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, April 28, 2006

Weekend away

It's another bank holiday here in the UK, and another weekend in the 14th century in Caerphilly. Aggie has got some film of what we do on his blog (go check out his link on my sidebar - it's late & I can' e bothered to put it in again), if you haven't seen it yet.

Posts will be lacking over the weekend (unless I sort out moblogging, but I doubt it), so I suggest you use the time to read through my archives (which i reckon are much funnier than the current posts) or pop over to visit my tenant.

Have a good weekend. Hopefully it will stay dry.

TFI Friday

This week seems to have really dragged on. But I'm looking forward to a nice long weekend:-)

No college today as it's become a bit optional this term as I am doing a different specialist subject to everyone else! So instead of staying at home reading my textooks & startin g some of the many essay's i still have to write, I took th girls swimming. We haven't been for a while because it's an hour walk each way, and that's no fun in the wet and cold.

But today was eautiful - warm (ish) and sunny, so we all trecked off this morning. The Duty Manager was at reception when I arrived and made a "hilarious" comment about adult/child ratio's. Lucky I know him well (we've often examined each other's lifeguard candidates):-)

LMD was fast asleep by the time we got there anyway, so I took LMB in on her own for 20 mins. She did really well, and is starting to get the right position in the water. Then I woke LMD up & we played all together for another 15 mins or so, before woosing out and catching the bus home.

i'm hoping they may have another nap this aftroon now & giv me some peace and quiet to not get on with the housework:-)

I've also orderd the prospectus for the other school & started looking up the procedures required. I'm still undecided, but I need to research all the facts & options.

PS: Why not take a moment to pop over & say hi to my tenant Keb. I'm sure she's appreciate a visit, and you'll probably like what she has to say for herself too:-)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Should he stay or should he go?

I am umming and ahhing about what to do regarding Mstr A's schooling.

He's at the most local school - just at the top of our road, which is what I really wanted. I tend to feel that primary school is more about learning social skills than academic ones, therefore the ability to walk yourself to and from school, to have friends locally, and to mix with a varied group of people is what i was hoping he would gain by going to the local school.

1) Most of the children there are not very local - that is the lowest criteria when chosing who will be admitted each year (after "looked after" children, siblings, church-goers, special needs).
2)He hasn't made any real friends. Well, actually he has, but they don't seem to reciprocate:-(
3)He is not allowed to walk to & from school on his own - even though I can stand at the end of my drive & watch him until he gets to the lollipop man, who stands directly outside the school gates) it's against school rules!

The other probems I have with this school is its religious aspect. Partly because they converted to being a church funded school within a term of Mstr A starting there, without any information beu=ing given to the parents/prospective parents, let alone consultation, and i would not have applied to a church funded school. It's not that i beleive they are teaching him the "wrong" things. I am of the opinion that beliefs, morals, ethics & attitudes are learned at home, and we will teach him to look at all sides & make up his own mind. He has already shown he is able to do that. But i do feel they are wasting his time. Time which I feel could be far better spent doing schooling type things. Also, the school/governers/head-teacher have got a seriously warped view of what should and shouldn't be allowed. for example, Halloween. OK I get that it's not celebrated in a christian school, but we were forbidden to hand out invitations to halloween parties on the school premisis! And when i suggested a cheese and wine night as a fundraiser for the PTA, I was told no alcohol is allowed on site - and we're talking 9pm adults only here! Just earlier this week we were discussing how to raise £20k for a new roof, and I suggested applying for some grants, but was told no lottery grants, as the school doesn't approve of gambling. But there are no other capital grants available, so talk about cutting off your nose!

but even that would not be enough to make me think about changing schools. All that is really just a grumble.

It's the schools attitude to the kids that i am starting to be concerned about.

For example their belief that they shouldn't approach the parents of children they suspect to have problems, but wait for the parents to approach them. Whenever I talk to Mstr A's class teacher she comments on how many children in the class are difficult. But we don't live in the most sought after area (that's definitely an understatement). Many of the parents are young, uneducated and have few parenting skills. expecting them to notice that their child is having problems & know to come to the school with this is really unlikely. So the children will continue to have problems, and just get worse and worse.

Also their dogmatic approach to learning. I know that they have boxes to tick, but their total insistance that each child MUST start at the very bottom & complete each worksheet/book/etc in order before moving to the next one just bores the pants off even the averagely bright child. Mstr A was sent home with some spellings to learn: Toy, Not, Run, Yes, Box. He can spell two or three syllable words easily. I stood there in front of his teacher and asked him to spell some words at random: Holiday, jumping, roundabout, bookworm. he did them all perfectly, but she (the school) will not allow him to move on to the harder stuff until he has done all the easier ones. they only do them as a group once a week! The same with his reading. he can read books designed for 7-8 year ilds easily. i found him reading a story from a childrens anthology the other day. He was reading it to LMB, so had the book upside down so she could see the pictures & was still just as fluent! But his school books are still the ones with two sentances to a page (mostly because I can't see the point in forcing him to read them to me every night).

