The surgery website says that if you need a doctor’s appointment you should call at 8am in the morning. That’s fine, but at 8am in the morning, I am busy doing what countless other mothers are doing at that time: clearing up last night’s dinner, finding second pair of games socks and mouthguard for rugby match (no mouthguard? Find your brother’s. No that is not gross. I’m certain you won’t suffer any sort of spit related infection), sponging down tunic which has missed the weekend laundry, getting ready for work, applying mascara ineptly in the kitchen mirror (have you ever tried applying mascara without a mirror? Impossible!) while listening to someone read another chapter (Wonder by R Palacio. Brilliant book btw), sewing on name tape (wrong name – I knew I should have ordered more than 72 – but folded over they have the same surname, I figure that will suffice) into waterproof needed for today’s trip to Kew Gardens. I know you get the picture. Therefore, by the time I call the surgery, it is 8.04am (quite an achievement really!), and my call is now number 34 in the queue. Is it worth hanging on to be told there are no appointments left for the day, or the next slot is on any day next month that doesn’t end in a ‘y’, or I should go to A & E if it is an emergency (which it isn’t, obviously), or ring back later and spend another half hour on the phone? Last time I visited the GP, it transpired I had been struck off their register because I hadn’t visited the surgery in over 3 years so I am determined to find a way to see somebody this time! So, hanging on it is….
I believe it is well documented that the possession of a pet in the house provides health benefits, including increased psychological wellbeing and an important factor in stabilising blood pressure levels. First, a routine visit to the vet with the black labrador for annual vaccinations, worming, general maintenance check. A small nodule has been discovered which needs removal as well as treatment for tooth decay (the dog has not been flossing). I’m going to encourage the Things to become vets on the back of the bill. Second, the cat has moved on from the tendency to bring me small rodents, and is now content to chew her way through any wire in the house. Computer cables, phone chargers, sewing machine lead, shoe laces, iron cord. You’d think she’d suffer an electric shock; maybe she enjoys the thrill. Third, there is nobody in the house who would like to clean the fish tank. Except me, of course. Next to putting out the bins, picking up dog mess from the garden, and disposing of rodent guts from bedroom carpets, it’s up there on my list of favourite jobs. Just off to buy some more phone chargers. Blood pressure problems? Not me!
Interesting fact for the day: a recent study concluded that people had a worse impression of a woman if she dropped a tampon out of her handbag as opposed to a different innocuous item, for example a hairbrush or a packet of paracetamol. Even more disturbing, those people would then avoid sitting next to that woman.
What is it in our cultural norms that makes us think, behave and react this way? I don’t have the answers, by the way, just posing the question.
Precious Thing 2. It’s his birthday so generous spirited mummy and daddy decided to purchase a new phone. Well, nice mummy executed that plan, and she has now morphed into VERY MUCH NOT NICE MUMMY. Seriously, walking into a phone shop should come with a warning that the place will suck the very life force from you. I’m going to rebrand it “The Mood Hoover Store”. Whilst waiting for a customer service operative (which customer service training had she attended? I wondered) to give me my ‘options’ (broadly my options were to spend more money, it was just a question of how much more), I had to listen to the manager berating staff face to face in the store, I had to prove who I was by paying 89p on my debit card for it to be refunded immediately (I got tired of asking why this was necessary, nobody could answer me), I had to be passed to another customer service representative – this time assistant manager – to deal with my requests (apparently it is very complicated for an additional phone contract to be added to my contract). Actually I can’t even bore you with the myriad other reasons why I was there for nigh on 2 hours. Yes! Two painful hours of my life I will not get back!! And the worst of it? I return home to discover that my entire bank of contacts and details has been replaced with that of my 15 year old son. I don’t need Millie/Ellie/Lily/Molly/Emily/Tilly’s numbers (so many girls, though. Quite pleased for him but surely he must get them confused?). I want my own friends back (most popular names: Karen, Claire and Sarah). I want to cry and scream, and I know this is a first world problem, I really do, but I wish that we all had the wherewithal to confront these giant telecommunications companies and throw in the towel, and say, be done with you, mobile phone, be banished from my life, I will go back to writing letters and sending smoke signals. No, of course I won’t do that because I don’t like the smell of smoke too much, and I am rather fond of Whatsapp, but there has to be a better way of buying a new phone, doesn’t there? Somebody……??
Games Guru is my nom de plume amongst my nearest and dearest. I love a game, a puzzle, a quiz, a riddle. I love to play them as much as I enjoy making them up. My latest quiz appears in the form of a spelling test, partly because it’s a challenge but also because I am a great advocate of the use of correct spelling and punctuation. I’m one of those people who become quite vexed about signs which say ‘Tomato’s For Sale’. Thing 4 (for whom spellings are not a forte) commented after a recent test: “I don’t see the point in spellings. I mean, if you get them wrong, you just correct them later.” I couldn’t disagree more.
The pharaoh’s chihuahua encountered a bout of diarrhoea.
A psychiatrist referred a physicist to an independent politician.
It was definitely necessary to separate the broccoli from the aubergine on this noticeable occasion.
Please liaise with the relevant government committee regarding this particularly embarrassing occurrence.
The privileged principal acknowledged his consensus regarding independent licences.
The conscientious entrepreneur founded a parallel organisation called ‘Fluorescent Manoeuvres’.
The triptych illustrated a mother in various guises of distress concerning her daughter’s ability to spell incorrectly.
I don’t feel old (although my favourite section of the newspaper has become “25 years ago today”), but I was a little dismayed this week to be invited to a couple of separate events at my local cinema. One was the dementia friendly screening of
The Forgotten Denial (with free tea and biscuits!) and the other was an invitation to to the Silver Surfer’s showing of Jackie. But it’s true, officially I am an old, middle-aged person and I know this because I no longer have any desire to watch the television while lying on the floor. The positive aspect of this getting older malarkey is that I actually derive great enjoyment from drinking wine now, and I am capable of tasting the difference between a Gavi and a Pinot Grigio. Luckily they are both in my fridge.
Thing 1 has a room full of polaroid style photos with snapshots of friends, family, pets, more friends, cousins, parties, selfies. She’s surrounded in that room by people (and animals) who love her. Thing 4 has enough cuddly toys to stock the entire ground floor of Hamleys. Thing 3 has nothing on his wall, though that could be something to do with my previous screeching for the application of sellotape/blu-tack to the paintwork. Thing 2, on the other hand, has a pin board (a mad moment of DIY generosity), see snapshot above, which features only rugby heroes (please don’t ask me to name them). I was wondering if the contrasts had some deeper meaning, about boys and girls and idols and heroes and manifestations of love etc. But then I recalled that as a teenager, I had pin-ups ; George Michael and Princess Diana mostly – but also a few of Boy George about whom I held not entirely positive feelings, but the cool kid in my class (Karen) loved him and so I thought she might like me more if I had a poster of him in my bedroom. Maybe there’s a girl in Thing 2’s class who is passionate about rugby personalities? Remind me to ask him later!