Desert Island Essentials

I would like to think that if challenged to go and live on a desert island with only a couple of essential items that I would be able to choose fun, frivolous things because I am carefree, spontaneous and adaptable.  It appears though after I gave this some thought that I am none of these things and if I had to survive without some very mundane items the probability of me dying within the first day would be quite high.

This is by no way an exhaustive list but the first 3 things I thought of that I wouldn’t go anywhere for any length of time without.

*Dental Floss

Last month I had a dental appointment.  Only for a check up, nothing sinister.  The very first question out of the dentist’s mouth before I could even get comfy in the chair was ‘’Do you floss?’’

 Were my teeth that grim he could see the dangly fury bits between them from the doorway?  

I have flossed in the past. 

I flossed as a child when mum used to get the mint flavoured one in the little circular real.  

I floss when I’ve eaten BBQ and have meat stuck in my teeth.

  But I do not floss regularly.  Or I didn’t.  

I was given instructions that  I should begin to floss daily to improve my overall mouth health.  So that’s what I did. 

 At first it was a struggle. It was uncomfortable and my gums would bleed.  Because I was a child of the 80’s, when it was ok to give children dirty great big silver fillings, I couldn’t get the floss all the way through without thinking I was going to yank out one of those silver babies.  But as I persevered I noticed that I needed to floss more and more.  Like an addiction.  Hooked on flossing (dental health not the dance).   I wondered if there was a support group for it?  I was flossing in the morning after my coco pops, after nearly every meal actually and  before the habitual bedtime teeth clean.  I had even bought 5 reals and had begun to place them strategically around the house so I didn’t have to keep going upstairs to retrieve it from the bathroom (I refuse to do any more steps than necessary).  It began to feel like my teeth were actually itching and a spot of flossing was the only way to stop it.  

Have you ever noticed that some older people, elderly people to be more precise sometimes look like they have a full sunday lunch between their teeth? Just to be clear I am not  in any way being rude or disrespectful, old people are actually my favourites.  It’s not a problem I ever remember having in my younger years.  I’m not saying that I’ll be drawing my pension next week but as I get older, and now I have been properly introduced to flossing I feel like I actually couldn’t live without it.

*Indigestion and Heartburn remedies 

You are laid in bed  after a small midnight snack.  A secret snack.  You are a secret night time eater to be accurate.  Practically choking on your own acid because your shitty reflux pipe doesn’t close properly and now actual acid is leaking out. Not actual acid like the battery sort but the stomach sort.  The burning sensation in your chest and throat is horrendous.  The pain between your buzzies is so severe you start to wonder if it is indigestion and heartburn at all.  Maybe you’re having a heart attack?

When I was pregnant the first time round we lived in a house with only a downstairs bathroom.  When I got bigger in the third trimester and the baby insisted I go for 5 wee’s per night I got into the habit of sneaky night time eating.  I would open the snack cupboard and poke a jaffa cake into my mouth.  If I could chew and swallow it while my head was still in the cupboard it was like it never happened and didn’t count so I would take another to eat whilst having a wee.  This happened every night and every wee.  It is unfortunate that 12 years and 3 stone  later I have failed to break the habit and still sneak down during the night in full stealth mode to shovel a few biscuits in before slipping back into bed and pretending I’ve never moved. These days I don’t even have the accompanying  wee.  The shame of it.  

Now, I’m no doctor but I don’t think this helps my indigestion.

Not long ago I was having a particularly painful bout of indigestion. I had two hot water bottles, one for my stomach and one for my back.  I’d  chugged nearly half a bottle of gaviscon straight from the bottle like the class act I am but I was still in agony.  A couple of hours had passed and it wasn’t easing at all so I woke Husband. 

‘’I’m not very well’’ I said in a poorly voice.  The sort of voice you find yourself doing when you ring in sick at work.

‘’You woke me up.  I’ve got to be at work soon’’ he slurred.

‘’But I think I might be having a heart attack’’ I whined.

I then explained how it felt and the pain I was in. I reminded him how we’d all heard the stories about people who thought they had needed a Rennie when really they needed a triple heart bypass.

