Tag Archives: Tory Boy

I’ve Got A Date

11 Dec
English: 19th century cartoon of a rabid dog i...

English: 19th century cartoon of a rabid dog in a London street (Photo credit: Wikipedia) This has nothing to do with dates but I couldn’t find a free cartoon on the subject so I went with rabies instead.

With a dentist at the hospital today so I wasn’t going to blog; but my good friend Dave (a statistician and therefore number geek upon whom I can rely in these matters) informs me that at some point – well, at an actual point – today it will be 11/12/13 14:15.

In its honour, I will schedule this post for 2:15.

Happy Number Day!


Dave and I really have too much time on our hands, don’t we?*

*I wish.


As  I was writing this, Tory Boy informed me that today is the last sequential date of this century.  

Can that be right?  Dave?


I’ll Never Catch Up

9 Dec
chevy chase, ass

chevy chase, ass (Photo credit: “Cowboy” Ben Alman) Kind of what I’m doing, without the retired movie star

My week last week:

  • Dog walks every day, many long
  • Baking mince pies for vulnerable people (sneaking a few to four freezing workmen who heckled me on my walks between the vicarage oven and church)
  • Doctor’s
  • Creative Writing class
  • Studiously ignoring my homework
  • Welcoming home Tory Boy with ALL of his stuff
  • Finding room for all of Tory Boy’s stuff
  • Cooking 
  • Cleaning
  • Catching up with ironing
  • Yawning
  • Recuperating all Thursday on the couch
  • Grocery shopping (huge)
  • Reading old jokes
  • Christmas shopping (a bit)
  • Helping a friend with something
  • Church
  • Stockport Writers’ Christmas do (playing word games – great nerdy fun)
  • Coming down with a stonking head cold

So that was my week, with the dull bits left out.

Sorry to have abandoned you.  Again.

I’ll be honest, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.


Happy Thanksgiving

28 Nov

From ahajokes

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK but I have had lots of nice news lately so I saved it up for today.

Tory Boy was headhunted

He received a phone call out of the blue from the office of the MP he helped get elected in Lancaster in 2010, offering him a job.

Although he loves working in production, he’s fed up where he’s living because he works peculiar hours and hasn’t had a chance to make friends; and he’s still in lodgings at 23.  As he intends to have a political career at some point, it seems like a good move; particularly as he has lots of friends in Lancaster and knows the area well.  

Of course, the job is only guaranteed for eighteen months, because there’s an election coming up.  If ever there was an incentive to get someone re-elected, it’s having him as your boss.  He was smart to hire TB.

He will be home for a week before starting his new job in mid-December.  That’s the bit I really like.

Spud had his first offer

Of a place at University, from  Birmingham.  He is delighted, although Sheffield is his first choice.

Birmingham is a good university.  The only negative is that he’s afraid he might start speaking with the local accent.  The thought horrifies him.

I found a lump

Which turned out to be another lymph node.

It is ALWAYS better to get these things checked.  You will avoid unnecessary anguish and sleepless nights.

Today is my brother’s birthdayKev & Jabba

Happy birthday, Brother-who-never-reads-my-blog; and congratulations on surviving childhood with me for a sister.

You readers all know me as a good girl; but when we were kids our parents owned a little grocery shop.  Bwnrmb and I slept in one attic and boxes of crisps slept in the other.  Having two years’ seniority, I used to send him to forage for our midnight feasts…and I never got caught…

I don’t mind saying ‘sorry’ now, because he won’t read my apology (he ranks somewhere in the region of the Hub in my list of people I can offend without a thought).

Sorry for all the spankings you took on my behalf.


Doctor Who

The fiftieth anniversary episode: The Day of the Doctor.

Need I say more?


In Protest: 150 Poems for Human Rights

My complimentary copy arrived.  I read it.  Powerful, moving, evocative and provocative.

I feel honoured to be included.  

I learned two new words

I love them:

snollygoster   Noun: Slang. a clever, unscrupulous person

borborygmus  Noun: a rumbling or gurgling sound caused by the movement of gas in the intestines

Perfect descriptions of the uninvited guest on Thanksgiving, don’t you think?


