So it’s finally happened. My feminine charms are no longer enough to satisfy husband. It was bound to happen sometime I guess and perhaps I’ve only myself to blame, why wasn’t I more attentive, more domesticated, more ….
She’s moved in on my territory, immaculately styled, sleek and chic – he’s quite besotted.
The affectionate strokes and tender smiles as he walks past. The expressions of delight ‘he’s never experienced anything like it’, ‘not sure how he’s gone all these years without her’.
She gurgles her response and obediently does what’s requested, to receive more simperings of encouragement and adulation. Ungrudgingly complicit and calm with zero attitude and no propensity to talk back, disagree or throw a tantrum – now I say that it’s no wonder he’s in love.
I’ll be honest, it’s getting a bit long in the tooth, and I’m trying to keep my resentment under wraps as she gets the attention that was once mine.
After all, It’s only a bean to cup coffee machine!
My first husband and I have been married for 13 years today. I call him ‘my first husband’ to keep him on his toes; after all NOBODY is indispensable. Likewise, his life insurance policy doesn’t cover the full repayment of our mortgage, to quote ‘it will you keep you honest’, ensuring that upon his demise I still work my fingers to the bone, unable to embrace the lifestyle of the Merry Widow.
The number 13 is considered unlucky in several cultures across the world and you won’t find any hi-rise building with Floor No 13, next time you’re in a lift check it out. The likelihood of you sitting on Table No 13 at a swanky event will also be exceedingly rare, if you do – take bets with your fellow diners as to whom will be crucified the following day. No doubt that creepy bloke opposite you when his wife discovers he’s been to a swanky event without her.
I digress. I’ve had time to reflect over our past anniversaries and it doesn’t make for a romantic read. I used to work with a woman who, on her wedding anniversary, shipped her kids off to a child minder, put on her wedding dress and cooked her husband the exact meal they had at their wedding breakfast – not necessarily in that order, nobody like a bride with gravy stains on her bodice. I don’t have such a romantic attachment to the ’happiest day of my life’ (oh how I crack myself up) and in recollecting the years notched up together this became very apparent.
Year 1 : husband asks what’s the traditional gift for first year of marriage. I answer “diamonds” he looks perplexed and mumbles something about ‘paper’ – my wish is not fulfilled.
Year 2 : husband working night shift – we only remember the following day we’d forgotten. When I’m asked how could he make it up to me, my answer was “diamonds”, wish still not fulfilled
Year 3 : husband on business in Birmingham – anniversary dinner for 1, baked potato, cheese and coleslaw
Year 4 : husband on business in Spain, client mortified he’s away for anniversary, sends him home with gifts … no diamonds
Year 5 : husband on business in Oman, mobile networks locked and no voip is operational – I had a date with Captain Birdseye – single life agreeing with me
Year 6 : husband in Spain again, calls to rave about the tapas and lovely meal he’s eating, phone cuts out… seems to be fault on the line
Year 7 : Sardinia on a beach and sunshine … still no diamonds hhmmphh
Year 8 : husband home and delivers gifts and flowers, am little embarrassed as totally forgot, it’s a silent dinner that year
Marriage – expect little, forget plenty
Year 9 : Sardinia once more – spent afternoon at a wine farm, far as I remember (?) best anniversary ever
Year 10 : husband on business in Australia – left to single handily pack up house in prep for move to NZ. Up to ears in bubble wrap and bad mood … didn’t hear phone ring.
Year 11 : Camper van on South Island in winter, freezing cold, sleeping in clothes – my Mum phones to congratulate us. We drink wine but don’t kiss, we haven’t showered in 3 days!
Year 12 : Recently arrived home from NZ, day spent in lockdown shell shock
Year 13 : After all those hints about diamonds, maybe this year will be different and 13 won’t be so unlucky after all?
We have recently moved house, which as anyone who has done the same knows can be somewhat stressful. According to several reports commissioned by various mental health agencies, moving house is up there with divorce and death of a partner for elevated stress levels.
What the reports omit to mention is that during this time of solicitors, packing, never ending fees and arguing over what gets tossed vs what stays you find yourself thinking quite a lot about divorce and the peaceful conclusion it will give you as opposed to staying with your chosen partner and continuing the frenzied status quo in a new location.
