Tag Archives: humour

It’s a good job I care

I shop for my parents’ groceries with Tesco online and have them delivered to their house. Last month, my Mum asked me to get her some kitchen foil “but I want the long one” she told me. So I make sure I buy her the 15 metre roll, not the 5m or the 10m.

Last week, she again asked for kitchen foil “but make sure it’s the long one. I asked for it last time, but I only got the normal one”.
Weird I think to myself because I know I put the long one in her basket. Maybe it was unavailable and they substituted it with the regular one? So I make sure that, this time, I get her the longest one in the entire shop. 30 metres. That’s almost the length of my house – surely to God she won’t need more than that?!

Today, I had to go to Sainsburys for some Gaviscon (for me) and Calpol (for the dog) as they haven’t had any at my local Tesco for a month. “Oh” Mum pipes up “if you’re going to Sainsburys please will you get me some kitchen foil? I only got the normal size again from Tesco last week and I need the extra long.” She looks at me accusingly.
I know for a fact this isn’t true, so I say “Are you sure Mum, because I know I got you the longest one available?”
“Yes I’m sure!” she snaps “It’s definitely not the extra long one. It won’t cover my roasting dish and the one I used to get from Sainsburys covered it no bother”.
And then it dawns on me. She doesn’t want the extra long one, she wants the extra wide one. FFS.

During the same visit, we have a discussion about Covid-19 and the rise in cases in the north of England.
“Aye” my Dad says sagely, “this bloody corra-virus has a lot to answer for”. It makes me chuckle every time 😁.

My Mum got a vouchure for a manicure and pedicure for her birthday in June, so she went to the beauty Salon this week to have her nails done. Quite why someone who has severe heart, lung and kidney disease and is at the highest risk of death from Covid would want to be in a confined space and close proximity to a stranger to have nails that never see the light of day painted defies logic, but I’ve long since stopped trying to reason with her. So I asked how it had gone.
“It was lovely” she tells me. “I asked the girl what she did while the Salon was shut and she told me she had to get another job. But it was miles away in…………..oh bugger, I can’t remember where she said now. “Where was that spot we got that chest of drawers from that time?” she asks my Dad.
“Cockermouth” he replies.
“Noooo” she says, rolling her eyes.
“Well that’s where we got the chest of drawers” he tells her.
“No it’s not!”
“Well we haven’t got drawers from anywhere else!”
“Yes we did! That spot down the long twisty road. Miles away.”
“Whitehaven? Workington?”
“Nooooo!” she shouts, getting frustrated.
“Actually Mum” I interject “I don’t give toss where she was working” because to be fair knowing that isn’t exactly going to change my life.
She huffs at me and sulks.

Eventually we get on to talking about restless legs. My biological Dad had what would now be termed Periodic Limb Movement Disorder and my Mum has always had Restless Leg Syndrome, so it was fairly inevitable that I would inherit RLS. My legs have ‘jumped’ since I was a small child but as I’ve aged it’s gotten much worse and there are now some days they drive me to insanity.
“What you need is some of my Ga-pen-t-i-an” she tells me, “it’s a wonder drug. One tablet and my legs haven’t jumped since”.
“Yes, but you weren’t prescribed Gabapentin for restless legs though Mum” I remind her gently, “you’re on it for the nerve pain following your Guillain Barre and shingles”.
“I don’t get nerve pain” she looks at me like I’m stupid.
“That’s because you’re on Gabapentin”.
“No it’s not!”
“Well, why are you on Gabapentin then?” I ask her as patiently as I can.
“For my restless legs!” she’s getting irritated with me now, so I just nod OK and we leave it at that. The thought of trying to explain that Gabapentin is a highly addictive anti-seizure medication with potentially psychotic side-effects, which has largely been withdrawn from use and would never in a million years be prescribed for restless bloody legs is way more than I can handle.

“Barrow!” Mum shouts out 2 hours later, as I’m tucking into the egg buttie I’ve taken for lunch. “That’s where that girl at the Salon was working during bolt-down” she looks at me triumphantly and I smile sweetly back, while inwardly congratulating myself for not completely losing my shit.

