Monday, 29 December 2014

Last post for 2014

It's come around so quickly. The end of yet another year.

I have been blogging for nearly a year, averaging on one blog a week. Not bad for a newbie. Sure the content has been snooze-worthy at times (ok most times).

On a rare occasion I have managed to crack a smile from some readers, and some comments!

This year has been the toughest yet greatest year of my life.



My immediate family has bought me joy and laughter. I treasure them each and every second of the day. I wake up each morning and can't wait to see the smile, giggle and scream with laughter.

I have been met with challenges I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Challenges that have changed the way I view people and relationships and life in general. I have fought battles I never imagined possible. I haven't won.  I have come out wounded but hopefully wiser. The sort of wars I have had to take part in never result in a winner.

I have said goodbye to people, hello to new friends and family and have prepared for new experiences.

I have removed the invisible chains around my legs and despite my need (still) to get fitter and healthier, I am free and more alive than ever.

Mid life crisis or mid life awakening, 2014 has been a diamond, with clear, beautiful reflections and clarity - other times with sharp edges that cut glass.

Next year promises new adventures, moves, careers, cities, perhaps countries.

I am sorry to see this year end.  While only a date in time, 2014 has largely been a learning curve of emotions, experiences and perceptions.  I hope the leanings continue - but hope that they are positive.

Thank you for reading my dribble. Wishing you all positive closure to 2014, and a successful exciting 2015.

Image:  "Bye Key Shows Departing Or Leaving " by Stuart Miles courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos

Monday, 22 December 2014

Supermarket sweep

Last week I was at my local supermarket, a well known Greek chain.  I picked up a few items that were discounted if I produced my loyalty card. I had left my card at home.

The sales person promptly asked the lady behind me for her card. She used her card to give me the discount, and handed the card back.

Other than  'Oh, I don't have my card' I uttered no other words, and the above transaction took place in a matter of moments.

Gobsmacked, I turned and thanked the behind me, and also the sales assistant,

They both looked at me as though I was thanking them for jumping on my feet.

I left feeling as though I lived in a nice area.

Mr. Lucky came home yesterday with an extra carton of milk.  He explained that the day before he forget to pack the milk when he picked up an armload of groceries.

The sales assistant remembered him, and told him when he was at the checkout.  She left the till, got the carton of milk, and packed it for him explaining why.

Today, after completing the first of my big 'Christmas supermarket shop' the sales assistant left her post, walked over to the Christmas tree Little Miss and The Baby were admiring, and took down a Santa and Frosty decoration. She gave the decorations to the girls and wished them a Merry Christmas.

In other countries this act of generosity would have been viewed by management as shop lifting. Shocked,  I explained this to the shop assistant, she laughed and said, 'those rules don't apply to children, regular customers and loyal staff. We put people before profit.'

Crisis or not, this country constantly amazes me. It's often during mundane chores like supermarket shopping that I am exposed to little acts of kindness, that to the average Greek, is just part of their DNA.

Image: "Piggy Bank And Shopping Basket" by Mister GC courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos





Monday, 15 December 2014

Fight on a flight

Last week we flew from Thessaloniki to Athens. It is a one hour flight. We thought it would be a good way to see if Little Miss had overcome her inability to fly with ease. A short trial flight would be ok.

Well. We are optimists afterall.

It was on hour of hell for all the surrounding passengers. Fortunately it was ten minutes of sheer terror for Little Miss. So, while we didn't win any prizes in the fabulous family stakes, I was somewhat relieved that she freaked out for only ten minutes, rather than the entire flight.

Little Miss has largely lost her 'Port a Volcano' status. It has been replaced with a 'Meltdown on anything that moves' title.

We sat her in her own seat near the window. She turned pale and started hyperventilating. We hadn't yet put on our belts so we swapped seats thinking she would be happier between mum and dad.

This made it worse. She absolutely freaked out. The air hostess came over to help. I asked if she could sit on my lap with a belt. The air hostess refused.  Little Miss continued to scream, kick, hyperventilate. Snot, tears and sweat were airborne.

We tried to calm her down. We tried to bribe her. We tried to tell her off. Nothing worked. She was possessed. Other travellers looked on in pity, fear - thankfully I was too busy trying to calm Little Miss to notice if anyone looked on in disguist.


The screams were awful. All I could hear was 'Mummy hold me.'

