Tuesday, 20 November 2012

About that six day warning...

Last week I wrote a post about the unrealistic expectations and laziness of men when it comes to leaving the house. You can read it here. One male blogger, incensed by my nonsense, sent me this response. Read it and weep.
Dear Wife,
Last Sunday you told me that we would be going to your Sister’s house this Saturday, for lunch. I grunted my acknowledgement and forgot about it instantly.
On Monday, you mentioned that we would go for a walk in the woods while we were at your Sister’s at the weekend. I filed that under ‘that’ll-be-nice’ and gave it no further thought. We only need legs to go for a walk and I have two of those. I considered myself ready for the challenge.
On Tuesday, you said how excited you were about going to your Sister’s at the weekend and I distinctly remember asking what day we were going, why we were going and what we were going to do while we were there. You did a special womanly sigh and informed me that we were going on Saturday, for a walk and for lunch. “What time will lunch be?” I asked, “Lunch time, or later?” It’s important to know the difference between a ‘meal’ which can be served at any time, and ‘lunch’, which should be at 12 O’clock. I’m very set on this detail.  “Lunch” you replied.
On Wednesday you asked me what time we needed to set off in order to get to your Sister’s for lunch on Saturday. I remember thinking to myself that this was a remarkably strange question considering that I didn’t even know we were going to your Sister’s, not to mention the fact that we have both lived in the same respective houses for at least six years and we have visited them at least four times a year ever since. Surely by now you should have got the hang of how long it takes? We don’t even use the sat-nav anymore. “Half past ten,” I say, “eleven at the latest if we are to get there in time for lunch.”
On Thursday, you had a day off talking specifically about your Sister but instead spent an hour banging on about how you don’t have anything nice to wear at the weekend, and the general lacking in your ridiculously over-stuffed wardrobe at the moment. I told you that fourteen different outfit combinations looked lovely on you but no actual decisions were made.
On Friday, you pointed out that if we were to leave the house for half past ten the next morning, then we was really going to have to get on with it when we got up. You mooted the idea of setting an alarm but shelved it in favour of a gamble that the kids would wake us instead. I reminded you how long it always takes you to get ready and that we really did need to be away in time because your Sister’s kids would eat all the sausage rolls again, if we were late. You nodded in agreement – that particularly cold and food depleted visit has never actually been forgotten nor forgiven.
For six days you have nagged me about this visit. For six days you have been planning it.
So why is it, love, that with twenty minutes to go you are still sat in your PJ’s with your nose deep in Twitter and need me to tell you to get ready?
An hour ago I mumbled that perhaps you could possibly have a shower first, on account of how much faffing this always entails, and you shrugged me off. I looked over at the kids half an hour ago and I thought you were leaving it a bit late to get them ready. I shook my head in disbelief at your apparent lack of thought. 
It only takes me five minutes to wash my pits, sack & crack in the shower (I’m nothing if not thorough), five minutes to dry and throw on the closest pair of trousers and shirt to the end of the rail, and another five minutes to follow you around as you use your special female Voodoo magic to locate my otherwise lost phone, keys, socks and sunglasses.
Fifteen minutes – that’s all it takes me to be ready! I’m ready with five minutes to spare and where are you? Upstairs, messing about with the kids now that you’ve finally noticed they aren’t ready.
Will you please get a move on? Those greedy nephews of yours will be tucking into the garlic bread soon.
Love you
Husband x

Saturday, 17 November 2012

About that 20 minute warning...

