Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Dear London, thank you... Part 2


Battersea Park.

It's green, there are no cars. In all seriousness, this enclave has a wealth of attractions for everyone, not just me and my mini WWF competitors. 

The Zoo. Unpretentious, an abundance of South American mammals (no darling that's not a pig it is a CA PY BA RAH), a brilliant play area, sand pit and FIRE ENGINE.

The 'adventure playground'. Beneath  the swinging bridges of 'go ape', next door to the new mini-golf centre (great pizzeria/cafe). There are 4 separate play zones with swings, slides, pirate ships, tree houses. The mobile coffee shack is invariably within screaming distance and every few visits you're guaranteed to see a celeb or royalty.

The Peace Pagoda. Tranquility adjacent to the river. The steps up made for great 'buggy fitness' equipment back in summer 2011 as Henry and Idris cooed at leaves in the breeze.

The Pump House Gallery. Never been but have intended to on a number of occasions. Exhibitions, workshops, film screening, funky party venue. Cultural tick.

The Prince Albert. Great boozer, good food, nice wall paper.

The list is endless....Affordable Arts Fair, running club, boating lake, fountains, sub tropical garden, cricket pitches, cafes (that sell alcohol too).

I have a rich tapestry of memories threaded through Battersea Park:

Christmas Parties at Battersea Evolution (think The Moosevirt meets Starlight Express, meets Casino Royale) of 2008, 09 and maybe 10. I was so skantily clad I may as well have been naked, threw jäger down my neck and am pleased I can't quite remember how much of a tit I made of myself.

Race For Life and Landaid 5kms;  every year. PBs were made and Paula Radcliffe was beaten, I shit you not.

Shoulder dislocation attending one of only 3 highly regarded 'Andy's Military Fitness'.... Can't think why that one hasn't taken off.

A brief sojourn into club hockey saw a season for the 'Battersea Wanderers' and winter training 8-10pm on Wednesdays, miss it, not. 

First sports day as a parent. The eldest screamed, ran in the wrong direction, was visibly upset and clearly too young to be forced to try and enjoy (and win) the mini competitions set up for him. The youngest rolled around on the rug next to the medals and sausages stealing produce whenever no one was looking. That child is going to go far. Mummy and daddy won the egg and spoon and simple running race, worth leaving work 2 hours early.

Great place. If it's not too big a journey (less than 30 mins). GO. I do know most London Parks are similarly fabulous so pick your closest because a journey can be the ruin of an outing.

#thankyoulondon.





Thursday, 19 November 2015

Dear London, I thank you .. Part 1




As ever, whence a chapter of life comes towards an end - despite one wanting/urging it to.....Pangs of nostalgia start knocking at the door - literally.

Over the coming days and weeks I will write small thank you notes to our fine Capital City for the sanctuary it has given us over the years (mainly the last 2.5). A property is not sold until it's sold so these may very well continue to pepper my weeks and months for some time but herewith are some of the absolute saviours to my sanity. #ThankyouLondon

FOR........

1. The Science Museum/Natural History museum.

This combo is a MUST. The bus ride is an event in itself. Tick.

The Science museum's water-feature-interactive-learning-toy is epic, the stuffed animals in the NHM are awesome. The Blue Zone is taxidermed to the hilt. The cost is beautiful. We glide through the Hintze hall, air kissing the diplodocus and linger by the Climate Change Wall pretending that the boys really understand ecology and care about the litter issue in our oceans. It feels good. Mummy has caffeine and the lads eat home made sandwiches and share an extraordinarily reasonably priced pesto pasta in the cafe in the full knowledge our own over-used cafe (the kitchen) is avoiding an absolute beating for once. This place makes me very happy. There are rockets, space craft, cars, engines, planes, animals, skeletons and noise. There are sections where very clever people do research on how to preserve and make our planet a better place. Yes it might get busy but - no matter the tantrum (blissfully rare with all the wonder to enjoy) it just fades into the busy hum drum of tourism and learning.

Sans children go to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition, sup on mulled wine in that festive and fun looking bar, glide across the ice rink and spend a while sifting through the prints and books in the gift shop.

NHM = all time favourite peice of architecture inside and out.

You make me happy

Yours (for EVER)

Potty Potty Mouth xx


P.s I am not totally tight, I do donate generously every few outings
     


Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The Game of Life



I've been away for a bit, mentally. My mind has been in a thick fog of dejection, I haven't thought of anything funny to write that doesn't seem extraneous nor anything with depth that doesn't seem wrought with despair. Oh THE DRAMA......

You see, I have been replaying in my mind the oft-mulled query of what we are actually 'doing here'. I have come to a conclusion; don't stop and question for too long because I am not sure there's an answer. So - just grasp at the fun, relish in the enjoyment and happiness - be kind but also a little selfish. This is not a dress rehearsal people.


