Wednesday, 20 April 2011

New Found Hate: The Phonetic Alphabet

We've just moved house and as a result I seem to be constantly on the phone to banks, council departments, energy companies and assorted service providers to inform them of our change of address.

I have a short fuse.  I can go from one to 10, in terms of anger/frustration levels, very quickly. Fact, ask my sisters! In recent weeks I have found that nothing irritates me more than the use of the phonetic alphabet by customer service departments.  All that Alpha, Bravo and Foxtrot crap sends me a little stir crazy. 

I'm number dyslexic, dialling phone numbers is not my greatest skill, I am reasonably ok in the spelling department, but when people start shouting my name back at me, very quickly, using the phonetic alphabet I get very confused and agree to ridiculous things.  I have a stupid surname anyway, but things go from bad to worse.

Bravo, Lima, Indigo, November, Kilo, Hotel, Oscar, Romeo, November!! 

I've found myself rebelling, making up my own references just to confuse them, - Frazzle, Ketchup, One, Five - Eight, Hummus, Dalmatian (Post Code).

Pointless, but it amuses me and helps makes this tedious task a little less soul destroying.

Feel Like a Peach!

A random post, but I feel compelled to share this information.

I'm no beauty buff, unlike my sister (please check out her blog, she is amazing and I am hugely proud of her).

I'm lazy.  I rarely wear make-up, can go for days without brushing my hair and have no make-up bag to speak of, despite the various attempts of my mother to make me take more care (I can't even use the child as an excuse, I have always been this way).

But, perhaps a little unjustly, I happen to be a very lucky lady in the Duty Free department. With parents in South Africa and Australia and a significant other who basically lives in airports I get lots of lovely presents.

I may be quick to dismiss make-up and other such beautification tools, but I love lotions and potions. Give me a moisturiser or a body lotion and I'll be your friend for life!

When the OH returned from his recent stint in the US, his Duty Free blitz included the Kiehl's Creme De Corps Soy Milk and Honey Body Polish.

"Leaves skin soft, smooth, and primed for moisturisation"

Ladies, this is a must have, must buy item. I can not rave enough about this miracle worker.  It is a little pricey, around £22.50 - a treat, but you will reap the rewards. 

It does exactly what it says on the tube.  I feel like a peach.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The Only Ex in the Village

My OH arrived back from tour on Sunday. After an emotional reunion at the airport, fuelled by a few too many BBC2 Sunday Love Songs on route, we headed back to our new home.

This was the first time he had been back to the village under the guise of official resident since moving to London nearly ten years ago. He always manages to be abroad when we move house and only gets back after everything is unpacked, unwrapped and in full working order, but that’s another story. After an even lovelier reunion with Holly, we headed round to see the OH’s brother and his family, and enjoy a few drinks in the afternoon sunshine.

The men decided more beer was required (I also slipped in an ice-cream request) and they headed off to the local Co-op with Holly in tow, she wouldn’t let her Dad out of her sight just in case he disappeared again.

The men and Holly returned, swag in hand.

OH: “You’ll never guess who we just bumped into!”

Me: “Who – you’ve seen a friend already, that’s great!” The move was more my idea than his, so I jump on anything that might sell it that little bit more

OH: “My ex!” Add sniggering and nervous glances from brother

I should point out at this stage that we have been together for 13 years. We have bought a flat together, have a child together and are as sure as anyone can be that we’re in it forever.

Me: “Oh right, how funny that she’s the very first person you bump into – she must have been visiting her family??”

OH: “No, she lives in the village too!”

This woman has always unnerved me. There was no funny business involved in us getting together, no cheating – clean slate. But during the early years the ex made quite a few unexpected appearances and was source of plenty of drama. Throw in a few random phone calls and I became very wary and she became a bit of a nemesis.

To give my OH credit he looked a bit rattled. Me on the other hand lost the power of logical thought and turned slightly psychotic.
Questions I asked that I’m not proud of:

• Is she skinny?
• Is she blonde?
• Did she look good?
• Did you kiss her?
• Did Holly smile at her?
• Are you going to start having an affair and leave me?

I was so upset I couldn’t eat my ice cream. I couldn’t be fat, my diet started instantly. She literally lives 15 doors away. I can’t go to the Co-op again. Drama. Is this village big enough for the both of us?

Friday, 8 April 2011

Daddy Comes Home

Paul is due home on Sunday, he's been on tour in the US with a new band since February. I've spent this week wishing the days away, I only allow myself to start counting down during the final few days. More often than not dates get changed, flights get cancelled or musicians do stupid things with their passports.

Already the 'I'm home for a month' statement has been changed to 'I've been offered another gig'.  I'm not complaining (much), I know he wants to be off for a month and that when your self-employed you can't turn down well paid work. I suspect there is more bad news to come, he asked me to email through a list of anything I would like from duty free.

I always try to be understanding, I feel more pressure to be 'fine' with everything now that I'm not bringing in a wage. I finished working at the end of last year. My overdraft is growing and my savings disappearing. 

My new plan is to set up my own small freelance PR business, doing what I love and what I'm good at.  It's going to take time to get going and time to make money - so I guess I'm going to have to be really understanding over the next few months!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Tormented by Tantrums

I had another post all ready to go about the lovely things we’ve been doing since our move to Scotland, but today that seems a bit of a sham.  I have been overtaken by feelings of failure and frustration.  Holly’s behaviour is changing day by day (she is 18 months). I know this is the norm and that everyone goes through it, but the toddler rebellion seems to be escalating at such a rate I feel unable to keep up.  Just this morning we battled through the throwing of assorted missiles, full on body slamming tantrums, lashing out and finally tipping up and chucking lunch all over the place. 

I know, from trawling the internet, that Holly is no different to other toddlers and that there is plenty advice out there to choose from.  It just feels so personal, like an attack on the way I have been looking after her.  Her dad returns on Sunday, having been on the road since mid-February, I am worried that when he sees the changes (not all of them bad of course) that he will be asking himself what the hell I have been doing!

I tried the naughty spot – now she takes herself off to the corner after she has done something untoward and looks very content. I have tried ignoring the bad and praising the good.  I resorted to taking away her much loved ‘doggy’ for short periods of time which resulted in her now being happy to chuck him away herself.  Even as I read back over what I have written the word screaming out at me is CONSISTENCY, but I just don’t feel I have found the method that will see us through.

I happened to mention the plate tipping and food throwing to a woman at our local toddler group, her response, “well if she’s still doing it at 18 you can worry about it them”.  She’s right, why am I letting it get to me, I need to adjust my expectations and relax.  But when everything goes everywhere and nothing gets eaten I find myself counting to ten and not thinking all that rationally. 

Yesterday I read with great interest a post on The Wonderful World of Tillie called ‘Bye Bye Tantrums’ – it gave me hope and has opened my mind up to trying different things.  I am going to give her lovely sounding reward system a shot and see where we end up.
Moan over – just time for a cuppa and a biscuit before she wakes up!