Thursday, 25 August 2011

Fancy Gets Physical

I wasn’t feeling particularly fresh or sexy yesterday and in fact I was down right dragging, having made the 4 staircase trip to the Minis at least twice during the night (God, I miss that Night Nanny.) but you know what they say, sometimes you’ve got to “just do it.” So I did.

“Wrap this around your ankle,” he commanded. “That ankle too. That’s right. No, tighter. Good.”

“Hold your hips still, right there, yes! This is beautiful. Like poetry. Excellent!” he cried.

“Jesus, you are a noisy one,” he chuckled, as heavy breathing gave way to grunts and finally outright screaming.

Utterly spent, I fell to my back.

“How was that?” he asked, pulling my knee over his shoulder, leaning forward, our faces just inches apart.

“Awesome. Thanks for that,” I sighed.

Oh God, do I love my very, very gay Fancy Trainer. I’m going to miss him while I’m on holiday. I can only wonder how the gym at our Fancy hotel will measure up.

Be back soon.

xxoo Frau Fancy

p.s. just in case you missed me In The Powder Room this week, it's IVF, private v NHS. Oh yes, I've really done it all. 

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Fancy Lovin'

So Fancy here is finally gearing up for her real summer holiday. As in sans-Minis. I love my little darlings to death but I think a couple of flights on Cheap Ass Air with toddlers followed by a week without a Nanny earns one a weekend away, don't you?

However, I have a little problem. See Fancy PA did my packing for my last little trip to the place where the hairy-lipped live. And when I opened my suitcase, well I've never felt so attended to.

But she's only here a couple of days a week and the night before this trip isn't one of them. So I've done what any self-respecting Fancy gal would do and simply offered her an extra day of work this week. To pack our suitcases. Which will be a very welcome change from the usual last-minute, wrinkled clothing, forgot my jewelry, "oh for God's sake, we'll just get hotel laundry to deal with that" morning of departure that I am oh so used to.

"Fancy PA is coming in extra this week to pack for us. Anything specific you want me to tell her?"

"What? Why is she coming in to pack for us. Isn't that a tad excessive? I don't think you should be getting dependent on other people for things like this," said the man who demanded we hire someone to change our lightbulbs.

"Darling, can you tell me when was the last time you were home for dinner?" I asked, the Fancy wife who spends most evenings drinking wine and watching iTunes while her spouse flies around the world/stays in the office until 3 am/attends working dinners.

He looked at me for a moment. "I have no fucking idea," he finally admitted.

"Okay, so then if I need to have my underwear wrapped in little sheets of tissue paper to make me feel loved, if finding a polaroid of my jewelry grouped with various items of clothing makes me feel truly cared for, then I think you need to accept that this is just something I have to do."

Okay so I pay for my lovin', which can get you arrested in some circumstances, but in this one just makes me feel good. And that's important, don't you think?

Friday, 19 August 2011

A Fancy Man Surrender

So the update on “Operation Fancy Man” is that he now has a closet containing clothes that 1) fit and 2) aren’t full of holes. And while he won’t admit it I do believe H is enjoying having nice things to wear. He’s got a little more of a bounce in his step. After all, looking good always makes you feel good. In the same way that perky boobs make for a perky woman. At least that is what my mother always said when stressing the value of a good bra. Anyhoo, I digress.

I will admit that I’m slightly shocked that this once proud Metrosexual has allowed me and Fancy PA to completely take over his wardrobe. On one hand, I do have a pretty good idea of his likes and dislikes (yes to pink, no to white collars, yes to cuffed trousers, no to turtlenecks: “I look like a stuffed sausage!”). On the other, he is a man who knows what he likes. But I think he’s really appreciating how much time and effort I’ve spent trying to make his outside match the man on the inside.

And that’s not been the only surprise. Here’s a recent dinner conversation:

“Um, that’s a nice shirt. Where’d you get it?” I asked, enjoying a fabulous scallop starter at Massimo.

