Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Nearly the End of the Year

Do you know, I realised in my bed the other night the reason why I love blogging so much.
People Hear Me.
That's right. People listen and ponder and Hear Me.
I can tell a story, from beginning to end, without interruption. Amazing!
You see, I love the company of people. I love to be with my friends.
However, I am the one who Listens. Nods. Supplies the tissues. Makes the tea. Makes More Bloody Tea.
People tell me I am Such a Good Listener.
Well, that's because I bloody well Listen. I don't interrupt. I wait for the story to begin, and then to end. I ask questions that need to be asked. I shut up when I need to shut up.
However, when I talk, I am aware of every nuance of boredom in people's faces. I will quickly shut up if I am around someone who betrays a hint of lost attention.
I may be a good listener but I am a Crap Talker. Unless I am with my very best friends,and I am blessed with wonderful ones, then I just take on the role of listener, and quietly put my own story aside. Again. Because it is easier to do that than to struggle on with someone who is looking over my shoulder.
Now, with Blogging it's different. I can tell my story. To the end. No interruptions. No faces to read. No distractions.
Now, here is the Really Good Bit.
What I am finding now is this...
Because I know that you lot Listen, then I feel Heard.
And then what happens is, that I feel that I can speak a little more confidently Out in the Real World, about whatever absurd thing happened that day and people are now Listening. Laughing away. 'Tell us more.'
Bloody brilliant.
I am not saying that I was a gibbering stammering wreck of humanity. That I was so boring that people wanted root canal work above listening to me droning on about Sheep. No. Nor am I saying that I have become the World's Biggest Bore.
I am saying that blogging has given me the confidence to know that I Am Quite Funny. I Am Interesing. I am Bloody Worth Listening To. (Unless I am rather plastered. Then I am Very Boring Indeed. Everything becomes Extremely Funny)
Blogging has unplugged all that negativity I had about not being boring. It has all swished down the plug hole with a huge great Gurgle and has gone.
This is all rather a relevation. I am a little bashful and shy about revealing such a thing.
But I have.
And now, all you New Blogger Friends of mine. Happy New Year. Thank you for all your comments and LOLs. Here's to 2009. I am now getting in the car and driving down to Devon to the mother in law. She has a computer, but it is in the shed and it's Bloody Cold Out There. And it's Dial Up. Say no more. A Bloggerless Weekend, I think.
Have Good Celebrations tonight, one and all. Be safe.

God Bless.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Time to Pass on an Award

With all of the family around me every minute of the day, it is quite hard to get to my computer through the crowds and litter.
Not to mention the food that needs to be supplied, cafe-style, approximately every three hours throughout the day. And washed up. And put away.
Oh, and the washing. I counted 17 washes since last Monday, and that includes Christmas Day and Boxing Day, when I removed the plug so that no one could get to it for a surreptitious wash or two.
Did I mention how boring I have got?
For those of you not yet supine on your keys with boredom, I am here to dish out 5 awards. Damned exciting. So much more fun than cleaning those Wellington Boots that are glaring at me from the door. (They have to go in a car and I can't bear the thought of all the mud on the clean car). (Oh, and I have to clean the car, as I can't bear the thought of the clean boots in a dirty car).
Did I mention how boring I have got?
Right. Awards. Lets get this Show On The Road.
Lights, please.
The wonderfully kind Working Mum on the Verge has passed this one on to me...and I love it, so thank you WM!

I have the lovely task of passing it on to 5 other bloggers... that 'make me laugh, cry, think or sigh'. So that's what I have done. My problem is that you all do that.
So... these are some of the bloggers after which I have either had to change my pants I laughed so hard, or have made me cry. Or who made me stop short and think. Or who make me take a huge breath, and sigh. Usually with pleasure.
(Here I have to stop with small technical detail...[did I mention how boring I have got?] Have not got the faintest idea how to make the following names connect you to their blogs. When I do know, then I can change them. Quickly. Without anyone noticing.)

Diary of a Desperate Exmoor Woman - makes me laugh like a drain. She has been absent lately but I hope she will find her way to pick this up. Oh, and write some more!
East Anglian Troy - for always making me laugh hard and long. And for Technological Help when Desperate. And for bumping up those comment numbers.
Postcards from Across the Pond - more laugh out loud material, from someone who just Loves Writing.
Parenting the Google Way - have had to change underwear after one particular post (not really, but exaggeration is a Must in Blogging) where she describes what you need to take with you on first trip with baby. Ouch. Very funny.
Not Enough Mud - just love the What Will Happen Next element in these posts! Especially as I lived in Fulham too, as YFS. (young, free, single)
Hadriana's Treasures - always somewhat comforted by Hadriana's posts... and by her comments. Feels like I have a friend up there in the North.

To you all. This is actually horrible. There are so many wonderful bloggers and I Do Not Like Choosing. That is why I cannot count. That is why there are 6 awards. Do you think anyone would notice if I had another 18?

Oh, sod it.
Now I have to try and get that award up on my Blog so that you can get to it. That's the bit that will be Quite Taxing, I think.
A Very Happy New Year to you all. As a Blogger Virgin, it's Been A Blast.
Here's to 2009.
See you there!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Happy Christmas!

Lost sense of humour today. It fell off, finally, in Tesco. Three children (mine) trailing with me, holding on to the trolley, which was one of those ones that Cant Bloody Go Straight. We would meet people coming the other way, and every 5 seconds I would say,
'Get behind me or in front of me. Do Not Hold On To The Trolley.'
'Get behind me or in front of me. Do Not Hold On To The Trolley.'
'Get behind me or in front of me. Do Not Hold On To The Trolley.'
'Get behind me or in front of me. Do Not Hold On To The Trolley.'
'Get behind me or in front of me. Do Not Hold On To The Trolley.'
Full to bursting with Really Slow Bastards.
Oh, the bliss of getting back.
No More Shopping.
Until bloody tomorrow.
But Husband is home tomorrow so can Go Alone To Shop. Have one more present to get. And then 249 small things that I keep forgetting. Like 15 lemons. Unsalted butter. Fire lighters. Perhaps can set fire to my fiery temper. That will make a nice glow.
Deep breath.
Thank you to all my new Blogger Friends for your lovely comments and interest. I have LOVED doing this.
Be peaceful. Be happy.
Happy Christmas.
Much love to you all.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Blog Widower

I have created a Blog Widower. My husband is Getting A Bit Cross that I spend so much time on this machine, and not enough with him.
Every evening I find myself looking at the computer in a longing sort of a way... and creeping over to it. Stroking the keys. Then shaking myself in a positive kind of way, and walking determinedly towards the kettle. Or bottle.
I am a little addicted. Really. Sometimes I can be away in Blogland, somewhere in Australia, or maybe Canada. A son, or daughter, will come and sit close. Ask me a question.
'Yup, yes, what?' I will say. Crossly. Impatiently.
'Oh, never mind, Mummy.'
They walk away.
Relief. Back to Canada. France. Cornwall.

