Friday, 30 November 2012

Wonderful Women

Apologies for the delay - as you can imagine you haven't missed anything ground breaking. I can pretty quickly catch you up with the bare bones of it - K has caught up with me and turned 34 and therefore officially ended the birthday season. He even got presents - proper ones he actually wanted and not just a bar of Cadbury's Whole Nut (I gave him TWO bars this year - he was thoroughly spoilt). Ted has been 'trying'. And I use that as a massive understatement - I actually talked to K about a Miss Havisham type arrangement, where we send him to live with my mother under the guise of her being able to provide him with a life and education we can't afford, but actually was just to get rid of him. We had, at the time, both decided that we couldn't cope with him anymore and it seemed like an excellent way to keep a widow company and offload a troublesome child. In the end we kept him - I am still on the fence over whether that was a good idea. The only thing that keeps him from being given away is his bizarre devotion and love and for his baby sister. It makes me love him and momentarily forget how hard he is to look after.  So we are stuck with him until he starts being horrid to her and then there will be absolutely no reason to keep hold of him. Bea has finally received a reply to a letter she sent to The Queen about 6 months ago, which has caused huge excitement both here and at school. Cybil is still fat and getting bigger and there is very little to tell you about G. He is precisely the same as he has always been. He did get taken out on a fab day trip by Sporty Godmother who managed to clamber all over HMS Belfast even though she is 8 months pregnant. It was a bit above and beyond the Godmotherly duty I think - particularly as it was raining - the whole ship must have been a slippery health hazard but as birthday presents go, it was a big hit. I am precisely the same as well. Tired, fat but overall content and getting excited about Christmas. Once that is over it is another 8 months until I have to buy another sodding present for one of the children. Hoorah!

So now you are up to speed I shall fill you in on some of the detail.

When Ted was about Cybil's age, K was made redundant (the recession has not been particularly kind to us). We put the house on the market, accepted an offer and planned our uprooting to Suffolk. I was pretty upset at the time as I had recently been introduced to a group of ladies who I thought looked rather fab and I remember thinking how sad it was that we wouldn't get to know each other as we could have been friends. Fate clearly thought the same thing, as a couple of weeks after we accepted an offer on the house, K was contacted by a company who had been trying to track him down after his redundancy to offer him a position with them. So, K took the job, we kept the house and I was reinvigorated with a love for SE23 after I came so close to losing it forever. The ladies, as I had predicted, became firm friends of mine and there is now a great group of us who meet up at playgroups, parks and at people's houses on an awful lot of Fridays to drink, eat and be merry as a way of celebrating a birthday of a mother or child. We also have infrequent weekend jaunts, thanks to the groups resident 'Events organiser' - herself a mother of four and owner of a 'Ted'.  We have spent many, many hours over the intervening years yelling at our Teds to stop doing whatever hideous thing it is they are doing and trying to wear them out sufficiently so that they might sleep - and she is constantly planning the next excursion for her family or friends. She also has an amazing knack of having whatever it is I need to borrow - from a camping stove to a king's crown - her garage contains it all. 

So, the day after I left you last, it was a Friday and therefore time for a lunch - this time it was for my Birthday and was being held at the house of the Blonde Bombshell.  The birthday bash was preceded by a particularly popular (I am loving my alliteration) coffee morning in aid of Birthday Twin's Eyebrow fund.  Rather than sit around feeling sad for our mutual friend, Blonde Bombshell went proactive-tastic and set up a fund raising drive in order to raise money to pay for BT to retain some of the features that make her 'her' whilst she goes through Chemo, and have her eyebrows professionally tattooed on (by the person who did Kylie's no less). The coffee morning contained a vast array of delicious cakes and endless pots of tea to accompany them and we all paid per cup and cake. I was obviously trying to save myself for my birthday cake although I did sample a few, just to be polite
naturally, but I made up for it by drinking about ten cups of tea. The only cakes that didn't sell were the particularly special flapjacks BB had tried to make at midnight the night before. You could have built houses with them they were so hard.  Coffee morning cleared away and paying guests departed, my birthday celebrations began. Lunch was the usual deliciousness and then an epically good cake was presented to me courtesy of the Events Organiser's husband - it is his signature bake and is indescribably good. I got the candles and cake part of my birthday and a lovely gift voucher for the local beautician's. It was a nice way to mark a rather 'non' birthday and I got to raise money for my friend by eating cake. For the record I am always happy to raise money for anyone by eating cake. Just in case you were wondering. Any fund raising cake buying that needs doing - I am there. Far easier than the next step of the fundraising push....

