I am currently reading Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones – Mad about the Boy. It struck me that whereas I tittered smugly over Bridget’s trials in previous novels, middle-aged Bridget and I suddenly have a lot in common. I wondered what would my life look like if I documented it Bridget Jones style? Apologies to Helen Fielding.
Tuesday November 12 2013
Calories – 1200ish (excellent); Cardiovascular exercise completed – nil. Cardiovascular exercise contemplated – lots. Alcohol units consumed – 1 glass of wine (v. good)
8.50am Frantically searching my desk in vain for the scrap of paper on which I scribbled the name of the person I’m meeting this morning. Bugger. Oh well. At least I know where the office is.
10.00am Arrived at destination and attempted to bluff my way past Nigerian security guard.
“Who are you here to see ma’am?”
“Err…the HR Director”
“The HR Director…umm Manager…Ms….”
“I need the name of the person you are here to see. Please pull to the side.”
“Umm yes…I’ll just make a call…”
Hurriedly dialled a colleague who (thankfully!) took the call and provided me with the all-important name.
“I’m here to see Mrs. Coglan.” I declared authoritatively.
“This way, ma’am.” Success!
11.00am Skillfully negotiated first face to face meeting with potential client. Delighted to observe the poster of Idris Elba on Mrs Coglan’s office wall. I like this woman.
Now at second appointment; meeting with my charity ladies group. Channelling charitable thoughts…
2.00pm Home. EXHAUSTED. A Pretty Woman panini from MovieTowne, hurriedly wolfed down in the car, served as lunch today. Was accosted by the gardener as soon as I drove through the gate.
“Boss Lady – not sure you noticed, but we have a bee situation on the external wall.”
“Eh?” What is he talking about. What bee situation?
“Could be a hive. Maybe you could get someone to look at it?”
“OK…will do…” I replied vaguely. Odd. Where is George who cuts my lawn? He hasn’t shown up for two weeks.
Should go straight to the office but really need a sit down first. And maybe a cuppa.
5.05pm Bugger! Should have picked up youngest child (Son Nº 2) from orchestra practice 5 minutes ago! How did I fall asleep? To the batmobile.
5.30pm Fought my way through two miles of ridiculous traffic to be confronted by bemused offspring.
“Mum why are you here? I told you I was finishing at 7.30pm today.” What???? Mommy brain is real, y’all.
Irritated. Back to the car…
“Where are you?!” – Irate husband. Crap. Supposed to drop him to the airport.
“Almost home! Five minutes away!” Bugger, bugger, BUGGER.
8.50pm Collapsed on the bed; fingers loosely wrapped around a wine glass. Dropped husband at the airport to catch international flight, made tomorrow’s lunch for Son Nº1 (SN1), tidied kitchen, checked and responded to work emails.
Picked up Son Nº 2 (SN2) at the correct time, albeit in my pajamas. I forgot I had to leave the house after 7pm. I would have gotten away with it if I didn’t have to get out of the car to speak to the music teacher and SN2 hadn’t said rather loudly “Mum why are you wearing pajamas?” (My youngest child was born without a volume control button. I think it broke off in delivery.) To the music teacher’s credit he only slightly raised his eyebrows at my flowered pants.
Speaking of SN1 – where is he? Don’t think I’ve seen him today….This is not unusual as he works an early shift and we often pass each other like ships in the night; but I’m struggling to think when last I did see him. I’ll wake up super early tomorrow and catch him before work.
God, I’m such a terrible mother. At least I messaged Daughter In University several times today. Or I think I did. What if someone stole her phone and was pretending to be her? I must call her first thing in the morning.
But for now…The Originals and Daniel Gillies require my undivided attention.
Wednesday November 13 2013
Calories consumed – 2000 (homemade veggie pizza is low cal, right?). Alcohol units – nil (hurray). Cardiovascular exercise – nil (boo)
12.25 am WTF? Why are all the lights on? Is that broken glass? I should wash my hair.
5.45am Gaaaah! What is that noise? Bloody alarm! I feel like death…what day is it?
7.00am By some miracle got SN2 ready for school and out the door. This is my most difficult task of the day. Unless I stand over SN2 he will not get out of bed. I have to wake him, get him in the shower, get him out again, stand over him while he dresses and instruct him to eat breakfast. All this while making his breakfast and lunch; and appeasing the increasingly insistent demands of the cat to be fed immediately. WHY ARE THERE MAGGOTS IN THE RUBBISH BAG??
