Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tuesday, 15 July (evening) - Things improved as the sun went down

Status: Retouched and defuzzed.
Mood: Better than this morning!
Calories consumed: Middling, but they were prepared by No.1 and Only Son, so that's a win)
Blood spilled: None (miraculously)

After ratty mood and general discontent with the world, and fellow passengers on Athens public transport this morning, things have improved. But not before arriving home after my return trip, soaked in sweat, with someone else's chocolate smeared on white t-shirt (if I'm gonna get choccy stains, I at least want to be the one who put them there!) and feet screaming in protest at yet another crowded journey breathing other people's souvlaki fumes and having toes trodden on. Oh the joys.

Ignore aches and pains and pull on sweaty sweat pants and top, in order to make them even sweatier with sesh at the gym (yes! am Superwoman, despite wobbling buttocks and protesting knee). Back home, sit down to plateful of spaghetti in tomato and basil sauce from the fair hand of Kidlet. Am seriously impressed that pasta is cooked and sauce tasty.

Hit the bathroom to rinse every trace of the gym off me, but end up giving myself the works.
Success - roots touched-up without giving cat an interesting new look, despite his insistence to stick his nose in every I do. (Last time I dyed my hair, Stoopid Cat got a punkish splodge of orange on the top of his oh-so-nosy head after leaping into shower as I rinsed off)
Even more success - manage to shave legs without adding pint of own blood to the gory red splashes in the bathtub after my home colouring effort.

Clean up every last splash of purply-red blobs scattered around bathroom, except for a spot on the mat. Artfully rearrange mat and pray that Ovver Arf won't notice. 

Am domestic goddess, supremely groomed and expert trainer of male offspring.

Not a bad note on which to head for bed. Night all! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tuesday, 15 July - Summertime sloven

Status: Humid and creaky.
Mood: Fed up. Feeling my age.
Calories consumed: Who cares?
Caffeine intake: Nowhere near enough!

I know, I know. I know I said that I would keep up with you, Dear Diary, and here we are – 12 days since you last heard from me. It’s not that I don’t think of you (I do, every single day, but that's as far as it goes), it’s just that life – and heat – has got in the way.

Is hot in Athens. Very hot. Especially on days when I have to make hour’s train journey to work, crammed up against assorted body odours, garrulous tourists heading for the port with giNORmous backpacks as they embark on their “third world adventure” (which those of us who live and work in Greece call the daily grind), and a sprinkling of sob stories and egregious accordion players trawling the carriages for some spare change.

Day starts with me dithering in front of wardrobe – which outfit will make me sweat the least? (More to the point, which will look least goddawful when I inevitably do?). Opt for the pristine white t-shirt and floaty black and white floral skirt with images of me floating around a Boden catalogue of can-do elegance and efficiency. Wriggle feet into slip on wedges and head out the door with bag slung across body and laptop planted on back like some kind of middle-aged mutant turtle ready for armed combat.

Regret choice of outfit five minutes after boarding train. Bag and laptop have wrinkled crisp white t-shirt into an oblivion of wrinkles worthy of New Ager who’s just returned from an trip to find herself at an Ashram in India. Thighs are swimming in a thick sheen of sweat, thanks to the train air conditioning about as effective as five asthmatic teenagers who’ve been chewing polo mints blowing on the crowded carriage.

Naturally, standing room for the whole journey, which of course takes half an hour longer than usual. Achey knee (result of illusions of being Wonder Woman on various instruments of torture at the gym) screams at me for my stupid choice of any kind of footwear not as flat as a pancake – or preferably, slippers appropriate to my age and build.

Arrive at office looking like a refugee. In lift, try to adjust flattened hair, remove smudged eyeliner and reapply lippy in the hope of kidding someone – anyone – that yes, I am a professional and not some stray beggar who wandered in off the street.

And so, to work…
Tired and aching, settle down in front of screen and try to look like I know what I’m doing.

