Tuesday, 30 August 2016

"Oversized Baggage"

So we're back on UK shores after a three week sojourn in Canada. It feels weird to be honest, though I'm sure having thousands of miles between us and unlimited supplies of Tim Horton's Timbits is a good thing - no I know it's a good thing.

The night before we left, the National Lampoon classic, "European Vacation" was on telly and I giggled through my favourite scene (the one where the family are on a train, so fed up that they purposely try and annoy each other, wishing desperately to be shot of their fellow family members), only to reenact it twenty-four hours later at the airport.

First off, the husband was barely speaking to me on account of the amount of luggage I had acquired in three weeks. Never mind that most of it was baked goods and sundries you can't get here in the UK (anyone ever try making Rice Krispy Squares with UK marshmallows? The whole mess congeals into a burnt blob of gelatine and stubbornly refuses to melt). He was livid that we were returning to London with four pieces of checked luggage and 10 pieces of carry-on. (Unfortunately for him, some internet sleuthing several days earlier had unearthed the surprising fact that Air Canada allows not one but two 10 kilo pieces per person to be carried on board - no matter that in our case one of the passengers happened to be a four year old incapable of carrying anything heavier than a teddy.)

Also, we have a long-standing conflict regarding airport timings. I hate getting there too early and like to leave myself JUST enough time to cruise through and right onto the plane. The husband prefers to get there in enough time to give himself time to sink an overpriced pint and still get halfway through his holiday read.

This time my cousin was giving us a lift in his jeep and despite the cramped conditions (Dumps on my lap, Squit on the husband's lap, and all of us with bags piled up to our necks and numb extremities) we made it there in plenty of time to ascertain that our flight was going to be delayed (surprise surprise) and that somewhere along the line, the delicious slice of cold pizza I had stashed in one of the 10 carry-ons had fallen out and I'd have to make do with a soggy creme cheese bagel instead.

But get home we did, and with no excess baggage charges to boot. Forty-Eight hours later and the husband is only just thawing out, and this despite the horrendous discovery that not only did we cart back an insane amount of stuff, but a raging case of head lice to boot (thanks Egg)....we're talking legions.

So here we are, (not really) ready to start the Autumn term, with fast-fading suntans from the near tropical daily heat of Toronto, and massive sugar and cocktail come-downs. Even the end of holiday Espresso Martini the husband and I just balefully downed barely touched the sides.

Now I have the small matter of where (and how) to stash the year's supply of edible goods I brought back - though I am greatly enjoying the novelty of fitting out my kitchen with all manner of cool gadgets I couldn't resist. However all that will have to wait as my first job tomorrow morning is to find a glazier to replace the glass on our french doors which Egg rather randomly smashed this afternoon.

We're back alright.

Friday, 19 August 2016

"'Toronna'...'Toronna'...I Love You 'Toronna"

So we're back in good ol' 'Toronna' (Toronto, Canada to those not acquainted with the sometimes local vernacular) for our annual summer trip back to visit family and stock up on North American baked goods (I kid you not, should Customs and Excise ever decide to pull me over I shall be accused of trying to open an illegal corner shop).

Due to logistics (and fairness - truth be told - especially in light of the husband's recent 8 day solo bike trip through the Alps) I have had the unique pleasure of being rid of any parental or spousal duties for the past fourteen days now...and oh, how easily and quickly I have adapted.

Perhaps due to having temporarily shed the mantle of responsibility for anyone but myself, I have shockingly quickly reverted into somewhat insolent teenage behaviour.

Case in point: the other day (in hindsight, rather rudely but not without humour) I donned one of my usually elegant Mums' outfits and proceeded to do an impromptu fashion show complete with comedy gait and pursed lips (Derek Zoolander would have been proud), clad in a boxy linen blouse and shapeless, calf-length denim skirt. I collapsed in giggles whilst my mother, raised eyebrows and all, tried to talk me out of wearing said outfit over to her condo as a dare, where my sister was going to meet us.
It's all in the stance...
Whilst admitting it to be a ludicrous get-up when viewed from the vantage point of spectator, my mum nonetheless defended her right to wear it for the sole purpose of dog walking.

Her inability to concede that it was a fashion faux pas on an apocalyptic level merely prompted a comedy walk down the hall, into her packed lift, into the car park, up another lift (all the while my mother nervously trailing behind, muttering under her breath, hoping we didn't run into anyone she knew) and into the condo where my sister satisfactorily roared with laughter. I then did an about face onto my mum's 19th story balcony and in a burst of admittedly childish rebellion, stripped off and chucked the whole sorry mess into the air and over the edge.
"One is not amused..."
Something about wandering these Toronto streets connects me back to my rebellious seventeen year old self, and prompts me to don bright orange nail polish, a trucker hat, oversized shades and storm the streets to my favourite spotify playlist, sucking on ice-lollies, chewing bubblegum and buying up vintage rock t-shirts. (Mind you, it's not like I sustain from this sort of behaviour ensconced in my middle-class London enclave...)
FYI this is how you do a bathroom selfie Kim Kardashian...
All this to say that it is with some trepidation (yet honest yearning and delight - I adore and miss those little monsters) that I anticipate the boys' arrival to downtown 'Toronna' from Mississauga tomorrow when the husband drops them off and likely scarpers - not to be seen until the departure lounge at Pearson Airport one week hence. I imagine there will be a slight adjustment period wherein I sternly have to remind myself that it's not a good example to have two glasses of Pinot Grigio and a family sized bag of Smartfood popcorn for dinner - nor is it acceptable to storm through human barricades of 'five abreast' tourists on downtown sidewalks in my hurry to get an iced-coffee, despite possibly causing bodily harm to the young and elderly.

And don't even get me started on the fear that accompanied the husband's final email to me last night regarding the recent regression of our four year olds toilet training habits:

"There is still an evil bag of shitty clothes awaiting me."  (fyi i'm pretty sure he means actual shit)