The following morning was Saturday and I was up and out by 8.25am with Ted and Cybs to pick up Events Organiser and her Ted and get our arses as quickly as possible to Dulwich Park. For there it was that the larger group of wonderful women were warming up and donning comically large eyebrows in order to raise yet more money for the eyebrow fund, running 5k around the park. The weather was not particularly great but the runners were. I was dumbfounded by the speed of humans. Not being naturally athletic I am in awe of those who can move their bodies so effectively. My friends were running as part of an organised 'park run' which take place every Saturday at 9am in parks all over the place. That got me - I am usually in my pjs sipping tea at 9am and these people were up and out and running for no reason other than they wanted to. Astounding. When the run started, I turned around to find a Ted who had gone AWOL thinking that I would have a while before there was anything else to see but, as I turned back around after swiftly locating the missing Ted, the first runners were coming back around - only minutes had passed and these humans had run a mile already. My brain finds it very hard to compute this information. My friends were a bit behind the 'proper' runners (although not far behind for BB) but every one of them finished and some of their children did too. It was a properly heart warming event and for the first time EVER I wished I had run it too. The great news is that the coffee morning, sponsored run and Blonde Bombshell's husband garnering support from the locals at the pub, meant that the Eyebrow Fund was met and surpassed by some margin. Hoorah! 

Then there was Tuesday and my first proper night out. I ventured out with C to West London and a Thanksgiving dinner at my friend's house with lots of my school friends. I love getting together with them. It feels comfortable. Some of them have known me since I was 8 and we have literally grown up together so it is always a good evening when we get together.  However this one was made even more brilliant as the friend in question has a rather awesome clothing company and was selling off some of her old stock/samples for very reasonable prices so there was shopping, cava, food and friends which really is the perfect combination. Even C was well behaved. It was one of the best evenings I have had in a very, very long time. I didn't even mind that as we sat around eating the lovely food made by her husband (they are living the dream), I realised that I was surrounded by ridiculously successful people. One was designing and producing clothes for Pippa Middleton and Nicole Scherzinger (the host - check out Paper London if you haven't already - amazing stuff), one has recently received her Doctorate and works at The British Museum, another is almost running a major PR firm, another two are Lawyers working with banks - one advises them and the other is helping to make the law for the new banking standards and two work in TV - a producer on maternity leave and a Script Editor - I mean it was insane. I had emptied the dishwasher twice and put on a few loads of washing. It just isn't the same. I felt a tad inferior on a career/brianiac level which made them seem far more 'grown up' than me. My maturity seems to have stopped progressing at the same time I gave up work so I am permanently 25 in my head. (I was SHOCKED to learn that I am older than David Haye. So weird.) People keep saying that I am grown up because I have a lot of children but let's face it - I could have achieved that by 22 if I'd tried really hard. Getting pregnant a lot doesn't make you a grown up. It doesn't make you anything particular other than tired, poor and a mother many times over. 

