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.

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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?

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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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Granny becomes fashion victim

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Have you seen these breeks with holes, slits cut right up and down the leg? It looks as if they have been in a thresher. Trendy in the extreme just now. But not for menopausal women. If I wore a pair of these each hole would be pushed to bursting as croissants of undulating flesh pressed to escape the confine of the trouser so why am I on about them???My niece who went to stay with her Granny recently who did the dutiful parental grandparental thing of putting on the ebola suit on complete with face made before unbidden, emptying her case of dirty clothes and washing them. When Jenny got up 2 and half days later from a win night her granny was rather proud to announced
“Your trousers, the ones with the God awful holes in them – don’t worry they’re not ruined I’ve fixed them for you?
Sorry
Sewn up the holes.
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Long pause, illustrated by tears rolling down cheeks, face going a dangerous deep red and hair alarmingly standing on end and it’s was length. But she rallied not wanting to upset her well meaning Gran.
“Thanks”.
“You’re welcome dear. Now what would you like for tea?”
Absinthe.

Menopausal munching for Xmas

UnknownI have just consumed an entire Thomas The tank engine advent calendar I had bought for a friends son.

25 wee bits of shiny not very chocolatey chocolate – pop, gulp,  pop, gulp, pop, gulp , pop, gulp, pop x 25. All gone.
Well I need some comfort I have lost my voice.
A joy for my friends and family but a nightmare for me – the shouty one.

Some bright spark said go to bed and sleep until you feel better. I tried that but I can’t sleep.

I have been reliably informed that one of the side effects of the menopause – yes boys read the words and cringe – is ye cannae sleep.

If I can’t sleep. I must eat.

Lots.

Which I do and if I pause for too long

I become particularly grumpy.

Probably because my belly expands daily because I cant stop eating.

Because I’m not sleeping.

And lets face it  – comfort comes in the shape of chocolate, cheese , rum & coke. Not necessarily all in the same glass but hey ho never say never.

Hell maybe it’s just me.

The fact is I am a health freak in a dysfunctional middle aged womans body.

There.

Spleen vented I’m off for another Advent calendar.

Peppa Pig where are you?

 

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My Mum and technology – get me a gin – not a glass – a bottle now!

Smelling salts for Alison. My Mother  phoned me on her mobile ( for the first time ever as she hates it) I assumed something was wrong. It was. The conversation went something like this.

“I’m on my mobile. That other walkabout phone thing you bought me doesn’t work”

Oh dear I said whats the problem?

“Well when I pick it up it just makes a noise…one long noise.”

You mean the dialling tone?

“No it’s definately not the dialling tone”

Adamant she was so I decided not to argue but go with the flow.

“OK Mum… Well why don’t you stay on the mobile and I will try and phone your walkabout phone from my landline to see if its working with incoming calls?”

“Oh OK”.

So I rang her new walkabout, as she stayed on her mobile. It  rang. ‘Oh ” she said  as she picked it up. “Hello…you’re there”.

Yes. I am.

So we agreed it was working.

“OK” I said “now you press the red button which will cut this call off. Then press the green button so you can try phoning me back”

Silence.

I repeated it.

“Oh right” she said

“OK” muffled shuffling “I have hit the green button” and as she did she shouted “yes! yes! I told you  that’s the funny noise now. Can you hear it ? I am holding the walkabout phone up to my mobile for you to hear “.  Which I couldn’t

“No Mum I can’t hear it but just put this number in…”

“Oh OK “she said as I listed off my mobile number and heard her poke each number into her phone sighing in that resigne-d there is now way this is going to work -sort of way.

“OK that’s it done” she said as my landline started to ring.

“Its working.” I said and  picked it up . “Hello” I said.

“Hello” said a confused woman on the other end. My Mother.

“Its me Mum don’t blow the whistle”

So she now had her mobile phone in one ear and her landline in the other.

45 minutes drive away, so did I.

“We are now talking on four phones” I said.

“Oh”. She said.

Teenwolf by now was rocking back an forward with tears rolling down his face.

“Shall we put them all down now?” I asked sounding a bit Fluella Benjamin

“Yes” . She said.

“Right When I count to 3 hang up your mobile AND the walkabout phone.”

SILENCE

“I said whenI count to 3 hang up you mobile and your walkabout phone OK?”

SILENCE

“She’s already hung up. Get me a whisky please” I asked the hysterical teenwolf

My hot flush raised itself another few degrees.

To heck with technology.  Next time it’s a pigeon with a leg for a message to be tied round it.

 

The Menopause? Peri-menopause? Why won’t anyone talk about it?

Local trying to amuse his wife and failing.

Avert your eyes boys this is not for you.

Really.

As women we talk about everything, EVERYTHING, well everything but this. Here goes.

The change. The menopause. The peri-menopause.

Told you boys now off you go.

Me - after another sleepless night

From your late 30 things can go a bit awry, irregular either non-stop rivers of Babylon

Or once in a blue moon.

Sleeping goes to pot – my personal nadir and a thousand other symptoms can kick in. Hot flushes, mood swings, low sex drive, weight gain are a few of dozens of symptoms

So you got to the Dr. and they smirk and go ‘ och it’s just the peri-menopause’

JUST! Now hang on a minute sunshine…there is no ‘JUST’ about it.

And whilst we’re at it what is the ‘peri-menopause’ anyway?

So with this in mind, the confusion, ignorance, lack of support I have

just completed a Radio Program called Medical Matters which will be broadcast

on the BBC Scotland this Wednesday _ repeated on Sunday – but you will get it on iplayer if you miss it.

Fascinating stuff.  I talk to herbalist Dee Atkinson, a GP, a specialist Dr. Heather Currie and some women who have been there, got the t-shirt and survived the general hell of the whole thing.

It may be something you know all about. If so then you are in the minority.

If, like me & producer Debbie McPhail you have 10000 questions about the whole thing then tune in. I can promise you lots of interesting facts, figures and information – and even a couple of laughs.

As ever the girls talking helps. It really does.

So this Wednesday BBC Scotland 3.30pm Help is at hand. Or more accurately ear.