‘’I think I should go to hospital’’ I announced.

His annoyance at being rudely awoken during the night and being talked to death was obvious.

‘’You’re probably not even having one’’.  He snapped. ‘’I bet you just need to pump.  How embarrassing if we got there and you just needed to let one go’’

So just to conclude, I was on the cusp of heart failure and Husband flat out refused to take me to hospital just in case I showed him up by not actually having a heart attack. Then he went straight back to sleep.  

 I have since learned that copious amounts of peppermint tea will do the trick and bring some relief … and some pumps.  As it happened I did just need to let one go.

*Big Knickers

To avoid confusion I don’t mean a ‘brief’ or a ‘short’ as opposed to a string thong.  I’m referencing great big granny pants.  

Granny pants: They cover your full bottom which seems to be a dying trend given the range of swimwear that has become recently available. If you are shopping for a bikini or a new cozzy you will be hard pushed to find anything that will lovingly hug your backside.  Instead we are faced with something that looks as though it might belong to your 10 year old daughter.  

You can pull them up above your belly button and drop your stomach into them. You can call them ‘high waisted’ if you want to be bang on trend.  Gone are the days  thank god of sexy low cut jeans that were in fact so low cut, knickers of any kind were out of the question.  If you forgot to shave the top part of your landing strip you may have been accused of smuggling a long haired guinea pig down there.

More difficult to lose after a wash.  It’s annoying when you fail to locate the smaller items when a cycle has finished.  Where did they go?  Did the washer eat them? Did they run off with the odd socks and tupperware lids?  It’s far easier to find big knickers when you empty the washing machine, this is due to their sheer size.

The Eventless Event’s Tent

A few months ago Husband received a package through the post.  It was an ebay purchase which is nothing out of the ordinary because he is unnaturally obsessed with ebay and addicted to buying random shit that no one needs, sometimes it doesn’t even get opened.  This is because he enjoys the thrill of buying stuff, whether we need it or not has nothing to do with it.  Not such a problem if it’s silly cheap stuff . After all there are worse vices to have but on this occasion the parcel was quite big which I later found out was neither cheap or in fact of any use. It has now been sitting in the box gathering dust in the corner of the kitchen for the last 6 months and after a row the other day when Husband had the barefaced audacity to accuse me of wasting money I could no longer hold my council.  I let rip about this Fucking thing that had been festering, unopened in the kitchen for the last decade (6 months), at a cost of 2 million pounds (around £300 but you can see where I’m going with this).  So when I arrived home from work on Saturday just imagine my sheer delight to be greeted with a 15 foot shelter on the lawn.

We now have an ‘events tent’ in our back garden with no plans to hold any kind of events.  Husband keeps telling the children to go and play in it, or take the dogs in it.  He has been sitting under it to drink cups of tea and even tried to persuade the kids to sleep in it overnight, marketing it as an adventure, all in a desperate effort to prove its value.  Of course the children and dogs are having none of it rendering the thing basically useless.  Husband has also been insisting how it will come in handy for parties, but the thing is we haven’t had a party in over 3 years and honestly I have no current plans or inclination to have another anytime soon. Mainly because these days I am more unsociable but also I dread the week long hangover that follows any type of social drinking now I’m getting a little older. In addition to these very valid reasons I am also unwilling to clean my home to the degree necessary to welcome people into it.

So for now we have a massive monstrosity in the garden serving no purpose at all other than to get in the way of everything and block out every last lovely view of the countryside from all angles, not forgetting that this wasn’t a misunderstanding or an accidental purchase (come on, we’ve all been there, it’s definitely a thing) He bought it on purpose and at a monetary cost to us. Unbelievable.

I am now welcoming rental enquiries and shall be making this gigantic arse wipe available for weddings, christenings, birthdays, and bog standard Tuesday’s so if you fancy sitting under a big top in my garden then be my guest.

