Come back September, all is forgiven

Now, I’ve already written something about my less than fondness for September, but in hindsight, I think my rant was misplaced. You see, this year, October is really taking the mick.

Just to summarise our current position, late October: we are recovering from apple purgatory and now find ourselves slap bang in the middle of birthday hell, with regular parties to attend, presents to buy and presents to wrap. Christmas is looming on the horizon, as is Little B’s second birthday and the inevitable birthday cake baking fiasco, meaning that I lie awake each night contemplating how difficult it would be to model an Iggle Piggle out of fondant icing, and how many cake-baking practice runs I can get away with before causing a national egg shortage.

In addition and against my better judgement, I will also be voluntarily throwing a toddlers’ Halloween party on Monday, and as feared, the pumpkin table cloth ordered on Amazon has not yet arrived.

As you can see, I’m being kept quite busy at the moment, thank you very much. So, what I really didn’t need was for October to throw into the mix a chest infection for Little B, an evil head cold for me  (as well as a 2 hour vomiting session which may or may not have had something to do with my over enthusiastic consumption of barbecue pop chips), and a requirement for my husband to work unprecedentedly long hours.

I’ll not lie, it has been a tough month. I have had no time to blog and my ironing pile is now less of a pile and more of a room. However, I have been here before and I am not taking this one lying down. I refuse to be beaten and I refuse to risk a repeat of last year when I spent October and November in a permanent state of cake-baking-present-buying hysteria, only then to become the unfortunate recipient of a free family pass to Gastroenteritis, complete with complementary one-night hospital stay.

Nope, this year I intend to embrace the power of positive thinking, attempt the art of prior planning, and focus on my health.  In particular, I plan to do the following (possibly):

Practice making that birthday cake well in advance and know my limits

cake 1 (2)

Last year’s horror

Just like last year, it would appear that I have again ridiculously overestimated my abilities and so rather than learning from prior experience and opting for a shop-bought cake for Little B’s birthday, I will be attempting the whole homemade shebang for a second time, whilst desperately trying to cling on to the remnants of my sanity. There is potential for it to end in tears. Again.

To minimise the inevitable trauma, my only option is therefore practice, practice, practice. I’m under no illusion that practice will make perfect. I’m just hoping that practice will make a cake. Of some sort.

Finish my Christmas shopping well before Christmas

Given that Christmas is supposed to be the season of goodwill, it really does bring out the worst in people, and it’s already started: there are hints of trolley barging in supermarkets; female shoppers have already begun passive-aggressively browsing the Boots 3 for 2 aisles while their husbands trail behind them, their wills to live having last been sighted at the perfume section in Debenhams. And things will only get worse.

This year I will not suffer the misery of last minute Christmas shopping. This year I will buy all my Christmas cards well in advance and before December. And this year,  in no circumstances will I find myself in the fridge aisle of any Marks and Spencers store muttering threats of grievous bodily harm towards fellow shoppers. Not this year.

Make our house hyggelantern-827784_1920

I’ve read about this hygge thing and I like the idea. I’m all for cosiness, and anything that
purports to make Autumn slightly less rubbish than it already is, is worth a try in my opinion. Quite how I’ll manage to achieve a hygge home is another matter however.  Nevertheless, it’s on my list, and the plan is to be hygged up to the eyeballs by Christmas.

Work on improving my diet (a little bit)


How I’m currently getting my five-a-day

While the official line was that I had a stomach bug, I’m not entirely convinced that the excessive barbecue pop chip consumption did not in some way contribute to my 2 hour vomiting stint at 2am on that cold Wednesday night. Irrespective of whether or not the sickness was self-inflicted, there’s nothing like lying on your bathroom floor in the middle of the night to make you think that you should probably focus a little more on what you’re putting into your body and try to make healthier choices. It’s not that I don’t enjoy healthy food: I do. It’s just that I also enjoy chocolate and crisps. In large quantities. And in place of meals.

So these are my plans (for the moment, anyway). Wish me luck! I’ll let you all know how it goes, but if you don’t hear from me for a week or so, assume I’m sat in the corner of my kitchen clutching a bag of pop chips, while surrounded by miniature Iggle Piggles and copious amounts of wrapping paper and cake crumbs.

To be honest, it wouldn’t be the first time….

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September, we meet again….