H looked up and stared at me for a moment. “You. You bought it.”

“Oh no, sir. I absolutely did not. Check the label, where’s it from?”

A quick peek inside the collar revealed the source: TM Lewin.

“Darling, I’ve never set food inside that shoppe. Never.” Giggles gave way to outright laughter, which became hysterical weeping. “The dry cleaners must have had a really big shirt and assumed it belonged to us!” I howled.

H started laughing too. “Ha ha! And that would explain that circus tent red striped thing I found in my closet too! Ha ha ha!!!”

“What?” I asked, suddenly straight faced. “No, that one I bought.”

“Oh,” he replied, suddenly very interested in his pasta. “Oh, it’s nice.”

Smart man, eh?

Monday, 15 August 2011

Fancy Drops Weight

And yes, it’s time for another instalment of “No, I really can’t make this shit up.” I have heard, more than once, that there is speculation that this blog is just a big fat lie. Well, I want you to know, once and for all, that Fancy here is just not that creative. I’m not. What I am is slow and sometimes terribly daft. That is what is true, my friends. And here is some proof.

Fancy found herself on a Cheap Ass Air flight last week. Yes, it’s true. I had to go to a gallery opening in one of those little Eastern European towns where the women all have moustaches. I booked the flight months ago, long before our Fine Fancy Family Holiday. Then I forgot about it. Somewhere in my brain there was a protective mechanism that clicked into place, making me think that my short trip out East involved a flight on Discount Doofus Air, which is no frills but relatively harmless. After all, the universe couldn’t be that cruel, could it.

And then I went to check in. Yes, that’s right. Not Discount Doofus. No. Cheap Ass. My favourite airline.

But Fancy here is nothing if not plucky. And it was just me travelling. So I decided to grin and bear it. 

My mistake.

I decided this time not to check any bags since I was only going up for a night. Fancy PA, who is the world’s most awesome packer, had my liquids separated out, my travel documents in a handy pocket, my little tiny suitcase exquisitely laid out and organized. And off I went.

With the sleekness of a woman suddenly travelling without two toddlers, I raced through security and on to my gate. But a mere 6 feet from my Priority Boarding line, I was stopped. By a CAA employee. She was randomly pulling people aside to weigh their hand luggage. And I was apparently looking suspiciously overweight.

The limit is 10kg.

My bag weight: 11.2kg.

“What do you want me to do?” I asked that miserable bitch as she instructed me to jettison 1.2kg of Fanciness. “Put on all my clothes?”

“As you wish, Ma’am,” snipped that little tart.

Did I mention that I’m plucky? So I got down on my knees, opened my bag and took my floor length gown out of Fancy PA’s carefully wrapped tissues. And I wrapped it around my neck. Like a scarf. Next I pulled my wrap on, over my jacket. Finally I took my wallet (because we all know that is where the weight is) and tucked it into my underwear.

Standing up, I set my suitcase back on the scale. 9.9kg.

“Thank you,” she sneered.

And I walked the 6 feet to my gate, where I promptly opened my bag and repacked. Throwing in my jacket for good measure.


But I certainly think it makes for a good story, don’t you? Maybe even Frock It quality? I can’t offer you an actual photo of me, oh so Fancy, sashaying down the terminal with an evening gown wrapped around her neck. You’ll have to use your imagination. But this picture might help.

And no, I really didn’t make this up.  

Saturday, 13 August 2011

A Fancy Tribute

Finding My New Normal's son would be one today. So here's a whole bunch of bloggy balloons on their way up to him. I'm sitting in an airport, so sending off a real one wasn't really practical. Plus, it might confuse a bird, who would then take it out on my plane's engine. Hope the thought really counts here.

Thinking of you, my virtual friend.


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Fancy's Learning Disability

"Well, well. I see you went to the zoo this weekend,” chuckled Nanny #1 as she walked through the door Monday morning this week.

