The musings of a juggling mother

Rants & raves about life as a woman today, juggling work, home, kids, family, life the universe & everything.

© Mrs Aginoth. The right of Mrs Aginoth to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents act 1988

Monday, October 31, 2005

Are you a worthy citizen?

Finally the UK Government has decided to bring in a citizenship test for new immigrants. I am all in favour of immigration, but I do feel that if you come to live in a country (or even just to visit), you should respect the laws and culture in place. You should certainly know the laws, morality & language if you wish to become a citizen. Each new group of immigrants will bring their own traditions, skills, foods etc with them, which always get amalgamated into the general culture, but they still need to live within the society that is already here.

Anyway, I got 13 out of 14, which is pretty good, but I'm not totally sure they're asking the right questions....

World Wide Views

Having put on my NeoCOUNTER a few days ago, I can now see that peopole from all over the world are visiting my little journal/rantings. This is very gratifying, and not only because it makes me feel big & clever;-). also because I truely believe that the greatest thing the internet has done is to make it possible for the whole world (nearly) to communicate dirctly with each other - and hopefully to start to understand one another better.

However, all my commenters are Brits, Americans or Canadians. So this is a call to all those people from faraway places. Please write comments. Let us know who you are & tell us about your thought & feelings on the rubbish I publish here. Feel free to write whatever you want - comments will not be moderated for opinions, (although unnecessarily foul language, or personal insults will be removed), and it's your comments that have kept the blog going - my previous record for keeping a diary has been - one day!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Halloween Mayhem

Well, today went pretty much as expected to be honest. Mstr A woke up & was sick (very loudly) in the middle off the night, so everyone lost any benefit of the clocks going back! I went off to work in the morning & tried out Mr A's new toy - a sat-nav system. It worked really well actually, although it was a bit eerie that it knew where I was all the time:-)

Mr A was left with tired children at my mothers. she ably demonstrated her inability to tolerate my children once again & compounded the problem by offering them still frozen shepherds pie to eat for lunch, so Mstr A was hungry & tired, as well as his normal difficult self. I had thought that we'd had a bit of a breakthrough when I was there last weekend (after the previous visit where we had a screaming row),but apparently that's only true if I'm watching her! it doesn't apply to Mr A.

By the time I returned after work Mstr A was in tears & refusing to talk to anyone or do anything. A swift mollycoddling later, he agreed to come to the Halloween Party with us, so we all trecked off to my sisters. She'd done a great job of decorating the house, and with six 2-year-olds, 3 babies and Mstr A (there other two older ones couldn't come unfortunately), a good time was had by all. except when my mum pilfered half the food before the kids had a chance to eat anything, at which point I thought my sister mught shoot her, but we got over it.

Then it was a matter of bundling all the kids back into the car, against their will, & heading home. Just made it back & re-settled LMB. It's good to be back. No more trips now till Xmas time (hopefully), which is good as I had to use my mothers dial-up last night - I thought the page would never load! Yay for broadband.

UPDATE: Mr A has now posted his version of events for those of you who are interested. Obviously, as he was actually there (whereas I sneaked off to work) it's in a bit more detail.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Money, Money, money

We've been spending money toady! lot & lots, on stuff that has no real point at all, except that it's our hobby!

We went off en mass to the Mediaeval fair in Warwickshire today. a smaller version of the one we usually visit (held in coventry on the same weekend), but a nicer venue, cheaper entry, friendlier vendors, loads better food & generally a nicer atmosphere.

As we are joining a new group next season, & changing time periods by over 100 years, we needed lots of new stuff! fortunately the really expensive things like tent, cookware, weapons are all ok, but new clothes were required for everyone, we bought Mstr A his first Longbow & some practise arrows (5 is the correct age to start learning, and for many hundreds of years it was enshrined in English Law that all men & boys over 5 MUSt practise daily, all the better to shoot the French). we also bought a bed, as i am getting too old too sleep on a cold wet floor! Mr a has been promising to make one for years, but this was a bargain at almost the same price as the wood would cost, and a new load of sheepskins to make into LMB's bed (kids just get a pile of furs to sleep on, incredable warm & comfortable)

LMB is not a good shopper, and spent much of the time throwing herself to the (very dirty) floor, but the other two were good. They also talked incessently at us the whole drive back down to London, (where my mother lives), so we were completely knackered by the time we arrived.

still I got everything sorted for tomorrow, have managed not to argue (much) with my mother, & survived her cooking! All the kids went to bed perfectly for once, so we had a quiet night chatting 7 reading.

hopefully tomorrow will go as smoothly when Mr A has to deal with my mother & four kids (cousin is coming over to visit) all morning!

A weekend away

Well, we maanged to wake up without particularly sore heads today, & blogging well into the night ensured there'll be no more surprises of the LMD kind in 9 months time (nuff said)!

Just finishing off the pinata, making Mstr A's magic wand, packing up the last of my work stuff (I finished the printing overnight), sort out all the kids stuff for the weekend & the halloween party, pack & wwe'll be off to spend lots of money on re-enactment kit, argue with my mother & spend the weekend in London.

Ah wel, a quiet, relaxing weekend away was never really on the cards, was it?

Friday, October 28, 2005

Oh what a night

Mr came home from work earlier & started behaving very strangly - cleaning up & cooking the kids supper. I didn't think much of it, just pleased I didn't have to sort it out. usually we all eat together, but sometimes we just can't be bothered, so cook something quick & easy for the little A's & eat real food later & I assumed this was one of those days.

As I was getting Mstr A ready for bed CQ turned up, which was nice. unexpected, but it's always nice to see her. Then Mr A suddenly turmed round & said "go get changed then, we're going out".

i was flabbergasted. Mr a has never managed a surprise night out before!

He took me off to my favourite restuarant, where I had a fantastic meal of cheese parcels, veal & ooh the most yummy potatoes in the world, chocolate mousse with kaluha, a couple of bottles of wine, and generally a really grown up, romantic, drunken time.

I refuse to think of the £100 it cost for the two of us to get outrageously drunk, stuffed silly & generally treated like real people, and just remind myself that if I'd had the same thing in Bristol, or (god forbid) London, it would have cost 2, 3 or even 4 times as much, so really we saved £300!

I'm now well pissed, & watching a bunch of clever buggers (and Alan Davis) on QI. Life is good. I'm glad I've got the old Aggie back. The depressed flaky Aggie isn't as much fun. this is how things used to be.

Apologies if this post doesn't make any sense. I have very little control over my fingers, due to the wine, but it's fun:-)


Mstr A is into explaining & describing things at the moment.

everything, to everyone, in great detail.

All the time.

Help me!

Jobs are like buses

You don't see any for ages, then three come along at once!

As you may have gathered, I am not particularly enamoured with my employers, however, the job is generally convenient, so I'm loathe to jump ship & end up in a worse situation. Therefore, for the past six months or so I have been reading all the professional magazines, joining associations, scouring websites & chatting up contacts in the vain hope something well-paid, local & flexi-houred will turn up.

