Posted by: Moon | February 19, 2013

Health and time …… how and when ?

As I hit 30 ish …. I am struggling with fitness, esp during the winter months here, it is nearly impossible to find anything to help fitness wise.

I can’t run. Hate it, boring and with 4 knee ops and a bad hip, never ever going to be a runner. During my younger days, I was always playing sport, football and cricket my main two, but always finding something to play, and this has always kept me pretty fit. After my retirement from Football, and then the move to the USA (Not too much cricket for me there) I took to other forms of fitness, blading by the beach, and the most enjoyable and obvious, the gym.

I really got into the gym, with decent music to listen to, I would head there 3-4 times a week, include a swim, and generally, was probably the fittest I have ever been.

Then two things happened. The move to Slovakia (Gym time not so easy here) and of course, Matej.

We both work decent hours, Mrs M more so than me, so with the balance of trying to get Matej to school, collect and home for dinner, bath and bed, there leaves no time for much else. During the summer that can change, long lighter evenings, the chance to ride or skate is there, plus the exercise of getting the grass cut, house sorted etc should be enough, but the winter time is awful

I do have two gyms quite close by, but, when to go ? If I want to use the one close to work, it means taking two cars to the office. This is about a 60km round trip, so proves expensive with petrol etc. The other gym is closer for weekend use, but only opens at 9am, so, but the time I have got there, done my stuff, showered and home, that most of either Saturday or Sunday morning gone and …. going once a week to the gym is pretty pointless right ….

All excuses .. well no, I don’t think so, more practical reasons that makes it so hard to even try to get to a routine for the gym etc .. so, what do I do.

I have taken coffee, Alcohol and Chocolate out of my diet. This is to try to give my body some chance to ‘clean up’ .. the headaches are going slightly, but, I am not feeling the benefits just yet, but I know I will… just how and what to do for damn exercise !!!

Posted by: Moon | January 14, 2013

It’s a shite job …. !

No photos with this post, which I think you might be happy about ..

We are potty trained .. yes, yes, I know you non parents really are not interested in this, but, of course it is a monumental moment for Matej and us. We took off the nappy one morning, had one ‘accident’ and from then on, not one single issue, we are delighted.

He is 2.5 now, so we probably have left this too long, but, you need the time to be around for a couple of days, and with work, travel etc, the time has never been right for us. Over Christmas, we obviously had the time, and Matej has moved to Pants !!.. oh yes.. not just pants, but pants with faces and everything on. These have now become his favourite item of clothing. Most days we get a parade (well, a yelling naked boy) legging it around the house prior to the ‘pant ceremony’) then a further display of the ‘Pant Runner”.. (Not quite as good as the Kite Runner to be fair …. )

So, now we have daily, well, mainly hourly (I am sure he has a women’s bladder) of the “Wee Wee’ dance, and of course the daily “Kaka” routine .. Never has so much shit produced more high fives and chocolates ! I don’t get this, he gets celebrated, praised and chocolate when he has a poo, I get moaned at and complained at that I am taking so “fucking” long (My wife’s words, not mine).

There you go, we are now nappy free (also means we can afford another mortgage… do you know how expensive they are !), we have one further problem, he does seem to spend a lot of time with his hands inside his pants now, I keep telling him he has years to enjoy that, but, for now, that’s what we have to put up with. I am not sure he will grow out of this, most men seem incapable of stopping this habit, but then again, what harm does it do ? as long as he stops doing in supermarkets, after all, he won’t go blind will he !

So our baby is now a boy, so full of spirit and life, and with a great sense of humour. He finds endless humour in farts, being scared with surprise “Leap outs”… and a giggle that melts our hearts.

He sleeps really well, every night, with our routine, he is in his bed and asleep in minutes, BUT, the little sod seems to love an early morning, and if he sleeps past 6am, then we feel blessed !

One final point, if you do have a 2yr old, and you don’t know what to buy him for Christmas, let me give you some sound advice… DO NOT buy them a hockey stick ! He needs to learn the ‘Slashing’, ‘Hooking’ and ‘High Sticking’ laws …. Our corner has become the sin bin, and our boy seems destined to spend about 6 months a year there ! ….

But, all in all, The Little Terrorist is doing ok, and both parents are still alive , thats a win !

Posted by: Moon | January 13, 2013

My Silent Sunday

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Posted by: Moon | January 10, 2013

Wonder if anyone still visits me ?

Gooood Morning

Here I am, fresh into 2013, the blog is still alive, and I have some free time, so I can write some more shite … (Guess I will have to plug the blog a little !)

Christmas is done, snow is lying thick around the place, heating is on fully, and all is well in the Moon household.

So, what’s been going on… in a nutshell, not a lot. The normal living kinda things

1 – Coping with a 2 month long cold for the boy
2 – Protecting my shins from his Christmas present of a hockey stick (he hasn’t quite got a grip on the ‘high sticking’ law)
3 – Meg has another broken Leg
IMG-20121227-00223

4 – Matej looooves to bake !
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5 – Plans for Easter and summer holidays (Tatra Mountains and England)
6 – Work travel to the UK and only ONE trip to the USA
7- Writing to my good friend Jeff, and realising he still has nearly 4 yrs to go !
8 – planning the next stage of developing the Moon landscape (not that Moon, I am not that ambitious!)
9 – Reading loads
10 – Eating loads
11 – Getting told off for swearing on Twitter !
12 – Preparing a rather strange shopping list for a visit to England in Feb

The list goes on, none of it very Rock ‘n’ Roll, but all good things.

The only downside is my lack of picking up the language better, basically due to how bloody hard I find it, but somewhat down to my lack of trying (Bad Me). Matej is talking lots more, in a mix of both languages, but he knows ‘Wee Wee” and “Caka”… two vital words now he is fully potty trained (took half a day people, half a day !)

So, if I have any readers left….. let me know, I am making 2013 a year of my blog !

