Almost daily diary!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Post holiday post!

It was a spectacularly, stormy sea that waited for us last weekend in Cornwall, with waves buffeting the rocks with such a force that we could only marvel that the cliffs could withstand the battering over and over again.

When we arrived at the car park in Tintagel, with a 10 minute walk along a cliff path in mind, there was a rebellion in the back. The wind was a bit nippy (freezing actually) and both children said they would rather stay in the car! Even a brief mention of King Arthur wasn't sufficient to get them out into the fresh air. However after much cajoling, and probably some threats too, we all descended the path to the sea. (Come to think of it, I think a promise of ice cream played a part somewhere along the way!)

Tintagel was a magical place, rugged and weather beaten, but the sea was the star of the show. Small Sprog was in awe! He sat on the steps at the bottom of castle and watched and watched the waves spraying high up into the air. The power was absorbing and hypnotizing all at the same time.

After a while he turned to me and said "This is one of the best days of my life!"

Now he'd come to mention it, it was one of mine too

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

ABC Wednesday

This week O.....

.....for Open spaces Outside

Taken recently in Westonbirt Arboretum,
there was a feeling of magic in this open space.
It felt a little like a fairy glade!
ABC Wednesday was created by Mrs Nesbitt.
More can be found on the ABC Wednesday no-comment blog,
Please visit as many as you can and leave comments for us all!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Weekend break

Off to Cornwall for a few days.

See you soon.

(I hope I don't need these wellies!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Schools out!

Small Sprog crept into bed with me early this morning.
"Mummy, why do we have so much plastic?"
I'm not good at this first thing in the morning!
"I don't know Small Sprog, why do we have so much plastic?"
"No! It's not a joke" He shouts, offended

He has been nominated as an 'Eco Warrior' for his class next term. I obviously need to shape up a bit! But right now it's the school holidays. Am I ready for this?!

PS. Just realised Tall Girl has completed her first term of senior school. Where has that time suddenly gone? She has grown up and changed so much since the beginning of September. She certainly has more 'Attitude'!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

ABC Wednesday

This week the letter N

N is for Nasturtiums...... my garden

Such beautiful brightness.......

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!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Visit

With all the snot dripping from my nose and making the key board sticky (eew, only joking!) I thought that maybe I'd give writing this diary a miss tonight, but how could I, after the visit from Mother and Auntie?!! (It seems being ill is no get out clause, as suggested by some, who will not be named!!)

If you remember from the last instalment, I was free for them to come for tea and cake from 4pm but mum thought that was much too late. In the end so did I because it was parents evening which meant I had to feed the children and be out again by 6.30. So I called in a childcare favour from a friend (a favour, I might add, that I had been storing up for a proper emergency, like a Christmas shopping trip!) which meant that I didn't have to pick up Small Sprog at 3.15 or Tall Girl from the bus stop at 3.45. That gave me a whole hour and a half from 2.30 (when I wanted them to come) until I needed to retrieve the children from my friend at 4pm so that she could go out.

I called mum last night to tell her 2.30 would be fine. "Oh, I thought we'd make it 4 after all" She says. "For ****'s sake" I didn't scream! Instead I gently stated that I had sorted everything out and they would be welcome at 2.30 and I needed to feed the children by 5.30. "Don't worry" she warbled "We'll come at 3, and then you can go and get the children because Auntie would like to see them"
"I can't get them until 4 now, it's arranged"
"That's OK we'll wait" (Last night she said it would be too late to travel back!)
"And I need to get early tea"
"We'll sit in the kitchen with you while you prepare it"
There it was then, sorted!

They arrived at 3pm, busied in and settled with tea and copious amount of cake, in the living room. "Lovely cake"
"Would you like another piece?"
"Well I must think of my waist line"
"Well may be just one more piece!"
I tell you, if I'd eaten that much cake I'd have been vomiting in the foot well of the car for most of the homeward journey!

