Almost daily diary!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

ABC Wednesday....................

This week we have reached the letter O
O is for Orchid

This is my favourite.

I took these at Kew Gardens in London.

The rarest were kept behind glass

which made it hard to photograph them.

There were towers of Orchids everywhere.
I wish I had made a note of all their names!

ABC Wednesday is hosted by Mrs. Nesbit.To take part or see other
participants visit Mrs. Nesbits place!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I have recovered from the shock of Tall Girl losing her Senior school place now! Apparently it was an error on the part of the council and not my form filling (thank goodness). The place has been offered again and we will accept with glee. Our local school here is having a gun turret fitted on the top soon and SAS stationed at the gates!!! Well not really but it is one of the worst failing schools in Bristol over the last few years. So we decided against that one.

However the action of having the only offer of a half decent school taken away from me (albeit temporarily) has had a strange effect. It was only my second choice originally, and I had some reservations, but now all of a sudden I love every single little inchy winchy bit of that wonderful, wonderful school and I can't wait for her to start there!! Funny how that happens isn't it?

On the way to school this morning Tall Girl commented that 'next year' she would be catching the bus to school. 'As soon as September' I said, 'only 5 months away, you are growing up so fast!'

'One day you'll be as old as mummy' chirps up Small Sprog.

'No I won't' said Tall Girl in her durrr-brain voice 'I'll never be able to be the same age as mummy'.

'Yes you will' he replied matter-of-factly, 'when she's dead she'll stop getting older and you will catch up!'

OMG he is plotting my demise already! I wonder if it has anything to do with the farting putty which he has gunged onto his rug? He thinks I haven't seen it yet!

Monday, April 28, 2008

What do you like to do on your day off?

What I would like to do on my day off:

Read a book in the sun
Have a chat to my mates
Blog a bit
Lunch with friends
Go to the sea (in my dreams)
Eat chocolate
Buy something pretty

What I did on my day off:
Supermarket shop
Soothed my mother via the phone
Discovered the LEA had lost Tall Girls school application
Panicked a lot
Washed the kitchen floor (as therapy)
Ate a sandwich (standing up) while putting the shopping away
Cancelled one credit card
Helped stressed Husband understand e-mail on Thunderbird 2
Showed him more buttons to press
Cooked tea
Took Tall Girl to Guides (HEIL) because her lift didn't turn up
Put Small Sprog to bed
Fed tall Girl AGAIN last.

There is something about these two lists that doesn't quite match, can you spot it?!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008


It was a beautiful sunny day in BS9 today, well for a while anyway. The forecast had promised rain, so waking to a bright morning felt good and tea in the garden while the sun was still shining seemed such a bonus. The birds were singing and the bees were busy and all seemed right with the world, well almost...

Soon it was time to supervise Tall girls homework (which is blatantly just teaching her how to pass her coming SAT's exams, rather than anything useful.......rant, rant). Then read a book with Small Sprog (who avoided his homework only because I still felt a little 'queasy' from yesterday!). I polished the window sill in the kitchen (while supervising homework and trying to ignore the waves of nausea) The window sill is tiled, I've cleaned it before (obviously) but polish was a bit of a mistake. When I put the plants back on the sill they all started to slip slowly forwards, dangerously teetering on the edge! That gave me something else to think about, I'm not that good at juggling! Then there was the job of cajoling Small Sprog into the shower. I left him in there with instructions to use soap, while I took the washing down stairs and out to the garage. No sooner had I put the washing in the machine than he appeared, draped in his towel, just shouting gleefully at full voice in the garden 'Mummy, mummy!'
'Why are you out here without your clothes?' I asked. He just chuckled and ran off!! At least he had his towel, I thought.

Next it was Tall Girls turn. We had the dubious and long winded job of de-lousing her head. My God she's 11. She went right through playschool, reception and infants and has made it all the way through to her final year in Juniors before she caught them. The little ones are usually the ones who get nits. She used to keep away (very sensibly) from all the people she though might have them. And now, here we are fighting what seems like a loosing battle to free her from the little buggers! (are you itching your head? are aren't you, just go and check, I'll wait......catch any? No? I'll go on then) Tall Girl has long hair. It is half way down her back, even longer than mine now, and she has lots of it. It takes what feels like hours to comb it all through. I feel a bit like a mummy monkey and doubtless look like one too, picking over her scalp, noting 'Oh look there's a big one!' While she says 'Can I have a look' and I retort that if we examine all of them we'll be here all day. I mean what does she want to do, name them all before drowning them?! Hopefully we've got most of them or at least maimed them so they can't reproduce. She's on camp (HEIL!!) next weekend, so we'll have to try to exterminate them all before she goes!
We did manage lunch in the garden before the rain came and I did start to feel a little more human. I think it was the two glasses of my mothers home made liqueur on top of all the rest that 'did me in' yesterday!
Anyway I was having a chat over at BS5 last night and he asked if I had any faults! He had already admitted his. I thought I was in no position to answer this honestly unless I did some research! So today, while we were sitting in the garden, I asked Husband what he thought they were.

BS5 restricted himself to 3 so here are my 3 (possibly among many!) faults.

1. I like being right! Well doesn't everyone? (In my defense I think I am misunderstood because what I like most is a good debate. However this doesn't mean that I will change my mind. I do like to think I can see other peoples point of view though, even if I don't adopt it.)

