Summer Cool

You may understand me when I say that I like my summer reads to be light and entertaining. I save different authors for different seasons. I can not read Khaled Hosseini in August just as I can’t stick to a Sophie Kinsella novel in winter.

Be it summer, humid and hard as ever to concentrate, I’m reading Are You There Vodka? It’s me, Chelsea. I have never read her books before, though I have sometimes seen her on TV. And just like her television show, this book is crass and outrageous. It’s made up of real, short stories and I swear you will end up in tears in certain chapters.

Her style might not appeal to you, She writes like this:

“I rolled over and picked up Us Weekly magazine off the floor. The cover had a picture of Angelina, Brad, and their little Eskimo son, Maddox. I saw staring at the photo, wondering why this little boy looks so pissed off in every picture.

At first I thought he was just pissed about his Mohawk, but then I realized he’s probably furious. Maddox must have thought he hit the jackpot when some A-list celebrity rescued him from third-world Cambodia, only to discover that she was going to shuffle him back and for the to EVERY other third-world country in the universe. He’s probably like, ‘When the fuck are we gonna get to Malibu, bitch?”  

…and this:

“Then a homeless man with a dog approached us and put his hand out. This happens to be something that I have a real problem with: homeless people with pets who approach you for food when they have a perfectly delicious dog standing right there?”  

She’s straight-to-the-point, politically incorrect and without any borders whatsoever. But reading a chapter a night will make you go to sleep smiling and laughing.

And talking about smiles, have you ever heard of the BBC Proms? They are a celebration of the arts, held every summer, ending with the famous Last NIght of the Proms. This year, for the first time ever in the Proms’ history, Radio 1 was invited and it turned the Proms into a classic Ibiza night. International DJ’s like Pete Tong joined the Orchestra and gave us tune after tune of musical gems, each one bringing back memories of past summers. And I mean songs you surely know and recognize, especially if you’re in your 30s. There was Moby and Fat Boy Slim and a whole lot more. If you have time to see the whole set, I truly recommend it! It’s a feast for the senses, and totally beyond the definition of all that is cool.

You definitely know this one!

The Waiting Game

Finally September is here. I have been waiting for this month for weeks now. Not only does it (hopefully) bring about a change in weather from the humid heat to cool breezes, but I’m hoping (and praying, and praying) that this is the month our baby will arrive.

The final months are not glamorous. Not at all. There is nothing glamorous about being at your biggest weight ever, having what looks like the worlds-greatest cankles ever, a painful back to accompany you day and night, and if you live in the Maltese islands, you top everything up with the heavy weather which makes you seem and feel a hundred kilos heavier.

I am now fed up of my maternity clothes. There are only a few ways on how you can make a simple black maternity dress look special and different each time. There are no proper maternity shops here on the Rock, and any shopping I did during this pregnancy were online.  I have a couple of websites which I browse regularly  (Asos, Gap and New Look amongst others) but in all honesty I am now fed up of seeing elasticated waistlines, baby-doll styled tops, high-waisted dresses and flat shoes. So what I have now is what I will wear for the rest of this pregnancy. And after that, I’m organizing a huge bonfire.

It was quite a pregnancy. I had low lows but definite high highs. And now, hopefully by the end of this month, I will have a baby in my arms. I’m so looking forward to meeting the little kicker I have inside me, who starts dancing the minute I lay down on the bed and who has stretched my belly to unbelievable proportions.

We have so many changes in our life coming up this month. A new baby, Cesca starting school, we will be starting building our home soon, the winter season coming up – it’s all about changing and adapting our lifestyles. I have hopes that we will all turn out okay, especially Cesca. The only thing I’m fearing where she’s concerned is her first couple of days of school. But I’m praying to the higher powers that all will be smooth and fine.