We sat and small talked, me interspersing conversation with sneezing, sniffing and dripping into hankies! Auntie is a bit deaf now and mum can be embarrassingly bossy with her, but I don't think Auntie notices (or maybe she's just very polite!) After a while my mind wandered to thoughts of food preparation and wondering if it was bad manners to slip into the kitchen for a moment by myself as there was no way they were going to move off the comfy sofas this side of the weekend!! Just before 4 o clock (I discreetly kept an eye on the time via the DVD player) there was a brief break in conversation. I was about to say "Oh! Look at the time, I must go and fetch the children" when mum ( in the equivalent of a stage whisper) looks into her empty cup and then at me. "Would you like another cup of tea?" I ask (between gritted teeth!)
"Oh yes please" They chorused!

I rushed out of the door at 4.10, worried that my friend would be late for her appointment. Luckily I got there just in time and returned home 20 minutes later, by which time the cake plate was empty and they looked very happy!!

The usual conversations to the children about "Oh! haven't you grown" took place and Tall Girl and Small Sprog gallantly did their best to live up to the occasion. By a quarter to five we were all saying goodbye. We stood on the door step and waved. As mum reversed (at high speed) out of the drive she opened the car window and shouted "Lovely to see you! Hope we haven't delayed you too much!" And off they went in a cloud of dust!!

Well I've got it off my chest now! That's that. Until the next time!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Poorly need sympathy!

I have a cold today. One of those drippy ones! I have a fever too (sob, sob) and I ache (lots of sympathy please) so I'm off to bed with a hot honey and lemon, some Ibuprofen and a tissue stuffed up each nostril!

Woe is me!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Exasperated of Bristol!!

Forgive me for this! I have just put down the phone and needed to get this off my chest. Normal blogging will resume tomorrow (hopefully!)

The phone rings:
"We're coming over on Tuesday to see you!"
"Are you, when?"It is mum. She sounds excited
"Tuesday. Your Auntie Rosemary and I, we're going shopping"
My Auntie Rosemary is the type of auntie that isn't really and auntie! She was known as Auntie by me when I was little because it was thought rude to call adults by their first name alone. A very strange part of English etiquette, which leaves one with a myriad of spare relatives who are not, but whom you still call 'auntie' when you are in your 40's simply out of habit. However this brief conversation sent alarm bells ringing in my head, I begin back peddling fast. Once is enough, I only went to the Mall with her last week! I love her dearly but I hadn't planned on another trip so soon.
"We'll come to you" Singy songy voice (she could tell!!)
Well that's a relief, at least it doesn't involve shopping.
"You're in my diary as free after 11am." She says.
I can't believe she monitors my day in the back of her diary!!
"I get back in at 11 from Small Sprogs tutor but I have to go out again to take him back to school at 12"
"Oh" taken aback. "That's not what it says in my diary. My diary says you're home at 11."
"I am home at 11, but I have to go back out again" (My sole reason for not working on a Tuesday is so I can take Small Sprog out of school and back for extra tuition)
"Well maybe we can come in the afternoon"
"Yes, that would be good, I'll be in for good at about 4"
"No, that might be a bit late for Rosemary, what about 2"
"It's my Pilates class from 1 'till 2" (In a 'I'm not missing that sort of voice')
I feel guilty now. Should I cancel my class? I can't go for the next two weeks because I have the children at home for the school holidays. I really want to go. Then I feel annoyed! Why didn't she call me first before she'd arranged the shopping trip? Then I feel I am being uncharitable. Perhaps I should cancel?
"We'll come at 2 then"
"I don't get back home until 2.15 at the earliest" (Usually all I have time for is some lunch and a shower before going out again.) I suspect she's thinking I'm making it up!
"That's OK we only want a quick cup of tea! OH GIVE ME A BREAK!! (I didn't say this though!) I tried to keep a very calm voice. She knows me very well though!
"I do have to out again to get the children at 3"
"When do you get back then?"
"I'll be home for good at 4" Again.
"But it's getting dark then!" She hates driving in the dark but 4pm? Still light so far this week! She wants to come at 2!!
I am close to bursting! Am I being difficult? I don't want her to think I don't want to see them. I am very happy to see them, but I'd like them to come at a time when I'm not just dashing in between venues. Then inspiration arrives!
"I know" I say "I can come to the Mall at 9.30 when it opens and I won't have to leave until just after 10.30, we can have a quick coffee and then you can do your shopping"
"Ooh" She sucks in a deep breath."I'll have to drive much slower than normal with Auntie in the car, I don't think I'll get there until after 10"
OMG, what speed does she usually travel down here at I wonder briefly? Briefly because it is much too scary to contemplate for longer than that!
I won't bore you with the rest. Suffice to say it went on a bit! And then there was no conclusion. And I still feel guilty! She's going to call back tomorrow after checking with Auntie. I have my fingers crossed she doesn't ring in the morning and say she's on her way! She most likely has it written down in her diary that I'm not at work at all tomorrow!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


