Thursday, 26 February 2009

This Is My Thursday

Well..... I thought it was all going very nicely today. A good nights sleep was had by all, we got out of the house without too many tantrums and then met up with Other Half and an old friend for a lovely lunch. 

Old friend does not have children yet but I think he might aspire to one day in the not too distant future. Pity he wasn't here whilst I stood in the kitchen chopping up a melon just now. I think the conversation went something like this but forgive me if it's not word for word as I'm still a little traumatised.

Small Child: "Mummy I need a wee"
Me: "Off you go upstairs then and give me a shout if you need me"
Small Child: "OK"

Long pause....

Small Child: "Mummy......"
Me: "Yes?"
Small Child: "There's something really heavy in my pants"

The nappy days weren't that long ago but I'll tell you this much....I really don't miss them!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Don't Sit On Me, I'm Not A Sofa!

Seeing as my invite to The Oscars obviously got lost in the post, I was glad to receive this lovely award from Notsupermum! She must have known that I had my Versace number all lined up only to see Marisa Tomei wearing it on the night!

I'm just glad I didn't go now... there's nothing worse than turning up only to find some Hollywood A Lister has got the same outfit on! I also saved myself the embarrassment of sitting on Beyonce... I mean I love Beyonce but seriously, why would you dress as a sofa?

Now I know that I should include text and leave comments on all my intended recipients blogs etc but I only have a 45 second slot for my acceptance speech so I'll just reel 'em off below. Some are old friends and some are new but if you hear your name called please feel free to put this heart shaped Oscar in your sidebar!

A special mention goes to Home Office Mum over at her new home of There's More To Life Than Laundry. She gets this award for being ever so brave, slightly crazy and totally awe inspiring... she will be sailing the UK to Brazil leg of the Clipper Round the World Race! She needs your support so get on over there, read her adventures and stick her logo on your blog if you like. 

Finally, I'd also like to give this award to Mickey Rourke for being kooky enough to wear a picture of his dead chihuahua to the Oscars.  Hhmmm..... I can honestly say I preferred his Nine And A Half Weeks look!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

This Is My Thursday

I don't know if I'll maybe start up a new version of Wordless Wednesday with this but I thought it was worth sharing anyway. Until Small Child starts school in September, Tuesdays and Thursdays are "Me and Her" days! Some are good, some are bad depending on her mood but they are always eventful!

This is what happens if you lie in until 8.30 in our house...

How was your Thursday? Less soft toys I hope.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Here's Why....

..... we drank Veuve Clicquot on Valentine's Day. 

A long time ago when I bought my flat, having read about Veuve Clicquot in Cosmopolitan (my bible of those days!), I decided to treat myself and put a bottle in my new fridge. My fridge, my flat and my champagne... boy did I feel like a proper grown up! From that day on, if I had an occasion to drink champagne and a choice of which one, the stylish, vivid orange label won every time. 

The day before my 34th birthday Other Half ordered me to pack a bag, include some smart clothes and bundled me into the car, informing me that he had arranged with my boss for me to have a couple of days off. Cue much childish excitement and prodding questions from me that no doubt included "Where are we going?", "How will I know when we're there?" and "Are we there yet?"

Whilst texting friends about the magical mystery tour I was on I managed to miss all the channel tunnel signs and so our arrival there was the first surprise. After a three hour drive on the other side that included me also missing a Welcome To The Champagne Region sign, the next surprise was our arrival at the beautiful Chateau d'Etoges.  This was it... the most fantastic birthday surprise ever...or so I thought. 

The next day we set off to the town of Epernay to look at the famous champagne houses and I was agog as we strolled past Moet Et Chandon, Perrier Jouet and Pol Roger to name but a few. This was followed by a picnic above some vineyards where Other Half informed me that we had an "appointment" at 3.00! I don't know if it was the excitement brought about by the imparting of this information or the liquid consumed with lunch but I suddenly had the very unromantic urge to pee! Seeing as we were lacking the necessary facilities, our sophisticated day took a temporary downturn as I did the deed behind the makeshift curtain of the picnic blanket. I'm not sure whose land we were on at the time but it is entirely possible that 2003 may not be a good vintage for a particular brand!

After another much shorter mystery trip you can imagine the over excitement in the car as I spotted the orange flags blowing in the breeze... a surprise tour of the champagne caves of Veuve Clicquot!

For a reason still unbeknown to me at that point, as the other tourists were taken off in groups, we ended up with our own private guide who led us down what felt like hundreds of steps under ground. We walked past walls, carved out by hand, where rack upon rack of bottles languished, waiting their turn to unleash the bubbles that would mark an occasion for someone somewhere. The informative tour twisted and turned until we rounded a corner where the biggest surprise of all was waiting. 

A candlelit table for two, deep underground, upon which a bottle of 1985 vintage and two orange tissue paper wrapped presents waited. The guide opened the bottle, poured two glasses, wrapped her orange shawl around my shoulders and said she would return to collect us later. I sat down quite unable to take in this latest surprise, laughing and questioning my wonderful boyfriend about how on earth he had managed to lay this on for my birthday.

And then it happened.... the moment that I'd only daydreamed about, wondering how and when it might take place, but never in all those wildest imaginings ever thinking that it would be as incredible as this. He got up, walked around the table, got down on one knee, said Marry Me and presented me with the most beautiful ring. 

