Almost daily diary!

Friday, August 29, 2008


In the last 24 hours I've: Broken 2 glasses, dropped a whole bowl of muesli on the kitchen floor, and pulled something in my back. The first couple of things were annoying, the last excruciating.

I've had an ache in my upper back for a few days. Nothing that painkillers couldn't cope with but Husband kept nagging me to go to the osteopath. You need a second mortgage to go there so I ignored it until lunchtime today. I was happily coping on my two Nurofen when the phone rang. Small Sprog and Tall Girl were in the kitchen making mini pizzas. I reached for the phone and it was Husband calling to see (nag me) if I'd made an appointment for my back yet. As I was speaking to him, phone in one hand, I bent down to open the oven with the other. That's when it happened! I must have twisted awkwardly because an excruciating pain hit my lower back and burnt it's way through my spine. I put the phone down quickly and tried not to move. It would have been funny if it hadn't been so painful! I thought I was stuck like that, like they do on comedy films, but I did manage to straighten up eventually.

The children were very concerned and did all the clearing up jobs that needed to be done (I must look helpless more often!). And do you know all I could think? Damn Husband!! If he hadn't phoned just then I wouldn't be in this state!!

Luckily the osteopath fitted me in. That hurt to, both in my back and in my purse. I have to go back next Tuesday for more treatment. It hurts but you know it will help in the end!

So there you have it! I'm walking about like something decrepit. And all I wanted to say was, sorry I can't visit you all at the moment but I can't sit, stand or do anything for long, even on painkillers. So bye for now. Hope to be 'back' in circulation soon.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The visit

Today we spent time with a great friend of mine, who lives two roads away, but whom I often don't see for months on end. I will call he the Alternative Mother (of 4). Every time we see each other it's like we spoke yesterday and I wonder why we don't get together more often.

There are probably several reasons. One clue is in her title. Their family life is alternative, perhaps even a little haphazard. They home educate, which I admire her greatly for, and this tends to make them live on a different time scale from our own. They do more 'unusual' things (ones you need to be brave for) that I can't do! They have a busy life. And Small Sprog prefers to play with Lucy (his own age) than Joseph (2 years younger). That is often a problem.

The Alternative Mother and I met when we were carrying our first babies who were born 2 weeks apart from each other, as were our next two. (I stopped at this point and she had twins!!)We spent days together then, struggling with new babies and supporting each other through those unknown shores. She takes risks. I live a safe (and boring life). When her baby was 4 months old she took off on the spur of the moment to New Zealand. I could barely get to the supermarket! When she returned months later I was struggling with weening. She hadn't bothered! I was doing what 'the book' said. She was doing it however she felt best!

We now have two happy and healthy 11 year old girls! Such different beginnings but such similar beings.

I wish I had had the courage to do it her way (still do sometimes). She wishes she had things sorted a little like me. I need to practice my haphazardness and leave the OCD behind! She seriously needs to get organised!

We had a good time today. An easy time spent grazing over life, before, after and now. I hope we get old together.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

ABC Wednesday................... F

F is for Flag

A flag on the SS Great Britain in Bristol Docks
The SS Great Britain is a fantastic exhibit which as won national awards. The children love visiting and the good thing is you pay to go in once and can then revisit again free during the following year! We had such a brilliant day out here during the harbour side festival at the docks in July. It seems ages ago now. Look! The sky is blue!!

ABC Wednesday was created by Mrs Nesbitt.
More can be found on the
ABC Wednesday no-comment blog,
and on
ABC Wednesday Mr Linky .

Please visit as many as you can and leave comments for us all!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Little Light Dusting.

Husband decided to shift a long overdue item from our bedroom chest this morning. By the time I had come out of the shower it was gone and so was he. I mentioned it to him at breakfast;
"Are you taking it down to the tip"
"Not today. I dusted though."
"Yes, there was a big patch of dust underneath" He said
I hadn't smelt any polish or seen a duster but I must admit the top of the chest was clean enough. All this was going through my head and my face must have been giving away my thoughts because he said "I didn't use polish"
"Or a duster" He hesitated "I used my pants!"
Yep you heard (read) it right first time...His pants.
I gave him a look!

