The Decade That Spawned Me ~ Technology

I feel fortunate to have been born in the 70s because it was a decade of relative simplicity and family. Then along came the 80s with it’s affordable electronics and the cracks started to appear in family life and, well, it’s all gone a bit shit.

The chart topping ‘Video killed The Radio Star’ was released in 1979. The song promoted technology but also warned of it’s effects…

Video_Killed_the_Radio_Star_single_cover

Oh a oh!

At the start of the 70s it was very much about family as highlighted in the six part series, Back In Time For The Weekend where the Ashby-Hawkins family, having experienced life from the 1950s through to the 2000s, said that the 70s had the ‘perfect balance’ of convenience and family values before households were ‘splintered’ by technology.

I agree and I should know because I was there, flares and everything.

When it came to entertaining ourselves, we had to be imaginative. My brother and I were dressed, fed and turfed out during weekends and holidays with orders not to return until dinner time. Mum wasn’t being neglectful, it was simply the era’s ‘no shit approach’ to parenting and it was no bad thing because we were out in the fresh air, keeping fit and making memories. I can’t help but wonder if children today will remember the hours spent hunched over their mobile phones with the same level of nostalgia?

‘remMbR dat tym we wer @ McDonalds & we wer aL on our phones @ d sAm tym txtN Ech other?’

Can’t see it myself.

We did stuff. We made tents out of BED SHEETS and you know how parents spend trillions of pounds on electronic paraphernalia for kids today? Well we made skipping ropes out of old washing lines. HARD PLASTIC washing lines that hurt like buggery when they whacked you on the back of the legs. Can you imagine handing kids today an old washing line to play with? They’d probably stand there trying to work where to plug it in, no?

Today’s kids are about ALL about technology and The Boy is no different. He has the electronic devices and his DS is invaluable when it comes to distraction when we’re out and about. However, I’m an old fart who knows the importance of things that don’t require batteries (or a socket) so he has plenty of stuff that only requires imagination and no matter what you’ve heard, autistic children do have an imagination.

When it comes to ‘gaming’, in the 70s, we had ‘Pong’.

Pong

Obviously by today’s standards, it’s shit, but in my day it was cutting edge stuff. We had it on a console and we’d play it if the weather was bad enough (torrential rain, blizzards etc) to keep us in but the constant BLIP-BLIP-BLIP did Mum’s head in and it often went missing for weeks on end. Fancy?!

Thursdays was Top of the Pops night. We had Jimmy saVILE and the other deviants masquerading as DJs entertaining us in our front room. Urgh. Where are the Men in Black with their neuralyzers?

Also, GET THIS. Our TV had THREE channels and our telly had two remotes – me and my brother. We were fitter in those days, if nothing else..

Children’s TV accounted for all of about two hours a day and most programmes were crap. Like Pipkins. Pipkins was crap but it was addictive crap. Hartley Hare always looked like he had a bad case of Mixi, to me. I mean, LOOK AT HIM!

Somebody put it out of it’s misery ffs…

My own family has been seduced by technology. I SWORE I’d never have a Kindle. I SCOFFED at the idea of an electronic book but then OH beguiled me with the convenience of being able to buy a book whilst wearing my rollers and a flannelette nightie and I was like, ‘How soon can I have one?’

The experience of living in the 70s for the TV show changed Steph Ashby’s relationship with technology because she could see the impact that it had on family life and as a result took steps to use technology more selectively. Her daughter quit Facebook (yeah, right) and the entire family reduced their time on social media.

What I’ve taken away from that is that it’s the time spent with people that is really important and making sure that we don’t let things like technology get in the way.

I agree wholeheartedly with you, Mrs, and I will do my utmost to ensure my family do not become total slaves to technology. However, maybe it’s the case that…

We can’t rewind, we’ve gone too far.

Up Yours, Plate Dodgers!

I like chips. You know where you are with a chip. There are no surprises with a chip. It is what it is…a chip.

Whenever we eat out, I have chips. Sometimes I have sausage and chips or if I’m feeling like something exotic, I’ll have quiche and chips. Mostly, I just have chips. In case I haven’t made myself clear, I like chips.

So, the other day, me and OH called in a cafe for some dinner. I chose, er, chips, and OH opted for gammon and eggs. Half an hour later, the waitress came over with our order.

‘ Whose are the chips’?

‘That’ll be me.’ *all the noms*

THIS is what she gave me..

WTF?!

‘What’s this?’ I asked OH

‘Your chips, Dear’.

‘Er, they’re in a MUG?’

‘Could be worse, they could be in a plant pot ha ha’

Call me old fashioned but when I’m sat at a table eating FOOD, I like it to be on a PLATE. Maybe it’s because I’m from the Potteries? Folk like plates in The Potteries. The Potteries is famous for making them. Tableware is very much, our thing.

I don’t want my chips served in a mug OR a plant pot. I want a PLATE.

TEA is served in mugs.

Plant pots belong to PLANTS.

This is the North. People eat pies in the street, while wearing shorts, on a WINTER’S DAY. I refuse to believe that food served in paraphernalia OTHER than plates is a Northern idea? If it is, I’ll eat OH’s flat cap. With chips.

As far as I’m concerned, you can bog your mug o’ chips RIGHT OFF! From now on I am boycotting plate-dodging restaurants. Are you with me?

There’s an EPIDEMIC. Feast your mince pies on THIS lot:

  • Bread served in a flat cap
  • Steak served on a meat cleaver.
  • Salad served UNDER a wine glass.
  • Mushrooms served on a gardening trowel.
  • Butter served on a broken bathroom tile.
  • Chips served in a miniature shopping trolley.
  • Bread served in slippers.
  • Beef and Yorkshire pudding (WITH GRAVY) served on a bit of wood.

Cream. On a slate?

Mushrooms on a gardening trowel?

A F**KING GARDENING TROWEL???!!!

I pick cat poo up with my gardening trowel and CALL ME CRAZY but I also use it to dig holes with when potting plants. I know, I’m a certified NUTCASE!

