Sunday 14 March 2010

20 Mum's the Word

It's an important day for two special ladies in my life.

The first is Taggart. It's her 34th birthday today!

We have already celebrated this occasion while in Gran Canaria together. Partly because I wasn't going to be with her today, and partly because we thought it would be a good opportunity to try and get some free drinks if we said it was her birthday. It was working a treat until someone queried the date that day and we had no idea what it was!

So I want to say happy birthday to my fabulous friend and I hope you enjoy your day despite having to work. Just remember not to be too lenient just because you are in a good mood - a criminal is a criminal, even on birthdays!

The other lady I want to talk about is my mum because it is Mother's Day in the UK today.

Some other bloggers have implied that it is going to be a bit of a chore for them having to go and see their mums. This is when I realise just how incredibly lucky I am, cause it appears I managed to get to the front of the queue when it came to mums being doled out. My mum is ace!

I actually class my mum as one of my good friends. In that we like to hang out together, 'do' lunch, go shopping, go for cocktails etc and I also have the same conversations with her as I do with my friends. I just tone it down a bit as if she is a bit prudish, because she's still my mum and there are some things I'm sure she would rather not know. As she has always said to me, 'You pretend to be a good girl, and me and your dad pretend to believe you!'

She is very often the first port of call when I have a drama in my life and need some advice. I know it can be off-putting for guys when a girl is always on the phone to her mum, (especially when even our 'quick' calls can last at least an hour) but my ex boyfriends soon realised it wasn't actually a problem and often worked in their favour. This is down to the fact that my mum is not in the least bit biased. Many a time I've recounted an argument I've had with a boyfriend and instead of being on my side she's told me if she thinks I've been a little madam and it's actually me in the wrong and that I should apologise.

It explains why all my exes have thought she is great and I'm sure they've also been glad that she looks so good. Just in case it is true that that girls always do end up looking like their mums.

It's been said already that I'm her double. I'm not. Many a time we've stood in front of the mirror together and compared all our features.

'Are our eyes the same? Nope. Noses? Nope. Mouths? Nope!'

I actually wonder sometimes if I was adopted. In saying that, if I look even nearly as good as she does when I'm approaching 60, I'll be happy.

She does have a lot to answer for though. She encouraged me to be an individual when it came to the clothes I wore. Therefore I really feel that she has to take some responsibility for things like the turqoise and black checked, knitted, hot-pants. It wasn't all my fault.

And if any of my teachers thought I was a bit bolshy, they should be looking to my mum to blame for that as well. She told me that if I didn't understand something at school then it was the teacher's fault for not explaining it properly.

'Excuse me Miss, you really need to work on your lessons about long division.'

Obviously I am exaggerating slightly, but it was good because it gave me the confidence to believe that I could learn anything if I put my mind to it. It's only as I got older that I accepted that this isn't the case and there are some things I'm never going to understand, like brain surgery, temperature and men.

I'd say that it is probably down to my mum that I developed my love of travelling. She told me stories of the time she worked as an au-pair in Rome looking after the kids of a Countess and plastic surgeon and when it sounded like her only regret was not taking up the offer of a free boob job, it just made me want to experience it for myself (working abroad, not plastic surgery!) So fortunately, when I decided aged 18 to go and work in Portugal she gave me her full blessing. And again when I worked in Gran Canaria. And Holland. And Canada. And Australia...Sorry mum but you started it!

Me and my brother are often telling mum that she had it easy with us. We never really went through the rebellious teen stage. She would probably reply that is because she was clever and gave us a lot of freedom. It was my mum that bought me my first tickets to a concert, and even better, let me and my friend go on our own with no adults cramping our style! Okay, it was to see Five Star, so there wasn't much chance of danger but still I was only 11 and it made me the envy of all my friends.

Similarly, when she bought me a phone for my own room. It was probably because she was fed up with me lounging around her bedroom floor talking to whatever boy was flavour of the month. It didn't matter what her reasons were though, I just thought she was an amazing mum for doing that.

