Monday, 22 September 2014

A Mixed Misfit Bag

It's been a busy week in the Misfit house.  The teen turned 19 and my cousin and her hubbie came to visit from Canada so there has been much fun and jollity.  Today saw me returning to the desk to chain myself up until my self-imposed 2K words for the day were written.

Here's a quick update on my week.  Oh, and be warned - it ends with a rant!


Oh boy!  What can I say?  The teen and Mr Misfit had a blast.  Me?  Well I simply tootled around the track, at an average of 16 miles an hour, like a nervous granny on her way to church. And the heat!  Dressed from head to toe in a rather unfetching BO-infused boiler suit, a beanie and a helmet, I was sweltering.  My only escape was putting myself in the Sin Bin so that I could remove the helmet and cool off.  The teen found himself covered in bruises as he has no flesh on his gangly bones and was thrown around in the kart as he swerved around corners. As each day passes the bruises grow and change.  We tell him it's the birthday gift that keeps giving!

 The teen pulling a daft pose.
Just as well this isn't a scratch and sniff photo!  The suits were ripe!

 His final lap


It's been 28 years since I last saw my cousin and her husband so it's been wonderful having them here.  They are both huge fans of my books and I was delighted to learn that I, at the grand old age of seven, had been the one to help my cousin's husband 'get' AA Milne.  He said it was the British accent that suddenly made it click for him.  Their lovely daughter is named after me and we keep in touch through Facebook and Twitter.  We were amazed at how many similarities there are between the two of us and also between her and the teen.  Families, can be spooky things!
On Saturday, our family got together at our place and a good time was had by all.

Sharing family memories.
My mum, me and my cousin.

On Friday night Mr Misfit and the teen came back from a late night walk and told me that there was an injured squirrel at the end of our cul de sac.  Being a bit of an animal nut, I headed off to see if he could be saved.  He was right in the middle of the road where he could have been squashed by any passing cars returning home or ripped apart by foxes (or our cats!) so we knew that we had to stay with him.  We managed to give him some Rescue Remedy (a herbal medicine) and for a while it looked like he might be perking up a bit. Sadly though, we suddenly realised that his leg was broken and there didn't seem to be much hopeAfter willing him to live, I found myself willing him to let go and drift off to squirrel Heaven.  We called him Faith as we told him that we had faith in him and that we would stick with him to the bitter end.  Watching him die was horrible.  He threw his little head back in a final spasm of pain and then he passed.  The teen then decided it would be cruel to just throw him in the bushes and insisted on a proper funeral (the second one we'd been to that day!)
A shoe box was duly found and Faith was laid to rest with a gladioli.
Sadly, Faith was dug up again two mornings later and then he disappeared.
This reminds me of the time we buried our goldfish in a Dove soapbox and the teen, then quite young, was concerned that when he got to Heaven God would be confused as the box said 'Dove' and not 'Goldfish'!


I had drinks with 'Fenella' last night and I found out that she'd had a falling out with a Putney mum who had been rather vocal about me and the way I'd dealt with the teen's school phobia.  I was livid!  This was a mother I'd known reasonably well and always got on with.  How dare she pass judgment on me and my life when she knows nothing about what we went through.  As any mother knows, if someone starts to pick holes in your child you become like a protective tigress.
When we went 'public' with the teen's problems, people fell into two camps - those who sympathised or had been through something similar and those who thought they knew everything and that the condition quite simply doesn't exist.  So there's no such thing as depression then?  Is that what I'm hearing?
So, to all you Putney mums who feel you know me oh so well, I hope your boring little lives where you have nothing better to do than discuss me at your dinner parties are never blighted by any mental health issues.  Oh the shame!  Enjoy your perfect children as they grow and head off in to the world and hope that you never have to stand by them in the way I stood by my son.  I, meanwhile, will be the one having the last laugh as I know who each and every one of you are in the Misfit books and my son has grown into a confident young man, doing a job that he loves. And, do me favour, if you do have an opinion, say it to my face so that I can educate you.  But then that would take bravery wouldn't it?

Rant over!  As you were.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

In Celebration of the Teen

The teen will turn 19 on Thursday, so last night saw us enjoying the first of many celebrations.  We got together with his best friend from primary school - before he heads back to Uni tomorrow - his parents and sister, an old family friend and another of the teen's pals from secondary school.

The theme was 'Curry & Games' and, as usual, we had a ball.

We'd just recently been given a John Lewis voucher for our anniversary so we splashed out on new china and cutlery.  I think our black and white themed table looks pretty glam.

