Sunday, 29 March 2009
Lovely Bristol Kate has invited me to a festival, with her and lovely Jules. No husbands, as they are busy doing Other Things (two stag nights etc.). But we will be with children, and eco toilets, and um, pedal powered disco's, and knitting workshops, and making things!
Highly, highly excited - both to spend a weekend with two of my old Uni friends, children oh and a couple of lovely other families (some with husbands I believe). Kate, Jules and I used to live in a Hall of Residence together, in fact in a row of three rooms, and that was where we met. I was the only one with a telly, which has its own sad tale (I bought it in via an ad in the local paper from an alki, who was so drunk he could not even unplug it - nearly cried as only gave him £15 - enough for a couple of nights of cider). Anyway we used to have so much nerdy fun (see previous post about worrying son would be a nerd).
Every Saturday night we'd sit in and watch Casualty, then Don't Forget your Toothbrush (never forgetting to flash the lights) then sometimes we'd run down to the Union bar and buy some cider to go. Friday nights were proper cider nights though - we used to go to an absolutely marvelous cider house down on Union Street in Plymouth and drink the Traffic Lights of Cider. All we remember is that there were three different colours and in the weird empty room that was the cider house after approximately three sips we'd all be singing along to the jukebox. Then we'd walk home for hours.
Oh the days! So off we go to the lovely green eco-Wood festie http://www.bbc.co.uk/oxford/content/articles/2009/03/03/wood.shtml. Course I have no idea how to put up a tent without lovely M's help anymore, so will have to enlist help, or at least a cider first. And I'll be in Charge of Children so will need to be more crafty than cidery. But hey! We can sing around the campfire (yes really) and make wooden things and listen to acoustic music. Plus we do all have wellies, and two out of three of us has Birkies so should be fine.
Any hardy festival tips welcome. (n.b. have been to Glastonbury a few times, and loved it but spent a significant amount of time thinking about washing my hair, then washing it, then marvelling at it being washed!)
Saturday, 28 March 2009
Hmm, had a shocking cold yesterday, felt very bad by about four in the afternoon. So bad that the most productive activity that me and the children did was sharpening pencils. For an hour! Which might be a little excessive but in our defence there were many pencils, and we enjoyed it. Even managed to find our special wheely bin pencil sharpener, a council freebie when they introduced the controversial green and black wheely bins.
So - at bed time I decided to nip up to the Co-op to find medicine. I was looking for lemsip, but couldn't find the real stuff that was not flu strength thus a fiver. So I decided to go alternative remedy, bought a lemon, and some rum. Got talked in to buying El Capitan, by twinkly shop assistant and he was probably right. I also bought some medicinal chocolate (high in cocoa solids and with a dash of orange oils and spices).
When I was studying at the United Nations of Uni (or something) in Prague all the Finnish and Swedish students were obsessive about getting the grog out at the first sign of a sniffle. We also found that it was a common cafe drink in the Czech Republic and made a great warm you up whilst wandering about drink. Kind of a Ready Brek Glo that you just don't get from a cup of tea. And I'd almost forgotten all about the joys of Grog until they popped back in my mind yesterday - must have been for a Very Important Reason.
When I got home the grog was made...hot water, couple of slices of lemon, some golden sugar and the rum. Absolutely lovely - so lovely, we drank lots, watched a very enjoyable Disney film (a U!) and laughed lots. So although my cold hasn't gone I'm feeling loads better.
And ready to actually do cooking/buy food/clean house/do washing etc today - but a bit later on please...busy watching Swap Shop now.
Thursday, 26 March 2009
So today will hereby be known as Find the Answer as to Why Ol is So Clumsy Day.
And here are the steps we are taking.
1. Visit to the doctor's this morning for hearing test referral - he though v. unlikely to be the cause and suggested it was the wellie boots fault. Course I explained they were being worn today due to torrential rain and normally Ol is in sensible Clarks shoes. (Think possibly cultural misunderstanding here as Doctor not from UK and does not have children).Hence he probably thought ..well, I don't know but he sent us packing.
2. Visit to Clarks, or Jones - which is better anyway? To check shoes are not too small. Apparently a common cause of falling over.
