November 23, 2008

Men and Smelly Things

We all got up a few mornings ago to a really rotten reek from somewhere. Okay - the men were up at the time, but even they couldn't be blamed for such a wiff. We eventually tracked it down to behind the television, which stands on the extended brick fireplace (which I HATE!) but nothing seemed to be there to account for it. Then it struck me. The cat had squeezed down the back where there's a hole for plugs ect - and shit under there!

He's a very old cat, you see, and I hate him out over night. Both my cat's are house trained, and I wouldn't tolerate a litter tray in my house, but over winter the older one has very occasionally shit in the bath before rather than face the cruel Scottish nights. Some dunderheid had forgotten to leave the living room door ajar for him, so I take it he felt he had no other choice. Anyhow, it was a fabulous morning, grumpy men getting ready for work, college and school, and having to unplug and lift telly and DVD's, consoles and timber ect, so as I could reach it. I mean, I was having to clean the ruddy shit itself and I didn't moan in the least! So problem solved.

As they were spraying and lashing on extra lotions and potions, in case the cat shit had tainted their clothes or hair - God Forbid - I stood shaking my head. But I now realised how fussy men can be. There was a time when I used to walk through shops with THEM smelling of shit, (husband excluded) for God's sakes - nappies bulging with the stuff and I cared not a jot until we reached home. But the experience did make me more aware that I needed to stock up on smellies for them.

I'm extremely lucky in that I've got a wonderful Avon rep, who at Xmas buys in stuff from the catalogue on my behalf and saving me a fortune. Mind you, when it comes to McScrooge (new readers: I'm referring to the husband here) he thinks all perfumes smell like soap, so why I don't just scrape a bar of carbolic over my G-spots, I don't know! Somehow, I like the more traditional styling of eau de parfum. Mind you, that's one Xmas pressie sorted now.

But I'm not slagging all men's senses. Some have very trained nostrils. It's other senses in men I worry about. I can recall reading in a surgery magazine somewhere, that a bloke was missing home and for a cheer-him-up over the phone, his wife asked him to take a sniff as she had his favourite muffins in the oven. When he told her he couldn't smell them as the phone wasn't in the kitchen, he then put the phone down on her. That's the kind of thing, I will sniff at exception to. Can anyone really be so thick? I doubt it. Guess, I'm just happy to be walking around smelling of soap-in-a-bottle.

November 17, 2008

Oh, Well. I Tried...!

My charity gig didn't go as well as I hoped. The main reasons were lack of band practise and lack of interest. Having had to cancel it previously twice before due to work, exams and family commitments, there still was a lack of practise from some of the bands. Personally, I made a vow that I would every year, raise money for CLIC Sargent via gigs. I may have to step down from this promise. I do still intend to raise money for the charity, but it'll be in the usual ways of crazy knitting, raffles and what other methods and ideas are concocted. I may even busk again via sponsorship. I managed to raise a hell of a lot that way before and at least all the sponsors don't need to be present but you're assured the sponsor pays up!

On a personal level, I was really disappointed that family and friends who said they would attend, didn't, apart from my neighbour Liz, whom was in agony with toothache. She was as disappointed as me at her not being able to make it. My little sister, however, whom I babysit for regularly, let me down at the last minute and that meant I had to stand at the doors all night when she promised she'd take over giving me a chance to video, take pictures, enjoy the bands and mingle. Apart from selling the tickets at the door, I was mainly babysitter to the drinks the smokers couldn't take outside with them. This hurt more than the fact that the tickets didn't sell as well as they did the previous year.

Mind you, the place was teenager-mobbed as most of the bands were rather heavy sounding, and to be honest the only time the entertainments manager approached me about a possible weekly spot for one of the bands was when The Signals were on. I think his words went along along the lines of.."thank fuck - a band that's playing a decent tune at last." And despite my supporting my own sons' bands, whom haven't done too badly for themselves with this kind of heavy muck, I had to agree with him.

Mind you, we never did get the chance to hear the last band on the bill as one of the boys went home feeling ill, but Neil was happy to let the really young 'uns have a nonsense jam at the end. My youngest son did his best to try and get me onstage to sing and play one of the songs we've written, but apart from feeling people had suffered enough, I knew my husband wouldn't be happy about it. He thinks I'm too old, you see, and besides, I had very little time for Dutch courage to take hold.