Posted by: Moon | November 13, 2012

Now that’s Entertainment …

So, M is away in the USA for 9 days, and I am left to look after *keep alive, The Terrorist.

He is a good lad normally in a very good mood, unless he cannot have Pooh about, and after his emotional hugging on Sunday, I thought I should put him to work.

We have 3 large walnut trees in the garden, and they provide us with shade in the summer, nuts in the Autumn and fucking leaves galore in the winter !!! The leaves, if left, will kill the grass (this bothers me) and the neighbour get pissed off if the leaves go on his lawn (This does not bothers me so much). It is, I think, a very Slovak thing where the appearance of your property is important to others. To be fair, we live in a nice, small village, and all the houses do keep the gardens nice, and there is never any litter about, so I guess it is kinda fair enough. Also, our neighbour has been good to us, they are a nice couple and its always good to have nice neighbours right ?… so, I made Matej do the right thing ..

He did it with great energy and gusto, for 3 mins, then he decided that the slide was alot more fun !!!…. I tried to coax him back to helping, but he simply trundled off, got his tractor out of the garage and headed up the road. Being the decent Father that I am, I dutifully followed him and made sure he didn’t get as far as Hungary or go under the wheels of any approaching combine !

All in all, it was a success. He came back home all rosy cheeked, happy to a warm fire, dinner and his favourite thing, the shower .. or “shoow” as it apparently is called. With neither Pooh on Donkey allowed in the shower, they have to sit and watch, he can be there for hours. I am sure he would drain the lake if I let him stay there long enough ..

So, all in all, a decent Sunday, only another 7 days to keep him happy *alive

Posted by: Moon | November 12, 2012

The Silence was broken by the tears dropping …

As you all know, I live in Slovakia, and here Nov 11th comes and goes with no real significance, but, not matter where I am in the world, I will always remember.

As updated my facebook, trying not to follow everyone else with their own line of Remembrance.. I sat there, on my own, M is away in the USA, and watched my Son playing. He was running up and down with dinner place mats, yelling…. no idea what was going through his mind, giggling, screaming… then he stopped to look at me, came to me, and hugged me. I was speechless …

So, as I sat there, at 11am, I knew now what Remembrance is to me. I can sit, in a new country, I am not persecuted for being English, Male, Straight, speaking a difference language, doing things my way, in my own small ‘Castle”. I am tolerated, free to have my own beliefs, to live the way I choose…. and there is 1 reason for that…

This is because people, who I do not know, have braved the evils in this world, stood up and fought, against their own will in some wars, to make this happen for me, little me. Now I have my own Son, I believe they also did this for him. I would, like most Fathers, die for my Son, but these strangers died for me and my Son. So, when he is old enough, even living away from the marches, poppy wreaths and ceremonies that take place every year, he will understand that to take 2 minutes, once a year, to remain silent, to think about our fallen heroes, and why these people that defend our right to be tolerated, and to tolerate others is so important.

For some reason, my boy chose that moment to hug his Dad, I held him so tight, I think he nearly stopped breathing, my two minutes was broken by my tears falling onto him, and him saying “DaDa” and wiping my cheek.

I will NEVER forget

Posted by: Moon | October 4, 2012

If anyone see’s my wife, say hello from me …

Life has got all hectic again, here is how it has been, will be from the end of Sept .. ready …

Sept 18th to 27th Me in England
Home for 3 days together
Sept 30th to August 7th Miska away in Austria
5 hrs together
Oct 8th – 13th Me in the USA
1 day together
Oct 15th – 18th Me in Paris
3 days together
Oct 22nd-25th Miska in Austria
6 days together
Oct 31st – Nov 6th Mum and Sister coming to Visit
4 days together
Nov 11th – 19th Miska in the USA
Done

Seems crazy to me, but thats working life

in the 63 days since this started, we will get only 14 days together ………

Posted by: Moon | September 15, 2012

Some of my Fav’s ..

I have not been feeling great for a few days, so, as an easy blog post, I am going to start to show you some of my fav photos… over the next few post, I am going to indulge myself. I love all of these :

Posted by: Moon | September 13, 2012

Do you know where …. ?

I was bored today, so i thought I would post some pics, wondered if you could tell me where from ?

Posted by: Moon | August 30, 2012

Birthday Boy to the Zoo !!

As a family, we love nature, and we are hoping Matej will follow us down this route. We often have Life or such other Sir David’s documentaries on, and Matej loves all the animals we have, or are on the farm. We decided to have a family day away from the house for his birthday, so we took Matej to the zoo in Bratislava

He was perfectly behaved all day, running, jumping, doing all the things little boys should. Did he look at all the animals, well, no to be honest, but as it is only 9 Euros for all three of us to get in, I wasn’t bothered at all. If I would have paid the 50 pounds it costs to get into my fav zoo in the world, Whipsnade, I might have been a bit more bothered.

He decided that not only Tigers go “Roawwwwwwwwwwwwww” but so do Lions, Bears and swans !

He loved the Orangutans ! They gave him a special show of rope swinging, and sat just behind the glass to give him kisses to his amazement…. he here is telling Miska where the Monkeys are :

Part of the Zoo is a Dino park, a slightly tacky themed park full of, well, Dinosaurs would you believe. Tacky as it might be, the kids love it, and Matej was no different, confidently getting under the Dino’s and enjoying the freedom to play. He did look a little startled as the speakers growled out the Dinosaurs voices, but he just got back in there.

Rawwwwwrrrrrrrrrrr

Needless to say, Matej slept all the way home, a really nice family day out, makes a huge difference when they are perfect little boys right ?!?!?!