Writing Our Faith

Another book I’m in…and the editor used my piku on the back cover. Shriek!

The Hub

Because he’s a great husband.

But you know the drill…don’t tell him I said so.

eattt fanksgiving

eattt fanksgiving (Photo credit: jelene)


Happy Thanksgiving!


Teddy Bear’s Pic-Not

11 Oct

The manky eyelids are clearing up, I’m happy to report.  The Hub suspects I had an allergic reaction to make up wipes.  The skin around my eyes is puffy and flaky but Vaseline seems to be doing the trick.

That’s the official reason for my swollen eyelids, anyway.  The truth is, Tory Boy left yesterday, after his ten-day visit – arrived on my birthday; left on his father’s: he has his priorities right – and now I feel like this:


Photos courtesy of Tory Boy

The boys and I were walking the dogs in the rain when Tory Boy noticed that poor, sad teddy, sitting on a bin.

That’s how I feel every time one of my children isn’t here.


On the flip side, I get my office back!  There’s always a silver lining.


Diary Of A Fifty-Year Old (3)

30 Sep


Lunch.  A girl may be old, but she’s gotta eat.


Into Stockport.  The Hub wanted me to have something to open on my birthday because I couldn’t open London, so he bought me a beautiful eternity ring. Because of my weight loss, however, it was too large for my finger and needs to be re-sized.  While I was chatting to the jeweller the Hub spotted a pretty little ring, gold with pink sapphires…and now I have two new rings!

But I only got one writing magazine.  He’s so mean.


Collected Tory Boy from the station and cooed and fussed enough to make him want to get straight back on the train to Peterborough.

Highlights coming up: 

  • Chinese for dinner
  • Creative Writing class
  • Take out my contact lenses


Diary Of A Fifty-Year Old (1)

30 Sep
50–50 (game show)

50–50 (game show) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In case I haven’t mentioned it, today is my birthday.  Yes, fifty years ago today, my Mother stood up and said to my Dad, ‘I don’t remember coughing,’ and three hours later I was born.

The celebrations started last night (if we don’t count the last three months), when Spud came into my room just after midnight to wish me a happy birthday. He’s so sweet.  But really…awake so late on a school night?  I’ll have to have words with that boy.


Spud insisted I have a lie-in today (I deserve one every fifty years) but old habits die hard and I was awake before him.  I crossed my legs as long as I could (not long at all, as it happened; this old bladder is just like my mother’s in pregnancy) and then sneaked to the bathroom before he awoke.

I had to lie there for thirty minutes while he got up, showered, dressed, blah-blah-blah…I think he forgot it was my birthday because he just left me there, sleeping (he thought).

When I heard him coming with my tea, I hid under the covers:

Spud [stage whisper]: Wake up, Mum.

Me: [stage yell, muffled]: Go away!

[Puzzled pause]

Spud [indoor voice]: Wake up, Mum, it’s your birthday.  Happy birthday!

Me: [under the quilt voice]: Go away!  I don’t want to be fifty!  I’m not fifty until I get up.  I’m not getting up.

Spud [Panicked – Mum’s having a mid-life crisis]: Umm..

Me [Gleeful]: Heeheeheeheeheehee…

I had first considered moving round so he found my feet on the pillow but then I thought, Nah, I’m fifty now; time to grow up.  Besides, these old bones would have taken too long to make the move.


Opened my cards.  I decided yesterday to save the presents until this afternoon, when Tory Boy arrives.


The Hub suggested I open just one present, because everyone should open a present on their birthday morning; I chose Viv’s, whose interesting M&S parcel has been sitting there, tormenting me for the past two weeks.


Opened the rest of my presents.

If Tory Boy wants to be part of this family, he’d better move back to Stockport.


Saw Spud off to school (late).

Fed the dogs: Toby’s breakfast waits for no fifty-year old.

Read all of my birthday messages via email, Facebook, text, etc.  Thank you, all!


Got my breakfast.  Had a packet of crisps for pudding, to celebrate (diets are forbidden on birthdays).

