Gwyneth, Working Mums and Giving Up Sugar

Well, that Gwyneth has got herself in trouble again for yet more ill advised comments. This time it was something about how she wished she could just have a 9-5 office job, instead of earning millions a year working all hours making shit films. Much has already been written about how ludicrous it is for her to presume all office jobs are simply 9-5, leaving hours of free time – especially for working mothers, many of whom I know get up extra early to spend time with their kids, before travelling to work, getting home for bath time (if they are lucky), and then continuing to work once their children are in bed. Clearly leaving next to no spare time, not even for a 2 hour Tracy Anderson workout.

Zut Alors.

BUT, reader, can you imagine actually working in an office with Gwyneth? Can you? What if she sat at the desk next to you? In her skin tight white jeans, with her perfect straight blonde hair? What if you came in hungover (obvs I’m thinking hypothetically here because I’d never do this). Imagine the scenario; you had far too much BINJUICE the night before, you look like you’ve just been dug up, you have dressed from your floordrobe, and the only way to cure the unbelievable bastard behind your eyes is a bag of Pickled Onion Monster Munch and a couple of Nurofen washed down with a full sugar Coke. Can you imagine how much she would do her nut at you? And, I bet her desk would be really tidy, and minimal with matching stationary. In no way would she keep up to 20 pairs of shoes and a scruffy dog under it. In no way would she sit applying blusher whilst pretending to listen to her boss’s instructions, or put the phone on loud speaker so the whole office can snigger at someone throwing a wobbler at her. Clearly I have done none of these things, like I said, I’m just thinking hypothetically here, but I don’t think you’d get away with much if Gwyneth worked in your office. I mean you’d never be able to pretend you are going to meet a client for two hours and instead have a facial, anyway I’ll stop myself there, I think we all get the gist…

And there is no way I would be having a full fat coke any way, because, roll out the clichés, I have given up sugar. Yup, I know, great big yawn. Well I sort of have, well I’ve stopped mainlining Jaffa Cakes and Bubette’s Haribo and thinking that 5 Party Rings is an ok afternoon snack. I didn’t think it made much difference to be honest, I didn’t feel any different, my skin and hair were the same, BUT:

I’m walking down the road with my two unruly dogs.

A builder’s van is half blocking the pavement.

And this happens:

Builder ‘No need to move the van Dave, she’s skinny, she can squeeze through’

She’s skinny, she can squeeze through

I mean, back in the day, I attracted many compliments and whistles from builders, the top one being when I was walking to work one day and a builder cracked open some BINJUICE (yes, really) and uttered this immortal line at me

‘There’s nothing I like more than a nice can of lager and the sight of a beautiful woman first thing in the morning’

Reader, that, admittedly, was poetry, but these days I take my compliments where I can.

Anyway, my cheerful mood doesn’t last long because then I drive to pick my daughter up from school. Yes, ahem, THAT school run. It hasn’t got any better. And, now it additionally involves the kid’s party circuit. Which is another blog post, actually it’s probably an ITV3 reality series, or a Chris Morris parody show, but I digress, the school run. Picture this, I have got my baby son (now 20 pounds) in his car seat on one arm, Bubette holding my hand, her school bags up my other arm and some genius glitter drenched stuff she’s made balanced under my chin. I come to the school gate, it’s closed, it opens inwards, away from me, and there standing on the other side is the local ‘celebrity’ Dad and his stroppy wife. They stand there and glare at me. I smile at them. They glare back. No one opens the gate. My arms feel like they are about to fall off from the weight of everything, so with great difficulty I lift one leg and kind of prop the gate open with my hip and squeeze me, Bubette and the baby in the car seat through. They stand there and move back against the fence still glaring at me. Like I’m the biggest piece of shit. Ever invented. I don’t get how rude they are being, so say ‘Hi’ and ‘thank you’. And struggle through. They say nothing, just glare. I get in the car and then it hits me, how horrible they have just been. The tossers. What do they think? That I might want to be someone like them’s friend, to hang out at their house talking about boarding schools, gilets and other such twatty subjects. I did really try to see them in a Buddhist way, you know, you don’t know what is going on in their lives, perhaps they are just having a difficult day, don’t take it personally, kill them with your kindness etc. Or, perhaps ‘no-one’s home’ if you get my drift… zipped up the back… by Boden… But most of all I’m ever so slightly miffed that this celebrity who makes a career out of being a massive fitness fanatic can’t, in real actual life manage to open a gate.

But that’s showbiz I suppose…

P.S. The term BINJUICE is always, as ever reproduced courtesy of ‘celebrated illustrator’ Will Broome.

 

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Moving House, Buggy Work Outs, Michael Ball, Gwyneth etc

It has been decided that we need to move. My husband needs to be nearer London for work, I’d also like easier access to London, but mostly I’d like to be nearer my family, as there are few things that make me happier than watching my son play with my Dad.

