Hip Hip… Not Hoorah!

Hi All13499529867dnQN2

May I take this opportunity to say that I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas?

I must admit that Christmas day wasn’t exactly a raging success here. Richard trotted off in the morning to visit his mother, and I set about the mountain of ‘sprouts.’ I imagined he would be gone for around three hours so I was pretty surprised when, forty minutes later, a key turned in the lock, and he walked in to catch me filling my face with golden syrup-flavoured instant porridge.

My immediate reaction was that he’d had an accident and smashed-up the car, but no, apparently his mobile had rung when he was halfway to his mother’s house and it was the early morning carer announcing that Betty had put her hip out again, and was already in an ambulance outside her house, receiving pain control. The woman had only been home five days after having her hip ‘wedged.’

So, Christmas day was spent with Richard chasing an ambulance, tracking down his mother and trying to console her. I ploughed on with the Brussels sprouts and we eventually had dinner at seven-thirty at night.

Betty has now had the hip re set, which is good, but she has thrown-up an allergic reaction to something and is in a dreadful state, bright red and itching like a mangy dog. Her nightmare, unfortunately, will carry over into the New Year.

I truly think God has a wicked sense of humour. Betty kept saying she didn’t want to be alone on Christmas day, (something that we wouldn’t allow to happen anyway!), and she certainly got her wish – but not in the way she imagined. How many times do I have to tell the woman … be careful what you wish for? These wishes can be interpreted in many different ways!

And now, (as I write this very brief post – because I believe you all have better things to do on New Year’s Eve than to read long posts), we are galloping towards another year – 2014. We won’t be celebrating in big style tonight, Richard is working until seven and then he’s straight off to the hospital. We have cancelled the party that the neighbours very kindly invited us to. Not to worry. Hopefully there will be other years and other parties. Life is about priorities.

So…I would just like to say thank you for following this blog for the past year, and for your comments, likes and encouragement, it has meant the world to me. I have made some lovely friends and I wish you all a truly wonderful, healthy and successful New Year!13499529867dnQN2

Take care my lovelies x

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Merry Christmas To You All…

Hi All

Apologies for my absence of late but the last twelve days have been rather difficult. I’ve been plagued with a migraine headache for ten of those twelve days and have found it impossible to write, let alone think. And, what’s more, I think the arrival of the headache was pretty much my own fault. I sat at the computer from 7.30 in the morning until 2.30 in the afternoon, staring at the screen, editing, and when I suddenly had the most dreadful stabbing pains in my right temple it was too late to rectify the damage. My slipped neck discs had jammed up and that was that.

Unfortunately, along with the chronic headache came a really bad depression and I almost pulled the plug on everything – twitter/Facebook/Amazon/etc. I think part of the depression was due to the fact that I hadn’t had a migraine for such a long time and I’d almost begun to put my faith in the recent medication, and was halfway to believing that I’d never get another. I think that’s the most depressing thing of all – putting your faith into something and then finding out that you were wrong to do so. I’ve come across that a few times over this past year, but not with things, with people. It really hurts when you realise you were wrong.

BUT that was then and this is now. The migraine has finally lifted (and the depression), and I am almost back to being my old self. I know that anyone reading this, who also suffers with migraine, will know exactly where I’m coming from. If you don’t suffer this curse you will think it’s a lot of old nonsense about a simple headache. It isn’t! I shall attempt to not be so stupid in the future, and not get carried away with my own enthusiasm, at least – not for seven hours at a time!

I had a look on my Amazon site earlier and noticed that The Sleeping Field has received a third 5 star review while I’ve been sulking in a darkened room, and that cheered me up a bit as well.

However…the real reason I’m posting this is not to warble on about what a sad, miserable person I’ve been over the last twelve days, but to put in a quick appearance in order to wish you all a Merry Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends, and for those of you who can’t have certain loved ones with you, may you feel their spirits close.

Merry Christmas To You All…Take care my lovelies x

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I’m Staying Clear Of Car Parks!

