Happy days with my Mama x

Hello everyone, I’m back!

For the last few days my dearest Mama (my favourite ex mother in law) has been staying with me and we have been here, there and everywhere, cramming in as much quality time together as possible.

As I waited at Norwich Station for her train to arrive from Cambridge there was an announcement over the tannoy which caught both my attention, and my imagination. Word for word it said “This is British Transport Police. If you see something which doesn’t look right please inform a member of staff. See it, say it, sort it”.

Well, where does one begin. I immediate saw a woman clearly waiting for the same train as me and she didn’t look at all right! A hand knitted orange cardigan with grey tracky bottoms? I ask you, if that’s not a crime then it jolly well should be. As should being judgemental but because it’s me doing it then it doesn’t count.

And the chap to my left hasn’t combed his hair for more than a week, I’m pretty sure of that.

There, as requested by British Transport Police, I’ve seen it, and I’ve said it (to you) but I couldn’t sort it as at that precise moment (probably just as well) I spotted Mama heading straight for me.

We’ve since toured the glorious Norfolk countryside at length, visited Barton Broad, watched a wherry sailing, had lunch on the river at Wroxham, fed the ducks and swans, visited a craft fair, enjoyed afternoon tea at Whitlingham Lake, walked the dogs extensively and shopped until we dropped. And I’m still dropping – I absolutely loved every minute but I am exhausted, reminding me how unfit I still am. Please bear in mind too that, at almost eighty years old, Mama is super fit and attends her local gym several times a week and also swims often.

Here is a picture of my darling Mama in the loos at Wroxham Barns – obviously I wouldn’t normally choose such an insalubrious location for a posed photograph but I think you can see why I made an exception in this case as each cubicle door has a gorgeous, and most realistic, image printed on it:

Mama cow loo 2

And as you can see my Mama still looks lovely and dresses beautifully, has a healthy appetite, eats sensibly but well, enjoys just one small sherry at Christmas, and has a zest for life which would put many to shame.

Bless her. And you x

Mama swans 2

 

 

 

Does your coffee table kiss and tell?

Hello everyone – having only been here for just a few days I am absolutely delighted to have accumulated 22 followers already! Yay! Whoever you are, thankyou so very much as you have inspired me to continue to write, and to continue to exercise (just in case any of you are hot/or hotter than me). Well, I think you are all gorgeous (even you, yes you, the rather plain one at the back) x

Speaking of plain … I was watching a TV property programme the other day and a couple of prospective buyers were being shown around a potential new home, a large barn conversion in North Yorkshire.

The exterior of the property was still very traditional and gave not the slightest hint as to what lay inside behind closed doors. Then slowly the rather grand heavy wooden door opened and, hey presto, we were inside.

Wow! Not at all what either they, the potential buyers, or I expected.

It was a vast space, with sparkling white marble floors, crisp white walls and ceilings, and pretty much all the furniture and contents were white too, taking stark minimalism and open plan living to the extreme.

The gorgeous old stone exterior looked perfectly at home in it’s scenic Yorkshire setting but the interior was pure Hollywood mansion.

It was completely bland though. Ok, I accept that the owners had prepared their home for an inspection, together with a film crew, but as I glanced around I realised there were no personal belongings of any kind on show there. No framed photographs. No books. Nothing.

As I absorbed this vast blandness (with the TV on pause at this point) I gradually found my attention drawn to the coffee table nestling in the centre of this huge room. It was made up of two heavy slabs of white marble, one placed vertically at each end to form a base, with a much larger third slab resting on the other two. But it was what was on it that fascinated me – or rather, what wasn’t. Again … nothing. Nothing at all.

I thought perhaps the property had been vacated already? But no, the presenter referred to the current owners’ penchant for minimalism and added that even their cat matched their decor – totally white. The poor thing was practically invisible to the naked eye until it ventured outside.

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Actually, I’m rather surprised they even had a cat in their sterile environment but perhaps it was there to catch any stray white mice?

Anyway, I digress, it dawned on me that not a single shred of information could be gleaned from this home regarding the occupants – for example:

How many?

Which genders?

Their ages?

Their family?

Their professions?

Their interests?

Nothing!

And yet, to my mind, a persons’ coffee table in particular is usually full of clues. I’ll give you an example.

