1. What's in a kiss?
Sometimes in a relationship words can fail you, emotions can cloud your judgement and you can feel like you're heading for a night's sleep spent with your backs turned to each other almost falling off the edge of the bed. We don't all specialise in the art of communication and even if we did, it doesn't always apply to every dilemma, especially when you're hurt and your words aren't your own.
Sometimes these moments can feel like the love that you had couldn't possibly find its way back; you can't express yourself for fear of saying too much and you can't find the solution for offering too little. Whilst I can't say these feelings speak for my relationship, I did learn recently if you do experience a moment of confusion: identify a need for direction. It's natural to sometimes question the paths we take in love and in all aspects of life, but specifically, if you ever want to know what you feel deep down for that person laying down next to you. I believe the answer is in a kiss.
We experience the passion of a kiss more regularly in the early days, they often fizzle into pecks on the cheeks or sometimes a short exchange of lust when we are about to be naughty with our partners. But those sensational, lingering moments that could write a thousand words on their own can get lost and forgotten consigned to existing as just a distant memory.
I recently thought long and hard about the quality of our embraces and I committed to putting everything I had into making our next the most passionate, meaningful and perfect kiss we'd ever shared. I didn't have my stopwatch out but it felt as though we were lost in the significance of it for ages. It's incredible how much feeling can be translated through a kiss; good or bad a kiss can tell you more about your relationship than you think, it's like having your fortune told. For your next time, look into his eyes, pull him close and kiss him like you mean it!
2. Fashion shows & fancy clothes
What lengths do we go to to conquer our children's taste in clothes that evidently do not quite mirror our own?! For ages now my children have developed their own style - not a very good one I might add (it's VERY mix and match). But although it's all about them getting a sense of self, if there is a compromise to be had between them hating everything I lay out for them and them walking out the door looking like they got dressed in the dark, well I want to know about it!
In search of this compromise my better half Nicola suggested we do a fashion show after we had visited Westfield in order to kit them out for their forthcoming two week holiday in Tenerife. I love picking stuff out for the kids but knew choosing the clothes was a gamble, of the shopping I had purchased how much of it would they like and how much of it would be discarded without so much of a "shall I at least try this on?"
Letting the kids come shopping and choosing their clothes is a thankless task. They get tired, distracted and when we research the high street stores online they point out some pretty funky stuff: so we went it alone. The idea was to buy everything in outfits then get all the purchases home, wait until they had had their bath and then get them to try each outfit on together and pose for a photo, which on review would prove to them on countless occasions in the future that it does look good!
The excitement of it not only meant that every single item of clothing was met with a thumbs up, it also meant that we got to laugh hysterically at Freddy's interpretation of a modelling pose. The plan worked, the kids now have at least 10 outfits each, they need never mix and match again and I've also got a self made catalogue for them both so in the mornings they need only reference that in order to decide what to go for each day in the holidays. Problem solved, hopefully.
The best thing though? It all came in at a reasonable £260, that's £130 per child and the biggest reason for that is because the bulk of the tops were brought from Primark which is of course particularly cheap yet really fashionable. The store are also clever enough to not have 'Primark' labels in their garments because it would be a shame for the kids to be put off on a technicality!
We mixed the best of their summer collection (including a pair of aviator-style sunglasses for a pound) with the best from River Islands kids department, threw in a pair of navy Toms each and they were done. And now I can safely make the statement, not for the first time, that my kids are better dressed than I am.
3. When is work anything but work?
This Morning whisked me off to Menorca to record a competition shoot all of last week. It's a dream come true to think of the Mediterranean as a temporary office. Every now and again I get the chance to work abroad, and it's happening more frequently this year than ever. With Canada, Barbados, Marbella and now Menorca under the belt already this year I am growing very fond of these little work excursions but are they all a complete jolly up?
They could film me washing cars in the sun all day, I'd still have to say "Yes!" Sure we're up early and in late but I wouldn't change it for anything, seeing some beautiful places, staying in luxurious villas, climbing aboard some ridiculous yachts, eating in lovely restaurants and enjoying some wonderful beaches are experiences that come hand in hand when you are filming attractive looking competition packages, and Menorca was all of those pleasures rolled into one.
My favourite part of these trips are often the 'wrap party' when the competitions team lets their hair down and celebrates their hard work with a nice local tapas and some drinks in the port, and of course as is now becoming the tradition, the drinking games often follow. This one caught me out though so I ended up worse for wear. We usually play my silly games which means I rarely lose seeing as I'm so used to them. Unfortunately for me someone suggested a new game and it wasn't just one I hadn't played before, it was one I was fairly bad at.
The object of the game was to toss a half empty cigarette box over your drink onto the centre of the table. If it landed on its side you were safe, if it tipped over (as was more commonly the case) you were in trouble because if the person before you stood the box up you would have to drink two fingers, if the player before them stood it up too and you missed, four fingers would need to be drunk and so on.
I struggled to master the technique so after many bottles of beer later I was running around the port hurdling over a few barriers and onto a pirate ship which had circumnavigated the globe...only to find out, whilst hiding behind a barrel so that my soon to board friend couldn't find me, there were real life pirates living below deck! On came a light followed by a barrage of Spanish abuse, well, you've never seen me move so fast!
Good to let your hair down but not good to get captured by pirates, I'll stick to leapfrogging bollards next time! Lastly just to pay absolute respect to Menorca and how lovely it was there, very much a quiet version of anywhere else I've ever been to in Spain and seemingly the perfect destination for young families.