Saturday, March 31, 2007

I haven't been feeling 'right' over the past few days but I am not bad to enough to be officially unwell. Yesterday afternoon after school, I was feeling really achy and the girls were a bit groggy so we piled into my bed. One slept, the other didn't but I was so tired, that I also couldn't help but snatch forty winks. It was so refreshing and I just wish I could do it every afternoon as I get such an energy dip and I have tried everything from protein lunches to mid afternoon high energy snacks and drinking lots of water.

We woke up at about six and felt much better and decided to go out for dinner. We wanted somewhere child friendly and casual for a Friday evening so opted for TGI Friday's in Banus. It was great and really easy. I was a bit worried about how the one who hadn't slept was going to be but the crayons and paper laid out on the table kept them both happy whilst we waited for the food to come. There was a lovely atmosphere out and the place was full of families.

We then went for a stroll along the port and to the girls delight there was a clown walking around. After a bit, I started to feel a bit groggy again so we called it a night, cam home and put the girls straight to bed.

I started to read on of my new books that I picked up yesterday in the English Bookshop in Sabinillas for just 4euros each. They are both books that I have been meaning to read for ages;
Brick Lane by Monica Ali which I am already really into. I loved White Teeth by Zadie Smith so I knew I was going to enjoy it. I also found Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake. I read the HandMaid's Tale years ago and since it is one of my faves, I have always meant to try some more of her novels so I snapped up the bargain.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Eating cornflakes with skewers

Is it still only Thursday? This week has draaaaaaaaaaaged but I remind myself that I shouldn't rush my life away but that's what we do, isn't it?

I met my good friend Jo today at La Canada in Marbella. She lives in Marbella but is not a blinger, she's a down to earth, unpretentious London girl. Take a look at her blog. Talking of blingers, we thought that we might run into a Marbella Belle but didn't. We did see a woman with her very own Lin Lin (is that her name) pushing her pushchair for her one child whilst she strutted alongside on her mobile (stiletto heels and al) radiating maternal wholesome glow, not!

Jo and I are so silly and hopeless together that in three hours, we only managed to cover four shops. We both bought our girls some summer tshirts from H&M as they fit well, wash well and are an unbeatable price. I also bought them some sunnies. Stupid me, why did I buy a green and pink pair, don't I ever learn that those kinds of things lead to fights! Duh!

We then went on for a trip down memory lane to our own childhood shopping days in none other C&A. Oh, yes those old recognisable names are still in there with Yessica, Clockhouse and Rodeo (sportswear range). They have lovely children's clothes and I kick myself for buying my girls summer dresses when I was in the UK because what I paid in pounds, I could have got just as nice in euros. The quality doesn't look too bad neither, better than Zara. One thing that did let me down was the sandals that I bought which will teach me for being too bargain hungry. Although, they fit in the length they are so wide that they are impossible to hold on so they have to go back. Well, I have my receipt and the tags are still attached so they have to refund.

Jo refused to let me buy pyjamas in C&A as she thought they were really frumpy but living in such a cold house gives me no other choice but to wear passion killer pjs. What would she think of my Primark flanelette numbers that have done me proud all winter?I love pyjamas and often wear them around the house and would wear them out if I could. I'm sure that in some parts of the UK it is quite common practise just as you see the old women in Manilva Pueblo nip out to the shop in their slippers. Where I am from it is a sure sign of insanity, on a par with talking to the bus driver loudly in conversation so all the passengers can hear you (but not on purpose) or talking to anybody at all for that matter. In the Marks and Spencers Food Hall you could hear a pin drop amongst the customers but it doesn't seem to affect the morale of the staff who are pleasantly jolly. Marks and Spencers must pay quite well or perhaps that it just happens to be a happy branch who have had lots of staff training.

One of my girls is right now this minute whining with fatigue. God they need to go to bed at half six, none of these late Spanish nights as they just can't take this staying up to the unearthly hour of nine. Half six though, just ain't gonna happen as far as Justin's concerned but if it were up to me....

Went to my doctors appointment in Sabinillas this evening. He is a very nice doctor Dr Gonzalez and I just wish I could get my Spanish as good as his English.

Anyway, I expected to come back and find Justin preparing the girls for bed, cutting up the vegetables for dinner but no he was in bed sleeping, while the girls were lolling all over the sofa watching a DVD. What if the house had caught fire?

Well tonight, I am going to do a bit of work, although I am conscious of the forever growing pile of ironing. That'll teach me for going off this morning and having fun in La Canada! Oh just remembered I need to buy cutlery, as incredibly, all the handles have fallen off mine in the last week and I just can't master eating cornflakes with kebab skewers! Where can I get some decent knives and forks and don't anybody suggest Carrefour as that's where the previous lot that have lasted two months have come from.

Off to put the kettle on and have some Swiss chocolate mmm

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

It's only Tuesday

It's only Tuesday so why does it feel like a Thursday. Working from home can be so disorientating.Kept my bed rest friend company this morning whilst we 'worked' on our laptops and stuffed our faces with croissants, toast and anything else we could find in the cupboards, fridge and freezers. The thing is she's pregnant and eating for two, what's my excuse? I took my girls around there after school and they all played until they got tired and we went home.

