Friday, 29 January 2010

Young At Heart

Simply have to share this one with you. Today I had a lovely comment from Midlife Jobhunter who said that she was going to show my post to her mother. Which she did. Her mother Old? Who? Me? then Hugely Kindly put a link on her post back to mine. Still with me?
Anyway, while I was over at her place, as it were, was looking down through her older posts, which are fab, by the way, and came to one about a group of old people, called Young at Heart, who sing.
My God.
These people Rock! They are pretty well all over 80 years old. They sing in public and people LOVE them. I absolutely INSIST that you take a look at one of their songs.
A little intro is needed here.
Recently, a fair amount of people I know, or know of, have died. And it rattles one's cage somewhat.
Firstly, it's damned sad. And secondly, it's damned frightening. People of my age. Younger. So sad and so sudden.
And then older people. Leaving behind a darling wife or husband. Children. Family. Friends.
What with being nearly fifty (August, shall I have a Blog Party?!) and what with all these people dying, have felt pretty shook up.
Until today.
Until I saw this.
The man singing this is on oxygen. His friend had died the day before, the one he was going to sing this particular song with.
Please listen to it.
No longer do I need to be scared of dying, or death. All that bollocks that we have to go through simply because we are what we are. Mortal.
Simply not going to get my knickers in a knot anymore.
Because the human spirit is Extraordinary. Blinding. Glorious.
Look at that old man. Isn't he just the the Best?

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Comment t'allez Vous?

Was reading a post about followers and comments the other day. About how we need to write our posts for ourselves and not for the followers or the comments.
Hah! As if.
I mean, I agree.
As you all know, I never count comments or followers. I just open up my blog and write my post.
Decidedly Not.
Oh, no. I count the damned comments on the most recent post. Sigh if there's not many. Smile if there's lots. See that followers is still stuck on 119. What's bloody wrong with 120? Get irritated with self for bloomin' well caring. Because, really, WHO CARES?
Loadsa people, apparently.
Following this post I had read, about comments and followers, were HUNDREDS of comments! Really long ones, not the sort when people go
'Yeh! ;)' or
'Great!' or
'Love your blog!' type of comments. You know, those ones when you want to leave a comment but can't really be arsed to write much.
No, these were Essays. And I'm talking 2000 words essays. On and on and on. Was rather ashamed of my mere ten-line comment. Thought I should go back and add another 70 or so.
It seems that comments and followers, and the lack of, really get up people's noses. Sometimes it seems to be more important than the actual writing of posts.
And that is plain Silly.
I started up this blog to record one year of my life. Now it has stretched to fifteen months. I LOVE to read back the earliest posts and remember what was going on. All the posts about my children are treasure to me. To actually record things your offspring have said and done... How brilliant is that! All put away neatly for me take out and look at in the years to come. Priceless.
And so it seems a silly and faintly ridiculous thing, to care about the number of followers and comments.
I have just spent a few minutes looking back over my posts. Things about sheep and chickens, smelly fridges, Nativity Plays, singing, children, husbands underneath fridges. It was LOVELY to remember all those things.
Good to smile about the Wedgie Incident outside school, and the policeman stopping me on the way to the Dump. Fun to read about Youngest and his Thug Incident.
Nice to see that I had a go at being a Loose Woman.
(no links for these... who uses links anyway??)
Thoroughly enjoyed my trip just a little way down Memory Lane and Reminiscent Road.
It was fun and didn't cost a penny. How about that?!
THAT is why I blog.
THAT is why I love to do this mad posting lark.
THAT is why I comment. To show other bloggers that I hear what they say.

As if I did it for the comments!

(Troy, I will watching you and your comments!)

Yes, I know it's a link... but you must do this one. Scroll down a bit when you get there. You'll see what I mean...

