Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Five reasons why I am a bad blogger

Since I started blogging back in June I have been feeling my way like a blind woman through the blogosphere trying to decipher its secret language, learn its customs and conform to its codes.

As the year comes to a close I think it’s only fair that I come clean about the things I have struggled with.

You maybe sniggering at this point.....only five reasons? Well free to point out any I’ve missed….

1) I don’t reply to every comment
2) I don’t know what a meme is
3) I don’t really do the award thing
4) I cannot work out any of the social networking stuff
5) My site is severely low tech



# 1 Comments

This is a biggie. Do you reply to every comment?
Well it seems some very conscientious bloggers do, but is this necessary? On the one hand it’s very nice to see your name with a little note beside it on someone else’s blog because it makes you feel special. But on the other hand if they respond to every comment, because they are polite, lovely people, this also means that you are not at all special.

If I don’t get a response I’m not personally offended. But maybe others are? Maybe one loses readers because people feel neglected? What is good blog etiquette?

I suspect there is no clear directive on this. For example, take Dooce; how the hell would that woman respond to everybody? And if, as I suspect, she doesn’t respond to everybody, then does that put an end to my ‘reader neglect’ theory? This one will probably have me pondering during the whole of 2010 too.

#2 The meme

If you say a word often enough it loses its meaning. I also find that if you don’t know what a word means or don’t know how to pronounce it, the word becomes really fucking irritating. I see this word ‘meme’ everywhere and it taunts me like a private joke in a party of three. ‘Wordless Wednesday’ had the same effect on me, until I looked it up. So the other day I looked up ‘meme’. This is what Wikipedia had to say

A meme (pronounced /ˈmiːm/, rhyming with "cream"[1]) is a postulated unit of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena.”

….yeah, thanks for that Wikipedia – you really cleared that one up for me. The only thing I learnt from that was that it rhymes with cream, which has now only added to my confusion.

#3 Awards

OK. I think I have fucked a few people off with this one. Here’s my problem with awards. If I win an award I need to go up on a stage in an amazing outfit and hold a piece of glass/perspex in my hand to feel that I have really won an award. I need to have beaten others in my catergory. I need to have been to the hairdressers for the occasion.

Now, I understand that blog ‘awards’ are a way of bloggers acknowledging and complimenting one another. I am not going to lie and say that I don’t like receiving them because I do. But here’s the thing: I resent being told that I now have to pass it on to ten other people. I resent being told that I have to tell you 5 of my biggest secrets and what I dreamt about last night. It’s like those really irritating e-mails that go round teling you ‘I don’t often pass these things on but this one REALLY works’ before telling you to forward some sappy friendship poem to ten people, including the person who sent it to you. Fuck off!!!!

Many of you maybe thinking at this point – calm down Troutie, it’s only a bit of fun! You’re right. I should just chill out. But when another blogger impresses me, I just say so. I just mention them in my blog and link them and say, I really liked this.

For example: I really liked this: Mommy has a headache, Not waving but ironing

My final word on awards. Please feel free to send me one. I will genuinely appreciate it and I will thank you and link you and love you, just don’t expect me to join in with the rest of the rituals because I am one stubborn bitch who hates being told what to do. And besides, I think you get to know quite enough true things about me already, I’m a fairly no-holds-barred kind of girl.

#4 Social networking

I am on Facebook but I rarely use it. I would prefer to remain fairly anonymous in blog land. I thought about setting up a fanpage (delusions of grandeur?). But none of it did what I wanted it to do and I ended up getting very frustrated.

Ok. So then I look at the Twitter homepage. It says ‘search’ but I have to search by theme. So I can’t for example follow a particular celebrity – say Stephen Fry, who I know likes to tweet? Accepting this and moving on from it, I still don’t find Twitter engaging or easy to use.

I just don’t get it! Maybe this makes me a total moron? Maybe that’s Ok. Anymore time spent at my computer and my life might really fall apart.

#5 My low-tech site

Your lucky if you get a picture folks, that’s all I’m saying. I would like to get a nice design and stuff but …….

…….it’s all on my ‘Things to do in the New Year List’.
I'm unlikely to be around much over the next few days, a cocktail in one hand and child in the other. I'll be checking comments but unlikely to post much. So, in the meantime, thanks to everyone who has visited my site and thanks to those who left comments, awards and were generally nice to me in my first year of blogging. You’re all either drunk or crazy. I’m usually both. Thanks for reading!

Angels and Demons

During these last few snow-sprinkled days I have been gadding about Hackney in my fake fur Russian hat. There’s something about snow which calls for glamour, even in Hackney.

Really I should be doing a Part Two to my first Christmas Post. But then I ask myself, does anyone care about my time swap with my sister and the coffee chocolates I’ll never get round to making this Christmas? The answer is probably, like fuck they will. I’ve definitely moved on from my Mumsy Christmas phase. Sorry about that folks - normal service has now resumed.


Now, you might know that I am a stinge bag when it comes to my son and presents; so it will come as no surprise to you that this is genuinely what I’ll be making him this Christmas.



Get yourself an empty water bottle. Fill it with nonsense: old buttons, broken necklaces, rubber bands, things from Christmas crackers that are lying in your messy draw. Give it to your child to shake. Watch their delighted little faces.

Reminder: he is one and easily pleased. For children up to eighteen I suggest a large cardboard box.

Now to the angel at the top of my tree……

London City Mum suggested that said angel is a fertility symbol. If this is so, I didn’t realise it. It was purchased many years ago from an Oxfam shop for 70p. I have always loved it.

To cut a long story short, when I was 24, I went to build a house in the Caribbean with Mr. Wasted Years. Because of our immigration status we had to come home for a short period every six months. I left this statue in our house to safeguard it but I didn’t see it again for many years because I never went back.

Recently I had the urge to be reunited with the statue. Mr. Wasted Years (a white, middle-class man, since you ask) got married (to a West Indian woman while we’re on the subject) and mutual friends went out for the celebrations. I asked them if the statue still existed and if so, would they bring it back? So, a couple of weeks later the statue and I were reunited. I haven’t quite found her a permanent, child-proof home yet, but I thought that after being separated for seven years she should be given pride of place on our tree where she can watch over us all.


If only statues could talk……..

Monday, 21 December 2009

All blinged out in Hackney

This time last year my son was just three months old. My tree was covered in silver and blue baubles, blue lights and blue ribbons. But this year it's all about me.......

It struck me a while back that I hadn’t worn any jewellery for ages. I have tons of the stuff which since becoming a mum I rarely wear. So this year I decided to get it out and hang it on my tree. Bling! Bling! Bling!

I had invited my friend Miss Stitchie round for sherry, mince pies and tree dressing last weekend but when my Christmas Ocado delivery arrived on Thursday night (Yes, I now I can't really afford Ocado but it's Christmas), out came the sherry and before I knew it the tree that I got out 'just to put the lights on' was suddenly dripping in jewels. Luckily Stitchie forgave me and even helped me to make two wreaths with greenery collected from our local overgrown cemetery.



So here is the blinging tree I created whilst drunk on sherry ......





The mask, I wore to a ball at the Venice Carnival in 2008. It's significant for two reasons. Firstly because this is how damn glamorous I used to be. Secondly, it was after this holiday that I became pregnant.




The outfit seen here, included an enormous brooch, now on my tree......



...and pearls and diamante buckles....


Lots of the other stuff on my tree I made out of broken jewellery and old bits of silk.