Life is not simple, it's not easy - we trudge through our seemingly minute daily struggles all the while looming above are the game changers, the likes of: disease, disaster, terrorism and those big buggers tend to stealth-pounce without discrimination. They seamlessly tear a chasm of fear and heartbreak and wreak havoc in the jolly journey of life. These things make us vulnerable. We should carry on, take the fun of life by the horns and thrust it into overdrive because the Big bad buggers are random and reckless and can strike at any time.


I have switched my 'what world have I brought my children into' worry button off, I ripped the whole knob away, so I can't default back to a quick panicked press. Worry, my friend, you're a largely wasteful emotion. I get your purpose to an extent, you keep us in check, you keep us 'real' but there ought to be a limit because we need to LIVE and enjoy and laugh. Yes we all have our own responsibilities and plans for future health and wealth and enjoyment but don't forget to flaming well LIVE. 


When faced with all these unpredictable horrors life can present, when appreciating our vulnerability, we realise how very much we have to lose.... and gain. Hold on to the preciousness of friends and family and fun and intellect and cherish it! Goodness I sound like a prat.... but I mean it all.


For now I will nurture the new(ish) little beings of the household into happy, kind, good, intelligent, peaceful people that will take on this world with a remarkable glowing force..... and I will smile and giggle a lot along the way. 


I think I might take up street dancing too.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Greatest Day

I am parked outside my home 45 minutes before yet another 'promising' viewing is undertaken on our over priced flat. He's off at the rugby again. With the house keys. So I need to get our spare set once the flat has been viewed. There is a group of lederhosen-clad gents swigging beer and jagermeister against a tree 2 feet away, I can smell the Austrian apres ski bar through the 3cm 'breathe-safe' opening in our car window. The local stray cat just marked his territory on our rear wheel. My phone is on silent, I can't move in case the beasts wake, I am trapped - and it is BLISS. Silence, peace, forced inertia. Listening to the faint hum drum of drunken boys (and admiring how lederhosen seem to tailor the rear with exceptional accuracy), Smashing Pumpkins on the radio, catching up on emails interjected with the odd Daily Mail article (it is important to keep abreast of Kendall Jenners breasts). Its warm, its quiet and I have nothing to divert my attention from doing nothing. In a past life I could think of nothing worse than a wasted hour sitting, trapped in the car but this is better than gin or wine or even gin followed by wine.

Oh, and there's the agent. I slink very low in my seat (the simple thing would be to wave or say hello but I am floating in a bubble of euphoria and I don't want it burst), I feel like I am spying..... But I actually don't care one jot. . . 


Until the youngest wakes.

Ordinarily I would start the car and get the movement to rock him back into a slumber but I panic, I don't want to be seen and think that leaning back and stroking his nose will help. He screams at not being able to have a cuddle, the window is open the agent looks over, the noise is so loud the oldest wakes up and joins the chorus, I am flushed, it's boiling. I try singing 'wheels on the bus' (again) it doesn't work, I fish out the half banana rejected earlier, its flung against the windscreen, I try to intercept but accidentally nudge the radio into full pelt 'GREATEST DAY' by Take That, just as the agent DOES clock me, heads to say hi and then sees an eager couple cross in front of the car of chaos.. With a slushy banana-slug trail down the middle of the windscreen.

Moment of tranquil bliss flipped into trapped chaotic melee in one swift moment. I drive off as soon as my front door has been slammed shut and pass 2 dead rats on the pavement where my potential purchasers have just walked. It's a sign. 


Gary, Mark, Howie, Jason - not today I am afraid. Best head off to the sand pit in the rain.



Thursday, 8 October 2015

Ax (wo)men

This season dahhhhling, I will mostly be channelling SHIRT DRESSES..... Lumberjack, plaid..... I will try them all. Takes me back to the days when River Phoenix and baby harp seals adorned my wall and roller blading down at the half-pipe was about to hit the big time. Plus, with the array of 'broke back' (bit weird) shirts owned by the 3 males in our household, it's time I got my team of lumberjacks a forewoman.

I need a fashion injection. There is a gapping hole in the crotch of my trusty American Eagle jeans (not conducive to a warm winter) and the Joules striped long sleeve, my comfort armour, has got to be reduced to a once weekly outing. 

Quite what ensemble the shirt dress works with, I am most unsure but I am keen to clamber out of my middle aged, banana crusted, mumsy fashion rut and risk a faux pas or 3 along the way. Can't be worse than the denim tank top of 2003.









Monday, 5 October 2015

Just another manic Monday

Today I:

Vouched I would eat healthily and drink no wine until Thursday evening, a rare social engagement.


Went to the doctors twice. Once for a scabby face appointment and once to retrieve an orange plastic car that, when pressed (and sporadically it seems), makes noises like Pat Butcher having a fit  and the doctor and his subsequent patients found so utterly painful that the receptionist called to ask I collect it expeditiously.


