Thursday 22nd December – Dear Losers……

Dear Losers,

One of the benefits of this festive time of year is the excuse it affords me to reach out and brag about the minor achievements the dubious inhabitants of my household have unintentionally stumbled upon during the last twelve months.

The reason I enjoy this method of communication so much is, due to the fact that I spend all year avoiding you like the plague, thereby dodging the unpleasant prospect of having to actually speak to you, it means I can write just the one letter and through the magic of ‘copy and paste’ post it out with very little aggro or indeed likelihood of having to read some tedious reciprocal reply.

I’m not, of course, saying you just aren’t our sort of person.

In fact that’s what I’m trying very hard not to say.

So, without further ado, what have the Single-Mum-Household been up to in 2016?

Annabelle, (The Shee-nager) won several medals for athletics, namely running, during the summer. Since she hasn’t been taking her PE kit or trainers to school much, it was a real achievement. In fact, the evening before Sports Day she asked if I’d be surprised if she did indeed triumph in the contest. I replied that I couldn’t be more surprised if I were to wake up the following morning and find my head nail-gunned to the carpet.

cropped-screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-12-18-13.pngIronically enough, it transpires that her agility and fleetness of foot has been developed making good her escape from the PE teaching staff whenever an attempt was made to corral her into the sports hall for an ‘official’ lesson. Indeed, during a telephone conversation with her Head of House in May this year he reported that, whilst distant sightings of Annabelle fleeing academic detention around the school campus had been frequent, none of the teaching faculty had been able to jump out of the supplies closet quick enough to actually get a good grip on her.

The school had, he informed me, placed an order with ACME for a boulder, some sticks of dynamite and a large butterfly net.

Michael, (The Hee-nager) has been off discovering himself this year.

Officially he is taking a ‘gap year’ adventure before he heads off to study the classics at university.

Unofficially it’s possible that he may actually have joined a cult.

In the tragic tradition of all parental nightmares, I took my eyes off him for two minutes somewhere around June when he popped out to get me some washing powder, and the next thing I knew, was getting letters from him informing me that he’s happily living in a large residence with lots of friendly housemates and is sharing a room with a nice guy called Roommate-Rob from South-East London.

They have a pool table, regular meals and some big pet Alsatians wandering around the grounds.

Since I was habitually unable to get him to eat pizza for dinner because he deemed it too ‘bumpy’ – I find it somewhat surprising that he is happily living anywhere, therefore I have to assume that he has been brainwashed and is currently to be found wearing a dress, chanting and clapping about teaching the whole wide world to sing.

Either that or he’s in prison.


Hector the Dog decided in September that he was fed up with this shit and, grabbing a spotted handkerchief, attempted to set off to London to meet up with Despicable-May and discuss his campaign to raise awareness of the plight of dogs who never get to eat straight out of the fridge.

Sadly, his voyage was abruptly terminated when he was intercepted about a mile up the road by the Dog Warden.

He was then taken hostage and a ransom demand of £300 issued to secure his safe return.

The photo they sent of him posing with the Daily Mail as proof of life was pathetic enough to stop me in my tracks as I was heading out for my regular Saturday afternoon entertainment of cussing out the fat people in Asda – I reluctantly put my megaphone and stepladder back in the cupboard under the stairs, and set about guilt-tripping Friend-Kate into putting a blanket over her leather car interior so we could get off to the phone box to await for instructions on the drop-site.

Thank you Dog warden; pretty sure it would have been less hassle if he’d actually made it to London and been arrested climbing into bed with our unelected Prime Minister.

So, that’s pretty much our 2016 successes in a nutshell.

I won’t go into any detail about my own achievements, mainly because the highlight of my life is still getting back into bed after I’ve been for a wee-wee in the night time.cropped-screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-12-18-13.png

Nor will I insult your intelligence by suggesting we ‘do lunch’ in the New Year, I already have three friends and quite honestly I find that responsibility gets a bit out of hand at times.

I intend to spend 2017 kicking stuff under the sofa, liberally spraying Febreeze around, meeting with The Shee-nager’s headmaster and sneaking out at night to slide my many empty wine bottles into my neighbours recycling boxes.

So, all that remains is to wish you a Merry Christmas and share with you my very sincere wish that you remain quietly on the fringes of my awareness and to beg that you not worry at all about distance ruining our relationship.

It won’t be not speaking that’ll cock up our relationship – if we are going to royally sod it all up; it’d be if we did.

Lots of love,

Single Mum

Friday 2nd December – The greatest con of all?

Annabelle (also known as The Sh-eenager) and I, were having a chat this morning, insofar as you can ever describe trying not to get murdered in your own kitchen by a hormonal schitzo ‘a chat’.

Anyway, she asked about AIDS.

Her adorable questions used to revolve around things like the possibility of a mermaid being discovered in the local water reserve, or whether her Build-a-Bear monkey had fallen or ‘Toy-Storingly’ jumped off of her bed during the night.

But this is a new age; the age of Instagram, Shane Dawson Youtube videos and questions about sexual transmitted diseases over her morning waffles.

Toasted waffles.

screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-12-18-13Never try and slide un-toasted, ‘just out of the packet’ waffles past her of a morning or Waffle-Zilla begins sprouting horns and a tail.

Girl can’t see to walk down a flight of stairs at 7am but her sense of smell is predatory.

Anyway, cool, a bit of morning banter about AIDS.

Iceberg ahead.

But it was okay, she didn’t want tablets from the medicine drawer, what she wanted to know was how come, if it was that bad, it done got cured.

As ever, with my neurologically challenged hood-rat, I find it a super parenting strategy not to focus too much on the originating point of her train of thought, and just get myself out of the quicksand as speedily as possible. Attempting to untangle the random firing of her thought processes is going to be a waste of time, at least until it’s legal for me to finally crack open her brain, and see what the heck is going on in there.

She makes a good point though.

Okay, it did take a few decades to not exactly cure AIDS, but certainly get it to a point where it’s manageable. The drug treatments these days mean that it can’t be transmitted sexually or mother to baby and life expectancy of the afflicted is largely unaffected so, to all intents and purposes, cured it got.

And, when you come to think about it, the Ebola virus, which was apparently a real buzz-kill, got sorted over the space of a weekend.

Since viruses are notoriously the most difficult things to treat due to their ever evolving DNA, how is it that focused attention by the World Health Organisation, on the viruses among us, seem to get them sorted lickety-split and yet, despite millions and gillions of money being poured into ‘finding a cure’ cancer is getting more popular than ever?

Cancer charities are doing a roaring trade.

Runathons. Cakeathons. Schoolathons.

The many, many cancer charities are advertising year round to get us all thinking of, and frozen with fear by, the spectre of this terrifying illness.

Cancer Research are, if their name is to be believed, undertaking research.screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-12-18-13

And have merrily been doing so since 1995.

Big pharma are pumping out drugs and securing billions and billions in research grants.

Universities are involved, but then again, so is funding.

Now, don’t be misled into believing that I’m treating this subject lightly, a very dear friend of mine is currently undergoing chemo for breast cancer and I’m worried sick about her.

Which actually gives me a greater investment in expecting an answer to the following question.

How come it’s only contagious illnesses that seem to get successfully cured?

Because, for me at least, attempting to swallow the fact that cancer still can’t be meaningfully managed needs to be followed by, at the very least, a pinch of salt.

If not an entire pig.