Saturday, 7 November 2015

"Moaning Mum Lives Up To Her Namesake"

If there's one adage I have never paid attention to it's : "If you can't say something nice, then don't say it."

I mean, that's the whole point isn't it?  Saying something not nice is ofter funnier, definitely bitchier, more therapeutic and infinitely more interesting (if unkind) than being all hippy dippy happy and 'Everything's great man'.

I've been warned numerous times by certain family members that my constant moaning about our seemingly never ending house woes are not unlike ones' dreams and holiday pics: no one but yourself is ever interested.

And then there is the fact that much of the world is in turmoil at present and being preoccupied with what is essentially a first world problem is, I understand, off-putting at best. But if we have to sit through ridiculously sappy Christmas commercials on telly in early November, then maybe there is a place for the odd self-obsessed rant here and there, non?

At any rate, I've been unable to blog for a week now because everything I have to say is 'house hell' related and going to be horrid and mean and denigrating to those in question (our evil and hirsute freeholder and useless and curmudgeonly solicitor for example).

But just now I was forced to drop everything and sit down and type out this 'totally going to regret it tomorrow' blog.  You see if I don't, given what I've just learned, means I'm either going to suffer a massive heart attack (brought on by sheer rage and a rather unhealthy wine dependancy as of late) OR I'm going to send an unedited, completely emotional and ultimately destructive email to certain unsuspecting parties, bringing this whole hellish house on wheels nightmare to a grinding halt.

I almost don't care.

Next week is on course to be the most stressful week of the year.  It is the culmination of two years of house viewings, two broken hearts over two dream homes lost, and two very at the end of their ropes people who are probably technically perfect candidates for divorce.

Next week we are juggling three transactions (two sales and one purchase) and I have just been informed by the husband (who has passed Upset, not collected any Good Humour, and is hovering around Old Kent Road ready to figuratively knife someone...or maybe that's me) that our utterly lackadaisical solicitor has booked a weeks holiday to Italy - get this - NEXT WEEK!!!

There are no words. Part of me wants to be all "What will be will be, Man" about it and just chill the heck out.  That is 1% of me.  The other 99% of me wants to scream, run naked through the streets, and get picked up by mental health services, before being pumped full of enough calming narcotics to knock out a horse.

As it sit here with scowling resting face (take that, bitchy resting face) swinging my leg in a manner not unlike a soon-to-go-on-the-rampage-mental-patient, I can take solace in the fact that we've this week finally exchanged on one property, and are thus therefore 1/6th of the way there.

On the other hand, tomorrow we have to haul three kids back to our old flat and spend the day packing up tons and tons (and tons) of crates of old belongings and furniture and nostalgic items from our 'yoof innit' (the whole reason I can't just chuck the whole lot out...nostalgic sucker that I am) then spend hours ferrying the whole mess back to our already heaving home, where it will sit until we move.

If we move.


Sunday, 1 November 2015


Jason eat your heart out...
So Halloween (which for the sake of posterity shall be known as 'Holloween' this year) was both a raging success and an abysmal flop.

Weeks ago Squitty and I came across this great picture on the internet of a kid dressed up as a piece of Lego.  We decided there and then that it simply had to be his Halloween costume.
The picture which inspired...
(It was likely post-wine-watershed, when Mama, flushed with a growing sense of possibility, quashed any niggling doubts, and infused with a false sense of belief in her non-existent crafting skills, promised her cheeky cherub that he would be transformed into a piece of Lego on the 31st of the month.)

But then the weeks rolled past, until finally last weekend, thanks to an overzealous Auntie and a can of red paint, we found ourselves journeying back 45 minutes on London Overground armed with a giant red cardboard box, complete with cut-out arm holes, and a breezy, "You guys can take it from here, no?"

Apparently we could not.  The husband washed his hands of any of it, and so this afternoon after a trip to the cinema with Egg and Dumpie, followed by a leisurely layabout, darkness fell, and with a start I realised that we had to leave for Trick or Treating in half an hour.

As I learned tonight, half an hour is decidedly not enough time to glue 12 plastic red cups upside down onto a piece of painted cardboard and expect the cheap white hobby glue to set and harden in time. And so we departed somewhat late, with everyone trying not to bump into Squitty so as not to dislodge the cups.  We gingerly wove our way through the streets, stopping every few minutes to pick up little red dixie cups as they pinged to the ground, at first trying unsuccessfully to adhere them back on, then later giving up completely and binning them as we went.
Who needs cups on the back anyway?
Eventually, after ringing several doorbells, and being knocked into by various ghosts, goblins and princesses, we conceded defeat and removed the rest of the cups from the back (the side that had been glued last) and instead basked in the glow of being with the most imaginatively costumed child for miles.  Holding the hand of a giant toddler-sized piece of Lego garnered much attention, and Squit became quietly enthralled with all the attention he was getting, as people commented openly on his costume, declaring it to be the best of the night.
Trust me it looked waaaay better from far away (ahem)
"Ha!" I said to the husband triumphantly at one point, who thanks to an earlier visit to the pub, hadn't been able to contain his (un)constructive comments about my lack of artistic skill and the fact that he would have used tape instead of glue to stick the little red cups on.

So you see, even though Squitty had the dodgiest outfit ever, which deteriorated quite literally as the night wore on, he also had the best outfit too.  And frankly it made his night, being fawned over like a celebrity by everyone who came across him on the streets (drunken twenty-somethings being the biggest fans).

Dumps unfortunately declared that this was the worst Halloween ever in the history of his life. This was fair enough as he returned this evening with the most meagre haul of sweets ever, due to the fact that most doorways lay dark this year, and of the few homes which were participating in this seasonal sugar orgy, only one in ten had any sweets left by the time we strolled up to the door.
Dumpies haul...too paltry to even pinch :)
(Note: Now it has to be said that folks over here in England still don't seem to get the gist of Halloween: buy a TRUCK LOAD of sweets for the millions of rugrats roaming the neighbourhood, whose Halloween you will totally ruin, should they encounter dozens doors in a row, sporting the ubiquitous 'No more sweets sorry' sign taped up on the outside of the door. Actually, worse than that are homes where they feel so bad that they've run out of sweets that they've turned over the place and unearthed what they mistakenly believe will suffice in the absence of proper real treats... feebly pawning off stale Christmas sweets, old football cards (I kid you not), and the piece de resistance - a single personalised skittle with the name Marcus on it.)

For the record, Dumps was clad in all black, wearing glow-in-the-dark skeleton gloves and a bright gold pirate skeleton mask which his Auntie found for him last weekend at a hipster market in Dalston.

Eleven year old Egg decided to roam with some of his school chums and I have yet to see him clad in his 'Mad Scientist' outfit (consisting of a pull-on fabric Dr. Jekyll mask and his way too small, bespoke, ancient lab coat we had made years ago in Goa when he became obsessed with the film, 'Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs').

As for me, I smeared on purple lipstick and donned a platinum wig which made me look like Rita Ora (if she had rocked up to a Poundland staff costume party, having never 'made it').
"Hmm...maybe I should have given the blond thing a proper go?"
The husband merely chucked on a Captains hat which he had ordered for a costume party months ago but had arrived too late to wear. Waste not want not.

So there you have it people.  That's how we roll.  Shambolic to the core.