Almost daily diary!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


"And they did something that's not normal"
Tall Girl is telling me the latest gossip to hit Year 10. It is about a boy and a girl, she won't use names.
"I bet it was normal" I say
She looks a little disgusted. "They did it in her sisters bedroom, when her sister was only downstairs" Her voice is quite disapproving.
"Well they must have been quick then" I snigger
She mulls it all over. She is still surprisingly innocent at nearly 15. I am glad of that but also surprised, especially when I read some of the stuff her friends write on Facebook.
"We talked about it all day!" She carries on "It made for an interesting Maths lesson"
 I looked at her and the penny dropped, that's what they were doing; the thing she thinks isn't normal. I wait for her to carry on.
"Everyone was shouting out, what do you get if you take 1 away from 70?"
I laugh, she laughs' she knows I've 'got it'.
"It is quite normal you know" I say after we stop laughing. Her brown eyes grow like saucers. "Though you wouldn't want it spread around school like that would you?" I say, thinking I may have come across as too liberal earlier and hoping she will always have the decency to be sensible about what she does with who and who she tells.

Funny isn't it, they have sex education lessons from age 9, Tall Girl still has them at near on 15, but some things they just don't teach you... And I try to remember how old I was when I let a boy put his hand up my skirt behind one of the hedges on the school field one lunchtime. I must have been around her age I guess. Thank goodness she wears trousers to school I muse.

"Seems like you had a much more interesting day than I had then" I giggle
"Yes" She says "Thank goodness Mrs. Clarke" her PHSE teacher (that's sex Ed in school speak) didn't bring in her touchy, feely box"
I look at her and then tell her another meaning for the word 'box'
"Ewwwwww"! she says, and we both burst out laughing again

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Small Sprogs reveals his secret

"He's told me" Says Tall Girl, who is sitting on the kitchen worktop, feet stretched out on the draining board.
"Is he in trouble?" I ask
She shakes her head.
"Well as long as he's not upset or in trouble then that's ok"

I start preparing the tea but she is looking at me, I can feel it. "It's what I guessed yesterday" She carries on.
I'm obviously supposed to prise this one out of her. After checking that he didn't have detention and a teacher was not in any way involved I said..."He has a girl friend?"
"Yes" She says "but she's horrible!"
"What do you mean, horrible?"
"Well, she's not but her cousin is; her family smoke and take drugs and she looks plastic"
I think about this last statement, does it go with 'orange', the ones that wear too much make up?
"You can't judge her like that," I reply " just because she has undesirable relatives. What's her name?"
"Well, he couldn't remember at first, but eventually he said her name was Shania"
"Oh" I say, trying not to pass comment, but wondering which social consumer type list that name would show up on.

So Small Sprog has a girl friend, and apparently I am now allowed to know this fact. However Tall Girl is worried. "She was his new best friend Dans' girl friend last week" She tells me.
"Small Sprog says Dan doesn't mind"
"He probably doesn't" I say to her "boys are different"

I mull this over. Small Sprog seems to have got in with a crowd of OK boys at his new school, as far as I can tell, I start to worry about him making things difficult for himself.

At bedtime I ask Small Sprog if Dan's ok with it all. I tell him that girls will come and go but that he really needs to look after his mates. He nods. "Is she pretty?" I ask.
He nods
"What's her name?"
He remembers this time!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Photocopier Man

We had a training session at work today instead of our weekly meeting. There is a new photocopier, it is deemed we need to know how to use it properly. Apart from the pure size of it, (it's a monster), there doesn't appear to be too much difference in the operating of it. We all gather round and ooh and ahh at the thing.

The man that comes to give the demonstration is obviously used to talking to gaggles of women, he is prepared, you can tell by the look of him. He starts his demo, we are all eyes, for about 15 seconds. Honestly, if we were the children in the classrooms we'd have had 'names on the board' several times as well as a letter home threatening exclusion. There are small whispered conversations between couples at the start and later full blown heckling from the back, the poor chap didn't stand a chance really but he persevered admirably.

