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

Friday, March 31, 2006

Scary stuff

Hat tip to A Curious Jew, who just wrote a post about Textword

I have a new hobbeyhorse. this is worse than the pseudoscience of ID IMO. "sanitising" classic literature to remove references to God(s), sex, violence or anything that the zealots dislike/disagree with.

Julias Caeser, without any mention of gods, sex, or violence (How, you my ask?)

In what way is this Shakespeare? The universl language of human emotions, played accross the world, from masai mara villages to Bolshevik peoples theatres, and inner city Birmingham estates, is turned into an insipid play about some bloke who becomes king, is liked, then diliked and what? goes home? retires?

i assume he is not brutally murdered by his most trusted friends and advisors!

Now, fair enough if there are parents/schools who wish to shelter their children from the harsh realities of the world. If their beliefs are so strong as to allow them to hide from what is happening around them 7 pretend it has no impact on them, they should have that right. If they do not wish their children to read about any sex, or violence, or religion, then OK, I can accept that. I think it's quite important we teach them at least the biological proceses of sex, reproduction, human anatomy & physiology, and how we live, but that's a different argument. These people have the absolute right to say they do not want to teach their children Shakespeare. But to teach them a creation of thier own and CLAIM it is the "original text" is an abomination!

What next? Homer, sanitised to remove any reference to the gods? Beowulf minus the violence?


Did I mention that nowhere on the book does it say "abridged" or "re-written by" or anything like that!

I'm off to Amazon right now to complain about their descriptions. And then I'm going to start doing some research as to where to go next. it's not often I remember that i am an English Graduate, but some things boil my blood!

Frivolous friday

I know, I haven't been posting as regularly as usual. I did think of a really good thing to post about yesterday, and immediately sat at the computer, and by the time I'd logged in, i'd completely forgotton what I was going to blog about! Which pretty much sums up the state of my life at the moment. I'm feeling very inarticulate atm.

Anyway, I had a phone interview for a job yesterday, which I think went so/so. I'll have to wait and see if I get invited for a real interview or not. I'm actually settling into this sahm lark, but the money is not adding up, so i don't know how long we're going to be able to maintain it. But I think I really do need to start applying for jobs properly (rather than just sending my CV in to companies).

I sent my baby-sitting circle invite out to 60 children at Mstr A's school - and have had one reply! You'd have thought they'd all have jumped at the chance, especially as I'd mentioned it to a few mums before & they all said how great it would be! Huh!

College again this morning - although we all got let out early as it's nearly easter:-) We had another mock exam today - i got 33/40 this time. Even better than last week (and second week running as top of the class) Yay me. But I didn't write any assignments last week, so I'm still behind on those:-(

I ripped an enormous hole in the leg of my favourite trousers & pulled half my fingernail off trying to catch my bike when it fell over (not with me on it). But otherwise, it's been a sucessful day so far.

now I've got two and a half weeks of school holidays to get through. mstr A at home all day, the holiday season in full swing around the town & the weather forcast to be April - rain, cold, rain, wind, rain, sleet, rain and the occasional storm. whopee.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Why do they do it?

I've been working again today (yay!)

I was running a shoet course for a sports centre in Camden, starting at 9.30am. OK, I know that London is a city, and has a traffic problem, it's the rush hour, and all that, so I checked it out first - it was exactly 10 miles from my mother's front door to the sports centre car park.

I left at 8am, thinking that would give me plenty of time, even if I got a bit lost/had to spend time looking for a parking space.

I arrived at 9.23am. Thats 83 minutes to travel 10.1 miles! WTF?

The many other veicles I spend time sitting next to were mostly commuters - with a few school run's & commercial vans thrown in for good measure. These people must do that EVERY DAY!! You could cycle there quicker. Even with the awful state of the tubes, you could get the train quicker. You could probably jog there quicker!

And they all drove like miserable, arrogant, selfish idiots!

WHY would you do that to yourself every day.

C'mon people. Move!

Anyway, the course went well. My mother survived the kids (and the kids survived my mother). I had a good chat with sister S. My miserable cousin who snubs me (and everyone else in the family) had a baby, which they gave a ridiculous name, poor thing. i managed to escape just before the desire to strangle my mother became overwhelming:-)

I was going to take some photo's of London for your delectation, but my phone ran out of charge, and I forgot the charger - oops! Maybe next time.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

London, again

I'm up in good ol' London again, staying with my mother, as i have a job in camden tomorrow morning.

I've brought the girls with me. my mum will be looking after them for most of the day tomorrow, which i'm a bit worried about! But they're both mobile & vocal now. all she has to do is make sure they don't escape the house & feed them regularly. Hopefully they'll all survive intact:-)

Mstr A has stayed behind, as he has school. Nanny A is there tonight, to pick him up this afternoon & take him back in the morning. so i expect i'll have a lovely clean house when I get home:-0

On weds he's going to a friends house after school, till Aggie gets home.

it's all very complicated!

Anyway. nothing much to report today. I've photocopied loads of copies of my letter, so they can all go out now:-0 i'll just wait and see what happens now.

And for those of you who were worried, we did get to go swimming. we just had to turn around, drive all the way back up the motorway, past our house, and into Portishead, where we all went into the fun pool without even a comment being made!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Bloody jobsworth!

It's Mothers day here in the UK today. Happy Mothers day to me:-0

As guessed, no flowers appeared at the front door:-( Although all the kids had made me cards - the girls when I was there, but Mstr A's at school - and he was desperate to make it a great surprise for me:-) I was (of course) suitably surprised.

We decided to take the kids down to sedgemoor splash - our nearest proper fun pool, with flumes, rapids & wave machine. this was a treat for mothers day & for Aggie getting out of hospital (he can't swim when he's covered in Psoriasis - and the kids really miss him being in the pool with them).

