Thursday, 12 August 2010

Stretching the definition of fun

If you ever see a sign advertising a 'Family Fun Day' - run. Run in the opposite direction. Run to the offy. Run to the airport. Run to the nearest place of worship and swear to God that you will never consider attending another family fun day again. For it says in the Old Testament (King James version, Deuteronomy 22.6) 'And lo, the Lord saw the children of Israel queuing for sinful entertainments, and with a great terribleness he did smite them by charging £2 for an ice cream and seven fucking quid for a Dora The Explorer balloon.'

Of course, this stupid heathen ignored all warnings and took Louis to a family fun day which was - to paraphrase Iggy and his Stooges- NO FUN. The weather started out cold and immediately became blazing hot, meaning I was wading about in furry lined boots and thick tights in 24 degree heat. Kids everywhere were acting like unmedicated schizophrenics - wailing, pooing in the bushes and gnawing on their own legs. There was a bouncy castle that was more popular than Glastonbury, a real fire engine that kids could sit in and relentlessly press the 'nee-naw' button, a selection of lame stalls and an events 'arena' featuring a bum-numbing display of falconry. All the way through this I was clinging onto sanity like Wiley Coyote hanging off the edge of a cliff with a stick of 'ACME' dynamite up his ass. When, I wondered, would the much- touted 'fun' part of this family day begin?

Luckily the tedious birds of prey event was the highlight of the day, in that a falcon called Goose saw his chance for some real fun and fucked off. Watching the handler getting increasingly desperate and dry mouthed as his prize bird flew up into a thermal 3 miles over Glasgow was actually pretty funny. Running out of things to say apart from 'Goose? GOOOOOOOSE! I'm supposed to be going out tonight!' the crowd grew bored and he was left frantically swinging his meat for half an hour on his own. This had a knock on effect on the running order, holding up the following act, the Ducks of Hazzard. I amused myself for a while imagining the performing ducks in their dressing room wearing dicky bows and bitching about falcons ('Darling, he's so unprofessional - he's not even a real goose').

Then five minutes later, my friend's child went missing, causing even more obscenely high stress levels and much bollocking when he was found. After that my friend's other child looked like she was spoiling for an asthma attack, Louis broke out in a blotchy heat rash that made him look like he was made of Spam, and I got candy floss stuck in my teeth. Oh yeah, and then I bashed my head getting into the taxi in the way home and cracked my skull so hard thought I was having a brain haemorrhage. It still hurts. It ALL still hurts.


And the ducks were shit.


One morning a week I start work in Edinburgh at 9am, thus I have to stumble bleary-eyed out of bed at 6 to be at the train station for 7. (In some countries, this has replaced cutting off people's hands as punishment for petty crimes). As I was not on the ball, I pressed the wrong button and when I was on the train, the guard informed me that I had stupidly paid over the odds for a first class ticket. Still, I thought I'd better make the best of my expensive faux pas and I wafted into the hallowed Scotrail 1st class compartment, feeling like Lauren Bacall in Murder On The Orient Express.

God, what a disappointment. No flunky appeared to carry my Louis Vuitton trunk, and the only perk I was offered was a pre-wrapped cinnamon bun that looked like a dog poo with raisins in it. Meanwhile, behind the glass sliding doors I could hear commuters laughing and having a whale of a time while I sat in air-conditioned silence with a Chinese tourist who was uncomprehendingly reading a copy of the Scotsman. Oh, how I longed to be back with the great unwashed! To feel what they feel, see what they see! To try out my happy hardcore ringtones with no regard for other commuters! To talk loudly into my phone about meetings! To read the Metro letters page while sitting next to someone with bad breath from Falkirk! Man, it's tough living in a gilded cage. That's what P. Diddy must feel like all the time.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Defrost pie, kick ass

The other day, a work colleague said to me: 'You look like a woman who's cooked a few steak pies in her time.' Of course, my earhole filter heard this as 'Whoa, ya chubby bitch- lay off the Fray Bentos!' and I immediately launched at him with a blunt object. It was only when I was fretfully dabbing at his bleeding head that I realised that he was asking for specific pie defrosting advice and he meant I look like I'm a CAPABLE COOK.

Having spent about 34 years of my life looking like (and actually being) someone who would burn toast/kill your goldfish/forget to take her knickers off before she gets in the bath, this is worrying. In terms of sexual allure, this must mean I've jumped the shark and landed on Mum Island, where everyone knows a really good recipe for hidden vegetable pasta sauce but nobody is getting any - apart from for the purposes of procreation. It means that I am no longer Top Shop, I am John Lewis (larger lady department). It means that metaphorically speaking, I have cracked heels and grey pubes and think that David Cameron is 'dishy'.

But so it goes. While I wish I could be a drunken gobshite floozy forever, in 2007 my Mum Island passport was stamped with indelible ink and now my citizenship is starting to show. And you know what, I'm proud of my new found skillz. After all, in the past 3 years I have been on a crash course of cooking, coping, cleaning, crying and carrying. And I've learned many things, such as:

1) Children are like drunk, short tempered chimps and they should be locked up
2) You must keep on top of your domestic tasks even if they make you feel like Sylvia Plath, because otherwise you and your children will die of a flesh eating bug
3) Give your child healthy meals otherwise they will turn into toothless fat prawns who wear 'Future Wag' t-shirts and break all the chairs at school with their lardy arses
4) Often you will be called on to be resourceful, so make sure you know about knots and shit
5) You will never, never get a chance to do anything you want to do ever again but you will be so tired you won't remember what those things are anyway.
6) Mums are totally hard as nails. Like cage fighters with 7 bellies.

In fact my newly acquired Mum powers came in handy on Saturday night. I'd had a trying day stuck in the house with Louis - who was acting like Mariah Carey after discovering that the flowers in her dressing room were £2 carnations from the Jet garage - and I was at the end of my tether. Luckily, I had a night out planned and went to the West End for a drink. All was well until a twentysomething student twat hijacked the taxi me and my friend were getting into and wouldn't budge. In previous years, I would have been intimidated but all I could see was an overgrown 15 stone toddler in a Superdry t-shirt. I yelled at him to get out several times, which didn't work. So I got in, got hold of his arms, and physically dragged him out of the cab, leaving him to have a wee tantrum on the pavement.

Mind you, he got off lightly. If I'd been feeling really evil I would have spat on a hanky and wiped his face as well.