Posts Tagged ‘Mediterranean life’

My Sunday Photo 10th April

my-sunday-photo-10-april

So this is the first time I’m posting a photo for the #MySundayPhoto series hosted by Photalife! Can’t believe it really, considering how much I snap away on that most advanced complex skill-demanding photographic instrument, the iPhone.  Anyway, despite having a mountain of DIY projects and ever-neglected chores to do around the house, we headed out for a quick walk to the stunning Ghan Tueffieha Bay, known locally as Riviera.  I say quick because we slept in til super late o’clock, had to rush Cheeky K to a birthday party and by the time we’d had a late breakfast, didn’t have much time left til we had to be back home again for a super important event: Manchester v Tottenham….snoooooooore.

Anyway, I really struggled to pick one photo for My Sunday Photo 10th April because I have to say of all the pictures I’ve taken over the time we’ve lived here, today was quite possibly the day where I took THE most stunning ones.  We walked up the top of Ghan Tuffieha, above the beach, along the beautiful open rocky terrain, to a stunning rock that looked like something out of a breathtaking film scene (hardly surprising when you consider that Malta has been used in the making of numerous films such as Count of Monte Cristo, Troy and most recently, By the Sea (with Brangelina).  I got some incredible shots of the kids, paddle boarders, surfers and landscape in general. This picture was taken whilst downing a quick cappuccino before racing back home, you know, for that match that was much more important than spending quality time with one’s kids (ugh).  If you look closely, you can see a surfer in the waters.

[She let out a happy sigh.]

OneDad3Girls

What Happened When This Mummy Blogger Took a Break!

So I’m baaaaaack from that mummy blogger break. (You know, the one where I still managed to sneakily read other bloggers’ posts when the kids weren’t looking and didn’t exactly do a great job of getting off the Twitter train.)

I thought I’d bring you up to speed on what I got up to the last ten days of the school holidays. How can I rant about that for the #effitfriday linky that I’m co-hosting this week, you wonder? Oh but I can, believe me… Impressive huh? Just say yes and make a blogger happy.

1) I watched my babies eat ice cream by the bucket load and drink milkshakes by the gallon.
I’m telling you, I can’t keep my kids in enough gelato. We have a looooong hot hot hot Summer here. You say ‘Junk Food. I say ‘Vital cooling mechanism.’ Let’s face it, there are two things that every kid has a right to: homemade chocolate cake and damned good ice cream. I’m rather good at the first one and I know just where to take them for the latter (sadly my own ice cream machine is useless).  Now please let me sing you a song from my home country so you can leave some coins to donate to my ice cream fund.

 

While my babies watched their mum drink a LOT of iced coffee.
You think I jest? I almost single-handedly caused a coffee shortage in Malta and they couldn’t pick the replacement beans fast enough back in Brazil. And no I’m not showing you all the iced coffees I had.

 

2) Almost seven years after buying our house, I finally bought some plants!
You’d think I’d given each of my kids an iPhone judging from the squeals of delight and excited gawping at the plants and flowers and pleas to buy a lemon tree. Seriously people, this was the only thing we did on that particular day.  Yep, I took my kids to a blooming garden centre (wow that pun just fell from my fingers all by its clever little self) and yet they were so excited and couldn’t wait to get back home and help me pot these babies.

school-holiday-rant-plants

What could I possibly have to rant about? Well obviously the fact that everything cost twice the amount it would in the UK which still pains me all these years after moving here but hey ho, nothing you can do about that. No, the peeving thing was how I had great service and advice from the staff (because believe me the only horticultural thing I know is that plants have leaves and flowers have petals and I can kill either very flipping quickly)…great service that is up to the minute it was closing time. Then Mrs oh so helpful Jekyll turned into Miss you must leave immediately Hyde and almost kicked us out the door.

