Wednesday 28 February 2007


WEDNESDAY 28/02/2007

The “end of month” rolls around again. During my working incarnation this was a most stressful and traumatic or joyful and satisfying time. Either way, it was a time when I would not dream of being absent without leave. Now my whole life is absent without leave. Enough of the pity pot. End of month. A subject I could speak about for days.

In the good old days we sweated over every penny and sales were king. The end of month routine gave us all the management information on which to base radical decisions.

Should we pay the VAT or pay the unpaid VAT penalties and pay the mortgage instead?

Should we take a risk and employ that WWW genius? Guarantee him work for 1 year? Was this the way to go?

Should we upgrade a couple of computers?

Should beg the bank manager for more compassion?

Now it seems that my life is run by a bloodless “bottom line” committee. Very professional, cold and unemotional. Sure, I sleep better at nights now, and I can afford to squander the kids inheritance money, but I must admit that I miss the endorphin rushes.

But hey, let's look on the bright side. Yesterday I was invited to meet potential new Sales Managers and won a free lunch out of the deal and this morning I have been invited to view the new website before it goes live. Time for more sport!

Tuesday 27 February 2007


There was a conversation going on in the office recently about “defining moments” which got me thinking. What was my defining moment? Stick with it my friend you are about to discover the real person that lurks inside this old crone. Eagles, eat your hearts out. I swear this is true.

Driving through Tucsan on a hot summers day I spot a beautiful, young, blond cowgirl waiting to cross the road. I point her out to my husband and friends – “see that cowgirl over there, that’s me inside”. “Friends” and old grumpy dissolve into hysterical laughter.

When old grumpy finally recoveres he spots a Dunkin Donut, his real passion. A quick U-turn to sample the delights of freshly dunked bits of heaven leave the “cowgirl inside” wonding how a crone had invaded her body? She certainly doesn’t recognise her from any photographs, although she has to acknowledge that she does look a bit like her mother.

Monday 26 February 2007


Monday again. My sanity hangs of the pathetic thread of waiting for my colleagues to return to work so that I can sit on the sidelines and listen to tales of their fabulous weekends.

This morning I also had another pressing need. I wanted grown ups to investigate why hotels on our Infotel website in Stockholm were booked up for months ahead. Was there to be a mass immigration to the only safe place remaining on this planet? Was there going to be nude dancing in the streets? Was everyone flocking there to witness the public humiliation and ridicule of Gordon Brown (nah! That is happening right here, right now, in this country), whatever, the city was full.

My colleagues are a wonderfully sangfroid bunch of people and to their eternal credit very supportive, loving and tolerant of this old nuisance.

The early birders in IT looked into the problem. Rob to the rescue. He did what all smart alec IT’ers do and immediately bought up a list of available hotels. I hovered behind him getting angry and shouted “Yes, but do what I did. I’m your normal punter and it doesn’t work for me” “OK, what did you do?” “Start at the beginning, type in Stockholm and the Country”. He did Stockholm, Sweden – up comes the list. “Oh! Is Stockholm in Sweden? I thought it was in Denmark. Well, anyway that’s not good enough, it should intelligently inform me that Stockholm is in Sweden”. Everyone looks stunned at my superior logic and intellect and I slink off to lick my wounds – again!

What else can get up to today?

Sunday 25 February 2007


Sunday again. I used to hate Sunday when I was a child. We had to put on our Sunday clothes and sit around all day. No TV because we didn’t have one and no playing out with my friends.

My mother was born a catholic but raised by her grandparents as a Baptist. In fact, her grandfather left the Baptist church because he thought they were too soft. If I might make an observation, this development issue turned my mother into a completely f….d up individual.

If we had gone to church on Sunday it would have broken the day up, but because of the catholic/Baptist issue churches were no go areas. Out of sheer boredom I would occasionally take myself off to church to soak up and thoroughly enjoy the blissful release from stultifying boredom.

Now that I have turned into my mother I have actually grown to love Sundays. I do the Sunday lunch thing, read the papers and snore in front of the TV all afternoon.

