Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Please excuse me

All this creativity in public is beginning to feel a little self-indulgent, but for some reason, I'm feeling remarkably inspired at the moment. I seem to have found a place of peace inside me that I had forgotten.

I don't follow any rules, it just spills out onto the page, so I hope my ignorance doesn't offend the more literate among you. I tend to swing from experience that is very personal, to more general views of everyday life and usually at the most inconvenient moments.

Like trying to drop off to sleep!


Five more days until my love returns,
It seems to have been so long.
The children slip quite easily into routine,
Of up dressed, breakfast and off to school,
While I'm left to collect my thoughts and hoover up my life.

Three more days until my love returns,
And normality will reign supreme once more.
Blissful in their ignorance, the children continue on,
Up, dressed, breakfast and fighting over toys,
While I feel nervous, excited at his impending return to our family home.

He's home! In a blink, the children,
Forget their seperation from their devoted dad;
But I'm deeply buried in my isolation,
I forget my longing, feel my space invaded;
But then, at last, feel his strong arms surround me and melt.

Turn off the tap

Will someone please turn off the tap,
I can hear the water running;
It could be soothing, but in the dead of night,
I can feel the tension rising.
The constant sound sends an audible ripple,
That frustrates and annoys me;
My mind is stimulated, wakened and
Alert, waiting for the next drip,
Dropping onto polished porcelain.

Will someone turn off that tap,
I cleaned the sink this morning,
I should say, yesterday, now it's dead of night and,
Here I lie, fretting about tomorrow;
What tasks ahead of me lie?
My children are sleeping peacefully now,
But tomorrow will stress and frustrate me;
One minute loving and giving freely,
The next rowdily fighting.

Oh, please turn off the tap,
It's keeping me awake and I,
Like many a rapidly ageing, but loving mother, I know,
Need my beauty sleep and rest.
In order to look my best;
Counting sheep just isn't helping me,
Is the bread out of the freezer?
Is that water still dripping away?
Oh, it's my life.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I'm in the mood

I'm in the mood,
To make cookies with the children;
To have flour on my face,
And sugar on the table;
The smell of ginger wafting through,
To tantalize and tease me.

I'm in the mood,
To shout and scream at everyone;
To curse and stamp my feet,
And slam at least one door;
Don't bother smiling sweetly at me,
If you like your teeth.

I'm in the mood,
To luxuriate in a hot bath;
To savour a chilled Chenin Blanc,
Make sure to fasten the lock;
A few moments of deepest pleasure,
To really feel like me.

I'm in the mood,
To take a long rambling stroll;
To feel wind tugging my coat,
To see wilderness everywhere around me;
The fresh breeze to revive me,
Returns my love for life.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I will have my cake and eat it

It may not be beautiful to look at, but I made it and I KNOW it will be LICIOUS, as my 5 year old would say.

No cheeky comments on the lack of candles,


Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me,

Happy birthday dear me, happy birthday to me!

Hip hip, hooray, hip hip, hooray!

Hoppy Birdy... ME!

I wouldn't normally make so much of it, but as my dear hubby (who wouldn't make a fuss about it either, who am I kidding!) is still building sand castles, I'm doing it for myself.

I have been for my walk. A shade damp today, (mega understatement) and nothing exciting to report. As I blog, the smell of a gorgeous, chocolate birthday cake, baking in the oven, is wafting through from the kitchen. Gonna blow the diet tonight and pig on cake and wine.
It's MY birthday and I will because I can!

And kids? I get to pick the film tonight.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Few Photies

We went for a walk on the marshes where I walk every morning. In the first photograph, they are on part of 'The Three Bears House', it's actually somekind of defence bunker, flooded, stinking and home to much dubious teenage activity, I'd guess, but the little treasures are drawn to it. As you can see, the boys have their binoculars and are 'keen' birdwatchers. In these pictures we are not far from where we found the 'plucking post', which I think may belong to a buzzard, after much indepth discussion with my very knowledgable mother. In the next piccy, you can also see three of the four wind turbines at the Findhorn Foundation. The folk there are a very spiritual bunch. The piccy of the little treasures, devouring an ice-lolly on the beach defences, is taken about 2 miles further down the road, on the Moray Firth. It is a fantastic beach, whatever season you may visit it. As long as you are prepared for all eventualities...
The piccy looking down steps was taken a couple of years ago when we all went for a walk with my parents at Glenmore, which is in the Cairngorms. The water at the bottom of the steps is the Green Loch, (don't ask for the gaelic, please) which is the most beautiful colour and yet incredibly clear. You can usually get to the bottom of the steps and walk along a sandy beach. Obviously not, this time!
Note how I pick piccies without me in them...
For no other reason than because I can and, incase you have forgotten, it's my birthday tomorrow, here is a piccy of my sister's new pet, Boris, the baby guinea pig. Cute!

Well, if you say so...

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Your true color is Yellow!

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My Year in Nature

Through the night, the visitors arrive,
Honking their return, a haunting sound,
But it heralds a fresh start.

It's still dark, but the chorus has begun,
Each bird singing louder than the last, to be heard,
To make the best impression.

On a frozen, but clear blue day,
They perch atop the spikey gorse bush,
Still singing fit to burst.

As the days grow warmer, the deed is done,
Alls quiet as they get on with the job in hand.
They've hungry mouths to feed.

As the sky lark trills it's spiral in the sky,
Swifts scream and swoop around them,
Swallows twittering as they hunt.

The young birds learn swiftly and soon fill the air,
With their clammer, "Feed me!"
They fledge and flee the nest.

Alls quiet once more, they return to warmer climes,
But the geese are back, their honking calls,
Change the atmosphere once more.

"Heaven, I'm in heaven..."

Every school day, except Mondays (Tesco day), I go for a walk after taking the small herd of children to school. Not far, just two miles or so in 30 minutes, but I love it. I go for two main reasons:
1) I read somewhere that a short walk everyday is an excellent treatment for depression and I've long since been into self-help for mine, so it fitted in nicely.
2) I love being out and about with nature and have discovered a surprising amount literally just around the corner (and down the road a bit) from my house.
I come off the main road to Findhorn and take a well worn path to the marshes, part of the estuary leading from Findhorn Bay to the River Findhorn, which wends it's merry little way, deep into the highlands of Scotland. Okay, so I see alot of ordinary stuff, sparrows, blackbirds, robins, chaffinch and thrush. I've seen buzzards, kestrels hunting, sparrow hawk hunting and roe deer too and that was a real treat, up close and personal, you could say. I've seen some things I've never seen before, still common, but lovely to see for myself, like long-tailed tits, gold crest and yellowhammers. In winter, there are hundreds of grey lag geese that roost on the marshes and redwings are common around that time too.

Recently I've seen whitethroated warblers and managed to identify it all by myself, from it's song and from getting a really good close-up view. I take the children out there too and last time we followed a kestrel as it hunted, waiting with baited breath each time it dived and then looking to see when he came up again if he'd got prey. He was unlucky each time as we were watching, but the children were fascinated and I was delighted they found it so exciting because I do too.

On one particular outing recently, Conall decided to take a break on a handy log, but discovered some rather grim remains, just on the end at the top. I said I thought it was probably a 'plucking perch', where a bird of prey, maybe a kestrel or even a sparrowhawk, might sit and pluck their dinner. I wasn't really sure, but they were keen on the idea, so I left it at that. Today, I suddenly decided to have another look on the way past and there were more remains, this time slightly more gruesome, (for the more tender among you, I shan't expand on that...) but now I need to 'phone my mum, to try to identify a possible culprit. I've narrowed it down to three, lets hope she's of help!

Am I sad? My friend has great fun at my expense, twitcher jokes abound, but I love it and it certainly makes me feel refreshed and inspired, an excellent treatment for my mind.

Trouble is, it's all over by 9.45am, I still have children to collect from school and the rest of the day to get through.

Hey ho.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


How does the weather know?
If I have no gloves, it will start to snow,
What do the clouds have to gain?
If I have no coat, it will start to rain.

Why does the sun become so hot?
Because my hat I have not got,
Could the wind choose not to blow?
I can't stay in by the fire glow.

Yup, it chose to rain, at 8.40am on our way to school. Again, at 11.20am, on my way to collect Conall from nursery. Yet again, at 2.45pm, on our way home from collecting Ciara and friend from school. When I say rain, I mean cats and dogs.
How does the weather know?

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Well, I've gone from having no dreams, or the occasional nightmare, to having dreams most nights!

The first had my grandparents in it. I spoke to them both, but only Grandma spoke back to me. I made a point of telling them I loved them and she told me they loved me too. The strange thing about that is, out of all my family, I did tell them I loved them, but rarely if ever tell any of the others, despite the fact that I do love them.

The second revolved around Boath House, a rather exclusive hotel and restaurant on the A96 between here and Nairn. It was featured on a programme I caught part of on television, involving a woman cycling around Scotland and stopping off to sample local cuisine. In my dream, a friend, who may have been a man, told me the chef of Boath House had given permission for him to take as much watercress as he wanted that grew in the grounds and I was delighted by this. I didn't realise I had such a passion for it!

The third, we were on holiday. Camping somewhere coastal that I felt I knew intimately from my childhood, but it didn't look much like Suffolk to me! It was a bit hilly too. We set off on our bikes, to meet Mum and Dad I think, in a nearby town. En route, I realised I wasn't with my husband, but my brother Richard instead and he was being aggressive almost, pushing continuously to get there. We came across a chap with three children, also on bikes and they seemed to be getting on just fine, whilst I was finding it a real struggle.

When we got to the town, Richard missheard me and took me into the local football club where they were holding some kind of meeting and vote. Making my way into a large room, I walked straight through a huge puddle, soaking my new trainers, (they are cream, from Next and I am a shade paranoid about getting them dirty, so I understand that bit!). There were people who I knew in my dream, but not in real life, but I didn't think we had time to wait for the results and we left, going out of the building the wrong way. Outside, it was bucketing down and by this time it was 8 o'clock and we hadn't cooked dinner, I knew Dad would be going spare.

Sometimes I can see the connections I am making with my day-to-day life, the hotel I'd seen on television, the fact I'm planning our next camping trip, my new trainers. It was probably raining heavily at the time I was dreaming, it was certainly very wet out there when I woke this morning! What I'm curious about is where the other bits come from, my Grandparents and my brother, the bikes and the hills in Suffolk! I'm never sure if there is some hidden meaning or message, or maybemy mind is just as twisted when I'm asleep.

That, I suspect, is quite likely.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


The WeatherPixie

But I haven't figured out how to insert this in a useful place...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Forward planning

I love lists. I will have a list somewhere for almost everything I do in my life. I have so many that my husband calls me Schindler. I have been told that passes as humour, but I'm not convinced.

Anyway, it's six weeks and five days until we head off for our next camping trip, to Gairloch on the West Coast of Scotland, (midgie hi-season, must put repellent on the list...) so I am feeling the need to find a fresh notepad and get listing!

A list of what we need to take, that's always a good place to start, all the camping equipment we have gradually acquired, (mustn't forget the new Electric Thermo Cooler) and stored at various locations around the house and garage. If it's not on the list, I won't hunt it out!

Then there'll be a clothes list, for each one of us. Even down to the amount of socks and pants to take. Funny thing is, I never count them to make sure they all get packed and come back home again. Strange.

Then there will be for stores list, which ofcourse consists of two lists, dry stores and fresh stores. Oh, three lists, a 'to buy when we get there' list.

Then there'll be the meals list. I usually manage to restrain myself from making a list for breakfast and lunch will generally be a packed one, with the occasional treat at a nice local public house. Dinners have to be planned, because then you can work any shopping you need to do into the days' events...

...which ofcourse, have to be listed. Can't always plan that to the day, it tends to be somewhat weather reliant, (must put waterproofs on the list) but atleast if I have a few ideas up my sleeve I can ususally deal with any eventuality. Usually.

We do a few walks if we can, to take in the beautiful countryside. The children are pretty happy about that most of the time, the trick is not to overface them and be careful it's not too hot. Wet doesn't faze them too much, so long as there is something stunning guararanteed. We've seen woodpeckers, roe deer, red squirrels, all sorts and it thrills them everytime. What does this have to do with planning, you may ask?

I research the area and the walks, using my small library of OS Pathfinder books and a handy little website I found, and then I buy the relevant map. Using the co-ordinates, I plot the walks and it makes it easier to choose when you can see the gradients involved.

Maybe I do get a little obsessive about it all, I think it may just be my inactive mind finding ways to excercise itself.

Must put getting fit at the top of the list.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The joys

Life is entertaining sometimes. Only sometimes mind, just to keep you on your toes. My little boy has been poorly. Nothing major or messy, just headaches and raging temperature, which is easily treated. Out comes the trusty Calpol, fluids and plenty of sleep. Easy.

Two days later, the eldest starts. Pretty much the same really. Unfortunately, Monday isn't a good day to go poorly in this house, 'cos generally we're out of food and I need to go to Tesco. So, off we went.

Everything was going fine until we got to the checkout. Turned to speak to Rhiannon to find her standing with her hand clasped over her mouth. At this rather crucial moment, I hiss, "You know where the toilets are, don't wait!" and off, poor distressed daughter trots. She returned a short while later, non the worse for her panic, just as I finished paying, so we went home. She's been much better since.

Then my eldest son came home from school. He was fine at first, but soon deteriorated. Now, he's got a different bug. He doesn't have a headache or a temperature. He has been sick. Unfortunately, he didn't make it to the toilet. Fortunately, the flooring is lino, so no problem. Unfortunately, he didn't lift the toilet seat. Now, that was messy. Having spent the last six years training him and then his brother to put the seat down, I'm now leaving it up. Just in case.

I know, I know, too much information. Three down, one to go, or will my luck finally run out. I don't normally catch the children's bugs, but there's always a first and seeing as hubby is living it up in a tent in a desert somewhere, now would not be convenient, therefore the most likely!

I can hardly wait.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A visitor in the night

Had a terrifying moment the other morning. Spent the rest of the morning exhausted from the adrenalin rush.

A spider had taken up residence in the bathroom washhand basin. Not just any ordinary spider. An enormous spider, a black spider, with a huge body, inch long, hairy legs and a menacing air. He certainly hadn't had a wax recently, maybe that's what he was looking for...

I squealed and stood staring, frozen to the spot, unable to tear my eyes from it's rigid form. There was no way it was going to flush down the drain, if I turned on the tap, (problem in itself, it might jump up!) it would get out it's loofa and a bar of soap!

Now what.

I went downstairs to clean my teeth.

The boys appeared and squealed, but with delight at the elephantine arachnid. "Don't touch it boys, I'll get a man to get it out," says mum. At 6.45am? Yeah, right.
"It's ok mum, I'm a man," says 9 year old son. Bless!
"I'll catch it in my Bionicle's box and let it out outside."
"Don't you dare drop it!" says slightly alarmed mum, as she disappears into bedroom and barracades door. It could push it open let alone squeeze underneath!

This is the woman who managed to get a wastepaper bin over a spider in the hall at my parents house once, while they were on holiday. I weighted it down with an Oxford English Dictionary and a Roget's Thesaurus, just to be sure. It was still there when they returned, a week later. Alive. I was so glad I put the books on top, you can never be sure...

He did it, my little knight in shining armour, even stood and watched it run away so that he could tell me it didn't come back into the house.

I just hope he doesn't go and tell his big brother.

A ha!

Yet another triumph in the Evans family household!

May seem insignificant to some, but how many other 30 something mothers can boast to having just taken apart, repaired and put back together, successfully, a micro-scooter at 11.30am on a Saturday morning? When I should have been doing the washing up (because I can't fix the diswasher) and doing the housework.

In his usual style, within a few days of having received the aforementioned scooter for his 9th birthday, last Saturday, a small, brass button appeared on the floor of the front porch. It took me a further two days to work out where it had come from, (can't throw it away, it may be crucial to the working of something) then to decide whether to put it in a 'safe', never to be seen again, place or get out the tool kit, again, fix it myself and then bask in the glory of another success. Not a broken nail in sight!

I had a dream

No, I have not dragged my white, kick flare, spandex bodysuit out of the bottom of my wardrobe, nor am I about to burst into a rendition of any Abba hit. I did actually have a slightly bizarre dream last night. Does anyone out there do interpretation?

I was at school, only it was a school I'd never been to before. Tawny Owl from Ciara's Brownie Pack, who I know vaguely from her school aswell, was trying on a new knitted jumper in the school hall, braless, in front of a very old man who didn't seem upset by this but I was mortified. Someone else then commented on my new sweatshirt needing to have tomato soup spilt down it and I realised I was wearing a slightly over-sized Guide sweatshirt. I wandered off with my homework book in hand to find my friend Ruth (whom I haven't been at school with since we were about 11..) and found myself in another large school hall.

I was so tired I couldn't keep my eyes open, but through slits I could see Ruth lieing on the floor, copying from a large blackboard high on the wall. She was wearing a very fetching pair of bootleg joggers, black, with a wide white stripe down the outside of the leg and a slim fit dark sweatshirt. I don't know why, but in my dream that was extremely significant to me. I recognised her by her striking blond her and broad grin, serene and calm. She wasn't struggling with her homework, as I knew I had done, in fact, her homework book was entirely different, filled with cartoons and illustrations with comments, ticks and stars all over it.

Then my daughter went to the toilet and woke me up.

I regularly dream, but haven't of late. I think I've been so exhausted, mentally, I'm falling into a deep but short sleep and either I'm not dreaming or I'm not remembering it. Ooo, apart from the odd nightmare, with knives dripping blood and that almost tangible fear as I've woken myself deliberately.

