Saturday, December 30, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Rhiannon was sick all day Christmas Eve, but was a little better and joined us Christmas Day, although she didn't each much. She's almost back to herself now. Aedan is away with our ex-neighbour's step-dad fishing, so he's happy and it's quiet round here. My cold is nearly gone, so I'm a happier bunny too. Marvelous.
To top it all off, I've remembered to go next door and feed the two cats, kitten and rabbit while my friend is away. Litter trays. Yuk. I'm afraid I've had to undecorate their Christmas tree, I was spending more time picking up baubles and lametta then playing with the kitten, which was becoming a bit of a vicious circle, so the decorations are in a cardboard box in the garage, out of harms way. Dread to think what she'll find to play with next.
Anyway, back to the Monopoly board, or Cluedo, or whatever I get dragged into next...
Saturday, December 23, 2006
So, imagine my excitement when, from the dining room, a little voice murmered, "Wow!" Now, there's not much in my back garden to cause that kind of exclamation, so I thought I'd take a look and, low and behold, there is a sparrowhawk, having just caught a little snacket, landing on the ground just beneath my birdfeeder that hangs on the shed.
"Ooooo! Quick, come and look at this! Quietly..." says one very excited mother and the children stampede into the dining room. Next second, there's the neighbour's bleep bleep cat having a go at the sparrowhawk! I'm surprised I didn't put the patio door through in my anxiety, then I dashed upstairs to the boys room for a better view of the ensuing battle. There, to my utter delight, was the sparrowhawk, safely perched on the fence behind the shed with Sparky, (cat) slinking away across the stretch of grass behind the fence.
It stayed on the fence for a good few minutes, giving us a fantastic view and me reassurance that it wasn't injured after it's tussle with Sparkey. Mind you, it's snacket had escaped too, which was a blow for the sparrowhawk no doubt. According to Conall, (the little voice) the bird was taken from the fence, not from the birdfeeder, but then, I don't mind feeding up the odd little one for the sake of something so special.
The new neighbour behind us probably thinks we're a bunch of nutters, gathering in a bedroom window to watch him smoke a cigarette on his back doorstep. He couldn't see the sparrowhawk. Hey ho!
Did you know it's Christmas Eve tomorrow? I've just made my bread sauce for the first time from my own homemade bread. Mmmm, should be good! I'm half way through making the trifle, (David said a few years ago he doesn't like Christmas Pudding/Cake/mincemeat, now he tells me it's just the candied peel. I can make it without that!) and a batch of bread to keep us going over Christmas. Still have to make the mince pies for Father Christmas, (he forces himself, for the sake of tradition...) and prep a few brussels, David can do the carrots, potatoes and...
I've just realised I've slipped deeply into the realms of boring, I'll stop now and knock back my dough.
I may, or may not, be back tomorrow. If not, have a fab one and I'll be back soon!
Monday, December 18, 2006
Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat,
Please put a penny in the old man's hat.
If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do.
If you haven't got a ha'penny then God bless you.
Well, Christmas must be coming. It was Ciara's eighth birthday yesterday, so * today the Christmas decorations went up. The children all came in from school and said, "Ah, isn't it pretty!", including the two little girls I 'borrow' most days, which was nice, but I think I exert too much control even over the decorating of the house.
Like, noone helps.
They're not allowed to.
They might make it look a mess.
Then I realised it's a bit formal. And Christmas only appears to be in the lounge.
Might have to loosen up a bit.
* I like Ciara to have her birthday with no Christmas intrusions, then on the 18th December, she can put her cards in her bedroom and Christmas decends upon the household. Well, in the lounge apparently.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
One of my pet hates is making phonecalls. It's okay ringing my mum, or my sister, or my hubby when he's away, but give me a situation when I don't know who's going to answer the telephone, be it a friends husband that I don't know well, (yikes), the hairdressers, the maintenance man to request a repair, a delivery man, I can't do it.
I just can't. Don't ask me to explain. I come out in a cold sweat, I feel panicky and I just can't do it.
I've just proved the point by ringing another parent to turn down an invitation for Aedan to go to a party.
Me "Oh, hello, is that Geoffrey's dad?"
Man "No, I'm his brother."
Me "Oh, I'm sorry..."
It could only be me...
Monday, December 11, 2006
It has six legs too many is probably enough of a clue.
I have regressed to my teens and it is currently residing under a bin. Weighted down with the heaviest books I could find, otherwise it could shimmy underneath!
My parents once returned from their annual vacation to France to find an upturned bin in the hallway, weighted down by a large dictionary and a Roget's Thesaurus, (if you've not seen one of those, they are big!)
The occupant had been there for almost three weeks, since my parents had left me 'home alone', (okay, okay, I was nineteen at the time. Going on nine...) and it was still alive! Just.
This one will only suffer till lunchtime. Meanwhile, I can't reach the plug to plug in the iron to do the ironing for fear of knocking over the bin.
Do you think that's a good enough excuse...?
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Congratulations! You may now take your place as a subject of Her Majesty.
"And did those feetIn ancient times,Walk upon England's mountains green?And was the holy Lamb of GodIn England's pleasant pastures seen?"
Well, no, but it's a cracking good tune.
How English are you?
Create a Quiz
Time for a lovely Roast Chicken dinner with a cheeky little white to cheer me up.
Monday, December 04, 2006
The bulky uplift came today. Not for me, as my husband would probably suggest, (if he was certain I wasn't having a sense of humour failure...) it came for our old terracotta fabric suite, which has recently been replaced by a lovely, smart, chocolate leather suite.
So I suppose it was more a fond farewell!
(Terracotta. What was I thinking?)
As expected, my cold came to nothing more than a slightly damp nose and a tiny cough. So glad about that! Feeling bad at a weekend is eminently more desirable to a school day.
Must press on, bread to attend to, but I'm sure...
