Adventures and alarums!

What the fuck is going on?

This last week has been rather fun but it has been a bit like some badly written situation comedy. Then again, most of my life is like a badly written situation comedy. McOther often tells me that if my life were written up as a screen play, it’s so barkingly strange that no-one would believe any of the true life events depicted were … well … true.

In a strange coincidence, two old friends who I haven’t seen in ages have rung up to say they’ll be in the area and could we meet up. To my delight they were around when I am, as well so I met one friend yesterday and another is coming to see me on Wednesday! Woot all round.

On top of that, it’s been an adventurous couple of days. The night before last McOther was due to come home late. He rung and told me he’d be even later than he thought as he was swamped with emails. I could hear the tension in his voice. That was fine though, I would make sure everything was spic and span and try to ameliorate the mess so it was not as bad as sometimes, or at least, so enough of it had disappeared for him to register that we’d made an effort to be tidy and feel loved accordingly. I began by starting McMini’s supper early and also putting McOther and my supper together ready for when he came home.

Meanwhile, McMini was convinced that he had to have a drink and it had to be ‘a potion’. I haven’t a blind clue why but we looked out a jam jar and he made himself a rock shandy (two thirds ginger ale to one third soda with a dash of bitters, ice and a slice of lemon).

Rock shandy made, although he never does the ice and slice, he explained that it needed to be a lurid colour.

‘What sort of lurid colour?’ I asked him.

‘Do you have blue?’

The food colouring is on the top shelf of the larder ever since I discovered McMini, as a three year old, taking a good pull out of the bottle of yellow. Accordingly, I went into the larder and climbed onto the fold away stool thing I use to reach the top shelves. Frankly, I’m too fat and heavy for this thing, so having already broken one, I have learned to stand on it very carefully. It can take my weight but only if I place my feet in a certain way – you know like always stepping on the joists rather than the bit between when you’re up in a roofspace.

The stool creaked and groaned ominously but held up as I had a shufty on the top shelf of the larder. Eventually I discovered the blue food colouring and passed it down to McMini. I was still stepping off the stool with a slowness that only glaciers, or the arthritic, can achieve, when McMini had whipped off the lid and upended the bottle.


Luckily only about half of it came out before he realised what he was doing and stopped.

‘Sorry Mum, I thought it would have a dropper like the bitters.’

‘Nae bother sunshine.’

The result was a tall thin jam jar full of the most bizarre blue liquid. We both knew it was rock shandy but it did look like something fresh from hell, or an antifreeze tank, in rat-poison blue. Mmm-Mmm!

‘Please, please, please keep the lid on that at all times and don’t drop it,’ I told him. I handed him the lid which he placed carefully on the jam jar and tightened under my supervision before he went off happily, potion in hand. It really was very blue – I’m thinking Regalian Brandy, StarTrek fans, or certain brands of lavatory bleach, everyone else.

McMini disappeared with his strange concoction, to have a poo, he informed me.


I carried on with whatever it was I was doing, faffing about in the kitchen doing something or other and then I heard a noise.

‘Flabado-do-do-doom!’ It went.

I listened.

Nothing. Then …



‘Can you come upstairs a minute?’


‘Something’s happened. Please don’t be angry.’

He’s fucking spilled it, I thought. There’s blue bastardy jizz all over my fucking stairs.

‘What’s up?’ I said.

‘I’ve fallen down the stairs and banged my head.’

Oh, or maybe not on the blue jizz front, I thought hopefully.

‘Oh dear. That sounds a bit grim. Are you alright?’ I was pretty sure he was, it sounded like a small boy version of a terrible injury rather than an actual … you know … terrible injury.

‘Yes I am but … listen Mum, please, please don’t be angry.’

Oh fucking bollocks! He knobbing has spilled it! We have a blue chuffing carpet, I thought

‘Have you’ve spilled rat poison blue liquid all over the stair carpet?’ I asked, just to check.

Long silence.

‘I’m really, really sorry Mum. How did you know?’

Because the klutz gene is dominant and Sod and his bloody law made it fairly inevitable, I thought.

‘Skill,’ I said. ‘I’ll just get some kit together and then I’ll come up to join you and we can clean it up. Where is it?’

‘Outside Dad’s office.’

Oh fuckity fuck.

Dad also known as McOther. The same McOther who rang twenty minutes earlier, his voice full of tension. OK, no matter how disastrous this was, it had to be gone before he got home or he was going to lose his fucking biscuits. McOther is a neat bot and although he tries not to let living with the two messiest and most disorganised people on earth get to him, things like a sudden stain on his beige carpets can drive the poor man buggy. Especially if he’s stressed and he’s had a tough day. Code blue had to be neutralised before McOther got home or the three of us would all have a horrible evening.

As you may have gathered from accounts of my activities on this blog, I’m a total and utter klutz. Or the spill-o-tronic, 3,000 series as I am known. This means I have a library of stain removal products that is second to none. I am also pretty good at removing stains because otherwise, I would have nothing to wear and a house that looked like an ongoing Jackson Pollock project.

