Mid-year Madness

Last three days of school – announced at ear-splitting decibels – this morning. Seriously. This term has D…R…A…G…G…E…D on. Like molasses going uphill on a cold day. I am so ready for summer. DD is so ready for summer. Her teacher is so ready for summer (he told me so yesterday!). There’s been a bit of mean-girling this term, and I think all of us are at our wits’ end. One long-time friend told DD last week, “Let’s be friends at our new school till we make new friends, and then we can stop being friends.” DD told her they could get a jump on that plan and ease up on the friendship now. Didn’t mean she didn’t come home and cry a bit. Seriously, puberty starts a whole lot earlier these days. I remember scenarios like these, but I was in my teens.

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Surely we can survive on cake?

In other first world problems, my supermarket sent me a text to say my food order will not be delivered as planned at 6pm today due to operational issues. Now bearing in mind I did my food-shopping past 8pm drinking a glass of wine, do you actually think I remember what I ordered, and therefore need to replace? Are you kidding me? The best part of the weekly foodshop is the constant surprise – “I ordered that? Who in this house eats red pesto?”

Speaking of foreign goods which might not be available in the UK minus tariffs after March 2019, we’re still in no-mans-land on the Brexit issue. Everything seem to be hitting a wall – the wall of governmental incompetence. There are no clear plans, no clear talking points, no guarantees for Europeans, and the rhetoric just seems to be ramping up. The UK chief negotiator spent a grand total of a few hours in Brussels the other day – given that this is his ONLY job, I expected him to show a little more dedication. Silly me! So my new strategy is to avoid engaging the loonies on social media, and every time I really get mad, I memorise some French grammar.

I took 60 hours of intensive French (equivalent to A levels/AP French) over the last 6 weeks and let me tell ya, I’m in love. I’ve always adored French but never studied it officially. Learning it properly has just opened up my eyes. I can now read more, and speak and write, too. The South West of France won’t know what hit it next month. DD is learning with me. She will continue with Spanish in middle school, and add French in September, so she figured she’d get a jump-start on things. France has always been top on the list of places we could move, should we have to – we’re just being sensible, really. Husband is feeling horribly left out – he only speaks English and Scottish.

Soooooo, that’s where I’ve been and that’s where I’m going. Oh yeah, we also had the Canadian Crew visit after 7 years and the girls got on like a house on fire. There were many tears and strops every time they had to part. Hey, maybe I should start looking at Canada! They speak French and have socialised healthcare, right?

What are you up to? Read any good books lately? What should I load on my Kindle?

Oh, London, my London

It has been a rough few weeks. Just really kick-you-in-the-knees, punch-you-in-the-junk awful. But as proven time and time before, Londoners rise and rally – sip a cup of tea – and get on with it. 

I asked BB after the attack near Notre Dame how she was handling things. I wasn’t coping too well. She said she was being ‘selfish’. Focusing on pouring love into her family. Focusing on the daily. The small things, which really are the big things. 

She’s right (she’s always right).

Love. Hope. Compassion. Sympathy. Ooze these feelings. Smear them all over your families. Communities. 

Tonight, I’m praying for the families up the road who have lost everything in the tower inferno. For the exhausted firefighters fighting a blaze of proportions they’ve never seen before. The medics and doctors. And for all the helpers, who have already managed to rally supplies, money and temporary homes for the victims. 

Love is so much better than hate. 

Funny Funnies (as seen on Twitter)

IMG_20150305_095815_editI can relate to ALL of these!

The last time I cleared my mind I found a button, a peanut shell and a big tumbleweed.

Don’t irk me. I’ll dance naked under a full moon, strewing beautiful wildflower seeds all over your perfectly manicured lawn.

Doing all those hours of cardio every week and still getting winded climbing one flight of stairs is why I have trust issues.

It’s not so much the heat, as it is the stupidity.

I don’t have Mood Swings; I have Mood Quakes.

Whatever the phobia is where you fear being on a plane without a decent book. I have that.

Behind every true friendship there is an automatic unwritten confidentiality agreement.

All of my liquid assets are bottles of wine.

Where geography, wise men & the soul are tested

Facebook reminded me of this post from 2 years ago… her thoughts on the three wise men still make me laugh!

Petal & Mortar

Motherhood Motherhood

It’s been an odd few days. I’ve had some funny and sad conversations with Daughter Dear (DD). She is sharp, witty & observant, and I forget underneath all that, she’s a 9-year-old tween trying to make sense of her world as its boundaries expand. Here are a few snippets from yesterday…

Impromptu geography quiz on the walk to school…she got Chile, Morocco, the Dominican Republic….and then:

Me: Where is Papua New Guinea?
DD: You can’t start MAKING UP countries now!

Time to stop using the globe as an indoor football, methinks.

Later last night, apropos of nothing:

DD: You know the three wise men?

Me: Not personally, no. I’m not THAT old. But I know of their work.

DD: Yeah, if they were so wise (air quotes here), why didn’t they bring useful stuff, like a cot, and a midwife, and maybe some takeaway?

