The next time I suggest going to Whipsnade Zoo in sub-zero temperatures can someone hold up the ‘INSANE’ card please? Along with about 3 other people, we battled through horizontal sleet trying to catch a glimpse of a cheetah, tiger, elephant before taking a warm but very smelly respite in the hippo enclosure and then giving up on the outdoors, we tried to see every other animal from the confines of our very warm car.
I was surprised to see that River Cottage now have a restaurant there, selling very tasty but poncy fare way flashier than is required by your average zoo punter (a group of three blokes came in, looked at the menu, laughed and left). For my part, I made good use of my newly decided thick winter coat keeping it zipped up so I looked like Kenny from South Park. I then devoured a delicious beetroot based River Cottage lunch only to find hours and several conversations with strangers later that a large proportion of my face was still stained bright purple. Thanks goes to husberk for neither noticing nor alerting me.
As for the kids, they turned their noses up at the high class kids bread, houmous and veg sticks, deeming the rainbow carrots and other unusual root vegetables “not yummy”.#hoveringclosetoinsanity #makementalhealthgreatagain
Hi there. Yes it’s me! Do you remember me? I’m that person that occasionally used to bother you to tell you about how I was doing some pre-dawn skipping in the garden after eating too much cheese, or telling you that it’s ok not to be perfect, or that we shouldn’t feel guilty because our children aren’t olympic snowboarders by the time that they’re two (although it would be nice – I might get to meet Des Lynam!). Anyway, sorry about the writing hiatus (I know, you’ve all been inconsolable). We moved house you see, and in doing that took away all free time for the next five hundred years while we unpack cardboard boxes onto shelves that we need to make ourselves (because gosh! aren’t handymen carpenter types expensive) in the 5 minutes free time we get a week when our children aren’t pulling at us so hard that our shorts fall down. Which brings me to the job in hand: Knee cap sweat. Ok so it’s absolutely nothing to do with shelves or cardboard boxes. But maybe slightly more to do with demanding children. And very definitely to do with this unfathomly (but I guess seasonal) hot weather we’re enjoying at the moment.
So I have discovered that kneecaps can sweat. You see, trying to put up shelves, dig new gardens and deal with tantrumming twin two-year-olds all hours of the day would cause even the most bone-dry person a little moisture. But for me, it’s coming in rivers. I’ll admit it. I’m quite a sweaty person. There, I’ve said it. Nothing much I can do… I experimented with ‘Dryclor’ about a decade ago and it worked temporarily but probably didn’t do me much good into the bargain. Since then I’ve given up on the hope of being sweat free. I just stick to the more forgiving of garments, and colours there of, and just hope to be smell free instead. The latter I hope I achieve most of the time (but feel free to tell me if I don’t).
But since when did kneecaps sweat? My theory: Since spending so much of the last couple of years crawling around on the floor aggravating their very existence. You’d think that they would have hardened up, but maybe it’s activated some sort of sweat gland to keep them cool during their daily workouts instead. Because certainly at the moment I’m doing a lot of that crawling stuff again. Tantrumming twin two year olds demand a whole big fat lot of attention and I find it’s best to try to get down to their level. As in literally.
And the heat? Well that’s just adding a whole new barrel of laughs isn’t it. You see, never along the journey of family planning did anyone mention (well, a lot of things, but also) that when the temperature gauge goes above 25 degrees do children stop going to bed at their normal (ish – i don’t really manage that routine thing) bedtime. No. When it’s so hot that you want to stab your eyes out just on the off chance that the blood on your face might be a little refreshing, that’s exactly when your smallest compadres decide it’s time to rave. And rave they do until about 11pm. That’s 11P-fucking-M people! Approximately 1 hour after my ideal bedtime. And 4 hours after theirs (or 3 if I’m being honest). So it’s back crawling around the bedroom for me. Crawling around chasing them back to their new ‘big girl/boy’ beds (whose bloody clever idea was that?), crawling around picking up their toys that they’ve been using as glow sticks, bongos and fire torches and whatever, then tossed away as they continue on their hedonistic night out. Then crawling out, spent and sulky once they have finally hit the deck – “my no sleep! my no sleep! my no sl..zzzzz”. And there I finally stand. Hands on hips at the top of the stairs as my ‘evening’ begins. And then I notice it. The sweaty knee caps. Just another place for me to develop a character-building sense of humour. Well I’m not laughing. (I’m sweating.)
