still in the building

Old ladies just keep going!

So, further to my post last night about my nan, she is surprisingly and miraculously a little better today.

Even more miraculous, her youngest sister went into hospital almost 2 weeks ago, very critically ill.  She got a little better but on Monday suddenly took a severe turn for the worse and was only being kept alive by machines.

We didn’t tell her about my nan, or my nan about her.  On tuesday, the doctor said that he could try these very expensivce drugs to see if they would kick-start her system, but could only put her on them for a maximum of 2 weeks.

She went home yesterday quite happy!  The women in my family are troopers!

Anyway, my nan has been continuing being her wonderful amusing self.

As she’s been hallucinating a lot, when the doctor did his round today he asked her if she knew who he was.

She rolled her eyes and answered, “Yeah – Elvis” and then burst into fits of laughter.

Love my nan. 🙂

“oooo, young man!”

“Oooo, young man”

I don’t want to say too much at the moment, as it will all make me cry, but my gorgeous 95 year-old nan is currently in hospital pretty critically ill.

The main characteristic of my nan is that even at her massive age, she totally has her wits about her.

When she went into hospital in the ambulance on Friday, the nurse said her, “So how do you feel?”, and my nan answered “With my hands!”

Anyway, the last 48 hours have been especially difficult for us as because of what’s wrong with her, the toxins in her system (not meds) have been making her hallucinate and feel confused.  it has made for some laughable moments (as you can imagine), but it is also very scary.

However, sometimes her moments of lucidity are just as amusing.  This evening, while she was slipping in and out of consciousness, she suddenly declared “Oh, if I was forty years younger!”

“What nan? What would you do if you were forty years younger?”

“That doctor”

“What doctor?”

“Peter.  He comes and looks at my feet. He’s a lovely young man. If I was forty years younger!”

And then she slipped off again with a little smile on her face.

Love my nan. There’s still life in the old dog yet.

mrs potato head

Mrs Potato Head

I have a lot of old diary / blog entries on a site that is going to be discontinued, and I am looking through trying to save some of my more poignant thoughts etc from then.

I have to admit, I remember this particular moment with The Girl extremely vividly.  This was in April 2003, when she wasn’t even four years old.

I wanted to post it here as I’d like to keep it with myother  ‘Conversations With My Daughter’.

I love my munchkin – she’s great. I’ve been having a hard time with her recently due to the ‘Dummy Fairies’ coming and taking all her dummies away (and leaving her a Barbie scooter I hasten to add), and also she can’t seem to get her head around going to bed when it’s not dark.

Anyway – that’s all boring really, the long and short of it is that she’s been getting out of bed a lot lately, when she shouldn’t be! this has been causing me a lot of stress.

Last night she was sick, poor lamb, and that wore her out so much that she went straight to bed, straight to sleep and didn’t get up again until about 6.45am

She climbed into bed with me, gave me a great big cuddle and kiss. It was lovely. She wrapped her arms around me, put her head on my shoulder and looked into my eyes. She looked so perfect, and after the last few nights of me ripping my hair out, it was a wondeful moment in the sunlight thru the curtains. I wanted to just capture it.

Munchkin: I was a good girl last night mummy
Me: I know you were darling, you were very good
Munchkin: I stayed in bed all night
Me: I know babe, you were very good
Munchkin: And I didn’t get up and you didn’t have to shout at me
Me: I know darling, you made me very very happy last night

We hugged a bit more and I looked at her and she was glowing and smiley.

Me: You are SO beautiful
Munchkin: And you’re beautiful too mummy

Then she pointed with her finger right on my chin

Munchkin: That looks like a potato!!!!!!


third time lucky

I guess I should mention my ‘news’ from 25th August.  The top was written in the sand by me at Porto De Mos in the Algarve.  The bottom was my reply from The Man from the Rose & Crown pub in Walthamstow 🙂

Proposal in the sand

We were kind of planning it for next year, but hit a little bit of a hitch as I hate weddings.  I couldn’t have the wedding that I actually wanted, so it was really just goign to be a ‘Lets have a big party and ask everyone we love’ kind of thing.  Us getting married isn’t a new idea, we just haven’t bothered because I haven’t seen the point of doing it if we couldn’t do what we wanted…but then in the summer, things shifted a bit and I kind of thought ‘Why the hell not’ – the idea of being married is quite nice, it was just the idea of GETTING married that I hated.

