Monthly Archives: June 2012

Life on the Outside


I went OUT last night. Out into the big wild world.

The Littlest Chum is now reliably going to bed at 7pm and staying there until around 2am, so my social life can start to pick up again in earnest. I was invited out with my sister-in-law and a new mum friend of hers from nursery (who had the audacity to be twenty friffing five and beautiful. I ask you, some people. Tchuh.)

We went and sat in a vair naice pub garden with a cocktail and then a bottle of wine and talked about our children, our husbands and the economy. All very grown up and lovely.

Then some bright spark (me) had the wonderful idea that we should get our dancing shoes on and find a nightclub.


Well, there is (or was) only one hip-and-happening nightspot in our town. So we headed straight there. Paid our two pounds to get in and accepted our free shot of dodgy liquor at the door. I should have twigged then that they were a bit desperate for trade.

There was not a single other person in there. Not a one.


It was like a scene from an apocalyptic film.

I was expecting zombies to burst through the door any minute.

The DJ was deep in denial, banging out club classics as though playing to a packed audience.

The bar staff were trying desperately to look busy.

It was the oddest experience. I decided the only thing for it was gin, gin makes it all better. And as usual, I was right.



F for FAIL


Me. This morning.

The Chums fought and whinged and mithered their way through this morning. It wasn’t so much parenting, as herding wild animals. They couldn’t be in the same room at the same time. The Pie managed to clobber the Boy painfully with my hairbrush, and The Boy shoved her over. She had a full on rant at him because (get this) he’d put the milk back in the fridge WRONG. He had a full on rant at me because he couldn’t find a clean school shirt. ‘Can’t find’ in Boy speak means ‘Can’t be bothered to look’, so you can imagine how delighted I was to open his drawer and find three of them staring up at me.

Then to add injury to insult, not only was I the epitome of Screechy Fishwife Woman, but I also fell over on the damp grass and have hurt my side, so I was Screechy Fishwife with Added Tears.

And the worst part is I couldn’t even bring myself to kiss The Chums goodbye at school, which I obviously regretted as soon as I’d walked away. But of course by the time I turned back to catch them, they’d both gone into the classroom.

Would school laugh if I phoned and asked them to tell my children that I love them?


Frothing Berserker!!!


That’s me, that is. You can tell by the multiple exclamation marks.

Ok. I have lost the Parking War for DAYS now.

I think he’s wise to my game.

He left his car in MY space all weekend, and then he moved his son’s car into the space on Monday, where it has remained ever since.

You will all be thrilled to learn that I have used my time while the children sleep to painstakingly create a beautiful and accurate diagram of what is going on for you:

This is how things have been since we moved in nearly four years ago. As you can see, his red car is parked outside my house, with my green car on my small drive. His wife’s blue car is in the middle of their big drive, but I’m sure with some better parking he could fit his either next to hers, behind their house, or in his garage. OR OUTSIDE HIS OWN JEFFING HOUSE!

My garage is useless as the access to it is too narrow for a car. I know his is usable as his neighbours use theirs, sensibly, and park their other car neatly on their drive. What I need to do is pave my front garden and make it a great big three/four car drive. You can Paypal me at the usual address with your donations for this endeavor.

Oh, his son’s car is the other blue one on the road. This is currently parked outside my house, unused for the past 44 hours, and his is (oddly) parked much further down the road.





Parking Wars 2: The Road To Hell


Oh god.

So, after three days of claiming my space and leaving my drive free (which has been lovely, actually) I have found a flaw in my plan.

I have become Crazy Parking Lady.

Yesterday I had to park on the drive because he was in my the space.

So I waited for him to go out and I (oh crikey I can hardly bear to say it), I MOVED MY CAR OFF THE DRIVE.

And then today, as I pulled up after the school run, I was met with the sight of ANOTHER CAR PARKED THERE.

Dear readers, I’m ashamed to say I frothed. I muttered obscenities and I swung my car into my drive with a flourish and a glare.

Is it too late for me? Have I become That Neighbour? Will I be nipping out and putting notes on people’s cars (in sandwich bags in case of rain) to ask them to move?

Watch this space.

Right, Listen Up Everybody…


I shall say this only once.

Actually, no I won’t, I will keep repeating it until the message gets through.

Every person deserves to have a relationship where they are treated with respect, love and equality.

