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.