I’m going to start eating my pie and chips out of this paint tray from now on. Pie to the side. Nice deep bit for the chips. Yes, I can see the ‘meat and two veg’ too. Filthy minds think alike, eh?

Who thought that serving Yorkshire pudding WITH GRAVY on a glorified chopping board was a GOOD idea?

WHO?!

Having said that, credit where it’s due, they had sense enough to leave off the peas…

What, in the name of MARY BERRY, is going on?!

Apparently, it’s down to some bloke serving ‘steak on a slate’ about ten years ago but I can go further back than that to the 1970s where some div started to serve ‘baskets meals’. Baskets are one thing but slates? How long would it take for the men in white coats to come and trundle me off to the funny farm if I was to climb onto my roof and start eating my pie and chips off the roof tiles? About five minutes, I reckon, but apparently it’s perfectly acceptable behaviour in restaurants.

As dear old Nan Tate says, ‘WHAT A LOAD OF OLD SHIT!’

The one exception is to eat your fish and chips out of newspaper. Old fashioned – ink all over your chips – newspaper. That’s how it was ‘back in maaaaar day’. Today, it’s plain paper, cones, or those nasty plastic trays that make your chips smell (and taste) crap.

Another whinge I have about posh nosh is that you tend to get bugger all for your money. It pains me to pay more for less. It physically hurts. It’s like with clothes. I am petite (which is another word for short arse) so you’d presume less money for less material, right? WRONG. I pay MORE money because I’m shorter than the average woman. Similarly with posh nosh where you pay a fortune for a threat of beef, a miniscule roast potato and a Yorkshire pud the size of a Rolo with some gravy drizzed over it. Looks nice. Wouldn’t fill a gnat. You have to stop for pie and chips on the way home because you’re STARVING!

‘Less is more’ only applies to cosmetics, I mean, too much of it and you look like something out of Kiss, no? When it comes to food, I want value for my money. I want to leave the establishment having had to undo my belt a notch. And I want my food served on a plate. Not a slate or a garden trowel. A PLATE.

Also, I won’t eat what I can’t pronounce. You can’t go wrong with chips. Even if you’re pissed and it comes out as, ‘Ah wil haf sum ships, peesh. Wud u lik a shnog?’

Stop farting about with our food, Britain. PLATES NOT SLATES!

Image via Pixabay

Image Via Pixabay

Image Via Pixabay

 

 

 

 

How To Survive Being Married to an Aspie

‘In one word, what’s it like to be married to an Aspie?’

OH: ‘Eventful’.

I can’t argue with that..

Next, I ask him to describe me in as many words as he can..

OH: ‘No chance!’

‘Er, why?’

OH: ‘Er, because you’ll kill me?’.

I do what I consider to be my ‘girly’ laugh (it isn’t) and tell him not to be a silly sausage but, to be fair, he is danger of ending up under the patio depending on what he says about me..

OH’s Description of Me

Passionate, Intense, Accurate, On edge, Careful, Opinionated, Knowledgeable, Fixed, Driven, Family.

Fair dos.. nothing in this list warrants a swift whack on the back of the head with the garden spade. However, I know how psycho I can be so I thrust the paper at him again..

‘I’ll bury you under the patio IF you’re not 100% honest about my crappy bits.’

OH: ‘I’ll need a bigger piece of paper then’.

I know from his face that he isn’t being literal and that he is, in fact, taking the piss..

A few minutes later, he gives me the additional words..

OH’s Description of Me Continued..

Impatient, Relentless, Opinionated, Unmoving, Indecisiveness, Moody.

I can’t argue with any of these either, though he does say opinionated twice.

‘Oi, Div, you’ve written opinionated down twice!’

He pipes up, ‘Oh yeah, you’re repetitive as well’.

So there you have it.

Straight from the horses gob.

I will be honest here and say that, by rights, I should live ALONE somewhere remote (but with WiFi) because I’m not good at the social stuff. I also like my own space and struggle having to share it. In addition to this, I go through the entire mood spectrum in any given day. I can be happy (ish) but one word out of place will summon Grumpy, Psycho, Nutter, Stroppy, Flouncy, Cranky and Loon faster than you can sing Heigh-Ho.

OH literally doesn’t know where he is with me. I do his head in. Official. I think my indecisiveness is possibly the worst thing for him because when I am overwhelmed, I literally can’t make a decision between having coffee or tea.

‘Do you want tea or coffee?’

“STOPPPP, IT’S TOO HAAAAAARD” *has breakdown*

I’ve just been diagnosed but I’ve known I’m autistic for the last four years and OH married me with that knowledge. Despite my attempts at ‘normal’, he’s always known I’m a weird sod. YET HE DIDN’T RUN?

Being with an Aspie is hard work. My issues are severe at times and I’m a lot to handle at the best of times. I feel slightly guilty because when we met I was still very much trying to fit in (therefore not being me) but over the last five years it’s become a gradual process of being truer to myself. The menopause has played a part in that because I’m too sodding knackered to sustain that level of pretence anymore. I guess I’m lucky because I have an NT husband who admits he doesn’t understand me, yet still wants to be with me.

In the spirit of good will and all that, I’d like to pass on a few tips which may be helpful to NT partners both male and female.

Alone Time

Your Aspie may need a LOT of alone time. Let them bugger off to do their own thing or they’ll be, like, super cranky.

Obsessions

As much as their obsessions may bore the CRAP out of you, it’s a good idea to let them wax lyrical about them now and then. It’s worth it just to see their faces light up, no?

Patience

You’ll need SHIT LOADS.

Communication

Because I’m crap at verbal communication (and misunderstand things people say to me) we communicate via email when I need to get stuff off my chest. It’s a lot less stressful, believe me.

Learn about Aspergers

I cannot stress how important it is to understand your partner’s autism as best you can. Nobody is expecting you to know how they feel but it helps to understand why they do to certain things and what you can do to support them.

Your Needs

Tell your partner what you need from them. Don’t hint or expect them to read your mind. Write it down if you need to.