08: 50

Stopped eating long enough to answer a couple of calls, wishing me a happy birthday.


Played Spider Solitaire on my computer.  Just because it’s my birthday.

And because it’s my birthday, I opted not to feel guilty about wasting time.

Happy birthday, me!


Expect a lot of posts today; or, as the media puts it when there are important events taking place, Look out for live updates throughout the day.


Happy Birthday, Tory Boy!

18 Apr

My beloved eldest child is 23 today.  From 12:41 p.m., Wednesday 18th April 1990, Tory Boy was my ylem.  The moment I saw him, I loved.

I might even have cried a little (probably thinking about the pregnancy fat I was never going to shake off).

‘Bonding’ had come into fashion when I was carrying TB; I asked my gynea if I would be able to hold the baby as soon as it was born.  He told me that bonding takes a life time, not a moment.  He was right.

What he failed to mention, however, is that as soon as you’ve bonded, you have to start preparing yourself to let go of them.  Tory Boy works; he has a lovely girlfriend; he lives away from home; he calls and visits (occasionally; usually when he needs something); he sends me poems that make me laugh and weep.  I did my job.  His father helped, when I let him.

But how I miss those moments, early in the morning, when it was just him and me.  When I would soothe and feed him and he would fall asleep in my arms.

Our bonding began on the Saturday after he was born, when the Hub was given permission not to visit until the evening (after the match).  I fed Tory Boy; he fell asleep; and I simply could not bear to let go of him.  I sat in a chair with my beautiful baby in my arms and we stayed there for many hours.  My demanding body, which needs a toilet break every hour and a food break every half hour, knew not to mess with me that day.

I looked at my baby and I loved him; and that has never changed.


My Children Know Me Well

19 Mar

wes birth 12 b

I know I’m nine days late saying this, but I had a lovely Mother’s Day last week. In fact, I was in a state of being highly pleased, or oblectation, the whole weekend, from the Friday night of Spud’s performance to the Tuesday after, when I visited another blogger (tomorrow’s post).


English: A packet of Black Jacks.

English: A packet of Black Jacks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sunday started with church, followed by my writing group at the art gallery. Later, a walk with the dogs and Hub, a call from my first-born and the Dancing On Ice final was topped only by Spud making Chinese for dinner, under his father’s supervision.  It could have been toast and cereal for all I cared – all that mattered was no cooking for me!

Fruit Salad

Spud gave me Maltesers, Black Jacks, Fruit Salads and Parma Violets.  If you think about it, it’s a weird way of spending Mother’s Day – pretending to be a kid with your favourite sweets.  Ah well, my kids are used to weird.

Ultra Violet

Ultra Violet (Photo credit: tim ellis)

Tory Boy wrote a poem; he then recited it, set to one of my favourite pieces of music.

Sweets and poems – my children know me well.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Alex001

Before I let you read the poem, I have to say in my defence that, while I adore it, I feel there’s a little of the pleonastic about it.  I’m not sure you need to know all this stuff about me: I’d like to keep my Excels At Being A Mother laurels just a little while longer.

Apologies for the layout, sweetie – WordPress doesn’t like your formatting.


A Mother’s Love, by Tory Boy

From my very first of check ups

Where the nurses went ballistic,

To the custard in a bottle

Now my teeth are a statistic

Then came the first of prunes

Where my bottom poo’d a’plenty

To falling out the pram

Luck-i-ly the road was empty

Wear a helmet with my scooter?

Whatever were you thinking?

A skateboard helmet for my bike?

I can feel my brain is shrinking

You walked me to my high-school

When all the other kids could see.

Then we went to war and

you said ‘If they fire please call me’

However did I make it?

I don’t think I will ever know

But if there’s one thing that I’m sure of

Its that my love for mum has grown

As she keeps on trying her best

To give my life the best of starts

Because my mummy loves me

And I love her, with all my heart.

I blub every time I read it.  I blub even more when I listen to him reciting it.  He has given me permission to share it so, if you’d like to listen in, go here.   Then come back and tell me what you think.