I also made the decision not to let the raffle go ahead. The number of heads there wouldn't even cover the cost of the items bought, even if two tickets per person were sold, and besides, with a full bottle of Jack Daniels being amongst the prizes, I felt the riotous teenagers were drunk and sweary enough and they didn't need extra fuelling if it was won by any of them. Thankfully, I do have a good neighbour, Madge, who has offered to organise a raffle for me before at the hospital where she works and this time I'm taking up her offer. She and her hubby are in their 60's and wouldn't have attended any such gig anyhow - which is understandable - and this is their way of taking part. So that I shall do.

I do have to admit that I was more than a little deflated at the end of the night. It has made me question both my trust and my confidence. Just when I thought I needed my family in the way I am always available for them (and if I'm honest I do put myself out a lot for people) they weren't there for me. It won't put me off entirely from similar things in the future, but I have to keep in mind that next year my older son will have left home and attending a university in Aberdeen so won't be around for taking part as easily. But I do have to remember that there are little kiddies who won't even get the chance to be a part of life, never mind a band, whom will benefit from the somewhat unorganised night. So I'll just have to shake off the horrible feeling of failure and convince myself that I'm not all that bad.

November 03, 2008

Life's Real Carer's

I haven't as yet blogged about Liz and Tam. They both live next door, in their forties, and quite frankly are the type of neighbours you'd choose if you could. Fate, however, was lucky enough to bring them next door to us. In the six years we've known them, I can honestly say that they've been a real bonus to the street. The realtionship they have struck up with my kids - especially Liz with Adam - and others is warm and touching. Granted, she doesn't take any shit from him either, if she felt he ever needed a kick up the arse she would boot him into touch but as yet he's been bruise free. He says if anything ever happened to us (mum and dad) he'd want to live with them. And considering I'm from a huge family that speak volumes.

One bit of difference is that Liz and Tam aren't a couple. They're best friends. Eyebrows are always quick to rise at situations as such, when in fact the world is populated with male and female friendships remaining as so. I can recall just after my first marriage split up, for a few months I moved in with my twin sister and her fiance and there were rumours of two-for-the- price-of-one, that disgusted me. I did have a home of my own but felt I needed a bit extra support during a very difficult time and it's sad that society can't accept situations without adding a dash of smut. Hey hoe.

Anyhow - I felt I needed to put my appreciation into words for an exceptional couple. Liz is decidedly nutty, funny, honest, and mostly caring. She's been there for me in difficult times and her no nonsense approach is honourable. If something is needing done by God, Liz gets results! I wish I was more like her. In the past few years the funniest phone calls, nights outs and over the fence blethers have been with her. Tam even came through to support the boys at their Battle Of The Bands gig in Glasgow where most of my family knew but 'couldn't make it'. At Ross's birthday parties ( you know - the ones parent's are banned from...) they've handed booze and snacks through for the boys. After my father died she helped with the kids and was a tower of strength. Last Christmas I was feeling really down as Liz helped me from that downer. The list could on but I'm sure you all get the drift.

One thing I am a bit scared of is the health of her older and cherished Doberman, Tarot. At 12 he's an old man in doggie years and has a poorly leg. If the swelling doesn't go down he might need surgery and that's an option that might be dangerous for an old dog with a heart condition. He's her baby, you see. Liz has always declared that she's not in the least bit maternal (although you wouldn't think it as she fabulous with kids!) and her dogs are her life. Some people chose not to have kids (mmmm hmmmm) and that's fine. But when Tarot does go, (and God blessing it'll be a while yet. I'll have to do a Liz and be there for her. I only hope I make as just as good a job of it as she would.

October 20, 2008

N...n...n...n...n...nineteen..? Oh, s**t!

Today is our wedding anniversary. This morning I got up and having the house to myself (after school and college holidays) was fabulous. McScrooge was away fishing, too! Hurray! Yup, the kids got themselves off and McScrooge gets up ridiculously early anyhow and buggers off, so it felt more like my birthday - with bits of Xmas and Mother's day chucked in!

McScrooge should have been home for a bit dinner but I don't know where he's got to. Looks like the champagne (Asda'a fizzy wine) and the bubble bath (no comment) planned for the 30 minutes (far, far too long) that he gets home before the boys do will have to be postponed until our 20th. Phew.............!

