City driving … What I’ve learned so far.

And so the commute continues. The Captain is still irritatingly upbeat and buoyant about his new college venture so it pretty much looks like we are in for the long haul. 

I keep telling myself that I will adjust; that the roads will become more familiar, more comfortable and that one day I shall believe my own lies too.

I hate city driving! I hate it!

I’m not in any way a ditherer, but I like to potter. And tootle. City driving neither accomodates nor welcomes individuals like moi. I am, very slowly, beginning to recognise and understand some of the rules and conditions that are obligatory. 

  • Be angry. It’s the perfect state of mind for city driving and will ensure you reach your destination in the required ‘fraught & on the verge of a heart attack’ presentation.
  • Sit in the outside lane on the duel carriageway for as long as you damm well please.
  • If you need to get by me, (almost) tap my boot with your front bumper whilst glaring through the front window.
  • If you drive a BMW/Mercedes/Aston Martin, there are no rules. You can do what ever the fuck you like (and you do.)
  • Ignore all highway regulations about giving way to the right. In fact, feel free to stop in the middle of a main road to allow a car to pull out from the left. Particularly if it’s a friend you’ve spotted. 
  • When approaching a multi lane junction or roundabout, just pick a lane. Any fucking lane. It doesn’t matter. You will either fall into the ‘I don’t know where the hell I’m going’, ‘I don’t know what the hell I’m doing,’ or ‘I don’t give a shit,’ catergory. All three are equally correct. 
  • Driving should always be under taken either at 80mph or 5mph. Anything between is not acceptable. A packed lunch is recommended for journeys mostly consisting of the 5mph shuffle.
  • Feel free to use phone / eat whilst driving. You will be surprised how well you can multi task with coffee/ sandwich/ packet of crisps / radio/ fags/ phone. However we aren’t super-human so lets be realistic. If you need to let one of your balls drop, make sure it’s your driving, god forbid it be your breakfast. 
  • When you are visiting somewhere new, don’t listen to the Bitch-Nav. She’s trying to kill you… Or divert you to Narnia.

So that brings today’s driving lesson to a close. I shall be at home licking valium-lollies until it’s time to leave and do it all over again. And then again. And again. For a year!!

<sobs quietly> 

Anna F-Bomb J

‘… I’m quite stressed … does it show…?’

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Do ‘bass tones’ deminish penis size????

I can’t deny it. Today has taken stress to highs that I haven’t experienced in a lot of years. My eldest, The Captain, has returned to college after two years of home schooling. ‘Normal’ school (at senior level) failed him abysmally. Empty promises of support and understanding (of autism) fell to the floor like autumn leaves. A honeymoon period of two weeks swiftly disintegrated into what was, to put it mildly, a living hell. 

He was effectively punished for being autistic. Any ‘support’ served only one purpose… to get him to fit  their box. Would we ever do this with someone who had diabetes type 1? Would we repremand them for having a hypo? Pressure them into ‘just trying’ stuff in order to wean themselves off their condition? Of course not! Its a fucking ridiculous suggestion. And yet this approach is taken by so many schools across the UK.

He lasted 3 months before I pulled him out. The school mysteriously not being able to find the CCTV that would have shown him being attacked was the final straw after a concentrated catalogue of disasters. And it’s been a good move in many ways on the whole. It turned out the home ed community is massive. HUGE! It’s also diverse. Tolerant. Open minded. Welcoming. 

My son had friends for the first time in his life!

However, despite all the good times we’ve had over the past couple of years, he has been desperate to try a more conventional education again. Even though every bone in my body says “No”, I have to at least allow him to try. Fortunately we have been able to track down a dedicated home-ed geared class. Maximum of 16 students. Tutors that are educated and aware of conditions such as autism. At his assessment I was over the moon to find our efforts across the kitchen table had given him a progression that is almost a year ahead his average peer group; it made all the blood, sweat and tears worthwhile; especially considering that his former school had all but written him off as far as the acquisition of any future qualifications was concerned.

I have everything crossed.

