Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Let me tell you a story about a bath

First off: Birthday Week is done and dusted. It was awesome. No, much to Mr Jamie and Beth's horror, I didn't get a birthday cake 'with candles in', but yes, I did get these instead. Well done Neil. Cracking work.

Photo: Happy Birthday To Me! And sterling work Neil: I bloody love them.

Secondly, and I can't believe I've been restrained for so long on this... MY BUILDING WORK IS FINISHED! And oh my goodness me, it's marvellous. The conservatory in itself is pretty darn lovely... but then you get to the FAKE GRASS. Which has excited me almost as much as that fantastically awesome pair of shoes above. I know. This is what happens when you reach the grand old age of 32. Conservatories start to excite you. Here are a very controlled selection of photos for you. It is BRILLIANT.

Check out that fake grass! And the rather odd looking children creating an army of conkers in the middle of it. Yes, they're as barmy as ever.

So then. Birthday and conservatory excitement over, let me tell you a story about a bath.

Here it is:

A pretty impressive bath, right? I mean, any bath which requires a step up into it is impressive in my book, let alone one which is made of solid marble. It was, sadly, only a borrowed bath, as I spent a night of luxury away with work in perhaps the plushest surroundings I've ever been fortunate to step foot into. (It's safe to say the owners of said plushest surroundings were duly horrified when they caught sight of me, dishevelled, uncoordinated and clutching four separate pairs of shoes, owing to my a) indecision and b) inability to pack within the confines of my suitcase.)

I woke up early on the second day and decided I would have a bath. No, make that, I would have THE Bath. In THE Bath, as pictured above. Despite the earliness of the hour, I was tremendously excited. I prepared well: I put the plug in, added bubbles, turned on both taps to the max, wrapped myself in hundreds of fluffy towels and tottered over to the still-filling bath. I dumped the towels on the floor and carefully stepped up onto the step, lowered my leg down, and gently plunged myself into what seemed like less of a bath and more like a swimming pool.

The water kept on flowing. I laid back and relaxed. It was lovely. Such a lovely bath.

With great care and attention I turned the taps off just before the water reached the overflow pipe, and submerged myself in THE Bath. What a lovely, lovely bath. Did I mention that already?

I washed my hair, using some of the many little bottles of complimentary luxury toiletries scattered around the edges of the bath, and then reluctantly decided I had better get out. I started to lean forward to raise myself out of THE Bath.

And then realised I couldn't.

It is perhaps hard to explain the dilemma I found myself in. But I shall do my best. Here's the thing. THE Bath was deep. Very, very deep. Like I say: more like a swimming pool. My arms are short. Very, very short. Far too short to be able to reach them onto the sides to pull myself out.

My legs are also short. Not short enough, however, to be able to bend them to one side to be able to lever myself out of THE Bath that way.


I didn't panic. Yet. I tried the arm thing. Then I tried the leg thing. Then I tried the arm and leg thing. Then I slipped and briefly submerged myself under the water before breaking free.

Then I panicked.

I looked around for my mobile phone. 'I'll ring Neil', I thought, haplessly. 'He'll save me.' Not entirely sure what I thought he was going to do, a full 150 miles away. Fortunately for him, my mobile phone was safely on the other side of the bathroom. It was even more fortunate for the fire brigade, who in my irrational state would have likely been my next port of call.

You'll see from the photo above there was a small window above the bath, shielded by a net curtain. I ripped the curtain to one side and pressed my soggy face against the glass, searching for early morning golfers who might have been roaming my grounds, my face in what I imagine was a pretty good impression of that The Scream painting. Thankfully for the golfers, it was still early even for them. Which means they've been spared an indescribable amount of mental scarring.

Having exhausted my options, I attempted a tentative, very middle class, cry for help. 'Heeeeeeelp. Heeeeeeeelp.' I sounded like a whippet. (I'm not sure what a whippet sounds like, or indeed what it is, but I'm fairly sure I was channelling one at that moment.)

And then, just as I was contemplating having to drink the bath water in order to get myself free...

... I realised what a total and utter dick I was being...

... and pulled the fucking plug out.