Also on my tree is reams of my grandmother's vintage crocheted lace, broken chandelier drops, bangles and bows.



Last but not least a fairy who if she could talk, would tell you a thousand tales......


Many thanks to Miss Stitchie who made these beauties for me from an old jumper and real pearls!



And also for my cemetery wreaths!


Merry Blingin' Christmas to one and all!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Get your gingham apron on folks, it's Troutie's Christmas Post - Part One

I went a bit funny in the head before I wrote this blog. I came over all Martha Stewart/Delia Smith with a splash of Keith Floyd. You’re probably going to hate it. So feel free to go to someone else’s blog right now.

Firstly, like a good cook washes her hands, I’m going to cleanse my soul with this honest offering. I’m sorry for what I’m about to say, but here goes.

Sometimes I harbour real anti-mummy blog feelings. There you go, I said it. I don’t want muffin recipes and crafting tips and competitions for a breast pump and to hear how many bowel movements your son had today. I just don't.

I want to win a year's subscription to Scarlet Magazine, a case of rum and tickets to the next Dancehall Queen Competition in Jamaica.

But right now the sprit has got me. I’m not necessarily talking about the spirit of Christmas or the kind of spirit one gets in a bottle. I’m talking about the ‘Mum Spirit’. The desire to cleanse, nurture, nourish and indulge. (No, I'm not pregnant - we established that in the last post). Anyway, whatever the reason for my sudden domestic goddess desires, here it is my homelovin’, homecookin’, real bitch of a Christmassy tips and hints kind of post -Part 1.

PRE-CHRISTMAS LIFESTYLE

I admire and respect the ideas behind Ramadan, but I know I don’t have what it takes to fast. This is due to a distinct lack of willpower or religious incentive. However; I alway feel uneasy about Christmas excesses, so I decided to have a month from 23rd November to 23rd December where I lived a more frugal life by doing the following things:


Paying attention to using up leftovers and eating up everything in my cupboards/fridge so I don’t throw out food.

Buying less food; spending less money

Eating less sweet, salty and fatty fatty boom boom foods

Eating more simple dishes with seasonal ingredients

Recycling things (more than usual)


Yeah, well I am trying…….. my freezer and cupboards are emptying. The simple dishes with seasonal ingredients is a tough one (is a mince pie 'seasonal'?) Steering clear of salty/sugary treats is also hard (does it count if someone else buys them for you?). I am definitely buying less food, but can't see this translating to spending less money. All in all 'could do better' - just can't seem to give up wine.......although I have cut down (does this sound like denial to you?).

Anyway, once I come off my regime I’ll be hittin’ the hard stuff in spectacular style. So if you fancy joining me for a tipple here are a few Christmas drink recipes from moi.

DRINKS

I think Cosmos are really Christmassy with their cranberry and citrus flavours, so here’s the recipe from the International Bartenders Association.

THE COSMOPOLITAN
Vodka Citron
Cointreau
Fresh Lime juice
Cranberry juice
Add all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into large martini glass. Garnish with lime slice. (although personally I prefer the orange peel garnish- also I have removed the measures. Come on who needs measures...just keep trying until you get it right!)


Because there is a strong Jamaican influence in my household, I loved the look of this Rum N’ Ginger cocktail courtesy of The Guardian.

RUM N' GINGER
Fill glasses with ice, pour in two slugs of good rum (preferably Appleton Special). Top up with ginger beer, squeeze two chunks of fresh lime.


Another one I’m going to try this year is Swedish Glogg. Ever since I had a short holiday in Stockholm a few years back I've been fond of this winter warmer which, if done right, can pack a real freaking punch and make you hallucinate moose.


SWEDISH GLOGG
Makes about 1 gallon (those are more my kind of measures)
1.5 litre bottle of inexpensive dry red wine
1.5 litre bottle of inexpensive port
1 bottle of inexpensive brandy or aquavit
10 inches of stick cinnamon
1 Tablespoon cardamom seeds
2 dozen whole cloves
Peel of one orange
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup blanched almonds
2 cups sugar
Garnish with the peel of another orange

Heat it up and drink!

TREATS

Now, usually you wouldn't catch me putting any kind of biscuit recipe on this blog whatsoever but in keeping with my theme today, I just loved this idea from Annabel Karmel.


Next time........ I'll be bringing you the perfect gift for your young child and inexpensive yet blinging ways to decorate your tree.

In the meantime.......... I loved 'Little Green Fingers' post about Kirstie Allsop. And now I'm off to blow my own glass baubles, stuff my turkey, erect my tree, weave my own christmas linens, polish my silver and gild some fruit.

What might have been......

I’ve been a bit quiet of late. I scarcely know where the time has gone. I have hardly had time to keep tabs on my own blog, let alone anyone else’s.

So, this past week I’ve rescued a man from his own van, endured a confusing few days thinking I was pregnant and bumped into Chocolate man – this time face to face.

Dealing with these in chronological order:

On Wednesday I woke up extremely late and as I rushed out of my flat I heard knocking coming from the back of a white van parked outside.

“Hello? Can you help me please? I’ve locked myself in the back of my van.”

It was barely 8.15. All I could think about was that if I did open this door I could be dragged by the wrist into the back of this white van and mercilessly murdered. Worse still, I thought, I could be taken to an underground bunker and used as a sex slave by someone lacking in social skills and sporting a very bad haircut.

Do I try to open this van door? Is this a genuine cry for help or just a pervert looking for his next victim?

I conversed with the trapped gentleman for a few moments trying to ascertain whether my naive attempt at being a good samaritan would result in me giving birth to his children, in a damp dungeon, years from now. Would I end up being interviewed by Lorraine Kelly once I had been rescued? Would I actually end up being fond of my captor? This was all way too much for 8.15 in the morning. I decided to attempt the rescue, all the time thinking about the things I could use to defend myself, were it necessary. I had quite a bit of agression in me that morning and felt confident that I could probably kick the shit out of anyone if I had to.

The door was not quite shut but not quite open. It was fixed firmly, jammed in an in-between stage.

“It’s new van you see….” , said the man inside.

I tugged and pulled at the handle, twisted the key, pushed the key in, pulled it out a little - was there a knack to this? I tried banging the handle, gently squeezing the handle, brute force, flirtatious coaxing. Nothing seemed to work. He kicked from the inside; I pushed from the outside. I was tiring and on the verge of giving up and calling the fire brigade when finally it popped open. Out stepped a very thin man on the verge of a panic attack, thanking me profusely. I was a little upset that it hadn’t been one of those really arrogant white van men, reduced to tears by the prospect of dying in the back of his own van. This guy was actually quite nice. Needless to say, I haven’t been tied up all week performing sexually depraved acts. Instead I have spent most of this week convinced I was pregnant………

There’s not really a lot to be said about this. I went through the usual to-ing and fro-ing, the am-I-aren’t-I deliberations. Mentally I made space in my life for another human being and listed the things not to throw out. I mean, for god’s sake, I have just started to get my life back; I have just got my figure back; I have no intentions of getting pregnant right now!

Then of course the moment you find out that you aren’t pregnant you are filled with what might have been. Then comes the sadness, the sense of emptiness and then I hate myself. I hate the fact that I can think rationally in my brain and yet there is something else controlling me. It’s not my heart. It’s some kind of fucking biological magnetism. It’s like being part of the sea, drawn by the tide, pulled by the moon. It leaves me feeling like I am not master of my own destiny.