Since I've had C, a number of people have asked 'how do you do it?' which I get a tad embarrassed about. My life isn't particularly skillful - I am not doing what these friends of mine are doing on a daily basis.  It is so weird to think that my peers are now 'grown ups' and changing things - real things in the real world. I am just getting up after not very much sleep and keeping on going until the end of the day when I pass out in the same bed again before doing it all again the next day. The house is in need of a thorough deep clean, I rarely cook for K  (maybe twice since C was born), I don't iron, I don't open 90% of our post, I don't file the 10% I do open, if I can't be bothered to bend over and pick something up I will often leave it until it is kicked out of the way by someone else, K and I often bicker in quite a childish fashion, I often shout at the children, the children watch far too much TV and I couldn't tell you the last time I thought about whether any of the children had had any of their five a day. I am not saying I am totally crap or 'woe is me' - I am more than happy with my lot in life and I don't think I am shit at this mothering malarkey -but I am definitely not an all rounder, so when someone asks me how I do it, I want to say, 'not particularly well - but just about managing'. One of my mummy friends, who also ran for the eyebrows fund, who I affectionately call 'perfect mother of four' because, as the name suggests, she is ridiculously perfect. She is an exceptional teacher at a local secondary school, she runs, cooks, bakes cakes, has an immaculate house at all times (I have often tried to catch her out but to no avail) and I am almost certain, although I haven't checked, that the straps on her children's car seats are never twisted. I have a theory that you can divide mothers in to two - ones who have non-twisted car seat straps and those who don't. Naturally I fall into the twisted category. I have never managed to keep them twist free - much like running 5k at 9am on a Saturday morning - I can't imagine it being possible.  Such perfection has always eluded me.

So, there you have it. Women are amazing. I am lucky enough to have loads of them as my friends (and sisters but they weren't mentioned today) which is great as it means I can live my average life vicariously through them. From the safety of my bum sized dent in the sofa. (I really have made a dent in it - Ikea clearly don't take the obese into account when testing their products).

I am far too tired to continue. As per usual. Must dash to my body sized dent in the bed.

Toodlepip xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Being 34

So far being 34 has not been a great success.

As predicted, the big day itself was a bit of a wash out. K couldn't quite bring himself/didn't realise he had to wake early enough for any indulgences like breakfast in bed so celebrations were downsized to a brief presentation period downstairs at 7.45am. Although this made me quite on edge, as there really isn't a lot of time in the morning for any shenanigans - it really is get dressed, get fed, get out and I get very nervous around the 8am time as there is only half an hour left..... However, I enjoyed a lovely few minutes where I was presented with a beautiful group of prettily wrapped presents and pictures from the children before Ted tried to open my gifts for me which made K quite cross as he had clearly spent time making them look pretty, so the beauty of the moment was slightly marred by K's angry shouting at Ted and Ted's particularly angry shouting back.  Nevertheless it was a nice way to start the day. I was also lucky enough to be bombarded with texts, cards and Facebook messages from incredibly early on in the morning, so I felt very loved. I had secretly hoped that K might have booked the morning or the afternoon or maybe the entire day off work so that he could do the school runs or help me for the day, but there was no such surprise in store and in fact he left half an hour earlier than usual - after enquiring whether I had anything planned - 'no' - 'so who are you spending the day with?' - 'Ted' - 'Good luck. Bye!'. So I did the school runs and on the way home I got an invitation for lunch from a friend who had no idea it was my birthday, but it was a very happy coincidence as it gave the day purpose. Other than that it was entirely uneventful. K got home in time to help with bath and bed and then I was allowed a Take Away supper of my choice. Miserably, I went for a delicious Indian. I say miserably as I subsequently came down with the horrid winter tummy bug.

