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

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.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Nobody puts Baby in the corner

This is a blog of unconditional love. Even I have to roll my eyes and gag a little. So if you are at all like me, I urge you stop reading. Help me save the reputation of this blog site and please STOP.  Move  along, nothing to read, nothing to say.. MOVE ALONG I URGE YOU!

If you are at all on the soppy, 'water spurting out of your eyes at the drop of a hat' type, then by all means read on.....if I bring a tear to your eye then I may have just salvaged my reputation and this blog, and blog site.

I have been so caught up in the mundane and the day to day that an entire year has gone by since having the Baby and I feel cheated. 

Don't get me wrong. I have spent every waking hour and more often than not every half sleeping hour with her. I celebrate her existence with each and every breath but still, I feel cheated. 

She sleeps in her own room. She is almost walking. She has seven teeth. She wants to feed herself. We no longer sterilise or boil water. She dances to music, sends kisses, waves goodbye and hello.  She is no longer a baby.

She has the sweetest cry.  Sometimes I let her cry it out a little bit more because she looks so cute when she cries and the sound is music to my ears. 

We spent the first month of her life in hospital. She loved the plastic crib and somehow managed to rock herself to sleep in it.  The nurses warned me she would have trouble transitioning to her real cot. She didnt.

While desperate to get home to Little Miss and Mr Lucky, The Baby and I used that month to bond. We cuddled and talked and cried and laughed. We slept, we didnt care what time it was. We just hung out.  I have largely wiped the pain and suffering from that memory month. That month was special.

When we got home and Little Miss pulled out her drama costume to push, pinch, bite, or throw things in the cot all to the beat of the song 'What about Me.' But at the one year mark now, The Baby is a force to be reckoned with. 

She can cry for help and push out a tear in a second. She can do this so quickly that Little Miss hasn't  had an opportunity to transition from drama queen to doting big sister.

The Baby is a great eater. Like her parents she can almost swallow a steak in one gulp.  The rolls on her thighs, her protruding belly and big cheeks are constantly adorned with food, food parts or kisses. 

We've thrown sleep training out the window. She sleeps in her cot when she wants to but when she wants us, we comply. There is nothing, and I mean nothing like cuddling up to this warm bundle of sweetness at night (ok nothing until Little Miss insists on headlocking me into submission so our king size bed starts to feel a little cramped.

This smiling dimply bundle of joy has made herself a very much wanted, needed and enjoyed member of our now family of four. Its been an exhausting but fantastic year.  

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Show tunes gone flat.

So yesterday Little Miss decided she wanted to walk home from the park wearing one shoe and despite the elements refused to wear her coat.

I transitioned from gentle coach, encouraging coach, firm mummy, scowling mummy to I can’t take the screaming any more, let her win this one mummy.
Determined to draw more attention to us, she sang loudly, belting out her show tunes with the determination of a performer auditioning for that one role that was theirs since birth.

Ok, she's not belting out her show tunes, they are mine.  The very show tunes that replace frowns, tiredness and scowls with sunshine, smiles, hope and Grease style dancing. 
After she worked her way through Hairspray’s soundtrack (at only 3, her version is generally quite short. She doesn’t know all the words) She turned her attention to the Sound of Music. All the while, she carried her pack of cheese sticks in one hand as though they were fragile chicks.
Each person we walked by smiled  or patted her head.  So taken with the attention, Little Miss began to  skip.
As I watched her happily make her way down the street a few things struck me as this stubborn little mite splashed her way through puddles not worrying about her now soaked sock.
Hearing her laugh unselfconsciously, seeing her smile, having her cuddle give me a hug to last for eternity makes even the best show tune flat. 
She is pure sunshine. She brings warmth, and giggles and magic and fun.  I can’t wait to watch her grow up and go on crazy funfilled adventures only to come home with a fulfilled exhausted smile.
My heart breaks however a little every time I think she is inching closer to the realisation that some people and children can be cruel and hurtful.
I want to hold her hand when she wakes up to the commercial, materialistic competitive world we have created that is judgemental, competitive and money orientated.
Each time I witness an older child or kids in general tell her ‘she cant’’ or ‘ you’re too little’ or ‘ I don’t want to play with you’  I feel as though I have punched in the face about 1000 times.  I don’t  intervene. 
She has to learn to stand her ground. It doesn’t happen often – like all children, she is mostly well liked and plays easily with others. She is also very happy to play on her own or with her sister.
If there is nasty snatching, pulling, punching, name calling – of course I get involved. I want her to be empowered enough to say ‘Stop’ or  ‘ Don’t’ or ‘Go away’. 
How to do this  when all I want to do is wrap her  in cotton wool or bubble wrap – whatever it takes to prevent her from having to deal with any sadness, nastiness or rejection.  Impossible I know.
I relish in the short time I have with her where she:
·         gives cuddles and kisses to consistently throughout the day and doesn’t care who is looking,

·         wants to hold my hand everytime we leave our home

·         she turns and waves to me every so often at the park

·         she seeks our company

·         doesn’t allow anyone , not even me to stop her from doing just what she wants to do. Be it stand barefoot in the street, sing at the top of her lungs or laugh happily on her way to the corner store.
I will be there for her when she needs a cuddle, kiss or talk to take away any doubt, confusion or hurt. I simply pray that that day will never happen. 
What is your favorite show tune?