Likewise when I started wanting to go out to nightclubs aged 16, there weren't any arguments. We just agreed that she'd set her alarm and I'd switch if off when I got home in the wee small hours. Otherwise, it would have gone off at 3am and it would be her cue to panic because I really should have been back by then. Not that this ever happened. Like I said, she was fine about me doing so many things as long as she knew about them, that I never wanted to push the boat.

Don't get me wrong, she isn't so liberal about everything. She hates swearing for example. The 'f' word in particular. In fact she claims that she has never even said it! I'm just not sure I believe that. I bet there has times that she has been effing and blinding all over the place.

Perhaps when I had a life-threatening lung disease at 17? I don't mean because of the obvious upset it would cause seeing your child so ill. No, I mean because of the difficulties it caused. The fact that she had to put up with me crying constantly because I couldn't find any sunglasses for my holiday with the girls, that I felt looked okay on my steroid-induced fat face! And the way that I milked having an illness for all it was worth.

'You want me to do the dishes? I can't. I just feel too weak. I have a disease don't you know?'

I still do it now.

'I jacked in that job because it was boring. I almost died don't you know? Life's too short for me to be doing crap jobs. Anyway can you lend me some money for my rent?!'

I was in Scotland last week and as my mum saw me off at the train station I thanked her. She asked what for. I said just for being my mum. I want her to know that I really meant it.

Happy Mother's Day! Not just to mine but all the others out there and especially to my friends who are mums - you are all doing a fabulous job!

Rapunzel x

Thursday 11 March 2010

16 The Disclaimer

There are a few things afoot for this girl at the moment, which is all very good but has meant that my blog has taken a back-seat. I haven't abandoned it, nor is it the case that I've just nothing to talk about. Quite the contrary actually. It is just down to time constraints and I hope that normal service will be resumed by next week.

Unfortunately I couldn't wait until then to inform you that the sad day has come and that I've had to put a disclaimer on this blog. I was worried that if I left it any longer I might get sued in the meantime.

It started when a guy I know got in touch to say that he'd read one of my earlier posts, The Headmaster about a disastrous haircut I'd had. He'd taken note of my comment that you wear your hair every day and shouldn't scrimp when getting a new 'do'. He decided to forgo his usual trip to the barbers and instead splash out on a trip to a proper salon.

The problem was that as well as being £40 poorer, he also hated his new look and wondered 'what I was going to do about it.'


The next thing was that when planning a night out with a friend she insisted I confirm by text that I will not write about any of our antics.

Now I can't win with this one. Some people worry that I will blog about them, whereas others are upset when I don't!

Some even inform me how they want to be described in the posts, which is all very well, but if I did as they asked you could be mistaken for thinking that I hang around with supermodels.

Recently, I've had many people tell me that they read about my money pot riches and they too are going to do that too.

Now I'm really sorry to be the bearer of bad news but the pots are not magic. You can do all the wishing and rubbing you want, but if you've only put £6.47 in, £6.47 is what you will get out. The money does not procreate and have little money babies. The trick is to have it for years like I did and lose track of what it has got in it. (See picture above for reference purposes)

So, in conclusion this blog will now bear the footnote that everything you read here is purely the opinion of the author and you should not take any of her advice unless you are mental. It is also recommended that you do not try anything at home unless supervised by a responsible adult. And you also need not worry that I will write about anything you say or do on nights out with me. I mean I have not mentioned anything about Taggart getting us barred from a bar after she was sick on the dance floor now have I? No, I haven't because I am extremely discreet*.

*Note that this rule does not apply to any men that have treated me badly. Rest assured that you will at some point definitely feature in here. And I won't even change your name. That means you Alan, Gerry, Robert, Jamie...