This is mine:

Chatting on phone with Frank (age 95) 17.12.15

Now, I’m not a detective but I can gather quite a lot of information from this coffee table, although it’s rather difficult to prove my point when this is my own and therefore I know all about me. I would suggest however that it belongs to a more mature person (one old enough to have a black and white mother)? One with a sweet tooth? Someone with a love of travel perhaps (note the Morrocan table, the Asian mini chest of drawers, the French candlesticks). I wonder what it is telling you though?

And, I wonder, are you sitting looking at yours as you read this? What would it tell me, or indeed anyone else, about you if we could see it? And trust me, as an inherently nosy person when it comes to other peoples’ homes, I’d love to see your coffee table!

For this reason I particularly enjoy travelling at night, by car or train, because of the added bonus of getting a good look into peoples’ homes, albeit fleetingly at sixty or so miles an hour (and it’s even more difficult by plane lol).

Well the point I’m trying to make, albeit a little clumsily, is that I personally think it’s good, healthy even, to enjoy your home and to surround yourself with your treasures and things which make you feel comfortable. I think if I were to live in that all white minimalist environment for any period of time it would feel, to me, like a heavily censored and sanitised waiting area, rather than a home.

I wonder what you think?

As for me, I’m off to do my bingo wing exercises, have a (very) quick plank (NOT a euphemism) … and then tidy my coffee table.

Elizabeth x

Welcome to the Karma cafe …

… where revenge is a dish best served cold. You may have to queue a while, in some cases years, but I promise it will be worth the wait.

There is a phenomenon which, as a psychologist, really fascinates me and I’ve heard it referred to in the trade as the Lightning Laugh.

It is when a person suddenly, without any warning or perhaps any kind of build up at all, just explodes with a laugh emitted at full volume, mouth wide open, and it’s completely unexpected rather like the sudden eruption of a volcano.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ha ha ha.

The laugh itself is too loud and too long, ensuring that no-one can speak or contradict them until they stop.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ha ha ha.

Indeed, the slightest thing can set them off and they often do this repeatedly. Prime examples can often be found on reality shows yet surprisingly little has been written about it. I personally believe it often manifests itself in someone who appears to be uber confident but in fact has very low self esteem and uses the Lightning Laugh as a control and/or defence mechanism, to cause a distraction if you like.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ha ha ha.

Add to this the fact that they are open mouthed and baring their teeth like an agitated primate (which denotes hostility and readiness to fight) and their insecurity, hence their inappropriate behaviour, becomes more obvious.

And just today, I accidentally did a Lightning Laugh of my own but for a totally different reason …

Many moons ago, I lived with someone for about four years but he really wasn’t The One for me and I decided to leave. When I returned just a few days later to fetch my belongings they had all gone – he then led me into the garden and showed me the remains of a big bonfire where he had burnt the lot!

Everything was gone, including some of my treasured childhood toys, various gifts from my parents which included a large woodcarving and a beautiful Persian rug – and most heartbreaking of all some absolutely exquisite original watercolour paintings and a very large leather bound family bible which I had inherited from my grandmother. Inside the bible was our family tree, written by hand of course and ornately decorated with gold leaf, detailing generations of births and deaths. These were all enormously precious items to me, of great sentimental value, and they could never ever be replaced.

It was an act of pure wickedness on the part of my ex and no amount of pleading and grovelling by him in the aftermath could ever allow me to forgive him. Never. And I never found closure either, feeling an enormous amount of guilt for losing such family treasures which had been gifted and entrusted to me.

But today Karma rewarded my patience and finally I have closure.

Just by chance, on the Facebook page of a mutual friend who was attending a wedding, I saw a photograph of this very same bible burner marrying his much too young Thai bride, although if he hadn’t been tagged by name I would never have recognised him. Once tall, dark and handsome he is now just tall. And bloated. And a rather nasty shade of pink, verging on purple. Long gone are the smouldering good looks which attracted me to him all those years ago and he now looks like a big fat over ripe plum, especially next to his petite new bride.

There were lots of congratulatory comments, many of which were in Thai, including one from the bride herself, replying to a comment from her sister. Curiosity then got the better of me.

It read ” S̄ìng thī̀ reā thả pheụ̄̀x ngein – chatā krrm k̄hxng c̄hạn khụ̄x kār bæ̀ngpạn teīyng k̄hxng h̄mū thī̀ mī kār dūlæ xeācıs̄ı̀ nī̂ which roughly translated means:

“What we have to do for money – my fate is to share a bed with this over sexed pig”.