Posted by: Moon | August 26, 2012

The Gallery … Movies

I decided to go for this picture ….. My girlfriend, now wife, had been asked to go to Mexico and LA for a 3 week business trip, from which she didn’t return for 2.5 years. I left my job in The City, and decided to take the chance to live with her in LA…. the rest, as they say is history ….. and she is more beautiful today than she was back here, 5 years ago

and< I just had to add this picture in as well didn't I :

The Beach :

Posted by: Moon | August 24, 2012

2 … Unbelievable..HappyBirthday Son !

Happy Birthday to our Son

This was us, 2 years ago today ..

And this is where we are today.

The love of our lives, the most special boy in the world, funny, lovable, testing, adventurous, cheeky…. my dream come true

Happy 2nd Birthday The Little Terrorist !

Posted by: Moon | August 22, 2012

A Trip back Home

Sounds wonderful, my first trip back to home since July 2011, so, over a year ago. I am really looking forward to it, and I have a golf trip planned with my Brother, Cousin and great friends for the weekend I am there. I will fly on a Tuesday, the rather wonderful Englishmum will collect me (I hope) on the Tuesday, leaving me three days before the golf, and two after before flying back home …

But …… this is where time seems to disappear, and I end up feeling I didn’t get any break or relaxation time at all .. there is a list of people I really want to see, have a beer with in the few days I have. There is my family, I want to see them all, and spend some quality time with them, Mum and sister firstly, then My Uncle, Auntie, Cousins, their children…..

I have a couple of old work colleagues I have to try to wedge into the schedule, let alone old cricket friends for a good beer up … so, you see, time will slip away so fast.

I know the golf will be the perfect place to catch up with my friends, after all, we will spend most of the time drinking and talking bollocks whilst trying to find my ball, and evenings will be together, drinking, laughing etc, that will be perfect, but how to fit all the others in, and seeing my old town, a little shopping, 7 days just isn’t enough

*sigh

Posted by: Moon | August 20, 2012

The Stern Look …

This is what I have chosen …. to peer over the top of the specs, to appear intelligent, stern, commanding … or a bit of a twat ?!?

This is all good news !

I saw the specialist in Bratislava on Friday, 1.5 hrs, with the top specialist in Slovakia, wonderful surgery, having also of things to peer at, blink at, have blown in my eye (Why do they do that !?) … and lots of pretty graphs of my cornea to look at, I have learnt that red is good, white is not good !

So, it seems that talk of a cornea transplant is wide of the mark, Yahoo, and this issue you have CAN be corrected with glasses. It just took specialist equipment and knowledge to be able to decipher what prescription I need, and it turns out to be quite simple. My eyesight is not that bad, I am not as bad a bat it would seem. But, the whole problem is the scars and the misshapen Cornea as mentioned before. If you look at my eye like a clock face, I have 8 neat scars all-round the dial, and in both eyes, the area between 3 and 6 is misshapen, and drags lower like a Salvador Dali picture, giving issues to a normal prescription.

Another piece of good news is that the Dr certainly thinks this is leading to me being very tired all the time, and wanting to close my eyes, hence falling asleep… so, from Thursday night, I should be on the way to resolve all this .

We went to look for glasses on Saturday Morning, and I know the kind of prices that can be paid in England, so I was worried on how much these would cost, but, nice surprise, the glasses were just over 100 Euros, and I can collect them on Thursday …. so, back to specs after 15 years … but, that’s a far better result than operations.

“I can see clearly now ……….”

Posted by: Moon | August 18, 2012

My Silent Sunday

Posted by: Moon | August 14, 2012

Dead Mans Eyes ….

After 4 knee operations, foot op, Hip Op, two nose Ops, ear op ….. I am heading for my 10th General Anesthetic …. oh the joys !

Why I hear all of you ask …… ?

Well, here’s the scoop… I need new eyes. Not quite as drastic as that, and no, I am not going to have ‘Eagle Eyes’ (for the older amongst you), but I do need a transplant, of the Corneas. ewwwwww, I hear the more squeamish say …

And here is the reason why, my Corneas are fucked, (maybe my translation of what the Dr said is not quite accurate here), but basically, they are. Approx 15 years ago, I made the decision to have my eyesight corrected, and instead of using laser adjustment, I went with micro surgery to change the shape of the cornea. At the time, no-one knew the long term effects of this, I do now.

So, for the last 15 years I have enjoyed 20/20 vision, without the hassle of glasses or contacts, a huge benefit when living in a country (USA) where we had sun everyday, and at the end of my sporting life, not having the hassles of inserting contacts etc before playing football or cricket. The joys of being able to swim without the hassle is just wonderful .. but, and there is always a but right ?

I used to be a decent cricketer, with a very safe, capable pair of hands, in my last season, I did ok with the bat, but amazingly, and very embarrassingly, I dropped 14 out of 14 catches…. fucking unheard of, and frankly, embarrassing for me, and this gave me more of a reason to stop playing than my terrible hip. I was too embarrassed to play anymore.

I was warned, that as I got older, I would need glasses, as 90% of people seem to, to read, drive etc. This is normal, and no surgery can cure of old age. Over the last two years, but more noticeably, over the last year, I have found myself struggling to read when I wake up. For example, when I travel, I always have messages (Normally from my stunning wife) on my blackberry, and I found, until an hr into my day, I could not read them. I find driving at night very tough (No, I am not 75!), because of ‘flared lights’ and, often, I have to physically ‘concentrate’ the eye, and remember to focus them…. I am sure for most of you, this is natural, but for me, I actually have to force my eyes to do this.

I am getting closer and closer to my two work monitors. Yes, I have to have two, because on my small laptop screen, I cannot see my spreadsheets etc …..

That said, with both eyes, I pass all eyesight tests, with my left eye, I can read the charts (during the day, and not early morning) all ok. so, what is the solution. Originally, I just thought I would return to wearing specs, not a problem now to be honest, I could cope with that, however, here comes the kicker …. they cannot prescribe me specs …. What ?