You Time

Make sure you do something for YOU. Something that takes you away from Planet Autism for a few hours every week. It’s important because living with someone who is autistic can be wonderful and exhausting in equal measure. Go whack some golf balls about or thrash something non-living. Whatever sorts your stress levels out, right?

Support

When in doubt, ask The National Autistic Society on 0808 800 4104.

Or there is The Aspergers Syndrome Foundation

Sensory Issues

Most Aspies have sensory issues. I am over-sensitive to almost everything but especially to smells. The overwhelming stench of B.O (not mine) at school, still haunts my nostrils 3o odd years later and I REFUSE to indulge in any kind of amorous activity in the morning because I can’t stand morning breath, mine included. It’s like tonguing a  haddock, no?

Slightly whiffy in NT world can be ‘OH MY GOD, WHAT IS THAT FARKING SMELL?! – whiffy in Asperger world. Similarly, overdoing the Paco Rabanne is a no-no. I never said this was gonna be easy, now did I?

Some Aspies can be hit and miss with personal hygiene. It can be a case of CBA or things like brushing teeth hurts due to sensitivity. Me? I can either turn myself prune by over-bathing or forget to bathe for a few days. When I eventually get a whiff of my own undercarriage, I frogmarch myself up to the bathroom and throw myself into the shower until I smell of coconuts.

It’s safe to say that life with an Aspie is never boring. Me? I think I need a NT partner to keep me from floating off into outer space. OH keeps me grounded, or as grounded as I can be.  Sometimes I wonder how he copes with an Aspie wife AND son but he manages it. His escapism is to ‘bust a cap’ in some drug lords arse on his online mafia game. It keeps him sane, innit?

I educate him about what it’s like to live on Planet Loon as best I can but I know he can never really understand what it’s like to be autistic, no more than I can ever really understand what it’s like to be ‘neurotypical’.

Maybe Aspies should wear a some kind of warning system which alerts their other halves when it’s safe to approach them and when they should run for the hills?

GREEN= You may approach me.

Means: I’m in a receptive mood so fill your boots.

AMBER= Approach with caution.

Means: I’m a bit cranky and it could go either way.

RED= DO NOT SPEAK TO ME. DO NOT TOUCH ME. DO NOT LOOK AT ME. DO NOT BREATHE IN MY DIRECTION!!! I’M KILLING YOU IN MY MIND ARRRGGGHHHHH

Means: I am in full-blown psycho/meltdown mode.  I may become mute or verbally vomit words that make no sense whatsoever. Go, save yourself.

Hope this helps. 🙂

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The Lion, the Witch and my Wardrobe

When you’re an adult, a wardrobe is just a piece of furniture. It’s somewhere to hang your clothes and store boxes of old photographs from when you were young and energetic, not to mention packing a full set of hormones. To a child, however, it’s a porthole into another world especially if they’ve read (or seen) The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe..

The plot, of course, is that four children are evacuated from London in World War Two and sent to live with a professor who lives in a large country house with big wardrobes. The youngest child, Lucy, has a root round the Prof’s house and finds a wardrobe which also happens to be a portal to a magical land called Narnia. Having pushed past all the moth-balled infused fur coats, she wanders out into a forest where there is a lamppost. Here she meets a dodgy looking bloke who invites her to his house for tea (always say no, kids) but it turns out that this bloke, Tumnus, intends to betray her to Narnia’s resident evil overlord known as ‘the White Witch’. The White Witch has ruled over Narnia for, like, ever, keeping it in a permanent state of Winter. This is to keep the Narnians in their place though it may be due to a bad case of hayfever she had once, who knows? Anyhoo, old frosty chops has an intense dislike for humans so the Narnians are under orders that, should they happen across one of the blighters, they are to turn them in or she’ll start removing fingers/claws/whatever. Tumnus is well up for a bit o’ betrayal in the beginning but changes his mind when he realises he likes Lucy. Oops! Now he feels proper shit that he wanted to hand her over to the Refrigerated One so he does the decent thing and takes her back to the lamppost which is where it all goes tits up. You know how it goes…

When I was about 8 years old, Mum and Dad bought a wardrobe for my room, well, actually it was a combi-robe which was a combined unit of a mirror, shelves, drawers and a single wardrobe. However, to me, it was more than a piece of furniture..

I liked to sit in my wardrobe.

There, I’ve said it.

Thing is, I used to feel safe in there, especially if it had been a bad day at school.

It was a confined space, even for me, who was of Borrower proportions, but I could sit in my little wardrobe, close the door, and cry it all out without anybody knowing..

I was also familiar with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by then, having read the book and seen it on TV so I would re-enact it because my imaginative play was always about acting out what I’d seen in life or on TV.

The concept of a magical world being accessible from inside my wardrobe fascinated me. What would I have given for it to be true? Only, in my magical world, evil witches wouldn’t be allowed because there was one of those at school masquerading as my class teacher..

A few years later we moved house and two things stopped me throwing the MOTHER of all meltdowns. One was Dad buying me the new Adam and the Ants LP and the other was the walk in wardrobe in my new bedroom. Never mind sit down, I could go horizontal in this one! WOOHOO! The wardrobe also had pretty brass knobs on which I liked to mess with.. which did not please my mother.

“Have you been messing with these ruddy knobs again, Madam?”

“Er, no” and I’d leg it downstairs as fast as my fluffy slippers could carry me.

One of my favourite wardrobes, EVER, was my Nan and Grandad’s because it was JUST like the wardrobe in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and yes I did shut myself in it until the whiff of moth balls put me into a coma, Not sure about Narnia but I did find a nice clasp handbag filled with various corn plasters and a few furry Polo mints..

It was easier to re-enact the story in an 1800s Gloucestershire house than in my 1960s built bedroom. More authentic, y’know? Well, as authentic as it can be until your mum walks in and bollocks you for ‘rooting’ through your Nan’s things..

I’m not sure how old I was when I finally stopped sitting (not a typo) in wardrobes. No doubt marriage and motherhood left me with little time to indulge my love of wardrobe interiors. Also, they were jammed full of cricket paraphernalia, old shoes and other such crap that builds up when one has to share their abode.

