Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The love of a mother

This is an emotional post, but I'm so angry and sad having watched the headline news this evening about the poor four year old boy who's mother so badly neglected him that he died in horrible circumstances. How could this have gone on? How could no one see how a smiling child become malnourished, bruised and surely withdrawn? 

I feel terrible that this boy lost his life, but I feel so much anger towards his mother. She just doesn't realise the gift she had been given. The innocent and unconditionally loving child that you watch with wonderment and amazement as they grow and develop into these amazing humans. I'm so lucky to have my daughter and I would so love to add to my family with another child but for whatever reason, its not meant to be for me. My faith is so tested when I hear about this cruelty towards children, and from a mother. Why? Why give a life only for it to be a life of pain, sadness and horror. In one sense the little boy is probably in a better place away for his torturers but why does any other human think its acceptable to cause such horror. How can a mother do this? Any person who inflicts unnecessary pain onto another being (human or animal) deserves being identified and punished but should also be offered some kind of rehabilitation. But when it comes to children I loose all compassion. Children are just so precious, so amazing, so wonderful, so much about the future of mankind that they have every right to live in a nurturing and loving environment. And if their birth parents are too backwards or damaged to realise all of this, there are so many people who have room in their hearts and homes to welcome that child in and offer them a safe and loving life.

When I sit and watch my sleeping daughter look so peaceful, I'm so grateful to have her in my life. She has added so much joy and fulfilment to my and DB's lives in the short time she has been with us, I just cannot understand the mentality of the cruel mother whom I hope rots in jail/hell. I don't like feeling like this, as I like to think I am a forgiving person but I cannot, cannot reconcile my feelings over this case. So so sad. 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Let's re-connect

I've not been hiding away outside the Lindo Wing waiting for the royal baby's arrival but I'm not sure where the last week has gone? Time is really flying along and we're starting to get through some of the 'to do' list (slowly).

DB and I managed a grown up night out on the Tuesday thanks to my MIL and her sister being able to babysit for us (taste of things to come?). We experienced London at its best. Chilled English sparkling wine (Chapel Down) at Inn The Park in St James Park, a stroll through Covent Garden to Balthazar for pre dinner champagne cocktails and the most scrumptious steak frites I've had in a long time. The service was impeccable as you'd expect and we left a very happy couple, deciding to stroll hand in hand to Waterloo over the Thames taking in some fabulous London vistas. 

It was such a fabulous evening. We talked, we laughed and we remembered why we are a couple. Not just because of our fabulous DD but because we are best friends and when we met 8 years ago we clicked straight away and haven't looked back. Not that I'm searching for reasons why we are making this monumental move but it was another reminder that the way our London life was going our relationship may not have been sustainable. You really do have to spend time with each other as yourselves, not just as parents and all too often that was being put on the back burner. I can't wait for us to start spending more time together both as a family and hopefully as a couple. 

Speaking of family time we managed another item on our to do list - a duck tour! I worked summer hours last week (1 extra hour for three days) so I could attempt to leave work at 1.30 on the Friday. Not as easy as it sounds being that I have to rush off at 4.30 each day to do pick up, which meant a 7.30am start on some days! Exhausting but worth it. I managed to meet up with DB and DD in time for a Duck Tour on a really super hot Friday afternoon. I love it when DD sees me out of context of home life and her running, arms up in the air, to greet me was so wonderful. We boarded the yellow 'tractor' as DD christened the tour bus/boat and headed off into the streets I have spent 16 years living and working in, going past some genuinely amazing buildings and discovering some great facts.
We went past the 'Grand Old Duke of York' who it transpires was very indecisive and is the reason for the wording of the favourite nursery rhyme of the same name. When I lent down to nudge DD about who we were passing, I discovered she was fast asleep! She slept for most of the start of the tour in the end but I woke her, just as we dipped into the Thames which she squealed with delight at (or fright having only just woken up?!). After we finished the tour we headed back to the Southbank and a family dinner at Pizza Express (they have a great kids menu).

But my day wasn't done. I waved DD and DB off at the train station, then hopped on a bus and headed to another boat on the Thames, The Tamesis for summer cocktails. Its was a lovely end to the day. I caught up with some old, old friends I've not seen for years and with one of my bestest friends I just never get to see anymore, despite living and working not too far from each other. For the first time in an age she introduced me to some new people as her 'friend' not her 'best friend'. My heart sank slightly but after a bit of reflection I realise that despite this new title, we have too much water under the bridge for the drop of 'best' to have too deep a meaning. We'll always pick up wherever we left off and for that I am very grateful. I love her dearly and hope we get to re-connect. Who knows this move might mean I also get to spend more quality time with her when she comes to visit, or I head down to London to 'reconnect' every so often. I really do hope so. 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Race for life - done!