2. I clean the kitchen too much, verging on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder!!(No one else cleans it so what is a woman to do?!)

3. I have absolutely NO competitive spirit!! (which apparently is annoying!!)

So what are your 3?
The picture is of a flee, drawn by Small Sprog for a project he did last year. Quite realistic don't you think (and fairly appropriate at the moment)?!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

To The Woods!

Today the sun was shining and on the air was a warm sweetness which whispered through the soft new leaves. Little Rosie picked bluebells and wild garlic flowers, which wilted in her small hand. Her brother Joseph picked Buttercups and checked to see if I liked butter, thrusting them under my chin, and I do! Small Sprog played Pooh Stix off the bridge with Lucy. Soon we all played Pooh Stix off the bridge, and it really didn't matter who won. There were muddy paths with hills to climb and tunnels to explore. There were banks to scale and slide down again in any way you could! There was a stream to cross and stones to balance on. There were splashes and bashes and sticks galore which became wands and swords and 'special sticks' with magical powers! There were enemies to hunt and battles to be won. There were tales to tell and secrets to be told whilst Tall Girl and Emma walked on, heads together, in their own world. Later there were tired toes and wellies full of water with socks to wring out. And at last a large lunch.

Today some friends came over and we took all the children to the woods. I have a self imposed headache tonight, due to drinking in the afternoon. It always seems a good idea at the time!

Friday, April 25, 2008

3 Things I Can't Explain To My Mum!

Today I was on a course. Four of us went from work, one of which was my good friend Rachel, who has been away for weeks with pneumonia. It was great to see her. She has been very ill and lost a lot of weight but slowly she is beginning to feel a little stronger which is good.

We learnt about how every one has their particular learning style either visual, auditory or kinasthetic. I was auditory, which explains why, when a new item has been purchased at home, I get Husband to read the instructions and then tell me what they are! I take information on board through listening. That is my preferred learning style. This must also account for my addiction to Radio 4!

Anyway, we all get on well as a team, both work wise and socially, and it was good to be out of the workplace. The women on the table next to me must have taken f*** all on board their tiny brains because they chatted amongst themselves most of the day, it was very distracting. (Oh no! I'm perilously close to another rant!)

Here is one of the activities we did. It is compulsory for you to try it now that you have read this far. The purpose of this (in context of the course) is to help you empathise with children who have learning difficulties therefore find it difficult to read, spell and write. (The purpose of this for my blog is just to amuse myself visualising you all wearing bits of paper on your forehead!) Here goes;

Find a sticky label and stick it to your forehead. Go to the pub with it on...ooops no, not that last bit, come back in again! Settle down somewhere comfy.....So you have a label on your head. Now write your name on the label while it is still on your forehead. (I know you can't see it, that's the point!) Use a felt tipped pen. Concentrate on writing really neatly now and make sure you get it right! Take the label off your head and see how well you've done! The effort and concentration you had to put into this exercise is equal to that of a dyslexic child trying to write, whilst looking at the page, on an average day.

Anyway enough of that schooly stuff. It was fun and we learnt lots.

I have been tagged by Böbø with this:

3 Things I Can't Explain To My Mum
(he managed to answer it in a minimalistic way that I'm not sure I'm cut out for but I shall try)

1. I can't seem to explain why she should NOT buy chickens from the supermarket that only cost about a quid!

2. I can't seem to explain to her why I can't go down the road to talk to my neighbor and tell her that if she doesn't address the small problem of NITS that her children have, I shall not let mine play with hers! (Yes it's 'nits r us' all over again and I know the neighbour is to blame for not ridding her children of nits ....ever..... and I know the chemicals to get rid of them cost a fortune, and I know if I use the chemicals, which are organophosphate sheep dip in disguise, their brains will go to mush. I know, I know)

I can't ever explain to her what happened between me and my stepfather. I just can't....alright?

Now it's done I have to Tag 3 more, so the lucky winners to be tagged are;

Mother of This Lot

Sam (how cruel his mum reads his blog!)

BS5 (the truth now!)

Have fun!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

50 Today!

It's a big day for me today........this is my! Above, 50 cloths to mop up the debris....... rambling, pictures, misspellings (thank goodness for spell checkers), boring drivel, incorrect punctuation, over egged humor, rants, pants and other silliness! It's been great fun though and totally addictive (as I've said before).

During my fifty posts, I've met some interesting people that I would never have met in the 'real' world. That's what's so good about blogging, don't you think? You can make friends with people without the 'baggage'. All those judgemental bits that we do unconsciously are invisible here. No preconceived ideas, no prejudice. You are free to be what you want to be, or how you want to be. You can tell a little, a lot or nothing at all. And you can 'root' about in other peoples blogs, just like a pig looking for truffles! Mmmm all those extra bits on the side, where to go next? Which gadget to snuffle!! You can just spend hours having a little look about! 'Oh, I'll be up to bed in a few minutes'! In your dreams!!

Now I know a fiftieth post is a drop in the ocean to most of you but I feel I've made some friends in such a short time. Some have affected my life, in subtle ways. Maggie May's post about losing the stone from her mothers ring made me find and put on my own grandmothers ring again. The other day Rose posted about putting out her bird feeders. No ordinary birds though, not for us in the UK anyway, she was putting them out for humming birds! That small piece of news was so lovely to know and I shared it with the children. 'Wow', they said, 'humming birds!' And their imagination ran wild. If I hadn't started my blog we would never have had that conversation. We might never have imagined what it would be like to have humming birds in the garden.

