Pages

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sex talk at the table...not for the faint hearted!

It's dinner time and we all sit around the table and eat at the usual pace - Small Sprog eats as fast as possible in order to get back on line in his own virtual paradise. As I look at us all I realise we are peacefully happy together in our own version of 'normal'. TG is nearing 18 and Small Sprog has practically doubled in size over the last 4 months - he's all long and gangly a bit like those yellow stretchy men that he used to bring home in party bags.

The chatter comes around to boy friends as Tall Girl laments the lack of one - again. Small Sprog has made it clear that he has no intention to pursue a love interest yet. He has watched his best friend Dan change girl friends almost as often as he changes his pants (which, to be fair, for a teenage boy is probably not that often!). Small Sprog is always there to pick up the pieces, from both parties - lending a listening ear and sorting out disputes! It seems to have put him off embarking on a romantic liaison - if you can be romantic at a massive comprehensive school age 14, with nothing much to go on but instinct and the internet!

Anyway, I'm halfway through my Thursday night Pasta Bake (it has to be easy to make on a Thursday as I'm always knackered) when Small Sprog pipes up 'And Dan's already 'fingered' someone'!
I splutter my pasta back onto the plate. 'Thanks Small Sprog, for sharing that delightful bit of information, I think I could do without knowing that at mealtime (if at all)'
'Well it's better than having sex with them' he says in a matter of fact way.
It depends how well it's done, I thought to myself - that was probably, I decided, not quite the right thing to share at the table either.

I look at my beautiful boy and think what a hard time it can be for a boy. All the responsibility of asking a girl out and knowing what to do. If only I could pass on the do's and don'ts of dating and seducing...hardly a topic a teenage boy would want to discuss with his mother.

As predicted he wanders of, slinks away from the table as though we wouldn't notice him leave. I mock plead with him to stay and join in some more conversation. He skips up the stairs.

Tall Girl and I continue the theme as she spouts forth about a quiz on Facebook which can tell you if you're a lesbian or not! All of a sudden he's back; he must have been listening from the top of the stairs and he's eager to catch morsels of information that might help him along the path to sexual knowledge! He sits on the table this time as we have more or less finished eating and he tells me some people in his year have had sex. His sister - ever the moralist- thinks its completely disgusting, but that's probably because it's bypassed her so far! I, on the other hand, make things worse by saying I was 17 when I first had sex. 'That makes me feel a whole lot better!' she hurumphs and I do try to qualify it by saying I had left school and was working and that it was a lasting relationship. I'm not sure this helped.

Small Sprog took in all the information, quietly. It was unusual for him to stay so long in a conversation. Towards the end I said gently that he could always ask me questions - he didn't seem to mind me offering and then he turned to me and said 'Can I show you a new game'
'What's it called' I asked
'Goat Simulator' He replied
And suddenly we were 'back in the room'- all was normal with the world!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The dreaded 50!


It's been a whirlwind few months, a busy 2014 - I'll not forget my 50th year - and so much is going on that I can't write here yet. However this weekend I am celebrating big time! It's my last weekend of being in my 40's and I'm making the most of it! What's the point in celebrating being 50 when you can celebrate being 49 for the last time?! To follow progress from Friday night, ( alcoholic haze permitting) check out my photo-a-day blog here 

http://apictureaday3562014.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1


See you on the other side!

 Yet as I'm writing I can't quite believe it's all going to work out... Can we ever let ourselves look forward without a sneaking feeling that it won't happen - something will stop it happening- because I don't deserve it?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

No dead dog jokes!

Ahhhh... it's the holidays again, no alarm clocks for a week and kids lying about in bed all day! Bliss, as long as I can go out a do my own thing for a bit - which, I have to say, they don't seem to mind.

So today was the holiday trip to Cheltenham to see Mum. She likes us to see us all together at least once in the holiday. And it was important to go this weekend as, very sadly, she had to make the decision to put her lovely Golden Retrieved down a few days ago. The poor thing was very old and had started to become quite ill. Mum is devastated, we can never prepare it seems, even though we know that the inevitable is near.

So, before getting in the car today I had a quick word with Small Sprog: he's quite often in his own little world and I was worried that, although I'd told him the dog was dead, that he would just breeze in through the door and ask where she was, without thinking. "Small Sprog" I said "Don't forget the dog is dead"
"I remember" he replies with a wry smile.

With Mum today we listen a lot. She has sorted through photos of the dog and wants to get a nice one framed. I help her take some digital ones off the computer so they can take them somewhere to be printed. She mentions the dog in most conversations, she is grieving. And Small Sprog manages admirably to say nothing dodgy at all.