Eeeww. Men!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summers End

The summer is my favourite time of year. I love the warmth and the promise of holidays, the leafy green fullness of the trees and the sweet smell of wild roses, the long hours of daylight and being able to wear fewer clothes. But towards the end of August it all feels a little sad. The leaves have an undeniable tinge of yellow, the days are noticeably shorter and the air in the morning has the fresh smell that heralds the stomach wrenching return to school. The summer is nearly finished, all good things come to an end and, although it feels as though it will last forever, it is over too soon, gone for another year, faded, slipping off towards the south leaving a little cold patch in my heart. Regret, unfulfilled wishes and dreams and a longing to stop the seasons, the days, the clock. Just one more beautiful day, just one more everlasting summers day. But it is too much to ask.

Then I take a walk.
It is late August, and the leaves on the trees have an undeniable tinge of yellow but the bushes are heavy with fruit. There are Blackberries aplenty, rose hips of the most magnificent vermilion. There are apples, elderberries, damsons and plums. There are Sloes, with the promise of warmth in the winter, just prick them all over and steep in gin with sugar and they will warm you in the most bleak of cold winter days. It is a time to gather and hoard. To take in the end of this summer and keep it with you, a chance to stop time. Just for a while. Just until you can accept the oncoming of winter, and the cold that it brings.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

How The Other Half Used To Live!

.......Or two trains and a bus!
We went here today by train from our local station changing at Temple Meads and then catching a bus from the centre of Bath. The Garden is called Prior Park, this is the blurb about it:

One of only four Palladian bridges in the world can be crossed at Prior Park, which was created in the 18th century by local entrepreneur Ralph Allen, with advice from 'Capability' Brown and the poet Alexander Pope. The garden is set in a sweeping valley where visitors can enjoy magnificent views of Bath. Recent restoration of the 'Wilderness' has reinstated the Serpentine Lake, Cascade and Cabinet.

I got quite excited about the bridge! One of only 4 in the world! And it was truly magnificent too. Apparently old Ralph sat on his stately pile watching the stone (which was quarried from his own land) trundle down the hill on his own railway, to the canal below. He had it all sorted really. Those were the days!

Anyway it was a fantastic day out. Small Sprog was over the moon about the train trips especially with the added bonus of a bus at the end (which was very overpriced just for a short trip uphill!). I must admit the train though the city offers a great alternative view of Bristol. Tall Girl was frightened of the tunnels! They made her ears pop and she was afraid she would go deaf!! She could worry for England that one! Husband had a good day until he used the portaloo at the bottom of the garden walk, the worst he's ever been in apparently, eeeww! But there again poor Capability would turn in his grave if he knew a portaloo was loitering behind a tree on on of his landscapes. Perish the thought!
We 'gelled' together as a family today. We haven't done that for quite a while now. It's amazing what the magic of an amazing bridge can do.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Walking on sunshine

With much moaning and gnashing of teeth I managed to get Small Sprog and Tall Girl up the Malvern hills today!
As you can see it was well worth the effort.
Well almost!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fruity day!

Yesterday was a good day. A good family day. Three generations, mum, me and the children - or as she prefers to say (she insists on being grammatically correct) - mum, the children and I!

We picked fruit (again) in the morning and the weather stayed dry, which is all you can expect at the moment, and she fed us and we played! We were all in good company, happy and relaxed. I like it like that.

However today I have mountains of fruit to sort out!! Small Sprog can't stop picking when he gets going so we have far more than we need but that's all part of the fun! He makes up for Tall Girl who is afraid of the wasps so 'hovers' rather than picks!

So far I have made raspberry jam, blackberry and apple crumbles and a little strawberry jam as well as freezing some raspberries and blackberries oh and some stewed apples (which I forgot for a while when they were cooking but rescued just in time!). Phew!

I have also cooked one tea towel, now very hole ridden, drunk water out of 'leaf cups' (kindly served by Small Sprog), made tiny sandwiches for Small Sprogs teddy friends (!) and watched the children's 'fashion show' (directed and performed mostly by Tall Girl) which they chose to perform in the hallway. The house is a tip and I am trying to get them to put it all away. Easier said than done.

The sky is blue and we are deliberating on going away for the weekend to catch the sun. It could, of course rain instead but who knows?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

ABC Wednesday...................E

This week we have reached the letter E
E is for Egg

in my old

Noddy egg cup!

He even had a hat to keep my boiled egg warm.

Thanks for keeping him all these years Mum!

ABC Wednesday was started by Mrs Nesbitt.

More can be found on the ABC Wednesday no-comment blog,

and on ABC Wednesday Mr Linky .