 And so this morning, at 9.10am I dropped him off at central college. I felt so sick. I still do. I’m convinced he will at least die ,if not worse, without me to take care of him … Someone needs to invent elasticated apron strings. I’m not ready for this. Aside all my fears for him, the morning was never going to be one filled with rainbows and unicorns. We have to drive 90 minutes to get him there. There is no other provision any closer. Nada. If we aren’t in the car for just gone 7, we won’t make it. Driving through Nottingham at the best of times is shitty, and at rush hour when you don’t know where the hell you are going, it’s nightmare-level.  Add into that, the google sat-nav bitch ( yes bitch!) sending us on a 10 minute detour to bring us to the same fucking roundabout we’d been 5 yards away from before she flipped; me taking the wrong slip road and landing in the middle of the worst traffic jam in the history of all mankind ( I’m not exaggerating…. It really was that bad…. Infact if anything I’m probably playing it down… I’m still quite stressed… Does it show?); and then we had to sit behind Mr Dickhead  of The Century  for fucking ever, at the traffic lights. There’s something quite sad about middle aged men who drive around in old, badly pimped up VWs with a sound system the same size as a small bungalow stuffed into their boot, thinking they’re cool.

 You fucking aren’t!!!

The only reason we are all staring at you is to try and get your attention so you might notice that your base is on so full that you are making are sodding gums bleed you stupid twat!!! I can only presume that loud bass at that level, in those circumstances, is the poor mans penis-envy.

<And breathe>

It was a special moment. Autistic child already having a melt down because of traffic/ lateness/ new college/ life/ fucking everything…. And then we got to add Mr Dicksplash and His Amazing Bass into the equation.

He finishes at 2.30 this afternoon. I’m not leaving the area; just in case. So I’m sat here, comfort eating, in a little arty cafe place. Its not lunch time yet and I’m already one slice of carrot cake, on slice of lemon drizzle and one lemon-posset in ( except it’s not proper lemon posset… And that’s pissed me off too!)

So apologies for the ranting and raving today. And also the typos. And the swearing. Fury-typing is incredibly difficult on a telephone screen. No one ever got promoted to key-board warrior via the front of a LG Curve or what ever the hell it is I’ve got these days. 

And just for the record… ‘British government’, you are fucking failing autistic kids all over this country. By the thousands. The Conservatives, Labour and that crock of shit we had in the middle. Totally failing them!! 

Okay… Can someone bring me more pudding…. I need more pudding…. 

I’m too old for this …

I’m too old for this …

“It’s your birthday soon,” they said. “Let’s have a girls night in and make it an early celebration,” they said.

And so we did.

And then wine happened.

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There was something in the middle that involved roasted vegetables,a birthday cake being licked by a vegan, hummus and putting the world to rights …

And then morning

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And the moral of this story is (at nearly 45 years old) JUST FUCKING DON’T!!

I shall mostly be hanging for what remains of my weekend.

Hanging. And moaning.

A lot.

Feel free to send recovery / early birthday gifts of money, diamonds, fast cars, and pizza.

Mostly pizza.

Lots of love

Anna (piss head) J    *hic*

 

High Maintenance or Self Care?

High Maintenance or Self Care?

In no way shape or form could I ever be described as ‘high-maintenance’. Not even in my younger, thinner, prettier days. The bottom line is I’m just too damn lazy. The second to bottom line is I couldn’t afford it (or justify spending that amount of money on myself). Having children and being married (or as good as without the dress and piece of paper), meant that the bit of time I did spend on myself, kinda went out of  the window. It wasn’t helped by living with a partner who would regularly throw around accusations of affairs every time  I put on some slap and high heels. However, that was then and this is  now. Yesterday I talked about the mirror. So insignificant to most but a huge step for me. My mindset has definitely  shifted recently. A need to self-care again has risen from the ashes. When I look in the mirror I no longer see someone who is beyond help. Not worthy of help. I see a woman with potential; to be better and greater than she was the day before.

My world is beginning to feel quite alien. It’s scary but exciting.

So with this new perspective on life,  and myself, I thought the time had come to try and go a bit more high-maintenance. I awoke this morning full of the joys of spring and with many many plans for today. A transformation from a dowdy 44-year-old to middle-aged glamour puss (*Miranda style turn to camera* “…no sniggering … we all need dreams…”) was on the cards. I have a birthday coming up and it seemed as good a time to start as any.

It hasn’t gone  to plan  and it’s only eleven.

It turns out this high maintenance stuff isn’t as simple as I’d imagined. First disappointment was remembering I wasn’t going to be able to lose 60 pounds between breakfast  and dinner. The second disappointment was remembering that to lose even a single pound there could be no breakfast or dinner. Unperturbed, I whipped out my pencil and paper and commenced creating my to-do list whilst munching away on my fat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free breakfast.