And then a couple of weeks ago, I found out that they have relaxed marriage laws, so there is a chance that we can actually have the wedding that we want.  With that as a goal, we are going to plan it for 2014 to give enough time to save money and plan it properly without rushing and becominf Bridezillas (he loves Don’t Tell The Bride, so I think he could be worse than me!)

I found this entry in an old diary I had from January 2005.  Yes, that is how long ago me & The Man decided this was ‘it’!

The thing is, I want something ‘non-conformist’ for my wedding. I don’t like weddings really. I’ve done the big meringue thing and I’ve done the arriving at work late and saying “Can you call me Mrs F now please, sorry I’m late, I just got married”-thing, with noone else there (apart from my ex-SIL and the lovely Lorna).

I want something more ‘me’, more Andy. Something more……….earthy.

I want to get married in a forest at midnight with twinkling lights and be wearing fairy wings. I want drums. I want my friends to be with us…..I’m not that worried about my family – I expect that I’ll have to do some kind of blessing or do or something for them, but that’s not the important bit, it will be for them, not for us, not what’s important to us!!

But where do I start??

Another idea that I have had is that we can hire a ‘cottage’ in a forest that will atke about 24 of us for a weekend. I even have somewhere in mind as I stayed there once…..but where do you get a priest from?

never EVER again…until next time!

OK, so I haven’t really said much about it, but while I was in Portugal, I kind of got engaged.

And this is how it happened! The top picture was from me, from Porto Do Mos in the Algarve and the bottom from him in the Rose & Crown, Walthamstow 🙂

Me & The Man have had a pretty rough and rocky year this year.  A couple of months ago I thought that it was all over, and that we should split up.  BUT he wasn’t having any of that.

I think teetering on that brink, and being dragged right back in, being reminded why he’s lasted 8 1/2 years and recognising what our issues have been, and knowing they were fixable kind of made me decide “It’s all or nothing!”.

So, it’s going to be all.

We need to get our arses into gear and work out exactly what we want (and it has to be on an exceedingly tight budget), but hopefully, by this time next year (perhaps August) I will be Mrs Fletcher (name change number 7!)

I hate weddings.

cheeky bint

So, The Girl was messing around in the pool while I was reading next to her.

TG:  Mum – I just did an awesome front-flip!
Me:  Front flip?
TG:  You know, where you roll over in the water
Me:  What? Like a tumble-turn?
TG:  Front-flip, tumble-turn, whatever you used to call it in the old days.

She’ll be bloody well front-flipping down a hill if she keeps that up!!


the middle child

I am disgustingly behind on a load of posts and reviews, and intend to spend some time over the next few days getting back on top of things 🙂

However, tonight I had one of those fantastic exchanges with my daughter that made me think she’s more clued-up than she soemtimes lets on!

This week she is going to a Performing Arts course run by the brilliant Chickenshed Theatre and she was telling me about some of the people that she had made friends with.

TG: So, then there’s Bailey and she is there with her younger and older brother
Me:  Brother*S*
TG:  yes, brothers
Me:  because she can’t have one brother that’s both older and younger, can she?
TG (laughing): No.
TG: Unless he was born on 29th February, of course!

What a smartarse!  but a smart smartarse.  that’s my girl!

afternoon tea, waldorf hotel

Homage Grand Salon

As a Christmas present, I said that I would take my ex-mother-in-law (yes, I know) for afternoon tea with me & The Girl sometime, as she has always loved her tales of our cakey exploits.  It took me a LONG time to actually get around to arranging it, but we finally did two weeks ago.

I had managed to get a Groupon voucher for 4 people for afternoon tea (with a glass of Prosecco!) for £58 at The Waldorf Hotel, so my friend came along with us too as part of HER birthday present.  This was the ‘posh’ part and the ‘quirky’ part had been our previous afternoon tea at Drink Shop Do.