Nothing, nada, zilch. a couple of possibles that fulfilled one or two criteria. One job that I applied for, got interviewed for & lost on the spurious grounds that I didn't have the faintest idea of the role of the profession I would be joining if I had got it.

Then suddenly, three turn up at once. One was sent to me by those nice contacts I've been cultivating, so that was worthwhile, and one i found online. The other was a chance reading of the Guardian paper at my mothers (I am far too stingy to buy newspapers when I can get them free online, plus it doesn't kill so many trees, or make me cross that the re-cyclers haven't collected my stuff AGAIN).

I've got an interview on Wednesday for a job that I am experienced & qualified in, but is in Bath, which is a fair commute. However, it is ONLY in Bath, no more traipsing around the countryside. Plus it's back in local government, so I can get back on track with my pension again (I'm looking forward to a wealthy retirement - I'm not having a wealthy working life)

I've got an interview on Thurday for a job that is basically the same as I'm doing now, but the next stage up, full time & more money. Convenient. Lets hope they are better employers, cos I would really like this one.

I've got an application for a job I really fancy doing, as it is what I am interested in & would actually stretch my brain occasionally. It's what I do in my own company, so I've got the experience. it's got to be finished in time to post on Monday.

Both interviews need powerpoint pressentations made up on complicated subjects. I am off to Warwick tomorrow to buy re-enacting kit, then straight down to London to do some more work on sunday, then take the kids to my sisters halloween party. I doubt we'll be back before midnight on Sunday. I have no idea when I'm going to get everything done!

Horaay for jealousy

Everything has it's uses. LMD has suddenly started drinking from a bottle/cup! Despite months of trying, pleading, starving & crying, I have never managed to even get it in her mouth without starting an angry screaming fit.

LMB has recently suddenly become interested in her Dolly again. She takes her Baybee everywhere with her - out in the pram, to bed, and feeds it with her little dolls baby bottle. "feed baybee" she yells glefully 20 or 30 times a day. Yesterday, she lost her dolls bottle & and was completely distraught. So I put a few cm of milk in a real bottle & gave it to her (Non-spill lids have so many uses). She was delighted & immediately started to feed her baybee. LMD likes to be involoved in everything LMB does, & can't stand the idea she might be missing out, so she crawls straight over and tries to steal the bottle. After a few tussles, I put some water in another bottle & give that to LMD to play with. She immediately sticks it her mouth & starts sucking!

Since then, she has hardly let the bottle out of her sight, and has drunk loads! This is so important to me as I do really want to start weaning her, but until she took some liquids I couldn't cut down the milk feeds safely. Now she's done it - I'm stopping her lunch time feed as of today.

So even jealousy has it's uses. All those fights over toys seem worthwhile now:-)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The truth is out there

OK, I'm bored of this game now, so here's the answers:

  1. I have been a witness in a GBH trial TRUE, some nasty little scroats had an altercation with my sister & myself one Saturday evening when we were teenagers. It was the first time we had ever felt the need to dial 999. Despite the fact that while on the phone my sister said "Oh my God, he's just hit her", and that we were only 1/4 mile from the police station, they took 20mins to arrive. The Met in the 80's were far scarier vthan any criminals & promptly tried to persuade us to complain about a non-existant sexual assualt as well. still, considering how well the little ****'s wriggled out of most of the allegations, maybe I should have. I sat through the whoile trial being asked questions about my alcohol intake & sexual intentions/background. I was 17. he pointed out that his mother was a professor, piad a fine & went home grinning.
  2. I am a qualified paralegal FALSE I did Law at college, but never took it any further due to some extremely bad advice. I am currently re-training part-time & should qualifiy in another 18 months
  3. I love swimming underwater TRUE I adore swimming, and find the peace & weightlessness underwater particularly relaxing. Just sinking down in the bath is good, but a swimming pool is better.
  4. I am scared of deep water TRUE this is a bit of weird I know, but I like being under "safe" water. I tried Scuba many years ago & absolutely adored it, until we did it properly in open water, where I felt quite unsafe. I like my water to be deep enough to swim in, shallow enough to see the bottom. I blame all those dodgy horror books I read as a youngster.
  5. I believe in capital punishment FALSE I am totally opposed to both murder & revenge, and capital punishment is just a state sponsored version of both
  6. I am tone deaf TRUE I was thrown out of the school choir, can't tell if people are good/bad singers & have often had people ask if I what was wrong when I sing to myself
  7. I go to the gym every day FALSE although I used to work in a gym, and used it every day then. I haven't even been inside one since LMB was born. Fitness is about living healthily, walking, cycling & taking the stairs, not about prancing around in Lycra for an hour a day & paying money for the privilege
  8. I have visited the Soviet Union TRUE I went there just before they had their revolution & became The Russian Federation. An absolute revelation, both in what didn't happen there (The TV's could not be tuned - they were pre-set to state channels), and in what they couldn't understand (I had a long arguament with some lads about unemployment - they didn't understand the concept, or believe it could possibly be real). it started my penchant for travelling.
  9. I lived in Australia for a year FALSE I've tried out a few countries, but never made it to Australia
  10. I can play the trumpet & the violin FALSE see 6. despite my real attempts as a child in learning the piano, recorder & cello I was an abject failiure at anything musical & can barely read music, let alone make instruments sound nice
  11. I have coached an Olympic medallist TRUE I coached Diving at a high level for many years before discovering better things to do with my spare time. One of the rising stars in the club I coached at was Peter Waterfield, silver medallist in the Athens Olympics. I coached him as a youngster, then was involved in his coaching up to national standard.
  12. I can ride a motorbike TRUE I rode a bike every day from my 16th birthday until I had to get a car for work aged 24. I still miss it, but every time I seriously go looking at buying a new one, another baby turns up!
  13. I have six brothers & sisters TRUE one older brother, one older sister, twin sisiters younger than me, and two brothers younger than them (one deceased)
  14. All my grandparents are still alive FALSE, they are all dead. The last one died a few months ago
  15. I cried when Ginger died in Black Beauty FALSE I am totally unsentimental, and especially when dealing with animals. I never even realised it was supposed to be sad until my mother told me how much she'd cried at it!
  16. I didn't want to have any children TRUE I was told at a very young age that I couldn't have children & I grew up forming my life plan around being childless. I was totally devastated when I discovered I was pregnant.
  17. I have a degree in English Literature TRUE see no 2. following that bad advice I chose to do English at Uni on the mistaken belief it would be easy. Made it through the three years then realised I had no wish or ability to enter any of the careers available to an English Graduate.
  18. My favourite Author is Charles Dickens FALSE I find him tedious in the extreme. I'm sure they were great weekly serialisations, but they make boring novels.
  19. My ambition is to climb Everest FALSE I am completely baffled by the wish to do such difficult and unecessary things. "because it was there" What? There's a saw in the tool box, but I don't cut of my arm because it's there! I can understand it's a nice view though. I wouldn't mind taking a helicopter ride to the top & having a look around.
  20. I grew up in a small village in Dorset. FALSE I grew up in the East End of London. It's a pit. I got out as soon as I could.
Thanks to you who took part.

