Monday, 29 September 2014

The boys and girls in blue.

I have talked about my uniform fetish in an earlier blogs entitled ‘A call out’. I can’t help but raise it again.  

I am often fascinated by people in uniform. They are so perfectly groomed. Shoes shiny, shirts tucked in. Hair in place.  In my mind there is an air of mystery around somebody in uniform.

You just can’t tell what type of person is under the cloth.  Are they kind, approachable, funny, strict, creative?

Are they as clean cut as their uniform suggests? If I visited them at home, would I enter a home so pristine and in such order that even I the germaphobiac would think the sterile environment was a bit suss?

I always want to crack and unravel the mystique. 

Police officers fascinate me largely because these law enforcers require a combination I think of humor, empathy, strength, bravery and importantly intellectual and emotional maturity.  



Requirements that I think are missing from the list of essentials on a police officer’s job description.

By way of testing my theory – I approach as many police officers as possible with questions (real questions that require an answer, I am not a law enforcer time distract-er). I have done this in each and every country I have lived in and traveled to.

To date, police officers in the UK are winning Mummyfried’s 'Police Officer Capability' tally.  They consistently and constantly amaze me with their patience, empathy humor, and approach-ability, bravery (they don’t carry guns and go up against armed bandits constantly).

I often think that police officers in Australia and in the US should spend a minimum of three months in countries like the UK to deal with diversity at its peak.

This one incident however has put the Greek officers in serious running for the winning country.

We were in a traffic jam during peak hour and we were fast approaching dinner time. There was little way of getting out. We were in a taxi.  Mr Lucky and I were mentally willing the meter to slow down.

Going the opposite way but nearly parallel to us was a police van.  It too was stuck in traffic.  Little Miss was about to kick off and have an absolute meltdown. We must have looked terrified.

For the next half hour the officers pulled faces, played games, turned the sirens on and off and eventually got out of the van and gave Little Miss a lolly.

The meter didn't stop. The tantrum was averted. We drove out of that jam with a smiley Little Miss, the police officers got a genuine thank you, the taxi driver a hefty fare without a headache and Mr Lucky and I sighed with relief.

What’s your feel good uniform story (keep it clean!) ?

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Monday, 22 September 2014

Born Again

A friend and I recently exchanged war stories about our families.  We slowly, tentatively revealed our scars.  I think she showed me all of hers. I couldn’t. Mine are far too deep, too many to show all at once.

I glossed over some recent incidences, the last ones that prompted me to yell ‘Enough’ for that final time. She didn’t say much. She is a great believer that people come into and out of our lives for a reason.  So too do all experiences, good and bad.

Sometimes I think she is an earth angel. Here to bring support, guidance and honesty.  Other times I think she is just a good new friend. Either way, I am happy she is in my life.

 ‘You were simply born into the wrong family’ she said.

What a revelation. Honestly. I had never thought about it that way.

I agreed and realised that is the simplest, nicest and most honest way to describe my relationship with my family.

I don’t share their life values. I don’t agree with their rules, judgments and lifestyle. Their behavior, treatment and value systems are out of whack with mine.

Having read thousands of books, talked to many, wasted years of my life agonizing and wondering ‘what the hell?’ – this simple sentence sums up my entire family life experience neatly.

I don’t talk about them or the situation often, but some are curious and ask. Knowing somebody’s background gives a person depth. Knowing mine gives a person insight into those occasional dark moments, momentary sad silences and hopefully rare odd behavior.

I used to struggle to describe my family without attracting pity or strange looks. I would either lie and say they were great or I would say the truth…. a second with my family is like being in a real live version of the movie Saw, and each and every sequel.  Of late, they started to affect me physically. My body reacted badly each time we spoke or communicated.

‘Born into the wrong family’ says the above in a nicer, simpler less dramatic way.

Having found the right description, I also say a sad goodbye to the family I was born into. There were some, very few, good times.  Somewhere in that darkness, when in the public eye there was a sense of unity and of course love.  That is why my experience is hard to believe for some. Regardless, those few times I cherish.  I still love you but in all honesty, I really seriously don’t want to and can’t be a part of you anymore.  My physical and emotional well being is just too important.

I am embracing the family I created. The family not just limited to my beautiful happy wholesome naughty cheeky children.  My children and I have grandma’s and grand pa’s aunts’ and uncles, some that have no blood or marriage ties but are bonded and blended together with laughter, love and life.

A family that argues but forgives, a family with faults, but tries to improve them, a family that has different opinions, lifestyles and views  and celebrates these rather than frown on them in disapproval.

Farewell wrong family, hello positive bright future and family! I am born again.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Ying and Ying?

‘Even after so many years, you’re all loved up’ a friend once yelled at me.

