Sunday, 5 September 2010

Week 8: Happy Holidays!

Please note that this post was inspired by the missing week... Week 6 was a week of holiday and relaxation for us mummy/granny bloggers! Sorry if you missed us!

Couch Surfing

Over the last few years me and my other half have been racking up our quota of ‘free-spirited, independent travel’, the kind that you do as a young, free-spirited independent person.

In 2006 we had a lucky escape when a tree fell within metres of our tent in the Ardeche; we were forced to flee Mexico in 2007 as Hurricane Dean threatened to destroy half of the Yucatan; and in 2008 we had a few close calls on our 4 month camping tour of Southern Africa - elephants grazing around our tent, a nasty sickness bug that ended up with a spell in a dodgy Zambian hospital and a brush with drowning when white water rafting on the Zambezi.

Now, I am not listing these occasions to brag – most of my generation have had similar experiences. I guess I am listing them because I have come to a recent conclusion.

I’m not sure it is fun anymore.

Something about my biology now tells me to stay at home, comfortable on my oversized couch, with my husband close and my baby closer. Is it the hormones? Is it is a post traumatic response to the process of giving birth? Or is it that secretly, somewhere inside, I’ve always wanted the couch and the comfort rather than the terror and excitement. Maybe I am more of a National Geographic channel kind of girl – it turns out I can explore the forests of Mexico, the savannahs of Namibia and the byways of France all from right here, and mostly with David Attenborough. Ah David, as trustworthy and reliable a travelling companion a girl could ever want.

So here’s to couches, and TV, and holidays by the beach with a bucket and spade and a knotted hanky and a deckchair. Bognor Regis, here we come!

The Mummatron

It’s that time of year again…

The sun has disappeared behind cold grey clouds, the drizzle is drizzling, the kids are grizzling, and it is August. What does this mean? It means the school children are on holiday after spending several long months sitting in smelly, sweaty classrooms and studying for their exams during gloriously hot sunny weather – now they are free to enjoy a few weeks of summer freedom – in the cold and wet.

Thus it ever was. I remember looking forward to the prospect of a week away with our two small children; the weeks of planning, the weeks of washing, the weeks of dieting to try and get into a bathing costume again, the weeks of explaining what a holiday is … by the day we were ready to set off I was exhausted and the kids were as high as kites, bouncing stickily off the walls and ceiling with excitement.

The plan was that the minute my husband got home from work we would set off – let’s not waste a minute – that was the idea. As we were going to visit Granny on the way I decided to dress my newly crawling daughter in the pretty white dress, white cardigan and white lacey tights which Granny had bought for her and she had never worn (the baby I mean, not Granny).

We washed behind our ears, we scrubbed various unmentionable crevices and by the time ‘daddy’ was due home we were totally gussied up. Feeling incredibly competent I decided that I was so efficient I should also pack the car. I told my three year old son to sit still and watch his little sister – although I must admit that to achieve the sitting still requirement I did put a cartoon of Scooby Doo on the TV, yes I know, mea culp, mea culpa. But I DID get the car packed – HA!

When I returned to the lounge I saw that my son really had stayed exactly where I left him, he had not stirred a muscle and his eyes were still fixed on the screen. However, everything else in the room had shifted into another dimension… the fire guard was lying on the carpet, a large rubber tree plant was lying on its side with the soil spread liberally around the floor and my previously, squeaky clean, little angel of a daughter was standing in the hearth with her hands above her head, examining the sooty chimney!

We were a little late arriving at Grannys’!

And PS, you cannot get the stain of soot out of lacy tights.

Granny Bloggings

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