Thursday, March 6, 2008

Irons, Costumes and a load of rubbish.

Now they say things happen in threes… and they do… on Sunday my iron stopped working. Now this is particularly annoying as it is less than a year old. Obviously, I could take it back for a repair or a refund BUT that would mean having to find the receipt. And to be honest I don’t have a chance in hell of finding it because paperwork, filing and general organization are not exactly my forte. (This may come as a surprise to you as I am such an excellent cook and efficient cleaner.) Now ironing is in fact Mr Turley’s domain; he positively loves it which is why I had bought a pink iron; it gave me much amusement to watch Mr Turley who is a strapping 6 foot 6 inches, ironing his pants with a girlie pink iron in his hands. Now I detest ironing with a fervour that is only matched by my hatred of Delia Smith; so Mr Turley does the majority of the ironing in exchange for “favours.” This is very good exchange; I get to avoid something I dislike in exchange for something a whole lot more pleasurable and Mr Turley gets to iron his shirts just the way he likes them without me complaining of a headache.

Forgetting the iron incident, now that I’ve started on the subject of receipts and paperwork I think I'll have to continue…

Now my lovely postman dropped yet another pile of the usual garbage of bills, circulars, bank statements and adverts for double glazing upon my doormat this morning. Damn him. (There was, however, also a couple of birthday cards so I didn't set the dogs on him as usual because I was feeling generous. )

But I ask you…Doesn’t a Housewife Extraordinaire have enough to do with out attending to these sorry piles of mindless rubbish?

I have enough paperwork already as my three boys are at three different schools; I am inundated with letters informing me that there is yet another fund raising event, school trip or general request for money. WORST of all there is the polite (but with threatening undertones of implied inadequacy) request to make costumes for an entire legion of Roman soldiers out of old loo rolls, some tin foil and (never quite big enough) cereal packets.

The truth is Readers - I would rather take a double barrelled shotgun to my head than manufacture another costume; I’ve been doing it for 12 years and If I never see another Roman soldier or Tudor King again I will be a very happy (albeit dead) woman.

To be fair, I don’t receive that many letters (well relevant letters) via Master Samuel as being of a teenage disposition he never gives them to me until such time as the information has been rendered useless, causing me to miss various meetings, parent’s evenings and generally to look grossly incompetent. (Which as you can imagine is pretty difficult.)

The question is how should one dispose of all this worthless paper rubbish? Here are a number of methods which I find particularly useful over the years;


Lighting a small fire, or indeed a large fire, under Master Samuel’s backside.

This is about the only thing to cause Master Samuel to move at a pace faster than a dead slug. This is in contrast to Master Benedict who is very light-footed (and regrettably light-fingered) and also a budding pyromaniac who will happily set alight any inanimate or animate object.

To this extent I must explain that on a recent outing to football practice with Master Jacob, Master Samuel did not perform his childcare duties with due care and attention and Mr Turley was unexpectantly later than norm. Whereupon on my return from Footie, I found Master Benedict had put the catch on the door and eventually when he did open it informed me he was "making a fire" and indeed he was... he had stoked up the stove with coal and paper and various household accoutrements which were burning nicely away and to which he was adding more articles... Needless to say Master Samuel, who was upstairs with his headphones on wooing his Xbox360, did receive the full wrath of my anger which is a rare, yet hideously unpleasant occurrence.

I m
ust also explain that on the weekend Master Benedict “acquired” from a friend’s house a squeaky mouse to which he had become more attached than a little boy should decently be to a small furry creature. Now when Mr Turley discovered the squeaky mouse hidden in Master Benedict’s football kit he was most cross and lectured Master Benedict till the little lad looked positively crestfallen at which time he was duly sent to his bedroom under instruction that he may not exit until such time as George Bush had passed the MENSA test.

