Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Help! It's the School Holidays!

Well this will be a very short post because it's that dreaded time of year...The School Holidays. Of course, whilst I relish the idea of not doing The School Run, I'm still Mrs T's Taxi Service running my Terrible Trio in my deadly Cmax all over the place. Our summer vacation to Ireland approaches too so I'm vaguely thinking about packing some stuff but as usual I will endeavour to leave it to the very last moment just so I can remember what the word "excitement" means. "Excitement" usually means a giant sized bar of Cadburys these days but the stress of packing which always nearly brings Mr T and I to blows is always good for letting out a little bit of pent up frustration. At the moment I'm trying to figure out how to get Mr T's fishing rods into a 4x4 sq inch space. Fortunately, I have a rather good idea; it may involve a mallet or possibly a small chainsaw. Who knows, I'm feeling daring today...maybe both!

Well I had some sad new on Monday from my home town of Weston Super Mare. Yes, that's right Mrs T was raised in the birthplace of John Cleese and Monty Python. Hmm... maybe that explains some things? On the other hand the delightful Jeffery Archer comes from Weston too - the only thing I have in common with Jeffrey is our political rule the world by fair means or foul! However, I don't think anyone could accuse me of ever telling enough porkies so that I end up behind bars like Mr Archer; I am 100% honest and never prone to lying or the slightest exaggeration.

Well back to the sad news...
The Pier at Weston has burnt down. The fire was apparently started by a deep fat fryer early Monday morning and within a short time the building was ablaze and the pictures making headline news across the UK. ( I'd like to point out at this juncture I don't have a deep fat fryer for this very reason - I have way too many cooking problems without potential explosive electrical devices lying wantonly around) Anyhow, having spent many years wandering the seafront, strolling the beach, feeling the surf splashing on my face and the wind gusting through my hair and and gazing across to the Welsh coastline I shall miss The Old Girl. She was a grade II listed building and a feature of the coastline I will always remember with affection... especially in more recent years where I have revisted it with my children and played silly games, sat astride the ghost train and enjoyed overpriced ice creams. I suppose in time it will be rebuilt..but I guess it will never be the same again.

Life moves on.. every time I go back to Weston it has changed and expanded until in recent years it is almost a hinterland of Bristol. The Seafront, home to the second highest tide in the world, and with it's Victorian Hotels and sandy beaches was the one thing that had remained fairly constant and now with the death of The Old Girl my only attachment left is my mother who still resides there. Our family home was sold a few years ago and my mother now has an apartment looking out to the sea. It was a good move for her and I have no regrets.. but one day I reckon I'll move back to the coast.. probably not Weston though.. .so I can feel, once again, the sea breeze on my face and hair, the taste of salt in the air, watch the fierce waves crashing upon the promenade and rejoice in the cries of seagulls as they soar in the dull grey skies.

And when the holiday makers have gone, I'll know that this is once again England, my England.

Copyright Jane Turley 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mrs T is back with a load of gibberish..

The last week has not been one of my best. The bad news of my last post set me off on one of my rollercoaster emotional periods which for Mrs T is like having laboured over the preparation of the most exquisite meal I have ever attempted (home made sausages rather than the shop bought ones) and then to drop the lot just as I’m about to serve it up to an eagerly awaiting Mr Brosnan. Not good! To top it off this week I had my first proper interview for a job for about 12 or 13 years which induced some mixed feelings. (These are the same mixed feelings that I normally reserve for viewing Sylvester Stallone movies; i.e. boy is his body hot but he just can’t act….)

To continue… Surprisingly, I was not particularly nervous about this interview because I knew I could do the job and do it very well and also I’m one of those people who enjoy challenging situations; yep I was one of those weird breed of people who actually revelled in doing exams at school. (Obviously, not maths as you would have to be really, really weird to enjoy maths.) But unfortunately, Mrs T who is normally good at concocting ludicrous waffle required at such times had a frozen brain cell moment during the interview when asked what her personal weaknesses were and as a result did not get the job. Was I disappointed? Well, yes and no. Yes, because I don’t like to fail at things - except cooking and cleaning where it is my moral duty to fail in the quest for female emancipation. (i.e. to fight for freedom from checked pinafores, shiny work surfaces and those small useless gadgets that serve no purpose whatsoever.)

