Thursday, 28 October 2010

Is it really the end of October?

I want my money back. The year has raced by in a blur of kiddycare, work, writing and Mancunian rain and all of a sudden, I find myself sat in my car doing the school run in a billion layers of waterproof clothing and with the demisters on. Where did the Summer go? Where has 2010 gone? This was meant to be my big year: the year where I had my midlife crisis, decided what I wanted to do instead of fundraising, made it happen and then immediately started to rake in more money, grow thicker hair and have more nookie. I'm still waiting.

I realise there are only three of you following this including my husband. You won't be crying into your soup at the fact that I haven't written since July, will you? Nothing lost there. No. I feel like the invisible woman, so I don't expect anything different. Let me explain...

On Tuesday, I turned 39. It's my last year of being a thirty something and being the kind of moaning bastard that I am, I can't help wondering if my health and energy are going to take a steep nosedive from now onwards. I feel like shit. I look like shit. I had a brief sunrise between the ages of 35 and 38 where I lost enormous amounts of weight and did amazingly energetic things and now, suddenly and without warning, the sun has started to set on my thirties and I can only see menopause, continuing professional frustration and thinning hair on the horizon. And do you know what the worst thing is? I annoy myself. I have a voice in my head that says "stop moaning and grow a pair. You've got it good. You're just horrormoanal and tired."

So...perhaps next time I post I'll be all happy and celebratory. Perhaps something amazing will happen and I will get a novel published or win some money or a long lost relative will die and leave me all their money or I will hurt myself a bit at work and claim ludicrous amounts on the public liability insurance. But money's a quick buzz and not a long-term fix. I don't know about YOU miserable bastards but I'm looking for the sense of self-satisfaction too. I know my personal life is all I could ever want it to be but now the kids are getting a bit bigger, finally, what I do for a living is connected to my self-esteem and well-being. Having a humdrum job just to pay the bills just isn't enough any more. Getting older seems to make the realisation that I've settled for less in my career all these years even sharper and more painful.

Now I'm going to go and make a coffee and grow a pair...

Thursday, 15 July 2010

But Charlemagne is well cool, innit?

Since I last wrote, I have endured a week of pre-, mid- and post-menstrual tension. This has necessarily involved cocking up and then thumping or throwing things (not people) when I think people are not looking and having a good howl at work. Road rage has been a particularly dangerous side-effect.

My children's report night at school took place last week. I set off late, having had a clean bra crisis and then found, much to my chagrin, that I was caught behind an old gimmer in a deerstalker, driving a Nissan crapwagon at 20 miles per hour. A deerstalker! At 20 miles per hour! Clearly, the gadge didn't realise that he was weaving, drunk on elderliness, in the path of a late mother on a mission. I wanted to kill him. There, I've said it. It's not kind and the karma is surely bad but I did want to ram his fecking deerstalker right down his geriatric throat. Only fear of losing my no claims bonus stopped me from ramming into him to make him move. Am I a bad person?

Luckily, the behatted gimmer survived, I made it to school on time and the kids are seemingly remarkably well-balanced and clever. I don't know where they get it from but I am not asking too many questions. I am proud. I self-flagellated to make up from being an arrogant, hormonal cow by sitting through a report from the religious studies teacher. Was there ever a more pointless appointment on parents' evening?
"Yes, your daughter is so good in class, Mrs. Angry Cow. She will surely qualify for a scholarship to heaven and have a fulfilling and well-paying career in bible-deciphering and the naming of characters from the Old Testament."
"Gee thanks, Mrs. Religious Nutcase. I'm so glad you think that of my seven year old. This was so worthwhile. And my five year old son?"
"Well, he won't sit still in class. I think he might burn in hell."

The next major irritation this week has been the hunt for lost bras. Only two weeks ago, I bought two Monsoon bras in the sale at John Lewis, to hoik up the fallen boobies of early middle-age. They had been £40 each and I bought them for an average of £10 each, so a bargain, as you can appreciate. Imagine my horror when both pure silk bras (with magic padding that Calista Flockart would give her fourth rib for) strangely disappeared. I was suddenly faced with a situation where I would have to do an emergency wash of the grey, saggy numbers with the bust elastic. Everyone knows that once you've bought new, you cannot go back to the revolting raggy baggy ones that make your boobs look as lacklustre as they really are. Not good. Even worse though, was the discovery five days later that my daughter had hidden them at the back of her doll's house! If I hadn't been looking for stray hair bobbles, my bras would never have seen the light of day again and my poor nipples would be having a conversation with my feet. That's kids for you.

Finally, in this moanfest, which only my mate Audrey is reading, as far as I'm aware, I have started what I hope is the final rewrite of my teen historical novel on Charlemagne the Great. If I had a fiver for every agent and publisher that has said that Charlemagne might be a bit too obscure a character for a teen audience, I'd have ten pounds by now. In the writing world, where every rejection hurts like childbirth, this is a body-blow worthy of an emotional epidural. As an ex-goth, I can only point out the obvious appeal of a seventeen year old fella, living two hundred years after the alleged adventures of King Arthur, with the largest Empire in the world at his feet, long hair and a big sword. What more could teen readers want? It remains to be seen if anyone buys my big idea, but for now, I'm going to continue with my medieval legendary long-haired lovely. So there!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Sunday shitty Sunday

So, the kids are in the shower, screaming like fiends as my husband cajoles them to wash their hair. My seven year old daughter has started singing straight down her nose, like one of those R&B singers, except she sounds tone deaf with collapsed nasal cartilage. My almost five year old son is just shrieking because he can. I am down here, ensconsed in mess and trainers and magic markers, knowing that I can only put off cleaning up the kitchen for so long.

I have been writing this weekend. I've written a novel for 8-12 year olds. So the kids have dirty undercrackers and the fridge is badly stocked. The carpets are looking hairy and there is tumble weed in the corners of rooms with hard flooring. Sod it. Us mummies spread ourselves too thinly and on top of that, I'm 38. When the horrormoans come each month, they are rampaging. Today is Sunday. I have about a week until I'm on. So this week, everyone had better watch out. I make my monthly transition from sanguine and maternal to homicidal maniac.

Sunday, shitty Sunday. Work in the morning. I have the pleasure of working in basement offices in a grim, windowless corner of a damp, old building. Lucky me. There is only one toilet and everyone manages to miss the hole and pee on the seat. Yummy. But that's OK because it's not Monday yet and I've begun the 20 day count-down to my holiday. I've bought an extra big suitcase. For once, I will do more than just well-scrub and throw anything on. I will coiff and groom myself into perfectly co-ordinated splendour. I will wear an ill-fitting bikini and flash my puckered, stretchy-marked bits and I will willingly let fat German men check out my varicose veined legs.

I am beginning this blog in the hope that it will resonate with other down-trodden souls who have hopes, dreams, ambitions, kids, partners and slightly furry food in the back of the fridge. Let's see what Moaning Monday brings...