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Get your rocks off, honey

11 Jul

And so it dawns on me as I lie awake at 3am from too much of a mumsy coffee day yesterday, that solitaire diamond necklaces are the new must-have yummy mummy accessory . The bigger the diamond the bigger the yumminess, clearly.

At Ellie’s open day for big school yesterday, the de rigeur necklaces – or uniform for mums if you will – were these little jewels. A single diamond on white gold/platinum chain. Understated little and not so little trinkets but no variation on the theme, that’s it. The recessionary jewellery of choice perhaps, in that they’re not too flash although they do splash the cash for those that want an extravagance but without being too obvious. You could say they even cost an arm on a neck (OK maybe that’s just 3am brain humour).

After officially becoming ‘Mrs Goldsmith’ on my passport this week (two kids down, I can protest no longer), I feel religiously obliged to sport one as proof, not only of my obvious yumminess (?!), but also of my newly acquired Jewish princess credentials.

Oh yeah – and we saw Primal Scream in the pouring rain at Regent’s Park outdoor theatre during a Jimmy Carr gig on Sunday, hence the blog title. They were really old & total crap. Luckily Carr was brilliantly funny & offensive, although at least 1% of it went too far.

conference feet

1 Mar

It’s been a while but oh boy! I’d forgotten how totally exhausting traipsing round a god-forsaken conference hall can be. Today I spent five hours at Confex – wandering the isles, attending seminars and interviewing hoteliers. It really is truly awful. And this one’s only held at Earl’s court – a considerably smaller venue than the horrific Excel – which I’ve been forced to attend a number of times.

I remembered to wear flatish shoes, but even so coming home on the tube my feet felt like they’d done a marathon, aching all over and to add insult to injury, carrying almost half my bodyweight again in leaflets, pamphlets and tomes of hospitality-related literature.

The only upside was several free pens (always a winner for me), a small pack of very moreish Welsh cakes and the fact that three friends at nursery commented on how smart/nice/decked out I was – makes a change from the prize-winning slummy mummy look I normally sport.

Picture perfect

16 Dec

We got a freebie the other day.

Venture photography offered us a free photoshoot and free picture no strings attached. So we trundled along to Wandsworth with the kids, did the shoot, trundled back two weeks later without the kids for the viewing, having arranged childcare, with a quivering cheque book…only to view a set of spectacularly rotten pictures.

Not a single good one of the four of us. Paul and I managed to have no chins at all, our noses (mainly in profile, which, being two well endowed Jews, we’d specifically briefed against) were carbunkles that made us both consider having a nose job, I looked like I was wearing a badly fitting wig in the family shots and managed to get myself a nice set of sideburns – a facial hair issue I must admit I wasn’t aware of till those AWFUL photos.

On top of this, the kids looked wierd – there wasn’t a nice one of Ellie – almost impossible – given she’s the most photogenic child I’ve ever met, but to be fair there were a couple of nice ones of Josh, but no better than I’ve got on my own camera.

If you’re gonna charge £200 – £1000+ for pics, you’ve got to get the shots. The catch, of course, with offers like Venture’s, is that you’re meant to fall so head over heals in love with loads of pictures, that you end up buying more than just the freebie.

Luckily in this instance, we managed to leave, cheque book intact, and three of the better pics as compensation for no family shot.

Christmas Tree Class Wars

15 Dec

I have a very middle class Christmas tree. Apparently. 

A friend came round last night for carols, mince pies and mulled wine in the (communal) garden – ok I’ll admit that bit is decidedly middle class.

But it was the Christmas tree class war that I wasn’t prepared for. Mine, according to the world of Blend, is an utterly Chiswicky-middle-class one, being covered in mainly red decorations, peppered with silver stars and baubles, and lacking totally in Tinsel. Even some of my decorations were branded posh and up market – till I pointed out they were from Tesco’s, which brought them down a peg or two in her eyes.

I do have tinsel over the telly but that a) isn’t good enough and b) is ‘posh’ tinsel given it’s fluffy and got tinsel drops hanging off it.

It’s not that I mind having a middle class tree, it’s just that I wasn’t aware there was a class war in the field of festive fir. But I suppose, thinking about it, many of my friends and I drag our families along for an annual gawk to the one OTT house in the area. We stand there ooo-ing and ahh-ing at its twinkling santas, reindeer, snowmen etc, while being secretly relieved that it’s not our neighbours who have doubled their lekky bill in a festive yet totally tacky way.

Similarly Blend was silenced on entering Ellie’s room, where a fake pink tree stands, proudly covered in tinsel, gold and silver bead threads and more decorations than the big tree, despite being a quarter the size. Definitely evened up the class war.

Boys will be boys

10 Dec

Josh – 11 months old – has one hand in tub of sudocrem, another on a chicken drumstick (plastic) covered in sudocrem and is licking it.

Paul – 37 years old – has one hand down trousers – other on the phone to mate – barking at the telly and mate simultaneously about Watford FC who are about to lose a 3-nil lead – in the last five minutes – yet again.

Boys.

Austerity Xmas

10 Dec

In keeping with the times, we’re having a ‘careful’ Christmas this year. Hubby and I agreed presents under a tenner and my sis and mum went for no prezzies for grown ups –  only for kids.

Hubby got all left wing on me years ago while teaching at state school. I’m not allowed to overdo it on the stocking front (santa not leg related) or go over the top on prezzies under the tree.

But it’s hard. First you have to fill the kids stockings. What I’ve ordered from amazon in my money-saving frenzy came half the size and doubly as crap as I’d hoped, making me feel like a cheapskate and forcing me out of the door to buy yet more junk in a guilt-trip extraordinaire.