The reason behind this, because my corneas have 8 scars in each one, and the shape of them has be altered, the reading they get for a prescription contradict themselves, I am both + and – in the same eye …..so, they only choice here is to transplant some dead fella’s corneas into my eyes.

It really isn’t as drastic as it sounds, and I believe they can do under a local, but, I am not sure I want that, I think I would prefer to be out of it completely, we will see. I am going to Bratislava on Friday to see a specialist for the next course of action and when it can be done.

I have two choices really, leave things alone, I can see of, and it could be alot worse, or to resolve this. The main reason I think I want to resolve this is because I am feeling SO tired all the time. For a while, we thought I was ill, a year ago, I went through extensive tests for different things, coming out clear in all, and it was only this week it dawned on me, I bet it is the constant concentration of trying to focus my eys, it just makes them so tired, and the urge to simply close them is with me all the time ….

So, to end this all, I think that the only course of action is to get some new one put in, so, if you know of anyone who has a couple of spare Corneas, let me know.

Posted by: Moon | August 7, 2012

This life can be very lonely ..

Gobby, Witty, Loud, Confident etc …. often words that might of described me in the past (plus plenty of others), but now I think better words might be sullen, quiet, reserved, moody, introvert …. all of which might be true at a first glance, but underneath, just a mask of the position of life I am in. Let me explain.

My Slovak is, well, let’s say, limited. I can do all the polite things, even shopping etc, but, when it comes to a group of people, esp family, that know each other well, that relax and just have general banter, I still get lost. If people take the time to talk slowly, simple words, I can hold my own, but, otherwise, I need Miska to be around to help me translate, to keep me in the game so to speak !

Well, Miska has forgotten this, in her defence, she is actually giving me more credit that I deserve, she thinks that I can now cope, and believes that if left alone, I will be ok, and will learn faster. Sadly, she is wrong. We speak about it, she realizes this, but, it is tough for her to remember. Especially when we are hosting, she is busy with getting things ready, and then, with 10 people all talking at once, she forgets to hear my voice. Another issue you don’t realize is this, When is the right time to talk ? When you all speak the same language, it’s simple, you understand, know when sentences end, and can chip in .. I can’t do that ! I have no idea when the lull is right for me to talk. I also find it impossible that people NEVER respect when I am talking to Miska, they just but in, talk over me. I find this very rude, BUT, the same logic has to be applied… Do they know when a natural break is coming when we talk English ?

I found myself on Sunday feeling very alone in amongst all these people that love me and care for me. I had tried maybe 5 times to get involved, tried talking to people about work and the weather (limited Slovak remember), but after one sentence, they were off talking about general family shite we all talk about at BBQ’s.

I went and sat in the pool with my Son, that was perfect, until, the couples little girl, 3 yrs old joins us, and talks to me in Slovak / Czech …. lost again, I have to either disappoint her (she looks at me like I am a tool), or call for Miska to translate …. after a few mins, she realizes that I am in fact a Tool, and goes off to the trampoline, taking Matej with her, leaving me in the pool, alone again. Eventually, I get out, walk off and disappear inside, no-one is going to miss me anyway.

So, I have become a very quiet person. I don’t get to talk at all, only when Miska and I are alone. When people visit, I tend to do the polite thing, but then retreat to leave them to talk without me. It makes me sad at times, and even more determined to learn Slovak (which I might add, I am finding VERY hard to do). That is the only answer here, and, telling Miska I still need her help. It frustrates me that friends and family have given up on me, trying to engage me, I guess there are only so many times they can ask “How are You?” …..

*Sigh

Posted by: Moon | July 16, 2012

A perfect day on our Hols

You get good days, bad days, indifferent days and so so days, and then, well, you get the perfect day that you know you will never forget and talk about for a long long time.

What happened, well, nothing major, it was more of an enlightening day into my son becoming a boy, and also when your family unit works… brilliantly …

So, we went away to the Slovak Mountains for 4 days, and as the sun was shining, we took the decision to go for a hike for a couple of hours. This is not such an easy thing to do with a 23 month old, as he walks rather slow, and in interested in every single thing…. but, we have a backpack, loaded him in, and off we went. Turns out he is a heavy little bugger, and his idea of fun is to pull my ears to make me go a little faster, whilst yelling into them !. We had not really used the backpack that much, so we were not really sure how long he would happily sit there, turns out, as long as you wanted him to !

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The trail followed the river upwards, until, about an hr and half later, we reached the waterfall (no sodding water at this time of year though !), and we all relaxed, sat and ate, and watch Matej trying to help his Grandma find a walking stick for the trek back home. It was so satisfying to see him out into the country, in the woods, walking, talking, and spending time with us and his Grandma. He was a diamond, and so much fun to have with us. We then packed up, headed back to the pension, in a gentle, downhill walk, with more singing, laughing, yelling and fun. I cannot tell you how wonderful it felt to see my family all enjoying nature as you should… perfect !

Sometimes, it all got a little too tiring !

After lunch, Matej and maybe me as well, had an afternoon snooze, and upon waking, he was treated to his first Storm, a huge mountain storm full of heavy rain, flashes of lightning, and claps of deep, rolling thunder. We leant out of the window, then onto the balcony, where I swear he jumped 2 feet as the loudest clap of thunder boomed right above us. Was he scared ? no chance, he loved every second, each Thunder Clap greeted with shrieks and huge “Woooow’s”…..

So, now what to do with a small boy when the rain has stopped and the grass is wet ? We, we decided to find a pub ! seemed sensible to me !…. and luckily, just about a mile away, there was a nice pub that had a huge field for the kids. There were Donkeys, pigs, goats to play with, swings, tents, race cars and most importantly of all, a massive Jungle Gym for him. This is where I watched my baby boy, become a small boy. He is fearless (my Mum says I was the same) and ladder, swing, slide, he will climb up on his own, and tumble down without any help. He yells from the top, and shrieks as he hits the bottom. We sat, let him be, and watched him play and mix with the other children. My heart swelled at the pride of my little boy. The only time he returned to us was for a drink, normally my beer or Grandma’s wine ! I loved every second of it. For the first time, he had his own meal. Not just bits from our, but his own soup, and the chicken. He eats well, plays well, and because of this, sleeps like a dream.