A short while later we heard the click of the front door and discovered Master Benedict in the process of running away. He had bundled up his school fleece, football kit, pyjamas and his wallet into the cat blanket that is on his bed and having tossed it over his shoulder in the manner of Dick Whittington was heading down the driveway to seek a new life full of squeaky mice at the local park.

Needless to say Mr Turley was most remorseful and duly explained to Master Benedict that he loved Master Benedict very much but stealing a squeaky mouse was not permissible in the Turley Household, (irrespective of the undeniable attraction of the fluffy vermin.)

Hmm…I seem to have got distracted from the subject of Master Samuel… probably just as well other than to say setting his pants alight is a good method of raising him from his bed after midday and has the added bonus of extinguishing any unfavourable odours. (It is certainly preferable to extracting his pants from underneath his bed with barbecue tongs…although I believe they are shortly to be inventoried at Porton Down as a new and deadly weapon of mass destruction.)


Making a selection of high performance paper planes.

I am proud to announce that in the Annual Paper Plane Race at School my planes out perform any rival by a staggering 15 metres. I am particularly fond of my Stealth Fighter Plane which last year crept slyly up behind Dear Johnny’s mother pranging her in the back of her head causing her to drop Dear Johnny’s plane into the her cup of highly nutritious but unpleasant vomit-coloured carrot juice. (Excellent.) It’s not that I’m competitive but I’m rather partial to winning (provided I don’t have to partake of any vigorous movement of limbs which as I have already indicated can have serious environmental consequences.) However in view of the fact that I do not participate in The Parent’s Race at Sports Day I must point out that I am extraordinarily clever at school quizzes; particularly ones which require knowledge of completely banal and useless subjects such as granny knickers, hair loss and weight gain…when I can score an impressive 10/10. (Plus I’m pretty hot on answering bonus questions which are usually relating to football; to which my answer is always “Balls.”)

Anyhow, I can heartily recommend Sunday supplements for the manufacture of planes as their glossy nature improves aerodynamic performance.


Recycle them into luxury toilet paper.

This a “Must Do” activity. You will save yourself a heap of cash and the inconvenience of transporting large packs home from the shops. Follow my tried and tested formula;

1. Shred the paper and then dampen it down with water and a small amount of flour to ensure cohesion.

2. Kneed for five minutes and then form into a sausage shape.

3. Using your pasta machine (lasagne style) or a mangle (if you’ve been lucky enough to inherit one from granny) feed the sausage carefully through it and leave the resulting paper to dry.

4. Finally, congratulate yourself that you have produced organic, environmentally friendly luxury toilet paper. One tip though; do not use prior to using a communal changing room – you may receive distasteful stares due to residual grey streaks and the adhesive nature of the paper may mean that some of it may have stuck to your arse.

Making a costume for yet another school dressing up day.

The least attractive option and the less said about this the better. Only to say that today was…


Have they no pity?

Do they not know it’s my birthday?

When will I be released from the torment?

I calculate not for at least another 4 years… when I will have manufactured enough Peter Pans, Tin Men, Robin Hoods, Captain Hooks, etc etc to make me go COMPLETELY and UTTERLY INSANE. (Thereby fulfilling the criteria to become a Member of Parliament and so beginning a lifetime of political incompetency and free lunches in The House of Commons.)

However, today has been my easiest dressing up day to date; it was “Dress up as your favourite bo
ok character day” and Master Benedict decided he wanted to be Legolas. Now just in case you’re not familiar with Legolas; he is the blond haired elf in The Lord of the Rings who is the expert marksman. Now there’s not too much sticking and gluing involved in this one which is excellent. But it did leave me with a dilemma; Master Benedict has only just turned 7 so it’s fairly obvious that he hasn’t read The Lord of the Rings. It also implies that he seen he film… which is a 12 certificate. Now I’m not saying he has seen it but last night he garrotted the cat because he mistook for an Orc. Shame… but you know those vet bills were getting a little expensive….

So did I let him go as Legolas which required but a few minutes of preparation and some weapons (obligatory) or did I manufacture another vile costume of cereal boxes, crepe paper and pasta?

