I Was Swallowed By A Hippo

Castle life, Aga strife, slummy mummy, average wife

In the Bleak Midwinter

on January 13, 2014

Normality has finally been restored after the festive period and it was almost a relief to get back to the daily grind of nursery drop-offs and pick-ups which shape my days. I do love a routine, even if it is a routine that involves bribing, cajoling and more often than not, screaming like a banshee. And that’s just to get them dressed. It always amazes me that, despite the fact my day usually begins at 6am (on a good day), I can achieve a good three hours of pissing about doing not very much, leaving myself 15 minutes to get the girls fed, dressed and into the car. I keep meaning to turn all ‘Captain Von Trapp’ and introduce a militant morning regime which must be adhered to or severe punishment will ensue. But I can’t really be arsed.

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Four years at art college well spent

The First Week Back provided us with a birthday as Zoe turned four on the 8th of January. As I was recovering in hospital after her premature birth, I remember feeling devastated that she would be cursed with a winter birthday, so close to Christmas and almost always in the middle of the first week back at school. This was a few days in, when we knew that whilst she was very tiny, she was also strong and healthy and all would be fine. I was also irrationally upset that she missed out on being born into the Year of Tiger which she would have shared with me, sadly arriving, six weeks early, at the arse end of the Year of the Ox. This crushing disappointment was slightly tempered when I realised she shared a birthday with Elvis.

It’s been a mixed bag, weather-wise this year, but nothing too extreme yet. We’ve been treated to some dramatic storms and freakishly high tides but so far our wee enclave has escaped the numerous power cuts that have affected the nearby village. I don’t feel very well prepared for that eventuality and my repeated requests for a power-cut drill are laughed at by my husband who insists we have enough torches and candles to illuminate the whole castle. It’s not so much the lack of heat and light that worries me though, rather the epic tantrum which will erupt after informing our volatile two year old that she can’t watch Peppa Pig.

It was in March last year that the weather went all apocalyptic, resulting in a five day power cut in the area. This was before we moved but I’ve heard the stories from my new friends and other locals. They range from the positive – “It was the spirit of the blitz!”, to the tear-jerking – “I couldn’t boil water for the baby’s bottles”, to the downright horrific – “We played Scrabble every night”. Perish the thought. As the first occupants of the castle to experience central heating, we have all gone soft and I don’t know how long we’d last without heat, let alone wifi. Hopefully it was rare phenomenon and we will be spared the trauma but as a precautionary measure I am stockpiling tins of food, woolly jumpers and two-letter words.

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4 responses to “In the Bleak Midwinter

  1. Love! I look forward to seeing you on Bake off and love your stock of two letter words..

  2. Dave says:

    We keep a couple extra bottles of propane around, as well as a small petrol-fuelled generator. I figure they will take care of the cooking and misc electrical needs for a few days if necessary. You can buy small portable kerosene heaters and keep 5 gallons of kerosene and that should take care of emergency heating for a while as well.

  3. Caroline says:

    How did I manage to miss this post? Um what about the castle cake? That’s uhmazing. And I presume Niall has now agreed to paint Torrisdale this fetching shade of pepto bismol to match? Good show. Happy Birthday big girl Zoe, four is great.

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