3) I’ve had the longest saga in sun glasses shopping history. You say #FirstWorldProblems…
I say when you live somewhere with a yearly average of 300 days of sunshine, this merits a rant! Long story long: I tried to spend my birthday money on replacing my five year old faithfuls and went to seven different stores in London before making a Ralph Lauren panic purchase at the airport minutes before my flight closed (you should have seen those poor kids running with me, and by with me I mean behind me, to the gate) only to get back to Malta and discover they had a defect (the glasses, not the kids). Last week what should happen? I walked into a shop here and found THE pair. Figures. There they were looking at me seductively from the middle column calling my name. I looked in their direction and thought You belong to me and I belong to you. I tried them on and that was that. They were perfect..a different shape from the Jackie O style I’ve worn for years, a gorgeous tortoise shell colour making a change from my usual black and they fitted perfectly instead of sliding down my face like the damned Ralph ones ended up doing. Even better, they covered half my face. Yes I’m perfectly aware it looks like the glasses are wearing me instead of the other way round but frankly, when your face is falling apart at an alarming rate because you’re not exactly 21 anymore, that is good!

sunglasses

Yep even sunglasses this big can’t mask my neglected eyebrows and middle-aged train wreck hair.

So what’s the problem? Sunglass hut never emailed back to confirm if they would refund the money on the faulty glasses which Hubster is willing to return to them on his next business trip…so they have just sat in a box for the last two months and I don’t know if I’ve wasted my money on a useless pair. I have been wearing an equally large  – but nowhere near as good quality  – pair as the ones in this pic, the last few weeks. And the sunglasses that are a match made in heaven are in fact not protective enough for the strong sun here and fade half way down the lens which causes eye strain. Back. To. Square. One. Then I walked back to my car only to find this guy wearing them. Unreal.

lemon-guy

Told you it was worth ranting about!

 

4) And what on earth happened to the blockbuster summer?
Apart from the fact we’re a big movie loving family, I depend on cinemas in the summer for their air conditioning ha ha. There were just TWO kids’ films appropriate for my lot the entire holidays: Minions and Inside Out. Minions irritated me and I thought I’d love the second as its all about feelings etc (and I am ALL about feelings etc) but it bored me rigid. What can I say? I think I’m becoming a grumpy old woman. That left only two other kids’ films: Jurassic World and Pixels. Jurassic had a 13 ting so no go. So I waited weeks for Pixels only to find out it was a PG (I’ve never taken my kids to PG rated films as I think five year old K is still too young) but went the day it came out I was that frickin desperate to do something not involving sand. You’d think I’d given each of my kids an iPad (it’s my blog and I can recycle one of my own jokes if I want to) the way they nearly fell over with delight when I surprised them with this.

I have to say, uninterested as I am in the whole video/computer game culture (I could have cried when my kids were given a Wii because I’m such a back to basics mother) I honestly thought this film was one of the best family films I’ve seen in years.

Seriously, most adult comedies don’t even have scripts this good (okay it’s a bit redundant if you’ve not seen the film but I promise you’ll find these funny if you see it):

Well if it isn’t Zac Efron, Gandalf and Harry Potter all in one room.

Just when you think Adam sandler is typecast and so over, he surprises you (well ok he is typecast but whatever).

Now if you could leave the room so that those of us with long pants and government positions can get on with their job….

I love the actor Brian Cox (he scares the shit out of me but I love him).

My dad left my mum for his 19 year old pilates instructor called Sinnamon with an ‘s’ which pretty much tells you all you need to know about her. My mum says she’s going to develop a slut-seeking missile to take her out.

I think my kids missed the word slut. I’m praying my kids missed the word slut. They caught the other saltier words though. Despite being quite active in the potty mouth department myself, I did think it was an avoidable shame that there was a bit of bad language in it but ya know…. #YouWinSomeYouLoseSome

5) At last I got round to using the Zara birthday vouchers from my Sliema sexies and co, one week before they expired!
Yep, totally chuffed with the gorge blanket-like shawl, smart casual cream skirt, edgy smart jumper etc but… I found the most perfect summer shoes, the kind I’ve wanted for ages (wow for someone who n-e-v-e-r goes shopping I’m starting to sound like a shopping whore) only for them to not fit properly.  And I stupidly didn’t get the top I’m wearing in this pic all because I had one of those dumb “I don’t need this” moments. Even Cheeky K saying “I think you should try this top with those trousers mummy because it will look nice on you” didn’t sway me. Doofus. Me, not her.

zara-clothing

 

6) I took ten days off yet my house is no cleaner.
I just don’t know how I tidy but it gets no better.

school-holiday-rant

You know what? Funny as this meme is, it’s not the kids that mess the house up that much. It’s their mummy that’s the problem and she could never keep a tidy house before she had kids!