It's taken me two days to feel ready to do a new post about my race for life. It just happened to be one of the hottest days of the century (exaggeration? Moi? Non!) and as DB pointed out to someone, I don't like sweating which is why I quit the gym!

But sweat I must - even while standing still, lining up to start the race. I was, as those who know me, standing with the walking lot. And there were a lot of us. 
It really was a moving experience (pardon the pun) as I read the messages people had pinned to their backs 'I race for life for...' that covered off, 'a cure', 'dearly departed', 'long term survivors' but what amazed me was how many people were doing the run for themselves. I read numerous messages that told me that person was fighting this hideous disease that cancer is. I was so humbled by their efforts that it made me realise how pathetic I was being walking and all because I didn't want to get too hot, or my knees to start hurting - so I ran!! In that heat!

I ran because I felt such a fraud walking. I ran because my dear friend Marie can't as she battles so bravely to fight off this hideous invader. I ran because I have no memories of my father who was taken from us when I was a 14 months old because of lung cancer. I ran because my mum was then left to bring up 4 kids under 10 on her own. I ran because surely there should be a cure for Cancer 40 years on from when my family were devastated in their loss.

And despite the sweat (there was lots) and the aching limbs, I want to do it again. I want to run because I can! I want to feel I'm doing something because I can't sit back and do nothing. Not while all those thousands of people were running/walking despite the parasite of cancer invading their bodies. So I'm going to do next years run and if I can, I'll attempt the 10k Race for Life

I started my 'mum on the run' blog because I am running away from my crazy life, but maybe, just maybe I'll actually start running for real. 

Monday, 15 July 2013

I need to get running!

OMG - its just days away from my 5k Race For Life! And I have not prepared for it in anyway! Well unless you count chomping down on a lemon meringue Krispy Kreme doughnut like I have today! Preparing in the negative!

But aside from that and aside from doing my usual walking to and from the station, via the childminders, I have done very, very little prep! I sprained my ankle shortly after signing up and used that as in initial excuse for not doing much, but then I've just ambled along until panic has now set in. This will definitely be a walk in the park especially as the weather down here in London is set to be a scorcher on Sunday.

This has got me thinking though - how am I going to keep up my already rubbish fitness levels once I've moved to a part of the world that will necessitate using the car more than I currently do as I'll no longer be able to walk to the shops, bars, restaurants etc, which is about the extent of my fitness regime currently.

I'm trying to work out if our limited household budget will stretch to a gym membership? Surely cheaper up in the North East but will I really use it? Or will cleaning the new 'mansion' as one of my responsibilities as Home Director be enough for me? I do feel I should be setting a better example to my DD in the department of fitness, as her routine is going to involve less walking/scooting once we move. We'll be 7 doors away from the nursery, so not a long commute and the local playground is no where near as exciting as the one here in Raynes Park (Cottenham Park if anyone is interested). So I need to introduce some sort of home exercising that will be fun for DD and ultimately for me. I think I need to head over to fabulous Pinterest (my big indulgence - how life has changed) for some shared ideas.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Trying to keep up

My to do list just keeps getting longer. And the longer it gets the deeper I bury my head in the sand! There's work 'to do', home 'to do', moving 'to do' and now blog 'to do'! It seems to be bedtime before I have time for my blog but by then I'm prone to mindless drivel! Or maybe it all is anyway? I'd love to hear any feedback.

One of the things on my home 'to do' list was take our old electric toothbrush along to Waterloo Station this morning, to exchange it for a shiny new one from Colgate. They had gone to great lengths to publicise a great sounding offer to exchange your old toothbrush for a brand new one worth £169. Amazing - but too good to be true? They totally underestimated the number of people who would take up the offer with hoards of people around the stand when I arrived at 8am and no stock to offer out to anyone. Plus community police trying to calm the crowds!! I'm just reading an update on it on MoneySavingExpert and I don't think the promise of 'come back later' is going to be fulfilled. I'm sure they had a great social media plan for this, but instead they are going to have a huge social media headache! Ouch. The twitter feed is on fire with it at the moment.

Next - the move 'to do' list. I need to get my head around getting a good removals quote. But that requires time and effort that I wish I had the energy for. I could get people to come round but they can't seem to come at a reasonable time or I can fill in forms (I hate filling in forms) and email it off! Is there such a thing as 'move planners' - in the same vein as wedding planners? If there is and they are cheap let me know! I also need to work out how I get the new house clean before all the furniture gets moved in. I thought this would be easy as the house we are moving too is currently unoccupied. So my idea was to have some professional cleaners go in the day before we arrive to get the job done. They'd be insured - right? But no the vendors have said a big fat 'no' on that one, so will have to tackle the job surrounded by unpacked boxes and it probably won't get the deep clean I was after. Another example of me being thwarted in my quest to get 'organised'.