“Oh, you noticed? What gave it away? The Penguin Beach shopping tote? Or the two animal umbrellas? The ladybug raincoats? What?” I laughed.

“Um, nice shirt,” she snorted, pointing to my new  “I Heart ZSL” Tshirt. Clearly left over from the day before and having served as both street wear and nightshirt.

I don’t know why, but Fancy here can’t seem to wrap her head around one little fact about living in London: the weather fucking sucks. The skies were blue, dammit. Not a cloud in sight Sunday morning. H was off somewhere in the Middle East, trading camels for oil barrels or some such nonsense, and I decided that I, Frau Fancy, would take the Minis on a trip to the London Zoo. It would not only give Nanny #2 a chance to straighten up, but would be a fun mother-daughters day.

I brushed Nanny #2’s hands away as she tried to hand me the rain cover for the buggy. “No need!” I cried. “The sun is shining! The birds are chirping! It’s a beautiful day!” And out we went. On foot. No rain cover. No umbrellas.

Stupid, stupid me. It started when we reached Regent Park.

So if you happened to be at the London Zoo last weekend, perhaps you spotted me? You surely wouldn’t have recognized me, what with my ultra Fancy appearance. But yes. That was me actually stripping off her soaking blouse in front of the zoo gift shop while ripping off price tags with my teeth and then pulling on a brand new and very hot pink T-shirt. Which went very nicely with my £6.95 plastic poncho, which was basically a very large sheet of cling film with a neck hole. Awesome.

If you didn’t catch me there, maybe you spotted the lady with two very wet toddlers, who were also stripped naked while huddling together under an awning, being wrapped in two layers of size 1-2 ZSL shirts and topped off with very cute little raincoats that fell to their feet, sleeves rolled up about 10 times.

No? How about the woman with very wet hair and running mascara, sitting on a bench trying to use baby wipes to scrub the yellow dye off her feet from her very expensive and now quite wet Italian sandals, while her children tried to stab each other with their new “uhbrells”?”

Let me summarize. Fancy here is capable of leaning. Like did you know that porcupines kill more lions and hyenas than any other animal in Africa? Yes, I know, it’s fascinating. I learned that at the zoo. I also learned that my Friends of ZSL membership card gets me 20% off my purchases this summer, which comes in handy when you spend £100 pounds on dry clothes for yourself and your children. I learned that Nanny #1 keeps an emergency stash of bubbles in the pram, handy for entertaining two young Minis, who were promised lions and instead got the insect exhibit. I learned that petting zoos are not as much fun when there are puddles full of wet goat shit to slog through. I learned that the new zoo exit is all the way around the corner from the taxi stand. And I learned that the waitress at Yo Sushi knows better than to ask if I mean a 125mL or 250mL glass of wine when she sees 3 drowned rats in zoo clothing walk through the door.

See Fancy is a good learner. These are all very good lessons. It’s a shame I just can’t seem to learn the one about the British weather. 

Monday, 8 August 2011

Fancy Calculations

Marriage is all about communication. You need to know how to speak to your spouse in order to make him understand you. The language you choose to use can make all the difference. For example, when speaking to H, I must put everything in a format that he can actually understand. Because logic and emotional intelligence are not really his strong suits. So carrying on about how he can't understand because he hasn't flown economy let alone discount in decades, or about travelling with toddlers or anything else wasn't going to get me anywhere. I had to let the number do the talking. 

“Sit. I have to show you something. Here is the cost calculation of what flying Cheap Ass Air actually did to your wallet. Pay attention.” And I laid out my presentation: The True Cost of Flying Cheap Ass Air.

