Friday, 2 September 2011

Dull women have immaculate houses?

Hats off to those super mums out there. How on earth do you manage to work, run a household look after your children and write blogs too! ? Today I'm gearing up to be a great housewife alongside re-thinking my career choices yet again. I'm officially on a blog break from scrubbing down the kitchen floors and wiping down walls and surfaces. This place is going to look immaculate once I have finished with it.

I'm discovering that although cleaning can be immensely satisfying and relatively pain free (unless you're cleaning an oven - or reaching on tip toes to get to that last cobweb in the corner) it can also be time rather tedious, repetitive and time consuming.

However it keeps you busy and focused. My cleaning repertoire is relatively mundane. Being a household of just two with the luxury of a dishwasher and a Dyson - there really isn't that much to do. Maybe that's where I am going wrong - perhaps there is a lot more to do than the bi-weekly wall and skirting board wipe and the bathroom and kitchen scrub down. (incidentally I hate having a white kitchen). Maybe cleaning is the answer - but what is the question...erm.. how long do you spend cleaning your household? And what is the must-do cleaning job of the day, week, or month?

Do people actually have daily cleaning chores. Perhaps I should recreate a Shirley Valentine style life - cleaning the fridge on a Friday - the TV on a Tuesday and the Microwave on a Monday? Hell no, she was stuck-in-a-rut and stagnant - that could never be me. But does having an immaculate home make you a dull person? Mmm. I know enough amazingly fabulous people with fabulously immaculate homes and they're far from boring. My personal opinion of cleaning is that the art of cleaning itself is dull. Unless you whack on some Tina Turner, draw the curtains, get naked and clean away those cobwebs...

This contagious cleaning cloud of thinking got me daydreaming about my nephews again... the little tikes make so much mess with their toys littered everywhere, their spillages, painting escapades and not to mention food eruptions. Having children must seem like one big operation tidy up?

Is no wonder that so many mummies are back into their skinny mini clothes weeks after child-birth - because with children there is so much to do around the house - endless chores and special requests. How do you ladies ever manage to get out of the house!?

Even without child there is - but you have to be that way inclined. I'm no show-home Schammy so for those of you who know me - this blog may come as a surprise. I'm not messy - but I'd rather be out hop, skipping, or jumping than indoors cleaning - today seems like the exception.

I've always believed that a 'Clean house is a sign of a wasted life.' But today I feel deflated or defeated - six of one and half a dozen of the other - so donning the marigolds, popping on the pinny and dancing with the duster seems like the shake-this-feeling-off-fast solution.

After all 'A tidy house is a tidy mind' I was reading some Zen warblings that said when you keep a tidy home not only will you feel better, but you will also become for efficient and clear in the vision of your goal. This will allow you to leapfrog your progress and achieve the results you want in record time. Umpph. Our house is always tidy (ish) John is the tidier of the two - (verging on OCD) but I admire his dedication to the cleanliness cause.

The kitchen is now sparkling - having sat down I feel side tracked to A.) Start looking for new jobs, B.) Google up on what makes a good housewife (yes, these sites actually exist) or C.) Wake up Johnny to get him to admire the kitchen.

I chose B and could not believe that advice like this existed. Googling is one of my favourite hobbies - try it - you might like it. Start with ex boyfriends, old friends, new friends etc - this is the funny part. Remember Peter from Drama group - look he turned out to be Peter the pornstar. Be warned you could be disappointed with the results (clearly not the Peter one!). It's a bit like the Facebook Guess Who game - only you can find out a lot more details!

Anyway - I clearly need to get out more. Back to the How to guides. Seriously why has someone written a how to be a good housewife guide - and why have I just spent time reading it. It's funny - take a look:

  • Have dinner ready. Plan Ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his returm. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and a concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed!
  • Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, but a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been to work with a lot of work-weary people.
  • Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
  • Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives - run a dishcloth over the tables.
  • During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will fee he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comforts will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
  • Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.
  • Be happy to see him
  • Greet him with a warm smile and shoe sincerity in your desire to please him.
  • Listen to him. you make have a dozen of important things to tell him, the the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
  • Don't great him with problems or worries.
  • Don"t complain if he is late for dinner - or if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.
  • Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
  • Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
  • Don"t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement or integrity, Remember he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
  • A good wife knows her place.