Dear Husband
We need to talk about leaving the house and that 20 minute warning.
Nothing annoys me more in this world than when, after an hour sprawled in front of Breakfast TV drinking coffee, you announce that we’re leaving in 20 minutes.
Then……in 20 minutes, when you’ve showered, dressed and packed your one bag – you start shouting at me, “COME ON! AREN’T YOU READY YET? WE’RE LEAVING!” then under your breath “bloody woman, she takes hours to go anywhere.”
You see, your argument is based on how long it takes YOU to get ready.
Just You. With hardly any hair (no drying), hardly any packing (one pair of pants for 5 days), and absolutely no one to look after whilst you’re doing it.
In the 20 minutes you’ve kindly allocated me to get out of the door, I am:
·         Having a shower
·         Wiping a child’s bottom
·         Getting back in the shower
·         Breaking up a fight
·         Giving up on the shower
·         Standing on lego (allow 1 minute for pain to pass)
·         Clearing up lego
·         Washing up breakfast dishes
·         Losing my towel
·         Answering the door to the postman
·         Remembering I lost the towel….Hello Postman ;)
·         Putting my underwear on
·         Retrieving my pants from a child’s head
·         Throwing my clothes into a suitcase
·         Throwing clothes for two kids into a suitcase
·         Putting the rest of my clothes on
·         Setting my hair on fire with the straighteners
·         Setting my towel on fire with the straighteners (oh, there it is!)
·         Breaking up another fight
AND I didn’t even get chance to check Facebook.
So next time you shout “20 minutes and we’re leaving”, I’ll grab my one bag and I’ll see you in the car.
Love you,
Read the Husband's response to this letter...click here

Friday, 9 November 2012

Hope, opportunity and adoption

 “I saw this chubby little boy. He looked nice, but it was weird thinking he was going to be my son. We felt protective towards him very quickly. He’s just adorable. We wouldn’t be without him.” Adoptive parent, Gloucestershire.

One of my biggest regrets in life is not adopting a child.
I have two beautiful homemade children with their lives ahead of them but I still regret not taking the plunge. I feel that by not adopting I’ve taken the easy way out.
Weirdly, it was Barack Obama's thank you speech to his campaign team that got me thinking about this again today. (see it here)
He talked about making a difference to people's lives and opportunity and hope. And my mind wandered back to adoption.  
But  all I ever do is think about it (and I know my big sister does too). I don’t pick up the phone and make the one call that could have changed my life, but much more importantly, somebody else’s.
Adoption isn’t just for people who can’t have kids. It isn’t and should never be a last resort. It’s a decision to give someone the opportunities and the life they deserve.
There are 484 children in care in Gloucestershire alone. This year the number of young children and babies coming into care has increased. Many have been abused and neglected and what they really need is a forever family.
It's National Adoption Week so if you’re thinking about it, take the bull by the horns and at the very least get an information pack. There's no harm in just looking http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/adoption

Listen to Paul Coxon's story, the view from an adopted child http://audioboo.fm/boos/342246-my-story-part-1-about-my-adoption

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Autumn - The Gallery

Autumn. Equal first best season (along with Spring, Summer and Winter). It's been one of the most colourful I've seen for years.

For me it's the season of puddle-jumping.

Morning mists

And crazy tree colours.   Lush.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Barack Obama Fashion

In honour of the US election, today I am mostly wearing my Barack Obama kanga. This is it laid flat.

The words roughly translate as CONGRATULATIONS BARACK OBAMA.   
Love and peace have been given us by God.

It was a gift from my Kenyan brother-in-law after Obama became President and the whole of Africa celebrated. Great isnt it?
Kangas are traditional in Swahili culture, brightly coloured with a border and usually carrying a message.  
They look great when you’re wandering around a hot African village, but I’m not sure how it’ll go down in Sainsbury’s. So for today I’m just wearing it around the house.

Good Luck Obama!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Cafe culture - Cotswold style

I want to tell you about an absolute gem of a cafe in the gloriously picturesque South Cotswolds.
It’s one of those places you want to shout about *whispers* but you also want to keep to yourself. shhh. 

Hidden away in the secret valley that is Uley, Gloucestershire, is Prema Arts Centre.  A wonderfully eccentric place where you can take part in all manner of crafty, cultural and musical craziness.

And now It’s got a cafĂ©. 

The offer is simple; coffee, cake, panini, soup; and Adam (above) sets the vibe.  He loves coffee and he makes great bread. Enough said.

The atmosphere is cosy, comfortable and very relaxed - with just a touch of cool. Sit inside on the huge sofas and you could be in the more bohemian areas of Bristol or London, sit outside and you know you’re in the Cotswolds.

It’s a great place to meet, chat, work and chill out (free wifi). The welcome is warm, the locals are friendly and whenever I go in I meet someone new.

The cakes are made at home by a local resident, they taste good and are beautifully presented. The walls are adorned with art (that you can buy), it changes regularly so you never get bored and there's always good background music.

Try it out, I promise you won’t be disappointed. It’s just a great place to be.

*not a sponsored post, I just really like it there*