Talk About Cheesecake

Musings, meanderings and meditation for my mind.


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The slightest touch

Is it in the way he reaches out to hold her hand as they walk down the street? The gentle caress she places on his arm as they gaze across the water? The quick kiss they share before they turn to walk on?

Stroking her hair goodbye as he gets up in the morning for work. Arriving home and starting the evening with a hug and kiss hello. Sitting at opposite ends of the sofa with feet entwined in the middle.

A cheeky cup of her buttock while she bends over the dishwasher. A naughty pinch of his bum as he puts dinner in the cooker. Gently wiping bubbles from his face after washing up.

Holding her closely and gently running his lips over hers, pushing in with a deep and lingering kiss. Running her hands over his shoulders, pressing her body against his. Feeling his hands run over her hips and down her back.

Ruffling his hair as she passes, while he bends down to tie his daughters shoelaces. Squeezing her shoulder as he checks on his son, crying in her lap from a skinned knee.

Bringing her a coffee and a kiss while she irons. Stroking her belly while the baby grows inside. Tickling his knee as his drives.

It’s the snapshots of intimacy that bring them together, the causal touches and slightest kisses that make a couple. It’s the gentle reminders that they are thinking of each other, demonstrations of caring and appreciation that keep relationships running throughout the years, the stresses and the strain that life can bring. Take away the intimacy, take away the casual touches, holding hands and quick passing kisses and they are bereft, alone, unloved.


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Daily Prompt – Happily Ever After

“And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there?

This particular Daily Prompt just called out to me for two reasons.

Living happily every after is something that happens to every fairy tale princess after their wedding to their prince.

And of course – not only are we about to embark on our secret getaway to the land where fairy tales come true, but we are doing it in honor of our first wedding anniversary. Yes, one year ago I married my prince. Although I’m not sure anyone would describe me as a fairy tale princess, we did have a magical day surrounded by love, laughter, family, friends and complete with castle.

The problem with fairy tales is that they always end at the wedding.

No story of derring do, love conquers all, true loves kiss and singing birds, who can also curiously do housework without crapping on the windowsill, ever mentions what comes next. The bit that follows, where happily ever after gets tested.

Mortgages. Work. Redundancy. Debt. Kids. Finding time for each other amongst the stress. Living next door to your in-laws. (No? Just me then, that one?)

Reality!

Although, I suppose the whole fairy tale aspect precludes reality getting a look in. It’s an oxymoron.

Not to say that people can’t and don’t live happily ever after. But I do think that you have to take a good hard look at what that actually means, take away the spoonful of sugar and see what really grows from your magic bean.

For example – if my ‘happily ever after’ was to live in a palace with singing wardrobes, stables full of prancing ponies, fairgrounds in the garden and racks of glass slippers, I could be setting my prince up for a definite fall. To be fair to him, that’s a lot to provide.

If however, it was to have a secure home with a pretty good standard of living, money to treat ourselves and the kids to a holiday every now and then, well that’s doable.

In addition, if it means that my prince is my best friend; that he can make me laugh when I’m sad and cheer me up when I’m grumpy, love me when I am wearing sweats and haven’t washed my hair in days, bring me coffee and aspirin when I have a hangover and cook  sausage and egg for Sunday breaky  – well, he is a prince to me.

The goalposts on happily ever after may move as we age,  lifestyles change and the kids grow up. I’m just a fickle princess. But as long as I have my prince, happily ever after seems pretty ok to me.

Happy anniversary Mr G.

written for the Daily Prompt


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Shall I tell you a secret?

This is going to come as a bit of a surprise to you.

I know – it is a worrying concept to get your mind around.

But listen – I am not Supermum.

Or even, Superwoman.

No – really.

And – what is even more shocking, and believe me when I say that I don’t want to offend you – neither are you.

Sorry.

Shall I tell you how I know?

Because, unless you fell to earth from a planet far far away, locked in a crystal capsule and wearing spandex, you are human. Just like me.

Which is good for us really, because it means we are allowed to make mistakes. To not be perfect. To need help occasionally. To get grouchy with the husband and the kids. To shout at your own mum (she will understand, she isn’t supermum either!). To scowl at your in-laws. To be late, have a messy house, forget to iron the school uniform until Monday morning, lose the remote and eat chocolate for lunch sometimes.

Seriously, it’s written down in a rule book somewhere.

Phew.

Isn’t that a relief to know?


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I love Mondays – Project Optimism

I love Mondays.

Really, I do.

It is possible that I have a touch of OCD, but I really like order. As a child, my books were categorised. An estate agent once remarked that my laundry cupboard was the tidiest he had ever seen. After Mini Monster 1 was born and I felt totally out of control, with a tiny baby running the house to her own clock, visitors popping in and out, piles of laundry growing like mysterious beasts in the corner, I tidied out my kitchen cupboards.