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Well, here we are again, September. You don’t waste any time, do you? August has barely packed up her flip flops and there you are, mooching about with your darker nights, cold winds and frizzy hair.

I’ll be frank, September. You get on my wick. Here’s why.

You saunter in all coy when no one’s looking, and then take delight in screaming ‘AUTUMN’S COMING!’ at the top of your voice.

Yes, we’ve had some sunny days this year and as someone with a naturally pale blue complexion, I’m looking almost beige for once, and I’m grateful. But the thing is, September, I was just getting into the swing of summer and I was not ready for you to show up yet.

You see, two weeks ago and for the first time in about 3 months, I wangled some time for myself and chose to go clothes shopping.  Do not underestimate me when I say that I have not had size-appropriate summer clothes for a VERY LONG TIME.  For once, I splurged on some beautiful, flattering summer outfits and was really excited about wearing them. So, September, when you then rocked up unexpectedly last week with your rain and your pungent whiff of autumn, I was more than a little bit narked.  Because you see, now, as well as still having absolutely nothing to wear, I have a further problem in the form of a large pile of redundant new clothes, cluttering up my bedroom. Yeah, nice one September.

You start the countdown to apple purgatory.
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Frigging apples

Since moving house early last year and inadvertently taking ownership of the arboreal curse that is the apple tree, your arrival now means that I will shortly be picking, peeling, slicing, chopping, grating, stewing, steaming, pureeing, boiling and eating apples for at least 4 weeks on the trot; after which time the neighbours to the left of us will drop off another MASSIVE bag full of apples from their garden, ostensibly as a friendly gesture, but actually because they cannot stand the sight of the smug pip-riddled fruit anymore either.  The whole process of peeling, slicing, chopping etc. will then have to start again.

But that’s not all. A few days later, our neighbours to the right will also present us with a bag of the offending omnipresent frigging fruit.  By this point I will have almost cracked, and my kitchen will begin to morph from that of a failed and frazzled member of the Women’s Institute into a DHL-style distribution centre, as I try to dispose of the surplus fruit by bagging it up and arranging for its delivery to the homes of all of the people we know (and some of the people we don’t).  And I will not care if they are also in the midst of apple tree hell.

You’ll already be aware, September, that we also have a plum tree. As do our neighbours. On both sides. I think you know what I’m saying here.

You give me only 30 days to prepare for the hideous onslaught of birthdays that occur in October and November.

Admittedly, it’s not your fault that our NCT group had another 8 mums, meaning that 8 toddlers will have their birthdays in the space of two months and I will be required to find separate presents for almost all of them. Not to mention the fact that, my daughter, my sister-in-law, my three nephews, two friends and two friends’ babies also all have birthdays over that same period. That’s seventeen birthdays, September.  SEVENTEEN BIRTHDAYS in less than 2 months.

Despite the level of preparation required, September, you continue to put in one day less than most of the other hardworking months, just because April, June and November say it’s ok. Your lack of commitment means I have one less day to get myself organised at this ridiculously busy time of the year.  Shame on you.

You lead the march towards Christmas.

See paragraph regarding birthdays, above.  You do this to me, and then there’s Christmas too?  Are you having a laugh?

You remind me that I’ll soon have to find an alternative to my emergency afternoon trips to the park.

While you play outdoors with your three best friends, Cold, Misery and Drizzle, I will be increasingly stuck in the house because the prospect of going outside to end up with frizzy hair and a wet unhappy toddler does not appeal.  Over the summer, I have become used to taking full advantage of emergency visits to the park when my toddler refuses to nap in the afternoons. What do you expect me to do now, September?  Stay inside while my toddler and I take turns to climb the walls, pausing only to eat yet more apple/plum pie, apple/plum crumble, apple/plum cake, apple/plum sauce, or some other apple/plum-based concoction?  Or perhaps stay in and make use of my toddler’s advanced tablet skills by having her help me search online for 17 individual birthday presents? And I suppose while we’re doing that, I could also have her help me list my new unworn summer wardrobe on Ebay.

I bet you’ve never even thought about it, have you, September? And you wonder why they only ranked you 9th out of 12 whole months…

September, I doubt we will ever be friends.  I know you’ve got your job to do, but once it’s done,  I’d appreciate it if you could just pick up your mist and brown leaves and bugger off home at your earliest convenience. Oh, and when you get there, please let October know that I’d like a quick word.

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