"I'll be back...!"
PS. I've been inspired again. Hadn't realised it was three months since I'd done any 'poetry'!
Friday, December 01, 2006
I've kept quiet about this, 'cos I don't like to be controversial or offensive, (except when I've had too much wine perhaps..?) but now I'm getting quite annoyed.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but we are a Christian country by tradition. Our country. Now, I'm happy for people to live here from other countries, so long as they live by our laws and contribute to society and I'm happy for them to practice their own religion, but I'm not happy that we should compromise our beliefs and traditions in order not to offend other ethnic origins or religions!
If a Christian wishes to wear a crucifix or cross of somekind, do so. It is our country and our traditions, we are traditionally Christian.
Anyone, a company, office, business, whatever, should never 'ban' Christmas, for fear of offending other faiths. We are a Christian country! Yes, we have a multi-faith society, but we are a Christian country!
I can't bear the fact that our country is losing it's identity and traditions for fear of 'offending other faiths'. They are welcome here, but they should accept our laws and traditions, they don't have to change and celebrate them, but they are in our country. If we went to live in a foreign country, we wouldn't expect them to stop wearing their traditional dress or dumb down their festivals for risk of causing offence and they definately wouldn't think twice about whether they should, they wouldn't do it fullstop!
For those that are born and brought up here, may not even be of a different ethnic origin, but choose to follow a different religion, that's personal choice and fine, but we still don't have to change our traditions!
As you can tell, I'm a little aerated about all this and I'm sorry if I offend, but I am a very traditional person.
Step away from the soap box and breath.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Oh yes, that would be mine then.
"You don't want to be a doll (in the school Christmas Play) Ciara, everyone will be a doll or a fairy. You should be a Jack-in-the-Box. I'll make it."
When, oh when, will I learn not to have any bright ideas.
The tunic is made. So long as it fits over Ciara's head, it'll be fine. Yes, yes, I know. Making it without a pattern or child isn't brave. It's stupid.
Ofcourse, choosing a box that I can't paint on, because I can't paint over the print on it and I can't pick the selotape off, was also pretty dim. So, I've painted a sheet of brown paper to wrap it in.
Pom poms? Yes, simple enough, except I haven't got enough gash wool in the same colour to make pom poms, but that's easily solved, by using tissue paper. Simple.
Then, there's the ruff around the neck. One white pillowcase bites the dust.
Oh, just you wait till you see this creation. Just don't laugh too loudly, I might hear you...
Saturday, November 25, 2006
With the help of daddy, Rhiannon and Aedan have made the children's dinner tonight. Macaroni (well, pasta shells actually) Cheese and Fresh Fruit Salad with Ice Cream. Making a sauce is always a useful skill in the kitchen, it can be a base or accompaniment for so many things. No, they didn't make the ice cream, but maybe one day. Looks great and smells delicious.
Why aren't we having any? My thriftyness always leads to a glut of chicken wings, which the children don't like for some reason, so David and I will have Sticky Wings later, because, as usual, I forgot to get them out of the freezer and they only started to marinate at 4pm, so I'll give them about three hours before I throw them into a hot oven. I've made a cheeky wee tomato, cucumber, chilli and coriander salad for on the side too and David has just requested spicy potato wedges. Ah well, a woman's work...
Oh bless, they're clearing the table and putting the dishes in the dishwasher. Husband may not be completely housetrained, but the children will be if it kills me!
David cooked last night, to be fair, Rabbit with Apples and Cider, just a little introduction to other game for them. They've all tried venison in the past, which they seemed to like and they enjoy duck too. The boys asked to try pigeon, so for Sunday Dinner we are having Pigeon with Cabbage and Bacon, which I'm really looking forward to. The boys will give it a good try, Ciara will at least have a go, Rhiannon may not be so adventurous, but if they just try a little bite, that's enough.
I feel a nice chilled white coming on.
Friday, November 24, 2006
It was a very uneventful trip on a train to Inverness for Rhiannon's second appointment at the orthodontist, this time for x-rays. Now, they were exciting! A fine toy to play with the man has. You stand still, holding onto a bar in front of you with your chin on a plate while the machine goes round your head and takes the x-ray. Seconds later, you see the results on a computer screen, ta da!
The upshot of all that is Rhiannon's adult canines are not well placed and to help them come through in the correct place, the baby canines need to be taken out. Oh bum. However, our dentist will do that and we won't have to have another trip to see the nice orthodontist for another year.
By which time, we might, just might, have a new car, which will make the whole experience far easier!
The other excitement came about on our return. Two of my other children, the middle two, Aedan and Ciara, have been awarded 'Starworker of the Week' today, yey! Little stars. They get to pick the film for film night tonight and we are having Toy Story, which we haven't seen for a while.
All in all, a lovely end to a busy week.
Can I sleep now?
Sunday, November 19, 2006
We decided to do a meal where we all do a course each, but just stay at the one house rather than moving about. Bev bagged the starter, so I bagged mains and Linda got pud.
Bev did a lovely Roast Parsnip soup with parmesan, it was really delicious. I did Roast Loin of Lamb with tomato and basil sauce and Dauphinoise Potatoes. Must confess, it was lush. Linda did Summer Fruit Tirimasu and I've brought mine home for breakfast!
We had a fantastic evening, superb company and fabulous food. Linda suddenly said, "Hey guys, do you realise it's 3.30am!", at which point, everybody started yawning. We came home around an hour later.
I shall miss Linda and Steve, but I'm looking forward to the house warming party!
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Anyway, an appointment came through for a visit to the orthodontist today, so I hired a car, (now a car would be useful!) and off we toddled. It was in a place called Culloden, (if you know a little Scottish history, you will probably have heard of it, there was a battle there once) which isn't far, but off the bus route, so a hire car was less complicated. We used to live close by and used a dentist there, but it has changed a little in the last seven years.