Well, it's not good enough, is it?
What to do?
Today is our 12th Anniversary. Our son is home from university. (My son but ours too, if you see what I mean)
I have put some champagne in the fridge. Bought smoked salmon. Lit a fire. I am now going to bath my three youngest ones. Make them laugh. Make them safe. Then I will put them to bed and Be With My Husband and Son.
Why am I on the computer now? Because they are watching Oliver Twist and I have precisely five minutes until the next break when it is Bath Time.
Blogging is bloody good fun. But am going to have to find a way of having the fun without Neglecting My Family.
Wish me well...
Off I go.
See you soon.
Will be thinking of you...

Friday, 12 December 2008

Comment Envy

I categorically do not blog for comments.
I absolutely do not.
I Do Not.
No. Totally Not.
Completely, utterly, do not.

But will, of course, check in a Nonchalant Sort Of Way, that post looks alright. Isn't lonely. You know, that sort of thing.
And might find comment.
Goodness Gracious! What fun! A comment...

But absolutely do not blog for comments.
No. No.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

School Play

We went to the School Christmas Play yesterday. Me, my husband and my parents.
Blissfully sunny day. Walked the 20 yards to school. View across white frosted fields to the downs in the distance, the tufts of Chanctonbury Ring sticking up like a little boy's unbrushed hair in the morning.
Hello's to all. Introducing my parents. Am inexplicably moved that they are Alive and Here.
Go into classroom where Stage is.
Need to explain. Our school has 61 pupils. There is no hall or gymnasium. There are 3 classrooms for 7 classes. The School Christmas Play will take place in the Infants classroom , with the entire school on stage All The Time.
The whole school play thing is the same each year. But we love it.
First we get to sit on chairs that make our knees come up round our ears.
Hard. Concrete hard. Then we get to sit veryveryveryclose to the person next to us. Have to decide with neighbour whether to sit forward, or backward. Not enough room for side by side.
Then have to wait A Very Long Time for the play to begin.
The Performance Began...
My 3 younger children were all in the play. Eldest Of Them was dressed in Crimson Velvet with jaunty little cap on head. Looked simply marvellous. Middle was in Narrator Costume (bollocks really, but still looked gorgeous). Youngest (4) was a Tree. Yup. A Tree. Had on cream coloured pillow case with leaves on it. Brilliant!
Well. My Cup Overfloweth. The four of us sat in the front row (we had trodden on the faces of women and children to get there) and cried for most of the hour's performance.
Eldest had to do a solo. We had no idea, but he had stepped in for someone who was ill. He was Superb. So, cried then.
Then Middle got up to do Narrating and was simply wonderful and looked so damned pretty that cried again.
Then Little got up to do Tree Dance. He punched the air as he got up, as if to say, 'YEAH! Bring it on.....!'
'Tree Dance' consisted of walking back and forth for duration of song. No room for acrobatics as 50 others on stage at the same time. In not very big room. But cried again.
Kept passing old tissues up and down the row, as we all needed a Good Blow.
Clapped and whistled and boo'd in all the right places.
At the end all (6 of them) the Year 6's sang a song. With Eldest smack in the middle in his Crimson Velvet. Cried again.
Clapped and Clapped. Hands and noses raw.
Came out into late afternoon low sun. Parents everywhere smiling and laughing. The occasional red nose and hand clutching sodden tissues.
We walked back home, 20 yards. Children holding our hands. Back home for tea and a roaring fire.
Heart full.
Eyes brimming.
Lucky, lucky me.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

7 things I do now

1. Breathe?
6 more. Crikey.

2. Well, one thing I do is Hope. All the time. Am the most extraordinary optimist of all times. And take a look at this, a socking great rainbow right over our house! Landing smack in the middle. Pot of gold and all that.

3. Shave my legs. Am fed up with excess bodily hair and want smooth limbs spoken about in novels. Never do they write of white legs with hairs sprouting out of them, which when shaved resemble chicken skin when plucked. Am very glad and lucky that Husband finds me irresistible. Would not get very far in Beauty Contest for Tanned Smooth Legs.

4. Own and run pre-school in local village. Love it.
Have extraordinary conversations with small people.
Me - Look, Lauren, its raining outside.'
Lauren 'Yeh, its tippin' it down.'
Me - Yes, goodness me, it's raining terribly hard.'
Lauren - 'Yeh, bloody is.'
Me - What does your daddy do, Larry?'
Larry - 'Well, he sometimes farts at breakfast time and my Mum gets cross.'
Too bloody right. So your Mum should.

5. Love my Blog friends because they have saved me from humiliation beyond the pale. Have managed to retrieve this and edit it, and now feel less appalled with self and children. Hooray!

6. Light a fire each day in our sitting room at about 3.15pm, just in time for children to get home from school. Their little faces look so pleased and happy when they see the bright firelight and welcoming warmth. Makes me feel warm too.

7. Get dressed each morning and take my darling children to school. School is 20 yards from our gate. Each term other mothers ask me if I ever let the children just go to school without me getting out of my dressing gown. I am pleased and proud to report that I have never done that, and feel that it is an important thing for me to do... walk those 20 yards to school every day, come rain or shine. May I say that I occasionally take my mug of tea, still warm, from the breakfast table.
This is a picture of that rainbow again, same one, this time over the school. Idyllic, eh. Lucky, lucky us.

There's an eighth.
I love my life.

Friday, 5 December 2008

This is a totally crap picture but am wondering if anyone might know the star that was right next to the moon on Monday night? This was taken about 6.30pm. My children kept saying,
'Mummy, that will be a really bad picture,'
'Mummy, what are you dooooooooing?'
'Mummy, it's a bit dark. I don't think it will work very well. You might need the flash.'
Thanks, kids.
Need a bloody miracle.

Crikey, it really is a shit picture.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Captions, please!

Took this photo down in Dartmouth one year, sitting up on the hills above the estuary. Can you spot the Deliberate Mistake?
Captions, please. I need a giggle today... or even a change of underwear if its Really Funny.