Pick me up from the floor - I can't stop laughing. Of course I'm not a wife - but near enough the next best thing. That has made my day. I need to get back to job hunting, or cleaning - being a good housewife sounds too much like hard work! Or perhaps I should go and by some red ribbon for my hair!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Broody for a bike and a baby?

This week has been all about the running - or wunning as Toby likes to call it.

MadauntieSchammy is training for a triathlon! Most women my age are either tying the knot, expecting their first child, quite possibly their second, or, even just trying to fall pregnant...

But not me - the only thing I'm trying for is a triathlon. I am normal though (well, sort of) because I have considered the possibility of all of the above - they're just not at the top of my 'To-do" list right now.

Occasionally I worry I'll get to 40 and think 'Sh**t I forgot to have children' because there's so much more I want to do with my life. But do children really stop you from achieving your bucket/goal list or do they help you to rewrite it? Maybe they are the missing part of the game-of-life puzzle that make you feel complete?

Thankfully I am not alone in my thoughts. Uncle Johnny feels the same - and we're blissfully sailing along in the 'we're still not sure about children cruise liner' enjoying sleep filled nights and tantrum free days!

But... and there is always a but with everything - we love our little nephews to the moon and back - and our fun-packed munchkin days leave us feeling full of love and warmth - extremely tempted to climb back on the 'maybe we do want children one day fence'.

Today was one of those days, as was yesterday... and the day before. Because munchkin filled days are the bestest. Tobilicious always makes me smile ... so when Uncle Johnny surprised me with a Toby-lunchtime work visit my day got ten times better.

For anyone who has children, grandchildren, nephews or nieces you'll know how special it is to be greeted with a bright-eyed and warm rapturous reception. Before Toby got so cool he would shake his arms in excitement upon seeing his auntie Schammy - and it was the greatest feeling in the world. I felt extremely loved and wanted. Awww blesss.

No man has ever been that enthusiastic to see me.... and probably never will. Being an auntie is the best job I have ever had- which makes me think...if this is how I feel about being an auntie - wouldn't becoming a mother be more magical times ten?

Only the mothers out there know the real answer. But I'm sure they'd say yes! Making a baby is definitely the fun part - but bringing them up and nurturing them 24/7 - perhaps isn't quite so fun?? Especially when they don't sleep, throw tantrums and act up.

But they are completely priceless Last week at Shoreham Airshow Toby pointed to a aeroplane and told us it was one he flew 'I flyed that plane', yesterday he said my name badge said 'auntie Schammy' and today he told me he drove to this work in his Saab this morning drinking coffee'. Need I say anymore!

And today when my lovely friend Carli brought her beautiful one month old baby Evie round to meet us all - he offered her a piece of cheese! I couldn't help but look at them both adorably and coo.

She was incredibly cute and oh-so-very-tiny. It's amazing to think that just over a month ago she was curled up inside Carli's tummy.

What makes me feel all gooey is the thought of holding something you've made together - something that has your eyes, your partner's nose, or smile - it must feel rather special.

And as I held Evie I felt a pang of broodybabysyndrome. I caught a glimpse of Johnny and I think he was thinking the same too. Or maybe he was just anxious to watch the game of footy that was about to kick off on Sky, who knows!

But holding Evie made me think about a quote I'd once read.

'A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten and the future worth living for.'

Aww how sweet ... but we're not ready for that yet. Or are we? As they all dispersed... Mummy Carli, Daddy Paul, Baby Evie, Mummy Tanya and Toddler Toby - John and I had that do we really want kids conversation again weighing up the pros and cons.

'One day sweetheart, but let's enjoy each other first.' and on when the football - and out came the triathlon magazine.... a bike... a bike.. I think I want a bike first. A fast one with fancy wheels and go go gadget handlebars.

That will make my love for triathlons stronger - my days shorter - my nights longer, my bankroll smaller -ha ha ha! But I can't cuddle my bicycle - or can I?

And anyway 40 is the new 20. Why should I have them now. There seems to be a host of positives for us ladies who delay motherhood.

Halle Berry gave birth to her first at 41, J-lo at 38, and today 1 in every 12 babies born is born to a mother over the age of 35.

