Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Bognor Regis in Pictures

Finally, in November, I went on my family summer holiday. We chose Butlins in Bognor Regis because we had no car and wanted to entertain the kids. Out of shame, I kept this a secret from some of my best friends.

Here is my experience.

No car. We're hardcore Public Transport types.


On the train at Victoria Bushman chose to sit next to a football team on their way to Benidorm. Nice way to start the family holiday.

This is what they left behind. Well, a small fraction of it.



This genuinely impressed me.


 It's fashioned out of a single towel.




A room with a view? Sort of.



Time for a drink and maybe a snack.


No, I wasn't quite thinking of this.


The special offer at the overpriced Spar shop.




Thankfully, blue skies the next day make me a little perkier.




The seafront at Bognor. I just had to get out of that place.




Bushman at the bandstand.





A welcome bit of colour on the seafront.




The sights









Bushman makes Bognor look positively romantic.



The sea wall




A little unfair......



My son, the wallflower, at the Tots Disco.


This was a balloon giraffe until I came across it. Now it looks like.....well,
 I think you can see what it looks like.




Bognor. I will never forget you.


Then after we left, this happened.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

What have you done with our baby?

On Friday morning my alarm went of at 6.15 am. My eyelids parted and through bleary lenses I saw that the baby's cot was empty, except for a few toys.

Panic rose in my chest. It was overwhelming.

"Bushman. Where is our baby? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH OUR BABY!!" I shouted, accusingly.

From the otherside of the duvet wall. I heard a voice say.

"Trout. Wha' wrong wid you? She sleeping at yuh mudder's house."

Seems I had totally forgotten that my children were staying with their grandparents.

The moral of this story is: I am an arse. A mad arse.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Three

Today my son is three.

Last week Lady Violet came to visit. She snuck into his room while he was sleeping and pulled back the covers to see how much he'd grown, having not seen him for nearly a year.

"Fuckin'ell Troutie, he's a giant!"

It's true. I'm buying clothes for a 3 year old who is the size of a 5 year old. He's in the 99.6th percentile. Which means that only 0.4 percent of children his age are taller than him.

If it seems that I only ever blog twice a year on my children's birthdays, you'd be right.

I am officially the world's worst blogger. The last time I left a comment on anyone else's blog was sometime in the early nineties when mobile phones were still the size of bricks.

Between the utter exhaustion of working and raising two children and the pressure of trying to keep a relationship alive when you are mostly ships passing in the night, I am also in the process of starting a charity. They'll be more on this later.......

I'm sure that some of those excuses will sound familiar to all of you.

Meanwhile, my daughter has turned one with no dramas. Bushman executed the affair with finesse and a professionalism which, as usual, made me want to sleep with him. The truckload of Jamaicans did not turn up which was rather a shame as it would have made this post more interesting.

Since then I have visited an art exhibition about prison, danced with some pensioners on a canal boat, booked a family holiday to Bultlins in Bognor Regis, eaten cake with a group of Buddhists and a heroin addict has offered me her unborn baby to look after.

And quite how you follow that sentence, I'm not sure.

Happy Birthday to my first born. and a happy third birth day to me. XXXXX

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Don't expect a party bag....

Tomorrow my daughter turns one. She has the most unruly hair of a one year old I've ever seen.

For her party today I have created the most enormous headpiece for her to wear. I'm hoping it detracts from her ratty locks and my bad parenting.

This party has been the centre of much family controversy after my son's 2nd birthday party last year  when rather a large number of unexpected guests arrived courtesy of my beloved partner, Bushman.

In a moment of rage so great that I whispered through gritted teeth, I made him promise that next year we would be having our daughters first birthday in his restaurant and he would do all the work. Earlier this year Bushman tried to get out of this deal. He underestimated me.

So, today, friends, family and frankly whoever wants to come, will join us at the Caribbean restaurant where Bushman works. It's smack bang in the middle of Camden Town so there has been much ado about parking, parking expenses, travelling etc.

I have done very little towards this affair aside from buying a second hand party dress on ebay for the birthday girl, fashioning an extreme headpiece and creating a birthday banner with the help of my son.

Come to think of it I haven't even bought her a present..... and I certainly won't be sending her a birthday card so it will be this scenario all over again with my mother.

I have pretty much done nothing and intend to continue in this fashion. 

To every question about birthday cakes, vegetarians and booze I have responded, "He's dealing with it."

In a way this lack of control is unnerving. Will there be a cake? Will it be worthy of Cake Wrecks? Do I care? On balance the answer is. No.

There will be no party games. No party music. It will be laidback Reggae and Ska all the way. There will be a limited number of children. And if your kids are expecting a party bag - fuck off to someone else's party.

For anyone that likes a good birth story - this is what I was doing a year ago.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl and well done to me. x

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Restorative Justice



I have so much stuff to say about the London Riots I hardly know where to begin, but as a big believer in restorative justice, this image from riots in Vancouver earlier this year really warmed my heart.

Rioters started to apologise on broken shop windows.

www.nowpublic.com

Sounds like a little but maybe it could mean a lot?

