Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Hello! I've been sent to kill you!

Well hello there, strangers. If June wasn't Mama's Headfuck Month of Hell, I don't know what was. Shit just went... BLARGHREOGJGWPEOWKFSPFLCSDPJGS. Just like that. I think my brain disappeared into some kind of hellish vortex of Nigerian scam e-mails and screaming children, combined with a leaky boiler and a house so shitted up that it resembled post-war Berlin. It was horrible. I should've written it all down, in fact, as a kind of whiny catharsis. Several times I caught myself thinking, "Don't I have a blog somewhere?" Instead, I drank wine. Quite a lot of it, actually. Never mind, I'm back now. Come and give the errant mama a cuddle.

June: A bad month to be The Monk.
Would you look at that title, kids? Doesn't it just scream glamour and film noir? I hope it does, because a few days weeks ago (THAT's how long I've been trying to write this bloody entry for), mama got her a death threat. Mama has that effect on people. Before you all get too excited though, I should point out that the death threat in question was sent to me via e-mail by a rather confused-sounding chap from Nigeria. I get THOUSANDS of these scam e-mails every week, thanks to my little hobby of baiting the people who send them, but this was my first-ever death threat. It's like a trophy - an Academy Award for scambaiters - and I'm very proud of it. He's not a very good scammer, though - he didn't even get round to asking me for my bank account details.

I feel obliged to present the overly-lengthy missive in its entirety, here on this very blog, because I don't believe I can do this thing justice in my own words. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you... Clement Joshua, the only professional assassin I've ever heard of who greets their soon-to-be victims with a cheery hello:

You can RUN but can never HIDE
04/06/12 10:22 PMLess info"Clement Joshua" <>To:<No Recipient>

Hello am i am a professional hired killer
You don't know me but I know you
Because i am paid to kill you, your daughters and your boys

Everything about you I have been told this is
What I do for a living

There is only one way you can help yourself if you want to live again That
is why am WRITING you

Note: this do not involve the police
or let any one know about this, If you do I have no choice but kill you
Don’t be surprise why am letting you know
I want to help you if you will co-operate with me
Contact my email if you want to live

But if you don't have respect 4 life, be prepare to dance to the music
of the dead. I am very sorry for you , It is a pity that this is how
your life is going to end as soon as you don't comply. As you can see
there is no need for me introducing myself to you because I don't have
any business with you, my duty as I am mailing you now is just to
(KILL YOU ) and I have to do it as I have already been paid for that.

Someone you call a Friend wants you Dead by all means, and the person
have spent a lot of money on this, the person also came to me
and told me that he wanted you dead and he provided us with
your name , picture and other necessary information we needed about
you. So I have sent my men to track you down in Location and they
have carried out the necessary investigation needed for the operation
on you, and they have done that but I told them not to kill you that I
will like to contact you and see if your life is Important to you or
not. Since we have find out that you are innocent.

I called my client back and ask him of your email address which I
didn't tell him what I wanted to do with it and he gave it to me and I
am using it to contact you now. As I am writing to you now my men are
monitoring you and they are telling me everything about you.

Now do you want to LIVE OR DIE? As someone has paid us to kill you.
Get back to me immediately when you get this mail.



Lucky You

You can RUN but can never HIDE

Lucky Me indeed! Poor old Clement Joshua. Of course, I didn't contact the police, but I did tell half of Facebook and anyone else who appreciates appalling, slightly archaic use of the English language. When I finally get round to replying to the guy (a lady is always fashionably late to her own execution), I'll post any responses on here. I rather like me some scammer drama, even if it IS badly spelled and cornier than "Sunset Beach". I'm troubled by the fact that this guy has a picture of me though - I'm notoriously unphotogenic, and I wasn't even allowed to choose which photo he was supplied with. I hope it's one of me on a good day (washed, dressed, wearing trousers), because then there's very little chance of me dancing to the music of the dead when I wander around looking like shit 95% of the time.

Speaking of drama (although not exciting assassination drama, boo!), today, Gabriel is on a mission to do as many fucking annoying things as possible in 60 seconds. I don't enjoy these little challenges he sets himself, because things get broken - things like phones, laptops, charger cables, games consoles, and mama's patience. Then he pours orange juice over the wreckage and makes this weird hooting noise. And then he falls off the sofa. And screams. And runs around like his ass is on fire. Kid's just a noisy blur these days.

Monk's speech is slowly advancing. Instead of a constant loop of "Who dat who dat wha dat wha dat?", he now breaks it up with "Lemme ha dat who dat TACK TOCK TACK TOCK wha MUMMMMMM issssh issssh issssh." I do love hearing his sweet, cheerful little voice, just not at 5 in the morning, banshee-style, because he's thrown his favourite toy out of the cot *yawns*.