So, our house goes on the market. And it is on the market for one night. Because the following morning one of those stereotypical home counties, posh, older couples come to view it. They love the house.

But then it starts:

They really love the house, BUT it’s soooo much smaller than theirs

But they are downsizing.

Hang on.

My house isn’t small.

The woman re-iterates that they are downsizing

I heard you the first time, lady, and don’t diss my house standing there, on that spot, where my beloved dog died. I can practically feel him snarling at you from the hairy hound afterlife.

Oh, and now ‘apparently’ my garden is a bit small too.

Because they are keen gardeners.

Well so am I lady, and my garden is fine,

What are these people?

Landed gentry?

Probably, in actual fact – around here

And here we go again, my kitchen is also a bit small. OK, I’ll give them that one, being as I wouldn’t know about that, because I’m hardly ever in it.

Later that day they call the agent and offer the asking price, in cash, no chain, they are mortgage free, no survey needed, but can they come round and measure up BECAUSE THEY ARE DOWNSIZING so they need to work out what will fit.

STOP TALKING ABOUT MY HOUSE LIKE IT IS THE CUPBOARD UNDER YOUR STAIRS.

Also, will we throw in our beautiful hand made blinds, because theirs are (obvs) so much bigger.

Erm, NO.

And, please can we be out by Christmas, because they want to spend Christmas in our house.

Well, newsflash, loaded old types, so do I, so do my kids.

But what a great offer, how exciting, and how incredibly lucky we are to get a buyer like this, in this market .  For our teeny, tiny, small, little house. Oh whatever.

The next morning I take the dogs for a walk. Crikey, it really is lovely here.

Funny how I’ve always taken this walk for granted. How I’ve always moaned about the rain and the mud and the wind from the valley, instead of just taking it in, appreciating this life. On the way home Neil Young’s ‘Country Home’ comes on my ipod. Really, really loudly:

 I’m thankful for my country home

It gives me peace of mind

Somewhere I can walk alone

And leave myself behind

I almost start weeping. You see, a magical thing happened to me 5 years ago, when I first came to live in the countryside, I could suddenly breathe.

I embraced country life, perhaps a little too much. As illustrated on my first proper country dog walk, when a local openly sniggered at my attire. Once I got over myself, I realised I was dressed unfortunately similarly to Madonna during that phase of hers when she took country life a little too literally too. I reeked of a ‘townie’ trying to look country.

I love the peace and quiet, I love how the neighbours care, and I love how respectful of each other we are. I appreciate nice neighbours, because when I lived in London I lived downstairs from a woman who loudly shagged her boyfriend to Michael Ball’s ‘Love Changes Everything’

On a loop.

EVERY Wednesday.

You cannot make this shit up.

Indeed.

Anyway, moving on swiftly from that thought, and still feeling stressed I go to a buggy work out class. Yes, you heard.

A Buggy Work Out Class.

Me.

Outdoors.

In full public view.

Working out.

With a buggy.

Clearly, I have no shame. But most crucially, quite why I think this will de- stress me right now, when the last time I did this workout my legs hurt so much that when I got home I had to walk down the stairs sideways, like a crab, is beyond me.

But I go back for more. The first thing I notice is that, as I first suspected, it is fantastically unfriendly. Why are these women so rude? I used to get upset by these types of women, but now I have two words for them:

BLOG FODDER

We do a combination, of running, skipping, lunging and power walking whilst pushing our buggies, then we stop and do some ballet plies, using the railings of somebody’s country estate as a make shift barre. Then we start to do some boxercise, and it is at this point that I can no longer control my sniggering. Ever punched the air over and over again, in public, trying to keep a straight face whilst somebody screams ‘Make It Count’ at you? Trust me, it’s fairly funny. Well, it is for me, because everyone else is taking this massively seriously. Then we run up a very, very long sloping hill. I suspect this is what did my thighs in last time so I take it slowly, admiring all the cute thatched cottages I pass. But here’s the instructor

‘You are looking comfortable’

‘Yes, thanks I am, I’m having a lovely time’

‘You are not supposed to be comfortable, you shouldn’t actually be able to speak, your breathing isn’t even strained’

Oh whatever…

Then we stop and do a deep squat against a wall. Great. Here go my thighs again. We apparently have to hold this for two whole minutes. The instructor suggests singing a song to make it go faster.

Someone suggests ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’

Someone else suggests ‘Wind the Bobbin Up’

What are we? Three years old?

Blimey.