But the final straw came today. Yesterday when I asked how he'd behaved, I was told he didn't do anything at all for his cover teacher in the morning, so had to spend all afternoon doing the mornings work. i asked him why he didn't do his work in the morning & he said he was hungry so he couldn't concentrate (his words). Now this could be true, or it could just be an excuse, but since I had very low blood sugar as a child & Aggie is diabetic, I thought I'd nip the exscuse in the bud & sent him to school with a sandwich today. I spoke to his class teacher and was told it was against policy to allow the children to eat anything other than the provided fruit during the day. I pointed out that he doesn't eat the provided fruit (clementine today), or many fruits at all really. I also mentioned that there were many studies proving that blood-sugar level and behavioural difficulties are related - especially in boys. she agreed to give it a go, provided I spoke with the headmaster as soon as possible (he was away today). when I picked him up she complained that he didn't eat it at break time, but said he was hungry half an hour later, so she couldn't let him eat it!

Remember, he is only 5 years old.

I just feel the whole concept of teaching the class to stretch the individual seems to have been lost in translation at this school.

The next school along (approx 0.5 mile away from our house) is the best academic school in the area, is twice the size, has a large sports facility (out school has none), and has just built a special "children's unit" on site. It was a real toss up which one to apply for when I first did so (if I'd known our school was church funded, there would have been no toss!). But I don't know anyone who goes there - who's to say their attitudes will be any different? or even worse? mstr A has no official diagnosis yet.

I don't know much about the procedure for changing schools, but I expect it's long, complicated, and has lots of form-filling. Is it worth the hassle & upheaval of moving schools, as well as the hassle of his school being further away, or should I keep on battling it out with the current school?

I need to decide now, because whichever school he is in this September, will be the one that LMB (and later LMD) get priority at.

what do you all think?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Open relationships

OK, i've been meaning to throw this one out into the blogosphere for ages, but other stuff kept coming up, but following a comment discussion on Cyberkittens blog, i thought I really ought to get on with it....

I was chatting to my sister a while ago and she mentioned how she recently met a colleague that she hadn't seen for nearly 10 years. they got chatting, and as you do, she asked if he was still with the same girl. he said yes, they were married now, and it was absolutely fantastic. Then he gave her "a look" and said it was an open relationship. she declined, but asked about how it worked, as she hadn't thought the relationship to be particularly stable 10 years ago. he agreed that it was quite shaky to start with, when they had a monogamous marriage, but after two years they took a break from each other, then got back together again & that's when they decided to have an open relationship. It's been fantastic ever since. Their partnership is based on friendship, trust, similar interests, conversation topics, doing stuff together etc. the sex is good, but they both like to shag other people too. there is no deceit involved for any of the parties, and everyone is happy.

Hmmm, we all said when she recounted this story. I reckon he just wanted to screw you:-) But no, she checked it out with wife, who agreed it was all above board & okay by her.

Then we talked about the idea. All the girls there could see the attraction of open relationships. It needn't take anything away from your partnership, but could easily add to it - either by taking off some pressure from the partner with a lower sex-drive, or just by keeping the sex fresh & new, or indeed, just to have some "me time" and flattery every now & then:-)

All the blokes were absolutely against the idea. They felt that "sharing" was somehow sullying them. Either by insinuating they weren't good enough in bed for their wife, or by some wierd concept of "used goods" being dirty (although most of them accepted their girlfriends were not virgins whe n they got together, and that was OK somehow).

So I wondered, was this a gender issue? Marriage & monogamy has always been presented as the female ideal, with men wanting to move on as soon as they can. (Actually, I did get the impression that most of the blokes were not against the idea of adultery - for themselves, not heir partners! How hypocritical is that? )

In this day of pregnancy control, and with so many children being brought up adults other than their genetic parents, does monogamy still have any relevance?

Having re-read this post, it seems to be saying something I didn't mean it to say, so, remembering that both my husband and mother-in-Law read this blog, I thought I'd better clarify.

When I say the girls could all see the advantages to open relationships, that does not mean we were all desperate to start one - just that we could see why some people would want them, while the men had difficulty understanding that anybody (except a "pervert) would allow that kind of thing to go on.

About time too!

The WHO are finally going to revise their baby growth charts to include breastfed babies - about time too - they've been busy telling us all that breast is best for years, while simultaneously telling midwives & health visitors to shove a bottle into any baby that is breastfed for more than a day or two!

You think I'm over-stating the facts? Health visitors (like all of us nowadays) have little boxes to tick to prove they are doing their job. One of the main boxes they have to tick is that the baby is growing properly (which is how it should be). if the baby falls below a certain % they are told to "supplement" feeeding with fomula. ALL breastfed babies are smaller & lighter than fomula fed babies because breastmilk can be digested properly & does not encourage the growth of layers of fat. This is a good thing!

I have NEVER met a mother who exclusively breastfed their babies for more than a couple of months who wasn't told to give them a Top up bottle or two each day.

I had to physically restrain the nurses from doing this to Mstr A when he was 8 HOURS OLD!!!! it was only when i said I would be on the phone to my lawyers & the media that they agreed (against their better judgement) to leave it one more hour. If I hadn't managed to make him feed by then, i would have had to discharge myself against medical advice to keep the bottle out of his mouth, which would have put him on the "at risk" register. WTF?

