Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Old El Paso - A Review

Home may be where the heart is, but our stomachs are international globetrotters so when Old El Paso offered us the chance to review some of their range of Mexican foods we were delighted.
We're big fans of Mexican food and dine south of the border quite frequently. 

The Man, like all men who know their way around the kitchen, has his own closely guarded chilli recipe of which he is (justly) proud, so when I arrived in the kitchen with the Old El Paso Chilli Spice Mix, eyebrows were most definitely raised.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Teenage Tattoos: The Rules.

The TeenTwins have been threatening to get a tattoo since they passed the legal age to get one. Consequently mother/ daughter discussions have for the past 14 months ranged through the What and the Where and, slightly more often, through the Not That and Not There.

There has been, I'll be honest, moments of despair, incredulousness and sheer horror but then no-one want's a daughter with Jedward tattooed across her forehead*.

But it's hard to be overly judgemental arguing against making indelible marks upon a body when you have one on your own. "Everyone else has got one" is an easy one to deal with. "You've got one." Not so. Unfortunately.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

A Cat Shaped Hole in the World ...

The cat as a kitten 1995
The cat has died.

And though a dead cat doesn't sound much reason, excuse or explanation for anything much, we are bereaved and so we grieve. 

So he might have had four legs and been covered in fur. So what.

He was family. A part of the daily routine. A someone else to be taken into consideration. Another mouth to feed. And worry about. Another voice to listen to. Someone to talk to.Who welcomed us home. Who cared for us. Who needed us. A comfort. A cuddle. A constant.

And for the children he was a constant. 

He was always there for them. Literally. Twenty years old when he died, he was little more than a kitten when the now-19 year old TeenTwins were born, He survived the assault course that was their early years with patience, pessimism and stoicism. And the arrival of Child3, and then, finally 4..

He never actually said: "Oh For God's Sake, not another one," because he was just a cat and cats don't speak, obviously. But it was more than eloquently expressed by the sashay of the swish of his tail as he exited the catflap before baby fingers snatched again at his fur.

He endured them, but they loved him nonetheless, And sometimes he would let them, stoically, with patience, and a throbbing purr buried deep within him.

He had a personality even though he wasn't a person but to us, of course, he was. A cat-shaped person and he leaves behind a cat-shaped hole in our world.

He liked his head scratching and his tail pulled.

He liked his catfood in jelly, but not gravy,

He hated every cat biscuit known to man, and cat (apart from one).

He didn't like milk.

He could sleep anywhere, and often, and did.

He could open the catflap even when it was locked.

He had a meow like a horror movie scream.

And we miss him.

Our cat is dead.

I know it doesn't sound much reason, excuse or explanation for anything much.

But it is.

Miss you Murphy Cat x

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The Dictionary of Teen: - Prinking...

There are many baffling moments in the parenting of teens without them developing entire new words to baffle you with as well, but they do it all the same. This is the first in an occasional series of  The Dictionary of Teen ... 

Prinking/ Prinks: 

The shortened form of pre-drinking/ pre-drinks, literally meaning to partake of alcoholic beverages with friends before going out for the evening.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Advice to Hopeful Suitors...

Valentine's Day used to be a quirky little saint's day when the single and the shy picked up the courage to declare their innermost feelings to the object of their devotion. Anonymously, of course. Some of them got lucky in love. Many, many others did not.

But like Christmas that now begins in September and ends on December 25th, Valentine's Day has changed. It is no longer for aspiring lovers, but for all people in love. And not just for people in love but even, get this, married people. The spirit of St Valentine has been massacred (again), knifed in the back by big business in a ceaseless search not for love, but money.


But in a spirit of hopefulness and a blatant disregard of the facts only a 50 year old, married mother of four can have, I offer some advice to any potential suitor preparing to plight me his troth on February 14th.

* You can bring me flowers.... but not yellow flowers. I don't like yellow flowers, except for dwarf sunflowers and then I want a field full, a summer dress, a straw hat and a picnic basket as well. Don't bring red roses because EVERYBODY does red roses. Petrol station bouquets, self-picked posies, single stems of anything, and something in a plant pot doesn't count either.

Other than that, I'm not fussy.

* Do not bring me chocolates, I do not do chocolate, unless it's a full moon. A box of Charbonnel et Walker Cremes Parisienne on the other hand ......

Yes... Yes,,,, YES!

* If you wish to express your devotion through poetry or song do not expect me to listen raptly while you do. There's washing up to be done. Probably. I hope.

* If you are dedicating a song on the radio/ putting a notice in the newspaper/ making any kind of public declaration:. Please make sure that I am completely, totally and absolutely unidentifiable in any, all and every single way.

* You can bring me wine. In fact, the more wine the better. Not red wine, even if it is Valentine's when everything, anything, and the dog next door has to be red. I like my wine white and my gin, pink. You could also bring me some of that. If you liked.

* All other gifts should, like the wine, be white and sparkling and definitely not 50 shades of grey.

* Cuddly toys are acceptable.


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