By 8pm we are all back in the car and as I pull out of the cul-de-sac that they live in Small Sprog chirps up from the back seat "Mum, how did we do on the dead dog jokes?"! I exploded into laughter! Timing is everything and that boy certainly has it all...

Meanwhile on the motorway Tall Girl says "Oh! I thought I saw a deer but it was just a horse with a tree behind it" - Now she definitely is on a different planet- its just the way we roll...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tuesday nights in suburbia

For the first time ever I am leaving the kids to their own devices for the evening, shocking isn't it?! Not that I'm leaving them but that I haven't done it before. Goodness me, they are certainly old enough to sort themselves out now but, as I only have them for 9 out of 14 nights I always try to be in when they are so that we can be together. However as they've grown older we do all seem to end up in different rooms or at least on different screens.

So when I saw the counselling course advertised I decided they'd be ok and went for it. And they are ok, so it seems, especially as every other week they are not with me on a Tuesday evening.

The course is going well so far and I'm loving the love there between us all as a group.

Last night I left the kids with written instructions for dinner and left them to it, reminding TG not to let her brother just forget to eat! When I arrived home the kitchen was relatively tidy and meals had definitely been consumed. "How was dinner?" I asked TG
"We had a great time" she replied "we danced together in the kitchen while we waited for it to cook"

Wow! That made me a very happy mummy...

Monday, May 12, 2014

The future

Sometimes things happen and you have no control. Life is good right now- I have a full life, love all the people in it, every single one, love my work and care about my caseload there (a lot). And then something happens to make you think you are not invincible. Life is short. It's beautiful and the thought of it being cut shorter is devistating but true for all of us...there is never a way of knowing how or when it will end. 

So, for now, love those who are most important and live like there's no tomorrow... Just sayin'. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Second chances

So after the reunion I have been thinking. The talk there was about illness, death and hip replacements! Well, not all the talk, but a fair bit of it, even though the demographic was from just under 50 to 65ish. At one point I thought perhaps everyone who had ever worked in that office was 'doomed'! I mean, generally, I had a good time catching up with the people I wanted to see but some of the conversation was 'old'. And then I remembered that I was one of the youngest of the team when I was there and so consequently my aged self of the moment was - unusually for me these days - one of the youngest there.

In contrast, in my current job, I am probably one of the top 5 oldest people in the building! Perhaps this is why I don't get the illness and death conversations very often? Most of the people I work with could be my offspring. So, when we go the the pub en masse on a Friday night, not only is there a fair amount of work talk but generally a lot of "What are you doing at the weekend?" sort of chat, most of which is full of energy and busyness.

And so I feel I am getting a second chance to be young again, surrounded by youth, for whom illness and death are in the very distant future, the youthful- one of which I once was - who feel they can live forever.

I never did want to grow up. Still don't.

How about you?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Reunion

Sometimes I think that it's a blessing that we can't see into the future...

A while back a work reunion was organised from the building company I worked before having a family, it's more than 18 years since I left. Today was the day we all met for lunch, it wasn't a full compliment but the person I really wanted to meet again was still going, so despite feeling a bit under the weather, I made it to the venue - the last to arrive as usual!

As I walked into the bar I noticed everyone in the far corner. And there she was, my old sales director, 20 years older than me - almost exactly - and still looking much the same as she always did. She hadn't changed a bit, still beautiful, slightly caustic and definitely superior! But that is only on the outside. We had  mutual respect for each other in those days, I envied her her strength and she admired my design sense. We had worked well together.

She left the company not long before I did, she had breast cancer and to my shame, I didn't keep in touch. In the last 20 years she has had a mastectomy, lost her husband to suicide, had several failed dating agency relationships, several high powered jobs and had recently married a millionaire. So much drama in not many years, perhaps a blessing we don't know what the future holds?

Today we reminisced about working together, we always had a ball! I don't think the workplace is like that anymore - everyone is so 'professional' now! In those days her ashtray on her desk was piled high with fag ends and once the architect dept dressed as ninja turtles and kidnapped her PA!

Today we talked about all the sites we worked with, she remembers all the house designs and I remember the names of the hundreds of meters of fabric I ordered. "Which was your favourite" she asked
"I loved them all" I replied "otherwise I wouldn't have been able to do my job"
All that time ago, but it is still in our bones and, now I've thought about it, sadly missed by us all.

As we left, we kissed in the car park. "You look amazing" I told her
"You always have" she replied. And we parted ways again.


Who knows what the future holds?





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 card...to 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

Breath...

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.