Thursday Thirteen: Gratitude
At least, I started writing this on Thursday, it is now Friday and I won’t get online until Saturday. But Thursday Thirteen it is, anyway!
(Edited: Oh look! It's now Tuesday!)
I am constantly grateful for the many good things that have come to pass in the last week. It seems as though nothing can go wrong, and if it does, there is a friend or sister to “sort it out” with no fuss at all. Here’s a partial list, in no particular order:
1. Really nice downstairs neighbours with three really nice kids (two girls and a middle boy, the eldest is in the year above Max). They are so helpful and friendly AND they have a big trampoline in the yard! The kids all play together every afternoon. Small Downstairs Girl is my favourite, she is absolutely cute and friendly and the boys are all in love with her.
2. My skin-and-blister, Ailis, Sorter-Out-Extraordinaire. “No, this will not do” being my favourite thing to hear from her because it means “I am going to SORT THIS OUT!” And then she does! Ailis is seven and a half years younger than me, and being bossed about by your little sister is something everyone should get to experience. Thank you my darling!
3. Buckets of strawberries and double cream (I will have to do some sit-ups if this keeps up). Organic food. Fuzzy foot-snuggies. Scarves. Free unlimited texts on O2 Mobile. Buses. Trains. Footpaths. (Updated: okay, switching to yogurt with my berries...)
4. Cherise, who turns up and saves my skin just when I’m thinking “How on earth am I going to get There for two o’clock and then go to the Uniform Shoppe in bloody Seaborne before it closes WITH three children in tow?” And she collects and delivers great big heavy things with her strong husband, carries them up stairs, invites us to dinner and says “what you need, lovie, is a shoe rack”, and brings one over.
5. Charlotte! Carole and Dave! Boxes of nice practical hand-me-downs!
6. Elena and Becky at the Letting Agency, who have gone above and beyond. Also the guys next door at the refurbished appliance shop.
7. A sunny kitchen with big windows facing East and small window facing South, large enough to fit a big table and clothes drying rack and all mod cons and STILL swing a cat. Very Feng Shui. Though the hypothetical cat may disagree. Schroedinger, we’ll call him.
8. Winning an Amazing Wraparound Hat, courtesy of Lady Diva! This hat is not only stylish, but will keep my ears and neck warm! I’ve never won anything before! You have to check it out, you’ll be so jealous!
9. The downstairs neighbours are from warm climes too, and I think they turn their heating on at night even though it’s summer, because it’s mighty cozy up here in the mornings! We have Gas Central Heating, Double Glazing and the boys’ bedroom and living room are facing West. The afternoon sun streams in and makes bedtime toasty. I’m glad, because in December we’ll need all the warmth we can get! (And no, the sun, alas, does not stream in December. But it might glimmer.)
10. The Beach, and the Park. Yesterday was gorgeous, so I decided not to clean the oven and Sam and Max and I went to the beach instead with our sandwiches. We collected shells and rocks, and put them in our bag. Then all the way home we said “why is this bag so heavy?”
11. Chas had a happy First Day Of School, and his music teacher is groovy and loves West Indian music. He has a day outing on the bus TO BELGIUM next month, to visit Ypres Battlefield. HOW COOL IS THAT? Sam and Max should start school next week when the red tape is all tied up. They can see the kids playing in the school playground across the road, and it’s torture I tell you!
12. That I don’t have to be working while all this is going on. It would have been impossible. Moving countries with three kids, on my own, has been HARD. The heaps of paperwork, phone calls, long walks down the wrong street, heavy shopping bags, and countless chores and boring outings with three kids in tow has tried our patience and our feet. The boys have been 99% amazing, more mature and responsible than any boys should be expected to be.
13. The Universe, from whom all things come exactly when and how they ought to.