I've missed writing this thing, I've just realised - I promise not to neglect you anymore, little bloglet! I enjoy reading the traffic stats for this blog too, despite the fact that as soon as this post is published, I'll probably be deluged with scammers messing up the figures. In the past fortnight, someone came here by searching for "Don't mess with my truck shit head". Another was concerned with "Carla Bruni bad mental state" (a LOT of people come to mama via Mrs. B.-S. and her freaky-faced shenanigans. Thanks bird. The French may not like you, but you've always treated me well). Another hoped to find "barefoot big dick", and "old lemur porn". It's cheering to know that this blog is the Number One source of pornographic well-hung former First Lady primate truck banter on the Internet, especially after the week I've had.

I shall leave you all now, and be warned: if it takes me 4 weeks to blog again, Clement Joshua's probably got me.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Because sometimes a girl needs Samuel L. Jackson at bedtime

Don't get too excited by the title, folks. Mama hasn't suddenly embarked on a torrid affair with dear ol' Samuel L. (for the record, his snake has never been anywhere near my plane), she'd just like him to sit with The Monk awhile and read him a bedtime story. Since the boy-child has discovered walking and running, he's decided that sleep is for pussies. Well I'm sorry short-stuff, but mama loves her some sleep and she has no intention of letting a dinky punk like you spoil that for her. Whenever you're ready, Mr. L. Jackson.

Fortunately for His Royal Monkness, last week he had the good sense to nod off early and let me indulge in my yearly guilty passion: the Eurovision Song Contest. It's the best thing ever, I'll watch it from start to blood-stained finish wherever I happen to be in the world (what can I say? Mama knows how to rock out). I love it like I love puppies, and believe me, I fucking LOVE puppies.
See this? I fucking LOVE this.

I was also under massive duress to perform the role of Twitter commentator that night (for which I thank the lovely Claire), which I'm proud to say I fulfilled with enormous (and shamefully drunken) gusto. I was hashtagging like a motherfucker and unstoppable in my eloquence; I think I averaged one Tweet every 30 seconds or so, usually consisting of words like 'fuck', 'shit', 'what' and 'bitch'. I even had Notepad open at the same time on the laptop, so I could take notes about each contestant and inform you all in exquisitely fine detail about Eurovision in its entirety. So yeah, that kind of went to shit as the evening wore on and the wine ran out:

Mama tried her best.
Mama even got her some new Twitter followers, which is a huge achievement considering that proper Twitter etiquette dictates that any batshit crazy Eurovision babbler should be deleted post haste. Maybe they were all touched at the beauty and incisiveness of my words. Most probably, they were all drunk too and just liked all the swearing. I can't be sure, I had hiccups at that point and all the keys were starting to merge into a hazy fug before me. Wine is AWESOME.

Come to mama, sweetie.
Next morning, though, me and wine weren't on the best terms. We'd had a bit of a row during the night, and it punched me in the head repeatedly. There are times, people, when all a mama wants to do is collapse on the sofa, sob in self-pity and write her a little blog post about her poorly head. Of course, this is The Monk's cue to wake up yelling and complaining that he's hungry. Breakfast time is not Mama's favourite time with her son, with or without the room spinning.

The Monk hates his highchair with an absolute passion. As soon as he's slotted into it, he acts like the bastard thing's out to kill him. What makes it even worse is that we paid the best part of a hundred quid for that asshole chair, when it turns out he actually prefers to lord over us from the heights of a twenty quid piece of shit from Ikea, the ones you get in restaurants (this bitch LUNCHES, kids). As a result, myself and the boy have developed an alternative breakfasting style: in short, putting his plate on the pouffe and letting him circle it like a wary pony. It's not a good technique, it's actually a fucking awful technique (have you ever attempted to minimise Cheerio spillage, when the only way your kid allows himself to be fed is if he stops for a few seconds in front of you as he runs around screaming?), but sometimes food actually finds its way into his noisy trap and it's all good 'til lunchtime.

"Get that chair away from me, woman."

It's just dawned on me that I've said next to nothing about the quality of Eurovision itself this year (oh yeeeeah, I'm back on it!). In a nutshell, it was Eurovision; same glossy, hyper-camp, Baltic states-favouring shizz as every year, and I hope it never changes. I vaguely remember Sadako from "Ring" winning, and claiming to be Swedish. And now I leave you with my very favourite entry, from Austria - so good, it didn't even get through to the final. People, I give you... Trackshittaz. Yes, Trackshittaz.

Haha, Trackshittaz.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Emotionally delicate pharmacists and minty freshness with ol' Asbestos Mouth

Excuse me if this post's a little bit disjointed and rambling (and maybe even a little bit sleazy), but today mama went and got herself some glorious German salami (the food kind, kids. Not the 'other' kind) and is now distracted by those speckly pink slices of greasy sex (I really don't help myself, do I). I have to stop every couple of minutes to stuff another piece in my mouth (it just gets worse, doesn't it), so bear with me. Parental Advisory spiel (and parentheses abuse) over.

