Wednesday, April 16, 2014

North Devon and us!

Early evening, Tall Girl and I share a bottle of cider and put the world to rights... She is lovely company and talks freely-perhaps we are both a little intoxicated?

We are alike in what we want, 30 years apart in age but basically strangely similar. Is that right?

She wants a nice boy, a companion and good friend to enjoy simple things with. I have a friend with a spare son! Would it be wrong to matchmake?

It's sunny here in Devon and life is running at a different pace.

Monday, April 07, 2014

What makes Suburbia happy?

It's the school holidays and the kids are away for a week. The last week of term seemed endless, it must be a psychological thing - sort of waiting for the end makes time stretch out further for longer. Anyway, here we are, the first Monday of the holidays, so why do I feel so exhausted? Is it because my alarm went off as usual and I was out of the house at 7.45? Did I forget that it was the holiday? No, I took the car into the garage for 8am...again...

However, it's not the early morning that's caused the tiredness - though it would have been a bonus to have a lie in- but the truth is, while the children are away, I make the most of being single! I arrange too many lovely things in too short a space of time. So on Friday my oldest and best friend came over to spend the night. We ate out, shared a bottle and came home to chat until 2am! Now I'm not much good at burning the candle at both ends but it was a great night and too precious to cut short - we don't get together that often.

Sunday another good friend and I met for an early supper with the view to an early night as she had an early start. However, it didn't quite work out as early as we anticipated! So by this morning I felt a little sleep deprived and very slightly jaded...

I feel blessed to have had such a social whirl of a weekend - it's what makes Suburbia happy- friendship, communicating, talking into the night, eating! It's been fun.

I texted a friend from work earlier 'Were we getting together tonight or Wednesday?'
'Wednesday would be better' she replied ' I'm cooking curry in my PJs!'
So that's is something else to look forward to, and I'm with Mum tomorrow - we are going to look at Rodin's 'The Kiss' which is currently in Cheltenham art gallery - I'm ridiculously excited!

So yes, I'm happy, happy, happy! At this rate I'll need another holiday to get over this one!

What are you doing for Easter?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

6 Years Old!

Well I missed it again, my bloggy birthday I mean. My first post was 3.3.2008; that makes Moments From Suburbia 6 years old this month, in contrast to the cat who is celebrating 18 years this month. He has accomplished this through grim and stubborn determination - perhaps this applies to me too?!

However it is Mothers Day here in UK this weekend and that was what started me writing here in the first place - so in a way, I am remembering on time, in my own head at least.

This week so far:

Tall Girl confessed to only just cottoning on to the phrase 'friends with benefits' after thinking it was about neighbours living in poor conditions on a council estate - bless!

I spend a considerable amount of time following the cat's bum around on Tuesday waving paper underneath him as he insisted on 'squatting' in odd places - that was fun, not (though I did manage to catch all 'deposits'!)

Small Sprog, well, what can I say? Producing words of wisdom whilst shooting things online and SHOUTING at his friends on Skype - nothing much changed there then.

Things here are not quite the same, I guess loads has changed in 6 years - as I suppose it would - but I don't have the same freedom to write all my thoughts down here now that I did in 2008.

How's blogging going for you?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Surplus to requirements!

Since having children I have always had a job that means I get all the school holidays off so that we can all be together. It was a conscious decision, after leaving my 'proper job' (pre-kids) that I would find work that fitted with their schedule. It worked well, no childcare problems when school was out, and I always enjoyed having them at home with me; we used to do loads of fun stuff together and it often involved my friends as well, which was always a bonus.

This week I have eschewed a few invites to see friends over the last few days in order to be with my (not so little) ones (time with them is all the more precious now that they spend time with their dad also). However, they - the kids - have had 'other plans'! This is the first school holiday that I have felt surplus to requirements. I suppose it was bound to happen eventually. Though not totally surplus, I have been required to aid Sociology revision, but it didn't really float my boat!

