Time to come clean I think. All that skulking around the fish counter and pretending I am buying crab sticks when my eyes are clearly on something else has got to stop. I am close to becoming a menopausal woman for goodness sake. No, you’re not, I hear your cry. Oh, all right then, I’m not. But I will one day and then all this madness will have to stop. So what is it that has me behaving in the manner of a mad woman when visiting my local supermarket. Who or what is it, that drives me to buy twelve tins of dog food when I don’t own a dog? Or has me so demented that I enter the place wearing sunglasses, even when it is raining, in the manner of a celebrity so no one can see the desire in my eyes? It is Jude Law of course. Or more to the point the Jude Law look-alike clubcard man, otherwise known as Frank. I admit to even being tempted to drop by late at night in my P.Js such is my addiction. I see you holding your hands up in horror. I have tried to get this under control you understand. But Valium and counselling have had little or no effect. It all started last summer when I popped in to buy some bog roll. Jude Law accosted me at the door and amidst much swooning and patting of my hair I signed away my life. Well, it felt like that. I actually signed up for a clubcard and have not looked back. I also bought three lots of bog roll as they were triple points as well as 8 packs of crab sticks, also triple points (we don’t eat crab sticks, however we do use bog roll). I went back two days later and Jude Law commented on how nice my hair looked.
‘Oh, I just washed it,’ I shrugged. Well, that is Cheryl, the hairdresser had washed and blow dried it the day before, after highlighting and trimming it of course. But he didn’t need to know that. He showed me the special offers with double clubcard points and would you believe I couldn’t find my clubcard and we had to do the whole registration thing again. That was the day I came home with twelve tins of dog food and four lots of Denture Fixative. We don’t own either dog or dentures.
I am getting into serious hot water now. Today I saw that triple points are on I mean, we just don’t do Durex. We JUST don’t okay. But I was staring at them so closely that I did attract a few odd looks. Then, I saw that cat food has an offer. Now, how do I explain to Jude Law about the cat? Do I say the dog went to doggy heaven in the sky and in no time flat I replaced him with a cat? I mean it would kill two birds with one stone, if you get my drift. I would be rid of the dog and Bendy would at last get some real food instead of those mangy mice he keeps catching. Or do I just go cold turkey and cure myself of this disgraceful habit? I could of course say the cat is my neighbours. Well Bendy does spend a lot of time next door. Okay, okay, just a thought. Perhaps I can put myself on a withdrawal programme. Yes, that’s what I will do. Anyway must go, it’s national chocolate week and we need some chocolate and I could have sworn they were on offer.
“It’s beautiful,” we both enthuse on first seeing the country cottage we had always dreamt of. We had driven through a wooded lane and crossed an attractive bridge, the river shimmering in the sunlight as we drove towards the village. At an almost giveaway price we manage to romantically overlook the cobwebs which seem to cover the entire house (the spiders I would terrifyingly encounter) and the large damp patch on the lounge floor.
“We can make this room look great,” we said, with the evident pride of owners. Of course our experience of builders and insect poison was quite limited at that point but would later become extensive. Again we ignored the creaking doors, never imagining that at some time in the future our magical home would have the power to lock us in at will. We never for one moment saw our cottage as a miniature Amityville horror. How easily we deceive ourselves. Friendly village folk smiled and greeted us warmly as we walked across the village green and had a drink in what we already regarded as our local. We thought how quaint and peaceful it was to have no shops, or street lights. Oh, the pleasure of seeing the stars at night. The primary school, next door wouldn’t be a problem we decided, in fact the sound of children’s laughter would bring us much joy. However, three months on and sticky finger marks on our fence coupled with tiny heads stuck through our railings changed our view somewhat and now, some days I am inclined to favour the idea of our predecessor, which was to chop off their little fingers but I digress and should go back. At that moment we fell in
love, even though we knew the whole house needed damp proofing, and dry rot had to be treated, we were not perturbed. The survey report should have swayed us but it didn’t. We would get everything done, it might take some time but in the end it would look wonderful and as we browsed through house and home magazines every night our confidence grew.
Eventually we would be able to rent it as a holiday home, paying for our own summer holiday. Ah, that was ten years ago. We moved in as partners and married eight years later. Our wedding was held in the garden and the reception on the village green, moving a bit later into the local. But it was not always like this!