Oh yes, I'm supposed to tag some other people to do this now, but I think I may have missed the boat on that one, as nearly everyone has already been tagged! Hmm, how about I tag anyone who hasn't done it yet? Sounds good to me:-)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I'm a genius, me

Just found this:

Your IQ Is 125

Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius

Your General Knowledge is Above Average

It's no great surprise to me that my logical intelligence is rubbish - that's why I usually get terrible scores in IQ tests (I'm sure I can't really be that stupid - I managed to gain a degree back in the days when they meant something, & I have managed companies & multi-million £ facilities competently). And the general knowledge was all American, so that's not too bad either!

At least this one gives me a good score overall, & I quite like those "Genius" bits:-)

It's a miracle

LMB slept through the night last night, without waking once!

Please, please, please say it's the start of a trend.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

False or True MeMe

Aginoth has promised to tag me on this one, so I thought I'd get it out of the way.

20 facts, 10 are true, 10 are false. can you guess which is which?

  1. I have been a witness in a GBH trial
  2. I am a qualified paralegal
  3. I love swimming underwater
  4. I am scared of deep water
  5. I believe in capital punishment
  6. I am tone deaf
  7. I go to the gym every day
  8. I have visited the Soviet Union
  9. I lived in Australia for a year
  10. I can play the trumpet & the violin
  11. I have coached an Olympic medallist
  12. I can ride a motorbike
  13. I have six brothers & sisters
  14. All my grandparents are still alive
  15. I cried when Ginger died in Black Beauty
  16. I didn't want to have any children
  17. I have a degree in English Literature
  18. My favourite Author is Charles Dickens
  19. My ambition is to climb Everest
  20. I grew up in a small village in Dorset.

Aginoth - I wasn't allowed to do yours, you're not allowed to do mine!

Sleep deprivation AGAIN!

boo hiss & bah humbug to having kids.

I went off to bed at 11pm last night, feeling quite smug that LMD had gone down t 7.20 as she is supposed to, and had already woken, been fed & gone back to bed. I tucked in the other two, who wer both fast asleep, & crawled into my nice big, comfy, inviting bed.

two hours later, just as the clock ticked over to 1.07am, LMB wakes up screaming. I leap out of bed, settle her down, find all her cuddly toys, & go back to bed.

Two hours later, just as the clock ticks over to 3.14am, LMB wakes up screaming. I hope she;'ll shut up on her own, but Mr a gives in & goes o her. The volume increases "I want Mummy!". Sure she's going to wake everyone else up, I climb out of bed & sort her out. Not happy, I merely tell her it's night time & I'm going back to bed, goodnight. She whinges for a while, then falls asleep.

One hour later, just as the clock ticks over to 4.27am LMD wakes up. I stumble out of bed & feed her, then put her back down. she doesn't like this idea, feeling she has slept enough & needs some "coaxing" to go ack to sleep. I crawl back into my bed at 4.45am

One hour later at 6am the alarm goes off. Mr A decides it's too early & we go back to sleep.

one hour later at 7am, the alarm goes off again. mr a turns the light on, Mstr A wkaes up & chats at us, LMD wakes up for more milk. I give up & get up.

My head hurts

My throat hurts

All three children are being good, but noisy!

i have to go to work this afternoon.

With all the kids.

I also have to write a job application to be sent today at the latest.

today is not going to be fun!

Monday, October 24, 2005

This weaning thing

It's raining in our house today, due to a lack of roof! Go see Aginoths blog for more details, I just can't be bothered to write about it all.

Anyway, that's not whats bothering me today. What's bothering me is this whole weaning lark. I know I've been through it twice before, but it just doesn't work with my kids. LMD is coming up to 9 months old now. I'm absolutely definite that I will not feed her past one year (I don't believe it's good for me, her, or anyone else we know). However, it doesn't seem to be working very well - she still likes to feed every 3 hours or so - although she usually manags to stretch to 6 hours at night.

it's not as though she doesn't take solids - she does. All types, with great enjoyment. She can happily stuff half a chicken breast, a whole potato & 5 or 6 broccoli florets for supper, but she still wants a full feed from me too. I have failed miserably at weaning her off even one feed a day. and as she wont take milk from a cup/bottle I can't even fob her off with something different.

With Mstr A I was very organised about everything, and as he had such a strong routine & happily took bottles (from anyone except me), I carefully cut out one feed a month, from 6 - 12 months old. But a) each one was really hard to take away, upsetting him & me, and b) I didn't really have to do much, as he was in full time child care.

With LMB, she just refused solids till about 9 months anyway, and then quickly grew loads of teeth & ate loads of family meals, filling herself up. although she always liked to finish it off with a feed, she wasn't too bothered if I didn't offer it.

LMD knows exactly what she wants & alternates screaming & clingy whinging until she gets it, irrelevant of how much real food shes eaten already. I just can't face the noise when I try to remove or even postpone a feed. Most people I meet say something like "oh, are you STILL feeding her? My angel weaned herself when she was x months old". Weaned herself!? What does that mean? How does that work? Do they just turn their nose up when you offer the breast? Cos I'm telling you That aint never going to happen with mine. Do you just say, here's your real food now, you won't be needing all that milk stuff anymore? Cos that's just patently untrue. Alternatively I meet with the other lot. You know, the ones that tell me little cutie breast-fed till he was 6 and a half, and what a well adjusted, secure & healthy lad he's turned into because of it. yeah right. That is not an option.

there must be a way to do this without the screaming - I just don't know what it is, & time is running out.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Shrodinger Sunday

Many years ago I read "The Coming of The Quantum Cats" by Frederick Pohl. I don't usually get all that quantum stuff (nor do I believe it), but this one just reached out to me & mostly made sense. Basically the story followed a couple of people in one world where a hole was made in quantum reality, allowing many other versions of the same characters to wander into the single world & meet each other. Most Sci-Fi quantum books suggest that if you ever meet yourself the whole universe will implode in confusion, but Pohl took the more sensible (?) veiw that the universe wouldn't care one way or another.

I like the idea of all those other me's out there, doing things slightly differently. I'd love to meeet them - the good & the bad. It would be nice to see how fantastic I could have been, if I'd made the right decisions, and hopefully I could find out that I have made some right decisions, cos I'm doing loads better than other me's.

The me I'd really like to get to know is the one that didn't have any little Aginoths. I've never been totally convinced about my decision to have them. they weren't in my life-plan. I never imagined myself as a mum (I still have problems seeing myself in that role sometimes), & life was just panning out nicely when Mstr A came along & turned everything on it's head!.

I'm not suggesting that I regret having them, or that I don't want them, but I just wonder; what would life have been like had I actually followed all known medical scientific knowledge & not got pregnant?

Sitting in a restuarant with three screaming, kicking monsters this afternoon I thought that the other me had probably stayed in bed with Mr A till 11am, zoomed out to the shopping mall in her nice sports car, bought lots of lovely size 14 clothes & stuff, had a relaxing & drawn out romantic lunch, followed by an evening socialising.