Our dining table had to get ditched in the garden as it's not big enough for nine guests.
This is our ping pong table glammed up by a damask cloth my Dad acquired as an antique dealer.

I'm ready to party.
Still hating the new hair.

As the current obsession in the Misfit House is 'Breaking Bad'
we ordered a rice paper cake topper from eBay for his chocolate birthday cake.
The 'cooking' reference comes from the series!

He was pretty impressed.

Once the meal was over we started on the games.  The Misfits are well known for the daftness of our parties and, thankfully, our guests are always willing participants.

We started with 'A word from a Song' - this involved single words on a piece of paper, picked from a hat and then we each had to sing a line from a song containing that word.  E.g: LOVE - 'She Loves You' or 'Love, Love me Do.'  The aim of the game is to find as many as possible containing the word.

Then we moved on to 'Paper Art'  - we picked a category such as 'animals' or 'things you find in the kitchen' and we each had to tear a piece of A4 paper into the shape of our chosen object.  We were surprised at how many cats and giraffes we had.  Then we had the lazy man's effort of 'a puddle of milk' for 'found in the kitchen'!

Next was 'Alphabet Story'  - we began at a random point in the alphabet and told a story line by line with each person starting the next line with the next letter of the alphabet. E.g:  Amanda went shopping.  But the shops were closed. 'Can't think what to do,' she said.

The game we played for the longest was 'Keep it going' - the teen would find a well known song on his iPod and we would start to sing along with it.  One example was 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.  While we were singing, he would suddenly turn it down so that we were unable to hear it and we had to keep singing to see if we were at the same point on the track when he turned it back on.  Much fun and laughter was had by all, and I have to say we didn't do too badly.

This then led onto 'Joint Bongos' with the teen and his friend taking half a bongo each and bashing out tunes while we danced - quite a lot!

Action shot!
Their hands were moving so fast, they're a blur!

I can't believe that these are the two boys who used to camp on the floor.
Fine young men to be proud of and a joy to spend time with.

And from our boys, I gained a best friend.
(and also a Goddaughter - not pictured)
A sneaky ciggie in the snow, 13 years ago, and we're still going strong.
'You had me at the snow!'

The worst part of a dinner party - the clearing up.
Mr Misfit and other menfolk were at the party but we seem to be short on photos - which, when it came to the dancing, is probably just as well!
We had a fabulous time and were all feeling a little exhausted this morning.  Now ... on to his actual birthday on Thursday.  But first, sleep.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Getting the Chop

I made a pact with the Goddaughter and I stuck to it.  A glass of champagne too many on the Eve of 2013 saw me agreeing to grow my hair.

Now, over a year and a half later, I’m ready to stick a paper bag over my head.  In my dreams I saw myself with shoulder length locks, framing my face in bouncy curls.  In reality, I look like an unkempt mad woman in desperate need of help - from both a hairdresser and possibly a psychiatric nurse.

My hair doesn’t like to grow beyond a certain length.  It just doesn’t get it.  It panics and has no idea what it should be doing.  So during the transitional period, I’ve tried various taming techniques - a few long layers, a tidy up on the length, some very strong words in the mirror.  Nothing has worked.

Mr Misfit hasn’t been much help.  When I told him I was growing it, he frowned.  ‘I love the bob.  The bob is you.’  Now it’s longer he doesn’t want me to go back to the bob!  Men, huh?! But I think the main reason is that he wants to support my hair-brained aspirations and doesn't want to be responsible for a decision I might regret.

After a particularly Wayward Hair Day last week, I booked my hairdresser for this Saturday to do the deed. Now of course, I’m looking in the mirror and my hair’s decided to behave.  It’s the Dental Appointment Syndrome, isn’t it?  The minute the appointment’s made, the toothache magically disappears.

Why are we never happy with what we’ve got?  My hair is poker straight and I long for curls.  Other women with those bouncy locks I long for spend hours straightening the life out of them.  I just wish I could be like the Sindy (or possibly Tressy?) doll I used to play with, and with one press of my belly button, my hair could be either long or short depending on my mood.  Why can’t life be that simple?

I can almost guarantee that when I have my hair cut on Saturday, I’ll hate it.  Hubbie will probably like it because deep down I'm sure he’s always preferred the bob.  My mum will say it’s taken years off me because she hates my hair longer, and ‘Fenella’ will give me a good telling off because she thinks the longer look is ‘more youthful’!

But at the end of the day, I’ve made the decision now and I’m sure, once I get used to the ‘new, old me’ again, I’ll be fine.

If anyone should manage to invent the Belly-Button-Hair-Growing App before then please let me know as I’d happily be a willing tester.