A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Family humour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family humour. Show all posts

Friday, 4 November 2016

A Lady of Leisure

Keep calm and chillFollowing a minor surgical procedure on my leg last week, I pondered what life as a 'temporary' lady of leisure might be like.

In my imagination, I envisaged poring over a magazine, curling up on the sofa with the cat to watch films and maybe taking an afternoon nap while the rest of the family pandered to my every whim.

Lady of leisure, relaxing on the sofa

Naturally, that wasn't how things turned out.

An hour after returning from hospital, I was already bored from sitting on the sofa and took myself for a gentle stroll around the neighbourhood while still under the influence of a sedative. Several of the neighbours probably suspected I'd taken to daytime drinking as I slurred my words and stumbled a couple of times, my leg still numb from the local anaesthetic.

The following day I was home alone. Sadly, the local anaesthetic and sedative had worn off. I was sore, but bored. I took myself on another walk, wrote Christmas cards and removed the cat from her favoured position on top the mound of paperwork I'd decided to sift through while watching a movie so bad, I'd normally have switched off after five minutes. I also tackled the laundry and cooked dinner to relieve the monotony.

On Friday, we had a new boiler installed. I made endless cups of tea for workmen, limped all over the house and barely sat down all day. By the evening I was ratty, desperate to leave the house and the bruising on my leg was fifty shades of purple and black.

At the weekend, I was in desperate to resume 'normal life' despite the umpteen walks, visits from friends, being preoccupied with the boiler fitting and countless inane household tasks that didn't require standing or sitting with my knee bent for prolonged periods. I contemplated escaping in the car. Only it hadn't been spotted since the op as the girls knew I couldn't drive and had 'borrowed' it (again).

By Monday, I'd decided that I needed help with the chores piling up at home. Mr A helpfully offered to clean the kitchen. Good, I thought and promptly disappeared to let him get on with it.

Two hours later he was still engrossed.

Curious to know why cleaning the kitchen was taking so long, I popped my head around the door.

'Nearly finished?' I asked. Before spying what he was up to.

'What the heck are you doing?' I snarled, without allowing him time to answer the previous question.

'Just rearranging some stuff in the cupboards,' he replied.

He was. All the crockery was now helpfully placed in the glass cupboard. He had removed several shelves from another cupboard and placed all the glassware where the crockery once lived. 

'Grrr,' I said. 'Put it back.'

'Why? It looks better like this,' he added  

'No it doesn't. If you don't put it back, I'll just get the stepladder out tomorrow and do it myself.'

'But you're not allowed to do anything like that after your op,' he added.

'Exactly,' I said.

Mr A spent the next hour returning the kitchen to its original state in silence.

I poured a large G&T before turning to leave. Reminding myself that it was for medicinal purposes and my family had driven me to it.

The following day I cleaned the entire house and concluded that being a lady of leisure wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton

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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Sometimes I pretend to be normal...

We were up at 4am and on the road by 5 the weekend before last. The journey to Falmouth is 250 miles from home and from experience, it's best tackled early in the morning. We arrive at our daughter's house by 9:30am, and we're on the beach by ten sipping much-needed coffee, devouring biscuits and slipping in and out of our waterproof jackets as the weather alternates between drizzling rain and blistering sunshine. It rains as we eat our picnic on the beach. We stay there anyway and make the best of it.

'Would it be OK if I invited a friend for dinner tonight?' Olivia asks as we drop her home afterwards.

'Yes, that's fine,' I add.

'I have something I need to ask,'she adds. 'Do you think you could pretend to be normal while we're out?' Her comment is a harsh one. Aren't all families slightly crazy with their in-jokes and unique perspective on the world?

I promise that I will behave, but feel well and truly chastised by my daughter.

It's always a pleasure to meet up with our daughters' friends from university and E is lovely. On Olivia's recommendation, we head to a restaurant in the centre of town that's popular with students and enjoy our evening meal.

Restaurants in Falmouth, Cornwall

As I was up early and it has been a crazy day, a single glass of wine intoxicates more quickly than usual, but I try to pretend that I'm 'normal' (whatever that might be) and remind myself that on a good day I can fake normality rather well. I stick to 'safe' topics such as plans after university, cats, (E has several) and hopes that she and Olivia will remain in touch. It's all gone rather well, but with tiredness comes the possibility of saying something daft. Olivia is looking at me with a look that says, 'See, you can do this when you want to.'

My philosophy is more along the lines of... 'life's too short to be normal, why pretend?'

