Friday, 6 April 2012

This is my world - and you're welcome to it

After a chance remark by a "friend" - we'll call her that for now anyway, but perhaps once Toni sees how she might feature in these weekly summaries of my life, she might find that an "ex-" prefixes itself to that. Toni and I share a lot of things in common- both of our lives proceed at a minimum 200 miles an hour, neither of us should complain about our lot in in life, but we do anyway and both of us are prone to the occasional mishap. My mishaps are, I think, mainly caused by other people, but I'm not sure Toni agrees. You can make up your own mind, but this blog thing was Toni's idea, so blame her.

I'm Aud. I'm in my forties and that's as much as you need to know on that front. I have a husband (haven't thought what to call him here yet as some of the names need to be changed for legal reasons) and four sons - 15 year old twins Peter and Gordon, 14 year old Donald and Scott, whose 10 but really thinks he's a teenager. For most of the noteworthy things that happen in my week, blaming the children is usually a fairly safe bet. Where anything is not directly their fault, there's bound to be what lawyers would call a trail of causation leading directly back to one, some or all of them. Recently, through no particular fault of his, the trail of causation seems inexorably tied to Gordon, but more of that later.

Our house (which reminds me of another slightly Aud occurrence from years ago, but I'll need to check with hubby if I can tell you all that one) is also home to my real soul mate - Dappy is 3 years old, is mad as a brush and has a canine form of ADHD. This basically means she is is incredibly affectionate, full of energy and occasionally needy. She came along as a puppy to raise oestrogen levels in the house and thus was meant to balance my life better. Of course, it hasn't quite worked out that way. The other thing you need to know about Dappy is that she doesn't like dogs, which is also a bit like me, but we get along just fine.

Anyway, Toni had the idea that I should start a blog to chronicle the goings-on in my life which, she claims, are a source of encouragement to her. I'm pretty sure that means that she thanks her lucky stars each day that her life isn't quite as mad as mine, but I think that's an unfair reflection and anyway she has it all to come. To give you an idea of what I mean by that, just remember that Toni is a founder member of SPOT - Stressed Parents Of Teenagers - a Blackberry Messenger group and now Facebook page which keeps us close to sane. The other founder member is Phoebe, who has a girl aged 15 and a boy aged 13. Toni, to prove her madness,  has three kids two girls aged 4 and 10 and a a boy aged 12. So she is just getting into training early for the teenage stuff. Typical Toni, she likes to be organised but sometimes life just takes over and makes it all a bit mental.

So, the point of this blog is catharsis. I get to write down some of my week and reflect on where it could have been better. You get to read about it and reflect on how much help you don't need in comparison. Hubby says it's not a blog, it's a case study, but then that just the frustrated psychologist coming out in him (in his case, I definitely blame the parents, so until I come up with a better name for him, we'll just call him Siggy). Siggy is very supportive of the whole blog idea - me writing quietly for him to read later keeps us both happy as I get to play with technology and he gets, well, he gets me sitting quietly. My one fault that I will admit it to is that I do talk a lot. I extend this to testing, BBMing, Tweeting and Facebooking a lot, but that's still just one fault in my book? (I'm also not great with numbers, but who's counting).

So to this week. What to say? I've been on holiday from the nursery where I work, so really quite uneventful. Except Monday. Monday was the day the outlaws came and pretended they hadnt noticed Gordon getting out the back of a Police Van outside their house the previous Friday. Like I said, Gordon is currently at the end of all trails of causation and he had been "helping" a friend of his on town on the Friday, which was the last day of school. They were stopped by the Police who asked what age they were and when told they were 15, did they do as you would expect and take them back to school? Oh no, the police response was "that's a pity, if you were 17, you could have earned a tenner. What age did you say again?" Honestly, what has happened to the police these days? Gordon, quick as a flash (that's him, Flash Gordon!), answers "17" and  finds himself taken off in the police car, skipping red lights and generally having a whale of a time to take part in an ID parade, for which he earned £10 and, surprisingly, wasn't picked out. He then gets a lift back to school in the police van, which was lucky really as when they were picked up they were going to get the train at a different station to avoid the ticket barriers, and they drop him off outside his grans house. This is immediately across from the school he should have been in, but no-one except Siggy and I seems to be bothered by that bit. So Monday was spent explaining that to the outlaws whilst they pretended not to have noticed. Like hell they hadn't.

Monday was also the day I allegedly ran into the janitors car at when dropping Scott off at Rugby training cause Siggy left in too much of a rush to take him with him. He's always the alleged accident is Siggy's fault, not mine. Anyway, As I waspulling out of my space, I spotted Toni leaving with her kids, so of course had to stop for a chat. BIG mistake (actually, as Toni stopped me leaving, the alleged accident is maybe her fault instead of Siggy's. Whatever, it wasn't my fault). While we're chatting, the Janitor comes raging out saying I've hit his car as I was pulling out the space next to him. "Raging" hardly covers it as he was banging on about "It's all smashed in" "It's covered in scratches", "it's the wife's car" and "That's all I need." All HE needs? What an idiot. I was dead calm and just apologised IF i had touched his car, but I'm sure I didn't, there wasn't a mark on mine and the marks on his were almost invisible. I've got a photo of it and if Iever work out how to upload them, I'll show you. Anyway, like I said, I was dead calm and told him it would probably just T-Cut out. Then Siggy came out and swapped etails with the guy, telling him there was no way it was an insurance job, etc. I was a little shaken, but in the grand scheme of things, he was a silly wee man who had spent his day "at work" washing his bloody car. Toni says she'll be a witness that she didnt see me hit his car, but Siggy spoke with him the next day and "settled" on paying £40 to get the sccratches fixed. He wanted £85, but Siggy, wh teaches people how to negotiate, told him he could "F**k off and take £40 or have nothing." In fairness, he took £40 and f**ked off.