I have seen husband wistfully gazing into the distance over the past month and I don’t think for one second he was dreaming of our life together in our new house, more like how would he spend the insurance money if he was to prematurely become a widower.
When the estate agents describe the picture of you house move
However, when it comes to painting it yourself, it looks more like ….
You hope your marriage, like the broken coffee machine, will magically repair itself once you’re in the new place
When moving to a new pozzie naturally you want to put your own stamp on the place and where better to look for ideas than the marvellous Brighton Pavillion. The theatricality and sheer glorious kitschness of the place would even please the late, great Liberace and so that is where I dragged husband last week for some décor inspo.
To be honest he took it all in good humour although he drew the line at dragons over the curtain in our new lounge, apparently too outlandish for our restrained Dorset village and then got distracted by a young woman who was wandering around in a white diaphanous top. Unfortunately, the poor dear had forgotten where she’d left her bra that morning and had to rely on the bulbous bug-eyed stares of every man in the place to try and jog her memory. While I was rhapsodising over an ornate, gilded chest so was husband, we were just looking in different places! I do so hope she managed to find her undergarment before she caused a multi-car pile up on seafront.
Chandelier with tear drop pendants and matching cocktail glasses
Getting settled has taken longer than I would have anticipated, curtains remain draped across the backs of chairs, ignored like the geeky girl at the Prom dance. All our pictures are still in their protective bubble wrap jackets (in this heat, it must be a crime to art) littered around walls, the house looking more like the charity shop doorway on Monday morning rather than our dream home.
We’ll get there eventually, however in this heat I barely have the energy to change my mind let alone a light bulb so we will continue to tip toe around our homemade obstacle course, arguing over paint swatches and whether our last bit of savings should be spent on a coffee machine – total waste of money – or a dining room chandelier with tear drop pendants and matching cocktail glasses, an absolute essential.
Pictures courtesy of Royal Pavilion and thanks to their wonderful staff who were so knowledgeable and interesting. And to the guide who helped me come up with a title for this blog!
Just over 2 weeks ago our wonderful girl had a catastrophic accident in the forest. She was scampering through the woodland and hooked herself on the only broken tree stump in 40 acres. I knew something had gone horribly wrong when I heard the greyhound scream of death (GSOD to the uninitiated) and as she limped towards me I could see the skin on her back leg flapping like a tattered pirate flag.
How I didn’t pass out on the spot I’m not sure I’ll never know, in fact these past two weeks have been an exercise in containing the urge to faint/vomit/evacuate my bladder involuntarily as we have gone to the vets on a tri-weekly basis to get the wound dealt with. I still haven’t decided if that is because of severity of the injury or the cost of the treatment.
The skin has died and is liquefying
A week into the recovery period I tell husband the dog is starting to smell bad. He gets closer for a sniff and then nearly passes out from the shock of the stench. Back to the vets I go with the whiffy woofer. The vet walks into the room and says ‘ooh smelly dog, that’s because the flap of skin I stitched back is starting to liquefy’.
‘Excuse me?’ I squeak.
‘Look here where the skin has turned black it’s rotting away and liquefying’ at which point he stood back and encouraged me to have a closer examination. Coincidentally it was the same time a hazy white fog descended in front of my eyes and the floor appeared to be made of jelly as it wobbled uncertainly under my feet.
‘Ohhhhhmmmppppph’ was all I could manage, trying very, very hard not to regurgitate my breakfast.
‘I’ll operate on her tomorrow to remove the putrification – see you at 9am’ and then he strode into another room to deal with something less disgusting, maybe emptying a dog’s anal glands.
For more than two weeks we have contended with the world’s largest cone of shame, crashing into doors and walls, indentations on the back of our legs as we are buffeted along while she clears tables, the bookcase and shoe rack like a canine tsunami destroying everything in her path.
I won’t lie, it’s been stressful and our nerves are shattered, the worry has been quite exhausting. Looking at her doleful face as she peers out from the cover of her cone my heart breaks just a little bit more and I feel desperate – as life is miserable for her too at the moment.
I also mangled my leg when out having a good time as a teenager and the stress I must have caused my parents fills me with contrition and to them I am truly sorry for the anxiety I would have put them through.
