Monday, September 28, 2015

those dreams

For as long as I can remember, I have had vivid dreams.

Recurring, vivid dreams.

Same subject matter.

I know why I have them; it's very obvious by their nature that my sub-concious is desperately trying to make peace with things that have happened in my past. They're not necessarily overly traumatic experiences, but there are the same things and same people that I miss that continue to appear in my dreams. Over and over again.

The first is my childhood home, which I have written about aplenty over the last ten years. This house respresented everything stable about my childhood, and according to the Internet, each room I dream about represents a certain area of my life. Sometimes the rooms are haunted, and it's terrifying. Sometimes there are secret passageways. Sometimes the entire house is overgrown with weeds. And always, I have to move out of my house and hand it over to soemone else. It's always traumatic; I always wake up crying.

Make of that what you will.

There are certain people that I dream about too. These recurring dreams - houses and these people - happen on an almost weekly basis. Sometimes months will go by and nothing, then I'll have solid weeks of dreaming about my house and the same person(s). The person belongs to my past, the old me, the me from another lifetime.

I have had the person dream almost constantly since I moved to the UK. But now, lately, over the last year or two, I have it pretty much every week. I think of this person a lot; so I suppose it's just my brain's natural way of processing these thoughts.
The outcome is always the same; I wake up and feel like I haven't managed to 'fix' what I was trying to get across or trying to achieve in the dream. This dream comes with anxiety and and a desperate sense to connect, and yet at the same time, I feel a sense of peace. With each dream I can talk to this person again, although it comes with its set of complications.

Last night, for the first time the person dream came with a soundtrack. A U2 song, that I admittedly do really like and it does mean something to me, but haven't really heard or listened to in ages, but is kind of symbolic. The lyrics played themseves loudly in my head in my dream and as a I woke up, and it was all really weird and shitty.

I've had it in my head all day. Just one-of-those-days-after-a very-vivid-dream day. Where for a second, after waking up, you're not sure where you are and what is real.

"The Ground Beneath Her Feet"

All my life, I worshipped her.
Her golden voice, her beauty's beat.
How she made us feel, how she made me real.
And the ground beneath her feet.
And the ground beneath her feet.

And now I can't be sure of anything.

Black is white and cold is heat.
For what I worshipped stole my love away.
It was the ground beneath her feet.
It was the ground beneath her feet

Go lightly down your darkened way.
Go lightly underground. I'll be down there in another day.
I won't rest until you're found.
Let me love you, let me rescue you.
Let me bring you where two roads meet. Oh come back above.
Where there is only love. Only love...
Let me love you true, let me rescue you.
Let me bring you to where two roads meet

Let me love you true, let me rescue you.
Let me bring you to where two roads meet

Reality is kinder and nicer to me than my dreams.
Although dreams are limitless.

Friday, September 25, 2015

18 months

Sebastian is exactly 18 months to the day, today.

It's hard to believe that one and a half years ago, I had just given birth to my twins. Looking back I had such a long, hard journey to navigate. Dealing with the death of Molly; and dealing with a newborn miracle, who refused to be put down and who had colic for the first three months of his life.


I read back through my twin archives the other day, and realised a few things:
1) I have come far. It was so painful and so raw and so shit a year ago. 18 months ago. It was inconceivable that I'd ever be able to be 'normal' again.
2) Time heals, and it helps. But is NEVER goes away. The death of a child is something you learn to live with. It just is a part of you and you begin to accept it. It doesn't define you, but it is a huge part of you and who you are as a result of it.
3) I think about Molly everyday. There isn't a day that goes by when I don't think about what she would look like, how she and Sebastian would be interacting, if she had my hair or the Brit's, how they'd fight over toys, if they had their own secret language and the twin outfits I'd dress them in.
4) The milestones hurt. Like today. These are the moments I let myself sob away in the kitchen, or reach out to friends who know how I feel (mostly because they've gone through the same horrific thing.)