Then there was that incident where one of the kids mistook their wardrobe for the toilet. *shudders*

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Narnia existed though, eh? Without the resident bitch, of course.

How fabulous would be to have a really shit day and declare, ‘SOD IT. I AM OFF TO NARNIA!’ Though knowing my luck (and tendency for catastrophic thinking) I would most likely step out into the forest and be instantly mauled to death by a psychotic beaver..

Maybe I’m too old for sitting in wardrobes but I will never be too old to revisit Narnia via the book..

See you there?

“I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand a word you say, but I shall still be your affectionate Godfather, C. S. Lewis.”

C. S Lewis ~ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Creative Commons Image Via Pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Wife meets Shit Wife

 

I came across this article while I was sat on a cafe bog in rural Cumbria.

Don’t get me wrong, I like my vintage nostalgia but women as second class doormats is best left where it is in my opinion..

It occurred to me just how much times have changed so I thought I would compare housewives sixty two years apart. For this purpose I have created Shit Wife..

Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return.

Shit Wife is impressed with Mary Berry’s baking skills but hasn’t yet managed to create the perfect bake. Or even a mediocre bake. In fact, she’s crap at baking. However, Bezzer’s books look fablus on her bookshelf.

Prepare yourself. Touch up your make up.

Shit Wife looks like Alice Cooper by tea-time and is about as fresh looking as week old roadkill. Depending on the season (and availability of leggings) she may also have cactus legs.

Put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking.

The last time Shit Wife wore ribbons, David Beckham was a sperm.

He has just been with a lot of work-weary people!

Shit Wife has had the day from HELL. She’s been e-mailing the council about the bins AGAIN, the lurcher’s dinner has done an encore all over the kitchen floor and one of the other Mums has been giving her the evils on the school yard.

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house before your husband arrives.

Shit Wife gets busy with the hoover about 30 minutes before Hubs gets in. She has perfected the art of looking knackered when it fact she’s been binge watching Desperate Housewives all afternoon.

Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small) comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

Shit Wife hasn’t the time (or inclination) for such shit.

Minimise all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.

Shit Wife has no problem getting them to be quiet as they’ve lost the ability to speak thanks to modern technology. They now communicate via text.

Can u giv meeee sum £ pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee?

Or

Wot?

Be happy to see him

Shit Wife imagines Hubs is Sean Bean

Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

Shit Wife imagine Hubs is Sean Bean, NAKED.

Don’t greet him with complaints and problems

Shit Wife unloads her crap unto Hubs’ before his coat’s off.

Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he may have gone through that day.

*Author of blog starts to choke*

Shit Wife flings Hubs’ tea in the bin when he staggers in late and pissed. If she’s on her period (or menopausal) she’ll launch the plate at him as well. Lucky for him her aim is always off. So far, she’s trashed three dinner sets and half a dozen mugs. However, Hubs’ is now highly competent at plastering. If he stays out all night he will come home to find she’s changed the locks, his clothes are in bin-bags on the pavement and ‘DIE BASTARD’ has been weed-killer-ed into the front lawn. He should count this as minor compared to what she’ll do when she gets her hands on him.

Arrange his pillow

Shit Wife regularly ponders the consequences of smothering Hubs to death with his ESPECIALLY when he’s snorting like a pig and drooling all over her new Argos duvet set. She bides her time for when the menopause finally robs her of her sanity and she can get away with manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Offer to take off his shoes.

Shit Wife knows Hubs’ feet smell like cheesy cat vomit and under NO circumstances (including life threatening) would she EVER touch them.

Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

Shit Wife’s voice can reach well over 90 decibels when sufficiently riled, like when Hubs turns Emmerdale off to watch some crap about building sheds on Channel Bore.

Remember, he is master of the house.

Only in his dreams..

You have no right to question him.

Shit Wife will give him an interrogation Roz Huntley would be proud of. He WILL be questioned, at length, until he breaks.

A good wife always knows her place.

A good husband knows when to back away slowly.

Disclaimer. Note, Shit Wife is based loosely on me (not telling you which bits) and a few women I know with some creative license thrown in.

P.S all wives are not shit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up Yours! (My Colonoscopy)

Shopping List

  • 24 pack of EXTRA SOFT bog roll
  • LARGE tub of Sudocrem
  • Five packs of soothing bum wipes
  • Lemonade (to disguise taste of laxative)
  • Aromatherapy candle (to disguise smell of poo)
  • Plastic bed sheet (just in case)
  • Extra undies (just in case)

48 hours Before Colonoscopy

Ate like a pig.

24 hours Before Colonoscopy

7am. Woke up.

7.02 am – 9am. Had 19 cups of tea and an egg on toast.

9 am onwards. No milk in drinks. No food. Can only eat clear jellies, Bovril, clear soups and boiled sweets. *weeps*

12.30pm. FOOKING STARVING!!!

12.35 pm. Lemon jelly for dinner (which didn’t touch the sides)

12.45. Heard OH opening a packet of crisps and wanted to end his life.

12.55. Saw picture of somebody’s chips on Instagram and started to cry.

1pm. Banned myself from Instagram.

1.30. Had a Bovril.

3.30. Felt faint with hunger.

4.30. Had bowl of clear soup and another Bovril.

5pm LAXATIVE OF DOOM TIME!!

Smells like cleaning fluid but doesn’t actually taste that bad..

5.22. One glass down, seven to go..

5.55. Two glasses down, six to go..

6.14. Three glasses down, five to go..

6.45 Four glasses down, four to go,

6.46 Had some stirrings in the bowel region..

6.50 THE WORLD FELL OUT OF MY ARSE!!!

7pm – 8pm FIFTEEN trips to the loo.

ROUND TWO OF LAXATIVE OF DOOM

8.23 Five glasses down, three to go..

8.55  Six glasses down, two to go..

9.23 Seven glasses down, one to go

9.53 Done

29 trips to the loo in total!