***Update – It is now Wednesday and I’ve had a few days to warm up to the giant arse wipe. Husband moved our outside furniture underneath it and lit some candles, he also promised me some fairy lights. I have been spending a bit of time in my new outdoor living room, reading and relaxing. We also had a sneaky family Bar B Q last night which in my book qualifies as an event worthy of an events shelter. It fitted us all under and a fab time was had by all … enough to declare that I think I might like it ***

Whiffy McWhiffison

I’ve been noticing over the last few months that I am periodically, particularly smelly.  I know it’s summer and we have had some baking hot days but when the smell radiating from your rear end is anything but pleasant and the sheer force of your tit sweats are out of control it’s near impossible to ignore.  Admittedly I did get into a fairly gross lockdown routine  last year of a very begrudging one strip wash per week instead of the more frequent showering routine I had been accustomed to, and I’ll hold my hands up and say that at the time I wasn’t reassessing it for anyone.  

During the first National lockdown when we were banned from leaving the house, mixing with other humans and having any fun at all, I became overly comfortable with my own natural body odour more than what was appropriate, but I settled into it and actually found it physically challenging to wrestle myself into the shower near enough at all. The only other time I remember being this way was during my second pregnancy with my son which I put down to grubby boy hormones. I’m now rethinking this view and hurtling faster and faster towards the conclusion that I am simply a mucky bitch.

 I used to be a solid once a day type showerer back in the pre lockdown days but after I was turned by the promise of social distancing and the knowledge that no one would be getting close enough to smell me I embraced the strip wash and it all went downhill from there.  Obviously I have improved slightly since the full swing of social imprisonment and have now managed to revert back to actual full showers and the occasional bath but only because I’m back at work and mixing with the general public and honestly the last thing I want is a customer at the bank holding their nose while I serve them. 

Worryingly I’ve also discovered more recently that regardless of how many showers I have, or how ruthlessly clean I am I’m still a trifle whiffy. My name could literally be Whiffy McWhiffison. I sweat profusely out of my face, tits and fanny for absolutely no reason at all which would account for the peculiar smell that apparently only I’m aware of, according to Husband. I basically like to randomly ask him if he can smell me while he’s going about his business, eating his tea, watching Gold Hunters or drifting off to sleep.  This involves me well and truly invading his personal space to shove my lady bags and privates far too close to his face to see if he catches a whiff.  As you can imagine he loves this. (He actually doesn’t love it and I’m surprised he hasn’t punched me in the face yet.) After doing some research I’m considering that it could be perimenopause as I appear to have some of the other symptoms as well, and at 41 I’m definitely in that age bracket, also couple of my friends had it confirmed that they had entered perimenopause by a clever test done at the doctors while in their late thirties so i’m definitely old enough.  Brain fog and fatigue have been my new companions of late which would further support this theory. The mood swings I experienced when I had the mirena coil also seem to have returned with a vengeance which isn’t ideal especially not for my marriage.  Just to give you an idea of what I used to go through on a monthly cycle with the coil and again more recently with possible perimenopause symptoms …

Week 1 – Crying.  At everything and anything including but not limited to puppies, old people, my children because they are just so beautiful, world news, and when anyone smiles at me or shows me a slither of kindness.

Week 2- Anger. The all consuming kind where there’s a chance my actual head might blow off. During this week I am a total psycho who is too easily irritated by nearly everything, especially Husband, who I constantly want to stab to death over the slightest thing.

Week 3- Sex Mad.  Feeling frisky 24/7.  Desperately trying not to accost strangers who pass me in the street in favour of trying to convince Husband that I no longer want to kill him in an effort to make him shag me, which as you can imagine he is not that keen on, having spent the previous week being the target of my wrath.  Not Ideal.

Week 4- Fatigue, crippling period pain and trying to grasp what has been happening the previous 3 weeks and wondering if I have a personality disorder.

 Considering all of this I think it’s lucky and absolutely necessary that I have once again become acquainted with my shower, at least on weekdays when I have to share the same airspace as other people outside of my own long suffering family.  The other stuff I’m taking one day at a time, as and when it arises.  I know there are groups I can join and stuff I can read and luckily there seems to be lots of support around  this topic including a great bunch of women on Instagram who are going through much of the same and for this I am grateful, mostly because it’s through social media which means no one can smell me.

