Monday, 12 November 2012

Everything in its place....?

Have created a Homework Drawer.  It has sellotape, glue, pencils, pens, rulers.... ANYTHING your child will need for their homework.  
This follows on from approximately 18 years of homework, when a child will say, where is a Pencil, and we will spend 30 minutes finding a Pencil, which we find under the cushions on the sofa, lead smashed to smithereens by a week's worth of bottoms sitting on it.  
Then child says, where is the Pencil Sharpener, and we spend another 15 minutes finding the Pencil Sharpener, which we eventually find under the sofa, next to several felt tips that have no lids on, next to the lids, with no felt pens in them.
Almost every homework has begun this way, with varying times of 'finding' things. By the time the Object has been found, all enthusiasm for Homework has evaporated, and the next half hour is spent either crying (them) or shouting (me).
Imagine the bliss of my Homework Drawer!
Child says, 'Mum, where is a Pencil?'  
And I say, with ill-concealed excitement... 'In the Homework Drawer!'
And said Child goes to Drawer and opens it and FINDS THE BLOODY PENCIL ALL ON THEIR OWN!!!!!!!
Oh, the joy. The satisfaction. The peace.
Have also got my own Tool Kit, Matches, Firelighters, and Torch.  They are all hidden away where NO ONE CAN FIND THEM AND PUT THEM SOMEWHERE 'SAFE'.
Because how in HELL am I supposed to know that 'the matches are outside in the shed under the chair that has some paint on it'?
Or that 'the hammer is in the greenhouse next to the black pot with seeds from last year's runner beans in it'?
Or that 'the firelighters are on the patio'?
And so I am at last an organised person, who knows where things are.
Well, where THOSE things are.
Still haven't a clue where my wellington boots are, last seen on my feet before the weekend, and worn by someone else since, who put them 'somewhere, but can't remember quite where'.
Or where my entire sock collection is.  Husband says he put them in my drawer.  
'Oh', he says, 'Maybe I put them in someone else's?  What colour were they again?  Yes, they might be in Daughter's sock drawer.'  Go to Daughter's sock drawer.  Find Youngest's entire sock collection, plus Middle Son's entire sock collection, but not mine, or Daughter's.  
Go back to Husband and tell him, who says, 'have I tried Middle Son's Sock Drawer?'  
In a word, no.
And so while some things are blissfully in the place where I have put them, other things aren't.
But I'll think about that for another day.
Today I have a Homework Drawer!!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Mystery of the Disappearing Poo

Mystery solved! Cat thoroughly does business on bathroom floor. As we are about to leave for rugby with Youngest. Make sensible decision to leave until AFTER rugby as pushed for time. Arrive back from rugby (cancelled, so watched London to Brighton Old Car thing from rather nice cafe in Cuckfied.... beats hovering on edge of filthy pitch for two hours)
Get marigolds, disinfectant, bucket, hot water, knife (don't ask) and courage. Tell family that I am going up to deal with large cat dump in bathroom. Oh, they say, and carry on with the making of Yorkshire Puddings. Sensible decision.
 Arrive in bathroom. Place bucket on floor. Put marigolds on. Deep breath. ??????? No poo. Gone. Sniff carpet. (well... wouldn't YOU?) Scratch head. Sniff again. ??????? Where the HELL is the poo?? Clean as a whistle on floor. No sign of poo. Anywhere. ??????? Behind me there is a noise. Look round. Milo, our labrador, looking Very Guilty. And it dawns on me. He's flipping well eaten it. Every last bit. And may I just add that it was a particularly revolting one... not very well formed, if you see what I mean. (Are you still there? How lovely!!)
Took bucket, marigolds, disinfectant, hot water, knife and courage downstairs again. Told family. Who all went Ewwwwwwwww.
Poured Large Gin and Tonic. Raised a glass to my poo ingesting canine friend.
Sure gives Poop Scoop a new meaning.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Le Pox de Poulet

It's back.
Bigger. More lethal.
Requiring attention and military detail.
Cancelling everything else in order to give time EXCLUSIVELY to it.
So familiar and yet so strange.
Chicken Pox is back.
Youngest has discovered spots in orifices he didn't even know he had.
Almost got to the point where they all join up.
Am doing comforting things and being generally rather a Good Egg.
He is not impressed.
At all.
'My bottom itches.  MUM. It ITCHES'
Clearly I can't scratch that area for him.  Can I?
And how on EARTH is he to scratch that one INSIDE HIS EAR.
Calamine lotion not here yet, as Husband will bring some.  Helpfully, he won't be home until 1.00 am.
Oh, well.
Meanwhile will continue to be in Patient Mother Mode (PMM) until Husband Get Home. (HGH)
Valium, anyone?