Another thing I am pleased with, he leaves these places with no screams or tears. He waves things goodbye, sends the waitress a kiss, and trundles to the car. Makes life so much easier.

After bath time, milk, another round of kisses, he goes down to sleep, and leave me, Miska and my mum to sit on the balcony, glass of wine, good books and discussions on not for little boys ears. I love this time, tired but happy, Matej asleep, leaving us adult time to just relax. Not to be chasing after him, watching him, but time for us. Time for us to just talk with each other with no distraction, 8pm onwards is our time. No change from his routine, 8pm he is asleep and in dreamland and we love having our time.

It was the perfect day for me, to see my wife happy, to see my Mum with her Grandson, and for me to watch my baby son, becoming a boy… a very special, cheeky, comedian of a boy, now with hugs, kisses, smiles, words and new dreams of this beautiful country life we have.

Posted by: Moon | July 15, 2012

Silent Sunday

Posted by: Moon | July 4, 2012

Going on our Holipops !

Today is the last day in the office for me until the end of July .. well, not quite true, I do pop in for one day between my Holiday and my next trip away.

So, what’s the plan Stan ?…

Ma has flown over from a wet and cold England, and she is not convinced that the 38 Deg C weather we have been having will be warm enough for her ! but, I am hoping she can relax, have the occasional glass of wine, and spend time with no pressure to anything !…. and of course, for her to spend two weeks with her Grandson. The one thing that does hurt me about living here is being away from my family, and taking Ma’s Grandson here, but that’s life, and that’s something I have to live with. I hope that she can have fun, laughing, teaching some English and getting to know him.

We will spend the first few days just at home, all of us spending time with Matej, and just relaxing and enjoying catching up, the farm, swimming and the occaisional glass of wine …

On Monday we pack everything up and head to the stunning Slovak Mountains, The Tatras Mountains. It is a beautiful part of the country, very old fashioned, and we will find some old villages and what I think is the ‘real’ Slovakia. Ma has never been, so we are looking forward to some walks, again relaxation, some water fun at the local pool, and.. well… you know… the occasional glass of wine.

We have a backpack to carry the boy, but we are not too sure how far we will be able to go with him, and, like most 2 yr olds, he will want to walk, and that can be oainfully slow ! Also, as I said, this is the mountains, so I know parts of the walks we will go on, might not be too safe for a small boy.

We stay in a friends place in a small village, easy, relaxed, the sun should shine, and, if we get a moment, we will sit, read, talk, and…… The occasional glass of wine ..

Well, you have to !

Posted by: Moon | July 3, 2012

Travelling made a little easier ….

As I said in my blog a few days back, I have been travelling a fair amount for work recently. Those who have been reading my blog from the early days know that travel is a passion of mine, and I love to get on planes and head to new places. I love airports. They are normally very happy places, with family and friends heading off to new exciting places. I will often sit in a departure lounge and look at all the outgoing flights, and wishing I could choose just one of them.

When my work asked me to basically act as a courier with some parts for my Customer in Illinois, I eagerly accepted. It was to be my first trip back to USA soil since my rapid, and unplanned departure a few years before. Chance for me to see a new city, Chicago, and time to have some refreshed memories of a country I really enjoyed living in. After my return home, I assumed that would be all of my travels, but as our business with CAT and my role grew and developed, I am now about to plan my 7th trip out to the USA in about 8 months.

The trip from here is a long one, I have a 2.5 hr drive to Vienna, then 2 hrs in the airport. 2.5 hrs flying into Heathrow, Term 3, transfer to Term 5, 2 hrs in Term 5, then the long flight, 8.5 hrs to Chicago, and then often a 3rd flight to either Detroit, St Louis or Kansas, meaning a travel time, door to hotel, of around 23 hrs …… not much fun.

But…. Something happened on my last trip that has made life a little easier … I have accumulated enough flights with BA to become a Silver Executive Member…. Now I get a few perks that most people probably think “What a tosser” as I walk past ….

Btw …. this is NOT a sponsored post in any form !

With my Silver Card I get to use the Exec Lounges at Vienna, Heathrow and O’Hare. This means free internet at every airport (Heathrow and O’Hare charge), I get quiet surroundings, peace and quiet from the masses, free food and any alcohol, coffee I want. Newspapers, waitress service, showers, private bathrooms ….. bloody lovely. This can also add up to some savings. Airports are not cheap places to eat or drink. On one recent trip via JFK, I paid over $10 for a beer ! Fuck that ! O’Hare is also a shocking airport, the Int Terminal has nothing to do, one small, expensive bar, (Where I happened to meet a Slovak working behind the bar!) and one shop, both BEFORE you clear security. At least now I can get through early, and still have a beer, tweet and FB rubbish …..

Another bonus for me is not having to queue when I transfer through Term 3 to Term 5 in London. I get to bypass the queues and go through the fast track immigration. I also get to board the plane first, meaning I have those few minutes to find space for my bag, unpack and get settled and have a beer before the herds of clients are pushed onto the plane…. Just the small things make flying easier.

So, do I love this travel. Honestly no. I miss time away from Miska and my boy. The place I travel to I know too well now, there is no thrill of landing in that new place to see new things. It’s business, longs drives, meetings, entertaining in the evening, and of course Jet Lag…. Which I suffer from terribly going out to the USA, never on my return, but always going out. There are long days, early start to work with the company back here, then long days making the most of my time there, then often solitary night in a bar, or entertaining people you really would want to spend your free time with, but you have to… because they are your clients…

The small bonus of the Exec Club def does help… and so it should after all the business BA have got from me over the last 8 months !