So before this rant gets anymore painfully intense this is a good time to bring up Chocolate Man, who on Friday afternoon around 4.30 is knocking off work and walking straight towards me. I had been on a long walk with Miss Stitchie.

“Keep walking and talking” I say to her, spotting him in the distance. This, of course, does not work because he has those eyes which are constantly roving, scanning the landscape for fresh meat.

I look neither my worst nor my best. We pass a few casual sentences. He seems genuinely pleased to see me and wishes me well with sincerity. He is impressed that I have produced a son and I am impressed that he actually remembers my name. I leave feeling just a little bit fond of him and also feeling that he is actually very short.

There are many things in my life that make me wonder what might have been. He is not one of them. This is probably the very reason why I can afford to feel just that little bit fond of him.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

PVC and a Turkey

My last post managed to include both sex and chocolate. This post isn’t nearly as good, but it does include PVC and a Turkey, so you may want to click your mouse at this point and get your kicks elsewhere….

Last weekend I was doing this



.........and this





Then this week I did this......




......and more of this





Yes, I too think that two spa dates in one week is a bit too much. Well…the second one was more of a one hour thing rather than a spa day. It was actually a maternity present from my colleagues which, if I didn’t cash it in soon, would have run out.

I didn’t really enjoy this one as much. Not because the Clarins Skin Spa at House of Fraser isn’t nice but it’s just that having a massage and then stepping out onto Oxford Street isn’t really that relaxing and the whole time she was giving me my 'Aromatic Full Body Balancer' I just kept thinking......




"Oh my god she's touching my feet, I should have pumiced them, I should have shaved my armpits and my legs and waxed my bikini line."




My masseuse on the other hand was pretty and polished and asked suitably vacuous questions punctuated by that beauty therapist laugh which must be a part of their NVQ or something. I have nothing against beauty therapists – indeed some of my best friends are beauty therapists - but this one was your stereotypical beautiful-but-blank type although not at all bad at her job, which is of course the important thing, as let's face it, I didn't go there to chat about foreign policy or climate change.

Anyway, I left the Skin Spa smelling damn good, if feeling a little oily.

I also saw Selfridges Christmas Window and the Oxford Street Christmas lights, neither of which can just be decorative anymore, now they have to advertise something as well, like Jim Carrey's latest movie.

This was my favourite window, nevertheless...


Last night I had dinner with Chanel No. 5 and Helena Rubenstein, who is finally pregnant.

“How far gone are you?” says Chanel No. 5

“Four and a half months” says Rubenstein.

“Well done.” says Chanel No.5 who finds anything to do with children very challenging. She follows this up with an anxious look as if to say “Did I say the right thing?” She may be wearing the latest Chanel nail polish genuinely effortlessly, but she is useless when it comes to responding to pregnant people.


“Everybody’s going crazy about that colour.” Says Rubenstein looking at Chanel's nails, “I knew you’d have it, it’s become so popular that there’s a waiting list. How did you get it?”

Chanel No. 5 is genuinely surprised by this. “I just walked into Selfridges and bought it.” she says.

Dinner was an unusually restrained affair. Rubenstein did well to stay out past 9pm and Chanel No. 5 was getting over the very recent death of her dog. Between us we drank one beer, one glass of Pinot Grigio, one glass of desert wine and a large bottle of mineral water plus a jug of tap water. Most of the alcohol was consumed by yours truly.

Last time we went out we sank about twelve cocktails. Rubenstein thinks this may have been when she got pregnant.

On this occasion, Fatty here, ate the full three courses, finishing off with sticky toffee pudding and was at home with her parents by 10.30. Not knowing quite what to do with myself, I went to bed and had a really amazing sleep.

Following on from my post about hotpants, Cupcake posed another interesting one this week: PVC.

“I’ve bought some PVC Olivia Newton-John type trousers, a see –through lace top and I’m wearing those with some killer heels this weekend.” She said to me while I was in Marks and Sparks deliberating over a Tuna or a Chicken and Bacon sandwich. She waited for my response until she was worried that we had been cut off.

“Are you still there?” she said

“Yes.” I said. “It’s just that you’ve silenced me. I’m really trying to think of a way to respond to that statement diplomatically. I think it’s safe to say that you’re still in that period where you’re not sure who you are after having a baby.”

“I haven’t worn PVC in years” she said

“I last wore it at the millennium,” I said “and there’s a reason for that. Surely PVC is just wrong?”

I have no idea how this story ends and it’s very possible that she pulled it off in that indomitable Cupcake style. Anyway, as soon as I know, you’ll know.

Meanwhile, prepare yourself for two things: Firstly my backpacking-with-baby adventures where I’ll be introducing a new friend of mine “Miss Stitchie” and secondly; my upcoming Christmas post where I am going be very un-Troutie like and more like Delia...........only better.

I watched her Christmas programme the other day and apart from wearing a really bad top she actually said, whilst thrusting sausage meat into the cavity of a bird:

“I’ve never had a dry Turkey in my life.”

Monday, 30 November 2009

The Chocolate Man

On Saturday, for some unknown reason, I was incredibly horny. I wanted to shag everything that moved. Even the things I didn’t find attractive.

For example, in ‘Jamie’s Italian’, Brighton, I accidentally offered to ‘eat’ one of the bartenders. No, this was not outrageous flirting after one too many cosmopolitans; it was a genuine mistake.

Anyway, while we’re on the subject I promised Josie that I would explain my sexual antics with a local bus driver. So here’s the story:

Shortly before I met Bushman I was a Document Controller at a rail company. Yes, it was just as boring as it sounds. So to relieve the boredom, I started a mild flirtation with the man who wheeled round the chocolate trolley at 3pm. He wasn’t really my type, he was too short and a bit of a Mediterranean tart. On the plus side, he had a pert bottom, full lips, a sexy accent and he started giving me free chocolate. One day in the lift (limited room when the trolley was in there too) he launched himself at me and asked me out on a date. The evening ended with him drunkenly sucking my earring in the back of a taxi and begging me to sleep with him. This understandably didn’t turn me on.

Nevertheless, the candy kept flowing and he started showing me where he kept his chocolate (in the chocolate cupboard, no less) and this kind of sealed the deal. One thing led to another until we could no longer keep fumbling in the chocolate cupboard and going up and down in the lift groping one another. Eventually I agreed to sleep with him.

Having been in a relationship for ten years from the age of sixteen (see the Wasted Years), I was new to the casual fling. I knew he slept around and I made it clear to him that he didn’t need to lie to me about anything because I wasn’t in love with him. This made things kind of fun.

He suggested we get a hotel and although I was doing my best to model myself on Kim Cattral in Sex and the City, I was still naïve enough to think that he would actually stay for the whole night. Which is why I wasn’t too concerned when I didn’t get my full quota the first time round. We’ve got all night, I thought. And trust me ladies and gents, if there’s one thing I can do, its get to the top of that mountain.

While I was contemplating how to diplomatically point out that he hadn’t fulfilled his part of the deal, to my surprise he was putting on his boots. It was 3am.

The best part of this story is how he made his graceful exit.

“I need to go to the fish market to buy prawns for my Auntie” he said.

Now that is one fucking unique line to use on a lady.

It’s probably not so unusual for Chocolate Man to bump into someone he has slept with. But for me, there are very few men floating around this planet who have had the good fortune to spend the night with me. So when one of them turns up in my neighbourhood, driving a bus and honking his horn at me, forgive me if I’m a little taken aback.

I’ve been so caught up fulfilling my promises to women (unlike some) I haven’t even had time to tell you about my weekend spa antics. Unfortunately, I need to go to the fish market now to buy some prawns for my Auntie.

