Monday, 31 May 2010

Family fun

Moving swiftly on from holiday fun comes family fun, a weekend filled with 2 birthdays, luckily it falls on a bank holiday weekend so there is plenty of time to recover.

Firstly was the Munchkins, okay so now he is 22 I probably ought not to call him that but he was and always will be my munchkin. He wanted a nice steak dinner at home and that was a result I thought, no cooking on my behalf needed, and a nice lazy evening in with good company and food. Wine did I hear you mention? Probably some was consumed yes.

The thing is though with birthday people is that you need to shop for that all important present and I know it is strange for me to moan about shopping but I was a bit tired and alot busy and I didn't want to go shopping, especially if it wasn't for me! Once I got there though into that wonderful shop, A&N I had a fine old time. I had forgotten how much fun it is to take time and attention when buying for someone else, the only worry being what size was the Munchkin? I came away with a rather pleasing t-shirt and shirt combo for him, inject some colour into his summer wardrobe I thought. He looked even more gorgeous than usual in them, I must say.

Not sister sister, the Munchkin's mother cooked us a mean steak and an an even meaner lemon drizzle cake and I poured a few mean Ouzo and sprites, not to mention introducing M to his second new drink of the night Tequila shots.....mmmmm pass that salt and lime. The only sorrowful bit about the evening was the fact that Godson could not be with us to complete the family but I am sure it won't be long before I get to hug him to death.

Taxi tripp to Mother's under our belt and it was all hands to the post to create a birthday to remember for Mother. She could not go to Greece so Greece would come to her. Kind Helpful husband had printed A3 pics of Stalis at work and those were stuck all round the room, greek music was downloaded and played in the background, and a Greek meze platter to make any Greek Mama proud appeared on the table. Admittedly I had bought enough food to feed an army but in my defence I went shopping whilst hungry. Big mistake......

There were Dolmades, 2 kinds of Houmous, 2 kinds of Olives, Greek salad, Chorizo, ( technically not Greek), a meat, melon and feta platter, Imam, Home made pitta breads, Foccacia, Falafel, Giant beans.....oh yes and a sweetie cake, coz I had no oomph to bake and was under strict instructions not to from Mother. My Brother and his partner came too. Mother was banished upstairs for the whole morning until all was ready and her Greek lunch was revealed. Her face made it all worth the effort. There is nothing in the world like putting a smile on the faces of those you love with the special touches and I love making Mum smile. Suffice it to say that the wine freely flowed and we were all suitably stuffed.

Not a moment too soon did we finish as the Monster hordes descended to wish Nanny and technically Great Nanny a happy birthday. It was lovely to see them especially because I haven't seen the married Childe. Ahhh she is such an old married woman now. And she is loving it!!!! Needless to say Chouet spent a fair amount of time running around with Grandkids and was exhausted by the time they went. I do so love it though when there is a houseful of important people and we all get on and have a lovely time, it makes me all warm and glowy....

Sun and fun

Phew time just does seem to run away some time, was it only a fortnight ago that I was frantically packing for the holiday and rushing round tidying up the house? Why did I need to tidy the house when we weren't here? Why so that the burglars found a nice tidy place and if we tragically died the police would not think we were terrible slobs whilst they rummaged through our stuff. I know, my mind is a truly scary place.

The holiday was gorgeous as expected and I was nicely de-stressed, even after the cattle class rant, I wasn't however fully recovered, not even a smidge of my former self, no walking in the sun, alot of sitting in the sun, and a fair amount of good food and free booze. Understating? Me? I don't think so.

It's funny how when it comes to my health how optimistic Pessimistic Husband can be. A week in the sun according to him will be enough for me to recover and have loads of energy and strength. I wish. It is very sweet of him to think this way but unfortunately it does not work out quite that way. Even leaving out being exhausted before travelling ( don't mention the wedding) by the time I have sorted out clothes, packed and travelled I am a zombie. Admittedly a dose of sun. sea and Ouzo helps but I am still wiped by the run up to the hols in the normal course of events. Normal and I in the same sentence is a bit strange I know. Then after the hols there is more cattle class to deal with, unpacking and the mountains of washing that seem to multiply when you aren't looking. Now I need a holiday.....