Any other suggestions? says the instructor

Me ‘Um, Sweet Child of Mine’

Stroppy other Mother ‘I don’t know that one’

Me ‘Really, it’s by Guns n Ro

She interrupts me ‘If you’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands’

And there I am. Squatting against a farm wall, in public, sweating, my thighs killing me, being blanked by all these other women, singing ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands’

I AM LIVING THE DREAM

In an effort to dull the humiliation I start to think of other things, current affairs . LOL. What about this ‘epic takedown’ of Gwyneth that Vanity Fair is supposedly planning? I once took a rollicking from Gwyneth’s people because one of my clients was launching a range of cushions for luxury yachts, AKA Gin Palaces. For reasons best known to my then self, I thought Gwyneth might like to know about this. So I sent the press release to her home.

Her management office called and complained and said ‘It was dangerous’ of me to send this press release to her home.

‘Why?’ I replied. ‘It’s not as if it contains wheat’

BOOM

But no time to chuckle at this memory because we are off again, skipping along the country lane, like 6 year olds, except 6 year olds don’t get screamed at to ‘lift your knees higher, come on, really feel the burn’

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Swearing, Flakey Former Bosses, Fringes and Kanye.

I’m getting pretty good at the school run. Oh, do try not to snigger. I’ve perfected the art of ignoring ‘those mothers.’ The hideous Mother who NFI’d my Bubette on a playdate has taken her kid to another school. I manage to successfully act all nonchalant around the token celebrity Dad, and, most crucially I’ve still not succumbed to bronzer, or great big hair, or a Chelsea tractor, or even jodhphurs. I’m feeling pretty smug when this happens:

Well, Mrs Tiggy Winkles WE’VE had swearing today

Oh dear, the teacher appears to be even more annoyed with me than on School Photos day when I told her that my daughter was 15 minutes late because she had been ‘really busy accessorising’

Uh-Oh. Bubette has uttered a profanity. At the age of 3. Somewhere posh.

I try to be cool (not laugh), yet at the same time ‘shocked’

‘Oh dear, swearing, what did Bubette say?’

Pass the Oscar.

Teacher – probably totally exasperated by me now ‘Oh, IT’S UNREPEATABLE’

Me, silently in head ‘It’ll have been fuck then

Blimey. I don’t think I have ever felt so chastised, or small. I skulk back out to the car park and mention it to one of the other Mum’s, she laughs and shouts ‘Gold Star for parenting’ at me.

Then I take Bubette for her jabs. One in each arm. Fierce. Bubette is furious. She screams the place down. The sweet nurse offers her a well-done sticker. Bubette says this

You can put that in the bin, you twat’

Ok. That’s it. I rarely swear in front of Bubette, but I’m going to have to stop swearing at all times now. Set an example and, besides, it can’t actually be that difficult. Can it?

Here are a few day-to-day activities, the results of which would usually set me off on one

1. I need some socks. Plain dark grey socks. Er, why is it impossible to buy plain dark grey socks? I’m a married mother of 2 kids (one foul mouthed it now seems), I’ve got a house, a career (ahem), 2 atrociously behaved dogs, some chickens that never lay eggs and a car that I’ve only pranged once (and that was Cher’s fault). I’ve even managed to keep a goldfish alive for 3 years. So WHY would I feel the need to wear socks with Kitten’s heads appliqued on them? Or Scottie dogs? Or Glittery hearts? 6 shops later and everything is still coming up kitsch and it is just so incredibly hard not to swear…

2. I’m driving home. Sockless. A fellow driver overtakes me whilst shouting abusively out his window at me. I can’t hear what he’s saying because Snap’s ‘I’ve got the Power’ is turned up too loudly. I would usually just give this kind of abusive driver the finger, but I don’t.

3. I have to contact a tricky former boss about a project I’m working on. During the five years I worked for this person, they drummed into me over and over again how crucial it is to always get back to people. Always have the manners to respond. And they were right. And if you say you are going to do something do it. Never be flakey. It’s a value I still hold dearly, nothing does my head in more than flakiness. Needless to say said boss hasn’t replied. That was 4 months ago. I follow up, just having to do so makes me want to let rip, or just address the email ‘Dear Twatty Former Boss’. I don’t. Because I’m reformed.

4. Bubette and I go to the local literary festival. I’m taking myself really, really seriously at it when Bubette shouts this at me;

Mummy, are you wearing knickers today?’
Me ‘Yes’ (rather embarrassed)
Bubette ‘ Oh, is everybody wearing knickers today?
Me ‘ I hope so

Wow, again I remind myself that I’m reformed.

