Half of me is thinking ‘ Thank crunchie it’s Friday. I feel significantly better now, no doubt due to the good vibes coming down the internet. Lets get the week of the toxic tissues over with.’
The other half is thinking ‘Shit! I’ve lost 5 days just sat here dribbling! And this cough can fuck off already!’
I am now officially Behind With Christmas. Which would be fine if it were just us, but gathering to trough at HFF Mansions on Christmas day will be: Self, Hubby & Toddler, My Mum & Dad, John’s Mum & Dad, John’s sister & husband, their two children, and (possibly) the Delightful Doctors Next Door. None of whom I feel a desperate desire to impress, but I do need to put in some serious spadework between now and Wednesday (in the case of the tissues littering the bedroom floor: possibly literally), as I have a thing about having a clean and tidy house on Christmas Eve.
Anyway, sod all that. I need to tell you about the best and loveliest thing that has happened all week. Harry and I were watching TV in bed at 6.30am this morning when Hubby returned with hot drinks.
Clear as daylight and totally distinct. Of course, he wouldn’t say it again. I never got around to telling you that back on the 2nd December I was carrying him out of a room containing the Piddle, and they all chorused “Bye-Bye!” and waved.
I replied “Bye-Bye!” and waved.
Harry said “Bye-Bye!” and waved.
I think the stunned silence and the rousing cheer that followed – the Piddle knew of his speech issues – may have alarmed him, because he’s not said Bye again, either, and I was beginning to think we had all imagined it. But no! He speaks! In fact, it’s quite possible he said ‘Cake!’ during the Bliss coffee morning in November, (mostly because everyone told us he did!) but we didn’t hear him, so it totally didn’t count. I haven’t had 16 months off work in order to miss his first bloody word!
And I really, really must stop saying fuck. I know very well he’s listening now, and it’s only a matter of time before he parrots me. But I can’t give up bugger. I just can’t. But I’m going to try hard in the New Year to eliminate audible fucks. So to speak.
Anyhoo, the lovely Katie tagged me for the 99 things wotsit, so here it is. As per usual, do have a go if you like. And apologies again to Aphra, who tagged me absolutely months ago, and I have yet to compile the post in question. Been planning a vacation potentially at www.cruiseoffers.co.uk to knock out one of my 99 right now. Mea culpa.
1. Started my own blog - If I lie and say no, will it damage my credibility for the rest of it?
2. Slept under the stars - Yes. Due to monstrous transient poverty, I slept rough on a bench in New York - in company with a mildly lecherous Aussie in similar straits, as I recall. It was a funny old night. We were on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, and about 4am a peculiar chap came along and stood leaning on the rail a few yards off, looking over the river. Fair enough, I thought: it’s a famous view. And then he started having a wank. I was all for quietly pretending I hadn’t noticed, but my Australian friend was having none of it. “He’s having a what? A WANK? Hey! Hey, mate! You having a wank?” Umm. Not any more, I don’t think.
3. Played in a band – OMG, I wish. Have played the guitar for 22 years, and I’m still Kum Ba Yah standard. Worse!
4. Visited Hawaii – No.
5. Watched a meteor shower – Yep, lots. Also, Hubby is an astronomy geek.
6. Given more than I can afford to charity – Any charity donation is technically more than I can afford, and it has been that way on and off for years.
7. Been to Disneyland/world – No. I’m saving that particular nightmarish treat for when child is older. I heartily dislike Mickey Mouse.
8. Climbed a mountain – under my own steam? Alas, no. By horseback and donkey, ahem!, yes.
9. Held a praying mantis – I want to say yes, but I can’t remember when.
10. Sung a solo – My solicitors advise against.
11. Bungee jumped – Only lottery-level financial inducement would work.
12. Visited Paris - Driven through it, but never stopped. Hubby has taken other women there, though…
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea – I get seasick on damp grass.
14. Taught myself an art from scratch – I tend to dabble at every known handicraft at least once. Currently trying to woodcut a house sign. By ‘currently’, I mean ‘this decade’
15. Adopted a child – no.
16. Had food poisoning – probably. I’ve certainly done enough groaning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty – God, no. The window at the top is tiny. I flew around it instead, much nicer.
18. Grown my own vegetables – My mother and MIL do, so I steal theirs instead. No point duplicating effort, and we are on sticky solid clay up here.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France – No. And you’d be hard-pressed to see it elsewhere.
20. Slept on an overnight train – No.
21. Had a pillow fight – Yes. It can hurt when it’s proper goose feather, too!
22. Hitchhiked – Not in this day & age.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill – once, when I was 16 and serving in the local pub kitchen. I was also off work for 7 weeks following 2nd miscarriage, during which I went away for the weekend (with a snoring mother. Not restful!) but I was a long way off well.
24. Built a snow fort – Yes.
25. Held a lamb – oodles of the little buggers.
26. Gone skinny dipping – No. But I don’t think there was a single Young Farmer’s AGM where Hubby didn’t throw himself naked into the water.
27. Run a marathon – HA HA HA!
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice - No (sob).
29. Seen a total eclipse – No. I was abroad during the last UK one.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset – Um. Really, is there anyone who hasn’t seen both?
31. Hit a home run – Wossis?!
32. Been on a cruise – see 13.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person – Yes.
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors – Don’t quite know where to look.