Other people I have met have made me laugh out loud, sometimes quite a lot! (you know who you are!) and some things I have read have been sad or thought provoking. And then there are the comments: These are nifty little things. If only you could use them in 'real' life! They would be great for those moments when you walk away from a conversation thinking, 'I wish I had thought to say......' Because when you leave a comment you can compose it, not like a conversation. You can be sharp, witty even (well you can try!) and if it doesn't read right, you can delete it!

Fifty posts ago I had no idea about any of the people whose posts I read and the things they were doing. But now I feel I know them a little and have enjoyed finding out about their lives (I guess blogging is another way of just being nosey really?!) So what is the common thread? Communication, story telling, camaraderie? Why do you blog?

I have found that piece of me that would often like to speak up but sometimes is just not brave enough. It feels safe, this blogging thing, an anonymous everyday diary, written in the comfort of my own home. I can say what I like, almost! Well no one's going to read it are they?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

ABC Wednesday........

This week we have reached the letter N.

N is for Newspaper

N is for Nap.
This is Jaz, she is a rescue dog and lives with my mum.
Tired of reading newspapers!!

ABC Wednesday is hosted by Mrs. Nesbit.To take part or see other
participants visit Mrs. Nesbits place!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Router. Part 2

Thanks for all your admiration but I failed. The router got the better of me. The earth definitely moved...but that was just when the damn thing hit the pavement outside! Favours were not forthcoming!

Installation was nearly successful. All the wires went in the right places and it all looked as though it would be fine. Then I got to the bit where I had to add the ISP numbers and sub mask thingies. I put all the numbers in, it all looked perfect, I pressed 'next'....then the damn thing ate my Internet Connection. It just disappeared, I was disconnected. Just as I had feared! Cut off from the world in one simple step!

However all was not lost. I have this magic button called 'system restore'. It is truly magic. I unhooked the router, chucked it out of the window (!) and pressed system restore button. Bless it. Everything came back, just like magic.

Then I started thinking, what if you could have a little button like that in other areas of your life? You could get rid of all the messy bits that you didn't mean to happen. All those little mistakes you have made could suddenly be undone. All those embarrassing moments, just brushed away in just one press of a button. Whole bits of your life even, wrinkles, the odd grey hair, system restore would be all you need to return you back to your former glory.

So if you had a system restore, what would you change?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sing along... when will I see you again, when will I see you again....

A quick post tonight. Husband has come home with a wireless router. He has offered me favours if I set it up for him. However I can sort out blogger but have never done a router. Here goes anyway. If you don't hear from me for a while I will be;
a. Murdering Husband
b. Being murdered by Husband
c. Creating another explosion in Bristol which may make the headlines tonight.
Good by dear friends...I may be sometime......
PS. Thanks for all your comments regarding yesterdays post. I feel much better now.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A-rant-a-day, helps you get it off your chest!

I was having a really nice day. Until I looked at my e-mails. Brace yourselves this is classified as 'ranting blog of the week'!

There was one from heir commandant the girl guide leader. Oh I hate that woman. She e-mails at 6pm today to say that all Tall Girls kit for camp (not for another 2 weeks yet) needs to go to Guides tomorrow night so they can practice their bed roll and label everything. I know I've had the list for ages but I was working towards the date on the form not tomorrow night! I don't even know if I have everything she needs yet.

However this is not my only reason for not liking the woman. Hate perhaps, is too strong a word to use. I had a 'run in' with her about this time last year over camp. Tall girl is a little neurotic at times. Mostly when it's dark! (and then there's the locks in public loos, and people she doesn't know and..... you get the picture) but I know my child. Even when we camp together as a family in the same tent she gets a bit scared for the first night (and, if it's really bad, more than the first night). So when she said she wanted to go on camp we braced ourselves and I thought I should talk to the guide leader just to let her know what to expect.

The day to take her to camp arrived and she was a little nervous at breakfast but we managed to get her there without too much angst! However no sooner had she arrived and she was in floods of tears. It was almost as if she hadn't thought about being under canvas until that moment. She has been away from home before, several times, and she gets a little edgy but enjoys it in the end. Well, when she cried sooo much I told her that camp should be fun and it wasn't like school, so if you didn't want to do it then you didn't have to. Perhaps I should have made her stay but to cut a very long story short she came home again with us.

The next time she went to guides I was summoned buy the commandant and expected to apologise for taking her home! She accused me of being an over anxious mother (because I had told her of Tall Girls sleeping worries in the dark) and that I had projected my fears onto my daughter making her unable to take part in the camp. (She is at university practicing to become a doctor, probably a psychologist to boot!) I can't write about it all here but I was very upset. She said some terrible things to me. She had completely misinterpreted my intentions both about telling her Tall Girls worries about the dark and taking her home rather than making her stay. What's more (wind me up and watch me go!!) she has no children of her own, so no idea what it's like to be a parent and didn't once give me any eye contact. The eye contact was the final straw.

It has been difficult for me to let Tall girl carry on at guides. She is blissfully unaware of the 'run in' with her leader. She likes going because all her friends go too. Husband is taking her to camp this time. I just hope she can keep it together. She says she is really looking forward to it but that's what she said last time! Now I'm just off to find the ground sheet and the ROPE...............

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tulips, buses and public toilets.