But today, like all milestones, it's bittersweet. Because while what was meant to be never was, I am absolutely besotted with my little boy.

I am the ultimate helicopter, doting parent. And I'm not even sorry.
He throws tantrums, frowns, giggles and smiles in equal measure, and I love him more everyday. If that's even possible.

He is my absolute joy and sunshine; he is the reason I carry on everyday. The reason I do anything, ultimately comes down to him.
Pissed that I interrupted his reading. Then two seconds later, delighted to be alive. Oh, to be one and a half!

 He knows what a selfie is. Why would he be smiling like that, right?
 He feeds himself with the wrong end of the spoon in the mornings. I've tried telling him otherwise, but he just lobs oatmeal at me.)
 When he concentrates, and the little lip pops out, and the eyelashes fall across his cheeks...I could watch him all day.
 I love him. So so hard.
 He is an actual boy.

Me and my boykie.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

snakes and reflextion

I have three weeks to haul ass before my best friend's wedding.

That means getting back on the saddle, and burning serious calorie everyday, while investigating something I've never investigated before (a high street spray tan. Oh my God I can't believe I may have to resort to this), and doing my arm exercises.

Because nobody wants arm ham. Even if they aren't the bride.

I've also decided to go holistic. It's been a while since I explored the alternative side of things, but the last time I did acupuncture, I found it terribly relaxing. I'm not sure if it did anything, (or what it was meant to be doing at the time?), but I've decided beyond eating healthily and exercising, I want to address everything else in my body, and everyone RAVES about it, so why not?
If it helps me deal with stress, gets me to relax, gets 'everything flowing properly,' 'unblocks my channels,' then frankly, sign me up.

Me: I've decided to start acupuncture. And reflexology.

Friend: That's great. I get it for my back. Worked miracles.

Me: I did it when I first came to the UK, by some little Chinese man whose speech was unrecognisable, so I'm not sure what it did, but I always felt relaxed when I walked out of there?

Friend: What are you specifically trying to address?

Me: My channels. My flow.

Friend: I don't know what that is, but usually acupuncture helps real ailments. Of real organs.

Me: Surely it can find my real ailments? And therein find my flow? And take all the negative energy out of my channels?

Friend: I don't quite think that that's what it does.

Me: Well we shall see about that.

See? That's what's so great about alternative 'healing' and medicine. Define it as you like, because there's no actual medical science behind it, is there? If it makes SOMETHING better, then it's worked. Whose to say what it will make better?

I figure the same with my feet. I walk on them all day. They shoulder all my worries and burdens, and they deserve a break.

I'm going to be one of those weird 'alternative' people for a while. And see how this works out for me. (And my bank balance. Being into this shit doesn't come cheap, lemmetellya.)

I'm starting to get excited for the sunshine and going home to South Africa in just over 3 weeks.
My mum has booked us for a three day getaway to the Waterberg after Dove's wedding, so that we can chill. In a lodge, in the middle of nowhere. Where there are animals and shit. Pure bliss.

You have to love an African problem though:

From: Mum
To: Peas On Toast

We've decided to book another lodge completely, something quite far away from the one we discussed before.
The new one has an indoor pool, plus our own pool and a jungle gym for Sebby to climb on.
Oh, and while walking around the last place to check it out, we saw a long spitting cobra. He said there will be tons of snakes around the actual hut due to its location. It was slithering towards the hut.

Anyway have to go, toodaloo.

Er...mum, I think you've been living in Africa for too long, because you've only gone and buried the lede there.

Also, don't these fuckers hunt in pairs? And like to sleep in children's beds? Where did I read that once. It wasn't even the Daily Mail. Sebastian picking up the cobra and pointing, 'Mummay? Stick, Mummay?'
No, not a stick my darling, a potentially lethal neurotoxic poison injecticator, that you don't even need to touch for it to swathe you in it's venom juice. Put it down, set the hut on fire, start flying.

It may be cold and rainy outside, but in my may be spring. Soon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

beware the porcine flu strain

Here I am, 35.

