A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts

Thursday, 16 March 2017

When I Am Old...


Vintage, Volkswagen BeetleWhen I am old I shall drink Pimms from the teapot decanted into a fine
bone china cup.

I shall live by the sea and trade five a day for several measures of gin.

And swim every morning in the cold grey blue sea and given up hope that my hair will be anything but a tangled mess of frizz for the rest of my days.


I shall decorate the house with rabbit wallpaper and fill it with books and empty bottles of wine.

And share my life with a pug called Limoncello Belle Pugly instead of children who have grown and scattered to far flung shores.

Cute pug lying down

I shall shop daily for tidbits and eat brunch with the dog before taking a catnap.

And take long haul flights many times each year to check that the children are thriving and enjoying their lives.

I shall invite old friends to stay and reminisce about our former lives.

And recall all of the previous roles I have had... wife, mother, crazy cat lady, mentor, scientist, bottle washer. Jack of all trades, master of none at all.

I shall pootle about in a vintage car and get intentionally lost down winding country lanes to see where they go.

And invite lonely people to stay for Christmas and New Year to feast on recipes only I know - washed down with lots of wine.

I shall choose my next holiday destination by sticking a pin in a globe with my eyes tightly shut.

And create cake recipes with gin and whisky and rum and wine.

I shall not write lists any more. Making each day its own unfurling adventure instead.

Looking back on my life, I will smile and know that wine was the only thing keeping me sane.

I have travelled, volunteered and made amends for past grievances and realised that my hormones were mostly to blame.


Copyright ©2017 Izzie Anderton




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Friday, 30 September 2016

Lately...


Always be good to yourselfHello, my name is Izzie and it's been a couple of months since my last blog post.

I have no idea why writing has become more of a chore than a pleasure lately. Maybe it's my hormones, the weather, or generally feeling a bit 'meh' about writing.

Maybe I needed to take a break and write nothing at all.

Which is exactly what I've been doing all summer.

My daughters are all grown up and taking first steps into the world of adulthood and work. I suspect that they won't live anywhere near the place they called home. Their mum is fine with this. It's proof that they are heading off on their own adventures and that is exactly how it should be. 

What next for the blog and its author though?

Who knows?

Maybe it's time to shake things up a little and see where life takes me?

Watch this space.

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton
 






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Friday, 25 March 2016

Home for Easter

Empty nest, parenting, EasterDaughter Olivia is on her way home as I write this post. Sophia is already here after we collected her from uni last weekend. Last Sunday was a very long day and this meant that we have been tired for most of the week. Not that we shared that with our daughter obviously. To our kids, we'll always be mum & dad and therefore capable of anything.

I anticipate chaos during the week ahead as we adapt to living together as a family of four all over again. Sophia will work on final pieces for her degree show in May; Olivia, on her dissertation. There will be mess and mayhem, laughter and tantrums as I try (and fail) to keep everything afloat.

I read a fabulous post from Suzanne over at Chickenruby earlier in the week. What Happens After Your Kids Leave Home? summed up rather beautifully what it's like to live without your children once they're all grown. It resonated well with thoughts about my own daughters.

It's taken a while to settle down, but since my daughters left home and went to university we've got used to sharing our home with a cat who thinks she's in charge. I juggle 2 part-time jobs. Keep the house going. Find time to read. Enjoy long soaks in the bath. Go out for leisurely breakfasts with my husband. Attend local music nights. Spend time with friends. And secretly enjoy my own company more than I ever thought possible.

Having to factor in the needs of four all over again comes as a shock. I sometimes wonder if I'm becoming selfish in my old age - but it's rather lovely to be able to do all those things I haven't had time for since becoming a mum. I love my daughters more than anything, but accept that they need to live their lives and enjoy their own space. When they left for university in 2013 I couldn't imagine life without them, but now, I love that my daughters are capable of being independent - it kind of validates your role as a parent doesn't it?

For now, I'm mum all over again. Cakes are baked, the freezer filled, cupboards stocked and Easter Eggs hidden. I anticipate the car never being on the drive, the house unravelling and not being able to find what ever I'm looking for. The laundry basket will overflow, plans change at the last minute and I'll be up to date with the latest chart music.

When they leave, I will miss their company and the laughter that fills the house when they are here. 

As both daughters finish university in June, I have to get used to sharing the house all over again. Sophia's off to the US for 3 months and plans on completing a TEFL course and heading off again after that. Olivia's home for the summer at least. Who knows what will happen next? She returns to uni early for work experience at a newspaper and is busy applying for jobs.