Justin drove all the way to Calahonda this afternoon to meet his fellow Eye on Spain chums only to realise that he was actually meeting them tomorrow! When he got home, I wasn't in the mood for cooking after such a stressful day,ha,ha so we had a scrummy chinese takeaway from Sabinillas.

Have loads of work I should be getting on with tonight but I had better tuck myself up in bed early since I have tennis tomorrow and need to be in good form.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Rainy days again

It has rained all day today and I have just stayed in and worked on my laptop from the girls leaving to go to school until they returned. In fact, I was still in my dressing gown until midday. Their friend came over straight from school which allowed me to continue with my work and then my friend came over with her two girls to play. I then chucked a load of junk food at the, you name it pizza, chips, chicken nuggets as they were all too hyper to sit and eat proper food. I guess the junk food didn't help the hyperactivity levels but at least they will sleep tonight.

I don't want to speak too soon but I believe that we may be in possession of a magic gas bottle. You see usually the gas lasts for maximum of ten days before it needs replacing but this 'magic' bottle has been going for about a month. My mother in law has been to stay during this month and she uses loads of hot water so I am baffled. I am wondering if it may have something to do with Justin buying it directly from the delivery driver which makes me think that maybe our usual supplier releases gas so that people return quicker. The thing is every time I go to bath or shower, I think wait for it, it's bound to have run out by now but it never does!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Stay at home day

We have had a day of staying at home although none of us are very good at this. Since we first met each other back in the UK many years ago , Justin and have always gone places. Even when our twins came along we would chuck them in the car and go exploring. Don't get me wrong, as a cancerian I do have a homely side (which hasn't really enjoyed nine house moves in five years) but I do go a bit stir crazy at home. I think the fact that we work from home also makes us want a change of scenery at the weekends. After sitting in the garden looking at the seaview all day, this afternoon we decided to take those cranky girls down to the beach. They built sandcastles for a bit until one of them got tired and clingy so we returned after about forty five minutes.

Well just about to steam some broccoli as a healthy accompaniment to tonight's Chicken and Chips takeaway.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Princesses on Ice

The Disney Princesses on Ice Show in Malaga was absolutely magical today. I can't wait for them to come again as we loved every second of it.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Daytime Birthday Bash

It was one of my fellow mum's birthday today so we all piled into El Lagar in Manilva for their set menu. It was really good and we especially enjoyed the potaje with lentils, chorizo etc It was delicious and really wholesome. We met at 1 and before we knew it, it was time to pick the kids up from school. We all sang Happy Birthday around a cake and carried on partying at another mum's home. She really went to town with the bubbly and flowing wine. I was enjoying myself so much that I failed to notice that the said sick child from yesterday had had a relapse and had crashed out on the sofa in the TV room. Bad, self indulgent mother, that will teach you to enjoy yourself or not to, as the case may be.

We have sent her to bed early and hopefully she will be fit and well for Disney Princesses on Ice in Malaga tomorrow afternoon. So the plan is for everyone to rest tomorrow morning and perhaps catch up on that magic ironing pile that never goes down. I must buy some more coat hangers so I can organise the wardrobes better. This is the problem with ironing, the clothes then have to be put away!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Gibraltar trip

Went to Gib this morning to stock up on Easter eggs before they run out. Marks and Spencers have some lovely ones, in fact they had loads of Easter related goodies. I wanted to get some new pyjamas but a little sick person with a supposed sore ear (my daughter bunking school) kicked up a fuss so I am forced to continue to sweat it out in my flanelette numbers. I was tempted to buy Easter cards when I stopped and thought hold on, I don't even bother with Christmas cards! Justin stocked up on Splenda (artificial sweetener). Why is it that only overweight people drink diet drinks and use artificial sweetener whilst all the skinnies use the real stuff?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sorry skipped yesterday but was in all morning doing very boring work stuff. Keep feeling soo tired at night which is a pain because the evening is so useful for writing or ironing in front of the TV.

Popped into a friend's this morning who is pregnant and a bit poorly and had some breakfast together. This was followed by Wednesday morning tennis and dare I say it but I actually feel as though I am improving and have been taking some pretty impressive serves. Called out during the girls music lesson as one of them had an earache. So,we left the other one to continue her class whilst we went for coffee in Sabinillas and waited for the doctors surgery to open. By this point of the day (pm) it is advisable not to eat the cakes as they have dried out but it doesn't seem to put Justin off, neither do the cigarette butts strewn all over the pavements which have built up over the course of the day, yuck! We didn't make an appointment but we got there early and were seen. He prescribed some drops which we picked up from the very conveniently located surgery just around the corner.

