Tuesday, 27 October 2009

The Cheltenham Screenwriters Festival....

What a brilliant occasion this is.
Me and Sy have been a couple of times- him being a writer and all that-and would have loved to have gone this year.
But funds, sadly, dictated otherwise.
Loads of interesting people, writers well known and unknown alike, all mixing and sharing information and tips on the industry.
Hi-lites on past visits for me, include being at a fantastic lecture by Jimmy McGovern ( The lakes, Cracker, etc) and seeing Sy chair a talk by Debbie Isitt, who wrote and directed the British film 'Confetti'.
Isn't it funny though, how even if you are not a writer, you can get something out of an occasion such as this.
Sy had gone into a lecture that held no interest for me whatsoever- probably something to do with story arcs, or spelling (you all know me!)
I pottered off down to the tea tent -the real place for networking- and eventually got to the front of the queue, after a lot of people asking me what i was working on (my only acceptable answer being, 'i'm working on trying to get a cuppa'.)
A man slid into the queue next to me, and heads were bowed in awe.
This was obviously someone who,
1; Everyone there knew, including the people serving the tea.
2; Himself knew he was important enough to be able to slide into the front of a queue without any questions or threats of throat slitting or knee-capping.
The gentleman smiled at me and then asked the girl behind the counter for a green tea.
'I like to try and stay healthy' he murmered.
In the same breath, he whipped a pipe out of his top pocket.
'But one has to have one vice. do you have a light at all?'
I had absoulutely no idea who this man was.
But i did have a light.
'Would you care to share a table with me?' he enquired.
I looked around at the Screenwriters who were all muttering various things.
Manily, what had this girl got that this famous Screenwriter wanted?
I let him lead the way to a table.
We talked. A lot.
Not about Screenwriting, but about the area, the people, the scenery, and the house he was looking to buy a few miles from where me and Sy lived. I told him that my husband was a writer.
He then asked me what i was writing.
At which point, i would have given the earth to be able to say that i was actually a writer.
But i'm not. So i told him about being a housekeeper.
His face lit up.
'I need a housekeeper, when i move into my new house. Will you take my details and think about coming to work for me? You are exactly what i need- you know how writers work.'

He left me to my tea at that point, as he was due to give one of the biggest lectures at the festival.
Sy came and found me, and i showed him the scrap of paper with the Screenwriters details, and told him about my own little meeting.
I thought he was going to faint.
I'm not going to say who the writer was. But you would all know his work.
I gave his offer a lot of thought.
In the end, i turned it down. Why?
Because i know already exactly what it is like to look after a writer.
And no amount of money in the world would make me look after two of them.
I sometimes wonder if i possibly got more out of that festival than many of the writers.
Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper x

Thursday, 8 October 2009

How to give a writers wife a good time.

The Writer took me out last week.
Yes, that's right. Don't go fainting or anything silly.
'There's this rather interesting meeting with a talk i'd like to go to Sprouty, about happiness.'
'Aren't you happy then?' i ask The Writer.
'Of course i am, but i think that it may be useful to hear what the chap says...research and all that. Will you come?'
I pondered this for a minute or two, and weighed up the other options.
Darling Daughter was off to the 'Mop'- local to us, a fair that comes round once a year, originally a gathering of local trades people who would show their skills once a year in a bid to get employment. I believe that maids would wear their mop caps, hence the name.
Now, it is a funfair, with smashing rides and you get a chance to win goldfish- and then have bets at school to see whose is going to survive more than a week.
i don't think i've ever missed one, in all my 43 years- but  things change, and i'm not too keen on the thought of a load of teenagers screaming in my ear and trying to escape them but falling over all the pushchairs in my haste to get away.
I'm getting so old.
And i couldn't find anything remotely interesting to watch on the telly, either.
With all escape routes cut off, i said i'd go with him.
'It is free, Sprouty.'
Well, what's a girl to do?
We drive into town, having set off early to make our way through all the Mop paraphernalia (i did very nearly pull up and park...just find it so hard to resist all the twinkly lights..) and eventually got to the hall where the talk was being held.
There's a man outside.
'Is this where the meeting is?' asks Sy.
The man looks at us both- up and down.
'Yes. both of you then?'
I detect a note of pity in his voice, but i think i'm imagining it.
'You go first,' i whisper to Sy, giving him a huge shove that propels him through a set of double doors.
It's like being in a hospital- very clean, sterile and bright.
A man hurries over to us, and welcomes us.
'Have you come far?' he enquires.
'Only from the over the hill,' i explain, while trying to take in the surroundings.
Behind him are two women sat at a table, laminating posters.
I can't quite make out what they say.
I would have hoped there would be a few more for this meeting.
The two women look up at us and smile quietly.
This doesn't feel quite right, somehow.
'We're here for the meeting,' explains Sy. 'Do we sit around the table then?'
'Yes, yes! do come and sit down- you can introduce yourselves when the others get here..they shouldn't be long now.'
I'm really getting nervous now- this isn't what i was expecting at all. I glance at Sy and he's got a horridly hunted look in his eyes.
'Go on- ask him again about the meeting. Ask him who is giving the lecture!' i hiss.
Sy clears his throat.
'This meeting then- how did you manage to book this lecturer? Would he be local? We can't wait to find out more about this whole happiness thing....' Sy's words die on his lips as the mans face drops.

'You do know you're at an AA meeting, don't you?
No, we bloody didn't.
I almost- so very nearly- said it.
'You stay then, Sy, and i'll come back in an hour.

We found the meeting come talk we were looking for in another room.
And actually, it was very good.
Sy didn't fall asleep once, so it must have held something interesting for him.
Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper. xx