Today we went en mass to Tulipomania! Sounds like a theme park but really a stately home with a tulip festival! Strangely the children were excited about going. Sometimes I feel sorry for Small Sprog. I mean, what do most boys do on a Saturday? Sport right? And I want to take him to a big house to look at tulips?

Well, until recently, he was doing Tennis on a Saturday but said he wanted to stop because of the ''scary girls''! Now this was strange for Small Sprog because he has never had a problem with the fairer sex. I can remember taking him to the park when he was just two and watching him chat up a couple of twelve year old girls!! He sort of has the gift. Any age, he can charm them, right up to 90! He will be a handful one day (he is already I hear you chant) and will no doubt break my heart and many others along the way. I went along to look at the scary girls a few weeks ago. They were about 9 years old and quite confident looking. He got quite upset that day when I took him and refused to play any tennis. I don't know what had gone on previously, I suspect they may have laughed at him, or he made a silly mistake when playing. He couldn't explain it and so he plays tennis in the week now instead. Anyway I'm getting distracted. Tulips.

It wasn't the best day weather wise to see everything. Most of the displays are inside but the garden there is lovely. I go for the beauty of it. It inspires me in a funny sort of way. There are two of my favourite paintings there too, so it's my day out really but no one else seems to mind tagging along. The whole event is only on for 3 days so it had to be today, and off we went.

When we arrived it was pouring with rain. The car park is well away from the house and on a nice day it's a good walk down through the deer park and past the lake to the Great House. However as we got out of the car I realised I hadn't packed anything waterproof for Small Sprog to wear. Luckily there was a small bus, which was meant for the less able, waiting nearby. Suddenly everyone in the car park aged considerably(!) and stampeded across the car park to get on!

Luckily another one came along! 'A bus, a bus!' Small Sprog couldn't believe his luck! A mode of transport rarely travelled on had suddenly been handed him on a plate. Clearly this was what he had come for (sod the tulips). He was in his element! Who needs Football, Tennis (without scary girls), playing with friends or electronic games when you can have a bus ride?!

The house was good, although I thought the tulips weren't as beautifully displayed as they had been last year, and I got time to stare at the paintings! The garden looked immaculate (through the windows!) and although the soup of the day was not up to scratch, Small Sprog thoroughly enjoyed and devoured an adult portion of sausages in cider with roast pots and veg!

Sadly we weren't there that long, mostly because of the weather but also due to Tall Girl. Half way around the house she announced the need to pee. OMG, she's 11 now for goodness sake, 'Didn't you go before you came?' (!). So we rushed the last bit in search of the loos.

She doesn't like locking the door in public loos, in case she can't undo it and get out. So I have to stand outside and hold it for her. This means if I want to 'go' too it takes twice as long because I have to hold her door first. So we were there a while. As I was washing my hands I heard the bus reverse outside. I thought nothing of it and we dawdled back out to the pavement. The bus was there but no sign of Small Sprog or Husband. Then a shout came from the bus, it was husband, so Tall Girl and I jumped aboard. There was a funny atmosphere on the bus. It felt like they were all going to clap or something as it suddenly took off. 'Glad you made it' said the lady next to me. I must have looked puzzled.
'Your husband had to run up to the front of the bus. He told him you were in the toilet and could he reverse back and wait for you'. I looked around, a few other people nodded.
'Yes we were all waiting for you' said another lady further back.
'Oh thanks everybody!' I said to the general busload of people. I glared at him silently.
'Did you have to say where I was?' I hissed as we got off the bus.
'Well I panicked!' he said. He'd also forgotten we hadn't actually finished seeing everything! We'd missed the little church and the orangery! I wasn't getting back on that bus though!!!

The photo is of some tulips in my front garden at home, taken earlier this week in the sunshine! My mum brought them back from a trip to Holland quite a few years ago now. They are the
Parrot variety and my favourites.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Desk top tag!

An eventful week!
A mention over at authorblog, a meme or two and an award!
Maggie May has tagged me AGAIN!

This time I have to show what is on my desk top.
However this is quite boring, especially
compared to The Mother of this Lot, who has a 'hunk' on hers!!
Anyway above is my desk top.
Mostly I like to have a soothing scene on it from a recent holiday.
This is a photo I took in Cornwall, a beautiful place called Priests Cove.
I have to pass this on
so as always

I shall have to think of some others later.
Oh and Rose has awarded me this:

Thanks Rose. I'm not sure I can pass it on to ten people
so will have a think.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Table manners part 2

It seems it is time for a Small Sprog post. He has been busy. He's always busy! He has been 'unplugged' from his Nintendo (I've hidden it) and so he has had to learn how to do without it, which is no bad thing. I am worried about him being attached to a screen for so many hours in the day, unlike myself who hardly ever goes near a screen and can easily control my need to blog; not!! For the first day he had withdrawal symptoms (these included whining, whinging, and asking for sweeties!). I just do the wine(ing) and sweeties (head in cupboard style!) when compulsorily detached from my computer, although husband may include all three if asked (don't ask).

This evenings tea time went like this................

Tall Girl, halfway though her meal, burps so loud that a rugby player would be proud to compete against it. 'What do you say?' I ask in my best school teacher voice.
'Pardon me! I couldn't keep it in' she complains.
'Can't you do it a bit more quietly then?' I say
Then, seeing an opportunity, Small Sprog decides to come to her rescue. He lets out an equally huge fart! He giggles uncontrollably! Small Sprog has the man gene for farting. I believe it is formed from an early age. He can fart to order in any situation you care to put him in.
The whole meal disolved into chaos.
Another tea vicar?
Part 1 of table manners can be found here and here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Do you ever talk to worms?

