We are a small, happy family of four. My husband, a baby, a dog and me. My husband works on a yacht. A large, luxury megayacht which tends to be based in some fairly fabulous places. The thing is, where the boat goes, we go! When she was was just eight weeks old our daughter, Coco, boarded her first trans-Atlantic flight and since then we haven't stopped. This is a blog of our rather unusual yet adventurous life. No two days are the same.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

New adventures

I'm making a tentative return to my blog - which, by the way, should now be 'Babies, a buggy and a boat'. We are a family of five (including our beloved Buster) with the arrival of a beautiful, baby girl just six weeks ago.
So where have we been? Basically, I felt like a bit of a fraud. I had built this blog up to be a record of our adventures, our travels and an account of our rather unusual lifestyle, but this is the thing... we haven't been anywhere since I last posted nearly a year ago. When I say 'we' I mean me and my girl, now girls. Angus has still been sailing the high seas to earn a crust but the rest of the family have been on terra firma (apart from a very wet camping trip to France last summer which involved a quick ferry across the English Channel obviously). So A Baby, a Buggy and a Boat lost its identity. I didn't want to be just a parenting blog, there are plenty of much better ones out there, and I couldn't decide how to write anymore or what to write about. Where were our adventures now?
Then yesterday, whilst tearing my hair out during a 'short' trip to Waitrose that took nearly two hours, I realised that the whole thing is an adventure. I was 'popping' to the supermarket, a fairly simple task. I had a list of, oh about 15 things, not a big shop. Fairly manageable you would think. Baby Orla cried for the whole of the 10 minute car journey there. Coco and I decided that we'd head straight to the cafe for a cake (an excuse to feed but trying to keep things interesting for Coco). Parked, baby and toddler into the trolly, scoot through the supermarket to the cafe, baby and toddler out of the trolly, baby still crying, toddler running away from me all the time and needs constantly bribing with cake. The queue is fairly long and by the time we reach the till, Orla has fallen asleep. Coco and I sit and eat cake while I try and wake Orla enough to feed, which she doesn't, she is in a seriously deep sleep.
Just as we finish, Coco needs a wee (the potty training has regressed since Orla's arrival so I shower Coco in compliments for telling me she needs to go) and we all run to the loo. Whilst I am dealing with Coco, Orla wakes up... crying, so back to the cafe for a feed but by this time the last of our cakes and drinks have been cleared away and I have nothing to entertain a two year old for ten minutes so grab a CBeebies magazine en route back to the cafe. Feed. Both children back into the trolly. Do about half of my shop and then Coco needs the loo again. More compliments for her although through slightly gritted teeth. Out of the trolly, queue for the loo, into the trolly. Everyone is bored by now (including you I would imagine), Orla starts screaming, Coco is helpfully holding her hand over her mouth to keep her quite through suffocation. I'm trying to finish the shop which also trying to save the baby. Eventually we make it to the checkout, I've left my 'bags for life' in the car so guiltily pack my groceries into plastic which I want to tell everyone I WILL make use of, I promise and I swear to myself, right there and then, that I am internet shopping from here on in!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Nesting - better late that never

This is truly the life... sitting in a cafe in our local town; I've dropped Coco at nursery, there is pot of tea just for me, I've submitted an article, I am writing a blog and simply watching the world go by. The view doesn't quite match up to the balcony vista that we left behind a week ago, but the bustling high street of our small Wessex town with the bunting fluttering after the royal festivities isn't bad at all.

It has been busy - as ever - when does life slow down, even just for a second? Coco was a dream on her sixteenth trans-Atlantic flight. She knows the score now not even trying to get off my lap, which is unheard of when we aren't on a plane, asleep within half an hour of take off and then I woke her up as we were landing. Not quite such a comfortable flight for me however due to the fact that Coco is officially too big for my lap for eight hours straight! It will be a seat next time, a sad admission for our wallets but a huge relief for my femurs!

Now we are home, it is the exciting countdown to moving into our new home. With less than two weeks to go I am frantically sorting clothes, paining furniture, buying fridges and booking broadband. I have mentioned before that Coco has never had her own room and only ever slept in a travel cot. I am sure you all know just how much I love our life and how lucky I know we are, however, the one thing I feel like I missed out on was the preparations of the nursery before Coco was born. I am now loving getting everything ready for her, what I hope will be lovely, room.

