Lanky Streak of Witch Piss.

1 May

This is what I was christened at middle school courtesy of Shane the school bully. Thanks Shane. Luckily, this name only stuck until the end of middle school but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes those horrid names that kids give other kids stick all the way into adulthood.Currently my eldest calls his little brother “Bibby”. Now, this name isn’t only used by him. It’s been adopted by his Grandparents, friends and even us….I live in fear of my son being an adult man who goes by the name of “Bibby”…..Can you imagine…?

I remember a bloke that lived locally who was known as “Tweety”  as he had a pronounced stutter similar to the cartoon bird. I worked in the local chippy as a teenager and poor Tweety came in one night clearly wanting fish and chips. This is how the exchange went : Me : ” Hiya Tweety, what can I get you?” Tweety : “F, F,F,F, F  Fuck it, I’ll have a bag of chips” (Yes, yes, I gave him a fish too). 

My cousin went to school with a bloke called “Taddy”. Why? He shit his pants on the way to a school trip to Tadcaster. Poor Taddy is never going to forget the day he crapped his pants.

ImageWhy is it,all these names we are given are either derogatory or created from our surnames e.g Wardy,Smithy etc. You don’t hear of anyone walking around called ” great tits” or “giant nob” or ” amazing linguist” do you? 

Are you courting yet love?????

27 Mar

ImageI got asked this question throughout my teenage and early adult years and quite frankly it got on my tits. Courting? Courting? Did anybody even court? Back in my day, courting in my  teenage years involved getting pissed on Merrydown cider and snogging behind the bins at St Austins RC primary School. In my early adult years, it involved going out clubbing and having deep and meaningful (as in, shit meaningless)conversations with your (not so) significant other when you arrived home in the wee small hours. It also involved women chucking on a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and a pair of Converse (mine were grape) to go out in. No need for tuppence flashing to pull the object of your affection in the late 80’s/ early 90’s.

The reason for me thinking about this “courting” issue is, I believe times have changed. A few weeks ago, at the crack of dawn, I ventured out to a Saturday Farmers market. I was astounded by the sheer volume of young couples strolling around hand in hand perusing the goods on offer. It was a Saturday morning for Chrissakes. Shouldn’t they have been at home sleeping off Friday nights hangover? She with long blonde hair and bobble hat, he with beard and brogues, staring intently at the varieties of cheese on offer. Was this modern day courting? Has the whole thing come full circle?
 When I was “courting”, I went for blokes that I could have a good time with and not beardy weirdys that knew the difference between pasteurised and un-pasteurised sheep cheese.

Disco Granny, did someone call for Disco Granny?

14 Feb


“Disco Granny” was a term used back in the day when I was clubbing. It was used to describe the saddo still busting moves on the dance floor way past their sell by date. We looked upon these people with disdain,swearing we would never be so uncool. We would be understated and elegant at “their” age. We’d never subject ourselves to such displays of stupidity in our “mature” years…

A few weeks ago I ventured out for a girly night. A lovely restaurant was booked in town and I was eating out with an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while. Wine was consumed and as is usually the case,my volume button and Northerness increased with each glass. I took it upon myself to tell the rather sedate (looked like an auditor) chap behind me to take his eyes off my meat. My loin of venison was currently making its way over to my table and I had caught him giving it the once over with his audity eye. I also decided to interrogate the nice young waiter about the type of nobber that orders quince ice cream. He assured me it was very tasty and plenty of non nobbers ordered it. We left shortly afterwards.

I hailed a cab and managed to engage in conversation with the taxi driver all the way home. There’s a strange type of magic that occurs when you’re pissed and jump into a cab. You are convinced that the cab driver really wants to hear about your views on world piece/current affairs/horsemeat in burgers. This I do know :They don’t and cab drivers have a talent for humouring pissed up women talking shit in the back of their cabs.
We arrived outside my house and the cab driver shouted the fare at me. This, incidentally was not the fare I could see glowing before my pinprick red wine eyes. Convinced the nice cabbie was now trying to take advantage of my tipsyness, I started to argue the toss with him (not really listening to what he was saying to me at the time).It was only when he matched my volume level that the message finally hit home… ” You’re reading the CLOCK love, as in the actual CLOCK and not the fare” …

Um, anyone call for Disco Granny? As we also used to say back in the day : Take.The.Shame.

From hero to zero and back again.

