Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Doctor Doctor....

No... I did not pick the title just so I could post up a McDreamy picture but I know there's a lot of you out there who will be glad I did! Medical matters are afoot so read on and stop drooling!

A letter arrived this week informing me that Small Child's booster jabs are due; my first thought was...  My god, that's come around so quick! Which was quickly followed by the second one... How the hell do you tell a three and a half year old to "Sit still darling whilst this very nice nurse sticks a needle in you"?

I still remember the guilt I felt when I took her for her first set of baby injections! That two second delay from the needle going in to the slight wobble of the bottom lip, just before the scream that accompanied the accusing look of "How could you let her do that to me Mummy?!?"
By the time we got to MMR at the age of fourteen months I was feeling a bit more capable but don't remember actually having to explain to her what was going to happen. 
Now that we have in depth conversations about everything from courgettes to rainbows (yes really!), I don't anticipate being able to get her into the doctors surgery under false pretences nor feel that I should. 

So I've decided honesty is the best policy and will be working myself up to the correct way of handling that one! Whilst I look for a two week slot in the calender where we're not up too much in case of the normal reaction of colds/temperatures etc, I will gratefully accept any tips on handling this little dilemma! 

My other update is that my little friend who had taken up residence at the bridge of my nose has fecked off of its own accord!! My appointment for it's eviction came though and each day since it started to disappear before my very eyes! Perhaps I scared it into submission or maybe it was offended by my dedicated blog post.... now that's what I call alternative medicine! They still want me to go in so they can have a look but there's nothing there except a freckle and they're not having that! 

OK.. you can go back up the page for one last look at him and then time to get on with what you were doing!        

Sunday, 28 September 2008

A Natural High

Leafing through Grazia this week, I was shocked at the latest picture of Amy Winehouse. You never know a) the real story or b) what they might have done to the photograph to increase it's newsworthy factor but it's fairly obvious things look pretty bad in either case.  

To find yourself being ravaged by drug abuse whether you're a rock star or an ordinary Joe is not a concept I can understand. Yes, I smoked a couple of "organic" cigarettes when I was a lot younger but not only was I way too chicken to try anything else, I wasn't remotely intrigued as to how it might feel to be out of control and at the mercy of some chemical that I'd never heard of yet alone could be sure was safe to mess with!  I have always been of the mindset that life, for whatever reason, must feel pretty crap if you have to be off your head to get high.

But then I thought about my own addictions: love, shopping, fashion magazines, red wine and food... nothing illegal or life threatening there... but addictive all the same! Did my pulse race and palms get clammy today when I took these beautiful boots the till today? Hell Yes! When we take Small Child on her first London trip next weekend, will I be able to come out of Harvey Nichols without buying anything? I doubt it. Will I be watching every single episode of the new Candace Bushnell series, Lipstick Jungle? Hello... it's me you're reading! You know there will be red wine and a starter that has to accompany the main course and I know not everyone will get the same thrill as I do as when I open a brand new copy of In-Style and flick through the pages for the first time! 

And don't even get me started on love!  That must be why this afternoon, when I was stood in the kitchen with the sun streaming in, dinner cooking, a track by Passenger playing and yes, a glass of red on the side, listening to the sound of my husband and daughter playing in the garden... I swear my heart almost stopped there for a minute. I think we all have some sort of addiction, I think I'm just lucky that mine aren't of the headline grabbing variety.  

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Naked On A First Date?

Small Child has been at the same nursery/pre-school for nearly three years - and today we got to go on our first play date! Always having been one to suss things out from the fringes before joining in, I haven't really felt comfortable enough to walk up to any of the mum's of Small Child's class mates, thrust my phone number in their hand and suggest a get together. If that's even how it's done?
This is not from some deep seated fear of rejection you understand... more that we seem to easily fill our time with things to do and places to go. With other friends and kids already gathered, I couldn't imagine fitting anymore junior social shenanigans into our hectic schedule!  