15 Mar
London Eye

London Eye (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We went on telly every morning for a week. People in the street recognised us. We had a huge cooked breakfast each day and VIP treatment at Madame Tussaud’s, the Planetarium, Planet Hollywood, the London Eye (bumped to the top of the  long queue and given a semi-private capsule – just one other couple in it) and somewhere else which I can’t now remember.

We met famous British people and the World’s Smallest Dog (they bumped our green segment for that one).  We met a man who did something interesting with Lego (so interesting, I can’t remember what it was) (they bumped our green segment again for that one).

The production staff were lovely.  They told us that our boys were the best-behaved children they’d ever had on the show.  Stuff was always coming in to the office, to be featured on TV.  One morning, a member of the production team who I don’t think we had met, came up to us with two expensive remote-controlled cars and told me they were for the boys; she had received them and thought, ‘I know just who I want to give these to.’  Wasn’t that kind?

We had a fantastic week, though the Hub was looking rather lyard in hair and face by the time we were dropped at Euston Station.  His M.E. wasn’t as bad then but it had been a hard five days for him and the kids were propping him up at that point.      Our train was in and we were about to board when we were suddenly stopped by a station guard.  She politely asked us to wait a moment, and then led us into First Class.  Apparently, the train was standing room only and she turfed four people out of their seats and gave them to us.

Euston station, London, UK

Euston station, London, UK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nothing to do with The Big Breakfast – we were a family with two young children, looking exhausted (the boys and I) or about to collapse (Hub), and the four people were all young and travelling alone and only allowed those seats because there was no space in steerage. We still had the bulk of our cash wad but we discovered you don’t pay for snacks  in First Class, even if you haven’t paid for a First Class seat.

All in all, a fabulous week.

Now, the teabags:

When Tory Boy was eleven, he didn’t like a strong cup of tea and he liked half milk-half water.  I made two cups of tea from one tea bag, leaving the bag ready in another cup after making the first brew.  Lots of people do it; there’s nothing peculiar about it – but for some reason, it was all the council, Bella, the Newspaper Which Must Not Be Named and The Big Breakfast could fixate on.

Tea Bag Firestarters

Tea Bag Firestarters (Photo credit: Earthworm)

I made two cups of tea from one tea bag and as a result there is a photograph floating around the ether of me hanging used tea bags on a washing line; and I and my family got to be in a magazine, a newspaper, a local council event and on telly for a week.  We were given free gifts and food and money and treated like we were something special.  We met kind people and nice people and friendly people and a couple of jerks (not discussed in these posts because if you can’t say anything nice about someone then don’t blog about them).  We lived a charmed and somewhat pampered existence for a week and came out normal at the end of it.

Ain’t life weird?


I hope you’ve enjoyed my saga.  It was supposed to be one post; two at the most. It stirred so many memories, however, it stretched to a week.  With all the fun things that happened to us, it’s no wonder we felt kef on the train home, or in a state of drowsy contentment.


Fifteen Minutes Of Fame

14 Mar

Fifteen minutes of fame; six days and more in the telling.

Big Breakfast

Big Breakfast (Photo credit: avlxyz)

I did say it was rather a long story but I didn’t know just how long until I started writing it.  I would apologise but it has been fun to remember.

The story so far…

  • Short of money, I tell the council how I manage
  • I eat art exhibits
  • I get in the papers
  • I go to London and visit a TV studio for a week
  • Day One: early start; late breakfast

We were driven back to our hotel around eleven a.m. with a wad of cash and instructions to access the Tube that afternoon and present ourselves at the Planetarium, the adjacent Madame Tussaud’s, and then Planet Hollywood.

London Tube Map

London Tube Map (Photo credit: DraXus)

Tory Boy, 11, took it upon himself to study the Tube map and had great fun the whole week, steering us in the right direction.  He never got it wrong.

We presented ourselves at the Planetarium, as instructed, admitting that we were the Family of the Week from The Big Breakfast.  We were immediately chided for not jumping to the head of the queue, given free passes, and allowed to wander where we would.