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


I can't believe i've been doing this blog for over a year now.
What worries me, is that now i've written about most of the trials and tribulations that affect a writers wife, i'm afraid there won't be anything new to write about.
So, i'm playing it a bit by ear at the moment, and picking out bits and pieces that i'm generally musing about.
Today, i'll mostly be writing about Perception.
I asked Sy what he thought the meaning of the word was ( is this a question, in a question?)
'Well, Sprouty.....'
He put down his book and stared at me like i was some some sort of backwater hick (well, i'm proud of my roots)
'i thought you might be a bit old to be worrying about that sort of thing...'
Stop right there, matey.
Firstly, i'm not to bloody old, and secondly, listen to me you insensitive half-hearted bastard- i said perception, not contraception.
All said to myself, of course.
Serves me right for not giving him a five minute warning that i was going to ask a question.
We have neighbours across the road from us- an elderly couple, very sweet and polite.
Proper neighbours who you could go to in an emergency.
I don't need an alarm clock, or indeed, any sort of time piece while i have these people as neighbours.
Their sitting room curtains open every morning at 7.30 am.
Their bedroom curtains at 8.00.
He fetches his paper at 8.30.
He returns at 8.40.
he wipes down his windows at 9.00....
The day goes on.
At 7.30pm, he closes the bedroom curtains. (in Summer, it's 8.45.) He will spend 5 minutes looking out the window, and if i'm not ready for this, he will see me consuming a large bar of Galaxy, or something else of the chocolate variety.
The joys of someone living opposite- to be fair, i'm not sure how good his eyesight is, so he might just see something the size of a minky whale, eating it's own weight in minky whale food.
That or he thinks we have the most enormous cat curled up on the settee.
Come 8.30pm, he closes the sitting room curtains, having turned on the tall lamp they have in the room.
And then it all starts again the next day.
But, you see, i don't know these people.
There is definately a wife, but she doesn't do any of these jobs.
She tends to just be on 'gate patrol' when they go anywhere.
She opens the gate for him to drive the car out, and then closes it again when they come back.
They could be axe murderers for all i know.
Maybe he doesn't go and get a paper in the mornings- he might be popping out to scan the village to see if there are likely victims for when he closes the curtains at 8.30.
Because once those curtains are shut, you just don't know what goes on, do you?
You see, i perceive them to be sweet old people.
But they might not be, at all.
I can't help but wonder how they perceive me and Sy.
This is what i think they see, if they peer out when the cutains are shut, as well as open.
8.30am- me and various children spilling out the house, on a school run and off to work.
NB- i say various, because i take neighbours children to school and it depends who DD has had staying over.
Bedroom curtains shut.
11.30/12.00- me coming home after morning jobs, laden down with buckets, mop, bin bag of dusters, hoover and possibly a bag of shopping.
Several trips into house to get all stuff in.
Bedroom curtains still shut.
12.05pm- sitting room windows flung open and wild woman seen careering around sitting room with hoover in one hand, duster in other.
12.30-bedroom curtains still shut.
1.00pm-shouting heard from inside house.
1.05- bedroom curtains opened.
1.15-wild looking man seen pottering outside in his dressing gown, talking to various cats and flowers.
1.20- more shouting heard from inside house.
1.30pm- woman appears at front door, dressed in stained tee shirt, old scruffy jeans and hobnailed boots, still shouting.
1.32-man in dressing gown waves woman off and disappears back into house.
1.35- bedroom curtains closed.
4.00-curtains opened.
4.30pm- woman home- several kids spill out of car, slowly followed by woman who looks like she has a bad back.
She glances up- what we can only assume, is that she is checking that the bedroom curtains are open.
All quiet for an hour or two.
6.45pm- woman disappears in car.
6.55- woman reappears with bag of stuff. The clinking noise indicates that the man in the house needs sustanance.
Again, all quiet for some time.
10.00pm- all curtains and windows wide open- raised voices. What can they be doing in there? Can again, only assume that smelly substances are rife, and air is needed.
11.00- bedroom lights on. Curtains closed.
2.00am- sitting room light on, curtains now closed.
Shadow of man sat at computer for several hours.
4.00am. Darkness.
At last.
I don't think that my neighbours know that Sy is a writer, therefore keeps very unsocial hours and drinks vast amounts of alcohol.
If they did, and this is what they see day after day, they might not look at us quite so guardedly.
I will tell them, one day.
And when i do, i'm sure i know what the resonse will be.
'Thank God for that- we thought your hubby was a jobless scrounger who sleeps all day, drinks all evening and stays up all night watching acts of sexual depravity on that computer internet thing....'

Perception.....maybe i'm seeing everything in a new way.
Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper.x


Wednesday, 22 July 2009

The chances of anything coming from Mars,are a million to one, he said....

....The chances of anythiiiing coming from Mars, are a million to wuuuun- but still they cummmm....dah dah da...dah dah daaaaa.

Totally off topic really, but last night jolly good old BBC radio 2 played a live recording of Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds.

I went to bed at 10.15 pm (horifically early for me, particularly as i don't need more than 6 and a half hours sleep- i was awake again and raring to go by 5.00), put on me headphones, lay in the dark and gave myself up totally to it.

What a treat.

I really wanted to take Darling Daughter to see the show at the Birmingham NIA, but the tickets were £50 a piece (i think the show must be worth paying that amount of money for though), - alas, way beyond Sprouty's means, if we wanted to eat for the rest of the month.

Darling Daughter loves the music though, and her dad bought her the CD many moons ago. She plays it a lot. I bought her the original book by HG Wells for Christmas, and, seven months on, she is still only on page 27. The book is only 142 pages long.

She doesn't like reading very much- which is something you tend to keep quiet about in this house...
I am absolutely determined to get to a show next year though. Best start saving now.

On a quick note, Shakespeare is almost ready to be let loose on an unsuspecting world.
Sy wants me to have a look first (he always does)- just to clarify that the whole thing makes sense.
As he always says;
'If you can make sense of it Sprouty, then anyone can.'
Thanks a lot- i think.

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper x

Sunday, 28 June 2009

The Writers New Pen.

How many writers use a pen these days?
Mine doesn't.
But he calls his new laptop his New Pen..
'Are you going to give it a name?' I ask.
'Not sure, Sprouty.'
If he does, he won't tell me. It will be something fitting like Delilah or Cerys.
I can't remember the last time i saw him so excited about something-he hasn't brought it to bed with him yet, but i feel it's only a matter of time.
In fact, i'm sure the only reason he didn't bring The Dinosaur to bed was because he would have had to ask me to balance the monitor on my knees while he balanced the keyboard on his.
And i'm not entirely sure where he thought the tower would sit.
The Dinosaur- as he fondly started calling the old computer after he'd had it for about six months-is in it's death throes. I'm planning a funeral, but it's going to be a few days away yet, as there is still so much information on there for Sy to swap across to his new laptop, but i'm making all the neccessary arrangements.
The Humanist is on standby, and been given a potted history of the The Dinosaur, ready to read out at the funeral.
I've booked a plot- Stratford on Avon recycling centre has a lovely little place earmarked for it.
I've been trying to get Sy to put a few words together to give it a good send-off. After all, this this was his best friend for a good few years.
I'm not sure how he's going to feel when he switches the old bugger off for the last time- when he sees that little light go out...
Probably a bit like John Connor in Terminater 2.
It's a little disturbing how Sy has so easily transferred his affections to this newer, younger, sleeker model, particularly while The Dinosaur is still sat in it's corner, winking periodically at him.
I've watched him and shuddered. How easily men are swayed.
I'm trying to sway this change of writing arrangements to my advantage though.
'With the monitor gone, you'll have that space to put all the books you're working with.'
'Well, Sprouty, that might be a good idea...'
''Cos at the moment, i haven't got anywhere to sit.'
'like i say, that might be a good idea.'
'And i've got an idea about what to put in the space where the tower lives.'
Big sigh.
'Go on.'
'Well, you know all those books you put inside the pouff...'
'They're alright in there!'
'Well actually, they're not. I can't move it to hoover under it. And every time i try, i give myself a hernia.'
'It's a thought...'

