Sunday, December 07, 2008

Ciara takes a turn

Through school, Ciara has been attending Forest School, run by a local charity Wild Things, on a Friday morning. On Thursday, she told me;
"Last week at Forest School, we were talking about condensation."
"No, conservation."

David and I were showing a little affection yesterday. Ciara said;
"Are you two rubbing noses? That's what emus do."
"I think you mean eskimos, Ciara."
("Innuits." from the stroppy teen in the corner.)

Ciara was drawing in the lounge.

Ciara: "I can't draw holly."

Rhiannon: "Who's Holly?"

Ciara: "A holly leaf."

I think Ciara is set to follow in my footsteps and make people smile. Usually without meaning to.

I actually got round to visiting the doctor on Friday. Ciara's skin has always had a tendency to be dry, but it has recently galloped out of control and become quite inflamed in places. She's inherited another one of my things. Eczema. Of course, now we have a car, visiting the doctor is much easier.

(Oh, didn't I mention that?)

Anyway, saw a lovely lady doctor who prescribed lots of creams, a small tube for the really, really inflamed bits, a larger tube for the more general, but less inflamed bits and a huge dispenser of the weirdest gel like stuff I've ever seen! So, morning and night, Ciara is a slippery little critter and I can't turn the tap on afterwards.... There is already a huge improvement, which is pleasing and I dare say a huge relief to poor Ciara, my only concern is that her skin doesn't become reliant upon the creams and forget how to be normal again, or maybe this is just in my head.

Oh, you want to know about the car?

It was David's fault. He happened to mention we could get a seven-seater in our price range now. My response?

"I want that one."

So after a few phone calls, a few days waiting, a little toing and froing, we have had a car now for twelve days.

And I haven't told my mum yet so it'll be a nice surprise at Christmas when we all turn up at the airport in our own car to collect her.

And I haven't told my sister so she doesn't have to keep my secret too, (here's hoping she doesn't visit the blog too often these days...)

And to say I was excited last week would be a little understatement! We went to the solicitors with stuff to be witnessed, we went to the dump, we went shopping, we went for a walk to practice my compass reading skills.

We know how to live!

I was able to take Rhiannon to the orthodontist more easily too and fit in more shopping. I hate shopping, but it is nice not to be restricted by the bus timetable. Anyway, the teeth are doing really well, Mr Buchanan is ready to write to our dentist to take out a couple of teeth ready for the next appliance. Oh goody. Still, it's moving on much quicker than expected, so should be all over soon. Well, within the next year or two.

Is everybody ready for Christmas? Ours is low key as usual, we don't go in for an overly commercial Christmas. With Ciara's birthday on the 17th, we don't tend to put our tree and decorations up until the next day, so her birthday doesn't get swamped and when we do, Christmas is inside the house, with a nativity scene and subtle decorations, so the meaning isn't lost. Shame about the rest of the street.

It's like Blackpool illuminations meets Las Vegas.

From the 30th November.


Maybe I'm getting grumpy in my old age.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The shame

I think I forgot to mention, my little baby was 13 years old on Friday, 14th November, 2008.

It was a shock, that tiny little, premature scrap, that we were told would be sickly and prone to chest problems is nothing like and nearly as tall as me!

I nearly cried.

I don't feel old enough to have a teenager.

(I know, I must be, I was forty in May!)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Because Anne asked us to.

Anne asked us to do this, so I am.

Grab the nearest book.
Open the book to page 56.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

“This giant, unlike the rest of it's family, eats very little other than insects.”

From The Life of Mammals, by David Attenborough (doesn't have the 'Sir' bit, I checked.)

How I giggled that my toe was touching this book, otherwise it would have been something by Barbara Erskine. Gives an entirely different view of me!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

It's been a while

I've been up to bits and pieces, just little things.

Walking isn't going well. I've barely done any! Or atleast, that's what it feels like. I'm going out tomorrow with Fluffy Owl from Ciara's Brownies, aka Angela, so I'm looking forward to that. Hopefully, it may become a regular thing, which would be nice.