7) I did manage a mega clothing sort and clear out.
Where is all this clothing I’ve sorted? Yep, umpteen bags in my lounge tripping me up cos nobody at the 3 charity places I’ve called is picking up. #Pfffft.

 

8) And basically enjoyed this little rock we live on.

mummy-blogger-break-mini-collage

We caught crabs (for goodness sake, no not that kind), swam, took mama-baby selfies, swam…you get the picture… All in all, a nice little break with my kiddos.

No, they’re not real rants BUT today really is a 100% first class humdinger of an #effitfriday because…

…it’s the last day of the school holidays!

Soooo not ready for school to start… and I’m already dreading this in ten months’ time…

#PassTheGin.

Linking these posts to the following:

 

Life with Baby Kicks

 

Friday Frolics
Modern Dad Pages

Taking a Short Blogging Break To Be a Wife and Mum!

taking-a-break

 

So somehow, (I honestly have no idea how) we’ve only got two weeks left of the holidays  before the kids go back to school. It seems like just yesterday I was trying to get over the end of the school year with my spoof First Case of Exhausted Mother Reported and getting ready to go the UK for three weeks.

It’s been a rather spiffing Summer from the point of view of the blog. The school mum post did really well on my own site and it was super exciting seeing it do well on social media. I then got on to the Huffington Post with it which ended up being even more fab than I expected and then again with 10 Ways To Tell Kids About Sex. It’s been a fun busy time riding the Twitter train meeting some amazing bloggers and having hilarious conversations with some of my Twitter BFFs and building relationships. And of course, as many people know, two other posts, the one about my marriage and the one about Malta caused quite a ‘storm’ and gave me an eventful time on the blog! And it would have been rude not to write about it so I did in The Good, The Bad and the WTF of Blogging.

But during all this time, much as I love blogging, two key things have been rather neglected: my kids and my house.

The kids have been so amazing as per usual playing all day while I work, hardly ever asking for anything and being perfectly happy to spend entire days at home! They’ve not been enrolled in any summer activities and have been perfectly happy with that.

I’ve made ice lollies only once:

lollies

 

I can count on one hand how many times I’ve taken them to the beach:

kids-at-las-palmas-2

 

I’ve managed to sit down and play a board game with them once and have barely made it through a single film without getting sidetracked by twitter or getting up to go do a job.

laptop

I’m a stay at home mum and frankly I’m not sure where the holidays have gone or what I’ve done apart from drag my heels around the house moaning about the heat and taking 4 showers a day… #StayAtHomeBum

Meanwhile the house is disappearing under I don’t know how much dust and the storage/clear out projects are piling up and yada yada yada. I’ve just about kept up on laundry:

laundrys-done

 

Yet I seem to manage this just fine:

wine-glass

 

Anyway, so I need a bit  of blogging break to be a wife and mum:

anniversary-beach-2014

 

Priorities shmiorities. Fear not. Shan’t be gone for long. And I’ll be back with a funny little piece for ya.

See you soon!

 

Modern Dad Pages

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

So October 9th this year, it was exactly nine years since I arrived in Malta

with a 15 month-old Musical M to join my hubby and embark on a life in the sun (well…actually we thought it was going to be two or three years in the sun). Nine years, two more kids, many near misses on the roads and a few sun-induced wrinkles later, we’re STILL here. We’ve hummed and hawed over the years about leaving and flirted with various possiblities including more than a mere flirtation with the idea of moving to the States which didn’t materialise after being turned down twice for the visa (their loss I say). Yet, here we still very much are. A friend of ours said during our trip back to London this Summer “So nine years in Malta…wow really guys, what’s the appeal?!” For me, Hubster’s reply really hit the nail on the head and I couldn’t have put it better myself; but more on that in a minute.