I should not be allowed out on my own.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

And Still More Birthdays

Goodness me, October is certainly Birthday Season in our house. First off, happy third (how, HOW are you three?) birthday Beth. Traditional birthday photo below, in which I think she easily takes the lead in the Craziest Birthday Smile Ever competition.

The birthday girl's request was for a 'Choo Choo Train' cake. I dutifully took the day off work in order to produce the below. Yes, some artistic interpretation is required: it wasn't my finest cake decorating hour. In fact, Beth's initial response when I showed it to her was for her bottom lip to wobble slightly and for her to tremulously ask me 'Where my Choo Choo Train cake?' Thankfully, an hysterically enthusiastic response of 'THAT'S your Choo Choo Train cake, darling' from me was enough to put a smile back on her face and she has since embraced it for the Choo Choo Train Crash that it is. (Or pair of breasts, as a couple of people commenting on Facebook interpreted it to be. You weirdos.)

And so. Onto Birthday #3. Which, as regular blog readers will be aware, is mine. Back in the day, the build up to my birthday was approximately 364 days long, eclipsing all other national celebrations, religious festivals, etc. The births of Mr Jamie and Beth were clearly designed to control my own self obsession, and these, plus a couple of other factors, mean that these days I'm almost too birthdayed out by my own birthday to bother with any kind of build up or celebration.


Despite the challenges, I've bravely managed to pull together the usual Birthday Week format. I know. Heroic, aren't I? Here's what it looks like. Oh, I should add into the mix that this year, to prove I am a sensible grown up (ha!), I decided to precede my birthday with a NINE DAY DETOX. I KNOW. Said detox consisted of no processed food, no sugar, no caffeine, and no (sob) booze. And it was all going startlingly well, until last night, when my mother presented Mr Jamie with the virtually life sized Lego police station she'd bought him for his birthday. And Mr Jamie kindly offered to let me build it. Well. What he actually said was: 'Mummy, you can build this tonight and then I can play with it in the morning.' Leaving no room for argument. Given that was my Saturday night, I felt no guilt whatsoever about accompanying said Lego building with wine.

Anyway. Back to the point. Whatever it was. Here's what Birthday Week looks like as I head into my 33rd year. (To clarify, that means I'm turning 32. Not 33. Little details like that matter once you're over 21.)

Sunday. Clean the entire house. I know how to live.

Monday. Go to work and sort out various crises. Story of my life. Come home and keep everything firmly crossed that finally, finally, my building work will be finished. At which point expect an extensive blog post with accompanying photographs. It is very, very exciting. Assuming building work is finished, spend the evening getting my house back into some semblance of order.

Tuesday. Go to work and sort out various crises. Sensing a theme? This is officially Birthday Eve, but I imagine I'll still be frantically playing catch up on the detox. There's an England match in the evening, so suspect Birthday Eve will be marked by me shouting at the TV aggressively.

Wednesday. BIRTHDAY! Take the day off work to avoid sorting out various crises and instead take my children to school/nursery, then GO BACK TO BED AND SLEEP. The irony on me sleeping through part of my long awaited birthday is not lost on me. Get up and go shopping without anyone accompanying me to comment on how 'nudey' I'm getting or to pull back the changing room curtains to reveal my naked form to the general public. Collect my children, await my mother's arrival, spend the evening in the new conservatory mainlining champagne with Neil and my mum and thus undoing all good work the detox may have possibly done. Whatever.

Thursday and Friday. Revel in my fortunate position as post holder of The Best Job In The World and spend two days with my work colleagues in luxury surroundings (ie. Not At Work). Meanwhile, my mother will generously get to wrangle both of my children while I deny all parental responsibilities. Happy days.

Saturday. Go out in the evening for some quality time with my lovely husband. I'm sure he'll be delighted that, once again, and despite my claims to the contrary, I'm stretching out my birthday celebrations for a full week.

Sunday. Return to normality. Whatever that is.

Monday, 7 October 2013

The Birthday Celebrations of Mr Jamie


Is pretty much all I have to say about that.

