Monday, November 20, 2017

Choosing My Melt Downs Wisely

A few weeks ago my maiden column for the web site "Anglotopia" launched. Anglotopia is a US based web site and blog for Anglophiles and I was talking about my recent repatriation, which will shock you, I know. One sentence was picked up in a lovely Tweet by The Displaced Nation, and it made me think twice.

"When you do a Transatlantic move, you choose your meltdowns wisely", was what I'd said in the Anglotopia column. How wise. Not always adhered to, I have to admit, but worth having it semi-permanently tattooed somewhere prominent when you're doing something BIG.

The potential for meltdown in question involved a rather lovely slim armoire I'd had in my US house, that is now stationed in my entry hall here. I would have liked it in my new bedroom as it has special drawers for jewelry; it's also not what I was going for as the first thing you see on entering my house. Problem is, our new stairs are somewhat narrow, and of course have two turns in them. The armoire (really not that big) is too tall to make the turns and no matter how the fabulous moving team tried, it wasn't happening. Perhaps it's because this is a rented house, but I just thought "Oh well" and moved on. Or was it that I was too worn down to care?

Or perhaps it's that, in the scheme of things, it just isn't that stressful? Some of the things we have gone through this year stretched me to the limit. Juggling all the moving balls in the air, so to speak, had me staring at the ceiling at 2am and getting up with my stomach in knots. Packing 25 moving boxes myself to then be told by the moving company that they only insured stuff they'd packed themselves. And this, two days before the intended move? Or finding out about a new Customs requirement of obtaining a TOR (Transfer of Residence) number to get your stuff into the UK without getting slapped with Cutoms tax? (Thought I was being rather clever there since no one else seemed to know about it, and then was told by the people in the UK that they were running about a month behind schedule. Of course they were.) 

It's a bit like raising children with the adage "Choose Your Battles" front and foremost in your mind. Man Child Two's whole class got a "tardy" the other day because they'd been horsing around outside after lunch and had forgotten the time. Most of them were quite upset about it, but hey - they were late for class. My reaction was, first "How sweet that they were playing outside", and then "Don't worry about it but make sure you don't get any more". I'm just assuming they weren't all smoking behind the bike sheds!

Or it could be that in my dotage, there are other things to worry about. But that's probably another post altogether. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Why I'm Furious With Anne Robinson

Don't usually do semi-political stuff but I've had it with women like Anne Robinson. As usual, I took pen to paper - 

Monday, October 23, 2017

The First Kid-Free holiday

Wow - almost a month since I've blogged. What on earth have I been doing? 

Well, still blinkin' unpacking the house, for a start. Half a dozen cardboard boxes still in the garage, making me wonder why we brought them over in the first place. It's all the memorabilia - you know, the photo albums that no one looks at. My mother has the right idea, she puts hers all on shelves and every time there's a family reunion, out they come and everyone has a right old laff. It would help if I had any shelves, but that's part of the problem, we have nowhere to put them 

I'm also doing untold amounts of laundry for some reason. I'm down two kids and yet the washer is on every day. Probably because it's a very small washer and I have very big people, plus a school uniform for the first time. Perhaps foolishly, I didn't buy five sets of everything so we never get to the end of the week without something having to be washed. Quick question on that - does every British washing machine take almost two hours per cycle? Seriously, I have one mini, 20 minute cycle and then everything else takes at least an hour, and that's when I go for the "saver" option. I have a few cycles that are over two hours! I mean who has clothes that need to be washed for two hours? 

But - me and the Ball & Chain did manage to have our first ever kid-free holiday since 1992. Unbelievable. While most of my friends and a few relatives (I'm looking at you Trish, otherwise known as Mum's Gone To....) are empty-nesters and therefore swanning around the globe, we're still tied to the old school schedule. We were supposed to go on a mini-break last year but I opted for the delights of back surgery instead. As you do. This year, Man-Child Mark 2 had a half term trip to Portugal (sparking cries from the older two that they "only went to Indiana"), so I thought "Why not?" After much dithering over the huge array of possibilities (Seville, Lisbon, Prague, Vienna, Rome), we plumped for Krakow and off we went.

I tell you, going on holiday with the Ball & Chain is no, well, holiday. We walked for miles! But what a fabulous city. Highly recommended. 

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