The rest of the week has been pretty low key too. The usual taxi-ing yesterday, though, turned into an adventure. Siggy had the big car - it's a seven-seater - and had  left it at the park and ride to go to meetings in Edinburgh. Donald,14, announced that I was running him and his posse of 5 mates to Xscape so they can play Adeventure Golf. Fine I, think, until I remember I have the wee car which only has 5 seats. "That's OK," I think, "I'll just go down and get Siggy's car from the station and leave him mine. Easy? Well, apparently not.

I drove to the station, having BBM'd Siggy to tell him I'll hand my car keys to the ticket office guy nd he could collect them. I had his spare keys so no problem there. See, it's when I think there's no problem that there invariably is a problem.or several.

I arrive at the station and find the big car. So far, so good. I go over the bridge - cause I know where the ticket office is now and which direction the trains go in (another story, another day) - and lo and behold, the door to the ticket office is closed. I don't make a fool of myself by pushing it, because I know it's aan automatic door from when I was playing a wee game to see how close I could get to it before it would on a previous night out. I thought no-one had noticed me playing my game, but apparently not.  Sorry, back to the point. Ticket Office is locked, so what can I do? Just thinking of putting the keys on a wheel arch when a train draws in. "You're ok dear, you can get a ticket on the train" a kindly old gent says to me.

"Oh, It's OK" I say, still trying to see if there's anyone in the ticket office.

"No really, it's just the same price, you can get it on the train" says kind-old-man.

Now, I'm told that what I did next is not what most people would do, but I'm not so sure.They weren't there and so don't know how much pressure I was under to get the car situation sorted and take Donald and his mates out, let Siggy know what was happening etc., so they cant really be sure how they'd react.

"OK, thanks," I said to kind-old-man and turned towards the train which was now standing at the platform, doors open.

I know what you're thinking. Your thinking, "Just get on the train, go one stop down the line and then come back up." I know your thinking that because that is the obvious thing to do and that's what I thought at first. But no, I was smarter than that. I turned away from kind-old-man and walked towards the back of the train, checking over my should to see when he was safely on. Problem was, kind-old-man was actually slow-as-treacle-man in disguise and I had to actually step on the train and pop my head back out the doors to make sure he had got on, then jump off at the last second,just before the doors closed. Don't worry, I made it.

As the train pulled out, the Blackberry and it was Toni. I explained my predicament and she suggested that I should just go with the Big Car and get back before Siggy was due back from Edinburgh. She's so bloody practical at times! So that's what I did, easy really.

Well, not really that easy. I got in the car and immediately that bloody yellow petrol pump thing was flashing at me. Siggy deals with petrol for the cars, so that was a real pain. BBM sent to ask advice - would the 34 miles it said I had left be enough to get me there? I went home and picked up Donald + 5 Mates and by that time had been reassured by both Siggy and Phoebe's husband, who shall remain nameless for now until I think of an appropriate pseudonym to hide his guilty identity, thatthere would be enough to get me to Xscape, but maybe not quite enough to get back.

So off I went, carefully watching the gauge drop down mile-by-mile. I worked out that it was actually going down more slowly than I expected, so stopped watching it and decided i'd probably make it back and Siggy could do his usual filling-up duties. Then, just as it was going so smoothly Mate 1 - who had been watching much more carefully, let out such a yell that I nearly crashed into the car in the next lane. "It says --- miles now!" he said. Damn. I still had about 3 miles to go to get there and I was sure there was a filling station in the shopping centre, so decided I'd have to put some fuel in (no way would I fill it, that's Siggy's job and he could pay).  

Donald + 5 dropped off and I set off to find the filling station, but before I knew it I was back on the motorway. No problem, really as I could go to the Asda two junctions away. BBM's Siggy to keep him up-to-date with developments. he likes to be up to date.Well, I think he does at any rate and sometimes he can have useful suggestions. Made it easily to Asda and drew in at the pump. It was only when I got out that I realised that the fuel filler was at the wrong side. Tried to stretch around the car - didn't work. The guy at the next pump tried to help out and put the hose over the car. That didnt work either and I could tell he was thinking "Dizzy blonde" as I got back in the car and waited in the queue to get through the drive through pay booths.

As I waited a BBM from Siggy arrived "The fuel goes in the hole at the back of the car on the passenger side." Oh, ha bloody ha. Could have told me earlier.

Another buzz "Remember its diesel". Very funny again. I had known that.

Buzz again, "That's the hose with the black handles" Oh, right, that was lucky. 

As I drove through the paybooth explaining that I hadn't actually got any fuel, I'm not sure whether the odd face pulled behind the glass was "Yeah, right" or "Dizzy blonde" again, but I really wasn't bothered.I got out of there, around the roundabout and back on the motorway.

I got off at the next junction, went back the opposite way, off again at Asda and this time got my £10 worth of fuel no problem so I could get back and hand over to Siggy just as he came back from Edinburgh, so all's well that ends well I'd say.

Anyway, apologies for such a long first crack at this. In future we wont need the long introductions and most weeks are far less eventful, I think. I'm off to see if anywhere has any Easter eggs left before Sunday.

Have a lovely break and don't do anything I would do.

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