This year is Musical M’s last year of elementary school.

She started age three…and next year she’ll move to Middle School. I can hardly believe it. It’s the only school she and Dreamy D have ever known and Cheeky K just started too. I’ve had some of the teachers twice because of three kids at the same school so we’re part of the furniture by now. We’re in no rush to leave Malta as it really has become home but I can’t help wondering sometimes if it’s time to move on. I’ve never seen myself settling in one place forever as I’m a bit of nomad at heart but when you have kids in the mix, it changes things a bit. So what does one do when trying to answer the question of ‘should I stay or should I go’? Draw up a list of reasons to stay in Malta versus reasons to leave course!

Should-I-Stay-or-Should-I-Go-featured


REASONS TO STAY IN MALTA vs REASONS TO LEAVE

They Are in No Hurry to Take My Money…
I can turn up at the hairdressers/restaurant/doctors without my wallet (I do this rather a lot) and I can still get a haircut/meal/appointmet and just pay next time I go. What’s more, I can borrow items from certain stores to try out/show Hubster and then just return them at a later date without even leaving so much as my phone number or a deposit.

…But They Seem To Be In A Big Hurry to Take My Life
They routinely drive through red lights as I”m coming through my green, overtake on double lines on a tight bend with zero visibility and ignore no entry signs driving straight at me. (FYI apparently their misdemeanours are not their fault; they’re mine.)

 

It’s So Easy to Get to Know People…
I know the guy who runs the car park at Golden Bay, the staff at our local beach restaurant, the owner of our local convenience store, the chap who comes round with his fruit and veg truck, the fishmonger at the supermarket – all by name. This is a big deal when you come from London where you can live next to the same person for ten years and never know their name.

…But Not If They Are in The Medical Profession
We’ve had the same doctor for a few years and he still looks at me like he’s never seen me or any of my kids before. Meanwhile the staff of the state hospital look at us like we built a boat and rowed all the way from India to seek refuge in Malta and one of the nurses I had at the birth of Cheeky K clearly thought I’d had one too many children and simply couldn’t find it in herself to be civil at any point during my five day stay in hospital.

 

If You Need to Look Good You’re Probably in the Right Place…
I have never seen so many hair salons, nail bars or beauty salons before.

…If You Need Decent Shopping, You’re In The Wrong Place
So you’ve got perfect hair, neat nails and you’ve been thoroughly ‘defluffed’ (oh come on…you didn’t really think I’d let this post go by without a tiny bit of Prabulous humour did you?). Now try finding great shoes and amazing clothes to go with it. Good luck with that. This ain’t New York, Paris or London baby…

 

The Weather…
Clear blue skies, infrequent rain and an average of 300 annual days of sunshine. What’s not to like?

…Erm…The Weather
It may not be Dubai or India but the four months of intense heat and two months of slightly less intense heat but awful humidity can be unbearable…not to mention all that sun on the skin… And when it does rain, they are shockingly ill prepared for it.

 

And the Water!
Apparently we have the most turquoise waters in the Mediterranean! I mean just look at these scenes! These were all genuinely taken with my phone during various days out around Malta and not from a tourism site. And the one bottom left really is down the road from where we live and I can stop off and fit in a cheeky half hour of snorkelling there.

4-pic-collage-for-blog

By the way, if these photos make you want to come here, then these guides might inspire you:

 

Safety and The Simpler Life…
They may moan about how the island is changing and blame most of the ‘negative’ change on their favourite ‘f’ word…(’foreigners’) but it is still one of the safest places to live…a major consideration when you have kids. It’s a simpler life here. There is a beauty in that.

…Safe and Simple Isn’t Always Fun
Much safer and fewer things to do also means way less buzz. Nope, this sure ain’t New York, London or Paris.

