School holidays have kept the blog quiet as I’ve juggled work and offspring with differing degrees of success. Squidge established really early on that hairstyles were not on the menu. She explained that these were for school but in the holidays she was doing her own hair, thank you very much.
It was truly adorable to watch her brush her hair and spray it, even if it meant huge chunks of knot growing at the bottom and sopping wet patches where she had put on too much spray-in conditioner. It was worth it to see her get so excited about doing it by herself.
I went to Africa on my own for 12 days as well. It was an exhilarating and inspirational trip. I realised some core truths, I rebuilt my self esteem and I decided that Africa will always be my home. It is time I think about returning to my motherland and building a life out there regardless of the issues and risks. Choosing a country to live in isn’t about finding the perfect place, it’s about finding somewhere that speaks to your soul and that has issues you think you can deal with.
So, without further ado, rambling and boring navel gazing, welcome to the summer issue of Saffa and the plethora of cute girls hairstyles coming your way. I’ll also be posting up a video I took at a watering hole in the Kruger Park. It’s five minutes of peace, silence and nature that will just ease your soul.
Let’s start at the beginning. Last week The Husband and I set out on our planned Home Renovation campaign that involved a lot of painting, sanding, cleaning, washing and (occasionally) yelling at each other. On our very first day I went down the stairs, slipped on a hidden puddle of paint, and fell down.
I only fell maybe three steps. Not far AT all, especially seeing as they are carpeted and I am well padded. Unfortunately the one step hit my left shoulder at exactly the wrong angle and knocked it out. The “()£*)(“*()*£” thing.
The pain is, I have to tell you, extraordinary. I screamed. No, wait. I fucking screamed. I didn’t bear down with stoic composure. I didn’t gracefully bite my lip and whisper to my husband for help. No, what I did was this…
As I hit the second step and felt the bugger pop out I screamed (and this was punctuated by the bonk thunk of my ass hitting subsequent steps) “AAAAMBUUUULAAAANCE!!!!”
The Husband went, “Oh no, not again“
It wasn’t a heartless remark, it was one filled with utter fear for me, knowing how agonising it can be. Off he ran to get the phone. I sat at the bottom of the stairs, holding onto my left arm as tightly as I could while sweat POURED off my face. When the nice paramedic arrived I stuck my arm at him and gasped, “Morphine!”
Ok, OK, I know this doesn’t look good. I do. But if you have ever dislocated anything you will know how completely painful it is. Apparently (I have no way of confirming this short of empirical testing, which I don’t plan to do any time soon) it is more painful than a break. I also have zero pain threshold and cannot cope with pain.
So morphine and entonox were, literally, my only lifeline. Last time my shoulder stayed out for around 6.5 hours as the A&E was busy. A real bugger when you realise that it takes about 10 mins to put me under and whack it back in.
Luckily for me, the arm swacked back in as I stood up to get in the ambulance. We didn’t know at the time, it took a VERY confused X-Ray technician for us to realise that the agonising pop that happened when I stood up was actually my arm returning to sender.
However, while I was there (and I must point out that my hair is still growing out of the short haircut and looks AWFUL and I have put on a ton of weight and I was wearing clothes covered in paint) a nice doctor sort of rushed me through the system so I wouldn’t have to wait six hours again.
I was beyond grateful until I suddenly realised, two days later, that maybe he wanted the scary bag lady out of there as I was scaring the elderly? Or I was his charity case for the day.
This was reinforced today when I went to the hospital for my check-up and, after vaguely poking at me and making me lift my arm, the guy goes, “It is very badly bruised and torn, don’t do anything for another 2-3 weeks.”
Fine. Frustrating, but I can live with that. However, when I asked him for pain relief he said, “No more for you, take paracetamol” like I was some kind of drug addicted freak.
To be fair, he didn’t know I spend all day in front of my desk typing as I work from home and have no choice BUT to work. STILL! Do I LOOK like a bloody codeine addict?
I think, perhaps, I need to get this mad mop of hair and this diet sorted out before someone hands me a trolley and 6 cats and tells me to get on with the mad cackling…
I know that it looks like I am a “start a charity page” addict but, to be fair, I am only as good as my last fundraising attempt and this year has been a little too self-absorbed for my liking.