Monday, 8 August 2011

Supercat

About a week ago I saw a slightly grubby cat laying in some bushes outside our flat. He was sunning himself and I thought nothing of it.

A few days later the cat was outside again and as I struggled through the doors of my flat with my double buggy (scraping the tops of my feet with the bottom of the heavy, outside door and bruising a hip in the process as usual) I noticed that the poor mite had one completely grey eye.

"Oh you poor thing!" I said to it.

As I took a closer look I could see that the thing was really manky. Underneath its long black and white coat (what was left of it) it was really quite skinny. Its skin was scabby, its coat matted and it was utterly filthy. I realised that this cat didn't belong to anybody at all.

It just sat there and looked at me, out of its one good eye.

Whilst standing there talking to a cat and two children and neither of the three having anything intelligent to say, a neighbour came along and we struck up a conversation. Then the Polish lady from upstairs lent out of the window.

"It won't eat." she said

"I feed it and it won't eat. He's been there maybe two weeks?"

With two children eagerly awaiting their trip to the park I had to leave the poor thing, telling it "I'll deal with you later."

The cat wasn't around when I returned and after misguided phonecalls to the RSPCA and the Cats Protection League and back to the RSPCA again, it took me 24 hours to get any useful information out of anybody.

"We will collect it" said the woman at the RSPCA "but you'll need to catch it for us."

Despite explaining that I lived in conditions similar to a tenement yard at the turn of the century, still she asked if I had a 'spare room'.

"No, love." I wanted to say to her. " I do not have a spare room. I have two kids under 5 in a two bedroom flat with the same square footage as a walk in wardrobe. Spare room my arse."

On Tuesday morning the ground was wet. I went outside to throw out the morning's nappies. There was the sodden cat, who didn't look any cleaner for having had a rain bath.

"Right," I said to the cat. "don't move."

I ran over the road to the builders merchants and got the biggest box I could find. I grabbed a box of dry food and a pouch of wet food. When I returned the cat had done exactly as it was told. With a bit of coaxing and not much trouble I managed to box up the cat. It had food and water in the box and I made breathing holes in the box with a knife. It was like one of those magic tricks where half naked women have sharp things poked at them. The cat was so petrified it didn't make a sound. I left the box in the hallway, just outside my front door.

I went inside and called the RSPCA. My job was done. I just had to await their collection of the cat.

As I stepped out side the house to ferry my son to nursery I discovered that the fucking manky thing had escaped and was sitting by the front door. Then a kind of French farce developed where I was trying to keep my kids at bay and a neighbour was trying to leave the communal hallway and the cat was hissing and my kids were screaming and I was chasing the cat round the hallway with a towel.

Bushman came outside wearing nothing but a pair of tracksuit bottoms and tiring of the saga said purposefully "Mi get di damn cat."

"NO! You'll kill it." I said "I'll get it."

As I went near the cat the it hissed at me quite ferociously.

"OK." I said to Bushman "I give up, you catch it"

Towel in hand, my half naked Bushman walked over to the cat and despite its howling and hissing and spitting just took it by the scruff of the neck, picked it up and put it in the box.

I was quite surprised at how his half-naked mastery of this wild creature sent shivers down my spine. Had I not have been so preoccupied with the children and the neighbour and the cat and the RSPCA I would have bedded him there and then.

Anyway, although this has the potential to develop into some bizarre Mills and Boon scene, I shall bring us crashing down to reality with the fact that whilst being captured by Bushman the cat pissed everywhere. Bushman and I then spent the next ten minutes taping up the box so that the thing could not possibly escape again. The hallway reeked of cats piss. Then came another call from the RSPCA.

"Really sorry but there's no one available to come out to collect the cat. Can you take it to the nearest vet?"

What?

I explained to the kind lady at the RSPCA that I had two kids and no transport and that I was actually supposed to be at work and I didn't even know where the nearest vet was but she kindly informed me that there was one within walking distance of my house. The words were welling up inside my mouth and then fizzled out as the image of the poor, half-blind cat came into my head and I resigned myself to the fact that I was just too fucking soft to let this cat fend for itself.


Next I went out to buy twine so I could carry the damn thing. One end of the box had somehow got soaked (cat piss? water?) and I had to transport the cat a quarter of a mile down the road in a box which might give way at any moment. On top of everything else I started to itch.

I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I was buzzed in to the air-conditioned vet's room and set the box down. A young girl behind the desk chewed gum and eyed me up and down. I explained the whole story and told her how the RSPCA had advised me to bring the cat to the vet.

"But we're nothing to do with the RSPCA." she said blankly.

I reiterated.

So did she.

I started to lose faith in everything. I looked down at the box which had been taped up and stabbed at in equally wild measure. What the fuck was I supposed to do now?!!!

Sensing my frustration,  the young gum-chewing receptionist relented.

"I'll get Jackie." she said.

Jackie was a gritty, bottle blonde with dark roots and a heart that money can't buy. She took the manky cat out of the box and pressed it to her chest. It melted. She kissed its stinking head. It was love at first sight.

