Monthly Archives: May 2016

Day 1…

… after a visit to the walk-in clinic today I have finally ended up on antibiotics. I won’t bore you with the details but needless to say I’m not surprised, it’s been one thing after another for some time now. In itself it’s not a big deal, really an extra couple of pills in my tablet box aren’t that noticeable. However, these particular pills come with a price…

NO ALCOHOL!!!

Not only that, the course is 7 days. I wouldn’t have been able to start them today if I’d had a drink last night (honest), and then I have to continue being t-total for 2 days AFTER the course is finished. Now some of you might think what harm can be done by having a little glass of wine. Well believe me I’ve had these bad boys before & I can promise you it is not worth it. Yes, even a nurse who should know better decided to go against the pharmacist advice one upon a time, & geez did I feel sick! That caution label is there for a reason.

So although I say day 1, it is really day 2 & psychologically I’m already withdrawing. It’s all I can think about now that all the hockey siblings have left & the kids are in bed… I NEED WINE!!!

If anyone wants me I’ll be in my blanket fort colouring…

‘By the seaside’ in assembly…

Towards the end of the school year there is an assembly dedicated to volunteers like myself as a class parent. This might sound boring, & yes for the most part it is, but that depends who you sit with…

I arrived a little bit early so there were only one or two people there waiting to go into the gym. While chatting to another mum I was tapped on the shoulder by ‘mouth on legs’ mum – who as you know I am very fond of & give her this title in fun. She joins in the conversation & we end up sitting together on the far end of the second row. Just before the assembly gets underway I remember to switch my phone onto silent, & she does the same (extracting her it from her exotic dragon fruit coloured bag. The assembly begins…

About 10-15 minutes in, when everything was a bit quiet we hear music – the ‘by the seaside’ ringtone. Next to me ‘MOL’ mum is glancing sideways at us not realizing it’s her. The fact that her bag lit up so much you could have seen it from Mars didn’t seem help. All of a sudden she uncrossed her legs & dived to the floor, while her sunglasses that were neatly holding her hair back fell onto her face & she was whispering ‘I thought I’d switched it off’ over & over to herself.

The assembly continues along to the music as the contents of her purse start to fly around her, & some of the students nearby start craning their necks to see what the commotion is. Those around her, including myself who had front seat view of the entertainment, are now finding it hard to contain ourselves, and then we hear a ‘click’. She had now accidently taken a picture of the inside of her purse while trying to extract the phone. She instantly sat up, phone in hand – now louder & even more tuneful than before – with her sunglasses croaked on her face. She frantically began banging her fingers on the phone with her head tilted back trying to look down under the sunglasses. At this point I am now crying & desperately trying to hide behind the person in front of me so the teachers sitting on the opposite wall can’t witness our juvenile behavior (including hot teacher of course).

Finally it stops, she pushes her sunglasses back onto her head & lent into me to whisper ‘do you think anyone noticed?’ I swear I thought I was going to be incontinent right there & then.

You can choose your friends…

One of the interesting things about emigrating is that your friends become your family. So far in our experience those friends are also ex-pats. I think we must end up together by default, when those with relatives close by are celebrating an event or specific holiday (Thanksgiving/Canada day/Family day etc.) as a family, us Brits who are left out tend to migrate together & see it as an opportunity to just hang out together. Over the years those family friends have changed as people move on, but it hasn’t stopped the newly emigrated – often work colleagues of my husband – filling empty spaces at the table.

Then there is an extension of that – grandparents come to visit, & quiet often for lengthy periods of time because they are usually retired & can spend extended holidays with their grandchildren. As part of the friendship you get to know their parents, when normally you might never actually meet them. I know this to be true of my in-laws, over the years they have got to know many of our friends, & now we even arrange something so that everyone gets to catch up. Then it gets even bigger because all the grandparents, who met once at a Christmas get together at our place, want to see each other too. We have even had an occasion when my in-laws & friends parents were coincidently on the same plane!

This weekend has been a prime example of this. We have met up with two sets of ex-pat friends who both have one set of grandparents visiting, all of which have been to our house at some point on previous visits. It is interesting to be the friends getting to know other people’s parents & the fascinating stories they have to tell, while we all enjoy a glass of wine in the sunshine & the kids destroy the house. It is so true what they say, you can choose your friends but not your family, & it’s even better when you also enjoy the company of your friends family too.

Oh what have I done?

NEVER AGAIN!!

I know I’m saying it again but I’m being very good tonight because hubby & I are meeting friends for dinner & I’ve said I’ll drive. To be honest I couldn’t face a drink if you paid me. What started out as a few mums who needed a glass or two, turned into quite the session. At some point towards the end of the night (like 1am!), I don’t know how, but new parent support group president mum (we’ll call her PSG mum for short) & I got on talking about me chairing the charity gala in the future, maybe next year. I mentioned my idea about a Casino Royale/Bond theme & she got very excited at this idea. Before I knew it we were thrashing out details & discussing licensing to have roulette & blackjack tables.

In the past I have given hubby instructions to shoot me if I ever agree to do that event that is a very large elaborate affair that can rake in around quarter of a million for the school. So, it’s not something you can just spend an afternoon planning over a cup if coffee. Nope! It’s very full on & important you get it right because this is not only to raise money for the school, but it’s parents letting their hair down & having fun, & precedents have been set for what they expect of the evening. I have no doubt that I’m capable of meeting the challenge, but it will be time consuming & I already feel like there are not enough hours in the day. Unfortunately there was a third party present during the conversation so I can’t deny it ever took place because there is a witness. So I guess that’s it so watch this space… hubby hasn’t pulled the trigger on me yet!

Mum’s who need wine!