While I was in the shower an idea came to me. As they do. Ideas always seem to appear when you are either half asleep at 2am and have woken up figuring out the answer to World Peace but forget to write it down and can’t remember it in the morning, when you are on the loo and too embarrassed to scream out, “HOONEEEY GIVE ME A PAPER AND A PEN IMMEDIATELY!!”, or when you are in the shower.
This time I remembered it because I thought, as you do, that it was a stroke of genius. I am going to starve myself for 40 hours, allowing no food to pass my lips from 01 September until 8pm on 02 September and raise money to help people struggling in the grip of a famine in Africa. For 40 hours I’ll get to experience what they have for MONTHS.
What the people of Somalia are experiencing at the moment is beyond horrific. Women are being raped as the try to cross over the border, their children are forced to watch, fathers bury their children as they die from hunger. It is like the scene out of a horror movie and yet, this is happening right this minute.
If you are about to eat a sandwich or drink a cup of tea, pause for a minute and know that what you are holding in your hand is like an unobtainable dream for some of these people.
So, here I am, hat in hand, asking you to take five minutes out of your day to donate to my fundraising event. You honestly don’t need to donate a lot. 10p? SURE! £5? Awesome! Anything you can spare, anything, will make all the difference in the world.
Please help me to make a difference on 01 September.
The Husband and I, since July 2006, have been haunted by the Inconvenient Poo.
It all started when Squidge was a baby. As we sat down to dinner, looking down at the adorable little baby in her playpen/cot/pram/baby holding device with fond eyes and happy smiles, she would get that focused expression that can only mean one thing. An enormous poo.
At first we didn’t notice but after a few weeks we realised that, no matter how we shifted the timing, Squidge would have a poo as we sat down to eat our dinner. I am surprised that I wasn’t really thin back then. It is hard to return to cold food after having wrestled, for ten minutes, with a crap that has possible sentience.
We even named her poos after Scottish distilleries when Squidge had the most powerful and utterly terrifying poo ever at the Glenmorangie distillery. I was off on the tour, sipping whiskey and licking whisky caskets (no, not really) while The Husband had to race into the nearest loo and literally CUT her clothes off her and throw them in the bin. There was, apparently, poo up to her neck.
So, those violent and messy poos are Glenmorangies, the ones that are accompanied by lots of noise and dramatic crashing noises but somehow yield no real results are called Dalwhinnies, and the Glenfiddich is the more casual and yet alarmingly whiffy poo.
To this day Squidge will declare, usually in a loud voice and usually at a restaurant (with non-child carrying friends trying not to look horrified), that she requires a poo JUST as the food lands on the table.
However, the Inconvenient Poo does not just strike when food is nearby. It has a plan. It wants me to have a nervous breakdown and cause my last nerve endings to collapse in anguish. For the Inconvenient Poo will almost always arrive WHEN WE HAVE JUST LEFT THE LAST TOILET BEHIND.
And when I say last toilet I mean – it is late and we are in town and all the shops are closed and there are no nearby pubs or restaurants, we have just hiked to the beach where there are NO public toilets in reach and an accident WILL occur by the time we hike to the ones we can find, on a bus, on a train when I am carrying 16 bags and then have to wrestle them, her and ME into the tiny toilet, on a train where all the toilets are out of order and there are still 1.5 hours to go (this HAS happened), and when all the toilets in the surrounding area are out of order…
We have also had the, “Oh I didn’t realise I had a poo” while standing in it on the floor of a restaurant. The “Oh god what the hell do I do with this” poo that appeared while walking through a nearby farm and resulted in my burying it. I still feel faintly worried about that farmer hunting me down somehow. And the “I appear to have had an accident mum” when in the car on the M25 where (apparently) nobody is allowed to wee because there are NO TOILETS.
Actually, am considering a side business of opening up some rent-a-toilets on the M25 for people like me who drank an entire large skinny latte before hitting the M25 and then realising, in a massive traffic jam, that Houston had a Problem.
To this day we are haunted by the Inconvenient Poo, an all powerful being that remains utterly in control. The only weapons we have are wipes and spare knickers. Stay on your guard parents, next time it could be you…
You think I’m being funny. I SWEAR the bugger is haunted.
I got my brand shiny new iPhone 4 along with a brand new shiny term of slavery contract with Orange. I was rather pleased. My poor old HTC Hero had failed to inspire me with its clunky interface and personal issues, although he was one tough bastard that was stood on, kicked and dropped and still worked just fine.
