Empty nester.

IMG_4462 (1)Our son left home last year to go to University.

The Empty nest syndrome is something I see all around. Sad eyed middle aged women getting up like clockwork to put out the endless boxes of cereal to feed the ones who have left. Our body clocks pinging at 4pm and the Pavlovs dogs reaction of shovelling a half hundred weight of biscuits onto plates and producing gallons of juice and milk for the hoards to drink when they descend on the house at 4.30pm on their ways home. Only there are no hoards now. All those muddy kneed rugby playing school boy/men are away. Away to begin their lives without so much as a by your leave for the entrenched routines that having given birth to and brought up a child has riven into the homes and lives which they inhabited. The silence. The tidiness. The thrum of music through the wall from his room replace by the ticking of the kitchen clock. The fridge which remains full and the milk which is still bought in gallons going off.


Until this very moment you have had not a second to think about it as the toddling becomes totting into school turns to hormones turns to teenage battles turns to exams and then to – well this – the point. To bring up a responsible member of society who can clean his teeth, brush his hair, and be independent. This is a success. This was your job. OK its not full redundancy maybe a fairer term would be voluntary redundancy. It is a new beginning for them so why not you?


So with that in mind I am slinging my bag over my shoulder, grabbing my sausage dog and am off.  Muffin top, hormonal rollercoaster, bouts of dieting, bouts of drinking, bouts of regret, bouts of hysteria, eruptions of spots, despair, creativity, dunderheidedness, insomnia, grumpiness all accompanied by increasing hairiness in strange places – why the inside of my nose is now tufting up is not something I am either proud of or delighted about – and that’s just the half of it, said the bearded slack jawed lady. Still look on the bright side….at least when Santa retires I might be a shoe-in for the big job.

With car, sausage dog and passport am off. Will report back.


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Zante trip imminent. Smelling salts for the parents please.

This time next week the boy who has turned into a teenwolf and teeters on manhood is off to Zante. Yes the island that has featured on Sex, Sea and Suspicious Parents in which platoons of teenagers maraude the nightclubs and bars speed drinking, fighting and lying in pools of suspicious substances after thrusting their tongues down available throats. I feel sick.


It’s a right of passage I am told.

Yes. I understand.

I understand but it makes no odds. The lump of concrete in my belly is intact. So I have a few choices to make.

Shall I

  1. Drink for 7 days thus displaying the ‘if you cant beat them join them’ ethos?
  2. Find a crooked Dr and arrange an intravenous tranquiliser for the week?
  3. Check myself into a chanting retreat to be calmed in a Zen like fashion?
  4. Go too?


No. None of the above. I will have to display the mature adult persona. Being helpful, concerned yet happy to let him go to the land of the lamping, flashing and guzzling. AAAARRRGGHH. I may have to practice this technique as at the moment barricading the door so he cant get out of his room is still rather appealing.


Mature Adult impression
Mature Adult impression

Genuinely it’s not his lot I am worried about it’s the lunatic heavily tattooed, drunken casual spoiling for a fight and taking a dislike to a bunch of Scottish lads. Just for the hell of it.

Oh and the mopeds.

And the drink spiking.

And of course  the balconies.

There there’s alcohol poisoning.


Drowning if swimming and gulping beer.


So what stage does parenting become a relaxing experience I asked my Mum who was 82 last week.

She smiled back ‘Never’.

Thanks for that Mum.



Anyway….just in case you’re interested


How to avoid drink spiking

If your drink has been spiked it’s unlikely that you will be able see, smell or taste any difference.

The following steps may help prevent someone from spiking your drink:

  • Never leave your drink unattended.
  • Don’t accept a drink from someone you don’t know.
  • Keep an eye on your friends’ drinks.
  • Stay away from situations that you don’t feel comfortable with.
  • Let someone know where you are and what time you expect to be home, especially if you’re going on a date with someone you don’t know.
  • Don’t give out too much information to someone you’ve just met, such as your address.
  • It’s important to remember that if you’ve already been drinking, it may make you less aware of any danger.

It isn’t just women who are targeted. The most common reasons for drink spiking are:

  • for amusement
  • to be malicious
  • to carry out a sexual assault or rape
  • to carry out a theft

Teenwolf is set the ultimate challenge….can he rise to it?