3.15pm Spent morning and afternoon in the office; fielding inquiries from potential clients and steadily working through huge pile of paperwork – important stuff like invoices and that sort of thing. I am efficient, productive Chief Executive Officer. Mistress of My Domain. Even found time to make myself a tuna salad for lunch. Had tiny panic attack when I noticed today’s date and realised I had forgotten my housekeeper’s birthday. Hurried back to be house and enveloped her in a massive bear hug. First rule of survival – never piss off people who cook your food. I’ll make it up to her with the Christmas bonus.
Made 8.00am appointment to go through house repairs list with my Mr Fix It tomorrow. I’ll mention the bee thing to him. Seriously annoyed about the lawn – the grass is knee high in some places! Just wait until I get my hands on George. Why hasn’t he called?
Haven’t heard from hubby either. Slightly worrying, especially as he’s in the UK dealing with a family crisis. Do I have time to go to the bank?
4.10pm Spent annoying forty minutes in the bank paying bills and depositing pennies. Of course my phone rang the minute it was my turn to approach a cashier. Hubby. Family crisis worsening. Oh dear.
Now on my way to pick up SN2 from after school history class. Still haven’t seen SN1. Must call him if I don’t see him tonight.
6.30pm Why does this country have so much goddamn traffic? Ridiculous that it took me 65 minutes to drive 8 miles! Humph. Must finish off work in the office. Poo.
11.08pm Brain fried. Spent the evening doing Client reports. Ugh. Almost fell asleep on my laptop again. Confirmed SN1 was alive with brief conversation in the hallway.
Was joined in the office by my two office assistants – Lily (cat) and Van Persie (dog). Predictably the animals’ playful posturing soon descended into a brawl over control of the waste bin. I threw them both out.
Thursday November 14 2013
Calories consumed – stopped counting after 2500. Alcohol units – err…
Major problems encountered – several. Major problems solved – none
2.00pm Bloody HELL. Absolute tits up day. Barely managed to scramble into clothes before persistent knocking at the back door alerted me Mr. Fix It was here. Spent an unhappy hour trailing him as we went through a surprisingly long list of necessary house repairs. The coup de grace was the bee situation. I had no idea such danger lurked less than 100 yards from the house. Mr. Fix It and I gaped horror-struck at the humming swarm, thousands strong, steadfastly protecting a massive hive, half-hidden in a tree next to the external wall. How had I never noticed it?? How long had it been there? Even Mr. Fix It and I know he can’t fix THAT.
Panicked, I sought help in social media. Found it on Facebook! Took the advice of friends and called the Ministry of Agriculture’s Apiary Unit. Just spoke to a very helpful lady who took my details and promised to call back for directions to the house.
3.00pm The Apiary Unit hasn’t called me back. Maybe I should call again?
3.15pm Called the Apiary Unit again. No answer.
4.30pm Still no response and I’m living next to Bee Armageddon. Thank God it’s Scandal Thursday! I’ll just pop a bottle of wine in the freezer before I drop SN2 to orchestra practice.
Friday November 15 2013
Calories consumed – who cares? Mostly alcohol based. Cardiovascular exercise – does heart pounding count? Crises – growing.
12.27am So sleepy. Ate my wine slushie while watching Scandal and finishing off a teambuilding proposal. Managed to clean most of the glass out of the freezer…perhaps I should set an alarm next time.
6.00pm I wish today had never happened. I feel trapped in a disaster vortex of growing proportions.
Three men arrived from the Apiary Unit shortly after 8.00am to prevent Bee Armageddon. They took one look at the angry swarm, collectively exclaimed “Oh Gaad oye! Nah man!” and hurriedly retreated to the safety of their ministry truck.
After some discussion they called a beekeeper who happened to be in the area. He arrived within ten minutes and immediately took charge, much to the relief of the Apiary Unit “experts”, who sped off. Before I could say “honey” the beekeeper had donned semi-protective gear (I noticed he wasn’t wearing gloves. Very odd.) and was putting up caution tape and traffic cones.