3. Visit to opticians to check eyesight - only feasible if Ol remembers his alphabet in capitals. Not sure how feasible this is.
4. Genetic tests to see which parent is the clumsiest - I think I already know the answer to this , and it is not me. Unless I am drunk, which invariably I am not.
5. Finally making shapes with arms, then duplicating them. This was explained very quickly yesterday so will need more research but actually is just a diagnostic for how clumsy you are and is not the answer.
6. My preferred option - making him sit inside every lunchtime as a softie nerd who's mum won't let him run around. Whilst inside he can play music, draw pictures and learn his flippin' alphabet. But not do too many sums as don't want him being too science, or mathematically nerdy.
Any bets to which is the answer?
edit: Shoes are the right size, and optician says his eyes are good for now - although did also weirdly mention the wellie issue again. Do these people think I am obsessed with wellies whatever the weather - it was raining today!
Then we all went on a road trip to Elk, top of California where she was looking after this most amazing place a sort of hippie boutique B&B. We stayed in a loft barn room with views of the stars, and went in the hot tub on the mountain. (I remember she thought we were weird to wear swimming costumes), I even saw my first shooting star.
The very next day she came out wearing the most appropriate dress ever. It was floor length, denim I think, and had no sleeves. She looked amazing in a cool, just chucked this on way. And I have wanted one ever since. Sadly I have never been a sort of nearly six foot Californian blonde..who is vegetarian and just well, cool. So even if I found it I'd probably be disappointed. But you never know...I'm keeping looking. The perfect dress is out there somewhere.
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
A friend then suggested that rather than carry the box home, empty it then take it back next week - I just emptied it in to bags that I could carry. Bags! Who'd have thought it. Very embarrassed and just murmured before admitting am so utterly unpractical I'd never thought of it.
Fast forward to end of day and Jem threw the biggest buggy tantrum of all in the middle of the road. Luckily my friend was walking past and helped but I was so cross I left the blasted buggy outside for the fairies to steal. Eventually we've come to an agreement though - one more walking tantrum and the fairies get it.
...you might demonstrate it by explaining that although I do have enough shoes (quiet in the back there school run mummies I said enough not too many) I still really really want some ballet flats.
I think they would be perfect with jeans, or slightly cropped capri pants (don't have any though) this season. Suspect as I have size 8 ginormous feet they might make me feet look slightly unflatteringly large with knee length or above skirts. If I ever wore longer dresses though I'd look perfect. Look at this one from Levi's above. I love it, though clearly not with a cowboy hat, and possibly with slightly less cleavage.
Actually on second thoughts may have talked self out of ballet flats - what a brilliant idea for a blog post. I have idea, worry about it for days (oh yes I do worry about shoes, alongside ponds, gardens, and the usual) then blog it to get over it.
I'm so over ballet flats - my feet are just too big!
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Shocking stuff! They seem to have reverted back to my oldest preconception of next, which was that it was aimed at people who worked in offices, ladies who maybe had a go on then, big glass of Chardonnay at a suburban pub or bar. And who had absolutely no sense of style, and saw nothing wrong with St George's flag on flip flops, or towels...or going the other way had a interior decoration style best described as a penchant for beige.
I've tried really hard to link some of the pictures - my favourite is an orange Killah top, with a high high waistband (multicoloured thick band) worn with practical jeans, white sunglasses (in a non-directional style if you know what I mean), oh and easy to keep short hair. There are also some men's flip flops, with a picture of an ice cream on, and bearing the legend - 'Lick it'.
Why, why why? The other key 'direction through the catalogue seems to be slightly poor American bling look, think the sister from Ugly Betty and you'd have it about right. The trouble is amongst these horrors are a couple of things that are pretty - mostly if you were a gorgeous 16 year old girl. But, hey - still nice. (n.b. H- you'll be fine in most of these, being gorgeous and a size ten, and very young looking). (Why am I friends with you again? Oh yes, you also have slugs!)
There endeth the lesson - being too broke to buy um, 'looks' is sometimes not a bad idea.
edit: Just back from the school run, H is actually a size 6/8 not 10! And everyone else, i.e decent mummies looks at the children's clothes first. Also wanted to note some quite cute shoes, and couple of lovely handbags. Suspect cheap handbags - they are all about 20 or 30 pounds is a false economy though, rather like the one I accidentally bought from Avon last year.