Monday, 1 December 2008


When I was younger I used to think that anyone over the age of 25 was as old as the hills, shouldn't dance at parties, wear short skirts, or kiss in public.
Well, I reached 25, and shifted the goal posts. 35 was now the 'past it' post.
Got to 35. Still in short skirts, kissing in public, dancing at parties. Right, I thought, 45 is really the time to grow up. Wear twin sets and tweed.
Got to 45. Still in short skirts, albeit, slightly longer, kissing in public, dancing at parties. Giggle at fart jokes.
Now what?? I see that at whatever age I reach, I'll change the goal post, alter the sell-by-date, and carry on regardless.
My mother is 78. She hasn't a twin set to her name and has never worn tweed. She does this totally hysterical 'disco' dance, taking the mickey out of herself, which makes me wet my pants I laugh so hard.
She has a friend who rings her up pretending to be a cross librarian. Mum will get her back by pretending to be the local butcher. 'Mrs Matthews?' she'll shout in local accent. 'Where d'yer want yoor cow?'
Mum was a Samaritan until recently when she felt that the night duty was getting a bit much for her. This was not because of the night duty itself, but the fact that it ends at about 7am and it was a rather nasty walk alone in a rough part of town to get to her car.
Not long ago Mum had large piece of cancer cut out of her leg. She had to sit for a week with leg up. It hurt like bloody hell because it was on the bony part of the shin. This is a regular occurence. Mum just puts up with it and is thrilled when she doesn't have to go to doctor.
'Heaven today. No doctor, no visitors. Just us.'
She and my father have people queuing up to visit them. She literally has to say to people, 'I'm so sorry, we can't have you this week as we're full' as if she was a B&B.
This past week they have been fishing on the Tweed. (the nearest to tweed my mother will go).
Let me remind you that my mother is 78. My father is 81. They are staying in a 'hut' (its lovely, darling, and has the dearest gas fire) with two others.
Each day they go to the river and fish All Day. It is Freezing. They come back, make supper, eat it, and go to bed. And do the same thing the next day. And the next. And the next.
Well, my mother caught a salmon. It was Eleven Pounds. That is the weight of a Huge Newborn Baby. She heaved this thing out of the river. For 40 minutes. Landed it. Then carefully put it back in again.
I just love my parents. They make me look forward to growing up. At their age they could just as well be taking it easy, arm chairs and warm fire. The odd foray to the shop. Sudoku. Little walks. Grandchildren sitting at their feet.
But no, they are heaving monstrous sized fish out of icy rivers and sleeping in the equivalent of a garden shed.
Their next holiday is skiing. Austria. They have been every year since the early fifties. My dad puts his skis on, points them downhill, and bloody goes for it. I have a job keeping up.
My mother dons woollies and winter boots and does what she feels like for a week. After 40 years of not really enjoying skiing, she has stopped doing it. And just has the nice part of the holiday. Hot chocolates, and steamy cups of gluewein.
Brilliant, eh.
You'll be glad to hear that they gave up sailing in the Outer Hebrides a couple of years ago. Dad felt that it might be a good idea. They did a little trip to St Kilda, and that was that.
So now its just the fishing and the skiing. Oh, and the odd walking holiday. In the Lakes. Balanced with home, cosy fires and sudoku. And 18 grandchildren.
I'm going to be like that. I hope.
Because, as George Burns said,
'You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old.'
Too bloody right.

Friday, 28 November 2008

An Award!

How extremely excited I am today. An award! Haven't won anything since I won a packet of Jelly at the Over 60's Club in Great Tey, Essex in 1968.
A massive thank you to Hadriana AND to Exmoorjane who have both given me the same award. How enormously kind of you. Am thrilled to bits.
Have spent some time being unsuccessful in getting the award onto my blog.
Cut, paste.
Copy, paste.
Copy, cut, paste.
Copy award onto document. Paste onto Post. Nope.
Cut award onto document. Paste onto Post. Nope.
Cut and copy award onto document. Copy onto Post. Nope.
Paste onto copy and cut on the post. Nope.
Taste and sloppy and piste on the post. Pope.
So, as thrilled as I am to have award, am now Confused and Fed Up. So am going to get up and leave computer as have Very Little Patience left.
Will go shopping. And will hope that some Angel of Blog will come to my aid and tell me, in words of one syllable, how a Blogger of Very Little Brain like me can collect my Award. And I will thank that Angel profusely. And at length.
Right. Going. Have to buy string, flute music book for daughter, and three birthday presents for children's friends. Oh, and tabasco sauce. Ours has disappeared. Vamooshed. Along with the DVD of The Holiday. Do you think they went off together?
See you later.


Tuesday, 25 November 2008


At Mass this Sunday we crept in late (girls night, just got back) and sat on the crap seats at the back. They are crap because one's back becomes unbearably hot due to radiator right behind the seat, and one person at the end of the bench has to sit with head constantly bowed (looking very holy) because, inexplicably, there is a lectern stowed there, forcing the devoted one to lean forward 45 degrees in a prayerful pose.
We settled down to the usual quiet cacophony of 'Shhh.'
'Will you be quiet and sit down.'
'Take your coat off if you are hot.'
'Leave your coat on if you're cold.'
All spoken with skill and dexterity of experienced ventriloquist; through side of mouth, with sharp expulsion of air, and minimum of sound. I am a master, or rather, mistress of this skill.
Kick off with a Resounding Hymn. My husband sang Very Loudly. He didn't really know the tune, but had a really good go.
We stood, sat, knelt, and did all the right things. Only a limited amount of Bottom Scratching (why do boys need to have a good scratch in public?) and Persistent Whispering going on.
Then it was time for the sermon. We settled ourselves down. Children swinging legs and picking noses. Their own. My daughter and I noticed an utterly sweet little girl, a couple of rows ahead, asleep on her father's lap.
'That is so sweet,' whispered my daughter.
'You were like that' I tell her. She looks at me and you can see her thinking.
'Oh,' she says. And does that little shrug she does when she's pleased.
We sit and listen.
Two rows down, where the little girl is asleep, the father slowly gets up, turns around and grins maniacally at all of us. We grin back. Not really getting the joke. He lifts the little girl high into his arms, and does the 'Excuse me, sorry, so sorry,' thing all down his row. We all look. He gets to the end and starts up towards us, still with the rictus grin. We all grin back, our facial muscles starting to ache.
Then we see it.
His entire left trouser leg is soaking wet. And steaming.
He staggers past us with little girl slowly waking up. With his grin still plastered to his face, now red with exertion and embarrassment, he sidles past us and out of the door. I try to show him my total support and sympathy in my returning smile. I hope I didn't look horribly scary, like Matron in Carry on Nursing. You know, all pursued lips and mascara.
We looked at the door from time to time as we heard signs of a cleaning up process going on outside.
'Look darling, let Daddy wipe his leg.'
'Yes, we will change your pants but Daddy needs to make his trousers less wet.'
It was fascinating. Just a little more fascinating than... golly, what was the sermon about?
Back came Daddy. We all craned our neck to see what he would be wearing.
The same. But just a little less steamy.
A huge, Europe shaped gash of damp all over his left leg. It had even seeped round the back. Child with bare legs and clean pants. We know because she didn't like the colour. We heard through the door.
He grinned some more. We grinned back.
Down the row he went. Sorry, Excuse me, so sorry. And sat down.
And cuddled his little daughter close.
What a hero.
I love being a parent now. Because you get men like that. Totally there for their children and totally up for all the embarrassment that goes with parenthood.
Just like my husband.
My Hero.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Girls Night Out