Thursday 4 March 2010

20 Bum Deal

Taggart was slightly peeved when she called me yesterday. Turned out that her work colleagues had been asking her if she'd 'pulled' on holiday.

'What kind of holiday do they think we were going on?!' she exclaimed. 'Don't they realise that we are mature thirty-three year olds and not teenagers now?'

It was pretty rude of them. I mean we'd told everyone that we were going to be purely relaxing and we'd chosen a hotel accordingly. One with a nice spa, rather than a nice bar. And as for men, we weren't going anywhere near the male species. We probably wouldn't even look.

Okay, Taggart did text me as she boarded her flight from Glasgow Airport to say that she was checking out whether there was any talent, but that's normal isn't it? Everyone knows that you have a nosey to see who you will be sharing a plane with. Plus even if there was some hottie it is highly unlikely that he would be sitting next to Taggart. I've flown more times than I can even remember and I've never had any good-looking strangers sitting beside me. Never. It just doesn't happen. It's a flying law. Like gravity.

There also seems to be a new rule that goes hand in hand with going on a plane trip. At least with me anyway. The fact that it is now customary for me to be on the receiving end of airport security banter. The first time was on my date with Fishy when I was told I couldn't board wearing knife and fork earrings. This time was going well initially, I didn't even beep as I went through the mental detector. As I went to collect my bag though I was stopped by one of the security guys who said he needed to search it. Fine. Just a bit inconvenient but I had nothing to hide.

'Er, what's this then?' he asked pulling out something from my bag.


'This looks a bit suspicious to me. What do you think guys?' he asked some of his colleagues holding up the object to show them. 'Do you think we should let her take this through?'

'Why don't you scan it through again on its own?' one of them suggested. 'I agree that it looks dodgy though.'

They discussed it for a bit longer, generating interest with the rest of the people in the queue. What on earth was this girl trying to take on the plane? Fireworks? A pet iguana? A pair of tweezers?

I wish. This was something far, far worse.

Everyone stared as the offending article was placed in a tray to go through the scanners. They looked puzzled when they saw what it was.

A book? Is that it? How could a novel cause such a fuss?

Yep. Just a paperback that I had picked up in the charity shop a few days before. It shouldn't be a big deal at all. Certainly not worthy of the laughter that erupted from everyone as it trundled past them and they got a closer look at it. Or to be more specific, after they had read the title...

'Does My Bum Look Big In This?'

I was mortified. I might have seen the humour in the situation were it not for the fact that I'm sure I saw some people staring at my ass. Which may also have been okay were it not that I'd dressed in leggings, making the answer to that question a resounding yes! I vowed never to dress for comfort again.

Was still slightly smarting as I got on the plane and made my way to my seat. I could see that the two next to mine were already taken. By two young, good-looking guys...

There is a God!!

I couldn't believe it. This had never happened before. Clearly the universe was trying to make up for the ordeal I had just had. I smiled at them as I sat down and said 'Hi'.

It just took a few minutes for the grin to be wiped off my face as I took in the clothes they were wearing, their voices and their relative disinterest in me.


How bloody unfair.

The journey passed in silence. It was fine though. I was pretty busy with my book anyway. Then as we were about to land the guy sitting next to me started a conversation with me. We talked about all sorts - how old we are, where we are from, what jobs we do etc. At times, weirdly, it felt as though he was flirting with me but I'd obviously got that wrong. Or so I thought until we started discussing where we were staying in Gran Canaria. Turns out he'd read the reviews of his hotel after he'd booked it and had discovered that it was popular with gay clientele and that him being a straight guy he hoped that wasn't true.

Yep a flipping STRAIGHT guy. A single, straight and hot guy for that matter and I'd sat next to him for almost five hours and not made the most of the opportunity because I thought he danced on the other side of the ballroom. It's just lucky that Taggart and I weren't looking for that kind of holiday or I would really have been annoyed with myself.

Morale of the tale? - It's obvious isn't it? Never judge a book by it's cover.