And that's as far as i've got. I'm working on it, but these things take time.
On top of Shakespeare and Arthur, Sy has found somebody else to write about.
Some woman from the Victorian era, i think.
I haven't asked to much about it, because my head will go bang.
With her in his head and the possibility of the laptop in the bed, there's not much room for me anywhere at the moment.
Goes with the territory.

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Saturday, 6 June 2009

My Monthlies....

God, i can hear you screaming from miles away.
But no, not what you think. I've been a bad girl and not blogged. At all. In fact, sadly, i haven't even been near my blog.
There are a number of reasons, the main one being i've been too godamned lazy.
Sorry- that should be busy.
So first of all, let me apologise profoundly to all you lovely people out there who have been enquiring as to whether i have finally given up the ghost and shot The Writer (another possible reason for not blogging) or whether i have just finally gone totally doolally (fab word) due to lack of writing stuff happening in this household.
I am here, thankyou all for checking on whether i'm still alive, and i'm sorry that a once a day blog has disintegrated into a once a month one.
Writing is not my forte. And seeing as this blog is written in conjunction with whatever The Writer is writing (on the whole), sometimes it's really rather difficult to know what to blog about, if nothing much seems to be happening.
Anyhoo0....i need to fill in the blanks for May. So here's some stuff, for those of you who are hanging on in there in the hope that i might give you something to ruminate over.

The Mayor Making.
How totally brilliant was this. Very actually.
But i was shocked at how the whole scenario was like sitting in a Court room. Not that i've been in many Court rooms, but from what i remember on 'Crown Court', it was pretty similar.
Sy, me, Darling Daughter plus other family members were all ensconced in the public gallery overlooking the chamber.
Lots of people came in, all wearing blue cassocks.
Then the outgoing Mayor came in and took his seat where, (if this were a Courtroom) ,the Judge would sit. Various other people in robes came and sat around him. Lots of speeches. Old Judge goes out, followed by entourage. Ten minutes to talk amongst ourselves. New Mayor (Sy's dad) comes in, fully robed up and takes his place in the Big Chair.
I must admit, we were all immensely proud. And shocked. I didn't realise there was so much real fur involved in a Mayors gown, and i have resolved to try and have a word with someone about this.
It was all Sy could do not to drag me screaming from the balcony like an animal rights protester when i realised it was real fur. Pomp and Ceremony needs to be pulled kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century.
Eventually we went on to a buffet and a meet and greet session.
Darling Daughter had bought a new black dress for the occasion. She looked absolutely stunning. One minor problem was that she had also bought 4 inch heels to wear. have i mentioned that, at 15, she is nearly six foot?
You do the maths.
So, there we were, meeting and greeting, with an amazonian daughter towering over all and sundry at six foot three. Yes, you read right. Six .Foot. Three.
I have one dress, for going out to posh occasions. I have had this dress 3 years, and i've worn it twice. We don't get out much.
Darling Daughter and i were stood quietly in a corner chatting (me with a bad neck from looking up at her) when a group of half a dozen women of various ages descended on us.
All ex Mayors, or lady Mayors, or whatever you call them.
They all know that i am the new Mayors daughter in law. I know none of them apart from the fact that they all wear badges proclaiming that they are 'ex'. A bit like the prefect badges at school. and, like in America when you are always known as 'Mr President' even when you aren't anymore. These women wore their badges with pride.
'We know who you are', states one.
'We know all about your new dress', another states to DD (who looks even more uncomfortable than me- don't know if it's the situation or the shoes...)
'We love your dress',' states a third.
'I've only got one' i blurt out, before i've even thought about it. Darling Daughter stares at me as if i've gone mad, and the women are stunned into silence.
i realise, with hindsight, that i have just told a group of women, who probably have to change their knickers 4 times a day, let alone their clothes, that i own one dress.
Well, it certainly got rid of them.
They now know that the their new Mayor has a daughter in law with only one dress, and therefore probably only has one bra, two pairs of knickers and a coat from the charity shop. Actually, if they had hung around long enough to hear what a bloody writer earns, (or doesn't earn, more to the point),they would probably have had more sympathy.
The hardest part of the whole evening was trying not to disappear into the kitchen and clear plates.
As i've said before, when i'm a fish out of water, i revert to what i do best......
Sy kept checking on me and DD over the evening, but most of the people there he knew, so he he had a lot of catching up to do. Heads of police, judges, councillors, other local dignataries.
Later, he told me some very interesting stories about some of them...i wish he could have told me earlier and then i might have been able to use some of that information to my advantage.
On second thoughts, no...if i'd mentioned anything, that would have been the end of the Mayor, Mrs Mayor, and me and Sy would have been hurled into a cell.
Sy's dad is under strict instruction to give me at least 4 months notice on any other 'do' we might have to attend. it will take me that long to save up for a new frock.

The Writer.
As i said, not much doing at the mo.
Still haven't heard form any of the publishers that the books have been sent to, and it's really difficult waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
I have tried to encourage him to 'think outside the box' (HATE that expression, but very apt) and maybe try different routes to getting his research seen and heard.
But, different writers work in different ways- and mine won't 'think outside the box' until it suits him. Fuckin hell, that pisses me off. But it's down to him, and apart from interfering on a volcanic scale, i have to wait until he's ready. My interfering would involve phoning the publishers, demanding to know why it's taken four months to read something THAT THEY HAVE ASKED FOR, and what their plan of action is. Piss on the pot, or get off- that's my motto. Well one of them.
On the plus side, a friend has been coming to Sy for acting lessons. In fact she's Darling Daughters Kickboxing instructer. She and Sy get on like a house on fire, which is lovely. A diversion for him and a new string to her bow.
Sy has also been out in the garden. Building a patio. He must be bored out of his mind to tackle physical work, especially something that could seriously put the future of his typing fingers at risk. But i've wanted a patio for nearly 12 years, and it has come to fruition....all i need now is a garden gate, so the back of the house is more secure.
It was DD birthday in may too, and we bought her a new pushbike- this is rather brilliant in itself, as i don't know any 15 year olds who just want a bike for a birthday present. Especially at this age.
The garden gate is needed because, on the morning of DD birthday, i went to fetch her new bike, while pondering about what i would do with her clapped out old one. The problem was solved for me on return from Halfords, as her old bike had been knicked from behind our house.
Suppose they did me a favour really, if i try to look at it positively, but it does mean of course that somebody had had a good mooch round.
Says a lot for our stuff if the only thing the thieves decided worth taking was a clapped out pushbike....
Sy also had an outdoor gig in May, at a local pub. Gorgeous weather and loads of people, and he was in fine voice.
Last year, his band was asked to front an outdoor gig this year at a local village arts event. Seeing as this is the village that doesn't want a windfarm, and Sy has upset the applecart by saying publicly that he can't see the reasoning behind not having one sited there, his band has not been contacted to do this gig now...and all the other acts are secure, so we know it's a politics thing. Fuckin petty minded bastards. Their loss.
Well, i'm afraid it's a bit me, me, me, but at least i've filled you fab folks in a bit. Now i'm off to read some blogs, change the site a bit and see if i can be inspired to blog a bit more, more often. Until next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper x

Sunday, 3 May 2009

My Holy Grail...