Yes, you read that right. I locked myself in the kitchen for a full four hours and emptied, washed and re-ordered my condiments. Glasses were placed according to size and type, tins stacked facing forwards so I could read the label.

The thing is, order helps me to feel in control.

I don’t mind surprises, but I do like to know what is going to happen next. Timetables are nice things to have. I planned every detail of my wedding and barely allowed my mother or Mr G a look in (seriously, it was mentioned in his speech).

So, back to my point.

I love Mondays.

Monday morning is the start of a fresh week. The house is tidy, the washing done over the weekend. There are no waiting chores. Mini Monsters go to their respective schools, the house is clutter free. I hate clutter, it makes me grumpy.

Everything is ready for a week of possibility. This could be the week I clear my workload. This could be the week I finish some coursework or discover a wonderful new job opportunity.

A Monday is a beginning and I like beginnings.

Beginnings are tidy, there hasn’t yet been time to go wrong, be distracted. Beginnings are the very start of something new and exciting, they can grow into great ideas, wonderful chances.

Mondays are the day we often use to tackle something different. Maybe we will give up smoking, start a diet, begin an exercise routine to better ourselves. Perhaps on a Monday we start school, enter new employment, go out to a new club and meet new friends. 

Which means a Monday is a day of optimism. A day of anticipation, expectation.

I am a naturally optimistic person – a glass half full kind of girl. I don’t like to dwell on negative possibilities, I believe in waiting to see what will happen and generally I believe things work out for the best. Or at least, for a reason.

(Is this a belief in fate? Do optimism and fate go hand in hand? I think I have an idea for next weeks post – what do you think?)

Why am I writing this?

So – this is a post about Mondays, but also a post about optimism. I wanted to put this together and join in a brilliant and inspirational new idea that began with Anka, Anita and WhenCrazyMeetsExhaustion called Project Optimism.

The rules for this were fairly simple – one of them was to link to their starting post – here. I managed that.

Another was to post on Mondays. Erm – I love Mondays, did I mention that. But, today is Tuesday. Because I was just so busy being all optimistic and starting new things yesterday I didn’t get round to starting this one. So I hope they will forgive me for joining in a day out of sync – and forgive me again over and over as no doubt I will be appallingly bad at hitting that particular rule spot on.

However, I am optimistic that I will be able to post often, if not on Mondays.

So – if you would like to join in this wonderful idea and start your week with a happy kick, pop on over to the ladies blogs above, check out those rules and join in.

(Oh – and did I mention that if you join in you get one of the cutest little pictures of a monkey optimistically catching a two ton elephant. Which may be partly why I joined in, but shhh, don’t tell them.)

project-optimism


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Get off your backside and do something! 2

As voted for by Maddie and Dianne in my original post I am naming this post the “Get off your backside and do something” list. (GOYBADS ?!)

To save you having to read the original post, I decided that rather than have a New Year Resolution that I would not bother to keep, I would have a monthly To Do list and see how long that lasted.

I have to say, so far it has been pretty darn motivating. In the last week or so I have

  • organised photo albums of the wedding, honeymoon and family for the last year;
  • filled the photo frames AND (and this is even more impressive) got Mr G to get them up on the wall in the same weekend! Never underestimate the power of a good nagging.
  • filled that scrap book with the items we collected on our honeymoon in Sri Lanka;

Not bad going!

CHOICES

However, I did notice that whilst I spent the hours choosing photos and arranging albums I did not get to play with the kids or relax with the husband over the weekend. Something has to give – it seems it is always a choice between work or play, prioritising one job over the over.

Now I have the day to myself I have another choice. Coursework or paying work, blogging or job hunting.

So I am adding something else to my January GOYBADS list – to start noting down the time I spend on different tasks in the day and see where my life is going.

How are you all getting on with your resolutions? Ready to join me and GOYBADS?

(Do you think it will catch on?)


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There are Resolutions and then there is Reality

I wrote briefly about New Year Resolutions for the Weekly Challenge and stated the usual aspirations to spend time with my children, eat healthily and  . . . oh some other such promise to the world that I will no doubt fail to keep. After all, I made the same promises last year and no doubt the year before that. My never ending quest to be thinner has been chronicled in various posts about diets, the mandatory guilt I feel as a parent has been referenced in my promises to be a better mother, I even went so far as to make some September Resolutions.

But let’s face it, we all make resolutions at New Year and we rarely actually keep them. After all, if we did we would end up as perfect human beings by the time we hit fifty. And who wants perfection – it’s so boring, darling.

