I Was Swallowed By A Hippo

Castle life, Aga strife, slummy mummy, average wife

A Visitor!

We had a visitor from civilisation this weekend and it was fabulous. My lovely sister came to stay for a few days and the good weather held which was a huge relief. I have the fear that if people find the journey too awful and are greeted with horrendous weather, they won’t come back and we’ll never see anyone again except on Skype.
20130728-205024.jpgWaving her off was really hard though. I miss her so much, as do the girls. We had to endure a good twenty minutes of Zoe crying out for AUNTIE YA YA when she woke up in her usual post-nap maelstrom. What IS that? If I was allowed an afternoon kip I might be a bit less Sharon Osbourne and a lot more Fräulein Maria.

In an attempt to counter my misery I dragged everyone out on walk up the glen. It actually worked. Zoe stopped screaming for Ya Ya, Niall stopped screaming at Zoe and I stopped screaming at Niall. India continued to scream intermittently for no reason but it was bearable in the sunshine. We popped on on some neighbours and then another neighbour on the way home and while we were there our WWOOFERs joined us and then another couple who live in the village just happened to be passing and stopped for a cuppa. I totally forgot to be miserable about living a million miles away from people I love and was reminded that there are very lovely people all around us. Blessings were duly counted.



I decided to take the girls on a wee visit to BofA for a few days to catch up with parents, friends and Sainsbury’s. I was worried that it was too soon and I wouldn’t want to leave but I definitely feel like a visitor and that Torrisdale is home. Also, I couldn’t cope with the expansive aisles in Sainsbury’s and the plethora of choice and variety. I popped in for some bananas and spent £90.

Even the journey was better than I anticipated, despite a major breakdown 2 hours in. (Me, not the car). We all recovered with a half-way ice cream and some dog-snogging. (The kids, not me).
After that it was plain sailing but boring as hell as they fell asleep and radio 2 fell out of range. Must dig out some old cassettes for the journey home. I’m sure mum still has Elaine Paige and Baraba Dixon: The Hits.*

It has gone Very Well Indeed and has been lovely to catch up with people, including a couple of antipodean bonus extras. Mum and I have narrowly avoided a monumental clash a couple of times, but we did manage to keep a lid on it so there was no storming out and running down the street this time. We shared a very special moment watching a blind Japanese pianist play
Rachmaninov at The Proms – my late aunt’s favourite piece. It was very moving, up until the moment mum reached into her bag for tissues and pulled out a large cucumber**.

I do love her.

*Yes, it was news to me too
**it had been missing for a while, along with half an avocado which is worryingly still at large.


Aga Saga

This weeks burnt offerings:

1. Bacon
2. Roast veg
3. Flap jacks
4. My arm
5. Zoë’s hand

The honeymoon is over. It’s basically a crematorium for food and a self-harming device for anyone standing within 2 feet of it. You can’t smell ANYTHING! what is the point of THAT? That is my preferred method of timing food. Especially baking. Stupid Swedish über-stylish form-over-function oil guzzling child burning cake ruining piece of shit. AND it can’t even boil eggs very well. AND the kids can’t stand precariously on a chair stirring beans anymore. Not since the Zoë’s hand incident. So over it. Meanwhile, downstairs, my MiL is bemoaning her brand new, über efficient, mutts nuts, FIVE ring electric cooker. I would swap in a heartbeat if it didn’t require a team of (Swedish) bomb disposal experts and a chinook to move the Aga.

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Joke’s over….

It was very strange coming back here after our holiday instead of the old place. For the first time I’ve thought ok, it’s been great but can we go home now please? It’s not that I don’t love it here, just that I MISS MY MUM! And dad and sister and friends and Tesco delivery and an emergency wine option and mobile reception and going to work (no, really).
I’m handling this downer really well though by being stroppy and bad-tempered to everyone. Which is nice.

Things took a turn for the better this morning when I accidentally had a cup of normal tea after a day of herbal muck yesterday. I immediately felt amazing! And the dull headache I woke up with went instantly. Clearly I am a caffeine addict! Hooray. I thought I was just mental. I’ll choose my detox weeksdays more wisely next time. (Never).

I’ve also given myself a new project which is making me feel more human and less like a deranged mother tiger. The reality of being a stay at-home-mum has also sunk in this week as I’ve struggled to cope with the bickering and screaming. Three minutes of calm, happy play is all I can hope for before piercing screams destroy the peace and I am forced to intervene with my own piercing screams. I need to revisit Bhuddism for Mothers*.

Anyway, the project is to clear out the playroom and turn it into a family room. It’s a lovely bright room and has so much potential but is rammed to the gunnels with four generations worth of trash I mean treasure I mean trash…
It’s a thin line.





And also a political nightmare when it’s not your stuff but I like to think I was ruthless yet diplomatic. Survivors include all the 1950s and 60s children’s books and toys (even the creepy ones) but sadly my brother-in-law’s Thundercats(tm) lampshades are off to the tip.

* I say revisit, I didn’t get beyond chapter 2. Highly recommend though!

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