Free cocktails? Yes please!

It started well, really it did. Annie and I arrived to find Sue, Jane and Claire ordering their first drinks, Di and Sheila joined a short while later. The first drink was sipped slowly and at one point the waiter asked if they wanted their second round and they all replied in unison, “We’re okay for now, thanks.” That was the last time the waiter would hear those words.

At this point I should make you aware that the tapas menu at the local restaurant includes six free cocktails. Of course the girls could have ordered the non-alcoholic menu but according to Sheila cocktails are, “healthy as they include fruit and are part of your five a day”. So the healthy alcoholic menu was preferred over the ‘rubbish’ water and soft drink menu. From then on it went downhill.

Food soon became a secondary concern as more time was spent perusing the cocktail menu. Annie and Sheila read the menu back to front and front to back more than ten times but it didn’t stop the blank stares every time a cocktail was brought to the table as they tried to decide who had ordered it. The one that they chose from the menu was always the one including the most fruit (healthy option), the one they eventually snatched from the waiter was the one with the prettiest colour.

Jane, Di and I stopped drinking early, which meant the other girls were able to have our cocktail allowance. In hindsight maybe we should have carried on and got a taxi home, although I fear that if we had changed our minds Annie, Sheila, Claire or all of the above may have stabbed us.

When the sensible side of the table stopped believing Annie and Sheila were only taking cocktails for the fruit selection they tried to convince us all that they were healthy in more ways than one. Their very dodgy argument included the fact that some of them were filled with ice and they took a lot of stirring which in turn helped their muscle growth. They soon realised that the extra ice may be watering down their drinks so those healthy options were not ordered again.

Jane: Ooooo what’s that?

Claire: It’s water

Jane: Well we won’t be getting that again

Sheila: Do they keep track of how many cocktails we have had?

Sue: Yes

Sheila: Oh good, I’ll just keep drinking then – I’ve never been very good at keeping count, that’s how I ended up with two kids

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Realising they hadn’t eaten for a while the girls ordered dessert… Soon after the table was filled with lovely desserts and a fish!

Sheila: I didn’t realise you were having dessert

Di: You were here when we ordered

Sheila: Yes I know, but by then I was confident with my fish order and I felt I should just go ahead with it

The girls munched away on their chocolate delights and Sheila ate her plate of battered fish!

Sue had decided to stop at five cocktails but changed her mind as she found another one she liked. Her decision was met with utter disgust by Annie and Sheila who were arguing over who would finish Sue’s allowance. Annie shouted to Sue, “Hey you, you’re only in it for the alcohol, we’re in it for the fruit.”

Another crazy day in the land of sand.

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Ten reasons why women should not watch football

I recently watched a football match with a group of women. Now I understand what men have been complaining about all this time:

1. The announcement of the line up was met with boos and disappointment as ‘the most gorgeous player’ was not included

2. At kick off an argument started because it couldn’t be agreed whether the team they were supporting were ‘the whites or the reds’

3. Each tackle was met with a wince and scream of ‘oooo, he’s such a bully’

4. Twenty minutes in and concentration was redirected to the sale announced at the local shopping mall

5. Shouts of ‘penalty’, ‘corner’ and ‘offside’ were all followed by an enquiring look and a whisper of ‘did I say that at the right time?’

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6. The countdown to half time started amidst sulks and groans after being told more than once to stop talking about shoes and concentrate

7.  At half time when it’s okay to talk everyone was silent

8. The second half invited discussion on the fact that football would be a lot more interesting if the men played naked

9. Ten minutes before the final whistle the ‘are we reds or whites?’ discussion started again

10. The final whistle was met with major excitement, as ‘they will take their t-shirts off in a minute’

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Scotland beware, Edina’s back!

For six years I’ve been the chief caregiver to a champagne-swigging, prosperous but preposterous, fashion and fad-obsessed Aunty who is incapable of performing any domestic tasks. Of course I’ve been the ever-virtuous, high-minded, intellectual, virginal niece who assumes the moral high ground and provides the voice of reason.

