Monday, 11 June 2012

Girls On Tour

The beautiful beach at Barcelona
I only went and booked myself a little mini break with some girlfriends to Barcelona.
It was Monaco that broke me. After another long weekend looking after the children whilst the husband partied with the rich folk of Monte Carlo, I promised myself to book some time away with the girls. Not my 8 and 5 year old girls, nah, my grown up girl friends. It was to be the first time away without kids and husband for years. Following on from husband's performance in Monaco, I had a little list of Must Do's:
I Must:
1) Call husband when he's walking dogs in pissing rain and tell him how gorgeous the weather is. Then tell him I can't talk because I'm off for a glass of Cava.
2) Drink so much Cava I forget to call and wish children good night.
3) When he gets the hump say, 'I knew you'd be like this. What's your problem?'
4) Insist I was in bed early despite the gravelly voice
5) Come back with a full beard, unchanged pants and sweat alcohol for 3 consecutive nights.

Which is generally what happens when he goes away. 

I am happy to report that I was having far too nice a time to do any of the above ^^^ and phoned the family nightly to wish them sweet dreams. 

It was such a brilliant weekend away and I heartily recommended it as the perfect pick me up to anyone who feels that life is just a massive pile of dirty socks.
The flights were a bargain at £100, the hotel was lovely little boutique number which cost us £75 a night.

The roof terrace bar at our hotel

The Cava by the glass was about 3Euros. 

The time hanging out at W hotel and dancing 'til 4am was priceless.

The W hotel bar for cocktails

A young man guessing my age at 28/30 was worth the air fare alone (it was VERY dark in there, but I'll take what little compliments I get these days and cherish them). 

me and the Cava

So, where to next year girls? I'm thinking Marbs...the pennies are being saved already...

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Rightmove, right time?

My name is Jo and I’m addicted to Rightmove, the property website. I have to sneak my addiction about three times a day, when the kids are watching CBBC, when the mother’s on the phone, when I should be doing the ironing. I find it calms me when I am stressed. It is my only friend. OK, I exaggerate the last bit, but I can’t get enough of peering in other people’s houses. 
I had been having a bit of a Rightmove fast of late (work got in the way, how rude), until the fateful Easter holidays. We went to Devon, a place of chocolate box houses, beautiful beaches, crabbing, afternoon tea and scones, fresh mussels loaded with cream, fat steaks from the lovely healthy cows. As soon as I am home I am not unpacking, oh no, not me, those sand filled shorts and socks can wait, I am online, looking for a house with land that we can move into.
I found it. Gorgeous it was, double fronted, Georgian, beautiful shaker style kitchen, stunning bathroom with a big tub (it over looked the graveyard, but that’s not that scary is it?). I was placing my sofa before I’d even taken my new Breton striped anorak off. ”Ere, husband, come and look at this. Let’s move! The kids would love it.” Him, “It overlooks a graveyard, is 3 hours from my place of work and would be miserable in winter and when the tourists arrive in summer.” I looked at the house daily for a week. Repeateldy sending him the links.
He ignored me.
The following week, I’d moved on. This time I’d spotted a house in Derbyshire, the husband’s home county. Double fronted, Georgian, you get the idea. Again, he keeps putting this work thing he does, that pays all the bills as his excuse not to move. I even phoned up about local schools for the Derbyshire one and emailed it to my parents. It was still a no from the husband, despite the original wooden shutters.
This week it’s been Normandy, we could downsize here and get a holiday house there of course. All makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? No? What do you mean no? Well anyway, I have also done Dubai, Australia, New Zealand and West Sussex. We have been in our house not even two years yet and still the husband has to put up with my, ‘Ooh, have you seen the back garden on this one, you could have stripes in the lawn darling…’
Oh, I’ve just noticed that there is a nice little do-er up-er in the Charente region of France, a bargain at 60Euros…must dash, I need to email the husband a link…

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Bunny Teeth

Picking my seven year old up from school, I am reminded once again of the heartache that lie ahead.
'I was called bunny teeth three times today,' she says, not upset, more in a stating a fact kind of way.
Poor girl. She has her mother's teeth. I used to get called Monster Munch teeth, they were so big. But then I got a brace, glasses (and not cool ones, Deidre Barlow/Christopher Biggins style), and skinnier legs, so the teeth teasing was replaced by boys running up to me to put their hands around my ankles whilst running off and calling me Bony Joanie (a character from Garbage Pail Kids, all the rage in 1987, see above. That was me aged 12).
Luckily the 7 year-old thinks that bunnies and rabbits are very cute, so almost takes it as a compliment that she's being told she looks like a rabbit. She's also at the age where she does seem to be able to shrug it all off. The hormones haven't kicked in yet, or the seeking of approval from the opposite sex. In fact right now, boys are deemed rubbish. And not just by me.
Having a brace is at least three years away, so for the next three years she is just going to have to put up with being a bunny. It comes in quite handy around Easter.
And for now, at least, she still believes she's beautiful. She hasn't had that confidence knocked out of her...yet. How sad that you know it'll come. The self doubt, the feelings of ugliness that the teenage years bring are just around the corner. The 'why aren't my boobs as big as Jane Bookers?' years of torment in your room stuffing tissues down your bra. The overwhelming feeling of just wanting to be average, 'normal', not too fat, not too skinny, not too big boobs, not concave chest (yep, you guessed it, that was also what I was called) that takes up pages of your diary, along with a yearning for Gary Bell to notice you...
I keep telling her that all these boys who call her rabbit teeth will be beating her door down for a date in years to come.
She pulls a face. 'Urgh. I told you, I don't like boys.' Quite.
It pulls at the heart strings though, to know your child's being teased. I've just spent the last hour searching for large balls of cotton wool to wrap her up in. Unfortunately, Amazon are out of stock.

NB. I know boys aren't rubbish really, I'm married to a perfectly adequate one, have one as a dog and an older brother...

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Get. A. Life

'All by myself....don't wanna be...all by myself...anymore, anymore, anyyyyymooooorrrrre,' I am screeching Bridget Jones style.
So for eight years I have been desperately seeking 'Me' time.
Ever since baby number one was born, I have moaned incessantly about never having a minute to myself, never being able to go to the loo without someone walking in, bath without a child wiping my boob with a Buzz Lightyear flannel, eating a sandwich without a small finger reaching up to steal a crisp.
Well, it turns out I don't actually want 'Me' time at all.
Funny that.
Or not.
Initially, it was great, a novelty. I could come home from the school run and have a long soak in the bath without anyone interrupting, I could go shopping without having to buy an 'Animals and Me' magazine or Moshi Monsters cards, I could talk on the phone to a friend for an hour without shouting at any kids in the background or passing them the phone for them to say, 'hello'.
Like anything, (think Beyonce's baby news or Lauren and Mark from TOWIE), the novelty soon wears off.
I am lonely for the first time in 8 years. I have no bums to wipe, no one asking where I am every three minutes, no demands for drinks or food. I don't know what to do with myself. Well, actually, I do. I need to get. A. Job. or finish. The. Book. (sshhhh don't mention that. 30,000 words and not touched for months) or even Walk. The. Dog. Yes, yes, hairy mutt, but that only takes 45 minutes.
It's so quiet.
I miss them so much.
I am googling illnesses I may or may not have.
It's time.
It's time for me to Get. A. Life....