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Posts Tagged ‘Mum’

  1. Gypsy curse for sale

    December 7, 2010 by superlative

    Would anyone like to buy my parents’ gypsy curse? Because it’s going cheap, and it’s seriously getting out of hand now. Perhaps you could give it to an enemy as a Christmas present; I’m sure you’d be pleased with the results.

    Mum and Dad have recently had their roof done, which needed doing badly because it had never been changed since the house was built in the 1930s and it was starting to leak. So of course the gypsy curse was all over that straight away, making it take twice as long as it should have done, and ensuring that the front garden, back garden, guttering, water tank, and some other pipes were all destroyed in the process. Like, totally destroyed. They’ve finally FINALLY finished it (I’ve had Mum on the phone banging on about it most days for two weeks), so I was at least able to start saying comforting things like “well it’s all done now, and you’ve got a few weeks left to rest before Christmas to try to get over the stress and the tiredness, and it did need doing, so just put the stress behind you now and be glad it’s done.”

    WRONG. The gypsy curse decided to kick my parents square in the bollocks (yes my Mum has them too) the day after they’d paid the £6,000 for the roof from their savings by sending my Dad’s company into compulsory liquidation. So he’s out of a job and has been made redundant for the fifth time in his life, leaving them with no income apart from my Mum’s benefits and Dad thinking he’ll probably never find another job now that he’s 62 because no one will want to hire him.

    I really don’t know why they’re so unfortunate, but it’s just ridiculous. FORTUNATELY, their mortgage is paid off because my Grandad paid it when Mum got ill and had to give up work. And they do have more savings in the bank. So it could actually be worse, as I have tried to remind Mum, because they’re not going to be out on the streets and I’m sure at some point my Dad will find SOME sort of job, even if he has to stack shelves or sweep roads or whatever. To his credit, within about two hours of getting home from his liquidated job he’d already made an appointment at the job centre for his initial interview thingy, so at least he’s trying to get on with things (while Mum freaks out in the background of course).

    Naturally my Mum’s first reaction is only to consider how this affects her, with scant thought for what my Dad must be feeling. Apparently he was ‘inconsiderate’ by walking back into the house at 10am and just saying “Redundant” at her, rather than breaking it to her gently. And she “can’t cope with having him in the house all day; she needs peace and quiet to rest”. So poor Dad gets shit off her straight away for not being tactful when he was probably still reeling from being laid off completely unexpectedly, and he gets pressurised to go out of the house all day even though he’s got no where to go so she can rest. Nice. I do feel sorry for him, I really do. He’s a lovely, clumsy, warm man who always means well but just gets some things wrong, and I don’t know how he puts up with her.

    So yeah, my parents’ life remains pretty crappy. The only thing I can imagine making this worse is if my Mum’s Dad dies this winter, which is a distinct possibility as he’s very old and frail now. That would send Mum fully over the edge, and I could entirely imagine her topping herself as a result. And to be brutal, really really horrifically brutal, a tiny bit of me would be relieved for it to be all over because supporting her has become harder and harder and harder and there’s never any respite, never a moment when she says ‘yes I feel a little bit better today actually’ or ‘oh things are fine here at the moment, I can’t complain’ and her downward trend just goes on and on and on. It’s horrible, and I’m out of energy.


  2. An evening with Adam Rickitt, and other adventures

    August 31, 2010 by superlative

    Last Friday I had the pleasure of going to see Adam Rickitt sing at Revenge, the gay club round the corner from my house.

    “Pleasure?” you may say. “Adam Rickitt?” you may say. “Sing?” you may also say.

    But yes I can confirm it was Adam Rickitt of Coronation Street fame; he was singing, on stage, non-ironically; and I did actually quite enjoy it.