In the past different names have been bandied about, mostly boys I might add, and a few party invites have been sent and reciprocated; other than that Small Child seems to have been content to draw a wide and varied social circle about her person. Conversations at said parties have been struck up with harassed fellow parents and there's even been times in the local supermarket when Small Child has piped up "Oh look there's so and so's mummy/daddy/granny", followed by some friendly chit chat. But I always think it might look a bit  desperate, slightly stalker like even, if I then suggest we swap numbers and arrange to meet outside the confines of pre-school!  
Having heard one little girls name mentioned increasingly often recently I did begin to wonder if it was time to put myself out there a bit and try and look a bit receptive during drop off and pick up times. Easier said than done when you have to be somewhere ten minutes ago and your first priority is to remove Small Child out from underneath your skirt without dragging the snot trail across the front if it! Or my personal favourite...  when I would pick her up and she point blank refused to leave, hysterically clinging onto the fence/door frame/playhouse  whilst all the other kids ran to their parent with open arms and a big smile. Thankfully that phase is over and I no longer feel like the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

Anyway, it happened quite naturally in the end. One day last week as we were finishing lunch in the coffee shop,  a lady came up to me and asked if I was Small Child's mum... as opposed to live in Au pair perhaps? Turns out she was Frequently Mentioned Little Girls Mum so I seized the moment and launched into how Small Child was always talking about her and how the pre-school staff say that they're inseparable etc. (All true by the way and not just a load of guff to help me make friends!) She was nodding along enthusiastically and seemed really nice so I asked if she wanted to swap numbers.... eeek! She seemed as keen as I was and left me a message a couple of days later inviting us over for coffee.  

This left me thinking that maybe a lot of women feel this way and are unsure of how to make the first move towards striking up a conversation that might help to forge the friendships of their offspring? Anyway, we had a great afternoon...the two girls played happily upstairs (how grown up is that?), whilst we chatted over coffee and cookies with her little boy playing at our feet. 

Hopefully she wasn't put off when, having decided we'd better make a move home, Small Child appeared at the top of the stairs completely naked apart from a pair of her new best friends pyjama shorts!  I left, at least taking some comfort in the knowledge that she won't grow up with any of her mothers hesitant approach to life! 

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

A Muffin In The Oven?

Have you ever committed that ultimate faux pas and asked someone if they where pregnant only to have a scolding "NO" spat in your face? Or worse... just gone up to them, patted their tummy whilst winking and nodding in a knowing fashion? Obviously this one is best reserved for those you know and not a recommended congratulatory tactic for passing strangers!  Worse still..... has anyone ever asked you if you where with child when actually you are not?

Well... this one happened to me on Saturday at Other Sister In Law's 30th birthday lunch! Having shared a pizza covered in chilli's, drank two glasses of red wine and then guzzled a Tia Maria coffee, I was asked this mother of all bloopers by OSIL's dad as we were leaving. In order to preserve my sanity and few remaining shreds of dignity, for the rest of the day I put it down to last seasons cocoon shaped dress that I was wearing.... I'm guessing that's why its last seasons shape! 
But later on.... after some more wine over dinner at Cousin It's house I got to thinking. Was it the fashionable shape that deceived him or did he catch sight of the unrestrained muffin top that was lurking beneath, perhaps revealed by a gust of wind that wrapped the dress in closer? Goddamn wind!  And goddamn me for not wearing Bridget pants!

Whatever the reason behind it, there was a pregnant pause (sorry) before MM pipes up "Ooh I wish.... if only.... chance would be a fine thing....blah blah blah...". To which me and my Bro (bless him), jointly responded "Pipe down woman.... you've already got four bloody grandchildren.. how many more do you want?".  

Low fat muffin anyone?

Monday, 22 September 2008

You've Got The Love

Actually I've got the love! My SATC The Movie DVD arrived complete with voucher that entitles me to go into Woolworths and collect my free LOVE key chain!! And here is the little gem in question! I'm not sure how long it will be before the gold paint wears off but for now I shall be taking the LOVE with me everywhere I go!

And I need to this week for Other Half is away as of this morning until Friday night and I hate it... I always feel like I've lost my right arm when he's away for any period of time. For someone who was once single, lived alone and was fiercely independent, I know I should be more than capable of existing for a few days sans husband without skulking about the house feeling all lonesome!  I know that Small Child will be sick of the sight of just me by the time he comes home again - she loves it on the nights he gets in early enough to spend bath or bedtime with her. The hysterical giggles and madcap rumpus that quickly follows the sound of his key in the door is just what you need when she's supposed to be calming down for bed... but I wouldn't change it for the world! 

Having had a dysfunctional, followed by no relationship with my own father, my heart swells when I see my two together; knowing that she will never grow up with the feeling that something, somewhere is missing is just the best. 
So I'm off to pick her up from pre-school a bit earlier tonight so I can get some extra cuddles in before bedtime! I'll tell her they're from Daddy to her but I suspect they will be for my benefit too! 