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bedtime games.

We play a game at bedtime, Small Sprog and me. He is snuggled down in bed and I kiss him and say 'I love you'.
He says he loves me back.
I say 'I love you all the world'.
He says he loves me more.
I say 'I love you all the universe'.
All the time I am waiting, and we are both giggling, it can go on for quite a while and then he says, very quickly (we are both well practiced in this) ' I love you more than you love me, full stop, exclamation mark, no returns to me!'
This means he has won! He loves me more than I love him and I can't beat that because of all the 'charms' he adds to the end of the sentence, the extra bits, commas, stars, full stops, whatever he chooses today. If I get in with the sentence first he adds another 'charm' on the end so that he can 'override' it!!

So, he loves me more than I love him? If only he could know how much I loved him, would his little heart be big enough to contain so much love? I think it almost might be.

PS. I took the photo of the sunset last Thursday while we were away camping just to prove we did have some good weather!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back to reality

So what do you do when you get back from two weeks holiday, it's a wet day, and there's no food in the house? You do the dreaded Supermarket run. With the children I can hear you shriek! No, thankfully. However when you get there you try to remember how quiet it was in the countryside. You try not to think too hard about the farmers field, the stream, the fact that you were on a beach this time two weeks ago or that reality really is this. Here. Now. You try to remember what you ate when you had a 'real' kitchen to cook in instead of a just campfire.

You mooch about a bit, realising that the best bit about being there is the fact that the children and Husband are somewhere else! (Well we have been together for a whole two weeks) Then you bump into Mother of Two Boys! A friendly face in a sea of zombied humanity, hunting and gathering from the cold metal shelves and chilly freezers.

You exchange wet holiday stories, of which there are many this summer. She too has just got back from her holiday, it is a wet day and there is no food in the house. She has just bumped into Domestic Goddess Mother, another good friend who has just returned from holiday, it's a wet day and there's no food in the house!

Had everyone in the supermarket just returned from their holidays? Damn, it was busy for a Monday.

Later, Mother of Two Boys came around for a chat and tea. It wasn't until then that I realised how few people I'd had a proper conversation with recently. We exchanged Husband episodes and chatted about the Channel 4 vagina programme last night. Eeewww! My brother in Law texted me yesterday to ask if I could tape it for him. He is having a wet holiday with no TV too! I think he was expecting something less medical and perhaps a little more titillating. He will be disappointed! Still, it gave us something to laugh about.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Back after a short break!

Whilst driving through quiet country lanes over the last few days we have encountered some very erratic drivers. Holiday drivers husband calls them. The farmer, in whose field we have sheltered in for the last few rainy days, says the Dutch are the worst! He gets a lot of Dutch campers on his site. He says they have straight roads and no hills in Holland, quite the opposite to Exmoor which, I suppose, is why they visit. He says they see something coming around the corner of a single track lane and immediately veer to the right side, forgetting that we drive on the left, the oncoming tractor (driven by the said farmer) also pulls over to their right. The brakes need to be good, especially in the rain. I suspect, on occasions, he also takes the tractor home from the pub!

As we met a tractor the other day, and duly pulled over, we were astonished to see a large vehicle overtake us. The driver didn't seem to see the tractor coming towards her until it had nearly driven through her windscreen. After breaking hard she reversed, smiling and giving us a cheerful wave as she squeezed back, passed our car, to pull in just behind us. Husband mutterer's about the way 'They always smile like that'! And Small Sprog, who doesn't generally miss much in the back, cottons on to whats happening. He carefully considers the situation and then .......
'It's OK Daddy, she was just laughing in the face of death'!
How does he do it?!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cute isn't he!

Defeated by the weather again today we decided to go to the movies. I booked on line -I love that you can do that so easily and then just walk straight in past all the people queueing in the rain. I needn't have felt smug about that today though.

The film started at 4.10. Husband started fussing about getting ready around 3.30 (only 10 minute drive to the cinema).
I hate being early.
'Do we need to go already?'
'I thought you wanted to get popcorn on the way'
I'd forgotten about that.

By 3.45 we were all loaded in the car. Off we went to the cinema via the local shops. The Butterkist popcorn from the Co-op tastes so much better than the stuff they sell in the cinema foyer and it turns out Husband wants to take his dry cleaning to the place next door.