Visited the pharmacy 4 times, awaiting the promised 'imminent' arrival of scabby face ointment. It arrived at 6.10pm, maaaaaaany minutes past feeding time at the zoo. The scene in the pharmacy was apocalyptic, toddler 'high fiving ' all the Calpol, Rennies and Vagisil shouting 'medicine mummy me need MEDICINE' whilst the infant rolled around on the vinyl floor gurning with his scabby face and pulling a tower of fluorescent hair rollers onto a glass cabinet of Old Spice and CK One (flash back).


Spent 40 minutes trying to retrieve a 2 inch figurine of Penny the female fire fighter from Pontypandy whom was desposited behind the radiator. The Windows meet the radiator with centimetres (2) to spare, the radiator hits the skirting at a terribly irritating angle and despite the delicate use of 3 different types of coat hanger, a cosmetic mirror, 2 tea towels, bundles of elbow grease, shredding a small mountain of crusty paint and quite a considerable amount of groaning - she's still there waiting to melt when the winters radiator activity escalates.


Walked a pasty 2.5 year old 1/2 a mile down the road in just a vest, in rain and 10 degrees C because 'I no want jumper, just ELEPHANT VEST' - a priceless look. The distaining glares were painful. The eventual compromise was a formidable jumper under vest combo that again triggered pitiful gazes from passers by.


With my bare hands, picked up a soggy stool in the bath mistaking it for a sponge... it was more of a wring (as one does to empty a sponge) than a gentle scoop, not pretty, not pretty at all.


Cracked open the Doritos, Galaxy and Malbec. After all we all made it to the end of the day relatively unscathed and I got 3 whole questions correct in University Challenge, well done me.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

man up and move on

'I am afraid it wasn't a bad dream'

'You dreamt about it all night too??'


'You told me you would wake up this morning and think it was "all a bad dream" between forlorn muttering about being 'ambushed' and 'gutted' and well, here it is: we really did lose to Wales'


The first conversation in our household this morning. A
 weary, shocked man in need of support to clamber out of this period of mourning. And with it I see the following 30 years unfold before me; relentlessly riding the highs and lows, ebbs and flows of a tumultuous, avid engagement in all that is sport.. assuming our offspring continue the rich vein of sporting obsession threaded through their heritage. I am ready.

We were there yesterday (thank you, thank you Abby, Holly, Banny) - sans children, quaffing pints and absorbing the electric excitement and nervous atmosphere pervading the pubs, parks and streets within a 5 mile radius of the 'home of rugby', it was palpable. Those pure, base, simple, wholesome, uniting aspects of sport are, to me - just wonderful. Casting aside cheating and scandal, in a world where so many conflicts, battles, bitter clashes and narcissism reign - sport seems to unify in a way nothing else can. 


'Twas a liberating day away from nappies, choo choo trains and Postman Pat. I relished as much of the game and atmosphere as I could but couldn't help feeling such an overwhelming mirth at the fascinating social idyll in which I was engulfed that I decided to jot down my afternoon in a series of words for every 10 minute increment and this is how it went..

Theatre

Teamwork
Drama
Booze
Physicality
Patriotism
Respect
Banter
Comradeship
Flatulence
Happy husband
Nerves
Muscles
Expletives
Random acts of kindness
Oh it's gone fuzzy
Athleticism
Accountability
Acceptance
Booze 

What I found most compelling and humbling and made me fall even more in love with my dopey husband and so many of the squiffy excitable ladies, gentlemen and children yesterday is the immense, tangible passion and subsequent ability to fall so hard emotionally from the heady heights of a prospective victory... to scuff your shoes into the dirt in utter frustration and hang your bereft head like a lonely elephant and somehow manage to feably congratulate a grating, smug opposition on their victory. Sometimes sports don't quite manage to strike that incredible balance and the passion and hurt bubble over into brawls and bitterness but goodness me rugby get it spot on most of the time. 

I remain (perhaps naively) quietly confident we will rise to the  challenge of the antipodeans next week and all enjoy the fruits of our labour. So cogitate, digest, lick your wounds and move on sweet chariot, you've some low swinging to get on with.











Friday, 4 September 2015

haphazard humanitarianism

I can't tell if Katie Hopkins is being ironic, sarcastic, facetious, jestful... Or if she actually means some of the absurd, bigoted, tasteless cr@p she spouts. I don't follow anything she says (tweets, writes) per se but come across some of the more offensive items when they hit a media nerve. I think she just wants a reaction....... I just don't find it very funny. Intelligent, subtle, politically incorrect humour - I get but I find this base, crass, pugnacious torrent of gutter-offence boring and cruel. Anyway, this was not supposed to be a post damning that woman. I suppose she might be frightfully nice under that bitter, ascorbic shell.

It's this horrific refugee/migrant situation. Yesterday I was neither tired nor emotional but was reduced to tears watching (on TV) a grown man cling to his wife by his teeth as the police wrenched him across a railway track. In his wife's arms was his infant no more than 3 months old screaming helplessly as it was vigorously flung from side to side in the desperate tussle. That child's present is frightening and volatile and its future bleak. My children lay under their 12.5 togs with Iggle Piggle and Radar the dog dreaming of Legoland and worried they might not manage to sneak in enough breadsticks before their pesto pasta that afternoon. 