In the meantime, this is what we’ve been up to…

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Bump is now 35 weeks old. This photo was taken at 34+1 weeks when I was off for what was supposed to be a girly dinner. My friends had other plans…

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..In actual fact I was dressing up for my baby shower! It was quite the surprise seeing all my family and friends gathered up. Best feeling ever 🙂

We have avoided playgrounds because of the total lack of shade. However I took advantage of the shady weather and took her for an hour to run around. Her facial expression was priceless :)

We have avoided playgrounds because of the total lack of shade. However I took advantage of the cloudy weather and took her for an hour to run around. Her facial expression was priceless 🙂

August was a tough month where the weather was concerned. When not plastered underneath the a/c unit, I am normally lying down on the floor trying to catch a cool (or otherwise) breeze.

August was a tough month where the weather was concerned. When not plastered underneath the a/c unit, I am normally found lying down on the floor trying to catch a cool (or otherwise) breeze.

As in Cesca's pregnancy, I am gorging on fruits this time round. I can eat fruits all day long and be happy. Better than sweets and chocolates I guess. Though I'm not exactly abstaining on those either...

As in Cesca’s pregnancy, I am gorging on fruits this time round. I can eat fruits all day long and be happy. Better than sweets and chocolates I guess. Though I’m not exactly abstaining on those either…

I have started unwrapping and washing the baby's clothes, linen and blankets in preparation for the little one. I absolutely love these Webbs products - their smell is purely baby-in-a-bottle!!

I have started unwrapping and washing the baby’s clothes, linen and blankets in preparation for the little one. I absolutely love these Webbs products – their smell is purely baby-in-a-bottle!!

 

Fly By

This summer is flying by. July is suddenly nearing its’ end and I’m three-fourths of my way through this pregnancy. It seems I’m growing by the day and my wardrobe is becoming more and more limited as the days pass. Unlike my pregnancy with C, I am still able to wear some of my pre-pregnancy dresses and tops, although trousers are now out of the question, because even the elastic-band trick is not working any longer. So I have my ever-faithful numbered tops, skirts, trousers and beloved flat sandals, and I’m set it seems. The only items of clothing I can experiment with are accessories, so at the moment I’m splurging  on necklaces and bracelets. And clothes for C of course..the little missus is constantly outgrowing her clothes and gives me the perfect excuse to go shopping for her. Her clothes are my guaranteed ticket to burn.

We are spending our days swimming, going out for ice-cream walks, meeting up with friends and eating. I don’t know about you but (pregnancy aside) I eat more in the summer months. I go out more often, dine out more frequently and finish each meal with an ice-cream or something sweet. Winter plates may be heavier, but summer eating is much more frequent it seems. At least for me.

I’m enjoying the last few weeks of being a mother of one.  I am sometimes scared of ruining the balance we have reached with her when the baby comes. We know her routine and her dis/likes, we love her late mornings and laid-back attitude, and I do fear, yet know, that she will change with the new arrival. She is a tall three-year old, yet she is still such a young girl. She still needs reassurance and warm cuddles, she looks to us for smiles and kisses and is full of love. A new baby will take away some of the attention she has grown used to now, but I’m believing and hoping it will be for the better. Add to that a new school and lifestyle and she sure is in for a change. We are trying to make the transition as easy as possible for her, we talk about the baby everyday, she kisses and hugs my tummy and has started helping me out with daily chores I’m no longer able to do myself, yet I know that it will still be a shock for her. However her character reassures me that she will be the best older sister for her sibling.

Again, I can’t believe that at three years of age she will already be an ‘older’ sister.

Time is flying by. Our days are lazy ones and I’m trying to enjoy each day of this summer to its’ fullest. I can’t fully appreciate the summer as much as I did in previous years, with my aching back, tired legs and a kicking baby, but I’m doing my best.

So far, so good.

I can't believe we will soon be going back to these days...it seems surreal, slightly scary yet at the same time I can not wait!

I can’t believe we will soon be going back to these days…it seems surreal, slightly scary yet at the same time I can not wait!

