Friday 28 June 2013

If I Won the Lotto

So part of the euro millions lottery, almost 94 million smelly ones, was won in little old Ireland this week.  The winners have yet to come forward but it has been confirmed the lucky fuckers bought the ticket in Dublin and their prize money is being processed.  (Prize money.  How inadequate!)

Apparently, this could take a while because the other participating countries have to pony up first.

Fek that!  I’d be on several different private jets and off to the “other participating countries” to collect the money myself.

In Louis Vuitton suitcases.  

Specially bought for the job.

Sometimes I play a little game.  We’ll call it the What’ll I Do If I Win The Lottery game. 

I tend to play it when the jackpot reaches the six or seven million mark.  I’m not interested otherwise.  One million euro or even two million would go nowhere with me.   In fact if I did scoop a two million win, I’d keep so quiet about it, I’d be purple in the face. 

Don’t get me wrong, Mr. Man In The Lottery Office, I’d only love to win a couple of million euros, but when you get a load of my shopping list you’ll see what I mean.

Honestly, it would go nowhere.  Especially as I’ve always said, I would sequester some of it all for my very own self and invest it somewhere.  Until such time as it is needed; like when I’m old and on the continent.  I said on the continent!

In the meantime, if I won the lottery this is what I think I would do:

  •  be sensible and pay off all debts.  Like most people today, we have a few.  It would be great not to have to worry about those anymore.  But first I would add to those debts and max out all of our credit cards until that pesky money came through.
  • get a man (or a woman!) in to finish off our driveway.  Lovely, smooth tarmac for the kids to ride their bikes on, to draw on with those big, thick street chalks.  A lovely driveway would also tidy up the look of the house a little bit. 
  • buy lovely shutters for the windows.  After I replaced them all with ones that are twice, no three times the size.  All that lovely, lovely light coming through.  Look, home improvements would be on your list too so stop calling me boring.
  • change the car for one that’s just 5 years old.  €94 million or not, I don’t see the point in buying a brand new one.  Not with our lot.
  • go mad in a book shop with the lads.  Mad!!!!
  • jump in our new ’08 seven seater and go on a road trip around Ireland with the lads and Mister Husband.  We would stay a few days in each town and have the pick of hotels.
  • go on a nice holiday after our road trip to rest.

But after today, this is what I would really do if I won €94 million euros.
   Pay someone to come in and change my bed linen for me.  

Disclaimer!  Above is subject to T&C’s in the event that I do actually win someday. All T&C’s are subject to change according to how I see fit.  Just so we’re clear.

Monday 24 June 2013

School's Out For Summer

It is approximately 64 hours until Oldest Boy and Shy Boy get their school holidays.

They will be free from school for 8 weeks.  I will not calculate the hours for that.  8 weeks is a much nicer timeframe altogether.   I can handle eight weeks.

In one way it horrifies me how quickly this last school year has flown by.  It has been the quickest yet.  I will have a First Holy Communicant next summer.

How did that happen?

The school year is actually only 9 months long.  So if those 9 months flew, the next 8 weeks will pass by in fourteen days.

Yeah, right.

As per usual, I am both looking forward to and dreading the school break with equal amounts of trepidation and skittishness. 

These are the things I won’t miss when they are on their school holidays. 

  • ·Morning times.  Because of the multiple dressings.  The shoes.  The breakfasts.  The teeth brushings.  The getting the dog into the house.  The school bags.  The fact half an hour can pass in exactly three minutes forty seven seconds.  I timed it.
  • School runs.  Sometimes Smallest Boy needs to be woken for the afternoon runs.  I hate waking him so much I have stood over his cot chewing my fingernails to dust as I contemplate actually leaving him there.  In the house.  Alone.  The what if’s if I do are so horrific, I always, always gently tickle his cheek to wake him up.  I still hate doing that even if he does wake with a smile on his face and never seems to mind.  I mind!
  • Homework.   In fairness to them both, they don’t take long doing this.  In fact, most evenings I give up after the sixth attempt at trying to get Shy Boy to complete his.  He does it in under a minute the following morning.  As I’m wriggling a toothbrush around in his mouth. 
  • Uniforms.  God, the uniforms.  The track suits.  The spilt yogurt dread.  The washing.  The occasional bringing home of the wrong tracksuit top.  The uniforms!
  • ·Lunches.  Preparing ham sandwiches, chocolate sandwiches, yes chocolate sandwiches, don’t you dare judge!, fruit, yogurts, cheese strings.  Remembering to hide a couple of treats earlier on in the week for Treat Friday so they don’t get eaten.  Remembering to put a carton of juice in each lunch bag on Treat Friday.  Remembering, desperately remembering not to get the lunch bags mixed up.  That one time hasn’t been forgiven yet.
  • Bed times.    I like our lot to be off to bed early.   9pm on Friday is the absolute latest.  A funny thing happens to me when they all head up the stairs.  I start to shut down both physically and mentally.  It’s like I know I don’t have to be on red alert anymore and so I can relax.  In summer they stay up that little bit longer.