So we all packed into the car, and drove down the motorway in the pouring rain, paid for a couple of hours parking, and went into the reception area. Where we were told we couldn't swim as we exceeded the adult/child ratio.

No problem. I've faced this before (actually I face it alot). I asked to see the manager, and I explained that I am a qualified swimming teacher, lifeguard, lifeguard tutor, and pool manager. I requested that he uses his discretion "as laid down in the professional association guidelines" to be flexible.

NO, we can't go in

I explained that I am a memeber of said professional association, and I know for a fact that the guidelines DO NOT say the ratio should be 1:1 in pools such as this.

NO, we can't go in

I explain that this has been brought up in parliament and explicitly condemned by MP's, The DCMS, The Sports Minister, The HSE, and the Prime Minister.

NO, we can't go in

I point out that it is discriminatory to insist each child is accompanied by a parent, and that is against the law.

NO, we can't go in

I ask if I should send Mstr A outside to ask the next single adult to accompany him into the pool. The Duty Manager agrees that would be acceptable under his rules.

Aggie refuses to allow Mstr A to do this:-)

I request that we phone the Manager of the pool, to get clarification of the rules.

He refuses

I offer to sign a waiver accepting full responsibility for any incident that may happen

No, we may not go in

I ask if there are ANY circumstances where he would consider being flexible with the ratio guidelines.

he says no, there are NO circumstances he would ever adapt the guidelines.

I point out that I will be contacting the media, the manager, and his MP. He doesn't care.

I ask him to put in writing that he has taken this decision, personally, understanding all the facts explained above. He does so. We go home.

I have now written my letter & copied it in to two TV station, two radio stations, two newspapers, two MP's, the relevant professional associations, the Manager of the pool & the Chief Executive of the council. As soon as they get back from the commonwealth games, I am considering getting in touch with some old friends and pulling some high powered strings.

I have taken my kids to swimming pools across england, Wales, scotland and Northern ireland, and have NEVER been refused entry before. Not after a friendly chat with the manager:-) I understand the need for guidance but it is just that! NOT hard and fast rules. In fact, the professional association has released numerous statements and updates stating it MUST NOT be a blanket ban. The HSE has said it "deplores" the use of draconian measures such as this, and the guidelines DON'T EVEN SAY THAT in the first place!


bloody Jobsworth

And a total idiot. I know what he gets paid (cos i didn't apply for his job on the basis that it wasn't enough). It definitely is not enough to take that kind of flak from a customer. Nor is it enough to accept that kind of responsibility. He is going to be in a lot of poo tomorrow when his manager asks why he didn't refer it up to them before the media became involved!

Saturday, March 25, 2006


We've just been to see V for Vendetta.


The Wachowski Brothers: All is forgiven for the Matrix sequels.

I was never much a=of a fan of comics/graphic novels, but this is one that I did reead (and buy) in my youth. I never believed it would get made - especially now. Or that it would be released. Or that it would manage to be so hard hitting.


A full review tomorrow, when I've had time to assimilate it a bit.

For tonight, a couple of questions:

1. When it happens, how will you react? Will you stand & fight? run & hide? Look away & pretend?

I don't know & I hope I never have to find out. I worry. But I do know that what I would like to think I would do has changed over the years.

2. Does the release of the film show that we are not as far down the road as it sometimes seems?

3. Is it being released in the US?

If you haven't seen this film. GO NOW!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Aggies home!

Horay! Aggie's been released early for good behaviour.

I picked him up this afternoon, and got to spend a decadant afternoon being driven home, cooked for, and having the kids put to bed, without having to do any of it myself:-)

And I managed to change our holiday dates, so we can go to cousin G's birthday party in June!

I am no longer the dregs of humanity in my mother's books (at least for a day or two)

I had an unexpected exam at college today (that's what comes of missing two weeks and one whole subject area), but still managed to get 31/39. Pass mark was only 16, so that's ok then:-) And I got three assignments back - all distinctions.

I'm a genius me;-)

If only I wasn't still three behind. Ho hum. I'm sure I'll catch up now Aggie's home.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Sorry I haven't posted for a couple of days - I've been full of guilt, and just not felt like putting my thoughts down!

I know, guilt is a pointless emotion, and I try not to get caught up in the cycle, but sometimes it rears it's ugly head in the strongest fashion & drags me down:-(

I'm feeling guilty that I've hardly been to see Aggie in hospital at all this time. I managed to go in almost every day last time, but have only seen him three times in the two weeks he's been incarcerated.

I'm feeling guilty that I went and booked our annual holiday over cousin G's birthday, and will miss her party - which apparently my mother has organised "specifically because all my kids would enjoy it" (it's a fun session in a gym club)

I'm feeling guilty because I said i didn't think we would be able to come up to London after Easter while my sister A & family are visiting. So after my mother nagged me & cajoled me, i said we would, drive straight over from our re-enactment in Wales & stay just the one day.

Then I felt guilty that there wouldn't be any room left at my mothers house for sister A to stay if we went up, so agreed not to go up there after all!

Now I'm guilty whatever I do!

I'm feeling guilty that we haven't seen Aggies Dad since he was released from hospital, and when he phoned to ask after Aggie, he sounded pretty crap.

I'm feeling a general underlying guilt that I owe my father £3k for the car we bought 6 months ago, and have not only not started paying him back, but have no idea when I might possiboe be able to start paying him.

i'm feeling guilty that I'm turning into the mother i always said i didn't want to be. the one who says "no, it's too expensive" to everything. The one who drags thousends of screaming brats around everywhere she goes. The one who just lets them grow, rather than encourages them to grow up.

