Tuesday, 31 July 2012

How to Survive the Olympics

I don't do Sport. 

I know that most of the country appear to be gripped by the performance of Guatamalen divers or Mexican weightlifters, but it just doesn't do anything for me.

I enjoyed the Opening Ceremony, but that's it.

So, what shall I do for a fortnight while hubby is glued to 24 BBC Channels devoted to the Olympics?

Well, here's my plan.

 Working Mum's Guide to Surviving the Olympics:
  1. Purchase several second hand copies of "Agatha Raisin" books.
  2. In the weeks preceeding the Olympics, record any 2 hour murder mysteries you enjoy and transfer them to DVD.
  3. Purchase the newly released and eagerly awaited DVD of Series 5 of "Mad Men".
  4. Borrow five "Isabel Dalhousie" novels from the library.
  5. Treat yourself to a "Taste of Summer" sleekster box from Hotel Chocolat.
  6. Two weeks prior to the Olympics change your Lovefilm list to prioritise lots of chick flicks.
  7. Purchase a couple of nice bottles of rose.
  8. Purchase a new guitar.
  9. And lots of new sheet music.
  10. Lock yourself in your bedroom for two weeks with all of the above.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Just what the doctor ordered....

A beautiful hotel, an infinity pool,  a beach and plenty of sun:

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Thank you, Brown Owl

Daughter is on her first Brownie Holiday this weekend.  We dropped her off last night at a wonderful Scout campsite not too far away.  The sun was shining, the camp looked so exciting and for a little moment I was quite jealous as I remembered my own camps as a Guide and then a Cub Leader.

But then, it hit me...................

...................... a child free weekend!!!

Oh, the relaxed feeling I have knowing that no one is going to pop up and say "Can  you open this for me?", "Can you fix this?",  "Can I go on your laptop?" or "What shall I do now?".

No having to listen to piano practice, paint your own mugs, bake cookies or make sticker pictures.

No forcing her to brush her teeth, have a wash and brush her hair (at the age of 8 she still won't believe that yes, you have to do it every morning)

This morning, I just picked up my handbag and left the house as I used to do years ago.  No trying to pursuade a sulky, whinging child to put her shoes on and fetch a coat whilst saying "Yes, we do need to go and buy food or there will be no tea!"

This afternoon I can sit down with a book and a cup of tea undisturbed.

Thank you, Brown Owl.

Friday, 27 July 2012

21st Century Sun Care?

On our first morning on holiday in Gran Canaria we attended the obligatory "welcome meeting" where we had a strange encounter:

After telling us about our hotel and resort, our Thomas Cook rep introduced us to Glynis, our "Sun Care Advisor".

"New to me, " I thought, "Must be making sure people stay safe in the sun.  Very responsible."

How wrong I was.

Firstly, Glynis told us that the sun tan lotion we had brought from the UK wasn't good enough for Gran Canaria, being so much nearer to the equator than mainland Europe.  It would melt in the heat and we would burn in patches.


At this point daughter got quite anxious that we were all going to burn so I quietly told her, "Don't worry, Ambre Solaire worked perfectly well on me and daddy when we walked along the Equator in Kenya.  You won't burn."

Then Glynis proceeded to tell us how that we would be much better off using the sun tan lotion that she had to sell to us.

"I see, " I thought, "It's just sales pitch for her own lotions"

But what then alarmed me was that she was selling factor 12, 8 and 4 lotions and pre tanning products to help you achieve that deep all over tan, especially in those areas that are difficult to tan.

Factor 4?

Is that legal?

I don't use anything less than 30 on myself and 50+ on daughter.

And a deep tan?


Don't we go for 'gently sunkissed' in the 21st century?

There was no mention of covering up, staying in the shade, going indoors during the hottest part of the day. 

In other words, protecting your skin.

I thought I'd stepped back into the 1980s!


Thursday, 26 July 2012

Spot the Difference

I had a lovely day yesterday with my dad looking for a new guitar.  We went into city centre Manchester to spend a day playing guitars in music shops, drinking coffee in coffee shops and eating a great lunch as Las Iguanas.

However, it seems that my last post was quite prophetic:

My dad liked the Gibson Hummingbird:


I eventually plumped for the Epiphone (a division of Gibson) Hummingbird:


Spot the difference?!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Talk about fudging it!

As a friend has just pointed out, I haven't written anything on my blog for a while.  How remiss of me!  It seems to me that life just gets busier and busier and I don't know where the time goes.

It didn't help that at the end of term I thought it would be a lovely idea for daughter to make homemade fudge for her teachers. (Yes, I know, I never pick the easy option, do I?)

"Easy, " I thought, remembering that I used to be able to make fudge, twenty years ago!

(You've spotted the flaw in the plan, haven't you?)

So the weekend before she broke up, I phoned my dad for the recipe (he is the master fudge maker in the family), we practised and it was almost perfect.

Of course, none of it survived the weekend, so on Wednesday evening we doubled the quantities to make enough for three teachers (plus a bit extra for us), found I couldn't get the temperature high enough and ended up with a tray of beige sludge.  Disaster!

So the following day it was off to the local shop after school for more ingredients and we made the fudge in two batches on Thursday evening.  Exhuasted (from all the beating) and boiling hot, daughter and I bagged up the fudge in pretty cellophane bags, made three gift tags and took them into school the following day.

It would have been much easier to buy three boxes of chocolates!

Anyway, that was two weeks ago.  I've had a holiday in Gran Canaria since then (promise I'll blog about that next) and I've got the rest of the lovely summer holiday stretching out ahead of me, hopefully providing lots of blog fodder.

Tomorrow I'm going shopping for a new guitar taking my guitar guru (my aging rocker of a dad, yes, really,  he sometimes plays along with this band) to advise me.  Unfortunately, my dad's idea of a good guitar is a £2000 Fender or Les Paul, I'm thinking more £200.  Still, it should be a fun day out!