Posted in comedy

Christmas Comes But Once A Year – Thank Goodness

So, we finally hit November and that crazy gang who have been counting down the days to Christmas since Boxing day are cranking up their attack on social media. Halloween is over, the memes are circulating, mostly the fairy Godmother telling Cinderella that at the strike of midnight Halloween ends and ‘bam Christmas carols everywhere’.

These people who have filled my newsfeed with Christmas all year long now think they are justified in filling it with MORE festive schmaltz because, as I write, it is ONLY 52 days, 12 hours, 27 minutes and 51 seconds away. And thrill upon thrill by the time you read this it could be minutes, hours and even days closer. Feel free to check any of the online countdown to Christmas clocks with their pretty falling snow animations. When did we last see snow at Christmas? Oh yes, I remember, 2010, the only time I wanted to get a plane out of the bleeding country. Why did I want to do that? Because I was trying so hard to ‘invent’ some Christmas magic for my son with a weekend in Rome.

I have been a single parent, with an only child, and very little extended family for almost the whole of my son’s life. For most of those years we were obliged to have my mother with us, for me that odd number of three was worse than if it had just been the two of us.

I tried so hard to make Christmas magical for my son.We were never going to have one of those huge family Christmases like the ones in those seasonal adverts that bombard our living rooms for 6 weeks (maybe more) in the run up to the big day. Further reinforcement that I could not bring the joy of Christmas into our home unless we had to drag out the ‘small’ table to seat all the extra people that graced us with their presence and presents. Ha! The small table with all the cousins cramped round, and always at least one awkward teen who’d rather be with the grownups sneaking the odd glass of vino, unnoticed by the adults stuffing their faces as the family bore regales them with tales of his/her achievements for the year. Sorry, I digress with a clear bitter resentment for all things ‘family Christmas’.

I eventually decided once my son wasn’t a baby or toddler anymore that Christmas away would be the best thing. We would be surrounded by happy revellers and the true spirit of Christmas would descend upon us, we would live happily ever after knowing that we had had a Christmas that others could only dream of. So off we popped to Butlins, Bognor. My son would have lots of children to play with, there would be entertainment providing much laughter and happiness.

When we finally emerged on Christmas morning (sporting our silly santa hats and reindeer antlers) ready to wave, smile and express our season greetings to one and all we were in for a bit of a shock. On Christmas Eve there had been a ‘Merder’ (best read in a Scottish accent, mimicking a well known detective). The place was crawling with scenes of crime officers, everything was closed, and all those who had travelled there by car had left. It was a ghost town. We, unfortunately had gone by train, and were stuck there for the duration. Thank goodness for Christmas telly.

Beneath all of this frivolity, cynicism and forced humour there is a more serious note. Christmas is hard, and for many reasons for many people. And when the over excited, overgrown kids start ramming it down your throat on the 1st of November, those of us who don’t ‘feel’ the magic have just that bit longer to feel crap about it.

On a lighter note (please) despite my best efforts with my son at Christmas, he went all weirdy ‘I hate Christmas’ a few years ago, which deflated me as I felt that somehow I had failed him. But last year, we probably had one of the best Christmases yet. Just the two of us. We had brunch, went to the pub (he’s 20 btw) , went to another pub, went home and watched films. When we were hungry we bunged a pizza in the oven. I spent no more on food that Christmas than I did any other week. We didn’t feel sorry for ourselves, we actually felt liberated.

Listen to the audio version here

Posted in Uncategorized

What Has Twitter Ever Done For Me?

I’m trying to imagine what it would have been like 40 years ago if I was able to follow Adam Ant on Twitter. Fan girls and boys must love this new age of social media. I remember crying in my bedroom listening to Mr Ant being interviewed on the radio, they were the little glimpses we got into our pin up’s lives, it humanised them and made me feel just that little bit closer to him.

Now we have access to (most) celebrities 24/7, we know what they had for breakfast, dinner, after dinner, before bed and sometimes before they even know. Ok not all of them do that, but you get the idea. But what I like most about Twitter is you get to choose who you follow, not just friends and family. I’m not suggesting any of my friends and family aren’t entertaining on Facebook (some are hilarious) I love you all.

I don’t (or didn’t) really follow celebrities until I decided I needed to seek out the funny people (to dilute all the Trump mania). But I’m one of those who doesn’t remember any of their names.

