A wish for Aussie grandparents……and sun and sea

Today I was mostly cold and cursing my parents for having me in this country and then disappearing to sunnier climes in retirement (Australia), then they have the audacity to say how good it is down under and that we should go there…….with what money? 

Why didn’t they visit Australia BEFORE they had children, realise it was warmer and more pleasant outside, move, have children, then retire, go to the UK and say ‘thank God we moved, it was bloomin cold up there and the children all have runny noses’.

This is why I am eating more than normal (as per yesterday’s blog) because my body is still in hibernate mode and desires fat to keep warm. Ok it didn’t help today that I spent 2 hours on a boat, trying to stay still and not get caught up in all the lines hanging from the mast as my husband spent ages faffing…..what is it about boats and faffing? I reminded him of my proximity to the lines just before he did the big heave-ho as I was envisioning a scenario whereby he had not only strung the mast up but me as well. While there were 10 minutes of contemplation admiring the water and the scenery for the majority of the time my focus was keeping myself and the children dry and u frozen in anticipation of a drink and something to eat at the pub by the slipway.

By the time we got to the pub, I looked ridiculous in my winter wooly hat, sunglasses and galoshes but it made us do much more appreciative of a drink, a nibble, and a fire as we looked out at the sea – an appreciation that has lasted centuries.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

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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.

Thanks for reading.

Love and the eonomy

My apologies for the missing posts over the past two eves. I was enjoying an M&S ‘dine out for two’ early valentines meal on Friday and felt I needed to enjoy time talking to my husband as we had to make up for some lost time (plus my daughter was back late from youth club because I got the pick-up time wrong and my hubby, who was picking her up, didnt leave on time).

Then it was my fantastic father’s wedding on valentine’s day. It was a very emotional day and it has been rare in my life that I felt my Dad needed a cuddle, but, as he contemplated walking up the aisle while I was fiddling with my button-hole, his questions about whether I was alright were my cue to give my Dad a big hug and tell him how happy I was for him. I shed a tear or two at their vows and it was lovely to watch them do the first dance. My Dad is getting soppy in his old age and it is wonderful to see. I also got some fantastic film of my baby boy and daughter dancing together to 50s, 60s and 70s hits with as much gusto as they would dance to current chart hits.

It doesnt matter how old you are, love is still brand new when you find it.

Dad toasted to everyone’s future in his speech and my hubby talked about my Dad and Stepmum as ‘lifelong companions’. I really hope that remains for as long as possible. They will now embark on a month long cruise of Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand – a trip of a lifetime that they deserve.

To finish this blog, with a nod to the future, I would encourage anyone concerned about the future of the UK economy to read this relatively straightforward essay by an Oxford Economics Professor on what should be done going forward forthe health of the economy – a must read regardless of your politics – particularly if you, like me, have relied on media reports as the main information source on the economy read – http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n04/simon-wren-lewis/the-austerity-con

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.