I had him weighed every week because they made me so paranoid. despite the fact that he gained weight continuously after the first week, every single time I went, they suggested top up bottles. EVERY SINGLE TIME! Once a baby starts on formula, they will invariably swap over completely as it is both easier to suck & tastes much sweeter. So much for breast is best!

They did the same with LMB - i just stopped taking her to be weighed at 3 months, & I never bothered at all with LMD.

and that's just our rich western coiuntries. When I think of the damage Nescafe & such companies do in developing countries I'm amazed that formula is allowed to be sold for general use at all. I know there are some women who can not breastfeed, but they really are few & far between. Most women can, and would with just a little bit of help & encouragement. Lets hope this is the start of that encouragement.

OK rant over.

What the (insert expletive here)!

I've got a new tenant - Keb is from the USA, with three daughters - all drama-queens:-) She has the most amazing life history. I strongly recommend you go read through her 77 things about me & archived posts, although her current ones all make great reading too - anything from dreams to shopping is fair game & beautifully written.

So off you go and have a look-see. just click on her little white thumbnail over there in my sidebar. you know the drill by now, so what are you waiting for?

Monday, April 24, 2006



At first I thought she was just a little bit dim comapared to the others, but I've come to the conclusion it's just laziness through and through:-)

She's lazy in her speech, which means she only says the words well enough to get her point accross. Mstr A had pretty perfect enunciation as soon as he learned each word (and he learned approx 20 a day durinbg his 2nd year!), but LMB still sounds like a baby. but her vocabuary is huge, and her tone & expression are far more advanced than Mstr A even now.

She's lazy in her physical activities. All that worry about her legs turning in, but I've been watching her and she falls over because she can't be bothered to pick her feet up off the ground! In fact, given the choice, she wouldn't walk anywhere! Mstr A, and now LMD, both insisted on walking everywhere as soon as they worked out how to do it - so the pram was packed away completely by the time Mstr A was about 18 months old. LMB had the advantage of the double buggy, but even now, when LMB wants to walk everywhere, LMB still wants to be pushed around with her feet up. We took her scooter to school the other day, as Mstr A always scoots to school. She did it fine f0r half the distance, then i let her stand on it & pushed her the rest of the way for speed, and that's it, she won't put her feet on the ground at all any more!

She's lazy in her academic stuff too. If i sit down and do letters/colours/shapes etc with her, she'll answer my first one or two questions, then not bother any more. yet at bedtime tonight she just "read" a whole story to me!

So maybe that's why blonds have more fun - they're too lazy to do anything complicated:-)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A dragon of a day

Happy St Georges day to those who care about such things. He's the patron saint of England, although no-one really seems to know why:-) he almost certainly never came here!

It's also shakespeares birthday & deathday (how convenient!) today. Much more important really (I am an english graduate after all), as well as William Wordsworths deathday. the two greatest poets in the modern English langusge deserve some recognition.

23rd april is also the first day decimalised currency was used in England (1968) - a great idea, even if a bit late:-) And the death day of Ethelred of Wessex & Ethelred II (the Unready)
I get to remember it nice and easily, as it's the day after my twin sisters birthday (31 yesterday, happy birthday to them), but generally people in england are completely unaware of the significance of the 23rd april, which is a shame really. We're due for an extra public holiday - most of europe has more than us, and 23rd april seems an ideal date. I think Paddies day is mre celebrated by the English than St Georges day! I'm not much of one for patron saints - but shakespeare is pretty much a national hero (every child has to study his works at school), and at least he certainly lived here!

We've spent the day getting all dressed up in out re-enactment gear and collecting money at a local supermarket, then getting on with some DIY. I was going to write an essay, but just couldn't get into it. i really needed to sort out all the kids clothes (summer/winter, too big/small, cleann/unironed etc), but I hate all that stuff, so I decided to paint a wall instead:-) Aggie was supposed to make a shutter for mstr a's bedroom, but he got as far as getting the wood, then left me to paint it, and never got any further.


ah well. i shouldn't complain. he has done quite a lot of useful stuff over the past few weeks. Just not a lot of house stuff!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Viva la revolution

As Queenie turns 80 here in the UK, it looks like Nepal is determined to become a republic. Power to the People & a reminder to all governments that they are not in power by divine right & can be removed if they mess it up badly enough! I do not see any way out for the king, other than abdication. even if the Nepalise accept the return of a constitutional monarchy, i don't think they'll accept him as the monarch! I hope it is cincluded quickly and with as little blood as possible. With deaths in double figures already it's time for the king to think of his people & country first!

I doubt we'll be seeing the same here in the UK, although the fall of any monarchy in the world always gives ours the jitters for a while (especially if it falls into a communist state!), so I expect we'll get lots of nice photo's, soundbites and goodwill tours from our bunch of layabouts.

It's not the same here as in Nepal, obviously. Although I am, on balance, a republican, I can't really see the point in getting too stressed out about it atm. I think we lose more than we gain by having an extended royal family lurking at the forefront of our economy, in the centre of our culture and in the background of our politics, and I am certainly all for any Bill that restricts the number & cost of them (and don't give me that shit that Charles pays £11m of his annual costs himself - it's obscene that one person owns 30% of the country to make that sort of money out of!), I don't think we lose enough to make it worth revolting over.

