A mayday marriage

The end of this week marks the 11th anniversary of our wedding – Mayday. My mum joked it was ‘mayday’ as in the distress signal, there have been plenty of times when that has been true in our marriage and, I’m sure, plenty of times still to come. But there exists a magnetic pull between us that doesn’t seem to break no matter what the stress. Maybe it is because we have been together so long we wouldn’t know how to live any other life, or we have grown up from our late teens together and this shared ageing process is in itself a bond. I just think it’s love and that it really does ‘conquer all’ -the rough, the smooth, the upsets, disappointments, hopes, arguments, dreams, ambitions, compromises, career changes, despair, delight, depression and elation.

If we had to live rough tomorrow and start our lives over we would go through that together, we’d argue about it lots, but we’d still stick it out.

It’s something my parents had but lost sight of (alcohol not helping the situation) so I am just so thankful that I have been lucky enough to experience such a bond for however long it lasts.

Eleven years married, eighteen years together, but I’m not counting, just enjoying (and occasionally tolerating) the ride.

This blog is for UNICEF

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Sunburnt with Mr Toad

Well the weather Gods read my blog post yesterday and laughed as I applied moisturiser to my sunburnt face this evening. 

I knew we were off on the boat today so I put my thermals on and my extra padded bra (partly for warmth, partly for show) and didn’t think, given how cold it was yesterday, that I would need to apply sun cream. But as anyone who has ever spent time on the sea will know, on a clear day you can get sunburnt in December at sea (something about zero shade and a reflective surface……just like skiing).

So now my complexion has gone from wallpaper paste to salmon in the space of a few hours. I will go brown (but have to experience the blushing look first) but not so good for keeping the wrinkles at bay. 

I loved the experience on the sun kissed sea today, but spent most of my time staying out of everyone’s way and trying to keep baby boy out of the way too. In the end, en route back, we were tacking so much it was easier to go down below than keep stopping baby boy up and swapping sides. It has been a good 6 months since we were last on the boat but am convinced the children have grown a lot since then because the boat seemed crowded. 

Think my ‘Mr a Toad’ of a husband is thinking of upgrading. We have already replaced the car and, possibly, about to replace the motorbike this week (hence the Mr Toad reference). That’s ok, he was my favourite character in Wind in the Willows, but my approach to constraining his enthusiasm for all modes of transport is more like Mole than Badger.

This blog is for UNICEF.

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Contracts and playgrounds

Yep so I have skipped two nights of blogging – £2 in the pot to UNICEF. Last night I was giggling like a schoolgirl with my friends at our local community viewing of Fifty Shades of Grey. I was like a menopausal woman, getting suddenly hot and needing a fan like a character in a Jane Austen novel. The old chap that sells the sweets in the intervals had to sit through the film and I was disturbed to see a guy on his own sat in the middle of an empty aisle…

There were women of all ages in the audience, including some Mums from our village. In the interval one if them remarked that little boobs are back in (I had benn quietly pleased to see this too). But as my friend put it, ‘If Christian Grey was on benefits he would be locked up’. We all were unanimous that we would sign the contract though….

The night before I was putting together the document summarising local Mums views on the new playground equipment for the village – an absolute must to help steer a parish council working party who have not heard of the concept ‘consulting with the public’. It’s at this level when politics seems to be more influential and where you can have the most input. Unlike central government which is a popularity contest for who can eat a bacon sandwich tastefully and keep big business happy – what a load of twaddle.

This blog is for UNICEF.

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Woman seeks cave

Earlier my Mum and I took my daughter and son shopping. I don’t know why my daughter behaved like a foul ungrateful teenager but the experience was hideous. Nothing was good enough. When she finally found some trainers she liked they weren’t in her size and no she didn’t want to wait for them to be ordered online. When we decided to leave her to browse down one aisle so we could keep baby boy entertained in another then went back to check on her she spat out her contempt that we were ‘checking on her’ and could we please ‘go away’ (although not sure if she said please). She moaned the entire time we looked at clothes for me,( back to work clothes ) and then moaned that she wanted to go home after my Mum had bought her dinner.