An interesting day here in Suburbia. I have been on a very interesting course. I have met some interesting people and had some interesting conversations, (in case you didn't realise I love communicating with people!!)

However, one conversation will stay with me for sometime:

At lunch I was talking to a teacher who works in Wales. He works at a school for children aged 4 to 11. This is a school with a difference though. The children here have been excluded from all other schools in Wales. If they fail to stay at this school, their next stop will be a high security unit. They are damaged children. Damaged by life, parents and society. They are children of the 'Underclass'. You don't hear that word much these days but this is the word he used. There is one school in Britain of this sort and one in Wales. They are both full.

He has 5 children in his class and is supported by 2 other adults. Five is the limit. The children are abusive and violent most of the time. It is the only way that they know how to behave. They spit in their teachers face most days and he has bruises from their attacks. Would you do that job?

The children come to school every day. They are bused in from miles around. No one forces them to come. Most of them have no one in their lives who care whether they go to school or not. They come to school because it is the only constant in their lives. The only time that anyone cares about them, their only form of routine, somewhere that provides the safe boundaries that they need.

None of them have fathers that are constantly present. The parents are often drug addicts or in prison. When they get off the bus after school they live mostly on the streets until the next day. No one cares for them. No one, that is, except the staff at their school. No matter what they're faced with, the teachers care and look after these children. Trying to put something back into their lives. Trying to keep them out of prison.

The teacher I spoke to told me they have a role of ex pupils names on the wall in the staff room. It is updated regularly. The majority end up in prison for serious crimes, not just burglary but murder and worse (if there is worse). The school can only do so much. Once the children leave the little security they have there and move on, they become more disturbed. They follow the path of their parents and their parents parents. This is the society in which we live.

I have nothing but admiration for the man I met today. He was calm and had a wonderfully pleasant face. He talked from the heart and did the job because he cared.

There are children on our streets tonight who have their futures planned ahead of them, their whole lives mapped out. There are children out there tonight that won't have a bedtime story, who won't have a kiss goodnight, who may never know the comfort of a happy home.

It was blog action day for poverty yesterday, I wasn't sure I could take part or whether I had anything to blog about, but today is different. It's not that I didn't know this sort of poverty was there but perhaps I chose not to watch. Because it is poverty. Not just material poverty but a spiritually poverty, a poverty of care, a poverty of life chances, a poverty of hope. Not just their hope but ours, the hope that we can protect children and provide a life that is good enough. Our poverty and theirs, together. What can we do?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

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

This week we have reached the letter M

So it just had to be My Momentsfrom Suburbia!

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, October 13, 2008

Shoppping with mother!

She blew in like a whirl wind as usual! We were half way to the shops before she drew breath and even then that wasn't long enough for me to get a word in!! I do love my mum!

"Oh I've been looking forward to this for ages" She warbled as we pulled into the car park "We haven't had a day out for so long!"
And we haven't, what with one thing and another. And here we were ready for a whole days shopping experience, well almost.