It’s 6:30am and I am skipping in my cold, dark garden. I am having another one of my funny I-must-exercise-right-now turns and I am looking for someone to blame. I mutter with each skip, grunt with each hop, and swear at those hops that result in me nearly falling flat on my (slightly pudgier) face as the rope catches on my (c)ankle. I am not very good at this. And become even worse the more I tire. After about 50 (non consecutive) skips I give up. That’ll do. That’ll burn it off. ‘It’ being Christmas.
Bloody f-ing Christmas. Sitting there all smug with your endless starters, mains, puddings and cheese courses. Mmmm cheese…. Damn it, there I go again. Cheese! Just get the hell out of my house will you? Am I going to be forced to eat you all up until you’re finally satisfied with yourself? Or shall I make a pasta sauce and freeze your smug little ass so that I can throw you out in a year when I find you sitting at the back of the freezer drawer looking thoroughly sorry for yourself. Well let’s just see if there are any crackers left. That will be the deciding fact… oh fuck it there are. Well just a little sliver then…
A long, long time ago in exactly the same galaxy, country, city and indeed London borough as now, there lived a girl. This girl was bored with her job which had become overly stressful and which was, quite frankly, getting her down a bit. She decided it was time to see the world. Again. (Because she is a spoilt brat and had already been around the world once before. But not that spoilt because she did fund it all herself actually. Which reminds her that she still needs to get round to getting the money back for the mis-sold payment protection insurance. But that is another (rather boring) story.)
And so throwing caution and PPI payments to the wind, she gaily pootled her way around various faraway lands, missing most of her flights, spending all of her money and while doing so sent silly messages home to her friends and family. In response, these friends and family told her that she had a bit of a knack for the silly message and urged her to do more writing. Not wanting to rush into things, however, and because she is an expert in putting things off, she thought about it briefly and then went back to her boring office job for another five years.
At this point she was made redundant and again had time on her hands to reflect. She took part in an elaborate career assessment program paid for out of guilt by her redundancy-making company and came to the conclusion that yes, indeed she did want to think about moving on, but was still not exactly sure where she wanted to move to. Again people said to her that she had a knack for the silly message and should branch out beyond the realms of boring IT. Other people said encouragingly that she could become the new Kate Adey, or Julia doo-da hiking person or Rachel doo-da gardening type (pretty much any (female) BBC presenter, in fact), or what about a speciality ‘Dear John’ break-up letter writer (based on a particularly good one penned for a previous disastrous relationship), a speech writer, a teacher, a hat maker, in fact ANYTHING other than your boring IT office job Kate, for God’s sake what are you thinking?!?…
Still not wanting to be too rash, however, and just to make absolutely sure that it really truly wasn’t her thing, she decided to give IT one more chance. So in a terrifyingly ambitious side shuffle from database computer shit to website computer shit she started another boring IT office job and stayed there for a good solid three years. During this time, her extra-curricular activities centred themselves around getting married and having twin children (watch this space and that space for more details on those ludicrous adventures) but then, during her long, drawn-out maternity leave that niggly ‘what-if’ feeling came back to the fore. And so it is that ten years after the first person first told her that she had a bit of a knack for the silly message, she decided to make writing that silly message her main occupation1.
Which brings us to now. We are here. We are doing it. We are mothers who are hovering close to insanity! Well I am. But I’m rather hoping that there are other people out there – mothers or no – who feel the same way too. Otherwise I’m just someone who is openly admitting a bunch of rather deranged and at times embarrassing details about my life that no-one else in the entire world can relate to. Oh well, why not?
1 Sort of. This so far pays f-all, so I have other ventures (a husband, primarily) to keep me flush in Bisto.