I grabbed a bucket and put every bottle of propiatory cleaning product I could find into it, and trust me there were a lot of bottles in there; vanish soap, OzKleen carpet cleaner, white vinegar, washing up liquid, you name it, I equipped myself with it. And sponges. Then I took some old ‘real’ nappies that we now use for just this type of emergency and clanked my way upstairs with it all.

McMini was standing beside a football-sized carpet stain of a lurid torquise colour. To give him his due, the lid was on the potion, so only about a quarter had spilled. As he fell, he’d dropped it and it had tumbled from his hand and landed on its side, the impact loosening the lid and allowing leakage. He’d then tried to wipe it up with his hands, bless him, merely smearing a small concentrated spillage into a much wider area. A bit like the time he used his goal keeping gloves to pick up a poo he’d done in the hall by mistake after he’d waited too long to go to the loo because he had to stand his Lego General Grevious up first and it kept falling over. He’d seen me put on rubber gloves to clear up sick so grabbed the nearest gloves to hand. In other words, he’d got it so right and yet … so wrong.

There was a nerf gun on the floor beside the stain so it was clear he’d been taking too much stuff down the stairs at once and probably missed a step because he couldn’t see or he may not have fallen and have just lost his hold on one bit and ende up dropping the chuffing lot.

We started by putting nappies on the stain and standing on them to wick it away.

‘So were you taking all this gubbins down stairs at once?’ I asked him as I marked time on a nappy that was rapidly turning blue.

‘No,’ he told me. ‘I took the gun down and then I went back for the liquid and got that and then when I was walking down with it I fell.’

I looked at the gun, half way down rather than at the bottom.

‘I see,’ I said.

So that’s a, ‘yes I was trying to carry everything and dropped the lot,’ I thought, but I’m not going to say anything. How could I when he was supremely contrite and nearly in tears.

We put half a bottle of OzKleen carpet cleaner on the stain and scrubbed it, then, when that had almost run out, I chucked half a bottle of white vinegar in with the rest of the OzKleen in an approximation of a recipe McMini had just found on the internet using his phone. We put that on. Then I filled the bucket with water and ‘rinsed’ it out at which point McMini, feeling that he wasn’t helping, left me to it.

After standing on more nappies to ‘dry’ it out a bit, it was better, but still blue. Blue like the touch paper on the firework McOther would turn into when he saw it and went into orbit.


Then I remembered the condescendingly helpful lady in the advert for the Vanish in-wash stain removal stuff. She got it in a small pot and added some water. Then you were supposed to be able to make a paste and spread it onto stubborn stains, scrubbing it with the stippled bottom of the pink scoop that came with it. Leave over night and rinse the next morning. That’s what it said. Yeh. So I did that. Making a vile pot of claggy slime with bits in that wouldn’t dissolve. But fuck it, what did I have to lose? I went ahead and scrubbed it into the carpet. Along with those little white bits like polystyrene balls that they put in to take up space, stay loader as Mr Bol* wash used to call them, which resolutely refused to blend into the rest of the mixture at any cost. Then I left it to work and emptied the water out in the bathroom and left the bucket up there, along with the sponges and the two nappies I hadn’t used which I set aside for ‘wicking’ the slimy gloop back up again (complete with blue hopefully).

McOther rang to say he was leaving the office. He sounded a lot less stressed but I realised that in order to ameliorate the impact on his wellbeing of the blue carpet outside his study door, I now had to break it to him gently so he was prepared for the sight of the blue stain and ready for the shock.

Hmm, how to do this?

Then like lightning, inspiration struck! Of course, I’d just say what McMini did. So I said that McMini had fallen down the stairs and bumped his head but was OK. McOther was all concern, at which point I broke the news that it was only a little bump and that McMini had also spilled blue juice everywhere in the fall. Bless him, McOther was just happy that the head bump was minor as I had been.

Even better, by the time I’d finished cooking dinner and went back upstairs to see how the claggy gloop was doing, the stain had … yes … vanished. OK we have a weird clean bit of carpet that looks like a pale stain but I expect I can fix by rubbing some dirt into it or something.

Meanwhile, McCat has been such a thieving bastard these last few weeks that I feared he may be ill. Like The Blob, he has been eating everything in his path. But he hasn’t been putting on weight, adding to my fears about his health. Some very expensive tests later it turns out that no, he is not ill, he is just a scrounging shite. This morning he capped it all by opening a plastic bag of this week’s vitimin pills. I take several different ones each day and I can’t be arsed to faff around with all the child proof lids that nobody in the house apart from my ten year old son can open. So I decant them all into a plastic bag each week. Only one thing to open. Except this week, McCat opened it. Twice.

McCat likes cod liver oil and evening primrose oil. It appears he’s also quite partial to vitimin A and cranberry cystitis pills.

I cleared up the mess and counted up a second bag. He ate a lot of the actual bag this time, as well as the cod liver oil and evening primrose capsules. He left the rest though. So now I will be putting the pills in a small pot with a very tight lid. Presumably McCat will have a blindingly luxuriant coat for a day or two. I just hope it doesn’t make him ill. Rock on summer when he will have insects to chase and will, almost certainly, become a well behaved cat. In the meantime, as well as vitimin pills he eats sugar snap peas, peas, broccoli, cheese, bread, olive oil, yogurt, pasta and anything else that is not nailed down.