From what I understand, there are a swathes of people perilously fleeing war torn countries to reach sanctuary in Western Europe, so desperate that they will endure horrific and lengthy journeys and risk lives of those they have spent years doing everything in their power to protect because the prospect of life as it stands is worth the high risk (of death) to escape to 'promised lands'. What I don't understand is exactly how long has this been going on... Before it hit the media and came to all of our attention? And what I would like to understand is what is the answer to dealing with what seems to be an escalating, desperate humanitarian crisis.......How do we help these people in a properly manageable fashion? ... I somehow think that it doesn't have anything to do with gunships - but thank you Ms Hopkins.


I haven't done a vast amount of homework but I know we as a nation have ploughed (probably no where near enough) money into aid in these war torn areas, we have taken in 216 (?!) migrants versus hundreds of thousands in Germany and are now looking in to our refugee policy following the backlash from the media's exposure of a floppy, drowned 3 year old boy on the shores of Turkey - another country to welcome over a million refugees to its shores. It's not excusable but I can see the danger in opening the 'floodgates', many refugees are currently purporting to be heading to 'our mum, our Merkel' on some sort of pilgrimage to Germany. I will be watching with earnest at how we and the rest of Europe thrash this one out. Quickly and unified would be nice. Is it too simple to apportion on a population or square mile basis? I had another crazy idea that landlords with huge vacancies could waive empty rates by housing refugees ... Good for the old corporate social responsibility and saving hefty rates charges but logistically and 'health and safety' wise possibly a total non-starter. Bureaucracy. 


It just seems so chaotic, gut wrenchingly desperate and hopeless and sad.


These are desperate people, people (not cockroaches Katie) that could be us (Steve Jobs was a Syrian migrant and look what he's done; more than daub our media with merd) ... I don't know what horrendous thing is going to have to happen in Katie's life to curtail her assiduous sojourn along the the nerves and through the jugular of perfectly innocent people. What grates me further is that I am sure she says these things for the rise she duly gets. 



Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Judge Dread




I have admit that when I saw that picture last week of David, Brooklyn and Harper frolicking around in a car park, giggling, tickling and running around; that (amongst other warm thoughts on the family idyll) I did wonder how old Harper was and why she had a dummy/pacifier, surely she didn't need one. I am as guilty as the next and it made me realise that critique and judgement is an inherent human trait and is part of what makes this weird and wonderful world go round. 

I have been guilty in the past (and to a fair extent still today) of caring too much about what other people think and it's just not good for you. It is part of the reason for my 15 year writing hiatus. I dread judgement and yet I have now decided to document some of my quirky ponderings for public consumption. But you know what?.. I like writing, I like looking back at streams of my consciousness and challenging/analysing the thoughts and perceptions I have on day to day matters and the (albeit silly) things that happen in my life. It's my 'running replacement', my cathartic 'endorphin-fix'.

My plea is - challenge your own judgement. All is not always as it seems on the surface. My blog, the material I write about, perhaps at times makes me look shallow, conceited, smug and daft. Oh 'poor you' you didn't get a good nights sleep and then your perfectly healthy child threw a raisin at you, oh dear me. Oh and you couldn't find the blue plastic buggy book for your £500 buggy in your safe, dry, boring enclave of SW London, oh my heart breaks..... But you see we actually all have our own 'heavy sh*t' to deal with which we may not chose to air. It's sometimes easier to laugh at the seemingly minute than revel in the gritty tough stuff... Don't get me wrong, I am not afraid of writing about bigger issues but actually they tend to involve other people which is unfair.

I know I really am incredibly lucky - I digress.

Big Davey B, Goldenballs - stood up to the multitude of critics about the piece of plastic in his daughters mouth last week, 'you don't see what goes on behind the scenes' he went on to explain pretty much that this isn't a regular occasion (in fairness we haven't seen her much with one) and that he adores his kids and wouldn't ever do anything to jeopardise a brilliant upbringing. It's sad he had to 'explain' himself and I wish he'd been more sang froid but I hope in doing so it made some people think deeper into the situation before casting opinions. With the whole kid-thing, I feel quite strongly that everyone has their own way and method of raising their children and each child is very different - what is right for one person and their mite is not necessarily so for another. Almost all of us just adore these little beings beyond possible explanation and spend our entire life investing energy and love into ensuring that they grow up happy and secure and healthy, we don't always get it right but there is always a reason for an action and it has this vested, unremitting, unequivocal care and love behind it. Know that before you judge.

You see it's too bloody easy to read what you WANT from a situation to suit your own prejudices. Allowing what you see to challenge you is impressive and remarkably good for the soul.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

It's just not cricket



Well it seems an appropriate day to write this one (thank you Australia) and despite barely wielding a willow, I have an opinion.. Slam me down if you like.