Summer in Greece is great, or so they tell me. I’ll let you know when I finally get the chance to see for myself.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Thursday, 3 July 2014 – Everywoman, everything, everywhere

Status: All-round wonder woman.
Mood: Invincible….   sort of.
Calories consumed: I might be within my limit. Possibly.
Calories used: About 10 litres of sweat worth.
Alcohol: On third large glass of rose (say no more)

Start day ready for whatever's coming my way. Plenty of work waiting in In Box when I log in at 7.30am (Yay! Am not obsolete!)
Good news? Working from home today, so dive in without having to worry about putting on clothes fit for human consumption, combing hair, applying a trowel’s worth of Polyfilla and slap to face, and boarding to Love Train to the office. Bad news? 
Two hours later, am still sitting in sweaty nightdress, without benefit of underwear, gently oozing onto my seat as the day’s heat ramps up. Am personification of slatterness.

Remember hearing on news that Greek power company's planned power cuts due to employees’ strike in protest at privatisation plans. No warning of when, or for how long, in Athens. Decide to make the most of power while we still have it, and make family lunch at breakfast time.

Pulled away from kitchen by insistent “ding!” of new emails dropping like a summer shower into In Box. Try to type replies with elbows as fingertips covered with mixture of feta, cream cheese, mint and olive oil.

Yes, ladies. You too can have it all!

Cheese pie slapped in oven with a prayer to Patron Saint of the Incomplete Hostess to give it time to cook before plunging us back into the electricity-free Dark Ages. Lick filling off fingers, thanks heaven it’s not a fast day, and wipe hands on cat.

Throw cat hair and cheese pie filling covered nightdress in laundry basket and step into shower to rinse the 30 degree heat off gorgeous middle-aged bod. Cat sits on side of bath blinking at me with the critical eye of a Weight Watchers’ meeting coordinator.
Wonder if cats have cellulite under all that fur?

Step out of shower, smelling like a sweetshop (pistachio and gardenia shower cream), shake hair into mop-like shape and throw on knickers and slob clothes to tackle emails dinging merrily away in the lounge. 

Smell of burning reminds me of pie in oven. Race down corridor to kitchen, tripping over cat in the process, throw over door open and grab pie dish. Ouch! (Note to self: You have oven gloves for a reason). Carve blackened tips of fyllo pastry off top and resolve to tell the menfolk it’s mean to look that way.

Nursing blistered thumb and forefinger, return to laptop and professional career woman mode, safe in the knowledge no-one can see me. Race through online stuff, leaving other tasks for when the lights go out.

No.1 Son officially on holiday and in Teenage Slob heaven. Rolls out of bed (miraculously making it in the process!) and meanders into the kitchen mumbling something about coffee. Cheery response of “Yes please, darling!” ignored.

OH also joins land of the living, throwing a grunt of testosterone in my direction as he wonders past in saggy grey boxer shorts (must point him in direction of Athens branch of Marks & SparksVERY soon). Who says romance is dead after the first two years?

Day passes in a blur of emails, absently gobbled plate of rescued cheese pie and a soundtrack of “Uncharted” on the Playstation. No.1 and band mates start jamming in next room just as I tackle article that needs to be cut down to 500 words from 1,200. Just what I needed – inspiration!

Purse lips, bite tongue and soldier on. They’ve got a live show tomorrow, so must be understanding. Must also decide what to wear to gig that’s suitably “rock mama” without signaling utter humiliation for only child (tempting though the thought is).

Close laptop, change into sweats and head for gym to produce body weight in perspiration (dear old dad used to say “Horse sweat, men perspire, ladies glow”. Am glowing like a pig by time I get back home).

Just call me woman for all seasons, folks. Wife, mother, career woman, gourmet cook, exercise guru….   sort of.

Celebrate spent calories with cheese sarny and a fresh bottle of wine. I've earned it, right?

Start stressing out what to wear as the oldest groupie in town tomorrow night. By end of second glass, no longer care – and bed is looking extremely attractive.