Tag Archives: Chick lit

Give thanks

It’s time to give thanks to Otto Wichterle.

Who? I hear most of you say.

(He’s the Czech chemist who invented contact lenses. Although, the multi-talented Leonardo da Vinci should be credited for the initial idea.)

Not because without those amazing inventors, I would just wander around my house bumping into blurry furniture. No. Glasses would shield me from such a fate.

But because without contact lenses I would be doing regular impressions of Papa Bear. Either that or physically appearing like the victim of a razor attack.

You see, my glasses help me to see. They deliver me safely across the road. They ensure the knife slices the onion instead of the finger, well, most of the time. They allow me to appreciate the faces of my generally happy children.

But they steam up when I come in from the cold.

Or open the oven door.

And I cannot wear them when having a shower or a bath.

Without Mr Wichterle my world would consist of unutterable measures of self-harm. Blood splattered bathrooms.

And no sex.

After all, what husband is motivated by a constantly injured, blood stained wife or, worse still, an actual werewolf in his bed?


A Valentine Comedy

The day started well
I entered the room
You lay on the bed
All a-swish and a-swoon.

A gift on my pillow
Beside your sweet head
And flowers
Of varying sorts
Set in my tin, to bake me a Torte.
You lay there, all smiling
Hand propping up your head
“Will you be my Valentine?”
Is what you said.

Even though, we are already wed.

I put my present to the side
Though invited by the bed
I had to nip out,
Pay a visit to the loo
To deposit a (rather extensive) number two.
So there’s me upon the toilet,
And you in the bed
The hours of love-making
Must take place inside your head.
I strike up a chat
In hope you’ll stay awake
Through wall
And half-opened door,
But only moments later
I hear a gentle snore.

After a while
When my business is done
I can finally lay beside you
Thank God!
It’s already half past one!

We lie there
Softly sleeping
Gently breathing
Silently dreaming:
Then suddenly
Rudely forced awake
“Mum, Mum…”

A voice penetrates.

I cannot see
Who’s waking me
I cannot recall
The voice at all
I have to ask
The name –
Of the child who is to blame,
For shattering our sleep.
Standing there
Complaining of a crap nightmare!

No matter how hard I try,
I cannot be good.
I am too tired out
To talk it through
I make a space
In my own bed
And snuggle close
Into her head,
Her long legs dangle
All around
Her feet are mostly on the ground.
I hold her tight,
Tell her
“It’s alright.”

I lay there
Breathing her same air
And in time, become aware
Of an ache
In my left ear,
Both my arms
You understand
Are tightly clasped by her two hands.

I heave a sigh and stroke her hair
Then dismiss her off
To her own lair
Tell her a game
That she can play
To help her sleep
And she’s away.

My attention turns
To my ear pain
I keep it warm.
And snuggle down again.

Attempt to sleep
Only to realise
There is a pressure
Between my thighs,
The bathroom calls
I must arise.

I fall into bed
Sleep like I’m dead
Only to wake
Before my alarm
A child is ill –
Can I come?

So my dear, I want to say
Despite our night
Of stop and start
I love you
From the bottom of my heart.

And why, I’ll tell you here and now:
I am happy that we share
Our lives together
That we care
Despite the stresses and the strains
That we bear.

Be it
Children sneaking into our bed
Or falling sometimes into the red

Be it family feuds
Or great swings of moods

Be it pain
Or the strain of more illness yet again
We remain
On the same plane.

I love you
Because you’re there
Despite the ink spot on the stair,
Because when you come home
And do not moan
But help me to tidy up the mess,
You show how you care,
You always do your best.

You laugh with me through life.

I am a happy as your wife.

When I’m sad you take my hand
I have the feeling
That you always understand.

And because after such a night
With the horror and the fright
You tell me:

“to let the entertainment go
forget the night behind us
it was not one of our best
lets take our four feet forward
and get on with the rest.”

Yes, I will be you Valentine
Will you be mine?

The tale of two husbands

I’ve had two husbands. Well, I’m still on my second one. And hoping to stick with him. I quite like this one. Not that I didn’t like the other one. Well, at least at some point.

OK. This is not how I envisaged this blog going when I thought it up.


I should have started like this:

According to our (very lovely) Kindergarten teacher, there are two types of men in the world. N.B. I have a ‘special’ relationship (yes, one of those) with Akasha’s Kindergarten teacher.

Which began like this:

We just clicked.

We can talk about everything and anything under the sun. Love. War. Men, obviously. Stray cats. Allergies. Our hilarious pasts. Food. We even talk about children sometimes.

So this morning on entering the Kindergarten, I could not be content with just saying, “Hello” and depositing my child. No. I felt compelled to tell her about all of the events that took place the night before. Which, although also included baking lots of cakes with Akasha – causing a general sticky feeling to the whole house – mainly focussed on the terrible toothache of my poor husband, Reini. – Please note the toothache has NOTHING to do with our cakes.

