Friday, 17 January 2014

"I've Got The Blues...The 'Paradise' Blues"

Sunset view from 'One Love' up in the hills of Arambol...
Anyone remember that really old commercial where some brunette beauty comes on screen, swishing her gorgeous mane around, advertising some shampoo or another, and states directly to camera, "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful".  :)

Context is everything.  And in that vein, don't hate ME because I happen to be in 'Paradise' at the moment - because believe you me - like most/many of you I shall in a few days be back to chilling my bones and shivering my way through layer upon layer of jumpers as I sip endless cups of tea and enviously peruse pics of the lucky souls that happen to currently be (or better yet permanently reside) in exotic climes.

But for now, I'm on my third last day of Paradise Living and I'm starting to feel a touch down.

You see last night night the husband and I arrived back from a one night/two day 150 km. motorcycle tour up the length of Goa and back - stopping in as many old skool haunts as we could and revelling in the way so many places had changed and yet others had remained incredibly un-changed.
Having yet another fresh lime soda at Calangute Beach during a quick stopover

...whilst the husband indulges in a Tuborg :)

What we thought would be a brilliant chance to escape the monsters (let's just be honest and say 'parenting') for a couple of days and return back rejuvenated and somewhat sated, has this morning unfortunately settled into a mild sense of despair and fear (of normal life)...for me at least.  

Think of it as giving a former heroin addict one last hit of the pure stuff, and imagine the ecstasy as the drugs race through the body delighting synapses of old remembered pleasure zones and turning the world technicolor again.  Ah the bliss...
We call it 'Sweat Water Lake' on account of all the bodies marinating within :)
Exhibit A....
Exhibit B...

Then imagine coming down...the withdrawal....and being told that it was a one-off and that one must simply revel in the memory for the next several years and forget about ever having another hit again.  

Now maybe you understand how I feel this morning whilst I bask in the warmth of the sun and contemplate a return to old Blighty on Sunday.  

The husband in the adult creche 'One Love'...should have left him there he was happy :)
For most, a three week holiday is a divine undertaking and a super-indulgent treat that we should be (and truly are) appreciative of.  But you see, yesterday in Arambol, the husband softly playing bongos to wicked music high up on the hills whilst sipping chai and reclining on big burlap pillows and cushions - for all the world feeling like our twenty-year old selves of yesteryear - well, in hindsight it was a disaster.

We got to pop back in time ever so briefly and access one of the more blissful experiences of our youth (travel, adventure, motorcycles, mayhem) and we took to it like no time had passed at all. Our very own 'Back to the Future' moment.

We kipped for five quid a night in a leaning beach shack on stilts which looked (and felt!) so precariously unstable that we wondered whether during the night it might just tilt over into the sea and leave us the subject of a Daily Mail article the next day (they love those crazy 'children left orphans as middle class couple from borough of Wandsworth slide into sea to their death as they slumber' stories).  

Our beach shack is the one directly above green umbrella with two red chairs on 'verandah' :)
But we also read, listened to tunes, chilled, swam, and laughed. Mostly we giggled ourselves stupid long into the night while listening to the same acid house track on repeat because neither of us could be bothered to change it :)  

In short we had the best time EVER and met our usual coterie of crazy characters - as well as our beloved 'Mendhi Man' Ulash, who has been doing the most gorgeous artistic designs on my ever changing body for the past fourteen odd years :)  

Our 'Mendi Man' Ulash with his wife and youngest son

...who did this :)
Truth be told we all got a bit choked up seeing each other again, and clinked pepsi bottles as we took in the precious randomness of the moment and the encounter itself.

Whipping through hills and villages on the Enfield with the glorious wind whipping through your hair while listening to great tunes on your ipod is a feeling quite incomparable to anything else. It's kind of like starring in a wicked music video of your own life and is one of the most exhilarating bouts of freedom one can experience.

I don't wanna go home hai :(
...who can blame me?!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

"Jungle Love It's Driving Me Mad...It's Making Me Craaaaazy"

The fat baby also has a hardcore Kindle habit like 'Mama'
We're now at that awkward point in the trip when we've just cruised past the half point mark and are beginning to feel that sickening onset of despair that we have to leave here in l0 odd days (sigh).  Neither the husband nor I feel the least bit inclined to return back to London in January, nor face the veritable mountain of commitments which hover there silently, waiting to pile onto our world weary shoulders upon our return.