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  1. Dye Eyebrows -Kids have thrown away the box of dye I’d secretly stashed in the bathroom cabinet.
  2. Make hair look lush (Hair colour) -I can’t find the gloves, and no one applies Sebastion Cellophane without gloves. No one.
  3. Tidy up eyebrows – “… ya tweezers fell down the plug hole last week mum…”
  4. Nails –  No nails!! Probably should have stopped biting them last week in preparation
  5. Legs – I still have a pair. Possibly an orangutan sanctuary existing in ‘undergrowth’. (Half way through my shower I remembered new packet of disposables is still downstairs.)
  6. Face mask – Do Avon still do those peely ones? A bit like the glue we all painted on the back of our hands as kids but smelled of lemon. (Remembered I was supposed to do one an hour after my shower.)
  7. Exfoliation of entire body! (I remembered two hours after my shower. Fitness levels probably aren’t ready for this yet anyway. There  is a lot of body and a lot of exfoliation.)
  8. Feet – Urgh, I’m not ready to go there yet.
  9. Yoga work out on the Bastard-Ball –  The day isn’t over yet. It’s still a possibility. *Crosses fingers behind back.*

And so it goes on …

How do you girls do it?!!!

There is so much to think about and plan! It’s like having another full-time job on top of the full-time work that most of us already do! I’m going to need extra pages and columns in my diary if this has a cat in hells chance of working. I probably would also benefit  from a sugar-daddy / crowd-fund / Swiss bank account (full) / trust fund / lottery win. I’m thinking this high-maintenance would be so much less stressful if I could afford to hire a housekeeper to do my chores and look after the kids, whilst I pottered off to see a ‘lady wot does’ to get all the beauty stuff done.

I need to reassess how I can make this happen. Or bits of it at least.

Current High Maintenance Level Achieved: I’ve washed my hair. 😀

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Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall.

 

Going through any kind of trauma presents challenges; walls that need to be dismantled. Brick, by brick, by brick. The journey of recovery is different for everyone. A short skip, jump and a hop for some; for others, much longer. I’ve travelled one of the longer ones. Five years and it’s only  in recent times that I’ve felt brave enough to properly stick my head above the parapet.

Today I took a huge leap.

I bought a mirror. A full length, scary as shit, mirror … And then I looked at myself in it. Something I’ve avoided for more than half a decade. I refused to have them in the house, became adept at ignoring my own image in store windows etc.

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I hated what I saw BUT I did it! 

So many of us spend our entire lives listening to the voices outside and in, continually telling us that we aren’t good enough. Breaking that record is really difficult and I take my hat off to those of you who have already found the courage to do so. Domestic abuse left me afraid of everyone and everything, including myself. I tried so hard to make it all okay, to stop the vileness that ran through the veins of the relationship. To make him stop. But I couldn’t.

‘I wasn’t good enough.’

 Despite my ‘logical-head’ knowing exactly where the land lies, the other part of me … the one that thrives on love, and passion, and warmth, and trust … has still got a way to go. I’m still not finished wrestling with the ‘it wasn’t my fault’ element of the equation. I’m not sure I ever will. And with that self-blame comes the need to avoid. People, contact … emotions.

I’ve spent so many years, walking around, avoiding my own reflection.

Avoiding me.

Myself.

And I.

I don’t want to do that anymore.

I have no clue what lies beyond the looking glass. The thought of stepping through makes me feel sick with fear ,but for the first time in as long as I can remember, there is something else. Buried deep inside that knotted ball inside my stomach.

Excitement. Hope.

 A seed that’s been dormant.

Waiting to grow.

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Bye-Bye BBC

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Dear BBC,

I felt I couldn’t let our relationship end without saying a few words. We’ve been through so much together. Forty-four years of tears, surprise, education, fantasy, and laughter. You were there when I watched my first episode of Bagpuss – I hated it. But we had to watch it because my mum loved it. And then there was Ivor The Engine. She also loved that too whilst I developed  an early dislike for trains and for a short while, the Welsh accent. Eventually came Grange Hill. Finally something I adored! Tucker Jenkins and Trisha Yates were my idols -until my mum decided it was ‘a bit rough’, and I was banned from watching it. Time rolled by and He-Man rolled in … my first crush on a cartoon character. Bugger. He was ITV though, wasn’t  he?

