Archive | December, 2012

Wrap it up…..2012

29 Dec

I know I’m officially on holidays but I thought I’d do a little wrap up of my best posts of 2012…..you know, in case you were missing me, and stuff.

(because I can’t stay away…..it’s an addiction, and I’m an addict, but it could be worse, right? No one ever sold their Granny’s tv, or hocked their box, for a blog post)

It’s been a super-mega year here in the Holsby camp, as you well know.

Although it feels like we’ve been BFF’s for, like, ever, I started Keeping Up With The Holsbys under a year ago (ten months to be precise) and I’ve said a lot in that time, because I love finally having an outlet for my humungous mouth.

Sometimes I’ve been funny, sometimes I’ve been yummy, hell, sometimes I’ve even been profound.

Here’s the ‘Top Eight All Time’ thought posts…..according to you, not me, but I’d probably mostly agree with you because you guys are pretty clever.

I’ve not included recipes in this wrap up as they’re popular for a whole load of other reasons. This is about how fabulously clever I can be……enough about me, what do you think of me?

Couldn’t help myself…..I love that cheesy gag.


Photos of Real Life Sexy Housewives

The Victorias Secret Diet

WANTED: ONE VILLAGE – Serious applicants need only apply

Love Thy Woodland Creature

A Letter of Complaint to the Manufacturers of the Female Anatomy

School of Porn

It’s Just Me

What’s Weird About Attachment Parenting and Human Cheese?

Love Christmas. Christmas Love.

25 Dec

treeI’ve had such a beautiful day.

Too much food, just the right amount of wine, lots of laughs, tearing of paper and I’ve tripped over more toys than I could poke a turkey leg at.

A truly spectacular day.

I had lunch with four generations of my family today. The eldest was 87 and the youngest was 7 months. That’s a lot of life in between, huh?
Kiki cried whenever Great-Grandpa came too close, but he does tend to be quite loud in her face due to profound deafness. It was very cool, though, and I know that days like these should be cherished because they are numbered.

I hope all of you have had a gorgeous day too…….and I hope you’re sitting back rubbing distended bellies, yet still wondering if you can fit in another tasty morsel. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
A celebration of food and love and good dose of gluttony.

I’m totally not yet ready for the day to be over, whilst simultaneously hankering for my bed as I was up at 5.30 because the nipple monster is in our room as her bedroom is occupied by Nana.

I just wanted to let you, my friends, know that I’m taking a week off. I’ve had a mega year with a new baby, and the books and the blog and, and, and…..I need a little break. I’m just going to enjoy my family for a little bit while my Ma n Pa are here…..then I can recharge my batteries and come back in the New Year and, you know, start back on the world domination plan.

2013 is already shaping up to be exciting, and I can’t wait to tell you all what going to be happening……..so, stay tuned, my lovelies…….I reckon you’re all going to love this ride!
There’s going to be a dinner party that you’re invited to, like, literally, not figuratively. More books, more videos, more laughs and more tears.
More life.

Be sure to like my Facebook page as there will still be Holsby love there and I’d hate you to get withdrawals in my blog absence.

With that I wish you a lovely Christmas evening. Put your feet up (try to con someone into giving them a rub, if you’re feeling lucky) and bask in the glow of the day that was.

I’m off to have a little cheeky Baileys…….a good way to end the day.

See you soon, peeps. xxx

A Christmas Present for all my readers………HO HO HO!!!

23 Dec

xmas card

It has been such a big and exciting year, and I want to thank you all for supporting me and loving me and sharing in my life.

I’ve never said this before, but although this started as a very personal thing, it’s turned into something much more exciting, and you are all very much a part of my journey.
What was simply self-expression has turned into personal growth and endless possibilities, but what I was not expecting was to make a whole load of new friends.

I know there’s many of you out there reading who do not comment (I’ve seen the stats), and I know many of you think what you think is not important to me……but, let me tell you-

It is.

I love hearing your thoughts. I love moving you to comment. I love when you engage.

I put a lot of myself into this blog, so when you engage it’s very fulfilling!