Hi All

Let me state here and now – I do like Christmas – love it actually, but I seriously think that you take your life in your own hands at this time of the year.

One thing is for sure…I will NOT be attempting to go to Asda between now and then. Those of you who have been with me on this blog for a year (brave little soldiers), will remember that last year I told you how I buggered up my no-claims bonus, a few days before Christmas, two years ago, by reversing out of a parking bay in Asda’s car park and straight into a woman’s car? I say woman, actually she was a girl.

At the time I was waiting for my inguinal hernia op and I was in considerable pain as I climbed into my Volvo people carrier. But far worse than the pain in my groin – was the pain in my heart. We’d had our nineteen-year old cat, Mishka, put to sleep the previous day and as I sat in the car feeling sorry for myself, with all this combined groin pain and heartache, I burst into tears. I am an emotional person…but not in public…and not in supermarket car parks.

Five minutes later I wiped away the tears and nose leakage, checked my rear-view mirror and reversed out – straight into a black car. It truly had not been there when I’d started the manoeuvre.  The car had materialised out of thin air like bloody Captain Kirk’s Enterprise. I couldn’t find a tissue and the tears had started again as the other driver stepped out of her car.

She gingerly approached me, saw the blotchy, distorted, sobbing face and threw her arms around me. Wasn’t much impressed with that. I didn’t even know this person. Just because you prang someone’s car it doesn’t make you hugging buddies, does it?

‘Aww, it’s alright,’ she said, dragging out a tatty tissue from her coat pocket. ‘You haven’t done much damage. Please don’t cry.’

I think my lip curled, but I can’t be sure, because as I said, I was totally distraught.

‘It’s nothing,’ she said. ‘Please don’t cry over a smashed bumper.’

A smashed bumper? Cry over a smashed bumper? Me? What kind of ninny did she take me for?

‘I’m not crying over that…’ I sobbed brokenly, nodding at her heap of a car. ‘I had to …have …my cat… put to sleep yesterday…and she was… nineteen?’ (Loud sobs and serious facial leakage)

‘Aww,’ she said.

Obviously, her compassion ebbed faster than the turning tide as she busied herself on her mobile taking pictures of the damage. Thank God she’d had the foresight to charge the bugger! I would have hated for the battery to die at the crucial moment of logging the evidence!

I drove home in total silence, bottom lip on my knees, ready to face Richard who was not going to be impressed that I’d scratched his precious Volvo. I’ve always believed that the best form of defence is attack and so as I arrived home and met a smiling Richard, ( that smile wasn’t going to last), I snottily said, ‘I’ve had an accident in the car and I don’t care!’

His smile hung around for two seconds and then, seeing that I still had both arms, legs and my stroppy attitude, he dashed off to examine the damage.

As I said, we lost our no-claims bonus after that. No point arguing when half of Asda’s shoppers had seen me – distraught and half blinded by tears – smashing into some poor child’s pride and joy. They were hardly likely to come out on the side of the emotional div in the big posh car, were they? No. I know when I’m beaten.

Richard purchased a back light thingy from eBay for £4.99 and I swore NEVER to visit Asda again on the run-up to Christmas. Oh, and Richard finally agreed that we didn’t need a car the size of a small elephant, especially one that I obviously couldn’t reverse out of a parking bay without colliding with a spaceship. We part-chopped it for the VW UP which ticks all the required boxes. I’m still not going to Asda though.

I KNOW for a fact that there are more idiots on the road at this time of the year. I think they must have their concentration on their shopping agenda and not on the road? Yes, I know, how can I say this when it was me who reversed into her? But I’m telling you, when I started my manoeuvre The Enterprise wasn’t even in our Universe.

I blame it all on Mishka…bless her sweet, darling heart.

Mishka
Mishka

Take care my lovelies x

Block Up Your Chimneys…Santa’s Coming…

Hi All

It finally happened. That moment in my life when I would have to have THAT conversation! The moment when I would have to cast off my clumpy boots and tread softly in silken slippers. I’d managed to keep my head down, well below the parapet, for the last couple of years, but it seems that having been lulled into a false sense of security I must have unknowingly lifted my head and my six-year old, going on seven, grandson fired the question.