Had a ball on Saturday Night. Went out with the girls. Drank champagne. Drank cheap red wine. Went to a Thai restaurant and laughed too loudly. Drank more champagne. Went back to my friend's house with two other friends. Laughed too loudly. Went to bed. Shared the room with my darling friend A. We chatted for hours. Laughed too loudly.
In the morning we all made scrambled eggs and smoked salmon with bagels and ate it together on a huge bed. In our dressing gowns. Bliss.
We laughed and laughed. Too loudly.
My girl friends. These are friends who know my history ( yes, they know I was sick in a bag and it wasn't a sick one). Friends who have held my hand during heartbreak, child birth and the Chippendales. Friends who only have to glance up and smile and I know they have got the joke. Friends who Know Me.
You know, I really love my husband. I really love my children. They are my life. But how I love to be with those friends who make me laugh like a drain, eat like a horse, and, on occasion, drink like a fish.
I am always knackered after a girls night. Need to get home and rest. Need to clock in to my family and restore myself. Need to be back.
But, oh, the silliness of the jokes and the easy nonsense of our conversations. Knowing and being known.
They are the third side of the triangle for me... family, friends... and Girl Friends.
Thank you, my friends. You know who you are.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Shopping with Mother

This is what it should look like. Bright eyed children, gazing at produce. Mother with her shopping gloves on. Small basket over her slim arm. A perky little coat with twin set and pearls.
'Nearly done!' Mother would say. 'I just need some meat for Father's dinner.' And off they'd troop into the friendly butcher's, to get a lamb chop for Father.
Mother's basket, with just three or four items in it, would easily take the lamb chop, neatly tucked into a brown paper bag.
Home again. The shopping a joyful trip, with kind grownups and clean streets.
Right. So back to now.
Three tired children. And me. Bloody freezing. Cross adults everywhere. Youngest child doing that...'Mummy, I need a cuddle.'
You must be bloody joking. I am carrying fifteen carrier bags. Yes. Plastic bloody carrier bags. Forgot Organic Rustic Saintly Recyclable Use Them Again And Again bags. They are sitting on my kitchen table, along with my sense of humour. Another child needs the loo. The other wants to buy a totally unsuitable game for horrid little console. Comes up with reasons to buy said game.
'It's cheaper if you buy it today. ' (Why?)
'My friends have it.' ...And?
Daughter is freezing as she has come out without coat.
(Before we leave... has everyone got their coats? 'Yyeessss, Muuummmmyyy.')
Lugging carrier bags up hill and dragging youngest by arm, am plagued with guilt of not making this outing 'nice' enough.
Plan to get home ASAP and plug children into telly while I put the kettle on and sink a couple of mugs before getting tea.
Have to collate huge pile of toys by the front door, all bagged up ready for 'Christmas Fayre' tomorrow. (Mothers have dragged enormous black bin liners crammed full of toys, and left. Smiles on their faces as they realise how much space they will have now. Until the Christmas Fayre, when their children will buy enough crap to fill said bags twice over.) Must make labels for each toy and have Bright and Cheery notices telling every one we are a Toy Stall. Bit bloody obvious, isn't it?
But... will then make lovely tea for children and they can have it in front of fire in sitting room. Crumpets. Cake. Ooh, chocolate brownies made for Christmas Fayre... will they miss a couple?
I cheer up.
'Come on, darlings,' I say, 'cheerfully'.
Stunned, they look at me. Where is Bolshy Mummy gone? Daughter smiles up at me.
'I love you, Mummy,' she says, grinning her heart wrenching smile.
'Love you too, darling,' I tell her.
And hugging my ten bags (eldest two offer to take some) I turn us round and walk us towards the car.
Extraordinary how the thought of tea and fire can cheer.
Home we go.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Not a Good Day

We had a horrid day yesterday.
Doris, one of our chickens, got totally shagged by Cocky Bastard, our new cockerel. He left her, half dead, on the cold, wet grass and then carried on eating last night's leftovers right next to her.
I went out after breakfast to feed the 'girls' as we call our chickens. My children were reluctant to come with me as they were getting a tad frightened of Cocky Bastard as he can be quite fierce. (Poor girl feeding chickens while we were away leaned over to put food into chicken house, and Cocky Bastard jumped on her back and PECKED HER HEAD).
Out I went, whistling quietly to myself, treading over the large amounts of sheep poo (see last post) when suddenly I saw poor old Doris lying on her side. I threw myself through the door of the chicken run and rushed over to where she was lying on her side, looking thoroughly dead. When I picked her up I realised immediately that she was still alive. Just. I took her in, and with the help of my middle son, we made her as comfortable as we could in the utility room.
Out I marched into the garden again to see what the hell I could do with Cocky Bastard. I was Very Cross. And, indeed, very sad. I look after those chickens day in and day out. We all do. And in return, they give us their lovely brown eggs and make such comforting noises, rather like old ladies in a jumble sale. (Any one who has chickens will get this. Anyone who doesn't will probably stop reading
My husband, at a children's party (10.30 on a Sunday morning, I ask you) was still not back.
We kept watch over Doris for the rest of the morning but she wasn't looking good at all. When my husband got home I dragged him to Doris' sick room and made him examine her. I needed to know if we should put her out of her misery. To my relief, he reckoned we should keep her warm and see what happened. I left him with a straw, trying to get some water into her beak. Successfully!
Well, then it all got horrible. Husband and I both agreed that Cocky Bastard was not only a menace, but potentially quite dangerous. Our youngest son is barely taller than Cocky, and it would have been awful to have him pecked in the face or eyes.
And so we Disposed of him. Cocky Bastard. Horrible, horrible, horrible. Felt simply Hitler-like but could not risk him either killing other hens, or hurting small children. My children were really upset too. We had to try to explain it but death is so very final and so very grim.
And then, after lunch, we went back into the utility room to see that Doris had died.
There was a full blown burial service, with my husband leading the prayers. I have to say that even though I was Most Aggrieved, I did get the giggles when he said, 'Dear Lord, please welcome Doris into your heavenly kingdom...' I struggled with the hysteria and managed to look quite solemn.
Now it is the next day. I told people at my pre-school this morning but they didn't really get it. Why should they? Not many of us go round disposing of chickens. So this afternoon I needed to get it off my chest and into Blogland. Hope you guys will still drop by even though there is a chicken killer on the loose.
And guess where my son is being taken to this evening for a friend's birthday treat...? Bloody KFC, that's where. Talk about rubbing my face in it.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Sheep in garden