It came.

The book i've been looking for for the last ten years.

Just when i thought all was lost, and i would never find others out there in the same situation as me, this wonderful piece of literature appears via the good old postie.

I sat looking at the cover for ages, turning the book over and over in my hands like it were some sort of priceless artifact.

For me, it is.

My Holy Grail.

I read it in a day. And my favourite piece in the whole book, is the opening story, by Malcolm Bradbury, entitled 'The Spouse in the House.'

In fact, that was the only part of the book i needed to read really. This is one man who really understood what his wife went through living with him.

Sadly, Malcolm died in 2000, but i loved this little story so much, i feel that i don't need to read anything else about writers and their wives ever again.

I salute and thank you sir.

Till next time,

Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Famous people i wouldn't have met, if i hadn't met Sy- part2..with a twist.

So, during our few days away with Sy's mate Sid, we decide to have a little jaunt to the seaside. Brighton, to be exact.
Never been there before, and it was FAB. we went on the pier, listened to the most abysmal kareoke you can imagine, walked round 'The Laines' and i was given a potted history of the Brighton Pavillion.
Never knew it was such an interesting place.
Sid had booked us into a lovely Italian restaurant (food was brilliant) and we took our seats and ordered drinks.
The waiter serving us kept popping back to the table and asking us if all was ok, was the food alright, did we need anything else, etc.
Probably more visits to our table than he actually needed to.
Eventually, he stood at the side of the table and asked;
'Haven't i seen you on the telly?'
Now, as you know, Sid is quite famous.
He was in Star Trek Deep Space Nine for years, has been in Hannibal, Syriana, Spooks, will soon be in Waking the Dead, and will soon start filming Clash of the Titans (he's a God..no i mean he's a god..well he is very yummy..wish i hadn't started this.)
Sy has his mouth full of something vegetarian and turns to look at the waiter as he says this.
Sid turns and smiles at the waiter.
And i watch to see what will happen next.
The waiter leans across the table..
'I have seen you on the telly, haven't i?' he enquires further.

To Sy.
Sid sits back in his chair, puts his hands behind his head and says to the waiter that he has probably seen Sy on telly discussing the merits of windfarms.
I sit there choking on me tagl.. tagilii...pasta.
The waiter, satisfied with this explanation walks away to his friends and we see them talking earnestly, heads bowed, about who the famous man on table 420 is.
The matter is settled.
'Wasn't expecting that mate', say's Sid.
Sy, still stuffing food in to his trap, replies.
'That's what i'm here for mate, that's what i'm here for.'

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Monday, 13 April 2009

A list....

Things i have done this Bank holiday weekend.

1-Spring cleaned our bedroom, and moved all the furniture. (Sy actually fell out of the bed the first night of the changeround...that's another story.)
2- Spring cleaned the bathroom
3- Spring cleaned the sitting room (even The Writers' desk...and i haven't even lost one scrap of paper on it, although i did manage to lose a couple of pages from a Very Important Book.
They'll turn up eventually, i'm sure.)
4- Spring cleaned the kitchen, sorted out all the old crockery and installed a new, fully matching, inherited set.) Sy and DD can't find anything anymore. But that's their problem. I like the new set-up.
5- Have done three trips to the tip, but have recycled four big boxes of stuff and seven binbags.
6- Have baked two loaves of bread, made two bannoffi pies and three chocolate cakes.
7-Have ferried DD to and from her boyfriends house three times (an hour and half round journey, each time.)
8. I know i've forgotton something....ohh yes, done another blog!

The Writer has.
1- Mown the lawn.
And broken the mower.
So why the hell is he preening around the house looking for praise, when that's the only job he has done - and ballsed it up- and yet i'm just getting on with stuff?
It's a man thing, isn't it.

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Sunday, 22 March 2009

i've got the key of the door..

..never been 43 before.
Yes, the birthday has been and gone.
Thursday to be precise, but i was a bit traumatised and went a bit mad, so i wasn't allowed near any electrical equipment.
But back to normal now, and i have come to terms with what, after all, is only a number.
just a feckin' big one, that's all.
I did have a nice day though and had some lovely pressies.
Darling Daughter bought me a new mobile phone.
I oohed and aahed over it, turned it over in my hands, admired it and then promptly handed it back to her to set it all up.
I need it only to make calls from. Nothing else.
And i certainly cant be arsed to find out how to get it to make calls. I just need it to do the job.
Bless her- all went brilliantly, she got it up and running in no time and loaded all my numbers into it.
Minor problem being when i needed to phone her yesterday, i discovered she had not put her number into my phone.
i like to think it was forgetfulness on her part, but she's nearly 15 and probably wanted half an hour in which she knew damn well her mother wouldn't be able to get hold of her.
But hey, i've got it now. She won't make that mistake again.
Sy bought me some perfume.
I'd like to say i had no idea that he was getting me anything, but the day before he asked if he could have the car for half an hour as he had to go into town for something.
Now Sy only leaves his computer for two reasons.
1- he has a present to buy for me.
2- he needs the loo (i'm waiting for the day he asks me for a bedpan. He will. honest to god, he will).
But at least he remembered. With the help of the post-it note that i stuck to the computer screen two weeks ago.
This morning i met up with my lovely rabbity friend, Donna (have a look at her site, under my 'sites i like to peruse'), we had a smashing birthday- come- mothers day breakfast by the river.
Totally peaceful and idyllic.
No kids.
Best way to spend mothers day...well an hour of it anyway.
i have eaten so much crap that the stone i have lost in weight has probably gone straight back on, but tomorrow is another day. Actually, it's another year, in a way, and i'm back to the fruit and salad with a vengeance.
In theory.
The reality is so much harder.

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Time to come clean....

Listen very carefully...i shall say this only once.

I have eight housekeeping jobs, varying from doing 'a bit' for some lovely elderly people, through to keeping on top of a couple of gorgeous holiday homes in the Cotswolds.

But i only do these jobs in the mornings.

In the afternoon, i do something very different.
Do you recognise the car above?
The good old Ford Capri- the must-have car of the mid seventies to mid eighties.
Beloved of the 'The Professionals', 'Minder' and often seen careering through cardboard box mountains on 'The Sweeney'.
Well....in the afternoons, i make my way to a converted stable, five minutes drive from my house, and play with these cars.
I help strip parts from them and then send them off to the four corners of the globe.

