It has cost us 5p a carrier bag here in Wales for a couple of years now but I just cannot bear to pay for a bag. I really can’t. I carry extra-large unbreakable carrier bags in the boot of my car and stagger around the shops with them just to ensure that I don’t get mugged for 5p at the checkout. It drives Son3 mad. It drives Artist madder.
When we go shopping in my car all my indestructible carrier bags are in the boot ever ready to save me those pennies. When we go shopping in Artist’s car there are no prepared bags and he buys stacks of them at the check out each time. Soooooooo wasteful.
We were at the checkout the other day and he bought an armful of carrier bags again.
“When we are married” said Me in a loud enough for the shop to hear whisper, “you will not be allowed to waste money on carrier bags!”
“It’s only 5p” stated Artist.
“Yeah but all those 5p’s add up” whined tight arsed Me, “and you have spent 20p right there”.
“15p” said Artist guiltily, stuffing a carrier bag back under the counter.
“Well look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves” said Me piously.
We packed up the shopping and started to walk out of the store laden down with our crappy 5p carrier bags. I noticed Artist toss something over his shoulder which landed with a ping on the shelving running alongside the window. I looked at the item with curiosity.
“What are you doing?” said Me in surprise.
“Nothing” said Artist and carelessly tossed another item over his shoulder.
“Stop it!” said Me, quickly gathering up the second coin.
“Why?” said Artist, dropping another 5p on the floor and throwing another further down the window lodge.
“You bugger” said Me laughing, gathering up all the coins.
We got home and unpacked the shopping.
“I’m not a skinflint” said Me, ” but I really hate wasting money, and all those 5ps will add up over the course of a year you know!”
“Oh I know Baby” said Artist in a grave tone, “It’s tragic, for I will probably spend … oooh … let me see … a whole pound over the course of the year!”
“Oh stop it” said Me laughing.
The following day Artist brought me my early morning cuppa and headed home.
I picked my cuppa up. Underneath the mug was …
I got out of bed. Put my foot to the floor. Stuck to my sole …
I went into the bathroom. On the sink …
I went down stairs. On the third step down was …
At the bottom of the stairs was …
I went into the kitchen and by the side of the kettle was …
On my front door step…
They are everywhere. My house is full of them. They are breeding and multiplying and gathering and procreating and everything. The damn things are haunting Me. However, I am not downhearted. No No. I have a cunning plan. I am busily saving up all those 5p’s. I am pretty sure in another day or two I will have enough to buy Artist one of those mahoosive, indestructible ‘bags for life’ … and if I cant get him to use it for his shopping then at least I will have a vessel big enough to save up all those damn 5ps in.
A funny and his money are soon parted huh?
Praise be to god there has been a miracle in the BeeBee household. Son3 has metamorphosed into a sweet lovely young man. To be honest I did wonder if body snatching aliens had landed and stolen Son3 but nope it is definitely not an alien version of him. That cute little bundle of smiling, happy, sunshine that once was my son has re-emerged and damn it feels good.
I suppose it all started with the 42″ TV that Artist kindly donated to Son3 to support the cause for peace in the valley. Almost overnight, with that one random act of kindness, Son3 has changed beyond almost all recognition.
The day after the TV donation Son3 came family food shopping with Me. I swear. He even packed the shopping into carrier bags, carried it into the house, and unpacked it when we got home. I was slightly stunned but suitably appreciative. He has been getting into film making recently and has made a magnificent motivational film about basketball for his A’Level coursework. It is really good. He is considering continuing with the film studies in university. I do think he has a talent.
On Mother’s Day he called Me into his bedroom and said he wanted me to watch a film he had made for Me. I was unusually speechless. He then proceeded to press ‘play’ and the most beautiful thing unfurled before my eyes. He had created an animated film using some of the music and lyrics of a Kanye West song called “Hey Mama” from an album released all the way back in 2005 when Son3 was just 9. He had searched online to find the right song to set the movie to, one that had the right words, and told Me he was delighted when he found it. These were not random words. They were ones he wanted to gift to Me.
Hey Mama, ahhhhhhhhhh, I wanna scream so loud for you
‘Cause I’m so proud of you, let me tell you what I’m about to do (Hey Mama)
I know I act a fool, but I promise you I’m going back to school
I appreciate that you alive for me, I just want you to be proud of me (Hey Mama)
The animated film ended with lots of stills of beautiful flowers, a slowly unfolding ‘Happy Mother’s Day” and Me with tears dripping down my face.
“I love you” said Son3 hugging Me tightly.
“I love you too” said Me hugging him back.
And there is more ….
Son3 has mowed the lawns.
Son3 has thanked Me for picking up some toiletries for him.
