Monday, 29 June 2009

It may be because I've had quite a few long conversations this week...

...not Internet based that is, that I haven't really got much to say here at the moment.

So, as it is hot, I'm busy - cleaning the house, students, end of year things etc, I think I will take a little Internet break instead. The computer hasn't broken - honest, but do feel free to say nice things, as that is always lovely (I'm like a dodgy band that still wants an encore).

Anyway enjoy the heatwave - I intend to mostly avoid the sun this week, as have managed to burn boobs, not nice.


Thursday, 25 June 2009

Fancy a glass of something fizzy?

Now I know, we are often stuck in the post War period down here by the seaside, but actually I think the drink du jour comme Hastings, well Clive Vale maybe of fizzy white is great. And possibly in fashion, but mostly just great. Off to Lidl tomorrow to stock up for the weekend....

edit: n.b. probably should be too embarrassed to show this photo of french door in desperate need of painting, but too tired, and love little side space too much.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Possibly, it is because I am not human.

We've been dancing this afternoon, to a lovely family after school session of salsa. I always wanted to do salsa in London, particularly at Bar Lorca in Stoke Newington. However M was never keen and I was always averse to the idea of going with girl friends and then having to dance with strange, possibly sleazy men so I never went.

I loved the idea of family dancing though, and had a great time dancing with J. But then when it came to the children learning some moves in the playground and the grown ups practicing alone I realised the truth. Actually I just don't like close physical contact with people other than very very good friends, and then only drunk, or partners or family. I danced with a couple of people and found myself very embarrassed by our knees knocking together (my bad dancing I think), my sweating (it was hot) and just generally being close.

So if close dancing, physical contact is human, then um, sorry guys, I am all robot.

Of course on another note - it is disco dancing next week so I'm really really really looking forward to that. Must remember to tell everyone in advance am uncoordinated though so they realise I am most likely to bash in to them at some point.

Where there is muck there is brass....

I've tried them all; organic veggie schemes, local council run veggie schemes, local farm ones, markets, supermarkets, (trying) to grown our own but nothing so far beats a good organic vegetable box. I almost feel guilty saying it, as it is not particularly frugal, although I would assert that if you eat well you eat less junk, hence spending less money.

I need the organic vegetables though, and so I've just re-started my second favourite delivery company to bring them to me please. Lovely seasonal fresh organic mixed box will be winging its way down the A21, yes I know road miles, this week and I can't wait.

I've gone with Abel and Cole, because although they have added a 99p delivery charge which is annoying they've got what seems to be a really good special offer. Of course I may be missing the small print, but no, it is good. Spend £15 on a regular delivery for four weeks in a row; i.e total cost £60 and lots of vegetables, then get £50 credited to your account to spend as you choose.
Got to be good. Here's the link if anyone wants to check it out;

Can't wait - am thinking wraps, and big salad with broad beans, and maybe a potato salad with spring onions, and um, just vegetables really.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

We won, We won!

Yesterday, at the fete, as a family we managed to win at the 'pick a royal' cards game! Sadly we did not win the McDonalds vouchers(??) in the raffle, but we bagged three cool prizes. Ol won Worms 3D, which he love, love loves and is very excited about. J won 'paint your own flip flips' , again very excited. And I won a Pot Noodle.

J was busy carefully painting her new flip flops yesterday, and told me she loved them and would like to be an artist when she grows up. Then in the most innocent lovely voice said; 'Maybe one day, you'll let me paint on paper Mummy'.

The shame. I do sometimes, honest, she's just forgotten.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

It is the village fete season...

But we're not going to one, just two school fairs. Looking forward to the one today as I don't have a role - other than that of 'respectable' teachers wife (have put longish skirt on and high cut top on). Course no doubt will ruin look by jumping on bouncy castle and accidentally wetting self or similar. Lovely M's band are playing though - so we'll hopefully do a bit of singing along to him and his friends. I've also told them that changing any words to the songs, like Summer of '69 Summer of '09 would be utterly embarrassing and Dad like. So hopefully they won't go there.

Next week it is the big one at Ol's school, M doing story telling, and I'm running the toy stall. Hoping weather just right and will not be trapped by stall all day and will be allowed to move about. I find worst thing about fetes is being cheery sometimes. Deliberately did not volunteer to run games for children, or a stall where I've have to explain rules/be happy and nice. Just in case can't force face to be nice on the day. I may wake up all happy happy happy though - I never know in advance.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

It's the start of something special, and round...

