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.