    I realise that some people are not fans of Adam Rickitt and will have recoiled in horror at the prospect of paying £5 to hear him sing, so let me justify myself briefly. When Adam was in Coronation Street originally, he was 19, blond and floppy-haired, rather muscly, and frequently topless (usually under the pretext of washing a car or something). I was 16, homosexual and frustrated, so naturally I found him rather appealing. Despite the fact that he is now 32, my memories of his hotness still linger on and I will always see him in a favourable light. I even quite liked his single I Breathe Again (another reason why some people may dislike him), not only because of the gratuitous nudity in the video but also because it’s quite poppy and upbeat and you can dance to it. And yes yes I am aware that he’s a member of the Conservative Party, but if you think that’s going to bother me then you haven’t been reading this blog long enough.

    If you’re wondering why Adam Rickitt is suddenly giving musical performances at Brighton gay clubs (and seemingly every Gay Pride festival in the UK that he can make it to), it is because he has recently returned from New Zealand in order to relaunch his pop career and to work on some as yet unspecified ‘TV and film projects’ here and in Hollywood. So for the pop career part, that involves a 2010 clubby remix of I Breathe Again, and I think another single at some point.

    I was expecting Revenge to be quite packed full of adoring homos, but actually it was only about two thirds full. It was more busy when Same Difference were there, and I’m told Lloyd Daniel’s turn there verged on a terrifying gropey stampede. So that was a shame for Adam that it wasn’t full, but it was a respectable size crowd at least.

    And yes I know he’s not the best vocalist ever to record anything, but I thought his singing was fine on Friday – in tune, in key, and when he got out of time with the music he noticed and caught up again. He knows his audience too, because although initially he was in a zipped-up jacket, it quickly became unzipped:

    and even more quickly came off altogether:

    He still has a very good body, and he knows that’s what people want to see (even if that tubby man looks deeply unimpressed).

    I have to confess that I can’t really tell the difference between the original version of I Breathe Again and the new one. I think the new one hasn’t got verses in it or something, and has more of a beat to it. It was fine though. Adam did his best, bless him, to work the crowd up a bit, with various calls of “Put your hands in the air!” and “Let me hear you scream!”, but people weren’t really having it. That’s not his fault though, and I obediently screamed when instructed to. He also swore at the end and said “Thanks, you’re all fucking awesome!”, which I quite liked as it made him seem more human and less of a good-boy-off-the-telly.

    We didn’t hang around for the meet-and-greet-and-autographs, but I wasn’t that fussed about seeing him write his name anyway.

    I’m not sure how successful his pop career is going to be, but at least he’s marketing himself right and to the people that are likely to buy his music.

    The rest of my bank holiday weekend consisted of drinking too much three nights in a row, having a not unpleasant meal with Chris’ Dad (made less unpleasant by him paying for it), and having a bit of a wander around in the sunshine on Monday when the sun FINALLY decided to appear for the first time in about four weeks. It was quite a nice weekend really, but now the summer is at an end and I’ve not got any time off booked until Christmas, so it’s all rather depressing.

    Mum has settled down a bit now after losing her cat. She can at least talk about it without crying now, and can talk to me about other things, but I know she’s still thinking about it a lot. She’s had me go to an engravers in Brighton to order a brass memorial plaque that she can put up in the garden where Cleo used to sit – which is one of the odder demands she has made of me. I think the engraver woman was a bit bemused when I described what she wanted.

    I am still feeling a bit unfairly put upon though, not just because of the cat but more broadly. Whenever something happens that throws Mum out of whack (i.e. every other day), it’s always me that has to pick up the slack and give her the extra support she needs in terms of phone calls, and being there to listen to her, and doing silly little jobs like ordering plaques. It’s never my brother, and I find that rather unfair. He gets off so lightly by basically ignoring Mum’s issues (that’s a polite word for her myriad demands) and it’s quite annoying. Even at our weddings it wasn’t fair: I asked him to take care of Mum on my wedding day so I didn’t have to worry about her; did he do it? No. Then on his wedding day I spent the whole day shielding him from her and sorting her out so he could enjoy his day. It’s just typical.

    Anyway, I digressed a bit there.

    In summary: Adam Rickitt = fit, naked and fairly entertaining.