The specialist was a lovely chap, who explained everything he found in Rhiannon's mouth very nicely. Or rather, what he didn't find. He didn't find Rhiannon's two upper adult canine teeth, waiting in her gums for when her baby teeth fall out. He's worried they may be far higher than they should be at this stage, which could cause problems with the treatment he'd like to use, or may be even non-existent, which would make her mouth very interesting!
I must admit, I'd thought it a little odd that Aedan has already lost two of his canines that are being replaced already. Even if all children, including siblings are different, there are only eighteen months between them and their mouths have always been entirely different. Rhiannon was eight months when she cut her first tooth, whereas Aedan was eleven weeks! He cut his tooth, got christened and caught chicken pox, started 'solids' and had his first holiday in a caravan, all in the same week. Deepest joy.
The upshot of it is, Rhiannon has another day off school next week, so we can catch a bus to Inverness for an x-ray, to find out exactly is what happening in that dear little mouth of hers.
All this excitement is too much for a girl!
Rhiannon just takes it in her stride, however...
Sunday, November 12, 2006
I know, I know small things etc. etc..
Rhiannon and Conall don't know yet what they are going to be.
I must admit to panicking, just a tad, when Aedan said he's going to be a turkey, (!!!) but his teacher is working on that one, thank goodness.
Ciara has to be a toy or an elf. Not much difference between the two... Elf would have been relatively easy, except Mrs Watson wants her elves to wear green tights and we don't have any and I don't want to buy any because green tights will do Ciara's shapely little legs absolutely no favours what-so-ever.
So, she's a toy then. Everybody else is a doll. I don't think Father Christmas gives away just dolls, (and I have a tendancy to want to be different) so I'm thinking of maybe a Jack-in-the-box? Fortunately, just had my Christmas present from my parents delivered, (the obligatory box of wine from Laithwaites) so I have a handy box of a good size that won't get too much in the way of her movement.
Watch this space!
The other thing was Parkinson. I watched Parky last night and I must admit, I haven't done so for a while because I was dissapointed with him for defecting from the Beeb. Not a political thing for me, I just_can't_bear all those commercial breaks interrupting everything, just as you get to an interesting bit!
Any road up, I did and I'm so glad I did! Peter Kay, oh what a funny man. The Bolton accent is enough to have me in stitches, I just loves the sound of it, (I have a thing for strong accents. How I came to marry a Scotsman who is repeatedly mistaken for an Englishman due to his weak accent is beyond me...) but on top of that, he was sooo funny, without swearing and without racism, it was brilliant!
Then there was Take That.
Now, I was not a fan when they made it the first time. I'm not into 'boy bands' and the like. Funny thing was, I heard their new single on the radio the other day and was puzzled by it.
"This isn't Robbie's new single is it? He's only just brought that other one out!" Says I.
"No," says hubblet, "This is Take That's new one."
I think that would go down like a lead balloon, but I do actually like the single, it's just that it's like something Robbie would sing. Strange, but they did perform well.
Then, the great Sir Ian McKellern. (Have I spellt that right? Not sure.) He has just got one of those voices that makes me melt, like Richard Burton and Anthony Hopkins and, and, and all those others that I can't think of just now. See, I'm still suffering the after effects of his voice last night!
Oh yes, it was very enjoyable. Maybe I can get over the commercial break thing.
Friday, November 10, 2006
I've just been to Rhiannon's last class assembly at Primary school. It had a Remembrance theme, which was poignant, as the first funeral of the twelve from Kinloss that died in Afghanistan is due to take place today. The daughter of this young man started nursery and school with Rhiannon.
Rhiannon's year at this primary has been unusual, as there are at least a dozen of them that have gone through the school together, from beginning to end. We have a very transient society, but I'm pleased for Rhiannon that she has been one of the few, it's given them all a good deal of stability which has had an effect across the whole year. Before the end of the summer term, they will spend more time at the Academy, our local 'secondary' school, than at primary.
My baby's all growed up!
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Now, I can't remember when, but at least eighteen months ago, we had this system introduced locally. At the time, we had two green wheelie bins, (because I'm greedy and I pinched one from one of the empty quarters that was about to be demolished) which were both usually full every week. Now, our boxes, one for cardboard and paper, the other for bottles and tins, are emptied weekly and our green and brown bins alternate weeks. The boxes have a perfect capicity for us, even as a family of six, although I do know other families who have requested extra boxes, (but then, they are the types that live on takeaway pizza and drink lots of beer and wine...) our green bin is rarely full and we only ever put out one a fortnight, our brown bin hardly goes out at all. (I don't garden much because of the cat problem, a completely seperate gripe.)
So, it works. It is easy, but then, we have the advantage of being reasonably environmently aware and have always avoided unnecessary packaging and the like. Before this system, David often paid a visit to the local recycling centre to dispose of bottles and cardboard, now it saves him the trip.
Quite handy, considering we don't have a car anymore...
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I'm very upset.
(Sad, but true)
Little man-in-a-van came today, which was nice. I make my order a week in advance, I am quite organised with my menu planning, so when it arrives, I've often forgotten what little treats I've ordered. Some nice little surprises sometimes.
My one query about it all is the plastic carrier bags. I do send them back with the driver to be recycled, but I'm somewhat bewildered by the amount of carrier bags used in the first place. I often have one or two items in one bag that could quite easily take several more. Sometimes I even get things in a bag that don't need to be in one at all, like the four packs of orange juice. These are encased in polythene with a handle attached, (the handle is soooo well attached, you can't get them off.) so simply don't need more packaging. Where's the enviromental awareness in this?
I've had a little fun too, just to brighten my day. I've been filing my posts and giving them labels. What joy!
Monday, November 06, 2006
This may not be a topic of debate you wanted, but I need some advice. Other than, "Just don't do it!" which is tempting.