I did some gardening today. I don't know what came over me. You see I don't 'do' gardening. Now this isn't because I don't like it, well maybe it is. I mean digging is not the pleasure for me that it is for others. Planting's good. It's the designing bit I like. I like the final flourish of flowers, the variety of vegetables and the general beauty of the whole thing. However it's Husbands Job! I know, I know, gender stereo types 'r' us. But I have this fear that if I start 'doing' the gardening I'll end up 'doing' the house and the garden too and I don't have time to do both (I didn't mean this to become a rant!). No one else sorts the house so there we are, back to the division of labour all over again.

Anyway, it was a lovely afternoon and Tall Girl wanted to plant the plants we chose on the weekend. Tall Girl LOVES mud! She has an affinity to it. There is nothing she likes better than taking off her shoes and socks and mushing about in a muddy patch (don't forget she's no toddler and feet the size of ski's!). Maybe she'll take up horticulture in the future, or mud wrestling (please let it be the former). So we took out the trowel and planted 5 plants. It was enjoyable and quite satisfying, then she went out to play!

Meanwhile I was getting quite absorbed. There was a lot of chopping back and raking to do (look I know this is probably totally the wrong time of year for all this but I'm no professional and it all looked a bit messy!) So off I went, pulling and chopping and raking, (hopefully Husband wasn't saving that bit, he's away at the moment!!) and all of a sudden I dug up a lovely big worm. And before I really though about it I apologised to him (or her, or are they both? Yes I think they are!). ''Ooh you poor little thing'' I start to coo ''come on lets put you back here''! What am I doing? It's a worm, does it have ears? (I know someones going to tell me they do!) Do they speak English? Am I barking ? I must be, I don't 'do' gardening!

Then there was the earwig family I disturbed in one of the pots, I apologised to her to (they are supposed to be excellent mothers and now I have 'put her out on the streets'). And then there was the black bird rummaging around. He was so enjoying rooting around in all the stuff I had been pulling about. I had a long conversation with him! He found loads of grubs and worked tirelessly, and I congratulated him on his stamina. Mind you it was a one sided conversation, he had his mouth full most of the time.

The time flew by and I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon! I've made quite a difference to my little patch. I also have a lovely jug of flowers on the kitchen table, which I 'accidentally' chopped off with the sheers (whoops)! What a bonus for all my hard work!

Here he is! He got so close and was so tame I nipped in to get the camera. You can see the grubs in his beak if you click to enlarge.

P.S. I saw my first Swallow of the season too.

ABC Wednesday...................

This week......the letter MM is for Misty Moor.
This is Hound Tor on Dartmoor
There are some wonderful rocks there that the children lover to climb.
I took this picture in February this year. It was bright sunshine just a few miles down the road but the mist clung to the moor most of the day.
Another Moor but this time in Shropshire.
Taken last summer, this was a truly peaceful place.
M is for Moss.
Lichen too but that was last week!
I took this picture last week at Cape Cornwall, whilst the sea
was crashing over the rocks just behind me!

ABC Wednesday is hosted by Mrs. Nesbit.
To take part or see other participants visit Mrs. Nesbits place!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tag....You're it!

I know this is a strange picture.
The milkman gave all this too me yesterday for free.
Except the milk!
I'd rather have free milk.
I can feel a trip to the charity shop coming on!
I've been tagged by Maggie May. I think this is called a meme and this is the first one I've ever done so here goes.

1. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.

2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.

3. The player then tags 5 people, goes to each of their Blogs and leaves them a comment telling them they've been tagged and asking them to read their Blog.

Q. What were you doing 10 years ago?

A. Struggling with life at home as a new mum wondering if things would ever be the same again.

Q. Name 5 snacks you enjoy.

A. Sometimes I get a craving for tinned pilchards in tomato sauce on toast! (I know that’s weird). I eat the childrens sweets from the sweetie jar, with my head in the cupboard so they can’t see if they come in the kitchen. I like the odd glace cherry (the sort you decorate cakes with). Any sort of chocolate (spoonfuls out of a jar if I’m desperate). A perfectly dunked digestive biscuit (or 2 or 3 or….)

Q. Things I would do if I were a billionaire

A. This is hard because I don’t really ever want to have this much. I would make sure my family and friends had enough to live comfortably for the rest of their lives. Then I would start a foundation that would provide for the people in the world who live in poverty, although I have no idea how this would work. (Oh hell do I sound like one of those beauty queens?!)

Q. Five jobs that I have had

A. Cook, cleaner, washer woman, taxi driver, pet grooming. And that’s just this week.

Q. Three bad habits

A. I have a short temper when I don’t get enough sleep.
I can be a perfectionist and therefore expect others to be to.
(According to husband) Blogging!

Q. Five places I have lived

A. 17 Kentmere Close, 3 Queens parade, flat 3 17 Suffolk Parade, 3 Swindon Hall, 17 Meadow lea….. something strange but unplanned with the numbers. Also currently living in a 17!

Q. Five people I want to know more about:

A. In no particular order.
Evelyn Waugh, Bea Campbell, Fi Glover, Phillip Glenister, Philip Pullman

Now for the fortunate/ unfortunate people that have the pleasure of being tagged!
Sorry but it's all good fun!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring in her step.....