If you just like to watch, I respect that, and I thank you for wanting to know what’s going on in my world, and my kitchen.

Those of you that do comment, thank you. I feel as though we have become friends over the past 9 months, and my cyber Village has become as important to me as my real Village.

So, to each and every one of you I say -

Merry Fricken’ Christmas, Yo!!!

I would love to send every single one of you a bottle of Christmas cheer, alas, you are too far and wide (and plentiful!) for that sort of behaviour, so I am doing a super flash sale on my books.
For the first 25 readers to get in quick, I am selling the second book for only $2.50.
Yep, that’s $17.50 for both books.

You will receive 120 pages of family friendly recipes for a pittance!

For just 12 hours, the first 25 people to get in quick, get this super Christmas deal.
The perfect last minute gift for loved ones, and the ideal way to say ‘I love you’ to yourself this festive season.

two book deal image

GET IN QUICK – BUY HERE NOW

If that doesn’t smack of Christmas spirit, then I don’t know what does!!!

Jam By Another Name……Festive Marmalade and Chutney

21 Dec

marmalade jars Every year, usually around Boxing Day, I say I’m never doing Christmas hampers again…..but, then December rolls around and I start planning what’s going into this year’s hamper….

It’s a sickness.

It started many Christmas’ ago when I thought it would be a great tight-arse present to give people. Also, it’s brilliant to alleviate that cringe-worthy scenario when you receive an unexpected present and you’ve nought to give in return. This way, stuff some jam into their paws and you can pretend you were planning on giving them a gift all along.

I really do hate that though. It’s so awkward. It happened to me on the weekend, before I was all jammed up.

I suppose I need to be prepared from December 10th on, because any social gathering may end up in lop-sided gift awkwardness.

Another thing about gift giving is that is truly is an art. You know how some people ALWAYS give great presents, and other people give just ok ones? I’m an ok gift giver. I don’t seem to have the knack, but I can throw together a cracking hamper.

Stick to what you’re good at, I reckon.

I always plan to keep my hampers simple but then I get carried away because an anorexic hamper is just sad…..we like bountiful hampers. Abundant hampers. Hampers bursting with goodies that we can’t wait to sink our teeth into and we really don’t want to share.

This year’s hampers consist of -

  • Spicy Peach Chutney
  • Lime and Ginger Marmalade
  • Spekulaas (Dutch christmas cookies)
  • Chewy Salt Caramels
  • Fruit and Nut Sourdough

Past years have had things like marinated olives, or preserved lemons, marinated feta and Mini-Christmas Cakes.

You can see why I curse them every Boxing Day, right?

Anyhoo, I’m going to share some hamper love with you guys so you too can get into the tight-arsed, home-made Christmas spirit.

peach chutney

Spicy Peach Chutney

Yield : 2 medium jars (I made 3 batches)

What you will need :

  • 5 large ripe peaches, pitted and chopped
  • 1 Granny Smith, peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1cm ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 300g caster sugar

There are different schools of thought about how to cook peach chutney, namely, putting things in one at a time and letting that cook and getting a nice caramelise jammy thing going before you put the peaches in…..I say HELL NO!!! I’m on a tight time frame….go, baby, go!!!

What to do :

Chuck your onion into a heavy based pan over a medium heat. Cook for a couple of minutes.

Add your mustard seeds, spices, garlic and ginger and stir to combine.

When fragrant, add apple, sugar and vinegar. Stir.

Chuck in your peaches and get it onto a nice boil.

Leave for one hour until it is nice and jammy and yummy.

Put into sterilised jars and seal.

chutney yum

marmalade

Lime and Ginger Marmalade

If you don’t like zingy marmalade, I usually do this with a mixture of orange, lemon and grapefruit. It’s more mellow.

Yield : 6 jam jars

What you will need :

  • 800g limes, ends removed and finely sliced
  • 2 lemons, ends removed, finely sliced and seeds removed but kept to the side
  • 1 kilo caster sugar
  • 3cm ginger, finely chopped
  • water

Pop all of your fruit into a non-reactive bowl, and just cover with water. Leave overnight.

