Shalom Jackie

Shalom Jackie, is a phrase used by Jim when Jackie answers the door to his knocking, in the comedy Friday Night Dinner. If you have never seen it, you are in for a hilarious treat (in my opinion anyway, for what it’s worth). Truly funny! Well it has had me and my daughter (more of her in bit) rolling up.  A really good ‘Brit Com’ (British Comedy).  Talking of comedies, I  am actually living in a real life comedy or maybe soap opera is more appropriate or maybe a melodrama. Yes, I know, we all say that but I mean it!

Let’s see what the weekend has been like so far in my totally dysfunctional household here in The Mews.  People always say that, or not always but quite a lot, in that their families are not quite ‘normal’. By people I mean ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys of all ages, and anyone not mentioned who would like to be included. Well, first of all let me roll back to yesterday. The husband or rather the handsome fisherman who stays with me sometimes went off, you guessed it to play with the cats, I mean fishes or more aptly Catfish. He took his tent, he took his trolley, and his brolly; in fact I watched almost the entire contents of the garage get packed into the van. Long gone are the days when he used to take his rod, and a hand held tackle box and just pop to the local lake for a couple of hours. These days he embarks on a full blown expedition with his merry men in tow, though not really in tow as he meets them at the venue/lake where they all set up their camps and then get down to some beer, I mean fishing. And merry men may be a slight exaggeration as from what I am told some of them or actually one particular person so far was not really merry but a total ‘something’ but I will refrain from using the terminology I was privy to. Anyway, let us  just say that they did not shake hands and make up. Anyway, these are what I call the FF brigade, which stands for fishing friends and facebook friends. Whether they are friends in the real sense I cannot say. After all, it is not for me to say as I am not there. I am of course here, stuck indoors looking after the dogs (one of which is poorly as per previously written post), the cat and the hedgehog. So we have ascertained that the man of the house is away with the fishes.

I am setting the scene here, so bear with me. The house is in a real mess and muddle throughout. It’s dusty, dirty, full of clutter and what’s worse the whole entire house is painted in tired,  not fresh magnolia. Just for the record we rent our place here (note I said place and not home) at the Mews, so called because of the sort of regency style town houses which are not really regency style at all. In truth they sort of look like erect boxes which someone has likened  to the Tardis in Doctor Who, though I suspect that the Tardis had more space. To be honest everything in the house is tired from the bottom floor up, including me, especially today as I only got five hours restless sleep last night. You’ll be getting the idea that I am none too keen on this box of a house, and you would be correct.  I/we moved here just over five and a half years ago. If I say that quickly, it still sounds just as long.  I/we planned on staying for a couple of years, and then moving on somewhere else. As you can surmise that has not happened. Here, we are, still living in a dust dungeon. Oh, and we (my daughter and I think it may be haunted, at least on the top floor as that is where all sorts of  strange things have happened. The ghost story is for another post and another time maybe. Because the house is not ours, and the tenancy agreement states that we have to ask for permission to pretty much do anything, motivation and enthusiasm has been lacking to say the least. That said, on a good point the Landlord has left us alone, and we in turn have not bothered him.

Getting back to this weekend. I hope I have not lost you, and that you are managing to keep up with the ramblings of a reluctant fishing widow (though probably reluctant just now because I have not been able to see my horse much recently because of Dog duty). So let’s now think about my daughter who went off to work yesterday on a late shift. Really proud of her actually. Though last night, I did not have a proud mummy moment, I had a mad mummy moment instead. The story is now starting to unfold. The evening started off well. I had bought lovely fresh ingredients earlier in the day, as I thought to make myself a lovely vegan curry. I started to prep the veg, and poured myself a glass, a large glass actually of Rioja (which came courtesy of the handsome fisherman from earlier)  to imbibe while cooking the meal. Or in plain English to drink while standing in the kitchen happily dicing onions, and pepper before moving onto slicing the courgettes, and peeling the aubergine. Oh yes, this was going to be a delicious curry. I had it all planned out beautifully. I had the onions and spices, and garlic all sizzling in the pot. In went the chopped tomatoes, then the yellow pepper. I cooked these up some more, and then the sauce would be ready to blend until smooth and then the other veg could be added. Oh yes, I was going to to enjoy my Friday night dinner. The dogs were settled and snoring, the lavender oil was burning with it;’s beautiful calm aroma, and classical lullabies playing on the CD player. A tranquil and peaceful evening underway.  What more could I ask for with my Friday night dinner. So we know the curry is underway, and the ambience is really chilled. Pour another wine while waiting for the sauce to simmer. Point of reference here, probably not a great idea to have wine before dinner when you have not eaten anything during the day.