The iPhone came with me to London. It got me around London to a series of awesome Christmas in July events that I plan to write about soon, and it works a dream. I like it. I am ashamed to admit this because I have been a die-hard Apple hater for decades. Oh well, I have also been a shallow git for decades…
Anyway, the first time I noticed something wasn’t quite right was the morning after. Feeling ashamed and used (and that’s just because I own an iPhone) I rolled over to check the time and the iPhone wasn’t there! I looked everywhere.
It was under the bed.
Then I placed it reverently back on the night stand and went back to sleep.
The iPhone wasn’t there. It was now between the night stand and the wall. ON THE OTHER SIDE.
Yes, I too had goosebumps. Don’t worry. It’s normal when reading a story of such obvious spine chilling terror.
Then I attached it to its power cable on my desk, went to get coffee and came back. It was GONE. This time it was under my diary. How? HOW?
And so it goes on.
The iPhone 4 that was sent to me by Orange is haunted.
SO, to avoid being eaten alive by an angry iPhone 4, I have purchased this:
Click on the image to get the full specs and to see the video. How AWESOME is this dude?
Have you been terrified into silence by your iPhone? Has a gadget got you by the goodies? Let me know! Perhaps I can save you, let’s tell the world the truth – THEY ARE ALIVE!
Yeah…It has been AGES since my last confession post. A lot has happened in the past few weeks (I turned 40 and hated it for a bit) and I’ve been struggling to keep up with it all. Lots of thoughts, lots of happenings and lots of notes in my diary. So, if you are still reading this blog and wondering what the hell happened, there is LOTS to come.
But first, a moment to pause and reflect. On what? Well, on how if you are not grown up by the time you hit 40 it is unlikely to happen, ever…
Finally the power is back on and I can show you all the magical, brilliant, hilarious and wondrous posts that came to me for this, my first ever blogging carnival.
Before I stand on the podium and sniff into my hanky crying out, “You love me, you REALLY, really LOVE me,” I shall show you the genius of the humans who write on the web. (Ten points to whoever guesses the actress that said that at the Oscars many years ago…)
To start with we have a post from Kids Party Heaven that will make you nod in recognition of lessons learned and moments of cringe. It made me think of times when I did things so utterly daft I still blush today when I think about them. Not that this was that bad, obviously, but just how well it is written and how quickly you are taken into the moment. Grumpy, funny and inspirational. Just how we like it! And if you are ever on the lookout for a fab children’s entertainer, then Diane is your lady.
Next up we have Nelly’s Eggs, a delicious blog by Nelly that talks about her life and her first baby. Her post is called Welcome to Spain but only just and describes what seems to be the same holidays departures as I have. I too get all panicked and race to gates and end up late while The Husband looks all relaxed. I think Nelly did this with remarkable composure, if I am honest and boy can I relate! I love the way Nelly writes, it is very emotive and engaging.
Next up we have Tots 100 slebs Diary of a Frugal Family sending us their post on The Worst Weekend Ever… Cass writes this with such brilliance I was crying with laughter and empathy. Actually, it had me crying with laughter full stop. My favourite colour is pink, the same shade as your nipples. Oh, oh, so funny. Thank you for this, Cass. Thank you!
In A Bun Dance, a blog written by the witty and sharp Ellen (and I have to mention here that I am smitten with the nickname The Panther of News) had me pondering questions like – if you were stuck In The Night Garden who would you shag? Seriously? Answer that if you DARE. Her post Sh*g, marry, avoid – the Edinburgh Moonwalk version is very entertaining indeed. Although they were too nice in their options. Ha!
Muddling along Mummy sent me a post called The Friday Rant Club – give us some proper role models and boy did this post hit some spots with me. I completely and utterly and totally agree with her on this. I think anything that has Celebrity Dad of the Year attached to it is a waste of time and effort. Why not get real people to nominate real dads for real reasons. And who voted for these slebs anyway? Bravo on this post! Can you hear me clapping from here Mrs Muddling?
Joanne, another talented journalist and blogger, sent me her discussion of the week about reviews on blogs. She asks some serious questions and suggests some thoughtful answers that are well worth considering if you do blog reviews. Reviewing is a serious business and, as Joanne says, you have to avoid playing fast and loose with somebody else’s money. It’s definitely worth chatting about – what do you think?