'It's blue sky out there'
'No it's grey clouds'
'Well the sun is shining so it must be blue somewhere!'
Much later.........Tall girl runs down the stairs ( as fast as size 7 and a half's can make it down steep stairs, avoiding the low ceiling at the same time).
'Look! I've caught some!'
'Caught some what?'
In the palm of her hand, fine white pearls of ice, sweet excitement on her face. Tall girl has caught hail out of the bedroom window!

I painted this while we were away last week.

The cottage garden was full of spring flowers.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Small beginnings, yummy middle. Odds & ends!

OMG Husband has decided to buy a green house. This may not seem earth shattering news to you but I am bracing myself. There have been mutterings about outbuildings for some time, but let's face it you don't really get out buildings in the suburbs. You need a far grander setting for out buildings; manor house, farmhouse, or at least a fairly good sized cottage in the country. (An out house has its' appeal though, I have to admit, I mean you could get a bed in an out house couldn't you?!) However in reality our patch has zero potential for anything larger than a Wendy house.

My worry about the green house is this; it is self build. Enough said I think. I will keep you posted!

This bit is for Liz (better late than never)....
.....The husband of the lady who runs the Bunny Hotel was in court for jumping a red light in his articulated lorry. Apparently the front end went through on green but by the time the back end went through, the lights had changed to red. Honest Hossifer! From the noises in the bathroom that morning though he was either VERY WORRIED about his case, which was due to be heard later that day, or there was a full moon!

Tall Girl did some cooking today. This is her Strawberry shortcake. Very yummy.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

In which Small Sprog was lost....

I took this picture of the Tate Gallery in St Ives in Cornwall last weekend. I have been whinging on about going for years! However it's vicinity (adjacent to the beach) means that as soon as we arrive there is a crisis., which would you have chosen when you were small? So, yes you've guessed it, they win every time. I have, in the past, muttered about going in by myself but for some reason this seems to cause great offence to all of them. I am expected to enjoy their company on the beach (which I do, would, will....just a little look? NO).
Anyway, last weekend was freeeezing, so although the beach looked great, and was for a while, everyone agreed that it would be warmer in the gallery (yippee). Tall Girl and Husband hopped up the stairs way before I got there with Small Sprog who was still digging, dog style, on the beach. After de-sanding him, Small Sprog and I crossed the road just in time to see Tall Girls head peep up over the curved wall at the top. Small Sprog screamed with excitement and ran on ahead, not up the steps but the ramp walkway on the right. As I brought up the rear a woman stopped me and asked if I knew the way in. 'It's just up here' I gestured.
'We've tried up there but we can't get through the door' she replied.
Well, seeing as Husband had not reappeared with Tall Girl and Sprog, I kept walking up the steps saying that I was sure this was the way in. At the top I pulled the handle and the glass door opened. The woman was directly behind me. 'It didn't open when I tried it' she said.
'Perhaps they didn't like the look of you' I replied without thinking! I was joking of course but I don't think she got it. Even more embarrassing though was that Husband (who was waiting in the foyer) immediately greeted the woman (quite warmly) and I realised he knew her! She was one of his customers who lives here in Bristol. (I'm bound to bump into her again, probably when doing something stupid in a supermarket.)
Anyway after the confusion (polite introductions, smiles and hasty retreats -mine -) I noticed Small Sprog was not bouncing (that's how he is most of the time). Tall Girl was loitering hoping no one would speak to her and husband was trying to explain the ins and outs of his customer base to me when.....'Where is he?' I say. At that moment I realised he was not in the building. I turned around to look out of the glass door through which I'd come and there was Small Sprog, mouth wide open (I couldn't hear his cries through the glass), in hopeless distress and panic. He couldn't see us through the glass door and had been running around and around looking for us all this time. I flew through the door, back out into the cold, and swept him up into my arms, kissing and kissing and wiping his tears 'Where have you been? Don't worry, mummy wouldn't leave you' I sooth.
He was very upset. We hauled him inside and he was unusually subdued. He was obviously in shock, so we took him up to the cafe for a Hot Chocolate with marshmallows and a Chocolate Brownie (the equivalent of hot sweet tea!). It did the trick and he 'bounced' back. (By the way the Tate was as good as I'd hoped!)
Tonight after we put him to bed he came downstairs. 'I'm frightened but I'm not sure what I'm frightened of' he said. I can remember feeling like that as a child, still do sometimes, so I took him back upstairs and lay down on the bed beside him. After shuffling about a bit he rested his head on my shoulder and I put my cheek on his head. He held my hand and slipped into sleep. I lay there for a while. Not because I was afraid of waking him but just enjoying his stillness. His curly hair felt so soft against my cheek and his small warm hand so precious. I savoured the moment. My lovely boy.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Doors, locks and........ Misandry (read on)!

When we go away on holiday husband has a 'thing' about locking all the windows and doors. Very sensible it is too and, I think, also stipulated in the home insurance. He used to do it the night before our departure, which was very annoying because it felt like you were living in cell block H for the evening! Even in midsummer it was impossible to open anything after about 8pm! He's better now!

Yesterday morning it was sunny here and we have a conservatory at the back of the house which warms up beautifully during the day. The conservatory can be reached through the kitchen as well as through the patio door from the sitting room. I have often dreamed of French doors, but alas this house was a child of the 60's, as am I, and it wasn't a very elegant period! (Though I exempt myself from that statement!!!)