Afraid – truly afraid

What do you give a teenage boy to whip him into a frenzy?


Beer that cannot be detected on the breath by the sharp nosed parent?

A one on one with the cheerleaders of the national rugby team?

Fake ID?

Hmmmn - what the ???X Ray eyes?

An ability to study whilst listening to their Ipod, texting their friends and Facebooking – oh no of course, according to teenwolf they can do that.

A pizza the size of a sports stadium?

Some ‘`how to get the ladyeeeez to`LOVE you’ tips from Jayzee?

Yes to one or all of the above.

One thing that will not however get them into a frenzy, is the package I took home today.

As you can see it looks rather intriguing. It was as teenwolf undid the tags on the side and as it burst into it’s upright glory .it resembled one of those cloth tunnels he had as  a 3 year old from IKEA which he spent many hours climbing through.

‘God Mum it’s not a tunnel is it?


‘You’re joking! ‘

‘Well yes’.

A hat for unfeasibly large head?

‘Oh…well ‘, he muttered as he looked in a bemused fashion into the very belly of the cloth beast as it stood on it’s end.

‘Well what  is it?’

‘Ok sit down,’ he sat down ‘this is an alien concept, an implement  which will stun and confuse you’.

A nervous tick emerged as he watched me suspiciously.

‘It is a …’

Pause for effect

For once I had his full attention

‘….Laundry basket’

‘A what?’

‘A receptacle into which you put your dirty laundry.’

‘Oh’  instant and extreme disinterest is now displayed.

‘Anything that is dirty that does not go in here, will not be washed.’

He gave me that ‘och Mum I know how much you love me this is bound to a temporary arrangement’ grin.

I gave him the evil eye.

‘ I mean it.’

So off he went to do his homework. AKA Sit in front of the computer, facebooking his pals, strumming the guitar, texting, listening to his Ipod – oh  but only after spreading his school books on the kitchen table so when I walk in he can quick as a flash sit in front of them and look studious. I shall post an update in 24 hours…what do you think the odds are of anything being in it?

Please examine the artists (if you can call me that!) impression of the process  below. – I am the one with the big bottom on the left. Double click on it to make it bigger – but beware it is Teenwolf’s lair. Welcome to my world.

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School’s Back ’til Summer – Alice Pooper

Last minute lottery stuff as usual. On the eve of school going back.

Digging out the school breeks – they have holes in them. Where did these holes come from? Dunno.

What do you mean dunno? it looks like someone cut holes in them with scissors.

Bet this little blighter wouldn't give his mother hell.



OK whilst we are at it where are your school shoes?


Find them then. They are produced scruffy, scuffed but polishable on the top side and then I flipped them over  and realised there are hole in the soles. HOLES! Holy breeks and holy shoes. Holy shit I shout we are going out to get you sorted.

Aw Mum


So breeks on board we hit the shoe shops. We end up in Top Man. TOP MAN! I used to be made to wear Clark Startrites and then horrific lace up horors until I left scohol. Yeh but that was the olden days came the mumbled reply.

So he has slip ons. Very Jason King. Black slip ons. And new black hole-free trousers there is just one thing missing – well two if you count the absence of a sane mother – I haven’t actually seen his face for about 2 months. Hair.

No way.


A deep suspicion of hairdressers as you can see



So I drop him at the Barber. He comes home later. Let’s see your hair then. I command. We meet in the hall and yes  he has had his hair cut. The one on the left hand side. So after a rather heated discussion during which I was informed I was lame, unfair and 112 he’s going back tomorrow for every other hair on his head to be cut to match it.

The Castle? The brewery?


Typical tosser

What a laugh yesterday. Met up with an 8ft deer called Miles. He was doing the Edinburgh Marathon in a deer suit. He reckons he lost about a stone running in the thing. Fantastic! A fool proof way to lose weight. Mind you by the time I got this picture taken the entire suit was drenched and when Miles took th head off – so to speak – he looked a bit pale &* wan to say the least.