You see after at least 10 years of intense watching in my own home, cogitation over the 7 Wisden Almanacks (thanks Jim) in our downstairs loo and 30 years of a fairly avid family following - I think cricket is a brilliant, genius sport but the phrase 'it's just not cricket' slightly bemuses me.

This phrase claims cricket to be the pinnacle of 'sportsmanship', Cambridge Dictionaries purports that if behaviour 'is not cricket, it is not honest or moral', but I am, at times, a little unsure. 

I love it for its twists, turns, unpredictability, endurance, banter, for the sledging..... And that for me is just it. Cricket is the only sport I know of where psychological taunts and jest forms a perfectly acceptable part of the strategy, skill and drama of the game. 'Mental disintegration' is often hilarious, a thing of wonder and utterly effective when cast down at opportune moments but it amazes me that with this, cricket is indeed the most moral and honest of sports. 

On the whole sledging is just plain, dry, slap-stick wit and banter but there are those that cross the line (of morality let alone the boundary)..

I dont know where I am going with this, I say 'long live the sledge' and long live the ICC monitoring that it doesn't over- step the mark (which those pesky Aussies have a habit of doing).

The eldest male of the household is out lashing (a little local cricket pun) for the 3rd night in a row whilst I sit at home writing a sh*t blog about a sport I have never really played nor understand and wait to be screamed at or vomited on by one of my offspring. THAT is just not cricket.






Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Thank you Sewel much



A rare calm, happy and peaceful return from nursery chatting about dinosaur and train play as well as learning days of the week with Mia, Archie and Vasco came to a crashing end when (unbeknownst to me the news was on the radio) up pipes 'prostitue mummy' of course, typically, this time pronounciation was spot-on so I ought to have praised his sharp ear and lucid tongue but instead quickly turned the radio off and belted out my best 'the wipers on the bus go swishhhhh swishhhhhh swishhhhhhhhhh' - calm restored. 

I think its time to put the Eminem CD away too.

Not by the hair on my chiny chin chin

In a bid for more space and time in London we 'went up' into our loft earlier this year. Needless to say after a few months of throwing money we didn't have at the project and provarocating between sisal and hessian, we ran out of steam. What we have is a wonderful space but we haven't quite pulled the project over the line and one thing we distinctly lack in our house is mirrors. 

Most days I don't have the time to stop and take stock of my face (I know, hashtag first world problems!!) but this weekend on a rare outing in the car without a single other being with me, I stopped in traffic outside the Tower of London. After patriotically enjoying the view in smug silence my eyes caught a glimpse of a haggard older self in the mirror, of course it was actual-time me: marvellous. It's easy to fake an image when you never actually see what you look like..... However it wasn't the wrinkles or red eyes or tasche that really caught my attention or horror but the 3 long, dark whiskers that had sprouted from my chin.

I have a beard. 

Monday, 27 July 2015

Apologies

My problem with partying, excitement and consuming a moderate amount of alcohol (anything over 1 glass of wine) is that I simply will never ever be 'plastered and orderly' and so I then spend the next 2 days apologising to anyone I may have/definitely offended. 

Todays apologies include Mr. P for pretending you pinched my bottom, Farmer Jim/Bear Grylls for downing your drink which happened to be the last pint in the house, the band for doing a disservice to your cool tunes with my usual Zebra-on-acid dance (at the time I think I look something between Gisele and Gwen Stefani with the rhythm of Beyoncé) and apologies to my husband for being the excitable dwarf lunatic (but thanks) that you kindly humour me with a rendition of the 'chain saw' - a mesmerising dance routine involving a pretend, heavy and out of control chain saw - that perhaps makes me look ever so slightly more sober.

Parties don't feature regularly on my calendar and I am slowly losing any vague social aptitude I once had. This week amongst potty training and number learning there is going to be a bit of work on my own etiquette. 



Friday, 24 July 2015

Plastered

So the silver lining to seeing your little Thunderbird topple over on concrete whilst out in the pissing rain at the duck pond (aside from missing said duck pond by inches).. Is the drama and excitement that ensues. A grazed knee is a BIG DEAL and can take up at least 2 hours of entertainment. So following the sharp intake of breath, rush to aide the victim and massive cuddle; it has all been about BRAVERY, CLEANING WOUNDS and PEPPA PIG PLASTERS for an entire 180 minutes. 

The bravery was impressive, I mean, I am not squeamish but cleaning someone else's cut with antiseptic wipes to dig out the ingrained dirt had me wincing whilst my soldier was more concerned about the crumb he had on his finger. 'Wi wi wipe it muuuuuuummmmmmmyyyyyyyy' as though it was plutonium and his hand were about to fall off.