In the past week alone, I have:
1) Been to Dublin for three days;
2) Caught the worst strain of flu I have had in about 20 years;
3) Spent a weekend in Surrey, plucking wild black berries from bushes and recovering from flu and old age among England's greenest hills.
 At least the sun was shining in Dublin....I mean, whaddoyouknow.

I set off for a conference in Ireland last week, and managed to contract something on the plane or thereabouts, but it kind of lay dormant in my body for a few days. Stealth-mode.

No sniffles. No endless shoelaces of snot, no anything feral basically.
I just felt like my body decided to stop working. I was more tired that the tiredest motherfucker on Earth, and staying awake past 9:00pm was nothing short of an ordeal.

You know what conference weeks are like. Or maybe you don't. There are sessions and bags and bags of crisps, lots of small talk, and binge drinking into the late hours. You usually rip the ring out of a conference.
Well I was having none of that. While Dublin promised to be a short break away from the grind of work and being a mum, I ended up just yearning for more sleep on the trip. I didn't tear it out of Dublin; and it certainly didn't rip me a new one either.

On returning, the virus within me decided to awaken, and with it, bought an unprecedented amount of physical aching of every joint in every bone in my body. You know the type. Or maybe you don't. Where your fingernails ache. Your back. Your legs. Your eyeballs. Paracetamol only just takes the edge off. One minute you're on fire, the next you're so cold you wonder whether it's possibly to die of hypothermia while encased in cashmere blankets in an otherwise temperate setting.

And when you have a toddler who likes to climb all over you, or shove a book into your face or pound your head with a truck first thing in the morning, well, you really do wonder if you might actually die.

Now, my husband has it and is lying in bed pretty much reading the verse "As I walked through the valley of the shadow of death," because when men get sick, it's 1 000 times worse than when women do, and I am at work catching up, but also now feels like my entire chest cavity has caved in on itself and I am having trouble breathing.

Worst flu ever? This has to be some fucked up animal strain, surely. Porcine. Or Bovine. Way too weak for Avian.

So enough about that.

It was good to get away. Just to recover, sleep and do some country walks.

Pictorially, this is how we spent my birthday weekend:
 A trip to a local Saffa store. Because Zoo Biscuits look cute on Instagram.
Sebastian has suddenly become one of "those" toddlers. A toddler. In every sense of the word. One minute he is genuinely angry, forwing and screaming and using two words at loud volume together in a public space ("No no no! Mine mine mine!") and we cringe and avoid eye contact with everyone around us. Temnper tantrums have officially started.
The next minute he is giggling and lovable and saying "mum-may" and "duck" and "woof" and running with his little bandy legs everywhere, it's hard to imagine that he was writhing about red-faced and having a shit fit just a few moments before.
His moods go from happy to pissed all day. Our little baby has officially become a Twonager. A new chapter, a new ride of emotions.
Sheep. We looked at some.

 Boys playing the fool.
We went to Bockett's Farm, a sort of mad, working farm created especially for kids. Tons of animals, amusement-style play areas and Touch & Feel things, plus Feeding Time and all of that. Sebastian was in his element. He is animal obsessed at the moment. He stuck his little finger in the chicken run and got pecked (there were tears), but for the rest of it he was in heaven!
 Watching baby piglets feed.
 Feeding the goats.

 We stayed at a quaint little hotel at the foot of Box Hill. (Which we hiked up. Duly unprepared, but we made it to the top.) Sebastian liked to wedge himself next to the toilet. A lot.
Our hotel was near Dorking, a cute little town in Surrey filled with antiques shops and cosy coffee places.
 From the top of Box Hill, overlooking the Surrey Hills.
We dragged our toddler over hill and dale. Eating apples and black berries from wild trees and bushes along the way.
 A shepherd's hut. A vintage 'must have' in the English countryside.
 Legging it up winding roads.
 Our hotel for the weekend.