If The Monk was awake right now, no doubt he'd be trying to wrench the Glorious Salami out of my hands. He'll eat anything he's not meant to eat, up to and including leftover chicken vindaloo from the local Indian takeaway. The other day, he was doing an archaeological excavation under the sofa cushions (don't judge, at least it's vaguely educational if I bury things like newspaper scraps down there) and unearthed a tube of Extra-Strong Mints - y'know, the ones that make most normal adults fan their mouths and wince a little? He ate the fucking lot. I was blissfully unaware of this until I went to scoop my dribblier-than-usual spawn off the sofa, and found he was glued to it. I eventually separated baby ass from sofa leather with a sound like flypapers being torn apart, and promptly plopped my minty-fresh son and his flame-retardant mouth in the bath, to the soundtrack of "WHY do you keep doing this to me, you're NOT a nice baby and mama's putting you in the BIN next time bla bla bla (Why Must I Keep Repeating Myself remix)" *deep breath*.

Gabriel seems to live down the doctors' surgery at the moment. I toted him down there yet again a couple of days ago, after his eyes became so bloodshot it looked like he'd been smokin' some sweet, sweet herb. After being diagnosed with hayfever and doing the rounds of the whole waiting room - waving, clapping, shaking hands, signing autographs - we went to collect his prescription.

Our pharmacist is a very nice Italian man, and he's tickled pink by The Monk: "Such a happy baby! He smiles all the time, I love him!" (try experiencing the 'happy baby' for 24 hours, Mr. Pharmacy Man). Because said pharmacist is male, Gabriel couldn't give less of a shit if he loves him or not, so as soon as his feet hit the floor he toddled out of the room. Mr. Pharmacy Man was sad. He tried to summon my wayward boy with clicky noises and plaintive cries.

Effing heartbreaker
"Mister Gabriel! Mister Gabriel! You want your medicine? It will make you better, little friend!"
The Monk wobbles briefly into view, waves his arms and shouts "NO."
Mr. Pharmacy Man's face crumples a little, and mama does the whole "Excuse my kid he can be a dick sometimes" thing as she grabs the meds and the child and runs away. I can't handle hurt feelings, especially when my spawn is the source of it. Poor Mr. Pharmacy Man. I should take some biscuits in for him to cheer him up.

I'll be blogging much earlier next week, because I know you're all straining at the bit to read my thoughts on the sacred institution that is the Eurovision Song Contest. I'll be camped out in front of the TV from start to blood-soaked finish (am I getting confused with 'Battle Royale' now?), notebook in hand - so I don't miss out on any precious nuggets of Euro-tat for you, my beloved pair of readers - and a synapse-disconnecting amount of wine at my side. I might even get me some more salami.

Try not to upset your pharmacists, kids. You might need them after my next post.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Scrapyard gourmet

Gabriel's got a new game he likes to play with us now, unofficially known as 'Hey Parents, Guess What I've Got In My Mouth (Before I Run Away)'. It does pretty much what it says on the tin. The kid is fast turning into a small human dustbin; so far this week, I've recovered a chunk of plaster he picked out of the wall, an ancient toast crust, a bottle top, some business cards, and some assorted woodlice. Very rarely, though, will you find fresh food that tastes pleasant in his mouth - shit like that simply isn't up to The Monk's discerning gourmet standards. It's like a scrapyard in there. Constantly keeping one eye on his grabby little hands and his Aladdin's Cave of a mouth and the other on the PC is giving me a migraine. I'm starting to look like Marty Feldman.

"Got my eye on you, kiddo."

Shit's getting tough, now that Monk's walking. The TV stand is a source of endless fascination for him, especially the Sky box. He manages to record programmes (usually some mildly distressing crap involving televangelists, the freak) completely by accident, and then play them back over and over and OVER again, and d'you think mama's got that shizz figured out yet? Does she buggery. I can barely change the channel successfully without throwing a tanty. He stands there, merrily pressing all the buttons he can get his sticky little fingers on, so we've pretty much given up trying to watch anything on TV now. We only get 'Eastenders' punctuated by overexcited pastors who WANT-AH your MONEY-AH PRAISE THA LAWD!!!!

The boy's also mastered the Advanced Sofa Climb, as we discovered one day when we found him perched on the sofa by the living room window, shouting at passing pedestrians and attempting to rip his nappy off, Hulk-style. I wish I could've got a picture, but sadly mama was all "Oh my fucking CHRIST Gabriel get DOWN and stop SHOUTING" and slightly more concerned with preventing the bloody kid from launching himself out the window. Sorry peeps.

It's a pity that he hasn't quite got to grips with the whole sofa dismounting thing though. As soon as he got bored with licking the window and smooshing his open mouth onto it like some kind of simpleton goldfish, he started looking for a way down. The concentration on his face was something to behold as he stared at the seat, then at the floor, and back again. He formulated a cunning plan, and I grabbed the popcorn. This gon' be GOOD.