Okay, so what next? Ah yes, I remember, with the sauce slowly simmering away on the stove, I thought now would be a good time to catch up on my social networking. WhatsApp checked; Facebook checked, and now for instagram, that wonderful platform for picture sharing. Quick flick through mine, and then thought have not looked at my daughter’s instagram for a while. Just have a quick look. So, I look, I saw, I did not like and I was not happy. Definitely not happy! There was a picture of my beautiful daughter wearing not very much at all actually. My daughter is lovely but she really does not need to reveal so much, too much but then I am her Mum so maybe that’s why I started to see a  ‘red rag’ coming down (I am a Taurean, and like the Bull I go charging in). All this while drinking another Rioja, and still no dinner.  The next thing is, I message my daughter and we get into a long heated text session over this damn picture of my scantily clad daughter. Initially her and her colleague were laughing as they thought it was funny. However, I was not laughing, and I think my daughter started to realise that. The tone of the messaging was not a pleasant one shall we say. I had my thoughts and she had her opinions and vice versa. The bottom line was that I felt she had just gone a step too far, she did not. I felt it was demeaning and she felt its was empowering. I told her that she was intelligent as well as beautiful, and did not need to be an object. Loads more was said but that is a private matter between mother and daughter. By the end of this lengthy and on going text tennis, the sauce had stuck to the pot, the curry was ruined, and I was not going to enjoy a delicious home cooked meal. I was fed up, cross or in my daughter’s terms hangry, and  had drunk too much wine. I forgot to mention that in the middle of this my daughter sent me a picture of her at work with a caption likening her to her boss that was quite funny but I was still angry and sent her a reply back that said

“better than taking your clothes off for dirty old men and pubescent boys”

of course I was referring to her possible virtual audience on instagram.  We do not always know who we may really be talking to. Not always. The thing is I did not send this reply to my daughter, it went off to a friend. It must have seemed like a really random thing. My daughter would have understood but my poor unsuspecting friend who is also young enough to be my daughter must have been a little puzzled to say the least. Later in the evening I realised what I had done and apologised, and told my friend to ignore the previous message which had not been for her. Like a good friend, she asked if I was okay, and then confirmed that she would ignore said message but not without laughing. So now I had sent out a random message to the wrong person. At this stage I decided to call it quits for the night and just go to bed, hungry, miserable and a bit the worse for wear.  On a good note the dogs were really good all evening!

Needless to say, I did not sleep well, I was restless. I tossed, I turned, I huffed and I puffed. Morning came and I got up with a bit of a headache. So not a great start to the day! I went downstairs and asked my daughter if she would like a cup of tea. She said yes (not sure if she said please) but definitely yes. See, look at me being the grown up. Tea made, coffee for me and then about that picture. Oh no, not that again Mum! This time we chatted, we laughed too but but we were both standing our ground. The discussion went on for a little bit longer but not really getting anywhere. I was told that I had no problem with the Dove advert on the TV where women of various ages, shapes and sizes are the models in their underwear. No of course I did not have a problem with that. It was an excellent advert. My response was that I would not have got so upset if she had been wearing oversized Bridget Jones knickers and a huge bra and wobbling about a bit. There was no comparison but still my daughter stands her ground. She gets her stubborn streak from me. On a serious note I feel that so many young girls feel they need to be seen in a certain way. They look for likes, adoration and a fan base but when does the line get crossed?  Anyway, I had my rant and said I would say no more apart from every now and then when something else came to mind. I’m a mum, that’s part of my job. Many people will see this from one side or the other or maybe both sides. It’s a modern dilemma I think.

Moving on to the weather of the day. It has been blowing a gale here. Big branches have crashed to the ground in the garden. The lime flower tree has been tossing, turning, and twisting. The tree is higher than the houses, stretches out over the road beyond the fence which is pretty busy with traffic, dog walkers, runners and the like. The tree is protected. I love the tree! It is magnificent and park worthy but today I decided it may also be dangerous, and in need of a little management though I am no expert. I contacted the Landlord, and he has said he will have to get approval from the Council before he can get anyone in. I just wanted him to be aware of my concerns. The wind has been fierce all day with no let up. What else could happen? Oh yes, something else had to happen, and happen it did. The fence has also blown down, not completely down but certainly on it’s way down and just being held up by the ivy which has attached itself to the wood. I never realised Ivy was so strong. So this too, I decided to report to the Landlord. After all in for a penny, in for a pound,  Big mistake, as now, said Landlord wants to come round and have a look. What’s so bad about that you may say, but think back to the beginning where I mentioned the dust, the dirt, the clutter and did I mention the dog that he does not actually know about, Oops, we have to come up with a plan now to stall him, deter him or at least delay him while we do a mammoth tidy up before he comes and hide one of  the dogs. Perhaps he’ll evict us. Could we be that lucky! Then we would have to move. We did want to move after all, and the Universe does work in mysterious ways so perhaps something good is on its’ way.

