Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The cruel scent of Autumn - and free stuff! Yes, free stuff.

The cruel scent of Autumn is in the air.  No, not roast chestnuts and woodsmoke but smelly socks, fetid trainers and singed ironing.  There’s a week left of the summer holidays and really I should be Getting Things In Order. Once again (see posts around this time for the last however many years I’ve been writing this fecking blog) the boy has gone feral and unpleasant (only this time with raging hormones to add to the unsavoury mix). 

Twitter fuels my guilt. It seems like the whole world (apart from the sexbots, men, life coaches and carpet fitters) is sewing in uniform labels and booking itself into Clarks for shoe fittings.  It’s worrying about projects and colour-coordinating stationery.  Actually, even the sexbots are getting out their irons.  I, meanwhile, am wandering around Amazon getting dejected as I realise I now have more books out of print than in print.  L
‘We have to do something,’ I told James firmly over breakfast.  When I say 'breakfast' please don't for one moment imagine some cosy Waltons scene around the large farmhouse kitchen table. I was yelling from bed while he was scarfing a cinnamon Danish on the stairs. 
‘Get dressed and, once I finish this chapter of Lilith, we’ll attack your room.’

Aside: the book is by George MacDonald. Have wanted to read it for years and finally found it had been reprinted. Unfortunately the publisher turns out to be totally illiterate so you have to fill in the meaning on your own a fair bit.  Let me just read you this from the back cover blurb, to gain a flavour (so to speak):
“She then meats (sic) and falls in love with a young man who is already engaged.”  Er, right.

When I read this to Adrian he laughed, in a smutty schoolboyish sort of way and went off muttering, ‘Meat as a verb eh’…  Hmm. If you don’t get that, all I can say is good and that you probably didn’t share a flat with a bunch of Northern lads at university.
Anyhow.  I got up.  Sighed sadly at my shorts and T-shirt from the beach forlornly abandoned at the end of the bed and jumped swiftly into jeans, two jumpers, thick socks and UGG boots.  Yup it’s autumn alright.  The August thing is just a smokescreen.

‘Right, we’re getting Neolithic on your room, mate,’ I said.  James looked worried.
‘Yes, that IS way worse than Medieval, if you were wondering.  Do you KNOW when the Neolithic was?’
He shook his head sulkily and I rolled my eyes. ‘You’ve got a current affairs quiz when you go back to school; this is fecking ridiculous.’
His eyes brightened.  ‘But Neolithic isn’t current, is it?’
‘Er, good point. Okay, how many goals did Arsenal let in?’
‘Ha!!! Losers!’  We fist-bumped and heard the distant sound of a man banging his head rhythmically on a desk. 

Well, we threw the entire room up in the air and then tossed things into various mounds and then he sprayed and dusted until I started sneezing so loudly I nearly didn’t hear the postman who delivered a HUGE parcel.
Uniform?  Uniform!  Oh yes. Thank you, gods.  Or rather thank you, Tesco.  Once again, bless ‘em, they’ve come up trumps. Trousers, shirts, t-shirts, Top Gear pencil case and assorted stationery.  If there’s chocolate in there, I’m going to spontaneously orgasm….but no.  Sadly (or perhaps fortunately, given the postman was still lingering around the door) not.  There’s even a nifty notebook that says:

At which point I got quite excited (no, not THAT excited) and thought someone had finally figured it out but no, you (or presumably your child) are/is supposedly supposed to come up with the plan your/his/herself. Which is a Tall Order.   And then that reminded me of something and someone else, but I’ll save that for another day…

Anyhow. Tesco. Good for school uniform.  Saved my bacon anyhow.  Now I only have to sort out the shoes (and I’m sure we could just cut a hole in the front so the old ones fit) and invest in the new tracksuit (this school is getting a bit FA on us, frankly, we’ll have new home and away kits each season at this rate).  Which reminds me...Arsenal again...remember *that* away kit? Vomit.
Oh, and because I’m all heart (and because they offered it), I could nab you a new school uniform for your child too (or, hey, for you, if that kinda thing rocks your boat)… I’ve got a £15 e-voucher to spend online for the Back to School range…and, let me tell you, you’d probably kit out a family of ten for that… So, just leave a comment (and please make sure I can get hold of you – if you don’t have a blog leave an email or, hey, your postal address and where you leave your spare key…). I’ll close my eyes and stab the screen (making sure I get it that way round) to pick a winner by the weekend. 


Anonymous said...