 

 

Blessing

This past week has been infernal temperature-wise. When not at home we can be found racing our way to the coast, trying to catch a breeze and cool down. Most times we manage, others we quasi-despair. I haven’t had my hair done in a fortnight and I’m washing it every other day and immediately pulling it back into a bun. Necklaces are giving me rashes and no powder can hide my facial shine. At this point I have started believing that too much heat can kill you.

Just because I need to see cold images and remind myself that there are other feelings besides feeling hot, humid and sticky!

Just because I need to see cold images and remind myself that there are other feelings besides feeling hot, humid and sticky!

Okay, this is more like it...

Okay, this is more like it…

The good point in all this is that C’s cast has been on for over a week now and she has not yet complained once. She has grown used to it, she never tugs or plays with it and is handling it all surprisingly well. She does miss swimming and splashing around in water and bath-times are now a two-person deal, but we’re managing.

For all my complaints at time – about her screaming, her stubbornness and her boundless energy, I have to say that C is our blessing. She is now at the wonderful age where we can properly communicate and she is learning new words and phrases everyday. She is not one to complain or moan around (thankfully) but she does get angry at times and of course that’s when the screaming tends to start! But I look at her young self with a cast as big as half her arm and I realize that she is just two, she’s still a little baby and she’s not any trouble, not really and I can’t possibly get angry with her, not at this moment.

Put my arm in a cast in the middle of summer and I wouldn’t stop moaning about it, that’s for sure!

Smiling

Remember those crazy things you did when you were younger and had no real care in the world?

Today, many 18-year olds in Malta received their Advanced-Level results, depending on which they will or won’t start University next autumn. Nowadays results are apparently received by means of a SMS or an e-mail. In my days (that sounds archaic!) results were received on the ever-so-faithful piece of paper and delivered by the eagerly expected/dreaded postman. The postal system was not faultless, not even then, and I remember half of us received our results before the weekend while the poor other half had to wait till Monday to know theirs. When someone received their results, they’d frantically call their friends to check if theirs arrived.  No social media existed back then so landlines were always busy on that particular morning! Mothers would start queuing at the local postal branch from the early hours of the day to personally collect their children’s results. It used to be a very active morning.

What does this have to do with crazy youthful antics I hear you asking? Well in my case, I vividly remember my A-Level results and that whole summer. The Saturday after we got our successful results, my friend and partner-in-crime M went out to Gozo’s sole summer night-club (15 years later, it’s still the only summer club!) We were on a natural high from the adrenaline rush brought on by our results, we were young, we felt invincible and the world was ours for the taking! When you’re 18, nothing seems impossible. A friend of ours who worked (therefore well-off in our then young eyes) offered us a drink when we told him we had passed for University. Our bold selves asked for a bottle of Gellewza Frizzante. (For the non-Maltese readers, Gellewza Frizzante is a Maltese Rose wine. Back in the late 90s it was still new on The Rock and it was hip to drink. Nowadays it is as trendy as white socks and as good as dirty ones). We got our bottle, we drank it all and we got tipsy. Scratch that – we got drunk. From what our memories could remember the morning after, it was a great night out. But we both woke up with the world’s worst hangover , we felt we were going to die and swore never to touch it again.

To this very day the smell of Gellewza makes me sick to my stomach.

Reading today’s comments on how some friends and cousins have just received their results and passed and are starting University next October, brought this memory of mine back to life.

At the moment I can’t stop smiling 🙂

Happy weekend x

P.S. Remember this song? It was a big hit that summer!

Stuck in a Rut

Good afternoon!

If you live in Malta, how is this scorching weather treating you? It’s very easy to forget about the humidity, the frizzy hair, the useless blowdries and the three-times-a-day showers when you’re away for a while. This weekend I was given a stark reality check and  I remembered the reasons I loved England at this time of the year. Let’s just say that in last July’s England photos, I was wearing a cardigan. Can you imagine that here?

This weekend our celebrations as a family came to an end so to say. We celebrated my in-laws wedding anniversary, C’s birthday, our anniversary and my lovely sister-in-law’s birthday in one week. We ate (gulp) and we drank (gulp, gulp). Even I have to admit that we overdid it on both fronts and for that reason I’m trying to have a ‘light’ week. Knowing me, those are useless words and intentions, but I might surprise myself one of these days.