It was the plasters that stole the show. Having shunned Mr Men, SpongeBob SquarePants (we're not quite there yet), Thomas the Tank Engine and even Fireman Sam - it was everyone's favourite muddy puddle lover that would adorn the little bashed knee. The yellow plaster with Peppa and George dressed in just wellies wasn't enough. In the safety of his bed and in time it took mummy to walk to the kitchen, flick on the kettle and empty the dishwasher (fined tuned to an impressive 3 minutes) I returned to Peppa plastered all over him. What was even more amusing, puzzling and (being a little OCD myself) impressive was how the green ones with George dressed as a pirate only occupied his left arm, the purple ones with Peppa as an astronaut occupied his right arm and the remaining yellow ones covered his right leg. Plastered but orderly, just what I aspire to.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Rubbish record

7.10am and 3mins 38secs.

Well done chaps. AND this included a 'stand well clear, vehicle reversing', flashing lights, parked up beneath our window to let 2 commuters whiz by. Most impressive.

But..

Now what am I going to do with my morning?

revisiting the Invisible Vein

Four years ago on Thursday I got hitched. A few years earlier than that I tried to write my thoughts on love in general. Tonight I reflect. It's not a masterpiece but to me it sums up what I understand love to be.

I love my family.
I love my friends.
I love my sport.
I love animals.

'The invisible vein' applies to them all and all the other things I love. 

LOVE LOVE LOVEY LOVE LOVE (no, I have not had a drink)

I give you THE INVISIBLE VEIN

Immaterial, intangible, a most powerful thing,
Love pervades us all, the highs and lows that it brings,
It’s danger; it’s beauty, enervating the most robust,
A mystical, magical entity, it’s greatest ally is trust,

With trust it blossoms and numbs and protects,
Love in full bloom crushes boundaries, no regrets,
Nothing seems mightier than a love in full swing, 
Warmth, delight…. Innumerable, wonderful things,

The power of love lies in the weakness it bestows,
Those in its clasp don’t care, can’t direct where they go,
An enigmatic, unpredictable, amazing matter,
He who falls from its heights could be no flatter,

The loss of love knows no bounds, 
That wonderful manifestation turns.. in that cloud, one drowns,
The bleakest place is a lonesome love-lost pit, 
That ‘something’ missing, that inexpressible hit,

Realisation of indescribable, unfathomable feelings,
The loss of their comfort, leaves the lovelost reeling,
Bitterness inevitable at such a blow,
Yet on the fire of anger, time begins to snow,

In appreciating the enigma and power of love, 
It’s possibilities and capacities above,
Accept it, embrace it, no one can ever control, 


The power in life that makes the world roll


Thursday, 16 July 2015

What a load of rubbish

Wednesday mornings somewhere between 7.45am and 9.30am is a peak of bustling excitement in our household as we to and fro from the front sash windows, knees knocking, expectant squeals firing in anticipation of the weekly passing by of The ........... RUBBISH LORRY. Yes, that entire sentence is completely true.

There is the arrival of Helpful Harry as we call him, the sight of that orange tabard causes ripples of excitement as H Bomb climbs on top of his camping stove to adopt a prime vantage point..... The ripples are mine, the toddlers excitement is off the Richter scale. Helpful Harry with his endearing, charming smile (!) and acknowledgement of our stares, goes about his weekly routine of heaving and hurling rubbish sacks into the middle of the street. Conversation is brief and usually revolves around working out how long the lorry will take to catch him up. This week, it was 10 minutes behind but (as always) worth the wait.

The noise of the the huge vehicle turning into our road is unmistakable, the whirring, hissing, clunking and in mid-summer; stenching; is prolific, its tangible. We love it.

We love it for its predictability, for its necessity and for its drama. When will they arrive? Who will it be this week? (perhaps Harry is en vacance in espangol) Will they take all the rubbish? Whose has been rejected?  Will their 3.8 minute street record be broken? How many car horns will be sounded in the wake of the clearance?

If we're lucky an agitated driver (it's a one-way road) will sound their horn in utter frustration at the seeming nonchalance and slowness of the team but we merely look down and delight in the 'noise car makes - ohhhhhh beeeeeeeeep'. And revel in the 15 - 30 minutes the whole scene has had everyone ensconced for - marvellous, it's now only 3.5 hours until nap time.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Bee all and end all

I don't know what to do. 

Early summer had me searching, researching and pondering the best plants for my EXTENSIVE (!!) London maisonette garden and window sills. The big discovery, after much deliberation about potentially being deemed lazy and environmentally unfriendly, was the incredibly realistic artificial foliage on the market. 

Needless to say I didn't take too much persuasion - no watering, muddy windows, pruning, dead heading, petal clearance, repeat purchases after neglect.. You get the picture.

Yes, in May, my conscience barely stirred as I parted with less than it cost for 3 bottles of gin to adorn all window sills and half the garden with fake lavender, box and Argyranthemum (yellow daisies). No one ever asks, I never (until now) have to admit I am even less of a domestic goddess and even more of a windswept, haggard, clumsy and corner-cutting banshee than I let on. I feel I have to admit it now because there has been a considerable shudder of conscience since Monday morning. 

Cleaning squashed blueberries and broccoli out of a miniature ambulance and gazing out the kitchen window, I spotted a bumble bee. A lovely, humble bumble bee, buzzing in the mid morning summer sun.

