The scream continues

I empathise with people who are depressed. It doesn’t help when people say, “but at least you are not starving in Africa or protecting your children from harm in Syria”. This is of course very very true, but it still doesn’t help. Because sometimes you just cannot help how you feel, no matter how hard you try.

I have no reason at all to feel low. In fact I should be grinning from ear to ear every day, but not in a smug way just in a happy way. But Aunt Irma (my period) is visiting again and my hormones are on a trip I don’t like that is non-negotiable. I can’t conceal feeling low either, although my children will never fail to make me smile. Even my mother-in-law who is like the Queen about emotions asked “are you OK?”. My best friend also picked up on it and I really tried to be ‘myself’ but it just wasn’t happening.

At least it is related to ‘women’s issues’ and so I can just go to the Doc and say, “Look this Mirena Coil thing isn’t working, whip it out and shove something in me that eliminates periods and moods please?” Maybe the Doc might even suggest a sex change, although men can also be moody even more frequently than monthly. 

If I were to draw parallels between my mood and the animal kingdom, I am like a Bull keen to lock horns with anyone who disturbs the peace or a hippo on a day when they shift from looking cute to being one of the world’s deadliest animals (the ones that are reported to go on a tourist scare rampage).

At times like this, the only thing to turn to is Marmite on toast, Ben & Jerry’s and a wee dram of Vino while I wait for the storm to pass. 

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. If you can help despite me moaning in this blog about something as trivial as women’s issues, please visit my Unicef page here.

Thanks for reading………now bugger off.


Its been lovely but I need to scream now!

When my husband saw this quote on a fridge magnet next to a picture of a 50’s housewife with a smiley but slightly crazed look in her eyes, he thought of me.

That is why it now graces our fridge at home. When I glance at it my subconscious agrees with the sentiment. That is why you can take a self-help class in primal screaming. How many of you have felt like screaming when in a situation that, underneath the surface is driving you insane, yet society dictates that you must remain calm and polite (particularly British society).

Yesterday was exciting, stressful and exhausting (hence my lack of a post – another one pound in the pot to Unicef). First we drove to the bank to take out a large sum of money ready to pay for the boat (as mentioned in a previous post). The HQ of the bank gave us the wrong postcode (not the first time this has happened) so we spent 30 minutes on a wild goose chase through a city trying to locate the bloody bank. Once we found it I patiently waited with the children and dogs in a hot car park while hubby went to raid our account. It took a while so I ended up dropping the tail-gate on the back of the pick-up and setting up a picnic for the kids – I felt a bit like a gypsy.

Hubby then returned with the combat pockets of his shorts fully loaded with the green stuff. We then drove another hour to the marina where the boat was moored and played ‘guess which boat it is’ off the harbour wall. It helped to keep us entertained while we waited for the owner to turn up. Kids soon grew impatient so thank God for the play ground.

When the boat owner turned up, hubby disappeared to the Marina while I entertained the kids in the playground but they couldn’t keep away from the boats for long so I soon found myself wandering aimlessly round the marina passing boats with names like ‘Miss B Havin’ and ‘Capische’ and my favourite ‘Ow Much’. We were playing ‘guess where Daddy is’ for quite a while as we gazed across a sea of boats (literally and sorry about the pun) looking for one with 2 guys on it. “Where is he Mum?” said my daughter, “I dunno just look for 2 men on a boat”. Eventually we found them as they chugged in on a gorgeous little sail boat. Hubby had inspected it, well enough to satisfy himself that it floated. “I hope you approve too”, the owner said to me, “as I have just paid the marine 100 pounds to lift it out of the water”. Then ensued a fascinating process, overseen by baby boy in his buggy on the pontoon in wonderment, of an underwater forklift scooping up the boat in a sling mechanism and dropping it onto the trailer. This machine made boat lifting look easy and myself, daughter and baby boy were fascinated at how this thing just lifted motorboats out of the sea, swivelled round and slotted them into their little dry store bay like they were cans in a cupboard.

Now on the trailer, the boat had to be de-rigged. “So the de-rigging will take about 30 minutes?” I said, “Probably a little longer actually”, the owner said. It was already 6.30 in the evening and the kids had been living off snacks all afternoon but no tea, so we returned to the playground once again while the boys did their thing with the boat.

Just before nightfall, I returned with the children in time to wave goodbye to the boat owner. The money had changed hands and we were now the proud owners. We just needed to get it home. So then we had to tie everything down for transit, whack the reg plate and electrics on the back and then….go find a fish and chip shop for supper.

Having run out of time to take it back to my husband’s yard, we decided the boat could stay overnight on our drive. When we arrived home at 11pm (kids thankfully fast asleep) we had to get as much of the mast and boat on the drive as possible. This involved some snug parking to the point where the aerial on the top of the mast was inches away from our front door.

