Saturday, 22 December 2012

WEEK 30 9-15th October 2011


Sunday 9th October 11
Take dogs for walk round village. Enjoyment slightly marred by having to remove succession of dead frogs from Angus’s mouth. First frog is pancake flat and dried out like piece of beef jerky. Second frog is bloated like frog balloon. Manage to extract it from his jaws before one of his sharp puppy teeth pierces skin thereby preventing explosion of decaying frog slime. Phew!
Monday 10th October 11
Alarm fails to go off and finally wake up at 7.15am. Amy very grumpy  and declares ‘ I have to shower!’ Tom able and willing to get ready for school in 20 minutes but don’t have energy to persuade Amy that she could do the same if she tried. Drive children to school.
Tuesday 11th October 11
Tom gets up and dresses without washing. Understand now how he can get ready for school in 20 minutes. Insist he undresses and has a shower which makes him very bad tempered. Is it too much to hope for some kind of balance in children’s washing habits? Currently have;
  1. One obsessively hygienic child who becomes neurotic at prospect of not being able to wash hair daily and takes dry shampoo on Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions
  2. One child not inclined to wash as all.
Angus and I walk to the bus stop with the children. Angus smiles doggily and wags his tail all the way there. The children and I agree that if we could read his thoughts they would say ‘Happy, happy, happy I’m so happy’. What a little ray of sunshine he is. Fondness for Angus dims slightly when he does a sloppy impromptu poo on the pavement opposite the bus stop.
Wednesday 12th October 11
Have long chat with Emily on the phone who tells me that Tom talked nicely to her Mum for several minutes at the bus stop yesterday. Pass on positive feedback to Tom as trying to be good parent dishing out praise and bollockings in equal measure. Tom says ‘ Well, I am a very good child, you should be very pleased.’
Thursday 13th October 11
Parents staying. Take them to Shaftesbury and again have large cakes in café on Gold Hill followed by visit to Antique shop. My life is turning into Groundhog Day. Tell lady in shop that am looking for smallish button backed chair. She says she has one. Hoorah! Wish the children were with me to help me carry it round town. Ha! Sadly, chair is at her house but she promises to email me a photo.  In café Dad reveals that he doesn’t like the new boyfriend of a friend but can’t put his finger on exactly why, but then says ‘ I don’t like his teeth’ and bares his own teeth to make the point or perhaps just to make sure I know what teeth are? Ask what on earth could be so offensive about someone’s teeth but both parents become vague.
After large cakes, Mum announces ‘ “The time has come”  the Walrus said’, which makes me laugh a lot and which apparently is ‘mother speak’ for ‘I have decided to lose weight by eating sensibly in future’ . Like I haven’t heard this before. Wonder if parents have been smoking weed in the spare room.
Saturday 15th October 11
In morning help out at BWS Christmas Fair, on cake stall. Yum. Tom plays rugby against Millfield. Fear massacre but actually although defeated, scores much more even (32 – 21) than in previous match against Sherbourne (55 – 5). Tom pleased despite stamped on thigh covered in bruises and stud marks. At bed time he asks if he can have a new gum shield as old one has bits coming off it. Tell him he is supposed to wear it not eat it. Worried about brutishness of rugby and that he will end up with flattened and bent nose like Mike Tindall or even worse with cauliflower ears.  Mustn’t be neurotic mother but would prefer it if he stuck to non contact sports like tennis and tiddlywinks.