So, anyway, as I was saying, does anyone out there have any idea what is going on in my tiny little brain? 'Cos I don't.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Early Menopause

Now, here's something I bet you haven't given much thought to, 'the Change', that time of your life, the menopause. Well, some of us have to, it would appear, before you might expect. It can be hereditary, apparently, to have an early menopause and I think that at 37, (ok, ok, very nearly 38!) that I am. I probably have been for around two and half years. Am I mourning the loss of my womanhood? Er, no. Can't say it worries my like that. In fact, I'm not worried at all and perhaps I should be.

I'm confident osteoperosis is not going to be a problem, I've always had somewhat of a passion for cheese of all varieties and have a mug of hot milk every night before bed. The loss of fertility? I have four children. Why would I want anymore? I'm getting older, yes, but I'm not losing my marbles yet!

One thing I certainly won't miss is...

The headaches! Oh, they are not fun, so I don't look forward to ovulation each month and I can now pinpoint it exactly. Funny really, would have been quite a useful skill a few years ago. Hopefully shouldn't have to suffer for too much longer, another year or three. Deep joy.

To those of you who haven't reach it yet, have fun and good luck!

Monday, May 08, 2006

I'm sooo excited!

I have a new toy. A little man in a van brought it at lunch time and I had to get it out to play straight away!

It's our new Campingaz Deluxe Thermo-Cooler and I'm in love! It'll keep the beer and wine cool a treat for a b-b-q in the back garden. No, silly me, it's for our camping trips ofcourse. There are only so many everyday items a girl can live without in a tent. We splash out on an electric hook-up, yes, in a tent, for my necessities. A wine cooler, sorry, I mean mini-fridge for the Flora etc., a mini-stereo (low volume only, I promise) and a hairdryer. I have to! This year, I can take my RSPB Bird Song CD with me too, so I can identify what I hear as well as see. I might even invest in an electric bug killer. We are going to the West Coast of Scotland at the height of the midgie season and trust me, they are murder!

So, my mini-fridge is humming quietly in the kitchen as we blog. It pays to ensure everything is in working order, I would be a very unhappy bunny to arrive at the campsite to discover it was defective. Now, I wonder what I can put in it to see how effective it is. Conall is too big. Aha, I always have wine ready cooled on hand. That'll do nicely, thank you.

I'm just soooo excited!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A warm glow

It gives me a very satisfying feeling to produce a meal for my children, a new recipe that none of us have tried before, that they declare, with great enthusiasm, to be "Yum, yum"!

What they don't know is, it had a whole green chilli in it. They weren't expecting that!

It really is the simple things in life that make all the difference.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Just call me Victor

I don't believe it!
No, seriously, I don't. Someone, who shall remain nameless, is obviously trying to tell me something. Maybe my true vocation is a dishwasher technician (just plain dishwasher, I suspect), or He is perhaps having a really good laugh at my expense (ha ha ha) or maybe He just doesn't like me!

This time not even the torque wrench will help. The dishwasher is no longer. It is deceased. Unplugged. Well, ok, maybe a little dramatic. The door hinge has become completely unhinged. A little like me! I can't even close the door, which could make life very interesting.

Guess what? It was full at the time. Just like last time! This time it wasn't fish and chips. No. It was Quorn Korma. Mmm. Didn't think I'd be able to deal with that in the morning and ofcourse it would have affected the whole kitchen, as the door won't shut. So, on went the marigolds. Within seconds of starting what was going to be quite a session, water just leapt down the cuff of the glove. Oh, very funny.

Still, I always look on the bright side of life. If I hadn't fixed it first time I would have had eight weeks ahead of me, washing up by hand. At least I've only got four and a half now.

I think that's a bright side.

Hey ho. I'll have so much more time to ponder the conundrums of other people's blogs. Maybe I'll come up with some better comments!

Maybe I should find some new interests?

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Monday, May 01, 2006

Bank Holiday

I need to explain the idea behind a Bank Holiday to my children. Again. In single syllables.

Yet again, when the rest of Britain is having a day off (well, some of it, I know there are heroes that soldier on regardless), my day started earlier than usual. At 6.45 am I found myself putting on Lion King 3, again, to keep the peace.

I used the time constructively, preparing a cup of tea and a pink grapefruit for breakfast, but it is still a shade early for my insides, so I'll have that at a more acceptable time.

At least I'll be able to get them to bed at a reasonable hour, they'll be shattered...?!