The Devil’s Bum Hole

I’m a fairly easy going type in most areas of my life. Friendships, my job, my role as a wife, housework, raising my babies, rules, and this also extends to the type of TV program I choose to watch on an evening after a hectic day. I use the term ‘choose to watch’ loosely, meaning Husband nearly always commandeers the remote and I get to choose nothing, which is why it is such a great asset that I am laid back.  I’ve always had the ability to be able to switch on the TV and take interest in just about anything that happens to be on from vaginal lubrication adverts to a 50 year old Swedish film with subs already three quarters of the way through. So more frequently than I’d like, and on this night in particular, I find myself watching Gold Hunters on channel Dave because its one of Husbands favourites and although it falls into the same category as piss bag Ice road truckers, dead boring Deadliest Catch and Fucking Salvage Hunters with Drew Pissing Pritchard and his tiny little eyes, I’m trying to show an interest in his interests, in the interest of being a good wife even though it makes me want to shrivel up and die.

Australian Gold Hunters follow various couples, companies and families that have uprooted their entire lives, sold just about everything they own probably including their own children to move to the guts of Hell in the Ozzie outback in the name of having the opportunity to dig for gold.

I imagine it can become addictive once you find a chunk of treasure but I’d want to find nuggets the size of my head, not my little toe like is so often the case in these episodes. After hours of hard manual labour until the very life has been sucked from their very soul, and assuming they haven’t dropped dead from heat stroke, the only thing they have to look forward to is heading back to their shitty makeshift tent or caravan to enjoy an out of date tin of cold beans (because the tent or caravan has no power of course, it’s not a fortnight in the Hilton in Tenerife you know) and being at the mercy of the outback for a few terrifying hot sweaty hours through the night until day breaks and the whole charade begins again.

And again.

And again. 

On a loop endlessly until they are found dead, dehydrated, sunburned and half eaten by a crocodile.  Okay, I admit that bit has never been televised but it doesn’t mean it never happened.

Husband: I’d be great at gold hunting.  I might go.

Me: It looks horrendous, and it’s in Australia.

Hus:I know.

Me: What about me and the children? You know, your family.

Hus: You can come too, to look after the caravan we would live in.

Me (cold disbelief): Seriously? 

Hus: Of course you wouldn’t be there JUST to clean the caravan… you’d make dinner too.

Me: FML

Sometimes when he says ridiculous things like this to me I dare to think he might be joking, and sometimes, now and again he makes my day by actually smirking, laughing or giving me a playful nudge.  This was absolutely not one of these times.  He was completely serious and totally prepared to make us move to this devil’s bum hole halfway across the world.

Just to reiterate, FMAL.

Summer Holidays. Days out or Days in?

And it’s here.

The summer holidays.  

6 weeks of uninterrupted fun, frolics, laughter, disagreements, arguments, fights, hair pulling, head holding, shouting and nervous breakdowns. But to break it up a bit we will be including a handful of days out. Now I’m not really one for days out, and honestly neither are the kids.  Maybe they just take after me but I think it’s nice to feel relaxed enough to enjoy your home  without wanting to be out somewhere new every day. I don’t mind the kids inviting their friends for the day or to sleepover, I quite enjoy the mischief and giggles and happily agree to this quite frequently.

Call me a misery all you want but I’m more of a ‘cosy film day’ mother in the colder winter months and a ‘garden day’ mother during the summer. Both sorts of days would obviously be filled with appropriate activities and more importantly snacks, and an excellent time would be had by all.  I love home and spending time in it or around it or anything that doesn’t involve leaving it.  I can’t think of anything worse than driving to the coast to drive around for a further hour looking for a suitable parking spot only to be so stressed out by the time we eventually find one that everyone has fallen out with each other and wants to go home anyway.  Throw into the mix that public toilets are scarce and the thing hygiene nightmares are made of, not even really mentioning about queuing and hanging around for ice creams, rides, amusements etc etc. 