Saturday, 23 January 2010

When Mum turned into a Monster

Crikey, I am grumpy today. My children are the receptacles of my crossness, which makes me feel even worse.
We went shopping this morning, all of us, and every step was an ordeal.
'KEEP UP!' I would enunciate, in truculent tones, to each child that lagged behind.
And, 'Stop tripping me up!'
'For God's Sake, stop PUSHING!' was my Mantra.
And what made it worse was that the children sort of Put Up with me. You could see the resignation on their faces.
Mum's in One of her Moods, they seemed to Radar to each other. Which was Really Annoying.
However much I tried to be grown up and mature and Noble, I couldn't.
Husband was also on the Moody Wife Look Out.
'OK, darling?' he would offer, from time to time. A kind and sympathetic smile on his face. That I wanted to Punch. Hard.
I noticed another mother during one particularly stressful moment in large shop.
'Golly,' I thought. 'Bit harsh on the little lad.' Turning a blind eye to my Curt Comments of five minutes previously, when had Hissed Hissily to children that 'if you don't be quiet I shall SHOUT SO LOUD YOUR EARS WILL FALL OFF.'
Double standards, I think.
So now we are home. I am blogging, having had a nice walk, alone, to gather my thoughts and reflect on what an Utter Cow I can be. Was perfectly nice during walk. Felt more and more generous and forgiving each step I took. But then there was no one with me to share the benefit. This is my problem, I have decided. I am frightfully nice when on my own. And stroppy cow when in company. Bit of a conundrum.
Am determined to be Nice Mother.
Will go into sitting room, where there is a lovely fire and Be With My Family.
I won't shout at anyone.
I won't be cross when someone jumps on my back and I can hear the bones breaking.
I won't be irritated that cushions, recently cleaned, are all over the floor.
I won't be annoyed that only me stokes up the fire.
I won't be cross that Husband keeps asking if I am Still Cross.
I will be Sweetness and Light. Hope and Joy. Kindness and comfort.
Until the next time.
Oh, to be the Perfect Mother.
I wish.
Right. Off I go.
Wish me luck.
This mothering lark is tough on a girl, you know.

Thursday, 21 January 2010


Haiti sits on my mind most of the time. I can feel the pain from the thousands of miles that separate them and Me.
Them in their desolation.
Me in my warm, safe, cosy home. Surrounded by the family I am bringing up, and the husband I love. The friends who come for supper. The school across the road where the teachers love my children and tell me of their little triumphs Every Day.
Surrounded by normality.
Haiti must crave for Normal.
Instead they have unimaginable sadness and loss. Sandwiched between the joy of finding a child, a mother, a friend.
It's so big, this sadness, that I don't know quite where to put it. How to wear it. What to do. I can send money. I can pray. I can sit here amongst all my belongings and think of all those millions who have Nothing. Absolutely Nothing.
Or I can get on and keep thanking God for all the blessings he showers on me.
Doesn't feel enough, I have to say.
I am looking out of my window now. A cat is sitting on the drive. My cat. Sitting neatly and watching the garden. Birds are visiting the bird feeder, wary of the cat. The post man has just been. Washing is in the washing machine and is churning away comfortingly next door. The chickens are fed. Children are at school, except Middle Son, who is on the sofa in the sitting room, nursing a poorly tummy and headache. Husband is at work. He will ring at lunchtime as he always does.
How blessed is Normal.
There is no neat and tidy concluding thought in this post. Because I can't think what could Conclude such a tragedy.
All I can say is I will carry on thinking about Haiti. Praying. And thanking all of those people who are There and Helping. How wonderful they are. Truly good.
I owe them. I really, truly do.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Fighting Tooth And Nail

Today Youngest lost his first tooth.
This is a significant day.
No longer will any child of mine lose a first tooth.
I am now Officially Past all that.
Youngest was particularly proud of himself.
'I didn't swallow it, Mummy,' he said.
Agonising watching him tell everyone at school on arrival.
Prising his mouth open wide with his fingers, he told the story to a less than Rapt Audience.
Children all World Weary with Tooth Loss.
'I've lost 8,' said one little girl, showing us her mouth of gaps and teeth of all sorts and sizes.
'My daddy likes to pull mine out,' said another with a Sigh.
'I've got 2 wobbly teeth Right Now,' said Another.
Youngest looked on, still with hand opening mouth for all to see.
You could see the Deflation.
'Well,' said I, in Joyce Grenfell Brightness, 'Youngest has just lost his Very First Tooth! Well done, Youngest!' And clapped. Hard.
There was a luke warm applause amongst the hardened Year 2's as they took coats and hats off.
Youngest gave up and sidled off to tell his teacher.
Forewarned and all, I also told her in my bright Mummy tones our Wonderful News.
She, bless her heart, picked up on the Significance of the Day, and gave Youngest the Due Attention so lacking from his previous encounter by the Coat Hooks.
And I left, hearing him tell her that he hadn't swallowed it. She was Suitably Impressed.
Sometimes you just have to Fight to get your child Heard.
In a little Sort of Way.