Friday, 19 September 2008

Random House

Hooray.... it's Friday or Myday as I like to call it now! A day spent not working, not being Mummy but doing the food shopping, tidying up/cleaning/sorting stuff (inner Monica again), maybe a coffee and sometimes a bit of afternoon blogging! The afternoon blogging suits Other Half as it means he gets to talk to my face as opposed to my back on a Friday night!

And so to celebrate today's Myday, I will be answering notSupermum's random questions!

1. Which song is guaranteed to make you cry?    
It has to be This Woman's Work by Kate Bush. I first saw it on a movie called She's Having A Baby which is essentially a John Hughes-esque comedy but with a very moving bit near the end. I think it starred Ally Sheedy and Kevin Bacon. (Shh Mrs Dawn Till Rusk... you know you love him really!) Anyway the song is so sad - listen to it after two glasses of wine if you dare! 

2. What is your favourite waste of time?
Well I was going to say shopping but I don't consider that a waste of time at all! So it would have to be sitting in the coffee shop with stack of magazines and coffee on tap.

3. What was your most recent fashion mistake?
I think it might be a pair of boots I bought in Amsterdam whilst on Sister In Law's hen do. They're a bit retro (see picture) and when I tried them on in the shop they looked great with the linen dress I had on; the legs were a bit brown, courtesy of Clarins fakery, but they were brown. Since getting them home I can't find anything that looks good with them and the words "too old" keep whispering in my ear!

4. Desert island time: what would be your one beauty product to take with you?
Conditioner leapt to mind seeing as I look like a Tasmanian devil without it but I thought I could be resourceful in a Tom Hanks Castaway vibe and use the local coconut milk for that... and body lotion! So it would be sun screen, SPF 50. Premature wrinkles whilst stranded on a desert island are so last season!

5. Which CD are you playing ad nauseum? 
That would be Madonna - Hard Candy. It's my WAKE UP music and Small Child loves to bop along to it on the way to pre-school! She even asks for it when we get in the car now and by the artist's proper name; she went around for months calling her McDonald!  I know she has a country estate in Dorset and swanky pads in London and New York but does she have a farm?  

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Come Again?

Or as they say in America.. Pardon me now? You know that I love America... NY in particular... and Tara... you're so right... if I moved there I would be destitute within one month due to frenzied shopping!  No way for a mother to behave... but what a way to go!

But as usual, I digress! The point of this post (there is one... just stick with it), is that I love, love, love the difference in how we and our cousins across the pond say stuff! I have been reading a few great blogs recently, penned by Brits who have moved to the U.S and I know I have only just scratched the surface of these...(Mom/Mum, Expat Mum and Brit Out of Water I'm talking about you... are your ears burning?)  These guys are actually living something I only daydream about and they may feel that my lighthearted ramblings about something that is potentially life changing and challenging are somewhat misplaced. But... seeing as the blogosphere is all about free speech I will continue to ramble unchecked!  

It was this clip from my email in-box fashion obsession section, Who What Wear Daily, that set me off. If you can stick with it, it's the bit where the leather jacket is being modelled that made me smile.. on two counts. The first is that I never knew bum bags were back in (shame on me) but it's referred to here as a fanny pack! I'm sorry?.... it must be the Carry On movie style British humor coming out here but... fanny pack? What image does this conjure up in your head? In a strange way it makes me want to rush out and buy one... but I won't because I just forgot that I was 39 for a moment there! 
And also... if any ex-pats or American citizens are reading this, please can you explain what bangs are? I mean I know of at least two types of bangs (!) but in particular I am vexed by the ones that relate specifically to hair. 

American and British might poke fun at the way the other phrases, pronounces or expresses themselves but I say Vive La Difference! If we were all the same it would be very boring and I for one would be packing my fanny off elsewhere in search of more stimulating, broad minded people!      

P.S...I chased up my Louboutin heel tips from Saks in NY today via email as I was getting concerned that they hadn't arrived. A very nice manager sent me a reply almost instantly apologising that they hadn't yet been sent. After assuring me that they would be dispatched next week he said "Thank
you again for your patience and understanding!  We look forward to
servicing you again in the New York Store!"   

P.P.S...Oohh eer missus! 

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Snotty McSnotty From Snotville

OK... I give in... Small Child wins! She has beaten me into submission by contracting her first cold of the season and waking every night at least twice, but mostly five times! And now, possibly due to sleep deprivation, I am sharing her germs. I have a head like a frozen pineapple and cannot breath through my nose at all.