Now don’t be hasty, there’s no need to call Childline or the social about what a mean old mum I am.  My babies have 3 sets of grandparents and 2 grown up sisters so get plenty of days out.

This said, I can’t be completely selfish and will do a few family days out.  I have various things planned like a water park day, a trip to Castle Howard for a picnic, various bike rides and dog walks also including a picnic (mainly because every adventure or activity always has to include snacks of some description)

 We already kicked off the year with a trip to a farm in the spring, which apart from the argument in the car on the way there, I actually really enjoyed.

There were horses, cows, goats, chickens, donkeys, lots of sheep, one in particular was a total savage and earned its title as our favourite but for me the highlight of the full day was when the resident old flea bitten turkey that looked like he’d seen his prime a while back took a liking to Husband.  We were all standing  at the gate to his field admiring the sheer size of him because from a distance he could have been mistaken for an elaborately dressed hippo, when suddenly he caught sight of us and came speeding over like he was being chased by a Christmas dinner chef.  He proceeded to shake violently , all the time eyeing us suspiciously and following us up and down the fence.  Husband, being the comedian he is, said the turkey clearly had the hots for me,  insinuating that I looked like a fat old turkey but the joke was on him because when I moved down to the next enclosure to look at the chickens and the noisy cockerills, the turkey stood still as a statue staring straight at Husband.  We then concluded with great delight that the turkey was either guarding his patch from Husband or was attempting to win his affections.  Both would indicate that he saw Husband as either a rival turkey or a girl turkey making it the best day of my life.

I hope your 6 week holidays will be a time you can make those all important memories with your famalam, whether you choose to do this by trips out every day or garden and film days from the comfort of your own home. Just remember whatever you choose to do, a picnic or a great snack selection is always essential.

Good Luck.

Guest Post !!!

Today I have a treat for you.

Victoria Hulmes, aka Mummy0kids1 for those who want to find her on Instagram, is not only a gifted writer who has a real way with words but is also my dear friend. That made me sound like I’m 88 years old but she really is dear to me, and my friend so … anyway … I’d like to present ‘Go to Sleep’ which is relatable, touching and hilarious.

Go to Sleep

I really would like to travel back in time and give smug me a talking to. “We’re so lucky – our children are great at going to bed.” 

Now, nothing is further from the truth

7:30pm to 8pm 

On the sofa:

They are all starving and require three different snacks and milk of varying temperatures

Milk is not provided in the appropriate cup so a new drink must be offered

Requests for more food are declined so shouting begins 

Pleas to stay up late gather force because despite the fact they have all been yawning and rubbing their eyes they are categorically NOT tired, it’s still light outside and they have not been given appropriate warning that bedtime is upon them 

En route to bed:

Everyone has an injury of some kind and can’t possibly make it to the stairs alive

“Can I have a yorkshire pudding?”

Everything is a distraction: Look Mummy, a dead ant. Do you think it had a nice life? 

The protests about teeth cleaning begin because the toothpaste tastes funny and their toothbrushes are the wrong shape

Upstairs

Nobody can find their pyjamas so football kits and football kits and a unicorn costume are the only suitable alternatives 

Much running from bedroom to bedroom begins

Now I start to shout and threaten to cancel all future celebrations and every treat known to man

This is met with complete disregard as I always go big with threats and never carry them through 

In bed

I’m too hot. 

Take off your Arsenal kit then

Minnie skips to our book shelf: Mummy can you read me three books? I’m handed Mr. Small, Unicorn Adventures and the autobiography of Nelson Mandela 

After our goodnights

David and I are on the sofa staring at some Netflix dross. Unbeknownst to us George is watching it from behind the pillar in the kitchen. He sneaks downstairs quite frequently when the others are asleep. “Mummy, will you come up with me?”

So I take him upstairs to cuddle up to him in the darkness and stroke his hair. He’s eight now so affection is harder to come by with him. It’s all on his terms. But when sleeping dust settles on my younger two, when lashes flutter their tired eyes to sleep, one little night owl tiptoes downstairs looking for a sofa nest in-between Mummy and Daddy. 