I grew up and went through my emo phase. It was painful for all. Especially for the parents. Black and grey were the colours of the day and East Enders was the programme of the mood. Matching me, ounce of misery for ounce of misery. We worked well as a team together.

Then you introduced me to The Tudors. What can I say? It was just never the same again. Jonathan Rhys Meyers rolling about in the buff, pushing Queens down onto beds wearing nothing but his crown jewels … things began to change. I needed more. You were no longer enough.

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One day I loved you, and the next …  You just didn’t feel as hip and cool. I felt a distance growing between us. We just didn’t seem to like the same things anymore. Your attention was somewhere else by the late hours of every night. You weren’t interested in pleasing me like you had been in the early days … and yet you were always happy to take my money. It was always me who paid for our time together. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a strong, independent woman. I don’t mind paying my way, but even I have my limits. It has to be two-way.

I wasn’t sad the day I let you go five years ago. In fact, I felt relief. Excited about continuing my journey without you. I had so many dreams and plans about what I would do with all the free time I would have on my hands. And on the whole, it has been great! I’ve read books, (I’ve written books!!), I’ve painted, learned to crochet (mostly lumps but it’s an on-going process). I’ve had dinner with long-lost friends. Travelled. Rediscovered the absolute joy of proper conversation, with real people, and yes. I found new love… It can’t  have been easy for you. Hearing about Netflix. But what can I say? He was vibrant. Fun. Interesting. It was love at first sight. I never stopped caring about you. I still dropped in on you from time to time. Especially when you were hanging out on-line with Paul Hollywood. You never knew it was me, hidden amongst the masses. An observateur secrète. Drooling over your sticky buns and whipped frosting. But alas, that too must now come to an end. I’m sure we shall meet on occasion at my parent’s soirees from time to time.

As from midnight tonight, our relationship is over. I knew it couldn’t carry on forever. Something had to give, and it was never going to be me. And so I thank you for the memories. The good times and the shitty ones … like  when you forced me to watch tennis or football for f##king ever, and bid you au revoir.

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Till we meet again BBC, till we meet again. ( Probably next week ; the parents are recording British Bake Off for me.)

Your Anna J

XXX

Licensing laws are changing as from September 1 2016. Make sure you are covered / not accessing BBC in any format what so ever or take the risk of a £1000 fine …. not to mention a man in a van with a tin-foil hat sitting outside your house. For more information, please visit  http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/topics/bbc-iplayer-and-the-tv-licence

 

 

 

An SOS To All The Boy Mommas’.

An SOS To All The Boy Mommas’.

Saturday was bathroom cleaning day. 

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I honestly do not know where I went wrong.

<swigs wine>

How is it even possible to leave a bathroom in that state?

<swigs more wine >

I couldn’t get pee in those places if my life depended on it!

<grabs bottle>

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Between you and I, I’m not sure how much longer I can keep this up. They are 12& 13 now. That means I’ve got *counts on fingers* at least six more years of this.

<Begins to sob>

I mean, I go over and over with them about wiping the seat, (and around the seat … and down on the floor behind the seat … and under the hinges of the seat….) putting empty loo rolls in the bin. I point out the toothpaste, smeared and dried across the mirror and the glass shelf . The ‘gifts’ they leave floating. The dirty boxer shorts left on the floor along with other unmentionables that I am yet to identify (and quite frankly, would most probably need therapy if I did find out).

What the hell do they do in there!? Do they turn feral? Or into the exorcist? 

How hard can it be? Walk in, take a pee (directly into the loo). Flush toilet. Wash hands. Leave Room. It’s not rocket science. 

Are the towels really so heavy that they can’t physically pick them up post-shower?

And what gives with the conversion? Where my bathroom floor is converted into a paddling pool at least once day? I monitor my water meter … I don’t even know how they make that amount of water go that far. You’d think if nothing else it would wash away the grime. But no. Witchcraft is the only reasonable explanation.

I’m struggling to hang in there at a once-a-week deep clean. It really needs more. I’m not sure I have the inner strength to do it. Someone give me reassurance before I lose the will to live.

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I’m thinking of setting up a crowd-fund campaign to pay for a cleaner, to come in on a sodding hourly basis. Some jobs should be left to those that know what they are doing.

Professionals.

Semi-professionals.

Stranger off the street.

Just anyone except me.