Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The Sandwich Incident - 2002

Number 16 of my Day Zero Project is to 'Write about 5 experiences/incidents/events in my past.'

So without further delay, here is number 1:

There weren’t many perks that came with the summer job I had back in 2002. I was working for a reputable solicitors firm in the city centre. I feel it best to withhold the name of the said firm, just in case this information is leaked and they decide they would like to prosecute. The men were generally young and wore sharp, tailored suits with shiny Barker shoes, the women equally as glamorous with their manicured nails, freshly coiffed hair and God forbid if they were ever seen in the same outfit twice. I, however, clearly wasn’t a high-flying solicitor or even a high-flying solicitor’s second hand woman. I was the bottom of the pile – I was The Post Girl.

One of my many responsibilities within this role was to order and set up lunches for the many board meetings that took place. I had two other colleagues who worked with me in the post room whose names I shall also withhold just in case they get wind of this and decide to come and hunt me down. We were pretty different the three of us. I guess we wouldn’t have been friends outside work, but we did have a giggle together. Anyway, we used to love it when there was a board meeting as part of our job was to tidy up when the meetings where over. Our interpretation of ‘tidying up’ was eating up any leftovers. Well, it would have been completely against my environmental and sociological views not to!

There were two sandwich companies we used depending on the importance of the people attending the meetings. The more expensive company served up delights like roasted vegetable and cream cheese on a sun dried tomato focaccia, prawn and crayfish in a rich marie rose sauce with rocket on a poppy seed bap and so on. For a self-confessed sandwich lover, it put in me in a pretty good mood when I had to ‘tidy up’ these beauties. My post room colleagues and I would give each other a sneaky smirk when the more expensive company was requested.

On the day in question, I was in a bit of a hurry. One of the top solicitors had an errand for me to run so I was rushing about trying to get the board meeting set up. It was at the top of the building so I was running up and down the stairs like a crazy woman. It was coming up to lunchtime too and, as the people close to me reading this will know, this is not my best time. I get a bit wobbly and more scatty than usual. So, the table was set up, 10 minutes to go before everyone started to arrive for their lunch. I went into the dusty broom cupboard where the sandwiches were always kept as it was the coldest room in the building. I grabbed the platter of sandwiches and then…… tripped over a stupidly placed computer lead. I did the heroic thing. I did try and save those sandwiches. I put my knees out instead of letting go of the platter to brace my fall. But to no avail. The sandwiches flew across the room with immense speed and landed face up on the floor.

Of course the platter had cling film on. Had being the operative word here. Before I grabbed the platter off the shelf, I just thought I’d sample one little sandwich, just to make sure they were up to scratch you understand. This was a very important meeting. As I stood there with half a sandwich still in my mouth I looked around at the carnage. If only they had gone for the cheap ones, the ham ones, the chicken ones! But no, these were the posh ones, the sloppy ones.

I had two choices. Admit what had happened and be faced with a room full of hungry, angry, serious looking solicitors.  Or scrape the filling off the floor, pick off the visible grit and fluff, slap it back in the sandwiches quick smart and get the hell out of there.

I did what I had to do. Five minutes later the sandwiches were in pride of place on the centre of the table. A whole roll of kitchen roll later and after a bit of rearranging of stuff in the cupboard, all evidence of the disaster was gone.

I went off on my errand. I came back bracing myself for someone to have somehow found out what had happened. But I made it up the 3 floors, exchanging numerous slightly manic smiles with the people I passed. I finally reached the safety of the post room.  As I sat down, about to retell my colleagues about the disaster, one of them chipped in first:  
“Cor Kelly you really missed out this afternoon. Those sarnies were a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!’


Saturday, 26 November 2011

Listography: Cartoon characters from your youth

Now I am officially back on the blog, I will be joining in on the lovely Kate's listography linky again. And what a cracker it is this week: Cartoon characters from your youth. Well actually I only just realised it was cartoon characters after I had thought of my top five cartoons but hey ho. I'm sure Kate will forgive me. She's nice like that.

1) Gummy Bears. Let me jog your memory a little, 'gummy bears, bouncing here and there and everywhere......' What was in that gummy bear juice that enabled them to jump so high? And more to the point, where can I get some from?