Posted by: Moon | June 28, 2012

when will he be talking … ?

Ok, first up, this is not a “My god I am so worried” blog, but more one of interest over my boy learning to talk.

He is now 22 months, and I think, although I have no idea, most little ones are jabbering away inanely by now ?…. My boy does not. He has limited vocabulary, and I can tell you his words here very quickly = Ma Ma, Da Da, Goooooal, Ta, Car… I think thats about it !

this is not surprising when you think of the people he is learning to talk from. His Nanny, Grandma and Granddad, family, neighbours etc .. all in Slovak, every day, then at night, weekends it me in English, with broken Slovak, and M in English, apart from when she either forgets, or is angry, then its back to Slovak.

With me travelling once a month as well, I am worried that he will be getting more Slovak than English, and I really want him to be learning both right away. My Slovak is not strong enough, and also, I want him to be able to talk and understand my Mum and his Aunties and Uncles. This is so important for me.

I know he will, I am not worried by this, well, maybe a little about his lack of exposure to English, and it does hurt when people talk to him in Slovak, and I am not 100% sure in what they are saying…. but that’s down to me to improve my Slovak.

So, does anyone have experience of a dual speaking family and small child ? I have been told that they just naturally speak both, swapping from one language to the other without hesitation and with any problems. I guess his brain does not resist this, unlike mine when trying to learn Slovak, my brain comes up with its own logic, rules and sometimes pig headedness that English is the only way !

He understands both easily, If I tell him something in English, he gets it, in Slovak too. He understand, and ignores both ! I know I want him to talk, helping him, encouraging him, before long I will just be wishing he would shut up for two mins !!!

So, who knows when he will be jabbering on, with more Rabbit than Tescos, I fear it wont be that long, it just amazes me how he will do it, without even thinking, he will be fluent in two languages before he even starts school …… just wish I was the same … *sigh

Posted by: Moon | June 19, 2012

Bye Bilbo….

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Fucking animals …… as another big tear plops onto the keyboard …..

So, I guess via other outlets I have, you might of heard that my little Beagle, Bilbo has passed away. So so sad in the Moon household.

What makes this even harder for me what that I was away on one of my USA trips. He has been very ill because of a near fatal dog attack he had about 6 weeks ago. He went through a 3 hr operation, 40 stitches and was in a very bad way. With lots of tlc, rest he was finally though all this, the wound had healed well, and he was allowed back to play with Meg, and carry on with his adventurous little life, including escaping still !

Sadly, it was the escaping that finally laid him to rest. As a small dog, he runs through the grass, not over it, out here in Slovakia, we have lots of Tics, nasty little things, and I am regularly pulling them off him, some from Meg and even the cat. We had the most expensive collars for them both, but, there was nothing could be done for the amount he was getting. The Tics are nasty fuckers, carrying viruses, and this is what he caught.

With him being very tired from the operation before, he just did not have the strength to fight this. Just before I went away, I thought he was a little quiet, but eating well, and the weather was hot, so I thought nothing of it, then, Tuesday morning, M called me in the USA, saying Bilbo wasn’t well, not eating, and she had called Domi our Vet. It was all too late, he had lots of blood in the urine, and his kidneys had failed, even as Domi put him on a drip, to see him through the night he peacefully slipped away to the doggie kennel in the sky.

M called me again in the US, I was driving at the time, I pulled over, hung up, and just sobbed, my poor little Bilbo, only 3 yrs old, had 3 major ops, and still couldn’t pull though.

We found him on the street, he was starving, and unwanted, so I hope we at least gave him some time of security, love, hugs, ear ruffles, playtime and food, with a decent bed to sleep every night, and a loyal friend in Meg. Talking of Meg, she is very low, just wants to be around, she has become very loving and soft, but you can tell she is missing her friend

I came home on Saturday, our kind builder had helped bury him, but for me, it was still a shock. I left him one day he was ok, came home later, and he is just gone, no more. I didn’t even get time to think he might be ill, he just might not make it. Just am empty bowl to store away, and empty bed to put in the garage, and only one dog to feed at night.

But, thats what you get with loving pets, we have all been there, all lost them, and we carry on. Yes, only a dog I know, but, my dog, and I think all my readers know how much love, time and effort I put into my dogs, making sure they are happy, contented souls.

We want another one, but we will wait for some poor soul to find us, a stray, a puppy we find by the road, and unwanted dog from somewhere else….. but, right now, these tears are for Bilbo, Rest in Peace my little friend

Posted by: Moon | June 18, 2012

Father’s day

So, I arrived back from ‘Merica on Saturday afternoon, managed to get home before the little fella woke from his afternoon sleep, and waited for him to wake….. Perfect.

Sunday was a surprising day, in Slovakia, Father’s Day really is not celebrated, and last year, it pretty much went past with nothing doing. About a month ago, I mentioned to M that I wanted to have a Father’s Day, as I have always dreamt about having a day for me that we always recoginised and celebrated for my Dad. I honestly thought she would forget…. but ….

We had a perfect day, and Matej was the perfect little boy. I was woken as always at 6 am with cries of “Ma Ma” … “Da Da” and Monkey woke and wanted to get up…. after his feed, he wandered off, and took “Ma Ma” with him, leaving me to snooze. This did not last long as I was roused from my slumber with a Red, Double Decker bus on the nose…. as you do…. We spent the morning pottering about, kicking the ball around, breakfast etc before heading off swimming. Summer is here for us, touched 33 Deg C yesterday, and the local pool has a retractable roof, and is perfect for Matej. He loves the water, and now is an age where he is more independent, and more and more fun. He spent time hanging onto the edge, and watched all the girls walking by (thats my boy!). After an hr, time to head out, and he is always good at leaving, no tantrums or tears, just a wave goodbye to the pool and into the showers.

