Doris the destroyer

I am not at all happy with Doris! She arrived without an invite, caused a lot of devastation and destruction and then left without even a “thank you for having me”. She was like an unwanted guest at a party who had a few too many Proseccos.

Doris is the name the Met office gave to the storm that whipped through the UK yesterday. The Met office decided to give names to those “storms that deem potentially able to have a substantial impact on the UK or Ireland”.

Is the intention to make the general public think that because the storms have a cute name they will whizz on by without so much as blowing a hair out-of-place? Therefore, stopping us from going into full-on ‘panic mode’?

Personally I think the cute names lull us into a false sense of security. Surely a storm with the same name as your Grandma or Great Aunt won’t be horrible and create havoc? They will just bring enough of a weather system to make us either stay indoors and snuggle up by the fire with a cup of tea, or to wrap up warm, go outside and fly a kite in the ‘playful’ winds?

But there was nothing playful or snuggly about Doris! She blustered into our little country, caused all sorts of chaos and destruction and then grabbed her passport and went off to poor unsuspecting Poland to do the exact same thing there. Batten down the hatches lovely Polish people!

bay-tree_1I am truly thankful that Doris didn’t do anything too serious to our property here in Suffolk. But I am angry that she knocked my lovely Bay tree over and smashed the pot to pieces, blew down a tree in the wood (log burner for you my friend), smashed a garden lantern and even decided to move Muffin’s house for him. (Muffin is our pet bunny who lives in a big and heavy hutch outside). And ‘she’ covered my car in so many leaves and twigs it looks as if it’s dressed in army camouflage fatigues!

This is basically the equivalent of her gate-crashing our party, drinking far too much, spilling red wine on the white sofa, treading food into the carpet and falling back into the TV whilst trying to dance to Gangnam style in the lounge!

Time to get your coat, and go home Doris.

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A cough, a car and a chef!

We were getting ready for the school run. It had frozen overnight so I had to spend ten minutes or so to defrost the car. Somehow my car has moisture on the inside so I have to spend time defrosting both the outside and the inside of the windows!

I love my car. It’s very pretty and hasn’t let me down (I’ve probably just jinxed this). However, there are two things that I don’t like about it. One is how it freezes on the inside and the other is that it doesn’t have a cup-holder. My daughter’s child seat was £25 and has TWO cup-holders and yet my (much more) expensive car doesn’t have one. Perhaps it’s because it’s a French car and they believe coffee should be served in a proper cup and enjoyed in a café beside the River Seine rather than on the move in a paper cup? Fair enough, but when you’re a working Mum and rushing to drop the kids off at nursery or school before starting your day a portable cup of coffee is a must!

car-seatOn one such morning I was in desperate need of a coffee. I bought one and then sat in my car pondering where the heck I was going to put the bucket of latte without it spilling. The only place was one (of the two) cup-holder’s in my daughter’s car seat. I jammed it in there and drove very slowly and carefully. One of the times I checked my rear-view mirror I noticed that the coffee cup had flipped out of the holder and turned upside down and was now sat in my daughter’s car seat!

Thankfully by the time I came to pick it up (with the delicacy of a bomb disposal unit) I managed to do so with just a small leak of coffee out of the little hole you sip from. It was a miracle.

Anyway, I’d defrosted the car and about to pile Amelie into it, along with her many school bags when I realised I couldn’t shut the driver’s door. The lock had slipped down and wouldn’t shut. Brilliant!

I’m already running late due to the double defrosting task and now we must walk to school. It’s a good 25-minute walk at Amelie’s pace. Poor Amelie had a very bad cough and almost coughed up a lung on the way and was beginning to look decidedly ‘peeky’ by the time we reached school. I thought she would probably be fine after she had settled down after the walk and had some water. So off I trekked back home again. Got home and was about to call a ‘man who can’ to fix my car when the school called me to say Amelie had “gone a funny colour” and wasn’t well.

So on with my coat and boots again and I set off to walk down the road for a third time. I’m now worried that the walk back home with Amelie will probably wipe her out. But as my car is broken there isn’t anything else I can do. I did think about riding her electric scooter to school so she could sit on it and ride back, but figured the battery probably wouldn’t last and I’d look truly ridiculous!

Thankfully the lovely school chef took pity on us and offered to drive us home again which we were both truly thankful for. But then I felt really bad as she managed to get her car stuck on our drive. We’ve all done it – totally misjudged a space and them messed up the manoeuvre. Bless her; she managed to drive right over the rock that props the gate open and then didn’t have enough room to swing round without hitting the patio. She really was stuck between a rock and a hard place! It quickly turned into a comedy moment that reminded me of the clip out of ‘Austin Powers’ when he tries to do a three-point turn. And all of this happened before 9.30am. On mornings like this I actually don’t need a portable cup of coffee, I need a portable cup of Prosecco!