Catchy title,eh? Problem is that its true. The school at the end of my drive (incidently my children's primary school... brilliant for commuting, hell for lending milk, bread, suitcases - dont ask) rang me yesterday at 2.29pm, just as I was about to have a well earned lunch, having tidied the kitchen.
'Mrs G?' asked the very polite tones of teacher/friend Mrs H.
'Mrs H?' I answered.
'There appears to be some sheep in your garden.'
In case you were wondering, my garden is visible from the school office.
'Oh,' I said.
This has happened before. I am quite used to sheep in my garden.
With some resignation I put on my boots and went to see the damage. Mrs H was right. There were sheep in my garden. About twenty five of them. They looked so sweet in the afternoon sun, snatching away at my lawn, shitting and wee'ing in that purposeful way they have. Got to be purposeful about something, I suppose, if you are a sheep. Not much else to do.
One hour later, I had located and rang the owner of the sheep. I had built a wall of bikes, prams, sandpits (portable) and bits of wood to keep the sheep in the garden round the back of the house. There was a slide, put sideways, to block another way out through a gap in a hedge. I had artfully placed a huge piece of metal (bloody heavy) across another potential exit, and was having a congratulatory cup of tea, when I saw 25 sheep heading up the drive.
'Christ,' I thought. Not more sheep.
No. Not more. The same. Escaped. Bloody Houdinis, the lot of them.
Ran like a mad woman, waving arms and legs, shooshing them back down drive. Through the exit from whence they had escaped. Put detritus back to cover hole.
Went back to finish tea.
Not long after a man with dog arrived to take said sheep away. I took him round to the back of the house to get the sheep. Empty. Gone. Vamooshed.
'Bollocks,' I said. A faint Baaaa was heard. We both ran round the back of the house, leaped over the slide, put sideways, to block that exit,(remember?) and stood panting in the sun. There were the sheep, all in a neat woolly row, big rumps facing us, carefully eating their way through my juniper hedge.
'Sorry 'bout that,' said the man.
'Woof,' said the dog.
'No problem,' said I.
He whistled to his dog, who immediately barked and started to crawl towards the sheep like Daniel Craig in Quantom of Solace. Haven't seen it yet but surely he must do it somewhere in the film. Spies always do, don't they?
The sheep, instantly alerted, opened their mouths and baa'ed their heads off, at the same time as haring it off down my drive. Hopefully for the last time. The man tipped his hat (honest, I am not making this up) and left. The sheep were nowhere to be seen. Or the dog. Man sauntered down my drive, turned the corner and was gone.
'Well,' I thought.
And they say country life is dull.
Could have fooled me.
Texted my friend and told her about 25 sheep in garden.
She texted back. 'Most people count sheep when they are asleep.'
Ah, that's it, then.
It was a dream. Thank god for that.
But how does that explain the photograph?

Monday, 10 November 2008


It's happened. I knew that it would. Hell and damnation.
My husband suddenly, out of the blue, likes Sudoku.
You see, I like Sudoku. And as any half intelligent being will tell you, only ONE PERSON CAN LIKE SUDOKU PER HOUSEHOLD.
For the last few years, since the VERY FIRST SUDOKU in the Times, I have been doing it. I have spent hours and hours pouring over the Fiendish on the last page of a popular broadsheet, (now conveniently sudoku sized).
Give me a Fiendish, or now the Super Fiendish, and I am a happy girl. Nice hot fire, drink in hand and a good sharp pencil (not HB. More like 2B).
My parents have a good ploy. They are both Sudoku mad. They photocopy (!) the sudoku page each morning and then they both have a lovely time doing it at their own pace. They have sharpened pencils at the ready. I tell you, it's a way of life. Both are happy. Both are content. It works.
Now, one of the biggest crimes anyone can commit in this house is to
Do The Sudoku When They Didn't Buy The Paper In The First Place.
There is nothing worse than arriving in the sitting room, fire all warm and glowy, children all in bed, supper sizzling nicely, than to find said sudoku Done. Not good. What is just as bad is to find Husband sitting by fire with said sudoku, Filling It In.
This has now happened not once, not twice but three times. I am not a Happy Bunny.
I am going to have to hide the paper. I refuse to give in and buy an awful little book full of sudoku puzzles. They are just not the same. They are Not Good. The only suduku for me is the one on the back of my broadsheet.
So, darling husband, here's the thing... you do my sudoku and I will go into your greenhouse and EAT ALL YOUR TOMATOES.
There. That should do it.
Now, where is my pencil?

Thursday, 6 November 2008

You're It!

You've been tagged... it said. Oh, I thought. What the hell is that? Is it the Blog Police? Will I go to Blog Prison? Or do I win a Blog Raffle?
None of these! Phew.
Instead just have to write down some random things about myself.
Six things, I think.
So, here goes...

When I was twenty eight I was in a relationship that was 'not good'. It really needed to be ended, but I couldn't do it. While in this quandry I realised that I was pregnant. I went through pregnancy howling with sadness most days and unable to see any wood for the trees at all, as the trees crowded out any sanity I might have had.
On 2nd June 1989, my darling son was born. From the very moment I saw him, all wrapped up in his little blanket, I just knew who he was and, finally, who I was. We grew together, my son and I. We did it alone. And then one day my husband came into my life. Now we do it together. And it's grand.

When I was little I longed to be married, with 4 children, lots of chickens, and a couple of cats. Now I am a grown up, and am married with 4 children, lots of chickens and a couple of cats. How cool is that?!

About twenty years ago I taught a little girl who had a terminal illness. I loved her to bits. She would come up to me in the classroom (she was eight years old) and ask me if I loved her more than the other children in the class. What could I say? Yes, of course. She died at the end of that school year. I think of her a lot. And in my little box of treasures, I have just one of the many pictures she drew for me, with 'I love you, love Annie,' written inside a big red heart.
I love you too, Annie.

I was proposed to once by an ex-boyfriend. He filled his bedroom with flowers and had little notes everywhere with references to marriage and weddings and all. I got very confused with all the notes and the flowers, especially as we had split up. Finally I got to the last note.
Marry Me, it said.
There he was, face all lit up with happy expectation... I heard the biggest NO inside my head. And what did I say?
'Oh, well, that sounds lovely...' In typical fashion, I didn't want to break his heart, and so thought I would make it easier by not saying no immediately.
Needless to say I broke his heart slowly instead.

I can play the piano. I had a go at Grade 8 but A' levels got in the way and I stopped the exams and just played for the hell of it. Every school I have taught at think I am better than I really am, and I am clobbered with teaching music, playing in assemblies, and generally doing stuff I am not quite good enough to do. But I struggle on, and get away with it because I LOVE music and LOVE the way children get music.

I was once sick into a lady's hand bag on a plane. I never told her.

I was once sick on my friend while on one of those teapot swirly things at a fair. We are still friends.

I love taking photos. I spend ages lining up a photo, getting it absolutely right, taking it, and then printing it out and having it stuck up on one of my kitchen cupboards. Everyone who comes to my house goes from cupboard door to cupboard door looking at them all.

I was once madly in love with a ski instructor. He was from Vienna. I was twenty. On our skiing holiday I would dream about him when not in one of his lessons, and blush madly when I was.
Then, last winter when I went skiing with my darling parents (my father still skis and is 81 - he is my hero) I saw my old skiing instructor, in the same shop as me. I smiled at him and said hello. He said hello back, and I explained that he had taught me years ago. He was sweet. And just a little boring. We shook hands and said goodbye. And I very quietly and gladly laid another ghost to rest.

That's it. Me in a nutshell. Equal proportions of heavy and light. More than 6. Got carried away with different vomit stories.
Will have to think about who to tag. Do I have enough Blog friends to do this, I ask myself. Blogger No Mates. Thats me.