Me, Nanny #1, the Minis: Outbound flight:

159.96 EUR Total Fare
105.16 EUR Taxes, Fees & Charges
8.00 EUR Passenger Fee: CANX
24.00 EUR Passenger Fee: Web Check in
90.00 EUR Passenger Fee: Checked Bag(s)
16.00 EUR Passenger Fee: Priority Boarding
24.00 EUR Passenger Fee: Administration Fee
427.12 EUR Total Paid
Me, Nanny #1, the Minis: Return flight:
79.96 GBP Total Fare
0.00 GBP Taxes, Fees & Charges
8.00 GBP Passenger Fee: CANX
24.00 GBP Passenger Fee: Web Check in
90.00 GBP Passenger Fee: Checked Bag(s)
16.00 GBP Passenger Fee: Priority Boarding
1.00 GBP Passenger Fee: Mobile Text
24.00 GBP Passenger Fee: Administration Fee
242.96 GBP Total Paid

“What? Oh, that’s apparently a fee they charge just in case the flight is cancelled. No, I’m not fucking with you. Yes, web check-in is mandatory. And yes, I’m aware they changed the currency depending on the direction you fly, although the fees remain exactly the same, never mind the exchange rate. Yes, I’m absofuckinglutely serious. Now, may I continue?”
H’s unused flights (I’ll spare you the actual breakdown since it’s the same, but the totals?
114.28 EUR and 67.99 GBP
“I know. It is amazing that you didn’t even check in, let alone fly, and yet we were still charged all that. Now stop moving your lips. I’m not done.”
Two infant seats in addition to the child seats makes 20 GBP x 2 x 2. Or maybe EUR. I have no fucking idea at this point.
Extra luggage since the Minis were not allowed theirs once their true ages were uncovered, although CAA is keeping the money: 60 EUR + 60 GBP
AND: Hotel the night before, since trains don’t run at ungodly o’clock: £200. 1 pair lost shoes plus my new kindle in security: roughly £200, the shittiest coffee known to man £9, and finally food and booze on the return flight £25.
“Okay, got that? Grand total comes to, um, oh Christ on a bike, I can’t add this all up. Alright, here: 641.40 EUR plus 844.95GBP. Well, if it makes you feel better, take out the £400 for the hotel and our lost belongings. But then go ahead and add back in the 3 hours of Fancy Therapy it’s going to take to repair the damage done to my psyche. And our relationship. Which is another 2400USD.”
H just stared at me. “Okay. I got it. We’re done.”
“Thank you darling. Now let’s practice something. The only words I ever want to hear come out of your mouth with regards to me and the children and air travel are as follows:” I said, as slowly and calmly as I could. (We were out of numbers and back into emotional intelligence territory.)
“Now repeat. ‘Did you use cash or miles for those upgrades, dear?’”
Oh Cheap Ass Air. It was fun while it lasted. I’ll miss you. xFF

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Fancy History

I know, I know. The 7 seats will be explained soon enough. Actually it's not that hard. In fact, I'll just do it now.

H (unused ticket)
The Princess (Infant)
The Princess (Child)
Tough Cookie (Infant)
Tough Cookie (Child)

Yes, that's correct. Cheap Ass Air policy requires all children who have not yet turned 2 to sit on their mother's lap. Any other Real Airline would allow you the option of purchasing a seat for an infant or young toddler for either safety (approved airline seat) or comfort. But no. Cheap Ass has a general policy on customer comfort: no. If it might make your ride more enjoyable then absolutely not.

But Fancy here went all ape-shit on their ass when I discovered this little nugget, moments before leaving the Fancy home for the Airport Hotel, where we were forced to stay because trains don't run at UnGodly Hour. Which added another couple hundred quid to the exercise. Anyhoo, I digress. Ape-shit. There was screaming. And they graciously allowed me to keep the child seats I'd purchased, of course losing all luggage I'd paid for, and then also buy space for them on my lap. So I could check them in.

See, it makes perfect sense.

And this is one of the many joys of parenting. Learning that the world doesn't really love your kids as much as you do. I think the general public would prefer that small children were kept hidden away, never let into planes or restaurants, fed only self-cleaning astronaut food, bowels routinely cleansed so as to de-smell all nappies, you get the gist.

