Monday, 21 January 2008

London bound

I am taking a trip, a trip with my mother, we are going to London for the weekend. My mother is so worried about me going on this trip, so worried about the fact I am leaving my children and my kitten with my husband, I fear she will not enjoy the trip for worrying!

My mum's friend, of some 40+ years has moved to London, I have no idea what area of London, simply because I can't remember. Both her girls have lived there for many years and she and her man friend decided they would move, her man friend has 2 sons, both living in England, so why not take the bull by the horns and move there too. Simple, move and be closer to your family, not so simple when your man friend turns round after the decision has been made and plans put into place and he decides 'he's not going' no reason, no discussion, end of. So what do you do, well she did it, she went and she went alone. Got herself a nice little retirement flat and moved, Glasgow to London. Of course it wasn't that simple but the long and short of it is she's gone. She is so desperate for my mum to go and see the flat and the area and really just reassure her she hasn't made a big mistake. 'How can moving to be nearer her 2 daughters and 2 grandchildren, by one daughter, be a mistake' I assure my mother.

It has been about 18 years since my mother has flown, that was her last holiday abroad, and apart from some holidays with my gran before she was ill, my mother hasn't had a holiday. It is difficult, I would love to have her with us, but we rarely get time as a family unit and she makes such a fuss, are you warm enough, are you to hot, OMG watch what you are doing! it drives the hubby mental and I don't need the added stress to be honest. Most of her close friends have partners/husbands and of course they go on holiday with them. It is not easy being 60+ and on your own. She has never had another relationship since my dad.

December 2005 after a day with me and the kids, mum drove home and called me in a terrible state asking for the NHS 24 number, my immediate thought was she had been mugged, beaten, assaulted, 'I fell and bumped my head and I've got a big lump' she told me. The hubby was on night shift, I bundled my sleeping daughter in her pyjamas and coat and my son quickly re clothed himself as I secured the house and we went straight over, a 25 minute journey which seemed to last for hours, I called NHS 24 on the way, hands free, of course and asked someone to call her and keep her talking until I got there, I was frightened she became unconscious. It turned out she had slipped on sheet ice, banged her head and knocked herself out, on waking tried to scramble to her feet and banged her head again, then realising she had hurt herself and was on the ground and her head was sore and she was dizzy, banged her head for a third time. We took her to casualty, I called the hubby who came to take the children away as casualty on a Saturday night is not always pleasant, they said she was ok but would only release her if she had someone stay with her and keep an eye on her. She came to stay with us for a few days, not only had she hurt her head but it had shattered her confidence and given her a huge and I mean huge black eye and the whole right side of her face was black and blue. Two years on and she still experiences 'sensations' in her head and the weather seems to affect it. As a result of this she is afraid to fly because of the cabin pressure which may affect her head and once your up there, there's not exactly a lot you can do 'STOP I need off!' So flying to London is not an option, driving herself is not an option, going on the bus is an option, she would feel ok going on the bus herself, but it takes a long time to get there so train seems the best option, but she didn't show willing.

'I'll come with you the first time, if you want' I said 'it'll let you see the journey and if you feel ok for the next time'

'Would you? I'll pay' she said with a big grin

'Sorted' you don't need to offer that twice.

We are now coordinating the details, a date that suits me, my mum's friend and the accommodation within the flats, they have a twin room for relatives/friends to use for the very nice price of £15 per night. We are hoping to go the last weekend in February. We won't have long there but it's really for the sole purpose of the train journey. We will arrive, all being well, on the Friday at dinner time, have all day Saturday and leave about 3pm on the Sunday.

Mum made me clear it with the hubby first to see that he was OK with watching the kids, it will involve him taking the weekend off work, he seemed quietly pleased as he made eyes at my daughter, who smiled back, knowing she will be able to wrap her daddy round her little finger and they won't have a proper cooked meal for 3 nights or any sort of routine and the hubby will manage fine because there will only be looking after children and of course the cat involved, there won't be any washing, housework or ironing done and I will return to him saying looking after children is a doddle. mmmmmm

So do I run myself ragged and make sure there is a uniform left ready for the Monday morning, instruct the children what to wear over the weekend or do I leave it and let them get on with it. To my surprise I may find that all the years of nagging may have paid off and he might polish the school shoes on the Sunday night and iron the uniforms. Every Sunday we go through the same infuriating conversation. I normally iron on a Sunday night because the TV is quite good, give me good TV and an ironing board and I'm fit to go. Ironing complete and out come the shoes and the polish, cue infuriating conversation;

'if you'd said I would have polished the shoes' he says

'but I always polish the shoes on a Sunday night' I say with gritted teeth, I do polish them during the week, but they get an extra good polish on a Sunday

'do you want me to do them?' he says

'no, it's OK' I say, because I'm not doing anything else so I might as well sit here and be a martyr and do them myself, like I do everything else in this bloody house, my inside voice rants.

