Zoom Calls, Vibrators & Working from Home

To be honest, I have found writing this week’s blog pretty hard going.....what the fuck does one write about when sod all is happening....?

We are all in the same boat I know, but I'm having a moan...

I have been single and living on my own, since getting rid of the abusive narcissistic wanker that I stupidly married 3 years ago, well apart from TBT and he is The Boyfriend 'Thing' for a reason - i.e. not very present or indeed reliable and basically, being single works for me. So I wafted into lockdown with gay abandon thinking smugly that it would be a piece of piss.

How wrong was I on pretty much every level? For a start I didn't realise how much socialising I did, and swapping from actual people in actual pubs to FaceTime, House Party, Zoom etc seemed strange.

Bec, I and a load of other friends, including Bec's brother’s best mate who is an honorary girl for the evening, get together with a gin on a Friday evening at about 5.15 to have a catch up and a giggle.

A couple of weeks ago, which was the last time we all met, after about 40 mins Bec dashed of to rescue the BBQ from EPH who was whining in the background that things weren't going to plan and seeing her dinner potentially disintegrating into a pile of carbon Bec wisely shot off to intervene, Leigh had to go and trim her dog (not an euphemism ) the rest of us descended into tipsy cackling and using the work fuck a lot....John retreated indoors in case the neighbours heard, and then bailed altogether as he decided that Friday night women of a certain age with booze were getting scary!

5 hours later Lyndsey and I were still happily putting the world to rights in an increasingly slurred manner, with a couple of extremely funny if slightly odd moments thrown in where Pam rejoined us to share her dancing and music tastes. Pam is still into visiting Ibiza night clubs, spending three days in muddy fields in the name of ‘rave’ and generally hasn’t moved beyond being nineteen, which is why we all love her.

Hilarious, heartwarming, hangover-inducing... perhaps this new way of socialising isn't that bad after all.

I consider myself extremely lucky to still be working full time, many of my friends and relations are either furloughed, redundant or worse - home schooling!

The guys I work with that have kids at home make all of our on line meetings a time of joyous anticipation....

A few days ago, on a video call with a new supplier, we were interrupted by a very small person, with an alarmingly shrill voice wandering into Daddy's office and announcing loudly that they had had a poo and needed Daddy to wipe their bottom, we kindly paused the call for Daddy to go and attend to this very important issue. Cue hilarity and many anecdotes around 'things my small children have done that have mortified me'.

We shared stories - mine goes like this ......years ago when Beautiful Daughter and Special Precious Boy were small, 3 and 2 respectively - I think, its all a bit of a blur - I decided that I would party plan for Ann Summers, yes, those well know purveyors of wipe clean underwear and nasty pink fluffy handcuffs.

There wasn't a great deal to do in the small town in North Northumberland where I lived so the parties got quite a good following, and as is the way of these things, I ended up with a big bag of nasty underwear for people to look at and bloody loads of sex toys. There were vibrators in the shape of totem poles, corn on the cobs, black ones, pink ones, huge ones, skinny ones, ones that left one confused about their function altogether etc. One of the most popular was a normal-ish sized and shaped one made from something strangely bouncy, in a retina scalding bright pink (strangely similar to colour of Bec’s walking jacket) with embedded glittery bits. Tasteful. Not.

My parents in law (old fashioned, Northumberland farmers, who, as we know, are a special breed of human all of their own) lived a couple of miles down the road and were in the habit of frequently popping in for a cuppa. There they are ensconced next to the fire, eating a home made scone, like I said, there wasn’t t much to do, scones are the only thing I can bake, my cakes are great biscuits.. kids are off playing, I’m chatting, when all of a sudden Beautiful 3 year old Daughter bursts into the sitting room brandishing the livid pink glittery vibrator shouting excitedly,

”Look Mama! Look, I've found a Barbie Willy!” - she waved it around happily, whilst it buzzed away in front the slightly startled parents in law.

I caught the expression on their faces which was horrified and appalled in equal measure.

This is 20 years ago, I haven't yet recovered and I have come to terms with the fact that I may never recover. It’s one of those family incidents that was never mentioned again and firmly brushed under a very large, deep pile carpet.

My story ended there and a heavy silence ensued from my colleagues and for a moment I wondered whether I’d taken the ‘openness’ thing a bit too far. Then, to my utter relief, a long heartfelt round of applause. I won the story telling poo vs. vibrator competition with a mortification score of a million.

I also feel blessed that my children are grown up, and I don't have to home children would no doubt be scarred for life.

I was on FaceTime to a mate over Hereford way recently, desultorily chatting -

you know the way,

“What you been up to?”

”Been in the house, ooh went to the supermarket the other day etc...”

That sort of thing, when he mentioned that he had had his kids for a few days. He's divorced and shares custody with his ex wife. He had been trying to home school.

“I can manage Youngest Boys maths stuff.” He bleated.

”I should fucking hope so!” I comment sympathetically, “Youngest Boy is only 9.”

Wisely he ignored this and went on to mention that for the life of him he hasn't a clue about the Eldest Girls course work on The Sufferage Movement, and her Spanish home work. Apparently - according to Eldest Girl (13 going on 21) he significantly paled when confronted with questions about Sufferage and stuttered something about chucking themselves under horses and Kings being involved somewhere along the line.

Eldest Girl and I had a lovely 2 hours on FaceTime declining Spanish verbs (reader, I am a fluent Spanish speaker due to the years I spent in my late teens living in Benidorm - yes, I have met Sticky Vicky and her talented daughter - our overseas readers will need to look that up and then wipe their web browsing history swiftly afterwards) and discussing Sufferage. My faith in our youth is restored.

So for all you out there that, like me present with an outstanding Eeyore attitude to the oddness that is now, there are still moments of joy, connection and hilarity. I’m going to make sure that I take these forward into whatever comes next!

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