Monday, 23 June 2008

Pack It In!

In case I don't have time to write tomorrow night due to necessary packing frenzy only experienced by all mothers travelling with children under the age of five...... I am off on holiday to Spain on Wednesday morning and so will be absent from blogging for approximately one week!   (I would love to be in a  position to say that this writing thing had taken off to the point of me justifying the purchase of a Mac Book Air to carry on with witty verbal diarrhoea whilst on vacation but I would be kidding myself, Other Half and credit card company!)   I love our family holidays but only once we've packed all the essentials needed when traveling with Small Child, arrived safely without any drama such as the push chair never making it onto the plane (it happened on first trip abroad!) and are safely ensconced in destination villa/apartment/hotel room that, of course, has everything we "might" need to hand!    I may panic about what we need to take for those "in case of emergency" situations but a wry smile still crosses my face when I think back to our first holiday with Small Child who was only just five months and we rented a cottage in the West Country. Other Half was under the mis-apprehension that it would be total relaxation and different to when we were at home....and then light dawned on marble head! In fact...if you've ever tried to feed a five month old mashed avocado and blueberries in the middle of an Eco-tourist attraction you will know exactly what I'm referring to...relaxation doesn't come into it!   Still, we're now only into nappies at night, definitely off the mashed food and can even extend bedtime by an hour without suffering the screaming banshee attacks so I think that's progress! Buenos Nochas Senoras et Senoritas...I'm off to Puerto Banus to read, relax, check out the swanky yachts and trendy bars (at lunch time only) and to indulge in some serious people watching! Will report back soon! x    

Sunday, 22 June 2008

The Wait Is Over...

...I finally got to see my most awaited movie of the last three years...Sex And the City!!  If you haven't already done so you have to go and see this more than surpassed my expectations and I will be first in the queue to pre-order the DVD when it comes out! It was released here on 28th May but I had to wait until this weekend for a couple of reasons. When you have children you can't just drop everything and go to the movies on a whim like you used needs to be planned in such a way so as not to use up valuable baby sitting vouchers distributed by Sometimes Willing/Sometimes Not Family Inc. I'd also promised my friend E, who shares my love of all things fashion, shoes, make-up and general Carrie Bradshaw-ness, that we would go and see it together, as only we understand that inner warm glow induced by SJP stepping out in yet another fabulous outfit! Not only that but the fictitious but fabulous CB is my shoe-obsessed fashion heroine and one of my inspirations to start blogging! And so, on mid-summers day, we donned our most fierce, fashion forward heels, a bit of extra gloss and teetered off to the cinema for the lunchtime performance, leaving the Other Halves at home with all the Small Children collective! You realise where you are in life when you are fitting in a movie between breast feeds! (I'd just like to point out that's E and not me, in case you're wondering if I breast fed my three year old - eeww!)    From the opening re-cap scenes to the emotional ending it had me transfixed and totally lost in Carrie World - the only place to be when you need a total unashamed slice of non-reality.   I won't give anything of the story away as everyone I know who had seen it did the same for me and tried hard not to talk about the detail...some thing  for which I am eternally grateful!  And if there are more mums out there who haven't yet seen it but love SJP in NYC..... beg your husband, relative, friend or baby sitter to baby sit, glam up and take a like minded girlfriend. To echo a Samantha sentiment.... "It's better than botox baby!"      

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Coffee House Update...

Just a regular am I at the coffee house now?!?  On Saturday I had the non-luxury of working as Small Child's nursery couldn't cover one of my week days. However, Boss Man said I could start at 9.00 rather than 8.30 so I decided to be a good citizen, inject some luxury into my day and stop off for coffee and pastries on the way. Having carefully timed my journey so as to have time to purchase crucial caffeine dosage without being late, I walked smugly in, enjoying the sunny morning and late start, ordered two lattes and croissants....only to find that I had left my purse somewhere other than the beloved Dior bag being toted that day!!  I tentatively asked my favourite barista (the lovely lady who seems to be the only one capable of getting my order right every time and does it in a time frame other than snail speed!), if I could owe her....and she said yes!!   This must mean I am officially a regular....and that people still trust other people in this cynical world!  I went back on Sunday to pay but she wasn't there so myself and Small Child will be lunching there tomorrow on my day off so I can clear my debt!  To the tall blond lady who works in Caffe Nero, training to be a manager....thanks for making my day...and your caramelatte's are the best!!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Hi-Lites and Low Life's