WEEK 29 2nd-8th October 2011


Sunday 2nd October 11
Becky arrives to collect Izzy and Naomi who have been staying over. All three girls elected to sleep in a row in the spare bed. Have very funny conversation about farts with Becky who calls them ‘Trouser coughs’ which I have never heard before but which I plan to share with everyone I know. Becky’s sister has taught her small children that when they ‘break wind’ they must say ‘I beg your pardon Mrs Arden, is there a pig in your garden?’ This is the maddest thing I have ever heard. I laugh hysterically, watched by bemused children.
Notice mid morning that cat has disappeared. Search house but still no cat. It seems she has escaped while wearing her daffodil. This is worrying for a number of reasons
  1. Cat has tunnel vision
  2. Cat has no spatial awareness and keeps crashing into things. May try and go through narrow space and get stuck
  3. Daffodil makes cat nervous and she has been walking round the house backwards since Friday which could prove hazardous when crossing the road or if fact when trying to do anything catlike.
Animal dramas continue after lunch. Have just sat down outside with newspaper when Angus gets stung on paw by wasp and makes loud yowling noise for about 20 minutes. Eventually calms down after cold compress applied to paw and is cuddled for ages.
By 9pm still no cat so Amy and I put notes through doors of all houses on the road. At 11pm cat returns,  Praise the Lord, still wearing daffodil.
Monday 3rd October 11
Put notes through all doors of houses on road to say cat has returned.
Meet children in Salisbury after school to collect Tom’s new school shoes which have arrived in lovely M and S and to get him a hair cut as is starting to look like Yak, like the cat.
On way home Tom complains at length about the inferior quality of the loo roll at Bishop’s. Conversation develops as follows;
Me; ‘You wouldn’t believe what we had to put up with at school‘
Tom; ‘A sponge on a stick? The height of Yorkshire sophistication.’
Amy; ‘A cheese grater?’
I say neither of these suggestions is correct and Amy’s comment is frankly bizarre and conjures up horrible images of people grating their bums. Anyway, once they have recovered from laughing at their own jokes I tell them we had awful, shiny, non-absorbent grease proof paper. Tom says this is exactly what they have at Bishop’s. Plus ca change.
Tuesday 4th October 11
Ask Amy for Christmas list and Tom for birthday/Christmas list as plan to be ultra organised and not leave everything until last minute as in previous years.
Feel children are not taking request seriously as Amy’s list includes ‘Gladiator outfit for Kiki complete with solid gold breast plate’ and Tom has written at the bottom of his list ‘ I just want you to know that I love you and have the number of Shady Oaks retirement home’ presumably in case his demands are not met.  Have to ask him to actually translate his list into plain English as it includes items such as;
‘CoD MW3’ , ‘GBR 2011/12’ and ‘Nerf n-Strike Barricade RV-10’   
Try to keep on top of gardening as have mother in law visitation this weekend followed by parental visit on Wednesday. Mow lawn in hot sunshine but can’t get petrol strimmer to start. All shears blunt so end up cutting around shrubs with kitchen scissors and hoping that none of the neighbours see me.
In evening Tom and I watch the final of ‘The Great British Bake off’. We are riveted. Usually hate cookery programmes but this is a revelation. One of the cooks is a bit heavy handed with the ingredients and produces cakes and puddings twice the size of everyone else’s. Her croissant could easily feed a family of four. Tom remembers Amy used to make ENORMOUS things in Food Tech and we reminisce about the gigantic Swiss roll which wouldn’t go in the cake tin.    
Wednesday  5th October 11
Get letter from youngest God daughter (at boarding school). Tells me she has pet ladybird which she keeps in a box and feeds with Aphids. Think ladybirds chances of long and happy life are low. What does an Aphid look like?
Have lunch in Stockbridge with lovely Army wife friends (one now ex- Army wife. Not due to divorce but due to husband leaving Army). Sit outside as Sarah having hot flush. Discuss whether fact that we have  all become keen gardeners is symptom of middle age. Think hot flush is clearer symptom but don’t say so out loud. Maria tells us she is having dinner with friends ‘Buffy and Winky’ later in the week. I am unable to contain a snort of mirth and reveal ( perhaps rather tactlessly?) that ‘Mr Winky’ is Tom’s name for his willy. Maria says she will never be able to speak to Winky again without this thought passing through her mind. Oops.
When children get home I tell them very funny Winky story. Tom FURIOUS and says he has NEVER referred to his pride and joy as ‘Mr Winky’, that I am the only one to have used this term and that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES am I to say this in my diary. Oops again. 
In evening have supper with local friends in Fovant. Great fun. Drink too much wine. Know this at time because start saying ‘ Fuck’ a lot and go to bed without removing make up.
Thursday 6th October 11
Wake up with mild hangover and once again curse stupidity at not recognising when to say ‘ No more wine thanks’.
At breakfast I tell children that a few of us at dinner last night have decided to form a Book club and I am organising the first meeting. Amy says ‘God you must have been drunk’. Teenagers can be so charming. 
Before departing for school Tom presents me with supplementary Christmas / Birthday list. This one includes another six varieties of Nerf gun, a fish tank, an inflatable cowboy outfit and a request to be taken paint balling. I suggest he has a rethink.

Friday 7th October 11
Still have symptoms of hangover – and think I might actually be ill. Want to spend day lying down but instead mow lawn and cook a lot of stuff for weekend. Feel quite crap and recline on sofa briefly between activities.