However, what I am going to make is a monthly To Do list (haha, we will see how long this one lasts) of realistic aims that I want to accomplish. Now – what to call this? We need a catchy title here that will spur me on?

Reality Checklist

Possible Purposes

Accomplishables

The “Get off your backside and finish something” List

 

Hmm- the name can come later. Suggestions welcome.

 

So – here are Januarys aims

1. Pick the photos from the wedding to go in the album – it was in March for goodness sake

2. Select photos of family and holidays to go in the numerous empty frames on the wall – the house looks freaky!

3. Complete the scrap book from the wedding so that the box can get put away

4. Do the next module in the course! There is a weekly reminder on your phone, read it!

 

I think that’s enough for one month – don’t you?

 

So, do you agree? A To Do list is much more realistic than a Resolution and may actually get finished? Who wants to join me? If you had to make a list of things to finish this month, what would it be?


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I think I finally did it!

I think I finally did it. I do believe I have accomplished challenge number 1 of the New Year. I have finally eaten all of the leftovers.

Yes, it was tough. It has been a struggle to reach the end but I stuck at it. I have to thank my family for their support and even friends for the help they gave at difficult moments.

The turkey was made into pie – we finished that first. The ham became sandwiches. The carcass added to the stock. That in turn created soup, which was a handy place for adding the small remnants of cream and cranberry sauce. Mr G ate the apple pie (it’s his duty, after all). The kids cleared out the chocolates and the dog ate the last of the bubble and squeak (there was definite squeaking from somewhere after all those sprouts).

I have just troughed  daintily dissected the final piece of the rum truffle torte. The decorations came down yesterday and the New Year hangover was beaten into submission last night after putting up a good fight most of the day. That last piece of torte signified the end of the festive period. That is that. All done.

Phew.

Now, what ever shall we have for dinner tomorrow. I have a sudden craving for vegetables.

veg


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It’s Christmas! Part 4 – Time!

Where does December go? Just a few weeks ago it was fireworks night. Christmas was a thought, only glanced at because of the debate over who would be here for dinner on the day and some half hearted attempt at organising presents early.

By the 1st of December we had a decision on who would be attending. A week later and I had prompted the kids to write their letters to Father Christmas, so that I had some idea of what Kid 1 was expecting this year (we had lots of hints at massive lists, references to “something amazing I saw on the telly mum, you know what it was”, but nothing confirmed). I had headed off the more extravagant requests – “Mum, I’m going to ask Santa for an iPad because his elves can make me one“.

I had even started browsing online and picking up the odd little item when I was out and about. Things were under control.

And then – suddenly it’s mid way through the month, my parents are coming to stay for the weekend, it’s the only time we will see them before Christmas and I have no presents.

PANIC

Of course, suddenly having a deadline and nothing arranged I did my usual brainstorm and came up with ‘the best idea ever’. Oh yes, this year I wouldn’t buy family presents. I would make them! Two days before my parents were due to arrive I decided to make presents for all of the adults in my family. All eleven of them. 

Ignoring my growing pile of work, off I popped to have a go for the first time at making sweets. Not just truffles, which look good and are actually easy to make. Of course not. I decided to have a go at fruit pastilles. I saw a recipe, it looked easy. I went for it.

2 days of mashing, pulping, straining and setting followed. I ended up with – well, slightly firmer jam.

I retreated to the fail safe of truffles.

After the parents left again I realised I had 10 days till Christmas. All the shopping to do and delivery times to take into account (I am an internet shopper, tramping about shops being indecisive makes me cross). In addition there was the groceries to arrange, costumes for children’s nativities, cakes for end of term parties, cards to post and a house to clean and decorate. Christmas just wasn’t so far away.

Kid 1 went down with a virus. Mayday!

Suddenly I couldn’t get out and about to get chores done, I had a sick child at home. I couldn’t get any work done, Kid 1 required cuddles and multiple glasses of water.

Kid 2 quickly followed.

Sigh.

So, here we are! It is Christmas Eve eve. I am finally catching up on my blog. Food shopping is done – online. Present shopping done – online. The ham is in the oven, the rum truffle torte is chilling in the fridge. The decorations are up, the children are feeling much better. Tonight I’ll be wrapping, tomorrow I’ll be cooking.

Yes, time just disappears at Christmas. There is always a period of panic, but in the end it all comes together.

 

Please, tell me it’s not just me!

 

 

(In case you were wondering, I am very behind on work. Well, something had to give! Looks like I’ll be getting up early next week!)