I flicked a duster around this morning, then threw the vacuum cleaner about a bit, just to look willing. Downstairs toilet, then the bathroom upstairs followed. This was all avoiding the real issue, the kitchen floor.
I despise cleaning the kitchen floor. It is a real cacky colour that never looks clean anyway and fourteen year old linoleum is pretty hard work at the best of times. However, I'd decided it must be my mop that wasn't cleaning properly and that I should make a real effort, getting down on my hands and knees with a bucket and cloth to give it a proper clean. Stupid idea that was! I didn't even have the satisfaction of the floor looking better!
So, now, the question is, is it really my choice of floor cleaner that is the problem, and, if so, what would do the job better? I thought, rather than spend a fortune trying lots of different cleaners, perhaps someone (R and A?) out there might have some ideas. I know you are like me, not big on cleaning, but you might just know of a magic product that helps you get away with this and you might share your secret with me.
The only positive thing I got out of the exercise was exercise. And who wants to do that!
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
He's not going to like me. I've sent him there for potatoes. I've just remembered, we need green veg for dinner tonight.
I can feel a walk in the fresh air coming on.
Once this spider is gone and I've got some clothes on. I'm used to funny looks, but that's taking it a bit too far...
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Now, he is of course preaching to the converted with me. The vegetables I buy are locally produced and I walk to the farm shop to buy them. We also buy our beef from them, which may not be O, but is beautifully cared for and I know exactly where they have been living and our eggs, which are FR. I buy FR chicken from Tesco, when it is available.
At one point in the programme, Hugh was trying to illustrate that, while buying FR or O is initially expensive, if the carcas is then used to make stock, stripped and vegetables added, you have a minimum of two family meals per bird. One chap commented that this was an old fashioned way of living and the modern family couldn't and wouldn't live this way.
I've always thought I was old fashioned.
By the end of the programme, three out of the five were converted to buying chicken that had had a good quality life. Excellent!
Two had become vegetarian.
Still less mass produced chicken being consumed.
See, it's that positive thinking again...
(Don't think I could kill my own though.)
1. I shouldn't know about it. ( I don't like knowing a secret)
2. Conall has always avoided unpleasant/disruptive children without guidance. He's a very good judge of character and just avoids trouble makers. I know he wouldn't have befriended these two children if they were not nice.
3. The other child involved, (who made the complaint) plays with my eldest daughter, who is her school buddy, and her friends and therefore I have witnesses that there are no problems like this.
4. I know the other child is simply jealous. She wants to play with Conall, they've been friends through two years at nursery and she doesn't want to share him. She is being deliberately devious and manipulative.
5. She is my friend's daughter...
This becomes complicated by my friend's older daughter's behaviour because I think the younger one is now copying her tactics to get what she wants. I don't think my friend will be able to see this, but I don't want these two boys labelled in such an awful way when they have done nothing wrong.
Back to that law again, in the previous post.
He duely came and went, putting post through my letter box, but not ringing my doorbell to deliver a parcel.
"Grand", me thinks, "I can go to the farm shop now."
I got home, forty five minutes later, to find a card from a courier through my letter box, announcing that little-man-in-a-van had tried to deliver a parcel, but had returned it to the depot and I now need to make a phone call, (major pet-hate) to request another delivery.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Well, tomorrow anyway. I know that because my parents went home this morning and the weather has improved. Dramatically. My, this has been a long holiday, what with the out-laws and then my own parents visiting.
That sounds awful, but it has been a little testing, although, I must be getting more tolerant, because I'm sure I didn't feel as stressed, so probably didn't behave so stressed. I think.
Why is the weather always so awful when they visit, so we are all trapped indoors, together, like caged tigers? Force nine gales were not welcome. Poor David, up a ladder, tacking down the shed roofing felt, then the pair of us, wrestling the trampoline over, to try to stop it from blowing away. My dad was a very twitchy audience.
So, tomorrow is a new adventure, from which we will all gain and grow in stature, experience and wisdom.
Day one in his new class seems to have gone well. In fact, I think Aedan coped better than David, who inadvertently (didn't read the instructions...) made Aedan do a whole week's worth of homework last night. He did it without a peep, bless him. And we wonder why he hates school?!
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Come the school holidays and one of my sons leaves home.
Or at least, that's what it feels like. He's only nine and a half.
Sometimes I'm not sure if I should let him. You see, he has a friend called Robert, a little chap he's known since they were at ante-preschool together, so they were roughly three and a half when they met. It is unusual around here to have any friends around for that long, they usually move away, although we appear to have become part of the furniture.
So, they did ante-preschool together, then pre-school, then they started Primary one together, but then his mum moved Robert to one of the schools in the town three miles down the road and two years after that, they moved house to that town. So, Aedan and Robert don't see each other very often now.
Robert is the youngest of two, his older brother being about seven years the senior and they are not close, so Aedan is surrogate brother. Within days of the start of the holidays, Aedan will be invited over for 'a sleepover' and I'm beginning to think it wouldn't be cheeky to automatically pack for a week, as we often don't see him again for quite a few days.
I don't think my mother approves of me letting him stay for so long. I don't know if it's because she thinks he should be at home with his family, or maybe we are imposing on Robert's family, or taking advantage.
Robert's mum often jokes about getting the birth certificate when we pop into her pizza shop, just down the road, to hand her another poly bag of underwear. We're good friends, I'm quite sure she'd tell me if there was a problem and I don't think they would invite him if they didn't like having him around. I think there are advantages on both sides. They have company and entertainment for Robert that he doesn't get from his brother, Aedan sets a good example with his behaviour, (yes, my Aedan, the one with the policeman knocking on the door...) and his good eating habits. Aedan has more individual company and attention than he would get at home with the crowd here and all their little friends. Besides, he doesn't really have any peers left round here and he needs a friend.
