Housekeeper’s Diary

It is March. And I am fifty. Two things that strike me as quite impossible for wasn’t it Christmas just yesterday. And surely I am just twenty-eight? Time, my sister tells me, doesn’t exist, so therefore yes, I declare myself under thirty and just about ready to step into the New Year if you don’t mind?

Gosh yes, March and not a child in the house washed as we like to say in these parts. Though rest assured I am thoroughly scrubbed after a blissful hour taking a mid-morning bath because the house was empty for once so I could scare the kitten by singing at the top of my voice as I splashed in salty bubbles and chose not to be industrious. For industrious can grate on a person you know? Industrious has a person feeling obliged. And I swear there is nothing quite so exhausting as obligation. I’m simply refusing to get involved with it lately. In fact I have taken up saying no. No, I won’t drive you to Outer Mongolia at 9.37pm a fortnight from this Wednesday, No, I don’t really fancy meeting your here, there or anywhere to do this, that or the other, and absolutely not, I will not be helping you when it is quite clear you can help yourself.

But heck people don’t like it. I say no, and I swear people look aghast. As if I have just refused them access to the means of saving their lives. If they aren’t aghast, they don’t believe me and quickly move into persuasion mode, bargaining with she who will no longer be bargained with because she is taking a firm stand against even the most minor of travesties against her person.

Yes indeed, NO it is! I think in fact you get a bucket full of No in with the flowers you receive on your fiftieth birthday and thereafter can chuck it any which way you want. For heavens I have received a florist full of beautiful flowers this week. A beautiful Bloom & Wild bouquet on the sideboard. A glorious armful of pale pink roses on the dining room table. More daffodils than a person could shake a stick at, because daffodils are life in March, and a huge bunch of lilies, standing proud and hilariously high on the wardrobe in my bedroom, because Ste didn’t realise that the merest flutter of yellow pollen could kill his beloved kitten dead and so they have had to live where said kitten isn’t allowed to place even the most tentative of paws.

Of course adopting a new persona can be dangerous. all hell could break loose! Once upon a time Mark (Fin’s Dad) bought a book called Take No S**T. And all of a sudden there he was taking no s**t left, right and centre and shortly after decided that the answer to dealing my s**t was to leave me. Rude, I think you will agree? But one has to admire a man of principle and seen as it was seventeen years ago and he is still my bestest friend, I am almost certainly considering forgiving him in the very near future.

You will be pleased to hear though, that my own version of NO, will not be extending to packing my stuff in a bin bag and taking my Ste out to McDonalds to announce my intention to set off and see if the grass is greener in Wigan as he who takes no s**t did, In fact I’ve mostly been practising my No’s on the cat, who frankly couldn’t give a damn and is clearly of Mark’s ilk, in so much as not giving a flying monkey about anything other than the scrunched up piece of paper he is currently guarding with his life and causing a screechy riot if any of us dare to leave the living room. I swear he operates a permanent head count and is quite the neediest little something I have ever encountered. But we must love those we love warts and all mustn’t we?

I, for example, now have to deal with Finley going to bars and then coming back to knock on my door at silly o’clock to discuss the pressing matters of the evening. While time according to Helen’s lore does not exist, these kind of chatty shenanigans didn’t happen when he was twelve, and shouldn’t happen at all in the small hours and I must confess I’m starting to understand why the kind of Mums who do have’em, breathe a sigh of relief when their own gossipy party-goers decide to go and party in a university town far, far away. For while I consider myself deeply blessed to have a child who LIKES TALKING, I’m really not that fussed on talking at one o’clock in the morning now that I am veritable old lady, but know that I will miss it when he’s moved out, so prop my eyes open with matchsticks, and merrily discuss his hair, the correct way to dance and the outrageous price of a single bottle of cider at Cactus Rays, until he’s almost asleep and I am wide awake and ready to drag myself into the day.

So yes. That’s something to look forward to tonight isn’t it?

What else can I pop onto my list of Friday night joys? Well now, there is the Velvetiser I got for my birthday and must now declare essential to my future happiness because there is nothing quite so divine as a mocha hot chocolate whipped to a frenzied foam and poured into a white ceramic beaker. Honestly the whole process of this foamy whippery chocolate making machine is making me quite giddy. Combine this with a salad and I do believe I’ve got the pleasure/pain principle boxed off quite nicely when it comes to nutritional matters. One must both sacrifice and indulge don’t you know?

Hmm let me see, what else? Oooh yes, another episode of the quite mad Servant on Apple TV, (one will quite simply never see Ron Weasley in the same light again), the arrival of our lovely Stevie for the weekend, a slither of Cotswold Lavender chocolate (the most lavendery of lavendery chocolate I have ever encountered) and perhaps a gin for Ste and I, sprinkled with juniper berries and rose petals I shall chuck in myself, while he massages my feet and I sit and practise saying No to every request the kids make!

Is it any wonder they call me Lady Muck?


On the Calendar Today…

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  1. Happy 50th !!!!! Lots of love. I know what you mean, am currently working my tearful way saying no to all sorts of things xxxx

  2. Oh do I hear you clucking My Dear Alison!! πŸ˜‚ Who would have thought two simple letters could make up such a powerful affect on our lives! I too, have been slinging around said word quite a lot lately and agree that it is most marvelous! Oh happy day! πŸŒΈπŸ’πŸŒ·πŸ’

  3. Alison..HappyHappy Birthday! I believe your 50th year is off to a fabulous start. Tossing in few NO’s here and there may ruffle a few
    feathers but life will be so much more enjoyable for you. And I really really love your blogs! The best part of your website I do think.!

  4. Happy birthday, dear Alison! While I do often wish for the body I had at 30, I wouldn’t really want to go back. There really *is* something about a woman turning 50. And as I’ll be turning 60 this summer, I’m looking forward to further revelations. Enjoy your 50s!

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