Friday, 29 July 2011

The Trials and Tribulations of a Bandwife (Pt I)

While The Man was playing in front of 5,000 people in Portugal last August, I was at home unpacking from a week-long holiday we'd just had in Whitby. When he was going vodka shot for vodka shot with the Russian mafia, I was at home drinking tea.

When he was called at the very last minute to join a tour in Ireland with some bloke out of Guns and Roses, I was at home with a hole in the dining room floor because he was in the middle of replacing a radiator when the call came.

And I have been at home for all the Glastonburys, for Saudi Arabia, the Ukraine, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Czechslovakia, Hungary, Chechnya and Scotland.

But as life on the road mostly involves sleeping in vans and the inside of airports or sharing hotel rooms with other musicians, all of whom appear to have either hygiene problems or mental health issues, I'm not that bothered to be honest.

Bands on tour get drunk together and stay drunk, they argue, fall out and make up again six times every hour. It's like dealing with four kids stuffed to the gills with e-numbers and sleep deprived for a week. I can do that at home AND have a hot shower every night.

Tonight is our wedding anniversary and like several other wedding anniversaries, family birthdays, special events and every New Year's Eve since we've been together, I am at home. The Man is in Filey with four people he's never played with before and a failed X Factor contestant on vocals.

I know where I'd rather be. *Pops cork*

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Lemmy Got Me Pregnant

WELL, not really. I wouldn't touch him with yours but I like Motorhead, the band of which said Lemmy is both singer and bass player, and has been since God was a headbanger. He has warts. On his face. Lemmy, not God.

I saw Motorhead (the best version with Lemmy, Fast Eddie and Philthy Phil) in 1980 on the Ace Up Your Sleeve tour at Bradford St Georges. I didn't need tickets either because my uncle was one of the bouncers.

I very nearly got to go backstage, but my uncle the bouncer took one look at Motorhead and decided that sending his 15-yr-old niece into Lemmy's lair might not earn him Brother of the Year award with my mother, a woman who has made holding a grudge into an Olympic sport and has won every medal since the inaugural games.

But I digress.

The husband is also a Motorhead fan and in a conversation with the daughter recently he was overheard to say, out loud, to the child: "If it wasn't for Lemmy, you wouldn't be here at all."

I interrupted the father and daughter bonding time with a: "You what?" I may even have spluttered a little. I demanded an explanation, wondering if I'd missed a significant event that I really should have remembered.

"Because," said The Man, "Lemmy made me want to be a musician and if I wasn't a musician I wouldn't have moved here and we wouldn't have met and .."..... Well, you get the idea.

So he did, kind of, get me pregnant, in an immaculate conception kind of way. Thanks Lemmy. 

Friday, 22 July 2011

We're All Going On A Summer Holiday....

ALTHOUGH we're not. We're going in October because it's cheaper for a family of six. So that's five long weeks at home with the kids, five weeks. *Sobs a little*

To be sure of survival and continual sanity it's essential to ready yourself for the summer experience, the mental preparation is vital. In this house that mostly means making sure there's a plentiful supply of gin to fall in of an evening (though to be fair this is generally a year round thing. In honour of summer, I might add an ice cube).

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

An Apple For Teacher...

IT'S that time of year again.. end of the summer term and suddenly gift shops and card shops are awash with tokens, trinkets and, let's face it, trash proclaiming Best Teacher Ever and Thank You Teacher and A Gift for Teacher. Children you've spent the school year dragging, pulling, tugging, co-ercing and threatening into school every morning are suddenly skipping in desperate to handover a mug, fridge magnet or pen to the very same person they've done nothing but moan about and groan about and ignore for the past year.

I mean, just how many mugs can one teacher manage, if a class size averages out at 30 (and taking into consideration there'll be some kids with nothing to give and some kids will go down the box of chocolates route), there's still a good chance of getting seven to 10 mugs every July. That's a lot of mugs. There's probably a constant merry-go-round of cheery teacher mugs doing the rounds of their friends and colleagues who, by happy circumstance, are also mostly teachers. The charity shops too get suspiciously full of My Favourite Teacher presents every August.

Clearly the gift and greetings card business has something to answer for. In the ten years since I've been carting children in and out of schools, the last day of summer term has become an annual presentation ceremony as well as an ever expanding commercial business until now it's a fully fledged accepted and expected full stop to the summer term. And there's a cut-throat competitive edge between mothers at the school gate that perpetuates the process so that even the mother who's spent the year blaming Mr Bloody Whatsisname for Little Bobby's behaviourial problems with no sense of irony at all, presents the same Mr Bloody Whatsisname with a You're The Best Teacher EVER tie.

Me, I think we should keep things simple. Like Santa only comes to good little girls and boys, so it is with teachers - the End of Term Fairy is only coming from our house if you deserve a prize whether it be for making a difference or surviving an entire year without murdering my child. And I won't be handing over a Best Teacher Ever anything .. after a hard day at work at the chalk face (whiteboard) who wants to be reminded about it every time you make a cup of tea. No, it'll be a bottle of Gin and a valium, I might even put a ribbon on it.

Friday, 15 July 2011

That Difficult First Teenage Date

Daughter #1 went her on her first proper first date yesterday. First proper as in they didn't go out in a big gang, hang around a shopping centre and heckle old ladies which is how all previous teen twin courtships have been conducted until this point.

This date was clearly different.... a meal (pizza at Pizza Hut) with a movie (The Bridesmaids) to follow. Girl was picked up by the Youth and delivered home again (his father doing taxi duties there and back). And Girl, who generally spends her time at home slouching around in pyjamas and a hoody, HAD spent two and a half hours the previous evening trying on everything she and her twin sister own AND used about 300 quids worth of electricity on drying and straightening her hair.

Disappearing into her bedroom after school, she eventually emerged dressed up, made up and hand out for cash, before haring out the door as soon as the car arrived. Not because I might embarrass her if the poor boy came to the door to collect her. No. Not because of that. Not at all. I forlornly removed my clown outfit and put away the comedy trombone.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Three Girls, One Boy

TRAWLING the web, like you do when the kids are in bed, the man is banging his drum elsewhere (in a good way *tuts*) and there's bugger all on telly I found this article on the BBC News site: Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14036614.

Though it starts with the topical, if tenuous, link to the Beckham's then forthcoming new baby girl it goes on, if you can't be bothered to read the link, to wonder and explore what it's like to want or to have a different sex baby to the babies you've already had.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Reaching an Understanding

"DO you understand me.." say I and the child's face grudgingly blossoms from stubborness to blank incomprehension.

"DO you UNDERSTAND?" I try again and the child slowly nods, eyes fixed on mine so I can see the wheels whirring within clearly proving they don't understand at all. The five minute painstakingly calm explanation of just why one shouldn't: put the cat in a dress; the hamster inside one's pyjamas; nail varnish on the wall (even if it does look JUST like paint), or ring 999 nine times in a row is not just forgotten, it has vanished into the mists of time.

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