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Archive for July 2011

A sandy poem to cheer us up

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A lovely fellow blogger send me this poem and I thought it might cheer us all up – is very wet and windy in the Highlands today, but only four days until I take off to Corfu with my two grown-up girls ( leaving husband behind – I do find that husbands can be a chore on holiday, much as I love him) Diana

SAND-BETWEEN-THE-TOES BY A.A.MILNE

I went down to the shouting sea,
Taking Christopher down with me,
For Nurse had given us sixpence each-
And down we went to the beach.

We had sand in the eyes and the ears and the nose,
And sand in the hair, and sand-between-the-toes.
Whenever a good nor’wester blows,
Christopher is certain of
Sand-between-the-toes.

The sea was galloping grey and white;
Christopher clutched his sixpence tight;
We clambered over the humping sand-
And Christopher held my hand.

We had sand in the eyes and the ears and the nose,
And sand in the hair, and sand-between-the-toes.
Whenever a good nor’wester blows,
Christopher is certain of
Sand-between-the-toes.

There was a roaring in the sky;
The sea-gulls cried as they blew by;
We tried to talk, but had to shout-
Nobody else was out.

When we got home, we had sand in the hair,
In the eyes and the ears and everywhere;
Whenever a good nor’wester blows,
Christopher is found with
Sand-between-the-toes.

 

 

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Written by motherofreinvention1

July 20, 2011 at 7:44 am

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Now I am Fifty

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There used to be an A A Milne book, didn’t there, called ‘ Now We Are Young.’ Well, I am now writing one called, ‘Now We Are Old.’

Fifty. Whatever way you shimmy up to it – sideways, full frontal, cautious approach from the rear – it is bloomin’ old, isn’t it? When I was growing up fifty meant twinset and pearls, waist-high knickers and flat lace-up brogues. Dr Scholl shoes so comfy for your bunions, little tight curly purple perms and half-moon specs.

I am not that woman! And yet here I am, fifty. It beggars belief. I turned fifty and celebrated not with a bang, but a very small whimper. My elder sister came up to commiserate with me here in Scotland. But instead of sitting and knitting or planting begonias or watering our curly perms, instead we did something very non-fiftyish. I got the two of us old birds onto bikes and we cycled round the Isle of Mull.

I’ll tell you something for nothing – Mull is a big island. Cycling round it in a day was a plan bordering on insanity. It fact it was impossible. We wheeled our bikes off the Cal Mac ferry and looked at each other in a stupefied manner. Tobermory, it said, 21 miles. Tobermory was to be our first stop of the day, not our ultimate destination. ‘We may have bitten off more than we can chew,’ Kate ruminated. ‘You think?’ I replied.

Anyway, we gamely swung our wrinkly old legs over our trusty bikes and set off. It started to rain. Neither of us were looking at our sexy best in slightly skew-wiff bicycle helmets, rain glistening on our  furry upper lips and cycling shorts drooping in the rain. I am quite a regular cyclist which Kate is not, and I soon left her behind. Then I would wait, to see her come panting round the corner, bless, her kagoul flapping in the wind, rain-splashed specs glinting and helmet at a jaunty angle. ‘I’ll kill you for this,’ I could hear, wafting towards me on the wind.

We stopped for coffee in Salen, a very nice coffee shop and we had to have a bit of cake. Well, it was my birthday. Then we set off again. At least I did. I waited at the top of the hill – no Kate. ‘Bother,’ I said to myself, and turned back down the hill. There was a small crowd around her. She had turned turtle off the bike, and was lying in a small pool of rainwater and dust. She still had her cycle helmet on, though.

‘How did you fall off,’ I enquired, ‘you silly bint?’ She did laugh. ‘No idea,’ she said. I dusted her off, shoo-ed away the concerned crowd and placed her back on her bike. Already, we had reverted to the age of ten and eight, in which I placed her in mortal danger with my harebrained schemes, and she was too good-natured to object. Then she’d hurt herself and I’d get cross. Now we were 50 and 52, and still at it.

Three hours later, we arrived in Tobermory. ‘We did it!’ We yelled as we free-wheeled down the hill. A long and delicious restorative lunch followed. We then wanted to cycle on to Calgary Bay but blimey, it was quite hilly. ‘Sod that for a game of soldiers,’ I said. We hired a minibus. It was expensive, but very comfortable and most important of all, required no pedalling.