    I may even purchase his single when it comes out, especially if it means those jeans get any lower.


  3. Courses, cats and catering

    August 18, 2010 by superlative

    My first box of stuff from the Open University arrived a week ago, filled with lots of revision work for me to look at before the course proper starts in October. It’s quite a good idea really, as lots of people like me would take the maths module I’m doing as their first ever OU module, and it makes sure you’re all up to the same sort of level before it starts.

    I spent several days doing the Diagnostic Quiz, which showed me that I remember some things really quite well from my A Level in maths, but also that I had completely forgotten some other things and am generally quite rusty. That’s the point though, and when you mark the quiz the answers are all linked to a chapter in the revision book so you know what sections to study.

    So far I have re-learnt prime factors and logarithms (easy stuff really), and I’ve got a whole list of other things to look at over the next couple of weeks, including circle geometry and functions and whatnot. It has been quite nice to have something to do in the evening, and nice because it’s fairly challenging for me mentally. It’s a bit tiring trying to study in the evening, and I still have no idea how much of my time the course is going to take up, but I won’t know that until it starts properly I think.

    Generally I’m quite impressed so far though, as the materials all seem quite good, and they have a very good student website with a discussion forum for each module where you can talk to fellow students and get support and things. I hope I enjoy it and don’t resent having to work in my free time. I think I will enjoy it though. And Chris has signed up to do the next bit of his MA, so he’ll be busy doing his own study anyway, so it’s just as well I’ve got stuff to do.

    Aside from the course stuff, the last week has been a bit horrible because Mum had to have her cat Cleo put to sleep last Wednesday. She’d been generally winding down for the last couple of weeks, not eating any more and sleeping all the time, and Mum had been stressing about what to do with her. But then she took a turn for the worse and was starting to be properly suffering, so Mum decided she had to do something about it.

    Oddly and rather surprisingly, she took the decision to take Cleo to the vet last Wednesday morning, called a cab and went there on her own (didn’t want to wait for Dad to get home), dealt with the whole horrible thing of saying goodbye to her, and then WALKED back from the vets to our house. Now, it’s only about half a mile, but honestly that’s about three times further than she’s walked in years and years. I can understand why, because she’s been so upset by it all, and immediately afterwards she didn’t want to be near anyone else so she just walked it. But unfortunately that’s hit her with a full whammy of uber-exhaustion as well as her grief over the cat.

    And grief it has been. She cried for about two days straight, and a week later she’s still all over the place. As is always the case with Mum, everything is a catastrophe (no pun intended), everything affects her in the most severe way possible, and she just doesn’t deal well with anything any more. Any pet owner I’m sure can sympathise with what it must feel like to lose a cat, but Mum’s gone completely off the rails with it. I feel very sorry for her, because now she is completely on her own all day while Dad’s out, but I’m also powerless to do much for her apart from listen. Lots of people have waded in with helpful suggestions of getting a kitten, which has NOT gone down well with Mum who now says she never wants another cat ever again and has made my Dad cover the catflap up with plastic so she doesn’t see it. I’m fairly sure that at some point she should get another cat, because she needs the company and she loves cats, but it’s not going to be for a good while yet.

    So yeah, that’s been horrible. I don’t like it when she cries, it makes me cry, and although I’m sad to have lost our cat (we’d had her since I was 13), I could do without crying while I’m on the phone at work. She wants to move out of the whole house now, she says, because she can’t bear to be there without Cleo, but she knows that’s not realistic because she’s not well enough to move. So I don’t know, there’s nothing I can say to her really.

    On a lighter note, we had another gorrrrgeous dinner at Blanch House at the weekend. Sort of on a whim, because it wasn’t a special occasion or anything, and sort of as a late second anniversary dinner. I had seared king scallops with garden pea velouté and grilled pancetta for my starter (very Masterchef), and then pan-fried fillets of sea bream with buttered samphire, tomato confit, brown shrimps and lemon buerre blanc for my main. It was SO nice, and easily one of the best meals I’ve ever had. It’s just so lovely there, and although it’s posh it’s really friendly and the staff are lovely too. I want to eat there every day, but then I’d be a massive Billy Bunter with butter running down my chin and I think I would regret it.

