Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Sick kids

My kids have not been rude for a couple of days. They have been sick. Chesty cough, sore throat, vomiting etc.

Now Mrs B has also succumbed, leaving me Holding the Fort.

This is the problem. When I was growing up, in our house, if you were ill, you were left alone except for the bare minimum of care eg a stale sandwich and a glass of water every so often. Only if hospitalisation was required would any further attention be given.

When Mrs B was growing up, if you were ill, you were lavished with attention. Tucked-up in bed, special food, constant checks of the forehead for a temperature etc.

Sooooo, when I am ill (hardly ever as there is no secondary gain) Mrs B mothers me - which I hate. When Mrs B is ill I ignore her - which she hates.

Right now I should be able to do my own thing with all other members of the household being ignored unless in danger of imminent death, but no I am up and down like a yo yo fetching and carrying and making soothing noises as best I can (which I hate as I feel like a hypocrite).

Why can't everyone be normal like me? Life would be so much easier.


Monday, 26 February 2007

The Weekend

Worked later than usual on Friday so was home at about 6:00pm. We were supposed to be going to a PTA event, which I was NOT looking forward to, but the missus insisted we go. So imagine my relief when she announced that we were not going to the PTA, but instead I would be taking her out for a nice meal.

We live in Sleepy Hollow, but the agreed venue was in nearby Sleepier Hollow (where the local inbreds live). So off we go and arrive at said eatery only to be told there would be a wait of at least 40 minutes for a table. Too long. Back in the car to Sleepy Hollow and to another possible troughing site. Sorry, but our kitchen exploded today, so we aren't doing food tonight. FUCK. One last attempt, then there would be no alternative but down to the local Tesco for a "Finest" and back home to the microwave.

We are in luck the Italian can accommodate us! Had a nice meal (but way overpriced - one of the problems of living in Sleepy Hollow where the average income is in excess of £50 per week). People we knew were on the next table so more nice chitty chatting.

By now the missus had had a couple of wines (bottles not glasses) and fancied a swift pint in a local pub. Again we found ourselves wandering round town and finally settled on a new pub - ie it's been there for 7 years but we haven't been in yet.

Oh my GOD, the place is full of our mates, a fab night ensues and I eventually for home and let the missus stay out a bit longer with an old girl friend who now lives hundreds of miles away and was here on a flying visit to her parents.

Why did I go home? Well, I was running a weekend workshop so had to be a little bit sensible and had I been really sensible I would have spent the evening preparing my notes and getting an early night instead of going out on the razz.

I often teach in a local college, but as part of a team. But this was MY show and the delegates were paying good money (very good money actually).

Anyway, some how it went well on the Saturday so only Sunday to go and chance for an early night. So I get home on Saturday evening and 5:30ish, breakfast things still on the table and no wife or kids. Rang her mate and yes she's there, "Why don't you come round?, the kids are just about to eat". OK,

So off I trot round to theirs and end up eating greasy fish and chips (well I am a northerner) and drinking a bottle of red wine (a refined northerner) then home to bed with no revision again.

Make it through Sundays workshop. Where the hell is this weekend going? Get home. Breakfast things still on the table (two days worth now) and I really CAN'T ignor it anymore so spend the next hour clearing up in the kitchen. But I get my own back by leaving the now clean pans on the draining board. Funny how she can live with dirty pots and pans on every surface, but can't stand to see clean ones left to drain!

Moved Away Friend from Saturday turns up at 7 and has brought a bottle of wine for us three to share over dinner which I cook. That's ok, nice sociable evening ensues. NO out comes the second bottle she brought, and this time it's not wine, it's gin.

MAF is a heavy drinker, I have rarely seen her sober. She smokes - a lot. We go out into the back yard and the very cold northern air, and end up staying out getting drunker - I may have even had a cig or two but really can't remember that well. Would love to regale you of the details of our nattering, but can't remember that either. I hope I did not make a tit of myself. What a disgrace. pissed-up three nights in a row, and all work nights.

Monday morning - payback. Some thing has been in the room overnight while we slept. I think it was Gus. For those who don't know, Gus is the party gorilla, and he comes into your room after a party and throws your clothes around jumps up and down on you and shits in your mouth.

I have to work again this morning, so I take some paracetamol, and pretend to be OK. I make it though the day.

Then I remember, I am supposed to be on a diet. My diet does not allow chips, fried fish, pizza, wine, gin, or in fact ANYTHING I have eaten since and including Friday night. I have an appointment with my naturpath tomorrow and she will KNOW what I have done. I will feel bad.

I will never drink again.


Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Val Day

Woke up this morning to a cup of tea in bed from She Who Must Be Obeyed. How nice. "Get your shower and come down" she says. There on the landing is a trail of red and pink paper hearts leading to my place at the kitchen table.

I let her stew for a while until she just had to ask "Well, where's mine?" Sorry love I forgot I lied. She gave me one of her looks, I left for work and waited for her.

At 9:10 right on cue she rings me "thank you for the card and flowers darling - you bastard".

Yes reader(s), I had left them on her desk at work.

Why do we play such games with each other?

Because we can.

Love you loads darling.


Monday, 12 February 2007

Rude Kids 2

So far so good. #1 has been behaving impeccably for the past day or so. We have half term this week so I'm planning a treat for him, either the flix or a trip to the railway museum (it's worth pointing out at this stage that I would like to go to the flix, HE would prefer the railway museum). Anyway, tonight he asked really nicely for things and when offered things he did not want, politely declined.


The bad news is my experiment did not work. No, I did try for a few hours, really I did. Then I read Ms Ms' comment, slapped him with a wet fish (hard, as advised) and he's been great ever since.

Thanks for the free psychotherapy, shall I bring round my clippers?


PS. Isn't it great when the one day of the year we get snow, the schools all close so townie 4x4 school run drivers can't even use that as an excuse. Sorry for any offence, of course I know you REALLY do need your SUV.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Rude Kids

My oldest son aged 6 is being so rude to us. He won't willingly say please or thankyou or any of the other niceties that make the world go round. However, he still expects his mug parents to do everything for him. I can't believe that he acts this way at school.

Anyway we had a chat tonight about it and have decided to tell him that we will not tolerate this anymore. He will be told that there will be a period of grace for him to get used to the idea of being polite. So if he forgets to say please we will gently remind him, but after that he is on his own and if he forgets to say please then tough - he won't get whatever he wanted. Unless of course he forgot to say please can I have bath! (about as likely as the Pope converting to Islam).

Other peoples kids in my house will get the same treatment. I don't care what their parents think (I blame them anyway). The rot stops right here, so any 6 year olds thinking of visiting us - think on.

NB The 3 year old figured this out 12 months ago. He always says please because he knows it works.


Monday, 5 February 2007


Well it's 200 years since the abolition of slavery. I'm sorry what planet was that then?

I am getting really pissed off with the whole slavery thing. Every day I hear something about it. Yesterday it was some guy saying slavery should be on the school history(!) curriculum, today its on the front cover of my National Trust mag. As if it's history. Let me tell you it isn't history, it is still going on and that's why I'm bothered about it. The attitude and the general feeling in the UK and probably most of the developed world is that slavery is long gone. Oh yes and it wasn't really us anyway, it was other Africans who caught the slaves for us so that's OK then. As if.

In many parts of the world children are still being sold - yes sold - into slavery. Of course it's not called that. No, this is an opportunity for the youngster! But try leaving. Then there is indentured labour, slavery by another name. By the time you've paid for your food, accommodation and medical care you owe the employer. You can never work it off. Maybe your kids will have to take on the debt too.

But all that is nothing to do with us right? Wrong! Often the clothes we wear, the food we eat and tea and coffee we drink are produced by what is little more than slave labour. Multi-nationals don't openly condone these practices, but by refusing to pay decent rates for the goods WE want, they effectively encourage these practices. How else could you make a tee shirt for 2p other than not paying the person who makes it?

Then again, how far do you need to go to find these practices? The Indian subcontinent? S.E. Asia? Africa? Or maybe closer to home. Morecambe Bay perhaps, your local red light area or maybe the kid next door.

No, sadly slavery is alive and well, what we all should do is be aware of it, buy ethically when ever we can and shout long and loud when we come accross it.


Days with the kids

Had a grand weekend. The weather was just fab. Cold, but still and sunny. On Saturday we went up onto the local moor and trekked about five miles with my two small kids, the missus and another couple with their two kids. We took our own food which we ate sitting on a rock in the early spring sunshine. At the top is an ancient stone circle, which I think can tell you when the spring equinox is by lining up with the sun rise. Anyway how nice to be up there and it reminded me how privileged we are. When we got home we made nachos and drank wine. A near perfect day.

On Sunday, we went to Fountains Abbey which was also good, but sadly the food is overpriced and poor quality. Why is it that something as basic as making a decent sandwich is beyond so many catering establishments? Surely they should be better than me as they get more practice? But no. So to compensate, I made Sunday diner when we got home to take away the nasty taste of cheap ham and stodgy bread.