I know this is long winded and I'll get there in the end, promise.

So, the sun is shining in the conservatory and I wander over to the patio doors to let the warmth drift through the house. They were still locked from our holliday.

Now I have had previous dealings with the said doors and it usually ends in battle. As I have said the patio doors lead into the conservatory (not the patio!) therefore they are 'internal' doors. The patio doors have four locks (it feels like opening a bank vault). The conservatory has an outside door which has 3 locks! The door from the conservatory to the kitchen also has three locks. Talk about escape from Suburbia, I can't even get out of the house! Lets face it, if a burglar has already battled his way through the back door from the garden and is faced with a glass door with four locks what would he do? I think a brick might spring to mind.

I brace myself for battle and unlock the easy one first, the little push button one in the middle. The key for that is distinctive, so easy to find in the bunch, and as I turn out it pops. Yes, so far so good. Now which one? I go around the other side, through the kitchen and find what I think is the right key for the 'outside' lock. I turn it. There is no satisfying clunk and I'm not sure that 'we' ever lock that one anyway. Back inside there are still two locks. I wonder if it might be worth making a cup of tea before attempting these two but decide against it because the sun might not last long (and it's rays are the sole purpose of this exercise).

The previous owner cleverly(!) colour coded the remaining two locks with a little stripe of white enamel paint on one and yellow on the other, both on the key and the corresponding lock. How helpful (though not very aesthetically pleasing), perhaps his wife complained as well.

The yellow key fitted into the yellow lock at the bottom of the door and turned decisively. Only one more to go. I dragged a chair over to the door and climbed up, brandishing the white key, muttering under my breath 'Ha, I'm gonna get you now' and..........sod it! The damn thing wouldn't turn. Why not? The others had complied. I tried again. Still nothing. Perhaps this one wasn't locked. I tried the door but it wouldn't budge. Perhaps it was the 'outside' lock. Maybe that one hadn't been locked and so perhaps I had actually locked it earlier. So off I trot to try and unlock it again. I twiddled and fiddled. Nothing. The catch to release it is on the sitting room side so off I go again, through the kitchen into the lounge to try to open the door. You guessed it. Nothing, not even a hairs breadth of a movement. A brick seemed a viable option at this point but I wasn't quite out of options yet....

I rang husband on the mobile. It went straight to answer phone. There were a lot of ******!!!!'s in my message. He rang back laughing.
'It's that b***** one at the top, I know it' I said, quite unamused.
'Well try again while I'm on the phone'.
(As if that's going to help!)
I climb back up and fit the key in the hole again. 'I'm not sure if it's working' I say.
'Well has the little lever popped out?'
'No......oh yes'
'Good, well there you are then' smugly.
'Well I'm not sure' I say, and....... I CAN'T BELIEVE I DID THIS BIT............I pushed the 'little lever' back in, just to make sure it had popped out in the first place! Well that was it. No matter how much I fiddled I couldn't get it to come back out. 'Don't worry' he said 'I'll sort it out when I get home'. This from a man that leaves notes saying ''I think the washing machine is broken''.

So there I am. A broken woman. I may be able to drain a washing machine full of water into a plastic carrier bag but I am thwarted by a locked door.

Later on I received a comment from Böbø regarding my 'light hearted' misandry. So, for the record, I just thought I should state that I do like men. Actually I really enjoy the company of men, even husband come to that! And Small Sprog. In fact my liking for men has got me into all sorts of trouble in the past! So please take it all with a pinch of salt. I can mend the washing machine, he's good with locks. It's equality that matters.........see?!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Award Ceremony!

I have some house keeping to do!

I was thrilled to be awarded this!

Thanks Maggie May and
Mother of this Lot!

I think I am supposed to pass it on so here goes. I do have a bit of a problem because I have lots of fun reading BS5 and he chats well and is always good for a laugh, but not sure if he will be too thrilled with this (too girly I suspect) however I hope he won't be offended!
I would also like to pass it on to Liz as well as Rose and VP. I'm not sure if everyone is keen on these things so have avoided others that I love to read. Hope I've not offended anyone, either by giving or leaving out (oh it's a bit Like Christmas with the relatives doing this!!). Thanks again Maggie and Mother of this Lot.

I have also just been awarded with this one from Mother of this Lot. I am thrilled that she has awarded me this one. Thanks so much. I suspect I am supposed to pass it on and I'm not sure how many times, so I will take my time chosing if that's ok and will pass on soon.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

ABC Wednesday

ABC Wednesday. This week it is the letter L.....
L is for LINES

To find out how to join ABC Wednesdays and
see links to other participants'
sites go to mrs nesbitts place

Sun, sea and minus 3!

Just as I stepped through the door, after being away for a few days, I felt the urge to blog!! It's late though, so I thought I'd just post a photo of the beach we went to last Sunday.
It could be summer in the photo
but the wind chill was about -6!

During the journey home, we were driving along quietly, all thinking our own thoughts, when husband says out of the blue ''I suppose you'll start that blog again as soon as you get home?''
''Why did you suddenly think of that?'' I asked suspiciously. Could he read my mind?!
''Well I was thinking about Italy and the lottery and then I thought about your blog.''
After years of marriage I still can't quite get to grips with those sort of though patterns.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The last post..........The Bunny Hotel.

