Friday, 25 January 2013

That moment you lose your call....

You know what I mean. It almost NEVER happens when you are on a boring call, the ones you would love to lose,eyes glazing over usually planning what's for dinner....

No, the ones you lose are the juicy,full throttle gossip,ranting,slanging ones that when they are just getting really interesting...............................................

You have a twitch at first, a kind of feeling that 'white noise', snow drift feeling well, it's not really even noise you just know like a sixth sense that something has changed.

The dynamics in your call are different, they have shifted, it takes a while, there's always a delay but you know one thing is for sure, THEY HAVE GONE....!

The first 30-50 words still spill out, just incase. Then, you venture a tentative Are You Still There?....

No reply. A second,louder as if they suddenly after the whole previous 49 minutes of conversation now have difficulty hearing you, Are You Still There?

This rapidly transcends into, the following ramble, 'You've Gone, haven't you?'
 'You have, you've gone? , ' Have you Gone?' Are, you still there?'

Then, as if it will resurrect the call, you involve others, 'They've Gone!', 'Yep, think they have DEFINATELY gone'! She's gone, I think she has gone.


In the meantime they are, while you are in denial, are trying to call you back, when they get through, and enquire as to wether your realised they had Gone, you say Yeah I knew, I could tell, I said you'd gone!

The conversation, after a lost call, well, it's never quite the same is it........x

School Runnings.....

Not sure why, maybe it was the fact today was Friday and I was already in weekend mode, or,more likely taking advantage last night of the peace that prevails after everyone* is asleep to read/google/FB until past 1am that made this morning harder to get started.

I am a stickler for routine, because if I deviate so much as an inch....

Then the whole house gets thrown into chaos. I only have myself to blame, the fact that I dare to attempt to grab those few extra 'hit the snooze' button moments will have an almost astounding knock on effect to the whole stress of 'The School Run'.

Now, I say stress, and anyone reading this will agree that without a shadow of any doubt 'The School Run' has to rank up fairly highly in the stress stakes,and I have had some pretty stressful jobs to compare it to. 

Anyone who doesn't agree must never have run the gauntlet. In brief my aim is to achieve the following by 8.55am:

1.Throw/drag/roll yourself out of your bed at least 10 mins earlier than the latest time you have worked out will ensure you won't have to do 'The Walk of Shame' (more on that later).

2.Ignore the fact that although there maybe another fully capable adult ie your husband/partner/boyfriend or whatever nickname,favourable or otherwise (I know someone who refers to her husband as 'it'.) is usually present at a corresponding time, they have no interest in helping you achieve your aim. Other than to bark random, 'get up,get dressed,get in the shower' etc whilst involving themselves with just enough input,that they have done their part before escaping out of the door minus anything other than their lunch and a knowing smile that all hell is about to break loose.

3. Once you have accepted that you are on your own, it gets much easier, really. However, you can only reach that conclusion having experienced the 'alternative' which means them actually involving themselves anymore than is natural. Kids cry, book bags are forgotten and important permission slips go astray. Trust me, you are better off going solo.

4.Ensure that at least two out of three of the following are true for each child:

A. They are dressed in full clean,ironed uniform.
Although generally it's an unspoken,rarely admitted fact that most mums will sacrifice an ironed,dirty shirt in favour of a crumpled clean shirt,but ONLY if worn under a jumper. Likewise trousers, certain marks are permissible,but ONLY if they can be attributed to the journey to school. And almost any random mark can be explained by stray cereal, regardless of when or how it originally occurred. (This can also be used by you,oh and it's very handy if you have a little person under school age,as most stains can be blamed on them).

B. Their hair is brushed. I've got boys,and girls. They only way to achieve tidy hair is to have the following, both upstairs and downstairs preferably on your person,as you have to tackle hair when they least expect you too,or it can become a running battle. You need a selection of brushes clips,bobbles and most important detangling spray. Boys albeit reluctant are relatively easy to do, just concentrate on the sticking out bits. Girls, I usually free style,literally. My ideal would be equal pony tails with no lumps. I settle for a spray,brush and clip to the side,job done.

C.Teeth are brushed. You can go about this two ways, or, not at all. It depends on how your morning is panning out. We only have an upstairs bathroom, so the general rule is dressed before going down for breakfast, teeth brushed which prior to eating breakfast is a sticking point (literally,esp if Weetabix is eaten) but its another box ticked! You can showboat and herd them all back upstairs after breakfast,but that only leads to trouble and just isn't the natural order of things in my house. 

The trickiest stage is coming up, leaving the house. Sounds simple. It's not.

There are,in my house at least, 4 coats to get on, 8 shoes (they have to match) gloves,hats,book bags. Book bags which having been tossed to one side after the last school run,which you quickly rummage through moving reading books and quickly doing that fold over and 'guillotine' thing on that permission slip you forgot to calmly sign and put in an envelope, with full details of child,class,humorous smily face, last night. Shove that all back in.

