We’ve had something of a family weekend. On Friday night we met my sister and her surely-will-be-famous-soon daughter for a meal at Mother India in Edinburgh. Great meal, we’ll be going back there again. It wasn’t quite long enough to catch up on all the news but we did hear a bit more about the impending permanent relocation to the Irish cottage and the difficulties of getting onto the Irish teaching register. Having to provide every address where you have ever lived throughout your whole life, for instance, is probably a whole lot easier when you’re 22 and home has always been in one place than when you’re 50 something and have lived all over the world. And she’s not quite sure of the relevance of all the units in her architecture degree, taken some 30+ years ago, even if the University can fill in the blanks, when she has been successfully teaching Design & technology or something like that for quite a number of years now.
As an aside, as we were leaving the restaurant the boys spotted an off-duty teacher, Continue reading →
I’ve been shaking out the piggy banks and flexing the credit cards for the past few weeks, eyes screwed up and fingers firmly in my ears. The BBC series South Pacific has become compulsory Sunday night viewing in the Guineapig household. We’re going on holiday. Had I mentioned that? A BIG holiday. The sort of holiday that consumes the boys’ inheritance. We’re off to the other side of the world.
I wasn’t much older than GP1 when I first decided I wanted to dive. We lived in Jamaica at the time and I had already spent many hours snorkelling over the coral reefs. Diving was the obvious next step. Being one of six children, though, nothing came on a plate Continue reading →
I’ve been tagged by Lynne to tell you seven things. I’m not sure there’s much you don’t know about me, as I’ve already dumped a large proportion of my life into these blog pages. However, prompted by some old photographs I came across the other day, here goes (and apologies if you’re heard most of this already):
1 The first alcohol I ever drank was Red Stripe beer. It was in Daphne’s bar, a roadside shack with reggae blaring out, somewhere by the road between Cow Bay and Kingston on the Jamaican south coast. We used to dive at Cow Bay every Saturday morning and stop on the way home at Daphne’s for escoveitched fish, sourdough bread and ice cold Red Stripe beer.
2 I was the 2nd woman to land on Rockall – by 5 minutes. The first woman went on Woman’s Hour to talk about it! But GPD and I are pretty sure we were the first people to dive with sharks at Rockall.
3 I did the Nevis River race in 1979 or 80, with a crazy bunch of mountaineering friends. We had to hurl ourselves into a raging torrent clutching a lilo, shoot the rapids and jump over the waterfall Continue reading →
On the first day of Christmas my 3 boys gave to me…
…a basketful of dirty laundry.
So that would be GP1, GP2 and GPD.
It became a basketful or more after I collected 3 wet towels from one bedroom floor and 4 from another then went into the bathroom and threw a wobbly at the pile of clothes on the floor. I collected it all, dumped it in the sitting room, and proclaimed that henceforth any clothes I picked off the floor would go into a bin bag and then the bin. And I wouldn’t be the one replacing them. It worked for a while…
On the 2nd day of Christmas my 3 boys gave to me…
…two piles of ironing and a basketful of dirty laundry.
Nothing new there, then.
On the 3rd day of Christmas my 3 boys gave to me…
…3am vomiting*, two piles of ironing and a basketful of dirty laundry.
We’re the type of household that gets sacked by cleaners. You’d think that, working from home, I’d have all the time in the world to keep the house immaculate. When the children were babies, people used to comment about how lovely it must be to sit and work at home whilst the darlings played happily by themselves, slept on command, gurgled contentedly in their moses basket next to the desk and didn’t start screaming the moment the phone rang. They went to a childminder.
These days, I dream of waking up one morning to find that not only have I turned into a tidy, well organised person but that the children have suddenly become helpful – “Let me do that, Mum” – and that GPD has figured out the purpose of the toilet brush. But, as the first anniverary of last year’s cancer diagnosis approaches, I find myself having to admit that I have recovered from recent traumas rather better than my oven. Broken ankle? You try cleaning an oven with your leg in plaster. Hysterectomy? That central line of staples really didn’t help. Chemotherapy? OK, you get the idea. I have tried to restore order, but have had to recognise that there are some jobs noone else is going to do for you. Not unless you pay them large amounts of money, that is.