Lessons from my mother.

It’s my mum’s birthday today! Normally on these occasions people post some poetic quotes on Facebook, perhaps on top of a picture of a Minion. Or just a paragraph on how much they love their mother. Maybe a card or a text message if they’re not into their social media.

Surprise! My glass heart rejects any overt emotional display, so I’m not going to do that. Aside from the card. I’m not a total animal.

I have a feeling that, having kept her questionably competent daughter alive for 26 years, my mum would prefer if I shared some of the most important (or at least memorable) things that I’ve picked up from her in my lifetime.

In fact, I think she’d like it about as much as she likes cake.

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Mummy Mac’s Life Lessons

You have to be able to taste the gin in a gin and tonic

If you’ve ever had a drink mixed by my mother, you’ll know this one first hand. She once complained to the dude giving out samples in Malaga airport because there wasn’t enough gin in her G&T. It was 8am.

I left.

The wine buying priority goes percentage -> price -> anything else

I am frequently caught looking like the world’s biggest jake in the supermarket. If you see someone methodically turning round bottles of Pinot Grigio in the wine aisle, it’s going to be someone in my family. Take your bets on which one!

The horn in the car is not just to alert other drivers to your presence

Let me take this opportunity to apologise to my driving instructor if he reads this, because I have – whether through genetics or social conditioning – adopted my mother’s attitude. Someone cuts you up at a roundabout? Horn. Someone pulls out of a junction a little too close to you? Horn. Someone generally being a dick on the road? Yep. I’ve been in the car with my mother and she’s overtaken someone driving obnoxiously slowly with her hand on the horn the whole way.

Never trust a driver in a flat cap and a Volvo

I think she got this one from her driving instructor. I’ve never actually come across a flat cap wearing Volvo driver, so I can’t vouch for the integrity of their driving, but every time I see someone in a Volvo I automatically double check their headwear. Just in case.

You shouldn’t kill insects when they come into the house

You have to understand what an internal struggle this is. I’m entomophobic to the highest degree. The only insects I can tolerate are flies and occasionally wasps. Anything else turns me into a weeping snotty mess.

My mother has drilled into me that it’s cruel to kill them, which makes me feel an enormous amount of guilt when my first reaction is to get the Dyson, attach the longest selection of cleaning tools I have and suck the offending beastie up. Now I usually get Sean to get rid of them. Or whichever of my friends happens to be coming round.

I’m not entirely sure Mummy Mac’s approach of “trap them carefully under a glass, carry them gently to the upstairs window and lob them out” is any more humane, but I’ll humour her.

The Eighties were the peak of music

If I’m ever looking for a decent playlist with very few songs I’ll need to skip on it, I’m almost definitely going to the 80s. Much like the car horn thing, I’m not sure if this is something I’m genetically engineered to enjoy or if I’ve been carefully trained through years of background music, but now that I’m in my 20s we both love an 80s night.

Unless they play Come On Eileen. I have never seen anyone have a reaction as visceral to a song as my mum does to Come On Eileen.

Happy birthday Mummy Mac – you’ve taught me everything I know to be a slightly functioning adult. Especially when it comes to alcohol.

me and maw

Macs on tour: a weekend adventure.

I’m back! Did you miss me?

I’m writing this sitting in Gatwick with a double gin. It’s doing marvellous things.

gin

The past weekend has been spent in England with my sister. While talking to her work colleagues she accidentally made me sound like my granny’s Labrador, who frequently ambles off into the woods and gets lost. One of her colleagues even offered to come and pick me up from the town centre and take me to the office in case I struggled.

Really, it only took four people in three countries and two continents to help me find the train I needed to be on. I don’t see why everyone is so concerned. And in my defence, Reading station is horribly lacking in information.

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Anyway, once I’d FINALLY managed to navigate the travel infrastructure of Berkshire and meet Megan, here’s some fun stuff we did:

  • Played with Alexa the Amazon Echo. After a couple of beers I realised that Alexa would play songs on request, which is frankly delightful. Unfortunately every single song we asked for was also playing on Andrew’s phone…in South Korea. At 7am. We only found out when he asked us to stop playing dinner jazz. Thank you Andrew for not playing something horrifying into my ears at 5am in retort.
  • We went to Camden Market and I was allowed to be smug since I managed to navigate back to the awesome burger place I went to last time from memory. Honest Burger, everyone. They do gluten free AND cute cocktails in tiny cups.
  • Drank warm spiced cider. Because it’s warm, it’s spiced and it’s cider.

me and megan

  • Went on a great beret hunt.
  • Sat in Zizzi between two kiddie birthday parties and had two other random children chasing each other round our table. Didn’t harpy scream at any of them.
  • Carried out some wedding planning. By that I mean we watched a lot Say Yes to the Dress and bought two magazines in M&S to read while we went to the pub.

wedding planning

On top of all this, I managed to tick off something I called out in my 2018 Challenges blog. Flew from Gatwick to Edinburgh on my own for the first time ever, which was stressful due to a) my tendency to panic and b) the fact that I really don’t like flying. It went more smoothly than I thought it would. I didn’t get lost, didn’t get swabbed, scanned, flagged or felt up at security (as I frequently do) had enough time for a gin before the flight. Even when we hit a tiny bit of turbulence just before we landed I managed to refrain from having a nervous breakdown in the arms of the poor lassie next to me.