Although I've always wondered what would happen if she just refused to sign a bill one day. Would Parliament just cut her out of the political process? Or would they go further? Do you think it's ever occured to her to just say no?

Friday, April 21, 2006

Fantastic Nanny A

Friday again, and my chance to get out the house and not really stretch my brain too hard:-)

College was good today - I got 35/40 on the mock exam (the real one is only 2 weeks away now), and two essays returned, both with distinctions (although, one that needs a bit more work to get a distinction too). even better, as only me and one other person is specialising in employment law & everyone else in the class is taking criminal, I get to work on my own this term, which means I can be far more flexible with the hours & just go in every now & then to check I'm on the right track.

But best of all, while I was out, Nanny A completely cleaned half my house for me, despite telling me she had to go shopping. The kitchen, dining room & bathroom are all cleaner than they have been in ages.

The first thing I'm going to spend all my money on when I go back to real work is a cleaner. I'm not very good at it, and can always think of better things to do with my limited time! When do you think the kids are old enough to do proper chores?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Aggie is sooo clever

He's managed to vlog my appearance on the news last week.

Go see me spouting off & looking harrassed in Sedgemoor Splash pool for two minutes - it took TWO HOURS to film!

I really must get back to chasing them up & find out if they took up the offer of an independant risk assessment & find out what the hell my idiot MP thinks he's being paid for - not even an acknowledgement of my letter yet!

Apparently we've been in some other papers. None of them have contacted me & I don't buy newspapers. If anyone has seen me anywhere, please let me know.

You can also show your support by signing the Right to swim campaign's online petition.


LMD is nearly 15 months old already! How did that happen?

LMD was born when LMB was 16 months old. I must have been completely out of my mind!

She has taken to sleeping in in the mornings recently, which would be fantastic if she were an only child, but sadly I have to go & wake her up at 8am to get ready to take Mstr A to school. Why he can't take himself is quite beyond me - I did at his age! He went through a stage of sleeping in the mornings too, but had to be woken to go to nursery while i trundled off to work, but at least I got the occasional lie-in on my days off.

I miss having days off.

By sleeping in, LMD is even less willing to take a daytime nap than she used to be (and she never liked it much!). I really want her to keep this for another few months at least, and she definitely needs it, but I just don't have the energy to fight her every day atm. I'll have to try next week when everything is properly back to normal, because I know it will make life better for everyone in the long run.

She screamed for over an hour yesterday. that horrible, I'm in agony, arched back, don't touch me scream. I have no idea what it was about, but nothing I did made it any better. Neither of the others ever did that - if they screamed, mummy could nearly always make it better, or at least cuddles them off to sleep. I did finally get her off for about 20 mins when Aggie got home, but the episode completely exhausted me. I know i don't have "good" babies, but thankfully I've not had to deal with croup, colic, major injuries, illnesses or conditions & have little experience of crying babies.

She's very nearly got another tooth (ooooh, 5 teeth at 15 months!) so I'm hoping it was that and when it is properly through she'll be her normal happy & shouty self.

BTW, today is your last chance to see my current tenant, Cheeks & Paste & Digby. Quick go now or forever miss out!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Why the fuss?

This headline on BBC caught my eye today: China 'selling prisoners' organs'

You can go read the article, but the headline pretty much covers it. China has been acused of selling thousends of executed prisoners organs for transplant abroad, by a British surgeon.

I don't really get why this is considered such a terrible thing; especially in the UK, which regularly debates the merits of making organ donation compulsory, with an "opt-out" card, rather than an "opt-in" card as we currently have.

China is a communist country - therefore it is illegal to follow any of the God religions. I know that doesn't necessarily cut much ice, but China's home-grown religion does not have any hang-ups about the sacrosactity of the body once death has come - or even about death really. As far as I am aware, your ancestors spirits hang around their family whatever the method, place or age of death. In a communist country, your body belongs to the gov't first while you are alive - let alone while you are dead.

In a communist country, all medical care is free, and everyone is entitled to the same care as everyone else. Therefore if one person recieves a transplant, thoretically every person who needs one is entitled to one. Where are all those organs going to come from? You need people who have died before their natural time. In Western societies, we get a lot (but nowhere near enough) from road deths. Except for Beijing & Hong Kong, China doesn't get that many road deaths. They do execute a lot of "criminals" (even more than the USA, although the population numbers are quite different too.....). It seems a sensible source of organs to me.

I am completely for the compulsory harvesting of organs, providing people who feel strongly can opt out. The only problem that i see with China's policy is that they didn't offer that option to the prisoners as they kept the policy secret (they still deny it BTW). Oh, and that i'm against the death penalty:-)

China has promised to stop selling organs altogether by july.

Boo hiss

Diabetes inhaler rejected for NHS

down with NICE and their warped views of what is "more effective" treatment. Lets make them all stab themselves in the leg 7 times a day, then see if they think an inhaler might be "more effective" in allowing people to lead normal lives!

it costs £1,100 per person per year for the inhaled insulin.

I can't find the costs for the insulin pens most diabetics use, but I doubt it can be much less than a grand a year. I found a number of articles saying the pens were more expensive than the old syringes, but we changed over to those quickly enough. something to do with quality of life, infection risks, injection site complications, public acceptance and individual management 7 control!