(Also, it is my right, indeed my honour, to fail miserably at household tasks, especially cooking, because they are exceeeeeeeedingly borrrrrrring which is why I’m working on the design of a new stove which will revolutionize the life of suppressed housewives the world over and which I shall market as “Mrs T’s Thermo- Nuclear Cooker - A one step method to producing hot meals(and frying your husband) in less than 30 seconds.)

Now in preparation for the grilling I was to receive at the interview I had prepared some thoughtful and perceptive statements about myself for the interview panel which for some inexplicable reasons did not go down well. Here they are;

1. I am a former Miss World and have devoted my entire life to world peace. I believe in for the right for all women to have unnecessary surgical implants at the taxpayer’s expense and the right to produce their own range of designer swimwear constructed out of 2 handkerchiefs and a shoelace.

2. I was a child genius. (Unfortunately I grew up to be an idiot; this was due to a diet of Norman Wisdom films, bubblegum and the unfortunately switching the television on during an episode of the Jerry Springer Show thereby sending me into a life of complete stupidity and blatant overeating.)

3. I have 3 cats. (Theory; showing you are an animal lover induces a picture of a caring, nurturing person which is excellent. The cats also keep me cosy and warm; along with the other 98 it took to make the coat.)

4. I am excellent driver and will definitely not reverse over any small people or animals in the school car park. (Unless they get in my way.)

5. I will do anything to get this job; including handing in my Uzi at the police station, dancing to the soundtrack of Flashdance in the school canteen whilst eating lumpy semolina and finally, declaring to the world that I believe Gordon Brown is a financial genius.

Honesty, I feel, is always the best policy. However, strangely enough my honesty did not appear to be appreciated. Hmm... why ever not? Anyhow, back to my personal weaknesses which in the feedback I was told I had not embellished upon enough and appeared “defensive”. Now, after several conversations with friends I realise that I should have found a weakness and put a positive spin on it. For example, that I like chocolate too much which makes me fat but the resulting demand for the production of cocoa beans keeps thousands in employment all over the world! You see what I mean? Eating chocolate is a positive! Anyhow, at the time all I could think of was my genuine personal weaknesses and frankly since I wasn’t in a therapy session I had no wish to discuss them with complete strangers. Lack of experience in interview techniques after such a long break, I suppose. Ah well.

Anyway, I thought as it’s possible I might be asked this question again at some future point I’d just list my faults and weaknesses and any prospective employer can just take a peek at my blog and satisfy their curiosity! So here we go;

1. I fantasize about making love to Pierce Brosnan in a vat of custard. (NB; this is cold ready-made custard. My own custard, which is heated to boiling point, may scald him in his vital places which would be catastrophic. It is also very lumpy and not easy to digest which might affect Pierce’s staying power.)

2. I frequently conduct inane and totally pointless scientific research using search engines. For example, I recently researched “Men’s butts” (Well specifically Kevin Costner’s butt) and came up with this rather interesting video which in the name of science I have studied with due care and attention.

Ladies, I think you’ll agree with me that my research sometimes proves (um, cough, cough) somewhat “fruitful”. And Gentlemen, if you have a butt like Kevin Costner please leave me your details. (Photographic evidence required.)

3. I have penchants for chocolate and cream cakes (useful for weight gain if you get a part as a normal person in a Hollywood movie), small furry animals (useful for mittens), action movies, (useful for foreplay) and Leslie Nielson. (Don’t ask.)

4. I fantasize about getting a job which requires me to do no work whatsoever for an extortionate amount of money for a handsome (and single) wealthy employer. Whoops, sorry...wrong draft there... I fantasize about getting a job which requires me to work exceptionally hard (probably in IT) for very little money but nevertheless feeling deeply fulfilled for a bearded and annoying employer. (Richard Branson.)