Saturday 8th October 11
M –I – l arrives for lunch. Children shatter my self-image as domestic goddess by laughing at my jam tarts and calling them ‘Tards’. Am informed this is hybrid of ‘Tart’ and ‘Retard’. Take Verney to Shaftesbury and have tea in café at top of Gold Hill. All eat large cakes. Verney expresses wish to buy fruit spoons. Try not look at children who are convinced Verney has spoon fetish as have received many as gifts including;  signs of the zodiac spoons , long handled pickle spoons, silver stilton spoon and most recently Welsh love spoon. Children manage to contain mirth. Phew. Buy HUGE gold framed mirror in Antique shop and have to lug it round from shop to shop. Children slightly embarrassed by this and recall last time I was in Shaftesbury I bought a chair and carried that around. Suspect they think this is deliberate attempt to humiliate them. Must think of something really outrageous to buy next time.

WEEK 28 25th Sept-1st October 2011


Sunday 25th September 11
Amy and I make impulse decision to go and see Jane Eyre at cinema in evening. Tom reluctantly comes too. Film has barely started when Tom stage whispers that he needs to fart. I ignore him. Film brilliant. Amy cries a lot. As we leave Tom announces he spent whole two hours thinking about the curry I had cooked for supper. Think that after fart comment he should lay off curry.  Am kissing children good night much later when Amy manages to get bazooka veruca cream all over my cardigan. Quite an achievement as said cream has been applied to her big toe.

Monday 26th September 11
Cat has cut tail and lost area of fur. Not sure whether to blame attack by creature unknown (would a cat bite another cats tail?) or whether tail has been trapped somewhere. Anyway, have to ask K-J to come over and help me with first aid as two hands inadequate. Kiki not pleased with attention and develops strength of 10 cats in escape bid. Manage to apply Savlon and dressing but not sure how long it will stay on.
Decide in evening to sit down and watch a bit of TV but don’t know what’s on as Angus has eaten the review section from Saturday’s Telegraph. Sigh. Am forced to channel hop like man.
Tom reveals late in evening that he has lost 1 school shoe. God! Does this happen to other families? When I express dismay he tells me they were getting too small anyway as though that makes it all fine. Words fail me.

Tuesday 27th September 11
Send Tom to school in best suede loafers and arrange to meet both children in town after school to purchase new shoes for all.
Go with K-J to Fellowship group in village hall. Slight concern that it is a Christian group and I am heathen. K-J assures me the religious bit is minor and mostly a good chance to have coffee and chat. Sounds good. On arrival everyone very friendly but quickly become alarmed at group leaders introduction which includes multiple references to prayer and the holy spirit. This is followed by the singing of 4 religious songs. A small voice in my head starts saying ‘Run away, run away…’ but I feel this would be quite rude. Then the singing is over and coffee starts and I meet lots of lovely people and leave feeling glad I went ( but still firmly heathen).
In town after school Tom reveals he has been ridiculed for wearing ‘posh’ shoes! Never realised boys could be so bitchy. Perhaps is the oestrogen in the water? Shoe shopping rapidly turns into nightmare. How could I have forgotten this? In Russell and Bromley Tom chooses what can only be described as ‘winkle pickers’. Conversation takes place as follows;
Me; ‘No way’
Tom; ‘Why not?’
Me; (In quiet voice so shop assistant won’t hear) ‘Because they are poofy and your father would have a fit’
Amy; (helpfully) ‘All the boys are wearing them’
Request Amy keeps out of things and remain firm. Three shops and 45 minutes later we finally order Tom shoes in M and S and Amy chooses first pair she tries on, also in M and S. Thank you M and S! I vow always to buy your knickers. Actually, not that grateful as am £80 poorer. Feel small pang that this is last school shoes we will have to buy Amy as no uniform in sixth form. Feel LARGE pang of relief.
On way home in car (finally) Amy tells me that Mr Lawrence her Physics teacher thinks she is weird and has split personality because Izzy has revealed to him what she (Amy)had told the German exchange students on the guided tour of the school
‘This is the cupboard where the teachers store the dead bodies’ and ‘When we misbehave the teachers stick our heads to the radiator with Selotape’
Amy breaks off mid way through telling us this and says ‘Yuk, horse sex’ as we pass field outside Bishopstone. Journey taking on surreal quality. Am glad on arriving home to see K-J who invites me round for a glass of wine later. Mr Lawrence has taught Amy for years. Can’t believe it has taken him so long to form this opinion.

