Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Living in the Highlands means..

Living in the Highlands means that when the slaters turn up to put the slates on the roof they go home after 20 minutes because they have been attacked by thick black clouds of biting midges whose attack is so fierce that the protectibe arm-flapping and compulsive scratching threatens to topple the men off the roof. I am not exaggerating!

Living in the Highlands means that the moment you step out the door for a walk the rain starts. 

Living in the Highlands means that you have to drive for two hours to get a decent haircut.

Living in the Highlands means that you can't order your groceries online because you live too far from the shop.

Living in the Highlands means that you rarely wear heels because there are very few pavements and heels get stuck in the grass/heather/mud. Plus, you'd break your ankle!

Living in the Highlands means that your broadband speed gets so slow sometimes you can't connect to thew internet. This is because you live too far from the nearest exchange which resembles a garden shed and was last upgraded before anyone had heard of the internet.

Living in the Highlands also means that when someone in your village turns 90 the whole community gathers and throws her a big party to celebrate. Everyone brought food for the buffet, musicians brought instruments and played for a ceilidh dance and the local paper turned up for pictures. A piper piped her in and she was sat on a 'throne'. "I feel like a queen," she said. She is an amazing , young-hearted, active, warm woman and she doesn't look a day over 70. The best thing about living in a Highland village is the very real community spirit and the parties!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

there are voices everywhere

It is true. I'm not hearing voices in my head but voices on the floor, under the couch, under my foot, under the table, under everything it seems. As I opened the oven door a voice said, "Your hair is so soft, I wish I had hair like yours". Honest to God. It was a talking hairbrush that I had caught with my foot. Then as I sat on the couch for a moments relax in a rare quiet moment a wee voice sang loud, "woof woof woof Hello baby". These voices are actually quite friendly. But then, later, as I crept in to bed in the dark a loud cackle pierced the silence. "Ah ha ha", like a wicked witch. 

I'm no housewife but I am a homemaker

I don't know if I can call myself a housewife anymore as my house is suffering from neglect. I am keeping on top of laundry, shopping, cooking and dishes but that is about it. The reasons for said neglect are that the baby is everywhere all the time. He is into everything. And we have to spend every afternoon in town while my wee girl is in nursery. And I spend every morning project managing the house build. So I am at the site with the kids or on the phone dealing with things like when people are turning up, why people are not turning up, ordering materials, paying bills, finding out where missing windows are and when x is being delivered and why y didn't arrive and when do we need z for and why did you invoice me for that, when I have already paid you for it. Actually the last thing is just a problem we have had with one person - our site agent. He is the person we pay to help us and advise us. He basically architecturally supervises the build. Only he is no help, uncommunicative and overcharged us by invoicing us for work we had already paid him for. Good job I am on top of paperwork. I knew that filing cabinet was a wise purchase. It is hectic but exciting as every day the build progresses and we are closer to living in our home. I guess I am a homemaker in a very literal sense.

no sex please we're married

Everywhere I go these days I seem to meet sex-starved women. They are all disappointed by their men's lack of interest in getting their leg over. We were brought up to believe that all men were sex-mad and we had to feign them off as best we could. It turns out it is the other way round in many relationships. Yet, if you are to believe the advice pages in any magazine or on the internet the experts still seem to believe it is women who go off sex and are 'too tired'. Perhaps they are but often as not it is the other way round. I was at a wedding recently where one young wife declared that she was not leaving the hotel without sex even if it meant paying to stay on a few hours. Her gripe was that they had come away without the kids and he was 'too tired' and then after his meal 'too full' to make love. He saw their couple of nights away from the kids as a chance to catch up on sleep. Another woman was experiencing a similar problem and confessed to buying a 'rabbit' for some satisfaction. After all, it is a basic human need. 

And everywhere I go these days I am hearing similar stories. Is there an epidemic of 'tiredness' affecting men the country over? I was experiencing the same thing in my own relationship recently but thank god that's passed. Although, at the weekend we went to a wedding sans kids and stayed in a posh country hotel. The room was fabulous and the bed enormous. So, after the church and before the meal I suggest a quickie in the room to be told there wasn't enough time. Isn't that the point? Then, after the meal, I look into his eyes and say, "I'm going to the room now, would you like to come with me?" And do you know what he says, "I'll just wait here [in the bar], see you in a while." I must have read too many magazines and romantic stories in my younger days but I really believed that men were up for it, all the time. How wrong I was! How disappointing!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

we have a roof

Yippee. We have a roof! The slates are still to go on but....we have a roof. The house now looks huge. 
I am really struggling to fit everything in right now. Building the house is taking up more and more time and it is impossible to make phone calls with the kids around. When I do try to make a business call my daughter inevitably demands my attention, usually with the words, "I need a poo" in a loud voice.  My solution is to allocate some tasks to H. Typically, they are not done and it falls back to me. It would have been easier to do it myself in the first place. He was supposed to phone slaters over a week ago! We still don't have a slater and we will be ready for one soon. Yes, I am feeling a little stressed and a little sorry for myself. Usually, I rant to myself something along the lines of, "Why do I have to do bloody everything, am I just the maid around here, Help I need a housekeeper / nanny / personal assistant, Why is he so fucking unreliable? Aaargh." and then I throw in a few more growls and sighs for good measure. 
I have decided just to get on with it. If you want a job done, do it yourself and all that.

Financing this major house building project is starting to get a bit stressful too. We have a tight budget and no room for overspend. Coupled with that our income is too low. Just to add to the squeeze on our resources the garage has informed me that the car needs £800 worth of repairs, not including the cost of replacing two tyres. It couldn't have come at a worse time. Where oh where am I going to find £800? 

Monday, 2 June 2008

sex and the city

Just about recovered from the best day out with my fellow married yummy mummy pals. We had been looking forward to it for so long and it didn't disappoint. Sex and the City! It was great. We laughed, we cried and it was just so good to see my old Friday night friends, aka the SATC girls, as I came to think of them. We arranged for a man we all know to drive us to Inverness as he goes every Sunday and that way no-one had to miss out on the cocktails. We all got dressed up and it was great to be smart, not wearing badges of snot and soggy biscuit on my shoulder. We all wore heels and we all looked fab. We started off with coffee and muffins, followed by a spot of shopping. We arrvied at the cinema early to avoid the rush. And we waited. And we waited. Then at long last the familiar doo doo doo doo-doo doo-doo theme tune came on and it was on. 

I have been so sleep-deprived lately that I was worried that a comfy seat in a darkened room would seduce me in to sleep but no chance. I didn't even yawn. So the reviewers slated it but I loved it. Yes, there are flaws but it was great to meet the characters again. We laughed, we cried and when it was all over we went for cocktails. Then dinner and more cocktails. The more we drank, the louder we laughed and the more our conversation revolved around sex. I just hope we weren't talking too loudly. I am cringing just thinking about it. I mean, it is fine if you live in New York City but in the Highlands you can be sure that there is someone listening who knows of you. On the other hand, it is just a normal part of life and totally fascinating. Now we are planning an Ann Summers party! I don't think we are so much SATC girls; more like desperate housewives. I just hope we are not turning into cliches of thirty-something married women mourning the loss of their youth acting all outrageous the minute they get a drink in them. 

We all had a great time but now we are past 30 the hangovers last longer and it will be a while before I drink that much again. Honestly! Okay, so I have two weddings to go to this month but I will be good. I will.