Monday, May 30, 2011

Standing at the crossroads, hoping lady luck is watching

As some of you know, the last couple of years have been very difficult for my family and I.  We decided to move to Portugal, as my husband had been offered a good job with better money, he had been looking for equivalent positions in England but had been unsuccesful, not sure why.  I had just been made redundant from my job and we were standstill.  So when this opportunity came along, we took it.  It was good to start with but unfortuantely after a year, my husband was made redundant and things became difficult.  We decided not to go back to England (right or wrong) as our house was rented (nowhere to live) and we still wanted to give it a go here. 

When we arrived in portugal, my plan was to learn the language and get a job but portuguese is a very, very difficult language and Im a little ashamed to say, after almost 3 years my portuguese is weak.  I have done an EFL teaching course but have been unable to find work.  But with family support we have managed to weather the storm and hold on, but there have been tears, sleepless nights and shouting and a lot of unhappiness and stress and we are not out yet.  My husband is working now, but the job is not good at all, there are no conditions to do his job and is not a situation which can be sustained.  So we are really no further along and in no way secure.

But out of nowhere came an interview this weekend, so we packed up and drove all the way (almost all the way) to the other end of the country to Porto.  Courtesy of a contact, we stayed in a beautiful 5star hotel, Hotel Infante Sagres, and he had a long interview, hopefully a good sign.  The job is good, but means he would need to be away for several months, which I can deal with if the conditions are right and will be in our benefit to do it.  So by wednesday we will know, or we have another option.  We are looking at the possibility of renting a bar in town, the bar is all fitted out ready to go, but its risky in this climate, but to stay as we are is not sustainable either.  So we are at the crossroads, trying to find the right path to a better life, keeping our fingers crossed for better times. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Some things about me

1. I have done a bungy jump in New Zealand  which is the most amazing place in the world and if you haven't been, you must go!

2. I love roses, (but never get given any, boo hoo)

3. I hate bad drivers and rude people, especially people who invade your private space or push you out the way.

4. One of my big frustrations is going into a shop, where they have clearly given NO thought to a mother with a pushchair, meaning either I can not go into the shop, thereby the shop loses a potential customer or I have to leave my child at the door, like lugguage.

5. My dream is to win the lottery, so not only could I change my life but also others by creating jobs and opportunities for education.

6. I have not had a holiday for almost four years.

7. My favourite colour is Red.

That's some things about me, I would love to know some more about you too.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oh why the procrastination!

I am a procrastinator, always have been but never really understood why. Im sure there must be a reason why some are and others aren't. Maybe it is upbringing, maybe personality. I find it a very annoying trait in me, but have been doing it as long as I remember, whether it was that homework due in two weeks and left to the last minute or an appointment which I really must make, but find everything else to do instead and put it off. I could say it was things I didnt like doing or new things that I may be fearful of, but even things I like doing I sometimes put off.

I think part of it is new things, as I have become an adult and settled into a secure routine, I find that more than often I am loathe to change my routine or comfort level, even though I know it is necessary or needed. My husband tries to push me along, but the more he pushes, the further my heels go in, like the pony who doesnt want to go.

But the problem with this is normally the things I am procrastinating about are in someone else's benefit, normally my children. And my procrastinating ends up biting me in the arse when I come to find that I can no longer do what needs to be done, because I have procrastinated too long. But why, I wish I knew, oh why the procrastination (huff)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Why we are never happy


Happy Monday to you all, who are nice enough to drop by for a read.

I was looking on Facebook at my friends status updates and it griped me a little. Now Im not the most positive person, far from it, most of the time I am a 'glass half empty' kinda girl for my sins. But there was one of my friends who, how do I put this without offending, she had two girls quite young, is single and has not worked in years, nuf said, think you get the idea. So she has just gone out and got herself a job, really good on her, she has been doing it a week or so, but now she is moaning because she has some reading to do on a sunday night before going to work the next morning (although she is in her training period). I had another friend some time ago, who moaned about having to work, period, this was a time when my husband was out of work, and desparately wanted to work and I couldnt help but be annoyed.

But why are we never happy with what we've got, not in a 'I can do more' way but just in a constant discontented way. It's like we like to be unhappy, to moan, to want something other than what we have, which is often what we started out wanting in the first place.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Waiting for the magic!

I have had this blog for just over a year, I started it as a kind of record of my life as an expat mum, an outlet, a diary, but in the last few months I have been putting a lot more effort into it, posting more and trying to learn about what makes blogging successful.  I started to use it also as a business tool, but decided I wanted to keep the two separate and so set up another one. As I started to join other sites and do other things, I have slowly seen my blog develop, but slowly. But it feels like it has become addictive, as I get more hits, more comments and trying to push it forward to develop. It's like Im waiting for something magic to happen, although Im not sure what that is, I have recently got a twitter account and have quickly gained some followers, which I am really pleased at, but sometimes I have to pull myself away from this computer because it feels like all I do, wait for the magic to happen.

So off I go, have a great weekend.