I read this with such glee that I spontaneously let out my very own Lightning Laugh!

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ha ha ha.

Because I suspect she will probably take a great deal from him, just as he did from me.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ha ha ha.

The big fat dumb plum.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ha ha HA!

Now fingers crossed that Karma doesn’t come after me for laughing,

Elizabeth x

 

 

 

 

What age are you in your head?

Hello and welcome …

Which is better – back in the day, or now? Or are they just the same, but different? I wonder …

This week I celebrated my 64th birthday and I just can’t buggery bollocky believe that I am now 64, possibly because in my head I still think I am approximately 28. This partly came about some time ago after I was asked the question “God forbid, but if you were woken from a coma with absolutely no memory, and no mirror, and covered in a blanket from the neck down, how old would you think you are?”

It didn’t take me long to estimate that I was about twenty eight years old (even though I was actually in my fifties at that time).

I wonder if it was because I consider my twenty eighth year here on Earth as my absolute favourite. I still had my parents, I looked young (because I was), I was healthy, I loved my then husband (well, perhaps loved is a bit strong, but I quite liked him), I lived in a nice home in a lovely part of the country, holidayed in exotic locations, and my pride and joy at that time (apart from my dog and my cat, obviously) was a metallic baby powder blue super fast targa top sports car with a most luxurious suede interior (all of which I was hopelessly in love with).

Fast forward thirty six years to today (not so far in the greater universal scheme of things) and it’s a very different picture … my darling parents have both sadly departed, I no longer look in my twenties (no, honestly), I suffer from various aches and pains etc (but they are at a level that’s tolerable), I’m divorced (several times over but always my choice), I still have a nice home thankfully but I no longer go on holidays abroad (because I don’t want to leave my dogs), and I still drive a sporty little car (but a way more sensible version).

So, having pondered all of the above I would surmise that by far and away the one thing about being this age which has affected me the most is the loss of my beloved parents and my various much loved pets along the way.

Any other disappointments are far outweighed by the prevailing sense of calm which seems to envelop me these days. In fact, it’s slowly beginning to dawn on me that I may have finally become a grown up. Probably just as well, given that most members of my family have lived well into their nineties which means I could be here for another thirty years or more.

In fact, my best friend Lucy and I made a pact several years ago that we would spend our last days living together and caring for one another – although Lucy quickly pointed out that she expected the level of care I would receive to be far superior to the level of care she would receive.

And now I wonder what will life be like in yet another thirty six years … I hope I get to have a jet pack. And one of those scooters that hovers about three feet off the ground, I’d love to travel across the English Channel on one of those to have afternoon tea in France. And a really handsome sex robot (just as arm candy, rather like an ultra modern futuristic walking aid). Perhaps I haven’t grown up after all …

 

 

It’s hard work being a Mother!

Ahoy there! Now, me hearties, here is an interesting fact for you, which I discovered purely by chance this very morn. Yesterday was actually “International Talk Like a Pirate Day”! I Captain Kidd you not – how amazing is that? If only I had known – now I have to wait a whole year until the next one.

Which reminds me … I was attending a dinner party a few years ago, oddly enough dressed as Long John Silver (not really, just checking to make sure you are paying attention) when the topic of conversation turned to children – who had what, how many, ages etc.

I was just about to say actually I don’t have any children but, before I could, the lady seated opposite me piped up “Oh, I think there’s something very strange about a woman who doesn’t have children – there must be something wrong with her surely”.

She then immediately turned to me and asked “How many children do you have Elizabeth?” and I heard someone answer “Two” and then realised it was in fact me that had said that. Phew, that was close, I thought I had swerved what could have been an awkward moment rather nicely.

I really should have paid more attention to the potential ramifications of my reply though because then came a barrage of questions, thus:

“What are their names?”

“Hugo and Pandora” I replied, having quickly plucked from thin air the names of my two beloved cats from years ago. Lucky they weren’t called Puss and Ginger!

“How old are they?” Blah blah blah …

By the end of the evening I was the unintentional mother of two children, my aforementioned incredibly talented son Hugo and my beautiful daughter Pandora, affectionately known as Pandy. Perhaps a little over the top, I hear you say? No, that was just the beginning.

architecture-bridge-brooklyn-bridge-416053

Hugo is a very successful architect, living with his partner (Antonio) in the most scrumptious loft apartment in Manhattan. As a trendy gay man about town I don’t expect he will be giving me grandchildren anytime soon. Thank goodness! No way do I want some sticky toddlers anywhere near my dogs, my Afghan war rug or my cashmere throws thankyou.