So off he goes. I watch in paralysed fascination as he inches forward on his bum, peeps over the edge... and fucking bellyflops to the floor. He sounds like a boulder being dropped from a first-floor window. I finally manage to make my legs work and run to scoop him up, just as the window-rattling howl of injustice escapes from his gummy little mouth. Gabriel often forgets to breathe when he's in full wailing mode, which I like to call "The Carla Bruni Effect". His entire body goes bright pink and rigid, his mouth gapes open cartoon-fashion, the tears start brimming in his eyes, his little fists shake and he stays like that for a good 10-20 seconds before he unleashes the crying beast (along with a stream of babble that might be swearing, I can't tell). Thank THA LAWD!!!! he can't talk yet. I get the feeling he's going to be bloody verbal when he's pissed off.

His first word, I'm almost certain, will be "MINE." I can see it in his eyes. Carpet cleaner? Mine. Contents of mama's bag? Once emptied onto the carpet and given the taste test (including receipts and keys), mine. Empty yogurt pot? Got my name on it, lady. The game ejected out of the Wii while Daddy wasn't looking? I OWN that shit, at least until I snap it in half, in which case it's Mama's and I had nothing to do with it. You get the picture.

Wow, I can really go on - I've just read this back to myself and all I can see is a pixellated ream of shit. Probably where The Monk gets it from. Later, kids - I'm off to fling myself off the sofa and send all my money to some religious nutjobs. You've been a great crowd, I'm here all week. Don't rush to applaud or anything, okay?

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Carla Bruni made my kid cry

The Monk just alternated indignant screaming with biting off chunks of pink wafer, then continuing to scream as he chewed. I'm assuming he was pissed off at something, as he went on for quite a while (nothing unusual there), but you've gotta admire the boy's multi-tasking efforts. If ever I try to eat and rage at the same time, people start expressing concern for my mental wellbeing and shielding their faces from flying food detritus, because when I fury-munch, I AM SEXY.


Sunday night was a horrible mess of sleeplessness. Gabriel was cutting a molar tooth and had been a pain in the ass all day (in all fairness to him, it did look bloody sore, like a hot cross bun-shaped torture device), so 2:30 in the morning saw us wide awake and cuddled up in mama's bed watching the coverage from the French presidential elections, because dammit we know how to party in this house.

I must be one of the only people in Europe who's sorry to see Sarkozy go, but my reasons are hardly political. I've always been rather fond of the slimy little fucker, in the way that I'm fond of hamsters and all other furry or preposterous characters (Prince Philip and Silvio 'Bunga bunga' Berlusconi make up my unholy trinity of favourites here). I love his Cuban heels, his extravagant fibs (taking down the Berlin Wall, anyone?), his total lack of people skills, and his propensity to steal shiny pens. I just want to pinch his wrinkly little cheeks and pop him in my pocket. And as for Carla Bruni, well - she's the Facebook friend we all have that really needs deleting, but you just keep her for the lulz. Plus I have a morbid fascination with her ever-mutating face. It's like the Bride of Wildenstein before it all went totally fucking tits up.

Sarko and Silvio, just being themselves. Bless.

Although by rights, I should've found no joy in this whatsoever, I discovered today that Mrs B.-S. (LOVE that) is 'threatening' to relaunch her solo music 'career'. I was THRILLED. I haven't laughed so hard in forever... okay, maybe that's a lie; I laughed quite hard when a plastic ball from Gabriel's ball-spouting toy elephant thing bonked him square on the head, but that's neither here nor there. And I know it's a Daily Mail article, for which I apologise, but the wording of the title had me guffawing into my tea. And I love the picture of Sarko with the big stick. He looks like he's threatening to insert it into a rather baffled-looking Francois Hollande. I wouldn't be surprised if he did actually penetrate him with that big stick; in fact, I imagine the majority of Sarko's life has been dedicated to inserting things into other people. He WAS the President of France, after all.

In the name of scientific research (and for my own sadistic amusement), I decided to get on YouTube and test The Monk's reaction to the dulcet tones of Madame Carla. Seeing as this is the boy who headbangs to Edith Piaf, I reckoned this would be an interesting exercise. I wanted to see if he got the joke.

He didn't.

Carla Bruni made my son cry, and he didn't even have to look at her face. If she learned to eat wafers and have a snotty sobby tantrum at the same time, she'd be fucking unstoppable.

 Put the guitar down, Carla, and stick to scaring children. You're amazing at it.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Big Dick Rasputin and the 7th level of musical Hell

You know you wake up some mornings, and you just know the rest of the day's going to be an absolute bitch? Yup, my psychic powers were a-tingling with that information when I was rudely awoken a little over 2 hours before it stopped being bloody dark. Even binmen and bush-dwelling perverts aren't up at that hour, so I see no need for this still-poorly mama to drag herself out of bed.

Thanks to catching my cold, The Monk passed out at 5:30 last night, which is the kind of awesome behaviour I can really get behind. There was a small voice in the back of my head, warning me that the boy would most likely wake up at stupid o'clock, dehydrated and starving and determined to make up for all the noise we were spared by his early crashing, but the correct medication (percentage-based beverages) silences noises like that quickly and effectively. So mama and daddy went to bed, watched "Benidorm" (never before have shitty all-inclusive resort holidays looked like so much fun), and rediscovered that elusive little minx known as Sleep. She's beautiful, in case you didn't already know.
Mama wants her some o' THIS.