BTW, if you read my blog and like it, even a little, please follow me and make my hard work worth it, if you change your mind, you can always drop me and I will work harder to get you back.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jumping fences


So yesterday evening, I went to take my trash out, here in Portugal you generally dont have your own wheelie bin like in england, where you just open the door and chuck it in the bin, you have a shared large bin, normally within 100m of your house. So I said to my 5yr old, where I was going and to let me in when I knock. So she said ok and carried on playing. I left the door open a touch but knew it would probably shut as it was breezy. As I was walking away towards the bin, I hear the door slam, and thought nothing of it. After dropping the trash, I turn around to see Sophie standing outside the door and my mind panics. I run towards her, desperately hoping the slam I heard was before she came out and the door was still open, but of course not. So here we are standing outside our house, with my 21 month old sleeping upstairs and no keys, ALL keys are inside the house. So I start thinking, all walls and windows are quite high, so would be difficult to get in, ah I can go through the garage, I'll just ask my neighbours to let us into the block and we can go through there (as we always leave our garage open, except today of course!). So then I think, kitchen, one of our kitchen windows doesnt close so I can put sophie through there, but it's full of glasses, so too risky she may cut herself if they get broken (dont really want to be going to the hospital as well). What are we going to do? In the end, I had to lift her up onto a 5ft wall (im only 5'3") which has a small ledge for her to climb over, try to get onto the bbq and jump or climb onto the floor. It was risky, in bare feet with little to stand on and little way for me to hold her if she fell, but she did it and I think she quite enjoyed it too. So next time, for god sake, take the key with you!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Social Media Revolution


Do you use social media, eg facebook, twitter etc, WHO DOESNT?  See this video, for why you should, especially for business, it is the way forward.  Amazing

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Hi All,

I read this article today and was horrified, what messed up world do we live in where we give our children botox and that they think they have wrinkles at EIGHT years old. It is outrageous and Im sorry but I think that constitutes abuse, just because a child wants something doesnt mean they should have it.  How is it even legal to give a child botox injections, surely there is an age limit on things like this, unless for medical purposes.  And how is this child going to view herself when she gets older, she's 8 with body issues already and obviously puts a great amount of importance on her looks.   Why cant we let our children be children!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Foreign Flavours

My oldest daughter, Sophie has spent half her life in England and half in portugal. She was 18 months old when she had her first king prawn. Now we are in portugal, and some of the food is very different. She loves olives, which is not too unusual, but she regularly eats all kinds of seafood, pigs ears etc. All she is willing to try most things. But the thing I am constantly amazed at is her love of snails, yes snails, escargot. It is very common this time of year to have snails, you see people along the side of the road picking them out of the grass. Now the idea completely grosses me out, to eat a common garden snail you see in the grass- no matter how well you cook it. But she happily tucks into these huge snails, which just look like a very nasty large snot to me, but she loves it. But then, she has no other impression of it, whereas to me, it is not right to eat a garden snail or any other.

I know it can be a delicacy in France, but how many people commonly eat these things.

Monday, May 9, 2011

My weekend treat

This post makes me sound so sad. This weekend I had a special treat, I went out by myself with a couple of girlfriends, something I have not done in a long, long time. Not even since we moved to portugal. So it was a real treat for me to get out and be 'an adult' not just a mother and a wife. It felt strange though, and I was nervous, would I be interesting (these are people I've known for a while but never been out without our families), would I get too tired and want to go home (extremely sad)!!

But we hit a few bars, time went so fast and it was nice and relaxed. We came out of one bar and everything was closed, I was like 'what time is it?' and it was 1am!! oh my god but it was so nice to be out and doing something without husband or kids. Although, some more time spent with hubby without kids wouldnt go a miss, if only we could find a free babysitter!!

But I was a bit rough the next day, I dont do hangovers anymore!!

Must do it again soon.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Do you ever......

Do you ever have times when you feel like you are in the wrong place and have lost your way? Im having one of those days, when it doesnt feel right and I dont know where I should be or more importantly how to get there. I feel Im on the wrong path but dont know how to get to the right one. In its simplest of terms I know what I want and its fairly simple but Im at a loss how to get there. But there has to be a way.

Enough bellyaching...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Being a mum....

is not always easy or enjoyable. My little Grace, 21 months old has a

terrible cold, almost worse than I have seen in her, she is miserable, nose streaming, has a horrible cough and is just generally uncomfortable, with not a lot I can do to help, except wipe her nose and give her cuddles. But along with all this discomfort comes the sick, she has been sick 3 times in 36 hours and everytime she coughs I prepare myself as she always seems to get me in her path. We have tiled floors with mats in various places, these have been removed to reduce the cleaning effort involved (im tired of scrubbing carpets) and I hope she will be better very soon. Compared to her sister she has been quite a sicky child, but as a mother you accept and get used to (well most of us) the bodily fluids that you come into contact with.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I feel like chicken tonight!

I dont feel like a chicken, I fancy chicken for dinner. I always remember that advertising campaign for the chicken sauces 'chicken tonight', the ones you remember are the best. Sometimes I dont even remember what they are selling, let alone remember the actual advert!!

So Im wracking my brain as to what to do with this chicken, it's always quite improvised and last time was really tasty, but how do I want it tonight? Im not a very good cook, and sometimes I think I have a tendency to add to many flavours and it comes out tasteless.

So if anyone has an ideas for tasty chicken dishes, please let me know!