So, apart from the upset with my daughter, the falling branches, and the broken fence, not to mention the impending visit from the Landlord; the weekend is going well so far

A few notes to self here. Do not drink wine on an empty stomach. Definitely do not drink wine when getting angry. Do not look at daughter’s saucy instagram picture, and then drink wine. Do not contact Landlord if you do not want him to visit. And one other thing, tonight I could not be asked to cook a lovely home made veggie curry, so I bought myself a microwave curry. A chicken Korma to be precise. I ate it, and then came the reaction. I have a Cow’s milk allergy, and of course Korma has milk in it. Important note to self here, do what the Doctor tells you and stay away from. milk and anything with milk in it.  Sometimes I just like to check and see, just in case the allergy disappears but so far, not yet.

In the words of Jackie in Friday Night Dinner I bid you Shalom. ( I am not Jewish but I like the word Shalom as much as I like the Hawaiian word Aloha.

© Liola Lee 2019

 

 

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A Tale of Two Dogs…

Life is life! How good it is to be alive with the promise of each new day! Every morning when I wake up I am so grateful to be here for another day! Not because I am ill or unwell but just because I have the opportunity to make this a great day, my best day or just a day when I get through all the challenges and obstacles that I may come up against which are at times many, and more often than not are what I put in my own way!

This last couple of weeks has been hard going to some degree! Let me try to explain or show if I am able.

We have two dogs, named Princess and Lexi, which is short for Alexis, if we are being specific.  In reality they are actually my daughter’s dogs, though I am the one that looks after them for most of the time. They are beautiful dogs packed full of personality and playfulness. They are truly adorable most of the time, such as now where they are curled up closely together gently snoring in unison as if they are one. They hate to be separated. They did not arrive as a pair but a pair is what they have become.

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Princess is brindle in colour, some would say brown but that would be wrong. Her fur is short and neat, in places her fur is even shorter and smooth, some may say bald but that too would be untrue. Her  dark brown eyes are soft and kind. She looks at you in such a knowing way as if to say, “I know what you are feeling”. She is a funny little thing, not too little like a toy breed, medium rather than big but to me just a funny little thing. She has wide shoulders and short  bowed legs, and has a wiggle when she walks which is rather cute and endearing, and her front legs dish outwards as she holds her head high in a somewhat defiant manner. When she lays down or rather reclines or sits, she always has her left ear cocked upright with the tip just ever so slightly folded over downwards; her way of staying on guard I guess, though in truth that left ear always looks just so.  She has a little white sprinkle of a stripe that starts between her eyes resembling an upside down ‘V’ which travels down to her nose . She reminds me of a small badger with it’s colours reversed. When she wants something she sort of grunts (is that a word I can use?) like a little pig with her grunts getting louder until she makes herself understood. She has something quite regal about her as she goes about her day, Princess by name, and a princess by nature. My daughter gave her that name and it’s as though she has somehow grown into her royal like persona.

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Our Lexi (Alexis) is as they say another ‘kettle of fish’. What exactly does that mean, ‘another kettle of fish’? Not really sure why I said that. I think it is one of those expressions I picked up in childhood from somewhere and anywhere. Having looked it up, it has it’s origins in Scotland and the North of England, which make sense now as my Nan was a Scot, and the family lived first in Scotland , and then moved down to Sunderland where my Dad, and one of my Aunt’s were born, in addition to spending some time in Leeds. So, I must have heard my Dad say it on occasion. As for meaning, it depends what is said in front of it. Here it just means ‘thing’ or ‘different’. It can also refer to a mess or a muddle which does not have any bearing on what I am trying to say about our Lexi, though as a young puppy she did make lots of mess, and somehow managed to muddle through to the beautiful dog she is today.. Unlike Princess, Lexi is neither brown nor brindle. Lexi is an orangey, gingery , coppery colour, and when the sun shines down on her she has little flecks that glow creating a gilt like glittery glow. Her once puppy green (yes green) eyes are now amber to blend splendidly in with the rest of her. Lexi has longer legs than Princess, and her conformation is more balanced. She has four white socks from which her pointy claws curl out and down.

To get back to the why’s and wherefores, of the last couple of weeks, and as to why it has been hard going, I shall tell you now. Lovely Lexi underwent major surgery as she severed or ripped her cruciate ligament in her right rear leg so we were told. We are not sure quite how she did it, but do it, she did. According to the Vet our only way forward was to operate. Our dear little dog had to have some sort of implant put in to hold it all together. She is making great progress but keeping a young active dog quiet, still and calm is a mammoth task and not so easily achieved, especially when there are two dogs and one is still bounding and crashing about. That said, in reality Princess has been gentler with Lexi than usual, though she still takes Lexi’s toys but she has given Lexi space when she needs it, and snuggles too when in demand. There has been only one collision when Princess crashed into the sutured leg,  which set us back a bit but each day sees Lexi improve little by little. She has to be led in and out on a lead, and lifted up steps of any kind. It has been two weeks since surgery and the subsequent implant, so it is still early days but hopefully time will heal her and all will be well in our world.

©. Liola Lee 2019

Images are Princess and Lexi, hopefully as described. Lexi’s eyes are amber but on occasion look quite green as in her picture here, depending on light