Sleep decided to go back to her husband at around 4:35 this morning, citing irreconcilable differences and the fact that "it's not you, I'm just not ready to have kids yet." This is probably something to do with Gabriel getting up especially early so he could set about composing today's V-Tech Symphony Of Nightmares, featuring instruments of torture such as the Musical Helicopter, the Overly-Cheerful Kitchen and the Keyboard-Phone of Hades. He's always ridiculously pleased with his opuses, sitting and waving his arms amongst the unholy din whilst he yells at me to get out of bed and listen to his hard work.

The lesser-spotted Sleeping Orchestrator of Misery.
"Give mama 5 more minutes, puppy."
"No! You will listen to my music! You will listen to it NOW!"

It doesn't help when you need to be out of the house by 8:15 for an appointment with the doctor. The Monk's temperature was up, and every cough that came out of him sent him into fits of tearful hysterics not unlike the ones I go through every morning, when I wake up and see that fucking Teleshopping is blaring away on the TV. I hate Teleshopping, it makes me want to buy stupid things like steam mops that break, and unusual-looking exercise contraptions that are eventually sent to pasture as clothes horses.

Speaking of horses, a friend of mine gave life to one of my dearest wishes today. Growing up, I was an enormous fan of Spike Milligan (I still am); I spent one Christmas in stitches over his version of "Black Beauty". I desperately wanted a horse of my own at that point, and wanted to name him after Black Beauty's father, Big Dick Rasputin -- idyllic childhood reminiscence-style music squeals to a halt -- and you can all discuss my cheerful choice of moniker amongst yourselves. I was never to own that horse, BUT I did get to know the Awesome Ben, and today he promised (after some squabbling and Facebook status pollution) he'd bestow the wonderfully evocative title of Big Dick Rasputin upon the first person who unwittingly posted something on his Facebook timeline. I am now responsible for someone walking around and bearing the best name on Earth.

The Monk can keep his dumbass musical compositions. He'll never rule as hard as mama does.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Monk Is From Mars, Trampolines Are From Venus

Mama's poorly today. My lungs are trying to make their escape via my mouth, and my head feels like it's turning itself inside out. The Monk, ever sensitive to my moods and physical state, has decided to spend the day being a complete and utter shit. Food flinging, drink spilling, tantrum throwing, eardrum-debilitating shrieking and games console battering have all been on the menu so far, and it's still only early afternoon. I've been told that this is one of the joys of having a son, but in my current fuzzy-headed, snot-nosed state, I'm finding bugger-all joy today, friends.

"Time to get up, mama. I've got PLANS."

Onward to more pleasant things. A week after his first birthday, The Monk took his first few tentative steps. He's lurched around on his feet before, but it always seemed to be by accident; this time, the boy was WALKING.

The best part of me was filled with love and massive pride, because my formerly wriggly, flailing baby was making proper progress. He toddled along the carpet, arms outstretched, Cabbage Patch Doll smirk on his face, absolutely thrilled with himself. It was beautiful. The lesser part of me? Well.

"WHAT IN THE NAME OF FUCK WILL I DO NOW?!?!" quoth the lesser part of me. The part of me that relies on flail-time in order to have a bath. The part of me that feels the need to do housework uninterrupted (admittedly, that part took very little silencing). The part of me that said "Oh, it's alright, we won't need to buy stairgates/childlocks/other assorted barrier devices just yet!" It's all bullshit, my friends, because you always need the stairgates/childlocks/other assorted barrier devices, even when all they do is lay flat on their backs. Especially when your child is drawn to electrical appliances like a moth to a sodding flame. I get the feeling that our blogging adventures haven't even started yet, kids...

The Monk's also taken it upon himself to act as Trampoline Monitor at toddler group. He's had a long-standing love affair with the trampoline since the start, and he wants everyone to know about it. He adores it. He crawls under it like a more realistic Bear Grylls. He runs his pudgy little hands along its brightly-painted curves. He smooshes his face into its tight, springy floor... I'll stop there. Moreover, he wants the others to show his bouncin' belle some fuggin' respect, to treat her like a lady, and not like some elasticated plaything. Otherwise, he's forced to take action... and I'm forced to document it through the medium of hastily-taken iPhone pics. Enjoy. Or not. It's up to you.

"Hang on. What's going on with my trampoline?"

"Let me get my fucking pump truck."

"Make the most of it, girlfriend. You won't be on here much longer. Prepare to eat crash mat."


I do love that boy, even if he has insisted on squawking like Hell's own parakeet for the past bastard hour. Honestly, I've never met anyone - man, woman, child-creature - who feels the need to make SO. MUCH. FUCKING. NOISE. before. It's like having tinnitus. I swear, if I can stay awake long enough, I'm going to camp by The Monk's cot tonight and unleash the loudest "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH" I can muster. Right in his little pink ear. All night long. The neighbours will complain, the dog next door will bark, the police will probably be called, but I don't care. Gabriel will have Learned A Lesson.