Lets hope they are a bit more lenient with the proposed patches that the Gov't has spent money helping a firm in Swansea develop. they won't be available for a while yet though:-(

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Wierd things meme

I've been tagged by mean mom to do the wierd things meme that you may have seen around. I'm not very good at meme's in general, and not sure what counts as wierd, but I've tried my best, so here you go......


1. Go write weird facts/things/etc. about yourself in my comment box and on your blog, then tag six more people!

2. Then leave a comment that says 'You are tagged' in their comments telling them to read your blog.

My weird facts:

  • I don't dream. Well actually, I guess I do, as I'm not certified insane, but I don't remember ANY of my dreams. Ever. And I never have done. So no dodgy self psycho-analysis for me:-)
  • I can not draw. At all. They say a good test of your natural artistic ability is to draw a freehand circle then compare it to a true circle. the closer you are to the true lines, the more artistic you are. when I draw a circle the ends don't even meet:-(
  • I have a tattoo of a unicorn on my shoulder. Its a unique picture, but as I can't draw at all, it is actually a combination of a number of other pictures.
  • I was the first member of my family to get a job, to get a tattoo, to graduate from uni, to buy a house, to get married & to have children. Yet I am considered the conforming one!
  • Despite the fact that my whole career up to now has been in the sports industry, I have absolutely no interest in competitive sport, and never have done.

Is five enough? Are they wierd facts? Comments welcome.

As always, I won't tag anyone specific, but you are all more than welcome to do it. leave me a comment & I'll link you here.

Other wierd meme's that I know about:

Mean Mom . . . craziequeen

Ivoryfrog . . . Mary P

PS if you haven't seen them yet, Aggie has posted some photo's off our Easter in the 14th century here. Go and take a look.

PPS if you haven't clicked over to my tenant, Cheeks & Paste & digby, yet, go have a look see. They really are LOL funny.

we're baaack

we made it through the weekend, and back into the 21st century. You'll never know how nice cotton socks are until you've walked a dozen miles barefoot / in soft leather shoes!

Caerphilly is a big castle, but like all good defences, there are no large open areas within the walls, so we pitched the tents immediately inside the first walls, but had the living history display set up right within the inner courtyard. This meant that every time we wanted something from the tent, we had to walk across the courtyard, over the moat & down the outer defence yard, over the second inner wall, and right down the the outer wall! collct the thing/change a nappy/check the time etc, then walk all the way back again. For me, most of those walks were carrying at least one child, usually two.

I ache!!!!!

The weather stayed dry all weekend. Horay. i don't think that's ever happened at an easter event before!

The kids looked dead cute in their clothes - even though I didn't get them all completely finished in time, they had enough to wear. And we are only peasants after all. They didn't have to be the greatest quality:-) I've got a few adjustments to make to my dress (more button holes - goodie), and the kirtle's to get finished for next event (2 weeks time) so the sewing isn't done yet:-( But at last I've got a bit more time now.

Aggie was delighted that his first attempt at soap making appeared to work (we wont know for absolutely sure for a couple of weeks). He has posted some pictures on his blog here. I spent most of my time chasing three kids, but have offered to do a food talk/display next event, which is more fun:-)

Now it's a day of washing, tidying, clearing up & getting ready for real-life to re-start! Mstr A is back to school tomorrow, and hopefully I'll be able to write half a dozen essays before college re-starts on friday!

Saturday, April 15, 2006


My finger hurts!

Don't be disgusting - It hurts because I've been doing too much sewing! I spent pretty much all of yesterday trying to get it finished, but of course, failed miserably:-(

I ve finished LMB's & Lmd's underdresses, Mstr A's shirt & hose. They are completed, including button holes, finished seams & hemming. Yay me!

I've put together LMB's skirt & bodice, Lmd's skirt & bodice, and Mstr A's tunic, but they are not finished at all:-(

I've not even started my Kirtle. And I think the girls will just have to do without kirtle's this event, as they are not even cut out yet!

Oh, Aggie also sorted out shoes for Mstr A & LMD. we still need to make some for LMB.

Everything is in the washing machine being dyed ATM, while we sort out kit & pack the car.

I've still got this afternoon (in the car) and evening (round the fire) you know.......

Ah well, as Douglas Adams said, "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by"

Obviously, we'll be incommunicado for the next couple of days (no net access in the middle of a field, in the middle of a castle, in the middle ages!). OMG - we're going to miss the first episode of the new series of Dr Who!!!!! anyone live near Caerphilly? Can we come borrow your TV?

I strongly recommend that you spend some of all that spare time you'll get by not reading my drivel, by visiting my tenant, Cheeks & Paste & Digby. They are very funny guys, the whole site is full of all those jokes that just make you bark with laughter. I blogrolled them ages ago, so it was an easy decision when they asked for a bit of space in my spare room. So go and give them a click & leave a nice comment. It'll make both of you very happy - I promise.

Friday, April 14, 2006

I am sew busy!

Sorry if the posts are a bit sporadic for the next few days, but it's all a bit hectic here at the moment.