5. I fantasize about writing a novel called “North or South; if only I knew what direction I was going.” The blurb on the back cover would be written by Paul Burman and read as follows “This is the biggest load of utter gibberish I have ever read, deserving of a kick up the arse and an award for sheer and utter stupidity; an instant bestseller.”

6. I have a fetish for Magnums (and yes that is a piccy of a Magnum .44 even though it says Colt in the corner) thus I fantasize that I will duel over Pierce Brosnan with Usha. Usha’s weapon of choice will be also be a Magnum. Unfortunately it’s a Magn
um lolly. Therefore I WILL WIN. I will not gloat that I have won because I think it’s mean to do that when you’ve won. If someone has lost and you’ve won it’s really not nice to keep rubbing it in over and over and over again that you’ve won. I’m just too nice a person to mention the fact that I’d won and won easily.

7. I fantasize about a Hamster called Sy. Well about torturing him really and keeping him in a small claustrophobic cage where he must use his tiny pathetic feet to spin his cheap plastic wheel. The electricity generated will power my electric toothbrush. (He’s so weak and feeble it’s untrue.)

8. I have a weakness for Mrs A’s chocolates. This does not help me in my quest to prove I am academically superior to her because as soon as she gives me her chocolates I am at her mercy. Damn.

9. Men with clean ties really do it for me. I mean there’s nothing worse than a man with a tie with a load of custard on it is there? (Unless it’s Pierce Brosnan’s tie when that is perfectly acceptable.) Men with dirty ties need a spanking.(And some soap flakes.)

10. I have some bad habits. That was when I was a nun but now I’m a “normal” member of society I disguise them by wearing a white sheet over the top and pretending I am an angel.

11. I have an overactive imagination.

Is it any wonder I didn’t get the job?

Oh yes, and if anyone wants to employ me please do leave a comment.

Copyright Jane Turley 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mrs T takes a leave of absence......

*Ding dong* the doorbell chimes, and Mrs T excitedly walks to the door.

Oh Pierce. It is you! I always knew this moment would come!” Mrs T croons.

Jane, my love, can I come in?” Pierce smoothly replies. His eyes smouldering with passion.

Of course Pierce. Please. Come in.” Mrs T replies. Her nightrobe falling slightly open to reveal her tazmanian devil nightie, with stains of a Cadbury caramel bar.

Oh, do excuse the stain!” Mrs T says, as she starts to suck on the chocolatey goodness stain.

"GO! GO! G O! Hold her down. No, harder. She is escaping! Come on...just a second more. OK, I got the sleeves around the back and the straps done up. That’s it. Take her away!"

*cue face peeled off a’la mission impossible styleeee*

Ahaaaaa! It is I. Master Sy. It is time to end this insanity of Mrs T’s.

Dear readers, after several “dodgy” posts, Mrs T has been replaced. As you read this, chocolate is being dangled in front of her eyes, and every time she goes for it, the straight jacket gets tightened a little more. Her face currently has the look of a constipated blueberry, such is the force at which she is going for the chocolate.

For a few months, I have been watching her behaviour, and it is obvious there are a few delusions occurring on a postly basis. Therefore, it is time to sort out a few bits.


My apology loyal readers, she is trying her best to get to the value own brand chocolate we are teasing her with.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Master Sy. I am not a housewife extraordinaire as the blog title suggests. In fact, I am not even a housewife. I am just a man. A man of extraordinaire proportions. Call me “The man”. Or “The Legend”. Hell, you can even call me Delilah. Either way, this is my post now. The king is dead. Long live the king. Well, I guess queen, but you know, the connotations of writing are just too many. Calling myself a queen...well...yeah.

Now. The reason for this takeover is two fold. The first is Mrs T’s infatuation with Mr Brosnan. The second is because I can, and because after I realised there were 2 folds after I folded the paper to put it in my pocket.

So I have arranged to interview them both. Get to the bottom of all the shenanigans. It seems to me to be the only way to get this sorted once and for all.

