You can’t be right all the time

Last week I posted that there’s a right way to make a scone (yes, I’m old and apparently care about these things now). What I wasn’t expecting was how much engagement the post got with everyone defending their way of making scones. Naturally I super liked all the posts that agreed with my way, but it became very clear that I was outvoted and that you put the jam on first (yuk!) If you want to read the comments the post is here:

This got me thinking about how much I like to be right all the time. Luckily I have the world’s most patient partner who does not crow when I’m wrong and sensibly (in a ‘not wanting to have to sleep with one eye open’ manner) drops the subject when I am wrong (sorry about Friday’s WhatsApp meltdown J).

Without going into all the times I am wrong because who (other than you lot) wants to focus on that? Instead here is a list of things that bring me comfort because I *know* I am right about them:

  1. Bon Jovi are amazing
  2. Ditto Ed Sheeran (allowed this because Bon Jovi are a band and Ed, a solo artist)
  3. The dog loves me the most.

And erm, that’s it. Still, 3 very good points I feel and promise I’m going to work on being more gracious when I’m proved wrong on a Facebook post or via text from my (very) long suffering partner.

*photo of my son making scones the ‘right’ way. Apparently.

Parenthood means getting rid of the moules pots

This one is courtesy of my bestie, Laura. She and the family were packing to go on a camping holiday to France when her husband commented that he needed to go into the loft to get the moules pots. The conversation went like this:

Me: Moules pots?

Laura: Yep – pots with lids that you cook moules in – the lid then gets used for the shells.

Me: I know what moules pots are but why the hell do you own one?

Laura: We don’t own one, we own two.

Me: Let me guess – this was a pre-children purchase?

Laura: Not only was it a pre-children purchase but I’m not sure we’ve used them since we had the children.

Me: Can’t you just use a saucepan and a bowl for the shells?

The photo was sent to me via text from France showing they did exactly that. We all know that with parenthood comes sacrifice, in my case, my figure, my sanity and being able to pop to a friend’s house at 11pm because I couldn’t sleep. In other peoples’ cases it’s giving up the moules pots to make space for camping equipment (remember before we had kids and could go on holidays abroad, staying in a hotel, without bankrupting ourselves or stressing about keeping small people quiet on a plane?)

In any case, mine and Laura’s children are awesome and well worth giving up the moules pots for.

Sending my partner to-do lists via Trello is unromantic. Apparently.

We all have our own way of running our households and communicating this with our partners. We don’t live together so we have 2 households to run as well as 3 children, 2 ex’s to consider, my neurotic dog and J’s evil misunderstood cat.

I use Trello for my work and when working with clients. If you’re not on Trello, have a look, it’s free, fab for keeping you on task and you can share with whoever you like. If you want to see how I use Trello in my work, you can watch this video (created for some VAs so it’s a bit long but enjoy anyway).

Inspired by my friend, SuperMum, Lisa who is a whizz at Trello, one day we were working together, screen sharing and she showed me her Trello board where she had a to-do list for her husband. I thought ‘what a great way to irritate communicate with J’. I set up a Trello board, invited him to it. Showed him how to read and reply to the cards but handily didn’t show him how to set up lists so he couldn’t tell me what to do via it.

The summer holidays have been a great time to get some life admin sorted. By sorted I mean add lists to Trello for him to do. When mentioning this to friends, more than one replied with ‘seriously? You send J lists via Trello?’ Yep! They followed with ‘Isn’t that a bit unromantic?’ I hadn’t thought of that. But as I said in a previous list – whilst romance isn’t totally dead (in my book it officially dies when J stops making me pancakes and scrambled egg for breakfast), the honeymoon period died the same week I woke up and started discussing (non-Trello) instructions for the plumber with J.

I would like to say that I’ll take the ‘unromantic’ thing on board and will stop adding to J’s lists but it’s been amazing! Already this summer the attic has been cleared (literally hanging over our heads since February) and the left-handed banjo has been sold (don’t ask. Seriously) and there’s only 2 more (massive tasks) on the list and 2 weeks in which to do them. So romance or no-romance, Trello lists work and they’re staying. But I will work on something romantic at the same time, must remember to add it to my Trello list.

Grief never fully leaves you

August is not the best month for me. I lost two very beloved people in August, one a biker friend and the other, my aunt. Both losses were a long time ago but that’s the thing. Loss doesn’t have to be today or yesterday to affect you, it’s something that jumps up and bites you when you’re looking in the other direction.

The anniversary of my aunt’s death (this year was a big one – 10 years) is at the beginning of August. On the day I sent a message to my cousin telling her how much I loved her and my favourite memories of her mum and I actually felt ok. This is a part of our lives we have got used to and while we don’t have her mum with us anymore, we have each other and so many memories. Therefore it was a bit of a shock when a full 17 days later I started to send my cousin a funny message, ended up talking about her mum then read it to my partner and burst into tears.

That’s the thing with grief. It doesn’t respect a time period, or days of the week, or time of day or anything. It just jumps up, throwing you off balance and changing the way you feel about things that day. The only thing we can ever do to get a handle and some sort of acceptance around grief is to be thankful for the time we had with these people; treasure the memories we made together and accept that every now and then we’re going to have a difficult day when we’re especially missing them.

Sand gets…… everywhere

No. Not there. Get your mind out of the gutter please. Thing is, I don’t go away that often and up until we took the kids camping and to West Wittering earlier this summer, my kids had never been on a sandy beach before. Don’t feel too sorry for them, they’d been on lots of stony beaches, just the sandy ones in England are too far from London.

This week we’re staying with friends in Portugal and even though it’s holiday season for us, they have to you know, make a living and carry on working. Cue me and the (not so long suffering) partner grabbing some books and heading to the beach. Wow. I forgot they made beaches like this; acres of sand, the sea is amazingly vibrant and nothing to do other than eat our bodyweight in the picnic we brought, read novels, swim and occasionally turn over to a more comfortable lying down position. Oh and I did a quick yoga sequence on two consecutive days. So basically, I am the queen of exercise and can fully relax.

What’s not relaxing is getting back and finding sand, literally everywhere. If I thought we’d done a good job of brushing off the grains of sand before getting the boat back, I was wrong. After a shower the bath is lined with sludgy sand, it’s in my suitcase, between the pages of my book, lining my suitcase (wtf? It’s not like I took that to the beach) and in my handbag. After a few days I came to accept that finding sand in weird places is just going to be part of every day life for a while and to stop worrying about it. Until I find it under my contact lenses and then maybe it’s time to stop heading to the beach and re-join real life.