Son3 has taken Dog to the vets with Me.
Son3 has swept the front room.
Son3 has joined a family meal.
Son3 has tided his room.
Son3 has thanked Me for lifts.
Son3, as I am writing this, is downstairs emptying the dishwasher.
I know. It’s just so incredible isn’t it?
As I said earlier… it is a miracle. A wonderful glorious beautiful miracle. Not once since the random act of kindness by Artist has Son3 kicked off, been abusive, been ungrateful, sworn at Me or done anything to upset Me. It’s true.
Artist is feeling pretty pleased with himself. It’s not every day a man can end a violent nasty war and restore peace to the world. Fair play huh?
Artist has now decided that Son3 deserves some more kindness.
Son3 is an avid basketball fan and his hero is Kevin Durant. As Son3 is 18 next month Artist has decided to give Son3 a framed pencil drawing of Kevin Durant. Artist is currently working on this and it is coming together beautifully.
On receipt of the pencil drawing I am wouldn’t be surprised if Son3 devoted the rest of his life to philanthropic acts, and donated all his riches to charity.
Happy Son3. Happy Mama. Happy Artist. WIN WIN WIN!
Original photo Artist’s pencil drawing
Sister wanted a new tattoo. Sister is a kooky colourful sort of girl and anything she had was, of course, going to be unusual. She wanted it to look like a piece of jewellery and sent a few ideas to Artist. Ultimately they both thought that a photo of a wrap around the arm snake bracelet (from herein named a snakelet) would work well. Artist loves one-off designs and was excited to create this masterpiece. I went down to watch it all happen at his studio.
“Are you sure about this?” asked Me, “It is going to be pretty dramatic!”
“Absolutely” says Sister with the design already drawn on to her arm, “that is exactly what I want.”
When the design was finished it looked beautiful. A gorgeous snakelet in beautiful colours and completely unique. Sister was really happy. She proudly put a photo onto Facebook.
Next day Sister was on Facebook when Mother popped up (75 and with a Facebook account fair play huh?).
“Mother’s online” she said to BrotherInLaw in panic, “any minute now the phone will ring.”
The phone rung.
“I’m off to the pub” said BrotherInLaw hastily.
“Take me too” said Sister desperately and as he disappeared out of the door she picked up the phone.
“What have you done?” scolded Mother, “Why have you done something so stupid? I haven’t brought you up to do things like that. It is ugly! Were you drunk? You will never be able to wear a pretty dress again!”
Sister waited for the tirade to finish.
“Mother I am 52 years old and it is my arm. I think it is beautiful and I had it done so I could wear pretty dresses. Now is this all you wanted to say to me?” she said sternly, but upset.
“Well I hope Kay hasn’t gone and had tattoes too?” stated Mother angrily.
When Sister relayed this conversation I decided that I would keep my daisy chain quiet.
Daughter came into my bedroom on Wednesday where I was cwtched up with Artist.
“Boyfriend wants a tattoo” she announced, “and so do I.”
“I thought you didn’t like them” said Me.
“Well I do!” replied Daughter,” Will you show me yours?”
In surprise I revealed my beautiful daisy that Artist did in February.
“Oh it’s beautiful Mammy,” she said, “it’s looks 3D!”
” Aw thanks,” said Me and Artist in unison, both feeling proud.
“But don’t go having any more!” she ordered, duly pissing on our parade.
Me and Artist looked at each other guiltily. The second in my daisy chain was being added two days later. Best keep that quiet too then.
So, on Friday, I took a trip down to Artist’s Studio for another tattoo experience. I lay naked on the couch, feeling all woozy and weird, whilst my boyfriend touched Me tenderly with latex gloves, kissed me all over, and tattooed Me with my second daisy. It really is a strangely erotic experience. I go to this amazing place. The pain, his latex touch, the vibrations of the tattoo gun, the sound of his deep gravelly voice, and the wonderful music playing loudly spins Me into an alternative reality. I find it deeply, profoundly relaxing and almost quite spiritual.
I have not put the photo on Facebook. I cannot bear to face Mother’s wrath. I have not told Daughter either. I cannot bear to face her wrath either.
I would like to say to you all I am 50, a grown mature responsible woman, who proudly adorns her body with beautiful art, and does so without a care in the world. However, I would be lying. I am a blithering coward who, when faced with the prospect of Mother’s rage, is as scared as a 12-year-old girl.
As for Sister, she only wears long sleeves now when she goes to visit TheParents.
Do we ever truly grow up?
The headlight was out on my car the other day. I was outside my house, with Artist and Dog, when Son2 came around the corner in my car with only one light glowing. Artist very dutifully took a look for Me.
“Oh this is when I just love having a man” exclaimed Me all delighted.