On the plus side, the vet reckons the stitches can be out in 2 weeks and then life can slowly start returning to normal and it really can’t come soon enough.
One thing is for sure, having seen my dog’s flayed leg on the vet’s table (along with rest of the dog) it will be a cold day in hell before I fancy a leg of lamb for dinner!
In just 144 hours I will finally have my long-awaited haircut. It’s been over 4 months and to be perfectly frank it’s out of control. It has more waves than the English Channel and is determined to grow outwards instead of downwards. It has been a tricky time explaining to people that I don’t own a motorbike, and no that’s actually my hair, not a crash helmet on top of my head.
It cannot be tamed by product and when I put the straighteners on it, it made me look like the love child of Richard III and Olive from On the Buses – gormless with a slight hint of lunacy!
But in just 6 days I will be sporting the new ‘racing version’ of myself, short, pixie and back to manageable, my shampoo and conditioner expenditure will be reduced by around 80% saving me a quid or 10.
Yesterday I was trying to explain my excitement to husband, who A) being a boy doesn’t understand these things and B) is follically challenged and doesn’t care what he looks like.
Trawling through Pinterest, the 21st Century version of Hairdresser Weekly, I spent pointless energy in trying to engage him in my new look
‘What do you think of this one?’
‘Yeah, looks good’
‘What about this, do you like the fringe?’
‘Looks like the last one’
‘No it doesn’t, the last one has a short crown and longer fringe, this is a blunt cut’
‘I like your hair how it is now’
‘Whaaaaaaaat? Have you been in the garage sniffing the white spirit (again)’?
‘No, it’s good, you look like the Queen’
‘Excuse me, I look like a 94-year-old grieving widow?’
‘I like Queenie, she rocks a great look’
‘For a nonagenarian, yes, but surely not your wife’
‘Alright then, not the Queen, but you like one of those middle-class horsey people, when their hair goes up and is combed back’
Legs so hairy I could be mistaken for a German tourist (no photo can do them justice)
Developed an uncanny resemblance to a 1970’s Radio 1 DJ
And to top it all, I underwent root canal treatment this morning.
Like 75% of the population, I am not particularly brave when it comes to the dentist and having him rummage around my mouth for an hour is quite unsettling. Coupled with my violent gag reflex a dental visit makes for an interesting experience. I don’t think any of us will forget the time I was able to re-present the recently consumed pineapple and beetroot smoothie (I was on some strange health kick, don’t judge) in a projectile fashion. Luckily the dentist had lightning-quick reflexes and flattened himself against the wall, his assistant was, sadly for her, not so fast. One minute she was standing there in her pristine dental whites and the next she was in fancy dress as a Ribena bottle. There was a rumour that they had to jetwash the surgery but I think that was just vicious heresay.
In order not to have a repeat of the Changing Rooms fiasco and to calm my nerves this morning I took two diazepam tablets as prescribed by my Doctor. Aren’t they lovely little things? You still feel totally with it but all floaty and carefree and my little legs were being operated by a puppet master which I have to say wasn’t unpleasant at all.
Husband drove me to the dentist and I was greeted at the door by a young woman who was covered head to toe in what looked suspiciously like a hazmat suit – obviously my reputation proceeded me.
Having taken my temperature, she led me into the dental dungeon, I sat in the chair and … that’s the last thing I remember. What felt like just one teeny weeny moment later, the dentist was suggesting that I stop doing an impression of my greyhound and roll my tongue back in my head.
He then gently guided me out of the chair where he poured me into the waiting arms of husband. Just like a pre-Covid Friday night, I was being escorted off the premises however this time I was legitimately jelly legged.
Safely taken home I sat atop my diazepam cloud thinking pretty pink and blue thoughts until the pain rolled in like a thunderstorm wanting to split my top jaw from the roof of my mouth while eviscerating my ear.
Having stockpiled some strong painkillers I’ve spent the day self medicating a la Ossie Osborne style and while it’s managed to deaden the pain it has also killed any sense of humour I once had.
Today, I am not charitable, today, I am bad-tempered, spiteful as a mamba and wishing I’d spent my youth flossing my teeth instead of guzzling curly wurlies as I’m sure they are solely to blame.