Thursday 29th September 11
Find cat paw prints on washbasin and window sill of en-suite. Lack of ‘tracker skills’ means am unsure whether cat was exiting or entering window. Wonder whether cat is now living on roof? While pondering cat movements, worry that may have tied her bandage too tight thereby cutting off circulation and causing tail eventually to drop off like sheeps. Do farmers still do this to sheep, to avoid them getting daggy bums? Must ask Emily who is experienced shepherd.
Have noticed children becoming increasingly competitive about school. Listen to following conversation at dinner;

Tom; ‘I know much more about maths than you.’
Amy; No you don’t. I know about Quasimodequilibrium.’
Tom; ‘There’s no such thing. Anyway, Quasimodo was a Yeti.’
Think to self that;
  1. Amy very poor at bullshit
  2. Tom knows nothing about Victor Hugo.
During same meal Tom thoughtfully warns Amy to watch out for the ‘Cardinal capsules’ in the curry. Think he means Cardamoms.

Friday 30th September 11
Cat confined to house. Have removed dressing from tail and forced cat to wear ‘daffodil’ bought from vets to stop her chewing tail. Cat not happy.
Discover on tidying children’s rooms after departure for school ( yes, I know I should delegate more) that Tom has filled his sock drawer with a huge number of marbles. Why?
Angus has taken up gardening. In course of day I am presented with gifts;

  1. Long stem of sweet peas
  2. Carrot.

In evening Amy runs through her repertoire of sheep impressions from
  1. New born lamb to
  2. Elderly ewe.
Actually very realistic. Tom says she should be on ‘Britain’s got talent’. Get telephone call from Rob on the Prairie. First for a week. Hoorah! 

Saturday 1st October
Wake up tired having been disturbed in night by cat crashing around in her daffodil, banging into things, noisily using litter tray on landing and then crunching way through what sounds like whole bowl of food. Thoughtless creature. Give up on sleep at 7am and wash up from last night when Dominique and Sassy came for dinner.
Take Tom to school for first rugby fixture. Amy comes with us as is meeting friends. Somehow get onto subject of bra size. Tom tells me what the various sizes stand for;
A = Almost boobs
B = Barely there
C = Can’t complain
D = Dang
DD = Double Dang
E = Enormous
F = Fake
G = Get a reduction
H = Help I’ve fallen over.
So not great for Amy and me  then.
Amy says she has committed Facebook faux pas which makes me want to ban Facebook for ever. She mistakenly clicked on a ‘like page’ so that on her wall it said ‘ Amy Howieson likes starting a conga line and leading everyone to her sex dungeon.’ Fortunately she immediately received a message from Alex (Aunt) alerting her to the mistake,  saying ‘That’s it, you’re coming to live with me until you’re 35.’  Am worried that the Howieson household is becoming too liberal. Am I a bad parent?

Week 27 18-24th September 2011


Sunday 18th September 11

Back to Broad Chalke by lunchtime. Notice immediately that neighbour has cut the hedge AGAIN in our absence. What is his problem? Seethe through lunch and then go next door to have hedge conversation. Neighbour keeps me on doorstep despite fact that it is raining quite hard. I think I make it clear he is NOT to cut the hedge again because it is PRIVATE PROPERTY. Return home to congratulations from children who have been eavesdropping through Tom’s bedroom window. Amy says I should have been more aggressive!  This doesn’t surprise me.

Get call from Rob who is now on the Prairie in Canada. Feel sad to think of him as ‘Little Rob on the Prairie’. Tom says this is ridiculous as he has 1000 men and 50 warriors for company. Fair point.

Monday 19th September 11

Have to take Amy to school speech day in evening held in Salisbury cathedral. See new headmistress in distance and keep my head down. Think leaving job at school, was a bit like escaping from Azkaban and congratulate self silently on right decision. Service quite dull. Headmistress addresses audience as though we all have abnormally low IQ’s.  Meet Amy afterwards by statue of skinny lady and we leg it back to car. Arrive home to complete chaos. Tom had been asked to keep an eye on Angus and let him out a couple of times but has clearly FAILED to do this. Find Angus in kitchen chewing sofa cushion. Quickly discover sitting room curtain has been pulled down and hooks broken (and eaten!) and large puddle of wee in the middle of Hector’s bed. Am NOT PLEASED and say so quite loudly. Both children make themselves scarce and later find Tom tidying his wardrobe. This doesn’t really compensate but I don’t say so as he is trying to make amends and knows being tidy wins brownie points with ‘neat freak’ and cross mother. 