And it's better to wait... to be ready... in a book called Ready: why women are embracing the new later motherhood its universally agreed that older mothers are more emotionally able to cope with parenting. This sounds more like me. I can't even cope with a bike puncture, let alone a baby.

So for now, I'm going to be broody for a bicycle...and a baby... a baby later, much, much later!!

Today as John is watching the goal posts - I am moving them. 35. That is my cut off point. At 35 I will have completed that list..... watch this space... in five years time!!


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

I want to ride my bicycle...

I want to ride my bicycle

I want to ride my BIKE


This song was written for Toby and I - it's got our name all over it - and tomorrow I am going to make a point of playing it to him loudly in the car.

Not loud enough for mummy to worry about though, but loud enough to dance/bop/drive along to like the couple of loonies that we are.

Sorry to keep harping on and on and Arist-on (do you remember that 80's Ad?) about my beautiful golden-haired love child - but being a devoted auntie is a full-time job dontcha know.

Even though I don't get to hang out with him as much as I'd like to anymore - the little cutie is always in my thoughts. Especially today.

We are very alike you see. He is two, I act two - he throws tantrums, I have been known to have the odd one, two, OK, three, plus four - he likes winding people up -where as I'm more of a practical joker...

Characteristically we are two peas from the same pod - we also like/love the same things too.... splashing in puddles, scoffing ice cream and choc-choc.... shopping in H&M for accessories (if he turns out gay I take full responsibility) dancing the Okie Cokie, playing hide-and-seek and our latest shared-love - the art of zen, no, actually, bicycle riding.

Yes, the two year old tike - has mastered the bike! And so too has his mad auntie Schammy!

You should see his little face when he whizzes along the pavement at full speed.
It's priceless.

And he laughs, oh how he laughs. It's like the best thing he has ever experienced...(I getcha Tobs)

Which got me thinking... Janet Jackson was on to something when she wrote 'The best things in life are free'...

Watching Toby on his bike definitely falls into this 'things' category as does dancing around the house to Tina Turner, sliding down the stairs on a garden chair cover and running just as fast as we can - holding on to one another's hand... trying to get away into the night... and then you putyourarmsaroundmeandweTUMBLEtothe ground and you say..."I think we're alone now. There doesn't seem to be anyone around. I think we're alone now. The beating of your heart is the only sound."

Need I say more. No, because I need to stop for breath first!

So what is my point? And is there one?

Yes, yes there is. Today I rode my bike and felt like a toddler again. My thoughts and worries from the working week had gone with the wind. If you had caught me on camera speeding down the Ilovemyroadbike-super-highway you would have seen me grinning from ear to ear on more than ten occassions!

So my point? The best things in life ARE free - this was one of them. (and it was free because I had borrowed my sisters retro-road number - so there ner, ner, ner, NER NER)

22 miles covered in 1hr 55mins is not too shabby either.

Toby WOULD be proud

And tomorrow we shall celebrate the beginning of our beautiful new found bike-love with Queen's little number blasting out from Mad May's Mitsubishi Mota... altogether now....

Bicycle bicycle bicycle

I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

You say black I say white
You say bark I say bite
You say shark I say hey man
Jaws was never my scene
And I don't like Star Wars
You say Rolls I say Royce
You say God give me a choice
You say Lord I say Christ
I don't believe in Peter Pan
Frankenstein or Superman
All I wanna do is

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my
Bicycle races are coming your way
So forget all your duties oh yeah!
Fat bottomed girls they'll be riding today
So look out for those beauties oh yeah
On your marks get set go
Bicycle race bicycle race bicycle race
Bicycle bicycle bicyI want to ride my bicycle
Bicycle bicycle bicycle
Bicycle race

You say coke I say caine
You say John I say Wayne
Hot dog I say cool it man
I don't wanna be the President of America
You say smile I say cheese
Cartier I say please
Income tax I say Jesus
I don't wanna be a candidate
For Vietnam or Watergate
Cos all I want to do is

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

If there's one thing you do today.... ride your bicycle or listen to this and think about riding your bicycle - you'll feel younger than you did yesterday - I PROMISE!!

Follow me on twitter @abfabauntie

Also - I haven't forgot about my blog - 'grow your own children' You probably have!