It is very um, 'rustic' in style, as we did not do too well at flattening the ground. And the other lovely thing about the patio is it is not overlooked so I can jump up and down, sit on the ground, do exercise all in peace.

And the very loveliest thing is all the slabs were given to us; the fab round pattern by one friend and the square ones by another friend. Sand and hard work were me and Mat. We even got whole bits of turf out which was amazing. We're trying to grow them on in other parts of our garden, need a bit more rain though.

Anyway -thanks lovely friends. We're very keen on our space. And will be filling it with lovely things soon.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Chewy, fruity granola bars - the recipe

Now this is a very casual recipe, I've adapted it from a low GI cookbook and literally swop dried fruit with whatever I have in the cupboard, same for dried ingredients, seeds, and um cereal Almost anything in fact. The key is using ingredients you like, and having a similar balance of dried and wet ingredients. So here it is...


1 1/4 mug of rice crispies

1 1/4 mug of porridge oats

Handful of seeds - pumpkin or sunflower

Small handful of sesame seeds

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 mug dried apricots

1/2 mug dried mixed fruit

1/2 mug apple juice

1/4 mug vegetable oil (or butter if you prefer)

1 egg lightly beaten

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

1 flat dessert spoon sugar or Splenda

2 dessert spoons Golden Syrup


1. Preheat oven to Gas mark 6. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper (n.b. only recently discovered it can be cut to shape makes life a lot easier!)

2. Mix the cereals, seeds, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the dried fruit and mix in. Add the apple juice, oil, whole egg, and Golden Sugar. Sprinkle in the sugar or Splenda. Mix in the egg whites.

3. Using a spoon press the mixture in to the baking tin. Using a knife score out portion sized pieces.

4. Bake for about 15 minutes, let granola cool before cutting and removing from tin.

5. Enjoy - these can be wrapped and kept in a tin for up to a week or so, or frozen to defrost as required.

Endings and new beginnings...

I've been doing a course locally that has just finished today, at the end of the session the facilitators asked us all to write something positive about everyone there - on a folded sheet we passed around. For some reason, as quite often grumpy, and misbehaved course members we loved it. Total silence, well almost, for twenty minutes of furious scribbling. And the lovely thing was getting to say to everyone something you might not say in person, apart from maybe on a leaving card or birthday card.

None of it was about shoes, or handbags, as far as I know and I really enjoyed giving positive feedback to all of the course members. Of course, embarrassingly there were a few who I could not remember/did not know their names so did not write anything for. But for most people we all wrote a small paragraph each.

And then at the end of the afternoon we got to take our pieces of paper full of loveliness home. Apparently I'm funny, goodness knows why, and positive and outgoing. So that is fantastic. Of course I'm intelligent and of good character too.

I never want to do the opposite exercise - can you imagine getting pages of negative personality traits. Actually it sounds like the worst kind of NHS team building from the old days. I remember one session in North London where we were supposed to be throwing balls to each other and we ended up chucking them all as quickly as we could at some people so they could not catch them. Nice.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Bloody Knackered

Sorry for not posting this week, I have been bloody knackered out.

Just with everything, the hill, babies (not mine), talked out, walked out, and teenaged - out

Intend to try to do as little as possible today, just walk up and down giant hill, do all laundry, change students sheets (four left today, more coming tomorrow, and work out why sink blocked in downstairs bathroom again (suspect teenaged long hair fault).

Have good weekends everyone and wish me back to normal functioning next week - if possible....

Monday, 8 June 2009

When we were on our festival holidays...

Slightly tribal children, with big stick people thingys and Auntie Jules...oh and face painted to boot. We were just waiting to parade around the site with a band of drummers wearing pink, and some in tutu's much to J's delight and astonishment...(bless, she's a country girl).

Part of the Box of Dreams series...with her inspiration.

Again, part of the Box of Dreams workshop, this one was done by a young girl, and despite appearances was all about loveliness not at all macabre.

The whole Box of Dreams workshop, full of tiny bits, and dangly things, and boxes, and flowers.
It was aimed at adults, I think, but was a fantastic proper mix of young and old. I even took my own chair to sit on.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Why, why, why when you try really hard not to say/do something you simply must....