Answer; he went as Legolas and I’m expecting social services at any minute.

Now before I sign off for the evening I just want to say that I’ve become addicted to Pentad’s Simplifying Life and Love blog. (Still can’t do that link thing but it’s on my list of favourites.) I strongly believe Tamera is trying to entice me into revealing all about myself and using me as a case study for her next book which I believe will be entitled “Simplifying Housework and Accompanying Madness.” Now one of Tamera’s techniques is to post an image and see what feedback she gets and what crazy mixed up people like myself and Young Master Sy scribe. Anyway, I think this is an excellent technique which I’m going to try myself. Please look at the picture below and let me the first thing that comes into your head. You can be as explicit as you like. Thank you.

Now where's Mr Turley?

© Jane Turley 2008


  1. Nope, no idea. Reminds me of quadratic equations and I couldn't do those either. Now when Master Samuel is passing I'll ask him. He won't know either but I always enjoy making him feel stupid.(It's a mother thing!)

    Yep, he just passed and he didn't know...

  2. OK. I looked at the picture, and all I really thought was:

    "Man who wishes he was as good looking as I am, and even half as popular with the ladies."

    Is that a true reflection of how I should be thinking? Or should I now beat myself over the head with a semi fried haddock until I realise this is maybe not the case. I am WAY better then that and should not put myself down to that level.

  3. Ooooo! I like your deck of images much better than mine...

    What do I see....hmmmmmm
    Oh my. Is it warm in here, or is it just my menopause acting up?
    I believe I need a glass of ice water.

  4. Right, I've put my pyschoanalyst's hat on ready to interpret the reactions of my readers to the lovely Pierce;

    Sy; YOU MIXED UP CRAZY GUY! Do you think any man on earth could compare with the lovely Pierce???? Have you no shame compare yourself to such a God-like being who wealds his PPK as if he were parting The Red Sea. I see no hope for you Sy; you must take out your semi fired haddock AND some wet mackeral and beat yourself senseless until such time as you fall to your knees (and smell rather badly) proclaiming your obedience and loyalty to The Good Looking One.

    Tamera; this is a perfectly natural reaction to such a prime specimen of the male species. Pat your self on the back and congratulate yourself you are totally normal. (Oh.. might be a good idea to change the knickers too.)

  5. I'm with Onedia there-much prefer Legolas. Mr. Brosnan--good-looking though he maybe--seems more the 'all brawn, no brain' type. me I prefer the brainy types (I know I fail you there Mrs. T)
    Oh and, the punishment meted out to Mater Benedict was surely more than the crime deserved--shut in his room till George Bush had passed the MENSA(my sides are hurting). No wonder he tried to make an escape!

  6. This post is for your eyes only...

    I smell all fishy. I look a bit beaten up. I checked the mirror, and then checked the image again. STILL better looking. I feel kinda bad that I can be this bad while still being so good.

    I once walked past a row of women at a taxi rank and they all fainted. True story. Yeah OK, so I had not showered for a few days that time. But you know, if I hold on to the idea it was my looks and not the festering smell, I can die another day. I mean come on. Nobody does it better. I did ask the Dr but he said No. I said I wasn't happy with his opinion but he said "Hey. live and let die." Yeah sure. So I kicked him in the thunderballs. It is like I had a view to a kill, but really. Tomorrow never dies. And all the time I have scared the living daylights out of him, I can live in a quantum of solace at the casino royale.

  7. A 6'6 giant ironing his huge pants with a girlie pink iron... that's hilarious. Please, please take a picture! :P

  8. Purely in a manly sort of way, with not a hint of Homosexuality, Pierce wins hands down for me.

    The difference? He's a man whilst Lego land or whatever his name is, is a boy. Also, Mrs Floog adores Pierce so I have to be careful in case she reads this.....

    The running away bit reminded me of when I was five and left home with my cowboy outfit on, clutching my teddy bear. I made it all the way to the end of the street before getting home sick!

