Monday, 29 June 2015

Turning back to look at Brazil

It's a busy life, with hardly a moment to take stock - I would think most of us would agree. The paid work, the cooking, the scrubbing, the admin, the children, their activities, the holidays, the term time, the garden and pets. And horses. It's so difficult to fit it all in and hardly a moment to enjoy the fruits - because we all seem to be labouring very hard. A sentence I read in a book last night made me reflect and smile:

"Sometimes you have to turn around, if you keep just looking forward you miss the best views!"

You could argue we should live more in the present, in the now, but looking back gives me so much pleasure, a sense of reading someone else's stories, a different person to who I am now. It fascinates me.

My time in Brazil has come up in conversations about travel and the impending Olympics. I looked at my fading photo's in a drying album the other day, the biro's colour drained as it describes my whereabouts and wild times. An adventure a long time ago with my bezzie, with horses and cowboys, jacaranda trees and enormous toads. A view so incredible that if I had not taken time to turn around it may have faded into deep and distant memories. Always there, but more and more difficult to recall.

Geraldo would grin wide showing the numerous gaps where teeth once used to be. He would start to sing softly as his young horse jig-jogged down the red dust tracks and out of the corral for the day. We all were mounted and prepared for a long day in the saddle, the sun strong, as you would expect it to be in the summer months of Brazil - our heads starting to throb with the intensity almost straight away, the sweat dampens the horses coat and Geraldo makes a cigarette. He does this with such expertise. Although missing a few fingers from drunken mistakes he manages to nimbly roll a piece of ordinary paper and tobacco and stick it all together with sticky-spit - while riding and controlling his young steed. We all smoked as we rode, taking care to avoid the armadillo holes, the rattle snakes and the running emu's. The days work to check the cattle many, many miles away - to disinfect new umbilical cords, to treat wounds, to kill those unable to survive. Hours and hours were spent on the back of a horse that summer, riding to see some cows and riding back again as the sun dipped and toucans flew over head - as Geraldo gently sung his folk songs, the horses listening to the melody, and us all dreaming of our dinner.

*Geraldo on the far right

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Inset day

We love an inset day, an 'insect day' P used to call them. A completely free day off, thank you very much - and at least I was prepared for it this time - I missed the last one entirely as I had booked work in all day, missing the chance to be with my kids and have adventures. But this one we were all looking forward to, a three day weekend, the start of summer, a taster of the six glorious weeks and it didn't disappoint.

We played with ponies, we ran about the fields, we had lunch in a local garden centre and played on the swing and slide, we caught up with long lost local friends, we bought a plant, we washed Freddie and ran about the forest.

And exhausted by the wondrousness of it all - we stopped off in Londis for some crap crisps. The perfect end to a perfectly free day, three packets of crisps for 70p - Space Raiders and Transformers, the most satisfying snack on the planet.

Lunch among the foxgloves and emerging alliums

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Cooking Club

Everything is 'middle-ish' to P. She quite likes riding Dexter and Freddie. School is OK. Singing in her after-school choir is sometimes fun, sometimes boring - 'middle-ish' really, she will explain. Street Dance turned out to be dull after all and so was ballet. It's hard to have such an ambivalent child when life is pretty darn amazing. I needed to find P's passion, which didn't include chocolate or the iPad.

We have started a Cooking Club, P and I. We look up a recipe in the week and cook it together on a Tuesday when A is out dancing (and loving it). We mainly chat about the week, I listen to her, let her use sharp knives and stir hot pots, she kneads, she grates, she creams together the butter and sugar - and she loves it. She really loves cooking.

And I really love that she loves it.

Yesterdays Aubergine Chilli - gobbled by both kids

Cheese straws

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

After the high

After the high comes the low.
After the sun comes the rain.
After good health comes a cold.
After the summer comes the winter.
After the heat comes the chill.
After the flowers comes the bare earth.
After the calm comes the storm.
After the glass-full it suddenly seems half empty.

And so the times will turn once again, because after a low, must come the high.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Ibiza heaven

I'm still radiating with the after-glow which was Ibiza. A heavenly week, surreal in its timings - as though it never happened but one we would never forget. A six day party which added ten years to my skin but took twenty off my age, it boosted my heart with more love and ignited my soul. Six days of meeting colourful people, interesting lives, glamour and seediness, peace and light.

Without the kids.

Uh huh.

No kids.

(God love em.)

I went to Ibiza and partied like an 18 year old for 6 days and 6 nights. We felt like rock stars, celestial beings, invincible and untouchable. Love and laughter surrounded us, sunshine and sunsets, rainbow pools, hands-in-the-air tunes, beach bars and white bikinis. I know, even the silver false eyelashes made an appearance and he sprayed his hair with glitter and stayed up till 8 - the next morning.

I may be a mama, I may live in Sussex, I may ride horses and teach antenatal classes. I may do the school run looking like I've just run through the muck heap. I may drive a clapped out Astra. I may make two dinners every night, clean the loos, deal with the homework, soothe the cries, kiss the wounds and go to bed every night before ten, exhausted.

But for 6 days only, I left it all behind and found freedom in heaven that was Ibiza.