Thursday, August 30, 2012

Round the World

We've been traveling - a little. We took off the night of the Olympic closing ceremonies - heading for Singapore. We were only there for a few hours before we took off for Auckland (via Sydney) New Zealand.  We've been visiting the inlaws.

So I"ve been rather neglectful of my blog. That will change next week once we're back in London. It's a great trip so far - still have a day in Sydney too! Then it's back to London, routine, school and life as we know it.

X is starting school too - granted it's just nursery for a few hours, but it's going to be very good for him. And for me - or so I've been told.

More on our adventures when I get back to my computer!!

Hope you're all well!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Little Perspective

Boo hoo. That's been me for the past three weeks. I've been overworked, overwhelmed, sick with salmonella poisoning (as you may know), sleeping little and just pulled in forty directions. I dislike a complainer and I absolutely loathe being a complainer myself. But today - I will bitch and moan, just for a moment.

The kids are out of school, Cate has been in sports camp for a few days a week, X is mine 24/7. Doesn't sound so bad, huh? Well, Fen is working the Olympics so he is gone from the crack of dawn until well after midnight every day and night. This has been going on for nearly three weeks. My nanny is only part time so she couldn't give me extra hours and my back up sitter had the nerve to pack up and go backpacking across Europe before he starts University next month! Yet, I still work full time.

To say it's been a challenge is an understatement. I have been reduced to putting a movie on, giving the kids a special treat snack (ice lollies or crisps - taboo usually) and then dashing down the hall, closing the door, then climbing into the walk in closet, shutting that door and sitting on the window sill with my finger hovering over the mute button to take business calls - at all hours of the night and day (trouble of working in a different time zone).

I'm not getting much sleep as I can't work while the kids are awake and there is no nanny, so I work when they go to bed - from around 8pm-midnight. Just trying to get my ducks in a row before we leave for New Zealand.

Then last week, our washer/dryer blew up. This is a mild exaggeration as it did not burst into actual flame - it's just billowed with smoke for 20 minutes as I stood by, on the phone yelling at the management company with the fire extinguisher at the ready. A week later, last night in fact, after MUCH back and forth and insistence on my part, they delivered a loaner washer/dryer - at TEN O'CLOCK at night. I let them in the kitchen to install it, shut the door and went back to work. When they called me back, I went into the kitchen and it smelled like stagnant water. I mentioned this and they said they had spilled water and that it was fine.

Then they left and I decided to put in a load of kid laundry. I opened the washer door and it was covered in black mould. See photo below.

The ENTIRE flat smelled of mouldy water ALL night. Here it is nearly midday and they have yet to get it out of here. I told them then had until high noon to remove it before I called the health department. It stinks in here. We're flying in 2 days, I have over 2 weeks worth of laundry and I can't leave the house (they are supposed to be showing up to remove it). I'm angry. Nay...livid/pissed/rip-shit/FURIOUS.

Meanwhile, my daughter is allergic to mould and I can't have her anywhere near this place. It's just vile.

So I have two days to clean all the laundry at the laundrette, pack, clean the house, finish getting all my work done (a pipe dream - that last one) and organize carry on luggage consisting of crafts, movies, games, toys, clothes, diapers, snacks, books, blankets, wipes, medication, earplugs (!) and a host of other things. All of this so I can get on a 30 hour flight to Auckland: three flights, two layovers, two small children under 5, an overworked, exhausted husband and zero sleep.

Are ya kidding me?

But then I look at this guy: Oliver Pistorius.
He has no feet and yet he's not complaining. Here he is competing in the Olympics and doing amazingly well. Now, that's inspiring.

I'll just tuck my self-pity tissues away and get on with it. No one likes a whiner!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Fen and I decided that we want a car. Hooray! I’m so excited about this. We’re waiting until September to buy one but, being me, I have already started to search for the best fit for our family and our needs. We’ve just been renting for the past 2 ½ years since we moved to London but I know that if we bought a car it would make my life considerably easier – which is the true focus of my existence right now.

If we had a car I could do the school run in a quarter of the time. I could run to Sainsbury’s or the giant Tesco whenever I wanted. Or Toys R Us, or Ikea, or Brent Cross or anywhere I wanted. Right now I don’t do a lot of things because I don’t want to carry a push chair up and down over ground or tube steps. I’m sick of having to wait for two or three busses to come before I can get on with my stroller. I’m all about making my life easier right now and car is part of that answer.

What I must have: a small car that’s easy to park but big enough to fit my 6’1” husband, two kids, some luggage and me. It must have five doors – I want a hatchback of some kind. I do not want a red or white car and I don’t want a wagon or an SUV. Not that I’m picky or anything!

I’m also debating whether to buy a used car from an owner or from a dealer. Not sure what to do there – will have to leave that one up to Fen.

The next big step is getting it licensed; need to compare car insurance rates, must apply for parking permits and so on.

This is all part of my ‘take my life back’ campaign 2012. If you see a gal the autumn in a car with all the windows down, head out the window, hair blowing in the window yelling, ‘Freedom!’ – HONK! It will probably be me.