Monday, June 17, 2013

Why don't you?

When I was a kid there was a TV show called Why Don't You (Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go Out and Do Something Less Boring Instead?) in which groups of kids around the UK would find fun things that didn't involve television such as making kites or learning magic tricks.

The irony of a TV show built on the premise of not watching TV was not lost on me, even then, but over the years I have often repeated the WDY mantra to get me off the sofa and into something more interesting. 

On Sunday morning I decided that I needed to take things up a notch and so began the week without TV. It's day two today and so far all is well. I read a book while the midgets napped and actively enjoyed my lunch rather than consuming it entirely unawares while viewing recorded episodes of Kirstie's Vintage Home (and then feeling hungry 10 minutes later).

For those of you playing along at home, the novel I am reading is 'The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul' by Deborah Rodriguez. The words "as if Maeve Binchy had written The Kite Runner" on the front cover should have been enough to put me off but it was a gift and actually it's quite readable in a... well in a Maeve Binchy sort of way and that's okay with me; in my mother's bookshelf are many shelves (see what I did there?).

So I'm not taking a break from TV because I find popular culture beneath me. Far from it, I bloody love the telly. I am always highly amused by those hipsters who disdainfully proclaim not to watch much Television, as though doing so lowers their cool factor or their intelligence (thus implying that those of us with slightly square eyes are both uncool and just a bit stupid). Then you go to their house and see a 45,000 inch flat screen TV. Raising your eyebrows you might remark "my, what a big telly you have", only to be informed that they only use it for watching *insert obscure US comedy/Japanese cartoon/foreign language film here*. Yeah, wank on buddy, you know who Roo Stewart is as well as I do.

No, my break from the box is purely about time. If I watch three hours a day, five days a week then a week of abstinence is an impressive 15 hours returned to me. What to do with all that time?

I'm aiming for more playing, more cooking, more walking, more talking, more reading and more thinking. I shall report on my progress when the week is over, but if somebody could just tell me what happened in Sunday night's 'Elementary' that would be grouse.

What would you do with an extra three hours every day?


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Second time around

This weekend I did something I never do; I holidayed in a place for the second time. I mean, I have been to certain places more than once – Paris is a city I have visited a few times for example (I’m not showing off I promise, I’m from the UK so it used to be an easy and affordable trip) – but I have never deliberately chosen the exact same location and accommodation before.  

And yet, almost a year to the day since our last excursion into the countryside, we found ourselves zooming out of the city at lunchtime on Friday, headed once again for the Lost World Valley and 'our' cottage.
This time we were accompanied by our second beloved midget and our rather splendid two year old. Last time we relaxed, unwound and enjoyed the fresh country air. This time we enjoyed the fresh country air. Turns out two years olds aren’t quite as relaxing as one year olds and that newborns don’t sit smiling in a high chair while awaiting sustenance. Who knew?  
We may have been twice as tired but we still had lots of fun. Check out this comparison pic of Lady A at the cottage last year and again this weekend.

What a difference a year makes
We also find ourselves experiencing a little déjà vu on the home front as we are once again looking for a rental property. The place we have now is fine, but it’s not right and with two small children and a potential work from home job (more on that next post) I need it to be right. This time the priorities are space both internally and externally. We’re ready for a change of scene and arehousehunting in areas quite different to the one we have occupied this past six years.
Although moving is undoubtedly a big, fat pain in the ass, it is also a chance to mix things up a bit, to slough off the old and emerge all exfoliated and fabulous, ready to enjoy the fresh start. I cannot wait to faff with furniture in a new environment, to take different walks, drink tea in different cafes and turn somebody else’s house into our home. That last one is always a challenge but I’m up for it, in fact I’m champing at the bit to get started. Somebody hold me back!
And to top off a week of all things two, this Saturday I’ll become the very proud Godparent to twins at a Sesame Street themed naming ceremony and birthday party.
This post was brought to you by the number two.