Friday, 24 October 2014

A week to view

Arriving in London, to catch my train out of London, for my working day to begin.

Too much time spent inside the train station in London, due to delays on the public transport. Still, it's a rather trendy looking place, with a few good shops to browse in, so all was not lost.

Lemon cupcake. A day with lemon cupcake is a day with happiness. Need I say any more? (That's Tommy's lunch box, he had grapes, he's the healthy one.)

What a great feeling - looking at the clock leaving the train station in London. No more travelling for 3 days.

After working from home, me, Mark, Tommy and father-in-law ventured to the local pub for an early meal. Doesn't Tommy look grown up, sitting at the table waiting for his ice-cream.

I'm so rock and roll. A welcome early night with my book. The Telling Error by Sophie Hannah. It's a real page-turner, I haven't worked out the plot yet so it's intriguing.

My very special friend and her boys visited us for lunch. I love this sunshine card she brought me. I'm the blonde one, and she's the red haired one. And most gorgeous necklace accompanied the card, with Tommy's name and date of birth. Expect pics in another post.

That was my week to view, dear readers. Hope you liked it.

Monday, 6 October 2014

The saga of the chocolate bar and other such things

There was a time in my life when my biggest concern was the size of chocolate bars. I just couldn't understand why they, the important chocolate makers, did not produce them in generous portions. Of course I was ignoring the family size offerings in my gripe, my pocket money did not cater for such flamboyancy. I was concerned with the average chocolate bar in the local newsagents and why it wasn't larger.
This was also around about the time I would frequently discuss with best friend, if she or I would be the type of person to become A Career Woman or A Stay At Home Mum.
Isn't youth great, you can be so naive it's ridiculous.
Sometimes in life you simply don't have a choice. And I'm not talking about those chocolate bars, because let's face it, you can always buy two when you are A Working Woman. Or realise they are that size for a reason - they can make you very fat and when you are An Older Person it's too easy to pile on the pounds when the old metabolism finally slows down.
I've returned to work after my maternity leave because I have to. Not so I can climb the career ladder, knocking people off on my way, ruthlessly heading towards the top, and for my reward I can occupy my own office and have someone else ordering my Starbucks coffee.
Fortunately I kinda like my job. Currently I am sort of in charge of a contract worth a little under a million pounds. It's for the international mailing of the publications, for a three year period. I've held meetings with potential suppliers, arranged site visits, and written reports and spreadsheets of my evaluations.
However, I would rather be with Tommy. This is the brutal truth but it is literally not possible. We have to also earn my wage to be able to afford our home, our bills, our car, our food.
So I regularly feel guilty. Especially in the mornings when I kiss Tommy goodbye, before he spends the day with my parents. I know it could be worse, he's with my parents who adore him and my boss is flexible - I'm allowed to work from home one day a week and book one day off per week. I treasure this extra time I can spend with my son.
Weekends are precious too. I love the fact I can play with him all day long. I don't want to miss a moment, I want to be there when he points at his book and says, "Car!" at the blue car. I want to hold his little hand when he tries to walk/stumble towards me. These are the things which money can't buy. These milestones are worth more to me than a million pound contract.
Therefore, I rarely venture out without Tommy at the weekends, why would I when I can be with him.
Apart from last Saturday. Last Saturday afternoon I met my best friends for lunch. It had been nearly a year since we last all met on the same day, which is a shame. I do miss our catch ups but circumstances are very different these days, for all of us.
I hated leaving Tommy. It wasn't really practical to struggle with a pushchair on trains and a boat, and expect him to sit still whilst I gossiped and drank. My friend saw my sad face when I walked up the pathway to her house, before we travelled by train together for our lunch date on a boat. She was hanging out one of her windows and asked me what was up.
"Oh I've just waved goodbye to Tommy, I feel guilty again."
"Hey, it's not for long. Besides, he'll have fun with his daddy."
I immediately felt better, and we did have a lovely afternoon.

Moussaka, joy on a plate.

Chocolate brownie, another guilty pleasure.

Me and the girls (a rare glimpse of me, and black and white can be more flattering, wouldn't you agree?!)

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Dirty socks

I was sitting on a fast train, lost in a million thoughts.
Hmm, well maybe not exactly a million, as this is a very high number when associated with thoughts. It was a fair few anyway. Nothing life-changing, like a medical breakthrough for Cancer, or a solution for world peace. Just, you know, stuff.
I was actually thinking about Tommy’s dinners for the week, the International Mailing Tender in the office, I was also wondering when I’d have time to make cards for forthcoming birthdays, and reflecting on the book I’d purchased to read during my commutes.
It was only when an American voice disrupted my thoughts, I was brought back to present time.
And to be honest, I was a little disappointed.
It's not that I'm against American accents. In fact, I am partial to a southern accent which was the origin of this one. It's not that I'm an enemy of the person the voice belonged to. It was because the American was my new publisher in the office, and she happens to live literally around the corner to my parent’s chalet bungalow.
You know what that meant, dear readers? It meant I had company on the train. All the way. All nearly two hours of my commuting. No thinking or reading allowed!
I like thinking. I like sitting on a train, staring out the window and processing my thoughts. I also like reading. If I’m not thinking, I’m equally as happy submerging myself in a fulfilling book.
Not that I’m complaining, but I rarely have time to myself these days, life revolves around Tommy and the office. Therefore, train journeys are my luxury, they provide me with the time to think. Or read.
So I’m a little unsociable when I’m travelling. Is this an impolite thing to admit? I would rather sit by myself and loose myself, which is not something possible when in company.
Back to the American voice.
This is why I was disappointed. I had to actually participate in a conversation in my carriage, and I was out of practice to say the least.
However, the new publisher is the friendly type. We were soon dissecting our lives and chatting away like old friends.
The most difficult part of the journey? Apart from sacrificing my thinking or reading, the trickiest part was trying to discreetly text Mark about his dirty socks.
I’d decided it would be considered rude to not offer the new American publisher a lift home. She did live literally around the corner to my parent’s chalet bungalow after all. It was approximately twenty minutes walking as opposed to five minutes driving.
But I was concerned about Mark’s socks. Let me explain that I am the neatest, tidiest, cleanest (well to the best of my abilities within the time frame), person at home. But in car it’s a different matter entirely.
I suppose you could say I’m always in a rush in our automobile. In a rush to get somewhere, and always pre-occupied with Tommy. The car suffers. It is not very clean or tidy. I was also aware of the pair of Mark’s worn socks on the back ledge.
Our car was not a great impression of our personalities.
So I was panicking slightly, during this mentioned train journey. The nearer we became to our destination, the more I worried about our personal care and carelessly strewn objects.
Somehow I managed to text Mark: Dirty socks and car, will offer publisher lift!
He got it. He knows how I stress about these things and so he cleaned and tidied our car, before the train arrived and before I walked around the corner, with an apprehensive look on my face.
And he removed the offending socks.
But guess what happened next?
The publisher politely declined my offer of a lift. Said she had her trainers and enjoyed the walk and peering in people’s gardens.
After all that worrying.
Still, the car finally got cleaned. And we have decided to keep it tidy just in case this should happen again.
Sort of.
Let’s not expect miracles, hey dear readers.