I would like to think they are forging the same kind of friendship I did as a child with Ruth. It would appear to be quite unusual to have a friendship that spans the decades, so I think it's a good thing. (Just reminded myself, again, we're nearly forty...)
So, am I bad mother, or just allowing my son to enjoy his childhood anyway I (responsibly) can? The most heartbreaking bit is when he comes home. He often can't sleep, is distraught at having left Robert and misses him dreadfully. Then I feel I shouldn't let him go, because then he wouldn't suffer, but then, I would be denying him something that gives him true pleasure.
Something else to add to the long list of things to keep me awake at night.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Sounds a little odd, until you really think about it, then it all becomes clear and is so simple! I've bagsed Black Russian, but I'm trying to persuade one of the others to go as a Bloody Mary, or maybe a Tequila Sunrise. No sewing, no glueing, maybe a hint of painting, but basically, posh frock and make up, those that can, (not me) will put up and decorate their hair and a couple of girls pink or sparkly barbie umberellas will top it all off nicely! You'll see. You'll have to wait though, the party isn't until 4th November.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Not bad for a hippo's bum on his head! Some tweaking to do, but I'm quite pleased.
I can highly recommend Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver and the second book in the series, Spirit Walker. As they are children's books, I was surprised to be so enthralled!
Little Mrs Pepperpot there, well, a classic like that needs no recommendation!
Aedan, as Torac, won! Oh my, I'm so chuffed.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
It is going to be such a fun week!
Rhiannon was set a project for school at the beginning of term, to produce a booklet on a topic within 'Planet Earth'. 'We' are doing weather, which is not too bad. I have typed it out for her, (having pointed out, this does not set a precedent for future dissertations and the like!) and it's coming together well. It is to be handed in by Thursday.
I am composing a letter to put our views to the school about Aedan's class changes, just to have it on record. I can't imagine for one minute there will be a good outcome from that!
Aedan also has a project, to produce a model of a 'croft', (they study 'The Clearances' up here...) which has to be at school for Friday. I think/hope!
I was handed a letter by one of the little treasures last night, telling me that it is, once again, book week and that the school are having a fancy dress assembly on Friday, when the children are to attend dressed as their favourite character. I did try to come up with an idea that they could all do together, (clever, cunning even) but having run through the options of Famous Five, Swallows and Amazons, The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, discovered that nothing quite worked. The children were the wrong age order, or with S and A, don't know the story well enough to pass a good grilling by the judges.
Ciara may end up as Mrs Pepperpot and have to put up with the skirt not being red and white stripped. Haven't a clue what Rhiannon will be, but guess it will be modern day, as then she can wear ordinary clothes and not make a spectacle of herself. Aedan is reading Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver at the moment. My sister sent them the audio book read by Sir Ian McKellen and they loved it. I have since read this book and the next in the series and Aedan is enjoying it too.
So I'm making a wolf costume. Using a fluffy hippopotamus pyjama case. Conall will be Wolf and Aedan can be Torac, the boy in the story. I can use some of the hippo trimmings to sew a bit of Torac's 'clan creature', (a wolf) to an old t-shirt, then belt that to make it a bit like a jerkin. Sort of. (I'm only making a hood with ears for the wolf, just incase you thought it must be a particularly large pyjama case...)
To add to all this excitement, word from the mil is that she couldn't get B & B in Forres at the weekend, (shame, I'm gutted) so they will stay in Inverness and just come through on the bus for the afternoon on Saturday, (huge sigh of relief).
Last night, David went out to work having opened and left open, the bedroom window. The very same window where a spider dropped on my hand. I was dreaming all night, (at least, until I was lieing awake in the early hours, composing the letter and being creative with fluffy toys in my head) that there was a spider running all over my bed.
Somewhere in the lounge, where I am sitting at present, there is what Ciara described as 'a medium sized' spider. It is therefore either tiny or enormous. Somewhere...
I still have to clean. David is on night shift until Friday morning. I feel a quicky coming on!
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Yes, the time of year when you can't turn your back for a second or there will be a spider learing at you when you turn back.
Yesterday I coped brilliantly. So well, I'm not even sure how it happened.
I had opened the window in my bedroom to 'shush' a cat, (like cats, just not in my garden...) and something fell onto my hand and dropped off again. I squealed. I paused for a second, thinking, "Oh my, I think that was a spider." I looked onto the window ledge and there it was, one of those muscular, black, hairy jobs, just sitting there. I shut the window again and moved away, carried on with my morning.
What self-control! I didn't do that funny little dance in the middle of the room, you know the one, hopping from foot to foot, shaking, flapping hands and slapping at random body parts. I just_walked_away. So impressed!
A spider touched my hand and I didn't freak.
I suppose that was a good start to the weekend.
The bad news was the fall in roll numbers at the school. Again.
This means they are losing yet another class, dropping from eleven to ten. Last year we lost a class and both my girls were moved around. On the whole, that was ok. Neither of them were likely to be phased by it and Rhiannon ended up with a teacher she'd had before in P4 who she really liked, so that was good.
This year, we are not so lucky. The girls aren't affected, yay! Conall is not affected, yay! Aedan was with the same teacher as last year, which was fantastic because she's really got a handle on him.
Aedan is moving to a different class. Bum. I don't think he will get on nearly so well with this teacher. Rhiannon had her in P5, but Rhiannon is the bright, quiet, studious type that goes unnoticed more than anything else. Aedan is not. Aedan has to be cajoled, encouraged, supported and convinced he can do it. This teacher likes easy, middle of the road. Bum. Impending doom and disaster. P3 with Aedan was a disaster. P5 with Aedan looks as if it's heading the same way and I shall have a think about that one and come back to it.
Some things you have no control over.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
My new tent.
And no stooping, unless you happen to be a giant. We are not.