“You know, the one on that show we really like, the funny one, with the beard, married…you know… what’s her name, in….???? Anyone?? ”

So I came up with a cunning plan. I did remember one name, David Mitchell. He’s the really funny one on those comedy panel shows with that other guy who’s also really funny, you know? And I thought what better way to find all those other funny people than to look at who he follows. So that’s what I did, it was easy as they nearly all have profile pics that look just like they do on the telly. Follow, click, click, click. Oh Jamie Laing, interesting. I wonder what the connection is, or is David a big fan of Made in Chelsea. Well, he is a bit posh as well isn’t he. Several hundred (slight exaggeration) clicks later I was satisfied that my Newsfeed (do you call it that on Twitter?) would be filled with hilarious 140 character quips.

In reality, this is what happened:

I haven’t been sleeping very well lately. At 3 o’clock this morning I was drafting this blog post in my head, finally I managed to get back to sleep and fall into a rather disturbing dream. Needless to say some of those people I started following on Twitter made an appearance. In my dream I didn’t seem the slightest bit surprised to find them all at an orgy, I must say here that NO FLESH was bared. I just knew it was an orgy by the strange glint in their eyes. I’m glad it wasn’t graphic because the guy wearing the horse’s head from the episode of Come Dine With Me, I had watched earlier in the evening, made an entrance towards the end.

Forget Social Media, imagine if someone came up with the technology to record our dreams. I have some epics, ok, some wouldn’t make the cut but #justsaying #loadsamoney #newcareer #sellingdreams

POSTSCRIPT: I did tweet David Mitchell to ask if I could use his profile pic for this post. I didn’t give him long enough to reply though as writing this (and submitting it) was at the top of my ‘to do’ list today. But you can’t imagine my excitement every time I got a notification on Twitter, just in case it was him.

Posted in women

A day in the Life of Mr & Mrs Flush – Surviving the Men-o-pause

This isn’t one of those posts for men to shy away from, nothing gruesome going on here.

This is the story of Mr & Mrs Flush.

One day Mrs Flush woke up and discovered that all her best years were behind her. She also noted that all the bad things that happen in a woman’s life begin with ‘MEN’. She knew what was happening as she lay stretched out like a failed star jump, her hair stuck to her face, her mouth as dry as Jack Dee live at the Apollo, and she knew that attempting to separate her thighs would result in losing another layer of top skin.

Mr Flush was also lying in a pool of sweat, buried beneath a pile of blankets that Mrs Flush had discarded during the night. It was a momentary welcome relief as he had spent half the night wrestling over them when Mrs Flush had got a bit chilly. Poor Mr Flush was going through the men-o-pause.

Downstairs Mrs Flush prepared a breakfast of marmite and peanut butter on toast. Three minutes were spent staring into the fridge until she remembered she was looking for a plate. After removing her dressing gown and opening the window she settled down to read her latest copy of ‘The Turbulent Times’.

Mr Flush entered the kitchen wearing a wooly hat, scarf and mittens. His heart sank as he saw the open window and felt the cold radiators. He had been suffering from terrible mood swings recently and Mrs Flush was worried by the look on his face. So she hurried back upstairs to get dressed.

Mrs Flush struggled to get into her favourite pair of jeans. She thought that she would have lost weight as her previous monthly ‘sweet’ cravings had started to ebb away. But the men-o-pause is cruel like that. It was a good job she was married, she thought to herself, with the expanding waistline and the only thing thinning being her hair, she stood no chance of attracting a new lover. She did feel enormously liberated by giving up on shaving her leg and underarm hair. It isn’t like Mr Flush gets that close to her anymore as her libido becomes libidon’t.

Mrs Flush sits on the bed and considers the strong force of Mother Nature. The good, the bad, and looking in the mirror, the downright ugliness of it all. On the positive side she thinks it’s quite clever that this kicks off when the kids have left home. While they all still like each other. And it would probably be the end of womankind if it didn’t. Master Flush already mentioned being put off the idea of marrying if this is what he has to look forward to.

Mrs Flush returns to the kitchen, closes the window, pops on the heating and says, “Bit chilly in here don’t you think love?” Mr Flush just sighs and removes his wooly hat.

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Listen to the audio HERE