Sunday, 31 May 2009

I've been to the South West (of London) and I liked it...

Oh dear, after years upon dreary years of slating South West London for being too um, bland, posh, white, middle class and boring etc. I may have to revise my opinion. I stayed the night there this week, wandered up the river, saw joggers, families, workers, walked to a nice pizza place and well, liked it a lot. The thing is, compared to East London it just seems to safe.

I've yet to see any scary street crime in South West London, although of course it happens. I think there are less alarming crack houses on residential streets - although again, it must happen. People on the whole seem prettier and un rushed, possibly because they are richer, and therefore have more time on their hands for prettification. Buses are not just for the poor, mothers, broke workers and pensioners - and they have the; 'how many minutes to the next bus signs.'

I loved the diversity in East London, and think it probably still beats the arse of South West London in that respect. Although there are more Kiwi's, Australian's and South African's (all richer) in South West London. In terms of diversity of sexuality I'm sure East London wins again, not seen a 'political' lesbian or one with a defined look as seen on the streets of Hackney/Stoke Newington and Clapton daily. Of course they are probably there, but in more expensive clothes... As for boys, well, suspect South West London and its lovely shops wins, not many gay male couples outside of 'loft land' in East London (Spitalfields, Old Street and the like).

And as for people like me...well who knows, all I can say is as I've got older I like to feel safe. Actually I don't want to be chased home from the tube, or encounter scary crack heads, or even worry about noisy neighbours.

Maybe, just maybe, diversity aside, and recognising extra green spaces in the South West I'd prefer it. Or maybe I'd go a little mad and vandalise phone boxes just for the hell of it. Blimey that is an admission for me though. (L - I know you will read this, gutted! Now you'll have to admit to liking Hastings).

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Tired and a little people'd out

In the past when I felt little people'd out (i.e. had spent lots of time with other people, talking and sometimes partying and needed rest) I'd take to my bed, usually with a big paper like the Sunday Times and stay there for at least a day. These days I'm followed around my small people wanting things; like me, tissues, food, drinks, the toilet (they know where this is and honest, they don't need to ask permission). And sometimes a bigger person who asks me things like do I want to watch Eastenders, or um, shall he grill Potato Waffles (yes, I know they are not food but we are tired).

So I think what I do is take to my computer and put a distinctly glazed look on my face. Kind of like I'm staring in to an important calculation and am far too busy to be distracted by tantrums about needing to sit on sofa to eat cereal. (Clearly a bad idea).

But seriously Little Ms J's temper has been making itself known over the last two weeks, and it is full on. I've decided it is a phase, either that or I'll need ear drums/a very thick hide and tougher ankles (for her to grab on to as I walk around giving the impression I am mean and bad).

Last week it got to bad I had to pack the car for our wedding with a cling on around my legs. Try carrying a heavy bag with a three stone thingy attached to you. And yes, I know we have to tackle it (get it?)...but not today. I need my bed and the Sunday Times.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

It's all go go go - in a calm mumsy way of course...

We're off to a wedding tomorrow, a million miles away - well Wales. Far away Wales. So I'm currently in panic mode that we'll forget anything important; like clothes or shoes, or even the present.

I got my dress today, was a bit alarmed actually in a quiet well try not to worry way, when I had a peek at it in the bag earlier. The fabric is a little crinkly, and it is, well, not a size 10 let's say (oh - yes, the no-carb diet has been forgotten in light of chocolate and wine). But when I finally had a chance to get home and try it on, was very pleased. It could have a touch of the matronly look to it, but with a twinkle in my eye, a Wonderbra, and some lovely green wedge sandals am hoping it is simply a nice dress with a nod to tea dresses of the forties. Either that or I'm fooling myself and it is absolutely matronly, and with two children at my side I'll feel about fifty. (Not that there is anything wrong with fifty - it is just two decades, ok, one and a half decades out).

So I'll be twirling and dancing hopefully, not eating too much in case of matronly tummy bulges and looking after excited children and chatting. Just glad did not buy size smaller dress as it made my boobs look like some floozy's from an ale house in medieval days. Or possibly just stupid.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

They most certainly are not all our friends....

from yahoo:

Deadly Widow Weaves Web Across Britain
2 hours 46 mins ago
© Sky News 2009
Print Story
A deadly spider related to the Black Widow is spreading across Britain because of
climate change, experts have warned. Skip related content
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Deadly Widow Weaves Web Across Britain Enlarge photo
The False Widow, a purple and black creature with a body the size of a 1p piece, is said to carry enough venom to kill a human.
Since arriving in Devon from the Canary Islands, the spider has established colonies in Devon, Dorset and Cornwall.
The spiders do not usually survive in colder parts of the UK, but a series of mild winters have led them to migrate to other areas.
Spider recorder David Haigh, of Cheltenham, has reported sightings of the species in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
One was in a shed in Tewkesbury and the other was spotted in Longney, he said.
The False Widow is one of 12 arachnid species known to bite humans in the UK.
In January, Lyn Mitchell became critically ill after she was bitten by one of the creatures while in bed at her home in Egremont, west Cumbria.
Ms Mitchell, 52, suffered a serious allergic reaction to the bite and was rushed to hospital.
"I jumped out of bed, pulled the duvet and sheets back and saw a spider running over the other side," she said at the time.
"It was only tiny, black and shiny, and it ran so quickly.
"When I looked down I noticed two little pin marks on my chest."
The False Widow first started to arrive in banana shipments from the Spanish islands about 140 years ago.
Its bite is not deadly but can cause swelling and severe pain.