2) Bananaman.  At the grand old age of 31, I still eat bananas even though I don't actually like them. The subliminal message so worked on me.

3) California Raisins. These weren't just any old shrivelled up raisins. These were Californian raisins. They were cool, they played instruments and they rocked!

4) Captain Planet. The makers of this really were ahead of the times. Where's the programme like this now? 'Captain Planet, he's our hero, gonna take pollution down to zero......'

5) Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. Who was your favourite? My brother liked Donatello the best because his favourite colour was purple at the time. My favourite was Michelangelo beacuse he loved pizza. You'll be pleased to know we now make judgements on people going on a little more than the colour of their headwear and their favourtite fast food type.

What have I missed?

Go over and check out some other classic cartoons at Kate Takes 5!

Reasons to Be Cheerful

So here's my second entry to Mummy from the Heart's linky Reasons To Be Cheerful. Just to remind you all, I'm joining in with this every week. Because every week there are reasons to be cheerful, even though some weeks you have to look that little bit harder to find them.

Here we go...

1) There has been a birth in the family this week. The Hubster and I went round to meet the little fella and have a squeeze on Thursday. He was simply perfect. I have to admit I went completely soppy over him. Holding him in my arms, I watched his long fingers curl up and unfurl and his tiny mouth make an 'o' shape. Magical. Unfortunately there has also been a death in the family this week. It is extremely sad and heart breaking. However, there is definitely some comfort in the reassurance that this is all part of life's cycle. Birth and death, sad endings and new beginnings. Let's celebrate them both.

2) Last night I went to see The Help at the cinema. It was the first book I read this year and nothing has come close to being as good. The film didn't disappoint. But, phew, was it emotional. I just about held back the tears, had I not been in a public place I would have been blubbing all over the place. It is shocking disgraceful dispicable horrifying to learn how black people were treated just 50 years ago. The actresses all played their roles so well. I wanted to punch those vile, ignorant women who treated their fellow females so badly. I wanted to shout with celebration with the characters who were brave enough to tell their stories and help to make a change. I wanted to shake those women who didn't bring up their children as they were too 'busy'. So. This week I am grateful. I am grateful I live in a place where this no longer happens and where we are equal, irrespective of our colour. I am grateful that I am the most important person in my children's lives. I am grateful to have friends who respect me, are kind to me, listen to my opinions and have their own. I am grateful to have a husband who would never lay a finger on me. 

3) The month of December is just round the corner. I'm not great with the cold, but I do love December. It's such a month for celebration. It's The Hubster's birthday next weekend and The Whirlwind's fourth birthday the weekend after. Then there's a few Xmas doos here and there leading up to the big C day. Again, I've never been the greatest fan of Christmas but having children brings a whole new meaning to it.

4) I have 7 things ticked off my Day Zero Project! I started on the 16th November so I'm really pleased with myself. I needed focus and motivation and it has certainly given me this. I'm still feeling as excited about it as when I started. Let's see how many I can tick off this week!

Thanks for reading. If you want to check out some more reasons to be cheerful, just pop along to Mummy From The Heart to see some other entries. 

Thursday, 24 November 2011

The One Where Giggle Monster Takes Over

Mummy and Daddy really are rather brilliant.  They want the best for me in life, so of course they take me to the best places.

Today they took me to DFS. It was the most fun I’ve had in ages.  I’m rather fond of climbing onto our sofa at home. I love slithering back down on my tummy, or sometimes I like to mix it up a bit and go down on my bottom. Anyway, imagine my delight when I enter the most enormous room I’ve ever seen, full of sofas!

Mummy and Daddy put me in my pushchair at first. Huh, that didn’t last long. Mummy tried to get me to sit on a sofa but to be honest I think actually sitting on sofas is overrated. So off I went. I ran about looking at the different colours and feeling the different fabrics. Mummy chased me and it was just, well, hilarious really. Mummy didn’t look like she was having quite as much fun, but hey ho each to their own and all that jazz. 