As it was, we were rudely awakened at 6am, dragged out of bed. Put up with two tantrums from Mstr A by 10am, fought three children into a gas guzzling bus & listened to them scream all the way to the mall, had a rushed look around the shops (Got my birthday watch tho, which is lovely), faught three screaming kids into the gas guzzler again to take them to be fed, run lots of poor restuarant staff ragged (Well done Filton Harvester - they deserve an award for not even insinuating that we were awkward), dragged three screaming kids back into the car (where I completely lost my temper & shouted back at them - something I try really hard not to do), & traipsed back home, listening to them scream! Typically they all fell asleep about 10 mins before we got home. we seriously considered just driving around for an hour, but we never have & I don't approve, so we went home, where they all promptly woke up!

Thank goodness it's nearly bedtime! Unfortunately, I really have to get some work done tonight as I've been out and about all week & not done any admin! Pity, I could do with going to bed at 7pm too - now I bet THAT's something the other me never says:-)

LMD only JUST gone to bed. It's 9.30pm! Cow.
****ing work computer is ****ed AGAIN. I can't do any work. ****ing Stupid IT idiot doesn't believe me when I tell him it's ****ed/Virused & a piece of shite technology in the first place & now I'm going to miss all my deadlines & 1000's of little children won't get nice shiny new stuff for the new year! Wanker!

A long day

It was a long day yesterday.

Up at 5.30am, get me & LMD dressed & ready to go out (LMD was totally confused as to what was going on). Packed food for LMD & trundled out in the cold & dark. 6am is so early in the winter, but perfectly acceptable in the summer! A quick trip up the motorway to pick up CQ (sorry I was a tad late), then a long trip up the M5, M4, M25 (through THE roadworks -do they ever actually DO anything bthere), M23, & into Croydon, just to discover I have to park 5 mins walk away fro the course venue.

Now I don't mind a 5min walk in normal circumstances, but this was a first aid course - I had 4 manikins, first aid kits, 30 manuals, flip-charts, whiteboards, paperwork, acetates,& general work stuff to take there, as well as LMD & her bag, so dragging that all around the block wasn't a particularly pleasant experience.

The courses went well. We stuck to timings, so LMD got fed, and even more amazingly I managed to sqeeze in 10 mins for lunch too. Everyone passed. CQ did a stirling job of keeping LMD occipied & out of earshot. Finally 6pm rolled round & we packed everything back up & traipsed round to the car. I thought I'd give LMD a quick feed before we left, but a couple of minutes after she latched on a delightful jobsworth stuck his head in & asked that we move the car as he wanted to close the car-park gates. obviously 5 more minutes would have been too long to wait!

We made it out of Croydon, then pulled up in a bus stop to finish off her feed, as she was understandably upset. Then it was just a happy jaunt back out of London, onto the M23, M25 (through the roadworks - WHY?), M4, M5, drop off CQ, down the M5 to home. Made it back here at 9.30pm.

Mr A had pizza all ready & waiting for me. LMD woke up & played for a couple of hours. LMB woke up for a cuddle. During the night LMD woke up twice, & LMB woke once. Mstr A woke up & chatted at me at 6am. Now I'm tired, got a sore throat & trying to work out where we should take the kids for a family day out. It's been a long time since we've all had a day together, so it would be nice to do something with it. except it's raining. and cold. Something indoors I think.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Stop the world

I wanna get off!

Sometimes, I just don't want to do it any more. Just for an hour or so. This evening was one of those.

friday's are alway's busy, getting all the kids off to their respective schools for 8.30am then shooting off to college, finishing just in time to collect the kids. Today I squeezed in a quick stop at the supermarket too, as we needed some fresh food & printed off 30 1st aid manuals for the courses I'm doing tomorrow.

by the time I'd picked up the kids, reminded Mstr A to bring everything home for half term, argued with LMB that I couldn't carry her & push the pram, carried her & pushed the pram all the way home (I know, I'm just making it harder on myself), I was getting quite stressed about having everything ready for my 6am start tomorrow. Fortunately Mr A finishes work at 3pm on Fridays, so he was home at 4 & I went into the back room to try & get all my paperwork done. Mr A & Mstr A played the Nintendo, as Mr A had bought some new (secondhand) games from a collegue.

Withing 5 mins both girls were climbing on me, pressing buttons on the computer, fighting each other & generally being difficult. I waited for Mr A to come help, but no, he was too busy. Eventually I gave up trying to work & brought the girls back into the front room where I discovered why I'd been ignored for so long - the boys had the Nitendo up at about the 1000 decibel level (well, ok, but very loud) !

I cooked supper, & managed to drag them off the computer for 15 mins to eat it, but only for them both to go running back immediately. I cleared up the supper things, I bathed the girls, Then insisted Mstr A stopped playing to get clean too.

Mr A managed to rouse himself to put LMB to bed, & I did Mstr A (we take it in turns), but LMD refused to sleep again!. The moment LMB's bedroom door was shut, Mr A jumped onto his latop to play an online game. And that's where he's been ever since.

I've collated & bound all my manuals, printed out the other paper-work, packed the car, looked up where I have to go, fed LMD, fed LMD again in the vain hope she'll go to sleep & tidied up.

LMB screamed for 10 mins. A vast improvement, but still horrible to listen to.

I need some time off - anyone want a job or three for a couple of weeks?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The 100 greatest novels?

Following the current trend of publishing lists, Time have given us their list of the 100 greatest English Language novels since 1923 (when Time began ha ha).

I'm mortified to admit that I've only read 19 of them (& seen film adaptions of 4 more)! Still, I never quite trust US lists, which do tend to be slightly skewed towards Americans (as I'm sure all countries tend to be), although I was pleased to see a good variety of authors there, and no Moby Dick! I'm not sure what the criteria of a "great novel" was, other than they liked it (which is pretty much what they say in their "how we picked them" bit).

I think the readers favourites is probably a more accurate list in this case (I don't always believe that the public can be trusted to chose things, but good books, who else can really say?), especially as I have read 15 of the 20!

i think I may have to go off & compile my own list now - this is something I can really get my teeth into, although it will take some thought - and an actual criteria. Any suggestions?

It's a matter of faith

One of the nice things about driving around all day is that you get to listen to the radio.

Daytime radio is SOOO much better than daytime TV & I personally was corrupted to the ways of radio 2 by Mr A some years ago. I got to hear the whole of the Jeremy Vine show yesterday while queing on the A30 roadworks, and an interesting thing happened: Everyone agreed with one side of his debate topic. As hard as he tried, he could not find a single email/phone call or text in favour of the other view. even his in studio debater had a hard time coming up with more than one arguament for his side. So I wondered, is it just radio 2 listeners (who are on average older & educated), or is this true across the country?

The debate was on Faith Schools. Are schools dedicated to teaching a single faith good examples of high moral, behavioural & academic learning, or are they seperationist, racist & the first step onto the road to ghettoisation? The argument in favour centred around the fact that parents wanted their children to be educated in all aspects of their faith, and parents are not the people to do this in any coherant way. The argument against (from a rabbi) centred around the fact that faith schools seperate both children & parents from other faiths & lead to intolerance, fundementalism, mis-understandings, fear & racism, and that education should teach general moral standards & parents can top that up into specific faiths if they so wish.