Someone I know is going through a relationship break up and how they are feeling and dealing with it reminded me of myself during PMT (pre-married times), when I would get to the point of no return with the boyfriend du jour! I don't mean to be flip with that term...."du jour" would only really be applicable to someone I'd been on a series of dates with or a non-serious boyfriend and not my three serious PMT relationships. Those were difficult but necessary endings that only came about after a lot of soul searching and all of them ended for very different reasons. To my friend who is going through it now (and to those who have been through it in the past); I'm a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, can teach you valuable lessons and helps you reach the point at which you finally understand what it's all about. With a view to that and before this all gets far too serious, I would like to impart one valuable piece of information; never trust a man with hi-lighted hair!  At 18 I met someone who became my first serious relationship and in true head strong teenager fashion, I ran away from home, moved in, got married and then subsequently divorced him! Alarm bells should have been set off by the (fake) blond spiky hair, especially when he told me that to get it to said state of spikiness, he would put sugar water in it and blow dry it upside down hanging off the bed! He also had a cross earring in one ear and wore fingerless gloves but then so did I because it was the eighties! Anyway, the hi-lights must have doomed it from the start! He was insanely jealous, useless with money (first his and then mine) and we lived with his grandparents in a run down house which I still believe he was hoping that he would, one day become the sole beneficiary of! I can only guess that this was the reason he refused to rent somewhere with me, either that or he actually enjoyed living with two mad old people, three cats, two canaries and one dog! It all started to go down hill after we got married, when one month later, he announced he'd won a competition and that the prize was to spend the day with two topless models and no, I could not go with him! Several cringe worthy events later I decided that perhaps I'd been a bit rash in marrying him and so one night, moved back home, despite his dramatic gesture of eating four headache pills to try and stop me from going! Oh the drama of it all! Having moved back home, I promptly moved out to a bed sit after four weeks to avoid running away and marrying in haste for a second time! They say that history repeats itself; I know that my "low life" incident was something of a re-run of what my mother did, though possibly without the sugar water hair and Duran Duran-esque pixie boots! So....I vow that I will never give Small Child cause to run off and do something this rash and hope that she will be the first to break the cycle perpetuated by at least two generations of women! 

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Half A Job

That is what my mother would say when I was young and didn't finish some of the things that I started! Well actually it would go something long the lines of "Ooh here's Half-A-Job-****** again!" .   The ****** part being my name, which for reasons that I care not to admit, mean I am not willing to reveal my name!   These words are now echo-ing in my ears as its been a couple of weeks since I wrote but I have not given up but been merely too busy to get around to writing! The truth is that when I started this, work was so quiet that I'd been given full permission to write in work time if I had nothing else to do ! (A hidden benefit of going from large corporate to small business environment that I hadn't thought of before!)    Work has fortunately gotten busier as I fear I may have gone completely mental if I was subjected to anymore time staring at the clock and life after work has been pretty hectic too. Actually, that would be bursts of hectic peppered with time spent sprawled on the sofa, unable to get off my butt and do any of the following: exercise, tackle ironing mountain, read more, write more, stop drinking red wine, tear myself away from Gossip Girl/Grey's Anatomy/Dirty sexy Money etc.... 
So... you've probably guessed that the all singing, all dancing, new improved, en-route to 40 me has still yet to emerge from her cocoon and you would be right!  Thats the beauty of a bit of self re-invention though.. you can get excited about it, plan it, maybe even start it, but if it doesn't quite go according to plan straight away, well hey, tomorrows another day and yet another new you!   One thing is for sure, tomorrow needs to be a less tired me... Small Child was up at 5.30 this morning, poking me in the eye, asking me why was I wearing a mask on my head and when was I going downstairs to get her milk? The mask in question was one of those (really) attractive sleep thingy's that you put on in a vain attempt to keep out the encroaching daylight. When you put it on the night before, you think you're having a Holly Golightly moment from Breakfast At Tiffany's but in reality I wake up looking more like Magda from There's Something About Mary!  It was at the point of the eye poking that I felt full of admiration for single parents and wondered how they coped with the 24-7 demands of kid(s).   Other Half is away on a stag do in a swanky Spanish port for two days (see previous post re Bunnies in Amsterdam), and prior to that was away on business. Consequently, I will be celebrating his return tomorrow and lavishing much gratitude, attention and general grateful-wife-ness on him!  Being a parent is hard, being just one parent must be even harder; whilst you can get away with "half a job" on ironing, cooking, cleaning and even self re-invention, you definately can't get away with doing half a job at being a parent. 

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Sex, Drugs and Rock'n'Roll

Amsterdam was a real eye-opener!  I went, wondering just how in your face the whole smoking cafe and sex thing would actually turn out to be.  Something that would be so unheard of here just fitted in and didn't seem that bizarre once you'd seen it. The ferry ride over turned out to be the first drunken celebration of my future sister in law's last single days  - too much white wine and some dodgy dance moves later, we all fell into our bunk beds and got about four hours sleep! The next morning, having checked our bags in and re-fueled on toasted sandwiches and beer, we set off to explore. Shopping for shoes, an inflatable willy and a "spanky" stick proved to be quite tiring so some of us had an afternoon nap -  without that I wouldn't have been able to get through the champagne quaffing, playgirl bunny outfit wearing, vodka downing fest that ensued. A meal based entirely on carbs proved to be life saver and ensured that none of us fulfilled the typical "Brit abroad throwing up in an alleyway" image that is normally associated with hen weekends!  
We headed straight for the red light district as I for one, still couldn't believe that we really would see women in windows offering their wares to passers by. We bar hopped, in between checking out the girls, and some "girl/boys" I think, and got accosted by passers by (male and female) to have our picture taken. I'm not sure whether the photo op's were driven more by the fact that we were bunnies or that one of us was carrying a four foot inflatable willy named Colin!  After a couple of rounds of "whip the preppy looking American boys" in yet another bar, half of us came over all sensible (and knackered!) and decided to call it a night. The other half managed to tough it out until daylight; as you may have guessed I fell into the first category and as a result, enjoyed my greasy breakfast far more the next day!  
The ferry ride home was a more civilised affair for me consisting of a curry, a bottle of red wine, some duty free cosmetic shopping and a fairly decent amount of sleep. The Hard Core contingent partied one last time like it was 1999 before we docked at 8.00 am to face the long drive home. 
Overall, I was proud of my ability to keep up with most of the group on the drink front and am glad that I'm old enough to know when to give in gracefully! Yet another benefit of being 39!