Then again they always say hope is the last thing to die.

This week I found myself trying to unstick myself from the rut I have come to find comfort in. Small things really, but I needed to push myself to do tiny things I haven’t done in what seems like ages go. I wanted to feel like myself a bit more.

So I went crazy and silly. No, not really. Nothing outrageous happened. But I looked back at what the old me loved doing and I set myself keen on going back to familiar and happy grounds.

– During a free hour, I grabbed a towel, book and a bottle of water and went sunbathing out on the roof. I wore a mismatched bikini, did not need to worry about any stubble and stayed there for as long as I could muster the terrible sun. My original intended hour lasted only thirty minutes, but I like to think I did get some extra colour on my limbs. And the best part was enjoying the silence and solitude of it all.

– I am enjoying the sea more than I have in a long while. Whenever I have a free morning I take C to the beach for an hour or two. It is a hassle preparing a toddler for the beach, but she loves it so and I get to enjoy it too, so I preset beach mornings and stick with the plan. So far, so good.

– A and myself went to the bigger island for a date night on our anniversary last week. We planned nothing and did not do anything in particular. We walked along Sliema by ourselves, hand in hand, without pushing a stroller or tending to a toddler, we were able to go up stairs and were not on the constant lookout for the death-traps local pavements are. We had a tasty pizza with some wine, we enjoyed an amazing view and we talked. We talked without being interrupted and without having to silence a loud toddler. It was simple but it was just what we needed.

– I rummaged through my bags of make-up and resolved to change my make-up routine. I used to have different make-up plans for different days and times. I used to play around different shades of make-up – the browns, pinks, violets, greys, nude – I was always trying out a new shade. Nowadays I always use the same palette for every day and every night, weekday and weekends. Always the same. So I spruced up my collection a bit with some new purchases, and I’m using shades I haven’t put on in years. I’m liking it!

– I have promised myself that this summer I will read more. I used to be the girl who’d finish a book in three days, and now I’m lucky if I finish a book in a month! I was angry at myself about this, because reading is my favourite past-time and to have abandoned it for so long was shocking to me.  So I’ve started taking my books around with me again, and whenever I find a spare five minutes, I read. It feels good to be a geek again.

– I’m trying to get out of my flats, at least on weekends. My heeled-sandals need to get out more, so I’ve resolved getting out of the comfort zone a pair of flat shoes offer, and put on a proper high-heeled pair of shoes! I feel a million times better, but I need more training in heels. Three years in flats does that to you. So if you see me wobbling around in heels, you now know why. Thankfully C’s stroller helps, for I’m able to hold on to it when the heels and uneven roads become too much.

– I am trying to start feeling hungry again. Yes, you read right. I have forgotten how it feels to feel hungry and I need to rediscover that. My body has become too used to eating for every simple reason that I am now sick of it. I am aware that this is probably just a very, very short phase I’m going through but I’ll make the most of my weak will while it seems to be co-operating for the time being.

What do you do when you find yourself stuck in a comfortable rut? Do you act upon a wake-up call or do you prefer ignoring it and sticking to familiar grounds? I have to say my will-power is as strong as a bird’s feather so I’m not too optimistic about keeping all the promises I have made to myself, but I do want to try. It feels good challenging yourself every once in a while.

Have a great week and don’t forget the SPF cream! That sun is a bitch!! 

One of our morning beach-dates ;)

One of our morning beach-dates 😉

 

We enjoyed our anniversary pizza with this lovely back-drop. Not too shabby, hmm?

We enjoyed our anniversary pizza with this lovely back-drop. Not too shabby, hmm?

 

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you - I stated a cake-decoration course! I love baking so this really was the next step! Three hours into it, I'm really enjoying myself!

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you – I stated a cake-decoration course! I love baking so this really was the next step! Three hours into it, I’m really enjoying myself! (My apologies for the crap quality of the picture!)