Or I could just buy earplugs.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

In which mama turns art critic and keeps hold of her bits

I've been meaning to sit down and get this post finished for well over a week now, but unfortunately embuggerances like an exploding oven and a cantankerous boiler have succeeded in keeping my ass from the computer chair. Apologies, folks! I will neglect you no longer.

Your bits: keep hold of them.

For The Monk's birthday, we took him to Bristol Zoo, a place that seems to be under a perpetual raincloud. Monkles has never really come face to face with any animals before, apart from my mother's miniature Dachshund (and the jury's still out regarding Wilf's actual species, he could be anything), so we thought being confronted with lions and howler monkeys would be a wonderful and not at all frightening way to celebrate our darling son's first year.

It was also our first time travelling by train with the boy and his tank of a pushchair. This in itself was an adventure, albeit one I could live without for the rest of my life. The man-whore Monk flirted cheerfully with every female that crossed his path (if wrinkling his nose and murmuring a coy "Deng!" through a mouthful of dry Cheerios constitutes flirting), while mama and daddy prepared for the imminent train-boarding battle. As is always the way, people lurked around like vultures on the platform, desperate to be FIRST!!!! ZOMGWTFBBQLOL!11!1!!!! to board the stupid bloody train, like it's some sort of Olympic event. Maybe it is. Olympic Train Barging and Advanced Carry-On Luggage Hammer-Throwing. Anyway.

Mercifully, The Monk doesn't appear to suffer from the motion sickness that has plagued his mama for most of her life, so he quite cheerily spent the 45-minute journey to Bristol invading peoples' privacy. Pointing, clapping, eyeballing, yelling, denging, and wedging his chubby little face between the seats, thus providing the poor bastards behind us with a glorious view of his grinning mug (something many seem to find strangely perturbing at that hour of the morning). I won't bore you with the details of the rest of the journey: I'm sure you've all seen trains, buses and small people with overworked larynxes before. Move along, people! Nothing to see here!

As soon as we got to the gates of Bristol Zoological Gardens (yes!), we felt the first raindrops, and mama let out an ungodly howl, for mama does not like the rain and - more importantly - mama's hair definitely does not like the rain. I got a fringe cut in on impulse a few weeks ago, which was a bad idea on two counts: first, that I'm the laziest sod on Earth when it comes to my hair, and second, any fringe made out of my dumbass half-curly half-straight 'fro needs attention. All the time. I'd post pics of the outcome of Hair Vs. Rain, but looking at them still makes my heart and ego hurt a little.

The zoo was heaving with families, thanks to the school holidays. Not being the biggest fan of slow-moving crowds, I brandished the pushchair like a battering ram, ready to set any ditherers foolish enough to block my path flying into the monkey house. With my hellish fringe and my badass poncho, I felt like a fucking warrior, seriously. The temptation to daub intimidating stripes of greasepaint all over my face was overwhelming.

Lemur porn.
Despite the crowds and the grizzly weather, seeing the animals was wonderful. Bristol Zoo has come a long way since the sad days of the desolate polar bear enclosure. There are cheeky, curious otters; adorably tiny marmosets; enormous gorillas and all manner of nocturnal beasties, most of which were dicks and just hid in the dark the whole time. Amongst these were Dickhead Loris, Idiot Rat-Like Creature, Twat Possum, Knob-Jockey Aye-Aye and some Cocksucking Insects. Maybe I sound bitter, I dunno. Fortunately for The Monk, who was rather baffled as to why his idiot parents were hauling him around a darkened room in order to hold him up against some glass over and over again, he was able to witness a rather cavalier lemur fellating himself, as demonstrated opposite.

Incognito furry dicks aside, we soon came across my very, very favourite part of the zoo, the thing that keeps me going back time and time again... the schoolchildrens' artwork of the animals, placed at random points throughout the place. It's hilarious. It should be noted here that I'm very much a judgemental asshole, who gets a great deal of pleasure out of critiquing the drawings of others, a la this guy. This includes things drawn by other peoples' little darlings. I have no doubt that my own son's artwork will be similarly judged. I'm a bastard like that, but at least nobody can say I'm precious about it.

This post has gone on for way too long now, so I'll finish up the whole zoo business next time around. It will contain the King Of Meerkats, overpriced beer, strange men with teddy bears, and lion balls. For now, I'll leave you with some shit drawings done by kids who really should have been old enough to know better. Yes, I am a bad, bad person and I'm most likely going to Hell.

Until next time...

What would happen if lemurs were mated with cows. Awful.

My personal favourite, the streak-of-shit otter.

At least you can tell what it is. Proportions need more work.

And finally, a hippo. I know this because it says "Hippo". The "Children Only" notice indicates that we are now at The Gary Glitter Enclosure.

Friday, 6 April 2012

In honour of Baby Monk.