Oh. My. God. Yesterday it really happened. What we have been waiting for. For one year, two months and two days.
Our Ofsted Inspection.
Slap me vitals, as they used to say, inexplicably, a few hundred years ago.
There was me, fresh back from Spain, have I put the washing on, are my children in clean underpants, goddamit, this sports bra is hell to wear but the only clean one I have... when out of the blue (actually not blue. Blue is the colour of the sea as we sat and sipped our ice cold beers and watched our children play, blue is the colour of the sky, blue was the colour of my daughter's laughing eyes as she came up for a hug. THAT was blue) came a text from my friend/colleague already at work to say OFSTED ARE HERE! WHERE ARE YOU?
In my car, on the way. That's where I was. Thinking of washing.
So down went my foot on the accelerator and I rocketed along the road, all thoughts of holidays and washing ripped from my thoughts.
All I could now think of was
Got there. Ran like a stag to our Pre-school building and fell through door.
Kind, sweet woman (fifties) standing there with her briefcase looking terrified.
The Inspector.
Crikey, I thought, looks like a Sweet Shop lady.
I shook her warmly by the hand and told her how glad I was to see her and how long we had waited for Ofsted to come. She looked surprised and pleased in equal measure.
We had a wonderful day. The children were as lovely as they always are. The staff worked their socks off. They always do. Another safe, loving, warm, fun morning for every single one of us. Our Sweet Shop inspector turned out to be shit hot and firing on all four cylinders. Just goes to show that looks aint everything.
Midday came. The parents arrived to pick up their children.
The inspector went off to write up her findings. We sat around, waiting for her
to return with her Judgements. Rather God-like.
All of us pretending to be relaxed and happy. All of us shitting our pants. It felt like a lifetime. It was half an hour. Then we saw her walking back across the playground. We quickly whipped away the chocolate box we had opened while we waited (I had 12) and cleared all the wrappings off the table. And tried to look normal and professional.
She loved us! She talked about us in such warm and positive language that we felt a bit overcome. We didn't get the top top level. But near as dammit. What mattered is that someone in the know came to see us, and really 'got' what we try to do, which is be a place where children can play and learn, where they are safe and loved. Full bloody stop!
And she got that.
So today we are all beaming.
Now, what shall I do today? For the last year, two months, and two days I have been preparing for Ofsted. Now what?
Important things first. Finish those chocolates. And take this bloody awful sports bra off and put on my nice comfortable one.
And then... the world is my oyster.
I know... I. Shall. Blog.
This is the life!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Just a tiny question

What on god's earth is ;-) ?
Or :)

Just a little question before I really do pack for Spain in the morning.
Have done fridge, note for person doing chickens, cats, rabbit and chicks. No need to do fish as all are dead. Oops.
Have cleaned house, and eaten all food. We are now going to have large whisky by an enormous fire in the sitting room and talk about packing.
Up at 5.00am. Apparently the weather in southern Spain is atrocious. Bollocks.
Right. Am off now.
Have a good week, everyone. And thanks for all the lovely comments and all.
Be safe.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Heady stuff

I am having so much fun! Have made hundreds of friends, been to a million houses and seen right into people's souls. Have been to USA, Australia and Wales! Have been by the sea and in the mountains. Have been to Devon and Suffolk! And have sat on my bottom for the whole thing! Bliss. Will give up on leaving house ever again and will grow my bottom to enormous proportions because will never exercise it ever again.
Will drink tea galore, eat biscuits and ignore family.
Oh God. Oh No. Oh hell.
Have become Blogger Bore.
Will go immediately for Long Walk and find children (where are they) and Do Some Baking.
Damn. Cant. They are in bed. It is late. Baking not possible without children to lick bowl afterwards.
Will make it up to everyone tomorrow. Will not Blog At All. Will be perfect mother and wife. Will bake and sing. (think this is what perfect mothers do)
Will have lovely day. Might even go for bike ride.
Will just quickly check that blog I left a comment on. Oh, look. They've replied to my comment... better do one back...

Sunday, 19 October 2008


I need some help, you lot. This blogging thing is new to me and I just love visiting other blogs and leaving comments. Thing is, I don't know how to add all you lovely lot to the list of blogs I am following. Therefore I am not following anyone. Which button do I press? HOW DO I DO IT...?
Very simple answers, please, using no big words. You are dealing with an Idiot.


Oh dear. I think that I am now addicted to Blogging. Damn and blast. I will have to add this to my addictions of looking in my children's homework books for nice comments from the teacher, washing up before a meal, checking the weather forecast every day, and planting endless pots outside my back door.
Blogging is a more serious matter. Each day I do more. Each day I want to 'check my blog' a bit earlier. Check it for what? Nits? No, just to see if there is a bloody comment. If there is I am euphoric. If there isnt I am a bit downcast. Then I look on other people's blogs and start laughing like a drain. It is all very exhausting and takes me away from the bosom of family, etc etc...
At this moment I have a husband waiting for me in bed. He is naked and Expectant, if you see what I mean. He has just come down to say shall he put out the lights?
Which is a Big Hint, I think.
So, which is it to be... Blog or Bed?
I'll tell you in the morning.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008


I bloody hate shopping. But do you know, everytime I go shopping I think, this time it will be different. This time I will get that elusive 'thing' that will make me feel wonderful, make me a whole person and transform my life.
Well, sod that for a game of marbles. I return home each time a shadow of my former self; pale, drawn, and usually quite cross. I will have traipsed through ghastly shop floors with florescent lights, men's pants to the right and women's bras to the left. I mean, why put myself through such hell? I finally make it to a half decent shop only to find out that I don't want what I wanted hours before. I don't know why I don't want it. I just don't want it.
We went to Toys R us the other day. Toys R Us is a euphemism for This is Hell. Florescent lights beamed their evil light down on row after row of toy. Hassled and sad looking people poked about in the enormous piles of child entertainment, filling their trolleys with packets of this and bags of that. My children and I wandered down the rows, initially filled with excitement at all the choice. Soon we became bewildered by so much choice. Finally we became cross with so much choice. Then my daughter began to cry because she didn't know what she wanted. 'I don't know what to get, Mummy,' she sobbed.
Right. Enough.
This is where I can talk about the millions of starving people in the world. And there's me with my moaning children, not being able to choose a toy out of millions of toys.
Do you know, it is almost obscene how much choice, how MUCH we have. I feel ashamed of our wealth, in comparison. And I feel ashamed that I moan too, about not having a new car (ours are ancient but reliable, they have been ancient for years, they are positively Antique) or a new boiler (antique too) or a different TV (not antique but HUGE and HEAVY and not one of those that you can put behind a picture because they are so thin).
I yearn for new clothes that look svelte and trendy. I buy clothes and within days they look, well, old. I buy new kitchen Bling, as I call it, you know, shiny chrome things that do wonders for food or coffee. They just get boring after a day or two. But, oh, the promise of that box on the shelf, and the picture of fresh coffee/bread/sliced tomatoes... irresistible. And total crap when you get it home.
Shameful, really.
What's that commandment... I must not covet my neighbour's goods...?
I covet everything that everyone else has. Because everything looks FAB in other people's houses. And total bollocks in mine.
Oh, well. People like coming here. They say things like, 'But this is such a family home' and 'Oh! I love your photos/chickens/cake/coffee!' They come again. And again.
Did we buy anything from Toys R US? My daughter didn't and cried all the way home. My sons did and taunted my daughter all the way home. I was cross all the way home.
Will we go again? My children will all beg to go. And I will remind them of last time...
Of course we bloody will. Memories will fade and we will return.
Right. Must go. Got to go shopping. Am slave to it really. Got to get food, cat litter and new mat for car. Old mat has hole in it and I keep getting my foot stuck in it at traffic lights. Joy. Might have a quick look in M and S... they had some nice winter coats...