I have been the sole carer to the real life Edina Monsoon. A woman who subcribes to every trend that arises, a self proclaimed Buddhist and a feng shui enthusiast who aspires to move in the highest circles of creativity, fashion and celebrity. A woman who cannot allow a drink to pass her lips unless it costs more than a months rent and most importantly a woman who is only happy when all eyes are on her.

Dear Aunty,

It wasn’t until I was old enough to drink that I met your alter ego, ‘Edina’. I might have spent the first eighteen years of my life getting on your nerves but the day you realised I was no longer a little brat I became your partner in crime, champagne pourer and ashtray cleaner all rolled into one.

In the years that followed I have learned so much from you:  I never leave a party until they throw me out and it’s never over if there’s still some vodka lurking. Sunrises mean it might be time for bed and you can never have enough ‘fatboy breakfasts’. Most importantly a ‘hair of the dog’ is always preferable to a hang over and cider cures everything.

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We survived the night you went missing…

I spoke to Jane at 7pm; they were waiting for you to turn up at a gourmet dinner. At 9pm you still hadn’t arrived so after many unanswered calls I drove to your house. I panicked when I noticed the car in your drive, as you NEVER walk anywhere.  I went into the house (I learned to have my own key after previous similar emergencies) and your dog was crazily jumping around – Of course to me this was an indication that his much-loved Mummy was dead upstairs. I walked slowly upstairs, partly because my legs were made of jelly, and entered rooms one by one. I checked the bathrooms and eventually convinced myself that I would not find your dead body.

A wooden puppet in the kitchen fell and both feet snapped – Of course, this was proof that someone was trying to tell me that you were laying somewhere in a ditch with two broken legs. I called the local taxi firm, searched the garden, checked the car and at one point I even touched the TV screen to see if it was hot (in my next life I will be a detective). I tried to call your mobile again and it was ringing in the house … Realising you are a woman who never walks, never misses the opportunity of meeting friends and never leaves anywhere without your mobile glued to your ear, I was ready to hyperventilate.

After an hour I got a call to say that you had been spotted at a local hotel. Of course my ‘Saffy’ instincts were on overdrive by now, I wanted to call you, scream and shout and tell you to come home immediately because you were grounded for a month.

I eventually spoke to you and discovered that you were at the tail end of a boozy lunch. I hung up when you started singing down the phone to me. Another disaster diverted!

We survived your bad behaviour…

You are Edina and I am Saffron – I’m sure ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ is the script of our life. The mother of Bollinger Bubbles and the owner of a car called Gertie… Like Edina Monsoon you can never get out of a car without falling and champagne tends to go in your handbag well before lipstick.

Remember when you were living the high-life in London and about once a month you’d decide to come and take over our town? Now most people would arrive home for the weekend with a suitcase full of dirty clothes for their mother, presents for their lovely niece and nephew and a nice little something for their sister… You were different. You’d arrive with a suitcase full of champagne and four of your friends and then spend the weekend crashed out at Gran’s – Until I was twelve I always thought you were sick – I now know you were constantly hung over!

My brother and I were naive to your ways and our 8 and 9-year-old selves would cycle round to the house, excited in anticipation at being able to do something for our super cool Aunt. You would present us with a shopping list that I now understand to have all the ingredients of a ‘fatboy breakfast’ and we would rush off to the shop to get it with the new, shiny 50p piece we were allowed for our trouble.

You took my Dad to the pub whilst Mum begged you not to. A few hours later you’d return and Dad would spend the next three hours hugging the toilet bowl whilst Mum spent her time telling him he was pathetic and that you are the devil. Of course you would take no notice and go back to Gran’s for your afternoon kip.

You would get a rude awakening later in the day with Mum hammering on your bedroom door, whilst you woke from your champagne induced coma.   Mum would be screaming because people had started knocking at the door as you had spent the afternoon in the pub inviting strangers to our house for a BBQ!

Those were the best BBQ’s ever. Mum would be crying in the kitchen, Dad would be in bed sleeping it off and you would be chatting to people in the garden over a BBQ that you’d persuaded them to cook because the important job of entertaining could not cross-over with being a chef too!

We survived a cyclone…

We had been told to expect rain but as the temperature was fast approaching 50 we were stupidly looking forward to it… then it rained and rained and rained. Within hours the electricity went, phone lines died, trees were uprooted, windows rattled and everywhere was flooding. Everyone was panicking – except you.