Tuesday 20th September 11

Invite hedge cutting neighbour and wife for a drink on Weds evening. Do this in interests of community harmony. Completely goes against natural inclination to

  1. Sue him
  2. Rip up hedge and erect ugly 10ft fence

Invite friendly neighbours Val and Tim along too to alleviate any awkwardness (and to prevent hedge cutter having a go at me should he be planning this.) Reveal plan to children. Amy thinks is the right thing to do. Tom thinks I am mad. Interesting.

Wednesday 21st September 11

Am quite nervous in lead up to arrival of hedge cutter but fortunately Tim and Val arrive first. All goes well. Everyone drinks a lot of wine and beer and they don’t leave until 8.45. Poor children haven’t had any supper. Give them lots of praise for not saying ‘ God we’re starving’ until neighbours have left.

Friday 23rd September 11

Have hair cut in afternoon. Hairdresser goes mad and cuts off FAR TOO MUCH HAIR and I come away looking like Henry V. Not pleased. Why do hairdressers always do this? They are the losers as I will now not need hair cut for much longer than usual. Perhaps own fault for saying ‘cut off an inch’ to someone born in metric age. Note to self ; Give hairdresser instructions in centimetres next time.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

week 26 -11-17th September 2011

Monday 12th September 11
Drive children to bus stop at 7.35 with Angus in boot to try and help him overcome car sickness. Following eminently sensible advice of vet who doesn’t have to clear up industrial quantities of dog sick after every outing. Situation not improving and 2 hour journey to Worcester looming this Friday. Hmmm. Bridget suggests travel sickness bracelet more usually worn by children. Think Angus would chew it unless we can get one big enough to go round his neck.
Spend morning on screamingly boring scale drawings of imaginary bathroom scheme. Can’t muster much enthusiasm for waste pipes. Also difficult to stay focused with Angus leopard crawling behind sofa in kitchen and then getting wedged. Does this repeatedly. Maybe not such a bright gundog as had hoped?
Plan to relax and watch University Challenge in evening but Tom says all the contestants are freaks and that Jeremy Paxman is a bum face. About to protest when I realise he is absolutely right. Turn off TV and read book instead.
Tom very pleased to be selected as flanker for rugby C team at school. Amy sniggers irritatingly every time he says ‘Flanker’ because (according to Tom) of what it rhymes. Good grief. I DON’T remember being like that at 15 but then maybe becoming an old fart has clouded my memory and it was a long time ago. Thank you children for pointing this out.
Amy demonstrates raunchy dance routine from musical Chicago which she learnt in PE. She is vey good at it. Will pole dancing replace costume design as future career of choice? I hope not. Rob would have a fit. 
Tuesday 13th September 11
Have revised opinion of Angus being thick and think perhaps I am thick one. Walked to bus stop this morning with children taking Hector (to give him respite from ear biting), leaving Angus shut in laundry. On return Angus has disappeared. Mild panic as search spare room, downstairs loo and even large food cupboard. Find him in garden. Am baffled and starting to consider canine teleporting as real possibility until children return home from school and Tom immediately works out that Angus has exited laundry through cat flap. Duh! Hope he has sense to stop using it before becomes too porky.
Wednesday 14th September 11
Am rudely disturbed in shower at 6.30am by Amy knocking aggressively on door and informing me that shower curtain and entire pole and have fallen on her and that it isn’t her fault. This doesn’t surprise me as nothing ever is.
Thursday 15th September 11
Tom now ill and off school. God, what a bunch of sickies! Amy doesn’t think he is ill at all and more likely hasn’t done a piece of homework. Uncharitable I think and I tell her not to judge others on personal experience.
Friday 16th September 11
Tom still ill and off school. Amy tells me I am a sucker for allowing this. I thank her for her input. Drive her to school with Angus in passenger foot well as he has 9am vet appointment. Hoping proximity of fellow passengers may help him overcome car stress. Things don’t bode well when he runs away as we are about to leave house. Think he knows what’s coming. Amy forced to sit cross legged on seat as drooling commences before we have even driven through gate. Amy valiantly battles drool with towel provided but still gets it on tights, shoes and hands. Bleagh.
After school we drive to Worcester. Angus asleep for most of journey. Hoorah! Dogs don’t dribble in their sleep.
Have dinner in kitchen and then sit around chatting and then have big discussion about eyebrows;
Julia to Amy ‘ I like your eyebrows’
Amy to Julia ‘ Thanks. Mum says I look like Frieda Kahlo’
Julia to Amy ‘ Oh my God that’s so mean’.
Momentarily do feel quite mean but point out in self defence that comment was only made to encourage Amy to use new eyebrow pencil more sparingly. Julia complains that her eyebrows seem to be disappearing altogether and she has a quick go of the ‘Frieda Kahlo’ pencil. Heloise enters kitchen and tells her it makes her look like Stollen. All slightly confused by this comment. Unsure of why pencilled eyebrows should make someone look like German Christmas cake. Heloise says she doesn’t mean Stollen she means Stalin which is much worse than the ‘Frieda’ comment on account of Stalin being;
  1. A man
  2. A dictator
  3. Mad
Julia somewhat crestfallen.
Everyone loves the puppy including Zulu who tries to hump him, thereby earning the name ‘paedo-dog’. George actually less keen on puppy as latter keeps trying to lick his face which George doesn’t seem to like. Toby says the puppy has a pointed head and concludes is therefore Welsh or from Evesham. Not very kind to either social group. Puppy does actually have pointed head. Is this normal? Conversation then becomes a bit random as Tom spontaneously reveals that his Headmaster is often referred to as Dr Smallcock because he wears very tight shorts to do cross country running. Lovely. Amy then does ‘Awkward Llama’ which is hard to describe but very funny. Amy muses on what dogs would say if they could speak . She thinks George would say ‘I am abnormally large’.
Saturday 17th September 11
All pile into Julia’s Pathfinder which gives me the ‘eeby-geebies’ as she cuts along narrow streets at speed, with cars parked on either side. Try not to brake as know this is annoying for driver. Drop Toby at orchestra, Heloise at netball and then head to town where Tom is meeting girlfriend who is quite a bit taller than him. All chat briefly and then wave the lovebirds off. When we meet up later, Tom rather indiscreetly reveals that girlfriend thinks Amy is freakishly small. He does this in front of both girlfriend and Amy! I think a career as a diplomat NOT on the cards for Tom. Amy furious but waits until girlfriend leaves before expressing her displeasure in her own inimitable 'mighty mouse' way. Think ‘Billy big mouth’ should have kept his trap shut.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