I picked her up from pre-school tonight as she and her cohorts were charging around the playground at breakneck speed... lack of sleep obviously not effecting her then!  She proceeded to skip to the car, looking at me as if to say " Come on woman... where's your stamina?" I asked her where she got all her energy from to which she replied "I don't know Mummy but you can have some of mine".  If only!  

Other Half was away in The Big Smoke last night so I foolishly got Carried away (literally) by my SATC box set and a bottle of Chianti.  Bed at midnight, up at 1.00 a.m. to attend to snotty Small Child demanding a drink and a wee and just in case I hadn't got it the first time.... she repeated this at 4.00! 
The repeat episode miffed me even more as I'd given her some Medi-Sed at 1.00 thinking that an added bonus of this might be a guaranteed interruption free sleep - Hah! It would seem that not even an elephant dart would do the trick these days! The fact that I also spilt the bloody stuff all down my legs as I tried to poor it in the half light did nothing to improve my mood.  That and the fact that Other Half (who was snoozing away soundly in an Easy Hotel - I kid you not - somewhere in central London) had left his alarm set to go off at stupid 'o'clock!

Seriously - you have no idea how much I needed my cappuccino from the coffee gods at Caffe Nero this morning! I am off for an early night, only stopping on the wooden hill to Bedfordshire to pray to the gods of Please Make My Child Sleep Through The Night!    

Monday, 15 September 2008

A Well Oiled Household

I'm so enjoying being my own new breed of super hero... Flexi-Mummy! With my new working pattern we are definitely getting to spend more fun time together and for the most part, the house is running a little smoother and feels a bit less frantic! 

I was feeling very smug in the manner of Brie from Desperate Housewives today as I decided that I would prepare the marinade for tonight's dinner during my lunch break! Ah the benefits of working from home! Nigella Lawson's Greek salad is on the menu tonight and the recipe requires that red onion is steeped in olive oil, red wine vinegar and oregano for a few hours beforehand... no problem.... or so I thought!
 After having battled for 5 minutes with the lid of the vinegar that had fused itself to the bottle, I then managed to knock a quarter of a pint of Waitrose finest extra virgin olive oil all across the kitchen side! You'd be surprised at how quickly it can travel and how easily absorbed it is by one hand towel, one recipe book and a plastic chopping board. Despite it's thick appearance it can also travel surprisingly fast to the edge of the work top and trickle down the cupboard front onto the floor!

I don't think I've ever heard any chef utter the words "F**k A Duck" before, well maybe Gordon Ramsay, but I'm hoping that it might catch on in a kind of slummy mummy vibe! Having allotted half an hour for a break, 25 minutes of that was spent slip-sliding about with half a roll of kitchen towel and in the other five, I did manage to eat a sandwich with no further mishaps! Oh well, I'll leave the domestic goddess part to Nigella for now - but at least the entire book smells authentically of Greek salad and olive groves!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

A Little Slice Of Holiday Time

Talk about polar opposites - today couldn't have been more different to yesterday's outlook - both in terms of my disposition and the weather!

I sat here yesterday completely uninspired by the grey skies, constant rain and my persistent bad mood.  The fact that I had a distinct lack of bloggy thoughts for the first time in four months did nothing to appease my unease. I put it down to hormones, tiredness (a lethal combination in itself!) and how crap I was feeling about doing a rubbish job of being a wife.  Following a couple of weeks with some difficult family and job stuff, Other Half was feeling somewhat neglected as I channelled all my energies into leaving old job, getting new job, being a mum, the writing bug and all the other flotsam and jetsam that drift around in my head! 
One and a half bottles of red, an order of Chinese food and a long, healthy discussion later, all was well again in the house of the Three Musketeers!

Today was a complete contrast starting with my gem of a Small Child sleeping in until 9.00... yes that's right people... 9 a bloody clock! The fact that spending two and a half hours in my PJ's finishing off an inventory for a six bedroom furnished house didn't even bother me, was testament to my new and improved mood! I began to wonder if Other Half had given me a frontal lobotomy during the night!

We then went into town and headed off for a late lunch. On autopilot to Starbucks we passed a tapas restaurant where people were seated outside in the afternoon sunshine. It was at the point that Other Half said he really fancied a beer, I thought why not? Having checked out the kids menu to make sure there was something that Small Child would be happy with, she then proceeded to help herself to our calamari, spicy chicken wings, tortilla and spinach salad! 
I'm sure that one large followed by one small glass of red helped, but we sat there as chilled as if we were on holiday again! 

