Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Could get used to this

These days are trundling by in a very easy fashion. No stress, no pressure, just have to remember to be in for the little-man-in-the-van, which is terribly easy. A great reminder is making a lovely, hot cup of tea, (with a tea bag, see a previous post!), getting the milk out of the fridge to discover there is none, "Oh yes, I need to be in for the little-man-in-the-van!" I think to myself! Not hard.

Worst thing that has happened to me today? Discovering the new cereal I wanted to try makes my mouth sore when I eat it because of the nobbly corners. Hmmph. Still, I can think of much worse.

The children have only been back at school a week and I've already had to cough up for two school trips for Rhiannon, neither of which I can accompany because David is away (again, but atleast nowhere dangerous, unless Cosford has changed much lately...) and for all to attend a theatre production at school of Charlotte's Web. One arm and half a leg later, atleast the swimming for Aedan and Ciara is free this term because it's at the local council pool for a change.

Don't I live an exciting life? In the meantime, I'm walking, planning a few bike rides, (once Conall is full-time next week) and thinking of our future. We will move from here eventually, but we will stay in Scotland. I'm looking into running a B & B on the West Coast, we love it so over there. It would give me the opportunity to bake to my little hearts content and once I've completed my studies, I should be able to offer guided wildlife walks of somekind. That's the vague plan.

That is not the most thrilling post ever, but it's just to prove I haven't dropped off the planet. I need some inspiration for the poetry though, things are very quiet on that front.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A moment of relaxation

Actually, it was Ruth, again, who put this thought into my head. Classical music, orchestral or choral. I just needed a dose after having read Ruth's recent posts on her trips to the Proms with her sister, lucky things!

After having had a classical upbringing, learning clarinet for years and playing in various orchestras, singing in the odd choir, I tried to escape the fascination and listened mainly to BBC Radio 2 for years. Occasionally, I feed my urge and listen to Vivaldi's Four Seasons or Orff's Carmina Burana and I've a broad sprinkling of Mozart too, 'cos I used to play a bit of that and loved it. Sunday mornings are usually the time and the place, my kitchen. Please don't bother to try a conversation, I'm miles away and if you distract me, I'll shout!

Tonight, I have decided to put BBC Four on while I blog and it's beautiful. Shostakovich Symphony No7 (Leningrad) - 2nd movement. Lovely.

Anyway, time for my hot milk, a bowl of cereal, (I've treated myself to a new one and I want to try it in peace!) and a spot of violence. James Nesbit, BBC One. These celtic accents just melt me!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Obviously far too much time on my hands

find your inner PIE @

discover your dog breed @ quiz meme

Quiz Me
David Evans is my
stinky butt

Oh ho! THAT is so appropriate


Maybe things are getting to me just a little more than I thought.

This morning, Conall didn't have to be at school first thing, so I thought, as a one off, the older ones could take themselves to school, (there were six altogether, I'd 'borrowed' three extra today. Don't ask.) it is only quarter of a mile to walk and no main roads, so off they went.

I thought I'd make a cup of tea, boiled the kettle, poured it into my pretty bone china mug, (has to be bone china, doesn't it?) then decided to do one or two chores while it brewed.

Off I toddled, hung out washing, put another load in, then decided to clean the downstairs toilet and the bathroom. Did the loo and on the way upstairs, realised how grubby the wall was looking, so, as I had a cloth in hand, gave the wall a bit of a rub. Got upstairs, cleaned the bathroom, put away the equipment away and suddenly realised my tea had been brewing all the while. Oh my, this is going to be stewed, me thinks.

Trotts downstairs and goes to remove the tea bag, only to discover I had nicely warmed my mug, no tea bag was within.

So, I started again.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Last week

Conall said to me, "Mum, when I go to school next week, will my clothes still fit me when I come home?"...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My time

I had three hours and five minutes to myself this morning, after dropping all the children off at school at the same time and coming home alone.

I went for a walk, how predictable is that?

Admittedly only five miles. I did my usual walk to my 'local patch' and then carried on up the road towards Findhorn, past the Findhorn Foundation. It was a lovely, warm morning, with just a slight breeze, so perfect walking weather.

No car is going to be a slight drawback to my walking. Walking locally is fine, pleasant even, but not particularly challenging. As I want to complete the Eastern Cairngorm Challenge next year, I want to do some training, so thinking cap on. The Challenge itself is only thirteen miles, which I know is a distance I can manage quite easily now, but obviously, being based in a somewhat mountainous region, it could be a little, well, 'uppy downy', so walking on the flat is only good for some of my training. I think I may have to get on my bike too. One sore bum coming up!

I also plan to do some study. I can't bear the thought of going to college or university, I'm not keen on lots of people in a strange environment without David or a bestest buddy to hold my hand, (trust me, I'm a wimp, that's why I didn't go in the first place, twenty years ago!) so I'm going the OU route and have found some natural history courses which interest me, surprise surprise and I can get my BS that way. Who'd have thought, me going for a BS and not a BA, with my artistic tendancies! Anyway, that's the plan.

David still has the strange impression that I'll be looking for a job now. I don't. I can't/WON'T do a job for the sake of it, it's got to be right, so studying first seems to be the right way to go. I love getting people/children interested in nature and the big outdoors, although I don't want to teach as such. I'm quite sure, once I have the paper qualifications and as much first hand experience as I can lay my hands on, (which I do, at every available opportunity), the near perfect job is out there somewhere waiting for me.

'Near' perfect? I don't want to work, just walk and see things all day!

Now, where's my lottery ticket?!

My boy!

Isn't he smart? Aren't they all smart?

I can hear 'ooo's and 'ahhh's all around the country as we blog. They get their good looks from me! And their brains...

I knew I wouldn't cry, but I was hacked off with all the other selfish, ignorant parents that insist on standing on top of their children in their lines. If everyone stood right back, like I always have done, we could all see our little ones disappear into the great wide world of school!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Thanks Anne!

I am an

What Flower
Are You?

"You are a health conscious person, both your health and the health of others. You know all about the health benefits and dangers of the world around you."

Really? Gosh, I'm a useful person to know!

Tomorrow's the day

"Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya', tomorrow..."

What's so special about tomorrow? Well, up here in Scotland, THE SCHOOLS GO BACK TOMORROW and I am soooooo excited. Yes, me, not the children, me!

My youngest, Conall, starts P1 tomorrow and I'm not even going to bother taking a hanky, I am not of the soggy hanky brigade. The thought that it is my eldest's last year at Primary School, now that's a little more worrying. That means I'm getting old! I know what will happen, once one makes the leap across the great divide to secondary school, locally The Academy, they'll all be there in a great rush. Then what will I do with myself?!

David has 'a plan'. He thinks I'm going back to work. I probably should, financially, it would bse the wisest move, but I can't get my mind round working for the sake of money, I want to be here for them and I want to find that elusive career, the fulfilling one, the meaningful one, the one I can't wait to get out of bed for in the morning. No, that was a step too far, wasn't it?

My 'plan' is to study. I'll keep you posted, when I make the final decision.

Posted! Sorry, 'scuse the pun!

Ooo, and I'll post a couple of piccies of the little treasures in uniform. Cute!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Just don't

Don't ask me what is going on, I have no idea and I don't think I can be bothered to try to find out and sort it, so we are all going to have to be adult about this and get on with it, ok?

Ofcourse, it may all look normal to you and you may be wondering what on earth I'm talking about. From where I'm blogging, the photograph I just posted on my last post is being wrapped around by the post before it.

Just don't.

The Evans Bakery

Oh my word! I'm flushing like a hot flushing thing today, thank goodness it's not hot outside aswell, or I'd have nowhere to go to cool off!

Enough about that, The Evans Bakery is in full swing, (just incase you were interested...) the children love the bread, even the wholemeal! Trouble is, I'm not sure I can keep up with the demand. I had thought that two or three batch bakes a week would be enough. I seem, however, to have been batch baking everyday this week, so my batches are going to have to get BIGGER!

Yesterday, I made a large white and a bakers dozen of rolls, so basically twice the recipe I had been making. The loaf overflowed the tin on it's second proving, so had a bit of a trim and two more rolls were hastily made. A dozen of the rolls went into the freezer, so that's the children's packed lunches for school next week, (yes, next Tuesday, hurrah!) sorted. Three rolls were sampled by the adults and were deemed marvellous, (not just my opinion) and the loaf was decimated at breakfast, although, I did have two extra for breakfast. Children, that is. (Just you wait for the sleepovers to start. Just you wait!)

So, The Evans Bakery went into action again this morning, I now have one large and one small tin wholemeal loaf, both prooving and a bakers dozen of rolls aswell. I do wish I had never known about 'the bakers dozen', I can see it is going to become a headache for the obsessive side of me. It's a bakers tradition, but I feel compelled to comply. Bummocks!

So, as you see, it's a success. Now, I just have to get back into the habit of baking the homebaked snacks for school again. Do they have to take 'snack' in english schools? I don't remember it in my day, (where's my zimmer) apart from the milk, you know, warm in summer, frozen, literally, in the winter. Yum. Up here, the children are expected to take a snack, commonly known as a 'play piece' and I have found this really hard to come to terms with. My children have always been brought up on three square meals a day and no snacks, although, these days, they may have fruit in-between meals if they ask and I believe them to be truely hungry. I usually insist they have a drink of water first, to make sure it's not that they are just thirsty.

A 'piece on jam'? A jam sandwich to you and I. Just thought I'd throw that one in.

Ta da!
A large loaf, a small loaf and a bakers dozen.

Spot of nostalgia here

Ok, question for you. Whatever happened to all those fabulous epics we watched as children during the school holidays? You know the ones I mean, Belle and Sabastian, White Horses, Heidi, Robinson Crusoe and the spanish one, you know the one, a bit of swashbuckling went on, ooo, I know, The Flashing Blade!

I loved them, they were so wonderful, even though I must have been aware of the trashy, cheap production and dubbing even then, ('cos that's what I remember most!) they signalled the holidays.

These days, it's just endless repeats of what is on anyway, hence, our television is never tuned in to their programs, it's always my rubbish instead! Homes Under The Hammer, Bargain Hunt and the like.

See, I still like my trash!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

You have a lot to answer for, Ruth!

It's all your fault!

While telling you what my (obviously slightly unusual) children enjoy eating, I told you about and emailed you the recipe for my chicken nuggets. It reminded me how yum they are.

So, we had to have them for dinner.


Now, that's okay, because they are an occasional treat and we haven't had them since New Year, so I can live with that.

But me and deep frying just don't get on. It spits at me. I get burnt. In fact, lots of tiny burns all over my hands and the odd one on my right fore arm. Don't ask how I got one on my foot! To make things more interesting, there's always one I didn't know about. Until I put my rubber gloved hands into hot washing up water. Ow.

Sympathy please!

Definitely not one to do with children in the kitchen.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Oo er, matron

I've been having a little play, getting click-happy. Now, I'm nervous. I've got lots of new toys to play with and I could make a real mess of things. Oh well, we'll see how it goes.

Here's to beta.blogger and long may I sail in her!

It's all adding up

Well, sort of .

I can sew and knit. I am no seamstress, but I can sew on Brownie badges, follow a pattern and have been known to make a few fancy dress costumes with reasonable success and no pattern, including a ladybird. I can cast on and off, knit, purl, increase, decrease, have been known to use a circular needle and follow a simple pattern. Simple being the operative word here!

Now, on my parents recent visit up here, Grandma decided to teach her second grandchild to knit, having taught #1 last November. Interesting thought.

#1, Rhiannon, is a little awkward with the needles, but can knit quite nicely now, reasonable tension, few mistakes and I've taught her to purl, which she is getting to grips with.

#2, Aedan, holds the needles beautifully. Apparently, he can't count. He assured me yesterday I didn't need to check his knitting, "'Cos I've counted my stitches and I've still got twelve."

So, after they'd gone to bed, I thought I'd have a little peek at his masterpiece. When I counted, there were fourteen stitches. I counted again. Nope, still fourteen, but that's a huge improvement on eighteen... I can't fault his enthusiasm and we will persevere, but it could take a while and pinch of patience, not one of my strong points. Atleast it is still growing. I just can't help making up a couple more rows after correcting his mistakes, so he doesn't feel too crestfallen and defeated. I try to do it when he's not around, so he doesn't know how much is my work and how much is his.

Thanks for that, Grandma!

Monday, August 14, 2006

How old do you feel?

Now, this probably sounds as if I'm going to start with, "Well, this morning I woke up and I felt like I was ninety...", but actually, it started with a conversation with my husband, yesterday evening.
There we were, sat sitting in front of the television, watching Four Weddings and a Funeral for the umpteenth time, when I suddenly turned to my poor, long suffering husband,
Me: "David, do you feel 44?"
David: "No. How should I feel at 44?"
Me: "I don't know."
David: "How old do you feel?"
Me: "About 18!"
Giggle, end of conversation.
Nothing earth shattering, no setting the world to rights, just a silly, Sunday evening conversation.

However, later that same evening, having gone to bed early, (David had to be up at 5.40am this morning, a shade early for me...), I was still struggling to go to sleep and my mind was running riot. It settled on that very question and this is what I decided.

I can't feel thirty-eight, I simply don't feel middle aged, I don't feel nearly forty. I'm not frightened of being forty and I won't shy away from admitting it when it arrives, but I don't feel nearly forty now.

So, do I feel eighteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty?

I certainly don't feel eighteen. Late teens were not a good time for me, I was miserable and lonely, with a terribly low self esteem and no confidence, so no, I don't feel like that anymore, definately not.

Twenty? Well, not a lot better really. I was in and out of hopeless jobs, was in a slightly dodgy relationship and still fairly unhappy with life, so I don't think that fits either.

Twenty-five, perhaps. Maybe. I had been working in a reasonable job for a while, spending a lot of time doing my favourite passtime and I'd just met David, again, so things were certainly looking up!

Thirty. Hmm, well, that was quite dismal again, but I'm not sure why. I had two children and a third on the way, but at that time David was away an awful lot and I felt I'd had to grow up so fast, changing from being young and carefree to a responsible mother, missing out the fun, courting bit. We kind of skipped that.

So, what conclusion did I come to at midnight, (when our youngest daughter 'fell' out of the top bunk onto our eldest daughter, sleeping on a mattress on the floor. DON'T ask...) you may well ask. I concluded that age isn't the number of years since you were born, but the knowledge and wisdom you've gained. Some people never grow up, they never gain the knowledge, they just take a wild ride by the seat of their pants and everyday is an adventure. Sounds a lot of fun, but I prefer to consider and to be considerate, to be able to make well informed decisions and judgements, but mostly, to live and let live.

I suppose I really do feel my age and I'm working on being old and wise!

Sunday, August 13, 2006


I can't remember what made me start to ponder this one, but the more I have, the more significant it seems to have become.

I realised that I know quite alot of people. Ofcourse, just recognising a face in the school playground, or in Tesco barely makes an acquaintance, but then, there appears to be a fine line between acquaintance and a huge difference between friend and good friend.

I see acquaintances all the time, most days infact. We'll nod and say hello, perhaps exchange a few pleasantries, but it certainly won't affect my day, but it won't be any less pleasant.

Friends I try to see regularly, but tend to fail miserably! When we do meet up, we have so much to talk about and catch up on and it is lovely to do so, but there is no pressure, no expectations and really quite casual.

Good friends, I have a few. Well, half a dozen or so I suppose. Some live close by (next door even!) and I may see them regularly or maybe once in a blue moon, even those that live just three or four miles down the road and some live much further afield. There will always be alot to catch up on, gossip over a cuppa, problems to share, advice and knowledge or a shoulder to cry on. Mainly, there is a deep, deep caring. These are people I miss if I don't see them for a long time and if I were to lose touch with, I would never forgive myself.

I think it was an outing just recently that highlighted this all for me. My eldest daughter has a friend whom she has been at school with since nursery. This in itself is quite unusual here, we have a fluctuating society locally. They spend quite alot of time together and I know the friend's mum quite well. During the good weather, they invited me and the children to join them on a trip to the seaside for a picnic and a spot of sandcastle building.

Now, I have to admit, I hate seasides with a passion. I love strolling along a beach in a brisk wind, when the sea is rough. I find that very atmospheric and emotive. Sitting on a beach, in a bikini, watching, or worse, having to join in with building sandcastles makes my blood run cold. I confessed this straight away, but said we'd join them because the children love it even if I don't.

It was pergatory and she just didn't understand. She loves to state her opinion and can be very forthright with it, but if I ever choose to express mine, (which I don't very often in her company, it's too much like hard work...) she'll ask me, quite genuinely, "Do you, Louise, do you really think that?" I don't think she means to be patronising or condescending, but I 've learnt to nod and make all the right noises, just like a long-suffering husband might.

So, I guess I've decided she's an acquiantance rather than a friend. She's nice, intelligent, has a sense of humour, but we're not in the same place.

There is always someone I can turn to in a crisis, whether I need a lift, a babysitter, to share a bottle of wine, a really good laugh or just a boost to my confidence.

I hope I am always there for them too.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

And another thing

I forgot one of the good bits!

I have now discovered that I can eat one of my favourite things, fresh, white bread.

See, I am still making my own bread and, like the sad person I am, enjoying it! Before, however, I thought I couldn't eat white or french bread, because I would get a really sore bloated stomach afterwards. I'm now making my own white bread and eating it with no bother at all, so, it must be something they put in the bread, not just the flour. If you see what I mean.

I'm dead chuffed!

Meander through my mind

I haven't got a point to make, or a rant to have, so I thought we could meander through my mind together, at a gentle pace.

It's the end of the week, time to dance like a gay spiderman! As anyone who I've sent that email to will understand, it does make me smile.

I suddenly realised on Thursday I hadn't been further from the house than next door, to water the hanging baskets, since my unfortunate walk into town last week. So, I made a real effort and popped round the corner to visit a friend. Turns out, she's a less happy bunny even than me at the moment, but I couldn't get to the root of it because we kept being interrupted by various children and a husband, so I had to leave her again, having achieved nothing.

Was still only a hundred yards from my house, so yesterday, when Aedan rang to say could he stay another night at his friend's house, I opted to take the quarter of a mile stroll to his mum's pizza shop to deliver clean pants. I hoped she would be there, it might seem a bit odd to a stranger if I appeared in the shop and handed over "A clean pair of pants for Aedan..."! Still, it was nice to have left my comfort zone and maybe I'll venture further next week.

Ten days and the children go back to school. Well, I say back, technically only three are going back. One of them is starting and I can't wait!

No, there will be no tear stained hankies at the school gate for me. I shall be grinning broadly and waving wildly, then trotting off in the opposite direction for a brief moment of freedom, before I have to trudge back to collect him at lunchtime. They break them in gently these days, none of the 8.45am 'til 3.30pm we did in our day. What a pain! A week of alternate mornings and afternoons, followed by a week of mornings, followed by the real thing. It will seem like an eternity, but then, I'LL BE FREE!

You think I'm awful for not sniffling at the school gate? Sorry, I didn't for any of the others either. I know this time will be a little different, my last little one, but it's the next step, it's an achievement that I've got him this far and it needs somebody else to take him further. I'm not losing him, he's going to grow so much more without me around and apply all the little bits I've taught him so far. Like impeccable manners, (I must have got it right this time, I've had enough practice!) tremendous listening skills, imaginative, creative, compassionate and caring, fun. Oh, much fun.

Don't get me wrong, I am an emotional little being. I still cry at ' National Velvet', even though I've seen it dozens of times and I know it's really quite naff. I still get goosepimples when HP comes over the hill on his broomstick to collect his golden egg from the dragon's pit. I've seen that many times too! I obviously just go squishy over all the wrong things! But, heartless I am not.