I'm feeling guilty that I haven't been keeping up with all my friends and family.

i'm feeling guilty thatI'm not earning any money.

I'm feeling guilty that I'm not living the life I and others expected me to be by now.

Humph. Maybe I should just go to bed and remember, as Scarlet O'Hara said, "tomorrow is another day".

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I found this today while sorting through some files:

It's Mstr A aged 3 weeks. What a skinny little runt he was:-) The outfit is "Tiny baby" size.

What happened? How did that turn into the great hulking monster of a 5 year old I've got now? When did it happen? It doesn't seem possible.

This chubby floozy is LMB aged 5 weeks. See the lack of hair:-)

How did such a fat baby turn into the skinny rake that LMB is now? Although she's still a floozy!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Finding me

Terry Pratchett writes that only witches are anchored in time, living firmly in the present. Everyone else's mind is either re-living in the past or dreaming about the future, causing them to miss most of what is happening around them right now. I've always had a tendancy to be the type of person who plans for and worries about tomorrow, I regularly say to myself "when the kids are at school I can...." or, "in a couple of years we will....".

There is nothing wrong with this attitude, until it starts to impact on your present life. And I've come to realise that is what's been happening. I've spent so much time telling myself that being a SAHM is only temporary, that I've neglected to live my life at all - just sat waiting for it to restart. It's part of what was making me so miserable yesterday - I had nowhere to go & no-one to talk to:-(

So, I have made the decision to relish my current lifestyle again. Life is what you make of it, and I need to make it fun! I need to relearn how to make new friends, where to go to meet people, and when to leave motherhood behind and be me for a while! I have made a start.... I'm starting a baby-sitting circle so hopefully we can get some nights out without paying a fortune. I've been chatting to one of the mum's at NCT playgroup, and she is going to arrange a girls night out each month (her brother owns most of the nightclubs locally, so she's the ideal organiser) - I can't make the first one as I'm working - but hopefully I'll start to be a regular after that. But mostly I'm going to make a conscious effort to be happy with today, rather than wishing for tomorrow.

In other news, i went to see Aggie today. he's looking much better & it was great to see him again. The ward is still closed, so the kids can't go in yet, but at least I feel happier knowing he's doing well. Thanks to CQ who has been in almost every day - taking much of my guilt away:-)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

One of those days

Yep, it's been one of those days today, where I've got absolutely sweet FA done, not because of any difficulties in doing stuff, just because of a complete and total disinclination to do anything at all!

The kids have actually been very well behaved - cosidering we haven't gone anywhere, done anything or even talked much! I've managed to feed them three square meals & keep the house from becomming a total pit again, and that is the sum of my day.

Boring, pointless, and wasted. Ho hum. I don't even care enough to be annoyed about it at the moment.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

A little bit of politics

I see those awful French islamofascists are off rioting again. It's us or them I tell you, we should just shoot the lot of them. they're all terrorists in training........



hang on.....

They aren't Muslims? Or terrorists? Or fascists?

But there is no other reason for them to be violent protests is there?

How soon we forget

A busy day today. I wanted to take Mstr A to have his hair cut this morning as my mother was here to babysit, but she thought it would be "a lovely idea" if we all went for a stroll, so i packed the girls into as many clothes as i could find, and put them into the big double buggy, then wrapped myself & mstr A up against the cold. As my mother stepped out the door, she said "oh, it is cold today isn't it?" and promptly spent the rest of the walk moaning about the chill wind blowing snow flakes on to her!

So after the hair cut, we went straight home again. A fairly pointless trip for the girls, but there you go... Called the police to get the enormous van that had parked accross my driveway towed away, and had friend L & baby M pop in for a visit, which perked LMB up no end. My mum kept going on about how little the a baby was, and how well L was coping. My mother looked after over 50 babies less than 6 months old! my mother had 5 children under 6 years old & a disabled husband. My mother was a cuncillor for new mothers for years. But all that was many years ago:-)

She wanted to treat us to a meal today, but has very strict views on where we should eat, (basically a Harvester), so I said we could drive off to our closest one 25 miles away. then she asked if we had any electrical shops nearby (no, I live outside the M25, we haven't dicovered electricity here yet mum!), so I said we might as well go up to cribbs Causeway shopping mall, which has every retailer you can imagine, and is right next to the Harvester.

But my mother is used to doing things on her own, so she was ready & waiting to go 5 mins after lunch, which meant we got to the mall at 1pm. Somehow we had to kill 4 hours until we could even pretend to be ready to eat supper! Even with LMD insisting on walking everywhere (at very slow toddling pace) - which confused my mother no end, as she went striding off - we were all out of ideas by 2.30.

So we went off to find this new jump place - big ball park/play area, where the kids had a fantastic time - but it cost a fortune & I reckon the whole place will be trashed in 6 months, as there is no supervision at all. Now I get that parents should supervise their children (even though they don't), but someone needs to supervise the equipment! Bouncy castles = punctures. Ball pits = Rubbish bins. Cafe = spills. Inadequate lighting = unseen biological hazards!

Anyway, we finally got to the Harvester, where we were told we would have to wait *gasp* 20 minutes for a table, which my mother complained about! But we finally got everything sorted, everyone fed, and have just made it home with three sleeping children:-) My mother is exhausted. She says she can't remember being the person that did all that stuff:-)

A nice evening planned watching the Brits wash away the Ozzies in the pool at the Commonwealth games

Ha Ha!

Shhhh! Secret Blogging

Be vewy vewy quiet, My mother is visiting, and she doesn't know about this blog. Actually, i don't think she knows about blogs, and I think It would be better for the whole world if we kept it that way:-)

So, a quick update, while she's in the shower....