Then she looked in its mouth. "This cat's fucking ancient." she said. Instantly I liked her.

"My son named it Supercat." I told her.

She checked the cats genitalia. "Its an un-neutered male. Been out on the street for years."

Turns out that Supercat was covered in fleas and lice. Jackie said that in ten years of being a vet this was only the second cat she had seen with lice. Supercat had the beginnings of liver failure which they could control, but amazingly was FIV (cat AIDS) negative. He was blind in one eye. His teeth were broken and rotten. He was seriously underweight.

Today Supercat is eating like a trooper and has had a good sponge down. Jackie loved him so much that she took him home with her.

"Not even the Pope would give this cat a home." she said.

I told her that there was a Jamaican singer called 'Supercat' who came from a rough neighbourhood. I told her that my children's father was Jamaican and that I had no idea how my son came up with the name but that I felt it was quite appropriate.

Thankfully Supercat doesn't have to hustle on the streets anymore. Who knows, maybe he can get those teeth fixed with some gold replacements?  Hopefully he can spend his last days nestled in Jackie's bosom purring with delight.

God Bless you Jackie.

"Supercat"


"Supercat"


Monday, 1 August 2011

A Full House of Affliction

"No! No!" I cried, as I discovered my internet connection had gone AGAIN.

I rushed to the wall to turn the power off and on again but a minute later and still nothing.

"Goddamit!" I curse as I decide to repeat the off /on thing again just to make doubly sure.

"Ahah!" Whilst scrabbling around on the floor I come across a loose connection. It bears teeth marks. That will be the baby then. The blasted baby who has just got teeth and feels the need to dentally prove herself.

What was it the Health Visitor said about wires in the home?

"You haven't got any wires about the house that are within her reach, have you?"

"Oh no." I said.

Well really; what's the point of mentioning the phone wire and the wire for my PC and the wires to my internet router? Because I would just have had to listen to her tell me that they are a safety hazard. I know they are a saefty hazard, I'm not an idiot, but realistically homes have wires. Get over it. Or rather, step over it.

I have discovered that anytime my internet connection goes it usually has something to do with my baby daughter. Apart from ripping wires out with her new gnashers the self-catapulting baby has also launched herself head first onto my laptop and somehow managaed to knock the Wifi switch off. This child, unlike my over-cautious son, injures herself at least twice a day. I swear she could injure herself in a padded cell.

Yesterday she took the skin off her little finger by trapping it in a cupboard door (one which had child locks!!!) She then proceeded to eat her own excrement.

I'm not joking.

I left her without a nappy on, in our kitchen with a laminate floor (thought I'd covered all eventualities.) for one whole minute. Within seconds she had produced bite-sized poo pellets and popped one in her mouth.

A dangerous daughter is not the only cross we have to bear in our house right now. My son has developed a stammer. This is sometimes accompanied by rapid blinking. I too, am now developing a stammer. My daughter on the other hand, hardly ever blinks. I have an over-achieving blinker and an under-achieving blinker and I have caught my son's contagious stammer. All I need now is a nervous twitch and a lisp and we will have a full house of shit-eating, stammering, twitching affliction.

Did I mention the half-blind, stray cat that I found outside my flat this morning? Thank-you universe. Like I really needed that one. Many phonecalls to various cat charities later and I am no further ahead.

Anyway.

I am told that stammering is a phase. I am also told that it is hereditary. My mother suddenly revealed to me that I stammered as a child. Then I tell Bushman and he reveals that he stammered too. What fucking chance did our kids have then, of not stammering? Jesus!

 Realistically it's just not enough to think that someone's cute when looking for a life partner.  Potential mates should have to fill out an application form, including medicals, especially before you agree to have kids together. For example I should have given much more consideration to Bushman's feet before I decided to invite them into my gene pool. Our kids may be good looking but Jesus Christ  - the feet my daughter has to live with for the rest of her life aren't the sort of feet that a woman should have to bear. She will never wear strappy sandals with pride.

So there you have it. One dysfunctional family. And NO! I'm not taking in the stray, blind cat.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Happy Birthday Cupcake





The heady days have waned,
Our wildness somewhat tamed,
At least we don't wake up ashamed (rarely)
My life without you would be lame.




Happy birthday you flame-haired vixen. XXXX

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Stitches, Bitches and Glitches

Shit. So I missed my 'tomorrow' deadline.

Sorry folks but the days seem to pass so quickly. I think it may be to do with my new found addiction to drugs.

Let's start with the vagina. So, remember a little while ago I happened to mention that I had seen a whole bunch of vaginas and I thought, in comparison, that mine was quite cute? Well, every rose has its thorn and my rose was no exception.

I'm just going to come out and say it. I had a cyst. I think I may have had this cyst for almost ten years. It began as something very small, hardly noticeable and then I happened to glimpse my post natal notes after my son was born and it said 'Barthalian Cyst' - or something like that.