It was HORRID. I spent the night not sleeping - Bea came in to join me quite early on and so K had to sleep across the foot of the bed due to all the female members of his family taking up the head end. Every time he coughed or moved, I woke up or C woke up which meant I had to wake up. Bea is quite a mover in her sleep so she also woke me and C up and the gurgling tummy feeling started in the early hours so I basically didn't sleep. K wasn't really aware how ill I was, so didn't jump up to help in the morning but mercifully Bea did and was a total legend. She really is an excellent co-parent when you really need her. G had been complaining of his ear aching for a few days and he decided this was the particular morning he would bring his complaints to a head so I had to wait by the phone to call the doctors and book an emergency appointment before they were all taken at 7am. Then I realised my phone had been cut off due to the now regular non payment of bill. I managed to rouse K and get him to find his phone and put in his code and therefore was able to get an appointment for G. So, to cut a long and sorrowful story short I took a very well-appearing G to the Docs after dropping two others at school, waited for half an hour to be seen, only to discover that although well, G did indeed have a nasty ear infection. He pounced on the news and insisted on staying at home so I spent the day being very ill and nursing G who wasn't ill and looking after everyone else and doing school runs as usual. I couldn't eat anything all day but still had to breastfeed the monster baby so by 5pm I was on my knees with tiredness and hunger and was a bit of a heap on the sofa. Mercifully K knocked off early and arrived Knight-like through the door to relieve me and I crawled in to bed. K then got the bug, spent all night having to get up with it, so cancelled his morning appointments, stayed in bed til 11, before making it in to work and then came home that evening and got straight back in to bed. And therein lies the fundamental difference between our lives. As he freely admits, he could not possibly have looked after the children and been ill but as I am keen to point out - I didn't have a flipping choice. AND to compound my now certain belief that my 34th year is cursed (I have seen SO MANY single magpies it is ridiculous - I mean on average around 4 a day - that is an omen not a coincidence) the Sky box decided not to record my Real Housewives on my birthday. It was eerie - it suddenly decided to delete the command to record every programme. I am totally freaked out. I may never know what happened in those two vital episodes that marked the start of the third season. Sniff. So, as you can tell, the big day and the day after were a tad pants, and a marked contrast to my last birthday - (I won't go on as I wrote about it last year) - where I had a fabulous weekend extravaganza with lots of amazing things and best of all, my new baby. (She was 3 months and 4 days on my bday this year.....). Actually, it was in total contrast to the preceding week as well, as that was totally lovely.

I have no idea why but a whole person seems to have evaded attention. I shall immediately correct that wrong by telling you about Posh Putney friend.  (I must quickly say that she isn't actually any more or less posh than any of my other school friends, but her real name begins with P as well and I am a big fan of alliteration so that is stuck in my head). On the Thursday before my bday, back in the good old days of non-cursed 33, Ted and I took a break from our usual playgroup date and took a trip over to Putney. On the way I have to go through Clapham, Northcote Road, Wandsworth etc and I have to admit to finding these areas a bit of a 'downer'.  Largely because I spend my time driving through them, musing over what life would be like for me if I had not been so hasty to have a baby and instead  spent more time getting rich first. Stupidly I gaze at the skinny women pushing their smart bugaboos with expensive baby bags in their boden coats and leather boots and wonder what life would be like if I were one of them. We would have gone on proper holidays. We would have a 'finished' house. I would have a personal trainer at my swanky gym. We would definitely have gone out more. My wardrobe would definitely have far less Tu and George and far more Zara and ASOS. (Cue a really cutesy sentence where I say 'but then I look in the rear view mirror and see all the car seats and I realise how lucky I am...' Obviously that is so not me and I did not feel lucky as I can't afford the car and the children who fit the car seats plus I had an awake Ted who was asking me for the millionth time where we were going and I could also see all the mess and detritus and leftover birthday balloons so it just compounded my sorry-for-myself feelings). Anyhoo, I then got to posh Putney and saw my lovely friend and I felt a lot better. Ooh not because she lives in a shit hole or anything but just because I was so happy to finally meet up with her and meet her new baby. PP and I had spent so much time exchanging emails, texts and scrabble app messages (she is the only person who has continued to play with me) in the lead up to the births of our babies (a week apart) that it seemed so extremely odd that we hadn't met up before the babies were 3 months. The big boys - who were also born within 6 weeks of each other - played beautifully together for hours and the young ones slept over lunch so we got a lot of time to talk which is just so nice. PP was my first school friend to have a baby and by that time I was on my third so it was my first experience of going through the pregnancy and birth thing with a peer and it really does make a difference. It is comforting to know that finally someone is going through the same things as me for a start. However more importantly I realised that even in Posh Putney things are very similar to Slummy SE23 (no offence, I am going on the alliteration theme and slummy sounds better than shitty) - children are still children and although hers will go to very nice private schools and on lovely foreign holidays, they still keep her up at night and make her pull her hair out at times. I love that about babies and children in general - they are great levellers. Irrespective of who you are or how much money or how little money you have, having a baby still makes you feel the same feelings. That makes me happy. She also made me have an epiphany about my 'clapham' dreams - I realised that even if we did live off the Northcote Road with a cellar full of wine and a pristine Bugaboo I would want a bigger house, garden and cellar that I couldn't afford and I'd want to send my children to the same schools as my neighbours which would mean I'd have to work full time and I'd still only be able to send two, which would mean I couldn't have my four children so I'd be moaning about lack of money in my 'alternative' world as well. Although arguably in nicer clothes. SO, I realised that I've  'never had it so good' as Macmillan once said and I should stop moaning. I therefore promise to try not to. It is highly likely I will fail but I will definitely try to stop thinking about 'what could have been' and deal better with what 'is'.