Friday, 7 September 2012

Farrow and Ball or Durex?

Very proud.  Have painted our sitting room a rather Farrow and Ball green, which goes extremely nicely with our white cupboards, and the gorgeous sunlight that streams through the windows for most of the day.  Thrilled with it.
Had interesting moment in B & Q when Middle Son and I were perusing the paint colours.  Did we want Forest Glade 4 or Evergreen 3?  Um.
A nightmare of gazing very closely at colours that are IDENTICAL.
With different names.
Middle Son said, very loudly in the middle of Paint Section of B & Q that he thought we should go and look in the Durex Section.
Got quite a few Looks from other paint enthusiasts.
Had to subdue giggles while peering closely at Brilliant DULUX White choices, as was finding it hard to hold it in, as it were.
Middle Son pink with embarrassment, but also finding it hard not to break into hysteria.  So joined me by the Brilliant White section, and we both laughed hard but silently, into the 5 litre paint pots until we had maintained some sort of equilibrium.
Bought our paint.
Came home.
Ta da!!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


Right. It's time to blog. I have had a good old look at this layout business and it doesn't seem like the end of the world. Just a darn sight more complicated and until I find my feet, or rather my fingers, will just post about gentle things, and not bother with pictures or links because that would be very VERY scary. Anyway. Now to tell you all about this fascinating old life of mine. Enthrall you with wisdom, enlightenment, joy. Make you feel like it was worth coming here to visit.
Right. Um. Well.
Oh, yes!
Have bought a rain gauge.
I said a RAIN GAUGE. You know, one of those things that you shove out in the garden and measure how much rain you get. Why? Because then you know how much rain has fallen. I know, I know, I HAVE become enormously dull, but that is because we are trying not to spend any unnecessary money, and so I haven't been able to get out and buy things like CLOTHES or NICE THINGS but instead am buying things like RAIN GAUGES or TOILET LIMESCALE REMOVER.
Not very exciting, eh.
But am surprisingly rather pleased with my rain gauge. Half an inch of rain on Saturday night. A quarter of an inch since then. That makes three quarters of an inch! Which means that we need it to rain every day until about December for this drought of ours to be over. Apparently.
Having slid and squidged my way round our Bluebell Wood in mud up to my ankles, am amazed by the seriousness of this drought. My friend's husband is an engineer and has to work out HOW to make sure that there will be enough water for everyone during the Olympic Games. Don't envy him that job.  Because however you look at it, there won't be enough water for everyone at the Olympic Games.  Because there isn't enough water for everyone WITHOUT the Olympic Games.
But meanwhile there is water in our little stream running through our wood, and everything looks green and verdant and spring like.  And enough water for me to dash out to check the Rain Gauge.
Life can be SO satisfactory at times.
Note to self.
'Get a life.'
Not half as much fun as rain gauges, though.

Friday, 27 April 2012


What in tarnation has happened to my blog? Have only been away for a month or so, with the odd little visit here and there, and here I am back again, and the WHOLE THING IS CHANGED. Haven't a CLUE where to find my old posts, and have no idea whatsoever how to publish this post... feel like a newcomer all over again. Next thing I need to do is to change the flipping photo at the top of my blog. Me and two glasses of champagne look so tacky. But HOW? Right. Going to explore this totally new face of Blog Land and see what I can rescue from the ruins. See you soon!