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Sleep depraved and deprived

Ok, who was that soft around the waist and head mummy moron that uploaded a blog of unconditional love and baby blah blah 'she is so cute I just can't get enough of her'?

Call the doctor. Really - I don't know that woman. Today I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and aside from the 'softness around the waist' issue - I was terrified. There was nothing soft about the woman staring blankly at me.

I will never be able to erase that image from my mind...

That woman (yes, in this sleep depraved and deprived state I speak in the third person) has consulted Gina Ford, Tizzie's 'Save our Sleep', and tried controlled (and uncontrolled - oops that is me, back to first person) crying.   I have watched The Nanny. I have consulted the Baby Whisperer. I have read and researched.   I have tried 'The Deep End Approach' (no dirty jokes here please, am too tired to laugh) - all have failed. I now use the 'No Approach.'

That cute chubby cherub just won't sleep. So much so is her determination to stay awake - that even I am beginning to question how cute she is. Something changed. She just woke up one day and thought, 'No, I am not going to sleep when I am told to. I refuse routine.'

Add Little Miss to the equation.  A stranger at restaurant recently called her Diva.  Not far from the truth I quietly mused.  Last night, or rather this morning Little Miss put on her best show performance. Between 1 am and 3 am our neighbors' had the pleasure of hearing the world's loudest tantrum.  I expect The Baby's refusal to sleep disturbed Diva and this set her off.

So back to The Baby Whisperer, back to Gina and Tizzie and of course The Nanny......great books, well done, thanks for printing and sharing but your techniques DON"T WORK.

I have joined that sorry group of mums on mummy websites sharing painful sleep deprived stories asking or begging for help. I have tried and tested different techniques for weeks and weeks on end (yes I know consistency is key). All have failed. 

If I had the energy I would throw myself a huge tantrum and scream it all out. If I weren't typing I would be raiding the cupboards looking for some gin, or scotch. If only they would sleep,  then I could stop moaning, boring myself and you and write something new!

Some people want world peace, others want money, I want 8 full uninterrupted hours of deep, restful sleep, so I can start to think about anything else other than sleeping.

Are you sleep deprived? What is your story?

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Missed Calling

Another early morning blog attributed to my mind racing through a cocktail of issues.

The usual obsessions flow through me. Little Miss' tantrums. Am I too soft or too hard? Am I applying appropriate discipline techniques?

It's The Baby's first birthday next week - where has the year gone? How has my precious cherub grown so quickly and right under my nose? Why can't I buy a version of WD 40 that will oil and mute my noisy joints? After running my nightly 'are they hot or cold' checks, those silly creaks wake the girls each time I creep out of their bedroom. 

I have accepted these issues and many more (mundane to others but critical to me).  A range of new issues however have invaded my thoughts.

Where is that Malaysian plane? What are the real implications of the Ukraine crisis? Will I ever stop obsessing about what is going on in the world?

What will I watch when my nightly fix of a Turkish TV drama (with Greek subtitles) ends?  This drama has helped me escape all of the above thoughts for a little while. The drama is bad, but addictive.

Continuing on my path of inward reflection - I have started to wonder whether I have missed a calling to be a private investigator (P.I).

This thought gives me flashbacks.

A flashback to my teenage years when my sisters took me on a stake out.  I don't remember the details why we were spying on a man and lady that had driven to a parking lot with ocean views (well that says it all doesn't it?) but it was exhilarating.
The law abiding speed limit car chase to the parking lot, the getting out of the car and hiding behind trees trying to peer into the car was the highlight of my stunted social outing year. 

Nothing came of our investigation other than a quick prayer of thanks to God that nobody noticed us and called the police. The very idea of explaining to my parents why we skipped an aerobics class (yes this was the '80's) to hide behind trees near a car park terrified me more than a night in the slammer.

When I was old enough to coordinate my own stake out, a friend and I decided to drive past a particular  house about 1000 times ducking down low in our seats, to check out an older man as he mowed the lawn. He was in our minds was the local Richard Gere (good looking older gentleman type).

We wanted to investigate just what it was that made us giggle like school girls when we saw him. He must have noticed us (who wouldn't, it was a dead end street). He never told his friends (our parents) but he would always give us a special smile.

We never solved that case but the excitement during each drive by still makes me catch my breath.

In my more mature years, I helped a friend track her straying partner. This time our surveillance moved online.  After a fair amount of snooping - we worked out the friend's online behavior, payments to a discrete business that men patronised, accessed telephone and text messages.

This was the real deal. We snooped and got dirt. The relationship ended once we, ok, I was too scared to -  but once my friend presented the evidence and demanded an explanation.