Her accusation resonated for some time. Should I feel guilty? Happy? What prompted her to say such a thing with such contempt?  When I asked, she said she could just tell that we got along well and she wanted the same thing.  I didn’t know how to answer that.

Mr Lucky and I are loved up. We are very different in many ways, and at the same time quite similar. We still are individuals in our own right.  And yes, of course it’s not always a  given, we work at it. Well, Mr Lucky is truly a patient man.  He often waits for me to remove my foot from my mouth, only to shake his head in disbelief as I replace it with the other.   He is not perfect either. He shakes his head when I swap feet. That is wrong.

Because we arrived in Greece as an already made family as opposed to a growing one (which is what we were in the UK), not many ask how long we’ve been together, or where we met etc. Perhaps we’re not that interesting, or it’s a question nobody asks because frankly – who cares?

You can imagine my surprise when the technician installing our internet turned to me and said ‘ You and your husband really get along don’t you?’  I smiled, thinking, you have just met me. You know nothing about me or Mr Lucky.  I could be a husband beater and he could be living here at home in absolute terror, or I could be his girlfriend visiting while his wife popped out.

When he left, I asked Mr Lucky why he thought the technician said what he said.  Mr Lucky and he had had a little conversation when I was not in the room. It wasn’t at all similar to what we had discussed when he was installing the internet – so his comment left us baffled.

Perhaps he has seen us out? We pondered. Perhaps he knows people that know us.  We reasoned. We let it go and let the afternoon pass.

Little Miss came home from nursery and pointed to Mr Lucky’s t-shirt and said ‘What does that say?’

‘Ramones, it’s a band’ Mr Lucky replied. Little Miss ran off to play satisfied.

The afternoon merged into evening and as we sat around the dinner table, Little Miss turned to me and said ‘I know what that says’ pointing to Mr Lucky’s t-shirt. It says Ramones.’ We both smiled thinking what a good memory she had.

To my horror – she turned to me and said ‘Your t-shirt says the same thing mummy’

When the mundane of day to day life takes up all your attention – it’s a scary when you look up and realise that you and your partner have been wearing identical t-shirts all day.  Good taste aside, a sense of embarrassment hits you like a hard slap – in addition to being ‘matchy  matchy’ you’ve been out and about together holding hands like two loved up teenagers.  Your shame threatens to go into overload and you promise to yourself never ever leave the house again. Almost in lock down, I glare at Mr Lucky. It’s his fault, of course.

Simultaneously our mouths open ‘How could you not have noticed’ we yell.  Blood drains from our faces.  The screaming begins. It’s like hearing a chapel filled with the possessed during a exorcism. I smile (not with evil). The accusations are different. We’re not using the same words. We haven’t morphed into one, we are not completing each other’s sentences. We are angry with each other. Really angry, We’re not that compatible. Phew.


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Boy, sorry by George, It’s a miracle!

Two things have prevented me from blogging, and importantly blogging about this particular issue…

1 The heat.  Since May,  I have been very very busy taking advantage of the sun and hot weather. So much so that this normally  pasty white legged mother has turned golden brown. I have been hitting the beach hard, and trust me, it hasn’t hurt.

2. I have been in shock, this genuine state of disbelief has prevented me from writing.

OK, that is a bit of a stretch. The truth is, I haven’t been at all disciplined with my writing but give me a break – I still haven’t found my waist, time will tell if either discipline or my waistline is found.

Regardless, I have a miracle to report – albeit a few months late.  In April, the Baby had her first birthday. We wanted an adult type of party at a child friendly time (by child friendly time I really mean sticking to Baby’s routine).  We couldn’t find a venue that catered to both requirements. We had little choice but have the party at home.

This meant I was in charge of cleaning, entertainment (for the children) and cooking. Scary, not for me but for the guests coming to eat.  There was a great and likely risk that our guests would either leave hungry  or ill or both.

With this high probability, I decided to cheat a little and order some take away and dessert. I still had to prepare entree’s, nibbles, salads and main food accompaniments.

My wise decision to order take away and dessert meant there was a guarantee that some of the food on the table would be edible.

But , this is where a miracle took place.  Everything I prepared was delicious. I was asked for recipes, I was congratulated. And there was no confusion our guests could differentiate between what had been prepared and the takeaway.

My  mother in law called to tell me that the parents of one of our guests had told her that what I prepared was fantastic. Good  news and news of a miracle  travel all the way to Australia!

Mr Lucky and I couldn’t believe it.  Initially we thought the compliments were our guests being polite BUT too many people offered their thanks, and wanted recipes.

Milestones happen – lots of babies turn one, and for most families, the first birthday is usually a big big deal, and it was a big deal for us. But this first birthday was unusual for this little family of four – being congratulated for my cooking is a gynormously big first.

I am slowly getting over the shock, and summer is winding up (a little) so I may be up for blogging again soon.