I cried, he cried and a couple of passing tourists who accidentally stumbled upon our secret location pointed and took photos! It turned out he had rung ahead some weeks before, booked a tour and asked if there was somewhere at the end that he could propose to his girlfriend who happened to love Veuve Clicquot! The rest they had organised, including the presents of a necklace and pair of cuff links.... and all for the price of the tour tickets, five euros each!

So now you know why I love that orange label so much and why it will be the only thing I drink on my 40th birthday!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Handbags At Dawn

What is it with all the criticism of women..... by other women? I can't open a magazine or newspaper lately without having to witness yet another scathing attack on a female by a female! Seriously ladies, have we still not left the hair pulling and name calling behind? 

I for one couldn't wait to get the hell out of my school playground due to the amount of bitching and cat fighting that existed. At least in those days it was only because you had on knee socks as opposed to ankle ones or your hair wasn't sprayed and backcombed in the right direction!  

It seems we now judge each other on what kind of mum we are, whether we are a mum or not, blogging about being a mum, blogging full stop, being too fat, being too skinny, returning to work, staying at home and just about everything else in between. Why are we always pitting ourselves against each other and looking down our noses if we happen to disagree with another woman's choices? I personally feel lucky that we live in an era where we have so many options... and with the added bonus of writing about them in cyberspace! So poke that in your hard drive Carol Midgley and Rachel Cooke! And thanks to fellow bloggers, Nappy Valley Girl and Dotterel for bringing the above articles to my attention; although Ms Cooke might be amazed that I actually have enough brain capacity to read them seeing as I own a Bugaboo!

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate thought provoking journalism and freedom of speech as much as the next person and realise that articles such as these above make good tabloid fodder. But if we keep on going in this direction, they'll have us slogging it out in a paddling pool full of mud next; though I'm pretty sure there are some who might be willing to pay good money to see that!  

So if nobody minds, I'm going to get down off my high horse (cos I'm getting a bit saddle sore!), take my average sized arse off to bath my daughter who I sometimes blog about and then later I might read some more blogs written by women (and men), some of whom are not considered to be "proper writers" but who entertain me nonetheless. 

And if you still wear knee high socks that's fine with me; in fact you are very on trend in a Carrie Bradshaw kind of way! See what I did there.... that's the sound of a woman complimenting another women!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Sisters Are Awardin' Themselves!

In all my Keane-ness (sorry!) to write about my rock chick night at the concert I forgot I hadn't yet posted this award from lovely Notsupermum

Since starting 39 And Counting I have made some lovely blog friends and as you will know from previous rants, I will soon be proving that some of them are indeed the long lost sisters that I never knew I had! In true blog award thingamy wotsit rules, in order to accept this I must nominate ten others who deserve to be honoured in this way. 

I have received and bestowed a couple of awards recently and so may be duplicating here so please forgive me if I am bestowing more bling on you.... but if you're anything like me, you can never have too many shiny, pretty things! Here's to following blogettes! Please keep on writing so I can keep on reading!

Notsupermum (rule breaking I know but right back at ya babe!)
Tara at Sticky Fingers (Rule breaking again - Tara makes eleven but please don't ask me to give out a sisterhood award and not give one to Tara!!) Do you like Keane Tara? You can still be my sister even if the answer's no.

Thank you to all of you wonderful writers who make me laugh, cry, think, scratch my chin in wonderment or just roll about on the floor whilst spraying my coffee everywhere! You don't have to post or forward it on if you don't want to as I know the awards season has been generous this year. I will be happy if you just want to revel in it! 

By the way..... did I mention I saw Keane last night?

Peachy Keane

How old do you have to be before it is considered passe to stand at the front of a concert, staring wide eyed up at the band with adulation, completely caught up in the moment and waving your arms in the air with frantic abandon? I suspect the answer is "You're never too old", and even if there is a numerical limit attached to this conundrum, I shall not pay any attention to it!

Other Half and I went to see Keane last night and, as we said goodbye to Mother In Law who was babysitting, we joked that we would probably be the oldest ones down in the mosh pit. Yep... after my fifty minute wait to get through to ticket sales last year, in a fit of delayed teenage abandon, I plumped for standing tickets  - it was either that or the sheer euphoria at hearing a human voice as opposed to a computer telling me I was 36th in the queue, that made me loose all sense of reason! 

As we walked into the auditorium, once I'd gotten over my excitement at realising that we were only third row back from the stage, I took comfort in the fact that we appeared to be considerably younger than a number of fans and would even go as far to say that we fitted in! I also silently awarded myself some fashion kudos for the carefully chosen lace up boots over skinny jeans and two thin layers on the top half, one being for peeling off later! Before you think I am kidding myself that I can still "groupie" with the rest of them, please don't forget that due to a little thing called childbirth, I had to preplan a specific time to stop drinking water that afternoon and then squeeze in as many loo visits as possible before taking our place down at the front! I do know my limits people.

Keane.... what can I say? I love you!!! You were fantastic, talented and put on the most amazing live show I have ever seen. We were totally caught up in the euphoria of it and as Other Half wisely said later, if only you could bottle that feeling up and store it away, to be poured out later, a bit at a time, when you need it! The band clearly love playing live and I have never before seen that come across so much in a performance. Let it be stated for the record that lead vocalist Tom Chaplin was very easy on the eye and has officially knocked McDreamy off the top spot on my laminated Top Five!  

Let it also be stated that that is my sole excuse for pushing my way forward to make hand contact with him when he got up on the barrier and leaned out into the audience! Tsk..... and me being nearly forty and all.... disgraceful behaviour! But I shan't be washing my hand for a while!