Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Middle Aged

How do you know you're middle aged?
a) On a road trip with your girlfriends you spend an inordinate amount of time seriously discussing how best to deal with grey hair, upper lip wisps and general all-over drooping of bits.
b) Your version of a road trip is now a day out to Ikea.
c) You get overly excited when you discover that coffee is free in the Ikea canteen (one of you does a little celebratory dance).
d) When you sit on a Martorp sofa you are tempted to have a quick nap. No-one laughs when you say this out loud.
e) A Lazy Susan seems like a brilliant idea.
f) You fall asleep in the car on the way home and no alcohol has been consumed.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Difference Between the Sexes - Part One

In the park today, Son's wobbly bottom tooth fell out while kicking his football.
"OMG, OMG! " Daughter cried, distraught at the very idea that her brother's tooth was now lost somewhere in the vast undergrowth and he wouldn't be able to leave it under his pillow for collection by the tooth fairy.
Much drama (plus much enforced scrabbling in undergrowth) ensued as Son looked on, nonplussed.
"If we don't find the tooth will I still get the money?" he asked.
"Yes, I should think so," I replied, picking through rotting leaves and broken twigs, hoping that wet pile of mud I just poked wasn't dog poop.
"OK," he shrugged. "Let's go."
Then he galloped away, kicking his football passionately and leaving his poor orphaned baby tooth behind without a second's thought.
Daughter fretted the whole way home in the car about the implications of all this. Would the tooth fairy find the tooth in the park? What if a hungry dog found it first? Should we write a note to someone and explain? Had this ever happened anyone ever before, in the history of the world?
Son meanwhile looked out the window, totally disinterested in all the female angst.
"Can I buy a new football with the money?" he asked.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Oldies but Goodies

Don't you just love old friends? Maybe it's because you used to borrow each others' Max Factor eyeshadow and share your precious Constance Carroll frosted lipsticks at youth club discos, but there's something so easy and comforting about hanging out with people you've known almost your whole life.
A girlfriend who I haven't seen in over a year (she lives in Oz) arrived on my doorstep today.
"Howarya Horse," she said, cutting to the chase, "put the kettle on, I've got the Toffy Pops."
It was like music to my ears.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Quotes of the Year - 2

Hubby was dancing cheerfully to a Madness tune in the kitchen when daughter walked in.
"This is how we used to dance in the good old days," he explained, doing his best Suggs impression.
"On my God Dad," she replied, covering her eyes in horror. "You were embarrassing me before I was even BORN."

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Hard Lesson

I made apple crumble yesterday. Nothing out of the ordinary there. But this time, instead of carefully measuring out the flour, butter and sugar as always, I decided to just wing it. How hard could it be? After all, I'd made crumble a hundred times before, I was surely above all that weighing palaver, right? (Besides, getting the scales out would add another whole minute to the baking exercise and I was already pressed for time.)
And so I poured everything haphazardly into the bowl, supremely confident that all would be well. It was much more fun to do it like that too - I almost felt like Nigella for a few precious seconds, flinging ingredients about sexily, not a care in the world.
I knew the minute I took it out of the oven that I had made a huge mistake. The crumble was doughy and anemic looking. Frankly, it looked almost inedible.
But it was too late - everyone was already waiting for dessert. So, instead of starting from scratch, I simply covered the whole mess in as much custard as I could and served it anyway, pretending that nothing was amiss.
No one said anything as such, but the compliments were few and far between. And - tellingly- no-one went back for seconds (unheard of in these parts).
And so I've learned two hard and painful lessons:
1) The use of weighing scales is crucial to baking success
2) I am not Nigella and I never will be.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Me 'n Cheryl

Did you know that Cheryl Cole has been voted the Most Photogenic Woman in the World?
I have to admit I was a little taken aback by this revelation to begin with.
Not because she beat Audrey Hepburn to the prize, but because I misread the headline and thought it said that Chazza was the Most Hygienic Woman in the World. Which has quite a different ring to it, don't you think?
Anyway, it got me thinking. If Cheryl is the most photogenic, then who is the least photogenic? Dear readers, the answer I suspect!
Now I don't want any fuss: no accolades or acres of press coverage thank you very much. It's simply enough to know I was even in the running.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Quote of the Year (so far)

