March 2019

Did I ever mention I am as blind as a bat? I am also very capable at breaking things so I had managed recently not not only break one, but two pairs of glasses. Thankfully Monday brought me relief because I could collect two new pairs first thing in the morning. Because I am getting on a bit my eyes seem to slowly get better (because you get far sighted with old age, don’t you know). I worked out that by the time I’m 80, I will have perfect vision. That is definitely something to look forward to.

I told you a couple of weeks ago I was looking forward to something good happening and I am beyond excited to let you know that I found out this week, I am a huge, giant step closer to it. I am still a little sceptical that it will entirely work out but it is looking very much so. To say I’m excited is an understatement but for now I will try to hold those horses on this one just in case.

So now I already mentioned two highlights of my week – don’t judge me, I am after all a middle-aged woman with a full-time job and three kids it’s easy to get me excited with mediocre things. Now for a real highlight though – I went to my first museum late with my lovely friend Richard at the National Gallery and absolutely loved it! Why it took me over a decade to get round to do this I cannot say but I’m so glad I finally came round to it because now I tasted blood I can’t wait for more. I even came across a portrait of myself, I will put in Instagram shortly so have a peek. I promise it will make you laugh.

And for the last, and probably most important highlight of the week, suitably coming around on Sunday to finish the week of with a bang – my ‘baby’ turned 8 this week. Where exactly the time has gone I really can’t say but I am so proud of my little guy. He had a tough couple of years with me and his dad splitting up but he has come out of it and is still the loveliest, cutest little person you can imagine. If he now stops bugging me for a little brother or sister for company he promises to look after for me (I am still laughing about that one), he will be just perfect. To celebrate we got a rather decadent double chocolate dream from one of my favourite cake shops which will disappear entirely tonight. Have a lovely week people!

Oh my, what a week. Not a single adult social event for myself, but a rammed week in seven days. I need to get better at organising all this. However, as it turned out, a wise move on my part. This week has taken it out of me after all.

First things first, the more observing of you will notice that this is not my usual London pic for my diary, but rather a giant chocolate cake. Very fitting for lent, don’t you think? I will come to that later though. This week started with my oldest falling down the stairs at his dad’s place and feeling sick on the way to school he didn’t feel great so he came to his Mama instead. Quite a nasty bump on his head but he felt fine so some ice was applied, rest ordered and the intention harboured he would go back to school the next day. This plan worked until about an hour into the school day, at which point the school rang me and informed me he had been sick and needed to go to the hospital. So that’s what we did. It is a little awkward taking your 13 year old to the children’s ward when he’s taller and bigger than you, I must say. Four hour later we were home with aftercare instructions and the next morning you can guess what happened. I am now on a first name basis with half the emergency room. This stint was considerably longer and more worrying for me and I took the day off in the end; still I could take my boy home with me in the end. Bed rest and no school for the entire week though.

Now let’s talk about the cake. My little guy turned 8 last Sunday so he had his party this weekend, including a sleepover with three of his friends – yes, I know how to make life hard for myself. So I spend Saturday mainly in the kitchen creating all sorts of fantastical party food for kids – like meatball pasta cakes or frittata bites – and the pièce de résistance, a chocolate buttercream torte with sweets falling out of it once you cut it open. Hence my lent defying picture on this entry. And may I just say, it was divine. Light sponge, fluffy buttercream, demolished in the space of minutes by a herd of ravenous little creatures.

After a couple of hours of complete chaos, most children were handed back to their respective parents high as kites on sugar. The remaining sleepover guests were thankfully entertained my my older two and I think they possibly got some sleep between 2.15am and 2.25am. At least that’s what it felt like.

A bit of work on Sunday, then the week was over. And the glorious sunny weather we had recently followed suit it seems. Boo.

I know, I know. I have to hang my head in shame, this week has been way too long in the pipeline and is very much overdue. Not that it has been a particularly busy or outstanding week just the blink and you miss it kind of week so really there is not much of an excuse but hey you know how life goes sometimes.

Weekdays have been the usual – school(s), Beavers/Scouts, friends over in the afternoon kind of stuff heading towards a weekend with no kids. Two days of peace and quiet on the horizon. Praise the Lord, I need it. One thing that I suddenly realised this week is that next weekend is Mothers Day, at least in England. My mother who lives on the continent has a different Mothers Day. I cannot tell you how many problems this has caused for me throughout the years because I always forget so I now have an annual alarm set on my phone (NO JOKE) to remind me of my mother’s Mother’s Day because she is pissed off with me for weeks and gives me the silent treatment. Why there has to be a different Mothers Day in different countries I do not know – answers on a post card please.

So the kids went to their dads on Friday which should have meant a weekend of rest for me and the au pair only that on Friday I went on a date with a really nice guy. Interesting conversation over a huge burgers and some Bud Prohibition (mental note: goes flat quite quickly and a bit sweet, so I have to keep looking for a nice alcohol-free beer) TGI’s definitely had been a good shout and he was such a sweetie he even brought me a box of chocolates.