For the last twenty years I have been longing to go to Ikea. I went when I was in my mid twenties or so and LOVED IT!!! I think I bought the normal candle sort of thing plus one or two storage jars and thought ohh I must come here again. And didn't.
Twenty years on. I went! Oh, the excitement of those towers in the distance (we went to the Croydon one) thinking of all the times I have had to drive past into London. The thrill of getting a trolley and pushing it through those revolving doors. (can't get the hang of those as either walk too slow or too fast and have to do little tiny step things to stop bumping into person I accidently joined in their bit of revolving door.)
Up the stairs we went to the Show Rooms. Before we could get to the Market Place. Or Whatever. Round and round and around and along and up and down and round. Follow those arrows. We looked and um'd and ah'd and dropped a couple of things in as we went along. And then... the Market Place. Mecca. We agonised over fitted sheets. We pondered over wooden trays. We picked and looked and wondered. Finally we reached Bargain Corner. And left Bargain Corner as the only Bargain you get is getting out of Bargain Corner. We paid a rather cross lady as we kept putting our things in the wrong place.
Now, what did I buy? So nice, you'd love them... some candles and some sweet storage jars. Hang on a minute... isn't that what I got last time?
Hell and damnation. I should have bought those fitted sheets after all. Oh, well, I will have to go again soon. The thing is, I bet it will be another 20 years. The advantage of that is that I'll need some more candles and storage jars by then, I'm sure...

Friday, 10 October 2008


I had a thought last night. Imagine if Matisse hadn't been given his set of paints by his mum, (while he was getting over an illness) would he have known that he was any good at painting? Would his gift ever have come to light?
Do any of us have a gift that we just don't know about? Are we sitting on a king sized bushel with a mega light under it that we have no idea exists? And if we did know about it, is it the sort of gift that would change people's lives? Or would it be another scrap booking talent or being quite good on the recorder?
My son can play the guitar like a dream. He is seriously good. Right now he is at university reading music with guitar as his main instrument.
How come?
Well, when he was thirteen, his step grandmother gave him a small paperback called 'How to play the guitar'. Ben, my son, went up to his room armed with this little book and took out a guitar his dad had given him a couple of years before. As far as I know this guitar had never seen the light of day. From that day on, Ben has played his guitar each and every day. His gift for music was found and developed. What if the book had never been given to him? I have no idea.
I reckon that we need to have a go at things to see how we do. I can't see that everyone can have the most incredible gift such as Matisse. I mean, some people have gifts that seem to burst out of them without any restraint. Musicians like Mozart. But what if Mozart had been born in Bognor Regis with no piano or education? What then?
I just bet there are people living now without any outlet for their amazing ability to swim/ write/ educate/ lead the country/ play the drums/ paint/ score goals just because they don't know that they can do it.
So... what to do? How about doing something today that you have never done before but would like to try? Do something for the first time. I know that genius also needs a massive amount of hard work too. And that brilliance doesn't just arrive. But how exciting would it be, knowing that you had discovered something within yourself that you didn't know you could do, let alone be good at.
Go on! I dare you. Do something today.
And then write and tell me about it.
And I shall have a go too. We can compare notes...

Right, now where did I put that telephone number for NASA...?

Wednesday, 8 October 2008


Yes. I do. Work. I love it. However, I didn't use to. Back in those days when I had been up till 3.00am and had a hangover to rival the Black Death, I went to work, worked reasonably hard through the pounding headache and then left. The evening would stretch ahead with possibilities. 9.00am to 5.00 am was sensible time. 5.00pm to 3.00am was Fun Time. Not every night, mind you. I enjoyed those nights in with telly, flat mates and idle chat about nothing. We all agonised over the boy friends, leaped onto the phone when it rang. This is before the days of the Mobile Phone. Or almost. Some nerds had them. Huge clunking things the size of a telephone box that they would carry in a Special Box. These Nerds would also have a computer at home and would talk about Technology and the Future. No one paid any attention to them. My boyfriend at the time was heavily into all of that. Now he makes vast amounts of money and is filthy rich. Damn.
Anyway... they were nerds then.
But now... now I am in bed long before midnight, usually reading my Book Club book frantically before the next meeting. My husband has given up on sex and now reads companionably with me. He knows that when there is a book in my hand there ain't room for anything else, as it were.
In the morning of yesteryear, I would get up 20 minutes before I had to go to work and sling on work clothes (teacher wear... sensible but just a little flirty) and rush out of the door, into car, and drive the same old route to school.
Now I am up at dawn, down to the kitchen to make lunch boxes, feed cats, feed chickens, make breakfast, get dressed, and eat breakfast with children.
From the detritus of breakfast,having hurled plates and cups into the dish washer, I leave the house waving madly to my three younger children as they walk the 50 yard walk to school. Their back views with their book bags and PE kits look so sweet I want to run up to them for one more kiss. Sometimes I do.
The car ride to work takes four and a half minutes. Work is in my own pre-school which was started up nearly four years ago. I run it with my friend, Sarah. We both love what we do. We both have young children and a mad life style, but having Stepping Stones grounds us and makes us proud.
I simply love it. From the moment I walk in the door with cheery hello's from staff already there, I am in a completely different world.
Small brightly coloured tables are scattered about with a selection of toys on them. There are windows on both sides of the building and it is wonderfully sunny and warm. We have an antiquated heater which takes me back to the days of my own primary school. I can still remember my old headmaster leaning against it on cold frosty mornings and talking about all sorts of things that bore absolutely no relation to anything we needed to learn.
Our children come pouring in at 9.00am. Their faces are expectant and so pleased to be there! Everyone says good morning to each to other. Mums and Dads greet one another and have a quick chat over the lego. One child might show his brand new Spider Man outfit. And wear it all morning because, quite frankly, why not?
Then comes the best bit. I get to play all morning. Now, I know what lots of you are thinking. That you Hate Playing With Children Although You Pretend to Like It. Yes, I know. I do too.
But not at my work.
The other morning a little boy wanted to make a treasure map and got out a piece of paper to make one. I asked him if he'd like to make a map with some special soft linoneum material we had. The look on his face was a picture. This lino stuff looked just like an old map. He drew some lines with a felt tip pen and said that those were boats and islands and rivers. Then he drew a cross and said 'X marks the treasure.' This is from a child who absolutely hates drawing or writing. Other children had drifted up, as they do, and wanted to make one themselves. They all had a go. Then we made an enormous map along the floor, with about 10 children helping. Then we had a treasure hunt outside. It was Brilliant! The sense of achievement was huge. Learning with a capital L was a'happening. And I can do it all tomorrow!
12.30 comes and the children go home. I mean, it's not exactly hard, is it? Mind you, when mothers come in to help, they always leave looking totally exhausted. But then being a perfect mother for 3 hours in a row is damned tiring. I don't have to be perfect. Or a mother. It's great!
Work really is a euphemism for play in my case. Oh, and long holidays.
Good, innit!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