Hubby then left at stupid o clock this morning to park it temporarily at his yard.

We just need to find some water to rent now, which is proving impossible as we approach the end of the sailing season. So far , a lot of money has changed hands, not to mention the arrival of a few more grey hairs, but no sailing as yet.

That is why it has been lovely buying a boat and all that but….think I need to scream now!

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef – can you spare a quid? if so visit my page on Unicef’s site.

Thanks for reading.

Uncharted waters

Continuing with the aqua theme, we are about to embark  on the uncharted waters of boat ownership tomorrow (gulp). We are both excited and scared of what lies in store for us. At work today, I was making what seemed like the 6th round of teas and coffees (I had the very over-paid role of Mrs Doyle from Father Ted), when I encountered a mug (a cup not person) with a very good quote: ‘life begins outside your comfort zone’. Lets hope life doesn’t end there too.

I am also embarking on the uncharted waters of marriage to a man who can see age 40 in the distant horizon and is having a bit of a career crisis. He is pursuing education again as his route out but this looks unlikely to happen as he has never been that academic. Yet he is not that keen on me helping out with a bit more of the bread winning because that goes against his traditional approach to man the hunter and wife in cave. I have the long hair of a female neanderthal but none of the submission. 

So in the meantime hubby is going to take the ostrich approach to problems and looks like boat ownership will provide a distraction, I just hope it will last a little longer than the motorbike – at least we can all fit on it for a start.

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. Check out how much I have raised so far here.

Thanks for reading.

In deep but glorious water

My absence yesterday (another 1 pound in the kitty to Unicef) was owing to finally getting into bed at midnight after returning from a trial sailing trip with friends and family. 

It was fabulous, by far the best day out we have had with the children this holidays for many reasons, but the biggest being the chance to avoid the crowds. As soon as you are on the blue stuff it feels you are free from the hurly burly of traffic and too many people in a confined area. We could explore the harbour, enjoying the unique view of the coastline, the islands and the sea. A cormorant stood majestic on a pole as we sailed by and terns dive-bombed the sea for fish as we moored at a beach. 

The children then stripped down to nothing but their life-jackets and had a play in the water while we climbed up to the top of the island to look at the spectacular view that greeted us at the top. Even the dog had a good time.

I was pleasantly surprised by baby boy who was burbling, giggling and pointing as we bobbed along despite the fact that he was in a confined area on the stern of a little boat. The older children were up on the bow lying on their fronts with their hair dangling over the front watching the waves. 

After an hour on the beach we gently made our way back to the harbour slipway passing couples on larger boats enjoying supper and wine on as they sat enjoying the sun’s last rays twinkling on the top of the sea – bliss.

Ok there were a few not so good bits. It took at least half an hour for the guys to rig the boat up, thankfully we were able to entertain the children at a nearby fairground. We had yo use the outboard to move off the slipway and this required petrol, which added further delay to our launch. Once on the slipway it then took another 30 minutes to de-rig and get the boat back on the trailer again but the kids didn’t mind as they larked around on the grass, despite the fact that it was way past 8pm and they hadn’t had much to eat all day except for sandwiches, some crisps and chocolate. A drive-thru KFC soon sorted that out but we immediately regretted it once consumed – why does fast food always feel so rubbish in your tummy? Because it is literally junk.

So now we want to get our own boat and enjoy family days and weekends out on the water. We know we will have a steep learning curve to climb and no doubt a few adventures await us that will be mildly traumatic. But, as with anything that takes a bit of effort and perseverance, the rewards will be great.

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. Please check out my fundraising page here.

Thanks for reading.

A Throwaway Society

I felt bad today about something that I didn’t have much control over (story of my life). I tried to find a new home for our video player. Every charity shop we visited turned it away with a look of surprise that we, a) still had one in our possession and b) that we thought it still had value.