My bum hole after 29 trips to the loo

The Colonoscopy

I made myself a promise that I would write an honest, but humourous, account of my colonoscopy so here goes..

I arrived at the hospital at 8.45 am armed with my Kindle ready for a long wait but it didn’t happen because I was called in fairly quickly, so I was winning already.

First job was to put one of THOSE flattering gowns..

I’m used to the flasher gowns having had enough Gynae procedures done in my time. This time, though, I also got a pair of ‘dignity pants’ which have a kinky slit at the back. Now I always struggle with this part so I had the nurse repeat the instructions THREE times so I didn’t make an arse of myself, literally..

Next was the ‘to sedate or not to sedate’ question due to my recent adverse reactions to local anesthesia. A cannula was put in anyway so I could change my mind if needs be, though the consultant did do his best to reassure me that there is no connection between sedative and anesthetic and he’d rarely seen a reaction to one.

As it was my anxiety kicked in BIG TIME, so they took one look at my shaking lunatic self and persuaded me that sedation was the way to go.

So away with the fairies I went.

I’d already made my mind up that I wasn’t going to watch my own insides on the screen, so while the consultant was up to his tricks with his rubber glove I shut my eyes and slurred away to anybody who was listening.

I felt some discomfort when the camera was going round the bends of my colon, but they just whacked more sedative in me and ten minutes later the consultant peered over at me and said, ‘That’s it,  we’re all finished and you’re fine!’.

YAY!

I spent 45 minutes in recovery farting myself DELIRIOUS, while I had some tea and toast, which I was so grateful of as my mouth felt dry as a camels arse after not being able to drink for almost 12 hours..

Then it was back on with the clothes and I was on my way home.

I’ve dreaded this thing for months and had stupidly terrified myself by reading horror stories on the internet, but the thing is that thousands of Colonoscopies are performed every year without a problem,  it’s just that people don’t tend to write about positive experiences.

The prep wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and I downed the lot no problem. The sprinting back and forth to the bog was more inconvenient than anything else and the procedure itself was uncomfortable for a few seconds, but that was it. I’ve had trickier shits that have hurt me more than the colonoscopy did and I’m not scared to have another one done that’s for sure.

The best thing is that I got the ALL CLEAR and that’s a HUGE weight off my mind. There are no nasties lurking in my bowels, aside my Farmer Giles and they are more annoying than nasty.

I urge you NOT to be embarrassed to go to your GP if you have bum problems. If anything is out of the ordinary, just go. Bowel changes, blood, weight loss etc. go tell your GP, because people are literally dying of embarrassment.

Me? Over the past few months I have had more fingers up my bum, (including my own), than Sooty and I’ve even strolled into my GP’s carrying a tube of MY OWN POO! While I was waiting for the sedative to wear off in the recovery room, I let rip some of my best farts EVER and I’m just gutted OH wasn’t there to hear them, he’d have been SO proud!

Go get seen.

Bottoms up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shit Gifts NOT To Buy Your Middle-Aged Mum This Mother’s Day

“My Mum is about five foot with her hair done. Without it she’s four foot 10”

Children can get away with literally ANYTHING on Mother’s Day because they’re small and cute. If a mother fails to be moved by the sight of a wobbly written card and daffodils filched from the next doors garden then she has a swinging brick where her heart should be, yes?

However, once we reach mid-teens and adulthood, the Mother’s Day game changes. A well thought out gift is like putting a pound in the slot machine and getting thirty back. The wrong gift, or worse, NOTHING and your mother will systematically break you down over the next twelve months AND FOREVER MORE!

I’m middle-aged and menopausal. My own mother went full psycho during her menopause so I know my shit and I’m willing to impart my knowledge on you readers. So here are my tips on what NOT to buy your middle-aged mother this Mother’s Day.

Cleaning Products/Household Shizz

This is the one of two days a year (the other being her birthday) where she endeavors to do sod all in the way of cooking or cleaning so if you stroll in with a new set of saucepans asking if she fancies ‘christening’ them, you may just end up in A&E with a head injury.

Gift Vouchers

Nothing says ‘I can’t be arsed’ quite like a gift voucher.

Alcohol

Alcohol and hormone imbalance can quickly turn an amicable afternoon into plate hurling carnage. AVOID. AVOID. AVOID.

Perfume

A woman’s body chemistry changes during the menopause so it’s best to stick with what you know works for her now. Also, don’t buy cheap version from the local market. You know, those that cost £2.99 and claim to smell like Chanel but actually smell like fox piss? You gets what you pays for and you’ll be paying for it for the forseeable in mental anguish.

Keep Fit DVDs

You’re telling her she’s fat.

Bathroom Scales

You’re telling her she’s fat.

Chocolates

You’re making her fat.

Anti-Ageing Products

You’re telling her she has the complexion of a prune. Yes, she uses this stuff by the pallet load but nobody is supposed to know!

The Shits

By all means cook her a nice meal for Mother’s Day, just make sure it’s not Coq au Salmonella.

Candles

Candles intended to mask cat pee, fag smoke or last night’s haddock do not say ‘I love you, Mum’.

Slippers

Unless she’s slap-bang in the throes of a particularly nasty mid-life crisis.. tiger print slipper boots (with pom-poms) are a NO. The other end of the scale are those royal blue/burgundy floral slippers favoured by the elderly and you may find yourself being assaulted with a size 4 slip-on if you’re not careful.

Might one suggest a nice pair of velour mules?

Mother’s Day Compilation CDs

Complied by morons, these CDs usually end up being flogged for 50p in charity shops.

They usually come with the obligatory Gary Barlow song and the rest are obviously chosen at random, possibly under the influence of alcohol.

For research purposes, I looked at the track listings for one such CD and aside Keating et al was Freda Payne’s Band of Gold (a song about being dumped) and Bridge Over Troubled Water which is enough to have your poor old dear reaching for the gin..

Or a noose.

When you’re weary, feeling small. When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all.