Like 63 million other people I have been bewitched by Bridgerton during January. It’s the perfect antidote to the most miserable month of the year, fabulous costumes, diversity of characters, beautiful styling and some of the nicest wallpaper I’ve ever seen in my whole life.
Charming Regency Pastiche or Boring Bonkfest?
This frothy concoction of frivolity and make-believe is perfectly accompanied by a jumbo Toblerone and half price bottle of Baileys (thank you Mr Morrison). Admittedly, some of the acting is rather hammy; Miss Sienna is about as wooden as the stage door of the theatre she performs at and the two older Featherington sisters would be the perfect foil for Cinderella, no doubt they’ll be in panto this Christmas. But it matters not, as this light hearted costume drama has got us talking about something else, apart from that bloody virus.
A friend told me ‘It’s Jane Austen meets Jilly Cooper’ and I reckon she’s spot on. She also told me it would be inadvisable to watch it with husband. I’m not sure if she believed all the bodice ripping action would turn him into a sex fiend or had considered he may take it upon himself to dub the dialogue with extremely rude voice-overs; regrettably, the latter was true.
For the record it’s very hard to concentrate on a programme when the occupant of the seat next to you is shouting ‘give it to me your Grace, I’m allergic to my bodice’ along with some very unsavoury references to boerewors.
Hmmphf! Marriage – expect little, forgive plenty and the Duchess of Hastings would be as well to remember that.
Apparently, it’s had some academics up in arms, with them complaining it’s not a true reflection of Regency England – surely not? Bridgerton is about as likely a representation of real life 1813 as the Trump administration was to democracy and decent values – I digress.
Anyways it’s not the costumes, the jewellery or even the gardens that’s got us ladies hooked, make no mistake it’s all about the Duke of Hastings. I for one, am very glad to see so many gratuitous naked scenes that feature him déshabillé, what a delightful sight it is.
However, you can can have too much of a good thing and it did start to get a bit ‘samey’ with the story line slower than the frantic sex scenes and the plot hanging solely on the Duke’s enormous hard-on who was Lady Whistledown and not much else.
As the Duke reached for his flies in the final episode, I am disappointed to say it had me yawning and not panting for more.
Although I do believe dear reader, more is, in fact, exactly what we’re going to get as Series 2 has already been commissioned – well that’s what Lady Whistledown told me.
Husband and I have a wager going as to how long the Trump marriage will last post 21st January. He believes the 3rd Mrs Trump will hang around for approximately 6 months, whereas I give her 28 days before she reveals herself to be the gold-digger I reckon she is and files for divorce. As we’ve got an all-expenses dinner at the restaurant of your choice on this (once we’re allowed out the house), I’m really hoping she don’t go all Tammy Wynette on me.
She’s supposedly an intelligent woman, she’s got an Einstein Visa after all, and so it begs the question … what was going through her mind back in 2005? If she was looking for a powerful man who commanded headlines she chose well, but then again so did Eva Braun. Neither of them displaying the best of taste in men. No matter how much you love a bad boy anyone with double digit brain cells has to draw the line at genocide or insurrection as a display of waywardness. We’ve never seen Mickey Rourke try to kill democracy (affronted public decency during the fridge scene in 9 ½ weeks, but not democracy) and Colin Farrell hasn’t, to my knowledge, encouraged bigoted Nazis to override the decision of a country, and certainly not during Saving Mr Banks.
We’ve seen her repeatedly slap his hand away and sit, stony faced during official dinners, when, she should have drawn on her inner strength thought about her pre-nup and given the merest hint of smile. She married him when just a few thousand people thought he was a complete prick, now the whole world does. You reap what you sow ….
Not that love in our household looks much better at the moment. As October arrives, so do the flannelette pajamas – these gigantic ‘passion blockers’ become a wardrobe essential. Like a brown bear I hibernate, not so much in the physical sense but more …. in the libido dept ie, don’t come back until Spring! And in the same way a brown bear prepares for the colder months, I also make sure I’m ready to take on the winter, increasing my body fat by an additional 30% to withstand the lower temperatures.