While we admired the planets and the waxworks, people gave us funny looks, as if they knew us.  Eventually, one brave woman asked if we were from The Big Breakfast?  She had watched us in her hotel room!  We all had a giggle about her goggle.  Hub and I knew she was a smart woman by the way she admired our ‘adorable boys’.

Feeling rather kef at the great day we were having, we ambled on over to Planet Hollywood, telling them we’d been sent by TBB.  We were given a VIP table, told to order whatever we liked and as much of it as we wanted; and presented with gifts for the boys: Planet Hollywood caps and t-shirts and souvenirs.  Some of the wad was meant to be used for food but they gave us our meal for free (we made sure to tip the waitress, however).  We did spend a few quid on Tube fares and a photograph of TB and Spud with Pierce Brosnan as James Bond (wax). 

Planet Hollywood

Planet Hollywood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Safe back at our hotel, we were all asleep by six o’clock.

And so the week went on – early starts, lots of laughter, the occasional slice of burnt toast, and fun fun fun!

Some of the celebrity guests (in no particular order; just as I remember them):

Chris Eubank British boxer

Chris Eubank British boxer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Boxer Chris Eubank: had a handshake that was surely compensating hard for that lisp, and signed photographs ready in his pocket for the boys when they asked.

Actor Scott Wright: played stripper Sam on Coronation Street.  I watched it back then so I was really excited to meet him.  He was so sweet – the Hub asked if I could have a picture taken with him when he had finished his breakfast but he jumped up there and then to oblige.  A lovely man.

Presenter Mike McClean: working on TBB, mostly outside broadcasts.  A funny man but I found him rude: the morning he came in to the studio, we were all sitting on a couch and he said Hello, how are you? to the Hub, Tory Boy and Spud, shaking hands with each in turn.  He blanked me.  Hard to believe he is a big Man City fan like the Hub, because City fans are pretty good-natured.  We have to be, the way City throw chances away.

A researcher was sent off on a train one afternoon with a team shirt, instructed to find the then City manager, Kevin Keegan, and get him to sign it.  Once the shirt came back signed, they ran a quiz between the Hub and MM to test their MCFC knowledge.   The winner got the shirt; the loser had to be photographed wearing a United shirt.  The Hub would never in his life wear a United shirt but he wanted that prize and they hadn’t said on what part of the body it had to be worn so we hatched a plan that if he lost – as if! – I would take a photograph of him sitting on the toilet with the shirt covering his, um, well you get the idea.

The Hub won the quiz, which included a karaoke version of Blue Moon, City’s anthem.  MM flat refused to wear that shirt, on pain of losing his job.  Once a City fan, always a City fan, even rude ones.

The Hub was also given three tickets for him and the boys to see City play at home to Crystal Palace (footy fans, that should date this week for you).

Photo credit: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lxpn49j6MS1r7zo0ho1_500.jpg

So Solid Crew: a garage band, whatever that is.  They had some Top Ten hits. There were about twenty in the band but only three or four were on TBB.  They had a reputation for being hard and edgy and they lived up to it on TBB.  A member of their crew was imprisoned for murder a few years ago, if I remember correctly.  They were not the sort of young people I want my boys to emulate. As they left the set, they smiled at our boys and ruffled their hair in a friendly way.  Just the kind of young people I want my boys to emulate.

Any truly famous people were interviewed somewhere like the Ritz or the Clarendon, where TBB kept a replica of the famous bed.  The bed at the house was filthy.  I wouldn’t have let  my dog sleep on it.  

I’ll wrap up the story tomorrow, you’ll be relieved to hear.


Yesterday’s word was jejune:



without interest or significance; dull; insipid.


juvenile; immature; childish.


lacking knowledge or experience; uninformed.


deficient or lacking in nutritive value.
I like the last one; it rather describes this blog.
By the way, I spelled it jejeune yesterday and nobody mentioned it.  That’s the advantage of using new words – no mes to nitpick.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

28 Jan

Tory Boy is a menace to his little brother.  You saw his birthday card yesterday:


But he loves Spud very much.  He arranged his leave so that he would be here for his brother’s birthday.  He bought him an expensive PS3 game.  And he baked him a cake.  He baked it from scratch and iced it to look like one of Spud’s favourite games:


You don’t get much more loving than that.