No-one said this caring malarkey was going to be easy, and they weren’t sodding wrong 😉.

The Joys of Middle Age

I’ve decided to go totally off the topic of the pandemic today and talk about the joys of getting older.  I use the term ‘joys’ loosely because middle age, I’m discovering, has very little going for it other than the fact I’m still alive.  Which given the current situation is awesome, obviously, and I am grateful.  Most of the time.  However, life isn’t without its challenges and surviving our middle years, I’m finding, is one such challenge.  With ginormous, fucking knobs on.

I’ve had to wear glasses for driving since I was in my mid thirties, but in my mid forties I started holding my phone at arms length and squinting, and the day I used dog shampoo in the shower to wash my hair because I couldn’t read the label I added reading glasses to my armoury.  I now have 3 pairs of specs: one for distance, one for computer work and one for close-up stuff like cutting my finger nails, and I lose all of them with monotonous regularity.  I stomp round the house, effing and blinding, usually to discover after hours of searching that they’re on my head – often all 3 fecking pairs at once.

In my late forties I had to have a tooth removed.  Of all the age-related things to affect me, psychologically this ranks near the top of my list.  The knowledge that it was physically downhill from then on, and it was likely at some stage I would end up with dentures (DENTURES!), hit me like a sledgehammer.  I am now what is politely called “long in the tooth”, ie my gums are receding at an alarming rate (probably as a result of my fragile hEDS skin) and exposing the nerves.  I can’t eat cold foods or smile when it’s windy without searing pain, and a molar on the opposite side to the one I’ve had pulled is now dodgy.  Yay.

Next came the haemorrhoids, exacerbated no doubt by my stretchy hEDS bowel which produces elephant sized poop.  Sometimes having a crap is a bit like giving birth, complete with beads of sweat and panty breathing while pushing the sucker out.  Piles are disgusting.  Seriously.  Google told me they look a bit like grapes hanging out of your arse and Google was right.  What Google failed to tell me, though, is that they can be really slimey and itch like a son-of-a-bitch.   You know you’re middle-aged when you buy haemorrhoid cream and your Tesco delivery driver nods at you in empathy.

At Christmas I discovered a corn on my little toe.  My life hit an all time low.

For the past few weeks the crack in my backside has been super itchy.  And sore.  It’s had a tendancy to get quite red for some time now, but usually a bit of Sudacrem has sorted it out.  Not this time.  This time I’m guessing I’ve developed Intertrigo and my Tesco basket this week contains feminine wipes, Canesten cream and Johnson’s talc. The irony that, as I age, I’m needing nappy rash cream and baby powder isn’t lost on me.

It goes without saying that I have reflux.  I don’t know a single middle-aged person who isn’t on some kind of stomach medication – whoever invented omeprazole must be a multi-billionaire.  I wonder if he has reflux and is on a PPI?  If he’s over 50 it’s a dead cert.

[Stops for a quick break to scratch my arse.  Did I mention it is ITCHY?!]

I have bunions and am struggling to bend to cut my toenails.  All you young hypermobile people, who can wrap your legs around your head and who think you will always be as flexible as you are now, take note.

Thanks to the Menopause I have aged 5 years in the last 12 months, half my hair has fallen out and I’ve gained 14lbs that I will never get rid of.  My lady garden itches more than my backside, which I didn’t think was humanly possible, and my emotions swing from wailing like an over-tired toddler to wanting to stab everyone I meet.  I’ve never sworn so much in all my life, and I swear a lot.  Every sentence starts with “oh for FUCKS sake….” and every object in my home has, at one time or another, been told to fuck off.

My biggest discovery as I rage my way through my middle years, is that I am the only sane person left on the planet and everyone else is a twat.  I have stopped trying to hide this fact and let everyone know in the most vociferous terms, particularly when I’m driving, that they are, in fact, a twat.   I, OTOH, am perfect.  Obviously 😁







Medicine for the soul

My family invented the word dysfunctional.  You have no idea what my childhood was like and it’s a wonder I survived with my sanity.  Having said all that, one of the reasons I did survive with my sanity is because my parents are funny.  I don’t mean they need their own comedy show, just that even in the blackest moments they can say something ready sarcastic that just makes me laugh and it’s medicine for my soul.