5. I decide to get a fringe cut. This is never a good idea. I do not suit a fringe. But I never learn. So, every couple of years I go through the same process. I see a photo of a fringe I like. I become convinced that it will suit me. I ask all my friends if I should get a fringe cut. They all say no. Under no circumstances. Then I get a fringe cut. I hate it .I spend a couple of months growing it out. Repeat every couple of years. This time I get it even more wrong. Knowing that fringes are tricky on me, do I go to a really good hairdresser and pay someone to do the best job possible? No, I go to the local kid’s hairdresser and pay £3. Yes, that’s right I pay £3 for a fringe and rather predictably the fringe looks like I paid £3 for it… I don’t even have anything to clip it back with so have to borrow one of Bubette’s hair slides. Yes, that’s right I spend the next few days going about my business with various comedy children’s hair slides gripping my £3 fringe back.

6. Kanye West has been kicking off about fashion etc etc blah blah blah. I had to deal with him a few times, except I didn’t deal with him. In fact there was a DPS (double page spread darlings) of me and Kanye before a fashion show I was ‘organising’. Yes, that’s right a double page spread of Kanye waiting to be seated and me pretending to look at my clipboard so I didn’t have to deal with him. A rather beautiful, panoramic black and white shot IN NEW YORK MAGAZINE. IN NEW YORK MAGAZINE. Ever messed up at your job? Ever been caught? By NEW YORK magazine? In a DPS?

I’d like to call Kanye a deluded wanker for his comments, I’d like to criticize his fashion, but I’m conscious that right now, I am writing this with a roller-skating cat clipped on my head so I daren’t, and, besides I’m not swearing… I’m reformed…

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Patronising Fashion Show Sponsors, Tantrums and Getting Fired

I’ve been sacked.

By my cleaner.

Yes.

Actually sacked, by my cleaner.

This is all the more irritating because I was  really, really nice to her. I was also extremely accommodating, for me…

But then this;

Tuesday by text

9.45am (she is supposed to start at 10am)

Her; ‘Hello, I cannot come until 12 today’.

Me; ‘Fine, no worries x’

12.30pm Her; ‘Hello, I won’t be there until 2pm’

Me; ‘OK sure x’

3pm Her; ‘Hello, I can’t come until 5pm’

Me: ‘I will be giving my daughter her tea then’

Her; ‘Well I’m really busy’

Me; ‘OK. I’ll take my daughter out for her tea to give you space to clean’

We return home at 7pm. The house has not been cleaned. There is no sign of the cleaners at all in fact. But there is this text from her;

‘I suggest you get someone else to clean your house. Thanks for all your help xxx’

Wow.

There are 2 things that do my head in here:

1. Getting fired for actually being really nice and accommodating

2. The aggressive comment signed off with a passive comment. I hate this sort of shit. Behave like an arse then make yourself feel better by finishing it off with humbleness.

Now where the fuck is my duster…

freddie mercury

Then when I’m in the middle of cleaning I get this sent to me

‘MOMS STRUT THEIR STUFF: For the third year in a row, moms will take over the runways during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in a show designed to empower women. Called “Strut: The Fashionable Mom Show,” it will feature models who are all moms, in many shapes and sizes, showing styles currently in stores. The runway show takes place Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. at the The Stage at Lincoln Center’.

And there it is at the bottom. The words that send me right back off on one

‘Sponsored by Whirlpool’.

Sponsored by Whirlpool

Do you get it?

It’s a fashion show with Mums in it.

Whirpool make kitchen appliances.

Mums are supposed to be in the kitchen a lot.

Whirpool also make washing machines.

Mums use washing machines.

A lot.

So the sponsor is Whirlpool.

OBVS

Clever non?

Because, god forbid this fashion show to ‘empower women’ permits them to forget the amount of puke stained baby grows accumulating at home in their laundry baskets.

Now, no doubt due to this excellent sponsorship tie in, when Mums are in Dixons they will automatically think ‘Not Bosch, nor Zanussi, no.  I remember that really great fashion show,  the one with ‘Moms’ in it, the one that really empowered me. I must go and buy a Whirlpool. Now where are my uppers?’

Genius.

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Another Week in the Shires Featuring Dead Hamsters, Baby Weight Loss and a Tods Bag

Saturday

Oh shit, the hamster is dead.

RIP Dusty Springfield*…the hamster that was, according to the pet shop, ‘a very young female’ yet somehow later transpired to have the most humongous pair of bollocks ever.

I break the news to Bubette.

Me ; ‘Dusty has gone to sleep’.

Bubette ‘Ok has she got her pyjamas on?

Hmmm. I change tact.

Me ; ‘Dusty is in the sky with the dog, the polecat and French Granny’

Bubette; ‘ OK can you ask Postman Pat if I can borrow his helicopter to go to the sky and see them all?’

That went well then.

Sunday

Some of my fashion type friends have sent me an assortment of glamorous magazines to read. This is tres appreciated because I really, really love magazines. I put them next to my bed with visions of me feeding my newborn son, whilst perusing a glossy style bible, the early morning sun streaming in over the panoramic views of rolling fields. Gorgeous.

