Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Nostalgia Day

I woke up with a bad cold this morning, and as DH kindly told me not to do anything I decided to get ahead with some scrapbook challenges for National Scrapbooking Day on 2nd May. However, hardly had I started to get some ideas and pull some stuff together than I found myself trawling through bags of old bits and pieces - mainly letters, photos and other bits from my student days.

Of course I got completely sidetracked - not a LO did I finish in the course of my meanderings through my late teens and early 20s. I did however find a load of stuff that I really should have ditched a long time ago - stuff that doesn't really go with being married and in my 40s, plus a lot of interesting stuff that reminded me of how I was with my friends in those days, what made us laugh, cry, worry and rant about.

I remembered that once upon a time I had a great relationship with my middle sister and she wrote hilarious letters. I realised that I should have been a lot more confident in myself, that people liked me and the things I did, but I was too hung up to see it at the time.

I remembered a world where AIDS had just been discovered, the Cold War was still hanging over us, there was no internet, mobile phone and we could barely afford airfares or international telephone calls - so we wrote lots more letters - and thanks to them I can go back there.

I also found precious letters from my granny and my mum which I had forgotten I had but will treasure again. I was inspired to try to contact a long lost friend via Friends Reunited, and got an answer which I hope will lead to resumption of contact, however infrequent.

Most of all, I restored old memories, reminded myself of how I used to be, and how far I've come in lots of ways. I wouldn't change my today, but it was good to remember yesterdays.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The wonders of Nature

We were blessed with wonderful weather at the weekend so on Saturday we toiled in the garden, trying to create order after the winter - plus I got to practise digging for my trip to Romania - we cut down lots of the ivy and Ken got to mow the lawn - his favourite bit!!

As Sunday brought more sun we treated ourselves to a walk to Banstead Woods to see the glory of the bluebells - the sight and the scent were breathtaking and we bumped into Debbie and Steve just to make the walk even more fun. The kids loved it and the lateness of the leaves made it sunnier than usual in the woods. Just a perfect afternoon - a taste of how spring should be.

Unlike Monday which had to be the most miserable contrast possible - but as it marked the first day of the cricket season it had to rain most of the day. Not that it stopped Nathan playing his match - we absolutely froze - it went on until 8.45 when it was almost dark, but they won in style which obviously went down well with kids and eager parents alike.

Which brings me to today - I met up with Debbie again and we went plant buying - I am now the proud owner of a newly planted hanging basket (planted by me I should add!). My theme this year is yellow (a nod to current fashion), red and white. I replenished my summer window box - yes the geraniums are going strong in their fifth year and are complemented with white trailing lobelia and the remaining bedding plants together with a hardy fuschia are settled into their new home. I'll make a gardener of me yet!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Calm after the Chaos

I spent last week doing the greasepaint and hairdressing thing for Ellie's dancing show - a wonderful concoction of random dances - she was in 4 and was fabulous (of course darling, I'm her mother!). The heat and noise was quite incredible - so many interchangeable little girls needing makeup done, things finding, mending, high as kites on E numbered sweeties and four nights and two matinees plus a (very late ending) dress rehearsal. She was exhausted and so was I.

Now the school term has arrived again, the kids have gone back, PE kits are washed, ironed and back at school, exams are looming and I'm trying to pick myself up again to do all the 'normal' things I usually have to do.

One small respite is that not every club has restarted this week so the taxi service is only on part time hours!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Life Stages

I'm definitely over the baby stage. I had a friend over for tea this morning with her gorgeous little 3 month old daughter. I cooed and baby-worshipped (as I usually do) and enjoyed every minute.

Unusually the kids are at home as it's the holidays and they sat around, made unhelpful comments and generally fidgeted as all kids do when there's someone new to show off to. Despite this, I realised that I really am at that stage when I love other people's babies, love to hold them, cuddle them and generally have a good old baby session, but I really don't want to change their nappies, get up in the night or wipe up their dribble any more, and I don't have to. I've not wanted a baby for quite a while now (pretty much since Nathan was born, although occasionally I've thought it might be nice) but this morning really confirmed to me that I like having more grown up children, who can understand me (even if they ignore most of what I say!) who can make me a cup of tea occasionally, who let me have a lie-in even if they want to get up and watch junk TV and who can entertain themselves, run the odd errand and leave me alone in peace once in a while when I'm feeling grumpy.

It may mean I'm getting old, but I quite like going past the milestones of life.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Tea and other stories.

I am most definitely a tea girl - sure I drink the odd coffee from a Starbucks or the local equivalent. I cannot stand instant coffee and for this I must thank my mother, who made delicious real coffee at a time when hardly anyone else in our acquaintance did - she loves it! I do too, but only occasionally, and the worse it is, the more stuff I put in it. Good coffee deserves to come in espresso form, although it doesn't last long. My usual poison is Vanilla Latte - but not often, and only if accompanied by caramel waffles which you warm on top of the cup until squidgy.

These caramel waffles are a throwback to my childhood. Mum and Dad had lots of friends from Holland, from where these delicious morsels originate. On their visits to us, and on our solitary visit to Holland, we had these biscuits (although that word really doesn't do them justice) - just a hint of cinnamon, crispy waffle sandwiching a gooey caramel filling - pure decadence.

But back to tea. I'm feeling like I definitely drink too much of it, in fact sometimes I even feel I have had enough - not something I thought was possible in terms of taste, not volume! So today, I ventured into the realm of decaf - not actually tried it yet, but feel I need to cut down on the caffeine, because giving up tea, even for Lent, is simply not an option.

I'm going for the gentle detox route, as the last time I gave up tea I had a hangover for four days!! So it's the introduction of a decaf every so often for me, and hopefully better health/wellbeing/feeling? without the ultimate sacrifice! Let's hope so.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Girl Politics

We had DDs birthday bowling and pizza party yesterday. It was nice to meet some of her new high school friends and their parents. I'm pretty pleased with the ones she invited, they seem really nice kids.

I do worry though, she's not very good at the whole girl politics thing - she's a bit naive, she piles in to support the underdog, usually at her own expense, she has a kind heart, and she's way too keen to please others. I'm just waiting for her to do something REALLY daft, because she wanted to impress someone. I just pray it's nothing permanently damaging, emotionally, physically or criminally. It probably wouldn't be wilful, just unthinking - the next few years are going to be a rollercoaster as a parent - I've been expecting it since she was born - (a mini teenager since birth), but now it's here I'm no more prepared for it than the day she was born - help!