Published: 40 articles

My Social Network

Jeff doesn’t understand what he calls my ‘obsession with the internet’, he rarely uses the computer and can’t comprehend why I don’t just pick up the phone. I do – I have an IPhone4 which I use for social networking from the comfort of my sofa; it’s doing wonders for my eyesight. I do everything on-line; food shopping, banking, tax my car, Christmas shopping – I’d be lost without my broadband!

So, in a bid to move into the 21st Century, I set up a Facebook account a couple of years ago so I could share photos of our wedding with friends and, since then, have found it a great way to keep in touch with my family who live 250 miles away in Essex.

Then, last year, I thought “What’s this Twitter all about?” and tentatively set up an account. I was a slow starter, a shy tweet here and there, a couple of ‘re-tweets’ to enter competitions, logging-in about once a week. Now, I check in every day and am approaching my first thousand tweets. I spend Sunday night discussing costumes on Dancing On Ice with a group of people I’ve never met and am never likely to. I’m worst on Saturday nights after a couple of glasses of wine when Jeff has dozed off . At this point I’m at my most witty –  in my drunken opinion that is! I spent last Saturday doing a ‘live commentary’ of The Evil Dead for the benefit of my followers, most of whom were either asleep, didn’t care or were the ones who ‘unfollowed’ me the next day.

It’s creeping into my work life too, I feel the urge to end each e-mail with #toobusytocallyouback or #yourbudgetisoverspent etc.

Generally it’s all harmless fun, isn’t it? It’s interesting to see what the famous (and not so famous) people are doing, I can get updates on recent news stories and follow my sister’s progress as she trains for the London Marathon. And I like the relative anonymity of it. None of my friends are on Twitter so I can let rip without fear of upsetting one of them or embarrassing myself (in front of people who know me, anyway).

Today I ended a text to Meg with #christmasmemories – she replied ‘Did you just tweet text me? NEW LOW. :P’

Image: renjith krishnan 

Time For a Spring Clean?

As it’s such a beautiful, sunny day today my thoughts turn to spring cleaning – not that I ever do it, I just know someone, somewhere is getting pretty excited about banging their rugs on the washing line.

I’m ‘lucky’ because Jeff will help out with the housework – and aren’t men so much better at it than us?! Well, so they would have us think, because when Jeff is cleaning you would have thought I’d never picked up a duster in my life!

First they have to announce that they’re going to clean, so that you know they’re doing you a massive favour. Then there’s all the noise and disruption while they’re actually doing the job – Jeff always seems to put at least twice the physical effort in than I do. Perhaps it’s because I do it every day and the novelty’s worn off, perhaps it’s because I don’t care if I miss a bit; I don’t know.

Then there’s the ‘tutting’. “tut, look at the amount of dust I’ve got off of here. tut, I got all these dog hairs from behind the fridge, would you believe it?!” and he waves the cloth in my face so I can stare in amazement at the dirt he got off the mirror.

He’ll usually choose to make his valuable contribution to world hygeine when I’ve decided to take half an hour out with a coffee and a magazine and, bugger me, I start feeling guilty that I’m not doing anything!

Worst of all is that, when they’ve finished, they will list everything they’ve done with pride – maybe even take you on a tour expecting gasps of delight at their domestic prowess. (“Look, babe, I pulled the sofa out to hoover and everything”). If you’re really lucky, they’ll give you a bit of advice on how you can do it better in the future! Plus he now thinks an hour of housework qualifies him the tell people in the pub that we ‘share the chores’.

Imagine if I frolicked in front of him with his dinner every night shouting ‘ta-da!’ as I put the plate in front of him, or gave him a running commentary on what’s going in the washing machine every day, or rang him from Tesco’s to give him an update on the trolley status. I’d have no time left to scrub his rejected skin off the bath, put the cd’s in alphabetical order (again!) or ensure there’s always a spare pack of bacon in the fridge.

So, when he says to me “I cleaned the whole bathroom and you haven’t noticed” I just smile and say “I know, it’s a thankless task, isn’t it?”

All Grown Up

I’ve been feeling really down the last week. At first I thought it was because I’d gone back to work after a blissful nine days at home doing whatver the heck I wanted. Then today I realised it may be because Meg is about to reach 18, adulthood, none of my business any more.

Does it make me feel old? Not really, I still think I’m around twenty (until I pick up an item of clothing in New Look and Meg throws me a glance which definitely means ‘NO!’).

Really, it’s because she’s my best friend. Now she may well shudder at the thought (along with you, dear reader), and I have plenty of women nearer my age I can call ‘friend’, but she’s the only person I’m one hundred percent myself with. I find her hilarious – and there are few people I know who can really make me laugh out loud. She’s my personal shopper (kept me away from jeggins for which I’m eternally grateful), my confidante, my ‘bitching buddy’ for shows such as BNTM, ANTM, The Oscars etc.., and the only person who can do the soup song from The Mighty Boosh with me.

Now she’s spending more time out with her friends, which of course is perfectly right and correct, but I miss her already. I guess now is about the time I need to let go a little more and focus on myself in preparation for my Meg-less life ahead. I’ve almost got her to 18 with no major incidents, now it’s up to her to take that into the world and make whatever she wants of it.

My consolation is the knowledge that she’s a beautiful, caring and intelligent girl – I’m thinking of taking some of the credit for that! Although things will change over the next few years as my influence over her diminishes, I think we’ll always have a close relationship and I’m looking forward to sharing her triumphs and challenges over the rest of her life.

Luv ya Meg xx

One Night Only

It’s just a little village pub, but on Friday night for one night only I was a singing legend. Karaoke – either you love it or hate it. Jeff hates it, but somehow always ends up belting out ‘Mustang Sally’ come 11.30. It’s not that I’m even that good – I just sing in tune, which makes me X Factor material in my village. By the end of the night, we’re all in a sweaty huddle straining to get near to the mike for one last rendition of ‘Angels’ or ‘Living on a Prayer’. It’s kind of a modern day ‘sing song around the piano’ which has been a firm favourite of pub regulars for many years, assisted by too much cloudy cider and cheap wine.

But it’s the crap singers who make Karaoke fun, isn’t it? Yeah, it’s nice to discover that ‘corner shop Jan’ does a mean Tina Turner in her spare time but to see ‘baldy John’, eyes slightly glazed, clearly hearing something completely different to the rest of the room as he murders ‘Norwegian Wood’ (again!) is priceless.

I could only manage two glasses of wine in the four hour period (due to my abstinence over the last 2 weeks) but it was simple, silly fun! A good end to a great week off!

The End of Abstinence

Well I finished a detox today and I never thought this day would come! 12 days of abstinence and I feel absolutely no better (apart from I can’t be an alcoholic because I’m not shaking so – good times!). Lost three pounds and my melon looks like an extra from aliens.
So, as I chew pointlessly on a dry rice cake and suck up the last of the freshly prepared orange juice (because I’m too scared to put anything in my mouth which wasn’t once part of a tree or firmly rooted to the ground for fear of reprisals from my digestive system), I wonder – do other forty-something women try these crazy things? Just to prove they can stick to something at least? I may not remove my make-up every night and, hell, sometimes I don’t brush my teeth before bed; but I can spend 12 days forcing down shedloads of vitamins I’ve never heard of and longing for a cup of coffee and glass of wine. In short, I’ve achieved something. Or at least I feel I have so that makes me feel good.

I’m looking forward to going out tonight, no doubt everyone will tell me how my skin is glowing, that I look radiant and ask what my secret is.

Bring on the pub house wine and the karaoke!