Ooh, I started to get a bit anxious then at the thought of it, completely forgetting for a moment that that particular nightmare scenario exists only in my mind. Phew, what a relief!

Back to Pandora … Pandy is a very successful (naturellement) interior designer, living with her husband Sebastian in Primrose Hill on the northern side of Regent’s Park in London.  Pandy is very similar to me in many ways and she and her husband (whom I simply adore) have decided they are not particularly fussed about having children for they too have some beautiful soft furnishings. That, and they have a shared love of long haul travel destinations. They have the most gorgeous home, as one would expect, but unfortunately have very loud neighbours to the left of them – some kind of musician, apparently quite famous, playing an electric guitar and wailing at all hours. I can’t recall his name off hand but I imagine he sounds rather like this:

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So, with my maternal instinct on full alert, I advised darling Pandy to pop next door and ever so politely ask if they would be kind enough to keep the noise down after 10pm in the evening, which she did. But she then informed me a greasy wild haired beatnik type of fellow had greeted her with some hostility, shouting “I’m not going to be told what to do by a woman with a face like a pickled onion”!

Outrageous!! The child is beyond beautiful – she looks just like me for heavens sake!

Anyway, must dash for now dahlings as I’m expecting a long distance call from Hugo … I’ll send him your best wishes. And then I really must plank.

Elizabeth x

 

What most women do? Surely not.

Hello everyone and I hope this finds you all happy and well.

I was driving into the city this morning, listening to an obscure radio station when the presenter asked listeners to phone in with their answers to the following question:

What is it that most women do at least once a month but some women do at least once a week?

My thought was changing the bed – I do this at least once a week, as I imagine a lot of people do. And that answer would also take into account the lazy mares who might change it only once a month (but would they even admit to that?).

Someone quickly phoned in with the most obvious answer (sex) but that was wrong.

Someone else phoned in and said “Shower” – please, no, don’t let that be the answer!

Someone else said “Wash their hair” – whaaat? Just once a month? Wrong again.

The suggestions were coming thick and fast, with me saying continuously in the background “Change the bed”, then forced to increase my volume substantially “CHANGE THE BED” when no-one would say it.

Eventually, the presenter said that every single caller had guessed incorrectly so he would have to tell us the answer.

child-children-cry-160720

It was crying!!

He claimed that it is a scientific fact that most women cry at least once a month but some cry at least once a week?

Really?? I think I have cried on just two occasions so far this year (and we are now in September) – once when I saw on the news that a rhino had been killed and the other time was watching a film. I can’t, however, remember which film so the emotional impact on me was only fleeting.

In my opinion that presenter should have then done a second phone in: What’s everyone crying about? I wonder what YOUR guess would be?

Elizabeth x

 

A rather unusual bread recipe …

Hello everyone and I hope this finds you all happy and well.  Brace yourselves please because you will NOT believe what happened to me last night! My friend, who is passionate about cooking, invited me to her home for a light supper and we were chatting away when she casually announced she had been baking and had been experimenting with a new recipe which she was keen for me to try. She told me “It’s rather an unusual combination of ingredients but I know you’re adventurous enough to try it” – she then brought to the table this quite magnificent creation which looked absolutely delicious.

“It’s a peanut butter and semen loaf” she proudly declared. “What the actual  f**k” was my first thought. My second, having already told her I was ravenous, was how do I get out of this without offending her.

“Wow”, I said “that certainly is adventurous”! My friend seemed completely unfazed by my hesitation saying “Go on, try it, I’m sure you’ll want more once you’ve tried it”.

“I’m not sure I can, it’s just so … unusual” I told her. By now even the thought was making me gag. I thought I’d stall for time so I asked her where she got the main ingredients from.

“Oh” she cheerfully replied “just from the village shop. You know, the one which old Mr Mills runs – he’s quite remarkable you know, 83 years old and still working”.

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As she cut a very generous slice and placed it before me I heard myself blurting out “No, no, I’m sorry but I just can’t face it, it’s just too much”, I grabbed my bag and made a run for it. As I ran I heard her shout “Whatever is wrong with you – I know it’s rather unconventional but won’t you even try it”?