Last night our great granddaughters stayed over to bed-hop with us. The four year old is usually the first to throw her doll and then herself onto our bed in the middle of the night followed by her 5 year old sister 1 minute/1 hour or more later. If they both arrived together it wouldn’t be so bad, but waiting for the second coming is like waiting for the second shoe to drop (only people living in flats will understand that expression). One extra body in bed is acceptable, but two is a step too far. That’s when I usually bail out.

This morning granddad gave the girls breakfast (plopped the milk, cereal box, bowls and spoons on the table for the girls to thrown all over the kitchen) and went back to bed to ‘phone friends.

After breakfast the girls start build camps in the living room with towels, sheets, various bits of clothing etc. This needs very careful supervision because it involves the girls surreptitiously seeking out objects with which to decorate their camps (DVD’s, books, dolls etc).

The next stage needs an angry grandmother to stop and involves curtailing two little girls from seeking out painting materials like lip gloss, felt tipped pens etc with which to make the camps “pretty”. Granddad, from his bed, calls this “free expression”

I try to persuade them to play outside on their bikes. The big sister is up for this but the little sister is not. Out of the mouths of babes. “You’re the boss of this house, so make Orianne come out to play with me”. If only!

Warning! A voice crying from the kitchen, “I’m fed up with this house, it’s got no cellotape in”. Best go right now!

Saturday 24 February 2007


At 1710 Davy (aka old grumpy) announced that he was going to clean the car. I asked sweetly if would not have been preferable to do it in the daylight and before the rain came. He wondered out loud what made me such a smart ass and promptly went out to his roomy, brightly lit, dry, double garage leaving me feeling like a fool. Now that’s not very friendly. I think he is having problems with this retirement thing too.

We have friends (believe it or not we do have friends) that actually appear to enjoy retirement. They sanzzy doodle along, doing the shopping thing, playing golf and being very sociable and harmonious with each other. We, on the other hand, may end up murdering each other.

I should explain that we are not really retired, just playing at staying out of people’s hair for a while. When we have lulled them into a false sense of security we will return.

Friday 23 February 2007


I have been respectfully requested to make a controlled withdrawal from my beloved business by my gob-smackingly ungrateful children who insist that they need space to develop and now refuse to listen to my very sensible suggestions and directives. In other words, they want me to retire!

I probably should be careful about bad mouthing the kids or they may one day leave old grumpy (my husband) and me to fester in some rat infested “retirement home”.

So, what will I do with all this spare time that I now have? I know, I’ll have a go at frittering away their inheritance money by booking as many airline tickets as possible in as short a time as possible.

My target list is:

Four tickets to Stockholm in May for old grumpy, a couple of friends and me.
Three return tickets to Geneva going out in July and coming back in August. Two for my great-grandaughters and one for me.
One return ticket in August to Geneva for mother of said great-grandchildren so that she can collect them while I stay on to recover.
Four more return tickets to my glorious mountain hideaway for old grumpy and three more grandchildren (who’s mother is leaving them with us while she goes on the “honeymoon we never had” – bully for her)
Two or three return tickets to New York in October. Why two or three? That’s another story.

When I “discussed” my plan with old grumpy he said “if they (and I’m presuming that he means the kids and not alien beings) manage to get you committed I’m not coming to visit you”. I just told him that I don’t need him to visit, as far as I am concerned he can just blog off out of my life – so there.

I actually lied about my “task for today” being a new idea. On the quiet I have managed to ratchet up quite an impressive diary for the next few months that includes

· a weekend in Bracknell in March (I know, probably not the most exciting destination in the world);
· a “one day at a time” weekend convention in Letterkenny, Northern Ireland in April which we may extend to include an “enquire about the ancesters” side trip to Belfast:
· a racing weekend to the Oaks and Derby in June;
· and last, but not least (as they say) a nine-day trip on the Orient Express from Istanbul in September with my mad mate Monica.

Add to this the new target list and I MAY keep myself out of trouble for a while.