Here is what really happens;

V early morning. I’m feeding my son. He does he an utterly huge dump. Massive.

It is agricultural**.

I forgot to bring the changing mat upstairs. There is only one thing for it, the glossy magazines will have to step up to the plate***

Monday

I cannot get to the shop due to recent my c section. Bubette and I are waiting for the online shopping to arrive, except being the  spanner I am I typed in an expiry date from 6 years ago, so everything is delayed.

Bubette is totally moaning because she is hungry. But it’s not my fault that she doesn’t find half a crunchie an acceptable breakfast in an emergency****

I decide to do what any devoted mother would do under these circumstances and use the waiting time to check social media.

Twitter

Since I retweeted this hilarity from Alan Partridge

If she could turn back time… would you trust  @Cher with that kind of responsibility?’

I seem to have lost loads of followers.

What is wrong with people?

Facebook

Or am I on Twitter, or Instagram, because everyone shoves all their posts from all these on facebook as well now. This confuses my already fuzzy head beyond belief. And as for ‘Mary Twontface liked 56 pictures on Instagram’ (me neither) style updates.

Do I need to know that? Seriously?

Wouldn’t I just look on Instagram if I was at all bothered?

Instagram

Quite a few fashion types have now started following me.

Christ knows why.

Tuesday

My new son is so quiet during the day that I keep thinking I’ve ‘done a Cameron’ and left him somewhere

My new son is not quiet between the hours of 1-4am though

The only thing that soothes him during this colicky time is Babs ‘ Woman in Love’ played quite loudly. On a loop.

Wednesday

I ask Darling husband Mr T to get me some Epsom Salts to help my c section scar heal.

Mr T comes home from work with some sort of (upon reading the packet) laxative version

This, in my sleep deprived, hormonal state totes sets me off on one.

Mr T emerges later with a very chic bath salt from Space NK. Mr T, having been married to me for 4 years, knows a Space NK bag will shut me (aka the long haired general) up for quite a while.

Wise man.

Thursday

I go to the doctor. She looks flabbergasted and tells me how fantastic I look. This is a real compliment considering my doctor is the chicest woman ever invented.

Obvs when a woman tells another woman that she looks fantastic after having a baby, she probably means ‘you’ve nearly shed the baby weight luvvie‘ but is too scared of being accused of reading the Mailonline to actually say that.

A lot of people have commented on how quick the baby weight is going.

So I show them this photo.

NHS quiche

Note the presentation of the NHS Quiche. Yes it really was served upside down, with bite like chunks already taken out of it. And in case I haven’t captured the mash potato. It was well sweaty. Trust me, no diet required here

Anyway just when I’m feeling good Bubette says this;

‘Mummy why is your tummy all squashed up into your skirt’

And then this happens;

There is a  hand dryer in the loo at the doctors. Bubette hates hand dryers. So she says this to the toff using it;

‘Have you finished with that fucking hand dryer yet?’

Wow.

The toff laughs.

You see the word ‘fucking’ and other assorted swear words are mostly ok where we live. Posh county types don’t seem to mind, but god forbid Bubette uses the word ‘toilet.’ And if you really want to offend someone around here you can say something like this

‘Oh Cosima, I really love your new ‘three piece suite’ in your ‘lounge’

Friday

It is Bubette’s nursery school ballet show.

Facts:

1. I am the only mother here not wearing a maxi dress

2. I am the only mother here who pulled up into the car park with ‘Xanadu’ blaring out really loudly

3. Right at the start of the ballet show some little shit upsets Bubette by refusing to hold her hand

4. I’ve encountered this little shit before, with her mother. She has got form.

5. The mother has some sort of comedy false accent going on. One of those ‘I’ve lived in so many places and I am so loaded I can’t even begin to commit to the one accent’ type things

6. When I met her mother the first thing she did was throw her Tods bag down on the table with the label right in my face. It was her attempt at an expensive handbag off. My reaction?

I simply carried on drinking my builder’s tea and talking to the far less nouveau Mummy next to me. 

7. When the mother with form realised our kids were at the same nursery school, she said what so many of her type say to me. Without making any prior conversation, they go straight in for the kill with this:

‘And will your daughter be going on to attend the pre prep school?’

Reader, do not be fooled by this seemingly innocent comment.

Translated into competitive mum speak this means:

‘Can you afford to send your kids to private school, if so I may talk to you and if I’m really convinced I might even invite you onto the committee organising the Dad’s charity donkey race.’

I really, really want to tell her that it’s ‘none of her business’ and that the type of woman she is makes me want to scream ‘comprehensive’

But instead I casually drop the words ‘three piece suite’ into my ‘conversation’ with her.