26 Jan


At some point in my kids lives I’ll go from hero to zero. I’ll go from being the número uno  person they want to hang out with, to a rather uncool individual that doesn’t know anything and exists solely to encroach on their privacy.Cue incident at friends house yesterday..Post Nicola answering her sons mobile (it was his sultry Eastern European girlfriend calling) he commented that “she was devoid of any concept of privacy”  and “could you never, ever take it upon yourself to answer my phone again ?” Ok then, kids are clearly getting a bit more articulate with their insults. In my day it was simply ” I hate you” Indeed, my rather inarticulate response to my friends son was ” If you don’t like it then fuck off and move out smartarse, or at the very least don’t leave the bloody thing sitting around” Teenage kid : 1 point , Mothers friend : big fat zero for sounding like a northern fishwife.
Moving into middle age, I have started to Mother my Mother.I find myself shaking my head in exasperation and bemusement at some of her one liners and anecdotes.For example, my Mother whilst watching Deal or No Deal (I know) commented  “That Judy Cator woman gets a lot of work doesn’t she? She  works on the National Lottery too you know”
Erm, that’ll be the “Independent Ajudicator” Mum..Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the donkey help me. Just this morning, she was telling me how she tried to telephone her brother overseas and ended up dialling a wrong number ” It was ok though as I got a lady I spoke to for forty minutes.She had a few problems and she said it was always better to chat to a stranger” What the Fuckkkk???Only an old person would entertain that shit.. Add this to the never ending list of stories she has regarding her very frequent funeral attendance and my ears are in a permanent state of meltdown.
What’s interesting though is, when you yourself have kids, they seem to rediscover that old hero magic in the crazy old coots. That hero magic that you’ve maybe lost a bit of over the years. My friend told me how when her little boy lost his balloon, his late Grandfather ran straight to the shops to buy him a whole new packet of them so he wouldn’t be sad. Hero. Fact. It comes full circle. Bring on old age. It seems you get to be a rock star again.
This post is dedicated to Mr Kim Constantinou and all the other heros out there.

And I name thee….

19 Jan

Nowadays naming your child has turned into a contentious issue. This is probably due to the emergence of various quirky and made up names. When my friends have kids I tend to wait with baited breath to see whether they dole out a run of the mill name, a quirky or a downright shocker.

Cue….”Don Giustiano”.Admittedly, this was from a couple on the maternity ward I was working on.. Shocker. Dad then went on to ask me if I knew what the word “Don” meant. I replied that yes, I had seen the Godfather trilogy and wasn’t sure how this mouthful of a name would go down in the playground. There was also “Kevanna”(both parents names combined apparently) and males called “Tiger” and “Elvis “
A friend whose daughter has a somewhat unusual name, recently admitted to me she had named her daughter after the childhood dog she loved. Here’s hoping young ‘H’ doesn’t find out she was named after the family lab.
Admittedly, we named our youngest “Clement”. Albeit a traditional name it throws up all manner of problems at the doctors surgery. “Clementine” , “Clemence” and “Clamant” to name but a few. No doubt he’ll get taunts of “phlegm” in the playground (as opposed to the favoured “Clem” we love)but hey ho,we all have our crosses to bear. As a child I got “Barbara” “Lada” “Comi” and my least favourite, “lanky streak of witch piss”.
At the end of the day unless you’re a Shaftkat like a childhood friend of mine you’re pretty safe I reckon….

“Wiggy doesn’t love me and my Mum’s a bitch”

13 Jan

David Bowie turned 66 on January the 8th and various people commented on the fact that the Starman had shaped their teenage years. This got me thinking about our teenage selves v’s our adult selves.  What shapes our lives? What do we learn along the way? I personally wish I could tell my younger self that my older self wouldn’t give a shit about 90% of the “stuff” I was stressing about back in the day. Cue a foray into my old diaries….

“Mum says I can’t go out, Oh my God, what a bitch, why does she always ground me at the wrong time???? I HAVE to go into town to see Wiggy. I think I’ll ALWAYS love him. I don’t think he feels the same though”
Wiggy was the object of my affection.This was because he bore a very slight resemblance to Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine with a touch of Andrew McCarthy of Pretty in Pink fame thrown in.
Advice to younger self :  Mum did you a favour. When I met up with Wiggy a good few years later the only thing he bore a resemblance to was an ageing geography teacher. Trust me kids, the object of your teenage love ain’t the person you’re going to end up with.
“English literature unseen paper. Load of crap about a woman who had cheated on her husband and a seagull had come to seek revenge on her. I wouldn’t mind but a fucking seagull?! Am trying to revise history at the moment but it ‘s just not working”  
Advice to younger self : English literature papers don’t really shape your life. The fact you studied “To Kill a Mockingbird ” doesn’t mean you are going to end up being a Barrister. Regarding revision,  just get on with it as it’s a damn sight easier than work.
I’ve  decided I’m going to start asking myself a question before I have a full on pissy fit about events in my life. That question being ” Will I give a shit about this in ten years time?” If the answer is no then it can just go and do one. If it’s a yes then it’s hopefully nothing that a good bottle of Malbec, maybe a fag and a gossip with a mate can’t sort out.

“Starter for ten..” Hide, quick hide.

