Updates, ramblings and witterings

Well, it’s prettier than a blue-arsed fly.

Wow! Time seems to have bitten me on the arse this week, my goodness but there’s been a lot for schools to use to torment me by giving me too many things to remember each day get McMini’s teeth into this term. First harvest: collect tinned and dry goods for the local shelter. It’s for people fleeing domestic violence too so toiletries like flannels, bath caps, toothbrushes and toothpaste are appreciated, as well as tampons and lady requisites. McMini, upon discovering a packet of tampons in our bag of stuff, refuses, point blank, to hand it in. Eventually, to spare his blushes, I have to.

Then it’s Halloween, a bit too quickly after our holiday for organisational comfort. I’m still catching up on the post holiday washing and do not have the capacity for pumpkin carving. Although this year it wasn’t me tramping the nearby streets with McMini as he shook down the neighbours for sweets, he went with a friend and the friend’s brave mum!

Having whinged, I quite like carving pumpkins. I was hoping to have a go at edgy political satire and make a Donald Trumpkin this year but alas, my cartoon drawing/cutting skills are not quite up there enough to make a suitably recognisable effort, indeed, the only similarity is the colour which doesn’t show in this photo. This year’s pumpkin crop seems to be particularly dense fleshed and thick skinned. Maybe it’s the heat. Good for cooking I may even make it all into pumpkin soup. But tough to carve. Indeed it took so long that I ran out of time to do the hair. As McMini said, I should have done it with a cheese grater, or a blonde wig. Meanwhile several of the people who saw it thought it was a set of ovaries.

Halloween Trumpkin.

Ooookay … mwahahahahrgh! Moving on then.

When it comes to the stress of life, clearly I’m not the only one affected. McMini’s school meals are all lovely winter warmers this quarter which means many come with sauces or gravy or other things he refuses to eat. As a result it was three packed lunches this week which stretches our supply of suitable receptacles. That meant he had to be sternly warned to bring his lunch bag home with him – otherwise every tupperware box I possess will end up at his school. Bless his little heart, he has managed to remember to bring the lunch stuff home so fair play to him.

However, it appears that, like his mother he is only able to remember a finite number of things to be done before extraneous others start falling off the list.

On Tuesday we cycled to school. McMini is walking some of the way home from school on his own now so as I waited for him at our designated half way point, I saw he was approaching on foot. For a split second I thought that maybe something terrible had happened to his bike. Then I remembered that this is my son, and relaxed.

‘Mum! I’ve remembered my lunch box,’ he said proudly holding out the lunch bag as soon as he was within earshot.
‘Well done mate,’ we high fived. ‘Um just out of interest … where’s your bike?’
‘I forgot it. I was walking down the street and I looked up here and I could see you and I thought, “Why on earth has Mummy come to meet me on her bike?” Then I remembered, I’d left mine at school. I’ll bring it home tomorrow.’
‘Well, Daddy is collecting you tomorrow so-‘
‘Oh yes, he doesn’t have a bike. I’ll bring it home on Thursday then.’

He forgot that, but he did remember the bike albeit on the wrong day. Apparently McOther had to run a bit to keep up but I expect it did him good. McMini is definitely making a concerted effort to remember more stuff though. It’s a bit hit and miss but I know how difficult it is for me so I have to give him kudos for trying.

There’s been another development this week, which is that McMini has discovered the joyous feeling of clean teeth, which is brilliant as instead of my having to force him at gunpoint he now happily cleans them morning and evening. As a child who normally eschews any attempts on my part to instil any sense of cleanliness, whatsoever, this is good news.

However, it has also led to what may well be one of the grossest conversations I have ever had. Yes, last night we had this conversation.

‘Have you cleaned your teeth.’
‘Yes I have. My mouth is lovely. My teeth are all smooth with no bobbly bits.’
‘Yeh, no horrible stuff under your fingernail when you do this,’ MT scrapes fingernail down front tooth.
‘Plaque you mean?’
Oh no Mum, plaque is AWESOME!’
‘It is?’ I ask weakly.
‘Yes it tastes just like sweetcorn.’
‘Bleurgh, ugh.’
‘Whereas scabs are like crunchy chicken, unless it’s other people’s scabs. Those are vile, like raw beef or something horrible.’