We moved in on New Year’s Eve amidst a screaming match. We couldn’t move for furniture as Andrew had chosen to use a ‘man and van’ (who dumped all our belongings into one room and abandoned us to rush to his next job) I could see no end in sight, in fact I couldn’t even see the blooming front door at that moment and stressed as much to Andrew in just a few four letter words. He stressed me more by remaining calm, of course. We finally ambled across to the local pub for a calming drink to find, an invitation only, New Year’s Eve party in full swing. More tears followed before we ambled back, shivering and depressed. A few days later we began working on the house. The first hurdle was the floorboards in the bedroom. No matter how hard we tried the boards would not be sanded. They were too old and badly damaged and the sander kept breaking
‘A hundred pounds wasted on hiring a sander’ I shouted and another row followed as I demanded carpets and he argued to keep the original floorboards. I hate to admit he was right after all. Eventually we got down on our hands and knees to scrub and varnish them ourselves. Of course it would be at these times that the friendly village folk would choose to visit.
“Just say if you need anything?” they would offer as I struggled to rub the paint from my face and hide behind my paint streaked, oversized, holey jumper.
“It’s nice to have some young people in the village” they said struggling not to grimace at the sight of our cottage, which resembled a holocaust inside and a building site outside. The realisation that we were the ‘young people’ sent warning bells about our future social life. Never the less we battled on. I had a near breakdown during a wood lice invasion and it somehow erupted in me throwing a glass of water over Andrew. The memory of this eludes me now… For days our lounge was inundated with loft insulation and I waged a constant daily battle with dust but dust eventually won. Finally, one day, something positive. Our sleigh bed was to be delivered at nine on a Friday morning. It actually arrived at five in the afternoon but I was so excited I overlooked the long wait. At last, our long-awaited comfortable night was here, but we were wrong again. The delivery men looked at our stairs made one half-hearted effort to carry the headboard up and then declared in a bored tone.
“That bed won’t go up there.’
We stared at one another. Oh for pity’s sake.
‘What about the mattress?’ I asked. Our lovely comfortable and very expensive temper mattress.
‘I know all about these things, that mattress will never go up them stairs.” he said knowingly.
‘But if you heat it with a hair dryer it will bend in half,’ said my knowledgeable Andrew.
‘Excuse me mate, what makes you think I carry a hairdryer on the van?’ retorted the other delivery man.
The next thing we knew they had driven off in a cloud of dust with us looking on despondently. I could cry, two thousand pounds down the drain.
“You can choose something else,” the manager of the furniture shop said, but we didn’t want anything else. Therefore, he informed us, we would get our money back minus six hundred pounds for restocking.
“Six hundred pounds! They can bring it back then and I’ll saw the headboard off if I have to. But they will get it up the stairs.” my loving partner declared. I was close to tears, my beautiful bed driven back to the warehouse and next it seemed it was to be sawn to bits. How much could a woman take? Our cottage looked like it had been desecrated, with carpets torn from floors and rubble piling up in my lounge as a fireplace was demolished.
“It will be great when we get back to the original two hundred year old fireplace” Andrew would enthuse. I would nod and think, oh, to live in a normal house.
But there were good moments and still are. Like when we actually did get the bed in. And yes, some neighbours are friendly. The professors next door seems to live in a cloud of smoke, all literary and romantic and seem to permanently sip whisky and find it very decadent to recline in their night-clothes all day. The milkman delivers milk and anything else we need, and oh yes, blessed of all things, the mobile library comes to the village green every Wednesday but I always miss it.
Then, of course, there is the story of Mick, our first builder and the missing plums bag. How I spent a good fifteen minutes looking for a bag of plums when in fact he had lost a Plumbs bag. Something very different indeed and nothing whatsoever to do with fruit. But Mick was the discoverer of our inglenook, so I quickly forgave him. Then of course there was the day we dramatically crossed off our new home list the entry, ‘Buy a dog’ This all came about after one of our neighbours invited us for drinks and their dog almost snapped our hands off when we went to enjoy the nuts that were presumably for us. Not to mention much crotch sniffing which put me off dogs for life.
We, instead, opted for two kittens. Bendy is still with us. Sadly Iris we lost after her first litter.I run a mile whenever I see this particular neighbour and her dog. Also of course there was the day I got locked in my own bathroom due to the decrepit state of the door and had to scream from the window for someone to help me.