When the children were younger I used to want time to myself, and if any of you have ever had young children around, you'll know its something rare and very hard to find - a moment to yourself. Now I have more moments than I need, my job - mostly - is done. How quickly it went in the end - I didn't need to wish for a moment to myself because it was, in reality, just around the corner. Everyone who has been there before you tells you not to wish it all away but it seemed that life would go on forever in the same way, but things change and here we are...

Small Sprog is lying out on the floor on his back, still in his PJs, watching something absorbing on Youtube. He has helped himself to a massive giant spider (a revolting sweet collection that he received with delight at Christmas, and that he is still wading his way through) together with one of his sisters homemade biscuits (did I mention we made biscuits?) His curly brown hair is in need of taming and I'm not sure he has washed recently! We have a rare conversation about what day it is; "It's Wednesday tomorrow" I say and he nods. That's all he needs to know, that and when the next meal is available to him. However a few minutes later I turn around and he is on the computer "Can I use your email on here?" He says.
"What's it for?" I ask. He looks at me blankly. "Why are you wearing 2 sets of earphones?" I ask. He grins, and lifts one set off...

So there you have it - school holidays with teens; excitement- zero, fun - not much, things achieved - almost none.

What day is it??!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day!

Ah, bah humbug!

I used to like Valentines Day, or at least tolerate it. I can remember when I was first married I would get quite excited about it, though it never really met with expectations! I remember, when the 'first flush' was over, that I'd try to make a nice meal at home with candles etc. but secretly wish for more. Then what happened? Kids I guess, they took most of the effort and most of the love and by the time they were easier it was too late to rekindle? Maybe.

At work today, during a rare lunchbreak, we all sat around the table and someone asked "who has already had some roses delivered then?" We all shook our heads, none of us, not the singles, not the newly weds, not the old marrieds or the divorced - no one. Are our expectations too high? It's supposed to be a busy day for florists countrywide - so who the hell gets the roses?!

I did however send a mum from us all, she loved it. And I bought some heart chocolates and mugs to put them in ... for the children - chocolates now eaten! And I bought myself a mug too, with a heart, just because I liked it.

At work I have been mentoring a student who doesn't really have any real friends. I have been working with him on good and bad qualities that people possess and asking him to locate his own qualities. He couldn't think of anything positive about himself, not one thing - so theres a lot of work to be done. I'm not sure if he understands yet that to love others, you have to first love yourself...

So, on Valentines Day... love yourself - and you'll never be disappointed!

Happy Valentines X

Sunday, February 02, 2014


Ahhhh, the massive birthday/Christmas/partying season is now officially over, with Small Sprogs Event being the closing feature! Now it's not that I don't enjoy partying and present giving, I love it, but why does it all have to be so close together? From Tall Girls celebrations in November to Small Sprogs at the end of January, it seems like one long round of shopping, wrapping and eating; Phew!

So, what next? Well I'm going to try a short counselling course in the Spring and see how I get along with that, with a view to a diploma in the future. Maybe I'll be useless at it or maybe it will feel 'right'. I've tinkered with the idea for so many years, nothing ventured nothing gained. I am hopeful, and sometimes that's the main thing.

Oh, and you can pop over to my new blog (attached to this one) if you fancy? It's an indulgence; a photo-a-day blog. Loads of them about I know and I did it last year but via Facebook/Instagram and it morphed into something else in the end. So this time it's just for me, a photo diary for the year and not very interesting to anyone but me, but I'm there if you want to hop over...just sayin'

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A belated Happy New Year!

I know it's a bit late but Happy New Year!

It's been a good start for me. Having spent two terms at work feeling extremely stressed with my job I finally decided to speak to my line manager on return to school. No boring details here but the stressful part of my job has been removed (for now). I am thanking my lucky stars - it was a much better outcome than I could have ever dreamed of. So, what a difference a day makes! I am loving my work and - although working far more hours than I'm getting paid for - it's made a massive difference to my life. I consider myself to be very lucky.