I am sitting in a cafe close to a young family: Mum, Dad, small child - aged approx three years.
Small child wants to go to the toilet. Daddy brings her.
Small child comes galloping back from the toilet, shouting at top of voice "Daddy got stuck in the loo! Daddy got stuck in the loo!"
Daddy lopes back, looking a little embarrassed but also quite pleased that half the cafe is now watching. He's clearly convinced that everyone is thinking "Isn't that little girl so cute? And my goodness, aren't her vocabulary and articulation extraordinary? She's obviously a child genius!"
All first time parents are guilty of this - thinking their own child is amazing in every way. I was guilty of it myself (except, of course, my own firstborn IS genuinely amazing).
Sadly, I can tell by the expression on everyone's faces that they are actually thinking: "Please be quiet - I want to eat my egg salad sandwich in peace and I don't need to know anything about your loo visit, even if it was spectacularly funny."
All is quiet for a moment.
Then Mum goes to toilet. Small child shouts "Mummy will get stuck in the loo too Daddy!"
Daddy replies "Getting stuck in the lavatory doesn't happen to everyone darling, it's not a ubiquitous rite of passage."
Small child (age approx three, remember) looks very confused.
Dad duly ignores confusion, catches my eye and gives me the very smug "see how vastly superior my child's intellect is compared to the average ?" look.
I know it's very bad but I really, really wanted to say "OK, but can she SPELL ubiquitous mate? Now THAT would impress me."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Things have been looking bleak on the TV front since X Factor ended.
I was slightly obsessive about X Factor. I watched every single show. I also recorded every single show, just in case. (In case of what you ask? Let's not go there).
I turned down invites (not that many in fairness, I have no social life to speak of) to stay in and cheer on my faves (Olly if you must know). It was all very sad and anti social, but then I am of an age where cuddling up with a jumbo pack of Maltesers on the sofa on a Saturday night is about as lively as it gets.
Anyway, when X (as I like to call it) ended, I was quite bereft. The only thing that kept me going in the telly stakes over the festive period was Gavin and Stacey, but then I discovered that Series Three was the last one! It's like when your favourite lipstick, the one that makes you look five years younger than you actually are and doesn't bleed into the puckered wrinkly skin round your mouth, gets discontinued without warning.
I wept bitter tears of disappointment over that news, let me tell you. Bitter tears.
But then I discovered Glee and, just like the joy you feel when the lady at the makeup counter says she has an even better lipstick, one that's guaranteed to make your shrivelled lips look just like Angelina Jolie's, I cheered right up.
I've always been a sucker for a cheesy song n dance number, but throw in dark, edgy humour as well and I'm hooked! Glee is like a perverse High School Musical - TV gold.
Now, I 'm trying not to get too carried away just yet. In fact, I have vowed to keep a bit of distance between me and Glee because I know only too well how it could pan out.
Could it go the way of ER? I was committed to that until Doug and the Dr. Greene left. I fell out of love with ER pretty quickly after that.
Then there was Lost....I was an ardent fan until it all got far too complicated and I started to forget who was supposed to fancy who. And of course there was the Polar Bear thing. Was it real? A hologram? A metaphor? Far too confusing for someone of my advancing years.
But I have high hopes for Glee - it could be another Friends. It could even be another SATC!
Easy now. Let's not get too excited.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sad News

A sad day for a few reasons.
1. The heads fell off all but one of the snowmen we built in the field in front of our house - tragic to see them melt and disappear into the grass.
2. I polished off the very last Selection Box (why can't they make Selection Boxes all year round? Why?)
3. I began to take down the Christmas decorations. (Was forced to - only because our tree is in danger of collapsing on us any minute now though).
4. Michael Buble confirmed his engagement (to the gorgeous girl in "I Just Haven't Met You Yet" video). Poor Michael, he's still smarting that I turned him down. Obviously this relationship with some Argentinian beauty with the face of a goddess and a body to match is a rebound thing. Bless him.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My new blog

Hello everyone and Happy New Year!

One of my New Year's resolutions was to start a blog so.. .....ta dah!!

I'm a bit of a techie dinosaur really - I don't blog, Twitter, Facebook etc etc so this is my first shaky step towards a new, improved tech savvy me. OK, I will never be tech savvy, but you know what I mean.

If I'm honest, the dreadful weather has given me the extra little nudge I needed......we are currently housebound, which isn't all bad because I'm wrapping up book four and need to stay at my desk. It's also an excellent excuse to polish off all the chocolate and goodies still lying around. I ate three slices of Christmas cake last night - and I don't even like Christmas cake.

I told myself it was OK because it's a well known fact that in cold weather we need to lay down extra stores of fat. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it....bring on the crusty marzipan, that's what I say!