A Tad Distracted

Oh dear. This blog business is rather difficult. You see, all I want to do, apparently, is Share My Posting. I think it would be easier for me to remove my own pancreas. I have hit every button, clicked on every possible link.
In between all this hitting the phone has rung, I have had cups of tea, and been distracted by numerous household tasks. The cat had been sick in the bathroom. This led to frantic cleaning of not just carpet under sick, but carpet all round bath and basin... which led to hoovering frenzy and dusting of my chest of drawers. This led, inexplicably, to tidying out my husband's pants drawer. I haven't cleared out his pants drawer for years. For God's sake,why now? Why don't I just sit here at the computer and find out what I need to? Because I can't. That's why. Distraction is my enemy. Whenever distraction calls, I go. Whether into the attic, pants drawers, shopping, sick clearance or de-flea'ing the cat I go straight to the distraction like a bee to honey.
God, I need a cup of tea. Hold on while I get one.
Well, that was exciting. Got to the kettle and saw that it was filthy so got out cloth from under sink when saw that my husband has bought MORE DISH WASHER POWDER. This is small miracle. So rang him up to congratulate him. He wasn't there but Clare was. Clare is lovely girl who always answers the phone when Mark (husband) can't. Anyway she is pregnant! So we chatted about prams and no sleep for about 20 minutes. Am so pleased for her. Came off phone. Somewhat confused as to what I was trying to do. Found myself near kettle so switched it on. Noticed again that it was dirty and so once again looked for cloth under sink...
Do you now get my distraction thing? Not good is it? I have to trail through hundreds of my actions to find out what I was trying to do in the first place.
Which was...finding out how to Share My Postings!
Oh, well, let's find a few more buttons to press... it can't be that hard, can it? Christ, look at this button. It's got chocolate on it. Better find a tissue...

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Old Girls Choir

Yesterday I had the most extraordinary day. I joined a group of Old Girls from my Old School and we all sang together at the Cadogan Hall in London. This was extraordinary for several reasons: the life I generally live is spent largely in the kitchen, or a series of rooms in our house. Within these walls I will be cleaning or, more likely, clearing up after the five other members of the family. Clearing Up is Very Very Boring. (I have already indicated how much I like Capital Letters. I shall Use Them a Lot in this posting)_
I dont think house wives should be called house wives. I think we should be called People Who Clear Everyone's else's Crap Away and Dont Get Paid For It. (PWCEECAADGP for short - catchy, eh?)
I spend the mornings before breakfast clearing away yesterday's mess in kitchen, bedrooms and sitting room, including loos and bathrooms. Then I make breakfast and clear that up. Then I clear up the mess made in the time between children getting up and going to school. Then I clear clothes from clothes basket in laundry room and put the first of five loads on. Then I try to clear my head with a nice cup of tea. I will clear the cat's litter tray and then think about what I need to do that day. Sometimes it seems almost impossible to work that out. How on earth do you decide to do something when you dont know what it is?
Should I get the week's food from our local supermarket? Should I do some much needed gardening? Should I do some work for the pre-school I run? Should I go and buy some wretched tights for my daughter who has torn the third pair she possesses? Should I ring my darling mother? Should I ring my friend who's mother has just died? Should I ring my friend who is doing a month's TEFL course and is hating every minute? Or my friend who has just had her appendix out?
All these things need doing. And do you know what? I think that this is going on in every single house hold in the country. We are all madly trying to work out what to do first and end up doing all the wrong things and then get cross that nothing ever gets done.
Well, to hell with it. I went singing yesterday. Like I said. We sang to an audience of six hundred. We sang two songs at the end of a gala evening in aid of my old school. I achieved nothing. I did nothing. I cleared nothing. But, bloody hell, I had fun! I laughed until I cried with my old class mates. We sang our guts out, quite well really, and felt such pride that we had had a go. As I stood there at the end with all the Old Girls, age ranging from sixties down to school leavers, I felt I had really Done Something. We all did.
Life really is about getting up and getting out. I won't think on my death bed, why didn't I clean that oven...
I will keep on clearing up. But I will also clear off.
In equal measure I think.
Watch this space.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

On the wall

Timid dad had scarpered today. Never mind. We talked on the wall of dull but necessary things like bra sizes and getting your breasts fitted, secondary schools (really dull), and what to have for tea. Then everyone seemed to go home with someone else's children. I ended up with boy and girl for my own boy and girl while younger son went with friend who was having another friend's boy. After complicated and detailed discussions about who would pick up who, where and at what time, we all went home. Tea was a riot as other friends arrived with cockerel in box. I had apparently said I would have Said Cockerel while at Ploughing Match the other day. Looked in stunned disbelief at bird but smiled brightly and took bird and friends round to chicken run to introduce him to our 5 hens. Will call him Cocky Bastard.
When introduced to my hens (Peggy, Katie, Doris, Thin Lizzy and Victoria) Cocky Bastard went straight to bed. Lazy Bastard maybe?
Tea was disintegrating by the time I returned to kitchen. Children shouting out maths problems with my calculator. 'WHAT IS 230,000 TIMES THE LOGARITHM OF 245,789?' Then they would all yell the (wrong) answer.
I put an end to this with a swift Be Quiet or No Pudding.
Everyone in bed now. Husband at yet another Secondary School Open Evening. Filthy supper for him when he gets home. Perhaps will give him large drink too. Will need it after school hall with strip lighting and only tea and biscuits to get his teeth into and headmaster going on about results and GCSE options. My husband still calls them O'levels. Hope he is OK.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

After school chat

We were joined by a dad yesterday.
Picking up our children from primary school. Waiting for older ones still in Chess Club.
He came and sat on Our Wall.
We all moved up a bit to give him some room and smiled encouragingly at him. He smiled back.
It was a good start.
Then one of us said. 'Who watched Sex Education last night on Channel 4?'
There followed a Lively Conversation about genital warts, haemorroids and bikini waxes.
Our dad gamely stayed on the wall. Even had a few words. (No, God, Shit, Help)
The banter went on. Dad straining his facial muscles into a smile.
Then someone said,
'Its 4.15, they're coming out of chess.'
We leaped to our feet and ran to the door. Met our children. Took them home. Got on with the evening.
Only later did I think about the dad.
Will he join us tomorrow?
Will he go and tell his wife what we all spoke about?
Or will he need therapy?
Poor, poor man.