a bad day at sea is better than…..

They say, better a bad day at sea than a good day at school/work etc.

It was my daughter’s first time sailing a dinghy and we put her out on her own in an optimist – this brilliant sturdy bathtub of a boat is a little stable cocoon, keeping young sailors safe yet still travelling well when wind catches the sail. She did brilliantly, tacking from my husband in a laser to me, baby boy and the 2 dogs in a tender. There were tears of frustration and a couple of moments with a sore head from the beam. But it all ended with a willingness to get back on the water again. As I type hubby and daughter are reading the RYA childrens guide to sailing for the bedtime read. Baby boy passed out as soon as we got back, having been out patiently on the water watching daddy and sister. 

It was by no mans idyllic however. As our first attempt at hiring sailing club boats, it took the best part of an hour and a half to locate all the masts, centreboards, helms etc and marry them up with the right boats. Meanwhile I kept the two dogs amused and kept feeding baby boy who claimed he was ‘starving’ every 5 seconds. 

I then quickly learnt how to operate the outboard on the tender before the others set sail and felt too responsible when I noticed baby boy didn’t have his life jacket on (we had left them at the wetsuit shop). I waited on idle but the tide kept pushing me towards the moored boats. I kept turning, trying to keep an eye on my daughter while stopping my baby boy wrapping the dog lead round his throat. At the precise point my hubby shouted at me to retrieve my daughter when her sails were flapping, the dogs decided to have a fight. Outboard, dogs, baby boy and daughter in a dinghy were just a little bit too much to sort out. When we got her sorted, my hubby took of in the Laser then the beam came off the mast and promptly fell into the sea (he retrieved it). 

He then had a good session while I helped my daughter wash her boat down and it reminded me of all the time and energy my parents spent helping me as a child at horse competitions. Despite the stress, you live for the moments when it all goes to plan and those moments are worth waiting for….when they eventually happen!

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

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Older eyes…….but designer

Had an eyesight test today, first one in 7 years. Thought I only used them for VDU use and work kindly gave me a voucher to get checked out for free at spec savers. It also gave me money off new specs provided they were for VDU use only but turns out I am long-sighted. I found it very frustrating not to be able to see letters I used to be able to decipher – another sign of getting old.

When it came to choosing the specs I started off at the budget end and within 2 minutes was up in the designer end costing ££££. But they were so much more comfortable and made me look more of a Mad Men style secretary than an old school clerk with heaving bosoms and a chain attached. I must admit there is something satisfying about having a designer name written down the arms – why I don’t know but it makes a difference – pathetic isn’t it. They should do Similar mock designer writing on the budget ones and see if that makes more sales. I found myself wanting to investigate the box they come in too – I am the sort of person that is as much into the packaging and wrapping as I am in the product (a marketeers dream – they saw me coming).

These new specs will have to be worn when I read and drive as well as look at a computer screen so I have to feel comfortable in them as I will be wearing them most of the time. 

I wonder if they will make me look more intelligent too……it all helps.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Growing up …

My son is very much in touch with his feminine side, with an older sister. When watching the TV ads, we heard him say “I can have that when I’m a girl”. I love the idea that you start off a boy and then grow into a girl, his older sibling is a girl, so of course he believes that will eventually happen to him.

I used to think when I was younger that as you grow up suddenly a switch is flicked and you become a mature adult with grown up thoughts. Life would be so much easier this way.

Thing is I am still waiting for that switch to be flicked and constantly have to cajole my mind to be grown-up – realistically I was grown up by the age of 17 – the rest is just experience and hard knocks.

I have tried not to become affected over the years, as some can be, of trying to be someone you are not. I dont give a jot about social status, what car I drive, what house we live in and who our friends are – people who care too much about these things aren’t being true to themselves. 

For a girl I probably have a bit too much testosterone in my body (apparently testosterone levels are abnormal in a woman if your 2nd toe is slightly taller than your big toe – mine certainly is. I was once described as an oddball, which I like because I take pride in oddness and admire it in other people (providing the odd is natural as opposed to under the influence).