I loooove this job.
No two days are ever the same, i can make as much noise as i like, and the recession is non existant for this particular trade.
So, some facts about my job.

Like i say, i work in a converted stable- the only thing thing that has made it a room, is the fact it has a radiator. I can't tell you how basic it is. On the minus side, in the winter, i might as well be outdoors. On the plus side, in the summer, i have views across the Cotswolds, and have buzzards flying above me, and chickens stroll in and keep me company.
Just don't tell Health and Safety.

Remember the photo from Burns Night of my friend who was dressed like Captain Sensible?
He's my boss.
And i love him. He's the best bloke ever.
He plays practical jokes all the time, including such gems as making animal noises on the second phone line when i'm on the phone to customers, firing his air controlled whirring gun at us with discs inside saying such things as 'make me a cuppa' and 'no holiday for you this year' ( i kid you not.)
He will listen to me rambling on about The Writer when i'm pissed off with him, he tells me that i will always have a job at his place even if it's just sweeping floors (he says he's heard i'm really good at that- it doesn't help that i clean his house for him too...) and he will always come and fetch me or take me home in his huge van if the stable gets flooded. Which it has done on several occasions.

There are over thirty Ford Capris on site ( i bet you thought they were all dead) in various staes of health, including the 'Minder' Capri. My boss owns that one, and says he will never sell it.
Most of them are stored in his wifes menage.
She had horses once, but the minute she took them out to the fields, the cars took over.

The place i work has been on telly- a show on Discovery real time, called 'Wreck Rescue'- and many of the cars have been loaned out to tv companies for period shows. Bet you missed that one in the background on 'Larkrise to Candleford' didn't you...?
You know what i mean.

Some of the car parts are disgusting- covered in oil, rust and crap.
I take great delight in wrapping any parts like that in fresh copies of the 'Daily Mail.'
Now that IS a good feeling.

I get to wear steel toe capped boots and swear like a trooper.
Although it's a very male dominated environment, me and the girl in the office use language that makes the boys blush.
And there are only five of us that work there...small is beautiful.

The company has been running for 25 years, and this year is the 40th annivesary of the Capris' launch.
And by the way business is going, it'll be going for another 25 years.

Finally, my dad would have been really proud of me doing this job. He always had Fords, and i'm sure he's up there somewhere watching me with a spanner in my hand, and saying 'good on yer Sprouty.'

So, in a (not so small) nutshell, you have the details of my 'other' job. I won't mention it again.
And believe it or not....it really does keep me sane.

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Well, i'll go to the foot of our stairs!

...this came from the lovely 'Comedy Goddess'.

I can't do links, but she's there on my followers and you must visit her if you haven't already.

You're missing a treat.

I think it's a 'meme'.

But i'm going with the flow here, so bear with me.

The idea of this is to google your name and post the results.

'Shakespeare's Housekeeper' came up with a result i wasn't expecting.

Apparently, in Shakespeares day, a housekeeper didn't mean some one who cleaned the loos and picked up dirty underwear.

A housekeeper in those times was someone who OWNED the theatre- they actually were the keeper of the house. They shared out the money from the performances, paid the actors and took their share.

Really, i shouldn't be that suprised.

Because i already know i'm the keeper of the house.

Now, i feel that all my bloggy buddies are sick to the back gnashers of me putting them forwards for these things- but- i would love some of you to google your own names and let me know what you come up with.

Go on!!!!

Shakespeare's Housekeeper....really, i am. xx

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

My 'Aint Life Grand' award.

Well- I've been nominated by Abruptly Calico to state five reasons why life is grand for me.

After racking my brains and counting my blessings, here they are;

1; I've got work.

So many people haven't, and i've still got more than i can cope with. But that's good.

2; My Darling Daughter hasn't gone off the rails. Yet. I might need to do this again in a years time and see if answer is different.

3; I've got bloody brilliant neighbours. When you live in a tiny community like i do, and are more or less with these people every day, it really matters that i can go to any of them at any time for anything.

4; I'm so chuffed that The Writer actually prefers me without make-up- which is grand because if i wore it, then after the days work that i do, it would have slid off my face.

5; It's Spring!!! No more getting up in the dark and staggering around the bedroom trying to find my knickers, and worrying whether i will wake up The Writer after he has only been in bed for an hour.

There they are then.

And in true tradition, i now nominate;

Cassandra at Jacobwrestling.

Charmaine at Middle-Aged Dating.

Kat at Random Ramblings and Recipes.

Completely Alienne at ....err..Completely Alienne.

Cinnamon at Hull is Never Dull.

Go Girls!!!

Till next time,

Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Monday, 2 March 2009

The Birthday Boy.

It was The Writers birthday on Saturday.
He's now 42.
Which is still a year younger than me.
It was quite a quiet weekend all in all, mainly because he had a bottle of wine, a bottle of port and a bottle of scotch bought for him. Not by me, i hasten to add. So he spent a lot of the weekend sliding either off things or under them.
We went to dinner with the out-laws on Friday night and i spent the first part of the evening arguing gently with Sy's dad.
He keeps on and on at me to put my diary onto the computer, because you can't go wrong if it's all listed in front of you.
I reminded him that he had lost all his contacts and diary into the ether not too long ago, and i would much rather put all my day to day dealings on a calendar and hang it on the wall.
You know where you are with a calendar and pen.
Sy's mum tells me she still has a calendar on the wall in the kitchen.
' if i lose it, at least i know it's only down the back of the dresser, not half way round the universe.'
Luuurve that Brummie humour.
I didn't get Sy a present.
I had every intention of getting him something i know he really wants (which unbelievably, isn't a book), but the car had to be mot'ed...and that cost 175 quid.
Maybe next month.
So, i thought i might give him me, all dressed up and raring to go, after a second night out on Saturday night.
That all went tits up when i realised that if i were to instigate sex in the car at some ungodly hour, in February, then we might end up getting frostbite.
And i know what you're thinking, but he was only worried about his writing fingers. Not any other dangly bits.
Sunday we went to Stratford and bought books (what else...had to happen at some point) and ate chips beside the river.
And i felt really crap afterwards, because i've lost a stone since md January, and i'm sure they've done untold damage.
But i can't say no....it's the Piscean in me. Sy- booze. Me -chocolate and chips. Not necessarily in that order.
And that's that for another year.
It's my birthday in about 3 weeks.
I'm not sure what The Writer has planned for me..probably some gentle ribbing about the fact i'm still older than him, i might get coffee in bed (if i can boot him out to make me one) or maybe a suprise of his making.
I won't hold my breath though.

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The Writers Tale.