High on wine, a tall latte, a mini shop-fest of Touche Eclat and candle from Space NK that smells of clean linen, I then declared that if Other Half ever got offered an actuary position in New York, he should take it and we should emigrate! Well..... we were in the travel section of the bookshop at the time and seeing the Lonely Planet Guide side by side with the Ultimate Shopping Guide to NYC just set me off! (Now there's a book I could have written!)  Besides, Small Child does the best New Jersey accent so I'm sure she'd go down a storm stateside! 

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Two Heads Are Better Than One

Having reached my late thirties and a state of acceptance about age, appearance and overall package, apart from having that mental list of "could do betters", I would have said that I was ready to face 40 head on. Well I was until yesterday!

Whilst pregnant with Small Child a little brown mark appeared on the side of my nose near my eye. Having waited patiently for nine months for it to disappear, presuming that it was another of those weird with-child side effects, I pointed my new friend out to the practice nurse and asked what it was. Skin tag was the answer and she suggested that I remove it with some sterilized tweezers!  How odd I thought, I had no idea that medically approved self mutilation was alive and well in our village!  Having done this (and I wouldn't recommend it), it became fairly inconspicuous until recently. First of all Small Child asked what was that thing on my face, followed by a more tactful version of the same question from Other Half. Closer inspection (yes.. definitely bigger and now bleeding a couple of times), made me think I should get my arse to the doctor!

One appointment and thorough full body inspection by the dermatologist yesterday bought the welcome news that it wasn't malignant but this was delivered with a nougat of info that did nothing to preserve my "I'm OK with getting older" mantra! 
They think it's this thing that I can't pronounce but I'm sure he used the word sub-aquatic something or other! He'll be telling me I'll be forming bloody gills next! But the best part is they're usually only found on people aged sixty plus! Excellent - I'm not even forty yet and have been written off as prematurely aging old bag whose growing a new head! They are going to surgically remove it (thankfully!) and then examine it as it's apparently "unusual" on someone my age!  I felt like Ross in Friends when he gets that thing on his butt that Phoebe's herbalist takes off by accident with his watch strap! Or maybe it's Chandlers Nubbin! 

By the way, I was just glad that the doctor was no McDreamy; the full body inspection part totally threw me off - I wasn't even wearing good undies! Oh well.... I'm off to cut two eye holes in a brown paper bag until my friend and I part company!   

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Fall-ing Into You

I love this time of year for so many different reasons. Being British I guess I should be whinging about the summer, or lack of it, but instead I will be embracing the next season with open arms and heart!

Other Half and I got back together during this season six years ago... and if you want to know more about the "back" together bit you'll have to come back another day for that story! The weather turning and the promise of crisp cold mornings always reminds me of that time when I fell into life-long love. (OK, not only am I using a Celine Dion song for the post title but now I'm starting to sound like her too!)
I love it when you can smell the cold in the air and kick up piles of leaves everywhere you walk; one of the many benefits of living on the edge of a forest! Now that we have Small Child the events associated with this time of the year; Halloween, fireworks and Christmas, all mean so much more. Apologies for the premature mention of the C word by the way, but I've already seen some chocolate reindeer lollies in M & S so I'm sure that others have been bandying it about before me!

And the clothes... ooohh I love winter clothes and not just because they hide a multitude of sins! Big jumpers, long cardigans, boots, scarves, woolly hats and gloves. I give it about two more weeks before I'm delving into our under bed storage bags to get it all out and do the seasonal wardrobe swap over. I learned from Trinny & Susannah that you should never store your jumpers alongside your bikini's - that was how I filled my weekends before becoming a parent!

Anyway, I woke up this morning thinking about donning lots of wool layers and going off in search of weekend walks that culminate in a pub with roaring log fire and some rosy cheeked locals.... and here I sit in an autumnal shade dress, opaque tights and riding boots...sweating my arse off cos the sun's just come out!  

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

My Name Is ThatGirl & I'm A Fashion-a-holic!

OK... just so you know, I'm fighting every instinct screaming away in the right side of my brain to write a post about New York Fashion Week. Its killing me! The beautiful images that have been deposited in Mac's (and my) memory courtesy of my daily Google fashion alert abound in my head day and night! It must be my inner Carrie Bradshaw, clawing her immaculately manicured way out from under the ironing pile to wax lyrical about Diane Von Furstenberg's floral rock goddess inspired dresses or our own and sometimes much maligned Victoria Beckham presenting her debut collection to a select few at the the Waldorf Astoria hotel. (Had a cocktail there by the way - very nice... especially the nuts!)