I felt much better yesterday - not up to college, but well enough to look after the kids properly, and start clearing up some of the mess that had befallen the house over the past week or so. Nanny A came over for a few hours and helped too:-) I even managed to eat half a plate full of pasta for lunch!

LMB was still complaining about how ill she was yesterday, and lay listlessly on the sofa whenever anyone looked at her. Although within 5 minutes of Nanny A leaving the house she was giggling and jumping around with LMD so i guess she wasn't that bad! She also slept through the whole night in her own bed last night. bliss!

LMD is acting a bit clingy, but seems to have avoided any real sickness thankfully.

Aggie's ward should be re-opened on Monday, so I'm hoping to go see him then. Right now I've got a free weekend - unheard of!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The problem with British Sport

Well, there are lots of things that contribute – I could get technical and go on about the ridiculous funding situation, the problem with the NGB’s fighting each other, the lack of facilities, minimal talent ID, and difficulty in getting support from the authorities, but lets just look at the simple things.

England has just swept the medal board in the 4km Cycle pursuit. Congratualtions to Paul Manning, Rob Hayles and Stephen Cummings who got gold, silver and bronze respectively.

But have we celebrated this? No – there is NOTHING!!!! Go look for yourself. It’s not been mentioned on the news, it’s not on the BBC website – if you search REALLY hard, you can just about find an allusion to it, but no actual results!

The Ozzies got themselves a clean sweep in the pool, and they have full front page coverage on their broadsheets!

And we wonder why our kids don’t do well in sport on the world stage. If you’re not in the self styled big four (Rugby, Tennis, Cricket, Soccer), why bother?

Oh Goody!

LMB has gone down with the bug too. She's not old enough to get to the toilet to be sick in, or even to have much warning of when she is going to be sick, so most of yesterday was spent clearing up:-( She looks absolutely terrible - pale face, blue extremities, black bags under her eyes and a lot of whinging - but actually I reckon she's not as bad as she's making out.... there are plenty of happy moments when she'll go off and play for half an hour, and she is eating a little bit & drinking enough, so hoipefully it will pass soon. Looking awful when you are ill is quite a useful trait to have for sympathy:-)

I thought I'd escaped, what with it being a week since Mstr A went down with it, but sadly not - I went to bed early last night feeling a bit off, started a raging tempreture & put up with 4 hours of stomach cramps before finally throwing up:-( I have a cast iron stomach (I reckon it was my mothers cooking) and have only been physically sick 4 times previously in my adult life, so it must be a fairly major bug!

Today has not been much fun! Mstr A was really good & got his own breakfast & took himself to school again this morning, but just making it down the stairs was pretty hard work, and looking after a sick 2 year old and a lively 1 year old while barely able to stand up is not somethibg I would recommend!

Just to top it all, Aggie's ward has been closed for infection control since he had it a couple of days ago. I am trying really hard to convince myself that he took it in with him, as Mstr A started less than 8 hours after he was admitted, but I'm feeling dead guilty for going to visit him earlier in the week, even though the Dr had cleared Mstr A.

I'm hoping they'll all go to bed on time & sleep straight through tonight.....

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

All grown up

All my kids are being very grown up today:

Mstr A took himself off to school this morning (against the school rules, but.....). he was terribly impressed with the idea, and considered it a treat:-) I considered it the better of two evils as LMB was really not looking very well this morning and it was pouring with rain! I stood at the front gate and watched him scoot up the road and round the corner - which puts him within 5 metres of the school gate, so we're not talking anything too major - I walked futher to school alone at his age - but still, it was a big step, and quite depressing in way (for me, not for him).

LMB made her first ever proper fashion decisions today, when we were given an enormous bag full of clothes from a friend. She immediately picked out some ridiculous knee high boots & struggled tp put them on. After about 5 mins stomping around in them she said "not comfortable mummy. Take them off." She then pulled out a much more sensible selection of clothing and carefully put aside the sequiny clothes/high heeled boots etc and said "for party time only". clever girl!

LMD walked all the home from school this afternoon (which is more tham LMB ever does, the lazy cow), causing much admiration & ooh's, aaah's isn't she cute? type comments from adults and children alike:-) When she got home she wandered into the kitchen, took out a yoghurt, yelled at me till I got a spoon & opened it for her, then absolutely insisted on feeding herself. I felt quite purposeless:-)

I am really looking forward to the kids growing up nough to look after themselves more - but it's kind of sad as it happens.

BTW - Happy Purim to those of you who celebrate it. By far the most fun of the Jewish festivals, I shake a rattle at you all:-)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

And so it starts

It's good to know, that despite the fact that there were no WMD's in Iraq, the war there will stabilise the region, and ensure it doesn't go from divisive occupation/annexation to open warfare where tanks and helicopters storm government buildings.

Is this the start of a full blown war? And why are we spending so much time worrying about the nuclear weapons Iran (who are not currently at war with anyone) may or may not have in years to come when we know that Israel (who is, and has shown no compunction about using mass destruction/illegal measures against the Palestinians) definitely has them right now?

My beliefs

Following on from Simon's and Cyberkitten's posts on this subject, I thought I'd do my 10 things I believe....

1. Lets start with the biggie: There is no soul, spirit, afterlife, supreme being or reason we are here

2. Therefore there can not be any ghosts, zombies, vampires or any other type of undead spirits/creatures

3. Neither are there any gods, demons, sprites, goblins, pixies, elves, poltergiests, leprechauns (sp?), mermaids, dragons or other "mythical" or "folklore" creatures

4. There may well be aliens somewhere out there, but I don't believe they have an unhealthy interest in abducting American citizens, or that they have visited this world at all during modern human civilization, or that we would have much hope of recognising them as living, sentient beings anyway!

