Monday, 9 August 2010


Four days to go until I am officially unemployed. Phew! How nerve-wracking. I didn’t think I would be feeling quite as sentimental about leaving, when I resigned two months ago, as I do now. The X has been where all my proper, grown up experiences have occurred. This was my first ever permanent job. Whilst I have been working here Americo and I bought our first home, we got engaged and married. All this kindly funded (on my side) by my salary at The X. This job has been the first where I have had a constant, monthly income – I didn’t realise how much I took it for granted. There is nothing quite so satisfying as knowing that next month your bank account will, miraculously, be replenished!

Anyway, I have already jumped so, here’s to a thrilling ride, not to many bumps and a great adventure! Now I am shamelessly going to say that should any of you find yourselves in need of a virtual assistant, for a small fee, I am available at

In other news, life is very quiet these days with Americo eager beavering about with his MBA. In his words – one month down…….. 23 to go. Comforting thought is it not? However, we did manage to take yesterday off and enjoy the sunshine. On a whim we decided to go to Richmond park, leaving our car at Trevor’s house (in East Sheen.. though he will swear it is Richmond), from there to walk and find a spot in the park.

As we were leaving our car at Trev’s it was only polite to knock on the door and say a friendly hello. To be honest neither of us thought he would be up, after it was only 12pm. [Trevor takes sleeping to Olympic levels.] On this day however, we were in luck, they were up and active we had a quick catch up, outlining our plans for the day. As theirs were along similar lines they came to join us in the park.

What a blissful afternoon.

We lazed about eating, talking nonsense, playing cards – honestly, does life get more perfect? Good friends, great weather and food!

After a slumberous afternoon we played a little Frisbee. Sadly our chosen patch of park was not particularly geared up to running and catching; what with holes, rocks and deer turd (sh*te) littering the space making it all quite hazardous – and that is not even mentioning my lack of hand eye co-ordination, or my windmill running technique.

Americo on the other hand bounced about like an over grown Labrador, catching every Frisbee thrown his way, I eventually sat out just to watch him in action!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010


Oh NO! Tomorrow, Thursday 29 July, is my birthday and I have to admit to a fairly major struggle with this particular number. It is the big one.. the one I have been dreading since I turned 21 - the 25 PLUS day. You didn’t really think I would say it, did you?

Today I still look in my twenties however tomorrow I am petrified that I will wake up and cracks will have appeared. My body will, over night, have decided to wage war on my mental stability and have drooped, with my bottom hanging on the floor and boobs sagging down by my knees! My hair will turn grey and my face begin to resemble a London street map.

I am horrified about reaching this milestone, there are now people younger than me in the office, when I tick boxes asking for an age selection I have changed category. Even though I knew this day was coming, it still feels like a burglar has attacked and stolen the 2’s from my life!

However, I have made a decision, I shall embrace tomorrow for what it is .. just another number (see only ‘older’ people sprout that crap!) and then lie about what age I actually am! After all, in this day and age there is nothing that cannot be scrapped up off the floor and returned to its rightful position. And the road map? Botox baby, botox.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Studious Much?

Americo has started his long awaited (and much discussed) MBA. The MBA he decided on is ‘part time’, which means he has to study like a trooper between courses, then goes to an intensive, week long set of classes. These sessions are every few months and between time all students need to keep up their momentum. It is advised that 15 hours of study time are required, per week, in order to meet the MBA programme targets (never mind your actual work??). All I can say is, better him than me, I am more than happy to be the background person, ensuring he eats, sleeps and has clean clothes!

We are slowly getting ourselves into a routine; Americo is up at 5am every morning to hit the books for 3 hours or so before work. To assist with this EARLY start I prepare a thermos of coffee before bed so he has his caffeine hit, almost without opening his eyes! Saturday’s are also reserved for studying, whilst I diligently do the household chores and iron his shirts (a role I have always steered clear of) however in light of the rigorous study requirements anything to give us a little extra time.

Saturday nights and Sundays are our days of rest and relaxation, in preparation for the whole thing to start over again.