Then again, ANY mother who has spent the last eight hours fumigating her teenage son’s pit of a bedroom will probably be able to identify with these lyrics, so maybe there’s method in the madness?

Don’t buy it JUST because it says MUM on it. You’re not cute enough to get away with it anymore. Plus, you’re dealing with hormonal disturbance of MAJOR proportions, you know?

You HAVE been warned!

Of course, if your mother actually requests any of the above (aside salmonella) then yer off the ‘ook, as it were.

I’d still steer clear of alcohol though..

Even Lambrini.

A Word of Caution About Cards

Mother’s Day cards are on the shelves from February. There is NO excuse for not getting her a card. Even if you plead poverty for a gift, everybody can afford a card, even if it’s a Tesco Value one..

I will tell you the story of a teenage boy who came back from staying at his mates house one Sunday to see a beautiful Mother’s Day card displayed on the mantel piece and his younger brother mouthing “You’re dead, Bruv” to him.

“SHIT!” he exclaimed. Then shot out of the house and round to the local Co-op where to his surprise, ALL the Mother’s Day cards had sold out..

So he improvised.

I birthed this child!

Creative Commons Image

Do It Yourself Eyebrows On The Cheap

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If you’re having girl problems I feel bad for you son
I got ninety nine problems but my brows aint one.

There is an epidemic going around which involves spending liberal amounts of money ‘perfecting’ those hairy tufts above the eyes more commonly known as eyebrows.

The Scientific Gubbins

The main function of the eyebrow is to stop sweat and debris falling into your eye socket but they are also key to facial expression. Your eyebrows tell people when you are surprised or angry, for instance and without them we look strange.

I hold my hands up here and hang my head in shame because I’ve plucked mine into submission. I’m an over-plucker, mother pluckers! In fact, part of my left eyebrow is missing due to a frenzied culling session in the late 90s while sozzled on home brew. Alas, I now have to fill in the gap with some eye shadow or pencil.

Years ago the only option was to pencil some in or to whack a bit of shadow in the sparse bits but nowadays you can have an eyebrow TATTOOED onto your skin. It’s not cheap and sometimes things go wrong so instead of looking like Kim Kardashian, you end up looking like a three year old has been let loose on your face with a crayon.

I’ll be honest. I’m an old fart who still remembers a time when it was fashionable to be hairy. The 70s were a full on fur-fest and I was there for the majority of it.. give or take a few months..

There was hair EVERYWHERE.

They even made a musical called HAIR!!

My dad’s mucky magazines (yep, I found em) were full of women with more bush than Kew Gardens but, hey, that was the norm back then. Nowadays, the hairy laydeh has become a niche market though some of us are doing our best to revive it, albeit unintentionally.

The 80s had it’s hairy moments as well. Remember Nena and her 99 Luftballons? The German lovely certainly wasn’t afraid to show off her furry pits and Madonna has been known to be a stranger to Ladyshave in her time as well..

Today’s woman is encouraged to shave (or wax) anything that resembles a hair or pube aside what’s on her head. I’ve seen mannequins with more hair on them than most young women these days!

One of the things about ageing is the speed which hair grows, especially places you don’t want it to, LIKE ON YOUR FACE!

I remember the day I discovered that my mum had a *whispers* moustache and vowed that it would NEVER happen to me!

EVER.

However…

IT HAPPENED.

So once a month I pluck them out with some tweezers because my hair seems to be immune to creams. I once spent six hours Veeting myself to no avail. I am, it seems, resistant to depilatory creams.

When it comes to eyebrows it’s no longer fashionable to have run-of-the-mill eyebrows. Now they have to be sculptured into sperm-like shapes in order to give that permanently ‘How bloody much?’ look.

Why would ANYBODY want to have sperms on their face?

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Moving swiftly on…

Why pay all that money to look like that when you can do it yourself for about 50p?

In the spirit of goodwill and all that, I am willing to share my secret with you.

All you need is a sheet of felt and some sticky thingies you can pick up from any craft shop.

Firstly, pick yourself some felt to match your hair colour, or as close to it as you can. I dye my hair red (ish) but I’d look a bit of a chop with red eyebrows so I opted for brown, as is my au naturel shade.

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Get a biro (or borrow your little un’s chalks) and draw a set of eyebrows in the shape you desire.

Go wild or just stick to sperms.

BROWse the internet for inspiration.

See what I did there?

Now you are ready to cut those bad boys out.

*WARNING* Take care when using sharp scissors, especially if you’ve been at the Gin.

Actually, it might be a good idea to ask somebody (who isn’t pissed) to help you with this part?

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Next, you will need to fix some sticky thingies on. Or you can use velcro if you like pain. Wouldn’t advise Superglue..

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VOILA!

Here’s me rocking my new brows!

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Dead. Sexy.

The beauty of this is that you can get about 10 pairs out of one sheet of felt so if one gets lost on a night out, it’s no biggy. Keep some spares in your holdall of a handbag and when your mate leans over and says, ‘Oi, tit, your eyebrow has slipped into your Jalfrezi!’ All you have to do is whip out a spare, slap it on your face and you’re back in action!

Could it be any easier?

Play about with this. Create your own style and have fun with it. Maybe get a few mates round and have a brow-making session? Like a Tupperware party only not as shit!

Plus, it’s got to be better than blowing the housekeeping on a permanent pair which could make you look like a right berk, eh?

I (being socially challenged) prefer to make my brows on my own whilst listening to old 1970s records for inspiration.

That’s just how I roll.

Next time I will show you how to create some sexy stockings using Bovril and a Sharpie.

The old ways are still the best, eh?

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Public Domain Image

Public Domain Image

All other images, though crap, are mine.

My A to Z of Teenage Boys

It’s midnight. A new day has begun. Only this isn’t any ordinary day. This is the day your son turns into a TEENAGER and so the metamorphosis begins..

Within the next few hours he will lose the power of speech and most likely the use of his arms and legs. However, he will retain the ability to eat, sleep and game. The next few years will test your sanity to its LIMIT so strap yourselves in for a bumpy ride but take comfort in the thought that one day he may have teenagers of his own..