I am revamping an old chest of drawers that I picked up at a local auction, updating a cot given to us by my nieces having been used by both of them and designing murals for her wall. I have heaps of work at the moment but I resent loosing the time to prepare for our move. I want to be sewing and sanding and making lovely things - as always, not enough hours in the day!

There are just about enough hours to make sure we make up for lost time by having lots of walks with our darling Buster. The dynamic duo are together again and already causing lots of trouble!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What a week!

Before I start, I just want to share my extreme excitement with you at my having being nominated for a MAD Blog Award! It is a complete surprise, I am gobsmacked, flabbergasted and utterly over excited about it. For those of you who don't know about the Mummy's and Daddy's Bloggers Oscar's, click on the button on this page and take a look. Who'd have thought that Baby, Buggy, Boat would even be considered for a nomination alongside some of the extraordinary talent there is amongst the parent bloggers out there. Apparently this is an inspirational blog! What-da-ya-know! Whoever it was that has enjoyed reading about our adventures enough to nominate us, a heartfelt 'thank you'. You made my weekend!

There is so much to fill you in on I am struggling to know where to start. After a nasty tumble in the pool last week, we signed Coco up for some more lessons to rebuild her confidence. It has worked a treat and she is loving being back in the water. Both Angus and I are also loving learning the exercises to really help get her swimming. She is just starting to kick at last and so we are able to let go of her now and she makes way underwater. She will hang onto the wall on her own, spider-crawl along it to the steps and climb out. Big progress so I am going to have to be sure I keep it up when we get back to the UK next week. I can not tell you what a relief it will be to actually have her swimming and it feels like we are getting close now.

We had a truly glorious Easter weekend. I did a fun-run to raise money for a local guy who needs a back operation to get him walking again. We ran at sunrise up to an old fort at Shirley Heights, enjoyed the stunning views from the top and then ran back down again. It was hot and hard but such good fun. I ran with a friend and colleague of Angus's and it felt good to start the weekend doing something virtuous.

We were invited to spend Easter Sunday morning with some friends who were hosting a brunch party. After collecting the eggs the Easter Bunny had left in our little garden (we had to get out there very early so they didn't melt!) and enjoying an early breakfast of Cheerios and chocolate (!) we headed down the hill to our friends house. Brunch was more muffins and bucks fizz, followed by more bucks fizz, followed by lots of fizz but by this stage we abandoned the fruit juice. It wasn't even lunchtime when we wobbled home giggling all the way.

It is Antigua's famous Sailing Week at the moment so we have spent a few evening at Nelsons Dockyard absorbing the party atmosphere. Coco and Uncle Gaby had a dance-off to the islands top band - Itchy Feet - on Monday. When I say 'dance-off' they both span around like loons and jumped about like a pair of over excited frogs. Extremely funny to watch, I wish I had got it on video.

Our bit of drama for the week was on Monday evening when the boats crew up to the house for a BBQ. We had a lovely evening with everyone; good food, wine and beer, swimming and chatting and had just settled down to tell embarrassing stories when the boats watch-keeper called Angus to tell him that the sailing yacht right alongside them was on fire! Now, if you imagine a marina, all the boats are very close to each other, and I'm not sure how much you know about boats but they burn well - and quickly. I have never seen Angus move so fast! Grabbing half the crew, they jumped in the car and hotfooted it down to the harbour. (Angus hadn't been drinking by the way, he's very responsible like that)

All was well, but not before Angus and his crew had fought the fire along with ABSAR - the Antiguan rescue team, the fire-brigade and other surrounding boat crews. Sadly, S/Y Titan, the boat that was on fire, was pretty much destroyed but nobody was hurt and no other boats were affected. To read more check out this report in Dockwalk.

So an eventful week! We should be back in the UK by now but Angus's plans changed, the boat is staying a little longer and who wants to rush back from the Caribbean? So we've changed our flight and have a few extra days in paradise... lucky, lucky us.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tantrums and Tiaras

The Antigua Classics Sailing Regatta has been and gone. It has been a busy week for the boat with racing, race crew to entertain, the owner and his guests onboard, the organisation, the logistics and the level of service is phenomenal. Not only that but these boys (and girls) pull it off whilst making it look effortless and stress-free. These superyacht guys know their stuff I tell ya.