    It was nice to do something normal and pleasant though, and be out of the house for a bit where Mum can’t ring me for support. I love her, but you can only lean on a crutch so much before you break it and I’m really flagging at the moment.


  4. Silence is not golden, it’s fucking boring

    April 6, 2010 by superlative

    My trip home to see Mother for Easter was not too bad, we didn’t have any disasters or anything, but it wasn’t exactly fun either.

    Whenever I speak to her on the phone, she normally complains incessantly about how noisy the neighbours/neighbours’ children/railway line/nearby school is, are, or have been being. Any noise basically means that she can’t rest, and therefore feels worse than even her usual level, and so she is obliged to spread some of that misery out to adjacent parts of the world. And this happens all the time apparently, it’s like a non-stop noisy hell.
    So when I got home on Saturday I was expecting there to be at least a pneumatic drill going off in next door’s garden and some sort of monster truck derby happening in the street. I was surprised therefore to find no pneumatic drills and instead just complete, uninterrupted silence. Like serious silence too, you could practically hear it. I’m sure at one point my heartbeat was the loudest thing on the street.
    “It’s never normally like this!” says she. “You won’t believe us now will you? They’re normally screaming at each other next door! And coughing! You can hear them coughing all the time!”
    Erm… coughing?
    Anyway, it was very, VERY quiet. So that’s good for Mum, I suppose. They don’t do anything in that silence, they wouldn’t want to break its pristine completeness. So instead you just end up sitting there. Reading. Or talking, but only very quietly, otherwise Mum says “You’re being very loud Thomas!” (that’s my Dad) and he is obliged to apologise.
    And it’s BORING. I need some damn stimulation! They even have the lights down quite low, so it’s like you’ve wandered into one of those sensory deprivation tanks.
    I was only there for 24 hours, but I’d gone pretty stir crazy by the end of it. No doubt the endless noise started up again as soon as I left, or so they’ll tell me. Or perhaps no it won’t, because it’s never actually THAT noisy, but they’ve got nothing better to do than bang on about it all the time.
    On the plus side, I did receive six Cadbury Creme Eggs in memory of the Baby Jesus (or something), so it wasn’t all bad.
    And I’m off to New Yoooooooooooooooork on Thursday, so it’s not all bad.
    Also, the General Election has been announced today, so I shall blog about that tomorrow if I get time. It’s terribly exciting! Sort of.


  5. Terrible blogger

    April 1, 2010 by superlative

    I have turned into one of those bloggers I don’t like who only updates their blog twice a month, making it a bit annoying to try to keep up to date with. It’s my own fault really; once I leave it for too long, events either don’t seem current enough to write about or they become irrelevant.

    But anyway, in case you care here are a few things that have happened in my life recently.

