I Was Swallowed By A Hippo

Castle life, Aga strife, slummy mummy, average wife

Iron Lady

Happy feet

Happy feet

As usual our Tiree holiday was over before we knew it and suddenly we were doing tearful farewells at the pier and battling the post-holiday blues on the ferry home.

It was wonderful week, with all the obligatory Tiree activities and (more importantly) inactivities, ticked off. Beach walks, evening swims, crab hunting, sunset boules matches (VERY competitive. Girls v boys. We lost. Mum is still not speaking to me.), rainy day (just one) pottery painting (the worlds most expensive egg cups), trashy crime fiction on the beach, three crochet projects on the go, Nutella with EVERYTHING, ridiculous clothing combination (shorts, fleece, gillet/jeans, walking sandals, vest top). I could easily spend a fortnight there and am insanely jealous of my parents who stay for three weeks.

I really can’t imagine going anywhere else on holiday although Niall has tentatively suggested we perhaps go somewhere different next year. I’m hoping he’ll forget this nonsensical idea but I feigned enthusiasm to buy myself some time. (SHETLAND was even mentioned! We may as well go to New Zealand…).

Luckily the sun is still shining and we still have a beach within spitting distance so I’m warding off the PHBs and throwing myself back into my role as subordinate housekeeper. I have taken on even more responsibility lately so I need to stay focused. As well as my usual change-over tasks and laundry activities, it has now fallen upon me to iron all the bed linen. Through a sad chain of events (dear Margot’s sudden passing and poor Barbara’s deteriorating arthritis) this heinous task is now part of my increasing workload. Never one to play the martyr*, I have thrown myself into this extra duty and have weirdly found myself almost enjoying it. This is no doubt helped by the ancient press we have acquired to speed things up. It is in stiff competition with the Aga for giving me third-degree burns but I’m gradually getting the hang of it and can get half a load done during a podcast of Desert Island Discs.

I draw the line.

I draw the line.

It’s weirdly therapeutic and although I’ve only got a few finger prints left on one hand and some scars for life on the other, it is immensely satisfying seeing the finished stack of pressed linen. I’m careful not to outwardly express too much enthusiasm though as it’s a slippery slope to family laundry and before I know it I’ll be grudgingly ironing my husband’s shirts and trousers. I’m afraid I’m just not that kind of girl.

*shut up Louboo and Sazza**
**My sisters. They know too much

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Summer Loving

LIterally TENS of people on the beach

LIterally TENS of people on the beach

Hello summer! It’s been hot, hot, hot (Low twenties. It’s all relative.) for what feels like ages so we’ve been making good use of our beautiful local beaches. Playgroup has twice abandoned the village hall in favour of the beach which has been fabulous and so much more relaxing for us wrung-out mothers. The kids seem to get along so much better outside and although ¬†there are odd moments of violence and aggression, generally they are all the best of friends which is so vital, being such a wee community.

We recently lost a lovely pal who moved back to civilisation and this had a huge impact on our little group. She was a brilliant person to know and inspired us all to be better parents and also, miraculously, take up exercise! I found the latter easier than the former but I’m really trying to do things differently, be more patient and generally not lose my shit so often. Like right now, for example.¬† I am trying to steal a few moments to write my blog but my despot two-and-half year old is going bat-shit crazy because giant Paddington Bear is quite clearly too big for Action Man’s tank and she is demanding I rectify this futile situation immediately. The old me (yesterday) might have matched her glass-shattering decibels with a few expletives and thrown said toys dramatically out of the room but I managed to rise above it, create a distraction and restore calm. No shrieking, no swearing. Go me. Hopefully I’ve changed in time to save me a fortune in therapy fees later on. (Theirs, not mine – I want ALL the therapy).

Swims in the sea are also helping my mental health and we have fallen into a lovely routine of popping down to our little beach at around 4pm for a dip and a paddle. It is blissful and wonderful to watch the children gaining confidence in the water. Being non-swimmers just isn’t an option for them, living where we do. They should get plenty practice this week as we are off on our annual holiday to Tiree for more of the same. I can’t wait to be there again, my remote home from (my remote) home. The gruelling journey began at 3.30am this morning but we are now safely aboard the Clansman, happily stuffed with the mandatory CalMac breakfast and succeeding at ignoring the children as they pester random strangers and torment unassuming doggies. I am also ignoring the fact that it is currently pissing down and visibility is pretty much zero. It will be fine once we get there – the sun ALWAYS shines on Tiree.

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