Ah.

I painfully watched as the bee set about 'pollinating' my 'yellow daisies'. My fake daisies were disrupting the delicate balance of nature. I tried to knock hard on the window to deter the bumble bee from further failed attempts to assist with fertilisation but I could do nothing but watch for 9 whole minutes (summer working bees only live for about 40 days) as the bee worked hard on my small selection of yellow flowers. Poor bee. You know the bee population of most species has dramatically reduced in the last few years and 2 species are now extinct! Probably because of people like me.



Later that afternoon in the play park I caught my eldest son squashing ants with his heel. I am sorry nature. I will make good I promise, starting with a concerted horticultural effort and a quick YouTube session with the boys on 'what we can learn from ants'.


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

No use in crying over spilt milk

i beg to differ ..

And so does the sofa, carpet, curtains, iPad and my new suede shoes

Back to school

Breakfast has become a learning zone, thanks to YouTube and a sudden interest in the finer details of HOW THINGS WORK in this world. I call it edukitchen and being a nerd myself; I LOVE it! Breakfast has always been my favourite meal of the day and it has now been bolstered by factoids. 

So there was the confusion between planes, rockets and spaceships. Thank you NASA, we now all know the exact difference, plus there's Atlantis, Endeavour, Apollo, the Johnson Space Center. We count down with an American twang and flail our arms in the air at the much anticipated LIFT OFF to SPACE. 

Then there was the intrigue surrounding the multitude of farm vehicles, his green combine harvester being a particular fave. I explained that the pale cylinders in the field the other day were bales but I realised as I continued to elaborate that perhaps my agriknowledge could do with a spring clean. So today accompanying our blueberries and toast was Agrivids, a TOTAL winner. 9 minutes on Claas Lexions in Bedforshire merely whetted an insatiable appetite But OHH the straw-baling-chasing-stacking-harvest with 'here comes the sun' background music had us all, the wee wee man included, hanging on the edge of our seats.

Tomorrow we might do planets or plants but I imagine someone else will dictate our subject.

Watch this space (no pun intended)


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Peace and Harmony in All the World (Peppa Pig 2004)

I am ironing (yes, and I just hoovered and made a lasagne but my Cath Kidston pinnie is in the washing machine - how twee) and I am tired because I actually had a social event last night Coupled with my usual 4 hour quota of broken sleep. But this post is not supposed to be amusing.

I am watching the BBC news on repeat and the coverage of the atrocities in London 10 years ago gives me an overwhelming sense of fear, sadness and helplessness for the future I am preparing my children for. This fear raises its ugly head periodically and I guess it is part of what makes us real. Terrorism is terrifying, it is something (almost) entirely beyond our control but with it is exposed the immense bravery and stoicism of those faced with the adversity, tragedy - havoc - it wreaks.

A juxtaposition of paralysed fear for the world the boys are growing up in versus an emboldened hope and drive to strive for unity, peace and togetherness. It is so incredibly encouraging and inspirational to see how people come together and push forward in the face of  disaster and I for one will do everything I can to ensure that my offspring are rounded, informed and peaceful individuals - as most of us are. 

I will do my best world.

Off my soapbox and back to the Philips Azure Precise 4340 and perhaps some Wimbledon.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Good morning

So the extent of our household conversation for the last 3 hours (it's 8.45am) has been thus:

F Burger (total words 0 decibel 460)

wahhhhheaaachhhhawwwwwww waahhhhhh wahhhhh wahhhhhh gaa gaa ha ga uhh uhh 

Me (total words 55)

twinkle twinkle, shhh, shhhh, twinkle, shhhhh, ugh, shhhhh, ok darling, lovely darling, just one postman pat, no more milk, shhh, inside voice, potty over there, GENTLE, oh lovely, thank you, boys shhh, careful, here you go, what do you say, good boy, shhh, it's ok, well done, there is no spider, wash your hands, leave that, oh

Daddy (total words 29)

Good morning (well it would be after 8 hours unbroken sleep) mummy's in H Bombs bed, cuff links, meeting at 4pm in Putney so might be back early, bye team

H Bomb (total words 368 only a selection below)

teddy, teddy, bed, milk, nee naw, nee naw, nee naw, 2,5,6,7,9,10!, mummy next door, daddy window, cool shoes, raa raa, postie pat, raahhh, weetabix, officer steale, rainy rainy (it's cloudless and 26 degrees), stuck, more milk, car, car, Peter rabbit stickers, water down the drain, spider, oh dear wallet, money, money, money in the shoe, H Bomb do it, here you go mummy, poo, poo, poo, leave it, dance.

They have just spent 4 minutes screeching at each other across the table, F Burger strained for a poo (the lactulose is still not working so this is particularly noisy and prolonged) H Bomb copied the grunts pitch perfect, they both laughed until some regurgitation occurred.