Finally we have something to take your mind off the grumpiness and to make your troubles melt away. Scarlett’s Kitchen, a blog written by Alice that covers her adventures in the kitchen with Mini-Chef. There are recipes and stories galore. She sent me a post on Where does our food come from? that offers a lovely idea for a day out with the kids that is educational and fun. Well worth visiting for the recipes and the feeling of comfy relaxation you get when you sit down to read.
And that is it! I wasn’t inundated with entries, I’m afraid. I think this is due to the fact that I didn’t pimp it out as much as I should have. In fact, if it wasn’t for Alice I would have completely forgotten. If you have a blog that fits the theme and would like to be included, I don’t think it’s too late!
Go on, send me your entries anyway! I’ll keep this up all week so newcomers can get their carnival posts up and their genius out there.
And to round things off, here are two videos that make me scream with laughter.
There are many, many reasons why I LOVE being a child of the 80s. Sure, the hair was bad. Yes, I wore blue eye-shadow but there was this bright innocence and wonderful sense of excitement (or that just could have been me…) and, of course, the music.
This song captures the essence of my teenage years. Dedicated to me by my first love, played every hot summer on the radio, a song that even now makes me feel sun-kissed and relaxed, happy and free. It takes me back in time and makes me feel so young. It makes me laugh. And it makes me cry.
Last night we went to the circus. I’m not going to say which one because that would be cruel in light of my, um, criticism…
I like circuses. There are rules. You HAVE to eat a hot dog, even if it is foul and made by Cut Me Own Throat Dibbler and tastes of socks. You MUST get candy floss even though you get stuck to the seats, each other, and your teeth fall out.
I happily obeyed these rules. I happily unstuck child from my bottom, elbow, side.
It was all lovely enough until we hit the act just before intermission. Then lights went out, people filed in and lay down in the ring, a box was wheeled in, a woman was perched prettily on the box – what could this be?
Music starts and the perched person turns out to be a fairy. Oh, ok. She tippy toes around the room touching the sleeping figures with her wand. Riiiight. Then they all slowly stir and stand up. Er…
The entire cast and crew are in superhero outfits, most of which don’t actually fit them, and are dancing around arm in arm waving long purple rubber tubes. Then they sort of dance back and forth between one another, badly out of time, and wriggling almost obscenely.
That’s when I see The Clown. Never have I seen a man so close to murder. That was one ANGRY man dressed as a toy clown.
You can hear the conversation now:
Owner: Get in clown outfit and get out there to do the dance
Owner: Want your job?
THEN they started skipping. Er. But sort of tripping over ropes and the one chap’s mask slid up so his mouth hole was over his eyes, and the Batman costume fell sideways on Very Small Man and then this one girl sort of writhed around them all as they stood in a line.
It felt like it was what would happen if you asked Salvador Dali to make an act while he was high on drugs and being interrogated by a dominatrix.
Then the men danced up to each other and bumped stomachs, and then another woman wandered in dressed in pyjamas and holding a teddy bear. They circled her, lifting their arms in the air and dancing around holding hands. It was like a superhero version of The Wicker Man.
I eyeballed the edges of the tent. Could I get under there in case the doors slammed shut and they executed a massacre in the name of their spring god?
I pinched myself. No. This was really happening. Then a man on a bicycle started cycling backwards and the clown kept on making us clap.
I looked around the room. Everybody’s faces looked like mine. Mouths open in astonishment and faint horror.
I rebelled. I was not encouraging Worst Clown Ever with clapping. I mean, the 10 minute skit of him pretending to drive a car was beyond boring and hideous, and I am easily pleased.
The African Dancers and the trapeze artists were ace. They made me think that perhaps the candy floss hadn’t been laced with narcotics.
Then the final act.
They wafted in with squares of coloured cloth taped to their hands as they waved them about in daft patterns, like trees that had been attacked by half eaten balloons. What On Earth?
Honestly the weirdest circus I have ever been to. Whoever thought that acts should have women wearing tight spandex writhing at the feet of the male performers should be taken out and shot.
And that clown. He was making rude gestures like the fist into your elbow with the other fist shooting up one. (How the hell do I explain that? What IS that gesture called?) This is in front of the KIDS???