 

It’s Lovely How Everyone knows Everyone…
There’s no need to be nervous if you’re going to a social event on your own because there is a 90% chance that you’ll walk in and know at least five people there, it’s such a small island.

…It’s A Nightmare How Everyone Knows Everyone
You have to seriously watch what you say. It will ALWAYS come back to bite you if you don’t, it’s such a small island.

 

You Don’t Have to Book Way Ahead For Events…
None of this months in advance nonsense…partly because they only advertise concerts or events about a month before the date. Well it is the Mediterranean Darling.

…Unless The Event is a Beauty Treatment
Women would rather go hungry here than not have tidy nails or fancy hair.  Luckily I can call my magician lady at 4elements and she’ll squeeze me in for an emergency appointment even if she’s fully booked (I’m Indian. We have hair. I’m not being superficial. Believe me, it’s an emergency.)

 

A Night Out Doesn’t Cost a Fortune…
Crazy transport prices, exhorbitant parking costs, insane drinks prices…nope…don’t have that.

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

…But You’ll Always End up Going to the Same Places
Boring.

 

A Tiny Island Means Short Distances…
Nothing is more than a 15 minute drive away. The kids’ school is a five minute drive away and my daily/weekly life pretty much takes place within a two mile radius. It’s liberating.

…But It Also Means Cabin Fever
When everything is reachable so quickly, you start craving the chance to let rip on long smooth open roads and actually drive. Problem is if you let rip on the roads of Malta and drive, you’d just end up in the sea. Not so liberating.

 

Life’s a Beach…
Whether it’s a full day relaxing at Golden Bay on the weekends or just delaying the reality of homework/dinner/evening routine by stopping off after school at our local beach for a cooling midweek swim, the beach is never far away. Heaven.

Should i stay beach collage

…But Sometimes The Beach Is The Only Thing To Do
…especially during those four blisteringly hot months of the year when It is just too hot to do anything not involving a cooling swim.

Still, you can’t do that in New York, Paris or London.

Or as Hubster said to our friends, “When you start the conversation about where to move to ‘next’ and you sit down and try to make a list of countries that have what Malta has, you end up with a very short list.”  About a year after we moved here – once I’d got over my ‘rock shock’ – I realised it’s not about what Malta doesn’t have; it’s about what it does have.

Think we’ll stay a little bit longer then.

Phew. I’m glad that’s decided.

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28 Reasons Why You’d Hate To Go To The Beach With My Family

Right, so we’re back at school but here in Malta we still have at least a month of this hot humid ‘What’s the point of even showering cos I’m just gonna need another one in about five minutes’ weather to go. Don’t get me wrong. I’d rather have this than a start stop ‘is the sun coming out – ooh look there’s a ray of sun – oh no I can hear rain coming’ type of summer. But what goes hand in hand with hot humid Mediterranean weather people? Beach trips.

Ah yes…beach trips…

You'd-Hate-to-go-to-the-Beach-featured-image

Basically, I reckon we pack more stuff for an afternoon on the beach than most families pack for an entire vacation. I swear it’s enough to make your teeth ache. I was going to pick another part of the body for that last sentence but this is a family show. If it’s not enough to make your teeth hurt, it is definitely enough to put you off ever wanting to come to the beach with me and my kids.

Don’t believe me? See for yourself. This is the sheer arse-ache inducing (whoops…there goes my family show status) amount of crap we take:

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Obligatory beach towels with garish Hello Kitty, Spiderman and Monster High designs: Check.

Snacks (which started off as “let me whip up some home-made hummus and wholemeal wraps and four different fruits and get some low salt crackers and freshly squeezed orange juices while I’m at it” at the start of the summer and ended up more like “I know it’s out of a packet and full of salt and sugar but frankly if I never have to step foot inside a kitchen ever again I’ll pee myself with happiness so put it in the bag NOW and we’ll just order milkshakes when we get there” rubbish: Check.

Toilet paper (yep…this is the Med…take your own toilet paper folks): Check.