A few shops down the Mall I mentioned that I have always wanted a pair of leopard skin shoes!! I know, I know, but it is just one (possibly of many) things that I've always coveted and never had. There are loads in the shops right now, admittedly they all have 'killer heels' which would be far to high in the real world, but they still look amazing. If only I'd bought a pair years ago, I'd have had so much wear out of them! A whole twenty years worth of longing!! We looked at several pairs. My mum loves shoes.
We went in to several more shops and, in the end, landed in a lingerie dept. Mum passed me some leopard print underwear! "Look!" she squealed with excitement.
"Oh no thank you"
"But they're leopard print pants!"
"Yes, but it's shoes I like, I don't like leopard print on anything else, just shoes"
"Oh" she looked deflated.
We moved on to the night wear department. Surprisingly (!) they had leopard print PJ's.
"What about these?" She cried
"I just like leopard print on shoes" I said. Again.
"Don't you like these?"
"Not really" Not at all! And I don't wear PJ's!
Later on in the day we saw some leopard print wrapping paper. "No" I said quickly! "Only on shoes"
I'm telling you this because my mum has Christmas shopping on her mind. She has had a nice day and, with all the excitement, there are bits of it she will remember and other bits she will forget. She will remember leopard print.
I am willing to bet you that one of my Christmas presents will have a very bold leopard print on it, and it won't be shoes!! What will you get this Christmas??!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lost and Found

Some days do you get that feeling of well being? Just out of nowhere? I had it today, just for a while. It was absolutely brilliant! I don't know if it was the amazing blue sky, the unexpected warmth of the day or bouncing with Small Sprog on the trampoline. Or maybe it was none of these things, or all of them put together. It definitely wasn't cleaning out the rabbit hutch, sorting out homework or being at every ones beck and call! (they all want a piece of me at the weekend) Anyway I bathed in it and it felt good.

Since Tall Girl has started senior school the whole family routine has changed. The changes have been subtle but, because I HATE routine, it has been quite liberating! For example (and I don't write those words on here normally!) since Tall Girl was a small girl, starting school for the first time, I have made packed lunches. For her and Husband, every weekday (although he did say he would make the sandwiches for both of them...once!). Then when Small Sprog started school I made them for him. Every day, five days a week.

Seven years I have been making packed lunches. Seven years!! But no longer. Tall Girl likes the independence of buying hers at school, and Small Sprog has found that school dinners 'hit the spot' especially as there is a roast dinner twice a week!
"Seven years I have been making packed lunch" I declare to Husband. He gave me a look of disbelief. I didn't say, you have to make your own now, but I think he got the idea!

Anyway, it may be a small thing but it is one of many small things and it has made the world of difference to me. And of course it's not just that. I feel I have started to take my life in both hands. I feel more in control, I am finding more time to do the things I want to do. I am feeling more confident. So today, for a moment, I was more than a mummy, a wife and a cleaner. I began to feel a little bit more like myself.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dating skills

Small Sprog has a friend home for tea tonight. I'll give you two guesses about the gender of said friend!! Yep, another girl, another different girl! She was his second choice, the first one (also a girl!) was having tea with someone else but at least he has a hareem of them to fall back on! Second choice is first choices best friend (I think he needs to be careful with this strategy as he gets a bit older!) Another skill which is rather important in later years is to remember the girls name! He can't remember her name!! He's got a whole classful to remember (sheesh!) and he is dyslexic but I think he ought to try and get her name right don't you?! More training for the future.

I have just let them loose in the garden and they were last seen bouncing on the trampoline together. I did a double take because Small Sprog appeared to have no trousers on but, on second glance it appears he has them pulled up to look like shorts. Phew!

Tall Girl has gone to see her friend. I called her on her phone earlier to check her lift had turned up. He phone was switched off. She's just like my mother! Both of them always have their phones off. What is the point of having a phone if you have it off all the time? I posed this question to my mum recently. "Well" She said "I have it for emergencies"
"What a bout my ****ing emergencies?" Exasperated of Bristol!

PS. Just for the record ( for BS5!) I didn't actually swear at my mum!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Bits and pieces and dentist related items!

Conversation with Small Sprog:

"Can I go to the sweetie shop?"
"No, we have too many sweets in the house as it is"
"Please can I go to the sweetie shop?"
Disappears for a while....
"Look I have my own money, can I go to the sweetie shop?"
"But I really need some sweets"
"You have lots in your jar"
I open the cupboard to produce the jar. It is empty.
"Small Sprog, I'm very upset that you have eaten all your sweets at once"
Tall Girl pipes up "He hasn't eaten them all he's hidden them in his money box!"

Conversation with Tall Girl:

"Mummy my tooth came out"
"Thank goodness for that, perhaps you'll be able to eat normally again!" This after weeks of chewing on one side of her mouth and eating v e r y slowly.
"Look" She exclaims, pushing it up close to my nose.
"Yuck, there's still food in it"
Disappears for a while....
"Mummy!" Anguished scream "I've lost my tooth down the plug hole!"
"Oh dear" Laughing
"I want it back" Crying
"But you don't believe in the Tooth Fairy anymore"
"I want it back" Wailing
"Because it was my tooth!"
Drama Queen!

More bits:

Maggie May has commented that she wants to know the outcome of the dentist visit! I have been too ashamed to write about it because, after all the fuss, it was of little consequence. One small filling and no pain! So next time I get into a state of panic please feel free to remind me that I am being a baby!

It's been an interesting few days.
Just a normal suburban life on the surface of it all.


Does anyone know anything about caterpillars?! These two are rather spectacular specimens from the garden that I have found over the last few days. The first one may be the Caterpillar of the Red Admiral butterfly but I have no idea about the second one. Any ideas?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

ABC Wednesday

The letter L

L is for longing

This is Small Sprog on holiday last year.

It was our last evening and he was sad.

All he wanted to do was help the children on the

other side of the water with a spot off crabbing, but sadly we had to leave.

Poor Small Sprog!

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!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Dentist

I'm off to the dentist tomorrow. I hate the dentist. I have to have a filling (I'm sure she made the hole when she was poking about with that scratchy thing last week). Every time I think about having to go I feel a bit sick (what a baby I hear you say) and I get a sort of 'school tummy'!

What I hate the most is having to sit there for, what seems like, ages with my mouth unnaturally wide open! And then there's all the equipment that they try to store in your mouth at the same time as drilling the tooth! Loads of metal stuff, drilling and sucking and.....I'm feeling a bit faint now. I need to go for a lye down!

Then there's the packing stuff that they put in the hole. It squeaks like cotton wool when you chew on it (not that I do chew on cotton wool often, you understand!) but it's one of those 'fingernails down the blackboard' noises isn't it?

And, after all the build up of stress (weeks of it you understand!) and the pain, needles, drills, squeaking, and the indignity of spitting with a numb mouth which inevitably means you dribble, all that and then they give you a bloody bill!

So as you can see I'm in for a sleepless night full of terrible chills and horrible thoughts. If I do sleep I shall be awake with the lark, feeling sick (that's about how every morning starts for Tall Girl at the moment, so it could add to my empathy level) and not want any breakfast. I shall probably need some 'Rescue Remedy' at about 8am and then again at regular intervals. Perhaps a whole bottle full by 9.15, which is when my appointment is! Have you ever tried it? It's just like brandy, no wonder it works!

Anyway, I'm feeling much better now I've offloaded! And I guess I could just ring up in the morning and rearrange the appointment?!!!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Small Sprog battles the credit crunch!

Small Sprog has a tuck shop at his new school. A 'healthy' tuck shop, selling fruit and fruit juice at break time. Every day I give him 20p to spend.
"What do you buy at the tuck shop?" I asked today
"Orange slices"
"Lots of them?"
"Just one"
"How much are they then?" I ask
"So what do you do with the change?"
"Put it in my money box!"
"You put it in your money box?!"
"That's mummy's money"

And he runs off laughing!!