The thing is.... it's still growing!... watch this space!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Tut, tut, Toby terrible two-toes

Ok, today I'm combining two blogs into one. Lazy, I know, but let me explain...

Yesterday I madly tapped away into my Blackberry while sweating it out on a stationary gym bike (take note lads it is possible to multitask) - until my fat thumb over spilt onto the delete button... And wham-bam-thank-you-fat-thumbed-Sam - 30 minutes of auntie waffle vanished in an instant.
Now I know I'm sad enough to write a blog about my quirky existence - but yesterday I had neither the time, nor the patience to re-write the gibberish. Saturday was all about the Tobymeister.
I was a little apprehensive about our usual mad-auntie-and-nephew-about-town-antics because our Friday night pre warm up drinks went like this...
Over-excited auntie and uncle arrive at Toby Towers. Press the doorbell and hide behind the pillars like a pair of edjiots. 'Ta-Dah' we magically appear to a rapturously impressed two year old.
A monotone, 'Hi Schammy' greets us followed by an I-am-so-pleased-to-see-you 'Hewoooo Uncle Johnny'.
Uncle Johnny - 5, Auntie Schammy -0.
Jealous, moi? Never. After all, J is far more credible to a trains/planes and automobiles obsessed boy. He can fly Boeings and helicopters don't you know..
To cut a long story short. Toby....had a grump on. It's not uncommon at this stage in his life - call it the terrible twos if you like.
We like to believe it's not our cuter-than-cute nephew - but rather some alter ego ghost called Fred - who comes to possess him now and again.
Ok, I fess, Fred was his fathers creation. But I love the theory - so Mark - here's your credit. Daddy M has even started joking about it with him too: 'Right then, who's coming shopping with us today - Toby or Fred.'
We'd all better stop now before we give him a complex! And it's really not that bad either. I'm just exaggerating - like I do. I'm sure every toddler in the country is exactly the same.
So a Toby Tantrum was on Friday's menu - he didn't want to play ball. Tired and moody he insisted we left after just ten minutes of our company (we have that effect on people)
'Go Schammy - he said clutching to Johnny's car keys.'. Everything I asked him was replied with a short and snappy 'no', he hated me - there were tears (nearly from me), but thankfully, no foot stamping!
So what was going through his mind? I have my suspicions:

1.) 'I'm so tired, I just want to go to schleep.'
2.) 'Do you ever stop talking Schammy, end the questions - I'm simply not in the mood.'
3.) 'If I make them go, I get to see the car, put the keys in the ignition and watch the wheels go round.'
4.) All of the above and 'I just want to be on my own.'

God, he sounds like me... And I bet many of you have felt the same way too - be it in work or social situations.
Sadly, I don't have a penchant for watching the wheels go round but sometimes I'd rather be doing something else than the annoying thing I'm currently being forced to do.
And that's just it. As adults we don't have tantrums (or do we secretly?) It's not acceptable is it?
We try to internalise our emotions in a variety of different ways - or bottle them all up.
For children, Tantrums are torture for the parents, but they serve a purpose. It's Toby's little way of coping as he becomes emotionally intelligent and increasingly aware of his feelings - that's all.
Making sense of the world regardless of emotion is hard enough for the most switched on adult let alone a mini- munchkin.
I refuse to take his behaviour personally.
But how do you tame a tantrum, and what's the right way of dealing with one? (Answers on a postcard please).
Fast-forward 12 hours later to Saturday and much to my delight he loves me again. Praise the lord.
Yesterday our mad-about-town antics resumed including wellie boot shopping, playing pretend shops, making pastrami pitta breads for lunch (he has expensive taste) and a visit to 'Cofta coffee.' As Toby calls it (Costa - MMM yummy - I feel a Costa blog brewing).
Lovely day, with a lovely boy - with not a sniff of tantrum in sight. Maybe daddy locked Fred in the bathroom cupboard. Either way we're forever friends again...
Fred - 0, Toby a perfect 10 out of 10

If you kinda enjoy reading my ramblings - scroll down to the bottom of the page and type in your email. You can get the drivel drip fed to your inbox.

Next blog: 'Grow your own children.' It's not as mad as it sounds - honest!

Follow me on Twitter @sammyemmamay

Friday, 12 August 2011

I go back to Amy...

You've got to get up every morning...

with a smile on your face and show the world

all the love in your heart.