5. That the universe is based on scientific principles, which we will be able to understand one day.

6. That the terms "eugenics", "genetic modification" and "cloning" are probably the least understood by the general public & most twisted by media portrayals, and that all of them can and will one day be used for good.

7. That the rise of mass media has increased knowledge of events, but in a very narrow way, and that we are losing the ability to impartially research news stories for ourselves.

8. That we are currently in a self-destructive social phase of our history, and in centuries to come this will be looked on as the social dark ages.

9. That technology is good - and better technology is better. We will never de-humanise ourselves by inventing robots/machines/computers with true thought capabilities.

10. That humanity will colonise other planets one day.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Why does the NHS cost so much?

Because the Aginoth family live in the UK!

Not only is Aggie costing far more than he's paying out in taxes, what with insulin, creams, sunbeds & the occasional stay in the beautiful, modern BRI, (ha ha) but Mstr A is still being sick fairly regularly, so we're off to the doctors this afternoon. I'll expect he'll prescribe something, even if it's just electrolytes, and I'll be able to go straight off to tesco's to get whatever it is, without a thought for the cost, as it's all totally free!

Of course, I've probably paid in much more than I've got out - one operation age 12, and a follow up at 14, three babies born, a couple of courses of antibiotics..... And thats the way it should be in any civilised society!

UPDATE 6.30pm - Mstr A is just fine, the little shit! he took himself off to bed at midday, I woke him up at 4pm to go to the dr's & he spent the whole time there running around, singing, playing & generally looking the picture of health!!! No tempreture, no cough, no bodily fluids!

LMB has got it now, but although she looks worse, and she is runnin a bit of a tempreture, I reckon she'll be over it in 48 hours.

They all refused th lovely shepherds pie I made for supper though - don't know why I even bother sometimes!

Oh yes, and it's loverley and warm here again:-)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Reasons to be cheerful: 1, 2, 3...

I know I moan alot about stuff here, but there are times when I am reminded how very lucky I am to live in an advanced country in the 21st century.

Today was one of those moments, as I sit here shivering in front of the coal fire that is our only source of heat, knowing that I can pile on as much coal & wood as necessary because it's only go to last another 24 hours - not another couple of months! Our house was built nearly 150 years ago - long before central heating was even thought about (yes, i know Brits had central heating during Roman times, but no-one had it for many centuries in between!), yet it is eminently unsuitable for keeping warm by coal fire - high ceilings, thick stone walls & many, many draughts - even with double glazing (mostly) and heavy curtains. The fire barely heats the whole of one room, let alone anywhere else in the house. Of course, the addition of electric lights, TV & internet helps pass the time in that single room:-) The kids have electric radiators in their bedrooms too, which at least take the chill of the air as the snow drifts down outside.

So reason 1 = central heating, utilities direct to every house & the knowledge that my children will still be able to sleep soundly and safely whatever the weather.

Of course, I don't like that Aggie is in hospital again for a few weeks, but I am eternally grateful that medical science has solved so many of the major health issues that plagued humanity for most of it's existance, making it a fair bet that we will all survive childhood, minor illnesses and infections, and accidental injuries. Naturally the role of the NHS in saving Aggies life on a daily basis is fairly important to me, as is the fact that if I'd been born 100 years earlier I'd be dead at least twice by now, as would 3/4 of all the people I know (try this poll out on your friends and family, it's amazing how many people hve had blood transfusions/surgery/high fevers etc). I am also delighted that the cost of the many medications Aggie has tried have not been dumped on to us - either directly or by higher insurance premiums, and that when i decided to leave work, I did not have to worry about how that would affect any healthcare issues I may have in the future.

So reason no 2 = Medical science & the NHS

Finally, although I think that we have lost a great deal of our community in our current society, and that in the centuries to come, historians will look back on this time as a period of enormous social upheaval, I am not stuck in the house completely alone once the kids are asleep - i can turn on the computer & find support for whatever i am feeling at any time. I know it's not the same as real people, but it's certainly better than silence! And as my offer of a babysitting circle (made to all 30 parents in Mstr A's class) seems to have been completely ignored, I am grateful for the company I find on the net.

So reason no. 3 = The internet & wireless technology allowing me to use it in the warm room.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Another happy day in the Aginoth household;-)

Mstr A is still puking up every now & then - but more importantly, he's telling me every time he thinks he's going to be sick, ensuring maximum sympathy & attention!

LMB seems to have mostly finished with the squitting - except for the two minutes she had no nappy on today naturally! Oh, and lets not forget the ickyness that resulted in her decision to take her own nappy off, put her trousers back on, then not tell anyone untill after she had pooed!

LMD is still snotting away quite happily, and has now learned that when I come towards her holding a tissue, she's going to get her nose wiped & thinks it's great fun to turn away at the last moment resulting in a trail of snot across her face!

Of course, none of them are feeling ill, so I still get the noise, arguments, sibling rivalry etc, but without the option of taking them anywhere. humph!

Added to that, I woke this morning to discover the heating was knackered again! I tried all the simple things (Bleeding radiators, checking pilot light etc), but by lunchtime had come to the conclusion it was not going to re-start on it's own & called out British Gas (we don't get our gas from them, but we do have their homecare cover to fix anything that goes wrong!). Lucky me, as I have children under 2, and no alternative source of heating (honest guv'ner), I get extra special priority & the nice BG man turned up at about 3pm.