Considering that the UK has had C of E, Jewish & Catholic faith schools for centuries, and since changing the law in the 90's to allow other faiths to have publically funded faith schools, their numbers have grown massively in all faiths, it was a bit of a surprise that the listeners were 100% in favour of banning all faith schools from accessing public funds.

Cornish travels and travails

I've been off down to Cornwall again yesterday & today. The Paignton meeting was postponed for a week, so it was just the two people to see - one in Helston & one in Penzance. I always forget just how far away Penzance really is. It looks ok on the map, but that's bcause you can't see that they don't have real roads in Cornwall! I also tend to forget to leave an extra 30 mins to get through the Truro traffic!

Still, I just about made it to my first meeting in Helston on time. LMD slept the whole drive which was great, but she was awake & happily exploring the place all through the meeting. Still, I think they're getting used to her now! We finished up the business talk noce & quickly, & I had time to nip back to Falmouth to drop everything off at my hotel, before heading out to the second meeting at Penzance. I got lost in Penzance - you'd think a brand new leisure centre, opposite the main collage might be signposted from the town centre? No. Signposted from the main road? No. Signposted at it's entrance? No. I finally asked a taxi-driver, who was very helpful, and made it there only 20 mins late. oops.

However, it went well, & I think I persuaded them to do all the stuff I wanted them to. I also got some useful conatcts for some furtur projects, so hopefully they will pan out well. Unfortunately I spent so much time chatting & being nice that we didn't leave till nearly 9pm. I still hadn't eaten, so I went looking for a restuarant. Now Penance town centre looked like a pretty vibrant place, but I was no-where near there & parking was difficult anyway, so I thought I'd stop at a roadside place on the way back. Yopu know the type of thing, one of the large chains, or a local equivelent.

There were none outside of Penzance, nothing on the road between Penzance & Helston, & nothing on the ouskirts of Helston. I decided to start looking for ANY kind of food - take-away, burger van etc. There was nothing on the road between Helston & Falmouth, & much to my surprise nothing on the edges of Falmouth. Not even any service stations were open! I even went round Falmouth town centre, but couldn't find anywhere that was still open at 9.30pm! I finally settled for a stale sarnie from a filling station & went back to my hotel room to eat it alone:-(

LMD refused point blank to sleep in the cot they had nicely provided for me, so we spent an uncomfortable night sharing the very soft single bed! BUT, I didn't get up till half past seven! Wow! Had a nice breakfast & set off back home. I did look for somwhere to buy Mr A some cornish pasties, but apparently all the normal places only have these during tourist season, so unless I was willing to pay to park in Truro, then wander around for an hour looking for the local bakers & hoping that they hadn't a) sold out already b) not cooked them yet for the lunch-time trade, I couldn't get any. So I didn't. Sorry Mr A!

We got back to find some idiot had parked their car right scross our driveway, blocking both my & our neighbours access. So have just called the police out to get them towed. That'll teach 'em.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I'm a what?!

You are a

Social Liberal
(60% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(18% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

I'm best described as a Democrat? No way, I don't even really believe in democracy! I see I'm sneaking over the line into socialism, but they're mostly a bunch of whinging do-good bourgeoisie who really annoy me a lot of the time.

Oh well, at least it didn't tell me I was a Republican - that would have been too scary considering it's an American site. Although, I am certainly leaning towards repulblicanism in the British sense:-)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Clearing up

It's been a dull and uninteresting day today really, so feel free to ignore this post & wait for something more interesting to happen.

Nobody wanted to get up this morning - even LMB was still asleep past 7am, so it was a drag getting them all up & ready for school on time. Still, we did make it - with a screaming LMB in the pram & LMD in the back pack as she had a hissy fit when I turned the TV off. We even got there in time to join in with the "wake-up shake-up" aerobics session thats held each morning now. He loved it & I feel that I really ought to show support since I was involved in the marketing of the idea in the first place. LMB finally stopped screaming enough to join in, so that was good.

When we got home, LMB had a hissy fit cos I wouldn't allow her to ring the doorbell, & I got on with tidying up & catching up on the washing from the weekend. I cajoled LMB out of her tantrum by letting her play on her 'puter, then she started a new one when I packed everyone back into the pram to go down to town to pay in the nice big cheque I got for working at the weekend. Distracted her from this one with a sausage roll & carried her most of the way home as Mr A had the double buggy in the car, at work, with him.

Came home, re-wrote all my budget sheets for my idiot employers (well, cut & pasted all the info onto the new form, with it's one added line) while LMB & LMD watched teletubbies. Tried to phone a client four times, but he was constantly engaged, so I didn't bother trying to get hold of anyone else! Warned LMB it was nearly time to collect Mstr A from school so the TV would be turned off soon, she agreed that would be ok. I confirmed she understood what I had said, she repeated it back to me. I turned off the TV, LMB threw herself to the floor & had yet another hiss fit.

I fought her into coat, strapped her into the pram, dumped LMD into the back pack again & went off to collect Mstr A. LMB was still crying when we got to school, picked up Mstr A, & walked home, so I tried to take her out of the pram, at which point she renewed her screaming, as she WANTED to be strapped in!

Tried to cook some nice supper, but discovered all the food had gone off while we were away, so threw it all away & made do with frozen rubbish! I'm all ready to settle down to an evening of great TV tonight, except LMD is wide awake & very noisy.

I'm off again for a couple of days tomorrow, but I think I'll sort everything out in the morning - i just can't be bothered tonight.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Search me

Cool, I am no. 1 on page 1 of a MSN search for "juggling work & kids" and no 2 on page 1 for "motherhood ruins your life" tee hee.

Not so nice, I've been hit by someone searching for "completely illegal naked pictures of kids". Yuk. Although I'm sure I was a great disappointment to them. I also got a few hits from "dogging" - I knew I shouldn't have done that post!

Isn't tracking fun?

I remember this feeling.....

Sorry for the lack of posts over the weekend - We've been away! Nowhere very exciting, just to my Mothers in NE London, but it was a good weekend all the same.

We went up on Friday night, so had all day Saturday to just relax & do stuff without feeling guilty for not getting on with house work/shopping/DIY/work etc. Went wandering in Epping Forest with the kids & Mastr A showed a healthy interest in learning about the different trees & stuff - which is something I've always wanted to know about. We've got some books, so we'll have to try & go out regularly enough for him to learn it all just by association. we also collected some whopping conkers & Mr A taught mstr A & LMB how to play conkers in the traditional, time honoured way. Mstr A won:-) I've promised he can take a conker into school to show his friends, although it can not be his oner, as conkers on strings are banned at his school for H&S reasons!

In the evening & put the two bigger kids to bed with their cousin(same age as LMB) & my mums, then escaped for the evening to my sisters. It was her 35th birthday, and I had a grown up evening of drinking, smoking (passively only, as Mr A gave me a "look" & reminded me that I'm still feeding LMD), chatting, waving both arms around & generally being me. I can't even remember the last time i drank alcohol at all, let alone in company. I had a really good time, and remembered what life used to feel like!

