The Dinner Party

August 22, 2010 § 6 Comments

I recently discovered The Red Dress Club, which is, in a nutshell, a writing workshop if you like.

I can’t remember how I found it exactly, but I’m glad I did. I scrolled down through the posts, and found Red Writing Hood.

What you do is, you look at the topics provided, have a look at other people’s entries if you like, and write a tale to correspond with the category.

This week’s provision is: write a first-person piece about either eating your favourite food or taking a shower – without using any personal pronouns.

Now, it seems easy written down. But once you start on the task, the toughness of it all kicks in, and you’re left with writer’s block.

So, I know it says ‘your favourite food’ and everything, but I’m just going to make something up, as I don’t even have a favourite food, or memories worth sharing of my shower and bath experiences, and also because my fiction is better than my non-fiction in all circumstances.

So, with the help of my generous (oh, please. Generous? Her? I had to bloody bribe her) daughter, I came up with this entry for the Red Writing Hood workshop.

The Dinner Party

Opening the cupboards. Realising the ingredients needed are nowhere in sight. Grabbing furiously at whatever is left, the feeling of disappointment and downright horror rising.

The guests will be here. Nothing is ready. Turning the oven up frantically, shoving the pan onto any free hob and dumping the random ingredients collected into it. Grabbing a wooden spoon and stirring it ferociously, staring at the clock all the while. The only sounds in the room are the quick pulse and the menacing ticking of the clock.

The doorbell rings. Early. The whole world stops and comes crashing down.

Running to the door, whipping off the apron and throwing it into the closet. Opening the door and greeting with hugs and the occasional kiss to the cheek. Leading to the living room, pulling out chairs politely and scurrying back to the kitchen, hiding the utter fear.

What to do? The meal isn’t ready, whatever the hell it is. Scooping it onto plates, trying to recognise the carrot and what looks like cabbage medley that has been conjured up. Taking the plates to the table, placing them down and eyeing reactions.

Feedback. Words. Nods. Smiles. No frowns, no vomit, no throwing down napkins and running out of the house forever. Good vibes.

Picking up the napkin sitting on the table and wiping the brow, beads of sweat dissolving into the tissue paper. Crumpling it up and tossing it to one side, it landing perfectly in the waste-paper basket as if professionally.

“Well done!”

“Lovely!”

“Yummy!”

“Delicious!”

The positive feedback roars as forks land on empty plates and full stomachs practically burst out of pretty dresses and shirt and ties.

This was a good dinner party. Must happen again.

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Chocolate Afternoon

August 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

In my previous post, I may have … slightly mentioned that my daughter wanted to make some chocolate pudding sundaes. Well, we made them (which surprised even me).

After being pestered for roughly a whole day, I bought the ingredients needed and set them out on the kitchen worktop. We got the recipe up on the laptop and read it as we went along.

First of all, we emptied all the ingredients into the bowls (I’m not the baking type of person, so I’ll admit to putting some of them in wine glasses and some in children’s dishes due to my lack of organisation), with Daughter staying well clear of the cocoa powder (“I don’t want it getting in my eyes!”).

I then started to chop up the chocolate, with Daughter complained about:

“Mum, what kind of chocolate is that?” she asked worriedly.

“Plain.”

“So it goes milk, plain, dark?”

“No, plain is dark.”

“OH NO! I HATE DARK CHOCOLATE! I ONLY LIKE MILK CHOCOLATE!”

“Don’t panic! We’ve got loads of milk going in it anyway, haven’t we?”

“Oh yeah.”

After about 10 minutes of chopping up the chocolate finely, we mixed everything into a pan on the stove.

I turned up the gas and started whisking it.

“Come here and help me, then,” I said, whisking it so ferociously that Daughter was laughing her head off by the laptop.

“Erm…”

She gingerly came forward, appearing by my side with fear and panic in her eyes.

“It’s not hard,” I said, handing her the whisk. “Hurry though, it says to whisk constantly!”

Daughter started whisking, keeping her bodily distance away from the oven at all times.

Every so often, Daughter would wake my mum up, who was snoozing in the living room, and tell her what was going on, and Mum would say “is it ready yet?”, follow her into the kitchen and wiping all the chocolate from the spatula with her finger, proceeding to lick it off.

It was taking forever.

“When’s it supposed to go thicker?” Daughter asked.

“Ages ago… how long do I do this for?”

“It says 8 minutes, but with an additional minute added on.”

“Okay… open the back door, would you? I’m roasting.”

