only time will tell….

I am a couple of evenings away from launching into a whole different pace of life. Returning to full-time work and relying on other people to look after my children before and after school and all the planning and logistics that entails.

Plus, I am going to ride a motorbike five days a week after a long period of absence from riding. 

With all this change (don’t get me wrong I normally thrive on change) I am wound up so tight I’m gonna do whatever tight things do when they have had enough.

I keep convincing myself this is a good move….our bank account will certainly be happier. But I can’t help feeling a sense of loss. 

But, if the Easter holidays are anything to go by where my role as a parent varied from fish wife to umpire, I will be going to work for a break.

Time will tell..

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Wobbling the right muscles and jangling outdated British culture

I have been walking like a cross between John Thaw and John Wayne today after having strained muscles right the way down my right hand-side trying to get my new bike on its centre-stand. I struggled to even pass various bits and pieces from the front car seat to baby boy sat behind me because of all the twinges (the usual back seat demands…..Mummy I’m thirsty, Mummy I’m hungry….I can’t find my toy car aaahhh!). Of all muscles, my right hand side is not the place that needs ‘work’. What will it take to pull muscles in my thighs and buttocks? That’s the bit that really needs some tightening, as emphasised when I ran to the bank (to pay in a cheque) while my husband sat on double yellows …. Running is a great way of focusing attention on the wobbly bits because they can’t help but wobble. I am not a runner, so wonder if I started, would my wobbly bits eventually Wobble off? It’s worth a try…

Daughter is at a sleepover today at a friend’s gorgeous house…..however they are camping in the garden. Her Husband makes his money selling billion dollar floating gin palaces, so they have lots of nice stuff. They are Canadian, so they are friendly and talk to us and are happy for our daughter to socialise with theirs. (apologies to any wealthy British families I am about to offend by this statement, but…..) I have yet to meet a wealthy British family who are happy to socialise with a family whose joint income is less than a child’s private school bill. But Canadians (and many other nationalities for that matter) are completely unaware of our ridiculous class system and, as a result, do not uphold the unofficial screening process before commencing friendship (house, car, schooling, accent). 

Us Brits could learn a lot from other countries, Nigel Farage take note.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

There’s no such thing as a light motorbike…

I have a motorbike. I got my licence after I had baby boy but can count the number of times I have actually ridden one on my hands, so to say I am a little rusty is an understatement.

From next week, when I start my new job, I will be riding a 40 mile round trip on a daily basis, so I have to get good and quick.

The problem is I gulp at the mere suggestion of getting on the bike but I have this feeling (which happens regardless of the challenge) that whenever I am faced with something that makes me gulp I have to do it and conquer it.

So, the easy option would have been to let my husband ride the bike back home after we bought it as it was a longish trip. But I knew I had to get to grips with biking fast so I dusted off my helmet and climbed on board.

I am solo glad I did because once I got through all the coastal traffic and got some open road the feeling was heaven. At speed the bike becomes as light as a feather and willing to do whatever you ask of it. However, when stationary it is this massive lump of metal that won’t budge when I am pushing it backwards to park with my legs. As for putting it in the centre stand…..well that is the most infuriating thing as I watch my husband ‘just’ shove his foot on the stand and lift the bike back ‘just put all your weight on the stand’. I did and nothing happened, except a few popped muscles down my rib cage and up my arms trying to wrestle it backwards. “It’s no good if you need to fill up with fuel” my husband says, “you need to put it in the centre stand” grrrrrrrr.

Think I will sit astride it to fill up instead….

This blog is for UNICEF. Thanks for reading. 

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.

Thanks for reading. 

Egg on the hips

I am guilty about a family tradition passed down from Mother to Mother at this time of year – the task of absorbing some Easter egg calories so your children don’t have to. 

Easter is a bad time for women who have a weakness for chocolate (and are trying to remain/return to sugar free). If you have children it’s even worse. Eggs, chocolate bunnies, sweets, cakes (helped by a birthday party thrown in for good measure) are all sitting in the kitchen saying ‘eat me’. Cadburys chocolate are the worst, I can consume a small Chocolate egg in seconds. Today I ‘helped out’ baby boy with his chocolate buttons egg – I had the egg and he had the bag of buttons – I was taking the brunt of the calorific hit to retain my son’s health ( well that’s what I kept telling myself). I then felt so guilty I wanted to run a mile in shrink wrap before it had a chance to adhere to my hips…

My Mum did the same thing. In fact when I was older I had to hide the eggs so my Num couldn’t get to them. In an effort to save us both she put them in the bin one year. Then later that night retrieved them out of the bin…..it was a new all time low but resistance was futile.