And in Hastings! These are one of the spiders that have created colonies in the Caves...what if they get out? And run up the hill and climb through the window. What then? Bet a bit of hairspray won't stop them in their tracks (my teenage way of saving myself from spiders).

And there are 12 species that bite in this country...I knew it all along, you doubters.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Proper Mellow or All about my weekend in a few hundred words

If I say so myself, I am bloody brilliant. Managed, nay, enjoyed to go camping being solely responsible for two small children, in the rain and wind and have a fantastic time. Fantastic time mostly due to really really enjoying company of friends, and children and being in such a cool place. I even put up the tent, on my own, in the rain without crying. Nearly cried and hit the car in the rain on way home when could not get silly key in lock of roof box but managed to laugh (just).

Wood Festival was so so lovely, from the eco-friendly toilets (not sure how many lucky people near them will forget hearing two children chanting; 'I need a wee in the eco-friendly toilet' a number of times a day. Then hearing them looking for hamsters in the loo (thanks for that Auntie J!). There were some amazing workshops, on tai chi, circle healing, and pilates and ooh, knitting circles and so on. Next time I plan to do more of these - next time, can't believe am saying that...but we did do; 'Box Dreams - making an art box of your dreams', and making some sort of big heathen wave in air things for the parade.

We danced along to two parades; an amazing night parade of brass band instruments, and people playing them all wearing red and black. Even managed to boogie along carrying a little drinkie which was cheery. Then listened to v. dramatic bed time story around the camp circle.

We did singing, and spotted a Good Looking Dad in the circle, which is always fun. Then learnt some new words to Miss Polly, of course the doctor should be a positive role model women. Gladly we said thank you in Baa Baa Black Sheep too. Although not any Moo moo white cow.

But the bestest bit was hanging with the old gang; we went dancing to Dodgy - with the children asleep in a truck thingy next to us. And we lay on the floor and laughed until we cried at the person carrying on following the band, but the band had stopped playing (you know who you are and how it didn't matter as you loved it too).

We've come back all tired - very dirty, a little tanned and the best bit super chilled. Let's do it again next year - and leave the boys at home (sorry boys!).

Brilliant and Fabulous

We're home safely from Oxfordshire; had a wonderful time, really quite tired out but so pleased we went.

Am now ultimate hippie festie type family and want to do it all again. Loved catching up with old girlie friends from Uni row, and lying on floor crying with laughter again. It's been far too long girls - and great to do a bit of dancing to Dodgy.

More exciting details about eco-toilets and rain and gorgeous food to follow.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

And through the rectangle window today it is...grey and wet

Big sigh.

It is raining lots today, not hard, just seaside living in a cloud rain. But it is forecast to carry on through the weekend, interspersed with big gusts of wind that is.

But I'm taking two small children camping, not only camping but ec0-camping in a festival. And on my own! I've decided against taking the big SunCamp family fantastic tent, with its own windows, wardrobe, and space. Largely because I can't ever really remember how to put it up even with M who knows, and I'd never ever manage it on my own anyway. My friends have said they will help, but also that they have no clue (suspect in some ways we are a little more hotel types than campers).

One friend is taking a big family tent, which we can squeeze in to anyway if it, sorry when it rains, and we need to not be lying down. As of course our tent is a teeny three man one from Glasto days that I think you can sit up in, think that is, but getting dressed is exceedingly tricky and there is no room for clothes, think they have to go in your pillow or something. But then, those were the days when M banned me taking pillows camping as it was not the done thing. Course nowadays when we go it is with other home comfort ladies (kingsize duvets anyone?) who get it.

So we'll be taking, tent, sleeping bags, extra blankets (must wash them, as children/cats been sleeping on them), camping stove, lantern, picnic set, torch, camping chairs (with great drinks holders in), wellies, wet wipes, washing up liquid, washing up bowl. Haven't got a table but my friend is bringing one, with legs but not seats.

And food - plan on bringing some cereal bars, cheese, bread, cucumber, olives (lunch and breakfast), pasta and tomato type sauce/pesto or something, and crisps, oh and water, and wine to drink. Must also remember bottle opener.

And wellies, and waterproof clothes.

Oh, and picnic blanket (optimistically).

And knitting so I can join in the knitting circle - can't imagine children loving that though somehow.

Oh and maybe download some Dodgy tracks as they are the only band I know who are playing so must gen up and sing along. Excitingly one of them is someone from Uni's uncle, well it was exciting a few years ago -excitement levels dropped off these days.

Any other ideas to bring? Have roof box on and Mat's chair to fill with chocolate and wine.

Monday, 11 May 2009

It is folk art and I like it...