So you’ll just have to wait……..

Friday, 27 November 2009

Ganja, sex with bus drivers, hotpants and a spa


This morning, on my way into work, I accidentally walked into a cloud of ganja. Stereotypically it was blown into my face by a young, black man loitering outside my workplace. I pictured myself being mauled by the security dogs on the other side of the gate. Luckily there were no dogs. It made me think that I could have inhaled a lot more and got away with it. Accidental inhalation sounds like a really shit excuse but is totally possible.

Last Tuesday morning my fate was much worse. Pasty-faced, bleary-eyed and with dirty, greasy hair and shit clothes I was standing at the cross roads near my house waiting for the green man. This pause gave me time to consider my appearance and hope to god that I didn’t see anyone I knew. Just as this thought was making its way across my mind I heard a bus sound its horn as it passed me by. I caught a glimpse of the driver and thought to myself. Jesus Christ. I’ve had sex with that man. He gawped and gesticulated wildly, most probably howling with laughter at my apparent demise. I was mortified and considered throwing myself under the next vehicle that came along. This should prompt me to tell you all about Chocolate man, but I'll have to save that for another time.

Now a question for you all: when should a woman give up her hotpants? I was pondering on this yesterday while buying some woolly tights in a department store. I overheard one member of staff say to the other, as she put down the phone to a customer,

“Jesus. She’s 28 and she wants a pair of hotpants so that she can go out and bag a man!”

I almost said something, because, let’s face it, there are so many things one could say about that statement! I’ll leave that one with you…..

Thankfully, I’m off to a cheap and cheerful spa tomorrow for some relaxation with Cupcake and a very pregnant Victoria Sponge. So please forgive me if I leave you now to go and pack my bag which I believe still has stuff in it from my Manchester trip because yes, I really am that shit.


VK2CS36SZN8X

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Wha’ Gwan? Yeah Blaaad.

This post was inspired by Potty Mummy's notes on Hackney Patois.

Wha Gwaan, people?

A friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, didn’t have a clue that when her daughter talked about “blazing it” the other day, that it meant that her daughter had been smoking weed. My friend is no wallflower. It’s fair to say she’s partied hard and experienced life. She’s a cool Mum, but even cool mums find it hard to keep up with the way young people speak.

My working life has meant that I’ve learned a lot of slang. Add to that my knowledge of Patois and I can just about keep up with street talk. I don’t necessarily want everyone I work with to know why I understand Patois, so I lie to them.

For example, a few weeks back, when a girl claimed she was going to 'shank' someone (i.e she was going to stab someone) I was able to challenge her, much to her open-mouthed surprise. When questions were asked as to how I'd understood her, I just said:

"I studied Patois at university." I was lying through my teeth.

The girl and her friends tested me and after some further blagging on my part, they bought it.

Then they kept egging me on.

“Can you talk it? Can you talk it? Go on let us hear it… Go on…. Go on!”

I turned round and said to them in my poshest voice.

“I think you’ll find that’s GWAAAAN!”

…….ending on a gravelly Jamaican tone, my impression had them falling about laughing. This was probably because after being with a Jamaican for nearly six years, I can do a pretty accurate impression, which is totally at odds with the posh, middle-class, twat with zero credibility that they think I am.

One point to Miss, then.

On a more serious note, it’s my biggest fear that my son will trade on his Jamaican roots and become a ‘Jafaican’. I cannot bear affected Jamaican accents. Most young people who use Hackney Patois don't even realise half of the things they are saying.

It’s hilarious though because on my last trip to Jamaica I just started talking Anglo-Patois (not to be confused with Hackney Patois!) out of a frustrated desire to be understood. It was instinctive. It was also strangely appreciated by Bushman’s brother, who giggled when he realised why we were communicating so much better. I think there’s just a time and a place for it......... Jamaica, to be precise.

Perhaps you can understand why I might be tempted by the posh nursery? I seriously had an 19 year old woman in my class the other day who thought that 'Ethiopian' was just a word for skinny, black people. When faced with this kind of educational vacuum on a daily basis and people threatening to 'shank' one other, you can see why sometimes I have this desire to wrap my son up in cotton wool and put him in the posh drawer. Then
, at other times I am tempted to shut his fingers in the door or throw him in the swimming pool so that he learns to swim.

So, searching for this perfect balance in my parenting, I might send my son to two different nurseries for one day a week each. I’m now on the look out for somewhere tough, rough and ready. Wish me luck, yeah blaaaad.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Very Healthy Eyes

Or at least I did have until I walked into Moorfields Eye Hospital on Tuesday night.

“Married or single?” says the receptionist.

“Neither” I say, when really what I want to say is,

“What the hell has that got to do with my eyes?”

I knew that there was possibly nothing wrong with my eyes. I can tell you the number of a bus from about 400 yards. But I kept getting intermittent blurry vision (no, not from drink) and the doctor suggested I go to Moorfields Eye Hospital with a letter. I had so much other stuff going on that I honestly didn’t get the chance to go until this week (three weeks’ later) by which time it had sort of disappeared.

The nurse administered a local anaesthetic and soon after, my eyes felt drunk. It was quite an intriguing sensation. Even so, I still refused to let the woman test my eye pressure by putting some machine on my eyeball. No way, lady! She rolled her eyes at me as if I was a child refusing cough mixture and sent me to the doctor as if I was being sent to the headmaster.

Some dilating drops later, and after being told I had very healthy eyes by a doctor I thought might be faintly attractive, (although I was by now blinded by the effect of the drops), I stumbled out of the hospital onto a bus hoping it would take me home. Yet again I was out on the street looking like a lunatic, only this time my pupils were the size of two pence pieces and I looked like I had just swallowed a big bag of Ecstasy. I went home and went straight to bed.

Thankfully, by the time I visited a potential nursery for my son on Thursday, I had lost the ‘been-up all-night-on-drugs’ look and my eyesight was back to normal. This was useful as I was hoping to make a good impression.

This nursery is billed as the best in the area. There is even a waiting list to view the nursery and the actual waiting list for a place is a year or more. The fees are around £60 a day. I can’t really remember what possessed me to book this appointment. I think I was close to returning to work and feeling panicked.

As one might expect, the nursery was very impressive. I'm sparing you the details here, but trust me, it is all singing and all dancing with a fancy website to boot. The three to five year olds even have an optional French class once a week, for fucks sake. All the children looked incredibly happy, incredibly tidy and incredibly........

.........white.

Now, I’m asking myself, do I really want my child to go to the ‘best nursery in the area’? Do I want my son to be cosseted and pampered and get invited to tea at Seymour and Jocasta’s house? Does he really need to learn French at three?

Truly, I have no idea which way this will go. Part of me wants to give my son the very best I can and part of me thinks that maybe somewhere rough, ready and a bit more like the real world would be truly giving my son the best start in life.

P.S Many thanks to the lovely ‘Muddy No Sugar’, who has sent me 'The Honest Scrap Award'. I’m a bit rubbish with these things. Please forgive me for not posting 10 true things about myself.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Conversation with my young, hot, Swedish neighbour

This conversation took place over the intercom. The purple bits are the voices in my head.

I press the buzzer.

Them: Err… Hello?

Me: Hi could you turn the music down please?

Them: (reluctant) Ummm… OK....well..... we will turn it down but…

Me: There’s a but? My son had a testicle removed yesterday am I going to have to emotionally blackmail you with that?