So bedtime, even though I hate you – thank you for reuniting us with our big, little man because nothing brings back the small child of a want-to-be teenager, than the fall of darkness and a cuddle from their Mummy. 

By Victoria Hulmes. Blogger. Living life after losing her little boy Jack. Coping with the tears and loving the laughter. Cheese rolls, forward rolls, eye rolls and everything inbetween.

Find her on Instagram @Mummy0kids1

My Husband. The Raving Loony with the Beard and a Hammer

We don’t have any neighbours for maybe half a mile or so in each direction.  Just open fields and more wildlife than you can shake a stick at.  So imagine my surprise when I found someone lurking around having what he told me was a leisurely stroll in the field next to our house. 

Me: Hi, can I help you?

Him: No

Me: Are you looking for something?

Him: No I’m just having a stroll

Me: Well this is private property so you could maybe take a stroll somewhere else.  There’s loads of public footpaths around here.

Him: Oh right.  It’s nice here though. Quiet.

Me: Yes it usually is when there’s no one trespassing -(Okay I never said that last part but I wanted to) 

Correct me if I’m wrong but if I was choosing a summer walk I wouldn’t look for a house to walk directly next to.  It’s rude, it’s an invasion of privacy and it’s just not the done thing. He was so close he was practically in my garden. If he had been walking slightly faster he would have caught me fully naked in the garden unpegging my yoga pants and vest from the washing line to put on. And let’s remember I’m not a fan of underwear so that could have been awkward.  I was alone in the house with all the doors to the garden wide open and honestly it made me feel a little vulnerable and uneasy.

Now, Husband is not a fan of any sort of intruders, accidental or otherwise and he always believes that these lost dog walkers or cheeky nature lovers with no concept of personal space have a hidden agenda.  He is convinced they are plotting a robbery, kidnapping or worse and becomes horrendously overprotective and automatically morphs into protector mode in the form of the Incredible Hulk. So when I called him to tell him that I’d had a run in with a stranger over the garden fence it was possibly not a decision I’d thought out that well.  He made the 20 minute journey from across town in approximately 4 minutes and came storming in like the charge of the light brigade.  He was 9 foot tall and puffed out from what I imagine was adrenaline.

Hus: What did he look like?  How old was he?  Did he have any tattoos or distinguishing features?

Good God I felt like I was being interrogated by MI5

Me: Er… Erm … he was in black shorts with a smiley face tattoo on his calf like the calling card sign that serial killer Red John leaves at his crime scenes off that program I like because I fancy the man in it.

Husband was looking at me like I’d grow another head.  Saying nothing he turned and immediately stalked outside and jumped over the back garden fence making his way at great speed towards the layby at the end of our driveway.  In a nutshell this layby has been known to have a bit of ‘dogging’ activity and it has also been known for Husband to chase people out of the layby that are being particularly brazen about it.

He returned a few minutes later for his car.  Within seconds he had jumped in it and all that was left was a cloud of dust from him speeding off.

I hoped he wasn’t going to kill anyone or frighten anyone too much so they called the police.  I’d been hoping for a nice quiet weekend.

Once again he returned.  He told me with vigour and in great detail how he had walked up to a few random people in the layby to get a good look at their calves and driven to a couple of neighbouring laybys also known for there unsavoury activities to do the same but hadn’t had any luck.  He seemed disappointed.  But then finished by telling me that he had driven back through our layby at the end of our drive and just for good measure had made sure he was driving past the parked cars menacingly slowly while gently swinging a hammer out of the open window.

WTF?

He likes to make sure that anyone who visits this layby or who comes too close to our house leaves with the idea that a raving loony with a ginger beard and a large hammer lives here.  

I definitely think he managed it.

So if you’re considering a walk in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside and happen to stumble across a crazed maniac going from car to car in a resting spot wielding a hammer/ baseball bat or a selection of power tools (historically they’ve all had an outing), do not panic, it’s only Husband.

Birthday Week

This week it was my birthday.