* Interesting fact; A friend’s sister had a hamster called Jimmy Nail.

** The term ‘ it is agricultural’ is lifted from Bruce Robinson’s ‘The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman’ a hilarious read recommended to me by the ‘Celebrated illustrator’ Will Broome

*** Glossy magazine / style bible editors, there is a missed marketing opportunity here I feel. Forget printing your cover image on mouse mats, mugs, tea towels and key rings, it’s all about the changing mat. A brilliant opportunity to connect with the lucrative Mummy market, over and over again, especially while they are tired and therefore vunerable to mind bending advertising (see Bounty for further ‘inspiration’ here). And reader, I’m sure with genius ideas like this you can get just a small insight into how very ‘talented’ I was in the PR world…Hahahahaha

**** Deal with it Jamie

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Shit Midwives Say

I’ve been rather wary of ‘the midwife’ ever since 36 hours into labour (yes, that’s right 36 actual hours) with Bubette, the midwife ‘helping’ me refused to top up my epidural until she had ‘finished her paper work’.

Bubette was a back to back baby. The type of pain experienced giving birth to a back to back baby is, apparently ‘White pain’ aka the highest level of pain.

To me it felt like something was very slowly gnawing my left leg off.

To the midwife it was ‘Just a bit of breakthrough pain’ and not worth interupting her filing over.

She was a one off though, the other midwives were wonderful – and don’t get me started on how much I loved the auxillary nurses.This time, however there was a conveyor belt of the most odious, matriachal midwives ever invented.

Hold Tight

THURSDAY AM

I’m at the hospital, almost a month before I’m due.

Apparently I will need a c section at some point today ‘but its not urgent and they are very busy, so it’ll prob happen around midnight

The midwife instructs me that ‘if the consultants were very worried they would whisk me to surgery within half an hour’

Just then someone appears and tells me to remove my jewellery, the anaethetist is on his way and my c section will take place in half an hour.

Crikey.

I ask if there’s any chance we can wait for my husband to get here No, they cannot wait. I turn to the midwife for reassurance, but she is busy banging on about how this has ‘totally interrupted her lunch’ whilst complimenting me on my ‘gorgeous’ engagement ring through a half chewed sandwich.

Sorry love I’m shit scared, so do you mind if we don’t talk jewels right now?

In the operating theatre, I notice that I am not asked if I have a preferred choice of music, or even if I’d like music on. With Bubette, I had an emergency c section (after said 36 hour labour) and I chose to give birth to ‘Come on Eileen’. It was actually quite a laugh…

But this is all very serious.

When my son is born, he screams once and then is clearly having problems breathing. I hold him briefly and a paedatrician takes him off me to Intensive Care.

And then the party really starts

THURSDAY PM

3 hours after my son has been taken away, I’ve heard nothing. I ask the midwife (for the zillionth time) to find out what is happening. Eventually she says

‘He’s fine, he’s just getting a bit of oxygen’

I say ‘ Thank you, that’s good to know, because it’s really hard for me having him taken straight from birth and not being able to see him’

And she then she actually says this ‘ Don’t worry, I understand, you’ve just given birth – you’re clearly very hormonal’

Well, Fuck Me Senseless, I just spent 3 hours not knowing if my son is alive, after myself having life saving surgery, and I’m very frightened and worried, but yep, that’ll be down to my hormones.

You cannot make this shit up.

I ask her if I can go and see my son. She tells me ‘best to wait until your legs are working’ I’m no rocket scientist, but I’ve had a spinal, and also a c section, and even in my (obvs hormonal state) I don’t think my legs will work anytime soon.

Can’t she wheel me round? ‘No

The lazy bitch.

In the end 2 auxillary nurses (and these angels, sadly missing from, or very rare on maternity wards since Cunty Cameron cut budgets for them) kindly help me.

My son is in an incubator in Intensive care. He has respiratory distress. He is clearly in discomfort I am not allowed to touch him, yet alone hold him. It goes against every bone in my body as his mother.

It is the most harrowing feeling ever.

I am destroyed.

But that’ll be my hormones.

FRIDAY AM

I’m told I need to get out of bed and move around.

Fine please can I have some pain relief?

The midwife offers me 2 paracetamol… Jesus

I inform her that I’ve just had major abdominal surgery,
I’ve not just got a bloody headache…

PM

I’m asked if I’d like a cup of tea. I ask if they have any peppermint. The midwife says this; ‘What do you think this is?

I’m given an antibiotic. I violently vomit up the antibiotic, after retching for 10 mins.

Ever vomited and retched after major abdominal surgery? Trust me it hurts

I’m then (eventually) given an anti sickness tablet. I retch for half an hour, before throwing this up. A student nurse appears, I’m in agony, she says she will get someone to come with pain relief.