Then people going to treat you better...

You're going to find, yes, you will ...

That you're beautiful ... as you feel.'

The 'Beautiful' lyrics from one of Amy Winehouse's idols, Carol King.

Her album, Tapestry, undoubtedly featured as a permanent fixture on Amy's ipod with many tracks in her top 25 Most Played.

I wouldn't be surprised if she had listened to the album more than a 1,000 times. Like Amy's personality - this album is highly addictive.

There's a song for every stage of being in love from 'I Feel The Earth Move Under My Feet.' To my personal favourite 'You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Women.' King sings her heart out(if you'll pardon the pun) about the most powerful addiction of all...which of course, can only be love.

I feel heartbroken for Amy, yes, she had some serious issues, a destructive battle with drink and drugs, an evil eating disorder coupled with the ingrained belief that she was simply, 'No Good.'

Oh Amy, why couldn't you see you were good, better than good, amazing, if not sensational. It gets me so cross when you say to someone: 'Isn't the death of Amy Winehouse so tragic'? And they reply :' No she deserved it, she was a junkie.' It riles me. It really does. Shut up. Have you no compassion? No one deserves to die you small-minded. IDIOT.

Learning the shocking news of Amy Winehouse's death disturbed me more than Princess Diana's. Don't get me wrong - her death is horrifyingly tragic in a completely different way. Some may criticise me for this... But listen up. I was only a teenager when my mother broke me the news.

I was young and naive, and knew very little about all the good she did. I know it's hard to put the two women in the same realm, one a princess touring the world reaching out to the sick and needy, and the other being sick and needy. And I don't mean that in a horrible, harsh way.

I love Amy - she touched the hearts of millions with her truly frank and honest music. She struck a chord with those affected by addiction – painfully living out her problems in the press.

But the inspirational Diana and musically gifted, Amy, share many similarities too. Like Princess Diana, Amy publicly battled with Bulimia - and was hounded by the media 24/7.

Both were completely down-to-earth homely girls, who liked nothing more than spending time with people they loved the most as well as strangers. They could talk to a tramp and make them feel loved.

Despite the fame and fortune they kept it real. They were quirky. They broke the mould. They led the way for others to different too- and above all, they were always true to being themselves.

I will never forget the Saturday when the reality of her death broke on Sky News. It was one of those moments I will never forget... I bet if you think hard enough you will be able to vividly remember exactly what you were doing when.

1.) The first plane hit the first Twin Tower (I was on a work placement at The Worthing Herald, I received a text and I thought it was the first part of a joke.)

2.) During the London bombings (I was power-walking to work on Oxford Street – and thankful I rarely took the tube)

3.) When JR was shot in Dallas (ok, that was added for humour)

When you hear bad news, whether it's national, international – or more importantly more closer to home (like family news). You stop everything you are doing. You pause and automatically assume it's not real. This is not happening. I wished it had not happened for Amy.

So it comes as no surprise for those of you who read my blog, that I was with my two nephews, sister, and her beloved, Mark. Sat comfortably on their sofa giving Toby a foot massage when I listened in disbelief. My heart sank. She was just 27, only three years younger than me... And oh, oh so very troubled. I squeezed my nephew tight and prayed he would never fall victim to drugs.

Judge me if you like – call me sad/mad cow. After all, it's not like she is my sister this Amy Winehouse woman. No, you're right. She isn't.. she is however, my soul sister.

That crazy bee hived hair lady has coached me through some fantastic times in my life, as well as some not so fantastic times (mainly break ups with bad London men.)

The tattooed temptress had been a staple part of my music diet. I could always rely on her powerful voice to snap me out of a bad dark mood.

So what - she was an addict – get over yourself - that doesn't make her a terrible person. It shows she is real. I have great admiration for the sassy singer. She said what she thought, did whatever she wanted not giving a second thought about what the media published about her.

Or did she? Was the media's evil and critical coverage to blame for her demise? Why was she so self destructive and completely hell bent on getting out of her mind on a mix of narcotics and alcohol?

Did she hate herself so much that she didn't believe she deserved to be happy? Or, was she controlled by dark paranoid thoughts -the only way to free her mind was to get high and carefree? She once admitted openly in an interview that she was her own worst enemy. Or was it Blake? Did he haunt her? So many questions left unanswered. No one will ever really know what was going on in that incredibly creative mind of hers. I wished someone could have saved her from herself.

