Worry worry worry

In just under a week my family and I are traveling up to  Yorkshire to house sit for my Brother in Law whilst he and his family fly off some where exotic (ash cloud allowing).

This arrangement came about when, last year with a cut back in my husbands hours and a company wide pay cut we couldn’t stretch to a “proper” holiday and ended up borrowing my nieces flat in Cardiff for a week.  That turned out really well for a Dr.Who / Torchwood fan, we visited various sights of interest and did some great geocaches. Cardiff is a fabulous holiday destination, we had a great time at Mermaids Quay, St Fagans was awesome my daughter loved the “big dollies houses” and we had a great time flying my husbands kites and finding shells on the various nearby beaches.

I digress, at a family wedding just before new year my Sister in Law “reminded” me of a conversation we had apparently had about house sitting for them (neither I nor my husband can remember this but hey, we are flexible) and looking after their 10 month old German Shepherd and two cats,  and so we agreed to do it….

I must have been really drunk at that wedding because it’s fast approaching  and I’m getting seriously cold feet, the logistics of shipping 2 kids, with everything they need including booster seats to sit in whilst eating, a push chair, bath toys, normal toys, a travel cot for little him – this is not small stuff.   The dog, Poppy will need her cage as the thought of leaving the two dogs together overnight sends shivers down my spine, we might need a few things too – it’s frightening!

Also, I have just under a week to get the house in a resemblance of order as the neighbours are kind enough to come in and feed Pippa and Sophie. They are really lovely people but I don’t want them tripping over bits of “Happy Valley” whilst emptying the dirt tray…

On the bright side we have been to the BIL’s  house before so I can picture the kitchen with it’s hard wipe-able floor, so I know the dining room carpet is safe.  We will have cbeebies and a DVD player for afternoons while the Little Man has a nap.   There is a small bath in the second bathroom which the kids can use rather than worrying that their might only be a shower as there is so often nowerdays.  It’s only Yorkshire, not darkest peru, so no fumbling over currency, worrying about not tipping enough or struggling to be understood in a foreign dialect – ok so there might be a little bit of that – hehehe.

My sister in law (bless her) has kindly provided us with a list of parks to visit, where to find the swimming pool and cinemas, some local museums, the “last of the summer wine bus tour” too!  I have had a good look at http://www.geocaching.com and I’m really looking forward to an almost fresh field of attainable geocaches (we did a few last year in the area), the town itself is also really cute and has many different shops to look at, so we will be well entertained.

I know what you are thinking, I worry too much.  It’s true.  I have a big fear of the unknown since the smalls arrive, I like to plan stuff out not go off in my own little spontaneous way like I used too.  I pour over websites of the intended location especially the accommodations,  I need to know I can feed them and keep them safe and warm – old mother hen!!!

I’m sure  everything will really be brilliant, the kids will behave and not break the ornaments, the dogs will get on great (but not too great!)  The husband will be  supersupportive and we will have a really great break, as with Cardiff, sometimes a holiday without expectations is often better than one longed for and placed on a pedestal, I will of course let you know how we get on.

Image credits

Mermaid Quay by Me

“Hoovering up the mess from” Flickr  by Sad Old Biker

“Don’t worry everything is going to be amazing”  from Flickr by Supercapacity


A Change is as good as a Rest

It’s true is it not? A change is as good as a rest if it’s the right sort of change.

Monday morning.  The little man woke at 6.30am shouting his head off and for once that was ok, I had a early night last due to being horribly hung over yesterday ( more about that another time, maybe) so I got him out of his cot and collected Teddy and we went down for breakfast, the little lady joined us about 7am, babbling on happily about what the day was going to hold for her (nursery, trikes, painting, Daddy coming home etc) We got dressed, jackets and sun hats because although it was a beautiful blue shiny morning here in Wiltshire it is still a bit chilly, gathered the little ladies lunch box and the little man’s ruck sack and we were off.

He enjoyed the walk to nursery, it’s not far and it passes the neighbours friendly cat Socks who runs out to say hello and likes his ears scratched and a building site with diggers and men in yellow hats that need to be exclaimed at all very interesting to a two year old, I had the usual run of questions from the little lady, “who is that Mummy” “what are they doing” “what is that called” which I answered in the usual fashion “I don’t know, I have never met her” “Digging up the path again Darling” “It’s a Grit bin for making the path safe in Winter remember” followed by a discussion on how we both loved the snow.  We arrived at nursery and took off jackets and hats put the lunch box on the tray hung up the rucksack and they were off.. No Bye Mummy this morning, no backward glance…

I stopped long enough to pay my weekly bill and chat to my friends husband (about the state of her hangover) and the little man ran out of the play room and looked up at me, he smiled and said “Mummy” turned around and ran off again, so I made a quick exit.

Standing outside I took a very deep breath, I might as well be stranded on an alien planet, no smalls, no pushchair, no husband – just me, weird yet oddly familiar because I did once live a very independent and solo existence.  So I started to walk into town.

I did toy with the idea of going to the city to enjoy some faster pace atmosphere and buzz, as it was the little mans first day at nursery I decided to stay local just in case it all went horribly wrong and they needed me to collect him.  I thought of having something “done” like a facial, things that ladies normally enjoy, the local salon did phone me to say they could do something but honestly, I didn’t really want to share my time with anyone even in the context of having some pampering.