Right now, I have three unfinished blog posts languishing in my Drafts folder. It's not that I ran out of ideas, or that I don't like what I've written - each post is a speshul, yoonique snoflaek - it's just that Things Keep Happening. Things like weddings, or getting mired under with everyday shit like looking after a toddler and keeping the house together ('domesticated' is not my middle name). Things that suddenly render the stuff I'm writing irrelevant for a while, whether it's for a couple of days, or even a few weeks, because there are New Things to write about that need posting NOW.

I'm sure those posts will turn up here eventually; I hope so, as I enjoyed writing them, and it would be an horrific waste of the couple of hours my son spends sleeping every day - the only time I get to update this thing. I could've been drinking wine in that time. Or rocking back and forth in the corner.

This week, one of those Things That Happened to push my last post to the back of the queue was a birthday. On April 5th 2011, at 6:40 in the morning, after a 26 hour labour and much language, I got to meet this little chap.

My life.

My world.

My heart and soul.

My everything.

My baby.

My son.

Gabriel. My newly-minted one-year-old. My King Tiny Man, my monklet, my King Slink, my pride and joy. I've loved him for a year now. He is the greatest gift and the biggest pain in the ass I've ever had. He causes pains in my heart that I never knew could happen. He changed my entire life with his very first cry, he shifted my whole world on its axis. He changes every single day, clambering ever quicker up onto those tiny feet; feet that will soon enough be moving towards school, to friends' houses, to parties, and to the whole life he has ahead of him.

Until then, he is my baby. And he always will be.

We love you, Monkles. Let mama hold you just a little longer.

Happy belated 1st birthday to The Monk... to be continued!

"You're a day late, woman."

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Short and sweet, like my son when he's asleep

Hangovers are terrible things: I've consumed enough wine this week to keep me from tapping out inane bloggy shite for 6 whole days. Fortunately for the couple of people who read my literary efforts, I'm back and I can now sit up unaided.

The Monk has a 3-week holiday from toddler group, due to half term. This is fantastic news on the health front, as it means we're much less likely to contract repeated bouts of toddler lurgy. It's not so great when it comes to knackering the hyperactive little sod out, however; he now attempts to actually jump out of the living room window, shrieking with delight and too much fruit puree. He must be the only kid I know who gets a sugar rush from fucking baby food.

For such a small kid who isn't walking unaided - he still looks like a baby next to the others - Gabriel asserts himself in grand style at playgroup. Bitches in law enforcement outfits on the mini trampoline? No sweat, he'll just grab that sucker by the ankle and fling him into next week. At least, that's how The Monk visualises it: in reality, the kid already on the trampoline has learned to share (an alien concept for my pigheaded loin-fruit), and his mother happens to be watching, so he better be nice to the yelling tot currently trying to displace him, or he'll be facing mama-wrath come hometime.

"Fuck tha police, mama. That trampoline gon' be mine."

Aside from my son discovering entitlement, it's been one hell of an emotional week, folks. My darling niece got married to her lovely husband (now Shiny New Nephew) on Friday, The Monk indulged in some hardcore flirting (and tantrums. Can't forget those), and mama got drunk. Dreadfully, awfully drunk.

I'll keep this post short, as the wedding, the revelry and the subsequent falling over all deserve a post of their own. I'll attempt that one on a day where I've consumed nothing but fruit tea and Omega-3 capsules. Safe to say, I was an horrifically embarrassing, blubbering disgrace of an auntie who probably should've said an emphatic "No, thank you" to the free champagne. But I didn't, and that's how all the best stories start.

I'll leave you with The Monk, suited and booted and trying his best to seduce a cougar.

"How you doin'?"

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Blazing napkins and the Caveman Grillmaster of Doom

After a miserable winter in a house that's over a century old - complete with stone floors, badly-fitting doors and no double glazing - I'm relieved that the weather in our area is finally improving, The Monk’s general outlook on life with it. You can tell he’s a spring baby; any form of adverse weather turns him into a whiner of epic proportions, as it prevents him from dangling out of the living room window, commenting loudly at passing dog-walkers. He can’t be blamed for not liking crappy weather, I suppose, but when your life amounts to little more than being toted around in a snuggly-warm buggy (complete with deeply fashionable raincover), you really do have shit-all to complain about.

"Call that a dog? That's a gerbil, mate."
Sunshine, of course, means barbecues. I fucking love me a barbecue: I love catching a hint of that unmistakeable charcoal grill scent on the breeze, and there’s nothing like getting heavily refreshed and watching my dad turn poor, innocent food into something that really belongs in an urn on the mantelpiece.

My dad is an incredibly intelligent man of many talents, with endless practical skills, but effectively combining food and fire is not one of them. It's so obvious that wielding a pair of tongs and a bottle of beer over the grill totally makes him feel like he's unleashing his inner super-macho caveman, so I'd be a daughter with a hard ol' heart to take that away from him. Did I mention he's also generous? Anything that Dad cremates on his Altar of Manliness comes with a freebie. Sausages come with a sprinkling of grass, from where 'the tongs have a rubbish grip'. Chicken legs come with their own salmonella colonies, thanks to 'your mother buying stupid chickens'. Burgers are heavy on the carbon coating, because 'the smoke got in the way'. Corn on the cob is still frozen on the inside, or else 'it'd be too hot to eat'.