    Most excitingly for the geek in me, I have got a new phone to replace my Sony Ericsson C510. Yes I know I’ve only had my last phone for a year, but it’s one of the few things that I treat myself to and spend any actual money on myself on.
    So now I have a brand sparkling new HTC Tattoo, and so far I’m really pleased with it. It’s my first touchscreen phone, and it has Wi Fi, which are the two things I really wanted. It seems really good, like a proper little computer in your pocket, and it’s quite pretty too. The touchscreen is a bit annoying at times, as I knew in advance from the reviews, simply because it’s on the small side and so it’s easy to jab the wrong thing with your finger. I was texting my sister-in-law this morning and nearly wished her a Harrowing Birthday because of it. I’m getting used to it though, and the general interface and software is really nice.
    The only thing that made my Sony Ericsson better was the awesome camera it had, that took some of the best photos I’ve ever taken. But I only really used the camera once a month or so, so I shall learn to live without it.
    I’ve also been ill with a cold for the last week, which is quite annoying as I’d managed to go almost six months without catching anything. I’ve been proudly telling everyone that I haven’t been ill for ages, so I suppose this is my payback for being smug. I’m hoping it will go away soon, not least because we go to New York in just ONE WEEK!
    It’s terribly exciting, even though I’ve been before. I was surprised to see that the temperature is in the high 60s out there at the moment, so it’s really quite warm, which would be lovely compared to the horrible greyness we’ve had here lately. I think it might turn more rainy by next week, but I’m still vaguely hoping we’ll get some early summer sun while we’re there.
    We’ll be there for five nights, but I’m actually off work for a whole week and a half for it, which will be lovely. I’m sure I’ll come back to a backlog of annoyances upon my return, but I’ll worry about that when it happens.
    Other than that, things have been more or less normal. My mother has been medium-crazy for the last little while, as opposed to her normal uber-mentalist state, so that’s been quite pleasant. I did have her on the phone for 20 minutes today though in a stress because next door is apparently having their roof done, which will undoubtedly cause lots of noise and upset her. It hasn’t caused much noise yet of course, she’s just speculating and stressing in advance, but she likes doing that. If you haven’t got anything proper to stress about, you may as well make something up – that seems to be her philosophy, and it gives her a reason to ring me up anyway. How nice for me.
    That’s all for now. I shall write more after the Easter weekend, which will involve a trip to see the mentalist mother and so will I’m sure provide lots more blogging material.

  6. A random bunch of stuff all chucked into one blog post

    January 14, 2010 by superlative

    I haven’t blogged all that much over the last few weeks, because I feel like I haven’t been doing much that was noteworthy.

    Mum has kind of plateaued at a medium level of crazy for the moment, so I haven’t even felt there was much to write about her either. She’s still ill of course, and she’s still subject to their bizarre gypsy curse and its associated mishaps (the thermostat is still kind of broken, and this week their kitchen sink decided to overflow), but she hasn’t had anything major to bang on at me about for a while.
    So this is just an odds and sods post really to distract me from my work for a little while.
    We went to a friend’s house last night for an Indian take away and to watch Slumdog Millionaire on Channel 4. I hadn’t seen it before, but obviously I’ve heard quite a lot about it after it won lots of different awards. I have to say that I quite enjoyed it, but I didn’t think it was amazing or anything. I often get that with ‘big’ films though, they end up rather over-hyped and then you can’t help but be disappointed.
    I thought it was a good story, but it was essentially an episode of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire with some padding. Yes it gave an apparently realistic and compelling portrayal of life in the slums of Mumbai, and it had a very authentic feel given its use of real people from the slums as actors. So it was good definitely, but parts of it were a bit predictable and I wasn’t left thinking “wow that was a best thing I’ve ever seen”.
    I’ve also watched the first three episodes of the new season of Heroes recently. Almost immediately it managed to annoy me, and although it is refreshing to have some new characters I do feel like it has gone off the boil a bit. Why is Sylar STILL in it as one of the main villains? Why? Why would you do this? That’s FOUR seasons now where he’s been running around, talking with his mouth half closed and having practically limitless powers. It just seems a bit lazy not to have written him out.
    I’m also fed up with the way Matt Parkman does a weird squinty head twitch every time he uses his powers. Surely he would be more effective if it weren’t so obvious he was poking around in your head?
    And of course Claire Bennet is still trying to live a normal life, but failing miserably to be at all discreet about her powers, and her Dad is interfering in the name of protecting her, and Hiro’s powers don’t work properly, and blah blah blah. You could be describing practically any season of the show.
    So anyway, I’m sure I’ll end up still watching it, but I’ll frequently tut the whole way through, and let out an exasperated sigh at the end of each episode. It’s such a shame, because the first two seasons were excellent.
    Other than that, work is the same as usual: pretty dull and filled mostly with Facebook and Twitter. I’ve had quite a few days off due to the snow, which has been nice and has helped the weeks to flick by more quickly. I had someone ask me YET AGAIN the other day “wouldn’t you rather be doing a job that uses your languages”. ARRRRGH! Yes I probably would, but I’m just not, alright?? There aren’t that many jobs ‘using your languages’ in Brighton, and if I learnt one thing from the job in the tour operators which I hated, it’s that just using your languages isn’t enough to make you like your job. You have to like the actual job in the first place – doing it in French or Italian makes very little difference.
    So yes, I still have my vaguely-unfulfilled feeling from time to time, and would quite like to be doing something more challenging. But as I have no idea what that would be, this job is fine: it pays well (considering I have hardly any work to do), I like the bits of work that I DO do, the people are nice, and I get left alone and not stressed out. If a bit of boredom is the price I pay for that, it could be a lot worse.
    Right, I’ve been banging on for ages now, so I’d better do some work/Twitter. We’re meant to be going to Pop Kraft this weekend, so maybe that will give me an opportunity to take some photos and write about some actual events instead of general ramblings!