Suddenly I realised that it wasn't my imagination; others could see it too. I mentioned it to Bushman - who unsurprisingly didn't beat around the bush and simply said.

"Me see dat long time."

A horrible realisation dawned  - it was there even when we first slept together. I was pretty mortified and this was tempered only by the fact that it must also mean that he REALLY loved me. I mean you have to really fucking love someone to overlook a genital defect.

Anyway, ten years later and my feet are up in stirrups, legs akimbo and a gynaecological consultant  and I are having a conversation through my legs about what I do for a living.

Seconds later the job is done, I have told her everything she needs to know about teaching in a prison and I get one solitary stitch.

"I think your gorgeous." says the consultant, as she is finishing off her work. I take this to mean that I am a gorgeous person and not as a validation of my now near perfect vagina. She says she would like to do something similar when she retires from gynaecology. I stop myself from mentioning that she has great transferable skills as I deal with some real cunts at work too.

I thank her and tell her that I've had a lovely time; which I have. At worst, my time in hospital has been a little chilly but apart from that some great things have happened to me. Three separate people have told me that I look younger than my age. I have READ A BOOK. I have had peace and quiet. My vagina has been fixed and I've been given painkillers. Hello! Only a cocktail bar and a bag of free merchandise could have made this trip any better.

And now we move on to the drugs. I haven't really been in that much pain but I have to stop myself from taking those darn tablets at night because they do make me feel deliciously wonky and I have a great nights sleep.  'These tablets may be addictive' is all I need to read to know that I want to take them. Mmmmmnnn.....with a glass of wine of course. And its OK because the doctor gave them to me so they are 'good drugs'.

I suppose I should spare a line for the transsexual I mentioned in my last post. Sadly for her she is slightly unstable but it is very entertaining to hear the ways in which she chooses to insult me. She seems fixated on my haircut (remember the racist one?) and believes that I am out to destroy her. When it gets too much I just shake my head and say to myself. How many people can say that they were verbally abused by a transsexual today? It beats your average day at the office.

On a serious note however; although I have eased back into working life and am enjoying myself much more than my last return to work post-pregnancy, I have never been so knackered in my life. That daughter of mine still wakes at night, I have more work on my plate than ever and I am just so freaking knackered all of the time. My blog life, which I have become so fond of, is suffering greatly. However; if something's got to give I suppose it's better that it's my virtual life rather than my real one.

In the midst of all this change I have also come to realise that my job can't contain me for much longer. I seem to spend so much of my time plotting what I would do with my millions if I won the lottery or the policies I would change if I became Prime Minister. Then suddenly the other day I had an epiphany. The chances of me winning the lottery or becoming Prime Minster are slim, at best - which means that the odds of me fulfilling some of my ambitions by just being me, are actually more likely. So, I'm currently thinking about the things I want to do, to help the people I want to help.

When I mentioned to Bushman that I was contemplating starting a charity he looked at me as if I had just casually informed him that I had sold our children, gambled away our house and was leaving him for an Orthodox Jew.

He looked horrified as I said the word 'charity' and he actually said to me "You go tell your father dat."

Hello! I'm thirty four. Once we have a roof over our head and the kids are fed I'll do what the fuck I want thanks very much. Actually, Bushman couldn't possibly have chosen anything better to say to me. Patriarchal bullshit is a surefire way to bring out the determined bitch in me.

The other thing which has me fired up is the filthy virus my beautiful new laptop has picked up. I have run every scan known to man and my computer is still infected!!! It is stopping me from connecting to the internet which was actually a big part of the reason I have been away so long. It took me TWO WEEKS to work out that it was a virus as opposed to any other technological problem.

But, before I get too bogged down with such matters and before I leave you gorgeous people, whom I've missed so much, here is a little anecdote to send you on your way:

It was one of those rare occasions when all my children were in sync with their afternoon nap. Rather than racing around my house trying to catch up, I too succumbed. Thirty minutes later my sleepy son came in to bed to join me. He climbed in and gently caressed my face. It was one of those moments that you know you have to savour because one day they will be gone, and then suddenly....

"Errr? Have you had been putting your fingers up your bottom?" I ask.

"Yes Mummy" he sighs with total transparency.

"Well could you take them off my face please!!"



 


Thursday, 9 June 2011

Reconnected

My internet access has been out for about two weeks.

I feel like someone who has just come out of a coma. When I woke up, I had an Iphone which I didn't know how to work.

In the weeks that have passed I have become addicted to drugs, got myself a new vagina, been verbally abused by a transsexual and have come up with a plan to change the world. (Not necessarily in that order)

All of this is totally true.

Look forward to telling you about it over a glass of wine tomorrow.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Troutie's Royal Wedding in Pictures


The queue at Victoria Station for a ticket.



The Macdonalds at the airport. It's years since I've eaten from McDonalds and I was bowled over to find that it cost just £1.84 for a cheeseburger and chips. Cupcake and I were skint and holidaying on a fraying, grubby, old shoestring.