Me: Yes, why not indeed?…

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God Save the Queen

Clearly, Prince Philip saved his pennies wisely and is now taking a well-deserved break! There have been a lot of mumblings and mutterings about this, with the debate raging on about the Royal family’s value to the UK, but here’s what I know. It’s nice to have the Queen, and Princes William & Harry, and the Duchess of Cambridge to also be the faces of this kingdom, rather than Theresa May and her cronies. Just an outsider’s ha’penny worth 😉

Petal & Mortar

#unionjackClearly, DD isn’t quite up to speed on the British monarchy, based on our conversation today. 

DD: Hey, Ma, how’s my pension plan doing?

Me: It’s doing OK. Obviously, it’ll go up and down based on the markets, but you’ve got at least 50 years to grow it.

DD: And you’re doing your best, right? All the research?

Me: Yes, my love, but why are you so worried? Have you been watching the news?

DD: Yeah. I was watching earlier, and I mean, if the Queen of England has to work over 63 years and she can’t retire, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Me: …

Your Majesty, I promise I will do a better job of educating my child for as long as we liveth in the UK. And Happy Longest Reign!

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Late Night Mayhem

Insomnia struck again last night. I couldn’t calm my brain no matter how much slow breathing I tried. So I whipped up a list of love songs. That’s right. Read ’em and weep. Or die laughing. Share them with your children. Share ’em with a friend. As you can tell, some titles are right, some a just guesswork. The spelling is hilarious. Who cares? YaKnowWhatIMean! From my tired brain to yours – you’re welcome! Got any to add to the list? Comment away!

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The Middle Ages

Dear Reader, if you’ve been following me on Instagram, you will have seen the luscious red velvet cupcake I posted a few days ago, to mark my turning a year older. Not wiser, or funnier, just older. One year short of I-think-I-might-be-grown-up-now.

Being the research ninja I am, I thought looking into the mid-life information on the interwebs might give me some pointers as to how best to blow through this next stage of life. Boy, was that a bad idea! It’s all insomnia and dipping oestrogen levels and visceral fat around organs and reduced muscle mass and bone loss and depression. Seriously?!

How about joy – I’ve finally got my head together (somewhat!)? Joy that I can share my wisdom (stop snickering!) with my daughter. Joy that I have more in my bank account now, than in my twenties, to buy all the books and drink all the coffee. Joy that I can afford all the nice gel insoles to support my falling arches and depleted knee joints. I’ve still got about thirty years of several careers to try out. Or I could just keep doing what I do, because I do it well. I love being a mentor. I’ve found my rhythm. I’m excited that DD is old enough for us to travel together and enjoy these years before she heads off to live her life.

IMG_20170422_132637_755So while I’m sure my oestrogen levels are going to drop, and I’m going to get crankier, and my widening middle is more down to my age than garment manufacturers ganging up against me, I still think I’ve got more fun to look forward to than behind me.

Like more red velvet cake. Nom nom nom.

Shoes to conquer the world

Supposedly, Marilyn Monroe said, “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.”

wp-image-1355870192jpg.jpgI’m inclined to agree with that. Up to about ten years ago, my shoes were vertiginous, multitudinous and splendorous. Seriously, I used to store most of them at work in a cupboard that was supposed to be dedicated to files (no guesses why my team was the first one to go paperless!).

But then my back started to give out. And then I tore my hip flexors twice. And then my spine started leaking fluid. And I wasn’t working in a fancy office any more, I was mostly working on a laptop from my fancy living room. So the fanciful shoes went, slowly but surely. They were replaced by many Converse variants (good for the school run), and wellies, and ankle boots with good arch support.

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Sole sisters (#mumjoke)

Approaching almost-forty, I don’t know if conquering the world is still on the menu (it sounds like a lot of work), but DD keeps ‘borrowing’ my shoes (permanently), which makes me think that perhaps it’s not the shoes, but the attitude with which you wear ’em.

 

We are OK

Blogger friends, thanks for checking on social media. Husband, DD and I are all safe. Although we do go via Westminster at least twice a day four days a week, we were not there during the attack today. 

The Metropolitan police are amazing and are handling the situation. It is being treated as a terrorist incident.

Edited 7.46pm: I am awed and humbled by the service of the metropolitan police, including a good friend’s  husband, the first responders and everyone who is working to contain and stabilize London tonight. Traffic is moving, people are using the Tube. London stands together and we march on, even when we’re scared. 

Brain Dumping

The crazy in my life has been ramping up again. It goes in cycles and given my love of analytics, you think I’d have a chart or plan or something to prepare myself, but no, I just have lists. And lists of lists. And reminders that beep. And a brain that won’t quiet, so even when I’m sleeping, I’m doing things. Working through things. Making plans.

DD has been invited to dance with the degree level, pre-professional ballet dancers for the next 12 weeks, and then perform with them. It’s a huge deal. Ginormous. So of course she accepted. Which means she is now dancing 5 days a week and yours truly will be schlepping her across town. Tweak, adjust, diarise. Did I mention one of these days is Saturday? Who needs a life? I’m happy for her, so damn happy, but I’m so damn tired, too. And I only have one child. How do people do this with multiples?

The Brexit situation is still making me anxious, even though I know I’m not at risk. But how can I be quiet and smug when other dual citizenship families are? What kind of a person would that make me? So I tweet, and sign petitions, and find information, and share it. And stay emotionally involved, which is draining.

So here’s my challenge to myself today:

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