Lid on…apron off

It’s been a long time since I posted. So long, I don’t recognise the formatting. I started out with good intentions of a post a day. But life (and apathy) got in the way.

Today I put the ‘man’ into woman. I was done with the ‘wo’ for a while, having spent a sunny Sunday in the galley of the sailing club volunteering so that the rest of the family could enjoy the boating life. The pics of our daughter having fun sailing the topper in the sunshine while her little bro looked on from the tender made all the pan washing worthwhile.

Conscious of my love handles poking out of the apron and my greying hair pinned back with hair grips, I was feeling way to mumsy.

I needed to be introduced to my 17 year old self. So with pleasure I took a meeting as an excuse to jump aboard my cbf600 and take a short buzzy trip in the sunshine. It felt too good and I reluctantly made my way home after the meeting resisting the temptation of the roads inviting a longer journey to the coast.

Ive said this before and I will say it again bike = sanity.

Also enjoying watching the TT – but what the fuck is with the pit stop ladies in their make-up and tight ad clad outfits dotted around the winners enclosure like billboards. C’mon this is 2016 (grrrrr!!!)

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.


Phew! Sanity retained

My daughter has turned 10 – like a fast car, she has gone from 0 to very tall and grown up in what feels like hardly any time at all…

But with double figures comes other issues – the start of hormones, mood swings, self consciousness etc etc.

Add to that, new home, new school, new friends and a new hobby and it is a whole melting pot of milestones to be overcome.

To try and Tarmac over life’s first bumps in the road you do as much as you can as a parent, sacrificing sanity, energy, time and money. Today, while I was taking my daughter around a massive shopping mall to visit a hairdresser for a second time to get her new haircut right (the one that she wants to have to make her look older ….but not too much), my husband is trekking down to the coast to get the present she has been waiting patiently for since before Xmas (a Xmas/birthday combo) – a sailing dinghy.

As my daughter was facing the prospect of wearing a bag over her head to school on Monday it as very very important that hairdresser attempt number two transformed her toddler triangle Bob into the latest semi-pixie style she was craving. So I went straight to Toni and Guy and yes it worked – her self esteem was restored…….minus ££££ for having used an ‘artistic director’..I am hoping she we will like the style as it grows over many months! As for my husband – there is no way he will understand that £65 for a haircut is worth paying to protect a girl’s self esteem so I am looking forward to the next meltdown when he logs in to the banking..

While on the girly shopping trip to retail heaven (or hell depending on your viewpoint) we also emptied out Smiggle and she saved the rest of her birthday money for the Lego camper van – which has an insane number of Lego bricks and an age recommendation of 16+.

The actual night of her birthday I battled M25 traffic to get home in time for the birthday cake and to see her friend who had stayed for tea after school. Then we were up beyond bed time, looking over her tenth birthday photo book my mum had made to try and salvage some time together inbetween work, school and the demands if a baby brother.

In short it’s not easy being 10 and not easy doing the best you can as a Mum – but it’s sooo worth it and I hope she looks back on all of it with good memories. That is what I am trying to preserve the most – a childhood of fond memories that can be used as the fall back when grown up life gets rubbish.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

A girls must have – attitude

“I’m doing my haiiirrrr!” My daughter screamed at my hubby across the water with a slight growl at the end in response to him instructing her what to do with her dinghy. She was doing what all women do – multi-tasking. In her case, sailing her dinghy and sorting out her ponytail while she was tacking.

My initial, socially acceptable thought was to respond by scolding her for shouting at her Dad. However, I know what it is like to have someone, particularly the ‘alpha male’ tell you what to do so I respected her decision to clarify what was going on with an edge that basically said “and back the hell off I know what I am doing”.

Now, I am not trying to paint my husband as a chap who would fit in well on the set of a Mad Men episode, however he was brought up in a very traditional household. Dad worked in finance and brought home the bacon, while Mum looked after the children and the house. Although my father in law often refers to my mother in law as ‘the boss’, I am in no doubt as to who the boss is in that relationship.

Equally, I too have to pick my battles, but I do have a line. Unfortunately for my husband that line is drawn very near to the start line. What he perceives as a ‘stubborn’ reaction, I perceive to be perfectly normal. I would hate to be with a man who would allow me to dominate, I want some backbone in the relationship, but equally submission is not my forte in the face of adversity. In that situation the ‘adverse’ person can ‘go f*** themselves’.