Them: but……. I’m having a birthday party.

Me: But you had a birthday party two weeks ago.

I remember it clearly, I didn’t sleep until 6am and I had mixed emotions of being both pissed off and insanely jealous. Like when you listen to your neighbours having sex and you’ve been sex starved for weeks. Yeah, it was like that. Which is why I didn’t complain.

Them: Yeah, there’s two people live here.

Me: OK. But it is 4am.

Them: I know.

Me: (sweetly) If you had told me that you were having a party I could have gone away for the night. I really don’t want to spoil your fun but it's late and I have a baby down here.

A fucking baby. I know you're way too young and hot to understand the implications of a baby, but one day, chances are, you will be the bed-head neighbour from downstairs with saggy boobs, in her pyjama bottoms, complaining that the music is too loud. Trust me, your day will come. And another thing really bugging me is that I actually really like your music. On a night gone by that so would have been me. Hot Bitch.

But if you could turn it down a little bit I would be really grateful.

Them: OK.

The following day I received this:



Ok. So I was totally won over by the Hello Kitty notelet.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Alcohol in hospitals - please!

Today my son had an orchiectomy. This isn’t really very funny but I’m going to try really hard to make it funny because while you may think this is really distasteful, I find that dark humour for dark days really works for me.

When I found out about what this operation might entail, everybody assured me that this didn’t mean that my son wouldn’t be able to father children. This stunned me. In my mind I was wincing at the very idea of them even scratching his utterly perfect, creamy, caramel skin. Jesus Christ people, I have only just got my head around being a mother never mind a bloody grandmother. Anyway……

Today I was reminded why they really should have alcohol in hospitals. I mean, they have a fucking Burger King in Southampton hospital for god’s sake, what kind of mixed message is that? Plus, you should see the amount of doctors and nurses smoking cigarettes around the corner from the hospital. Yeah, I saw you.

Talking of which:

“Is there a smoker in your house?” says the anaesthetist, his pen poised over the clipboard. The joker in me is tempted to say “Weed or tobacco? Tick both anyway.”

Does the occasional something to smoke, after one too many, count?

Not that I asked him that. I just replied “No”, albeit defensively.

Anyway, back to the point. They really should have alcohol readily available in hospitals, preferably next to the watercooler. It’s not like I’m an alcoholic or anything but they didn’t use copious amounts of brandy for no reason, when amputating legs in the old days, with nothing else for pain relief but a bit between your teeth. They used it because it works. There’s at least one occasion I can think of where I have been so drunk you could have probably amputated my leg and I wouldn’t have noticed until the following morning when I realise that the reason I can’t get my other stiletto on is because I actually have a foot missing.

So, I was pondering on this today whilst pacing up and down with at least three other mothers waiting for my son to come out of surgery. It was agonising.

“God!” I kept saying to myself, “if only I could have a double brandy I might be able to get this shit into perspective!”

I thought that all the other mothers looked like they could do with a drink too – even the Muslim lady in the headscarf looked like she wouldn’t have said no if the nurses has brought round a tray of little NHS shot glasses .

Then I remembered this.

How many sanitiser pumps would I have to stick my head under before I got the desired effect, I wondered, scanning the room and doing a quick count?

The other time I really, and when I say REALLY, I mean REALLY, needed a drink was straight after childbirth. My parents arrived at 8.30 am I was sat in an armchair holding something I had just expelled, totally freaked out, feeling like I had just been rescued from a car crash. My father starts bandying a video camera around and I’m shouting “Not my face! Just video the baby. I don’t want any images of me looking sweaty and red-faced and I've got bad hair!!”

A few days later my father called me and told me that he had been watching the footage from the hospital. He also said that in the background while my mother is holding the baby I can be heard saying (with vigour)

“You know what I need right now? A really good……..hard………..(pause for comic effect, will she say cock? fuck?)

...........................DRINK!”

Thankfully, I have my drink now. It's a large glass of luscious red. Bushman deals with a crisis by cooking and eating copious amounts of food and then sleeping. I cope by drinking and these days blogging.

All is peaceful in my household. Things could be a damn sight worse and we're doing just fine. Lucky, fabulous and imperfect.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Dirty Weekend (mostly in pictures)

One disconnected fringe



One pair of best pants




One pair of Kurt Geiger's





One bottle of Cava chilling in the sink (cheap hotel, well actually not that cheap, but no fridge)




Just before my departure I stood in front of Bushman wearing a silk dress, my Russell & Bromley boots, my vintage Astrakhan, my new 'do' with a full face of make up and I was even wearing perfume. With utter delight I said to him, "Look at me! I'm a real person!"

He had absolutely no idea what I meant. (as usual)

Things didn't get off to a great start as Cupcake and I found an inconsiderate, twentysomething, in designer sunglasses with her huge suitcase sitting in our seats. Anyway, all's well that ends well and two (small) bottles of wine later we were in this kind of mood as the train reached Manchester, Picadilly.

It was lovely weather when we left London.


It was shit weather when we got to Manchester.


Undeterred, we sauntered throught the fine rain to our hotel: the luxurious Premier Inn (Cupcake is obsessed with Premier Inns and feels so at home in them that we had been in the room no less than thirty seconds when she was in her pyjama bottoms, toiletries unpacked and squishing pillows at me saying "Go on, feel that, go on.")


Anyhow, the Cava went in the chiller (see above), the facepacks came out and we set about reminding ourselves what it used to be like in the old days.....




Strangely enough this weekend seemed entirely dominated by sausage.


Chorizo to be precise.

As anybody who knows me can vouch, I am a fan of big, dirty sausages. So when we decided to dine on tapas we both knew that chorizo had to be on the menu. We gorged ourselves on it....and sadly spent the rest of the weekend digesting it.


We digested it in Canal Street where we were so bloated and uncomfortable that we missed two great photo opportunities - a cavegirl hen night and a drag queen who called me a 'bitch' because I wearing this fabulous vintage 80's number.....



Thank-god it was a baggy top....


Then after a conversation with some students who told us 'Your kind of people are in the Northern Quarter' (was that a compliment or not? I don't know....) and still digesting our chorizo, that's where we headed. It was at this point that we had this utterly appropriate photo opportunity.



We partied in the Northern Quarter until 2am, went back to our luxurious quarters, had a nightcap in the bar and went to bed. We were almost as excited about the unbroken night's sleep as we had been about the possibility of endless alcohol and frivolity.


Which is possibly why neither of us slept.......


The pressure was too great. All we managed was a coked-up limbo somewhere between sleep and wakefulness whilst Coca Cola coursed through our veins. (if there's one thing I hate it's the ratio of coke to rum in bars!!!!)

The following day we went window shopping. We were suprisingly perky and glowing.


In some ways Manchester really impressed us with their progressive and efficient ideas....


........ even London doesn't have these - not that I'm aware of anyway.


Walking around town on Sunday afternoon, an old man approached us and asked us...

"What do you give the man who has everything for Christmas?"

My instinct was to respond "A blow job?".

There was pause whilst I wondered if I could actually say what I was thinking, however; the gentleman filled the silence by thrusting a leaflet under my nose and saying:

"A leaflet about Jesus!"

I really think these people should wear badges, otherwise they risk people saying "Blow job" at them. Honestly, it's for their own protection.


As the day drew to a close we needed perking up .......





That's more like it, cocktails at Harvey Nicks....ah, the highs.......

...and then the lows...

White wine spritzers in plastic glasses at Manchester Picadilly shortly before departing, followed by dinner.....