“Sorting out a headlight isn’t manly” said Artist a bit huffily, “wrapping you up in my arms is manly!”
Ah … thought Me … he doesn’t know what to do.
“Shall I take it to Halfords?” said Me, “They change a bulb for a few quid?”
Artist took his multi-coloured hand out from under the front wheel arch, rubbed away the dirt in distaste, and quickly agreed was the best thing to do.
Next day I headed to Halfords. Where the new bulb and bulb change was going to cost Me £9.99. A tad steep, but it would save Me wrestling with that yukky dirty boys stuff.
I stood in reception whilst the young man went outside to stick his arm up my wheel arch (Oooh Matron!). He was soon back inside.
“The two front tyres are illegal” he said in an accusatory tone, “they need to be replaced immediately.”
It transpired that each tyre was going to cost Me £50. My bill was now £109.99. Damn and bugger you stupid headlight.
A very nice man brought the tyre out to explain to Me why they were so bad and driving around with them on the car would likely bring me some points on my licence. For goodness sake I didn’t even realise that there were any wear markers on tyres. At least that was something useful to know for the future huh?
A few minutes later the young man sorting out my headlight reappeared.
“Bad news I am afraid!” he said hesitantly, “the wheels need balancing and the two back tyres also need replacing as they only have about 500 miles left in them.”
Given that I do 100 miles every time I go and visit Artist this was hugely bad news.
I bit back the misery.
“Oh its okay I will sort those out in a couple of weeks when I get paid” said Me.
“Would you like us to balance the wheels for you?” asked young man, “it’s not mandatory but I would recommend it. It will only cost another £15.”
I bit back even more misery. Ah well … in for a penny and in for a lot of pounds.
I parted with my cash and got in my car. It all felt a bit weird. The steering wheel was crushing my legs. I drove off wrestling with my seat. Raising it. Lowering it. Moving it back. Moving it forward. I still get couldn’t comfy under the steering wheel. Then I noticed there was a big gap between the dashboard and the steering wheel. Those damn men in the garage had somehow broken my car. I turned around and drove back to the garage.
“The steering wheel has fallen down” I stated to the receptionist.
The young boy came outside.
“Oh it’s just been lowered” he said, moving a big grey switch at the side of my steering wheel. My steering wheel miraculously popped back up to where it belongs. I was amazed. I swear they must have installed it with the two new tyres, for I truly have never seen that switch in three years of driving the car.
I took my red face and my empty purse back to the office. What was supposed to be a £9.99 headlight turned into £117.99 (they gave me a bit of discount) with another £100 needed shortly for two new tyres.
Next time I will have a go at changing the damn bulb myself!
Things with Son3 have made me pretty low. All the arguments about him gaming in the front room and stopping Daughter from watching TV were really bringing me down. I had sounded off a little to Artist about it and also Artist had also turned up bang in the middle of a big argument the other day.
Truly all the arguments started when Son3 broke the big TV in his room. Until that happened he spent most of his time gaming or watching TV in his room which means blissful, wonderful peace in the rest of the house.
Artist messaged Me at work.
“Baby … one of my mates is selling a 42inch plasma TV for £100 shall I get it for Son3?” he text.
“YES YES YES” I replied, thinking only of the calm this would restore in my house upon installation in Son3′s bedroom.
Ten minutes later Artist messaged Me.
“Sorted Baby!” he advised, “I offered him a couple of hours tattoo work in return for the TV and he agreed.”
“OH MY GOD!” said Me absolutely stunned. “You can’t do that!”
“Deal is done” replied Artist, “He is dropping the TV in to the studio this afternoon.”
“You are my absolute hero” replied Me absolutely overwhelmed by Artist’s kindness.
I told Son3 the good news.
“Did you ask him to do that for Me?” he enquired.
“Absolutely not!” replied Me. “He just knew how much all the arguments were upsetting Me and saw a way to help.”
“Oh Mam I feel so guilty now” responded Son3,”That is so kind of him please tell him thank you so much.”
“You can tell him yourself when he brings the TV up to you tomorrow night” responded Me.
The next day Son3 was a little ray of sunshine. He was bright, polite, pleasant, chatty, smiley, and he even came to the supermarket with Me to pick up the weekend’s groceries. Now, that hasn’t happened for months and months. What a difference to the snarling swearing boy of a couple of days ago huh?
Artist arrived that evening carrying a mahoosive plasma TV and took it straight up to Son3′s room.
“Thank you so so much Artist” said Son3,”I really do appreciate this. Thank you!”
A short while later Son3 called us up to his room. He had set everything up and was playing a game on the TV.
“Look at the picture” he said astounded, “it’s absolutely sick. It is way better than the one that broke.”