And out you go. Now, you need to be prepared for re entering the house at least three times. That book bag you just had in your hand will mysteriously have planted itself back inside the house by the door, and after all that effort you are not leaving that behind! So back you go. 

There will always be a random,but ever so heart wrenchingly sweet request or statement by at least one of your children that in the crazy haze of the School Runnings frenzy,will hit you like a freight train,a little voice from somewhere will say ' mummy, I forgot my ............doll,leaf,empty toilet roll tube and I really really need it!'

Don't ever attempt to ignore such a request,you are only setting yourself up for the worst School Run of all, the Whiny One. Children do not care or understand your fear of The Walk of Shame, so a few minutes retrieving random item can save you from that fate as they will be back on 'your team'!

The Walk is Shame, is, for those not yet accustomed to the workings of school practices basically involves the mild panic that erupts even if the staff on the gate can see your approach, coats flailing, kids running, and sometimes a bit of shoulder barging in an attempt to avoid having to go through the main entrance and sign The Book. 

The CLANG of the gate, and I am pleased to say I have only witnessed it from the smug side, knocks the stuffing out of the most experienced parent,it's the point when you realise that all your effort,the stress,the fact you skipped your 1st coffee of the day in order to get the kids to school, on time, was a big fat waste! You might as well had a full English, watched some telly and breezed in at 10 O' Clock, cause the simple fact is, you are late.

The degree of late just doesn't matter. And that is the Walk of Shame. You have to line up with all the other tardies, some veterans that even take a seat, and sign in which is more complicated than it sounds.

The basics you can handle, it's when you get to the Reason For Being Late column, your mind flits between the truth (what is the truth?) it's really hard to pinpoint the EXACT reason, you stole a few extra minutes in bed and hit snooze? Well that, having scanned up the page translates to 'overslept', and that's not the case. Next option, Traffic? Hard to explain when you have walked. 

And there just isn't enough space to explain the unexplainable because sometimes you just can't, wrong choice of cereal resulting in 10 min strop by 2 year old,dirty nappy just as was about to leave seeping out of clothing resulting in complete change of outfit? So much to your own disappointment (enhanced by the stern looking receptionist) you opt for overslept. Maybe next time I will put, in the reason column LIFE! 

I will offer my Top Tip, as if you have followed my blog you will know these can change lives! 

Always, and I mean ALWAYS have in the car or in your possession a pack of baby wipes or tissues as nothing says 'I am an organised,capable mother' than the ability to present your own children with clean,non snot faces in the morning, and even more impressive the ability to pass on that gift to other mothers! 

Thursday, 24 January 2013

One Kind Word can change someone's whole day!

That's a lovely sentiment isn't it?

I've got a better one though, one Top Tip can change someone's life. I received such a tip this morning, and as bland as it sounds, to me it will settle my gripe with myself over our choice of worktop when we bought our new kitchen.

It's dark, and it shows every watermark, every tiny crumb and drives me into a frenzy of  'work top wiping' every time I enter the kitchen.

So in passing, my sister who has just chosen the very same worktop mentioned that using Glass Cleaner is the way forward.

Now, at the time of her telling me this she had no idea what an issue this was becoming for me (just call me Monika) and certainly would not have started her call with, I've Got a Top Tip for you.....

Cause that's how life goes doesn't it? Just like the title A Kind Word can change someone's day,you may not realise it at the time and it may be of little consequence to you but these little 'word transactions' between you and other people may just make all the difference to their day,or even their lives!

Laparosadoodle, Trading Standards and a Fake Pandora!

So far, it's been a busy start to my year, three stragglers from last year continued to blight my days with increasing urgency of which one was finally concluded,another has progressed and the third,well it's just plain annoying!

Having suffered with what my mother would 'mouth' women's problems for more time than you would 'just get on with it',I finally went to the Docs (see earlier post) and after giving my 2 year old daughter a crash course in internals and general jiggery pockery,she concluded I was to be referred for a Laparoscopy. The Doctor that is, not my two year old.

Which,on delivering said news to my mother, who is not beyond experience in (mouth) Women's Problems, exclaimed, 'you're going for a Laparasadoodle?! But I thought you decided not to get another dog?!

After we had clarified that it is not a pedigree cross breed, she to her great delight imparted her own experience of the procedure, as we all know our Mothers love to share their knowledge with sheer ignorance and impunity of the fact they scare the living bejeezus out of us in the process.

So after being regaled with tales of being blown up like a blimp, (horrendously uncomfortable apparently) you feel like someone has 'scooped around with a big spoon'. Thanks mum.

My other niggle, I say niggle,more of a Small Claims Court action which if anything I owe to my very good friend and free advisor Google. More on the virtues and how I have Googled my way out of quite a few sticky situations another day,needless to say I have taken on a fairly big fish in the Mobile Telecommunications world, and won!