The next day, toss the fruit, water and all, into a large heavy-based pot and add your sugar and ginger.

Tie your seeds into a muslin (I just use a clean Chux wipe if I don’t have any) as they contain the pectin to help make your marmalade set.

Every recipe I’ve ever seen for jam says boil for 20 minutes, let me just say loud and proud, I HAVE NEVER MADE JAM IN 20 MINUTES.
Boil your jam, on a medium boil, for about 45 minutes. To test if it’s ready, place a saucer into the freezer and then drop some of your jam mixture onto the saucer. Run your finger through it and if it stays apart (think parting of the seas), then you’re ready to rock. Keep on a’boiling if she ain’t setting.

Pour into sterilised jars and seal.

Let’s have a chat about sterilising your jars. Here’s how I do it.

Stick your oven onto low, say 100C.
Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Gently lower your jars, and lids, into the boiling water and let them boil for 5 minutes.
Carefully remove and empty your jars and place them onto an oven tray. With steady hands, place your tray into the oven and leave the jars in there until they are dry.

Very carefully, put the hot jam, into the hot jars and seal tightly. As it cools it creates a vacuum and then your jam will keep for up to……I don’t know. It’ll keep, ok.

marmalade yum

Practical Parenting Magazine’s review of the Toddler Friendly Recipes Books….. I’ve hit the big time, Ma!!!

19 Dec

magazine clipWhen Practical Parenting Magazine told me they were going to feature my books in the January 2013 issue, I was proud as punch.

It’s not easy to get a feature in a magazine, so it felt like a little early Christmas present to know that they liked my books…….and I’m not even related to anyone in the office!

They told me it was out on the 15th December so I’ve been lurking around newsagents now for four whole days. Not all day, every day, I do have a life, I mean, I need to check Facebook and stuff, but I think the local shop keeps were starting to wonder if I was casing the joint.
One time, I bought D Man a lollypop because the lady started to look at me funny, but the rest of the time I was just cruising the aisles of motorcycle porn and well, porn porn.

But then, today it was there!!

I tore into it, rustling through the pages at the back of the shop like a 15 year old boy trying to look at a girly mag. I got to the end of the magazine and nothing??????!!!!

I checked the cover once more. January? Yep. Practical Parenting? Yep.

Ok, deep breath, and check slowly…………and suddenly, before my eyes, was the magazine debut of my recipe books. Admittedly, I could have done with a magnifying glass, but it was there in full-colour, by jingo, by jove!

Allow me to share my very first proper, printed book review -

GET CREATIVE IN THE KITCHEN

Written by funny mummy (they think I’m funny!) blogger, Danielle Colley, the Toddler Friendly recipe ebooks are full of tasty and easy recipes to temp (sic) little palates, as well as some great backstories and anecdotes.
Toddler Friendly Baking and Toddler Friendly Cooking are $15 each from http://www.keepingupwiththeholsbys.com/holsby-shop

We don’t see my name in print every day, so I knew you’d all be well chuffed for me…….hell, you might even decide that it is, indeed, the perfect Christmas gift for the person who has everything…..or the person that has nothing except a kid that needs to eat.

 

A Vision of a Man

17 Dec

dex washing basket

The strangest thing just happened to me.

The kidlets and I were walking home for lunch, after our morning out and as per usual D Man was bringing up the rear. He’s definitely all about the journey, stopping to pick flowers, pat garden ornaments and look at ants.
I’m usually about the destination, so I try to rush his adventure, even though it’s mostly fruitless.

I’d given him the ‘you’ve got until I count three’ a few times. It works pretty well, and I’ve never had to go into fractions, which is cheating if you ask me.

Anyway, he was picking up leaves from someone’s garden (I should so rent him out. He’d be a hit!), and I kept going for a few metres.

“Come on, babe. It’s lunchtime” I called

“I picking leaves, Mama”

“We’re running late for lunch. Come on, quick, I’ll race you”

I got bupkes. Nada.

