Time for my May Family Affairs update and a brief consideration of all the other big scary matters we have been dealing with this month.  We have had three terrorist attacks in the UK in the last month which has sent us all reeling. Murderous chaos was seen on Westminster Bridge, then Manchester Arena and just a few days ago, London Bridge and Borough Market. I’m sure many of us are having collective nightmares of the footage of the three men calmly and coldly walking down the road stabbing anyone in their wake. Terrifying beyond. And yet, within the same amount of time we have seen the most uplifting uniting of people at a concert since Live Aid, instigated by the incredible 23 year old Ariana Grande and friends. Just the tonic that was needed for the world and in particular the 80,000 people at the concert, many of whom were at the one when a suicide bomber set off a nail bomb, just two weeks before. We have also witnessed the bravery of those who fought off the London Bridge attackers – some who tragically haven’t lived to tell the tale. All heroes, who show how we must never be cowed by those who see life as so worthless.

The cartoon in the Evening Standard, the day after the Ariana Grande concert. So powerful:-

Who is smaller?

Who is smaller?

The other big scary matter is the election today. Many of us have got to go out and vote for people we don’t really want. Consequently, it will be interesting to see whether Theresa May gets the Conservative majority she is expecting. I am wondering whether the young people will get up and out in droves to reset the balance. Lets see.

Our beautiful London:-

Rooftop view of London

Rooftop view of London

So what else? A big credit to the featured image I’m using for this post. I’ve stolen it from Heather Armstrong over at my favourite US blog, dooce. I HOPE YOU DON”T MIND HEATHER?? I wouldn’t want to piss her off. Also, don’t ever call her “Dooce” (with a capital ‘D’) because she will bite your face off. She’s back after a long stint away and I’m delighted and hope she won’t mind me using her quote – as a single parent too, I am happy to go and get the tattoo at the same time!

So my monthly Family Affairs report: The good, the bad and the ugly:-

MY CHILDREN

OMG I have them all back in da house! All three children, two of which having already left home, have come back home to live with me. Full. Time. Not, I hasten to add entirely by choice, but for mostly economic reasons. London living is expensive and so this hotel suits them for the moment and they are mostly prepared to put up with the fact there is nothing in the fridge and no clean towels in the cupboard (both are their fault anyway). My daughter has threatened to become “a stay at home daughter”.  This has caused untold drama and I can suddenly relate to the old woman who lives in a shoe and has so many children she doesn’t know what to do. They are all HUGE these days and I can’t fit them and all their shit back into my house without a shoehorn. After much trauma about who was going to have to move into the bedroom the size of a “meatball” it has been agreed that one of them* is going to have to go and live at the bottom of the garden like a gnome with the two baby fox cubs and their mamma (there was three but we think a neighbour bashed one over the head with a shovel and we’re coming to get you) and so for the foreseeable future I can no longer teach my Pilates classes in above mentioned shed on a Saturday morning.

* The one who is moving down to the bottom of the garden is not Princess Daughter btw.

Going to buy this sign, that my friend has in her house so that every time it’s stressful, I can remind myself how lucky I am to have them at all:-

In this house

In this house

FIRSTBORN SON

Busy working. Ironing shirts in the am and rushing off to work. Playing in the evening. Last night he came back from a work event and was snoring so loudly I could hear him in the next room and had to get up and find earplugs.

His favourite place in the house, chillin’ with his cousin:-

Family time

Family time

DAUGHTER

She’s finished uni. ALREADY. Where did those three years go? She’s got a month of frolicking about and waiting for results and then needs to get a job in order to do more frolicking about on distant shores, followed by getting a job and never being able to frolic about again. She came back on Monday night and we stayed up till 2am catching up on news and dancing about the place as the gin set in. “Mum, you’re a worse influence than my flatmates” she said. I do hope this is not the shape of things to come when she’s living formally back at home (she’s currently away on her first frolic) because it’s going to kill me. We must ban gin from the house. Bury it in the garden maybe for my son to drink when the foxes get too annoying.