Sadly we had to leave early as I was working all day Sunday. Still, it was nice to get out, without worrying about the kids all the time.

Spent all day Sunday working, teaching First Aid to a bunch of Gymnastics Coaches in East London. It went well - everyone passed (although it's not a very difficult course). My mum took LMB & cousin off for the whole morning, so Mr A only had LMD & mstr A, who were apparently both angels, playing together, helping tidy up, eating everything & not screaming at all. It makes my work SO less stressful when I know the kids are happy. I finished at 6pm, went back to my mums, packed everything up (mr A can't manage to look after kids & pack our stuff during the day) & headed back home through the Sunday traffic.

I felt really smug that all the drinking & late night didn't affect me at all on Sunday (I always used to be a great drinker - the drunker I got, the earlier I wake up & bthe more likely I am to cook everyone breakfast!). Unfortunately someone thought I deserved punishing cos I feel crap today - not sure if it's the weekend catching up or the start of a cold, but just can't find any energy or enthusiasm today at all.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Work/life balance

This is the big thing these days. All the job adverts tell me how much the prospective employers value their employees work/life balance & will assist in any way possible to achieve the correct one. The news keep telling me that if you get it right, you'll be happier, healthier, have better adjusted offspring, be less likely to have a variety of medical conditions etc etc etc.

Getting some balance into my life was the reason I gave up the career I loved, & took a part time job that I don't hate. I explained this at my interview. They specifically asked why I wanted a PT job & I offered them a full & detailed explanation of my personal circumstances. When my thoughtful & concerned employers refused point blank to give me a company car (despite plenty of proof that the legally have to under PT workers rights legislation), I pointed out that I would have to work very strict hours, and would not be flexible (as I had been previously) with my avaiolablilty. They said, in writing, that would be fine.

I am contracted to work 18.5 hours a week. They fall on Mondays, Wednesdays & occasional Tuesdays. so please explain to me why my employers feel they can send me an email on Thursday morning asking for 6 reports to be written up on new forms & returned to them by Friday morning at the latest. Then, they have the gall to phone me at 9pm to ask if I've done them yet!

And I'm still waiting for July's expences to be paid. And Augusts. And the new publications I was promised would definitely be ready by Jan 2005, well, April then, Ok, guarenteed by Septemver, are still not done. oh yes, & they can't set up their computer system to tell me any of the information I need to know daily to do my job - they've been trying for two years, and for the whole time I have been promised that it will definitely go live next week. But I have to write reports on my day off, so that when someone claims some money, they will have the details on their new form, not the old one I've already sent them, which has ONE LINE different!

I actually don't mind my job, but my employers make my life miserable, and do everything they possibly can to screw my work/life balance.

sleep deprivation

It was very hard to wake up this morning. I blame the kids, as LMD didn't go to sleep till past 10pm in the end, then was waking me up at 5am for a feed. LMB was up at her usual 6am too, so when the alarm went off at 7am I didn't really feel like it.

Still, it might also be partly due to the fact that I didn't get to bed till midnight after watching Lost on C4 & E4! Although the occasional late night never used to be a problem before I had kids & lost the opportunity to sleep all night long without a break, or have a lie-in - ever!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Rushing, rain & roadworks

Yuk. It's Glastonburying it down over the whole country (big, splotty rain drops, falling at a rate faster than they can drain away, causing flooding, mud-slides & soggyness - invented by myself & Mr A after the notoriously wet festival), and I've been out & about in it all day.

I knew it was going to be a busy day today. I had to go down to Helston at the tip of Cornwall for a meeting covering a range of subjects, most of which I'd tried to sort out on a number of ocasions before. That's a good four hour drive at the best of times, so I set of at 7am with LMD, leaving LMB & Mstr A with Mr Aginoth to sort out & take to school/nursery.

It was quite nice as I left Weston, but by the time I reached Taunton, the rain was sheeting down, reducing visibility to about 1m! There were still plenty of people on the road without lights though! Plus there were about 10 miles of roadworks on the A30, for no apparent reason - no people working, no machines standing idle, no holes half dug....... However, I made it to Helston just about in time for my 11am meeting, gave them the bad news that they'd missed the funding deadline so couldn't claim the £500k they'd pretty much been promised if they'd just pulled their finger out! Still, I also gave them lots of ideas for where else to go, & how to fundraise themselves, so hopefully they will still be building a new facility down there soon.

I scooted out of there at 1.30, knowing that I had to be in Paignton by 3.30. That would be really tight timing if the weather was great, I knew where I was going & I didn't have to stop to feed the baby or myself. Unfortunately, none of the above were true. I wouldn't usually book a second meeting like that, but I've been trying to get these people to sit round a table & talk for nearly a year now, & this was the first time they'd all agreed to be in the same room at the same time, so I didn't want to put it off.

I finally made it through the floods & idiot drivers, round dodgy country lanes that are mapped as major A roads, and reached Piagnton at 4pm - The "English Riviera" does not look so inviting on a cold, wet October day:-) Managed to get them all to agree to at least talk to each other in the future, suggested they may want to try to co-ordinate their planning & offered them some money if they can be good boys & girls & play nice (Sport has worse politics than politics has half the time!).

I started home at 5.30, and shot up the M5 far too fast, through the floods & rain, to get home just as Mr A had finished putting the other two to bed! Good timing:-)

Now LMD is wide awake, having spent much of the travelling sleeping, I'm knackered, and the kids are going to sulk tomorrow as I didn't see them at all today. And just for fun I've got to go back to Paignton next Tuesday, & Penzance on Wednesday!

Just think, I could have spent the day at home with purple Mr A, getting to know each other again;-)

this is Mrs Aginoth, for her blog, in somerset, wet, cold, married, fed-up, really fed-up.........

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Blogging & Dogging

Apparently more people know what dogging is than blogging. This is the big technology news story in the Uk at the moment according to the BBC. (although I'm not sure what dogging has to do with technology?)

Now, this was based on a panel of Cabbies, Pub Landlords and Hairdressers, who dont, IMHO, really represent the whole of the UK population. Also, I obviously spend far too much time at home in front of my computer, as I can happily explain the terms Blog, Podcast, and happy slapping, but had to check the definitions at the end of the article to find out what dogging was!

As a typical UK citizen (well I am of average age, average wage bracket, average size, larger than average family), nobody asked me, but I know about blogs - ok I have one, so maybe that doesn't count. I know about Podcasting & I neither have nor want an IPod. I do not consider myself very technological, or particularly geeky, but once the internet started being fast enough to be worth the effort, I started using it. I'm sure there are many people out there just like me, but they are probably not hairdressers, pub landlords or cabbies - hardly the careers chosen by the most intellectual of people (nothing against them, but they are not jobs that require enjoyment of reading/writing - which is kind of vital for using the web in any way.)

Having just read Q's post on media bias, it makes me wonder what was the point of this research/report? Is it just to make all the BBC internet readers feel superior to their TV watching counterparts? (the story was not reported on the TV news).

Monday, October 10, 2005

Smiley faces all round

Well, in contrition for being such little ***** yesterday, all three kids have been absolute darlings (so far) today.