But we are still together? Is life in a village as friendly as one imagines? Is everyone popping into everyone else’s house? Well, we are still together, apart from the odd storming out of the house episodes. As we speak, the war on ants and wood lice continues, although at times I think the poison is killing me. But overall, life in a village is great.
Sorting through the bathroom cupboard, I found my Mooncup. Suffices to say it was not fit for wear. Memories of why I bought one in the first place flooded into my head like a haemorrhage (forgive the pun) and I thought what a blog entry that would be. So, hang onto your hats and be prepared. By the way if you are like me, you will be wondering what on earth a Mooncup is. I would never have known had a good friend not introduced me to them. Throw away your tampons and sanitary towels and join the revolution! Save money and never worry about Toxic shock syndrome again and when you came as close to it as I did, for that alone you would be grateful. Okay, I exaggerate a bit, well, maybe a lot but hey I was the one who had a tampon surgically removed. Okay, ready, because, I shan’t be telling this story again in a hurry. So let us go back a few years. It is close to Christmas and a good friend has invited me to her works Christmas party. A great opportunity to buy a posh frock, dress up and basically have a good time. Now, if you’re a woman you probably know all about tampons. Easy to insert (apparently) not in the least bit messy (apparently) Gives you amazing freedom to do just about everything (apparently) and they are safe (apparently.) The latter I would question. But hey, it was probably just my luck. So, here I am, all doled up, posh frock, fake diamonds and all, ready for dancing, should anyone be asking. Just a change of tampon and I will be as ready as ready can be. The next eight hours free of worry and full of fun fun fun. Oh, why does life have a habit of backfiring on me? I had ten minutes. Plenty of time for a quick tampon change, you would think. Oh no, not in this case. My first fumble for that little piece of string didn’t cause me too much anxiety. I still had another hour or so to go before it was due to come out. With as much elegance as I could muster under the circumstances I cocked one leg and tried again. Now, there was a feeling of mild anxiety. Good god where was the damn string? I fumbled and probed and felt myself perspire. I stopped to check the time and then flew back for another go. Five minutes later and almost losing my hand up there I sat down panting onto the toilet seat. Now, I was seriously beginning to doubt I had even inserted one. I mean just high can the thing go? And more importantly how the hell did it get that high? One more try. This time I feel the string. God it is so high I almost lose my arm. Okay another exaggeration. I scream as I pinch myself and quickly give up. I am now fighting the clock in more ways than one. My friend expected me ten minutes ago and my tampon (bless its cotton socks) expires in less than an hour. Frantic now, I grab the Tampon box and yank the Toxic Shock Syndrome advice sheet and slump onto the bathroom floor with it.
* Remember to wash your hands before and after inserting and removing the tampon.
(Well, obviously, I know that!)
* You should change your tampon every 4 to 8 hours
(Oh good lord, it is close to the 8 hours now.)
* Be sure to use the lowest absorbency tampon for your flow.
(A quick check of the tampon box confirms my fear. Yes it is super strength.)
* Always remove your used tampon before inserting a new one.
(I’m bloody trying aren’t I?)
* Be sure to remove your last tampon at the end of your period.
(I’m having trouble removing one In the middle of my period, let alone the end.)
* If you wish to use this product overnight, you may do so, provided that you insert a fresh tampon before retiring and remove it immediately upon waking.You should never wear a tampon for more than 8 hours to reduce the risk of TSS during your menstruation.
I pulled myself up from the floor, grabbed my car keys and drove like a maniac to my friends. She rushed out smiling on hearing my car screech to a halt. I never hated her more in that moment. Dressed to the nines and tampon free, I mean, I just couldn’t help myself. I was so sore in the nether regions from so much poking about that anyone without a period was a target for my hate.
‘We have to go to A&E.’ I announced.
It suffices to say I was not popular. All credit to her, she did agree to come with me. Of course the only thing that propelled me to A&E was fear and that quickly trebled to absolute terror on seeing the board as we entered.
‘Patient waiting time is an estimated 8 hours. Please report to the triage nurse.’
Eight hours! I didn’t have eight hours to spare. I would be dead before they even got near my vagina. This was turning into a nightmare. My friend pushed me into the queue and found herself a seat. Constantly checking my watch, I edged closer and closer to the desk, very aware of the man with the bleeding arm behind me. Not because of his bleeding arm, you understand but because he would overhear everything I relayed to the triage nurse. I was embarrassed enough.