Saturday was one of those should have done before going to work days but there is always next week and I also came across this rather awesome bio pic about Mötley Crüe on Netflix so I had to watch that. Yes, had. That’s my youth crammed into 90 minutes and I still know all the songs. This girl is a rock chick at heart. Saturday was interrupted by work as usual but on Sunday it was time for another outing with my lovely Nat. Liquid breakfast in Covent Garden – the caffeine not booze kind – followed by an amazing lunch at Hubbard & Bell. Their lamb Sunday roast was to die for and a very generous portion we still managed to stuff in some pudding though. Right across the road is My old Dutch, a pancake place as well. Not that we were able to eat another morsel, but a mental note has been made that there has to be a pancake crawl soon.

We also picked up a couple of travel guides for Naples and Madrid, our next destinations. Week over. I hope Summer is on his way soon, I am getting fed up by the chill now.

Argh, only a marginally better effort this week but I hope you can give me some leniency and recognise the improvement. Albeit only slight but let’s focus on the positives here. I have been extremely stressed about this week for months now because it has been looming with a court hearing with ex-husband No2 later in the week that I was not looking forward to at all, but let me get to that in a bit.

The beginning of the week has been a bit slow but then Mondays and Tuesdays tend to be catch-ups with a week before especially when I did not have my offspring around at the weekend and if I know I have a lot on later I tried to keep them as much low key as possible anyway.  One thing I would like to bring to your attention is that I managed to produce something German calls Kartoffelpuffer. A type of potato pancake, similar to a Rosti but not quite. I am pleased to announce they were not only eaten but also requested again. Result for the girl.

As usual I was doing the night shift on Wednesday and of all the days to be running over it had to be this one so I have to appear in court with only four hours sleep. To say I was mortified is an understatement. However I was very pleasantly surprised that me and ex husband No2 were able to deal with this entirely amicably and even managed a civil lunch afterwards. And he got me a coffee for the wait. I am hoping that this is a trend that will continue for the future as unfortunately I cannot say the same for ex-husband No1 who just loves being a dick it seems.

I had been really looking forward to the evening because I was meeting a new friend in a little wine and tapas bar nearby. We are the same age and she is currently going through separation and divorce herself and has to deal with all the challenges and pitfalls that come with it. Apart from the fact that she is a rather wonderful person and I’m looking forward to having another girly night out with her soon, I also have to say I think we both belong to a special kind of woman of our generation. A bit like some wines we get better much with age. We stand our ground, are confident in ourselves, independent, educated and still very attractive. More so, we decided to not just settle for something but rather pursue happiness for our future. And it seems to me there are more and more of us. And before you are giving me the ‘what about the guys’, yes of course it goes for them as well, but last time I checked I didn’t have three legs so cut me some slack.

On Friday I met my lovely friend Richard again for dinner at Max’s near Covent Garden which I cannot recommend highly enough, especially their Virgin Colada. We followed it by a stroll to a coffee shop in Soho, with a quick nip through Chinatown. Bloody brilliant and a perfect end to a busy week. I was absolutely shattered when I got home and the rest of the weekend was just work and not much else.

The older I get the more difficult I find it to work out where I belong. I’m equally at home here in England as well as in Germany, with France always being at the back of my mind. Maybe I should consider the Dutch option and purchase a mobile home to do them all justice….

Anyway, this week, I decided to visit my parents for a long weekend. Not that unusual you might think, only that this has been the first time in twelve years I got to spend proper time with my mum and dad without my kids. Monday to Wednesday were occupied by working like mad and then spending the evening with my offspring to make up for Mama jetting off on her own. In my defense, it’s Dad weekend in our house, so the older two didn’t even notice me being gone and the little one had one night on his own with the au pair,. Which I sweetened for him by allowing him to get a movie on Prime. Worked a treat.

So Wednesday is my usual night shift which of course ran over considerably and I had an early flight to catch Thursday morning so I was operating on only a couple of hours sleep. Just as well as you might remember I am not the most confident flyer. I managed to dose away on the flight somehow and only suffered mild amounts of “Shit should I have done xyz just in case I die?” Which I think every time I am mid air by the way creating a list in my mind of what I HAVE to do when I get home before my next flight.

It was really lovely that both my parents came to pick me up at the airport – it is tiny so you can get from plane to exit in five minutes if you’re lucky. I permanently get hit with German efficiency at the borders too. I am always, without fail, getting asked if I lost my passport recently. Answer, yes in 2012. And it ran out in 2014 anyway. So I am hoping it gets written off by 2039. Possibly.

I can honestly say, this haw been the most pleasant, relaxed adult time I got to spend with my parents in a very, very long time. I did not argue with my mother, I had grown-up conversations with my dad and I got fed rather excellent food. Schlachtplatte anyone?

I had my Saturday evening reserved for some much needed time with a very special friend of mine. When you know each other for over 20 years and don’t get to see each other much, you always have a lot of catching up to do when you get some time together. We made the most of it by reliving our youth a little, having dinner in a swanky restaurant, not getting much sleep and stuffing our faces at a breakfast buffet before I got dropped at the airport for yet again a rather early flight.

Just to get right back into the swing of things, I had been lumbered with the Sunday night shift. Nothing like a bit of reality slapping you round the face like a wet fish!

Much love marvelous people. Candidly, TC.

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