Sunday, 22 March 2009
We also went to two great retro shops' 'New to you' (on the bottom high street) and 'Glass etc' http://www.decanterman.com/index.html . 'New to you' has some wonderful things; an antique Sindy toilet, some trays, old fashioned kniting pattern. 'Glass etc' is full of cool objects - fab glasses, lights and jugs. Also will be handy in the future for door knobs and finger plates. M bought me a wicker edged tray - just what I've always wanted.
Then we went to the box show, at the Eastern Rooms art gallery; http://www.ryeartgallery.co.uk/. Absolutely great - M is still freaked out by the dolls eating jam. But the bestest ever thing, is one of my best friends is exhibiting there. We're enormously proud of you Ms I. And in particular love the dog box (as he looked out to sea, he knew he would never see his friend again), the tree box, and the sad cat poem box. You're a star!
Saturday, 21 March 2009
We're really lucky to have a gorgeous little digital cinema http://www.electricpalacecinema.com/index.php?content=listings&start=1235865600 down in the old town, which screens some classics, like 101 Dalmations today, some new things, and some more independent films. Last time we tried to go we didn't understand about booking - and had to leave disappointed. The time before that was for a wonderful children's party, with a film put together by the parents of all sorts of favourite bits (including a balloon thing).
I do love this town.
Friday, 20 March 2009
Wish I was a bit cooler and soundtrack of life was like fabulous (oh, sorry that isn't a cool word) but indie tracks, or country even. Instead it is the telly I watch, as am just so so pedestrian.
But in other news - I am so brown bread from now on. Ate a sandwich made from lovely white bread last night and been in so much pain since. It's shocker - health forced on thirty something woman by hideous intolerance
Thursday, 19 March 2009
Hmm, just realised I have something to share...I have opinions on gardens apparently, very strong opinions but actually I don't know what weeds look like.
My own front garden is..well um, a mess. Last year, regular readers may remember I sneaked in to the garden while all the decent people of the world were not looking and put down weedkiller. The plan was to have the central square (or diamond) I guess, as a gorgeously planted area with no weeds. Then the edges with grass, and a lovely little bench.
We've put a couple of bits in to the middle - our lovely olive tree (which looks half dead now), and something else I've forgotten what it is called. Then maybe I planted some bulbs. And some other things have grown. These other things don't have any flowers on yet, and are not grass, or dandelions, or sticky weeds, or nettles I know. But apart from that, who knows what they are...
But what if they are gorgeous lovely plants and I dig them up again, how bad will I feel.
Oh the trauma of being hideously opinionated when I actually know nothing at all is at hand.
n.b. Am actually also in process of fundraising for nursery garden, but fortunately not planning, that has been done by cleverer souls who know about the outside.
So what I'm really worried about today is our local community centre. I had a very unsatisfactory conversation with the gardener (who may or may not be planning the garden) about child friendly design. He told me the centre's garden will not be child friendly, and parents will need to stay with their children AT ALL TIMES. As, any parent will know, this just isn't possible however hard you try, the children run fast, if you have more than one, sometimes they go in different directions, and if they are playing you can't exactly run behind them holding their hand.
So I complained, and asked who was planning the garden, and if they were concerned about using public money, but effectively making a good 50% of their clientele, who are families unable to use the garden with confidence. Deathly silence.
Now I hear there is a pond. A flaming pond! In a garden, accessed through the doors of the cafe. That with the broken fence (no plans to replace apparently)down to a busy road on to the estate.
Some of my friends think this OK the children need to learn risk, and it will be fine. So, at risk of going out on mad limb again, I am possibly one of the only local people who foresees hideous things.
And just to finish here is the formal water safety organisation's pond advice;
'Children between 1 and 2 years are particularly at risk. Water holds a fascination for this age group and a young child will investigate any water present in the garden. Toddlers mobility increases at a tremendous rate once they start crawling and they can quickly escape parental supervision and get into difficulties. Whilst mobility is increasing quickly, stability and co-ordination remain poor. Therefore a toddler who falls into a garden pond, even a shallow one, will find it difficult to regain their balance and stand up. Also it is not until the age of 4 or 5 years that children begin to understand the concept of danger and can begin to heed the warnings given to them.