Naturally, no one comes

EARLY EVENING

I take a waterboarding from a midwife for putting a banana skin in the wrong bin.

Another midwife comes to teach me to breastfeed using some sort of comedy giant knitted tit. I find it rather ironic that the NHS choose to use a cute soft, knitted comedy tit, when right now my own tits feel like they have been rammed full of shards of glass and run over with a steam roller and bare more than a passing resemblance to a pair of spaniel’s ears…

I explain to said midwife that I breastfed my daughter, I know what to do. I really just want to have a rest. She’s off in her own world though. I struggle to take the knitted tit combined with her patronising seriously and she senses my disinterest (exhaustion) and changes tact and asks me what I do for a living.

Excellent, here’s my chance;

I tell her that I work in fashion – simply because I know how much that’ll do someone like her’s head in.

She very quickly leaves the room.

‘Cheerio babe’

Later, my wound dressing needs changing. I am still in agony there from all the retching. I explain this. So they get the student nurse to ‘have a go

My husband takes me to see our son in intensive care. After the retching pain and the dressing change I cannot stand, in fact I am in such discomfort I cannot stay with my son and so return back to the ward mortified and ask the midwife for something to help with the pain, I ask her for anything so that I can return to see my son. She gives me some morphine, but not before chastising me that ‘it is all my own fault for overdoing it today’ Er??? The morphine kicks in, I tell her I’m going to see my son now. She tells me I can’t. I’m not allowed off the ward now. What a sadist bitch.

SATURDAY 2am

The midwife comes in. I’m sobbing my heart out, I cannot bare being seperated from my sick son. She says nothing but gives me another anti biotic. I say that I will wait and take this later as I don’t want to be sick again. She shouts

‘No, you’ll take it now. DON’T YOU DARE BE SO UNGRATEFUL – A DOCTOR JUST CAME ALL THE WAY DOWNSTAIRS TO GIVE YOU THIS ANTIBIOTIC’

A doctor came down some stairs. Wow. I didn’t realise they could do that.

But that’ll be my hormones.

6am

The midwife is taking my stats, I pretend to be asleep. The mentalist is actually singing ‘Going home stats’ to herself.

Er, I cannot walk, and yet I’m going home. How I am supposed to get back to visit and feed my sick son?

Mid Day

The pain is so bad I cannot get off the bed. But the midwife is standing over me (with her clipboard) shouting that

‘I need to go home. NOW. RIGHT NOW. My stats are fine, they need the bed. I need to get out. Now. It’s not their concern whether or not I can get back to feed my sick son. They need the bed. I cannot expect to stay here any longer. 2 nights is more than enough for an emergency c section. It’s not her fault I overdid it (ummmm) yesterday. They cannot let me stay here any longer etc etc blah blah blah’.

There clearly is no further option left here but for me to release the hounds:

‘Stop talking about this hideous ward like it’s Claridge’s. No-one wants to go home more than me. If I was in any other ward on this hospital in this much pain, no way would I be sent home. But because I’ve given birth you think it’s fine to treat me like this. They don’t even treat animals like this’

Soon her boss is there, she is slightly more helpful. Eventually she says I can stay one more night, but that they’ll have to move me to another room as they desperately need this one. After this night no matter how much pain I’m in I need to leave.

Sunday 23rd June

1am

They have put me in a room alongside a ward of screaming babies, knowing full well that my baby is in intensive care…

To add to this mental torture they have left an empty cot in the room.

The utter fucktards.

And the curtains look like they have been custmoised by Norman Bates.

The reception desk is opposite the room. I can hear all the midwives hanging round having a laugh – all night long (in case anyone wants to play the overworked / understaffed card at me here) .

MONDAY

The door to my room is open. The midwife is on the phone, whilst looking me in the face she shouts this;

‘No, we don’t have any free rooms, because we’ve got some REALLY SELFISH PEOPLE HERE RIGHT NOW WHO ARE REFUSING TO LEAVE’

Like I said, it is NOT Claridges love

And, actually my old room is still empty, and the one next door, and the one next to that…

But I don’t care, because the wonderful, wonderful nurses in intensive care have found me a bed there, so I can be with my son

And then beautiful Bubette comes to meet her brother. I ask her if she likes him. She says this;

‘Yes, but please can we get one with a ponytail’

A week later, when my son and I are home, (thanks to those utterly wonderful neo natal nurses and doctors), my mobile rings

‘Oh hello we’d just like to do a short telephone survey about your experience at the maternity ward recently, do you have any comments?’.

Me ‘It was fucking awful. Is that a short enough answer for your survey?’