“Grandma, there are some children who don’t believe in Father Christmas. They think it’s their mummies and daddies who leave the presents. What do you think?”

You’d think that after waiting for six years for this inevitable question I would have been totally prepared, but I wasn’t.

Let me say right now that I think the whole Father Christmas thing – a fat old man, dressed in a very weird attire, dropping down through your chimney, is not an idea to be encouraged. Isn’t it painting the picture of a thief, a robber, an intruder? Yes, I hear the ‘bah humbugs,’ but I don’t care. I think it’s bloody frightening telling small children that this random, fat person, with his features clearly hidden behind a bush of a beard, is going to come to them while they are sleeping. However, it is not for me to destroy the lie that has been embedded in my grandchildren so I said…

“Well, I think when children are small they DO believe in Santa but when they get bigger I think they believe that mummy and daddy bring the presents.”

Jake considered this. He is a bright child and will be running for Prime Minister by the time he’s twelve! “I’ve never seen him, Grandma, but I do think he’s real.”

Again I had to defend this fat, old, house intruder. “Ah, well, that’s why you have to go to bed early on Christmas Eve, because Santa only comes when you are sleeping, and if you mess about and won’t go to bed because you are excited it makes Santa late. Then he has to wait for you to go to sleep and then he’s late getting to all the other children and then some children might not get their presents.”

“So…do you believe in Father Christmas, Grandma?”

“Well, Jake, er…I did when I was little but I’m big now and Santa really only has time to get round to all the children. But you’ll get your presents from Santa and then you’ll come here and we will have presents for you.”

Faster than a heartbeat Jake said indignantly, “Well one of them had better be a pouffe because I need one and you won’t let me have yours!”

I nearly showered the poor child with spat-out tea. A pouffe! Thank goodness fat old Santa hasn’t got to find room for one of those on his sleigh. Rudolph might have a coronary! Imagine trying to stuff that down the chimney…the pouffe…not Rudolph!

Jake, on the last two occasions that he was here, attempted to have it away with my pouffe. He said he needed one. Don’t ask me why. He just needed one. We had the most dreadful tantrum, with Jake trying to stuff the pouffe into the car and stamping and screaming. His behaviour even shocked his sister into silence, who, at the time, was screaming her head off as well because she was fed up with sitting, strapped into her seat, waiting for her brother to get in the car. Just how my son manages to drive down the motorway with all this going on is beyond me. However…

Off I went on the trial of the pouffe and found one instantly. Unfortunately, the trip cost me an arm and a leg because on the way to the pouffe section I happened to short-cut down the microwave section and bought a cream one to go with the fridge freezer. I found a nice little person to lug the microwave into the boot of the car, but when I was ramming-in the one and only pouffe that they’d had in the shop, I noticed it had a teeny-weeny hole in it, and a zillion, zillion, zillion foam beads looked ready to escape, so I had to do an about turn and take the bloody thing back.

The assistant said she could mark it down for me and did I still want it? I didn’t even consider it. Could you imagine? This pouffe isn’t going to be used for little Jake to put his feet on whilst demurely watching the TV. Oh no, this pouffe is an island to be stood on while he fights off circling sharks. A mountain to be hurled, Incredible Hulk like, at his little sister. Oh yes! There will be hours of fun in this strangely requested Christmas present.santa11

I did manage to pick one up over the weekend, because Jake’s wish is my command, and besides, I can’t have that reprobate Father Christmas stealing all the limelight.

Take care my lovelies x

Battered Mice And A Glitter Pussy…

Hi All

First things first. The greatest news from the weekend is that we survived Grandkiddie Saturday! Yea!! You don’t understand the relief I feel in writing that. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t like they are lunatics, well not really, I guess they must carry some of grandma’s genes? No, when I say we survived I mean, we and the house survived, only slightly worse for wear.

