Friday, 30 September 2011

twat of the week award goes to.......

Since the children were tiny the husband has left for work before 7am, so I do the morning breakfast and get ready routine during the week on my own which I rather enjoy.  For the last month or so he hasn't had to leave the house until 8am.  At first I found it quite annoying - a massive disruption to the little chain of events I have set in stone in order to get them all out of the door for kindy and the housework done before I work.  I have tried to relax my inner uptight witch and not snap at the husband when he does things like dishing out cereals AND toast AND yoghurt AND drinks all in one go thereby increasing both the length of breakfast time and the clear up needed.  We have been eating breakfast as a family every morning and dropping the children off at kindy together.  This little extra hour in the morning is such a great way to start the day.  Starting the day as a unit instead of lots of little factions has had a tremendous effect on our connection as a family and as a couple.

There is a downside though.  The husband was still here this morning when the new phone I ordered online arrived.  I had lost one a couple of days ago and bought a new one, but that one's crap and I don't like the way the buttons work so I bought another, hence the the friendly message he left me on the blackboard.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Scared of the dark

Last year I was keen to move the children into one room and have the other bedroom as a playroom.  The husband was quite opposed to this on the grounds that lad needed some space to get away from the screaming, glitter-ridden world of twin girls.  I pushed for it for a while then in a move which will shock my friends and parents, I decided to just leave it and go with the husband's wishes.

Lad has been struggling to go to bed on his own, pleading for one more story or Daddy to come back in and kiss him goodnight or me to stay in his room with him.  In the night he has been asking to sleep with us or watch TV and we noticed he lies right on the edge of his bed as far away from the wall as possible.  The husband reckons the blame for lad's fear sits firmly in my gene swamp as my fear of the dark is such that I insist on tucking the duvet under my feet so that 'monsters' can't creep in.

In the car yesterday the husband piped up "do you think if lad shared a room with the girls it would help him sleep better at night?"
My calm "hmmm, maybe" covered up inner fireworks.  A few hours, expletives and an allan key later and bunk beds have been erected.  Last night lad hopped into his top bunk happily and I admired the new play room.  Who would have thought that just by keeping my enormous cake hole shut we would avoid an argument and I'd end up with a favourable outcome?  Astonishing.

Monday, 26 September 2011

The Cloud

I love a road trip as much as the next man so it was a happy 3 hours on Saturday afternoon which found my Dad and I motoring over the Bombay Hills and into Auckland excited about spending a weekend together where the the focal points were the New Zealand v France game on Saturday night and Fiji v Samoa on Sunday.

We ditched our kit in Mt Eden were we were staying and headed down to the Queen's Wharf on the waterfront, keen to get hyped up for the match and sample the hospitality Auckland had laid on.  On this large stick of concrete jutting out into the harbour we went to The Cloud, a temporary structure where you can watch bands and try delicious tapas sized bites from stalls set up by some of the best restaurants in New Zealand, each accompanied by a wine chosen especially to match.  I chose kingfish ceviche marinated in salt and seaweed which was set off by a vodka, feijoa and pear cocktail, venison and watercress pesto with a spicy pinot noir and seared beef with tamarillo on brioche which brought to life the most fruity little red as I tipped it down.

We left this impressive culinary oasis and headed to Shed 10 to sink Heinekens.  The long hall crisscrossed above us with enormous rolled steel joists and what looked like hundreds and hundreds of ancient railway sleepers.  My Dad told me this was the first building he set foot in when he arrived off the boat with his parents and sister in 1963 to live in New Zealand for 6 years as a teenager. I can't imagine how evocative it must have been for him to stand and drink beer with his daughter and son in law (the husband was up in Auckland watching the rugby with a separate crew) and cast his mind back to being a fresh little 13 year old handing over his passport, ready to start life on the other side of the world.

Warmed by the food and beer we all headed up to Eden Park and watched New Zealand lay to rest the ghosts of the last two World Cups.  The match on Sunday was fantastic.  Is there a friendlier, more relaxed nation than the Fijans?  The big lad behind us shouted words of encouragement to his home country but when they faltered or lost possession he hooted with hilarity and shrugged his shoulders deeper into his Fijian flag.

We had a close shave with the petrol running out on the way home (Daddy said 'I suppose there's no point in asking you not to tell your mother, this'll keep her going for a good 30 years') and, as always when I'm with my pa, brilliant chit chat.  We relived the good old days, drummed up a few businesses sure to rake in millions, told silly stories and laughed.

Next weekend we are off to see England v Scotland.  I'm going to go all out with my supporter's kit.  Feel free to make suggestions.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

My new crush

X Factor America has just become the only thing on our TV on Thursday nights.  The first programme has left me feeling like I've been through an emotional tumble dryer for the following reasons:
1. I cried numerous times at the 'is this dreamer going to be left crushed in the gutter with or will we hear those sweet words "we have just witnessed the birth of a star" from the high waisted, sparkly toothed billionaire' conundrum.
2. Blokes chose to sing women's pop songs (step forward queen Adele).
3. I kept pressing rewind to see the intense, sexual magnet that is LA Reid.  Don't even get me started.

waiting for Hollywood to knock down the door

video

Quinn from www.qophotography.co.nz has done a masterful job of filming and editing this little piece of video which is going on my new website (which will be up and running at the end of next week).  Thanks Q xx

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

I wonder whether the PM is a tomato sauce or a brown sauce kind of chap?