If only she'd listened to my opening lyrics penned by Carol King. Yes, Amy, you had your issues, but you were you were beautiful. Maybe that was her problem she never felt beautiful..

And that becomes even more poignant now when you listen to her music. You feel her pain. The words paint the dark sinister thoughts that she fought daily.

Let's hope her father's foundation can save the masses out there - who still struggle daily to the beat the demonic addictions that attack through their bodies and minds like a ravaging disease.

Lets spare a moments thought to the millions suffering in silence. Are they listening to Amy Winehouse to get them through the days? I'm an addict, we all are. Whether it's shopping, gym, Facebook, blogging - we all have it in us. For myself, the self confessed communication addict - I will mostly be listening to Back to Black and Frank on repeat. 'Stronger Than Me, Tears Dry on Their Own and Monkey Man being in my 25 most played - and yours?

Google her musical idols too and give them a whirl...from Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington to Jimi Hendrix and The Shangri-Las. I personally would type in Carol King into itunes first.

Amy loved the track 'So Far Away' so much so, that it was played out at the end of her funeral. Listen to the words. They paint a picture of a lost soul pining for her soul mate. Maybe it wasn't addiction that killed her – it was the longing for Blakey. Was it a broken heart that killed her?

I'm a hopeless romantic – So I'm rolling with this. Blake incarcerated, and father to another woman's child. If that were me, and I'd lost John. I would be a broken woman.

Back to the words – they speak for themselves. Powerful and emotive...

'So far away -

Doesn't anybody stay in one place - anymore

It would be so fine to see your face at my door.

Doesn't help to know - that you're just time away

Long ago I reached for you and there you stood

Holding you again could only do me good.'

R.I.P forever Amy Winehouse. Continue to listen to her music and keep her legend alive. And remember...

You've got to get up every morning

with a smile on your face and show the world

all the love in your heart.

Then people going to treat you better...

You're going to find, yes, you will ...

That you're beautiful ... as you feel.'

Follow me on Twitter @sammyemmamay

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

One man and his dog...

Uncle Johnny had is first dog sitting duty today (while I was at work) looking after mad May's, mad mutt, Bella, and he loved it!

The man was in his element - bless his heart.. He was exactly how I am with my nephew Toby - all bright-eyed and animated. Lovely.

Naturally, he is a happy-go-lucky fella, but with a dog by his side he seemed on top of the world.

'Suddenly I realized - two people isn't enough. You need backup. If you're only two people, and someone drops off the edge, then you're on your own. Two isn't a large enough number. You need three at least.'

Maybe Marcus in About A Boy was right when he said that... he, of course, was talking about Sprogs and they're definitely out of the question - but what about a dog?

According to my nephew, Toby, it's already a given. We are getting a dog. And it's yellow. And it's called cake. I'm picturing John walking down the high street with budgie coloured toy dog pulling on a diamond encrusted fuchsia lead.

That's not his thing and certainly not mine too - so, if we're getting a dog it's not going to be drop-kick sized, yellow, and we will NOT be buying it ridiculous Paris Hiltonesque style clothes.

I haven't finished yet...It will not be spoken to like its a child (are you listening John) and nether will the beloved be allowed to sleep on the bed.

There is something very relaxing about having a dog, the country/beach walks before and after work, the jumping up with excitement to see you the moment you arrive home. It really is the simple things in life which bring you the greatest pleasures.

About a month ago we spent more than a week deciding on the breed we'd go for... Jack Russell, 'nope, you can still drop kick it', Beagle 'white hairs - would molt too much,' chocolate Labrador, 'too greedy.' Then my in-the-dog-know mother suggested a miniature Schnauzer. Initial thoughts were German, 'Mmm, definitely not'.

Typically, after never even noticing this breed in the space of just three days we see four. And they're cute, really cute (I prefer them ungroomed and shaggy, like J!'

Never seen one? Google them (my answer to anyone who asks you an irritating question you just don't know the answer to. 'Google it.' is just the and now answer to everything. How did we ever live without Google, it used to be Ask Jeeves - oh, how times have changed.

