Wednesday, July 28

Just keep swimming

I used to hate the Summer. Hate having to wear less clothing. Hate having to try and feign wanting to go on a diet. Hated being on a diet.

Me and my weight have always had a tough relationship.
I was athletic when I was younger. Gymnast from 5-11 years old. Short distance runner and relay champ.
This enabled my growing body to diffuse calories quicker than lightening and define it with muscles and have no boobies.
Moving to senior school meant, less gymnastics, less running. More homework and a sudden interest in boys and, HELLO, mahoosive jugs.

Since then, my love affairs extended from boys to food.

I L.O.V.E food.

I married a Man who also loves food. In fact I am to blame for his love of food. He was very 'vanilla' when he met me. I get him to try all the things I love and try something new.
This does not help my waistline.

My Sister is a qualified chef. You do the math.

So you can see my problem. I'm a food whore. And a sloth.

The only activity that I actually enjoy is swimming. I think this is because it doesn't actually feel like work. Your floating so essentially the water is carrying you. And you don't sweat, or at least it doesn't look like sweat.

I see swimming as a solitary exercise. Yes you can participate in water aerobics and swim with a buddy, but have you actually tried swimming and talking? I get out breath just writing about it so i'd be useless as actually doing it.
My issue is, when I work long hours and Hubs works long hours and we have little time together, is it fair that I take pleasure in swimming alone?
I know it isn't really an issue, but (and I can't actually believe I am writing this) will swimming become a guilty pleasure?

But If I am going to be a fit (as in 'Phwoar' not physical fitness) wife, then I am going to have to make a sacrifice.

Hope my Husband knows how much effort I am putting in for him ;-)

Sunday, July 11

Saturday and Sunday

So, it is Sunday night and those butterflies about the impending work week are starting to flutter.

My weekend has been so, so good. Picnic with my hubby at our new favourite spot in the forest.
Drinking until the wee hours with my Brother and his Girlfriend in our communal garden. Not realising we had sunk 2 bottles of wine and 3 bottles of vodka. Alcohol units don't mean anything when your talking away and eating pitta and hummus.
Sunday was even better. Late breakfast and slowly getting ready for a day of sunning ourselves in the garden, embracing summer for the few days we have it. It was truly showing off my Mediterranean roots with my mad tanning skillz.

And now? Now, we must rest for tomorrow it is back to work. Back to earning some money so that we can hopefully enjoy the weekend again.

But before that, I can write as much as I want and twitter till I am blue in the face, all while Hubs is watching the World Cup final. Its win-win.
I will miss the World Cup for letting me have 2 hours of unadulterated 'Fran time'. Oh and I will miss the thighs of the footballers.

Wednesday, July 7

Palate cleanse

After the intense post yesterday, I thought it would be good to have something a bit less, well, intense.

So here are some pictures of my Godson from our trip to the park on Saturday:

And a gratuitous shot of me and Adam. With an extra portion of boob.

Nothing like sofa snuggles and 'Pink me me' on a Saturday afternoon

Tuesday, July 6

22 Years.

When I was 4 years, 4 months and 14 days old, my Dad died.

I have to be precise to make sure I don't forget what little memories I have left.

I am the youngest of 8 children. Two families with 3 siblings on one, 2 on the other and they joined up and made us three. Two don't talk to the other 6 and 3 don't see the other 3 that often.
But still, family is what we are, once united by grief, then torn apart by politics.

It was considered lucky that I was only 4 years, 4 months and 14 days old when my Dad died. I managed to escape all the fights over the will. All the slander over my Dad's fidelity. All the rumours of half-siblings. All the despair over who should have what possessions. All the rows in Italian; my Mother frantically trying to find the phrase book to try and find and way of saying "We need this banking document".

I wish I was lucky to not have had to witnessed it first hand. I wish I didn't see my Mother in despair, worrying how she was going to feed us let alone how she was going to pay the enormous mortgage, on a house that my Dad had purchased in the April before his death.

But I did see. I watched as a 4 year old.

I'd only known love. I'd only known a Mother and Father. From the 5th July 1988, all the love I received was tinged with guilt. Sadness for not having a Father, pity for not knowing what was going on around me.
But only, I did know what was going on. From that day on, I was no longer a child. I was a girl who's Dad died of a heart attack at 51.

Each member of my family before me have each had there own personal issue with our Father dying. Each had there own scenario which has scared them for life. My Brother discovered my Dad, my Sister had tried to revive him. Everyone else was just too late to get to him.

But I've never been able to tell mine, until now.
Except what has scarred me is that I don't have a story. I was asleep the entire time the heart attack took my Dad and killed him. I was only 4 years, 4 months and 14 days old. In some way, this makes me feel distant from my siblings. I don't have a story to tell, because I was doing what every other 4 year old was doing. Sleeping and dreaming of My Little Pony.

Memories. My visions of my Dad are fading. They are sometimes brought more vibrant when a family member talks of him. Something he used to do or something he didn't do. Even still, it is something that makes me remember him a little bit longer.
I often hear from my Brothers and Sisters, that 'There is no way I could remember such and such' or 'You were too young to remember that'. And for some of it, that's true.

But I remember walking across a bridge over the Thames, sitting on his shoulders. Dad immaculately dressed in a suit, with coiffed hair lacquered to within an inch of its receding life. I think I have a red coat on. It was cold. But the picture is now silent. I don't remember the noise around us.

I remember being in the bath with him as an 18 month old. It wasn't weird back then. It was the bonding time we had with Dad when he got back from working long hours in his restaurant. I remember the gold chain he worn whilst in the bath, not worrying to take it off.

I remember the heavy set frown and laughter lines, which my older Brother now has himself. I remember tracing my finger in the grooves of skin and wondering where they came from.

But his voice.
His Voice. That is something I don't remember.
I wish I could hear him.

If he was alive today, I would imagine it to be raspy from the secret smoking he would no doubt be doing. Words still thick with an Italian accent. R's would be rolled and he would probably only speak to us In his Mother tongue.

That is what makes me jealous and sometimes separate from my Brothers and Sisters. It sometimes hurts my heart to know that they might still grasp some sound of him. They might be right that I wont remember everything they know. But at least they might remember what he talked like. What it sounded like when he said 'I love you'. I wish I remembered him saying my name.

I'm not writing this as moan to my family. I'm writing it because this is the first time I've had the courage to say anything at all. Because even though I was only 4 years old, I did lose a Father. I went through everything everyone else did. Just because I was only 4 years old, didn't make that any easier.

I love my Dad with all my heart. He wasn't perfect and nothing ever is. But in my memory of the two of us walking over the bridge, I can pretend for a moment it was.