No. The pain was due to an evil wisdom tooth.

Now on informing the Kindergarten teacher, lets just call her Alex (because that’s her name), I also felt the need to express my fear that my husband would try the ‘going back to work’ routine after the dastardly tooth would be pulled.

And that is when she made the broad sweeping statement intelligent observation about the two types of men.

I understand exactly what she means because I have been married to both types. H-hmm I am still married to one of them.

My first husband, let me see… Liked to express clearly all of his ailments. No matter what those ailments were. OK, sometimes I had a hard time believing he had such incredibly, intolerable ailments.

Like the time he had the flu. Right after I had a small cold. He lolled on the sofa and begged for medicine. And on my suggestion of him pulling himself together and going to work, he looked at me, incredulously, and informed me that, “I just didn’t understand his suffering.”

I understood perfectly well that he was getting on my nerves in my way and that he had, in all truthfulness, the exact same cold that I had had a few days previous.

This opinion didn’t go down well, but is not the only reason we divorced. He declared that I had not really been ill.

I threw the final punch. Explaining that he may not have observed me being poorly, due to the fact that I had just, “Got on with life and not complained every 10 seconds.”

A friend arrived later and saw my ex-beloved rolled out on the sofa. Being a thoughtful person she expressed her concern and asked of his ailment. I informed her, that, my husband was fine, he just had man-i-tus. Being an understanding and similar suffering wife, she laughed extremely loudly and informed all of her friends.

And thus, ladies and gents a new condition was born.

So having followed the law of opposites (I once asked another friend what she saw in a boyfriend she’d picked up after her split with her husband, she detailed: he’s tall – hubby short, he’s chatty – hubby quiet, he’s bald – hubby had hair and so on…) my husband number two is brave. Strong. Uncomplaining. And heads off to work, despite whatever discomfort he happens to be facing at any given time.

It’s not that he loves his job. It’s that he’s loyal and takes all of his responsibilities seriously.

But as un-complainy as he is, he is prone to making his own hardships therefore worse.

And the only cure for that is an oppressive wife.

So, when Alex offered the suggestion that I should clunk him over the head with a hammer and drag him home after the pulling of the nasty, evil, viscous tooth, I wholeheartedly agreed.

A perfect me

Be prepared
I look quite stunning
chestnut hair
and legs a-flowing
ruby lips
and sparkling eyes
not a wrinkle
to be spied
white, straight teeth
and underneath
a bum so pert
and round
and neat.
No cellulite
no wobbly belly
and boobs that properly
face the telly.
I stretch
I groan
reach out my hand
locate the snooze
and float back to
my dreamland….

A little pot of wonder

Last week I found myself shopping again.

Birthdays, Christmas, toiletries. Any excuse.

While in a local department store I spotted a special offer I had been looking for, for sometime. Following a gift of a little pot of face cream.

A tiny pot of magic dreaminess to smear into my face and make me feel good.

The pot is made by a well-known and very expensive brand.

An unwanted gift, given to me by the initial receiver when she saw my excited face on being allowed to use some of her cream, having forgotten mine at home. She, herself, never being the user of such creams or indeed any make-up for that matter. She had been presented with it a few months before, for one of those big 0 birthdays. Along with some make-up packaged together in a smart make-up bag.

I have looked for a replacement of my miniature pot of loveliness for some time. My beady eye has scanned shelves for special offers on this brand for what can truly be described as some months now.

And last week, like a flash of light, there it was.

Almost half price.

Only one problem. My brand had several face creams all shouting at me in German and I had no idea which one actually happened to be the grown up version of my pot.

So I decided to go by colour. Except, despite the many available glass jars I couldn’t spot any in dark blue.

An assistant appeared, happy to sell me more of the expensive product (I, meanwhile, found myself holding my breath at the half price option).

I told her the story of the miniature face cream. The unwanted gift. And as we looked at the much larger jars it occurred to me, that perhaps the make-up and the little pot  were part of a gift set. Specially made.

My story unravelled as we looked and we searched. Same make another land. Yes, the gift given to me in the UK not here in Germany. No. I don’t know what it’s called. But yes, I’m clear it’s a blue glass jar and it’s face cream and it’s made by Estee Lauder.

Yes. I am quite sure.

Keen to sell the assistant pulls in another colleague who also searches and wonders and listens to my story of exotic presents in far off lands.

Slowly, she informs me that in all her years of experience she has never seen a blue glass Estee Lauder face cream. And asks if it could be another brand. She points out a pale blue glass pot from another firm.

I am insistent. This is my brand. The colour is dark blue and it’s in a glass jar.

We discuss further the miniature-ness of my little pot and how it may have been a part of a set and has come from abroad and we deliberate the possibility that a different colour must be used there.

Her solution: I should return with my said jar and show them. Then they could find the matching German equivalent.

It is a good solution bar one point.