We spent Yesterday partying with CK celebrating his birthday by going fo a blow-out meal (where LMB wee'd all over daddies leg - ha ha, what fun it is being a parent), a quick game of 10 pin bowling (I got to play against Mstr A, LMB & LMD - and still lost!), then off to see Ice Age 2 at the cinema, which was quite good, although not as good as the first one from what I saw of it (view was obstructed by LMD a lot of the time, a was much of the sound! But I only had to leave the cinema twice!). It was a good day, but meant we were out all day, so now i am really behind on my sewing!

I've finished underdresses for both LMB & LMD, almost finished Mstr A's hose (leggings) and shirt, and have started LMB's overdress, but still have LMD's overdress, Mstr A's Tunic and kirtles (apron-type dresses) for myself, LMB & LMD to start! And we leave tomorrow afternoon!

Oh well, hopefully the phone will be calming down now we're into the easter break - surely the media people will be having some time off?

I'll try to keep the blog updated as much as possible......

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

HAH! (Updated)

take that idiot Sedgemoor Council! Now we're getting somewhere.

We had a 3/4 page spread in the Daily Mail today. not my personal choice of news reading matter, but a real national paper without a doubt. Aggies posted the whole article into his blog here if you want to go have a look. I have to say, I didn't say a number of the quotes, and I find it hilarious that they translated all my metric measurements into imperial!, but they got the main gist of it right.

apparently LBC have been putting it into their hourly news bulletins all day too, but I've yet to check this one out.

Also The Wright Stuff on Channel 5 apparently ran the story this morning. They didn't bother to contact me, so I didn't see it! Did anyone else?

Thames TV phoned me last night, so that may go somewhere, but more importantly, finally the BBC has responded. They will be doing a report on tomorrow's local news. But here's a bit from their website-)

Somehow, i get the feeling that mr duty manager may have a little bit of explaining to do. I did tell him that I would do this at the time & asked if he wished to discuss the matter with his superiors, but oh no, he knew best!

Nothing from the MP's yet though *frown* I must chase this up. Although the head of the right to swim campaign has given me a few extra MP's to contact too:-)

In other news, i have spent the day at nanny'A's, wishing her a happy birthday & trying desperately to sew four sets of medieval clothes. They're not done yet:-( But we're getting there slowly:-)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Can I have a bath mum?


I ran the bath, but they took their clothes off:-)

PS, if you haven't been over to see my tenant yet, why not? Go click her little pink thumbnail right now you naughty reader you!

oh, and if you have been, and quite liked it, go on back. her computer's fixed now, so she's got a new post up....

No more babies!

I went off to the Dr today to have a little coil of copper wire placed inside of me, to try and make sure there are no more little Aginothlings to terrify the world.

You wouldn't believe how difficult it was to get the appointment! I phoned up last week as soon as I came on to book in with the specific Dr who does such things for early this week. Oh no, she doesn't have any spaces for at least three weeks, can't it wait till next month?

No, because I have already waited a year for this one, and there is no telling when the next one might turn up, but it definitely won't be in 28 days time! Actually my last one was Sept 2002 (lucky me), so I think waiting would be a bad idea as i have had TWO children since then!

Hmmmm, well, you'll have to phone on the morning required and try for an emergency appointment.

No, because it has to be with specific Dr (no-one else does it), at specific surgery (the Dr's all work at two sites -mostly at the other one which is a car ride away) and I don't know when she is there, and it needs longer than the 10 mins emergency appt. time.

The receptionist agreed to discuss it with the dr & get back to me.

I phoned back in the afternoon and made the appt. for this morning.

Unfortunately, the receptionist then failed to tell me that a)I needed to go in last week to have swabs taken (no idea why), or b)to take painkillers before my appt.

It is cold & wet here today. I had to go to the post office & do some shopping, carry the kids around & cook lunch straight after going to the dr's, and now I hurt in places i mostly forget I have.

It better bloody work!

And it better not make me start being regular, cos if it does it's coming straight out. Last week was truely awful. I really don't understand how women manage to carry on with normal lives if they all feel like that every month! I am so, so, so lucky:-)

Oh, and GMTV decided not to run with the story:-( But couple of national papers are apparently thinking about it:-)

Monday, April 10, 2006


We missed our big TV debut:-(

The ITV news thing was postponed till today, because of it being Brunel's 200th birthday & so all the news was plastered with the celebrations. Which was good, because we were away on Friday, so wouldn't have caught the local news.

However, apparently they did a thing on the lunchtime news too, because by the time I got home mid-afternoon, the phone didn't stop ringing! Yay me - GMTV called & hopefully I get to sit on a sofa on national TV next week some time:-) Also South west News called & did a phone interview & asked for a photoshoot. i suggested tomorrow morning, but they were really keen to get it done tonight, so I said OK for 5.30pm, assuming it would be like last time - 5mins of photo's in the garden & a quick note of how to spell our names.

%.30 turned up & the photographer asked if he could take the pictures at sedgemoor splash - so we all had to drive down there, get permission to take pictures inside, have the pictures done & come back. ITV news goes out at 6pm! DOH!