Even now, when my relationship with my Mum is somewhat strained, we still share humour.  It’s a very northern, dry, sarky humour which usually involves swearing, and that not even all British people understand, but it gets me through the day.

I’ll give you some examples:  when I was horrendously ill with M.E. I weighed under 6 stones (80lbs) and just being touched was painful.  I was crying one day and my Mum gave me a tight hug.
Me: ‘I can’t breathe Mother’
Mum: ‘At least you’re being quiet, that bloody wailing was getting on my nerves’
Me: ‘So you’re basically trying to kill me to shut me up?’
Mum: ‘Is it that obvious?’
Me: ‘Where’s Ester Rantzen’s number, I’m reporting you to Child Line’
Mum: ‘Will Ester Rantzen cuddle you when you’re upset?  Noooo!’
Me: ‘Well at least she won’t try to murder me’
Mum: ‘You’re so bloody ungrateful’ 😉

My parents do the Lotto – Euromillions on a Friday and the UK Lotto on a Saturday.  This is Sunday morning’s conversation:
Me: ‘Did you win the lotto?’
Mum: ‘Oh, we haven’t checked it yet, pass us the tickets’
Me: ‘OMG we could be multi millionaires and we don’t even know it’
Dad: ‘What’s this “we” business.  You’re not getting any of it’
Mum checks the tickets: ‘I’ve got one poxy number’
Me: ‘What bloody use are you?  I wasn’t born to be poor.  I need parents who can keep me in the manner to which I’d love to become accustomed.  I wonder if it’s too late for me to be adopted?’
Mum: ‘Your Dad and I have been asking the same question for the past 30 years’ 😉

When I leave their apartment, my Dad will shout after me: ‘Be good!’
Me: ‘I’d love the opportunity to be bad but I’m too bloody exhausted!’

Us discussing Dad’s dementia and whether he should be driving:
Dad: ‘I agree, going through a red light isn’t the best’
Me: ‘Yeah, it is pretty dangerous.  You could kill someone’
Dad: ‘Or damage the car and it’s only 12 months old.  Would that be covered under warranty?’
Me: ‘What?  The killing someone or the dent in your bonnet?’
Dad: ‘The dent obviously, even I know you can’t claim back on your insurance for running someone over stupid’ 😉

In every day life I come across some seriously miserable people.  My next door neighbours are two of the most miserable gits on the planet despite the fact they have a wonderful life, and my elderly neighbour on the other side is one of life’s ‘glass half empty people.’  I went to visit her on Sunday afternoon.
Mary: ‘Oh it’s lovely to see you, it’s been a long, quiet day’
Me, feeling sorry for her: ‘Have you not seen anyone today then?’
Mary: ‘No’
Then a bit later on in the conversation she mentions her daughter & her husband, who live down south.
Me: ‘Oh, so you’ve seen them recently then?’
Mary: ‘Yes, they’ve been staying with me this weekend’
Me: ‘When did they go back?’
Mary: ‘About 10 o’clock this morning’

I really struggle to get my head around miserable, negative people.  Obviously there are days when I can’t see the positive in anything, which is normal and understandable, but the majority of the time I can always find something to smile about, even if it’s just telling Bertie he’s gassing me with his smelly farts and that if he doesn’t stop pumping I’m sending him back to the Rehoming Centre 😉  And I’m always pleasant, no matter how much pain I’m in, how little sleep I’ve had, how nauseous I feel or how exhausted I am.  I always take the time to smile and say hello to anyone I meet, even if the very last thing on earth I feel like doing is making small talk.  However, there are some people who live in my village who, if they were to smile, their bloody skin would crack and who grunt “morning” at me with their heads down.  And one of my postmen has a face like a slapped arse.  What sort of a way to live is that?  Grumpy bastards.

A smile costs nothing and being able to make someone laugh is one of life’s greatest gifts.  My parents may have fucked with my head as a child to such an extent I needed medication and 2 years of therapy to get over it, but I will be forever grateful that they also made me laugh until my sides ached.  If you have people in your life that light you up with laughter be grateful.