The children have been back at school for a week after their two week "Tatty holidays". (Traditionally, the local children would go into the fields for two weeks to harvest potatoes.) We actually did something this holiday, instead of festering back at the ranch. Mum was directing "On Golden Pond" at Louth Playgoers, so we went down to watch. All of us. We flew down. I hate flying. Hate, hate, hate. Don't ask me why, I have no idea, I've never had a bad experience, I just don't like it.

So why did we have to be on the flight diverted into Edinburgh for an ill passenger? Why? We left Edinburgh half an hour after we should have arrived at Luton, so the plan of being less tired and taking no longer than driving all the way was scuppered. I think tiredness, not eating properly, driving through the dark, (so she couldn't see the bends coming) and general excitement lead to Ciara redecorating Grandma's newly decorated hallway on arrival. Excellent. Knows how to make an entrance that one!

Saw the play, very good, children loved the whole experience, which was the general idea. Spent a couple of days down there, then made our way back to Luton with mum aswell. We all flew back up, (no delays this time) and managed to catch all the buses back home with no problems, except it was a bit chilly.

Didn't get out much while mum was here, the weather wasn't really 'user friendly', which was a shame, but the children really enjoyed having her undivided attention! So, to Tuesday. I'd hired a car from Monday teatime to Tuesday teatime, so I could take mum to the airport and be home in time for Conall coming out of school. What takes two hours by bus, four for a return trip, takes a little over an hour by car. So long as you don't have to do it twice in one day.

Like I did.

It never snows when the national weather forecasts it. Never.

It never snows in October. Never.

Unless mum's catching a flight that is, obviously.

It snowed. Thick white stuff. The stuff that settles.

The airport closed, briefly. So briefly you wouldn't have noticed they'd stopped flying. Except for one jet. The one that diverted from Birmingham to Edinburgh and didn't come on to Inverness. The one that should've been going back to Birmingham and taking mum with it.

So, after I'd got back home, just put on the kettle, I get a phone call, "Can you come and fetch me?".

Then we find out it's another two days before there's another flight! So that adds an extra bit of excitement to rebooking a hire car, extra food to find and so it went on...

Ah well. She got to Birmingham Thursday, so all's well etc.

Has your half term been quite so exciting?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Just checking

Just been re-reading last year's posts at this time, to check how organised I am. Apparently I'm two weeks ahead, which is good.

Didn't remember I'd had the same problem last year as this with breadcrumbs, had obviously forgotten by the time we came to eat the puds, (not surprising I guess) so at least I know that noone will notice they're wholemeal!

The only technical hitch I had this time was, making the full amount of mixture, I didn't have a bowl big enough. So, what did I do? I thought laterally, that's what I did. I used a large, plastic cake box instead! Genius.

Wasn't the puds I had the near disaster with this year. I found the chopped nuts just after I'd put the cake in the oven, so I whipped it out again and stirred them in! No harm done.

Must be nearly Christmas

...Because I've made my Christmas Cake! Baked, annointed, neatly wrapped and hidden in a cool, dark cupboard, waiting for it's weekly annointment until the week before Christmas. I'm ahead of the game, I know.

Would it be a good time to mention I've got Christmas Puddings on the go too? I usually half the amount of mixture and then split it between four pudding basins to make four small puddings, however, I've discovered I was following a mistake in the recipe, half the mixture makes two normal puddings, (don't ask) so this year I've made the full amount and after resting for 24 hours, (the mixture, not me. Although...) I shall divide into the basins for four normal puddings!

I still have at least one jar of last years mincemeat stored in the cool, dark cupboard, so I don't have to faff with that, just make the pies.

Oh, it feels good to be organised. At least at the moment.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Another Conall moment

Conall appeared at about 10pm last night in the lounge, came round to the settee, sat down between us and made himself comfy.

"What's up Conall?"

"I can't find Aedan's t-shirt."

"Why does Aedan need his t-shirt?" (really stupid question mum, it's 10 o'clock at night!)

"I can't find it and he needs it."

"I don't think he needs it now, find it in the morning."

"But he needs it and I've got to find it and I can't."

The penny drops.

Conall is asleep, with his eyes open, sleepwalking.

Rhiannon used to sleep with her eyes open, which other people found quite disturbing. She also used to sleepwalk, which was a pain. She let the side down and couldn't multi-task, doing both at the same time!