35. Seen an Amish community - No.
36. Taught myself a new language – I wander around clutching my phrasebook, generally.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied – Blimey, no. It’d take millions. But I’m not unhappy about it.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person – no.
39. Gone rock climbing – Yes.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David – No. Sigh.
41. Sung karaoke – see 10.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt – no.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant – no.
44. Visited Africa – The northern bit. Would love love love to do the safari bit, too.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight – I have done abroad. Never in the UK, it’s too bloody cold.
46. Been transported in an ambulance – Personally, no. I have driven behind them a distressing number of times though.
47. Had my portrait painted – A couple of times, but only as a child.
48. Gone deep sea fishing – see 13.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person – Yes. And Katie is spot-on about the security. I saw a nun given a warning… and then her second flash-photography offence actually resulted in her being frogmarched away. I still can’t believe I saw it. A nun being frog-marched out of the Sistine chapel.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris – No.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling – I have snorkelled, and didn’t much like it. The water was so choppy I kept breathing it, I kept colliding with the precious coral-reef (very much to our mutual damage) I kept walloping other snorkellers with my flippers, and I was terrified that the boat ride back from the reef would be as horrific as the ride out. Lovely fishies though.
52. Kissed in the rain – I expect so.
53. Played in the mud – Enthusiastically.
54. Gone to a drive-in theatre – No.
55. Been in a movie - No.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China – No.
57. Started a business – Not yet.
58. Taken a martial arts class – I’m musing over the body combat class at the local gym. Count?
59. Visited Russia – No.
60. Served at a soup kitchen – No.
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies – Wasn’t a girl scout.
62. Gone whale watching – Despite oft-professed dislike of sailing, yes I have, and it was fabulous. It was off Boston and the catamaran was a lot more stable than everything else I could see in the harbour touting for business, although other people were sick & I wasn’t. Smug.
63. Got flowers for no reason – Buying or receiving? And there is always a reason. Stopping for petrol is a reason. Seeing them at half-price is a reason. If it means ‘Bought flowers just because they look nice’, then yes, all the time. Hubby bought me roses, once, when we first went out. From a florist and everything. Since then I’ve had the odd bunch of garage-specials. I tell myself it’s the thought, really, isn’t it?
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma – My nervous system had a bit of a Tony Hancock moment on my first ever blood donation, and pulled the consciousness plug. I now donate vicariously through Hubby who is a donation STAR and has just had his 25th pint silver award. He has enormous veins, and they usually cry with joy when they see him “Lovely! We’ll get the TRAINEE to have a practice go on you!” Poor man.
65. Gone sky diving – There might not now be enough money left in the post credit-crunch world to bribe me into this.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp – If I visit Poland, I will make a point of getting there.
67. Bounced a cheque – I blush to report that I have. It was 1993, I was a student, in lots of trouble and debt, and had already used the Wallace and Gromit stickers (blush again) that the cheque for less than two quid (the bank was being evil) had purchased. I contrived to forget about it – except that I never did, and still feel rather guilty about it.
68. Flown in a helicopter – Yes.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy – Several, lovingly, carefully. Then let Harry at them. Rip rip rip.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial – No.
71. Eaten caviar – No, don’t much like fish unless I’m sat in a mediterranean harbour restaurant under an oleander tree on a warm summer night. Then, a nice steak of shark or tuna – nothing bony – would be just divine. I can almost see the little twinkly lights over the other side of the harbour and hear the waves running up the beach. I want to be there so badly I can sense it. But even in fantasy land I’m worried about how the hell Harry would cope with the flight and what about babysitters?!
72. Pieced a quilt – No.
73. Stood in Times Square – Yes.
74. Toured the Everglades – No.
75. Been fired from a job – Disappointingly, No.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London – Yes.
77. Broken a bone – I think I bust a rib in a mosh pit once. It hurt for weeks.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle – No. Unless I was being inattentive to roadsigns.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person – No.
80. Published a book – No.
81. Visited the Vatican – Yes.
82. Bought a brand new car – No.
83. Walked in Jerusalem – No. Or ran, jogged, or hiked.
84. Had my picture in the newspaper – a few times. Never with the moniker ‘WANTED!’ attached though, so it’s fine.
85. Read the entire Bible – not the entire thing, no.
86. Visited the White House – No.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating – Yes to both, but not the same animal from beginning to end.
88. Had chickenpox – Yes.
89. Saved someone’s life – Only my own.
90. Sat on a jury – Never been picked, and I quite fancy a go.
91. Met someone famous – I once had lunch with Terry Pratchett. But please don’t ask me to elaborate, in case I am obliged to expose myself as a self-serving half-truther. I am pretty oblivious to celebrities in mufti, and regularly walk past superstar actors in Stratford without noticing until my friends dig me in the ribs. They all drink in the Dirty Duck on Waterside if you’re interested in that sort of thing.
92. Joined a book club – Not my thang.
93. Lost a loved one – A few.
94. Had a baby – Yes, a stunningly nice one.
95. Seen the Alamo in person – Nope.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake – Nope.
97. Been involved in a law suit – Nope. Bored now.
98. Owned a cell phone – SERIOUSLY?
99. Been stung by a bee - No. I’m kind to bees, particularly bumble bees. I am a merciless exterminator of wasps.