To make it a real occasion, we got a cab from me ex-MIL’s in Stoke Newington – which was the most scary, horrible drive I have EVER experienced in my life (apart from a memorable one in Tunisia…) and one that I don’t think any of us was sure we were going to survive!  Thank God it was Sunday traffic, otherwise I think Premier Cars in Church Street would’ve had a major court case on their hands!

Slightly shaken, it was rather lovely to be greeted by a liveried doorman at The Waldorf, and also to be able to be seated ahead of our booked time (the cab was REALLY moving!).The staff couldn’t have been more hospitable.

The Homage Grand Salon at The Waldorf was slightly smaller than I was expecting it to be (we were in an ‘intimate’ corner just off from the photo shown here), but had mirrored walls which made it light and bright, and seemingly larger.  It was completely full too, which was really nice as it definitely adds to the atmosphere, although I have to say, our table was a little cramped and we were unable to fit all of our individual teapots on, and had to have an ‘overflow’ table.

The Girl and my MIL opted to swap their Prosecco’s for juice before me and my mate had considered that we could have nicked theirs and had two each! Doh!  We had both gone for the rosé Prosecco which I have to say was very lovely indeed!

Sandwiches and cakey goodies

The sandwiches arrived and they were very nice.  Soft, yielding bread – obviously made fresh – smoked salmon and cream cheese, cucumber and cheese, ham and mustard, tomato and cheese  and egg mayonnaise.  We managed to distribute them according to silly people’s foibles 😉

Unfortunately, we then had quite a wait for our tea and scones.  The waiter had said that they only bring the tea once people have finished their sandwiches.

Fluffy scones

We each got a fruit and plain scone and they were excpetionally light and fluffy, although unfortunately the jam and cream servings seemed rather stingy.  I think the problem is that you are given one pot of each – and that seemed to be the same for four as it was for two.  There definitely wasn’t enough of either for all of us – and The Girl doesn’t even eat clotted cream, and I didn’t have jam on one of my scones.  I guess we could have asked for more, but being British, we don;t like to make a fuss 😉

Then onto the cakes.  We cut each one in half so that we all had a try of each cake.  there were two each of a selection of four – a blueberry macaron, a strawberry and cream tartlet, a chocolate and almond meringue type cake and an odd chocolate cone with a blob of jelly on the top.


The macaron was very nice (but there is only so much you can say about a macaron), the tartlets were exquisite – the pastry was more like shortbread, it was sweet, delicate and very buttery, the chocolate and almond cakes were the ones we were a little dubious of, but turned out to be the best – a chocolate mousse in a soft meringuey ‘sandwich’ and then finally the strange chocolate cone thing.  Finely tempered dark bitter chocolate filled with a berry mousse and then topped with a very sour citrus jelly.  The Girl only liked the inside of her cone, but we managed to polish the whole lot off between us.

It was a lovely afternoon – we didn’t feel at all rushed and had a great chat.  I think The Girl felt very grown-up having girlie time.  It also felt very nice having the doorman hail as a black cab to go back to Stoke Newington – which had a lovely driver and ended up costing less than the death-minicab from Permier Cars!  how does that work!

The Waldorf Sparkling afternoon tea is usually £29.50 per person.  I guess that isn’t too shabby considering it is a very nice Prosecco.  However, don’t go to The Waldorf expecting the exquisite grandeur of The Ritz or Claridges, as it simply isn’t the same league, lovely as it is (but then they are obviously a lot more expensive!).  And don’t be too shy to ask for more cream & jam like we were!

what i waste my energy doing

The Girl has been a pain in the arse over recent months…well, perhaps over the past year.  When people ask “What has she done wrong?”, I am often at a loss to explain.

However, as she seems to be absolutely oblivious to what she does wrong, I came up tonight with the idea of spending a week recording her behaviour for her to read back when she’s in a better mood, so that she can see exactly what she does.

Before anyone says it, I KNOW that she’s (probably) just acting liek a teenager, but I can hand on heart say this is NOT how *I* used to act as a teenager – and she’s 12, not even a teenager yet!

Anyway, she was out at drama club tonight, which she loves, and didn’t get home til about 7.40 – she came straight in to have dinner, so this list is from 8pm when she finished dinner til 10pm when she was meant to have been in bed for half an hour.