I had to take the library books back because otherwise we were going to get a fine, then I bought some bones for the dog, I tried on some trousers in the clothes shop using one of the smaller booths due to being pushchair free, bought myself a book in the red cross shop and stopped off at a cafe for a Latte and scrambled egg and smoked salmon on toast.Mmmmmm…

I walked home. I got Poppy the dog, I went for a lovely long walk with her running about like a lunatic, came home then set off to pick up the little man.

All morning with the exception of talking to three of my neighbours and a mummy friend I met in town, I have only spoken when absolutely necessary and my head has been a quiet tranquil place of very little happening in it at all. It is truly magnificent!  It has reminded me that I am no fan of noise, on my own I choose not to have the TV on, I rarely listen to music at home or in the car and of course with two smalls running around and their love of Peppa Pig et al silence is a very rare commodity and one to be savoured.

I must be calm and I must be rested because I didn’t lose it with Poppy when she dug up my sprouts to bury her bone….

So now the question must be asked, what shall I do next Monday morning!

Freetime Quandry

This coming Monday morning, my son is going to attend nursery for the first time on his own and I will have for the first time in 3 1/2 years a morning off, 3 precious hours to do with as I want.

I know what I’m not going to do,
I’m not coming back home,
I’m not going to turn on the laptop – at all!
I’m not doing housework
I’m not running errands
I’m not going to the dentist, the doctor or the optician.
I’m not cleaning the car
I’m not doing gardening
I’m going to do something for me – but I don’t know what….

Here is the shortlist of what I think I might do, but it’s a bit dull I would love some suggestions or you can tell me which one you think I should do…

A) Take the dog out for a good long walk probably Geocaching
B) Go Swimming
C) Book a massage or something

Told you it was dull – help!


After living with myself for 39 and a half years I know when I’m getting so wound up and depressed about “stuff” that I’m about to take a pop at someone, since I am so useless at that as well and always end up feeling even more insignificant and hopeless having achieved nothing, I’m going to attack this feeling from a different direction. I’m going to count some of my blessings…

Health, I’m healthy – over weight yes, but healthy enough, last year I spent a long time in Physio with a bruised coccyx and a sprained ankle with torn ligaments. All seems fine this year, as soon as I manage to get little him into nursery the same time as his sister I’m going to be much more active, cycling, walking and swimming. That should help with the depression angle too, I have a tendency towards downward spirals, I often see them coming and can take steps towards lifting myself up, I am lucky in that respect too

The kids are healthy too, they both get eczema but it’s controllable, they eat loads of fruit and although he is starting to test the water of refusal he mostly enjoys a wide variety of foods and will try new things. She has always eaten well but often will not try new things, she can be bribed though, he he.

Himself is fairly healthy, smoking aside, he finds his hours and the driving a strain some weeks and it takes him longer to bounce back but I think he is ok.

Wealth, well we are not wealthy at all but we get by and manage to stay on top of the bills. I’m a stay at home Mum which is what I wanted for my children, especially pre- school. We have our own house, we can do our own basic maintenance without having to hire someone, it’s knocked about a bit at the moment thanks to having two under 4’s a puppy and 2 cats as can be expected!

We have some Mummy and Daddy toys, cable TV, two laptops and a Wii; the kids have toys falling out of their rooms because there are so many.

After a worrying time in the last few years where Daddy had to take a pay cut and a reduction of hours his work does seem to have picked up again and he is good at his job, I don’t think you can ever be blasé about job security anymore; thankfully it’s not a pressing worry.

We can’t afford to go abroad this year for a holiday and hiring a self catering cottage in the UK is even more expensive, our holiday will be house sitting for my brother in law up in Yorkshire, I’m looking forward to it and hope that their dog and our Poppy do actually get on!

In the loft we have almost everything for a camping holiday and I fully intend to get it all out and air it soon then book us a weekend not too far away where we can get some fresh air (late night and early morning too with the kids!)

We have a car that works, as much as we bemoan the passing of our beloved Ford Explorer it is good to be able to afford to drive somewhere again, we think we might trade in our C4 for another 4×4 next year, we miss the driving height, the copious storage and frankly – going off road!

And the hot tub is running – bonus!

Are we happy? Mostly I think, that is a tough commodity to measure, my husband has been my best friend for years, we enjoy each other’s company and after being together 13 years there is still love and passion… The smalls seem happy too as much as smalls can! We get our fair share of tantrums and “crying at not getting own way” Little miss is in line for an Oscar next year for at least 3 categories, he stamps his foot and shouts “NO” without thinking, listening or comprehending what is going on or being asked of him.

The smalls are a blessing in themselves – every moment. The Litle miss is bright and picks things up quickly, she’s not over achieving by any measure which is fine by me.. She has the face of an angel and she uses it so expressively she can have you in stitches (she does get miffed with people stifling giggles while she tries to explain something.) The little man is the cuddliest little man, he is a tornado of movement and destruction and you get to a point of desperation with the house wrecked, stuff everywhere and then he says “ahhh, Mummy” and I get a huge cuddle. What’s a Mum supposed to do in the face of that!

These are only some of my blessings, I know that, there are many more but now I feel a little less frustrated at life I’m going to stop because you never know when I may need to count some more in the future.