Oh well, Nanny A video'd it. Apparently it was one of the top stories, with a discussion/phone in thingy too. I'll try & get a copy & post it here if possible. One of the national newspapers is apparently interested too:-)

That'll teach them to tell ME i can't go swimming! ME! HUH!

i am so going to win this one - eventually.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


we're up in london again, as i have got some work in Greenwich tomorrow. We're all up here, because my mother keeps complaining that she doesn't get to see us as a family at all, so we arranged months ago that we would all come up for the whole weekend for this course, as it's a short course with not loads of travelling time.

so i was not overly impressed when we arrived last night to be told that my mother had a meeting this afternoon and was working all day Sunday. I'm so glad we made the effort to all traipse up here as a family, and didn't waste our last weekend at home before re-enactment season starts!

This morning, sister S & cousin G came round to play. Sister S was in a foul mood & had a migraine, so cousin g played with my lot while S slept it off upstairs. They all played beautifully together all morning, then my mother decided she would do some lunch for everyone. She has a set of coloured plastic plates which the children use. Mstr A has his own cup, with his name on it. It is orange. When we arrived ojn friday night, we all had supper & mstr A had his orange cup & a orange plate. At breakfast this morning, Mstr A had his orange cup & an orange bowl. When my mother served lunch, she gave him his orange cup & a blue plate. Cousin G had the orange plate. Mstr A kicked off that he wanted the orange plate.

Now, I have explained Mstr A to my mother. I have given her the word "Asbergers", a load of documents to read, been backed up by my sister who is a Educational Psychologist, and had a long heart to heart about exactly how it affects Mstr A's behaviour & how we manage it.

My mother doesn't believe in any mental, behavioural or neurogenic disorders. she saw a five year old child shouting that he wanted a different colour plate & sent him to his room.

i held my peace, and when the girls had finished their lunch, I went upstairs, calmed Mstr A down (in about 2 minutes) and told him he could have the orange plate now as G had finished with it. he was happy, came downstairs, we swapped his food onto the orange plate & he started eating and chatting nicely.

Moments later, my mother came in with three toffee desserts, put them down directly in front of Mstr A and stated "these are just for the adults". Now, apart from the fact that there were four adults in the room (I guess Aggie either didn't count as an adult, or possibly wasn't there in her eyes), she did not bother to ask me or S if we wanted them, and I have stated, on a number of occasions, and very loudly & vehemently, that I will not ever have "childrens" food and "adults" food. My kids will be brought up to eat properly, the same as we do. in fact I have made a big issue of my dislike of the whole concept of "childrens" food many times & my mother is well aware of my strong feelings on that subject. So when Mstr a asked "can i have one of those?" I said he could have mine if he finished all his dinner.

Yes, i know it was going against what one adult had already said, but 1)I didn't want it anyway, 2)she'd put them down directly in front of him, 3)she's violated one of my most sacrosanct rules.

my mother disagreed with me, and said they were only for the adults. Mstr A cried. i said i didn't want it, so he could have it as there is no such thing as adults food. my mother took them away. Mstr A finished his lunch, & I gave him a toffee dessert. My mother stormed off in a sulk.

After lunch, the kids went and played again & I went to try and talk to my mother & explain. I started by saying I was sorry that i had disagreed with her, but I will not tolerate the whole adult/child food concept. She told me I wasn't sorry, then uttered the fairly unforgiveable line "no wonder he behaves the way he does, it's your own fault for letting him do whatever he wants".

I am really starting to wonder if there is any point in trying to make the relationship between Mstr A, myself & my mother work. We're going up again in June for my mothers & G's birthday's, but at the moment I'm not feeling inclined to make any further arrangements.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Thoughtful thursday

We all had our photo's taken this morning - holding our towels and looking "glum":-)

I expect the story will go out tomorrow, but who knows?

LMB seems to have finally understood the concept of colours, and is pretty good at them now. except that she doesn't believe in red - that's pink to her, and orange & green are back to front - I'm sure she does that one deliberately to annoy me!

She also seems to have learned all of her letters now, with only minimal input from me. It's great having a computer game & big brother to do all my work for me;-) She now wanders around shops pointing every advert and yelling out "I can see a N for Nanny. And another one! And a B for Baby....." etc

Her first love is art though. She adores drawing, painting, sticking and anything arty and will indulge whenever there is the opportunity. Yesterday she drew a picture of mummy & daddy - the first time it's been anything other than "a picture" - and it was kind of person-shaped! A circle with lines coming out of it anyway:-) Mstr A didn't even understand that drawings could represent something until he was about 4!

Mstr A is following in daddy's footsteps and becoming a computer game addict (I'm currently an EVE widdow again!). He thinks it's more important than eating, playing outside or reading a book at the moment, so we are having a few disagreements. However, I have to say, these are far more manageable than they used to be. I'm not sure if it's me or him who have changed. Probably a bit of both:-) But I can usually stop him playing with only a short outburst to contend with. and sometimes none!

He's currently fascinated by the idea of germs. That's a fun thing to discuss wsith a 5 year old!

I'm trying to decide if and how I should discuss his differences with him. I know it has to be done at some time, but I'm not sure if he is able to understand that different doesn't mean wrong. Equally, I'm sure he listens in to far more of our conversations than we think sometimes, and I don't want him misconstruing what he hears.

LMD is not very well atm. Having avoided the sickness bug that hit the rest of the family a few weeks ago, she spent yesterday either sleeping or puking & today either sleeping or grisling.