After arriving at Gatwick in disguise (in sunglasses and a Queen Elizabeth coronation headscarf )I meet Cupcake, we board the plane and land in Dublin. We continue our fast food foray with these crisps in the car park whilst waiting for our shuttle to the Premier Inn.


 

Settled in nicely we open some wine and try on the masks in preparation for the big day.

 
Morning has broken.



Fresh out of the shower I await the filling of my glass.


and then get dressed into something suitable.



Finally, the buggers are wed. Can we get on with our holiday now please? 



We check out of the Premier Inn and hot foot it into town. Will we get to our next hotel on time before the kiss on the balcony? Cupcake rushes ahead, in the hope that we will.






Time is against us, so we do what we do best and dive into a bar just catching the balcony moment.







  
ITS EVERYWHERE!

We didn't make it to any galleries. Street Art will suffice!


 Cupcake's birthday treat to me is a spot of lunch at this  'Royal-Themed' venue. Bloody Delicious! I reccomend the 'smokies' for starters.

Finally, with the wedding frenzy over I discover an oasis..... the Powerscourt Centre with these gorgeous chillies on display






The Powerscourt Centre. Sophisticated hustle and bustle.









 and then I discovered......







the gates of heaven


My favourite shop in Dublin.Sumptuous clothes for hire!




And after a suitable period of browsing and wandering the streets we eat delicious home made cake at 'The Cake Cafe'.

Time for cocktails! (Actually rather shit cocktails at the rather beautiful Cafe en Seine.)



Time to pick up tomorrow's breakfast on a budget.

"This is what our fucking children have reduced us too!!" says Cupcake as we scrabble around in the reduced bin mourning the stylish holidays we used to have.


Then we finally retire and on closer inspection of our shabby hotel discover this.


Then the horror of the white and black mould in room 312 of The Fleet Street Hotel. Suddenly my scoffing at Cupcake's obsession with Premier Inn's seems a little naive.
When I get up in the morning I say. "That was the longest fucking night of my life." After the worst sleep EVER we discover both our bed bases are broken and that the mattresses are being propped up with towels and linen!!!! (complaint currently being processed by Expedia)


It's the morning of the REAL wedding we came for and preparations are in full swing. Not enough kirby grips? Cupcake improvises with knickers.


Despite the odds being stacked against us we still turn out alright!
Off we trot to the real wedding of the year where I make best friends with a drinking, swearing Irish priest.



Sorry it took so long to post this but Blogger did my head in!!!!!!!! You can see by the weird layout that I struggled, can't you. Grrr! Blogger. Grrr!*!??*














Thursday, 28 April 2011

Royal Wedding Preparations

I've ironed my vintage inspired cherry blossom cotton pyjamas;

I've cleaned my leather shoes, handbag and washbag.

I've grown into my racist haircut which I've now decided is much more Salt N' Pepa than National Front.

I've given myself a lip and chin wax.

Hair dyed.

The home made honey, oat and prune mask has been applied (twice)

The eyebrows are plucked - legs and armpits shaved.

I've run a cool iron over my original 1953 Queen Elizabeth Coronation Scarf.

My Kate and Wills dirt cheap bunting is packed alongside my Rose Cava and my English breakfast tea bags.

Commemorative mugs packed.

Manicure done. Nails already chipped.

Outfit dry-cleaned, I've shined my trusty Kurt Geigers and dusted off my passport.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that I had a bloody invite to Buckingham Palace but no - I'm going one better. Off to a wedding in Dublin where the 'Royal Wedding' will be virtually imperceptible as it is happening in another country. Not a massive fan of the Royals, its the perfect plan for the woman who wants to pretend its not happening.

There is one massive flaw in my plan. Cupcake, the sentimental, weepy Royalist is coming with me and she fully intends to torture me through every second of it.

Its a shame I don't know any drug dealers in Dublin as the only way I cam imagine surviving the whole sorry affair is to be very stoned.

I'm literally out of the door people!!!

I will be back from Dublin on Sunday and my next post will be 'in pictures'.

Like this one was.

Whatever you're doing this weekend. Enjoy!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Ukeleles and Racist haircuts


Can a haircut be racist?

I think mine just might be. Very skint and in need of a trim I set off to the Vidal Sasson Academy two days ago for a £12 haircut. They took almost every hair off my head and left me with a long bit at the front.  I look like I should be wearing a checked shirt, Doctor Marten boots and have a swallow tattooed on my neck. (i.e how racist women looked in the 80's - I tried to find a picture but I just ended uphaving to endure racist websites.....)

Shall we move on to Ukeleles?

Please go to this page and vote for my sister (Olivia Thompson) only if you are not a racist!

(Tip: You may have to click 'like' on the Ukelele festival of Great Britain page before you can click 'like' under her video)

Sorry its a short one today but tomorrow is my birthday - why that should shorten my blog post I'm not sure but its a great excuse for almost anything!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Baby Get Shot

Recently Bushman put a nail in one of our doors and hung a calendar on it. Why he didn't put the nail in the wall I'll never know. Anyway, this is supposed to aid the organisation in our household - shocking in itself as Bushman never organises or plans anything. Ever.