“You’ve got until I count three’ I called, and he looked up with a great big smile and he started running towards me.

Just as he got into his stride I had this vision, and he wasn’t my little boy any more, but a big, broad shouldered, sandy haired man, with a wide smile, and deep grey eyes.

“Hi Mama” his deep voice said, taking my breath away.

Then in the blink of an eye he was gone, and D Man was standing before me, giggling.

“I beat you, Mama” he laughed.

“Yes, you sure did, my baby. You sure did.”

How cool/beautiful/freakin’ weird is that?

Waving A Rubber Chicken At The World.

16 Dec

rubber chickenI’ve been feeling decidedly un-funny lately. I love busting out a witty, quippy blog, but lately, I’ve not had a lot of meat on my funny bone.

I’m not sure, exactly, where my mirth went.

If funny is like serotonin, perhaps the last few months of amusing posts have been the equivalent of a three-day E bender and I’m in the midst of a funny come-down?
Surely, I haven’t used it up for good, cos it would suck if I had to go through life being profoundly un-funny.
Un-funny people are widely known to be bland, and please God, give me anything but bland.

I suppose, though, that humour is quite a subjective thing.

For instance, there are a number of very popular sit-coms that I have just never been about to get my head around. Big Bang Theory is one such show.

Many people, whose sense of humour I respect and chortle at, have said it’s actually very clever and I should give it a chance.
I simply cannot see the funny. A smirk? Maybe, but it ain’t Arrested Development.

Now, that’s funny.

A Never-Nude who wears denim shorts in the shower, a frozen banana stand and a magic show with ‘The Final Countdown’ as a soundtrack?
That shit is gold………and as much as I love it, Mister H doesn’t dig it.

He doesn’t think it’s funny.

So, it kind of begs the question; What is funny?

Why does one person think one thing is hilarious and someone else just doesn’t dig it? Is it intellect? Upbringing? Culture?

I personally find humor in the unexpected and the absurd……and farts. Also, I really hate canned laughter in comedies. Being told when to laugh is suggesting that I’m stupid. That I can’t work it out on my own. Who came up with that idea, to spell it out?
Somebody unconfident with their jocular prowess, no doubt.

E.B. White once wrote that “humor can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind.”

You know yourself that trying to explain a joke to someone just completely kills every little element of surprise, which is the thing that holds the amusement. So, you finish explaining it to them and they go ‘Ah ha’ and generally still don’t laugh because although now they understand the joke, they don’t get it. Which was the issue in the first place.

Let’s have a look at radio, which is a bit of a hot topic at the moment.

Are prank calls funny? Well, I’d sincerely love to look down my nose and say, nooooooooo, prank calls are for chumps, but the answer there is yes. It’s not high-brow humor, but it can be side-splitting.
I can remember spending hours making prank calls as a kid…. and nearly wetting my dacks with laughter.

I once heard of one where a husband rang the radio station on air and had to answer some questions about his marriage. Then they called his wife and if her answers corresponded with her husband’s, then the lucky couple won a holiday.

The final question was ‘Where did you last have sex?’

The hubby got all embarrassed and explained that it was a bit kooky because his mother-in-law is staying with them at the moment and while she was in the shower, this very morning, they had a quicky on the kitchen table.

They called the wife and she breezed through all of the questions and then they got to the final question of their last coital encounter.

She balked. She went all awkward. She stuttered and stammered and she queried whether her husband had really told them that detail?

Her husband assured her, just tell the DJ the truth, and they were home and hosed on their tropical vacation.

She took a deep breath, and with a little giggle, she responded -

‘Up the arse’.

The DJ couldn’t speak for a full two minutes. The rumor is, he laughed so hard he thought he was having a heart attack. The couple won the holiday though. Presumably for not suing the radio station for the mortifying joke they had just become.

I can’t speak for you guys, but I think that’s pretty funny. It’s funny because it was totally unexpected…..and embarrassing.

I do find other people’s embarrassment funny……does that make me a monster?

Naaaaaah.

What of this latest 2DayFM gag?