How quickly and easily we've shrugged off the perma-chilled shoulder-shrugging shivering and damp murkiness we left behind, and have embraced the easy going luxury of hot sand, warming sun and plentifully plump exotic fruit salads on demand - for less than the price of a bar of chocolate.

My oft-neglected (and far too grand) collection of sunglasses have at last had the airing they deserve, and are a staple in the light black backpack I carry around here everywhere.  I'm even (almost) getting used to the cold showers and the fact that no matter how hard I try, I always fall asleep with my toes grinding into bits of sand in the sheets.

The children are of course in heaven here - fat baby especially.  He simply cannot believe his luck in that every day begins with 'tookies' (biscuits), is punctuated with banana milkshakes, and ends with a chubby hand grab through the ever diminishing container of miniature chocolates we brought along (to rid our future beer and naan bloated January selves of temptation upon return).

Egg and Dumps also love the fact that 'school' here consists of weekly 'play days' and contain a generous amount of just messing around and learning at their own rate instead of a state implemented, pre-subscribed schedule of learning.

And 'Dada' and I?  Well that's easy.  Dada loves the freedom to rev up his beloved Enfield and take off whenever and wherever the mood strikes (which, in exactly twenty minutes, is going to be he, our pet Cory and I motoring through the jungle to a tiny hidden 'jungle bar' - little more than a makeshift table and chairs serving warm Kingfisher to rowdy males since 1997!)

As for me, I'm ever so glad to be rid of kitchen duty for a time.  And dishes.  And laundry.  And school runs. know....pretty much everything that normal life involves.  I'm bored of being bored if you catch my drift.  I want - no I need - my life to feel exciting on a daily basis.  I love being 'anti-schedule' and just going with the flow...drifting through each day indulging various whims, reading (A LOT), listening to music, going for walks, staring into the sea and sorting things out in my know:  basic navel-gazing activity probably best suited to someone in their twenties just out of uni, but there you go.

I suppose it doesn't help that I'm currently reading one of the best books I've read in awhile:  The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.  Great holiday reading in that it's an addictive escape for your head - and not unlike a good drug in that it's impossible to think of anything else but escaping back into the story, even as soon as you've put it down.  Read won't be disappointed.

It occasionally explores the existential musing regarding the futility of modern life and the breathtaking speed at which our primarily unsatisfying and slightly disappointing lives whisk us through childhood, jobs, babies, buying houses, holidays, old age, death - all the while distracting us with the minutiae of acquisition, debt, paying off that debt, more acquisition, etc. explaining that brilliant quote about how the majority of men live lives of quiet despair.

Now that I think about it, perhaps not the best subject to be immersing myself in at the halfway mark of our holiday when these thoughts already lurk at the back of my adventure-hungry brain. Too bad I can't stomach the likes of Jackie Collins or chick-lite fiction anymore.  A bit of harmless bonking and pointless intrigue?

Naw...I'm a hardcore angst kinda girl like it or not.  Who also hears the call of the beer jungle.

Bye for now :)

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

"A Day of Filth and Beauty...Strange Bedfellows"

Mr. Cheeky

Mr. Cool

Mr. Trust-Me-I-Didn't-Do-It
The baby is following me around our beachfront 'villa' (i use this term loosely, in that although it has certain characteristics of a 'villa', it happens to be in India, and is thus is not equipped with, shall we say, many of the usual accoutrements one might find in a typical 'holiday villa' if you catch my drift) with a digestive biscuit in one hand and my iphone in the other - playing the Halloween Theme Song Remix loudly if you must know.  It's cause for a surreal moment of reflection, which is at once noted, filed (under 'the ridiculous') and then promptly put to one side in light of another pressing matter at hand.

You see I am trying to figure out how to delicately address the current predicament of whether I should, and if so, how I should, go about paying our landlady to wash the soiled bedspread which the fat baby shat on the other day.  

Poor thing had chosen the moment from being whisked out of his adorable, way too tight mult-coloured swimming trunks (and thus giving him the appearance of a mini-Hungarian bodybuilder) into attire more suited to dinner on the beach, when I turned for the briefest of moments to grab a clean 'namy' (he insists on calling them that) only to turn back at the words 'Poo Poo!' and discover the gigantic wet stool sat there on the edge of the bed - just daring me to lose it.