Fuelled by coffee & sustained by wine!

While sitting in the sunny playground one Friday after school not too long ago we (mostly grade 1 mum’s) decided that there should be Prosecco provided because we survived another week. Well that’s clearly never going to happen in a million years so we’re going out – husband/partner free!

Cheers & Happy Friday!!

Tuneless torture…

So I’ve been learning to play bar chords since March, & to my great disappointment I rapidly discovered that they have nothing to do with ordering large glasses of wine! My guitar teacher introduced me to a Jack Johnson song that is terrible (which he agrees), but quite good to practice to. I was actually relieved to miss last weeks lesson (he was doing a gig) because frankly even my ears were finding it painful whenever I practiced. Even up until yesterday I was embarrassed to say I could still only scrape through the introduction. Then suddenly something clicked & I played the whole song (well, apart from the bridge in the middle which seems physically impossible). I did it a couple more times & even hubby thought I’d improved. Fab! I could go to my lesson today & feel like I’d progressed…

We always chat a bit at the beginning of the lesson, & to be honest it’s my mouth just trying to save me from the extra humiliation of my tuneless strumming. Sadly my teacher has got wind of this & actually said that I couldn’t put it off any longer. I was honest & said I was having trouble with the bridge – which he expected as everyone does in the beginning – so we went through that a few times with & without the music to follow. I kind of felt ok at this point, knowing I would still be bad, but more confident than if it had been the previous week…

OMG! It was terrible!! It was as bad as it would have been last week – maybe worse. How was it that I could go through it however many times & think I’d nailed it then my fingers made me out to be a liar? Apparently I’m being really hard on myself, he thought that I had improved greatly, & at least now could recognize which chords I was supposed to be playing along with the song, so yes that is definitely an improvement. I was so relieved when he said we would just work with it for another couple of weeks then move onto something else I can practice over the summer – Phew!

However, he is now on the lookout for a song I like that ALSO has bar chords for me to practice – NOOOOOO! Save me from myself & further humiliation, not to mention subjecting my loved ones to more tuneless torture!

The parking lot…

You may remember I became the owner of a disabled parking permit a little while ago, something I have been using more than I would have liked due to the ongoing knee saga. The place it is used most is at school. My boys school has no on-site parent parking, only street parking & if you’re feeling cheeky enough, underneath London drugs/IGA is a great spot. Needless to say wherever you park, unless it’s your lucky day for a spot right next to school, you have to walk a couple of blocks.

When I talked to the head of the junior school way back at the end of last year when I had the fixed brace on, about my obvious difficulty in with walking, she arranged for me to use the disabled parking spot in the staff underground parking lot. Now, to give you some idea of what a big deal this is to a random parent at the school, every year they give away one of these spots away in the live auction at the winter gala. The first year we attended the gala that spot – which you can only use for one school year – went for nearly 20 grand! Yes 20 thousands dollars for the privilege of parking your nice shiny Ferrari (because lets face it only someone who could afford fancy wheels would be stupid enough to drop that kind of money on parking it for 10 minutes to pick their kid up!). So as you can imagine when I was given this privilege for free I didn’t advertise the fact.

Now, most mornings I just do drop off outside the front of school, which in itself can be as traumatic as trying to find parking. A local security company controls the ‘flow of traffic’ & takes it a little to literally for my liking because they don’t actually let you stop your vehicle to let your kids get out. They should be thankful I’m not one of those Grade 12 helicopter parents who stop the car right outside the door, physically get out to retrieve their young adult’s’ bag out of the trunk & then watch them go inside! Nope! I’m a terrible mum, I open the automatic door with the flick of a button, bid them a good day, tell them to hurry up, & then quickly move along with the door half open (usually because the security guard is shouting at me for safely allowing my children to leave a STATIONARY vehicle!)

Then there are choir days like today. Younger child & I drop off elder child outside the door at 7.30, but younger child can’t go into his classroom until 8am. So we trundle around to the parking lot & hang out in the car while he does the reading he didn’t have time to do the night before because of field hockey. This is the most interesting time to be in the staff parking lot…

The same people arrive at the same times, park in the same spots, & proceed to follow the same routines. It’s hilarious to watch if someone has taken their spot, which is usually a chain reaction that started with one person parking in a different spot causing everyone else to.

Usually just after we arrive, teacher mum arrives with her 2 kids. Then, one of the kindergarten teachers, who has a great sticker on her rear window ‘Caution! Driver singing!’ She parks up & drops her sun visor down so she can put her face on, she starts with concealer…

Then the office receptionist arrives, she’s the school equivalent of a doctors receptionist but much much nicer & very approachable. She parks, get’s out with 2 bags – her purse & her lunch – then clicks her heels so they echo across the concrete, waves & smiles at us, then disappears up the stairwell. Meanwhile Ms. Kindergarten is applying blusher…

A senior school teacher arrives on his bike & enters the changing room looking like Lance Armstrong & reappears 5 minutes later looking like a Calvin Klein model. Ms. Kindergarten is applying lip gloss…

Various office staff arrive & a grade 5 teacher who also remains in her car enjoys a quiet breakfast while supping a coffee. Then she too applies lip gloss, picks up 3 bags & makes for the stairwell. Ms. Kindergarten has now got out of her car & is changing her comfy Toms for a pair of pumps – todays were sparkly. Then she too picks up 3 bags & heads for the stairwell.

It’s a good job my 7 year old reads very well & is advanced for his age. We have tried to read in the library but he finds it distracting, I actually find it more distracting people watching in the parking lot. I sit there listening to him of course, but I play games with myself, predicting what each person is going to do next – there hours of fun to be had, & it’s important that one finds some entertainment in being at school at 7.30 in the morning!