I forgot a 'to do' list! A time for me 'to do' list! The weather is glorious again and unbelievably is set to stay longer than anyone now expects. Dilemma now is the complete lack of summer clothes that I still feel comfortable wearing. Although my DD is now two and half, I still don't know what's going on with my body. But I also need to go and get new clothes as, quite frankly, clothes I was wearing pre pregnancy are out of date and out of shape! However whenever I go to buy clothes for me, I invariably end up buying some cute/gorgeous/adorable outfit for DD! Anyone else find that happens? I love, love, love having a daughter but has it come at the expense of me having any kind of current style!?

Friday, 5 July 2013

Getting organised in a disorganised world

One of my aims with this monumental move is to have the time and the head-space to get organised. With this in mind I've started organising the end of August move. But am wondering why I bothered.

I started doing some things last month and logged onto a great we site

I used this site last year when we moved (with the intention of staying put for about 10 years!) and it made informing all our utilities, catalogues, charities etc of our move really simple. And what's made me even happier I did this - is this year its as simple as a matter of a few clicks and its all change again. Genius.

But it seems that not all the people I've been able to 'magically' contact take note of the change date, so I've just spent a frustrating 10mins on the phone to TMobile asking them to revert back to my current address which they had changed to the new address but I have to remember to then call them again to change to the new address nearer to the move date. 
I called Virgin Media to cancel our account and lament at the fact they don't serve the village I'm moving to - but according to their very nice, Geordie customer services rep, I'm too early to cancel - I can't set a date too far in the future and will need to remember to call back in 25 days!!

Another part of the iammoving site is which allowed me to get in touch with loads of moving companies with the need to input my details just once. BUT they all then called me within minutes (one within seconds) of me pressing send and I've now lost the details they fired at me down the phone!!

So despite my best efforts at getting organised it seems the world around me is either too organised, can't cope with someone being too organised or I am failing at the first hurdle! 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Best Birthday Party ever?

While I'm still gainfully employed there is still 'work' to do, but last night was the enjoyable part of that work. 

Best magazine celebrated its 25th birthday last night at St Martins Lane Hotel and a great time was had by all. We hobnobbed with our 'celebrity' columnists who were all brilliant and lovely 'real people' not just 'faces'. Nadia Sawalha was hilarious and lovely, Eamonn Holmes became a 'sales person' up on stage bigging up one of the sponsorship deals we are working on and our own editorial team did an amazing job of entertaining the often spoilt contacts who we are constantly trying to impress, which makes our jobs easier. 

Aside from that though, this was a rare 'night off' for me. Which of course meant that I let loose last night and ended up dancing in Whiskey Mist nightclub (night club - me!) at midnight! The free vodka was free flowing and as a result I've really struggled all day! In the 16 years I've lived in London I have never, ever thrown up on the train/tube. But Piccadilly Circus was almost christened with the delights of my night on the tiles. 

But as time is running out for nights out in London Town, I need to man up and head out again tonight - hopefully a sensible dinner with grown up 'not wanting to get drunk' friends (do they exist?). 

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Occupation please?

Yikes! What a shock I had today when filling out some forms relating to our new life. 
Question: what is your occupation? Simple eh? But what do I call myself? 

Housewife, homemaker, stay at home mum, domestic engineer? What is the modern definition of a housewife? I put the question into google and I didn't like what came back. It doesn't look like its changed much in 50 odd years. Although there is the saccharin American versions that begger belief (I'm thinking of the Real Housewives of Orange County here) and will be so far removed from what I am becoming, so we won't count them. 

But what is a housewife, or a house husband if not the person who looks after the home while their partner goes out to work and earn the money that will pay for everything the housewife/husband does. I have to admit, I want to whisper as quietly as possible that I'm about to become a housewife. I've had 'Director' in my job title for so many years now I think I should I fashion a new term 'Home Director' to make myself feel better about it all? Or should I just shut up and put up and get on with the one thing I've been yearning for since I became a mother. Getting to spend time with my daughter.

I want my daughter to grow up knowing me and more importantly learning from me about life. I realise she can do this at present but I want to 'be there' in the moment with her, not checking my emails and blackberry every few minutes. I want to be as good a mother as I believe I can be. I won't be perfect but I'll do my best. Equally I want to be there for DB and support him going out to work and earning the money we need to enjoy life. It will take some adjustment, I won't kid myself it won't, but as long as the rewards of quality time with family are there I will accept the dubious but obvious 'occupation' of housewife - but I might go with the title of Home Director for now!