Saturday, 31 December 2011

Charlotte is too drunk for The Rapture.

I am so, fucking, astonishingly BORED.

I'm on the sofa.

I have vodka.

Alan Carr is on telly.

And at the risk of disappointing my reader (Hi Mum), I'm actually not that miserable.

New Years Eve is upon me, in an hour and a half it will be 2012 and life will suddenly be shiny and bright.

Yes, okay. I'm not that drunk.

I suspect that life in an hour or so will be pretty much the same as now. I'll be poor. I'll have children. I will be a spectacularly unsuccessful author. The washing up will still not do itself. Dammit, the ironing fairies will still not visit me.

The only thing that I ask is that The Rapture doesn't happen at 12am.

It's not that I'm scared of death - being ripped from my mortal playground leaving just my rather grubby Burberry tracksuit bottoms (piss off - I got them when Burberry was still cool) and my horribly stained t-shirt (no excuse there) doesn't bother me. The liklyhood of (how the hell do you spell that? I told you I was a bit pissed) my immediate entrance into Heaven - is small. But then - Oh for crying out loud - perhaps I shouldn't have had that last vodka.

Anyway - I just paid my Virgin Media bill and if I have to go to hell now, I'll be really fucked off.

And I hoovered. Dammit.

Happy New Year. x

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Auld Lang Zzzzzz.....

Ah, New Year approacheth.

I’ll gloss over Christmas which passed in the usual flurry of wrapping paper, family rows and intense materialistic disappointment (how many drawers do people think I own? I cannot line any more drawers. There are no more drawers. Should anyone have a drawer they feel urgently needs scenting with lavender, do get in touch. I can also do lily-of-the-valley and hyacinth.)

Seeing that written down, I suddenly realise that people may be trying to tell me something. I’ll try not to get really worried until I start receiving vaginal deodorant for Christmas. (Which reminds me - did anyone ever sack the marketing guy who came up with the brand-name ‘Vagisil’? Given a choice between asking for ‘Canesten’ or a product that couldn’t more clearly indicate to the handsome chap in the queue behind me that I require a balm for my candida problem, I’ll go for the obliquely named option every time.)

I digress.

New Year’s Eve - that wonderful evening when we all have to stay up till midnight. When the clock ticks its merry little way into a new date, a new world, a new hangover and a new dry-cleaning bill. When the dickheads down the street, not content with setting off fireworks every evening for seven nights each side of bonfire night; dust off their apparently endless supply of rockets and Catherine wheels and let rip for yet another night of Beirut-inspired jollity.

That most fabulous of occasions when we must all lock lips with somebody (anybody) the second a fat man in a Hawaiian shirt with a microphone, starts playing the Big Ben Bongs. The moment when, year in, year out, I am always in the loo – trying to find toilet roll and praying that the puddle seeping into my peep-toe stilettos is spilt mineral water and not the Cinzanno infused piss of the woman who was in the cubicle before me.

Those of you blessed to be British (and therefore in possession of the level of sarcasm required to laugh about that comment) will also be looking forward to the appearance of that other great holiday character, second only to Santa, that little gnome who brings us annual NYE cheer, every year. Whether we like it or not.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Only a few more sleeps to go and Jools Holland will once again squawk his way back onto our television.

My excited anticipation is killing me.

In fact, I am so over-stimulated by the idea of fireworks and treble-fare-taxi-cabs and over-priced drinks and Jools-Bloody-Holland, that I've decided to still my thumping heart and for health reasons, sit-out New Year’s Eve. Someone else can go into bat for me. I’m on the bench. I’m taking my ball back in. I’m hibernating.

If anyone wants me (and I'm realistic, it's unlikely) I shall be in bed, in a flanellette nightie, reading a book and congratulating myself on not having to shave my legs.

Just wake me up when it’s time for the Easter Bunny.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Charlotte Goes Bug-Hunting.

Just when you think it’s safe to raise your head above the parental parapet, the Gods of Motherhood catapult another cowpat at you.

This week, dear reader, it’s nits.

I spied my daughter surreptitiously scratching whilst she was watching telly. Our eyes met. Mine narrowed.