Here's a picture of my scrummy charity shop chicken in amongst some plants, which may or may not die. According to L this is the way of our garden, loads of pot plants in variable states of health. Like the left hand side two though as they are thyme and oregano (I think but who knows really!)

OK - I can take advice....

I put up an extremely grumpy post earlier, and have decided to remove it as after all I'm made of sugar and spice and all things nice, and would rather be a nice than a nasty person...Ho hum...

But in other news I just had a fab charity shop score for 20p from the shop at the end of my road. A chicken!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

The car park machines of Kent

...are specifically unusual and weird. In Tenterton you pay by the five minutes, and have to enter your registrion number, apparantly this is so confusing people from London take pictures of the machines (no not me I'm from Hastings nowadays). Then the one in Tunbridge Wells yesterday, that talked ina voice off of (like the colloquial, ay, ay?) Only Fools and Horses. In Tunbridge Wells? (Which, is a town that is like, posh you know).

Though it was warning of leaving valuables in cars though, so I suppose it makes sense that them Cockerney's would be out robbing the good people of Kent. I had to hang out by the machines, thus, making myself look a little strange. But it really was weird, and really was in the accent.

Still at least there were spaces to park. And Kent is rather nice, dahling.

Overheard in Animal shop, Tunbridge Wells

'Well, I thought about Cambodia but like, everyone is going there. No, I know not you, you're going to Laos'.
Conversation between three 'A'-level students.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Actually they are not here yet...

Suspect my last post was a little premature, although the town was exceedingly busy over the weekend, we've moved back in to a slower pace now. Or at least my family has, we needed to slow down and see the view and literally we've been managing that for the last few days.

I've made the children stop on the way to school, that is after we've gone through the hassle of getting dressed, showing bottoms, playing any old thing they can find, hiding from me, etc etc, and look at the sea. I think even Jem believes we live at the seaside now - kind of like believing in fairies but with colder feet.

Monday, 4 May 2009

The holidays are here in Hastings...

...just had a lovely bank holiday weekend, slightly too busy actually and am now slumped in front of Watchdog which can only mean too tired to pursue better telly/activities.

We went to a craft fair on Saturday in Kent, kind of got a bit confused about who it was for though as it said contemporary and traditional crafts. The trad bit was cool, we saw a man using a wood lathe, and made a corn dolly. The contemporary bit was a let down though as it meant, um, not contemporary but sort of mostly older lady craft; like knitting, and ceramic funny faces etc. Good playground for the kids though - at some Manor House or other. Also saw an old friend from Haringey - or rather Enfield taking her mum out to her craft fair. Suspect mum's ages best for the fair.

Then yesterday we went to a birthday party in Bexhill, and ta ta ta Mat's band, now named the Music Club made their debut performance. Even Jem got in on the act playing along on her small guitar. And I can officially say they are good, it sounded good, they had fun, we had fun and even a small sing along. (Oh - how my life has changed!).

Finally today, we went down to the Jack in the Green in Hastings. This year we walked down the hill and hung out by the end of All Saints Street. Lovely atmosphere even for ten in the morning. It's a great feeling to know summer has come and everyone is out, and more amazing teeming down the street together. The dancers, the morris people, the tall people, the drummers and the whole Old Town looked amazing. Many also tough enough to drink beer in before the yard arm.

We saw many people we knew, Jem's teacher, Ol's teacher, Mat's students, friends, 'faces' from town. I'm loving being a local in a local community, lovely warm feeling. And better still to know we did not have to join in and party, just had a wander and enjoyed the vibe before heading home then to a very empty supermarket.

Looking forward to sleeping well tonight - need an Amish dress though still!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Cath Kidston

I looked - I can resist the household products nowadays, and the kitchenware (mostly) but now I think I need these:

This dress for slouching around the house, doing little light gardening, and eating in...

And this dress for everyday wandering about, preferably with a little straw basket with some fresh bread in from the organic bakery. And possibly in an ideal world hopping on to my ladies bicycle and nipping home. It would work for coffee stops too, but best in a small French town. Isle de Ris here I come. Oh sorry, not Isle de Ris, Isle of Festival and Camping.

Checked out the flowery skirts too, thanks for the tip Billie, but not sure how they would disguise my ginormous hips. Must go up to somewhere or other and try them on first. And thanks for the lovely offer - might yet take you up on it...

Friday, 1 May 2009

The second worst thing about plastic bags...

is when your post comes wrapped up in them. Just got a letter from my Dad, saying have a spend up. But with three opened sides, and nothing else in.

Rang him to check and there had been a £50voucher for us to spend on...hmm, things. But it has clearly been opened and taken by some kind of professional letter opener. Weirdly the letter is also stamped 'Sampled Revenue Protection' Tonbridge. Not sure what that means - whether the people at Tonbridge opened it in case it had ?drugs in, or whether they spied it was already open.

And of course the information number is an 08457 one and permanently busy...

And on top of this the first class parcel we sent last Saturday to my father in law has not reached him yet. Although we do have a receipt for this so can claim money back after 15 days...

Gutted, and worried Post Office back to Being Bad. (Had a really bad spate in East London where everyone who worked there was a temp and you could not trust it at all). One whole day's post for a local street even got stolen once from the side of the road.