Two hours into the storm you decided to open a bottle of champagne because, “if you died you would be devastated if it had been left behind”. By the time you finished the first bottle rainwater was dripping through the ceilings on both floors. When you opened the second bottle I used the first bottle to catch the drips as all pots and pans were already strategically placed… this was your way of helping.

Six hours in and I had a routine. I was storm trooper number one and storm trooper number two was Bolly. I opened the roof terrace with Bolly running along behind and managed to catch him before the wind swept him away. Once he was on his lead we started sweeping excess water from the roof, then the upstairs balconies and lastly the ones downstairs in an attempt to stop the flooding inside – we did this non-stop for the next six hours.

At one point Bolly and I passed you sprawled out on the sofa, you handed me another empty bottle and said, “be a doll and get me another”, I said, “you know that the house is flooding?” and you replied “Yep, if it gets any worse I’m checking into a hotel…”

Eighteen hours of roof and balcony sweeping in 50 degrees were coming to an end and you were snuggled up on the sofa complaining that you needed the air conditioning to work. Bolly and I looked like drowned rats and every towel, bed sheet and pan was dotted around the house when you turned to me and said, “Do you think it’s stopping now coz I’m running out of champagne?”

I persuaded you to come to the roof terrace to see the state of everything and as the roof door opened you saw that roads and pavements had lifted, the sea was crashing over everything and the streets were covered in people’s garden furniture… and then you said, “Oh, the weather’s stunning. If I’d have known the temperature was this nice I would have come out here hours ago.”

We survived many screams for help…

One night I received a call and you sounded close to having a heart attack:

You: Hurry, there’s a monster in my bathroom

Me: A monster?

You: YESSSS, I’ve piff-paffed it and shut the door – Get here QUICK

I arrived to find you with your feet up watching TV and you sent me straight upstairs to face the ‘beast’. Half an hour later I had located a small, scared Gecko that was swimming in the remnants of every spray can you could get your hands on. Once I had apologised to the poor little thing for the fact that you had drowned it in piff-paff, I came back downstairs to tell you the monster situation was over.

You: That took ages; I was really worried the monster had got you

Me: Then why didn’t you check to see if I was okay?

You: Because Steve called and I was catching up on the gossip

We also survived…

• The day you begged me to fix the dishwasher, as you, “just couldn’t face having to wash another dish”.  Thirty seconds later I had re-clipped the part that had fallen off and put away the four “bloody useless” manuals you had thrown across the room

• The day you called me to insist I had given Bolly OCD… You explained that you had looked up his behaviour on the Internet and it was called canine compulsive disorder – CCD

• The day I chased you around a hotel at 3am trying to persuade you to return the buggy you had stolen and was driving at full speed across the freshly cut lawns

• The day I persuaded the Police that all was okay after they launched a full scale search to find my ‘missing’ Aunt who was eventually located in a bar drinking champagne with “some really cool people”

• The days I had to explain to the family that you were not really that drunk after your insistence whilst drinking to phone everyone and tell them that you love them. Like the evening you insisted on phoning Mum in Scotland (from Dubai) to let her hear Rod Stewart singing ‘Maggie May’… the entire way through

• The day I had to call your friends to say that your pre-dinner drinks had to be cancelled because you had started partying 24 hours earlier and had finished every bottle

• The days I had to make excuses on your behalf to the employers of your friends who have banned their staff from associating with you after 8pm in the evening

You are absolutely fabulous and I hope that your move to Scotland brings you everything that you’ve ever wished for.  If nothing else I know the owners of the local ‘offy’s’ are rubbing their hands together with glee! You may be getting VERY old but you still have an amazing knack of making me (and everyone else) feel a million times older!

Over and above everything else I am proud to be your niece. The best decision I ever made was to stalk you so much that eventually you caved and let me move to the other side of the world with you. For as long as I can remember I have worshipped the ground you walk on, everyone thinks you are amazing and I’m lucky enough to have your genes!

May the only pain in your life be champagne.

I love you catrillions.  I’ll miss you,

Saffy xxx

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It could only happen to Granny!