And then he locked Spud in the loft.


Spud Is Miffed

27 Jan

I am a bad mother.  I know this because my youngest son told me so.  He told me while avoiding eye contact because he can’t bear to look at me at the moment.

My heinous crime?  I didn’t write a birthday post for him.




Spud turned seventeen twelve days ago.  He loved his Vivquilt (it went straight on the bed, as you can see).  He liked his other presents (especially the money). He enjoyed his brother’s homemade birthday cake (coming in another post).  He snaffled the bulk of the cakes he took into school to celebrate.  He had a great day.

Great.  That’s what I want for him.  

Moving on…

Five days later:

Spud:  Hey, Mum…where’s my birthday post?

Mum:  I didn’t do one this year; you don’t read my blog any more.

Spud [indignant]: Yes I do!

Mum:  No you don’t.  Whenever I ask you, you say you haven’t read it.

Spud [patient]:  I’ve told you – I read it in clumps.  I expected a birthday post.

Mum:  Sorry, sweetie.

Six days after that:

Spud [indignant]:  Hey, Mum…where’s my birthday post?

Mum:  I didn’t do one this year; you don’t read my blog any more.

Spud [irritated]: Yes I do!

Mum:  No you don’t.  Whenever I ask you, you say you haven’t read it.

Spud [impatient]:  I’ve told you – I read it in clumps.  I expected a birthday post.

Mum:  Sorry, sweetie.

Spud: [hurt]:  Call yourself a mother!  I want a birthday post.

Mum [scrambling]:  I’ve got one planned – the Weekly Photo Challenge is ‘Love’ and I’m going to feature the cake your brother made for you.

Spud [outraged]:  That’s about Tory Boy!  I want my own post!

Mum:  But you never read my… [a scuffle breaks out]

Consider me chastened.

Happy Birthday, Spud.  I may be a neglectful mother but I do love you.





I Like Big Prompts And I Cannot Lie

22 Jan
A pregnant woman

A pregnant woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Write page three of your autobiography.

My Mum stood up and said, ‘I don’t remember coughing.’  Then she realised her waters had broken.

[Insert several photographs of an old cottage suite with a damp patch]


Tell us about a guilty pleasure that you hate to love.

Where do I start?  Not with anything I’ve already told to death:

  • Maltesers (make me fat)
  • Twilight (makes me stupid)
  • Tormenting WordPress prompters (makes them look fathead stupid and may get me kicked off WordPress one day)

I’ll tell you about my latest guilty pleasure, as of this morning:

The Hub bought me a laptop for Christmas.  My back still aches from sitting at the computer way too long, though regular breaks help (thank you, readers, for the tips).  The Hub nagged until I heard him and, as a result, I have spent this morning lying on the couch, under my Vivquilt and laptop, snug against the cold and resenting toilet breaks.  I may never get up again.  That being so, this couch may end up looking like my mother’s.


A writer once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If this is true, which five people would you like to spend your time with?

  • Jesus (to be good, kind, tolerant and loving)
  • The Hub (to be confident and attractive)
  • Tory Boy (to be smart and funny)
  • Spud (to be smart and funny) (no favouritism from this mother)
  • The head of Mars Confectionery (to be Malteser available at all times)


What question do you hate to be asked?  Why?

What exactly is in this dish I’m eating?

‘Don’t ask; don’t tell’ is my motto.


Describe your last attempt to learn something that did not come easily to you.

How to turn off my phone.  It did not end well, for the phone or my finger.  Spud showed me an acceptable compromise: how to put it on ‘Silent’.  If only the Hub had such a button.


Explore the room you’re in as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Pretend you know nothing. What do you see? Who is the person who lives there?

I see a stain on the couch; it must be my mother’s house.






O Is For My Scouse Accent

20 Jan

Another in my occasional series, The A to Z of The Laughing Housewife.