I had a successful meeting with surestart yesterday & they should be able to put a few courses my way. which is good, cos we're rapidly running out of money:-(

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Tenants Extra

I have decided to offer my spare room out again, and have a nice new tenant for you to go visit:

Mean Mom is neither mean, nor American, but a Yorkshire Lass, with four kids to contend with! She posts pretty much every day, so it's worth clicking now and if you like what you read, go back for some more tomorrow:-) Her writing is clean & easy to read, covering everything from sneaky 12 year olds to sloppy 2 year olds, with a good helping of rant about daily life and a great recipe for chocolate brownies. mmmmmmm.

And it's a cool template IMO.

So, go give her a click. She's got a pretty pink thumbnail over there on my sidebar, or if that's too far to go, you can click here.

Listen to me

if you want to hear how the radio interview went, you can click here and check it out. The main interview (the bit where they let the man from the council have his say) is 1hour & 9mins into the show, although I get heard a few times before that:-)

Hopefully the telly camera's will be here on Friday.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I'm famous, me..

Well, interview no. one with the local radio station successfully completed:-)

I basically said all the stuff about the stupidity of blanket bans, that it is against the professional association & HSE guidelines & Health & Safety law, that the council was discriminating against half it's population, & flying in the face of government policies on health, education, sport, local authority responsibilities, social awareness and crime reduction, and that a manager with no discretion to make his own decisions is no manager.

They said, "but it's our policy, and it is absolute in every situation"

Well, that should do the trick then. I'll just go home and shut up now shall i?


Smug mode turned on........

When I got home there was a message from ITV - the reporter was horrified, aghast & plainly seething just from my letter. He's on holiday this week, but has asked that I phone him back tonight to arrange a TV interview (with cute children - it always helps). He has 4 kids himself & did not sound impressed by Sedemoor's council's lunacy.

I haven't been on TV before (well, maybe a couple of crowd shots in my youth, but I'm not sure they count). It should be fun - and of course is far more high profile than local radio:-)

Anyway, if you want to hear me on the radio, I'm on at 7.05 am tomorrow morning, with a discussion programme starting at 8.05am, on Somerset Sound, 1566 am/mw. I'll let you know about the telly as and when.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Yay me!

Two pieces of good news for me today:

1. Sure Start finally got back to me re doing some work for them. I have a meeting on Wednesday afternoon, which I'm hopeful may throw a fair bit of work my way - and all local stuff which will be even better. Nothings confirmed yet, but hopefully it'll mean we'll be able to eat for the next few months!

2. I got the first result from my Sedgemoor Splash Letter. BBC Somerset Sound phoned to say they are really interested in following the story & are going to arrange an interview with me & the pool manager, with the expectation that we will all go for a swim at the end:-) The power of the media:-) No reply from the pool or council yet though!

Oh yes, and Mstr A behaved fantastically at playgroup this morning - possibly because there were no other bigger boys for him to fail to play with:-) but whatever, he played happily and quietly alongside all the little ones, without any problems. Hurrah.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Lazy sunday - NOT!

I know that we used to have quiet, relaxing weekends....... but I really can't rememeber that little luxuary at all now:-(

I was rudely awakened by Mstr A at 6.30 this morning, when he decided he wanted a cuddle! Unfortunately, his curtains are not very effective, and he wakes at sunrise - which has not been particularly plasant for the past couple of weeks:-( despite the fact that he is perfectly able to tell the time, and knows that he is not to get up before 7am, he usually finds some pretext (like this mornings cuddle) to wake me up earlier. Aggie just grunts and goes back to sleep, but once I'm awake, that's it for quality sleep for me, even if i do stay in bed! We are definitely going to have to try to rig up some more suitble blinds in his room this summer!

I spent the first few hours finishing off LMD's re-enactment dress. This has been hand-made over the weekend, in our first foray into proper dress-making. For years i refused to even sew buttons on, and now i'm making complicated dresses from pure Linen! Aggie cut the pattern, and I sewed it - all by hand to be authentic! 14th century children apparently wore mini versions of adult clothes - which means LMD's dress is made of 12 seperate panals sewn together to produce a highly shaped ankle length dress. Unfortunately, we measured her a little too well, & I have a horrible feeling she is going to grow out of it within a week or so! All that work down the drain:-( we shall leave a lot more growing room in LMB's andd Mstr A's!

Each girl needs a linen underdress, and 2 woolen overdresses (one long-sleeved, one sleeveless), plus an apron-dress! Mstr A needs a shirt, tunic, brais (underwear), and hose. Ideally we want two sets for each child! I need the same as the girls. Aggie is fortunately fully equiped:-) Our first show is Easter weekend, and I'm working in London next weekend. Somehow, I don' t think we'll have it all done!

Then we took them off swimming again. No reply's from the letters yet, so back to our local(ish) pool in portishead. I forgot how busy it gets on a Sunday morning! When we got on poolside we were told they'd closed the small pool due to numbers. Why they couldn't have told us that before we paid & got them all changed is beyond me. I always did so when I was manager! So we went in the main pool for the first 30 mins. And you know what? None of the children drowned. We were perfectly able to hold three children with our four arms. They even got to do some proper swimming practise. well, whaddya know!

I'm off now to bathe all the beef cury off the girls & sew mstr A's tunic.

oooo, aint life exciting?