Finally she calls me over and just my luck she has one of those voices that closely resemble a fog horn. I want to die. In fact I am thinking dying is preferable to the embarrassment.
‘I have a tampon stuck. I have tried everything…’
‘How long has the tampon been in there,’ she interrupts and I feel sure the whole of A&E stops. A bit like one of those John Wayne moments when the stranger walks into the saloon.
‘Almost eight hours,’ I quiver.
‘You’re certain you have one in there?’ She says dismissively looking behind me. Ooh, excuse me is there a better class of patient waiting?
‘Well, yes,’ I say feebly. ‘I can feel the string.’
Did the man behind me tut?
‘Is it a regular one?’
‘Super,’ I say blushing and she raises her eyebrows. Is this bad?
‘Have you had intercourse?’
Good lord is that relevant?
‘Well, when do you mean exactly?’ I ask stupidly.
She shakes her head.
‘Today, have you had intercourse today with the tampon in?’
Does she think I am totally stupid? The look on her face tells me she obviously does.
‘Of course not,’ I reply defensively.
‘Take a seat.’
I question whether I really ought to be seen urgently but it seems to be met by a sneer.
And so we wait and we wait and my friend gets more and more anxious and I get more and more convinced that the symptoms of Toxic shock are beginning to show. At 10.30pm I am called in. I have been there 4 hours and the tampon has now been in for 12 hours. My days are numbered. My friend assures me it is fine and that the symptoms of Toxic shock are not that bad. She obviously has not read the same horror stories I have. I leave her wallowing in her ignorance. I then spend what seems like agonising hours being poked by a very handsome doctor and trust me it was not as nice as it sounds.
‘Are you certain you have a tampon in here,’ he calls from somewhere within my nether regions.’I can’t even see it. How did you get it so high?’
Well, if I knew that…’
‘Shall I have a go,’ offers a nurse.
Why not. Anyone else want to get in the queue? Trust me if you want to hang onto your dignity, don’t lose a tampon up your… well anyway. So, the nurse has a go and the doctor tries again. Forceps are requested and general surgery is discussed. Then the words I had been dreading.
‘We have to get that out. If it is in there much longer we will face a serious threat of toxic shock. Prepare for surgery.’
My heart sinks and I think it is time to call my husband. Forceps are pushed in and the nurse screams.
‘I see it,’
I almost cry. I have been vindicated.
‘Can you grab it,’ asks the doctor urgently.
More probing, more pinching, more biting of my lip and she calls out triumphantly that she has it.
‘Push,’ orders the Doctor.
This is probably the closest I will ever come to giving birth so I make the most of it. I push, she pulls and this lasts for all of a few seconds and then she is holding it up for all to see. Suffices to say they did not wrap it into a blanket and hand it to me while tears were shed all round.
Walking rather like John Wayne I approached my friend and with great difficulty drove us both home. After that little story do you blame me for resorting to the Moon cup? Talking of which I am heading over to Amazon to order a new one as we speak
I was just about to put my newest blog entry on when I remembered my friend Harry had given me an award, The versatile blogger and getting an award from The dribbling pensioner is no mean feat. I feel rather like a celebrity receiving my second award. I feel as breathless as Kate Winslet. Thank you Harry.
Now i have to tell everyone seven things about me.
1 I see the days of the week as colours and was amazed to discover only a year ago that not everyone does!
2 I was once a teacher.
3 I love raw potato and thought most people did. How wrong can you be?
4. I didn’t start driving until I was in my thirties and was thrilled to pass first time.
5) I have been up in a microlight at least twenty times and loved it.
6. I met my husband on the internet and met him without having a clue what he looked like. I have been with him ever since.
7. When I was seven I took a ring from Woolworth. My mother rushed me back with it and threatened to tell the police. Suffices to say I have never robbed a shop since.
Well that’s my seven facts, and its my part of the award completed, now to pass it on to 15 people. The problem is I don’t know 15 people so I will pass it onto those I know are new and deserving.
Now, if you accept the award you will have to do as i did, the rules are below.
1.Post a link to the person who gave you the award thanking them for the award.
2.Tell your readers seven random things about yourself.
3.Award up to 15 newly discovered blogs.
4.Send them a note letting them know you nominated them.