And, back to concentrating on not being depressed about being middle-aged.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

the dark place

So I'm in kind of a dark place right now.

The death of my mother-in-law has spurred on a lot of things relating to mortality. Hell, I've been thinking about life and death pretty much every day since Molly passed away, but now it's hit me from the other side.

Infant mortality is one side of my anxieties and sadness; but now it's parental. The older generation. The fear of losing my parents, the fear of getting old and dying myself.

(This all collides nicely with my steady slide into middle age. I will be 35 this month. And it is with fear and dread, alongside a heavy nostalgia of what I have done and what I haven't done up until this point, with which I anticipate this event.)

It's kind of depressing, but these things are constantly haranguing my brain right now:

Being a parent means that every awful thing that happens to a child in the news is 10 000 times worse in your head
Pictures of the Syrian mother trying to save herself and her baby as she swims across the English Channel. Stories about a truckload of migrants found dead in Austria, some because they suffocated.

The tube advertisement depicting the wide-eyed portrait of a crying boy, with a tube up his nose that says, "Louis has cancer and needs your help. £1 a day means he could live to see another day." 

The ad on the telly calling for people to donate money to the mother in Africa who has to walk 20 miles a day to pump fresh water for her children.

The Twitter feed that depicts everything happening, live, at Reading Festival last weekend, showing the horrors of teenagers doing unspeakable things on drugs I didn't even know existed, like eating their own vomit and drinking out of porta-loos while "fucked on Mandy" ("Mandy" is ecstasy, FYI). That's someone's child!

Basically, ANYTHING. Take any story that has something to do a with a child,  and it will haunt me so badly, I actually just don't know what to do with myself. I can't even cope.

Because the moment I see little Louis' face on the tube, or imagine the children in the back of that lorry, or think about the migrant mothers desperately trying to get her children out of Syria, something inside me breaks. Because all I can think of, and all my brain automatically turns to is, "That could be Sebastian."

It feels like something stabs me directly in the heart when I see/hear/imagine all the horrible things that happen to children every day, on this planet, at the moment.

And the world has gone mad!
 There are unspeakable things that seem to be happening everywhere; and because social media shows us every ticking second of it, it's impossible to bury my head in the sand.

Sometimes I just want to scoop up my family and go and live on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. In a treehouse. Where we eat coconuts and wear clothes fashioned from palm fronds. I can barely take living in the 'real world' right now.

Three years ago it was my beloved aunt, my "family" here in London. 17 months ago it was my Molly. About 3 months ago it was my colleague in marketing. A month ago it was my mother-in-law.
Also hearing more and more stories of mothers losing full-term babies all the time now.

It seems to be everywhere. Someone is here; then they are not. A child exists; then it does not.

Life is cruel. All I feel at the moment is that life is scathingly unfair and brutal. With no rhyme, reason or justification.

There's no method to the madness. It's random. When your number is up, it's up. But as philosophical as you can manage it all, it's hard to swallow when you feel like there's no compassion from the Universe.
We go to work, we come home, we see our children, we go to bed. And we repeat that cycle, for what we hope, is 65 years. Then we imagine the golden days of retiring when we can take a cruise and play bingo.

We are told to be healthy, but at the same time life is short so live a little. Eat this or you'll die, do this or you'll die, make sure you eat this/keep that/action this/foster this or you'll get sick. Remember to fill your life with family, but only spend time with those who boost your energy.

Surround yourself with positive people, but tolerate, respect and visit your grumpy grandfather. Meditate and do yoga and read and do things for yourself, but keep busy. Keep on top of your expenses, admin, life. Drink wine, but don't drink alcohol.
Love your work, but not too much, because you need balance.

Life is a complete and utter hypocrisy. It's full of hate and shit and things that make you panic. Constantly. And when you're a mother, the panic rises to a crescendo where you can't help but imagine your child in the same positions as all the other unfortunate and innocent little mites of this world.