“No, you’re not, you’re baking.

“Ha-ha.”

When that charade was finally over, we covered the desserts (that were spooned into random beer glasses) with baking sheets (we didn’t have anything else… told you I was disorganised!) and left them to cool before putting them in the fridge to set for 3 hours.

All in all, it was an okay afternoon. It would have been better if Daughter hadn’t been worried about eating hers because I thought some plastic was lodged inside, due to the whipped cream malfunctioning. Still, she was okay 🙂

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Chocolate

August 17, 2010 § 4 Comments

Okay, so today I was planning on making a chocolate pudding sundae.

Well, I say I. I really mean Daughter.

While I was happily watching television in the living room, Daughter was looking through all the cookery blogs (don’t ask how she accessed all those – she’s a whiz-kid, enough said.

“Mum! Mum! Mum!” She called every two minutes, calling out a new recipe while I reluctantly paused the television. Each recipe required an electric mixer, which I don’t have (call me old-fashioned…).

“OH WOW! MUM!” came the final cry, and squeals of excitement as she scrolled through the recipe, the word ‘electric’ or ‘mixer’ nowhere in sight.

“What?”

“CHOCOLATE PUDDING SUNDAES!”

Now, admittedly, they do look yummy. Daughter showed me all the photos of them, and I felt drool escaping my lips slightly.

“Can we have it for dessert tomorrow, Mum?” Daughter persisted, and before I could even open my mouth she was running round the room, shouting “Oh my god, I’m so excited! WOW! Look at these!”

My head was in my hands as she paraded round the room, thrusting the laptop screen at everyone’s face.

I have random thoughts every day (sometimes every minute of every day), and today’s was probably this:

I want to make these just so that I can pour them all over her head. After all – it serves 4.

Of course, I am joking. I’d never waste all that chocolate 😉

Get her off the telly, please…

August 13, 2010 § 5 Comments

Is it just me, or does it seem that Paris Hilton is treated like absolute royalty?

Now, usually, I don’t rant about a lot of things. I’m usually quite calm (when the kids aren’t around), and well behaved, but ever since Paris ‘I’m a princess!’ Hilton released her TV show (you know, that one where she has to find a best friend since she can’t get one by herself), she’s everywhere. Daughter records the episodes every week, even though she agrees with me that she’s a spoilt little brat. She claims she only wants to watch it to laugh at all the pathetic losers who take part on the show. Mm.

I had the misfortune to have to watch the last episode with Daughter, since my mum was asleep downstairs, and Couch Potato was snoring too loudly in the next room for me to cope until my aspirin kicked in.

“Do we have to watch this, Daughter? Surely there must be something more appealing on.”

“Yes, we do, Mum. I like to laugh at all the pathetic losers who take part on the show.” Again, mm.

So I relaxed back, crossing my fingers that the satellite would bust up and we’d have to switch to DVDs.

Of course, that didn’t happen.

So instead I had to endure a whole hour of Paris Hilton’s My New BFF (don’t ask me how I know the full title – I don’t even know why myself), where all her little stalkers themselves endured a whole day in prison (I felt a bit like that myself) to see ‘how Paris felt when she was inside’. I felt like screaming: “SHE WAS INSIDE BECAUSE SHE BROKE THE LAW, FOR GOD’S SAKE”, but I didn’t, because it would wake Mum up and she’d wonder what the hell was going on upstairs.

I then saw Paris’ outfit and my jaw almost hit the carpet beneath my feet.

She was wearing an outfit that is completely indescribable. I honestly couldn’t describe it if you gave me two whole days to do so. Take a look for yourself and see if you can do otherwise.

I was beginning to wonder if the outfit was suitable for my daughter to view. She seemed perfectly at ease – even when she forced her stalkers to dress in bikinis (and for the gay dude and the obviously-in-love-with-her-but-pretending-otherwise boy, a pink shirt and shorts) and stilettos and run around the playground outside, leaping over things and climbing ropes of her own hair (I sincerely hope I’d misheard her).

They then revealed a dartboard for them to show their paint-soaked shoes at, with a picture of a random girl called ‘Katie’ on. I wondered who this Katie was, and asked Daughter, who didn’t know either. It was then revealed that she was a girl who’d ‘disrespected Paris, so deserves bad things to happen to her’, by swearing at her as she got voted off the previous show. I felt like vomiting at how sickly these stalkers were.

“Daughter, please, if you really love me you’ll spare me of this,” I begged, on my knees as the stalkers went to get their lunch, which was a single cup of water and a dollop of chilli and tuna on their trays.