October 10, 2008

My Precious Baby...and Hers.

The rotten year I'm having has worsened. Last night my darling daughter called to say that she had received some bad news. It has been confirmed that she has polycystic ovaries which reduces her chances of falling pregnant naturally. She's already been trying for a year. I didn't know how to react when she told me. I was stunned. I felt awful and useless. Didn't know whether to cry or not. But I'm the mum, I'm the one who should have reassured her but I felt useless. Kerri lives 500 miles away from me in Buckinghamshire which makes it all the worse. But she has been having problems for a while now and she hasn't said.

Kerri has always been there for everyone. She never told me as she didn't want to 'worry' me. Even as long as a year ago she suspected she could maybe have this condition but doctors dismissed it. It wasn't until she stresses to them that I needed a rushed hysterectomy at 29, that they referred her for a scan. In all that time her cysts were growing. How awful. I always worried that she would suffer from endometriosis and pre-cancerous cells as I did. The pain from that was excruciating and I guess I sighed with relief that she wouldn't suffer from that type of pain that I was glad that it was only cysts! But I underestimated the psychological side of this. By the end of her phone call, although clearly shaken, she sounded more positive. There is treatment to help fertility along the way and we've no other option but to put our faith into what ever medics have to offer. So after saying our farewells on the phone, I was pleased that she sounded a little happier, but I felt awful that there was nothing more that I could do or say there and then. I had the weekly shop to do and I tried to focus on that to help keep the tears at bay.

I actually thought I was coping okay until a mum lifted a little might from it's baby carrier to comfort it from crying and the thought that my precious baby, my only daughter, my first born, might not ever get the chance to kiss her own little one tenderly on the cheek, simply gutted me. I had to end my shopping trip there and then. I stood sobbing in the supermarket car park while my husband paid for the goods. I prayed she gets the chance to snuggle up to her own little one.

I can still picture her own little peachy face with it's podgy cheeks, and eyes 'like a Chinaman'. I can still feel those long long fingers with the tiniest of nails at the ends and her insistence for a breastfeed every two hours. But she's from determined stock. I conceived naturally with her brothers with only one ovary and endometriosis despite the doctors' warnings that I might never do so. Fertility treatment has more chances than ever at happy endings. But I've a feeling that Mother Nature will be around more than usual and keeping to her job title - with love.

October 06, 2008

Little Lord Laughalong.

My youngest, Adam, 14, went back to primary school today. No, not because he's as thick as shit, but for work experience as part of his high school education. His job for this week is PA to the Administration corridor's staff rooms. He was lucky to get the position as it was mostly sought after by girls and had around 40 interested all together. But little smart ass got the job!

His day started by being shown to his room and basically, he manned the telephones, made tea, took dictation, made coffee, welcomed visitors, made more tea, helped the nurse with a head injury, made coffee, and so on. At one point he had a quick game of cards with the janitor!

All his old teachers welcomed him greatly. At lunchtime the women made him sit with them at the staff room dining table and were asking him all the embarrassing questions. Has he a girlfriend, and what high school subjects he's taken and rejected,ect. One, Mrs, Russell, came up to him and gave him a cuddle saying..."I'd never forget that face - how are you, ROSS?" ....his older brother! Egg on face time for one teacher, but by the end of the school day it was all smiles, charm and high-fiving the teachers! Mind you, the little boy in infants who had 'had an accident' slightly brought him down to primary earth! All in all, he enjoyed day one. Home half an hour earlier, too!

So, a future in education of some sort for Adam, maybe? That I wouldn't mind. Perhaps he'd be able to teach himself how to get from the side of his bed to the washing machine with them dirty boxers, then....? Hmmmmm......we'll see.......!

September 28, 2008

Churches and Plans and Organised Bans.

What a predicament. November is the only chance now that I have to fit in the CLIC Sargent gig. I've had more egg on my face this year than chocolate. Three times I've had to cancel. Twice through teenagers' troubles and a third on personal choice. It has given me the time to come up with a few ideas on how to raise more dosh. And I've come up with this one.........