He had no recollection of it all this morning and Aedan wasn't looking for a t-shirt.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Some friends of mine run a farm and coffee shop and were recently left in the lurch by an employee. As I spend copious amounts of time in my own kitchen, washing up, cooking etc, I offered my services for a few days to help out.

They accepted.

I chopped salad, made up coleslaw, egg mayonnaise, tuna mayonnaise, made malteser slice and mars bars crispies, filled a Victoria sponge, iced sprinkle cakes, made top hats, and baked carrot cake, as well as washing stacks of dishes.

Another task was making the buttericing to fill and top a lemon sponge.

"Two of marg, four and a half of icing sugar," said Moira, "You'll need a tea towel to cover the mixer so you don't get covered."

I carefully measured the ingrediants, popped into the Kenwood, covered and switched on. Waited a while and removed the cloth. Peered into the mixer.

"Can't see why that would make a mess," me thinks.

Moira comes to stand next to me and peer into the mixer.

We look at each other.

I say to Moira,

"Pounds, not ounces."

Moira collapses in a corner, tears streaming down her face.

I add more. Carefully.

Made her day.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

And another

Ok, so I've started yet another blog, this time for a Challenge I've set myself. And David, he's coming too! Anyway, it's there, from the beginning of the planning onwards. Me, David, walking the hills and valleys of Scotland carrying a backpack each. If you're interested, pop along. If not, pop by here and I promise I won't mention it again!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I'm really, really, really stupid at times. No, honestly, this wasn't a blonde moment, or a senile moment or any other kind of moment. Just a stupid one.

I chopped chillies before I realised it was time I took my contact lenses out.


Ow, ow, ow, ow....

Stupid, stupid girl!

Not like I haven't been wearing contact lenses and cooking for long enough.


Talking of stupid, don't tell anyone, but I've found the battery charger...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Lost. Gone!

You may remember I got a new digital SLR camera for my recent 40th birthday, (yes, I'm still going on about it) hoping your memory is better than mine, that is.

Well, I was lucky to be able to download those photographs from our holiday. Because I appear to have lost the battery charger.

That's a bit pants! (And somewhat dim...)

I'm sure I vaguely remember putting it somewhere safe. Somewhere. I'm hoping it'll turn up. David thinks it may have accidentally fallen in the bin. Accidentally! You know, just hopped in whilst nobody was looking.

Anyway, it's lost. Gone.

So the little love has looked online and bought me a new one. It arrived very promptly and I was able to recharge, download and print off to my little heart's desire.

(I've given the new battery charger to hubby to put in a safe place. Well away from me!)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Holiday 2008

While we were staying at Ullapool, we went to the Geology Park. From what I can gather, this is an area of outstanding geological interest,
than full of "fun rides", (which I did know before we went!) and there are various walks with facts set into the footpaths using different signs and some interactive areas for the children.

While we were in Gairloch, we went on a boat trip with Gairloch Marine Life Cruise, which we do every year. This year, along with the usual guillemot, gannet, kittiwake, fulmar, arctic skua, razorbill, shag, cormorant, grey seal, red-throated diver and harbour porpoise, (which we've seen once before)
we were priveledged enough to see minke whale and puffin.

Could say, we had a whale of a time!


Monday, July 21, 2008

A taster of my new camera

A pair of roe deer, spotted on the way to the hairdresser.
A longhorn beetle (of some variety...)
Artistic pic of shelduck feathers!

You can't see me

I am an optical illusion. I always thought that would be a neat trick!

We are on holiday, in Gairloch, as usual.

Yes we are.

We are!

If I say it often enough I'll convince myself...

It has to be said, when one chooses to camp in a tent, one accepts the fact that one is somewhat at the mercy of the weather. We normally cope with whatever is thrown at us quite easily and are rewarded with the occasional warm, dry, still day.

Not this year! The plan was five nights in Ullapool, followed by seven in Gairloch. We had three nights in Ullapool before we decided surviving was no fun, it would be better to strike camp, (hark at me, 'strike' camp!) in a controlled manner at a time of our choosing, unlike the Dutch family that made a hurried retreat to their car at 1am. So we did. Until a huge gust broke two tent poles, just as we took the tent pegs out.