He's been before. Actually he's starting to get to know us quite well now:-) He looked at it, said "I bet it's the motherboard", and proceeded to check everything else, just to make sure, whilst keeping up a constant moan about BG, working weekends & all the diodes down his left side (well ok, he didn't mention the diodes, but he might as well ahve done!). Half an hour later, having taken the boiler totally apart & checked absolutely everything, his clever computer told him "it's the motherboard". So no heating till Monday, when hopefully a new motherboard will be delivered. Brrrrr.

it's supposed to snow tonight too:-(

I couldn't take sick kids into the hospital, so once he'd finished I packed them all up & dropped them at Nanny A's for the evening, then zipped off to the hospital to see Aggie. as every road between me & Nanny A's house is closed for the next two months, it was not a fun journey! Aggie is looking better already though. His face hasd really cleared up & he looks rested (which is more than I can say for me). Being in the main ward, with people to talk to & things to look at is better too.

CQ was already there, which was nice:-) I resupplied his DVD & CD collection, swapped old dirty clothes for nice new ones, had a very brief chat then ran off to collect the kids, drive all the way home again & put them all to bed! Phew, what a day. I'm going to get some supper now & try for a noghts sleep. again!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Guess the bodily fluid spill

Oh yes, it's one of those days today!

Mstr A is still being sick on and off, so he's off school - at least he usually makes it to the toilet now, but he woke me up a good few times last night:-(

LMB has so far today (remember it's not quite 8am yet!), squited all over her bed, pyjama's, front room floor, sofa, and in th bath! How come the bath one was the only one that wasn't completely liquid?

LMD is ok, but has started her snotting for england competition again:-(

What with spending the day trying to vacuum up all the its of Aggie that he left around the house, I just know it's going to be a lovely day today;-)

BTW, don't forget to go visit my tenant. If you haven't been yet, make sure you scroll down to the street art - it's fantastic. If you've been already, go check out the most recent posts - lots of funny jokes:-)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Home again

Well, it was hardly the nice relaxing trip I'd hoped for....

After yesterday's stresses, I thought I might salvage something, but it was not to be. LMB & LMD had a lovely time playing with cousin G, & sister S nicely fed them & bathed them for me, so when we got back to my mothers I just had to put them to bed & they both went off to sleep happily. I tried to surf, then tried to watch TV, but decided an early night was more important, so took myself off to bed at 9.30.


Sadly, at about 1.30am, LMD woke up & cried. I went up to her & she happily lay down again, but wasn't interested in going back to sleep at all! After about an hour, her eyes were still opem, & she was still sitting up and yelling every time I moved, so i did the unforgivable & brought her into bed with me...... and that was the end of my nights sleep:-( Every time she moved, I woke up. Every time she made a noise, I woke up. Every time I moved, I woke up to check I hadn't pulled the duvet off her/over her head. I drifted in & out of that half-sleep state that means you don't avtually bother to get up & change the circumstances that are preventing you from sleeping properly, until LMB woke up at about 6.30am.

So, no sleep for me, but i could still relish the fact that there was no Mstr A, school run or work to be done. then my phone rings. It's Nanny A saying mstr A has been ill all night:-(

I text sister S to say i'm not going to make it over for some more chatting this morning. Text cousin to say I'm not going to make it to see her new baby this week after all (I think she was secretly rather pleased - she sounds quite stressed by suddenly having a demanding baby to look after - I know how she feels!), and head back as soon as everyone is fed, dressed & the house is tidied.

By the time I get to Nanny A's, it's lunch time & Mstr A is feeling a bit better. So we play for an hour, then pack everyone back into the car for a quick trip to the shops to collect supplies, then a visit to see Aggies in hospital. It's not too bad this time - only one wanderer in the ward - the rest are proper derm patients. And although he hasn't got his own side room this time, at least he is on the mens ward, which is better:-)

It was only a quick visit, cos the kids get bored quickly & the nurses get stressed about young children wandering around, so then we all pile back into the car & head home to hear my alarm going off tellinmg me Mstr a should be at his swimming lesson (bugger - another one missed!), and a rude message from my mother saying why didn't I stay till she got back - we could have had the whole weekend together. I ignore the alarm, phone my mother & explain that Mstr A goes to school (it didn't cut much ice with her) & get on with the kids supper, bath & bed.

Now I've got the evening to myself, and the weeks alone are starting to stretch out ahead of me already:-( I guess I should go and find something better than chocolate cake for supper & catch up on some reading.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

a quick hello

Just a quick wave from soggy London.

I got here ok - only one near miss on the moterway which is pretty good for the London run!

Aggie was still fast asleep when i left this morning, so i phoned when I was about half way to check his hospital status to be told his derm had told him there were no beds for at least two weeks! This left him with two options (both suggested by his consultant derm): 1. present at A&E & get admitted after a long wait & some time in an obs ward, or 2. get the GP to admit him as an emergency case. we don't like the idea of "wasting" A&E time so he opted for no. 2 & was going to turn up at the Gp tomorrow am. so i continued my journey releived that it would be sorted, but I wouldn't be called straight home.

I mistakenly decided to follow the sat nav, which told me to take the N. circular from the M4 to the A10 (the massive hold up on the M25 mentioned on the radio had something to do with it), then discovered that the main road to my fathers house was 3 miles of roadworks! But finally arrived in the pouring rain & dutifully visited my father & desperately tried to make small talk for an hour, before scarpering on the excuse the kids needed feeding.