Other news...Small Sprog will be 14 on Thursday! He has seemingly no idea of time passing - mostly due to his obsession with the virtual world (look who's talking!) so when I mentioned that his birthday was only a few days away he showed extreme surprise!

Mum has been today to celebrate early with him and we have had cake in abundance. I am glad she feels able to still drive, she will be 80 later this year. Yet sometimes I feel I have lost her. I have read that, as you get older, you lose your empathy and sometimes I feel she has lost the ability to ask about us. She has become obsessed with her health, which is pretty good for her age and last Friday I received an email from her saying she had not heard from me recently, despite me ringing her 4 days earlier.When I rang her it turned out she had been in bed with an upset tummy for a few days and seemed most put out that I hadn't rung her during that time! Apparently she had felt more ill than she ever had before -yet she was in 'more pain than ever before' before Christmas when her shoulder was playing up. When I said 'next time you're poorly let me know?' she replied 'well there's nothing you can do about it is there?' - it's hard to know what to do for the best. Today I asked how she was and she said she had had a rash and it was 'the most uncomfortable she had ever been'. I exchange a glance with Tall Girl who knows that I have been suffering with my skin since the new year, and said nothing. Perhaps this self obsession is old age? It is irritating but there is no point in being irritated. Perhaps it is to do with memory? Whatever it is, she sometimes is someone I don't really know.

As she left today, she made a comment about when she might see us again. It is difficult working 4 days a week, keeping house and soul together with 2 kids and a stinky cat, to give her the attention she craves. Mostly I see her once a week, sometimes once in ten days, she lives an hour away by car, so it's not just a quick trip around the corner. Yet one day she will not be there and then I will miss her very badly, so I am trying not to be irritated and to appreciate her, as she was, as well as how she seems to be now.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A week to go!

Only a week of anticipation left! It's the best bit really, as long as you can get festive and still work in a senior school that is, boring humbug of a place! Both Tall Girl and Small Sprog have had enough of it and so have I, it's all 'Bah-humbug' with a fair amount of stress thrown into the mix.

However, here in suburbia, the lights are twinkling, the festive candles are lit, the decorations have been up a while and the advent calendars are looking low on gifts. Breath in....and out...bliss, now if only the work would just STOP, we can get on with the serious stuff of enjoying ourselves!

Small Sprog isn't singing Christmas jingles from the telly this year - must be the first time in his entire life- and I think that's mainly due to him maxing out on gaming sites, lets face it, the world could end and you'd never notice if you were playing on one of 'those' games. Despite the lack of singing though, Small Sprog is feeling festive. He has bought his sister 2 presents this year, carefully chosen, as always. When he came home with his stash a week or so ago, he rushed up stairs and thrashed about in my cupboards for a while looking for paper and tape before proudly announcing that he had been the first to put wrapped presents under the tree this year 'and it does make me feel very Christmassy' he added. I love how he loves Christmas.

If I don't get here again before next Wednesday...

Happy Christmas Everyone XXX

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Almost advent

School uniform on the bedroom floor. Scattered. It's only 4pm. Perhaps Small Sprog has been abducted by aliens? Perhaps he has not drunk enough at school and has turned to dust in an instant? But no, what's that I hear? My boy SHOUTING on Skype. Honestly he really doesn't need an internet connection, they could hear him in outer space with the amount of racket he makes on there.

I dutifully tidy his clothes and go downstairs. 'Why are you in your pyjamas already?' I mouth to him in case we are overheard by his gang of virtual friends.
'I feel Christmassy' he replies in a stage whisper.
This makes me smile. 'Me too' I say, though I have no idea why wearing your PJs as soon as you get home from school should make you feel Christmassy, he has never done this before!