Well, after much hooing and haaing (are they words? Must look them up in Sprouty's Everyday Dictionary) i am interviewing The Writer.
I am doing this live, so i will write the answers as they are given to me.
Imagine the scene-
I'm in the kitchen, at the laptop- he's in the sitting room, at his altar, with David Attenborough telling us both, rather loudly about a salmons journey.
That actually may be more interesting...we'll have to see how this pans out.

S0, Sy- when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

'I started writing when i was a kid. my dad had quite a lot of books around the place and i found them rather interesting. The Ian Fleming stuff seemed much more interesting than real life.'

What was the first thing that you wrote about?

'My dad insists he found this little Ian Fleming pastiche that i had written when i was very young, but i've no idea how old i was- i got into films and moving making when i was 11 or 12, so it must have been prior to that.'

What was your first commisioned piece and who was it for?

'That would have been for Opera North-for a Danish Opera that had never been performed professionally in Britain and they needed an English Language libretto, and it was the Director who asked me to do it- she thought it was my sort of thing (laughs.)

What has been the most obscure thing you have written?

Open University stuff and a piece for the Dundee Industrial Heritage Centre, about Scott's first trip to the Antartic.

And your favourite, to date?

Darkside- a four part thriller written for the BBC, that so nearly got to see the light of day.
I've read it- it's bloody brilliant, and i'm not just saying that because i'm the wife-It scared the shit out of me.

How do you get in the right frame of mind to write?

You just have to start and do it. You can't sit and wait for inspiration. (more laughter.) He's in a good mood tonight.

You've written everything from television, through to plays, and now books. Which do you prefer?

Each one is very different. I like how disciplined writing for telly is, but i really got to hate all the re-writing crap. Theatre's great because you get to feel the audience reaction to what you have written really quickly. Books...haven't decided yet.

Ok...on to books. 'Commanding Youth' (the Arthur book) is going well- what is the most interesting and unusual piece of information that you have found out about him?

Where his grave is. Without a doubt. That piece of information is going to blow peoples minds Hopefully.

And Shakespeare is hot on his heels- the same question.

Probably, that he was murdered, from the evidence i've uncovered.

So, do you think that people will be more interested in reading about their deaths than their lives?

No. There are lots of big surprises, about both men.

How do you keep so focussed writing such detailed hisory?

It's like being a detective, getting and sorting all the facts and then putting them together, in the right order. There is more information than you could dream, about these men. It's just knowing where to look for it. Nobody has looked in the right places before.

What's your dream?

To be able to write what i want, and for that to be able to pay for the lifestyle i want.
( i do my best, you know...!)

Do you think writers who drink make better writers?

No. I don't drink when i'm writing. But that doesn't mean i'm not under the influence of something when i write....

Favourite book?

Red Shift by Alan Garner.

And writer?

Alan Garner again. He's very precise.

If you hadn't become a writer, what would you have done instead?

Apart from staying with acting, either war reporting or forensic psychiatry.

And finally ( for the time being, because i might do this again at some point)....how does your wife support you through the writing process. Details please, as this is her blog.

She keeps me fed and watered. She offers advice and suggestions. She asks very pertinant questions. And she believes in me. I think.

And on that note, Sy tells me he is off down the garage to get some ciggy papers, and so here endeth the first lesson.

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Sunday, 8 February 2009

What's the name of the game...?

Why, six nations rugby of course.
Today- Scotland versus Wales.
As you already know, I'm the one with Scottish roots.
What you may not know, is that The Writer is of Welsh origin.

It all started amicably.
It always does. We settled down with beer, our favourite rugger shirts, dug out from the back of the wardrobe, and a 'do not disturb sign' blu-tacked to the front door.

But it didn't take long for it all to go wrong.
Sy is torn between the telly and the computer, leaping to his feet every so often to punch the air and punch a few letters on the keyboard in one fluid movement.
I, on the other hand, have not moved.
That's a lie- i moved to collect the laptop from the kitchen, and am typing this as i peer half-heartedly across the top of the laptop at the telly, because once again, i have lost the will to live, and can't bear to watch the match in full screen.

We are losing.
Of course.
There may be a miracle....but i'm not hopeful.
There are 15 minutes left to play. If by some chance Scotland win, i will get very drunk.
And as you know, i don't get drunk very often as i get into all sorts of trouble.
But If Wales win (again), then i might have to leave the house for a little while.

Sy tells me that Wales wear red 'So the blood doesn't show'.
The point is, whose blood is he talking about..?

I know whose it will be in this house.

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Burn's Night... but not as you know it

I know it was a week ago, but i had to wait for the pics.
Being of true Scottish heritage, i get a bit 'precious' about Burn's Night.

And i had every reason to be worried.
You will see the motley crew- well the men-folk anyway.

Braveheart has a lot to answer for.
Their attire left a lot to be desired, ranging from a Frenchman who wore trousers under his kilt, to my mate John, who looked more like Captain Sensible than a Scottish warrior.

The food was fabulous, (lovely haggis and neeps) i didn't drink any Scotch and Sy recited 'Tam O'Shanter, all twelve minutes of it, from memory.
Except for the the last four lines.
He fell over at that point.
Well, there was sooo much Scotch swilling around and you know what he's like....

Highlight of the evening was the Frenchman in his kilt and trousers reciting 'To A Mouse'.
I defy anyone to understand it, even when a Scot is telling the tale.
But this was truly something else.
If i'd recorded him, it would be number one hit on Youtube by now.
There's always next year, i suppose.

Till next time
Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

My honest scrap.

Ok, it looks like it my turn.

I've been tagged by Completely Alienne to tell you all ten honest and interesting things about myself.

Well, you did ask....

1;When i've lost enough weight, the first thing i will do is dance around my sitting room naked.

2; I'm so proud of the fact that Darling Daughter's first proper boyfriend is black.

3; On a film shoot once, an actress was contracted to bathe in a lake topless- she had a problem with it, when it came to shooting the scene, so i went topless to show her that i would do it (while holding the boom mic) even though i wasn't getting paid.

4; Sometimes...just sometimes...i wish i wasn't married.

5; I have another job, which is so different from being a Housekeeper, i haven't found the right time to blog about it yet.

6; If i couldn't listen to music, at some point every day, i think i would go mad.

7; I drink far too much coffee- at least seven cups a day.

I blame The Writer for that.

8; Faith-wise, i'm a Pagan, with a leaning towards Witchcraft.

9; I sing nearly all the time.

Whether i can sing, is an entirely different matter.

10; I have learned more about life and education since i have been with Sy than i ever did at


And i don't think i'm far off having as many books as him...

Well, there you have it.

I'm passing this on to;

Charmaine- http://charmaine-greymatters.blogspot.com/

Kat- http://katdugers.blogspot.com/

Cinnamon- http://sueraphaelsmum.blogspot.com/

Red Rum- http://definitelystoppingattwo.blogspot.com/

Can't wait to read all of yours...