Next I discovered the coffee tables. They were so shiny! I peered into one of them and you’ll never guess what? There was another baby in there, staring right back it me! I know, it freaked me out a bit too at first, but then I saw he had a cheeky grin just like me and we laughed at each other, lots. I’m sure we could have had more fun, but Mummy called me away as this woman with a duster started making this weird clicky noise with her tongue? I don’t know what her problem was. I’d be well chuffed if I landed myself a job here. I then did this really big sneeze. I love sneezing. It really makes me laugh. The lady with the duster did not share my enthusiasm for sneezing.

Once Daddy had signed away his life to the man selling the sofas, we headed off. It really was a fun filled morning. I got to run around, it was really funny, and it was free! ( Mummy and Daddy are teaching me to be financially astute so I know this is a good thing).

So, next time Mummy and Daddy are toying with where to take you, DFS is the place! 

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

My birth story Part One

As part of my Day Zero Project I planned to write about the births of my children and my wedding day under Number 55: Write about the three most significant days of my life. So when I came across Mummy Actually's wonderful blog, I decided to join in with her birth story blog hop.

So here we go......

I went to bed on the 10th December 2007 fully expecting the next day to be like the one I’d just had. A bit of nesting, a bit of card making, a bit of This Morning, a lot of putting my feet up.  I had one of those nights where you feel like you are just skimming along the boundary between sleep and wakefulness. I dipped in and out of what I thought were dreams, dreams of long dark tunnels and creatures foraging down them. No really. I’m not making this up.

I woke at around 4.30 am with what felt like a very mild period pain. 5 minutes later I had one again. I started to write them down. After an hour I got too fidgety in bed so I went downstairs and emptied the dishwasher, did a spot of dusting and tidying. As you do when you’ve got possibly the most physically challenging day of your life ahead of you.

At about 6 o’clock I went and told the yet-to-be Hubster the good news that he wouldn’t be going into work today. We sat around timing the contractions and as they became more painful, I did what most daughters do. I called my Mum. She arrived about 9 o’clock shortly followed by my Dad who turned up brandishing a paintbrush ready to help us out with some (very) last minute decorating.  It wasn’t planned that I’d spend my labour with my Mum and Dad, but I did and it was just perfect. We spent the morning drinking tea, our jovial conversations punctuated by regular abrupt stops, resumed a minute or two later. We watched the yet-to-be Hubster run around like a madman, frantically trying to transform our house from looking like it was in an episode of DIY Disasters to a fully functioning, babyproofed home. By 1 o’clock I felt ready to go to hospital.

By the time we got to there my contractions were becoming stronger and stronger and I began to panic. On the maternity ward they quickly ushered me into a delivery suite and a lovely but rather firm midwife came over and reminded me of that all important thing I was forgetting to do: breathe. Within minutes I was calm and in control again.

I bounced on the birthing ball and as before was distracted by lighthearted chit chat with my Mum and the yet-to-be Hubster between contractions. I was examined at around 3 o’clock and was found to be 5cm. Halfway there!

The rest of the birth is a bit of a blur. Over the next few hours, the pain got more intense. I was given gas and air which, once I’d got the hang of, really helped.  The yet-to-be Hubster had the obligatory puff when the midwives weren’t looking. I don’t think I heard anything from him for half an hour after.

At around 7 o’clock I felt the urge to push. I hadn’t been examined since I arrived but as things had progressed so well, the midwives were happy for me to go for it. Suddenly I became aware of a strange noise in the distance. The only thing I can compare it to is the mooing of a cow. Luckily, by the time I realised it was coming from me,  I was past the point of embarrassment and really gave it some welly.  Unfortunately it soon became apparent that in fact my body wasn’t quite ready, and I was pushing too early. The pushing sent the baby’s heart rate soaring and suddenly there were a lot more people in the room.

Very shortly after this I was given an episiotomy and my baby was delivered by ventouse.

The midwive held it up for me to see. ‘Ohhh, is it a girl?!’ I said. You’d have thought, given the state I was in, I would be able to identify the difference between a girl and a boy.

My Mum then passed the yet-to-be Hubster this prediction she had written weeks before:

She was right. At 19.50pm Ella Rose Simmonds screamed her way into the world weighing a very healthy 8lbs 8oz.