On the writing side, I have just discovered the gobsmacking truth that I’ve written 131,000 words this year. Clearly there are many people who write that many words a month but I reckon it’s not bad on an average of 10 minutes a day. I’m just tinkering with ideas for another two shorts and the new K’Barthan shorts series will be ready for editing and covers. Hopefully, they should be done for release next year. I’m a bit too concentrating on one thing at the moment, the short that’s turned into a long is taking far too much time, but I am too interested to find out what happens and the scenes that are popping into my head at the moment seem to be mostly related to it. I’m a great believe in doing what comes naturally so that’s where I’ve been concentrating my efforts for the moment. It’s creeping slowly forward but I definitely want to finish something soon so I need to get another short going too. Anyway, I’ll keep you posted on progress. In the meantime, for the word nerds among you, I’ve discovered a cracking website.

Have you ever wondered how to pronounce the word ‘gif’? Or what TASER stands for, or why the word ‘laser’ can never be spelled with a Z even in America? If you want to know the answer to these and many other splendidly obscure and trivial word related questions head on over to Emma Wilkin’s Wordy Rambles. It’s funny, too so I promise you will not regret it.


Filed under General Wittering

6 responses to “Updates, ramblings and witterings

  1. You might explore the pleasure of note-writing to yourself with the young one, though it may cause its own difficulties (forgetting the note, the note-taking material, or to read it). Is there something he will never be without, which can be coaxed into doing double duty? If he wears a badge, a slot behind it? Always remembers his shoes – an index card slipped under the insole?

    OTOH, learning to cope without life’s little comforts because you forgot to bring them is a good lesson.

    I used to joke the whole family could live for a week on what I always had available in my purse.

    • It’s very true that leaning to cope without stuff is a good lesson.

      It sounds as if our approach may have been similar. I have a rucksack, rather than a handbag, and when McMini was small people thought I was very organised because I always had everything to hand, a meal, nappies, drink, change of clothes etc etc. What they didn’t realise was that I carried it round with me the entire time because I hadn’t a hope in hell of remembering all that stuff first thing in the morning.

      Likewise, at school, I used to carry every single book required for any lesson with me in my bag at all times because we weren’t allowed to go back to the locker room between lessons and I would get into trouble and get a bad order mark if I forgot a book that was needed.

      Lists are good, I have several ongoing lists in a notebook that I carry with me at all times. The really urgent stuff gets written on the back of my hand. It is the only reliable method of remembering anything, so long as I remember to write everything that has to be done by the end of the day on there at the start.



  2. Diana

    I came across this again this morning — and the first part looked familiar. I think I must have put it aside midway to do something like head to work or to sleep. In any case, I’m glad I found it again — and am happy that the bike did actually arrive home at some point.

    Nice job of focusing on the positives (remembered lunch bag) and not the neg’s (forgotten bike).

    The “ovaries” was quite funny — and I rather wish you’d taken time to finish it later, hair and all 🙂

    I leave stacks of notes all over the place for me to pay attention to. Sometimes I find them weeks later — or, I suspect, months later. I discovered 4 boxes in the corner of a room yesterday labelled clearly “to sort” — which means that everything that was where it shouldn’t have been on a day I was clearing my place for company was stashed into a box (or two — a few times. I shall have to leave myself a note to go through at least one of them when I get home later.

    Note to self: Go To Work. NOW.

    • Mwahahahargh! The notes would not be tolerated. I have boxes like that though. I was commiserating with one of the chaps who came to paint our windows the other day, how I have a whole collection of StarWars tat that I haven’t unpacked. He has made two moves without unpacking his model car collection!

      For the meantime, I have all sorts of lists and I glean the urgent stop from the top of them each morning and write it on my hand. This is, literally, the only way I remember things or get anything done. I worried about dementia for a while but actually, I have never been any different to this, I have always found it very difficult to remember somet things. The more boring and admin related they are, the less likely I am to get round to them fast. My brain has a boring filter which is useful sometimes but others less so!

      Glad you enjoyed this post, I have finally put today’s up now as well!



      • Diana

        Notes only work for me if I remember to read them — and that’s fortunately quite often. My note (by my alarm clock) Saturday morning read “Be at work by 9am!! (I never start work that early — it was painful, but I did it.) I am worried when I set alarms that I will think it’s a mistake, and will simply go back to sleep.

        My current note to self — it’s now Sunday morning — is “Go to sleep. Now!” (It’s now after 2:30am. I am going….)

        If I tried the back of the hand notes my students would be incredibly distracted — so that won’t work. Could be entertaining, though — and their reading skills might improve. Hmmm…..

      • It’s the only way I remember stuff! I tend to react to the notes the way you do.

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