Yes, they're twins. Both of them!

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

We’re having fun! June 19, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 12:25 am
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Last weekend we headed to Devon to stay with the big brother’s very best friend, who used to live next door to us in our pre-Dubai days. The dates had been booked in the diary for some time and on paper, the weekend held great promise. 3 days in Devon, in June, at the end of the half term week. We envisioned sunny weather, lazy evenings in the garden catching up over a jug of Pimms, children happily frolicking in a paddling pool…

How foolish are we?

For those who watched the Jubilee celebrations on television, you’ll know full well that the UK is enjoying something akin to monsoon season. It’s become so bad that the water companies have even lifted their hose pipe bans, something that hasn’t happened in over 2 years in some areas.

However, not ones to be deterred from “having a good time” we pressed on regardless with plans for a day trip to Sidmouth beach. Sensibly kitted out in fleeces, jeans and hoodies, we marched the children along the sea front enjoying the bracing sea air. The little people played happily on the shingle gathering pebbles and driftwood, whilst the adults enjoyed a long overdue natter.

Exhilarated by the sea air it wasn’t long before the conversation turned to food and, being at the seaside, there was only ever one option… fish and chips, out of the paper, sitting on the beach.

After bringing the chip shop to a halt as an embarrassingly indecisive group of 9, “I’ll have sausage” shouted the boys, “or maybe fish?”, “do they have haddock?”; we finally collected our order just as the grey clouds began to gather.

Our friends suggested that maybe we should eat inside rather than braving the beach, but full of the enthusiasm of expats used to non-stop sunshine and rain falling just twice a year; twinsdaddy and I dismissed such a ridiculous suggestion, rallied the troops across the road and down onto the beach.

Even before we had chance to sit down, those lovely grey clouds decided to open, dropping big, fat raindrops on us as we attempted to unwrap the food.

In fairness, the three older children took it pretty much in their stride. The two Devon natives have clearly seen a lot worse, and the big brother revelled in the opportunity to eat like a savage and for once, get away with it!

The twins however, being of an age where every detail is observed and commented on, were utterly perplexed.

“Isn’t it fun eating on the beach”, shouted twinsmummy (volume adjusted upwards to compete with the squall).

“Why are we eating outside mummy?”, asked the blonde, “It’s raining”.

“And it’s cold”, added the brunette, with the hint of a shiver.

“But isn’t it fun?”, twinsmummy continued undeterred. “Isn’t it GREAT to be eating outside?”

“But my food is getting wet”, observed the blonde. The brunette nodded in agreement.

I squirted additional ketchup onto their chips expecting joyous thanks but was met instead by quizzical faces and silence.

“Mmmmm yummy”, I ventured, hopeful that my enthusiasm was contagious.

It wasn’t.

But I’m not one to give up at the first hurdle.

I’ll make hardy British kids out of them yet!





Feels like winter November 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 2:52 pm
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Since we got back from holiday, the temperature in Dubai has noticeably dropped. It is now no longer reaching 30 degrees at any point of the day, and by nightfall, it is positively cool. Yesterday, there were even clouds in the sky!

Now by UK standards, this would be classed as a warm summer’s day, but not here. My body has become conditioned to living in hot places. 4 plus years in Singapore, and now into our 3rd year here in the UAE, and I now see winter as around 25 degrees and sunny.

But here’s the weird thing. I have an inbuilt urge to wear winter clothes. It must be my thoroughly British DNA that I find myself picking out long sleeves and jeans in the morning to do the school run. I’ve put the children in their winter pyjamas, and my son goes to school in a sweatshirt each morning. I’ve even got my Uggs out!

Surely this can’t be normal? When it gets to 25 degrees in the UK, they’re wearing hot pants in Tesco and the majority of the male population find it no longer bearable to wear a top at all. Yet here, we’re reaching for the merino wool cardis and wondering where we hid the bedsocks (cashmere, naturally).

What on earth is going to happen when we head to the UK for our Christmas holiday in 3 weeks time? I worry we will land in Birmingham and wither, as we head out of the terminal into no doubt, near freezing weather.

And it’s not just the clothing. 4 out of the 5 of us are currently nursing stinking colds. You know, the type normally brought on by cold, damp English November mornings, no daylight hours and an over reliance on central heating.

I found myself this morning staring longingly at the superweight quilts in the White Company, and perusing the woolly hats and gloves with a desperate temptation to buy them. Yet any Europeans arriving for a holiday in Dubai, would surely be delighted with the climate and making the most of the hotel swimming pool.

For us seasoned expats, comments are now being muttered about it being “too cold” for swimming. Frankly it’s a worry.

For many, leaving an expat posting is a cultural adjustment. For us, when the time comes, I fear it will be more environmental. And heaven help our heating bills!


Packing Pains July 3, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 9:58 am
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I’m trying to get organised in preparation for our trip back to the UK next week. On Friday, we all fly back, with the children and I planning to stay for almost 8 weeks. This, as you might imagine, requires some fairly careful packing.

For my son it’s relatively simple. A pair of jeans, a pair of trousers, a couple of pairs of shorts and t-shirts various. Throw in his one ‘good’ shirt for any posh occasions and he is ready to go. He has been planning his hand luggage for weeks and there are piles of key books and toys strategically placed around the house with instructions not to be moved under any circumstance. I caught him searching for boxes of raisins for his hand luggage at least a week ago. The boy is keen!

My husband is only with us for a week so he will adopt his usual method of packing. Whatever is clean at the time of packing will go with him. He doesn’t worry about having his favourite shirt, or a particular pair of trousers. His wardrobe is purely functional and he’ll adapt it to whatever he needs on the day. I envy his laid-back approach.

For the girls, it’s relatively simple in that they are growing so fast, I’m just going to take absolutely everything that currently fits them. If I don’t, it will spend the summer in a drawer, and when we return in September, will be consigned to the ‘baby bag’, to be offloaded at the earliest opportunity to any small people I can find.

So that leaves me. And this is the tricky part. Spending 8 weeks in the UK could mean summer, spring or even autumnal conditions. Last year, there was no summer. I’d ambitiously packed sundresses, shorts and strappy tops. All of which spent the entire holiday in my suitcase as I headed to the shops to buy jeans and long-sleeved t-shirts. On day 2 of our holiday, I was forced out to buy shoes having discovered that neither flip-flops, nor sandals, were equipped to deal with the British rain.

Now by packing clothes for every eventuality, there are two possible outcomes. 1) I take my entire wardrobe and travel Victoria Beckham style with 14 suitcases. Or 2) I take the advice of every women’s magazine on sale during the holiday season and pack a ‘capsule’ wardrobe, with 1 item of clothing per climate. Now this is all well and good, but what happens when it transpires that the entire two months is going to be warm and wet and you’ve only got 1 outfit that’s suitable? The capsule approach isn’t so user-friendly then is it?

I think there’s only one thing for it. I will adopt my usual approach of packing all the items in my wardrobe that I currently like, regardless of whether they go with each other or not. Then throw in at least 6 pairs of shoes and 4 handbags. And consequently spend the entire summer break shopping. Perfect.