Especially because I move on to Friday and another friend I really should have mentioned before now. My Birthday Twin (who shares my birthday in case you didn't get the name) has recently moved from SE23 to leafy Kent, and Friday was the SE23 part of her birthday celebrations. She couldn't make our usual joint celebrations with the local mummies this Friday (AGAIN I cannot believe I haven't gone in to more depth about my local posse - I shall rectify this in my very next post) and so she booked a table at the Tapas restaurant at the end of my road and a big group of us went there for a particularly lovely birthday lunch. It was another fabulous event with a lot of brilliant women who I very much enjoy spending time with, as well as great and plentiful food. Birthday Twin looked particularly well and happy and Ted and the other boys were bizarrely well behaved for two hours - C even slept for an hour as well - so it was slightly magical. Sadly, the reason BT can't make our joint birthday celebration this year is because it is on the day that she starts her second course of Chemotherapy as she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in August. Her two children are the same ages as my big two and G and her younger daughter formed a very firm friendship over their mutual love of Dinosaurs. I met her when our eldest girls were still toddlers at a local playgroup and we have been friends ever since so it is very odd not having them around the place anymore and even odder to know that whilst life still carries on as per usual for us, she is busy dealing with the aftermath of a really bastard buggering bollocks of a disease. She writes a very excellent blog so we are kept regularly up to date of what is going on with her and the girls, which makes it feel like she isn't that far away, but obviously seeing her in the flesh doesn't happen that often which made the event particularly special. ( is the link to her blog if you are interested - which you should be as it is well worth your time.)

So, with a lovely Thursday, Friday and Enlightening Epiphany behind me I went merrily into the weekend and a date with the hairdressers (YAYYY) and then we had a jolly visit from The Body Godmother on Saturday (G was particularly thrilled) and The Godmother (of Magician fame) on Sunday. So, I think the problem with my bday was that it came off the back of four very lovely days spent catching up with friends and having a high old time. Even then, as birthdays go it really wasn't bad, it just wasn't anything special. My mother often tells me that 'being a mother doesn't stop' so I shouldn't have expected K to do the school run and she reminded me once again, that she woke up on one of her birthdays on holiday, in a tiny, cold caravan on the Suffolk coast with me peeing on her leg. And my birthday twin woke up on our birthday to discover that her hair had finally given in under the force of the Chemo drugs and started to fall out in clumps. So. Without wishing to sound obvious, I am careful to count my blessings. No one pissed on me and my hair stayed put.  As I said, this is as good as it gets.