However I know what he means. Little bits of Christmas have started to creep into the house. The advent calendar, which was sewn for me as a child, has been found - quite easily this year, which was surprising as last year Christmas was over by the time I had located it's whereabouts! The Christmas tea cosy has made an appearance and the Christmas mugs are out and about too. And then there's the abundance of mulled wine to be consumed and the festive candle that is alight most evenings (but that has more to do with masking the smell of a 17.5 year  old cat and his 'habits'!) Internet shopping has been undertaken and I am getting into the spirit of things. It's all quite exciting really!

This week I am on a new regime of making a massive effort to be more relaxed, I think it's working? The Nytol helps and the breathing exercises too. We have had TV dinners in front of films for 3 nights in a row now and that definitely takes my mind off things! There's nothing better than 'slobbing' about with my lovely children to help me relax and we do it so rarely - it really is a treat.

So forgive me if Christmas is coming a bit too early in suburbia? I know some of you will think it's too soon, but it's something to aim for, prepare for and enjoy - it diverts my anxiousness into excitement, which, when I think about it, can feel quite similar! However, I must admit that, unlike Small Sprog, I don't actually need to wear my pyjamas to get in to the spirit!

What makes you feel festive?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tall Girl's hit list

I always thought I had brought my children up to be liberal, free thinking and tolerant human beings, but no, yesterday I was travelling along in the car with Tall Girl when she exclaimed '...and she's going on my hit list; line 'em up against the wall and shoot 'em!'

I cast a glance in her direction, she looked deadly serious. Oh dear, liberal and tolerant? Umm?

'So who's on your hit list?' I ask, hoping I am not at the top.

'Emma' she said with vehemence. 

Emma is her most 'unbest' friend. 

'And who else?'

'Emma, Miss Scott ( head of English Dept- always bound to be on the list if you are dyslexic!) and Michael Gove'!

Well I'm 100% with her on that last one! Who's top of your hit list?

(blogging from my phone tonight-check me out!!!)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sleeping /sickness!

OK, so how much puke should one woman clear up in a week?! It all started on the night of Tall Girl's birthday - OMG she was 17 last Saturday - but that's another story.

We all went out for a celebratory meal for her 17th. When I say we, that was us as a family -Ex Husband included. Tall Girl's request was a family meal, we have done it before and it works . She enjoyed it, and I have to say it was nice to be out and about .

Small Sprog had a 'brown' dinner, he likes brown dinners! He lacks the sophistication for Tapas - which the rest of us ordered - and so he went for fish and chips with a side of onion rings and garlic bread. You see what I mean about a brown dinner? He downed a fair amount of lemonade before eating too. You can see where I'm going with this right? Then, when Small Sprog arrived back home, he asked for milk and chocolate biscuits - he had been too 'full' for pudding earlier.

About an hour later he was in bed, perhaps I have mentioned before that he has a delicate stomach? Within half an hour of him being in bed I was sitting next to him rubbing his back while he cradled a bucket - which was full before too long and when I say full I mean... well it was bloody heavy! Imagine when he's able to drink alcohol too? I don't want to think about that right now, I think he will be quite a 'party animal'.

So it was a memorable end  to Tall Girls birthday if nothing else. However the last 24 hours have been eventful on the cat puke front! Trouble is the cat can't aim into a bucket so it's scrubbing brush at the ready and off I go. I took the little b****r to the vet today for a manicure and hair do! In reality he - the cat - is 17 and a half and doesn't do much but vomit and sleep so his claws don't get worn down outside and he gave up grooming himself ages ago. I groom him but he won't let me near his tummy, so, when the knots get bad and the claws make him plait his legs (he can't retract them any more either) its £30 at the vet - thank you very much! So there I am at the vet (she is a wonderful woman), on my day off, listening to him hiss, spit and wail at the her while she did her best. I have to say he was awesome! I could hear him through 2 closed doors - there's fight in the old cat yet.

And so to bed. I am obsessed with sleeping right now, mostly because I don't seem to be able to. I go off all right but I wake in the night and my brain switches to work mode, then that's it - wide awake for a lot of the time with intermittent very odd dreams.