So, Mr Jamie turned 6 yesterday. And what a celebration it was. The Birthday Weekend commenced with me spending my Friday evening accommodating his demands of 'a Blakes 7 cake Mummy, only don't worry about doing all the people, because I don't think you'll be able to manage that, just do the letters instead'. (His assessment of my cake making abilities is pretty accurate.) I did my best, and we ended up with this, which, thankfully, utterly delighted him. (Despite the fact he was born a full 30 years or so since it was last screened. Neil has done an excellent job of conditioning him.)

On Saturday the party preparations were derailed somewhat by the arrival of my FAKE GRASS. Yes, the garden renovation/conservatory building is in full throes, and the moment we'd all been waiting for finally arrived on Saturday morning when the Men (as named by Beth) turned up and unloaded said fake grass into the back garden. Here it is, in all its glory, as a backdrop to the most miserable looking birthday boy one could ever hope to encounter. You would have thought I'd announced to him we were off to a torture chamber, as opposed to off to his party. (The reality is that he'd just been told off. And was told that being told off didn't mean he was allowed to miss the Birthday Photos. The below is the resulting consequences.)

CHECK OUT THAT FAKE GRASS! It is flipping brilliant.

Following the most hectic children's birthday party I've ever had the misfortune to be a part of (seriously: there is no amount of gin which will get me over 40 screaming under 7s running around for two hours), yesterday was the Birthday Itself.

And, like everything which seems to happen in my life, it was basically surreal. Mr Jamie started off the day by becoming trapped in a pair of his own handcuffs. After enough panicked moments to make me think I was going to be very shortly in A&E, attempting to explain his plight to the staff there, I managed to free him. And assumed that was that.

HOWEVER. Shortly afterwards we left for a trip to the swimming pool. As we changed afterwards, Beth, who I'd dressed first, disappeared off into one of the changing cubicles. Shortly afterwards there came the unmistakeable and oh so ominous sound of a bolt being drawn.

Yes. That's right. Hot on the heels of Mr Jamie becoming trapped in a pair of handcuffs, Beth became trapped in a changing cubicle. WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY CHILDREN? She spent the next fifteen minutes in there, becomingly increasingly distressed, while we waited for a lady with a long pole to come and lean over the top of the cubicle to release her. Obviously, as a perfect parenting model, I was sat there next to her the whole time, filled with concern.

Or... I was sat on one of the benches, absolutely killing myself laughing.

I'm not saying that was the case, obviously. I'll let you decide which of the possible options was most likely...

Thankfully, the rest of the day passed with no one else falling foul of any locks. And I even managed to get a passable photo of the three of us together. Now, time to recover... for a full three days, until Beth's 3rd birthday is upon us.

Remind me who thought it would be a good idea to have two children with birthdays just four days apart?

Happy Birthday, Mr Jamie. I love you twenty billion and twelve.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013


Now I've woken up to all manner of strangeness over the years, even more so since I've had children. The day I woke up to a 3 year old Mr Jamie attempting to suck off my nipple during Beth's breastfeeding days being a particular memorable one.


This morning we hit new heights. I was having a lovely dream about being swayed from side to side on a boat. The swaying became more vigorous. Reluctantly, I opened my eyes...

... to find Mr Jamie and Beth, one crouched on each side of me, wobbling each of my breasts with a delighted fervour. They saw me wake up and redoubled their wobbling efforts, before I came to my senses and clutched my tits back out of their grasp.


'Yes, Jamie?' It's impossible to recreate how utterly weary I must have sounded on a computer screen.

'Why are your boobs so fat? Is it because you've been eating too much fat?' (Mr Jamie is turning into the Fat Police. He currently refuses to eat chips because he knows they're made with fat and therefore not good for you. Oddly enough, he doesn't seem to have quite the same misgivings about cake...)

'No. They need to be fat, that's what makes them work.'

'What? Why?'

'Never mind, Jamie. It's time to get up now.' No, I still have no idea why breasts are full of fat. Any ideas?

'But Mummy. Is it the good fat, or the bad fat?'


'You know Mummy. You told me. There's that good fat and then there's that bad fat.'

'Oh. You mean saturated and unsaturated fat.' He nodded, pleased he'd remembered. 'I'll be honest, Jamie. Boobs don't work quite like that.'

Fuck. My. Life.


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