Tonight I downloaded Google Earth and thought I’d have a little peek at my wee Scottish Granny’s house…  Only Granny would be outside washing her windows when the picture was taken!

Granny

That woman will do anything to be in the limelight!  LOVE her.

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Granny broke the law in three countries in just one day

Granny’s Internet is still down which means I continue to escape a clip round the ear for my recent posts.  Happy days.  I’ve got three more days to get in as many posts as I can until she opens her emails and decides to kick my ass.

Recently I collected Granny from the airport.  I’d been waiting a while and was starting to panic but when she came through customs with a bright red face I knew something was wrong.  She looked like she was about to fall down and as I got to her she managed to whisper, “get me oot o’ this place, I’m gonna have a heart attack”. At that point I thought I’d have a heart attack too.

The second we got out of the airport Granny threw a passport at me whilst mumbling and pointing at something – The something she was frantically jabbing was her husband’s picture in his passport – She had traveled from Scotland to Amsterdam and Amsterdam to the Middle East on his passport!  It wasn’t until she joined the visa queue here that she realised that both the Scottish and Dutch immigration had thought that she was a man.  I told her that I had lived here for six years and they still think I’m male… I don’t think she appreciated that.

Ten minutes later Granny was outside catching her breath and constantly shoving the passport under my nose saying “he’s got a beard, he’s got a beard”, I’m not sure if she was more traumatised by the thought that she could have been deported immediately or the notion that she may be sporting a substantial amount of facial hair that she had never noticed.  We rushed our little illegal immigrant and her sidekick Uncle George to the car before someone came looking for the bearded Scot.

Granny, George and I spent the journey home going over all the ‘what ifs’, my Aunt spent the journey laughing so hard I think she peed!

It was also very traumatic for Uncle George…

Me:  Uncle George do you want a drink?

UG:  Nah, I’ll just have a beer

Two seconds later the beer had been inhaled

UG:  I think I’ll have a drink now

Me:  Another beer?

UG:  That’s no a drink, I’ll have a brandy

Aunt poured the brandy

UG:  Hen would ya just bring me a wee beer too, I need something tae wash doon the brandy

speedy_illegal

Granny can now add ‘illegal immigrant’ to her list of adventures.

In all seriousness it’s pretty scary that she managed to travel through three airports on a passport that not only wasn’t hers, it belonged to someone of the opposite sex.

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Wee Scottish Granny’s all the way there and half the way back

I had started worrying about the fact that Gran had not commented on my recent posts, In fact I was secretly panicking that she had hopped on a plane to come and clip my ear in person.  However I spoke to her a couple of nights ago and she told me that she will have no Internet until the 7th as the Internet company are ‘”no gonna get the better of her”.  I knew the story would be interesting and told in true Granny style… Don’t tell her but I recorded the conversation for this here blog.  It’ll be our secret.

Wee Scottish (fireball) Granny on her Internet woes: 

“I didnae kenn why but every time I went on the Internet it kept cutting aff.  Those wee green lights would flash at me from that router thingy but nothing happened so I decided to call Talk Talk.

Can you believe hen I spent eighteen minutes, EIGHTEEN minutes going roond and roond on the phone and I eventually spoke tae a wee man who didnae have a bloody clue what I was going on aboot.

I explained to the eedgit a couple of times and you kenn what he said hen?  He said that it was my fault and I would have to pay fifty poond for an engineer.  Oh hen, can ya believe it?  50 POOND to get some wee start oot to ma hoose to fix a problem that’s no ma fault.  Aye, that’ll be right.  So I just told the wee shite I was leaving their company.

So then I got on tae Sky hen, I shoulda gone with them a lang time ago, I dunnae ken why I didnae but that wee eedgit had me so het up I thought, ‘right, I’ll show you’, and then I got this lovely young man who was very helpful and noo I get Sky for 20 poond less a month and I dunnae have to pay no engineer.  What do ya think tae that Talk Talk?”