Thanks Mini Mac – see ya real soon!

see ya real soon

The world of Yesterday, Tomorrow and Fantasy.

I’m going to Florida with my family next month! Have I told you yet? If not, buckle up: I’m about to get really annoying for the next four weeks.

My sister – who has been at least once a year since 2014 and for whom the word “obsessed” is putting it lightly – doesn’t believe I’m excited, despite the fact that I’ve spent the past three years bawling whenever she’s shown me her photos. When we booked the flights a full twelve months ago she nearly battered me with a spade because I “wasn’t excited enough”.

She spends a lot of time watching review videos, POV videos, Vlogs and stuff. She wants me to do this too, so we can be excited together. I refuse. To quote River Song: spoilers.

I’m not unconvinced Megan moved to England earlier this year to avoid throttling me out of frustration.

So, because I’m pretty sure she won’t let me onto the plane unless I stop saying “I don’t know, everything” whenever she asks me what I’m most excited about, I’ve dug deep into my surface level knowledge of Disney World and picked the five things that have me at MAXIMUM HYPE.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

I turn 26 right in the middle of the trip. 26 is a horrible number. It’s on the wrong side of 25 and dangerously close to MY LATE TWENTIES. I will no longer fit into the 18-25 age bracket.

Obviously the way I’m going to counter this is by regressing into my ten year old self and bawling my eyes out in a Harry Potter theme park for the day. If my family don’t think I’m going to embarrass them all by running around in Ravenclaw robes with a wand and an owl under my arm then they don’t know me at all. I’M NOT SORRY.

Disney BoardWalk

I’m finding it difficult to look at the entire BoardWalk and not just shout YAAAAAAS whenever I see it. In an ideal world I’d be here most evenings. It looks AMAZING. Arcades, food, a great big lake with boats and a bar that sells eight different varieties of margarita? When can I move in?

I hope there’s mini golf. We love mini golf.

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The Magic Kingdom

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This was my first response when Megan asked me what I was MOST excited about. (I hope I’m more excited than she is in that photo.) She said “yeah, but what about it?”

Like…what do you mean, “what about it”? EXISTING THERE.

But I continue to aggravate her with vague answers, so I looked at the map as much as I could and still be spoiler free and picked the highlights.

  • Main Street, U.S.A. – they do a song and dance when the park opens and then you get to walk right up the middle to the statue of Disney holding Mickey’s hand and Cinderella Castle? SISTER HOLD ME I’M CRYING ALREADY.
  • Thunder Mountain – I HATED rollercoasters or anything vaguely scary as a child. I’m not overly enamoured with them as a bigger child, but I remember crying and freaking out on the walk up to Thunder Mountain – yes, the tamest coaster in all the land – so I’m going to on this one to prove a point.
  • The Peter Pan ride – this was my absolute favourite when I went last time because it was so pretty and chill.
  • Fantastic show – I might be cheating with this because I can’t remember if it’s in the Magic Kingdom or not but whatever, I cry every time Megan plays clips of it and I’m going to cry when we’re there. No regrets.

Epcot

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Epcot is the park that I liked the least when I was there last time. In hindsight I was probably too young to actually appreciate it since it looks cool af now. There’s Future World and fireworks and stuff, but let’s get real: hello World Showcases.

I like food and I like atmosphere. I’m very keen to inhale lots of both. There’s also a Drinking Around The World challenge, which is where you have to have a drink at each of the eleven World Showcase country pavilions in one day, sounds right up my avenue. Will I be able to walk out of the park afterwards? Who knows. I’m not sure if there’s a prize for managing it, but by the time I get there I doubt I’ll care.

Also the Epcot International FOOD AND WINE Festival is on while we’re there and y’know.

these are a fwe of my favourite things

The Disney water parks

For someone who spends so much time indoors and is paler than Casper, nothing makes me happier than brightly coloured alcohol and sun. I’m literally going to drink cocktails and spin through shades of brown faster than a Dulux mixing machine. I’m not one for flumes or being dumped into pools because I’m hopeless and I will drown, so really the rides don’t matter here and Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are equally going to do it for me. Mainly because they’ve both got those things where you sit in the middle of a rubber ring and float round a river.

Those things are awesome.

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There you go Megan. Happy trip planning. It’s going to be awesome and I hope we’re as stylish this year as we were in 2002.

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