But I love my kids. For toddlers, they are some pretty well-behaved children. And I want them to see the world, try new things, see new places. So out we go.

I know every mother looks at her children and thinks that they are the most miraculous little critters ever. Of course, mine really are, but I have another excuse for walking around with my Fancy head in a cloud of Fancy Mother Love: The Minis didn't come to us easily. Stop, I know every child is a blessing and every mother loves her offspring to pieces. But sometimes when I look at them, I feel like there must be a catch. Because how these two got to me is really a miracle.

Anyhoo, that was a pretty long opening to what I wanted to say. Part of my Fancy Infertility story can be found In The Powder Room today. Just a bit of it. The part that came on IVF round #30gazillion. After years of tears and heartache. After H declared himself an expert on semen collection rooms. After Fancy here learned to shoot herself with hormones undetected while sitting at a sushi bar shoveling in an omikase. But only if you are curious.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Fancy Flies Home

“Ring ring. Ring ring. Hello, Mr. Fancy’s office, Fancy Assistant speaking, how may I help you?”

“Hey FA, it’s me, Frau Fancy. I was trying to ring his mobile but I guess it went through to you. How ya doing?”

“Oh lovely, thank you. But how are you?”

“Ah, just standing here at Tiny Town Airport, waiting for my Cheap Ass Air flight. No food. No water. The Minis are walking the queue, trying to force half-chewed raisins and soggy biscuits on the other Cheap Ass customers. No word on when, or if, we’ll be leaving.”

“Oh no! Why the delay?”

“Alas, a couple of birds became severely depressed at the realisation that they were being forced to share God’s wide open skies with these assholes. So they committed suicide in our plane’s engines. The Cheap Ass engineers are, as we speak, trying to pry their burned carcasses from the aircraft motor.”

“Oh that’s horrible! Do you want me to send Mr. Fancy an email and tell him what is going on?”

“Yes, please. And it should read like this: ‘your family called to check that you were indeed enjoying the First Class Lounge at the Fancy Airport you chose to fly home out of. They sincerely hope the caviar is nice because soon they’ll be subjected to drinking their own urine. Kisses.’ Okay? You got that?”

“Ha ha, Frau Fancy, you are so funny. Okay, I’ll tell him.”

“Ooh, gotta run. Thanks. Looks like we’re boarding. Talk later!”

**Interlude: Fancy drags two toddlers across the tarmac, Nanny #1 following closely behind dragging a double stroller and a diaper bag. The Cheap Ass flight crew is actually very helpful, even allowing us to fully take up the 7 seats we’d purchased, although there were only 4 human bodies. Yes, more on that to come. Obviously. But let’s start with the fact that I’d paid for each Mini twice, once as an infant and once as a child. Airline policy, you see. They aren’t technically age two. So I should be content with holding 12 kg of giant toddler with massive feet and a head as hard as stone on my lap as she fights for her freedom, other passengers be damned. Or pay. Twice. Anyhoo, soon we are settled in and high up in the sky.**

“Oh my God. Are you actually buying Cheap Ass Air champagne? Snort. That’s hilarious,” says Nanny #1, as Fancy here whips out her wallet.

“Yes I am. Desperate times. And if this isn’t enough, I’ll need you to start ripping open those little foil packets marked, ‘Vodka.’ Okay? Here, feed the girls this fine organic sandwich from a company called, um, let’s see, oh yes, here, ‘MeLikey.’ How’s that for fine parenting? And I’ve gotta get me a couple of those scratch cards cuz I’m sending you on the Cheap Ass Air holiday after I win!”

“Oh, no. Never again. Never. But here, let me get that cup of ice for you,” said the greatest Nanny ever to live.

“That’s right. The next time I tell you we’re flying anything other than Fancy Airline, you slap me until my nose bleeds. You understand? Seriously. Got it?”

We’re home. The Fancies have landed.