Then I remembered  that not only do I have to buy prezzies for the hubby and kids, I’ve also got to do the hubby’s family, the nursery, the caretakers (of our flats), the odd friend – and all their random children. I managed to dodge the cleaner this year by curtailing services earlier this month.

On top of this Hubby is now questioning the no presents for grown ups rule and I’ve realised I should really get a present from Ellie to Josh and of course from Josh to Ellie, oh and from Ellie to Daddy and Josh to Daddy.

It does seem nuts. And don’t get me started on the tree – a small/medium one in Chiswick high road’s gonna set you back £30 without blinking. Is it just me or is that a lot of money for something that’s essentially going to die and also poses a breach of health and safety to my grabby 11 month old.

I love Christmas and normally really look forward to it, but this year, I’m struggling to shed my bah humbug crustiness.  Perhaps it’s ’cause I’m trying to do it on the cheap and it’s just making me feel bad. I think I’m just going to be extravagant and hang the consequences, if it makes me feel better, it’ll be worth the money.

Standing room only

1 Dec

Hitting the tube tonight during rush hour for the first time in about a year,  I found myself accidentally giving a death stare to a random woman who ‘stole’ my seat.

Giving her my best evil eye glare, I waited for her to check herself, realise her mistake, jump up and offer me the very chair she had beaten me to in the on/off bunfight.

Then I realised I wasn’t pregant any more. No longer do I sport a pronounced bump that flags up I’m a special person in need of a priority chair. I am a faceless nobody once again, no longer to be treated with any consideration whatsoever in the rat race throng.

Not, to be honest that it happened very often, but I used to be pretty good at targetting the vulnerable fellow-commuter, who would be guilted out of his or her seat by my weary, pleading and judgemental eye.

Alas special treatment no more, I will have to wait till I’m old, wobbly (well more wobbly) and grey (ok more grey or at least not dyed) till I get offered a seat again..

Tickly pox – I’m a mummy get me outta here

19 Nov

Poor little Josh, he’s got it, the dreaded chicken pox. It’s ravaging through his little body – I’ve never seen anything like it – except when Ellie had it. This horrible lurghy just coarses through their bodies, and they’re helpless little victims, wondering why, all of a sudden, they’re so itchy.

But apart from the sypmpathy that one naturally feels as a mummy, comes the dreaded puke-factor. Yesterday alone I got covered twice in projectile vomit from hip to knees the first time, the second down my top, welling up in my cleavage. Nice. He was covered, I was mostly covered, it was dripping off the leather footstool and a puddle was seeping into my carpet.

It was one of those moments as a mum when the world goes slowly for a minute. I simply had no idea what to do, where to put myself, my dripping jeans or my puke-soaked child or where to begin the clean up process.

I’d be lying if I said there isn’t a moment at times like these where a thought flashes through my brain: “I’m may be the mummy, but get me outta here.”

Girl power ain’t what it was

16 Nov

Men get paid more than women. Fact.

Why? Because women are like me. I took hours today writing an email to a friend of hubby’s who runs a media training company. I spent what seemed like an eternity diligently sitting at my computer composing what was meant to be the email of all emails. I said what I thought I wanted to say, nearly sent it. Got cold feet. Sent it to hubby instead for approval.

He replied within 2 minutes. Slated it. Asked why I was apologising for myself. Reminded me I was sucessfully editing a national magazine not so long ago. Suggested re-writing in a totally different tone. What happened to me?

Maternity leave happened – twice. It seems to sap every ounce of belief in oneself. You’re left with the shell of who you once were, with no inner core or strength to believe that you can do anything other than the most menial of tasks.

There was a job for an admin assistant at Sam’s Brasserie the other day. I genuinely found myself wondering if I should go for this role and whether I’d even get it. This is the kind of job I did when I was 18 and knew nothing and still managed to do it ok.

It’s impossible to pinpoint when this change occurs. You’re fine leaving work, then the baby comes, the sleepless nights happen, you realise you know nothing about raising kids and you’re spending your whole life flying by the seat of your pants.

Perhaps this is what drains us, or maybe it’s just DNA. I know so many women who think “I’m not up to the job, when will the world realise this?” and so many men who’ll just happily bullshit their way along until they get found out – and even then it’s water off a duck’s back.

Whatever it is. I wish I didn’t have it. I used to be a sassy chick, now I just feel like a battery hen. I need to get back into my groove.

Amanda’s Action Kids – when enthusiasm turns to obsession

15 Nov

So it’s getting a bit embarrassing. We’ve been going to Action Kids for nearly three years now. So long in fact that I swear my daughter Ellie thinks she now actually works with Amanda, rather than attends the class.

It all began with “please may I be your helper” on the races – which also saw me subsquently chanting “Hard bodies, Tight bodies” all over Chiswick’s green spaces – to many a bemused look from passers by.

Then there was the odd go on the microphone – singing the alphabet and saying hippopotamus being particular highlights.

But now it’s definitely a full blown crush. We even choose what to wear on a Monday morning to show Amanda – today it was her party dress from last year which has somehow morphed in her brain into a ‘ballet dress’ but previously it’s been her Buzz Lightyear outfit, her Thomas the Tank engine costume and recently at Halloween she wanted to go as a skeleton but I’m afraid that’s where i drew the line.

Luckily Amanda’s very tolerant of the whole thing and indulges her with special comments and the like.  But I guess if you’re gonna have a stalker, this is the kind to have. A little three year old running after you thinking you’re just the coolest thing in the world. There are plenty of worse ways to start a Monday morning.