The Prime Minister is going to be here today.  I could go down and watch him load pasta and tomatoes into a trolley at The Good Food Trading Co but I won't.  If I got the opportunity to talk to him I'd probably cry as I'm feeling quite weepy today.  Coupled with the lake of green snot my head is producing and ramming down my nostrils I'm not sure I'm in the mood to make much small talk and I'd probably make everything about me.  "Hi John Key, how are you?  My son has chicken pox, my twins are crying incessantly and want my attention above all things, my limbs are aching and I can't sleep at night because I can't breathe properly through my bunged up nose and when I do drift off my troubled dreams are pierced by the wailing of twin1 or requests from the lad to change yet more vomit soaked sheets."

Yes, I'm sure the Prime Minister would be fascinated to hear of the minutiae of my life while he ponders the reconstruction of Christchurch and the strength of the New Zealand dollar but I'll spare him the worry and stay at home.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

A pox on thee

There is barely a four year old left in our town who hasn't got or hasn't had chicken pox.  The lad proudly showed me the blooms of scabby blotches on his torso a few days ago.  This answered the question of why the husband and I had been changing puke soaked sheets each night last week and begged another:  how do you work when your child is unable to go to childcare?  Luckily my parents are here to help and the lad's best mate has chicken pox too so his mum and I can tag team looking after them as they lift up their t shirts and compete for the title of most pox ridden.  I'm thinking more about the parents who see the telltale spots and have to dress their children in high necked, long sleeved t shirts and trousers and pack them off to school with strict instructions to stay fully clothed regardless of the temperature.  It must be incredibly stressful worrying about your poorly child whilst maintaining a professional, collected air at work.

Monday, 19 September 2011

How can something so beautiful produce something so disgusting?

It's unlikely (depending on how you get your kicks) that before the birth of your first child, you've ever seen faeces in the freshest form possible: as it disengages itself from the manufacturer.  The first time you witness in fascinated horror cables of chicken korma exiting your baby's arsehole and forming neat piles atop your duvet/clean laundry/sheepskin rug/whatever you have left your naked child on, it's all you can do to tear your eyes away to rush for wipes and a plastic bag.

The twins are nearly 3 now and often call me as they perch on the toilet to marvel with them at the wonder of the huge logs they can produce.  I have to say, ambivalent as I am to the sight, I am often impressed that such a beautiful little bottom can produce something which smells so awful.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

a crack on the hindquarters

I just took twin1 for a bike ride on my trike.  As I blew my red cheeks out and puffed, hunched over the handlebars she screamed 'faster, Mummy'.  If she'd had a whip she'd probably have given me a few cracks on the hindquarters.  Two weeks of eating and drinking without any little rascals to chase has settled in lumpy form round my middle so I thought a few bike rides would transform me into Gisele (a girl can dream).

It's very exciting seeing all my chums in NZ again.  Girls are brill.  They always have endless supplies of news and gossip to impart.  The husband is off to Auckland this afternoon to watch Australia v Ireland so I'm looking forward to spending the evening with my mum and the children and watching the kind of crap TV the husband rolls his eyes at.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Dorothy hit the nail on the head

Oh my goodness there's nothing quite like being home.  When I got back to NZ a friend said she thought every mother and father should have the opportunity to do just as I did so you can remember what makes you laugh and cry as opposed to a reflection of your partner and childrens' attitudes and emotions.

It's also one of the first occasions I have come back to much worse weather in NZ than in the UK.  It was rather nice though to slumber in my own pit listening to the storm raging outside with my little family all under one roof.  My parents and the husband did a magnificent job of herding our little tribe in my absence.  I'm very lucky to have a family who are happy to rally round so I can spend a week drinking wine, eating food, attending the wedding of the lovely Mrs Nancy Phillips (nee Westcombe) and laughing my bloody arse off for 10 days.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Voyeurism

Travelling by train is quite voyeuristic and reveals much of the character of a country.  Patches of verdant allotments surprise at the end of trails of red bricked terrace houses.  Football grounds, storage warehouses, pubs, quarries.  Secret windy roads weave a tunnel through arcs of greenly dark leaves towards crumbled and tilted cottages.  Sudden urban sprawls are studded with church spires, complicated roundabouts spew ribbons of red tail lights onto growling motorways.  Gently bulging hillsides are sprinkled with cows and sheep.  And the trees: God knows how long they’ve been there but they look like the stitches holding together the seams of my beloved, beloved England.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Every mother's dream

London was everything I had been dreaming about since I booked my plane ticket a few months ago.  The flight was a delicious haze of sleep interspersed with food and watching Bridesmaids, The Waitress and Something Borrowed.  As we ploughed through the blue sky over the familiar curve of the Thames I felt wide awake and refreshed.  Within two hours of the wheels touching down in Heathrow I was sitting, freshly showered with the friend whose wedding I have come for, outside Pizza East on the Portobello Road, eating pizza and salad and drinking wine in the shade while we chatted excitedly and watched the achingly hip stroll past.  The last three days have seen dinners and lunches in The Chamberlayne, The Electric Brasserie, The Duke of Clarence (my old local), The Paradise (which included some lung bursting karaoke) as well as lovely meals in friends’ houses surrounded by their little children.  The train I’m on is steaming towards Bristol where my little nephew awaits.  I can’t stop smiling.

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