Followed by the most expensive pick and mix in the universe...

£3.06 for this trifling amount of crap


You have to admit it, we are just pure fucking class.

Sadly, we were not sponsored by Premier Inn, Virgin Trains, Manchester Tourist Board, Harvey Nichols, West Country Pasty Shop or Captain Morgan. We were also not involved in any deal to promote 'National Sausage Week'. If any of these organisations would like to contact us about sponsorship we would happily do it all again. We would not however be prepared to sign up to any deal involving pick and mix as frankly all you get is a bag of shit.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Disconnected, disenchanted and off up north

This weekend, I’m packing my Kurt Geiger’s, my best pants and a bottle of Cava like the classy bitch I am, because for one night only Cupcake and I are off to Manchester.

I’m sporting my new disconnected fringe; cut and coloured by a rotund homosexual with blue-tinged hair, lotus flowers tattooed up his arms and what appeared to be a diamante embedded in the skin behind his ear. As soon as I laid eyes on my hairdresser-to-be I knew it was going to be radical and I knew it was going cost me. I was right on both counts. On the up side I have a slightly edgy ‘do’ which definitely doesn’t say ‘sensible mother’.

Who knows what may become of me in the next 48 hours? I suppose one of my previous posts 'Things I might be doing on a Saturday Night if I wasn't mother' might provide some useful clues. 'Ankle-panties' here I come. (thanks freckletree!)

My dear readers must be so bored of me banging on about how much I hate my job that I scarcely want to mention it. This is my space for being cheeky, chirpy and sarky and I try to avoid, at all costs, being serious on my blog. My job shows me just how much misery there is in the world, so, I don't really want to be down in my down time, if you know what I mean. But for those of you still reading, still wondering, still caring; just for the record here it is........................

I work in a womens' prison. I am not a prison officer. In my humble opinion, prisons are backward-thinking, inhuman, degrading and pointless institutions which cost tax payers ludicrous amounts of money. They are the cold, rat infested homes of men and women locked in cycles of poverty, addiction, abuse and despair. Those that need to be punished are not punished adequately, those that need to be rehabilitated and educated are not done so adequately and those that need to be cared for, supported and encouraged are not done so adequately. It is shameful and I don't want to be a part of it anymore. I don't even care if I get fired for saying this.

My trials and tribulations at work have been so gross of late that I would willingly take almost any other job on the planet right now.

Please e-mail me here at troutiesblog at hotmail dot co dot uk with any job offers. Sleazy, cheesy, queasy, or easy, I’ll consider them all.

I try to keep politics, sadness and seriousness out of my blog. I’m sorry that I have failed today. If you have been affected by anything in this post then you might be even further disturbed if you went to these links.


If I were you I'd just give those a miss and wait until I come back with tales of grit, wit, drunkeness and debauchery. Much more my style.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Somebody Stole My Baby!

(or how freecycle made me look like a lunatic)

Freecycle is a wonderful thing. It means that lovely middle class people like me can get shit for free from other lovely middle class people. Everyone feels great about it. One person gets rid of that shit that’s been clogging up their under-stairs cupboard and people who need shit get what they want without handing over a penny. When the transaction is complete everyone has that lovely warm feeling like they’re really good planet-saving, morally superior, human beings.

Today I was a receiver, not a giver. I went to collect a buggy from a lady who lived in the posh part of a shitty district. She handed over the goods, gave me a quick demonstration and I was soon on my way. Naturally the easiest thing to do was to push the thing…..yep, that’s right, push an empty buggy around the streets of London looking like a nutcase.

There were sniggers as I walked passed the pub, worried sideways glances from passers-by and customers peering from shop doorways, nudging one another. Fully realising how ridiculous I looked I began to laugh at myself. Now I was looking properly mentally disturbed. Had I been smelling of urine, with a variety of plastic bags stuffed inside more plastic bags, nobody would have batted an eyelid of course; but a ‘normal’ looking woman pushing an empty buggy, laughing to herself, really seemed to freak people out. Perhaps they thought that I was trundling along, unaware that my baby had been stolen or worse still that I was out to steal someone else’s baby.

It crossed my mind that I could run into a shop and shout ‘Help! Somebody stole my baby!’ But I wasn’t really sure where things would go from there. Maybe I could start a national campaign in the style of Karen Matthews, enabling me to make a shed load of cash off the back of the grief of strangers? Or, setting my sights a little lower, could I get a free kebab out of this, I thought as I approached a take away? The waiter opened the door ‘What happened to your baby?’ he said laughing. I totally had to stop myself from claiming my baby had been stolen. I think part of me just wanted to seem normal to the outside world.

My last challenge was the bus ride home. I got on with the buggy still erect and even parked it in the buggy area whilst everyone stared intently. I was a woman with an empty buggy and a kebab hanging off the back. What else could I do but grin inanely? A little girl fixed her big, black eyes on me before worriedly shouting ‘Mummy! Mummy!’ Her give-a-shit mother shouted back ‘Shut up Alesha!’

Then came the most embarrassing moment: onto the bus came a real life Mum with a buggy and a real child. There was no way I would win the buggy-off without a fucking child in the buggy!!! I knew I was going to have to accept defeat and fold mine down. When she saw that I was childless and smelt my kebab she looked at me as if to say ‘What the fuck do you think you are doing, crazy bitch?’

The moral of this story is: If you must gad about town with an empty buggy and a kebab, make sure as hell that you stink of piss and have wild hair and have a lot of stuffed plastic bags within plastic bags, cause you ain’t getting’ away with shit otherwise.

Friday, 30 October 2009

It's the weekend

It's been an interesting week. It started out that I was stuck in the house with a viral infection. Life was very dull. Then the Bloggess linked me and lots of people came to visit my blog because they thought I was a stalker. I don't know who's weirder, me or them?

As a result of this I gained a lot of new friends. So, hi and welcome.

Some of them left amazing comments like this anonymous woman.

I may not be around much this weekend so for all my new friends, here is a previous post which you might like. Ladies and gentleman, I give you 'String Vests', now with added pictures.

I'm also not that big on Halloween. Never carved a pumpkin in my life. But if you would like some seasonal fun then check out Wendy Aarons piece for some recession busting ideas.

I have to go now because I have to wrestle something out of my child's hand.....


....there's only a drop left and Mummy's going to need that - it's the weekend.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Not so Wordless on a Wednesday

I had no clue what a ‘Wordless Wednesday’ was. All over the internet I kept seeing this damn phrase ‘Wordless Wednesday’. So I looked it up.

If you’re uninitiated like me, then you won’t know either that it’s basically a picture that people post every Wednesday without any words to explain it. I kind of liked the idea and then I didn’t. I’m hardwired to go against what everyone else is doing and also I like words way too much to be without them for a whole day! In fact Wednesday is possibly my most verbose day of the week. So, here’s my ‘Not so Wordless on a Wednesday’ picture.

I completely and unashamedly stole this idea from a picture I found here at Moms who drink and swear.com.

If you would like to join the ‘Not so Wordless on a Wednesday’ movement, please email me your pictures of words creatively made out of your kids stuff or alternatively post them on your own blogs under ‘Not so Wordless on a Wednesday’.

If somebody else has already thought of this idea then I’m very sorry, I’ll join your movement instead.