Master Sy: Tell me Mrs T. What is it all about? Hey? Why Pierce? Why a man with a name like the bad side of visit to the Dr’s for an injection?

Mrs T: Chocolate...Give. Me. CHOCOLATE. NOW!

Master Sy: Holy hell. She is spitting weird green stuff and her head is starting to turn all the way round.


Master Sy: Ooohhhhkaaaay then. Guys...move the chocolate another 5cm away from her. Now. Mrs T. Answer me, or else. Why Needle Boy?

Mrs T: I hate you and everything you stand for!

Master Sy: I love you too poppy. But come on. Answer the question.

Mrs T: Fine. He is adorable, and he WILL give me more children. Mrs T needs to copulate and grow. My inner being is calling out for him. For him to fertilise me like an old pile of vegetables. The master race of Brosna-beings will take over the world and do my bidding. Cadburys and Nestle will be under my control. Chocolate will become more valuable then gold, oil and BOGOF offers for anti-perspirant in the warm season all put together. The French will want to be like me. The Iranian government will want to partnership with me. THE WORLD WILL TASTE MY SWEET TASTING GOODS!

Master Sy: *snicker* Taste your sweet tasting goods? Are you planning on selling chocolate or pornography?

Mrs T: Do not mock me mortal. I will come for you.

Master Sy: Riiiiiight. OK, well, thanks for making absolutely no sense at all. Here, have a mouthful of sugar free diabetic chocolate!

Mrs T: AAAAARRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Master Sy:Watch out lads, I think she is gonna blow! Now. On to Mr Brosnan. The man behind Mrs T’s infatuation. Mr Brosnan. How do you feel about all of what you just saw?

Mr B: Blibble flip poop stump gorby munching tea pot. My name's Pierce and I have big ears! Wooooooo!!!!!

Well, I don’t know about you readers, but I think they should get together! Now. Please be kind enough to leave a comment letting me know if you would like the restraints taken off of Mrs T, or if you would like her kept in stasis for a while.

Thank you for your time.

Master Sy

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A life worth living

I was going to write a humorous post today. But I’ve had a change of heart. I’d like to tell you a story instead. I hope you don’t mind.

This is the story of Divya.

I first met Divya when she was in her early twenties. She was born in the UK to parents who had emigrated here from India. She was a pretty, petite woman. She was skinny but also had a quite sensual appearance with long dark curly hair, big brown eyes and the sallow skin inherited from her parents.

I suspect she must have quite a tough upbringing in many ways. She was raised in a small red brick terrace that opened directly onto the street in a large urban town and I’m guessing there wasn’t a lot of money for life’s little luxuries. I suspect Divya struggled too with cultural differences. From what I ascertain, her parents retained their own culture as much as possible but she appeared to embrace a more British way of life; a life with perhaps more personal freedoms than her heritage had foreseen. She studied and went to college, enjoyed her liberty, and shortly afterwards she got a temporary job where she met my brother.

My brother who was older than Divya and a long time bachelor was taken with her looks, her charm and her bubbly enthusiasm for life. So naturally, it was about this time too that I first met Divya. I felt she was a breath of fresh air in my brother’s life; I admired her friendliness and her vivaciousness. She dressed well in fashionable clothes that flattered her figure and I always found it amusing how she could flaunt a fake fur handbag with such audacity. A relationship developed between her and my brother and like other couples they fell in love and, in the course of time, they made plans to be married.

The possibility of marriage caused a little friction between my brother and my father who at that time was becoming increasingly frail and suffered severe pain; as it turned out he was actually dying from a misdiagnosed malignant tumour. Looking back, I feel his reluctance to accept the idea of marriage was as a result of him being drawn closer to his religion as his life was drawing to a close; the thought of his eldest son marrying out of the beliefs he held so deeply was a deep disappointment for him. Maybe his reaction wasn’t as it should have been but I also feel it was perfectly understandable given his age, beliefs and situation. I have always thought that this was the cause of the disharmony and not any personal dislike for Divya, who as far as I am aware, never held his reservations against him.

