Parenting, profundities and humour

I Told You So… — March 19, 2017

I Told You So…


Today a thing happened that hardly ever happens. My husband was right.

I made a big thing about being magnanimous about it. To be honest it happens so infrequently that I thought I ought to be big about it and make a point of telling him how right he was.

My husband and I are both the sorts of people that are always right. Well obviously I am the person that is always right but he believes he is the person who is always right too. To be honest it sometimes makes our relationship a bit… fraught. Maybe we both should have married other people who aren’t always right. But we didn’t. In the first flush of love maybe we didn’t realise that we both always had to be right. Or maybe it didn’t matter. After nearly 17 years of marriage I can tell you it is something that people should ask themselves. Before getting married.

If we were also the sort of people who shout and storm our relationship could be quite fiery. But actually we are also both gentle (and not so gentle) seethers. So there we are a lot. Gently seething. And being right.

For instance after we moved into this house we bought fitted wardrobes for our bedroom. We spent a very very very long time with the designer from the wardrobe company one evening whilst he talked through our requirements and showed us the frankly mind boggling array of wardrobe insides available and then drew (mind blowingly slowly) scale layouts of our bedroom and new wardrobes. Just when we thought he had finished he said that he needed to go over it all in pen and would be another half an hour or so. It was getting perilously close to my bedtime and to be honest I wanted to get into my slobby tracksuit bottoms and lick the chocolate off the top of my evening digestive and he was somewhat in the way.

The drawings he produced reminded me of the graphic design module that I did as part of a rotation of arts subjects in the year before picking my O level options. I had toyed with taking it before plumping for Fine Art. Just think I could have had a successful career out staying my welcome in strangers’ kitchen diners having discussed their underwear storage requirements. What had I missed?

Anyway after this prolonged experience another guy came out to check the designer’s measurements in a more scientific way (an engineer in wardrobes I believe-another career that has slipped through my fingers) and tell me that we would need to get our downlighters capped off. The lovely designer had failed to mention this.

And then we had to empty the entire room and sleep elsewhere for three days whilst a further man hand built the wardrobes in my bedroom. Don’t get me wrong I love my wardrobes (although I should not have gone for the shoe rack….it only works for high heeled shoes of which I have precisely one pair) but the process was long and turtuous.

Despite being involved in this long winded and tortuous process my husband has always been convinced that our wardrobes were built by Neville Johnson. This is wrong. We purchased the wardrobes from Sharps.

He was vehement in his claims. About a year later when my mum was moving house we visited a Sharps showroom to get ideas for her new fitted furniture. There, in the showroom, was a display of our wardrobes. I took a photo and a photo of the shop front (because otherwise he still would not believe me as he clearly thinks I am capable of claiming to have been in a Sharps showroom when actually I was in a Neville Johnson show room as if I had the energy for such duplicitousness). He still did not believe me.

When my mum got her quotes for her furniture I dug out our invoice to see if the prices seemed reasonable. I left it out on the side so my husband could at last see the error of his ways.

When I got back from whatever I was doing he had stuck a piece of paper over the Sharps logo and written on it ‘Neville Johnson’. It would be funny. I suppose. To anyone else.

There have been countless and I mean countless other occasions when I have been right, I won’t bore you with them all here. But for the sake of balance I should perhaps explain what he was right about today.

The Christmas before last, our first in this new house, I treated myself to  a set of 400 outside lights with which to adorn our frontage. My husband is not a big lover of such ‘tat’ as he calls it. But the kids and I are. And we outnumber him quite considerably and I had hooks and a hammer.

I came to set up the lights and was disappointed to find that there were no electricity sockets in the garage in which to plug said lights. I toyed with using the hall sockets but that would have led to unsightly wire strewing and created a trip hazard. And even I was not up for that.

I mentioned the lack of sockets to my husband who claimed that I must be mistaken as he could distinctly remember, on one of our viewings, the previous male occupant  of the house being in the garage building model aeroplanes and using a desk lamp. I countered that maybe he had misremembered the desk lamp and that in fact the overhead light had been on. We both gently seethed. I think husband came out better in this scenario as we were tacky-lightless over the festive period and indeed the one after.

Soon we are getting our front garden landscaped which is a complicated process which has involved tree surgeons and will involve lead pipe replacers and a landscaping firm. Husband is buying an electric car (the two are not related) which also involves getting electricity to the outside of the garage.

In order to get the new water pipe laid and the electricity point put on the garage I needed to make the garage accessible. And so today, after wheeling ten tonne of felled tree logs round to the side of the house, Youngest and I set to.

First we had to get all the stuff in front of the trailer out. Our lawn was strewn with football boots, kindling, camping fridges, wine, bikes, scooters, balls, extension leads, hose pipes etc.