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

ah the sun

Okay why is it when we go on our hols to Crete the weather in the UK decides to behave itself???? And when we get back the weather will revert to awful....I am sending a letter of complaint to the weather gods.

Still it is very nice here, not too hot, a bit windy but I can forgive my second home that. The sea is blue, the waves are crashing, and the food and wine is flowing. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I could actually sit in the sun today without developing my sun schizophrenia. I know you are wondering what this is. It is where I want to get a tan, don't actually like sitting in hot sun too much, constantly worry that I am burning and don't want a tan coz I don't want to age and get all wrinkly. See completely schizophrenic. Makes no sense whatever.

Apart from that I do like being on holiday, just the thought of what hostelry to eat in and which outfit to wear. No other stresses and no other little irritating bits of life. Oh ys and lots of hugs from my Creta Mama, she is gorgeous and always makes me smile. Now if only she would adopt me and keep me in Crete......

Tomatoes everywhere

After the wedding there was a small surplus of food, over order me? Never. However I do believe that the tomatoes multiplied whilst I wasn't looking. That is the only way I can account for the gross amount of tomatoes that I was left with. Long suffering husband has had to put up with a plethora of different dishes all containing one identical ingredient. Have you guessed what it is?

First there was the roasted tomatoes with steak and onions. Yummy. There was also a matter of a rather large baking tray of slow roasted tomatoes to sieve and then puree, What to do with these? Soup, pasta sauce? A sauce for chicken? Try all of the above....

Then there was the potatas bravas.... okay made with shop bought tomato puree but served with a helping of tomatoes in oil and vinegar with cheese. I thought Tapas might be a nice change from all the Greek food I am about to eat... ummmmm baked Feta, Cheese pies, ( those of course I am eating for Mother who cannot go on hols due to sick father), slow roasted lamb with Greek potatoes, slow cooked pork, Greek salad, dolmades.... I must stop this, feeling too hungry, even the smell of airline food is appetising at the moment. Is it really 4 hours since breakfast and it is only 10.45am....
Where is my appetising oat and nut bar?????????

Travelling light

Travelling is supposed to be a pleasure, remember the days of travelling when flight was glamorous and we all had to look our best? Now we are crammed into increasingly small spaces and shuttled around the world in “cattle” class. In fact I have a sneaky suspicion that if animals were treated in this manner the animal rights protesters would be up in arms. We humans however pay a small fortune for the privilege....

The magazines lay out their summer spreads with details of how to travel with style and elan and how to look our best when we arrive. Have they actually travelled in an economy seat to a European destination? I think not, but we will still all buy the magazines and imagine ourselves jetting off first class to an exotic location. I am not sure either that after looking around the airport that the message of stylish comfortable outfits has permeated to all. Who would think to travel by air in 4 inch stiletto ankle cuff boots? Paired of course with an impossibly tight pair of skinny jeans. Then there are those who think nothing of jetting off in what amounts to their pyjamas, okay I know they are comfy but so are my slippers and dressing gown and I do not go out in those. Critical moi?

Ah the delights of the capsule wardrobe as well, duly trotted out for the start of holiday season, year in year out. Lay out your clothes, then half them? Or some such nonsense. 3 bikinis, a wrap and a couple of evening outfits. Yeah right. How could this be? Maybe in some alternate reality where you are a size 6 and plan to spend all day every day by the pool. What if you want to spend just a small portion of your time sight seeing your chosen location and not contributing to future skin cancer and bad ageing? There also is the question of what if you are not a small and perfect size and have lumps and bumps that need more cover? Do we let out standards drop because we are away from home or do we attempt to pack elegantly, usefully with a 15kilo allowance? I plump of course for the latter but then I am plump........ with standards. Even if my boobs are making an escape bid from my top as I type!

