Yes, they're twins. Both of them!

Everyday experiences with twins. The ups, downs and downright unexpected.

The new tenants July 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 6:45 pm
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This morning we popped over to our house to meet our new tenants. I’m beginning to wish we hadn’t.

We were greeted by our letting agent, who was wearing her best, ‘don’t ask, I’m handling it’ smile, and we soon understood why.

Mrs Tenant clearly wears the trousers. As her husband struggled to single-handedly unpack the hired van full of sofas, beds and the rest of their worldly goods; she held court in the front garden, explaining to us all in great detail exactly what is wrong with our house.

The garden is in an appalling state, the dishwasher isn’t German, she needs not one but two sheds, and there’s a shelf missing in one of the kitchen cupboards.

She doesn’t like the woodwork, or the floors, and she doesn’t understand the heating controls. And did she mention that the oven is disgustingly dirty? In her apartment in the city, her tenants could eat their meals off her floors apparently.

Don’t even tempt me…

Bear in mind we hadn’t actually introduced ourselves yet. I considered pretending we were dropping off a parcel and had no idea who the owners were, but sadly, my cunning plan was thwarted by the children who were already heading off to the big brother’s tree house with more than a little familiarity in their surroundings.

Twinsdaddy drew a deep breath and prepared to go into battle with Mrs Bossy Knickers. Mr Tenant busied himself with a headboard and I headed off into the garden. Some time alone in a wide open space was called for.

The list of demands continued for some time and twinsdaddy, showing remarkable patience under extreme pressure, managed to avoid all but the most sensible requests.

The gardener is already booked for this weekend, the oven is going to be professionally cleaned, the shelf isn’t missing and I’m sorry, the nationality of the dishwasher is somewhat out of our control.

And then the mother-in-law turned up.

Typical Cotswold stock. A lady of solid construction and a face like a British bulldog. She was wearing the classic uniform of a 65+ female in this area. The stripey shirt and padded gilet with pale jeans and practical, flat boat shoes. I don’t care if Kate Middleton has been seen wearing them; they’re only acceptable when boating, and at last look, the Cotswolds was pretty well landlocked.

She was also sporting the jauntily tied neck scarf and of course, an obligatory string of large pearls round her chubby neck.

She looked me up and down, then cast an eye over to where the children were playing.

“Are they all yours?”, she enquired.

When I confirmed they were, she uttered, “Good grief”, before pulling a face that can’t possibly have been meant as a compliment, then turned and walked off.

30 seconds later, she turned and headed back to me and I naïvely thought she may have realised her comments were perhaps, a little unfriendly and she’d returned to try again. Oh no.

“And your garden’s in an appalling state. I do hope you’re getting it sorted quickly”.

We made our excuses and decided to leave the agent to it.

“Lovely to meet you”, we shouted as we almost ran back to the car.

And then the parting pièce de résistance from Mrs Bossy Knickers.

“We’d probably like to stay longer than a year, so if your plans change, do let us know”, she shouted.

Fat bloody chance!


What a difference a week makes March 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 1:27 pm
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So I’m back in the sandpit.

Back on Mummy duty.

Back to the normal routine and responsibility for my 3 little people.

I can’t tell you how great it is!

Don’t get me wrong. I had a truly fabulous time in Sydney. The wedding was lovely. It was great to spend some quality time with my best friend and have a proper catch up. Our once a year meet-ups just aren’t enough.

But as I walked through the front door at 5am yesterday morning, I felt a wave of familiarity and a huge surge of relief that I was back at home. My son hugged me within an inch of my life and then we cuddled in his bed and read Horrid Henry together.

The twins were beside themselves shouting simultaneously for “mummeee cuggles” and then promptly turned into little limpets who refused to leave my side all day.

There were no cross words, no bad behaviour and I must have been kissed a thousand times.

I think I should go away more often.


Finally… October 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 9:26 am
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It is official. We are no longer homeless.

Ok, so we were never actually homeless, but for the past few months, we have been in-between houses having sold our last home in the UK, but struggled to complete on the deal for the new place. For the first time in 13 years, we didn’t own our own home and it was a very unsettling feeling.

We’ve always maintained that wherever we are in the world, if we are all together, then that’s home. But the reality is, however much we enjoy our expat perks, we will forever be drawn back to the UK and when we talk about home, it’s not Dubai, but England that we refer to.

I don’t know how long we will stay here in the Middle East and when we will return to the UK, but there is a huge sense of relief that when we do decide to leave the sandpit, we know exactly where we are going back to. I know what our home looks like, where it is situated and which schools the children will attend.

If I’m honest, I’ve also mentally redesigned the kitchen and all the bathrooms, re-decorated every room and am now thinking of curtain options.

We’ve thoroughly tested our new ‘local’ in the village, I’ve checked that Waitrose do deliver to the new address (no, I won’t be shopping in Daylesford!) and we’ve decided where the cat flap needs installing so we can reclaim our lovely moggy Freddie, who has been fostered by my parents since the Arabian Adventure began.

If the last few weeks have taught me anything, it has been that I will NEVER again move house. The road to our dream Cotswold home has been long and painful. We have dealt with lies, greed, dishonesty and selfishness by the bucket load. We had a crooked estate agent and deceitful vendors. Throw into the mix that we’re about 3500 miles away, and you can appreciate that the entire experience was a little testing.

At one point last week, my other half was threatening to board a plane and insert large blunt objects into one chosen individual at our favourite estate agency, Knight Frank-ly Useless. He wasn’t especially complementary about the vendors either, but we were working on the basis that hospitalising them wouldn’t help us to secure the property. It was still incredibly tempting though.

When the call finally came through that legally there was no going back, I’m not sure that either of us fully grasped the situation. We had a bloody large drink each and sat with silly grins on our faces.

If the truth be told, I’m still grinning.