This case bought genuine satisfaction.

I ignore the fact that being a P.I can be dangerous, it requires wit, secrecy, you can never really talk about work can you? A good investigator would need to work out - admit it, a fat, unfit P.I would never get a good gig, and it's not a 9 to 5 , Monday to Friday type of job.

Not at all practical if you have two cubs and a Mr. Lucky to care for so, in retrospect am glad I didn't pursue this career path.

I wonder if I should turn my thoughts to my next career move. Personal trainer? Wine maker? Personal shopper? Property mogul?

What calling have you missed (career wise) and are you planning on making a career change now?

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Regarding Henry

I have always considered myself a one man woman. But like a heroine in a romance novel, my world has been turned upside down.  I don't think it's love. I don't think it's lust. It's  an obsession that just wont pass.

I know it's not right.  There is not much I can do about it.  Like a smitten boy-crazed school girl, I just cant stop thinking or talking about him.

His name is Henry. A nice strong traditional English (I think)  name. A name I wouldnt normally be attracted to - but these things often suprise even the best of heroines.
I first noticed him on  a construction site. I couldnt help but be drawn to him. He looked so in control, he knew he had a lot of work to do, he was going to get dirty and didnt care.  He had a focussed determination - a force to be reckoned with.

No job was too small or big for this strong but friendly brute. What really won me over was his warm smile.

Just when I thought I had my obsession (or fantasy) under control, as luck would have it - Henry charged through my office one day.  A construction and office type!  My fantasy / obsession couldnt get any better, could it? He met every girls dream including those that prefer that their Henry stay at home with the kids. That's right ladies,  I later saw him at a friend's house, getting stuck into the housework, again with that lovely smile.

I was beside myself. I couldnt sleep, I couldnt eat (well that's not entirely true).

I had to talk to somebody about Henry. I had little choice, I had to fess up to Mr Lucky. He knew something was up anyhow. He is the only person in the world that truly understands me. He is my best friend, my partner in crime, my everything. So I took a risk and told him.
He wasnt happy. He yelled, he stomped, he slamed a door or two - but later he calmed down and suggested something I would never ever have thought possible.

'Let's bring Henry home, and see what happens' he said warily.

I was nervous, but didnt waste a second.  I wasnt going to risk Mr  Lucky changing his mind.  Henry came over the next day - and hasnt left.  Well, truth be known,  we left him temporarily and oh how I miss him!!!  While we're holidaying in Greece, he stayed on in London. It would be too weird and costly for him to come with us.

The time we spent together was special.  While I promised Mr Lucky that I would  dance with Henry  once or twice a week  - I couldnt help it,  we tangoed every day. I was happy. He was happy - that lovely smile never left him. And strangely, Mr Lucky was unusually happy. Perhaps because he realised i was finally satisfied.

Now in Greece I pine for him, I cant wait to be reunited.  I think Mr Lucky can't wait too - it will certainly  put me at ease.

To help me cope, I carry a photo of him with me around. Here he is ladies.... my darling Henry. My Henry who meets my sad, hidden obsession with....... vacuming. And yes, we have tried Dyson, he just wont do for me.

Friday, 7 February 2014

It’s a Wrap People.

Break open the bubbly! Today is the last day of the 30 day blog a day challenge. Time to celebrate an achievement.

It’s a mixed bag of feelings and awakenings.  I am:

Ecstatic that I stuck to it, and got through it.

Amazed that I managed to juggle a blog a day with two kids under three and Mr. Lucky.
In addition to the mundane, I have spent the last 30 days looking for alternative accommodation in Greece and the UK. We are moving to another short stay apartment – so am packing up to move house. AND we’re looking at apartments to move in to for when we go back to London, am packing up what we currently don’t need to ship that back to London. FUN!!

Thrilled that I managed to reconnect with Ms. Lintern.

Sad that the challenge is over – I enjoyed dusting off my brain, and giving the fingers a workout.

Relieved that it’s come to an end, the pressure is off.  It got tough towards the end.

Liberated.  I have managed to expel a range of random thoughts; I now have space for more.

Conscious of friends that have actively supported the process and those that haven’t.

Touched to have heard from people I hadn't heard from for years who have been supportive or who have shared their stories or perspectives

Happy that I have met other bloggers, who have provided tips, advice and support.

OK, I haven’t saved lives, lost a few kilos, and changed the world.  But it has been fun.  In 30 days I have managed to clear a whole range of data, ideas that have been floating around in my noggin.

It’s been a great learning experience. I am now better connected with how I write, when I write, and what ends up on screen.

So what is next?  Stay tuned. I won’t be blogging daily – but will continue to blog.

After a break I am sure I will be up for another blog challenges. Who’s in?

Thank you following me, but don’t go away, watch this space.

This blog is the final installment of Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge. Visit Melodramatic Me.

Follow me at: @mummyfried

Image: Explosion Of Champagne Bottle Cork" by digitalart /