So tonight I am excited! I have bought some Nytol and have great expectations of a fantastic night! Oh dear - surely life should be better than this?! Do you have trouble sleeping? What are your top tips for a good nights sleep?

See you in the morning...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday night blues

 If men fancy a night in the pub or just want to get out of the house, they don't need to find friends to go with. They can just up sticks and prop up the bar for an hour, even if they don't know a sole in there.

Tonight, that's just what I want to do! The kids are away and it's been a tough working week and all I really want is to see some people - whether I know them or not - and have a few glasses of Merlot.

So tonight I am home with a glass of wine, but I'd much rather be out, even though I am exhausted and a bit tearful and I can't help wondering if I have regressed 4 years or so. Back in Suburbia I felt very lonely and now here I am feeling exactly the same again. Maybe I keep making the same mistakes?

The company of a good friend would be wonderful this weekend. However my best friend is on holiday, most of my girlfriends are married with kids and spend the weekends - understandably - with them and my one and only single friend has gone awol - busy or in love - she's not been in touch for a while.

Is this is the 'lot' of the single woman who has kids one weekend so is unavailable and an empty life the next? I need more friends, more single friends, there must be some somewhere that aren't young enough to be my children!

Life in general seems to be a bit of a struggle right now and when my line manager asked me if I was OK at work today I started to cry! Perhaps I need to go to the doctor? Perhaps I need to blog more! Or just get a life!

What will you do this weekend?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Perhaps I just need a wife?

What a beautiful day it's been today? Like summer has returned. How many more of these days will we get before winter sets in? It was a beautiful day to plant bulbs and plan for spring. So I spent some time picking out tulips and narcissus from the huge selection at the garden centre and returned home to plant them, digging up wet clods of earth and putting the bulbs to bed in the damp, cool soil. I visualised them blooming, I could almost hear their contented sigh as the chilled earth embraced them like a blanket and switched off the light. Perhaps my age is catching up with me? Not that long ago I'd have had no interest whatsoever in being in the garden, let alone find it relaxing. Oh dear!

However I have gained much pleasure in my small patch of earth this year, it has been a place to relax and reflect and I have needed both in equal measure. For sometimes I feel that I can't keep pace with life and it's not just a feeling, it's my whole being knowing that living life at this pace is not sustainable, at the moment I am swimming as fast as I can.

Of course work is demanding, promotion last month meant stepping up a gear and I have enjoyed the challenge, be it ever so frustrating at times. However I guess the main pressure is sustaining a house, garden and 2 kids single handed. A colleague at work mentioned that her husband had been away working for a week and what a relief it was that he was home again to share the jobs and the childcare - mostly the childcare! I sighed inwardly. There are no colour coded jobs in this house, no pink for dish washing and blue for taking out the bins, nope, not here. And to be honest I'm not complaining, I like the independence- a lot, but that doesn't mean it's not exhausting. Perhaps I just need a wife!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Answers on a postcard please?

'He's carrying a gun around' Tall Girl observes
'I know, he's been doing it all weekend.' I say, sighing.
'I wasn't here at the weekend'
'I know, you haven't had to put up with him shooting at will!'
'So why is he carrying a gun around?'
'He's a boy!'

Small Sprog has been rummaging in his toy cupboard. Amongst other things he has found his old elastic band gun. He has been brandishing it about for days and has an uncanny knack of looking quite professional with it - until you remember it is only loaded with elastic bands, phew!

All weekend there have been lots of little trails of blue elastic bands left around the house, if they'd have been red it would have been the Postman leaving them about, but they are definitely blue, so it must be Small Sprog! Well, that's a relief in  itself I suppose!

Several times I have been caught unawares, on entering a room, only to be shot at or at the very least be threatened! His gun is to hand at all times, he likes the satisfying click of the trigger. Right now it is on his bedside table, fully loaded, ready for action as he lies next to it, appearing to be asleep!

So, back to Tall Girls question; why is he carrying a gun around? The older he gets, the less I understand...answers on a postcard please?