I have to admit that once I knew the basics, I drifted off a bit. I found myself wondering what he looked like naked, and if he was any good at things other than photocopying..... I had to pull myself together pretty quickly I can tell you, I mean not only was I having inappropriate thoughts but he was no where near the realms of being anywhere near 'fit'.

By the time coffee break was over he was still only halfway through the demo. People started to wander off to do urgent jobs. In the end I asked to be excused, my brain was full, I had a class to go to and I didn't think I'd ever need to know how to erase or enlarge a margin. I mean call me a philistine, but there's always scissors and Pritt Stick if all else fails...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Evening

Dinner at Mums; with wine.

"She never remembers what I tell her" Step Father complains
"He never hears what I tell him" Mum moans constantly
"What did Horace say Whinny?" I want to say

Always a mistake to drink the wine on an empty stomach before the dinner.

Step father is carving the chicken, or rather disgorging it. "It must have been a cockerel" He exclaims, "I've just found his balls"

Honestly, he's over 80 now, but he really doesn't get any better.

"DENNIS!" My mother shouts, her voice full of consternation. But it is too late, the bottle is half empty and we sit giggling together like a pair of naughty children. A few 'Actress and Bishop' jokes fly through the air as does the chicken skin, directed towards their ageing Retriever, who will eat anything but particularly loves chicken and turns into a bouncing puppy the minute she sniffs it out.

After dinner we sit replete, watching TV...

"I fancy something sweet" Says Mum
"Chocolate?" Says Dad
"All gone" She says
"You've eaten it all?"
"Yes" she replies "Got it out of the way" ate the lot "so I could go on a diet"! Well it's no good having chocolate around when you're trying to diet...

Honestly, its' like a mad house here, no wonder I turned out like I did!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Puppy love

I am very lucky to have moved into my new house at about the same time as my neighbours both sides. I guess that's sort of normal on a new housing complex but I've never been in the situation before and so it seemed quite novel. Anyway, over the last 6 months (yes, that long since we moved in) I have slowly got to know them.

The Piano Teacher and Wife, have just bought an adorable puppy, well a week ago in fact. The children and I have negotiated visiting rights and I am now 'hounded' more than ever to get a puppy/kitten/lizard; no guesses to who asked for the latter!

And I have to say I did have a plan to have a pet once we were settled. A cat was my preference, but Small Sprog is the sort of boy who needs a dog and I have been doing a lot of thinking as to which would be best. Needless to say, the Lizard option was a non starter with me.

However, the more I think about it the more confused I become. Dogs are portable, for when we go away at weekends, but cat's don't need to be walked everyday and no matter how many times the children enthusiastically say that they will be the ones to walk the dog, I am not fooled.

So, just when I think I've come down on the side of a canine friend, next door get Murry, the most adorable back spaniel pup. We go and have a look. He is very cute. Perhaps we can share, I start to think; perhaps not.

Over the last 7 days, or should I say nights, I am woken at least 3 times from my slumber by Murry taking a wee. Whilst his owners are out they make encouraging noises and then congratulate him on his success. But 3 times a night?! And then, when Piano Teacher gets home from work, at about 7pm, apparently he feels compelled to put on his old clothes and 'play' with Murry in the garden. It looks a hard life but at least there's two of them training Murry... until Thursday when Wife went away, leaving Piano Teacher and Puppy home alone.

So you see this weekend when I saw Piano Teacher, as he left the house for a bike ride, I wasn't at all surprised to see him looking exhausted, and he hadn't even cycled anywhere yet. "Puppy fatigue?" I asked him wryly. He nodded. He had the pallor of a father of a New Born, and I have to say I can completely understand why. Though I think their devotion is admirable, don't get me wrong.Then, later in the day I was chatting to his Mother in Law, who is a lovely lady, who commented that the puppy was getting them used to what it would be like when they had a baby. I did think afterwards that it was more likely to be a good contraceptive rather than an incentive for more broken nights but may be I'm just an old cynic?

So now I am thinking, NO. A puppy we shall not have, there's no way I'm going back to 4 hourly feeding and nappy changing (so to speak), twice was plenty thank you very much!

Rescue dog or old moggie, that's my choices now! What do you think?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Small Sprog starts Big School...

Yep, my baby, at Big School for nearly 2 weeks now. How time flies, it only seems like a few days since I heard the the midwife utter those unforgettable words "Mind his ear!" to the student nurse who was cutting the cord from around his neck. He seems to have had an early talent for producing 'moments'.

So off he goes to Big School, with his Big Bag on the Big Bus. I feel so old. How did all this time just rush by?

Anyway, how's he doing I hear you chorus? Well, so far so good. I almost don't want to say it in case it jinxes him, but, apart from not wanting to go every morning, he seems fairly happy! He's only admitted to being lost once and he says he still hasn't found the toilets yet, but I guess that's to be expected.

There is just one thing that seems to be happening to him which I didn't expect. He seems to be coping admirably with it, it is to do with girls...

Small Sprog has curly hair. Not the really tight curly sort, 'the gently wave into a curl' sort, and he likes it long ish. He also has a sister, now in year 10, at the same school. She has lots of girly friends. They think he's cute. Apparently he spends a lot of time surrounded by girls running their fingers through his hair and cooing at him. What a hardship! Funnily he doesn't seem to mind.

Apparently the other day he was outside with is mates at lunchtime while Tall Girl was in the dining hall. "Your brother's outside" says one of her friends.
"Oh" She says (I think she's secretly enjoying having him at school with her) "I'll just go out and see him"
"Can we come?" the others chorused, as they chased after her down the corridor.

Tall Girl even saw him surrounded by sixth formers at the end of last week, girls obviously. Then last night a friend of mine called round, who hasn't seen him for a long time and she ran her fingers through his hair too and practically screamed "Ooh, look at his hair!" She's 47! And today another girl told him she was in love with him, and that was on the bus before he even got to school!

Tall Girl thinks he's wearing 'Chocolate Linx'!

So how is he coping? With his usual enigmatic smile and a small shrug of his shoulders. The 'Smile and Shrug Amiably' method seems to get him everywhere, and anywhere, with most people, about anything. Long may it last (fingers crossed)

Monday, September 05, 2011

Just meant to be?

I went back to the Old Family Home this afternoon, the children are with their father until Wednesday and I needed to check some stuff with Tall Girl. I had come from the supermarket and was dying for a wee! Sitting on the downstairs loo I thought about how long it had been since I last sat there. Over 2 years was my conclusion. It's not often you can revisit a house so intimately once you've moved out...

Anyway, before we sat down to discuss school, Ex husband made us cups of tea and produced cake. "Banana, or lemon cake?" He pronounced. "I made the banana cake" He added. I opted for that one, it looked delicious.

We sat for quite sometime, discussing school and children; when to get dyslexic centre sessions, who to do the next assessment, Small Sprogs adventure at the weekend to see the Gorilla Trail, looking at photos, talking about the future. I guess I am lucky that we can do that, all of us together (although Small Sprog made a quick exit to play with one of the Nit Children; no point in aimless talk when there are larks to be had!)

As I drove home I realised how far we've come. I still get on with Ex husband as well as we ever did before things went wrong. It always underlines my initial feelings...that we should have just stayed 'just friends'. But then we'd not have our lovely children. May be some things are just meant to be.

Recently I have been gardening. A new house also means a band new garden. I have found designing and planting my new garden an unexpected pleasure. I even enjoy mowing the lawn. I had never done that job before. Our marriage followed 'traditional' roles. I remember Ex husband used to spend what seemed like whole summers in the garden. I was never very interested then. While he was in the garden on a Sunday morning, I often used to bake cakes. Ex husband would never have done that job either.

And now look at us. I can't get enough of being in the garden and he is baking banana cake, very delicious it was too. So how come we couldn't see though all the mundane chores and dull life we had made for ourselves before? Why were we so locked into our own worlds?

I constantly reflect. It is impossible not to, with two children to look after. Still no regrets, I love my new life. I love my freedom and my autonomy even though I know it is selfish. Maybe I was never made for married life? Yet there is always the thought that I should have made more effort to make it work. Should I? For the children's sake? We'll never know now.