10 Jan

“was hoping some of you might be available for a drink some evening soon. As a starter for ten how about either Thurs 16th or Tuesday 22nd?

Ps  I’m using a fairly old version of this circ list so please add anyone back in that’s dropped off – omissions are not intentional.”
So, this email popped into my inbox today (obviously in its entirety….I’ve chopped bits off for confidentiality reasons). Now, I don’t know about you, but in my mind anyone who uses the phrase “starter for ten ” in a social email that’s intended to entice folks out for a drink or two is not going to be a laugh a minute. I’ll be honest, when people use that phrase in a boardroom my immediate thought is “wanker”The fact that the end of the email is worded to sound like some sort of disclaimer also sticks in my craw. This is pretty much, in a nutshell, a great example of my issue with Mummy groups. Sometimes,the only thing you have in common with the women you’re having drinks with is the fact you have all given birth. I mean really? You wouldn’t get a bunch of men meeting up because they’ve all had a vasectomy would you?
I’m currently hiding from my Mummy group and have been for the past two months…I joined this “second time Mums group” in a bid to find a like minded individuals to moan to. Having a lively terrorist of a toddler and a newborn is no mean feat I tell thee. I thought I’d be sitting around hitting the booze hard and getting some welcome respite from acting as barrier to prevent aforementioned toddler from bumping off new baby. This was sadly not to be. What happened was, I arrived, sat my arse down and about twenty minutes later ended up sending an emergency SOS text to the  husband. This was his cue to invent some bullshit emergency, call and come and get me. Membership to Mummy group cancelled.
Reasons for this as follows: you hope for a bit of respite from the endless rounds of cleaning up shit, baby feeding and chat about all things baby. Um, nup, no respite. You find yourself listening to talk of shitting and feeding. There is also always, without fail, one über Mother present. This woman (and I guarantee you there will be one) thinks she is THE expert in child rearing. This expertise will cover all bases including shitting, feeding, breast manipulation,  perineum massage (look it up ) and the fact that her toddler can already speak three languages, explain the ins and outs of the fiscal cliff and cook a three course meal on its own.
Wouldn’t life be much simpler if people were honest?When did child rearing become so competitive?? Here’s some of the bollocks I’ve heard
(I should probably mention at this point that I did a two year stint of one of london a busiest maternity units and I have tales to tell..oh yes I do…just you wait ).
 “My son just LOVES his new baby brother”. Bollocks does he,and the minute your back’s turned he’s going to poke his eyes out. Or at least that’s what happens in my house….
“My child was potty trained by twelve months”. Um, is that why they did a dirty great shit in the middle of the rug last night? Also, you’re using the fact that your  kid can shit in a plastic bowl as a brag? I hate to break it to you competitive parents, but being able to drop a shit in a plastic bowl is not an indicator for future life achievements.There’s a phrase that’s emerged in the media recently : “helicopter parenting”.Wikipedia describes it as “a colloquial term for a parent who places extremely close attention to their childs or childrens experiences or problems” Let it go folks, lets go back to the days of having a laugh with your mates,enjoying your kids and not worrying about whether your kid can speak japanese and mine can’t. Actually come to think of it, my kids repertoire consists of ” mouse” “more” car” “dog” and “shit” Oops think the last one is probably my fault…….

Johnny Foreigner innit.

8 Jan

I was THAT kid,  you know that funny kid that was a bit “different”. I was that kid in the school photograph that had a jumper on underneath a summer dress( even though it was June). I’m not sure what it is about foreigners, but they seem to think that England is somewhere in Antarctica and dress their kids accordingly. This means wearing layers of clothing in the height of summer. It’ll stop you catching a cold you know…Draughts make you die, wet hair gives you pneumonia, watching Coronation Street means you’re a bit rough and don’t bother coming home if you’ve scored anything less than an A. This last statement was usually accompanied by a full on description of how when my mum was a kid she had to walk home from school barefoot etc etc. The other things that made me stick out like a sore thumb at school were the foreign name (maiden name and not the nice plain Ward I have today) and the fact that I was the owner of a rather exotic lunch box. No kit kats and ham sandwiches for me. Oh no, I was sent off with chicken sandwiches on brown and avocado pear salad. This was 1980, way before the organic revolution a la Jamie Oliver that is the norm today. Funny how things come full circle.

Anyway, the reason for my walk down memory lane is this weekend was Serbian Christmas. Serbian Christmas takes place on January 7th and means a lovely long drive up North. The lovely long drive up North means piling two kids and husband plus a myriad of belongings into the car for approximately four ish hours traffic depending. This is the first time we’ve done this drive with two kids and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a ball ache. Two things I discovered, playing the Rastamouse theme tune on a loop and McDonalds chips are like opium to a two year old. Winner.  