With that we headed to the shops for Miska to buy some clothes, and Matej running and giggling, me chasing after him ! Then to Tesco, and then the drive home. This is the tough part, because we really did not want him to fall asleep in the car. We like him to be in his bed for his 2 hr, afternoon snooze. He was a very tired little boy, but with window opening, tractor spotting, and finally hanging out of the sun roof, we made it home for his pm sleep.

It was now very hot outside, and when he woke, all he wanted to do was play football !, I lasted for a while, but conceded to the heat, and took him back into the cool of the house. Finally, to venture back out as M cooked. So, what do do with him now.. easy….

He helped me cut the grass !

On these days I miss my Dad, he died of cancer when I was 19. I was very lucky, in my eyes, I had the perfect Dad, he worked hard Mon-Fri, but weekends he always spent with us, swimming, in the garden, up to Northchurch Common, taking us places, I always remember him being around. working hard in the garden, bad DIY… never off to the pub, but around as a family. I want to do the same, to finally have a Father’s Day for me.. well, it felt like a very special, Proud day !

Posted by: Moon | June 8, 2012

So why so busy …..?

Well, apart from all the home stuff that goes on, work has turned from a job, to a career.

I am rather proud of this to be honest, I very rarely sit back and think I have achieved anything, but I think I have here. If you remember, or even care, I got this job here out of the blue. I was all ready to be a house husband, with M going back to work full time. While she was on Maternity leave, the CEO of the company called me and asked to talk to me.

I asked M “why” ?

“fuck knows” she replied !

So, I came into to see them, and luckily I had a suit. clean shirt on (you only ever get 1 chance to make a first impression) and they asked me to start immediately. The company was in a lot of trouble, we had taken over one of our competitors, and quickly realised we were in a real mess, and basically, they needed semi-intelligent people to help handle angry customers, organise parts through production, and ultimately deliver the parts on time. Over the 1st 4 months, I got to grips with this relatively fast, and time here began to drag, and I found myself have far too much time free, which leaves me very bored. I approached people and asked for more work, but nothing really came up. The chance came along that they needed someone to help organise part delivery to our biggest customer, Caterpillar, in the USA … I can do that I thought …

So, we had a meeting in Austria, and instead of just asking to organise the logistics, I took the plunge. I simply said :

“Give me the whole project to run?”

reply was “what ? you are asking for more work ?”

So there you go, I now run, organise, manage the whole of the project, delivery and customer expectation for our biggest customer. My people skills are my thing, that’s what I am good at, and I think people have been impressed with my ability to take on and ask for work. We have had a lot of issues in the USA, so I have always said I would go, once within 12 hrs notice, and face the music. I am not too sure many wives would get this, but with M working here as well, she understands the importance of these visits. I am due back to the USA again in 10 days time. The client loves the fact I am prepared to these things, and not hide away from problems. I like the challenge

Our parts are now being fitted to this Monster :

We both have huge workloads and responsibility, this week alone, M has to go for 2 days to Austria, this means I have to be away from here at 4pm for Matej. We bth try to make sure the other gets decent work times, and as she is senior management, I sacrifice certain things at work so she can attend. We both cannot attend meetings that run into the evening.

CAT is a very difficult business to work with, they have their rules, and because of their size and arrogance, they will not change. I am flying back out there on Sunday morning for a 6 day trip, seeing the different facilities, making sure they are happy with our quick response over quality issues, and discussing new projects.

The balance works, I am very pleased how this has gone from a surprise job in a industry I knew nothing about, to a proper career that I really enjoy. How I went from Credit Insurance to Off Highway Automotive parts is a mystery, but you roll with the punches and give things 110%, you just never know where you might end up…. Vienna Airport it seems….

Life is funny sometimes !

Posted by: Moon | June 5, 2012

The 7 O’Clock News ..

Part of our routine with the Little Terrorist is after bath time, half his milk, it is time for him to sit quietly on the sofa between “Mama” and “Daaaa” while I try to understand the news, and M swears at the gov’t taking all our money …

What strikes me here are two things, the Newsreaders (female) are dressed as though they are about to walk over to Channel 9 (yes…’that’ channel), and how little, serious, bad news there is on Slovak TV. This is a good thing.

Daily I read the news from the BBC website, mainly the sport, but also the headlines. I confess I have no real desire to hear about the US Presidential race, or the collapse of the Euro, but, I do try to read most of it. Last week, I found 2-3 stories I really wish I had not come across

Drugged, naked man eats face off another homeless man, growls at police before they shoot him
Over 100 people massacred in Syria
The Euro about to collapse
11 killed in Mexican drug rehabilitation centre

The list goes on and on .. Not really what you would call ‘Happy’ news ……

Then I watch the news headlines in Slovakia

Burglar breaks into old people house
Car crash
Road subsidence
Sign post for Castle knocked over
Bear spotted in bins

You kinda see my point here …. Now, I haven’t got my rose tinted specs on here. There are nasty crimes here, Aug 2010 a gunman killed 6 in Bratislava, the mafia still has a hold of people and money here… but, in general, the news lead story will be of a nasty car crash. Very sad for those involved, but… not the horrific news I see in other parts of the world.

I live in a very small country village, the kids play on the road, call in on neighbours houses, cars and houses tend to be unlocked (unless you are Miska’s Father, who seems to be convinced we live in Compton).

We have drugs, alcohol, violence, but, not in the extremes that other places have.

I like this .

Posted by: Moon | May 31, 2012

How often can I say “No Thanks” ?

Here is a typical exchange of words with me and my Slovak Family….

I popped across the village to borrow some dishwasher tablets, we had run out, and needed to wash things urgently (1st World Problem I know), Miska’s Aunt happily offers to lend us some.