First off, LMD slept through the night. Right through. She didn't wake for her 11pm or her 4am feeds. Yippee! Of course, it would have been even better had LMB not got up at 11pm & 3am, and if I had gone back to sleep at 3am, rather than just dozing & waiting for her to want food, but yippee all the same. Now we'll have to see if she can repeat the feat:-)

Even better, no-one got up till 7am. I had bought LMD in to bed with me at 6am when she did finally wake for food, then at 7am, both the other two came in, quietly said "good morning mummy" and gave me an enormous hug. Then, totally out of character, all three of them played quietly, happily & safely for 1/2 hour while I stayed in bed!

They ate breakfast without pushing or complaining, Mstr A got dressed with only a little prompting, LMB wore what she was told to without complaining - even the jumper! Mstr A did all his homework without wandering off, & we all trundled to school without any screams, tantrums or refusals to walk!

Since then, the girls have pretty much entertained themselves, playing, watching TV, making a mess, but being good, quiet & safe, and letting me do ALL the work I've been trying to do for weeks. I feel so relieved to have it finished:-)

We're off to the Grand Opening (with a minor Royal no less) of our new leisure centre now. I'm running a taster pre-school gymnastics session for 2 1/2 hours, so the girls can join in, get exhausted & hopefully go to bed without complaint too.

Plus, on top of all that, Mr A reckons he should be out tomorrow!

The day just gets better & better

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Everyone seems to be doing BlogThings at the moment, so here's mine:

Your Animal Personality

Your Power Animal: Eagle

Animal You Were in a Past Life: Whale

You are active, a challenger, and optimistic.
Hard-working, you are always working towards a set goal.

I quite like this one, because despite the fact that they're all rubbish, this makes me look good & agrees with how I see myself some of the time :-)

**** motherhood

Sometimes I really wonder why we bother having kids. Today was one of those days when I could happily have left them all by the roadside without looking back!

It started early (which probably didn't help the rest of the day) when LMB woke up for no apparent reason. As I didn't get to bed till midnight, & LMD still has a 4am feed, I wasn't overly happy to be dragged out of my slumber at 5am. It took 1/2 hour to settle her back down enough for me to go back to sleep, then mstr A woke me again at 6am when he went to the toilet! As we get up at 6.30 anyway, I wasn't in the best of moods to start with.

We got rid of my mother at 9ish, then had a photo session booked at 10am. Every year we give all the family a professional photo of the kids for Xmas, and it's always a nightmare. This year was no exception. LMB refused to wear her dress & had to be cajoled & finaly bribed to put it on. Mstr A managed to get his white Chino's dirty within 5 mins of putting them on, & LMD was in a "cuddle me" mood, which means she screams every second I am not actually holding her. The walk to the photo shoot involved me pushing the pram & carrying LMB & as she reused to walk again! Once there, Mstr A posed well for about 10 seconds, then just turned his back to the camera & refused to do anything else asked of him, LMD screamed every time I even tried to put her on the floor & LMB suddenly appeared unable to smile!

After 20 mins or so, we agreed to give up & if they hadn't got anything nice out of this session we'd try again in a couple of weeks. So I dragged all three of them home & dumped them in the car to go off to the hospital to visit Mr A. They all resolutely kept themselves awake for the whole hours drive, then as soon as I parked Mstr A jumped out of the car, accross the road & ran off in the wrong direction. I fetched him back,unpacked the girls & went on the 3 mile trek around & through the hospitals to Mr A's ward. By the time we got there, Mstr A had realised he'd left his gameboy in the car & was yelling about how unfair life is.

We spent a couple of hours with Mr A, during which time mstr A was told off for pushing the bed around three times, for shouting five times, for pulling the wires out of the computer twice & for deliberately making a mess twice. LMB was told off for shouting twice, for smearing chocolate on Mr A's newly made bed three times, for kicking LMD three times & for pushing Mstr A three times. LMD just whinged & refused to nap.

Eventually I gave up, & took them all home. LMB cried most of the way, & mstr A spent the journey alternating between criticising my driving & moaning that he felt sick. It's now 4pm, so I'm going to have to sort out their food, bath & put them all to bed before I can do anything for myself, by which time I'll be too knackered to do anything anyway!

So today, I really don't like my kids (LMB is still whinging as I type), and when I think of how today could have gone without them stressing me out, all I say is **** motherhood - it sucks.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Lost & found

That's it, I am officially a bad mother. Today I lost Mstr A! I had gone shopping in town with my mother & it was pouring with rain, so we were darting from shop to shop. LMD was in the pram, with LMB toddling alongside, and mstr A trailing behind in a sulk because I'd taken his gameboy away from him. I'm sure he followed us into the shop, but with both girls screaming, my mother dissappeared off to purchase her items, & I assumed he was playing with the catalogues/pens as usual. I collected my items & called for him, & realised he was no-where to be seen.

I calmly checked the whole shop, & and called a couple more times (he's usually very good about staying in sight & coming when called), then checked outside. We'd been there for 10 mins at this point, so I started feeling slightly concerned & reported it to the shop staff. They advised me to report it to the main shopping centre security as they could co-ordinate the search with all the shops, CCTV etc. By the time I got there & found someone to talk to, he'd been gone 15minutes, and I was starting to really worry. I knew that stastistically it was very unlikely that anything had happened, but he's only 5!

When a fully co-ordinated search didn't turn him up qickly, I really started to get stressed. Then I thought to myself "he's a clever lad, self-sufficent & reasonably sensible. He probably would head home" so after half an hour had passed (Its a good 20 min walk home) I phoned home. On the second attempt, he answered the phone & I was able to draw a deep breath, tell him to stay put, & run all the way home to him. A big hug later & all is well. When he couldn't find us, he headed off home, & asked the first adult he saw to help him accross the roads, and make sure he got home safely. THANK-YOU to that man, whoever he was, for doing exactly that.

I think we may need to consider a mobile phone for him - I always said they would have one as soon as they were old enought to go anywhere on their own.

Some things to be thankful for:
  • Mstr A knows his name, address & phone no., so I was reasonably certain thaat he would be identified quickly once found.
  • We have always been against the "Stranger Danger" concept, teaching our kids that when in trouble they SHOULD go and find an adult.
  • We are not so security conscious that we lock every door & window when out, otherwise he wouldn't have been able to get in the house.
  • Mstr A has been taught how to answer the phone properly & did so!

Of course, now my mother will have yet another thing to bring up against me - although actually she was very good & cheerfully reminisced about the many, many times she lost/left one of us behind as children, although with 7 of us, she had a bit more of an excuse!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Where there's smoke

College today, so the usual rush to pack everybody & everything onto my bike. LMB refused point blank to walk today, so I had to push the bike & drag her along the whole way to school & nursery. I have never been so gald to get rid of her for the day! I think that if I'd had to keep her with me past 9am, I really would have throttled her!