Jools Holland is playing in town and we meander towards the music after enjoying our meal. The concert is screened off, but we hear perfectly and occasionally catch glimpses of what's going on behind the mesh fence. It's a delightful end to a tiring day.

Falmouth, Cornwall

We stand on the pier behind the shops and restaurants and the clouds are perfect for cloud spotting. I deliberate over whether or not my daughter would approve of this topic, but decide to go with it anyway. I spot a fish and a rabbit and Mr A spots a cloud shaped like a chicken drumstick. I snort with laughter and E finds it all rather amusing. I get the impression that we have wandered too far from the realms of normality as Olivia dishes out a disapproving look. As the concert finishes, Mr A and myself make our excuses and return to the hotel, leaving the students to party.

The following morning we meet up with Olivia and drive to Sennen Cove and Porthcurno for rain-soaked walks along sea-misted beaches. We do this a lot in the UK. If you stay in waiting for the weather to become less inclement, you'd spend most of your life indoors. The day feels more like November than June.

Over a lunch of carrot and coriander soup, while attempting to thaw and dry out a little, Olivia pipes up with, 'Well you've completely fooled E, she thinks you're lovely and wants to come and stay when she's doing her master's.'

'Oh, it would be a pleasure to see her,' I add.

'Would it?' said my daughter. 'I have no idea how the hell you'd pretend to be normal for that long,' she says.

My daughter may have a point.

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton

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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

50 Shades of White

Ambient glow, Christmas tree lightsThe LED lights on the Christmas tree were designed to give me a headache. If there are fifty shades of white... these would be at the top end of dazzling, with potential to cause dizzy spells. Had they appeared on the news, I suspect an advisory would need to be issued prior to any footage being shown.

My daughters thought it an excellent trick to put the lights on fast shuffle mode, this served only to increase the frequency of dizzy spells and encourage me to leave the room. 'These are so getting replaced next year,' I thought to myself, while struggling to find humour in the situation for the umpteenth time over what felt like many days.

The karma fairy took pity on me, and in the sales I spied a set of ambient-glow, pale white lights. 'Not bright enough,' said one disappointed reviewer, 'Subtle white light with only a static setting,' said another. 'Perfect,' I thought to myself and added them to my virtual online basket. I also popped in a set of cute mini Christmas trees from the well-known company and logged off before anything else caught my attention.

These arrived promptly from the local delivery company whose driver I'm on first name terms with for always taking in next door's parcels. 'This one's actually for you' she said, before handing over a sizeable box.

'Wow, that's a large box for three small trees and a set of lights,' I said, before adding my thanks and joking that I'd see her tomorrow with yet another parcel for the neighbours.

I opened the parcel, pulled out the gorgeous new lights and in a moment of post-Christmas bewilderment, contemplated removing the old set from the tree and replacing them. Fortunately I came to my senses and reprimanded myself for being daft. Hadn't the Christmas tree taken forever to put up and caused enough mayhem already? Besides, if I'm lucky and up early enough on New Year's Day there's a chance I could take the tree down before everyone else has risen from their post party slumber. The lights were returned to the box.

At the bottom of the parcel were not one set of mini trees, but six. I unwrapped one of the trios and added these to the already bountiful selection of Christmas decorations scattered all over the house. Some tasteful, some not so. And despite being a control freak, I hadn't the heart to change a thing the rest of the family had done to mess up the house even more make the house appear more festive than it already was.

I checked the invoice and called customer services. After confirming my name, email, order number, address, postcode, telephone number and inside leg measurement,* I wondered why they needed so many details when a customer was simply trying to do the right thing. I went on to explain that I'd received six sets of trees, rather than the one I'd ordered.

'The reason you've only received one is because they've sold out,' said a helpful customer services assistant at the end of the phone.

'No, no,' I said. 'I only ordered the one set.'

'Oh,' said the assistant. 'Are you saying that you have six sets?'

'Yes,' I added for a second time.'

'Oh,' she said again. 'Thank you for your honesty. I'll pop a prepaid label in the post and maybe you'd be kind enough to return them with a cover note, or the returns department will be really confused.'

'I'll do that.' I said.
Does anyone actually listen to what's being said I wonder?

Any bets on whether the five sets returned will be credited to my account warranting another puzzling phone call to Customer Services? The jury's out until this time next week.
Wishing all my readers a bright and Happy 2016. Here's hoping the New Year will be a fabulous one for each and every one of you.

* This information may not actually have been given.

Copyright ©2015 Izzie Anderton

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