Stopped in at my mothers to dump our bags, cook an omlette & take a phone call from Aggie saying he was being admitted tonight! Argghh! No way was I going to be able to get back in time to take him in & it would have been a lot of sitting around for the kids & driving for me, so suggested nanny A takes him in & takes mstr a back to hers. he can have the day off tomorrow & I'll collect him & go straight into the hospital. luckily nanny A was amenable, so hopefully Aggie is now happily settled in a hospital bed, mstr a is fast asleep at nanny's and both the girls will sleep through the night tucked up in bed together here:-) i get to spend the evening blogging, surfing & sleeping:-)))

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A quiet day

Not a lot done today. I met with my ex-colleague and gave her the filing cabinet, chair, printer & other equipment that work had actually asked to be returned. She's taken on an extra couple of days a week to try to cover some of my workload until a new person is recruited, so i was expecting her to want some hand-over info, but apperently she "had a handle on it" and didn't ask for hardly any info, or any documentation, so i had a lovely time chucking a few trees worth of paper away when she left:-)

LMB was playing at a friends all day, so I only had LMD at home.

Which was nice......

Vacuumed three times today - this place looks terrible within minutes though:-( A little thought about side effect of Aggies psoriasis.

No word from the hospital, so no idea when he might be admitted.

Didn't feel like doing anything constructive - DIY, college assignments, sorting out stuff etc, so spent the day aimlessly wandering around, letting nanny A do some cleaning & thinking how quiet it was with just one child in the house!

I've decided to go up to London for a couple of days to see my sister (unless the hospital calls, in which case I'll come home again!), as she's off work this week & I could do with cheering up. Reminding myself about her partner always makes me appreciate Aggie;-) LMB adores her cousin, who is just a few weeks older, so hopefully they'll play all afternoon & leave us to chat. i'm staying at my mothers house, and she's on holiday at the moment, so with any luck I might get a good night ssleep too.

Hopefully it'll be a more cheerful post tomorrow.

Monday, March 06, 2006


I've not got alot to say today really. The problem with giving up work & the drop in stress levels is that I have so much less to rant about. That, and my mother is out the country this week;-)

A boring day today - ran a second hand uniform sale before school, went off to the parents & toddler session in town, did that "good" shopping that In ever had time for before, namely greengrocers, bakers, butcher etc instead of a quick whizz round one supermarket, came home, collected Mstr A from school, took him to the dentist for a check up (all fine), took Aggie to hospital for another derm appointment - consultant expressed surprise that he wasn't in hospital yet & promised to chase them up, picked up more gunk & junk from th pharmacy, came home, put kids to bed, tidied up ready for my ex-colleague to come round & collect all the company stuff still here first thing tomorrow morning.

Actully, rading through that, it sounds quite full & interesting I suppose:-)

Anyway, no funny stories to tell you, or annoyances to moan about, or even news stories to scream at, so I'm directing you all to look at some pictures instead.....

For those of you with strong dispositions, an interest in the medical world, or just a slight masochistic streak, i direct you to Aggie's blog, where he has posted some pictures of his Psoriasis.

For those of you who don't want to run from the computer yelling "ick!", I suggest you click on my tenants thumbnail over there to the right & look at their beautiful and talented chalk pavement pictures.

Happy viewing.

One of them blogthings....

I know they're all silly, but I saw this one & thought it might be a bit of fun:-)

You fit in with:

Your ideals mostly resemble that of a Humanist. Although you do not have a lot of faith, you are devoted to making this world better, in the short time that you have to live. Humanists do not generally believe in an afterlife, and therefore, are committed to making the world a better place for themselves and future generations.

20% scientific.
80% reason-oriented.

Take this quiz at

Sunday, March 05, 2006

What's wrong?

Is it just me or is blogger playing silly buggers this weekend? I've hardly managed to get into any bogspot pages all weekend:-(

Anyway, it's been one of those days today - you know, the ones where you just want to throttle the kids by 10am? We found a nice car boot sale not far away, so I'm busy searching for stiff to flog next Sunday - the kids were quite good - mostly by virtue of the fact that every time one of them opened their mouths, I stuffed some food in it. Well, cakes/biscuits/sausage rolls type food. Not real stuff:-(

Then we came home & I tried to clean up a bit, but the vacuum fell apart (Aggie's superglued it back together now), and by "tidying" the hallway I discovered a load of stuff that I really ought to sort out and keep visable/throw out/sell, so i pulled it all out to sort through, but then got called away, so the place looks messier than when I started! Oh yes, and I took the bathroom ceiling down yesterday, cos I was fed up with it not getting done, so the room is completely unusable now.

We were all getting a bit stressed, so we took the kids down to a ball park to wear off some energy. LMB thought it was fantastic, but Mstr A took his role of older brother a bit far on a number of occasions & I had to clamber up through little holes and over rope bridges to break up the ensuing fights. LMD liked it for a while, but soon got bored & tired & screamed for the next 45 mins:-(

Anyway, I've managed to get them all bathed & into bed, and I've got a very busy day tomorrow, so i'm going to sit down & watch canadian bacon, then trundle off to bed myself:-)

Hope you'll had a good weekend. Take the time to go visit my new tenant - they have the most fantastic street art I have ever seen featured. I mean it. It's amazing stuff. Well worth a click or two.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Kids of today!

Ok, so it's not supposed to be a humourous story, but just go and read this....

I particularly like the quote from his school: "I don't think he understood the ramifications of what he did before it happened, but he certainly understands the severity of it now."

and "His parents had also taken disciplinary action, Ms Kildee said. "

See, it just goes to prove, the problem with the delinquent youth of today is lack of discipline & not enough education:-)

It's so unfair!

There we all go, congratualting our scientists for all the good work they have done with genetic diseases, and how Cystic Fybrosis sufferers have an expected lifespan of 40 years or more now, when they were lucky to make out of their teens a decade ago, then something like this happens!

My heart goes out to his parents.

And to the parents of the 14 year old who has been arrested for his murder - they will have to live the rest of thier lives seeing a murderer every time they look at their son, and asking themselves "why?"