I am the type of person that only gives up on something if it is dead with no hope of revival (probably why my relationship with my husband is still going strong….touch lots and lots of wood …..oh dear that was a bad and very dark analogy). To be more specific I keep hold of household items if they are still in good working order regardless of whether they have fallen out of fashion/ don’t match the interior colour scheme/ have been around for a bit. I actually take pride in the longevity of some of our domestic products. For example, our fridge, bed, sofa and video player have been with us since before we were married. When my daughter was really young, I marvelled that the old video player would rumble back into life after having extricated an old mouldy farleys rusk, a couple of cars and a crayon from inside the machine. I used to enjoy getting videos for next to nothing on ebay. However, we have had to de-clutter since putting the house on the market and the video-player was on the list to go. After attempting to re-home it at the third charity shop, I had to give-in and take it down the dump. As my husband handed it to the fellow manning the tip he said “There’s nothing wrong with it, it still works…” as if pleading with the guy to take it for himself. He replied, “I know mate but we live in a throwaway society”. That rather morbid comment was confirmed by my husband spotting a perfectly good bowling set on the waste heap and my daughter felt sorry for a forlorn looking Tigger “There was nothing wrong with him Mummy”. I think she was angling for a response along the lines of “Well you can adopt it to add to your vast collection”. This of course was never going to happen as we had recently coerced into hiding some fluffy toys in the airing cupboard to protect them from Daddy handing them an eviction notice. He hardly ever goes into the airing cupboard, it is for some reason a female domain, in the same way that I rarely venture into his shed or his ‘man draw’ in the kitchen.

I would have liked to keep our video player, and was mildly annoyed that hubby had overridden this attempt to re-home it with the default of the dump. My only logical argument in keeping it was “One day it will be a collectors item or may be required in some museum of how people pre 2003, entertained themselves at home…..we could use it in a time capsule to bury in our garden before we move house???

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. See my site on Unicef’s page here.

Thanks for reading.

A day of ideas inspired by a beach trip

We had a fabulous day on the beach. I burnt my legs, baby boy tried out his very own ‘sand race car’ made by Daddy and our daughter created her own collection of islands using grass from the sand dunes. 

The reason for my very late post is I have just completed an online crash course in sailing. I have my RYA 1 and 2 but the last time I sailed was when I was 17 and I wasn’t very successful at it either. However, on the road to the beach, a stunning mini yacht caught our eye with a for sale board outside and we screeched to a halt. To cut a long story short, it looks like we will be buying it and then we will begin the pursuit of insurance mooring and, for me at least, training!

I am both excited and anxious at the same time at the thought of embarking on a journey into the hidden and rather exclusive world of sailing with its own language and laws. Hopefully the sailing community will help us as we start our first launch and I have high hopes for future family holidays on the water and for my son and daughter to learn about sailing life from a young age. I am horsey and know what it is like to observe someone tacking up a horse for the first time – you want to watch them struggle for a bit first for light entertainment and then offer a helping hand……watch out seasoned sailors as we tackle our first launch and sail – it is going to be very amusing!

My husband also got some spectacular images on the beach today. In fact he is very good at photography and we thought that, combined with his tree climbing skills, he could take some amazing tree canopy pictures or ‘treepics’ – I’m sure hotels, national trust properties and the like would appreciate such images for website marketing – watch this space….

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. See my site on Unicef’s page here.

Thanks for reading.

Family holidays

I am having a brain freeze as I stare at the white rectangle that is the ‘New Post’. Hubby came to my rescue and said, “Write about holidays”…..”What about holidays?” “Trying to find one”.

Like most women I like to plan ahead, particularly when it comes to holidays. Of course I find it more exhilarating to do things last minute. But, we live in one of the most densely populated islands in the world and the world and his wife tend to congregate in the same areas. There is not that many activities in the South-East for families to choose from so they descend like locusts on the popular places.

Our attempt at finding a campsite for 2 adults and 2 children plus 2 dogs in an areas of the SE that forecast good weather. “Full,,,,,,Full,,,,,,Full”. We didn’t just restrict our search to campsites either. Hotels, caravan hire, motorhomes, you name it we tried it but to no avail. That’s what happens when you try to book something last minute over a bank holiday weekend in the school holidays.

But we have been side-tracked by selling our house and the viewings have started to come in. I have become obsessive about cleanliness and I literally evict everyone, including my husband, out of the house an hour prior to the viewing in a effort to preserve a near immaculate home. My efforts at house cleaning are not dissimilar to that of Annette Bening in American Beauty see:

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. View the site here and please feel free to donate to the campaign if you can.

Thanks for reading.




Bridget Jones Diary version 4

Every day I have an internal battle with what I would like to eat and what I would like to look like. It is a problem familiar with most women, we want to be stick thin but also indulge in copious amounts of chocolate, cake, sweets, cheese or whatever is your ‘thing’. For me it is chocolate and sweet stuff.

Today was not a good day.

Normally in the morning my only sugary intake is a spoonful of sugar in my coffee. Other than that I am nil by mouth. However, on Monday my friend bought me a big tub of Celebrations as a thank you for looking after her daughter for the day. This was very well received by me. Of course I couldn’t just have one, I had to have five. Then it progressed to so many that I was trying to call a halt to the binge by saying ‘just one more handful’ and then filtering out all the snickers and replacing them with more to compensate. After guzzling 70% of the tub over 2 days, I packed the remainder in a picnic for the children and my Mum today and looked angelic when I insisted everyone eat them and refused to eat any myself. 