Amongst my other immediate family Divya was accepted without question despite our comparatively strict catholic upbringing. As children, my father never imposed his religion on us in an unpleasant, domineering fashion and I believe he taught us tolerance and understanding in his own understated and quiet way. His reservations about the marriage were silenced by my mother, always wise, who said “Don’t be so silly John; they will be alive when we are dead and gone. Don’t ruin their big day!” And so when the day arrived, the family were all present and correct.

I don’t know if there was conflict within Diyva’s family. Unfortunately, her father had been killed tragically in a car accident a few years before. But maybe in some ways this gave her freedoms she would not otherwise have had. I don’t know; I can only surmise.

The wedding was a civil ceremony held at a splendid location. It was truly a meeting of two cultures. Divya, who had embraced English culture but also retained much of her ancestry, wore a stunning red sari and looked absolutely fabulous. So did all her relatives who turned out in a colourful throng to support her. It was a cold winter’s day, the trees were bare and a few flakes of snow floated on the sharp breeze. Yet it was also a day full of colour, of laughter and of happiness. For me, that day says much of our British way of life; how it is possible that so many races and cultures can learn to live side by side, to be respectful of each other, to move forward in this ever challenging world.

For a few years my brother and his wife lived happily. The initial period was tinged with the sadness of my father’s slow and painful death. Divya, who was a wonderful cook, baked him cakes and sat by his bedside too as the cancer took his toll upon his ailing body. My belief that my father’s initial stubbornness to the marriage was not anything to do with her personally was confirmed. Indeed, he remarked to me in those last months that he had come to see her as another daughter.

Divya was young, pretty and ambitious but nevertheless after a few years of exotic holidays and working hard she gave birth to a baby daughter. As the result of two entirely different genetic backgrounds she is the visible evidence of our culturally diverse British society; she has her mother’s dark eyes and hair but the paler skin of her father. She is a natural beauty.

Divya though was still ambitious to succeed in her career. Possibly, this was the result of her modest background and a need to escape her past. I can only guess. Thus there came about a role reversal; my brother gave up his job to look after his daughter and when Diyva’s maternity leave ended she returned to work. Unfortunately, this is where things began to go wrong. It is not for me to dissect my brother’s relationships or make judgements. I will only say that I do not believe it was cultural differences that made the marriage flounder but more likely the issues of age and perhaps of dreams and aspirations.

And so, in the course of time, the marriage ended. There was, I am certain, hurt on both sides.

They say time heal all wounds. Who can say. But eventually my brother found a new partner and his angst began to subside. My loyalty was to my brother and I lost touch with Divya but I listened with interest to the little bits of information that were passed to me about her life. After several failed relationships, she too settled down with a new long term partner and her career progressed. Both she and my brother had both moved on in their lives but, I believe, were nevertheless still united in their love for their daughter. Finally to complete the transformation, 5 weeks ago Divya gave birth to a baby boy. It seemed everyone was now happy, the circle now complete.

The telephone rang this morning at half past eight.

Divya has suddenly and unexpectantly died.

I do not, as yet, know the finer details; I believe it may be a Group A streptococcal infection that her body, in its post pregnancy state, could not fight off.

I am truly sad. I am sad for my brother, his daughter, for Diyva’s partner, for their new baby son and also for Diyva’s mother who has had two such awful tragedies to bear. But most of all I feel sad for Divya; she has left this world too soon. Her gaiety, her enthusiasm, her obvious enjoyment at being alive was a rich gift. I feel guilt too that I did not re-establish our relationship once the grievances had passed. It was negligent of me.

I am always more deeply affected by the deaths of young people and children. It saddens me greatly to think of lives lost before they have reached fruition. That the chance to share love and laughter, to experience the full beauty of this life, which perhaps can only be appreciated fully as one grows older and wiser, is lost. And sometimes too there is an emptiness left behind for those who had loved them that is never truly filled again.