So, I'm jaded. Everything is a little dark. But as I've always been told "Nothing stays the same, some days you'll be sad, some days you'll be happy," I suspect this applies to years too. Some years I'll be sad, and maybe someday, or some year, I'll be happy again.

No coincidence but:
It's now Autumn,; winter is kind of here - there's a crispiness in the air, and people are starting to wear a lot of aubergine. 
We haven't had a holiday all year. As in, we haven't had a real break. Where we get to lie on a deck chair in the shunshine for an hour. Or sip a cocktail while we stare into the distance.
We can have a night off once in a while when we get a babysitter, but these are few and far between.

Everyone around me has been to a variety of places like Portugal, Greece or France for the summer - and i am waiting for my citizenship papers to come through before I can step foot in Europe again.

But what's that in the grand scheme of things? A fucking first world problem, that's what. 

I'm not complaining. I am very protective over Sebastian, probably overly so. He is my miracle and and I don't like being away from him for more than a few days.

But a holiday where someone can be around to take him for a few hours for a few days (grandparent? Certified and lovable nanny?) would be absolutely amazing. Just so that we can sleep.

We've been getting up at around 5:30am to 6am every morning for about 6 months now. And because we haven't had an official holiday, I am completely and utterly burnt out.

We go to SA in October, which is very exciting as it's Dove's wedding, but I am as equally as excited to spend time with my folks and have them take Sebastian for two weekends.

Then, I think, we need to think about booking one of those holidays where everything is inclusive and they offer daycare for a few hours while we get massaged/eat at a restaurant/have a nap/swim. Or something.

Very soon.

Negative-sounding post over.

PS: I love my family so very very much.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

stuff you buy when you're drunk

It continues to be bleak, sad and generally dismal times in my house, in my world, so I'll do what I do best:
Compartmentalise it and talk about something else.

She Who Also Loves Tweed waltzed into work the other day carrying a package under her arm. With glee she announced that "her new coffee cup" had arrived.

While I imagined it to be something like this:
You know, cute, portable, practical, can stand up on it's own, it turned out to be this:
 Woah......what is that?
"It's my portable goat horn coffee mug. With shoulder strap, leather holster and hessian sack. All the way from Slovenia!"

Well, obviously this desishe was made when you were drunk, right?

"I might've polished off a bottle of pinot."

It can also double up as a conch shell, Viking claw, weapon, calabash, musical instrument, a Druid relic....

Tweedy is being strangely adamant in using it, even though it doesn't actually stand up on it's own, and I've bet her £20 (the actual value of the thing) that she won't be using it next week.

This got us talking about stuff we've bought when we've been drunk.

I bought a piano. By mistake. After an exceptional bottle of Diemersfontein pinotage. Which turned out to be a pretty fucking expensive mistake.

This is what other people around me have bought, and for added fun, I'm going to rate it from 1 to I Bought A Piano of worst things to buy when intoxicated (WTTBWI) scale.

Flared white 'fashion' trousers in Milan
"I got caught up in the hub-bub of being in the fashion capital of the world!" he protests, in his usual garb of twill grey pants and brown knitted cardigan. "I was in Milan! I was on the Aperol Spritz, everyone was wearing incredibly tight trousers, and I felt like I needed to step it up a notch and fit in."
So, he went to a designer store (there are only designer stores in Milan), and bought himself some skinny - but flared at the bottom - white tailored pants. And wore them there. Even after the Aperol hangover had passed.
"They had this slight, but now very obvious white sheen. If I'm honest, this is what attracted me to them in the first place. It's like my entire personality and preferences changed, because, really, [hands flailing wildly as he reaches the crescendo of his story], these pants were very unlike like me at all!"

They cost a fortune, and later when unpacking his suitcase back in Britain, was asked by his wife whether his "Elvis impression" was well-received in Italy. WTTBWI rating: a solid 6/10.