By the time I have bought the food Husband is just emerging from the cleaners and we walk back to the car together, where the children are waiting. No sooner do we shut the car door and put on our seat belts than Small Sprog chirps up from the back 'I think I need a poo!'
Tall Girl follows with 'So do I!'
'Oh for goodness sake!'Husband explodes. We have driven all of 2 miles and they already need the toilet.
'It's OK' I sooth 'Sometimes you just don't know when you're going to need to 'go' do you?'
Husband smoldered ' Well can you wait until you get there?'
I am thinking 'Not if I can help it, those toilets are a health hazard!' but I say (very calmly!) 'Let's just turn around and go home, there's plenty of time.'

As we pull into the drive the clock on the dash says 3.56
Small Sprog makes a run for it, Tall Girl in hot pursuit shouting 'Bagsey I 'go' downstairs!'

Time moves on.
Small Sprog can poo for England, I swear sometimes more comes out than goes in in the first place!

4.08 and bowels emptied we start again, in silence! Husband has also had a wee (didn't he 'go' before we came out?!) and I'm thinking 'We might just make it before the adverts finish'

When we arrive the queue of people are warm and dry and happily seated inside. There were only our seats the very front. Husband shot me a look, muttered something about getting here earlier and settled down to watch the screen above! I got the impression that being late was my fault!

The film was fun and Small Sprog giggled through a lot of it. Tall Girl was in charge of the popcorn, which was a big mistake! And, of course, we all have neck ache.

On the way home Small Sprog asked if his very back teeth would ever wobble and fall out like some of his front ones. I said I didn't think so, and that is why we need to brush them so well. He looks disappointed. I ask him why he wants to lose his back teeth.
'They're so big' He replied 'They must be worth at least £2 each '!! The tooth fairy cometh.

PS. I wonder when he'll get the idea to sell other body parts?!

D is for Dog!..........ABC Wednesday

You know........

life is so hard just.......

...being a dog!

ABC Wednesday was started by Mrs Nesbitt. More can be found on the ABC Wednesday no-comment blog, and on the ABC Wednesday Mr Linky blog.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

In mourning for the sea.

I'm home. Early. It was wet in Cornwall. I had a lovely time but Husband decided enough was enough. I'm sad. Sad because time with the children is so precious and two weeks by the sea once a year isn't much time out of our lives but we managed less than 9 days. Tall Girl will be 12 this autumn. She may not have more than 4 more summer holidays with us (I got fed up with holidaying with my parents when I was 16, though I hope she still will want to come away with us for years to come yet).

We had 3 days on the beach. Small Sprog did body boarding for the first time and loved it! He shrieked at the top of his voice for joy on the crest of every wave! Tall Girl enjoyed it in an altogether quieter way but was happy all the same.

We managed to walk a lot. Often in thick mist! Cornwall is renowned for it's sea mists. Someone stole the cows from the bottom of the garden, not just the cows but the whole hill behind the cottage too and the distant sea view. The mist was so thick at one point it was like something out of a Steven King movie. We were just alone in the world, or so it seemed!

But Husband got fed up being damp and Tall Girl said there was more to do at home in the rain and here we are. Home. Back to the suburban sprawl. I'm not ready for this. I needed more time. More time to hear the silence of the countryside, the wind on the cliff tops and the endless crashing of the waves on the sand. I needed more thinking time, away from the mundane chores that haunt my world. I needed precious moments, still need, I feel bereft.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


This is the little cottage in Cornwall where we shall be staying for our holiday from tomorrow. This photo was taken when we stayed there last Easter.
Two whole weeks without a computer or a TV. How will I manage? It will be like living in the stoneage! Hopefully the weather will be fine and the sand will be hot. I might get time to paint and read as well as enjoy being with the children (instead of just clearing up after them!!)

Other news:

The greenhouse is finished. Yippee!(and it's nowhere near Christmas yet! Photos to follow)

The rabbit has been to the emergency vet which costs £110 before treatment. I can't repeat husbands utterance on receipt of this information!

We have spent the day at the Harbourside Festival, which was brilliant, and it didn't rain.

I was just happily blogging, one handed, whilst dunking a Cadbury's chocolate biscuit (the last one in the tin) and it fell in (my biscuit not my hand!). Don't you just hate it when that happens? By the time I had sworn a bit and juggled it to the kitchen for a spoon it was too far gone to enjoy. Just my luck!

Anyway have a great few weeks of blogging. Can't wait to see you when I'm back. Bye!