Then the sun came out. We stripped off under towels, put on swimming costumes, and plunged into the sea. It was freezing, but fabulous and invigorating. The sun shone on the sandy beach, we laughed a lot and jumped up and down in the turquoise water. Then we dried off, tried to get the residual sand out of our knickers and walked up from the beach to another cafe to eat more cake. We were very happy.

We got home late and had a takeaway and some alcohol. Fifty, eh? It’s not so bad. Not if you can cycle 21 miles and eat cake and get sand in your knickers.

Written by motherofreinvention1

July 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm

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Life’s a beach ….

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Summer clothes shopping with my two daughters. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? I am picturing drifting around shops, gently stroking beautiful chiffon maxi dresses, trying on jewelled flip flops and bikinis and dreaming of the sunlit days ahead.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Instead, after an hour of absolute hell, I insist that we separate and they allow me to stump around the shops on my own. It is simply too depressing to watch them slide into slinky little tops from Urban Outfitters and silk mini dresses and emerge looking like supermodels. After an hour of this torture it finally dawns on me that I am no longer looking for clothes which show off my figure. I am looking for clothes which will cover it up.

‘What about this?’ I say, holding up a long stripy sleeveless maxi dress in Whistles. ‘Remember arms, mother,’ my eighteen year old says. Another woman of about my vintage flashes me a sympathetic look. Beaten, I put it back on the rail. I have this idea in my head of what clothes will look like on me, which is utterly defeated by the reality. I mean, the dress may be fabulous, but it’s the bits of me hanging out the sides which seem to spoil everything.

Take the ruffled beige silk dress which should have looked fabulous. Even the girls nodded when I lifted it off the rail. £249, so not cheap, but the kind of dress I could wear not only in the evening on holiday but to weddings etc. It ticked many boxes. On the knee, so no flashing of above-knee dimpling. Sleeveless, but I could wear a little shrug to prevent Big Daddy arm revelations.

I shimmied into it – I have perfected the art of the changing room shimmy, which means woolly jumper leaves my body to be replaced by new garment in one seamless movement to prevent startling sight of neon-lit vision of me in bra and pants. I flick back my hair, put my new wedge shoes on to give me height and length, and confidently look into the mirror. Argh! That wasn’t skin, surely? I look like a blancmange in a dress.

‘Let us see,’ the girls say. I can feel beads of sweat popping out on my upper lip. ‘It doesn’t suit me,’ I say hastily, unzipping the side zip and starting the hopefully quick slide of offending garment over my head. Only, for some bizarre reason, it won’t come off. It came on, so it should, by rights, come off. But it doesn’t. I tug and there is a small but ominous ripping sound. I pause, panting. I am stuck. The only way out of this is to expand my rib cage and obliterate the dress, like the Incredible Hulk. Only it costs £249, I whimper to myself. Not only am I trapped in a silken headlock, I am also naked save for an embarassingly small pair of pants and a grubby white M & S bra. Calling the fire brigade is not an option.

My elder daughter taps again. ‘Are you sure you’re OK?’ I realize I have to admit defeat. The only people I will ever allow to see me in this state of undress are my unshockable family. ‘I can’t get it off,’ I say in a muffled voice. There is a snort from the other side of the door. ‘Let me in,’ she says. I open the door a fraction, and she slides in. ‘I’m so glad I haven’t eaten,’ she says. ‘Just help me out!’ I squeak. Gently, she gets hold of the top of the dress, I brace myself against the back wall and she begins to tug. I am suddenly reminded of Winnie the Pooh with the pot of honey stuck on his head. After a few minutes of undignified heaving, dress and I abruptly part company, forever. Beth looks at the label. ‘It’s a size 12, too,’ she says. ‘Please leave,’ I say, with what little dignity I can muster. ‘It must be a very small size 12.’

After this, I send the girls, still sniggering, off on their own to inflict untold damage on my credit card. This may be a dangerous thing, but I can take no more of this torture. I confine myself to shoe and bag shopping on the basis that you don’t have to take anything off.

On this beach this summer, if you happen to be in Corfu in early August, you may catch sight of me. I shall be modelling a little lightweight tarpaulin in the fashionable colour-block shades of purple and orange.

Written by motherofreinvention1

July 4, 2011 at 12:13 pm

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