I'm soooo excited!
Photographs of last Monday's activities (you just wait!) are to follow.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Speaking of which, as soon as I have photographs of my expoits yesterday, I'll post them too. Talk about daft, the tale involves my friend Bev trying to wrap an eliptical/cross trainer thingy to post.
We did laugh. I cried.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Something that never happened to my parents and I was supposedly such a horrid teenager. Hmm. Must have done something evil and it's payback time now.
Luckily, the policeman was the husband of a friend who I know quite well. Aedan was late home at the time, (yes, it was my eldest son. Nine years old! Won't be making it to ten at this rate...) and said MP, (yes, military police, not civy) had an imminent appointment, so Aedan had a reprieve. Now, this all arose because the mother of the other boy involved shopped her own son and mine for entering an empty property on the estate. In fact, just across the road from where she lives. She came to give me warning, which was thoughtful, so I was 'prepared' to an extent. She had only been able to give Aedan's first name because she couldn't remember his surname or address. Unfortunately, the copper obviously put two and two together and checked with his wife for the name of my sons. Bum.
When Aedan did return, we gave him ample opportunity to tell us what he'd been up to, but he chose to miss that bit out, so we let on that now was the time to confess, as we knew anyway. Of course, he denies being in the property, he was just in the garden retrieving a ball, but the way he didn't proclaim his innocence and cry uncontrollably tells me he's not being completely honest on this occasion and he accepted punishment without upset, which is highly suspicious. Grounded until further notice and sent to bed at the same time as Conall.
We decided to request that said copper returns today, after school, (unofficially) when Aedan will think he's got away with it, in order to frighten the child into submission, I mean, instill in him the reasons why breaking the law is not a good habit to form, to nip any problem we might have in the bud.
It isn't a terrible crime, the property had been left open and unsecured by the estate management, but that is absolutely no excuse. I don't actually think Aedan is a bad child, he just can't think ahead and fortell the consequences of his actions, which is going to make life fun. I hope my copper friend can give him something to think about.
Oh, the shame of it.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
My sister has had a phenomenally good idea, well done Cathy! (Mind you, her and her hubby were at the pub when they thought of it, they may yet realise their mistake and change their minds!) Cathy has suggested that her and Ian take our children camping for a few days, week, or so and of course, I leapt at the chance. The children love their aunt and uncle to bits and will adore spending such quality time with them and I get to spend time with David with no responsibilities or distractions. Bliss! Might end up being cost prohibative though, as they have to come up from Worcester with a certain amount of kit, will they bring two cars? Will they fly then hire a seven seater? Dilemas, dilemas. I personally, prefer a good list. Not good at decisions.
We had Parents' Evening for all four children on Monday afternoon, (don't know why they don't call it Parents' Afternoon...) and they are all doing just grand, which is nice. It was just to check they are settling in ok and as they are all fairly independant and confident, this was never really going to be a problem.
Conall is in a composite class and this year it is unusual because it crosses three years instead of just two. We are lucky, because Conall is the youngest of four, he's completely at home being amongst a large group of children of various ages, it happens at home all the time. He's also quite bright, dragged on by his siblings, so that helps too, but there appears to be trouble on the horizon. Some parents aren't happy and can't put their trust in the teacher or school and just let them get on with the job. I hope they realise any changes they demand causes a lot of disruption which could be even more unsettling or difficult for their child to cope with. Not for my little treasure! He'll just plod on happily. We'll just have to wait and see.
I borrowed a Bissell carpet cleaner from my friend, Becca, this week and David has gone Bissell happy! The carpets are so clean they almost sparkle. I'm so glad we are getting a new suite, this one now looks even more tired and scruffy than it did.
Mind you, the walls now look as if they could do with a lick of paint. Oh no!
Monday, September 25, 2006
I have bought a new tent. Yes, just one. I hope it does the job. It is 3000mm hh, so is definately more water proof. It doesn't have a top vent, so should be less noisy. It is a four bedroomed tunnel design, so should be less buffeted by the wind, although I had intended two smaller two bedroomed tents to make us even smaller, rather than the tent that I have ordered, which is positively palatial! The spare bedroom will give us more storage space though, so the 'lounge' will be less cluttered and easier to live and move in.
Roll on next July! I'm soooo excited already, we've decided to go back to Gairloch, possibly for even longer next year, ( if the weather holds up...) and I've started planning what recipes to add to my repertoire, so that we have more choice. Cooking fajitas whilst camping sounds fun to me, I'll give it a go! It'll make a change from rice/pasta/mashed potato based meals.
Grief, I need to get out more. I've ten months to wait, it's worse than being pregnant...
Made myself a cup of tea yesterday morning, in the obligatory bone china mug. Forgot all about it, again, but when I remembered, went back and removed the tea bag, added milk and took it back to my workstation. Only, I forgot it again. My mum would have said I had to break the ice on it to drink it by the time I remembered. It was, how shall I say, a little less hot than usual. Hey ho, the joys of internet grocery shopping.
I'm not so sure it's my memory as such that is suffering. Maybe just my attention span, or that when I'm concentrating, everything else goes out of my mind. Completely.
I am doing this instead of cleaning. Something we all put off for as long as possible. I know, I only had a good clean two weeks ago, but the mil might (yes, 'might', no definates or actuals, 'might') be putting in an appearance and I want to look, not so much as if I've made an effort, but as if my house is in an almost-clean-and-tidy state all the time. Instead of once every few months. Or so. I'd hate her to think I actually care.
Now, where did I put the marigolds...?
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
What am I doing to have such problems? You might well ask.
Well, all I'm trying to do is buy two new tents. We've decided to down size to two two- bedroomed tents, so we have a 'spare room' for storage and so that we are less buffeted when it's windy. We do appear to be prone to a windy holiday. We also want a higher hydrostatic head (hh). Our current tent is 1500mm hh and we would like to up that to 3000mm hh. That means we'll be more waterproof. Our current tent has withstood the weather thrown at us admirably, but is more suited to occasional weekend use, whereas we want to camp for longer periods of time.
After much internet surfing, I have found what I want. Now, can I buy it? Oh, if only life was that simple! If it's in stock, it's expensive. If I can find it cheaper, it's out of stock and no way of knowing if it will come back into stock.
Then, there's delivery. I always check that first. Generally, there'll be a quote for delivery anywhere mainland UK, but you do have to check the small print. Since when has Scotland been an island? I would have considered it mainland myself. How silly of me...
Fancy having such an outlandish hobby.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
My friend Ruth listens avidly to Radio 4, apparently, and whilst I was listening to Radio 2 the other day, I heard Clare Balding plugging her new series on Radio 4, "Ramblings". Guess what it's about? Rambling, not verbally, (although that might also have been appropriate...) physically, which is right up my alley, so, I'm going to give Radio 4 a whirl tomorrow at 3pm. I'll let you know if I enjoy it!
(If I remember to listen in the first place.)
It was, however, a somewhat bizarre experience. Listening to people doing what I love, in an area I haven't been to, (yet, it was Islay, I think) with no pictures was a little frustrating. Maybe it would work better on television, but I always think Clare has a good face for radio...
I'll try it again next week and see if I feel any different about it.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
I'm upset now, it's not fair.
I'm going to sulk.
I'M STILL SULKING.
Friday, September 08, 2006
My baby came out of nappies, I didn't cry.
My baby started nursery, I didn't cry.
My baby started school and I didn't cry.
All those other firsts and I didn't cry.
My baby lost his first tooth today and all of a sudden, I'm not ready for him to grow up.
Get a grip!
However, I thought I should make a vague effort at the old bane of our lives, cleaning. Ofcourse, I have a little longer to distract myself from it now, (blogging or cleaning, blogging or cleaning...) but I have made a start. I've dusted the lounge, I will do the dining room, I've cleaned the windows in the lounge... WHOA, stop right there, did what? BIG MISTAKE. Ignoring the smears, I can see through the window on the inside to see how dirty the outside is. That window cleaner is well worth his £4.
On to the porch and did the windows and door. WHOA, NO, not again, you did WHAT? Yep, I cleaned them. Through the bits that aren't smeared, I can see how dirty the outside is, what with mucky mit prints and greasy nose prints, (who in their right mind would press their face on a dirty door? Oh yes, I have children...) AND THEN I CLEAN THAT TOO! 'Cos they'll be coming in and going out of that door, so they might notice. Ofcourse, cleaning the windows mean the surrounds look dirty, so I clean them. That then makes the walls look filthy and hey, we're out of control cleaning here, HELP!
The main thing I seem to have forgotten is that we will be drinking. Bev and Sue will be drinking large quantities, I can't 'cos I'm in charge of four children on my own and I have to be sensible. Apparently. So, they won't notice the windows. Or even care.
Oh woe is me.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
When he came home from school for the first few days, complaining of being bored, my heart sank, but his teacher, Miss Cameron, is very experienced and I have great faith in her, even though she has a potentially difficult class this year. A composite of primaries one, two and three. I convinced him to be patient and give Miss Cameron time to get to know them all.
Last week, he brought home his first 'homework'. Oxford Reading Tree is the norm up here.
Me: "Come on Conall, let's sit down together and read your homework."
Conall: "I can't read it Mummy, there aren't any words!"
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Ruth didn't tag me, that was a relief. So Anne got me instead. Oh help!
1. One book that changed your life.
Oh my word, this was a toughy. Like John, I would have said it was people that had changed my life, not a book. However, having scanned my bookshelves, I came up with Oxford Babies Names, then changed my mind. Instead I've picked AA 50 Walks in Scottish Highlands and Islands. The first walk I did in the Highlands was Meall a Bhuachaille, near Cairngorm and since then, I have adored Scotland, walking here, the nature, everything and now I know where I want to live and what I want to do with my life in the future. I've since found out that that was my first Corbett, wey hey!
2. One book you've read more than once.
Do you know, there aren't many of these. Once I've read a book, I know what's going to happen, so it will be consigned to gather dust on the bookshelf. However, I recently read Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder again, so that will have to do!
3. One book you'd want on a desert island.
the game cookbook by Clarissa Dickson Wright and Johnny Scott. Why? It covers all bases of the kind of meat you could possibly find in the wild, so I thought quite useful, if I want to eat. Got to catch it first though...
4. One book that made you laugh.
Quite a few, mainly autobiographies like Terry Wogan's or Alan Titchmarsh's, I like a good giggle, but I have this one, courtesy of my big brother, Richard. To people that know him, (Ruth) it'll say more about him than me, but it is a really good laugh. The History of Farting by Dr Benjamine Bart. Say no more.
5. One book that made you cry.
Before I Say Goodbye by Ruth Picardie. Read it.
6. One book you wish you'd written.
The Truth About Pregnancy, Childbirth and Babies. Why? Because nobody ever tells you what it's really like and that it's ok to feel the way that you do. We are, after all, all individual.
7. One book you wish had never been written.
I could have been sooooo controversial with this one and said The Bible, or the Kuran (spelling? Even less idea!) or other such books, simply because they all cause sooooo much trouble in the world, but I don't really wish that, they are rather important books, after all. So, I'll go for Vanity Fair by Thackeray. I hate that book with a passion, I never got past the third chapter, which made my A' Level English Literature a little difficult. In fact, I failed. Ooops.
8. One book you are currently reading.
Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis. Actually, I could have put The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe for number 2, come to think of it. I've recently decided to read the whole series, seeing as I have only read that one, so I started at the beginning with The Magician's Nephew and I'm getting on fine.
