We’re not talking bowels again, don’t worry. We’re talking me. We all get irritable at times don’t we? It’s not just me? I can be irritable when I am tired, hungry, cold, being wound up….the list goes on. When I was a kid (and still now if I’m honest) we had a word for being irritable – “ratty”. Not exactly sure where this came from. I would like to think it was from Wind in the Willows, as I seem to recall from the depths of my very poor memory that it started out as Ratty Mole-r. I’m starting to make us sound weird so I will stop. Back to me being irritable/ratty.

Another thing that makes me ratty is not having control. Possibly explains why I was ratty a lot when the kids were small. Having PND didn’t help and the overriding feeling for me when I was having a bad time of it was being so irritable that I wanted to scratch my skin off. I still get this feeling now and again but I know that it is only a temporary thing and it will wear off. Luckily, I am in control most of the time – I don’t mean this in a Sergeant Major banging out orders way, just that I am master of my very small universe. But sometimes I have to let go of control and let things just be and this doesn’t sit well with me. I have made a conscious decision to not interfere with T’s school work. He gets on with it and if he doesn’t put the work in he knows it will reflect in his grades and he knows I won’t be impressed. I think that’s how it works anyway and his last report was pretty decent so I don’t think I am wrong – yet. But I do find it hard not to nag. For me nagging is more a way of keeping things at the front of people’s minds. People forget stuff, they need reminding. But then I get annoyed at myself for being irritated that he hasn’t had a shower. Or that A hasn’t made her bed. Or that K hasn’t remembered to clean the school shoes (yes it is HIS job. He has very few “jobs” but bins and shoes are two of them).Silly things to get ratty about really but there we are.

And then there are times when I just feel ratty for no reason. I don’t like these times. They sneak up on me and make me mean. If I can tell myself that I am ratty because of other peoples failings or because I’m cold, then that’s OK. But just being ratty for no reason? Uh-uh. Not acceptable. Can I shake it off? No, I can’t and that makes me even rattier. And then EVERYTHING annoys the hell out of me. For example, if anyone asks me a question my ratty old mind will tell me that it’s a stupid question and it will want to know why they are asking me that, when the answer is so bleeding obvious that they shouldn’t need to ask, and then I will snap at them and then I will feel bad. When I feel like this, I normally sneak away into a book. Luckily, I normally have a decent supply of good reading material thanks to my lovely not-a-real-book-club-but-the-best-book-club-ever ladies. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of a really good book when the most recent ratty spell began. Why unfortunately? Well, it was so good that I didn’t want to have to put it down to do mundane things like work, cooking for the family, or sleeping. So those tasks became even more irritating! Vicious circle. And then when I finished it I had that “just finished a great book, the next book has no chance of coming even close, so what the hell am I going to do now” feeling. Nightmare. Luckily, the next book is pretty good, but not too good that I want the world to go away until I have read it. Thank you to Mrs C for that one.

Thankfully, I think I am starting to move out of the latest ratty phase, like a little mole emerging from his dark dusty hole. In fact, I think the fact that the sun is shining; that the May Fair is over and done with; that I am starting to eat better again; that I am starting to get outside more are all helping to blow away the ratty-ness. Or maybe, they were the reason for it in the first place and I just didn’t realise?


I have been to see Julian Clary at the Alban Arena this evening. Nothing irritating about that except….the man sitting behind me kept clicking his key fob for the entire duration of the second half of the show. I nearly turned around to slap his hand. Instead I confined my irritation and just gave him the odd “look”. He didn’t stop but I was proud of myself for not telling at him to “stop clicking!!!!!”. Me, irritable? Never. 




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