After that we went off to Louis school fund raiser a Highland Games. There was caber tossing for all ages. Even Daves Mum had a go. Dave took to it like a duck to water oh and there were ducks being herded by sheep dogs. All in all it was a great day. As we stood by the loch looking around and loving Scotladn in the summer suddenly there was a big splahs and this wee boy about 3 fell intot he loch. His dada, who was right beside him, wheeched him out as the wee souls tood howling on the bank. His Dad gave him a cuddle but despite himself couldn’t’ stop laughing . The wee drookit boy had done exactly the same last year.


Louis is changing schools this year and today he went to his new school for the day to see how it all works. I was quite nervous about it – more than he was – hoping he would love it. I picked him up at the back of 3 and he came swaggering out like John Wayve – ‘’it’s brilliant!’ he beamed . Phew. He then went on to talk about his 3 best friends – ‘ I have 5 he said but 3 best friends’ . So relieved took him for a Chinese carry-out. Speaking of chineses carry –outs dynamite Di is due back from Bejing after 10 days tomorrow. I can’t wait to hear how she got on – if she’s not in some sort of Chineses prison for badly behaved women by now.


Computer guru man Gordon Fraser comes round to look at my computer. He asks me which anti virus software I’ve got. My response is to look blankly at him. His look of disapproval makes me want to go and stand in the corner with a Dunce hat on – something  I sent a lot of my formative years doing. 4 hours later my computer is till goosed. He tells me I am riddled with viruses – when he sees my face he clarifies it’s the computer that ‘s got the viruses not me! Well that’s OK then. By late afternoon we are back up and rnningmy computer is going like a speeding bullet and I am happy again. As hopefully my editor  will be as I think he was getting fed up of getting my  next chapter written on scrunched up napkins and beer mats.


WE have American friends arriving today. When I say friend we met them last summer in france for one night. We had a carry on swapped addresses and they’re arriving today. I have a full day of Scottish tourism planned for tomorrow. Edinburgh Castle, Mary Kings Close, the open topped bus , the royal mile. Quite looking fowrad to it myself. I picked them up off the train and I knew we were going to get on famously when Susan produced a teen idol magazine form the 70’s she had bought off E Bay for me as the night we’d met we talked extensively about Donny via David Cassidy as we were both obsessed as teenagers. Celebrations commenced and the wine was cracked open. AS the night wore on more wine was open and by midnight we wer listening to Puppy Love – the album and telling our deepest  pre-teen secrets. Again there was an amazing translatlantic connection – we all had save up our bubble gum stickers and sent away for X-Ray Spex and were all equally amazed and dispappoitned when they arrived that they didn’t actually work! Plus  the deep routed desire for sea monkeys which were advertised as lookinglike little pixie like mermaids on the box and when they were bought and hatched they were as david attractively dscreibed them like bits of dandruff floating about in dirty water. So having liaghed ourselves stupid we retired. Due to kick off our extravaganza tour at 9am


Wake at 9am So we’ll be a little late I thought as I got up and boiled the kettle. By 10.30 I was still the only one up apart from the kids who were boucing on the trampoline n their pyjama bottoms. At 11 Paul the American guy appeared when I asked how Susan was he replied ‘ she asked me what it felt like to sit upright and when I told her she just stayed where she was’. The weather waas wet, misty, & cold – playing to every Scottish cliché tourists have about our country. By 11am the executive decision was made to give the tourist trail a miss. Cancelled all activities and lit the fire instead. By mid afternoon the weather had cleared a little so we headed off to North Berwick harbour and grabbed Dougie and his boat ‘Braveheart’ who took us round the bass rock and mackerel fishing. Everyone caught a fish and we went straight back home to eat them.


Even wetter and more miserable than yesterday. Drove our pals through Edinburgh pointing out the sights from the car window –‘that’s the castle, the scott monuement’ etc before dropping them at the airport. Having been toured until they were black and blue before they arrived with us they said they had enjoyed the fishing and relaxing more than anything else since they lef thome 10 days ago. Aaah. Little to do except go off to see the Day After Tomorrow with Dennis Quaid  & Jake Gellangal a true disaster move for the millenium. Fantastic effects and when we came out of the cinema having watched a tidal wave and engulf America I half expected to see Leith had disappeared altogether. Luckily the rain was off so we  drove home and collapsed. More pals coming tomorrow and the thought of clearing the kitchen in the quest for a clean palte is enough to dirve me to drink….. Oh now there’s an idea.