If you have young children the Forum advises you to take out garden ponds and water features until the children are older, consider converting the pond into a sandpit. '
Which means don't do it, unless you want the deaths of small toddlers on your watch, oh no, sorry it'll be their parents' fault for not staying with them.
Edit: Just had a very interesting conversation with the community centre manager - the management/steering group are all very sensible and are mitigating risk, they are planning a pond, but with a grill over the top. Must stop thinking about garden now...next issue?
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
On Sunday we planned to buy/do skirting boards and bits to entrance, but after taking the children to a lovely party in the gym (and running up and down on the amazing running track that makes you feel like you've got springs in your legs), we walked home as all local roads shut due to Hastings half marathon.
Course walking home in the sunshine with another family was so nice, M tempted us all in to a Pimms in the garden. Which was much more fun than the floor. Still, floor needs doing.
Then in the living room, where we freshened it up with a coat of white paint, but just up to the picture rail, when we moved in two years ago. Would not be so bad, if picture rail itself didn't have artistic yellow effect on, or wall in bay window didn't have a sort of dirty peacock/grape design painted on the wall. In ochre, green and yellow so it looks like mould. Almost a feature now of the house.
Now I'm thinking I can't think of anything I've ever finished, ever. Surely that isn't the case?
Sunday, 15 March 2009
Will think about how to forward next week...
Saturday, 14 March 2009
However the bad news is the weight loss has kind of stopped, and I know why. I just cheating a bit; a beer here or there; a sneaky banana (I know shocking!), and sometimes I've been so starving I've eaten satsuma's. Pizza twice too, once just a couple of slices, but last night, um, well it was actually Pizza Hut. And it was so so lovely. I found a half price code on the fantastic moneysaving expert, so we had fizzy pop too, oh and garlic bread.
So today, we went to Sainsbury's first thing, and stocked back up on healthy foods. Even decided to 'break' diet a bit for some seeds, as am positive as a veggie they are actually essential. And all good so far today - about to have some more salad and tofu for tea.
Except I feel a bit sick, can only blame it on shocking takeaway last night, and not being used to dough, in fact, oiled dough, as that is how they make the bases at pizza hut. Probably wouldn't have been so bad if we had a pizza express down here (oh pizza express - how I loved you!).
So am officially re-starting diet again, no high carbs will pass my lips for at least another week (then I'll have another re-think). Oh and of course should exercise more - so will most certainly be going to the older people's Tai Chi again this week.
Wish me luck? Or um, not luck but determination and grit.
Friday, 13 March 2009
Sheer genius fun.
Thursday, 12 March 2009
So here goes; Five Things that are Great/Good/Going Well about my life:
- My lovely children, and lovely M who are funny, a bit bonkers and good company
- Loving being able to walk up and down the hill again now its not freezing cold.
- The end of having a buggy soon - it's matter of time until I am wearing heels, ok probably wedges but still...
- Losing weight slowly, again amazingly exciting, can't wait to have thinner arms. Although probably should be focusing on face/tummy etc - I never want to have arms like Christopher Biggins (did you see him dancing in a short sleeved top and waving them?)
- The great community in which I live, lovely lovely friends, and fab neighbourhood (apart from dog poo but you can't have everything can you?)
In terms of nomination I would nominate the wonderful Grey Area, but think Richard you would consider it too girlie an activity. So instead Sandra - over at Tales from a Toymaker as she sounds like she needs a break from all that making...http://towerhousedolls.blogspot.com/
Jesus! Is this the stuff CEO's deal with everyday?
And it is pyjama day for J today in aid of children in need, in the sort of soggy clouds. So she's bound to be soaked.
Least I had a very early night today, and feel a bit rejuvanated.
Monday, 9 March 2009
Have been feeling very sorry for little J at ballet. She's been the only one without a tutu for six weeks or so, due to me thinking she wasn't bothered about having one and was delighted with her made up costume. Turns out she wasn't and nearly cried when I finally got her a lovely pink one.