What I gave discovered growing up Is that there is no such thing as a ‘normal person’, just people attempting to slot into whichever box they feel comfortable in.

I’m sure there us a box for me somewhere, I just haven’t found it yet.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Greens and the Housing Crisis: Get Real, and Get Radical

Nimbysm affects us all, but nimbysm in relation to brownfield sites is ridiculous – where will our children live and their children. Maybe we should start looking at pontoons as we are an island and go afloat as our land is running out. What is good about the London effect is that people are moving out into areas previously uninhabited by the London types – spreading prosperity but also pushing property prices up. The obvious solution is the bridge between the North and South and that means creating business hubs across the UK. At the moment everything still seems to be about London – at the significant expense of other parts of the country that have untapped potential.

the Tory boys need to be History boys

The Torys are irritating on almost every level, now they have smug expressions, restored after the general election – it’s almost unbearable to witness. 

I attended my local council meeting tonight, which is mainly ‘blue’. The blue boys (and odd female) were all gathered in the centre. The old ones looked alike in their suits and self righteous accents and expression, the young ones looked alike with their coiffed hair, silk kerchiefs and silver spoons, set aside from their mouths specially for the occasion. I thought I saw ‘Swiss Tony’ at one point, then realised all the blues had actually voted for him to be their leader. 

There was an attempt to find an alternative but they were never going to get s majority vote on the opposition because too many blues were in power. If this is what it is like at a local level, no wonder national is such a lost cause. I am sure it helps that conservatives are the first party in the alphabet and the majority of voters can’t be bothered to look down the list.

I can’t grasp any other logical reason for their popularity, other than that we live in Britain and Britain is, by nature, a backward thinking country. 

And if I hear the words ‘deficit’ or ‘immigration’ again I will petition to have them removed from the dictionary……

This blog is for UNICEF – a charity that works hard for the young and vulnerable in worldwide society.

Thanks for reading. 

Doing the right thing is the hardest thing

Apologies for my missed post last night but I could not think of anything inspired to say other than ‘I am a zombie’. So £1 in pot to UNICEF.

I can’t do the post without mentioning that I saw Julie Walters in our local coffee shop today. She looked fabulous and very petite in every way.

I subscribe to word of the day at work and today it was ‘bucolic’ – which relates to the pleasant and idyllic aspects of rural life. Although I like the description, I don’t like the word sounds too close to ‘bubonic’ (plague) and the nasty tummy problem ‘colic’. English is a weird language.

I am once again having to contempl ate re-homing my youngest dog. We have had a dog behaviourist in the past to work out the aggressive rivalry that exists between her and her mother (where they have fights that draw blood). We changed their diet and this helped. But yesterday they had a fight in the car, my husband intervened and the youngest dog bit his hand badly, it was bloody and went through to the bone. Although he says he shouldn’t have put his hand in to the crate where they were fighting in the car boot, it still shouldn’t have happened – particularly not that bad.

My Mum has a friend who adores Jack Russell’s, so I have contacted her as I know my little dog would be in the lap of luxury there and as there are no children or other dogs, she would have the lifestyle she deserves.

Our life has changed so much and our dogs have just been expected to change to accommodate and this has had detrimental effects, so why shouldn’t she be given an alternative option that suits her character better?

It won’t stop me from missing her though….

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

one woman one moto

I only run once a week. But even so I am hooked. So much so I was having withdrawal symptoms when I couldn’t run on Friday because my hubby was driving our boat (hitched on a trailer) to its new buyer in Ireland. 

So, I went running tonight after putting the children to bed and came back wheezing like an old granny and puffing on my inhalers. The air was loaded with pollen and my laboured breathing had loaded my chest with the stuff. So note to self, don’t run in the evening when the air smells sweet and there is hardly any wind.

But that’s enough about me. I want to share the story of @onewomanonemoto – Steph Jeavons adventure navigating the globe on a Honda motorbike – go girl! See her blog here –  http://www.stephmoto-adventurebikeblog.com. In addition to breaking records she is fundraising for Rally4life – a charity committed to relieving poverty round the world. 

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.