Till next time,

Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

My acceptance speech.

Thankyou, Mme Kat.

It's a pleasure and and honour to accept this award from your good self.

I will not be telling the writer, as he is still pissed off about me getting the last one.

Love to you all.

Mwah xx

Friday, 23 January 2009

Going up in the world.

...Just a quickie, actually.
Two wonderful, powerful men have new jobs this week.
One has the power to change a nation for the better, to look after his people and get dressed up in his finery to meet other very important people.

The other is now in charge of America.

Who is the first one then, i hear you cry?

My lovely Father in Law has been voted in as the new Mayor of Solihull.

As long as i don't have to call him 'Your Worship' when he comes over for dinner, he'll be alright.

Shakespeare's Housekeeper.xx

Friday, 16 January 2009

That time already...

..Parents evening last night.
Me, Sy and Darling Daughter's Dad trooped off to the school.
(click on 'school' under the label section, and you'll see why this is always such an adventure.)

Five minutes late for the first appointment, and we had 4 teachers to see.
The school is heaving.

We find the English teacher and take stock of the queue of parents waiting to see her.
She is running 15 minutes late.
I turn to the men.
'Let's go and find the R.E teacher. Perhaps we can then come back to Mrs English.'
The two of them look shiftily at each other.
They know this is a bad plan. If we don't get back to Mrs English on time, we will lose our slot.
But they follow me anyway.
Mrs R.E is smashing.
She is ready for the fact there are 3 parents, and has 3 chairs ready.
Massive improvement on last year, and i'm impressed.
We spend 10 miutes with Mrs R.E and speed back to Mrs English.
There is still a huge queue.
I adopt my alpha female pose and ask the parents waiting what time their appointments are.
She is still 15 minutes behind.
'Right- lets go and see Mrs Geography. Come on men, keep up.'
i'm on the way out of the room as i'm saying this.

'Yes Miss' comes this little voice.
I spin round and glare at the men.
'Which one of you said that?'
They both stare at me innocently and as i turn to belt up the staircase, i hear them sniggering behind me.
Feckin schoolkids still, both of them.
'Don't you hate her when she's got her bossy head on?'
'Yeah, some things never change..'

I'm kind of used to this now.
Sy and DDD get on so well, that they will happily trade off stories about me to each other.
But i'm watching them.

We sit to see Mrs Geography and have to wait a few minutes.
While waiting, another dad appears.
Mrs G is now free and i launch myself at her desk, but as i get there, Single Dad is too fast for me.
He slides easily into the chair in front of her and i feel like the loser in a game of Musical Chairs.
But only for a second.
i tap him on the shoulder.
'I'll think you'll find we were before you.'
I'm not sure what actually made him vacate the chair.
Could have been one of four options.

1.The tone of my voice may have been enough to unsettle him, without him actually turning to take a look at me.

2.It might have had something to do with the fact i had ben to a funeral earlier and i was still dressed in head to toe black with my big black (Captain Jack from Doctor Who's) coat billowing around me, and my red hair looking very windswept.
I like to think i had an air of Cathy from 'Wuthering Heights' about me, but to Single Dad, i probably looked like a mad version of somebody from a Dickensian novel.

3. Maybe it was because DDD was stood behind me, and seeing as he's six foot tall, shaved head and has the air of a door supervisor (well, that's what he does do actually.)

4. All of the above.

Anyway- he moved.

We saw Mrs G, all went well, and we scurried back up to Mrs English.
Who was still running late.
'French teacher!' i cry.
We find her room, there are ten sets of parents waiting to see her.
Bugger this.
Darling Daughter had told us that her cookery teacher was most upset that we hadn't wanted to see her.
So, we went and found her instead.
All on her own, in the Library.
Nobody seems to want to see the Cookery teacher.
She was so chuffed to see us, even though we had no appoinment, that she offered to make us a cup of tea.
Poor soul, i think we must have been the only people she had seen all night.
We declined the tea, but had a quick chat about DD's cooking (which is rather brilliant, actually)and made our excuses.
'One more shot at Mrs English?'
The men are looking thoroughtly pissed off by now, and i lose my rag.
'Look you two- this is your daughter's schooling we are here to talk about. It's not about you two. Now grow up and be the dads that you are supposed to be!'
The parents that were privy to this outburst must have gone home and talked to their children about this.

'Have you a girl in your year with a surrogate father? Only we heard.....'

Mrs English still had a queue.

We had been trying to see her for nearly an hour.
'We're pulling out, men..'
I felt like William Wallace. If only my face was blue. Actually, i'm glad i had my coat as it was bloody cold in there. So my face could possibly have had a tinge of the aforesaid colour.

On our return, DD was waiting nevously.
'Everything alright?' she asks while chewing her nails.
'Yep- you're doing ok. Don't worry.'
I went through to the kitchen to put the kettle on.
'One thing though- we didn't get to see a couple of the teachers. Can you get them to call me to talk about your work?

There is no way i'm going through that again.

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Monday, 12 January 2009

A day to myself....

Yesterday, i thought i would have a day to myself.

Darling Daughter was going off to do something with mates, and Sy is in the middle of a very busy period with 'Arthur'.

He hasn't had time to even pass the time of day with me (to busy with Authonomy...and those bloody forums!)

So, i thought i would take myself off to Stratford and browse the charity shops.

I cooked the two of them a huge breakfast, made sure they didn't need anything and got myself together.

'Where are you off to Sprouty?'

It's the first time in nearly a week that Sy has asked me anything, so it threw me a bit.

I glanced at him shiftily- i knew what was coming if i told him where i was going.

'Just out'.

'Where out?'

More than one question- this was serious.

'......Stratford', i mumbled.

I can't remember the last time i saw him move so fast.

'Two minutes and i'll be with you.'

Bugger, bugger and arse.

In the car, he say's 'where abouts in Stratford?'

'You didn't think to ask that before we set off?'

'Well, i'm sure it's somewhere lovely..'

Time passes.

'Can we call in at the Tip shop? There might be some new books there.'

Dutifully, i drive down to the hospice tip shop and park up.

Sy is out the car like a bullet and heads down to the book section at the back.

Sighing, i grab a handful of carrier bags from the boot of the car- he never, ever buys just one book.

Half an hour later, we drive into Stratford town centre, with seven new additions (note additions, not editions- we've not been that lucky yet) safely ensconced in the boot.

I'm already £6.50 down.

Right, serious shopping- look for the charity shops.

'Sprouty, you've never seen Shakespeare's grave, have you?'

Not today, please....


He grabs my arm and propels me at an astonishing speed in the direction of Holy Trinity church.

'We will go now- then you can say that you have been there. After all, how can you listen to me talk about his death and where he is buried, if you've never been to the grave?'

He's got a point.

And i can't believe that i've lived here all my life and never visited the grave.

But they say, people who live by the sea, and all that...

