess my own boxing gloves which kind of makes me feel really hard despite the fact that they now live under my stairs waiting for their next outing!

Anyway enough about me. No doubt in January 2019, every gym class in Britain will be over subscribed with those fantastically positive people that fully intend to get fit and losing those extra pounds whilst wearing the new Fitbits they had for Christmas which they have synced with their phone, their tablet and their nan’s microwave. Some of the same said people will be gone by March back to eating 3 packets of cheese and onion crisps, 2 slice of leftover cold pizza and a Snickers bar for breakfast after trading their Fitbit in Cex for the DVD box set of Game of Thrones, but good luck to them I say. Do what makes you happy. If exercise doesn’t float your boat, something else will I’m sure.

Now for the shameless plug…. All these fab classes I’ve talked about are run by an awesome bunch of very fit and very friendly people calling themselves Evolve Fit, headed up by  Clare, the Bootcamp queen and her other half Paul the Plank guy… The Romeo and Juliet of the fitness world.  Other health clubs are available! If you live near me look ’em up and join us. I’ll keep you a mat, just in case……

Boxing day buffet blues!

So I had my Christmas food order delivered by a well known supermarket chain today. I do this every year as ‘every little helps’ when it comes to planning Christmas. I made that huge mistake of ticking the box to accept substitutions.

Now before my delivery was made, Judith from the supermarket rang me to check my card details. You’d think she could have checked with me at the time whether I was happy to accept her random selection but no, she chose to leave me sweat.

My food order arrived early, while I was still out but now I know why. They were too afraid to face me knowing that they had ruined my boxing day buffet expectations. They knew if I was home I’d be checking that delivery list and checking it twice!

Somehow they knew that my innocent son was home alone and so naive to that dreaded ticked substitutions box and the race that ensues between you and the delivery driver. You have the time it takes the delivery person to deliver all the crates to your front door, to empty all the bags from the crates singlehandedly and check that list for substitutions and agree to these!

It’s no mean feat because believe me, the delivery gods are highly trained. They’ll throw you off course by making small talk, anything to avert your gaze from the substitute section. This time they won….

I requested a large grown up sharing bag of chive and onion flavour crisps. I was sent a six pack of pickled onion flavour crisps!

I requested a beautiful camembert in the box ready to be baked. They sent me mozzarella!

I requested melt in the mouth chocolate mini puddings for those of us with a sweet tooth. They sent me nacho chicken bites!

Finally I requested cocktail cherries for my lovely retro snowballs. They sent me glacé cherries!

You can imagine my seasonal spread can’t you. Stinky crisps, a soggy ball of cheese sliding off my cheese board, no deserts in sight and Christmas drinks with sticky cherries in the bottom. It’s not the impression I was aiming for!

I thought my substitutes were bad but then I heard today that another supermarket where you can save money and live better, substituted a certain household cleaner (sounds like whiff!) with shoe polish! You couldn’t make it up could you!

So today’s life lesson is if you tick the box, you had better be prepared to face the consequences!

Merry Christmas you beautiful people. Buffet at mine Boxing Day…..!