  7. Wicked

    January 5, 2010 by superlative

    I had a very nice Christmas and New Year, even if it has become a distant memory already now that I’m back at work. I apologise for not having managed to blog at all during that period, but I was too busy having my Mum flap at me about one thing or another and stuffing my face with food I didn’t pay for.

    Anyway, amongst the many Christmas gifts I got from Chris’ Mum, I was very pleased to find two tickets to see the musical Wicked. I read the book ages ago, and occasionally say things like “yes we really must go to the theatre more often”, so she actually did quite well to get us that as a present. She didn’t do so well in picking Monday 4 January, our first day back at work, as the evening to book it for, but she’s a bit dotty like that.
    “You’re not back at work then are you?”, she said when we unwrapped them.
    Er yes, of course we are. Everyone is! But her brain works in its own special little way sometimes.
    It didn’t matter too much really, as the show was at 7.30pm, and the theatre is right next to Victoria station, so it was perfectly possible to get up to London in time to see it. It did turn out to be hideously tiring though, running for a train at 5.30pm through freezing weather, and then sitting on it thinking “I bet my bed is all warm and cosy right now. I wonder what’s on the telly?”
    But anyway, the show was AMAZING. It was easily as good as I had hoped it would be, with a very talented cast and excellent sets and lighting and things. Our seats were right near the back, so when I saw the seating plan I thought we wouldn’t be able to see very much, but the Apollo is quite a small theatre really so the view was fine.
    I was surprised how different the story is compared to the book, particularly the second half of the show, but it didn’t really matter. I think they’d changed it largely to make it more accessible to people who have only seen the Wizard of Oz film, and because there’s simply too much in the book for a stage show.
    Alexia Khadime was great as Elphaba, and has a spectacular voice. The Glinda character had almost as big a part, which I hadn’t realised, and she was also really good and provided quite a bit of the humour. I think we had the standby Sarah Earnshaw rather than the main billed actress. I really liked her anyway, she was really funny.
    It did make me want to go and see more shows, particularly Priscilla Queen of the Desert which is on at the moment (could I be any gayer?), but I don’t think I’d go on a week night again. Standing in freezing Victoria at 10.30pm really wasn’t very fun, and I had to drag myself out of bed this morning.
    I don’t think I’ll blog very much more about Christmas and New Year, but in summary:
    – I had a better than average Christmas, everyone seemed to get on, and I got very good presents.
    – My Mum didn’t come to our Boxing Day meal with my Horrible Grandad, but that was better really because it made it less stressy for me.
    – And for New Year we went to The Jam in Brighton, to a club night organised by Dynamite Sal, which was BRILLIANT. I got trashed and felt dreadful the next day, but was at least conscious at midnight this year.
    Oh yes, and my parents are still subject to their weird voodoo gypsy curse where everything goes wrong for them. Notably over the Christmas period, they enjoyed:
    – a Christmas meal booking with me where the restaurant turned out not to be open for another hour after our booked time, and had no record of their booking, so we ended up in a Wetherspoons in Wanstead eating burgers.
    – water coming in round one of their bedroom windows and running down the wall.
    – a thermostat that broke at 10pm on a Saturday night and proceeded to try to freeze them to death during the subsequent Sunday when no one was available to come and fix it.
    What fun! So of course I had to hear about all that in detail. They really shouldn’t have built their house on that Indian burial ground.

