how much I Love eating soup after being caught in the rain. Children, like dogs, need to be taken out. It's easy to say the weather’s awful; we're staying in. Or take them to a germ breeding ball pool and spend the following two days wiping their noses or wiping up their vomit. But a bit drizzle, or a bit of summer rain, doesn't bother them. Only us. But when we return home, slurp a bowl of soup, with damp tendrils of hair clinging to our foreheads and our t shirts suctioned against our skin, we are suddenly softened. Ideally, the soup is homemade, simmering on the Aga, and the bread, badly cut wedges hacked at with slabs of butter. But I don't live at my parents anymore, and I am never that organised. So here in our 2 bed terrace, we slurp Heinz tomato soup and dip in bagels which are flecked with melted cheese. No complaints this end – even though an orange rim glowed around their mouths all afternoon.
why we don't have a tumble drier. We have managed for 5 years without one. In winter our radiators buckle under crinkled washing and in summer the washing line is a convey belt of colours. But usually it works. This summer, however, it hasn't. There may be some factors here that are making it harder; firstly my maternity wardrobe is about a twentieth of the size of my regular wardrobe and econdly, I am pregnant. Sometimes I forget to put on washing machine on, sometimes I put detergent in, sometimes I don't, sometimes I put a dishwasher tablet in instead, or sometimes I think I've hung a wash out, when I've actually left it crumpled on the decking. All these factors make it difficult, especially when you a reliant on brief flashes of dry weather. But still, never in five years have I had such difficultly in finding clean clothes for us all or been so disheartened by the over flowing linen baskets (notice the plural).
the satisfaction of fixing things. This week I fixed the boy's toy storage in their room, a small but tedious operation. I sorted and returned missing toy components to their forgotten owners and discovered changing the batteries is not always the military operation it first appears. They had a wonderful afternoon playing, rummaging and exploring in a very tidy and organised bedroom. And they soon managed to return it to chaos and disorder. However, the satisfaction of fixing things stayed with me all week. Next week - the rest of the house!
the joy of dipping bread into mum's homemade curry. In out teenage years, we'd all stand on the hearth in front of the Rayburn. Thawing our hands and bottoms against the oven doors and developing the art to dip and not drop. Who wants curry stains on their school uniform? Or who wants to find soggy bread in their dinner? Also we got a bollocking if it was Dad's dinner "what the bloody hell is this?" So we dipped, without dropping, defrosting are bodies, always with a cover up in mind should we hear the footsteps in the hall (i.e. quickly rush to the sink, pretend to be filling a glass with water, allowing enough time to swallow mouthful and deny everything). The other day I popped round to pilfer some cooking ingredients, only to discover a lamb Rogan josh simmering on the stove and a fresh loaf sat with bread knife on the chopping board. I couldn't resist. "What are you doing?" shouted Mum from the sitting room.
"Nothing" I replied through curry soaked bread, with brown splodges glowing on my T shirt. Clearly the art of dip not drop is one that needs to be practised.
how much I miss wine. I do miss going out. But I can live without it. But when I do go out, I love getting ready, I love deciding what to wear, trying out new make-up, having newly styled hair, and feeling glamorous whilst drinking a glass of wine. I don't see my friends enough. I email them more than I ring, text or see them. But face to face - it's always worth waiting for, there's always a forgttent ale to tell. There’s places that I still really enjoying going when pregnant; clean stylish, quirky places - that serve food and aren't full of nobs. Luckily we have one our doorstep. So, there were friends, giggles, location, atmosphere, food, laughter, nibbles, stories and.. lemonade. My God I still miss the wine! Especially when somebody says "How we doing for wine? Shall I get another bottle?"
"Yep" I reply nonchalantly. "And a funnel please." Chuckle, chuckle.
I'm not laughing.
how mind-blowing feeling the baby move is. Three pregnancies later and I'm not blasé; it’s still the most incredible moment. The first real kick. Routinely followed by 10 minutes of incomprehension, whilst trying to picture another being living inside your tummy, a tear, a giggle, a shout to The FH, a patient hand placed upon the belly, an awkward moment, a disheartened retreat, another kick, another squeal, another patient hand... Never gets boring. For me anyway.