A ukelele
"Unsure of whether this was a ukelele or banjo at the time," said the dissident. "But thought it would be really cool to learn to play it after drinking whisky sours and listening to Alabama bluegrass all evening."
Thanks to Amazon Prime, the strung instrument was on her doorstop before the hungover had even kicked in, and at [fairly] minimal expense. WTTBWI rating: 6/10.

A wagon wheel.
"I fucking loved my wagon wheel," this one says, before anyone has the chance to discuss whether a wagon wheel is very authentic or in fact, very kitsch.
"My ex-girlfriend tried to throw it away and I found it next to a tip one morning. Needless to say, our relationship is no longer," he says, still rather fired up.

The wagon wheel was purchased after a heavy session of craft ale drinking in deepest darkest Hackney, where one finds shops selling wagon wheels and rollerblades, simultaneously.

The thing is said to be an original piece "Great Trek memorabilia", plucked from the foothills of Isandlwana. (I totally made that up, but I imagine the sales pitch was as such.)
"It's also fucking heavy. The entire thing is encased in a lead bracket, so while I thought I'd lift it to hang off the ceiling, it's still sitting in my garage."
How did he carry it home?

He doesn't remember. And no remembrance of the price tag either, but given it sounded like it came off Piet Retief's wagon himself, I'm guessing it was "show me the benjamins" expensive.  WTTBWI rating: a 7/10.

A decorative ladder.
Similar to the tale above, but slightly more out there object. The plummy girl from Notting Hill said she walked past a shabby chic gallery shop on the Portobello Road after too many Skinny Bitches (vodka + soda water + twist of lime), and decided to buy what she describes as 'an artful ladder.'

"My friends thought it was the most outrageous thing because my flat hasn't been decorated in years. I don't have any art on the walls, no matching linen, and yet, here I had this £900 ladder leaning on my bedroom wall.....that I couldn't even climb because it" 

A ladder that leads to nowhere. Artfully made to look like the paint on it is peeling, and can be leant up against a wall for no reason whatsoever. A 8/10 on the WTTBWI.

A one way flight. To Beirut.
The Canadian in my office did this. In the dead of night. And actually went.
A good few hundreds of pounds later, three new time zones, one continent and an airplane meal later, this rates a cool 9/10 on the WTTBWI. Assuming it meant she had to also buy another one way ticket back to London after the fact. 

So next time you buy a room burner, or reed infuser, or a porta-pool, or a snakeboard or a three pack of plaid shirts online, when drunk, you might not feel so bad now.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

the fear

 Well it's certainly been a gnarly couple of weeks. The Brit and I are exhausted; all the emotional stuff and constant needing to sort things out, while also driving to and from Hampshire every few days has really taken it out of us.

Last night we were asleep by 8pm.

There's just so much to do and so much to think of all the time.

When will we get rid of Sebastian's dummy, with his teething it's nigh impossible for him not to have it, but he needs it to fall asleep and I worry he will be sucking on it when he is 21 years old, when and how do I make the break, do I wait for the dummy fairy to appear when he is 2? Will he get what that is?

When do I drop this morning bottle of his, he also cannot cope with not coming into bed with us to have his bottle in the morning and I foresee him wanting to do this when he is a grown man, why oh why does this worry me so much and why don't I just let him have a bottle forever then?

We need to move. Our flat is too small. Where will we move? Will we still be relatively close to London? I dream of long, unbridled areas of space where children can run around in the open, and the rooms are roomy and the garden large. But then we'd need to leave Clapham. My home, the place I rather have grown to love over the years.

I have to do a live TV interview and radio interview this week. I get nervous about such things.

I fear Winter this year like I've never feared Winter before. The fear usually sets in about nowish, when there is an ever-so-slight, almost unrecognisable, but still very much there, chill in the air. The days are reaching 21 degrees and no higher.
But this year, I face Winter with a new, unchartered realisation. And the fear has mushroomed into terror.
I have a toddler.