As part of the MBA everyone is encouraged to ‘work together’, so Americo has arranged a little study group and they get together at the house every second Saturday. It is all quite exciting and, aside from that shocking wake up I think Americo is feeling quite inspired by the whole thing.

And, I hear you ask, aside from playing Betty Home Maker, what am I up to? Oh, all kinds of intriguing things!

I have handed in my notice at my current place of employment and am looking to start my own little business offering Virtual Assistance to small companies and individuals who find themselves time strapped. We shall see how it pans out but, being ever the optimist, I am hopeful! Either way it is all very exciting and I am learning lots along the way. Plus, I have the added benefit of feeling happier than I have in ages.

The only fly in my ointment is the green stuff! Isn’t that always the case? Money, cash, hard – cold currently, whatever you want to call it, it really does make the world go round. And trust me, I kind of like the way my world spins!! So I shall be pulling out all the stops to ensure not much changes.

I shall keep you updated. Happy Monday.

Friday, 4 June 2010


Sorry, sorry, sorry! It has been so long and, though I would love to give you some fabulous excuse, the truth is I have been busy. Anyhow, I am back now so get yourself a coffee and prepare to be in for a long one. I will get the serious things out of the way first and would like to confirm that, after many, MANY tests, my guinea pig husband has been given the all clear.

Since Americo’s ‘extreme fainting’ life has progressed at an alarming rate - we are already in June and my last post was April. I know, a shocking case of neglect. As per always SOOOO many things have been, and still are, going on…. we had all Americo’s tests, then our medicals for the Aussie visa (I cannot begin to explain how ‘over’ being poked and prodded Americo is!), the flooded house, my ongoing search for a bigger and better pay cheque. Where to begin? I think it will have to be with the ‘Flooded House’.

Finally there is light at the end of that very long tunnel, after months of not much progress things have bounded forward. Two weeks ago I did a stint of working from home so that I could manage the work and workmen at closer range. What bliss .. the working from home part that is! Anyway I digress, we had the damp proof specialists in, who (predictably) damp proofed the house but also, replaced the drenched joist and sprayed for woodworm. Since the house is already in a state, it might as well REALLY be in a state? A few days later two handymen arrived to refit the kitchen and do general handy man type things. I happily let them in, advised what needed doing and promptly went home to get some work done.

At about 3 that afternoon I got a call saying.. “Very sorry love, kitchen won’t be going in today, the new plaster on the wall is too thick and has pushed out the cupboard” (there by pushing out the next one.. and the next – I am sure you get the general idea), “Ok” I responded, “what can we do about that?”
“Well, I have removed what I can and for the rest I will need a power chisel. Think it might be best if you come have a look”.

Back I rushed to the house - I am beginning to feel like a yo yo I am there so often! I must mention here I am nothing if not determined, and trust me, I was determined that, come what may, the kitchen would be installed. Once at the house I saw the problem and realised that he was, unfortunately, not exaggerating the situation. A power tool was required but .. where, OH where, to get one? I called Americo and he started searching out our options, then I had an epiphany. I walked back into the house, looked at our two handymen and advised “just give me 15 minutes.. I am going to go find a power chisel”.

Down the street I walked and noticed all kinds of busy and industrious work going on. Well now, I believe I have found the answer to my problem. I mosey on over to one of the houses and ask, if by any chance they have what I am looking for. Sadly all that female anguish was completely wasted as the gentlemen could not understand a word of English. Undeterred I march over to the next house with building operations. Feeling slightly desperate I explain my predicament to the next crew, unfortunately they didn’t have what I needed either but very helpfully suggested that the electrician might.

They asked me in and, I will admit to a certain amount of apprehension about a lone woman in a strangers house with no means of escape, luckily The Man (god bless his socks) appeared at the top of the stairs and, with much distressed hand waving, I outlined once more that “My kitchen has been out of commission for a week. I have the men here to install it and there is a problem.. please, please do YOU have a power chisel that I could borrow for 30 minutes”.