I’d promised my Mother the whole family would go to the Christmas Eve service at the Serbian church – Trust me, this escapade is less about God and more about showing off the Grandchildren. It’s basically an hour of everyone parading their kids and Grandkids around whilst bragging about their various achievements. An arena of one-upmanship if you like. The bad thing about a Serb church is that there are no seats. Yes, that’s right folks you have to stand through an hour of caterwauling and incense. The good thing about a Serb church though is.. it has a church hall with a bar – Yes, a bar no less A frikking bar attached to a church. You can get  your dose of God and then go and get pissed. Let’s be honest though, you’re not going to get a bunch of Serbs anywhere without the promise of a glass of slivovitz (plum brandy) afterwards.

So, after the service, we all troop off to the hall. I troop off to the bar and get a round of drinks in, snacks for the kids and start merrily gassing away to folks I see once a year. I also do a bloody good job of avoiding eye contact with whiskery faced old bags I don’t want to kiss…Anyway, just as  I’m mid flow I hear a cry of “choking, quick CHOKING” and turn around to find that my eldest has gone a funny shade of red … Yup, my kid was choking on the bag of Seabrook I had purchased for him five minutes earlier. This was quite simply due to the fact that being a total gannet like his Mother he had crunched them up into a huge mulch that had now wedged solid into his throat. Me, possessing a calm head in a crisis chucked him over my arm and administered a few hard whacks to his back. The whole lot eventually came up. Thank Christ for first aid training …My Mother on the other hand was a complete waste of space. Think chocolate teapot and you have the right idea. I swear she had already written a eulogy in her head. USELESS in a crisis that one. Anyway, panic over, child placated with a juice and me, safe in the knowledge that once again I have been proved right : Religion (like politics) is bad for your bloody health.

Facebook Dirty Laundry.

5 Jan

So, every year I make the same resolution and much to my husbands amusement I break it after about five minutes. The resolution : I WILL commit Facebook suicide. Facebook gets on my tits and yet I can’t bring myself to commit Facebook suicide. The rage is usually fuelled when I log on to find that someone is once again washing their dirty laundry in the Facebook arena. Do I really give a shit that your boyfriend/husband/ friend has done something to piss you off. Do you really need to put it out there in the public domain?

Then there are the “feel good” posters. “I love my dog, please post if you love your dog too” Yes, I love my fucking dog/child/husband/Mother but reposting a picture of a sandy beach with a sunset doesn’t mean shit. There are also the serial photograph of my child posters. “Here’s yet another photograph of my child on a swing/taking a shit/ * insert whatever activity you feel like here and I guarantee you that someone will have posted a photo of their child doing it. As much as you love your child I really don’t love it as much. Bear this in mind when you post another 500 photographs of your kid engaged in some banal activity.

We also have the Facebook boasters. These people never update their status unless it involves them posting about going on holiday.” About to board the plane to the gorgeous villa we have rented on gorgeous tropical island”. This is usually followed two days later by the obligatory cocktail in the sunset photo (taken on instagram for added ambience). Then we have the ” look at me I have mates” posters. Their status will usually start with “great night out with” – then various people they bored over a pint that night are tagged. The set that really grip my shit though are the idiots that seem to think dead people read Facebook. “R.I.P Grandma, thank you for smelling of piss and lavender. I will really miss you”. I hate to break it to you but they don’t have WIFI in heaven.

So, does all this mean I will commit Facebook suicide? Probably not, I’m too much of a nosy bitch.

The politics surrounding the cleaner

3 Jan

So…yes I fess up, I have a cleaner and yes my Nan wouldn’t have approved. In  her (now dead) eyes no one cleans your house as well as you do. In fairness, she’s right as I’m a bit of a finicky bitch when it comes to matters of the duster. I have real umbrage with kitchens and bathrooms in particular. Par example, I really don’t need to be checking out dried yellow piss stains on your toilet seat boys when I really need to sit down for a pee..This is usually after a few drinks when my legs aren’t stable enough to do the hover..

Anyway, with a cleaner comes cleaner politics and cleaner etiquette…(and a bit of a working class mental block in my case when it comes to folks cleaning up after me). I am THAT individual who tidies up before the cleaner comes over. I also strip the bed so that she doesn’t have to. My cleaner tells me that certain people that she cleans for leave their scutty undies around for her to pick up. Can you imagine?! Madness, I’d hate for someone to have to deal with my dirty undies. Not that there is anything wrong with my undies you understand, they’re very nice undies as it goes but I’d rather deal with them in my own time and space. I often wonder how long it takes famous people to let their undie management be taken over by a housekeeper or someone similar?

I do have one reoccurring issue with the cleaner though (and it’s a strange one).Every time she arrives I get the sudden urge to crap. Trust me, you get crap stage fright when the cleaner is hoovering right outside the bathroom door.Not good.


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