Cartoon diary of our London family in the 1990s. Real life in pictures!
Sunday, 26 October 2014
1994 Cornwall - lost socks and steam trains
Secondly there is the dreaded sock beetle. Jim often finds holes in both ankles of a pair of socks around the ankle bone level. It looks for all the world as if something has eaten through all four layers of sock in one go. The holes match in size and everything! Sock beetles are invisible and immune to mothballs. We did theorise that Jim has unusually sharp ankle bones, but when we checked, they looked pretty normal.
They had a wonderful fort for the children to play in at this hotel. It was much bigger than I have drawn it, big enough for grown up people to play in with their kids, should they be so inclined, without banging their heads. It wasn't really pushchair friendly though. The boys ran off some of their energy and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Personally I love steam trains. I think they are the most romantic way to travel, and I adore the noises - hisses, hoots and whistles - which punctuate the journey. I would jump at the chance to drive one myself, but it seems unlikely that I ever will. The engines are so huge and exciting, all full of fire and steam and smoke. I enjoy looking at all sorts of engines - there is a lovely steam museum in Brentford ( The London Museum of water and steam) where you can go and watch the giant water pumping engines in full swing. Wonderful! But you really need children as an excuse to go and visit such places, otherwise, somehow, it tends not to happen.
"Daddy's train" was the one he commuted up to London on every day. It was not exciting.
The view was lovely though and we had the terrace to ourselves, mainly due to the screaming and the aforementioned aromas. I think Jim got us a cup of tea just after this, which was very diplomatic of him.
Jim is a natural provider and nurturer. His answer to any crisis is, "I'll put the kettle on", and "would you like to stay for dinner?" This is often closely followed by a request for me to fix the crisis. He has this charming idea that I can fix anything, and that a good meal will help. He is very good at acting as support and commissary, so we make a good team.
Friday, 10 October 2014
1994 Cornwall - anyone for tennis?
Still, the boys loved going kite flying, partly because they loved to see a really good kite smash! It was really windy that day. The kite did not make it home.
Once we had a lovely little booklet with patterns for kites. We made them all with the tissue paper and straws that came with the booklet. I think they needed a specially moderate wind tunnel to fly in, with strict speed control on the wind. They certainly couldn't manage to stay together in a gentle breeze. We did try blowing them up in the air at home with the fan heater, but they still disintegrated and fell like little moths. I can't understand how Mr Banks in Mary Poppins did it. Maybe he should make a video?
When we were woken at the usual time by Clara and the boys champing at the bit for their breakfast, we certainly didn't want to rise and shine, but we were terribly impressed when we stumbled from our room and shambled into breakfast. The lady who made us the horlicks was there on duty, bright eyed and bushy tailed despite having only had 3 hours sleep. That's what I call fortitude!
Sleep deprivation is no stranger to most parents. I was horrified to find that I was expected to function whilst hallucinating from lack of sleep when I first had Sam. It was so different from the calm and orderly world of the office, where tea breaks and lunch were interspersed with periods of concentrated effort and productive work. I can remember feeling proud if I got dressed before Jim came home. . .
A few years ago, Jim and I used to go out and play ordinary tennis. We stopped when we noticed that other much older people were so much better than us and that they could return balls over the net. The best time was when we found a tennis court on one of our holidays, in the field behind our cottage. We had fun hitting the balls at each other and one day we even managed a rally! How cool is that? After two weeks we were almost good enough to play in public, but winter came and we lost our nerve. Back to tea and cake instead!
Wednesday, 15 January 2014
1994 Cornwall - relaxing in the jacuzzi
I was suffering from post-baby elasticated waist syndrome... Baggy T shirts over the waistband helped to disguise the fact that I still looked pregnant. Ah the joys of the third baby! Life just suddenly becomes too busy for Kegel exercises. After George was born I still had this crazy idea that it wouldn't alter my physique being a second time mother. I was deluded enough to try a cartwheel 12 weeks after he was born. Oops. Torn ligaments in the pelvis are interestingly painful, especially coupled with "You did what? What were you thinking of?!" From the doctor.
Life gets incredibly more complicated with three children than with two. Someone once told me it is because you haven't got enough hands to hold them all down at once. I suspect that is part of it. I felt terribly odd and even maybe a little bit guilty sitting in the jacuzzi while Jim (who still cannot swim) watched them in the children's pool. There were life guards as well so it was OK. Jim's mum had the baby because she thought she had to sit down a lot with her angina. Actually, she would have been better getting a tad more exercise, but there you go. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. At the time we were under the impression that her heart had to be rested all the time. We even took her to the beach and she sat in the car because the sea air was not good for it.
On the other hand, you can decamp to a gloriously sunny beach, settle the children, change into the swimsuit and break out the picnic, only to be deluged by a sudden squall which appears out of nowhere. We used to take a huge plastic sheet and huddle under it until the rain passed. It had the benefit of clearing the beach of all but the most hardened people - great for surfing just after the shower has passed, before the crowds return. People have no staying power in my opinion.
A bit of rain never hurt anyone...
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