There is never an excuse for verbal, physical or financial abuse.

If your partner treats you like shit, it is their fault. It is not because of something you have done.

You can’t change an abusive man by being ‘better’ or sticking by him where others haven’t, or by changing yourself.

Most people have happy relationships, where disagreements happen and are resolved without resorting to shouting, name calling or violence or screwing someone else.

Most people’s partners are happy for them to pursue their own friendships and interests, work and education, have access to money, make decisions.

Most people in a relationship stay faithful. They don’t have affairs or cyber-sex or obsessively wank over porn day and night.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that dysfunctional relationships are the norm. There are many of them around, but then people don’t tend to ask for advice on healthy relationships, so we hear less about them.

Relationships are not supposed to be hard work, that is a big fat myth. Yes, you should work at your relationship but that is not the same thing at all.

Nobody should live their life in fear of angering their partner, or skirting round issues that might upset him. Or put up with cheating and lying for fear of rocking the boat.

Nobody should ‘stay together for the children’, or because of your marriage vows. If your husband treats you badly, he has broken the vows. Children are much much happier being brought up by parents who live apart than in an atmosphere of fear and loathing.

Just because you’ve escaped a level 10 bastard, doesn’t mean you should settle for the level 8 one that comes along. The only acceptable level of abuse is none.

Just because all your friends are in bad relationships, doesn’t mean that you have to be.

I really want to debunk the myth that all men are bastards. They simply aren’t. If you feel that all the men you meet are, it’s because you are unconsciously sending out vibes to these men. They can spot a target a mile off.

Be on your own. It is much easier than sticking by a tosser. If you have been in more than one abusive relationship, seek some counselling, you may be co-dependant, or you may be modelling relationships on a warped template, perhaps from childhood.

If he abuses you, he is not a good father. Good fathers don’t treat the mother of their children with disrespect.

It doesn’t matter how much he says sorry and makes it up to you, if he continues to abuse you, those apologies are worthless.

Don’t be fooled into thinking the abuse isn’t ‘bad enough to leave’. If you are treated in any way less than cherished, loved and respected, it is bad enough to leave.

There is never a reason to stay with an abusive man. He won’t kill himself if you leave him, he won’t take your children, and yes, everybody will believe you.

I probably have loads more to say on the subject but I will leave it there for now.

Much love to everybody.

I wrote this on Mumsnet three years ago, in response to so many heartbreaking tales from women in awful relationships, and from my point of view of escaping a terrible marriage. Since then it’s been linked to and copied several times, and people have said they’ve found it useful. So I’m copying it here for all of you, my blogosphere chums, so you can use it, pass it on, whatever.

Mumsnet are now using it as permanent content here: <proud>


Parking Wars!


I never thought I’d get into this, but I am going to be That Neighbour. I can’t help it. My hackles have been raised and my blood is up.

It’s the guy who lives opposite. He parks his car outside our house. ‘So what?’ I hear you groan, ‘it’s a public road.’ It is, I agree. But he leaves his driveway empty in order to park there. And he will move his car OFF his driveway in order to claim the space. 

So if any of our visitors, or any of the parents dropping off their children to me, dare park outside our house, he waits until they’ve moved and then he’ll move his car into ‘his’ space. He must watch for them to leave, because the speed with which he nips his car in there when they do is astonishing.

This has all come to a bit of a head for me because of a few things.

First, the Community Police bod mentioned in passing that they’d had an anonymous complaint that cars visiting my house were blocking the path. They sometimes do, it’s true. My mindees’ parents often park across my drive in order to drop off/pick up. It’s that or park a hundred yards down the road, not ideal when you’re rushing off to work and trying to wrangle young children. But a complaint has been made, so we need to find a solution.

Second, we had guests for dinner at the weekend who parked in the space, and after they’d left (literally, within two minutes) he had moved his car. Except, because they’d parked slightly across our drive, he was only moving it TWO FEET. I found that so extremely petty that I’ve decided I am In The Game.

Third, we are toying with buying a second car as The Tragedy is such a gas guzzling tank. And we’d quite like to park it on the drive. Which means my car will be going outside my house.

So from now on, I am going to leave the drive empty for my visitors. And I’m going to park outside my house. And if he parks there, well I’ll just damned well wait for him to drive off and then MOVE MY CAR.

This is war, baby.

<cackles maniacally>