Then we hauled out the trailer. I needed to re pack it so I could get the water proof cover back on so it could live on our lawn for a couple of weeks. The repacking was necessary after a couple of years of me hauling random stuff out of it (such as the air bed pump and folding chairs and matches and unbreakable crockery for Cub camps) and then just repiling such items back on top in a kind of Jenga fashion.

Then we had to tackle the back of the garage where the new water pipe and electricity point need to come in. The stuff that has lurked mostly untouched behind the trailer for nearly two years and been partially covered by a layer of cardboard discarded from on line deliveries. We moved roll mats and surf boards and boot bars from cars we no longer possess and crutches (left over from husband’s broken foot c 2007) and camp beds and power tools and dinghies.

And there behind one of our many tents (I believe the four man or it could have been the two man not sure) were a couple of pairs of sockets.

So husband was right. He had correctly remembered that sad man modelling in the light of a desk lamp. He was probably hiding from his wife. Who was right about something.

Anyway I get the last laugh.

Twinkly lights at Christmas.



15 Years and Counting… — November 18, 2015

15 Years and Counting…


I have a vague idea I should write something about marriage.

The reason is that today (well at 3 o’clock this afternoon) I will have been married for 15 years.

Also it is Week 3 – see Keeping Clean Sheets if you don’t understand that reference- and so I am employing as many avoiding tactics as I can. I have done three fifths of Week 3 and have re-jigged it a bit so I no longer have the family/ scuss bathroom to do- poor Week Two is the down hearted recipient- but still major avoiding needed. The Kitchen Diner is left…need I say more?

The downstairs loo is leaking again. The number pad on my PC keyboard has stopped working. I have the mother of all weeks meetings/ helping at school/ parents evening/ ferrying/ school concerts wise. And so feel like taking this morning easy before I leave the house at 1pm and do not return except to briefly stuff sandwiches into kids until gone 9pm. My ‘working’ day, always a bit odd.

And anyway Christmas is arriving after a flurry of on-line activity yesterday and I do not want to miss a courier whom I have accidentally drowned out by over zealous vacuuming.

So there we have it I thought a quick post avoiding the use of as many numbers as possible would be the order of the day. And as today is my wedding anniversary it seems like as good a topic as any. Although it involves, already, too many numerals.

I have started this entry and discovered that since I last wrote Wordpress, my lovely blog host, have decided to change everything. I cannot find buttons. I no longer appear to be able to link to my other entries in a logical way. The Save button has mysteriously disappeared. I don’t need this in Week Three, I really don’t. Don’t they know I have been married for 15 (arghh) years today?

As you may have gathered we are not doing anything special today, despite its significance. Well I am having bacon on cheesy rolls for lunch but otherwise, no.  At about 5.30am husband used the assistive light on his phone to blind me and also deposit a wrapped article on the bed. I tried unsuccessfully to fumble under my bedside table for his gift and card. He told me to leave it until later. He has probably forgotten that there won’t be a later. He ordered me to get more sleep (probably the most romantic thing he will say to me all day- in fact one of the few things he will say to me at all today) which I tried to do. It was difficult with burning retinas.

In any event that present isn’t up to a great deal. I am far beyond those times when I spent every available lunch hour devising, planning and purchasing a perfect gift for each anniversary (and birthday and Christmas). The present was purloined off his Christmas list which I only extracted from him on Saturday morning. And so although Youngest and I tried to find something more inspired between football matches and rain showers in town we failed. Fifteen years is crystal. We have enough tumblers. And what would a grown man do with a small glass animal? And in any event my mind is too full of what to buy small people for Christmas and what other people can buy my small people for Christmas and what I should buy the teachers for Christmas and what I would like other people to buy me for Christmas…. perhaps more time? It is like this every year and led me once to forget our anniversary completely. I was that ‘buying flowers in a petrol station’ cliché. My tip is not to get married in November.

Anyway back to this morning. Once the alarm went off a mere half an hour later I struggled blindly through my minimal ablutions and then took a pause to open his gift and card before rousing the kids. Do not fret dear reader my retinas are recovered. I always struggle blindly through my morning ablutions in a kind of denial. About morning. About the day to come. About, well everything really. I do not usually leave this ‘denial’ phase until the caffeine from my first cuppa has kicked in.

The gift was lovely. A pair of earrings and a necklace. Some sparkle. I love a bit of sparkle. Oddly for someone so un-girly. We recently went to the V&A in London just to do the jewellery section. It was darkly lit with everything on black velvet and looked simply stunning. Although come to think of it my retinas did hurt a bit then too…

I put the earrings in. This took longer than it should as the holes have partly closed up as I haven’t worn such adornment since around  2004 (or blank blank blank blank as my duff keyboard would have it). Which does, not unco-incidentally, co-incide with the birth of Eldest.