H Bomb is now dancing around the kitchen in his birthday suit aside from my salmon pink pumps stuffed with coins Swinging an umbrella.... And there is a pungent smell wafting from his brother who looks utterly delighted with himself. 

Happy Monday people

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Embarrassment

so what is this all about..?

Ok I totally understand being embarrassed when your little child belts out hideous screeching or unsavoury behaviour in public. when you're trying to smile as you wrench them off the wooden choo choo train (despite 15,10,5,3,2,1 minute warnings of departure)and they (albeit accidentally) kick a clod of sand mixed with dog faeces in your mouth. 

But when your child is impeccable and staring down the barrel at a screaming peer who will NOT return the HotWheels surf Ute your little boy kindly 'shared'. Why does embarrassment strike then.. It's perverse. I actually think I need therapy. 

Spending your entire existence guiding your toddler down a morally good, steady path - desperately fire fighting the flickering flames of trantrumdom to be EMBARASSED when they are everything you want them to be in the face of the polar opposite?

I can only assume that this scenario is slightly unique (he does behave very well quite often actually - thank you very much).. In such that this is Baden Baden and despite my perpetual attempts to sound fluent, my German is not as wunderbar as I would hope. Wolfgang (who H Bomb shared his car with) is hitting his head against a tree and I can't work out what he is saying between the sobs but he has now turned to reversing very fast and hard into the waste bin and will not let go of the car his mother is trying to prize out of his clasp. H is in a state of shock and I kind of what to say 'good boy' 'don't worry' but I also really want to be able to say to Wolfgangs mum 'don't be fooled by this one, you should have seen him this morning when I didn't give him the YELLOW spoon, let alone when he noticed it had been given to his brother who was using it as a weetabix catapult'. But I just think my head is screwed on wrong. H Bomb was great, he shared, he was quiet and kind and I should have held my head high instead of cowering embarassed. 

When I stepped away from the scene, the car had been returned and the screams were out of earshot I thought, I need to be more continental. I mean Wolfgang was dressed in an outfit that would have made Prince George look like a total pleb and his mother was purse lipped and more than a little cold and intimidating. She wouldn't have worried one jot about my boys and I if the tables were turned, she would have walked off with her nose in the air to take Wolfie for a gluten free schnitzel at the Roederhof.

Yes, I am going to be more proud and more continental.... Except I might wear deodorant, every few days.

Deutsche Bank

Oh how it has all changed. This week Michael I am being a banker.

So H Bomb ran off to his bedroom - peering over his shoulder a couple of times, he pushed his door ajar....conspicuous by his silence he was doing either of 2 things - as it always is - a) a poo or b) something he knows he shouldn't. Despite the lack of odour, I could tell immediately by the look on his face that he was being naughty. On closer inspection he had a couple of 1 euro coins in his hand, one of which he was moving towards his mouth with a churlish glint in his eye. 

Choking/innumerable germs and a variety of other hazards seared through my mind. Plus, quite where he found the schrapnel, I'll never know. Even the most meticulous and fastidious parent would miss a trick with this little Houdini. 

'Ah ah ahh (because I somehow think making this noise akin to Anne from Little Britain is better than using the simple word NO) give that to mummy now, you must be CAREFUL (another phrase I am worried I overuse to the point of pointlessness) they are yucky and dirty and ....... Oh don't cry Henry, don't cry darling, here put them in your pocket but they MUST stay there and you can spend them in the shop later if you are a good boy'. Well we are on holiday so who wants too many boundaries and too much crying and what's wrong with a little bribe every 3 minutes.

Whilst I am off with little brother, collecting some washing, the 2 elder males in our family pop to the shop to get some croissants where a transaction must have taken place. 20 minutes later in walk daddy and Henry pleased as punch with the paper bag laden with stodge and our 'tour (ok, toliday) wallet'. 

Daddy slips off somewhere, similarly conspicuous by his absence for the aforementioned reasons. Henry trots over to me on the sofa swinging his bag of coins and notes and happily yelling 'money, money, money'. Thank goodness we're remote and in a foreign country. 'Money, money, money', he proceeds to empty the coins out. 'CAREFUL'. He starts stuffing them in his pockets, both trouser pockets are full to the point of splitting at the seam and he then melts down as 3 coins drop on the floor. 'Money, moooonneeeyyy, m, ma, money! Myyyyyyyyyyyyy money!!' And I mean inconsolable, fish-on-the-end-of-a-hook-flapping-in-desperation inconsolable. Clearly he was waiting to spend that nugget I saved from his gnashers and didn't get the chance on the croissant trip - daddy hadn't read the memo I stuck in my brain.

I can't even regale the extent of how ridiculous this tirade of yelling and flinging was but it gave me flashbacks of the first 2 an a half hours I bothered to watch of Wolf of Wall Street (A possessed Leo Di Caprio without the strippers and cocaine). Money can make you bonkers.

So we are now very casual about how we convey the concept of money and wary of bestowing its powers and most importantly discussing every breath our toddler takes out of earshot of the other adult. Hmm likely.