Oh well, we'd decided to go home for a couple of days till it blew through, so en-route stopped off at a little place we know to get the poles fixed. While we were at home, popped to the Boat of Garten RSPB centre to see the osprey chicks just before they fledged. Lovely.

Thursday we set off for Gairloch, as planned. As David finished off pitching the tent, I popped down to the Gairloch Marine Wildlife Centre that we visit annually to book a boat trip. Had spaces in 45 mins or 1pm the next day, when we knew it was forecast calm but wet. We opted for the earlier trip. Bit of a rush, but we all made it and had a real treat, harbour porpoise, minke whale and puffin, along with gannets, guillemots, razorbill, shags, cormorants, kittiwakes, fulmar, skua, seals, the list goes on. Fabulous. If you go up that way, well worth the visit!

We knew the winds were due to get up again on Saturday with some really high gusts, so we had already decided to cut our trip short and go home again while the going was good. So, we are at home with two hire cars to potter around and entertain ourselves! We'd done the things we'd wanted to do, the important trips, so I'm not too disappointed and it's actually quite nice to have cars at home and be able to do things around here for a change. We're going to the cinema!

I have photographs. I will download them. Soon.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Wishful Thinking

I had a telephone call from the school today, at around 10am. As I picked up the handset I was thinking "Not already Aedan, it's only Monday!"

It went something like this:-

Hello, Mrs Evans?


It's the school here, Conall's at school today.

Yes. (Wondering, where on earth are we going with this one?)

Is he going to be at school all week?


It's just that he told his teacher he was going away on holiday today, so he would miss the last week of school. She gave him all his workbooks on Friday to take home, so if he's going to be here, he needs them in school so he can do some work. They're in a purple folder.

Well, they might have been on Friday, but they certainly weren't by Monday! I had to scrabble around to find any half-finished workbooks with recent dates in them and take them to school. Little imp!

Apart from a grown teacher taking the word of a seven year old as gospel, (I never do, and he's my seven year old!) I would have had to fill in a form, asking permission to take my child out of school, (which would automatically be denied for a holiday, and rightly so) and I would have spoken to the teacher myself, to be polite. Not to mention the absence of an end of year present and the fact that, having already taught two other of my children, she might have noticed I never take my children out of school!

Still, maybe it's all just wishful thinking and shows he's just looking forward to our camping holiday, in a fortnights time!

Ah bless.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Ciara suggested we "purify" Rhiannon's food, to make it easier for her to eat with her braces in...

Saturday, June 21, 2008


I can't help myself. It's happened ever since I was a child. Whenever I hear "Two Little Boys" by Rolf Harris, I cry. Every time.

In the kitchen this morning, getting the childrens' breakfast before they went to Gardening Club, (sounds so wholesome for a Saturday morning, before 9 am too!) and it came on the radio. Next thing I know, I'm crying my eyes out!

Every time.

Children were laughing at me, I might add. Little treasures.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Okay, so as there were no trousers, with or without pockets and the only long sleeved top was mine, I guess I was the culprit for the tissue in the wash. It's a very pretty shade of pink now, because it was a pink/red wash.

I cannot, however, claim to have had a small piece of polystyrene up my sleeve with the tissue, so I have no idea how that got into the washing machine!

The previous wash was coats, adult coats only, and I checked the pockets of those. (You just never know, there maybe something more interesting than a pine cone in an adult's coat pocket, like a five pound note or a lost winning lottery ticket...)

Hey ho, "It'th a mythtery, Oh it'th a mythtery..."

Monday, May 26, 2008

It's today!!

Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday dear me,
Happy birthday to me!

I was born 40 years ago today, which makes me 40 years old today!

(I love birthdays, can you tell?)

I got the falconry and weekend away, as you already know. David also had our wedding video transferred to DVD, which made me shed a tear, and I got a new digital SLR camera, with memory card and a proper camera bag!

He'd already made a note of the OU photography course for me too, for which I can get a grant towards, yey!

You should see the Sacher Torte he's made me, and you will, if I work out how to use the camera anytime soon.

My inlaws managed to restrain themselves from jewellery and have given me (when my cards arrive) a gift voucher from Graham Tiso, an outdoors store, so I can get myself a fab pair of leather walking boots, something I've wanted for a long time. Excellent!

