Tag Archives: birthday

The Twins Have Turned 6!

Apologies for my late blog post. It has been 4 weeks since my last blog and I confess this is purely due to a lack of time, lack of energy and lack of brain and humour capabilities. With the 6 weeks holidays two-thirds of a way through, I am starting to find myself incapable of stringing an adult conversation together, let alone make an attempt at writing a hopefully witty blog.

I love my kids, honestly I really do and even when us school parents (through gritted teeth) told each other on the last day of school that ‘we are really looking forward to spending time with the children’, I really meant it. However, 6 weeks is a long time for any family unit and rather than finding myself making up little ditties on my guitar like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, as I’d hoped, I instead feel that I am developing more similarities to Mrs Hannigan in Annie, grumbling under my breath about ‘little children’ whilst looking for bottles of Gin in my laundry basket.

But these are special days and no matter how many ‘she said, he said’ or ‘I’m bored/hungry/thirsty’ demands I have dealt with in my slightly manic sing-song voice these last few weeks, we have had fun too. I have crammed my calendar full of events to keep the kids occupied, in order for us to spend ‘quality time’ together and to encourage a separation period between the children and the Wii. I have also organised 3 birthday parties for our twins, yes 3 parties!

Our twins turned 6 on the 8th of August, yet we started their birthday celebrations on the 23rd July. The reason for this is that the 8th of August fell during our holiday to Norfolk so we had to engineer for them to see their friends and family prior to our week away.

Party 1:

The first party was held at a non air conditioned indoor play centre for kids, complete with many forms of airborne bacteria thanks to the masses of kids in a close environment. The day was the last day of school, non-uniform day, so I decided to book it straight from school. What I didn’t bargain for was it happened to be also the hottest day of the year so 10 sweaty overheated kids emerged from their classrooms before the party had even begun. The two hours consisted of the children running around like a bunch of crazed lemmings. My daughter adopted a high-pitched scream on every slide as other parents (including us) tutted at the out of control kid making the annoying noise as I tried to discreetly quieten her without being noticed. The twins enjoyed themselves and we ticked off the first of their celebrations with an amazing cake courtesy of my talented cake maker friend.

Their most excellent cake from my talented friend Anthea Scott. Please contact me for orders.

Their most excellent cake from my talented friend Anthea Scott.

Party 2:

This was a more sober affair, you probably thought I meant sombre but I was referring to the hip flasks me and hubby always take to a play centre (only joking). Anyway, round 2 gave our family members who were not coming on holiday the opportunity to swamp the twins with presents. I had given up on trying to persuade the twins to wait until their birthday to open their presents as it was still two weeks away! The party meant more cake, more presents, happy twins, party 2 ticked off.

Party 3:

As I mentioned in my previous blog (https://anounceofme.com/2013/05/19/my-neighbouring-set-of-not-so-desperate-housewives/) we have the benefit of neighbours who have also become our friends. As their children do not attend our kids school, nor are they a member of our family or will be coming to Norfolk with us, we had another birthday party for the twins. This was a BBQ, my hubby’s party of choice if ever we are at home, lots of presents, more cake, happy but confused twins asking me whether they are 5 or 6 as they can’t work it out. Must not do this again next year. Party 3 ticked off.

Lets all sing Happy Birthday again.....

The Twins 6th Birthday:

We had a lovely week away in North Norfolk with our parents which we all really enjoyed. And without trying to sound like ‘Kirstie and Phil’, the location was perfect, the cottage spacious and it was jolly splendid fun (that was the Kirstie bit). On the Thursday of our week away, it WAS the twins ACTUAL Birthday for REAL! We woke the little ones up, excitedly explained it was their Birthday to which they were not overly impressed about despite us decorating our temporary living room with balloons, banners and dishing out party poppers. Another Birthday to celebrate, obviously they soon got into the swing of it with the promise of more presents and cake. We also had arranged to take a boat ride off Blakeney Point to see wild seals, complete with our dog Chester and I even managed to persuade our Captain to lead another sing-song of Happy Birthday with all the passengers joining in, which a fellow tourist bizarrely filmed, whilst Chester growled at passing seals in the water.

Chester the sea dog.

Chester the sea dog.

It does feel very strange to say that our twins are now 6. It only seems like yesterday that I sat exhausted in my hospital postnatal bed, staring wide eyed at two little babies in two little plastic cots, feeling a mixture of excitement and sheer terror at the prospect of two babies to care for along with my then 3 year old son. But we survived…. just… but that is a whole other blog… Stay tuned for more and I promise it will be sooner than 4 weeks!

Happy Fathers Day!

Dear Dad,

I feel very fortunate to have you as my Dad. In the words of Frenchie from Grease, my go-to film for advice as a teenager, she said to Sandy: “The only guy a girl can rely on life is her Daddy”. Many friends of mine have had strained, often absent, relationships with their Fathers and I have always felt fortunate that not only have we always had a solid family unit, but that you have always been a key part in mine and my big bro’s life.