WEEK 25 - 3rd - 10th September 2011

Sunday 4th September 11
Rob and I collect Amy and friends from Pugshole festival all looking rather post-Apocalyptic. Apparently music continued until 5am. Rob and I tell her what a good nights sleep we had in our comfortable bed. Get my suede pumps caked in mud and straw. Camping in field very unappealing. Have definitely turned into old fart.  
Monday 5th September 11
Leave house at 7.45. Drive Rob to train station. Drop Amy and then Tom at schools for first day of term and then drive cat to vet for annual booster. Cat frightened and wide eyed. Situation made worse when man arrives with Staffordshire bull terrier straining on lead. Sad to see normally confident and independent cat diminished by fear and imprisonment in cat basket. Turn it round so she doesn’t have to look at scary dog. Finally get home and release cat into garden. House very quiet. Won’t see Rob until his return from Canada at half term. Eat large quantity of biscuits to cheer myself up.
In evening get call from Val and Tim asking me to join them for dinner this Saturday and asking if I eat pork. Wonder out loud whether they heard ‘Bar Mitzvah’ comment over garden fence at weekend. 
Tuesday 6th September 11
 Think am in need of makeover for body and wardrobe. Amy accidentally touches my leg in car and says ’ Are you wearing leather trousers? Oh, no it’s just your skin.’ Tom then asks me why I am wearing my scruffy painting T-shirt. I’m not. Am actually wearing what I consider to be one of smarter T-shirts.  So, I am both weather beaten and dowdy.  Great. Unable to stay cross with children for long as;
  1. Amy has tonsillitis
  2. Tom’s school bag has gone missing from bag rack outside canteen at school. Contains EVERYTHING. Aaaggghhh.
Wednesday 7th September 11
Still no sign of Tom’s bag. Surely if some idiot had taken wrong bag they would have realised by now?? Phone school in morning and speak to deputy head of lower school. Express frustration and concern about missing bag in fairly forthright manner and ask if she thinks someone has nicked it. She responds in soothing tones she clearly thinks appropriate for calming a dangerous lunatic (me).
Get text from Tom in afternoon to say bag and all contents found – buried under pile of old P.E. kit in corner of Gym changing room. So not stolen?
Friday 9th September
Feel slightly guilty as take day off from Interior Design course to go to Ikea in Southampton with Emily. Actually this is bonkers as have legitimate professional interest in seeing what Ikea is selling. Pah!  Prevented from going in July due to child sickness (me) and falling Oak tree (Emily). I love Ikea ! We each fill a trolley and visit the café where I eat my own body weight in almond croissants. Trip a big success. Agree must go again before Christmas.