My new found bestest, best friend not only lent us the chisel and accessories but drove me back to the house and dropped it off. You should have seen the faces as I walked in explaining that Gary had very kindly brought us the required equipment and therefore we now had no reason not to have my kitchen fitted! Americo was also suitably impressed and so, a happy ending was had!

I am sure you will be pleased to know that my postings on our broken house will shortly be at an end … with the next instalments on the house geared towards finding new, hopefully less crazy tenants.

Until then – a happy, sunny weekend!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The Trauma!

I am not sure if I have mentioned this before but every Thursday night Americo heads out to play football. Come rain or shine (and occasionally snow), in sickness or in health – Thursdays are religiously reserved for football.

Last week Americo stumbled through the door with a pronounced limp complaining loudly about the tackle he received. As far as I can tell two bruisers rumbled my dearest husband and, in the process, sandwiched his thigh between their two knees. Ever the sympathetic type my comment was along the lines of … ‘thought football was a no contact sport?’. (Aside from all the kissing and arse grabbing that is!). Nevertheless, we went to bed without too much drama and, in fact, a little bit of comedy as I watched Americo haul himself up the stairs moaning about the pain he was going to be in the next day. And they say exercise is good for you?

At about 4:45 in the morning I woke to Americo heaving and sighing and rolling about. Being the morning person that I most certainly am not, I ignored him as best I could until he requested I find some painkillers. Mumbling all kinds of nasty things about him over doing it blah, blah, blah, I made my way downstairs to grab the meds from my bag. With eyes firmly closed I clambered back to our room passed the pills to Americo and gratefully sank into bed. A few minutes later Americo was still fidgeting about when I suggested we turn off the light….

… from here my memories get a bit fuzzy, he rolled over and lay on his back - then he just went stiff as a board and started snorting and shaking. I thought he was choking on one of the pills. Logically I knew that he had taken the pills a few minutes before so that couldn’t be it, but equally, logic could not explain to me what the hell was going on. All I know is that in that moment I was terrified. Terrified that something might happen, terrified that I couldn’t help.. just hopelessly terrified for this beautiful man who I love beyond words.

I grabbed Americo and hauled him onto my lap, trying to manoeuvre him into a position where I could try and get him breathing regularly again, calling to him and telling him to relax. After a few seconds (which seemed like eternity) he relaxed in my arms and, although confused, was compis mentis enough to confirm emergency services would be required.

It is funny the things you remember, I remember saying “Do we need to call 911” and then correcting myself and saying “Not 911… 999. 911 won’t be any help!”. Americo had another two episodes after the first and I cannot tell you how petrified I was that he would stop breathing and not come back to me. Here was my big, wonderful, husband taken over by something that I could not see or control.

The emergency services were fantastic. They answered almost immediately, the lady stayed on the phone with me until the paramedics arrived and they (the paramedics) were with us within 15 minutes. Thank you.

I am happy to say that since the anomaly Americo has been fine, of course I have been hovering over him like a hen but so far so good.

At A&E they did a CT Scan and ECG, both of which came out clear. We have since been to the Neurologist who is referring Americo for an MIR and EEG(??). He thinks (and I really hope) that the episode was some type of extreme faint triggered by the pain Americo was experiencing. However they are not leaving any stone unturned before giving a full diagnosis.

A reminder to all of us who take our health and happiness for granted. Our time together is finite - be gentle with your partner, don't pass up that quick kiss or last touch!

Monday, 22 March 2010


A few weeks ago I mentioned the leak at our tenanted property and all the chaos that has ensued. Sadly the saga continues with either Americo or myself at the house every week with the drying company checking on progress.

The problem is monumental and seemingly never ending. With the continual bad news ranging from “it is taking MUCH longer to dry than initially anticipated” to “hhhhmmmaving looked at the damage it seems we will ‘ave to replace all t’a flooring”. To our latest dilemma .. “I think you need to get a surveyor to look over the problem”. The hits are now so consistent I have mastered my banal smile and “thank you SO much for coming!”

Our tenants have, admittedly, been brilliant about this inconvenience for which I am exceedingly grateful. However this blog is not about any one else but.. ME and, occasionally, Americo! So we shall continue, without further procrastination, into today’s blog.

