Wednesday, 31 December 2008

The words...

Lyrics Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah lyrics

Lovely old Squashed Face

Think this handmade robin is looking even more, um, handmade after a good week of Christmas feasting, and partying. He needs a new friend for New Year. But who can we make next? and do we have time after scrubbing the house clean? (Well scrubbing will start in approximately an hour).

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

El Capitain Loves North Devon

We've been drinking this the last couple of days, down in sunny Devon. Really lovely with some cola, and ice. Almost a sensible drink, almost.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, I can't hear this enough times..

I'm adoring this, absolutely and completely. I had to get it for the journey to lovely Braunton. Which is lovely, course the poor children had to listen to me singing it over and over and over...

Mostly the Jeff Buckley version though, the Leonard Cohen is a little too, um, incomprehensible.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Does blogging keep you sane? Or just expose the world to your own madness and therefore make others realise their own madness'?

With the issues of gender based mouse pads, or rather one fingered clicking and dragging, plus my actual computer being out of order I've had nearly a whole month off blogging.
It's been a really busy month; shopping, cooking, concerts, school fairs, nativities, wrapping, um drinks, visiting friends staying and so on. I've also been drinking a lot of fizzy pop this week.

Mistakenly decided how much 'fun' it would be to replicate own Christmas childhood with lurid drinks and bought limeade and cherryade. Course as usual, we had friends up, and some singing to do- on the Singstar at least so we started early. Drove us all bonkers - especially me as I had a solid week of sleeplessness. Culminating in loud shout of the word baby, and cackling at the school carol concert. Totally embarrassed self, amused the parents around me, of course I blame lovely local parents who have amused me all year- but they can control selves in public so is my fault.

So now am on early days self imposed behaving self regime, managed to sleep last night, even despite a few dreams about blogging. And despite a five hour journey home from Hertfordshire yesterday afternoon. Must blog more, must sleep more, and simply must go back to non-1970's food and drink. (Possible exception being the eggnog I bought for slightly inexplicable reasons last week - blame sleep deprivation).

So here we are then, Merry Christmas all readers, have a lovely day/few days - remember its about the nice food not the historic food. (Think we are going down the veggie Toad in Hole route as its a winner with us all). And are ditching the hydrogenated fat snacks - yum yum and luminous drinks, for some lovely fizzy juice, or even better my favourite sparking drink, orange juice and perrier.

Have a good one and let me know your luminous drink and food mistakes to make me feel better if you have any....

Monday, 22 December 2008

Finger pointing and the use of the mouse

Had a rather interesting epiphany the night before last. I asked my friend C to try out the spare laptop to see if it was only men with rough hands who could use it. And she could, and her hands are very soft.

So I watched her using the computer...and realised that she used just one finger on the mouse pad. Not two pointing gun fingers together. Just one, her index finger. A room poll proved the theory, so I tried it out. No more Peter Pointer on the pad, just Ruby Ring and it works! I'm online and on fire.


Friday, 12 December 2008

It's broken down and probably is past repair...

The laptop has gone dark, can't see the words anymore.

So although, I can use a borrowed one - this one, it is not the same anymore. So I'll be blogging off for a while - to repair or start again. I am planning to be a little more productive with my time, and write and do to do lists with my coffee rather than using the time to write as quickly as I can about whatever nonsense my head spins.

So its ta ta for now.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

I love nursery - and I don't even attend!

I adore J's nursery - have absolutely got over fear about it being pre-school boot camp due to uniform wearing, and being quite strict. I've just taken home Term 2's newsletter and here are some gorgeous bits...

' Children were involved in selecting new resources to extend their play, some children expressed a desire for a castle to be purchased. J spent some time with these children looking on the internet for a suitable castle which arrived this morning much to the delight of the children. Many children helped unpack the castle (n.b. I'd have plunked them in front of telly at this point as their little hands made a mess of the bits! but hey, am not lovely teacher), and after looking carefully at the instructions assisted with putting it together'.

Some police came in to the nursery to talk about being safe whilst shopping (common pastime); 'Several children dressed in the police costumes and enjoyed 'patrolling' the nursery.'

And finally;

'All children will need hats and gloves as well as warm coats as the weather gets colder, we do use the outside learning environment as much as possible. Please ensure that you name all items of clothing and where possible gloves attached on elastic through children's coats would be extremely helpful'.

Who knew the practice of elasticated glove/coat combo's had not ended in the 1970's? Am off to buy some elastic today, hope it is still ok with fingerless gloves not mittens.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Oh Bloody God!

Must not swear in front of Children again, J announced the above loudly at school pick up today...

Who is the coolest, youngest looking, most intelligent. gorgeous person in town?

Realised yesterday we spend some time discussing how cool people we know are. We're not mean enough to talk about how totally, like, uncool people are, even though that would be very entertaining.

But I realised several important elements of being a cool person in town, in of course, my view....

1. You must look younger than you are, if doesn't matter if you're really old. The key thing is that everyone knows your age, and marvels at how you don't look it.
2. You must have something going on; best local mummy/daddy, amazing artist/designer, musician. It's not enough to simply have a good job, and it certainly would not be cool just to earn heaps of money.
3. Your clothes must be distinctive, classy almost, but with a nod to style. It's possible to dress like an Old Town local and be cool, i.e. to wear flip flops in the rain, but not to take it too far and be a Lady in a Havana Hat in the sun.
4. You must be funny, really funny so people want to hang with you and your stylish lifestyle.
5. A cool partner helps, but really they can just be quite good looking to help with the cool campaign.

And as to who is the coolest in this town...well I'm not sure, but for today I'm going to name Samara, who not only is v. beautiful and funny, she's got three mini gorgeous little versions of her running about.

Tomorrow its gonna be....

Monday, 8 December 2008

Lovely start to the week

Went for a quick coffee this morning to my favourite cafe, with H, and S and three small children. Children occupied themselves fantastically well with library books on their way back, and cake. The three of us occupied ourselves by having lots of lovely chats, drinking great coffee and for me discovering that thermal underwear comes in black these days. I simply must have some. But really, what a lovely start to the week. Then we were late for library Pre-school Bookclub, so late that they thought we were just straight in off the street but had sat down for singing Christmas songs. Just because we are so good at singing, or something.

Lovely morning though, and had girlie bus ride home so still feeling cheery.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Friday, 5 December 2008

Oh dear god

I'm in absolute agonies of self doubt. I took my little elves in wire baubles to school today to go in to the Christmas fair. Alongside our three papier mache robins, one of which had an accidental squashed stomach.

Taking the elf baubles to the playground was painful, my lovely friends said that they were great. Possibly a little over the top, but that is good for Christmas, but...a couple of other people, like, well Ol's teacher just kind of looked at them. She did ask if they were for sale, but I was thinking that was out of kindness rather than anything else.

I don't know what is going on, I never feel this crazily insecure about my writing, perhaps that means it is OK. Or possibly that I know that it is alright. And I really don't know about my art/craft things - are they OK or are they the mark of a Lady Who Wears Purple.

Fortunately I don't wear purple, and may go in to Hiding at School. But my goodness, this self doubt is crippling. Really really difficult.

And I can't even share photos of loopy art on the web as they are already at school. But what do you think? Is art and craft more personal and more of an insight to you than the written word?

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Giant Shopping Hits Hastings

Well almost, a giant supermarket has come to town. Finally. Pulling up in to the car park is very exciting, and almost exactly like the entrance to Ikea in Edmonton. Very strange. Was so busy commenting on that that almost did not let a be-suited man get in to his own car.

Lovely K took me on a morning visit today, without children I might add. And we looked and looked, but saved ourselves from buying too much. However it is fantastic for toys, loads and loads, of choice and offers. Tesco also seems to have Leapster 2 on offer to £35 down from £50, which is worth thinking about...

It also had both red and white wine on offer for £2.99. Worth a thought too, but possibly not the greatest - still maybe next time.

We both loved the stationary section, and the party bits, plus some crafty bits and bobs. Very sweet little stampers, again needed to think before buying though. Good range of magazines/books/CD's/DVD's and games too.

Sadly the shop let itself down a bit on the clothes and homewear front. There was hardly any, and the research they'd done on Hastings had clearly told them people here only wear badly made, quite cheap fabric clothes. And they are very wrong. As we know, there are many People Like Us on the South Coast, who may hanker after bargains, but um, probably not shiny ones.

