August 2019 – Week 35

This week should have been a good one. Our new au pair arrived on Monday and she is just great. She has not been driven mad by the boys in the last seven days and she deserves infinite brownie points that not even the antics of the man who doesn’t know how to use a hairbrush currently residing in No 10 Downing Street put her off crossing the channel and – hopefully – going with us through the next school year. And we are actually all set for the new curriculum to start, which is a first.

Still, it’s been an entirely shit week. The big D has come out of nowhere again, with no warning, no reason, completely out of the blue, taking hold again in the back of my head and making it yet again so difficult to see why exactly I am doing this. I should be happy and instead I just feel either numb or this horrible pain that does not want to budge. This cycle is just repeating itself on a regular basis now and every time the respite I get in between gets shorter and shorter. I am tired of it. And frustrated. Angry. Helpless. Resentful. It doesn’t seem fair. I have enough on my plate as it is, why do I have to deal with this as well?

I know I should probably go back to my GP, but honestly I don’t think I can be bothered. It is not going to help or get better. Maybe for a short time and then it will come back again and it will throw me even more because I just want to get well. Be normal. Not having a constant thunderstorm of darkness in my head that makes me think the strangest, most horrible things I can possibly come up with and worst of all, sometimes I even believe them no matter how absurd they are.

I am forever grateful though that I have people in my life I can call on is these moments and luckily they are able to make me see that all this shit going on in my brain is just that. S-H-I-T. I sincerely hope they know how much I love them for being there for me and never give up on me. I honestly don’t know where I would be without them. Here is to a better week.

Much love marvelous people. Candidly yours, TC.

 

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August 2019 – Week 34

Week Numero Due without the offspring and still, I have not even batted an eyelid at the list of chores I have given myself to tackle while said off spring is away. But I figured I deserve to enjoy the peace and quiet as long as it lasts. There is always next week, month, year to sort them out.

And I have a lot to do this week anyhow. First of all, the cat needs cuddles. Yes, that is very important, I have you know. Then there is the little matter of work. Important too. And then there is the little 24-hour trip to Germany I have to throw in because my mum had her knee replaced last week, so I want to check in how she is doing. I have no idea btw how exactly they replace a knee. It sounds gross and space age alike. Or maybe I should watch a youtube video to educate myself but the likelihood is I just get very freaked out by it so I will give it a miss.

I am still not a fan of air travel as you know so the plane being delayed was not the best thing. I just ended up overtired and stressed. That changed though by the glorious summer weather I got when I arrived and the chill time I had. I spend a lot of time chatting with my mum and dad – I seem to enjoy that more and more the older I get. I also had a chance for a catch up with one of my oldest friends over a curry, which was long overdue and a stark reminder just how much I miss my roots.

It seemed I took the good weather with me as we were blessed by a heatwave bank holiday weekend – most of which I spend working but being able to step into a walk-in freezer really has it’s benefits.

Much love, marvellous people. Candidly yours, TC.

August 2019 – Week 33

If there are any benefits in being divorced it is being able to share the summer holidays with your kids dads – so after the last two weeks in 24/7 contact with them (yes I DO love them very much) they are now invading their fathers privacy and I am quite grateful for the peace and quiet I am getting for the next two weeks.

I do admit I had the best intentions for this week being very busy and active and addressing all those things that need doing around the house and have been waiting patiently for my attention for weeks (or months, years…) but hey ho I have done hardly anything other than work, eat and sleep. I also have to admit that I have been rather lazy on the exercise front and only been on two runs so the good work I have done over the last few weeks has pretty much entirely come undone in front of my eyes and I am rather cross with myself for that.

But then there’s always next week, so I think I’m just going to have just a little bit more cake to at least make it worth my while having fallen off the wagon.  In my defense for my laziness – other than I completely deserved a week of chilling and Netflix – I have worked overnight for several days and it just throws you absolutely out of sync. Oh I did start sorting out cooking books (please do not ask why this is top of my priorities because I really haven’t got the faintest idea) and I have been quite ruthless with that. Do you know how many books about cookies I threw out? Seven. But don’t fret, I still have another half dozen that stayed on the shelf….

It has been really cute that my older two have been keeping me updated on their week by Whatsapp although it does still surprise them that more often than not they call me while I am at work and my older one even made a dairy-free custard tart with his nan and brought a piece round for me to try – I have to say it was absolutely delicious!

Here is to another week of silence and the cat overwhelming me with his love (he is such a little cuddle ball these days).

Much love marvelous people. Candidly yours, TC.

August 2019 – Week 32

Summer holidays week 3. We are spending the week in the North of France in a cute little house right by the beach. Should be utterly blissful, alas it is not. Being in a confined space with a lot of people for a long time is not particularly good for me. Even if we are talking about my family. My parents and my sons are all lovely on their own but put them together for  longer period of time, they clash. Generational issues, different opinions and strong characters all come together. And I am the buffer in the middle who has to be permanently available to negotiate, mediate and smooth things over.

The problem with that is that a holiday is not really a holiday when you are constantly on guard. If, like me, you suffer from depression, you will know that your levels of stress and anxiety reach unbearable limits. For me, in day to day life, I can counteract that by regularly retreating and getting some time to myself to recharge. Which has been impossible this week and things came to a head on Thursday when I walked out on the lot of them to have a stroll on the beach by myself.