College was ok. We're on the hierarchy of the courts at the moment, which I mostly know, but causes some fun arguments on the role of Europe:-) I nearly made it through the whole morning today, but then at 11.30am the fire alarm went off, so we all had to troop out. Interesting procedures: The college is 7 floors high, so the two stairwells were completely congested by the people on the first two floors, leaving little hope for escape for those of us on floor 5 and above! We also have a student with very restricted mobility, who could not get down the stairs, but nobody knew what she was supposed to do! finally, our assembly point is "the bandstand in Grove Park". Now, Grove park is 1/2 mile away from the college - what's wrong with the car-park, sea-front or main entrance?! Also, every student is supposed to meet their tutor at the bandstand. All 7000 of us! we didn't even fit in the park, ever mind reach the bandstand. Stupid procedure or what?

It turned out to be a false alarm (of course), although when we first left the building we thought it was real due to the enormous plume of smoke reaching into the sky. But then I realised that was just all the addicts lighting up the moment they felt fresh air!

My mother has come visiting today to keep me company for the weekend. It seemed like a really good idea when she suggested it on Monday, but now I'm not so sure.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


It's National Poetry Day today. Now, despite doing an English Literature degree some years ago, I'm not big on poems. They tend to either be pretentious, meaningless, or just dull, but there are always the exceptions: In my opinion a poem should allow your imagination free reign in picturing a scene, so it should be short, pithy & to the point, while nudging all of your senses into action. so whereas, I don't appreciate Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, or even Blake (which was not a big bonus at university), here's my favourite from my childhood:

Daddy Fell into the Pond
A poem by Alfred Noyes

Everyone grumbled. The sky was grey.
We had nothing to do and nothing to say.
We were nearing the end of a dismal day,
And then there seemed to be nothing beyond,
Then Daddy fell into the pond!

And everyone's face grew merry and bright,
And Timothy danced for sheer delight.
"Give me the camera, quick, oh quick!
He's crawling out of the duckweed!" Click!

Then the gardener suddenly slapped his knee,
And doubled up, shaking silently,
And the ducks all quacked as if they were daft,
And it sounded as if the old drake laughed.
Oh, there wasn't a thing that didn't respond
WhenDaddy Fell into the pond!

Alfred Noyes

It may not conform to high lterary standards, but it still makes me laugh, and as I can remember it from a book I read 25 years ago, it's a good poem in my book.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The magnificent M

Wow, 1000 people have come visiting since I started this blog just over a month ago (or maybe one person came 1000 times?)

Anyway, I thank you all for nosing around my personal life & commenting on my thoughts & doings. I ahve found it really useful, both as a diary & a stress-buster, so long may it continue.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Why I hate living alone

10 reasons why I hate living alone (primary school age children don't count):

1 Shouting at the TV becomes pointless & jeuvenile

2 You end up with loads of half used tins/packets/jars as produce is not designed for cooking for one

3 The knowledge that you've got all evening to do something, means you don't start it till bedtime

4 Bed is somewhere you go to sleep & wait for tomorrow to start

5 You turn into a slob, because who knows? who cares?

6 there is no-one to rant at over lifes everyday problems, so stress levels rise

7 There is no-one to rant at you about lifes every day problems, so you feel less smug & secure in yourself

8 You suddenly notice how many noises your house/neighbourhood makes

9 Your phone bill is astronomical

10 Your mother thinks she can tell you how to live your life again.

Ok, I admit it, I'm not good at living on my own. in fact, I hate it. I've managed to avoid it pretty much all my life. Even when I was travelling around the world, I met up with people regularly, or chatted to other inmates of the youth hostels etc. This is going to be the longest I have spent on my own ever - and I'm already fed up with it. I know some people like it, but it's just not for me. For all his many faults, Mr A does a fantastic job of looking after me, and I miss it. So no real blog tonight, just me feeling sorry for myself.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Another day over, another year missed

The title refers to the Weston Beach Races, the largest beach motorbike event in Europe, which I have been trying to watch since we moved here four years ago, & have constantly missed for one reason or another.

This year, we were all planned & ready, even having arranged to meet some of Mr A's Psoriasis Forum friends at the pier, but of course, that all went to pot when the hospital ruined our weekend!

Oh well, there's some nice pictures here, from the local paper.

Nothing very exciting to blog about today. LMB is slowly buckling an her tantrums are becomming less frequent & shorter (although they still happen!). Todays lunch time one lasted about 10 mins, then when she realised no-one was taking any notice (and boy did I have to drum that into mstr A), she stopped, smiled, & ate her dinner. She even went back to sleep without a murmer when she tried to get up at 5 this morning. Now if only I could stop her trying:-)

Mstr A has also turned a corner, and has been gogeous these past couple of weeks. I'm starting to think I may have jumped the gun a bit by reporting him to the school, and he is just very socially behind. I reckon he's just reached about three years old socially, which is lots better than two, but as he's actually 5, and has the academic knowledge of 7 or 8, it's hard not to expect him to be emotionally mature too. Oh well, the extra help at school certainly won't hurt, and we'll see what the educational Psychologist says at the end of the month. (although my sister is soon to be an educational pschologist, and I have nevber met anyone who is less tolerant, and has less understanding of children than she has, so I'm not too convinced about the profession).

I spent the morning cooking, which I think is a really sad way to spend Sunday morning. I don't care that its been traditional in Britain for 100's years, it's just crap. Still, the kids had a good meal before we went off to Mr A, so I didn't have to worry too much when we got home later. The kids made cards to brighten up his room, but I think we'll need to spend the next few days painting & sticking - it really is depressing there.

However, he looked loads better - not so much the psoriasis (I can't see how that's progressing under the bandages), but less stressed. Plus the horrendous food is making him lose weight, which is no bad thing:-) I've promised to take bacon sarnies in next visit!

I've decided to put a formal complaint in to my work, so off to write the letter now. It's more fun than actually doing the work:-)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Hospital daze: My 50th Post!

Not a lot to say about today. I was rudely awoken at 5.30am again by LMB. This is really starting to get to me now. She was uncermoniously dumped back into her bed, with a stern admonishment to "stay there till I say it's morning", and her door tightly shut (she cant open it herself, which is why I leave it gapped during the night, cos I'm totally paranoid that she'll be trapped in there during a flood/fire etc).

We all trundled off to Mstr A's Gymnastics, which was cancelled for some unknown reason (we weren't there last week as he was ill, so didn't know), as the place was still completely deserted by 10.05, and the class starts at 10.00. So instead we pottered around the supermarket looking for high carb, low sugar, non-refridgerated snacks for Mr A to suppliment his hospital food diet, & went off to visit him.

Clever me, I armed myself with a gameboy for Mstr A, and a Dora DVD for LMB, so they were good as gold throughout the visit. I kept Mr A company most of the day, so by the time we got home, it was tidy up, cook supper, bath & bed.

An easy day really. I think Mstr A is slightly concerned about daddy being in hospital (the only other person he's visited in hospital was his great grandmother- who died there when he was three), but I'm trying to be very re-assuring. He asked if I could sleep with him tonight, as "there's plenty of room for both of us", but I'm not sure if that was concern for himself or for daddy, or for me, as he followed it up by saying that if I did want to share with him, it would have to be while daddy was in hospital, as he didn't want daddy to get lonely sleeping by himself.