So back to the blog. We've decided the breed and the name - the whole process took ten long days. It was a momentous task and now I can appreciate why it took my sister and Mark two weeks' to pick the name Toby.

There was Humphrey, 'too pompous' Bertie 'I loved it, J wasn't so keen, Dudley, 'too Northern', Bobby, 'didn't sound right.' and Peggy 'sweet, but we wanted a boy'.' Smartie, had the answer. Yes, it was perfect, quirky and cute.

So Smartie it is... It's a given. We are getting a dog. Not yet though, Smartie's on our to do list - half way down, or half way up, whichever way you want to look at it... There's just a few things we have to do first .... travels, adventures and fun....

Follow me on Twitter @sammyemmamay

OCD keys, Keys, Keys...

Let's face it - we've all got it. It just comes in many guises.

For my two year-old nephew Obsessive Compulsive Disorder means keys, keys, keys, cars, pretending to drive the car, putting the keys in the ignition turning the wheel and did I mention holding the keys?

Upon opening the door on any of his regular visitors (he's very popular don't you know) ... There's no
hewwoo, how are you type of pleasantries it's... 'pease Schammy, can I have your keys.'

Least he's polite with it.. But honestly the little fella is relentless with his obsession. And it's not just all about the keys anymore.

I'm assured it's nothing to worry about - it's just a phase he's going through - and I'm not complaining because it keeps us all chuckling.

He just loves them. So much so that he takes one to bed with him. Yes, that's right. Gone are the days of soft cuddly toys and do-do rags for comfort. Toby cuddles up to a red plastic key.

And as soon as he wakes up the
keymaster is scrambling around to find it. 'Where's my wred key.' He looks almost distraught when he can't find it. Bless him.

It's amazing how his little mind works. And like an elephant - he never forgets too. Often half way through dinner or whizzing along on his scooter he'll come out with. 'You got your keys

And I just look at him in admiration. Because if it wasn't for him - I wouldn't have a clue where my keys were. Too often I have mislaid them A.) Down the side of the sofa. B.) In the ignition of my car - where I parked it last night, or, better still, C.) Hanging proudly from my front door. Yes, I'm a nightmare.

Having Johnny around makes this
OCD of losing my keys less frequent. We have a fail safe drawer system. A little key home of their own. To be deposited in as soon as we step inside the house. It's shoes off, keys in the drawer! The thing is... Is fails to be safe!

We must have a key fairy. Or a key borrower. Too often I have mysteriously found them in sock drawers and even in dustbins and washing machines. Sadly, today was no different.

After a mad supermarket sweep-like dash around the house to find them (always a great way to set you up for the day) they were found inside my right shoe. You see, this would never have happened if Toby was around.

OCD isn't the right terminology. But I am obsessively compulsively always losing my keys. That is a disorder in itself.

Maybe it's just a mild strain, but, jokes aside.
OCDC as I have coined it can rule and ruin your life

Spare a moments thought to those poor people currently scrubbing down their kitchen work tops in a stupor. Or those on their way to work painfully avoiding the cracks in the pavement.

What's your guilty
OCD pleasure - or OCD hell? I'd love to know.

Now, 'where did I put my keys?'

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Out of the office...

Everyone loves a day out of the office. Especially me. Even a corporate brainwashing exercise disguised as a training day. At the moment I'd jump at any opportunity to escape my groundhog existence.

That's not strictly true. Must not Grumble MadauntyMay - what a luxury it is to know that everyday you start and finish at near enough the same time. No delays, no unscheduled night stops and no long-haul jet-lag.

And indeed so is the familiarity of working with the same friendly inviting faces, day in, day out for the rest of my life. That in itself is truly beautiful.

Note to self - please sound sarcastically convincing. Oh, and the bed...I get to sprawl out in the super king sized bed every night and still not come into contact with Johnny. I urge every couple to purchase one. Your passport to decent night's sleep - whoever said romance was dead?

And the benefits, oh, the benefits of a 9-5 existence on paper look surprisingly more appealing than the reality - however, they lack substance. I can see why Julie turned to cooking and blog writing as a form of escapism. Julie and Julia, great film by the way - WTF didn't I come up with that idea?

But that's what this lifestyle gives you. The opportunity to develop your world and life around a structured format. Start the day at 9 - just four hours to make it to lunch and BANG before you can say post-lunch office-slump you're taxi-ing down the work runway to launch your life lift off!