Tonight I am going to be shearing Justin's head as he has grown a fluffy fleece. He has been dogging the clippers since I arrived back from the UK and enough is enough now!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Monday Morning

Got the weekly shop done first thing, dropped a couple of bags from my clearout at the charity shop in Sabinillas and then did a beach walk. Got caught up in what felt like a tornado on the beach. The sand really hurts when its pelting off your skin, I'm surprised I wasn't bruised. Had a lovely big salad and my friend and walking partner's house. Took the girls to play at their friends this afternoon and visited a sick, pregnant friend this evening and I am finally doing some work now.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The big clearout

Having a big toy clearout today. Toys really can be a complete waste of money but we all fall for it especially at Christmas time. Compared to my cousin's children, my girls don't really have that much. Nevertheless, what they do have they hardly play with as they prefer paper and crayons to anything gimmicky.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

UK Choice

Sorry not posted for a while. My mother in law came over to stay for a few days and I kind of saw it as an opportunity to nip back to the UK to catch up on a few things and save justin from feeling like a little trapped rat. Forget Paris and Milan, for me the UK is a shopping mecca. Compared to Spain I just love the way us Brits have embraced the concept of fast fashion. Being a fickle kind of gal throw away fashion from places such as New Look and dare I admit it Primark (aka Pradamark or primarni) suits me down to the ground. I might be getting a bit long in the tooth for it but I am a sucker for Top Shop. It is so bang on trend whilst still retaining individuality (please excuse the fashion journalist jargon, I also stocked up on magazines).

It might sound sad but I actually get an adrenalin rush when I enter Boots and Superdrug. The choice is amazing, aisles and aisles of products which you just can't get in Spain. I also love the way you are just left to get on with it, without a pansticked assistant diving on you. The same goes for the fashion shops, the return policies are just so fair and you aren't made to feel like a criminal if you take something back having removed the tags. And the clothes, they fit! A 12 is a 12 and a 10 sometimes fits. The length is right and the trousers are cut to fit that quintessentially English pear shape.

And Marks and Spencers, don't get me started on M&S and their foodhall. Choices, choices, choices it just all became too much for me. I hate to say it but where shopping is concerned the UK is light years ahead of conventional Spain. Every time I go back there is more variety.


Mind you, it's just as well that I stay here, too much choice can be confusing, overwhelming and work out very expensive!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Fish and Chips

Last night we made a spontanous decision to eat out and headed for Peggoty's on the N340 between Estepona and Marbella. Well, I can't go on enough about how fantastic this fish and chip shop/restaurant is. After hearin a lot og hype about it, last night was our first try and we will certainly go back soon. It's even child friendly with high chairs, colouring in sheets and crayons. The staff are friendly and quick and the portions are enormous. Even Justin was overwhelmed when they served him not a plate but a tray of cod and chips. We really enjoyed ourselves and because of the setting, we felt like we were on holiday.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Carnival

During the past month it has been carnival across Spain with Tenerife boasting the biggest and best of all. In Andalucia, Cadiz is renowned for its carnival and this weekend Estepona and Manilva will be celebrating by dressing up as their favourite characters. Yesterday, all the children in the girls school paraded throughout the village singing in their themed costumes. The different year groups have been learning about different countries and since the girls year have been doing china the girls went dressed as geisha girls and the boys as chinamen. Some of the costumes would have been considered highly unPC in the UK and would certainly have caused media controversy. The teachers, as usual, had obviously dedicated lots of time and energy to the event and the children were all very excited but surprisingly controlled and sensible throughout the parade.

Well,today the weather is absolutely glorious and I have stocked up on sun protection from the chemist for the weekend. I am back in the UK next week as my mother in law is arriving this weekend so I think it is for the best all around that I let her have a free rein. It also means that Justin doesn't feel like a trapped rat and I can have a little break in the rain.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Excercise

Well, wednesday morning tennis was called off due to bad weather and a couple of us opted for tea and cakes instead! I must get back into an excercise regime as it does give you so much energy. I much prefer to get it done first thing in the morning as I find it hard to motivate myself to go out to excercise in the evening especially when the weather gets nicer and you want to sit outside and have barbeques and wine, oh and do some work of course! So, I have checked out a new Pilates place in Estepona called Pilates and Care. It's not cheap with four class private induction costing over 100 euros and 85 euros per month for2 classes per week. However, it all seems really professional with the machines and everything.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It's been a while

Well, my blogging has been a bit slack of late but I'm back now and hopefully back on form. I took my girls to the UK last week during Semana Blanca (half term) to leave Justin in peace to get 'organised'. I return to find he's no further forward, an unmade bed, an empty fridge and a pile of ironing. Not to mention those bags that have been destined for the charity shop for the past couple of weeks. I really want to get on top of things but I forever come across stumbling blocks. Yesterday morning I headed for the Albayat with my new sports clothes and matching bag with the intention of joining to do the aerobic classes. I was met by a pretty disillusioned aerobic instructor who informed me that she had to cancel her morning classes because nobody comes to the gym in the morning. It is such a shame as it is such a beautiful spa/gym and to do the classes, that is, as many as you wish, it costs just 45 euros.