Because our society is crawling towards true equality of the sexes, it is still vital that women have the get up and go (I restrained from using the word ‘balls’) to stand up for themselves to just be allowed to be ‘free’. Free from all the preconceived ideas that shackle the female identity – I don’t need to outline what those are. 

So when I saw my daughter put my hubby back in his place, I did not read that attitude as something negative in her pre-adolescent behaviour that needed to be corrected. No, I inwardly smiled at her strength and, more importantly, her belief in the freedom to say – I am doing this my way and if that means I have to fix my hair at the same time then so be it.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

cloudy with a chance of tantrums – but the view looks good from here

Sorry for the downtime – on the plus side oodles of pounds to UNICEF in missed blog posts. I had no wifi on the water but was writing posts in my head as the days went by…

I am now on a mission to sort my job life out now social work is not an option. On the plus side I have the third independent visitor meeting this week to find out more about the application process. My homework as to let all the milestones in my life – it’s a good exercise to put it in paper – I recommend it.

Having two children on a boat for two weeks has tad challenges. The odd moment of hysteria and cabin fever. An unplanned splash by my older child ( do t want to think what would hav happened had it been my younger one…..swim lessons start again in earnest this Saturday). I confess to the odd tantrum – mainly over trying to keep my sanity over boat cleanliness, sibling fights and a hot boat engine. But it is, as they say, character building. Nothing a quick glance at the beautiful sea scenery can sort out. The country looks its best when viewed from the water. Mainly because you can see for miles around you with hardMy anyone or thing obstructing your vision. Thus good for the soul.

This blog is for the brilliant and amazing charity UNICEF – looking after vulnerable children worldwide.

Thanks for reading. 

Fighting tides and tears

Sorry for the lack of blog post last night but I had no internet access as we were staying overnight on the boat – just because we could.

We fell asleep at a slight angle (because we got caught out trying to beat a retreating tide alongside the jetty) along with the nightly calls of the local wildfowl and the slight hint if petrol fumes as the quarter berths were near the engine. But one glance out the porthole to see a sun setting behind a scene of boat Nast silhouettes made it worth it. Baby boy said ‘look at all the colours’ when he saw the sun set and I realised he hasn’t been up late enough to enjoy a sunset before.

Today as the weather was grotty we went to the cinema and popped to the shops to upgrade our daughter’s school lunch bag and school bag, busy zips and too many stains that won’t disappear after a year of being slung on the ground in bus stop queues and the playground.

We say the Disney Pixar film Inside Out. It is amazing – I don’t care how old you are, what sex you are or whether you have children or not – this is a Must see film. I gave to confess I was mildly annoyed that I was crying three quarters of the way through – Disney know how to ‘get me’ every time. 

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Inbetween memories are best

I have been blogging, almost ever day for 3 years now. The main reason for this blog is to raise money for UNICEF, either through my personal challenge of donating £1 for every missed post or through the generous donations of fellow bloggers.

I also hope that when I am very old and Hopefully still gave my marbles, I will have Internet access so that I can reflect on my younger years through my blog posts. I have never been good at keeping a diary, I tried it once for about a month when I was 19 and found it really hard work. However I love reading that month long diary of when I was 19. Things that seemed trivial back then I really enjoy reading now. So much of life you forget, with flashbacks occurring when you chance upon a perfume you used to wear or an item of clothing you see in an old photo. The big moments are retained but all the inbetween bits go missing and may never be rediscovered. I find my mother remembers things I don’t and vice versa – the same can be said of my best friend from school days. She recalls things I had completely and utterly forgotten.

Memories of everyday life are a luxury. Time is short, so to revisit time spent is well worth it. 

Today we had a blissful day on the boat. I flitted from having a doze under the cover of the spray hood, to watching to make sure baby boy didn’t go overboard, to grabbing the tiller while hubby tackled an unwieldy Genoa. We then washed the whole experience down with a chilled glass of wine (me), cider (hubby) and apple juice (children). My daughter had fun jumping into the sea off the side of the boat and my son squealed with laughter watching her. Good times. 

Hope y’all had good Sunday’s too.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

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.