Orangensaft (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

O is for orange juice – I’ve been craving it lately. Not so nice for my bladder – drink too much orange juice and I’m like Julie Andrews in ‘The Sound of Music’: When the blog writes, when the pee stings

The last time I drank this much orange juice was twenty-three years ago.  I was pregnant with Tory Boy and I must have needed the Vitamin C.  How embarrassing would that be for him, to have a sibling twenty-three years younger?  It would almost be worth it, just to see his face.

I’m pretty certain I won’t have that pleasure but, if I start craving cheese and tomato on crackers (my other craving), Tory Boy will stop speaking to me.

No, I have to face it – I am a woman of a certain age; it’s probably my ‘ormones. This is where my Scouse accent comes in, if you were wondering.  We Liverpudlians drop our aitches, extend words like ‘like’ to ‘lichhhh’ and talk about ‘me mum an’ me dad.’

Me Mum was my age now when she watched me get married.  I thought she was old then; now, I’m not so sure.  They say fifty is the new forty so if fifty is the new forty then forty is the new thirty and life begins at forty which must be thirty and at thirty I was raising babies.  When does my life begin?

O is also for ‘owl’ as in, ‘self-pitying ‘owl’.

A Mother’s Joy, Sort Of

9 Jan

I didn’t mean for it to be, but this has turned out to be a complicated post.  Skip to the end if you can’t face reading the whole thing, where I will leave a summary.

Peterborough This Week

Peterborough This Week (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tory Boy is home!

He was here for four days over Christmas – the first time in six years that he didn’t have to work on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, and he’s only 22.  He had to go back to Peterborough to work double shifts over New Year, having swapped with colleagues of a similar age who like to party and who all live close enough to work to be able to go home for Christmas without missing a shift.

We did phone Tory Boy at midnight on New Year’s Eve but he was fast asleep, and had been since nine.  Bless.  They work them hard in TV but they are generous with their leave – TB and two other employees, who will all have been there only eight months at financial year’s end, were each given a full complement of leave instead of pro rata.  All leave must be used up by year-end. Year-end is 31 March.

Tory Boy is home now for ten days  – only four of which are actual leave.  He works twelve-hour shifts in blocks of three and four days, so he booked four days off between two three-day blocks of not working.  He often works overtime on his days off because what else is there to do in Peterborough?

French Fancies

French Fancies (Photo credit: lilivanili)

Spud’s seventeenth birthday is coming up next week.  Tory Boy wanted to surprise him so he didn’t tell Spud he was coming home. Because he knew he’d be back soon, Tory Boy didn’t  take some of his Christmas goodies back with him.  I walked in on Spud polishing off the French Fancies from TB’s stocking.  When I scolded him for stealing his brother’s treats, he argued that TB wouldn’t be home for months and they’d have gone stale and had to be thrown away, and there were starving children in Africa so he had to eat them; it was his moral obligation.  I had to concede the point.  

I’ll instruct Tory Boy to deduct the value of the French Fancies from Spud’s birthday present, though I doubt that he will: he already bought it in the Boxing Day sales because Spud looked at Tory Boy with his little-brother-adores-big-brother-and-won’t-you-please-buy-this-game-for-me-because-you-are-such-a-brilliant-big-brother? eyes.  Spud scores again.

Tory Boy arrived home Monday and asked me to wake him by seven a.m. Tuesday.  I woke him; he got up and then slept on the couch for five hours, cuddling the dog.  He went to see a friend in the afternoon, came home around three, went straight to bed and slept right through last night.  He didn’t hear us enter his room to check on him, or feel my frantic hands checking his temperature (high).  We woke him to insist he take paracetamol but he went right back to sleep.  He did get through two bottles of water and he’s been up to the loo, so I’m not panicking just yet (give it time).  



They work them hard in TV production and I think he’s just exhausted.  It’s genetic: my younger brother and I have a similar habit of overdoing things and then taking to our beds to recover.

Thankfully, with the way his shifts work, Tory Boy gets most of February off. His girlfriend gets the benefit of that leave; he won’t have seen her since the beginning of January.  I hope she doesn’t tire him out.  Girlfriends don’t look after clingy mothers’ sons the way clingy mothers do.


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