Then a couple of weeks ago, I succumbed to the ridiculous notion that she needed tap shoes, for about ten minutes a week. So I got some plain canvas ones from e-bay. Then today, she needed them for the first time and loved it! But...sadly she resembled a Minnie Mouse clown ballet girl, as I'd got confused over sizes as had been told to get one size bigger than normal. Well, course that means remembering normal size..I mean, really how much is a person supposed to know.
So....as a fantastically amazing treat we've ordered these! Very excited and even a little jealous of them already. Course they are flamenco shoes so much more stylish than our clod hopper tap shoes. And I might even let her wear them occasionally for other things - even though they are most certainly not Start Rite.
I promise it won't be make up next...but it might be shopping for dresses together.
Sunday, 8 March 2009
We were in the shop browsing the sweeties selection, and I remember excitement at finding Czech sweets - then J announced she simply was bursting for the loo. The shop keeper weirdly turned out to be a Cockney, but unfortunately did not have a toilet. And she had a leotard on (v. tricky to take off). I woke up extremely panicked.
What does this mean?My desire for chocolate is interrupting my child's basic human right to wear a leotard and go to the toilet? Or is it all that worry about fancying doing a bit of work sometime soon? Can work every equate to chocolate?
Saturday, 7 March 2009
No idea if I meet any of the other symptoms as I know further research will probably make me convinced I must take all the supplements I can, and that the actual menopause is starting. Which would be concerning, because although our family is complete (bar a dog) I still kind of like the option, that we could have another child, with a fair wind, and injection of energy.
Course it is probably all a bit over the top worrying about this, I'm only in my mid thirties - or is it over the top?
Friday, 6 March 2009
We've been for a wander around town; to the wonderful health food shop Trinity; to the bookshop to buy another World Book Day Book, this time about hamsters; then for a picnic and play on the beach, then for a coffee in the bargain priced Dragon bar (£1 and a baby cinno); then finally to K's for a sit down before picking up Ol and getting the bus home. Yay!
And both children have been a delight, including at school, so whatever afflicted them earlier this week - ?stressed mother due to not blogging who knows, has now gone. And we are a tired, but happy family again.
I have to admit to dog desire though; just can't see how Seren, the cat would handle it. I really really want one though. Really really. Possibly it'll be like the time I got baby desire in my mid twenties and after ignoring it for a while it went away, well at least for a couple of years until I was really bored with my job (how shocking I know!)
Thursday, 5 March 2009
Seriously embarrassing, probably a bit like having a rabid dog on heat in the house.
Then the big one has gone Bad at school. So much so that everyone is shocked and concerned. His friends have told their mummies, who have told me, the teacher has called me in to discuss. And it is all about hitting other children. It's the first time he's done this really (apart from when he left the free for all nursery to the military academy nursery) so god knows what was going on. And to make it all worse, yesterday everytime one of the teachers told him off he just laughed. Playstation is now banned, possibly Wii this weekend but almost more importantly somehow we need to find out what it is all about.
And to top it all we're still having buggy wars. Basically the walk down to school is about 15 minutes, then about half an hour back. 3 year old J can walk it fine; but without the buggy she has tantrums that usually end up with me treading in dog poo or worse. And with it; well she is at school next year, and it is like climbing a Giant Mountain pushing a very heavy rock with it. What to do? The fairies took it away a couple of months ago, then they relented because of hour long tantrums from 3 - 4pm daily.
Anyone got any answers?
Monday, 2 March 2009
I've been writing on here for over a year and a half now. I've loved my time on the web. I've shared family stories, annoyance, sadness and happiness. But now I think it is time to move on...
I originally started blogging to sharpen my writing skills, and secretly hoped I'd be spotted as the next, possibly slightly less snobby Wife of the North and published. Of course that hasn't happened, but what has been going on has been me enjoying writing, commenting on other blogs and I think, getting a little more writing confidence.
The blog has also seen me through quite a tough move down to the South Coast, and to a different quieter lifestyle. I actually feel very much at home here now and no longer confused very much by the differences. So I feel less like I need to write about that anymore either.
So, as they say, it is time for me to focus on new projects. I'm working on some funding for a nursery garden, I've a plan to create mini gardens in glass bottles (yes very train spotting style) - although out of garish plastic things, and I've got just 6 months with little J before she starts school.
Thank you all for reading, commenting, hopefully enjoying and getting cross with this blog.