You can email me at troutiesblog at hotmail dot co dot uk.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

The origins of Troutie


Whenever my friends leave their phones in bars, I get the phone call. That’s because invariably I’m in their contacts under Troutie, Trout, Troutface, Troutmaster, or something similar. Imagine; you find a phone in a bar and the last two dialled numbers were ‘Home’ and ‘Troutface’? Which one are you going to call?

For those of you that give a shit:

It all stems from two innocent text messages. One which I sent to my adorable friend, Lady Violet, who is of Guyanese descent, calling her my ‘Guyanese Goddess’ and the other where she replied, rather charmingly, that I was her ‘Old English Trout’.

To be honest, this is a nickname which would have faded into obscurity except for the fact that on the night when my girlfriends were trying it on for size, a series of unpredictable and life-changing events unfolded which meant that it stuck.

My friend Vivienne Westwood and I were born one day apart. This means that most years we celebrate our birthdays together. On this particular occasion Westwood, Lady Violet and I went out for dinner with friends, got very drunk and ended up having a lock in at a Caribbean restaurant where we drank and ate chocolate cake until 4am on a Thursday night/Friday morning. We didn’t pay for very much of it either as we were hanging out with the restaurant owner and his employees. When it was eventually time for us to crawl home and get dressed for work the next day, our new friends gave us money from the till for a cab home without the slightest attempt at getting in the cab with us.

There we were, three very drunk women hanging out with a bunch of guys, getting freebies and not one of them was trying to get in our knickers. This was one fucking weird birthday night. As we drunkenly somersaulted into the taxi, one of the chefs handed us the business card for the restaurant with his phone number on the back.

So not only is this the story of how I got my nickname but it’s also the story of how I met my Jamaican: the best birthday present I ever got.

Bushman, simply accepted my moniker without once asking its origin or thinking that it was weird. When he called me ‘Troutie’ as if it was genuinely my name, I thought it was hilarious. But this was not nearly as hilarious as when he called me Troutie in more intimate moments, which had me rolling around with laughter so much so that I couldn’t continue with what I had previously been doing.

And so it stuck. I am Troutie and I love the fact that it is one ugly name, because when people meet me they are expecting to meet a trout and however ugly I may be, I am way better looking than this.

I'd better up my game

The Bloggess has linked me. Fuck. I better get my shit together. She's also kind of outed me, which I don't really mind that much...What I can't believe is that I forgot to put the anthrax in the card!

Coming later...

Why they call me Troutie and if you haven't already guessed it, yes, I'll tell you where I work.

I'm off to do some really important stuff now, like take my sons wet fingers out of a plug socket but I'll be back soon. x

Friday, 23 October 2009

Things I might be doing on a Saturday night if I wasn't a mother

It's been six weeks since I went out.

Six weeks.


I'm 32 - not dead.

So, because I know I won't be going out tonight I have compiled a list of things that I might be doing, if I wasn't a mother, staying at home, while her boyfriend works anti-social hours which has the knock on effect of her being anti-social too.

If I wasn't a mother tonight I would be:


Swanning around London in a vintage fur coat drinking cocktails



Dancing until 4am in a Burlesque club dressed in 1940’s clothing



Dancing to Reggae in a grimy club, until the sun rises, dressed in who gives a shit?



Laughing hysterically on Cupcake's floor surrounded by several girlfriends, several empty bottles of wine and several chocolate wrappers



Smoking weed with some hoodies at my next door neighbour's house party



Mildy flirting with a handsome man whilst knowing I have a better one at home



I would never condone binge drinking but you have to admit that this looks like a lot of fun.

This is what social life starvation does to you - makes the above look attractive.

You see all those binge drinking women? They're all mummies on a night off. And can I just say why is it always women binge drinkers adorning the front pages. And while we're on the subject why is it acceptable for men to piss in the street?

Anyway, thank god I'm going to Lady Violet's Circus of Horrors Halloween House Party next weekend where Vivienne Westwood and I will be dressed as Vampire Usherette Conjoined Twins. That should do the trick.




Other Womens' Lives

This week my life has been very boring and borderline depressing (yes, again). By now you should know that I avoid blogging when my life is like this; so, seeing as I can’t share my life with you right now I’m going to share someone else’s instead.

Meet Lorna, a woman I have never met. Lorna is 36 and has recently received the happy news that she is with child. She is delighted. The father of the baby however, is traumatised. This is mainly because he never agreed to the conception, in fact, he wasn’t even consulted about the possibility of it.

Lorna on the other hand has been planning this meticulously for the past year. At some point in her mid-thirties she realised that she wanted a baby and didn’t really want a side-order of man to go with that. With a trail of failed relationships behind her she came to the conclusion that she had never really been very good at love, but didn’t see why this should stop her from having a family? On the practical side she had a property, a good job, savings, insurance and family near by. Everything she had achieved she had achieved by herself. Why should motherhood be any different?

So, having decided exactly what she wanted, she set about getting it. She cut out the cocaine and the booze and her London party lifestyle and prepared her body for a baby. She visited the gynaecologist and became intimately acquainted with her cycle. She looked for a man that could meet her requirements, even if he didn’t rock her world and after a respectable courtship she invited him on a two week fuckfest of a holiday. Knowing that she was only ovulating for a few hours, she fucked and fucked and fucked and fucked for two weeks solid.

A few weeks later she picked up the phone and called the man who had never rocked her world only to rock his. She told him exactly what she wanted from him which was pretty much nothing. She gave him the opportunity to be a part of her child’s life and that was that. She put down the phone, rubbed her bump and smiled. She had never been so happy in her life.

The moral of this story is: Never fuck with an intelligent, broody, thirty-something woman whose job is a ‘Strategic Planner’.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Spread the love

Something very worrying has happened to me. This week I have actually drunk more tea than wine.....

The post that follows maybe a little out of the ordinary, so enjoy it while it lasts because for once I am feeling nurturing towards others. This could be due to the fact that I feel peaceful after exorcising some demons or it could be that everybody in my household, including me, is ill and I'm feeling generally fuzzy and lightheaded.

Whatever the reason, here goes.

A little while back, a lovely lady known as London City Mum gave me a ‘Zombie Chicken’ award. Being a bit of an idiot novice, I have no idea how to make this appear on my blog, or even if this is possible, or even if I should, or once I have what I should do then? I was and still am clueless but at the same time, most grateful.

So, in the spirit of spreading the blog love, here are 5 women I’d like you to meet.

1) You’ve probably already heard of her. This is a woman who can get upwards of 400 comments, per post. When I first started looking at blogs she gave me hope that you I could be rude and controversial and people would still read you and even ask you to adopt them. Ladies, I give you The Bloggess

2) The next one up is also an American, ‘The Yellow Trash Diaries’. She likes knitting and was apparently raised by wolves. If you haven’t already done so, then check her out.

3) Now we come back to Blighty for a Mancunian. I actually have a one night trip to Manchester with Cupcake booked in a few weeks, in order that we can get entirely shitfaced without anyone asking us to come home and breastfeed/deal with a tantrum/clean up shit. The distance between us and our loving families also means that we don’t have to deal with our offspring and a hangover…..Anyway, I love this woman’s story. Impregnated by a man she thought was infertile, he then left her to bring up their son with the parting shot “Enjoy your impending shitty, snotty, vomitty twenties”. So she did. Two fingers to him then. My Shitty Twenties.

4) Last but one is actually a friend of mine who recently started a blog to share her sarcasm, wit and frustration with life. If you could pass through and show Breakdown Betty a little love, I would be really grateful.