Bugle playing in the background....(dah dah dahhhh, dah dah dahhh.........)

Well not actually THE last post but my last one before going on holiday for a few days. I am already feeling withdrawal symptoms. How am I going to manage without being able to blog for five days? I'm going to miss all my new friends. Please don't forget me while I'm gone!

What I should be doing instead of this is sorting all the stuff out to pack into the car when Husband arrives home at 4pm, but I couldn't resist a little bit of 'lurking' and commenting for the 'last' time. So we'll probably be late leaving and consequently spend quite some time in that famous car park (during the school holidays) called the M5.

I have already delivered the bunnies to the Bunnie hotel (had to pass through BS5 country to do it) and while I was there (at the Bunnie hotel) I had a very embarrassing moment which I have to share with you before I go because I am still cringing and 'telling all' may help.

We have never used this bunny hotel before and it was a good half an hour drive which the bunnies didn't appreciate. The owner had e-mailed me to see if I could get there early because her husband had a court appearance which had been brought forwards unexpectedly. So I duly arrived at 8.15am.

I took the bunnies in and I thought she may take me through so that I could settle them in their hutch but I only got as far as the hall. All the doors to the other rooms were shut and I could hear a sort of excited scratching sound from upstairs that sounded like a dog clawing at the door to get out. We had a short chat and she obviously wasn't going to offer to show me through (I am worried about that, I hope bunnies are going to be OK). I assumed she was in a hurry and wanted to let her poor dog out, who was beginning to sound quite distressed on the other side of the closed door up there, with the clicking and clawing sound getting more frantic. As I hurriedly wrote out the cheque I signaled upstairs and said 'Oh bless him, he sounds in a bit of a state'.
she looked puzzled. 'The dog' I clarified.
'Oh yes', she said ' he doesn't like being shut in the garden, I had to put him out because my husband's upstairs getting ready'.

What could I say? I made a hasty exit and cringed all the way home!

Anyway, must go, have a good few days. I hope to be back on Wednesday to catch up on all the news. So while I'm away 'don't do anything I wouldn't do'!

There's lots of scope there!!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Things I have lost (in no particular order)

The question is:
What's the most important thing you've ever lost?

Whilst thinking about which would be
the most important, I came up with a few other things.
Here they are:

My sense of humour
My first pair of clip on earrings (in the sea)
My camera (in the sea)
My youth
My virginity
My dad (at the age of 8 but found him 30 years later)
My first love (still missed)
My nerve (especially near water)
Several (other) men
Some good friends (sadly)
My mind (postnatal depression) but luckily.........
I have that back now (my mind not the PND)
My pants! (no more information available)
My patience (often)
Sleep (several reasons for this both good (great!) and bad)
My innocence
My job (only once)
My keys (at least once a week)
My teeth (no, I'm not that old ...just my baby ones!)

Some have been lost with regret (youth)
Some have been lost though carelessness (good friends)
and some with glee (virginity)!

But one thing I keep reminding myself not to lose is this phrase:

''you don't know what you've got 'till its gone''.

So while I lament the loss of some treasured things I need to remember how much I haven't lost. How much I have to be thankful for, and all the things I take for granted in my life. I need to remember how important they all are (especially my loved ones), because if I'm careless I could lose them.............

and you don't know what you've got 'till its gone.

This post was inspired by David Mcmahons' Weekend Wandering
on his Authorblog site

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

ABC Wednesday

This week ABC Wednesdays' letter is K

K is for kicking

in the


We had a very restful holiday last year but the flight was dreadful. Tall Girl had flown before but was too small at the time to remember, and Small Sprog had only travelled on the ferry, so they were both excited and nervous at the same time. The flight was on time, which was fantastic but as soon as we got into the air it all went to pieces. We experienced turbulence for the whole two and a half hours, and even some of the adults were screaming at times. I was cross more than anything. There had been no word from the captain and halfway into the flight I was convinced he was drunk and I was mentally composing an angry complaint! (in between placating Tall Girl and keeping her busy to take her mind off it). By the time we came into land I was furious with the airline for traumatizing my children. The landing was scary, we seemed to drop out of the air at times, mostly as we were banking round at an alarming angle! I stomped off the plane tutting and not thanking the air hostesses (they had been totally uncommunicative too). However as I came to the open door the wind nearly swept me off my feet. It was all I could do to stay upright on my decent. By the time I was at the bottom I had nothing but admiration for the captain!! Clearly he had done his best just to stay in the air.

To find out how to join ABC Wednesdays and
see links to other participants'
sites go to mrs nesbitts place

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A little logic goes a long way.

Today I worked with a small boy at school. I don't write about work usually because of the confidentiality of the children but I don't think this will hurt.

This lovely boy is aged 8 on the outside but inside he is around 3 years old. I'm working a lot more with him at the moment which is nice because it means we can get to know each other better. Today we shared a book together. After reading the story I asked him which picture in the book was his favourite. He quickly decided on the page with a large and very clear picture of a house. 'Would you like to draw me a picture of the house?' I asked. He said he would and we found some paper and a pencil and he set about the task. He drew a large circle. He can do circles and straight lines and the ones he does are good and praise goes a long way.
'That's a good house' I said 'what about the windows?'
' I don't want to do those' he said.
'A door?' I suggested.
'How will we get into the house?' I asked
'knock' he replied!
Of course, silly me.