Monthly Archives: April 2016

Road Trip

Friday’s are always good days for me (apart from the one a few weeks ago that involved THAT procedure but the less said about that the better other than to say that I have had the all clear and just need to manage my symptoms) and this Friday just gone was no exception. In fact it was better than the average Friday by far.

The reason? Mrs F and I took a trip to the lovely Dorset coast (not that we saw anything of the actual coast thanks to the fabulous British weather) to see the even more lovely Miss T and Little Miss J. I would like to say that as much as I tried to conjure up my inner Susan Sarandon we really were just Mrs B and Mrs F in a car driving on the M3. Nothing vaguely Thelma and Louise about us I’m afraid. Although, I like to think I could beat someone up in a car park if necessary, I’m glad I haven’t yet had to prove it. Anyway, I digress.

It’s been a few months since I last saw Miss T and Little Miss, and even longer for Mrs F so we were understandably excited to see them both. And what a lovely day. Miss T looks and clearly feels fab, and has got this mummy lark sorted. Little Miss is an absolute little charmer and is a very happy bunny, thriving on the love and care she is getting from her very capable mummy. So very pleased for them both. It was an absolute pleasure to spend the day with them both and getting involved in the day to day stuff. We went swimming and splashed around  a bit. I didn’t really enjoy taking my two swimming when they were very small as it was all a bit too much, but it was a different ball game with Little Miss. She loves the water (that always helps – much less stressful than a child who is scared to get their face wet – yes T, I am talking about you) and jumps in off the side straight into the water without batting an eyelid. Just brilliant. A lovely, lovely day.

I enjoy road trips with Mrs F for several reasons.

  1. She brings sweets. Not just one pack – an assortment. And I get to choose. I don’t get the dregs that no-one else wants.
  2. She keeps me calm when I get lost. We get lost a lot when we are out as we are too busy talking to concentrate on where we are going.
  3. She swears at the satnav with me and we laugh at her posh voice. (The satnav’s not Mrs F’s).
  4. She doesn’t feel the need to fill every silence. We can sometimes go a few miles without talking. Not often but sometimes.
  5. She understands the need for toilet stops. And she doesn’t moan that her DVD is going to have to be restarted from the beginning due to the engine being switched off. (Obviously she doesn’t watch DVD’s when we are out together, you know who I mean).
  6. She takes her slippers with her. Nothing more to say about that.
  7. She doesn’t mind me pootling along in the slow lane when it is p*****g it down with rain.
  8. She doesn’t mind when I squeal a little bit when I have to pass a big lorry in the p*****g rain.
  9. She doesn’t mind if we are a little bit late home due to the pootling.
  10. I can’t leave the list at 9 (not acceptable). She makes me believe that I’m not a bad driver. And that’s a real skill.

thelma louise


Falling in love again

*****DON’T PANIC! This blog post does NOT contain scenes of a romantic or gushy nature*****

I’m not being all soppy. But I do feel like I like my kids a lot more after a few days away with them. We’ve been to Center Parcs with G&G for a few days as we had a bonus Easter holiday week when no-one else was off and the holiday companies didn’t realise. Result. We used to go to CP a lot when they were small as we were rebels and took them out during term time when they were in reception/playgroup. (We weren’t really rebels, we were skint.) It’s a “happy place” for all of us and somewhere that we are guaranteed to have a good time and relax. And we did relax. But I also fell a little bit back in love with my kids. I love my kids, as I mention fairly often on here (I hope not too much, just enough to show that as much as I moan and gripe they are pretty nice really). But, most of the time it’s all about the getting them from A to B and the homework and the feeding of the bottomless pits that are their stomachs. And sometimes, it’s all a bit crap and I feel a bit bleurgh about the whole caboodle.

But in the few days that we were away we actually enjoyed being in each others company.