As I revealed a few posts back our tenants are not so convivially married. Since the leak I have had more contact with them (.. well the wife) than any other landlord known to mankind… and for all the wrong reasons! I seem to have become counsellor and confident to her.

How I managed to fall into this role is beyond me and, due to the overall bizarreness of our relationship, somewhat odd! Regardless, for the last 6 weeks she has called or texted sometimes every day, maybe once a day but certainly every other day. I, in turn, have struggled with my natural compassion whilst trying to keep our relationship on a friendly, but business footing.

Needless to say I seem to have failed! I am now fully acquainted with the inner workings of her mind. I familiar with her relationship history - current and past, education, family … basically I am, as they say, in the ‘Know’.

However as ‘in the know’ as I am, I was completely sidelined when she called up last week with the below request.

Wife:- “Hi – blah blah whole lot of mundane how are you yadda yadda.”
Me:- “Response to the mundane – yes fine, hope to have the machines out the house.. sorry for the inconvenience etc.”
Wife:- “I am now moving out on the 27th, my new flat has been confirmed.”
Me:- “Oh good, congratulations. You and have made a plan re rental of our property….(see how professional I was?)”
Wife:- “Anyway, I just wanted to check how big your car is?”
Me:- “mmm why?”
Wife:- “Well to make sure it will fit all my stuff when you help me move out next weekend.”
* picture a fish out of water, mouth opening and closing A LOT whilst trying to make sound come out!

And this, good people, is my life! I am not sure if I invite all the crazy in or if it just seeks me out, but find me it does.

Thursday, 25 February 2010


The other day I thought it would be quite fun to have a review of my Blog and, I am sad to report, there has been a definite slide in postings! I would love to suggest that, due to all the fabulousness of life, I have neglected my favourite hobby (how I wish this were the case). Instead, I fear that my recent restlessness is to blame, I realise that change is coming – but really, it is just not FAST enough!

As I am sure you can imagine there are so many debates and conversations on the pros and cons of this and that, that you eventually begin to wonder … what did we decide on in the end?? Before I proceed I should bring you up to date on the main topics;

Australia:- We are progressing with our application so the major point on this subject is, how long before we get a yes or a no? It could be anywhere from 6 months to 3 years and, of course, there is the change in regulations .. complication!

MBA:- Americo wants to do his MBA and so has to decide on a university. Discussion Points:- Which Uni? Should it be correspondence or part-time? Where will we be? The questions on this are endless, but I think you get the general idea.

Ex-Pat Work:- Basically this is an unwelcome complication to the ‘game plan’! I am desperate to leave the UK, having now reached the proverbial “end of the line”. Logic says what is one more year.. or two? However, the illogical side, is clamouring to be heard and says – NOW, immediately, pronto, with great haste…. Lets get packing.

The other night Americo and I were discussing the merits of doing his MBA course by correspondence versus part time. I was quite charmed with the idea of correspondence, my mind skipping excitedly ahead, already anticipating our departure from these muddy shores! The next day I helpfully hit the Internet seeking out expatriate job opportunities and e-mailing them to my dearest. After a couple of days, feeling somewhat disappointed by his lack of enthusiasm, I broached the subject over dinner.

He looks at me, quite perplexedly saying… “Why are you e-mailing me all these jobs anyway? We agreed that I would do my MBA.”

I gaze back, equally confused, saying “Yeeees, by correspondence.”

By the end of our debate what we realised (and I have a particular talent for this) is that I had basically advanced our conversation much further. To my mind we had already agreed that expat was the way forward and I, accordingly, had proceeded with this plan, in the happy knowledge that Americo would know exactly what was going on.

Americo, on the other hand, was feeling slightly confused .. wondering why I keep changing the goal posts. Only, in my mind, the goal posts are exactly where they were supposed to be!

As in the story of the World War One message, which started life as "Send reinforcements, we are going to advance". It was then passed, verbally, from one runner to another and, upon reaching its destination, came out as "Send three and fourpence, we are going to a dance" .. a clear sign of ex-communication ……!