Just in case you live in a tent it was where the DJ’s rang the English hospital that was treating Kate Middleton for chronic morning sickness and they posed as the Queen. The nurse on duty divulged personal information about the Duchess and in the subsequent shit-storm allegedly took her own life.

There is no way anyone could have known what would happen in that phone conversation, and I dare say they would have been hoping for something unexpected and/or absurd. I’m not going to pass judgement on this situation, the whole world appears to have judged them enough.

I’m sad that the DJ’s are now getting death threats. That’s hardly going to fix things.

Anyway, I feel like a lot of unfunny things have been going on lately, and I reckon I’m not far away from pulling a rubber chicken on the Universe and waving it wildly.
Life is funny.

Even many of the shit bits are funny eventually.

Christmas Wishlist

13 Dec

Ok, let me preface this entire post by saying I don’t actually need anything this year.

My children are happy and healthy, and the recent return of my engagement ring is really present enough for this year…..now that I have that lovely sentiment out of the way, there are maybe a couple of little things that would improve the quality of my life.

I would love to be altruistic and ask everyone to buy a village a goat and call it Mrs H, or send school books to impoverished lands, and, of course, I definitely  encourage this behaviour, but I do love to receive a little somethin’ somethin’ under the Christmas tree, so I can jump up early on Christmas morning and with bleary eyes and morning breath, tear into the brightly coloured paper and have just a few moments of magic before the gluttonous festivities commence.

I am a consumer.

I love to give gifts and I love to receive gifts.

The thing is, whenever someone says, ‘what would you like for Christmas?’ I go completely blank and I can’t think of a damned thing I want.
I thought I’d pop together a few suggestions, in case you wanted to put something under my tree……

Robo-Vacuum

Robo-Vacuum

ROBO-VACUUM

I have made no secret about how I feel about vacuuming. I’m also a bit sick of the cat. I wonder if this is the perfect answer???

Grass Thongs

Grass Thongs

GRASS THONGS

I love walking bare foot in grass, but I’m finding that the grass out here in the ‘burbs is a veritable minefield. If i’m not hobbling from bindis, I’m getting dog-poo between my bare toes. These are the perfect solution and they can be worn year round.

Finger Food Picker

Finger Food Picker

FINGER FOOD PICKER

Eating with your hands is soooo 2012. This year, when I host parties, I want to dazzle everyone with some finger-food pickers. Hell, I could still eat even if all my other fingers were broken. One must be most mindful of not picking ones nose though, as no-one wants to dash their hostess with the mostess to Emergency with a punctured septum.

Wine Glass Bottle

Wine Glass Bottle

BOTTLE GLASS

I don’t think this really needs much of an explanation, but I definitely need one of these, please, Santa. Tell those elves that I might even need two.

Oops, I Did It Again Apron

Oops, I Did It Again Apron

BRITTANY APRON

I’m not really one for role play, but I reckon I could channel a little Brittany with an apron like this. Ironically, instead of protecting my clothes whilst cooking, it’s more likely to hide the banana and vomit stained atrocity underneath.

Bacon Marmalade

Bacon Marmalade

BACON MARMALADE

I love bacon. I love marmalade. Hello, pig gastronomy.

Wine Rack Sports Bra

Wine Rack Sports Bra

WINE RACK SPORTS BRA

This is freaking awesome!!! I love exercise. It really helps me with my mood, with my energy levels and with my sanity. I love wine for pretty much the same reason, and now it’s entirely possible to do a high-intensity session without spilling a drop.

Result!

Toastie Hand Warmers

Toastie Hand Warmers

TOASTIE HAND WARMERS

This house was really cold last winter and I often found as I was typing my fingers were frozen…..not with these toastie little rippers.
You plug them into your USB holes and they are heated. Who comes up with the stuff? Totally awesome genius’, ya.

Eat Fit Cutlery

Eat Fit Cutlery

EAT FIT CUTLERY

Once again, I love to eat and I love to work out….with time being so precious, why wouldn’t I try to fit more of both into my day? I think it may be awkward when my Pop-Eye arms bust out of my clothes because I’ve done too many reps over the silly season.