Whilst devouring four Grazia's, one In-style and a Marie Claire every month helps me have an idea of what's in and what's not, I don't profess to know what the next uber trend will be, nor could I hold my own in a room full of fashion journo's! But I would still kill for a ringside seat in one of the tents in Bryant Park, NYC right now! Can you imagine the smell of the Prada bags mingling with the aroma of expensive perfumes you can't buy in John Lewis, the flashbulbs popping as some A Lister in over sized sunnies lowers her pert bum onto the seat next to yours and the furious scribbling of editors denoting how these stunning outfits that you see adorning the gazelles stomping down the runway will translate into high street reality?  

If this doesn't float your boat then I understand... not everyone can get hot under the collar about the latest style of...well... collar! But for those of you who know what I'm banging on about.... there's nothing better than a bit of fashion escapism now and again! As I've said before you've got to have a dream to help distract from the more mundane moments! If you do click through to read The Times article above about VB, I loved the dresses (my favourite shown here) and I really liked her quote at the end about the fact that she's been working on this for 34 years! I read her book "That Extra Half An Inch" and believe that she has. Whatever you think of her, you have to admire the girl for doing it... if I had her money and contacts I'd be doing it too... and she'd be blogging about me! 

And there you go.... I got in an NYC Fashion Week post after all. See you at the next Fashion Rocks party! 

Monday, 8 September 2008


Seeing as all I have been doing all day is typing, I thought I may as well stretch the fingers to their limit and share with you Saturdays soggy sausage saga! Be still your beating hearts... my glamorous life is just too much some times!

On Saturday Miss T and her man invited us, two other great friends and respective kids over for a BBQ. When we scheduled it in four months ago we were hopeful that the weather would still be good. You can fall off off your chair on both counts - I know you should never presume that the weather will be BBQ friendly, and yes, I did say scheduled four months ago! Gone are the days of spontaneity now that kids tag along; booking it that far in advance is the only way to ensure that we get to see each other these days!
At first I wondered if Miss T was slightly crazy to invite a total of five kids and their parents over; the majority of which would definitely be hitting the bottle, but then I remembered that their house is still a work in progress so better sooner rather than later! 

We arrived at the same time as the rain but were not deterred as everything was set up under a sheltered veranda... to which Miss T kept referring as her "covered area"!  Cue many "Ooh Err Missus" remarks... well mostly from me actually! 
All was going well, despite Small Child being on a pre-teatime downer meaning that sulk attacks were becoming more frequent the closer it got to BBQ lighting time. I've discovered it's much easier to cope with these by the way when you have a Saturday afternoon glass of red in your hand and are in the company of great friends!
And then disaster struck. Junior Daughter of Mrs L announced that her Nintendo DS game had gone down the gap in the decking.... and then burst into floods of tears!  To add insult to injury, it was her younger brother who had deposited it there, albeit accidentally, and it was her favourite! 
Up until now I've remained unfamiliar with the aforementioned gaming device but since someone pointed out that it is an extremely good distraction device,  it has been duly noted and filed away under the More Relaxed Holiday section for future reference.

Mrs L offered comfort between utterances of "thirty bloody quid that cost", but it was Miss T's other half who saved the day. Not only did he rip up the decking but also provided entertainment for the younger audience in the form of the infamous "Aarrgghh... somethings got my arm" trick whilst he fished around in the cobwebbed nether regions underneath!  
Once the kids had eaten their body weight in sausages, burgers and bread, the adults got to sit down to a feast of steak, prawns and healthy salad stuff thrown in for good measure... a great time was had by all.

More booze, a Nintendo Wii tournament and much hilarity at taking turns on the vibrating reclining chair later, we retired back to Mrs L's to tuck some very tired, assorted sized children into bed. Actually it was only 8.30 but it felt like midnight - the stamina definitely isn't there anymore! Somehow we did manage to stay up for a late night cheese, biscuits and port session... just to avoid looking like complete sad old gits you understand!   

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Almost Perfect

The head is a little fuzzy this morning seeing as I had my very own awards after show party last night consisting of a bottle of Wolf Blass accompanied by ham, egg and chips (not just any old ham though - it was Waitrose free range, hand carved)!  Whilst the nice lady on the deli counter was carving away and telling me all about it my prospective purchase, I stood with images of little packets of ham roaming free amongst the straw bales before an evil farmer rounded them up to take them to the place where all packets of ham don't want to be! And that was before the Wolf Blass!