Kids’ individual water bottles: Check.

Waterproof low-on-pesky-chemicals sun cream which cost me a fortune: Check.

Non-waterproof organic sun cream which cost marginally less than the waterproof one: Check.

My book The Day I Realised There Was Too Much Sand in My Life by Ivana Manservant Towashitov (which I ironically won’t get a minute to read because I’m at the beach with kids): Check.

Baby wipes (because God forgive me, I know there are mountains of the world’s used wipes  contributing to criminal amounts of environmentally hazardous waste but occasionally they come in useful and I swear I don’t use them much): Check.

Talc to help rub the sand off their bodies because my youngest gets her mini freak on when her feet get sand on them (I know…it’s a beach…there’s sand…lots of): Check.

9 buckets, 11 spades and way more beach toys than three kids could possibly need for one afternoon: someone sedate me and Check.

Towel swim-robes still damp from yesterday’s swim: Check.

More snacks: Check.

Cooler bag: Check.

Beach mat: Check.

Inflatable swimming ring. No not for the kids…for their mother in case she accidentally orders a mojito (what? I need something ice cold on a steaming hot day alright?) and she almost sinks afterwards: Hell yeah, Check.

Lilo which I bought, praying it wouldn’t puncture less than one month after buying it: Check.

Arm bands: Check.

Snorkeling gear x 4: Check.

Useless ineffective tape for the lilo because the buggering thing did in fact puncture less than one month after buying it: bloody flipping Check.

Sun umbrellas which threaten to fly off and injure innocent tourists x 2: Check.

2 portable sun loungers: Check.

Few more snacks…just in case (just in case what? just in case they never see food again?): Check.

Swim goggles: Check.

Spare swimsuit for little one: Check.

Extra water to refill kids’ bottles: Check.

Beach chairs (which I just had to buy in case I couldn’t face cajoling and coaxing and eventually breaking the damned sun loungers out of the back of the car and therefore needed something smaller and more manageable to sit on) x 2: Check.

Umbrella bases which I succumbed to buying after a few too many innocent tourists were in fact injured: Check.

Brown paper bag to hide the bottle of gin I’m gonna need after packing all this shit and carting it down the beach: CHECK.

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Right, we’re ready to go to the beach.

For crying out loud, now where are my sunglasses?!

P.S. No I’m not going back in the house to put a jellyfish first aid kit together. Let’s just GO.

 

30 Things That Make Me Happy

 

30 Things That Make Me Happy

 

Happiness. We all want it don’t we? Personally, despite life’s inevitable low points, I think I’m more of a glass-half-full rather than half-empty sort (like I said, I think!). It”s what works for me. Yes, admittedly, when you live on a little island that is positively drenched in sunshine most of the year, it’s easy to be glass more-than-half-full. In fact, I honestly don’t think a day has gone by in the last few years, where I haven’t done a mental fist pump because of the glorious blue skies and sun we have here. For sure, I’ve bored my kids to tears (and probably half my FB friends) constantly saying how lucky we are.

So recently, a few things have got me thinking about the whole ‘happiness thing’. Pharrell Williams is one of them. He did something with that song; he got us thinking about the H word. (You might want to watch this fab clip of the man himself crying tears of yep, happiness about the impact of the song). It blew me away…such an honest real moving reaction.

Something else that got me thinking was a friend’s 100 Days of Happiness challenge documented over three months on FB. They made me smile and reminded me of something we’ve done ever since Musical M was three years old where we all share our ‘favourite moment of the day’ at bedtime. All three kids love it but even if we saw the Queen in a karaoke bar singing a One Direction song, you can bet money that if the kids watched a DVD that same day, then that trumps the Queen. Seriously though, even if you’ve had a rough day, it makes you focus back on the positive. Oh, don’t worry, no gloating here. I’m NO earth mother. Sometimes my favourite part of the day comes after I’ve got them into bed when I head downstairs to a glass of wine.