Sound Proof Headphones

Sound Proof Headphones

SOUND PROOF HEADPHONES

I probably won’t even listen to music. Silence truly is golden…..or I might crank a little ‘Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough’ while I vacuum.

Oh, that’s right, I won’t need to vacuum with my Robo-Vac.

Can’t wait for Christmas morning!

What are you hoping to see under your tree this year?

Pork and Fennel Pasta Bake…..just a little bit fancy

11 Dec

pork and fennel ing Out here in the Boondocks there are not so many great restaurants. I guess after living in Sydney’s dining epicentre, we were always headed for gustatory disappointment moving to the ‘burbs, but we live in hope, because even sub-urbanites need to eat, right?

For my birthday, back in July (July 7th, feel free to send gifts, money and/or champagne), Mister H and I ventured forth to one of the most expensive and well known dining spots in our locality – Black Water.

People had talked it up as one of the best, if not THE best restaurant in these here parts, and my man thought he’d give me a little birthday treat.

Let me preface this by saying, we don’t mind paying for great food, and great service is always such a delight…..did we experience this here?

Not so much.

The service was a tad underwhelming and the food was, well, it most certainly wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as great as the price would suggest.

One of the things we ordered was a pork ragout and something timbale. I thought that sounded interesting. I have an extensive experience in fine dining as I worked in about a gazillion great restaurants, so I know the lingo. I knew what to expect when I see the word timbale, but what I didn’t expect was pasta bake.

With a fancy name.

pork and fennel dex

That was a tad well-done and over-caramelised on the edges……..burnt pasta bake.

Fail.

Mister H tried brains, they were ok if you’re into that kind of thing (I’m so not), and the mains were good. Dessert was by far my favourite with an apple tarte tartin and some kind of yummy ice-cream (it was a while ago, I’ve eaten a few meals since!), but I will never forget that regrettable pasta bake.

I thought today I’d show those guys how to make an uptown pasta bake.

pork and fennel to cook

Yield : 6 serves

What you will need :

  • 120g speck or bacon, chopped
  • 600g minced pork
  • 1 spanish onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 350g penne pasta, or whatever shape floats your boat
  • 420g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 red capsicum, sliced
  • 1/2 cup red wine, or white if that’s all you have
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 heaped teaspoon fennel seeds
  • a good handful of fresh herbs like parsley, and/or oregano
  • 100g cheese, grated

If you want to go right uptown, you can add a layer of béchamel. Black Water did not…..nor did I this time, but I have before.

This time I just did a super thin layer of simple white sauce, flavoured only with a bay leaf.

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • a cup and a half of milk
  • a bay leave
  • salt and pepper

Melt butter in saucepan, add flour and stir. Leave to cook for a few seconds. Add milk and whisk to ensure no lumps. Toss in bay leaf and season and continue whisking until it thickens to coat the back of a spoon.

pork and fennel fini

What to do :

Fry up onion and garlic in a large heavy based pan. When translucent, add your speck and cook until fragrant and a little browned. Add your fennel seeds.

Toss in your pork and stir until cooked through. Throw in your capsicum, tomatoes, tomato paste and wine. Stir well to combine.

Chuck in your herbs and season to taste. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer with a lid on for about half an hour until sauce is thick and rich.

Meanwhile, pop on a pot of salted water and getting it to a rolling boil. Add your pasta and cook according to packet instructions.

Drain pasta and toss it into your finished sauce. Toss well to ensure all is well coated and throw into your oven dish

I did a really quick little white sauce that was about half the amount described in my bechemel recipe as I only wanted a thin layer rather than a lasagne type layer, but if you want to keep it simple, just throw on some cheese and be done with it.

Bake in the oven on 200C until it is browned and delicious looking.

Take that Black Water……that’s how you do an uptown pasta bake.

pork and fennel dex 2

 

If you want to see some more Toddler Friendly recipes, why not check out my books here.

If You Build It, They Will Come…..