WEEK 24 - 27th August-2nd September 2011

Saturday 27th August 11
Starting to feel like Autumn already! Rob asks me if I will help him measure up the new dog for a Barbour jacket. Good grief. How come I shop at H and M but the dog gets a Barbour? Go to Bowerchalke village fete on bikes, with Pepper trotting alongside. Overhear Tom telling friends that ‘Pepper used to belong to Gypsies which is why she steals things’. Take him to one side and explain that the reason the dog is a thief is that;
1. She is a dog
2. She is a greedy dog
and that it is not politically correct to suggest otherwise.
Tuesday 30th August 11
Take Tom to doctors as Rob and I have noticed that he walks with right foot put pointing out like ballet dancer. Female Doctor tells Tom she wants to examine his hip and knee and that he will have to take his jeans off. She then asks him if he is wearing any pants. I try hard not to laugh at outraged expression on Tom’s face. Strange question though. Don’t know many people who don’t wear pants. Especially under jeans. ‘Pants’ theme of day continues when return home and point out to Amy that she is wearing harem pants so low that red, white and blue knickers are showing at the front. She looks down , gives them a tug, brushes something off said pants and says ‘ That wasn’t a weirdly long pubic hair, it was one of Hector’s’. Say that I hadn’t actually noticed weirdly long hair but that I am sure ( and indeed hope) that it was one of Hector’s. They do seem to get everywhere including in the fridge. Yuk. Later am preparing supper when hear Tom squawking loudly in sitting room. Ask Amy, as she passes by, what the matter is with him. She says ‘ Nothing. I just wiped an onion leaf on his face.’. Think it is time the children returned to school.
Wednesday 31st August 11
Rather sad day as have made family decision to return Pepper to Dogs Trust as behaviour is out of control. Main reason is bullying of Hector who is too old and doddery to cope. Tom particularly affected as she was his dog. In afternoon have tea with friend who tells me about litter of yellow lab puppies in nearby village. Offspring of two gundogs.
On the plus side this means well behaved, intelligent, smallish Labradors. On the downside all puppies pee everywhere and chew the furniture. For many years have ruled out ever having another puppy in much the same way as have ruled out having another baby. Later speak to Rob who is surprisingly keen! (On puppy NOT third child). Phew.
Thursday 1st September 11
We have new addition to family. 10 week old yellow Labrador puppy as yet unnamed. Very cute. 
Friday 2nd September 11
Puppy howls all night and appears considerably less cute when I finally give up on sleep at 6.10am. Still no name as Rob wants to be included in discussion so will have to wait until tonight. I like the name Crumpet. Rob favours something Scottish and Tom wants to call him Peanut.
In evening Tom spends much time on computer. On investigation discover he is looking up which universities offer degree courses in medicine and researching the cost of insuring himself for a group 18 Porsche, having seen a desirable model on the internet. Aware that Tom likes to be organised but think this is taking forward planning to new extremes as he is only 13.
Saturday 3rd September 11
Tom announces at breakfast that he has done an on line quiz to see which Harry Potter character he is most like and the answer was Hermione Granger. He is not pleased. I think quiz is spot on but don’t say so.
Victory for Rob and Scotland as decide to call the puppy Angus. I liked Podge but Rob says it is terribly Sloaney. Like Angus isn’t?
In garden in afternoon Tom EXTREMELY LOUDLY asks me if we can have his Bar Mitzvah at our house. Strange comment considering Tom is a Roman Catholic but probably related to fact that he is currently studying Judaism in R.S.
Amy gets dressed up to go to the Pugshole Festival in Bowerchalke in weirdly patterned leggings, moccasins, feather necklace and enormous feathered earrings. Hector ( boy) who is staying asks her if she is going as a Red Indian. Amy says nothing but gives him a death stare.