Only a temporary fix and while it shook up the male members of my family my mum was a lot less impressed and we had a bit of a row afterwards. Deep breaths and tongue biting included. The Friday went relatively peacefully and Saturday coming meant we were going back home.  The boys had a good time and that was the most important thing. The journey back wasn’t as smooth as hoped – the weather made the crossing a bit rough and we were sitting outside Dover for over four hours before we were allowed to enter the harbour due to the strong winds.

But we got home eventually and were greeted by a very cuddles needing cat. Chilling was the order of the day until Sunday afternoon when the boys went to their dads for the next part of their summer holidays. Time to breathe for me.

Much love marvelous people. Candidly yours, TC.

July 2019 – Week 31

Well hello summer holidays! Two weeks of blissful family activities, delightful day trips and happy memories. As if. Any parent knows that the summer holidays are the single most stressful period of time for any mum and dad, especially when you are working and trying to balance out of sync childcare, riot running children and your own mood which will already be rather doom and gloom at the prospect of what is still lying ahead of you.

Despite the best intentions, it’s been more of a chill week than anything else, but the nthe weather has not really been that great so I think we can use this as an excuse. We did have a couple of long overdue catch ups with friends, started sorting out school stuff – let’s try and be prepared this year – and attempted the dreaded chore of sorting out wardrobes. Boys done, mine still to go. Wonder why that is…… Any advice on how to ruthlessly tackle mountains of clothes you know you haven’t worn in years will be gratefully received.

Saturday has been travel time again, this time to the Pas-de-Calais for a week of beach holidays with my parents. Taking the car to Dover and crossing the channel on the ferry is still one of my favourite things to do despite the massive stress of having to drive on the wrong side of the road on the continent. Which is never really that bad but of course you imagine it to be horrendous.

I love the ocean. I have traveled a lot to hotter places in the last few years, but I have to say, I feel much more at ease in the Northern countries. I prefer cold to warm. The rugged shores of Northern France will always be one of my favourite places to chill and unwind. How much I get to do with my parents and children together 24/7 is another matter. I’m not the best having constant company forced upon me, let alone being pushed into the role of permanent mediator. We shall see.

Much love marvelous people. Candidly yours, TC.

July 2019 – Week 30

It is the first child free week of the summer holidays – well the first week of the summer holidays in general so I am off to a good start with that one. Mind you I know we have a few weeks ahead of us to spend some quality time together as well and I am already dreading it. Did I say that out loud? Of course I mean I am very much looking forward to it. I really do. But I also know that whoever came up with the concept of six and a bit weeks of no school for children very obviously does not have any themselves. Or does not see them very often.

I do not have holidays myself yet, so I am having a working week but I managed to sneak in a little trip to Copenhagen with my favourite travel buddy and honorary daughter Nelly. I don’t know when she started to have the cheek to call me her travel mum, but after being outraged by it for about ten seconds I decided it was better to embrace my fate, especially as I could well be her mum.

Wednesday morning saw us flying out to Denmark. Now, I must say, I am absolutely in love with Scandinavia. The food is fabulous, the architecture gorgeous and everyone is friendly, tall, attractive and has a bike. It happened to be a couple of very hot days but the breeze from the sea made it bearable and dear God we walked a hell of a lot. We had a hotel right in the city centre near Nyhavn so we did our tried and tested concept of pop out, come back, pop out again that we have down to a T.

I did, rather foolishly, ignore my lactose intolerance because who can say NO to liquorice ice cream and cream cake? I did suffer for it but boy was it worth it. We ate a lot, saw so much and still not enough and spend a great evening in an old amusement park flying in a chain swing high over the city. Sickness inducing but you only live once. We just stayed until Friday night but it was a fantastic few days. And made us hungry for yet more travels.

I had to work Saturday and Sunday but as I am off for two weeks after that it was more than bearable. Now  just have to brace myself for two weeks with my little monsters. Wish me luck.

Much love marvelous people. Candidly yours, TC.

July 2019 – Week 29

This has not only been the last week of the entire school year but is also the week our beloved au pair is going back home to pursue new adventures. As in university. We are going to miss her terribly. She has been great with the boys, like a little sister and friend to me and she will forever be remembered for christening the cat to ‘le chat’. Unfortunately for her successor, she has as lot to live up to.

Work is a bit of a drag at the moment. The weather is reasonably decent and I’d rather be outside enjoying the sunshine than being stuck inside a stuffy old warehouse unpacking school socks and trousers. Because we are getting ready for the new school year already. I wish I was that prepared ….. Of course you can count on the last day of school bringing torrential rain and black skies for the next six weeks because that is English weather for you.

My youngest brought all the things he made in school throughout the year home gradually over the last couple of days; I’m not entirely sure where I am meant to keep it all, I probably should rent an extra room. Or maybe I finally sift through the boxes and boxes of stuff I have collected of the children’s art works and random stuff and what not to make sure there is only keep worthy stuff in them. But then I find it difficult to part from their beautiful creations so it might not be a good idea. There must be another corner in the loft I have not yet filled up with bits.

Now, our au pair was leaving super early on Sunday morning, taking a bus to Paris for a stopover with some family – plus you accumulate a lot of stuff in a year and the air fares for excess luggage are extortionate so dragging four giant bags on the bus seemed a better option – so we had a celebratory meal on the Friday night. Quite befitting, it had to be Spoons for the last supper, what else. Of course Nelly came along too. Family after all.

Sunday brought us an emotional farewell and then the boys gradually went to their dads too for their first week of summer holidays. All of a sudden, it was all so quiet…..

Much love marvelous people. Candidly yours, TC.