So Small Sprog is making a profit out of his tuck money! Does that surprise me? Probably not, should have guessed really.

PS. We have enough conkers in the house to feed all the squirrels in Bristol for a whole year (well almost!)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Meme Time (Is my life really this boring?!)

BS5 has challenged me to complete this meme. His is much funnier though!

What are your initials? S of course!

What is your favorite thing to wear? A well cut dress (but sadly don't wear it often)

Last thing you ate?Pasta (crisis here tonight so needed a quick meal)

Name one thing that scares you: Illness in the family

I say Shotgun, you say: 'pull the trigger' (bad idea?!)

Who was the last person in your bed? Small Sprog (bedtime story)

What were you doing at 7:00am? Getting Tall Girl ready for the bus

Last person you hugged? Small Sprog just before he went to sleep

Does anyone you know want to date you? Mostly I have female friends and as far as I know I'm not their type!

When was your last encounter with the police? Probably when someone wrote my car off last year.

Have you ever driven without a license? No

The last place you went out to dinner? I can't remember (how sad is that?!)

Do you like your name? I like my bloggy name very much.

What time of the day is it?21.52

Who/What made you angry today? The adolescent who upset Tall Girl and her friends on the school bus.

Do you want anyone? Yes, anyone will do!!

Do you like birds? To eat or watch?

Favorite holiday? Sun, sea, sand.

Do you download music? Yes

Do you care if your socks are dirty? Yes!

Opinion of Chinese symbol tattoos? Great if you look good with one.

What are you doing tonight? This (duh)

Do you like to cuddle? Yes

Do you love anyone? Yes

Whose bed did you sleep in last night? My own

Have you ever bungee jumped? No.

Have you ever gone whitewater rafting? No, water is too frightening!

Has anyone ten years older than you ever hit on you? I think my mum smacked me when I was little, does that count?

How many pets do you have? 2 darn rabbits!

Have you met a real redneck? No, probably wouldn't know one if I had!

How is the weather right now?Dark, chilly and might be wet too but I can't see from here!

What are you listening to right now?Husbands TV programme (sadly!)

What was the last movie you watched? At the cinema, Wall-e

Do you wear contacts?No

Where was the last place you went besides your house? Tall Girls school because she was too scared to catch the bus home :(

What are you wearing? Something sexy (only kidding!)

What's one thing you've learned this year? That friendship is essential.

What do you usually order from Starbucks? I prefer not to go there.

Ever had someone sing to you? Yes, Small Sprog sang me Christmas carols tonight (only 83 days to go you know!)

Have you ever fired a gun: Only in a dream

Are you missing someone? Sometimes

Favorite TV show? At the moment , Mutual Friends BBC1.

What do you have an obsession with? Keeping the kitchen worktops clean!

Has anyone ever said you looked like a celeb? Yes, but when I was a teenager.

Who would you like to see right now? That would be telling!

Ever had a near death experience? Not knowingly.

Are you afraid of falling in love? No

Have you ever been caught doing something you weren't supposed to? Yes!

Has anyone you were really close to passed away recently? Thankfully no.

Our Lady Peace or Nickelback? No idea what this means.

What's something that really bugs you? Having to get up very early!

Do you like Michael Jackson? I've never met him!

Taco Bell or Burger King?BK - never been to a Taco bell

Next time you will kiss someone? I will kiss the children before they go to school

Favorite baseball team? No idea (sorry)

Ever call a 1-900 phone number?No, what is it?

Nipple or Nose rings? Neither

What's the longest time you've gone without sleep? Have you ever had a newborn?!

Last time you went bowling? Small Sprogs birthday.

Where is the weirdest place you have slept? in a car (not weird really)

Who was your last phone call? My friend Jacki

What does your last received text message say? Mum I've missed the bus! (she lied!)

What's the closest orange object to you? The circle on my MasterCard.

So there you have it. Feel free to try it!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

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

This week we have reached the letter K

K is for Knobbly

Knobbly roots and knobbly trees!

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

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