Monday, 25 May 2015

All or nothing

Life is a little different at the moment. In a good way. My husband's home, which means I have help and company during the week for a change. Makes such a difference, a bit of sharing. I'm not nearly as tired or grumpy (so I've been told), but it does take us all a while to adjust to him being around full time. He's sort of in holiday mode: no one else is.... all the mundane everyday stuff still has to be sorted, and I'm used to things being done my way. He is not.
His expectations of the kids behaviour can also swing into the realms of unreal. I'm pretty convinced this has something to do with spending so much of his life in an army environment where he's used to people listening to him. That doesn't really happen here. Well certainly not as much as he'd like... So, it takes time for us to bumble along and meet somewhere in the middle.

The other thing is, as lovely as all this may be, it's temporary - the clock's ticking; we're getting closer and closer to the day he goes. I've got quite good at blocking out the ticking.
I've learnt not to dwell on the inevitable, not to fight this situation, because it's exhausting doing that. And depressing. It's such an old cliche, but you've got to make the most of whatever unexpected path you find yourself on - and it's so important to keep looking around as you walk; take in the view even when you don't really feel like it, and try, try to focus on the good bits, and enjoy the journey as much as you can. I might slow down a little (sanity thing again), but I'm not stopping; not putting things on hold because he's not here; not wasting 9 months.

Back to blocking out the ticking.

We haven't made an enormous amount of headway with our painting/decorating list. The hall is still a mess, though the worst chips and marks on the doors have been sanded. What is it with kids and doors? I'm half wondering why we're bothering, but I made the mistake of painting the bathroom door, which seems to have made it even more obvious how bad everything else looks.

The two of us managed a trip to Hereford, though it did end up being a predominantly admin day. We got some paint (for the hall), priced up laptops for the eldest, looked at roof racks: exciting stuff like that - and while he was in the building merchants, weighing up the benefits of concrete versus plastic garden guttering, I sneaked into charity shop and bought this rather lovely 70's J & G Meakin coffee set for three pounds. There was no way I was leaving it. Makes me think of holidays in France, with the sunflowers.

Birthdays have kept us busy this past week and been a good 'hall wall' distraction. The youngest wanted her party at home.... and I said 'yes' before I could think about it too hard. Parties at home always turn out to be more work than I remember. Usually comes flooding back by about the third batch of fairy cakes.

Thankfully on the day the sun shone; the kids ran around outside like loons; I remembered to take the sausages out of the oven, and my husband was in his element organising party games. If he was here more often I could hire him out.
We went for a seaside themed cake this time, and I think more fondant was eaten than actually went on the cake.

I'd hoped for a rainbow effect inside but was a bit heavy handed with the cochineal (it looked pale pink in the cake mix) and the sponge ended up a crazy bright fuchsia colour. Lack of cake means I can't show you.

The eldest wasn't bothered with the idea of having a party - way too cool for that stuff, now he's 13 - and he's being taken to the FA Cup final at the end of the month, which is basically all his treats for the whole year rolled into one. The kids always get to choose their Birthday tea and he asked for a prawn ring (not for sharing), pizza (ditto) and his own personal profiterole stack.
Got to love teenage boys.


  1. Adjusting to a man around the place during the day takes time, doesn't it. I found it so difficult when Mike retired for good. In time we readjusted. So much harder to know they are going away for a long period though. It sounds like the party was great fun and a great hall wall distraction!

    1. Adjusting takes a while, no matter how many times you do it! Can't imagine what it's going to be like when he's home for good...

  2. How right you are, once you tart up one area of the house, other parts look tatty. I'm not doing any more decorating though, not this summer anyway. Fabulous score with the coffee set, I discovered the french word for sunflower this week... le tournesol, but you probably knew that anyway. Your beach cake looks scrumptious and the crabs are so cute.

    1. You've done really well with the decorating - we've ground to a halt again because it's Half Term. Always an excuse!
      The cake was stripped of sea life and sweets in seconds!

  3. Love the cake. Don't love the clock ticking, it must be so hard to cope with that. Do like the sound of the personal profiterole stack. I am hoping it was French wedding cake sized?? :) x

  4. Sounds as though you’ve achieved a lot and I am full of admiration for that cake!