And you see I know I am to blame, because all I have to say is 'can you polish the shoes' but no I want him to use his initiative and go and get the shoes all by himself, or the hoover or the bleach or whatever else looks like it needs doing, I don't even mind cleaning if he even thought about tidying. MEN!

So anyway, didn't mean to rant, I obviously get my knickers in a twist about the state of my house on my return, whereas my mother is genuinely concerned that the hubby will manage with the children and that they might miss me and I might miss them. I will miss them, but I will not be devastated, they have been away with the hubby before, to his sister's up north, I think they went Friday to Monday and had a great time. When I worked in the evenings from the kids were babies, the hubby had his own routine and could manage to bathe, feed and put them to bed and even wash the dishes.

I am going to have me time, I am going to download my favourite music on my phone and hope that my mother doesn't want to have a conversation all the way to London, I'm going to hopefully manage to take one of the kids DS's and do brain training and sudoku myself silly and most of all, relax. Although now that I think about it, my mother is the type of person when we go to McDonald's she sits and looks at her meal and doesn't know where to start, I lay out the napkin, open the box, put the chips in the lid, gathering the rubbish into on happy meal box as I go, open the tea, pass the milk, everyone sorted, get my jacket off and my mother is still faffing about wondering where to put her coat, gloves, scarf, handbag and umbrella.

Ok, maybe not relax, but a bit of time away from the children.


Anonymous said...

You'll have a great time. A bit of me time does a lot of good. That weekend is when our new kitchen should have been done!! I'll think about you on that train. Which line will you be taking? If Edinburgh to London, you will pass my farm!

Crystal xx

She's like the wind said...

Hi CJ, I'm looking forward to it! Your kitchen will be well worth waiting for. We are leaving from Glasgow, but I know some of the trains go to Edinburgh so I will find out and let you know and then you can tell me where to look. x

Anonymous said...

I am facing this same predicament in April! Three days of me time, and I am terrified of how hubby is going to handle the little ones - there is already talk that my dad may have to take some time off of work to help him out (mom will be with me.) It will certainly be worth it - even if you do find yourself leaning over the table to cut-up your mother's meat. Enjoy!

Expatmum said...

Hi there. I've done this a few times - just knacker yourself making lists of everything they could possibly need to know, times to do what etc. then go and have a good time. Sometimes I think it's not worth the bother, but it is really. And dads aren't really as useless as we think they are - that's just a ruse to get out of chores.

She's like the wind said...

Hi Driving, good for you, my children are older so it's not quite as bad, they can look after themselves a bit, the only thing I plan to make sure he knows is they have swimming lessons on a sunday and the times they go at and I will remind the children to put their knickers in the swimming bags as they go in the morning with their swimming stuff on! I can see it now, my daughter in her stage whisper 'OH no, I forgot my knickers'

nice to see you x

She's like the wind said...

Welcome Expatmum, you are so right, they are not as useless as they make out. Over night I decided I will leave them to it, the hubby went to London to work for 5 days, ended up staying and working for 3 weeks and did he worry I did everything right, I'm sure he didn't, so why should I worry.

Thanks for stopping by. x

Swearing Mother said...

I recognise a kindred spirit here. I too am not a faffer, and tend to run everything for everyone at my slightly brisk pace. If they don't keep up or do it the way I think it should be done, I get arsey.

That's probably why everyone round me just lets me get on with it.

Great idea to have some "me" time, enjoy it.


Frog in the Field said...

He'll be fine!
This time last year (sob!) I went away for a week on my own and when I got back my husband had roped my sister into cleaning the house, putting all the stray clothes away and it looked immaculate!

Your mother might surprise you and not be as irritating as you think, remember, pretending to be asleep is always useful!

She's like the wind said...

Hi SM, you summed it up so well, I chase my tail all the time and what for, so that everyone expects me to do it, well that's going to change. A new me is coming. Watch this space!


She's like the wind said...

Hi Frog, I know he can do it, I have faith so I'm not going to worry. You went away for a week? go you. I don't think I could do a week, 3 nights I think would be my limit.

In my mothers defence, she is not actually irritating, oh god, I've painted her in a terrible light, sorry mum, she is like the hubby, only slower, knows I get on with it so let's me.

So I think I'll let her get on with it when we go and see what happens, I take no responsibility for anyone but myself on this trip. Think I might lock myself in the room with a book, chocolate and plenty of tea. Bliss x