I had a challenging night last night, trying to not say anything silly, drink too much, eat too many crisps, or laugh too loud. Think I failed on the first and last accounts. Particularly the first, or at least I said more than everyone else!

It was the first night of the school community book club, and I think just a bit too tricky for me. I also, embarrassingly have to keep calling some teachers by their formal names, e.g. Mrs. And to top, it all, after my local issue with semi-skimmed milk in the community centre I now seem to be known as an outspoken person.

So not good - worse than the time I met my friends' girlfriend who was called Flick. And I asked her if she'd been to the flicks lately, then when she complained about lemon in her drink I suggested she simply flick it out.

Bugger, and going to spend rest of month sitting in house as penance. What with that and not relaxing people will start to talk....

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Situational Faux Pas (No. 1 in a long occasional series)

After a first yoga class, the teacher asked everyone how they found the length; would they prefer an hour or an hour and a half. I said that I found an hour to be OK but would prefer less of the relaxing bit. Then went on to describe how I'd found it hard to lay still and not talk and had been bursting to get up.

The teacher replied that relaxation is a key part of yoga and can't be just skipped. Now I feel like I might just as well chanted; 'Time is money, time is money', or some dreadful eighties quote.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

My world has been can it ever be the same again?

I read somewhere this week that perfect coffee, when made in a cafetiere, is achieved by plunging the minute the water is added. I've never done this, and for the last twenty years of coffee making have waited an unspecified number of minutes to plunge. What if this is all true, and I've wasted yet hours upon hours of my life waiting for the plunge so to speak?

I don't dare google this and find out the truth, in my world it is not true. And I think, that of everyone I know/have known in last twenty years as have never seen an immediate plunger.

Oh, what to do?

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Volunteering Time

I've done a fair bit of volunteering this year; I've been on the nursery committee - still am, but not with a job title at the moment, I'm in the PTA, I've done some work at an arts centre/shop and um, I've filled in applications for funding...but now it is fete time.

And what shall I do? Some stalls need people to run them, and lots of my friends, and other parents at school are working really hard making/doing stuff.

Edit: Wrote this earlier, this morning, then blooming blogger went down then I decided I don't care and just want to have fun. Sorry PTA, but will be back in full service in the autumn I expect, although not if we raise money for more building blocks.

I think, and of course it is my view that is most important here, it is my blog goddamit, that the PTA should have founding principle of supporting the children at the school, and school community to access experiences and activities they would not normally do - like subsidising school trips, getting some artists in (though mostly they are free as lots of parents are arty types), getting theatre trips organised and where appropriate supporting the school with valuable equipment that is unable to be purchased out of normal funds i.e. great wooden play things, and stages etc.

And yes, I could stand for chair but it needs someone immensely organised, business minded and with time. I'm far too busy blogging and drinking coffee (no really - would drive me insane).

Monday, 1 June 2009

Gardening is really, well apart from the creatures I should love but don't...

We spent the day yesterday messing about in the garden. I am very proud to say that for a 'laid back' style garden it now has minimal identifiable (by me) weeds. I got rid of loads of sticky weed things, and bind weed, some nettles and randomly some grasses I'm just not keen on. I think grass in borders would suit a minimalist garden, but an overgrown laid back one. So it is on its way out.

We 'bought' brown bin from the local council this year, at a bargain of thirty five pounds which gives us two weekly collections of garden greenery. It's been brilliant so far, as I don't feel guilty (am imagining they compost it) for binning it yet don't need to deal with scary compost myself.

Although brave M did empty the blue bin of 'compost' that was left in our garden over two years ago by previous owners. Lots of recognisable tea bags, some bits of plastic bags and tin foil but some 'compost'. I don't think there were any rats, but there were certainly many small spiders. He put all this on top of the red ant nest we discovered (after some boiling water) so maybe...maybe with a bit more work we will actually have another vegetable patch and manage to grow some.

We have been eating the teeny lettuces I'm growing on my windowsill. Suspect they are only small as I accidentally got too carried away with the seeds and sprinkled too many. Nice though, although I did find out the reason some of the leaves are a little yellow is the soil may be lacking in phosphates. Now they sound appealing don't they? Anyone got an organic, non- creepy crawly way of adding phosphates in to compost/soil please?