As my son (PrettyBoy) is the most handsome thing this side of the universe, he is to act as chief fund raiser in a 'pound a snog' scenario. He will be, in between drumming in every band that night apart from The Signals, through in the pool room filling up a charity tin while swapping saliva with the feeble and the willing. It will also partly make up for the amount of dig money he forgets to hand over. Well, it is for charity! Any body wearing Status Quo tee shirts will also be banned from the pool room - or any room for that matter and no covers will be tolerated either. I don't mean cushion covers as anything remotely Quo is on par with pensioners past times, washables and matter of utter priority. I mean from band members. This is being made decisively clear!

This December I will be heading south for my great niece's baptism. Little Kelsey, mentioned in my deleted archives, is to get the full works. I've never had any of mine Christened and I'm looking forward to it. Churches have only seen my presence at school activities, and the odd jumble sale and of course, weddings. I might even be tempted to renew my wedding vows. Actually, I've caught my husband on numerous occasions watching our wedding video, bless him. In reverse. He particularly likes the bit where I give him back the ring, he dashes down the aisle, gets into the car and fucks off. How else do you account for the tears in his eyes at the time?

Till later then, folks......

September 19, 2008

Best Laid Plans....!

It's a nightmare. In two weeks' time I should be hosting my charity gig for CLIC Sargent. Now the band that I was relying on to supply me with the PA system have gone their separate ways. The system has gone south, in the same direction as a band member. Thank you, Synergy, for leaving me in the lurch so close to the date. I do have a glimmer of hope in that James from Homegrown Studio's is doing his damndest to get me one in time for the gig - and is trying to supply the system and technician for free on the night. Had Ma Boayz went to Homegrown Studio's to start with to record their new demo, rather than the idiot one they were made to go to, they would have had their own system bought in with their prize money. Oh, the irony.! To top it all, today I left the printer on automatic as tickets were being printed and the black ink ran out! I now do not need that haircut for the show as I'm almost bald!!

I've never seriously prayed in my life but I'll be down on my knees tonight!! If anyone fancies a tin-rattling or busking session in the High Street, give us a shout! Mind you, my back garden is rather big.....hmmmmmm!

September 16, 2008

It's Official - I'm An Old Fogey

Today, I went bramble picking. While McScrooge still hasn't any fishing plans, he's getting very fed up with daytime TV. Actually, there is only so many Bravo TV, Chuck Norris codswallop one can take. Why he can't just grab a quick cuppa over 'Loose Women' I'll never know! Anyhow, in an attempt to make me a 'better' cook, and a 'fitter' wife (physically!) we tried to regress back to the methods of long ago.

This very long 'shortcut' close to my house and along the railway line, is absolutely filled with bramble bushes and we both remembered picking them as children with our parents which resulted in delicious crumbles and pies ect. So McScrooge reckoned we go and pick some on the way home from our long walk. And we did just that. How did I feel.....? Like a right tit actually - but it was fun. A bit mushy with the wet weather, we collected quite a bag full. However, protection is needed in 3 areas here.

1. Make sure you wear enough padding on your sleeve area - they'll lance you given half the chance!
2. Bring rubber gloves otherwise you'll have purple stained fingers and you don't wanna be explaining how you've dyed.
3. Make sure you leave the very healthy, fat and juicy ones at the bottom of the bush well alone, as every local dog has pissed on them! Chest height upwards is fine.

My biggest thrill was the looks from passing cars at my red and purple, gooey, mushy surgical gloves I was wearing, but I keep litter on me until I'm home. Oh, yes. I'm very green when I'm any colour! But the result....? One rather easy-peasy Bramble and Apple Crumble (notice how I use capitals with pride here!) that custard or fresh cream compliments wonderfully. Mind you, the kids left half their portions and the seagull got the remainder in the tin the following day.

So, I wonder what else mother nature provides that I could amuse McScrooge with tomorrow......out in public, of course!

September 10, 2008

Well, here's a test to my memory!

For the weekend I will be trying to compile my blogroll again. I'm back and for now I'll leave a little rundown of how things are/were. I have really missed being here.

As those who know me pretty well, know that in the life of Lena, there is always one little crisis to follow the other. This time it was McScrooge's turn. Unable to drive due to wrist problems, he then decided to have stomach problems. On the request of him I won't go into the details, but he was losing a lot of weight. Thankfully, the problem is under control now, only it stopped him from receiving treatment for his wrist problem! So it's kinda back to square one for him in that respect - and believe me, his moaning sounds like a Godsend now!