Driving home I was thinking whatever has this world come to. Unconventional? That’s an understatement if ever I heard one! A sad place indeed when a poor old man has to resort to this just to make ends meet. Oh, the indignity.

Arriving home I was so happy to see my dogs, Mrs Temple-Savage and Philip, and gave them an extra big fuss, thinking to myself well, whoever would have thought it – having always been considered the eccentric one in our friendship I’ve just been promoted to being the most ‘normal’ one, after all these years. Whatever was she thinking. And I certainly hope that particular recipe doesn’t get featured on The Great British Bake Off.

I made myself a soothing Peppermint Tea and then settled comfortably at my computer – heading straight to Facebook to distract myself from a most peculiar evening.

Aaaagh! The very first thing I see is my friend proudly displaying the very same creation she had tried to tempt me with, along with the caption …

My peanut butter and CINNAMON loaf.

Tres embarrassant!!

Elizabeth x

YouTube & Coco Pops

OMG yesterday was dire but today I have woken to a brand new day, feeling bright and breezy, yay! And I see I have some new followers, thankyou so much and welcome – how lovely of you to join me!

I was too weak to get up to much yesterday so basically just lounged around enjoying my preferred drug of choice – YouTube. Yes, I think I may indeed be addicted to it but it’s just so fascinating on there. One minute I’m looking at wobbly footage of alien beings (no, it wasn’t filmed in Walmart), then a shark attack (I pressed that one by mistake) and then this humongous woman with smudged eye makeup and a marshmallow stuck to her long tangled hair – my first thought right then and there was “Oh, I didn’t know my phone could be a mirror too” before realising it wasn’t me. Phew! That vision, however, has thankfully put me back on the right track.

Anyway, I was Googling away in bed last night (ooh er, NOT a euphemism) and I found this blog similar to mine but the lady in question, who is just a year younger than me at 62 but way heavier (check out my smug face), has decided to keep a photo blog. Yes, good idea you might be thinking … but she has decided to pose in the smallest string bikini so that we can all see what an absolute wildebeest she is at the start of her journey (no offence)! Now that is one brave woman. And before you ask, no you won’t have to endure that from me.

But what would be a reasonable amount of time to elapse, I wonder, before I notice my endeavours coming to fruition? I’m thinking a couple of weeks preferably as I am really impatient and have an extremely low boredom threshold. Actually though, I have read that the longer it takes to lose weight and get into shape then the longer lasting the effects will be. We’ve all seen these zelebrities in the media who look as though they have eaten their entire family one minute and then suddenly they bring out a work out video and then these same zelebrities shrink massively and rapidly whilst shouting “I know I said I loved being a jolly fat person but I was lying” … three months later they appear even bigger than when they started and their workout videos (aka cash injections much needed to pay for lots of pies) can only be found in bins and skips (where they themselves can sometimes be found I’ve heard, searching for anything remotely edible). In fact, I’ve heard that one ex soap “star” was once spotted down at her local tip chewing on the back of an old leather sofa. It’s true I tell you!

Anyway, back to me and so far today I have done 50 arm twizzles and planked for eleven whole seconds – and I have also had a remarkable stroke of good luck. I came across an article which stated that Coco Pops are good for you because they contain a high amount of iron. I gave up smoking almost three years ago, for obvious reasons, and then gave up cows milk a year ago having read some really grotesque facts about it but now I use almond milk instead and much prefer it (it seems to suit me personally better than soya milk) and on Coco Pops it’s divine.

What luck, because I love them! So I jogged to the shops this afternoon (in the car) and I am just about to enjoy a delicious bowl full. Heaven!

Missing you already, Elizabeth x

 

Don’t look at me!

Hi everyone! I’ve woken this morning feeling fully refreshed and fighting fit (which is actually completely untrue – I look terrible and I’m fairly sure that if a member of the public saw me right now I would probably get poked with a stick to check I was still alive). What’s happened? I ate a late supper – and I stayed up late watching TV eating a very generous size prawn cocktail (without the healthy salad bit) followed by chocolate orange creams, that’s what. So, shoot me. Yes, seriously, it would be the kindest thing to do today – just put me out of my misery please.

I feel awful. My hair has left me looking like the wild man of Borneo, a side effect of a really restless night, and I am bloated and can hardly move. Anyway, enough of me, let’s talk about you … ok, no sorry, it’s just too soon I’m afraid so back to me. As you have probably already realised I am not one to complain … have I mentioned I feel rough?

Elizabeth x