I am of course looking forward to my holiday, Crete here I come, ouzo, red wine and baklava just a few hours away. All I have to do is survive this crammed and uncomfortable flight...... Did I speak too soon? A sudden bout of turbulence has us all returning to our seats......

Monday, 10 May 2010

Wedded Bliss

Wow what a week, lots of last minute shopping, planning and putting finishing touches to things. A fair few miles added to the not truck truck and and some wonderful memories.

Friday was pack up and move wedding stuff down south day. Gosh, good job I have a not truck truck, it was full. Kind and wonderful husband finished work early and we motored on down to the Childe's house. A nice late afternoon and evening of hall decorating awaited us and thankfully the Childe's clan was on hand to be very helpful. There was so much to do and my brain was getting tired thinking of what to put where and how best to show things off. We won't even mention the pink bow tying marathon. Kind and wonderful husband was given a reprieve and allowed to go to his mother-in-laws, reprieve he cries... Way too many people for him to deal with. Bless. I can only send out a huge thank-you to the proper family clan for all their help decorating and the extra touches. We all worked very hard and deserved all the thanks we got. More work was required on Saturday to put the finishing touches on the pink and butterfly confection that the Hall had been turned into. If I say so myself all my ideas gelled together and worked to create a magical atmosphere.

Ok we worked so hard that the Childe and I had to forgo the Mamma Mia blub fest that we had planned. By the time I arrived back at her place on Friday night it was time for a cuppa, a hug and bed. best laid plans and all that. Still I was on hand to give her a nice special Bride to be breakfast, no not champagne, croissants and strawberries that would be my choice, but hot choccy, toast and honey, and strawberries and cream. The grandchildren even had a special breakfast too, Chouet's oatibix...

With lots of tooing and froing from Childe's and hall I was getting dizzy but there was time to enjoy laughing and joking and some relative peace when all had left the house apart from , husband, childe, myself and the photographer and his wife. And that wasn't a chore either coz they are friends too. I had the onerous chore of gilding the lily; Childe with make-up is even more gorgeous than normal and if I do say so myself I made a damn fine job of it.

I then had the honour of dressing the bride and it was an honour. The dress was pure beauty and the Childe was radiant. Unfortunately the weather wasn't so it was umbrellas to the ready to get her in the truck. I wasn't crying honest, it was the rain.

Okay maybe I was crying, she was beautiful and my baby was off getting married and I was so proud. Still am to be honest. I know it is something that most mother's feel but I was so overcome with emotion I found it hard to talk, so I didn't, I rushed round like a loon instead getting myself ready and packing Childe's overnight bag.

The wedding itself bought a tear to my eye as well. What a sobby moo I am. Unfortunately the witnesses were stuck in sat nav hell and traffic and didn't make it in time so Husband and I stepped manfully into the breach. Can you see my jiggy, happy dance? I think it was fitting because after all it was the same registry office where husband and I got married with childe as bridesmaid and not son son-in-law as bodyguard. I think I can quite honestly say that they looked as much in love, as pleased with each other and so very proud to marrying each other as husband and I did. I am not sure what made me more emotional, watching my gorgeous monsters or remembering our wedding. I admit I was teary, it was only to be expected I suppose.

The reception was exhausting, can I say that? But oh so worth it. It went off perfectly and everyone seemed to have a good time, okay I didn't sit down for longer than 5 minutes at a time until gone 9pm but would I have had it any other way? To make it perfect for the Childe and not son son-in-law was my mission, not just my job, it was a labour of love. A small measure of how much I care for them. I hope it succeeded, in fact from the thanks from others and from the monsters I know it did. I honestly could not imagine doing anything else, how else could I show them the importance of themselves and how proud I am of who and what they are.

Sunday saw us wending our very weary way home, with a much smaller load in the car but still laden down with pink stuff so my dining room is once again looking pink and messy and to be honest I can't quite bring myself to sort it out yet. I've closed the door instead.

Now all I need is some recipes for the mountain of tomatoes that were spare from the meal.....