On the other hand, there are a couple of things I will miss when they are off for 8 weeks. 

As much as I dislike the stress of school runs, I enjoy very much the chats at the school gate.   And the cup of coffee with Mister Husband afterwards.   The early bed times are great for obvious reasons but with our lot, going to bed late doesn’t mean they will sleep on the following morning.  Plus I won’t get that lovely couple of hours to myself in the evenings before tiredness slams itself into my eyeballs and forces me off to my own scratcher.

But the next 8 weeks are going to whizz past.  I already know that.

Watch out playgrounds.  I know where you live.

Friday 21 June 2013


So Mister Husband is currently addicted to watching an American comedy called The Big Bang Theory.

It’s very Friends like altogether with the whole chummy living across the hallway from each other type set up. 

I’m not up to date with all of their names yet but one character stands out due to his extreme eccentricity and non-conventional bordering on OCD ways.

His name is Sheldon and the boys love him.  For someone who speaks like he has swallowed a physicist’s dictionary and whose facial expression rarely changes, they think he’s funny.

But maybe that’s why.

The other morning Shy Boy grabbed the remote control and expertly navigated his way around our terribly complicated TV menu to find The Big Bang Theory and settled back to watch some Sheldon all before 7am.

Last week Oldest Boy thought he saw Penny from the show in the Topaz filling station.

I’m not wild about them watching this sitcom.  It’s a little grown up for them and although they don’t understand the humour, the content goes in nevertheless. 

But Sheldon did me a favour one day.

One of the things I find really really annoying when I am sitting in the car at the school gate with them is as soon as the car stops, they pop open their belts. 

Our car is a seven seater with the seat behind mine taken out to create extra space for school bags, swimming gear, groceries and the like. 

A great idea.  But it also means there is enough room for two of them to walk around in the back and like magnets, they are drawn to my seat. 

It gets elbowed, kicked, thumped and bumped and all of my pleas for them to stop go unheeded. 

This day I had an epiphany. 

I turned round slowly and in a normal voice I asked them, “Do you know the way Sheldon doesn’t like it when someone sits in his seat?”

It’s one of his many many idiosyncrasies.

Their eyes lit up immediately.  I’d made the first part of an important connection.

“Yeah, he really doesn’t like it.  It’s kinda funny.”

“Well, I really don’t like it when someone keeps hitting the back of my seat.”

The second part of an important connection.

I swear, understanding passed, frizzled, between them. 

I have spent the last three years sitting at that school of a morning begging, threatening them to stop at my seat and all it took was a little Sheldon comparison.

As the man Sheldon himself would say, “Bazinga!”

Monday 17 June 2013

A Mini BBQ for Fathers Day

“Happy Father’s Day,” I greeted Mister Husband as he came down the stairs Sunday morning.

“I’m not your father,” was his response.

True, but nonetheless I thought it might be nice to mark the day with a mini BBQ.  

We don’t “do” Hallmark Days in our house, but it’s an unspoken agreement a lie on and a couple of hours peace and quiet is the best gift going.

So I took the boys off to do the grocery shopping leaving Mister Husband to sit back, relax and enjoy his current comedy favourite, The Big Bang Theory.

As Lovely Liam had been asking for sausages all week I decided to kill two birds with the one stone.  I couldn’t resist some tasty looking Glensallagh sausages from Lidl and I chose Irish pork with spring onion and Irish steak with cracked black pepper.

The BBQ was one I bought for last summer’s holidays but was never used. It languished in the press ever since and today I pulled it out.

The novelty of a mini BBQ was huge.  But the boys lost interest pretty quickly once the flames went out and the smoke started to billow.  To be honest I was almost losing interest myself as it looked like the BBQ just might not work.

Half of the charred wax paper flapped in the wind as one quarter of the charcoal slowly turned the correct shade of grey.

Everything else remained black.

I persevered as those sausages looked too good to be cooked indoors.

After a bit of shaking and some tapping, forty minutes later, we were ready to rock ‘n roll. 

Never let it be said that a woman can’t get a BBQ started, disposable one or not.

I laid six plump sausages on the hot grid.

It took a further twenty minutes for the sausages to cook and they were devoured in under 6.

All in all it was a lovely lunch, topped off with bowls of double chocolate chip ice-cream.

Disposable BBQ Pros

  • ·        It’s disposable.
  • ·        Who doesn’t like eating outside.
  • ·        Novelty value is huge.
  • ·        Perfect for a picnic.
  • ·        Cheap and cheerful.
  • ·        Little or no washing up.

Disposable BBQ Cons

  • ·        It’s disposable.
  • ·        Fiddly enough.  Needs a flat, fire resistant surface.
  • ·        Depending on direction of wind, it can take a while before it is ready for use.
  • ·        Supervision is paramount.  Particularly when there are children present.
  • ·        Suitable only for a small gathering.  

It’s a great little summer must have and I think I will definitely use one again.