The other big ‘what makes me happy’ trigger was our Easter break; in particular, the day I took them to Golden Bay. One of those perfect days with lovely friends, 13 kids playing easily, relaxed lunch, ice creams, sand castles, ball games, sun lounger chilling, coffee in the sea wind and musical nostalgia-fest on the cafe radio. By late afternoon, it was just me and my lovely ‘baker in chief’ friend (who also features in the below list…I wonder if she can work out where) with our six kids. She got out one of those neat little pocket kites and what unfolded was one of those moments that I’ll always treasure. Now, bear in mind that I grew up in the suburbs of Greater London; a pretty ‘regular’ Indian upbringing (who can spot the subtext?), no beaches nearby, kite-flying unfamiliar to us and not much sunshine…a different time, a different generation, a different culture. Yet here I was, decades later on a Mediterranean beach not far from where I live, my eldest having fun climbing over rocks with baker lady’s eldest, my other two running around on the sand without a care in the world chasing after their kite-flying friends, all of us laughing in the evening sun. Parents do their best. Mine did theirs in their way. Yet it hit me, probably more than at any other point in my parenting experience, just how much your kids’ childhood can turn out to be different from your own (that stands for any culture).

Where am I going with this? Well, if Pharrell ever comes knocking on my door, I’ll tell him this is my official list of what makes me happy (for now).

(My) Happiness is…

1. Coming downstairs in the morning to find that hubster has done the packed lunches.

2. The stunning coastline drive to my house.

3. Grabbing a 15 minute breather with a cup of tea (and cake) after non-stop chores before heading out again for the school run.

4. The squeals of “Mama!” from my baby as she runs down her kindergarten corridor towards me smiling.

5. Coming across a film that is such a gem, it leaves its mark on me, becoming an ‘old friend’ I go to when I need comfort (About Time and Something’s Gotta Give are up there).

6. Pulling warm cake out of the oven on a rainy afternoon.

7. Finally figuring out who sings a particular song (We are People or Home recently for me.)

8. Yoga at Golden Bay under blue skies and palm trees.

9. The sight of my kids going nuts in the lounge dancing to my Spotify playlist.

10. Watching Musical M effortlessly dive into a pool, remembering how at that age I was too terrified to even get in.

11. Coffee with girlfriends.

12. Melting under a long hot shower after a long blissful run and sinking onto the sofa afterwards for trashy TV.

13. Hubster paying me a compliment (about whatever…not fussy…after 17 years together, I’ll take anything).

14. Discovering I can do something I never thought I could do.

15. An afternoon of board games to a soundtrack of old school tunes (making Bowie/U2/Beatles/Wonder fans out of the kids).

16. Coffee with myself.

17. Rushing through homework and dinner on auto pilot only to remember the next day is a holiday which equals no school which equals movie night.

18. Movie night!

19. Stopping after school at a beach café to grab a drink in the sun while the kids collect shells.

20. Wine…and the sound of the cork popping and the wonderful glug glug of the first pour.

21. Conquering a life-long fear.

22. Hearing my daughter sing and knowing, beyond natural maternal bias, that she really has got something.

23. Having a friend who would actually leave her house at night, get in the car and come over to mine with a bottle of wine if I said I had none in the house. 🙂

24. Home-made ice cream…see Hubster smile!

25. A beach-side restaurant finally opening a minute’s walk from our house where we can laze over Sunday lunch and let the kids literally step out the back onto the sand while we both have a coffee and a chat.

26. Meeting two cool chikitas, one whom I first met years ago but never actually got to know, the other whom I met quite randomly just a year ago – and knowing they will both be in my life forever.

27. Realising the best things happen when you’re least expecting them.

28. Hubster returning safe and sound from business trips.

29. The sound of my kids laughing. OF COURSE.

30. Launching a blog that has led me to discover the most heart-warming, surprising, affirming things about myself and others that I never expected.

This is my truth. These are what make me happy. So I’m clapping my hands, like Mr Williams said.

 

You can also find this on these linkies:

Mama-andmore
Potty Mouthed Mummy
Mamaduckquacks
Daysinbed.com