Despite this well meaning attempt at commitment visibility, it's not exactly going to plan.The trouble is that Bushman and I can barely communicate with spoken words and thus the written word poses even more problems. He doesn't seem to understand anything I write on the calendar.

"Wha dis?" he asks repeatedly for every entry for the month of April.


Even after I explain what I have written he asks why I feel the need to put it on a calendar. Like my parents' holiday dates, my cousin's dog going to the vets, etc. I have my reasons - does he really want to hear them?
On Saturday Vivienne Westwood came over for a bottle of wine and an over-salted dish of paella.

"What's this?" she says pointing to a scruffily written sentence on the calendar under April 19th.

I vaguely recognise Bushman's virtually illegible text, the result of too much time spent in the bush in Jamaica building camps and fires and not enough time at school. I squint my eyes, tilt my head and  eventually make out the words "Baby get shot"

Vivienne is utterly baffled. "What the hell does that mean?" she asks

"Well, although it seems to indicate that Bushman has taken out a contract on our youngest, I believe it actually refers to her next set of injections". I say.

Regular readers may recall the recent letter from the doctor regarding baby's lack of injections.....

The most important thing on the calendar at present is the Royal Wedding. Not because I really give two hoots about Wills and Kate but because we get an extra days holiday and I am going to be in Dublin with Cupcake at a friend's wedding. WITHOUT MY CHILDREN OR MY BUSHMAN. The excitement is almost unbearable. Three days and three nights with Bushman in sole charge of the kids.

Do I worry about what will happen when I'm not around to translate the calendar and keep a routine? No. They will all live. They will be dessed in mismatching clothing and eating cake for breakfast but they will live. Will I miss them?

I honestly have no idea.

I'll let you know.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Hackney Scrawler

This morning I awoke to my son’s smiling face. He was caressing my cheek and saying gently “Mummy, wake up, I’m hungry”

As I opened my eyes I noticed he had three eighteenth century beauty spots on his face. My mind wandered as to how they could have got there and then suddenly

“Oh no! God no! Shit!” (it just slipped out I couldn’t help it….) I leapt out of bed, that feeling of child-dread and terror rising within me as I suddenly realised that the size and shape of those beauty spots corresponded exactly to the size and shape of the nib of my PERMANENT MARKER that I might just accidentally have left out last night.

I pictured my defaced passport (also on the table), my walls, my sofa (which I had just fucking finished paying for) the clean washing, the laminated floor - all covered in unintelligible scribbles.

I stood in the doorway, half-naked while my eyes scanned the living room and immediately I saw that the telephone had become a victim to the Hackney Scrawler. OK, I thought – I could live with that. I continued to search for more scribbles but no, nothing. I heaved a huge sigh of relief.

I went back into the bedroom and said to Bushman. “It’s OK, he just got the phone.”

Bushman’s eyes directed me to our crisp white bedsheets that I had just sprung from -  turns out they weren’t so lucky.

There’s a whole heap of things going on here right now. I don’t think I’ve even mentioned that my son has started Nursery two days a week and cries every time I leave, that I’m about to go back to jail*, or that I had a letter from my doctor telling me that I was a bad mother.

Apparently because I’ve been too busy blogging, striking, attending the ballet, doing ten tons of laundry a day and eating too much chocolate, it seems my daughter is 28 weeks old and has only had her six week injections. That makes me about 3 sets of injections behind. Ok, so the letter didn’t exactly call me a bad mother but it was certainly implied. What about parents who choose not to immunise their children?
I got Bushman to take her to the clinic and when he came back they had written “28 WEEKS” in bold writing over the bit that says “8 weeks” in my little red book just so everybody else at the surgery knows I am a mother with questionable standards too. Of course Bushman blamed it all on me when he got to the receptionist’s desk, although I clearly remember the conversation where I handed over all immunisation responsibility to him.

And while we’re on the subject of getting all judgy on parents I’m going to direct you to an article that a friend of a friend wrote recently. I often (as I’m sure you do – unless you are one!) fantasise about being a ‘real writer’, trying my hand at freelance writing, finishing one of the billion writing projects I once started etc. etc. but after reading this post I was struck by the fact that the internet has opened up a whole journalist-reader conversation. Gone are the days when you just wrote stuff and never knew what your readers were thinking.

So anyway, a woman called Pip Jones wrote a humorous article about how she doesn’t have any time to herself (and I hear you all concurring!) but some of the comments she got were so judgemental. Who the fuck are these people spending valuable minutes of their day electronically insulting others so that they can feel superior; saying stuff that they would never say so bluntly to your face if they met you in person? I suppose that by blogging I am essentially doing the same thing but I am always amazed at how nice other bloggers/readers seem to be. Take my last commenter for example. Just as I was feeling guilty about not blogging and lacking in inspiration I get this kind of comment.

“I always think there is no way you can top (ie make me laugh really hard) your last post, but you did it again. You are so funny. I wished you lived in my neighborhood because you would shake things up (in a good way).