I'm liking this new organised home life we are experiencing since the change in working routine! The house is clean, the fridge is stocked and the three of us have the weekend stretching out in front of us - bliss! The ironing pile is still threatening to breech the spare room door but I've decided that I refuse to be a total Stepford Wife! Besides... Stepford Wife would not be typing away in her PJ's whilst Small Child was glued to an up to date version of Magic Roundabout! 
I must say I don't like this new version of the old classic... it looks like a computer game with its clever animation. Where is the stoned looking Dylan and the slightly un-hinged Zebedee of my childhood? MM told me once that I used to cry every time it finished! Mind you it's the same now with Grey's Anatomy! 

Friday, 5 September 2008


.... Blub .... Splutter... Where do I start? Someone pass me a tissue! I've been given an award! That lovely Tara at Dawn Till Rusk who, by the way, I'm starting to believe I might have been separated from at birth, has presented me with this lovely bloggy award! 
I will skip the snot ridden Oscar style acceptance speech but I'm so chuffed!!
Those who read here know I am a huge fan of the Tara lady but I can often be found frequenting other blogs from time to time.  I think Other Half may be planning on putting an end to my late night blog catch ups by booking me in for a surgical Mac removal very soon! 

I would like to pass the baton of greatness onto some other bloggers who keep me entertained late at night (and therefore YSL's Touche Eclat in production!) As I said yesterday, being new to this tagging and awarding stuff, I am carefully following instructions as to what happens next! So with Tara's careful guidance I have gleaned this much:

1. Link back to the person who gave you the award
2. Nominate up to seven other fab bloggy folk and link to them
3. Leave them a comment telling them how much you love their work whilst trying not to look as if you're stalking them!

So ladies and gents.... my personal nominees are as follows..(drum roll please!)...

Coco's Tea Party - Such great pictures and fashion observations, done with humour and in bite-size pieces!
A Cup of Jo - this women is my hero...great blogger and writer in New York. Need I say more?
Of a Certain Age - I really like Karen's blog. She is a stylish lady in her forties and I read her blog for inspiration when I'm having a frump day.
I Love Lucy!  That's Lucy and I - little Lucy is so cute and her mum is a very talented dressmaker. I bought an outfit for Small Child from here and she looks so cute in it I could eat her!  
Another Tara - the name must be synonymous with great blogs! When Tara Met Blog was one of the first blogs I discovered and have remained a faithful follower ever since!

And there you have it.... now I really do have that Friday Feeling!  

Thursday, 4 September 2008

I'm "it"!

Yes.....I am it!  No I've not become an overnight "It" girl sensation nor have I gone off and got a job in I.T. I've been tagged by notSupermum ... yay...my first Tag! I've seen them happening in the blogosphere and watched from the fringes, but up until today, have remained a tag virgin! Unlike notSupermum I am not such a quick learner...especially after a couple of glasses of Shiraz of an evening! I searched on Blogger Help for tags but it talked about HTML and widgets etc. Hhmmm...ask me one on shoes or tantrums and I might be able to help you!   
I know that HTML is a basic programming language and I copy/paste it to put widgets on my blog... and that ladies and gentlemen is the extent of my knowledge on the subject! I figure that when I'm rich and famous I will employ my own "Louise from St Louis" to run my website leaving me free to concentrate on the creative input!

But as NSM says.... it's basically a game of You're It... now that I can do! So forgive me if I've done this wrong but here goes!
1. Where Where You Ten Years Ago?
Approaching 30, living in a flat backing onto a river and train track (I got used to the noise surprisingly quickly!) and in a very bad relationship that was on/off at least twice before I finally kicked the useless MF into touch! (No prizes for guessing what those initials stand for!!)
2. What's on Your To Do List Today?
Oohh... lists! I love lists - I am Monica! 
Wash Small Child's sheets; she spilled water on her spare ones.
Go and see my friend E and her two little-un's... and her new Carvela and Kurt Geiger shoes!
Do some sodding ironing before I can honestly say (for once) "I have nothing to wear"!
3. What If you Were A Billionaire?
I would be giving new Louis Vuitton bags to my friends to say thanks for putting up with me.
I would have paid off the mortgages for all immediate family and a couple of close friends who have been my family forever.
And right now as I'm typing this...I would be sipping a champagne cocktail at 60 Thompson in New York with Other Half and Small child - sigh!
4. Five Places You have Lived?
There have only been three and all in the south of England. Put number 3 into play and ask me again!
5. Three Bad Habits?
Red wine, shopping and procrastination when I'm suffering from lack of self confidence.
6. Snacks You Like?
Yes please! Salted popcorn, potato chipsticks and cheese.... Bad Bad Bad! 
7. Who Will You Tag?
That's a toughie! But for now it will have to be... Yummy Mummy, Lucy & I and Confused Take That Fan

Did I get it right notSupermum?