Without ever having to leave my kitchen, yes it took a bit of cunning and legal quoting but 'Without Prejudice' I weaved my way out of a rubbish deal into a very shiny one!

Don't get me wrong,there were lots of failings on their part,but I am a bit like a dog (maybe a Laparasadoodle?) with a bone if I so much as sniff a bit of wrongdoing, and on this occasion the small fish won!

My third and final straggler from last year has not proved as successful, when something so blatantly wrong, in fact illegal is swept under a very large carpet I fear it will have to be chalked up on the, You're Seriously Kidding Me board!

In a nutshell, (cashew?) I 'won' on Ebay, wait...........why do we say that? Won?  We are still buying it FGS, you don't go into Tesco and cheer at the checkout, I've Won! Before paying for your toilet roll,eggs and Bin bags do you? Or maybe you do, sounds like fun actually maybe I will try it next time!

Anyway,in a nutshell (we will upgrade to an Almond) I 'Won' a bracelet that turned out to be neither designer or Silver, quite a decent looking fake, but a fake all the same. So what with my friend Google,and recent success in the Legal World it was without doubt a shock to have a final outcome that involves ME having to post it back to the seller! ME?

I have two problems with this, the first being that it seems to contradict their own rules, and the second that I was kind of hoping I would get a refund and be asked to destroy the bracelet as I would have loved nothing more than to snip it into tiny pieces and provide photographic evidence just to prove to the Seller that dishonesty NEVER PAYS!

Well, it appears in some corners or our society it does! Grrrrrrrrrr.....................

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Where do you find the time?

Time, it's either 'On our side' or 'Against Us'. We have 'Far Too much Time' on our hands, or 'Not enough Hours in the day'.

This appears to depend on many factors, day of the week, schedule, workload, social outings. 'Downtime', which really means sat doing very little.

So what is it that keeps some of us on the,' On Our Side' Team and the rest of us on the 'Against Us' Team?

Planning? Organisational skills? I think it is a combination of that but mainly your state of mind,how you perceive time. And without sounding twee, I think it's about making time for the things you love.

I choose to spend my time keeping my house clean my family cleaner (4 kids,an almost husband,a deaf dog and a cat that can't decide if it lives here or 'there'). My other passion,baking and I don't mean fairy buns, I mean three tier full on cake creations,show stopping Christmas Cookies and treats that make my almost husband almost propose!

You can, as far as I can tell make a conscious decision to make the most of time, it's your time and only you can decide how to spend it. And that's what your doing,once it's gone, it's gone.

As busy as my day is, time is Always On My Side, because I make it so. I might be up till 1am decorating cookies but it will only be against me when I stop doing the things I love and filling it with the things I don't!

Doctors,dentists and life long ambitions....

It is fairly well documented that we, that is us being 'The Great British Public' are known for our sedate reaction when we have been kept waiting a ridiculous amount of time, having arrived a polite 10 minutes prior to any appointment.

10 minutes, again which seems to be another British tradition in that any earlier and we are placing far too much pressure on our appointee, any less and we clearly do not possess the skills of which an organised and well rounded person should exhibit.

So, we arrive and wait. Our appointment time rolls by. And we wait.

Now those early thoughts start to chip away, as you look at the clock you wonder if it was actually wise to arrive 10 minutes early, surely 5 minutes, or just 'on time' would have been sufficient and you could have loaded that last wash which will now have to wait until tomorrow.

You are then 10 minutes into your allotted time, this begins to start a roller coaster of thoughts, you could have arrived 10 minutes late, (which you then reason if you had done so you know for a fact you would have been rebooked!). You debate for another 10 minutes if it will be detrimental to approach the receptionist to enquire when you will be called. If you do so, before they approach YOU to explain, will they then keep you waiting you wait.

20 minutes. You start to practice your speech first to the receptionist, it is short,to the point a polite 'how much longer?' Which is met with the apology for the delay that should have been offered sooner, but we smile,offer thanks and retreat back to our seat. And wait.

30 minutes. A switch is flipped,but only on the inside, you begin to plan what you will say when you are finally granted access to YOUR appointment, the one YOU arrived 10 minutes early for. YOUR whole day has been planned around this, a snatched coffee,washing left undone,parking slightly out the white lines in the bay, which you are now worrying you will get a ticket for. Just so YOU were on time, no, politely ahead of time for someone who clearly does not possess the skills of an organised and well rounded individual! You will demand to be seen or rebooked.

45 minutes. But you wait,well who wants the confrontation of demanding to be rebooked. And surely it can't be much longer. You will when you go in tell them exactly how you feel,having arrived early you are beyond irritated and really quite cross. But you'll give it another 5 minutes.

Hoorah! You are called, jubilation see it pays to be patient! You are called and enter the room, and those 5 words spoken,genuinely or otherwise and all thoughts,speeches disappear.........
..Sorry To Keep You Waiting........

You simply reply, 'Its Ok'.