So once again, as I grow old, I contemplate the meaning of this life, this universe. I have my own religious beliefs based on nothing more than that I know my simple mind cannot understand the complexities of Life. However, when I look around at this world, this beauty… and yes, the horror too… I cannot believe everything I see is here by chance, by fortune. I believe there is a higher understanding, a knowledge that is unobtainable in this life. I believe that on death there is a joy to be found that is far greater than we can ever imagine.

And so, whilst I say farewell to Divya in this life, I also believe that whatever the Gods she believed in, whatever she will miss in this life, I also feel that somehow she will be rewarded in the next one.

In whatever shape or form it will take.

This is your story Divya.

And wherever you are, may you find peace, happiness and joy.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Knowledge & Music

Now Mrs T has a little announcement.

Firstly, no, I’m not pregnant! In fact, I’d rather smear myself in lard and climb in the Lion’s den at London zoo than live through another pregnancy. The only benefit about being pregnant is the excuse one has for “eating for two” which unfortunately backfires when you realise that it is a HUGE fib put out about by the likes of Sheila Kitzinger that all the weight will dramatically fall off you if you breast feed. Lies, all lies! And what’s more it actively encourages you to become addicted to lovely fattening goodies you wouldn’t normally have eaten. (Well that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!)

Now what was that announcement? Ah yes…. Pierce and I……..

Oh no it was the other one…..

Now Mrs T has very kindly been invited by Mike French of The View From Here to administer its associate Book Readers Group run on Blog Catalog. Basically, I will be initiating some discussions on Books and perhaps fuelling them in the calm, rational and thoughtful way I write my blog. It depends what mood I am in whether I’ll be serious or frivolous; I never know; it depends on the quality of the chocolate. Today I’m in a hip hop boogaloo mood though. That’s because I’m also listening to my favourite song at the moment which currently a big hit over here. It is so funky I’ve had do dance around my kitchen tossing those tins of baked beans non stop for the last 24 hours. I think all you folks will like it too. Hey maybe we can all boogie together around our PCs and start a new dance trend! Here it is, I think you’ll enjoy it;

That was good eh? Anyway back to the books. I have to say I am a little nervous about having this role as there has been a huge gap in my reading over the last 15 years or so whilst I’ve been attending to the Young Masters. (Who regrettably weren’t that accommodating in their sleeping patterns and as a result have left me in the manner you have been accustomed at finding me; disturbed.) I am of course an expert in children’s books (Ho, ho) but when it comes to great novels of the last 15 years I am a dunce. So I’ve started a discussion thread over at The Book Readers Group for folks to nominate the one book I should have read in these missing years so if you want to come over and join in I would be most happy to see you! I know many of you out there are great readers so why not share some of your enthusiasm and knowledge with Mrs T...

In the meantime, I've gotta dash it’s Shark SoufflĂ© for Tea…

Copyright Jane Turley2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A little bit of silliness

Oh dear. Last night Mrs T had one of her major cooking disasters. I decided to cook lamb chops, fried in a little olive oil. (Noticed how delicately I wrote that… as if I actually cared…. )Anyhow this was supposed to be a little treat for my boys as Master Sam has finished his O Levels, Master Jacob received two awards on Saturday for football (Player’s Player and Supporters player) and Master Benedict got Player’s Player for his team. Mrs T was even more pleased because on Friday Master Jacob was asked to train with the County Tennis Squad. Finally. And Mrs T is very, very proud of her little boy because I doubt if there a sweeter, more deserving boy.

Anyhow back to the lamb chops. Well I divided them into two pans. One has more chops in than the other and the one with less in begins to sizzle nicely. Mrs T is pleased; the chops will go very nicely with the oven chips and the imaginary vegetables she can’t be bothered to prepare. (God I love those vitamin tablets) The other is not sizzling. Mrs T, thinking this phenomenon is because there are more chops in one pan than the other increases the temperature and trots into the other room to watch Wimbledon.