Whatever happens I'm exceptionally proud of my girls and all that they have achieved. But just like Mummy Pig in The Three Little Pigs, I know that it's time for my daughters to make their way in the world and believe that this is the ultimate goal any parent could possibly hope for.

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton


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Saturday, 24 January 2015

Things I Know Are True

I guess the older you get, the wiser you become to many of life's mysteries. You learn how to negotiate the pitfalls by mastering what works for you and knowing how to behave in a crisis. And I guess while this is great in theory, in practice I still have a lot to fathom out.

This is what I've learnt during my forty-something years...

1. I am never going to love eating salad or drinking water just as long as dark chocolate and wine are readily available.

2. The best way to deal with any problem is to tackle it head-on before it becomes an even bigger problem.

Warning: skip no. 3 if you're eating or feeling a bit peaky.

3. When the cat is licking her lips and making a strange knocking sound she's about to honk up a furball and I need to move like lightning if I don't want to scoop this up off the floor.

4. I always write better after a couple of glasses of wine. The following day however, I need to go back and do some serious editing as what I've written will be complete gibberish.

5. There are some mysteries in life that aren't meant to be solved, such as:

a. How did we end up with so many odd socks? and...
b. Didn't I just clean the house yesterday?

6. When conversations with my daughters begin with, "Muuuum," chances are I'm not going to like what they have to say. But being a mum, I'll always listen attentively and do whatever I can to help.

7. I like to think that I'm superwoman and capable of dealing with anything life flings in my direction. In real life that isn't how I roll at all. I'm guilty of taking on way too much and chances are I'll run out of steam before tackling everything I need to do.

 8. Often it's the simple (but daft) things in life that keep me sane. And dancing in the kitchen while listening to Mahna Mahna on my iPod never fails to cheer me up. The kids just look at one another in complete disbelief if they're home.

(YouTube - Mahna Mahna)

I guess if you know something, you don't have to think about it. What could possibly be wrong with that?


Until next time...

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton



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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Life, Death and Vanilla Slices - Jenny Eclair

Life, Death and Vanilla Slices, Jenny Eclair, Book reviewDon't be fooled by the seemingly easy-going title of the latest release from Ms Eclair. This book packs a punch from page one and doesn't sugar-coat any of its sharp observations about the complex nature of family life. If you're a fan of black comedy and love a rollercoaster of a read, chances are you'll love this book.

Synopsis

Is it wrong to have a favourite child? Jean Collins had two daughters, Anne and Jess, but loved only one of them. She couldn't help herself.

Years later - Jess is missing and no one knows what happened to her. And Anne has long since escaped to London and left her troubled upbringing behind.

When Jean is left in a coma after stepping out into the middle of the road and being run over by a motorbike, it's Anne who heads back up north to sit with her mother. But why was her mother distracted? And why was she carrying a box of vanilla slices - a treat reserved only for special occasions?

Returning to the house where she grew up, Anne leaves her two ungrateful sons and a husband who's
career-minded, but clueless to their own devices. She is forced to confront the past and discovers a few secrets that were buried a long time ago.


Review

I loved the narration from the two main characters throughout the book. Anne's rant about what it is to be middle-aged and peri-menopausal had me collapsed in a fit of giggles. And anyone who's ever shared a house with teens will identify (although, hopefully not too much) with the descriptions of Anne's sons, Nat and Jools.

Although Jean isn't a particularly likeable character, she is one of life's survivors and I couldn't help but feel sympathetic towards her by the end of the book. I constantly had to remind myself that part of the novel was set in the 1960s and 70s when attitudes towards women were so very different from those of today. 

Occasionally additional characters sneak in and add to the narrative. I love that the story unfurls from different perspectives as this adds to the mix of this heart-breaking family drama. There are many skeletons in the family closet and one by one they are revealed. This family has had more than its fair share of tragedy and Anne and Jean have learnt to deal with the past and move on with their lives without ever knowing what happened to Jess.

The novel is pacey throughout and I was so desperate to reach the final page that on a sleepless night, I snuck downstairs and devoured the last hundred pages like a thing possessed. And although I thought I had the ending all sussed, it turns out I wasn't even close. Expect a clever twist at the end of this compelling read, which is really very satisfying.


Conclusions

Perfect for anyone who loved The Woman who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend. Life, Death and Vanilla Slices is dark, hilarious and compulsive reading.

Rating 5/5


Until next time...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton

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