Silent Sunday 09.03.14
It seemed such a long time ago that my chum Tanya from BeachLifeEtc and I booked flights to see our lovely friend Jo in Northern Ireland, that I was almost surprised when last Friday came upon us and it was actually time to head off to the airport. After various showdowns about the fact that I was a) taking (MY) iPad and b) not taking any children, Tanya picked me up at 3.30pm and off we went!
I think I had mentioned to poor Tan that I’m not a great flyer, and we’ve known each other for nearly 15 years (FIFTEEN? How did THAT happen) so she is aware of my tendency to get hyperactive and flappy when I’m nervous. But even so, I think she was taken aback by just how hyperactive and flappy I managed to become as the time for takeoff came closer. I might even have had a dirty look from the cabin crew for swearing slightly during the safety briefing, in response to Tan whispering to me that the scraping noise I could hear outside was ‘just them tightening the wings up, sweetie’. Ooops.
But once we were up there things weren’t too bad, except for the odd minor panic attack whenever the plane turned (why does it have to do that? Can’t all runways everywhere be giant turning circles so the flipping things can just take off in the right direction and fly in a straight line?) and then in no time we were coming down, getting off the plane, and jumping in the car with Jo to head off to Magilligan Point, where there was everything we needed – cottage, pub and beach, all within 30 seconds walk. Perfect!
What with catching up on all the gossip, we didn’t make it to bed until well after midnight – not that it mattered as none of us woke up until about half past nine – bliss, bliss bliss! After a frankly amazing breakfast prepared by Jo involving pistachios, couscous, raspberries, oranges and natural yoghurt, we headed out go for a bracing walk around the National Trust property of Downhill Demesne where in true Muppet form I managed to fall over and get half caked in mud…
We reached Mussenden Temple without further muppetry, and my goodness I can see why it’s reputed to be one of the most photographed spots in Northern Ireland. The temple was originally built as a reading room but is now used as a venue for weddings amongst other things, though on wet and muddy days you’d probably need to travel in a 4 x 4 rather than a vintage motor.
We then headed over to explore the now ruined Downhill House for some more exploring – and star jumps and selfies!
After all this fresh air, we headed home for some lunch before going for a long and lovely beach walk along Magilligan Point, ending up back in the pub where we had a cheeky Guinness (or two) to set us up for our evening meal…
I cannot tell you how lovely and long the day seemed. You know how time races when you have kids, because you’re always running for the next pickup, planning the next meal, preventing the next world war? Well, we didn’t have to do any of those things, having left our various husbands and kids elsewhere, and I think I speak for all three of us when I say that this gave us a real sense of headspace.
Unfortunately the time going slowly bit did not last into the next day! Sunday seemed to whizz by all too quickly, though we did manage to get a short and freezing walk up a mountain, a coffee and a cake and some bookshop browsing in Coleraine (though the world’s biggest shoe shop wasn’t open, sob) and of course LOADS more chat before it was time to get on the plane back to Bristol…and this time I managed not to swear during the flight safety briefing. Da iawn fi!
A MAHOOSIVE thank you to Jo for having us, and Tan for holding my hand on the flight, and to both of you lovely ladies for putting up with my general muppetness for the last fifteen years….let’s do it again soon, yeah? x x
Since I’ve had a break, I’m DEFINITELY being much less grumpy at home. And that’s good, right? Well guess what – you too can help prevent my kids from phoning Childline by helping me get another grownup night away – this time at a swanky dinner! All you have to do is click this lovely picture and nominate me for whatever takes your fancy. There’s no biggest muppet award but there is a ‘Best New Blog’ category…THANKYOU!
There are some things in life which I swear are created solely to make mothers feel inadequate and useless, and World Book Day falls squarely into that category in my opinion. Along with spots and stripes day for Children in Need. Pyjama days – now THOSE I can cope with it, although we should perhaps gloss over the fact that I managed to send the kids to school in their school uniform for that as well last term, because I was a week out in my planning. Still, could have been worse, I could have been a week out in the other direction, right?
So World Book Day has been a complete disaster. My eldest point blank refused to contemplate dressing up because it was ‘stupid’. In vain I tried to come up with people for him to dress up as – the Demon Dentist? Wimpy Kid? Horrid Henry? Charlie from the Chocolate Factory? No – none of these fitted the bill. Then finally – ever the creature of habit – at bedtime yesterday he said ‘fine, I’ll go as James and the Giant Peach again’ – except I foolishly didn’t keep last year’s Giant Peach and we had nothing big enough to magic one up.
‘Right’ says he.’This is my LAST WORD on the subject – I’ll be Timmy.’
‘Timmy from the Famous Five, of course!’
Well, if I can’t magic up a giant peach at 8pm at night, I sure as hell can’t magic up a flipping doggy costume…after much more discussion we finally settled upon Dennis the Menace – I am not sure if comic characters count for World Book Day but frankly I’ll take what I can get on this one, so Dennis the Menace it was. Except this morning he said he was too cold to wear shorts – can’t blame him, really. So he basically went to school in his school uniform with a red and black top that he grew out of 2 years ago. World Book Day Epic Fail Number One.
My daughter views World Book Day completely differently – she practically inhales any book she can get her hands on. The whole process of choosing a costume was much more fun, and over the week we’ve we discussed the relative merits of Amelia Jane, A Little Princess, Anne from the Famous Five, any of the Colour Fairies or Rainbow Fairies, as well as what I’d call traditional Fairy Tale characters but what she calls Disney Princesses…we’d finally settled on the Worst Witch. Yay! A fun costume that she was excited about, that I could manage easily, AND that I could take a picture of for all those totally-not-competitive-at-all pre 9am Facebook posts…and then we received a text from school to say that because of their trip to Cardiff Castle, my daughter’s year would need to wear school uniform after all…World Book Day Epic Fail Number Two.
Thankfully, my youngest is still in nursery, so I didn’t have to worry about a costume for him….though he would have been the easiest of the lot, given that we have a dressing up box full of superhero outfits, all of which he loves, and will wear at the slightest excuse. So imagine his distress (and my shame) when we rocked up to the Nursery entrance – to find it chock full of superheros. FFS. World Book Day Epic Fail Number Three.
Don’t know about you lot, but I’m glad the whole shebang is done with for another year!
As you can see there really isn’t much hope for me in the motherhood skillz arena. But if you think I’m a (slightly) better blogger than a mother, please feel free to nominate me in the MAD Blog Awards ‘Best New Blogger’ category – just click on the pretty pic below….THANK YOU!