A few minutes later Mrs T smells a horrid odour…. Mrs T rushes to the kitchen; it is filled with putrid toxic smoke which is now drifting throughout the house. The chops must be burning…. But …No! The one pan is still full of raw chops and the other is nearly cooked. How can this be when there is choking smoke everywhere? Mrs T is confused…

Hmm….then Mrs T realises she has left one of those black polystyrene type plates they put under the base of pizzas on the hob and since the hob is black Mrs T had not noticed it and put one of the pans on top of it….

Mrs T is obviously completely calm and politely utters “Oh bother and fiddly dee, what a frightful nuisance” thus awakening the attentive Mr T from his comatose state in front of the telly who then proceeds to rush to the rescue….

By which time Mrs T has already removed the raw chop saucepan and put it on to the other hotplate…otherwise none of her lamb chops will be ready at the same time. Oh dear, BIG mistake… Mrs T should have thought it through…. now she has two burning smelly hotplates…

Mr T is not pleased.

Mrs T puts the chops under the grill.

Mr T puts the frying pan into the bin and opens all the doors and windows.

Mrs T serves up “rare” lamb chops, “medium” lamb chops and “well done” lamb chops. She also serves up burnt oven chips. The imaginary vegetables are a complete success though. As are the shop bought lollies.

Mrs T is a tad upset.

Of course there is also another reason why Mrs T is upset…

Why is this I hear you ask?

Mrs T is upset because her boiler has packed up. Yes, it is utterly and totally dead. It is kaput, finito. It has gone to the Big Boiler Heaven in the sky.

It was only 10 years old too which really isn’t that old for a boiler. Mr T is cross because this is proving to be a very expensive year for his wallet and of course now he will have much studying to do while he selects the appropriate replacement. Retailers across the land are at this very moment barricading their doors and purchasing large amounts of cotton wool to stuff in their ears. Many have purchased dark glasses. This is so they can pretend to be security guards instead of consultants just in case Mr T should appear. There has also been a boom in two way radios and tracking devices as they prepare to avoid the verbal onslaught form Mr T …. But Mr T is sneaky, he is cruel… he knows how to stalk a consultant and just as they think they are safe and remove their glasses and head towards the canteen, Mr T will POUNCE…….…

Of course, Mrs T is cross too and also unhappy. In fact I am soo unhappy I have renamed this year “The Year of the Failed Appliances.” This is because I know it will be simply ages before I can wallow in a hot, steaming bath as I am is wont to do while Mr T contemplates the finer details of boiler mechanics. I like a seriously hot bath and although the collage of Mr Brosnan on the wall certainly helps ’tis not the same without scalding water to sooth my world weary limbs…..and I have so much fun with my rubber duck and little sailing boats I will be most disappointed if I cannot resume my wallowing within a reasonable time frame….

Now I have pondered on why the has boiler packed up so dramatically and I’ve come to the conclusion that I had just been doing too much washing and cleaning. The system was obviously under such serious strain it just couldn’t cope anymore. I put this theory to Mr T but for some reason he didn’t believe me. I don’t know why; the entire world knows I’m thoroughly dedicated housewife whose love for the washing machine knows no bounds. I regularly cover it with kisses and even buy it little Christmas presents. (Lime scale remover.) Indeed, I also regularly give it “tips” and frequently I hear it happily rattling a little selection of coins around the drum in appreciation.

Anyway this unhappy situation does mean Mrs T will, by default, be visiting the Gym and Pool more frequently than she has of late which is no bad thing. Mrs T used to go regularly and then she had some problems with her knee caused by falling out of the patio doors, then down the stairs and then finally off her bike. Please note that on none of these occasions was I drunk… everyone always assumes I was. Why is that? Do I sound like a sherry abusing housewife? (Rhetorical question) No, Mrs T never ever touches that wicked stuff! I never let the tiniest drop touch my lip.( A straw so much more convenient - and what’s more - if you take it with you when you go out you can pilfer your companion’s drink while they’re looking at the menu and they will never know.)

The gym is a dangerous place for Mrs T. Oh yes. Because at the gym my competitive spirit at sports which has lain dormant for years suddenly bursts forth; I just can’t help myself from competing with the other swimmers in the pool to see if I can swim faster or longer and usually (I’m bragging here) I win!