I love birthdays.  A celebration of another year here on earth,  and I feel lucky.  It’s a privilege to get older that not everyone gets to experience.  And then there’s the birthday cake.  Not that I need an excuse to eat cake, after all it’s always someone’s birthday somewhere but on your own it’s basically an open licence to consume as much as your little heart desires without a second thought to the appropriateness of the amount.

I was also whisked away on a surprise trip by Husband.  This is something that has never happened in 18 years together so it was obviously lovely if not a little unnerving.  He actually wasn’t going to tell me until the day we left which in itself is a bit terrifying but thankfully was forced to own up a couple of weeks in advance because I nearly planned something with my friends for that weekend.  He still wouldn’t disclose the location or nature of the surprise though.  Winding me up telling me I’d need a wetsuit and hiking boots and that the trip would include tree climbing.  Bearing in mind my idea of a lovely time is eating and drinking in the sun somewhere whilst wearing a nice frock, this information was starting to bother me slightly. We were due to leave at lunchtime on Saturday and by Friday evening I still knew nothing and was verging on a nervous breakdown.  I’m not the sort of woman that relishes the element of surprise on a large scale.  

Don’t get me wrong I love a bit of  a…

 ‘’Surprise, heres 20 quid go and treat yourself’’

Or

 ‘’Surprise I’ve cooked tea tonight so you don’t have to’’

 Or

’’Surprise, I’ve made you a cuppa’’

But I draw the line at anything bigger.  Most girls that I know like to plan.  Plan what to wear, plan what time they will begin getting ready, plan what to pack depending on the activity and location.  I don’t think I’m wrong when I say we like to know what’s happening at least a few days in advance so we can look forward to it. Maybe get our nails done or do some tanning.  I know for me that’s definitely a big thing. Even though that’s not what happened on this occasion, I think he sensed I was becoming more and more tense and so  just as I was on the brink of losing consciousness through the stress of it all, he told me to pack a nice frock and that I wouldn’t be needing outdoor activity gear after all.

Phew! Well Thank God for that. 

It turned out he had put together a lovely day of eating and drinking at some select  places.  He had booked a room at a gorgeous little pub we visited 8 years ago by accident on his 40th birthday.  Somewhere we always wanted to go back to but somehow had never managed to get round to it.  He even arranged the sunshine.

Husband tries desperately hard to annoy the shit out of me 23 hours a day and to make me hate him, but I don’t.  In fact I quite like him.  Love him even.  He’s one of life’s good ones and I feel very lucky.

Side note: Some will be reading this thinking how weird it is that we are married yet I’m reluctant in saying I love him, and I suppose it is but its our thing and its what we do. We pretend to not really like each other when the truth is there’s no one else in the world I’d rather pretend to hate.

I booked the week off work to fully enjoy my birthday because in our house we like to have a birthday week.  It’s only right I think, and would be rude not to. So following my lovely break away I’ve had a few days relaxing in the sun, avoided housework as much as possible except to wash a few pairs of pants and had a huge family Bar B Q on my actual birthday.

I’m a year older, a year wiser and definitely a year saggier. I’m also more grateful than ever for my gorgeous babies, comfortable home and wonderful family. Oh, and for my mediocre Husband. Im joking!

Jogging can jog on

Scenario: When you’ve been for a jog despite hating exercise with a passion.  You get caught short and are forced to shit in a field except you were a minute too late and are now required to expel the contents of your pants into the nearby ditch before making a familiar phone call to your husband to be collected.

Actually not me this time. Very surprising. 

I don’t even know how I was spared this one. Probably because I don’t jog. Don’t get me wrong it’s not that I don’t want to, I’d love to pop out in a morning and get 5k under my belt before breakfast but my body literally won’t do it. I did a short spell of boot camps in our local park a couple of years ago which included some running and no word of a lie, about three weeks into it my left hip broke. Well kind of. It just stopped working. Sitting down, bending, getting in and out of bed and sitting on the loo were just a few things that I found excruciatingly painful and so it was because of this that my running career ended before it began. Instead of being dedicated and continuing my boot camp regime at all costs and against all odds (only having one working hip) I gave up immediately replacing the boot camp sessions with half hearted home workouts and plenty of tea and biscuits, which my hip thanked me for and after a few more weeks reluctantly began participating in my life once again.