After that my dear friend the world is your Oyster. Cough, cough.... am I convinced? Sadly not... it was always going to be a hard transition from the BA Bermuda life to an OK it's an office one. One I wanted to make. Priorities change, people change but is routine over rated or does it just take getting used to? Answers on a postcard.

Today's out of office experience was a welcomed treat. Take a train ride to London add a spot of people watching, Kindle and riot reading (yet another reason to move abroad) and mix in a productive and successful training day - and I am happy.

Oh, and there was conversations too. With smart, intelligent, inspiring worldly colleagues. I almost felt mentally stimulated. Steady on.

Thus proving my theory.. It's the people you meet and the places you go that make you feel alive....

It got me thinking about a mongrel motto which hangs from the eccentric walls at chez mother May's: 'The more people I meet - the more I love my dog' ....errr here's my take on it...

'The more people I meet in the business, the more I love my job.'

MMMMmm... is office life really for me? Watch this space...

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Nephews are the new pets....

Children - they're lovely creatures aren't they. I still don't feel that maternal urge to have one -but the idea is indeed growing on me...

'Not yet though Schammy.' A famous phrase my nephew likes to say when...1.) he doesn't want to do anything he doesn't want to do... like ... eat his food... or, 2.) His reply when his mad auntie Scham asks if she can steal a kiss from the little munchkinaroonie (again, another thing he definitely doesn't want to do.)

But he does get me thinking.... at what point did I stop hating children... I say hate in the loosest sense. I'll get into trouble with the BF if he sees me using that word again. Every time I use it along with my favourite saying 'I can't bare that.' he looks at me in disgust as if i have just called his grandma a C++ or something, yes a cow. Personally, I don't think that the H word is really that offensive?

But then I could have probably got a degree in meladramatics without even trying. According to my nicer-than-nice boyfriend he doesn't hate anything. How about if I was to wake him up when he's resting for a night flight, or, if I drove into his expensive sports car. I'm sure he'd hate me after that! He'd have to buy a sports car first, I guess!

Anyway, back to me being a former child-hater... I mean seriously, they make screeching noises in peaceful areas, they poo non-stop (stinky poos too) and they can make a room explode into bomb site in less than 20 seconds - is this justification enough? Today's answer would be N-O. It all sounds a bit selfish now that I'm the devoted aunt - selfish, moi - never?

So when my nephew decided he wanted three brown long stinky poos this weekend I actually embraced them. It sounds hideous but I was so proud of the little cherub. He was rather excited too watching the warm brown numbers curl down into the pan!

What IS amazing about children is they always AMAZE you! Whether it's the skills they learn, the habits they develop... or indeed the things they say. It only feels like yesterday that I was putting on his nappies on the wrong way round. (Silly Schammy)

The fact remains is... my gorgeous two year old nephew is now remembering to ask when he needs to go to for a number one and a number two... and what's even funnier is he's thrilled about hearing his glorious creation plop into the water. I wish I could get that excited about something so crap!

They are absolutely priceless these little creatures... who'd thought you could have so much fun with them. My other half wants to get a dog.... but cleaning up their crap from the beach isn't half as fun... you don't get any witty responses, or indeed thanks for doing so!.

Toby, however is still up for us getting a dog. When we asked him what we'd call this little dog if we got him.... he said 'cake, and laughed loudly...' he also wants 'cake the dog' to be yellow! I told him in that case - I'd have to eat him!

And this little boy doesn't forget either. When I asked him last week if I should get married... I know, it's not fair me using Toby, like the magic 8 ball - but I was hoping he would say yes.... but, no. Either John has trained him well, or he knows how to wind me up....

His response was 'No Schammy, don't get married get a dog.'

Rewind a week later, driving along in the car and he randomly comes out with 'Don't get married, Schammy, get a dog!'

So as my mad aunt ramblings come to a close I urge anyone reading this who is considering getting a dog... DON'T DO IT.

My advice is get your brothers and sisters pregnant - not in the gypo incestuous DIY way. But get them to have kids' first with their spouses. Nieces and nephews are THE new pets of the 21st century. You can teach them new tricks, have lots of fun and more importantly give them back at the end of the day!