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Ablutophobia

The fear of washing and bathing. Note, this fear miraculously disappears when girls are no longer considered repulsive.

Brains

The teenage brain isn’t developed fully – especially the part that deals with consequence which is why they act like morons occasionally. It’s biological.

Crazy

Is what you’ll be by the time they’re 18.

Tip: Alcohol helps.

Deodorant

Often used in lieu of a bath.

Embarrassment

Once you were the center of his world then puberty called and now you are an utter embarrassment to him. Isn’t it time you were in a home, you geriatric old sod?

Food

Teenage boys are bottomless pits when it comes to food consumption. They will eat you out of house and home and still complain you’re starving them to death. Good news! When they invite you to their house (Christmas 2053) to sit on a crappy old deckchair with more cobwebs on it than your reproductive bits, you can get your revenge by wolfing down their Quality Street, drinking all their booze and anesthetizing them with your sprout-fueled farts. Karma, no?

Grunt

The power of speech is temporarily lost at the onset of puberty and replaced with grunts. Texting by way of communication is an option but expect to receive one word answers to your 5000 word epic. Forget ‘kisses’. Those days are gone for the foreseeable, if not forever. However, you are guaranteed one on your embalmed forehead when you’re laid out in the deceased depot after choking to death on one of your false teeth.

Hormones

The reason your little prince turns into an argumentative sod.

I

I want. I need. I can’t.

The teenager’s world revolves around themselves. It’s biological.

Jurassic

The period they presume you to be from because you are in your thirties or forties.

‘OMG you’re THIRTY? That’s like SO OLD! YOU REPULSE ME! SOMEBODY ADOPT ME?’

Knowledge

Teenagers know EVERYTHING. You can die now.

Life

You give them life and you ruin their life by asking the impossible of them, like putting the bin out.

McDonalds

Popular food of choice and possible first job (not counting paper round) which may or may not lead to a managerial position within the first week.

Nintendo

Or other gaming console. Your teen must be plugged into this machine for at least eight hours a day to maintain their vital signs.

Onesies

An oversized babygro which some teenage boys like to lounge around in while watching programmes about big-breasted vampires.

Pit

Bedroom. Derived from cesspit, as in, an underground hole that stinks. Enter at your own risk, preferably wearing full bio-hazard suit.

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Quiff

A 1950s hairdo that’s seen a bit of a revival. The teenage boy either can’t be arsed faffing around with his barnet OR or he has the entire range of products in Superdrug’s hair section at his disposal and goes out looking like Justin Bieber.

Elvis, Morrissey and my Dad all rocked the quiff, though not necessarily at the same time.

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Mozzer, not AS quiff as it was in the 80s but still a quiff.

Rude

Teenagers tend to go through a manners malfunction stage and like to mutter expletives under their breath which bat-eared mothers NEVER fail to hear. I once told mine to sod off. I was upstairs, she was in the next town. She heard me.

Speed

Even the laziest of teenagers can shift faster than a greyhound out of a trap when threatened with the confiscation of their games console.

Tired

Teenagers can rack up more hours asleep than a sloth if given the chance. It’s biological.

Underwear

The young teenage male will happily wear the same pair of pants for a week month. Parental intervention (nagging) is essential during this phase to maintain their hygiene and your sanity.

Vomit

Teenagers + alcohol = projectile vomit + stolen traffic cones

Why

‘WHY WAS I EVEN BORN!!!!’

A phrase often used by teens when asked to wash up when they are trying to rid the world of zombies.

You: ‘Do the dishes please’

Them: ‘UH?

You: ‘The dishes?’

An hour later….

You: ‘DISHES, NOW!’

Them: ‘OH MY GOD. IN A MIN. OK?’

This goes on until you finally lose it and yank the cable out of the wall. You threaten to throw the games console in the bin. NOW you have their full attention. They scream ‘I HATE YOU! WHY WAS I EVEN BORN?!’ They stamp off upstairs, you go full Basil Fawlty and wrestle the console away from the TV. You launch it into the wheelie bin and then flounce round the shop for some alcohol. You’re that pissed off you haven’t even noticed that you’re still in your slippers! Two pints of wine later, you wash the wretched dishes yourself. Then you retrieve the console out of the bin and as you stand there wiping yesterday’s spag-bog off it, you silently will your ovaries/testicles to expire so you NEVER have to go through this shit again.

X Rated

Starts off with the undies section in your catalogue. Before you know it they’re going blind staring at heaving bosoms on the internet. Once the bed-sheets begin self-starching you know your little prince is gone forever. Weep for innocence lost then dry your eyes and get them to strip their own beds. *shudders*

Yob

Boy spelt backwards. Uncultured arse-biscuit who hangs around outside Co-ops laughing at pensioners and trying to impress girls with weird eyebrows. This is the type of teen who goes on Jeremy Kyle for a paternity test and a free bargain bucket meal. If your son ever turns up with one of these creatures in tow (or, worse, becomes one) write him out of the will and rent out his room.

Zits

Sods Law (or Karma) says that teenage lads will suffer an outbreak of pus-ridden zits when they least want them, like on a date with Courtney (who drops the u and the y and adds an e) from up the road and that’s not all she drops if you get my drift? One word, people.

Sabotage.

‘What’s that sweetie? You’ve run out of Clearasil and Lynx?’

‘Oh my God! How did that happen?’

Gale_Henry

You know it makes sense.

This ‘ere A to Z is based on my own experiences as a mother, sister and observer with poetic license thrown in. Obviously, not all teenage boys are into girls, gaming or vampires but that’s another post, eh Bro?

Free Image via Creative Commons

Image Via Creative Commons By H. J. Hickman

Image Via Creative Commons by Caligvla at English Wikipedia

Public Domain Image


Send In The Clowns

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I was an anxious child and constantly imagined I was dying of something horrible. One day I noticed lumps on my wrists so I worried myself sick thinking of all the terrible things it could be when in reality they were my perfectly normal wrist bones. I wasn’t dying but I was suffering from anxiety and unfortunately the anxious child grew up to be an anxious adult.

