Day 20 has been a momentous one for our little pup Beano as today saw his first trip away from home. After being left quite confused by us packing his bed into the car’s top box, he spent the first half hour of our journey sitting bolt upright and whimpering. (The boys blamed this behaviour on my earlier apparently insensitive quip that we were returning him to the breeder…) But after Leo had fed him his own body weight in doggie treats and we’d listened to the entire Frozen soundtrack for the second time through, he settled into the road trip quite comfortably. And when we were eventually greeted at my mum’s house by his gal pals Molly and Tilly, Beano reached new heights of doggie delight. Our afternoon walk through country lanes and soggy fields proved to be the icing on his cake (although I was less than impressed by his new found taste for horse poo. Ugh!!!!) Having worried about the impact this trip might have on Beano, I’m so relieved to see how well he’s adapted to being alway from home. And now having left him snuggled up happily for the night in the kitchen with Molly and Tilly, I think it’s safe to say that Beano’s first sleepover looks to be a resounding successful.
It’s the first day of half term and it’s raining. But my brood surprised and delighted me with their collective enthusiasm for a dog walk in the woods. And as only a handful of other fools were out and about, we had free rein of the forest and plenty of time to make silly videos…All their own work, I was just giggling behind the camera. I found the emergency dash to the public toilets with Niamh, the uphill walk back to the car when Leo fell flat on his face and the muddy welly footprints all over my driver’s seat less amusing but a recovery cuppa back home went some way to restoring my happy mood.
My happy moment today came after I managed to finish my first 15k of 2015, despite the fading light, the need to get home to make dinner and the feeling that post 12k, I wasn’t technically running as such, more like wobbling quickly forwards. Watching a fairly spectacular sunset over Enfield was an added bonus.
I’m not a gal who likes change. The ‘same-old’ makes me feel safe and I’m a creature of habit, happiest sticking to my routines and rituals. A little bit Raymond Babbit! So I’ve surprised my family and myself today by having all of my shoulder length hair chopped off! I’m now sporting a two-tone pixie crop and my neck feels naked. My new do was met with mixed reactions when I arrived home from the hairdresser. With squeaky high-pitched glee, Niamh exclaimed “Oooo, mummy I love your hair!” whilst Seb raised an eyebrow and said “Your hair looks weird”. My mum didn’t believe me when I told her on the phone and demanded photographic evidence. And Dave just kept giggling whenever he looked at me. So today’s happy moment has come from doing something a bit different, a bit unpredictable and a bit off-plan. I only hope that when I wake up tomorrow, I’ll still like my new do… (Valentines Day disclaimer: I’ve also been spoilt rotten with flowers, chocolates, a scented candle, a teddy bear (that Niamh claimed as her own) and a gorgeous personalised card today…big mwoahs for him indoors!)
I’m fast becoming a big fan of Forty Hall. It’s been my running destination of choice for years but since becoming a proud dog owner last October, Forty Hall has new appeal.
Pretty woodland paths – tick.
Large duck pond and wildlife area – tick.
Adventure playground hidden in the trees – tick.
Colourful year round flower garden – tick.
Vintage style cafe that welcomes dogs – tick!
In truth (and in winter) the cafe is probably the biggest of Forty Hall’s pull factors for me. After freezing our bits off walking around the estate for a good half hour (any less and it’s feels like cheating), the toddler, the puppy and I can now curl up together in a cozy corner of the cafe with cheese scones, gingerbread biscuits and generous mugs of tea. There are dominoes and chess boards that Niamh loves to play with and a shelf stuffed full of tatty but classic books like Where The Wild Things Are. And what’s more, it’s rarely busy! It’s as if I’ve stumbled across one of Enfield’s best kept secrets. Luckily, as its only my mum that reads my blog (hi mum!), this particular secret is safe with me 😉 #happyday15
All four of my children read in bed tonight. This makes me hugely happy. In their screen-obsessed little worlds, it feels like a constant battle to get them turn off the telly/iPad/DS and open a book. But as Seb has had his head buried in the Skulduggery series for days now, Leo remains fascinated by his children’s bible and picture dictionary, Reece is delighted by the gore and giggles of Walliams and Dahl and Niamh is Harry Maclary mad, I can go to bed feeling happier (if somewhat hypocritical, as I write my blog from my iPhone and ignore the Man Booker award winning novel on my night stand).
Make packed lunch for only child who refuses school dinners.
Retrieve dusty Beaver uniforms from bottom of wardrobe.
Tidy house in anticipation of cleaner’s weekly visit.
Empty shed in search for bike lock for ill-prepared 11 year old who wants to cycle to school.
Load toddler, dog and kids who aren’t cycling into car.
Sit in traffic jam imaging 11 year old has been involved in horrific accident.
Rush kids into playground and check 11 year old survived journey to school – he did.
Drive toddler to nursery.
Leave toddler crying at nursery.
Take dog for walk in quagmire-like park.
Try to discourage muddy stream dipping.
Load filthy dog into recently cleaned car.
Drive home and unload filthy dog into recently cleaned kitchen.
Straighten wind dried hair (no time for make-up).
Leave dog whimpering at home and walk/jog to train station.
Metros all gone.
Squeeze onto overcrowded, smelly tube train.
Arrive at tube stop to discover lift out of service.
Climb a gazillion steps.
Shovel in chicken sandwich, reply to texts and check emails on walk to work.
Spend afternoon in prison/work.
Walk/jog back to tube station texting 11 year old to check he survived cycle ride home – he did.
Buy medium skinny chai tea latte from Costa.
Feel happy ☺️
Squeeze back onto tube. Tube delays. Miss train connection.
Wrestle on to next train home.
Get into now filthy car.
Drive to nursery to collect toddler.
Drive to childminder to collect kids who didn’t cycle.
Cook fish fingers and chips for tea.
Abandon bath time.
Use TV to pacify children before bed time.
Wait for Tesco food delivery.
Get phonecall from Tesco saying food delivery delayed.
Eventually unpack Tesco delivery to discover I accidentally ordered £9 worth of cheese strings.
Write blog entry owing to superstition that missing #day13 will lead to #100unhappydays.
It’s Monday, it’s cold and I’m a teeny bit hung over. But taking these two for a walk around Forty Hall in the sunshine was enough to put on smile on my sallow-skinned, heavy-eyed, washed-out, make-up free face today. Who’d have thought two little souls could share such enthusiam for piles of leaves, chasing squirrels and pigeon poo.
I’ve just had the loveliest afternoon out with my Two Tashas! We originally met at Fresher’s Week in 1996 and have since helped see each other through the highs and lows of the last two decades (I feel old!!) In recent years, it’s been harder for us to find time to indulge our shared passions for good wine and gossip. So today marked our first girls’ night out of 2015 and we were celebrating Diot’s secret wedding with prosecco and pizza. Despite the the time lapse, our friendship picks up from where we last left off. We can be honest and blunt and no one gets offended. And we can talk, philosophise and laugh for hours about previous partners (mostly assholes), past dilemmas (now seemingly trivial) and people we used to know (but now only follow on Facebook). A happy day with my gorgeous gal pals!