  8. Wedding mission complete, disaster rating 6/10

    May 26, 2009 by superlative

    I haven’t had time to blog about the wedding until now, so I’ve had to set aside some time this evening (yes, in my *own time*) to do it.

    Overall it went OK, and despite things with Mum being more difficult than average, there were no disasters, so I suppose I should just be grateful for that. It’s done now anyway, so that’s a relief, and I was able to enjoy a fair portion of it.

    The coldy virus thing I had at the end of the week had abated enough by Saturday for it not to give me too much trouble, and so I set off on time in the car up to Tunbridge Wells. I got checked in at the hotel (quite nice for a Travelodge), and then went to meet Mum and Dad who had already arrived at the wedding venue. We were there good and early so Mum had time to rest before the ceremony, and so she could get installed in the room she was to be using for her rest periods.

    Basically things went slightly downhill from there, and continued in that trend until Mum and Dad went home. It became apparent to me fairly quickly that Dave and Janine had made choices and organised things in a way that was somewhat incompatible with Mum’s needs, and this made things more difficult than they otherwise might have been. I choose the word incompatible carefully, because after all why shouldn’t they choose what they want first and foremost for their wedding? It’s not unreasonable. It’s just that it exacerbated an already difficult situation.

    Take this room Mum was to rest in: we were told it was a dressing room, attached to the function suite, where she could be out of the way and rest quietly. In fact it was a small attic room up five flights of stairs, with no lift access, and with no furnishings other than a table and chair. Given that Mum can’t walk that far, can’t exert herself etc., this was not ideal. She ended up ‘resting’ with a blanket on the floor.

    Janine arrived on time, by steam train which was quite novel, and looked very nice in her dress. The ceremony was nice, a fairly typical civil ceremony really, but the room was too hot which added to Mum’s progressively crosser expression.

    Then the plan was to get photos with Mum done quickly so she could go and rest again, while the main body of photos would take quite a bit longer. She had practically to be dragged across a lawn to where the photos would be (it was ‘too far’), at which point the photographer’s camera jammed. So after five minutes of hanging around, Mum complaining that she “can’t stand like this for long”, Janine barely able to mask her fury at Mum diverting attention towards herself, and the photographer getting stressed, photos with her had to be abandoned and NO official photos with Mum in were taken. Disaster! So off she went in a foul mood, basically delirious with fatigue, and Dad and I had to do our best to sort her out.

    Thankfully, the camera became unjammed after that so Dave and Janine still got the rest of their photos done. I missed the bucks fizz of course because I was sorting Mum out, but managed to get back for most of the photos and the ones I needed to be in, and took quite a few nice ones myself.

    Then there was the meal, which Mum didn’t really attend any of, and the speeches which she was there for but which were ‘too loud’, and through which she sat looking like she was about to pass out while poor Dad looked confused and embarrassed. And then they went home by 7pm.

    So it wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great either. Thankfully I was able to relax after that. My Grandad pushed off at 8pm, around the time Chris arrived, and after that I was fine. We watched their first dance (well executed – Janine used to ballroom dance competitively), we had quite a few drinks, we chatted nicely with other guests, and we danced quite a bit ourselves. It was fun, and I think Dave and Janine enjoyed it, which is the main thing.

    I’m glad that it is over as I found the build up and the thought of what could happen quite tense. I’ve already had Mum on the phone twice today though, in tears at one point, at how ill she now feels following the wedding, how it’ll take her probably two months to recover from it (that’s not an exaggeration), and how no-one understands. So that was thoroughly depressing and made me think “can’t I get a minute’s peace??”. But she’ll be OK I should think, and at least the day wasn’t spoilt. I only give it a disaster rating of 6/10 from a personal point of view; hopefully Dave and Janine weren’t aware of all the stress that went on and were able to enjoy their wedding undistracted.