You see, I’m a worrier. Glass half-full? How about glass smashed to smithereens all over the floor and shards sticking out of my size fours?

Anxiety in some degree is a constant but every now and then Blind Fear shows up doing a Slim Shady singing, “Guess who’s back, back again Fear is back, tell a friend”. At this point my body is screaming, ‘ENOUGH WITH THE WORRYING ABOUT STUFF YOU CAN’T CHANGE, YOU TIT!’

So Fear showed up about six weeks ago..

The signs had been there for a while. I was unable to complete the simplest task, struggled to read a sentence (let alone a book) and I’d lie in bed for hours with irrational thoughts zipping around in my mind. Not to mention that EVERYTHING (and everybody) irritated me.

I ignored it all.

In the last 7 years I have had to cope with a divorce, moving house (3 times) The Boy’s abrupt entry into the world and my mother’s abrupt departure from it, The Boy’s autism diagnosis and getting married. Oh, and the menopause. Stressful, no?

Things came to a head when I woke up one morning at 5am with a racing heart that refused to calm down. I’d been having occasional panic attacks for two years and I’d always been able to calm myself down but not this time.

This time it was different.

This time there was something wrong and I was terrified.

I woke OH up and begged him to phone an ambulance. At first he refused because he was used to me having panic attacks but quickly relented after I bellowed, ‘PHONE AN EFFING AMBULANCE!!!’ in his face.

Within twenty minutes the paramedics came and stuck things all over my chest.

‘Am I having a heart attack?’ I asked, my eyeballs bulging with fear..

“Doesn’t look like it. It’s just that your heart’s beating very fast and it’s jumping a bit so we’ll take you in to get checked out”

‘Jumping a bit’? It felt like I’d got sodding Diversity in there!

So I lay in the ambulance hoping for some comforting banter from the paramedic but he kept yawning and looking at his watch (you don’t get that in Casualty, folks) so I tortured myself with a bit of hardcore hypochondria instead which worked an absolute treat in keeping my heart rate through the roof.

To keep the story within an acceptable word count, my ECG’s and bloods were fine so after four hours of hyperventilating while listening to some poor sod making noises akin to a distressed Yak, I was given a beta blocker and told it was psychological.

“Not dying then?”

“Not today”.

At this point I’d calmed down. Death wasn’t pointing his bony finger at me so I was able to relax and then came the realisation that I was wearing my skanky dressing gown and reindeer slippers. Oops!

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Slippers of shame.

My dressing gown hadn’t seen the inside of the washer for about three weeks and it had various stains on the front.. mostly tea but one was curry. The Boy had attached a ‘Good Work’ sticker to me at some point so I covered the yellow stain with that TOTALLY forgetting that the doctor had already seen it along with my cactus-legs and scary no-make-up face.

THE SHAME!

You don’t care what you look like when you’re convinced you’re about to shuffle off your mortal coil, at least that is my excuse. *cringe*

The next two weeks were a blur of particularly nasty side-effects from the beta-blockers and then anti-depressants of which I managed ONE before telling my GP where to shove the rest. The drugs don’t work, they just make everything worse – some bloke from Wigan once wrote.

The drugs made me feel as sick as a dog and one day the sight of one of Mary Berry’s recipes actually triggered a panic attack. So I chose to come off medication and address my stress levels. That’s not to say that medication doesn’t work at all because it does work for many people. Alas, not me.

In those first weeks I existed from one hour to the next. The nervously knackered tend to think in minutes and hours as opposed to days and weeks. I became obsessed with my symptoms. My heart raced and there were moments where I genuinely felt I was losing my remaining marbles and would be carted off in a snug fitting jacket but I kept telling myself that they were just sensations caused by adrenalin. There were rare moments where I felt ‘normal’ and that in itself would trigger a panic attack!

In my lowest moments, I miserably thought I was broken and would never know normality again, or at least normality as I know it. Fear really messed me up this time!

I know about anxiety (am bit of an expert) and I understand that the worse thing you can do is lie on the sofa every day. Daytime TV is shit for one and I knew I was heading for trouble when I caught myself watching Jeremy Kyle’s (non) Emergency Room. So I pushed myself to work with the panic attacks by doing housework or walking the dog in order to burn off some of the adrenalin. I felt abysmal but knew that I would feel slightly better afterwards and slightly was better than nothing. At night I’d wake up with my heart racing but I’d breathe it out. If sleep still eluded me, I’d get up and clean something.

I’ve also removed all the news apps from my devices. It’s not that I don’t care what’s going on in the world, it’s just that my mind can’t take anymore grim faced drama. Recovery lies in understanding how a tired mind can affect the body. My body is working as it should. It’s reacting normally to me bombarding it with adrenaline with my negative thinking.

My recovery also lies in humour.

Gone are the police dramas and murder mysteries, for now at least. Happy Valley (a misnomer if ever there was one) remains unconcluded in my Skybox and I’ve turned to comedy to give my body the endorphins that come from having a good old belly laugh.

It’s therapy.

Optreden Rolling Stones in het Feijenoordstadion, Rotterdam; Mick Jagger , kop *2 juni 1982

Fear doesn’t like humour because laughter chases it away, if only briefly.

I imagine my fear to be Mick Jagger and when my heart starts racing I visualise him doing his ‘rooster strut’ and can’t help but smile. The effect is instantaneous and it takes the edge off my fear. Similarly in Harry Potter where the children take what terrifies them with scary bastard Bogart and make it funny. I think there’s a lot to be said for sending in the clowns when it comes to mental health. However, it’s not lost on me that many of the clowns themselves suffer from anxiety and depression.

It’s taken years to bring me to this point and there isn’t a quick fix, especially without medication but hopefully CBT will succeed where drugs have failed. I realise that my negative thinking has got me into this state so changing how I think should help to get me out of it.

Or maybe a lobotomy.

Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrows troubles, it takes away today’s peace.

Image Via Creative Commons

Image Via Creative Commons

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