Monday, 11 January 2010

In Which Youngest is Very Brave

Took Youngest to A & E recently. School rang to say he had hole in his head after falling on a table.
Poor little mite.
Off we went, with Youngest in Unexpected High Spirits Considering and chatting nineteen to the dozen all the way. Me muttering about food shopping and having no time to wipe my bottom (sorry, more lavatorial stuff). In between concerned questions about whether or not Youngest could see properly and did he have a headache.
Youngest hugely brave. Glue poured over hole and all sealed up. Howling with pain. His head pushed firmly into my shoulder where it stayed until he realised the torture was over.
Nurse gave him a teddy which I thought most kind. We called him Sam and Youngest cuddled him tight through his torrential tears.
Came home.
Youngest, needing a little cuddle before bed time, told me how brave he had been.
'I was brave. I didn't cry, Mummy.'
I said, as I have said a million times, 'Brave isn't NOT crying, brave is doing it anyway even when you ARE crying.
'Well,' he said, 'I REALLY wasn't crying. My eyes were just leaking so that water came down my face.'
Oh, I said. In an understanding sort of way.
And hugged him close.
I reckon he was Damned Brave.
Despite the leakages.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Is it Snowing?

Good Grief.
I know it's winter and all. And I know it gets cold. And I know that sometimes it snows. Which means I had better wrap up warm and stay inside until the weather gets a Tad more Friendly Like.
I know not to go out in my car while it is Icy as my car might skid and I might go into a ditch. Which would not be nice at all.
And so I stay here with my children and we wrap up warm and go outside to make snowmen and then come back in to drink hot chocolate and watch DVDs. And don't venture out in the car as the roads are ridiculously dangerous.
Kind of obvious, really.
Not Obvious at all, it seems.
The BBC News Team have told us ALL DAY that it is Very Cold Indeed.
They have kindly informed us that it is Snowing. Heavily.
They have also instructed us to stay at home and not risk going out in the car.
They urged us in wise tones to wrap up warm.
And then they tell us again. And again. And again. And again. And again.
Any other news?
Oh, Gordon Brown and something or other with Geoff Hoon, but couldn't hear about it for all the talk about Snow. And staying in. Extreme weather conditions. Freezing. Ice. Brrrr.
Every channel on the telly is full of Wintry Pictures.
Cars covered in white.
Stranded on the M20.
Forgive me for being a Tad Obvious here.
But it's Winter Time. It Snows and gets Awfully Cold and Icy.
Doesn't it?
Why on earth are people going out in this? Apart from those who Absolutely Have To, WHY DO PEOPLE DO IT??
We were told so clearly Not To Go Out by those kind BBC people.
And what do people do?
Go out.
'Well, I've been in my car for 12 hours.' said one woman. 'Stuck here on the A3, it's been a long night.'
What a Wally.
Just stay at home, you Daft Dylans! Then those poor emergency people can do some real work, rather than heaving endless cars out of icy ditches.
And we can all watch the news channels.
Except there wouldn't be any news as everyone would be at home.
At least we would get to hear a bit more about Geoff Hoon. That is, if we wanted to. Which we don't.
Happy Winter, everyone!
Oh, and keep warm. It's terribly cold, you know, and there is lots of snow about.
Oh, you knew already? Clever old you!

Monday, 4 January 2010

Christmas this year was a sad one. Not our sadness. Someone else's. Someone I don't know particularly well, but who I see on a regular basis when she picks up her child from the school where my children go.
Her husband died. Very suddenly, just before Christmas. His heart.
In his forties. Young, kind, chatty, funny, loving and There.
And then he wasn't.
We are all in shock. Such sadness for his wife and child. How DO you start the rest of your life without the person you have chosen to be with for ever?
And how does a little boy get over Daddy never being there again?
It is quite simply unbearable.
I am reluctant to write more as this is their sadness and it feels a little uncomfortable writing about it in any detail.

Send up a prayer for them. Keep them in your thoughts.
Thank you.