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A good day

It's been a good day all round today:-)

Mstr A got smiley faces on every single one of his targets - earning himself a certificate from the head teacher. He also played with other children from his class during break, and attended to his swimmig lesson this evening.

Yay Mstr A!!!

I think the talk we had with his teacher last Friday has really paid off. I went in armed with loads of Asperger info. I admitted that we were totally jumping the gun as he hasn't been diagnosed yet, but then proceeded to drop in the fact that my Psych Ed sister had done some intensive study of his behaviour, and agreed with my mother's intuition diagnosis. And anyway, the techniques work, so who cares whether we have the word or not? Teacher was great - she has been since I first spoke to her, but she's just one person in the school - and most problems were with other staff. since our talk last week I have recieved two phone calls from the head to discuss Mstr A, and the way forward, and to ensure me of his support, and Mstr A has been much happier with changes and his place at school.

I only asked for small changes - things like allowing him to line up behind the same person every day - even if it means pushing in. And physical contact to get his attention rather than just calling his name (He's hyposensitive to sound - wierd huh?). And letting him know of any changes to his expected routine in advance (such as when a substitute teacher is coming in - I mean, that's scary for any 5 year old!). But it seems to have really done the trick.

Of course, it could have been the fact that I also mentioned that I had considered moving schools! Or that I insisted ALL staff were made aware of these requests, not just his class teacher - as most of is problems arose in the playground/during service when other teachers/staff would tell him off. Whatever. i'm happy:-)

As for the rest of us..... We went off to a book making session this afternoon. It was a sure start thing, so i was a bit concerned it might be full of the great unwashed, but in fact it was mostly "normal" non-working mums, who wanted the best for their kids & were willing to learn what the best might be, but didn't have enough money to go to all those expensive things like montessori schools, music for pre-schoolers and brain gyms for babies. Just like me then!

Well, not really, since I TOTALLY threw the organiser when she came round asking what other seminar's/training we would like. "What level of qualification do you have?" she tentively queried. "I have a degree - well two really, and some vocational qualifications of the same level".
"Oh. Ah. That could be a problem. We're only allowed to do things with people who have less than a level 2 (GCSE/high school leaving age) qualifications"

Ahhh, of course, because my English degree covered ALL about good childcare, developmental stages and opportunities available for children! How stupid is that?

No problem though, she just suggested i "forget" to fill out that bit of the form - she wasn't going to check. Huh! Anyway, she then asked if there was anything I would quite like to do, and made a few suggestions: Healthy cooking, first aid, that kind of thing. Never one to turn down the chance for some child free learning I obviously said yes, whatever they are doing, but not first aid , as i teach it.

"Ooooooooooo really? we're desperately short of tutors. Would you think about......?"

Damn yes! Have a leaflet. tell me where to sign up. Discounts available for block bookings. Gimme gimme gimme some money:-)

OK the day was a success because LMB had a lovely time "doing sticking", LMD loved puching her walker around a great big hall & I found two new play sessions to attend each week. But if I get some work out of it is would have been worthwhile going even if they ahd hated it:-)

As for Aggie - he's signed off work ATM, waiting to go into hospital for his psorisis again:-) It's so bad now that he cant relly sit, type or move around much at all without a lot of pain, a shower of dead skin and bleeding:-( But on the plus side it seems pretty certain he should get the new biologic drugs when he gets out:-) I hope they work!

The waiting is over (nearly)

Oh yes, having signed up yonks ago, Blogmad is now live!

It's invite only now folks, so if you missed the join up back when I told ya to do it, you'll have to ask nicely for an invitation:-)

Well OK, I'll give the invitation even if you ask nastily, but nice is better!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Confusion abounds 2

This afternoon, we went to see a friend who had a baby girl 2 weeks ago. She was remarkably settled considering it's her first child, and hubby had never even seen a baby before his own turned up:-)

Baby was sleeping in the travel cot downstairs when we arrived, so there was time for a coffee and a chat. When she woke up, mum happily allowed me to show the girls the "little baby".

LMB was enchanted, and sat quietly with baby on her lap (I held her too), stroked her hair a few times, then suggested she should go back to bed:-)

LMD yelled that she wanted to try too, so I held the baby on her lap. Immediately she poked her finger at the baby's eyes, just as she does with her dolls. I took her hand away, said "No!", and put the baby on her lap again. Poke at the eye. I take the baby away. LMD yells. I give her the baby. Poke in the eye. i take baby away. LMD yells.

We give baby back to mum. LMD grabs her doll (I'd taken a doll each for them to play with) and pokes it in the eye. Then she looks at me, and squeeks her "question?" squeek. When I don't shout at her, she repeats the action. Then she drops dolly to the floor, goes over to baby, and try's to poke her in the eye.

"No!" I tell her, again. She yells. again.

It's soooo difficult to understand!

Confusion abounds

I woke up this morning to about a cm of snow settled accross the land - a rare sight on the SW coast of England:-)

LMB was enchanted when we opened her curtains,

"Cwissmasstime" she exclaimed, "I like cwissmass"

I explained; "It's not Christmas, it's just snowy"

"Yes, snowy" she agreed, and proceeded downstairs. "Open my Cwissmass presents now?"

"no presents. It's not Christmas. Just snowing."

"ooooohhhhh" her face falls, her lips tremble, I see her getting ready to let out the dreaded wail of disappointment, quick, think of something...

"you can wear your wellie boots and play in the snow if you like"

"wow! Wellie boots! Yay!"

Harrah. Tantrum avoided:-)

PS - 2 "snow storms" later & we're getting all sorts of dire arnings about the end of civilisation as we know it. I mean, how could we possible continue if we get more than an inch of settled snow?