I've seen it.

It's small.

He has his family either side of him.

It's right in front of the alter.

And i had so many questions, that poor Sy hardly knew what had hit him.

I bought him a little bust of Shakespeare to put on his desk- for inspiration purposes.

Another £4.00.

Ok- charity shops!!

We mosy back up into town.

Sy see's another little church.

'We'll just pop in here Sprouty...it's never been open when i've come before.'

We have to leave money for the restoration of the stained glass windows....another £3.00.

Twenty minutes later, i'm making a beeline for the heart foundation shop.

Yay! We're in!.

But i don't see anything i like, so that's that.

Unlike Sy, who has found another two books....£4.00.

'Never mind Sprouty- lets go and see little bruv in his Gallery..we might get a cuppa.'

As i mentioned in a previous post, Sy's brother has an Art Gallery in Stratford- so along we went, the shop was open, and we awaited coffee.

No such luck- they bring it in from Costas, and had just done a 'run'.

More bugger and more arse.

So we stood in the Gallery, Sy yapping to his Brother about Politics and other stuff that people should be banned from talking about on a Sunday, all the while, it was getting later and later.

'Best go and find some more shops for you then!' he crys gleefully at about 4.00pm.

Bloody great.

Everything shuts at about 4.

We head back to the carpark, i pay £2.50 to get out of the carpark, (the barrier was shut on this one, not like the feckin hospital...) and we head home.

'Lovely day out, Sprouty. Thanks everso.'

Sy plants a kiss on my cheek as he gets out of the car.

I follow him into the house, where he is already back in another world, checking the ansaphone and starting up the computer.

I can't help but wonder how i let my day out become his?
Not just how- why????

Till next time,

Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Sunday, 4 January 2009

About last night....

I experienced a rather different me last night.
As i mentioned a while ago, one of my ladies is in hospital with a broken elbow, the consequence of a rather nasty fall.
The elbow is now mended, but she has other complications, so she is still in hospital, over two months after the original fall.
The last time i visited her was New Years Eve, and while i was there, i asked her if there was anything she needed.
'Warm clothes please- my son has brought in all my summer stuff-he hasn't got a clue..'
I knew what she meant.
'And as many pairs of knickers as you can find.'
Well, a girl can never have too many pairs of knickers, can she?
So, yesterday afternoon, i scurried off down to her house, dressed like a yeti (it was still minus two at 3.00pm) and started the mammoth task of finding some 'winter clothes.'
I have been telling her for over two years that we need to sort her clothes out-she has more clothes that don't fit, than clothes that do-but after an hour and a half later, i had found what i'd hoped was a 'warm clothes selection.'
Because of this winter vomiting bug, visiting has been reduced to one hour a day- between 7-8.00pm, so me and Darling Daughter set off in the Arctic conditions at 6.30.
Roads are trecherous, but we skid our way into the carpark of the most monsterous place you have ever seen just before 7.00.
We finally find our way to the ward my lady's on, and wait to be let in.
They lock the doors on the wards there now- and if there are no nurses around at 7.00 to let you in, you have to peer mournfully through the glass until you catch a glimpse of one and then hammer like buggery at the door in the hope they will hear you.
A nurse finally saw us at about 7.10.
As we scurried in, me clutching the bag of stuff, a loud voice boomed out at us from nowhere;
Darling Daughter yelped and i dropped the bag. A disembodied voice was telling us we were unclean.
Actually, we had used the spray twice on the way to ward, but i suppose you can't be too careful.
I was also in agony from using this spray- my hands are cut to ribbons at the moment (not too sure why, but there you go...)and everytime the stuff hit my hands it felt like somebody sticking my hands on a broken bottle.
I couldn't find my old lady.
There are at least four wards and eight or nine side rooms, so i tracked down a nurse and asked her.
'She's moved- either to the day case unit, or to the building over the road.'
Darling Daughter and i scuttled off through to the day case unit- on the other side of the hospital.
We found a nother nurse.
'Is she here?
'No, but i remember her...she's over the road in the other building.'
I was impressed that she remembered who my lady was, but as my lady was a nurse herself, i'm not sure she was remembered for the right reasons....i bet she's making their lives hell.
We grabbed the bag, and made our way down the stairs and across the carpark to the other building.
This was after trying to find someone to tell us where it was, with no luck.
Darling Daughter found a discarded map on the floor on the way out, so that helped a bit.
By now, it's 7.20pm.
And i had anticipated visiting for just half an hour, so we are now looking at ten minutes visiting.
We get to the other building and find the ward we are looking for.
More Alcohol spray.
As i approach the nurses station, i glance up at the patient board.
And, ominously, i can't see my ladies name.
No nurses around, so i ring the bell on the desk.
Bloody hell, you'd have thought i was starting WW3.
They came from everywhere, looking so mutinous that i checked behind me to make sure one wasn't bringing up the rear with a bedpan, ready to smash over my head.
'You haven't got my lady, have you?'
One picked up the phone while the others melted away.
'She's in the main wing on the top ward.'
'But that's where i've come from- 20 minutes ago- they said they hadn't got her'.
'Well, that's where she is.'
Back to the main building.
Up the stairs.
More alcohol spray. I could have cried.
More peering through the glass on the ward door.
We were spotted and let in.
'My lady- she must be with you..' i gasped.
'Oh, yes. Over there.'
And there she was, in the same place as New Years Eve.
But in a different bed.
At last.
We mooch over.
'I wasn't expecting visitors.' was her opening line.
Odd, i thought- she had asked me to bring these clothes in for her tonight.
' i've brought your clothes in for you'.
'What clothes- i didn't ask for any clothes.'
'You'll have to take them home again.'
Darling Daughter was cowered in a corner- i was getting worried about her.
I glanced at the clock.
Time to go- half an hour after i had wanted to leave, and the time visiting ends.
'I'll take them back home for you.'
We left the ward.
More alcohol spray.
In the foyer, i put my parking ticket into the machine.
£2. bloody 50 for up to two hours.
Darling Daughter hadn't said a word while all this was happening.
We got back out to the car, de-iced it, and drove to the barrier.
The barrier was up.
I needn't have paid £2. bloody 50 to park.
As we left, and got onto the bypass, a car cut me up. I didn't comment.
Darling Daughter squeeked.
'What's happened to you mum?'
'What do you mean?'
'We have just had the worst nightmare, and you haven't exploded yet...does that mean you are saving it all up ill we get home?'
She looked terrified under the lights on the bypass.
'No.' i said.
And i meant it.
For some reason, i did not 'Go Off On One'...and i really have no idea why.
The whole hospital experience was enough to send a saint over the edge, but not me. Not last night.

I'm wondering then, if this is going to be the year i try to be a calmer, more focussed Sprouty.
It would be nice.
But i guess it depends what happens to day really.

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper.xxx

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