My children often tell me that I am the most immature mother they know.  It is meant kindly and whilst possibly not a direct compliment I know that given the choice between dead normal and me, they will probably opt for me (although that could be more to do with my open wallet policy…..)  It is however, a fine line and one I have been known to cross without realising.   Bringing up teenagers is never mentioned in the ante natal classes; presumably because the population would plummet in two generations if it were.

We have never been entirely normal on the general scale of things.  Personally I think we are perfectly ordinary, but I have been told that we are just a little bit weird sometimes.  We like to forage, we make our own cleaners and toiletries, I reuse obsessively and I make coffee from acorns (I think that is usually the tipping point).  On the other hand we drive cars, we have televisions and Sky and I have yet to convert to washing my hair in vinegar.

Today I was having my feet pummelled by the wonderful Nichola , if you have never had reflexology then book your ticket to Durham and book in with Nichola.  It also helps that she is from Carnoustie and she can talk even more than me 🙂  I asked her if she had seen any particular difference in my feet over the past few months.  During the conversation that followed we deduced that I was bonkers, bonkers in a good way (is there any other way to be bonkers?) but bonkers nevertheless.

I like being bonkers.  I like thinking outside the box.  I like asking stupid questions.  I like making it myself.  I like refusing to follow the crowd.  I like making up silly songs ( I would have been brilliant on Who’s line is it anyway).  I like it when my daughters roll their eyes at me and ask what next?  If they didn’t care they wouldn’t notice.  We rub along, I buy the occasionally pappy brown loaf that purports to be wholemeal, they eat the raspberry jam but make faces at the strawberry jam.  They make their own beauty concoctions and are devoted to my rosewater and witch hazel toner and then spend ages drooling over the MAC counter.  They poo poo my reflexology sessions but beg endlessly for back and feet massages.  They eat seaweed and all sorts of other things but prefer not to know precisely what they are.  They are willing to try anything but are equally willing to say no.  They think it is hysterical that our recycling box is plastic (they have every right to laugh) but are religious about sorting out the rubbish into chicken food, compost, fire and recycling.

For all our jokes about being embarrassing being the last perk of parenthood it is worth remembering that one’s parents can be excruciating.  I am not so old as to be able to forget the time my mother made me wear some dreadful tartan trousers to visit a friend (who had BROTHERS!) because she was packing my jeans for the holidays.  I hope that my daughters pick up some of my bonkersness and develop their own strain.  Bonkers people need to stick together, we are the glue that holds the rest of the “normal” world together.

the AAGH zone

It is easy to lapse into a false sense of security.  Over the past few weeks we have had end of term and friends staying and auditions and university visits and parties and surprisingly enough the declutter has taken a back seat.

I have taken much that has already been decluttered off to its new homes but the remainder of the house has been untouched.  I have a confession to make.  I cannot lay the blame completely at the door of all the other activities  going on around me.  I have decluttered as far as the AAGH zone.

We all have an AAGH zone.  Sometimes they are just one zone, commonly the attic or the basement.  In our case it is the outside playroom.  The place where “things we don’t really know what to do with” meet “things that we need to keep but not in the house” (tents, sleeping bags, tins of paint etc).  Back to the theory that stuff attracts stuff and it is not long before the AAGH zone has sucked in so much stuff that you probably can’t open the door (we can’t).

Sometimes there are little AAGH zones scattered around the house.  The “present cupboard” which does indeed hold presents for other people which you have seen during the year and know will be just perfect for their birthday in six months time.  But also holds those free gifts you got at the make up counter thinking you could use as a present but never have, because just as you don’t want them, neither will anyone else.  More magnetic stuff attraction goes on here too.

With regard to that free stuff.  Say no.  Really, you can do it.  Do you want a twee little washbag to go with all the other twee little washbags you have?  Do you want all those little plastic bottles of stuff you don’t use? No?  Then say so.

We have both types of AAGH zone and neither can be done in one fell swoop, hence the procrastination and use of excuses.  Tomorrow I am going to the wonderful Nichola for my weekly reflexology and chinwag session.  After that I will be more than ready to tackle the AAGH zone under the Victorian staircase.

What is your AAGH zone and what is stopping you stepping inside it?