Okay, I admit that one or two of those things don't quite class as generosity (Dad applies a similar mentality to driving and parking), but the man tries his best. And I have to say that his best, no matter how jaw-droppingly poor it is, is far superior to our local supermarket's best. They shall remain nameless to protect their expiry dates.

Local Supermarket is selling a range of barbecues and summer garden furniture, and although they're not known for their displays of marketing genius, today they really outdid themselves. Whilst manoeuvring The Monk's buggy through a maze of pensioners and Jeremy Kyle Show hopefuls, I noticed a firepit amongst the barbecues and deckchairs. It was a fairly nice firepit, all blackened cast iron etc. etc: you could just imagine yourself lolling around outside on a summer's eve, enjoying a nice quadruple vodka by your shiny new bowl of fire.

So, how do you make your target audience want to purchase this fiery biscuit? You make them think of fire, just like I did (and preferably not in a Wicker Man-style scenario, like I did). And how would one go about conjuring up this scorching inferno?

Not like this.

Napkins. OF COURSE. Five or six haphazardly scattered napkins. Oh, and the coal-stirring thing, for authenticity. Let's not forget the coal-stirring thing.

That's a piss-poor fire you got going there, Local Supermarket. DADDY CAVEMAN JUDGES YOU.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Motherly love and food fights at Château Deng

Today is Mother’s Day, my very first one as a full-on honest-to-goodness mama. All week leading up to this momentous occasion, I had rose-tinted visions of being told to ‘stay in bed and relax’, a lovingly made breakfast (ferried up to my bed of relaxation on a silver platter), and a smiley, immaculately-behaved little boy. A little boy who isn’t quite a year old yet, but would somehow have grasped the magic and the sentiment behind the day, and presented me with a thoughtfully chosen bunch of slightly wilted daisies picked from between the paving slabs by the front door. I had dreams, people, dreams. I tripped off to bed last night with the warm glow of anticipation in my stomach (though in hindsight, that was more likely to be the bottle of red I’d quaffed earlier). G’night, monkles my baby. G’night, fiancé – it’s your turn to get up early. Mama’s gonna SLEEP.

But OH NO, that’s just not how my son rolls.

5:30AM. A rustling noise issues forth from The Monk’s bedroom, along with his usual tuneful morning greeting, today enhanced with atmospheric coughing and spluttering. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH. Hack, sniffle.”

5:32AM. The bars of the cot are being rattled by what sounds like a yeti. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH. Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba. Ah-CHOO.”

5:40AM. By this point, I’ve given up hope of The Monk (sometimes he’s called Gabriel, but not all that often) ever realising he’s actually quite tired and should in fact be slumbering peacefully, fingers corked in gob as usual. Of course, one of us is still asleep *casts hateful glare at snoozing man-shape on the other side of the bed*

The Monk’s sleeping patterns have gone to absolute shit at the moment, thanks to the stinking cold he got from some other snot-nosed imp at his toddler playgroup. He goes once a week, spends the whole two hours trying to escape through the village hall’s kitchen, and spends the rest of the week fighting off bubonic plague or whatever new and exciting tropical disease kids are into nowadays.

To add insult to increasingly knackered injury, he’s also going through a phase described by one parenting website as ‘discovering his autonomy’. I describe it as ‘being an awkward little shit’. He’s developed an intense distaste of his plastic baby spoons and bowls, like they’re not good enough for his rosy pink ass now; if I have the temerity to proffer a (plastic) spoonful of something otherwise delicious from the hated yellow bowl, I get THIS face: 

"Foie gras-stuffed three-bird roast with gratin dauphinoise? Off a plastic spoon? Bitch, please."
When confronted with the Spoon of Doom, Gabriel's first instinct is to wrench it out of my hand and fling it across the room, but! Mama's got the speed of a cheetah, the reflexes of a prize fighter, and the sheer bloody-mindedness of a woman who gets TOO. LITTLE. SLEEP: the Hand of Righteousness is clamped around the back of his head, the spoon is shuttled into his mouth (and quite possibly halfway down his throat, sometimes), past the Teeth of Peril, and the dollop of culinary goodness is home free. There's a bit of gagging and sobbing involved, but I get myself together soon enough, and all in all it works very well. 

I'm just thankful he can't talk yet, as I'm having night terrors about the boy morphing overnight into a Stewie from 'Family Guy'-style fiend. I'm quite happy with The Monk's one-word vocabulary (the word is 'deng'. I don't know either). On that front, all is good. Or deng. Just about everything in our house is deng, from teddy bears to staircases, plants, and toilets, up to and including door locks and postmen. Maybe next week's toddler group disease du jour will be dengue fever, ba-dum TISSSSH!

Happy Mother's Deng, everyone.