I did, literally, laugh out loud at that so ta for a giggle.
Despite being the mother of a thoroughly adult offspring(child bride I was) who was homeschooled for 4 years and then spent the next 4 at establishments with only a dress code, I am tackling tasks that have lain dormant for months. if not longer. I have today scrubbed half my disgusting kitchen (the bottom half, if you want to know) and am planning a blitz on the whole house, bit at a time. I don't do spring cleaning, except symbolically but autumn cleaning makes sense to me, after working stupid hours all summer(and spring too for what it's worth)
Go Jane.
Gonna email about next week, sort out details. Just so looking forward to it!

sarah said...

what a great read, i woud love to go into the draw for the tesco voucher. I have a 7 and 9 year old needing uniform too!

Anonymous said...

Sadly quite excited at the thought of £15 to spend on stationery :D Hope I win! x

Ivy said...

hm my daughter ,fortunately stopped growing so last year's school uniform will be a bit loose after a 9 weeks holiday with healthy eating she is much trimmer now. But boarding school food will see to that.
Unfortunately Tesco doesn't do her School uniform anyway....

Preseli Mags said...

Knowing the speed at which my two can trash school uniform I'd better add me to here too. H once went to school and lost her trousers so you can see what I'm up against. The spare key is under the pot on the right. Ta.

Anonymous said...

Ha! I've just been informed that my allocation of 'two pairs of school trousers' for The Boy Wonder is woefully inadequate. I mean seriously, how many pairs does one 4 year old need?

Shu said...

Ah - ventured out for school shirts. It was hell - pure unexpurgated Hell. If I was a proper blogger like you I would have published my open letter to M&S and BHS - as it is I shall settle for offering my heartfelt sympathy and support in these trying times.
Good news though - kids soon to be back at school...

Anonymous said...

Absolutely brilliantly written post, totally entertaining and had me spitting out my chocolate nuts!

Unfortunately, Amy is too big for school clothes and I have to buy her ladies sizes!

K xx

Rob-bear said...

School uniform. We don't have those sorts of things here across the pond, except for those in truly posh schools. Besides, my grandchildren are being home schooled by their dad.
Someone more deserving should get the voucher. I'll just marvel about the Neolithic antics, and contemplate the horror of Arsenal's loss.
BTW: autumn is beginning to settle in over here. Fabulous time of the year!

Ashen said...

LOL Your hilarious account reminds of the time my life was hijacked by the school circus, and makes me appreciate boring serenity.

janerowena said...

The tesco clothes are a really good quality, it's such a shame that my 16 year old has got too tall. He is meant to wear tailored trousers, but I always managed to get away with tesco's as they were the same colour.

Yes, that boy smell - yesterday I made him go and clear out the area behind and under his bed, I just couldn't bear it. Also the walk-in cupboard where all the sports kit he has worn during the holidays has just been slung and not put out to be washed. I would have waded in there armed with plastic gloves and a facemask in previous years, but now I feel that I should be training him up ready to cope with life at Uni.

Belle_Lulu said...

For starters I NEED THE VOUCHERS. As of today I'm unemployed, lacking in motivation and sobbing snottily trying to sort out YD's room. She meanwhile, is ringing me at hourly intervals to sob about having to be a bridesmaid to her dad. ED tells me she is "being a little melodramatic and I've seen no evidence of Daddy shouting at her.....that much". Oh good. Because for one dreadful moment there I thought that they were having a better time than I was.

Now all we need to do is visit Clarks/Marks/Tesco etc next Monday when they are allowed to return home and gaze dispritedly at the rails of "Back to School" clothing items which will, I know, appear to have been raided by locusts.

So please help. While I search for Spa Breaks abroad for two.....want to come?! xxxx

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Anonymous said...

Mom used to 'let' us go to summer camp for three consecutive sessions.
Great, Yipee, Happy day. We didn't know she was busy ransacking our belongings.
"Mom, where's ..."
"In there somewhere, keep looking."
A real pro, she kept us in the dark and occupied. Torment your teenager before, er, when he torments you!

Milla said...

Add me in but if I win, give it Lulu. Just thought she deserves a double shot at it. (& you can just guess what phone wrote first time for shot can't you)

Exmoorjane said...

Wayhay, Blogger may be allowing me to comment!
Giveaway now closed and the winner is: Sarah (I've sent you your code, hon)..
But, because she sounded so incredibly pathetic, I figured I'd give my voucher (yup, they sent me one too) to Belle_Lulu... cos I'm all heart. :)

Love all your comments, as always...and sorry I can't make you all winners - though, of course, you are really... cos not a one of you is a loser... :)