I managed to blag a ride on the chase boat one day (a speed boat that follows the sailboat in case one of the race crew go overboard and it does happen sometimes!) because it was Uncle Gaby's turn to drive. Although you don't get the thrill of sailing, it really is the best seat in the house, plus I had the added advantage of spending a very pleasant day with my brother and his friend and colleague, Dallas. Here are some of this years photos:

Coco and I have had the pleasure of being included in some of the cocktail parties, bbq's and crew dinners that come hand-in-hand with regattas so feel full of good food, lovely company and rum! Not for Coco obviously, although it may have helped as we have had a week filled with some humdinger tantrums.

We have definitely moved into a new phase. The funny, feisty, good humoured Coco is still there for I would guess about 80% of the time but then she is replaced by demon child for the other 20%. The tantrums come from nowhere, there doesn't seem to be a reason for them but they are violent and so, so loud! She quickly gets herself into a frenzy and it would seem that nothing will calm her. She doesn't want anyone near her and yet she doesn't want to be left alone. The other day it was about 40 minutes before she eventually shook herself out of it, but this is the amazing thing, when recovers she is then back to normal in moments, if not a little croaky due to the screaming! It is completely bizarre. 

Who knows the best way to cope with these situations but I refuse to reward her behaviour with treats when she is screaming her head off, and of course I comfort her but again, cuddles and mollycoddling seems wrong when it is being demanded in such a way. Do I sound harsh, should I scoop her up, give her chocolate and tell her it is ok to get attention in that way? I have taken to the tactic of sitting with her and chatting to her but not really invading her space, she doesn't want me to anyway. She does work through it herself, with a little bit of gentle encouragement, and will hopefully soon see these passionate outbursts as a waste of both time and energy. Having had one a day for three or four consecutive days we have gone for 48 hours now without one so maybe we are making a breakthrough. Or maybe this is the calm before the storm!

Nevertheless, we have still had some fun times over the last few days and here are the photos to prove it. You would think that butter wouldn't melt...

Do you have a toddler the likes the odd tantrum and how to you handle it?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Even The Caribbean Has Its Downsides

I have just kept down the first food to have passed my lips in over 24 hours and I am really hoping it is going to give me some strength. It is common, at this time of year, for a stomach bug to sweep through the island of Antigua. Something to do with the dry weather and then the rain coming - I'm not sure though so don't quote me on that. Anyway, it always happens. Last year we managed to watch from a distance as we heard of people getting ill, there was even the terrible meningitis tragedy which shocked every parent to the core. This year we haven't escaped completely unscathed.

Angus was ill last week and I hate to confess to the fact that I thought he could have been a bit braver. For two days he could hardly communicate, was listless and had a terrible stomach. On one hand I was really worried because I had never seen anyone that ill, and on the other hand there was a small part of me that wondered if he really was quite as ill as he made out. I have to make this confession public to alleviate some of the guilt because having now experienced the illness myself, I can confirm that yes, he really did feel that ill. I thought I was dying last night when I couldn't stop vomiting, every muscle in my body was screaming at me, my arms, hands and feet were completely numb and I was struggling for breath. I couldn't keep my eyes open but I was convinced that if I closed them I wasn't going to ever wake-up. I normally consider myself to be quite brave but not this time. This bug got me, well and truly.

Enough of this moaning - we are all on the mend although poor Angus is having to cope with crew dropping like flies as well as family. Poor guy, and after my lack of sympathy! Seriously, that man deserves a medal. My only hope is that Coco manages to avoid it. Now I am feeling stronger I am going on a cleaning mission this evening to try and rid the house of all germs!

So again, a public apology to my long suffering husband... I am sorry, you were properly ill and I should have taken you more seriously xxx

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Tomorrow is the start of the 2011 Antigua Classics Sailing Regatta - a splendid race which I have had the pleasure of being involved in for the last three years. This, sadly, looks like it might be our last year so I am going to make the most of it and hopefully get more photos like these...

Aren't they beautiful boats?

So here's to tomorrow - GO RANGER!

For more fabulous interpretations of the theme 'tomorrow' go and visit The Gallery over at Sticky Fingers.