Ma Boays - or The Valentines - have lost their keyboard player. Only, he's joining us again for the upcoming charity gig in October. There was doubts to the band's future as it seemed, work, arguing, and women (Brian is now engaged and sharing a flat with his finacee!) scuppered their gig list and plans. Personally, I think a lot of it has had to do with the follow on neglect from the 'care' of the Barrowlands win. The guys have been sold short. Compared to last year's winners, there has been lack of commitment to the boys. Firstly, there was no newspaper article in the sun despite their photogragher and interviewer being there. The Herald only put a tiny pictureless article whereas last years winners got a full spread. There is STILL no notification of which 'top' band they will be supporting this year. The Jersey festival was a joke, and most of the money they won to go towards paying for the rest of new PA system, went to the recording studio, as the guy from there didn't even know they were from Rock the Talk, took 3 DAYS to record 4 songs that should have taken one session! The outcome was horrendous. Dickie is singing out of key in the chorus of Charlies Revolver ( the sound recorder said he was fine) and they were made to sing in more of a 'Scottish' accent. The new demo is so bad that they decided not to send it off anywhere. The guys are supposed to be Indie rockers using what noise that naturally comes from their musical gobs, not a mixture of The Proclaimers and Glasvegas! So it's a backwards step for the guys for now. I know the lack of support in finding the money to re-record hurt Craig (keyboards) as he'd worked hard on the administration side of things for the band. The good news is that they were all accepted (apart from Brian as he has full time work) for the same class (actually they all linked arms when it came to class populations and said they weren't moving!) sitting their HND's in music at Falkirk college. So there will be more time to record, write and make amends there!

Adam, my youngest, passed all but one of his GCSE's this year. Physics was just too boring and extreme for him, but he is excelling in music and history. Just like his older brother. I often wonder if Ross really appreciates his younger sibling's hero-worship of him! As they are getting older they are getting closer. Both have said that their future plan is to run a little recording studio together. I found that quite sweet, given just two years ago Ross could have seen him impaled on a stake by the bollocks for being a pest.

Oh, and Ross now has a new girlfriend. I'll not miss the old one as she was an utter bitch! Anyway, the new girl he's dating is a model for Diesel and some other label.......and she's had had her baps out in page 3 of the Sun or the Record, I can't remember which he said. We're all going out for a meal next week and I'm already stumped at what I'll say to her. She's visited us twice but she's been very shy. I'm already wondering what the topic of conversation will be! Here's hoping she likes football!

And me - I'm now going to try and focus on my Sargent gig in October. It's been murder trying to sort bands out this year. A lot of cancelling due to unexpected work and disappearing teenagers and health worries ect. If I'd have blogged all the negative happenings and developments these past two months, I'd have lost all my blogroll links anyway!! Seriously though, there were days where it was almost razorblades at the ready. But that's sodding life. My mate Loraine, said to me that in life we should 'live for the moment'. In less than a few years, her daughter suffered a brain tumour, she lost her dad to bowel cancer, and her husband had been whisked in and out of hospital with circulation problems. She was even warned that his leg may need amputating but thankfully that didn't happen. And like me, and me direct neighbours, she has had little crises along the way too.

So I'm looking forward to the gig. Will be announcing actual dates ect, soon. One guest of honour will be the young lass that I first raised money for back in 2003. Loraine's daugher Eran. There is also the chance of a few girls from high school. I bumped into Senga in the high street one day a few weeks back and have spoken to her on Bebo a bit and she's trying to get me to do another gig in the Camelon Bowling Club after this one. So we'll see. One exhausted young man on the night will be Ross. He's actually going to be playing in every band that a part from special guests The Signals. One, I must warn you, is 'heavy as fuck' so while keeping a certain section of the audience happy, I might just have to nip out side for some air.

Well, I better get on with things. Hopefully by the weekend my blogroll will be back together. I give thanks, however, to Neil, Gwen and Morag, for still popping in over my absense. I get round to emailing in a few days. I just want a bit of routine back!

July 16, 2008

Where'd She Go....?

I'm still around. Thought I'd leave a little message saying that my previous blog had a few troubles and I needed to start again! Typical in the world of Lena, but not surprising these days. Mind you, I didn't get any emails asking where I was, so now it's just a case of starting again! I'll build up my blogroll again from tomorrow.