You are the backbone of our family unit, you grew up as the only male amongst your three sisters which provided you with the ability to be a modern man, despite growing up in the 50s. With close relationships with my Aunts you have always treated women as equals and never displayed one iota of male chauvinism. You grew up in a post war Britain with a doting Mum and a tough Scottish Dad, who must have been an incredible role model. I remember Grandad as a big burly (to his grandchildren – soppy) Scotsman, who told us how he was in Berlin at the end of the war with the Scottish Fusiliers and brought home a Nazi flag from a German HQ to present to Nan as a trophy, only for her to swiftly throw it in the fire in disgust! You told us, that as a child, how Grandad walked home from work one night and took a short cut across some train tracks only to be knocked into a neighbouring field by a train, but still managed to walk home explaining to Nan when she enquired about his bruises the next day, ‘that it was just a wee knock’. How do you live up to a man like that? But you know what, in my eyes you do and more.

I have always envied how your 20s were spent in the ‘swinging 60s’ and as a promoter of bands you were at the forefront of rock n roll music, and you remember what you did as well! You managed to wangle concert tickets for The Beatles during their heyday only to pass them to my Aunt’s as you didn’t want to sit through 2 hours of fans screaming! I love the story of how you met Mum, which could easily be transferred into a film script. How you saw her arrive at a house party you were at with friends and found that the understairs cupboard of the house had been converted into a shelter during the Blitz with a seat and a light. You then engineered ‘a game’ for one of your mates to persuade Mum to meet you in there and when she did she was quick to make her excuses to get out, only for you to pursue her over a series of dates instead.

You and Mum have always had a rock solid relationship, providing me with a foundation to want the same for myself. It is often said that your choice of boyfriends can often mirror a man similar to your Father, well it was hard to find a man to match up to be honest. I know you were less than pleased in a couple of my ex’s, but never intimidated them or tried to sway my decision, but maybe just hinted how I could probably do better. They often told me that ‘I don’t think your Dad likes me’ so I think you conveyed your feelings subtly to them. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to see your little girl become a woman and bring home boys and it wasn’t until I met my hubby that I saw you actually relax around one of my boyfriends. Although, the circumstances were not ideal as I had asked hubby in our early weeks of dating to collect me from my wisdom teeth removal operation. What I/and he didn’t bargain for was the amount of anaesthetic I would be given and the lack of stitches they would give me, resulting in him collecting me from the recovery room to find an extra from The Thriller video dribbling blood and making a Zombie like moaning noise. And this is how he meet the parents, holding a blood soaked towel to my face as I stumbled into my house!

You worked long hours when we were kids to provide us with the charmed life that we had. I don’t recall you as an absent father during my childhood, even though Mum was a stay-at-home Mum whilst you would work 12 hour shifts as a Supervisor in a paint factory to make ends meet. I think it didn’t feel like you were absent because when you were not working, even though you were shattered, you would be our play mate devoting your last stores of energy to me and big bro. As we grew older and Mum worked part-time, you were ‘in charge’ of dinner preparations where me and big bro would mouth ‘corn beef hash for dinner then?’ as Mum headed out the door. But we loved our corn beef hash smothered in HP sauce, washed down with a glass of milk and followed with a KitKat.

You have always had a silly sense of humour to make us belly laugh as kids, from doing the ‘turkey trot’ dance to encourage our dog to go mental, to your legendary Max Wall impressions just to make us giggle. You are one of the most intelligent and knowledgable people I know and you and big bro have a Stephen Fry type ability to retain information and converse in a humorous and intellectual way. I can remember how excited I was to get my job at The Daily Telegraph as it has always been my mission to make you proud of me. I desperately hoped that you would regard me as able to talk about current affairs and would often have a read of the broadsheets on my way home, to ensure I was able to impress you with my take on the Middle East crisis.

You have always a knack for psychiatry, a profession I think you would have flourished in. With my sometimes short temper and a knack for feeling very paranoid and easily hurt in situations, as a teenager and even today ,you are the only one who can instantly diffuse my mood and make me see a situation from an objective point of view. You have always been able to give sage advice in a calm manner and provide a shoulder to cry on for many.

As a Day Centre Officer for a bulk of your career, you transformed the lives of many adults with learning difficulties, treating them as ‘normal’ and guiding them through essential skills without patronising them. When you created a gardening group of autistic adults to landscape gardens in the local community, you brought your willing troupe of gardeners to my house. They would hang on your every word as you patiently demonstrated how to create flowerbeds and educate on weeding. And when they didn’t achieve what you wanted you didn’t lecture but just allowed them to find their own way.

I love that you are now retired and I am seeing more of you and watching your relationship with the grandchildren evolve. Your grandkids look up to you the way I used to with Grandad, they all beg to spend one-on-one time with you and I love that. It is easy for a Mum and daughter to become firm friends, as I have with Mum, as we share so many similar emotions and hormones! However, it is often tricky to mirror that closeness with a Father as there is often a need to impress. I look forward to our relationship evolving, I will still strive to make you proud of me even though I know you are, still seek your advice on a regular basis and still try to keep up with you and big bro on your post Newsnight debates. I love you Dad.