Posts Tagged ‘Sister’

So: after almost twenty months, more Estate Agents than I ever hope to encounter again in the rest of my life, an architect, a team of builders and a deep immersion in the auction houses of London, I am moving into my new house this weekend.

The children have already seen it and given it their unconditional approval, which is heartening, as I chose it largely with them in mind – as you would, of course. When I saw it, I wasn’t completely convinced – in fact, I was quite anti: but the endorsements of Sister, Parents, Old Friend at Work and Best Friend all brought me round and now I am enamoured with it. This is probably due, in no small part, to the fact that it no longer has mahogany floorboards, a black quartz kitchen floor and blue and white tiles in the bathrooms (one of the reasons I have spent so long not living in a house that I have owned for six months is that I decided to bite the bullet, do ALL the work – and spend ALL the money, rather than do it in drips and drabs, which would be disruptive – and I think everyone’s had enough disruption to be getting on with…), and is now exactly as I would want it.

It’s also the first time that I’ve lived in a house of this style: very modern and open-plan, rather than old and self-contained rooms. Again, I am now delighted with this way of living, and it’s also quite therapeutic to be living a new life in a new kind of space, rather than in a version of the houses that I shared with Ex Wife.

So: good times ahead. The children are excited, and I’m excited. If I can put up with the navy blue front door until the Spring, when I shall re-paint it (and there’s more than enough woodwork to be painting in the meantime), then all shall be rosy in the garden. Assuming some cunt hasn’t planted bamboo in there…

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Apparently, other than “money”, “Christmas” is the most dangerous discussion that a couple hoping to stay together can embark upon. If they choose to have this conversation whilst in the car park of IKEA, they are well and truly fucked, to the extent that initiating the conversation may be considered inflammatory and grounds for granting custody.

Anyway, Wife and I DID embark on the conversation this week: her half-sister has invited us, and my sister has invited us. On the one hand, I haven’t spent Christmas with my family for the last three years, given that they were in New York. On the other hand, we have never spent Christmas with any of her family (although her parents were divorced very early on in her life and lived entirely separate lives, so it’s not as if we were turning our back on a Rockwell-style offering) and so it could be argued that the time has come.

We haven’t resolved it yet: what IS clear is that we will manage to get to both families on “The Day”, with the handy deployment of the “Drinks” and “The Meal” being taken as two separate events – but we need to get clear pretty swiftly, out of respect for our two hostesses, one of whom is going to have to find a piece of meat that serves somewhere between 16 and 20…

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I am an uncle again!

Sister gave birth to her daughter at 15.15 on 09.01.09 in New York – and they are calling her Emma Elizabeth. It wasn’t quite one of those set-ups where you’re going into hospital to have an in-growing toenail looked out, only to find yourself gowned up for major by-pass surgery: but it wasn’t far off. Sister had been told that it would be “at least another six hours” until the baby came – and half an hour later, she was holding her in her arms.

Everyone is (understandably) extremely excited, not least of whom is Daughter, who suggested that we all fly to New York (“this afternoon”) to see the new baby. I think it’s more likely that we will wait until their return in the Spring/Summer – but I won’t guarantee that I won’t be doing all I can to wangle a New York trip…

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This is Acclaimed Photographer Friend’s view of the weather in New York at the moment. Wife and I are off there next weekend, and so were keen to understand just how relevant the mutterings of “100% humidity” proved to be – and it sounds like we’re going to be in for the kind of weather that we have been craving (and missing) in London this summer.

We’re both very excited: there are friends and family in New York (most particularly, Sister, who returns there today after a five week stay over here with Nephew) and the dollar is still weak enough (though strengthening slowly) to leave Wife with sleepless nights about the amount of shopping that it’s going to be possible to cram into the 200 hours that we are there for.

We’re back in The London – which is equidistant from everyone that we want to see, and opposite MoMA (which somehow, I always think I want to visit, and am, somehow always disappointed by) – but which (most splendidly) has suites instead of rooms, and so there is room for Nephew to come and run around, and for Wife to do catwalk style parading in whatever new wares she has purchased that day.

I find it such an exciting city to visit, no matter how many times I go back, when we drive in from the airport and see that clustered skyline of buildings jockeying for position, I get a feeling in my stomach comparable to the one when the lights go down in a theatre… I can’t wait.

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A Sad Day

Friday, 6th April, 2007

My sister leaves today to go to New York for two years.

Her husband’s job is taking him there for a while, and as their beautiful son is only two at the moment, the timing is perfect: they’ll return just as he needs to go to school. Had a similar opportunity arisen for us when we had only one child, I’m sure we’d have done the same – I think it will be hugely exciting.

Nevertheless, all of us left here will miss them terribly. Although I hardly ever saw her when she was living a mere five roads away, there was a comfort in knowing that she was nearby and occasionally bumping into the family as they moved down Chiswick High Road (ie: from coffee shop to coffee shop, mobile phone retailer to mobile phone retailer).

I think that business is going to take me to New York for a few days in May – so I may go with Wife and book a couple of extra days’ holiday. We were going to go in two weeks’ time – but the time isn’t great with the impending move to Big New House almost upon us.

But it’s not all misery: tomorrow Eldest Son and I are going to see “Scooby Doo Live On Stage”…

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Saturday, 13th October 2007

I had a fantastic time in New York: a work trip that was far less arduous than I had been expecting, and every day spent with Sister and Nephew, which was a real joy. 

The work was brief and simple: Woody Allen Creative Director is a joy to work with and likes walking and talking, or briefing in museums, rather than in the offices: which suits me JUST fine. Other than that (and the gorgeous family…) the shopping was extensive and ruinous. That is not a figure of speech: stupid amounts of money were spent in the interest of enhanced Autumn/Winter 2007 looks for Wife and I, and on glow in the dark pyjamas for all of the children. However, the good news is that I think I have pretty much nailed Christmas.

The other good news is that (for the first time) Good Friend in PR was in New York (where he lives) at the same time as me: so we drank and ate and laughed and gadded – which was magnificent. 

I love visiting New York: I have NEVER had a bad trip there. I think that’s because while there’s a lot of it that annoys me, there is also a lot that I love about it too and find really enjoyable (especially in small doses). I don’t suppose I’ll be out there in the foreseeable future, as we’re trying to get Woody Allen Creative Director to move to London, and so I’ll have no need to go out there, which will be a real pity, but both Sister and Good Friend in PR are due to come home in about two years, so that’s bearable.

I returned home to find Wife slumped in bed with Youngest Son dancing on her head. She had a hangover and was too weak to bat him away, but not to weak to ask: “Have you got me a present?” with her first breath…

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