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So far I have said nothing in reply, partly because every time I try to Granny gets louder and continues her rant over the top of me

“I kenn that I’m supposed to give Talk Talk a months notice but I decided I’m taking nowt to do with them anymore so I asked ma lovely young man at Sky tae phone them for me.  I told him that I didnae want tae have another eighteen minutes of ma life wasted on a phone and the lovely wee guy said he’d do it… Noo that’s service don’t ya think hen?”

I tried to answer but she hadn’t finished

“Yesterday a stoopit lassie fae Talk Talk called me and before she could say oot I said, listen hen, before you start giving me all your crap, I’m leaving you.  I said, number one, when I have a problem I cannae get through tae anyone and it costs me a fortune tae wait on a phone that no folk answers.  Number two, when I get through they cannae do anything for me but want tae send an engineer oot and charge me 50 poond.  You’re not on hen!  YOU ARE NOT ON!”

When Granny shouts I know not to talk…

“You kenn what the lassie said next hen?  She stopped me and said, ‘excuse me, can I just tell you that these calls are recorded’,  I just shooted back saying, I hope they are recorded!  I hope other people can hear hoo crap Talk Talk is.”

Granny starts giggling

“Ya kenn me when ma dander’s up hen (I Googled it, apparently it means temper!).  Ya kenn, with things like that ma adrenaline starts to flow and I get uptight.”

Just as I thought I could get a word in she ended the conversation by saying:

“My brain cells are still working hen, I may be old and decrepit but ma brain cells are still working.”

They sure are Granny.  They sure are.

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Ya cannae take the Scot oot of Scotland

I’m told that wee Scottish Granny has no Internet for a few days, this means I can safely post about her without risk of a clip around the ear.  I could write a million posts on how absolutely fabulous, funny, generous and smart she is but whilst I can get away with it I will write about the stuff that makes me giggle.  I think it’s also time to introduce you to her ‘baby’ (70+) brother, Uncle George.

Uncle George (UG) is a man of few words, he is happy with a beer in hand, a vodka at his side, ‘to change the taste in his mooth’ and a cremated steak at the ready.  He isn’t one for change and he’s very proud of his Scottish roots.  He won’t talk to you if you’re wearing green (colours of Celtic football club) and he’s just as funny as his wee sister, Granny.  Recently we went to eat at a local restaurant:

Me:  Uncle George, you want to try some of my curry?

UG:  spits across table Curry?  Curry?  That foreign stuff’ll put me aff ma steak

poking at the food on his plate…

UG:  What’s that shite?

Me:  A carrot

UG:  And what’s this silly looking thing?

Me:  A courgette

UG:  Well it looks like crap

Me:  You don’t need to eat it

UG:  Hen, they’ll be no fear of me eating this shite

 

Meanwhile Granny is pondering the menu…

Gran:  I’m not having anything; I’ve done nothing but eat since I arrived

Me:  Order, but just eat less

Gran:  How can I eat less?

Me:  Just leave some stuff on your plate

Gran:  Sigh

When the waitress arrived Granny started her ‘eat less’ plan by ordering a plate of onion rings and a plate of chips – Go figure.

Next came the drinks order:

Gran:  I’d better have vodka, as I don’t like the soda and lime here

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During the meal Granny was busy showing off her new phone (resembling a brick) saying that it was the best phone she ever had.  Ordinarily she gets my Mum’s hand-me-down phones so I asked what had happened to that one, she replied, “It was wan o they push up thingies (touch screen), it was bloody useless coz everything kept flying past me so I said te hell wee that fer a game o soldiers and I got maself this yen”.

After mastering the art of Facebook Granny was writing ‘lol’ on almost everything that I posted so I asked her what it meant… she thought about it for a minute or two and then said, “I dunnae ken what it means hen, I just see that all the folk say it so I do too”.

When we got home we called my Mum on Skype.  It was the same old scenario of everyone trying to talk over each other.  Gran was on one story, my Aunt on another and my Mum on an entirely different one altogether with no hope whatsoever that any of them would talk about the same thing at the same time.  In the meantime Uncle George shouts that he can feel his heart beating really fast.  Everyone stopped what they were doing and shouted frantically at him to tell them what was wrong.  He said, “see, I have tae pretend I’m having a heart attack in this hoose to get anyone tae notice me!”

The Walton’s we are not.

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