  9. Pierce is just so obvious. Legolas on the othe hand, is much more intriguing. Being a 6 foot blond elf probably helps the air of mystery...

    Did you watch Delia? Our TV has been in mortal danger from missile attack...

  10. Sue amd Mrs A... What is wrong with you? Legolas looks like a fairy! (I mean that in an Elfish way) And he way, way too young. Now I know youth IS very, very attractive and I'm not denying the fact that I may have cast my eye over some young gentlemen of my acquaintenance but a woman also needs an EXPERIENCED man who has a large gun which he can withdraw at any moment. Wallets too are very important and I am sure Pierce's Wallet is exceptionally huge. Legolas is but a boy which is why he is looking for the One Lego Brick to build his castle....

    Mrs A; no I could not bring myself to look at that vile, vile woman... A woman who likes cooking AND football... why she is a traitor to womankind...

    Oh Mrs A as I know you are exceedingly clever what does Onedia's cryptic comment mean? My poor little brain can not work it out... or indeed anyone if you know the answer please do tell...

  11. Mewie; somehow I don't think Mr T would like to have his fetish for ironing his pants illustrated to the whole world. However, it is possible that I will soon be posting a picture of his new iron... ho, ho, ho....

    Bond, Sy Bond.

    Now I didn't want to tell you Sy because it's an official secret... but I am On Her Majesty's Secret Service... which means I have access to the most powerful and deadly weapon known to man...which is, of course, Master Samuel's underpants...

    Oh by the way Mr Turley says I have a Goldfinger... but I'm not one to brag...

    Ah Floogie,

    What good taste you have and of course a man CAN appreciate another man's looks and talents with out being bitter and twisted. Obviously, I won't mention any names but I feel the need to give a big Sy of regret for him...

    You ran away with your teddy bear? Oh, how sweet! (Master Benedict is obviously a lot smarter though as he had made some preparations.) Master Bebedict is also smarter than Master Jacob who just left in his shorts and T-shirt one day...

    Am I doing something wrong? I thought I was the perfect mother and housewife.....

  12. Goldfinger eh? Using the cheap paper these days then? Some things are worth spending the little extra on you know.

    I should also warn you that I am armed with kitten poop. The smell from that armed with the underpants of master Samuel would make us a force to be reckoned with. We could rule the woooooorld!!!

  13. Now I don't like guns but I know what you mean ... Just think what a mad housewife with an AK47 would be like. People wanting you to make elaborate costumes for your children when you already have about 800 things to do, would quake in their boots. People trying to dump paperwork on you would be literally blown away. Boy racers would get short shrift. Boy, would I make enemies fast! I think I'd better go and lie down in a darkened room until 3 pm.

  14. Hey Jane that photo of you isn't terrible at all. With all those self deprecating comments I was expecting a loathsome looking thing with the body of Matt Lucas and the head of Peter Lorre AND Matt Lucas. With you bending forward like that...wait look, next to that shrub, it's Remington Steeleing up behind you.
    Unless, of course, things - cellulite, subcutaneous fat, haemorrhoids, vaginal looseness, varicose veins - have taken a serious hold over the past two years.

  15. Well hello Andrew The Male Housewife. Is your PC fixed? As you can see Mrs T is still suffering from her insomnia! I was just writing to the Lawn Tennis Asociation telling them what a dead loss (that's my polite language) they are when your message popped up -a welcome relief!

    I'm afraid to say the last two years have not been so kind as you suggest Andrew! Cellulite and subcutaneous fat certainly ring a bell! I've escaped the haemorrhoids and varicose veins so far but I ain't telling on the other! (Of course sneezing is a real problem too;just as well I'm not allergic to pollen.)
    I'm sure you will have some very thoughtful and observant comments to make on the lovely subject of househusbandry in due course and I'm positive some of my readers would simply love to hear about dishclothes and bottom wiping from a male perspective!


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