My Mum and I realise that we should have just given it up as a bad idea and left with nothing, giving daughter an important lesson in how not to behave. But we didn’t want to ruin her day, or ours for that matter.

Baby boy presented his own issues but only insofar as picking up random objects and putting them in the trolley – but that was his version of little boy entertainment in a supermarket so he did well. 

When my husband ‘had words’ with her later she said she was tired and that was why she was grumpy. Part of me accepts that but part of me doesn’t. It’s just those damned thing called hormones turning my daughter from Famous Five’s Anne to Roald Dahl’s Veruca Salt overnight.

My Mum then said on the way back that I had to make sure baby boy didn’t copy his sister when she was being rude. I replied by saying that parenting at times is too hard a job and that actually I would like to crawl into a cave.

But, in the absence of a cave nearby, I just settled with putting them both to bed, drinking tea and writing this blog post.  

This blog is for UNICEF, thanks for reading. 

Putting education in the Dragon’s Den……..with relatives

My daughter tried out an online tutor session called Maths Doctor. The main reason being my mother had suggested she would like to fund tutoring to help my daughter stand a chance of getting into a good secondary school. My daughter loved doing an online lesson but my Mum has now said that if I want to go ahead I have to ask other relatives to contribute 50%. I feel like I have been suddenly launched into an education version of The Dragons Den, but with all the emotional baggage to go with it. Plus my daughter’s expectations have been raised as she is already asking when the next session will take place…….I didn’t have the heart to say ‘once I have found a relative who is willing to pay £80 per month for them. Aaaahhh…don’t need this right now…

My husband is down in the dumps again about money, not helped by a £200 bill to make our toilet flush. My husband didn’t see the funny side when I pointed out the ‘flushing money away’ phrase. 

That hasn’t stopped me donating to the Comic Relief British Bake a Off – brilliant telly and a straightforward ask -£5 to protect a baby from pneumonia with a vaccination. 

Cakes and celebrities is strangely addictive watching. 

Tomorrow I am protesting against a biogas plant…..followed by coffee. I like each day to be a little different.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Dad the Basset hound

It is 9.30 in the morning in Sydney, which is where my Dad and stepmom have just arrived to commence their honeymoon of a lifetime.

In the space of a couple of years my Dad has made the woman he loves his wife, obtained broadband where he lives in the sticks, discovered the World Wide Web, got his email, registered a Skype profile and bought a tablet pc.

The biggest change is that he is now a big softie, looking at me, his grandchildren and my stepmom with a doughy eyed look similar to that of an old Basset hound. In fact, what with his slight hobble, if he was a dog he would be a basset.

My Dad proves that with age comes an appreciation of time and that it is not infinite, so he is doing what we should all be doing, appreciating what is right in front of him.

This blog is for UNICEF.

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Soul searching online

So, I am glad to report that this is what I sent to my Mum in Spain tonight…..
After 11 days of contemplating life without each other hubby and I have finally sorted things out. He and I both apologised but he was very apologetic about my birthday and he was so upset about me not being back to celebrate with him that his feelings came out in all the wrong way. He made it up to me by going for a lovely family meal together at a lovely Italian restaurant. He was also very honest about his feelings and said that life would be awful without me (which is nice to know). We also talked about careers and he is supportive of what I want to do with social work. However, I feel that the strain of a single income is what got us here in the first place, so I am now actively pursuing a full-time job in the meantime. When I get the information about applying for the SW course next year, we will assess it and see if we can afford to progress with it. The only downside is I think it is a full-time course so I wont be able to earn until 2017. No point worrying whether it will happen or not – just going to let fate take its course.
I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and that we are a team again. In a way, although it was a horrible experience, I am glad it happened because it made us both realise things about oneanother that may have got lost somewhere between looking after children and bringing in the money.
Also, when I start full-time work, it is going to put us in a very tricky situation with the dogs. As much as it is upsetting to have to think about it, I think re-homing both of them will be the only option.
-Ends-
It is very special to be able to communicate with your Mum, regardless of age, time etc, their views and advice still count. I have a friend who lost her Mum to cancer a few years ago – she still emails her about her day and any issues that arise – although there is never a response, just typing a message to her, wherever she is, is soothing for the soul.
This blog is for Unicef. Thanks for reading.