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Zoo fear

Hello, it's me. I am back. I'm feeling good although still tired obviously. I am assuming I will be tired for quite a few years to come so I shall endeavour to stop mentioning it unless there is a spectacular happening either way. Suffice to say the rest at mums was enough to bring me back from the brink and I am now slightly further away from jumping off the edge.

One of the many advantages of staying Chez Mother, after free food and having all my washing done, is the free newspaper I get to read every morning (as discussed before, there is no phone or internet coverage there so you are plunged in to print to provide any entertainment other than watching CBeebies with the children). I am not a big fan of the news. It is largely depressing and when you have small children it becomes a bit of a horror fest. Incurable viruses, infanticide, murder, child abuse, drowned children etc. Obviously she doesn't take a red top so there was no celebrity gossip or tales of X Factor contestants to lighten the mood - it was all very dour. The worst story was that the NHS are now planning to use the facilities at Zoos to scan the obese patients who can no longer fit through their 'normal' sized scanning machines. I am horrified. I mean, I am a fan of the zoo - I had a thoroughly lovely day at London Zoo for Bea's birthday with my Mum and Newly Married Sister last month - but the thought of turning up in a specially reinforced ambulance and manoeuvred on a specially enlarged bed by huge specially employed heavy lifters only to be wheeled through the veterinary area and then finally put in and through the machine they use to diagnose hippos and elephants, would be beyond mortifying. The whole point about being hideously obese is that you try to keep in the house as much as possible to avoid people taking the piss out of you - this news has totally rained on the parade of my dream of getting so fat that I just spend my days lying in bed getting fatter and fatter and watching The Real Housewives. I am now totally off the idea thanks to the sodding zoo scanning plan. Plus - if you have never been near a Rhino you can have no idea how much they smell - I really don't fancy passing through a scanning machine or being in a large animal veterinary practise where smelly animals might have been for any length of time.

Talking of Zoos and animals, our staycation ended a day early so we could leave at the crack of dawn and get back in time for G's 6th Birthday party on the Saturday.  Even if I do say so myself this one was rather fabulous and well worth the early packing up and journey. I had hired a couple who bring their mini 'zoo' collection as the entertainment - it was called Zoo 4 You and I can thoroughly recommend them - they had everything from a hissing cockroach to a meerkat with a skunk, snake and tarantula in between as well as lots of small animals, of which I couldn't possible remember the names. G even got to have a barn owl on his arm.  Although the best thing about the party for me was that it marked the end of our birthday season for the children this year. Hoorah!! I shall never again have to do birthdays and parties with a newborn and I am free of child birthdays until August next year. Huge sigh of relief.  So I am back on the Champagne in celebration. We have had a birth, three birthdays and five parties (the big two had two each due to me being an indulgent idiot and the days their birthdays fell) in the last three months and it has been a tad hectic. And expensive. I am broke. There is nothing going on in my life until after Christmas now as I can't afford it. I am actually quite pleased about it. I want to stay inside and hide away from the horrible world outside and to stop the horrible world outside from seeing me.

As testament to how little there is in my life is at the moment, I became disproportionately over excited at the realisation that the new 'I'm A Celebrity' series starts on the eve of my Birthday - it made my heart leap with joy - to the point where I have even researched the contestants (a 'low' even in my opinion). I feel somehow, that the coinciding of the start of the series with the eve of my birthday is a gift from the TV Gods just for me. It is most likely the only one I will receive as G's animal entertainers were so pricey that we can't afford any gifts. It is a shame as I had a long list. Some more likely than others:

a. A Loft Conversion
b. £10,000
c. A new kitchen
d. Liposuction
e. New carpets throughout
f. A single Wardrobe for Cybil's clothes
g. My hair done
h. The screen on my ipad fixed
i. Anti-mould spray for the grout in between the tiles in the bathroom
j. A device that chops an apple in to segments and leaves the core

As you can see they are in price order and there is a nice variety for those with deeper pockets than others.  It's not a waste of a list though - I can keep it to bring out again for Christmas.  I don't actually want to celebrate my birthday anyway. It is on a Monday and unless you are at University or childless, rich and unemployed with unemployed friends, a Monday birthday is just shit. Also I am too fat to celebrate.  There is no joy in being this huge, particularly when I torture myself and flick back to last year's pictures when I was at my thinnest. I realise that I am entirely to blame and I am the owner of a beautiful baby girl in return for all the weight gain but still, I can't be properly happy until I look appropriate again. I hate to be shallow but there it is. I can't pretend not to be hideously vain. 