By the time I return my brand will no longer be half price. And if half price already made me feel dizzy then I’m sure as hell not going to pay full price.

I feel sad.

Later on at home I picked up my little pot and looked at it and this is what I saw:




Wild hair

When I woke up this morning
I had curls upon my head
Wild, twirling ringlets
My long straight hair had fled.

Time for school
So wake my son
Who takes a glance
Just one –
Starts to laugh and giggle
At his crazy looking mum.

Blurry eyed and sleepy
I catch sight of myself
In the bathroom mirror
That sits above the shelf.

What’s staring back at me?
I am shocked by what I see
Such a mon-stro-si-ty.

What have I done?
Where have I been?
I thought asleep
What was my dream?

But deep inside
No place to hide
A wish reveals itself:

No longer poker straight
Not lifeless
Not hanging there
But intertwined figures of eight!

The back-combing
To volumize
In my days gone by
Spiral perms, corkscrews
(Along with all the dye).

I feel a little excitement
Even though
I know
Anyone who saw me
Would think me mad from head to toe.

So I decide
For a little while
I’ll support my guise
The one that says to passer-bys

“I just got out of bed!”.

You see,
Between you and me:
My wild hair
Tells of my wild night
With my wild dreams
Which is a component
To be celebrated
Of that wild side
In me. 😉

Today is the first day of the rest of my life…

I got up this morning and impulsively decided that instead of designing the lava filled volcano birthday cake, that I’ve promised to supply in two days time, or doing the washing, or the dishes, or cleaning the house for the hoards of children that will come to the birthday party on Sunday afternoon, I would go shopping.

For myself.

I had had this image in my head the past few weeks of a floaty, summer, gypsy style dress I’d seen many times in the window of a local store. Reaching out to me, taunting, “You want me, don’t you?”

Until now, I’ve managed to ignore the urge. Well, until today.

Today, I dressed in my long straight-ish green dress and thought, “Oh my God!”

It’s not my first time of thinking, “Oh my God”, on dressing myself in the morning, over, say, the last three years. But today it really hit home.

In my head I am still the size 8 I was as a teenager. As a size 10 in my 20’s, my fantasy could still be maintained. The difference being negligible. But now heading on my daily curse to my 40’s I’ve suddenly realised: the top half of me is a size 12 and the bottom a wobbly 14.

And when I say that in my head I remain a size 8, I mean that when I look at clothes, my purchases are made with that in mind.

Hence the straight-ish green dress.

It’s not that I buy the wrong size. Just that I want to wear skinny clothes, and, of course, it doesn’t really suit.

I have avoided the glaring-at-me-truth for as long as I can. Not looking in mirrors very often is a typical trick. But today, I caught sight of myself and had to flinch. The dress itself is ok. The problem is, it accentuates the problem areas, being on the verge of straight.

An undeniable issue for me is also one of proportion. Almost three and a half years of breast-feeding and four caesareans have naturally taken their toll.

Boobs that prefer the direction south to north.

And a stomach that looks like an implant of an enormous wobbly jelly.

Plus there’s all that chocolate, cheese, cake and wine…

So this morning a decision had to be made.

Face facts Sarah. This is who you are.

Sarah wobbly belly.

Sarah south-facing boobs.

Now what about a floaty dress? Off to C&A and there I found it. The one remaining and in my size. Fate.

In my acceptingness of myself, I became excited. There were lots of pretty floaty things. And I tried them all on.

Although the allowance is only five articles in the changing rooms – Why is that? If I had seen an assistant I would have asked, “Am I only allowed to purchase five articles as well?” But I didn’t. See one. So I took in as many items as I could carry. In true standing with my rebellious self. And I bought more than five things as well…

On my way home in the car, (once I’d retrieved it, I had been convinced I’d left it on the first floor, and not the second one, where I later discovered it), I found myself feeling happy that I’d accepted myself. For who I am.

I know for a fact that my love affair with Mr Chocolate, Mr Cheese, Mr Cake and Mrs Wine are all far from over.

I know in my heart that half of the clothes that remain hopeful in my wardrobe, of seeing the light of day, are never going to be worn again. At least not by me. Especially not those green trousers, the ones that I can’t fit my bottom in, let alone attempt to close. That is just an unreachable dream.

I decide on my return home, that I will dismiss all unfitting clothing from my wardrobe, and donate it to anyone willing to take it off my hands.

I feel somehow, lighter. Free. I’m going to be ruthless.

Even with the few things I’ve kept since I was 18. Well, I’m going to try.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Perhaps this is what they mean by life begins at forty.

But to be honest, I realise that I have more pressing issues than my wobbling stature. Yesterday, I again did not remember to pick my daughter up from Kindergarten. I was on my way to collect her, on my round-trip to the shops. But somehow I managed to forget her, only realising partway into town. I had to turn around and drive back. At least this time though I noticed ‘something missing’ by myself and my son didn’t need to inform me.