Silence, tumbleweed, lone bird flying silently in the sky etc, but that’ll be my hormones, obvs…

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When I was in a Hollywood Blockbuster

What a glorious afternoon I had today, sitting in the garden, on a beautiful Sunny day, birds twittering away, me reading a brilliant book – in between admiring the views of rolling hills and fields, Bubette playing wild and free and the puppy sitting happily at my feet, quietly munching away on one of his own turds…

OK, so let’s not mention ‘that puppy’ anymore.

Because it’s been such a good day. It’s been a laugh in fact.

Starting with the school run. I’m actually early (?!). So, we’re sitting in the car outside the school, Cher’s ‘Believe’ comes on the radio. What a tune. I turn it right up and open the car windows, so everyone can hear.

I’m good like that.

And then it happens. One of ‘those mothers’ misjudges the turning in her Chelsea tractor (this happens a lot because ‘blind corners are sooooo tricky when one is on the mobile’) and totally takes out a bush.

I’m pissing myself.

She pretends it didn’t happen and drives on with a deadpan face. As she goes past I try – in between sniggers – to work out which is bigger, her hair or her shades.

She totally knows that I saw her but I don’t count because:

1. I don’t drive the right sort of car

2. I’m not wearing a maxi skirt

3. My music taste no doubt offends her – that sort of woman reeks of Dido

Therefore I’m invisible to her.

After Cher has finished my mind wanders to something rather fabulous that happened last week;

There is a competition on Twitter, Gill Hornby’s publisher is asking people to tweet examples of ‘stingers’. A ‘stinger’ is something a woman says to another that is supposedly innocent and making polite conversation, but is actually a great big massive put down.

Wow, I’ve received lots of stingers. I decide to tweet this one;

‘Is she your youngest?’

Me ‘No, she is my first child’

‘Oh I assumed YOU would have a much older child’

Offensive non?

So offensive, that I win.

So, thank you and at the same time fuck you to the twatty mother who paid me that stinger, I’ve got a lovely signed copy of Gill’s book ‘The Hive’…courtesy of you…

One of my many fav things in the book is when one of the characters gets herself a MUJ.

Made. Up. Job.

‘Oh she’s got herself a made up job’

Fucking brilliant

And guess what the MUJ is in?

PR

Hahahahahahaha

Because PR is so the thing that I can imagine someone like this character fluffing about doing for free…

And because actually getting paid properly in PR these days is so hard, because there is always some fucker who is desperate to do it for free / clothes / cheaply / because they can say they are doing it. Like the woman in this book.

Anyway, the book is the best / funniest thing I’ve read in a long time and apparently it’ll be a film too. I can’t wait, in fact I’m thinking of volunteering as an extra.

I’ve experience in this field, because during Sixth Form I took myself to the local job centre to get a Summer job (youth of today take note).

There were 2 ads for Summer work;

The Mr Kipling Factory

or

Film Extras required

The hideous thought of a long, hot Summer gobbing into Cherry Bakewells spurred me on to lie and say that I’d studied acting / could ride a horse / just loved archery and soon I landed a part in a film being shot in the New Forest.

So did my best mate.

On the first day we were dressed in horrid, torn rags, caked in mud, had our teeth blacked out and huge bloody gashes painted down our faces.

Apparently our village had been destroyed and we were to be filmed stumbling along moaning and dragging our few surviving possessions.

I even had a live chicken tied to my wrist ‘for effect’

On the first day at some point we found out that this was not a local film. This was a MAJOR Hollywood blockbuster, starring MAJOR Hollywood stars.

This was Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.

Needless to say, on the second morning, whilst on the trailer from wardrobe to the set, our compact mirrors and baby wipes came out, and sneakily we wiped away the mud, the gashes, the black teeth and replaced all with a bit of bronzer. We belted our rags right in around our waists and I ‘lost’ the chicken.

Needless to say we were bollocked senseless by the make-up artist.

Over and over again.

2 other things I remember very clearly about filming

1.I get promoted, asked to stay a few days extra, to film a very key scene. The bit where one of them shoots an arrow through the other’s hand.

I’m really pleased about this, so to celebrate I henna my waist length blonde hair a bright screaming red / pink. Think Linda Evangelista, think early nineties. Think fashion.

Think the director shouting this as we filmed the scene and he noticed my hair

‘Whaaaaaat the actual fuck?’

Something about continuity apparently…and women not really dying their hair pink in medieval times.

2. One of the leading Hollywood actors* asking my friend and I if we’d like to accompany him to London for the weekend to ‘party hard’

Me saying that would be lovely, but I couldn’t as I ‘did Saturday’s in Miss Selfridge’

Him looking hopefully at my friend and her saying she couldn’t as she ‘did part time in Next on Saturday’

Hearing the words ‘Whaaaat the actual fuck’ again from the actor’s gobsmacked manager.

 *This wasn’t the lead actor who later became famous for enjoying a happy finish btw…

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