    How sad it is though that almost my entire blog post about my brother’s wedding is about my mother. Chris will read this at some point and think “yes, because you let her rule your life, exactly like she wants you to”, and he’ll be right. Ho hum.


  9. Ill-timed illness

    May 21, 2009 by superlative

    As I suspected, I’m ill. My sore throat has turned into a proper stuffed up cold, and I feel really run down. It’s so inconvenient! I have to be well on Saturday, I’ve got to drive myself to Tunbridge Wells and then be on my feet and sociable for pretty much the whole day. So I’ve taken today off work anyway, and I’m hoping if I just watch property programmes on TV and think happy thoughts then my body will heal itself before the weekend.

    I’ve just checked back on where I’d got to on the ‘Days healthy’ counter I started after the last time I was ill. I didn’t maintain it on every post because I couldn’t be bothered, but if I had I would have reached the grand total of 91 days by today. That’s not even a hundred! I thought it was going to be longer than that, but apparently not. So I managed to be more or less healthy for 3 months before succumbing to yet another virus. I suppose that’s not too bad, I just hope I can get rid of it fairly quickly.

    I have taken the executive decision not to inform Mum that I’m not well, because she’ll only a) freak out that I won’t be well enough to come to the wedding; and b) say “but I can’t afford to catch a cold from you”, in her usual it’s-all-about-me way.

    Which is stupid anyway, because of COURSE I’m going to go to my brother’s wedding, even if I have got a cold. I’ll just dose myself up on paracetamol, gun through it with a fixed smile on my face, and then feel like crap the next day. It’s not going to come to that anyway because I will be better by Saturday (happy thoughts happy thoughts).

    Right, I’m off to eat hula hoops now and see if Sophie Allsop has managed to turn a run-down three bed apartment into a trendy cottage in the Lake District.


  10. Rush rush rush

    May 20, 2009 by superlative

    I haven’t had much time for blogging since last week, which is unusual for me and now I feel I’ve got behind with it.

    We had our Eurovision party at the weekend, which of course was another triumph. We had scoresheets, miniature flags, posters, and a lovely Eurocake:


    I enjoyed the show, but was a bit disappointed that the winner was Norway. Their song was OK, not great, and the fact that it was the bookies’ favourite and that it was such a complete runaway winner made it a bit boring. After a quarter of the votes were in you could tell no-one was going to catch them. And also, he had weird eyebrows.

    I thought Jade did really well to finish fifth considering how poorly we’ve done in the last few years. She sang very well and was obviously much stronger than lots of the other contestants, so fifth is quite respectable. I didn’t think that the jury voting really made that much difference though, there was still lots of unjustified awarding of 12 points to neighbouring countries by some of the Eastern and Scandinavian nations.

    Sunday was a little bit of a write off, as I had drunk a combination of white wine, rosé wine, champagne, and Moscow Mules (careful Eurovision linkage there) so I had a bit of a headache. And then this week just seems to be flying by with no time to do anything.

    Dave’s wedding is this Saturday, and after a mini-meltdown last week (including the glib fiasco) Mum seems to have plateaued at “there’s nothing I can do about it now, I’ll just have to hope for the best”. Which is better than insane stress attacks I suppose.

    I wish I could look forward to it more, but I won’t be able to relax until Mum and Dad head off home and Chris has arrived safely after his epic two hour bus and taxi journey from Brighton. Just to make things a bit more of a pain, I feel like I’m coming down with something today, which I could obviously do without. I’ve had a sore throat since yesterday and this morning I felt completely run down as soon as I got up. If I’m going to get a virus I’d rather get it now, deal with it on Thursday and Friday, and then hopefully be better on Saturday. I’ll have to see how I go anyway.

    I’ll need to check back to my ‘Days healthy’ counter I started on here after Christmas to see how long I lasted before getting ill AGAIN. I don’t think I did too badly, it must be at least a hundred days!

    My next blog post may very well be after the wedding. Wish me luck!