Daughter just ignored me, as per, her eyes focused on the television screen.

I don’t even know why I stayed in the room. Maybe I thought if I left, the stalkers would follow me, armed with sharp stilettos.

When the programme had finally finished after losing two stalkers, I felt like my whole world had opened up again, and I was free of this pink and princessy nightmare.

“Did you enjoy that, Mum?” Daughter teased, a grin on her face.

“Yes, I loved it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and PUKE IN THE TOILET. Thank-you.”

Changes

August 6, 2010 § 4 Comments

Some people have experiences in life that changes them – whether it’s a death in the family, or just a discovery that changes their outlook on life itself.

For me, it definitely has to be my children’s births.

Especially my daughter’s.

When Daughter was born, I was, of course, over the moon. But I made a decision I never thought I’d later regret.

I gave up my job.

I was a secretary. I had various jobs to do, but loved them all. I felt I was meant to be one, it was my ideal occupation. But, to look after my baby daughter, I gave up the job, as Couch Potato worked full-time.

A short while later, I got a new job – a night job, so that when Hubby came home, he’d be able to look after Daughter, and I’d be able to go out and work for extra money. We didn’t really need it, but I just did it to be able to have a little ‘pocket money’, to go to the hairdressers, or just to buy some clothes that tickled my fancy at the time.

The new job was waitressing.

Sure, it wasn’t as good as secretary work, I knew that, but how was I able to look after Daughter if I was working in an office all day? You may be shouting at the screen “nanny!” or “childminder!” or even “your parents!”, but I didn’t feel that was the best option for her. I didn’t want her to grow up not having spent enough time with me, and more time with someone whom I’d be paying to care.

Of course now, I feel I made the wrong decision.

My daughter isn’t a very independent girl, and I think that maybe if I had hired somebody to look after her, she’d be more independent and less shy. Although I did the exact same with my son, he’s less of a shy person than his sister, for some unknown reason.

I will forever regret quitting my job – maybe if I hadn’t we’d have a better income now.

Then, looking from a different perspective of things, if I’d have done things differently, my children wouldn’t be like they are now. Sure, they might have been a bit more well-behaved, but not the exact same, would they?

This post was inspired by Josie at Sleep is for the weak, a post for her weekly Writing Workshop.

Blackberry … No, Not The Fruit.

July 29, 2010 § 7 Comments

Daughter, for the past few days especially, has been begging for a Blackberry (seriously – it’s more of a down-on-your-knees thing nowadays). I don’t blame her, though, seeing as though her dad promised her it’d be done months ago.

She thought all she’d be getting was a Curve. But in Tesco the other day, she saw a Bold, and has changed her mind completely about the whole arrangement. Couch Potato and I are going to have to go down to the Orange phone shop later today, seeing as though I think that’s where the better deals are (and besides, if we get two phones on Orange, we get free pizzas and cinema tickets every week! Yay!).

Then it struck me: You can get WordPress on the Blackberry, and upload things straight from the camera. So now, my thoughts towards the phone have suddenly increased positively, and I can’t wait until we go to the Orange shop!!)

Do you think, if I ask her very politely, she’ll let me steal it once a week to go searching for Gallery ideas and entries? All I can do is hope, pray, and cross everything I possibly can until then… wish me luck.

My First Post … Well, Not Quite…

July 28, 2010 § 7 Comments

Hello!

If you don’t already know me, I’m called Glummy Mummy, and I have now moved here from Blogger.

If you do know me, then… hi again!

I’ve always been torn between Blogger and WordPress. Blogger seems much easier to use (the dashboard, comment moderation etc), and yet WordPress is much more advanced, better in so many ways. I suppose I did the right thing by starting off on Blogger and eventually working my way up to WordPress.

I think this is a whole new start for me – that is, if I’m able to figure out how to use this before I have a mental breakdown and check myself into rehab (sufficed to say that’s a last resort for me).

It took me a while of flicking through themes (I chose alphabetical order – I don’t know why) but I finally found the theme I’d been most interested in. Now all I have to do is work out how to make it look a bit more fancy…

Now that I’m having a whole new start to blogging, I’m going to take part in much more things. I’ll be posting Gallery entries on a weekly basis (if I can find a camera or a source that shall help me take some photos…), I’ll be taking part in memes if I’m ever tagged in any, and I might even join in with the Writing Workshops, if I can find any stories in my brain to go along with the chosen subjects.

Then again, my brain is hurting enough as it is…