Unfortunately though, the average age of my opponents is about 75 so regrettably the feeling of glory doesn’t last very long. (About 10 seconds) Because then the Oldies casually get out of the pool looking all refreshed and saunter off to the Sauna and I’m so bloody exhausted I usually pass out. (This is not a good idea in a swimming pool, especially when there are no life guards to revive you.) In fact I am frequently found floating, arms spread-eagled on the surface, looking like an unconscious hippo. Thank god for those remote cameras in reception, otherwise I could be a dead Mrs T.

Now once I’ve been revived (usually by some kindly geriatric waving a bar of choccy under my nose) I usually make way to the Jacuzzi to relax. This is where I indulge my fantasies. Oh yes and rest assured readers absolutely NONE of them involve young men with pert bottoms; Mrs T is not a cradle snatcher. (No one under 20 anyway - a woman’s got to have some cut-off point – besides I just can’t stand those baggy swimming trunks those young ’uns wear; they are just soooo unflattering.) Now I’m sure I’m not the only one who indulges themselves in a fantasy world in the Jacuzzi so here for your amusement/ horror/ astonishment (delete as appropriate) is my favourite Jacuzzi fantasy

I’m lying on my back floating, the bubbles are sensuously massaging my limbs when lazily I open my eyes and see…. A black and evil looking shark’s fin circling me! The horror! The terror!

I am trapped in a Jacuzzi with a killer shark!

The shark is winding faster and faster around me, getting closer and closer (it’s a big Jacuzzi) and then suddenly it launches itself out of the bubbles. Its big, wet, powerful body flies through the air…

Oh God…no, no, no. …I see it’s a Great White with enormous pointed teeth like daggers ready to rip me mercilessly to shreds! I am mortified…but at the same time I am a real cool swanky bitch (I’ve overdosed on Arnie movies.) So I grab one of the exercise balls left conveniently next to the Jacuzzi and ram it violently into the shark’s mouth where fortuitously it gets stuck on the shark’s teeth driving it into an utter frenzy. It lashes uncontrollably around in the foaming water. At this point Mrs T (with her bulging muscles) wrestles with the Great White and a battle of the titans ensues;

The theme to Rocky plays in the background.…

It’s the Eye of the Tiger…
It's the cream of the fight….
Risin' up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night ……

A bell rings at the end of each vicious and deadly encounter and a devilishly tasty young man in skimpy Speedos parades around the edge of the Jacuzzi with a placard announcing the round numbers on it. (The Great White is furious as there is no equivalent tasty young fish with some seriously shiny scales.) Anyhow, it gets to round fifteen and the Great White is looking ferocious as he can’t stand the vicious and cruel taunting from Mrs T any longer..

“Come on you itsy bitsy fishy, you’re just a teeny weenie tadpole aren’t you? Call yourself a shark? Can’t you swim faster than that? You’re not a shark just a big girl’s blouse! And by the way you need to see some dental work cos your breath stinks!”

The Great White is so incensed and with its jaws outstretched and eyes bulging, it launches itself at me. Casually I leap to one side, poking it brutally in the eye. While it writhes in agony I climb out of the water, grabbing an electric cable and shove it into the water……

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…….. The Great White roars in agony and is launched out of the water by the force of the electric shock…

and is splattered, dead, on the cold marble slabs.

Mincemeat. Mrs T is victorious.

I climb back into Jacuzzi and close my eyes. It is warm and therapeutic. I start to doze off when suddenly I hear a little cough… opening my eyes I see Pierce Brosnan is in the Jacuzzi. His torso is looking particularly manly…

Mrs T, suddenly revived, pushes the button to make the Jacuzzi bubble even faster and stronger. The bubbles are erupting like small volcanoes on the surface…

Suddenly Mr Brosnan’s shorts float to the surface……..

Oh….Ummm…. gotta go folks….I’m off to the gym…..

Copyright Jane Turley 2008

My Nominees for the US and UK Elections and Other Waffle

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