5) Lastly a blog which maybe resonates more if you live in Brooklyn but I’m sure will sound familiar to lots of us women who have to deal with the kind of ‘Mummy-one-upmanship’ that goes on in certain postcodes. If you can embrace the hate and some of the foul language (even worse than mine!) take your $1000 stroller and your designer baby over to Fucked in Park Slope.


Now I've spread the love you can all piss off because I have to go and wrestle with a child who insists on drinking gallons of his own snot rather than allowing me to wipe his nose. How that can be preferable I have no idea, although in truth, he hasn't eaten much today.

Monday, 19 October 2009

The Wasted Years

In my last post I got caught up in the empty world of Facebook and started churning up the past. Afterwards I remembered a letter I had once written. The letter always gave me satisfaction when I read it and as such I kept a copy. It was sent to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew and this is what it said.
20th April 2006

Dear David,

Thank-you for your assistance, last week on the phone, regarding my ‘mystery’ membership of Kew Gardens. I had strong suspicions that I knew the identity of my benefactor and it has since been confirmed to me that my instincts were correct. Having thought about this matter long and hard, I am afraid that I cannot accept this gift on a matter of principle.

Please be assured that this has nothing to do with Kew. I was there on my birthday last Sunday and had a lovely visit. Needless to say, I paid for my ticket and have not used my membership.

I would be pleased if you could refund Mr. X. XXXXXX (or whichever member of the XXXXXX family made the payment on his behalf), in full. I am not in direct contact with him and I would prefer it to stay that way therefore I would be grateful if you could inform him regarding his refund.

Please do not be tempted to feel sorry for him. He was a selfish and neglectful tosser who never took me to Kew Gardens in the ten years that we were together. Needless to say, three years on, I am now a much happier lady who is simply trying to forget the wasted years.

Many thanks for your assistance. I hope this has brought a touch of intrigue to your working life. I for one, being only human, have gained some small pleasure from this transaction.

Kind Regards,

Ms. X

Sunday, 18 October 2009

The Emptiness of Facebook

This weekend, I just wanted to hibernate. There is a chill factor in the air that wasn’t there a few days back and I have a rasping sensation at the back of my throat which tells me that I am coming down with something. I’m not the only one, my son’s nose is now streaming at the same rate that he is dribbling, which is to say, continuously.

Thankfully, the world came to me this weekend in the shape of Cupcake and Vivienne Westwood. Vivienne cooked me a lamb curry and we considered Halloween Party outfits. Cupcake on the other hand, gave us a run down of her fight with her venomously-tongued teenage daughter and complained that whilst feeling incredibly pre-menstrual for days there was still no sign of her first, post-baby period. The first indication that Cupcake is pre-menstrual is that she over analyses everything. The second is that she spends time on Facebook looking up people from her past. It’s an unhealthy, uncontrollable urge that she gets once in a while. “It just makes me feel so empty” she says. Ah yes, the emptiness of Facebook, the dark, sinister side of Facebook that allows you to check up on your ex-boyfriends and see pictures of their new girlfriends and try to work out whether she is cuter, thinner or more successful than you.

I’ve never really been one of those people who do that; until this weekend. My ex got married a few weeks back. We still have mutual friends and so news is always trickling back and forth. This was in no way, shape or form an amicable separation. I have no idea how he thinks about it all, in hindsight, but I definitely harbour ill feelings towards him. Some people say I’m bitter. I’m not really sure how I’m supposed to feel about a man who ten years into our relationship, fucked my best friend and never apologised for it. It's unlikely that I would have accepted his apology , but at least it would have been a courteous gesture on his part.

So, there I was flicking through a friend’s photos and all of a sudden there was his wedding day. Ok, so maybe I had a small inkling that I might find something. Maybe Cupcake had sown the seed of curiosity. When I did come across the photographs however; I was quite surprised at my feelings. Whilst in the background of the pictures, remnants of my old life made me sad for the things I had lost: things that I had planted, things that I had helped to build, a place I used to love. But really I only had one overriding emotion, which was:

“Jesus Christ I can’t believe I used to let that guy put his cock in me.”

Thursday, 15 October 2009

A Power Lunch with Chanel No. 5

Two pale, fraught and overworked women sit opposite one another in a café, on Holloway Road. They have exactly 45 minutes to share the last six weeks of their lives with one another. This is the power lunch, except that neither woman is particularly powerful and there isn’t a lot of lunch involved. It’s a bit like a supermodel lunch: just caffeine and chit chat and two women who look fucked.

Over the years, my much-loved friend, Chanel No. 5 , has become an expert on welcoming babies into the world. She turns up on your doorstep with some exquisite edibles, fixes her face into a grin (look closely and you’ll find fear) and prays that you won’t make her hold the baby. She’s practiced and perfected this duty countless times and always leaves thanking her lucky stars that she is childless and can spend her money on those Chloe boots instead. This is her latest baby faux pas.

Chanel No. 5 turns up on her friend’s doorstep on one of her ‘Hi nice to meet your baby’ visits. Her friend actually had her son 6 months ago, so you could say that Chanel No. 5 hasn’t exactly been eager to meet the new arrival. Grandmother opens the door, in rapture, cradling a very small child and Chanel No. 5 says, in an immaculately conceived, great opening line,


“Hi! Is that it?”

Surprised, grandmother responds,

“This is my other grandchild. She’s a girl and she’s two weeks’ old.”

“Oh, is that different then?” says Chanel No. 5.

It’s fair to say that a woman who can’t tell the difference between a six month old boy and a two week old girl, dressed respectively in blue and pink, should probably not consider having children. Instead she should stick to what she’s best at, which is shopping, and cute tips like this.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

I really need to get fired.....


My blog is supposed to be light-hearted and humorous, which is why I haven’t said much this weekend. It’s taken me the this long to get over the ultimately shitty week I had at work, and now in the blink of an eye, I’m facing yet another shitty week at work.

It was so bad last week that when I almost lost my balance, on the stairs at work, I found myself thinking,

“Oh no I’m falling.”

which quickly turned into….

“I could hurt myself. How long off work for a broken leg? This could be just what I need!”

When I did regain my balance, my body heaved a huge sigh of regret. I was so disappointed that I almost threw myself down the stairs anyway. When I asked an equally fucked off colleague if we should kill ourselves now or later, she suggested to me that I do something to warrant suspension. This would result in me being paid for not actually having to work and thereby remaining in perfect health to enjoy my time off. Clever clogs!

Other options for getting out of work were ‘doocing’ myself (dooce) by revealing all matter of things on this blog that could get me fired, but would make me a minor celebrity. When I eventually get to tell you guys what I actually do for a living you will understand that this is all perfectly possible. And no, I don’t fuck politicians, although I do have a soft spot for the Australian Prime Minister.

Anyway.

On the child front I seem to have my fingers permanently lodged up my child’s nose or in his mouth trying to retrieve whatever detritus has found its way there, while he beats me about the head. When I reprimand him he laughs in my face and shows no sign of remorse. Very much like being at work really.

He is also making deliberate, calculated, acts of defiance and showing early signs of the tantrum process when I do not yield to him. These include: resisting sleep and throwing things out of his cot, smiling in a challenging way when I tell him the word “No”, and going limp when I try to move him.

It’s OK though, because I’m feeding him processed food, subjecting him to London pollution and forcing him to watch a lot of crap TV. I’m having my revenge and he doesn’t even know it. Ha! Who’s winning now?

We can only hope that my friends do something interesting this week so that I can write about them and not about how miserable, bitter, twisted and fucked up I am. Goodnight. x