I thought the drinking age in the UK is 16? At least it was when I lived there. Or maybe I never went to a pub/store that had someone who actually checked ID.

Keep writing because your posts put a smile on my face.

Oh, and you are right about the whole women vs. women thing. We are our own worst enemy against ourselves and other women. Until we realize and understand AND change that way of thinking, we will never be equal.”

I mean, how fucking lovely is that to say to someone? So, thanks Wendy. Except that I was only able to bask in my glory for a second before I started thinking. “Fucking hell – how am I going to make the next post even funnier? That bloody woman has put me under pressure now!”

Anyway, I have so much stuff so say and so little time to say it. I had planned to tell you about my Royal Wedding Plans and how to host your own ‘Porn and Prawn’ party (not I might add as a way of celebrating the Royal Wedding, but hey come to think of it, why not?!) but I guess that will just have to wait until next time mainly because the chocolate biscuits have just run out, the wine glass is empty and the sink is still full……Oh FUCK and I still haven't sent out the porn yet!!!! Self-flagellating as we speak..... BAD TROUTIE.

*Don't worry about the jail thing newcomers - it's just my workplace.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

The Slap / Notes on Beauty


A few weeks ago I went for a photoshoot. This involved tons of 'slap' as we call it here in Blighty: layer upon layer of polyfilla style make up. This slang term is said to have come from 19th century actors who crudely applied make up to their faces and thus 'slapped it on'.

It happens to be my sister's 30th birthday on the day we go for our shoot and afterwards, still covered in slap, we go to buy booze from her local supermarket which smells like a open sewer.

I pick up a bottle of rum and some doughnuts while she grabs three bottles of wine. When I get to the till the woman asks for I.D.

Initially I laugh although I am not flattered. I think she is joking and I tell her so. I inform her that I do not drive, nor do I carry around my passport. I tell her that I am thirty-four. I also tell her that I have two children. I continue to ask her if she is joking.

But she is not joking. This palaver continues for a few more minutes until I start to get really pissed off.

"Look at my face!" I scream leaning over the checkout. "Look at the lines on my face!! I'm thirty-four!!" Momentarily I think about pulling up my shirt to show her the stretch marks on my stomach. (Although how this identifies me as being over twenty-five and thus old enough to buy booze did not cross my mind at the time.)

My sister cuts in.

"Well I don't have any I.D either" she says pointing to her stash of Pinot Grigio.

The small Chinese checkout lady looks my sister up and down.

"You are O.K" she says.

My sister's eyes widen momentarily. Things are going from bad to worse. Not only does it look like I am leaving this stinking hell hole without rum but now this woman has added insult to injury and affronted my sister on a particularly challenging birthday.

"But she's my younger sister!!!" I start screaming at the woman.

All of this is to no avail and eventually we leave with nothing. The bitch won't even let my sister buy the booze for me. I tell her to keep her doughnuts and walk off complaining loudly.

"I'm wearing a full length Jaeger camel cape! How many fucking underage drinkers wear JAEGER CAMEL CAPES FOR FUCKS SAKE!!!!

It's fair to say that alcohol is important to me. I don't want to be flattered. I want a drink.

My make-up continued to rule my day. Not only did the slap knocked TEN years off my real age but it also almost got me married off to a twenty-five year old Turkish hairdresser with his own business (all thanks to the Turkish gentleman's Dad whom I met in a supermarket.) When I told him that I was happily co-habiting with a man and our two children he exclaimed "Unbelievable! Unbelievable!"

The moral of this story is: Beauty will get you everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.

Beauty has been a continuing theme of recent weeks. When I first started blogging I wrote a post called The MILF and I had cause to regret it recently.

I made it a Troutie rule when I started blogging that I wouldn't slag anyone off. Maybe I should qualify that statement by saying that I would never slag anyone off that I knew. But when my best friend Cupcake held her daughter's second birthday party, I was introduced to the woman I had dubbed 'Vanity Fair'. This left me with an awkward feeling because I had unwittingly broken my Troutie rule. I now knew the woman who I had dedicated an entire blog post to.

'Vanity Fair' was indeed a slim, dark-haired, beauty queen with fistfuls of dollars but she was also a shy, somewhat socially awkward creature, teetering on her heels and playing nervously with her hair.

I found myself studying every inch of her face and noting every flaw. I studied the way she spoke, I carefully looked over her clothing, the way she walked, what she ate, how she interacted with others and weighed it all up against my expectations and imaginings.

Afterwards I hated myself for it.  During the debrief after the party Cupcake and I discussed her at length.

"I felt sorry for her" I said to Cupcake "it must be really hard being rich and beautiful."

I wasn't being flippant. Afterwards I spent a long time thinking about beauty and ended with this thought.

One of the hardest things about being a feminist is not the battles we have with men; but resisting the battles we think we have with other women.

The moral of this story is: There is no competition.

And talking of competitions some of you winners, not mentioning any names, (Cathy B and Motherhood the Final Frontier) have failed to give me your details so that I can send you your prizes! I'm giving it until  Thursday 24th for you to come forward otherwise I have picked two more lucky ladies to honour instead. I'll be posting the porn out across the globe next Friday.

