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Wednesday, 25 July 2007

L'Ennui, la nausée and quelques bêtes noires...

Having recently returned from our first holiday 'en famille', I feel compelled to add a little continentalism, if not existentialism, into my post.

We were supporting the planet (and supposedly our sanity) by spending a week away in the UK; deep in the cotswolds to be more precise. Very beautiful it was too. And wet. And rather chilly actually. Oh, and WET - did I mention that?!

Actually with hindsight we were very lucky to have had electricity, water and dry clothes/furniture for the week. At the time though, we overlooked this 'luck', and instead felt a little miffed at missing out on the cloudless skies and balmy nights of southern Europe.

Iris also felt a little put out it seemed, and decided to revert to her newborn feeding status. I like to think it was due to a growth spurt, however I have a sneaky feeling she may have inherited her mum's urban leanings and was comfort eating.

On the plus side we thoroughly muddied our new walking shoes ambling through some damp but glorious Gloucestershire countryside, introduced Iris to livestock (I have a whole new affinity with dairy cattle), enjoyed some lovely roaring log fires and exchanged 'good mornings' with Jilly Cooper (not best known for her existentialism admittedly).

On the downside the week culminated with me suffering exhaustion, hubby suffering from cabin fever and us all smelling of sick as poor Iris succombed to a rural tummy bug.

And the bêtes noires? Well aside from my new maternal neuroses, they manifested themselves as an army of slugs, marshalling the kitchen and living room at night (rather slimy underfoot as I found out on one of my nocturnal milk rounds, eeeuugh).

Oh how we will laugh, one day, while sipping cocktails in some sultry exotic destination....

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

We are not alone..

After (another) day of being held hostage in my own home by a) Parcel Force and b) the weather, I discovered that I had unwittingly been hosting a small party in the living room.

A very small party for very small furry guests. MICE.

Conscious of the need to remain calm and practical, and defy the stereotypical female reaction for the sake of my young daughter (never too early to learn etc etc), I yanked her off my breast, hopped over the sofa in one surprisingly athletic leap, and raced upstairs.

It's all a bit of a blur, but I seem to remember that one of us was squealing loudly, the other weeping hungrily. Or was it the other way round? Anyway, from the safety of the first floor, I called my husband. So far, so stereotypical.

Selfishly not answering his mobile while cycling home in the hail, I decided to assume the worst. We were under attack, the threat level had suddenly risen to critical, and all social events planned at home would have to be cancelled for the foreseeable future. I broke the bad news to my NCT ladies in a slightly hysterical email.

'Tomorrow's tea cancelled due to rodent infestation.'

My rather wet husband returned home to see me banging on the first floor window and mouthing 'M O U S E' while pointing jaggedly at the ground. In retrospect I think I may have looked slightly mad; he was certainly relieved to find I hadn't in fact developed an unforeseen medical complaint, and was in fact bravely protecting our baby from enemy invaders.

Needless to say, hubby felt I may have over-reacted. He has promised to buy poison in his lunch break today, and has reassured me that I really have nothing to fear. I put on a brave face and promised to be more rational. Which is why I am writing this from the barstool in the kitchen and am meeting my NCT ladies in Cafe Nero later.