Throughout my pregnancy despite the scans, listening to the heartbeat, the unmistakable growing bump,  I still couldn’t quite believe that there was a baby in there. But suddenly it was real. Here she was.

Frustratingly, I was then taken off for surgery. Where I had an epidural.  Teeny bit annoying. But as I lay there with my legs strapped up around my ears, I had the biggest grin on my face. Proudly, I told the surgeons all about my little squealing, screwed up bundle of joy that would change our lives forever.

 Love you millions gorgeous girl.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Open a newspaper, turn on the TV, flick open your phone and more often than not you are met with a barrage of doom and gloom. Is it just our country or is it a worldwide thing? I’m not sure but I do know that it can be catching.

This is why I’ve decided to join Mummy From The Heart's meme Reasons To Be Cheerful. Every week she lists the things she is grateful for. This is such a simple yet marvellous idea. Gratitude is often cited by psychologists as the key to happiness. I’m a bit confused as to how to link up my post as someone else is hosting it this week, but hey ho.

So, this week my Reasons To Be Cheerful are:

1)     The weather. Hasn’t it been the most amazing couple for months?! I love the sun and I have absolutely been making the most of it. The kids and I have been out and about jumping and kicking around in the crunchy leaves warmed physically and mentally by that gorgeous Autumnal amber glow. Autumn is officially my new favourite season.

2)     Wonderful parents. On Thursday I had a super day out in London with my Mum while my Dad and Nanny Sue baked cakes, made friends with the local cows and built towers. Earlier in the week The Hubster’s Mum, Grandma, looked after the kids for a couple of hours while I went into the city and started my Christmas shopping.  A couple of weeks ago my Mum looked after the kids for an entire 3 days while The Hubster and I went off on a jolly to Amsterdam. I am so very lucky and so very grateful.

3)     Watching my children’s relationship grow. Obviously they have been communicating and interacting since day one, but it seems every day they are finding each other more and more interesting. They sing together, dance together and make each other laugh. I particularly love seeing this when they don’t know I’m watching.

What would be on your list?

Friday, 18 November 2011

Madmen, mango Bellinis and crazy shoes

For my birthday this year I asked my Mum to take me to London for the day. I wanted to shop, eat and see a show. But most of all, I wanted to spend the day with my Mum. Without anybody under 3 foot stealing our attention.

Pre-children my Mum and I had some adventures. In the space of 4 years we travelled the world (twice) and visited three European cities. We threw ourselves off cliffs strapped to strangers’ backs, white water rafted in countries that clearly hadn’t heard of Health and Safety and got into exclusive nightclubs by acting disgraced that we weren't on the guestlist. My Mum does have a habit of attracting fun, drama and trouble in equal measures wherever she goes. So I wondered what the day might have in store.

Our first destination was Notting Hill. As we settled ourselves into our seats on the tube we soon realised we were sharing the carriage with a nutter. At first I could hear an aggressive exchange going on but then it became apparent that the guy in question was having the conversation with himself. I wasn’t sure whether this was better or worse. We both sat there imagining the worst and planning how we would protect ourselves and each other from this potential knife wielding maniac that he had morphed into in our minds.

I am happy to report that he got off at the next stop and we got through the day unscathed. We had a great time. We met my lovely brother for lunch. We laughed along to Legally Blonde. We had a mango Bellini in the Masala Zone in Covent Garden. 

(They're all the rage in India at the moment, didn’t you know?)

I had a very tasty Thali.  

And all in the name of my Day Zero Project (Number 59. Buy a pair of ridiculous, impractical shoes), I bought these beauties:

There was no diving off cliffs involved, but all in all a very successful trip!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Back on the blogwagon

Yes that's right folks: I am back.

I can almost hear the Mexican wave of whoops resounding around the blogosphere.

My over use of apparently the lowest form of wit has, I'm sure, been sorely missed. But sob no more!

I've rewritten this blog post 29 times now. I tried to explain why I gave it up and why I've come back. It was a bit boring so I've just written a short piece and spaced it out. Did I pull it off?