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

"Y" Is For Yummy

So... my baby Small Child is so grown up that she's now at pre-school - I always find it emotional each time she takes the next development step on in her life, so god knows what I'll be like this time next year when she starts big school! 

Eeek... then I'll be an official School Mum and thrown in amongst the ranks of the one-up-man-ship-set and the look-down-your-nose-if-designer-sunglasses-and-Botox-allows brigade! Actually, seeing as I don't live in the middle of London I'm sure it wont be that bad. However, judging by what some of my friends who already have kids at school say, competitive mummy syndrome does exist in every school up and down the country! And it's not just about how yummy the actual mummy is; there's the social side... you know, helping out at the right events, PTA meetings, committee's etc. How well is little Johnny/Jenny doing in class, the car you drive or rather the large SUV you don't drive anymore as it's much more Eco friendly to walk to school... plus it burns off those skinny lattes and organic bran muffins (the homemade variety of course)!

I try not to think about all of this as it makes my head spin and is likely to cause me sleepless nights for the next year. Small Child is already taking care of that actually with her continued middle of the night demands for drink/wee/cuddle so perhaps when she wakes tonight I could discuss my future Yummy Mummy training plans and get her take on things?   

So where does the WWWIA (Woman Who Wants It All) go to get help with these things? Well... the blog world is proving to be quite a fruitful source I must say! I come across a lot of insightful blog posts that I take bits from and store them away for later! Mummies, both Alpha and Slummy from The Times provide useful and humorous insights into it all. But I always live by the mantra "Stick with what you know best!" So check out this article from The Telegraph  I think it gave a sensible view of the dressing bit... though most of my wardrobe staples would fall into the high street category as opposed to high end. Straight to the top of the class for you Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece! Do you think being a princess give you too much of an advantage in the yummy mummy stakes?! 

Tuesday, 2 September 2008


Monday was my first day working from home and it was all very exciting! I have decided to be very disciplined about this and vow never to be found busy typing away in my PJ's, hair unwashed with the television blaring in the background! 
Seeing as we don't have space for an office/study type room I decided to set myself up on the dining table. If we did have a room designated as such, I'm sure that Other Half would have claimed it by now as his "den" and it would contain such things as a play station/x-box/Wii type contraption, all his books, camera equipment, trumpet and, I'm 100% certain that Mac would definitely be locked away in there! A bit like I've claimed the spare room as a dressing room/wardrobe overspill/shoe collection exhibition I guess!  

Back to the dining table! Mac already has permanent residency at the end of it, only being relegated to the top of the book case when we need all six place settings! He is officially now our second child and we refer to him by name in a bid to silence those pesky critics! 
I got up and got ready as normal and we were all able to enjoy the first meal of the day together as it was Small Child's first day at pre-school as well, meaning no more nursery breakfasts. I also now have the added bonus of no longer having to break my neck to get to work to attend a morning meeting every day at 8.30! Bliss!

I met up with my new BA to collect a dictaphone full of inventories for typing. I hope she doesn't mind me referring to her as Business Associate... it was the only set of initials I could think of! I'm probably more like her PA actually but that feels a little bizarre as I'm tons older and it's her own business so I'm  thinking BA is a good alternative. To quote someone I know, this lady is one smart cookie and I hope I can prove to be an asset to her in the long term.  
So with the same work head on that I would have in an office, I got started and by the end of the day I realised the positives of working at home definitely outweigh the negatives!

I look up from the computer and see our garden but unfortunately have to listen to periodic yapping from small psycho terrier next door who barks at his own shadow! I get to make my own tea and coffee, although I am trying to stick to water in order to stay hydrated as opposed to caffeinated! Which leads nicely onto the fact that I can use my own toilet! Work (and public) toilets provide me with so many dilemmas that I could devote a whole separate post to them... and in the fullness of time I'm sure I will! 
Then there's the familiarity of your own surroundings.... and ever-so-slightly wacky neighbours! It's good to see that the one next door with OCD still goes out on the driveway at least 11 times a day to check that the car isn't rolling away and the handbrake is still on. Actually terrier beast belongs to her thus proving the old saying that dogs take after their owners! 

So, all in all I decided that the mild ache between my shoulder blades caused by sitting in a stupid position on the aforementioned dining chair was far better than having to have my hands prized off the steering wheel and my teeth un-gritted after the four times a week race to nursery in rush hour traffic!