So, this morning, as well as my sugary coffee I had a few celebrations chocolates. I then had a massive pizza at lunch-time and said to my Mum ‘Oh I feel so full now, I will just have some fruit for tea, I try to keep to 1000 calories a day or less’. What a joke! I got home and had some pasta and veg to be sociable and encourage my baby boy to do the same at tea-time. Then hubby arrives home with an Indian for Two. As he sees me finish my bowl of pasta he says, ‘did you not get my text message about an Indian for supper tonight?’. Obviously not. I did put my half of the Indian in the fridge for later however where I came a cropper was finishing off my husband’s leftover naan and the tub of mini yum yums my husband had bought for pudding. These I could not resist. As they were ‘mini’, I couldn’t eat just one, I had to have two, then three. I then asked my husband to remove the tub immediately as I was starting to feel the pounds already accumulating on my thighs. 

So tomorrow I am on starvation. I am not on the 5/2 diet, I try to be on the 7 day diet. No I don’t think I have an eating disorder but my granny’s 20 stone frame does haunt me a little……..

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. Check out how I am doing here – please feel free to donate of you can.

Thanks for reading.


A no brainer?

Sometimes it is easier to work out the answer to a dilemma by writing (or in this case typing) the reasons behind the dilemma. I have divided the reasons into logical and emotional. The logical reasons carry less weight than the emotional because I believe no matter how much you can justify a decision on facts alone, it is emotions that have the final say. 

The dilemma in question is whether or not we should sell our house. The reasons for and against are as follows:

The case FOR moving (logical)
1) the house is too far away from both our workplaces meaning that we have long commute times and fuel costs
2) On our  days off we tend to get in the car and drive to somewhere else to walk the dogs, take a trip etc thus racking up the fuel bills further
3) We are not happy with the standard of the local secondary school so know that we will have to drive our daughter a longer distance if we want her to go to a better secondary school and that is assuming that we will get a place 

The case FOR moving (emotional)
1) We are not that keen on the neighbours or their tendency to walk around with dodgy dogs off the lead
2) We don’t want to be here for longer than a decade (the house was always another step up on the property ladder rather than the forever home)
3) We are feeling restless and want change

The case AGAINST (logical)
1) Property prices are starting to creep up again and we could be bailing out of the property market too soon (as we are going into rented)
2) Our monthly outgoings on rent will be more than our current mortgage payments (although we will be able to accommodate this increase)

The case AGAINST (emotional)
1) Sentimental reasons (house baby boy was born and where daughter spent her younger years)
2) Daughter enjoys her school and is doing well
3) Husband and I are having arguments over whether to rent or buy and the difficulties in getting a mortgage when self employed.

The solution is a no brainer isnt it?

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef – check out my site on Unicef here.

Thanks for reading.

Biking is good for the soul

I forgot to mention that I almost got a motorbike yesterday. My husband is looking to part exchange his Suzuki Vstrom in for a bike that we can both ride (the Vstrom is both too heavy and too tall for me to ride in comfort). It is tricky for us to both pitch up at a bike dealer with kids in tow, so he swapped his bike in for an hour’s ride on a 2 year old Honda CBF600. It looked a bit like this:

 …….But with colour coded panniers too.

When hubby arrived aboard it, I didn’t waste anytime getting my kit on, quickly evicting dead spiders in my boots and not bothering to remove the winter liner in my jacket to save time. With a final confidence inducing comment from hubby about the 2000 pounds insurance excess, I sped off. Pleased to be liberated from the trials and tribulations of being a mum and reluctant housewife. 

This is a perfect bike for a novice like me who doesn’t get much of a chance to put the miles in to up experience levels. When you are an on/ off biker like me you have to ride 100% committed with no crack in confidence. This is a piss easy bike to throw in to corners and climb the revs and blast pass traffic. I had a ball with a quick sprint along my nearest A road thinking about the steam coming out of my husband’s ears when I realised I left my mobile phone at home (whoops). I was tempted to carry on for another half hour but knew we were on a deadline to get it back to the dealership. 

Sure enough when I returned home hubby was jumping up and down about spending too much time on the bike. Thank God I did though as he returned an hour later back on his Vstrom again having not secured a deal over 700 pounds. They wouldn’t give him what he wanted for the Vstrom so he pulled out of the deal, which is fair enough as he doesn’t want a good bike to go for crap money.

So now he is on a mission to sell it privately and will leave it to fate if the Vstrom sale and CBF purchase coincides.

All I know is a motorbike ride, no matter how brief and irregular, is good for the soul.

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. Please donate to the blogging campaign here.

Thanks for reading.