GORGEOUS BLOG by Donna Freed
BLOG 4 January 28
Patchtastic! My mung beans have not yet arrived so I am all oestrogen patched up while I wait for hormones to sprout on my windowsill. As my son is male and an only child I feel it’s up to me to teach him about lady things so I made the whole patch event a family affair. Predictably, he was horrified. I laughed uproariously and put PATCH DAY on the family calendar.
The new vacuum purchase is on hold as I obviously can’t get a Dyson even with free Nectar points. Needless to say, my miniscule protest will do nothing to damage the Pro-Brexit billionaire nor effect the headquarters moving to Singapore but I also don’t really need a new vacuum cleaner!
My moments of thinking as a mother, “I’ve got this” have been few and far between but I’ve felt more competent lately, until Friday night that is. Mr. I’m Not a Baby Anymore came home late and “tired.” We took that at face value.
He was on his way to bed when he started talking about a guy he used to know who had been stabbed. The guy was older and lived in the same block of flats as a friend of his and they used to wait for him to stop playing some video game before going to Poundland and getting Vimto sweets. He was part of a gang, the same one his friend has now joined, and that was why he got stabbed and is now dead.
I mostly listened and remembered the tsunami of emotions that accompanied my original rush of oestrogen. Despite growing up far quicker than we did, kids are still kids and their first brushes with harsh reality are shocking and scary and it’s our job to cushion the blow and provide perspective so I said: “Life isn’t all Vimto sweets.”
BLOG 3 January 21
I am grumpy! It is not Mr. I’m Not a Baby Anymore’s birthday sleep over – I drank through that – nor the inevitable talking to at Parents’ Evening, or the special meeting with the head of year and the form tutor about ‘organisation’ or even the paucity of choice in GCSE’s for these 14 year olds. I am disheartened yet resigned that we have extended adolescence and done away with jobs for life but held on to this idea that 14 year olds should choose subjects based on careers that won’t exist by the time they graduate. I’ve even lowered to a murmur my outraged cries of: “Whatever happened to learning for learning’s sake?”
At this point Brexit is more confusing than angering. I don’t understand why the Irish backstop was such a cock block? It’s hypotheitical! Okay, there is precedent to say that 2 years of negotiation would not end in agreement – that’s where we are now – but it was presented as an eventuality instead of a possibility and if we leave without an agreement we would definitely need a border between the EU (as represented by the Republic of Ireland) and the UK (as represented by Northern Ireland) otherwise that freedom of movement would still keep pouring in! And yet Leavers get to reject it on a hypothetical and blame remainers. Perhaps the GCSE History topic will enlighten me: the run up to World War II which will mirror the current run up to WW III.
However, my Backstop Blues have given way to BBC Box Set Blues. With a glut of house guests and birthday celebrations, January has turned out to be more damp than dry but things have finally quietened down and I was looking forward to catching up on Little Drummer Girl only to find that it is no longer available! Yet I can listen to John Humphries bray indefinitely on BBC Sounds? I don’t understand what it costs the BBC to have programmes available and now I never will because Mr. I’m Not a Baby Anymore has not selected the career enhancing Computing for GCSE.
We bid a fond farewell to 2018 and a final farewell to my father. After a beautiful memorial concert we paid tribute to him by visiting the Blumenthal patio at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and walking over the Brooklyn Bridge – 2 of the many projects he worked on as a civil engineer.
The new year started with a bang: a bang to the chest as the fourth iteration of the never-ending cold hit with full force. How all this coughing results in a pulled stomach muscle but no tone is insult to injury not to mention the middle aged indignity of pissing my pants with every sneeze.
But lest you think I started 2019 on a downer, it also started with a bung: I won 1 million Nectar points! This is said with the raised eyebrow and pinky finger to the mouth of Dr. Evil. My eyes bulge as I glean that 1 million Nectar points are redeemable for 5 thousand pounds worth of groceries at Sainsburys or strimmers and diaper genies at Argos! So yes, 1 million Nectar points!
Too bad Harrods doesn’t take Nectar points and I can’t buy a house in Greece to hide from Brexit!
“So, did you splurge on anything?” the Pater asks after my first outing with my fattened Nectar card.
“No,” I responded immediately, but then remembered, “oh, I got the Clarenece Court eggs, but that’s it.” But then, “oh yeah, I tried some Ruggaleh, I never saw it there before, but that’s all.” And then I remembered the Taste the Difference butter but by that time I had hung up.
I have yet to peruse the Argos catalogue but I am deeply grateful that we have just renovated the kitchen so I don’t have to waste my points on a very unsexy, however magical, dishwasher. A new vacuum might find it’s way into the understairs cupboard but that shouldn’t deplete all 5 thousand, or rather the 4, 900 after the coddled egg blow out.
In the silver linings department, I was cheered by the coining of 2 new phrases. The haranguing of pro-remain Conservative MP, Anna Soubry, prompted Helen Lewis on Radio 4’s The News Quiz to wonder if she should call the haranguers: “members of the harassment community.” I believe it was Paul Sinha who immediately piped up with the delightful: “harassholes!”