Monday, 29 September 2014

Brighton rocks

You forget what's out there if you spend too much time at home, on the school run, or at work and trotting around the country lanes. It's all very well and lovely, my Sussex life, the gentleness, the everyday-ness and the calm of the countryside - sometimes I don't even know I need some culture to inspire me and jiggle the creativeness back into action.

Brighton with its laines, shop after shop selling interesting, quirky, hippy, vintage and intricate stuff. Café's with enticing cakes and vegetarian dishes sold by young people, with hopes and rings through their noses. I remember being like them, all alternative and free. Carving out a life for yourself, starting with selling gluten-free puddings and vegan casseroles, smoking roll-ups out the back in your lunch break - for this is only temporary before you make a difference in the world. I remember feeling like that.

This time in Brighton, he and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary, all married with children, good jobs and not very alternative at all. But Brighton fires the inner-student in me, makes me want to join a mindful meditation group, have a go at creative writing, get a tattoo and think about my wardrobe a little harder. We made plans for the future, guessed the ingredients of our quiche and salad lunch, we went roller-blading along the sea front to Hove - a little wobblier and less certain than last time. We stayed in an arty hotel with a view of the sea, drank beers as the sun went down - when the way forward seemed much more clear and exciting.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

10 years

The Wedding

Year 1 - Up the duff

Year 2 - Baby 1

Year 3 - New House

Year 4 - Baby 2

Year 5 - Walking and talking

Year 6 - Mini me

Year 7 - Trying stuff out

Year 8 - Beginning to travel

Year 9 - Planning the future

Year 10 - Indiaaaaaaah

I reckon we can make the next ten even more fun - happy 10th Wedding Anniversary Babs!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

I feel like I can fly

Beginning of term

It's a beautiful September. I am trying not to let the back-to-school and the gossip spoil it. Or the homework. Or the tears and beginning-of-term colds. I am trying to enjoy the chilly starts to the day, walking into cobwebs when getting into the car and removing blackberry stained bird poo from the windscreen before the school run. It's hard when school is all encompassing, it isn't just about dropping them off at 8.45am and picking them up at 3, it pervades much more of family life.

P has turned back into her grumpy self, holding all her emotions inside while in school and letting them out in a torrent as soon as she sees me at the school gate. We are back to feeding her as soon as we can and placating her with Club Penguin or some tree climbing before she can speak to me in a semi-civil way. She refuses to read her school books but she is more than able, so I bought her a Beano to encourage some sort or reading, any sort of reading - she likes that, all the burps and farts. She is still only six after all.

A slipped back into the school routine without a bump or a glitch enjoying the gentle start to the term with Art Week. The weekend homework sent her into blind panic as usual, where some deep breathing techniques came in useful. I may always associate maths homework with A's panic now, snot streaming out of her nose and big fat tears landing on her page of fractions. Darn homework, it spoils the weekend.

Only 5 more weeks till half term.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Nine eleven

I'm going to be late, there's a security alert, the text said. Of course my mind started playing out horrible scenarios as it would do on any day, but especially today. I wanted him home, with us, with the cats and a comforting seafood pasta - not stuck on the 7.10 from Charing Cross.

We all remember where we were on 9/11.  A moment when nothing felt safe or ordinary any more. I remember wanting my Dad to come home from the United Arab Emirates. I wanted him to get out of London and be in my organic garage in Cirencester, yes we have been together a long time. I wanted my nearest and loved ones around me.

Just like I do today, but he's stuck in London.