I promptly lifted him down to the floor before scurrying off to the bathroom with most of it clutched into barely sufficient wet-wipes, only to return to find three more identical toadstools squelching alarmingly between his big fat toes by the front door.  In the onset of what I now know to be burgeoning hysteria, I started giggling madly, barely able to catch my breath over the horror of it all as I chased him round our place, always a few steps behind the little brown footprints littering our once pristine floor.

There was only one thing to do:  ring the husband.  He was still on the beach trying to round up Eggie and Dumps and didn't seem able to follow what I was shrieking through the phone (which in all honesty I did partly because I was hysterical with laughter/horror and absolutely had to share it with the only other person who could possibly be as horrified as me, and because otherwise all three were going to soon walk headlong into the biggest poo trap of their lives upon opening the door and freak the heck out).  To his credit the husband came home straight away (I'm not sure that I would have, given the opportunity to invent some pressing errand en route) and found me just exiting the shower with a newly cleansed and grinning fat baby and the as-of-yet-not-attended-to disaster by the door.

Saying that, alls well that ends well I suppose, as that same day I was gifted with the most gorgeous white gold and ruby necklace which the husband surprised me with because:
a) he had been bad
b) he was about to be bad
c) he loves me
d) mostly c with a touch of a and maybe an inkling of b??

At any rate it's gorgeous and a lovely thing to do for no particular reason at all.  Although the fat baby isn't yet convinced that it's not a tantalisingly sweet cherry lozenge and has already tried twice to gingerly bite into it around my neck.

Oh well, all that remains is how to deal with this bedspread conundrum.  I sure hope the item in question isn't a family heirloom or something.  We had asked for an extra covering as we're sleeping three to a bed and sometimes the nights get a bit cool with the ceiling fan on full blast and the fat baby is a known bed sheet hog.  Somehow I thought that by folding it up neatly and placing it in the corner of the room it might magically disappear, and the faint smell of poo with it,  but clearly that's not happening.  

POSTSCRIPT: (I just had the most awful thought that what if they don't attribute the soiling to the baby?  It's clear he's still in 'namy's' so I can't assume that they will automatically imagine the soiling to be from him....will they? Will they????????)

Sunday, 5 January 2014

"She Is The Dancing Queen...No Longer Seventeen...But Still Pretty Keen"

'Silent-Noising' it up...on different channels of course :)
Last night after a full day of doing sweet bloody all (well we are on holiday), it was tempting to take our beer-and-naan-stuffed bellies home and pass out.  End another day of gluttonous bliss and sun-drenched nirvana with nothing more than a handful of miniature chocolates and the soothing sound of Cafe Del Mar on the Minirig speaker.

However, given that this time my mother also happens to be holidaying in Goa with us, it seemed positively stupid not to take advantage of her babysitting skills and have her crash at our place with the monsters whilst the husband, my sis and I went off to 'Silent Noise' (a beachside 'silent' all night dance party complete with fire-eaters, trapeze gymnasts - who held the attention of a field of men enrapt for more time than you would have imagined possible - where three different dj's competed for the crowds attention on three different colour coded channels which could be adjusted by switching knobs on the giant headphones you were given at the entrance).
Seemed silly not to....
So we did.

My martini mixologist of a husband mixed up some fine espresso martini's with the remainder of my sisters vodka (I think we've already covered what happened to mine/ours) and off we headed at midnight to dance like nobody was watching.  Which of course they were.

Somehow I managed to pick up the attention of a most adorable tiny little Indian man-boy who excitedly finger-pointed his way through most of the night at me, dancing opposite me in ecstasy whilst I did my best to studiously avoid eye contact in case I broke into hysterical giggles I'd have no way of ever stopping.
We found it a touch difficult to persuade my sis to leave after she clocked onto the blue channel round about 3:30am
It was A. Lot. Of. Fun. and I totally big up the husband for taking the wise decision to drag our weary selves there with the irrefutable wisdom of 'why not?'  With my only criticism being that it's a tiny bit tricky to dance in flip-flops, there was something to be said for chucking yourself about in a frenzy of deep house heaven outdoors in the warm breeze....ahhh.

The cherry on the top of the ice-cream on top of the hot fudge sundae of a night, was my mum kindly volunteering to take the monsters out for a l-o-o-o-n-g breakfast this morning to let the husband and I indulge in some pre-kiddie-esque lie-in manoeuvering reminiscent of the good old days.  Seems we still have it.

Anyway, it being mid-afternoon now, we have ingested just about enough chai, fruit salad and spanish omelettes to make a trek to Turtle Beach a real prospect.  There will be no turtles there, but some surf-worthy waves, gently swaying palm trees, ice cold beer, and homemade finger chips.