8 Dec

building

I have always harboured a deep terror of groups of women.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my girlfriends, but I’m generally more of a one-on-one kind of girl or small groups of chicks at a push…….hen’s nights, baby showers, girls-nights-out and the like positively make me quiver in my cowboy boots.

Generally speaking, I have always been much more comfortable around groups of men. With all due respect, I feel that men are much simpler creatures……what they say is what they mean, what they ask for is what they want, and beer, food and blow jobs are currency.
Gotta respect that.

I can’t put my finger on exactly why I feel this way. Possibly a left-over thing from school – isn’t everyone’s hang-ups left over from school or childhood or some such traumatic period when hormone-addled, immature brains were hard-wiring future grown-ups with issues?

You may remember when I first moved to ‘Burb Vegas, I was experiencing deep feelings of isolation.

I spent hours in the park trying to pick-up friends, and if I needed any social interaction I needed to drive across the city to my old ‘hood……not that I’m averse to getting out and about but with two kids in tow, often by the time you get there, it’s time to head home for someone’s nap or other routine related fun-ness.

After a beautiful stint home to my fam, I decided what I needed was to build a Village.
Somewhere where I had support.
Somewhere where I had a place to chat and vent and cry and laugh…..and most, most importantly, drink tea.

I needed to get me some friends. Stat.

I thought, in case you were up at night worried about me, that I’d let you know where my hankering for a Village now stands.

I have one.

I have a lovely one.

A chance meeting in a supermarket with an old friend, led to a catch up here and there. She knew some people, I met some people, and we all started to meet casually on a Thursday morning.

It’s not a mother’s group, per se, but we are all mothers. We don’t talk soley about our husbands and children, but they certainly feature because we’re women.
A group of beautiful, interesting, strong, funny women.
It seems I may be over my fear.

I read recently an article about how an hour with your girlfriends is equivalent to an hour with a therapist, but cheaper and with more giggles.
I’d have to agree.
It’s not that I need to see a therapist – well, I could probably do with a little stint, let’s be honest – but there is something about the way women connect through sharing stories that allows a feeling of ‘thank Christ, it’s not just me’.

We vent.

We use each other as sounding boards.

We share the weight of our lives.

Guys connect through doing stuff.
Not necessarily guy stuff, but they don’t talk the way women do, as a general rule. They mostly stick to ‘dude’ topics………I know it’s a broad sexist statement, but I swear, it’s the truth.

After an hour with my friend, I know how she’s feeling about her life, her relationships, her work, her stuff.
Mister H will often come home with a mere snippet of information about the person he’s spent time with.

How many times have you had a conversation with a guy where he’ll drop something juicy, and you ask for more info and he looks all blank.

“What? He found out his wife is having an affair? Who with??”

“I don’t know. I didn’t ask”

????????????????

“What? He lost his job with no warning and was given 10 minutes to leave the building? Why?”

“I don’t know. He didn’t say.”

????????????????

Did he ask details? No. Probing questions? Of course not.

Naturally, if a guy WANTS to talk feelings, his guy friends listen and may even offer advice but they don’t do it like we ladies do.

A cup of tea and I’ll tell you all my feelings, a glass of wine and I’ll spill all my beans. A whole bottle?
(New York accent) Forget about it.
Not everyone is like me, of course. I am a sharer.

Anyway,I digress…… I have a Village now.

One of my Villagers has started training me in boxing. We bash each other around a park and I love it.

Another has offered to jump on board with Holsby TV because she wants a creative outlet.

I received a mega bag of hand-me-downs for the first time in my children’s existence. I love hand-me-downs.

Recently, I dropped D Man to the another Villager while I went to tell the Fuzz about the crazy shit that happened to me this week.

Someone else pops around with her kids in the witching hour so we can kill that crazy bit of time before the dinner/bath/bed vortex.

I have people to give my cooking failures to and we break down where it all went wrong.

I am a part of something. A Community.

As this community feeling grows, and our friendships strengthen, I have come to understand something very important.
It does take a Village to rise a child, but more importantly, it takes a Village to keep a mother sane.

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