 


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It’s Christmas! – Part 3 The Sexism

Carrying on from my previous posts about Christmas, I have noticed this year that there is a lot of discussion about how sexist Christmas is. There is that Asda advert that has everyone in uproar over it’s portrayal of mum the Christmas hero and dad the useless layabout. I was watching ‘The Wright Stuff’ on telly yesterday that spent a good twenty minutes discussing how very sexist this advert is, how offensive it is to men and how it perpetuates the stereotype that women should be in the home.

Is it sexist though – or just representative of the majority of the country? This is not to knock the efforts of the single dad or the house husband or any other home where the mum is not the Christmas-maker. But sometimes, as a women, I do get fed up of being told I have been  somehow mind-washed into my place.

 

Take my house, for example.

Mr G works long hours, outside in the cold all day. Often in the evening he falls asleep on the sofa. Stereotypical man.

I work long hours in my heated office with time to wander about getting coffee and browsing the internet. I also do all the school runs and most of the cooking. Stereotypical woman.

But at weekends, Mr G does the washing and helps with the cleaning. I get a lie in before we go shopping, often together. We are a team.

At Christmas, I do the present shopping. I know what presents the kids want, what toys they already have and realistically, no matter what they asked for, I know what they will actually play with. Mr G only has to buy for me and I can already see the stress showing as he tries to think of something great.

I order in all the food for Christmas. Mr G carries the boxes of decorations downstairs, I put up them up with help from the kids. On Christmas Day, Mr G lugs about furniture, pushes about the vacuum and carries heavy over laden trays of turkey, but generally I do all of the preparation and cooking.

Arguably then, the mum does do the majority of Christmas in our house. I fit the stereotype. However this is not to denigrate the tasks that Mr G does. They are important and they help in getting the task accomplished. In my opinion, we work as a team, while I do take on the majority of the obvious load. But there are reasons for this.

Firstly, I am a control freak. In my head I have the vision of the perfect family Christmas. In order for me to achieve that, I need to control the situation. I provide direction where I can, delegating where possible. But to get my Christmas, I have to work at it.

Secondly, I enjoy providing this special day for my family. I want to see the kids happy little faces and know it’s because of the work I put in. I didn’t need this feeling of accomplishment when I was childless, but now I do. Perhaps it’s something that was injected with the other hormones during pregnancy?

I wasn’t offended by the Asda advert. I took it as an exaggerated, mildly amusing view on the sterotype. Offensive no, just not very original.

 

It seems to me that there are more outcries than ever in this day and age. “That’s sexist.” “That’s offensive to women/men.”

Yes, there are men out there who like to cook and clean, there are women who want to work on building sites. There are house husbands and women CEO’s.

But there are also many women who actually enjoy doing the home making and child rearing. I consider myself to be a fully independent woman. I enjoy working for myself, running my own business and making my own choices. I also enjoy being able to take care of my husband and children, keeping them fed and happy. Yes, I will share the daily grind of cleaning and washing, but when it comes to making a moment special, I like to do it for them.

Does it ever occur to these people who throw the word sexism out there all the time that actually many of us choose the stereotype because we want to?

 

 

 

 

 


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So much to do, so little time

I haven’t been by for a week. I checked my notifications daily, partly because I am so excited and thrilled any time anyone wants to read my blog and partly so as to note any comments to respond to (apologies if I have not yet got back to you). However I have not actually written anything and barely browsed through the many fantastic blogs I want to read every day.

But despite rushing hither and yonder all week I am not sure I have accomplished much.

I lost 10 hours driving across the country over the weekend, partly through the need to go south for business and then north for family, but mainly because I got caught in all the flooding and resulting traffic jams. Wasn’t that horrific – I hope none of you were caught up in the jams or worse, suffered from the flooding?

I had a fabulous day and 2 evenings with a close friend (more on that to come!). Oh, and I did that annoying thing called work (frantically in fact) to make up for all the time spent elsewhere over the weekend.

So today I have a rare free day. If I was Mr G I would be enjoying my rare free day relaxing on the sofa with some gaming machine attached shooting at grumpy looking zombies. As I am not Mr G, I have a list of things to get done starting with cleaning the pit that the children consider to be a room, mucking out the puppy bed (she likes to hide toys, chewed shoes and shredded sticks in there), getting some way into the Christmas shopping and maybe even finishing the next stage of my writing coursework.

What I have achieved, in fact, is questionable.

Home made squash and red pepper soup made. (Well, it’s part of the new healthy eating plan I kick started this morning).

New writing role applied for. (Something to do with my spare time.)

A new list made of things I really need to do, web sites I should read, research I have to do (as we all know, making a list of things to do is actually an important stage of doing them!).

But I have cleaned out the puppy bed. So, I am getting there!

How is your day going? Do you feel in control or is your To Do list growing?