A serious contender for best ever hangover cure :)

"Give Us This Day Our Daily Naan"

We have been here in Goa for a week now and are exactly one third of the way through our three week holiday.  This is not good.  True to form, it has taken us this long to settle into the swing of things here and get re-embedded into Goan beach life.  

This means that the boys no longer get antsy and annoyed when food at the beach shacks take ages to arrive.  This also means that they have mastered the art of triple-wearing their sandy clothes and know that unless their clothes actually smell offensive they get another airing...and another.  (Inexplicably, whilst we seem to have brought along a plethora of colour changing mood lightbulbs and mini Haribo, we seem to be a tad light on things like clothes and sunscreen. I blame it on continued fallout of our splendiferous Christmas punch.)

New Year's Eve was a smash hit, in so much as, like any truly epic party, the police stormed in (not just the local police - the 'police inspecter'!) at 4am to Shut. It. Down.  Apparently the husband, who was dj'ing, mis-heard, and given the music was so loud he turned it down instead. Oopsie.  Cue the furious yanking of cables, a sudden silence storm, confused party-goers milling about mid-step, and one Apple Mac and portable decks confiscated and taken back to the police station (...only to be returned the next day once a whopping 15,000 Rupees were donated by the pissed off beach shack owner to the local police retirement fund or some such in return for the husbands gear).

Of course I knew none of this, being the devoted wife and mother that I am (roll eyes now).  I somehow got trapped beneath a sleeping and grumpy very fat baby for the better part of two hours round midnight so only threw shapes in my head (however as my sister pointed out, I probably did my share and then some of dancing for 2013 during both our Christmas party and our impromptu Christmas night rave up....a fair point.)

Anyway, I awoke New Year's Day to find THIS in bed beside me:

Normally it would have caused me a bit of a fright but I wasn't the least bit surprised to be honest.  I merely shrugged my shoulders, leaned over lazily to snap photo evidence, then rolled back over for some more sleep.  That's a long-term relationship for you...

But by no means does the husband get to lay claim to any sole disgraceful behaviour. Worryingly, the full litre-sized Russian Standard bottle of vodka we brought on holiday seems to have magically disappeared in only six days, and no one is the wiser as to how that may have occurred. 

Add to that my increasing dependance on cheese and garlic naan and you can see that I have the beginnings of a problemo here, and that if I don't watch it I can very much forget my current spring/summer wardrobe aspirations and start making provisions for more loose-fitting and boho-esque kimono's that will help me blend in better at the Priory upon our return.

I do have to give a big shout out to my sister Kenz though, as the other night she saw how irritable I was (stomping around in my you know how hard that is to do by the way?) and insisted we trade places for the night.  So SHE went to dinner with the monsters and le husband and I got to hang out by myself outside her adorable waterside room, order in fresh delicious wood oven Genovese pizza and pour myself one (possibly more?) of her delicious, pre-made and rather lethal dirty martini's.  It was HEAVEN.  
(Come to think of it, maybe therein lies the mystery of the disappearance of the last remaining Russian Standard?  I have vague memories of 'topping up' my fresh lime soda quite a few times after dinner, playing tunes rather too loudly on my new Minirig speaker, and breaking her mini-lantern causing a volcanic gush of blood red candle wax all over her new door mat.)

The only photographic evidence I have of my less than salubrious behaviour is this selfie I don't remember taking (...and fyi husband, this makes us even - see, i have no shame and will happily post less than flattering pics of myself with as much indiscretion as of you):

Hmmm..... (To be fair, I think that's a toothpick sticking out of my mouth)

Anyway, today has started in a rather lovely fashion.  I have been manhandled for 90 minutes, turned inside out then back again (by a man who is not my husband) and I feel AMAZING for it. I think I may have to coerce our masseuse into returning back to the UK with us wherein I will hold him hostage for 18 years or so, make him bunk up with the fat baby, and only release him when my bones are too brittle to manipulate.  And you think I'm joking.

Well tara for now (mostly) frozen folks.  I intend to wallow in the heat, try NOT to get vomited on again today (that was my breakfast surprise - thanks fat baby! - and probably my fault entirely for letting him gorge on biscuits whilst le husband and I had yet another decadent 'lie in'.)  Given my current jelly-bodied post massage state I reckon that's all I can reasonably set as a daily goal.  

Well that and my daily naan.