Not one of my children liked the earrings. It is just the shock I think. They will come round. My new hair cut (which my mother does not appear to have noticed, or if she has noticed she does not approve of enough to say anything, either is worrying) apparently calls out for earrings according to my good friend. And maybe, judging by today’s gift, silently husband.

Just so you know I have now found the Save button. But not the Review button. I shall keep going and also keep you posted. But hopefully not this entry. It is too soon for it to be posted. As I haven’t reviewed it yet. I digress.

All this anniversary guff meant we were behind schedule. The kids gasped at the clock. Corners were cut. It is likely Eldest will have to swim in Speedos out of the Lost Property basket. Is there any fate worse?

I shouted instructions through the open window of my friend’s car as she pulled out of our drive. ‘Find out your cello lesson’, ‘Don’t forget to find your snack pot’, ‘Get out quick tonight so I can get to my meeting’, ‘Please remind me you need hike boots for Cubs’, ‘For god sake do not let me forget piano again’, ‘Eat a hot school lunch it is only packed tea tonight’. Etc. Etc.

I retreated indoors to the carnage left from the morning and the relative peace. I retrieved that gift from under my bedside table and put it in the grubby Kitchen Diner where hopefully husband will see it when he returns from Cub pick up much much later tonight. I will find out if he likes it when I get in from my last meeting at circa 9.30pm. It does not have much sparkle. I do feel slightly out done gift wise. It is not as bad as on our first anniversary when he bought me a diamond eternity ring and I got him a….magazine subscription. In my defence the first anniversary is paper.

Somehow this post has got quite long and yet I have said hardly anything about the nature of marriage. Or have I?

15 years ago I walked up the aisle- well a corridor made by two sets of chairs we didn’t do the church thing- to start on this road of married life.

To begin with the road was a flower bordered bucolic path meandering through fields and by river banks. We idled along hand in hand taking in the view. Revelling in its beauties. We took long metaphoric picnic lunches and the sun shone.

Over time the road has changed beyond all recognition. It now feels more like a motorway whizzing along at breath taking speed. I do not know when this happened. When the route morphed from footpath to bridleway to A road to six lane monster.

At times it has felt like two parallel carriageways with far too few shared service stations . It can be full of pot holes and road works. Nearly constantly it is crowded by other travellers getting in the way and driving recklessly with no regard for the rules. I am not always a good driver. I go too fast or do not look in the mirror enough. I get road rage and shout at the sat nav. Sometimes I know where this road is headed but often I need a map.

But at the heart of it all there is that other person racing along too. Providing solidarity. And earrings.

Glad its you Andy.






Artistic Licence — October 22, 2015

Artistic Licence

Apparently my husband is a bit miffed. Or so he says.

He recently started long distance biking on Sunday mornings and has developed a peloton. A whole bunch of Lycra clad men of a certain age take to the roads of our rural environs and sweat around a 35 mile ish course scaring the locals and holding up traffic. That distance might be a tad inaccurate as I tend to skim over the multiple ‘Strava’ Facebook posts that appear within seconds of them arriving home.

Anyhoo. Apparently the posse have detected a ‘tone’ in my blog posts which, again allegedly, sees my poor down trodden husband getting a raw deal. Bless.

I cannot for the life of me imagine where this feeling comes from….

I have not had time to proof read all my 80 odd posts again. Although from my recollection a large number refer to him not at all.

From memory I may have implied that he doesn’t like cheese. On more than one occasion. This is merely a fact. And a very annoying and puzzling one at that. And it does actually have a daily impact on my life. I feel at liberty to mention it.

At some point his ability to lose things has come up. Again true. And annoying.

I wrote a whole piece very early on about the differences between men and women. It is possible that I based a lot of it on him. One can only write from experience surely. And it was very tongue in cheek. And funny. I apologise for any offence caused.

I may have implied that he ‘made me’ move house and get rid of beloved furniture. Of course this is not true. I cannot ‘be made’ to do things. Except eat chocolate. If you ‘made me’ eat chocolate I would, without hesitation, oblige.

Things came to a head last week when I suggested that when he cleans a room he merely gives it a ‘lick and a promise’. I would like to set the record straight on his behalf. He cleans thoroughly. And takes hours. I was using artistic licence. It is a strategy writers use. Or so I am told. Sorry about that.

So for the record my husband is a lovely man who works very hard, he is a great father, he never ‘makes me’ do anything and he can clean adequately.

He still, however, hates cheese and loses things.

To my mind there are two solutions. Suck it up. Or write your own blog.

Revenge may be sweet.

Love ya…

Footnote: should you wish to check out his claims for yourself please see my posts

Women are from Venus men are just odd


Have you seen my...

Food Glorious Food

Keeping Clean Sheets

My Sofa

My House

In the interests of balance feel free to read any of the seventy odd other posts too….

%d bloggers like this: