Thursday, 30 April 2009

Time to get married

No, not me, but for the rest of the marrying kind this summer. So far we've got two weddings to go to - one in a couple of weeks, of a couple of old friends of M's from Wales, and my brother's in July. And as everyone knows, the thing about weddings is clothes.

I have nothing to wear! And a really limited budget, really limited. Can possibly wear my lovely green sandal wedges if I can find a green outfit. Although am not sure about wearing green - seems a bit peculiar and might make me look sickly. And where shall I go? With a few hundred pounds I'd dash up to Bluewater and wander about seeking inspiration but before I go down that route I'd like to try a little local skirt/top combo. (Have decided my body is too long for most dresses - and that is before photo shopping). And maybe something in my hair.

Any ideas on shops/outfits people? I'm thinking possibly Debenhams in Eastbourne, and for hair thing Monsoon. Not sure I can go as far as a fastener without feeling like Total Freak. But up for flowery thingy.

And it is not just me! Also need to dress Ol and J - and shoes! They need to wear them too don't they! Although think possibly they might be cute in smart clothes and canvas shoes. Possibly.

Still, we're looking forward to them - first is in Aberyswyth, and is quite big; a church wedding; and reception and trimmings. Looking forward to some crazy family dancing.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Pride comes before a fall...or why you should never like anything ever

We, or rather Jem, but we're all culpable have lost her marvellous new tap shoes. You know the ones with white spots. Last seen over Easter whilst she was was wearing her amazing authentic Spanish dress with them. Dress has found its way in the wardrobe and is hanging up but shoes nowhere to be seen.

It wouldn't be so bad, if it wasn't so embarrassing. Other people, I swear do not lose things in their own houses. Reminds me of the time we lost Ol's lunchbox for a week. His teacher seriously looked at me like I was the housewifely slattern that I am when I confessed we'd lost it, then later when I told her we'd found it under an armchair gave me a worse look.

Is it just me? And where else can I look? Have tried cupboards, under things, in bags, on floor, in boxes...

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Lordy, this is good...

Just discovered this cake wreck site... via Mr Grey Area's blog.

Bloody love it - particularly the passive aggressive cakes, as above.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Bounty of Boobies

This has to be the strangest - can we manage not to comment present ever foreign student. Stranger than the salt liquorice, which is after all popular in some countries, stranger than the seal stuck to a piece of cardboard and even stranger than the love pack of candles and incence from one family.

We've recieved a bix of boobs; sort of similar to Iced Gems, except no icing, they come in pairs and They Most Certainly Are Boob Shaped. Are we supposed to laugh and then feed boobies to children? Or was it a manly present for my Husband. Very unsure of tactics, students seem lovely so think I might just avoid discussing it with them Unless I have a glass of wine and it spills out...

Picture to follow....

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Another Happy Thing - this time a creeped out one

This is the Hawiian Happy Faced spider - true. And apparantly the markings have been developed over time for some reason or another - stop people eating it?

Scarily its body looks like two white grapes. Which I'm not keen on anyway, but even less so now.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Smiley Happy People (dancing) la la la la

How lovely! Just got a fab parcel in the post from a handmade swop by smilerpb.
She sent me a cool owl, some handmade lemon soap with satisfyingly large chunks of orange peel in, and a little notebook. Very sweet! The owl is already hanging on a door handle, soap is in the bathroom (Ol quite taken with it will have to watch he doesn't pick all bits out!), and notebook ready for action. Oh, and a Thorntons chocolate bar - hmm, not in picture sorry.

We got in at about for from school today after walking home with a very good at walking up the hill little boy. He's not two until the summer, and walked all the way home from school - up hill, and laughing! We were all sadly, very tired after our walk in the sun and shared the chocolate in an immensely greedy fashion. And it was yummy.

Then ate beans on toast for tea, with strawberry milkshake. Fantastic carbo-calorie city decadence, but amazingly easy and no complaints from any children at all. Then greek yoghurt and honey for pudding.

And in painful news of the night, I quickly put the copper tape around our vegetable patch - an old sink in the garden before all the tomato plants are slug eaten. But more haste less speed etc, I did a shoddy job, its all twisted at the back (saw a spider) and then managed to cut my finger really badly on it. Didn't warn of possible spider attacks and painful cuts on the packet.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Anything Goes

You know how I sometimes wonder I'm not as bright as most people I know, both in real and blogging world. Well I suspect most people wouldn't read this...

I'm already half way through and loving it. Tales of theatre school and snogs, with a little bitchiness thrown in. Fantastic. Ok - possibly not the best written book ever, and the use of heaps of footnotes a touch annoying.

I had popped in to the local library to entertain the troops last week, but was getting bored of browsing the gardening section - and knowing I'd never pick up the books when I got home so I spotted this in the autobiographical section. I think it is possibly the first biography I've ever read as I've always been rather snooty about them - do remember one poor woman who came to the first meeting of our 'BAPS' book club in London and said she only read them. She was never invited back. We also got rid of the scary Librarian who got aggressive after a little too much boxed M&S wine. Think it was about the time she told us she started a fight with a taxi driver and was mean to one girl 'cos she dared to buy a jacket from Gap.

Ah, BAPS, it was a fantastic way to meet people and regularly stay in touch in London. Annoyingly when the founder, Lisa moved back home to America after um, five or six years we gradually disbanded. Course most of us had already begun the process of settling down, a few kids (me) and moving farther and farther out of the centre making it difficult to travel to each other houses.

However it was a regular night out for under a tenner each - we just used to split the cost of snacks and wine, and eventually even realised we needed to be heavier on the pizza than the wine sometimes. And I don't ever remember an evening when we didn't have fun, even if sometimes the book featured less than it should. Especially as we were all either booksellers, librarians, or ex-ones. Of course the most memorable argument was when one girl accused the other one of starting the War as an American. First one was Scottish, but still don't really see her point.

Back to School

The children, oh and husband are back to school today. I was lying in bed last night thinking; ooh, what will I do with all my time. When I remembered I have loads to do - house stuff, sorting a few bills, garden, Lottery Application, course thingy, posting things, and running up and down the hill!

Pants! Thought I'd have a little back to school holiday but don't think it will be the case - although everything will be done a little quicker, and a little quieter without them. Just wish Ol in particular was not so gleeful about going back!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Charity Shop Haul

Just back from a successful charity shop marathon rummage in Bexhill. I adore shopping in charity shops; re-use, re-cycle and most importantly to get some bits we would not usually have the budget for*.

We bought a music stand for £4.00, according to another couple in the shop, it was almost identical to one they'd bought in an antique shop yesterday for £11.00 in Lewes. So bargain priced. Also very helpful couple showed us how to put it up. This may or may not be a present for a friend - am suspecting may not.

Jem got a toy dog kennel for 30p, and a pencil sharper in the shape of a dog (of course) for 50p. She's very pleased with her kennel as it has a carry handle and is perfect for the various Crookshanks she looks after.

Ol wanted total tat so managed to persuade him away from McDonalds toys, and on to a 'normal' shop buy of a excavate your own dinosaur for £1.50.

And I spent the most money by getting a plain ish new t-shirt (Next quite high necked so hopefully designed to make boobs look bigger), a pair of jeans (can't work out where from), and the bestest thing. Which, admittedly I need to do an extra week of the idiot proof diet before it will actually be wearable. But that is ok as it will be in the wash. A long denim dress, very very similar to this one -

We're all delighted with our purchases - love bargains...and love shopping, even it it has to be on the cheap these days.

*and to be honest, don't actually need but just fancy.

I'm so on the bandwagon for Britain's Got Talent

We didn't watch it last season, despite being shush, don't tell anyone, a secret X factor fans...and well, not so secret Eurovision viewers. I caught the media bits about the amazing Susan - who made Demi Moore cry and last night spotted the show on ITV2.

It's absolutely great! Tears, laughter, heartwarming bits about people who work in sausage factories etc. OK - yes, admittedly you do need to suspend a little intelligence when watching Amanda Holden and her strange not to giant boobs that apparently have mind of their own and can pop out anytime. Oh, and of course they over-hype the terrible backgrounds of some people. And of course the dancer who has put on about 20 stone and got her boobs out was extremely scary. Mostly as the Union Jacks covering her boobs were in danger of swinging up and bashing her in the chin.

But I'm watching tonight and so far will be rooting for Flawless, a group of amazing 'street' dancers from North London - fab costumes too.

Only slight concern about this kind of family telly is whilst showing children clips of Flawless this morning, Jem got very keen on Simon Cowell and now wants to marry him. Definitely not the sort of man I want her to marry. Note to self, find sort of man, and make her watch him endlessly as a sort of positive reinforcement. But who would be the right celeb man to marry?

Thursday, 16 April 2009

It's like the forest, but it's like a theme park - which is it?

We went to visit Bedgebury Forest and Pinetum (place where foreign pine trees grow) yesterday. It's an amazing place, full of American red woods, generic pines, larch's and general unidentifiable trees. They have lots of lovely walks, a gorgeous lake, it is accessible in the most part for buggy's and wheelchairs and well it is very lovely. maybe has included a bit too much fun and enjoyment in its design. At every turn on the path it seemed we stumbled across another amazing wooden play area, or zip wire. There were quite a few ice-cream opportunities, although to be fair all clustered around the entrance bit. They do concerts, and its all very manicured. There are bins, and tables and lots of people. Oh, and of course paths.

The weirdest bit has to be the 'Go Ape' theme adventure which goes around the forest, mostly above your heads. It's a sort of survival zip wire, swing through the sky, climb up ladders sort of day out. Fascinating to watch but certainly a little too; 'I'm a Celeb Get Me Out of Here' to do for most people. (Although it was very busy).

So fantastic the forest is being used, is accessible and fun but slightly sad it doesn't have more quiet spots, or more left natural. It clearly did spark the imagination of many of its younger visitors as children were busy digging in sand, and building dens and so on all around us.

There were also a lot of ants. Lots.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Bless us one and all

Edit: I do look a bit fat, in fairness had just had Ol and must have been standing a bit funny. Still do like the picture....

It's still me and I'm still here...if not gorgeous at least with my own teeth

I may have got can't be my age but I didn't have to have my tooth out after all. And even if it did come out the now lovely best friend dentist told me I would not look like Amy Winehouse or Jade's mum. She did comment on how lovely Jade's teeth were though - better than mine I think, but what a shame it all was.

Yay! Yay! Yippee Yippee Yay! And in celebration here is possibly the first actual photo I've posted of me - on our wedding day actually. Of course with the Lovely M too.

Well in an hour or so, we've got a Harry Potter film open on the system and apparently that is prioritised over pics of me.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

It's the first really gorgeous one....

Can't post a sneaky picture as that would be bad. But just to say, we have a gorgeous, lovely, 16 year old French student staying with us at the moment. Even three year old Jem sort of stands outside his door.
Sssh, don't tell anyone.

Toothless Grins

The day that I finally become an Older Person, who is a bit rough too, is dawning. And I'm really scared, of how I'll look, if I can bear to ever open my mouth again, and a little bit if it'll hurt and I'll upset the dentist again.

I'm having a tooth out for the first time ever - well except for my wisdom teeth, one of which I still have. And that was traumatic, apparently I had some amazing childbirth type drug that was supposed to make you happy and jolly, but also forget everything. Well it was luckily I did forget it all as I had such a bad reaction I wept for an hour, so hard they struggled to do dentistry and had to call my dad to pick me up. The other three were taken out in hospital and it was notable for me sitting up chatting merrily with other patients and visitors after my operation whist still high. It was only later when I checked a mirror I saw the horror film look of my face all smeared with blood.

But this tooth is different. It has had root canal several times, and it hurts. There is, apparently, nothing else for it, and it has to go. I probably would not mind it it was right at the back, but it is in the middle. Right where, a kind friend has reminded me Jackey, Jade's mum has a gap, and where Amy Winehouse has a gap. Meaning, what? I'm going to look like an aged druggie from an estate/north London.

Of course there is a plan on from the hole in my mouth. Apparently the dentist can't do a bridge until it has all settled down'. Again a phrase that scared me. And even then that is just fake teeth too isn't it?

Oh, woe is me, what will I do, it is all bad, bad, bad....

Friday, 10 April 2009

Down in the Woods

You might find us this Easter. We went to visit an education centre, and wildlife rehab place. took a fantastic course on woodcraft and making fires. Absolutely lovely woods too, with little white flowers and um, wooden trees and some little cool bits, like a cat made from moss.

I now feel quite inspired to get out and make things; planning a kind of structure at the top of the garden; although need a bit more thought as would love to use found wood rather than squared off wood. Obviously it will be rubbish and probably fall on our heads after the summer, but as long as its not too heavy that will be OK. And it will be fantastic to have a proper wooden floor.

We did make some picture frames out of sticks, some charcoal, a pointy stick involving whittling and the best thing. Real fire using twigs, sticks and an actual Swiss spark stick. Which is an amazing piece of metal - well two pieces that you rub together and it actually makes fire. I made fire like a cave lady! Although hopefully with better hair, as have invested in some new amazing flatten your hair serum.

Any other exciting Easter stories?

Oh and almost forgot to say - we caught the end of the Good Friday procession today in the Old Town. All I'll say is that Jesus really was kicked when he was down by the Romans. Very convincing - dashed off before he was actually nailed to a cross on the hill.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

A Day out in Town

We went up to London yesterday, on the train. Little Jem had forgotten all about trains and tubes so loved it! In fact said her best part of the day was the train.

We visited the National Gallery, not my favourite - but lovely M's best gallery. I tend to get bored from 1600 to 1800 then perk up a bit for the 1900's onwards. Seemed the children were the same; despite trying to make the religious pictures exciting/scary they just wanted to 'keep walking'.

Then off on a monster walk of my choice - down Pall Mall, up Constitution Hill, through Hyde Park and over to Kensington Gardens. We were heading over to the Diana Playground in the Gardens - which is supposed to be amazing but started flagging by her fountain and just could not walk any further. The memorial fountain is interesting, and had lots of people playing in it. A bit annoying as Not so Lovely but Quite Annoying M decided to change the flow of the water so it soaked Ol. He had to spend the rest of the day in his vest.

Then we hopped back on the tube over to see my mum in UCH, possibly the biggest hospital in the world. Finally got the tube back to Charing Cross (too tired to walk) on a Pizza Express hunt. Saw one but decided to walk to Covent Garden, loved seeing all the crowds, then walked back to original restaurant on the Strand.

We had a lovely tea, lovely colouring in session and a couple of illicit beers, then off to sneak on the train - as Not so Lovely M had lost his ticket (sure it is in his pocket). Children delightfully lively on the way home, or hideously annoying brattish depending on your perspective. Most men seemed to find them adorable - numerous toilet visits, singing lullabies, big hugs etc. Unfortunate Mrs Lady from Tunbridge Wells who'd made the mistake of sitting with us, seemed less delighted.

Absolutely worn out now but the loveliest thing is both M and I still feel like Londoners when in London. You can take the Girl/Boy out of the City but not the City out of the Girl/Boy or something. Must go more.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Lovely morning..

J and I have had a great morning; we walked in to town...browsed the shops on the way. There's a new children's bookshop opening on George Street, very exciting with some lovely staff! Also noticed another new shop where the lovely Jacko interiors used to be. Seems to sell lots of old junk painted white, probably for lots of money. Wasn't open so couldn't really check it out but sadly I know I'd like it as am very partial to shabby chic, somehow when someone else has done the distressing things look lots better and chic - er.

Then we wandered around Debenhams for ages, checked ourselves out in the mirrors, found lots of possible wedding outfits for Jem, but sadly not me then tried on hats. For a long time. I'm actually rather confused about the new ones that are like a headband with stuff on. I can't decide it I like them or not. What I do know is I have a giant head so probably won't be able to buy a hat from a normal shop. And I think a good hat, or headband thingy will make any outfit look glam. Or mad. I'll need shoes too - unless I can wear green that is, as have some yummy green sandals that would work. Goodness, have not been to a wedding since ours and have two to go to this summer so all a bit exciting/expensive.

Finally, ok, well after buying some other bits, and more looking around J and I tried out the new Costa. Great window seats, lovely coffee, but I'm afraid to report they only have full fat or semi skimmed milk. So will now be a no go for me, unless I can pester them to change. Lovely as it is there, I love the local independent coffee shops too, so will continue to support them (about twice a year when we go for coffee anyway).

Thursday, 2 April 2009

I think the badgers are making nuzzle holes whilst looking for cock beetles or something...

Oh, yes, I've actually done some research. It's definitely badgers, and they definitely go for a stroll early evening before getting down to some serious work, in our garden.

But the best thing about my research was the books; or rather the Badger Bibliography. Check this out for information on Mr B and his friends. Badgers in our village and Bully and the Badger my faves so far.

Discovering Badgers
Discovering Nature
Badgers in our Village
The Country Life Guide of Artificial Setts
Country Life Booklet 7 London Rd. Tetbury. GL8 8JQ
Badgers on the Highland Edge
Badgers at my window
No badgers in my wood
Badger & Bovine Tuberculosis report
Badger Valley
The Darkness is light enough
A lifetime of Badgers
Problems with Badgers
Life with Bluebell
The Social Badgers.
Mr. Badger. Study of Badgers
Bully and the Badger
The fate of the Badger
The Badger
Pb. New Naturalist
Badgers in the Woodlands
Nature in close up
The Natural History of Badgers
Through the Badger Gate
Eileen Soper's Book of Badgers
When Badgers wake

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Scary Big Badgers Bashing Big Bold Bits out of the lawn

I ventured in the the back garden, otherwise known as local wildlife resort today and counted sixteen holes. Sixteen all over the lawn. Definitely badger doing, as not mole shaped.

Jesus, we need to get out there with a spade...or wee or something.

Any ideas?

n.b. would not mind them, if they appeared cute and lovely so we could see them - but they sneak up at nighttime and DIG. They don't even eat the slugs - goodness knows what they eat. Worms?

n.n.b. we did see one once, strolling down Harold Road on the way to the pub. Cheeky things.

CBBC Newsround ANIMALS Scary badger holds family hostage

Badgers, the global economy and what to do with Hastings

I've had at least three interesting ideas to blog about, and had even written a few bits in my head. Then along came Life, and I've just been too busy to do a thing. Not even exactly sure what I've been running about doing but some of it is washing, and changing endless sheets - the student time is upon us again.

The rest of the time has been taken up with children, sitting staring in to space for the odd five minutes, and the usual household stuff. Also randomly accidentally took about two hours to do food shopping yesterday. Bit embarrassing really, as though it would take 30 mins max, and then was really really late taking J to nursery. With no real reason other than poor shopping judgements.

Mum's also in hospital, so although I haven't been up to see her this week, I've been bit preoccupied with that. Holidays next week though so good time for visiting, with or without the children, and for having a breather I hope.

Off to parents evening in a minute, then to pick up new students, feed them - possibly, then go to bed I think. Least these ones are half board so won't be making four packed lunches at seven blooming a.m.