  • Pulled all clothes out of wardrobe and left them on the floor whilst changing
  • Argued and complained about having a shower
  • Pretended to shower whilst not actually getting in it
  • Spent over 50 minutes in the bathroom once in the shower
  • Complained about having to tidy room
  • Read a book after being told to tidy room
  • Read another book when first book was taken away whilst still not tidying room
  • Pretended to brush teeth and shouted about not being believed, until it was pointed out that her toothbrush was still bone dry
  • Slammed bathroom door twice and bedroom door once
  • Claimed that room wasn’t tidy as thought had only been asked to ‘put away clothes’ so left everything else on the floor
  • Put stereo on and played with toys when meant to be asleep
  • Had juice on the side and cup & spoon (?) in bed (!) after being told not to take drinks into bedroom (as they usually end up on the carpet)
  • Answered back about all of the above, rolled eyes a lot, stomped and done a lot of shouting and flouncing

Yes. So, that has been my evening.  Well, two hours of my evening, and to be honest that is just run of the mill at the moment.

So, if anyone local would like a 12 year old girl (I’d like to see her at least a few times a week for a short while), then let me know and we’ll work something out!  Don’t be fooled by the fact that she is polite, gentle, funny, well-mannered and incredibly thoughtful as soon as there is someone else around…

living with the guilt

It’s YOU!!

No one warns you of the guilt when you become a parent.  Nothing you will ever do feels like it is the right thing, and because there is no definite right and wrong with any child (as they are all different), there is no way to tell when you are going wrong.

Of course, there are countless books and forums and websites where people claim to have found the right way of doing things, but let’s face it, these are the ones that have simply decided that the way THEY have tackled things with THEIR child/children/clients in THEIR situation was right for THEM.

That doesn’t mean it will work for anyone else.

I could list numerous occasions over the years where I have felt overcome by guilt as a parent for in various situations, but my basic one is “I am a working mum.”

That’s it really. My swathes of guilt, tears, self-hatred and depression come down to this.  Every other guilty feeling comes off of the back of this – and believe me, it has just got worse as she has got older, not better.

In fact, I can quite honestly state that it is since The Girl has started secondary school that my guilt has peaked – at a time when I honestly thought that it would become more bearable.

I went back to work when she was less than 3 months old as we couldn’t afford otherwise – and the guilt started then.

Admittedly I was rather ill and undiagnosed for almost a year, and depression was a symptom of that, but that’s almost 13 years of guilt.  This obviously includes the guilt that I split her family up (although really, honestly, if I was still living with her dad her life would’ve been so awful anyway that my guilt would’ve gone through the roof!)

But I thought it would ease as she got older.  I especially thought that now that she is older, and spends more time independently, it would become easier as she is so much less reliant on me.

But it hasn’t – and it has been especially bad recently. Every single morning and every single evening over the past few weeks has been a battle with her – and every time one of us leaves the room, the first thought that pops into my head is “Would it be better if I wasn’t working?  Would it be better if I was at home all day?”

Of course, if I was doing that, then we wouldn’t be in our home, and she wouldn’t be going on various trips, I wouldn’t have anything lying around that would be worth her stealing from me, and she wouldn’t have anything of value that she could break, lose or generally not take care of – but would we be happier?

Every time I ask myself that question, the only answer I can come up with is “I don’t know!”

I guess most of it is that she’s a (nearly) teenage girl, she has raging hormones, she is growing up and she thinks she knows everything – but my 13 year old guilt wont let me believe that it’s all anything other than my own fault.  I have spoken to her calmly, we have tried writing things down, I have taken her out to talk things over on neutral territory.  i have approached it in a hundred different ways.

At the moment we are at an absolute rock-bottom low, not helped by the fact that I don’t really want to live with anyone at the moment, and wish that her, The Man and the kittens would all just disappear one day and leave me happily alone.

Perhaps I need a holiday.

Perhaps I should never have decided to have a child.

Perhaps I should just let her get on with it all without comment.

Perhaps I should give up work.

Perhaps I should just accept I’m no different to anyone else!

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: