Sunday, October 29, 2006

School holidays

...are over!

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.

(Positive thinking.)


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

School holidays


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

I love Saturday Kitchen

"Like going to the pet shop to buy a hamster and getting home to find it's a bear."

What a fab way to describe a wine!!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Fancy dress competitions are like buses...

Well after all that effort put in and winning a prize, sorry, Aedan winning a prize, with the fancy dress, I've been invited to one myself now! For a change, I shall go, but only because my darling hubby had a flash of total inspiration. I'm going with two of my friends, Bev and Linda and David suggested we go as cocktails.

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

A walk to the shops

It was a beautiful evening for a stroll to the shops. These piccies were all taken this evening, but the light seems to change in each shot. It was lovely! Thanks Anne, for inviting us to do this. I really enjoyed it!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Stretching the imagination

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

Have you seen my brush...?!

I cannot believe that, in my wisdom, I am going to try to make a wolf fancy dress outfit out of a cuddly pyjama case.

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


A few of you out there will have noticed, it's spider time.

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

It's here!

My new tent.
It's huuuge.
It barely fitted in the back garden.
I have tried to give you an idea of it's palatial (as tents go) size, but I don't think you really get it.
It has two bedrooms at each end and a 'lounge' in the middle.

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

Laugh? I cried

Was having such fun yesterday, I never got round to telling you my tent has arrived! It's way too big to put up in the lounge and it's been raining too much to put it up outside at the moment, but hopefully at the weekend it will be dry enough and I'll post some photographs.

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.