Ear ear

My Dad is hard of hearing and wears a hearing aid in both ears. In the past few years my Mum has also struggled to hear, not that she’d ever admit it. When asked, she insisted she could hear perfectly well thank you very much, despite the fact the telly volume was so high they could hear it in Blackpool. In the end I frog-marched her to the Audiology department at the hospital who fitted her with a hearing aid in her right ear.

She’d had it a matter of weeks when she came home one day and it was gone. 3 months later it turned up under the radiator in the Conservatory at my Uncle’s house – we still have no clue to this day how it got there.

From day one the “damned thing” whistled constantly but instead of getting it fixed she just didn’t wear it. Then she had her heart attack and it wasn’t exactly high on our list of priorities. But now she’s stable, and to save both my sanity and my vocal chords, this week I drag her kicking and screaming back to Audiology to have it looked at.

The receptionist stares at us through the glass barrier with a sigh and a “Yeah?” I’ve seen more cheerful looking Undertakers.

“My hearing aid is buzzing all the time and I wonder if someone could take a look at it please?” Mum places the box on the counter.

“Take a seat” we both wait for Miss Frosty Knickers to smile politely and are sorely disappointed.

“My, wasn’t she a happy chappy!” declares Mum just loud enough for the receptionist, and the entire waiting room, to hear who all try not to stare at us as we sit down.  

Eventually we’re ushered into a room smaller than my under-stairs cupboard and the technician, who doesn’t look old enough to’ve left school and is sporting a beard which looks like it’s stuck on, asks: “What seems to be the problem Mrs H?”

“My hearing aid whistles all the time and it drives me nuts”

Me: “Even the dog can hear it, and gets confused.com when I’m whistling for him to come in one direction and he thinks his Nanna is whistling him to come in the other”. Mum and I catch eyes and start to giggle.

“You first had it fitted a year ago, has it just started whistling?”

“No. I lost it and didn’t dare tell you” she blushes and looks about 5 years old.

“Well, it looks brand new”.

Me: “Yes, that’s because she’s worn it for all of a week. Between her “ehhhh?”s and my Dad’s “yer what?”s I feel like I’m stuck in a Fred Elliot sketch. Ah saaaay, ah feels like ah’s stuck in a Fred Elliot sketch” (said in my best Lancashire accent). Mum and I burst out laughing. The technician is stony faced – he’s clearly not a Coronation Street fan.

“It’s not fitting properly. We’ll take an impression and make one that’s unique to you – that should help. First I’ll pop some cotton wool in your ear canal to stop the mould getting to places it shouldn’t then we’ll take an impression.

“Maybe that’s what happened to your Dad – they forgot to put the cotton wool in and the stuff went right into his head”.

Me: “Not that we’d notice even if it had”.

“You’re not wrong”.

The technician­ proceeds to stick bright blue wax in Mum’s ear, which hangs out the end in a ginormous fat pointy blob.

Me: “You look like a Smurf”. We crack up, tears rolling down our faces, and even get a grin out of the technician.

“This should definitely help and improve your range of sound”.

Me: “Damn, does that mean I can’t swear at her anymore cos she’ll be able to hear every word I say?”

“Do you swear at me?” asks Mum feigning surprise.

Me: “Er, yes, you’re annoying as all hell”.

She turns to the technician: “See, this is what I have to put up with. I demand a new daughter”. The technician looks like a rabbit caught in headlights. Mum tries to look stern but her eyes are twinkling.

Me: “Oh shut up you old trout – you couldn’t find anyone but me who’d put up with you”.

Mum turns to the mortified technician: “Actually she’s right” and grins.

We get up to leave, Mum turning left out of the doorway.

Me: “It’s this way” tugging on her arm.

“Are you sure?” She stands there looking uncertain.

“Yes. Either that or the big red pointy Exit sign is lying”.

“Oh, OK, we’ll go that way then shall we?” and we trundle down the corridor. As we turn the corner I see the technician still stood in the doorway looking stunned. We often seem to have this effect on medical staff – I can’t for the life of me work out why 😉