“Have you got nits, Arabella?” I got up slowly, like a lion in the Serengeti approaching its prey. “You’re scratching…”

Arabella, who is not daft, leapt up and started backing away like a particularly itchy gazelle. “Er no, no scratching. Me, scratching? Not me Mummy….” She looked wildly at the sitting room door, immediately clocking the baby walker that blocked her escape.

I bared my teeth in a parody of a smile. “It’s alright” I purr, “I’m not going to hurt you.”

For a moment, I was sure I saw her consider the window and then suddenly, she darted to the left. I launched myself across the pine trunk that serves as my coffee table and in - (what is in my mind) Matrix style slow motion - soared across the room, grabbing only thin air and howled in frustration as Arabella hurdled the baby walker and scurried upstairs quicker than I could yell ‘nit comb’.

The problem is, that not only does Arabella loathe having her hair brushed, she has correctly cottoned on to the fact that I rather enjoy nit-combing. In fact I love it.

I never understood the draw of fishing. Sitting there by the side of a canal, waiting and waiting until finally you pull something out that’s not only ugly but inedible. But oh! That was before I discovered nit-combing.

The pure unadulterated pleasure you get when you snare one of the little buggers and gleefully deposit it into a jug to face its watery death! The joy when you get a Really Big Louse. A Mummy Louse. The One that Keeps Laying Dratted Eggs. The delight when you get a crop of lice, all in one comb sweep. (What is the collective noun for head lice? Answers on a postcard. I’d suggest an itch of lice but feel free to suggest your own below.)

No, poor old Arabella (wise beyond her six-years) knows full well what the next week will entail. Endless baths with her hair drenched in conditioner whilst her mummy, humming in a slightly manic fashion, drags a nit comb across her scalp, yelping in merriment each time she finds a bug.

I’m thinking of providing myself with a thermos flask of metallic tasting coffee and a round of beef-paste sandwiches to complete the experience. Hey – it’s cheaper than a rod and licence and far better than therapy.

The only problem is... er...

I'm not scratching. Promise.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

In which Charlotte gives up the booze.

Following what can only be termed as the two months from hell, I have an announcement. I am officially on the wagon. Yes my friends, I’m dry. No more glasses of vino for this lady, nuh huh. Gin & tonic, Charlotte? No thank you my friend, I’ll just have the tonic. Vodka and coke? Revolting. Fancy a pint? Are you kidding? My body is a temple.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, I have finally had to face up to the fact that I and alcohol do not mix. Or rather we mix rather too well. Plonk an olive on a cocktail stick behind my ear and you’ve practically got yourself a dry martini.

It’s not that I’m a total lush. I haven’t started reaching for the Special Brew first thing in the morning and the methalated spirit in the garage is, for the time being, safe. I don’t even drink every day – not even every other day. No, the problem with me is that once I’ve had two I just can’t stop. And boy do I become a monster.

Add a very heavy dose of anti-depressants into the mix and a sprinkling of Borderline Personality Disorder (yeah, I’m a shrink’s wet dream) and we have a very potent and self-destructive mix indeed. Think George Best on a bender with Oliver Reed, Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan and we’re getting close to a night on the tiles with me.

And despite my atrocious behaviour my husband keeps taking me back. I’ve lost him friends, I’ve blackened his name, I’ve had him arrested and I’ve had myself hospitalized and still, he keeps picking me up and dusting me off.

Last night was the final straw. I admitted something to him – something terrible I had done – in the belief honesty was the better policy. He promptly, and quite understandably, told me that he was going to divorce me. He also told me he was taking the children – and given my Crazy Lady status, I knew he had a very good shot and managing it.

24 hours later and I have had a wake-up call akin to being water-boarded whilst a coastal foghorn bellows in your ear and the entire England rugby team jump up and down on your chest. I can not drink. I will be forgiven (yet again) if I never drink again. I repeat, I can NOT drink.