Lots of food too, and a really large whole food section, which along with the crisps bit kept us occupied for a bit. Really quite fancy the dried black cherries. Just need to have a plan/recipe for them.

Oh, and a French style coffee shop. Which was nice, even if the prices were slightly Costa rather than Calais!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Dinner Time

We've been really busy at weekends so have cancelled our veggie box for a couple of weeks, and I've missed the inspiration it brings. So much so that I have to confess I've been planning meals around protein, rather than vegetables this week - although they are of course included. It's made me a bit bored actually, and we have had three curries this week; all different and I think I have finally learnt how to make them so all good. But really...the last was potato and pea, with spinach.

I did get pester powered in the greengrocers today to buy some strawberries. I was a bit suspicious about them, and their price but bought them anyway as clearly a lovely pudding. We were delighted about how lovely they were - maybe they had come over from Jersey; or a greenhouse. Not a bad thing to get pestered for fruit rather than sweeties or crisps either.

Next week it is back to the vegetables, and back to normal, especially with a trip to new Tesco planned tomorrow. And thanks to Richard for reminding me how much I love vegetables via his blog.

Learning to Read Time

Ol is learning to read, not Peter and Jane, but some mostly amusing books about silly aliens, and right on Americans. He's loving it. Today's children learn to read, or at least have the first bash with a Phonics system. Lovely M also happends to be Phonics Champion of the World, and Believes in it.
This phonics system appears at first as normal words, i.e. Ol had the word car in his book yesterday. We spelt it out together; k a r. car. All fine so I thought. But no, apparently ar is a phoneme or something so it is now spelt; k aaaarrrr. And I am teaching the wrong thing. I hate being told am wrong so got immensely cross about this last night, and in fact will always be wrong as don't know what is right in this system so feel even more frustrated by that.
By the end of a good few hours we had 'agreed' I will read how I actually read, which is by spelling out words and if I'm honest I think remembering lots of words on sight. And, if I don't know how to say a word asking someone rather than phone-eming it out.
And you know what Ol is getting there with his reading, he's starting to understand it is a cool thing, and spelling words out works. He is also very competitive with a couple of girls in his class, and does not like that they are on a higher level book to him. (Wonder where that spirit came from?)
But, I do have to say in defence of today's phonics that it is not as bad as the ITA system I failed to learn to read with in the 1970's. I just never ever understood the made up letters (the 70's version of phone-ems), which were like ou, or oo or even madder completely made up ones. So yes, I am bitter and twisted about phonics, and was delighted when visiting Ol's school for the first time that the head showed me a special class for children who weren't getting the phonics system.
And you know what, I can read and write without knowing a thing about phonics (no M its not buried in my subconscious!), but will of course moan and moan then support the current way of thinking. How the hell will I cope when it comes to five men dig a hole, get a bus at 2omph and the capacity questions though? Or worse I seem to remember a crucial GCSE one about how many different sides on 50p's and 20p's and what they were called. Course in the middle of my exam I could only think it's money, and gosh, I could buy some more sweeties with it.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Must blog about the 2.5% decrease in VAT as its making me sick

I'm sick and cross about this, it makes no sense at all. I had thought we'd all maybe learned a little about not living above our means, and actually just getting through.

But no, the government have not learned anything. And in fact its a double whammy in inappropriate action. Firstly they are encouraging people to go out and spend, mostly what they have not got, and don't need to spend on luxury items for Christmas, and secondly because it is setting an example of spending what you haven't got and paying for it later. And it will be us who are paying for it. And as for me, I think that is probably the worst thing; we're taking action I don't like, i.e. encouraging people to spend when they can't afford to, and I don't think will work either. I'm not sure anyone, even the government would believe we can spend our way out of the credit crunch/recession at the moment. But we're throwing our money, our public money at this.

Then we'll be paying it all back, just when (hopefully) everyone is getting back on their financial feet. Surely, surely, we've all learnt a financial lesson from this credit crunch; we're learning, especially the Thatcher generation to live within our means. And for lots of us this is for the first time ever. I most certainly do not want to pretend I haven't figured this out (finally of course).

I'm not happy about it, and from what I'm reading I'm not alone. But hey, the shops were busy this weekend...