9. One book you've been meaning to read.
Aldeburgh's Affectionate Poet by Roger Frith. It's about, and contains poetry by, my great-grandad, who celebrated his one hundredth birthday when I was eleven years old and I rememeber him well. I may have inherited his talent, but I'm afraid to read it, incase I find out I haven't and my poetry is really rubbish.
10. One book you wish you'd written.
My book of poetry, which is going to earn me a fortune so that I can buy that house in Gairloch! Oh and ofcourse bring enjoyment to so many others with my lovely poetry...
Next thing is six weird (W.E.I.R.D. Ruth.) things about me.
I take exception to that, I'm not weird.
1. I am obsessive about the order clothes have to be hung out on the washing line. Apparently, that is weird. I think it's organised.
2. Nobody is allowed to write on my lists and I have to complete them using the same pen/pencil.
3. My shopping list has to be made in the order I will go round Tesco. A bit awkward now I use dotcom...
4. I make individual piles of clothes for all of us on the spare bed before I pack for a holiday.
5. David thinks I have weird feet. I don't.
6. Some people like me. I think that's weird.
I had no idea how hard that would be. You don't think of yourself as weird, do you?
As I don't know anyone with blogs except Ruth and Anne, (virtually), I shall invite anyone who happens along my blog to tag themselves. Neat!
Sunday, September 03, 2006
So, I have. Here goes.
1. I was born in North Devon
2. I have lived in Grimsby
3. I have lived in Scotland
4. I have 8 O' Levels
5. 1 A' Level (it was deliberate to fail the rest, don't ask)
6. I have my Stage One BHS Exam
7. I have grade 5 clarinet
8. I used to be a Sea Cadet
9. I have worked for two local papers
10. I met Jack Brymer
11. I have seen The King Singers in rehersal
12. I was a Trainee Legal Executive
13. My husband is Scottish
14. I have four children
15. I have a brother and a sister
16. I've never lived in a remarkable building
17. I once represented my 'house' at hurdles (?!) at sports day
18. I was in the tennis and hockey squads but never played. I did run cross country for my school. Once. I wasn't last...
19. I was a flunky in the school pantomime
20. I passed AO General Studies
21. I was Chair of the Ardersier Mother and Toddler group
22. I am a lapsed member of the British Horse Society
23. I am a member of the RSPB
24. My youngest daughter has given flowers to Barbara Dickson
25. I speak English, fluently
26. I prefer fiction to non-fiction
27. I have been to London once, when I was 12
28. I love Radio 2
29. II still have no idea where my maiden name (Flower) comes from
31. My father was an Insurance Inspector and I have never met his brother
32. I am anxiety prone
33. I'm TERRIFIED of spiders
34. I worked in a nursing home for a month
35. I used to go to PTA meetings
36. I have never been a bridesmaid
37. I have never been asked to be a god parent
38. My favourite book is Nick Nairn's New Scottish Cookery
39. I have read lots of books by Barbara Erskine
40. I have read lots of books by James Herriot
41. I have read every Harry Potter
42. I have read (I think) all of the Inspector Morse stories
43. I prefer food shopping to clothes shopping
44. I'd rather spend my money on a nice pair of boots than on shoes
45. I walked past The Glasshouse in Ambleside (Gordon Ramsay's Nightmare Kitchen thingy)
46. I still have the ticket stub from the Peter Gabriel concert I went to in 1988
47. I would love to see Billy Connolly live
48. As a child I would occasionally pinch small sums of money and spend it on sweets (scarey similarity here)
49. My favourite film is... that's too hard, too many to choose from
50. My favourite place to be is the Scotland, perferably the West Coast or the Cairngorms
51. I have had a general anaesthetic, once
52. I have no major scars
53. I have a small scar on my calf, where I was wellied by a pony
54. I am allergic to most animals with fur
55. I love cats, but they are not good for me
56. I am a bit scared of cows
57. I like zoos to be a part of a conservation breeding programme
58. I lurve chocolate
59. I don't like other sweets
60. I do not to mix chocolate with wine
61. I have read lots about depression, but have so far failed to accept help
62. I don't eat properly when my husband is away
63. I enjoy cooking
64. I plan to study for a degree
65. I also plan to run a B & B
66. I love my kenwood chef
67. I shout at my children waaay too much
68. They still say mummy's the best (daddy or chips, daddy or chips, the Mcaines ad...)
69. No-one else would put up with me like my husband does!!!!)
70. I am distinctly lacking in qualifications
71. I am not liscensed for anything
72. I am not a member of any institutes
73. My brother was a member of MENSA, does that count?
74. I have family in Australia but have never visited
75. Today has not been a funny day, but a very strange one
76. I feel loved and wanted by some of the people I know
77. I feel that some of the people I know are indifferent to me
78. I know that some of the people I know don't like me at all
79. I am short tempered, especially when hormonal
80. I can be great fun on a night out
81. I, too, did things in my teens that were plain stoopid and I could have ended up dead in a ditch
82. I once attended court for a traumatic child custody case, as Legal Executive
83. We honeymooned in, wait for it, Malta. Mmmm
84. Flying terrifies me, it makes me cry
85. I have seen a a golden eagle
86. I once found a hair in my risotto whilst having a meal at a posh Italien restaurant
87. I recently lost two and a half stone and have kept most of it off
88. I have no tatoos
89. I dyed my hair once- I went for black. My natural colour is brunett
90. I had my ears pierced when I was 14
91. I refuse to let my daughters have theirs pierced
92. I have a pierced naval
93. I breast-fed all of my children
94. I hate upsetting people
95. Only one friendship has ended in complete disaster, two years ago
96. I believe in love at first sight
97. I have lots of bad hair days
98. I had a teenage crush on Lewis Collins in The Proffessionals
99. I am currently the happiest I've ever been
100. ...most days