Friday, 12 February 2016

The Fly

"Why couldn't you have just opened the window?" she wailed, hot tears of real sadness and empathy rolling down her face.

Because flies are dirty darling, and it would have died outside anyway as it's freezing out there.

"Ohhhhh, why did he have to die Mummy, why couldn't we have caught the fly and made him a little house?" she sobbed, her chest convulsing, struggling to catch her breath.

P was distraught. He had got the fly exterminator, a tennis racket-shaped fly zapper and electrocuted the rogue fly which was looking pretty ill and lazy stuck to the kids bedroom wall.

I don't think he would want to live in a jam jar, I explained.

"We could have made him little windows and a door!" she reasoned, dramatically sobbing over the fly's demise all over again.

I soothed her and explained that flies don't have the same feelings as us. How did I know that? Good question.

"Being dead is horrible Mummy, it must have hurt the fly and now he's dead...." cue more streams of tears.

She had a point, I don't know what flies feel and I have no idea if being dead is OK or pretty boring. I did learn that we have to be more careful around sensitive, little P - and just let flies out of the window.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016


Ten years ago I pored over her moses basket, checking her breathing and hardly believing she was ours. And here to stay.

I did the same ten years later, watching over her and stroking her poorly forehead as she finally found sleep after a violent episode of vomiting - on her 10th birthday - how completely unfair.

I wonder where the next ten years will take her?

Happy birthday big girl, double figures forever. I love you very much, get better soon and we will celebrate all over again at the weekend.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

At the races

On Monday, we went to the races just for a laugh. We were hoping to see Nobby, Mattie Batch and The Pwoducer - three celebrities of Internet fame. I'll try and explain.

For a while now, Saturday mornings have started in such a hilarious way by two jockeys on Facebook. We all look forward to the Wocket Woy and Batch videos so much that they have become a part of our weekend. Even he loves the hysterical antics of two grown men on their horses. And when an opportunity to own a teeny-tiny part of a racehorse came up, £45 for a bit of Nobby, we jumped at the chance and waited with anticipation as to when 'our' horse would run.

At 3.50 at Plumpton apparently. Except he didn't run because the ground was too wet. But we went anyway and giggled the whole afternoon.

To those of you that have never been racing, it's not how you imagine. There were no fancy hats or champagne, there were no owners dripping with money, there wasn't any glamour or beauty at all. In fact there weren't even any women there, and certainly none under 50. But my goodness it was fun. Having no idea what to do, how to bet or what to say - there was suddenly a plethora of older blokes willing to show us how it was done. We laughed together as they tipped us off, in between pints from plastic glasses and discarded fags on the floor. We exchanged horse knowledge and stories of huge wins, they told us how much they had riding on each horse, we jumped and screamed when ours looked like it was coming home a winner, we laughed with the geezers who laughed at us. She won, my sister - and I lost, picking the fallers and the ones who trotted home.

I can't wait to go again. And if Nobby runs, we will be cheering the loudest. £10 to win on Ya Hafed (Nobby) - our tiny part of the dream that is the Sport of Kings.

Friday, 29 January 2016

We're off to sunny, sunny Spain

Not just for a holiday this time.

For years we have fantasised about living abroad. Every Friday night after a week in the rat race, we would talk about how we could do it, over a couple of bottles of wine. The ideas seemed so real when all drunk and fuzzy but crashed with a reality every Saturday morning, when we realised that we were probably here for a very long time.

We discussed travelling the world for a year, we talked about buying a caravan and bumbling around Europe, road-schooling the kids - we considered volunteering as a family in places like Ecuador or Columbia.

Every holiday we would look around the place to see if we could live there. Romania too difficult, Cuba impossible, India too mad, France too French but Spain was always just right.

We had lived in Spain before, you see. In Seville, amongst the traditions and ferias - before children when life was different. We can speak the language, love the food and of course the weather is very appealing indeed.

Mallorca felt just right as soon as we landed, it helps that my bezzie lives there as well. We have plotted and schemed, taken the romance out of the move with excel spreadsheet after excel spreadsheet, I have contacted the schools, I have done the maths. We can do this.

We are going to live in Mallorca. We are going in July. We are staying for a year, but probably very much longer.

And yes, the cats are coming with us.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

End of an era

It's days like yesterday I miss him most. Those sunny starts to the day, knowing that very soon I would be greeted by warm breath and a velvety nose. It has broken my heart that he is no longer in my life, and like any long relationship that ends, the grieving process takes a while.

Fletch has gone to someone braver and stronger than me. I am sure he will teach them to fly, to win ribbons and to sit tight. Although that was a lot of fun, what I really miss is the stroking, the grooming, the fussing, the touch and his gentle face. I really miss him an awful lot.

And just like when I used to break up with a boyfriend in my teenage years, when I would play records which reminded me of our good times - I have taken to looking at all the photographs of Fletch and I together. With tears rolling gently down my face, adding more puffiness and wrinkles to the already haggard visage, I remember our three years.

I know it will fade, all this hurt, the future is bright for me and my family.

But for now, the comforts of watching us over and over again is helping, hardly believing that it was me up there on that beautiful ginger horse.