She’s had an interview to work in a local bar. Came back saying she thinks she’s been offered the job, but has to do a trial shift next week. “The questions were more in depth than I thought they would be” she told me. Apparently the first question was “are you punctual?”. “Not at all, I told him – then he said, you can lie you know…” She actually admitted to not being punctual…and she thinks she’s got the job. Honestly, another parenting fail on my part.

Here she is preparing to go away on holiday – could it be anymore of an awkward way to paint her toenails?

Painting toenails

Painting toenails

LASTBORN SON

Son and girlfriend

Son and girlfriend

Still growing.  Not quite finished college for the summer, but all his classes seem to be over so he’s got a lot of free time. He’s been getting on with some manual labour to help him pay for his frolicking summer plans so that’s a step in the right direction.

CATS

Moulting all over my clothes as we move towards summer and I’m thinking about replacing them with those bald cats – or would it be wrong to shave them? They are also terrified of hanging out in the garden at the moment owing to above mentioned (very cute) fox cubs. I am assuming that given the foxes have the run of the bins all night long, they are full to bursting and CBA to chase after a cat and eat it. One of my cats is so fat it can’t run anywhere anyway so lets hope I’m right. If I’m wrong, at least I won’t have to worry about what to do about cat hair anymore. Although the ginger one who is faster is more annoying on blue and black clothing.

fox cubs and the cat

fox cubs and the cat

Fox cubs

Fox cubs

FAMILY

Apart from my children, who I see all the time, I have spent time with my mother and brothers too this month.

My mother’s birthday:-

My cute little mum

My cute little mum

Had a spectacular day and night with my son and brother and all his friends at the rugby 7’s where we stayed up till dawn talking bollocks:-

London rugby 7's - me in headdress

London rugby 7’s – me in headdress

Also had a night with my brother unpacking some of my mother’s boxes of shit, stuff. Here we have an example of the sort of things we had to unwrap – my lightbulb moment (it was early and I hadn’t put my makeup on!) Who wraps a lightbulb in six layers of paper?:-

Lightbulb moment

Lightbulb moment

FRIENDS

I spent a night with my friends who are members of Soho Farmhouse so went there for dinner and then back the next morning for brunch. Splendid:-

Soho Farmhouse cabin

Soho Farmhouse cabin

Soho Farmhouse outside

Soho Farmhouse outside

Soho Farmhouse pool

Soho Farmhouse pool

Soho Farmhouse food

Soho Farmhouse food

Soho Farmhouse bar

Soho Farmhouse bar

Have had a spectacular few days away at the Hay Festival, which was incredibly uplifting:-

Us at Hay 30 Festival

Us at Hay 30 Festival

Went to see Elton John:-

Me and daughter at Elton John Concert

Me and daughter at Elton John Concert

Elton John at The Stoop

Elton John at The Stoop

LIFE IN GENERAL

Lots of walks in the park with friends, talking through all our problems and helping to find solutions:-

This one of the swan sums up how I am feeling most of the time! A little upside down…

Walk in park with swan

Walk in park with swan

May is such a beautiful month for wisteria:-

Pembroke lodge from inside

Pembroke lodge from inside

Pembroke Lodge view

Pembroke Lodge view

and lots of these along the way:-

Hot chocolate

Hot chocolate

May has been an improvement on the first four months of the year, so I’m not complaining. Things were so awful then that they couldn’t have got a lot worse. I’m still not travelling and have had to decline an amazing trip so that I can be here keeping things stable for all concerned, but that is a small price to pay. That’s all I’m prepared to say on the matter.

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  1. Wonderful post thank u L! Elder son is about to b 21 tomorrow and his girlfriend is taking him to stay for a couple of days at Soho Farmhouse!!
    C.xx

  2. They did thank u hon.
    I remember 10 quid per night grotty B & B’s in Weymouth or Bournemouth with my boyfriend when I was their age in the late eighties!!

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