Friday, July 25, 2008

The Addams Family Garden

I know I should be shopping and doing things in the new house, but that would mean shopping. So, no.

On the other hand, the new garden....

It's not purple. It's concrete and Leylandii trees and a Goal (which the Little Ducks are delighted about).

On Saturday the Ginger One - ant-free, thankfully, brought my Sister in China, some serious chain saws, some even more serious chains and a 4x4 with trailer and ratchett straps. The residents of Friendly Drive looked on. There's not much call for Extreme DIY in suburban East Lancs. Most people just get a man in.

I hate Leylandii. Who in their right mind plants these monstrosities in 2008? They're parasites, vermin, the pigeons of the horticultural world. But there were 15 in my new garden and they had to go, despite the pouring rain.

The people in the garden behind had planted clematis against the Leylandii on their side to try to mask them. Over 28 years, it had grown and spread so much that by the time we got to the last tree, it was left draped round the last trunk standing, which now looks like Cousin It. I hadn't the heart to remove it.

The highlight of the day was the Ginger One trying to impress the unsmiling receptionist at the tip. By the third trip and third failed attempt at raising a smile, she admitted that she had a cold and felt lousy.

So on trip four he presented her with a packet of Lockets, which has to go down as the best pick-up effort of the week.

But still no smile - she didn't like blackcurrants! There's no pleasing some women. Maybe I should have offered him one of my bottles of Rosé?

Monday, July 21, 2008

What's in a Name?

The Second Hand Car Dealers have just had a new baby. She arrived a month early, making Tiddler look like the Hulk in comparison.

All is well with Mrs Second Hand Car Dealer and Baby Scrap, but it is strange having a really titchy one around now that the Little Ducks, the Little Yummy Mummys and the Little Second Hand Car Dealers are all growed up and in school. We all look on with a touch of envy until she screams, pukes and poohs and then envy turns to relief and double-checking of condom use-by dates.

Only D is slightly disappointed, Scrap's big brother who wanted a baby brother. He even had the name all picked out - 'Spiderman Jeff'.

Eat your hearts out Nicole Kidman and Gwyneth Paltrow.

We have baby girls of our own arriving in the next couple of weeks - to coincide with JP's and Tiddler's birthdays. Torres and Emma will be joining us in Friendly Drive. They are sugar-intolerant, have orange teeth and their cage at the Pet Centre has a big 'Sold' sign on it. Oh, and another one saying 'We are not rats'.

The Little Ducks can't wait.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Bollocking Or Two

Dear Tooth Fairy,

Thanks for nothing, you lazy-arsed git.

You know, JP was pretty excited, finally losing that lone front tooth after weeks of being called Nanny McPhee. We spent ages finding a box to put the tooth in under his pillow, since the official tooth box is at the old house.

I know it was a very long, hot day, and a couple of beers were consumed, but how could you let it slip your mind?

Imagine the scene on entering his room to wake him this morning when his first act is to reach for the box under the pillow and his beautiful face drops when it's rattling with enamel rather than nickel and brass. My heart sank.

I comforted him, saying that you must have had a really busy night, and perhaps you hadn't realised he's moved and that you would DEFINITELY come tonight.

But we both know the truth - you totally forgot, didn't you? Just what kind of magical, mythical role model are you?


In other news.

My brother, The Ginger One, who has been accused, man and boy of having ants in his pants on account of his inability to sit still, found out exactly what that metaphor means on Sunday.

After sitting for a short while outside, he felt a sudden and sharp sting, where only gentle caressing and light licking should take place. He promptly dropped his trousers and boxers, in company, to discover 4 red ants, two of which had bitten him - once on each testicle. Ouch doesn't begin to describe it, apparently and he refused to put his clothes back on, due to the rapid swelling and nauseating pain. Get well soon, Ginger One and let us know when it's on YouTube.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I spent Friday being White Van Woman in a Transit borrowed from Mr Guide Leader.

It made sense to ferry boxes and small stuff from the old house to the new on my day off, so that we could just get on with the big things on Saturday when there were helpers.

I arrived in the cul de sac where the new house is situated, to be greeted by another transit van with a mattress aboard. The Van Men despatched the mattress to my bedroom and one of them handed me a bottle of Rosé. ‘Welcome to Friendly Drive, we live on the corner.' How thoughtful.

A little later Scurrying Woman from opposite came over with an effusive welcome and a wide smile.

Then flowers arrived.

And cards.

And pink champagne (well, sparkling Rosé).

What is the sudden infatuation with Rosé? It's everywhere. Blush bottles line the shelves of the local Co-Op and the Local Pub has at least 3 varieties on offer. Mateus must be sitting smugly at home now watching the New World Cab Savs gathering dust, preparing to follow Blue Nun into viticular obscurity.

Anyway. Just when I'd started to develop a suspicion that I'd moved into Stepford and was checking the Transit for a glazed-eyed Duck clone clutching a bottle of Echo Falls, Next Door appeared.

He seemed eager to come in and emphasise just how welcome I was, as if the flowers and card he was bearing weren't clue enough. 'We had champagne last night, in anticipation' - he started.

By now, I'm slightly worried that White Zinfandel isn't the only fluid neighbours exchange on Friendly Drive, and sniff the air for traces of leather, chocolate body paint and cheese fondue.

'We still can't believe that the Neighbours From Hell have finally gone' - he continued.

My self-esteem crashed through the floor. The welcome committee had nothing to do with me personally, but was more of a leaving do for the previous inhabitants.

Tales of contemptuously-discarded cigarette butts, late night parties, dumped leaf sweepings and excessive and persistant staring filled me with horror.

And then I started to feel something more akin to delight.

If the bar had been set so low by the previous occupants, what dangerous excesses of mine might now be tolerated? I plot a new life of devilment and debauchery, safe in the knowledge that there will always be a welcome and a bottle of Blossom Hill Blush on Friendly Drive.