There is nothing like caution tape to attract a crowd. People see the wispy neon yellow plastic and immediately gravitate towards the danger. Surely that’s the opposite of the intended purpose? Mr. Fix It, the gardener and the housekeeper materialised out of thin air and were soon joined by my mother’s handyman, whose macometer is exceptionally well tuned. Just as the beekeeper began smoking out the bees, the pool boy rocked up and launched into a lengthy discussion with the gardener about what hurts more – a bee sting or a jep sting.
The plumber, who was scheduled to fix the guest toilet and who usually works alone, arrived with a crew of four others (to fix a toilet???). Naturally they decided to take in the show, along with some of the neighbours, who by this time were observing nervously from their gates. My normally quiet street was soon full of traffic as people driving by slowed down to watch, comment, and give the beekeeper unwanted advice. By 10.00am we had a good sized crowd of spectators watching the bee removal from behind the safety (lol) of a few rolls of caution tape. I half expected a news crew to show up.
It occurred to me that whatever kept George from cutting my lawn the past two weeks probably saved his life. The beekeeper calmly explained that the hive was a mixture of Italian and African bees, who will attack at the slightest provocation, especially noise. If George had turned on the lawnmower or weed wacker…the outcome could have been deadly.
At 11.00am a message from Daughter In University alerted me that all was not well with the family in England.
“Have you called Dad? You should call Dad.”
I retreated to my office and began frantically calling my husband, brother-in-law and mother-in-law without success. The inability to make contact only heightened my anxiety and fueled the nightmare scenarios already playing in my mind. Eventually a call from husband confirmed my worst fears. My father-in-law – a good, decent man – had passed away.
I made it through the rest of the day on autopilot. This was not the time to fall apart and grieve. This was the time to remain in control and keep my ship steady.
The beekeeper completed his task and departed with a buzzing box. The crowd dispersed. The housekeeper cooked a meal. I bought groceries. I sent emails, made calls, and broke the sad news to friends and family members, including SN1 and SN2. I made plans. In reality I was keeping busy until I could collapse in bed with the remainder of my broken wine bottle. That time has finally come.
Could things get any worse? Sadly, I believe the answer is yes.
Sunday December 29 2013
Calories consumed – It’s Christmas time in Trinidad and Tobago – who and who counting calories?? Please, eh. Steups. Alcohol units – does it really matter? YOLO and all that. Cardiovascular exercise – will definitely do some in 2014.
3.00pm Six weeks have passed. During that time I’ve had a funeral (sad, but oh so wonderfully done), planned and executed a Christmas party (tremendous work but worth it), caught up with family and friends (lovely), and survived Christmas Day (a happy occasion despite raging migraine and crazy parents).
I cannot wait for 2013 to be over. Keeping everybody and everything going is draining. Frankly I am tired of looking after everyone at the expense of myself. I need someone to look after ME. My resolution for 2014 is to say NO more frequently.
Yeah, right. If I was capable of putting myself first I would have done that years ago. But somehow, somewhere at some time in 2014 I need to STOP and reassess my life. Maybe I just need some fun. A vacation would be nice. Alone. Well maybe a few girlfriends could come along for company. Or would a family trip be better? Gaah! There I go again! Perhaps it’s best not to think about it. At least for now. Right now the hubby and offspring are blissfully engaged (elsewhere), the house is full of food, and most importantly – there is cold champagne in the fridge.
8.00pm Had a teeny glass of champagne to toast the year’s end. OK, maybe two. The point is – God bless bubble therapy! Feeling much more positive and ready to face a new year! I am Mistress of My Domain! Or I’m drunk. Either way – I’m ready for 2014. BRING IT ON.
December 30th, 2013 at 10:02 am
Love it! Sounds so familiar…….learning to say no es my importante!! Wishing you and family all the best for the new year!
December 30th, 2013 at 2:33 pm
Very real and entertaining…. I can just imagine you telling the story! Try blocking small bits of ME time and see how it goes. All the best!
December 30th, 2013 at 4:28 pm
There were tooo many moments I laughed. I laughed at your expense.You’re leaving 2013 making others laugh. lol Hope 2014 you find tons that make you laugh!
December 31st, 2013 at 12:15 am
Jacqui, I would say that your live a very entertaining life. You make it sound so exciting!! At least to read! I wish you and your family new year blessings. Hope we can hook up sometime soon.
December 31st, 2013 at 9:32 am
My life is far from entertaining! It’s more like a series of calamities held together by wine corks…