As a natural response to me saying I am fed up with being fat and want to lose weight, people keep asking me if I am doing anything about it. Even the health visitor asked me (one managed to catch me at home yesterday - she was actually very bearable and weighed C for me which I did find interesting - she is nearly as fat as me - 15.8lbs/7.17kg). Anyway, I don't like to be asked and find it irritating, as I am not doing anything about it and not planning to either. I am just moaning about being fat. I want to lose weight. I just don't want to do anything in order to achieve that goal.  Essentially I want to wake up thinner without having to change a thing about my current way of life. Although actually that is a fib! Yesterday I did wake up and try to make a few small changes, they were extremely subtle changes though, I tried swapping chocolate snacks for sweets or crisps (less fat obviously) and I am starting to wear control pants again. I find they give you a very poor girl's gastric band effect as they reduce the amount you want to eat. It is as close as I am ever going to get to corrective surgery for my enlarged stomach.

I've realised I am now a tad one sided and have become a 'fat' and 'tired' bore - I promise to stop and move on. Next time I shall bore you with my penury. In the mean time, I shall leave you with, what I hope, is a funny anecdote from my staycation in Suffolk. On Friday Mum insisted on turning The One Show off as she 'won't have that man on her TV'. The man was Chris Evans and although I knew she had strong views about people and their morality, by and large Chris seems to be quite settled now with a wife, two children and a respectable radio show so I couldn't quite understand her revolsion. I asked why she hated him so much, to which she said she found him deplorable and horrid after "ringing that poor man and accusing his daughter of being a whore". I was dumbfounded for a while until I realised that she was of course, thinking of the Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand telephone prank debacle. I naturally tried to reason with her and spare poor Chris Evans the unjustified slur against his character, but even after I cleared his name the thought of watching him was vetoed. I have a good mind to 'tweet' (I'm so 'with it' see) Jonathan and let him know his actions have had far reaching and long lasting implications for far more people than he could ever imagine.

I shall not though, I shall bury it along with her comments over my increased size ("so nice to see you in colour! Much less forgiving than black but still nice.") and parenting skills or lack of - although she did have some valid points over Ted still being allowed a bottle at bedtime so that has now been rectified but still, no one likes to be told they are lazy when it comes to parenting. After all, her redeeming features are that she makes a truly exceptionally tasting cake and she generously paid for G's Suffolk party so I really can't complain. She even sent me home with enough delicious beef casserole to feed a family of six. Sadly I ate five portions in one sitting, (thoughtfully leaving one for K please note) but on the plus side I was so full I didn't even attempt to eat pudding. So in actual fact I AM doing something pro-active about my weight. I missed pudding once and have cut down on the chocolate. At this rate I soon won't need to worry about needing a zoo for a body scan.

Now, I must away and catch up on my friends in New York City. My loving sky box saved 10 whole episodes for me over the half term!!  I might just finish them in time to start obsessing over I'm A Celebrity if I try hard enough. It will mean C putting on even more weight as I force her to do 10 hours of breast feeding. (The health visitor asked me about five times if she was being 'topped up' with a bottle as she was so big and putting on weight faster than she 'should' - I didn't tell her about my Housewives addiction but that is clearly where the extra few pounds have come from. Poor C. I shall have to cut her down soon or she'll be needing the Zoo.....)

Now off you go - I need to see if Bethenny and Jill Zarin have patched things up....