Another hostess came over and gave me a belt.  Little Miss was prompty put on my lap. The exorcism sorry, baby belt worked.

Little Miss was all smiles. The hostess told us she would have to report the incident, and suggested we not fly again until Little Miss overcame her fear.


We sighed with relief, thankful that we had not been thrown off the flight. The passengers also sighed hoping the rest of the flight would be peaceful. Then, Little Miss started singing. For the entire flight.

We still are not sure whether Little Miss was fighting sitting on her own, or fighting because she was scared.

Eitherway, I am not game to find out again.  We caught the train back to Thessaloniki.  Five and a half hours of happy child for me, beats even ten minutes of distraught unhappy Little Miss.

Is she spoilt? Perhaps.

Image "Aircraft Silhouette" by satit_srihin courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.




Monday, 8 December 2014

There were three in the bed

Bedtime. We three pile into Little Miss' single bed.

I pull out three stories. We argue over which to read first.

At the end of story time, it's lights out. No moving The Baby into her cot. No, mama does not give her cherubs a kiss goodnight, and confidently walks out the door.

Mama balances on the edge of the single bed until Little Miss and The Baby fall asleep. The trundle is pulled out. There is a good chance Little Miss or The Baby will end up sleeping on it at some point in the night.

Little Miss and The Baby insist on sleeping together. They hold hands until they fall asleep.  It's lovely.

What isn't lovely is that they want me to lie with them and cuddle both of them equally. If I so much as move, they stir. At any time of the night.
 
A toilet break is a luxury.  A good night's sleep is a dream.

Last night both fell asleep quickly.  I moved The Baby to the trundle successfully and tip toed out. I was so ecstatic that I went to bed, my bed, immediately. I didn't bother telling Mr Lucky. I was too excited to be reacquainted with my own bed and pillow.

It didn't last long. I tossed and turned. Something was wrong. I peaked into their room to find Little Miss and moved to the trundle and was cuddling the baby.  I crept out and back to my bed.

At about three, I heard The Baby crying out for me.  I ran (read my previous blog entitled Jealousy to understand why).  I swiftly picked her up and we lay down on Little Miss' bed.

At five I felt Little Miss pulling at me.  We were back to position one, Little Miss against the wall, The Baby in the middle, and mama hanging on for dear life on the edge.

I sighed and the nursery rhyme came to mind 'There were three in the bed and the little one said roll over!'

Patience is what I am told. Two more years and they won't want you...that's a long time.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Doll camp.

As a child, I don 't remember being scared of my toys. Except the time my aunt gave me a clown, and my sisters and cousins would dangle it in front of my face when I slept - reenacting a scene from Poltergeist the movie.

Their giggling would wake me up and I would scream in terror as the clown grinned at me.

It wasn't an evil looking clown. It was kind of cute.  But the movie, and my sisters actions made me hide it in the cupboard and one day, I threw it out. Nobody noticed the clown went missing.

As I often lie awake in my daughters' room, I look around and watch as dusk turns to dawn my daughters toys gradually morph in my mind from innocent dolls to a gang of undesirables. There are three dolls I  pay attention to. They are on my watch.



They are like the rough kids in the playground.  I stare, I watch, I wait, I observe. I am ready. If they make one wrong move and even hint at hurting my cherubs, like a panther I am ready to attack.

One is a Minstrel doll, handmade.  If you lift it's dress, it has my mothers name sewn into it's belly, like an amateur tattoo after a drunk night out. Scary and weird.

The other two are little girls, that have curly hair, hats and are in eighteen century dresses. When they have batteries, they sing American skipping (or jump) rope nursery rhymes.

I haven't been able to make out the rhyme, but am convinced one is from the 1940's (Charlie Chaplin went to France).  Read the lyrics, and you will understand why the dolls do not have batteries. I am not ready to talk to my 1.5 and 3.5 year olds asking me about World War 11.

The girls don't play with the Minstrel doll. They get the two girls down, and play with them for about two minutes.  One has lost an arm in battle. And still, I don't pity it.  I am suspicious. They look like they're going to attack, like  possessed dolls in a horror movie.

I have decided that when we move (in a few weeks), we're sending these three dolls on holiday to the same camp the clown went to. One far far away, never to return (and if they do, we won't be here).

I feel a shudder as I make my decision. Paranoia? Yes, Overacting exhausted mind? Absolutely.  I wonder if the girls will notice.

Image: "Crying Doll" by Theeradech Sanin. Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net