We chatted.  T is always happy to chat when it’s about things he’s into (his reception teachers only complaint about him was that he liked to talk about Lego quite a lot and would not stop until he had finished saying what he wanted to say. And that’s a bad thing?) and now that he is older he actually has some quite interesting stuff to talk about. His latest “thing” is contacting sellers on Amazon to see if they want to send him free stuff to review. He’s created himself a website and (surprisingly, as he’s only just starting out and is only 13) has been pretty successful. He’s had a number of smart watches, fitness bands, outdoor lights (random) and other tech stuff to review (and sell on to family and friends or keep for himself). He  was telling me about a vlogger* that he follows who’s a couple of years older than him and who he gets tips from. (Alarm bells did start to ring a bit – Murder Games sprang to mind – but he reassured me that he doesn’t interact with this kid – just watched his vlogs*.) But we don’t always get time to properly chat. At home, I’m working when they come in from school. I do break off for a bit to see if they’ve had a good day, etc etc. and T will often make me a cup of tea but they both generally disappear upstairs for some alone time; then it’s dinner and we talk a bit but often it’s about K’s day or what we need to do that evening or later in the week; then homework ruins the rest of the evening. I sometimes get the chance to read with A (she’s just about still happy to do this) but not every night; and sometimes K and T will watch something on TV together. The chatting and the really finding out what they are into gets a bit overlooked. So it was lovely to sit with my kids and have them chatting to us and to G&G. Grandma asked A to sit next to Grandad one night at dinner as he is a bit hard of hearing these days and misses out on conversation. She chatted all night – almost to the point where he was a little relieved when she needed a bathroom break so that he could give his ears a rest – and it was great.

We still had evenings where we were watching TV and the kids were on their beds with their tablets in hand watching what they watch but we’d spent all day together doing stuff and chatting and just being us so it sort of didn’t matter. They were good to be around and good company. I feel like I have got to know them both again and despite being back at work I still feel pretty relaxed and hopeful that we can keep on with the chats. I don’t suppose we will mange it every day, but maybe I can try and remember how it felt to fall back in love with them and hold on to that next time the first thing one of them says when they come in the door is “what can I have to eat?” rather than “hi mum how are you?”. It’s like a honeymoon phase and it will wear off quite quickly I’m sure. But I will enjoy it while it lasts.



Girls vs. Boys

I don’t get girls. I don’t understand how their minds work. Yes, I know I am a girl (well, a woman; an old, old woman) but I am still, after nearly 44 years, baffled by how unpleasant they can be.

Some girls seem to feel that unless there is a drama going on life is boring. Some girls seem to think that it’s not fun to just get along and be nice to each other. Some girls seem to think that it’s OK to be bitchy and cause trouble between themselves and generally make life pretty unpleasant. Some girls play mind games, undermine  your confidence. I don’t understand this and never will. Sisterhood? Some girls have never heard of the word.

Most boys like to get along. And when they don’t they argue, they maybe fight, they get over it, they are friends again (or they are never friends again – they move on). Most boys have different friends for different activities. They don’t put all their eggs in one basket. They’re not exclusive with each other and they don’t care if their friend spends time with another friend and not them. They don’t try and cause trouble between their friends. They just want to have a good time. They laugh at each other, laugh at themselves and no-one gets upset. (Well, some boys can give it out and don’t like it when they get it back but they just get laughed at even more.)

Some girls are complicated, manipulative, possessive, jealous, insecure. They feed off others insecurities; they like to cause tension; they are only happy when something is “going on”.

Most boys are straightforward: feed them; let them sleep; let them let off steam and they’re pretty happy.

I don’t understand it and I find it so hard to explain to my girl why some girls are like this. She has been faithful, kind, open-hearted, trusting, forgiving. And still she is treated miserably.

In nearly 14 years, T has had one serious bust-up that lasted a matter of hours before hands were metaphorically shaken and a few angry texting sessions that were forgotten the next day. In just over 11 years, A has had countless upsets/break-ups/exclusions that have all lasted for days and sometimes weeks. How many times can she go through this before it has a real impact? Will she feel one day that she has to become someone different? Will she decide to stop trusting anyone in order to protect herself? I hope not. I hope I can help her see that it is not her; that it is not all girls – it can’t be can it? – it is just some girls.

Give me a group of smelly, noisy, daft boys any day. Spiteful, disloyal, fickle girls? No thanks.