My friend’s sister was actually the student in this life lesson. Doing great on her jog, nearly half way round the route she had chosen when that urgent, all knowing feeling reared its ugly head she had no other option than to hot foot it through the hedge into the nearest field. Undoubtedly thanking her lucky stars she’d had the good sense to choose a quiet route instead of the park that would have been crawling with cyclists, runners and overly eager dog walkers, it was unfortunate that she didn’t quite make it the whole way round without cacking her pants. Luckily it was a baked potato situation and not a chocolate milkshake situation, which apparently she is no stranger to, so for small things we must be grateful. Apparently this was not her first time doing the pooey pants tango. It appears she seems to be an expert in dancing this dance. It was therefore no surprise to anyone when she had to make the dreaded call to her husband instructing him to bring the car immediately and to make sure he brought a number of towels, the wet wipes and a large can of air freshener.

I wanted to share this unfortunate incident to mainly highlight what a dangerous sport running, or in fact any sport is, that involves the outdoors with no facilities within bum clenching distance. Paula Radcliffe knows this only too well. Competing at the highest level, representing her country running her heart out only to be put in the unthinkable position of having to choose between losing her place in the race by exiting to use the lav, or squatting brazenly at the side of the road on a very public, highly televised competitive run so she could fire out a shit at the speed of light before continuing the race like nothing had happened.

Before you make any rash decisions regarding such high risk activities there are a few basic points I feel are important to consider…

  1. Have I eaten bran flakes, prunes or porridge in the last 24 hours?
  2. Are my gym leggings easy to get off in a bowel movement emergency situation?
  3. Do I enjoy having the use of both my hips?

After answering these questions if you still decide to venture into the unpredictable, fairly terrifying world of jogging then Godspeed.

The Joys of a Septic Tank

In our house it’s quite a regular occurrence that we might have a slow draining sink or a blocked toilet, and not because our shits are any bigger than anyone else’s but mainly because we live out in the sticks and have a revolting septic tank.

Sidenote: For anyone unsure of what a septic tank is, it is essentially a massive tank buried in the garden that all household water drains into, including poo’s and wee’s.  These are generally used when the water mains drainage system is too far away from the house to connect into. They require regular emptying but when working properly should hold the dumps in the tank and filter the liquid out into a soak away where the water should theoretically soak into the ground.  

 After further probing  as to why these sorts of problems happen to us so frequently we looked into our septic tank situation and became aware that it must have been in residence for approximately 60 years.  Now I’m no waste drainage expert but that doesn’t sound too healthy and you don’t have to be a genius to work out it probably needs a bit of upgrading. 

 What is not widely known is that you need approximately 2 million pounds to do it.  Okay that might be a small exaggeration but we definitely wouldn’t get much change from 15K, so it may as well have been 2 million.  It’s on the top of the ‘to do’ list but until then Husband is running a very tight ship where water is concerned.  Constantly policing the length of showers we have, the amount of washes I do which is horrendous because washing clothes is the only element of housework I actually enjoy, relish even, so normally I attempt to launder everything in the house every day, twice.  I’ve been given strict instructions the dishwasher is off limits because its not water efficient enough and when I pull a face or throw a toddler tantrum at having to wash up he gleefully reminds me that the consequences of expelling too much water into the tank at once will leave us with backed up pipes and the delight of our own turds gurgling back up the plughole. 

 Okay Husband, point taken.

This means that for the foreseeable future our daily water drainage allowance will be roughly equivalent to that of an egg cup. We are obliged to wear the same clothes for a fortnight as I’ve been told to only do 1 wash per week (but will possibly do a few more on the sly and then will deny everything if questioned) and frankly they’re so stiff with God knows what they’re about to get up and walk off our bodies. It’s also not the most attractive feature that the smell from the toilet is making everyone gag due to the ‘If it’s yellow let it mellow and if it’s brown flush it down’ rule that no one pays any attention to.

Living the Dream