Oh yes, 40 is good.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Early days

My Big Birthday started early!

It all came about because of Tesco. (Why is everything in my life Tesco?!)

We usually use our Clubcard vouchers for a really good deal in the summer to hire cars for our camping trip, but I read between some lines in the Deal brochure and concluded this deal would no longer be available come July, so decided to use some up for a week in mid May, just because the children had a couple inset days, so we did!

This gave David the opportunity to book my birthday treat, a days Falconry course, then two nights DBB at our favourite hotel at Nethy Bridge (with children), a walk up what was my first corbertt about five years ago, now the children's first corbertt too, visit Loch Garten to see the osprey and then forest theme park, Landmark, (to make up to the children for making them climb a big hill!).

Yup, it was a busy few days and I only remembered to take photographs when someone offered to at the falconry centre! I was too busy sulking at the top of Meall a Bhuachaille, my red juice drink had leaked all over my cream, fleece inside David's badly packed rucsack, (and he's the more experienced one, you'd think he'd know how to pack a rucsack!), but we had a fabulous time and noone got sunburnt or heat exhaustion, yey for us!

So, now for the science bit, trying to download the photographs!...
...and yes, I thought I looked rather like my mother with a few birds of prey posing on my arm! Scarey.
I did the Introduction to Falconry in the morning with a family of three, then I was the only one to go for a Walk with the Hawks in the afternoon. I went on a hunt with Dave the Falconer, I looked after Alice the Harris Hawk, while Dave was in charge of Edna the ferret! (Aren't the names fab?!) What an extraordinary experience, strolling carefully across a rough field, in the middle of nowhere, cars driving by as I have Alice the Harris Hawk perched on my arm. Amazing! Yes, we caught a couple of bunnies, but they will not have been wasted. They'll have made a tasty snack for some of the hawks later.
Roll on Monday!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

How many ways to make a cup of tea

Badly. I think I've just about got it covered.

I've poured hot water into a mug with no tea bag. (The tea bag has to go in first.)

I've poured water from a kettle that hasn't been switched on into a mug with a tea bag.

I've discovered on removing the tea bag I'd put two in the mug.

I've left it to brew for so long and forgotten about it it's stone cold. (Didn't waste it though, made a fruit tea loaf.)

Brewed it, put milk in, put it on the coffee table, fell asleep...

Yup, making a cup of tea badly is my forte.

Or, perhaps it's because I'm nearly forty! (Did you see that?)

PS. Oh, and another.

This morning I had a little ironing left to do, so I topped up the steam iron from the near-empty kettle. Imagine my horror when, a few minutes later, I hear the kettle (I iron in the lounge) coming to the boil. Arrgh! It's empty! It'll trip the electric! I charge into the kitchen, just as the kettle comes to the boil and find my mug, ready with tea bag, next to it.

Talk about short term memory loss, it only took ten seconds and it was whoosh, gone!

Hey ho. Roll on 26th May, then I'll have a good excuse!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The New Year

We had a slightly surreal Christmas for me, although the children had a wonderful time, they were certainly happy with their presents, even though, to most children, they would not have been spectacular, (nothing remotely technical or electrical, the boys shared a seven in one games table, table football etc., and were delighted) and were entertained all day Christmas and Boxing Days.

Gave me time to pack.

We then made the rather hurriedly planned trip to my in-law's the day after Boxing Day and the following day I left for Lincolnshire, on a train, on my own...

Even that wasn't straight forward, we arrived late at Doncaster, missing the connection and I had a crises on the platform, unable to find any 'little men' or even a ticket office. Poor David at the end of a phone, me running low on batteries. My life never changes. Much.

When I arrived at my penultimate destination, I didn't have a chance to find a much needed convenience, found the bus station by acccident thinking I'd missed my bus, only to find it still there, just drawing off, so I jumped in front of it! Poor driver, but he kindly uplifted me, (against regulations!) and I duely made it to my final destination. And a toilet.

David and the children couldn't join me until New Year's Day, so I missed 'the bells' with my family, which upset me more than I'd thought it would.

We're home again now.

I haven't been able to make any sense of my emotions yet, there are huge complications and I fear this is going to dominate my thoughts and my life for some time to come.

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and that the New Year brings you and your families health and happiness.