Another eventful week then.

* Spelled the way the bloke in the ad used to say it, rather than the proper way.


Filed under Blimey!, General Wittering

20 responses to “Adventures and alarums!

  1. Sounds great to me 🙂
    I’d been using in-wash vanish until I realised about two months ago it was bringing out my allergies despite my antihistamines. Strangely, I discovered this in bed because my eyes went ballistic when I lay my head sideways on the pillow. Turn on my back, they recovered.
    Got a new magnetic washball and replaced all detergents in wash. Result: eyes fine, and the guinea pigs have stopped scratching too (it was in their fleece wash). But I still have the vanish bar for emergencies 🙂
    The magnetic washball is ace, too.

    • I have a magnet and the the vanish powder had enzymes in so you have to wash it at 60c to kill them out they will make you itch. The studio bar should be ok but you never can tell.

  2. Caro

    Oh, my, I think there’s a genetic strain running from my family to yours…hmmm, I’m always in trouble…your tales of woe brought mine clearly into focus.
    At 16 and proud of becoming a Cadet nurse prior to my SRN training, my first role was general dogsbody for 3 months in the pharmacy department. There my klutz factor became infamous. First week, I was asked to dispose of box after box of
    Methylene Blue and Congo Red ampoules. These were 20ml glass ampoules of blue and red liquids, that I subsequently found were dyes used to stain body parts in certain surgical procedures like endoscopy and more. The glass amps of which there were well over 300 had to have tops sawn off by little metal saw about the size of a sharpener blade. You saw so far to weaken the neck then pop the top off, and I then had to pour contents of each out into a metal bin and dump the empty glass there two.
    By the time I had sawn, emptied and disposed of first ten, my fingers were sore…by twenty a small blister was appearing. Dr. Thomas, our elderly senior pharmacist in charge asked me to get on or it would take all week. “Use your initiative, protect your hands.” Was his unsympathetic response.
    So I used my initiative. I found if I stood several feet away and aimed and wanged them hard to the inside side of the bin, they smashed the glass…made a great splotch…Jackson Pollack style to run down the inside of the bin…bright blue to turquoise, scarlet to vermillion and combined either a mucky brown or purple colour.
    Then I got cocky clever…threw several in fast succession, ping ping smash…one flew over the back of the bin. Then more hit the front and the markings on the tiling was quite something, and amazing how much coverage you get on the floor with each 20ml…to which I assumed in my ignorance that the mop and bucket or a little bleach would clean away the ever enlarging stains.
    It didn’t work..luckily my tears 😭 of humiliation, guilt and embarrassment…plus lies of tired aching arms…kept me my job.
    The stains are still there to this day in the Victorian workhouse hospital…I certainly left my mark.
    PS. a week later Dr Thomas probably wished he had sacked me as I again used my initiative to push two…instead of one at a time…plastic bins with 40 litres of diluted lemon coloured Savlon in one and pink Chlorhexidene Gluconate (think dentist pink liquid) in the other. I was supposed to push them one at a time up the slope to the filtering room for bottling and sterilising…I had one in left hand control, one in right, and they hitched together and stuck on the landing slope causing them to tip over and pouring 80 litres of liquid to cascade and traverse three floors of staircases into the wards below. Again I burst into tears…they got me out of a lot of trouble, begged please don’t sack me, I really really want to be a nurse…
    Instead I was given a bucket and two mops…and spent hours cleaning up and the butt of everyone’s joking comments for weeks.

    Yes, I did become that nurse, and yes, I’ve always been slightly clumsy. 🙂
    So there’s hope for McMini yet 😁😂

  3. My stain problems are now cut down to size: you win. Never could I be that… colourful?

    Glad McMini is okay, though you’d think by now the two of you might have developed an abundance of caution when dealing with the real world.

    And for heaven’s sake replace that step ladder before you kill yourself. McMini really needs to have you around!

  4. Carol Powney

    If I did, Mary, my life has been so bizarre, no one would probably believe it…yet it all happened. However, I’m too busy editing, and looking after my eccentric aunt to write.
    Talking of aunt…91…has to take written instructions EVERY time she goes up or down the chairlift…can’t manoeuvre a mobility scooter in the supermarket…or recall how the ATM works…but can convince the doctor to extend her driving license. I’m worried sick.

    • Oh bless you. The driving license … Gulp. That must be one hell of a worry. As for the rest, busy though you are, I still think it would make an amazing story



      On Tue, 26 Mar 2019, 08:21 M T McGuire Authorholic

  5. Reblogged this on Jim Webster and commented:
    This is how a blog should be written 🙂

  6. Bloody hilarious, with a striking similarity to goings on in our house. We gave up worrying about being normal a long time ago, as it didn’t fit then and definitely doesn’t now!

  7. Well, your misadventures are a laugh a minute and there’s no doubt that’s your kid. What a storyteller you are! Carry on, McGuire!

  8. It’s lovely how we survive these episodes, isn’t it? 😀 — Suzanne

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.