If you go back another generation, my granny was nearly 20 stone …..gulp….you can understand why we are trying to resist – a good metabolism is not in the genes….

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

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.

Thanks for reading. 

It all began in a Pub…..well in Britain anyway

Feeling all charged up and empowered tonight after a good meeting with the village Mums in the pub to talk about the playground facilities and what we would like to see in the village. 

This is in response to the work of a rather lacklustre working group of committee members who are making plans to simply replace like for like on the playground – and us Mums want more! Have they consulted with us? NO. Will they need us to help raise funds for the new equipment? YES!

So we hopefully have the power to influence these less than qualified decision makers (one of the working group is in her 80s…it’s been a while since she sat on a swing).

Our local pub was the venue for the discussion and it got me thinking how many important meetings take place in a pub? In fact, how many important decisions have been made in pubs over the centuries? 

I would say more than the Houses of Parliament.

I say make the HOP a super club, the party capital of Europe and devolve power to publicans…..maybe then we would have, as Carlsberg would put it….’probably the best political system in the world…’

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

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. 

Yes to lost minutes

Saying ‘yes’ is catching up with me. Sometimes, if you write something down in a list it helps you to see that actually there isn’t that much to sort out, so here goes…

– do parish council minutes, email all partners re web links, start post box listing application, start handover document, do tweet schedule before leave, supervise daughter’s first tutor session, get children used to childminder through booking in time with her, get the working party for playground off the ground (Scuse the pun), go to first meet with new team, do medical questionnaire, get road closure for school fair booked, contact parish council re: using green for said fair, find out how much was raised through textile recycling at school, get November dinner and dance bash booked, set-up childcare voucher scheme, put for sale signs in husbands truck (to sell-off as no longer needs it and we need more cash), get Sailing sessions booked in over Easter, sort out childminders sessions walking the dogs……I’m sure there was something else…oh yes, train for the swimathon.

Everyone has lists like these as long as their arms(s) so no wonder we are all running around like headless chickens with our heads either stuck in a computer or behind a steering wheel. While saying yes has opened up so many experiences and opportunities, there are times when just the experience of taking stock will suffice.

My baby boy said to me earlier, “Mummy why don’t you stand still”. I am always saying to him “just a minute” when those minutes are all I, and anyone else for that matter, has got..

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

The eclipse – how to improvise this phenomenon by a 9 year old

Ok yesterday’s post was heavy, but I am pleased to report that I have told my hubby that I applied to be a social worker and he didn’t baulk at the idea (especially when I told him the childcare costs would at least be covered….and maybe some groceries). My mother in law on the other hand didn’t seem to restrain her feelings. When I told her over the phone, there was a pause then she commented that she had always thought my sister in law would have made a good social worker (and she didn’t add the word ‘too’ afterwards). I consoled myself by realising that my mother in law doesn’t really know me, she only knows that I am able to love her son (although she confesses if he had been first born she wouldn’t have had any more children) and that I am able to have babies quite quickly ( not the conception part, rather rubbish at that, but the labour part – my daughter was four hours and my son was two – he came out so quick his eyes were bloodshot). 

Anyway, It’s the eclipse tomorrow and everyone is getting geared up at school for a glimpse in the playground. My daughter was asked to make a viewer from a cereal box (we don’t have cereal so I actually went out and bought cereal for this very purpose). After extracting the weetabixes, she set to work. Lots of cutting and tape ripping ensued before I went in to check how she was doing and found her ‘testing’ the viewer by standing on a stool holding a tennis ball up to the ceiling light…’it works’ she said. I just hope the clouds clear for tomorrow.

She then did a demonstration of the process of the eclipse for me and baby boy. She used a large round cushion to represent the sun and chose a tennis ball for the earth, much to the amusement of my Jack Russell, who kept chasing the ‘Earth’ while it was in orbit of the cushion. I was laughing and so was baby boy as my daughter got very cross with the JR as she tried to extract ‘Earth’ from the dog’s mouth. So she gave up the idea and used us instead. I was the sun, baby boy was the moon and she was earth, except the moon was rather too close to the sun and after a while got bored of going round and round. 

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.