All this in my best Slovak btw

Auntie : “How many do you want?”
Me : “Two is great, thank you”
She hands me 6 …
Me “No Thanks, 2 is great, I will buy some tomorrow”
Auntie “Take them”
Me “No Thanks, I don’t need them, thank you”

Auntie *looks rejected “ok then…. Do you want some cake? Grandma made them”
Me *Rubs tummy “No Thanks, I am full, I just ate dinner”
Auntie *Looks sadder “but Grandma made them, they are not sweet”
Me *tummy is still full “Thank you, but no thanks, I am not hungry
Auntie “ok …..”

Yell from the end of her garden where my Mother-in-law is picking Cherries

MIL “Ahoj Simon, Do you want some Cherries?”
Me : “No Thanks, Matej is about to go to sleep, I want to say goodnight”
Auntie “Come and pick some Cherries, they are lovely”
Me “I know, I love them, but I am not hungry, and Matej is about to go to sleep:
MIL “You don’t like the Cherries ?” *looks like I have just shot her dog…
Me “Yes, I love them, but Matej is about to go sleep”
Auntie “You don’t like my Cherries, come and pick some” *looks like I have murdered her children
Me Thanks, but I have to go, I want to say goodnight to Matej”
MIL “You don’t like the cherries?” *looks at me like I am Adolf Hitler
Me “Yes, I love them, but I am not hungry, and Matej is about to go to sleep”
Auntie “But, come and have some cherries, they are very nice” (I fucking know)
Me “I know Aunty, but I am not hungry”
MIL “You are looking thin, why don’t you have some Cherries?”

Me “Bye”

I love these people, and they are the kindest in the world, they just cannot understand that I don’t want to Mr Creosote !

Posted by: Moon | May 29, 2012

He is 21 Months old, and a dream to me.

As I re-kindle my love affair with blogging, to me, there is one natural place to start, with my little boy

Please remember, I have no comparison to make to other children, so I have no idea if he is tall, short, well behaved, a fucking nightmare, difficult, easy …. no clue… but , to me anyway, he seems a dream little boy.

Where to start, well, most of the time, he has that beautiful, cheeky smile, and a giggle that makes you want to roll on the floor and laugh with him. He has his moments, what 21 month old doesn’t !, but, it seems to pass within a few seconds. Normally because he looks up, and sees that me and Miska have just walked away from him……

He never ever just walks anywhere… why is he always in such a rush ! he has a few scars now, a couple of trips to A&E for stitches.

He eats pretty well, rejects chocolate for Olives, eats cherries off the trees, and does love a drop of his father’s beer !

We are still in a strict routine with him, and it works. He naps for his 2 hrs in the afternoon, and after bath time, he dresses, feeds, and then to sleep, regular as clock work, from 7.30pm, to 6am every single night. He loves his bath time, seems to enjoy washing Dad’s tattoo (no, it won’t come off Son), pulling his willy, weeing in the bath, flooding the floor, and giggling throughout. He is not too keen on the hair drier, but, without fail, he runs to get Dad his towel !

He is struggling to talk. I think this is because of the dual language. He understands both, but, to actually get him talking I think will take a little longer, currently is Da, Muma and Goooaaaallllllll !!! He yells alot !, but is quite a gentle child.

All you other parents will all sigh, and say “I know…” but he is clever little sod. Always findings things to stand on to climb up to something he wants, it’s always dangerous when it goes quiet ! He loves the dogs, but we keep him away from Bilbo, but Meg is his soul mate, the play and play, she is so gentle with him as he tugs her ears, and tries to throw her ball. Always wary, never on their own, but it is great to watch.

He is obsessed with tractors, having two farms in the village I am not surprised. They often give him a quick drive, or he is yelling, making tractor noises. He loves the pigs, goats and cows on his Aunties farm, and will “Mooooo” with the best of them !

Last night we had a small storm hit us, we opened the window, and as Father / Son, we watched the rain fall, with shrieks of delights as the cat ran past, the Swifts swooped in and out of the rain, and the puddles formed. We had a night on our own as Miska was away in town, and we loved it, football, TV, dinner and general daftness….

So, as you would expect, he is my life, adorable, amazing, frustrating and a wonder. I look at him and just cannot believe how this little soul is part of my life, 99% of the time for better. An incredible feeling, a love I can never explain, a tiredness that only parents know about, and a proudness for watching my Son !

Posted by: Moon | May 28, 2012

Been too long …

Really am not sure why, but I think I will start to blog again. To be fair, I am not too sure why I stopped. I think with all the blogging about the house, and the arrival of Matej, things seem to get very dull, and then just naturally seemed to come to a close.

Life is very VERY busy for us both at the moment, but full of things I feel I want to share, so I thought I should maybe see if anyone out there still has an interested in a lifestyle that includes Slovak life, house building, 21 month old Son, beautiful Slovak wife, working in a Slovak Steel company, frequent travels to the USA, dogs, cats, village life and an Englishman living away from home, and terrible grammar and spelling mistakes

So, where to start from my last blog, so much has happened, so little time.

M is now 21 months, adorable, pushing his luck, but essentially a wonderful, funny little boy
The two dogs are growing, Bilbo has undergone a 2nd lifesaving operation after he returned from a wandering with a 3 inch hole in his chest, we think from a dog mauling, he was very lucky to survive a 2 hr operation to piece him back together

The cat, Stella is pregnant

Mrs M and myself are busy, busy and busier at our work

I have been sent to the USA 4 times already, and about to head back there in 2 weeks time

The house is still not finished, and we are already thinking about extending again next year

We have a summer holiday planned with Ma to the Slovak Mountains

Now I read all that, it sounds busy but really dull, ah well, maybe I just need to get back in touch with friends that used to read and comment, we’ll see….. I will start again, and see if you read or not, maybe I just need an outlet for my ramblings ????

Posted by: Moon | January 28, 2012

My little boy at 17 Months

I am sorry, I have been a bad, absent blogger for too long, so I thought I would come back to show you how my not so little Son is doing….. needs a haircut right ???

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