And so my chums, it is with a fair amount of regret but a positive heart that I join the Orange Juice Brigade. I am now totally safe to invite to weddings. I can once again be relied upon to charm Evil Aunty Brenda and dance with Gropey Hands Uncle Barney without setting fire to my hotel room or throwing up in the chocolate fountain. (I’ve never actually done either of those things but I was gearing up to it.) I will even listen politely to Cousin Barry’s tales from the Concrete and Tarmac Industry. I will not get him pissed and then have a massive row with the Bride’s mother. (Okay. I might have done that one.)

Just keep me on Perrier, okay?

Sunday, 8 May 2011

In which I rant about mollycoddling children.

As a Very Bad Mother, I’m often asked what I think of mollycoddling children.

Alright – you got me. Nobody ever asks me anything given my Very Bad Mother status, but if they did, then this is how I’d reply.

There are children, all over the world, who have enormous responsibilities. I’m not saying that all five-year olds should walk two miles a day, twice a day for water. I’m not suggesting that it is okay for a seven-year old to take care of her eight-month old twin brothers. But they do it – they do it and they cope.

A childhood absolved of responsibility is a porous foundation. We are currently bringing up a generation of children who have been so pampered, so cosseted, that I truly worry whether there will be anyone willing or able to wipe my bottom when I’m a dribbling juddery wreck. Alright – an old dribbling juddery wreck.

Not to mention, they’ll be running the show. Our generation aren’t doing a brilliant job ourselves, but we were brought up when you were allowed to lose the sack race. It was possible to come last in the egg and spoon. The next leaders of our nation have never been allowed to fail, never felt the embarrassment of failure. How does one lead a country if one has never entered into healthy competition?

“It’s not a competition” the teachers say to me, when I enquire as to where my daughter is in the class. Of course it bloody is. Life is a competition. Exams are competitions, Job interviews are competitions and promotions are competitions.

Perhaps whilst I busy myself with being a Very Bad Mother, all the women out there running around after their indulged children could stop (if they can catch their breath) and wonder – is my little treasure a trove or a rogue.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Dear God (about this moustache)...

Dear God

I realise this correspondence is somewhat out of the blue, given that I’ve not been in touch since crushed velvet hats were fashionable and Spitting Image was still on telly (though I have since written a few letters to your colleague Santa Claus and I did leave the Easter Bunny a note requesting cash instead of chocolate) but following recent events I feel I really need to touch base.

Obviously you are quite busy at the moment, causing tsunamis and earthquakes and overseeing wars in your name etc, so perhaps a couple of your more recent decisions regarding my life are down to administrative error?

The bingo wings for instance. I’m thirty, not sixty-five for God’s – er, goodness sake. Also, is this moustache that I appear to be developing really necessary? I was expecting facial hair sometime around retirement, not in the prime of my life. I’m younger than Kylie Minogue and I don’t imagine her wandering around her bedroom with Veet on her top lip and her underarms flapping about like a pterodactyl.

I realise that you are a vengeful God and you probably noticed that last time I was in church, that Christmas a couple of years ago, I wasn’t in fact praying I was wishing the service would hurry up so I get back to the bucks fizz, but seriously, haven’t I been punished enough?

I note that you saw fit to give me the Worst Stretch Marks In The History Of Time, and I took it on the chin. Or the belly to be more accurate. I have come to terms with the fact that you seem to have chosen Relentless Grinding Poverty as my pre-ordained path. I have duly embraced Lydl and cast aside aspirations of shopping in Waitrose. I am resigned to the fact that my metabolic rate is more of a metabolic preamble and that I will put on weight if I even walk past a sausage roll.

All this, dear Lord, I take staunchly. But bingo wings and a moustache? Seriously?

I wonder if you would be so kind as to take a look at my file and ensure that there hasn’t in fact been a mistake and that these recent physical developments were not meant for someone else – Charlotte Church perhaps. People often get confused by our architectural surnames, though she’s even younger than me so perhaps there is a particularly un-hirsute seventy year old skipping about somewhere with suspiciously toned upper arms?

In the event that there has been a clerical error, I should be quite happy to receive reimbursement in the form of a large lottery win or a three-book deal with Random House. In the meantime I await your response and remain your loyal servant – well, sort of,