In short, husband either has to take me away to the southern hemisphere or put the central heating thermostat up to 24 degrees in order to exercise his conjugal rights – either way he has to put his hand in his pocket. Give him his due, in desperation he booked a holiday to South Africa in February 2017, usually one of the hottest months of the year. I believe, I am, the only woman in history to have visited Sub-Saharan Africa in February and returned paler than when I left! It rained incessantly every day and at no point was it warm enough to put on a sun dress let alone a pair of skimpy pj’s. The mood, that holiday was not one conducive to uninhibited love making as I snarled at the grey skies and gloomy rain. Mind you if I was fed up, you can only but imagine how husband felt – he consoled himself with biltong and Pinotage – a highly recommended refuge in which to sublimate your desires.
So, while I am delighted to say that husband has absolutely nothing in common with Donald Trump, one thing is for sure …. neither of them will be getting any for some time to come!
PS: When writing this I see that the Trump’s wedding anniversary is January 22nd, precisely one day after he goes from being the most powerful man in the world to a common criminal, wonder how they will be celebrating? Answers on a postcard please.
Chatting with a girlfriend this week who is turning 56! How can this be I asked, it seemed like only a few years ago we were pushing her home in a shopping trolley because of that common Birthday affliction known as ‘jelly legs’. On getting her indoors she impressed us with some very pretty Unicorn vomit, courtesy of coloured Sambuca.
So, while it may feel like it was 10 years ago we were running through a shopping centre car park with a drunken friend who was, quite literally trollyed, it was, in fact 29! Hang on a minute … is that possible? Surely, I was still in primary school 29 years ago?
I should have realised it was longer than 10 years when she told me that, this year to celebrate, she was visiting the Wensleydale Cheese Shop, which I’m pretty sure, will not actively encourage middle aged women to neck multi-coloured, foul smelling, 80% proof liqueurs. Guess she’ll be OK driving home, oh how times have changed.
We’ve got older, but we don’t feel older and while the mirror does many things, it sure don’t lie.
Which brings me onto ageing in 2020. I’m sure you’d agree that this year has, pretty much been put on hold. Ever since that third week in March life has been placed on pause and so it would only seem fair that physical ageing should do the same. So why is it that I’m looking so bloody old? Got up the other morning and was horrified to see my Nana staring back at me! I’d bypassed my Mother altogether and made a beeline for the next generation.
You’d think that Mother Nature would be kinder considering all we’ve gone through in 2020, but instead she has been a little spiteful making the bags a bit puffier, the wrinkles a bit deeper and where the hell did this turkey neck come from? At least it’s seasonal I suppose, if nothing else.
The saying is ‘Time Marches On’. I want to know why has it insisted on marching on all over my face?
Watching Series 4 of the The Crown and the royal family are not showing themselves in a favourable light are they?
However, it’s Mrs Thatcher’s wig that has dominated the screen more than the petty and spiteful behaviour of the UK’s first family.
Unless I’m very much mistaken it appears that Maggie’s bouffant is proofing life a loaf of bread. In episode one It started off at quite a believable size
But has been growing at a worryingly rapid rate ever since
If it carries on, I’m thinking it could become …
And as this series is all about the 80’s will Mrs T morph into Vivienne Westwood at the end?
But less about the Grande Dame of fashion and back to Mrs Thatcher’s syrup. Do you think the size of the wig is in direct correlation to how stretched the vowels aaaaaaaaaaaaaaare.
Gillian Anderson, whilst extremely talented, is sounding less like the premier and more like a drag queen with emphysema. If Mrs Thatcher elongated her vowels to that extent she’d still be delivering ‘the laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaady’s nooooooooooooooooooot foooooooooooooooor tuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrning speeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech’.
Also featured in Episode 4 is the chat about favourite children, with Mrs Thatcher telling the Queen, her son Mark was her favourite child and Prince Philip admitting Anne was his #awks. For anyone with siblings watching these conversations, it must have gotten them thinking ‘who IS their parents’ favourite child?’ If you’re asking yourself the question, chances are you’re the favourite – the others will be able to clarify in great detail the reasons why and what advantageous treatment you’ve benefited from.
Which makes me grateful I am an only child and haven’t had to compete with a sibling for parental pole position. That’s not to say my parents’ haven’t looked wistfully at other people’s children and wished there’d been a mix-up in the maternity ward.
Just because you’re the only one, doesn’t mean you’re the be all and end all – you can always be replaced, officially or unofficially. And if the royal family could just remember that, they’d be much nicer people, at least in Series 4!