“I think he is happy” whispered Artist a few moments later downstairs,” and if he is happy then his Mum is happy, and if his Mum is happy then I am happy.”
Aw that man is a national treasure and such a sweetie pie … oh and I just love a happy ending to a story … yeah right … not so happy an ending. Daughter is absolutely furious. FURIOUS!
“That is just so wrong” she growled, “how about I tell you to eff off and bully everyone … will I get a 42 inch telly for my room too?”
“I do understand why you are cross about it” soothed Me, “but just think of all the peace and quiet we are going to have from now on.”
“I don’t care about that Mam” she snapped, “I just don’t think he should be rewarded for acting like a twat.”
I understand her anger. Yet at the same time I am so damn relieved that the war in my house has been resolved without any more violence of the mop kind. I thought about how lovely Son3 has been since Artist’s random act of kindness. I thought about how Son3 had expressed how guilty he felt, and how he had actually helped Me with the shopping.
“You know sometimes I think kindness can melt a stony, angry heart and be the exact best way to fight back to a bully” said Me gently.
“Ergggggggghhhhhhh” said Daughter angrily storming off.
Nevertheless … yesterday evening at approximately 6:21pm, at the BeeBee headquarters, there was an unconditional surrender of the front room TV. We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing but let us not for one moment forget the toil and effort has gone before. I have laid down my weapon (my mop is back in the bucket in the kitchen). Daughter has been injured but I am hoping for a speedy recovery, and Artist has won a medal for gallantry.
Son 3? … Well I hope he has learnt something from the experience … even if it is only the utter magic of kindness and how to be a good man.
I did another pregnancy test the other day. It was negative again. I get them from the pound shop but they still swear to be 99.9% accurate. (It’s weird, back in the day when I was having all my babies buying a pregnancy test hit the budget hard and now they are just a £1 each … no inflation there… well only in the bellies of the women whose test comes up positive I guess). If I was pregnant I would be the third oldest woman to conceive naturally in the UK. I swear! I Googled it! So why is it easier for Me to think I must be pregnant than to accept I am menopausal?
The menopause sorta looms over you as a mature woman. I have watched with curiosity and trepidation as female friends, some ten years younger than Me, have literally melted before my eyes, with sweat patches under the arms and rosy flushed cheeks. I have listened horrified to tales of loss of interest in sex, dried up genitalia, fits of rage, moodiness, tiredness, depression, inability to concentrate, forgetfulness and itchy skin. I have often wondered when this terrible fate was going to come and seize Me.
The average age for the menopause is 52. The age that a gal reaches her menopause can be fairly accurately predicted by the age that your mother reached her menopause. Mother reached hers at 53. You all know that I only admit to 50 but that I actually celebrate that same birthday every year, and have done for a few years. So by the very fact that Mother Nature hasn’t sent Aunt Flo and Cousin Red to visit Me at all in 2014 I should have realised the cause was the menopause. I didn’t. Nothing bad has happened to Me. Not really. Just disappearing periods.
Us women hate our periods. They wreck holidays, weddings, romantic encounters, sport and… well … pretty much everything. We can’t do a damn thing about them and of course they always catch us unawares.
I remember asking BrotherInLaw to pick Me a packet of Lillets whilst he was out shopping.
“You bloody women,” he groaned, “You get your period the same time every month and you are NEVER prepared for it!”
As a school girl of 11 or 12 it is the topic of conversation among your friendship group. Everyone wants to know who has started their periods. We wonder what periods will be like, both dreading and wanting them to arrive. Then decades later you wonder what it will be like to not have them any more.
So 41 years of periods arriving every 28 days makes 534 periods … deduct the 45 or so that I missed through being pregnant on TheOffSpring and that leaves about 489 periods. How many of those were an absolute utter inconvenience? Simple…489 of the damn things.
I ran my very first London Marathon on day one of the monthly beast. I also ran my second marathon whilst I had the painters in, and would you believe it, my very first triathlon was also day one of that nasty bitch arriving. It got to the point that I stopped worrying about races, realising the only cycle to worry about wasn’t the one I had to pedal. Truly, I started to think that event organisers were planning their races around my menstrual cycle.
So I am not pregnant. My pound store pregnancy tests are absolutely positive that it’s absolutely negative. Therefore, I think I now need to face up to the fact that I have my menopause. So far I have not turned into a psycho girlfriend, I am still as horny as three balled tom cat, and I haven’t needed to purchase any giant tubes of lube. I am still Me, and I still feel pretty fabulous. So there! Up yours nasty evil horrid mythical monster menopause.
Hmmmm I still don’t get how I can feel so good though? It isn’t meant to be like this is it? I wonder what time that pound shop opens … I think I need some more supplies!