Then, I could also tell you about my dream, now, that was an odd one. I've had several this week, to be honest, but the others are all so messed up and unclear, I can't really recall them. Last night's was strange. Mum was the president elect for her local Am Dram group and she'd asked me to prepare a play, as a director, for her. I was convinced I only had until the 9th (of September) to do it, which was too soon and I was panicking. Then, I realised, she would be president next year, I had a whole year to write the play and find actors, build a stage and all that (like, I've done it before...not!), but she told me she'd picked a play for me to do already. When she showed it to me, I'd never heard of it! Thankfully, I woke up. Quite bizarre! I shall be speaking to mum shortly, I imagine she'll be surprised to have featured in one of my epic dreams.

I did tell you it was a pointless meander today. Or did I leave out that crucial bit of information? Ah well. Congratulations for arriving at the end.


Sunday, August 06, 2006


Trust my own mother to come up with the bizarre comment, when told of my unfortunate event, "And it was probably stolen...".

Not the car. The bottle of water.

Sometimes her cynicism even out does mine.

It did make me smile!

Friday, August 04, 2006


I reported the incident to the police. As (we all) thought, there was nothing to be done in my case, but at least the local beat officer is now aware of a potential problem. It appears it could have been influenced by a film called TV Weather Man, or something, with Nicolas Cage, where people throw fast food and drink at him in the street for apparently no reason. Nice.

I will not let this put me off walking, though a few years ago, I would have been devastated. Thank you for all your support and encouragement, it is much appreciated and gives strength.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A fly in the ointment

I am still happy to be carless. I don't mind walking, the nearest town with a Tesco is three miles away and they do, so I only have to walk in for the little bits I forget. That's ok. We can cycle to the dentist on the newly built cycle path. That's ok too.

But then, I walked into the hairdressers today. I had been looking forward to it, it's been a nice day today, not too hot, not too sunny and dry, so a nice day.

I set off and was breathing in the fresh air, listening to the bird song, feeling the breeze on my face, avoiding mad cyclists, minding my own business. A small, highly polished, bright red car came hurtling towards me, at least three youths inside, one hanging his head out of the rear window, rubbing his hair in the wind. I remember thinking, "Idiot, so dangerous.", (one of my pet hates, I wouldn't even let the children hang their fingers out of the window).

Suddenly, the front passenger threw something at me. It hit me in the ribs. Hard. I was winded and stunned, shocked. Then I started to cry, but I kept walking. I was so upset. What if I'd had one of the children walking with me and it had it them? What if I'd been a pregnant woman? Or an old woman? So then I was angry. And wet, it had been a half-full bottle of water he'd thrown. I continued on my way without even stopping.

David wants me to call the police. I feel a fool for complaining when I wasn't hurt (badly) and I have nothing to show for it, but what if they do it to someone else and it's more serious?

It's made me scared too. I had to walk through the town, it was early evening and there were youths around. I felt threatened. How dare someone make me feel like this? I feel I have victim somehow displayed on me and it makes me a target.

But I am still going to walk.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Ta da!

Before and after. Haven't taste tested it yet, but it smells ok.
Yes, I know, it's a white 'loaf', thought I'd break myself/children in gently, but I aim to get the wholemeal dough in the fridge to prove overnight.

I think I may modify the shape too.

Hope a slice will fit in the toaster...

It was a good idea at the time...

At the moment, we are mid-economy drive. So...
i) We have got rid of the car. It was 12 years old and costing more than it was worth in insurance and road tax, that's before being repaired to keep it on the road. So a nice little man gave us £20 for it. Besides, it'll keep us fit.
ii) I have ditched all of my magazine subscriptions. I don't have time to read them anymore anyway. I'm too busy blogging.
iii) I'm making bread.
Yup, you read me right. I'm making bread. I've done it before, for fun. Now I'm going to have to make enough for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, cheese on toast for supper...

I feel alot of salads coming on.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tink, the light goes on

So that's what being spammed is! Or at least, I assume that's what it is, two very strange 'comments' on my other blog that lead to different links, totally unconnected to anything contained within my poetry. Hmm, we'll see if it becomes a problem or not.

Actually, my own title for this very post has given my an idea. I'll be back!