We found each other on some dating site. Turned out we both loved music, so we batted some emails back and forth before he suggested a drink.
Saturday night found me in a bar, staring at my watch. I was on time. I’m always on time. He was late. Really late.
He finally arrived, sweaty and unapologetic. As he slid into the seat opposite me, he said he had to tell me something:
“You know, I’ve never been on a date with someone with kids before. I always knock back the single mothers straight away. I’ve no interest in kids, I don’t even like kids. But your picture was really nice so I thought I’d make an exception for you.”
Ah! Sound the Date-Killer Klaxon; turns out I’m on a date with King Herod.
It was never going to work. I’m a package deal; I come with two kids who are the centre of my universe. I’m never going to date someone who hates the idea of children and being a step-dad. (I made that mistake with another ex, that’s a story for another time.)
I’m classy me, so I do enjoy a nice Piña Colada once in a while (not so much getting caught in the rain, but I’m getting sidetracked).
Anyway, this came up in conversation the other day and the Smallest Daughter was rather taken with the drink’s name.
So, if you come round ours and wonder why on earth SD keeps cheerfully bellowing “PENIS COLARTA!” and giggling herself stupid, well, that’s why.
During the Great Fire of London, Samuel Pepys buried some of his most treasured possessions in his garden, to protect them. For homework, Smallest Daughter was asked to write about—and draw herself—burying her most treasured possessions.
I had to send in the following note with her artwork:
“Hi Mrs F.
I did explain that burying is appropriate to save inanimate objects only. However, SD was absolutely insistent that her family is her most treasured possession. So, that’s why she’s drawn this slightly disturbing picture of her burying us all in coffins in the garden, in case you were wondering.
If you fancy a creative challenge tonight, why not grab a nearby person* and draw a lovely tattoo on them? If you do, don’t forget to report back!
Here’s Mr Boyfriend with his tattoo (note that this was before he’d actually seen what I drew for him)
*legal disclaimer: don’t forget to ask their permission, especially if you don’t know them.
Long journey. Emergency stop at McDonald’s.
Me: “Hi, can I have a decaff coffee please?”
Guy behind counter: “Sorry, I don’t understand what you’re asking for.”
Me: “Decaffeinated coffee?”
GBC: “Never heard of it.” (to colleague) “Mate, do you know what coffee she’s asking for?”
Colleague: “what do you want?”
Me: “Decaffeinated coffee?”
Colleague: “No, we don’t have anything like that. Closest thing we’ve got to that is semi-skimmed milk.”
At a pub with a friend when a Random Drunk Woman approached me:
Random Drunk Woman: “Are you French?”
RDW: “Are you French?”
Me: “No, I’m not.”
RDW: “You look French.”
Me: “I’m not French”.
RDW: “But you’re all beautiful like a French woman.”
Me: “Thank you.”
RDW: “Don’t wo
rry, I’m not gay or nothing. But you do look French.”
Me: “Why would I be worried? Anyway, I’m definitely not French.”
RDW: (to my friend) “Hey, doesn’t your friend look French?”
I swear, in a parallel universe, I am still having that conversation with her.
Me to Security Guard: “Um, there’s a guy in aisle 4 with his trousers round his ankles, & his bum’s on display”.
SG: “I know”.
Me: “So… are you going to do anything about it?”
SG: “No. Would you want to?”
Me: “No. Fair point.”
Phrases I have actually uttered at the petting zoo:
“Careful darling, don’t poke the rabbit in the eye”
“No, don’t blow a raspberry on him either.”
“DO NOT LICK THE RABBIT.”
“SERIOUSLY. STOP LICKING THE RABBIT.”
In 1998, I was looking for a room to rent in Birmingham. The local paper led me to a house owned by Ben, where he lived with his mate Marcus. They were rather handsome chaps, and I was utterly charmed by both of them. They gave me a tour of the house, then they went off and chatted for a while.
Ben: “Well, Marcus and I would love you to move in, if you want.”
Me: “Oh, that’s great!”
Ben: “Yeah, we reckon you’d be the perfect housemate.”
Me: *starting to preen and puff* “That’s so lovely, thanks!”
Ben: “So, Marcus and I had one rule: we didn’t want to live with anyone that either of us fancied, as that would spoil the house dynamic. And then you came along…”
Me: *rapidly deflating* “Oh?”
Ben: “…and obviously neither of us find you attractive, so welcome to the house!”
It is dark and lonely in the pit of mortification, I can tell you.
When I was small, I didn’t have any friends. Well, I did, but none of them were real.
I didn’t just have imaginary friends, I had imaginary families and communities; there were so many of them rattling around my brain that I couldn’t keep track of them all.
So, I took my favourite notebook and started scribbling down their stories.
I’ve been writing ever since: everything from radio scripts, to computer training manuals and even the odd book.
But, these have always been pieces that other people asked me to write. And I wanted to tell my own stories: the mistakes, the adventures, the tiny triumphs of everyday.