What on Earth do people do with little boys in winter? I know the answer to this already, but allow me. At the moment, we spend entire days, do multiple visits, pretty much spend our weekends doing shift work at Clapham Common. Where there is coffee, swings, wide open spaces, a massive sandpit, and a cordoned-off area just for children to run around in.
This is all very well when the wind isn't howling at gale-force, the rain isn't coming down in 45% sheets in your face, it isn't freezing, and it isn't fucking dark.

One lives like a mole in winter here. You're either underground, or you come out when it's dark.
This is bothersome for a number of reasons, but mostly because you get Seasonal Affective Disorder. But at least you get to be indoors.

With a rambunctious, little boy toddler who has more energy than you can shake a stick at, I still have to go outside. And regularly. So that the chap can burn some of it off, so he doesn't claw his way up our walls with frustration.

Which means full-length rain suits, eight layers of thermals, putting that rain thing over the buggy over and over again, trying to be comfortable while being wet. And cold.
Or heading to a soft play. Which is filled with little snot machines and germ-addled monkeys, and queues, and shit fits, and wondering which child is yours, because you can't find him between the ball pit and the climbing ropes, then panicking because he did a pooh and it's seeping out of his dungarees and onto the slide.

Yeah. Winter fills me with a panic so severe, I wonder whether I might convince the Brit that we immigrate back to Africa.

Or again, buy a house in deepest, darkest Kent. Where there is a play room. That we wallpaper from top to bottom with metres of those foam squares. And attach a Tarzan swing to the ceiling.

On the plus side, in about two months, we have three weeks in South Africa. before winter really sets in.

Monday, August 10, 2015

unexpected loss

After such a lovely weekend with them a couple of weeks ago (see below), my mother-in-law very unexpectedly pass away last week.

The shock and grief that is running through my Brit and his family at the moment is inconceivable. She was such a young-at-heart, healthy woman. Never did anyone expect something like this to happen.

The last week has been grim, as you can imagine. I went down to Hampshire with the Brit for the first four days, to be there and to support. Although I felt like there isn't much I can really do, having my hands full with Sebby, but all in all, good to be there with them.

We all have such heavy hearts. Her funeral is this coming Friday, and the Brit is saying a eulogy. He is still down there sifting through the aftermath and her things. It's dreadful on all accounts.

I am so deeply saddened for him, and for her grandson, my Sebastian. He was just getting to know her, and now at 16 months old, sadly won't remember his Granny. There is an absolute emptiness, and it's left her family inconsolable.

I'm back at work now, and will be down there again on Thursday.
My only hope is that she is with Molly. The rose our friends gave to us on my twins birthday this year has just sprouted its first bloom in our garden. So I'd like to think of it as a sign that they are together, wherever they may be.

Monday, July 27, 2015

lulworth cove

We went away this weekend, down to Hampshire to see the Brit's parents and go to a wedding.  It was sheet rain for most of the weekend, except Saturday.

We stayed here, in the heart of the New Forest. Beautiful outside; the set of Fawlty Towers inside:

We got in the car and drove a little way further southwest, to the Dorset Jurassic Coastline.
It's amazing. It's a well known area to geologists for the insane rock formations and layers of sandstone and shale, and it's completely prehistoric - there have been tons of fossils found here, and the landscape hasn't changed much in millions of years.

We headed to Lulworth Cove, where you're reminded how well the British do "country." Rural little hamlets, bursting with so much quaintness it's almost saccharine.

We ate pasties, licked ice creams, and lay in the sun staring at the cloud formations, for what seemed like hours (but wasn't; Sebastian was asleep in his buggy next to us for about 45 minutes), but we climbed the grassy hills nearby and took in the views, and sat on the beach while some friends came to join us.

I'll let the pictures do that talking. (If you live in the UK, this is well worth a trip on a sunny day...)
 Lulworth Cove
 Mummy having a break. While eating double clotted cream ice cream.
 Rolling around with my boys
Oh good. He just did a pooh.
One wouldn't think this was in Britain, would they?
 This mill pond is so quaint, it's almost too much.
Of course, someone will want to show off. And fly a kite.

 So that was nice.