I was well prepared for their arrival, pancakes cooked and waiting to have a quick flash in the microwave, car seat and booster seat sitting in the back of the car, paracetamol zipped securely in my pocket – yes, as the great Baden-Powell said, “Always be prepared!” Even if I do say so myself, preparation is my middle name. Fail to prepare. Prepare to fail.

After syrup pancakes, followed by a dishcloth flashed over sticky little faces, we piled into the car and set off to look round a couple of nearby garden centres which had their Christmas displays up and running. Jake sang his twelve songs from his upcoming school play and Grace kindly filled her pamper nap. Cool!

They behaved perfectly, and as I live in breath, I can honestly say that they didn’t break anything! Jake fancied a soft toy, and so, of course, Grace also fancied a soft toy. Fortunately they had the same soft toy in two different colours so Jake had a large brown mouse and Grace had a large cream mouse. I don’t think the mice actually liked each other because, all the way 2013-11-30 10.32.51home, they were fighting in the back of the car, legs flying and whacking Richard on the back of his head. I simply popped a couple of paracetamol and all was well with the world.

We put up the Christmas tree, in the afternoon, with its glitter escaping the branches and showering everything within a two metre radius. Even Chea twinkled and sparkled all night as she lay stretched out in front of the log burner – very Christmassy! Jake, being almost seven, had to climb on the arm of the chair and attempt to kill himself by putting the fairy on the top of the tree. He told me it should have been an angel or a star, but what do I know? Grace, being only two, and knee-high to a grasshopper, put all her decorations on the same low branch. Cute.

After a while they’d had enough and sourced a game of their own making – hurling loose change under the sofa and waiting for it to come out the other side. The excitement and squabbles grew and grew until, eventually, the paracetamol gave up the ghost and I yelled, ‘Right! That’s it! Coats! You’re going home!’

A few, ‘but Grandma’s…’ whined out, but if I’d backed down they wouldn’t have respected the fact that what I say I mean. Cruel. But kind. Makes you wonder why they adore me so much, doesn’t it. Can’t be anything to do with over-priced stupid mice and family bars of chocolate, can it?

The mice resumed their war as we tootled down the motorway and to the ‘swapping over’ point, and Jake drew patterns on the car window with his sticky, onion-ring-smeared fingers. Richard goes mental about this…but not to Jake…or Grace…to me! Idiot.

As my son pulled away with his precious little cargo I could see the mice still at it and hear protests of, ‘Daddy, Grace has got my mouse! Daddy!’

The greatest part of having grandchildren is sending them home. Oh stop it! You know I’m joking…sort of.

Yesterday, we were up at four-thirty to take Richard’s mum, Betty, to the hospital for her ‘wedge in the hip,’ op. Hip Hop? Richard, not being a morning person, (or an evening person), was still half asleep and so I had to take the lead in the ‘keeping Betty cheerful and her mind off the op,’ role. It all went fine and she was the first ‘op’ of the day. If she doesn’t go barmy she should be home in a few days, so it is looking like we will be having her for Christmas Day dinner. As a guest. Not a main course! Joy of joys. Can this life get any better?

OK, now I’m going to take my dusty writer’s head out of the cupboard and briefly attach it. Those of you who are familiar with this blog will know that I write novels, and that I self publish. You will also know that I am hopeless at selling myself and that I never could get my mouth around my own trumpet in order to blow it, so…

I am going to toot quietly and announce that my new book, The Sleeping Field, is now published and live on Amazon. That’s it. No more. No less. You can find it, if you would like to, at http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Sleeping-Field-Jennie-Orbell-ebook/dp/B00H1XSTW0/ And if you prefer not to…well…whatever. THIS ONE

I would like to say a huge thank you to those of you who have already supported me by buying my books. And also to my Facebook/Twitter and WordPress friends who continue to spread the word and freely give your time and encouragement. There are some things that you just can’t put a price on…and kindness is most definitely one of them, so thank you.

I’ve gone to bleach a few floors and to vac-up another fresh fall of glitter from the tree.

Take care my lovelies x