Wednesday, 29 February 2012


Extremely pleased with myself.
Odious little man (Steve from Accounts) rang again from VISION PUBLICATION GROUP (see last post) and asked me again for the money I so called 'owed'. I had, in the time since our last dear little phone call, contacted Trading Standards, and a very kind solicitor from the Federation of Small Businesses. Between the two of these phone calls, I managed to get a letter together to send to Vision. This letter was unsent but ready to go, when Steve (see above) called.
I hit him with it.
Gave him What For.
Told him about the business forums I had found on the internet, where at least 30 other people had experienced the same thing FROM THE SAME COMPANY!
Told him about contacting Trading Standards and the FSB legal department.
Told him that unless he provided concrete evidence that I HAD confirmed the invoice, that I would be contacting the police for harassment.
I was on a roll, my voice no longer quiet and uncertain, but booming and confident and DETERMINED that the bullying should stop.
Steve from Accounts told me that I should talk to Andy from Accounts.
And rang off. Fast.
Next day we got a call from Vision saying that the invoice had been cancelled.
Ridiculous, eh? Like a bully in the playground who just needs someone to stand up to him.
Anyway, I did.
And will NOT be getting into the same situation ever again.
Do you know what? I actually asked to listen to the recording of the so called confirmation phone call. I sounded so damned NICE and NORMAL, if a little bewildered by the assumption that I had agreed to an advert. I could hear my voice saying, 'Actually I need to talk to my colleague,' and 'This sounds good in theory but in practice...' etc. All interrupted. All ignored. And all to the background of the children at my pre-school playing...
Makes me steam with rage that people take advantage like that.
And so, while I will always remain polite, I will never again fall into that trap.
It just goes to show how the very worst of mankind use the nice people out there for their gain.
But not this time.

Saturday, 25 February 2012


Aren't pushy people on the phone just the pits?
Was rung up last week by odious little man who demanded money from us for an invoice supposedly confirmed, by phone, a month or so before. The invoice was for an advert, with money going towards a charity. We had already done one advert in the summer, and were SO not up for yet another one. I explained to him, very nicely, that we were a tiny little pre-school, and not really up for forking out another £600 when we needed every penny for the children. I was sure that he understood, blah, blah,blah.
He didn't.
At all.
He started to get rather unpleasant, and told me that there was a 'recording of the confirmation', and invited me to listen to it.
Which I did.
And could hear myself, (cor, I didn't 'alf sound posh and all) saying Yes to this, and Yes to that, and then explaining that I would be delighted to give the money but not now... and then being talked over by the voice at the other end, before the phone call abruptly ended, and I was left with a £600 bill.
And all of this happening because I am polite to a pushy, aggressive sales person last October.
Believe me, it's hard enough telling these people to naff off when sitting quietly at one's desk, surrounded by paper work and Stuff. But to be surrounded by 20 small children, at our pre-school, one holding my hand, the other needing their nose wiped, it becomes almost impossible to give one's full attention to a full spate of sales technique at the other end of the phone. I kind of zoned out when the pushy sales lady (who rang right in the middle of a morning session at our pre-school) went on and on about how kind we were, and what she wanted, and how she was going to go about doing things for us. But I put the phone down knowing that I hadn't committed to anything. Phew!
Only to get another phone call some time later saying that they were so delighted that I would like another advert (costing £600) and how would I like to pay.
I was totally taken aback by their engineering of the conversation to make it sound like I HAD confirmed.
The very dull end to this very dull tale is that I am now in the process of trying to prove that I did NOT commit to yet another advert in some poxy publication and that we will NOT be paying out £600 for an advert we don't want.
It is taking up hours of my time, and I am getting more and more annoyed as each phone call, email, letter goes on.
I now have Trading Standards on the case, plus the Federation of Small Businesses.
Feels like bullying. It really does.
Cross your fingers for me, folks.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Pee'sd off

Christ, have done it again.
Very Nice Man came round to fix the gutter, which had been ripped off during storms of late (causing much grief in night as one heard the bang bang banging of loose guttering about six feet away from head ALL NIGHT LONG).
Very Nice Man arrived with very long ladder and proceeded to go up very long ladder to wrench bastard guttering away from roof and replace with new. Hooray!
I hovered at the bottom of ladder while Very Nice Man shouted a lot from the top of the ladder. Most of which I couldn't hear, as he was face to face with roof, and sound was rather muffled.
Offered him some tea. Called for dog who was sniffing about. Dog came, and neatly cocked his leg and pee'd all over the Very Nice Man's tool box.
While Very Nice Man was still speaking I backed into utility room, which was conveniently placed just behind me, grabbed large wad of loo paper also conveniently placed just behind me, and made for the tool box, loo paper hidden behind my back.
Very Nice Man was still talking.
Bent over double quick, wiped back, forward, sideways and a quick flourish to finish, and made for the compost heap with what I hoped was a Nonchalent sort of walk.
Very Nice Man didn't have a clue.
Thought that I really ought to wipe it with proper antibacterial wipes, so went back into house.
But phone rang, I got distracted, and the next thing I knew was the Very Nice Man was at my front door with his tool box.
Bye, he said, cheerily.
Bye! I said back. Not looking at tool box.
Which was decidedly damp.