Come back later this week when I will have been out on strike and when I'll be making preparations for my very own Royal Wedding Extravaganza.

Confession: If this post is a little unusual its because I'M SLIGHTLY DRUNK. (Whoops! Accidental caps lock...) My son has a fever, my daughter has been a pain in the tits and I had to have two brandy and cokes (heavy self-medicating home measures) to get over it all. Thanks. Sorry. Have I ever told you how much I love you? Goodbye.












Friday, 11 March 2011

Winners!!!

If you haven't been here for a while then goddammit you just missed out on some free porn!

For the rest of you, here are the winners of the 'Porn Name' competition, in no particular order.

Puffy Rosenfeld - by Cathy B. Puffy is original. It has hip hop overtones, as in Puff Daddy. Alternatively, if you are extra rude, 'Puffy' as an adjective could make you think of all sorts of things.

Popeye McMeekin - by Countess. This is so ridiculous - I couldn't stop laughing. 'Meekin' also made me think of 'merkin' which, as any cultured individual should know, is a pubic wig.

Pushkin Eliot/Chompy McVag - by MTFF. Chompy Mc Vag is a slightly illegal choice as it is not an official porn name but it appealed to my warped sense of humour and I couldn't resist.

Smokey Brooks - by Dawn. Utterly fabulous. This one deserves a gold star. It is everything you could want from a porn name.

Please send me your chosen address by email (troutiesblogathotmaildotcodotuk) and I shall send your prize discreetly through the post wrapped carefully in padded brown paper envelopes.

I hadn't even considered the fact that the winners may need multi-region DVD players. All I can say is that it gives you an excuse to have a 'Porn and Prawn' party at a friend's house - but more on that next time.

I have a busy weekend ahead of me but I hope to be back very soon to share my musings with you. Some of the subjects on my musings list are 'Porn and Prawn' parties, Potty Parties, Coil Parties and why I feel the need to turn every minor event into a 'party'. I have also made some notes on beauty, since meeting this lady in real life.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Flash, Bang, Wallop


So here are the pictures from my photo shoot. But before I show you the finished product here are a few top tips should any of you lovely people be thinking about it. My photo shoot was with a company called ‘New ID’ and I went to their Oxford Circus branch. I had a similar experience many years ago when I accompanied a friend so I had an inkling of what I was in for. It’s good to be prepared!


Here are my Ten 'Be Prepared' Tips.

1. At the time of booking there is a (refundable) £25 booking fee per person. Check their refund policy carefully. It can take up to 10 days to get a refund.

2. Be prepared for a lot of slap – make up that is. Yes, you really do need it. However; if once they are finished you are really unhappy about anything, you need to sort it out before the look is immortalised forever. (I secretly wiped off the dodgy lipstick they had put on me and replaced it with a much classier red.)

3. Be prepared for a ‘production line’ effect. You are not special, you are just a body in a queue.

4. Take snacks and a fan. You could be there for up to four hours in total getting peckish in the waiting area and hot under the lights during the shoot.

5. Be prepared to feel very uncomfortable during the shoot. Your photographer may ask you to do some weird postures which feel uncomfortable to you but actually look good from the other side of the camera.

6. Be prepared for the hard sell. Once the experience is over and you get into the viewing room they will use all kinds of techniques to get you to spend super bucks. Up until that point they have probably just about broken even with you. They make their money on the additional pictures/frames/products you buy. If you pretend you only want the complimentary print however; you will probably find that they start negotiating with you.

7. If you have a low alcohol threshold then go easy on the ‘Fucks Bizz’ because you will part with your cash much more readily!

8. If you want actual prints posted to you will have to pay for the postage.

9. Don’t let them mess around with your pictures (unless you want serious airbrushing that you can't do yourself). Turning one picture black and white can set you back £10. Get them on a CD and mess with them yourself. Getting them printed yourself is also much cheaper. The smallest photo size at these places can set you back £50.

10. Lastly, take a fucking amazing real fur cape with you. It hides a multitude of sins and although it may make you look laissez-faire about animal welfare, I guarantee that you will look fucking awesome.

If you bear all this in mind then the chances are you won’t feel taken advantage of and can enjoy yourself.

You will probably end up with at least one nice photo that you like, which doesn’t look like you at all. Here are mine.

WARNING: THIS IS NOT ME

These photos have been altered. I have played around with the colour/contrast etc. But I have not - I repeat NOT – had them airbrushed. I refused. I have obviously created the ‘anonymous’ look myself.







Yes – I’m sorry several animals were harmed to create this look but they were harmed many years ago when we still thought that smoking was good for you, ate corned beef and the jury was still out on black people having smaller brains.

You have got to admit though that that is one AMAZING COAT.

Please note that I was not paid, bribed or blackmailed into reviewing this experience. It was a Christmas gift.

And if you haven't entered my FREE PORN giveaway yet then check my last post and hop to it!!!!!